We finally got the church lawn tractor repaired. It's a good thing. Apparently a valve guide had slipped, which in turn bent a piston rod, which bent the other piston rod. So that explains the loss of power and the oil leak (which it's had since we got it). To top it off, in order for the valve guide to fit properly into the head you need to replace the head too. The estimate was $563. He hoped to have the parts Friday, and might possibly get it done by Saturday, or maybe not until the beginning of next week.
I'm glad I stopped in yesterday. They were supposed to work on it Tuesday, and I didn't hear anything. So I stopped Wednesday morning, and apparently he wrote my phone number down wrong. He even tried to look me up on the internet (and found my blog, which as you know is no longer public).
This is the Simplicity Contour lawn tractor, with a 20 hp Vanguard engine.