Monday, March 25, 2013

I miss Hermana Chamberlain

Well, I really started to appreciate my companion and just love her.  I know the Lord helped me, but I guess it was a little too late.  I GOT CHANGED!!  I'm in Santiago central in the ward Simon Bolivar in a trio with dos Latinas.  One of them is from Peru, Hermana Leyas and she got here when I did so we are now both finishing our training with Hermana Henriques who is from Mexico.  But they both speak English.  Hermana Leyas studied at BYU for 3 years and Hermana Henriques lived in Cali for 6 years.  We live in an apartment with three other sisters so it is crowded!  I really don't know how we are going to live!  I feel like I was just getting used to the sector, the work, the life as a missionary and now they throw me for another loop.  It's like starting all over again.  I just feel so out of place here.  But I'll get through.

I realized this week that a lot of my frustration stemmed from not being able to see my growth.  I have really been focusing on the things that I am leaning and trying to change myself in so many ways that I wanted to see more change.  Also I thought that I had enough experience with Mexico and Hawaii to get me through the mission that I forgot who gave me the strength to get through all those other trials.  I tried to rely on my experience instead of relying on the Lord.  I guess I was sitting in one place watching a tree grow and when I didn't see it change I got mad.  But what I failed to do is ask the master gardener what nutrients and work the tree needs to grow.  I was trying to grow a tree using rose feed.  But the master gardener has different tools he wants me to use now.  I already grew my rose bush, this is a tree I am working with now.  I need to look to the proper source, do my work, then leave the tree to grow.

I got a letter from Grandpa Skinner this week, oh it just made my day.  I think I read it like 4 times! It was such a testimony of hard work yielding results and always trusting in the Lord.  But other than another letter from Amanda and one from Mary (which I loved!) I haven't gotten any mail, and we are not getting mail tomorrow because we are getting like 23 missionaries and 19 are sisters.

Hermana Chamberlain is going to train one of them.  It's crazy.  This mission is going to burst!  So I really don't need skirts now because I will be walking, but if you still have those grey shoes that we got from the mall I would love them! My shoes are good, but those were like butter on my feet and my foot still hurts sometimes from that bug bite.

There was a corner spider in our apartment this week.  It just a really big poisonous spider in Chile and I killed it cause my companion was so scared. So basically I saved our lives.  But there are not a lot of bugs here, its to dry.  And I haven't eaten anything weird, just a lot of carbs.  Chile is the second top consumer of bread in the world, second to France.  Oh but the bread is amazing!  O, if you could send a picture of my baptism that would be amazing!

We had a baptism this week, the familia a**.  Basically the parents are members but they went inactive.  But now they want to come back and raise their kids in the gospel.  So we taught the two oldest girls and baptised them.  It was great.  It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Los Andes.

I just don't really feel like typing about Los Andes cause I just miss it so so so much!  But I will tell you about this man we taught.  Lets call him Juan cause I don't remember his name.  We started teaching him and he seemed golden.  He loves the bible and believes in the apostasy.  He thinks that all the religions just teach their own doctrine. So we jumped in and started telling him about Jose Smith and the restoration.  He wasn't having it.  We tried to tell him there was proof that Jose was a prophet and we brought out the Book of Mormon  . . . I swear I could hear him say: A bible a bible we have a bible and need not more.  I thought about Harrison and our little joke with that scripture and almost laughed during the lesson.  I just let the whole thing role off my back.  But Hermana Chamberlain took it really hard.

But we met someone later in the week who really is golden, M**.  She lives in a vineyard and guess what she gave us?  Yep grapes fresh from the vine that tasted like candy!  She had met with the missionaries when she visited her mom in the South and she has been looking for them ever since she returned.  Basically shes just going to get baptized.  For the rest of the day I was singing:  I went in a vineyard today.  I went in a vineyard today and met M**.  haha, it was so funny.

Oh I miss Los Andes!  It was just so so so great!  I don't know how I feel about this sector.  My companions say the work is great here and so is the ward.  There are 12 missionaries in our ward! Crazy!  But I want to go back to Los Andes with my bike and my vineyards, and all the crazy Catholics.  But the Lord wants me here so I will go and do.

Okay, so I'm trying to send more pictures, but this computer can't read my card.  Sorry, I'll try to work on it.  
I'm not sure how far we rode are bikes everyday . . . a lot!  Also, I know about the plaque thing.  All my pictures now you can see it.  Yeah, this computer won't read my card . .  sorry!

