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