Monday, April 7, 2014
My loveliest and most beautiful family!!!
How are you all my favorite people!? Are you all on as much of a spiritual high as I am??
I hope so! I don't think I could feel more uplifted, inspired, blessed and excited to be a missionary
than I do at this very moment.
GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS BEYOND AMAZING!!!!!!!
Words cannot even begin to describe how much I loved it!! I have been
counting down the DAYS and then when it came down to it, was counting
down the MINUTES till I got to hear from our beloved Prophet, Thomas
S. Monson and his incredible, inspired Apostles!!! As well as other
respected leaders of the church. And it was even better than I could
have imagined!! I truly had permanent chills the entire time and had
my eyes glued. I was soaking in every teeny, tiny word said and trying
to apply it to myself, my life and missionary work as well. I even
found myself with tears in my eyes at times because I could feel the
spirit soo so strongly. It was so spiritual and amazing in every
single way possible. WOW!!!! It's not a joke when missionaries say
General Conference is like Christmas!! And as a matter of fact,
yesterday technically should be Christmas since it's the official day
our beloved Savior was born. Not to mention the official day His
church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was
established. Ahhh the church is TRUE and we are apart of it!!!!!! I
could not be more confident about that statement. It is OHHH so true
my dearest family and friends and I feel it so strongly inside of me
that I think I may burst. Good thing I am a full-missionary and have
the ability to preach and share the wonderful gospel and share my
testimony with everyone I meet huh???
I LOVE BEING A FULL-TIME
Honestly. I love it so so much and I am so happy....
I don't know how to handle it. If you saw me right now you probably
wouldn't understand how I could be so happy either, due to the fact
that I am definitely getting a little chubby and looking more mishy
every single day haha, it's a real thing... but I couldn't care less
about anything besides the fact that I am privileged enough to
thoroughly study the gospel each and every day and preach it to
others!! I have the opportunity to focus 100% of my thoughts and
efforts on serving my Lord and doing His work. I absolutely LOVE my
calling!! Haha I know you are all probably thinking I am the
cheesiest, nerdiest thing.... and I probably am. But I couldn't care less.
I am just a very happy soul. But back to General Conference....
I don't even know where to begin with talking about it. It was so so
amazing and I hope each and everyone of you watched all sessions of
it. Including Women's Conference for the girls and Priesthood for the
boys. Haha Hermana Richards and I happened to watch Priesthood too
even... We watched it at the Lopez's when we were over there for
dinner. SO AMAZING. Even though it was directed to the men of the
church, I still learned oh sooo much. Wow. I cannot get over how
amazing it all was. I am so sad it is already over too!!! However, it
feels like yesterday when Hermana Piggott and I were watching
October's General Conference and I remember right after it ended
Hermana Piggott immediately said, "I already am so excited and cannot
wait for the next General Conference!!" And even though we knew it was
6 months away, we still started counting down the days. So crazy though.
I remember April feeling soo so far away and it is now already
here!! Where has the time gone!? Ah. It's a little scary actually.
Next General Conference Hermana Piggott, Hermana Richards and Elder
Haller.... Will be close to heading home, about a month later. That
freaks me out haha because I will be right around the corner! Okay,
enough with that. Nothing makes me more sad right now than thinking
about my journey here coming to an end. BUT back to Conference yet
again.... I learned ohh so much and absolutely loved how there were so
many trends and ties between all of the talks. I made so many
connections between them all and felt as though the inspiration I was
receiving was becoming more and more clear with each talk given. Also,
something very special to me.. Was before Conference started I prayed
and pondered over specific questions I wanted answered. I ended up
writing down 12 very specific questions and VERY clearly ALL 12 OF MY
QUESTIONS WERE ANSWERED. What a testimony builder for me. I not only
got the answers to my questions but they were all very clearly and
bluntly stated and talked about. It was amazing and I feel so
overwhelmingly blessed. I truly feel as though this General Conference
was all so personally directed at me. I am sure you all feel the same.
Isn't that incredible?? I wish I could go on and on about all the
personal insight, revelation and inspiration I received as well but
unfortunately... I don't even have close to all the time for that. I
actually don't even have enough time to brush over my deepest thoughts
and feelings. And since I am assuming you all watched every bit of
Conference I am just going to brush over a few of my thoughts.
To me personally, it seemed as if all of General Conference revolved
around the love we have for our Savior, Jesus Christ. That is what
everything ultimately comes down to.
The LOVE we have for our SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
So I am going to go over a few points leading off of
We must love Jesus Christ unconditionally and if we do....
