Monday, February 6, 2012

I am the oldest one in the zone!

well well well
I just chatted with Amanda!!! How cool is that. 

It was a great email you sent me by the way.  It was one of those where my face kept getting closer to the screen.  That hasn’t happened in a long time!  But I’ve really been looking forward to this, its been awhile.
The next best 2 paragraphs were about Harrison, and then about Dad and Zeezrom.  So Cool!  And so sweet that Harrison is an awesome kid, and that the ladies love him.  That always makes life fun!
So going to my note card . .
The Packers (senior couple) when home, I got really close to them in the offices, and it was my last time in the airport.  But at the start of the year our mission received a new couple, the Ence.  So awesome.  I was with them for 3 weeks.  Except I was in Mal and Usp.  The last week in the offices was hard.  I was just like a floater.  I didn’t travel til after consejo de liderazgo which was on Jueves.
Speaking of Consejo, it was INCREDIBLE.  President Avila is changing the mission SO MUCH!  I haven’t really told you about them . . .  but I’m sure I will.  Mostly it’s 555, recent converts, getting manso referencias from those 2 groups, and then BAPTIZING.
Also, we don't do language study in the siesta.  We follow the manual misional and PME, and right after lunch at 2:30, we hit the streets!  And District meetings are no longer on Monday evening.
So where am I?  Hmm where could I be.  Where is Elder Ostler? 

Well, I’ll tell you this much, I am a zone leader.  I am in SAN JUAN!  Que tal eh? 
There are 2 zonas in San Juan.  Chimbas and San Juan.  Next door neighbors we are. 
My area is called Libertador and my companions name is Elder Frost, from Texas.  He has 2 less than me, and only 6 weeks in the area.
You know what I just realized, I’m the oldest one in the zone.  That’s nuts.  We have 9 compañerisoms, 8 of Elders and a pair of Hermanas.  It’s my fist time being leadership over Sisters. I’m excited to treat them right, just like I would my own Sister Ostler.  They are the only sisters in San Juan, and one of them is the best missionary in the mission.
San Juan is HOT:  it’s playing in and around the 100 mark.  I have never dranken more water in my life.  On Saturday during the siesta I just looked for sings of life in the houses to ask for water.  I think in an hour I got water from 3 different houses.
We live in a 2 man pench with Elder Frost, and its pretty nice.  We cleaned it up good, it still lacks a little bit.  I organized the dishes this morning.
When Amanda just emailed me back she send me priceless words, words of advice of being a zone leader.
I’ve never been a real zone leader before.  My comp is also a zone leader, which is super nice.  One day I spent all day worrying about the #s and the monthly baptismal goal and all the problems in the zone and problems with the Elders la la la la la la and it was just no good.  And on top of that, the stake is reorganizing many of the ward boundaries, which affects our missionaries . . .  and right now there are 2 floating missionaries with out an area, get it?  But I need not worry about that!  It will get me no where!  Ahh, what Amanda said was so valious I’m going to show you it.
“Being with Sister Fossett is awesome!  I love it!  And advice for you as a zl.. DON'T FOCUS ON NUMBERS!  FOCUS ON YOUR MISSIONARIES AND THEIR NEEDS.  Even if they are doing bad, focus on what they're doing good, and help them improve in a loving way.  We've had some problems here with that.  That's one of the things that had me stressing and worrying.  Have a great week!  Love you!”

She is such a cappa.  I’m going to do just that.  And I don’t even need worry about the numbers, because yesterday San Juan zone had 4 confirmations.
I’m more focused on success in my area.  Nobody was baptized last transfer, and most of the people baptized in the last 2 years are inactive.
I know there are people though. This is my last area, and I’m going to continue doing things right.  However, I need to intensify my prayers and intensify the search and work.  No stone unturned, right mom?  I know my area is a gold mine.  At least a gold mine of spiritual experiences.  I want to look back on this area Libertador and think those 2 words, Spiritual experiences.  And one more word.  FUN:  Tell Amanda I love her letters, I read just a smidge about them sitting in the car to descansar and how she was focused on enjoying her time, having fun.
I am going to pray, look, and work for miracles.  Spiritual experiences. 
We have one good person:  N**.  She is a mother they have been teaching quite a bit.  On Saturday we passed by and she accepted a fecha for the 18th.  She is so cool!  She is so excited about the Gospel and loves it!  So thats awesome!
Since I got to the area on Thursday night (2 hour bus ride from la capital) I have only had 3 days to work in the area.  And half of one was spent unpacking and cleaning.  But in those 3 days I have started some manso trust gaining with the members.  Its just great.  With my personality, it usually goes quite well.  (O this one time during lunch I asked if the baby was the mothers grandkid!  I don’t think she like that, but I saved my self later and at the end stood up and started washing the dishes before the wife took the sponge out of my hand.  Then at the end of the visit, the mom made some fun comment about how we were going to be friends etc.)
The ward is awesome!  With asistencia por medio of 100, I mean come on!  It’s great!  I have met 2 hermans in the presidencia de la sociedad de socorro and they are excellent!  I’m excited to coordinar nuestors labores con los suyos and work together!
I just want to tell you about all the cool people I’ve met here.  We’ve already went out with a kid about to go on a missino.  He is so awesome.
On Sunday we had an asado with a family who always feeds the missionaries and the mother taught me a wonderful lesson, about having fun experiences, and not worry so much about the 100 percent obedience if you aren’t having any fun.  I really needed that.  Then with that fresh in mind, as we were walking out of church, we met a senior couple with placs on!  They are from San Juan and are family history missionaries.  We meet in the stake center, and that is where the family history center is.  Anyway, it was an amazing experience we had.  We sat down and talked for almost 20 minutes.  By the end the woman was crying and the spirit was so strong.  It was nothing spectacular, just a cool spiritual experience that makes it easier to find joy in the journey.  They are the familia Tejeda.  He is an x stake president.  They told me about their mission.
Mine is to preach and teach to living people, but Elder Tejeda said that theirs is to take the Gospel to the dead.  And how equally important both missions are.  The lesson really hit me.  I told them about Saydi, and her past calling of family history coordinator.  en fin, it was a super cool experience.  I have ganas to do family history work after the mission.

Elder Tejada you could tell knew a ton.  Just a super smart man.  He said the phrase the spirit of Elija like 5 times and I loved it.  Together I presented an idea of how we can help get the members more interesting and doing their family history - so the center is not so deserted like it has been.
Well, we better be off!  We played soccer this morning, it was super hot, super sweaty, and I did amazing.  Tell this to Ben.  I had no technical skill or ball handling, but I got in there and got the job done.  My ability to trap the ball coming in off a lob or high kick was incredible.  Our team owned.
I love you family and am thankful for all you do and every prayer you utter. 
I will succeed in these last 4 months of my mission.  And I owe it all to 2 people called Merlin and Delene.  I love you parents!
Love your son, Elder Ostler