Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not giving up yet

Dear family,
Christmas was so awesome!  I loved seeing all of you, and thank you so much for hooking Jackson and I up on skypel.  It was so cool to see him too.  And I know you have a lot to do, but I would love to have his emails!  Those are some things that really keep me going.  And this has been a very difficult month and a half!


Sister Wallace shoveling snow for the first time ever!
The first snowfall, and what's with these California people?!!!
But all the snow is gone now :)

I'm excited for transfers.  I need a change.  Whether a new comp or new area.  I don't care.  I kinda feel as if I'm failing this area though.
Nearly every appointment we've had, and most of them have been with members, have fallen through.  We're really bummed about that.  And it just seemed like no one wanted to talk with us.  We tracted yesterday for about 2.6 hours total.  Not one potential or new investigator.  But I stayed positive the whole time, and at one door, actually our last one, which was at 8:40 pm, I used 2 Nephi 29 with her on saying why we need the BOM.  If God wants to have 2 nations testifying of Christ, can't He?  She still didn't want to read it.  But we both testified of the truth of the book, she just didn't receive it.
With hardly any progress in this area I've really pondered why I'm here in this area.  I know that there are people in this area being prepared or that are prepared to receive this wonderful message that we have.  Sister Wallace and I are trying as hard as we can to go out and to contact those around us.  We offer service, show members different ways to be missionaries, and invite them to act, but it still seems as if there aren't a lot of those people out there that are ready to accept our message.  Not even when members invite them to act.
I know that when I get discouraged I'm just siding with Satan, and he is cheering.  I know that I'm a servant of the Lord and that He's called me to this area at this time for a specific reason.  And maybe that reason is to plant seeds, and just to testify of truth.  Of course I know that baptism is central to my purpose, but perhaps, I like Abinidi, won't see the full fruits of my labors until years later.  With the challenge that the zone leaders gave us to have three people on date by the end of the month, we have planned on inviting a lot of people to baptism.  But that darn Satan!  Those appts just seem to fall through!  But we're still looking for those who are willing to accept the message that the Lord has sent us to share.
I remember a letter I received from Grandpa in the spring or summer.  He got transferred to this city where most people were Catholic and had their noses in the air.  He said in his letter to his parents, which he sent a copy to me, something like, "I know that there is someone in this city who is humble enough to accept our message."
And that's something I think about too.  I think that he baptized one lady in that area.  It just seems that every time I go to an area there are people already lined up to be baptized.  Jose for one was prepared, and all we had to do was teach him.  Alfredo was already being taught and the first Saturday I was in Rensselaer was the last time he ever drank, and it was because of the Spirit he felt from the members and the sisters that were there.  D and J were already set on date when I got here, and J was a piece of cake.  She had already learned everything.  I know that I'm supposed to help retain these people and keep them active, which is a big job, but sometimes it's more rewarding when you find and teach and baptize someone, like Kim.  I just hope that he's still active.
Speaking of J, she referred her sister to us.  We went over there and her sister was over there too.  She was going through a really hard time.  So we taught her the Plan of Salvation.  She loved it.  We went back and shared with her President Uchtdorfs talk "Your Happily Ever After" and she loved that too.  Then she went back up to Beloit where she lives.  We gave her teaching record to the Beloit sisters.  When I was there on exchanges Sister Jackson and I taught her the Restoration, and she understood for the most part about the need to be a member of the Jesus Christ's church.  Sister Jackson committed her to baptism, and without a blink of an eye she accepted the baptismal date March 4.  Sister Jackson was so excited.  Later that night J texted us and said, "I'm so glad my sister is getting baptized."  This will be so good for J, especially with most of her family against her joining the church.  This is also a great opportunity for her to be a missionary and to share with her sister the blessings that have come to her since joining the church.
As for the Pilates book.  I'll just get one today at Walmart or barns and nobles.  I have gift certificates to Walmart, so it's all good.  I just can't go out and run because of my ankle and plus it's getting really cold.  I need something to get me moving in the morning.  And I did pilates once and I remember I felt really good afterwards.  Plus Sister Doll said they were really good for you too.
And thanks for that sprinting thing Dad!  That was really cool.
Today the elders are coming here for bowling again.  Elder Runner likes to bowl, and I guess they don't want to go up to Rockford, we just don't have the miles or the time to go up there.  Later we're going over to Sister Richards so we can make these cookie things.


