Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Missionary Work, What More Do You Want Me To Tell You?

Hi family:

Wow Elders!  You are so...yeah.  7 hours of church and you like it?  Get out!
We do about 4ish, sometimes more if there are investigators there.  No wait, 5, or more if there are investigators, and we are DEAD.  We get there at 8:20ish for MCM with Sycamore Ward.  Then we go to Sycamore ward for three hours.  This week only the R**s showed up, but I’ll tell you about that later.  Then we come in late for DeKalb sacrament meeting because we have to make sure that L** finds all her kids.  We don't even have time to eat, so even though we're not supposed to we eat trail mix or gold fish in DeKalb sacrament meeting after the sacrament.  But you try doing what we do with no food.  Then usually after DeKalb sacrament meeting we split.  We're usually exhausted by then.

We got to zone meeting 1 hour early (I can’t tell time, what can I say?) and so we went to subway!  What an adventure!
So this week we set a goal of tracting 10 hours and then we would reward ourselves.  We did a pretty good job too!  We got about 9 hours in, but that wasn't for lack of trying.  I have never seen Sister Fossett so gun ho about tracting before.  So we decided that because we worked our hardest that we would reward ourselves.  We even tracted in this tiny town for 1.5 hours in a blizzard, and not one person wanted to talk to us!  It was actually pretty hilarious.
We decided that was just an act of obedience, which paid off.  That night we contacted a referral from the ward (a part member family) and the non-member mom was pretty happy to see us.  They were having a party at the time, but she said she would call us to set up a time when we could come over, and she seemed pretty sincere about it.  Later we had about 15 minutes before dinner and Sister Fossett really wanted to tract like these three houses on a street we had passed.  So we went there and immediately got two PNIs. It felt very rewarding.  So we're going to Clair's today to by some hair stuff!  Yay for girl time!
The R**'s family is doing good.  She really likes church, and yesterday her 14 year old daughter was flirting it up with the teachers after church yesterday.  She's pretty much already a regular Mia-Maid by this point. The Sycamore ward is an awesome fellow-shipping ward! Even the youth.  The girls really like YW, and they're going to come to New Beginnings this week.  Our only problem is that they live pretty far away and so we can't meet with them a lot.  But we'll figure it all out.  We didn't have an appointment with the R**s this week, cuz she was sick then we couldn't get a hold of them.  So when we were up in Genoa this week (that's where the G**'s live too) we stopped by with a little goody bag.  It had candy, a DVD (the Restoration) and Daughters of My Kingdom in it.  She invited us in and then just unloaded on us.  All her problems and everything.  It was exhausting.  But she needed someone to talk to.  She was so thankful we came over and she felt so much better afterwards.  She's excited to get baptized.
The G**'s, though they don't have a date, have seen so many blessings from coming to church and meeting with us.  When we went over this week we taught the Restoration.  After teaching about the First Vision I asked the mom, if she wanted to know if this was true.  She said she already did.  I thought, "Yeah, that's what everyone says."  But then she went on to describe how she had seen blessings in her life from coming to THIS church, and how friendly the ward was and how welcome they felt, and how their children absolutely loved Primary.  And how  her 10 year old was actually praying now, when before he wasn't sure there was a God.  And he read King Benjamin's speech in the children's BOM with his dad and loved it too.  We both have a feeling that they're all going to be baptized though.  We're trying to teach and move at a pace that is not going to overwhelm them.  That's really something I've learned on my mission.  You have to work at their pace, even if it means you're not going to get a baptism til June, or something.
Sister Fossett is so awesome, and this Miracle is attributed to her.
So yesterday we stopped by a PI who we found about two months ago.  We've tried calling her, but she would never return our calls.  So yesterday we stopped by to see if we should even try.  She came out and seemed a little put out we were there.  I was really sad when she said that she didn't want to learn, because I really liked her.  I was planning on just leaving, but Amazing Sister Fossett kept talking with her just about life and gained her trust.  She still wasn't interested, which was really sad, but we left knowing that she at least liked us (which meant she liked the church).
Well at 8:30 that night she called us and asked if we could come over to help her with some stuff around her house.  She has medical issues, so even though she REALLY HATES asking people for help she knew she could trust us.  Sister FossettFossett hadn't taken the time to talk with her than we wouldn't have this opportunity to perhaps share the gospel with her.
Yeah, I didn't read that whole email you sent, just skimmed it.   
And I'm kinda out of time. 
But in response to your letter.  
My interview went good.  He's really seen me grow this past year and a half.  And I really have.

