Monday, March 5, 2012

It's getting hard to breathe!

Well here we are.  Another ciber session!!  It was great reading everything.
I was amazed at the number dad put up on the screen 1900 names into family search!  
Hey, I got my temple recommend renewed this week too!  I did it after consejo, 2 days before it expired.  So my life long goal is to always have my temple recommend vigente.  And I’m going to do it!  It was a super cool 8 minute interview with President Avila, and it will be my only temple recommend in Spanish.  O yay!
O dang, Laurel is about to become a full time misionera.  Good sister missionaries are exactly what missions need.  The 2 in our zone, Hermana Call and Hermana Thatcher are the gem of the zone.  They bring a level of maturity and understanding.
Embarassing moment of the transfer (from 2 weeks ago).  About 2 weeks before I got to SJ, the sisters had made the LZ a cake.  The tupper was still in the pench when I got here.  So I decided to make return them the tupper, full of brownies. One morning I woke up and my comp was sick, so for comp study I made brownies by myself.  It was tough, because the ovens aren’t so good here.  They were great and I gave some to our neighbors too.
That very day was a district meeting, and Elder Frost and I were going to be in District with the Hermanas.  So I just figures, Ahh, I’ll give them the tupper back then. Everything went good.
That day I did intercambios with Elder Dyer, the DL of the Hermanas.  That night, as we verified with them, they thanked me for the brownies etc and then Sister Thatcher asks, Elder Ostler, did you bake us brownies on valentines day on purpose??  I told her I didn’t even realize it was Valentines day!  (they don’t celebrate it here) I had totally forgotten.  On the other side of the fone they just waited.  I finally said, alright sisters, this is really awkward!  They just laughed and said, good!  That was the point!
They baptized a lady in a wheel chair this week - literally, they put the wheel chair in the font and under she went!
Please update me on Harrison's leg. I think about him a lot.  Today I read a letter from the family.  And Harrison is such dapper kid!  A superstar. Bytheway it was the TV smashing lettler.  I’m really excited to reunite with all my brothers again.
Wilson, it surprised me the way you acted last Sunday when it was your turn to rinse and load - again!  Just know this - they don’t have dishwashers in Argentina.  To wash dishes, you use your hands, and a sponge.  I have learned many skills on the mission, that is one.  
What you said about how all of us kids are strong willed is really true. I have thought much about that in these last months.  I have realized who I am, and how driven I am. Even more now than when I started my mission.  Driven to improve, accomplish, and achieve.  I love that about me, but I must learn to control it better.  I thank you for your counsel Amanda and Mom.  I need it.  
The mission is like a mountain.  You climb it.  What I realized this week is that the closer I get to the top, the thinner the air gets.  Into thin air.  It’s getting hard to breathe! 

On Saturday I had a Gethsemane moment, or like Gethsemane 3 hours.  The Lord blessed us so much that night though, because we had 6 committed to church, and 4 came!!  And then a family of 3 went to another ward!  So we could say, we had 7 in church!
R** R** came, awesome. Her grandson is on a mission from our barrio.
And J** (who randomly showed up only after one invite last week) came again.  Then, a teacher brought a friend!  So don’t be scared to bring a friend to church boys.  Even if they come in jeans and a t shirt, and sit by a tall greengo missionary because you are passing the sacrament!
Another lady we taught this week, actually she’s 21, we introduced to the Gospel by a 7 year old kid, and his 11 year old friend.  She was their chaperone on their bus to summer school.  They had no fear in sharing the Gospel with her, and then the parents gave us the reference.  We took our ward mission leader and taught her the restoration this week.  It was awesome.  The difficult part is she lives 10 steps outside of our area.  Thus is the mission.  But at the same time we are constantly receiving names and references from other missionaries.

This week we went over to an apartment with the Sisters. My comp annointed, and then I gave L** a blessing.  It was my most sacred experience of the week.  Absolutely an incredible moment.
So thats 3 weeks and 3 blessings - about.  I have found myself on my knees more, praying that God will fulfill and honor blessings that I have given.  Just writing this reminds me that I need to do this again tonight.  
This week I did Exchanges with Elder Aguirre. It’s all in my journal, but I had some crazy experiences.  Like leaving the pench with Elder Frost at 10pm to go on an adventure, ending in Mendoza!  But don’t worry, I’m back in San Juan.  And it’s still hot.
For Pday we played basketball.  I played hard.  Then Me and Elder Baldwin (a super tall new missionary) went running.
Today, we played Basketball!!!!  It was awesome!

And one day an amazing sister gave us a vianda (a lunch you take to the pench, like drive thru) and it was the most delicious food of the month.  It still amazes me.  Just meat balls and potatoes and vegetables, and of course bread. 
Me and Elder Frost Eating the Albondigas
Mom, it was amazing with Elder Arrua and especially Elder Huntington in the pench last week.  He has changed so much.  Both him and Elder Allen are awesome.  I said goodbye to Elder Arrua, he goes home next week.
Consejo was also very very good.  The environment is incredible.  A mission President, Pte Avila and his wife, Hna Avila.  24 of the finest missionaries of the mission mendoza sharing a spiritual learning experience.  I love the notes I have from all my consejos.  
Last night we had a meeting with our 3 awesome district leaders.  The Stake President happened to be there with time on his hands, and so the first half hour we sat down and he taught us, telling us stories and teaching us about the priesthood. He’s a young guy, 35 maybe, and just a powerhouse.  He opened our minds!
I love when my mind gets opened.  
More about the area.  We have lunch 5 times a week, sometimes 6. The bishops wife washes the clothes, she is an angel.  Last night when we picked up the clothes we pulled out the him book and sang her I’ll go where you want me to go.  Very cool.

The hardest part is our area is huge.  One hour walking from top to bottom.  A city area, with rich and poor parts.  It is hard because we are teaching people in all the different parts.  A lot of walking.  And there are many busses that go through the area, just not one that goes from the top to the bottom.  It’s hard to explain, but its a difficult situation.  
Hardly any of the people baptized in the last 2 years are attending church.  It is super sad.  But I will focus on positive thoughts this week, be happy, and look to use my priesthood.  The SP really opened my mind.  I got to remember, I’m not going to be a full time missionary for ever, but sometimes it seems like it.
Well, have a good one.
Elder Ostler