Monday, June 13, 2011

I knew that this would require all I had.

Hola de Argentina.  Where o where to start.  Well I just loved what you said Mom and Dad.  That’s cool about Elder Bush.  And wow, what a house we have.  I saw that piano, and it’s big.  But I must say. . . mother, that was, I believe your first email without a question.

O the breakage of mowers.  I feel your pain, Harrison, but count your blessings.  We almost just got big time hosed on cyber today, but as we were walking from cyber to cyber trying to find a macina, and couldn´t, we were burning pday time but that song came into my head as my blood started to rise.  Count Your Many Blessing.  We have so many.
So today I made the sweetest notecard to help me write this letter, but it has been lost . . .so enjoy the free writing.
Elder Moon and I had an INCREDIBLE week in Justo Daract.  We taught 27 lessons and found 20 news!!  An absolute record for me.  My most before was 12.  And Tuesday - Saturday we had 26 lección and 19 news.  We found 1 new and taught 1 lesson yesterday and took his cigarillos in exchange for a folleto!  It was sweet.  I love doing that.
It was a Rivadavia week, just without baptisms or people in church.  But that’s ok.  I know the Lord is refining me here and teaching me here.  I trust that I am in Justo for a purpose, and that I am learning many good things.  I know I am.
I loved the dearelder form Hermana Creer I got this week.  Thanks Sister Creer.  Your great and your words strengthened me.  I love your family, and Brennen, your times a coming.  Here’s the clave (key) to the MTC.  STUDY.  And have some fun and TAKE PICTURES!  I didn't take enough in the MTC.  You’re great Brennen.
I know that our complete success this week was due to our obedience.  I can’t say exact obedience, because we’re still not there yet.  But we’re close.  We’re on that road.  The exercises in the morning are so key.  And just the horario en general.  But wow, doors just opened, and the Lord provided the way.  And we followed.  I had a greater portion of the Spirit with me this week.
Obediance is the Key.  I can’t say I was a whole lot happier this week.  But we did do a whole lot better.  It’s not that I’m not happy, I’m right there, doing good.  But looking back, after each day this week, we came back to the pench just on fire, reflecting and talking about the actual miracles we saw that day.  And they were many.  Let me tell about some experiences we had.  (Apart from all the banana pancakes I made this week!)
This week we taught the drunkard, fornicator, homosexual, proud, and a Doctor.  Let’s go in that order.
The Drunkard.  It was another one of those, well we could go home right now, or keep working.  We keep working.  And as we were looking for a house, (the numbering of the houses, if there even is a number on the house, is So Bad, not just here, probably Argentina in general.  Am I right Casey?) this guy walks out of his house and starts the alb with us!  He asked us if we wanted to go in his house with him and drink some tea, with the exception that we can’t talk about God.  Of course, I said, but we don´t drink tea, some gaseosa o agua would be great.  So he went to the nearest kiosco and returned and in his house we went.

I leaned over to Elder Moon and ... we came to the conclusion that he wasn´t drunk.  He gave us some coke and facturas (I was fasting, but would have offended him to not eat,) ( and actually at first I tried to just say I wanted water) and it was when he started running his mouth and then poured himself some fernett that we realized he was hammered!!  Just stoned cold.  And looking back on this amazing experience, just wait, the story gets better, I realized, wow, that really wasn’t safe, walking into the house with a drunk man, but I thought back to one of Braden’s letters when he said, the spirit warns us of danger, and I didn´t feel anything bad.  Anyway, it was a crazy lesson, pretty cool.

We were able to teach his mother, just an amazing woman who is scared to death of people.  I tried to teach him.  But in a drunken state, it is impossible to feel the spirit.  He really, at some points was acting like a 5 year old.  Then as we left, he noticed I was just rocking short sleeves, and it was bastante cold.  So he gave me the sweater off his back!!  It was so cool!!  And then we walked home, and I smelled putridly like cigarette smoke.  I feel like all my thoughts come out jumbled, but just know it was a super cool, that doesn’t happen every day experience.  We will go back to teach his mother, Neli.  The drunkard, Edwardo, was just visiting.

