First, I thank Grammie and Grandpa Skinner for feeding me a constant stream of handwritten letters. I love them!
And thank you McAlister Family for the package and letters!
It was a wonderful email from you that I read this morning, while doing tramites to enable Hermana Zepeda to return home.
You asked me to think of a Christmas Present, and so I did. When I get back home I want a pen. And a really nice one. Bet you didn't see that coming.
Please write me every Saturday for the next 3 months. That was when pday was. Today is definitely not pday, but President is giving us a second to write today anyway. So what do you want first. The area, or the offices?
I live 2 lives. And now working 100 percent, giving it all, applying everything Aidukaitis taught uS, I honestly live 2 completely opposite lives.
Lets start with the area:
Being with Elder Lounsberry is AMAZING. He has really turned up the heat and is working so good and really soaking in and applying the teachings from on high.
This week we planned for over 8 hours. Over 6 of them being planeamiento semanal. (like not goofing off planning either).
It was definitely something new, and definitely something difficult. We followed the 13 steps very detaildly. But only got to step 10! We didn't even finnish yet.
And it So Paid Off! Even though we only found 2 new investigators, 3 investigators came to church!!!
Adriana (her second attendance)
Carmen (getting baptized in 5 days, at 4:30 recien had a sweet lesson with her. And we invited a member and it was SO SWEET!)
Florencia (Carmens Daughter, she came to church because her work got delayed due to the rain!) Such an awesome blessing o the rain.
Those were the 3. Florencia stayed only for the 1st hour, then had to go work. The other 2 enjoyed all 3 hours.
O my gosh I am so anxious to tell you Everything, but we have to leave for a lesson in less than an hour.
Quickly: Carmen came back from a very spiritual trip to Chile (hometown) and the missionaries there were actually teaching her sobrino! Hmmm. Not a coincidence. She came back and now really has the ganas to obey and be baptized. Our plan with her is daily contact (obv) and involucraring all the members we can. Even ones we don't really know, like the woman that accompanied us today. She is so excited and content and ready.
Adriana is a just great. A little crazy. Ok alot crazy. We have had some great times with her. Like walking her dogs, then sitting on the grass on a beautiful afternoon and teaching lesson Restoration, and she really understood. So wonderful. She still says she’s not looking for a religion or the baptize herself. On Saturday we were invited and went with her in her car with a member to Potrerillos, a wonderful lake outside the city in the mountains. That was fun. She went from not wanting to go to church at all, then to committing only to come the second hour. Then on the fone Saturday nite, we convinced her to attend sacrament meting too because Gotmy, a youth she knows, was speaking. Then she was ushered into the 3rd hour and apparently Loved it.
We don't really know Florencia really well, except she was almost baptized 5 years ago. I think we can get her.
We also had 2 more people solidly committed to come. One was a Spaniard who talks to us in vosotros and uses all sorts of strange vocabulary. It was a miraculous find, and basically this man knows everything from nefi to moroni. And we put a fecha with him right there. We visited him in his house and I prestared him my watch so he can wake up for church, but because of the rain, he didn't come. That’s who we have a lesson with right now. Hope I get my watch back. He is so so so so ready. I hope he comes through with his end, because we are absolutely doing everything we can. We’ve gone by with a member twice.
The other was Virginia! I had a positive fone convosation with her. She asked me, who was baptized today? Nobody I say. O today was the day for me wasn't it. That was so good to hear. We have hope with her. And manso plans made. (2 lessons with member planned with her this week, and the bishop already went by)
I wish I could communicate what I have learned from Elder Aidukaitis. It changed my life. He taught us about knowing the beginning from the end. Sounds crazy right. But mom, where will you be on 05 de Junio 2012. Right? You will go to all lengths to get here, even if your first flight is cancelled, and you aren't refunded. Get it? You know the beginning from the end. At least in part. I studied in the scriptures about that frase and at least found 2 mentionings of it. It was so sweet.
He taught us about feeling every hour of our day with an commitment that will lead towards baptism. After pl semanal we are striving to have every hour of every day planned, in pencil, because a lot of it is going to change. And this week, we did just that. Everything is planned. Also, we don't knock doors. O sea, that’s not a planned activity. Like today we knocked 3 or 4 doors just in between apts, and walking back here, and were hosed on all of them.
I talked to the nicest man and his 2 young girls from Mexico today. People from other countries are so much nicer than Argentines.
Elder Aidukaitis taught us about not being a victim of circumstance. I don't know how to explain this in writing in such a short space of time. The teaching I received from him would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the business world to receive. It is gold to us, and we are applying it all we can. And it is working. Por lo menos, I've never seen Elder Lounsberry so on fire. We are doing great together. And we are going to baptize.
An intense week in the offices has started for me. I think other than writing this message to you, I've been in my chair for honestly half hour today. I had to do a bunch of business to get Hermana Zepeda out of the country (for reasons of health). She entered with a tourist visa of 90 days and it was never renewed. And the lines were so long to day.
Because on Friday we had viento sonda. A super super strong wind Mendoza and SJ receive a few times a year and literally knock over trees. It was super strong, and there is still mess everywhere. Huge tree trunks line the roads, and it did havoc on the horrible Mendocino wiring. After the wind came the rain. I have never seen rain like this here. It rained for 48 hours straight. And the lightning one night rumbled the pench. So cool. We loved it. And I found something out. . . my shoes aren't waterproof anymore!
Other things I am doing this week mostly include making steps to renew the so many visas that are expired. When a 1 year visa expires, nothing really happens. The people at migraciones don't really care. Just that one time or another someone has to renew it. And the church wants it done pronto!
So this week I am doing the tramites where the Elder has to actually be present. That complicates things. In 10 minutes a bus leaves from SJ and I am doing police record and address changes with 6 elders. Same thing next Tuesday. Then 2 other days this week I am doing the same thing with local elders. Sometimes its just such a headache and I don't like it. I can’t wait till I'm a full time missionary again. When I am, in 3 months, I am going to kill it.
The sun never sits on righteous missionaries testifying of Jesus Christ. When I have all hours of the day to preach teach and baptize. O I have just learned so much and am so excited. As for now, Elder Lounsberry and I are doing the best we can with what we got.
Thanks for asking dad. Maria Santos went back to Peru, and Maria Eugenia was at all 3 hours of church this week. She is AMAZING. So special and a powerful story to tell.
On Sunday I found out I was giving a talk during prelude music (that I was playing)(on a sweet not keyboard), so that was fun. igual, I loved it. And I played piano, because the normal lady was absent. There was not many people on church at Sunday, due to the rain. And the church here is NOTHING like the states. Rain makes people question their commitment.
But we as a church here in Argentina is really young, and it will grow and get better. We will have a temple here.
Last week we did an intense cleanage of the pench. It was wonderful.
Elder Burr and I and Elder Falcon still run. It’s always fun. This morning was wonderful infact.
Well I have to go. So much to do. Every night we have planned to all up to 6 different members and investigators.
The mission is going So Fast, but I continue to enjoy every step. I am doing amazing at the start of this transfer.
It was interesting to read how Amanda said how I have changed. I don’t feel that way at all.
I was so happy to read Harrison that those finger tips of yours were on the ivory this week. YOU WILL NEVER REGRET THAT: LIVE THROUGH THE PAIN OF PRACTICING.
Love Elder Ostler
I love the storys of dad going to 6am ward council mtng. Our ward hasn't had a ward council in over a year! Imaginese!
You are a wonderful father. I still think of you in Japan a lot.
If anyone finds my future wife, tell her to wait for me.
Love Elder Ostler