Sunday, October 26, 2014


The past few weeks have been very busy and wonderful.  We have been blessed to have many of the missionaries to our home for interviews.  We have been humbled again to get to know such wonderful and noble souls.  We have missionaries from all sorts of situations.  It is absolutely amazing to see how they all "step up" and stretch themselves to be the best the
they can be.  Many are serving with little support or no communication from home.  They love their families dearly, but their families find it difficult to write, so the missionaries receive no emails or letters.  Yet there is never a word of complaint.  I am collecting a list of those missionaries so other people can write them.

I was in tears last week as one elder, a recent convert, told me his family story.  He has overcome amazing odds to be here.  Yet he is here, with an incredible, good spirit and attitude, serving like his life has been ideal all along.  It's humbling to see such purity of spirit and desire.  Heavenly Father sure has sent some choice spirits here to this mission.

Besides interviews, we've also had several zone activities at our home for their preparation days.  It's healthy for them to be able to relax in a safe and home-like environment once in a while.  They get to come about once in every three months.  It's fun to get to know them better and it helps develop zone unity.

This was our first interview day.  Angel helped teach all of the missionaries in the zone to make Chicken Curry.  We've been wanting to help the missionaries learn how to eat healthier and thought it would be great if Angel could teach them a simple, inexpensive meal they could make.  She made it four times that day, and that was the last day we did it.  We couldn't imagine doing it 40 more times!  (Once for each group interviewed.)

 Caleb turned 15 one weekend and played tennis before devouring his cake!

                     Zone Family Home Afternoon....

                      Caleb had a holiday so he got to join them.

          Making Snickerdoodles.......because we have an OVEN!

                     This is a wonderful group of missionaries!!!!

Wednesday morning, we got to pick up two new sister missionaries from them MTC whose visas had been delayed.  They are both from Pakistan.

It's wonderful when the missionaries add spiritual music to our home while they are waiting for interviews.

        The Zone Leaders interview the missionaries in their zone to go over their area books and weekly planners.  It's a great chance for them to encourage and teach their missionaries. 

Sister Ostler taught them about eating well-balanced meals and played a game where they got to share what they had eaten the past 24 hours and were scored accordingly.  They will all eat better before the next interview day.  :)

President Ostler has been interviewing each missionary for 15+ minutes.  He thoroughly enjoys being able to really get to know and counsel with each missionary.  Sister Ostler interviews each of them as well to discuss their health, apartment, progress in learning the language, checking on their emergency fund and 72 hour kit.  She also tried to see how their families are doing.  Sometimes, it seems like our lives couldn't be more blessed.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014-10-19 President's Message


Dear Elders and Sisters,
Missionary works takes courage (katapangan). Living the gospel takes courage. The dictionary defines courage as "the ability to do something that is frightening" or "strength in the face of pain or grief." Good missionaries are courageous. They are courageous in many ways:
1. Beginning a conversation with someone on the street, in a jeepney or at the door of their house and asking them if they will listen to a message about Jesus Christ.
2. Asking an investigator to stop breaking the law of Chasity or stop breaking the Word of Wisdom.
3. Going out and working every day in the heat or the rain (unless it is flooding and then we stay in and study to become Master Teachers!).
4. Leaving your family and close friends in the care of the Lord while you serve Him on a mission.
5. Being obedient to mission rules even when others do not feel the same way.
I am very proud of each of you for the courage you show. I have great respect for you.
You will notice in your lives that the most difficult kind of courage is the courage to not please other people. For some reason, we too often give others the power to give us a grade on the kind of person we are. It is as if we were in a mathematics class and we told the teacher: "I don't want you to give me a grade in the class. I want the other students to vote on the grade I should receive."
However, there is only one "teacher" for the class of life. The only Teacher, the only one who will give us our grades or marks for this class, is our Heavenly Father.
In the last general conference, Elder Lynn G. Robbins taught about courage:
"...the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men. For example, Daniel's prayers helped him face the lions, but what made him lionhearted was defying King Darius...Courage is not just one of the cardinal virtues, but as C.S. Lewis observed: 'Courage is...the form of every virtue at the testing point...Pilate was merciful till it became risky." King Herod was sorrowful at the request to behead John the Baptist but wanted to please 'them which sat with him at meat.' King Noah was ready to free Abinadi until peer pressure from his wicked priests caused him to waver...Many of the New Testament chief rulers 'believed on the Lord but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:42-43)
Now is the time to have the courage to stand up for what we know is right, for what we know is true. You are wonderful disciples of Jesus Christ. You have in your hands a letter from the prophet of God calling you to serve a mission. You had hands laid on your head and you were set apart to do a great work. Now is the time to stop worrying about what anyone else thinks except for your Father in Heaven. Now is the time to share the gospel with faith and courage. Now is the time to have the courage to be a consecrated missionary.
There are two statements from prophets that motivate me to have courage:
"This great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forth changing and blessing lives as it does so. No cause, no force in the entire world can stop the work of God. Despite what comes, this great cause will go forward." President Thomas S. Monson
"No unhallowed (unholy) hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." Joseph Smith, Jr.
Let us be like Moroni, as described in the Book of Alma (43:17):
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."
I pray that you will be filled with courage as you do the Lord's work.
With love and confidence in you,
President Ostler

