Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm His Personal Representante!

Hey, hey, we’re going to centro right now, buy some things, print some pictures, eat some subway.  What a treat, and I’ll be back to type at 2ish.  Let’s chat a bit!!!
Absolutely!  Just let me know when you’re here.  Or you could just call!!!
Love you, Mom
Wazzup my friend?
Some pictures.  The first is of my father, Elder Cabranes.  That was his last day, and my first (in the offices).  You know that in the last month Liahona, he had a little piece of writing in it.  nunca antes, was the title.

The following fotos are of me and Elder Boisados playing truco.  When it’s the last hand and you know your going to win, that’s what you do, you post it on your forehead.

Subway was wonderful, I had the teriyaki chicken.  O boy.  And it was so good.  It just made me happy, and plus I got tomatoes on it.  And I LOVE tomatoes.  I have found enjoyment in watching my tastes change here.  The hermanas make this wicked tomato slash cebolla ensalada here and I love it.  Like LOVE.
And we also bought some ties.  And I tried to buy a jersey, but let’s just say it’s not a good idea to go shopping in the Argentina persa with a shirt and tie, with a placa, because the people just engañar!  They were trying to sell me stuff with the most inflated prices.  I said no way, and we walked out.

And now I’m here, and very happy.  I just got done translating for President and just barley got a call from the asistentes and we are playing ball in like an hour!  Like real ball!  It’s been well over 6 months since I’ve shot a basketball.  I’m psyched!
O, and I met our only Mexicano elder today.  It was so fun talking to him and with has accent.  I thought of Braden and Jase, and all my other boys out there.
Alright lets start . .  but first I see you, I have 1 new message in my in box.  hmmm
Mom:  I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast.  Had to get to the computer.  Typing on the phone is a pain.  What’s up with you?
Elder Ostler:  The only person the last Elders left us is Estefania.  And she is So Good!  We had the most amazing lesson with here this week.  y me causo risa porque yo le pregunte a ella si habia leido algo de lo que los otros elderes le dejaron.  my me respondio no.  But then she went on to tell us how she read the Restorarion folleto and the chapter they left her in the Book of Mormon!  And then she took us to a part in the back of the folleto, the study part that says what is a prophet?  O it was genius, a blessing straight from our Father in Heaven.  We taught her the whole first lesson just wonderful.  And she accepted everything.  She’s 17.  We went by Saturday nite, and she was set for church.  But Sunday morning rolled around and when we went by to pick her up, her mom couldn't pull here out of bed.  But we have a cita with her tonight, and we’re bringing a member.
The living situation has greatly improved.  I am all unpacked and cleaned out.  And life is rolling smooth.  Just preaching the Gospel. What more could you want!  And Saturday and Sunday we had all day to preach.  Saturday we didn’t even come back to the pench.
This morning I had the best personal study.  After reading Lucas 17:15 I thought this:  ‘If I’m going to represent the Savior, I will have to, at least in part, go through what he did.’  There is a big difference in hearing something, and actually learning it on your own.  Obviously this isn't a new thought, but this morning it really sunk in, and it was really cool.  The Savior led a life of service, and the scriptures describe him as a man of grief.  Sometimes in the mission, grief is unavoidable.  At least for me.  Sometimes it seems that everybody else is baptizing.  Know that I am not complaining.  For example, this week the misión had 103 investigators progressing.  That means people in the church with fecha.  That’s HUGE.  103.  But we didn’t have anybody.  Sometimes I feel sorrow for the people, those who I teach and find that don’t want to repent.  I think I am past the stage of feeling sorrow for myself.  It just hurts that the people I find don’t want to repent.  I can be sure that I stand good with the Lord as I do ALL I CAN.  And that’s what I am doing.  That is my focus.  Do absolutely everything I can to help people progress towards baptism and confirmation.  And then retain them.
I heard a cool thing as an elder went home 2 weeks ago.  After they left we talked about the difference between all of them who left.  We could tell the burniners, etc.  But there was one really special elder, Elder Eliason.  You could tell he left it all on the court.  He worked til his dying hour.  And then an elder that knew him said something that I still remember:  “he didn’t have very many baptisms in his misión, but the ones he had . . he worked hard for.”
As I read Luke 17: 12 - 19 I loved it.  I thought of how I can be a little more thankful, a little more remembering, a little more gracious, and a little more thoughtful of the Jesus Christ.

