Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Never Good When President Calls You At 9:30 At Night

Well well well.  This has been a very fun week, as you can tell by the pictures!

Last pray we went up to Byron to play with the Elders.  We played the capture the flag, except it was capture the snow shovel.  It was great. Elder Runner was like a little kid.  His team won every time.  Then we had hot chocolate and played a dictionary game.  Great district!

Then one day we were sick of tracting.  We had tracted almost the whole dayish.  So we took a break in the car.  It was much needed.  I was in a much better mood by the end of it.  From the pictures you can see we had so much fun.  Sister De Leon and I were getting along just fine.  I was really focused on just having fun, walking at her pace, being patient and loving to investigators that didn't want to keep commitment, and relying on Heavenly Father EVERY SINGLE DAY for my daily bread.

We had an awesome appointment with L who had an amazing experience with reading the Book of Mormon.  She says she knows it's true (she has Wilson's Book of Mormon by the way) and we asked her if she wanted to be baptized (3rd appt) and she said yes, she's ready. We tried setting a date, she said she wants to do it with her three youngest daughters!  Sweet!  When can we come and teach them?  So amazingly awesome!  We're so excited for her.

We also found a family who's looking for something else.  They believe in God, but they're looking.  We taught them a little bit about church before we had to dash, and committed them to come.  No one, of course showed up for church.  Who knows.  I don't like Satan. Whatever.  We'll try harder this week.  A** has fallen off the face of the planet.  Won't set up a time for us to come over, she's too busy.  So I'm just exercising ALOT of patience.  Who knows about S**.  C*** is doing good!  She read!  She was tired last night, so it was a quick L2.

V** and her daughter are doing good too!  V** is looking for something more in her life.  "When I see it I'll know," she says, talking about the right church.  Her daughter is 12.  I gave her Jefferson's Book of Mormon.  I gave Patrick, Harrisons.  So I still have Bensons, Moms and Dads.  She really likes learning from us and loves the Book of Mormon.  We'll teach them the restoration next time.

So yeah, we had a great week.  Our numbers were low, but we still had a ton of fun together.  We would laugh, talk, work on getting her to talk to people and to teach.

Then at 9:40 Saturday night I heard the phone vibrate in my coat pocket as I was preparing stuff for Sunday's presentation that we gave in both wards.  I went up and looked at it.  We had a missed call from President Doll at 9, and then now again.  It's never good when President calls you at 9 at night.  We called back and he asked to be put on speaker phone.  So we did.  Then he asked us if we could do him a favor.  What are you going to say, "No, President, we're not going to do you a favor?"  He said that a spanish sister was leaving the mission, for whatever reason, in Blue Island (by the city) and so they were going to put Hermana Moffett who was in Rockford there. They were going to move Sister De Leon up to Rockford and since there was a trio of english sisters in Wheaton, Sister Fossett was going to be my new companion. We agreed that that's what we would do.  What else could we say?
When I first heard this news I was super bummed.  I thought that I had messed up with training, even though I knew that I hadn't.  I knew that this was what needed to take place.  But losing my daughter after 3.5 weeks!  Ouch!  And we were just finally starting to really get a long!  Even though I was dead tired all the time.  But that night I prayed for understanding.  And I got it. There are so many good things going to come out of this.
1) Sister De Leon is now in the branch with the family that referred P**.  She can talk to them about him, since they're not returning our calls.
2) Sister De Leon is so much more comfortable when she's around spanish people.  She'll really soar now that she doesn't have to worry about the language.  She'll just be an awesome missionary.  Plus her new trainer, Sister Noyes is just awesome!  So happy all the time and just a great missionary.
3) Sister Fossett was trained well.  I found out that from the beginning she had to take charge cuz her companion was sick for 2 weeks.  She loves this work, and it really does not seem like she's been out for only 4 months.  She'll so train after she kills me!
I just felt that Sister Fossett would be so good for this area, and would really help me die in style!  I wouldn't be dragging her a long, but we would sprint on together.  She would help me on those days that I didn't feel like working.  And it's funny, cuz even just being with her for a couple hours I feel like it's not the end of my mission.  I feel like I'm not going to go home.  It's a great feeling, and I'm so excited for these next transfers and a half.
I loved Sister De leon, don't get me wrong, but it's hard to train. I'm super excited.  It's been 5 months since I've had a seasoned companion, and I'm super excited!
Well not much more tell.  Sorry it's so short.
Oh, and Sister Fossett is border line diabetic, so we're not having deserts at people's houses anymore!  Oh joy!!!!!  I'm soooooooo excited!  Oh, that last picture was the night we found out and I was writing my note cards for the presentation and I was preoccupied that I wrote transfers, instead of the word I was supposed to write.  That's my mad face :)