Thursday, October 16, 2014


This week has been wonderful!  We finally had time to personally be able to talk with three zones of our mission.  We honestly have the most incredible missionaries!  It is humbling to talk with them.  Many of them have sacrificed a lot to be there.  Some are there without ANY support from their family, some with being discouraged by their family.  Yet they are there doing the best they can to serve the Lord and be faithful to Him.  Some have not received a letter or email for 7 months! (And I feel bad if my son writes me a day late!)  Yet, it is never in a complaining way they tell me about it.  It is only when I ask them directly when the last time was they heard from their parents.  Then, they assure me that it is all right....that they are ok and it's not a problem.  Oh, how I love those missionaries!

So, while President Ostler was interviewing, Sister Ostler got to teach them about nutrition.  We talked about the conference talk about having confidence before God.  One of the things he mentioned was that our confidence before God can be increased as we take better care of our physical bodies.  When the body isn't healthy and strong, it affects the spirit.
Sometimes on our missions, we get so focused on the spiritual that we think we don't need to take care of the physical.

We did a survey of what missionaries had eaten for the last three meals.  Then we counted how many they had eaten in each of the five food groups. 
It was pretty amazing!  We discovered that a lot of missionaries are eating a lot of grains (rice) and protein (meat).  It was pretty fun hearing what people had been eating.  I think they will all eat more carefully the day before we have interviews next time.  :)

Hopefully we all learned how to better plan our meals so they are balanced and healthy.  Angel gave us some great tips on how to find less expensive fruit and vegetables.

Angel really helped out by teaching the missionaries how to cook Chicken Curry and Angel's Ulam. There are some amazingly talented cooks in our mission!

Just look at all those healthy vegetables!

Caleb had a dress up day at school where you dressed up as a movie character.  He was Wesley or The Dread Pirate Roberts.  I'm sure he scared his carpool driver when he got picked up that morning!  The sisters enjoyed his costume and were nice enough to pose with him when he got home.

      Asking President final questions before leaving for work.

Sisters in the kitchen!  Ahhh, what a delicious smell we had during interviews!  Everyone got to eat some too!

    Don't these sisters have the biggest smiles!

    Look Mom!  I can cook Chicken Curry!!!! I'll make some for you when I   get home!

After hours and hours of shopping for size 13 shoes all over Manila, Elder Theler mentioned to a brother at church that he was having a hard time finding large shoes in a place where most people have small feet.  The brother was able to be an answer to prayer and assisted him in getting wonderful new shoes to replace the ones that this hard-working elder had worn out!  Angels do look out for our elders...senior angels and ward angels.

     Ah, the joy of new shoes!

                   Topped off with yummy brownies!

     What an amazing group of elders!

   After evaluating how well they had eaten the previous 24 hours, they played a game where they had 2 minutes to "fix their dinner" by choosing what food pictures they put on their plates.  Then we re-evaluated how balanced those meals were.

    The sisters were by far the most patient waiting for Sister Ostler to finish
    talking with all the elders.  President and Sister Ostler feel like the   
    luckiest people in the world to be able to spend a whole day with such
    enthusiastic, loving and faithful elders and sisters!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Wednesday morning dawns bright and early in the Philippines....especially on Transfer Day.  Missionaries are so excited, they have a hard time sleeping.  At 6am, President and Sister Ostler and the Assistants to the President pick up all the new missionaries from the MTC.  They often are saying tearful farewells to close friends they have made there that will be going to a different mission.  Then, their adventure begins!

 After filling out information sheets, they are fed a delicious breakfast cooked up by Angel and her crew.  This time it was pancakes and bacon!

They are interviewed by the President, and his wife checks to make sure they have what they need for their missions.  Then they are taken to the nearby American Memorial where Elder Gordon B. Hinckley rededicated the Philippines for the preaching of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Ostler shares with them the history of World War II in the Philippines, and how the Filipinos, Americans and many other countries fought together and gave their lives for freedom in that land.  We talk about their sacrifice and how it has blessed the Filipino people.  Then we talk about what the new missionaries have to eternal freedom.  We encourage them to ponder what they are willing to do to share that.

Three new sisters stow away in the back seat so they can ride in the Mission President's car.

Elder Obray and Elder Avila (our new assistant) lead the discussion in orienting the new missionaries.  Elder Theler teaches all of them about how their finances work.  Sister Theler and Sister Lemon explained what they need to know to stay healthy.  Sister Ostler introduced her family and taught them the Mission Song, A Marvelous Work.  After a delicious noontime dinner, they learned about what to expect the next 6 weeks.  They were encouraged to work hard but be realistic that it takes time to grow into the missionary they want to become.

They broke into smaller groups to discuss their orientation material.

 Then, came the moment they all had been waiting for!  President Ostler announced who would be training each of the new missionaries and where they would be serving

 It's always a time of hugs, pats on the back and laughter.  They sit next to their new companion, and President trains them about how to communicate with love.  They practice, evaluate and repractice till everyone understands.

They are given more counsel, then are on their way to their new area.  It's amazing the faith these young missionaries display!