Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Missions are all about change

Dear family:

Have fun reading this!  The space bar doesn't work very well!  And I'm not backspacing. I got 30 minutes to tell you all!  Oh how amazing it's all been!
On Wednesday, I got bit by a stupid dog named peewee at our investigators house. It was licking me earlier, so I pet it and boom!  It bit me!  At first I didn't think it broke the skin, but it did...just a little.  We went home and oh the pain!  It throbbed!  And it was on my finger.  It was just a little dog.  Alcoholed it, neosporined it and slapped a bandaid on it.  And I’m still alive and healthy!  Really healthy!  Love it!
Zone conference on Friday was edifying (look up what that word means in Spanish.  It'll bring new light to that word).  At zone meeting the elders gave me my missionary journal back, and as I was reading it that night something that Elder Anderson said popped out at me. He said, 'Expect and search for miracles."  I realized that I was no longer searching for them.  So we prayed mightily that we would start to see miracles.  And the next day it happened!  As a zone we also fasted for a few was that peoples hearts would be softened.
Saturday morning we met with Jim, a potential.  Sister Clark and I had met him before.  He was walking down a street we were tracting and he came up to us and said we had come to his house in the fall.  Sister Clark remembered him and told me where he lived and that he wasn't interested.  So when Sister Mondelli and I tracted his street and came to his house I thought that he wouldn't be interested.  But he stayed outside and talked with us about the Book of Mormon and prophets and accepted a return appointment.
When we went back we taught him the lesson that we planned, and the Spirit filled in the gaps.  We opened the scriptures and expounded on them and taught to his needs. When the first vision was being quoted he actually started to cry!  The Spirit touched him, but he still said he wanted to do a lot of praying and reading.  He loved the idea that God's standards don't change with the world, and that a modern day prophet speaks those standards.  We are so excited for him to progress... hopefully I'll be seeing more miracles concerning him in the future.
Then we went to Kentaland...I've never been there before.  Well we went to see a former investigator taught by elders in 2006ish.  The progress record said that she had called and didn't want anything to do with the missionaries.  Well, we stopped by, and it turned out that her BROTHER said that, not her, and she was excited to see us again!  Didn't understand our purpose, but invited us back and said she'd read the BOM.
In Goodland, we got some good potentials.  And when we didn't think the Lord could bless us with much more, he did...
That night to top off our awesome day of miracles, we took a couple to Todd's house.  He was sick in bed, but his wife was there. She usually high tails it outta there when members come over.  She loves us, but not members. But this time she invited us in, and talked with us about Christ and relying on Him.  The members brought the subject around to the Book of Mormon and the church.  The members were perfect for her. One had a similar background, and they were bold in their testimonies and telling her that she needed to read the Book of Mormon.  She said she would try.  I know that usually means no, but it was truly a miracle.  Here was a lady who didn't really want anything to do with the church, and now she was considering reading the Book of Mormon!  The next time we went over there she was there and I bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and how I hoped that she felt that what was being said was true!  I hope that one day I’ll see hers and Todd's names on the "baptized" list!
The next day after church (and breaking our fast with Sister Cameron’s AMAZING CAKE!!!) we went to see Jay.  He’s so humble and wants to know the truth.  We taught him L1 and the spirit was strong, and he said he’d be baptized if he found out this was true!  So awesome!  That night we went to James’ house and his fiance Abby joined us!!!  She never had before.  We taught lesson 1 to James and Abby.  James, for the second time, Abby, the first.  James was going through a hard time and Abby said that since we had been coming over she's seen a change him.  He talks about God instead of taking His name in vain.  He reminds her to pray, and he prays at least once a day!  And she said that if we hadn't come over than he prolly wouldn’t be able to get through this hard time.
After the lesson she said she'd read and pray and they would hopefully come to church.  And then their friend came up.  He's randomly Todd’s neighbor!  I love small towns!  And he asked that if next time we came over, he could join us.  Hmm...nope I don't think so.  OF COURSE YOU CAN!  WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT?
We were just so happy and texted President Doll to tell him that he can't possibly move us because we're seeing so many miracles.  He called us the next day and asked about the miracles.  So we told him, and he was impressed!  Oh and that day we had an awesome meeting with President Cameron.  Rensselaer is going to be on fire!!!!!  I'm so excited for it!  The baptisms that will start to flow if the missionaries exercise their faith and expect miracles!
Tuesday came...yes it did, and with it transfer calls.  We got back from our 20 minute run in the humidity and saw that the APs had called.  We got it on video.  Not much to look at though.  Elder Roberts (the new AP) told me I'd be going to DeKalb, Illinois.  While he was telling Sister Mondelli that Sister Daley would be coming to Rensselaer, I sat on my bed and cried.  I didn't want to leave.  I felt that I had completed what I was sent to do, but that didn't mean that I wanted to leave.  Rensselaer  had shown me so much love, patience, long-suffering, everything.  Hardships, yes, there were many, but oh the joy I felt while there too!  The growing I did!  Like the corn!  I grew tall like the corn!  I loved every minute of it!
I stayed up til 12 packing, then read your letter mom, and cried.  Now you know what it's like being a missionary.  You grow to love these people so much and oh man when you leave all you want to do is go back.  I didn't sleep real well.  Went to bed at 1, got up at 5:30, and couldn't really sleep.
Elder Anderson had the same problem.  We both came to truly love our area and the people there.  I love Indiana and will never forget it.  It's the celestial kingdom of the mission!
Today we went to Naperville, and Sister Mondelli and I went our separate ways.  I love her and she taught me so much.  Sister Howell is my new companion.  She's younger than me on the mish, and she was trained by Sister Chen!  Cool huh?  She's hardworking but likes to have fun, like me.  What Sister Howell has told me about DeKalb, well it needs work and I'm willing to do it.  She denotes that this area needs a Sister Chen, but I think two missionaries that were trained by her will work just fine, especially because we're our own missionaries.
We'll be riding bikes a lot.  And she can drive!!  I"m so excited!  But this isn't Renssy.  No toads or turtles, or hick accents...every house is too perfect, and there are swans here.  What's up with that?  We cover two wards.  DeKalb and Sycamore.
It's gonna be a hard start here cuz we're going to change things here and the members might not be thrilled, but it's for the better.  We'll of course check with the Lord.  There's some stuff that I learned in one zone conference about working with members that I really want to implement here.
Man, I'm just gonna work here.  I don't know if I can love as much as I did in Rensselaer.  There, it was so easy to love, because they loved you.  You were apart of their branch family.  When I told the branch I was going, Sister Outzen texted me and said, "We'll miss you and you'll always be a part of our branch family."  I cried AGAIN!
In the pics, Sister Howell is the one right of Sister Chen.  Sister Russon trained Sister Chen, who trained me, Sister Howell, Sister Brown, and I trained Sister Mondelli.  Oh and Sister Russon trained Sister Pome'e.  We are a happy family!

The other pic... me, Elder Dearinger and Anderson.  Love those two elders even if I wanted to smack Elder Dearinger from time to time...well every 5 minutes more like.  Elder Anderson is one awesome guy!  He came out with me.

I love you all, thanks for all your love!
Sister Ostler

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