Monday, October 31, 2011

I saw my first ipad this week, and touched it!

Greetings from Elder Ostler, your hijo en Argentina.
You kind of let me hanging on the pictures that you may or may not have received.

OK, it was a week like no other.  I don't even know what to say.  Right now to email I have all the time I want, but at the same I don't have any time.  This is a crazy week for us with 4 days of training meetings (only one for me) and sending off 12 missionaries and receiving 7.  I have been out of the offices for almost more than an entire week, so I have come back to a pile of work that I can’t even see over.  P day was Saturday for us, but we will always do email Monday still.
Wow Harrison in Chamber Choir, love it.  That is so so cool.
I read the story this week of the pond of frogs and Wilson covering himself in squished berries, that was so funny.  I read it out loud and we got a laughter.  Mom, I’m sad that you had a down week, I think today was the shortest email I’ve ever read from you.  This might just be my shortest email too!  We’ll see what happens.
Well, I’m absolutely not feeling it at all right now, so I will see if I can squeeze something in later today.  I had a great Personal Study this morning and studyid about what it is to be cleanse form sin.  And the same phrase kept appearing . . . Through the blood of Christ.  It was very cool.
Love Elder Ostler
I’m doing way better, and I promise I will send you some kind of meaty email.  
Elder Ostler.
From Mom 9:07AM
Yes, pictures are received.  I've been watching more of your videos this morning.  Wow - you can speak spanish!  Looks like we're both not in the email mood.  Kinda interesting, don't ya think.  Mine was so lame.  I'm still feeling lame.  No animo here.  But I'm working on it. Okay, gotta go.  I just love all the pictures, so fantastic to look at.  I love to listen to you laugh, like when the guys were building the shelves and podium in Justo and you were talking to the guy cooking the asado.  Love that one!
From Elder Ostler 11:51AM
Alright I am feeling so great.  I went into Presidents office and pedí tener mi entrevista.  And so I sat down with Presidente and we talked. It probably passed 40 minutes, and was wonderful.  It helped me so much.  I think he loves having me here, and he communicated with me the feeling that my Father in Heaven is pleased with me.  I love President Avila so much.  An Amazing Man.
I am so happy so happy that all that memory made it home.
To say about my week, I’ll say this.  It was good, very different.  The weirdest part was being with Old People all week, like for example, when a joke was told and laughs were had, Sister Hollingsworth commented, ‘well . . thats the comic relief for the day!‘  I thought . . are you kidding me!!  Not even.  I laugh way more than that!
I was the driver.  Once I had Elder Boisados drive because I was feeling tired.  The trip went like this.  One Wednesday morning we left for Villa Mercedes, my cuna.  We ate lunch there and then went back to San Luis, where we stayed the night.  After dropping them and the car off at the hotel, we half walked then took a taxi to the pench.  We were mostly lost, but luckily the high 26 year old taxi driver got us there.  You know your taxi driver is high when you tell him to turn left and he turns right.  That’s the main key indicator, there’s others.  But we arrived safely, and it was actually the pench of Elder Huntington. We brought blow up small air mattresses so slept there for the night. That was fun.  I slept really well.
I drank half a liter of milk before I went to bed and the other half when I woke up.  We were invited to Breakfast by the Packers and Hollingsworth in the hotel and it was wonderful.  Elder Aidukaitis and President Avila and esposa were also staying at the hotel, so when they came down to eat breakfast, we all sat at the same table.  So I sat across from a GA, and ate breakfast.  It was fun.  Not many missionaries get that experience.  Then we were off to San Rafael, ate lunch at the Best Restaurant Ever!  And then Dr. Hollingsworth bought ice cream and the best Heladeria Ever!  Elder Boisados already knew these good places. Best day of the most tastely food ever.
We came home and slept in Mendoza and then were up earlier than usual to go to San Juan.  We were there for a few hours, at a parrilla (grill) and then filled the car up with icecream (that was the joke, a good old person joke at best) and came home, it was Friday.  So those are the bare bones of the trip.
The Purpose was 1) to see missionaries and help solución their health problems, and 2), contact hospitals and make a loose contract with them.  We had success in every one of the 4 cities we visited.  I was the translator.  It stretched me, and honestly there were times when I was left wordless.  Listening to Dr. Hollingsworth talk english I didn't understand him completely.  His intelligence and word choice is  . . . . what’s a good word to use here . . .?  very smart.    Lets just say translating in between 2 surgeons is difficult.
Dr. Hollingsworth and Sister Hollingsworth are from Canada.  He is a Surgeon, and when he was practicing he created his own stomach stapling surgery.  In his life time he did over 1800 of these obesity surgeries!  He stopped practicing like 6 years ago.
The Hollingsworths are on their second mission.  Their first one was stationed in Mexico City, and now they are one year into this mission, being stationed in Buenos Aries.  They are wonderful People, and very classy.  His job is to be the medical adviser over the area South America South.  That’s 14 missions, including Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.  It was fun to talk with them and the Packers in the car.
It was fun to translate for him in all the hospitals.  We would go into these cites with a list of Hospitals and addresses.  So my copilots job Elder Boisi was to ubicar me using the garmin.  Once we were at the hospital I had to manage to find parking decently close, because these are old people.  That was sometimes an adventure in itself.  Then we would enter the Hospital and I would ask to speak with the director. Usually I had to end up explaining who Dr. Hollingsworth was and why we were there etc.
At the first and last locations we were led into a conference room and actually sat down with the Hospital Director and staff and I was the middle man.  And this last hospital we visited in San Juan was the nicest hospital the Hollingsworth have ever seen in Argentina.  Dr. Hollingsworth said, ‘man, people don't even know things like this even exist here.’  Even I was amazed.  The hospital was HUGE.  And so nice.  I had the thought during that translating session and tour, man, I am walking right next to 2 very powerful and rich, and super intelligent men.
That director was So Nice.  At 2 of the other hospitals we talked with an accountant, who is going to help us set up a contract.  Just so they know that Missionaries may come in with an emergency case, and will not be carrying any money.  Dr. Hollingsworth and Sister Parker wanted to make sure that the Hospital would attend to these missionaries, even being foreigners, and then the church would get the bill.  Dr. Hollingsworth also wanted to see the facility, and so on many occasions we were given a tour.  I learned all sorts of words this week.
