Monday, October 25, 2010

I don't have fear

Hey the family:
What a classy start to this one.  Mom, your spanish is pretty bad.  And guess what ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  I got a new comp!!!!  Elder Hinojosa was transferred and on Friday I went to the terminal to pick up my new DL comp.  ELDER GEORGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, here I sit with Elder George, the one who you told me about in the airport from Oregon. Life is really rocking with him. The best part about having him is ENGLISH!! I realize how awesome it is to speak with someone in english. I haven’t had that for 5 ½ weeks. Oh, it is a beautiful thing. (btw, Elder George’s mom has a picture of me on a roof! Of the pench or perderiel, where I did divisions with a newbie. We went there Friday to do a pench check and getting on the roof seemed like the thing to do.)

I love being with Elder George. He makes me laugh. And it is also way fun to talk about life with Elder Huntington who he trained. He asks me questions like this daily:
“Elder Ostler, did they really change the 5¢ piece to a 15¢ piece?”
“No Elder George, they didn’t.”
“Dang it, Elder Huntington got me!!!”

That happens daily, well at least for the last 3 days we’ve been together. They just played “Bleeding Love,” yup, I’m at subway and both of those pictures were taken today. One, just 10 minutes ago. I pretty much exhausted my funds with those shoes… zapatillas de futbol!!!!!!!!! They are amazing. It’s like a glove for my foot.

Elder Ostler & Elder George

Elder George and I have had some pretty sweet experiences. Last night we saw this man standing outside his house. We went up to talk to him and he let us in the house! After about 60 seconds of literally shouting at him, we realized that he was almost deaf! It was comical to watch Elder George cup his hands over his mouth and shout 2 feet across the table at this old man. So being the quick thinkers we are, we got a note pad and started writing our thoughts and questions to him. Then he was able to talk to us and respond to what he read. It was a way cool lesson. We each had a notepad and a pen and we went at it, teaching this old Argentine man by writing to him. I kept the pieces of paper I used and that is going to be a great memory. We introduced the LDM and answered some questions he had. We talked about death, obviously being old he has had some loved ones die. We left Alma 40 with him. Then we tried to teach him how to pray. Elder George wrote out the steps of prayer and I explained what prayer was. At least what real prayer is. At the end of our ‘discussion’ I told him that we were going to pray. He immediately got out the steps of prayer and got ready to say the prayer himself! Elder George and I were both amazed. Obviously he didn’t understand the 3 dots after steps 2 and 3 because this was his prayer. “nuesto padre celestial, te doy gracias por, te pido por, en el nombre de Jesucristo amen.” It was truly a beautiful prayer. Really, I loved it.

Also, the other day, Elder George saw a pretty mudbrick humble home, and he wanted to try it. To our glee and amazement the woman at the door, Jessica, let us right in. As I sat crisscross applesauce on the dirt floor and Elder George and her on this little mudbrick wall, we taught her about marriage. We left her with a Law of Chastity pamphlet. I’ve never done that before, but it was way good. I talked about how my parents, that’s you guys, and how a marriage can be the foundation for a wholesome and happy life. Now obviously I didn’t use the word wholesome because I don’t know that word, but you get the point! We left on a real good note. She told us that she was uncomfortable praying. I had a try at helping her to say a prayer to end the charla. She was too embarrassed. Then Elder George had a try, still no. After a third plea from us, using testimony and explaining the simpleness and easiness of it, she agreed! She said a wonderful prayer! We went back Sunday night and she said the pamphlet had a lot of truth in it. She didn’t have time, but Tuesday we are going back. I’m excited. I feel like she is prepared for baptism and making covenants with God. Which, as missionaries, that’s our job. We find and prepare people to make the sacred covenant or promise of baptism with God. Being a missionary is just great. Isn’t it Amanda?

So walking down the street with Elder Hinojosa, I saw this guy sitting on the sidewalk with his feet dangling down in an empty acacia, so I opened the mouth with him. Turns out he was a chatterbox, so for 45 minutes we sat there. Elder Hinojosa didn’t say a word, and I was able to teach him about Jesus Christ and baptism. But I didn’t talk a whole lot because he sure had a lot to say, just a crazy old man! He talked about everything. But every time it was my turn, I was able to bring it back to the Gospel. I am amazed that God really does fill my mouth with words. Sometimes I have no idea what to say to a doubt or a concern, but God does. And he uses me as an instrument in His hands to touch one of his children. I get a front row seat as I watch God change lives and touch hearts. Learned that in the MTC, but out here I actually can see that that is true.

