Monday, August 30, 2010

BANG! Members are the key!

Dear family!
Harrison and Jefferson, I loved the words from the both of you!! Dang Harrison. This is a great time of your life!! High School for me rocked!!! Driving, dating all that! I got one piece of advice. . . . LIVE IT UP. Have as much fun as you can. You are amazing. I love ya buddy:)

Jefferson, son you are loaded! That is so so cool. I didn´t even grimmice when I read about you spending your hard earned cash. I'm glad you are loving the river this summer. Have a great first day of 8th grade!! You are a big dog now.

Dad, daang that was a long and somewhat painful story about my precious duck. I cannot see you doing that! Wow. I was a little sad, but I am already over it, no worries. And I did get to assist in a blessing this week, I'll tell that in a second. Mom, thanks for that. I only cried a little when I read yours.

Ok here we go, I'm going to try to fly and give you all I can right now.

First, I want you to know that I am smiling right now. I am doing good. This week has honestly been a lot better than the last two. I am happy!! So I made a list of things to say. Made it this morning, so this might be kinda random.

The Bishops wife does our laundry. We are pretty lucky because in most places you either have to pay to have it washed or do it yourself, you know, by hand. The Bishops family is angelic. They feed us alot and just rock. Both are RM's.  I love that family.

We are getting a new pench!!!!!!! The one we are in now is decently bad, not quite pretty bad, but bad. No heater so in the cold of the winter Elder Cabranes said it was horrible. Most have heaters I guess, and the dueno just cuts the power and water occasionally and won´t repair anything. And if you could only see pictures of the bano. It's pretty small and Just kinda nasty. But we are moving! We were commissioned from Mendoza to move. We have been looking, but really nothing. The goal was to find something close to the area. And finally we did! It was Tuesday, I think. It´s a little more expensive, 1200 month instead of the 700 we are paying now. But it is 11 blocks from the area instead of 30! That's a lot of more work and less walking for us to do! So we are all psyched. and the new pench is heavenly. It is brand new! Barley built. And the bathroom is so nice. And there is a budeah, don´t know how to spell that.  We have blocked out Wednesday to move. All day. We have to move everything; stove, fridge, 2 bunkbeds, table, you get it. Everything. And right now we are on the second floor, and our new place is 2nd floor too. So Wednesday will be fun. I think we pay some kind of truck to take it all over, none the less, I'm excited! And then Thursday we already have a great day planned! I'll get to that later.

At lunch at the Bishops house Friday, he asked if we (the 4 of us) would sing in church. Why not? And Elder Figs is awful at singing. He just wasn't given that gift . . . . at all. We totally forgot until right before sacrament meeting because the Bishop reminded us. So after the first speaker, us 4 went up and sang, "Called To Serve." It sounded awful. I carried it. Elder Orozco was just a bit quiet, Elder Cabranes was slaughtering the bass, Elder figearo was singing badly, as loud as he could.  He wasn't trying to sound bad, he just sounded bad. And then I was just trying to keep our sinking ship together. All in all it was fun and a good memorable experience singing for the Argentine people.

Yeah, last Monday was real terrible. I just felt bad all day. During district meeting Monday night, I was trying so hard not to cry, I was just so sad. Elder Cabranes gave me a blessing, in spanish. Then because of his ankle he asked me to seal the anointing. I was so shot that I did it in english. During the blessing I lost it. I felt like I was giving the blessing to myself.  Afterwards we got ourselves hooked up to some pepto like stuff for 37 pesos. I drank all 240ml of it, it´s on video. I went to bed at 10pm and didn´t get out of bed till 11am Tuesday morning! Ok, yeah the pench thing didn´t happen Tuesday. Yeah I turned off my alarm at 6:30 and just slept. I so needed it. It was great. Tuesday I was feeling a lot better. But it wasn't until Wednesday that I felt 100%. I still am in perfectly good health and just feel like a champ! Like I said, this week was so much better.