.. We will follow His perfect example. "For I have given you an
example, that you should do as I have done to you."
.. We will have unshakeable faith. "Live true to the faith." "faith is
truly more than imagination or psychological invention."
.. We will want to be obedient. "Obedience is an emblem of our
faith... It is wisdom and power of the highest authority," "Strong
obedience is where we declare our faith in God," "At times we may be
tempted to practice "natural man's obedience" or "selective"
obedience" ... However we must, remember that "obedience brings
blessings" and "makes us progressingly stronger" therefore, we must
"obediently endure to the end," for... "Our faithfulness through
obedience will ultimately save us."
.. We will want and continually strive to keep all of His
commandments. "Commandments are for us to exercise our agency and
receive blessings" ... "We should not even think about breaking
commandments," "we should not look at sin or even touch it from a
.. We will love another. We will love our family, friends,
neighbors.... we will love every single person. We are all brothers
and sisters and we must show love always to each other. "Love more and
better," "We cannot fully love God if we don't love others. We cannot
fully love others if we don't love God."
.. We will have respect for one another and never use harsh or hurtful
words to each other. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your
mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may
minister grace unto the hearers."
.. We will not despise any one of God's children. Remember, "hate is
an ugly word." We will also have full respect for those who do not
believe as we do or share the same standards.
.. We will continually strive to obtain Christ-like attributes and
qualities. If we want to truly become as He is and follow His words
when he said, "what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto
you, even as I am," we must truly try to be like him in all ways
possible and continually strive to obtain all of His characteristics,
attributes and qualities.
.. We will trust in The Lord. "Live each day by putting your trust in
God." "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine
own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall
direct thy paths."
.. We will obtain charity. "But charity is the pure love of Christ,
and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the
last day, it shall be well with him."
.. We will constantly be serving others and looking for ways to do so.
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye
may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are
only in the service of your God."
.. We will not be selfish. "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save
his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake
and the gospel's, the same shall save it."
.. We will strive to obtain Christ-like love. "Christ-like love can
change the world," "Christ-like love is the greatest need we have on
.. We will obtain courage. "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not,
fear not." "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a
.. We will be true & worthy disciples of Jesus Christ. "Our true
identities are disciples of Jesus Christ." "I am a disciple of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God."
.. We will "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places that ye may be in, even until death."
.. We will always have the courage, strength and faith to defend our
Savior, our belief and our faith at all times and in all situations.
"Stand in Holy places and be not moved." We must always stand up for
the truth, no matter what and no matter if others mock us for it or if
it may not seem to be the "popular" thing to do. We must remember we
are in the world but should not be "of the world." We must always
remember where our true treasures are. "Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where
thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will
your heart be also." "That ye may not do these things that ye may
boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a
treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away;
yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life."
.. We will build our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer...
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our
Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your
foundation; that when the devil shall sent forth his mighty winds,
yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his
mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to
drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the
rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation
whereon if men build they cannot fall."
.. We will constantly be asking for forgiveness and accessing the gift
and power of the Atonement in our lives. "Come unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke
upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye
shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is
.. We will remember we are a covenant making people and will continue
to make and keep sacred covenants. We will attend the temple
regularly, perform baptisms for the dead, and aim to go to the temple
if we have not done so yet. Including, get married and sealed in the
temple of The Lord.
.. We will have a sincere desire to share the gospel and perform
missionary work. We will remember we have an important role and
responsibility in helping hasten the work of Salvation and will
constantly seek for missionary opportunities. "May we ever be found
doing the work of The Lord." As full-time missionaries and simply as
members of the church, we must remember what our purpose is as
Latter-Day Saints... "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we
preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our
prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look
for a remission of their sins."
.. We will feel an urgency to do our very best RIGHT NOW. "For behold,
this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the
day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." "It
matters a great deal what we do in this life."
.. We will have daily prayer and scripture study. These actions are so
important and crucial in our spiritual progression. "Wherefore, I said
unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of
Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
.. We will be "securely tied to our Father in Heaven." We must
remember that He is close, always watching, always listening, always
there to help us, lift us and direct us.
.. We will stay awake and "not sleep during the Restoration." The
Restoration is happening right now. It is still happening.
.. We will always have GRATITUDE. "We seek gratitude as a disposition,
a way of life" ...
"Instead of being grateful FOR things... we will be grateful IN our
circumstances," "All those who receive things with gratitude will be
made GLORIOUS." "That ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many
mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."
