Saturday, January 28, 2012

I just bounce off the walls!

I am super sweaty right now . . . the chicos (young men) challenged us to another game of futbol this morning, said they'd show up at 9, game started at 10, and we HOSED them.  We  strategically locked them down on D.  They got so frustrated.  It was a wonderful game, Elder Lounsbury was unstoppable.  He had the coolest plays.  Even Mike would have agreed that they were ESPN top 10.
I just want you to know that I am doing so gooood.  I am doing things right, and really enjoying myself.  Alza tu corazon y regociate . . .dyc 313
I loved your email mom, and Amandas too.  She sounded so mature and patient in her words.  I love her so much!  You are wonderful Amanda!!!  And if she took those pictures in her pench . . . all I can say is wow.  She’s got a pad.  
Go Ben!  
I received a package this week, with a letter from Saydi, a tie, and brownies and jello.  Thanks!  You are all so nice to me.  No mother, I’m not extending my mission.  The Lord called me for 2 years.  

I hope Jefferson gets his head on strait.  I don't know if I’ll play basketball when I get home, I love futbol so much right now!  
I loved hearing about visiting teaching mom.  I hope Sister Greens family is alright.

I liked the Chicago story.  Don't burn to much mom!  You got 2 months, and then Amanda’s back . .. thats crazy to me.  Please record her homecoming talk.  But really, she sounds like she’s doing so good.  She inspires me.  

