Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Hi family!
I just got your letter, mom on the way out of the apartment, and skimmed through it.  You need to repent and send them earlier so I have more time to read and form a response.  And Deatherage retired!  NO!!!!!!  I hope there's still someway to get in contact with him.  He was AMAZING!!!!  Changed my career!
This week with Sister Howell was blur.  Thursday we tried making cookies...well she did, I didn't touch them, for the members and she didn't put enough baking soda in them.  So we ate the cookie dough!  SOOOO good!  One night when we had a bad day we just came home and after planning we sat on the couch and just ate frozen cookie dough!  Sister Howell, when they did't turn out said, "Who knew working with members was so every aspect!"  It was great!
We got reprimanded for reading the Book of Mormon with our investigator.  We were in a restaurant, she took us out to dinner, and after reading 3 Nephi 11 and bearing our testimonies and helping her see the importance of all this, she said that that's what we believed and she believed something different (greek orthodox) and that was all good.  She was kinda rude, and we were taken aback, cuz Sister Howell said she had never been like that before.
Saturday was fun!  I had surgery!!!  Okay, breath mom, breath.  I had an ingrown toe nail and Sister Howell tried to fix it, but she couldn't all the way.  So we went to the foot doctor, he gave me  the option of temporarily fixing it, or permanently fixing it (I guess I have abnormal nails, thanks dad!).  And I chose permanently.  So on Saturday I went in, he gave me three shots of Novocain in my right big toe and that was the worst part of everything.  Sister Howell was in there and she being the nurse she is wanted to watch and the doctor was like, 'You have to back up!’  Sister Howell wasn't that close, so she thought it was gonna be a cool procedure, blood squirten everywhere and such.  Well it wasn't.
He apparently clipped off the nail down to the root, shoved something in there and then bandaged it up...the bandage gave a whole new meaning to Big Toe.  I got to wear flip flops that day, and my toe was numb for the whole day too.  I went tracting right after too.  That was fun, but not for long cuz it felt so weird.  Now I just have to soak it in medicine twice a day and put some drops in it, and slap a bandaid on it.  But it was a fun experience!
That day Noah got baptized.  He's 9.
ps, happy bday Saydi!  Sorry it's so late!  And happy anniversary mom and dad.
So one day we went up to Burlington to contact a referral, not home, so we decided to tract his street. First house was J and K.  J was 13 and K was the mom.  They were members.  They told us that we were out of our area...out of our ZONE.  But they let us in.  Their house is the ONLY house on that entire street that wasn't in our area, and they needed us.  Before we left we shared a scripture with them and Mom said that was exactly what she needed.  She had been praying for an answer and that's what she needed.  Cool huh?
We also had a man bash us pretty bad on Sunday.  We were teaching his son and his friend, about the Restoration.  We got to the apostasy when the dad walked in and listened.  And they didn't understand the apostasy.  I was just gonna move on, but oh no, the dad when off.  He went off on how the Book of Mormon was false, so was Joseph Smith, the whole religion was manmade and wrong for saying it was the only true religion!  And on and on.  And the Spirit was gone.  After he was done I prayed and prayed for the Spirit and then just bore my testimony.  What I said, I don't know, but he Spirit was back and were eventually able to share the restoration, give a Book of Mormon.
But the dad, I wanted to not going to say it.  But said, "You're under my roof, so I’m going to make sure you leave here knowing the truth!" Then he talked about he Atonement, the natural man being an enemy to God an stuff like that.  Stuff that isn't news to us, and he was telling us that he wanted us to leave knowing that.  Then he through in some stuff about how Joseph Smith false.  But every time he spoke the spirit left, and every time we did the spirit came back.  There were several times that I was too mad and angry to talk (I knew if I did  the spirit would leave) so I turned to Sister Howell and she said the exact thing I wanted to say only better and with the spirit.  Yeah it was a great lesson!  But the boys said they'd call us back to talk again.

Monday was bad food day.  Bad apple on the way to district meeting, I ate it anyway.  We went over to a LA for lunch, and she had a sunburn so couldn't cook.  I wasn't happy.  We cooked her mac and cheese and hamburgers.  By the time her husband got home with the milk for the mac and cheese it was on the cold side, and it wasn’t filling.