Anyway, we went back to see how our old man friend was doing, I’m with Elder George now, and the man’s wife comes out. She says he’s tired and needs rest because he just went for a walk around the block. She doesn’t want anything to do with us. But we obviously said the right things and she kept talking. We learned she was a teacher of English! So we started talking in English with her. Almost perfect English. She talked with a british accent and said her American English wasn’t proper. That was a funny part. We talked about her trip to America many years ago. She said that she visited Washington! I told her that’s where I am from. So she lived in Ellensburg and knows the tricities! How crazy, some old Argentine awesome lady knows where I’m from. Also, she has visited Portland, where Elder George was from. We were beside ourselves with excitement and smiles. It was a really neat experience. She said that she really liked practicing English with us. We are going by this week to ‘practice’ some more and may or may not talk about the Gospel. But she says she only wants to talk to us in English. Not sure how it’s going to work teaching her husband that way. I’m excited.

Elder George gets so excited as we are doing the Lord’s work. One time we talked to this lady. We were talking about her family and how her family could be together forever. She told us she didn’t know if there was a life after death. Elder George got so excited, looked at me with the biggest enthusiastic grin on his face and we went from there. We have a return appointment for this week. We also met this lady who’s been baptized hace 8 anos but never received the Holy Ghost. We are excited to teach and truly convert her to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Also, we saw this man sitting on the step outside his house Saturday. He invited us right into his house. He was amazing, Ricardo, and was really excited to read the pamphlet and come to church. We told him we would come pick him up at 8:30. So Saturday night we had 4 committed to church. We contacted 3 of them by phone and they all gave us a solid yes. I was excited. One of them, we were going to wake up with a phone call (David the boy) and 2 we were going to pick up in huarpus, then walk with them to church. Well, Bummer. No one came and I was disappointed. AND David’s dad stomped his foot and said no to him getting baptized last Saturday because he got bad grades and some truencies. NO!!! Elder Hinojosa and I were so bummed. But that is OK. The Lord is trying my faith, Ether 12:6. I will stay strong and show my faith. I choose to be happy and still optimistic. I really hope that we will have people at church this Sunday. I will believe that I can baptize every week until the last Sunday of my mission. Elder George and I are Hungry for people to teach and baptize. I love D&C 31 and 33. There are amazing promises in those 2 sections!!!! It’s going to happen.

Throwing Cigs—A zone leader in Chimbas taught this to Elder George who has in turn taught this to me. I am so excited about this revelation! So we see someone smoking (hopefully it’s a cigarette, because yesterday we walked up to some guy smoking a joint, so we just asked him for directions and said bye, he was so high), you start a conversation with the smoker and then always ask “quiere dejar de fumar ?¿?¿.” The old people always say yes, but they can’t and the kids always say no, they like smoking. Then you offer a trade. You ask to trade their cigarillo for a folleto. Most people melt when they see the picture of Jesus Christ on the front of the pamphlet. They give us the cigarette and we ask if we can throw it. Mostly they say yes. Then you chuck it. It is an amazing feeling to take a burning cancer stick from someone and the receive permission to throw it. First, I watched Elder George in action, then yesterday he told me I was ready. I threw 2 cigarettes yesterday!! It was so fun. I love doing it! It is a bit strange holding one in your hand though. Usually throwing a cigarette turns into an address. Most of these people really want help. The cigarette is a symbol to us, Elder George and I, that they are hurting. Whenever Elder George sees someone smoking he gets so excited and always makes some funny comment. Yesterday was, “O YEAH! We got one coming in hot!” He is a fantastic missionary and we are going to baptize in Sarmiento.

With Elder Hinojosa, we did a FHE with the familia Avila. It was great. I did the lesson, I talked about families and The Family, A Proclamation to the World. The sentence where it says that a happy family will be achieved upon principles of faith, love, prayer… compassion. . . I made a hanging mobile for the family Avila, and little papers with a topic and some scriptures relating to the topic. We each got a slip of paper and read them all, then chose one to share with the ‘family.’ It was a great activity. I will never forget as we sang the closing song, families can be together forever. It was a precious moment. So off key, so out of tune, but yet, it was still so beautiful. I know God and the angels in heaven were smiling as we sang.

