Sunday, June 27, 2010

The MTC is great!

Hello family:       . . . . email on June 25, 2010

Wilson: the MTC is great!  For the last couple of gym periods I have ventured out to the MTC fields and have played soccer.  It is so so so FUN!  It is the best.  When I am playing and do a great move I usually think of Ben Ostler, but this week as I play, I am also going to think of you and what you would do when huge sweaty Elders are running after you.  Sometimes I score goals.  It is a lot of running but playing futbol is just great!  2 days ago as I was playing, I tweaked some of my toes on my right foot and it hurt pretty bad.  The whole bottom of my left foot killed and I was limping so good.  As I went to sleep all the Elders told me when I woke up that it would be worse and swollen real bad.  So I prayed that night with faith that Heavenly Father would heal my foot.  And He did!  It was a simple miracle, and when I woke up, I could walk completely normal.  Just remember if you ever have any problems, Go To The Lord.

Benson, I hope you are being good to Mom and Dad, I know you are.  I hope summer is just great for you, remember, you are 10 so live it up.  Sometimes I wish I was 10.  At least I'm pretty sure thats how old you are.  Benson, remember to practice your piano every day.  Last week I played for Church as you know and guess what......I didn't mess up once! It was great; however, I felt a little weak playing Firm Foundation because I mostly only played top hand.  So practice every day so when you get here you can play both top and bottom hands when you are asked to play How firm a Foundation.

Jefferson!  It is great to hear about all your training adventures for the triathlon.  Oh, and nice use of the word "poned" in your letter to me.  We all enjoyed that.  You are a valiant son of God and can do great things in your life.  Remember to practice your piano.  It will help you (and the ladies might really enjoy that talent of yours as you grow up.... hmmmm.... something to think about when you don't want to practice).

Harrison:  I think you will pone Jefferson at the swimming leg of the race.  You got to let my know who finishes first out of the 3 of you.  I don't think good ole Dad has a shot at beating you, but Jefferson will give you a run for your money.  Just remember that it is a mental race too.  As with anything, believe you can do it and YOU CAN!  Also, don't miss a day of piano!  I know I have said it already but it is so important that you do it.  God has commanded us to develop our talents.  And by obeying Gods commandments you will be blessed.

Saydi.  Thanks for letting me know that you were listening to the Proclamation by Jonny Vance.  That just killed me because we are not allowed to listen to music here.  I guess that there have been problems with 4 Elders all wanting to listen to different things in the same room.  So we can't do that which is a bummer.  But, there is a musical perk here and that is that we have devotionals twice a week; one Tuesday night and one Sunday night.  That is not the musical perk, duh, this is.  Before the speaker there is a musical number and it is always AMAZING.  2 weeks ago this Elder with the most beautiful voice sang a great song.  And as I was standing in line for this weeks devo (Elder Allen and I were at the front because we went 2 hours early) we noticed the Elder right next to us was the one who sang it.  We talked and eventally he said "open to a verse."  Then he sang it in his broadway amazing voice.  It was so cool.  So that devo we thought for sure an Apostle was going to be at.  So I was on row 4.  Then they announced it was a member of the 70 and I will admit, I was a bit ticked.  But he gave the best talk ever! It's next to "The Way" you know that one, it was one of my favorite talks of all time.  Also, last week this angel of an Elder sang "All Creatures of our God and King.. .... and it blew me away.  It was so so so beautiful.

Ok Amanda: suggestion for the Sister missionary.  I saw this Sister with crocs on for shoes and they were pretty cute if you asked.  Not like I know anything about style.  Anyways, thanks for the orgami bird.  It's weird to think that if you were in my shoes right now you would already be in the field harvesting!  That is so cool to think about.  It is great to have an awesome older Sister.

Mom.  Ummm I tired to fake you out and I actually sent a photo card last Friday and I fear it hasn't gotten to you yet!  I'm kinda freaking out it is lost.  I sent it in one of those bigger letter things you gave me.  There was letters in that too.  Then the next day I sent you a normal letter.  So I don't know but please dearelder me about that!!!

Because I have not bouncy balls or racquetballs to throw around here, I just toss my blue meal card up in the air.  In the cafeteria, I was tossing it up as we were leaving and it fell and slid under this shelf that is impossible to retrieve.  So we went and got haircuts and then got permission, cause secruity is tight, and were able to go to the front desk and we asked to get a new one.  We waited till the MPresidents break was over (5 min) then went and got a new card.  Basically because the MPresidents are here they have closed off the main building for the week.  So we had to get permission to go get a blue card.  We didn't see any Apostles in there, but the district above us got to shake the stoic hand of Elder Holland yesterday.  That didn't make sense and I do realize that, sorry.