Well then we had dry, unsatisfying peaches (all the juice spilled out, they were canned) and for dinner, one pice of bread of my pbj was soggy the other dry.  Explain that?  Then at the T’s they gave us the BEST, and I mean BEST cupcakes!   Oh it was awesome!
Then Tuesday...we went out for our run, came back, no one called us.  Good, most likely not getting transferred!  Then from the other room I hear, "Oh know!  It's President Doll!"  That means two things:
1) we’re getting transferred
2) one, or both of us were training.

Sister Howell was soooo scared it would be her. 
Well it wasn' was/is me.  I'm here in DeKalb with Sister Wallace, and Sister Howell went to white wash an area...Woodridge 2.  It was elders, so I bet the apartment looks beautiful!

Sister Wallace, Sister Ostler, President & Sister Doll
I got to see Sister Mondelli and Elder Dearinger there, and Sister Daley.  She's training in Renssy right now, a spanish girl.  She's from Mexico.  Sister Wallace is the youngest of 9, she's from Los Angeles, has a twin, she was studying nursing, still talks about what she's going to do when she get's home like she's really excited...typical greenie.  I did that.  She seems nice.  But she's not pretrained like Sister Mondelli was.  So I’m really going to have to train her.  I'm not sure I can, but let's hope that with the help of the Lord I can!
And say thanks to Cali for the letter.  I LOVED it!  Only letter I got all week!  And when I mean that I mean from last Wednesday.
I'm so sad that Sister Howell is gone.  We really want to room together when she gets home.  We just have so much fun together.  So many inside jokes, "Because of you my parrot is gone!  I can't talk to you right now!"  "Hi Holly!  You cute thing you!"  "We just got to get him outta the office!"  "Well in D&C it says..."
Oh fun times!  I'm gonna miss her!  And yeah, Sister Chen is going home :(  She got to see her granddaughter though.  Oh and Elder Dearinger is training.  Scary thought!

Sister Ostler, Sister Chen, Sister Howell
Sister Chen trained both of us
Okay gotta go!
Love you all!  Thank you for your love, prayers!
Love Sister Ostler

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's a long hard life for us.

Dear family,

Wow, I'm beat!  Sister Howell and I work non-stop!  Every night I fall asleep so fast!  And getting up is hard, but I'm used to it.  We just want to have success.  I mean think of it.  We were trained by one of the best missionaries in the mission, which means that we know how to work hard, and we have such a love for this work and the people that we want to go out and work, but at the same time it's just so hard!  Pdays can even be stressful.  Especially when no one else has miles, the washer continues to break, and you're so behind on letters that it's not even funny!  Marie and Devey wrote me this week!  Tell them thank you so much, and I will write I said, I'm behind.
Devey sounded so cute, she talked about making bread, which made me want to make bread...not being on a strict schedule, and just listening to something besides religious music.  I don't know if other missionaries feel this way, but sometimes you do get tired of the same schedule over and over again.  Sister Howell says that she feels that way too...sometimes.  Those times only come once in awhile, like this week.
And thanks mom for your words of encouragement.

