Monday, March 3, 2014

All the people came out to listen

Dear Familia,

Wow, I am so overwhelmed with all the news!  BYU!!  WOOT!  A part of me so desperately wants to hang onto BYU Hawaii, but I know that it is time to let go.  I did what I needed to do there and I learned what I needed to learn.  So send my acceptance to BYU Provo.

Wow, Harrison, that's tough . . . I will touch on my feelings about his situation in a moment. Be prepared for a very unorganized, poorly written email.  I just know that its not going to turn out as I have planned in my mind.  I miss editing SOO much!  A good writer never writes only one draft.

Okay, so this week started out very difficult. . . .  The problem hasn't escalated, and I honestly think that it will blow over, because we have the truth on our side.  But it might break a few very important relationships.  So the week started out with this whole conflict, making Hermana Peralta and I drop in animo.  But we still worked our tails off.

Actually, we completed all our goals for this week!  And we found some great new people to teach. There is a Peruvian family in our ward and their daughter is inactive and living with her boyfriend in her parents house named Y*.  The parents have been active members for 5 years in the ward, and no missionary has ever taught their son in law!  WHAT?!  So we taught him. First we had a FHE with the whole family and it was entertaining.  Then on Wednesday night we taught him the first discussion and he was very interested.  He has great potential to progress, and he has a ton of support.

Also, we are teaching another part member family.  When I was with Hermana Morley, I contacted a Peruvian woman who said she was a member but hadn’t been to church in 20 years. We set an appointment with her, but in the end couldn't make it.  I kinda forgot about her as time went by, and we weren't working so much in the area where she lives.  One night while planning, I saw her name on the board where we have all the names of the menos activos that we find, and I felt we should go visit her, ademas we are working in the area where she lives now.  Well that day we knocked on her door and she invited us right in.  R* se llama.  Wow, she is just so so so great!  She came to church last week, and she remembers everything about the church.  We are now teaching her daughter Es* who lives with her.  Es* came to church with her mom this week, and we ate lunch with them yesterday . .. delicious Peruvian food!  She is amazing.  When we are sharing with her she always asks her mom why she didn’t teach her about the church before. She now has a fecha, she just needs a testimony and to dejar her cafe.

Ja* keeps saying she wants to get baptized, and even serve a mission, but she is still smoking, and hasn’t been to church in 3 weeks.  So we'll see what happens.

On Saturday night we went to visit a reference that the elders had passed to us.  A man named Al* who is from Haiti.  He rents a room in the a house where a bunch of other people rent rooms.  That's very common here in Chile.  For the owner of a house to turn it into a mini apartment complex, except all the residence share a bathroom and usually a kitchen.  Well, Al* invited us right in.  We sat in the hallway to teach him, and little by little all the people that lived in the different rooms came out to listen.  It was way sweet.
Look who I found at the conference. No explanation needed.
Also, I was reunited with Hna Lima!  I love this girl.  I also saw Hna Morley and Hna Perez!
Basically the Lord has blessed me with amazing companions!
On Saturday we had a mission conference with Elder Evans of the seventy, who is also in charge of the missionary labor in all the world.  He served in Japan as a missionary and a mission president, and he spoke some japones para nosotros.  It was a great conference. He analyzed the doctrine of Christ, and it was bakan!  But he ended with talking about our responsibilities as missionaries to Build up the church.  There is a lot of child baptism here in Chile.  Missionaries who basically baptize children from 8 to 12 years of age, and these are not children who come from part member families, and Elder Evan said that these children usually go inactive within a year.  There are a lot of missionaries who needed to hear that.  My favorite part was when he said "You get what you go for, and you can tell what you are going for by what you get."  It was great.

He mentioned that he had just left Brazil to come speak to us, and I really hope he went to Harrison's mission and gave the same speak.  It was harsh some of the things he said to us, but they were needed.

After the conference we went home and ate a quick lunch and then took a 20 minute nap, cause we have 1 hour to eat and if we don’t use all the time we can sleep!  Since we woke up that morning at 5 . . . we needed the sleep.  Well, for some reason, after the conference, I started to feel badly about myself and my work as a missionary.  I have only helped two future priesthood holder enter the waters of baptism, and I have never baptized a family. Elder Evan talked a lot about the family.  So I basically started to feel like I haven’t done any good at all on my mission.  I told Hermana Peralta how I was feeling and she said that I was letting satan control my feelings because God didn’t want me to feel like that.  I tired to fight him, but he was putting up his end.  And I felt his ideas and philosophies weed their way into my brain, so that when it came time to leave the apartment, I had no desire to work.  I haven’t felt that down in all my mission.  I felt rooted to my bed, unable to get up, put my shoes on and go to work.  Even with Hermana H I hadn’t felt so low.  Because all she did was inflict flesh wounds, yes, it hurt, but it healed in time.  This time satan had gotten inside my head and was feeding me false ideas.  He wanted to destroy me from the inside out.  He wanted me to destroy myself, to keep me down.  Sometimes I am so sick of his tactics.  He always forgets who he is playing against, and its not Hermana Ostler or Saydi, its her teammate.

I pulled myself out of me bed and down on my knees.  I plead with my Lord to send me the strength I needed to fight this inward battle.  When I got up I didn’t feel immediately better, but as we went out into the streets and I testified of a God who loves us to everyone I saw, I felt that love more profoundly in my own being.  It grew and grew until their was not more room for the weeds.

But Satan wasn’t done . . he’s never done.  On Sunday, this whole problem came back up. After having a wonderful Sunday with investigators in church for the first time in 3 weeks, all this dirty laundry was brought back out.  Well, Hermana Peralta and I did the best we could to clean in, but we still ended the day in a bad note.  Actually, after finishing our planning with a prayer, Hermana Peralta just cried and cried.  She has had a lot of unjust things happen to her, not only in her mission, but in her life.  I didn’t try to comfort her, cause the last thing she wants to hear is "I understand."  But I did clean the house and let her have her moment, cause sometimes the mind just needs to work stuff out.  So the house is now really clean, and after about 45 minutes, I said a prayer and then went to talk to her. We talked about everything and nothing, and I think I have finally convinced her to come live in the States with me . .jajaja.  I love Hermana Peralta so much.  She’s a strong one, thats for sure.

So, now we are hoping and praying for a better week emotionally.  Like is says in D&C 58:3  Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

I love you all.  Have a wonderful week.

Hna Ostler

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