Monday, September 27, 2010

Spanish is hard

Dear Family:

The phone call was amazing!  No, it didn't make me feel homesick or anything like that.  It just kind of like happened, really, it was unreal.  I loved it.

So the baptism.  It happened!  All 6 were successfully baptized and then confirmed the next day.  The font worked, the water was nice and warm.  We were at the church about an hour before to make sure everything was working.  We told the family to show up 30 minutes before, but they actually showed up 50 minutes before.  After awhile they changed into their baptismal clothes, which actually fit quite nicely, and then they came and sat in the chapel.

Baptism of the Avilia Family
September 25, 2010
 I was playing the piano, it was just the Avilia family and us missionaries.  The spirit was so strong in the chapel as I played those hymns.  As 4PM rolled around, 2 members showed up.  The nice feeling disappeared and nervousness and the 'wow I really hope members show up' feeling came on.  Waiting waiting waiting.  Finally some more came and just after we started at 4:15, Miguel showed up who earlier that day had been asked to give a short talk.  By us.

The service was nice.  We even had an investigator show up at about 4:20!  He's a kid, David, and he wants to get baptized too, but he won't wake up for church!  And his mother wants to get baptized too, but is not married.  She was at the baptism too.  Now for the ordinance.  Let's just say some of them weren't pretty baptism.  Elder Hinojosa is tiny compared to some of them, especially the dad.  But they all happened and everyone was happy.

I think this is going to be a lame email, I feel like I already told everything to Mom and. . . . . I don't know, I just feel all blah right now.

After the baptism we had scheduled to play futbol with the 3 Avilia boys and people in the ward.  These people here are incredible at futbol.  I can't even describe it, they are amazing.  So it was a good and accomplished Saturday.  But I was nervous all day . . . . . my first baptism(s).  Ahhhhh

But nothing really new there.  I am nervous, everyday, almost every hour.  This language is still killing me, kind of.  Sometimes I can't speak, but there are other times when I feel amazing.  On top of the world amazing.  I have hope, a vision that it is possible to do this.  And I know I can do it.  There are so many gringos in this mission who have learned this language, and I know I can too.  I just need PATIENCE.  I did better with that these last 2 days.  I am trying to understand that I am not going to be able to say everything and understand everything right now.  Today.  It will take time.

I did receive the 'glorified mail.'  It was good.  And my peanut butter supply keeps growing, I love it.

Right now I am in a trio.  There used to be 2 other Elders in the pench, Elder Ramierez and Elder Crossa.  Elder Ramierez got special transferred to Chimbas this week and so that put me in a trio.  But Elder Crossa should be receiving his mini missionary today.  I'm excited to be back with just Elder Hinojosa.  And he is so patient with me.  There is a mansion waiting for him in heaven.  Living with a native (both of my companions now) is, well, different than living with an American.  They just think and do things differently.

He loves my ipod.  It is always playing.  Then when it runs outta battery, he charges it and plugs it back in.  His top song used to be an EFY one by Kim Braken.  He used to play it everyday, several times.  It got so annoying these last 2 days.  But if that's the only thing that annoys me, I'm fine with that.  But recently, Jonny Vances, Proclamation to the Family have been competing for the top spot.  Often now he sings The Proclamation to the Family as we walk down the street.  He loves it!  But we are still always singing, usually hymns.

¿¿¿¿Who's excited for general conference!!!????  ME!  O I can't wait.  AND, I found out from Elder Hinojosa that I get to watch it in English!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That made my day.  I am so so so so excited.  It's going to mean so much more to me.  I'm just excited to hear the voices of the apostles and President Monson.  It will be great!
So how am I?  I'm doing alright.  I am trying to overcome my daily frustration and disappointment.  I am trying to learn Spanish.  It's hard.  I have no idea how Dad did his mission in Japan.  I cannot even imagine.  Spanish is hard enough, but Japanese!  Amazing.
I take comfort in the knowledge that the Savior, Jesus Christ, loves me.  He knows EXACTLY what I am going through, because he went through the exact same thing.  That helps me.  But some hours I just got to grin and bear it.  I'll make it though.
Elder Ostler

Monday, September 20, 2010

We are going to baptize a family!