Sister Ostler

Monday, January 23, 2012

And at the end of the day.... oh wait, there is no end to the day!

Dear Family,

There's good news and bad news.  The bad news is that we were unable to meet with P** or A**, both of our investigators with baptismal dates :(  A** is so overwhelmed with life that she can't really make time for us right now.  P**, well we don't really know what's up with him.  I hesitate to push him too much.  I don't want to push him away.  Although something cool about him is that he wants to go to BYUI (he's applying right now) and that's where I'm going to go.  So even if nothing happens with him right now I'll be sure to look him up when I get there and be his friend and encourage him to continue learning about the Restoration and such.  God does work in mysterious ways.
The good news is that we have investigators in DeKalb once more!  We found this one girl, C**, who is actually looking to get closer to God.  She invited us back and thanked us for helping her feel a need to go to church and read the Bible.  I could tell that she wasn't too enthusiastic about learning from us, so we laid down the Restoration pretty plainly and simply.  She was raised Catholic, but saw the need for a restoration.  At the end she said, "So I've gotta pray to know if this is true."  It was a statement.  We invited her to be baptized, but she said that she would really have to know if this is what she wanted to do.  So it wasn't a complete no.  :)
Because of the storm and other circumstances all our member present lessons fell through :(  But some more good news is that last night we stopped by our investigator family.  They cancelled on us and we were unable to get ahold of them to set up something else.  So we stopped by with the excuses of wanting to give them Finding Faith in Christ DVD, and hopefully see how interested they were.  G** was happy to see us and more than willing to set up a return appt.  What was more exciting is that they were going to come to church that day but they all over slept.  Still the thought of them wanting to come and even planning on it made us so happy!  It showed us that they want to change and come closer to Christ.
I am learning to really be patient with our investigators.  If they don't come to church one week, patiently teach the importance of it again and gently invite them to come.  Same thing with the Book of Mormon.  I find that when we as missionaries sometimes think, "Can't you see how important this is?  Why don't you just get it?"  And we forget our own conversion story.  Mine took place over the course of years.  I didn't wake up one morning and decide, "Wow!  I know 100% that this is all true and I want to live every commandment with exactness!"  That's the same with investigators.  We as missionaries just have to keep inviting, teaching, and most importantly loving them.
The DeKalb ward is working so well with J**, who is going through some hard times right now.  They are trying to get her to the temple to do baptisms.  We also were able to meet with a spanish less active sister.  (thanks for sending me Sister DeLeon, she's such a help when people say, "no a speak english.")  So the ward is going to be sending visiting teachers to her.  Also Jane received a calling which is really awesome!  And J** is getting ready to go through the temple!  And Don blessed the sacrament!
I had a realization yesterday.  It seems that recently our zone has been really focused on numbers and less focused on people.  It used to be when I looked at our numbers I could say, "we taught this person and this person, etc..."  But recently it's been, "Okay one more member present to reach our goal."  So what I'm trying to focus on is just loving everyone I come in contact with enough to talk with them.  And invite them to learn more, and even though I want to get high numbers I'm really trying hard to realize that even if I don't as long as I'm doing the best I can that's all the Lord wants of me.
I also talked about this with Sister Howell last night.  It was so awesome to talk with her, because we are going through such similar things.  It's awesome to have a true friend on this mission whom you can trust 100%.
Glad to hear you got my package and my photo card.  Just out of curiosity, what was your favorite video?
There is this article by Elder Christofferson in January Ensgin about receiving daily bread from the Lord.  That article has meant so much to me.  It's helped me realize that it's 100% ok for me to get on my knees every morning and plead for help that day with the specific challenges I will face.  I've often felt that if I ask for happiness one day it should carry on to the next.  But it doesn't so I have to ask again and it worried me.  Did I not have the faith?  NO.  It is that Heavenly Father is teaching me to rely on Him.  I can't rely on anyone else.  No one is going to give me the strength to get through the Day except for Him and His Son.  I'm so thankful that He is teaching this to me now.
You know it's interesting that Jackson picked up on me being tired, or whatever he said.  Sometimes I wish that people, especially elders (no offense Jackson) could walk a day in my shoes.  What I am about to say is not meant to make me sound proud, I just want ya'll to consider this.  Out of the 13 transfers I’ll be on my mission.  I was jr. comp for 4.  I have trained all but 5 transfers of my mission.  And by the end of the next transfer I will have trained for 5 transfers in a row.  Training drains you.  I know nothing about motherhood.  But I think it might be like you have a newborn, and just when that newborn is sleeping through the night and you finally figure out why the heck he's crying you get another newborn.  You don't even get a vacation.
As a trainer you have to teach your daughter EVERYTHING!  The area is completely on your shoulders.  You have to encourage her even when she bombs a lesson.  Yeah, I can't explain it.  You just have to experience it.  Every single day I'm on my knees praying to the Lord to help me be happy.  To help me have a positive attitude, and when something not to pleasant happens I just have to keep going.  Sing a hymn, remember a scripture, fight back those tears.  And at the end of the day...oh wait, there is no end to the day.  It keeps on going and going.
Don't mean to sound negative, just realistic.  I am having fun.  And in fact I know that the most important thing I can do right now is to show Sister De Leon I love her.  To take care of her.  To love her.  She'll learn.  I just have to love her and SHOW her I love her.
And your always ask what you can do for me.  Well I’ll tell you what.
1)  I love Dad's letters.  I would not mind if you wrote me once a week!  (and can I have a job when I get back? :)
2) I love pictures.
3) I love the seemingly insignificant things that go on at home.