Our exchanges were much needed.  I went up to Beloit while Sister Wallace held the fort down here.  It really opened her eyes to how much I do, like make sure we have members for lessons, calling people to get appts. or confirm, and just the whole sha-bang!  It was great for me for 24 hrs not to have to worry about that stuff.
Sister Jackson kind of felt that pressure of leading too.  She called all the shots, where we went, what we taught, it was really great!  In fact on Tuesday morning when we were supposed to switch back, Sister Wallace was focused on making sure she had everything we needed for that day (we weren't going to be back til that night) that she forgot to pack a lunch.  "I need to repent" she said when I asked her how it was leading.  "I didn't realize you did so much."
For me I'm just used to leading and stressing out.  So I really don't mind, and I knew that one day she would get her chance.  I really hope that she leads soon.  If any missionary wants to grow they need to lead.  That was Sister Ika's philosophy, and that's mine too!
Okay, well I'm outta time.  I love you all.
Thanks for the awesome Christmas presents (especially skype).  I'll be starting to send pkgs home with stuff I don't need.  Keep all the clothes please, unless I tell you otherwise!
I love you!
Sister Ostler
Act Now
A lot of times when we are in positions of leadership we receive promptings that seems stupid or embarrassing or just weird and we don't act on them.  That's what Satan wants us to do.  Heavenly Father gave us that prompting for a reason, and that reason is usually to help someone out.  So we need to act on it.  We might not know why we are doing it, but more likely than not it's an answer to someone else's prayers.
In my life I have been the one who has acted and has received.  When I received the promptings I had no idea why I was doing it, I just knew that I needed to.  In the end I saw why, and I helped someone else out.  Other times I still have no idea why I did what the Spirit told me to do.  But I did.  And I just trust that it was for a wise purpose that only the Lord knows.
Has anyone ever done something for you and they have been that answer that you had been praying for?  More likely than not they were acting on a prompting from the Spirit.  What if they thought when they received that prompting, "That's really stupid, or embarrassing, or too hard, so I'm not going to do it."  Then your prayer wouldn't have been answered (well it still would have, but not in that very special way).  So by acting on promptings you can be the answer to someone else’s prayers.  President Eyring in his priesthood address to the brethren in May 2010 "Act in Diligence" at the end he gives a formula of how we can receive specific answers of what we need to do in our callings, or who we might go help.  Unfortunelty I don't have that with me right now.  But ya'll should go and look that up and read it.  It can really help you have the courage to act on the promptings that you do receive.
Let's go and do, not sit and stew!
Sister Ostler

ps. while acting don't get discouraged when what you were prompted to do doesn't turn out the way you thought it would.  Everything is in the Lord's hands when you do follow the Spirit. I don't think Nephi intended to cut off Laban's head when he walked into Jerusalem intending to get the plates.

After bowling we went caroling in Sycamore.
We had an awesome time!  Some people didn't like us, but most did. 
This is us after caroling.


Grammie & her bows!

I made breakfast that morning!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