So about Ethen.
He's Don's grandson and Don gave him a BOM awhile ago.  When he came up for Don's baptism he also came to church and loved it (he's like 20) and he came to the baptism.  He even met President and Sister Doll.  On the Wednesday following the baptism we went over there for dinner, and we were going to teach him about the BOM, but he seemed to have a pretty good understanding of it all.  So we taught him something else.  But it was one of those times when I didn't really know what to say, how to say it, or what.  So I just opened my mouth, started talking and the Lord filled it with the perfect questions.  He could feel the Spirit, and the two high priests who were there testified as well and in the end Ethen agreed to meet with missionaries in Oklahoma where he's going to school.  But he said that for the past month while reading the BOM (only a little) and talking with his mormon friend and starting to understand what prayer is and how to really pray his life is changing.  We're so excited for him.  Don later told us that he, Ethen thought we were pleasing to look upon, then he clarified and sayd that Ethen said we had an inner beauty that he had never seen in any other girl before.  Hmmm....could it be that we're mormon and have the Spirit with us?  I think so!  So that's Ethens story.
WELCOME HOME JEFF!  That's so exciting that you're home!  I wish you the best at BYUI.  I'll be joining you in the summer...if you stay that long.  Embrace home life like you embraced your mission life.
Our secretaries are senior sisters or missionary old people.  And the APs have their own area that they're in charge of.  So on days when they're not doing other stuff they're working in their own area.  They do get baptisms, just not as much as other areas.  An their area is small.
I don't know how many sisters are going home in October.  Next week the only missionary to leave is Sister Chen :(  She's just awesome!  The only mission will really miss her...especially her three daughters.  There's five missionaries coming in.  3 are english speaking girls, and one from Mexico.  Sister Howell and I both joked that I'm getting the mexican, just because I've already had so many foreign comps.  Well all of Sister Howells' comps have been foreign, except me.  Well Sister Falakala was from Tonga, but she lived in California and Australia for awhile...and lives in California right now.
J was baptized (hence the pics.  Don't you love Brother G’s Elvis suit?  It's so him!)  But since she was stressed out and then got sick and had to go to the hospital to make sure she didn't go into labor she didn't come to church :( but her visiting teacher, Sister Bound has been in contact with her, and we went over to visit briefly last night before heading home.  She's awesome and so excited to be baptized.  She's due October 13.  We love J a lot.

A 9 year old gets baptized this Saturday.  We're really helping his mom out.  She's just awesome...the mom is.
One of the less active families we're working with the T's, well they love us!  We're really working on the basics with them, like family scripture study.  They'll basically keep all the commandments except coming to church, and Sister T even shares the gospel with people at work!  We can tell that they feel the Spirit when we teach them.  We're just doing the basic lessons out of PMG, but it's powerful!
And I think that's it.  I do need to go!  Love you all!
ps. we'll find out about transfers next week...
I forgot to sign it!
Love, Sister Ostler
ps.  Thank you so much grammie and grandpa for the corn!  The best corn I've tasted in a LONG TIME!
Love the first quote!
Someone artistic should do something amazing with it on a computer and then put a cute background to it and send it to me ;)

“We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it].” Elder John A. Widstoe

"Since immortality and eternal life constitute the sole purpose of life, all other interests and activities are but incidental thereto" Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Work Is Here

Dear family:
Well Mom, lucky you, we left our apartment this morning late, and ran into the mail lady on the way I got the box and the letters, and there was a package from Grammie.  I the apron, and haven't looked at the skirt yet...but I will.  Nor have I looked at the pics.  I read the letter in the car on the way here...we email at NIU, and I’m not walking around campus to find a dumb camera.  I’ll just send you REAL photos, k?  And the sky is amazing everyday!  It's sometimes the only thing that keeps me this morning on our 2 mile run.  And it's actually been quite cool here.  Maybe in the 80s, sometimes 70s.  Amazing weather.

And sad about Dad.  Hopefully he get's better?  Is it hard to work with bending down and stuff?  And thanks so much for the pics!  I can't wait to relive some of my mission!  And thanks for the laundry soap!  And PLEASE do something about my facebook!  Delete it if you have to.  I don't mind starting over when I get home.  But just don't change the's okay if my profile isn't available for the next 7 months.  I don't care.  If people really want to know what's going on with me they can flippen write me!
Funny you should mention the mini tape recorder...she's buying one today so she can listen to her sisters tape.  I'll pitch in so I can listen to yours when you send it.

