Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How in the world am I going to learn Spanish?

Hey, hey, familia!

Things in Rensselaer are going good...I think.  And mom, in your letter I didn't see any questions.  So I didn't bring the letter...sorry.  But that's awesome about Keesa!  She told me in her Christmas envelope that she'd been dating him for about 10 months.  So that's good.  Long courtship and short engagements is counsel directly from the brethren.  Sister Clark and I were just talking about those girls that get married right out of high school and how scarey that is because they don't have a chance to find out who they are.  So I'm really excited for Keesa.  I can't wait to get an announcement!  Tell her that she HAS to send me one!  And I want a picture of the Egbert’s baby!  That's so exciting!  Too many things are happening!  Who's going to be next?  Saydi? No, jk.  I hope not!
And as for cards.  We used to go over there a lot but lately we haven't been just because we have a lot of appointments.  But we're mainly befriending her.  We're really good friends with her.  Like when she has to leave for the night for whatever reason, we bring Peanut out for a 5 minute walk, or until she goes to the bathroom.  And Stacey fixes stuff for us, and makes us pancakes, and is pretty much our mom.  It's kinda funny.  But we're going over this Saturday, cuz she's feeding us dinner.  And what happened to those cards you sent me Dad?  They looked to be chewed up.  Did one of the dogs get a hold of them.  And Stacy really likes them.  She went on line to see if she could find some cool ones too.

Peanut wanting our Pancakes.
Did I mention that Stacey makes the best pancakes EVER?!!!  Well they're good.
This week has been okay.  Sister Clark is definitely coming to the end of her mission.  She's really tired all the time, and sometimes I have to drag her out to work.  But once she's out she likes it...for the most part.  But it's been okay.  I can kinda understand what she's feeling.  I love her a lot.  She's awesome.  She came in the bathroom this morning while I was getting ready with jeans rolled up to her knee, and these brown leg warmers on and said, "Isn't this cute?"  I snorted at her.  She was of course joking.  And she's awesome at keeping the area book up.  I hate keeping that up.  I hate the paper work attached to missionary work.  That's what Sister Chen loves though.  I really am going to miss Sister Clark.  I'm going to name my new GPS that I'm getting today after her, Sister Kendra.  That will be her name, and she'll get me around Rensselaer! 
So about transfers.  In my interview a few weeks ago President Doll asked if there was anything I was concerned about and I asked him how in the world I was going to learn Spanish when all I had was Libro (LDM).  He said he could help me with that.  There are no new sisters coming in...well, at least I thought there weren't, but now I think there is.  Anyways, we're going to have to get a temporary sister, and they were thinking of this girl who's turing 21 this summer and seriously considering going on a mission. Her 17 year old brother will go tracting with the missionaries and even talk at the door.  So very missionary minded family.  Well they were going to put her with me, and she speaks Spanish.  So that way I can learn Spanish from her.  But then on Monday Elder Lippert (ZL) said they were going to get an RM who speaks Spanish.  Either way I'm sure I'm getting someone who speaks Spanish, which is really good, cuz I can't speak it.  Although it was awesome. Saturday night we had an appointment with the Rodriguez family.  The Fernandez' usually come with us since Alfred (dad) and Ester (mom) don't speak that much English, and Brother Fernandez speaks it.  But they couldn't come.  So we were planning on the Rodriguez' son, Ulysses, to translate for us.  We got there and all the kids had gone roller skating, and Ester was sick in bed.  Two of Alfredo's friends were there drinking beer.  I was scared, because Alfredo was supposed to be changing.  Had he really fallen off the wagon?  He invited us into the kitchen where we sat and tried to communicate.  But he told us that he hadn't drank.  His friends had offered, but he hadn't taken a sip.  HE'S CHANGING!  We asked if he still wanted to be baptized this Saturday.  He either said, "I still need time to prepare," or "I'm prepared."  We didn't know, so we said we'd ask tomorrow when we'd come back and Ulyses would be there.  But we stayed there for about 30 minutes talking with him, and I understood everything.  It wasn't like he was speaking in English, but I followed the conversation without getting lost, except at one place, but that's when Sister Clark couldn't understand him either.  And I even said a few words too.  We gave him a Liahona about Temples, because their family loves temples... especially the Nauvoo temple.  That's the temple they're getting sealed in for sure.  But yeah, that night was just really cool.
The next day we went back, and with Ulyses help Alfredo told us that if we thought he was ready then he would get baptized.  We said we knew he was ready.  He was concerned that he hadn't been taught everything.  But we said that he would always continue learning.  But since I've been here he's only missed one Sunday coming to church, and that's because he woke up stoned.  Since then he hasn't drank at all!!!  We love him!  And he comes to church even though he doesn't understand everything, and hardly anyone can talk to him, and he can't talk to hardly anyone else.  But he still comes.  Brother Fernandez translates for him, and there's a Spanish investigator class that he teaches.  Alfredo, Ester (when she comes) Miguel and Alejandro (both RCs) go to that one.  The Lord is working miracles!
The past two baptisms here have been Priesthood holders, and here comes Alfredo, and we have two more awesome investigators that are potential Priesthood holders, Kim and Todd.  But we're hoping that Alfredo's family follows him.  Ester has wanted him to change for a long time.  To come to church and stop drinking.  Except he's not doing it in the way that she wanted.  She says it's fine that he goes to "his" church (Mormon church) and she to hers, but I think really that she wants him to go to the Catholic church.  She doesn't understand that that can't change him.  Only the"mormon church" can, or the Spirit that is there.  But Ester is seeing if this really does change him permanently or if he does fall off the wagon.  We all know Alfredo will make it.  He'll start changing big time once he's ordained and then I think she'll really see.  We know that his whole family (he's got four kids, one is 7 though) will follow him one day.  Ester and Alfredo were married by the judge, not a priest.  So she's always wanted the dressed-in-white wedding.  I told Sister Clark that she can have it in the temple.  Have you seen those temple dresses?  And I can just imagine all their kids dressed in white being sealed to them!  That would be so stinking awesome!!!!
As for Todd.  He's still changing.  He really wants to quit smoking.  But it's so hard for him.  We went over yesterday at 3:30, and he hadn't had a smoke since 10am.  We taught him more about the Atonement and how he needs to rely on Christ.  He's changing.  You can see it in his eyes.  Oh how I wish you could meet everyone could meet him!  He's funny and humble, and teachable!
And Kim is awesome!  We went over last Thursday and he fed us lunch. (Note: when an investigator feeds you that means they like you).  So we had a really good salad, and discussion.  We were going to teach him about how the Book of Mormon testifies of Christ, but he basically told us that while eating.  And then he asked, "So why don't we drink tea.  Yes, I said we."  Sister Clark said that meant he wanted to become a mormon, that he considered himself one,...or something like that.  We have great hope for him.  We calculated how long it would take him to read the BOM and he's reading about 14ish pages per day.  So he'll be done in about a month.  I mean that's about an hour a day!  And he likes it and understands it!  He even asked about church, although he didn't come. But we hope he'll come this week.  He's an awesome man.  We have an appointment with him tonight.  He's feeding us again, and he said that like family, we are always welcome.  He is just so awesome.  And he already had a year supply of food storage, and he quotes prophets and modern day revelation without knowing it.  He'll give us advice, and we'll say, "You know what you just said is what a prophet of God said."  He's a dry Mormon.  But soon he'll be a wet one!  Well hopefully!  Hopefully we'll meet his wife tonight!!

