Monday, December 23, 2013

Celebrating Christmas for 10 months

Dear familia!


Hey, you guys are great, and I am so excited to talk to you all!  No, I don’t think it will make me homesick, actually, sorry if this hurts our feelings, if I didn’t get to talk to you, I would probably be fine . . jajaja.  I love you though, and stuff like that!

So, this week was an interesting one.  Last pday I could barely walk cause my foot was just so swollen, and turning purple.  So, my sweet, loving companion made me go to the doctor even though I kept saying I was fine and stuff.  So, on Tuesday we got to go back to proviencia!  That's where the temple is and I just love it there!  But, turns out I got an infection in my foot!  WHAT?  So, that was no fun.  But, the doc gave me some anti biotics, and some other pills ‘n stuff, and some cream to put on my foot four times a day.  After about 3 days of taking all the pills the purple on my foot started to fade, and we were back to walk at our normal pace.  My foot is fine now, I just have to keep taking my pills and putting that cream on it for another 3 weeks, but I still get to work, and I don’t have to stay in the apartment all day  .. so that's good!

Ward party with our investigators
This new sector is growing on me slowly, but sometimes I feel like my heart is still in lampa.  In the beginning of the mission I tried to take my heart and my mind out of Richland and put it in Chile.  Well, now I have both heart and mind in Chile, but they're just in the wrong part.  I don’t think they received the news about changes yet.  But I am really trying to love this ward and the people here, sometimes I just wish that I was in lampa, so that I could spend Christmas with Ca*.

The Elders had a baptism this week!  Well, basically they baptized an old old man, that can’t walk who is the father of a less active member.  The chapel is upstairs in our building, so you got to get like 4 guys to carry him up, then down, then back up again and then down. It wasn’t very organized the baptism service, and after the ordinance, the elders hadn’t planned anything to do while we waited for him to change (which took about 45 minutes) so Hermana Morely and I improvised.  We sang we played the piano, and we almost considered dancing, but then they finally carried him back up the stairs and we continued.

When we was baptized, his son was just holding him up in the water, cause he can’t stand. Then when they dunked him, he just sunk down to the bottom, and I was worried that he wasn’t gonna come back up.  There were a few people saying "Sacelo"  Which is: take him out!  But they eventually got him back out of the water, and Hermana Morely and I had a good laugh about it.

After the baptism (which was 2 hours!) Hermana Morely and I went to knock doors, and we found W*.  He is a young adult who believes in the concept of God, but not really in God. He is Agnostic, and I don’t really know what that means.  But he was very open to talk to us.  We mostly talked about what our beliefs pertaining to God are, and he shared with us his.  It was a very simple lesson, but Hermana Morely and I both commented on how we felt the spirit very strongly during the lesson. We went back to his house a few days later, and we taught him lesson one, the restoration and stuff like that.  In the morning during my personal study, I was thinking about him the whole time, worry about what we could teach him, but I kept coming back to the restoration.  So we taught it, and again, it was simple, and he understood very well.  De hecho, he had even read the pamphlet we left him, and said that he already believed in the apostasia, but he had never known what happened after. I don’t know why, but he is very interested in our message . . bueno, obviously I know why, but at the same time I don’t . . hope that makes sense.

At the end, we asked him to say the prayer, and his words almost brought tears to my eyes.  He talked to his father in heaven, like he was talking to an old friend.  He said that it was time for him to start strengthening his faith again, and to go forward with his dreams, and that everything in his life was finally falling into place.  Basically it was a great prayer.  The only down side is that he will be busy until January!  So we aren’t going to see him for about 2 weeks!  But, again, when we left, Hermana Morley and I talked about how strong the spirit had been during the prayer.  I have thought a lot about W*, and how there is something very special about him, and almost familiar.  Maybe he too is one of my premortal friends, in fact, as I typed that I felt it was true.  Yep, we were definitely buddies. I hope I can help him home.

So there is this member that always accompanies us to lessons.  A sweet widow in his middle age.  Well, on Saturday I found out that he is like a secret detective, and I totally freaked out!  His has like a badge and stuff.  Jajaja . . he is just great!

