Monday, March 28, 2011

Justo Daract - the city that barley exists.

Just like you mother, this has also been a long awaited for day.  2 weeks with 1 pday does a number on the system.
Hey, wow GO BUTLER!  And a secret little smirk lines my lips as I think of Duke . .  losing . .  bum bum bum.  Every week I hear of lacross.  Every week.  I like it and it really interests me.

Questions and answers.  No package , no package next week either.  Why? Because we are a way far away from the mission office, and the 6thish the zls are going in for consejo (counsel) and hopefully they will bring back all the mail.  I’m excited!

Hello and how are you all doing??!!!  I loved the email parents and am all smiles right now!  But the week, lets just say, wasn´t all smiles! I’ll explain . . .
So Amanda and I both kinda had a hard week.  I’ve only read a couple lines from her letter, but it sounds pretty trying and desafio (challenging).
The days leading up to Saturday were what I would call a tough week.  In all aspects of the work, it was tough.  I can exadruadly say we didn´t teach . . . when in reality we averaged 1 good lesson per day.  But for me a good week is 4 solid lec cada dia (lessons per day).  And my first days in Justo Daract were tough because time and time again I heard this, “ya he hablado con ustedes ya he hablado con ustedes soy de una otra iglesia.”  (I spoke with you and I'm from another church.)  And I thought, man this is pointless.  Everyones already heard the message here and no one new is going to accept it.  Then I allowed satan to play with that thought in my mind until I felt hopeless.  I felt as if I had just walked into a dead area.
What added to the roughness was that this whole week I lived out of my suitcases and was barley 1/2 way unpacked.  Also, the pench was very dirty. On top of that I, several days in a row, fell asleep during my personal morning prayer, and slept in 45 minutes, causing much guilt and disobedience, just the knowledge that the Lord was not fully able to bless me with all he had for me that day.  And on top of all the roughness was the 20 seconds of hot water, and then a very cold shower.

This is the church in Justo Daract.  We live here.
But, Sunday will come, and it did.  Yesterday was a different day, a better day, a day of Hope.  Through humility and really praying (and the angelic help of my family at home) I received Happiness, Hope, and Family.  Sunday will come.
Sunday was also the last part of the fast for Josh Pack.  I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but our mission is sponsoring this stud, Josh Pack, for the month of Marzo.  He was not able to serve a mission because of being paralyzed a couple years ago.  He can´t walk . . . .yet.  We know that through faith and obedience, the Lord will bless Him with Strength.  We fasted for him yesterday so that one day, He Will Walk.

