Dear Friends and Family,
My heart hurts quite a bit as I write this email to all of you. A few days ago, after I talked to my mission president, I found out that I will be coming home from Poland on a medical release. Once I found out, I had 2 hours to pack everything and be on a train to Warsaw. I had a great evening with my mission president and his wife in their home, and the next morning I was on a plane to Salt Lake City. I got in late Saturday evening, where my wonderful parents greeted me at the airport with balloons and tear-filled eyes. I was sure excited to see them. Then at my house, my sister, her family and my grandparents were there. It was nice to see everyone and hug my little nieces and nephews, who I have missed SO much. The next morning I was released by my stake president, who told me that the soonest I could return to the mission field would probably be 6 months due to the lack of medical care in Poland. My heart dropped when I heard that and I immediately prayed hard for the comfort and faith that I need in order to face this obstacle. I left his office with my parents feeling hopeful and ready to do what I need to do. I attended church, saw more of my family members and spent time at home with those that I love.
Now I am on my computer, at home, in my room. I woke up to a cushioned toilet seat, soft carpet beneath my feet, drinkable tap water, a clean hot shower, and two of my best friends in the world just down the hall from me (aka- my parents). I feel so blessed, I don't really know what to say. I am still kind of in shock and my heart hurts a little bit. I keep thinking about our wonderful members and investigators in Gdansk and I worry about them. I worry about my companion and about how well filled-in I left our area book. Silly things. Overall, when I think about it and when I kneel down to pray, I know that it will all work out. For months I have been encouraging investigators to take that leap of faith and step into the unknown by putting all their trust in the Lord, now I guess it's my turn.
I don't know what will happen and I guess that's just part of the test. But for what I have been able to experience thus far, I am eternally grateful. I am also grateful for all of the support and love that I have recieved and seen and felt for the past 7 months. Thank you all for your prayers, for your letters, and for your love. I know that the Lord knows us and our circumstances so well. I know that He really does want us to experience joy and happiness. I testify that the work of the Lord is the greatest work in the world and it is here for us everyday- as missionaries, as families, as members, as children of God- it's here for us to do and He'll provide a way for us to succeed. I love the people of Poland, I love the Book of Mormon and I know it's true. I love our Prophet today and testify that He is the mouthpiece for the Lord. I know that the greatest thing that sets us apart from the world is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and the power of God is on the earth today- blessing and changing lives every moment. What a neat thing!! Above everything, I testify that Christ lives. He lives and He loves us and He knows our potential and our ability to become like Him. I testify that He will always support us and strengthen us up in order to face the trials of this life. I testify that real joy is one of the greatest rewards and blessings of living the gospel. I love you all very much. I hope I will be writing you again in 6 months :) Trzymajcie sie i wszystkiego najlepszego! (Take care of yourselves and everything the best).
With Love, Sister Shelby Ostler