Monday, January 31, 2011

Argentina is beautiful

So happy that you all went to Hawaii to be with Saydi to receive the blessing patriarchal.  Her email to me was full of happiness and excitement.  She’s psyched you went.
My companion is Awesome.  Did you get all those pictures I sent?  At lunch on Wednesday he showed his skill as an electrician and installed a ventilador de techo.  It was really cool watching him mount and give the ceiling fan power.
Then Wednesday night on the way home, he bought melons and we went home and feasted.  They were so good and he gave me the best part.  His middle name is Service.  He has charity.  I think it was honeydew.  I’ve never liked it, but here, honeydew is great.  It’s green.  Every time I eat it and say honeydew I think of Rush!
Elder Arrua is a fast walker, I like that.  Man, this little guy just hauls.  And it’s fun being with a Lamanite.  He is a descendant of the Charrua tribe from Uruguay.  Yesterday we were walking, we passed a guy sitting in a silla de ruedas, wheelchair, and without thinking my comp said happily, ‘Como anda amigo?’  Literally, how do you walk friend, but it means how are you doing?  After we passed him, he realized what he said and it was So Funny.  How do you walk, to a guy with no legs.  He felt super bad.  I thought it was super funny.
And Elder Arrua is a great studier and teacher.  And he’s probably the only one to ever use the white handbook during a lesson.  Our first solid spiritual lesson was on Tuesday.  It was powerful as we taught two of Rosa’s daughters, a lesson guided by the spirit and amazing.  One of the daughters came to the baptism and the other one came to church.
Castallano fun fact.  The word for wife is esposa.  The word for handcuffs is esposas.  It fits the culture because marriage is viewed in that light, sadly.  Jorge and Rita, the young couple I opened the mouth with two weeks ago, would be in the water making The Covenant with God, but they’re not married.  Sad face.  They both came to church though!!  Slowly but surely.
One of my favorite pictures EVER!

Argentina is a funny place.  When doing construction, like digging a hole in the middle of the road, instead of putting gradual flashing orange cones in the road, the Argentines just find 2 cans, fill them oil and light ‘em on fire.  It seems to warn bikers, drivers, and missionaries that there is a big hole in the road.
The theme song of this transfer is Soul Sister.  Elder Owens is so talented and sings so well.  He is also darn good at making stuff up on the piano.  He plays and sings that song all the time.  My comp, who really is not to great at all at singing, about everyday subconsciously starts singing that song.  And then at the after the baptism party at the house of family Flores, we heard that song!!!  Wow.
The baptism Saturday morning at 11AM was Amazing!!!  Everything was set.  He passed the interview wonderfully, has received an answer to both Joseph Smith and Thomas Monson being prophets.  And also prayed about the Book of Mormon and received an answer testifying of the truthfulness of the book.  He told us his whole family was coming, including his 3 nonmember teenage siblings.  Silvios, 15 bytheway, but he seems like an 18 year old or something.  So here we are, Saturday Morning.  11 o’clock comes around and Silvio and his family shows up.  Then a few members show up.  The other Elders come.  After that, 2 of our other investigators, Celina and Nina arrive.  Things are looking fantastic.  At about 5 minutes after 11 the fun really started.  Silvios extended family, cousins, aunts and uncles just started pouring in the chapel!!!  And by about 11:30 everyone that had been invited was there.  There were about 20 nonmembers!!!!  Fifteen of them being from Silvio’s family!!!  People came from San Martin and wow, it was an amazing sight.

That is Silvio and family at his baptism!