Also, Harrison, you are going to Brazil.  I just thought I would remind you;)  Wow, I'm just still so excited. And Jackson is getting married!!  And Wilson is turning 11!!  loco!  But other than that your lives sound boring. But I love reading about them!  So keep telling me!  I think maybe your mail got lost.  But I sent a letter home last week, so we'll see how the Chilean mail is.

Oh, shout out to Mary because you are going into the MTC soon!  Blah I'm so happy for you.  You know it will be hard, but you can do it!!  I loved your letter so so so much!  I sent you a letter but I don't know if it will get to you before you leave.  But it's not very good.

Well, I have 15 more minutes, and I could sit here and tell you about how I really really really want to go back to Los Andes and how I miss Hermana Chamberlain, but then I might start crying and I've been tying so hard to hold it in all day.  Basically, its just been an emotional week and I've been trying to watch that dang tree grow and its just not helping.  I feel like this is hard, but at the same time nothing is happening.  The tree isn't growing.  But trees aren't meant to be watched.  They are meant to be cared for and then someday when I go to water the tree, I will realize how far it as come from the little twig it once was.

The language is still hard, but I was able to work with one of the other new sister this week while my companion went to the temple and I realized what a head start I got.  So poco a poco its coming and I know in this next change its just going to explode.  Well I hope so.  I hope they speak Spanish with me and not English.  
I just really don't know what else to say.  Basically I'm just in shock that I'm even here right now.  It feels like the beginning all over again, and I don't know if I can endure that again.  ugh . ..  why why why?  Just when things were starting to get good!  I pray that one day I will get to return to Los Andes, maybe when I can speak Spanish a little better.

Okay, last couple questions.  No there is no asado there is just pan pan pan!  And I think it fell from heaven. There is a lot of choclo (corn) and I love it!  It's all so so so much better than in the states. I forgot the last couple questions but I got to go.  I love you all.  les vaya bien!

Hermana Ostler         

Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm starting to love it

I'm on my way to the Bishops house.  We go there every Thursday for lunch. It's out in the
country and so beautiful but we have to cross the highway and a stream to get there.
BLAH  . . . . . . BRAZIL!!  I´m kinda freaking out right now!  That is so so so so so so awesome! Oh Harrison you will be amazing!  Portuguese!  Wow, I do not envy you.  But you can do it! Hopefully your Spanish background will help you.  Wow, I just want to sing and dance!  That is the greatest news ever!  The amazon!  Oh you are going to love it! 

Jefferson . . . your Spanish is so good!  You should come to Chile:) hahaha, well the Spanish here is so different.  But I am starting to love it! Some of my favorite things they do are cut the S off the ends of words.  Like mas o menos, they say ma o meno.  Also they add ´Po to the end of everything!  Like for si they say si-po and yo se-po.  I just love it!  I'm still not fluent and still get frustrated a lot, but I know that eventually my diligence will pay off.

I love the Hawaii picture!  Just yesterday I was missing Hawaii so so so so much!  Just everything! On Thursday I was missing home a lot.  But I'm getting better!  I have moments of complete joy! The days are so long, but the weeks fly by.  Its Monday again . . . really?

So first I want to tell you about fruit.  On Wednesday (my one month anniversary) we saw the fruit of our labors . .  literally!  So we met this man . .  A**.  But we call him hombre de uvas.  He stopped us as we were going to visit a less active member.  He stared talking to us in English . . well a little.  He told us that he met the first LDS missionaries that came to Los Andes and he taught them Spanish and they taught him English. It was cool.  Then he picked a couple clusters of grapes for us from his vine and we set an appointment to come visit him.  Well that appointment was on Wednesday but when we got there he had to leave, so to compensate he gave a huge bag of grapes form his vine.  That bag must have weighed 3 plus pounds!

Then at lunch that day, Hermana Reyes sent us with two huge apples for the road, then we found J**, and we taught her and her family the first lesson.  They are golden!  They were asking questions about Jose Smith and the Book of Mormon and it was just great.  During the lesson they brought out a huge plate of honey dew . .  so good!  Then they sent us with two giant plums and another bag of grapes.  We had so much fruit there wasn't room to carry it.

