Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm in Chicago!

Hi family,
I'm in Chicago, gave away my first Book of Mormon, and two pass along cards.  We went on the l-train and a black guy sat behind me, and so I started to talk to him, and he seemed interested in the church, or maybe he was just being polite.  But he had to get off, so he asked if I had a card or something.  I gave him the BOM, and the pass along card.  Then Sister Woodward gave a pass along card to this other guy, black as well, and then him and I started to talk, and he talked on and on about his family.  So I gave him the little eternal families low down.  Elder Gage...i think, "interviewed" me while we were walking in Chicago.  They say they're going to send some stuff to you.  Then on another train I talked to a lady about books and movies, and gave her a card.  I don't have long to type, so that's why I'm not going into much detail.  But the pizza wasn't amazing.  I thought it was going to be soooooo good, but it was okay.  Sister Doll's dinner was WAY better.  Best I've had for a long time.  There were seven sisters in one room, and it was pretty fun.  Chicago is so pretty, we went to downtown Chicago and looked around and stuff.  Yeah, so pretty.

Today we got our companions and mine is Sister Chen.  She's from Taiwan, and English is her second language.  She's been out three months, and went to the MTC for two months to learn English and how to teach.  She's super nice, but it's so hard to understand her sometimes, and to communicate with her.  Like when we were coming to the library I was driving, yeah, I have to drive because she's only ever driven in Taiwan, and doesn't have a US drivers license.  But anyways, we were approaching the library and she said, go straight, then find a way to turn left.  What she meant was, "Go straight, then turn left up there."  "Find a way to turn left" threw me off of what she was trying to say.

Also I have no idea what my missionary debit card pin number is, and she was trying to explain to me how to get it at the office.  I just nodded my head, because honestly she made no sense.  But I think it will be good.  And guess how old she is?  When I saw her I thought 21, 22.  But no, 30!  She joined the church when she was 22 or 23.  Then she prepared financially to go on a mission.  Now she's here!  We'll probably be together for 2 transfers, so I better get used to it!

I'm sending home my memory card today.  I just wrote down what the pictures were of, nothing else, because we're super busy today.  One of our appointments for tonight fell through, so she's taking me out to dinner, and then we're going to teach a less active member.  She doesn't come to church all three hours I guess.  We're teaching about prayer and obedience.  So yeah, I'm super scared,. because I'm just used to teaching with Sister Daley.  Oh, and Sister Woodward went up to Wisconsin with the cows!  She so wanted to go there!  Yeah, you should have seen her when President Doll told her where she was going.

I'm in Weaton.  I don't know the address, so just send stuff to the mission office.  Yeah, I think it might be easier just to do that.  And we're going to go pick up a box for me at the office.  It's probably from you, so thank you!  And um...I forgot.  Oh, our apartment.  Wow, it's the most run down place I've ever lived in!  It's not bad.  But when you walk down the halls it smells like an old hotel.  And I want to do some serious cleaning next Wednesday!  It's not gross, just yeah, I'll take pictures.  Weaton is a "college" town.  Okay, so it's just a community college, but it's right down the road from where we live, so there are alot of college kids around.  They seem nice.  Not the party type.  But it's a small pretty town, like Richland, except prettier and cleaner.

The Dolls are really nice.  Sister Doll failed to tell us that we had to wear blazers today.  so twenty minutes before we were supposed to be down for breakfast we were scrambling to find our blazers, iron them and put them on, along with repacking some stuff, and doing our chore.  Mine was vacuum, but I helped some of the other girls too who were a little late getting ready.  I just threw my hair up and called it good.  Yeah, breakfast was amazing too!

So I'm a little nervous to be driving all the time, especially since I don't know where anything is.  I hate driving.  We have a small ford car.  I forgot what kind it is.  But it's not nothing big.

Sister Chen says the wards are awesome and in one of them we have an awesome mission leader.  Oh yeah, it just hit me, we're over two wards.  Sweet!  6 hours of church on Sunday!  And Elder Frome was complaining one time because he had to be over two wards for ONE STINKING WEEK!  And last transfer there were FOUR missionaries covering ONE ward in Jackson's mission!  Really!!!  I have TWO wards!  Oh well!  Better bring some snacks on Sunday.

