Wednesday, December 21, 2011

He will work miracles

Dear Family,
This past week was extremely hard.  It seems that every appointment with investigators we've had has fallen through, especially if a member is coming with us.  And one of our prime investigators dropped us.  And it seems, for some odd reason, that the rejection has intensified.  We also can't meet with our investigator with a baptismal date.
Then on Monday night someone called the cops on us.  We were tracting Ruby in DeKalb, and met with several rejections.  I was singing hymns to keep me going (I've improved greatly in my singing skills since I've been on a mission.  I still sing off key sometimes, but if anyone tells me I’m a bad singer I'll have them listen to some of my comps, then they can tell me that!).
Well we were telling a guy about FHE, he said he wasn't interested, but wanted to know where he could go if he was.  We were giving him a card when the police pulled up.  He waited til we were done then called us over.  We went and Sister Wallace, I'm sure she was shaking in her boots!  I knew we were doing nothing wrong.  So I wasn't scared.  I was just kicking myself for leaving the phone in the car.  So he asks what we're doing and selling, and saying that someone had called and complained.  Stupid Satan.  He had to call his boss to see if we were legal in going door to door, and of course we were because we weren't selling anything.
Then another cop car came.  And I'm thinking, "Okay, we're two mormon girls, and we don't got any weapon or anything on us.  Go track down someone who is making the world more miserable!  We're just spreading the Love of Christ around for goodness grief!"  The cop let us go after he realized that oh wait, we were right and the stupid idiot (I didn't just say that) that called in needs to learn some tolerance.  Sister Wallace wanted to go home after that, and we did, only because it was 8:45.
But I think I'm working harder now than before.  Sister Hanely gave this great analogy, that I already knew, but it was nice to be reminded of.  All you race runners out there.  If you're running a race and you see the finish line, do you run faster or slower?  Faster right?  Well at the end of the your mission it should be the same.  My only fear is that I’ll be put with someone next transfer that is running really slow.  At least Sister Wallace can keep up with me.
One thing that has really kept me going is prayer.  I have been pleading with the Lord to help us, especially me, get through these days, and I ask Him specifically what I need to do.  It's been really cool, the past couple days I've received very specific answers.  They aren't answers like, "Go tract this street, or go talk to this person," but more like, "Follow the Spirit with exactness," and "Have faith."  And as I've done these things we've seen miracles.  They are just small miracles, but miracles non-the-less.
Like with K.  We were about to drop her because we could never get a hold of her, or find a time to meet, or she would always cancel on us.  I felt like a guy trying to chase after a girl who just isn't interested.  And I was getting tired of it. But this week we were able to meet with her and finally teach her the Restoration.  (She was a former and had never kept appts or read from the BOM.)  We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and read from the introduction.  She was very interested after she found out that the book took place in the Americas.  She said, "Now that I know what it's about I'll definitely read it!"  Then she asked if we could do a favor.  She wants us to text her every other day to remind her to read.  We have no problem doing that!  We invited her to be baptized, and even though she has already been baptized again she said that she wanted to start over again, so agreed.  :)
Another cool thing about that lesson is that at the beginning of it she had to step out to get her kids from the bus.  We said a prayer that her kids wouldn't be a big distraction (cuz last time it was almost unbearable!)  And guess what?  He was a lot less distracting than last time and K paid attention for most of it!
Also we were supposed to meet with A yesterday, but she bailed on us because she was sick.  Then she texted us later and said she was leaving town to avoid a drinking party.  Sister Wallace and I talk it over briefly, and figured it was probably better that she left town so she could keep the Word of Wisdom.  Well I’m not sure Sister Wallace was completely on board with me on that opinion.  She would rather have met with her.  I would have too.  But was just tryign to look at the bright side of things.  A has come so far, and we are so proud of her.  She yet has a long ways to go though.  Brother Hinderlider said that she wont' be baptized for about a year or two, and I can see that.
Last night we did service for a part-member-semi-less-active family, the E's.  Sister E (a member) was about to cancel on us because she was so tired, but Brother E (the non-member) wanted us to come over.  Even though we talked with her most of the time, he was still in there and invited us over for dinner next week.  According to our WML, he's come a long ways since his wife joined the church 12 years ago.  We don't think he's ready to have the lessons again, but we're just excited that he likes to have the missionaries over.  We know that he feels the Spirit when we're over.
I've been trying, and succeeding, to look for the tiny Forget-Me-Not miracles that happen everyday, and it's really helping me push through this harder time of the mission when it seems that not a lot of people want to listen to us.
Another thing, is that for the past couple of days before I begin personal study I pray that I will be able to use whatever I learn that day in teaching or contacting.  And more often then not it happens.  In fact this morning I was studying 1 Nephi 4, and during comp study Sister Wallace and I were comparing Nephi's faith in getting the plates to the faith someone has to have in coming to church.  We might just use that sometime!
I'm not really sure what else to share.  What do ya'll like to hear in these emails?
On Thursday instead of going to J's, cuz she dropped us, we stopped by a potential.  He's a senior in high school and so mature for his age.  He's had a few deaths in his life and 2 months ago when we met him he was kinda mad at God.  But on Thursday he was at peace with everything.  We felt impressed to teach the POS.  And he loved it.  He had had dreams about the War in Heaven, it was kinda false, but for the most part it was pretty accurate.  He believed everything we taught him.  We're bringing a pre-missionary with us next time and one of his lds friends from school.  We hope that he keeps his appointment!