He will work miracles

Dear Family,
This past week was extremely hard.  It seems that every appointment with investigators we've had has fallen through, especially if a member is coming with us.  And one of our prime investigators dropped us.  And it seems, for some odd reason, that the rejection has intensified.  We also can't meet with our investigator with a baptismal date.
Then on Monday night someone called the cops on us.  We were tracting Ruby in DeKalb, and met with several rejections.  I was singing hymns to keep me going (I've improved greatly in my singing skills since I've been on a mission.  I still sing off key sometimes, but if anyone tells me I’m a bad singer I'll have them listen to some of my comps, then they can tell me that!).
Well we were telling a guy about FHE, he said he wasn't interested, but wanted to know where he could go if he was.  We were giving him a card when the police pulled up.  He waited til we were done then called us over.  We went and Sister Wallace, I'm sure she was shaking in her boots!  I knew we were doing nothing wrong.  So I wasn't scared.  I was just kicking myself for leaving the phone in the car.  So he asks what we're doing and selling, and saying that someone had called and complained.  Stupid Satan.  He had to call his boss to see if we were legal in going door to door, and of course we were because we weren't selling anything.
Then another cop car came.  And I'm thinking, "Okay, we're two mormon girls, and we don't got any weapon or anything on us.  Go track down someone who is making the world more miserable!  We're just spreading the Love of Christ around for goodness grief!"  The cop let us go after he realized that oh wait, we were right and the stupid idiot (I didn't just say that) that called in needs to learn some tolerance.  Sister Wallace wanted to go home after that, and we did, only because it was 8:45.
But I think I'm working harder now than before.  Sister Hanely gave this great analogy, that I already knew, but it was nice to be reminded of.  All you race runners out there.  If you're running a race and you see the finish line, do you run faster or slower?  Faster right?  Well at the end of the your mission it should be the same.  My only fear is that I’ll be put with someone next transfer that is running really slow.  At least Sister Wallace can keep up with me.
One thing that has really kept me going is prayer.  I have been pleading with the Lord to help us, especially me, get through these days, and I ask Him specifically what I need to do.  It's been really cool, the past couple days I've received very specific answers.  They aren't answers like, "Go tract this street, or go talk to this person," but more like, "Follow the Spirit with exactness," and "Have faith."  And as I've done these things we've seen miracles.  They are just small miracles, but miracles non-the-less.
Like with K.  We were about to drop her because we could never get a hold of her, or find a time to meet, or she would always cancel on us.  I felt like a guy trying to chase after a girl who just isn't interested.  And I was getting tired of it. But this week we were able to meet with her and finally teach her the Restoration.  (She was a former and had never kept appts or read from the BOM.)  We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and read from the introduction.  She was very interested after she found out that the book took place in the Americas.  She said, "Now that I know what it's about I'll definitely read it!"  Then she asked if we could do a favor.  She wants us to text her every other day to remind her to read.  We have no problem doing that!  We invited her to be baptized, and even though she has already been baptized again she said that she wanted to start over again, so agreed.  :)
Another cool thing about that lesson is that at the beginning of it she had to step out to get her kids from the bus.  We said a prayer that her kids wouldn't be a big distraction (cuz last time it was almost unbearable!)  And guess what?  He was a lot less distracting than last time and K paid attention for most of it!
Also we were supposed to meet with A yesterday, but she bailed on us because she was sick.  Then she texted us later and said she was leaving town to avoid a drinking party.  Sister Wallace and I talk it over briefly, and figured it was probably better that she left town so she could keep the Word of Wisdom.  Well I’m not sure Sister Wallace was completely on board with me on that opinion.  She would rather have met with her.  I would have too.  But was just tryign to look at the bright side of things.  A has come so far, and we are so proud of her.  She yet has a long ways to go though.  Brother Hinderlider said that she wont' be baptized for about a year or two, and I can see that.
Last night we did service for a part-member-semi-less-active family, the E's.  Sister E (a member) was about to cancel on us because she was so tired, but Brother E (the non-member) wanted us to come over.  Even though we talked with her most of the time, he was still in there and invited us over for dinner next week.  According to our WML, he's come a long ways since his wife joined the church 12 years ago.  We don't think he's ready to have the lessons again, but we're just excited that he likes to have the missionaries over.  We know that he feels the Spirit when we're over.
I've been trying, and succeeding, to look for the tiny Forget-Me-Not miracles that happen everyday, and it's really helping me push through this harder time of the mission when it seems that not a lot of people want to listen to us.
Another thing, is that for the past couple of days before I begin personal study I pray that I will be able to use whatever I learn that day in teaching or contacting.  And more often then not it happens.  In fact this morning I was studying 1 Nephi 4, and during comp study Sister Wallace and I were comparing Nephi's faith in getting the plates to the faith someone has to have in coming to church.  We might just use that sometime!
I'm not really sure what else to share.  What do ya'll like to hear in these emails?
On Thursday instead of going to J's, cuz she dropped us, we stopped by a potential.  He's a senior in high school and so mature for his age.  He's had a few deaths in his life and 2 months ago when we met him he was kinda mad at God.  But on Thursday he was at peace with everything.  We felt impressed to teach the POS.  And he loved it.  He had had dreams about the War in Heaven, it was kinda false, but for the most part it was pretty accurate.  He believed everything we taught him.  We're bringing a pre-missionary with us next time and one of his lds friends from school.  We hope that he keeps his appointment!