Some traveling AP's came this week, taught us about the 8 enfoque and did splits with the zone. Oh yeah, one of the zls dad's a tailor in buenos aries so he made us the robes, not sure how our names showed up on them. It was 100 pèsos. So one day I went on splits with elder Wajchman, an AP from buenos aries who mostly was fluent in english. It was the best day ever. Here´s what I wrote in my journal on August 27th, 10:23pm.  AMAZING DAY!!! I feel so incredible. O my gosh, I could write a bestseller about today if you give me a month. Sadly I only have 7 minutes. Such a good day!!! . . . .. .. i am just brimming with the spirit. i love this:)

I saw miracles that day. The first thing he taught me was to work with the members. Elder Cabranes and I haven't done that yet. So we went and sat down with this lady for 1 hour.  I thought it was wasting time after about 30 minutes, but it was all part of the miracle. She gave us names to visit of her friends.  One of them wasn´t home, but across the street there was a lady watering her ¨lawn¨. So we talked to her. Pocha is her name. She let us into her house. We sat down and the conversation moved into prayer. She was very catholic, but the nicest lady ever! Next, I don't even know how to descibe what happened. She said she didn´t want to change religions. Baptism came up. I never carry around those phamplets, but for some reason just 3 hours earlier, I put 2 in my funda, scripture case deal.  I pulled it out and showed the picture of the Saviours baptism. I talked about her commitment to follow Jesus Christ and about baptism.  The spirit was SO AMAZING!! It was incredible. Within the 30 minute lesson, (and Elder Wajchman is so so awesome bytheway, he truly teaches with LOVE) she committed herself to church, we committed her to baptism, she even wrote the date on the back of the folleta. She was amazing! It was one of my best experiences yet!  So I learned about working with the members; boom, 1 hour later it worked. Members are the key.

Then Saturday for compstudy we talked and read about working with the members. Then we put it into practice.  We went to visit members in the morning.  The Canales family.  The father had traveled to san luis for a Priesthood stake conference, so we talked to the wife on the porch. After about 15 minutes we had a service project lined up with them and then at church the husband agreed to give us asado!!!  That's the meat and meat and meat stuff. And the service project we are doing is going to their 2 little kids school on Thursday and helping mix cement and build a porch. Do you know how many moms and dads of kids might be there that we can talk to. And we got food out of it.  They are giving us the asado on Thursday. So boom. Members are the key.

Then Saturday night we were running around trying ,,,, we had a ton to do. For some reason I felt like we should go make sure this old woman, hna. zalvalsa, was good to go on the gospel principle lesson the next day. She wan´t home, but her nicotine hooked husband was. For some reason my comp sat down to talk to him for a second, even though we had soo much to do and we were already late for something. We already knew him and knew of his hardness to the church, nonetheless we talked to him again. Within 5 minutes hna zalvasa showed up and said Elders! You need to give a blessing to this woman (next door apartments). We did. It was amazing. We were about to teach about the Priesthood, a little restoration. We gave the blessing and I annointed, in spanish! It was great. We discovered that her and her mother had book of mormons already! They brought them out and they had dust all over them. After we asked them some stuff they both said they already knew that the church was true. They just never went to church, so they weren't baptized. Dang! A miracle because of hna zalvasa, because we visited her and had previously gained her trust. Way cool! Then the next morning we went to her house and sure enough, Caronlia, the 28 year older, came to sacrament meeting.

But I was totally bummed during church because we had 7 solid investigators committed to church. Solid! But only she came! Such a bummer. We are going to whip some but tomorrow. "Why in the heck did you not come to church!"

Those were the 2 evident miracles I was a part of this week. And actually another one is that I´m not super sad anymore. It humbles me when I read of all you, my family, are doing for me. I can literally feel it. I love it. Thank you. I feel that is not sufficient, what else can i do? Thank you.