Elder Hinojosa is zone leader in San Martin, he loved my ipod so much when we were together and always talked about how I was going to gift it to him. Well, I wanted to do something nice, so while he was packing, I hid it in his suitcase with the speakers. He gave me an enthusiastic call from San Martin Saturday morning. Also, I found my watch!! Yeah. Please send flash cards and American coins so I can trade. Like not a ton, but enough.

This week we have lunch with the members 4 days!! We so scored there. I am way excited.

Spanish is really good. I don’t have fear as I try to talk with people. I have accepted that I won’t be able to understand everything. But my Spanish is getting better. It is so cool to be able to communicate! I love reading those quotes you put in the email mother, I don’t really miss home. I am starting to love Argentina.

I got a dearelder from you mom, with Braden’s letter in it. It was amazing to read. Still nothing from Amanda!! I’m dying to read one of those. I may or may not have sent something in the mail this week to the house.

And this just in. It takes me 4 months and 23 days to empty a tube of toothpaste. I just finished the one that I started in the MTC.

Yeah, we got a bunch of new elders, one of them is in the zone. Elder Austin. Life is good. I’m happy.

Well, we are now going to attempt to return to the pench. I’m not quite sure where to take the bus from here or what bus to take ever. Just another day in Argentina. Just another adventure.

Love, Elder Ostler

Monday, October 18, 2010

Certainly not a peanutbutter cookie!

Hello!  Zone Conference was fantastic!  Elder Aidukaitis came, yes he did, and helped me so much.  Faith, that is what we talked about, or at least the best part.  Faith is works, if you have faith, you are going to make a plan, and then you are going to do something.  Faith, plan, trabajo.  He talked about baptizing every week!  Every single week baptizing someone.  I am going to do that.  The mission has a 1000 baptisms goal this year.  He said that 31 December he will be calling President Lindahl to see how we did.  He said if we only had 999 we did not have faith.  I first thought, no that is so wrong.  But really, it is true.  I want to baptise every week, I must have faith, which is a whole lot more than belief!  The conference was so so great.

Speaking of baptism, which is CENTRAL to my purpose as a missionary, Elder Hinojosa and I are baptizing this Saturday!!!! the 23rd.  O yeah!  A chico que tiene 13 años.  He is so ready, he came to church Sunday!  Which has been his downfall, sleeping in.  He has slept in the last 4 Sundays before, but he came and we are baptising him.  He has all the lessons, reads the Book of Mormon and then some.  His mother would love to get baptized to, she believes, but her husband won't marry her.  Bummer.  They both came to the Avilias baptism though!  But we don't have anybody for the 30th.  There is a standard that a person must attend twice before they can get baptized and David was the only one at church, although this awesome lady was supposed to come but got sick.  So we will see about the 30th, I know we can find someone, or actually God can give us someone.

So this lady, Belin was a miracle that God gave us.  The first door we knocked that morning was hers, she was an alb.  Quickly, her father was mormon, died, she has a book of mormon and went to church with him 15 years ago.  She was scared of the pila, font.  Now she's 30ish and her husband's in jail.  She accepted the baptism commitment the first lesson!  But she got sick so wasn't at church.  It was a miracle.  Elder Aidukaitis talked about that, about finding someone with a book of mormon already who has already attended church, and it happened to us the day after conference.  I love what you said Mom, all we need to do is ASK!!! and God is so willing to GIVE!

Then the miracle I call Marta, yesterday we were sick of working in Warpus, the ghetto sketchy that smells bad, so we went knocking, which I hardly ever do, elsewhere on a street called Peru.  After an hour of nothing, nothing, I started to get discouraged and President Hinckleys quote, there is a better way, came to mind.  Tracting is good but there is a better way.  Then it happened.

This man watering his plants with a bucket and water from the acecia greeted us, "Elders, I call you that because I am a member. . . would you like to talk with my mother?"  Because yesterday was mothers day, they were visiting.  They brought the couches and chairs outside, the mother and her brother were there and we were able to teach.  The member son who recently was endowed, a convert, was able to help us.  It was amazing!  I was able to help teach.  To sum up, she says "I want to quit smoking and I want to get baptized!!!!!!!!!!  OOOO YEAH!!  What a miracle.  Her son helped so much.  I talked about there is a way that you can become clean from all your sins and mistakes.  You can stop smoking and be completely clean again.  Would you like that?  She said yes.  Then after I explained baptism she basically committed herself to it!  I'm excited for that.  And as I told her the Joseph Smith Story, she listened so good.  It really touched her.  She is so ready!!!  Horray for Marta!!

