Monday, January 27, 2014

"Come in."

I knew it!!  I knew it was a girl!!  Yeah Lilly!  Finally the name gets used and there is not a more perfect recipient than my first niece!  Congrats to Amanda for having the first grandchild!  I love the onsie!  Wow, all week I was thinking about Amanda, and I am so so so so so excited to be an aunt!  Yay!  Kinda a bummer that I have to wait like 6 months to meet my first niece . . . but . . . cosas pasa.

So, as for my week.  My number one goal was to be patient with my companion.  I am so blessed to have lived in Mexico for a short time so that I can understand her better.

My patients for her only broke once, yesterday night when I was so tired, and had a sun headache and my feet were hurting, and she was telling me how I needed to go to the doctor because I have a couple of blisters.  So I took my deep breaths and tried to explain to her that blisters happen, and that I wasn’t going to die.  But, all in all, things with the companion were better this week, mostly because I decided to be more patient.  She is progressing, learning how to teach more effectively and to not scare our investigators away on the first visit by inviting them to be married in the temple.  She is slowly getting used to the mission, but I know it is hard.  We all go through it.  But, I tried to remember the patience that she has with me and all my short comings, all my quirks, and especially my Spanish.  Hna Perez speaks very differently from the people here and all my other companions.  She uses different frases and words that I don’t understand. So I might still be explaining to her what a referral is every night, but she is repeating what she says in different ways until I understand her.  I am learning a lot from her and the Lord is blessing us so much in this sector.

So, basically our sector is just full of a bunch of old people, and last change with Hermana Morley we had an extremely difficult time finding people to teach.  At the start of this change, I prayed so hard that we could find the people who are being prepared.  I prayed for the faith necessary to find them, and the patience to knock door after door, and be reject time after time.  Last Sunday I specifically fasted for our sector, and that we would be lead to those who are waiting to hear the message of the restored gospel.  This week as we worked in our sector, I felt as if we were knocking the doors for the first time, even though I have basically knocked every door in our sector at least once.  I don’t know what changed, but doors were opening to us, and we were finding investigators left and right.  This week, in our sector that could pass as a nursing home, we found three young families!!  WHAT!!  I don’t think I have taught more than 2 complete families in all of my mission, and in one week we taught three!  I know God answers prayers, and sometimes we just have to be humble enough to ask for Him to lead us to the doors instead of thinking that we can find them on our own. This is His work, and knocking doors without His guidance is just a waste of time.

This week, after doubling our teaching pool, I have been pondering what drives people to invite two complete strangers into their house.  Here you are, a mother of two young boys, with a mountain of dishes to wash, floors to scrub, dinner to make, shirts to iron, and toys to organize when a knock sounds on the door. You answer it, and what do you find? Two young girls, not from your country, and not much older than yourself, asking to enter into your home, to take a glimpse into your life and share a message about God.  Sometimes I think that I am just as surprised as they are when the words slip from their lips "come in."

Why?  Why do they invite us in?  Put aside the fact that they have a million other things to do, babies crying, bills to pay, a houses to clean, THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW US?  When was the last time you let a stranger into your house?

This week, as I have pondered on all these things, I have started to see the situation a little differently.

Here you are, a mother of two young boys, with a mountain of things to do as always.  But, how about we look past the to do list of a young mother for a few seconds.  Here is a woman who is trying to raise her boys to one day be respectable young men. Here is a woman who is scared that the morals of the world will enter into her home.  Here is a woman who wakes up every morning worried that she is going to fail her family.  Here is a woman who needs help, and when two young women knock on her door, she doesn’t see two strangers with a message that is just going to eat her time up.  No, what she really sees is help.  She sees Jesus Christ, and that is why she says "Come in."

When you put the plack on, you are no longer a stranger to anyone.  Instead you are representing the person that everyone is waiting to knock on their door.

So, our investigators are progressing slowly.  We invited Wa* to be baptized!  WHAT!!  That wasn’t planned, it just happened.  He didn’t say yes, but he didn’t say no.  He told us that he wants to learn more, and he wants to know that this is the path for him.  Also, he is reading the book of mormon and praying, so I know that he will come to find his answer.

