Monday, December 13, 2010

There is a keyboard in the pench!

Well, I'm in Rivadavia.  I really like it here, just a small place, a little bit it reminds me of my first area.  But this place is so rich.  Just rico. Money money money and clean.  So CLEAN.  Obviously there are less rich parts etc, but for the most part wow.  And the first house Elder Mcclain and I got into Thursday there was a carpet rug and we sat on couches!  Just insane.

I am literally cutting the cheese. That, maybe 10 lbs or more of cheese, was gifted to us by an extremely rich member. Just a gorgeous house with all the little details. I have never seen anything here like it.
The Largayoil family. They fed us an awesome lunch of noquis.
I do love noquis but too many noquis me hace mal! It is just painful.
Saying goodbye on Tuesday.  It was sad to leave Sarmiento, Elder George, Elder Crossa and Elder Gonzalez.  That pench was amazing. Kind of indescribable, we were so close and tight.  That day we packed (Elder Gonzalez, got transferred to San Rafael, to be with an Elder that only had 6 weeks in the mission, just 2 young kids, younger than my companion and me!!)  it was also a picture day, we passed by four members, they all wrote in my little book and it was good.  It was a really good Tuesday.

We went by Hermana Carmen, the bishop, the family Ulloa (they washed our clothes and fed us all the time), Hermano Vargus (wait til you get the card and see the video I took in that backyard) then of course the family Avila.  They are strong and doing good.

With Hermana Carmen. She is probably my favorite Argentine.
She cried when I said goodbye.
She is so so so solid, read the Book of Mormon in 3 months and is halfway through it again.

There I am with the Avilias. They gave us a ton of fruit and stuff that night.
We are next to the train tracks with some sweet mountains in the back.
Then Wednesday we woke up and Elder George and I just sat on those couch things in the pench for an hour and talked.  We took a taxi to the terminal, and there I met Elder Mcclain (from Ocean City NJ) and said goodbye to Elder George.  I miss that elder.  I realize that he was SO MUCH FUN.  What a personality he has, and I miss that.  We were only in the terminal for 30 minutes, then we caught a 10 peso bus to Rivadavia.  It´s always interesting the first couple days with a new companion.

In the terminal.  Me and my trainer and his trainer, my grandpa, Elder Medina.
A 3 generation picture there. And the mission has lost alot of momentum.
Elder Reynolds went home!!!! NO!!! That awesome tie I'm wearing, he gave that to me.
It's his father son tie. He adopted me.
How do we cool down?  At my last pench, during the siesta I would hop in the shower or fill a bucket with water and dunk my head in it. The bucket head thing is really fun, but really, it's not that hot.  Just kinda.  And we have 2 fans in the pench.  Yes, the hockey jersey was given to the Bishops son.  Wow, skiing!!!!  I'll just be here in Argentina.  The phone call, not much more info.  Hopefully I'll have some for you next week ;) winky face.

We baptized this week!!!  Rosa is really amazing, kinda timid but knows it's true.

Baptism!!!! That is Rosa and under the stewardship of Elder Mcclain and I, she was baptized and confirmed a member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this week.  So sweet.

This next one is awesome.  The kids and I are running around outside the church after the baptism. This picture is priceless, taken at the precise moment that the tiny guy, Facundo, tripped and went down. I love it.
There's another one once they caught me!
So here's the situation.  There is a Rivadavia branch and there used to be a Junin branch.  The Junin branch no longer exists as of 8ish months ago.  Something bad happened, so the few faithful Junin members just commute every Sunday.  My companion was trained in Junin.  A small city with alot of surrounding campo.  Last week at interviews, President Lindahl called all four Elders into his office and told them the plan.  The goal is to make Rivadavia a ward.  So the President is focusing all efforts in Rivadavia now, leaving Junin vacant.  It is building the church from the inside out.  It is just so hard for people way in the heck out in Junin to come to church.

So Rivadavia was split in half.  The dividing line is San Isidro.  We have one half and the other Elders in the pench have the other half.  It is great.  But yesterday we asked and received a copy of the ward list and our vision now is to make Rivadavia a STAKE.  We received 27 pages of members!!  Branch attendance is 60, and it is the strongest ward (it's actually a branch) I've been in yet.  Seven days ago, the branch presidency changed.  All 3 positions.  And WOW.  This branch is being lit on fire.  I'll probably tell you more about them but let's just say, the bishop is an RM 3 years ago.  A Preach My Gospel Missionary.  He Rocks!!!  Just an awesome man.  He knows how to be a good missionary and he expects alot of us.  He is pushing retention which is something I love!  So that's awesome.