I loved Brennen’s story.  It was great!  
Its finally hit Moon that I’m gone.  He always has had a carefree attitude.  But now I see the stress slowly rising.  He’s partially in charge of next Tuesday.  There will be at least 4 trips to the airport made, maybe 5.  We send away 10 and receive 16, and all the flights are at different times.  So it’s his first logistical opportunity that I’m not there for.   Well I will be there, i just haven't been here to plan it.  
I love to hear about your growth in prayer mom.  I have grown a lot too.  Every night I pray that hearts will be softened and that we can find people to teach who are ready.
(note> in Uspallata a man we found has a date to get married to his member wife, and he’s getting baptized the next day.  In February) I have recently been really praying for my new area, although I still don’t know where the Lord is sending me.
Funny you’d say about stepping out in front o busses . .  I’ve almost done that a time or two!  My comps have saved my butt throughout my mission when it comes to not dying in the street.  
Well there, consider the email responded too.
How’s Sweet Saydi!  I am grateful to have a little baby sister like her. And she challenged me to a half marathon in her letter.  BRING IT ON.
I absolutely love reading Harrison's hand written letters. He’s such a good kid.  I hope he’s enjoying his life, because it’s never going to be like that again.  We are always changing, everything always changes.  Especially when your 17 years old.  I love you Harrison.
I got letters form the Ostler Boys this week, and they were wonderful. One clear message was that everybody is excited for Lacrosse!  Especially you Benson and Wilson.  Jefferson when you said draw a charge, I didn’t know what you meant.  My brain had to work for a minute to remember what that is.
And I did receive the DHL package, with the ABC attribute letters.  I loved them!  Such an amazing family.  I love teaching the Argentines about Eternal Families.  I wouldn't want to spend the eternities with anyone else.  My family is the best.  
Thank you Grandpa and Grammie Skinner for the constant flow of letters.  Recently they both have been very spiritual.  It’s great! Grammie, I’ve masted the technique of reading the beautiful cursive you write to me it.  And Grandpa had me laughing with his letter with spanish words in it!  No Grandpa, we never eat fish.  You can buy it, but you do knowing that it has been on a truck for at least 24 hours, maybe or maybe not refrigerated.  And we eat a lot of pollo her.  
And AMY.  What would we do without her mom?  Isn't she just a ray of sunshine?  I love her life of quite obedience, her faithfulness.  I love you Amy, and all your letters to me!  But you will have to explain to me what a crazin is, because I forgot.  And I’ll let you have a chance at helping me like dogs again.  And I accept your invitation to Sunday dinner.  Yipee!!
Thank you Sister Wrendie for your letter, and for the scouts.  Tell them all that I like Argentina, and it’s fun.  They all asked me that.  And that I like my companion too.
Thank you McAlister family for your love and support.  Me and the Elders in my pench loved the Chewy bars you sent!  And I loved the letters.  Thank you.
I also got a letter form the Harrison Family.  I tired so hard to remember them.  But I don’t think I can.  I do have a vague memory of playing starwars in someones back yard in Birdhill many years ago.. .. but other than that, nope.  But thank you for writing to me Harrison Family!  Keep my brothers in line!!
I also got a letter from Laurel.  It was good, thanks Laurel!  
Translate:  for example over the past weeks this is what I can remember.  I translated between Elder Packer and President on the topic of importation of water filters.  And for Sister Packer and a ward member on the topic of porcelain pottery.  And I translate for President now and then.  For BYU, and for calling stake presidents.  I get to call them.  
Its melon season here!  Fruit is in full swing!  I love it, I hope my next area is loaded with grapes!  But the melon . . . nothing beats it.  It’s white on the outside and green and white on the inside.  It is SO GOOD!  I bought 3 last nigh for 10 pesos total.  I ate one for breakfast.  
I have a friend in the mission, Elder Galdo.  He’s from Buenos Aires and I met him in Villa Mercedes when I was in Daract.  He is so awesome.  Well, we talked recently and it turns out that one of his best friends from home is ZL companions with a certain Elder Hare in a certain Bahia Blanca Mission.  COOL!
I have learned a lot about leadership recently.  Im getting better at it, but that doesn’t come with a lot of failures!!!  Failing in life is part of the program.  We just got to get back up and keep going! 
Boys, I share this with you.  On Sunday 1 minute before church was supposed to start, they called me up the stand and sat me down at the piano.  I was the ward pianist.  And then the primary teachers asked me to play for primary, it was super fun.  But just please please keep being consistent in your practice of the piano.  Youwillneverregretit. And you can be much better prepared than I am.  Don’t think I’m crazy, just do it.  Right Ben?  Just do it. 
On Monday I arrived to Malargue.  On Friday I came back.  They were 4 wonderful days!  Elder Lounsbury and I worked with Elder Caro (8 transfers(and Elder Myers(3 transfers).  We worked it hard, working through the siesta.  On Tuesday with Elder Caro, we entered 9 houses!  Teaching all day long, and when 9:30 came, I was done, just dead tired.
For me it was a great week of training and helping these Elders.  They are excellent missionaries, working to the best of their abilities.  It was wonderful to help them, because they wanted to learn and improve.  I don’t think I’ve had a week in my life where my personality has been funner.  I realized how extroverted I am.  I just bounce off the walls.
A teaching that I wasn’t expecting to give was about the area book, but by the end, we all understood the importacia de la carpeta del area.  Pretty cool.  It was almost a 6.5 hour bus ride there!  Pretty far away.
I have been thinking a lot about obedience lately . . . 
So, thats it.
I’m Out.  President has given me an idea of where I might go, but its not for sure.  He did let me know that I’m staying a Zone Leader.  He expects great things from me.  I talked with him for like 3 seconds last night, and its going to be weird not being his secretary.  Great Man.
I am truly sad to leave all of this.  The Avilas, o Hermana Avila. Elder Burr and Menocal, Elder Lounsbury and Elder Moon, Elder Cristinsen and Elder Falcon.  We have become a team.  There have always been little things and disagreaces, but we did good.  It’s been a magnificent experience!  I will never be the same.
And I’m the only one leaving.  Everyone Else stays.  
So there you have it.  A new chapter in my mission starts.  And it’s the last one.  I’m so excited.  Really, I am.  So yeah, I’m back to being a normal missionary, so send me an email in 9 days.  
One last thing, so finally the barrio Godoy Cruz centro is doing something!  They had consejo de barrio this week, and every member was there except one!!!!!  Insane!!!!  I can’t believe it.  I am super excited for them.  They are working a ful with the plan cinco cinco cinco, so thats great!  But man . .  right when I leave, I just can’t believe it.
So thats life.  I love you all.  
Elder Ostler

