Monday, March 23, 2015


Dear Family,

I hope that you have had a wonderful week! This week I found myself without a planner for a couple of days (I accidentally left it in a byrek stand, I don't know if you know what byrek is, but it is basically flaky, butteriness with stuff in it-usually a kind of cheese called gjize, tomatoes and onions, ground beef, sausage, spinach, or a yogurt thing called kos.) and looking back I realized that I was totally reliant on Elder Szabo for anything time-related seeing as I haven't worn a watch in 4 months. Thank goodness for companions!

This week we got a little bit of bad news hearing that Adriatik had some familial problems meaning that he will have to be out of Shkoder this week and not be able to be baptized on Saturday. Our other investigator Leo that we were working with to be baptized by the end of the month is also not looking like that will be possible. We feel a bit like we are letting our mission and the Lord down as we are working to achieve goals that were set between President Weidmann and the Lord. However as we prayed about it last night, Elder Szabo expressed that he felt that what we are doing what we should be doing in helping people be baptized when they are really ready rather than simply trying to fill a goal. Isn't it great that the work of the Lord is a one-by-one work that differs, though it is the same at the same time, with every one of His children. We all need something different and in order to do this it requires love from the teachers to really look for what is needed. I sure pray that we will be in-tune enough with the Spirit so that we will know what the Lord wants these, His children, to know, feel, and do.

On Saturday we had a wonderful opportunity to get out on the street for about 4 hours and, using a table, street contact. We heard in a talk this week that it is impossible for someone to love the Gospel and to love people and not to love sharing the Gospel with people. I can say that I love the people and I also love the Gospel, and it is true that I truly do love sharing the Gospel with people. I am not that good at it, but I think that really a big part of it is just loving people and then, if we have put in some thought to studying the Gospel, they will pretty magically find their way together.

A few weeks ago I was reading in the book of Acts (I love the book of Acts, it is perfect for missionaries) and I was very struck by the words it says about Peter and his companions. They were imprisoned, freed by an angel, and then retaken and set before the Jewish council. After many words spoken they eventually beat them and let them go. Here is the part that stuck out to me: "And they departed from the presence of the council,rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." (Acts 5:41) Are we willing to suffer shame for His name? I have thought about that many times as people will sometimes yell or taunt and it is a bit shameful. What a blessing to be able to wear a tag that shows everyone that I am with Him, like it or not. I wish to be always willing and able to suffer shame for the name of the Savior.

We once again shared the film Ephraim's Rescue with a small group of people (we were supposed to show Joseph Smith:Prophet of the Restoration, but had problems with the subtitles) and I was struck by one line in particular. A woman tells Ephraim that he is a holy man and he replies that he has so many mistakes and flaws that he can't even count them. She replies by asking, "then how is it that you do so much good?" He answers, "I try." That is all we have to do. Just try. I testify that the Lord can work miracles with our meager and imperfect attempts. He has been working perfect deeds through imperfect means since the beginning of time and He can do it with us.

I hope that you all have a wonderful day and week. This world is beautiful and so are the lives that we live in it. I hope that you can take a bit of time to see that today!

Elder Ostergaard

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