And yeah, the world is so sad.  I honestly can't stand it anymore.  I just can't.  All this stupid sin.  All this "I’m comfortable with where I'm at" crap.  All the short skirts, low shirts, pants at the knees, murder, breaking the law of chastity like it's no big deal, kids ruining their life, parents not taking care of their children, selfishness, wickedness, wickedness, wickedness.  I can't stand it any more and it honestly feels like we aren't doing any good.  People are dropping us, not showing up for appointments, ignoring us, treating us like we don't have feelings, like we're robots, and I’m tired of it.
I just felt as if I wasn't doing any good in this area, that I was ruining it.  Sister Howell was so patient and really helped me, just by listening.  She told me that I was the best teacher she had seen.  I see everything I’m not doing.  I see when I'm not following the spirit, I see when I get annoyed at people, like with people who feel the spirit when we're testifying and then they go and quote that stupid scripture that I have no idea why in the world Paul put it in his writing about if two or more are gathered in my name then my Spirit is there, and how that's an excuses 1) not to come to church 2) Organized religion isn't necessary or 3) it does't matter what church you go to as long as you talk and learn about Christ.
This transfer has been hard.  I know I need to get out of this rut and just be happy, but that's hard to do sometimes.  I need to focus on the good, like Devey would, or Sister Howell does.  She does teach me to look at the funny in everything and everyone.  Like Brother A.  He can talk about nothing forever, and instead of getting frustrated she "listens"  and then afterwards goes ,"Oh Brother A!"  OR instead of getting mad at the high priests for going into deep doctrine in the gospel principles class she just laughs and makes fun of them in a loving way.

But what about when people reject us and tell us that they're going to call the cops on us if we don't leave?  How can you really find joy in that?  And I KNOW they are rejecting the Savior and not us.  But that makes it all the more harder.  Because they are rejecting eternal life, exaltation, eternal happiness, answers to their questions, everything!  I really do wish I could cry repentance unto this people like the early missionaries did, but as Alma said, I must be content with what the Lord has given me.

Well thank you for letting me just rant and rave. ... I know I really shouldn't, but sometimes I just have too.

Mom, thanks for being such an awesome example to me.  You really are amazing.  I love you so much.
And Dad, thank you for being a worthy priesthood holder who puts his family first.  You are also amazing.  I love you two so much!  And Dad, sorry, I didn't get a chance to read your letter before I left this was a crazy morning.  The washer broke, so we had to wring all my whites out by hand...and I chose to wash my sheets today!  They were just sitting in water cuz it wouldn't least it washed them.
Happy birthday Benson!  Can't believe you're 12!  Always be worthy to use that Priesthood!  Way to go Harrison for being worthy to give it to him!  Jefferson, keep being cool, but not cocky, Wilson, you just good.
And Saydi, I miss you so much!  I love you!  We're going shopping when I get home... well you can buy stuff, I won't have two pennies to rub together...maybe we can convince mom to lend us some stuff.  But I try not to think about home.  It shows that I love you guys, but my work is here among the unrepentant people of Illinois.
And is Jackson ap or something?
I sent it to President Doll, thought you might like it too:
Sister Howell is teaching me so much about working with less active members, she herself being in that position once, and her visiting teachers coming over and sharing a message and just leaving.  Then she got one who didn't share any gospel message with her and just loved her, and that's why she came back, because of that love.  The other day a less active member took us out to eat and we didn't really share anything with her, we were just her friend and loved her and listened to her, and we could tell that she was touched by it and loved the spirit that we brought and the love that we showed to her.  We hope that we can truly love these people back to church.  There are some less actives that the message is exactly what they need.  We have been "practicing" the lessons with one less active family and every time we're over there the spirit is so strong and we really think that they feel it too and it's making them realize that they need to do something more in their lives.  They said they're going to start reading the scriptures together as a family.  And they want a temple marriage too, which means coming back to church, which they know too.
Oh, I had an ingrown toe nail, but Sister Howell, who is going to be a nurse and has fixed her brothers in grown toe nails before, fixed mine.  She's awesome.  Gross stuff doesn't phase nose blowing, burping or passing gas.  Sometimes... we have to end prayers earlier because we just start to laugh.
Okay, it's time to go.
Thank you for all you do for me!   All I really need is your prayers to get through this harder time.  I just need the faith to keep persevering to the end.
Love, Sister Ostler
ps. can I have the peanut butter kiss recipe?  And fudge while you're at it...just send it in your next letter.  Thanks so much!  You guys are just family in the world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Preach My Gospel Missionary understands that we have to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way ~ Elder Bednar

