Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This is our least favorite day of our mission....the day our missionaries finish their mission and go home.  They are such wonderful, dedicated elders and sisters.  We have come to love and respect and appreciate their many qualities.  It is SO hard to let them go!  We just try to think about how happy their families will be to see them.
What a great work they have done!  This group was an amazing one!

      It was a special treat to have President and Sister Hiatt here from Palawan so they could join us.  Elder and Sister Northrup are such a blessing to our mission.

It's wonderful to see our Elders or Sisters' parents if they come to pick up their 

         Sister Garcia's mom came all the way from the United States.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015-03-23 President's Message - "Time To Grow Up"

“Time To Grow Up”

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Thank you so much for your love for the Lord and your love for the people you serve. Thank you for your great efforts to represent our Savior Jesus Christ to these wonderful people.

Today I have an invitation for you. It is an invitation that I know you have already heard from the Spirit. It is the invitation to become a mature adult. It is an invitation to become a man instead of a boy, to become a woman instead of a girl. It is an invitation, not just to be an man or woman, but to become a Man of God or a Woman of God.

Paul said, in 1 Corinthian 13:11, after giving one of the most beautiful discourses in all of the scriptures about having charity: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Why does he say this right after his beautiful thoughts about charity? Because, in order to have this Christlike, selfless love we need to eliminate from our lives the selfish, time-wasting, worldly things of the past. As soon as we do, the Lord can use us to bring great joy to others and He will fill our own lives with great joy.

Think of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. He was only 14 years of age when his mind and heart turned to serious things. He studied the scriptures and prayed to Heavenly Father. He received a great vision. But he was not yet a man. In Joseph Smith History, verse 28, he says that "...I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth..." He felt "condemned for my weakness and imperfections" and decided to pray to God for forgiveness and guidance. He was then visited by the angel Moroni and directed to the place where the Book of Mormon record had been hidden for centuries. He went to the place, unburied the plates, but he was still not yet mature. The angel told him that it would be another 4 years before he was ready to take the plates and translate them. Finally, at age 22, he was ready to be a man and take on the responsibilities and calling that were his. He became the Prophet of the Restoration and a true Man of God.

The prophet Mormon was 10 years of age when the prophet Ammoron talked to him and gave him his calling. (Mormon 1:2-3) He instructed him to begin his calling when he became a man. In his case this was age 24. He took all of the Nephite records and abridged them into the wonderful record we have today.

The woman Abish, in the Book of Mormon, had been converted to the Lord when she was young, but she had never made it known. When the time came that Ammon shared the gospel with the king, she had the courage to share it with all of her friends and neighbors. (Alma 19:16-17). That was the day that she became of woman--a Woman of God.

Every great person reaches the time in his or her life when they "put AWAY childish things" and "put ON the armour of God." Sadly, some people never grow up. They are constantly trying to find ways to avoid responsibility, avoid work, avoid change and avoid becoming selfless. We see this in the mission field sometimes where a missionary wastes time, plays games, breaks rules, gossips and lives like the immature teenager of the past. We see it when a missionary quietly goes along with others as they break the rules or waste this precious time as a missionary.

Our mission theme says that "Now Is The Time." Elders and Sisters, NOW is the time to make your decision. You cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). You cannot follow the childish things of the world and also be a true disciple of Christ.

Now is the time to do as Paul exhorted the Ephesians to do (Ephesians 6:10-19):

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts o the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."

I invite you to prayerfully look at your life and eliminate all of the worldly, childish, selfish things that hold you back from being a Man of God or a Woman of God. I invite you, as Christ invited Peter when he asked: "Lovest thou me?" to put away childish things and Feed His Sheep. Stand up for what is right. Teach with power and conviction. Now is the time.
My prayer is that each of us will be like Moroni: "...if all men [or women] 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."

