Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's More Than A Treat

Go to the temple often too.  I wish I could go.  It's been about 7 months since I've gone and I miss it so much.  J and T dropped us.  And yes, J was baptized!  The pics kinda show it. It was awesome, the ward is so supportive!  We had a super good turn out.

President Evans, the Stake President, even came.  Well he's from Sycamore Ward, but being the stake president he's got a lot to do.  The whole baptism was awesome, and then she was confirmed, and she said she felt different!!!  So exciting!
And then to make matters better Don is on fire.  He's already given us two referrals, and he's baptizing his grandson, Ethen, on the 27th of October!  Sister Howell and I had the opportunity to teach his grandson a few months back when he came for Don's baptism.  He had already been thumbing through the Book of Mormon, and he had noticed a difference in his life when he started to understand the simple truths about prayer.  The Spirit guided that lesson we had with him and we then sent his information to Oklahoma where the elders started teaching him.  Now our recent convert is baptizing him!  Sister Clark told me there is hardly any greater joy on your mission than seeing your recent convert baptize someone.
Yes, I got the package.  I think it got delivered to our mail box, but I can't remember.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure it did cuz I've been getting a lot of mail and I have had no time.  And when I say no time, I mean no time.  I went to bed one night without brushing my teeth.  I was that done in.  I just have way too much to do and I don't want to over burden Sister Wallace with stuff cuz I'm pushing her in lessons.  Like last night I was gonna say something, then just turned to her.  The look that passed over her face briefly told me she was expecting me to talk.  Nope honey, you talk.  I teach too much.
And to tell you the truth she's doing fine.  Every night the area book has to be updated, and she helps me with that.  So that's good.  Last night she said that we should go see a potential.  I wanted to go to Cortland to see D who we haven't seen or heard from in several weeks.  But I followed her.  We went there and O so needs this!  A single mother, kinda lost, want's to get back on track, knows what she has to do, and we're there to encourage her.  It was a really cool experience and miracle!   We are finding quite a few new investigators through our area book.  Former investigators and potentials that others have found.  We just go do the following up.  Beats tracting.
We get fed a lot.  I'm starting to gain weight again...I think.  Well I feel it.  Running 2 miles everyday you'd think I’d lose some weight.  Nope, not gonna happen.  So I'm just trying to be happy now and hope my clothes will fit.
Although by the end of the mission I won't have any left!  They're ripping or just worn out.  NO MOM!!!  DO NOT SEND ME MORE CLOTHES!  I'm just going to fix the ones I have now.  Plus Sister Bingham is a good seamstress.  I'm giving her two of my summer skirts.  Although one is ripped pretty bad.  I have no idea how it happened either.  Oh well!

Thanks for the Mosiah 4 Dad.  We actually left that with O because she wants to know how to raise her kids in the gospel, and I just felt impressed to leave that with her.  I hope it helps.  She wants to come to GC too.  So does J W.  She's awesome!  Hopefully getting baptized on the 3rd of December.
I find that the closer I get to the end, the faster it goes.  I’m not sure I like that.  I’ll be sad to leave, but I might be a little like Jeff, happy to be home and crash.
There really are days that I don't feel like I can go another step, like yesterday morning I just wanted to cry.  I had so much to do and it was -3 minutes 'til comp study and I still didn't know what we were studying.  I didn't prepare anything cuz I had no time.  I didn't know what we would do with 2 hours.  So I prayed so hard that the Lord would help me.  And oh He did.  We had an awesome comp study.  Although the rest of the day was rejection after rejection, except O.
In bball mom, who were you playing?
I'm going on exchanges next week with Sister Jackson.  She is the first missionary out in her family.  Tell her mom that Sister Leahman is an awesome missionary!  Really one of the best.  Sister Ika's daughter.  Sister Leahman works hard, hard, hard!  She's so dedicated, she's such an awesome missionary!
Oh, and I don't know what the doctor gave me.  Some pill.  Don't ask.  So are the boys still practicing piano as well as taking guitar and ukelele lessons?
We're teaching a guy in Shabona right now.  He's got potential.  He accidentally slipped into the regular Sunday school class on Sunday instead of coming to our class.  We had no idea where he went.  We knew he didn't leave cuz Brother Stewart brought him.  By that time I just kinda gave up.  But we found him, and he actually liked the class.  They talked about the holy ghost, which was good for him.  We're going to teach him tomorrow.
Also mom, if I only get one more thing on the mission I would like the RS broadcast on cd.  I’ll get the print edition with the ensign.  And they don't put the broadcast on the conference cds.  Just download them off they should be there (oh that'll be nice too, the conference cds when they come out, and of course my own ensign) see how much I love conference?  Yeah, that broadcast was sooooo amazing!  Remind me to tell you about President Evans talk next week, but I gotta go!
Love you all! 
Love, Sister Ostler

