Monday, September 26, 2011

I recognized it as a house I once knocked.

Family.  I formally start my loving email to all of YOU.  The Fam.  la verdad.  I loved so much the triple team lawn mowers picture.  It was inspiring.  Also I just can’t get over that 3rd picture.  

That's my life.
Lets start about the work.  Preaching the Gospel en Estanzuela.  We found some really good people.  One woman is so prepared, her name is Isla.  She that very day had been praying and asking God to show her la senda.  To show her the path she needs to follow.  During the lesson I was on a little stool thing and was kinda enjoying teaching and was leaning back a little.  I wasn’t obeying the 4 on the floor rule. When all of a sudden, I was on the ground!  I snapped that stool right in half!  It was a good laugh for all.
Pedro, a recent convert, just a capo, has a daughter who is so receptive.  Marcela.  We went to their house and taught them, and it was wonderful.  We watched como haller fe en cristo.  I cannot get over the fact that Jesus Christ walked on water.  He Walked On Water.  And He is our God.  Our Savior.  And we owe him everything. por lo menos, we can at least keep His Commandments.  And we can Earnestly pray for a Change of Heart.
Even as a Missionary I have to do that.
Isn’t it just great being alive?  Breathing air, running, jumping, seeing, doing, overcoming, being?  And it’s a beautiful day.
It really is. Everyday for the past while has been marvelous.  And today we did our last Run as an office crew.  We went father than 5K and I ran with Elder Ivie.  It was a wonderful way to begin the day.
This week we attended 2 servicios bautismales.  The first one was for 2 little 8 year old princess that were baptized.  There were a ton of people there!  More than were at church the next day.  And it was a great missionary opportunity.  I was able to sit before the service with some nonmembers and teach them.  Teach them how to receive Revelation from God.  Because I realized this week that that is what I really do.
The Second service was a Miracle.  You see the story starts way back.  Back when I was in Sarmiento.  I remember knocking doors one day in Huarpus.  A joven, almost Asian looking opened up.  As I started to share my message he cut me off and said.  No thanks........
O wow.  I thought. I was at a loss for words. So about 3 weeks ago Elder Ivie and Elder Hoggard start to tell all of us about this Miracle. How this man named Fernando found them, and how they started teaching him.  How he fulfilled Every commitment they gave him. They would tell us about how this man had true ganas to repent and be baptized, how he was giving up his sins.  The struggles, the miracles, the blessings.  It was all really cool to hear about.
He was golden and had a date for this week, the 24.  Elder Hoggard and Ivie went out of town to do divisións in Malargue and sent us to Fernando’s house to strengthen him, because he was having the biggest struggle against the cigarette.  As we approached his house I recognized it as a house I once knocked, and also a house that rejected me.  It was amazing to enter this house, meet and teach Fernando.  And after that lesson, he didn’t smoke, and hasn’t smoked another cigarette.  It was nothing I did. It was just a true miracle.  We attended his servicio bautismal this Saturday, and it was so special. Me and Fernando are way good friends.  

In fact, here's a picture of him.
Above, I forgot to mention that in the baptism of the 2, 8 year olders, we sang.  Better said, 3 misioneras and Elder Boisados and I sang Cuando yo me bautice.  It was good, off pitch alot, but one of the hermanas and I carried us through.  Really special moment.
But you want to know what the specialist moment of my week was?
It was reading DyC122 with Hermana Zepeda.  So here’s a just add water version.
She has gone through A LOT in the mission.  From Honduras, and only miembro en la familia.  She’s had some ankle problems and has been with us here in the offices.  You know she’s the one I rolled home on the swirly chair?  This week I got wind that she might have to go home.  O I was so sad for her.  Then on Friday she came into the offices and she told me.  Hey, I might be going home.  I just want to die.  That was the gist of the conversation.  I finished lunch and acted.
She was sitting in with Hermana Packer, I brought in 2 triples and told her to look for DyC 122.  And I told here, Hey Hermana Zepeda, we got to read this right now!
The next 15 minutes were so special.  We started with vs 1, reading uno cada uno.  And it was just perfect.  It was exactly what she needed, I know.  When she hit the middle of vs 6 she started to cry. But vs 7 is my favorite.  She cried and cried and let it all out.
Hermana Packer didn’t understand everything, but was probably wondering what in the world I was doing.  We talked about Humility and someterse a la voluntad del Padre.  We talked about being strong and being happy, and how God really and truly knows her circumstance and feelings, but that He will test her and put her through trials but not so she can suffer, rather, que todas estas cosas te serviran de experiencia, y seran para tu bien.  The spirt was so strong.
It was probably the best lesson I taught all week!  haha there I included a foto.  That’s when she made us some lunch hace dos semanas atras.  