Also, You don't have to worry about me having enough Christmas Presents.  the members are taking care of that.
I've been thinking alot about what you said Mom, about how maybe I’m not meant to baptize alot but to just show love to the members and missionaries around me.  I've been trying to do that, especially to the members.  I am Christ's personal representative, and I know that He showed love to all those around Him.  I try really hard to be interested in them and stuff.  It does get hard when they start talking politics.  We can honestly say we don't have an opinion, cuz we've been out of the loop.
On Friday we went to the F's.  They're a younger couple with two kids.  Sister F said that last time we were over she had been thinking bout bearing her testimony more to those around her, and she has been doing it even if they don't accept it!  It just makes me so happy to hear that at least some people want to be better missionaries when we come over.
Sister Walters showed me her ipad last night.  I think I would really like it if it didn't make me sick looking at it for so long.  But it makes studying really cool.   But don't think about getting me one.  I'm just trying to think of things to type.
Oh, I haven't had one of Jackson's emails in about a month or more.  He writes to me every week, but you haven't sent any of them.  That would be one awesome Christmas present!
The ward is sending us a bunch of stuff that we really don't need.  So I think I might just give them away to people who actually need them.  Is that bad?
We're teaching J's sister right now, who actually lives in Beloit.  But she's staying with J because of certain situations up in WI.  We're treating her as an investigator then handing her off to Sister Howell and Jackson.  She loved the POS, and loved Pres. Uchtdorf talk about having a happily ever after.  Ipods are amazing!
Gotta go!
See you Sunday!  Hopefully.
Love Sister Ostler
Follow With Faith
Nephi had great faith.  I love the Scripture in 1 Nephi 4 where he said, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."  Then if you look at what he DID do, that's amazing!  He went into a city where the people wanted to kill him, he saw Laban, and as he was minding his own business the Spirit said, "Chop off his head."  He said, "Um, no!"  The Spirit said, "Do it."  Then the Spirit put thoughts in his mind that allowed him to come to terms with the action that he was about to do.
So poor Nephi, prolly traumatized, well not really, cuz he's tough, but still.  How would you feel after chopping off someones head?  Well he puts Labans clothes on and then the Spirit obviously leads him to the treasury.  And he starts taking with Zorom as if he were Laban himself (see vrs 23).  How could he know what to say but by the Spirit?  And didn’t he have to have faith in order to say the words that came to his mouth?  Yep!
Then out of the blue he asks Zoram to come with him.  That took a ton of faith, to first follow the Spirit in asking him to come and then to actually follow it.
Nephi exhibits faith throughout his life.  He put total and complete trust in obeying whatever the Lord commanded him to do.
Obeying the Lord, and especially the promptings of the Spirit can be hard, but if He won't give us any commandments that he knows we can't accomplish.  So let's Go and Do instead of Sit and Stew.
Sister Ostler

