Monday, March 2, 2015

It was just so amazing to have an Apóstolo there with us


My week was pretty corrido to say the LEAST! Crazy busy all week.  On Monday everybody got here.  We had 200 missioinaries in the city of Manaus... It was pretty crazy. Tuesday was the big day.....Me and my comp, we got to the chapel real early to got everything ready.  There were soo many missionaries. This is the first time in something like 8 years since the whole mission has been together.

It was difficult to get everybody to settle down.  I tried and Thompson tried but we are just not experienced enough.  So I asked the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency to tell them to be quiet and sit down and it worked and it was a good thing because Elder Cook walked in about 5 mins later.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   The conference with him was AMAZING!!! I felt as if a cloud had settled on the chapel. That is what the spirit felt like... just a cloud in our midst.  It was so cool.  He started off by stressing two points.

"You are more than just missionaries, you are ward and branch builders."    As missionaries our job is to build up the wards that we are in... our purpose is to bring other unto Christ but that doesn´t just include non members.  That also includes members as well.  Pres Castro always talks about our lunch appt. and how we need to use this precious time to build up the members and help them feel the spirit.  Elder Cook said the same thing.

"In a very real sense, you are the message."    We need to live what we are teaching... our conversion will show in our countenance to others around us.   He told us that we needed to be better missionaries.  Which is exactly what I was telling you guys last week.  "Be better now," he said.

He then went on to take questions... one was pretty good... "What do you wish you would have known as a missionary that you know now as an apostle."  First Elder Aidukaitis answered and said that we need to KNOW the book of mormon is true.... with out a doubt... we need to be able to look anybody in the eye and say "this is a true book" with no doubt in our voice..... Elder Cook said that he wishes that he would have know how important the spirit is in our teaching, especially when we teach the first vision.

He took more question. It was just so amazing to have an Apóstolo there with us... I never want to forget it.  I noticed that he didn´t really have the whole thing planned out.... he went by the spirit.  I´m not saying he wasn´t organized just that his agenda wasn´t set in stone.  After he took questions he asked if his wife would speak on Christlike attributes.  I don´t know how to explain it... but you could tell that he was just following the spirit in his directing in the meeting.  I studied that in PMG the other day, listening to the spirit when directing meetings.  I didn´t get it but now I do.  His wife LOVES music and singing. She taught us a great version of "Povos da Terra." I don´t even remember what it is in English   "heark all ye nations" that is it.    

He taught us about the 4 types of love we need to have.
Love your companion
Love the people (and country)
Love the Mission Pres and his wife
Love the Lord

He also told us the story of when he got called to be in the twelve by Hinkley.   And then testified of Christ, being a special witness of Him.  "Jesus Christ lives.  I know His voice.  He guides his church."  The conference was amazing.  After he left we snapped a picture of the whole mission.......... that was a lot of missionaries. The guy that took it still hasn´t sent it.... still waiting on that one.

Then we did the transfer.. .. that was crazy stressful.  My main thing was getting the short term missionaries.   I was calling them and organizing it... it is hard to explain mainly because I don´t remember it all to well there was so much going on.   Just a ton of missionaries.  We tried to mandar todos os missionários de manaus embora.  That took a little bit.   All the missionaries catching a flight left most all at night.

We got a picture of our MTC district.... well that is who is left of us.  It is the first time we´ve been together in 1.5 years.  Pretty crazy.

Wednesday was still dealing with getting people to their areas because some of them left on Wednesday as well.  Elder Robinson and Elder Thomas stayed with me and Elder Thompson for the week because they are leaving today. That was pretty fun. 

