Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I just feel that we planted a seed

If you want me to write long e-mails than don't write long ones yourself!!!!  I do enjoy reading them though.  And no, that wasn't supposed to sound mad.  But I have about 25 minutes to write to you.  I get on the computer, write to President Doll, print my other emails, write to Elder Ostler, read yours, then write to you.  Just in case you wanted to know ;)

Caption for the picture is 2 Nephi 9:51 - the very last part.
. . . . . and let your soul delight in fatness.

We got a package from Sister Creer, 2 from Mom and 1 from Grammie. Not to mention all those members who send us home with leftovers! Thanks for all of the goodies everyone.  I love it, I love mail.

But Jose was baptized and it was the coolest thing ever!  He only has one leg and so he put his fake leg on and had two people help him into the water.  Then he was baptized.  I think his elbow came up, but Bishop said it was a good baptism.  Okay.  But the confirmation was AWESOME!!!  I felt the spirit so strongly there, and he just looked different afterwards.  I wanted to ask him how he felt, but I never got the chance.

Sister Chen, Brother Joe Bell, Jose, Roberto, Sister Ostler
I have too many meetings and places to be, plus Sister Chen is Secretary to the max.  She's everywhere and the most organized person you'll ever know. At home she wouldn't get off work sometimes until 12am, and she'd get up at around 6am.  And whenever I ask her what she WANTS to do when she goes home she says "work" even when she's married and has kids, even though her bf (soon to be hubby) wants her to stay home.  I've been trying to get her to have fun though and help her realize that it's not all about work.  HAVE FUN SOMETIMES!!!  I think she's starting to get it.  But when we take breaks it's not like we can go outside and walk around.  It's really cold!  So we sit in the car, then I feel antsy and like I'm wasting time, and she's always making calls and what not.  But it is getting better.  I just don't want to waste time either.  And actually it's not that cold.  Okay, friday was killer!  I thought I was going to die!  And we were tracting all day!  Yesterday was beautiful!  Only about 30-32!  I wasn't even wearing a scarf!  And I didn't notice my toes were cold until they started to thaw, then they started to hurt.  Man I can't wait til spring!

So Bill...
I never told you this, but I'm gonna tell you this awesome thing that happened a couple weeks ago.  And I didn't tell you because I had just told President Doll and didn't want to retype it.  But I found where it was in the Mission Miracles that the APs send out every week, so I"ll copy and past it here...
“Bill, texted us and told us that he didn't want to meet with us again. We were devastated. Our 6 o'clock appointment fell through, so we called the member that was supposed to come with us to that appointment and had him meet us at Bill's house. Bill was the one who received a priesthood blessing a few weeks ago and had a confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true and Joseph Smith was a true prophet. While standing on his doorstep we asked him questions of why he didn't want to meet with us. He said he just didn't feel the desire to do this at that time, but eventually he would, and he would always remember us. I reminded him of the time that he felt the spirit so strongly after his blessing. He didn't deny that he felt it but he said, "Yeah, but it didn't last."