Oh also, I'm going to have to have some serious boy time in about a month.  I'll need a date for the weekend I get back.  I did hear that there is quite the lady's man living in our house (don't worry it's not an elder, that would apostate) who swims and has super high standards (I totally told your homecoming story in RS yesterday!  The sisters loved it!  And were very impressed.)  We could double with mom and dad...just an idea.  
Sister Ostler

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A little bit of this, A little bit of that

Dear family,

Well let me first respond to mothers letter.

First, if I don't get any other letters this transfer that's fine.  AS LONG AS YOU SEND JACKSON'S EMAILS!  I want to know how my little bro is doing!

And that's fine that you signed me up for only spring.  I'm not staying summer.  I'll prolly come home and work.  I think Dad said that they needed me in August.  Someone is having a baby or something like that.  But we'll see.

Also for classes...well I wrote them down on a lined piece of paper and I think it's in my desk.  It's in the big drawer, and I think it's one of the folders in there.  It might be in the folder marked school.  Yeah, you might have to go on a treasure hunt.  And if you can't find it, just sign me up for classes!  Just so I don't get in trouble.  Although I would like to take the intro to seminary teaching.  That's in the 400s I think in religion, or 300s, I can't remember.  A cake decorating class would be fun too!  If you can get me into dance 290 (I think that's intermediate ballet) that would be good.  I'll figure it all out in a couple months.  So don't stress about it, and I'll try not to stress about it.  Just sign me up at least.

Way to go Harrison on not being broken!  And in swimming!  Sweet!

Tell Emilee and Danica I say hi!  Danica gets home today or tomorrow.  I miss that girl.

Oh you know what?  I didn't even read your email!  Yes, mom I did get your letter, obviously!  
Woot woot Harrison for holding to your standards!  Well not yours but the Lords!  Love you boy!  I'm so proud of you!  I worry about you boys sometimes.  I just see so much evil around me everyday, and it's so comforting to hear that my baby brothers are staying true to the truth that they were taught by our awesome parents!  Keep pushing forward with that steadfastness in Christ that you have!

Yeah, so I just skimmed the email..  of course dad, you are a hero!

Well I don't have a lot of time.

I try not think about the end, excpet everyone and thier dog keeps reminding me about it!  What the heck!  I just try to be the best missionary I can be.  

We took a break and played on the swings one warm day.  It was great! Yeah, we have fun togther.  Although this week to get us out of the car we made a goal.  10 hrs of tracting=going to clairs to buy some cute hair things!  Yay!
Also Last night Sister Fossett dressed me up in all her clothes.  She likes playing dressup.  And she's making me grow out my nails, which is really annoying.  But it makes her happy, so I'm letting her.  I've kinda given up on having things exactly my way.  Compromise.  Right?  But yesterday we went over 2.5 hrs of tracting!  We'd be lucky to get that in three days!  This whole clairs things has really got us going.

Being with so many different compantions has really helped me realize what I want in a husband.  I want somenone like sister Howell.  We just got a long and had a great fun time, and also we had the same goal and work ethic.  I really loved those six weeks we had togther.  When we would get a runny nose we would suck it up and just go, just like Mommy Chen taught us how to do it.  We moved forward together and when one of us would be having a bad day we would stop and help each other out.  One night Sister Howell was really put out by something that had happened, so I got out the cookie dough that hadn't made very good cookies and we ate the rest of it.  It was good!