Making flowers to give to mothers on mothers day.  We hand them out in alb and while were knocking doors.

Also with Elder Aidukaitis we talked about the normas de excellencia that President Lindahl has set.  He promised us that if we reach those goals, we will baptize every week.  They are things like 4 lessons with meimbro, 10 news (we had 3 with member and 11 news this week) and there are like 10 of them, key indicators.

Nuestra meta baptismal para este translado es ocho!  We are baptizing 8 people this transfer.  We have 7 saturdays to do it.  Speaking of transfers. . . they are today!!!!!!  They have been cut a week short, something with the President's schedule.  A 5 week transfer that ends today and the next transfer is a 7 weeker!  O yeah.  But today we were told that we will not get the phone call from the assistants until Wednesday for some reason.  I am pretty sure I'm staying, I think Elder Hinojosa will too.

Making and eating tacos today, for our pday, in our chapel.

Since Elder Gonzalez has showed up, my morning exercise routine has changed.  He takes me running.  At first I hated it, but now I love it.  Finally, Saturday morning I set the pace.  I beat him in the sprint to the finish at the end.  And I realized that my haircut is ehhhh, it's definitely done by a peruvian with absolutely no experience.  I love it though.

Happy mothers day, mother.  The argentinos got to call home yesterday!  I wish I could have been argentine just for yesterday.

I have weekly opportunities to talk to people in english.  It is so cool!  Mostly albs and we discover we both know english and we talk for awhile.  I love it, it's not to hard to figure out how they can guess I know english.  They love to talk with me in english... and saturday night as I opened my mouth with a family in the vea parking lot, the mother waved me off and told me to talk to her daughter.  The family entered vea as the daughter stayed behind to hear what I had to say.  And she was . . . dare I say it . . . . pretty.  I was so nervous.  I struggled through a little spanish and then she stopped me and said, "I speak english."  Hallelujah!!!  It was so sweet.  I was still nervous.  I felt like I was a 14 year old at EFY again, trying to talk to a girl.  It was definitely cool.

Elder Hinojosa and I had the best talk this week, Friday.  I had had some really crappy days earlier in the week.  I don't know, we were about to leave for the afternoon when we just started talking, about me and my progress and I really don't know, can't communicate with you what it was like.  We were going through his recuerdos from the mission.  It just gave me a perspective on the mission.  And I realized I HAVE SUCH A LONG WAY TO GO.  And I am not talking about time.  I have SO MUCH TO LEARN.  So much to become.  It was the best 45 minutes and it really helped me.  Just put things in perspective.  And I realized that he is a saint.  He talked about how he enjoys every single day of his mission, he loves it.  I want that.  I want every day to be a dream.

I felt not a ton of improvement this week, but my frustration is getting better, or I mean, it's going down.  But I know I improved.  I learned some new words.  One of them was berenjena.  It means eggplant.  I looked it up as we were walking home after a lunch appointment.  The reason being is because I ate it.  It was DISGUSTING.  It had been canned in vinegar.  Gross.  Gross.  The grossest thing I've eaten so far.  And we were blessed with 3 lunch appointments this week, usually we score one, but we had three.  And the 3rd was the best with the family avilia, our first meal with them.  ASADO baby!  So good.  Basically you just eat meat until you can't eat anymore.  And they also had something called morcilla.  While I was eating it, I guessed it was blood sausage, but I wasn't sure.  My suspicions were confirmed when I looked it up later.  One of its meanings is blood pudding.  How do you like that boys.  I ate blood pudding.  Yum, it wasn't too bad.  Certainly not a peanutbutter cookie.

And I did get a glorified package at the conference along with 3ish letters.  No dearelders have come with Amanda's most anticipated words yet!  I am dying to read her emails!  I did get a letter she wrote in the MTC though.  My favorite part was, "you never told me how hard it was to have a companion, to be with the same person for 24 hours a day!"  I definitely laughed.

No I did not get bed sheets.  A priest, Leo, the bishops son, asked for a hockey jersey.  So if you could send one. . . . he's pretty small.  Jefferson's size would be perfect, Jefferson is definitely bigger than him though, maybe a touch smaller.  He can't find any here and his sister in spain can't find one either.  I told him I could hook him up.  He doesn't care what team, just a hockey jersey.  And he's paying.  I'll probably make him pay 75-100 pesos.  That's what he could get it for here.  We'll see how nice it is.  Thanks mom.  And please send my agenda from the MTC I sent you.  I really want it.  Maybe glorify mail it, I so don't want it stolen.  And I love the fastbreaks and thanks for the shower scrubber.