A couple days earlier I had been studying the difference between the Light of Christ, the Power of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And so at that moment I was able to explain to him clearly why that feeling didn't stay with him. The funny thing is, is that I hadn't planned on studying that topic. But one morning Sister Ika's departing testimony on how her study of the Holy Ghost had helped her throughout her mission popped in my head, so I took some time to study that. I know that the Spirit prompted me to study that, because after I shared that with Bill he let us in his home, and Sister Chen and I, with the help of the Holy Ghost were able to help Bill understand how important our message was, and that he just couldn't say he didn't want to meet with us when this was so important. So we committed him to meeting us once a week and church on Sunday's. And he came this Sunday too! And he stayed all three hours! The first time he came he only stayed one."
So things were going good with him.  We had an awesome lesson on the plan of salvation and he understood and believed it.  Then at church the sunday school teacher mentioned that Christ created the earth, and Bill didn't agree with that (look up Isaiah 41) and then the word of wisdom lesson.  He drinks coffee every morning and he didn't agree with it being bad for the body.  But we had another lesson with him and Brother King was gonna pick him up and bring him to his house.  Well, we got there and Brother King was running late.  Then he called us and told us that Bill came out to get in the car and told him that he wasn't interested anymore in learning the gospel.  That there were things that he didn't agree with.  So Sunday night we went over to his apartment and talked with him.  Sister Chen and I both felt that we needed to let him go.  It was really hard but we did.  The spirit was definitely there and actually literally held me back when I wanted to Bible bash him.  I'm getting really good at not Bible bashing people.  I just bear my testimony.  Although neither one usually works.  But at least with a testimony they don't say, "well this says..."  Although I have had several people tell me that I can't KNOW these things are true except I see them.  Stupid people!  I didn't just say that I promise!  I love everyone!
But Bill asked us to pray before we left.  And he said that if we were in the area we could stop by and he'd call if he every had any questions.  It was a really good meeting.  And what's cool is that that night the stupid football game was on and so his roomies had a party.  There were open bottles of beer and cigarette smoke in the air.  But the Spirit was still there when we were there.  I hope Bill notices the difference!  I just feel that we planted a seed and somewhere down the road he'll remember what we taught him and want to come back.
We have a couple new investigators this week.  I'll just name one for sake of time.  On Saturday we were tracting a rich area.  What's new?  Half our area is rich.  And getting a lot of gospel conversations but no return appointments, when this lady walking the dog passes us.  We stop to talk to her and she's never heard of the Book of Mormon, and so I'm explaining it then out of the blue I ask, "Have you ever wondered what the purpose of this life is?"  Diana says no and wants to find out so we set up a return appointment and come back in two days and find out she has a great family, a wonderful husband, lots of money but no happiness.  Well we can help you there!  We committed her to church on Sunday!  And have an appointment with her on Friday.  I'm excited for her.  So hopefully she'll feel the spirit!
Okay we gotta go get our car fixed!
Love you all!

