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.
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
laparoscopia, well thats obvious,
tomografia, CAT scan
resonsometing magentia, MRI
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