Next is a one of the coolest experiences of my missino.  One night planning, I didn’t know why at the time, but I decided to go to Villa Sillas.  It’s an hour walk from the pench, and basically for 45 minutes you just walk through nothing!  But at the same time it is so cool.  And it is a little barrio with a population of maybe 100? No joke.  Anyway, Satan tried to stop us from going that morning, but God will accomplish his purposes.  To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  And he knew that Daniela y Reuben needed some help.  She immediately let us in.  And then we started.  We invited the husband, and he stood at the table while we three sat.  We prayed and then I asked a few simple questions to know what to teach them, and how to help them.  Within 2 minutes, I knew that this would require all I had.  I had just walked into a marriage nightmare.
While they did not fight, there were very real problems.  They are just a young couple and have 3 kids.  So for 45 minutes I was a marriage counselor!  Without the spirit, I would have been lost.  But I’d say we did a pretty good job.  It was an incredible experience.  Reuben is an amazing man who really just wants the best for his kids and to save his family.  And at the end, we kneeled in a circle in prayer.  And I taught Daniela how to pray and she prayed.  And cried. And in the prayer asked forgiveness, the forgiveness of her esposo.  She humbled herself.  And the spirit of the Lord was poured upon that house.  I look forward to going back and following up. 

The Doctor was cool.  His name is Juan.  And I remember when Casey said this, but it was so cool unfolding and teaching the Gospel on a deeper level.  If we usually play in the kitty pool with everyone else, we were swimming in the 12 feet deep end with Juan!  He already knew the Joseph Smith story and about the restoration a little.  I was bold.  Elder Moon did good.  And I just hope that man can find the humility to pray.  Because  he doesn´t think he needs too.  He’s fine where he is.  That type.  I hope we can teach him again! 

