Saturday, November 19, 2011

The tender mercies of the Lord. . . even in legal work

Hello everyone!  How are you doing?¡
Warning, this email will come in various parts.
A wonderful heartfelt congratulation to Jefferson for hitting the curb while driving with dad, and for Making the Freshman Basketball Team!!  That is so sweet, and I am happy for you.  And speaking of basketball, look at you mom, in HI @ a DUKE game.  How cool is that.  A dream certainly coming true.  Still, nothing beats Butler in SLC, Winning!
Pday in the offices has been switched to Saturday now, it is just better like this.  Before what would happen was on pday we would get tied with tasks like random trips to the airport, or getting a license, or preparing for old missionaries leaving and the new ones coming. (For example on Monday we send 2 Elders home, and guess who organizes and makes that happen?) So pday on Saturday is the norm . . and now the only draw back is, that's the Baptism Day!
Today we are Baptizing, while that is a huge blessing, our pday is basically over, apart from email you.  On that second picture you’ll notice a water heater with 2 forks in it.  Yup, sometimes you have to do stuff like that.  We’re filling up the font right now and making all the other preparations.  It’s a good pday!
And this morning was wonderful because I headed up operation clean, in the pench and it worked.  The pench looks and smells so delightful.  2 of the floors even got mopped!  Then we readied ourselves and went to centro.  We all put money on our bus cards and then Elder Lounsbury and I went to a sweet restaurant!  It was a wonderful environment, in plain centro with a ton of people.  And there were some music gigs going on in the plaza.  We played the game, find the gringos! We´re not the only extranjeros in Argentina.
I only naturally thought of Randy when I took the picture.  (And hey Randy king of Antarctica, I am so taking you up on your offer to teach me stick shift).

This picture was taken during our weekly planning session last week. Wonderful times.  

And this one was on Thursday, when Elder Lounsberry hit 12 months. He loves snickers, so we celebrated by buying him a dozen snickers and 12 alfajores.  We presented it to him during a great weekly planning meeting.

See if this sounds familiar:  Elder Lounsbury comes from a family of 9. 5 brothers and 2 sisters.  He is the oldest boy and the first missionary of the family.  He went to BYU for 2 semesters.  He knows the song Machu Pichu by JV.  He is from the Northwest. His mom has a blog specifically for his mission.  His name is Lounsbury.  He is my companion.

Just a great Elder he is.  We are thoroughly enjoying our time together. His position in the offices is the Historian.  When the mission baptizes 100 in the month, he is kept pretty busy with managing los registros bautismales.  Do you even think where the information comes from when you print out a ward list?  He enters all that into the church system.
He also has learned how to program, and has made some stinking Awesome programs for us.  One is called Google Mendoza, and it is a life save.  It is an excel program that allows you to search missionaries, ZL, DL, trainers, and Zones so quickly and easily.  He is also finishing the mission store one too.  It is such an easier way to buy things from the mission, like a triple for an investigator, or hymn book, or the restoration dvd, and things like that.  It is a program that he has incorporated bar codes into, and it absolutely blows my mind.
Also, the way he jugars a la pelota is extraordinary.  He is the best jugador de futbol in the mission, hands down.
Wellp, lets go prepare for this serviciobautismal!  Carman is Amazing!!!
MOM:  Boys are still sleeping. Its 8 am here. Making breakfast (french toast) in a couple minutes. I'll try to pay attention to my email in case you send more - AND I KNOW YOU WILL! A baptism! The best thing ever. I can't wait to hear about it. I love you, and miss you. Oh and the date tomorrow is 11-20, 2011. Cool. Like last week we had 11-11-11.
Elder Ostler:  I cant believe its so early there!  The font is filling and I’m practiced to play the piano.  I'm doing the special musical numero. Not singing of course!