Now I know we are are all not perfect at any of these things and I am
not saying that means we don't love the Savior with all of our
heart... But we must have the desire to do each of things and
constantly act upon that desire. We must consistently and actively
strive to show our love and be the best sons and daughters of our
Heavenly Father we can possibly be!! We must "ACT and not be ACTED
UPON!!!" And we must prove our love to our Savior and to our Heavenly
Okay, well I wish I could go on and on about more that I learned and
more that applied. I tried to quickly think of some of the main points
and add in quotes that were given by the Prophet, an Apostle or other
respected leader. With an addition of scripture verses given as well.
So I hope it makes some sense and now you can all add more to it!! The
list goes on and on. I could study those conference talks for hours on
end, as well as over and over and constantly learn something new and
inspiring. But I don't have enough time to go into it all AND today I
am going to send PICTURES!!!!!! So get excited for that. Also, for
updates... everything in Gridley is still soo so amazing and I am
still as happy as can be! Important updates:
.. Elvira's husband is still being a pain but she is fighting for her baptism.
.. Any and Maria unfortunately won't be able to be baptized this
Sunday because they haven't been to church 3 times.. and they can't
comebecause Any has work. However, they came to General
Conference!! And in our lesson we had on the 10 commandments and
keeping the Sabbath Day holy, Any said she is going to ask a lady at
work if they can switch schedules so that she doesn't have to work on
Sunday's and can attend church every week!! She is so golden! Also, we
taught her the wisdom and she said she has been wanting to quit
drinking coffee because it hurts her stomach so when we committed her
to living it she said, "it will be no problem at all." Also, when we
talked about our bodies being temples and read from the bible talking
about it, Any said (in her own words!!) ... "How I see it is is like
for example, when people put tattoos on their body, it's like they are
putting graffiti on a temple." WHAAT!? Haha that's EXACTLY what WE
tell people and she said it herself!!! I am not kidding, she is as
GOLDEN as they get. She's PERFECT. Her and Maria pray every night
together too and are just soo darling. I can barely handle it! And
Any's sister and her daughter came over one day, her sister is
interested but her husband won't let her take lessons..... (Sound
familiar?? Husbands can be awfully frustrating sometimes) ... And
anyways, the little 5 year old girl was talking to Maria and said,
"Are these the sisters from YOUR Mormon church??" Any and Maria have
been telling everyone in their family about them learning from us and
about them being baptized. Any even said her sister asked her how she
could be baptized so soon and Any said, "When you know it's right,
there is no point in waiting." WHAT!?!? She impresses us yet again!!!!
She honestly is so perfect! And if I get transferred next week I won't
technically be hear for their baptism but I am already planning on
getting permission from President and coming back. I cannot wait!!!!!
They are so so cute.
.. We have found some more investigators!! One including one of
Marcella's friends. Updates to come.
Okay, well I really want to send pictures so I am going to end this
email here. I will write more next week and I hope all is well at
home!! I haven't had time to read anyone's emails yet but I will as
soon as I am done sending pictures and everything.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH.
Con mucho amor y un gran abrazo,
Posted by abigail louise at 2:08 PM
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Hello my lovely family,
I have a lot on my mind right now and do not know exactly what to say.
I am pretty speechless at the moment and have tears running down my
face. When I just read your emails, mom, Abby and dad... I was
completely taken off guard by the emotions I felt. This all regarding
the loss of Ann Ostler. I cannot really find the right words to
express how this news hit me... but my heart completely aches for the
Ostler family. I know I don't know everyone in the family very
personally but I do care about and love them very much. So it is hard
to hear the news. I know how special Ann was and is and how wonderful
this family is. The Ostler's truly are one incredible family and one I
admire very very much. I don't think there is one person who can say
anything negative about this family and who doesn't admire and respect
them. I know I admire them very much. From my personal perspective,
and I know many would agree.. The Ostler's are a very humble,
respected and faithful family who truly understand the true meaning of
this life. They seem to have such an eternal perspective in mind and
have such firm, unshakeable testimonies in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I imagine this is why they have been so strong and held such peace
throughout this journey of their dear mother and wife's sickness. Wow,
I could not be more impressed with them.
Mom, dad, Abby and Ralph...
I am soo so happy you all attended the funeral as well. That makes my
heart so happy and I am so glad you were able to show their family our
families love and support. I hope you were able to show them mine as
well. Thank you so much for telling me bits and pieces about the
funeral as well. It sounds like it was overall a very beautiful and
spiritual funeral. How incredible and special that is that every
member in the family spoke as well, including a letter being read that
was written by Elder Ostler, Christian. Ohh I can only imagine the
strong spirit that must have been present during that service and how
it must have touched everyone's hearts. I would have loved to hear
everyone's words and felt their faith, strength, love and testimonies.