Sunday was a day for family because I met all of them.  The Members.  Church attendance:  9.  It was unreal for me.  But these 9 people and the 2 little kids are SOLID.  They are firm in the faith and so awesome.  It is quite like a family.
Also yesterday was great because we ate with the members!!  Justo has a history of feeding the members once a week, Sunday, and its with an inactive member.  He’s so great and his food was way good and appreciated.  What a blessing it is to eat with the members!  Sunday was also full of teaching.   We taught 3 chicos when they asked us to come and jugar a la pelota (play ball) with them.  We joked around with them a little while and then taught them about the dia de reposo and la oracion.  Tuesday we are going back to actually play futbol with them.
Also, we taught Mario.  A background story - 2 weeks ago, Elder Hoggard and Molen found this family, Mario and Maria and the children too.  They came to church last week.  With Elder Molen this week we went to visit them with a matrimonio in the rama (married couple in the branch) and had one of our few spectacular lessons of the week.  They are ready.  But a grievous family problem happened this week and they didn´t come to church yesterday.  So we went to visit them yesterday and had an incredible lesson with Mario, the dad.  He is 42 and has no work.  It was amazing as we talked about his problems and taught him the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Not many times in my life, have I watched a grown man put his head in his hands and sob.  He cried. And at the end he prayed . . .  ¨I want to change, Lord, Help Me.¨  My amazing mission gives me the chance to help real people with real problems.  And the only way to fix any problem is in and through Jesus Christ our Savior and the plan he has given us, called the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Later that Sunday night, we went on divisions with Julian, a recent RM in our branch.  We were blessed to enter one house and have a great lesson.  Julian teaches so well, amazingly actually, and I was in awe.  It was a classic missino mendoza lesson.  One of the best parts was the old abuelo (grandpa) smokin, laying down on the couch because of his health and earlier bad drinking habits. And crying out at certain points in the lesson, I Believe in God!  I really believe in God!  Or after we would teach a principle, Its True!  His wife, Alicia, was the one we really taught.  We taught to her needs and she understood the message.  She accepted a fecha!  It’s the only fecha I put this week.  I’m not sure if the fecha Jose, her husband, accepted really counts.  In that lesson, the spirit was so so strong.  I loved it.  Also, it was amazing with Julian because he just talked to me about his crazy bolivian mission!  So much locura and crazy experiences!  I loved it.  He pumped me up and gave me some great counsel.  So did the branch president during church.  I love this rama.
Another thing we did this week was visit all of the eternal investigators that Justo has.  We had 6 people committed to church, 3 of them the eternal investigators, but in the end, no one came.  So this week I am dropping all those eternal investigators and getting out there to find good people to add to the somewhat small teaching pool.
So the problems that beset me at the beginning of the week are solved, fixed.  We cleaned the pench this morning, we are teaching again and will continue to teach, I am unpacked and organized (and have all clean clothes because Hermana Lindahl bought a lavaropa for the pench!!!!!!!!!!!)  And am recommitted to waking up on time and doing exercises to get HUGE.
Faith to Find.  Hope to Baptize.  Hope is believing and expecting that something will occur.  Hope helps me conquistar my discouragement - pmg.  I have the faith to walk the muddy streets of Justo every day to find new people to teach.  I love finding new people, it is the best and contributes a lot to my happiness.  I know that the Lord will prepare people here in Justo Daract Argentina for me to find, teach, and baptize.  It doesn´t matter that missionaries before have already run this city top to bottom 100 times over.  The Lord can prepare people.  And o how I hope he does.  So pray for Justo Daract.  Pray that the Lord will prepare people and that we will find them!
Humility to Learn.  The Lord has so many lessons to teach me here and I want to learn them.  And I understand that I will have to pass through hard weeks, like most of last one, to learn certain things.  I truly want the Lord to mold me into what He wants me to become.
As for my companion, his name is Elder Molen.  To start he is 6’6. Grandote.  Using his own words . . .  he was a hard core gamer and a pokemon master.  He is a great missionary and has much to teach me.  His Spanish is remarkably good, his accents pretty bad, super super greengo, but the grammar and vocab is rockin.  He is my walking encyclopedia.  In my eyes he is a cross between Napoleon Dynamite and Jeff Crawford.  Now I know you are confused, because Jeff doesn´t seem like the person I just described, but on an hourly basis, he reminds me of Jeff Crawford.  Its great.
I forgot to mention this solution I found before I go.  To combat the painfully cold shower in the morning, I boil water and dilute it with cold water to make the perfect temp water to pour over my head.  It’s great.
Well I got to go
I love you all so much and wish you the best
And don´t forget
Pray for Justo
Elder Ostler

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I love Jorge and Rita

Hello Hola aloha familia!  To those who I love so much:
A preface, Jorge and Rita were married and baptized.  I was able to get in the water.  Then I got special transferred to be the District Leader in Justo Daract.
I hope you are all doing good and practicing your lacrosse AND your piano!  And mom, I hope you don´t odiar me too much for that sentence I sent you yesterday.  But I had to go to the cyber one last time with Arrua to transfer pictures before I left for a different province, so I thought I’d send you a cliff hanger!
The marriage was on Friday at 11am in the morning, and the registro civil is less than a block from where we live, just a random fact there for you.  So at 10:45 we met Jorge, Rita, Celeste, and Angel there.  Jorge was ready, he had been waiting that day for quite some time.  And Rita, o RITA, I love her so much, and she was so nervous!  As any 20 year old would be on their wedding day.  We were a little nervous for a few minutes waiting for the witnesses to show their faces, but they eventually came and all was in order.  The marriage ceremony started and was wonderful.  I took a ton of pictures and Elder Owens filmed the whole thing in HD on his camera. I have to remember to buscar that after the mission, because I don´t have it right now.  It was something way different and very special.  The judge talked and talked, but not what it was supposed to be I guess because there was another couple waiting.  They married, kissed and then were showered with rice as they walked through the doors outside.  It was such a fun, great and new experience for us all.  One to Remember!!!  It’s weird to think that because of one kid coming to Argentina and following the spirit to open the mouth with them, Jorge and Rita got married and now are Mormons, Clean and Pure members of the Church of Jesus Christ.