Oh, and Sister Chen found out I liked to cook, so now I'm going to be doing some cooking!  Do you have any good ideas for short quick meals?  If so I'd love to know!  Also I didn't get to write ANYONE this week...again!  I really wanted to write Saydi, but never got the chance to.  Tell her that those two Elders just found out I had an 18 year old sister and wanted to write her.  Although Elder Thomas wrote EVERYONEs sister...well the girls sisters anyways.  Elder Wagner was asking me everyday if Saydi had gotten his letter.  It was funny.  Yeah, I miss my MTC district.  Elder Wagner, Chinn, Jankiewicz, and Adams came to Chicago, but Elder Oberg and Thomas when to Canada and England.  They were awesome missionaries.  Okay, gotta go!
Love you!!
Sister Ostler

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flight Plans!!

Hey family:

What a week!  Definitely ups and downs.  But Mom, I have about 20-30 dollars, and that's not enough money.  So contact the bank.  And I give you full permission to do whatever you want. . . except steal my money.  But I need money for my bags.  And I also need some way to get a scale, because they don't have one here.  We might end up dragging our luggage across campus and up three flights of stairs to weigh it Tuesday night.  The problem is getting Sister Daley to come with me.  I don't think she'll want to do that, but I have to do it.  And I'm sending some stuff home too.  I didn't like one of the shirts you sent me, so Sister Sorenson is wearing it now.  It looks good on her.  Also another one was cute, but was a bit immodest for a missionary.  But I loved the black and white one.  Although I have to tuck it in or else it makes me look weird.

I saw Sister Hanley after I sent you my last e-mail.  She has class in the same building I do, which is really cool.  Then that night we found out we live 2 doors down from each other.  I love it. We only see each other in passing and maybe talk for about 5 minutes per night.  But I remember one night when I was feeling so inadequate and she happened to be in the bathroom at the same time I was, and we were the only ones in there and she just really helped me out.  So I think it's a real good thing that we're this close in our living quarters.  I think the mission is changing her.  It's definitely changing me.

This past week I've noticed all my stupid little faults, and I hate it.  Like I am so stinking selfish!  Sister Daley went through a hard time, and I was thinking that she was selfish, then when the whole story came out and I realized what exactly she was going through, and what struggles she was having I felt so bad.  Even now it's hard not to get irritated from time to time, but I try so hard to be patient.  A teacher told me just in passing that the MTC comp is probably the hardest to get a long with because you aren't focusing on the investigators, but each other.  Sister Daley has also taught me that I don't know how to find things in the scriptures.  Like if she wants to find a certain scripture but doesn't know where it is, she knows how to look it up really fast.  I know how to look it up really slow.

But in our TRC yesterday, it was so cool!  We had taught this guy last week, and he was humanist,  everything that happened in the bible could be explained by science, and if it couldn't then it didn't happen.  So we taught him the first lesson, and told him read the BOM and pray.  We went back yesterday, and he said he knew the book wasn't false, and that it was all or nothing.  "A 20 yr old boy didn't write this" he said.  So we taught him about he spirit, and then about the plan of salvation.   We had to talk about the spirit world a lot, and temples a little, because he had recently lost his wife.  When we told him that the only way to get to Heaven and live with God was to get baptized, then he said,"I'd rather be in Hell with my wife, then be in heaven alone."  So we then had to teach him about baptisms for the dead.  It was really cool.  He ASKED us if he could come to church, and he said that if he kept feeling the spirit, and had no reason to believe that this church wasn't true he'd get babpstized.  So that was really cool.  Our next TRC is Friday, with a collage age girl.  Sis. Daley HATES teaching girls our age, she loves old people.  So I'm not exactly sure how this lesson will go.

Oh, before I forget, well I did forget my flight plans.  But we report to the travel office at 5 next Tuesday.  And I think our flight leaves at 8:30ish.  So I'll call you in between those times.  Well actually I won't, because oh yeah, I don't have any money.  So could you overnight me a calling card, and also the EFY medley.  We're signing that in sacrament meeting, and if I end up playing the piano I realized I can't use the sheets I copied.  I have to have the music right in front of me.

I also need my diffuser, that thing that hooks onto the blow dryer.  Mine is the round one.  And also if it's possible could you send me your black skirt.  I would love to have that on my travel days.  But if not, then send it to the mission home with the diffuser.  Oh, and also could you print out my setting a part blessing and send it to me?  Because I forgot everything that it said, and I would really like that.  So yeah those last three things you can send to Chicago, but the calling card, debit card(or money) and EFY medley could you PLEASE over night them to me.

