Monday, July 28, 2014

Why would the Lord have me sit and wait for a bus that wasn't coming?

Sorry the email is late, Hermana Young and I hiked a mountain this morning, and when we got back down all the internet places in santa maria were closed (there are only two).  So we had to wait three hours until they opened, but we have just been chilling at the house, laughing, and talking.  Definitely one of my best pdays ever.

First, we had to ride up to la higuera.  A thirty minute bike ride up hill, then we got to the base of the hill, locked our bikes and started hiking.  It was a short steep hike, and it only took about 30 minutes.  We actually had to go off road to get to the very top.  When we got there we could see the whole santa maria valley . . SO BEAUTIFUL!!  And the day was perfect for hiking!!  Then, we ate a salad lunch that I made, took some awesome pictures and started hiking back down.  The bike ride all down hill was legit!!  We rode down with no hands . . . yes we are awesome!  All in all a sweet day.  Now, we are finishing up the pday with internet time, and there is a screaming baby in this room . .. but hey thats life.

This week was one of the harder ones in my mission as far as the work goes.  We just have not been finding anyone to teach, and our investigators haven't been progressing.  I have done everything I know how, but with no results.  I sometimes would catch myself thinking "Only three more weeks."  But I don’t want to finish my mission with that attitude. I prayed every night that the Lord would give me the strength to finish strong, and to truly enjoy the work.

On Saturday, our numbers for the week were low, and all our plans had fallen through, again.  By four in the afternoon, I wondered what we could do to fill in the remaining hours. I got the clear feeling three times that we should go to santa filomena.  So, we put the bikes back at the house and went to wait for the micro.  We waited for an hour and nothing came. I began to become frustrated.  We were losing work time waiting for a bus.  I wondered why the Lord would send us to santa filomena and forget to send the bus.

As we were waiting, a member, Hermana Pino, came and sat by us.  We talked to her casually for a moment, then she asked where we were going.  I said santa filomena, and she said that the buses might not be passing today.  I looked at my watch and said that if the next bus wasn't going to santa filomena then we were going to do something else.  The next bus came, and the driver said that it was going to la higuera.  My heart dropped.  Why? Why would the Lord have me sit and wait for a bus that wasn't coming?  We told Hermana Pino that the bus was going to la higuera, and she looked at me and said "Well, why don’t you go to la higuera then?"  Good question.  In a split second, I made the decision.  I tapped on the window, and the bus driver opened the door right before the light turned green.  We were on our way to la higuera.

As I sat on the bus, I became very discouraged as I thought about the difficulties of the sector, and what I could do.  The situation felt hopeless, and I was so low that I was close to tears.  Well, the bus got to la higuera and we got off.  I had no plans, but we started walking, and I felt we should visit a member who recently moved into the branch.  Her husband is a recent convert.  When we got to her house we discovered that her husband wasn’t home, which means that if we taught her a lesson it wouldn’t count for anything cause she is an active member.  But I felt we should share a message with her.

We started talking, and found out that she had been to the hospital that day, and had been feeling pretty low.  As we continued to talk she told us that she had at one time in her life . . . . .   She said that in her suffering she couldn't see past the situation.  We shared a message with her about rising to the Lord's calling.  I told her these words "You may not be the best mother in the world, but you are the best mother for you kids.  No other woman could give them what you can, and what you give them is just what they need.  You have the family God intended you to have."  That lesson for me was very special.  I felt the spirit so strongly.  I realized, that like this sister, I was in a difficult situation and I wasn’t allowing myself to see past it.  Yeah, I had a difficult week, but that doesn’t mean it is time to throw in the towel.  That just means it is time to redouble my efforts (DyC 127:4 . . look it up, its the scripture I share with the sister).

After that lesson I changed my outlook, and was able to move forward diligently in the work of the Lord.  We actually did a couple of really good contacts that day, and taught another lesson.  I realize that the Lord told me to go to santa filomena, cause I would have never listened to the call to go to la higuera (we were already planning on going there the next day), but there was someone in la higuera who needed us that day, and there was a lesson that I needed to learn.