quirofano, operating room
cirugia, surgery
cirujano, surgeon
laparoscopia, well thats obvious,
apencice,  appendix
tomografia, CAT scan
resonsometing magentia, MRI
apenciditis, apendicitis
and many more words were said and translated, those are the main ones that stuck in my brain.
My favorite parts were the hospital tours.  And this one time we went in the blood lab, into the HIV - and + room.  There were blood samples everywhere, and it was sweet.
The other part was seeing missionaries.  There were several missionaries in every city that needed medical attention.  Our job was to coordinate a time and find the pench, and then we had to get to it.  It seems easy, but not so much.  For the Latinos I translated, and for the English speakers, you know, once it was a sisters pench so I sat in the hall and wrote in my journal.
Dr. Hollingsworth doesn't rest.  His fone was ringing off the hook always.  During that really good restaurant (which the mission paid for :) score) I think he received 3 calls in that hour.  Sometimes he would get frustrated.  And O, when latino elders called him he gave the fone to us and we translated.  And one time he gave the fone to me and I translated between him and Hermana Avila.  And he got a little frustrated with me because I couldn't figure out that he wanted the elder to buy this certain eye drops, but them put them in his nose.  I eventually got it.  Dr. Hollingsworth knows the basics in spanish.  And actually had many of the hospital terminos memorized.  And had a lot of drugs memorized too.  And that impressed me because I think in english the names are hard enough.  I also saw my first ipad this week, and touched it.  It was of Sister Hollingsworth.
And the restaurants are so expensive.  At least for me!  When you are on the appetizer page and the lowest price is 28 pesos, I couldn't believe it!
Driving Argentina was BEAUTIFUL!  I was amazed, and loved it so much.  The best drive was from San Luis to San Rafy.  We passed through some of the sweetest little cites.  But the landscape was wonderful.  There were only 2 close calls driving.  Both on the San Juan day. One time this car couldn’t decide what lane to use.  And he was going slow.  I was driving quicker next to this other car as we approached.  Let me try to paint the picture for you.  I was in one lane, he in the other.  The back of his car was like one foot in front of the front of my car.  Argentines don't know how to drive.  This is illustrated in the fact that he didn't even look in his mirror or over his shoulder as he tried to switch into my lane, suddenly, very suddenly.  Somehow we were saved as I braked hard, and the Sisters in the back seat let out a little yelp. The day was saved.  Dr. Hollingsworth said later, ‘wow I’m very impressed at your reflexes.’
The one coming home was worse.  It was a passing frenzy as we all marched pass the slow trucks on the 2 lane highway.  Well at one time I was doing just great, 20 Ks out of Mendoza.  When I went to a corner, I looked in front of me and saw not to far down the road a car driving at me in my lane.  I thought I saw it wrong, but in about .2 seconds I realized it was true.  After that split second the car was right up on me, apparently passing a motorcycle.  It all happened so fast, but I braked hard and swung the car over to the gravel shoulder.  My heart lept to my throat and it was pretty scary.  The whole car got a good scare actually!  After that I was very nervous to go around any corner, expecting at every moment that the car coming in the other lane was actually in my lane.
The Hollingsworth were very thankful for our help.  And on Saturday Elder Burr and I took them to the airport, and Sister Hollingsworth gave us marriage counsel.  O boy, try to stay focussed after that.
Another part of my week was the visit from Elder Aidukaitis.  I think I will write a separate letter to myself about the happenings and words of that day.  It was 7 hours of continuous conference from him.  Lets just say, I want to baptize.
It was amazing the things he taught us.  As a mission we just need to ignore the bad, and glean the good, amazing teaching he gave us.  He taught us about planning.  We realized many things.
The other part of my week is about Virginia.  Recognize that name?  She’s the woman I called, looking for her member husband, and I ended up asking her to be baptized on the fone.  And she accepted.
Well we finally found her and are teaching her, and she loves it!  She is ready, came to church this Sunday alone, and has a fecha for the 12 of noviembre.  So exciting!  The ward gave her a warm welcome.
But after church I was absolutely beat!  It was 5th Sunday, so 3 hours of straight translation for the Packers.  I am officially done translating. It sucks the energy out.
So I am so excited for Virginia.  She’s reading and praying and assisting church.  The 3 fundaments.  She has already received and recognized a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  She is maybe 45 years old.  The only thing we need to really help and be aware of, and the bishop is well aware, is of her husband.  He’s inactive, and has very strange ideas.  We are going by with the bishop tomorrow at 4:30.
We also have 2 noche de Hogars planned tonight with 2 different familys in the ward.  One is inviting a nonmember friend, and the other has 20ish year old kids that aren’t members.  So Elder Boisi and I are doing divisions with Priests in the ward.  Obviously Elder Boisados is on his last transfer in the ofices, and this is actually the last week of the transfer.  So our time is coming to a close.
I think Amanda and I are having a similar struggle with our respective comps.  We just don't click.  And there have been some really hard days.  I loved Amanda’s line. . . . “I'm just glad that I pick my eternal companion.”  That was wonderful.  I love her insightfulness.  Go Amanda!
But in Presidents office just hours ago in the interview, we were seated in front of his transfer board.  He asked me questions, I ask him questions.  We talked about the office zone.  He told me of the changes that will be happening Saturday (that’s transfer day because he has a Buenos Aries Mission President conference next week).  So, I know.  Do you want me to tell?
Well. . . . . .
I am very very excited to be with a North American again.  Very Excited.  It’s been 4 and 1/2 months since I’ve clicked with my companion.  And I have tried so hard.  Let’s go back to what Amanda so wonderfully taught us.  (bytheway Hermana Avila just bought us all Halloween candy.  It doesn't really exist here, but kinda)   “I'm just glad that I pick my eternal companion.” 
I Really feel the weight of Zone Leader now.  Tomorrow is consejo de los liders de zona, so that will be fun.  Presidente is an inspired man. And I love the assistants too.  Elder Burr and I did a great mid day run on P day and then this morning we ran.
I need to go preach the Gospel and prepare to send 12 missionaries home.  It’s a circus week.
I am doing good things.  
And I still believe more now than ever before, that Jesus is the Christ.  And that His Church was restored to the Earth.  And if anyone wants evidence of that, God gave us the Book of Mormon.
Stand by your Testimony,  And LIVE the Gospel!
Love Elder O

