Monday, March 30, 2015

President and Sister Castro are spiritual giants

Wow what a week! not for me but for you guys!!! That picture right there is sooo cool!!!!  "Jefferson Taylor Ostler"  Come on!!!  you just better hope you aren´t supposed to report in 2 weeks:)kkakkkkkk There are brasilians here that have about a month from the time they open their call to their report date.   But just have Cheri open IT.... right now because I want to know sooooo bad!!!! Soooooo baaaaaaaaaaad!!!!    And that is funny that you find Jefferson to be a rare name because I think I´ve already met like 7 Jefferson´s and 5 Jackson's on the mission.... Also a couple of Washingtons..... They got some weird names here.

Wilson... WOW.. I feel for ya.  I bet that is not fun being in Hawaii with a broken arm.... But look on the bright side!  IT is waterproof!  You are the first person that I know that has ever gotten a waterproof cast!  And you are learning how to scuba dive!! That is pretty crazy! Not even I know how to do that!  And Benson, I got the package this week that the teachers quorum sent!! I opened it up here in the mission office and within about 10 mins 90% of the candy was gone!!! It was great though... The video was awesome too.

This week was pretty great... The greatness started on Monday night.  We had a lesson with a family. A priest in the ward invited his friend to seminary and then church.  We met his dad after church last sunday and marked to go back Monday night.  The dad wasn´t there because he was working but the rest of the family was.  It was an amazing lesson!  Before me and elder Thompson were talking about teaching.  Sometimes as missionaries when we teach the restoration we fall into the habit of teaching it in a pattern.  Always teaching the same things about prophets, Jesus, the apostasy, Joseph Smith.  So this lesson we really went in trying to feel the spirit and let it guide us as to which parts of each section we should teach. The lesson was amazing!!  I don´t know why.  I just felt like we were able to teach it so clearly!  

The spirit was there soo strong.  Not like where it grabs your chest, just a lightness in the air.  We were able to think soo well.  When it came time to mark a part in the book of mormon I was thinking Mosiah 2... I´ve maybe marked that part like once on the mission. Elder Thompson grabbed it and marked what.... Mosiah 2!  Since we were gone all week in Itacoatiara we didn´t have a chance to go back and teach them.  There is the mom, the dad, the oldest daughter and 2 boys.  They also have a 18 year old daughter who is already married and doesn´t live with them. I´m really excited to keep teaching them. I think we might go by tonight....

Like I mentioned we went to Itacoatiara this week.  It is a little town that sits 4 hours east of Manaus. Well 3 if Pres. Castro is driving:)  It was so cool to drive right through the amazon rain forest!!  So amazing!  There were parts in the road where we would be a little elevated and be able to see for miles across the Rain Forest!  It was beautiful!!

Sunset as we drove through the forest
Stopping for gas
The down side is that the roads were horrible!  So horrible!  Pot holes like I´ve never seen them before!  And with Pres Castro driving it was an adventure!  He drives almost like Brother Crawford... really fast.  Our top speed on the way to Itacoatiara was 100mph and on the way back was 105mph!  It was awesome!!!!!!!!  We were passing cars and dodging pot holes the whole way!  Super bumpy and super jerky but great!

In Itacoatiara we stayed with the ZLs.  An African and a Peruvian.  It was great!  We did divisions and I was with Elder Bautista (the Peruvian)  How can you not be a good missionary with a name like that!!  We did the zone conference on Friday. It was pretty good. My favorite part was at the end. We watched Meet the Mormons.   It was so great! I don´t know if you guys have seen that but if you haven´t you need too!  It is Amazing!  You can really feel the spirit when you watch it.  At the end pres Castro got up and said a few words.  The film just shows how happy mormons are and he said that now is our time to share this happiness with everyone we meet!  It was soo great!

The Elders that we did divisions with
That night The ZLs had a marriage and a baptism. The boy was already member and the girl wasn´t.  The marriage was really simple.  That is one thing that I still haven’t done on the mission, a marriage.  We have one going right now.  It is with a member man and non member woman.  They are just super mole and with us traveling alot it is hard to arrange the wedding to get it to happen. But we will see what we can do:)

I keep sending it on accident but I mean it is not like any of you are going to read this right now... you are out on a beach right now or swimming with Dolphins.....  The ride home was super great!  It was just fun!  President Castro is a very very animated person.  He has like this giddy voice of joy he uses sometimes. Like at one point we were going about 80mph and there was a massive pot hole.  I´m talking as wide as the car.  There was no way to doge and so pres Castro just went right over it! AND we were going so stinking fast that we barely felt it!   Pres Castro then said   "Did you see that?! We were going soo fast that we didn´t even feel that hole!  we flew right over it!"  I just can´t even explain him to you.  He is just awesome!

We had some great conversations too. Pres Castro was a director of an institute before the mission.  Elder Thompson said that he was thinking about being an institute teacher as well. Then Sister Castro started telling him everything that he would need (attributes) as a institute teacher. It was just funny.  Sister Castro is also a funny person.

Upon return to Manaus (THIS WAS yesterday after the district conf in Itacoatiara) we went to the mission home to make up some grub.  We had carreteiro... just that it was not carreteiro.  Carreteiro is a southern dish of rice and beef cooked together. Instead of beef we used Pirarucu, It is a Massive fish native to the Amazon river.   Me and Pres Castro made it.  He Loves to cook!  A lot!  As we were cooking I just started asking him about his life after the mission and how he decided to be a institute teacher.  It was a great conversation.  The better conversations though was as we were eating.  He started talking about the peace that we can get from prayer, the reason for the Atonement and Personal revelation.  Pres And Sister Castro are amazing.  They are spiritual Giants.  I just don´t know how to explain it.  They have had so many amazing experiences.  We talked about how Close He can actually get to us and how close we can get to Him while we are still on this earth.  I realized that I still have so much to learn. Before the mission I thought that I knew everything! Not everything but quite a bit.  After being with Pres Castro I´m slowly realizing that I really don´t know that much.

Well that was the week. I know that it is a pretty short wimpy email.  Happy Birthday Wilson!  And happy late Birthday Jackson!  Amanda I love you!  Keep you Chin up!  Have Fun in Hawaii!  Till next week!!

Elder Ostler

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