Dad, A TRIATHLON, really?  That is awesome.  I wish I could see you train and ride your bike to work!  Ha!  Ok, 2 minutes left.  You know you have left Babylon behind when it isn't till the 3rd week that you find out one of your comps likes 70s music!  Huntington likes Boston, REO, etc.  So that is cool.  I'm in a 3some now because Bagley and the Elders left to the DR.  So both my comps and a lot of people here like country and one night we sang country love songs so thanks Amanda, for making me hear those all the time because it was fun to be singing those with them.

Spanish is good, I'm picking it up.  I just need to be more diligent with study time, personal study time.

Bye, Love You

Elder Ostler

Saturday, June 26, 2010

One last letter for today.

June 18, 2010 . . . . 9:48PM

I shouldn't have said I was scared for the TRC earlier - fear and faith cannot coexist.  I was nervous - or I should uv' been.  Not scared.  This week went so fast.  It's been great.  Thanks for the spoon and fastbreaks!  Awesome!  Fantastic!

So the TRC tonight was way way good at first.  So tonight the task was to talk in Spanish for 7 minutes to 2 people.  They were door approaches and we were supposed to introduce ourselves, get to know, and ask about families and relate families to the Gospel & then bear testimony & set up a return appt.  Then for the 2nd guy we actually go back 10 minutes later and teach a 20 minute lesson.  So the first one went real good.  We knocked on the door of a big black man and it was so so good.  Then the next door was a missionary!  We were so ticked!  So we did real bad with him.  And I totally lost the spirit.  Friday night is supposed to be our "real" night teaching someone, so when we knocked on the 2nd door and an Elder opened up, I was ticked!  So we work for 10 minutes to prepare, and I prayed & really tried to have the spirit be with me again.  It was way hard.  And the lesson went OK at best.  Afterwards we talked with the Elder and found out he has been here for 4 months!  Mexico.  No Visa yet.  But Wednesday he starts a temporary reassignment in Salt Lake South.  BTW, sorry you cannot read this.

So the TRC didn't go so well, but we got back to class and had an amazing lesson on baptism.  And then we learned how to plan better. Mi Compineros are so tired and want to go to bed early.  They are so tired but I'm just fine.

I didn't take this picture.  Don't know who did but Elder Bagley gave it to me cause he didn't want it.  It is of him swiping his letter outta my manos.  It was the day he got his 1st letter.

Tomorrow is a normal day.  Lots of study time and lots of class, the only different thing is that I am going to practice the piano for 45 minutes.

I guess I don't know what to say now.  Ask me more questions if you want to know certain things.

I love you all and am kinda excited to see you when I'm done, but heck, I am more excited for Argentina!!

Practice your piano, Love,

Elder Ostler


Monday, June 21, 2010

The best part about being here is knowing that in 6 weeks I will be in MENDOZA!

Dear Family (and others) . . . . . June 18, 2010

PSYCHE! Ha - here is my picture card.  That was a pretty good joke on the email.  But honestly, I probably won't send you  more pictures till I leave.  Brief summary of the pictures:

1)  Elder Allen and I are at our desk writing in our journals.  Look!  We match.

2)  Temple walk first Sunday.

3)  Service day

4)  Nametag & Spanish Scriptures

5)  Me and Elder Huntington

Dear Crawfords:  Thank you for the cinnamon rolls!  They were honestly so good.  There were all gone within 5 minutes!

Amy:  Thank you Amy for the cookies.  Heavenly!  They were so so good and were also gone pretty fast.  And I loved Buster's paw print.

P.S.  So funny, just barley Elder Bagley just got back from laundry and said - "I don't know how to use an iron, is that bad?"  It was so funny.  Thanks for teaching me all the necessities Mom!

Dear Dad:  Doreen sent me a nice letter that had a bunch of nice stuff about you in it.  It was awesome.

Elder Allen and I are doing good.  His Mom sent him a package.  His dad is a country singer.  How cool is that.

Ha, get this.  Elder Bagley is going to practice ironing on his t-shirt.  Wait . . . he just said that's too much work.  He's not doing it. 

I cannot believe Dad is doing a triathlon - and more than that, actually training for it!!!  WOW.

Elder Allen says thank you so much for everything you've sent him.  He thinks you're amazing.  He is so funny.

I'm just rambling now but Elder Huntington doesn't know how to speak English or Spanish.  He never says  "were."  He says the word "was" in every sentence. "We was going to the gym" "We was taking . . . . "  We all make fun of him so much!  Hey, I just found out Elder Allen has a horse.  Sweet!