We also had leadership counsel this week, which means I had to go into Santiago. Presidente videla is changing a few things, like the schedule!!  We will now be waking up at 6:30, and going to bed at 10:30, plus our lunch hour is changed to 1pm, and we have study time after lunch for an hour, then and hour dinner time at 6pm . . . thats cutting out some work hours for us, and a lot of the missionaries weren’t happy, including me.  The schedule was fine.  People in Chile sleep in later and stay up later, but 6-7 is like our best hour to work!  But, later in the week I was reading in nephi about how laman and lamuel were complaining about having to leave Jerusalem . . like always.  And there is a scripture that says they murmured because they did not understand the ways of the Lord.  I thought about that.  Laman and Lemual were also obedient.  Were they not?  Did they not leave Jerusalem like Nephi?  The difference was there attitude.  So, we as missionaries can either be obedient like Laman and Lemuel, or like Nephi.

We also now only have an hour of internet time, which means I’ve got to go now.  Sorry I would love to give you more details about my week, or maybe say something to make mom cry again, but I'll save that for next week in my last letter!  Ahh, que loco!!  Just know that I love you all and that I am giving my best out here.
Con amor, 

Hna Ostler

Monday, July 21, 2014

I hope your hearts have changed

Okay, so I don’t have a ton of time to write today cause I had to type up my good bye letter today.  Basically when you are leaving the mission you usually send out a good bye card to everyone you love.  So I typed that up today.  Maybe I'll send you a copy, even though it’s in spanish so you might not understand it. Its actually not that good.  As far as spanish goes, I am really good at talking and reading, but I would say that writing is my weakness.  I can do it, but I am so much better at expressing myself in english when I write.

21 days? really? I know its close, but there are moments when I realized how close it really is.  Honestly, I don’t feel the end.  I just feel like I will keep being a missionary forever. Elder Uchtdorf said in a recent talk "There seems to be something inside of us that resist endings." Yep, that is happening.  Actually I think my body is trying to reject the fact that I am finishing, and so I am like hungry ALL THE TIME! Its not like I just have a desire to be eating, no I am legit hungry. I was trying to lose weight, but I think in these past two weeks I gained it all back.  Its really weird, but its also happening to a few other missionaries who are leaving this next change.

I don’t have much to say about the week.  Ï mean we taught lessons, we did street contacts, we ate lunch with members that is usually drenched in oil, we rode our bikes, we had exchanges, we laughed, I even cried this week, we had hard moments, and good moments, we felt the spirit, and we preached the word.  Yep, that about sums up my week\ mission.

Some specifics: I learned how to ride my bike with no hands!  My companion ate gluten by mistake and then after she realized it and knew that she was going to get sick, she bought an empanada to make it worth it . . and yes, she did almost die. Hna Johnson and Hna Crump had a baptism this week.  A menos active that we have been working with told us that he wants to serve a mission, learn english, then go to BYU . . . yep, I was in awe and thanked my Heavenly Father for changing hearts.

There was a moment this week, when we were out in a poblacion called, Santa Filomena, and we were just knocking doors right at sun set.  The weather was perfect, their was a slight breeze, spanish echoed around me, children were playing in the streets, and I was just standing in the middle of a dirt road, looking down on the valley, and I realized "wow, I love this."  That was one of my "This is my life moments."  I’ve have them ever once in a while.  Its were you realize that you are right where you need to be, and that you love it. My companion had one this week.  We were just walking down the street and she looked over at me and said "hermana Ostler, I am a missionary." and I said "Yes, you are.  Now enjoy it, cause before you know it . . ." I never finished the sentence.  Sometimes it hurts too much to think about, and other times I am really excited.

Okay, I honestly have nothing else to say.  I love you all so much, and I am so excited to see you soon.  This Sunday, Hermana Young looked at her watch and said "Its two o'clock in Missouri, my family is just finishing up church."  And then I said "Its 12 in Washington, my family is finishing sacrament meeting."  (Well, that is if you still go to church at 11, that might have changed.) But in that moment, I remembered that you guys still exist, and that your lives still go on.  I guess that I have felt that when I left, everything back at home just froze, and when I come back it will all be just how I left it.  But life moves on . . . for everyone.  Just as God has changed the lives and hearts of the people I have met in Chile, He has also been changing you guys, and not just your lives . . but who you are.

