Monday, January 17, 2011

Helping Argentines bottle tomatoes

Hello Ostler Family
It has been a very good week.  And fast!  This transfer has been the fastest 6 weeks of my life!!!!!  I can remember clearly what happened exactly 6 weeks ago, just so nervous to be senior companion and wow, it's over.  My first transfer as senior companion.  It was a speedy one!
I sit here happy.  I received 2 amazing emails from my 2 amazing sisters!!!  The letters to Amanda have changed in tone.  It’s no longer ‘keep your head above water so you don´t drown,’ but now more things like, ‘here’s a super cool experience we had this week, here’s our numbers, here’s our goals.‘  I love emailing Amanda, my sister, Sister Missionary.  Probably dia por medio I tell someone about her, how I have a great sister on a mission.  Yeah for Amanda!  My favorite part about Chicago is ‘You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration.' Elder Owens sings it for me sometimes.  His voice is amazing.  Last night we both sat down at the little little keyboard, that we balanced on a chair, and he taught me some simple chord progressions for some popular songs.  It was awesomke!  Without the k.
I played piano again this week.  I learned pg.120 in Spanish for the sacrament hymn, easy. And also played yo teseguire to end.  The last 2 weeks as I have been playing prelude music, 2 different members, on separate occasions came up and asked me to play Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.  I couldn´t.  This week I had the drive to learn it, AND DID!  It was just great.  And for the opening song yesterday, I rocked it!  And now, we have the start of a new week, so I get to learn or perfect 4 new ones (one for priesthood).  Playing the piano is good for me.  I love it.  I am so so happy and blessed there is a piano in the pench!!
So Wilson (and possibly other boys) you don´t like practicing??  That’s understandable, but come on!  Dad, here’s what we do in the missino and it works.  Here’s the system to have the boys achieve Standards of Excellence on the piano. It’s easy.
  • Set Goals
  • Reach Goals
  • Celebrate Goals
Try it, it works.  You can do it Wilson, you can.  This is one Argentine rooting you on!!!!!!!!!!
Are you familiar with all those scriptures that teach how a person will be given words to speak in the very moment  they need them?  I see that promise fulfilled almost Every Day. I actually have the thought and recognize, wow, my mouth was just filled.  It is Amazing.  Walking up to a person to do a simple open the mouth, a thought, word, or principle will come to my head, and more often than not, after the alb, I realize that was exactly what the person needed.  And during lessons, I know that the Lord directs my tongue and fills my mouth.
A word of caution.  Reading in my English conference addition, which I love!  I read a great thing on page 99 and thought I’d share.  Hmmm, can´t remember what talk it was or who.  Anyway, it says Satan will do whatever he can to keep young men from serving missions and to prevent temple marriages.  Watch out family, and especially brothers!  Satan wants us!!  He will do whatever to keep you off your future mission.  Be so careful and stay worthy.
Some cool, super cool, experiences this week.
Tomato Jose.  We had recently left the pench and had about 1 hour to look for news.  I chose a street to turn down by the pench.  Within about 3 houses we found 3 old people doing something fun.  They were using a ¨juicer¨ to bottle tomato juice.  It was hand pump, unlike dads. By pump, I mean crank.  We struck up a conversation and watched them do their work for a minute before I jumped in and offered to help.  Jose, this great old guy who talked and talked and talked, showed me how to put the lids on the bottles.  No, it wasn´t a screw on top.  Get real.  They were old bottles, had lids like an oldschool root beer.  He walked me through how to use this device to lid the bottles.  After about 5, I was getting pretty good, but then I did something that shattered my confidence.  As I was removing a just lidded bottle from the device, I hit it on the metal device and it shattered!  The freshly cranked tomato goodness all spilled out.  I felt like an idiot!  These people were totally nice and assured me it was alright. This experience was so cool.  Helping some Argentines bottle tomatoes.  We were with them about an hour and a half and at the end, after turning down an offer of wine, which Jose was in the act of pouring, he gave us juice and we taught him.  He was a hard one to teach because every time there was silence for longer than 2 seconds, he jumped in and told us some random story.  O Jose!