This week alot of Babylon songs have come to my head.  Like someone says some Jonny Vance lyrics and I have his songs in my head.  Or one time I went to the mail room and one of the workers was on YouTube watching Michael Buble 'I Just Haven't Met You Yet.'  So for 2 hours I couldn't get that outta my head.  And this one time I was in the cafeteria and I swear I heard a Boston rif.  It was crazy.  So I couldn't get that outta my head.

At the fireside Tuesday, this Elder sang 'All Creatures of our God and King' and it was the most Amazing thing ever!  It was incredible!

I would say no one is overly homesick here.  All the letters from the kids have been way good.  Thank you.

The best part about being here is knowing that in 6 weeks I will be in MENDOZA.

Usually I don't get scared here, but right now I am real scared for the TRC tonight!  AHH.  2 hours.

You probably will already do this, but you should send some Elder Huntington pics to his Mom to aid your budding friendship!

O, and I will also send you a dearelder cause you were asking about the format.  Send it back please!

Well, that's about it.  Have fun.

Elder Ostler

Friday, June 18, 2010

I was literally filled with the Spirit as I taught Spanish

June 18, 2010

Hola!!!!!!!  I can honestly say this may be the best 30 minutes of my week.  I love emailing home!

So, things are good.  I am doing really good.  But time is flying!  While having 6 weeks left in the MTC still feels like it is going to take forever, the days are really moving.  Every night, Elder Allen and I kneel down for companion prayer and we always comment that it seems like 20 minutes before, we were saying last nights prayer.  Time is flying like everyone said it would.

It was really nice getting a new distrito.  Sam Swensen is in it!  That rocks so much.  As a zone, we do alot of stuff together.  We have pday together, temple together, meal times together, live right next to each other and have gym together.  So we see our zone alot.  It is nice not being the new Elders anymore.  I will send my encampment deal later.  But last week I read Jeff's and loved it!  That was amazing!  I think Elder Crawford has really let his mission change him.  Elder means 'defender of the faith' and just from reading that paragraph, I know that Jeff has really taken his sacred calling seriously.

The temple was so good this morning.  As Elder Allen and I walked outside the temple after the session, it was absolutely beautiful!!!  The roses were in full bloom, the fountains on the temple grounds were fabulous and it was just one of those amazing moments.

As far as athletes are concerned, there are some cool people here.  One of my zone leaders, Elder Richardson, was an Idaho State Champion for wrestling.  He was a heavy weight and is absolutely huge.  Like his forearms are bigger than my legs!  Anyways, he was a redshirt freshman for BYU and is an inside linebacker.  I also met an Old Spice Player of the Year, whatever that means, who was recruited by BYU and plays tight end.  And of course Tyler Haws is here.  It is really cool and I see him everywhere.

Next week there is going to be 113 new Mission Presidents here along with the whole First Presidency and most of the 12.  It is going to be awesome, I can only imagine.

My teachers here are amazing!!  They teach the gospel with such power and conviction.  I love it!  Also, I never understood how amazing PMG is.  It is almost the best book ever!  It is just that every sentence, every word, is valuable.  It is truly a miracle!

During gym while I'm playing baloncesto, I feel like Ben Ostler and think "How would it be to feel this way all the time?"  Gym is always a good break.  The ironic thing is that there is no gym time on pdaysHmmmm, seems kinda backwards to me.  Oh, also, I am only allowed to write letters on pday.  I found that out this week.

There are only 2 piano players in my zone.  Me and this other kid who is about as good as me.  So I get to play for Priesthood this week.  Yeah!  It shouldn't be so bad, Elders of Israel and Firm a Foundation.

My district has a goal to teach 10 lessons a week.  Elder Allen and I are doing good.  We already have 8.  Teaching fake investigators is good practice and I think we are getting better but it is just that, fake.  And sometimes the missionary investigators are just terrible.  You could introduce yourself and extend the baptismal commitment and they would probably accept!  But yesterday we taught this Elder who really related and identified with the role he was supposed to play.  He had a time in his life where he fell away etc.  It was an amazing and powerful lesson and Elder Allen and I were really humming.  After the lesson the other Elder said something like, "I wish you Elders would have been the ones to teach me that when I was repenting and coming back to the church.  We had such a good feeling.  It was powerful.  But I'm so excited to teach for real!  Vive Argentina!!!!!

Last night I had a real cool experience with Elder Huntington.  We were learning direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns and he was really struggling.  So for 45 minutes I helped him and taught him and made sure he understood.  I felt the Spirit so strong as I was doing that.  How weird!  It was especially strange when I finished because I felt so good.  I guess it is just strange to me that I was literally filled with the Spirit as I taught Spanish.  Way cool.

