Monday, January 3, 2011

We got 16 news!!

Family how are you!!!!??  I am so happy, mom and dad, your letters were amazing.  The earthquake was not felt by my little legs. And no, we don't hear things like that, so thanks.

Mister Blake Campbell.  What a stud!!!  That's great news.  Send him besitos.

In the stockings:  2 fruits, socks, candy (a dove chocolate!) a highlighter.  That's all I remember.

Dating ehhh?  Alright.  Let's see.  Argentina inspires me to say a fry date.  Obviously done on Friday.  You cut up potatoes and fry them into french fries.  You fry pancakes, starbursts, recesses, everything and anything.  A date based around frying and oil.  Have fun.  That's all I got.  I could sit here longer and think, but I must tell you about the awesome week I have had!

This week I learned a great deal about numbers.  Setting goals, working my bootie off and reaching goals and celebrating goals.  The zone leaders had a meeting about numbers and we did a competition focused on news (new people) and progressing investigators.  The new goal was 15, as usual, but they really stressed it, especially in this season of holidays.  So Monday night Elder Mcclain and I changed our new goal for the week to 15.  Then we went out this week and worked really good and hard, leaving the pench on time and doing all we could to teach. And we did it.  We got 16 news!!!  It was incredible.  That's the most I've ever got in a week.  I had some amazing experiences this week with the help of the spirit, taught some amazing lessons.

We taught these two ladies while sitting criss cross applesauce on the sidewalk just after a siesta one day.  It was so cool.  We tag team taught way well.  The restoration of course.  On several of the lessons, we see people sitting outside their house and strike up a conversation. Eventually we ask them to buscar sillas, and sometimes they actually go inside the house, bring out chairs and we are able to create a little lesson about the restoration and baptism with them.

That is exactly what happened last night with jorge.  He was an ALB address we had written down.  We passed by the house yesterday and what do you know, he buscared sillas for us.  We immediately talked about baptism and he said, "puedo bautizarme nuevamente¿?"  Of course dude, your baptism 60 years ago was without priesthood authority.  In God's eyes, it was just some old cuckoo sprinkling water on your head.  Of course I didn't say that. . . . we taught him about the promise of baptism.  We don't use the word covenant here, people probably wouldn't understand that too well.  We try to keep our gospel vocabulary as simple as possible.  Like for example, I try not to say priesthood or gospel.  Anyway, he accepted a baptism fecha, we taught him about el dia de reposo y el accepto todo.  Va a venir a la iglesia y todo.  Ensenamos tambien la restauracion y acerca de el profeta jose smith.  It was way sweet.

Another lesson to remember was with Sergio.  I opened the mouth with him in the plaza on the street cabral.  We sat down next to him and immediately knew he was drunk.  He went through 3 solid cigarettes while we sat with him and taught him.  He wouldn't give me any of his cigarettes, sad I know. It was quite the lesson.  He lives on the streets. His wife and family dropped him because he's an alcoholic.  Name, Sergio.

Also, we found this sweet ex-marine who has a Book of Mormon and already believes Joseph Smith is a prophet.  We sat down in front of his house with him and started talking with him about the Book of Mormon.  He said he had read a little and really liked it.  We talked to this guy, Raul, about 2 weeks ago and said we were going to pass by again to teach him.  We told him to read the Book of Mormon that he already had.  He thumbed through the book trying to find the part he read.  He was trying to remember a certain name in the book.  For a whole minute, Elder Mcclain sat there with him and tried to guess it. We were throwing out all the Book of Mormon names we knew.  But nothing, he recognized none of them.  Then just por lo menos after we had almost given up, yo dije el nombre famoso Jose Smith, and he got so excited.  He said "That's the one.  That's it!"  It was so cool.  We taught a little about the restoration after asking him if he believes Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  He said, "creo que so."  So that was great!  Then after that, he took us in his sweet suit rental shop and showed us around, so that kinda ended the lesson.

Out of our 16 news, 2 came to church.  But those 2, a brother and sister, just don't understand the need for a restoration.  That's everyones problem here!  But it was sweet they came, showed up early and stayed all 3 hours.  Champions.  This week total, we taught 16 lessons.  But from the looks of Amanda's email. . . Gosh.  She is rocking it!  She said they taught 27 lessons 2 weeks ago and 19 last week!  Wow, that is amazing.  I love love love teaching.

La manana de juevas ensenamos a ful 7 supimos que ibamos llegar en la cita de almuerzo que tuvimos muy tarde.  So after a great lesson with Gimena and her brother Emanuel, Elder Mcclain

Friday I went on splits with Elder Hyre and it was amazing.  We found 5 news in their area and had some sweet lessons.  One, I just opened my mouth with this couple working outside their house and they let us in and we taught the restoration.  Of course.

