Monday, November 15, 2010

Homemade spaghetti by a clueless missionary!

The weather is just perfect. Like you said dad, its comfortable hot. Not bad at all. O but just I wait! Someone´s slowly turning up the oven in Mendoza! It's going to get HOT.

The emails are perfect. And no the boys don´t have to send their letters electronically. YES, send the MTC agenda, the daily planner, please. The toe is just the same. I have not tried to cut the side of the nail. I was just going to have the nurse look at it tomorrow, during our interviews but. . . . anyway we are not having interviews tomorrow. So the toe will be ok. It doesn´t really cause me pain.

The coolest experience (aside from the lesson with Belen) was doing service. The Elders living with us, from Carodilla area, invited us to help them do service for their ward mission leader. He was building his house.  So we went one siesta to help them out. It was great. So the makeshift house the family of 5 is living in right now is made out of tarps. No shower or bathroom. It is a humble house. There is a picture of us eating chicken and rice in the house. Yup, dirt floor. But the family is HAPPY.

Money is not important for real happiness. The Gospel is. They live the Gospel and they are happy. What we did was shovel dirt and the concrete stuff that comes in those bags in a wheel barrow and transport it. (I feel so silly trying to describe things like this!) And also we transported a huge pile of huge rocks closer to the house. We used shovels and wheelbarrows. It was great! And I loved it. The barrio they are living in . . wow. Those people have next to nothing.

Picture break. I took one in front of a part of the barrio, there was grass!! And just green green grass. I love seeing and smelling the grass. I'm kind of attached to it.

Then today we went to centro. and we all put on Elder George Nike Portland shirts. Gotta love it tucked in! And yes, it is still tucked in. And that blue car, I think that is right in front of our door to our pench. That is the street we live on.

Belen -- she didn´t come to church, again. But she is still progressing in the Gospel. Everything was set for us to go pick her up for church. Until we called Saturday night to verify. She said she wouldn´t be at her house in the morning. But she said that she would come. We were worried, and our worries turned into a reality when she didn´t come to church. We tried and tried to call her, but no answer. She is about 35, 2 kids, and her husband is in jail. We don´t know much about that. Anyway, she is so sincere, and wants to change her life and stop smoking. And with the cigs, she is improving!! When we found here she was smoking 40 a day. And this week she dropped to 15, and is rapidly improving! She reads the Book of Mormon and prays. Belen is my pride and my joy. She is why I came. This is the first time I am watching, from start to finish, someone come unto Christ through repentance and baptism by water (soon). We ran the fecha to the 27th, and I know she will achieve that day. I remember, over a month ago, when we found here, Elder Hinojosa and I. She has changed so much! There is light in her eyes! She is happier! Hope has come into her life. She loves the Gospel. This week we did have a worry, that she wasn´t married. So we brought out the law of chastity bomb, but it didn´t explode. She´s legally married!! It was my first time teaching this commandment, and I was a touch, just a touch nervous. And it was actually me in the lesson who explained what the law of chastity means. It went great and she accepted the commitment. And that was just a fantastic lesson, when she said she still want´s to get baptized, that she smoked 15 cigs the day before and that day (it was 4pm) she had only smoked 5!!!!  It was just a fantastic feeling, just incredible, to watch someone happily say that they were improving. I love watching her come unto Christ.

Sara -- I opened the mouth with her a couple weeks ago. She talked to me forever and told me about her nephew who served a mission in the states and how she has a book of Mormon. So we stopped by the house one day. Long story short, she accepted us and is accepting the Gospel. She doesn´t think the cathloic church has the truth (ummmm, yeah it doesn´t) and is a true follower of Christ. She is looking for the truth . . . and she has found it. We have had 3 lessons with her. A lady in her 50's who lives with a grandma, real old, and has to take care of her. For this, she has not been able to come to church the last 2 weeks, but wants to to see what it's like.

There are so many obstacles with getting people to church and more, to the waters of baptism! I am getting better at solving such problems though. Although people will always have their agency. It´s part of the plan. So Sara is reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. But she says that she is not receiving an answer. That is the big holdup. But the answer will come. We need to make sure she is following what it says in the promise of the Book of Mormon and that she is praying in the right form. And the answer will come. She will, one day, know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that baptism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what God wants for her. She just wants an answer. We will continue to teach her the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and teach her how to recognize an answer. But I know that church attendance will help her, a ton. The 3 things people can do to know the truth of these things is to read the Book of Mormon, pray, and attend church. The Big Three. Anyone who wants a testimony of this Gospel must do these 3 things.

