Friday, July 30, 2010

I have a Visa!

Guess What?  I have a Visa.  It feels so amazing sitting here . . . . I am going to Argentina in 4 days . . . FOR SURE!  Here I come, welcome to the best part of my entire life.  I am so excited!  Yup, so everything is in order.  All three of us were called into the travel office this week and they said we were good to go, we have visas, and that we should be at the travel office Tuesday at 10 am.  So my stay here is almost entirely over.  I mean, I don't even have to remove my shoes to count the number of days I have left!

In Mosiah it teaches about having a peace of mind.  I firmly believe that Boston should be an acceptable band for missionaries to listen to.  It's all about religion.

Hey Dad, Gene R. Cook spoke at our Tuesday night devotional.  WOW.  We are so lucky here.  He gave the best talk ever.  It was so helpful and incredible.  I hope you are jealous.

Yes!  The temple finally opened and we were able to go this morning.  It was way way so so awesome.  Strange though, that will be the last temple I attend for the next 22 months!  This is a time when you say "darn."

I love the Argentina and Chicago flags on that huge wall so much!!!!!  You are quite the interior decorator Mom!

My Spanish is alright.  This whole week I have spoken a ton of spanish for HSI (SYL).  I have been super diligent at it and am always reminded of it.  I feel I am constantly improving and striving for excellence; however, I know when I show up to Mendoza in 4 days, I won't have a clue as to what in the world is going on!  That will be fun.

I hosted Elder Jacob Calaway!!!  It was amazing and so sweet.  I was just waiting for the next car to pull up when all of a sudden this crazy man with a WA plate swerves at me. . yeah!  Guess who?  It was the Calaway family.  I talked to them for a minute (they had already kicked Jacob out) and then went running to find Jacob.  Within a minute or so I located him and his host and his original host let me take over.  Fantastic!  Usually a host spends 20ish minutes with each new Elder, it's not really a written rule or anything, but when Elder Calaway and I got to his room, we sat and talked for an hour!  It was so sweet and awesome to talk with him.  He could not believe that he was actually a missionary.  He was so anxious to see what this place is all about.  I've seen him once since then.

The phone call - Dang it Saydi and Harrison!  I can't believe you're leaving me like this!  I guess we will just have to wait till Christmas to talk.  (Note from Delene:  Saydi and Harrison will not be here next Tuesday when Jackson gets to call home, they will be in Scotland).  So yeah, I'm really excited for Tuesday.  My flight leaves for GA at 1:50 pm.  So hopefully I can be all checked in and at my gate by 12:15ish and so we can have a sold 90 minutes to talk.  That will just be great.  I got the calling card and everything should go smoothly.  I also got the camera card and hummm, it wouldn't play.  I tried a couple of cameras, but to no avail.  O well, no big deal really.  O, and yes the debit card works because I used it to buy some fantastic breakfast in the temple this morning.

Snowing in Mendoza!!  That's what I'm talking about!  I am so excited to do this.  It is going to be so hard.  It's going to push me and make me cry, I'm sure.  But guess what?  The Lord is on my side!  Right now I am inside this training camp.  In 4 days I will venture with Him into a fallen world that needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much.  I know that if I live worthy and strive for excellence, I have nothing to fear because He is with me.  I love the Missionary Training Center because we focus solely on the Gospel of Christ.  The basics.  Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end.  Thats it.  So simple, so easy.  I love being here because I study these 5 things and am starting to gain a better understanding of each of them.  Also, I love learning about Baptism, which is central to our purpose (literally, look at the order).  OK, I could sit here all day and type about these 5 things.  I just love this work of God.  I know it is so true and can change everybody's life.

Amanda's down to 6 weeks?  That's so sweet!  You will love it here Amanda.  This will be the greatest thing you have ever done in your life.  And you will love it.

Elder Ostler

Sunday, July 25, 2010


July 23rd email

Flight plans.  Flight plans.  Flight plans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I would feel completely content sending this email with only those 2 words!!!  O my gosh, I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so excited to fly to Argentina and to finally become a real Missionary.  Flight plans, O the joy, O the thrill!!.

We knew that our flight plans would come soon, we thought they would be here today.  But we heard that Elders were getting them early this week so yesterday we went to check about 1 hour before dinner and sure enough, Elder Huntington opened the mailbox (he's the new DL) and our flight plans were in there!!!!!  Maybe the happiest day of my life!  I am not kidding when I say it was comparable to the actual opening of the mission call!  It is so great to have them.