Oh, I see E. Vance EVERYWHERE!  I hope that he sings for me today, since it's his pday too.  And yes, our picture is amazing.  I haven't been taking a lot of pictures thought.  And no, Elder Oberg isn't putting his arm around me anymore, but Elder Chinn flirted with me the other day.  I was like "You did not just flirt with me!"  I was supposed to be a person walking a dog, and he came and contacted me.  I said my dog was cute, and he agreed, and then he said, "You know dogs usually resemble their owners."  And Elder Chinn is probably the tallest Chinese guy I've ever met.  He and Elder Thomas, who is black and tall, are I think the same height.  Oh, so I don't think I told you this, but Elder Thomas has these camera's following him around about twice a week, cuz their doing a documentary on 5 different missionaries.  He's one of them, so they've been following him around for about a year.  Yeah, so I'm gonna be on TV.  But not til about two years when he gets back.  It's called 5 Friends, I think.  We told him to keep us updated on it.  So you'll get to see what I've been doing in the two years.

We've still had no GAs here.  And we only have Sunday devo left.  We did have Elder Paul V. Johnson last night, so that was cool.

Oh, and tell Elder Ostler that Elder Nelson is doing great, he's smiling every time I see him.  Elder Vance, is of course Elder Vance.  Just amazing!  Love him.  And Saydi should marry him.  STAY AWAY FROM RMS!  Wait for JV.  Elder Ward is doing good.  He's quiet, and he said that the language is really hard to learn.  But I think he'll get the hang of it soon.  His comp looks interesting.  Um...who else.  OH, Elder Hare.  What an elder!  I've only seen him twice, but he seems to be doing great! 
Oh, Devey wrote me, she's the RP!  Yeah, I was excited to hear that.  She'll do so great!  I think she said she wanted some help as to what to do, but I'll have to read her letter again to make sure.  Yeah, that's a big job, and I honestly almost started crying when I got released from it.  OH man, Loved that calling!  And I think I'll bawl when I get released from this calling.  I love being a missionary, even though it's so hard.

So we've been hearing a lot about how being missionary...being a good missionary is hard work, and you have to work hard to help people come unto Christ.  And also a lot about obedience.  Yeah, obedience is the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 34th, 1299th law of heaven here.  I try to be obedient as I can. 
I don't really know what to say.  Every day is the same.  The food is getting SOOOOOOOO old.  And they serve me like I"m a growing 19 yr old boy!  I'm going to get so fat.  So now for one or two meals I just have a small salad, even though I HATE salad!  And every RM I talk to says that most missionaries gain weight on their mission.  It doesn't help that none of the sisters I'm with like to run.  So I just play volley ball with the Elders, or Pilate's with Sister Sorenson.  That's fun.  I love my teachers though.  They are so amazing, and they teach so differently, and I learn so much.
Okay well talk to you later!!!!
Love you all!
Sister ostler

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mouth over fire hydrant

Hey Mom, and rest of family:

So remember how last semester I had that one calling called RS pres?  And how hard that was?  This first week was harder than the whole semester combined.  My teachers told me that the first week is like sticking a fire hydrant around your moth and turning it on full blast, and that is what it felt like.  The days are a blurr.  But my branch pres said that the Lord was trying to teach me something, and I needed to figure out what it was.  So I prayed about it, and I got a Priesthood blessing and I did a lot better after that.  I think the Lord wanted me to have an increase of faith that He's there and watching over me and that no matter what everything will turn out okay because I'm doing my best and living the rules.  There are some missionaries who break the rules, even the little ones like not studying when we're supposed to, and I don't know, I just don't see the point in breaking rules.  Grandpa's right, if you stick to the rules then you'll be okay, but if you don't, then you won't.  One thing that Elder Thomas (our district leader [slave]) says all the time is, "What is the first law of Heaven?"  "Obedience!"  "What is the second law?"  "Obedience."  "What is the 20th?"  "Obedience.

So, about my companion Sister Daley.  She's from all over the west coast, never lived in WA though.  She's really nice and studies hard.  When we went into the TA (TRC) she was on fire, and teaching like I've never seen her teach before.  And we had a hard investigator.  He was a humanist, a person who explains everything by science and doesn't believe in a God.  Yeah, but we committed him to read the BOM with a sincere heart and real intent, and if he felt a "wow moment," as he called it, then he would simply say, "Is this true?"