Yeah, when I get home, I will have a sobrina (I will always call Lilly my sobrina, cause that is what I have called her here, and niece just sounds weird to me.  She is my one and only sobrina) I will have a cunada (And Katie will always be my cunada . . not sister in law) Benson might be a foot taller, moms hair might be grayer, Jefferson might have more muscles, Wilson might not have that gap between his teeth, and dad might be a little rounder, but more than the physical, I hope that I find you all different in your souls.  I hope your hearts have changed.  I hope that you have read your scriptures more, prayed more sincerely, laughed harder, and lived like the Savior lived.  I hope you have remembered your baptismal covenants, and that when I look into your eyes I will see Christ reflected there.  It's a life long process, but I hope to find all of you a little further along in the journey than when I left.  This life is for progression and for change.  I also pray and hope that you will say the same about me, that I have changed.  I think I have less hair than when I left, my skin is a little rougher, and I too might be a little heavier, but I hope that when you look into my eyes you will see the change.  You will see that the hardships and challenges have made me better, and have made me stronger.  So let us continue forward, my family, cause my eternal happiness will never be complete without you.
Con todo el amor en mi corazon,

Hna Ostler 

Monday, July 14, 2014

I felt an incredible peace

Great email.  It’s crazy to think that you all hang out by the pool . ..cause I don’t!!  This week was good.  Just another week in the life of Hermana Ostler.  RC got confirmed!! And yes, I really think that he will serve a mission.  We were talking about it last night, and he is definitely planning on it. After he got confirmed I felt that "What's next" feeling. We have just been working with him so much.  He has been our focus, and now he is a member!!

After church yesterday, we went home to drop our books off, and hit the roads again. When I opened the door, I ran inside and shouted: "RC got confirmed!!" (Except in spanish), and as I said it I felt an incredible peace come over me.  The last interview I had with president Essig, he finished the interview with a prayer, and in his prayer he said: "Bless Hermana Ostler that she can find all those that she was sent to find here in Chile." When he said that, I knew that there was still someone out there.  For my whole mission I have worried that I wouldn’t find all those who are waiting specifically for me, but yesterday when I felt that peace, I knew that I had finally found everyone.  I know that I still have a month left, and if you ask mom she can probably give you down to how many hours I have left, but I feel like this next month is all about preparing the sector for the next missionary to take over, and preparing Hermana Young for the challenges that she will face in her mission.  I feel at peace and content with the work I have done.  You can bet that I am still going to work my booty off this next month, cause thats what I've always done . . so why stop now?

This week we had interviews with the new president.  It was very different than with president Essig . .. and I missed him so much and and Sister Essig too!  But hey, everything happens for a reason.

Hermana Young and I spent a lot of time in the streets this week . . wait . . we are always in the streets!  JAJA.  No, but we just talked a lot and laughed more.  I think that some of my favorite mission memories are talking with my companions in the streets. Our conversations range from spiritual experiences and deep doctrinal analysis, to planning family vacations together with our future families.  The people in santa maria must think that we are crazy.  One time, we went out in the middle of the street and just started pretending like we were skateboarding. . why?  I can’t even remember.  It was like 9 at night, and our sector was just dead, so we brought some life back . . . jajaja.

I was feeling better this week, but my companion somehow ate gluten, she is siliac, and a meal we had from a member must have had gluten somewhere in it. You know that most processed meats have gluten!) and so in Thursday after our interviews she was dying! She couldn't even walk.  We we had to stay home.

Oh, here are some food items you can bring: Graham crackers, cheesitz, BQ sauce, licorice, Reese's PB cups, Moon cakes, pop tarts, hot pockets, pretzels, smiley fruit snacks, Hostess, Lucky charms, and of course, peanut butter.  No, they don’t sell any of that stuff here.  Hermana Young helped me come up with that list, cause I don’t remember any of that stuff.

Yep, that’s all I got to say.  I love you all so much, and I am getting excited to see you! Have an amazing week, and remember to pray for miracles every day!

Con amor,

Hna Ostler

Monday, July 7, 2014

We got to wear jeans!

Dear Familia,
Thanks for the email. It never matters what you tell me, I just love hearing from ustedes.  I hate that there is not one word for ustedes in english.  I just feel awkward using 'you all.' But hey, thats life.