I love you all and miss ya'll too (and yes Jackson, I am still a cowgirl.  I got called to Chicago, but spent all but 4 months in the corn fields...and I love it!)
Things in this area are really beginning to look up.  I try so hard to have the faith of a Wilson (I loved that story about him getting a blessing then getting better instantly).  But faith is action.  We have a goal to have one unplanned lesson everyday.  That would be so cool!  But I am doing good!  We're going to go throw snow balls at the elders today!  Joy!

Love Sister Ostler

And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit
"A good women knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do.  Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important.  A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence.  But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.

"The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.  Qualifying for the Lord's Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthinessKeeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessings of always having the Lord's Spirit with us.   Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman's life.  Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation.  Insight found in scriptures accumulates over time, so it is important to spend some time in the scriptures every day.  Daily prayer is also essential to having the Lord's Spirit with us.  Those who earnestly seek help through prayer and scripture study often have a paper and pencil nearby to write questions and record impressions and ideas."
~ Sister Julie B. Beck

I read this today and thought of all my wonderful friends back at home who are fighting the ways of this world.  As a missionary we strive every day to receive revelation, but I never thought how it might apply to raising a family or even getting through a semester of school.  So yeah, I hope that this can help you in some way.  I love you and think about you often!
Your friend always,
Sister Ostler
This is what our district does for fun.  Dress up like cowboys and indians.  Whatever elders!
I know. . . .   I'm beautiful!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teach In The Spirit

Get out!  Quinn is old enough to go on a mission?  Oh my heck!  I get older, but no else is allowed to get older.  That's my rule.  So peoples, stop getting older!  He'll have fun in Brazil.  Just never ask what you're eating.
So sad news.  I can't attach photos on here :(  oh well.  I am sending home my memory card today, so that should make up for it right?  So what's going on in our area?  Well....

