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