I’m here, and yeah, we can skype.  That'll be easier for me actually. Has Sister Pitts gotten a hold of you?  Wait, so I guess she doesn't have to, because I’m logging on as Saydi.  Okay.  Well I’ll call her today and ask if she can upload the newest version.
MOM:  I’m here, but typing on my iPhone.  So slower.  Yeah if you log in as Saydi we can do the group thing with Jackson.
Sister Ostler:  So does Sister Pitts have to upload the new version of skype, or whatever that’s called?
MOM:  Yes.  Just tell her to call me.  I’ll have Saydi walk her through it.  If she has a Mac it’s a breeze.  If she has a PC there are a couple extra things.  Or I can call her.  Is this where you’re having dinner?
Sister Ostler:  I’ll call her later today and tell her to call you.  I don’t think she has a MAC.  But I’m calling around 6 then, right?  My time.
MOM: I just meant have her call if she has questions about anything. And yeah call anytime around 6. That is when Elder Ostler is calling. We’ll be watching so when u log on as Saydi we'll see it and probably call u. Does her computer have a camera?
Sister Ostler:  Lets hope so!  I didn't ask, but I’m pretty sure it does.  If not that's fine.  I’ll see ya'll in March anyways.
Did you hear, my release date is March 28 instead of the 29th.  So make sure dad has that day off work, and I loved his teeth story!
Totally made my day.
Also can you ask grammie real quick if I can open her package she sent right now?  And also I got a thin white envelope from you.  Does that have to wait til Christmas too?  And I did get a 12 lb package from you.
I only have 12 min left.
MOM:  Yes open the thin white envelope.  I’m calling Grammie right now.
Save Grammies box till Christmas.  Another box is coming from us.  It’s for Christmas too.  Did you get the hand warmer box?
Sister Ostler:  Yes I did!  And we haven’t used them yet, because it’s been warm!  Warm here is above  freezing :)  I heard Amy sent a box.  Do I wait for Christmas too?  I have 5 minutes left.
MOM:  I think you open that one.  I’ll ask but not sure I’ll get back to you in 5.  If I don’t, then open it to be safe.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That testimony was so powerful!

Hi Family:

Don't know how long this will be.
We had an ok week.  Sister Wallace got sick, so we were in for the colder days in the weekend.  It got down to 18 degrees one night when we were tracting.  The next day we stayed in because she couldn't talk.  We only went to appointments, and even then I was the only one teaching.  But it was all good.  She's feeling better now.  She's like me, doesn't like to use her sickness for an excuse not to work.  Sister Chen taught me well!
We had zone conference yesterday.  So awesome!  We got a 0 on our area books though. They grade them.  They told us that we needed to start using our area books.  Ouch.  Especially when EVERYSINGLENIGHT we come home and update them.  Yeah, I almost started to cry.  I was not happy.  The elders were like, "don't take it personally."  Right!  You’re an elder, you don't really care anyways!  You don't spend up to 30 min per night updating these things and looking through them!  And we use them every week too, to find people to teach!
But the rest of zone conference was good.