So now for transfers.  It’s been quite the week of preparation, and getting greengas legal to leave this grand pais.  We had to do some extra tramites for them.  And now my only worry is the chilenos leaving.  Just making sure they have the right documents, and everythings updated and paid.  But just in case, I had a sobre with mil pesos to take to the airport, por las dudas.
But this morning was stressful for me.  All the oldies came in.  And also I have to be in charge of  receiving all the news.  21 of them!  For example, how are we getting the luggage from the airport, how are we getting them form the airport to President’s house.  And then the really big question was where are they sleeping the fist night!!!??  Just basically a ton of things to think of and do.
Administrative work.  Fun fun fun!
I absolutely loved the letters that Sister Harvey brought me!  And 32 gigs of memory!!  Dang.  You’re nuts mom.  Don’t you dare send me one more gig of empty memory to fill.  But don’t worry, I love taking pictures.  I went on a rampage this week.  Dad your letter was wonderful.  And mother, your testimony part I loved.
And always I love reading about Ahmed.  I’d love a picture.  And remember Ahmed.  Walk like an Egyptian.
I am such a comedian, I just know.  Meeting the Harveys was good. They brought REECES!!!
Harrison, I love that you are having such an amazing time.  Date date! Keep it up.  Don’t worry about using some of my ideas, I can speak for Casey and say that we are honored.  Most of those ideas came out of RHS portable, 6th hour calculus class with Mr. Smith.  So keep it up Harrison, you’re just a great kid.  But please don’t throw the piano out the window.
Yesterday we ate lunch (ASADO!) with a family so fun.  It was one of the few few houses that I have seen a piano in.  And the 22 year old just ripped it up!  He’s kinda alejared from the iglesia a bit, but he created a masterpiece with his hands.  He plays blues. He plays even better than dad.  O my gosh, it was so inspiring.  I want to be a bluesist!  So keep practicing, because he told me to play, and I was so sad that I couldn’t sit down and throw down something great.  So PRACTICE!  Remember,  Discipline weighs ounces, Regret weighs tons.  
O so did I mention that I’m getting Transferred?  Crazy huh.  Ok ok I’m still the lone secretary. But I’m talking areas.  I’m no longer in Estanzuela.
Juntos with Elder Boisados, we are washing yet another area! sincerar is a better word.  President wants us to work mas cerca to the offices. So we are washing Godoy Cruz Centro.  I wake up every morning and am in my area.  Thats nice!  The last 2 missionaries in GC Centro were hermanas.  A pair of dying hermanas.  I take both of them to the airport tomorrow.  And we are not the only 2 elders in this area.  We are washing it with even more power, because the 2 assistants are doing it with us.  Elder Burr and . . .  just guess who the new assistant is.  Elder Menocal!  Remember him?  The one I did divisións in Chimbas and just loved it!!?  Put on the party hats because it’s going to be a party.  
despedimos el barrio estanzula ayer.  fue bueno.  nos quierian mucho. Our ward mission leader Jobino is Such a Stud. I want to be just like him.  Lito. lito.
I love the talk by Elder Eyring, O Ye that Embark.  I feel that happening in my mission.  I am being required to do more things, and to be better, but I am not left alone.  The Lord blesses me more and more and more.  Sometimes I get down, but I always must lift myself back up.
I am going to explode this transfer.  I am going to put so many goals, and just be the best I can be.  I’m going to fly.
I know the Church is True.  And I Love Amanda.  I know that the Book of Mormon is True.  I know  I know and I know that Joseph Smith was a profeta de Dios.  I know that any person on earth can ask God and be answered.  God is the Giver.  God will answer.  You just got to follow the steps!  And it is so important to have un deseo verdadero.
Life is good.  I want you to know that I love being here in Mendoza.  It teaches me so much.  I love driving the streets of Mendoza.  I love taking with the people of Mendoza. I love being a missionary.  And I’m breathing it in, because my time is o so short.  I am enjoying every minute.  Even the bad days are good.
When I entered the offices, someone pushed Fast Forward.
I’m still looking for the Rewind button.  But its just gotta be there!
Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
You better believe it.
Love Elder Ostler
I might be able to send a little bit more later today.  
But just know that President changed our P day.  For us crew in the offices, we will take p day el dia sabado.
So send me something by Saturday, because I’ll be a responding.  It’s supposed to be like that.  I’ll be a responding.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And imagine. . . I go home at 9:30pm. The real jokers and sinners are just waking up then!

Part 2
To answer your question, it’s not the church’s call.  A year ago Argentina switched up some laws and stopped issuing 2 year visas.  a fin de que they could make more money!  Because with a 2 year visa you only pay once.  But now we have to pay twice.  Believe me, if we could do a 2 year visa we would.  But Argentina doesn’t know how to work their finances, . . .  la la la - you get it.  
It used to be that I lived for Pday,
but now I live for Preaching.
It is interesting to note the stark difference and contrast in culture that Amanda and I are faced with.  I have a letter here with me from weeks ago that she wrote home, and when I read it, O, I just loved loved it. Let me quote her.  “O the world is so sad.  I honestly can't stand it anymore.  I just can't . . . wickedness wickedness wickedness.  I can’t stand it anymore.”
You know here in Estanzueal I have felt the same way.  Instead of bashing us or putting anti stuff in our hands, many people here couldn’t care less.  I try to saludar everyone I walk past, and many times everyday people don’t even respond.  They treat us as if we don’t exist.  We knock their door, open their window to look out and then give us the waggin’ finger.  So many people with no social skills, no manners.  They just don’t understand.
Most people love to look for deals or sales or ofertas, lower prices and all that jazz.  And here we are, Elder Boisados and I, Amanda and Sister Wallace, offering something FREE.  It costs absolutely nothing! It is Eternal Life.  And people reject it.  They don’t want it.  They won’t even listen, won’t even look at us.  Elder Boisados and I have talked alot about this, how screwed up the world is.  How sinful it is, and it all starts with individuals.  With little wrong decisions that lead to big personal apostasies.  I loved when Amanda talked about how so many of Gods children won’t even listen to their Father.