And yes, I am feeling much better!  I do have some minor headaches, but I'm hoping those will go away.  When I take Advil or sudafed they go away.  So I"m fine.
Love Sister Ostler

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We committed her to baptism!

Yeah, I do think I have a sinus infection.  Sunday I woke up with a sore throat, so I was downing throat lozenges all day.  I was able to talk and everything fine.  And I didn't tell Sister Chen until after church.  Monday I woke up with a stuffy nose, and my sore throat was a lot better.  I called Sister Doll and she said to take Sudafed round the clock.  So that's what I've been doing.  I can only take 4 doses a day, which means every six hours I'm taking medicine.  But yesterday was bad.
I felt like crap all day, and we didn't have time to rest either.  We got out of the apartment late because we had so many lessons to plan for.  We went straight to Debra's (an investigator since April) and shoveled her walk.  I was in my fleece nylons which have holes in them, (I wear them every day and wash them on pdays) my big winter coat, my wool scarf, my hat and two paris of gloves and I was SOOOOOOOOO hot!  I left them on though.  But I was so tired because under the snow was ice, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get rid of the ice.  So I told her that she'd have to put salt on it.  But we committed her to baptism!  We talked about being baptized by the proper authority, and how she knew our church had it or else why would she ask for so many stinking blessings?  (She's had four or five since Octoberish).  And if we have the proper authority, then Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and if he's a true prophet then the Book of Mormon is real.  She agreed with us that she believed the Book of Mormon was real!  Finally!  So she's getting dunked on the 18th of February.  We would do next week, but she's having surgery on her broken wrist tomorrow.  You think I have health issues?  Oh man you have no idea until you meet Debra.  But we love her!
Then right after her we went to Luna.  Sister Hammer referred her.  She's not interested in joining the church but we're "practicing" the lessons with her.  Or so she thinks.  We're forming the lessons to fit her need specifically and make her think about some things.  Like yesterday we taught about families using the Family a Proclamation... yadayada.  And how families are eternal.  She's thoroughly convinced that families aren't eternal.  She'll know her husband in heaven, but their relationship will be brother and sister.  Same with her kids.  How sad is that?  We even used 1 Peter 2:7 which states that we will be in heaven with our spouse to have eternal glory.  But she thought that meant glory here on earth.  It's so sad to see that. Because she loves her family and loves a lot of things about the church, like FHE and she loves Brother Hammer.  She wishes her husband was more like that.  And he's like that because of the church, because we understand families are forever.  So that was a frustrating lesson.  But Luna is so nice and wonderful!  I can't get mad at her, only feel bad that she won't pick up the Book of Mormon and give it a chance.
Then right after that we went clear to Aurora, at the end of our area to visit a LA, Connie, who's daughter (17) was going to get married in April, and we were teaching her fiance (also 17 [dumb and stupid, I know]).  Well Connie was sick, but we taught her anyways.  She told us really weird things like how she hears good and bad spirits, and she wanted to know how she could tell the difference between when they were good and when they were bad.  We used Moroni 7, and told her to slow her life down.  That was an exhausting appointment.
Then since we hadn't tracted all day, we tracted for 15 minutes before our dinner apppoitment.
Dinner was good.  For dessert we had fondu!  Oh the good memories that brought back!  Then we went tracting again, and oh my gosh!  Christians can be soooooooo mean!  We had one guy slam the door on us!  And he was a Christian!  Are you serious?  But we did meet a nice Mexican who invited us back.  So that's good.  Then we were driving past a street with three houses on it, and I had the impression to stop there and tract before going home (it was 8:20ish.)  So we stopped.  In the middle house there was a Muslim teen.  He was so firm in his belief.  But we had a good conversation with him.
But the whole day I was in pain.  And whenever I ate I didn't feel good.  And ever since Monday night I've woken up at around 1:30 and couldn't' go back to sleep until 3ish.  So I would read letters I hadn't read or write in my journal, or last night I read my blessings again.  But last night was bad.  I was determined to stay in bed.  But I woke up at 1:20ish in so much pain.  So I got up took some sudafed, laid back down, and was still in a lot of pain.  At 2:20 I was still in a lot of pain.  So I got up, took some Advil and noticed that when I wasn't laying down I felt better.  So that's when I lit a candle, so I wouldn't bother Sister Chen and read my blessings. I didn't feel good.  I hate it!!!!  I started crying after 20 minutes.  Sister Chen got up and told me to go to bed.  So I did...crying.  By then it was 4ish.  I was able to get asleep.  Only to wake up 2.5 hors later.  I was so frustrated.  I hadn't gotten a good's nights sleep since Saturday night, and I was sick.  My sinus’ do feel better, but I still have a stuffy nose.  But this morning I cried good.  And reading your email I cried some more.
I agree with you Mom.  I do need a change.  Whether it's a new companion or a new area.  I love Sister Chen, she's taught me so much, but I do need change.  And we've been through some together.  But we both think we're getting split in two weeks.  But I don't know how to work hard and relax.  Especially since Sister Chen doesn't need to rest...EVER!!!  It's so crazy!
Oh and I've also been frustrated because so many people have such hard hearts and won't humble themselves!  But we do have five people on date.  Jose is getting baptized this Saturday!  And here is what I wrote to president this week.  I'l past it here cuz I don't have time to write it all again...