I’m here to talk, if you want to chat, ask away!  Love you Mom, is today the first day of school?
Mom:  It’s the first day of school for Jefferson.  I guess the freshmen have to learn how to go to school.  So is your comp an office elder too?
Elder Ostler:  He’s the pench boy.  What are you doing?  I loved the Ahmed story.  Sounds like he’s pretty set.  I like to do this with people like him.
Do you like cake!  
What kind, chocolate, dulce de leche?
Let’s pretend that I had a huge chocolate cake, with dulce de leche right here.  What would you have to do to see if it tastes good?
Probar, they always say.  I’d have to try it.
And Ahmend, that’s exactly what you have to do with this Restored Gospel in the which we believe otra vez God communicates with his children.  YOU HAVE TO TRY!!  Just a bite.  Just read a parecita del libro del mormon.  Just go to church.  And then pray.  And sincerely with real intencino ask God if it is true.  You have nothing to lose.  And everything to gain.  This is the most important path you will ever walk.
Mom:  He’s a great kid.  And when school starts tomorrow, he’ll be a different person.  He’s been fasting for 30 days (not eating when the sun is up) and so he’s exhausted during the day.  He’ll be done with ramadan tomorrow.  Hallelujah!  I wish I could be a missionary like you.  Just share the gospel so effortlessly.
Elder Ostler:  But it is effortless Mom.  And when I go home I don’t want a thing to change, I just want to share this with everyone.  When Lehi ate the fruit it wasn’t hard for him to share it.  It’s EASY, it tastes SO GOOD!  And to see a brother join the church is the greatest thing a person could ask for.  It’s better than the sugar covered nuts I bought off the street today!   The only effort is that first invite, or that first sentence that sometimes you have to force out.  Just do it!  Right Ben, just do it.  Nike.  Just do it.
Because my comp is the pensionista de la misión, a veces el se va y me quedo solo.  So this week I did divisions with the Elder Hoggard and Elder Ivie.  Just 2 Gods among men.  Their focus is Miracles. And we saw miracles!  It was the best nite ever.  I watched as Elder Hoggard practically walked in a house and the couple listened to him. The wife was eating out of his hand.  A wonderful lesson.  Then he asked for a reference, which led us to another amazing miracle.  We found the best guy ever.  One of those guys who just tells you everything, he told us of an época of his life, using no details, in the which he was very bad, and beat his wife and would traffic 100s of kilos of marijuana etc.  But we put a fecha with him, and he is already a very changed prepared man.
In my misión, I have found so many prepared people.  But in the end, it is up to them.  If I could find it, I wound quote a mansa cita from Predicar me Evangelio that says, every man is eventually backed up to the wall of faith and must choose.  President Lindahl says you can fly with the eagles, or roll in the mud with the pigs.  It’s your choice.
During that división, I opened the mouth with a woman who tried to shake me off.  If only she knew what I was offering her.  I caught her attention as I asked, si jesucristo estuviera caminando por esta vereda y le hablara, que haria usted.  And she responded.  pero no lo sos, or in other words, actually or in a different language, but your not Him.  O BABY!  I’m about as close as you ever gunna get!  I’m His Personal Representante!
Then we visited an amazing family they baptized (H and I) and sang for them.  It was wonderful.  So much amino.
Then to top off that división day, we had dinner with the Packers. They are the senior couple.  So wonderful.  And Elder Packer helps with penches and safety, and often he leaves with my companion and that is what they did, and when they got back, Elder Boisados, at Sister Packers request, taught here how to cook a certain fish.  And with Elder Hoggard and Ivie, we had the best cena ever!!  And after, Elder Hoggard shared the most amazing scripture in english.  A night never to forget.  Such a treat.  Such a blessing.  Loaves and fishes.
Here’s a picture of the 2.  Hoggard is the huge one.  We went running this morning and he fell and nastied up his knee!

And then of course that other one is of me and Elder Cajas just before he left.  I love him.

So it’s fun washing an area.  We have a plan with his barrio.  You see, the people are wonderful, just spiritually cold.  There isn’t much fe, and all the members tell us the same.  Nobody has ganas to work.  No one works.  So our goal is to inject some animo!  It’s just like drugs.  And once they get it, they won’t be able to stop.  We are visiting all the members and meeting them and then asking them how they see the barrio, and what we can to do help.  Then we tell them our metas and vision.  I always share Heleman 6:3, sometimes other verses too.  We have been received very good.  It is working.  We have had some marvelous lessons with the members.  Like really really good, and we could feel the results in the iglesia.  There was an increased portino of the spirit.  I think the piano helped a little.
That’s right folks, after a 6 week descanso, I’m back at it again.  I’m ward pianist!  And I love it.  I went in blind, not knowing the hymns, but was so blessed by I could play all of them.  And then they were hurrying on time, and the chorister was inspired to chose a hymn that I love and leaned in Justo.  Come Come Ye Saints.  Then multitude stood and sang and I slew it on the piano!  They actually sang that time, mostly they just mumble.  In Justo with 10 of us we were louder and prouder!  I wish members would sing more.  Glory to God!  Glory to God!  Glory to God in the Highest!  Let’s sing people!
And the miracle of the week was that during the Saturday lunch with la familya medico, the grandma was there, inactive.  We didn’t even address her inactiving at all.  Didn’t touch it.  Instead, we animated them to work, to cumplir with their responsabilidades como miembros. And she came on Sunday!  Wonderful.
Mom:  The pianist again.  Very nice - I love it.  And you are translating for President?  What an incredible thing.  That is something that not many people get to do.  So yeah, I rarely say this cause I don’t want to make you homesick, but I can’t help it today.  I miss you so much.  People who say that the two years goes by fast are delirious.  It’s not fast for the mom.

