Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween - One in church!

Hey family.  I got mail today!!!!!!!!  So much mail that all of my companions in the pench just look the other way!  Can you say jealous?  Celoso.

Let me answer the questions, except the one about the talk, don't worry about it.  The general conference Ensign is coming!  And that will satisfy.  I don't know why I got the letter you sent on dearelder from Braden and not Amanda's.  But today I got the Amanda dearelders.  Those are sweet to read.  I've only read parts, but I loved some of the quotes.  The 'go to hell' part sounds familiar, although generally people aren't too mean here.  Most recognize us as servants of God, but many think they are already set with Him and they don't need us.  That is why we plead on their doorsteps, please we will be out in 5 minutes.  Just listen for 5 minutes.

As my love for God, His gospel and the people of Argentina grows, I don't want to come back to the pench early anymore to relax.  I don't want to do mínimo ALB, I don't want to waste time, but rather I want to work, and I want to teach and testify so bad.  And Amanda is right, the best way to open the mouth is to testify.  I also loved her quote about the spirit being a study buddy.  That is awesome.  I have had some of my favorite hours in the mission from 8-9 AM.  I love personal study.  I find and the Lord gives me so much strength as I study His word.  And PMG just comes alive, I love that book.  And I used to not do personal study on Pday.  I knew one was supposed to, but I just did what my comps did.  But now I realize how foolish that is.  If I were to continue that bad habit, I lose one seventh of my gospel study time in my mission.  How foolish.  But my thinking earlier was, I want more time on pday.  That is selfish and prideful.  Thanks for your words on pride, Dad.  Preach every week, I love it.  So this morning we all did 1 hour of personal study.  It was really really good.  And honestly, the Lord gave us more time today.  It seems like it should be much later.  The Lord blesses us when?  Immediately when we keep the commandments.  There's a scripture reference on that but I don't have The Word with me right now.  Maybe in King Benjamin's discourse.

I don't email Amanda.  I did a couple times but I never got anything back.  Maybe I will keep doing it.  And yes, I am emailing Saydi.  That's just fun, she's great.  Yes, I am sure Argentina goes through the packages you send.  There is a hole in it.  And no, it costs me nothing.  I was really hoping to get bedsheets today, but I must wait a bit longer.

I lost my mission card so I am living off my personal card for the next week.  That's ok and things are taken care of.  I have no idea where that thing went.  But the church didn't lose any money because there was only 15 pesos on it.  So maybe they lost 15 pesos.  My toe is alright, it's not pretty, but I take care of it.  It really doesn't give me pain unless I kick a large rock with that foot, or I'm cleaning it.  I used to soak it daily, now I just rinse it before I go to bed.  But it is ok.  And I will show it to the nurse when I go to the office next time.

This week was a roller coaster.  I classify it under the good week section of my mission though.  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday had the potential to be awful, we just couldn't get in a house, everyone told us no, besides 2 people.  But it was just no good.  But Elder George and I kept smiling and laughing.  It was hard times.  This one guy invited us in and the minute we sat down we knew we were in trouble.  He started from Adam and just went off.  Just raising his voice and saying cualquier cosa.  Just a nuts guy.  He did not let us say one word.  We should have walked out after the first 5 minutes but for some reason we waited till like 15 minutes.  Won't do that again.

Those 3 days we only found 2 people.  One guy I opened the mouth with after a trying morning.  He listened.  I actually opened the mouth with him because he was smoking.  He himself threw his cig and told us he needed help.  He listened to a quick lesson.  He wanted help.  He was selling mattresses and said he was a miserable smoker and alcoholic.  Just an awful life.  I loved helping him, what little I could.  He told us he was always under the bridge of sarmianto just before the siesta for a couple hours.  We passed by the next day and he wasn't there.  I hope we can find him again.  But just a test those first 3 days.  We were wondering so much why we're having next to nothing for success, or at least success we could see.  We were obedient and diligent and had faith but we just didn't see anything and wondered why the Lord wasn't blessing us in the way we thought he should.  But we went out Friday smiling and hopeful, hopeful that people would listen to us, and they did!!  It was fantastic.  We found 5 news!  And some of them were really really good.  We also had some other great lessons.  Just a good, really spiritual day.

Then Saturday was another awesome day!  Four news!  One of them is, just, o just wonderful.  She is so ready.  She is what the BofM and D&C calls ELECT.  I love finding the elect.  I love teaching and finding those people who I know God has prepared for us to teach.  And I pray every day that, and ask Him to keep preparing people for us to find, teach and baptize.  I'm so excited to fill the font soon!!