May the Lord bless you my dear friends and fellow disciples of Christ, as you become Men and Women of God.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Creg D. Ostler

Saturday, March 21, 2015


What a wonderful whirlwind it has been the past...almost nine months!  We feel so blessed.  We also know, better than ever before, how much we need to rely on our Savior and Heavenly Father for their help.  We have all experienced miraculous blessings over the past months, and are so grateful to be participating in such a wonderful work.

Here are a big group of "catch up" photos that I've been wanting to post.  Hope you enjoy them!

      Here are the pictures from our zone conference in Puerto and Narra on Palawan.  We also had two weekends with trips to Narra and then Palawan for District Conferences.  All of these meetings were wonderful and we loved seeing our missionaries and all the members!

       Palawan Zone Conference- Puerto Princessa, Santa Monica and Narra Zones
They came from all over the island....even up to four hours be together.  Oh, how we LOVE these missionaries!

Wonderful Convert Family,  Narra District Conference (Sister Wirthlin is in background)

 President Angoy, President Ostler, Elder Wirthlin and District Presidency (They make flower necklaces for each of the honored visitors.

                           Where Sister Ostler feels most comfortable!

   Moonlight reflecting over the ocean.  View from Narra.

 It's impossible to catch the real beauty!

Arriving at District Conference (Caleb always sticks out...he's about a head taller than most Filipinos.

 Mission Presidency President Angoy and his beautiful family.  He is working with CES and is getting transferred soon.  We will miss them so much!

 Two truly consecrated souls.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015-03-16 President's Message

Dear Elders and Sisters,

Sister Ostler and I have so much enjoyed meeting with all of you during our recent zone conferences. We held the last one Friday in Puerto Princesa. You are magnificent!

As you know, the theme of the conferences was "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." I am very grateful that you have taken the time to examine your souls. Many of you have also had the courage to speak with me about things that you have needed to talk about for a long time. There are some who have requested time to meet this week. There has been a huge remission of sins in the mission. We, as a mission, are much more clean and pure than we were a few weeks ago. Thank you for your humility. Those who have taken advantage of the cleansing and healing power of the atonement now feel so much lighter and have so much more power in the work.

For those who still have not yet summoned the courage to talk, I invite you again to do so. Being clean is worth any price you need to pay. The Lord loves you and wants you to be clean and to be healed. He wants to bring you back to live with Him in the Celestial Kingdom.

Some have asked whether or not they need to meet with me about breaking mission rules. Any breaking of rules with regard to relationships with members of the opposite sex needs to be discussed with me in person or on the phone. All other disobedience can be emailed to me.

I now feel that THE TIME HAS COME. This morning I went back and re-read the general conference talk by President Hinckley from April 1995. It was his first talk as president of the Church to the entire world. Our mission theme comes from this talk. I feel that "THE TIME HAS COME for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission."

Elders and Sisters, it is time to pray for hearts filled with faith. It is time to go out in each of your areas with faith and courage to find the elect. "We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of this work. He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments."

I invite you now to set REAL GOALS in your work. Set goals that are guided by the spirit. Set goals that WILL TRULY HAPPEN. There is no blessing in setting goals that are unrealistic. Set goals for new investigators, for progressing investigators, for church attendance and for baptisms. Set goals that require faith, but that you know you can achieve. Commit yourselves to the Lord and to these goals. I promise you, that if you are exactly obedient, and if you set your goals realistically, the Lord will bless you with success.

Here is a portion of President Hinckley's talk that has not been included in our mission theme, but it applies directly to us now. He said it right after the promise that the Lord will shower down blessings upon us:

"Such has been His promise. Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt. The little stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands as seen in Daniel's vision is rolling forth to fill the whole earth (see Daniel 2:44-45). No force under the heavens can stop it if we will walk in righteousness and be faithful and true. The Almighty Himself is at our head. Our Savior, who is our Redeemer, the Great Jehovah, the mighty Messiah, has promised: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your harts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." (D&C 84:88) "Therefore," said He, "fear not, little flock, do good; let earth and hell combine against you. For if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail...Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven" (D&C 6:34,36,37)

We have the Lord's promise. We have been set apart by His servants to do this work. His sheep are waiting to hear His voice. Now let us go forward with great faith and diligence and watch the blessings come. Now is the time!
We love you and have confidence in you, and in the Lord.