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Let All The Happiness I Have Show!

Hello Hola Aloha
My dearest family:
This week was a very good week.   We had two (dos) [2] Baptisms.  
¡¡¡¡¡amazing!!!!  It was wonderful to experience the thrill of Baptism.  And the Excitement of Repentance.
The rest to follow after an intense futbol game.
Love, Elder Ostler
Dear Family: 

Baptism of Maria Eugenia
Baptism of Maria Santos
That was taken during the refreshers time.

President Jugando a la Pelota!
The 2 baptisms were wonderful.  We had a great showing and support from the Ward.  Maria Eugenia was so wonderful and really understood the covenant she made.  It is a faith booster that the field is white, the elect are there.  God IS preparing people.  She is  Miracle.  And on Sunday I placed my hands on her head (along with Elder Packer - who doesn´t speak a lick of spanish - and Elder Boisi) and confirmed her Miembro de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.  Wonderful.
The Baptism of Maria Santos was a bit more difficult (family problems), but the Lord blessed us and saw it through.  She is the sweetest woman ever.  tan dulce.  And there was an actual change in her.  More smiley, more happy, more energy.  An amazing lady.
Maria Eugenia brought 2 friends from colegio and her mother and a sister and husband to the ordinance.  Great!
Then that night, as you can see, cenamos con los Packers.

Dinner with the Packers on Saturday. It was such such so so good food. American Style.  It was really funny when we got home to the pench and Elder Menocal sayd the prayer, and Elder Falcon, who was not with us, comments afterwards . . didn’t I hear something about eating with the Packers?  Hey!  And we respond . .  they’re in our ward!!  Aren´t you allowed to eat with the members?  It was a fun.