Later, as I was thinking about all the fruit we had received the thought came to my mind [this is the fruit of your labor] we have just been working so hard and not finding anyone to teach, but I think the fruit that day was the Lords way of telling us that its coming. Then later that day we met Is** in the streets.  We were stopped on the road, trying to figure out how to get to our next appointment, and she asked us if we needed help.  We talked to her for a minute, and she told us she is having a hard time and asked if we had a minute to talk with her.  So we went to her house and she told us how she is broke and has no food and how her children will not help her.  She told us about her terrible marriage and how when she saw us on the street she was praying that we wouldn't turn the corner until she got to us.  It was a great experience.  I really hope that we can teach her more and she will accept the gospel.

Also we had a baptism this week!  F**.  We have never taught him but he had been investigating the church for over a year, and none of the elders that worked with him could get him to commit to a baptism date.  Then the week we arrived we met him at church and had plans to go visit him, but then when we were eating with the bishop he told us that F** had called and wanted to be baptized!!  It was crazy.  The ward kept asking us what we did, and we shrugged our shoulders and said it was the Lord.  The baptism was on Saturday and it was so so so great!  I love F**.  He's just  . . . blah I can't really describe him.  Basically we would be best friends if I spoke better Spanish.  He really is going to be great for the ward.

Also I got to play the piano this week while we were at the chapel a lot preparing for the baptism!  Oh it was great.  I don't play in church cause my companion plays and she's way better at hymns than me.  But F** had me play and he wants to organize a talent show for the ward and he wants me to play.  We really want to pull this ward together.  They are great people but they are all really old.  So we want to organize fun activities that will be appealing to the younger less active families in the ward.  So a talent show is perfect.  We are also going to start teaching English classes on Saturday]!  Whoa!! I'm so excited.

My companion and I are working well together.  Sometimes I get frustrated with her. There was one day that I was getting so so so frustrated with her for the stupidest things, and no matter what I tried I could not think of anything good about her.  Then the next morning, I was reading in the scriptures, and found this great scripture, basically it made me realize that God loves us all the same, and just because I may do things differently than my companion, it doesn't mean that God loves me more.  So that day every time I thought of something bad about my companion I would think of one good thing, remind myself that God loves her the same that he loves me, and then sing a hymn. I'm learning a lot about myself out here.

I've realized that becoming a good missionary isn't about what I do, if I follow the rules or not, it is about what I think. If I can start to think like Christ would think then I will have no desire to break the rule.  I will only want to do his will.  I guess before my mission I thought I could still somehow hold onto my old life.  But I now know that I have to forsake everything for the work.  My books, my music . . everything!  Sometimes when I would get really frustrated or down I would think about one of my favorite books to make me feel better, and that's not a bad thought, but there is a better thought out there.  I realize that I need to be 100 percent focused on the work, and when I am down I need to think of ways I can help others instead of focusing on myself and what I want.

A few more quick things.  I got a letter from Amanda!  Thanks so much! What you said was exactly what I needed.  Also if you could send those shoe squishy things.  I forgot them.  I left them in the hallway by my room, and whenever you feel like sending me a new skirt go for it!  I did not think it was going to be this hot or that I would be riding a bike all day.  So a light weight full skirt or two would be great! Also my companion knows Johnny Vance! He was her first zone leader.

Okay, now I'm going to try and send some pictures.  Sorry this email isn't that great.  I'm just so overwhelmed by the whole Brazil thing!  I'm so so so happy for you Harrison.  A mission is so hard, but I'm starting to love it. I'm enjoying more and enduring less.  Now I just need to work on loving the people and having my only desire be to serve them and invite them unto Christ.  I need to stop thinking about what I want, and that I am tired, or hot, or can't speak the language.  Cause the moment that I stop thinking about myself and give my problems to the Lord, he will bless me!

Love always 
Hermana Ostler

We don't have a mop so I scrubbed the floor Cinderella style.

This is our amazing zone!
We are basically the best ever!

I wish you guys could meet F**.  The Bishop baptized him!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I feel your prayers


So, I´m still in Chile . . . just in case you were wondering.  This week went so so so much faster than last week.  Like I can´t believe it´s already Monday.  I just love reading your email!  Wow, I don´t even know what to tell you.  This week went so fast everything just blurred into one.

