August 10, 2011
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,
"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."
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