Some happenings of the week. Our lighter broke. So for the past couple days when we wanted the stove lit, one person had to go outside and hold a stick under the pilot light of the water heater and then, once on fire, hand the stick through the window where the inside guy took the stick and lit the stove or the oven. But we bought matches today, so that problem is solved. Our shower water pressure is slowly deteriorating. All this week it was just, I don´t know how to describe it. I feel like Brian Regan trying to descirbe what is wrong with his car to the mechanics. Our water is just like a drip, but a steady stream of drips. Hmmmmm. Like when you turn on the sink, and it is just a stream of water like that, but much less water than our sink, like your sink, the one at home, puts out. I dont´even know why I'm trying to describe this to you! And I am not complaining, I'm just tying to give you some details about life in the log cabin.

And how is Amanda? She just needs to hang in there and put a smile on.

This week was a fast week, kinda mas o menos. We are still learning how to work with members. Preach My Gospel says work EFFECTIVELY, and the way to do that is to work with the members. We had a great dinner . . .. what, I mean lunch, we don´t eat dinner here, with familia Videla. It was so fun and fantastic. He was in the Buenos Aries Mission about 15 years ago, an AP. We asked him how we worked with the members. He gave us some fantastic ideas, things he did in his mission. So once again, we start the week excited, fresh and ready to tackle the Lords work in Sarmiento. And actually last week in working with the members we visited one, and the mother said, hey do you have lunch tomorrow, we said no. And she told us to come on over! Great. This week we had los noquis 3 times. My first time having them. They are fantastic!

Also the 2 days I didn´t have lunch with members, I made spaghetti. Kinda drucho homemade. I cut up 3 tomatoes and 1 small onion and put it in a frying pan and cooked it. Then I browned carne molida. When it was brown I added a little tomato sauce and mixed it all together with some salt. And topped it off with some noodles. It was . .. Argentine homemade spaghetti made by a clueless missionary. I liked it though.
Elder George and I walking down a railroad in the middle of Argentina

Bytheway, I really liked what Seth Edvalson said, also Brother Henry and Ben Cueves. I am so glad you wrote that because Elder George talks a lot about home and this week there were some really hard hours where I just thought and thought and thought about home. And the comforts of life at home. It was hard, and I allowed myself to become homesick. But seeing Belen progress this week reminded me of why I am here. But I am snapping out of my homesickness daze. I am here to roll up my sleeves and go to work! A quote form Elder Christofferson. And I can´t wait until I get my hands on a conference ensign, in English!

As you can probably imagine, in opening the mouth with 10 people every day, one is bound to meet some "crazies!" And this week one of our news was just nuts. She said that the sun talks to her. It was a very interesting lesson.

I am collecting corks.

Elder George and I are in charge of Sacrament meeting next week. We are both giving talks . .. and the tema is La Obra Misional. O Yeah!

And we had a makeshift meeting with our obispo this week and he gave some great words on what a missionary is. And then we talked about the ward, how we can help. He trusts us so much! As we talked about famisiles to visit, he just gave us information on everyone we can help.... kinda like 'here is his story so you can help him out.' It is not like he was just giving us peoples dirt, but O my he trusts us so much. We are going to help this ward out. 2.5 years ago the ward only had 14 active members! Yesterday there were almost 70 people in church!!!(kids and childs included)

I forgot to tell you all but some weeks ago there was a national Argentina census. The censo. We had to stay in the pench until the person came to count us and ask us a bunch of questions. Our person came at 2. But the rest of the day we weren´t allowed to knock doors or anything.

And the Ellensburg lady, Chao. The husband called us - whats the word where you have more than one wife? Ummmm. . . can´t remember, O polygamist. Yeah, he didn´t want us to come over anymore.

So here I sit. That´s about all I got to say. I feel like I really typed a lot. Hope you enjoy. And I did get my new mission credit card. Thank you for everything family. I love love you. Happy late birthday Jefferson. And happy early birthday Harrison.

Until next week, this is Elder Ostler signing off.