Another, we got a ride from Tito.  I was in the bed of his little truck and he took us into the campo mas o menos and we contacted a reference and taught a family who previously had come to church.  It was amazing and the spirit was so so strong!  The only noise that could be heard were bugs and clouds, but clouds don't really make noise.  So tranquilo and peaceful, and with Tito, we shared the restoration.  I recited the first vision.  I don't know, just incredible.  With measly words I can't explain it.  It was so spiritual and sweet.  Then at one point, Elder Hyre was teaching and I was just looking up into the brilliant blue open sky.  And all of the sudden a bunch of cows and one horse ran by.  It was so awesome!  Not 30 feet from us, they just went hauling by us.  It didn't phase the family, they own the cows.  But for a city boy like myself, wow.  It didn't disrupt the spirit at all, maybe even added to it.

Then right before we were supposed to meet back at the pench for new years eve, Elder Hyre and I walked into a Living Hell.

This lesson I really can't describe.  Only Elder Hyre and I will ever know.  Her name is S....., her husband goes to Brazil once a year for 2 weeks.  These 2 weeks are the only 2 weeks S..... and her daughter have to live.  She was walking around the plaza one day recently and that's how we were about to open the mouth with her.  Basically, her husband is hellish.  I can't think of a better word.  He doesn't let her leave the house, talk to her friends, nothing.  She is locked in her house and scared of her husband.  He hits her and her daughter.  This woman is 60 years old and has to ask her husband for money.  I really can't explain it.

So the first part of the lesson was amazing.  After we shared the restoration and talked about tithing, we stopped and asked how she felt. Among other words of praise for the feeling in the room she said, "I feel a terrible peace."  She knows the restored gospel is true, it was when we went to put a fecha that we found out all of these things.  She is trapped with nowhere to go.  They are rich, but I have never met a person so miserable.  Of course, her husband won't let her be baptized or go to church or have the lessons.  So we have about a week, or the other Elders do because she's in their area, to teach her and figure something out.  It was an incredible lesson, one I will never forget.

This lady married lucifer himself, and she said that her father was even worse than her husband.  I feel so so bad for this woman.  She needs so much help and yay, she has finally found it.  She says we can't tell anyone though, so I didn't tell you any of that stuff.

The dog.

There is a dog that follows us everywhere, starting Tuesday, and I mean everywhere.  It comes inside houses with us, sits under our chairs as we teach outside.  She sleeps outside our pench.  And she really raises hell wherever we go.  For some reason, every single dog in Rivadiva hates her and they let her know.  Tuesday, I also hated her, because every step I took there were dogs and dogs and dogs and more dogs barking at her and she was always right by my side.  She got herself into 3 or four fights, and one time the opponent drew blood.

Tuesday was great, but at the same time, that evening I have never hated an animal more in my life.  Now, I love her.  So much!  She has followed me every step of my ministry this week.  And when I got in the bed of a truck to go to the cow lesson, she tried to get in with me.  When she couldn't, I had the amazing opportunity of watching her run.  Run her little heart out as we went to the campo.  She made it, both ways.  It was such a beautiful sight watching that dog run 30, 35 miles an hour behind the truck.  I can't describe it.

I'm out of time almost.  New years was amazing.   We went to San Martina and slept there.  We watched fireworks on the roof, of course. We cooked an asado, it was good.
Cooking the last of the asadito new years eve.
The picture before the feast!

But that night as I tried to sleep, I couldn't.  The door was earlier left open and there were so many mosquitoes!!!  It was the worst way to start a new year, ever.  Tossing and turning, scratching and itching. Not being able to put the blanket over top of me because of the sweat that would come and not being able to sleep without the blanket because of the bugs!  Looking back, I laugh.  I think I slept for 4 hours that night.  And we woke up new years and played soccer with us 10 elders.  So fun.  Two solid hours of futbol, it was amazing, but I just killed myself!

I love the restoration.  I loved the restoration this week.

It's hard to see Elder Owens struggle through his first transfer.

I played piano for sacrament meeting and practiced all week, almost every day, to be able to do it.  We started church off with a rousing chorus of The Morning Breaks.  It was sweet.

I got an amazing letter from Elder Young with an amazing picture!! And Elder Chavez sent me the best letter ever too.

Yes, I eventually found the tape recorder.

It is hot, I sweat all all all the time.

Okay, times up, bye and I love you all.  Saydi, rock it in Hawaii. Harrison have fun on your date.  I love you family.  And I love being a missionary.

Elder Ostler

I am in Mendoza and Mendoza is king of grapes!