Lesson at the nursing home.
This made the week.  Friday we were really disanimated and I was so tired.  We had an address we were looking for.  On the way, I saw an open window, so we knocked the door.  The lady let us in, then upon my asking if there was anyone else home we could teach, she asked if we wanted to pass to where all the grandmas were.  What??  After about 2 steps into the next room, we realized we had just walked into an Argentine nursing home!   It was unreal.  There were 5 women ¨with it¨ and 2 ¨not with it¨.  One of them was drooling, forehead on table.  I knew that we needed to teach the plan of salvation.  The ladies were super Catholic, some of them.  I asked one of them to pray to start.  She didn´t miss a beat and said the most flowery Catholic prayer to God and the Virgin.  It was awesome, so much energy in that memorized prayer.  They are burning incense in this cyber and it is making me sick!
Anyway, we taught them some of the plan of salvation.  There were some really tender moments as some of them related to us experiences of there loved ones dying and them being left alone.  I bore my heart out to them that Jesus can comfort them and that the next life is going to be So Much Better.  After the lesson, interrupted by a second prayer by that same women, I don´t know, she just randomly started praying, we learned all their names.  Shaking all their hands might have been my favorite part.  We left them with 3 folletos.  I think we might make it a weekly thing to pass by for an hour and just talk with these lonely women.  And the younger woman who let us in the door, who was working there, was really nice and helpful, and translated for us when we had no idea what they were saying sometimes.  No, she didn’t speak English.
Rosa, an awesome recent convert, invited us over for dinner recently and she made the Best chicken and potatoes, roast style!!   Best food I’ve had all transfer!!!
Walking with Elder McClain, these kids who always give us a good time were telling us to come smoke with them.  After we waved them off and continued walking, they sent one of the little guys, maybe 12 years old, on his bike to personally ask us to come back and smoke marijuana with them.  Argentina huh!!?
Last night we found 2 news.  We were in this tiny little house.  We saw the young couple walkin’ home with there 2 little kids.  I opened the mouth with them and invited myself to walk home with them and teach them.  They were more than willing.  We went into their house, smaller than you can imagine, and taught the restoration with an emphasis on baptism and the family.  The spirt during the lesson was wonderful.  In about 15 minutes we committed both of them to read and pray, come to church next week, and be baptized on the 5th of February.  People here are so wonderful, most of them.
Emiliano came to church!!!!  It was a miracle, he loved it.  He was the only assistance we had, even though we had 6 solidly committed to church!!!  What is up!
Luis, who saw God, his wife is a, (I’m going to use a mean word) jerk and won’t let us come over.  Uhggh.  He is So Ready for the Restoration and Joseph Smith seeing God.  I know he would accept it.  Freaking wife.
We had another cool lesson with Cuqui.  Elder McClain and I taught super well.  Cuqui loves us.  But nope, he didn´t show at church.
We found a great guy named Pedro.  He’s trying to leave alcohol behind and start over.  He is a professor and owns a major ice cream store.  Grido!  It is so good.  But this Pedro is amazing.  He reads and everything.  But our Saturday lesson with him fell through and nope, he didn’t come to church.
Wow, this incense really needs to leave.  And a great lesson with one of our next door neighbors, Gladys.  She’s ready to accept the Restoration.  But nope, didn´t come to church.
I opened the mouth with a guy who lives in my Villa Mercedes area.  It was fun talkin’ with him a quick minute.
The fist day of my 5th transfer is today.  Yeah.  No one knows whats going to happen.  I’ll stay, everyone thinks Elder McClain is out of here.  He's been here 3 transfers.  Four transfers in the same area happens, but is not real common.
My Wish: I want another Latin companion!!!!  Please o please.
Well that’s the week in a nutshell.  I’m super hungry right now.
I love you family.  How bout that, my letter from December just barley arrived!  Huh.
Well, good bye.
FREAK, I forgot to begin downloading pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sorry, I got to go, no pictures this week.
With love from the bottom of my Argentine heart,
Elder Ostler
The Cappo