My Zone
The zone leaders gave this awesome lesson on using the Book of Mormon more often, in lessons, tracting, etc.  Well our first house last night was this guy putting up lights.  We had previously been to that home, but no adult was home.  So we went up to him and started talking.  Soon we got out the Book of Mormon and flipped open to a passage about the Atonement (Alma 7) and expounded upon it.  We asked if he would like to learn more about the Atonement through the Book of Mormon.  He said yes!  The first real yes I've had in a long time!  So we gave him a copy, and he started to ask questions about it.  We told him that it could answer all our questions.  He was then asking hard questions, but we were still able to answer them using passages from the Book of Mormon.  It was so cool to see him standing there reading from that books sacred pages.  He told us that he had heard of the book before, but had never read it, and was definitely going to read it before we came back.
Then at several other doors we also opened the Book of Mormon and read from it's pages.  At one door the lady told us she wasn't interested, but then we opened up the Book of Mormon and read a couple verses from King Benjamin, and she opened up to us.  She still wasn't interested, but we were able to plant a seed.  At another persons house he was pretty much telling us that we were blasphemers because we believed we could become gods someday.  We opened up the Book of Mormon AGAIN and started reading from it.  At one point he asked us what we believed about Christ.  When I bore my testimony I used 1 Nephi 19: 9, and that testimony was so powerful!  It was so much more powerful than just saying, "He's my Lord and Savior."  The guy even felt the Spirit, you could tell.
My testimony of the Book of Mormon was strengthened that night.
We tell people that there is a power that comes to them the minute they begin a serious study of the book.  Well we found out that there's a power that's given to our words when we use the book regularly to teach people the restored gospel.
Don't know if I"ll have much more time to write.
I love you all though!
Thanks for all you do!
Sister Ostler
ps I get to go on exchanges with Sister Howell!  It's opportunity for Sister Wallace to lead!  She'll be with another greenie.  I'm excited for her.  This'll be a great opportunity for her. 
I’ll be here for an hour, and I have news about the call.  Give me a shout!
MOM:  Shout - I’m so glad I’m sitting here right now!  How is it going?
Sister Ostler:  Well, this black guy is talking to me, and I forgot Fred and George so I can’t hear him, and he’s really talking about nonsense.  But Sister Wallace and I were thinking that it might be easiest to do our calls at night, what do you think?  Like night for us.  About 5-8ish.  I don’t know how Jackson’s time works.  What about 7 my time?
Mom:  That is 10pm his time.  I can try to ask him right now.  I can send an email to the mission home, since he's the one who reads all the emails.  If he answers in the next hour, I'll let you know.  6 would definitely be better.  Then it would be 9 in Mendoza.
I had no idea what you were talking about in your email, I totally forgot who fred and george were.  I haven't heard those two names in a long time.  Then it hit me and I busted up.  Are you guys doing something with your district today?
Sister Ostler:  We could possibly do 6.  The only problem is that our dinner appt is 30 min away.  So we would have to leave by 5:30, but they are really flexible, so we would have to get there about 3.  Yeah, I think that'll work.  And Sister Wallace said she's prolly going to call after me.
So am I calling line one or three?  If three, than I need the number.  And you might want to send me lines ones in your letter, cuz right now my phone number is...haha!  Just kidding!  I wouldn't tempt you like that!
But is the number 509---8444
ahhh!  I forgot it! 2488444, is that it?  
MOM:  Can you hear me laughing?  Seriously?  So our phone number is 509-628-8444.  And since you're calling us, call us on that line.  Line 1.  I'm pretty sure we're calling Jackson, so we'll use the other line.  How about 6:30?  And he might be totally fine with 7.  I'm just waiting to hear.  So if I don't hear from him while you're still on the computer, then I'll just give you the final plan next week.  Did you get the box I sent?
Sister Ostler:  So I'm calling you at 6:30?  or 7?
And our phone number really isn't that important.
Oh, I got a hair cut, want to see?  I told Sister Johnson (who says hi) to do whatever, as long as I could put it in a pony tail.  I love it!
Mom:  Of course I want to see it.  Right now.  And it's up to you for the time.  I'm pretty sure Jackson is quite flexible and can probably do 7.  Did you read my email yet?  Laurel Burrup is starting her mission papers.
Sister Ostler:  I haven't had the chance to read it yet.  I only have 25 more min left :( so short main email.  But I included some stuff that I already wrote to president.  But that's cool that she's going on mission!

MOM:  Oh my gosh, you're beautiful.  Brings tears to my eyes to see you, and you look so happy.