Where to start.  I have no idea.
Thanks for writing, one of the best parts of the week is reading your emails. Feel free to write as much as you want, but I know you won't because you want me to write, so here I go!

First, Elder Hinojosa! How fantastic he is! I love him. He makes me smile, every hour of every day. He sings everywhere we go. Not 5 minutes passes walking down the sidewalk without him singing. Half in english and half in spanish.  He knows a little english, just from what he has learned on the mission. I am going to teach him more. But yeah, he doesn´t know to much. He loves music though.  EFY, he knows it all.  He knows bakstreet boys ect. Last night we sang unwritten, the couple lines we could remember. He knows wake me up before you go go. It's so fun! And then we are just walking and he says, Elder Ostler.  What?  Then he sings every little thing you do is magic. So funny! That's the only words he knows, so for a couple minutes we sang that and changed the lyrics ect. When I told him I went to BYU, a little while later he says and then he tells me that before the mission he went to PPPU. What's that I ask. Oh, it´s Parly P. Pratt University.  Oh, I laugh!

Elder Hinojosa and me

2 days ago we were walking though this huge empty lot. Huge. Dirt sticks and rocks, right next to a freeway thing. And we see this huge bone! It was massive, like 4 or 5 feet long. And so Elder Hinojosa squats down, grabs a stick, and in spanish he pretends like he is being filmed for national geographic.  Poking the bone, describing the dinosaur it came from, it was beautiful. So funny! Then I will ask him how to say something, or clarification on something and he will look at me and in spanish say, I only know how to say that in Russian.  Then he will just start making up Russian and fake like he knows the language. The first time I believed him about knowing another language. But since, I have learned. He has told me that he can only say that certain word in Portuguese, French, Italian ect. The point is he is super funny.

He is an angel too. Sunday when I got out of the shower and was about to put on my shoes, I look at them and something was different, something changed. Something changed. Get it. And then I discovered that they were freshly shined! That´s the kind of comp he is. Awesome!

Godoy Cruz is so different than ghetto mercedes. It´s pretty here. Hardly any garbage. It´s more city. We do have one mildly dangerous area, with dirt streets, but other than that a way nice area. And there are aceikias everywhere. That's at least phonetically how you say it. We have to jump over them constantly. Like a canal that runs on either side of most streets. And sometimes they smell so bad! Especially in warpus, the sketchy barrio or neighborhood.

We have a good ward, just us 2 missionarys in it, unlike how there were us four in the last one. The bishop is alright. This Sunday we were supposed to have 2 confirmations, kind of a big deal, and the bishop forgot! So we have to wait til next week, when we will have 8!!! I will get to that . . . . then last night, we didn´t even have planned to visit one of the ladys that was supposed to get confirmed, Carmen, she is amazing, reads and marks her scriptures often and devours principios del evnagelio. But my comp said, I need to use her bano, let's stop by. When she opened the door she had a cigarette in her hand! No!! So we used the bano and then ohh just asked how she was, the cigarette topic came up, she threw it out in the street and we talked to her for a minute. We are having an asado with her Tuesday, we are buying the meat, so we will talk with her more then about it. But she certainly feels bad and knows it is wrong. So yeah, the bishop forgot!

There are some awesome ym in the ward! Like Miguel. So incredible! And the ward is a little bigger. However, elders quorum is just us, an awesome rm teacher and president of the quorum, and 2, 30ish guys, one really funny, and then 4 prospective elders, maybe they are already ordained I don't know.  But they are the sweet ones I mentioned earlier.