Also, You don't have to worry about me having enough Christmas Presents.  the members are taking care of that.
I've been thinking alot about what you said Mom, about how maybe I’m not meant to baptize alot but to just show love to the members and missionaries around me.  I've been trying to do that, especially to the members.  I am Christ's personal representative, and I know that He showed love to all those around Him.  I try really hard to be interested in them and stuff.  It does get hard when they start talking politics.  We can honestly say we don't have an opinion, cuz we've been out of the loop.
On Friday we went to the F's.  They're a younger couple with two kids.  Sister F said that last time we were over she had been thinking bout bearing her testimony more to those around her, and she has been doing it even if they don't accept it!  It just makes me so happy to hear that at least some people want to be better missionaries when we come over.
Sister Walters showed me her ipad last night.  I think I would really like it if it didn't make me sick looking at it for so long.  But it makes studying really cool.   But don't think about getting me one.  I'm just trying to think of things to type.
Oh, I haven't had one of Jackson's emails in about a month or more.  He writes to me every week, but you haven't sent any of them.  That would be one awesome Christmas present!
The ward is sending us a bunch of stuff that we really don't need.  So I think I might just give them away to people who actually need them.  Is that bad?
We're teaching J's sister right now, who actually lives in Beloit.  But she's staying with J because of certain situations up in WI.  We're treating her as an investigator then handing her off to Sister Howell and Jackson.  She loved the POS, and loved Pres. Uchtdorf talk about having a happily ever after.  Ipods are amazing!
Gotta go!
See you Sunday!  Hopefully.
Love Sister Ostler
Follow With Faith
Nephi had great faith.  I love the Scripture in 1 Nephi 4 where he said, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."  Then if you look at what he DID do, that's amazing!  He went into a city where the people wanted to kill him, he saw Laban, and as he was minding his own business the Spirit said, "Chop off his head."  He said, "Um, no!"  The Spirit said, "Do it."  Then the Spirit put thoughts in his mind that allowed him to come to terms with the action that he was about to do.
So poor Nephi, prolly traumatized, well not really, cuz he's tough, but still.  How would you feel after chopping off someones head?  Well he puts Labans clothes on and then the Spirit obviously leads him to the treasury.  And he starts taking with Zorom as if he were Laban himself (see vrs 23).  How could he know what to say but by the Spirit?  And didn’t he have to have faith in order to say the words that came to his mouth?  Yep!
Then out of the blue he asks Zoram to come with him.  That took a ton of faith, to first follow the Spirit in asking him to come and then to actually follow it.
Nephi exhibits faith throughout his life.  He put total and complete trust in obeying whatever the Lord commanded him to do.
Obeying the Lord, and especially the promptings of the Spirit can be hard, but if He won't give us any commandments that he knows we can't accomplish.  So let's Go and Do instead of Sit and Stew.
Sister Ostler

I’m here, and yeah, we can skype.  That'll be easier for me actually. Has Sister Pitts gotten a hold of you?  Wait, so I guess she doesn't have to, because I’m logging on as Saydi.  Okay.  Well I’ll call her today and ask if she can upload the newest version.
MOM:  I’m here, but typing on my iPhone.  So slower.  Yeah if you log in as Saydi we can do the group thing with Jackson.
Sister Ostler:  So does Sister Pitts have to upload the new version of skype, or whatever that’s called?
MOM:  Yes.  Just tell her to call me.  I’ll have Saydi walk her through it.  If she has a Mac it’s a breeze.  If she has a PC there are a couple extra things.  Or I can call her.  Is this where you’re having dinner?
Sister Ostler:  I’ll call her later today and tell her to call you.  I don’t think she has a MAC.  But I’m calling around 6 then, right?  My time.
MOM: I just meant have her call if she has questions about anything. And yeah call anytime around 6. That is when Elder Ostler is calling. We’ll be watching so when u log on as Saydi we'll see it and probably call u. Does her computer have a camera?
Sister Ostler:  Lets hope so!  I didn't ask, but I’m pretty sure it does.  If not that's fine.  I’ll see ya'll in March anyways.
Did you hear, my release date is March 28 instead of the 29th.  So make sure dad has that day off work, and I loved his teeth story!
Totally made my day.
Also can you ask grammie real quick if I can open her package she sent right now?  And also I got a thin white envelope from you.  Does that have to wait til Christmas too?  And I did get a 12 lb package from you.
I only have 12 min left.
MOM:  Yes open the thin white envelope.  I’m calling Grammie right now.
Save Grammies box till Christmas.  Another box is coming from us.  It’s for Christmas too.  Did you get the hand warmer box?
Sister Ostler:  Yes I did!  And we haven’t used them yet, because it’s been warm!  Warm here is above  freezing :)  I heard Amy sent a box.  Do I wait for Christmas too?  I have 5 minutes left.
MOM:  I think you open that one.  I’ll ask but not sure I’ll get back to you in 5.  If I don’t, then open it to be safe.

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