I loved hearing about little things each family member said about
their dear mother as well. How precious is that. I only know Ann a
little bit from the time I have spent in their home but I have heard
many wonderful things from Oliver over the years and know how
beautiful of a person she was and is. I remember many things he would
say about her as well.
He would always say how she was so Christ-like,
loving, thoughtful, giving, self-less, faithful, spiritual, kind and
many other things that are so admirable in the eyes of God. I know he
viewed her as an angel and that alone is so sweet to me. I also
remember him saying she truly never asked for anything or wanted
anything that wasn't of eternal worth and value. She never wanted
gifts or anything "worldly" but just loved being with her family and
doing things for others.
I am not one bit surprised she never asked
during this experience, "Why me?" but instead said,
"Why not me?"
What an impressive and inspirational woman. I admire that so much. I
feel very blessed that I was able to meet her and have her as an
example in my life. Although I may not have known her as well as
others, I still admire her and this family's overall example very
much. I hope you truly did give this family my love. It is very hard
to see someone leave this life. Especially because you know how hard
it is for those close to that person to have their presence gone...
But how lucky are we to have a clear knowledge of the gospel of Jesus
Christ? To know that we truly have a Heavenly Father who loves us
unconditionally and has a plan for each and everyone of us. We have a
purpose here on this earth and have an even greater one in the life
hereafter. I love having this great knowledge of God's plan for us,
all of His children and I absolutely love teaching it to people if not
every day, every week. There is a Plan for us. A Plan of Salvation. A
Plan of Happiness. And there is a way for us to follow this plan and
accomplish it. That being through, and only through our loving Savior,
Jesus Christ. With his help, guidance, love, comfort and mercy... We
can endure this life and receive an eternal one. In His and our Father
in Heaven's presence!!
We can truly live with God again and be with
our families forever!!!
We know that this life is only for a short
period of time and that we truly will be able to live with all those
we love, forever and in complete peace and happiness. If we remain
faithful servants of our Lord, Jesus Christ and serve Him till the
end. If we cling to Him, seek after Him, trust Him, depend on Him,
continually serve Him, follow Him, love Him and have continual faith
in Him.... He will reward us and we will receive great glory and
eternal life, eternal happiness. This needs to be our goal, what we
aim for and desire after. Ooh this reminds me of the scripture I read
this morning. Now I don't think reading this scripture was any
coincidence. I read this scripture and wrote about my thoughts on it
in my journal and this was before I found out about Ann however, I
feel it fits this topic. This is something I desire my Lord to say to
me when I finish my journey in this life.....
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful
over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou
into the joy of The Lord." Matthew 25:21
I imagine this same thing is being said to dear Ann Ostler and I hope
it is something that will be said to each and every one of us. We have
knowledge of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and with that knowledge
we need to act! We all need to be considered as a "good and faithful
servant" in God's eyes and do all we can to enter into the joy of The
Lord. I know each and every day we must strive to be the best servants
of The Lord we can possibly be. I know I have mentioned this in an
email before but every morning my companion and I quote this
"I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called
of Him, to declare His word, among His people, that they might have
everlasting life." 3 Nephi
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are
all disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I loved when, I believe the
Relief Society President, brought this up at the General Women's
Conference. She said how our true identities are being disciples of
the Son of God.
How are we representing Jesus Christ as one of His
Are we representing him as we should?
Are we loving one another?
Obtaining Christ-like qualities and characteristics??
Are we rejoicing in the knowledge we have of our true and living God?
Are we accessing His Atonement?
Following His example?
Rejoicing in the knowledge we have that we can live with our Father in Heaven again??
With all those we love sooo very much, again???
What joy this brings to my heart.
I really cannot explain how happy it makes me and how
much it comforts me. This gospel truly brings so much peace and joy
into my life and I cannot even imagine not having this great knowledge
in my life. And that is why I am a full-time missionary, preaching and
spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Teaching people all that we know
and are taught. Spreading the "good news" that the true church of
Jesus Christ has been restored through a latter-day prophet, Joseph
Smith and is back on the earth again. The same exact church Jesus
Christ established when he was on the earth with the same teachings,
gospel and authority. We have a living prophet on the earth today,
Thomas S. Monson and twelve Apostles!! Who lead and guide us today!!!
