Thursday, July 18, 2013

#2 July 18, 2013

Dear Family,

How is it going over yonder in Michigan?! It is pretty hot out here but it is dry -- humid heat sounds pretty crazy! I am glad Philmont was so good, I have heard a ton about it being just awesome! I hope Drum Major Camp is going just great (or top fare -- an Albanian phrase that essentially means ballin') for Brigham, that was an awesome week -- and his shoulders should probably be hurting quite a bit.

Well, another week has gone by and I just keep learning more and more here! My Albanian is definitely getting better and especially in our last two "investigator lessons" we really have improved our comprehension and communication abilities. I also love how the more I testify, the more I am willing and wanting to testify. I mean hey, the Church is true, we need to tell everyone! But yeah, in the moment it is difficult to see progression, but looking back at the end of a couple of days or a week it is definitely evident that we have improved in our speaking, teaching, and learning abilities. I guess the Gift of Tongues was never supposed to come easy, but that is for the best. I know that I definitely am more grateful and attuned to the language's difficulties and the happiness I will have during progression because it does indeed take a lot of studying, a lot of practice, and a whole lot of prayers.

One thing that I definitely learned today was something that I have been told for a long time. Healthy and strong relationships require communication. I have definitely found that the times when I feel closest to my companion are when we have done a companionship inventory and we are just able to tell each other what we have noticed about what is good about the other and to ask for how we can be better. I am not very good at being blunt or speaking my mind about stuff like that, but I think that I am getting better and that will be a really good thing to improve during my mission.

My companion and I have been able to go and sing in the choir for the last two devotionals which has been a great experience. Not only is it really great to sing in a choir with a couple hundred Elderat and Motrat set apart by the Lord to share His Gospel, but the devotionals are great! Elder Richard G. Hinckley spoke at this last one and I walked away with a firmer resolution that I am going to be able to say "I am glad I did" at the end of the mission rather than "I wish I had."

My companion, Elder Acheson, is a good guy and I hope I am not too quirky for him (though I have found that I have been a fair bit quieter here at the MTC than back at home). We are usually at the classroom either studying Shqip, Preach My Gospel (Predikoni Ungjillin Tim), or the scriptures (shkrimet e shenjta). The hard part is deciding what, in that moment, is the most important thing to be studying in order to be a better servant of the Lord in Albania. One great thing about having investigators here is that is focuses your studying on what they need and gives some direction to how and what to learn.

Well family, I wish I had more to say, but as much as I am learnin a lot and growing a lot here at the MTC, the days aren't really a whole lot different from each other and status updates really aren't too exciting yet!

I love ya lots and am trying my darndest to make you proud!

Elder Ostergaard

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