Please don't send food for awhile.  I have a ton right now!  But thanks for everything and all the letters and everything.  And I probably won't send a pic card till I leave here.

On Tuesday, Donald Hallstrom spoke to us and it was about ordinances and covenants.  It was way awesome.

Dear Dad, Happy Fathers day!  I thought about wasting money on a little card, but I didn't for obvious reasons (like you know wasting money) when this will suffice.  Happy Fathers Day!

I also thought about wasting money on a Birthday card for you Amanda, but for obvious reasons, I didn't.  Happy Birthday Amanda!

How's mowing?  One time I thought about you guys mowing.  I think it was Tuesday morning at about 9.  I bet it's just great, like it always is.  Oh, and can you believe that I haven't lost anything?  I know, I am amazing.

Spanish is coming good.  Hummm, that's about all I got on that subject.

Tonight our distrito goes to the TRC, teaching resource center.  Tonight our task is to meet, get to know, talk about how families relate to the gospel in Spanish for 7 minutes to 2 different people (volunteers).  Then we have to teach the first lesson (in English) for 30 minutes.  Should just be wonderful.  This is like the climax of the week because it is as real as it's going to get here!

Well, I'm at 50 seconds.  I'm good.  I can't wait to get to Argentina.  Everybody loves my ties.  This one kid, I mean Elder, always wants to trade.  I say no.

15 seconds.
Love you

Elder Huntington is the funniest Atheist I have ever met.

June 13, 2010
Dear Saydei, Hair ison, Chefferson, Bensin, Wulson: . .

As you probably see, I messed up spelling your name Saydi. So I had to mess everyone elses up to make it legit. Last night as I was falling asleep (except for you really don't fall, you just kind of slide into it) I thought how cool it would be if all you my brothers were here in 13M room 441 and we pushed the 2 bunk beds together and had a real good time . . . Well I started this morning, now it's 6pm and we are waiting for a fireside to start. So usually the food is decent here (I like it better than the Cannon Center food because it is the Lord's food) but tonight was the 2nd meal I was disappointed in - and it was spaghetti! It was swimming in oil unsuper healthy - and just no good. But other than that the food is decent.

Something interesting is that sacrament . . . (like 20 minutes later because we just taught a lesson to Elder Huntington and Elder Bagley. They were Athesists and it was hard. But they were so funny. Elder Huntington is the funniest Atheist I have ever met) is first in Spanish then in English. Our Branch President is fluent and awesome (served in Mexico) so he gets up and says everything in Spanish, then says it in English. The sacrament and prayers are obviously said in Spanish. The way talks are assigned is pretty neat. There are two topics to choose from (usually Christlike attributes). Each member of the Zone must pick a topic and prepare a 4-5 minute talk on that topic. But here is the fun thing. So we do church then after the sacrament the Bishop gets up and announces who the two speakers will be. Then they get up and give their talks. If you have been here longer than 3 weeks you gotta give your discourse in Espanol. So that makes things fun. I hope I get to give my talk next week so I get to give it in ingles! The two topics this week are tithing and chastity. . . . . hummmmm. I think I'm going to do tithing.

You know we actually go to less church here than we do at home. My zone has Priesthood at 10am and sacrament meeting at 3pm. But going to church here is no different than just living life here. Because everything is church. From when my little eyeballs pop open in the morning to when they slide close at night - all we do is church! And it is Awesome! We even start gym with a prayer.
But church here is different - there are no boring High Priest talks (Dad, the last comment hardly applies to you). There is no blubbering Sisters at the pulpit, only rock solid RM's who are Awesome! There are no crying babaies (except Elder Bagley). Probably you don't get that joke but Elder Bagley is so funny. But there are still Deacons------I'm not kidding. I talked to this kid yesterday who looked like he was 8! Jefferson and Jacob Rowe could fit in better here than this guy. Wow.

Every Sunday we go on a temple walk. Last week it was so hot (but it was good taking pictures there) and there is an awesome rule that says no matter what, you have to wear your suit coat to the temple. So last week when we all got home we all rung our clothes out and almost filled a canteen!! But today's temple walk was good, it was cool and cloudy outside, it was real nice and relaxing.

Our old district is leaving to Chile tomorrow and it's sad, but also really sweet. They've been here 8 weeks and are ready. They deserve it. I am so excited for when it is my turn to leave! 50 days today!
What other secrets of the CCM should I tell you? Okay, here is a daily schedule.