Alrighty, this is them.  (This is pending on whether we got our visas or not.  We asked the travel office and they said check back Monday or Tuesday to see).  We leave on August 3!!!!!  My flight group is just us 3, just my companionship.  The Buenos Aries Elders in my district for some reason leave on August 2.  We fly Delta the whole way and have one connection.  We are to report to the travel office at 10 am with our equipaje on the 3rd.  We then bus to SLC where we catch a 2:50 flight, I think.  Maybe 1:50, can't remember.  So this means between noon and whenever my flight leaves, I get to call you guys!!!!!!  So exciting!!!!  We fly to Atlanta where we have a 50 minute layover and then take our last breath of American air for 2 years and get on our plane for Argentina.  We fly all through the night and land in my homeland of Argentina at 8ish in the morning.  I will get to see a northern sky sunset and a southern sky sunrise from the airplane!!  That's what I'm talking about.  And Elder Allen and Elder Huntington and I plan on converting the entire plane on our way to Argentina, bytheway.  Then I guess they pick us up when we land in Buenos Aries and take us to our home in Mendoza!!!!  Just great.  Just a great feeling.  I'm sittin' here with 11 days to go.  So fantastic!!  Ok, I will try to move on.

I had the grand opportunity to be a host last Wednesday!!  It was awesome.  The first Elder I hosted was Elder Avery Tagg.  I hosted 4 total.  It was sad doing it and some of the Elders in my Distrito even cried, just cause when you are doing it we were all thinking of when we said bye to our families about 2 months ago.  But I loved it and it was real cool!  AND we signed up to do it next week too!  And out of the 500 missionaries coming in this Wednesday there is a huge chance that I will host Elder Calaway.  NOT!  But man, I am so excited to see him.  I so wish that Jase and Jacob and I could all be there at the same time.  Dang.  I did see Braden a couple times actually, and it is so great.  All of the Stover 3100 and 2100 Elders are planning on taking a picture together.  The logistics are kinda hard because you know, we can't just text each other, nor can we come alone, (remember the whole companion thing).  But Saturday night we are trying to spread by word of mouth to all of those in our ward from BYU that we are doing a picture deal.  Should be Great!  I am so excited.  And I found Elder Millard again and got a picture on my camera with him.  Sweet huh!

Nope, the temple isn't open yet, maybe next week . . . they don't tell us anything like that here.  And nope, we aren't the oldest distrito yet.  There was one that got here one week before us, they leave for Panama Monday and are jazzed.

UMMMMMMMMM thanks for abandoning me while I hang on a cliff MOM!!!!!  PLEASE TELL ME MORE!  I have to know.  One cool thing is that the night before I got the letter, I specifically prayed about that.  Way cool.

During our Sunday night fireside the wife of someone spoke, can't remember now, but you should have seen what she was wearing.  I can't even describe it, but it was so fantastic.  You could tell that she grew up in the 60's.  She was rocking her oldschool wardrobe for us.  Pretty funny.

Well, I'm just rambling and I feel like I have nothing new to say (besides FLIGHT PLANS) because everything here is the same.  Everything is the same.  Not a bad thing, just how it is.  Teach fake investigators, gym, food, class, daydream about Argentina, Spanish, you know.  So I feel like I have no new light to shed on my life here besides the hosting (and FLIGHT PLANS).  But just wait till I get to the Motherland, Mendoza.  Just wait.

Yes, I plan on mailing a suit home and maybe other things if I am overweight (yes, laugh Saydi.  I said if I am overweight. . . I mean my bags, gosh!)  Elder Allen's birthday is tomorrow and Elder Huntington said the funniest thing.  He asked Elder Allen, "So does that mean you will have 3 birthdays on your mission?"  No, Elder Huntington, no matter when you start, you can only have 2 birthdays over a period of 2 years.  We had a good laugh.

Spanish is coming real good for me.  I love Spanish.  I also love the 'll'.  You know, the 'll' in spanish that makes a j sound.  Yee haw, awesome.  I'm studying hard, having fun, and feeling the spirit always.  My days of english are numbered (come on, give me a native trainer!) and that is exciting too.

Well, my time is done.  I only have one more thing to say:  FLIGHT PLANS

Elder Ostler

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She's no gringo.

July 16th Letter
Dear Family:
The district right above us that got here 1 week before us (going to Panama (Van Halen, right Dad?)), well today they got their flight plans!!  I am really good friends with them and so excited they got their flight plans.  But do you know what this means!?  In 7 days we will have our flight plans!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So excited
So excited
So excited
My whole district *hates* me because I am the countdown man.  'Elders, do you know where we will be in 18 days?'  I do that all the time and none of them like it.  It's way fun and obviously I use the word hate lightly.  Wow, 7 days and I will have an airplane ticket and an itinerary in my hand!

Thank you - I just got the box with the calling card.  Thanks for the food - it's great.  A lot of the Elders came to gawk at the house.  And immediately some of them took the ball and have been running up and down the hall playing soccer.  It's been 1/2 hour and they barley stopped.  So funny.  But toys aren't allowed here, so I will keep that tucked away until I get to the great land of Mendoza.