About Ma* and her son, I don’t know what we are going to do with them.  They haven't been coming to church, and I think we might have to drop them for a few weeks.  But before that we are going to give them a cat.  Every time we go to teach them we hear these mice running around behind their bookshelves.  It is slightly disturbing, so we decided we needed to find a cat for them.  Well, on Friday we had lunch with a sister who owns 11 cats, and one of them barfed up a hairball during lunch, and another one ate it . . yep, it was gross.  So on Sunday we asked her if we could borrow one of her cats ..  the situation was actually pretty hilarious.  She said yes. So for Christmas, we are giving them a cat with a bow around its neck.

About Christmas stuff, honestly, I will skype when Harrison can.  The members we are skyping with are super chill.  We are planning between 2 and 4 but whatever will do. Everyone feels so bad for us that we are so far away from home during Christmas time, and its funny.

Lately I have been thinking about Christmas, and realized that I don’t feel that usual Christmas cheer.  Then I thought, well, maybe its because there is no apple pie, there is no snow, there is no tree decorating, gift wrapping, sugar cookies, marshmallow gun wars, and no live nativity.  But, that’s not it.  It’s not that I don’t feel the Christmas cheer, but it is that I don’t feel a fault of Christmas.  Everyone always says that Christmas is about being with the family, well, I just feel like I have extended my family beyond a blood line, and will be celebrating this Christmas with my spiritual family.  If Christmas is a time to remember Christ and focus on others, then I have been celebrating Christmas for a little over 10 months now.  I love you all so much, but I don’t think I will miss you too much this Christmas, because I got my family down here in Chile, and we are just gonna party!

You all are the greatest, and I hope you enjoy your Christmas, and remember that even though we are far apart . . . well actually I don’t have anything mushy to say there . . so we are just going to end it . . love you!!
Con amor, 

Hermana Ostler

Today, I was able to 'chat' with Hermana Ostler following her email. Below is part of our conversation.

Hermana Ostler: I finished my email if you want of work out Christmas details . . Harrison is on right now

Mom: I'm reading the email. At the baptism of the old man part. Are you talking to Harrison? And just to make sure - it's 12:20 where you are, correct?

Hermana Ostler: No on the Harrison part, but he just sent an email to me, and yes on the time part.

Mom: You have a typo and I can't figure it out. At the end of your email you said you don't feel a fault of Christmas. Fault? 

Hermana Ostler: A lack, sorry, that is Spanish grammar.  The word in Spanish is falta, but we say lack, I forgot

Mom: ha ha ha ha ha - that is funny. Dad will get a kick out of it too.

Hermana Ostler: nope, no box, and I now have a total of 4 letters!  Oh  . Kevin wrote me . . tell him thanks . . I love his letter.  It made my day!

Mom: I hope the office delivers mail before Christmas. Cause I know you have more letters and I know the box is there. But if not, nothing I can do about it now. So, we'll plan on Skype around 3. But don't freak out if it's not right then. I still haven't heard from Harrison, even though you say he's on. Hopefully you can stick around your computer for a little longer.

About the foot - no wonder you've been exhausted and feeling worn down. An infection will do that to you. Do you want to tell me how bad it is? And what's the name of the anti biotic?

Hermana Ostler: Wait, back to the other message.  What is funny?  My Spanish grammar or the baptism?
And the infection, honestly I don’t know how bad it is, the doc said for me to take the pills until they are gone, and that will be 10 days.  I don’t think it was bad, and I’d only had symptoms of it for like2 days before I went to the doc.  So I’m fine, really.

Mom: The grammar is funny. It's funny that you mix the languages, and it's funny that the word that came out was 'fault.' Funny to me. What's the name of the pill?

Hermana Ostler: No idea, I tell you in two days.  Also, we do get mail on the day of Christmas.  Also I thought we used the word fault in that way.

Mom: Ahhhh - no. We don't use fault like that. We use fault like this. It's your fault that the glass broke because you dropped it. There is a fault line in California caused by an earthquake. Through no fault of your own, you are just beautiful.

Hermana Ostler:  Is there another way to spell fault? Like a different word with the same sound?

Mom: Fault in America means to blame or accuse. Or the earthquake thing. Sounds like fault in Chile means more like you're missing something. It's a mild term. But here, it's not so mild.

Hermana Ostler: Also, my comp is going to use my skype to call her family, so when you see that I am on, don’t call me until I send you a message, cause it might be her using my skype to talk to her family.

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