The Rivadavia branch, this year, has baptized. . . are you ready . . . 48 people.  Eight are still active.  Just some stud missionaries have come through here.  Elder Meldurm . . . and Elder REYNOLDS.  I love looking through the former investigators and seeing his name signed on the registro.  Just a cappo him.

So Rosa was baptized.  Before I got here (because of the division of area) Elder Mcclain had only taught her once.  And together we taught her twice.  The baptism was really cool.  The branch presidency showed up and the previous bishops wife hooked us up with alot of free pan from her panederia.  And we bought coke and cookies.  I practiced practiced, was nervous nervous and played the piano for the baptism.  How did I practice you ask??  THERE IS A KEYBOARD IN THE PENCH!  Wow, now I have to balance my siesta time between practicing (there is no one in the ward that plays the piano, we sing acapella) and Spanish study.

Elder Mcclain baptized her and all was good.  There was 2 hours of intense worry on Saturday when we came up empty handed with baptismal clothes for Rosa.  Eventually we found that tunica (2 towels sewed together, that's Argentina for ya!) and all was well.  The piano playing went pretty well.

Going to church
The pench is awesome!!  It is huge, and has a loft, and 2 toilets!!  It has alot of open space and just awesome.  Then we have this roof part, just great.  Every pench is such an experience, so different.  I think I will be in this pench for 6 months.

The older Elder in the pench, Elder Hyre, has 8 months in Argentina and is training!  So there's a pichon in the pench.  It's good, Elder Mcclain and I are helping him.  Elder Mcclain had a rough first 2 transfers.  Elder Mcclain is a surfer.  I'm learning alot about surfing. He went to BYUH for a year.  I guess he's a pretty intense surfer.  He loves it.  And we know that same person!  A girl named Elise Mcnaughton, they were in the same stake in NJ and she was in my ward at BYU.  We went to a couple hockey games together.  So that is just wild!

He is a very organized Elder.  Very organized.  He didn't like the sarten when he got here, so he just bought his own!  He also bought his own tupperware to mix things and to use as a bowl.  He's great. Very excited about the work.  And it's cool because I get to teach him things.  Like companion study and planning at night.  I guess his trainer wasn't a committed missionary, the first time Elder Mcclain did companion study was Thursday.  Same with a nightly planning session. But he just got by and planned on his own, etc.  I looked in the thin book (because our area is relatively new, the Elders before didn't really work in it) and it is all updated in his handwriting and color coordinated.  Pretty cool.

School's out for summer is playing.  It makes me think of Dad.  So it's good with him.  We have a really young pench.  I love the new Elder, Elder Owens.  His head is just spinning.  It's been fun watching him this first week.  Reminded me of me.  It's fun to translate for him at church etc.  His trainer, Elder Hyre, is sweet . . . mostly an interesting Elder.  Don't know how to describe him.  School's out forever.

I guess I'm excited about the phone call.  I haven´t really thought about it.  It will be unreal.  Like a dream.  We will probably be talking for an hour, maybe an hour and a half.  We may baptize that day, that could get tricky.   We will figure it out, I'm not worried.

I forgot to say, technically Junin is still in our area, so basically our area is HUGE!!!!  We will only work in Junin off of references, which we already have 3.  One really solid one.

Sunday we took a bus out there with a member to teach this lady, but she wasn't there.  Bummer.  The members here are AWESOME.  I love them.  So kind and giving.  We have had lunch every day this week minus Sunday.  It is pretty cool.  But it's hard because we have to share lunch with the other elders.

By the way, just to tempt you mom.  I think mine and Elder Mcclains phone number is 262??????? that is 262???????.  I don´t really know what else to say.  I'm excited to baptize.  Christmas is coming.  Not much Christmas music here .  . .

I guess one more picture.  That's me in front of a sweet wall in Sarmientos.  That marijuana eye is graffitied everywhere.  I love the train.

I feel like this will suffice as a good email.  It seems like Saydi had a good week.  She´s so excited to come home I think.

We have zone meeting in San Martin this week, so we get to take a bus there tonight.  And we still have to go shopping and I need to wash some clothes!!  But it has been a very relaxing p day.  Except I smell really bad right now.

Love Elder Ostler
Boys, remember, practice your piano, so you don´t have to do it on your mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's a lot of explanation marks, because I mean it!  Later and I love you all.

Hello.  Dad - please send pictures from your missino.  I want to see you as a little missionary!!!!!  Bye for real.