This week, I learned two very important truths, or maybe just relearned them. First, Worrying about something is ALWAYS twice as hard as doing it. Second, the Lord is more powerful than Satan  . . . EVERY TIME!!

Yes, RC got baptized!!!  The little twerp made me cry!  It was his goal.  He says that he always makes everyone cry, and I said that he never made me cry, so he made it his goal and then he asked me to speak at his baptism!  I told him that that is basically cheating. All week I have been thinking about what I could say to him at his baptism, but nothing was coming out right.  So I decided to just get up there and say whatever the spirit told me to say.  So, I get up there and look down at him, dressed in oversized white clothes, then I said two words and just started crying.  He was pretty happy about that, but I am going to get him back.

The baptismal service was super simple.  We don’t have a font in our "chapel" so we had to come into san felipe, and we had to have it at 2pm so that his mom could be there, which means that a lot of other members didn’t come cause that is right at the hour of lunch.  But in the end it was perfect for RC.  Simple, short, and powerful.  They actually didn’t have hot water, so the trooper got baptized in cold water in the middle of the winter! Man I just love him. He will probably be my last baptism in Chile, but it couldn’t have been more perfect.

Of course, getting it all to turn out was a NIGHTMARE!!!  I kept my stress under control for most of the week, but on Saturday night, when RC said that he wasn’t going to be able to come to church cause he had to do something for a friend . . . I ALMOST DIED!!  It has surprised me how hard satan was working on him, I have never had another investigator that had so much opposition.  But, as said before, RC is a trooper, and he really wanted this.  His older sister, who is a member, was so so happy for him, and also his mom. His mom still isn’t a member, but I am pretty sure that it is RC's goal to change that.  I think that of all the people that have gotten baptized during my mission, Luis changed the most, but a lot of the change I didn’t actually see.  RC changed, and I saw the whole process.  I can’t even think about it without getting emotional.  RC is my little brother that was accidentally born in Argentina, but God sent him to Chile so that I could find him and help him get back home.  He is super sad that I am leaving in 5 weeks, but I told him not to worry, because I will still be annoying him through facebook to read his scriptures every day!!

For the forth of july we wore red white and blue, but everyone thought it was for Chile . . . jajaja.  We had our normal branch activity, which was super fun!  We had a quick lesson by me and my comp, then we just played games until we were dead tired.  I have loved all my sectors, but there is something very special about Santa Maria for me. Probably one of the hardest sectors in my mission, but I love it!

My comp and I were sick sick sick this week!  On Thursday, we literally could not stand up without feeling sick.  No, we didn’t eat anything weird.  Plus, I have a cold that has made it difficult for me to breath, which makes sleeping hard.  I am so dead tired every day, but I keep working because I don’t have much time left to work.

What Elder D says is true. I am usually not trunky . . . when we are doing something. But there are some times like at night or when we aren’t teaching or actively looking for people to teach that I start thinking about home.

We had an awesome pday today.  A member took us to a bunch of cool tourist places here in los andes, and we got to wear jeans!!  It feels SO WEIRD!

We met our new mission president. He is super funny, and really falls well with me.  I still miss President Essig, cause he is my mission president.

I wish I could think of more cool stuff to tell you guys, but my head hurts, and I am even more exhausted from todays activities. Here's something to think about . . . you'll only get 4 more letters from me after this!  Crazy!!

I love you all, and if I think of something else bakan to say, I'll just send another email.
con amor,

Hna Ostler

Monday, June 30, 2014

I know with all my heart that God loves us

Dear Familia,
First of all, Chile lost!  The country was devastated!  We didn’t get to watch the game, we did our weekly planning during the game, but we heard what was going on cause our neighbors were very loud!  It was fun.  Sad we lost, but hey, thats life.

Second, president left, which is still really weird to me.  We are going to meet our new president on Thursday at zone conference.  I really would have liked finishing my mission with President Essig, but everything happens for a reason, and I know that there is something I must learn from our new president.  Remember when I was thinking about finishing my mission about a month early to prepare for school and to finish with President Essig?  Well, I am so happy I didn’t, cause then I would have never met Hermana Young.

Third, my fingers are freezing and this keyboard is lame, so this email might not be very long.