Thursday June 10
  • 6:30-7  Arise & Prepare
  • 7-7:30  Personal Study - we go to the classroom and try to study our goal of 10 pages out of the Book of Mormon per day
  • 7:30-8   Breakfast
  • 8-8:30  Personal Study
  • 8:30-12  Class w/Hermana Bailey
Class is always amazing.  We always learn about teaching and practice it.  The teachers always have amazing insights about teaching and the Gospel.  And then sometimes our maestros will usually throw in a little Espanol.  It is amazing and I have learned quickly here that we are not here to learn Spanish.  I am here to convert myself so that I can help God convert others.  We are only helpers.

I am here to learn the Gospel.  I am here to learn how to teach.  I am here to learn to entice others to faith, 2 Nephi 2:16.  I am here to learn how to Invitar a las personas a vevir a Cristo a fin de qu recibn el evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del con del Espiritu Santo, y el perseveror hasta el fin. (Note from Delene, Jackson's writing is hard to read so trying to decipher his Spanish is painful for me. I don't know what I just typed, but if you understand Spanish and I misread something, email me so I can change it.)

My companion just called me a pee brain monkey lover.  Just an aside.

  • 12:00-12:30  Lunch - What a party!
  • 12:30-12:45  Gym prep - basically just go back to the room & change
  • 12:45-1:35  Gym - basically own!  Just got back to the room, everyone at basketball
  • 1:35-2:05  Shower
  • 2:05-5  MDT, language study, companion study, memorizing, PMG, etc.
  • 5-5:30  Dinner - Good times happen in the dining hall
I will finish this tomorrow.  But the coolest thing just happened!  You know that district leaving tomorrow?  The whole zone, 40 guys, I mean Elders, just went to the ZL's room and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."  It was so powerful & amazing! ! !  It was incredible & I can't wait 4 when it is me leaving!!!!!

June 11
  • 5:30am-7:30am  MDT
  • 7:30-9  Hermano Estevez class time
  • 9-9:30  Plan for the next day
  • 9:30-10:30  Brush teeth, companerismo oracion, mess around (last night everyone was in the hall jumping up and down and trying to hit their head on the ceiling.  The cielo wasn't hard, it was those foam tiles.  Elder Huntington could do it, but not me-it was fun).  Lights out.
Before I forget I got some things you could do for me.  I saw one of my Zone Leaders with a handheld 1 hole, hole punch and a binder and he was hole punching all his letters and putting them in a binder.  I want to do that.  Could you send me a single hole punch and a binder?  I don't need any flash cards, I learned that you can pretty much buy everything you will ever need at the bookstore - besides hole punches and binders.

As you've surely noticed, I have written this letter periodically throughout the last 24 hours.  The reason is that you cannot find 90 minutes to just sit down and nicely think and write a letter.  That just isn't going to happen.

Coolest thing ever - last night we found out we are getting a new district on Wednesday, 4 hermanas 8 Elders.  We found out most of them are serving state side espanol missions.  I got so excited because my friend from BYU, Sam Swensen comes on Wednesday and is going Chicago Spanish speaking (Amanda's mission).  I talked with the guy and found out that an Elder Swensen going to the Chicago North mission is going to be in Zone 23!  I am so excited.

Oh yes, one more thing. . . after I finish my "race to the finish email session" I usually cannot remember what I said.  So could you send me the emails I send you?  Please.  And also could you also send me all the emails you have sent me thus far and then every week till I leave could you send me a hard copy of the email so I can take time to thoroughly read it.  And yes, I got the picture on that last email.

That is so exciting school is out!  I can only imagine you guys basking in the freedom.  Just remember, tocar su piano!!!!  The only person that knows how to play the piano in our zone is getting shipped to Chile today (a hermana of course).  So now the only people that can play piano are me and Elder Larsen - and he can only sorta play like me.  And we have already been asked if we would tag team play for Priesthood and sacrament meeting.  So boys, practice now so when you are a 19-year-old missionary you're not scarred!!

I just got back from breakfast, it was pretty ok - not quite pretty good.  I had chocolate leche and a blueberry pancake.

Later.  We just had class today from 8 - 9:30 with Hermana Bailey and it was great.  So now I guess we are going to zone practice teach where we will all teach 1st lesson to companionships of other districts.  But before that I think we are singing para siempre dios este con los 1 more time because the 4 sisters leaving today with distrito Chile didn't get to hear our song last night.  So we get to sing it again today!

Here is a picture of my distrito.  It was at the temple that one super hot Sunday.  All companions are in opposite rows. So my companion is above me. Elder Allen.