What was better than the food was talking with the Packers, and listening to their stories!  I wanted to stay all night!  Elder Packer taught us about not judging others, ever.  Because we don´t know their circumstances.  We do not know what kind of home they come from. Or their culture.  We don`t know if a chemical is out of balance in their body and that is why they are doing what they do.  En Fin.  It was a wonderful wonderful dinner, that left us fuller than  . . .and what I didn´t eat I wrapped up and Elder Falcon ate it after that prayer.
Mom * it was very interesting to read about how you were sick.  So sick.  Because I was too!  On Tuesday I got out of bed to shower, and then got right back in.  Slept till 10.  Then walked to the offices with Elder Burr.  He woke up bad too.  There are 4 beds in the offices, and so we each took a bottom bunk and called it a day.  And literally Slept ALL DAY!  I have never been on my back for so long in my life!  When the nurse Hermana Packer checked on us we both had the exact same temp for a fever.  It was not so fun.  But at 9 we woke up and then walked to the pench to go to bed.  That was the first tylenol PM I’ve swallowed in over a year!  And it helped so much.  I actually started fasting Monday in the afternoon, and it worked great because I had no ganas to eat anything!  Easiest fast of my life.  Wednesday was one of those days you have after being sick.  You’re not sick, but you don't want to do anything.
But as far as office tasks, I had a good week, and a miracle day on Friday.  Everything went my way.  Slipping in the bank with the help of a nice security guard after hours, paying in part for 33 police records (which took preparation!) and just finding parking and everything was in our favor.  I love that.  Then President gave us Permision to go in his car to Subway for lunch!  O America.
Finally Argentine Elections are over.  I am rather tired of all of the advertising.  We come home to 5 different flyers under our door.  And it is just everywhere.  They don't do speeches here, or at least not for the public to see.  I guess it’s just whoever makes the biggest and most posters and pounds their name in the heads of the mostly clueless Argentines wins.
I got to tell you a funny thing.  Before the Baptism I was in the offices and saw our ward directory.   I was SO EXCITED for the Baptism the following day.  I grabbed my phone and just started calling every member listed with a phone number.  Here are the statistics.  About of the 45 members I called, 22 answered. And let me tell you, in that 90 minutes I spent doing that, I had a great time!  I talked to people mostly in GC, but also in other provinces.  I talked to members and non members alike, and made little notes if not everyone in the family is member.  I have some really good leads!  And the Miracle was that I talked to a wife of member and she was Great!  And at the end of the conversation, I asked her if she wanted to be baptized, and she said YES!  But Saturday morning when we went trekking way in the heck out to her house, she wasn’t there.  But I’m so excited for her! Virginia.
On the fone I was teaching and testifying and just having the best conversations.  So people really seem like they’ll come back.  And out of the 22 I probably talked to like 3 active members.  Fun and very different experience.  There’s always a different Tactic to do missionary work.  But I must focus myself on doing it in the Lords Way.
A side note, in sacrament meeting, we maybe reached 65.  And on the list there are 250 different households.  18 pages of members.
The Monday night miracle (I’m not talking about whats about to happen with the Family Rojas, because a cause de nuestra actividad, una jovencita invitó una de sus amigas a escucharnos!  And we have a noche de hogar with them tonight.)  What I’m talking about is what happened last Monday.  We were with the Familia Carrion, they were less active but the mother and daughter came to church 3 weeks ago. So we continue to help them and at the same time we were on a search for Miracles.  And write in the middle of a wonderful talk with them, a sister in law walks in and sits down, and Elder Boisi unfolds the most beautiful lesson Ever!  It was a restoration lesson and so powerful.  And the family helped us so much.
Miracles happen because it is Jesus´work.  This woman, Dominga, listened and loved it.  She has obviously had contact with the church and has even read the liahonas before.  We came out of that house walking on air.  Walking on sunshine.  We were pumped.  Nothing could stop us.  It was one of those moments as a Missionary where I feel INVINCIBLE!  Nothing can stop me. I cherish those.
I have been thinking a lot lately about The Present.  I could be on this for ever, but basically I have come to the conclusion How Important the Present Is.  The past is great for some and not so great for others. But it doesn't matter what you did, or what you didn’t do back then or yesterday, what really matters is what you are doing now!  In person I could unfold it to you much better.  I can kind of understand what the prophets mean when they say the Lord has made them mighty in speech, but in writing they are weak.  I wish I could explain more.
The last thing I want to explain is the lio of today, and at the same time the miracle end result.  And then I have one more surprise.
So today Elder Burr and Falcon accompanied by the wise and legal Elder Boisi went to get our lisances.  But it was a mess, as they send us from government building to government building and in fin, I had to talk my way into a woman making Elder Burr and I an illegal cédula (Elder Burr and I got Mendoza Identifications the other week, took forever, bad system, but what we had to do today was convince a lady to extend the fecha de vencimiento to one year.  And not the day we go home.  So now we are legal to drive in the country after the visa expires).

Then we went back to the driving place and did a line, waited some more.  Got eyes checked.  Took a written drive test (I got a 90!  So to all you who didn’t pass the drive test the first time, I just did it in Spanish!) then after waiting a lot more, we did the drive.  It was a course, nice and small and simple.  I nailed the parallel parking the First Time!  The other 2 took all 3 tries.  Then the rest was easy.  But the cop originally told me I failed!  My heart sank.  He said you can’t hug the passenger seat when you back up and that you don’t look over your shoulder.  He was just trying to be scary, and a minute later signed it and passed me.  Chabón.  So I passed!  When I went to go get my picture taken for the license I sat in the chair and asked the lady if I could smile.  She said yes, so you can imagine what I did.  I opened the mouth and let all the happiness I have show.  She stared laughing and said No tanto!  And it was so so funny and the whole room of people and even more the 3 missionaries were laughing. . . a very fun experience!
So I now have a Mendoza Drivers License!  It’s sweet!  I’m Legal!  But it took ALL MORNIG and sucked our P day.  We stared at 6:30 and finished at 1:30.  That’s Argentina for you.  And it was so rainy last night and this morning and at one point Elder Burr and I had to get to the other side of the city without the car because Elder Falcon had to use it to take the test so in bus and taxi we went.  The streets were literally rivers of water.  We were getting sprayed by big busses as they passed, and we  could not find a taxi!  They were all full!  It was ridiculous and we were soaked.  Fun Argentine experiences.  And the other fun part is we had to use Sister Avilas Grand Caravan, a Huge car that none of us have ever driven before.  Because it was the only one with the right papers.
The surprise is that Elder Aidukaitis is coming . . today.  Tomorrow I have 7 hours of conference with him.  30 minutes as office staff.  A couple hours as leadership and the rest as regular Zone Conference. It should be wonderful.  So much learning is going down tomorrow. 
But that’s not the surprise.  The surprise is that Doctor Hollingsworth arrived and I am the chauffeur and translator for him, his wife and Hermana Packer as we go tour the mission starting tomorrow to check missionaries and hospitals.  We are going to San Rafeal, San Luis and San Juan.  Elder Boisados is coming with us.  It should be such a different experience.  I’m so excited to conocer un poco mas de la misión.  It will be a wonderful and fresh experience.  I put Jesus the Christ down for tonight and study medical terms!  And update my area book!  Dr Hollingsworth is the mission or church doctor for the area, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.  I know he is a retired surgeon from the states on a mission.  And is HQd in Buenos. Aries.
So that’s my week in an email.  We are working good with the ward and the Bishop loves us.  I love what I’m doing, and hope to always keep the high vision of this, His Sacred Work.
Love Elder Ostler
Wow I am super satisfied with this email.
If you have an immediate question, I know I’m going to be here for a second as we prepare the details of the crazyiness of Tomorrow. 
O YES MOM a box is fine! I almost forgot again! 
Go homecoming.  Loved that story.  Go BENSON AND WILSON AND AHMED
Hey I’m here.  I’m setting up for the big GA tomorrow.  And Elder Boisados is getting back in half hour then we are going to the noche de hogar.  So if you have something to tell me, tell it to me.
with love
Mom:  I have lots to tell you.  First of all, THAT IS THE COOLEST THING ABOUT THE GA and about the doctor dude!  An experience like no other.  Take that camera and all of those sd cards.  Fill em up! Did you like the picture of cameron, harrison and michael?  So, is Aidukaitis talking to the whole mission?
So what's the difference in licenses?  And I thought it was a pain to get a license here.  Evidentially it's more difficult in Argentina.  Hey, how about Cristian going to Casey's mission.  He emailed me.  I'll forward what he wrote cause I can't read it.  Maybe you could give me a five sentence translation.
Elder Ostler:  Yes, just like Dr Hollingsworth, Aidukaitis will be traveling the mission giving 6 different zone conferences.  He will be with President and his wife and the assistants.  I will be in a different car hitting all the different cities on a different day than them.  You have lots to tell me.  I’m interested.