Jackson doesn't know about Laurel yet.  I just found out Monday and we don't email him until Saturday.  That's fine if you put stuff you wrote to president.  I love it when you do, all the weekly details about your comings and goings with investigators.
So are you at NIU?  You should walk out to where that big hourglass looking thing is located.  I'll be able to see you on the web cam.  If you're going to do it, tell me.
Love you so much, Mom
Jackson just emailed.  I'm talking to both of you at the same time.  He can skype.  Oh my gosh.  Can you?  Is there anyway you can skype around 6?  He doesn't want to be on past 7 (all the times I give to you are Chicago time). If you can't skype, then let's do the call at 6.  6:30 at the latest.
Sister Ostler:  Well what about 6:30?  I think that'll be good for Sister Wallace too.  Lets say 6:30ish...we might be a little late. Depends on the weather too.
And the box you sent.  So I can't open it?  Does it have exercise stuff in it?  Cuz I really want/need those pilate and p90x books.
I'm not at nui.  And we can do 6.  I can skype, we'd just have to find a place to do it at.  I'm not sure where we can.  I can ask around.  But I don't want to be a burden to the members.  See in Renssy I felt like I was a part of the ward.  Here I feel like a missionary.  It's not bad.  But it's just life.  I’ll be normal soon enough.  But that'll be hard too.  I'll wonder why everyone's not looking at me like I’m a freak, and why they're not avoiding me.  haha!
MOM:  It's the hand warmers.  Yes open it.  But the box that comes in about 2 days, don't open it.  Wrap it.  And 6:30 is great.  You're calling us on 628-8444.  Fantastic.  I'll tell Jackson.  Are you going to walk out by that hour glass looking thing?  Just walk around it a couple of times.
Oh my heck girl, ask some old couple if you can skype at their house, then there won't be too many distractions.  Or skype where you're having dinner.  And we'll do 6PM.  Sounds great.
Sister Ostler: I'm not at NIU!  So I’m not going to go there!  I’ll find out about skype.  Just be at the computer next wednesday so I can let you know.  And 6:30.  Tell that to me in your letter, and also give me the number again.  I’ll prollly forget it!
I don't know if the Pitts have skype.  But I know that some members do, but they have family and stuff.
MOM:  Great - I’ll be here next Wednesday ALL DAY LONG!
Sister Ostler:  I thought you would!  Anything else you wanna know?  I got 1 minute left.
MOM:  Nope - But I do want you to know that we think about you all the time and hope you are doing well.  We love you sooooo much.
Sister Ostler:  And thank you always for your encouraging words.  They really do help me!  I love your letters, and I loved the pictures you sent too!  Pictures are my favorite things EVER!
And tell the McAllisters thank you!  I loved their letters and testimonies.  They were what I needed!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Awesome Missionaries the Lord placed in my path

Hi family! 
You know, sometimes in your mission you just feel like giving up.  Like throwing in the towel and going home.  Or just staying in your apartment and not doing anything.  That's how I've been feelings.  We've had some awesome appointments, but it seems like we're not helping people REALLY progress, except for J.  Then last night the Lord in His oh so tender mercy, helped me realize that I can do this.  That I am a good missionary, and now I can't wait to go out and share the gospel, and teach.  And hopefully rejection won't bother me.
I took some time to reflect on who I've become, how far I've gotten, and the awesome missionaries that the Lord placed in my path to help me learn and grow.  Sister Chen, taught me to work, work, work, and to have faith that the Lord is preparing people to receive this message.  Sister Ika taught me how to be a good, effective missionary.  Elder Centini was just an awesome, loving first district leader!  Elder Dearinger taught me to not be ashamed of this Gospel, and proclaim it with boldness and love.  (I really would have liked to go on exchanges with him.  Although he'd bug me the ENTIRE TIME!  It would be like me and Jackson when we were in our early teens).  Sister Clark taught me to love.  Sister Mondelli taught me to look at the positive.  Elder Vicars, is just Elder Vicars and is just awesome in his own special way.  No, he encouraged me a lot and really helped me.
Now I see that I'm one of the senior ones.  All my foremothers are dead, and have been for awhile.  Most of my childhood leaders are dead too.  I'm one of the leaders now.
Anyways.  Yes, it's been cold.  And help me stay warm I would love hand warmers, and I heard there are feet warmers too.