August 10, 2011
Dear Family,
First of all, yes, I'm getting mail.  Your letter from Spokane arrived on Thursday though, so I couldn't respond to it til today.  That is so cool about Grammies brothers grave.  That must have been amazing!  And yes, that is missionary work.  Sister Howell and I were discussing which one is easier and we think that genealogy is just because you're not getting rejected right now.  But the reward of it is just as great.  But genealogy is also hard cuz sometimes you can't find that person you're looking for!  That's always hard.
As for the heat here, it is really bad.  Well it's not the heat it's the humidity.  I love the heat, but hate the humidity.  I got a bandanna last week and cut it into four pieces so I can wipe my face between houses, cuz I SWEAT!   Although today is PERFECT!!!  When we went running this morning it was crisp outside, perfect!  And I'm wearing polyester today and not even breaking a sweat, and we had to walk about 10 minutes to get to the school to e-mail!  On the way we saw this younger girl, about our age, and I said, "I think she was in church on Sunday."  And she was!  She just moved here with her little boy from Ottawa and she's going to school here.  We're excited to get to know her, cuz she'll know so many new people in school this year!   

It was awesome to hear about the trip up to the a-frame.  And what ever happened to dad?  You left me hanging.  You just said he couldn't laugh, cough or sneeze.  Is it broken?  Out of place?  Did Brother Kurtz fix him up?  Can I have Mercedes address so on the mission I can write her a little now and again.  I'm so behind on letters!  It's crazy!
Mom, if you had any idea how much I love pictures of you guys doing whatever you'd send more.  Think of it this way.  You love pictures of me cuz I'm far away right?  Well same goes for me.  At least you got 4 other kids, plus your husband to be with.  ME?  Well I do have the ward members, Sister Howell, the elders (what little comfort that brings) and the corn to keep me company.  No, I'm just giving you a hard time.  I'm never really homesick.  I miss it sometimes, but I love this work too much to miss it .  I was actually thinking of getting an extension, but then Heavenly Father told me not to.  But I sure as heck love this work!  I love everything about it!  Like some funny things that happened yesterday.
Well we had zone meeting which was AMAZING!!!  And then afterwards we were trying to find an Italian restaurant cuz oh man did I want pasta!  So Elder Cook told us where one was, but this place was worse than any place in TC, so many cars, so busy.  And we couldn't find it, so we settled for Panda.  We got in there, got food, and who shows up?  The Byron elders!  Then as we were leaving, the other DL's showed up too.  None of it was planned.  We just all chose the same place to eat.
Well later that day I called a less active/recent convert, and asked if she would like to come with us to an appointment that was on her street.  She said she couldn't because, "I have to take care of the cats here."  How funny is that?  She can't come with us to a 30 minute appointment cuz she has to take care of the cats?  Sister Howell has really taught me that laughing at those kinds of things are a lot more fun than getting mad or irritated about them.
Then that night we went to Brad's house.  He keeps making excuses of why he can't meet with us.  Well we went over for our appointment and he and some girls were in the garage when we walked up.  He came out and the conversation went something like this:
"I'm so sorry," he criedish.
"Porque?" Sister Howell inquired.
"What?" Brad had no idea what was going on, and apparently Sister Howell didn't register that she was speaking Spanish cuz she repeated,
"Porque?" again.
"Why?" I prompted her.
"Oh why?" she shook her head, realizing that she was speaking Spanish (she doesn't speak a lot, about as much as me).
"Because I totally forgot you were coming over tonight, and I’m intoxicated."
"Oh, okay,"
We asked if he wanted to learn, and he said yes, he did.  He said this was important, so we couldn't say no to him.  We set up another appointment and I wrote it down on a sticky note for him.
"Here, put this on your fridge," I said.
Well, he smiled, lifted up his shirt and, while smiling stupidly, stuck it on his stomach. 
"Okay, that works," I said. 
Then we said goodbye and left, then laughed.  "I totally forgot you were coming, and I'm intoxicated."  Who says that?
Awesome about the Ahmed!  You can't force the gospel on him!  Lead by example!  Let him feel the spirit and want to know more!  There's an awesome part in pmg about listening.  READ IT!!!  Especially the quote by Elder Holland.  If you listen with love to what they have to say, to what his religion is, to what he believes then he'll be more willing to listen to your testimony.  Don't point out everything wrong with his religion, point out what's right.  And he prollyprolly get killed if he does it later.  But if he has a testimony of it then everything will be just perfect in the end.  I do know that they pray at specifics times during the day, that Christ is just a prophet, and Mohammad is greater than him.
Well we did have a baptism on Saturday!  That's what the pictures are of!  Don got baptized!  Sister Howell's first baptism!  She was so excited!  He was like a Kim to her.  In one of the pics is Brother Bingham.  The most awesome man in Illinois, besides President Doll.  And then the other guy is Don's non-member grandson.  Don's been getting him interested in the church.  Ethen, the grandson, is going to church with one of his friend in Oklahoma, and he really enjoyed the baptism and church on Sunday.

