Monday, May 4, 2015


Hey Family,

I hope that you are on the way to having another incredible week! Last night as we knelt in prayer before going to bed, I was just shocked that once again I was telling the Lord that it was the end of another week. It goes so so fast. I have definitely been thinking about how important it is that we use our time in a useful, productive way, because it just kind of leaves us behind like James Bond leaves an explosion -- not even looking back (I guess Lot's wife should have learned a bit from him).

One of the wonderful miracles that happened was on Sunday when Tonini and his daughter Jona came to church. Tonini has been a regular, but this was Jona's first and it was great. We had a bit of a rough time getting people into church yesterday (as well as in the past in general, we have been averaging about 14), and so as I blessed the Sacrament with Elder Wilcox, I was praying that the Spirit would be with them to realize that even though we were few, it was still the truth. (One of my favorite book quotes from all time is from the novel 1984 by George Orwell were it is stated "sanity is not statistical.") Being Fast Sunday I also had an opportunity to bear my testimony. I was struck with the thought of how the Church would have been in those early days with the Savior and His Apostles. I can imagine there would have been a lot of noise, few people (depending on if there was free food or not) and just generally not looking a whole lot like how D&C stated it by being a house of order. Things take time. The Lord knows that, and we should learn it too. Well, as a beautiful answer to prayer, during their introductions in Sunday School, they expressed that they believed in what was going on...or at least were working on believing. It was really great to hear Jona say that she was here for the first time and hoped that she would be around a whole lot more. The Lord doesn't need grand cathedrals to perform his work. Sometimes it happens in small stables and sometimes in the first floor of a small apartment building on the outskirts of Albanian cities.

Another wonderful blessing came last night as Elder Crandall and I went tracting. We knocked a door and were let in and ended up sitting down with a mom, dad, and daughter. At first the dad and daughter showed a lot of resistance ( we learned later on that much of the daughter's resistance was because she thought that we were part of another religious organization that Albanians aren't too fond of here), but after a while of talking we were eventually able to testify of Joseph Smith and the truthfulness of the work that we were a part of. Elder Crandall bore a really wonderful witness that touched the heart especially of the father and helped them understand that maybe there indeed was something in the words we were saying. It was really cool to see after he bore his testimony how the dad asked once again how long he had been learning the language. He was just floored that it had only been three months. He recognized it as a gift from God. The gift of tongues is real. However, I think that a gift that I have seen prevalent much more in the mission is the gift of communicating in the language of the Spirit. People can understand the importance of the message even when they might not have a whole lot of idea what is going on. We will be going back there on Tuesday and hope to be able to bring the Spirit into their home so that they will continue to want to hear this message of truth.

As for English courses, we have not been doing so hot in numbers. Perhaps it is the time of year and perhaps it is just not as exciting for the city as it used to be. We will see as time progresses.

As for Skype on Sunday, at about 8 o'clock I will give you guys a call. Our call will be 40 minutes long, so if you have any questions get 'em ready.

Well, I hope that you have a wonderful week and I will be excited to hear about it when we talk on Sunday!

Elder Ostergaard

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