Let me tell you about P**.  His story starts back in Octoberish when Sister Wallace and I were tracting a street in one of the small towns in our area that we hardly go to.  We had no success.  On the last house a car pulls up and the spanish lady in it tells us that no one is home.  She informs us that she is a member of the spanish branch and told us that we could come over whenever we wanted.  She showed us where she lived and then left.
Jump ahead to Christmas Eve.  After our District Meeting in Byron we were driving back home.  We pass through this small town and decided to stop by a less active/part member family.  They weren't home, so we started going home when we drove past this spanish families home, the Orozcos.  We felt that we should stop there and spread some Christmas cheer.  They let us in and we sang a Christmas hymn to them and got to know them a little.  As we drove away I was honestly wondering what the point of that was.
Well there was a point.  Heavenly Father had it all planned out.  Last Sunday the hermanas called us and gave us a referral.  A friend of the Orozcos, P**.  He's 18 years old and really looking to put God more in his life.  He came over the Orozco's home the same night the hermanas were there.  They taught him a little bit about the Book of Mormon and he wanted to learn more, so they gave his information to us.  Lucky for us, because of the previous meetings with the Orozco family we were already familiar with who they were so it wasn't hard for us to gain their trust and to work things out with them in regards to teaching P**.
We had some members from the Sycamore Ward come with us to our first lesson with him.  He was more than ready to accept the gospel and to accept the invitation to be baptized!  We were so excited!  We are excited for him.  We know that making this change in his life will be hard, but worth it.  We are so willing to be with him every step of the way.
We are working with one less active in the Dekalb ward a lot.  Her name is C**.  Around General Conference time she decided to come back, and has been pretty good about coming to church.  She hardly knows a thing about the restored gospel, so we are just giving her the missionary lessons.  Our first lesson with her was amazing!  Half way through the Restoration we discovered that she really needed to know about the Atonement, repentance and forgiveness instead of Joseph Smith.  Sister De Leon pulled out her scriptures and flipped to the perfect scripture for her.  C** even paused after reading one verse to let it soak in.  Sister De Leon was inspired!
We have 0 investigators in Dekalb, and even in storms no one lets us in to teach.  We've had two people let us to contact them then they just turn us away.  I told this to'd think that if you saw two girls in skirts in a storm knocking on doors that they would have something important to say and you'd take the time to listen.  But nope, it's "You two are crazy!"  We've got that twice so far.  Whatever!  I always respond, "Well we know that what we have to share is so important that we’re willing to come and talk with you in a storm..." or something to that effect.  But we've been lucky.  We've had a pretty mild winter.  It's only starting to get cold now.  So hopefully in 1.5 months it'll melt and then get to the 40s and 50s...hopefully.
We found a family!   We've been teaching G** for awhile, and we finally met S**.  He wants to be the kind of dad that is there for his kids, that doesn't get mad, that's patient, that is pretty much everything that the church teaches fathers and husbands to become.  We read parts from the family proclamation and they both really liked that.  They want to change, and they want to have religion in their lives.  We were really excited for them.  They have 3 little kids, and then a 17 yr old.  We've never met him.  But we committed them to church, and informed the primary president and ym president.  But they sadly didn't show :(  who knows why.  We're going to see them again on Friday...hopefully.
As for D**, well his church, that I want to call a whole bunch of bad names right now, but I won't, found out he was meeting with us and held a special meeting all about the Mormons.  I highly doubt any of it was in our favor.  Would you call that Christian?  Yeah, I didn't think so.  People talk about knowing someone by their fruits.  Well take a look at you're own church.  Would Christ bash someone else's church?  Especially when that church is trying, and succeeding in reaching out to those around them in love to help them get back to our father in Heaven?  Everything this church does helps fulfill God's purpose (Moses 1:39).  Yeah, I was NOT happy that night.
So you might want to let the elders in on this idea.  What we're doing is picking one active family per week to go over and practice the lessons with.  We pick an investigator and explain who they are to the family and then they are our investigator and we teach them a lesson and invite them to be baptized at the end.  Pretty sweet.
We've done it twice, and both times it was really good.  It really helps us see where our strong points are and what our weak points are.  Then we practice them.  Like last night Sister De Leon invited them to be baptized before we talked about the importance of baptism like we planned to do.  So we talked about that afterwards.  But this way members can see that we're not bad teachers.  We taught the L** last night, he's in the bishopric in Sycamore ward.  They loved it and said we did a great job and pointed out things we did good, and a couple things we could have worked on.  They said they loved the Spirit they felt.  "It's not the doctrine you teach them," Brother Lerohl said, "It's the sprit they feel, and then they want more."
That really hit me.  That's why it's so important to teach in the spirit so that they can receive it by the spirit.  I made a diagram of that yesterday, but sadly I can't send it to you cuz the computer won't let me :( next week.
I really want to put my whole heart into this work, but sometimes it's so hard.  Sometimes I’m just so exhausted and don't want to do what I know I need to do.  Like today when I was getting ready I was thinking about comp study and how much I DID NOT want to do that.  I seriously almost cried.  I often think about the time when I won't have to be responsible 24/7.  But in that moment I think I was kind of praying really informally ( I can't describe it) but I was thinking about the Atonement and how it can help me have the strength and patience to keep going and keep being responsible.  But 5 transfers in a row of training kills!
Though I figure if I don't learn patience here then He's just going to teach it to me some other time.  I appear patient on the outside, but in the inside I want to explode sometimes.  Like today when I asked Sister De Leon to call some people for a member present, and she was asking me all sorts of questions, like, "do I leave a message?  who do I call now?  what was her name again?"  I answered calmly, but seriously I wanted to just say, "Can you figure it out?"  But I know that she's new.  I try to remember when I was new and clueless too.  And try oh so hard to have the same patience that my mom (Sister Chen) had with me.  I love Sister De Leon, don't get me wrong.  I know this is my lesson to learn.
Elder Anjeweirden (awesome man) told me to delegate before he went to the celestial kingdom of Valpo.  And that's really what I'm trying to do.  He said that they'll never learn unless they fail a few times.  So I do let her fail a few times, then help her see what she can do better, instead of me coming to save her every time a situation goes down hill.
By the way, Jefferson, I want to hear about your experience with the missionaries!  You should ask if you can go tracting with them!  You too Harrison!