The work here is really slow.  No one is open to the gospel, well, we just haven't found the people who are.  You see, our sector is divided into 5 smaller sectors, and president likes us to pick a sector to focus on.  Last week, as we were getting oriented with the area we were jumping around to all the different sectors.  Yes, we were working hard, but we weren't working effectively.  The Elders before us left us a note that said sectors 3, 4, and 1 had already been worked by the missionaries. They suggested that we work sector 5 (which is like a 15 minute bike ride away, but it´s out in the country and its so so so beautiful!) or sector two.  They said there are a lot of new young families in sector two.  So we started out every day in sector three, cause that´s where our current investigators are, then we jumped form sector 5 to 2 trying o work.  But no one was open to the gospel.

On Wednesday night, after being turned away by another reference, we were just sitting on our bikes in sector two pretty discouraged wondering what we should do.  Hermana Chamberlain looked at me and said ¨I don´t know if this is where we are supposed to be.¨  I agreed.  I think that we were expecting to ride into a sector and then just have angels start singing, telling us we were in the right place.  But that's not how the Lord works.  As we started thinking and talking about it, we realized ALL our current investigators live in sector 3 as well as most of the members.  Plus, not 5 minutes before, a woman stopped us and started asking us about our church, we set an appointment to meet with her, and guess where she lives? Sector 3.  The Lord had been nudging us toward sector three all along, we just weren´t listening.

So this week our focus has been on sector three.  We haven´t had any more success, but at the end of the day we are not disappointed with ourselves like we were before.  We are doing all we can do, and we don´t know why the Lord wants us in sector 3, but we will be diligent and faithful.  We will lift up our heads and rejoice.  Every missionary has hard times.  Look at Alma and the people of Ammonihah (Alma chpt 8).  They wanted to kill him!  But when the Lord told him to return, he speedily obeyed.

This week at district class we met our other district leader.  His companion was sick last week so he wasn´t there.  His name is Elder Villagran, and he is an amazing missionary, leader, and teacher.  I want to be the kind of missionary he is.  I can´t really describe it, but he just oozes with charity, love, patience, brotherly kindness, humility, and goodness. All the missionaries in our zone are just great!  They are all such good examples to me of what it looks like to be a good missionary.

Spanish is still hard for me.  But I´m trying to use it as much as I can.  But, a lot of times with Hermana Chamberlain its just easy to fall back on English, and when we´re out teaching I just can´t understand anyone!  It´s just frustrating cause I have so many things that I want to say, so many different ways to explain the gospel, but I can only say what I know how to say, not what I want to say.

We have a few solid investigators right now.  On Monday we found N**.  She is seventeen and her aunt is a member.  We were teaching her the first lesson, and I could tell she wan´t that into it.  She was nice, and answered all our questions, but I wanted her to see that this wasn´t just a cool story, but that it applied to her.  As Hermana Chamberlain was telling her that she could pray to know if this was true, I interrupted her and asked ¨N**, do you want to know if there is a true church?¨ She paused and said yes. Then I asked ¨Do you believe that if you pray God will talk with you¿¨ She paused then said yes.  Then I testified that if she prayed sincerely that God would hear her and answer her prayer.  She then expressed a true desire to know if there was a true church on the earth.  My companion took over from there and told her that she should talk to her aunt about what she believes.  So I´m excited to see in N** progress.  We haven't been able to meet with her since, because she's in school and then she was out of town this weekend.  But hopefully she is there today and we can teach her about the BOM.

We are also teaching this other family, O** and H** and their two kids.  O** loves the Gospel and she wants to be baptized so bad!  But her and H** aren´t married, and H** doesn't see and need for God in his life.  He also doesn't see a rush to get married. So their wedding is planned for next year!!  We are trying to work with him, cause O** always says, I would get married today so I could be baptized tomorrow.  I love her, she just has so much Animo for the gospel, and her two kids remind me of me and Jackson when we were kids.  The son will just push the daughters buttons all the time, and she always gives him a reaction.  Then he walks away with a smug little smile.  It always makes me laugh.  I just want to tell that little girl that I know exactly how she feels.

There's another one of our investigators, E**, who really wants to get baptized, but he can´t cause he´s living with someone and they can´t get married because he´s married to someone else and its really hard to get a divorce in Chile, plus his ex wife lives all the way in the north and she doesn't want a divorce because she's from Peru and she gets certain benefits from being married to a Chilano.  So it´s complicated.  Every night we pray that he can get a divorce . . . yeah I´ve never prayed for a divorce before.