That’s SO SWEET about C Funes.  He’s Such A GOOD GUY.  I bet Casey will see him a time or two.  They are not 2 licenses.  The green one allowed me to get the license.  It is just an ID card. That’s what I got renewed.  The blue is the real deal.

Isn’t there a chat feature?
Mom:  I meant I have lots to tell you, like I could talk to you all day. Not that I have fantastic news or anything.  And we've got our tickets to Hawaii for thanksgiving.  She's happy we're coming, I think.  Oh, and Duke will be playing basketball at the maui invitational, so I'll be hitting a few games!!!!!
There was a 7.2 earthquake in turkey 2 days ago.  Not good.  Death toll rising.  You guys had a couple of quakes too.  They were up in the salta mission so you probably didn't feel them.
How in the heck did you get the nod to be the driver and translator for the doctor?  I'm so excited for you.  You can impress him with your medical knowledge you learned during the intern.  Harrison gets to do ER on Saturday night.  Should be busy since it's almost halloween!
Oh, the missionaries were helping dad today.  We're expanding the dog pen and he's putting in sprinklers, so they were out there shoveling and helping him out.

A chat feature, you're hysterically funny!  Do you think in spanish, or both?  Where will you guys stay while you tour the mission?  With missionaries or with the doctor and his wife in a hotel?  Can't wait for next week now, to hear all of the details, all the towns you visited, all the smiles you brought to missionaries who need you!

Just got a pkg from Sister Harvey!  Wonder what’s in it!!!  I’m so excited.
Love you, Mom

Monday, October 17, 2011

Did Lehi have a plac on when he shared the fruit?