The baptism was wonderful!!  Lea Maure, the amazing recent convert with a testimony fuerte fuerte, came and brought a friend, who we taught with Jorge and Rita, awaiting the branch president.  When he showed up we all changed into our white clothes, took a picture or two, and started the baptism.

I played the piano and the talks were good too.  But then it was time . . .  for the long long o so long awaited ordinance of baptism.  It was truly a miracle to put my arm to the square and baptize Jorge.  I loved being in the water.  And the power of God was definitely manifested in those 2 ordinances.  Elder Arrua baptized Rita, and it was also fantastic.  After baptizing him, I was the happiest missionary alive.  Start to Finish, it was a Miracle.  I love Jorge and Rita.  They are my Family.
And I can’t tell the story of their confirmation without first telling of the marriage/baptism party Saturday night.  A few days before hand, Jorge asked if he could drink cervesa with his family during the party.  He knew the answer and accepted it, but told us it would be a great challenge.  We taught again about the espiritu santo and being worthy.  We showed up to the party praying that God would protect him.  Arrua and I were both worried.  It was a pretty tranquilo party, a few familiares came and some friends, and there was certainly beer.  Several times Jorge was given a bottle of Andes, but I carefully watched him every time, and he never drank it.  He always found a better home for it atop a table or something.  It was a pretty sweet party, and we were able to teach Rita’s sister and her marido about the Gospel.  The 14.5 kilos of pollo that we bought were put to good use and cooked asado.  It tasted really good.  Rita was just all smiles and at midnight we sang her happy birthday as she cumplired 21.  We talked to Jorge just before we left, at about 12:15 am (we had permiso to be out late celebrating with our converts) and he told us he would be strong through the nite and not drink, as to be able to receive the espiritu santo the following day in church.

At about 10am Jorge and Rita walked through the church doors all smiles.  Jorge had withstood the devil and didn't drink a drop.  I was so happy, amazed at his desire and Faith.  Elder Arrua and I stood in the confirmation circle as both of them received the espiritu santo.  It was amazing.  Knowing that it would be the last time I would see them for quite some time, I despedir them at the church and had them write in my libro de recuerdos. Jorge told me some pretty cool stuff.  When I baptized him por la immersion del agua he told me that he felt as if he physically left something behind in the water.  And then on Sunday he said that as we laid our hands on his head to receive the gift of the holy ghost, that his chest burned when president said, receive the Holy Ghost.  It was such a huge payday this weekend with them.  I love the picture outside the church with them, one of my favorites.