Here, we get just as excited when investigators get married and when they get baptized.  In district class we all rejoiced just as much when someone told us that their investigator got married as when someone told us that there was a baptism on Saturday.  But that´s Chile.  No one wants to get married because it's so hard to get divorced, and relationships to them are so selfish.  They just want to be in a relationship when it´s easy.

We visited J** again this week, and she told us she hasn´t drank since our last visit!  We were so so so happy.  She really wants to change her life, and we just are praying that the Lord will soften her heart.

So now some random stuff.  There was a little earthquake I think Thursday night.  We were just doing our weekly planing and all the sudden the earth shook . . . it was so bacon!  Also, the mail usually takes 2-3 weeks to get here from the US, and they only deliver it on Tuesdays during district class.  It is so great when that truck pulls up along the street and all the missionaries swarm it.  Seriously, they are more excited than kids on Christmas day.  I don´t even care if I don´t get anything, I just love watching how happy the other missionaries are.

Oh, on Saturday, we had lunch with the greatest family ever!  Literally, they are the equivalent of us, but Chilean style.  I laughed through the whole meal even though I usually didn't know what was going on.  For that hour and a half I felt at home, and it was beautiful. But I have never been so full in my life!  First we ate an avocado filled with ham and topped with homemade mayo.  Sounds weird but it was so good.  I thought that was the meal.  But then they took our plates away and came back with a man size bowl of Casuela . . . a traditional Chilean food.  Oh it was so good!  But I felt like I was going to explode.  Then for dessert we had about an eighth of a watermelon each!  I have never been that full, not even on thanksgiving!

Almost every family that we have eaten with has asked us if we play the piano cause no one in the ward plays. And they actually have a real piano in the chapel!  So boys . . . . PRACTICE!

On Friday we had fase uno, which is where all the newbe  missionaries go the the office in Santiago for training.  It was a long day.  We had to wake up at 5 to get there in time. But it was so great to see all the new missionaries and see that I´m not the only one struggling.  Hermana Ibarra from my MTC district was there and we are basically going through the same thing.  She is also opening a new area with her comp, but her area is way big, and they don't have a map.  Also the elders before them left not only a terrible apartment, but a disorganized and incomplete area book.  So we were blessed that the elders before us cared so much about their investigators that they wanted to make sure they were taken care of.

Sorry, I can´t send pictures.  This computer doesn't have a card reader either.  But today hopefully I can find a card reader that has a usb so I can hook it into the computer.

Things are getting better.  Everyday is like an emotional roller coaster.  I usually start out pretty down cause I don´t want to wake up and I don´t want to do our pathetic workout.  Then before personal study I always pray to have a better attitude.  Then we do four hours of study, at which time I always find something to help me keep going.  Before we leave the apartment I get down again, cause I just don´t think I can make it through the day.  During lunch I´m usually frustrated as I try to follow the conversation, and just sit there as my companion does all the talking and everyone thinks I´m just this little mute girl.  After lunch is the hardest because we are so so so full and it is so so so hot outside.  The only thing I want to do is go sleep off my food coma.  Then around 6 when it starts to cool down and people are getting home from work, and we actually start teaching instead of knocking on doors and doing street contacts, my roller coaster goes up up and up. It peeks when the sun sets behind the mountains, painting the sky with a breath taking glow of pinks, purples and oranges.  It´s always at that time that I know the Lord loves me, and that I´ve almost made it through one more day.

So, poco a poco I´m adjusting to this life.  Things aren´t perfect, but when have they ever been? There are sometimes when I am so so so so down, and I don´t even have the desire to care, actually I don´t even have the desire to desire to care, and I think about home and all the places I'd rather be, all the things I'd rather be doing, all the books I could be reading, the piano songs I could be practicing, or the songs I could be listening too, and that´s when I feel your prayers.  That´s when I know that my strength isn't enough, that it will never be enough.  That's when I look down at my watch and say 'One more hour, then you can give up,' and when that hour is up I say it again. One more hour and then you can buy a plane ticket and go home.  After that hour I say it again and again and again, until the day is finally over, and I realized that somehow I made it through.  Those are the times that I look back in the sand and only see one set of foot prints and realize that the Lord has been carrying me.  Someday I´ll be able to walk on my own, someday I might even be able to run, but right now I needed carried. So thanks for all the prayers.  I feel them and they help.

