Friday, January 22, 2016


This post is dedicated with gratitude to all the moms and families who had the desire to bless the lives of the missionaries in the Philippines Manila Mission during the past Christmas season.

The result was over 130 missionaries receiving mini quads, most of them with carrying cases.  President and I cannot adequately express how grateful we are for such a generous gift from you to them.  What is it that they value most?  It is their scriptures.  Many of them do not have their own scriptures.  They borrow someone's and bring them on their mission.  Often, they are paperback or large and heavy.

What a blessing it is for them to have the mini-sized quads!  Just yesterday, I saw a sister with hers and she was so happy to have it.  She said it is so much easier to carry around.  Another told me it was something he had always wished for but never thought he would have.  They all wanted to write to express their thanks, but since I don't have your names or contact information, I am posting it here, hoping you will see and be able to know the joy you brought our missionaries this past Christmas.

We only managed to get a picture of our Manila group, but we also gave out many on Palawan, and they were equally grateful and touched.  More than one of them shed tears, like I did...and still do when I think about it.

Thank you.  Thank you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016-1-13 Arriving Missionaries

                            Breakfast at 6:30am!
                  Amazing how they can smile this early!
                     Our wonderful office elders.

                      Assistants and office elders.

   Elder Packard and his aunt's brother in law, our son,
                         Josh Ostler (and his son, Ryan)

Elder Ballif instructing the new missionaries.  He did an excellent job.  He's an amazing office elder and has already contributed a lot by his positive attitude and hard work.
           Elder Burgos and Elder Schroeder, two excellent assistants who truly lead the mission by their example and their leadership skills.

     New missionaries visit to the American War Memorial Cemetery in Manila.

        It's a humbling experience to look at each of the individual names of those who gave their lives so the Filipinos can have their freedom.

 We talk about what they are willing to sacrifice during the next 18 months or two years for the "eternal freedom" of the people living here in Manila.

 One story we share is about a man named Elmer Fryar who was a private.  That is the lowest level you can be, yet he was awarded the highest honor, a medal of honor.  We researched why, and found that he courageously defended his battalion despite being wounded, and by himself protected them from being cut off from the rest of the group.  Then, as he tried to catch up with his battalion, he found a seriously wounded soldier who he helped toward his retreating group.  When he caught up with his leader who was also helping another wounded comrade, an enemy sniper aimed to shoot the leader.  Private Fryar threw his body in front of the bullets and saved his life.  Although Private Fryar was mortally wounded, he threw a grenade and killed the sniper.  Although war is a sad example, Private Fryar is powerful reminder that each one of us can make an important difference in the lives of others, no matter how small and insignificant we may feel. 

Sister Lemmon, our mission nurse teaching important health skills.

                          Trainers and trainees!

                           A training tri-some.

   Practicing companion inventory.