Part number 2
Saturday morning during personal study we received a personal phone call from The Great Man, President Lindahl.  I knew.  I already felt it and knew I was out.  He told me that I was going to Justo Daract, San Luis, tal vez the farthest area out in the mission.  He told me that I would be senior companion again and would be with Elder Mulen, Elder George´s second son, trained in Sarmiento.  President talked with me about our sacred spiritual interview we had had just days before.  He talked to me about how Justo is his leadership training ground.  Reynolds was here about 6 months ago and I am honored to walk in his great footsteps.  The special transfer was to take place Monday, leaving me without a p day this week.  It was the best way to go out.  Everyone at church knew I was leaving.  It was sad passing by so many houses and watching many women cry as I left.  But its not me that makes them cry, it is Christ, and His Spirit which is so abundantly in me.
Elder Arrua and I arrived in Mendoza at 12 and made the change.  Then at 2 I hopped on a bus to San Luis.  6 hours.  It was a pretty fun and tranquilo bus ride.  I wrote you all a letter, if you care.
I left my Heart in Rivadavia.  That place and those members are my family.  It is where I belong.  It was also sad being parted with one of my best friends, Elder Mario Vincente Arrua.  The special transfer was made by president because 2 more elders have been moved into the offices to be trained there, and he needed to move some elders around.  But on the phone with me, he made it very clear that this call, to come to Justo Daract is from the Lord, and there, on the phone, I felt the power of President Lindahl and received my own confirmacion that this is what God wants.
And here I sit, in Justo Daract with Elder Molen.  Life is good.  I am excited, so excited for this place.  President Lindahl told me that it would be, and I quote, “a very Argentine experience.”  The funny thing is, I am in the Villa Mercedes zone, the same one I was born in.  I did divisions here in Justo with the Man Reynolds about 7 months ago.
We live in the church.  It is truly a wild experience. I will give you living conditions la semana que viene.  I haven't unpacked a thing yet.  We came out to work the siesta and had an amazing lesson with a woman named Silviana, just an hour ago.  She is going blind.  I testified to her of Christ.  In a very powerful way she understood that we are missionaries of Christ and have the power and faith to heal her.  We taught about baptism, and aun que she’s very very catholic, she listened to us, and whats more, understood us.
I learned SO MUCH in my hometown, Rivadavia Argentina.  I grew so much there!  We are going to find and baptize so many people here in Justo Daract.  Rumor is apart from last Sunday, there hasn´t been an asistance at church since enero.  I’m excited to see what we can do.
We live in the church, and it’s a branch.  I hear that the average attendance is 12.  We will see what we can do about that.
I am in Argentina.  I am a Servant of the Most High God.  And thus, I end my epistle to my familia, the familia ostler.
Elder Ostler

Monday, March 14, 2011

I am living a dream.

Hola familia!!  Aquí estoy, en un ciber de argentina, muy entusiasmado para escribirles.  No hay internet así que voy a escribir por Microsoft Word por un tiempito hasta que puedan alegrar la problemita.  Bueno.  Papi, me encanto lo que me escribió hace una semana acerca de la obediencia, las bendiciones, y al reaping rewards.  Cuando volvi a la pension puse lo que escribió en un tarjeta en el pared sobre me escritorio.  ¡Gracias!

It has been a good week.   I lived a lot of things and learned a lot of things.  This week we taught mas o menos 25 lessons, finding some 18 news, some much better than others.  A really promising lady who we found last night se llama vanessa.  5ish years ago another set of missionaries went to visit her and her then living husband.  And the misioneros were from Uruguay and los estados unidos, respectively.  Well, the set that just barely clapped her house, being led to it by the spirit (we had to go through this little alley that would have been easy to not see or ignore) are also from Uruguay and los estados unidos.  Pretty cool.  She’s prepared and will receive her answer through prayer.  Now, its up to her to see what she does with it.
Alright in no particular order . .
It is good going to church.  We have some solid converts here in Rivadavia, el viña del señor.  Celina came, as usual.  She is amazing.  Two nights ago we had an amazing lesson with her about the Temple, the place that I miss so much.  Tears almost escaped as I bore testimony of the Temple.  She is a sponge and absorbs everything.  She hungers and thirsts after righteousness.  Lea, accompanied with here dos padres came as well.  She also loves the church and the peace her baptism has brought her.
Then there’s Rosa and Elvis.  They also come every week, and would you know it, Rosa showed up in time for 15 minutes of la sociedad de socorro!  Amazing.  Her and her family continue to feed us multiple times every week.  This week it was once for her birthday and then yesterday for lunch.  Rosa loves us, we are the means by which God helps her out, and we return the feeling.  She’s like my mom here in Rivadavia.
Next is Silvio.  CAPPO.  He is great with reading in the Book of Mormon and coming to church every week, yesterday with traje!  We are also teaching his sister, Estephania, la flaca en las fotos.  And that is going really well.  This week she prayed and received her answer.  But she’s not sure what she wants to do with it.  Last night we gave her a blessing of comfort as she is  redoing una material hoy.  Like a makeuptesttoseeifyoupasstheclass.
And speaking of the Flores family, they hooked us up last p day!  They took us to a huge bodega.  We were able to walk around the tourist part, we were solos, and take a bunch of pictures, and just have a ton of fun.  We also got some insights into the wine industry and how the grapes turn into wine.  I’m sure you’ll see al the pictures soon .  .  . like in a couple transfers when I send my next card home.  I really hope you received the last one!  Then we went to mirador and just hung out there, eating uvas like every other day!  And playing futbol.

