Friday, August 23, 2013

#7 August 22, 2013

Hey Mom!

I am so glad that you are having such a wonderful time out there in Michigan! Haha, that is so funny that my name came up in conversation! I would definitely be lying to say that that does not make me excited and glad that I am remembered in the legacy that is Dow High Band! (and I am trying not to lie, that is not very missionary-like!)

Congratulations once again on your anniversary! I love you and Dad so much and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend up north. Dad has two great counselors, Brigham and Grant are mature enough, and the Dow High Band has 400 parents to help out, you don't have to worry about everything being okay on the home front!

So this week I got to play piano for a duet of sisters who are headed to Argentina on Monday. That was fun, we tried out last week and got a notice to play in the West Campus New Missionary Devotional that was yesterday, so that was very exciting! The song was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” and really it was just them singing (three verses in English and one in Spanish) and me playing the top hand of the hymn book and making up notes that were in the right chord (most of the time) in the bottom hand with a key change at the end. I know now more than ever that there are fewer and fewer people playing piano if I am the one to go to for a special musical number!

One of our teachers (Vëllai Eckel) just had his last day of teaching us before leaving for California with his wife yesterday, our travel plans should come today (they have not come yet, but maybe in a later mail truck), and Consecration Week started today. That is a lot of changes in a week for the fairly predictable life of a MTC missionary! Consecration Week is a week where we really are trying to consecrate and dedicate ourselves to the Lord. I will only speak in Albanian as of coming out of the Temple today to the time that we go back into the temple next Thursday...exciting! It is going to be a tough thing, but I know that I can go hour by hour and word by word. I mean, Elder Scott blessed us with the Gift of Tongues according to our faith and so I expect as such! This week is also meant to help us discover the most important things that we need to be doing as missionaries as well as the things that we need to improve upon to be better servants of the Lord, so here goes! Ne mund ta bëjmë këtë!

This week I was reading, and I am not sure what got me to it, but I came across the phrase "learning, even by study and also by faith" in D&C 88 and I was just thinking how I could better learn by faith. I was then reading in the Preach My Gospel about how we need to begin and end every study session with prayer, something that I really need to be better at! How am I supposed to expect the Gift of Tongues or any other gifts of the Spirit if I am not willing to include the Spirit and Heavenly Father in on my studies? I think that is what learning by faith is. We need to be studying and working as if everything depends upon us and then hitting our knees and pleading with Heavenly Father as if everything depended upon Him. Learning by faith is pondering as Nephi did 1 Nephi 11 and President Smith did in D&C 138 before, during, and after we seek to learn of answers by ourselves. This is a principle that I am really trying to become better at because it is so important!

Oh and Mom, because we only have one more P-day until we jump aboard the airplane, I need to start thinking about extra stuff. When I am packing and making sure I am hitting the weight limit, I think that I am going to put extra stuff in a box and put it through the dry cleaning people to get to Carley/Marsha who I hope can then get it back home. If this plan has a kink, please let me know in next week's email.

Hmmmm, other stuff I need, I am not sure. I try not to be very needy! The photos will be great though! Could one of those be a wallet-size that I could keep with me? I dunno, I just love getting anything! That is so wonderful of you to do that!

Well, I love you so much and am really hoping that I can make you proud. That even though you really don't know exactly what I am doing, you will know that I am trying my hardest to be the best missionary that the Savior and I can be!

Ju dua shumë!
Elder Ostergaard

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