But the R**'s and the G**'s came to church again!  The G**'s stayed for 2 hrs this time, and the kids loved primary!  The R** girls like YW, and hopefully will be coming to new beginnings next week.  We'll go too if they go. 
Zone meeting is tomrrow and I have my last interview with president before my final one.  Should be fun!
how are my bunnies doing by the way?  

Okay, I can't think of anything else to say.  Besides two-three weeks before I get home that little boy needs to be out of my room!  I hang around enough boys as it is!  When you walk into a chruch roomm full of elders...yeah, it reminds me of home!  I don't need my pretty room smelling like boy.  Love you Benson, but not the way you smell.  Sorry!

Oh, the reason we're emailing today is cuz our pday got switched to today for this week.  Yesterday was memorail day and so all the computer places would be closed.  And tell those elders to read chpt 5 in pmg if they want to answer the deep doctrine questions for the LA.  Especially the part about using the BOM to answer objections.  

Well I best be going! 
I love you all, and thank you for all that you do for me!
We're going up to Byron today to play with our elders!  
I'll take pictures.
Sister Ostler

So in reading 2 Nephi 9 this morning I came across verse 42, as you would while reading chapter 9.  It really impressed me and reminded me how much Heavenly Father wants us to rely on Him. 
"And whose knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches--yeah, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them."

It takes humitily to call upon God, especialy when we're some of those stubborn people who don't like to ask for help.  We have an investigator like that.  She won't tell us whats wrong, and she really won't accept our help.  Therefore we can't help her.  She's proud even though she's about to break.
That's the same with Heavenly Father.  He won't help us unless we ask.
Sister Ostler

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Very Long Tiring Week

Dear family,
So this has been a great week.  We had L and her family come to church, along with the G**'s!  L and her girls stayed for all three hours, and then we talked to the YW president about including the girls in YW.  She actually gave them a personal progress book.  She wants this for her daughters so badly.  We taught her the WOW on Friday.  It'll take awhile for her to accept and live it, but I think she will.  In Sunday School we talked about the spirit world, and she has had experience with that, and she shared her testimony of it.  The spirit filled the room, and it was a great lesson!  She felt a little overwhelmed with everything though, but the subjects were perfect for her.  And the ward is, as always, so friendly.  The G**'s left after sacrament meeting, because she was on call.  But I really hope they stay for primary next week.  The kids will love it!
We didn't email yesterday because this government building was shut down because they were observing Lincoln's birthday.  Then at the library no computers were working.  Wow!  So we just went shopping and went up to Rockford to play with the zone.  We had a fun time.  Sister Leahman is leaving tomorrow :( so we had to say goodbye to her.  We started our missions in Naperville, and we ended in Rockford.  She is an awesome person!

Sister Ostler & Sister Howell
Love that girl
Sister Ostler & Sister Leahman
Tell Emilee I said hi!  I love her and miss her!  Also Danica comes home next week.  Tell her I said hi too!  And I'll write her...soon!
I think Autumn Winds sounds good.  Or a house too.  I don't mind.  Just somewhere other than the dorms or a cardboard box.  I would really like a private room though.  It would help me out a lot.  The classes you're going to sign me up for sound awesome!  You should throw in some martial arts class too! ;)  Yeah, I'll just fix it all up when I get home.