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I have given my heart to the Lord

Dear Family:

This is Elder Ostler am I am doing good.
I loved your email this week more than usual.  Thanks!
Que bueno que deje mis apuntes de que paso esta semana y la camera en la pench.  Darn.  I forgot to tell about a lesson we had last week with R**.  The 16 yr old, super intelligent.  We went to pick her up, and brought her to the oficeds and into the office of Hermana Packer.  We had the Best lesson with her, in English, and read form 2 nefi 31.  So spiritual, Sister Packer is Great.  She will get baptized. Last night there was a talent show, and she danced, like a ballroom, solo, long dress type, So Good!  It was amazing.  She was so happy. She has made great friends in the ward.
Cool Cool dad about being with los dingelberrys of AZ.  You’re a great dad, I love you and am thankful that I nací de buenos padres.  
Mom, you asked many a questions.  I think the dads 6 months comment was because he knows something you don't.
It is called a 6 week extension, ask Cheri C about it.  So 4 1/2 + 1 1/2 = 6.  
Just kiddin!
About the trip to Mendoza, I agree.  I would love to asistir church here with you.  And flying out Monday would put us home mid day on Tuesday.  That’d be 7 day stay.  I’m down.  Sounds like a plan.  Send us the flight numbers so Moon can put me on the same flights.

Yes, I will be disponible Tuesday morning, that’s when we’ll see each other, probably around 10ish.
If we do it like this, we will have plenty of time for all the adventures.  I am de acuerdo with the plan.

I am still shocked to re read that Quinnster y Mister Robertson received their Missionary call.  But good good for them.  They can only imagine what they are getting themselves into.
Mom, no one knows anything about transfers.  President doesn't even know, his work load is 6 floors above his head.
Love the PMG study comment again.!!
And I know you think it, but I’m not even close to Elder Reynolds.  I know you won’t believe it, but it’s the truth.  He had so much love, I think he had 2 hearts.  He will always live on.
It’s amazing that I’m at the point he was at when I met him (as far as time is concerned).  
Now its USPALLATA time.  The most beautiful place on planet earth. It had me in awe for 4 days.  I arrived Monday night, and returned Friday night. (Elder Lounsbury was with me until Jueves po la Mañana.)  I wrote a good journal entry about it, but as a summary . . .
It was beautiful, on one side were the pre cordilleras, snow capped. On the other side were the sickest other mountains.  I noticed many rock formations Randy teaches about.  Like sweet layers and things.  Tell him that, would ya?
It is a desert, just like the rest of the misión.  But the people of Uspallata have made it a forest.  The first day we got there we hiked 30 minutes up a mountain and saw everything, the whole city.  So much smaller that Daract.  Lets just say this, I saw so many amazing views this week.
We worked it hard.  I Love Elder Garcia y Cisneros.
I definitely understand why Braden said what he did about Elder Cisneros.  He’s good, I’m glad he’s on the mission.  It was fun talking about Elder Nelson.  He had great things to say about him.  Recto is the word he said over and over again to describe him.  And that he works and works and works.  And some times he would say, you are exactly like Elder Nelson.  I loved it.
In my opinion that area is the hardest in the mission.  Satan puts so many lies in the missionaries heads, and if they’re not strong, mental toughness, they believe them.
Petting horses, seeing the fresh insides of a dog, I still remember the sights of flower fields, horses, and the andes, the sky, the clean air, streams, strong sun, lots of UV.
I broke my walking record.  One day in a trio we walked 35 kilometros. It was amazing.  I love the work of the Lord.  Caminar por la causa de Cristo.
Elder Cisneros taught me how to make Mexican food, So Good!  His Spanish was crazy though.
This week I go to Malargue, 7 hours on a bus.  There is a little rama down there too.  I’m excited!  