J is doing awesome!  She and her bf read about Alma the younger and Saul and afterwards J said they both felt so good.  We told her it was the Spirit.  She loves it when we come over.  And this time we taught her the organization of the church, in ancient and modern times and she loved it.  It made sense to her and helped her realize that this is God's church here.  We have a prophet!  She wasn't able to go to the Christmas Devotional, so the member that came with us (who is soooooo awesome!) got her email address and is going to email her the link where she can watch it.  Because J really wanted to come and listen to the Lord's prophet.
We also taught someone yesterday.  She doesn't' know if God exists.  And the stories that kept coming to mind were Ammon and Arron.  They taught the plan of Salvation and then the kings were like, "I'll give away everything to have this eternal life!"  So we taught the pos.  Then afterward we asked her if she had any questions.  She said, "What do I need to do here," she pointed to the picture of the earth, "to get here?" she pointed to the Celestial Kingdom.  Perfect!  Kinda like Arron's experience.  Be baptized!  But we didn't tell her that yet.  She still has to have a testimony of Christ.
And Mom, you're right, I do need a change.  But I think it's more of a comp change than anything.  I love Sister Wallace.  I think only Dad would know how hard it is to be with someone for 4 months.  We are sooooooooooo different.  In interests, in family life styles, in everything. We don't fight, we're just different.  It seems that He puts me with my hardest comps for the longest amount of time.  And there are times that I just feel like giving up.  But I have to at least try.  I know I’ll never love her like I loved Sister Howell or Mondelli, or Clark.  But I can at least love her.
And I know that if God wants me in DeKalb for the last two transfers then I’ll stay, but if He doesn't then He'll move me.  Simple as that.  I do love it here though.
Oh, and no one cleans up after us.  You spoil those missionaries!  We have to do our own laundry, our own sheets, clean our own apartment, car, everything.  They better be working harder than me, because they don't have to do a lot of that stuff!  We have to take time out of our days (usually pdays) to do that.  We do have a clean check every once in awhile.  And it's an intense white glove clean check.
Jenna's engaged.  Wow.
I'd love to talk with Jackson at the same time.  Not sure how that'll work.  We get out of church at 1.  My time.  Not sure anything bout phone calls. I'll let you know when I know.
I didn't mail an sd card home.  It'll be after this transfer.

Well I don't really know what else to say.  Except did you ever find that David Lanz music, "Joy to the World"?
And what about school for the summer?  You never did tell me what you're doing for that.  I know it's in the Lord's hands, but it would still calm me if you would let me know something.
I love you!
Thanks for everything.
Love, me.
Scripture Power
Amy voiced the opinion that I do a spiritual thought on Isaiah.  Nope, sorry, not this week!  For the most part Isaiah confuses me.
But what about Benson's favorite church song?  SCRIPTURE POWER!
Because I want to be like the Savior and I can.
This clearly says that we can become like our Savior--perfect in every way.  The next line tells us how we can become like Him.
I'm reading His instructions, I'm following His plan.
His instructions are obviously the Scriptures which contain his plan.
In Lehi's dream we have the fruit.  The Atonement, which enables us to have Eternal Life.  What leads us there?  The word of God!  We see that there are two groups.  The last group is the one that makes it there and STAYS.  They continually hold on to the rod. When we continually and consistently read our scriptures then we can make it to Eternal Life, the Greatest of all the Gifts of God (D&C 7:14)
Let's skip to the chorus:
Scripture Power keeps me safe from sin.
We see the 2nd group of people.  They didn't even read the scriptures. Lehi states, "And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
"And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree."
So we see that they did get on that path, but we see that something happens:
"And it came to pass that there arouse a mist of darkness; . . . insomuch that they who had commence in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost."
We might have that desire to gain eternal life, but if we don't read the instructions, then we will be susceptible to Satan's temptations, and we will sin.  Reading the scriptures keeps us on the path away from sin.
Scripture power, every day I need the power that I get each time I read.
Every day.  Every single day we need that power that comes to us when we read His instructions.  The 3rd group of people did hold onto the rod:
"And it came to pass that I beheld other pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness [we see that even they didn't listen to Satan, because they were reading their scrips, but look what happens] clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree."
"And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed"
..."And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost."
Why didn't they stay?  They made it.  They tasted the sweetness of the fruit.  What happened?  Elder Bednar suggests that it was because they were clinging, instead of "continually holding."  They maybe read their scriptures once a week, maybe twice a week.  But they weren't immersed in the scriptures.  Like the song says we need to be studying, pondering, and applying the word of God every day.  That way we can know His plan for us individually and collectively.  I have found so many answers and so much comfort from His word.  The word of ancient and modern prophets.
Mom asked a while ago how I come up with some of the stuff; I write about what I've learned.  I ponder.  Pondering is a big thing.  When we ponder we allow the Spirit to teach us.  And I write impressions I have in my study journal.  
So study those scriptures boys, and Saydi!  It will help you on your missions, and future callings, and every day.
Love, Sister Ostler