We also invited another one of our investigators to be baptized.  She is older and she has smoked since she was a teenager.  So we taught her the word of wisdom, and the spirit during the lesson was so strong as we invited her to leave behind her cigarettes and follow Christ.

Also, some bad news is that Ja*, our other investigator who has 22 years and has been to church like 6 times started smoking again after 2 months of quitting.  NOOO!  But she said that she is going to try again. We are going to buy her tictac and almonds today, and I am going to make her banana bread, cause she loves it!  We are also taking her to the temple on friday!

About a month ago, Hermana Morley and I found this 18 year old girl who said that her belief in God is a 4 on a scale of 1 to 7. We went by this week to visit her and found out that her mom suddenly died.  Her mom had been sick for a few months, but our investigator was sure that she would get better.  As we taught her lesson 2, the plan of salvation, I could see the pain in her eyes.  But I realized that her pain doesn't spring from the loss of her mother, but from the thought that she will never see her mom again.  That hurts her more than the actual loss.  I didn’t know what to do for her, but I felt the impression to invite her to a FHE we are going to have with Ja* on Wednesday.  Surprisingly she accepted.  So, hopefully Ja* can help her, cause she also lost her dad.

This week, it was my goal that Hermana Perez and I could laugh more.  Hermana Perez is very serious, so I tired to find every opportunity to laugh.  Especially when it was hot, when we were tired, and when we had no one to teach.

Something I have learned in the mission is to always have an eternal perspective.  Why get upset or angry when a door slams in your face?  Cause then you will be all frustrated when you knock the next door, and no one is going to invite a frustrated person into their house.  Yea, its really hot right now, but in a few hours the sun is going to set.  Misery only lasts if you invite it to stay.  In the mission, our situations change from moment to moment, hour to hour, door to door, so if you are relying on the circumstances to make you happy then you are strapping yourself onto the roller coaster of emotion . . . NO FUN!!  BEEN THERE DONE THAT  . . . NO THANKS!  Discouragement comes, it always does, whether you invite it or not, but it is our choice if we let it set up camp, or send it packing.

The things you learn on a mission are priceless, and a few times this week, I stopped to think back on the person I was only a few months ago, and I am in awe at what the Savior is shaping me into.

Well, that's all I got for this week.  I love you all and you are always in my prayers!
Con amor,
Hna Ostler

Monday, January 20, 2014

I love wearing His name above my heart

Dear Familia,
I love the double email thing.  Its a little longer, but I can know a little of whats going on with Harrison!  Wow, he's a DL?  CAPO!  BACAN!  Just go baptize some good priesthood out there in the jungle . . I’ll stay here in my apartment on the 20th floor and drink smoothies made from my blender every morning . . jajaja.

Okay, so my new comp arrived on Tuesday.  Her name is Hermana P and she is from Mexico.  Apparently there wasn’t a sister from Chile.  I'm not going to lie, this week has been hard as Hermana P is adjusting to the mission life.  We got back to the apartment Tuesday afternoon, and I know she probably wanted to unpack, or get settled, but we left five minutes later to work!  Maybe I’m a bad companion for doing that, but that's what missionary work is . .Its WORK! After every contact we do she is already planning the baptism.  But, my patience has been tried as I have had to explain every aspect of missionary work.  It doesn’t annoy me, I mean, I’m her trainer for crying in a bucket . . that's what I am supposed to do. I have to tell her not to talk about deep doctrine after EVERY lesson we teach.  The people have never heard about the priesthood, so you can’t go in and start talking about preparing them to enter the temple so they can be sealed.  For crying in a bucket, WE JUST MET THEM!  How about we teach them about the priesthood that is on the earth, then invite them to be baptized by someone who has that priesthood. There is an order to these things.  So my work is cut out for me.

I feel like Hermana Morley came pre trained, and we just lived it up!  We had so much fun last change, and yet worked our butts off at the same time.  But this changed I am training. For some reason, God sent me Hermana P.  Maybe I can learn something from her.