It's More Than A Treat
Guess what's this weekend?  General Conference that's what!  I don't know about you, but I'm super excited.

How blessed we are to have a prophet on this earth today.  Let me illustrate just how blessed we really are.  I want each of you to take out your scriptures.  Got them out?  If you don't, don't read any further til you have them.  Now just take out your bible.  If you have a quad just hold up the bible part.  If there was no Joseph Smith, no Restoration, that is all the word we would have.  THAT'S IT!!!  Nothing else.  We wouldn't understand the proper way to pray, how we can really receive answers to prayers, what's in store for us in the future, how we can prepare.  There are so many people I meet every day who are so lost. The sad thing is, is that they don't realize how lost they really are.

We are so so blessed.  We have EVERYTHING we need to know how to get back to live with God again.  Because of the Restoration, we have the Book of Mormon, and the D&C, and on top of that, all the words the prophets have said.  Elder Holland said this about General Conference:

"I testify that the proceedings of the past two days are yet one more evidence that, as our hymn says, 'Lo, Zion's standard is unfurled'--and surely the dual meaning of the word standard is intentional.  It is not happenstance that one English publicaiton of our general conference messages is in a magazine simply titled the Ensign."

If you want to do something cool, look up the word 'standard' and 'Ensign' in the dictionary.
I hope that each of us will take time out of our busy schedule this week to watch ALL of General Conference.  We truly are blessed to be taught from these men who have knowledge from God and receive revelation for us from Him.  "When we listen to a Prohpets voice, we hear the Savior too."
Love Sister Ostler

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What manner of men, or woman, will you become?

Dear family,
Well first of all I loved the story about Ben!  Oh man!  That's awesome!!!!  He's one heck of a guy! 

And I loved the picture of Wilson!  The only problem, there is no way to shrink the pic on this computer so it blows up super big and grainy, the smaller pic in the email is actually easier to see.

News from Illinois:
J is super excited for her baptism.  It was announced in church on Sunday multiple times, so we're hoping for a good turnout.  Sycamore ward is so supportive of it's new members, it makes our job and responsibilities a lot easier when they band together and help out.  We are encouraging Jane to continue to read from the Book of Mormon to help strengthen her and prepare her for baptism.  Her son continues to come to church and wants to be baptized.  We are just waiting for his fathers approval.
Stewart is really starting to progress.  We have been trying to get him to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish, but he never has.  He just flips open the book and hopes to gain some insight, which has only left him confused.  At our last appointment with him we brought a couple with us, and the brother bore testimony of how he came to know the Book of Mormon was true.  He talked about how he started with 3 Nephi 11 and continued on through the teachings of Christ to the Nephites.  He suggested that Stewart start from there and read through 3 Nephi.
What we saw in him at our last appointment was amazing!  He actually had questions about what he was reading.  There seemed to be an excitement in him that I had personally never seen before.  We are excited for him and hope to commit him to baptism within the next couple weeks.
Our recent convert, is doing awesome.  The DeKalb Relief Society is pulling together to help her in her last month of pregnancy.  We are continuing to meet with her as well and to reteach her some of the doctrine and principles of the gospel.
By the way dad, are you dead?  Haven't heard from you in awhile...just saying.  How’s everything at the office going?
Mom, thank you so much for your testimony.  I would love it if all of you guys sent me yours, how and why you know God exists.  How have you seen His loving hand in your own life?
Super cool experience about Ahmed reading the Book of Mormon!  It's true!  It really is!  You can have so much more meaning to your life by reading it!  You were sent into the Ostler home for a reason.

