I'm kind of out of it. Spiritually, physically and slightly emotionally exhausted.
But other than that it's been a better week. I don't really remember it, other than we contacted our rear ends off, and we had more than half of our appointments fall through, and a couple reschedule. We have had some success. But I've gained a testimony of member present lessons. We went to Frieda's yesterday and we had just taught her lesson one a couple weeks ago, so we were following up with how her prayer and reading went (she's in her 50s maybe). We brought Sister Royce with us, she's a seminary teacher. Well we were gonna teach her about the Holy Ghost. And so we had it planned out who was going to say what. That personally helped me when Sister Chen and I started teaching together. I didn't know what to say half the time, and I didn't know if anything I was saying was getting across to Frieda. Well thank goodness Sister Royce has such a powerful, sweet testimony of the Holy Ghost, and how real He is. She carried that lesson through, and we didn't lose Frieda!
Then at Todd’s, we just had a really hopeful lesson fall through, Corey’s. He's 19 and a really good kid, but didn't show up for his lesson. So we went to Todd's instead. We were gonna teach him about the enabling power of the Atonement, which we did. (I remember the first time Dad showed me Alma 7:11-12 and how you explained to me that Christ suffered for much than just our sins. I use that scripture all the stinking time! So thanks for teaching me about that scripture Dad!) Well the Fernandez pretty much called him to repentance about smoking. He had already been 24 hours without a smoke, and he really wanted to quit. They told him that if he felt tempted he needed to call them or the sister missionaries, and I told him that if we were both busy than to call God, cuz He never hit's "Send to answer machine," or "ignore," or say to His wife, "Oh man, it's Todd, I don't want to talk to him, Hun, can you tell him I'm not home?" He needed to call God too. At the end of the lesson Todd prayed a really simple prayer for the people in Japan, then he pointed to an open drawer, and said, "Those are yours." In the drawer was an almost full pack of cigarettes! He said, "I want to quit, I'm done smoking." We took them and they're now sitting in our garbage at home!!!! I was so excited!!!
That just shows the power of the member present lessons. Cuz I really didn't know what else to say to Todd at some points. I ended up bearing my testimony and then just let everyone else call him to repentance. I feel sometimes that my spiritual bucket is running low. I'm running out of things to say.
But this week, man, I can't believe how much the Lord is helping me push through. There's a quote from a GA that says in our times of trial and distress is the time that we're closer to the Lord than we ever even realize. And I find that that is so true. Out here there's really no one I can turn to. I can't call you Mom, like that time when there was drama in my apt, and I can't run to my friends cuz they're all getting married, I can't burden President Doll with all my little worries, and believe me, telling the elders is the LAST thing I want to do. So I turn to the Lord. And I pray, and pray, and pray. And He helps me. I honestly don't know how I got through these past couple weeks. I really don't. It's been so spiritually draining. But He has carried me through it. And Mom, you weren't too preachy in that letter you were all worried about. It was exactly what I needed.
Grandpa Skinner sent me a letter, and it was so awesome! He told me that when I look back on my mission this will be the time that I love the most because it's the time I’ll grow the most...and I'm so seeing that happening. I just hope that next transfer is slightly easier. And I really hope that it will be.
But District meeting on Monday was so bad! We did role play. First Sister Arce and I had to street contact someone and lead them into the first lesson. They only gave us 5 minutes. Stupid. Plus I was the one talking the whole time. It was soooooooooooo hard! Then the elders contacted each other and they like took 15 minutes. And plus they were switching off and everything. And I knew they were doing it to show me how it's "really done." I felt like they were telling me, "You're doing missionary work wrong, so we're going to show you how to do it." But guess what? EVERYONE DOES MISSIONARY WORK DIFFERENTLY! Yeah, I just got frustrated with them. I wasn't having a good day to begin with. But then it slowly got better. And I think it was mom and dad's letters that made it better. They gave me the strength I needed to carry on through the rest of the day, even though no one was home that night. I really do like the leaders though. They can just be stupid sometimes.
And a part member family want's us to come over and teach their unbaptized 9 year old son. Haven't gotten ahold of them yet, but we'll keep trying. We really miss Kim...I miss Kim. We hopefully get to see him next week. Man this week we had several people tell us that things didn't line up in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, they contradicted each other. I wish that Kim was right there by our side to lay it flat to them. He's allowed to since he's not a missionary. It's hard proselyting in a small town. Cuz if you say something that offends someone then the whole town knows about it. So you just have to bear your testimony even if they disregard it. It's kind of weird to me to bear my testimony to someone and then they say, "Thank you so much for your wonderful testimony" or they don't completely bash it. I'm used to, "Well I'm glad you believe that, but I don't. And I’m busy right now, go away." Or they tell me that I can't know the BOM is true, I can only believe it. It doesn't hurt me at all. No one can take my testimony away from me except myself. That's what Elder Scott said 6 months ago.
And yeah, conference was amazing! We watched it at the Camerons and the Valoises house. I loved it and can't wait til you send me my very own copy of the ensign. Thanks so much! Nylons wouldn't be bad either. Bikes don't treat nylons too well. Yeah, we ride bikes to save miles and to get some extra exercise. We only ride when we're in Rensselaer and it's a nice day. Sister Arce doesn't like to ride, but I do. Especially when it's all warm.
Oh the picture is of me and Hogwarts, the Toad! I loved it! I really did! It was outside of Stacey's door. We found it when we went over to walk Peanut, cuz Stacey had surgery. But now she's better.
Thanks for all your support and love and prayers. And sorry if this email was an emotional roller coster...maybe you've gotten some insight into how I'm feeling right now. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
Love you all!
Love, Sister Ostler