Monday, June 27, 2011

I Love This Little Branch!!!

Well you asked a question or 2 ya??  Hey everybody, I’m doing so great.  My email today will come in parts, first I will try to tackle the questions.  The siesta works like this dad.  At 1 or 1:30 the siesta starts.  Pretty much everything by 1:30 is closed.  And I mean everything.  Until 2 or 2:30 we eat with the members.  More often than not we, in Justo, go back to the church to eat.  Then at 2:30-4 we have study and language time.  That is where you make yourself great.  It is so hard to come back and study.  So much easier to just be lazy and hang around.  That is where the capos are made.  During the siesta.  But like I said, last week after lunch many days, we skipped the study time and went out to work.  So that’s that.
Yeah, it’s cold.  But my sleeping bag and 2 blankets keep me warm. Justo is not closing.  It won’t.  President said he’s keeping it open. President Lindahl doesn’t have power to take the branch out.  Just the elders.  But the 70 coming to Mendoza, don’t really know specifics. I’ve just heard President say that twice now.  Like one’s going to be headquartered there?  Or something.
Sorry, no Reuben and Daniella story this week.  I did talk with them por telefono twice this week though.  Yeah, the roundabout with the Justo Duract sign is the one.  No, no pants needed.
Dear Family:
Another week in the books here in Daract.  Fair Daract.
And it was a good week.  A very good week.  Ups and downs, but I look back with a smile...  As I look back on the week, the one thing that stands out is that WE HAD 2 PEOPLE IN CHURCH!!!!!
Sunday morning at 9:32, 2 investigators walked in the door.  And it was amazing.
I have had many cool experiences this week and will try to separate them in paragraphs.
So Saturday night we were not having a ton of success, when all of the sudden God put us in the area where Juan, the Doctor lives, and the spirit prompted me to go to his house.  They immediately received us, and we sat down with Juan, Claudia, and one of the daughters.
Firstly, they treat us as kings.  We had a great discussion with them.  I don’t want to jactar, but they love me.  After solidifying the plans of us going to their church tomorrow (Juan is a co pastor) they invited themselves to the True Church!  I didn’t have to even say anything! An amazing family.  And what followed was a powerful Restoration lesson.  If I had all day I’d tell you about it.  But I bore powerful testimony.  Juan believes, he is a very logical man, and can’t deny the evidence there is of Joseph Smith.  He just needs a spiritual witness. But I believe one day he will baptize.  O if I started to tell you about the lesson, I wouldn’t talk about anything else!
So sure enough, they came to church.  And it was fantastic!  They stayed for 2 hours, and it was great because they were there for a great class from Hermana Alaniz.  That woman is amazing . .  if you could only talk with here mom!!  She’s a facebooker like you.
When the clock striked seven, true to our word, we walked in the the evangelical church.  It was a different experience, and just, lets say, solidified my testimony a little more that We really are in the Only True Church.  There was a lot of sining, and praying, and men letting their right hand see what their left hand was doing.  Lots of alms.  And OOO if I told you the amount of times I heard  ‘bendito sea el nombre de Jesus, Gloria a Dios, Amen, Si Señor, gracis Señor,’  I would be here ALL DAY:  Wow.  Me tienen cansado!
But alas, we went, and kinda enjoyed ourselves.  By the end, I had my favorite members of the congregation.  One was the bass guitarist. There was a band, mostly outta tune.  It consisted of a guitar, bass guitar, accordion, sax, clarinet, violin, and organ.  Pretty much the whole thing was music.

And, as the story goes, at the appointed time I stood up and took my seat at the double keyboard organo.  And juntos with my amigo fiel juan, he was on the violin, we played 3 verses of our rehearsed ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.‘  And It was Amazing.  An experience never to be forgotten.
We got recognized by the pastor, prayed for, and at the end shook everyones hand.  After being announced as a pianist!  I’m no pianista! and playing the song, I was given a tiempecito to share.  I shared a simple testimony of Jesus Christ.  O how bad I wanted to do what Aamon or Aaron or Alma or Amulek would have done.  Preach.  And preach some good restored Gospel.
One time I saw 5 men hauling a huge chanco into a carneceria.  I wanted to have some fun.  So after receiving a crazy look from my companion, I entered the carneceria and hollered to the back.  They let us enter.  And then for 20 minutes, we watched them weigh this 150 kilo freshly killed pig and hoist it up.

