Monday, October 27, 2014

A talk on the tip of your tongue

Família!!!! what is happening!

Wilson....... you need to remember one thing.................. I am the chick magnet,,,, and self-proclaimed, might I add.  But have fun anyways at your first dance with your loincloth.  And I´m so happy that you guys are doing the Hochbol dance still.  Do the people even know what that means? The dance sounds pretty awesome I´m not going to lie and yes I would love pictures....... of everything...... included Jefferson and his date who I don’t even know who it is? 

So transfers are today and me and Elder Brown are staying!!!!! What?!?!  My second comp that I will stay 2 transfers with!  We were so happy to stay together.  He is just to funny.   But Elder Stenquist moved out of our house and he is now in the same ward as he was but he moved houses to live in his area.  So that is a bummer.  Me and Elder Brown will miss him.   

This week was great!!!!  One thing that me and Elder Brown did really good at this week was teach with power and authority.  Everytime we taught the restauração I could feel the spirit testifying to the person of the first vision.  It was awesome!! We were super bold in saying that this is the only true church.  I felt like I haven´t taught better in my whole mission.  I´m really learning how to hear the spirit during a lesson then follow it.  I´ve always struggled with that but I´m getting better.  The worst part is when you teach well and the spirit is there testifying to the person and then they deny it...... ahhhhh!  Well they don´t deny that they felt the spirit they just don´t... recognize it and connect it to the spirit testifying to them..... that is one thing that we need to explain better to them.  But still they don´t do anything.  On Sunday we had 2x+5=5 investigators at church.... it was a bummer but we aren´t getting ourselves too down about it because we know that we are doing our part.

This week was the week of rain. It rained everyday this week... like hard.  The roads turned into rivers and the rivers turned into oceans.....    We got soaked but it was fun.. but because of the rain there weren´t people out on the street to do contacts with so that also affected our work.

So I went to get my toenail taken out this week. I went to a pedicure place to get it taked out.. and just that.  The next thing I know I was getting a full pedicure!!!  Foot wash, cuticles cut and toenails cut and she took out the ingrown part.. well almost.. she missed a little part that is still festering..... but I´m all good for now. The worst part is when she put clear nail polish on.... are you kidding me!   Manhood taken away.

Because of all the rain the mosquitoes are going crazy!! And when I say going crazy I mean coming into our room and eating us.  Every night!!! So what you have to do is get all the way under your covers but then you dye of heat and they still bite you. When you wake up in the morning there are little blood patched on the covers from when you rolled over on top of them during the night and killed them. So one night this week it was like 11:30 and we were trying to sleep but we couldn´t cus we were getting eaten alive.  So Elder Brown got up and said "hey, I´m gonna turn on the light and kill all of these mosquitoes." And that is what we did for the next hour and a half.  And killed them all.............with our hands.  It was awesome!  Our hands were so bloody afterwards.  But we slept good:)

Dead mosquito hands at midnight
I´ve been here for over 2 months and there has not been one ward council meeting........  one night we went over to a members house.  He used to be a bishop. We sat down and we started talking about the ward and he was saying the same stuff that we always say about our leadership.  But I was so impressed in the way he was doing it.  He never once said that our leadership was bad or anything.  He just said how a ward should be run. It was very interesting to talk to him.  He is a baller... probably my favorite member in the ward.

At lunch this week we got told a lot of stuff by the Irmãs of our ward.  Elder Brown says we are in the "Women Confidence Club."  One irmã was telling us all about her marriage.  Another irmã told us about how she had a vision.  It was a confusing dream and she was asking us if we could help her "interpret" it.  So the Irmãs here really like us... and trust in us which is good.  Now we just need to get that trust from the bishop.

So I´m playing the piano in church now..... So I walk up to the pulpit on Sunday to play prelude and the bishop says to me "Elder, do you have a talk on the tip of your tongue?"  I told him if he needed me I would give a talk.  While I was playing the piano prelude the secretary come up and said I would be the first speaker.  So while I was playing the first and sacrament hymn I was planning my talk.  I was going to speak on the atonement and grace and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I had it in my head pretty good with scriptures and everything. 

So after the sacrament I ran to get my Livro de Mórmon in the peus and then I was preparing to hear my name called to give the talk.... but then they called on an irmã..... so I didn´t end up giving a talk.. she just got there late...... I was relieved.....    Then last night we got invited to an FHE at the family that lives behind us.  They aren´t members, they´ve been investigating the church for a while.. their niece and daughter are members and firm now.