Elder Tanner - Elder Bagley - Elder Larsen - Elder Allen - Elder Clyde - Elder McArthers
Elder Rammel - Elder Huntington - Elder Salter - Me - Elder Jacobs - Elder Beutier

Elder Rammel reminds me of Renton so much!  Sometimes he is so crazy, especially when teaching.  Elder Bagley is so so funny-that picture tells everything.  Elder Clyde is such a character!  So funny.  Elder McArthers is a Ute fan.  Elder Jacobs is a way cool Elder, loves the gospel and scriptures and Spanish.  He rocks.

Later...we just did the zone teach and it was good.  The old zone has all their suitcases in the hall and it is so cool!!!  They just came in and shook all our hands, so sad!  They are the best.

Bytheway, I don't remember any Mexico names.  Also Bytheway, I love my scriptures - the separate Book of Mormon and Bible.  It rocks having them separate.  I feel like I'm running outta things to say.  Um. . . . . I get to eat lunch in 30 minutes, yeah!  And also bytheway, I never use my english hymn book.  I hope your virtual 'friendship' with Elder Huntingtons Mom is good.  We think that's funny.

Well, enjoy life.  I am doing good.  Sometimes it's hard but the people here are good.  But,


I love you, Always,
Elder Ostler

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mom, read it slow so it lasts longer.....

Dear Family!!!!!

I have been so excited to write you. I had trouble sleeping last night.

Okay, I don't know much about my visa. I just got finger printed and that is it. I have only heard of a few people getting delayed to Argentina. But (watch out Jase and Braden) I have met 3 people that have been here for 15 weeks!!!! They are going to Mexico. Apparently Mexico hates us because so many visas for Mexico are getting delayed. But then some get out just right on time. Oh, and I am so excited for Jacob Calaway!!!!!!!!!!! That is so awesome. And Chile doesn't require visas. I know that because my ZL's are going there and don't need visas. That's the truth, so lucky Jacob.

Okay, nametag. The guy took all my suitcases and sent me through this door into this nicely sized room. Then I went to like 5 different tables to get different forms and my picture taken etc... And there were a ton of old ladies helping. And then this lady at the end asked my name and got another packet for me and the lady next to her had scissors and cut the sewing holding my suitcoat pocket closed so that my nametag could be inserted. Then this lady put my nametag on and I rejoined with my guide and he took me to my pench. I'm getting pretty used to wearing it now. It's awesome.

No, you are not sending too much. I love getting letters etc. But honestly, in the MTC you have no time for yourself at all! So it's hard writing back. I remember on Monday I got a ton of letters and a bunch of dearelders, like 4. I was reading them as I was going to sleep and started feeling earily homesick. That night my stomach was just in a knot and I felt like waking up at home would be awesome. But I woke up and I was still in my top little bunk and I was totally fine. That was the only time to date I have been homesick, as some call it.

Yes, I got your letter you wrote 2 hours after you said bye. And thanks but honestly, 2 hours!! I don't care who you are, that's funny, right Dad? My hole district has the same mailbox number. Twice a day Elder Allen and I pick it up and distribute it. He is doing totally fine. We are really getting to know each other and while it's not perfect, we get along and connect with each other and work when it's time to work (most of the time) and play when it is time to play, which is like never. I think that answers the questions.

Yes, Elder Hales came on Tuesday and it was so incredible. And because I am so incredible, I was on the 6th row. I know. It was a fantastic talk and I loved every minute of it. Then as he was leaving alot of Elders and Sisters went out on the curb and waved goodbye as he drove away (he wasn't driving obviously). I was probably 10 feet away from the car. Sorry for the spelling!!!

I'll just tell you some stuff now.......the ZL's showed Elder Allen the Walk of Babylon, so we go on it sometimes and it is really fun. Basically, after class at 9:30 at night when we are walking to our pench, we take a detour and walk along the south fence as close to the outside world as we get and just look at the wide expanse of Babylon. Sometimes we yell things out, but the yells are kinda quiet because I dont think it would be a good idea to yell.

Hey, before I forget............Harrison, Jefferson, Benson and Wilson, will you practice the piano everyday for 30 and 15 minutes respectively? Yes, No? I have walked by rooms and hear people playing so good and I wish I would have been more diligent at that! And I promise as you practice the piano everyday you will feel the love of the Lord more profoundly in your life as you seek to develop the talents he gave you.

Tuesday, I met Sister Chen serving in the Chicago Mission as I waited for Elder Allen in an interview. I told Sister Chen about you, Amanda, and it was really fun. Also on Wednesday we met 2 Sisters going to Mendoza. They leave in 1 week. Lucky! I am so so so so so so so so so so so so excited to go. This place is great, but Argentina I can imagine is going to be 10 times harder and 100 times better.