Obedience is so awesome.  Because Elder Hinojosa and I was really good with obedience, the Lord blessed us with Belina and Marta and David.  I know it.  We woke up at 6:30 on the dime everyday this week and didn't miss.  I love the blessings that come from a righteous life.

One day this week it RAINED!  It was awesome, soaked from head to foot.  Except for my feet, not a drop, (well actually they were completely soaked, but that is only because 10 feet from our pench I stepped in a 3 inch deep puddle I didn't see) but before that they were completely dry.  So my shoes are actually waterproof.

The rain!  It was so fun running home in the rain with Elder Hinojosa.

And the leaders in the mission had a conference with Elder Aidukaitis Tuesday before the zone conference started.  That put me with Elder Bradey again.  It was way cool.  We worked in sarmainto. . .  my spanish is always better when I am with him.  Probably because I'm on my toes because no matter what, I have to say something back.  I got no one to bail me out.  We talked to alot of people, Elder Bradey did good with his spanish.  I wasn't scared before.  Really, I knew that God would help us out - and He did.  He always does.

This is Elder Ostler signing out.  Have a great week!!!  I love you.  And dad, I loved your email, that story rocks.  I strive for exact obedience.  I loved yours too mom.  I love you my parents.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hey family it's me, that one kid in Argentina!

What a picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The Jonny Vance and Sister Ostler photo!  Love it!!  Yup, my companions just about got the first 3 paragraphs of the proclamation to the world memorized!  We sing it all the time and he knows all the words and what they mean, almost.

Sister Chen, I met her in the MTC!!! I kid you not, I found out she was going to Chicago!  I told her about Amanda.

Well, I sent some pictures today, yeah!  All taken today, don't you love the haircut exchange we did after some pushups this morning?  I was so scared but he did a descent job.

Elder Hinojosa giving Elder Ostler a buzzzz!

BRADEN!  I'm in the same cyber, english music and subway, lots of people, and when I read that he's flying out today, I pumped both fists in the air and stood up.  I am so incredibly happy right now.  And Saydi's awesome emails helped. She sounds like she's doing good.  I bet in 2 months she will be loving it!

Yes, I know some of the Elders, Elder Hogland is awesome.  No he wasn't an ap, he's in my district and just awesome awesome.  He's like my second dad, after Elder Cabranes.  He's great and really likes me. Alright that's all I got time for.  Later . . . . . . .

Just kidding, I'm sending this now and starting a new email.  I just want to make sure the pictures send, I still got 45 minutes to type.  O, but reading about Amanda was awesome!  So so great!  So so great!  I wish I could go on splits with her in Chicago.  Dang.

(2nd Email)  Did I have a rough Tuesday and Wednesday!  They were awful, if I remember right.  And then I realized that I wasn't really praying, and hadn't been for a few days. So Wednesday siesta, I got on my knees at a quiet time and asked for help.  I really prayed, and since then I have done way better, and life has got way better.  Other than those first 2 days, the smiles and laughs really picked up.

I did divisions with a native on Thursday!  He is a way awesome Elder from Buenos Aries, Elder Martinez.  He came to my area so I was in charge!  My spanish was tested and proven that day because I had to start the lessons with investigators and talk to him about the area and investigators and just everything.  It was awesome and I held my own and did a real nice job.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

Right when divisions started we were walking from the bus stop back to the pench and we saw these funky looking things, animals.  They had a big body and the tiniest little neck and a pea sized head.  As we walked, they started following us.  Then they started running and when they caught up to us I had to start running too because they were sticking their heads out and trying to bite my ankles!  Elder Martinez thought that was just the funniest thing.

My spanish has really jumped this week I feel.  It climbed.  I am understanding and speaking more and more.  I love it!  The one thing is that I am talking more in lessons now, not thinking about conjugating verbs and things, but just going for it.  And when I am sincere and really trying, the spirit does the rest!  There have been times where I know that people shouldn't have understood me, but because of the spirit, they do.  I know that.  Dad gave me a great paragraph today.  Loved it dad, thanks.  You are truly my hero.