I finally saw Jeffrey during laundry.  It was such a happy reunion.  He was on a quest to practice his testimony to people in Spanish.  So he shared his testimony with me and it was just great.  So fantastic to see someone so near and dear to me.  I felt like 0.001% of Alma 17:2.  It was so nice to embrace him and see that he is doing good.

Well - it's dinner time - and TRC time.  Game time.  Tonight the task is purchasing - contacting the store owner and setting up an appointment.  Then we teach the 1st lesson to this guy who is not supposed to have a Christian background.  We learned about teaching people with non-Christian backgrounds but I still struggle with it - at least with connecting with them and starting out.  But we have prepared and practiced so it will be a good experience.

. . . . . . . . Whew - just got in for the night.  Had a very humbling experience at TRC.  Hermano Estevez's Mother is in town this week from Honduras.  We teach real people at the TRC and we were lucky enough to get her!!!!  So we are excited and go in there knowing she really doesn't speak english.  We were excited and nervous.  We go in there and start buying stuff - I wanted shoes but ended up buying a tie for $20.  Then we tried bringing up religion and found out she was Catholic.  Things will never be as you think they are going to be.  So we set up an appointment and 10 minutes later went to teach her.  We did good.  But O my gosh, I didn't know Spanish!  I'm just thinking - 18 days and I'm going to be speaking to only natives.  Yikes!  She was good and helped us out and corrected us alot.  We got through our message good but when we asked a question it was real hard to understand.  She's no gringo.  It was a Real Good experience.

We came back and started evaluating the lesson and 2 real cool things happened.
1)  We realized that there were several instances during the lesson where one of us was thinking something and then at that EXACT moment, someone else said that EXACT same thing!!  It's so cool to see how the Spirit guides a lesson.
2)  They both thought the lesson was great and all but I commented that I was discouraged and. . . . O my, I don't know this language.  Both of them picked me up immediately and asked what good does being discouraged do?  Nothing.  Elder Huntington said, "We've been here 6 weeks and look what we can do!"  Elder Allen said, "All we can do is stay positive and work and we will make it."  Obviously it was more heartfelt and better than I can explain - but just it was Real Good.  I'm not discouraged - I'm hopeful.

AHH.  Eleven more minutes till bed time!  I just need to be anxiously engaged and things will work out.

Wow, 2 1/2 weeks.  En serio?  I will be a real missionary then.  So excited - so nervous.

I got not much more.  Ok, 1 more thing.  We are doing this cool thing where each companionship picks up 2 Elders in the district as progressive investigators to practice teaching.  So obviously each of us has to be a progressive investigator.  We are supposed to be someone we know who isn't a member, or struggling in the church.  Usually, and in the past I am David.  But this time I am totally mixing it up and I am being Saydi as an inactive.  (Saydi - never go inactive - this Gospel is too true to stop believing in it!)  But it's real cool to be you Saydi, and real hard because I have to pretend not to believe.

Anyways - - - - - - - - -
E. Ostler

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time is hauling

July 16th email.
Wow, it honestly feels like yesterday I was sitting here writing you guys an email.  Time is hauling.  I am excited out of my mind to get to Argentina!  Sister Crawford sent me a great dear elder yesterday which basically said I know you're excited for Argentina but don't wish yourself gone too early, enjoy your last few weeks in the MTC because it is one of the most holyest places on earth.  And it really is.

Ok, now some items of housekeeping:
These emails that I write home, don't send them to me please.  Please send me a small 3 hole punch.  An Elder broke my single hole punch and it was no good anyway.  A 3 hole puncher will be much better, thanks.

Yes, I did get your long letter Mom, and I have not received the box you mentioned in your email.  I'm excited though.  Yesterday I got your letter Dad and the story from you all.  Thanks, they were great, but Dad your letter was way awesome and probably just a bit better and more fulfilling than the story.

I will be mailing home one of my suits and maybe some other things and I have it all figured out.  No worries.  It would be totally ok if you sent a small video with the camera card too.  Yes, I received the jeans.  I haven't thought to try them on yet, that might be a good idea.  I just thought of that.

Alright, some happenings of this week (might I just first say that it is really weird to think that a handful of people read this besides you guys.  I'm not saying that is bad, but certainly strange because I have 30 minutes to compose a letter which hopefully accurately conveys my feelings and demonstrates the happenings of the week.  It's just weird that other people read this.  Ok, I'm not communicating this thought very well.  It's not like I don't like these going on a blog deal . . . oh, never mind.

