Well, it's the time you've all been waiting for! I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Arce. She's latino and Spanish is her first language, but she speaks perfect English. She has a Chicago/Spanish accent. It's really cool. She's 20 years old, lives in Chicago and is going to start her papers when she get's home from her mini mission. She's worked some with the Spanish sisters in Chicago, Hermana Perez and Reyes (who used to serve here). Sister Arce is really quiet, especially around lots of people she doesn't know, just like I am.
So this morning we woke up (obviously) and the Bowmans drove us to Naperville. I got to see so many people there! Like all the sisters from my MTC district. Well except one, I didn't get to see her. I also saw two of the elders, Elder Adams and Chinn. But after chatting with some missionaries I had to go to a meeting for trainers and trainees. Except I'm kinda training. It's not like she's going to get transferred and be like, "well Sister Ostler told me this..." But I will give her a taste of the mission and influence how her real mission will be. I was fine the whole way to Naperville, and even in the meeting where President Doll and the APs talked about the schedules we keep and obeying the rules, and how this mission isn't a Law of Moses mission, but a "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves" mission. Then all the new missionaries were kicked out and President Doll talked to us about how important we were to how these missionaries were going to grow up in the mission, and that he trusted us, and how we were the best missionaries in the mission. It was kinda cool, except I kinda excluded myself from that since I was just with a mini missionary. But yeah, it was really cool. But I didn't get to say good bye to Sister Clark! She left before I got out of the meeting! But I have to call her tonight...or call the APs who will hand the phone to Sister Clark...we got it all worked out :). We then got a picture with President and Sister Doll, so that'll be on her blog shortly.
But the whole time I was there I was really happy and confident. I think being around other missionaries really boosts me up and stuff. While waiting for the Bowmans to come back (they went somewhere around Naperville) I chatted with Elder Chinn and Elder Vicars. Sad, but Elder Vicars is leaving. And we were just becoming friends too. It seems that when I get a friend either I get transferred or they do. But what can you do? I guess the Lord wants us to focus!
When we got back to the apartment, I felt so, well, not really scared, but scared. Kim, whom we were supposed to go see tonight (that's why I'm supposed to call Sister Clark. She wants an update on him) canceled on us. That was supposed to be our whole night since we would have dinner with him and teach him, and he lives half hour away. So then I was like, "Well we save miles, but what to do with 2 hrs tonight!?" So I sat down while she was unpacking and prayed and looked at our board with all our investigators and potential investigators on it. I came up with some people in Rensselaer to stop by, and even a street to tract if all else fails.
It's just hard being the leader, especially when your companion doesn't know a lot...well hardly anything about missionary work. I really feel overwhelmed and sometimes ready to cry. I kind of don't know what I'm doing, and I miss Sister Clarks love and friendship. I guess I just need to love Sister Arce and be friends with her. I really want to enjoy these next 6 weeks, not endure them. But she does like to run! I like food. But I'm bound and determined that from now on I'll exercise more. I think I'll just take it a transfer at a time. Plus we only have 700 miles left for the whole month (that’s about 46 miles per day) and so we'll be riding bikes on nice days while we're out finding people and going to appointments when we're in Rensselaer. But it takes 100 miles to go to Valpo and back round trip. That's crazy huh?
Oh man, so I just looked over and Brother Fisher is two computers down from me! He's a less active! Totally going to set up an appointment with him before he or I leaves! The Lord works miracles!
So the pictures!
The first two are from last Wednesday! We went to Valpo for a zone party! We had hot dogs, played Nertz (the elders didn't like that too much) and then Sister Clark wanted to play football. So we went to a park and got out a football. The only problem was that it had rained and was misting. So the field was soooooooooo muddy! We didn't play football, we played ultimate football. Just like Ultimate frisbee except with a football. Sister Clark and I were team captains. I admitted to everyone that I couldn't catch or throw a football, so they hardly threw it to me, but I blocked Sister Clark TWICE!!!! Both times she tackled me to the muddy ground! And Elder Miller (the tall one) was falling all the time. He has no balance coordination! Well a lot of people were falling and sliding! It was so funny!
Sister Clark and I mostly watched. We had an appointment right afterwards, and we didn't have the time nor miles to go home and shower. But soon Elder Dearinger tackled her to the ground and smeared mud all over her face. And then he plopped mud right on top of my head, and smeared it in my face. Soon it was a battle! It was great! Elder Hibbard and Lippert tackled Elder Dearinger to the ground and were like, "Sister Clark this one is for you!" So she went over and got him good! We all got together for a group photo! Elder Vicars put his arm around me and I was like, "Um elder your arm is around me!" But he didn't do anything about it. Stupid elder. Don't worry he doesn't like me. He only likes blue-eyed girls. Thank goodness I'm green! But we really are just friends. I promise.
Then there's Sister Clark and I in all our glory! That was honestly the best pday ever! We ended up taking showers at the Fernandez's house. They live in Demont, kinda close to our appointment. We walked into our appt. that night, Kims, and he was like, "Now it looks like you two just got out of the shower!"
But Kim knows!!!! He knows!!! He hasn't admitted it yet, but you can tell that he knows. Except he's between a rock and hard spot. He wants to come to church, but his wife isn't on board, which is super sad. I guess she had a mormon friend years back and they had discussed the Book of Mormon and she had even gone to church but hadn't had the greatest experience for whatever reason. But he and his wife had something else going on tonight, so Kim had to cancel, Sister Clark won't be happy. But at least that gives us more time to work on teaching together before we go to a hard appointment! He always asks hard questions, like about the temple and what not! Sister Clark could answers his questions perfectly, but I answer them a little different. I try to help them come up with their own conclusion so they learn something by themselves. But Kim's old, he's done a lot of pondering throughout his life, so his questions he just wants a plain answer, and Sister Clark could give him one. But Sister Clark says she has confidence in me.
You know for Kim, he told us that 4-6 weeks ago he had been praying to know what to do with the knowledge that he had, where he could put it to use. That's the time I got here, and both Sister Clark and I like tracting. On the 8th of February, we got a referral for out in Lake Village. We went there about a week later, and the guy didn't know the people who referred him or anything like that. It was a bogus referral. So we decided to tract. We tracted and tracted. The houses were far apart. We went about 3 miles with little success. Then we met Barbie, taught her an awesome first lesson. Then we met her neighbor, Kim, and he just kind of argued with us. But for some reason Sister Clark set up a return appointment with him. We eventually got 2 more return appointments. So we went back to see Barbie, she wasn't there. So we went to see Kim, and he was expecting us. We were afraid that he was gonna argue with us, but he didn't. And he's just been great. All our other potential investigators weren't home. The Lord sent us, me and Sister Clark, to Kim that day, we both know it. And we both know that it was us, no one else that had to contact him. Sister Clark feels confident that this new sister will be good for him too. I just hope so. He's so awesome, and we just love him!
The last picture is of Alfredo's baptism! He's the one with the mustache! He's got 4 kids, his wife had the oldest boy from her first marriage. Then Brother Fernandez is in there too. What a great baptism! And then because of the time change he showed up late to church and wasn't able to be confirmed. He was like, "I'm the newest member and I was late!" He felt bad, but it's all good. This Sunday will be his confirmation!
Well time's up! Love you tons! And can't wait to hear about Japan! We get no info out here! Members don't keep us that informed out here. And thanks so much for telling me that 1) Duportail Ward was formed 2) They're looking for land in West Richland for a stake center! I'm so happy you keep me so informed about the happenings at home! Oh and Sister Crawford told me Mercedes is going on a mish!!!
Well I do love you! And enjoy all your letters! Thanks for everything!