She had her first breakdown on Wednesday. I love her.  Honestly, I feel an unexplainable love for her as my companion.  I am just going to try to teach her what I know, help her learn, and hopefully learn from her experiences.  I just hope she doesn't confuse all our investigators.

That's so crazy about Kraymer not being able to speak English.  I still feel like I can speak English well.  But of course I have been in Chile for less than a year, and he was there for 2 years.  But, this week my Spanish was suffering. I don’t know why.  I felt like I couldn't speak, or understand, but maybe that's because Hermana P speaks SO DIFFERENTLY than los chilanos, and because I was so mentally tired from explaining everything x number of times.

Mom, I love your study on enduring.  The principle of Endurance is one I have become very familiar with throughout my mission.  Being with Hermana P has reminded me a lot of the beginning of my mission and the tree I planted so long ago.  You have been reminding me of that tree, and that I should go back and look at it, but I haven't seen much change in the size, stature, or strength.

Now, Hermana P recently planted her tree, and I am teaching her how to grow it, and how to care for it.  I am telling her what I have done to grow my tree, or in other words, to develop myself, and in the process I have gone back to my tree to look at it, to see if there really has been any growth, and OH MY WOW!  That thing just shot up and I don’t know when.  I know that there is still much I can do as I continue to develop myself, grow, and change to become more like my Savior Jesus Christ, but I cannot deny the progress and growth that has taken place over these past 11 months.  I am far from my potential, but I am headed in the right direction.

Oh, guess what W* told us?  Remember W* the Agnostic?  Well, last week actually, he told us that he actually believes in God . . WHAT?  That's cool.  So we are seeing progress with him.  Slow, but it is there.  He is just so awesome, and he is really starting to open up to us. I pray that he will be baptized someday.

So, I miss Hermana Morley a lot.  So does the ward.  We were meant to be sisters.  I am grateful for the change we had together, but it went by way to fast.  I think I learned more from her than she did from me.

Ma* y A* got confirmed on Sunday!  It was so great!  We also had three investigators in church, which was a miracle!  This week was a little difficult, just with being in charge of everything and not really having a companion to help, but I have felt very close to the Lord and I have felt Him guide me through this week.  I made mistakes, but that's okay, because I am trying to be better, I am trying to learn.  I have a great desire to become more like my Savior every day.  Can I have a missionary moment?  Okay, I’m taking one.

I love this work so much.  I cannot describe to you how difficult and tiring it has been, but I love it.  I love being the hands of the Savior here in Santiago, and wearing His name above my heart.  I always say that I only have 18 months for that name to sink through the tag into my heart, and I feel Him there more every day.  I know he lives, and I know He loves each of us.  I walk the streets and testify of Him every day.  I tell lonely people that they really aren't alone.  I tell broken people that they can be healed, and I tell suffering people that He has suffered for them so that they don’t have to.  I love doing this, and even though it is hard, and there are many times when I wonder if my blistered feet can carry me to the next door, I know, that at the end of it, I, like Kraymer, won’t want it to end.

Thank you for all your support, packages, and love.  I love you all and I pray for you every day!
Con amor, 

Hna Ostler

Monday, January 13, 2014

I felt the heavy weight of Vivaceta on my shoulders in a literal sense


Okay, and I am back with the news of cambios!  Aren’t you just dying to know what happened?  Well, I’m sure the boys couldn't care, but mom, I know you are just on your toes waiting! So.... whats gonna happen... I think I will hide it somewhere in my email... so keep reading!

So, the semana was good!  About our 5 in church last week, well ..  two of them got baptized!  Ma* & her son!  We did exactly what dad said we should.  We brought a sister to ALL our lessons this week and it really helped her feel comfortable and progress.  Instead of shrinking at the topic of baptism, she began to rejoice at the thought.  We saw a huge change in her over the week.  And her son is just awesome like always.

The member that helped us
So, Friday was their interview, and we had an inter transfer, which ended up being really complicated cause our sister leader didn’t tell us about it until the night before, and we already had plans to go to the registro civil in the morning to renew my visa, plus we had a ward activity to plan that would be taking place the next day, and the interview.  Bad day to be separated from your companion.  But we worked it out, and our sister leader ended up coming to our sector to work with us. So we were a three sum that day.  It was great having her here though, she really helped some of our investigators that just haven't been progressing.

