My Dearest Family:
Hello I love you all so much. I loved the letters so much. Like the emails I mean. What a family I have!! While I do think about you all sometimes, I never think about the details of your lives. So I loved the gardening, and fasting and testimony prayer. And the best part was Wilson and his cute little head on the Book of Mormon. I read that part twice. I love you family. I can´t wait to see you again!
And we are officially in our final year. Yes, Thursday was quite the day, unforgettable. I’ll tell you later, like later in this letter, not I’ll tell you next week, that’s Braden´s classic line. Wouldn´t want to steal that one.
Really, today for some reason wasn’t the best. And I’ve just been waiting for this, knowing it would fill me with life. And it already has. And now remembering my amazing week and putting it on virtual paper will help.
But first, you finally got all my memory. WOW. So such a relief. That’s sweet, Vicky met Wetzel. Yeah, that picture of Rachel was taken down when Moon showed up (obviously), that’s old news. The new news is Macall! Hahahajajaja just kidding, but she just barely graduated high school, so she’ll be a freshman at Hawaii. O and boys, great to hear you’re all practicing again. Keep practicing! I certainly did this week!
Wow, finally, you got my memory, I can’t stop thinking about that. And I found out today that Elder Arrua is training! He’s in Chimbas. That’s so sweet!
I think this week should be called ‘The Last Effort.’ Because every single day, at 8:30 PM, we thought, should we go back 15 minutes early, or keep working? And Every Single Day, something amazing happened from 8:30 to 9. One day, I proposed that we finish the day by knocking/clapping a street. ‘This one up strait, or that one, to the left’ I ask my companion, Elder Moon. We both got the biggest impression form the spirit to turn left, and voiced it at the same time. And the 4th door we knocked we entered. And we found ourselves sitting on a Miracle. It was Divine Intervention that we knocked that door, because one of His Daughters needed help.
We had an amazing first lesson with Yesica (seria Jesica). And then the next day we went by with la Hermana Alaniz and had an even better lesson. Yesica is so receptive to the Spirit, and by the end was crying. She has had so much pain in her life. It was no lesson out of preach my gospel that we taught. It was directly from the spirit. We taught to her needs. A heavenly moment in Justo. The obstáculo is that every fin de semana she leaves to visitar her parents who live in the campo. But we have almost had daily contact with her since Tuesday.
I echo what Amanda has said. That I am not training, but in fact, am being trained. My Son, Elder Moon, has filled me with faith, hope, and ánimo. Y una mas el deseo para Bautizar (and a desire to baptize more). My Son is Making Me Great.
On my true birthday, Thursday, during comp study, we had the idea to go make banana bread with one of our potential investigators even though neither of us has ever made banana bread before, the idea just sounded golden, so we threw the ingredients in my bag and off we went. Well, the woman wasn´t home. So we just went around preaching the Gospel, with ingredients to banana bread in the bag. And I offered alot of people if they wanted to make banana bread that morning. And lots of denials. It’s all about trying new and different things, but me di cuenta that it’s a little strange to walk around with a shirt and tie, especially in Justo, offering everyone to make banana bread for them.
Anyway, that was fun, and then after we went to the carnicería and bought some meat! 1500 grams. And I made an asado for my son. He didn´t believe me that just some coals would cook that meat, but we ended up eating the BEST ASADO. And what’s more, it was my 1 year mark. It was so sweet. It’s strange to think that my mission is one half of the way over. One year lived and gone. I still have so much to do. And so much to learn. But whats more, so much more to Become. I want to be so much better. I want to Improve and be the Best I can be. And I got one year to do it. It’s exciting to think about what lies ahead. Good thing the future comes one day at a time.
