Monday, November 8, 2010

The power of a righteous fast

What is going on my family!!
Hey, things are good with Elder George here, we are doing good. This is a picture of him today, he chose to dress for the summer today . . . and today is cold.  He is just suffering there as we waited for the bus today.

Not really a week of enjoyment, but still a good week.  We learned and received a huge answer to our fast.

So Monday we started the week off, disappointed.  We hustled up to a cita after district meetings.  It was with Hugo and Jessica, Jessica was the woman we taught as we sat on the dirt floor.  So we went there and they let us in.  We talked a little and then put The Restoration movie in.  The spirit was there, in the room, and it was really sweet.  Then the movie ended and things went downhill from there.  In short, Hugo, the "husband" (not married) felt the spirit but denied it.  And brought up the stupidest thing.  We showed the First Vision picture and he argued for 10 minutes about how no one could draw God.  But we did our part.  We bore testimony as we could, he just kept cutting us off, and tried to help him see the real question, whether Joseph Smith was a prophet of God or not.  He could not accept it.  It was so sad.  But we didn't argue, we did our part, so we started the week off disappointed.

Wilson!  How are you doing??  Something tells me you need to be obedient!!  Young man, be obedient so that you can be a missionary someday.  Elder Wilson Ostler, you have hereby been called to serve . . . in China!  O yeah.  When you want to disobey, think of Jesus.  Have a picture of Jesus with you, in your room or pocket and look at it.  What would Jesus do?  Enjoy America, I kinda miss it.  But Argentina is just rockin.  I love it.

At the beginning of the week we did divisions with the San Ignacio Elders because Elder George had to do a baptism interview.  So that put me in Sarmiento with a newbie, Elder Austin from WA (he knows Elder Duncan.  Elder Duncan died in his ward in WA.  So we enjoyed talking about Elder Duncan.  That was sweet.)  So again, I was the one doing all the talking.  I loved it!!  That morning we had a lesson scheduled with Belen, and we were doing it at the house of a recent convert, hermana Carmen, who recently was baptized and quit smoking.  And Belen has a smoking problem, a big one.  That was the situation.  And the next hour was beautiful.  We started and the Spirit took over.  We talked about the word of wisdom and her cigs.  She wants to stop but obviously it is hard.  Hermana Carmen helped so much with her experience and testimony.  It was a fantastic lesson.  And since then we have only had one lesson with Belen, and she is doing better, still struggling.  But we put a fecha with her!  She is getting baptized the 20th of November!!!!!  I am so excited!

Another real cool experience, we were walking and this guy who we always see motioned for us to come over to him.  We started talking and he said he is struggling.  No work.  And keeping food on the table is really a worry for him.  He asked what the church could do.  It was humbling.  It was sad.  But at the same time I was happy.  I know that in his situation it might be easier to accept the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We committed him to church and said we would talk with the Bishop about what kind of help we could get him.  But he didn't show up.  Neither did Belen.  I was so sad during church.  Just sadness filled my body.  I bore my testimony and was just sad and beaten.  Why?  Why are the people not coming, what am I doing wrong?  We had 4 committed, solid commitments.  And we called Belen before church and she said she was coming with her sons.  And the chico David didn't come either.  So I was sad.

Then we were having a plan jam session during principios del evangelico class because we had no one to teach.  And then for no reason, one of the obispado members walked in - Boom, sat down and answered our quesitions.  It was such a blession.  We talked, we talked about the work and about baptizing people.  He was a RM from Uruguay.  He said, Elders it's not your fault that you're not having success.  It's our fault.  It's the members.  If you want to see success you have to work with the members.