I love the plan for spring break!  We have to spend a day in the city!  They have an Eddie Bauer store there! :)  Although I’ve recently fallen in love with good will.  But yeah, we have to spend a day in the city, half a day in Wheaton, a day in Dekalb, or two, and prolly two in Renssy.  I have to take you to Aiydas.  A super good dirty mexican restaurant for super cheep.  And Sweet dreams in Dekalb.  AMAZING cup cakes, and portillos with the chocolate cake shake.  Ahhhhhhhhh I'm so excited for you to come and meet everyone and be where I've been!  It's going to be so exciting!  We also have to go to a show in Chicago...if there's time.
Oh for housing.  Is Ben going to be there?  If so I want to be in his ward.  If not Carriage House bottom floor please!  I think.  Can you actually send me a list of all the single rooms places?  And what are you doing for my classes?  Have you signed me up?  Do you even know what to do?
Oh random.  I had a dream about Marie last night and have been thinking about her.  Tell her I love her!
Love Sister Ostler
ps. I love ya'll too!'
Oh, the pkg was received!  Thanks!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thank You

Dear Mom:
We stayed in the apartment today til 1 so I would get your letter.  We have a white glove tomorrow so spent all morning cleaning.  I hate cleaning when I'm on a time crunch.  Pday ends at 5 today cuz that's when we go to our members house and they stuff our faces!  Literally, that's what they do.