I didn't dar me cuenta that the whole family was going to HI.  Is it so fun going to the beach.  Somethinglikethatseems completely unreal to me at this point.  We saw a fighter jet fly overhead today, and it blew my mind, that things like that exist.
The experience of teaching and bringing the Spirit to Hermana Carmen has been wonderful! Also we are extremely dedicated with the area book, teaching records, and planning, which has proved to be so effective and wonderful.  Carmen is so sure of what she is going to do. She truly understands that it is a lifelong covenant with God.  She has friends in the church.  She has everything necessary to be a successful member of this Church, building on the basic foundation of a strong testimony and Desire.  She has truly repented of all her sins and has made it manifest before a representative of the Church.  She is Humble, and she wants to follow Jesus Christ.
Have you all gone to the beach?  Is it pretty warm there?
Yeah, cool thing about the dates mom.  And I loved that part where you explained about that one talk.  How we must teach people the Gospel so they can go to heaven with us.  And I loved loved Amanda’s commetarios towards her younger brothers, me included. She’s just great.  And I marvel at the many differences in our missions.  Like I’m living in a sweet pench with 6 awesome re contra amigos Elders, and she’s in the boonies of Chicago, and lives just the 2 of them.
A package in form of a box arrived on Tuesday, when mail was brought.  Thanks for all that!  So many ties, I don’t know what to do with them all!  My favorite tie on earth is the one I’m wearing right now.
I laughed at your visa questions mother.  Yes, it seems simple enough, renewing visas.  And keeping everybody current.  This country makes it difficult enough, and I think if I fully dedicated myself to doing just that, I would be so ahead of the game.  But being secretario includes so many other things.  And everyday there are fires to put out.  And a list a mile long of things to do, a big one of making sure everyones got the right flights, and keeping parents and SP happy.  Also, I am the manager and planner of the calendar. 
Also I am heading a project to have all long distance bus tickets purchased beforehand, by an amigo in Shrivadavia San Juan, Edwardo Quiroga, who has a bus line company.  This will make it so much easier for us because the pesos will never pass through the hands of the Elders, which then get reimbursed for later.
This week Elder Christensen and I went to the bank and I received 10.000 pesos in my name.  It is my second batch of big money, and I am responsible for every centado.  It is all used for legal purposes.  We have a huge HUGE safe in the offices, and that is where we store all the pesos and passports.
With just the four of us working here now (no one is training) it is nice. Elder Lounsberry (I type it like that because of phonetics, it sounds like that) and I are really good at leaving the offices at 4.  And getting there at 10.  2 of the days this week were spent doing police records and certificado de domicilio (which req 2 witness with a current DNI to be present).  Well I didn't realize that my 1 witnesses had the DNI vencido . . . And I was So Bummed, because I thought I would have to come back another day with those same Elders, (and the whole process is just a pain!)  I couldn’t talk my way out of this one, but the Lord provided.  In my moment of despair I look up and see a big smiling man trying  to shake my hand.  He says hello Elder.  I’m Hermano . . a member of the carodill a ward.  How can I help you?
A smile over took my face, ear to ear.  The tender mercies of the Lord, even in legal work.  I am so thankful that that Hermano was there that day and was willing to help us.
What else can I say?  Well, anticipate a quick foto send after the bautismo!  
Love you all!  Practice your piano.  The brother who practice piano the most this week is named, El Capo.  And whoever practices the least is called, La Gorda.
Bautizar!!!  2 pictures taken.  On the second one, we are with Elisa Vera.  The amiga fiel that has shared and shared the Gospel with Carmen.  And her daughter, florencia.  It was such a wonderful service.  After she was baptized, she reverently repeated over and over, halleluja!  hallelujah!

So Carmen was baptized.  It is just so wonderful.  Elder Lounsbury and I really got to know her.  We had daily contact.  And sometimes twice a day!  She received all the lessons, cumplired with every commitment, and OOOOOOOOOO it was SOOOO awesome.  To bring a soul to Christ.
Now, Florencia!
Today was the first time Elder Lounsberry got in the water.  I know he is just psyched!

After the baptism we all sat around the piano and it was very spiritual. Then we went and there was leftover cake from another activity, so we partook and then Elder Falcon and Elder Christensen came in, so all 6 of us missionaries sat around in a circle with Hermana Vera, Carmen and Florencia, and it was SO FUN!  It was so real, we talked about everything spiritual to super super funny.  And now Elder Burr, Menocal, Lounsberry and I just finished cleaning the church.  O boy, won’t even go into that tema.  But it was real good.
So, its pretty much time to fly.  
Thank you for your constant support and way to many packages.  I know you love me.  I can feel it all the way down here in ARG.  And thanks Mc Allister and Grammie and Grandpa Skinner for the love always.
Thank you for praying
Love Elder Ostler