Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Laying the foundation

Dearest Family,
The picture is from last pday.  We had THE WHOLE ZONE in Rensselaer!  It was so cool!  16 missionaries!

We had some darn good hamburgers, threw around the frisbee, football, whatever.  Then went to play ultimate frisbee in about 90 degree humid weather.  Within 5 minutes we were all wiped, but we still played.  I LOVE frisbee!  And Stacey got a good, ultimate frisbee at Walmart for us!  Well it's hers, but we can use it.  Anything that's hers we can use.  Like her shampooer.  We are shampooing our carpet today!  We're making her lasagna on REAL Italian lasagna.  They put hard boiled egg in it, and something else that I can't a certain kind of cheese.  Yeah, I'm excited!   And we're having REAL Italian garlic bread!  I'm excited!!!
So work here is slow.  We tracted for hours and get like 8 contacts.  No one is home, or they don't want to listen to us.  So we're going to try to work with the branch to have them invite friends to activities and what not to see if we can get investigators that way.
Saturday, a day when people are usually home, we tracted Maple.  Three people were home.  One was Methodist, and at first said, "oh yeah, prophets, I could believe in one."  Then by the end of Lesson 1, he didn't want anything to do with us.  One guy just wasn't interested.  And in his haste to close the door he shut his kid in it.  Oh, then there was this other guy that wasn't interested either.  Wasn't a church going person, didn't see the need for it.  Then this lady, I think she was pentecostal.  Said that everyone who is a believer has the power and authority from God.  Sooo....we went back Monday night and retracted the street.  Skipping the houses that we already talked to people at.  No one would give us the time of day, well night, since it was night.  This one lady had her son die two weeks ago and she still wouldn't listen to us.  It was kinda discouraging.  Although the last man we talked to was outside checking on his strawberries.  We taught him, I forgot, prolly something to do with Prophets and the BOM.  We said a prayer with him, but didn't get a return appointment.  He was nice though.
So a couple weeks ago President Cameron calls us and tells us that this guy named Arnie called him from Remmington and wants a Book Of Mormon and to come to church.  We only had his phone number.  We tried calling but no answer.  Or he was away.  Well this weekend, Friday, I think, we got a referral from church headquarters from this guy named Arnie.  It was the same guy and it said he wanted a Book Of Mormon, and he had got a pass a long card and called the number on it.  I knew instantly who this guy was.  Sister Arce and I had tracted into him a month ago on a cold, rainy day.

So Sister Mondelli and I went to his house.  His mom and sister were there, Tina and Jessica.  Tina said that a couple years ago her friend had given her a Book Of Mormon, she even went to go get it.  We asked if we could teach her a little bit more about the BOM.  She said yes.  So we sat down outside and tried to teach her.  But the kids were running every where, and Tina was easily distracted.  But what was cool was when it was time to pray Tina said, "I don't think we can have one with these kids."  I called the two girls over, Chanasy and her cousin, and told them that we were going to pray.  These four year old girls folded their arms and closed their eyes and were silent the whole prayer, and even said Amen.  Tina and Jessica were slightly amazed.  We got a return appointment for Sunday.
We went over Sunday.  And we were pretty exhausted.  We just had a lesson with a woman who was telling us that these spirits were telling her what to do and say, and CRAZYNESS!!!  And then we had another man accept Joseph Smith as a prophet (except not really) because he couldn’t accept the Word Of Wisdom, but still wanted us to come over.  He contradicted himself while we were teaching him.  He said, "God is mad at me," then 10 minutes later, "God loves me so much, and he's not mad at me."   Weirdness!
Well, so when we walked into Tina's house she, Jessica, and Arnie all started to clean.  We asked if we could help and she immediately said yes.  NO ONE EVER DOES THAT!!!  So we cleaned her house.  Sister Mondelli swept and I picked up stuff.  And Chanasy!  Oh she's so cute!  And the first time I ever saw her I knew that I had met her somewhere before.  She just looked familiar.  Same with Tina and Jessica.  After we cleaned we sat down and talked about the Plan of Salvation.  It was a good lesson.  Tina can't read very well, and Jessica has a hard time reading too.  But they said that they would read the Book Of Mormon as a family.  We are going over this Sunday and showing the Restoration video.  We think they'll really like that.  And it's very powerful.  But we got to teach Tina the love of God, and how he loves everyone no matter what.  It was a really neat experience.
Kim is getting baptized next week!  He's still on schedule!  We taught him the plan of salvation again.  That's the first thing that Sister Clark and I taught him when we first met him.  But this time we taught him more in-depth and he accepted a lot of it, and we could use the whole standard works.  And once again I learned something from him!  Like how when we study the principle of faith, that's how we can get more of it.  "Faith comes by heading the word."  That's what the scrips says.  And if you think of it, how can you use faith if you don't know what it is? You can, but it's hard.  I've noticed that the more I've studied faith, the more faith I have because I actually know how to use it.  Like the more I understand the Atonement the more I use it, because I know HOW to use it.  And I love teaching people how to use the Atonement.
Yesterday we had a lesson with Ron.  We can't meet with him that often because he's busy.  But taught the Plan Of Salvation too.  We talked alot about the Atonement and how Christ suffered for EVERYTHING!!  He said that sometimes he didn’t call on God because his problems seemed not as big as the next guys.  We taught him that it doesn't matter how big or small our problems are, the Lord will help us.  We used the analogy of his children.  "Wouldn't you want to help your child with the broken leg as much as your child with the stubbed toe?"  He got it after that.  And he said that the Plan Of Salvation brought him a lot of comfort.  So that was really cool.  It was one of the best POS lessons I’ve ever taught.
There's so much to do and there's so much responsibility.  And there's so much on my mind.  Sister Mondelli is a hard worker and she’s 100% focused on the mission.  It's really cool, but I teach her that it's okay to take a brake.  But we have a lot of fun together.  One morning a wasp got into our apartment.  So she strapped a helmet to her face, got the vacuum and vacuumed it up!  It was sooooooooo funny!