We had one in church!!!!!!! highlighted bolded italicized!!!!!!!  I was super super happy.  Happy Halloween, one in church.  And unlike all the other assistincies I have had, family Avilia and others in Villa Mercedes, for this one, she came because I did something.  Not just showing up in an area and having people to teach and baptize, but I was there when we first taught her.  And o my, it was a miracle she came!  We called and called and called and she didn't pick up.  But after a prayer and quick trip to the church Sunday before meetings started (because we returned a cd player we borrowed from the church) we booked it to her house and she was there, within 5 minutes she came out and because we would have been so late walking, especially at a normal Argentine pace, we took a bus.  It was startling to watch her light up a cigarette waiting for the bus.  But we didn't throw it because we really wanted her to come to church.  We've only had one lesson with her, her name is Belen, and she doesn't know smoking isn't allowed.  So I was really excited.  And in church I was the one who sat next to her and explained every little thing to her.  It was so cool!  She loved church and was excited to find that she could bring her 2 kids, ages around 8ish.  This week I really hope to tear it up.  We already have alot of appointments scheduled and phone numbers from the 11 news we got this week.  And the mission standard is 10 news a week, so we reached that goal!

But Halloween was not so happy and Elder George said it was the hardest afternoon of his mission.  But I was just in the sky all day because Belen, because of great effort on our part, came to church.  Hope that's not pride you read in that sentence.  I am just thrilled she came!!!!  Yipeee, heel clicker!!!  But yesterday we just got REJECTED so hard core.  Thursday we had these 2 Angel ladies we taught.  They accepted the restoration and everything.  It was the most tender lesson ever.  The spirit was as strong as I have ever felt it.  There was so much truth in that house.  At one point Elder George was sitting by one lady on the couch (they had a couch that we taught from!) and I was next to the other. We took 5 minutes and had a one on one conversation as we explained a little bit more about the BofM and the chapter we left them to read, Alma 7.  The spirit was cranking.  So after the amazing lesson we agreed that we would come back Sunday night.  Well we did.  And this punk dude greeted us outside and said they were busy.  We see them and they just kinda looked hurt and through the window, told us no.  We were shocked and asked the man a question.  He went in the house and turned off the light, which because it was already dark outside, made it so we could see nothing in the house.  It hurt.  It was really like someone took 2 big rocks and dropped them on our heads.  We have no idea what happened.  But we now have an enemy, that mean man.  He probably told them we were the bad guys.  But either way, we still have hope in them, Dina and Ruth.  We're going to find out what was going on.  So just a bad night.

But after sacrament meeting (I was already super happy) the blessings just came.  This lady came up and said, hey do you want to do a family home evening with the family Avilia?  I'll help you out.  Then the family who was feeding us that day said, Elders you're coming over for lunch, right?  Of course, and we did.  Then this YW came up and gave us a reference and said, I gave this woman a BofM and she really liked it.  You should go visit her, I'm praying for you.  It was such a great like 5 minutes.  But then, that afternoon we had a test because we were rejected by everyone.  Even the reference we visited rejected us.  And we walked way far away to visit them.  Sometimes the mission is just like Uggggggg. . . . . and other times it is amazing amazing.

So this week was good and this next one is going to be even better.

We are remodeling our pench. We are doing some major work in it, making bunk beds, which required some engineering genius because we were missing screws and anyway just a big mess, but being the cappos we are, we almost have it figured out.  We are simply missing one screw.  But everything is great.  We are making pizza in about 20 minutes.  The bread is in the pench rising right now.  Some members showed the other Elders Gonzalez and Crossa (who really wants me to tell Amanda about him).  So Amanda, he has plans of you coming to Uruguay.  He has the sweetest spanish.  I love it.

So we're getting really hungry because end of the month and there is no money so we make tortitas for 3 pesos.  Just basically rolls, that's how you all call them.  They were amazing.  So now, as Elder Corossa says it, we know how to make the miracle of the bread.  So we are making pizza tonight.  I am excited, and so hungry right now.

I loved the picture of Harrison, que cappo!  He's just a gem in the family isn't he.  Are you all practicing your piano?  I really do hope you are.

I always marvel that I am in Argentina.  Just wow.  I am a missionary wearing the black name tag.  And I am in Argentina, Mendoza.  I love it here.  I love all the little things that happen.  Just the insignificant things.

Elder George and I don't like all the apostasy here.  There is so much!!!!  It is awful.  People are confused, there is just so much apostasy.  I can even open their bible and show them the first commandment, no other gods before me.  Gosh, I don't get it.  We sometimes think of the great apostasy as an event, and yes it was, but there is still so much apostasy in this world.  And so much here in Sarmianto.  And I am out to preach the truth.  I love how Grandpa Skinner always used to ask me before the mission, "How's my preacher doing?"  Tell him I am doing good.

Our pench is really close.  Us 4 get along and have a lot of fun.  que vayan bien.  The spanish is doing good.  Obviously the rate of learning and frustration has slowed down, but I am still learning.  I loved the part about Sister Chen learning english and how she read the entire BofM.  I am reading the spanish BofM and that was just a little kick in the pants to turn up the heat.  To redouble my efforts for righteousness.  To keep fighting.

Well, my time has come.  I must go.  I love the quote from Babe Ruth "you just can't beat the person who never gives up."  I love you family.

Love, Elder Ostler