So yesterday we were just being missionaries like always and we got in this one house.  We sat down, me at one end of the table with this guy and Elder Hinojosa at the other end with this way old grandma.  And we just started talking.  Me with him, and Elder Hinojosa with her.  For 20 minutes without any help from my comp, I taught and talked to this man!  Wow, it was aaaammmmaaazzziiiinnngggg!  Because he had changed his life 8 years ago and is an evangelist we talked about the restoration.  But wow, I felt like, how am I going to get out of this sometimes during the lesson.  My focus was on the priesthood and how it disappeared after the apostles and Christ died.  And I would say something like, and I know there is a prophet on the earth today, and he would say, well sure there is (not meaning Monson) and somehow I was able to keep going and I can't really explain it.  But it was so cool.  Just that I had the ability through the spirit and gift of tongues to do that.  I loved it.   It was just a big booster.

Me with an Agulia bird.  Pretty sure it's an Argentine bird.

 And who knew I was actually in the African jungle serving with that elephant in the background!
 Also, one time we were walking and I thought, we need to knock this door, we did and a timid man answered.  He told us no but a voice from within called, 'let them in' after I testified of the message. After a few minutes we found out that this voice that beckoned us in was actually the voice of a pastor!  And he quoted and quoted the bible to us.  He was nice enough, but it was just a funky experience.  I learned alot from that afterwards talking to Elder Hinojosa.  But at first the timid man at the door turned out to be pretty good.  The pastor friend left and I think that we can progress with this guy, Joel.

The investigator pool is a descent size but no one is home.  We go by this week and can honestly find no one home.  And no one was at church even though we went to 3 houses to try to pick people up.  So that was discouraging.  But Elder Hinojosa just kept singing and smiling, so so did I.  But this week we are going to rock it.  Especially with Elder Hinojosa and mine, our new commitment to be exactly obedient, like not waking up at 6:35 or 6:40, but right at 6:30.  I find that days I wake up on time are so much better.  And also, if you don't really pray as a missionary, your life is going to blow, no success and no fun.  Learned that this week.

Yes, I bear my testimony every testimony meeting.  There is a scripture that talks about hiding your talent.  The talent God has given each missionary is Testimony.  So my goal is to bear my testimony each testimony meeting.  So far I have, 2 in the MTC and 2 in good ole' Argentina.  And this time was so good.  I got up and I just could feel everyone smiling at me.  And I did alright.  With the spanish.  Like I said, it's getting there.

I can't find my watch.  I know it's in the pench, I had it during exercises and 2 hours later after comp study I couldn't find it.  No one stole it.  But please send me a cheap 2 peso watch please, so I can use when needed.  And if it is possible, I would love my own ensign.

Oh my, the priesthood session was incredible!  Corbridge gave the prayer.  So did Elder Aidudaitis, not much to say about him, O wait, yes there is.  He's coming to the mission this week!!!!!  And because I live close to the offices, he may come to look at our pench!  He's doing a zone conference, actually 3, and my day is Thursday.  Bummer I won't see Elder Allen or Elder Huntington, they have it Wednesday and Friday.  Gosh!

I killed my first cockroach.  I really wish I could develop a love for them.  So when I see them, I don't scrunch up my face, but I smile.  I talk to it for a second and just appreciate it before I kill it.  Yes the bug was big and it was in the pench.  Yay!

We got a new Elder in the pench!  And he rocks.  The mini missionary we had for 2 weeks went away, he was awesome, and now Elder Crosa from Uruguay is training.  Elder Gonzalez is from Vegas and was only in the MTC for 3 weeks because he already knows spanish!  But his spanish is o so so so different.  I honestly can't understand him, hardly at all.  He's got mexican spanish.  So different. But he is amazing.   That's him in the back of one of those pictures I sent.  Yeah, he likes working out.  He is great, reminds me of Alex Avila.

I read Our Search for Happiness this week.  LOVED IT!!  Wow Elder Ballard.  And then I listened to his father son talk and yeah, I appreciated it a little more than hearing it for the first time in the marriot center with all my buddies.  Dang, I realized what a gem you are dad.  So many good memories we have.  I thought of this one, the 50 miler, and up to steamboat lake when we stopped, just the 2 of us, and moved a bunch of rocks to help out a stream.  And then we found that frog!  Remember?  O, just so many good memories with my good dad.  I love you dad.

We always still have lessons with the familia avilia, 2 a week maybe.  This week brother avilia looked at me and said "Ostler, do you know that Monson is a prophet?"  I was able to answer "Yes, yes I do."  And it was wonderful!  I am so thankful for my testimony.