And yeah Mom, it's awesome to see that light bulb come on.  It's just hard when they choose to turn it off, or ignore it.   But it's hard to walk into a room with a light bulb on and deny that there is any light there.  You will be held accountable for that at the Last Day.  Just saying...well actually God said that, not me.
You know mom, maybe I should stop telling you when people bash us and are mean to us, cuz it makes you think violently.  And that's not good.  So I think I’ll stop ;)  and just tell you that we got let into every single door and have 10 people on date.  Wait, then I would be thrust down to Hell.  Well better me than you, right?
So the sinus infection.  Man I'm falling apart!  But I went to the doctors and you know what they gave me.  Yesterday Elder Vicars gave me a blessing that really helped me in more ways than one.  And I talked to Sister Leahman.  She was Sister Ika's daughter, we were both trained at the same time.  Well now we're both training!  She's serving in Boloit Wisconsin and loving it.
After zone conference our daughters were chatting (they were mtc comps) and we sat on the floor and talked about stuff for like 7ish minutes.  I asked her if she was exhausted all the time.  And she said that she had been since April or May.  That made me feel so much better knowing that I'm not the only one that is completely pooped and looks forward to pday so I can rest and don't have to worry about missionary work.  I know that sounds bad, but oh my gosh when you work, work, work, work all day long you do look forward to that time you can put on sweats, and just RELAX!!!!  Then the next day you get up and put on a smile and go out to work.  We can't run faster than we have strength.

So you know what Zone conference taught me?  This church is so true!  How in the world, please tell me how in the world could this work go forward with stinking 20 year old boys in leadership positions?  Please tell me, because I would like to know!  And no, it's not because thy’re smart or good-looking, or have a great personality, because some of them really don't have that.  Some of them are just...well all of them are just punks, uprooted from their home, sent into an old, dirty apartment, expected to go out there and bear their testimonies to those not wanting to hear it, and then on top of that encourage their zone or district members to be better missionaries, to lift them up, to LEAD THEM.
Where else in the world is that going on?  NO WHERE!  Only here.  Only here.  There is no way they could do this without the help of the Spirit.  Without God on their side.
"You sure?"  I said, cuz sometimes that kid can get down in the dumbs.
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?  I have God on my side!" 
How awesome is that?  Super awesome!
I also got to see Hermana Reyes yesterday.  Oh how awesome is she!  Super awesome!  Amazing voice, sweet spirit.  Just wonderful!
The pics are of Elder Vicars last pday.  And Sisters Leahman and Jackson.  We had a Nerf gun fight in Rockford, and some of the elders decided to dress up for it.  Elder Vicars beat all.

Sister Wallace reminds me alot of me when I first came here.  Talking about when she goes home as if she can't wait, timid, shy, not sure how to teach, or what to teach.  But she's stretching herself in that area.  And I'm pushing her.  And I'm gonna keep pushing her! 
She'll get over missing home soon enough.