The Grapes and the Wine.  Family, it truly is amazing here.  The sights, the sunsets with the gold trimmed clouds over the Andes.  The viñas viñas viñas.  Grapes grapes grapes, uvas uvas, uvas.  And the amazing people, some of which will actually listen to us!  The smell of wine enters my nose daily and the taste of grapes is constantly in my mouth.  I Love It.  I am living a dream.  This morning I ate grapes for breakfast and read my scriptures.  I could ask for nothing more, other than for each one of you to be here living this with me.  But that is not how God wants it.  So I guess we will just have to wait now, won’t we.
A Little snapshot.  We were walking out of a villa and this little girl poked her head out of her door and said ¡Que Dios les bendiga! God Bless You.  It warmed our hearts. Because while we hear that every day, she actually meant it.
The villa costa canal has been temporarily shut down by Elder Ostler and Arrua.  No one wants to progress there. We can try to persuade them to faith, but it is up to them to choose happiness, or death.
It seems to me that someone (MISS AMANDA PANDA) hit 6 MONTHS in the misión this week!  Thats what I’m talking about,  YOU GO COWGIRL!  I love you.  And think of you often, and not only because Elder Arrua is always reminding me!
A Little Spanish tip.  When being committed to do something, especially coming to church, at the end of telling the missionaries si, throw in a little, si Dios quiere. Doing so takes the responsibility off of you and onto dios.  Meaning if, Sunday morning you are tired, or really just don´t want to come, its not your fault, but in fact Gods.  Jajajajaja
Did you know that Argentine government and schools pay kids for doing bad in school?  Yeah, you think your country is messed up all you Obama followers.  The kids who do the worst in school, their families receive plata from the gobierno.  The government thinks that will help, I guess, but to me and the people I talked to, it seems like parents who are lazy and don´t want to work will help their kids fail school.  That’s at least what I heard and thought I’d pass it along.
While the garbage is not to bad here in Rivadavia, it is in costa canal.  They are bagos! Instead of being responsible and ¨going the extra mile¨ digamos, they just chuck all their garbage, o lo que sea, into the big canal that runs right along their houses.  It is very sad to see.  Especially after a few days that water has not run down the canal because then it is just lleno of garbage.
After entering a house one morning and teaching a lady who really was nice, but didn´t want to change, I noticed a real piano in the house.  After the prayer I asked about it and she said, sure go on ahead.  But in Castallano of course.  So I sat down and tried to play a hymn.  But WOW.  It was so so so so so out of tune that it hardly sounded like a hymn.  And some of the notes didn´t play or were sticky.  But none the less, it was a real piano and not a keyboard.  It was a pretty cool and unique couple minutes.  Playing the piano in church went well, especially the ultimo himno o mi padre.
One of the recent convert families, Tito´s family, the family Alaniz, completed a year as members and went to the temple recently!  It was very cool to hear them speak of their experience in church.  The Temple is the House of God and I can’t wait to enter those doors after the misión.
My companion Elder Arrua, continues to amaze me and teach me.  I love being with him.  Also, last night we ate an asado and empanadas with Juan, a recent convert, and his family!  And with a friend named Ramón.  It was so so fun.  They love us so much, and we love them.
In the pench, there is some friction with the other 3 elders and the zls. I know the Lord has placed me here to show faith, obedience, and a follow your leaders attitude in this situation.  Also, I heard a ton of stuff about Japon this week and saw some footage - wow, a real disaster, I was shocked.  I know the church is down there though helping and saving lives.  Dad how do you feel?¿  That is your Motherland.
Hey I don’t know why, but this letter feels shorter and more business like.  Probably because I haven’t read what thou has written.  So let me try to get online.
Hey, a couple things I forgot. There were no wedding bells in Rivadavia this week.  Bummer.  But that is only because Miss Rita forgot to go back to the registro civil to verify the fecha.  Hopefully everything will be set for the next Friday!  And we already bought the coke!  We found a pretty cheap deal on about 20 litros of coke and got it!  And with money, we are fine and the other elders went to Mendoza today, they will return with mail, and it might be there.  But I did get the valentines package!! Thanks I loved it, Elder Arrua too.  The tie is spanking awesome!!!  I sported it at church yesterday and felt like a cappo.  Thanks harry man.  And lacrosse sounds way fun.