Okay, about the interview.  So, Ma* is incredibly shy and has trouble with memory.  We have taught her the charlas I don't know how many times, but she still forgets a few things. She has a great heart, and the desire to be baptized, she just can’t remember the name of the current day prophet!  So while we were walking to the house with our district leader, I was explaining the situation, how she is shy and her son has Aspergers.  During the interviews I was praying that everything would go well.  Ma* went first, and came back just happy happy happy!  Yay, she passed.  Few!  Now its A*'s turn.  Piece of cake he knows the charlas mejor que yo! Well, after about 15 minutes, my district leader called me back into the room to talk with him and A*. . . . . .

So I was a little heart broken, cause the elder said we had to change the date. . duh!  But with the changes coming up, I didn't know if Hermana Morley and I would be together for the baptism and we just worked so hard with this family it would have been devastating.  So we come back into the room, and Hermana Morley had over heard.  She looked close to tears.  This would have been her first baptism.  It was a little awkward as the Elder waited for me to say something.  I started explaining.  That throws a twist on things.

So all of the 5 missionaries that were there started discussing the situation and what was to be done.  Our district leader decided to leave that up to president.  One short call from president later, and we had the okay to baptize them!  YAY!!!!  BEST MOMENT EVER!

The baptismal service as beautiful.  Hermana Morley sang, I cried when he was baptized, and the ward was so happy!  They are precious to God.  It was a great way to end the change.

On Saturday Hermana Morley and I put on a ward activity we had been planning the whole change. A competencia de postres!  Basically you bring a dessert, and present it, then the judges go into a room with all the desserts while the rest of us fill our plates and check off on our sugar supply for the year!  Well, on Saturday I was so nervous that no one would show up with a dessert.  The ward is small and there were a lot of people gone.  We called all the sisters who had signed up to bring something, but we only could confirm three desserts.  So, I spent the afternoon making Jackie's Black bottom cup cakes, while trying to plan a baptism, and a back up activity.  I remember there was a point when I was filling out the baptism registro, and I smelt my cupcakes burning.  So I drop my pen, run into the kitchen and take them out.  Then as I filled the pan for a new batch, I spilled batter all over, while at the same time Hermana Morley was asking me what games we could play if the activity fell through. As the cupcake batter streamed down my arms,and tears gathered in my eyes, I felt the heavy weight of Vivaceta on my shoulders in a literal sense.  I was drowning in my own cupcake batter and we had just run out of paper towels.  How could I come back up?

I said a prayer.

The weight wasn’t instantly taken from me, but over the course of ten minutes, Jesus Christ lightened my load, and I was able to come back up and breath.

But the Milagros don’t stop there.  The activity ended up being a success.  We started an hour late (chilean time combined with mormon time).  But we had about 10 sisters bring postres, and we ate them all!  The 40 or so people who came.  Everyone who was there enjoyed it.  It was one of the best ward activities I have ever been to.

The little things that matter to us, matter to the Lord.  He is so willing to take our load, and sometimes all we have to do is ask.

So, the change ended well, the only sad part is the Hermana Morley is leaving!  Yep, I am staying in Vivaceta, which I am happy about, but I am so sad to say goodbye to Hermana Morley.  We enjoyed every second of the change, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet.

So what is going to happen to me?  Who is coming to Vivaceta?  Well, mom, I don't know how . . but you nailed it!  I will be training again, a sister who I will meet tomorrow and she will be a native cause there are only three sisters arriving to the mission: one from chile, one from brazil, and one from peru.  If I had a choose, I'd choose chile!  It’s about time I had a chilean companion!  I’m super excited to speak Spanish all the time again!  But, of course I am also nervous.  But hey, I am never alone, I know that I won’t be training alone, cause the Lord is always with me.