And thank you to the McCalisters for sending the box!  And letters!
Okay, I better get this sent!
I love you all, and thanks for all you do!  All your prayers and everything.
Sister Ostler
What manner of man, or woman, will you become?
What is the purpose of this life?  Easy, to prepare to meet God (Alma 34).  Now the big question.
By changing.  We are sent to this earth, and we all have faults, we are all imperfect.  Our goal is to become perfect.  We know that we have to work in order to become perfect.  When we do all we can Christ, through His grace, will do the rest.  To become like Him is our goal.  We might think, "Yeah right!  I can't!  I have too many imperfections.  I can never be humble, or patient, I hate Family History.  I can't love EVERYONE!  I have a temper, and no matter what I try I just can't change.  Consider the following from Lawrence E. Corbridge quoted from The Fourth Missionary:
"As you consider the question of what kind person you will become, you must understand the dynamic process of life.  You not only can change but you do change all of the time.  Sometimes people do not believe this.  They excuse their failures and weaknesses by saying; 'That's just the way I am.' 'I am just short-tempered, impatient person.' . . .  'That's my nature.' 'I’m just shy.  That's all.  That's just who I am.' ...
"To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation.  You are not cast in stone.  You not only can change but you do change all of the time.  You are a dynamic, changing, evolving being.  You are always changing.   You never stay the same.  You cannot stand still. . . .
"You are responsible for who you are and you are responsible for who you will become. . .
"Think of this life as a path on which you never stand still.  As you move forward, you incorporate into your being the characteristics and qualities of God.  As you move backward you assimilate the qualities of Satan.
"Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only:  to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus.  As you do so you are changed to become like Him.”
(emphasis added)
sorry about the miss-spelled words...
Sister Ostler

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

We Need To Act

Guess what mom?
I left your letter at home...sorry.  So I forgot what questions you asked.
I'm glad to hear the elders are enjoying our house.  And that's cool that Saydi is quilting, or tying, or doing something with fabric.  How is school going for everyone?  What grade is everyone in again?  I know everyone's grade actually, except Wilson’s.  Sorry little guy.  Well this is going to be a short email...sorry.
I’m kind of out of it too.
This has really been one of the hardest weeks EVER!!!
Thursday we went up to Burlington to help Sister Burnette with cutting blankets so the RS could tie them tomorrow for a women's pregnancy center.  The LDS here are so service orientated...well most of them.  I loved cutting the fringes on the took me back to when I used to sew.  I have this great desire now to improve that talent.  Well the rest of that day was pretty unproductive.  No one really wanted to listen to us, and one of our investigators dropped us.  Super nice lady, just doesn't believe in someone about our religion.
The pictures were taken that day...on my one year mark!  The one of me walking was random...Sister Wallace took it without me knowing....but I thought it was cool!

Friday everyone in Rochelle canceled on us it seemed like except for J who's getting baptized in a few weeks!  I'm so excited.  I feel so GOOD about her getting baptized.  She's been learning from missionaries since 2008 off and on and now we’re ready to get her wet!  She's excited too.  And we almost have everything ready.  Elder Vicars is going to do her interview on Friday.  If he doesn't pass her, well I might have to have a talk with, I know he had the authority.
Our recent baptism is doing awesome!  She's glowing now and she can name the blessings that have come to her since being baptized by water and the spirit.
Saturday was Leda's birthday!  Happy birthday girl!!!
That day we also got anti stuff that was just dumb.  I hate Satan.  And no one wanted to listen.  But one person asked me what I would say to God at the judgment day.  Have you ever thought of that?  What would you say to Him to let you into Heaven?  He said I answered wrong because I mixed works and grace.  Whatever.  But that was actually really cool contemplating what I would say to God at the judgment day.  What would you say?
Oh yeah, and this whole time my sinus infection is getting worse.  Not too bad, but there are times when I just want to give up and go take a training on top of that!  I'm letting her do more of the talking and encouraging her more so she will talk.  One thing I wish Sister Chen would have done is tell me when I did a good job, because I never knew if I did or not.  So that's what I'm trying to do with Sister Wallace.
Monday we contacted a HQ referral.  GOLDEN!  Went to SL, felt the spirit, wants to learn more AND was so excited that we gave her a BOM!  J and T...I have hope in them.  And they know the Binghams!!!!  Awesome lesson that went everywhere.
Tuesday was the worst day of my ENTIRE mission--no joke.
Hated it..almost every minute of it.  Didn't start out good when this one lady who we had so much hope in bashed us for, oh about 2.5 hours.  She was going to invite us back if we left early, so I just wanted to get it over with, and was pretty clear that we weren't coming back.  She ripped the BOM apart...and it was hard.  I prayed a lot after that seeking for an answer but the thing that keeps coming to my mind is "My ways are not your ways" from Isaiah.  Some of the stuff she said was bogus.  And that was our first appointment.
Then J ended up in the hospital cuz her baby wasn't moving, but she's good now.  And then another HQ referral ended up not being as promising.  We think he wants to know for the wrong reasons.  But maybe he'll gain a testimony.  His body language told us that he wasn't too interested in what we have to share, but in what he has to say.
Then today the NP only gave me stuff for my infection that would last 5 days.  I'm getting a blessing on Friday or Tuesday...prolly Friday.  The priesthood is real!!!!

