Monday, January 27, 2014

"Come in."

I knew it!!  I knew it was a girl!!  Yeah Lilly!  Finally the name gets used and there is not a more perfect recipient than my first niece!  Congrats to Amanda for having the first grandchild!  I love the onsie!  Wow, all week I was thinking about Amanda, and I am so so so so so excited to be an aunt!  Yay!  Kinda a bummer that I have to wait like 6 months to meet my first niece . . . but . . . cosas pasa.

So, as for my week.  My number one goal was to be patient with my companion.  I am so blessed to have lived in Mexico for a short time so that I can understand her better.

My patients for her only broke once, yesterday night when I was so tired, and had a sun headache and my feet were hurting, and she was telling me how I needed to go to the doctor because I have a couple of blisters.  So I took my deep breaths and tried to explain to her that blisters happen, and that I wasn’t going to die.  But, all in all, things with the companion were better this week, mostly because I decided to be more patient.  She is progressing, learning how to teach more effectively and to not scare our investigators away on the first visit by inviting them to be married in the temple.  She is slowly getting used to the mission, but I know it is hard.  We all go through it.  But, I tried to remember the patience that she has with me and all my short comings, all my quirks, and especially my Spanish.  Hna Perez speaks very differently from the people here and all my other companions.  She uses different frases and words that I don’t understand. So I might still be explaining to her what a referral is every night, but she is repeating what she says in different ways until I understand her.  I am learning a lot from her and the Lord is blessing us so much in this sector.

So, basically our sector is just full of a bunch of old people, and last change with Hermana Morley we had an extremely difficult time finding people to teach.  At the start of this change, I prayed so hard that we could find the people who are being prepared.  I prayed for the faith necessary to find them, and the patience to knock door after door, and be reject time after time.  Last Sunday I specifically fasted for our sector, and that we would be lead to those who are waiting to hear the message of the restored gospel.  This week as we worked in our sector, I felt as if we were knocking the doors for the first time, even though I have basically knocked every door in our sector at least once.  I don’t know what changed, but doors were opening to us, and we were finding investigators left and right.  This week, in our sector that could pass as a nursing home, we found three young families!!  WHAT!!  I don’t think I have taught more than 2 complete families in all of my mission, and in one week we taught three!  I know God answers prayers, and sometimes we just have to be humble enough to ask for Him to lead us to the doors instead of thinking that we can find them on our own. This is His work, and knocking doors without His guidance is just a waste of time.

This week, after doubling our teaching pool, I have been pondering what drives people to invite two complete strangers into their house.  Here you are, a mother of two young boys, with a mountain of dishes to wash, floors to scrub, dinner to make, shirts to iron, and toys to organize when a knock sounds on the door. You answer it, and what do you find? Two young girls, not from your country, and not much older than yourself, asking to enter into your home, to take a glimpse into your life and share a message about God.  Sometimes I think that I am just as surprised as they are when the words slip from their lips "come in."

Why?  Why do they invite us in?  Put aside the fact that they have a million other things to do, babies crying, bills to pay, a houses to clean, THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW US?  When was the last time you let a stranger into your house?

This week, as I have pondered on all these things, I have started to see the situation a little differently.

Here you are, a mother of two young boys, with a mountain of things to do as always.  But, how about we look past the to do list of a young mother for a few seconds.  Here is a woman who is trying to raise her boys to one day be respectable young men. Here is a woman who is scared that the morals of the world will enter into her home.  Here is a woman who wakes up every morning worried that she is going to fail her family.  Here is a woman who needs help, and when two young women knock on her door, she doesn’t see two strangers with a message that is just going to eat her time up.  No, what she really sees is help.  She sees Jesus Christ, and that is why she says "Come in."

When you put the plack on, you are no longer a stranger to anyone.  Instead you are representing the person that everyone is waiting to knock on their door.

So, our investigators are progressing slowly.  We invited Wa* to be baptized!  WHAT!!  That wasn’t planned, it just happened.  He didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no.  He told us that he wants to learn more, and he wants to know that this is the path for him.  Also, he is reading the book of mormon and praying, so I know that he will come to find his answer.

We also invited another one of our investigators to be baptized.  She is older and she has smoked since she was a teenager.  So we taught her the word of wisdom, and the spirit during the lesson was so strong as we invited her to leave behind her cigarettes and follow Christ.

Also, some bad news is that Ja*, our other investigator who has 22 years and has been to church like 6 times started smoking again after 2 months of quitting.  NOOO!  But she said that she is going to try again. We are going to buy her tictac and almonds today, and I am going to make her banana bread, cause she loves it!  We are also taking her to the temple on friday!

About a month ago, Hermana Morley and I found this 18 year old girl who said that her belief in God is a 4 on a scale of 1 to 7. We went by this week to visit her and found out that her mom suddenly died.  Her mom had been sick for a few months, but our investigator was sure that she would get better.  As we taught her lesson 2, the plan of salvation, I could see the pain in her eyes.  But I realized that her pain doesn't spring from the loss of her mother, but from the thought that she will never see her mom again.  That hurts her more than the actual loss.  I didn’t know what to do for her, but I felt the impression to invite her to a FHE we are going to have with Ja* on Wednesday.  Surprisingly she accepted.  So, hopefully Ja* can help her, cause she also lost her dad.

This week, it was my goal that Hermana Perez and I could laugh more.  Hermana Perez is very serious, so I tired to find every opportunity to laugh.  Especially when it was hot, when we were tired, and when we had no one to teach.

Something I have learned in the mission is to always have an eternal perspective.  Why get upset or angry when a door slams in your face?  Cause then you will be all frustrated when you knock the next door, and no one is going to invite a frustrated person into their house.  Yea, its really hot right now, but in a few hours the sun is going to set.  Misery only lasts if you invite it to stay.  In the mission, our situations change from moment to moment, hour to hour, door to door, so if you are relying on the circumstances to make you happy then you are strapping yourself onto the roller coaster of emotion . . . NO FUN!!  BEEN THERE DONE THAT  . . . NO THANKS!  Discouragement comes, it always does, whether you invite it or not, but it is our choice if we let it set up camp, or send it packing.

The things you learn on a mission are priceless, and a few times this week, I stopped to think back on the person I was only a few months ago, and I am in awe at what the Savior is shaping me into.

Well, that's all I got for this week.  I love you all and you are always in my prayers!
Con amor,
Hna Ostler

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