We're going over there tonight to have dinner with them.  We want to gear the lesson towards Ethen since Don knows more about the church than we do (He's read the history of JS according to Lucy Mack Smith, and A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, and we're going to give him Jesus the Christ.  He eats it all up.  He's read the entire Book of Mormon, D&C and Pearl of Great Price once, and is going at it again.  He's in Alma.)  We're thinking of doing a lesson on the scriptures, more importantly the Book of Mormon and how it's written for us and can help us.  We think that dinner will be the perfect time to get to know Ethen.
There are two high priests coming with us, Brother Bingham and Newman (Don loves the high priests, and he actually goes to that class during third hour).  So Sister Howell and I figured that while the high priests are talking with Don about Kolob we'll talk with Ethen and get to know him.  He's a little younger than us, so it'll be good.  This is going to be a hard lesson, cuz it's not like we get to come back and teach him.  We're hoping to get a referral for the elders or sisters in Oklahoma.  But it’ll all be good.
Jackie is our next candidate for baptism.  What we're trying to do with her is get the ward involved.  We feel that the ward isn't fellowshipping her as much as an almost recent convert should be.  But hopefully we can think of some ways that we can get the Relief Society involved and what not.

Sister Howell and I have thought of at three less actives that we can focus on loving back into the church.  Going over there, being happy and truly letting these people know that we love them and care about them.  With one of them we went over on Sunday and just talked with her for as long as we could, which was only 15ish minutes.  Then we shared a simple message from the scriptures, and left.  We hope that by constant contact with them, showing our love for them and leaving them with a scripture we can bring them back.  We're also going to be contacting their home and visiting teachers overtime we do go over there to let them know how they are doing and hopefully helping THEM realize that they too have a responsibility to visit these lost sheep often.  So people in Tri-Cities, GO AND DO YOUR HOME AND VISITING TEACHING!!!  IT'S SO IMPORTANT!
On Friday we got to go to Naperville to a leadership training.  All the ZLs, DLs and then four sisters, Me, Sister Howell, Sister Chen and her other daughter, Sister Brown.  So it was a family reunion!  Don't ask me why we got to go, but we got invited.  It was really cool and we learned so much!  Then in zone meeting yesterday it was mostly a review of the things we learned, but was sososososo good!  We loved it!  We got to listen to Elder Bednars talk AGAIN.  He gave it to the new mission presidents and the missionaries in the MTC this June, and hardly anyone else has got to listen or read it.  It talks about what a pmg missionary is, and it's AMAZING!!  What I got out of it is that a pmg missionary does things the Lord's way, not their own way.  It was just amazing   And then he described a process which we can all become preach my gospel missionaries.  He also said several times that after our missions we will still be missionaries.  So you are all missionaries!!!!
Something that I'm gong to repent of is letting the spirit teach the lessons, not me.  Repentance isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing.  It's changing our will with God's will.  How much more awesome can that get?
Well tata for now!
Love you all!  Have a  fantastic summer!  Take lots of pictures and always remember the good times spent!  Got any pics of the Burrups wedding?  And also I don't know Tyler Pulsipher?  How'd he die?
Love, Sister Ostler
Gotta a little extra time.
About the storms...yeah, haven't seen them.  I guess there were some, but we're so sheltered as missionaries here that we never hear about anything like that unless it's happening to US at that MOMENT.  Also did you get the memo that I'd love the pics of my last two transfers and first two transfers and the MTC on a cd.  Not all the pics, but the good ones.  I like making post cards out of the pics and sending them to people.
Quote by Elder Holland:  "We don't know everything, well if you go to a local high priest group you'd think we know everything.  Hey, if you can't make fun of the high priests who can you make fun of?"
So true!  Especially here in Sycamore!  You'd think we know all the mysteries of God!  They always come to gospel principles because of Don and we talk about some deep stuff.  We make fun of them all the time during comp study, or tracting.  It's just great!  I'll take some video of it!  Okay, it is time to go now!   Oh wait, boys Harrison and younger, can you tell me how you apply Mosiah 3:19 to your life?  Or just what you think it says.  And I need it asap.
Thank you so much!
Love, Sister Ostler