The Family is So Important.  It is where we learn manners and respect.  Something that is so faulting in Argentina.
So yeah, I’m with Amanda on that one.  Being in the streets all the days allows you to see how the world really is.  Not just cooped up in the Tricities.  Or living in BYU.  And imagine . . I go home at 9:30PM. The real jokers and sinners are just waking up then!!!  I had quite the experience the other week teaching such a wicked man. It opened my eyes so wide as to how awful sin is, and how much power and minions the devil has.
But we are stronger.  We are better.  We have the Priesthood.  And we will win.  Wickedness never was happiness.
Happiness is only found in accepting and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Really living it.  Making it a part of you.  Actually remembering the Savior Jesus Christ durante la semana.  Actually trying every day to follow Him.  Become more like Him.
That is happiness.  It’s not cosmetic happiness either, it’s real happiness. 
Out of the hundreds of people we have talked with in Estanzuela, only 2 have truly accepted our message.  And they are Teresa and Fernando.  We have visited them many times and shared many important truths with them.  Teresa is amazing, and has showed both us and the Lord fruits of Repentance.  Like I said, one week without smoking.  And this is a woman who has smoked 30 years.  It is amazing to see a soul coming to Christ and actually repenting.  I dream of moments like these.
We taught her in depth the Restoration this week and she doubted. We had her pray every night about the Book of Mormon, seeing as that is the only way anyone will ever get an answer, an answer that only comes por el poder del Espiritu Santo.  God is the Giver and has been giving her the answer.  The thing is that she has not been recognizing it. We asked her how she felt when she prayed.  She said she felt very much at peace.  And she felt like all her problems went away and felt tranquila.  We showed her that that is her answer.  And I think she is recognizing it.   She also loves the hymns.  We sing in every lesson, and in a lesson we had with the members, a sister le regaló un himnario.  It was wonderful.
Fernando is struggling, and we are doing all we can to help him.  The pull of sin and of Satan is strong, but I know he can overcome. Repentance is always possible.  It is really the only way. I like when Amanda said, I need to repent . . but thats a good thing!!  That’s how I put my will in line with Gods!
O isn’t Amanda just great.  Through her simple letters, she teaches me so much.  I actually apply what I learn from her letters when teaching.  l think about what she says, and what she is learning.  Like loving inactives back. That was cool.  We did that 2 this week.  Had lessons with inactives and instead of calling them to repentance with the scriptures and la la la, we just loved them, like Amanda taught me. And talked with them.
And one experience it was so cool, because after passing many open doors Sunday evening, it was killing me, so I went up and sang, not really sang, just hollered in a house, and the lady let us in.  The Lord sent us to that house and this inactive member really needed us.  We gave her and her brother (who actually is visiting Argentina from Australia) blessings.  I gave the brother a blessing, and he was bald. That was new.  Just strait up giving a blessing to a bald guy.  He had the craziest Australian English accent.  
A miracle happened Sunday.  We had a visiting area 70.  Elder Resek. I know God sent him to our little barrio to help us out.  He wasn’t scheduled to speak, but after the final speaker sat down he stood up. And with so much love called our ward to action.  To repentance. And EVERYONE felt it.  This was what he said.
Members, what the missionaries did at the beginning of the reunino, announcing and organizing an activity, is not their job.  That’s your job. They are like humidity, they just kind of get into everything, and do everything.  Soon they’ll be helping your kids out with their math homework!  But that’s not their job.  That’s your job.  He called to members to action, but with so much love it was incredible.  I can’t do it justice.  Just a huge man, who with so much leadership quality invited our ward to do their visitas.  To be home teachers and visiting teachers.  O Hallelujah.  It is what I have been praying for.  Something to happen, anything so the ward does something.  The church in Mendoza is asleep.  And I’m trying to wake them up!  But an area 70 does it so much better!!  So much power and authority.
Then in the pench on Sunday I just went off.  And offered my strong opinion on the church in Argentina.  It was a great discussion.  I know the obra misional would really get moving if the members would just wake up.
Here’s some great pictures to enjoy.  The first is me with a maple de huevos I bought last week.  And this morning I make the best omelet, and I put katup on everything.  Bytheway that’s the street I live on. The house is like 150 meters behind me.

There was a stake service project this week, and it was so fun!  I’ve always wanted a helping hands thing, and finally got one.  We sanded, painted and I chopped down a tree.  I probably put more paint on my pants than I did on the wall.  It was a GC stake activity and out of 8 wards, we only had 120 people .  Real sad.  But I had a blast.  In the green is Elder Boisados and in the white is Elder Lounsberry.  The flaco is Elder Kammerman.

The last picture I took this morning from right outside my pench. Sunrise.

Well it’s been nice.
Learn something in school.
Elder Ostler

Monday, September 19, 2011

Buen Dia

Hello familia:
How are we all, with smiles?
Just finished doing some tramites for about 2 hours.  So President told us to just email tomorrow so we can have a close to full pday.  So expect the email tomorrow.
I am doing really well.  I have my big ben tie on..  and I slept so good last night.  And this morning Elder Boisados and I enjoyed the sunrise as we did the 5k, but real tranquilo.  Nice and easy, enjoyable even.  Running makes me good.  It really helps me feel better during the day.
We are getting together with the Goody Cruz zone today and doing a birthday party for one of the hermanas.  Elder Allen should be there, and we are bringing truco cards and a futbol, and thats really all I need.
Last night visiting an inactive family, one of the daughters showed me her hockey stick.  It was so sweet.  But the difference is that here they play hockey sobre cesped, hockey over grass.  So it was totally different, nothing like a real hockey stick.  But it gave me so much ganas to put on some skates and hit the ice!!!  OOOOOOOO  I just wanted to handle a puck and put someone on the ice.
Love Elder Ostler
Probably be 1/2 email today, 1/2 email tomorrow.
So the offices.  Well, it goes like this.  Here’s a brief overview.  I am primarily in charge of visas.  Most elders are coming in with a 1 year visa.  So when they expire, I head the task of renewing that visa.  And it isn’t just, O Argentina, here’s 600 more pesos, let us stay another year.  Rather, there are multiple steps involved in renovar una visa.
For example, yes or yes, the only thing you actually have to do before the visa vencers is pay 600 pesos.  But it’s just not that easy.  First, you have to go to this overly crowded place called Migraciones.  And we have some contacts there that start the renovation process, and in fin, give us a boleta, or a whats it called, like a check for 600 pesos.  Then we go to a certain banco de la nación and pay it.  Going to both places usually involves in first finding parking, then fighting the crowds and waiting in line.  I need to get some good waiting in line activities.
Then after the visa is paid, your set.  And basically the person is still illegal, but you have a cushion to finish the rest.  In theory, everything should be done before the year mark, but it’s not happening like that right now.  I have plans to get it like that.
So the paid boleta for 600 is one part.  Another thing you have to do is get an Argentine police record that says the missionary doesn't have a criminal record.  it is called antecedentes penales.  APs.  To do this you must first print off 2 boletas off line and fill them out with all the info of the missionary, then go the bank and pay them.  Then you have to complete a mail merge form on the computer for APs.  Do you know what mail merge means?  Then you have to make copies of passports or cedulas.  Put that all in a nice sobre, and before 8am, show up at a building called RENAR on Chile and wait in line.  They hand out numbers at 8 and start at 8:30.  Then with that packet and yet another fee, the missionary applies for this AP form.  They do it all on the computer, take digital fingerprints etc . .  Then about a week later, someone accompanies me to RENAR and I pick up their APs.
Another step is obtain the certifcado de domicilio.  A piece of paper that says they missionary lives at cabildo abierto 161.  To obtain this, you have to fill out a mail merge form on the computer, requiring the information of 2 testigos.  O sea, I have to bring 2 extra people with me (who have Argentine information like a DNI or cedula) to be witnesses.  And then after I organize all that, with countless copies of passports and DNI´s, we go the Libertad, where the registro civil is.  We show up early and wait in line and get numbers.  When it is out turn, they take real fingerprints, sign some papers, and then we receive their certificado de domicilio.
So after having the paid boleta, AP, Cer de Dom, you need to make a complete copy of the passport too.  And the last thing is called a carta de culto.  Which I obtain by filling out a form on the computer for each missionary and sending it off to Buenos Aries.  They then mail me what is called the carta de culto.  But usually it takes forever.  Once you have all of those things, you head to Migraciones and hand them all of that business and the passport, which they stamp and put a nice seal in it saying this person can stay here one more year.  And Yeah!  You’re done!
In this process Many Many things can go wrong.  And usually many headaches are involved.  For example, you have to be careful to not do the APs too early, because in 3 months they expire and are good for nothing.  Obsolete.  The missionary has to be present while obtaining the Aps and the cer de Dom.
You are probably really bored right now and have a lot of questions.  But I did the best I could.
We have missionaries going home in one week, and we saw that one of them still does not have her visa renewed.  So this week I organized a day of tramites.  We called in her and 3 others that live in greater Mendoza and had some fun.  We did APs, and cer de Dom, and many many things went wrong.  That’s why this morning I had to finish those tramites.  For example, that boleta I printed off line was apparently a boleta repitida, like I printed out the same one twice and didn’t realize it.  These boletas have bar codes on the bottom, so when the man entered them into the computer, it rejected it.  So today I had to go to the bank and pay the 2 boletas again for this hermana and then go back to RENAR to give the the boleta so they can complete the tramite.
I get to see how the Argentine gov works, or doesn’t work. It is interesting to see how the gov just sucks money out of the church, or the extranjeros.  For example, when I went back to the bank to repay the boleta, I showed him the one I already paid and asked him to transfer it to a new boleta.  But he said no can do.  That I had to do it at Renar, because they had the money.  But the lady at Renar said that they couldn’t return the money.  O just a joke.  Ladrónes.  They straight up robbed us.  I put on a good face and really try to show them how unjust that is, but ooooo.
Luckily it’s not coming off my asignación every month!!  Pido plata del Financiero Elder Kammerman.  In the mission we have certain budgets right?  But when it comes to visas, unlimited.  The most loaded I’ve been was one day walking around with 14 visas and like over 5000 pesos.  You know what happens if something happens to those visas!  chau  
Other parts of my trabajo including sending missionaries home.  I don’t buy their flight, but I do give info to SLC so that they know what airport to send them too etc.  Then I have to make sure all the flights are right when they send me the itinerary etc.  Then to send a missionary home it’s no small task, because you have to advise the parents, the stake President, prepare the packet, which includes many mail merge documents.  And sometimes a lot of the info is wrong.  Then you have to organize their final interview with President, where they sleep that night, what they eat for breakfast, and getting them to the airport.  I edit the release letter and do the release certificate, and then President sends just a bunch of papers.
But it’s not just one missionary going home, we are sending 11 missionaries home next week!   Needless to say, that’s a lot of work.
And on the visas, that’s just for Missionaries with a one year visa.  Those who just come with a 90 day tourist visa, some latins, that’s a slightly different process.  One I still learning.
But in the mission we have many illegal elders.  So I need to get on that.  Some of it is really not in my power.
And to answer your question dad.  Yeah, I’m pretty much in the hot seat.  Last week Elder Ivie was with me 1 day.  And this week he will only be here Friday, and then he leaves, because it’s transfer.
I’ll tell about more adventures tomorrow.  But just know that Fernando and Teresa came to church and TERESA NOW HAS 1 WEEK WITHOUT SMOKING!!!!
Love Elder Ostler