Oh yeah, the dogs.  Jackson said I would hate them, but I think I just love them more!  There are so many dogs that have the same coloring as copper and I always miss him so much!  And at night I love it when the dogs follow us because it makes us feel safe.  Yes, there are some mean dogs, and really dirty nasty dogs, and dogs that bark their heads off at us, but then there are really nice, sweet dogs that make sure we are safe, and that make me feel less alone.  So as of yet, I don´t hate the dogs.

And chubs!  That so great you went out with the missionaries.  I know how it feels to be out for three hours and not get in any houses.  No fun!  But that´s the mission!!

Well, I love you all!  Just keep being awesome . . . and write me lots of letters, cause that´s about the only literature I get out here:)

Love always, 
Hermana Ostler

Monday, March 4, 2013

I truly am a representative of Christ


Hey, guess what?  I´m in Chile! and this keyboard is really weird!!  Okay, so I am going to organize my letter by categories.

First, Companion:
Her name is Abigail Chamberlain from Indiana.  She´s awesome!  She speaks Spanish so well, and I don´t know how she learned it.  She kinda reminds me of Amanda.  I´m not really sure why.  She had a very different teaching style than me. She knows how to talk about the gospel.  This will be her last area.  I´m killing her!  But she´s only here for two more months, so she won´t complete my training and we don´t really know what is going to happen.  It´s all because worldwide they shortened this transfer to 4 weeks instead of 6 because of the new departure dates at the MTC.  So we´ll see.

There are a lot of things about Hermana Chamberlain that I like.  She´s very focused and a rule follower.  She dosen´t get annoyed with all my questions! But right now she is a little disorganized because we are opening a new area for sisters.  There were elders here before, then they put us in.  So not only am I lost, but she´s lost too.  It can be frustrating sometimes.  But we work well together.  She just is go go go!  Yesterday we rode our bikes by this beautiful vineyard and she didn't even glance at it.  I had to slow down because the sight just took my breath away.  But she wants to finish her mission strong, and she thinks she doesn't have time to appreciate the beauty of this county. Maybe I can help her chillax.

Second, Culture:
So basically the ward is awesome!  All the brothers in the ward are like Brother Cuevas, so warm and welcoming.  Everyone just loves us!  Apparently there were 3 elders here before us, and so everyone always asks if there is just two of us.  One hermano that we ate lunch with said, two sisters are better than three elders!  Haha, it was great!   But we eat lunch with the members instead of dinner, cause that is the main meal here, and they eat a lot of carbs here.  One meal we had was potatoes stuffed with nasty Kraft cheese and rice . . . no meat!  And their food is really flavorless so they use a lot of condiments.  Like there is always ketchup and mayonnaise on the table.  Also, they eat the main meal first, then when the plate is clear they eat the side dishes, which is always salad, and by salad I mean tomatoes with salt and oil on them.  There is a lot of pan here.  They eat pan like Mexicans eat tortillas,  It is so so so good!  I think I might get fat!  But we bike everywhere, so that´s good.  I don´t like biking, and I think we could get more done if we just walked, cause then we wouldn´t get lost so much and we could talk to people as we go.  Oh, they also eat a lot of ice cream!  I love it!!

Third, Experiences:
So we are opening this area for sisters, and we kinda started from scratch (PS, I´m in Los Andes the area is called Primer Crucero).  The Elders left a really good area book for us, but a really dirty apartment.  Our first night, when we arrived, we couldn´t find the apartment, then some sisters who happened to be doing their visiting teaching found us, and helped us find it.  It was nothing short of a miracle.  My first day as a missionary was so long!  I have never been that tired in my life!!  I wasn´t like physically exhausted, I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  It was rough.  

Wow, there's just so much to say, there´s no way I can say it all.  I want to tell you guys about J.  After visiting a super awesome investigator, we asked her for references and she told us to go visit her neighbor.  So we went to her neighbors house, but no one was home, so we started walking back down the street.  We passed this woman, and we greeted her.  She paused and stared at us like she knew us.  We asked her if everything was okay, she said no, and then just started crying.  She told us to come to her house. Guess what house was hers?  Yes, the neighbor of out investigator!