And are constantly helping us stay on the path that leads to eternal
life. Leads to us seeing all those we love again and giving us the
chance to live with them forever. I absolutely love being able to
share this knowledge with all those that I can and helping others
receive that greater amount of peace, love and happiness in there life
and helping see the light at the end of the tunnel. I absolutely love
it and thrive off of it every single day. I often wonder why I have
been so lucky as well. I have wondered multiple times why I was chosen
to be born into this church, into such a strong and faithful family
and be surrounded by such wonderful and powerful examples. Although I
do know know why... I know that it is a part of my purpose here on the
earth and I must share what I have been blessed with, with all those
around me. It reminds me of the hymn, "Because I have been given much,
I too must give." I know that I have been blessed with such great
knowledge not to keep it to myself but to share it with others!!!!! To
be a messenger and servant of The Lord and be a tool in His hands.
That is why I am here, for 18 months, serving a full-time mission. Ohh
it is so humbling and sweet to me.
But again, I am so thrilled to have such great knowledge and am so
happy the Ostler's, as well as all others who are facing the loss of
someone or difficult times, have the great knowledge as well. I know
this is how we can remain strong and again, endure through this
difficult world. It is a beautiful life but a hard and fragile one. We
must cherish every moment we have here and do all we can to be the
best we can be.
Well family, I love you all soo very much and I want you to know you
are all constantly in my thoughts and prayers. As well as many others.
Thanks for keeping me updated on everything at home as well and tell
everyone I know how much I love them!! I truly don't think there is a
single person I know that I don't love. I am so thankful for every
person in my life and all of the incredible influences I have around
me. I love you all so much. Never ever forget it.
1. Elvira is still on date forbut her husband is being a
pain and doesn't want her to be baptized. So I am not positive if it
is going to happen but we will try our best to soften his heart and
remember to keep her in your prayers!! She truly is so ready for the
gospel and has gone through a lot in her life, yet always remained
faithful, so she deserves to reap the rewards, benefits and blessings
that come from baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost!!
2. Any and Maria are on date for!!! These two are truly the
most golden investigators you can find and it still amazes us how
perfectly golden Any, the mother, is. Every time we teach her she gets
teary eyed and expresses her love for us and for us teaching her of
the gospel. When we invited her to be baptized on this date as well,
she started crying and Maria sat beside her smiling huge, nodding
repeatedly and kept saying.. "yes yes yes" ... It was soo precious and
my heart was so full. They are such a treat to teach and our lessons
are always super power and spiritual. The spirit is always the most
present in the lessons with the humble, prepared and faithful people.
I love it so much!!!
3. Lorenza is still being stubborn on getting a baptismal date but she
has a testimony of everything!! She still loves Joseph Smith so much
and loves everything we teach. We just have to get her to take that
leap of faith and be baptized. With time I know it will happen. And no
matter when her baptism is, I will be there. Her and Antonio both came
to church yesterday too and it was so wonderful. I know they were
touched by the spirit and they are both going to watch General
Conference with us this weekend!! I cannot wait!! Also, Hermana
Richards and I listened to all of the General Women's Conference in
Spanish translation... I loved it! We watched it again with Yamara
last night at the Orme's in English... But I loved listening to it in
Spanish and actually understanding what was being said! Very cool.
4. I bought a new camera!!! I know, finally. I have taken pictures
like crazy this past week too and I have no time to send pictures
today but I will send them next week!!! I promise!! Ahhh I have so
many to send though that I do not know where to start. I'll send them
though. Don't you worry miss Abigail and Barb J. I am not completely
ignoring your requests for pictures.
5. Mom!! Hermana Richards and I got your package!! We absolutely loved
it and Hermana Richards has been wearing the earrings you send ever
since. She keeps talking about how nice and cute you are and she
appreciates it all soo much. As well as your daughter!! You truly are
the best and I am the luckiest! Also, I got Joelle's present!! She is
soo sweet to think of me. Seriously, it means so much to me!! I have
her gift sitting right where I can see it too. I love it!!! Scotty,
tell her thank you thank you!!! I feel so loved and blessed every
single day. I don't even feel like I deserve it. But thank you!!
Okay, well I have no more time but I'll update you more next week!!
Everything is still wonderful here in Gridley, our Orchard house is
still as lovely as ever, it has been raining every day so I am in
Heaven, I couldn't love Hermana Richards more... we really are the
happiest companions and the mission life is still the absolute best!!
I LOVE YOU ALL
Posted by abigail louise at 8:57 AM