The avilia family expected more I think, from general conference. Like a big prophetic booming voice, but we explained it usually wasn't that way.  Then I just had the idea and compared their testimony's unto a seed, as Alma did and I even thought of Alma 32 as I spoke, in spanish of course, then as I was talking, franco got up and in a minute came back.  He was holding a worksheet he just got from institute and it was about Alma 32!  It was amazing and I felt amazing.  I was inspired to talk about the seed because then with the paper he had the scriptures of Alma 32 and pictures of seeds in their growth process and then the tree at the end.  It was awesome.

Everything with Elder Hinojosa is good.  We had a woman yesterday call us out.  She was nice enough, but for 30 minutes she called us out because we and the church wasn't there when she needed us.  Her son at 22 was admitted to the psycho ward because he just stopped marijuana and alcohol and can't live life normally now.  Anyway, she was crying and the whole bit.  And later, Elder Hinojosa told me all week he knew we needed to visit, but we didn't.  It was, well, it was alright.  The crazy things that happen daily.

The zoo today was sweet!

Well that's all, I am doing really really good.  Thank you for the prayers.  I know God is honoring them.  And personal study is my favorite.  When I am focused and want to learn, I have the best studies.

That's all folks.  Just so you know, when I read your emails my eyes can't get close enough to the screen.

Had some piano experiences this week, I regretted more than ever that I neglected that. . . . . boys, practice your piano and don't miss a day!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you all
Elder Ostler