With my exceeding height, compared to their shortness, I helped them.  It was so cool.
Also, we had another visitor at church this week.  His name is Hugo Barrozo.  He feeds us every single week. I love Hugo so much.  And he finally found it in him to come to church again.  It was a full sacrament meeting.  We are breaking records!!
Thursday was interviews with Presidente y Hermana Lindahl.  And it was Incredible.  Yes, Hermana Lindahl bought us 8 missionaries 5 kilos of ice cream, and yes it was a ton!

But the more important part was the spiritual part.  It was my last interview with President.  So amazing.  He is so amazing.  We talked about some cool stuff.  I wrote 4 pages in my journal about it, so we’ll talk about it in a year or so.  I love President Lindahl and will miss him and his WONDERFUL wife SO MUCH.  I can see you do what she does Mom.  And you do what he does dad.  It will be a bitter sweet change.  I know they are just jazzed.  But they will be missed.
Try showering when the water tank on top of your cottage freezes! You can’t.  So yesterday I was able to introduce my shocked companion to the wonders of the bucket shower.  O the good old days.
This week we achieved branch counsel!!  It was so cool seeing the church work how it should.  I love this little branch!  We are going to grow.
Tuesday we did home teaching with the members.  Jose and Hermano Alaniz came over and they each took one of us.  I went with Hermano Alaniz and we had a cool experience going to the campo to first find, then teach a sweet member inactivo, Mauro Nunez.  He just lives in the middle of no where.  Anyway, we had a good lesson with him.  Looking down the barrels of his guns etc.  And today for pday, we went back.

Just an hour ago I was with him.  We killed one of his chickens and ate it!  We made a giso and it was So Good.  Such a cool experience.

Just an introverted, quite campo man, who needs a friend.  We were with him for some 5 hours.  And when he offered for us to ride his horses, it was so hard to turn him down.  But the spirit whispered ‘don’t do it.’  And my natural man said ‘Do it!  So much fun!’  But I could just see the manual misional.  No montar caballos.  So we didn’t do it.  Doing it would have given Satan power over us.  And would have limited my freedom, which is contrary to the plan of God.
Tuesday also we had fun experience, the power went out.  So for 24 solid hours, we were without power, and without our electric heaters.  So for one, it was freezing, and for 2, we got to study by candlelight!! I felt so much like Joseph Smith.  We also had to shower by candlelight.  O the blessing of modern technology.
I have started reading the New Testament, and reading of all Christ's healing miracles made me think of Byron Burrup and the miracle Christ worked in him.  How he was healed.  Mandar my saludos to the Burrup family.
I want to poke some fun at Amanda, if she’ll let me.  I want to start calling Justo Justy, ya know Rensselaer - Renssy, ha ha.
I’ve been wanting to tell you that Justo Daract is like Radiator Springs off of Cars.  The firetruck waters the plants, there is one nice car in town, like Sally, and although there are a million Maters, we did see Big Bessy.  And it is just kinda a forgotten town.  Lots of similarities.  And I’m Lightning McQueen.  Can’t get out till I’ve paid the price and done my work.  But this week I almost snapped.  I just lost it sometimes, while out working.  And just got so sick of peoples thoughtless comments, and lack of respect. OOOOOOOOOOOUHUHUHUHUIHUHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. So that was fun.  Elder Moon helps me through days like that.
Hey Casey, I got a question . . . River o Boca?
Hey family, I got a question for all you. . . when was the last time you shared the gospel with someone who is not a mimbro of the church?  I hope you are losing your fear and PRIDE and sharing the Gospel.  DO IT.  Right Ben .  . just do it.
Hey, speaking of Ben, I got letters from home this week.  Thank you everyone that writes me!!!  Tyler O., Doreen, Dale - -  I love how you write to me in vos!  Sos capo Dale.  Y sos un hoser.  Beth, the bodaget Duane.  Thank you.
You went to Wicked!?!  Wow.  Love it.
Ben, I loved your letter.  You are great.  Prepare for the mission!!
Grammie and Grandpa Skinner, got your letters too.  Love you guys!!
And AMY, of course.  The most faithful writer not named Delene, I have.  Hey, with respect to dogs, don’t come here.  You wouldn’t like it.  Is it bad if you can see all of their bones?
Well, wow, it is time to go. 
Elder Ostler