So about transfers.  Oh that was bad!  I about died!  We got this text at 8:50 at night when we were returning from some awesome tracting (two potentials and one other lesson in 45 minutes!) from the APs telling us we would be getting a call about transfers.  I got so scared.  What if I trained my last transfer?  I just didn't want to do it.  All the pressure came back.  I think it might have been similar to giving birth to Benson mom.  You were remembering how painful it was, so that's why dad convinced you to have a needle stuck in your back.  Well in training the only needle is prayer, but sometimes He let's you struggle for a bit and really grow before he sends that numbing medicine coursing through you.
Sister Fossett and I had been getting along great.  We do have our differences, but we are trying to work those out.  We didn't even plan that night.  I was so scared that she was gonna be leaving.  I needed her in more ways than I can ever tell you.  And she didn't want me to leave somewhere else.  The Byron elders texted us and said they had gotten a text that said they WEREN'T moving.  Then 20 minutes later they told us that Elder Lee was leaving (Elder Runner was not too happy).  So we thought that maybe they sent us the wrong text too.  We texted Elder Swenson (yes Jackson, your buddy is AP now.  How awesome is that?) and asked him if we were getting transferred.  He said that they had mixed some of the numbers, so no, we were safe.  Wow!  What a flood of emotions in less than an hour.  We ate a lot of sugar that night and I almost cried a couple times.  We were pretty happy to be staying together though.  There are great things to yet be done in this area.  Although I'm not sure if I’ll see a baptism before I leave.  Kinda sad, but hey, it's what I get,,,yeah....
You know, maybe a house would be good.  But I don't want to live far away from campus.  I want to be able to walk there.  Oh you just decide Mom!  Sorry, but I'm not really feeling in the mood to write to you.  Hmmm...what to say?
We found this investigator, K**.  We were looking for a referral, who's house number didn't exists.  So we tracted.  And we found her.  After introducing ourselves she said, "Okay, come in!"  We had had a very long day, it was 8:30 at night and we were beat.  So we got to know her and taught random stuff, but she invited us back and when we came back she was very interested in prophets.  So we taught her that...well the Restoration, and it was powerful!  I loved it!  We gave her Dad's BOM and she was so touched by that.  We were supposed to go see her today, but she had to take her nephew to the doctors office.  But she did leave us her number!  So we'll get to call her!  Yay!
I love missionary work, and yeah...I do.  It's tiring, but I love it.

We're also really working on unifying our district.  So far so good.  Tomorrow we'll meet the two new elders in our district, Elder Gram and Allen.  Other than that our zone stays pretty much the same.  Kinda weird.
I don't really know what else to tell you.  It's been a long week, a long, very tiring week.  Sister Fossett is scared for me to leave cuz she thinks that the ward loves me so much.  Which they do, and it will be hard for her, but she's so good with members anyways.  She gave a great talk in Sycamore ward too.  Sister Howell doesn't want me to leave either.  I'm gonna miss her a lot. Well nothing really to say, and I’m almost out of time.
Have a great valentines day!  Tell everyone you love them!
Sister Ostler 
ps. Elder Runner can play Soul Sister on his Ukulele, that's mine and Sister Fossetts theme song, except she doesn't know the song..oh well!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Should I Stop Now?

Wow Mom and Dad, super long email!  But thanks for that!
So this week has been fantastic!  Zone leaders are still being strange, but with Sister Fossett here all is well!  We just care more about the people instead of the numbers, so that's why our numbers this week were the best I've had in a very long time.  Plus I'm not worrying about my daughter.  Man, I've realized how much I focused on my daughters instead of my area when I was training.  The area took a back burner.
But with Sister Fossett here, I don't have to focus on her, and we can just work.  We have had so much fun!  She loves english (more technical) and she's an RN, but going to be a nurse someday.  She has a strong testimony and she's an awesome teacher.  I feel the spirit when she teaches.  Tracting is once again bearable.  I'm not the only one talking.  Having Sister Fossett here has been a blast!
I haven't talked so much in a long time about things other than missions.  We talk about everything.  It's weird and nice at the same time.  Also when she came I stopped feeling like I want to come home.  Before I couldn't wait 'til March 28th.  Now I'm focused once again on this work.  I love sharing the burden instead of carrying it.  She's like, "Who do we need to call?" every day.  It's awesome.  And sometimes, like this one night we were looking for a former investigator and we decided to tract this one apartment complex with four apartments.  So we talked to one girl, and after we got a return appointment we BOTH felt we had done what we were supposed to do.  I didn't have to say, "Well what do you feel we should do?" and then wait forever.  We both felt the same.  It's been so relaxing (a good missionary relaxing) working with her.  She can tell when I get mad at people too.  Like when they say, "You can't know what you say you know."  Yeah, she knows that makes me pretty darn mad.
We have had a lot of fun together, and have seen so many miracles.
P** dropped us, but we set L and her family on date!  She so wants this for her girls!  So we started teaching her girls this week.  At first all of them were just sitting there listening like teenagers do.  Then one of them started to really listen.  She ate up everything we said and at the end she said, "Can I have a Book of Mormon?"  And then after we explained a little bit about baptism, she asked, "Well how can you remember Christ throughout the week?  Does you're church help you with that?"  And this girl is 14 years old asking a question like that!  So we got to share with them the prayer for the sacrament.  It was such a neat experience!