familia avilia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 weeks ago elder hinojosa opened the mouth with a man and got an address. They had a lesson and found out that the whole family is good. There are 8. And now they all, minus the 2 under 8, have a fecha for the 25th. 5days! We are going to baptize a family! Every missionaries dream! Mom and Dad, the dad is way awesome, the mom just barley started really feeling it, 3 boys, franco18, leo16, jonny14. Then nikol 8 then 2 younger ones. They are amazing, especially the 3 boys I love them so much. They are so ready, so golden.  We have had contact with them every day since I've been here. The first lesson was good. They just have this spirit about them. So I walked in the house, hadn't been in Godoy Cruz but 5 hours. I shake all their hands.  Then they all sit down at their dinner table all 8. The dad grabs the 6 book of mormons they have, passes them out, and it is just so perfect! I can´t even describe it. I've never seen anything like it. They all listen and are engaged. Then Friday's lesson was the best lesson of my mission, and elder hinojosa said the same, just incredible, you'll hear all about it later. The gift of tongues was upon me for that hour. I was talking so good. Oh it was so so so so awesome. We just walked out of the house and gave each other a big hug.

Then saturday we had a futbol game scheduled, but no one showed up.  After 20 minutes of waiting  in the chapel and playing the piano, elder hinojosa started dusting, then one of our investigators showed up, maybe 1:40ish, gorge. Yes! Then the 3 avilas showed up with a friend. and futbol was played! Those kids are amazing! I got it handed to me. My first real game with latins! It was just so so sweet!

Then that night we had a plan to take suits and slacks over to their house, because they don´t have any. elder hinojosa had some he was going to give them. Me to. And pench had some to give as well. So we left them.  By this time some 4-ym had shown up and we said we would be back. Long story short, we are hurrying and take the stuff over to the house, no one is home. We wait. Then we situate the clothing inside the fence where it can't be seen and the dogs can´t get it. Then we hurry back and after an hour figure that everyone would have left the church. But no. And we were worried because the church was unlocked. But no, they were still there. And they had all gone into the custodial closet, got out mops and rags and had commenced cleaning the church!!!  It was an amazing sight to walk into church saturday night, and see our investigators mopping the floor and dusting the church and setting up chairs with hymnbooks on them. They are amazing I'm telling you! And then yesterday the entire family came to church! I could go on forever about this.

The pench is sweet. There are 2 other latins. Elder Ramierez and Carrosa. Elder Carrosa speaks english. But mostly everything is spanish. Everything.  At the end of the day my mind is shot. Yes, I am improving, but o it is hard. The language barrier with my comp isn't too bad, but it is still so so hard. Sometimes, like everyday, I feel so stupid because I can´t understand. Especially the members. I hate eating with members and not understanding them. Especially when they ask me a direct question. It kills me. I feel so helpless. Oh.

But I'm hanging in there. I'm doing alright. It´s good here. It will get better.

The feeling in the pench is amazing. Everyone wakes up at 6:30 and does exercises, or attempts to.  Then when the other companionship leaves the pench, they pray, everytime. Just a different feeling from my last pench. I like it alot. And the pench has a log cabin feel. It´s clean too!  And this morning we played rock paper scissors to see who has to wash the shower curtain, I lost. So I'll be doing that in a couple hours.

At our lunch appointment on sunday the family was playing the primary songs cd. The I am a child of God song started. Then when the descant part started, I couldn't help but think of miss saydi.

how are you doing Amanda, my missionera!

Please send a fitted sheet in my package. Whoever said only flat sheets was smoking something. I'm going to try to go to another cyber to send a picture or 2. This one doesn't like my memory card. Can you check if you can access in spanish and tell me next week. Thanks.

This week I ate beets.  I'm not sure if that's noteworthy or not.

Dad you asked some stuff. The bus ride early Wednesday was good. hmmmm if I said I had a lesson with elder hinojosa on Tuesday, obviously that is incorrect. Anyway, I went with elder lucas and canasa, my old zls. Elder Lucas is actually the new zl over Godoy Cruz, he is comps with his byu roommate! Crazy.  We took the royal sweet for 115 pesos. The seat transforms into a complete bed.  Flat.  It was amazing.  And they gave me juice and an alfajor. Then when we got off the bus Elder Reynolds was there, with all his ap wisdom. It was nice to see him.

O and there is an elder in godoy Cruz being trained and he is from Kennewick!! I talked to him on the phone after elder hinojosa verified with his comp. Elder Brady I think? That's the Kennewick elder.

