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 worthiness. Keeping 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,
|This is what our district does for fun. Dress up like cowboys and indians. Whatever elders!|
|I know. . . . I'm beautiful!|