Saydi said to tell you she mowed lawns today and you didn’t.  And you’ll have to tell me when you’re through cause I could type all day!
Elder Ostler:  My Companino Elder Boisados, is wonderful.  He is so good and fun to serve with.  A very different approach than what I do. Much more suave and sweet, and light.  We really are doing great. He helps me alot too.  And he’s a jokester so its fun.  And he learned english on the mish.  We never really talk in english though.  Except in the pench, because we are 8 greengos and 2 latins.  But I like talking with him in spanish.  Very wiling to teach and help me.  That night we played truko I took pictures for you.
Mom:  I love that you took pictures for me.  Your dad is going to be so jealous that he missed this.  He has you on a pretty high pedestal too. We still haven't figured out what we did so right to deserve you as a son.
Oh, Rachael VanGorkum got married Thursday.  Wow - she's young. And Brennen is in the mission field.  Jackie is hovering around her computer today waiting for that first email from her missionary.
So what's up for the rest of your day?  I'm taking Ahmed to school to see Mr. Richardson to change his schedule.  Oh, that teacher you guys all love retired, Deathridge.  Then I'm taking Wilson to meet his 4th grade teacher.  Then THE MISSIONARIES ARE COMING FOR DINNER.  I love it when we get to have them.
Elder Ostler:  I can’t believe you have me on a pedestal.  So silly.  There are so many missionaries in this mission who are my caliber and better, and much better.
I’m dressing up to play basket ball right now, then we go preach and at 7 have a cita with Estefania and a member, Mariela.  She knows perfect english.  Does Ahmed know english good?
Mom:  Very good english.  And he has never been to America until now. When we drove home from getting his schedule changed @ the school, he was telling me about all of the miracles that happened for him to get here, "with the best family" as he puts it.

I can't believe you're still emailing (well I know you're playing bball right now.) This is an eday (that's what I call it - email day) from the celestial kingdom.
I love all of your encouragement on sharing the gospel. I need it cause I feel so inadequate.

Do you get to talk to President very often?  And do you get mail more often?  And are there still 10 elders in your pench?
Elder Ostler:  Yup, the pench there’s 10 of us.  What a difference, going from 5 months of living in a pench of 2, and now, chicken coop of 10!  It’s great thought, real enjoyable, lots of bodies.  And yes, unlike President Lindahl, President Avila is always in the offices.  I talk with him lots.  I just translated him for, or for him for 30 minutes. Sometimes I let him try to communicate in the little english he knows. It’s fun.
Yes, we get mail every week.  Every Tuesday is the mail run.  And last Tuesday my comp, he gets the mail, brought me back a package full of marshmallows!  Thanks.  That’s not just any thanks.  That’s a real thanks.  So yeah, mail every Tuesday.
Mom:  That is great.  I’m glad you got the marshmallows.  And wow - this is just so unreal.  Did you have fun at centro?  I wish you could hear Harrison singing right now.  It’s painful.
Elder Ostler:  What’s unreal?  We bought some ties.
Mom:  It’s unreal that I'm talking to you!  And what about Kraymer - pretty cool!!!  I love the pictures you sent.  I always remember Elder little boxes in my prayers.

Are you still loving being in the office?  Amanda's transfer day is Wednesday.  I'm thinking she'll be training again.  But we'll see.
Elder Ostler:  I’m here, ask, I got to go soon.
Mom:  Just read all the emails I already sent.  I asked what you thought about Kraymer?  Pretty cool eh.  And I told you how much I missed you.  And you go have yourself a fantastic rest of the day.  Your mom loves you.
Elder Ostler:  O yeah, I forgot about Kraymer!!!!
And O my gosh I am PSYCHED!!!!!  That is the greatest ever!!!!!   Go Kraymer!!!!!!  YOU GOT CALLED TO THE RIGHT COUNTRY!
It’s going to be the best.  Just the best.  Keep doing the small things. And if you’re going to play in a college bowl game, as tight end . . what is the best thing you can do to prepare?
And that is the best thing any pre missionary can do.  Practice.  Share the Gospel  con quien sea.  Go on divisións with the Elders.  Or better yet, share the Gospel with your propio friends!
O it’s just the best.
The misión.  It has changed me.  The misión is a transformation, and so many cool experiences.  That’s what I love.  The experiences.
And Dad, I am praying to reach my full potential as a Melchizedek Priesthood holder.  Praying for experiences to use it.  Love you Dad.
Let’s just say my basketball skills are nowhere where they used to be.  Not like I was ever good.  But I just tried to play like Edvalson today.  It didn’t work.  Got schooled by a gringo and a chilean.
About the license, I don’t think you need to do anything.  We are taking care of it.  Um yeah, have a nice afternoon.  Know I’m doing good.  And yes, I like the offices.  It is something new and it will help me alot later in life.  It is definately a new challenge.  And I will really be tired when Elder Ivie leaves.
I’m all sweaty.
Love, Elder Ostler
ps:  are you practicing your piano.??¡¡