At the beginning of this week, Hermana Young got a letter from a friend who is serving on brasil.  He has about a year in his mission and he counseled her to pray for miracles everyday, cause sometimes the Lord is just waiting for us to ask.  So everyday, Hermana Young and I prayed for miracles, and everyday we witnessed them.  There were many days when we had no appointments, and we planned on doing contacts all day or knocking doors, but those were the days that we taught the most.

I think that the greatest miracle we saw was on Tuesday night when RC told us that he wants to be baptized!  With RC, I have been trying not to push him to the font.  I wanted this to be his choice, and on Tuesday we were teaching about praying with real intent, o sea, praying with the intent to act upon the answer that is received.  Then he said "I think I have already received my answer.  I want to be baptized!"  I was so in shock when he said that, and to make sure he was serious, I actually tried to convince him not to be baptized, well, more like I tried to convince him to wait a bit longer, and maybe pray a bit more so that he could be sure  But he stood his ground, and defended his stand.  He was very serious about being baptized.  So, we are now planning his baptism for this coming Sunday. He came to church this week all by himself! And he is reading the book of mormon.  He is changing.

Our miracles this week ranged from a successful contact to putting someone with a fecha. We also had an amazing lesson with a part member family.  We were watching the dvd of the restauracion, and the spirit was so strong you could have cut it with a knife!  Yesterday we had an amazing noche de hogar and so many less active members that we invited came! Hermana Young and I organized it, and we played that game where you all write the name of a noun (in this case we did animals) on a post it note, then you stick it on the forehead of the person sitting next to you.  Then we all go around the circle (pun intended . . dad) and ask a yes or no question about our animal (ex does it have 4 legs). The point is that you want to guess what you animal is with the least amount of questions. It was fun.  A member, who is just a goof, lost, and so he had to sing a song in front of everyone.  He started singing quietly, A child's prayer, and one by one everyone who knew the song joined in, and those who didn’t hummed along.  That was the best part.

Working in Santa Maria these past couple weeks has been a little hard, but this week was different.  The Lord made me walk to the edge of my faith and then take that last step into the dark, into the unknown, and that was were the miracles were. I know with all my heart that God loves us.  It doesn’t matter who we are, where we came from, how old we are, what type of car we drive, if we are tall, short, fat or skinny, He just loves us.  I have felt that love so many times as I have been here in Chile, and I have see his hand transform and change lives to many times to try to deny His existence.  He walks the path with us, and when we stray, He is ever waiting for us to come back. I love this gospel, I love testifying of Him.  It has made me happier than I have ever been.

Okay, there was my missionary moment.
My hands are really cold.
Sometimes I feel like we are just constantly camping.
Hermana Young and I planned the branch noche de hogar, and we did a scavenger hunt using scriptures as clues. .. it was awesome.

I had some hard moments this week, but prayer and faith got me through.
I learn more and more about the Savior everyday, and I think that I am finally coming to understand how to be a missionary.  The Lord gives us callings, and when we finally learn how to serve in that calling, He changes the calling.

I taught the gospel principle class in Sunday.  It was about repentance, and it was pretty good!

When I wake up in the morning, I can see my breath and my blankets are usually a little damp from the dew.

I am just writing random things down that come to my mind, cause I know mom likes that type of stuff.  Next week I will send a better email, but my hands are just really cold.

I love you all, and I invite you to pray for miracles and see what happens.

Con amor,
Hna Ostler

PS. I ate a peanut butter and Jelly sanwitch, and it was sooo good! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The spirit that his words invited brought tears to my eyes

Dear Familia,
Wow, ADVENTURAS! How fun.  Yeah mom, Grandpa has written me a few letters about this familia that he still keeps in contact with.  That's so sweet!  When you save a girl, you save a generation!

So, are you ready for the big news!!  MY COMPANION!  She is from missuri . . aka Zion, and she is 19 years old.  Her name is Sister Young. She is the second oldest in her family, and the 4th missionary.  Her mom served in Germany around the time when the Berlin wall came down, her dad served in Concepcion Chile  (YAY CHILE!) and her older brother served in Nicaragua.  They also live on a family farm.  Like they have cows, sheep, and a large garden.  Its kinda scary how similar we are.  I look at her and see me, or how I was 16 months ago, expect that she is more humble than I was and is VERY patient.  She was in the MTC here for 6 weeks.  She has so so much faith.