This morning we went to the temple with the zone. It was just great. We had to wake up at 5:55 though. So early. The DR guys in our district got their flight plans today. They leave the 24th and that is so so cool.

I'm still doing awesome on the court. Some days I just sit on the 3-point-line and don't miss. Like I make 3 in a row and a post up shot to win the game. It's way fun. Gym time is the best. Things here are really starting to hum. These 9 days have been good.

I see so many people here I know, it's really awesome. The first few times I would run into 5 different people I know Elder Allen would get maybe annoyed and jealous a little. But now he just makes fun of me for knowing the entire MTC. We are doing great as a companionship and joke all the time. Life in the pench from 9:30 to 10:30 reminds me like 5% of what it was like in Stover. For example, last night the DR guys bombarded our room with wet, sucked on gummy worms and threw them all over. It was fun though. In our zone there is this guy with sleeping problems and he takes Ambien and his comps like to mess with him. So when he was loopy and it was like 10:30 they brought him to our room and made him talk to us and it was just about the funniest thing ever.

Just so you know, I am doing amazing here. Spanish is coming, but emphasis is really on learning how to teach. I love you my family. Thanks for everything.

Elder Ostler

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear Family: June 5, 2010

I just barley sent you guys an email. And man am I sore! The keyboard was, lets say, well used and you really had to stomp on the space bar to make it work. My whole right arm is noticeably tired. Wow, that 30 minutes flew by!

I realize now that the email was all about me and that is selfish. Hopefully it will suffice until I can send a better one next week. Next Friday. I will now just write you things I forgot, or just regular things.

Worst thing that has happened so far: Elder Allen was logging into his email, his time started but it wouldn't let him email. So he just sat there and tried and tried to email but it wouldn't accept his password or login. So he is bummed. But we talked about how in hindsight, this will really be no big deal.

Sorry my handwriting is no good. No Bueno. By the way, I hope you got my email and that it worked.

It is so cool to look down and see:
Elder Ostler
la iglesia de
de los Santos
de los ultimos Dias

This place is so cool. The only place on the planet where 2,000 19-yr-old kids wake up everyday at 6:30 (6:15 for me) and study language and the Gospel all day. And are happy! It is amazing.

Just so I don't forget - when you send my jeans also please send some flash cards. If you want to, cut them in half, or I can. Or I can just use paper and rip it up. Surprisingly, I didn't forget anything! Elder Allen forgot his towel! So he borrows mine. And Elder Huntington forgot regular underwear and he is an intense baller so he cooks in his G's when he plays.

I see people I know all the time! It is so cool. Most importantly I run into Daniel Chavez sometimes. I also see Renton, Wesley Rawlins and Kevin Hodgson. And I've probably talked to 15 other Elders I know. Mostly from BYU. My comp is amazed because I see guys, I mean Elders I know all the time. It is so fun.

I got a bunch of crap (material) when I got here and today I got my name embossed (nice word) on my Spanish scriptures. So that's another cool thing. We have been laughing so much today. And since we have only been here for 1/2 a week we were told we are only entitled to 1/2 a Pday. So we did work all the way up until noon.

This morning we had class from 8:30 till noon with Hermana Bailey. Our other teacher is Brother Estevez. Hermana Bailey is who we had this morning and she is the best! She served in Chile and is the best teacher ever. Estevez is going to be a bit harder (not that Sister Bailey is easy) but Brother Estevez is a native from Hondurus who served in Guatemala. His accent is not to bad but he goes so fast!

It will be so nice on Monday when we have a set schedule with ample MDT, missionary directed time.

We just ran an errand and took a trip to the front desk to ask how my comp can still get to email today. He gave us people to see so we are going there right now.

I have put 8 of the pictures of Jesus Christ around the room. So thanks for those. O yeah, in that package could you also send maybe 5 hangers! My pants are all doubled up on hangers so 6ish, actually 5 more would be delightful.

How's the blog doing? I bet hundreds of hits. Does illeligible crap like this go on? How was grad? Oh and thanks so much for the letter Jefferson. It was so nice hearing about your day. Are you getting A's Harrison? I will be angry if you don't. So angry!

If you can't tell, I'm about done with this letter. The roommates are searching for hidden things left by the last district and I want to join the hunt. We are finding a ton of stuff.

E. Ostler

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My companero is Elder Allen from Pocatello, Idaho!

Hello Family!

It is great here. I love it!