And we've seen such a change over L within the past month.  She used to be depressed.  A dark cloud was looming above her, but now she's so happy and has so much hope for the future!  She is so amazing!  And when we asked when they wanted to be baptized they said, "Well what about the weekend after Valentines day?"  Yeah, we couldn't do that, they have too much to learn.   So we set them for March 24.  I hope they make that.  That's my last weekend being a full-time missionary. 
We had people to church on Sunday!!!!!!  4 PEOPLE TO CHURCH 4 

The G** family.  They have a 10 yr old boy who is so awesome.  We feel like he just wants to be accepted, and he's not getting that from his past church experiences.  And an 8 year old daughter who loves the Bible and Christ.  We hope they stay for primary next week.
A**...pray for her (our investigator) she can never meet with us.  Pretty sad, just shows where her priorities lie.  But she's still changing, which is good.  She's just at a point in her life when she won't make time for God.  Too busy.  And it's hard to change all at once.  Think about it.  Did we change all at once?  Nope!  We didn't.  It was a slow, continuous process.  So patience is the key for her.  I just have to have patience.
Sister Fossett is great with the members.  She's so friendly.  Ah yes.  Tell those elders downstairs that we sisters suffer from the same thing.  And dad, next time you give a talk and want to use something from my emails, tell those members that a good missionary doesn't care about the food when we come over to your house.  We don't care how many courses there are, if there's desert (we prefer none) how much it costs, how long it took you to prepare it.  The reason we come over is to teach members how to become better missionaries.
We have been called and set apart to teach and find and baptize.  So if you want to fulfill you're duty as missionaries, stinking listen to the missionaries, then go and do what they commit you to do.  As missionaries we bear our testimonies, we share scriptures, we teach lessons, but nothing in these people's lives would ever change if we didn't invite them to act.  Most people don't act.  Some do.  And when they do...oh the joy that you feel!
Sorry, but that's one of my soap boxes.  Member missionary work.
The members here are awesome, they really are.  And it is scary inviting people to change, but Christ did it and pip-squeak 19 year old boys are, so why not us?
Way to go Harrison on standing up and not going to the dance!  That's the first step that Satan would want you to take to lead you CAREFULLY down to Hell: put yourself in a situation where you can't take your sword with you.  Do people really think they can willingly go into an environment like that and have the spirit with them?  We as missionaries are put in situations like that all time, but we don't want to be in them.  If we are in a situation like that we pray for strength and leave ASAP.  We can tell if people have any potential or not.  And really, you're MORE of an example if you DON’T go.  Then people would ask why you weren't there and you could share with them your standards.
School dances were not as bad when I was a teen.  Harrison never lower your standards for anything.  And you little boys, you follow your brothers example!

Well that's all for now!  Tell Saydi to stay strong!  And you boys too!  Don't fight against the standards mom and dad and the prophets (the Lord) have set.  Follow them and they will bless you.

I love you all!

Love, Sister Ostler