Monday, February 10, 2014

"You're not going to come back?"

Basically, I love peanut butter!

Dear Familia,
Wow, what a week!  I would like to some how make this dramatic, the news I am about to tell you, but . . . I’m so tired that I am just going to tell you.  So, I am not with Hermana Perez anymore, I am with . . you are never going to believe this, but my new companion is . .. are you ready to know?  I think you might have heard of her before.  Okay I am just going to tell you now.  I am now the senior companion of . . Hermana Peralta!  WHAT?  

Okay, here is the story.  So we had interviews last Monday, and President talked to me a lot about Hermana Peralta, and how our relationship was, cause apparently I am the only companion she has had that she hasn't had problems with, and he wanted to know why.  I was honest with him and told him that being with Hermana Peralta wasn’t the easiest thing, but that I truly tried to love her and accept her how she was.  I remembered that she said things how they were, and some people took offense when no offense was meant.  I told president that in our house we were always taught to not take offense when none is meant, and to not look at the mote in your brothers eye when you have a beam in yours.

I understand how Hermana Peralta is, so I understand that her companions might not have gotten along with her, but a better example of a companion mistreating someone would be Hermana Hernandez, not Hermana Peralta.  So, apparently during her interview, a lot was said . . . . .  and he asked her what she wanted.  The only thing she wanted was to be my companion again.  Well, it ended up working out for president, cause on Wednesday another sister had to leave the mission for knee problems, so he had to do emergency changes anyway.

He called Hermana Perez and I Tuesday night to tell us of the changes.  Hermana Perez was sad.  So was I.  The change was just so sudden, and Hermana Perez felt like she was finally starting to learn, and she was so worried that she wouldn't be able to adjust to a new companion.  But, I explained to her that the same thing happened to me.  That I was changed after one month with my trainer, and that sometimes you just have to learn to accept the Lords will.  Hermana Perez went to Lampa!  I was a little jealous, but I told her that she would love it!  And her new trainer is awesome, and I think she will be fine.

So now I am here with Hermana Peralta!  It has been great!  I honestly feel like I am just hanging out with an old friend.  When she first got here it was a little stressful to try to teach her everything, but then one night she said, "Hermana Ostler, I’m not a new missionary, you don’t have to explain how we make goals.  I already know that."  It was kinda funny cause I realized that I was just in training mode and I had been explaining so many things to her, things she already new.

I enjoyed training, but it is hard, and since Hermana Peralta has arrived, I have felt the weight of the sector slow lifted and shared.  Its nice having a companion who knows how to do a good contact, and who knows how to help investigators progress.

This week sacamos la mugre, como dicen en chile.  We worked and worked and worked. We had a lesson with Sy*, I think I talked about her once.  I love her so much, and the only thing I want for her is to progress.  But for me, she is more than just a baptismal statistic, she is an old friend who needs salvation.  Every time I teach her, I feel so desperate.  Like she NEEDS to understand what we are teaching her so she can make it to the celestial kingdom. But this last lesson we had with her, she was pulling out all her old excuses of, "Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die  . . and if we are found guilty God will beat us with a few stripes."

When the lesson was turning into a battle, I looked at Sy* in the eyes and said that if she wasn’t willing to progress . . . But I didn’t finish the sentence, cause as I looked at her I felt such love, and I didn’t want to tell her that we were going to drop her.  But I knew that I had to because she wasn’t progressing.  Tears filled my eyes, and I opened my mouth to finish the sentence, but she caught on to what I was telling her, and she finished the sentence with a choked cry "You're not going to come back?"  Tears filled her eyes as well, and we cried together.  I have never felt such pain for someone who wasn't willing to change.  I pleaded with her to come to church, to stop smoking, but she just won't.  "What more could I have done for my vineyard?"  Maybe God let me feel the pain that He feels when one of His children chooses not to follow Him, because it was literally tearing me up.

Well, we didn't end up dropping her, cause she promised to come to church, and that she would start trying to dejar a fumar.  I think she needed that scare, to help her understand the situation.  Unfortunately, though we passed by for her on Sunday, she didn’t answer the door or her phone.  Now I don’t know what to do for her, and sometimes it kills me that I just can’t take away her agency for 3 hours and make her come to church.  

This week we found and taught a women from China named DM.  She is so sweet, and speaks better English than Spanish.  She says that she wants to chose a Christian church to bring her daughter to, but that in China there are very few Christian churches, and here there are so many, so she is confused about which one to join.  Sound familiar?  So we taught her pieces of the first lesson and gave her a book of Mormon.  I mostly taught her in English so that she could understand . . but man it was hard!  It is so much easier to speak Spanish. Now we have been practicing lesson two in English to teach it to her tomorrow, but I think it is harder for me than for Hermana Peralta . . jajaja.

We also helped a woman peel garlic . . . like not just one clove of garlic, but like 7 pounds of garlic!  My hands still smell! but it was fun, something different, and we also taught the first lesson while peeling garlic.

For the past two weeks we haven’t had anyone in church, and it has been worrying me. This week we were counting on three people, si o si, that were going to come.  But when we called them Sunday morning they didn’t answer.  I called every investigator I could think of . .but nothing! We had been fasting to have at least one person in church, but sadly, for the third Sunday in a row, we enter the chapel alone.  I decided to accept the situation as it was, and just try harder the next week.

The opening song was "All is Well."  And the congregation sang it, I felt such a warm peace, that even though we didn’t have anyone in church, all was well.  Just before we finished the last chorus, guess who entered the chapel?  Ja* and her palolo.  They were supposed to be at the beach for vacations?  What were they doing in church?  I decided not to ask questions, but to say a prayer and thank the Lord for answering our fast.

So those are the highlights of my week.  I pray for all of you frequently, and hope you all are well.  Remember to keep the commandments, even if they are hard or if you don’t understand them.  Obedience is the only way to have happiness in this life.  

Con Amor,
Hna Ostler

Ps, if you send a package, which you don’t have to, could you include a mini hymn book in english!  Thanks

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