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buenas Tardes Familia Ostler.
!que tal! ¿como anda?
las fotos.  Uno fue sacado después de que yo terminara hacer los sobres por los que se van a la case, o los viejitos.  fue mucho trabajo! yo tenia que hacer, hacer 'edit' y imprimir una carta de revelo por cada misionero que se va a la casa.  y luego el Presidente las firma.  y tenia que juntar muchas cosas mas . .  preparé un sobre por el misionero y el sobre blanco es por el presidente de estaca.  

ahí estoy con E Ivie, el que esta entrenándome, en el aeropuerto.  yo manejé.

y las otras dos son de Elder Cisneros y yo.

fue incredible hablar con el, y solo pensar que 12 horas mas temprano, el estaba con uno de mis gran amigos.  hablamos en ingels y en castallano, y el decia muchas veces Elder Nelson is a great missionary, Elder Nelson is a graet missionary.  . . y cuando el me hablo en español, a veces no lo entendí.  el acento mexicano es mas raro.  y una vez el empezó hablar, pero uso muchísimo jerga 'myan' y ahí, fue imposible entenderlo.  ¡mamita! creo que ba a ser difícil comunicarme con mexicanos después de la misión.
tuvimos una semana hermosa.  ¡tan buena fue!  a pesar do que tengamos menos tiempo para predicar en la calle, el Señor nos bendice y esta semana pudimos ensenar mucha gente y invitar y ayudarle a venir a Cristo, bautizándose en las aguas del arrepentimiento.  esta semana fue buena.  
y lo que me hace tan feliz es que tuvimos fruto!  tuvimos 2 investigadores en la iglesia!!!!  con fecha bautismal!
¿que tal eh?
se llaman Fernando (25) y Teresa (50).  Teresa es la madre de Fernando, y le vi afuera de su casa un dia.  supe que tenia que hablar con ella, pero cuando me acerce, ella se fue y entró la casa.  no me rindo tan facil asi que toce la puerta.  ella me contesto y intento dar me alguans exusas, pero no soy para aceptar ecusas muy ´lame´ or tan facil.  y tambien, en mi corazón sabia que tenia que hablarle acera del Libro de Mormón.  sace el Libro de mi funda y empecé a invitarle. con la ayuda de mi companero tan bueno, entarmos la casa.  ¡que logro!  despues de 5 minutos el hijo Fernando entró la casa. empezamos de charlar bien con ellos y para nuestra alegria Fernando nos conto que dos veces el estaba a punto de bautazarse en la iglesia!!!  wow.  que grande.  pero a causa de no vivir la palabra de sabiduria, no podia bautazarse.  aun ha tenido una entrevista bautismal!  
pasamos momentos muy lindos con esta familia esta semana. creo que hemos tenido 3 leciones con ellos.  el gran problema que los dos teinen es el cigarillo.   que vicio.
Teresa tenia muchas dudas despues de la primera lecion, pero ganamos su confianza durante la segunda lecion.  Elder Boisados y yo decidimos que cantariamos en cada lecion a partir de el Sábado pasado.  y esa Sabado pasamos por Teresa y Fernando y empezamos con in himno.  Señor te nesecito.  y wow.  quiero decirles que diferencia habia en la lecion.  Teresa le encantó el himno y despues, el Espíritu si o si estaba con nosotros.  miramos la Restauracion y fue tan bueno! teresa y Fernando aceptaron una fecha bautismal por el 24 de Septimebre.  y los dos comprometieron asitir la iglesia.  ¡y el domindo en la manana fueron a la iglesia!  que grande. solo se quedaron una hora, pero les encanto la reunión sacramental.  y ayer en la noche pasabamos y les ensemanos acerca de un plan de 14 pasos para dejar de fumar.  Fernando sabe que la iglesia es verdadero.  el dijo Sé que la iglesia es perfecta, sé que la iglesia is verdadera.   y encima el tenia muchos ganas de dejar de fumar.  pero le cuesta mucho.  
vamos a tener contacto diario con Fernando y Teresa.  de hecho, en 3 horas tenemos una cita con ellos. vamos a traer los otrros 8 pasos, porque cuando hice una copia del plan para darles, copié la misma pagina dos veces en vez de copiar los dos paginas.  que tonto.  asi que ahora tienen solo 6 de los pasos.  asi es la vida.  
pero estoy tan animado por ellos, por haber encontradoles.  que bendicion.  son personas listas, personas preparadas por Dios.  el gran Maestro.  que bendicion.  agradezo mi Padre Celestial.  
como puedo ver, estoy escribiendo les en puro castellano.  que divertido!  el Sábado empecé un ayuno de ingles.  al vivir con siete gringos y solo hablar ingles is difícil, pero estoy haciéndolo.  me di cuenta que hay mucho del idimoa que no sé.  muchas de las cosas bien pequenas, y en estos 2 dias pasados, me he frustrado muchas veces.  pero, alas,  para mejorar, uno tiene que pasar por obstaculos. o uno tiene que pasar por oposicion.  hay opocision en todas las cosas.  Lehi.