Saying goodbye to Hermana Morley was sad.  We went to see Ma* & her son in the night, and it turned into a crying party.  I was crying, Hermana Morley was crying, Ma* was crying.  She wouldn't let go of Hermana Morleys hand.  It was sad.  But, changes are necessary.  We change and grow as we interact with new people.

I really wasn’t expecting this change, but I am excited for it.  Wish me luck ..  but more importantly . . .pray for me!

I love you all, and I hope life in Richland is treating you well!

Hna Ostler

Ps. I miss you too mom!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Hey, its great to hear that you all passed the new year well. This new years we just had a normal tracting day.  But, basically no one was home.  So it was a long hot day in the streets.  I think the whole month of enero will be long hot days in the street, cause there are just so many people on vacation.  But, what can you do but endure?  On new years we were allowed to stay up and watch the fireworks.  Our member neighbor had a better view of the fireworks from renca than us.  So, we watched the fireworks from his porch, in our Chilean pants!  We didn’t end up going to bed until like 1ish.  So that was no fun, cause the next day we still had to go out and work normal, but once again there was no one in the streets.

Chilean Pants!!
 I’ve been thinking a lot about this past year.  I thumbed through the pages of my journal and saw growth, development through trials, and above all change.  I think this year I cried more then I ever have in my whole life.  I had some of the darkest days and most trying experiences.  I’ve wanted to give up, go home, and never try again.  But obviously I didn’t, and it was those times that I pushed forward when I changed the most.  I’ve also laughed harder then ever before in my life, I’ve had unforgettable experiences that have brought me to tears, and I have felt the love of the Lord stronger than ever before.  Also, I learned how to speak Spanish, crashed a bike, listened to Elder Holland, doubled my facebook friends, and walked so far my shoes are wearing out.  My year was hard, but it was good.

I have many hopes for the next year of my life. It is going to be a year of much change for me, and that is my ultimate goal . . to change.

I was reading in Alma 10 and 11 about Alma, Amulek and Zeezrom.  My mind jumped ahead in the story and I thought about a few chapters later when Zeezrom is converted and baptized.  I was amazed at the great change that takes place in Zeezrom.  As I continued pondering, I realized the whole BOM is a story of change, change through the knowledge of the gospel, change through the coming to an understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  The same story repeated time and time again: Alma father, Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah, Amulek, Zeezrom, King Lamoni, the anti-nehpi lehites, and countles pueblos of nephites and lamanites alike.  The Book of Mormon is a story of the gospel being preached and lives being changed as a result.

So, I have a lot of goals for this year.  But all those goals have one common root: Change. God sent us to earth so that we would change, and we can, but only through the knowledge and the use of the atonement of His Son, even Jesus Christ.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box.  To start the new year, Hna Morley and I slept on our balcony, 20 stories high.  That was fun.
Balcony party! Good morning Chile.
Also we had zone conference and did a musical number together.  I played If you could hie to Kolob, and she sang the words to Oh my Father.  It turned out good . . I think.  I learned a lot at Zone conference in ways to increase my faith.  I have learned a lot on my mission, but I continue to learn every day.  This change has been fun, but it has been emotionally hard, and I don’t know why.  The Lord is never done trying me and making me stretch, but I’m okay with that cause that is the only way I will change.

Ma* and her son were going to get baptized on Sunday!  It’s a long story . . but basically they want to get baptized.  We have tried to drop them 3 times, but every time we try, the words don’t come out, the spirit tells us no.  This week, when we went to drop them again, it ended in another invitation to be baptized, but this time when they accepted, I could tell that they really wanted it.  So we planned the baptism for this Sunday, but I wasn’t feeling so good about it and I don’t know why.  Then on Friday night we found our answer. We changed the baptism for next Sunday.  But they came to church this week all by themselves, so that was great.  And the ward is really accepting of them.  We had 5 in church, and all of those 5 have fechas . . so that was awesome!

I know this is the Lords work, and He knows what He is doing.

Yes, changes are next week.  I have no idea what will happen.  I stop trying to guess. Maybe I’ll stay maybe I’ll go.

Okay, I love you all, hope the rashes go away cause that would be no fun!
Con amor,

Hna Ostler