Monday, February 14, 2011

"Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand." Ezra Taft Benson

HEY!  We changed cybers.  The dueño of the other one stole some of Elder Owens pics and put them on facebook, making fun of an investigator they have.  But I can’t send pictures at this one!  I just tried for about 10 minutes.
The Miracle of Yesterday.  We went into church fasting.  I was psyched.  We had 10 solidly committed to church and 7 of them with fecha.  WOW.  This week we worked a villa a few days.  It’s called Sanisidro sur.  A villa is a super really really poor place.  We got a lot of our 25 news from this villa, a family of them was really promising.  Actually, 2 families.
You can’t even imagine what walking into and teaching in a place like this is like.  One day we walked in and some teenagers started yelling at me and trying to talk to me in English.  The only word I understood was marijuana.  Probably because it’s the same in both languages.  With the teaching, the next door neighbors got the music going.  The dogs are barking, the kids are playing on a tire swing.  It is NUTS.  We had some great success and taught some amazing lessons in the villa.
Saturday night, after 3 hours in the villa, we went to Rosa’s house and had a tender lesson where with the help of Rosa, we put a fecha with her 13 year old Lucila.  It was 9:30, time to go home, and we were on fire.  But we decided to keep going and go to this great new we had on the opposite side of the city.  We had a great lesson with this lady, Mrita.  Kinda old and talks in a super raspy voice.  After calling her to repentance and sharing a powerful testimony, I solidly committed her to church.  She said that she gambles.  Because it was already 10ish, we told her we’d leave that lesson for another day.  She accepted a fecha and coming to church.  But she said she couldn’t give up the gambling.  She told us that she would come to church, but that if she didn’t, we were not to come back.  She loves the things of the world more than the things of God.  Walking home with a huge vineyard next to us and the moon and stars overhead was amazing.  We were so psyched.
Sunday morning we got up good and ready to go.  I was decently practiced for my “performance” at church.  We went to the villa to buscar algunos investigadores.  My heart dropped when they didn’t answer the door, probably sleeping.  We arrived at church just in time for Priesthood and took a seat.  My companion manned the door, watching to see if any investigators came.  Priesthood ended and nothing.  Gospel principles ended, no one.  I was so bummed as I walked up to tocar the piano.  For 20 minutes I played prelude music.  The President forgot to bring bread.  The meeting started and to my rejoicing, Celina showed up.  But as the meeting continued and we praised the man and chose the right, I was saddened.  We also sang Jesus of Nazareth for the santa sena.  And I remembered i was fasting out of Thanks.  Alma 45:1.  I tried to put away my sadness.  Church ended and we put a solid cita with Celina, a person who lives on our street but is impossible to find.  We were invited to Rosa’s to eat for the second time this week, but man I was just bummed.  Ten committed to church and 7 with fecha, but nothing.  Celina came.
As we returned from lunch and sat in the pench, I have never not wanted to work so much.  I thought of the days where I left church feeling good and a nice 10 hours away I’d be with the family (email on pday) to look forward to.  I cannot describe to you how bummed I was.  But we went out the door and had a miracle.  Within not too long, my companion noticed a smile on my face as I was talking to an awesome chico, Mario.  We taught him and 2 other news.  Something in the back of my mind told me something amazing was coming, that God was about to bless us so so so so much.  I could believe it.  But O BOY.