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Week - Two Lawns. I Was Happy!

Dear Famiily:

We have an investigator, and he let me mow his lawn!  So Tuesday night we show up in our shorts and tshirts and I mow his lawn at 8pm!  And oh boy was I sweating!  I have NEVER sweat that much while mowing a lawn!  Not even in 100 degree weather mowing 15 lawns!  And this lawn took about oh, 15-20 minutes and sweat was flinging off the end of my nose as I would turn the lawn mower to do another strip.  Also it was a push mower, not walk behind, but it was easy cuz it wasn't as heavy as our nice ones.  I must say his lawn looked amazing after that!
Saturday we were riding bikes.  We were on our way home for lunch and there was this older man mowing his lawn.  I stopped and asked if I could do it, not if he needed help, just if I could mow his lawn.  He said yes!!!  So there I go, in a skirt and tracting shoes mowing this guys lawn!  Sister Howell contacted him, and he gave us some veggies from his garden.  I was super excited though.  That made me sooooooo happy!  Oh, after mowing Mikes lawn (or investigator) we went to Wendy's to get frosty...just because we could!  So yeah in one week two lawns!  I was happy.
But yeah, the humidity kills out here.  We tracted yesterday a lot cuz all our appointments fell through.  3 pm tracting...we were just WALKING, and sweat was just streaming down my face!  I carry a washcloth with me to wipe it off in between houses.  I'm getting a hanky today at walmart...hopefully they have one.  Sometimes I can't breathe properly.
Okay, so question...I've been contemplating this question for a few days, "What does it mean to 'Come unto me'" (3 Nephi 27:20; Matt 11:28-30).  Look at both those scriptures and really ponder what it means.  Then tell me, I'm curious to know what other people think.  And ANYONE and EVERYONE should do it.
So we had this mile issue in July, and the Burrnettes invited us over for dinner on Friday, three days before the end of the month.  They live in Burlington, quite a ways away.  We were contemplating on canceling the appt. but something so small told me that we should go.  So we went, knowing we would go over the miles.  We tracted before dinner, no luck...well we placed a BOM with an old lady, it didn't seem she had a lot of potential.  After dinner we tracted for 45 minutes before we had to go home.  That's when we met Elizabeth.  At first she was like, "I don't need it,"  but I didn't give up.  We kept talking to her, and she asked questions pertaining to every lesson.  "There are so many churches who just want our money" "How can I get my husband to pray," and other stuff.  It was really cool.  We gave her a Plan Of Salvation pamphlet and she invited us back whenever we were in the area.  Sister Howell and I were both super excited.  We have a good feeling about her.
Then the next day we found out there was a funnel cloud somewhere near DeKalb, and a tornado came out of didn't hit the ground though.  It was a perfectly clear day, and boom all of a sudden there was a funnel cloud.  The sun was shinning and everything.  An investigators step-son was showing us video on you-tube channel through the TV.  We were already sitting there talking with Jackie (the investigator) so we did get to see some of the video.  It was pretty cool looking.  I guess we were supposed to go to Burlington for a couple reasons!  The only thing they'll do about the miles is the ZLs will call us and "reprimand" us.  It's Elder Vicars, so not a whole lot of reprimanding.  But this month we won't go over, cuz we're both VERY responsible.
Although these last two days we killed the miles.  Monday was District Meeting, so we had to travel there, which is about 30ish mi away.  Then yesterday ALL of our appts fell through, and I mean ALL, except dinner.  So after dinner we got in the car, prayed to know what to do.  Follow our back-up plans or go somewhere else.  While I was praying the name "Jessica" popped into my head.  I asked Sister Howell if she knew a Jessica.  There was a PI in Lee...30 minutes away.  We had already traveled to Sycamore that day, so we already had 24 miles on the car that day.  (40 is max for the day if we want to stay under).  So we weren't sure if we should go, but I felt okay with it.  So we went.  Driving through corn fields to this tiny tiny town of Lee.  You could run from one side to the other in about 2 minutes, no joke.  We went to Jessica's, she didn't remember us, didn't have time for us, told us she would call us.