Sister T from the Sycamore ward came tracting with us the other night.  She was awesome!  We got a potential from it!
A** is so awesome!  We weren't sure if she was going to come to church this week because she started work on Friday and she works nights.  For several weeks we really emphasized how important church was and how she needed to come, even if it was just one hour.  It would help her have a better week, have more energy, etc...all the blessings associated with church.

Well during the week we prayed for her that she'd be able to come, and she was praying too.  We didn't hear from her during the weekend, even though we texted her words of encouragement.  On Sunday we were talking with someone when who do I see walk in?  A**!!!!  I acted like I teenage girl who had seen a friend whom she hadn't seen in years.  I was soooooooooo excited!  She said that she was gonna tell us she was coming but then decided to surprise us :)  Even though she was super tired she came!
We also invited S** to pray about a specific day to be baptized on, Feb 17.  At the beginning of the lesson we asked him why he kept letting us come over and teach him.  He said to hopefully figure out if he was supposed to join this church or not.  Perfect!  Now we just have to get that desire working in him!!!
We went over to visit D** (LA) on Sunday, and we were gonna teach about how the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul, but that changed quickly to the importance of coming to church.  She said that next Sunday she would come.  But what was really cool is when we asked her to say the prayer at the end of the lesson she said no.  So my mind turned to D&C 10.  "D**," I said, "Heavenly Father gives us a formula for helping us defeat Satan."  We then read the scripture, and we expounded upon it.  She kinda smiled and when we asked her to pray again she said yes without any hesitation.  It's hardly ever that easy.
As for my companion.  She's super shy, doesn't talk when we're with other people.  She'll talk if talked too.  So I gotta break her of that.  She's not too confident in door approaches, but that's my fault.  I gotta shut up.  She knows her scipts really good, so that's a relief!  She's really good and understanding missionary work and doctrine.  She knows it.  She's super sweet.  It's great.
I was gonna mail Sister Chen a picture.  She gave me some labels with her address in Mandarin on it.  So that'll be easy.  She's on facebook.  Don't ask me her first name though.
Also I will be sending my sd card home next week.  I didn't have time to upload the pics on my thingy.  Sorry.  But the boxes are still coming!
We haven't been in contact with D** for awhile, since I last wrote you.  I'll let you know though.
Well that's all for now!  Don't know what else to say other than my ankle hasn't gotten better and Sister Doll said that this is normal.  I just wish it would get better!
I love you all!  Take Luck!
Love Sister Ostler
Thank You
Last night we stopped by a potential investigator, Cathy.  She does "Children Church" at her church, which is like primary, except there's no real organization.  She does it all by herself, and yesterday there were 26 kids there from 3-11.  She did have one teenage helper there.  She said that she had been doing that for 3 years and she could count on both hands how many people stopped and said "Thank You" to her, and no one had ever helped her clean up after "Children church" was over.
That makes me think. 
We have so many awesome primary workers, so many sunday school, ym/yw, priesthood teachers, and do we say thank you to them often enough?  They put in a lot of work to put together a lesson that will edify us, do we thank them for it?  And do we thank them specifically?  "Thank you so much Sister so and so.  Last week Wilson came home from Primary and shared with us his picture of Nephi obeying God.  We know that it's because of your teaching that helps him be obedient (because he needs all the help he can get.)"  Or, "Thank you so much Brother so and so, for your lesson on Humility.  That's one thing that I've been pondering about lately.  That quote you used by President Monson was really perfect for me.  Where did he say that again, I want to look it up."
Do we thank our ym/yw leaders for all the hours of preparation they put into lessons and mutual?  What about the bishop or his counselors?  Or even the clerk or executive secretary?
Let's extend this.  What about the person at Walmart who rings up your stuff?  Too many people take things for granit, and they are often mean to those who have the peeon jobs like that.  Do we thank them for helping us, or are we too involved in our own lives?  I've found it's so fun to look them in the eye and thank them.  You can even use their names because they have a name tag :)  Try it next time you're somewhere.  Thank the people who are working there.  Look them in the eye so they know that you mean it.
Those are just foods for thoughts :)
And thank you family for all that you do for me.  I only have 25 more minutes left, but I would list the specifics if I could.  I couldn't survive out here in IL if it wasn't for you!
And thank you friends (those that mom forwards this to) for writing me.  I love getting your letters in the mail.  And praying for me too.  It means a lot.
Sister Ostler