esta semana encontramos 14 personas nuevas.  fue incredible! siempre estabamos ensenando.  encontraamos Jeramias.  tambien muy preparado.  un chico de 14 anos. su madre tambien puede llegar. pero 3 veces visitamos jeramisas y primero le ensenamos ingles (porque tenia una prueba muy grande el viernes) y despues ensenamos el evangelio restaurado.  tan bueno es.
en una otra ocasion basicamente me invite en una casa y despues de escucahr . . no no no no quiero saber nada, no quiro habler de la religion, pudimos ensenar del Libro del Mormon  y tener una charla tan buena.  
a noche fuimos invitados a una noche de hogar con una familia bien activa y tambien se invito un mimbro nuevo.  eso es el Evangelio en accion!!!! fui tan animado.  hermanaron el una al otro.  hel 6.3.  creo
el tocar piano en la capilla esta semano fue re bueno.  amo poder tocar el piano.  gracias padre y madre.
um yeah, Este E Harvey, es asistente que se va a la casa, que bueno no?  hoy de nuevo corimos los 5K y me mato!  mejore mi tiemp por 15 segundos.  pero E Harvey, el es un macina.  el rompio los 20 minutos! y por lo general 2 de los 4 asistentes viajen.  y siempre le ha tocado a E Harvey para viajar a ayudar otros misioneros.  y por lo general, yo corro con E Burr 4 veces al semana 2.2 milles.  E Burr es  rapido, pero no tan rapido con E Harvey.  pero esta semana E Burr se va y E Harvey se queda, asi que ya E Harvey me ha pedido que corrieramos juntos por las mananas!!! me va a matar.  tambien antes que se vaya E harvey, me ba a ensenar como bailar como Michael Jackson. Sweet!  
no he contado mucho de mis deberes como secretario. pero o esta todo bien.    la semana que viene les diré mas.  pero esta semana hablé con personas en Los estados unidos, buenos aires, y chile.  que tal.  el enjoque es salir de las oficnas a las 4.  y estamos cumplindo con eso asi que el Señor nos bendice.  amo esta obra.  amo predicar el evangelio.  amo agrentina y la gente. 
tambien estoy enfocando en purificarme.  es muy dificil.}
  alguans cosas mas. 
la primaria nos invito ayer y nos canto y fue tan lindo.  wow.  amo los niños.  
hay varias personas que esta pidiendome que doy leciones de piano!! dang
pues, creo que es el teimpo para despedirme de ustedes.  chau chau
les amo.  
Elder Ostler
que tal estar en Hawaii!!!!  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Can You Look At The Andes And Deny There Is A God?