A warm Spring Greeting to all!  It was for me a good week, lots of learning, lots of thinking.  Lots of being a Missionary.
algunos asuntos.  Harrison, thanks for the words.  I’m a bow tie fan. But don’t spend a ton!  Save it for the mission and so you can go to las tinajas!  That’s a fancy restaurant we went to today.  It was 53 pesos a head.  It was way good.  We actually went around centro today seeing what we could get our hands on.  And we asked for bow ties, but couldn’t find any.  But we did find the sweetest ties!  The only problem was they were silk and 200 pesos each!  ni ahí!  We settled for the 20 peso ties at the persa, and I bought 3.  And a jersey for 35 pesos.  I was a spender today!
So what I’m trying to say with all this. . . .  is go with the orange duck suit!  Love it.  But the important part is who are you going with!  The best part of all the emails received today was...- and next week me and Lauren are inviting some people to church.  YEAH!!!!  That makes me day.  I told Elder Lounsberry that when I read that.  We were in a bus going to centro.  That’s what I do Mom, print the email in the morning, then respond in the tarde.  So don't feel guilty about writing much.
My creative juices aren't flowing.  I think it’s because I don’t have a juicer here.  Haha.  Joke.  So maybe Harrison you could just read the Book of Mormon together with the girls.  Instead of going to the grind. I loved that part in Amanda’s Email.  We did that with a new Saturday, and it was such a big difference.
Dad, I actually remember not answering a question last week. Running is not just a p day thing.  Every pday we do run a 5K +.  But entre semana I usually run twice.  Which is 3x per week.  It makes me feel wonderful afterwords.  Ready for the revelation of Personal Study.  
I loved the Wilson Blessing Faith story.  And about Benson catching a pass in Saturdays game.  And Benson this week I read a letter you wrote me about how you won your first football game!!  So sweet.  It made me smile, just like every time I read your loving letters.  I also love the pictures you draw me.  Sometimes they take a quick second to interpret, but thank you for always being fiel in writing me!  Go Benson!  Don’t you bajar those brazos on piano.  You are in a stage of your life where you can explode it!  You have a lot of time.  Please dedicate a larger portion of it to mastering the piano.  Will you?  You will be eternally blessed later in life.  And ESP on the mission.
I love the Elders living in our house stories.
And the Ahmed stories.  Will I get to meet him?
Sounds like Amanda had a tough week.  There’s a thorn or two on every good rose bush. And Amanda’s a good rose bush.  I’d say red.
I love to hear that the Family is surviving.  Doing well.
Know that your Missionary in Argentina is doing wonderful.  Everyday isn’t a skate on ice, but prayer pulls me up.  And I survive.  I believe many good and essential things are being learned in my life, most of which I will darme cuenta of later.  The Mission is so wonderful.  
I think I say that so much.  And it is because I really believe it.  We can live so close to the Spirit and receive so many blessing and Miracles.  In tears Elder Kammerman (the old financiero, finishes in 6 weeks) taught me something wonderful last night.  Success is not about how many tasks you complete, but about the people you help. The MIssion is about People.
And one those People is Maria Eugenia.
This email is a little late because we had a great PDay interruption teaching Maria E.  She came into the offices about 4 and we taught her with Sister Packer.  Can you believe it was Sister Packers first lesson in the entire mission?  Not to be the last with me here.
Maria was hesitant about accepting a fecha for the 22.  Then at church she told Elder Burr that the 22 was her day.  I was psyched!  She loved church and had read the whole Principios del Evangelio lesson before coming!  Church was great this week, and for RS Hermana Packer went with Maria E.  So that’s why we decided to teach with Hermana Packer today.
Maria speaks english well, and she understands it better.  It was an amazing lesson we just had.  The spirit was so strong.  I learned SO Much! Both from my comp and Sister Packer and Maria herself.  It is amazing what a missionary can learn from the investigator.  At the end of the lesson both women were in tears and embraced each other. Maria E is a chosen one.  A humble one.  To her the Gospel has that familiar ring.  That’s when Sister Packer told her, because this isn’t the first time you’ve learned it.  All in all, it was a wonderful spiritual lesson.  Maria could be baptized tonight.  She is so special.  I am here for people like her.
I just recently overheard Sister Packer say, That was the best experience I’ve had in a long time.  Cool!  We love working with the Packers.
I have got into reading Jesus the Christ this week.  And I’m an addict. I don’t join in with the normal pench conversation these days.  I put my mind in the pages of that book and GO.
A Special Mothers day with the Avila Family.  Last night they invited the office staff over for dinner.  It was wonderful.  After dinner in the living room with the Famila Avila and some 10 Elders.  We sang the hymns.  I was the Pianist and it was very special.  We sang the Spirit of God juntos.  Then 2 Elders Sang O my Father.  And that made Hermana Avila cry.  Then during the final him of all 7 verses of 16 un pobre forestero she cried again.  It was very cool.  At the switch point in the song, on a couple verses, I went up an octave.  Then Hermana Avila shared with us things so Special.
Happy Argentina Mothers Day mom.
My focus is Miracles.  I want to connect myself more to the Lords way of Doing Members Work (I’ve retitled ‘missionary work’ - for me it’s ‘missionaries doing Members  Work’ And I love it.  Did Lehi have a plac on when he shared the fruit?)
I want to seek those miracles and Hearts the Lord has prepared.  I know that I can baptize thousands.  That’s what Alma, Amulek, and Aaron, Omner, and Himni did.  I learn every week again what it means to be a Representative of Jesus Christ.
I took the determination to be more obedient and focused this week.  I had very cool experiences.  We got out of the offices at 4 everyday. And then worked good All Saturday.
Carmen, pray for her.  Her children flew her to Chile this week.  Or they tell us that.  They are such an opposition.  Carmen has the best friend Hermana Vera, a great missionary.  We made brownies with them this week, and that was fun, and very yummy.
I also had an amazing lunch with a RM that really helped and changed me.  The way I think, the way I work.  And this week it sunk in that I can do what ever I want to do.  I can be whatever I want to be. Anything is possible.  Let us not put limits on our lifes.
Amanda’s language in her last letter, I almost wrote talk, sounded like something out of GC sometimes.  
I have never held more billetes or bills at any other time in my life than this week.  10,000 pesos ARS.  That is so much money!  The thickest stack of money.
That is a lot of visas to renew!  I have realized that a big part of my job is to spend tithing money.  So thanks for paying your tithing. That’s one of the things we taught Maria Eugenia today.  Sister Packer helped so much in that lesson.  There was overflowing love. Maria Eugenia is in her mid thirties.  See picture, taken today.  Mouth Closed!  Whats Up!

I might just have to end this by talking about FOOD!
With the Familia Mendoza we ate anticucho.

Cow Heart
It was delicious.  Prepared with love in the write way.  Then for lunch yesterday with them we had si beach e.  That’s how it sounds.  The last E is like beach too.  Basically is was like being in Japan 30 years ago because it was Raw Fish!  With spicy peppers.  It was great.  A fun fun experience.  
With the Famila Mendoza
Presidents house last night
Who knew they have Cafe Rio in Mendoza.  In memory of Mom

Love, Elder Ostler

Monday, October 10, 2011

O what? I didn't tell you?