Oh, tell Devey I said Happy Birthday!  I forgot what day her birthday is, but I know it's this month!
Okay well I love you all! 
Thanks for all you do for me.

Love, Sister Ostler
So I’ve decided that each week I’m going to have a thought of the week.  You can forward it to whoever else you want, family members, friends...whoever wants it.  But it's basically just something that I've come across in my studies or have been thinking about.

Note from Delene (Amanda's Mom).  If you would like this thought of the week email to come directly to you, send me your email and I'll put you on the list. It will also be posted here, on this blog.
Strengthen Your Testimony
I forgot my Ensign, but in last GCmormons aren't Christians, why the BOM is false, etc.
So what can we do?
In Sister Ostler’s opinion we need to strengthen our testimonies.  Elder Nelson advises us to strengthen our faith, which you could say is the same thing.
How do we do that?  Well faith is a verb, so we need to act.  We need to pray to have our testimony strengthened, we need to have DAILY AND CONSISTENT scripture study, and we need to JOYFULLY and WILLFULLY attend all our church meetings.  I think one of the most important things is to study the scriptures.  I have found that keeping a study journal is very helpful.  I organized mine according to topic and it's helped me remember what I’ve already learned.
Scripture study can truly strengthen your testimony and increase your faith in Christ and His restored gospel.
My commitment to you is: "Will you study the scriptures everyday individually?"  "I promise that as you do you're testimony will be strengthened so when the "devil will send forth mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built..." (Helaman 5:12).
I love you all!  Have a wonderful day.  Hopefully it's not raining wherever you're at.
Love Sister Ostler

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Mission Roster for this transfer.
Hey a few items of business
1. Can I have Sade the Lades e-mail address? 
2. It would be most helpful if you guys made a plan of salvation for me with separate pieces.

