Monday, July 1, 2013

We felt comfort in those hard times

Dear Family,

Thanks for the email and the pictures!  I loved it all!  Oh and I received Packages, Letters, and Pictures . . . oh my!  It was great!  Thank you everyone who writes me!  Oh and shout out to Hermana Chamberlain!  Thanks for the package!  My companion and I are still enjoying all the goodies from the USA!  Best MOM EVER!!  I love you and wish you were still in the mission!

Well, I had an okay week.  I learned at ton!  Like  . . . just a lot.  But I had my ups and downs like always.  I really don't think that the mission ever levels out.  And like Hermana Chamberlain, the Lord is constantly feeding me humility with a spoon!

This week, on Thursday I had to go take out my carnet.  That's like my Chilean ID, so I can be legally in the country.  Well, we had two sisters from Los Andes come stay with us because we had to be at the office at 7 in the morning.  One of the sisters was Hermana Ibarra.  We were in the MTC together and it was so so so great to see her.  Basically Thursday kinda sucked though cause we had to wake up at 5:00, and lost 2.5 hours of sleep that we will NEVER GET BACK!  When we got to the office they gave us a map and a list of places we needed to go and instructions of what do to at each place.  It was kinda fun though.  It was like going on a scavenger hunt through Santiago.  Hermana Leyva wasn't taking out her carnet so she stayed with another sister who needed a companion while her companion came with us to take out her carnet.  It was all pretty complicated, but I ended up spending the day with Hermana Ibarra.  Being with her, and talking about the MTC and all the people we met there just made me realize how much I have changed.  I don't feel like the same person at all!

Oh, and this week Hermana Leyva went on a crazy cooking spree!  Our fridge is FULL!  Of delicious Peruvian food!  Basically I love Peru and we have to go there after my mission! Well, I already promised Hermana Leyva that I would, so if we don't she might kill me . . . jajaja.  Not really.  But, honestly . .  we HAVE TO GO!

Hermana Leyva made vegatable soup, but our kitchen is super small and there was no room for it on the counter while she was cooking other things, so we put it in the hallway and forgot about it. When we came back form proselyting that day, we found it sitting there in the hall.  It was SO SO SO funny!!
So a few funny things that happened this week.  We enter the house of one of our investigators, and she invited us to sit down.  I pulled a chair out from against the wall and sat. But as I leaned back in the chair it started falling!!  It was broken which is why it was against the wall. The legs just collapsed right out from under it!  It was super funny as I was laying there on the ground, with the broken chair beneath me and I looked up to Hermana Leyva.  The look on her face made me crack up!!  She was trying to figure out how I got on the ground, and she just sat there and looked at me, as our investigator rushed to help me up.

Also, on Saturday night, Hermana Leyva was telling me that in her high school they had marching competitions with the other schools, and each school has a marching team.  A little weird, I know.  But she started teaching me how to march.  You keep your legs and arms straight as you walk, kinda like a tin man.  Well, after a few minutes as she was explaining and demonstrating and I was trying to follow I just started cracking up!  She stopped and asked what happened.  And I said 'We are marching through the empty streets of Chile at 9:30 at night!  How funny we must look with our skirts, book of Mormons in hand, and black name tags!'  She started laughing too, and we just couldn't stop.  You would have had to been there, but it was so so so funny!

Then, after we got back that night, we planned super fast for the next day, and put the DVD player in our room.  Then we curled up on our beds in our sleeping bags and watched the Joseph Smith movie. It was awesome!  We also ate popcorn, but I burnt it so it wasn't so good.

Also, I got a letter from Amy, that had Woods email in it!  Wow, that kid is so so so funny!! And he sounds so different!  The mission really changes people if you let it.  If you truly give your will over to the Lord, than he can change you.  But first you have to stop fighting. You have to stop fighting between what you want to do and what the Lord wants you to do.

Sometimes we think we know better than Him, and that we can do His will our way.  But that is impossible.  Sometimes when you are playing tug of war with your will and the Lord's, the only way to truly win, is to let go.  Because if you don't than you will be pulling forever and you will just get rope burn, because the Lord will not give up on you.  He is trying to pull you onto his side because he knows it is so much better than where you are at. So just give up!  When you let Him win, then you both win.  I was trying to do the Lord´s will, but I was trying to do it my way.  I was trying to pull until we came to even ground. Until I could incorporate His will into mine.  But the Lord does not want to meet you on even ground, we wants to pull you higher.  He wants you to stand opon His ground, because it is so much better than where you are at.

So that was my lesson that I learned this week, and it was anything but easy.  It was a long, painful process.  But I guess that is part of the mission.

This week, Hermana Leyva and I decided to be EXACTLY OBEDIENT to EVERY mission rule and every commandment.  Not that we were disobedient before, but there was room for improvement. None of our investigators were progressing and it was the last thing we could do.  Well, Sunday came around and we had so much faith and hope that we would see the fruits of our obedience and  . . . nothing!  Not one of the seven investigators that have fetcha or that we passed by Sunday morning came to church!  It was heart breaking, and after the last investigator that we looked for wasn't home, we walked away from that house, and Hermana Leyva just broke down and started sobbing!  I joined her.  We just don't know what else we can do to help these people understand how important the gospel is.  It's hard to see them just pass the opportunity of change by.  But, we realized that God can't control these people any more than we can.  He can't make them go to church as a blessing for our obedience.  He can send them His spirit as an answer that they need to go to church, but they still have their agency to chose.

On the other hand, we did see blessings for our obedience.  We felt comfort in those hard times.  A comfort that we had done our part, now it is up to them to do theirs.  Also, we started teaching JP!  He is the husband of C*.  She is one of the investigators that we started reteaching.  She has a testimony of the church and knows it is true, but she has never come to church, so she can't get baptized.  Well, this week, we went by to visit her, and her husband was there.  Hermana Leyva was inspired to invite him to the lesson, and we taught lesson one.  The spirit was there so strong!  And he was super interested, whereas before he never wanted to talk to us.  We invited them both to baptism and they accepted!

Hermana Leyva told me later, that when he opened the door, she felt that he was the reason that his wife wasn't progressing.  She needed the support of her husband.  Every time I think about them I just get this happiness inside my soul that I can't explain!  Now we just have to work on getting them to church!  The problem is that they go visit his mom every weekend!

As far as P* & J* go . . . we really don't know what more we can do for them.  They are losing ganas to go to church, and always giving us new excuses.  They used to receive us every time that we went over, but now they are falling out on our citas!  It's frustrating.  But we are going to attack them with members this week, and pray that they come to church!

Things change in the mission EVERY DAY!  You can never be sure of ANYTHING!  And you have absolutely NO CONTROL over your life!  Everything we do depends on other people.  We don't even decide what we eat.  It's been hard for me to give up that control.  But like I said, I just need to let go and let the Lord win, or I will come back from my mission with sore hands and rope burns.

So that's was my week . . . well, not really.  There is no way I could tell you EVERYTHING that happens in a week.  But I got to go email pres, if I have time I'll tell you more crazy stuff that happens.
Con Amor,
Hermana Ostler

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