We knocked on Jorge and Rita’s door and they let us in, like always.  We brought the sillas outside of their house and shared a smile.  I started off the lesson and immediately the spirit of rejoicing and peace filled the air.  I asked Rita if she had prayed, she has been a bit dura on this.  But finally she said YES!!!  I asked what she felt and she said that she knew it was all true.  “I felt a sensation.”  That’s the word she used.  Jorge already knows it’s true, he had prayed before and the time they came to church he said he felt something real special while partaking of the water.  Then throughout the lesson, as we rediscussed the four big commandments, church, word of wisdom, chastity and tithing, they committed to all of them.  We traded a LDM for 66 bags of tea (Rita loves her tea but loves the things of God more) and it was incredible.  Jorge sad he found better work (which he has been looking and hoping for!!!!!!) and he told us of a dream he had.  Me and Elder Arrua were in it.  He said we were in a different place and it was good.  He took that as an extra sign that these things are of God and he should continue.  They have read every single folleto and now have the Book of Mormon.  Rita was supposed to go to the registor civil this morning to sacar a turno so they can sign the paper and get married.  It could take up to a month.  So for next transfer we are planning an asado marriage in the church and 2 BAPTISMS.  WOW, I want to stay 1 more transfer with Elder Arrua so bad.  He wants it too.  So we’ll see.  During the end of the lesson, their 2 kids were going crazy, laughing and playing and wrestling like always.  And I picked one of them up and kinda tossed her up in the air, like dad always did with us.  She loved it and didn’t want me to put her down.  Jorge is 24 and Rita is 20.  Their 2 kids are 1 and 3.  It was such an amazing lesson and lit us on FIRE.  God blesses us so much.
The miracle of last pday.  In short, we hopped in the car with Silvio, the parents and a sister and they took us to Carrizal.  WOW.  The best pday of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!  So amazing, we drove through the camp, were able to see Rivadavia, more than just the square mile or two we see every day.  It was unbelievable.  Carrizal is a big water deal with the canals and acequias and we got our feet wet!  Wow, how I miss the grand Columbia.  I took something like 70 pictures that day.  WOW.  And I found a sweet pink shirt in the pench to wear.  So dad, I finally did it, something way different on a pday.  It was so amazing and I will be looking for more similar activities.  Unforgettable.
The miracle of mowing lawns.  We went to Junin this week to visit the members, one of which is Hermana Diaz.  We were helping her do some things and I got to mow her lawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was the best best best ever.  An electric 15 pound mower, but really it was so amazing.  I took a handful of grass and taped it in my journal.  It poured into my mind SO MANY MEMORIES!!  All I can say is WOW.
We have 5 lunches coming up this week!!!!  That is a reason to throw the hands up in the air.
I have been hearing a lot of bad things about Egypt, and this week a lady told me Obama is not President anymore.  Argentine gossip.
Mom, I read Preach My Gospel, pg 99 “Parents.... for their children” and thought of you.  I hope you are all doing good.
Amanda - color my world
What are you up to?  Is your schedule super busy mom, what are the new projects?  Writing other missionaries?  Is the practice still up and good?
The miracle of my companion.  He is amazing.  I love him.  We are going to stay together for sure.  I have to be here to help Mary and baptize Jorge and Rita, a Family!  He asks us the best questions.  They asked us if we are always going to come to their house.  They love us and we love them.
For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from out firth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all to thee we praise
This my hymn of grateful praise
Argentina is the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life.  I love being close to the grapes and the mountains and the clouds . . .  everyday I ooo and aaaw over them.  Elder Arrua thinks I’m nuts.  They are so much more real here.  Some of the vineyards are never ending.  The beauty is breathtaking.  I swear, if I just had a graham cracker and some chocolate I could make a dang good smore with the clouds.  They are fluffier here.
For Harrison & Jefferson.  The word fachero is someone who is very smooth with the ladies and a galán is a straight up lady’s man.  Fachero and galán.  The difference is galán is more.
The other Elders baptized this week, barley.  It was great and a baptism I will never forget.  It was a group effort and she was eventually helped all the way under the water.  Yay, other Elders.
Two new goals are to learn how to make break and noquis.  I LOVE NOQUIS, the best ever, and the tuco, their red sauce is incredible.
I found a legit wood court in the other Elders area and this morning we, the zone, went and balled it up.  It was AMAZING.  It’s been 6 months since I’ve played on a wood court with glass backboards.  WOW.  And, well, time is up.
I am so excited to read and reread Amanda’s email.  I love this new system.  O, the questions, hand fine, feet good, physical condition good.   Got the cliff bars today.  And the memory card.  I’m excited to open the journal pages.  And I have 4 different sets of journal pages, no more needed.  The fruit is coming in season and WOWWOWOWOW.  Argentine fruit. . . you guys have no idea.  I love honeydew and think of Rush every time.  Sometimes walking through the fincas we pluck a grape or two from the vine.  Heaven in the mouth.
I love you.
Elder Ostler