On Sunday we were treated to a fireside, like usual, but this one was a bit different.  Jenny Oaks Baker came and played music for us!!  Wow, she is so good.  We never get things like that here, and it was such a treat.  Also, Elder Oaks, her dad, came to listen.  Pretty sweet.

Sometimes my mind drifts to memories and things of that nature and one day I started thinking of that one afternoon when Harrison, Jefferson and I played soccer in the yard all afternoon.  We set up some goals and tried to score on one another all afternoon.  That was so fun.  Sometimes I also think of the vacations we went on and of just all of the fun and fulfilling times we have had together.

I found Kenny Millard!  I didn't have my camera with me, but he did so we got a picture on his camera.

This morning my district had a great opportunity to clean the temple!  We showed up at 8 am and it was just us and 1 other district.  Only 15 Elders.  It was cool.  We cleaned for 3.5 hours!  It was just great to mix things up a bit.  For the first 2 hours we washed these big windows.  We were on the 2nd floor and everything was ripped up.  It looked like a war zone, hmmmm, well I've never actually seen a war zone besides Saydi's room, but I imagine that the temple looked slightly like a war zone.  We washed windows and had to scrub a bunch of dirt and glue stuff off of them.  While we were doing it, we had a great view of Provo and it was really cool.  Then for the last hour we went into the chapel and scrubbed the surfaces and cleaned the cracks with toothpicks and qtips.  Again, it was real sweet.

You will be ecstatic to know that Elder Huntington, Elder Allen and I were called into the travel office this week and we signed our Permisa's.  That's the big step.  I tried to ask the man in the travel office for details and what exactly we were signing (because it was just these 2 pages with spanish all over them, so we had no idea what we signed, really, I might have just signed up to be in the army or something), but he didn't give me much.  He just said, 'You're on your way.  This is good step."  So that is really exciting.

We have 2 Elders in our zone who are working on their 12th week.  They are still waiting to sign there permisas.  The new district is sweet.  I hardly know any of them, and because no one left this week, our hall is loaded!  So many Elders everywhere.  And I haven't seen Jeffrey yet.  I want to see him so so so bad!

It is awesome being one of the old districts here.  I love telling people I'm in my 7th week.  I am doing so good.  I am trying to be diligent with my time.  Spanish is coming and I learn more and more every day.

Dang, you are fishing right now.  That is so sweet.  O, what I would give for a bite of that king salmon right now.  As far as food goes, lets just say I'm excited to get out of here and to Argentina!

Love Elder Ostler

Monday, July 12, 2010

What a treat!!!

July 9, 2010 Letter

Dear Family:

Well, I'm doing laundry and haven't got your real long letter yet but the McCallisters mailed me a box of food.  So cool.  And I got the envelope from the boys.  I haven't opened it yet though.

Amanda writes me all the time - I love it - and yes, I do write her back.

Wow!  Just opened the airplanes.  Wow - umm - thanks.  What a treat!!!  Well, don't have much more to say.  So this is pathetic - but I'll send it anyway.  Things are good - I'm back in the room now.  The TRC is in a couple hours.  Should be great.  Later.

We really are a royal army!

July 3, 2010 journal entry/letter

Wow.  Coolest nite ever.  We had a devo about the Reformers, America and the Restoration.  There was a choir.  Many musical presentations.  Us missionaries stood and sang alot too.  There were slide shows with music and the whole bit.  There weren't like talks or anything.  It was so cool and different.  I loved it!  My favorite part was when we stood and sang "High on a Mountain Top."  Everyone was belting it.  We really are a royal army and I felt it.  I had an amazing feeling.  It is so cool to be a missionary.

During that, I felt so good - my feelings were just so incredible.  This is true - I know it.  They announced during this, that President Smith would allow us to stay up - go outside - and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks!  A cheer rang through the auditorium.  So after the amazing presentation we, all 2,000 of us, exited outside and waited.  Within 5 minutes the sky to the East of us lit up and yet another cheer rang out.  Sure enough - the show of Babylon had started!

We were so excited!  It was really really amazing.  We all just stood there for 1/2 hour or so in awe.  For some reason, the tone deaf Elders feel the need to sing on every occasion, so they started up their awful chorus.  But back to the show.  WOW!  It was probably so awesome because I haven't done anything like that in a whole month.

Okay, I am sitting outside my room in the hallway because my comps are sleeping.  It is after 11!!  But this is legal because the fireworks didn't end till 10:30.  So I'm sitting here and I'm next to the large bathroom kinda and many of the new district Elders are in there singing.  Many of them were in choir and sound awesome right now.  One of them is shaving and he takes their pitch off the dull hum of the razor.  They sound heavenly!!!