Mom:  Hey Sista!  I’m sittin here if ya got a minute and if you wanna chat.  What’s with the roster?  I haven’t looked at it yet.  And we’ll make it today and mail it to you.
Sister Ostler:  Oh, it’s just where missionaries are in the mission.
You have no idea how awesome it is to talk to you!
I'm doing good.  And yes, Sister Mondelli was sooooo pretrained!  I’m doing EVERYTHING now.  Well not everything.  Sister Wallace is more than happy to help, but I don't want to put too much pressure on her.  I just remember how hard it was for me to adjust to things out in the field.  So for the first week I was pretty easy on her, although she did commit someone to baptism for the 24th!  She's awesome!  I mean she's only had 4 weeks of missionary experience so far and I've had a year, so I understand she can't be like super missionary yet.  Not like Sister Mondelli was.  But she hasn't butchered any lessons.
Mom:  Elder Larkin is the senior companion and the newbies arrived yesterday.  So the trainers got assigned a newbie.  Elder Larkin brought him here, they tracted us.  We totally played along like we weren't mormon.  It was awesome.  That missionary was soooo nervous.  He was very relieved when we finally spilled the beans that we were Mormons.  You should do that sometime if you train again.  It was super fun.
Larkin is back now with his greenie.  I haven't met him yet.
Saydi leaves on Friday.  Boo hoo hoo.  I'm sad, but she's not.  Do you and Jackson email?
Sister Ostler:  Thanks a bunch!
And funny thing.  Guess when I got your letter?  Yesterday!  We were gone all day and when we came back at 9:10pm it was in the mailbox.  I have to go to the post office to pick up packages, so it's sitting in the car right now unopened.  I won't be able to open it til tonight cuz we’re going to Rockford to play some games with the zone.  It was my idea to have a zone party, so even though I woke up with a sore throat, and sore sinuses (only slightly, like a 1.4 on the pain scale) we're still going.  We got out and threw the frisbee today and Sister Wallace is actually really good.  I want her to be on my team!  We’re supposed to be there at 12, but it takes an hour to get there and we still have to shop.  So I’m hoping about 1.  I’ll drive fast.
That's so funny!  And President Doll told us not to tease the missionaries or play jokes on them.  Elder Dearinger was going to, I'm sure he still did even though President Doll told him not too.
Did you send granola bars in the pkg?
Mom:  Do you always have to go pick up pkgs?  That's not cool.  I can't even remember what I asked in my letter cause I sent it on Thursday so you'd get it in plenty of time.  Ughhh, that holiday on Monday probably slowed everything down.  How is your toe?  Yes I sent lots of bars in the pkg.
Sister Ostler:  Oh, my toe is fine.  It's healing nicely.  And you asked about C & J.  We're only meeting with them if they call us.  There's no way I’m going back there.  Cool about the missionaries in our house.  Will they be there when I get back?  And there's about 30ish sisters in the mission.  Count them on the roster.

Since Sister Howell is not here I don't really have a REAL friend to talk to.  She really was more than a companion, we were like real sisters.  We really want to room together... she just needs to move to BYUI.
Thanks for the bars btw!
We tracted into a muslim the other day so I started asking questions, thinking of Ahmed, and she explained more to me about the Holy meat.  It made more sense.  I kinda said the same thing that you did to Ahmed, that we believe that there is a prophet today, that God still speaks to us.
And that fasting thing is crazy!  I have a hard enough time fasting for once a month!  Let alone a whole stinking month!  This fast Sunday was killer!  7 hours of church, training, doing everything.  I just wanted her to get to know members and just relax. By the end of it I was so spent, and while doing comp study before our dinner appt with the stake president and his awesome family, I was just praying that Heavenly Father would help me through it.  For dinner we had either pork or steak, but oh man did I eat it!  It was food and it was a gonna help me!  Yeah, I only have 6 more fast Sundays on the mission!  Not that I’m counting either.

Mom:  Do you and Jackson email?  Once in awhile, every week?  And was I supposed to send you a tape recorder?  You said something about a tape recorder awhile ago.
Sister Ostler:  Yes, a tape recorder would be oh so nice... well if you send me tapes to listen to.  Cuz we don't have a tape player... well a tape player, not a tape recorder.  It was on my drawer with all the old electronic stuff, but I guess that's all occupied with Benson's clothes.
Sorry I haven't talked a lot about this week. It's just been hard.  Lots of appointments falling through.  And the stress over not getting members to come with us...although sometimes it's a last minute appt. or the member cancels or not returning your calls.  Honestly, go with those missionaries when they need someone!  Well, a male would have to go, but whatever.  Yeah, I do have to pick up all pkgs that don't fit inside our tiny mail box.  So I did get the letter last night, but not the package.
I only got 2 minutes . . . 
Mom:  Okay, it was great talking to you.  I love you and hope you’re doing great.  Don’t get discouraged.  We’re praying for you all the time.
Definitely be her friend.  You're all she's got and I KNOW her mom is hoping that she feels loved.  You must be incredible or President Doll wouldn't have you training again.  I just wish I could get a glimpse of you as a missionary.  So where are you at right now?  The college?
Sister Ostler:  No, we went to the library...gotta go...25 sec!  And yes, I'll be her friend.