Saturday, December 31, 2011

I will hold nothing back

Dear Family:

I had a good week.  Last night we did divisions with Elder Menocal, and it was great.  We taught a great man in his Kiosco, and when we spoke to him, taught him, and promised him he really seemed to change and listen.  Last night the 2 of us invited so many people to come unto Christ, we worked with all our strength.  We planed well before, and had a great success.  The measure of success comes from within.
We also talked with a nuts guy, he has the most whacked almost Korihor doctrine I can ever remember hearing.  This guy believed that no matter what you do, or how bad it is, every single soul will be given mercy and be saved by the grace of Christ en el postrer dia. He completely ignored the points of Repentance, and obsolited our personal responsibility.  At one point Elder Menocal said to him, that is the biggest lie I have ever heard!  It was awesome, but this guy hasn’t accepted the preparing God has done to him. (and by the way mom and dad I love all the encouragement and counsel you give me!  I’m certainly not the perfect missionary, and I love the love and support you send me, and have always sent me through everyone of these months.  I thank you profoundly, from the bottom of my heart.  I love you two.  Stay strong together.)
I love the mission because it opens your eyes to the world.  You see how crazy it is, how beautiful it is.  How crazy some people are, how LOST!  And how awesome some people are, how INCREDIBLE. Being in a class room at BYU or at 72606 E 260 PRNE just doesn’t get you this.  (you need to go somewhere like Chicago, or Hawaii to get some life experience:))  I am so thankful for the mission.  It has saved my life.  I was a good kid before the mission, but being here and living this has put me on a higher plane.  It was nothing automatic, and in the end I had to chose to change, and to walk closer to my Saviour. 
Training Elder Moon again is fun.  But this time I am teaching him how to run the mission, I mean be the mission secretary.  He is doing great, and has a great attitude like always.  We are in a 3 some with Elder Lounsberry, and things are good with us three.  Las Oficinas have been amazing for all of us.  One thing that we have all changed in is living the Word of Wisdom.  We eat healthy and excersize good. Real good.
Today was the day we have been training for.  Lounsbury, Burr y yo. For weeks now we have had our eyes on the 13K.  Lets tell some of the story with pictures.

We were out the door at 6:45.  Do you like me running gear.  I almost pull it off like Braden did.  (and on the run we found many many pibes y chavónes who leaving the party from last night, 99 percent drunk and just a lot of commandments broken.  The chavón in the background on that first picture is a perfect example.) That next picture is of 3 heroes, about to conquer the world, and their goals.
We took the bus to the plaza independencia, and then walked a kilometer up to the gates of the parque San Martin.  It’s a huge park, very well maintained.
We stretched it out, sang some pump up music, Elder Lounsberry offered a prayer, and we were off.  It was so beautiful.  We were very well prepared, and our bodies preformed amazingly.   Elder Burr had no ankle problems which was wonderful.  And in the end we did it.  We conquered.  We ran a 13 K (it was exactly 8 miles and a quarter).  Our time was 76 minutes and some seconds I was 20 seconds behind Lounsberry with 1 hour 16 minutes and 58 seconds.  We averaged a 9.2 minute mile time.  I am very very proud of myself.  I ran a 13 K today.
Before the mission I hated running, now I love it.  It helps a lot to have 2 fearless warriors al lado.
A detail worth mentioning is the last 2 miles were up hill.  And the last kilometer about was climbing cerro de la Gloria.  It is very famous, seeing it is on every 5 peso billete in Argentina.  At times it was so steep, then it would switch to stairs.  It was killer!  But we did it and we are all contentisimo.  As I type our brains our churning, turning our desires into goals.  We are planning something fantastic.  Something I would have never dreamed of doing.
I am so thankful for mortality.  I am so thankful for this body.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be active and do sweet feats.  Not all could have done what we did today (some because of their own poor choices, but many others because the fall of Adam has placed limitations on their bodies).
When we hit the top, completely dead, Elder Menocal and Moon were there with the camera.  And the champions were photographed.

To skypellegared to me finally.  Thanks for being the best parents I have ever had.
I did feel very funny on skype.  My favorite was when I tapped the micrófono to see if was still working.  Psyche!  I enjoyed myself so much, and am so grateful for Presidents help en deciding to skype and not just call.
Some more pictures.  The pen ultimo is the actul cerro de la gloria. We ran just over 12 kilometers to face that.

It took psyching out in the brain and just will power to climb it without walking.

After the run we took a bus home.  My skinny little legs were on display, and there were a couple viewers.  We drank water and lots of cepita and baggio juice and then showered.  Both Elder Burr and I fell asleep during personal study (Burr was honest and slept at his desk, but after 20 minutes I threw in the towel and climbed in bed!) then we went to vea and did compras and them came here and, as you see in the last picture, cooked more noodles!  It’s our 3rd lunch of noodles in 3 days.  We are noodle pros.  But, when Sister Avila cooked for us yesterday,the food automatically tasted way better.

And I decided that because it’s pday I’d take my tie off.
We received a formal invite to pass new years eve with President Avila and his rockstar family.  So at 7 we are going over there with the Packers.  We have special permission to stay out late.  We have to be back at 11:45.  Something tells me president will let us stay to watch the fireworks form his 6th story balcony.  We’ll see.
Then tomorrow we are encouraged to stay in the pench, unless there is a cita fija.  
So it’s new years eve.  Sweet!!  I have some sick new years resolutions.  I’m not going to be part of the new years crowd in the gym, because we’ve already started conquering some of our goals. Like journal every day, and well we just ran a 13 K, that counts for something.  Commitment.  Diligence.  Desire.  Goals.  
I have learned much about the 4 above mentioned words.  
Hey Harrison, so proud of you for practicing the piano this week.  I don’t require perfection from you.  I just want you to give your best.  I set a sweet goal this morning with respect to those ivory keys.  Do the same.
And Jesh Jefferson, Get your mouth out of the way!  Sounds like owning and also getting owned on the hard wood court!  I played basketball the other day and did horrible.
Amanda, thanks for what you said about acting on inspiration. Perfect!  Love you miss cowgirl who still says ya´ll.
The Christmas party was this week.  We as an office crew had a big part in that.  It was super fun.  Part of it was a free time sports.  I felt like I was back at BYU, or the MTC, because we played soccer against so many people and our team ROCKED:  Lounsberry, Esplin, me . . . forget about it.
Then over 25 of us walked up the parque San Martina and played football.  It was so fun!  So different from normal life.
I also saw Edwardo Quiroga and got a letter from Cristian F.
Also, some time ago we received permission, Elder Hyer and I, and we went back to Rivadavia!!!  It was INSANE!  We ate lunch with Rosa and her familia, (2 of her kids have got dunked since we’ve been there (one used to teach catholic school!)) it was so so so so so so so so sweet.  We didn’t have time to go the Jorge and Rita, and plus I've called them countless times, but no da.  Number doesn't work.  But it was sweet, and Elder Hyer is a cool Elder.  
About BYU living, yeah just put me somewhere.  Follow the spirit,  find some place decently close to campus, and cheap.  Maybe a place surrounded by lots of single girls!  ha!  Am I burning?
So that is all.  Good bye 2011, my full year as a missionary.  Hello 2012.  I still can’t believe I ran a 13K.
I encourage all of you to obey all of the commandments of God.  It’s the best way to live.
Elder Ostler