And just barley, an Elder in Sam Swensen's distrito poked his cabeza outta his room and said "What's going on here, a toilet shop?"  It was so funny.  He is a hoot.  He's Elder Gledheel.  He reminds me so much of Sierra Stallings!!!  Just that he is a boy - that is the only difference.  He is so funny!

I feel weird sitting here - I feel like it's 1AM and I just got back from a party.  It's weird, very different.  But WOW!  Tonight was so cool.

Well I can't decide if this is just a journal entry or what.  I wrote it in such a way so that if I decide to - I can send this home as a mini letter.  Hummmmm.  I might do that next P-day.

Love, Elder Ostler

Friday, July 9, 2010

I love being a Missionary!!!!!

July 9, 2010 Email

Hola, good to hear from you.  No, I haven't got your long letter yet.  I will probably get it in about 30 minutes when we go to lunch.  We pick up mail twice a day here (actually the DL does, and Elder Tanner is now the DL).  We get it after lunch and dinner.  Normal mail comes at lunch and then all the dearelders come after dinner.

Spanish is going great.  I almost know all the vocab for lesson one!  The grammar part and conjugating verbs all the different ways is going ok, but I definitely need to work on that.  This week we taught about 5 lessons in Spanish (each over 20 minutes).  Most were teaching the first lesson.  But tonight is what we have been practicing and preparing for.  As you know, Friday is when we go to the TRC.  Tonight we will be in a cafe setting, even though it is totally fake and the food will just be laminated pictures, and we have to contact the people we are eating with.  So we have to know food vocab and verbs.  I'm pretty comfortable with that.  And pasta is la pasta, just so ya know.  Then we have about 10 minutes to regroup and plan and then we will teach those people lesson 1 in Spanish!  Yeah.  I actually like teaching in Spanish way better than in English.  Spanish is just so much cooler.  I'm so excited to be fluent in a few months!

This has mostly been a really good and productive week.  I haven't wasted much of the Lord's time at all.  I am learning alot from the scriptures.  It really helps to study them with a study journal.  Just having a notebook open next to you with a pen sitting there shows the Lord that you are ready and willing to learn.  Also, we had a sub this week (Hermana Ennor - served in NY and so she knows all the different types of Spanish accents and says Argentina is the prettiest, that's exciting) and she left us with a commitment, to carry around a 3x5 card and write down every impressino, nudging or prompting we receive from the Spirit.  It was amazing.  The Spirit is trying to speak with us all the time and we just don't realize it or take the time to listen.  So doing that made me realize that the Spirit wants to help us and we just need to listen.

I found 2 other scriptures you could put on my plaque.  Alma 56:44 or 2 Nephi 2:8 up until the word Messiah.  I am learning what it really means to be a Missionary.  My thoughts before the mission were whimsical and only partly accurate.  It is not until one goes on a mission until he/she (Amanda! you're coming soon!) really understands what it means to be a Missionary.  A true servant of the Most High God.  This Gospel is so amazing.  Jesus Christ is the ONLY way we can be saved.  Jesucristo is the answer.  It is so cool being here at the MTC (I can imagine Argentina will be better though).  Everyone says there is an amazing spirit here, but to tell you the truth, we don't really feel it - we are living it and so it is just always with us I guess.  But don't get me wrong, there are certainly times here where you feel like you will explode with joy.  There are times when you KNOW the Lord is with you.  For example, yesterday, or 2 days ago maybe, while we were teaching, I had maybe a 30 second rif where I was speaking Spanish, but I didn't even have to think about conjugating or anything.  It just came.  And I realize that is the Spirit and the Lord helping me.  It was so cool to realize that He was helping me!

Wow time is flying!  It really seems like just yesterday I was sitting here typing to you.  At the same time . . . . 3 more weeks!  Dang.  Can't it just be one more week?

Tuesday we had an Awesome fireside.  We had pretty good seats like normal. . . . and an Emeritus 70 spoke . . . Dellenbach.  It was just the best, you have no idea.  He talked about Joseph Smith and the translation of the Book of Mormon.  Wow!  It normally takes the church 5 years to translate the Book of Mormon into another language.  But it took Joseph Smith, a man with next to no education, 70 or so days to translate a 531 page book of an unknown language.  And on top of that, he still had a family to care for, a living to make.  It was amazing.  The Book of Mormon is a MILAGRO!  I love it so much.  It contains the fullness of Christ's Gospel and nobody can deny that.  (Something awesome I learned is that Ammoron . . . well just look at his name - A Moron.  That's sweet!)

Next p-day our Zone has the opportunity to help clean the temple.  That's about all I know but we are all super excited for it!  And also, we get our flight plans in about 2 weeks!  Wow, will that just be the best day of my life or what!!  Also, thanks for the Krispy Kremes.  They were so so good.  And I don't really care about sports at all so no need to send me updates on anything.  And today I am mailing a letter home about the 4th of julio.