Oh yeah, we taught a breastfeeding mother and a drunk guy this week. Crazy country!

Well, have a good week. Send my love to Amanda. I'm going to try to write some good letters today. I'll write you one mom. Maybe not 10 pages.

I love you and am hanging in there

Elder Ostler

And like Chris Christiansen said, truly, I am living the dream. That is so true. Feel free also to send me news about my buddies on their missions.

Me with the peanut butter I bought before leaving Villa Mercedes.  It is made in Cordoba and only sold in San Luis, from the info that I could gather.  So 104 pesos of peanut butter later . . . . . oh yeah!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm getting transferred

I loved the email from you mom and dad. It always makes me smile to read them.

I feel as if I am about to jump off a cliff, 10 kilometers above the ocean. The first 5 seconds are going to be so scary, I won´t be able to breathe.  And then, with time I will begin to love it. It is going to be an amazing feeling, just freefalling through nothing. And soon I will get good at it, doing all sorts of tricks and spins in the air. It will just become natural every day. But then I will hit the water, and it is going to hurt, so bad.

That is my mission analogy. And obviously hitting the water is when I have to board the plane for the united states.

So yes, I am getting transferred. Last night we were all getting ready for bed when the aps called. They told Elder Orozco he is going to train. Then president talked to him, kinda a big deal. Then he talked to Elder Cabranes and told him that he would be getting a missionary that is really struggling and not liking it. And then apparently he told me my destiny. After all that was over, I was dying to know if he knew anything about where I was going. Because usually on the monday of transfers the zone goes over to the the zls pench to wait for the call from the assistants. But this time we found out Sunday because Elder Orozco is training and then president just talked to Elder Cabranes. I know I'm just keeping you waiting. . . so I asked my comp if he knew who I was going to be with. He said yes I do. Do you want to know. Of Course. So he told me my comp is Elder Himojosa from peru. When he said that Elder Orozco, who is so awesome, just smiled and said, he is an angel. I love Elder Himojosa! Elder Cabranes echoed that. Then my next question, does he speak English?  No. What is my area? You are going to Goddy Cruz, your area is called Sarmiento. I was so excited, happy, nervous, and sad. I had prepared myself to stay and Elder Cabranes leave. But now I have to leave. Leave the nicest pench in the mission, my awesome bishop, my investigators, the members, just villa mercedes! I was so so sad. Then I started letting fear in. I was scared. No english!! But that night I prayed. I replaced fear with faith. Shall we not go on in such great a cause?  So now, I am excited. So excited! I just want it to be wednesday already. There is a rule that when you are transferred you have to be in your new area wednesday by noon. And Goddy Cruz is in Mendoza. It is where the offices are, I slept in Goddy Cruz my first night, in the office pench. It is a 5 hour bus ride there. So I'm going to probably leave at 4ish am on wednesday, maybe by myself, not sure. Everything is about to change. So, just... different. Alright, the events of this week.

I had an asado. One of the pictures is of me with Hermano Canales and the asado. Do you see that strange looking cut of some part of an animal? Look at it and guess what it is before you go on . . . . . . . .

The asado was so good! There was so much meat, and so much flavor. And they eat the fat here! You know how in the states we cut all the fat off and give it to the dogs . . . well they eat it here. I kept looking at the plate of Hermano Canales and all there was was bones, no fat. And my comps plate didn't have to much fat either. So I ate it. All the fat. And there was alot. Some of my bites were all fat. Ok, so that sweet looking thing is a kidney. I ate a kidney! It was way sweet, not the taste, but just that I ate a kidney. I just squeezed some lemon juice on it and down it went. Not bad at all, I feel like I am becoming invincible to food, I am going to be able to eat anything when I get home.

I saved a cat from a tree! This is my favorite story ever. We had just dropped our freshly laundered clothes off at the church, we were going to take them to the pension when the day was done. We locked the gate to the church and I heard a cat. I lookied up in a tree next to me and there was a cat, stranded in a tree. I immediately knew that I must save it. It looked pretty dirty, but I didn't care. I decided I'm a man of action. So I climbed up the tree a bit and saved the cat. Then I washed my hands. That´s the sweet story!