Our week was crazy, cause we picked our companions up on Tuesday in the office, and we didn’t end up getting back until 8:30 pm.  But, I still took Hermana Young out to work for the last 30 minutes we had of that day.  Then, on Wednesday was the Chile game, and we aren’t allowed to watch the games, or work during the games . . . well its kinda impossible to work.  So we had district class in the morning and then our weekly planning session.  In the end, we only had about 2 hours to work that day.

Then, on Friday we had fase 1, its like orientation for new missionaries.  So we had to go back to Santiago, and we got back to Santa Maria at like 7:00, just in time for our weekly noche de hogar in the chapel.  Basically, Saturday and Sunday were our only normal days to do missionary work, and we just worked worked worked!  I am afraid that I might kill my companion before she can kill me . . .jajaja.  No, she's great.  She keeps up with me . . . jajaja.  Our numbers didn’t turn out so good this week, but I know that I worked, and I gave what I had to do.  I remember when I used to worry about numbers, but in the end all the Lord has asked is that I work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.  So if I do that then I will be completing with the Lord, and it is the Lord who will judge me in the last day, not the zone leaders, not the district leaders, and not my mission president.

Yesterday was a miracle day.  I gave another talk in church, and this time I talked about missionary work.  Probably the best talk I have given in Chile.  We had 5 menos activos in church!  Three were part of that group o 18 year old boys that just all went inactive around the same time, about a year ago, and the other two were a married couple. So that was bakan! But, lo mas Bakan fue cuando church finished like three members came up to me and asked if they could work with us that day . . ummm . .wait . . what?  When does that ever happen?  oh wait . . . yesterday!!  It was great.  So we spent the day with the members visiting less active members.  We entered into a lot of houses that we usually can never get in, but with a member at our sides, doors were just opening.

We ended the day with a noche de hogar in the house of the familia V* . . . two of those young 18 year old inactives are a part of the familia.  They are fraternal twins.  They have started coming back to church.  And in the Noche de hogar, R* bore his testimony, and talked about how this last year and a half that he has been inactive he has been missing something, and gone from place to place looking for whatever it is he lost, and then he said that coming back to church has filled him again, and he feels good.  The smile on his face, and the spirit that his words invited, brought tears to my eyes.  He has changed.  I think that is what I love most about the mission, watching people change.

Being with Hermana Young has helped me see my own progression.  When I got to the mission I literally knew nothing about missionary work.  I thought I did, but the Lord has humbled me until I was finally teachable.  Then He taught me how to do His work, and how to help His children.  Now, I am able to teach all that I have learned to another.  And Hermana Young is so much like me, that I literally feel like if I pass all my knowledge on to her, then a part of me will stay here in Chile.

This morning we played basketball again.  Jefferson, I challenge you to a duel when I get home.  I basically made about a third of our teams points today.  Dribbling . . . not gonna lie, I suck.  But if you pass me the ball and I have a clear shot, I'll take that, and about 40% of the time I make it. And if I don’t have a clear shot, I will pass it to someone who does, then run in for the rebound.  Yeah, I know, impressive.

The mission is just full of so many moments. Happy moments, sad moments, crazy moments, ridiculous moments, heart breaking moments, and heart mending moments. You find yourself in so many situations that not even your unconscious mind could have come up with, and sometimes you feel so full of joy that you just want to throw your head back and sing, while other times you wonder if you can make it through the day.  But, you always do, and the Lord always gives you new days and new chances, new challenges, and new solutions.  Sometimes its hard, and sometimes it feels natural, but in the end ... its always worth it.

Thanks for all the support, all the love, and all the prayers.  Yes, I got the package, and I love it!  I'm not gonna ask for anything else cause . . well  . you know . . jajaja.  I love you all so much!  
Con amor, 

Hna Ostler

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today is the beginning of the end

Dear familia,
Great email. I just love hearing about your lives.  Wow mom, a bike ride?  Thats awesome.  Ï went on a 30 minute bike ride yesterday.... wait. .  I do that everyday!  I love biking.