Elder George and I have been doing our part, but  we have not been seeing so much success here in Sarmiento.  And we know that we have to work with the members.  We have been saying that for the last 2 weeks.  But we really haven't been doing it.  But that man, hermano sanchez, was the answer to our prayers and questions.  We talked specifically about how we could work with the members.  And how he did work with the members in his mission.  How 70% of his baptisms were references from the members.  We are happy now.  Ready for the week.  PMG says over and over again - work effectively.  Effectively.  Work effectively.  And we have really not been doing that.  Knocking doors is NOT effective.  And it is draining, the rejection gets to you after weeks of doing it and seeing no fruit.  So we are done knocking doors.  Done.  Finished.  We are working with the members.  We will visit them daily and make sure they are obeying the commandments, reading and praying daily and having FHE.  Because when they are doing these things they will have the spirit and be able to help us out.  We will get references.  I love the quote about working with members in PMG by President Hinckley.

And when I say we are done knocking doors, obviously when we see an open door in the way, we will clap it, or when someone is in the yard, we will talk with them.  But just hour after hour of knocking.  Yeah, those days are over.  So now we have a goal and a PLAN.  And here we go.  We think we have figured out the way to work Sarmiento.  It's a hard area.  The people are hard.  But we are finding the way to do it.  Goodbye discouragement.  That fast we did and all of our prayers have been answered.  The power of a righteous fast.

So then Sunday night, or in other words last night, we applied what we learned.  We went and visited members.  We had some great experiences.  This one house we went to and asked for Irma, some inactive.  Well the girl at the window left, and out of the house a minute later walked an abuela.  And that is rare because usually people just don't even open the window and tell us they are busy from there.  But Ilda, her name is Ilda, the daughter must have thought we were saying that, so that's cool right there, I'm making no sense.  But the names are close and this lady says she's not a member but recently moved to the house.  She had a great spirit about her.  We talked with her about the gospel and left her a Book of Mormon which she graciously accepted and said she's read the chapter we left her.  So the Sarmiento game plan is working.  And I know I say this about all the news we have, or just good albs we have, but I really believe she could get baptized.  I am so ready to fill that font.

Also, last night I met my first anti-american.  He just exploded on us, told us to go back home to fix our own country.  I told him I was in Argentina to help his country.  He called me a liar.  I stopped walking and he did too.  I bore testimony to him, but he just stomped on it.  Then he just started swearing and Elder George told him to watch his mouth and we walked away.  It was cool.  I don't know, last night both Elder George and I were happy and nothing could get us down.  We are excited.

Also, we had a Sonda, which is hot wind, yesterday.  It was nuts.  So windy!!  There were trees down, roads blocked, power outages, just nuts.  Kinda sweet.  But so dusty!

Another thing, we made brownies for the ladies that feed us weekly and wash our clothes.  They turned out great!  And I forgot to say we had lunch with the members every day last week!  It was great.  But this week we only got 2.  Ohhh. . . but that's ok.  I'm making spaghetti!

Our pench is finally all in order and clean now.  It's real nice.

Spanish is coming good.  I am feeling comfortable.  It's a good feeling.

I read Jase's letter, man has that kid changed.  That is not the Jase I would go fishing with.  The mission has the power to change a person.  Jase is just going to do awesome, just going to rock it. I'm excited for him.  And wow, when he said he's half way done with the Book of Mormon in Spanish, wow, that got me thinking.  I sooo need to be more diligent.  But that helped me and this week I did way better reading el libro de mormon out loud in spanish.

And I finally got to use my futbol shoes.  We played at the church with the boys of the family avila.  It was great.  I love them!

I don't know when I get my new card, hopefully soon.  And my toe is mas o menos.  But it's all good.  And we get mail during zone conference or when we have interviews.  And we have them in 2 weeks.  I don't know when zone conference is but today we played basketball!  It was awesome and I rocked it.  I drained 3 threes, just rocked it.  Then we went to McDonalds and these snakes sitting next to us just made fools out of themselves.  Trying to talk english and just trying to get our attentino.  We didn't even give them a look.  It was way funny though.

This picture is Elder George and I after we finally got both bunk beds functioning.

A huge bee.  Just a reminder that I am in South America.
The water in our pench is almost clean.  This is a bottle full of water and those black things in the bottom . . . I'm not sure what they are, but no problem, my body is used to it!
It's been good, love Elder Ostler