They do have peanut butter here!!! My comp found a place where they sell it, like real peanut butter! I'm, going there this week and going to get some. And before I get transfered, I´m going there and am going to load up!!

One night we were walking in a real ghetto part of our area (the entire area is ghetto, but this was way ghetto) we try not to go to this place at night, just because of the punks, it´s not well lit ect. But we had a lesson, which fell through, so we were walking there. It was almost completely dark. I just looked up into the southern sky . . . so cool. I just thought how crazy this all is. So far from home. Everything is backwards! The c on the faucets actually means hot for example! It was just a real cool moment.

For p-day today Elder Cabranes and I went to the cemetary. Let me tell you, they are way different here! Like O MY Gosh! It was sweet!

How's my boys in the mtc doing? I know Braden is Killing it! And dying to get to mexico. I know that, but how's Jacob? Casey? Jeffrey?

And o my gosh Amanda. So cool! I love that my sister is about to become a sister missionary! She is going to:
A)  freeze, and
B)  just love it.

I´m so excited for you girl! You got this. Fear not faith. That is key.

Well, I am definitely happy with this email. I feel so happy right now. Yes, I love monday´s, yeah, his ankle is better. I do like Elder Figoroah.  He makes a lot of this fun. Grabbed my camera and took the video of me drinking the pepto which was sweet.
My understanding of spanish is improving, although, sometimes I have absolutely no clue! what people are saying to me. The 2 priests in the ward like to make fun of me, so that´s fun. And I'm excited because we have some younger men investigators and we are going to set up a soccer game activity with the ym. I am going to own those 2 priests! One of our investigators is amazing. He is 16, tall like me, and looks like Raymond, remember him Saydi? He is awesome.  I love him. One of my favorite things is kneeling down with my investigators and hearing them pray. I love it! And his younger brother is EXACTLY like Benson. Everything. I love it. One day while Elder Cabranes was talking with the mother, I went and just talked with the, I think, 11 year older, it was the best! So cool. I could kinda understand him as he explained to me about himself and showed me his toys. I love that little boy too. his name is elias, and the 16 year older is gaspar. And one of our Wet investigators, who Will get baptized is a dad.  His wife, they are actually married! is so cold to us and doesn´t like him going to church. That is why he hasn´t come with. So we need to get to the bottom of that. Oh, his name is Gaston.  I think of you Amanda and Saydi everytime.  I think "Beauty and the Beast, right.?'

I have had a couple scary incidents with dogs, this and last week. Usually they don´t give us a second look because they see people walking around them all the time, but sometimes they just don´t like us! And they gowl and sometimes aproch us. So we put our fundas in an outstretched hand and let the Word protect us. It gets my adrenalin going sometimes! Especially this one time at night, that night walking through the ghetto, we didn´t see this dog, but we got close and it let us know not to get any closer. Whew, my next 8 or so steps were pretty quick as my heart jumped to my throat.

Oh life is good. I´m just rambling and feel like dad. OH!! One time on the bus I was just sitting there. This guy got on and my heart skipped a beat. I could only see the back of his head and his shoulders, but he looked exactly like you dad!! I instantly knew that there was no way it was, but for a couple seconds I let my mind grow that thought, that I was actually looking at my father, who, for some reason was paying 2 pesos to get on a bus in downtown villa mercedes. Skin color, height, thinning hair, it was you!

Well, I think we are about done. Elder Cabranes´ brother just got a mission call to the Salta mission.

This is an exciting week. My first asado, new pench,  and I get to show off my cement mixing skills! I'm so excited. Plus all the miracles that await me this week too! Especially as I continue to learn better to wholly rely on the Spirit. Out here, the spirit is my best friend.  And I love the scripture, I think the end of Matthew 11, Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest . . . . I love those verses.

I love you all! thank you for your fasting and prayers

I feel it in a very real way! I have never felt closer to you even though we are 5000 miles away!

love your missionary

Elder Ostler
August 30, 2010