Tito, Elder Arrua, Silvio, me
Silvio is probably the only member of the church ever, to arrive at his baptism with a white shirt And white pants.  We started the baptism service and had to set up many more chairs.  I manned the piano.  The service was powerful. . . Elder Owens sang a solo, mas cerca dios a ti and I accompanied.  WOW.  The talks were also great.  We moved over to the font, and I had a great time witnessing that every hair of his head submerged under the water.  I originally was going to baptize him, but we were thinking of what member could do it, and Tito was chosen.  He is the dad of good friends of Silvio.  So it was way cool.
Afterwards, we ate facturas and tortitas and drank the classic coke.  It was an amazing and spiritual servicio bautismal.  The best I have ever been at.  Afterwards we were invited to Silvios house to almorzar with all the family.  A crazy party and it was great.  We ate cow tongue.  Yum.  Then the next day at church, he was confirmed.  Elder Arrua and I stood in the circle as he received the Holy Ghost.
I don’t know who I’m kidding.  I tell you it is not too hot.  But this week I realized, dang, that is a lie.  IT IS SO HOT!  I drip sweat with every activity I do.  I sweat, sweat, and sweat some more.  At church yesterday it was even hotter.  As I took the santa cenasweated, and when I opened my eyes I realized I had created a nice little puddle on some white notes on the piano.  To make up for all this sweat, and more sweat, I drink a lot of water.  And people always give us juice.
We had five investigators in church!!!  Two of Silvios siblings, Jorge and Rita, and Lucila, a 13 year old daughter of Rosa.  It was great.  None of them have fecha though.  And our two really promising ones didn’t come, Dario and Celina.  That made me sad.  But I’m making a splash in Rivadavia.  Two inactive couples came to church for the first time in years.  Both of Silvios parents, and then a family Maure.  An endowed couple, that’s kinda rare here, inactive for 10 years.  But after an amazing lesson we had with the wife, Laure, both of them came!  And were embraced by many friends from so long ago.  After church we participated in blessings of health for both of them.  Really cool.
Zone conference was on last Tuesday.  It changed me.  President Lindahl is a man of POWER!  I love him so so much, he is a force for good in this world and I can’t explain it but it’s just amazing.  We sang “Families Can Be Together” in ingles and I thought of you ALL and missed you.  Mom, Dad, Amanda, Saydi, Harrison, Jefferson, Benson, Wilson.  I miss you!!
Last pday I ate 3/4 kilo of icecream!!  I’m training for the kilo challenge.
I received A LOT of mail this week.  Like demasiado mail.  And all the letters from my missionary friends.  One thing I like is Jonny’s embarrassing moments.  Two come to mind, one last transfer and one this week.  We were with members, the family Ponce, and I was trying to say a word that is very similar to a bad word, and I said the bad word.  I felt pretty foolish.  Elder McClain and the 15 year old son tried not to laugh.
This weeks embarrassing moment was a little more .. .. .. embarrassing.  We went to San Martin last week dressed in pday clothes to jugar a la pelota.  And we put our proselyting clothes in our bags to change into before the meeting, or at least I thought I put all my missionary clothes in my bag.  Well, as I was getting dressed, I realized a key item of clothing was missing.  My shoes!  So I had to use my zapatillas de futbol.  My lime green Nike's!!  It was great, full missionary attire and lime green cleats, riding the bus home, and then opening the mouth for half hour in Rivadavia.
Before I forget, there is something I want.  I want you, Mom, to send Amanda’s email each week to me.  Like in a separate email so I can easily print it out for pennies and enjoy each week with her, up to date and all.  Thank you.
Argentina is beautiful, the Huge sky, the mountains, the vineyards, the clouds, the Smells!  This place is such a mezcla of smells!
I think that is about all I got.  Wow, just going skiing huh?  That sounds fun boys.  I forget that you guys have to go to school though.  Harrison, how’s the off season of mowing??  Get ready, lawn mowing is about to get started!!  Are you ready for this?  Dun dun dun (Spacejam).
This week we have four solid lunch appointments, that’s awesome.  The other Elders should be baptizing this week too.  We should be baptizing the week after.  Well folks, that’s all for now!!
Elder Ostler
Dad, time is going fast.  I have 8 months on Wednesday.  I really want to improve my Spanish.  And I am in the perfect situation to do it!