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cambios & Miracles!

Dear family,
This week has been so much better than the past weeks, let me tell you!  Let's just say I have awesome zone leaders, and one fearless district leader!  Too bad he's getting transferred to Valpo to be a ZL.  He'll do great though!  I attached a couple pics of our last district meeting together.  Elder Anjewierden had me teach the lesson on prayer.  I loved it, but didn't think it was too engaging.  But they said it was good.  Well Elder Runner and Anjewierden did.  Oh, I'm gonna miss that district!  Now it's a new one!

We got transfer calls on New Years eve.  We planned on doing a conference call when we all found out.  Well Freeport (Elder Anjewierden) tx us and said they got theres at about 9:10.  5 min later we got ours.  It was President Doll.  Crap!  Well Sister Wallace is now in Westchester with Sister Parker.  That'll be so good for her.  This will be a chance for Sister Wallace to really step up and take the lead.  I'm really excited for that.  I told her that she'll be applying a lot more of what she learned here in her new area.  She has grown so much since she got out too.  I think just being with her for four months constantly I missed a lot of the small changes that took place.  But looking back she has grown a lot.  I told her that within the next 6 weeks she would grow so much more.  She was kinda scared.
Well then President Doll told me that I would be training.
Sister Howell found out that she was training too.  She was nervous.  Sister Mondelli called me later and told me that I was gonna be a grandma!  She was nervous.  "I just don't know if I can help a new missionary when I'm still trying to learn myself."  How humble!  Today she was so nervous before we went in there, but she calmed down.  She'll do amazing!  Her comp. was in my ward at Rexburg!  How crazy is that!  Sister Weber!
So guess what?  My daughter is from Guatemala!  Yay!  My 3rd foreign comp.  My mom was from Tiawan, one of my daughters was from Italy, now my youngest is from Guatemala!  What's up with that?  But she's super sweet and nice.  And she's spent 1.5 years total in America, so her english is good.  She's always wanted to serve a mission.  Her older brother served in Nicaragua.  She only has that brother.  She's been a life long member.  She's super shy too.
I feel that she'll help me end my mission well.  She doesn't know that she's killing me, and I'm not going to be the one to tell her.  She asked me how long I've been out, "A little over a year."  I said.  I got that term from Elder Vicars.  In our training meeting President Doll mentioned Sister Chen again.  He told the newbies that three of us had her influence.  Two were trained by her, and one was trained by one she trained.  Then Sister Casperson in Renssy is training.  She loves it down there!  And I guess it's on fire too!  I just don’t know why when I go to an area it's not completely on fire.  But I just got to keep pushing forward and trusting in the Lord.  
So we had some really cool experiences this week.