What’s up!
Hey all, I’m doing so good.  This probably be a choppy email too, in between the haircut Sister Packer, the mission nurse, will be giving me and also because at 3 some Elders named Hyer and Esplin are coming to play futbol!!
Right now I am on such a runners high! This morning I did about 3.5K. Then the p day didn’t go as planned, and I found myself in a pench with Elder Boisados, and 4 assistants all of whom. . . 
(5 minutes later.  President walked in and we had to make some arrangements.  And I told him about Elder Cisneros!  He liked that) (op just came in again)
were jazzed to do a 5K.  Hmm something tells me that you can’t just stay in the pench solo...  so off we went.  I ran a lot to day, and I feel really good.  My 5K time was 23:32.  It was absolutely gorgeous, this one point I got the sweetest view of the Andes, and then just trying to be seen was a snow capped peak just behind.  Add that to the grass and tree feeled view, and it was wonderful.  And futbol is about to go down, with the best ballers in the mission.  I’m not included in that.
So wow, Elders in the home.  I’m really excited for you.  Don´t spoil them too much, make them work.  And hold them to high standards. Mostly I speak of cleanliness.  Send the love from Argentina.  Tell them to baptize!
If only it were that easy.
So about Elder Cisneros, I almost told you last week about him, but it slipped my mind.  His name is actually written on the white board in front of me.  2 weeks ago I received a change of assignment email for him and others.  I looked and saw he was going to misión Mexico este.  And I jumped.  I immediately thought of my boy Braden and knew, that as an AP, he would be receiving him.  But how about that. They were together for awhile!  I’m going to ask him all about that crazy Mexican Elder Nelson when he gets here.  Actually that’s one of the things President just asked me.  I need to call a Rep in Buenos Aries, because they are not responding to my email about the 2 Mexicanos we are receiving tomorrow.  Elder Cisneros being one of them.  But we kinda need to know when to pick them up!
This week was a great week.  Let’s get some ALB stories.  I hope all these letters don’t bore you.
Grandpa ALB.  Last Sunday I was in a bus, and now all the time I talk with people on the bus and etc.  So I sit down to this lady on the bus. And she tells me that she used to be a member.  When people tell you that, that just means, yeah I got baptized, but now I don’t want anything to do with the Church.  Well it turned into a nice conversation.
She actually doesn’t believe in God.  She told me that when I have 50 years, I also won’t believe in God.  I pulled out my funda of fotos and showed her the one of me and Grandpa Skinner.  I told her about him. A farmer.  And a solid Grandpa. It was a perfect example, because this woman was a little older, and well, Grandpa is a littler older. Maybe even a little older than 50.  I told her that there are not many men with tanto fe en Dios.  I tried to teach her about using our trials and learning from them, rather than having them drive us away from Dios.  It was great to use Grandpa as an example.
99 años.  Yesterday, coming home form church, I stood up and started up a conversation with an older man.  On the misiòn one meets many a crazy people, and this guy was one of them.  He told me that he was 99!  And that he was born in 1937.  Not really sure how that works.  I had some fun and told him that couldn’t be true.  So he settled on being 94.  I didn´t have a calculator at the time, but I’m pretty sure he’s not 94 either.
Idolatry.  Yesterday, waiting for the bus I approached a woman and talked with her.  As I introduced myself as a missionary of Jesucristo, she said AMEN, automatically telling me she’s evangelical.  There are many of them.  After a minute I pulled out a card with a picture of Jesus and the ninos, and the articulos de fe on the back.  And she was appalled, calling me an idolater for having an image of Jesus. uhhhhhh
2 pesos ALB.  This one made me remember Elder Wetzel.  In Estanzuela we were waiting a bus solo. Then this man walks across the street and starts waiting for the bus with us.  In the 10 steps it took me to get to him, I looked down and saw an old worn out 2 peso bill on the ground!  The guy didn´t want to know anything, but it was a sweet ALB.
Alright those were fun.  Elder Ivie came in, and we had a good laugh about Elder Cisneros.
So my last week in Rivadavia, we had a really cool experience.  My comp wanted to stay in the pench.  But we went out, and found the father of Sister Avila!!! It was the most legit thing ever.  You can imagine that this man has already been very involved in the church. Your daughter marries a sesenta.  Your grandson is on a misión.  But he never baptized.  It was legit.  I left him with a furete compromiso, then I got transferred.
I have a fun relationship with Sister Avila.  One of my first days here we were doing some tramites with Elder Ivie, and needed some Argentine testigos.  So we asked her.  She was hesitant, but she handed over her DNI, of all of her documents, as we stayed up till midnight readying everything.  The next day when I see her, I decided to get a laugh.  So I tell her, you know what, Hermana Avila, someone broke in the offices last night and stole your DNI.  And she believed me!  OHH when she found out I was kidding, she about had my head.
So now we have a very fun and joke filled relationship.  But I have gained her trust too.  For example, when a hermana sister missionary called her the other day with some health problems, a latina, Hermana Avila sent me in with the nurse and this latina to translate.  It is really cool being with the Avilas.  Great people.  This Latina is named Hermana Zepeda.  A Honduran.  She did reposo here in the offices a couple days because of an injury, and stayed with Hermana Packer. And I tell you this because when it was time to leave the offices and move camp to Sister Packers house (100 meters down the street) I had the bright idea to put Hermana Zepeda in an office chair and wheel her home, because her ankle was killing her.  And she got an xray.  I don’t know if that really makes sense, but I did it twice and it was really fun.  I make race car sounds as we went.
This week was consejo for all the leaders and trainers, so there were just a ton of Elders here this week.  I got free lunch twice.  And once was pastel de papa con canela y azucar!  So good.  And it was a treat eating lunch yet again sitting next to Elder Allen and Huntington.  Such great fellows.
I wondered during that lunch, looking off into the 70 plus missionaries, why me?  Why out of all of theses missionaries, God chose me?  What are the chances?  But I am grateful for my position in the misión and the work I do, learning a lot of cool things.  And DRIVING!
I drove to the farmacy and other places with President in the passenger seat.  And 3 missionaries in the back.  I was nervous!  But I passed, and now I’m an addition to the team of illegal drivers this misión has, until we can get our licenses.  I think they are in the processing stage right now.
This one time, when I was taking some other knee hurting elders to the doctor, a roundabout and 2 different streets all fed into one street. And it was in downtown Mendoza.  I don’t know how I survived. There are no laws here.
And Argentines can’t drive.   
I cleaned the iron this week.
So Estefania came to church!  It was a miracle.  She only stayed for an hour, and set next to a YM.  I made her an Alma 36 homework sheet.  I hope she is doing it!  Then after we got Estefania to church, we went on another adventure and I pushed Rosa in a wheelchair to church.  It was sweet!  She’s inactive, and obviously has many health problems.  As we were leaving, none of her family, all inactives, were accepting our invites to come to church, until at last we broke the 20 year old, and he came!  France.  I sat with my arm around him during the sacrament meeting.
And we wheeled just in the nick of time for me to, in stride, walk up to the piano and miraculously play the sacrament hymn.  I could hear the heavens singing during the sacrament portion of our meeting.  
The barrio is definitely feeling the animo.  A member asked us to participate with them in a noche de hogar they are planning with a RC.  Sweet!  And the priesthood lesson was just exactly what Elder Boisados and I have been preaching to the members.  Do your visits. Love you brother!
Dad, I had a really wonderful opportunity this week to use my priesthood.  We were walking out of a house of a less active, when she called us back and asked for a blessing.  I was not in the best mood, and knew this would be the perfect opportunity to change it.  As my compo annointed, I pleaded for the inspiration necessary and the Spirit.  And it was a Wonderful blessing.  I thought about you Dad.
I loved reading Casey’s and Braden’s emails.  They are wonderful, and inspire me.  What gems of friends I have.  And what a family I have. You are all wonderful.  Thank you for always being there for me.  For your love.  And letters.  And marshmallows.
I got to call some Elders parents this week in the states.  That was fun.
Well, I’m not sure if I’ll get to continue later.  But I love you all.
Go Butler.  Yeah, I edited that letter and sent it to you.  Fun yeah.
The perks.
Elder Ostler
Go Amanda, you train em!