President Ostler

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Sister Ostler, Caleb and I just returned from District Conference in Narra, Palawan. As we met with the wonderful Saints and wonderful missionaries I was given a spiritual impression. My impression was one of gratitude and appreciation for the work each of you do, and of gratitude for the work missionaries have done in the Philippines since the country was dedicated to preaching the gospel. We watched as over 500 members arrived on foot, by trike, by jeepney and by motorcycle. Many came from hours away, from their fishing boats and rice fields, from the jungle and from the mountains. The sweetest scene was a sweet old grandpa (Lolo), with his white shirt and Sunday clothes, pedaling his sweet wife/grandma (Lola) to church on an old pedicab. These members are a testament to the work you do every day. You teach, you testify and you invite people to come to Christ. And even though the work is hard. Even though many people reject you, this does not stop you. It does not stop the work of the Lord.

"The Standard of Truth has been erected; No unhallowed 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, til it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, til the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."  (Joseph Smith)

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind..." D&C 64:33-34

No effort in this work is wasted. Every minute you serve the Lord has eternal results.

The work you are doing is an amazing work. It transforms the lives of those we teach.

Remember that the secret to happiness is Gratitude.

Remember that the key to spiritual progress in Humility.

Remember that no unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we ALL depend on the atonement of Christ.

Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.

Let us fill our hearts with gratitude for the blessing of serving the Lord full time in this blessed place. Let us humble our hearts to receive the guidance of the Lord for us personally, and for those we serve.

Let us repent of our sins and set the example of true disciples of Christ.

You are in our thoughts and prayers. You are in our hearts.

Mahal ko po kayo,

President Ostler


Two weeks ago and this week, we have been having zone conferences.  They are truly some of the best times of each quarter!  We LOVE being with the wonderful missionaries and feeling their strength and goodness.  Here are the pictures that were taken:
(Thanks to Elders McQuarrie and Rydalch!)

The main theme of the conference was becoming a "clean vessel" so that we can each become "A Window To His Love".  Our desire is to bring our brothers and sisters to the Savior by being so pure and becoming so much like Him, that they can "see Him" through us.  We also focused on how much Jesus loves us and how it was because of His love for us and His obedience to His Father's will that He was able to suffer for us like He did in Gethsemane and on the cross.  Truly, He did it...."for you".

In addition, we had a delicious lunch and then had classes on "STRESS" by Sister Lemmon, How to Encourage People to Keep Their Commitments by Elder Duford and the Sister Training Leaders, and Working With Members by the Assistants. 

During the conference we were blessed by the musical talents of our Elders and Sisters as they played the piano, led the music and sang solos or duets.  The music was powerful and inspiring.  Elder Osguthorpe's rendition of "I Cannot Watch Them" by Rob Gardner stirred our souls to their depth.  It portrays Peter's feelings from the time he realizes he has denied Christ to the point when he is immoveable and willing to testify of Christ to his last breath...which is what he ultimately did.
We also were spiritually touched and moved to want to become clean and pure by Sister Escobar's solos and Sister Wells and Teo's duet, "A Window To His Love".

We concluded our conference by hearing from President Ostler and watching a powerful video clip of part of a talk by Elder Holland about how Christ taught Peter that what He really needs is true disciples.  I think we all came away with a deeper desire and stronger commitment to be clean, to repent of anything that is holding us back from receiving His blessings and causing us to not be a window to the Savior's love. 

What a wonderful privilege it is for each of us to be serving here!  We cannot put into words the joy we feel as we meet together and see these stalwart missionaries serving so faithfully despite many challenges.  They are truly inspiring!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

2013-03-08 Narra District Conference

This is how many of the families arrived at the conference today.  Others came by trike (motorcycle with attached seating area), and some came by jeepney.