It is so beautiful here.  I love these mountains so much.  I marvel EVERY TIME I see them and I just love to look up into the heavens and think that a Loving God created all this for us.  And He created US!  So sweet.

No I am not dominating the Europeans in soccer.  They are so good, but yesterday I played some basketball and absolutely owned.  I mean I was faking people out and even draining three's.

It is great to be a missionary!  Everyone should come on a mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have only been here one month and my missino already means the world to me.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  If someone has the chance to serve a mission and doesn't take it, they are a fool.  They just don't know what they are missing I guess.  I love being a Missionary!!!!!

I love you all,
Thanks for all of your support,
Love Always,
Elder Ostler

I could only think in Spanish

Letter dated July 2, 2010

Just barley got your monster package. Thanks!  The galletas are almost 1/2 way gone and the only mouth they've gone in is mine.  Just kidding - but I have eaten a ton!!

I'm really excited to go to the TRC tonight.  For 15 minutes we talk about ours and their families and then we teach them how to pray.  I am so prepared and it feels awesome!  I'm ready to go.  I'll report when I get home tonight and just count this as my journal entry for the day.

I hope you get better Dad.  Dang, you're doing that race tomorrow.  I hope it goes good Dad & boys!

Last night was pretty strange.  Usually, we are in bed by 10:30PM and then talk for 15 to 30 minutes then sleep.  Usually I'm not asleep until 11:30PM.  But last night we were quiet by 10:45PM.  Then for the next hour I laid atop my top bunk and Spanish words, phrases and conjugations ran through my mind.  It was so weird and so awesome.  No matter what I did, I could only think in Spanish.

K, it's dinner time so later......

9:52PM Sorry, I was just talking to the new distrito and eating your wonderful cookies.  Thanks.  They rock!  I just ate almost 10.  Probably 8.  So yeah, he is a trooper because these last 2 days he has been way sad.  But his head is up now and he is doing good.

Tonight the TRC was good.  We taught how to pray in Spanish which Elder Allen and I did really well.  Elder Huntington said some stuff too.  And the lesson in English was good also.  We really taught with unity.

The Elders want to see the house.  It's come out that the house is big.  They think it's over $1 million so they want pictures . . . .

By the way, Elder Huntington has said "I was just about to think. . . ." twice now.  He just said it.  HA!  (Note from Jackson's Mom - Jackson would occasionally say that phrase and we would give him such a hard time.  I think he's happy to have found someone else who uses that phrase.)

¿Qué mas?

Tomorrow is our big class day.  We have 7 hours of class.  But it's not a regular classroom setting.  There is alot of interaction and opportunities for us to practice and teach  - both ingles and spanish.  Last Saturday was way good.  Hopefully tomorrow is the same.

Well, I'm just sitting here - both of my compineros are writing in their journals as well.  Don't know what to say.  O yeah - tomorrow in class Hermano Estevez is going to begin to teach us how to teach the 1st lesson in Spanish.

Just finished brushing the teeth.  And some Elders in the nuevo distrito have pipes!  So 5 of us were in el baño with our mouths full of toothbrushes and we were singing 'We are as the Army of Heleman.'  It was so sweet!  Some Elders hit some harmony and I was one of them.  It was awesome.

There are some really cool Elders here.  They are so smart, fun and prepared.  The MTC is full of mostly awesome people.  ¡Sorry my hand scribbling is terrible!  ¡Aye Carumba!

I am thankful that I have a super supportive family at home.  I am thankful every day for parents who love me.

I love you Mom & Dad.
Elder Ostler

Sunday, July 4, 2010

There is a fire within me!

July 2, 2010 email

Seriously, I am loving it and doing so so good.  The MTC is really a sanctuary, it is getting a little scary to leave for Argentina.  But it's not like I am really scared.  I AM SO EXCITED.

OK, some questions etc.  First, can you send a little food?  Come 10 pm we get pretty hungry.  Thanks.  Nephi saw a bear?  Do tell please.  Yeah, you can mail me some Ensign articles.  That would be good.  We do get the Ensign here but you could certainly send it to me along with some graham crackers and chocolate chips, you know.  Yes, the Argentina binders came and they are so awesome! Elder Allen and Elder Huntington loved them so much.  No I did not meet my new mission president, cause I don't have a new one yet.  But the Buenos Aries Elders in my district met theirs and loved it.

BTW, there was a barrier between me and Elder Oaks and there were "guards" so I couldn't have run up to him and shook his hand.  That is so sweet Denny might get baptized.  That is happiness.  Earlier this week some mom sent their kid a letter full of Disney lyrics.  It was really fun because eventually we were all singing them really loud before gym one day.  I will say that I was singing "A Whole New World" and "Hakuna Matata" at the top of my lungs.  Little things like that are so fun here.  Anywhere else they would be super lame.  But this is the MTC.  You gotta make your own fun here.