Kim Morrison.  Isn't he awesome?
So last pday, Sister Clark actually beat me in Nertz.  There were five of us playing, and I just lost.  But I beat Elder Vicars!  And today we're having a zone party!  Sister Clarks last pday!  The ZLs are providing lunch, and we're playing ultimate football, and cards (nertz).  So yeah, it's a gonna be fun!
For the most part the elders here are cool.  They are 19 year old boys...well 20, and Elder Dearinger is 25.  He was converted later in life.  But man he still acts like the rest of them!  Last night Sister Clark actually put one of them in line.  On Monday two of them did something just not cool, and it hurt us.  So last night Sister Clark just told him flat out what was up, and that he shouldn't do things like that again.  He's the kind of person that doesn't like to hear he's wrong, but humble enough to change.  He later said that he needed it.  That's just how tight this Zone is.  I really like it.
Oh, and I've decided, that since I'm going to be driving my whole mission Jefferson can drive me everywhere after my mission.  He'll have his permit, and I'm over 21, so it'll work...or Harrison, whichever one wants to.  I just figured since Jefferson won't be going on any dates then he'll be more available!
And I'll work on taking pictures of our apartment and stuff today.
Oh also I remember that in one letter you sent awhile ago you talked about how you and dad had family scripture and prayer every night and how you hoped that helped your kids.  Well let me tell you, it does.  I so notice the difference in families when they don't do that and when they do. I don't know how many times I use our family as an example of that.  How, when we used to not do that, there was way more contention in the house, and since we have done that there isn't.  Yes, we still have arguments and fights, and what not, but we're able to get over them more quickly.  It's just such a difference.  Also those who follow the prophets counsel don't have as many money problems as those who don't.  It's just amazing the blessings I see when we follow the prophets counsel.  Even if it's going to church on Sunday, or fulfilling our calling, or living the Word of Wisdom or chastity.  I have a strong testimony of living the law of chastity.  I've seen the destruction that comes to those who don't live it.  They're confused of what to do next, especially young mothers.  Just couples in general, when they don't live the law of chastity can't make ends meet, they're living with their families, their kids are being raised by their parents, they're irresponsible.  Yeah, follow the commandments!

Well tell everyone I said hi!  And I haven't heard from Jackson in a while.  What's up with him?  And I'll try to write to Leda today!!!  Tell her I love her though!
Sister Ostler

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