But it was so hard teaching the first lesson, just because we knew he didn't believe in God.  He had read the Bible, took a class on it even, but still didn't believe there is a God.  Next week is the plan of salvation, and he's reporting to us about the BOM, he calls it his "Book Report."
Sister Daley and I share a room with Sister Sorenson and Woodward.  They are also in our District.  They're really nice, and you can tell that a week has gone by because we're all really comfortable with each other.  Like the Elders are too.  Elder Wagner, yesterday announced during MDT that he had to go to the bathroom.  Why thank you for that Elder Wagner!  And then Sister Daley and I got to devo really early, so we got seats near the front, and our district came to sit by us.  Elder Thomas and Oberg were sitting on my right side, and Sister Daley and I were supposed to move down to fit the other sisters.  So I scooted next to Elder Oberg, not noticing that his arm was around my chair.  And we're both in our own little world.  Then two seconds later I notice that his arm is around my chair, and I'm like, "UHHH...."  And then he noticed, and is like, "Oh shoot!  Oh man, uhh..."  And we all start laughing, especially the elders behind us.  Then I was like, "I knew you liked me Elder Oberg, but I didn't know you liked me THAT much!"  It was funny!  Then during Devo Elder Thomas's arm was around Elder Oberg's chair (don't ask why guys do that, because I don't know), and it touched my arm, and I scolded Elder Thomas.  I was like, "What is it about this companion ship and touching me?"  We all had a good laugh afterwards.
Devo was good, H Bryan Richards spoke to us, and I just understood more of what being a missionary is.  Earlier in the week like Saturday, Sister Frealey (our teacher) took us to a thing that had the standard of Truth on it and talked about being a missionary and what it meant.  She also talked about our name tag and how it had our name and Jesus Christ's name on it, and how those are the two things that stand out on the tag, and how much the tag is apart of our mission.  Yeah, it was really cool, and just made me think of why I'm here.  And I really came to understand between her class and the devo that I'm on the Lord's time, and I'm called by Him, so He will watch over me and protect me and He won't allow me to fail if I work hard and keep all the rules and do the things that He wants me to do.  Being a missionary is pretty much one of the greatest callings, even though it's sooooooooooooooooooooo hard!  I didn't realize how truly hard it was.  It's gotten a lot easier, but before He took me out of the fire I shed a few tears and got a few hugs.
So about our district, yeah, I know I keep getting sidetracked.  So Elder Thomas is our District Leader, although he calls himself the district slave because he's from Alabama, and he's black.  Yeah, Jackson, I have a black person in my district!  And he's awesome!  Whenever something happens , like I don't know he'll say something to the affect, "Because I"m black."

Okay, it lost the rest of my e-mail.  Yeah, stupid internet thing.  And I can't remember what else I said, other than I saw Elder Vance...all the time.  He sits close to my district at meals. 
Love you!
and thanks for everything.
Love, Sister Ostler

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm not dead . . . . . yet

Hey Mom, and Dad,
So they are allowing us to e-mail you for a few minutes. I'm here. It was okay today. My companion, Sis. Daley, is awesome. We have so many similarities, like we both like writing books, and country music. And tomorrow she's getting me up at 5:50 to go to Pilate's. Yeah, joy. I'm a gonna die! I saw Emilee, Braden, again, and one of Jackson's friends, except I just saw him in passing, so I don't know who the heck he was, but he was familiar. Okay, well don't really know what else to say. This is gonna be hard, cuz yeah, not a lot of time to breath. Like we have 4 hr classes. No brakes, oh joy. I have a feeling that I didn't bring enough short sleeves shirts. Oh, and I think I forgot a washrag. And I'm not too good at this whole no backspacing thing. Cuz I do it a lot. Well not a lot, but you know. It's just habit. Well 'til next Wed. Cuz that's my pday. Don't worry, you'll last. I know you will.



Sister Ostler enters the MTC

Amanda takes one last look at us - then heads off to begin her mission.
(Look real close at the host.  It's Braden Nelson!)

At 1:05 today we dropped Amanda off at the MTC.  She was nervous but very happy.  Elder Nelson helped out immensely.  It's easier watching her walk away when she's walking with someone that we love.

As we walked through the MTC parking lot, we came across a car with Illinois plates.

Across the street from the MTC.  You are not allowed to cross the street and take photos anymore.  Lots of construction going on.  New procedure is to take your pictures across the street then get back in your car and drive to the drop off point.

The MTC sign has been taken down, permanently.

Goodbye Dad.

See you in 1½ years. We love you Amanda.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Amanda enters the MTC tomorrow - September 8th.  Today we went to the Joseph Smith movie and walked around temple square.  She really hopes she gets to see Emily Young.  This is a picture of Amanda, taken from inside the Joseph Smith Building.