NOO.  I feel sad you haven´t received the pictures.  Keep looking!  Yes they are all backed up.  Whew.  Be prepared.  Eagle scout.  O and the 3x melted chocolate was so so good in my mouth!   A birthday present!  It seems like you guys send one of those monthly, not including the never ending supply of letters from you all.  Thank you, I have a deep love for each one of you.
Saydi the lady.  What a scare!  Wow, I hope you have gathered your wits and are testing good!  And doing good with that new novio of yours.  Go Get Um!
Yes, Japan is all talked about here too!  crazy crazy crazy.  Well, my companion doesn´t want to email you a picture from the asado or the bodega!  Igual, espero que reciban muchas fotos esta semana!!  My fingers are crossed.  C’mon crappy Argentine mail.  And should be said with some gusto!!
Elder Ostler

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beun dia!


Well, it’s buenas tardes here, but it’s probably still pretty temprano over there.  Ashi!  As my companion would say (alli).
WHEW.  Wow, I just ate up that email and those pictures.  It was so so good, and printed.
Missionaries over for pday.  And man, if I was a missionary in the states, I don’t even know what I’d do.  So many advantages that one will not find here.  Here, we have different kinds of advantages.  That’s cool that the missionaries siempre come over to the house.  Looking at that picture, our house is huge!  I like to see that Harrison is making good use of mine and Ben’s money shorts.  How is that Kid Ben doing?

That was an intense letter about BYU and Elder Campbell and all.  Well, now it’s my turn to write.

That is me on the piano, singing my heart out.

Well, after viewing all of the precious fotos, I think that we can both come to a conclusion that I am. . . . .  Staying!  In Rivadavia!!  For 5 more weeks!!  Uh huh, it's my birthday.

We were psyched to find out we are juntos.  Elder Arrua and yo are just kranking.  We are like brothers at this point.  We know everything about each other.  We roll our eyes at one another, laugh so hard together, and are starting to put the gente under the water. . . together.

Lea’s baptism was wonderful this week.  It took place Saturday in the morning.  Her anticipated friends didn’t come, which was the only bummer.  Nor did the branch president show up, which bothered us (I just can’t see old man Robertson stiffing the elders on a baptism) but he gave us permissino to go ahead with the priesthood we had there.  We have worked with Lea a lot these past 2 weeks.  She was one so ready to repent and find happiness.  She left her old life behind and started a new one.

Lea in her little baptismal ropa

Elder Arrua baptized her and then yesterday, she was confirmed and given, or offered, the gift of the Holy Ghost.  After church we walked over to the Maure’s house to enjoy an asado!  It was great meat, with lots of fat.  Then we were at their house forever as we talked about standards in For The Strength of Youth and taught the whole plan of redemption.  What a family. . . . 
I like the struggle bus.  Just a side note.  Byetheway, has anything arrived in the mail yet?¿
So Yes, I am in Rivadavia and loving it.  We had a good week.  It was our all time low for new finding though.  Only 9.  And 6 accepted fecha, but that is por razon.  El dia de los translados, hay que limpiar la pension.  Digo bien limpio.  Lo hicimos ect. la cual no nos dejo much tiempo para trabajar.  y tambien, estivimos con la family Maure y Jorge y Rita tanto y no tuvimos un monton de tiempo para buscar nuevos.  Pero igual, encontramos 2 nuevos muy buenos y vamos a ver que pasa esta semana con ellos.  (eshos.  That’s how you say it because I’m with an Uruguayo, and that’s how we talk)
Jorge y Rita are still muy fuerte and pre pre prepared.  Well, I did find them with Elder McClain, so they have had a good chunk of time to get themselves converted to this Gospel which is so true.  Everything is set ma o meno por el casamiento Friday and baptism this Saturday.  What I mean by set is simply that it’s going to happen.  Things here don’t get planned good until the day before the day of.  But did you hear that?  IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!