My companero is Elder Allen from Pocatello Idaho! He is great! We really get along well and joke all the time. We discovered that we each like Brian Reagen so during mealtimes and stuff we quote him and it is just so good. He is a good Elder. He wants to learn and work and be successful. I am so happy we are together. He is a wrestler and placed in State all of his highschool years. He got 6th, then 5th, then 2nd and 2nd again. He is about 5'11" but pretty built. He also loves baseball. And he was just called to be the district leader.

Okay, here is what I have been doing. Mostly just learning the roaps now (spelling is out the window now I only have 20 minutes left and there is an erie red countdown at the top of the screen). On Thursday, the Argentina Elders in our district went to a meeting with an Ambassador from the Argentina Counsul. There are about 70 missionaries in the MTC right now going to Argentina. He told us what the country is like and alot of stuff. Then I got fingerprinted and signed some papers for the visa. It was pretty cool. Then we went and got our immunizations checked. . . . I passed! Elder Allen had to get a shot though. I really like the cafeteria here. It is almost better than the canc. I eat a ton. I really need to slow down though because except for 50 minutes of gym time I am on my behind all day! But it is good. I really love and look forward to gym. You can choose many things. I choose basketball and love it! On Thursday during this one game I was post man and the other post man was at least 300lb, 6'3" Samoan or Tongan. So I had to guard his sweaty body. Hummm, it didn't go so well. We shoot for teams of 3 on 3 and play to 7. That is a rule. Another rule is not to keep score in any of the sports. Pretty funny.

I love my zone. The ZL's ROCK. They are so fun and caring and nice. It is great. And I have made a friend outside of my district. My district has 12 guys. 3 Mendoza, 6 Buenos Aires and 3 DR West. I like all the Elders. We are not suppossed to say dude and man and that is so hard for me. It is getting easier though. Ahhhhhh 12 min!

Our bathroom is really big and nice. I live on the top (4th) floor. The showers are so unreliable though. No matter what the setting is, it switches from 'burning fire hot' to 'so you can't breath cold.' So every morning and after gym time is an adventure. Speaking of gym, our zone has the best time! Not!! It is right after lunch on some days and right after dinner on other days. It is okay though. It is still awesome.

You know how people say they teach you more Spanish after 3 days in the MTC than after 2 years in highschool? That is not true. Really we have been doing alot of orientation and tours and learning how to be a missionary and learning how to plan and do comp inventory. We have probably only had 3 or 4 hours of Spanish class and hardly any time to study on our own. Today we learned what we are supposed to do as far as language study is concerned. So that is good. And we do a lot of role play teaching here. Elder Allen and I love it right now, but I hear teaching not really investigators gets so old after awhile.

Normally my pday is going to be on Friday fyi. We will start living a normal schedule on Monday. We are still learning the ropes and it will be so good when we know what is going on.

My best 2 experiences:
1) we learned how to pray in Spanish on day 2. Then we went outside and actually prayed with our comps. I felt the spirit so strong as I was praying. It was amazing.
2) we went to a 'how to begin teaching' workshop yesterday and we had this amazing teacher who was, well, amazing. He was so so so awesome and taught us so much. It was pg 167 of preach my gospel.

Well, I really am out of time. I love my teachers and my Branch Presidency. They are so so so awesome. I'm on the top bunk and our roommates, Huntington and Bagley, are so cool. Elder Huntington is the other one going to Mendoza. And the DR Elders are going to the DR MTC in 3 weeks and Elder Bagley is going to the DR in 3 weeks. We will probably become a 3 some. And Elder Huntington is great. Saydi would probably think he is cute. I hope graduation was good. Thanks for the letter Jefferson. It is great to hear and I love it.

I love you all.
I am in good hands.
Till next week . .
Hasta luego
Elder Ostler

Friday, June 4, 2010

Elder Ostler enters the MTC

Wednesday, June 2nd @ 1:15pm exactly, we dropped Jackson off at the MTC. He was all smiles and couldn't wait to start his mission.

This picture really sums up how he felt. He is looking towards the MTC and you can just tell that he wants to go. He's lived his life thinking of this day and you can see the excitement in his face.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"These are a few of my favorite things"

The day before Jackson left for the MTC was officially named 'these are a few of my favorite things.' We spent the day doing all of his favorite things. He played basketball in the morning, I made peanut butter kiss cookies for him, we went to Red Robin for lunch, he listened to Boston on his ipod, and jumped on the trampoline with his brothers. President Pulsipher came over at 9pm to set Jackson apart as a missionary. Everyone got dressed in their Sunday clothes and before I came out of the bedroom I heard someone playing the piano. I instantly realized who was playing and I grabbed my camera and caught the following clip.