We walking in and they told me I would be giving the lesson on gratitude and handed me a true to the faith.  I did pretty good.  The best part was the game at the end. We taught them how to play "I never" and it was hilarious!!!!! One of the funniest times I´ve ever played it.  I don´t know why it was just awesome!!  Laughter the whole time with a bunch of brasilians.   Then I taught them "I´m going on a trip and bringing a ....."  you know when you have to keep adding on what you bring... and guess who won.... yours truly!  Vou pra a praia e vou levar um livro, um urso, o copo, a seleção brasileira, o time de flamango, uma toalha, o rede, um baré, uma guarda sol, a família de elder stenquist, davi, A gravata, sapatos, oculos do sol, uma prancha, uma violão, a camisa, um penguin, a bandeira dos estados unidos, a bandeira do amazonas, Imrão sales, relógio, a pula pula, um barco cheio de tijolos, e uma flecha.........  I still got it!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was super fun.

I hope everything goes well for you guys this week with mowing and hochbol, marching band, the dance this Tuesday, loincloths, jury duty..... yeah I think that is it:)  have fun"!

Elder Ostler

Monday, October 20, 2014

We at Alligator!!!

8:59 AM
What up my família!

So this place is going to close again here in 20 mins so I won´t get that much in.... 

Sounds like the week was pretty tranquil and mowing will be done so I know that the boys are rejoicing about that!  So the secret behind the lightning picture is....... I used the priesthood..... no we just took a video then made a picture out of that frame of the video. Well I´ll be back...... in 2 hourish.. any more questions you can ask..

This is me picking mamão.... or papaia. That disgusting fruit we ate in Mexico so que aqui é mom:)

12:46 PM

I´m back.  So like I said before it is getting hard to find people to teach... especially families.   I´ve done more contacts in this transfer than I´ve ever done before.  It is crazy... but we did find one elite family this week.  We went through the area book and found some old investigators.  We went to their house but when we clapped her neighbor come out and said that she moved and that somebody else lives there.  We started talking to this lady and she was very receptive to us.  We found out that her biological mom is a member.

Eventually we got in the house.  Her name is J* and her 10 year old daughter Ju*.  We started talking just a little about the church and what she knows.  All she knew is that the members are very nice and giving (thank you members!)  Then her husband got home.  We taught them the restoration!  It was one of the best times that we´ve taught it.  They understood and everything and it was awesome.  We talked about eternal families também because they aren´t yet married (emphasis on 'yet').  We went back two days later and brought our ward mission leader. I love him.  He helped out a ton at the lesson!

Sometimes members totally ruin the lessons and scare the pesquisador away (if you don´t believe me go watch the district 2), he did great.  Unfortunately the husband wasn´t there. We taught the atonement and talked about the law of chastity and the palavra de sabedoria.  She said that her husband was talking about leaving here and going to live in another city but that when we were there the first time and we asked him about  having an eternal family and he said he would like that.  J* said it surprised her.

After the lesson we ate Alligator!!!!  What!  It was good.  Just tasted like regular meat.  They didn´t go to church but they told us they wouldn´t be able to make it because they had a compromisso já marcado.  So it was fine.  We will marry them and baptize them.  So I guess that was our ray of sunshine this week....... literally too......

The wet season (winter) arrived about a month early this year.  So it rains every day now.... like hard!  But it has cooled down alot so that is good.  The bad part about rain is that when it stops it is still super humid and hot. And it is a pain to dry clothes.... but we are surviving.

So this week I studied a little about the atonement in preach my gospel...... I started reading and then a phrase caught my eye.  It said something like "only through the grace and mercy of Christ can we return to live with our Father in Heaven."  I had studied a little in Moroni10:32 the other day and it talks about grace as well.  I´ve never really understood grace so I looked it up in true to the faith.  I read that grace is the divine help that we receive from Jesus's atonement.  It said there are two kinds.  The kind that we need to be saved.  But that grace only goes into affect after all that we can do 2Nefi 25:23.  It is what saves us after we have faith repent, be baptized receive the Holy Ghost and perseverar até o fim.

Then there is the second kind.  This is the day by day grace that we receive.  We can receive strength from the expiação de Jesus Cristo every day.  He knows how we are feeling at all times so He knows what type of divine help we need (grace).  If we ask with faith.... he will send it.  So we can literally use the atonement everyday of our lives... it is not just to apagar pecados mas também para receber força todo dia e aguentar a dia dia.  I still don’t understand it completely but I have a better understanding.  