Sister Ostler. I love thinking about how Amanda is a sister missionary. I think there are sisters in my new district, Elder Himojosa is the district leader and Elder Cabranes said there are 2 other hermanas in the district. So that's exciting. But yeah, Amanda, a sister missionary! And I won't take her email time, rarely if ever. I am going to write her a letter every p day. And can you please deliver her email home to me via dear elder?  I know I will only get them monthly, but that´s just fine. No I haven't received any glorified mail yet. I think getting mail once a month is pretty normal here.

And Saydi, the college babe. I am so excited for you. I give you the same advice I gave harry lady: live it up! And get good grades, study study study. Harrison, I was so happy to read that you are in spanish 4. How is school going? I want to hear from you and hefferson next week. No that is not a misspelling.

Sacrament mishap: only one priest showed up to church, so I went and helped with the sacrament. (and this is the first time in 10 years this ward has had 2 active priests) I kneeled down to bless the bread. I had my card with the spanish words on it and I was a bit nervous. Bryen pulled out the microphone thing, it is like this little platform that slides out, and when it gets to a certain point the microphone turns on and a little red light comes on. I didn't know that. So he slid it out a little bit and I started. I was about 5 lines through when I heard this really loud feedback from the microphone. I looked down and he had has his hand on the drawer thing. He was trying to pull it out enough so the microphone would turn on and something went wrong because it got really loud all of the sudden. So I looked up at him. I didn't have the vocabulary to ask him and plus I was now really nervous. So I just started again. I heard the loud noise again. He was trying to pull it out again. I tried a third time and same thing. My heart was really pounding at this point. The 1st counselor came over and was trying to help. Eventually things settled down and just said the prayer in a loud voice. So that was an adventure!

On Saturday we had an activity where we watched the Joseph Smith movie. A descent turn out. It is the movie they only show at the mtc and temple square. Apparently a ga came to the mission and gave the aps a copy of it to use for some meeting. Now about 4 missionaries have it. And because Elder Cabranes was in the offices for 4 transfers, he has it. It was cool to watch it. It reminded of me of my last day with you, mom and dad. But the cool thing is we got Gaspar to come to the chapel and watch it earlier in the day. He couldn´t come that night, so he came Saturday morning. The spirit was so strong. I loved it! It was a great lesson. And plus, he is hopefully now over his fear and embarrassment of coming to church because he actually came to the church and saw what it was like. Oh, no one came to church for us again. Ugh, someday, someday. Elder Cabranes and I had a great week, on Friday we had 5 lessons.  We had 6 news, and 10 lessons with less actives or recent converts total. But still, no one come to church. Not even any of the less actives. That´s ok though. People have their agency.

Elder Figueroa is GONE!!! We dropped him off last night, then we went to justo for another white storm. Then on the way back, there was 3 people on the bus without seats. So 3 of us missinoarys gave them our seats and went to the back of the bus and just stood there for the 40 minute ride. It was sweet.

And the new pench (which I am about to leave, no) is glorious. I am not exaggerating, it is amazing. Here is some things it has. Outlets! A tp holder next to the toilet. A budeah. a clean shower without fungus, our own hot water heater. A dueno who doesn't cut the power, shelf space for dishes. And a white toilet! The other one was, nasty.

Oh I forgot, boys, practice your piano. I don´t just say it to say it or because mom and dad tell me to.  Do it and you will be So Happy in a few years.

I am starting to have a little fun now. I am almost settled into argentina, however, everything I know is about to go out the window.  I know some Elders and am able to have some fun. But these last 6 weeks, I haven´t laughed much. When something is funny in a lesson or talking to someone I usually don´t know what is going on so I just laugh anyway, but that doesn´t count because it is fake. Yeah, my language skills are about to take off. I'm going to have my verb conjugation book in one pocket and a dictionary in the other. Here we go Elder Himojosa!

