Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A miracle from God

This is our awesome district
with our awesome sweaters

Thanks for all the support!  You guys are amazing.  Yes, leaving Los Andes was so so so hard, I am almost positive that I won't go back now, but I truly feel like the Lord needs me here in Lampa.

Lampa is 100% different from all my other sectors.  Hna Lima and I are in the rich part of the area and so the people are really hard of heart.  Like every house has at least one car and some have 4! WHAT?  The houses are like separated and they have lawns!?!?!  Its so weird. There are like lawn mowing businesses too . . . I'm like literally in culture shock.

Hna Lima and I live in a cute little two story duplex.  We have a cute little lawn that we have to cut with scissors . . like giant scissors, but still.  Also Hna Lima is the sweetest most kind hearted person I have ever met!  Her is an example of her character.  We were in the streets one day, and she saw a dog eating poop because it was so hungry.  It literally broke her heart.  She couldn't watch.  So she reached in her bag and took out her cookies and gave them to the dog.  She loves the people here so much.

We ride bikes EVERYWHERE!  And my bike sucks!  The front tire doesn't have a lot of air so it is super hard to go up hill . . . and we live on a hill!  But I am getting a new bike, hopefully next week.  There is only a branch here, but it is huge and I think that it should be a ward.  But the people are great.  The name of the branch is Lampa.  There are two sets of elders in our ward and us.  So yeah. We have an oven in the house, but I haven't made anything yet, one because we don't have pans, and two because we don't have time.

My first day out in the street, Monday night, was super hard.  It is just SOOOO different here.  I honestly felt like crying cause I just didn't think I could do it.  Like here I am in this sector, I left behind three people who were on track to get baptized and I come here and . . . nothing!

This is D*, she got baptized a week after I left. I love her so much.
We have a few investigators, but none are like golden.  Plus I didn't know the sector, the streets . . . just everything.  And I am senior companion so all the pressure is on me to turn in good numbers.  I honestly felt like someone had handed me a hammer and some nails and told me to build a house, but I am a baker, and the only thing I do well is bake cakes.

So last Monday night was hard, plus I was just so exhausted.  I spent about 10 minutes on my knees that night, just begging Heavenly Father to guide us, to help us find people to teach.  Hna Lima told me that the last week they only had one lesson taught . . . what? I'm used to about 10 to 15 lessons in a week!  I really didn't know what to do.

On Tuesday we went out into the streets, and I was determined to do all that I could . . . like everything. I was going to do my part and trust that the Lord would do His . . . and oh He did.  That day we taught 3 lessons!!  Every lesson was a miracle from God.

We tracked into a woman named Car** who invited us in her house.  She started out by saying that she was Catholic but respected our religion.  As we talked to her, she told us that 7 years ago her 18 year son died in an accident, and that that experience helped her grow closer to God.  After she said that, Hna Lima pulled out the folleto por leccion 2 .. . we think the same. . . jajaja.  We taught her about the plan of salvation and how she would see her son again.  She loved it!

As I was summing the lesson up, I briefly mentioned eternal families . . .  something like "Y se que usted y su familia pueden vivir juntas para siempre. Pueden ser una familia eterna . ." y despus sige dando mi testimonio . . .  pero ella interrupted me and said . . "wait, what did you just say?"  and I said: "about what?" and she said: "about eternal families."  Then I briefly explained about the temples and how our happiness in the family could continue on forever.  Then she looked at me real serious and asked: "Are you happy?"

I paused, and thought about the question.  She didn't say "esta feliz?" she said "Es feliz?"  In Spanish there is a difference.  esta feliz is to be happy in the moment, pero es feliz is more like having that river of joy I talked about.  I answered her "Si, SOY feliz."  Then I paused and asked her, "Es feliz, usted?"  And she said, "I don't think so.  I still carry around alot of pain, but I try to be strong for my family."  We then taught her about how all her wounds and pains and all the wrong in the world, all the injustice can be healed through Jesus Christ and his Atonement.  She had so many questions ..  . like about everything!  The Book of Mormon, the atonement, temples . . just everything.  So we set another cita with her for Thursday.  But when we went by she wasn't there!  Hna Lima says that happens a lot in this sector, people will invite you in then you never see them again.

I was praying hard for her all week long!  We found her again on Friday and she said that she had completely forgotten but the we could come by later that day, like at 6 and that she had something to tell us!  We were dying all afternoon to hear what she had to tell us. When we went by at six, she told us that she had prayed, and felt a heat fill her and asked if that was holy spirit!  It was amazing!  We then taught her Lesson 1, about Joseph Smith and stuff, and she liked it . .  . not as much as the plan of salvation, but she started saying, "I was raised catholic, but I don't participate in any religion."  That's a change from what she first told us.

I have a lot of hope for her.  We won't see her this week, cause its like the independence of Chile and they celebrate for a week.  Like it is bigger than Christmas.  So we will see her next week.

I realized this week, that no one has asked me to build a house, I was just being asked to bake a wedding cake.  Its a little bigger and more complex than what I am used to, but I know how to do it.

I might not be the best missionary, but I try my best, and at the end of the day I literally feel like I put my best foot forward.  I might not baptize 50 people (like the brother of my companion) but, maybe I can help a few people realize that they are children of God, and that they have worth.  Trying your best doesn't always mean you will be the best, it just means you will be satisfied with what you did, and that God, too, is satisfied with your work.

I am starting to feel like I can speak Spanish.  So that's good.  We got a lot of doors slammed in our face this week, and it still hurts . . every time.  But all you can do is love the people, even when they don't love you.

Also I got a ton of mail!  Thank you to all who wrote me!  Amy, Siara, Kelly, Mary, and of course, FAMILIA!  I will try to write you all back . . . but no promises!

Well, I will try to send some pics now.  LOVE YOU TONS!!
Con amor,

Hermana Ostler

La abuelita who had the Lehi dream
I love her so much

On our way to the office

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