To be honest not much happened this week.  Pretty tranquil week.  On Sunday I played the piano and I must say that I didn’t do bad.  The only thing that I can´t do is play sacrament hymns.  I never practiced them because I never needed to play them for anything.  HEY BOYS!! practice your piano!   Everything from hymns to fun songs to rocking out on the drums uke and the piano.  kakakakakka.

After church we went to WML house for lunch.  His daughter who's birthday is dec6, 1994 ..  her boyfriend was there and he asked the parents permish to get married to her.  The mom was not happy and she stormed off.... kinda an awkward family moment that we were apart of..... but that is the mission.. me and Elder Brown had a good laugh about it afterwards.  

So since I have nothing else to write about I will just tell you trivial stuff.  Lunch is still always the same.  Rice, beans noodles and usually chicken.  The chicken is always the same.....dry.  Unless the irmã really knows how to cook.  I love when they fry it.  They usually cook it in the oven or boil it in a broth.

Brasilians are so funny.  They can´t believe that we don´t eat feijão for almoço in the states.  They say "where do you get your force from?"   They think that beans is the only source of protein I think.  It is funny.  They always ask us what we eat there and we are like...... "uhhhhhhh everything."   We don´t just have two things every day.  It is always different.  

So....... um.... I would love if you would send me that video you made last spring break.  That would be awesome.  Also take some footage of benson in the marching band and when jefferson starts basketball get some of that.  You know just because I won´t be there.  

Well sorry for the short lame email..... I hope you guys have a great  week.. finish strong with the mowing season and enjoy that fall weather!!!!!!

Elder Ostler

Monday, October 13, 2014

Moles, Chuva, Relampada, e Elder Malcolm

8:59 AM
Ok as this lan house is closing so we will come back later but just a few things...... 

Benson is a rockstar drummer and I hope Jefferson keeps going strong during the mowing... and enjoy the weather!!!! It poured today and we are soaking wet!!

I´ll be back!!

1:38 PM
SO..... I´m back now....  Everything closes at lunch so that is why I couldn´t email.  Me and Elder Brown tried to go to a different lan house but because it was pouring rain it was closed.. so we walked back up to this lan house.... on the walk back IT WAS POURING!!!!  We were trying to stay dry for the first little bit but then we just got to a road that was a river and Elder Brown said "I give up" and we just walked straight through it.  After that we tried to get wet. Like we would walk underneath the roofs where the water was falling.. we got soaked... that is the closest I´ve come to swimming in the past year so I can´t complain:)  We were laughing and having a good time:)

This is when we got to the lan house this moring and it was locked…
and we were soaking wet..... but it was a super good time:)
 I don´t think you can tell but it is poring in the picture and I´m soaked.
This was this moring on our quest to the lan house.
That is the road we trudged right up and got soaked... I love manaus:)
Last pday after lunch we went to the centro and I got a new watch because my other one broke and we got some sick jerseys.  On Wednesday we went to the temple and guess who was there.... ELDER MALCOLM!!! My MTC comp!  It was great. That is the picture.  His Portuguese is actually really good.  It was soo goood to see him at last.

Dad, you are always asking what I do as ZL... well on Tuesday we had zone training. Last week we had the ZL meeting with presidente and we give that same training to our zones.  We jazzed it up a little bit.  Like I said the new focus in the mission is families so we let everybody bring a picture of their family and share a little about their family and then tell why they loved their family.  Then we related that into us having to find and work more with families.    Mom I said that thing that you would tell me at the begging of my mission.  When I start mission you guys I just need to remember that love I have for you and try to give it to someone else... for them to have the same love in their family.  Also, every Wednesday and Friday night we have to accompany our zone... all of the DL call the duplas in the district and get three numbers.. Lições com membro, novos pesquisadores, e datas de batismo.  We then call them and they pass all of the numbers to us.  This helps us know how the zone is doing during the weeks and mainly so we can know if there will be baptisms. It is a pretty good system. Unlike most other missions I think, we NEVER see the other missionaries.. only for district meeting and interviews.  

So our investigator pool is stilllll....... dwindling in unbelief.  We are trying so hard to find and contact but the people we find either don´t understand our message or are just mole-er than play-dough. Mole means soft... but it doesn´t make sense in english.  It means that they just don´t do any thing.. none of the compromissos que deixamos com eles.  Especially GO TO CHURCH!! That is the hardest part we have. But last night when I was passing our numbers to the AP he told me something that struck me.  He said we need to be LOOKING for families... I guess I´ve just been thinking that because we are talking to people a family will fall into our laps and everything will be hunky dorey but in reality we need to go looking for families.. focus on that.  So that is one thing that we will be doing this week more.   But we do have a family that we are hoping to baptize. We are teaching them and they have already been to church twice!!  The problem is their dad.. he is never at home. When ever we mark with him he is never home.........  so I´m hoping we get to teach him this week..... vamos ver.