We sat down with her and she started sobbing!  She told us there was so much pain in her life and she begged us to help her.  She said she has been trying to quit drinking for so long, but can´t.  She wants God to help her, but doesn't think he will.  We just comforted her, prayed with her, and sang a song for her.  There was a point when she stopped crying and looked at me.  She took my hand and just stared at me.  In that moment I knew Jesus loved her and that if He could be with her he would, but he couldn´t so he sent me instead.  I realized that I truly am a representative of Christ, sent here to Chile to do what he would do.  We set a return appointment with her where we want to teach her about the word of wisdom.

We also met this other guy on the streets who just chewed us out.  He told us that our religion only wanted money and that we were brainwashed.  My companion kept trying to testify, but he wasn´t having it.  Sometimes she´s a little timid.  If I had the vocab I would have said something along the lines of, you can believe what you want, here's what I believe, please respect that, like I respect what you think.  It was nice to meet you, goodbye.  But she wouldn´t walk away.  He is bitter at the church cause his daughter is a member and he couldn´t go to her wedding.

Fourth, Random:
So my feet are good. My shoes are already so dirty!  Oh, I got bit by some bug and my foot was swollen for like 4 days.  The women in relief society were really worried about me.  But I just took Advil and elevated it during personal study.  It´s getting better now.  The hardest part for me is still Spanish.  They speak so fast here!  And they are so lazy in their language.  They cut off the endings of words, and use the weirdest slang. Also they mumble so so so much!  I´m having the hardest time.  I've definitely had my hard times.

On Friday, as we were walking to go contact a reference I just felt so so so alone.  It has only been four days, and I saw the endless road stretch out in front of me.  I just didn´t think I could do it.  My companion looked over and asked if everything was okay.  I said "yeah, this is just harder than I thought it would be."  She said we should go sit down.  So we found a bench, and when she asked me what was wrong, I started talking about how frustrating it is that I can´t understand or speak this language because it is so different from the Spanish I am used to.  Then I just started crying.  I thought how much easier it would be to be in a different mission.  A mission where they speak my language.  I would be such a better missionary if I could just speak English!  Everyone keeps telling me that I will learn it, but I just don´t see how.

When I cleared the tears from my eyes, I saw the glow of the sun behind the mountains.  It was beautiful.  I smelt the grass and roses in the air.  It was beautiful.  I saw children laughing in the streets.  It was beautiful.  By the thorns in His crown, to the sunset colored sky, He finds a way to say I love you.  Yes, this is hard, but I am not alone.  I think people who serve foreign missions suffer something that those who serve in the states don´t suffer.  We are humbled so so so fast by our lack of language skills. All the Elders I have met from the states are so humble.  Here, we realize quickly that we cannot make it on our own.  Yes, the road ahead of me is long, but I don´t have to walk it alone.

President, his wife, daughter, and her husband came to our ward (yes, I got the bag . . . thanks!)  and it was testimony meeting.  Near the end of the meeting the husband of presidents daughter got up.  He said three words into the mic "no hablo espanol" then he sang I Stand All Amazed.  Tears trickled down my cheeks as he sang that song. Though he cannot speak the language, he brought the spirit into that room stronger than any words that had yet been spoken.  The Lord will give to what I need to invite the spirit.

So that´s life in Chile.  It´s all really overwhelming.  I wish I could send you some pictures, but this computer doesn't have a card reader and I don't have a usb cord for my camera.  Pday is going by so fast!  But we are going to get Competos after this!  I´m so excited to try them.

Harrison!  A su mision!  Estoy my emocionada por usted!  Que bacon! Also, don´t be disappointed if you don´t get called to a foreign mission.  It´s harder than you think. I've lived in a foreign country, but being a missionary is so so so different!  But wherever you go you will love it!

There are only 3 gringos in my zone, me, my companion, and our district leader.  Hna Chamberlain says that I will probably be getting a Latin companion next and then I will probably train until the end of my mission.  Next transfer there are 18 plus sisters coming to the mission, and no one to train them.  I hope president gives me a chance to learn the language before he makes me train.  I just feel like I have so much to learn and I don´t know where to focus!! 

They don´t have cheerios here:( and I´m getting super tan!  Its awesome!  Yeah, it´s way way way way hot!!

Okay, got to go!  Oh my gosh that Portuguese song that I like is playing!! hahah.  Love you all!!

Love always, 
Hermana Ostler