Monday, October 4, 2010

I just got goop all over me

Hey!  What is up!¿??¿
Alright here we go, I made an email prep card.  I got to watch all 5 sessions of glorious conference in english!  We were in the Godoy Cruz Stake Center and they had an english room with 25 chairs in it for greengos and others who wanted to see it without translation.  The Elder sitting next to me before the first session leaned over to me and said, "Man, this is like the super bowl!"  And it really was, not that I have seen more than 2 superbowls in my life, but yeah, it was wonderful.
I sat there with my little notebook and just loved it.  It recharged my soul and filled an emptiness that I didn't know was there.  It helped me strengthen my commitment and desire.  I loved it.  Yes, I watched it all live.  Priesthood did end at 11 PM here.  Afterwards we hopped on a bus for 10ish minutes and went to sleep after midnight.  It was weird being up after midnight!
Elder Holland started conference off with some love didn't he?  Charity and love (and patience) are really what I am focusing on.  When I have charity and love, I will not want to sit on my back side and goof off.  I will want to spend every SECOND out teaching and finding and growing the church.  I want that, and as I study love and charity and really pray for it, I feel and witness God giving me that gift.
I am learning how true the 'ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened up unto you' thing is.  I love it.  God is helping me.  And Elder Holland mentioned that his parents didn't touch his bank account while he was serving his mission.  DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT MOTHER!!!  I mowed those lawns for a reason.  I want to pay for this.
And then Elder Hales.  He made a comment about a home being an incubator.  I instantly thought, my home was an incubator, and my parents made it that way.  When I emerged from the home and went to BYU, I was still an egg, just taken out of the incubator. I maybe got a few cracks in me, but that's about all.  Then for some crazy reason, I ended up here in Argentina.  I feel like through these past 4 months my egg has almost completely cracked and I have emerged, an ugly, little duck with the goop stuff still all over me.  But it won't be long before the goop leaves and my feathers start to come in. . .  and then I will learn to fly.  But for now, I just got goop all over me.
Before I forget, I met Elder Campbell, I read his blog before coming.  Who elses Mendoza blog did you read Mom, or do you?
Then Richard C. Edgley of the Presiding Bishopric talked about faith vs fear.  O, do I have a story for you!  Last Monday night, Elder Hinojosa found out, he should have known 3 weeks prior, that he had a capacitacinon for all dls and zls, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Which put me with the newbie in the zone as companions, because the newbies (Elder Bradey) companion is the other dl in the zone.  I found this out Monday night and oh, how I was filled with fear!!  I was so scared.  He has 2 weeks in the missino and I have 8!  We have no idea, and then the whole spanish thing!  Wow.  As we took a 30 minute bus to Pedreial, his area, in a 2 man pench, I tried to replace fear with faith.  I prayed, then that night I prayed for a miracle.  I knew that was the only thing.  I had to have a miracle.
And I did.  God knew we were both newbies.  He knew.  So Tuesday morning we went to contact an ALB, we found casa 2 and a woman nicely greeted us.  For the next 25 minutes we (I) talked to her, taught her, listened to her, and understood her.  Truly a miracle!  She already had a LDM because many years earlier, she had met with the Elders.  So she was familiar with things.  Because of this, she was able to help me out when I struggled with a conjugation or a word.  It was so amazing!  We talked about baptism and the priesthood and the restoration.  Truly a miracle.  Then, walking away (I was walking on water) we realized we were not even in the right place!  We were in the wrong barrio, neighborhood.  But God knew that.  And he knew that at casa 2, nonetheless, there would be that lady, blanca, who I would be able to talk to.  I truly witnessed a miracle and still marvel at the goodness of God.
Then that afternoon they sent us 2 veterans to work with us because the big meeting ended after the siesta and they sent all those dls and zls not working close to Godoy Cruz out to work until the meeting started again Wednesday morning.  And bytheway, the mission offices are connected to the Godoy Cruz stake center.  It really should be steak center because meat is so great here.  Wednesday was good, we survived. . . . .
Then Elder nelson's talk, O MY (I am in this huge cyber in Mendoza Centro and english music is going.  I am loving it, one of Braden's favorite bands is on.  Fall for you is the song right now.  Dad ought to love that one.  I'm enjoying it though :))
I loved Elder Nelson's talk, especially when he said All full time missionaries stand!  Oh yeah, I stood!  It was quite cool.  I am full time.  I eat, sleep and breath this stuff.  Bring it on world.  He said, missionaries serve to make life better for God's children.  That is so true.  My job is to help God bless his children.
This week we went to visit Luis, baptized 1 month ago, but hasn't been to church since.  He's maybe 17, I don't know him at all. Well, he wasn't home, but his mother told us that her daughter, his sister, was real sick in bed. We told her of the priesthood and she said that she would like if we gave her daughter a blessing.  That's all I understood.  So we went in and I anointed, like always, and Elder Hinojosa sealed the anointing.  This girl just kinda propped up in bed as we administered.  Walking away I just felt normal.  But about a block away, my comp explained what happened.  The mother said that her 15 year old daughter was pregnant and in bed.  We gave a blessing to a 15 year old pregnant teenager.  I felt so sad, her life will never be the same.
Then Friday we spend the morning in the sisters area helping them and we found 6 newbies total.  But one house we went in there was this old lady, she was nice and told us of this pain she was having.  So we gave her a blessing, I'm skipping details.  I went to put a drop of oil on her forehead and it came out BLUE!  What in the world!  After the blessing I showed my comp that his oil had somehow turned blue.  Then this other time, before he filled his oil, I was anointing this lady's head and nothing came out.  I turned it all the way upside down, but nothing.  Crap, what do we do.  My comp took it and just kind of rubbed the lid on her head and called it good, works for me.
Every day I marvel that I am a missionary.  I am in wonder DAILY that I am in Argentina!
I bought 2 cheap jerseys for 35 pesos each this morning. So here I sit, my belly almost full of McDonalds with my Argentina jersey on listening to pop english music in the heart of Mendoza.  Yeah, that was our treat, we went to McDonalds.  It was alright.
Then Elder Ucdea, he told a story about a dad, I thought so much of you dad, even Dr. M. Scott Ostler.  I thought about your example, the influence you are in my life.  Wow you are amazing and I feel myself becoming like you.  Just the way I talk (in english) kinda reminds me of you.
Then Jay E. Jensen gave the Argentina shout out in his talk.  I enjoyed that recognition.
Elder Uchtdorf talked about pride, but I really liked the part about humility.  He really taught what humility is, I have never understood it, if I had time I would keep going. . . but. . .
So good to hear Jacob is in Chile!  Yup, I see those mountains, especially in Pedreial at the beginning of this week.  I hope he is hanging in there.  And I am so excited for Braden to start his mission in Mexico.  He will be wonderful.
That chocolate you sent me, I finally found a use for it.  It was not so great just eating it, so I got creative.  I melted it one morning and spread it, along with peanut butter, over my pancakes.  It was fantastic.  The chocolate lasted 3 days.
How are Grammie and Grandpa doing. I hope they're doing good.
Saturday I got 3 dearelders from my sisters!!  It was wonderful to read those words, Amanda's emails home and Saydi's first days of college.  I felt joy as I held those unopened letters.  And then as I read, I was filled with absolute love for those two special girls.  I love you family.
There is my week in email.  I loved the email you sent me.  And I love this english music.  Well, until next week,
Elder Ostler