So, about changes, I am staying in Santa Maria, and I still don’t know my companion.  She will arrive tomorrow from the MTC.  Yep, I will be finishing my mission training in los andes, just how I started.  Hna Alonos went to Llay llay! I was so happy for her, though it was hard for her to leave Santa Maria.  I’m pretty sure that it is going to break my heart when I leave Chile.  Dad, I can’t even imagine that moment, I tear up just thinking about leaving Chile.  Well, I might leave Chile, but Chile will never leave me.

Actually, I was thinking about you a lot, dad.  Happy Fath day!  Just today on the bus ride to san felipe I was thinking about how hard you have worked your whole life to get where you are at, and the amazing part is that you didn’t do it for you. All that you did in you life, you did for a future family that you hadn’t met yet.  All that you now do is for us, and it just blows my mind.

Lately I have been having such a hard time expressing myself.  I think it is because I have so many feelings, that sometimes I don’t really know what I am thinking or feeling, and I don’t ever have time to organize my  thoughts cause I am just riding my bike around Santa Maria sharing the gospel so much that I don’t have time for much else.  But I hope you know that I love you, dad.  I am here doing what I am doing because of you.

This week was okay.  We went to Santiago to hear Elder Robins.  WOW!  After Elder Holland, Elder Robins was my favorite general authority that has spoken in the mission.  He speaks spanish, so there was no need for a translator, which was also awesome. He talked about following the spirit, and just dove head first into the doctrine.  It was so inspiring.

The work was a little slow this week. We had a hard time finding people to teach, and only two of our investigators are progressing.  One of them is R*.  Oh, I just love that kid with all my heart!  I know that I was sent to Chile for him.  He had told us about 2 weeks ago that he wants to serve a mission, and we were just ecstatic! Then, just the other day I brought up the subject again, something about keeping the law of chastity so that he would be worthy to serve a mission, and he said "Hermana, I don’t think I am going to serve a mission."  My heart fell and I asked why. He shyly looked at the ground and said "I don’t have the money."  Then I said, "R*, if you really want to serve a mission, don’t let money be the problem.  Keep yourself worthy, and I will make sure that you serve a mission."

We had another noche de hoger with him, and he was participating.  He came to church all by himself.  The only thing that would keep him from being baptized would be a social fear. He is completely changing his life, and I hope that he stays strong even when the social pressures start to push on him.

So, this year is the first time that Chile has been in the world cup in like 30 year!  So Chile is going crazy!  We actually weren’t allowed to be out proselyting during the game.  So we did our weekly planning Friday night during the game.  But we knew that we had won when we heard all the shouting about 2 hours after the game had started.

We started working in another hick town called Santa filomena.  Basically, missionaries have never worked there.  We went on Friday and walked around the streets, getting to know the people. They are all super amable.  The town population is 950.  Give me two weeks and I will have contacted everyone!  JAJAJA . . no but really.

Hermana Alonso made mexican food this week. SO GOOD!  We ate way to much, and then almost couldn't walk afterwards .  . it was the best ever!

I got mail from Amy, Jackson, Wrendie Henry, and Mary ..  thanks so much for all your support!  Letters are the best!

I am basically just giving your random information about my week, cause again, I didn’t plan this email. I remember when I was good at writing, but that is another talent that the mission has put on hold.  I’m okay with that though.  Remember when my emails used to be all bakan.  Now they are just disorganized.  I just write down what comes to my mind, and I feel like I don’t have much to say.   

I am actually super excited to be training for my last change.  I feel like I will be leaving all my knowledge and experiences with the next generation.The past couple weeks in Santa Maria have been tough, but I am hoping to turn things around and give my new hija a good impression of the mission.  Today is the beginning of the end.  My first day of my last change-  How did the time pass so quickly? Hermana Chamberlain told me that my mission would fly by, and I didn’t believe her, but it is true.  I am super excited to see what my last change brings.  I want to give it all I have, and end just how I started.  Preaching the gospel.

I know that someday my mission will be a photo album of stories, and a box of memories. It will be trials overcome and good times gone by, an experience lived and lessons learned. It will be old friendships and worn our shoes, a smile on my face, and a piece of my heart, countless lives touched, and one changed forever.  The laughter will become an echo, and the tears will dry up, but the memories will live on forever.
I love you all!  Now go and preach the gospel!!
Con amor,
Hna Ostler