Monday, November 4, 2013

I wondered if God knew . . . . .

Dear Familia, 
Okay so I haven't finished reading your email, it was kinda long, and I have a lot to say.  But I loved it all the same and if I don’t have time to finish reading it I will print it.

The sky on Halloween!
I have never in my life seen anything like this.
It was literally a wave of gold.
So this week was probably the hardest week I have had in Lampa.  Hermana Lima and I were very low spiritually and emotionally and physically just done!  It is so hot I can’t describe it.  I know where Harrison is it is hotter, but he at least has the humidity.  Here it is just dry.  Drier than Richland.  This is the kind of heat that burns.  So yes, good quality American sunblock for the face would be much appreciated.

So, Bens words have been on my mind all week.  They humbled me greatly because I don’t feel like the missionary he painted me to be.  I looked for ways to improve and better myself.  I realized that in the beginning of my mission I used to worry about getting ahead.  I wanted to be the best.  I wanted to teach more than everyone, baptize more than everyone, be a trainer, or a sister leader. This world wants you to get one step ahead of your brother, but I realized, over time and many humbling experiences, that God doesn’t want you to get ahead.  He wants you to get behind to lift up the hands that droop.  To find someone who is struggling on the path, or who is about to give up, and to get behind them and push them forward.  God would rather have you cross the finish line hand in hand with your brother instead of two steps ahead of him.

This week we knocked a lot of doors.  We have almost knocked every door in our sector.  No joke. And this week seemed to be the battle of the Jehovah Witnesses.  We ran into them everywhere! I hate contacting testigoes, and in our companionship study we have been practicing what to say to them.  They are just so disrespectful, and tear you apart.  But something that I realized this week is that testigoes fight with the bible, but we fight with the truth.

On Saturday we contacted a testigo who was just ripping up jose smith and the libro de mormon. He was saying that we should really be careful of what we preach, and just other really disrespectful stuff.  I wanted to say so many things to him, but in the end, I don’t have all the bible knowledge he has to fight in that way.  So, when I finally had the chance to speak, I gave a short spill of lesson one, and then testified with all my heart that I knew that jose smith was and is a prophet.  And that God doesn't change, and so we will always have prophets.  I said I know the book of mormon is true, and that the church of Christ was on the earth.  He was quiet for a moment, then went on about saul changing his name to saul.  Honestly I don’t know what his point was, but what I did notice, was that he could not testify that what he was saying was true.

The testigoes were not the only ones fighting with us this week.  I am pretty sure that satan had it in for us.  I almost cried three times on Friday. The first was when a very rude lady yelled at me while I was trying to contact her.  Honestly, it surprises me that there is such a lack of respect in the world.  It wasn't the first time I have been yelled at, but this time it hurt more, and I don’t know why.  But, I tired to joke to keep the tears from falling.  But it hurt a lot.  Then, later that day I crashed on my bike.  Like bad.  I’m fine, but I remember while everyone was asking me if I was okay, I put my head down, cause I just wanted to be alone so I could cry.

Then, as we were riding bikes again, I just wondered if God knew I had crashed my bike and that now my arm was all scraped up.  After that, I almost cried again when another door contact yelled at Hermana Lima.  This time it was worse.  We walked away, and I could tell Hermana Lima wanted to cry too, so she called Hermano Lu* to make her feel better . . . jajaja.  But I just felt so bad.  I wondered again if God knew that I was suffering.  If he knew that I had been hurt, and that I really didn’t want to contact another person that day.

But, on Sunday, I did cry, and I was able to answer those questions.  On Sunday I have the grand privilege to see Hermano Lu* break the sacrament bread, and when he blessed the water, tears of joy and gratitude slipped from my eyes.  I was filled with such love, and I knew it was God telling me: "Yes, my daughter, I know that you crashed your bike on friday, and I know that now your hip is bruised.  I also know that your spirits were low, and that you’re feeling were hurt.  I know that you wondered if I was watching.  But I was.  I was always with you.  And now look.  Look at this blessing right in front of you.  Your dear friend, and my prodigal son, is blessing the sacrament.  He is now worthy to hold my priesthood.  My dear daughter, I love you.  Look at your blessings and know that I love you."

I did not hear those words, but I felt them.

I realize that this past week Satan was out to get me.  But, I would like to inform him that he has engaged in a very dangerous battle if he wants to fight with me.  The harder he tries, the stronger I will get.  The more he tempts me to come down from my high place, the higher I will move up, and the more he tries to pull me away from Christ, the stronger I will cling to Him.

So yeah, I had a tough week, but Satan didn’t win, and he won’t win.  Honestly, he is wasting his time if he thinks he as a chance with me.  These are the last days, he is going to do everything he can to pull as many souls as he can down to hell with him, but he won’t have mine, he won’t have Hermano Luis's, or Hermana Carmen's . . . because we are with the Lord, and the power of the Lord is greater than that of the devil.  
Stay strong, and stay true.  
Con Amor, 
Hermana Ostler

Hermana Ostler and I were online at the same time today and got to 'chat.' The following is part of our conversation.

Hermana Ostler:  Okay, I sent my email, but I don't think I answered your questions, so if you want to know anything, just ask, i will be here for a few. Elder Holland is coming to our mission on the 12th.  So excited!!!!

Mom:  I'm here. What an email! How bad is your arm?

Hermana Ostler:  Just a few scraps.  Its a flesh wound on mas.  But, my hip hurts . . it's not bruised but it hurts

Mom:  I'm feeling so sad for you. Are you feeling okay? And tell me the truth. When people are mean it can affect you for a long time.

Hermana Ostler:  Oh, i am fine.  The mission is hard, but I am fine.  Satan is going to have to try a little harder if he wants to keep me down for too long.  Jajaja.  Hermana Lima and I have whole heartily laughed about all three situations.

Mom: In your email you said Hermano Lu* was not worth to hold the priesthood. Did you mean he was NOW worthy to hold the priesthood?

Hermana Ostler: Yes, I meant now . . jajaja. That moment for me can not be put into words.  I kept my head down after the prayer cause I was just crying so so hard.  Hermano Lu* is . . . he is a miracle that people can and do change, and God exists and loves us, that no one is too far gone to be saved.

Okay, I have to go, but I love you!  Tell dad thanks for the mission stories, they always remind me that it could be worse . . . jajaja . . . love you all!

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