1:13PM:  Just had a great partido...  the Elder Hyer, Elder Esplin combo killed us.  But Elder Lounsberry, the new Historiador, is AMAZING.  Easily the best ever.
So ya there??
Mom:  Yes we are.  Dad is too.
Elder Ostler:  Well let’s do this.  Don’t know how long I’ll have.  What do you want to know?  I want to know how Saydi is.  I’m pretty tired.  Had a pretty action filled day.
Mom:  Dad is sitting here saying, ummmmm.  Saydi is leaving on Friday, she says she is super excited.
You talked about a DNI, you took it from Sister Avila.  What the heck is a DNI?
Elder Ostler:  It’s like a little book that serves as a license.  It’s green.  And super important.  It’s got everything in it.  It’s like taking your license, and a little more.
Hey Elder Olbaldia from PANAMA says saludo.  And every time I see him I always go into the Van Halen chorus
Mom & Dad:  Elder Lounsberry sounds like a great guy.  And what about your actual companion.  Do you guys get along great?  Are you together during the day in the office or just in the evening for tracting?
Elder Ostler:  We see each other often.  His office is a hop and a skip away from mine.  But some times we don’t see each other much in the morning.  But we start the day off running and studying together, and we work in the tarde.  Elder Boisados is great.  He’s a convert, at 22 years old.  His dad’s not a member.  But he’s got a good style.  And I love the maturity he brings to the lessons.  We get along wonderfully. It’s great to have a comp who helps me out.  Even sometimes when I don’t really want it!!  ha.
I really love reading Casey’s and Braden’s letters.  They are wonderful.
Mom & Dad:  So who is going to get the elder from Braden’s mission?  Does President decide that or the AP’s?
Elder Ostler:  President decides.  And it’s perfect because tomorrow we have an elder going home.  And then there is another in a trio.  So these 2 will even us out.
Is everybody doing good back in school.  And honestly, tell me.  Are they practicing piano?
Mom & Dad:  Not practicing as much as they should.  Now that school has started it will be better.  Dad is practicing with Wilson.  I'll lay down the law!!!  They'll be shakin' in their shoes.  And I'm super happy that you're playing in your ward.
Your letters never bore us.  I could read your emails all day long. What is on your schedule for the rest of the day?  The missionaries here just dropped off a bunch of stuff. They're moving in tonight and are soooo excited.  Elder Larkin gets a greenie on Wednesday.  We're trying to think of something to do to him.
Elder Ostler:  We just got word that our 2 Mexicanos are coming Tuesday.
Mom & Dad:  That would be Braden’s comp.  That is going to be so cool.  Make sure you get a picture of you and him together.  What do you want to know?  Anything?
Elder Ostler:  We leave to start working.  And right now I’m here in the office with Elder Ivie, and we are cleaning it!!!  So just shoot questions as you want.  I’m here.
Mom & Dad:  Dad wants to know how many office elders there are and if you have a typical daily routine or is it totally different every day?
Elder Ostler:  Ummm there is NOTHING set in the offices.  Different stuff every day.
I couldn’t even give it a job description.
And there is a pensionista, Boisados
Secretary, me
Finance guy, Kammerman
And historidor, who does stuff for the conferences and a lot with bap registries.  And his gunna be busy because this month we have a goal of 125 baptism.  Yesterday the mission had 195 in church and 95 of them with a fecha.  
And then Elder Ivie and Elder Hoggard are training Me and Elder Lounsberry.  Then at transfer they leave.  And president brings 2 new elders for Elder Kammerman and Elder Boisados to train.  And then on top of us there are 4 Assistants.  
Mom & Dad:  So I take it that it's legal for you to 'chat' with us like this.  Do the other office elders chat with their families too?
Elder Ostler:  I don’t know if they do.  And it’s totally fine.  I just gotta go soon so we can go work!!    Ooo I’m so tired right now and my throat is all throaty.  I played so hard.  I am so dirty right now.  Just gross.  But it feels good.  Dad does your rib hurt?  When are you buying tickets to come here!!!!??¡???¡!
Mom & Dad:  Dad says his rib is getting better.  It hurts when he lifts stuff and does strenuous stuff.  I was thinking about the tickets to come to Argentina but didn't want to mention it to you so I'm glad you did.  How do we plan that out?  And don't feel like you have to hang around for us, leave when you need to. Just tell us you're leaving!
And are you sure you're okay with us coming in June?
Elder Ostler:  O por favor.  Come.  It’s going to be wonderful.  You have to come.  How else are you going to see Justo.  We just talk about it.  I get released supposedly on the 5th of June.  That is going to be that Tuesday morning that I would fly out of Mendoza for Buenos Aries.  I don’t know, I guess we just talk about it.  
Good about the rib.  That’s so crazy how big our house is.  Yesterday Elder Boisados and I taught a lesson sitting on a bed.  This family is really poor, and it was the coolest thing because right as we were there, the bishop came by and dropped off sacks and sacks of food.  So sweet!  And then it broke my heart because they shared it with us!!!  Wow an amazing man.  Hermano Leon.  He came to church and we had a Book of Mormon lesson with the wife.  She’s inactive.  Everything is in one room.  Beds, kitchen and everything they own.
Mom & Dad:  WOW -  very cool story.  And you're not going to get much cleaning done with us asking you questions.  Do you ever hear how Rita and Jorge are doing?
Elder Ostler:  Well I’m ready to go and Elder Boisados is getting ready, so I’m guessing we are leaving soon.  I hope we are leaving soon!  Sometimes it’s hard to leave the offices, because it’s easier to stay here, but it’s so worth it to get out.  The other day some people told us to go help this man.  And I put my arm around his shoulders and we walked him a couple blocks to his dad’s house.  He was blind. And drunk.  And broke.  I tried to teach him.  Jorge and Rita are there. Doing almost.  They are not lost.  But not strong yet either.  I keep writing them.  And the elder in the area, Elder Allred is a Stud.  Just a great elder who is cuidaring them.  Taking care of them.  He gives me updates.  2 weeks ago they passed by and Jorge committed to coming, but didn’t show.  
Mom & Dad:  They'll be back, they know it's true.  They just need a friend and some responsibility.  They need Bishop Robertson!  I keep jumping back and forth between computes here.  I'm helping Jefferson type his homework and I'm 'talking' to you.  They boys are getting ready to head to the rope swing in Benton City.
Oh, I get to talk in sacrament in 2 weeks on prophets.  Any advice?
Did you miss my last question?  I want to know how I go about planning our trip to Argentina?  Do you get your flight from the mission and then we get the same flight, or can we just get your flight?  How long do you want us there?  We're hoping for at least a couple days to tour around your mission, dad said he wants a whole week!  It's pretty much whatever you want.  It's your mission and we don't want to detract from it.  So however you want to end it works for us.  I mostly just need to know how to get the same flight as you.
We'll probably come a week before we see you so we can go do fun, non missionary stuff without you!!!!  Like go to the Andes, all the touristy places!
When they have the consejo for the trainers and leaders do you get to sit in and listen to that?
Elder Ostler:  Here’s what I’m thinking.  I’m not leaving a day early.  So when Elder Allen and Elder Huntington fly home Tuesday morning, that’s when the fun starts.  I will be in my area till Sunday.  Then Monday is interviews, and the final dinner.  Then Tuesday is wake up and see you!!!  I would think it’s best to see you on Tuesday morning. Then we take a week sure that’s great or whatever.  And hey!  I want to go to the Andes too and machu picchu.  I remember you said that before the mission too.  I’m down for whatever.  But I don’t want to see you before June 5.  And I’ll probably have to buy my own ticket home.  I don’t know if the church will do it later, like if we leave the country June 12 instead of 5.  I don´t know.  But I should, because I’m the travel agent of the missino!!! misión.  Sorry.  Gosh.
Mom & Dad:  So June 5 is your release date?  We didn't know and I didn't want to count that out on a calendar because I keep my brain away from such thoughts!!  That sounds great.  We could do whatever you want, but you're still going to be a missionary!!  And I'll ask one more time. Are you sure you're okay with us coming, cause Amanda doesn't want us to and we're okay with that.  It's your mission.  If you want to fly home with Huntington and Allen, just tell us.
Elder Ostler:  I want to fly home with 2 people named Scott and Delene.  I think I’ll still be a missionary and my dream will come true.  That I will finally be full time comps with my dad.  I’ll show you how to open the mouth.
Mom & Dad:  They didn't teach that in Japan.  So let me know when you know, how I make these arrangements.  Cause I can just book your flight with ours, unless they have to do it.  We would totally buy your ticket home.  That's not a problem.  We should do it anyway, that way they can spend that money on someone elses mission.