Yesterday during gym I went out to play soccer and there were about 8 Europeans that arrived this Wednesday just waiting for some fresh blood.  They were English, German, and Danish and SO GOOD at futbol.  It was so so so fun.  They were better than Ben Ostler, which honestly is rather hard to believe.  It was so fun though and there was this one time where I did dribble the ball somehow around the best German guy.  It was great, they all spoke English and I am excited to play with them tomorrow.

Saydi--beat boxing has come in handy here.  One day I was doing it softly without thinking of it and the District wanted me to really let it loose, so I did what I could and they loved it.  Then that night some Elders from other districts asked me to do it.  It was way sweet.  Our Zone got a new district this week.  They are so awesome.  It is really fun always meeting new people here.

To answer what sounds to be your main concern, as a missionary, I will not hear anything about my visa until the week I am supposed to leave.  That is just how it works.  I hear that most Argentina Missionaries are sent and nothing goes amiss; however, there are 2 Argentina horror stories to my knowledge (they really aren't that bad though.)  There are 6 veteran awesome Elders going to Mexico who were supposed to leave Monday.  They obviously didn't get their visas on time.  Three were immediately temporarily transferred to Salt Lake South. They were so jazzed!  The other 3 are still here and they really are as happy as can be.  While it does suck, they say they are making due and it's okay.  But one of them, the huge ZL Elder, tweaked his knee in basketball and he has to stay 2 more months because of surgery!!!!  We talked with a senior couple going to Argentina.  They were only supposed to be here 10 days then head out.  Well, they have been here 2 months waiting.  Obviously they were disappointed, but all is well and it will work out.  And the other story is an Argentina Elder was temporarily reassigned to Montana because his visa didn't come.  Dang, Montana, really?  So no sweat on my visa, it will come.

Sunday night we had an AMAZING fireside.  Some guy who works in the missionary audio visual department or something spoke to us.  He told us of the new website to launch July 7 and showed us some sneak peeks about it and its missionary work features.  The portraits were amazin!!!!!!!  That site will do wonders.  And there is this part where you can make your own profile so people around the world can read why you're a Mormon and your testimony.  Tell everyone they have to make a profile for it!!  They are letting us do it soon too.  They are going to advertise this website hard.  It is going to do wonders.  Tell everyone about it.

Also, Sunday night they showed us PMG movies The District 2 which was amazing beyond belief.  It is really cool sitting in an army with 2000 other missionaries and thinking, we are the Lords 2000 stripling warriors.  That is cool.  Also, on Tuesday we had a devo and Sister Elaine S. Dalton showed up and spoke to us.  It was way good.  She gave us those virtue packets and that was funny.  But she really talked about our purpose the whole time.

Some days here are unproductive and rather hang out days.  Before my mission I would be happy with how much I get done these days, but being a missionary we live by such a higher standard.  When these days happen I feel guilty.  I feel guilty to the Lord.  But other days are amazing and I feel the spirit so strong.  It is like there is a fire within me.  It is so so cool.  To not have bad days, we are finally listening to a planning tactic we learned.  When we plan for study time, companion time and personal, we plan every minute and put time limits on it.  We did that yesterday and today and there was no wandering and it was so so productive.  Yesterday it seemed like I learned more than I have in the whole previous week.

Also, Saturday we were teaching a lesson to our progressing investigator and we were teaching about prophets but the missionary irresponsibles before us took 15 minutes of our time so we had only 15 minutes.  We were getting near the end and I was just thinking, we can't jump into the first vision because we didn't have enough time etc.  Well, we didn't and we cut off at James 1:5 and recommitted her to pray.  Later, we found that we were all thinking the same thing.  It is so cool how the spirit can guide a lesson.

Well, it's hump day tomorrow, that is exciting, but I'm not going to glissade down.  I'm going to keep climbing.

Well it's good here, my computer keeps freezing so I'm going to send this.  I love you so, my family.


Elder Ostler

This MTC is hopping with Prophets!

Letter dated June 25, 2010
Family:  How are you?!

I hope you are mowing hard and practicing the piano hard and training hard for that race.  I heard that it really helps to just down the chocolate milk a few hours before the race.  I felt so rushed at the end of that email - if you couldn't tell.  After we emailed we went to lunch and then to get mail (because my comp is DL).  I made bank!!  I got the drawings from Benson & Wilnut which was GREAT!  Wilson, I love all the colors in yours and Benson, yours is just something else!  Thanks for the banana clip explanation.  I was happy to see all that mail for me!

