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