June 11, 2012
Hello Everyone :)
Wow, this is so weird! This is my last email here at the MTC. Super strange! I can't explain how fast it has gone and how much it has impacted my life and my outlook. I have come to love this gospel more than I ever have and I feel like I'm going to explode with joy all of the time. I have so much to share, so I hope I can get it all in.
One thing I have learned a lot about is something I learned in College. "Keep your mind and heart where your feet are." Whever you are- be there. What ever you're doing- do that with all that you have. I have learned to really concentrate on doing my best and focusing. I am often distracted or side-tracked, and this reminder has sure helped me alot.
So this week we read Hebrews chapter 11. Wow it's so good!! chapter 10 is great too, but I strongly encourage you to spend some time reading chapter 11 because it is powerful and has such a great insight into real faith. It's fantastic. Also, Phill. 4:11-13 - love it. We really can do all things and we can be content and happy. Simple, but true! :)
So a pattern I've noticed throughout my life and throughout my mission the past 2 months- we learn best when we are low. When there are struggles and challenges in your life, look to the Lord and ask Him to help you find what you need to get out of it. It is hard- so hard- sometimes! But I promise, I have seen it so many times, we are more submissive and more willing to receive guidance when we look to Him. He will make you burdens light. I had a really great answer to pray this week. I was looking for ways to find peace when reading the scriptures, then an elder shared a great scripture with me. It is Moroni 9:25. Moral of the scripture- at least for me at this specific time- BE NOT WEIGHED DOWN. In this gospel, we can be reassured that everything is OKAY. It will all work out. Seriously. Find peace and rest in Christ. Don't beat yourself up. Try to see yourself as God sees you. I promise if you just do your best, He will bring you that comfort. You just have to ASK. I'm still learning how important this is. It's tough, but it's so great!
So before my mission, I often had a bad or rough day every now and then, sometimes they'd even last a couple days. Since I've been here I've made a goal to never let my tough moments and my rough times to become a "Bad Day". It is SOOOOO hard sometimes, to pull myself away from my self pity and remember the purpose and reason that I am here. But as soon as I try to do that, and I pray for help, my bad moment becomes easier and I am so much happier. It's definitely not instant- But somehow, the Lord brings something back into perspective that allows me to remember how great life is, and how much I have been blessed. Perspective is everything. Like I said last week- I think- sometimes I miss home SOOOO much I can hardly stand it. I love you so much and it is so hard to think of being away from you for so long. BUT THEN, I remember the 39 million people in Poland who don't even know that they can be with their family for eternity. That thought whips me into gear real quick. I just want you to know that I miss you and think about you and pray for you. You are my everything! I wouldn't be doing this is I didn't KNOW with a surety that we can and will be together for the rest of eternity. :) :) :) Happy thought huh? :)
So the devotional last night was wonderful. Stephen Allen. He's great. I took some notes, and want to share some points he made.
1- If you keep thinking about yourself, you'll be miserable. He related this to our companions, to our spouses one day, to us being parents and all sorts of relationships. It's true. Look for ways to serve the people aroudn you happily.
2- When everything around you says you can't, listen to the voice inside you that says you can!
3- This life is not about who you AREN'T, it's about who you ARE. Being yourself is being great. Don't be anyone else- Be you! And be the best You you can be! :)
4- Harmony requires submission (Think about that one)
5- If you love them, let them know it.
6-How the people around you feel about themselves, depends on what label you put on them. Don't be critical- love them, and build them up
7- Avoid childish arguments- they're not worth it.
8-Acknowledge the people around you and what they are doing great. Cheer them on and support them. