Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm trying to get all the rats out of the basement

Hello Family:
Whats going on!!??!  Great to hear about going to the Lindahl’s homecoming. They are so Wonderful.
Some pictures of us in the pench.  The water problem, though not fixed, is a lot better.  We figured out putting the soap bottle on the water spout in the sink is a good cure so only about once a day we have to clean a little bit of water. 

President Avila’s son is serving in the Spokane Misión.
I have been focusing so much lately on personal progress.  Trying to become more like Christ.  I look at all the experiences God gives me as a chance to grow and improve.  Really to overcome the natural man, if you will.  Because in the moment, sometimes we just go crazy and freak out.  I remember a cita from CS Lewis that is,  “In the basement there are rats, and the instant you turn on the Light, you see the rats.”  Not to poetic, but it’s something like that.  So I’m trying to get all the rats out of the basement, so when someone turns on the Light, they will see a True representative of Christ, who has forgot himself, and has gone to work.  But sometimes it is SO HARD:  so that’s what I’m working on.
Yes Mom, I am in 100 percent Castellano mode.  But today when my companion and another elder went to centro to buy some things, I hung out with Elder Vaca, a new Latin, Peru.  And we were learning English and the funniest thing happened when he said the word hamburger.  Just like he says it on pink panther.  I sat there and laughed so hard.  And then I was quizzing him on everything we had learned and I said diga quiero una hamburgesa and he hesitated a second, and said, “I Am A Hamburgar.”  I DIED LAUGHING!!!!  But yeah, Castelleno is my new lengua.  I hope to improve.
Sometimes, various times throughout the day, my companion and I just don´t understand each other.  His accent is pretty thick centro America, and sometimes, for the life of me I just don´t understand him, and he has to repeat it sometimes 3 times.  And the same happens with my drucho greengo Argentine accent.  Funny at times, frustrating at others.  And after about every single sentence he ever says and ever will say, he tacks on the word verdad?  verdad?  It would be like saying, right? after every sentence.  O Elder Cajas.  He’s great, and we work hard together and have the same goals.
If you could, please send a decently easy peanut butter cookie recipe in the next email.  The Walmart peanut butter is only good with oreos, and Elder Esplin says its great to cook with.  Thanks.
La obra Misional.
All in all it was a good week.  My desire to share the Gospel has increased.  Is increasing.  I no longer desire to stay in the pench another ten minutes, or do this or that other thing. . .  no.  I want to share the Gospel and Preach to Every Creature.  Everybody must be baptized, either here, or vicariously in the temple, . . so why not do it now??  I’m not amazing though,  because sometimes I do feel the urgent desire to just put my feet up and watch a hockey game.  I need to purify myself even more.  But the mission is great.  I’m doing good things, and becoming.
Ugghh, I don´t like email with no spunk and animo . .
Ok, we had some amazing lessons this week.  Let’s get excited!!  The lady who came to church last week, Sandra, we had a great lesson with her.  Her only problem is her other evangelical church.  We preached to her good, and the spirit taught her.  But she didn´t come to church. :(
We had also a great lesson with Jose Luis, the arquero.  The goalie.  And he’s reading and praying!!!  We just had such a wonderful sweet lesson with him, and he halfway committed to come to church.  But didn’t.  I do think he will progress though.  Just slowly.
Saturday night I felt good about going to a barrio we had never been to before, close to the church.  And we were warmly received in the first door we knocked.  I was Shocked as the couple dropped what they were doing, pulled out the Book of Mormon, and principios del evangelio, and sat, ready to charlar!!  It was over an hour long lesson, and they are so prepared.  Emilio y Claudia.  Rather rich folk.  She’s asisted general conference before, and read King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, as she told us.  I instantly thought of you dad.  You taught me to love those first golden chapters of Mosiah.  And she’s read portions of Alma and many chapters of principios del evangelio.  They are  R R R ready.  You can just imagine me in that lesson; my mouth was loosened, I ate it up.  They remind me a lot of how Amanda described Kim.  They even gave us a ride home.
And on Friday night, we had a throw down lesson with Argentino Domingo, a 65-year-old man, a reference from a member and this was our second lesson with them.  It was a throw down lesson in the fact that every thing changed.  I was so bold with them.  It was so Wonderful.  And apparently was effective . . because DOMINGO CAME TO CHURCH!  I was in wonder as I saw him walk into the capilla just after the first our of priesthood ended.  And he Loved it.  The building, the people, everything.  I have hope.
Hermano Nunez, none of his kids are members, and he wore the sweetest vest to church.  So that's potential ful.  And the other one is a great story.  After finishing the lesson with Domingo, we were smiling and walking down the street to the bus stop, when a man signals us in his house.  He was Crazy, just a nuts guy, but introduced himself as a member, very inactive.  And we were there a little while with him, he would have been fine with us staying hours and hours.  He promised to come to church.  And on Sunday, he kept his promise, and even brought his wife.  So the inactive members are prepared to come back!  And it was great to watch the members welcome them back.
This week we have a lot of potential in Rivadavia.  We’ve been working good, and I can honestly say that last week we worked hard.  But this week we are going to work smart.  We are going to work with los miembros.  We have already started, and received 4 references from a member family yesterday during our lunch appointment in a bodega.  Best meat ever.  Knocking doors is good and all, but if you look in that great manual, Predicad Mi Evangelio, in chapter 9, President Hinckley has the best cita.  'There is a better way, esa manera es pormedio de los miembros de la iglesia.’  This week I want to work hand in hand with los miembros, and find new people to teach.
I actually was given the opportunity to speak in church yesterday.  My comp was assigned the talk, it was a whole sacrament, meeting themed on la obra misinoal.  But my comp woke up sick on Sunday, and so the talk was mine.  I have only been super nervous a few times in my mission.  Nervousness and butterflies is something rarely felt on the mission.  The most nervous I have ever been was before my piano delio in the evangelical church.  And right before I gave this talk too, I was just shaking.  I have no idea why.  But I prayed for God to calm me, and he did.  And it was so cool when I started to speak because in 3 seconds I captured the attention of all the little ones.  I taught the restoration in 3 minutes, and then pleaded for the members to help us do the Lords work in Rivadavia.  It was wonderful.  And I had to ignore satan’s taunting’s afterwards telling me what I could have said better or what I did wrong.
C’mon, family,  let’s share this gospel!  One of the rm’s, in the talk said this.  “Really the missionaries in the barrio are only part time because in 2 years, they’re done.  It is us, as members of the church, who are the full time missionaries.”  So look for opportunities, and don't be scared.  The price is courage, and the reward is someones eternal salvation.
I also mentioned Casey Garland, el famoso, in my discurso.  Send him my saludos, and tell him that He’s Great.  Tell him the campo is blanco too.
There are occasionally street performers here, like clowns that go out on red lights and juggle.  And then pedir plata, kinda fun.
This week, Elder Cajas and I were able to do something cool; however, I was almost sure that when I called the zls and asked permiso to do it, it would get exed.  But nope, they told me they’d call the aps, and let me know.  Ten minutes later they call back and said that we had received permiso.
Remember that Friday night lesson with Jose Luis. . . well he invited us to his partido the next day!  And the mission gave us permiso to go!!  It was out of our area and all, so we went with a member, Cristian Funes, a recent convert, great kid.
So I went to an Argentine soccer game!!  It cost 15 pesos to get in, and had the makings of a great Argentine match.  Goals, blood, marijuana, and just about every swear word on the planet!  This one time 2 guys went up for a header, and one got nailed by the other, and was Instantly covered in blood.  Jose Luis, the goalie, did great.  I got some good pictures, but yeah, lots of swearing.