One of our investigators committed to baptism!  We have been teaching her for four months, and four months ago she didn't know who Jesus Christ was, what He did, didn't know what the Bible was, didn't know what the word Atonement was, or had even heard of it.  She was a completely blank slate!  Well she was in tears when she found out that one of us would be leaving, so at our next appt we told her what a missionaries purpose was (we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ).  She loved it, and understood that if her purpose in meeting with us was not to be baptized and endure to the end than missionaries would not meet with her.
What was super cool was that she explained to us what faith was!  It was so simple, but so amazing!  Four months ago if we explained faith to her she wouldn't have been able to even understand it!  Then she committed to being baptized in June!  A long ways off, but she's got a lot of problems that she's going to have to overcome, and a lot to learn too.  The funny thing is, is that we haven't taught her the Restoration yet.  We just feel that she needs to understand more of who Christ is before she understands how He organizes His church here.
Oh, and what was also cool was when she told us that when she was putting her Christmas decorations up she said, "This year as I was doing it, I knew why I was doing it.  It's because we celebrate Jesus' birth."  Wow!  She is so amazing!
Don also came with us to one of her appts.  He was awesome, and so willing and happy to do missionary work.
Then a little over a week ago we were tracting in Rochelle when we met D**** (cool name huh Dad?).  We started talking about faith, repentance, prayer, when his neighbor came out.  "Hey, do you want to join us?"  he said.  She asked what it was.  "They're from the church...." he couldn't remember.
"We're from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  I said.
"Yeah," D**** said, "Well at least you're not the freakin' Mormons!"
Haha!  Guess what we are!
"Oh crap, you are?"  he said once he saw the look on our faces.  He was about to close the door when something stopped him.  We later found out that a couple days before, he had a break down in church (he's baptist) and that he prayed to know the truth.  Then we showed up.  "If this was my chance to learn the truth I didn't want to turn it down."  he said.  He took a BOM and promised to read it.
On Monday we went back with a member.  She was awesome!  But D's grandpa had given him a book called, "What to ask the Mormons."  Obviously anti.  Except he didn't ask one deep doctrine question.  He asked questions about the BOM and what he had read, and we talked about prayers and faith.  He promised to read more of the Book of Mormon.  Then yesterday he txed us and said that his grandpa said that none of Joseph Smith's prophesies had come true.
We told him that they had or will yet come to pass, and that his question was weather or not Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  And he could find out if he read and prayed about the BOM.
Then he asked us why then did he prophesy that Christ would come back in 1890.  We told him that he never said anything like that, and that his question hinged on weather the BOM was true or not.  He thanked us for our input and said he would read and pray.  It was really cool.  He seems to be taking this seriously, and understanding that it does come back to whether the BOM was true or not.  We're just hoping that his grandparents won't infiltrate his head with too many false notions.
Also, I'll be sending some boxes home next week.  One of them will have the SD card in it.  I need to get those pics onto my thumb drive, and this computer won't let me.  Oh darn!
Well for the remainder of the time I will be sending pics!  Mostly of transfers!
Here's a little thought on the mission...the end of it anyways.  I shared this with President Doll.
I look at ending my mission this way.  I have three months left.  But why should these three months be any different than any other three months on my mission?  They shouldn't.  In fact I should be working even harder and more effectively than ever before.  That's what I'm telling people, especially missionaries, (elders have a bad habit of doing that) when they remind me how long I have left.  
Sister Ostler

Oh, and by the way.  Amy said I looked good in my Christmas card.  Tell her that that picture was taken a year ago ;) psych! 

What our elders do before District mtg. - pop and mentos.  Dumb elders.  I got a video of it too.  Boys.  When will they grow up?  

This may, or may not have been Elder Lee's idea.  haha!  And he's stuck with his mom (me) for one more transfer at least.  Yeah, I'm the district mom we've decided.  I boss them around and all.  I keep them in line. 
I was stricken in years when I bore my final child!
Sister Mondelli (I trained her), me, Sister De Leon (my new greenie), Sister Weber (Sister Mondelli's greenie)
 Oh the joy of family!  I'm a grandma!  Sister Mondelli will do an awesome job with Sister Weber!  Sister Weber is awesome too!  They will get along just fine!  They're balls of energy!

Sister Chen's posterity!  Here are two of her daughters, then two of mine, and one of Sister Howells, and one of my grandchildren!  Sister Chen's posterity runneth 'or!  Or something like that :)

Well family, I love you all!  
Have a great week!  Expect for and search for miracles!
Love Sister Ostler
ps. NOW my pdays are on Mondays.  This was the last Wednesday pday.  And I did get the other pkg and the letter with the family photo in it.  Thanks!