I want more than anything to be able to communicate with these people. I am starting to feel a real love for these people, especially the members in my ward. Some of them have sacrificed and suffered so much.  Their stories are amazing. If I had another hour I would tell you.

I just want to be able to talk with them and understand them. maybe give me a couple weeks. my language skills are about to go through the roof.
So last p day I bought the machine, then tried it out. Elder Stout gave me a hair cut, and we cut it way to short! There are settings three through 21 by 3s. So I usually get a 7. I, we put it on 9 and I thought it would be fine. It wasn't, as you can probably tell from the asado picture. He just shaved the first strip right down the center.  I went to a mirror and knew I was hosed. I've given 2 haricuts, or rather buzzes, so far.  I am going to be pro when I get home. Hopefully I will be able to do the short on the sides and longer on the top deal. And I was supposed to give Elder Reynolds a hair cut today, but he´s in mendoza. He went traveling ap. So he´s already gone.

Well, we are coming to the end of our time here. I am really excited for what awaites me in sarmiento. Elder Cabranes and Elder Orozco just ohh and aww at Elder Himojosa, how angelic he is. Elder Orozco said this morning, every missionary would love to be his companion, you are so lucky. That is comforting. It´s just the spanish. That´s the only scary part. But faith, not fear. Here we go!

I loved reading about Braden and especially Elder Calaway. Oh, i want to see him so bad. But so good to hear he is doing good. Just wait till he gets to mission field, Braden too. Their world as they know it will be flipped upside down. What an experience this is. I see the craziest stuff.

Thank you thank you thank you for everything. All the prayers. Everything. Thank you. I feel the only way I can repay you is to go to work. So, Sarmiento, Elder Himojosa, Here I Come!!!!!!!!

With love

Elder Ostler
Elder Ostler & Elder Cabranes
First day in the mission field!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It snowed on Friday!

Dear Family:
Loved the email and the picture, thanks. O my gosh, Amanda is a Sister Missionary!!! I thought about that some this week. It is really cool. And Saydi off to byu hawaii. wow! What a time in the Ostler family! And school started, O the joy! I hope all you boys are doing good with your first week of school, and this is a great time to get back on your piano if you have been slacking!!!! Every day, all 4 of you, Harrison, Jefferson, Benson, and even you Wilson. Just do it. You'll be happy later. I promise.

Thanks for your short ps mom. It saved me. Please tell me everytime when your receive pictures I email or a memory card I send home. So thanks.

Doing family history work at the cemetery!!  We were going to submit all those names to the temple.  Gotta love that too!!!!!  Some graves are just stacked on top of one another. Like the part! I did it especially for the trip to the cemetery. It's still parted!

Nope, no baptisms yet in hipolito irigoyen. Thats my ward. But we have so many good people. So many awesome investigators. And in 2 weeks I guess we will have a baptism that we will be in charge of, but its these awesome parents who come every week. They are solid, have a family etc, just not married because of the divorce thing. But the divorce is coming in this week, so we get to baptize them this month.

1 month. In some ways it really has been a forever transfer, still 1 more week, but in other ways it has gone fast.

So last week we didn´t get the asado and service was cancelled because of weather. But this Thursday we are taking another shot at the service project. And of course, we moved this week! It was alright, cleaning the old pench was . . wow. Lets just say we cleaned all the stuff that missionaries never clean, and it has been maybe 5/10 years since missionaries have been in that pench. Like we found a bullet under the fridge, and under the oven! O my, I cleaned that. The new pench is so nice!! We joke that we are on a reality tv show in new york and we are secretly being filmed. It is so . . . new! A little smaller, but no one cares. It is so so awesome. Yes it has improved all our moods. Basically, it is amazing!

It snowed on friday! It was absolutely so so cold and wet, and since some streets are dirt, there was mud everywhere. Shoes caked in mud, bottom of pants covered in mud, just a party! And that was the day I did my first splits with a native. It was good. He is an interesting person, and most people in this zone do not like him at all. So it was, well an experience. I took my dictionary and had a good ol time. I also had to save a lesson. It was about to crash, it was bad, he´s not the best teacher lets say.