So after the asado celebration, we started planificación semanal. I set a personal mission record as it lasted 6 hours. It was AMAZING! We talked about everything, and it was in those 6 hours that I really got to know Elder Moon. He is INCREDIBLE. We talked about Doctrine. We talked about Baptism. We talked about the Temple, but in a very sacred manner, and I felt the Spirit So Strongly. We talked about the fac similie numero dos, and it was so cool. And of course we talked about Justo, and what in the world we can do to get this place moving. And one of the first steps is to get Branch counsel happening. So we did that, we have a meeting scheduled for jueves. And I don´t know, it was just an incredible time where we read the scriptures together, and talked, and decided to be Exactly Obedient. It is possible. The stripling warriors did it. And were Blessed. We also talked about Dominion. We also read form the king follet discourse, from Joseph Smith. WOW. They just don´t talk about that stuff anymore. My knowledge about and relationship with God strengthened so much. He is an Exalted Man. Enough on that.
Before I forget, please send me Bednars talk on working with the less and menos activos. It’s recent.
I love a scripture in Alma 62:45. It talks about how they Convinced the Lamanites and Baptized them. I think. I read it last nite and wrote it down. But I really love it. They preached the word of God with POWER.
And I have realized that a missionary becomes great by studying. It is what you do during the no proselyting hours that count. And this week I studied every loose minute I had. I devoured that Book of Mormon in Spanish. And practiced the piano. So Wilson, when you’re reading, think of me, because I’m reading that great book too. I love the Book of Mormon and know that it is True.
So this other nite, before turning in, I decided to go a certain way and knock some doors. Well, we knocked on this one and a young 14 year old kid answered, and he was nice enough. He was there alone, and it didn’t even enter my mind to enter. So for 6 or 7 minutes, we taught him on his porch about the Book of Mormon. And he totally accepted it, it was sweet. Then on the way home, we heard some heavy metal, and I just had to investigate. Justo’s a pretty quiet place you know, so stuff like that is cool. Anyway, we waited outside this garage type thing until the metal stopped, then I called out the pibbes inside, hoping to talk to them a minute about their music (it really wasn’t that good, metal and screaming, you know the type) but when the first one saw us, he said, O los Mormones, Tomatela’ and thew his hands up. Then leaned in to that guitar. So now that’s a good inside joke we have. It was so funny. Tomatela is very disrespectful and is kind of like Eat That, or Get Lost. One of those things you had to be there, but it was so funny.
I think Saturday night it really hit Elder Moon, and he was tired and a little homesick. And has started walking slower, because I guess I just Run everywhere. But again, it was a last effort that paid off, and we had a great lesson with Ernesto, the guy we once taught with the lambs next to us. Anyway, he is so missing so many screws and it was a memorable lesson. Blanca blanca blanca blanca luz! He said that about 20 times. Such an animated guy. We taught him the Restauración, and he actually understood a part or two. So at the end we got on our knees, and I helped him through a prayer. He really did ask if Jose Smith fue un profeta. But his position was so funny, kneeling, hands reached up to the heavens and all. My comp and I laughed about that lesson for a long time.
Yeah dad, I was thinking about reading my first journal entries to know a little better how to help my comp. But he’s doing a lot better than me! That’s for sure. The real struggle is Spanish. While it has improved SO MUCH this past week, he still really struggles, and then just kinda ignores it. So that I need to help him on. But really, just such a cappo!
And on the tema of casteshano, wow, I realize that I understand just about everything now. Just about. And I can, at times, talk really well. I’m working on my accento a lot. La lectura en el libro de mormon, that’s what LDM means Amy, bytheway, me ayuda un montonaso! It’s amazing and such a gift from God, as you say mom, the Spanish that I have been GIVEN from God, mi padre celestial.
And no, Amanda shouldn´t marry Elder Wetzel. Opposites attract, but not that opposite:).