I’m not sure what I expected going to an Argentine futbol game, but I certainly didn´t expect that!  I’m just used to the BYU football games, super tranquilo.  But wow, there was lots of swearing.  I have not been in an environment like that in forever.
The empanada ladrón.  This one time our lunch fell through, so on the way back I saw a man selling empanada on the street.  They looked good so I bought ten for us.  But when we got home there were only 8!  He tricked me.
Last night, I really don´t know why, but sorrow overcame me as I tried to sleep.  I was sad that only 1 of our 7 committed investigators came to church.  I think I felt a little of what Abinadi felt.  I thought about Abinadi a lot.
But all is well.  I must keep the animo and keep the Hope.  That McDonalds pic was taken today, bytheway.
San Juan is a Beautiful place.  The mountains awe me every day.  This week it was actually decently warm.  Preaching in short sleeves and all.  But now it’s cold again.  There’s something that happens here that's called sonda, or viento caleinte.  Hot wind.  And one day it came and at one point we were on a bus and for 5 seconds the visibility went down to 5 feet.  I kid you not.  It was nuts.  And the bus driver didn’t even think of touching the break!  So much wind and dust.
Well that's all folks.
I love you.  Practice your piano boys!  And share the Gospel with your friends.  Thanks mom and dad for raising me.
Elder Ostler