It was wonderful to be out of the offices all week, it’s weird being at a computer again.  I loved not having keys in my pocket, no cell pone. Interesting how we always want what we don't have.
que mas quieren que les diga?
I was humbled by the spanish this week.  Those 2 talk so fast, and Elder Cisneros does NOT have an Argentine accent.  I did learn 15 new words, I counted.  And I memorized a simple scripture in spanish.
I am doing soo good.  Obedience is So Important.  I am living after the manner of happiness.  I am being obedient, but it is not the cram myself in the missionary mold for 2 years, por que eso no vale.  I have given my heart to the Lord.  I think more about my covenant I renew every Sunday.  I covenant to always remember Him.
We had Zone Conference on Monday, and it was Incredible.  Being taught by your mission president and his wife, nothing tops it.  He is changing the mission so much.  Or at least trying to.  So many missionaries are just . .  They are not all like Elder Reynolds lets just say.

So thats whats up.  I received a great email from Saydi this week.  I love that little sister of mine.
Amanda sounds like she struggles alot more than me.  I’ve learned to be more tranquilo, and not stress the small stuff.  And just remember, it’s all small stuff.
The Gospel is True, it indeed was restored through Joseph Smith. Believe what you want, but that’s the truth.
Elder Ostler
ps: I send lots of love to Benson and Wilson, the 2 capos of the Ostler Family.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Surprise!!  We arrived to Uspallata last night.  It is really small, I will be here till Friday.  I’m with Elder Lounsberry, but he returns to Mendoza Wednesday morning.
I think it’s smaller than Daract.  It is weird weird being here, but I have faith, hope, and trust in 2 key scriptures that I love.  Alma 13: 24, Alma 16: 16.  The Lord can prepare these people, there are people ready for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Just walking out of the pench this morning, we had 2 awesome contacts in the calle, and both of them opened the mouth with us!!!!  They were 2 small little miracles.
We are with Elder Garcia, Uruguay, and Elder Cisneros , , , , you probably recognized that name!  The Mexican, Braden’s comp.
We are doing ciber today, because they couldn't do it yesterday.
I’m doing way good.  It’s going to be the coolest week!!  We are in the mountains.  All alone.
I love you Family,  I’ll email you on Saturday.
Elder Ostler

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Lord is making an instrument of me in his hands.

Hey Family:
I loved so much your words to me.  loved to hear about the Priesthood blessing our house. I loved to hear about your love for the missionaries.  Don't let them leave.  I want for them to be there during my summer home.

So many members in this church, so many missionaries don't understand the atonement.  To a good degree, I feel like I do.  I honestly feel like the sons of Mosiah in 28 3 (I think) that I am desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for I cannot bear that Alma alguna pereciera.  Many times I still have to get over my natural desires (natural man) but I feel real progression in my life.  I really relate with Elder Burr, and we share ideas a lot.  He is an inspiration to me.  We had a date at subway today.  I refilled his water. O it’s so fun with him.
I’m barely understanding this Gospel.  I have the true desire to help people.  Attitude is so important.  What is my attitude?  To help, to serve, to be obedient? Or just mostly do those things, and only cuando me conviene.  I am learning great things while I’m away from home.  Know I’m in good hands mom.  Because the Lord is making an instrument of me in His hands.  Sweet huh?

There are so many people that don't know about the Gospel family, we got to help them!  Really, it’s urgent.
So sweet about Sister Swensen sharing the gospel.  Hey Harrison could you do a favor for me Sunday after Church.  Give those 2 Elders each a big squeeze hug for me.  That’s awesome and I send my felicidades.  Go baptize someone!  And what do you know . .  the baptism came through . . . . . . . a member.  Surprise surprise.
Alright, let me collect my thoughts and send you round 2.
This morning with Elder Burr and Elder Lounsbury, we ran a half marathon.  13.1 miles.  21 Kilometers.  It was insane!!!
We put the goal and accomplished the goal.  It was an amazing experience.
Time: 1:59.  We all finished within a minute of each other.  I got third place!

