Monday, November 18, 2013

He preached the back wall out of that place

Dear Familia, 
Thanks for the letter.  I’m glad that my letter got to Harrison and that it helped.  Wow, that is crazy about the Philippines, just crazy!  But the Lord protects His servants.

So, it has been a long long week.  I can’t believe that Elder Holland came this week, because it feels like year ago.  But it was amazing!!  Just amazing!

We had a 6 girl sleepover in our house for two ....  jajaja that was fun!  Not!  Two of the sisters arrived close to midnight, so we didn’t get much sleep cause we had to wake up at 4! But only our district was in the bus . . well, it was actually two minivans.

We got to the chapel at about 7:30, and it was already packed!  We decided to sit up on the stage in the back, back, back.  We could have sat closer, but then we wouldn’t have been able to see over all the tall elders heads.  So we sat front row on the stage.

This is where we were.  Back in nose bleed . . but it was stil amazing!
I swear that they could hear Elder Holland in Switzerland.
Elder Holland showed up at 9:30 and we started right when he got there.  Obviously we all stood up when he came in, and he shook a few hands of the people on the stage, then goes over to the mic and says "no more, k, sit."  It was so funny.  An area seventy and his wife talked, then Sister Holland talked, then finally Elder Holland talked.  He spoke English with a translator.  But sometimes he would get so excited, or just so full of the spirit that he would cut the translator off. .  jajaja.  It was so funny.  I was glad I speak English though, cause a lot of it got lost in the translation.  Basically he preached the back wall out of that place .. .  it was amazing!  A few key points I will share with you.

He said that this moment in the work ranks with the first vision, the restoration of the priesthood, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon!  Wow .. . thats pretty incredible. He said that the mission is demanding more of us than missionaries of the past, and that we needed to step up.  Oh I forgot, the first thing he said when he took the mic was "I am so pumped up.  I should be popping off the wall and taking down the curtains.  I am just so pumped."  Bahahaha . . . never thought I’d hear an apostle say that.  So funny.

Another key point he talked about was that we will always be missionaries.  He said we have to do this forever.  Maybe not knock doors, but we are committed to this work for life. This isn’t a 2 year 18 month thing we do until we can return to real life.  THIS IS REAL LIFE!

He also talked about how we are all Gods investigators.  Then how we need to be powerful teachers.  You don’t get a second chance to teach a first lesson.  But the best thing he said was "Go asombro someone."  So funny!  He mixed Spanish and English all the time - loved it! He also talked about how the Book of Mormon is our best missionary tool, because before there was PMG there was only the BOM.  SO USE IT! He ended with saying that we should stop wondering why our missions aren’t easy, because it was never easy for Jesus. The Road to salvation goes through Gethsemane and we will all spend time there. Basically, it was just amazing!

I found Hermana Peralta at the confrence with Elder Holland!  So WONDERFUL!
So, also this week, was my hump day, and I got the package on Nov 13th!  Wow, good timing.  We had intravistas that day with president and he told me that I have progressed so much and that he can tell I am giving this my all.

I have been doing a reflection on the first half of my mission and thinking about the significance of "Hump" day.  Hump day means that you have reached the top of a hump, or a hill.  That you have gone halfway, and the struggle, the hard part is behind you, cause now you can just coast down for the next 9 months.  WRONG!  THERE IS NO COASTING IN THE MISSION.  I realized that the whole mission is up hill.  Heck, your whole life will be up hill.  When you choose to follow Christ, you leave the coasting to the followers of the devil.  You take up your cross and you follow Him UP to gothal.  If you ever find yourself coasting in the mission, or even in life, then you are doing something wrong.  Like Elder Holland said "Salvation is not a cheap experience."  Its a fight, its a struggle.  So yeah, I might be half way done with the mission, but I am no where near done with the constant up hill struggle.

Also, I have been thinking about when president told me when he said that he can tell I have given my all.  As I have read back over the first few entries in my journal, and read over some of the most difficult time in my mission, I realized that I really have tired to give the Lord all, but it has never been enough, and it never will be enough.  I only have 5 small fishes and two loafs of bread . . .  thats not enough to feed a family of 9, let alone thousands.  But the incredible thing that I have seen throughout the course of my mission is that when I gave the Lord all, He multiplied it and made it enough.  I have nine more months, and I will have to dig down deep to find more within me that I can give to the Lord, so He can multiply it can get me to the end.

We didn’t knock doors all week, but it wasn’t the greatest week we’ve had.  Ca* is still great.  K*, our neighbor we saw one time this week, and was asking about baptism!  What? We won’t get to see her until next week cause we passed by yesterday and she said that this week she has a million things to do and she won’t be home much.  So we are just going to pray our hearts out for her.

E*, the investigator that gave us the reference of K* took a leap toward progression.  She has always been a mas o menos investigator, but this week we went by and taught in depth the apostasy.  She was very thoughtful through the whole thing, and at the end when we invited her to pray to ask if Jose Smith really was a prophet she was quite for a moment, then she said "Jesus said we need to beware of false prophets. . . . (Pause .. . in a quite voice) But I really want him to be a prophet.  I want this book (the Book of Mormon) to be true.  I want it to fill me."  I then promised her that it would.  She had to be diligent and patient, but that his gospel was exactly what she was looking for.  She then offered a very powerful prayer, pleading with God to guide her, and to let her know if Jose was a prophet. It was just amazing.  The spirit was so strong.

We found a few people who have potential to be investigators.  We took out appointments with them for this week, so we will see how that goes.

Yes, Hermana Lima and I were matching this day.
We didnt' realize it until after we left the house.
We had a good laugh.
These are kittnes of one of the recent convert in our area.
They look like rats . . but in a cute way.
I could tell you a million other stories from this week, cause like I said, it was long, but the one I will tell is of Jose Leiva.

Jose Leiva lives alone.  His wife dies of Alzheimer about 9 months ago.  Hermana Lima said that they had shared with him one day, but then he left Lampa for about 5 months and they could never find him again.  We see him in the streets all the time, but whenever we pass by to visit, he is never home.  Finally on Friday we took out a cita with him for Saturday. When we passed by on Saturday he was home!  We spent about 50 minutes with him, honestly just talking.  We had planned to teach the first lesson, but we ended up just talking about life. He has lived a lot of life, and it really an amazing man.

One thing he said that really called my attention was "The world is the way it is because the men do not take care of their wives anymore.  So the women have to leave the home to work, to support their families, and the kids are left alone.  Then the kids get into drugs and all sorts of bad stuff cause their mothers are not home to raise them.  So the world raises them, and in this way the family is destroyed and the world has come to what it has come to and Men are to blame.  If men would only take care of their wives, the world would be a better place."  Wow, what wisdom.  He talked a lot about his wife, and got a little teary eyed a few times.  Then before we left, we sang him a hymn, lead kindly light, and he read us the lyrics to a song he sang to his wife on their wedding day and just lost it.  (He married his wife when she was 15 and he 19)  He then asked me to pray.  Pray that he could find his way in this world, and that the Lord would lead him to the correct path.  It was a very special experience for me, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all through the night. Talking to Jose Leiva that day will probably be one of my most memorable experiences of my mission and I have no idea why.

Well, I hope you are all well.  I don’t want anything for Christmas, so whatever you send will be great.  Thanks for the package, and all the support.  Jefferson, it is so great that you are so excited to serve a mission cause it is the best.  You know what the best part is?  It’s when you remeet someone that you already knew, and you spend 50 minutes just talking to them about life.  I love this so much.  Even when it is hard.
Con Amor, 
Hna Oslter

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