"With those investigators who have a baptismal date, well we're excited for them.  We will have to push at least two back though, Bill and Frank, because of Word of Wisdom problems, and for Bill he doesn't really have a desire to read the Book of Mormon or even to stop drinking coffee.  When we taught the Word of Wisdom to him he thought there was no problem with drinking coffee.  It was my first time teaching someone the WOW who didn't have a strong testimony of Joseph Smith.  But we're getting Bill into member's home, which I think is helping.  Although those lessons do tend to be long, because the members out here love talking and teaching.  It is nice to have someone besides us teaching him though.  He get's to see how the gospel can bless individual lives.  And I think he's seeing how happy and simple a Mormon's life is.  And he keeps coming to church, which is good!
Jose will be baptized this Saturday at 10 am.  We're really excited for him.  I've seen a change in him since we started teaching him.  He knows more about the Book of Mormon and our basic doctrines.  I see more love in his eyes.  I know that sounds weird, but I can just see more love of life and of people and of God in his eyes.  We only taught him for about a month, but he's ready!  And he has good friends in the ward!
Lexi is going to be baptized next month.  She's 13, and her step-mom is a member.  Lexi believes the church is true and everything, but she grew up Catholic, and so is torn between the two.  I see her interact with the YW in the Wheaton ward, and it's like she's already a member of the church the way she interacts with them.  She's more comfortable with them than I was at age 13 when I was in YW, and I was even a member!  We believe she just needs more confidence in her decision.
Yesterday we committed Debra to baptism...again.  But we're pretty sure this one won't fall through.  We finally helped her come to realize that she had a testimony, even though it's small, in the Book of Mormon.  There are some things that she's not 100% comfortable with, such as giving boys the power of God at such a young age, and how come there's not one person who has the authority to baptize, how come there are so many?  I think she was concerned with us giving the Priesthood to so many boys and men.  But we explained to her why we did that and how it made boys more responsible.  So I think she's better with that.  And she has a lot of friends in the ward.  She wants to meet with the bishop, and actually received a blessing from him on Sunday.  She's having surgery tomorrow.
We're very excited for these people to get baptized!!!!   Elder Scott said something along the lines of "Be thankful that the Lord let's you struggle for a long time before you receive an answer."  And I think that's what He did with me.  For the first two transfers here I saw no progress, no success.  And now I'm slightly overwhelmed with all the success we're having!  I love it though!
So that's everyone we have on date.  I'm worried about Bill.  I don't want to loose him, and he doesn't really have a desire to read.  But he's VERY receptive to the least when we’re there.  He feels it.  And when we shake his hand good bye I can tell he respects us and likes what he's hearing.  He just doesn't have that desire!"

I HATE SATAN!  I HATE SATAN! I HATE SATAN!  And I hate winter...but that's another story.  I will go see a doctor.  But probably not today.  Sister Chen wants to spend an hour at Walmart.  She as 60 dollars to spend there and doesn't really know whats in that place.  So I will be wandering around wally world for an hour today.  Joy, I know!  I'll switch ANYONE spots!  Then I'm teaching her to make her favorite soup, cheddar broccoli.  Then I"m sleeping!  Well attempting to.  But I'll talk to Sister Doll.  If I don't feel better by tomorrow I'll call her.  Or I'll call her tonight.  But I do feel better today.  I don't know if it's because I took sudafed and Advil at the same time.

That's cool that Saydi is going to apply for Jerusalem!  I'm so jealous!  And I loved all the letters you send me!  They were awesome!  And thanks for all those pictures! 
Okay, times up.  Hope this was long enough!!!!
Love Sister Ostler

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Raising the bar

Thank you so much for all the letters you send to me!  As you can see by this first picture you send me alot! 

No just kidding!  I'm not mad or anything, I just though I'd give you a hard time since last week I only got one letter from Grammie.  And Sister Chen only got a package from her home ward.  Which means she got about 100000 letters.  But it was funny.  Every night we'd come home to an empty mail box.

We had zone meeting on Monday and President Doll raised the bar.  We have a Standard of Excellence.
This includes:
  • One baptism a month (the average was one every other month per companionship)
  • 20 lessons total - 5 with member present - we got those two in the bag!
  • 3 at church--a little harder, but for the past three weeks we've had at least three.  I was afraid for this week, because in the past we had Gabby, but now she's a member.  Yes she was baptized! So we can't count her anymore.
  • 4 news!  What?  You gotta be kidding me!  Two is hard enough!
  • And 70 Quality Gospel Conversations.
That last one kills.  That means 10 a day.  A QGC is when you talk back and forth with someone like a conversation.  And you share a principle or your testimony and leave them with something.  That is so hard to do.

On Sunday night our appointment fell through so we were going to go see someone else, when we drove down this street and this idea came to mind that I should tract that street.  Sister Chen had the same feeling.  So, we got out, and I didn't have a scarf or my boots on.  Just my little summer shoes.  But I knew someone on this street needed to heard the gospel!  So off we went with determination!  We were at it for 45 minutes and only got two or three QGC.  And by the end of it my feet and hands hurt so bad.  And plus there were people when we started to talk to them said, "Um. I'm cold so I'm gonna go in, bye!" Oh your cold!  I CAN'T FEEL MY FEET! OR HANDS!  Really peoples!