So about the baptisms... we only had 2 of the 5 but it was still amazing!!!!!  They are named DF & DP.  DF is married to a member.  He is 30. well they actually got married 2 months ago with the sisters when they were here.  The wife always wanted to get married so they did.  But he didn´t want to get baptized.  He was waiting for a massive spiritual conformation like we hear storied of sometimes... very rare stories. He wanted that.  He liked the church and all and was pretty sure it was true but he wanted more. The problem was he wasn´t reading the BOM nor praying.  Me and Elder Maia taught him logo depois his marriage and told him that he needed to read and pray everyday if he wanted an answer.... then we just kinda put him on the back burner because he wasn´t progressing.  Not coming to church much and sometimes not wanted to talk to us when we passed.

But then............................  Like I said on Sunday he told the bishop that he wanted to be baptized so on Wednesday we went over to his house.  IT WAS AMAZING!!!!  He said that he was reading the Book of Mormon and was already in 3 Néfi and loving it.   He told us all about the lamanities and nephites and how God blesses them when they do what is right and curse them when they don´t keep the commandments.  He understands it so well!!!  We asked him why he wanted to get baptize and he said that it is because he feels good when he feels the BOM and just feels like he needs to be baptized!!!!!!!!  That is the POWER OF THE BOOK OF MORMON!  Sitting in that lesson I felt so undeserving of such a humble, prepared, elite investigator.  I felt like I didn´t deserve it.  It was a weird feeling.   It gave me a sense of my nothingness before God.  I did very little in helping this man get baptized... it was all God through the Book of Mormon.    I was ready to give up on him but God wasn´t.  God is so good to me.    So good. Moses 1:39  He is here to bring about our eternal life.    DF and his Wife already have a goal to go to the temple in a year... and what a blessing it is to have one right here in Manaus!!!!

DP is a fun story.  He is colombiano but speaks very well português.  He lives with his friend Julian    THE KING!!! kakakakak. Julian was baptized 2 years ago but only returning to activity about 3 months ago. He is colombian o too and absolutely hilarious!!!!!!!!! Just his mannerisms.. just a funny guy.  He got the Sacerdócio de Melquisedec last week at stake conference.  About a month ago he brought DP to church so we started teaching him.  They live in a massive house that the catholic church gives to immigrating people... mostly from Haiti.... a bunch of Black guys.

DP absorbed everything we told him.  When we told him he had to stop drinking coffee he said "Ok, I´ll stop."  It was that easy for him..... he was just ready to be baptized. He is 26.  The cool part is is that Julian baptized him!!!! IN SPANISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    It was soo cool.  It was Julians first baptism so he was kinda clueless. I wrote down the words for him to study.  He got in the water to do it and instead of putting his arm at a ninety degree angle he just put it straight up in the air!!!!! He messed up on the words. He for got to said the ands in between the names so he had to do it again... then he forgot to put his hand in the air.... then he for got to say diego´s name....finally he got it right and it was perfect!  So cool to see him baptizing his friend......  at the baptism I gave the message and I mentioned how we were baptizing these two men because of MEMBERS!!!!!!!!!!  Then our ward mission leader reemphasized it. I hope it stuck in their minds that it is their responsibly to baptize their friends... not just ours.. the baptism was great!! We played Ping Pong after and I creamed.... well almost... I´ve lost a ton of what I had..... which wasn´t much to begin with if you ask Jackson kakakakakak

Funny story.... Yesterday while President Castro was interviewing the missionaries leaving I ripped the seam of my pants going down the side of my leg, it was a good six inches. We were here at the mission office with a bunch of missionaries.... my garments were totally showing....... so I found a needle and some thread and went in the bathroom, took off my pants, sewed up the seam and I was as good as new... I was pretty proud of my self:)

One thing that I´ve noticed that I´ve been doing is this:  Instead of focusing on the missionary I want to be... sometimes I focus on the RM I want to be... I don´t know if that makes sense or not.  I think of who I want to be after the mission than who I want to be on the mission.  I know it is just a little thing but I know it will make a big difference if I focus more on changing me as a missionary.

Well that was our Crazy week full of Transfers, Elder Cook and Miracle Batismos!!!!!!  Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Elder Ostler

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