Elder Huntington and Elder Allen loved their binders.  Thank you so much.  They are awesome!  The best part of my day so far (it's 2PM and we are outside on a bench waiting for laundry) was reading that you loved my photo card.  You got it!!  I was so worried when I didn't get any dearelders from you.  But you got it!  Yeah!!  You don't need to send me a photo book of those - I know what the pictures are of - I lived it!

Kenny Millard - never heard of him.  I'll find him.  You can't really look people up but I can find him.  One of my Argentina Uncles is in the Army.  You know, Uncle Dale, so I'm pretty good at tracking.  Have fun with my $100.  Spend it on Diet Code Red Mountain Dew!  Please.

The Lord's food is not so good anymore.  Pineapple and platanos for me everyday if you know what I mean!

I guess that's good alot of people get shot in Chicago.  Amanda can teach some of them about the Restoration and then the Plan of Salvation and they will be more ready to hear.  Yeah, sorry about the encampment paragraph.

My companions name is Justin Allen.  I'm telling him about the blog right now.  They loved the package and you don't have to send anymore girl scout cookies, but I do like Reece's, (hint).  Elder Bagley is gone FYI.  He's from Star Valley, Wyoming though if you want to find his mom.

Wednesdays - it's not the greatest for the missionary.  Most Elders hate their Wednesday experience.  It was OK for me at best, not great.  The host is with you for 45ish minutes.  Takes you to the bookstore to get your Spanish books, etc.  Then to the dorm to drop everything off, then he takes you to the classroom.  (Actually, first you do the name tag thing).  It's easy to be a host missionary.  You have to be here for longer than 6 weeks and then you just sign up.  I'll do that in 2 weeks.  It will be sweet.

Usually the TRC is Friday night, but this week we did it Thursday morning because we have a surprise devo tonight!!  We are excited for it.  We all know there will be Apostles there, we are probably getting in line a little before 5.  It is going to be Awesome.

Anyways, the TRC yesterday was OK.  We talked to an investigator for 10 minutes in Spanish and mostly followed up on commitments and we got to know him.  Then we taught him for 30 minutes.  It was our first day as a triple and teaching was definitely strange.

There was no temple this morning - obviously - instead we just have MDT.  This morning we outlined lesson 2 and that was really good.  But it really stinks not having a temple to go to each Friday morning.

I think I already said this. . . but I'm pumped to listen to an Apostle of God speak to us tonight!!!  I hope it is Neil L. Anderson.

Both of my comps have serious girlfriends and it is fun to watch them read and write letters to them.  Both girls are supportive of their missionaries and it's fun to sit and watch them sit, stew and worry over their girls.  Elder Huntington gets voice recorded tapes and when he records back to her he tries to not let us hear so he usually goes to an empty room to do it.  But sometimes he lets us say something to her real quick.  I don't think that it is bad to have a girly friend while on a mission, but it certainly seems easier without one!  Some nights we stay up until 11PM talking.  Their girlfriends always come up and then they talk about home etc. . . la la la.  And I just lay in bed and smile.  I'm so glad I haven't been the type to have a girlfriend.

.......So right now I am in line for the Apostle Devotional.  It's 5, we are 2 hours early and there are probably 200 Elders in front of us.  This is crazy.  So I am sitting on some grass right now listening to the continual and constant babble of what is actually like 300 Elders and a handful of Sisters.  As to be able to get in line earlier we went to dinner 20 minutes early.  The cafeteria is in 1M, the main building, which is off limits to us.  Obviously we are allowed in the cafeteria and as we walk in and out of it we can look down 2 hallways of 1M.  So as we were exiting the cafeteria, we saw Elder Oaks!  He was probably 7 feet away.  He had his wife with him and had just come out of a classroom.  I was with maybe 2 other Elders.  Elder Oaks and I held eye contact for 2 or 3 seconds and then he turned and walked down the hall.  I just smiled at him.  It was so cool!  Elders I am sitting next to said they saw Elder Nelson and shook his hand.  And other missionaries said they saw President Eyring get out of his Buick.  This MTC is hopping with Prophets!  This is Awesome!  I'll write more tonight.  Maybe Oaks will speak to us!!

(Later)  Yup, Oaks spoke.  His talk was Preach My Gospel lessons 1 &2.  He talked about how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the earth.  He spoke alot of doctrine.  It was good.  But there was no upfront application to missionary work - besides the doctrine of course.  The coolest part of it was that there were 8 Apostles on the stand and we were in the 14th row.  Oaks, Holland, Scott, Andersen, Christofferson, Bednar, Cook, Nelson.  It was incredible.

Well sweet, that's about all I got right now. Maybe more tonight . . . . . . . . .

June 26 - so it's Saturday morning and I'm sending this off.  God be with you til we meet again.


Elder Ostler