A funny part this week was when we went to visit Carlos. You see he has this prized chanco jabali (like a wild bore) and we were almost to his house, and we saw 4 pibes riding away through the sand, on there bikes with a dead chanco jabali over the handlebars of one of their bikes! My heart sunk. I thought they had killed and stolen his prized pig. Stuff like that happens a lot to him. So we hunted. We turned into missionary detectives as we followed the bike tire tracks through the sand, but eventually gave up as everybody in Justo rides a bike, so we lost the track. Bryce could a done it. Good on ya mate! Tell him I love him.
Anyway they didn’t kill his pig, but hunted their own. And we found that out Saturday night when, by a miracle of God, we found Carlos. If we would have arrived 8 seconds later, he would have been gone. But he said he was coming to church, si Dios quiere.
Also Mirta, a long time investigator we picked up again, told us that. But it wasn`t that easy. Because our 2nd lección with her this week she started out by telling us she had made her final decision not to bautizarse this week. Wow, that was like a brick in the head, as we have really been focusing on her. Well, the Spirit of the Lord was with us and we saved the lección. She has a testimony and reads the Book of Mormon. She’s just not willing to live a true principle, as she didn’t come to church. Neither did Carlos. Neither did any of the 3 miembors menos activos we had committed. Neither did any of the other 4 investigators that might have come. Like Yesica.
But odd enough, as I played that piano during church, and especially during the sacrament himno, I felt peace. Absolute PEACE. I was so focused in Jesus Christ it was insane. I am filled with so much love for HIM. I bear testimony of Him, that He Lives, that He Came, and that He will come again. I know that Jesus Christ lives.
Sunday for lunch we went to President Jose´s house and ate, you’ll never guess ..
It was so sweet. He had hunted and killed it on his farm in Cordoba the night before. It was so sweet! Not like sugar, but I mean it was sweet. It tasted EXACTLY like turkey. And they don’t have turkey here. So that was cool. And I ate some of the skin. It was cool. I devoured that peludo. Then we ate chorizo. Isn’t that some good stuff Casey? We’re going to have to open a kiosco that sells bread, chorizo, asado, facturas, and alfajores. You can name it. A good one here in Justo is Juan y Juan. We could call it that.
So after finally making banana bread during the siesta with Elder Moon, we went out and had another last effort miracle. After some rejection, I realized something needed to change. I needed to start doing something different. The somos misioneros deal wasn´t working, at all. So the next couple I saw I mixed it up. I went up to them and was so happy and started talking about how I was a foreigner but how I LOVE the Argentine Asado. It took some work, but I won their trust. And then invited myself to walk to their home and pasar por dos minutos. Sounding familiar?? Think Jorge and Rita. They accepted, but very tentatively.. So we get in their house and the woman Norma looks at me and says, ‘dos minutos.’ I’m cool with that and we start. What followed was not a 2 but a fifteen minute lesson. And it was good with overstaying our welcome, because Norma was the one wanting to know more, and asking the most sincerest of questions. That lesson was amazing as we introduced the Book of Mormon to them, I shared Dads favorite scripture, and the spirit was so strong. I bore testimony of that sacred Book and they knew it. I knew they knew it. I’m excited to continue visiting with Norma. And also with Yesica. And this other super super cool RECEPTIVE old man named Moises. Hmmm you can probably guess we talked about prophets that lesson. Jajaja.
So yes Wilson, we are finding people to teach. Norma is ready. Tenative, but SO ready. And Yesica, she will really have to show her faith, but So READY. And Moises, willing and ready. Mirta, ready, she will be baptized someday. It’s now her choice. And Carlos. That man just is working so much. I have not given up hope. I love you Carlos.
Thank you for praying and fasting for me Wilson. I love you so much and wish I could wrestle with you so bad.
All I can say is I hope we have a Jorge y Rita repeat with Norma. And what’s funny is that with Elder Molen, we tried to get in that house but didn’t.
I love you all so much. Enjoy this long letter. Enjoy those pictures. Have you watched Carlso kill the pig? That’s the best best best one.
I will have a great week. We really focus on our daily goals. And study time is precious. Wilson, your great.
Love Elder Ostler