If you had one of the huge water tanks that they have on every housetop here, I don’t think you’d have enough room to catch all the love gushing out of this missionary to his family right now.  I am so happy for you.  I am so proud of each and every one of you.  And I especially feel love for you little Wilson.  So sad.  Argentina has made it hard for me to like dogs anymore, but I know you love that dog.  Is it not cool that in the creation God created everything spiritually before he created it physically?  Focus on the word everything.  The trees, the dirt.  The dogs.  I studied in the PGP and learned some super cool things with respect to that.  Wilson, Buddy was created spiritually thousands upon thousands of years ago.  He was an intelligence too. And God plans on saving him.  He is a creation of God.  So cheer up old buddy!  I love you Wilson.
And Saydi sent me a pedaso of her semana.  Sounds Great little lady!
And I think I finally tasted what Amanda eats everyday.  I received my first english rechazo.

Sometimes we have the chance to preach the Gospel in English for various reasons.  In the airport last week I saw 2 old fart greengos, so I put to talk with them.  They were here seeing the bodegas.  2 nice enough men, from Texas.  Then I shared the message, and invited them to listen the next time the missionaries knocked their door.  The first man accepted kindly, but after the 2nd man asked me a question, I knew he wanted to fight.  I was astonished.  Being rejected, and I mean rejected (which is different from just being waved off, is SO different in your own language.)  I did the best I could.  Testified.  But the man was so mean to me.  So I finally got a taste, Amanda.  A small lick if you will.  
Before I get to the miracles, a couple more comments.
Mandy is engaged!!!! dang dang dang.  I can believe it, and can’t all at the same time.  That’s called keeping the commandments.  Send her saludos.

Did you see that last picture?  Elder Falcon, the new pensionista, hit a year this week.  And we celebrated with meat.  And it was SSSSSSOOOOOOOOO GGGGGOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDD.

That is Elder Lounsberry, Falcon, Boisados, and Me.
What’s Forte?  Some Harrison thing.  In the Hospital, I always did love the ER.  I always stayed longer than just the 4 hours.  One time I was there till like midnight.  The best time to do that shift is the weekends.
3 miracles.  
            Carmen.  She is a woman that God has been preparing.  Her story is great.  The bottom line is that a friend,  I’ll say that again, a friend shared the Gospel with her and she loves it.  She needs it.  
She came to the Packers activity and then came to church.  After church Elder Boisados went over and taught her in the members home Hermana Vera (both are like 40-50).  Thanks before contact with the church, and missionaries she knows it’s true.  When I put the fecha with her in that lesson, it was super spiritual, and both Carmen and Hermana Vera started crying.  When Carmen said yes, Hermana Vera jumped up and ran over to her and gave here a huge hug.  So amazing.  Such a miracle.  Because we, Elder Boisados and I didn’t really do anything.  It is such a blessing and I know it comes from God.
Carmen is being baptized this Saturday the 15th at 17 hrs.  Can you believe it?  A baptism!! Finally!!
          Maria Eugenia.  I met her last week at GC (little did we know it but looking back we had 4 people or investigators come to GC. The only one I was aware of was Maria Eugenia). So a member from Estanzuela introduces me to her.  I think, dang, lucky Estanzuela elders, and I just left!  But Natalia suddenly tells me, no, she belongs to this barrio GC centro!  My heart did a back flip!!! Sweet!

She came to church with the friend, may I repeat that, with the friend!  And LOVED IT!  After the 3 meetings I talked with Maria Eugenia and she said 3 weeks ago I would have never even imagined being here. But when I come, or read the book, I feel so happy.  WOW!  Hearing that makes me want to fly!  So we have a cita with her and the Natalia Wednesday, if you want to come.
It is such a miracle.  And again, we Elder Boisados and I really didn’t do anything.  However, I know my prays have an effect on the people. I have never prayed harder for the repentance of a people.  I know The Lord has answered all my pleas.  Because we have souls repenting, and making the First Covenant.
         Maria.  After an amazing church session yesterday, where all 4 of us Elders bore testimonies and I blessed the water, and sat in the pew behind the Packers (because they are in our ward!) and translated for them.  They loved it.  Usually they just sit through 3 hours of church and haven’t a clue.  Well after church we were directed to call a family to see if they could spur of the moment feed us.  They sayd yes.  So off we go, all 4, and I am as happy as can be.  We get there to Family Mendoza, they are actually Peruanos, and ate the best peruvian food!  So sano, not a drop of oil.  Which was a huge change! Then as I relate to them about an activity Elder Boisados and I are doing with the Ward, animating them, encouraging them, and pleading with them to share the Gospel with their friends and people at work and their neighbors Elder Burr pipes in.  And in one sentence teaches them the Doctrine of Christ.  The 1ra enfoque.  Baptism is essential. And it was only after that moment when the dad them commented to us,  ‘You see Elders my mother there (sitting silently on the end of the table, la abuelita) isn’t a member, and in 15 days, I want to baptize her.  And I know she’ll accept.’  WHAT!!!!  WOW!
Elder Larkin, I want you to study that part in in PMG on page 161 and help my mother share the Gospel with others and her friend. I love the line that says strengthening their understand of the doctrine of Christ will do more . . . and I have now a living testimony of that.  Because if Elder Burr hadn’t taught this family the doctrine of Christ, they never even would have mentioned about the grandma.  But when the dad heard that, and understood it, he desired to give of his family the fruit of the Gospel and Eternal Life, just like Lehi.