I'm getting a native comp next week. I wrote the President in my weekly email to him and mentioned that and he said, I can arrange for a latin comp, if you think your ready. So that is exciting!

So, Saturday at about 6:30 we returned to the pench because my comp could barley stand up his stomach hurt so bad. He hopped in bed and I went out to our luxurious new deck and started writing in my journal. I was about to go in after I finished but I had a feeling I should get on my knees and pray. so I did. After a great prayer, I really prayed, I was about to get up and walk in but I felt a small nudging from the spirit to stay on my knees another 30 seconds. I did. INSTANTLY the spirit spoke to me through my own thoughts: ¨¨my mother loves me¨. It was so so sweet! The first thing the spirit wanted to tell me was that you love me mom. It was so awesome. I want you to know that I pray for you family, every one of you by name. I probably miss and don´t do it every day, but I do it. And often when I do it brings tears to my eyes.- I realize how Lucky and Blessed I am to be your big brother. And for you Amanda, your little brother. Thank you. I love Each of you.

I mailed a letter home today! and! there was a consejo with all the zone leaders and they brought back mail! I got 11 letters!! Wow, it was good to lay in bed for an hour and read all of them. I laughed so much reading Benson´s and Ben´s . Benson says that mom is definitely not the phone whisper. It was so funny. All of then were from you guys except Ben, but he´s practically one of you guys, and a person from byu and karrigan. I will probably get mail once a month.

O, we were in this lesson and getting to know a less active family and the son, 23, had a guitar, he was a singer and way good at the guitar. Apparently my comp plays too. They gave him the guitar for a bit. The best part was when he picked the opening riff to sweet child of mine! I went crazy inside! It was just so sweet to hear that. And sometimes when we are ordering ice cream or are shopping for food american songs come on the radio. I've heard Chicago, MJ Billy Jean, and the best one was I want to know what love is by REO: I think. Wow, if it's not REO I would be embarrassed.

So yeah, this week was mas o menos ok.

O one more thing. I can feel the spanish coming. I am getting better and I can feel it. My understanding is steadily climbing. I am understanding more and more. And my speaking ability is still just alright. I know I need to be more diligent with my language study.

O, I have discovered I am an amazing jump roper, the best in the zone. My record is 19 crosses backward.  People were pretty impressed. And we have a futbol game this week wednesday night with the YM. I am so excited! People will be pretty impressed then to . . . not.  After church this one priest who always makes fun of me had a soccer ball in the hall and he was just doing simple stuff. He was so good. Amazing. No white kid, except maybe Ben Ostler, could ever do what he was doing. So I'm excited for wednesday night.

I always during the day look at my watch and go back 4 hours and think what you are all doing. Please tell me when your time changes so I can go back 5 hours.

Really, I'm not homesick anymore. Yeah, I miss you and being home, but those thoughts do not overtake my mind at all times. so that is good. I'm over that obstacle!

We would totally be baptizing in this area if people would just come to church!!!!!!!! That is the thing people just won't do here, they read, start growing their testimonies, pray, but they just won't come to church. We had none there yesterday. Although 2 inactives came because of us.

A white trash move. we didn´t have boxes, but we had a bunch of plastic bags!  We rode on the taxi fleet the 20 blocks to our new pench. It was fun fun fun. What a cool experience.

The 4 of us on a bus riding home.  I love this picture.

Mom, these pictures are mostly for you, that´s not to say others in the family can´t view them, but I know that this is going to be such a bitter bitter bitter sweet week for you. both you and dad. Giving Amada up to the army of strippling warriors and Saydi over the islanders. Hey Amanda, bytheway, don´t take crap form any elders at the mtc. Nothing. Hold your own. And Saydi, O my gosh, I can´t believe you are going to college. Wow!! Unbelievable. I hope you don´t get married so you can serve a mission too. But if that mister wonderful comes your way . . . . I loved your letter bytheway, one of my favorites. And the postcard! That is getting taped to the wall. I love it.
Thank you for the prayers and fasting!

love Elder Ostler

ps. Amanda a sister missionary. WOW!