Ahh,  my first marriage.  And Elder Arrua is going to be there right by my side. . .  throwing rice.  Don’t worry - we aren’t the ones getting married.  Jorge is so strong, his faith is sure.  He is a future leader in this Church.

This is me with Jorge and Rita in the church
after the baptism of Lea.  Cappos!!!

I did divinos with that latino you see.  Elder Martinez is from Tigre, Buenos Aries and is amazing.  He sings like a God and teaches like an angel.  A really cool thing is that my third transfer, I’m now in my 6th, I did divinos with him, twice.  And in district meetings I did some teaching practices with him.  After the night with Lea and Jorge and Rita, as we were walking to the pension, he talked to me and compared what he saw three transfers ago and what he just saw.  He just pumped me up and complimented me and told me the great change he saw in me in castallano y confidence.  Those are the two things he noticed.  It was so great to be with him and partake of his goodness.

Me and Elder Martinez after our day tarde of
divisions and round of 3 baptism intrevistas.
We got a new pench system.  Elder Hyer pobrecito is gone (yes, like Kip would) and Elder Rodriguez showed up.  He’s from Uruguay too and is fourth in line for Amanda.  We are rocking a good pench this first week and I’m happy.  I already love Elder Rodriguez.  He speaks perfect English, honestly, it’s better than mine.  His verb usage and variety of words far exceeds that of mine.  I hope you know I am not joking.  He studied seven years before the mission and obviously has perfected it on the mission.  He uses phrases like ‘hold your horses’ and ‘rank.’
O and my companion is the new DL.  Which is perfect for him because he hates numbers and meetings.  I’m trying to help him in this at first overwhelming position.

Alright, I just attached a picture of the asadito.  That would never fly in the states.  But here, shirts for men aren’t really required when in the home.  Sin verguenza!  That’s Hermano Maure, Lea’s dad.

Our piano broke down this week but our patron (that’s his sobre nombre, Elder Arrua) elictricista fixed it to the rejoicing of both Owens and me.  Yay!
Church yesterday was good.  Like always, there were some awful testimonies, which makes my companion leave the little sacrament meeting room.  But there were some awesome ones to save the day.  For a closing hymn, I played conmigo quedate senor.  It was fantastic and by the end, Hermana Maure on the front row was crying.  I love knowing the song well enough so that I can look out into the people and sing with them.  Jorge and Rita were the only investigators we had show, it is great to see how the ward is taking them and developing friendships with them.
You know the classic Helping an Old Woman Cross the Street?  Well, that was me this week.  I had the wonderful opportunity of helping an 85-year-old woman who had trouble walking and tired really quickly, walk about 2 (super slow but good) cuadras a su casita.  It was great.  She almost fell once.  Well, that’s the week in a nutshell, preferably almond.
I loved that you searched and found Jacob 4:12.  And the asado of chicken for 25 heads will be paid for by Elder Arrua and I.  I guess if I run out, we will be eating fideaos the last couple weeks.  But really, no problem and please don’t worry so much about me.  I can see those wheels in your head turning mother.
The prescription stuff will be greatly appreciated.  And if you ever want to talk to Elder Cabranes, just call the mission because he should answer the phone, or just ask for him.  He’d love to talk to any of you.  No, I didn’t have to pay customs.  And I don’t really know if I think in Spanish.  We have a good rest of the pday lined up, us four are prolly going out to some campo with the family Flores again!!
I loved Saydi’s email and the pictures!  She can tell you what I said about it.  Saydi is looking great, my companion and I both think that.  My companion is crazy about girls and I gotta keep him focused.  I love life, I love the mission.  It’s hard sometimes, yeah, the insecurities of not speaking well or not having a connection with the gente or a dozen other things.  On Tuesday, a ton of kids were calling at me and trying to mess with me.  By kids, I mean like druggies our age.  But it didn’t bother me anymore.  It puts a smile on my face.
This is all I have to say.  Go Mormons.
This is Elder Ostler sending all my love.
Enjoy all the gigs of fotos - winky face