But we did get two return appointments.  And then yesterday we were determined to get 10 QGC so we were out in the snow for 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Not one person let us in, but total we got 7.  And we met someone who was ready to hear what we had to say, but alas she wouldn't listen to us.  But one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met.  I loved talking with her.  She told us a story of when her hair had caught on fire, and she turned to grab a towel and she saw a heavenly being throw her a wet towel, and she looked up to say thank you, and it was gone.  And I believed every word she said.  It just showed me that you don't have to be a Mormon to have God's protection, to have His love, to have His angels protecting you.  It was a really cool conversation.

So, Gabby's baptism.  It was more for her dad.  He said that when he was baptizing her it felt like he was getting baptized again.  It was so cool.  He's so humble and wants to change and be better.  He wants to be ordained an Elder and be the dad that God wants him to be.  Gabby is really cute though.  She was excited to be baptized.  She reminds me of me.  She's excited but doesn't really show it.  She doesn't make a big deal out if it.  Her middle name is Amanda . . . which probably explains it ;)

Our next baptism is on the 22nd.  It's Jose.  He's so ready!  He excepts everything we teach him...even Word of Wisdom and tithing.  He's so awesome!  He wears me out though.  Hes a 62 year old Spanish guy who talks ALOT!!!!!

Today we're buying a new rug.  Cuz the toilet overflowed, and if you get down close to the rug it smells like pee. And the only reason I know that is because, no I don't go down and smell it every night, but sometimes when I want to pray alone, I go into the bathroom, so I can have a private prayer.  I like talking out loud sometimes.  So yeah, we're going to the dollar store and getting a new rug.

Also I've been getting sinus headaches.  I'm taking sudafed which helps, but every morning my heard hurts around my eyes.  Any suggestions?  The best solution would be going to get a cat scan and getting treated.  But I don't have time, and I don't want to figure it all out.  I'd rather just take something.  Yes, I did tell Sister Doll. She suggested sudafed.

The last three pictures are of the baptism.  They are Sister Chen's.  I don't have them, so SAVE THEM!!!!!  AND DON'T DESTROY THEM!!!!!!!

Love you all,
Sister Ostler

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Don't have alot of time...only 5 minutes

We went to Chicago today to the American girl place!  It was awesome, I'll post pictures next week...when I have more time.  I only glanced at your e-mail.  And yeah, I heard about the fire from Sister Heward today. (Note from Delene - if you want to read about the fire that happened to 2 Elders in Amanda's mission, click on the blog "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" in the right hand column).

We took the metra and then the bus when we got there.  Sister Heward and I were the ones navigating where we should go.  I'm getting pretty good at reading maps, and my sense of direction is getting really good.  I know where we are most of the time.  Sister Chen on the other hand hasn't got a clue 90% of the time.  It's kinda funny.

And that's a cute picture.  It took me about 10 seconds to figure out the lemonade thing.  But I got it!  You must listen to that song a lot!

(Note from Delene-this is the photo Amanda is talking about. We attached it to her email. She loves a song called 'Lemonade' that we listen to constantly. And the pile of plain spaghetti is-well if you know Jackson, it's self explanatory)

We're excited for our baptism this week!  Gabby is so cute!  We're meeting with a new investigator in 30 minutes.  And one with a baptismal date later tonight, Bill.  He's awesome!

Sister Chen and I both think one of us will be leaving next transfer, February 1st or something like that.  It'll be sad, but I have to have change.  Whether it's moving somewhere else or staying with someone new.  That's why I liked the short semesters at BYUI.

Nothing new to tell.  We are teaching a lot in the Wheaton Ward.  Naper 6 is dead.  They haven't had a baptism since last January.  We're working hard in that ward, but nothing.  There are only a few members that are missionary minded in that ward.  And they are awesome.  The others are new families, or just aren't missionary minded.

Okay, time to go!  Love you all
Sister Ostler

PS:  loved the letters and the photos!  And Amber sent me a picture of her baby girl!  Leah Mae Nelson.  She's soooooo cute!
Love you!

The Bently's gave us turkeys for Thanksgiving and I accidentally sat on mine and therefore killed it!

I love Sister Ika!
My own recipe that I made up in 5 seconds.  PB, Nutella, oatmeal & raisins!  Soooo good!

What?  I can't open all these letters?

I'm stylish now!  Don't worry.  I just had to go out to the car to get something.

I'm going to miss her!