For pday today we aren´t really doing anything... I wrote a letter or two.   Speaking of letters... did you ever get my letters I sent from when I had my toe problem and was in house for a week? I hope so because if not that would be a bummer.  And I´m still playing the piano.  The problem is I don´t have time to practice!! We get home at night and plan then area book (which we are getting better at doing daily) and eat and shower and by that time it is 1030.  So boys.... your time to practice is NOW!!!! Yes that is right now!

On Saturday night there was a massive lighting storm!! One of the biggest I´ve seen in my life.  It was crazy loud.  At 130am it knocked the power out.. no AC.. it was hard to sleep.

Well that was the week.  It sounds like you guys are doing great too.  And dad I don't really understand what you are doing out in the yard or why you are doing it but....keep it up and don´t throw out your back.. get those three boys out there to help ya out.  And I just think that that is the coolest thing that Benson (who is on steroids) is in the marching band!! What!  So awesome.  And the cooler part is that he is starting as a freshman... I wish I would have started choir as a freshman and then had 4 years to do it instead of just two.   And Jefferson.. stay firm with the mowing.. ,,,,... you are almost done.  I know the feeling of coming home after school and not wanting to go.... but there are 2 good reasons I can think of for you to keep going..... 1 THINK OF THE DOUGH YOU ARE ROLLING IN!!  You are going to be stinking rich and 2. think of the ladies that you will pick up!  Well that is the ones you still haven´t picked up:)  you still going on dates?

Love you guys... enjoy the fall and the changing colors and the drop of temperature...!

Elder Ostler

PS.. my ingrown toenail came back... joyous:)  I´ve decided that when I get home I will just cut my toes off to never have this problem again:)

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Basketball Week


Thank you sooo much for that email. That is just what I needed.  From that picture of my stellar cousin Ben with you guys to your last paragraph mom.  This morning and last night I was not doing good.  Your last paragraph mom brought peace to my soul..... I felt so calm sitting in the crowded lan house, surrounded by little boys playing video games in the middle of the jungle. I felt of your love for me but more importantly, like you said, the love of My Heavenly Father for me.  He is real.  The way you worded it brought a peace to my soul. Thank you, obrigado

I was feeling down for a couple of reasons.  One is because.  It was kind of a misunderstanding and it was carelessness on my part.  Presidente hasn´t talked to me yet but he burned the missionary who did the baptism.  I explained the situation in my email.  So I was pretty stressed out about that.  The other reason is missionaries aren't getting along.  But I´ll get to that later.

So the picture is of us on pday..... that is right... playing basketball!!!! First time for me in 13 months!! Are you kidding me.  We played a lot of 21.  The other guy that isn´t an american is Noel.  He is the member of another ward.  He is from english guinne right above brasil so he speaks english.  He is cool.  That is me draining a shot.......I´m pretty sure I made it.  As we were playing Elder S, who is a baller himself, asked me if I played a lot of big man before the mission. I told him that was the only thing I play. He said I was pretty good at it... you hear that Jefferson.  After over a year and I still got it!!! That is right. That night we recorded a rap that we made of Elder S.  He is an animal.  He is a hard core worker outer and never stops at working.  So me and Elder Brown made him a sweet rap. I´ll see if we can send it home. 

Tuesday was conselho de liderança;  Presidente Castro pushed big time the new qualifications for baptism.... Well truth is they aren´t new at all..... they´ve been the same since I got here.  2 times at church (that changed.... it used to be three) and if they are under 16 and don´t have a family member over 18 who is getting baptized with them or who is already a member, they have to frequent the church for 3 months.  He pounded that in hard!  It was awesome.  He is putting a complete halt to under the table baptism and baptizing unprepared/unqualified people.  His focus is FAMILIES!!!! Big time on families... I guess this was an answer to my prayers from the days with Klein.  I wanted things to change because I felt it was wrong the way we were baptizing... and apparently so does Presidente Castro.  Our numbers for baptism has plummeted but Presidente Castro made this promise: as soon as we start teaching better and by the spirit the baptisms will be exponential... that was also a promise from Elder Nelson of the 12.  Afterwards me and Elder Brown talked with Presidente a little about our zone. We have a dupla that isn´t getting along at all and one his having problems. It was a sweet talk. We asked him other questions too.  He is a great man who is called of God.  

