Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ya'll should really go out and do some missionary work!

Dear family,
I knew it!  I knew that pkg was from you!  I got a slip in the mail last night that I had a pkg waiting for me at the post office.  I went there this morning, and they couldn't find it.  But they got my number and will call me once they do find it.  I'm so thankful to be in a country that they actually care about you getting your mail!  I’m not mad or upset or anything, just so thankful that they are so willing to find it for me, and if not, I’ll let you know and then you can send the Ensign again!
Speaking about pkgs.  Monday a huge one arrives from Hermiston.  Full of food...most of it is not appropriate if you’re trying to lose weight.  She sent a whole tin of sugar cookies (so good) and lots of candy.  

Good thing we had zone meeting yesterday!  Needless to say the elders loved them!  Sister Doll said that the sugar cookies were amazing too!   So really, if you send me junk food, thank you, but just to warn you I will be regifting some of it to other people.  McAllisters, bless their hearts, sent me some expensive looking chocolates.  Some other sisters wanted some, so I shared.
But tell Grammie thank you, and I was just sharing the love!  Although I loved the chips and dip she sent!  And how did she know we were running out of jam?  So if you send me food, make sure it's healthy!  There is a common misconception about missionaries in Chicago, and that is that we are always starving, not so!  We are way too fat!  Most of the time I feel so fat and disgusting.
On Thursday we went to a members house for dinner.  She made pizza.  She keeps piling food on your plate like non-other.  So my last piece was pretty much all cooked cheese.  I about threw up afterwards...not really, but I didn't feel good.  Then we've had enchiladas, and more pizza, and enough with the cooked cheese!!!!!  I've already gained enough weight!
So Jackson's e-mails are so amazing!  I receive so much strength from them!  I can't always remember everything that he says, but bits and pieces of them stay with me for several weeks, like the mission isn't about numbers or something like that, it's about people.  And that's what I've been trying to focus on.  Jackson has changed so much.  It really is amazing!
One meeting yesterday was amazing in and of itself.  I really needed everything that was said, especially in dropping people, and being patient with them and their progress.  To me as a missionary reading the scriptures every day is something that seems easy, but to others it's so new and they have to learn to work it into their schedule.
After Zone Meeting we went out to work and saw miracles!  We stopped by an investigator, whom we haven't been able to get a hold of for awhile.  We taught a short but powerful lesson about the blessings that come from the Book of Mormon.  She committed to read it for 10 min everyday.  We figured that in 10 min she could get 3 pages done, that would be 20ish pages in a week.
We also had a lesson with an active member family.  We had never met with them before but we both felt impressed to teach them Lesson 3.  Turns out that they had just studied the 4th article of faith the night before for FHE so it was still fresh in their minds.  We had a wonderful discussion and the Spirit was there.  Somehow the Spirit put words into our mouths and we were able to help them realize that they have friends, though not in our area, that could be receptive to hear the gospel.  I feel sometimes that one of my weaknesses is working with members, but lately the Holy Ghost has given us the words in the very moment that we need them so we're not pushy at all.
Ya'll should really go out and do some missionary work!
Looking back over the week I have come to realize more fully that it's the Spirit doing all the work, not us.  When the Spirit takes over that's when you see the miracles.
In a lesson with a less active member whom we had never met before, she really opened up to us and pretty much told us why she wasn't coming to church.  We let her know that we were there to be her friends and to help her regain that faith that she lost.
With another less active, well she keeps inviting us back, and she has a non-member husband!  We haven't met him yet, but we really hope to this weekend to see if he could possibly be interested.  I don't have a lot of experience in working with part-member families, so I'm gonna be relying on the Spirit 101% of the time.
I have still been focusing on teaching by the Spirit during my personal study, and I believe that that contributes a lot to how I teach.  I have come to realize more fully that it's not me, but the Spirit.  The Spirit really can give me the words I need in the very moment I need them.  I am also relying on the promise that the Lord gave us, when we open our mouths the Lord will fill them.  I have found that promise to be true every time I teach.
We had interview yesterday.  After the zone meeting was over Sister Howell and I went over to the piano, and I played while we talked.  We both feel as if we're not giving our daughters (her step-daughter) enough love.  She was telling me some stuff that she was feeling and I was feeling those exact same things!
In my interview with President, the first thing that he asked was about Sister Wallace.  So we talked about that, and I said that the lesson we had in zone meeting about dropping investigators, and how we should really be patient and long-suffering and understanding them applies to comps too.  Everyone learns and progresses at a different rate.  Sister Wallace has come far, she has improved since she's been out here.  And the exchange that we went on was really good for her too.  She came back with a lot more confidence than she had before.
So Harrison got in an accident?  What happened?  Are there pictures?  I'm so happy that no one got hurt!  I need details!  What if I were to say, "Oh and by the way, when we were driving to Rockford the other day we got in an accident and our car was totaled, but no one got hurt."  How would you react?
And sorry to leave you hanging mom on your letter, but I just felt that I needed to keep the letter more missionaryish.
Finding new investigators is getting soooooooooooooo hard!  It seems like no one wants to listen to us, then the stupid holidays are coming up, and let me tell you, I HATE the holidays on my mission! No one has time.  The work is slow..usually.  I'm just really hoping that we can somehow work with part-member families and get some referrals from members!
I can't think of anything else to say other than I think I might be getting sick.  My head hurts and I have a scratchy throat, and I heard at the post office that we might be getting flurries tomorrow.  Oh joy!  Sister Wallace hates the winter.  I told her that the first day it snowed we'd go to panera and get hot chocolate and soup, as a celebration!  Except that tomorrow we'll be in Rochelle, so that won't be possible!
How did you know our pday was getting switched to Monday!  We just found out yesterday!  In January it will be switched.  At first I didn't like that, but now it's not a big deal for me.  It'll be something different, and I love change!  Exchanges are in about 2 weeks!  I might be getting someone new, but I really feel that I'm not going to...oh well!  Come what may and love it!  And pray that whatever happens I will be happy.  I just don't want to move.  I feel as if I finally got the hang of this area!  If I could get a comp that is really good at working with members this place would be ON FIRE!!!!
So you know how every thanksgiving something with a boy goes down (well last year it didn’t) but this year it's gonna happen again.  Elder Vicars and Dearinger are leaving :(  They are some of my two favorite elders!  Yes, they’re goofy and annoying sometimes, but I'm gonna miss them.  Oh well, I'll survive.  I just hope we get a good ZL!
Okay well, that's about it.  I love you all!  Thanks for your prayers and support!  Don't forget to thank Heavenly Father for all your blessings!
Sister Ostler
For the spiritual thought read Mosiah 16:9.  Oh my Gosh!!!  So amazing!  So much hope!

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