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