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! 

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