Monday, January 26, 2015


Hello everybody!

So do you remember how our sacrament hall seats 27 people? Well, yesterday I had the opportunity to serve as the deacon and pass the sacrament to the congregation. When I finished this I brought it up to the other missionaries that blessed it and took for myself the very last water cup! We had 27 in church! How awesome is that! Wanna know a crazier thing? 2 of them were members (the other members were sick/in Tirana) and 6 of them missionaries... the rest were investigators! Many of them were young children, and so we are still a bit up in the air as to what is going to happen with this in the future, but for now, this is a huge blessing!

Our English Course has continued. The numbers have settled down a bit but we are still at about 80 people attending, and that is way solid. There are a couple of guys around our age that come to the course that just seem like really good guys. We invited our entire course to come to church, and then the Sisters saw them on the road on Saturday and invited them again and they came! I sure hope that we can help them to accept the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith when the world was once again ready to accept the loving, outstretched hand of their Maker.

We recently listened to a talk where it was mentioned that the speaker has questions, a lot of them, about the Gospel. He said that he didn't have doubts but that he had a lot of questions and I thought that that was beautifully stated. I have been noticing that in the recent past a lot. I have had a lot of questions in the recent past that I just could not wrap my mind around. They weren't doubts, I wasn't worried that the Church's foundation was shaking, I just don't understand a lot of things. Bruce R. McConkie stated that doctrinal truths must be learned in a spiritual way. Elder Anderson in the most recent General Conference said something similar when he said that "spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God". A lot of these questions that I ask I can't figure out in my mind. My logic just doesn't cut it. However, after prayerful study and sometimes a bit of time, the answers come. I think that it is interesting how Moroni mentions in his promise in Moroni 10 that one of the key ingredients to an answer is faith in Christ. Questions are expected, in fact a question was the catalyst for the restoration of this Church, but questions must be asked in faith.

He Dad, I did get that second package and those bolos are fantastic! Thank you so much and Elder Rawlings (though I am not sure if he has actually gotten it yet) is way excited for it.

As for talking with the mayor, we tried to go to the municipality and set up a meeting with him. They told us when we came back that it wasn't allowed for preaching to happen with the mayor. We tried to explain that that is not what we were trying to do, but they didn't really care too much. So we are going to send the other Elders in (so that way they don't recognize us and turn us down before we even ask) and have them talk to somebody else about it and make sure it is explained clearly what we are trying to do.

We were blessed to have many new investigators this past week. Some of them don't look too promising, but we are hopeful for several of them! Oh, and President has asked for an effort to find a new building here in Shkoder, so we will see what goes on with that. If we can get a larger area in a more central location it could be a big blessing to this city for sure. That is super cool that you talked with President. He is such an incredible man and truly helps me to better understand my relationship with my Heavenly Father and how to better magnify my calling as a missionary. You know that saying how you don't treat a man how he is, you treat him how you want him to become? Well, he does that, and it works. So do it.

Yesterday an Elder up here in Shkoder actually went into shock and started having spasms (we think it was from low blood-sugar) and we had to run over and help him out there. He should be doing all right now, but he will be in Tirana for a bit to make sure that he is doing all right.

Well, family, you guys are great. I think that there must be some prayers directed this way because miracles truly are happening. Please pray that we will be strong enough to do all that the Lord has in store for us up here!

Elder Ostergaard

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