She HATES flying insects.  She calls the crawling ones "monsters" and she never kills them.  She always scoops them up and puts them outside.  Same with spiders.  She LOVES spiders.  Which is good, cuz whenever there is one she takes care of it.  She also loves squirrels.  She gets so excited whenever we see one.  And whenever there's a pet in the house I better plan on teaching the lesson cuz she's loving that pet to death!  No, she's actually pretty good at leaving the pet alone once we start the lesson.  But yeah, she's great!
And thanks mom for the letter and talk.  That was exactly what I needed.  I just gotta trust in the Lord that everything will work out, but if not I will still trust in Him.  The scripture that says "Be not weary in well doing for ye are laying the foundation for a great work," keeps running through my head.  I think that a lot of time we don't know what seed we have planted or what life we have changed.  But I know that everything happens for a purpose.  And I really wish we had more miles so we could go more places.  It's hard going into a tiny town cuz everyone knows you're not from there.  We went to Brook yesterday and I could tell that people knew we weren't from around there.  We stood out bad....but maybe in a good way.
Yeah, I think I need a week vacation when I get home.  Like to Hawaii to visit Saydi.  That would be fun huh?  No, I really need to start focusing REALLY hard on this mission.  There's people out there that need this gospel.  The hard part, is finding the ones that are ready.  That's why we gotta talk to everyone.  It's just hard alot of times to be rejected.  Yesterday, was hard in the morning.  We were late for our appointment with Ashley.  We had a lot of hope for her.  We keep having to reschedule.  Well there was a note on the door that said she had a last minute appointment and that when we got there she would be getting ready so would call to reschedule.  The thing is is that we got there 40 minutes late, so she would have already been at her appointment.  We knew she was there because 1) her car was there 2) we could hear her kid crying inside.  I about cried myself.  Didn't they understand how important this was?  How this would help them in their lives?  We left a Plan Of Salvation pamphlet for them cuz they had lost their child right after birth about 4 years ago.
I've just met so many people that listen to us, believe us even, or maybe see something that they don't have then just toss us by the wayside thinking they have everything.  I just wonder what will happen to them.  I've grown to love them so much, like Ashley and Bill from Wheaton, but in the scrips is says that they will only get Terrestrial glory.  I don't want that to happen.  I'll prolly be visiting that kingdom a lot, (if I make it to the Celestial one) to try to teach my former investigators there and help them understand that there is sooooooooo much more.
The weather her is worse than Rexburg.  This week was 50-60 degrees and rainy.  Signs of the time, what?  And in your letter mom, you said you KNOW that Heavenly Father is watching over me.  It seems you've had some kind of experience to know that.  ....
We have zone meeting this friday.  I'm excited.  I think.  More for my interview with President Doll than anything else.  Okay, well, I better go, talk to you later!  Thanks for everything you've ever given me!  I love you so much, and miss you all so much too!  Go find people for the missionaries to teach!  They'll love you for eternity, the missionaries and your friends!  Don't be afraid to be bold!  This gospel is true right?  And it's a commandment to share the gospel with our friends, so why should we fear?  If it's a commandment then God will provide a way for us to do it!  1 Nephi 3:7
Sister Ostler

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