I am so proud of myself.  So contento y complacido.  A half marathon in under 2 hours, no walking.
To tell you the truth, it went fast.  When I finished, I hit the ground. The only thing I could think about the last 10 Kilómetros was food and water.  But mostly food.  So that’s cool, huh?
Some interesting week it was.  The most notable was teaching Christina, a mother of a girl who got baptized in the USA.  All her life God has been preparing her.  And I just know that she will take the plunge.  She already knows it’s true, even though she won’t admit it. Her sister is a really strong member and lives here.  So that is Super! Go Cristina!
Our focus is totally working with the members.  We visited them, both inactive and active, a lot this week.  We have 2 citas with families that constitute our 5 program.
It should be 555 but our ward is just like all the other wards.  I was finally sick of it, so we visited the RS president and she gave us 5 families.  We had great lessons with 3 of those families this week. Our bishop is great, he works, but he doesn't know how to use us.  I am so exited for a new ward.  I loved what you said about Brother N (not sure who he is).  That’s exactly what I’m going to do.  I’m going to go out swinging.  I am going to work my next barrio so much!!!!!  They’re going to be sick of me.  I’m so excited to go back normal.  I have big plans.  I think I will die a zl.  It will be fun to be a zl out of the offices.
So thats life!  
Elder Ostler