Please teach that to my dear mother.  Congratulate her on teaching the gospel to her children.  We do have a wonderful family.  Now, help her share it with her friends, and just anyone she sees.  We must not have fear. We cannot have fear.

I always hear about you Elder Larkin.  My family loves you.  Keep your heard up, and may we all stay focused.  
O wait, Mom? Are you reading this still.  Dang it!
So After Hermano Mendoza said that, we are all stunned.  Just shocked.  It was a true miracle.  Elder Menocal proceeded to put the fecha with la abuelita Maria (at first she point blank said no, but that was because she didn’t understand, it was so Funny!!  At the time, we didn’t know what to do! But looking back it was great.  She accepted the fecha.  And in 20 minutes we are going over to their house, with a 2 fold purpose, eat lots of food, and teach the mom.  That’s what the dad wants us to do.  
Baptism.  So many miracles.  The Lord sees us working good. Working hard.  Wanting, and desiring, and he opened the heavens this week.  Miracles.  They happen.
An activity that took place this week that has been planned and organized for many hours for a long time.  It was a  presentation intended for the less active families, given by the Packers on safety and first aid.  It was so cool!! It was uneasying when it started because only 1 investigator was there and 1 inactive.  When the bishop has been working countless hours to visit so many families and give them the invites and talk with them.  And only 1 showed.  This lady too is named Maria and also came to church Sunday.  She is a nurse and loved Hermana Packer.  We double teamed with the bishop in visiting three families and Maria was actually one of the person we visited.  We brought our him books and sang with her and daughter and husband and it was cool.  They kind of told us that the daughter, she was a model, Gabriela, 20 years old, but she told us that she knows the church is true.  And she said that she’d be there Sunday.

Well, after the second hour before they left, a member signed for 2 elders, so Elder Menocasl and I went over, and ended up administering to these 2 sisters.  I anointed for Maria and actually gave the blessing of healing for Gabriela.  Usually don´t get to nervous, but i don’t know, maybe the fact that she was a model and my age . . or the fact that the Profet has giving me a commandment to not even flirt with girls!  But during the blessing I focused on what the Spirit told me.  At one point there was a lot of silence.  But in the end it was really cool.  I said some things that I thought were pretty weird at the time, but after finishing, the mother looked at me and said wow. What words you spoke!  That was just what she needed!  So both were inactive,  but they have come back.
I hope most of that made sense.
I love the Packers though.  They are amazing.
This week was consejo de los lideres.  A reunion held at the first of ever month for the ZLs.  And seeing as I am a new zone leader . . o what, I didn’t tell you?  Yes, Elder Boisados and I are the office Zone Leaders.  We are zone leaders over the assistants!  And have 7 companionships in total.  Cool.

Consejo was all day Tuesday, ending with dinner at Presidentes house.  There were only 3 new zls this transfer, which is low.  But it was so fun, so cool, So MUCH learning and being fed spiritually from Presidente Avila.  It was nice to see that from him again. Because talking about scheduling and visas with him doesn’t leave a whole ton of room for the things of spiritual nature.  But it was amazing.
Then that night I stressed myself out so much.  So many problems. Trying to get ready for my first run solo at doing documents with the elders.  With 5 elders we did police records and change or address.  In the end, it went Wonderful, it really did.  But that night doing the last minute preparations  (and it’s a ton of preparations!) and finding out the car didn’t have gas, then the assistants went for 30 minutes around Mendoza at 10:30 pm looking for gas, but the amazing economy and planning left every single gas station empty . . .  lots of problems, but there’s always solutions and things went wonderful.
So Elder Allen and Huntington and I and are now ZL.  That’s fun.
A general conference follow up.  I loved it so much.  I can’t tell you how in love I am with General Conference.  Sister Dalton’s talk was fantastic.  Just makes you want to get married.  Holland brought out his cane in priesthood.  Loved it!!!!  Loved the  ‘hey ole’ people, GO ON MISSIONS part!’  So the young boys don’t have to be secretaries! But then I loved when Elder Cook in the titanic story, mentioned the mission secretary.  That made me feel all warm inside, and know that that was for me.  The Lord inspired him to include that detail, so small. But in my position, I am learning so much.
Personal Study has gotten a lot better.  Dad, I already made that list. And this week, there were a lot more minutes of P study.  And I also have ramped up my language study too. I accept for my first 3 transfers, I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard and intensely for the Gift of Tongues than when I have been with Elder Boisados.   Ask and work and ye shall receive.  I certainly have.  Sometimes the words to just play with unroll off my tongue and it is an amazing feeling.  I love improving my mendocino accento.  And learning new words.  Always learning new words.
I thought huge themes in conference were it’s never too late to come back; repentance, so much repentance; world vs Church; and trials and tribulations.  Such good conference.
Well I would love to keep typin, but we must go.  Miracles await us. The Lord sees us thrust in our sickle in the offices, and then blesses us in the field.

So off we go.  That picture is in Presidente’s house.  And the asado barley.  And on Presidente balcony. Had the most amazing talk there with an Elder Jacobs.  He opened my mind.  
I love you all.
Elder Ostler