Como estan? Soy okay, porque training es muy deficial.
Yeah Elder Ostler, have a good laugh over that Spanish! I'm not perfect yet, but I'm trying. Sister Arce is kinda helping me, but I just rely on the Spirit a lot, and read some. I should do more.
Anyways, this week. well yeah...it's been pretty darn HARD!!! Wednesday we made the mistake to go all the way to Michigan City to watch the elders play basketball, then we eventually went and played Ultimate Frisbee in the cold, but we had fun, and I showed the elders that I'm not a pansy, and I can play sports...well frisbee. They actually threw the frisbee to me! It was cool! Sister Arce didn't play though, she was really shy. She's just like I was when I was in middle school, and the first part of high school. If she doesn't know the people she won't talk. The elders give her a hard time about it. The reason it was a mistake was that it cost us about 170 miles round trip. Yeah, not smart! We've been stuck in Rensselaer the whole time because we can't go anywhere else unless we have too! It's been tough to be in one area the whole time, especially when you're afraid that you're going to tract the whole thing within like a month! But we get 1700 miles on Friday!!!! And Thursday we're going up to Wheatfield for some appointments! Oh joy!
Thursday was Zone Conference! I got to see my old Zone, Naperville! It was fun! I got to see Elder Shippen and Johnson, and Sister Chen too, and my sister, Sister Howell. I asked about Wheaton and Naper 6. Debra's still not baptize. I guess Wheaton is doing good. They had to drop a couple people/families, which is sad, but I guess they're picking up some more. I also got to see Elder Valdez and Vicars and Wagner, that was fun. The meeting was in Joliet Il, and we had to ride up with the ZLs, Elder Lippert and Perkins. So that was fun...I guess. We had to get up at 5ish cuz we had to meet them at 7 in Hebron which is 40 minutes away, plus we had to stop for gas. Yeah, zone meeting was definitely awesome! I loved it!
We've been tracting a lot, and it's wearing me out! Sister Arce has no idea what to say, so it's all me. And I'm starting to let her just take it over. I know she's going through a very difficult time with trying to decide if she really wants to go on a mission. (I think I"m ruining it for her). She says that she's not a people person and she doesn't like talking around strangers. I told her that if she wanted to get over that, the mission was the place to do it. I can now see what my problem was with Sister Chen. At the beginning I didn't really communicate with her and allow her to help me. At the end of our 2nd transfer together I finally started to do that, and I finally started to listen to her, and that's when we had the most fun together. She listened to me and I listened to her. A mission really helps you swallow your pride.
Sister Arce has a lot of potential, and I love it when she bears her testimony...that's when her teaching is the most powerful. Like when we were teaching Vanessa and she was testifying something, it was strong...same with Todd. She was teaching Todd and the Spirit was so strong, I felt like ending the lesson right then and there! It was awesome!
I think Sister Arce looks at me and thinks I'm perfect, and she thinks she can't be like me, which she can't. No one can be like me except me, but she can be like her. Like I don't know, she knows I’ve never seen an R rated movie, and whenever she asks what kind of guys I like I just say, "A worthy priesthood holder who loves and respects me, and who loves God." (I don't like to go further than that, cuz then it just distracts me). And I know that that description is Molly Mormon of me, but it's true. I know I'm somewhat of a Molly Mormon (except I don't know how to can, or to do genealogy or make bread) but my standards are high and I think she looks at me as someone who’s perfect.
I've been trying, and somewhat succeeding, to be happy and look for the positive. I try to compliment her whenever I can. I ask her, maybe a little too much, if she's okay. I'm just glad that I had Devey in my life so she could show me how to smile all the time and look for the lemonade that life gives you. That's helped me so much these past two weeks. Also I know you're prayers have helped me too. I don't think I could have done it without your support and prayers. So thank you so much. It really means a lot. Also all your letters. Even though I still don't exactly know what lacrosse is, I love hearing about the boys games and what not. Sister Arce played lacrosse too, but I forgot what she said it was.
And I love hearing about Wilson's soccer games. I can't wait to hear about his knife! And the camp out at the waterfalls sounded so cool! I told the elders that one of my tests for my fiance will be a rugged camp out with the family. No bathrooms, or anything...like the pack trip we went on, or the hike in Utah we did a few years ago. Can he rough it like my awesome brothers can?
So cool story:
I was looking at the map of Rensselaer not too long ago, trying to figure out what street we should tract. The street Mathison kept catching my eye. It was a dinky street and would prolly only take us 15 minutes to tract. But I decided what the heck? So we went up there and tracted it. We got two potentials (one of which stood us up at our return appt). But then at the second to last house we knocked on the door. Well first, the bumper sticker on their car caught my eye. It told me that this family was against abortion. Well we knocked and the lady said her husband was sick and she had a church. Before she closed the door I randomly said (I don't know if this was the Spirit...but I think it was), "Is that your car?"
"I like your anti-abortion sticker on it. We are actually really against abortion as well."
From there we started a conversation, and I told her about how the doctors told my mom and dad to abort me because I was supposed to be a down syndrome baby. Then we started talking about religion and Christ, and how smoking is bad (she and her husband came out to smoke). Her husband was saying that God gave them the tobacco plant and put the idea into someones head to roll it up and smoke it. Hmm...I think that was actually satan that planted that idea in someones head, but whatever! In the end she, Vanessa, actually asked for a Book of Mormon. We didn't have one at the time so we set up a time the next day that we could come back. We came back the next day and started talking, just talking. Actually about feline leukemia. I told her about Tiger, and how Poppet had it. One of her cats had it and they put him down. Well then we taught her the first lesson, and that's when Sister Arce bore a powerful testimony about how through prayer God helped her through hard times. Vanessa didn't see the real importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, but she said she would do it! So that's cool. And she said she was interested in hearing General Conference.
Well the names Vanessa and Rob (her husband) sounded familiar. I thought that maybe they were potential investigators that were on our list, but I had never met. I remember when we were leaving Rensselaer to drop off Sister Clark and pick up Sister Arce we passed a house on the west side of town (where Vanessa and Rob live) and Sister Clark said, "That's where so and so live, they're our potential investigators." I thought she said Vanessa and Rob but I wasn't sure. So I asked Vanessa if there were missionaries that came her before. She said, "Yeah, but Rob was really sick at the time, so I couldn't let them in, and we were just really busy."
"Did one of them have big curly hair?"
"Yeah, one did."
Yeah, that was Sister Clark. This was the same couple that she had tracted into a couple months before. And here we were teaching them! How cool is that? Un milagro!!!!
Okay, Sister Arce is waiting for me!
I love you all, and thanks for letting me tell you all that stuff. It's just hard sometimes. I hope that it gets better and Sister Arce starts seeing the Lemonade in life! I think what I can do is just be happy, which isn't hard when you're in Rensselaer serving the Lord. You just have to look for the good in life. Okay, off to shop!
And yeah, it's crazy that everyone's getting engaged! Who's next? Dallin Maxfield! Yes! He's the next one!
Love Sister Ostler
ps. The gospel is true and that's all that matters!