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Leave No Stone Unturned

Thank you so much for the words I just finished reading.  They were So Good! I loved the part about Elder Palmer.  About how they are never in the house.  And mother, I Love that you are studying preach my Gospel!! Ch 7 is wonderful, and Ch 6 los atributos semejantes a Cristo is a wonderful choice as well.  This week I thought about what is humility.
I loved how the boys applied themselves and practiced.  It’s tough to practice when you have a lot happening in life, huh Harrison.  So you little ones, be the dueno of your time and PRACTICE.  Jefferson, mom told me your doing good, keep it up!
Answer time. I am a special case dad, I am a solo ZL.  It is hard for me.  In our zone we have us 7 here in the oficies, and 2 areas way out in the middle of nowhere.  One is Uspallata, its the area at the foot of the mountains.  The other area is Malargue, way down south.
In fact, I get to travel to both of those areas to do divisions!  We are going to Uspallata in 7 days, and then Malargue the last week of the transfer.  I am excited!  Not just for the scenic part, but to further the Work of God in those areas lejanas, and to help the misioneros.
There are 2 districts in the office zone.  Elder Lounsberry is a DL.  It’s a small zone, and a very different one.  President Avila has a different plan then President Lindahl did.  President Lindahl was always calling new ZLs and dropping them.  When Avila arrived, he chose his 24 zone leaders, and has pretty much maintained them there until they die.  For example, 7 out of the 10 Elders that when home last transfer were zone leaders.  So this transfer there were changes in the Zone Leaders.  But it is very possible to drop out of a leadership position. It’s nothing bad or anything.
And YES I am so excited to get out of the offices.  I have learned and progressed a great deal here.  But it is time to go.  I have one more full week left.  I feel like I am working hard.  My body is used to the little bit of less sleep, and the schedule carry now.  But I am psyched to finish in the real campo.  NO air conditioned office, no other perks. Just working and preaching repentance.  O I really can’t wait!!  I feel like a schoolboy on Christmas Eve . . .  waiting for Christmas Day.
Go Kraymer! Umm I used to sunblock like twice.  Not saying that's what you should do!  And I used the bug spray like 0 times.  Mendoza has no bugs.  Just a couple cockroaches that I lit on fire this morning. And there are mosquitos at night in the summer.  I should use bug spray every nite.  And I would if my mother were close by to remind me.
The lineup
6:15-7:00 correr.  We set a goal and accomplished it this week.  We ran a lazy mans marathon in 5 days.  It was great!  We did 8K on 4 days and then more today.  It was a wonderful run this morning, a little through the city action.  
7:00-8:00 preparar para el dia.  Cool down, drink cold water, eat celestial cereal enhanced with raisins and corn flakes, shower, and get ready.
8:00-9:00 personal study.  I have my own desk and struggle to keep it organized.  This week my most notable pstudy was when I went through Alma 15 and loved it.  The story of Zeezrom is Awesome!  I love studying the Gospel.
9:00-10:00 is comp study.  We sing and pray and read out of el manuel misional.  We share what we learned in personal study and then plan the lessons we are going to teach.  If there is any plans to solidify, they are solidified.  Comp study in the offices sometimes is no good.  For example, one day I left the pench this week at 6:30 and yesterday we were out at 7:15. (both visa days) while I do personal study those days, comp study just doesn't happen.  
10:00-4:00 visas, travel, training Elder Moon, waiting in long lines at the bank, keeping President up to date on our visa waiters and other arriving missionaries, helping and dealing with missionaries . . son muchas cosas.  Elder Moon is taking it very well.  This week we had a breakthrough with renewing the 90 day visas.  There are 8 of them in our mission, and we got an inside help.  You could probably care less, but I was so excited about it!! 
4:00-9:00 we had some great days working this week!  We did lots of divisions.  I worked with Elder Lounsberry un solo dia.
We received a referencia from Neuquen last week.  Last night Elder Burr and I had a second lesson with her, she accepts our visits, but it is hard to see people harden their harts against God.
We also had a second lesson with a woman named Gladys, she is old (but hip) and super energetic. I loved being in her house and teaching her.  She read the second folleto, and she asked us about resurrection.  She loved it.  One of her daughters passed away.  When her husband walked in she hands him Alma 40 and says, you got to read this!  After he reads it for us she names her descese
The sweetest leccion of the week was last Sunday.  We were invited to Presidents house again for a New Years lunch.   On our way up the elevator the man running the security cameras and opening the gate asks us, you guys have a pamphlet or something to read?  Elder Esplin and I tell the man we would be right back down.  We saludar president and the crew, and then down we go, anxious of the contact we were about to have.  Little did we know we were about to walk into the sweetest lesson one situation ever!
This guy is So Prepared.  Super humble to learn about the Restored Gospel.  Elder Esplin and I were with him for about an hour.  We sat us down in the front area on couches and we started.  He was 23,  o and how can i explain it?  he loved it, he led into baptism and we certainly taught it to him.  Elder Esplin invited him to be baptized on the 28th of Enero, and after an easy duda, he accepted.  Then about 2 minutes later he let us know that his wife is 3 months pregnant, and they have a marriage date for the 27th!!!!!!  It was one of those moments,  just sweet as can be.  We passed his name and information to the corresponding Elders.
Some news on the reference that Juanita gave to us . .  that we passed to other Elders.  Well Juanita sister passed her baptism interview!  In fact we had an awesome lesson with Juanita this week. She is having some serious doubts about the decision she made to be baptized.  But we had a power lesson, and at the end we knelt down and Juanita prayed.  And then we stayed on our knees, for 15 minutes.  After the lesson Elder Burr and Lounsberry se burlaron de mí, because I fell asleep.  But it was a wonderful peace each of us felt, and Juanita was made better.  
On a different note our 4 top investigators are no where to be found.  It is seriously like they are gone, without a trace.  
So that’s life.
OO last Sunday I passed the sacrament to Maria Eugenia, sweet sweet moment, and then she gave her first talk.  It was one of the best talks I have ever heard in my life!  It touched me so much.  Or as they say here, me llegó.  It brought a tear to my eye.  It was a huge inspiration to keep working, to leave no stone unturned as dad told me.  
Speaking of zone leaders, this week we had consejo de lideres.  It was Incredible.  President taught us, the assistants taught, and Sister Avila taught.  It was wonderful.  President Avila is changing the mission a lot.  It was my third consejo and the best one ever.  Both Elder Huntington and Allen are still Zone leaders too.  Always fun to see and converse with them.  We hit 19 months this week.  Pretty pretty wild.  
I translated for president quite a few times this week.  
Mom, yup I talked with DHL this week.  I hope there’s gold in that package, bc it’s gunna cost a pretty penny!  But I’m excited, thanks!
This morning I headed the organization of operation clean pench.  We live in the hotel.  2 nites this week we had visitors, and I mean like one nite it was 9 and the other it was 12.  But right now the pench looks almost beautiful.  

SO cool about Amanda!!  Her and her training.  So that’s about all I got.  I’m going to have a great week.
Keep reading in PMG mom!  Keep practicing the piano boys!  Keep living in Hawaii Saydi!  
Love Elder Ostler