Great!  Now What?  So we tracted.  Rejection, I'm Catholic, Please Leave, I'm Baptist, I'm Not Changing...on and on.  Well then there was a church...we can't contact near a church.  Interpret that how you may, but I interpret it the houses directly by it.  Well across the street from the church was a lady sitting on her porch swing.  I REALLY wanted to contact her, so I asked Sister Howell if we should, and immediately she said, "Of course."  So we did.
She was Southern Baptist and didn't believe the same thing we did.  Initially Sister Howell would have given her a card and moved on, but she surprised me by ignoring that rejection and she kept talking with her.  I knew something was troubling her.  And soon it came out...well some of it.  We taught her a 2 minite POS, a little about truth, and a lot of the Atonement and putting faith in the Lord.  Then we gave her a BOM with Ether 12 to read and said we'd stop back by when we were in the area.  We both walked away knowing that that was why we had to come to Lee, to see Audrey.
It was a cool experience.  Not like OH MY GOSH THAT WAS AMAZING!  But it was neat.  After all day with appts falling through, rejection after rejection, someone once again telling us that Peter was the first Pope (blasphemy!!!) and then getting to bare testimony to Audrey, that was just neat.  Then on the way home there was this massive lightning storm.  It was AMAZING!  I got some pretty neat video.  We had to stop and park the car once cuz the rain was just coming down, we couldn't see 5 feet in front of us!  But oh man it was so awesome!
And I hope you got the packages I sent home 2 weeks ago.  They had things that I don't need or don't use anymore.  One has a skirt in it.  The zipper broke, so I can't wear it anymore.  But KEEP THE SKIRT!  I repeat KEEP THE SKIRT!   I'm doing something cool with all my mission clothes after the mission...and it's not burning them...that's just stupid.
Also, last Friday I sent my memory card home.  I forgot to back it up on my thumb drive, so could you do me a favor?  Could you put the pics...well some of them, like if there's some of the same things just put a few of the good ones on a CD and send them to me.  Also if there's room left on the CD I wouldn't mind some from my first 2 transfers in Wheaton and the MTC since I don't have any of them.  Just so I can have them and print them if I so desire.
So there's this less active family that can't have kids.  Well they have a dog named Holly, and oh my gosh!  They treat that dog like a child!  She even CRYS like a kid!  They have doggy ice-cream for her, and she has a drivers license!  There's pictures of Holly all over the house.  It's nuts!  But whatever!
One of our investigators is Orlando Rivera.  You HAVE to look him up.  They did a story or something on him on Chicago Fox news, or Fox News Chicago...something like that, you're smart you'll figure it out.  Then type in his name, Orlando Rivera, and hopefully you'll see his story.
. . . . . super cool experience really quick.  So this Sunday was her third Sunday in church.  She's been going through a lot of hard times, and likes reading from the BOM cuz it brings her peace.  So after church she went to the store (haven't taught her about that yet) and she said that she was really worried about some things and then she felt all the church members with her and this weight lifted off her shoulders and she felt peace.  Oh the blessings from living the gospel!!!
Well Dad, I hope you're doing okay!  Don't kill yourself!  How's the office doing by the way?  When does Saydi go back to school?  What grade is everyone in again?  I forgot.  Can I have the Lade's address when she does leave the nest again?
Okay, times pretty much up.  I love you all!  Thanks for always being there for me!  Go out and do some missionary work!  You'l see miracles happen when you have faith.
Love, Sister Ostler