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.
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.
HOW DO WE DO THAT?
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.”
sorry about the miss-spelled words...