Ernesto made some progress this week, but still is just crazy.  But we saw the sheep they have and they were prancing, or bounding!  I love watching sheep.  After the missino, I totally want sheep and pigs.  Or maybe when I’m a married man.  But I really love sheep.  So cool.
Carlos, so hard to find.  Didn’t teach him this week.  Mirta, dropped us.  Knows it’s true, but won’t repent.
Another time we were walking to a cita, down a street I have walked down probably 30 times before. But this time it was different.  After some 100 houses passed, the spirit told me to knock a door.  And after 1 minute of convincing (I love convincing people to listen to us or to repent, Ammon did it all the time) she let us in her house.  But at first, when she first poked her head through the crack in the door, an outsider would have thought that there was no way we were getting in that house.  People put up an automatic barrier when they see us.  But I tore hers right down.  The Spirit baby.  The spirit is So Amazing.  We were in the house the promised 5 minutes, and then were off to continue teaching.  She really liked us, she’ll let us back in.
OK, my comps computer just died.  So here we go.  Off to another cyber.  Or if it doesn’t work, maybe I’ll have to finish this tomorrow.  I LOVE YOU ALL
Elder Ostler
Back in action.  Different cyber.  So today has been good.  Futbol on a rented field.  Then we bought from some street vendors.  I had choripan.  So good, but they put mayonnaise on it.  Pretty much, I’ll eat anything now.
So to top off an amazing week, we had stake conference.  We had to travel to Villa Mercedes Sunday in the morning to participate.  And for that reason it was extra hard to have people come to church.  But to my great surprise, Stake Conference was a broadcast from SLC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We heard the sweetest cane drop talk from Elder Zivic.  And then one from Elder Andersen, in his greengo Spanish.  It was so cool!!!  You could totally hear the European accent in there too.  And then Elder Packer, the GA for the last 50 years, was the anchorman.  And he gave a great discourse on the Espiritu Santo.  But Zivics was my favorite for sure.  He visited this mission just before I got here.  The themes were definitely rescuing and strengthening less actives and also TITHING!  And the Holy Ghost.  But it was such a surprise.  Such a blessing to be able to live that experience.  And we sat next to the stake patriarch AND temple sealer.  Such a sweet couple, I’ve eaten with them before on pday.  They love me.  I can´t really describe it . . the strength I received from being with other members.  And SO MANY MEMBERS.  Maybe 70 - 100.  It was just incredible.  Singing with them, praying with them and just being with them.  What a blessing!!  I was filled.
Then we traveled back to Justo and for almuerzo (lunch) had homemade mac and cheese and pancakes with peanutbutter and syrup.  So American.
I’m trying to think of some other experiences this week.
O yeah, we found a great lady, Olga, and have had 3 lessons with her and her brother, a member, 67 years old and almost all there.  He is so spiritual and funny though.  Just a great great Son of God.  So much love for God.  Baptized 8 years ago.  It was the classic lesson outdoors around the table, with gallinas at our feet pecking for food.  The classic Argentine lesson.  And the normal one in Justo.  Olga is great, I was bold with her, and the third time, a cause de no guardar sus compromisos, we read with her folleto 3 and explained baptism.  But her brother, Roldolfo, is such a Gaucho.  So Argentine.
This week I noticed Argentine style, especially the Gaucho dress.  It is Fantastic!  I am 100% a fan.  Just the sweetest guys looking so dapper.  The sweetest jeans, shirts, jackets, and hats.  It is so fun.  If only I could be an Argentine cowboy someday.  With sheep and pigs, hunting fish with guns and killing pigs for a living.  O the life.
Also, as Mirta dropped us, she fed us noquis, which I pedired and received.  Ask and ye shall receive.  And the noquis were SO DELICIOUS!  Licked the bowl clean.  O it has been too long.  The last time I ate noquis was with Hermana Ponce in my beloved Rivadavia.
I love declaring repentance.  I love teaching the people here in Justo Daract.  They are good people. A lot of them lie.  Actally, most of them lie and teach their kids to lie.  So, like yesterday, when the little girl answers the door of a good potential investigators house, she tells us no he’s not here.  No my parents aren’t here either.  Ok so your just home alone.  And why then can I see an adult sitting right there?  And then I asked her why are you lying to me?  So that part of the work is so frustrating.  Love is required.  And I hope I can love the people more.
Elder Moon has had a lot of firsts.  And it is really good working with him!  Like he said last night, he is the inspirational speaker, and I’m the one who actually does the work.  Not like he doesn´t do the work, because he works hard, but you know, just the Spanish thing.  I do 80 percent of the talking, but he is So Great.
Of course, he already had his first alfajor, like the first day.  But all I can say is I hope when Hebrews 13 warns of whoremongers, Paul is not talking about alfajormongers!  Because that’s Elder Moon and I.  We are constantly eating Alfajors, trying all the different kinds.  They are SO GOOD.  Also, when he had his first factura, he thought there was cheese on top!  And not the dulce!  HA.
This week in Villa Sillas he had his first lesson where a child wanted suck.  First asado.  It’s cool training.  I mostly just try to lead by example.  He’s going to do great things.
Amy, I got your letter this week and Loved It.  Thanks so much.  The Lord is going to test you and push you.  So just be ready.  I love you Amy, mande saludos a su marido y hijito Chase.  El capo.  And the dogs.  You are so funny with your dogs.  I guess we all have our loves.  Yours is dogs.  Mine is sheep. . . and pigs.
I really just cannot getting over the picture of those sheep dancing and prancing down the street.  Or dirt road should I say.
In Justo, we constantly smell like smoke.  Fire smoke.  Because here, many people heat their houses with estufas, or they burn wood to heat their homes.  And inevitably (good word) some of the smoke escapes.  And then everyone burns their leaves in the streets.  So everything smells like smoke.  The first time I came back to the pench and smelled the smoke on my clothes, I changed and showered.  It was a siesta.  HA.  Nope, don’t do that anymore.
No I don´t need g's, clothes de ningun tipo.  Just malvaviscos!!  And more amazing emails and letters that I receive at an amazing rate.  Harrison, raca, your great.  YES!!  You like Rush.  Fly by nite, listen to it for me.  And don’t forget an important part of life is Work.  Enjoy livin’ at home.  And please, go with the missionaries.  Not just so they can get lessons with members,  ha ha ha ha that’s a joke, but so YOU can have some amazing missionary and spiritual experiences.  Pray with them, and study with them.  They are the Lords servants.  Take every opportunity to work with them.
Jefferson, thou fool.  You are awesome.  My clone, if I understand correctly.  Keep growing your testimony.
Saydi, boyfriend?  A first kiss story?  CMON!  Just kidding, play it cool and develop your Christlike attributes.
Benson and Wilson.  Yeah.  Do good things and be obedient.  And read.  And have as much fun as you can.  And write in your journals.  It will be GOLD in the future.
O, and Amanda Panda. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  Yeah 22.  Wow.  You’re so old!  Wow, we just have the best family, don´t we.  I love you guys.  And it’s summer!  How cool is that.  que tal
O, I forgot.  Moises.  He’s just great.  Just Gold!  I love how he listens to us.  I love how he wants to learn.  I love him so much.  We’ve had 3 lessons with him.  He’s old, and can’t hardly read.  But not a super crazy.  Just a normal.  He believes what we are teaching him is true.  I hope he comes to church this week.  I hope we can fill the chapel so they don´t have to shut Justo down.  Because there’s talk of that.
Well, now the pench of 25 de mayo to eat more alfajres with Elder Moon and play TRUCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Ostler