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 Jackson...you'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!