Elder Ostler:  This is absolutely amazing talking to you.  Wow. Thanks for being the best missionary parents ever.
I’m receiving a lot of mail de Grammie and Grandpa.  They sound GREAT.  How is Grandmi?  She LOVED the date you took her on mom.  And Amy just sings praises to you.  She loves you to.  
Mom & Dad:  We went to Grammie's this week and made salsa and she and Saydi made cinnamon rolls.  It was a great day.  So today is September 5.  Exactly 9 months.  But don't even think about it.  I don't - it makes me crazy.  It doesn't make your dad crazy though.
Elder Ostler:  It doesn’t make me crazy at all.  But wow.   In some ways that is just SO CLOSE:  I CAN’T EVEN Believe it.  Wow.
Dang.  Stop.  Dang.  Dang.  O my gosh.  I’ve got so much left in me. I always try to preform my best, so I can look back and be proud.
And I think all this non baptizing stuff has helped me feel some of the grief that the Savior did.  I poured out my soul to God.  And I know my relationship is strengthened with Him.  I love Him.  He is my God. And he Knows me.  That’s an even crazier thought than the one before. There is a God.  In the Grandpa ALB it was perfect because the Andes came into view and I pointed to them and said,  “Look.  Can you look at the Andes and deny there is a God.”
I can’t believe this will all end some day.
About that last thought.  There is something that I always think about that Amanda said.  How in the mission sometimes the only person we have to talk to is Him.  There is no mom.  No dad.  No best friend.  No fone call.  No facebook.  No outlet if you will.  But you can get on your knees.  And that is what missionaries are forced to do.  Sometimes I am forced to my knees.  Like I don’t want to pray, but I am forced to my knees, because I know that if I don’t, all Hell will break lose.   I absolutely love that about what Amanda said.
Ok I’m going to check on Boisados.
Mom & Dad:  Mom read that last one and looked at me and said, 'wow, what a kid, you type back to that one.’  So we are so proud of you and can't believe you are actually our boy.  Those are very deep thoughts and commitments you have toward God.  Ammon, Alma like. We feel bad you are bummed out about the slow baptism rate.  But as I always say it’s not about the numbers but about the effort and faith. God will take care of the numbers.  You just have to plant the seed.
Elder Ostler:  I am finally realizing that it doesn’t matter what other missionaries think about me.  If I’m the most capo, best spanish, next ap, if I teach good, if I can get a good alb going, it doesn’t matter what they think of me.  Nor the members.  My numbers don’t matter.  What is really important is the relationship I have with my Father in Heaven. It really only matters what He thinks of me.  And I Love Him.  And am here in Mendoza to SERVE HIM.
Ya, yesterday I just saw the hand of God in church.  Everything was so perfect.  Just how everything worked out.  When we rolled Rosa in, I went up to a member and had her come sit by her.  They are neighbors and it worked good.
With the hims, I just kinda go in blind, and have done well.  Alright, I’ll tell you the truth, I’ve got pretty lucky with the ward choosing hims I know.  I try to get them to give me a heads up, but well, we’re in Argentina.  Things don’t always work like that.
Mom & Dad:  Loved the testimony.  Do you ever remember me saying that to you kids?  It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. It only matters what Heavenly Father thinks.
Elder Ostler:  We have celestial cereal.  It is a big bag of grains and raisins and just so much good healthy grains that we eat for breakfast. A big bag is really expensive.  30 pesos.  And Sister Packer buys it from a costco type store and then we all buy it from her.  It’s so good.  But I’ve really been into fruit smoothies lately, seeing as we have a blender.
Mom & Dad:  Is it possible for you to upload photos to the costco or snapfish website?  And why did you have to call parents in the states?
Elder Ostler:  Ahh office clean.
Lots of love, Elder Ostler
We are leaving.
I love you°!!  Send it to the boys too.