So I don´t know if I´ve mentioned this but our ward doesn't have activities. So we decided to do a noite da cinema.  We did it on Wednesday night and watched Frozen. We have popcorn and popsicles and juice.  The bishop sure pulled through for us.  It was a miracle that we were able to get the dvd player hooked up to the projector hooked up to the amp; but it was all good.  Also, a massive group of kids came that we talked to on the street.  We went back to teach one of their moms the day after but she didn´t want it.  But the activity was great!  All of the members are asking us when the next activity is going to be.  We will probably do another noite do cinema a semana que vem..  mas, vamos ver. 

So now on to an elder problem.  He is going home in December but he is already dead....... he wants to do nothing. Thursday he refused to go to his area.  So to keep his comp from going insane I took him out to work with me and his comp stayed in house to babysit.  The next day he did the same thing.... When we talk to him, he just cuses at us........ in Portuguese ............................... we learned some new words this week:) kaka, but it is all good.  If he don´t go work tomarra we gonna call the boss.

On Friday night I did the best contact of my life! We were walking in the sentido de casa when we saw some kids playing bball at a little dinky "park."  Elder Brown looked at me and we both had the same idea.  We went over there and just started talking, not about the church or anything.  Eventually we got a game of two on two going.  I was on the team with Ra* who plays just like Bryson Creer!   Hardly anybody here plays bball.. it is just soccer.  So that is rare we saw them playing. Good thing that we were already warmed up from pday so we were ready to go.

After we played a little we taught the 2 about Joseph Smith and the restaração do evengelho de Jesus Cristo.  We invited them to General Conference.  Ra* didn´t go but G1 went!  His name is so weird that everyone calls him "G1."  He has really no direction in life so we will probably be able to help him get baptized.  He is 21.  Really other than that we didn´t find anybody.  Nobody that really wants it.. so we still keep looking. 

Conference was the highlight of the week!!! By far!!  Best conference I´ve ever seen. Saturday was definitely my favorite. Like you said dad, all the apostles and 70 we so bold.  All of us Americans in the zone (7) got to watch it in english.  But for Elder Godoy´s talk in Portuguese we ran upstairs to watch it in Portuguese!! It was sweet!!! History making! I loved Elder Scotts talk like you said dad.  Very bold.  I also loved Elder Jórg Klebingat on Saturday.  He was very blunt, I liked what he said about our physical well being.  If we aren´t comfortable in our bodies and we can do something about it, do it.  If you guys didn´t see that one, go see it.

My favorite quote was from Elder Oaks  "Kindness is powerful."  We were talking about the main themes of the conference and what the Lord is trying to communicate with us. Some of the themes we noticed were  parenting, loving one another, give to the poor, fasting, sustaining church leaders, and gaining a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the church.  Just a couple of things for you guys.. are you doing a weekly FHE like Elder Scott said we should be doing?  And Elder Allan F Packer talked about family history... you doing it?

So at the market right next to our house they were having a drawing for a bike.  For every 3 packages of powdered juice that you bought, you got a ticket to put in the drawing.  This past month I bought probably 20 dollars of powdered juice, 30cents each.  And guess who won!!! We did!!!!! We won a stinking bike! Are you kidding me!!!!!

I´ll be giving it to a little kid in the ward in the near future.

That is awesome that hochbol is still going!! Just awesome!  Yesterday I was watching the world report and was thinking about hochbol and how they could totally make a mormon message or an ensign article about that!!! Look into it.  You rock Jefferson and mom!

And what is this talk of taking out the tramp!! Everything is changing.  I´m excited to see what the place looks like when I get home.   And Hill broke is his leg!!!!!!!!! I heard talk that BYU would go undefeated this year..... big bummer.  Our water is back yes and I finally cleaned the bathroom..... that is one way I get rid of my stress now.. cleaning the bathroom:)  Relaxing.  I haven´t gotten my package yet but will probably get it tomorrow because we have zone training.  Me and Elder Brown are giving it and it will be awesome!!!  Too awesome!!

This week our numbers were super low.  We could throw out excuses of the elder and conference but really we could have worked harder.  There is always room for improvement!  Lets do it this week.

Well I´m feeling 100% better now than when I got here so that is good. We are going to go centro hoje so that should be fun.   I love you all and hope everything is going great for you guys!! Till next week

Elder Ostler

ps.. watch  ALL the sessions of conference......

Partying it up last night... popcocn and creme de cupuaçu!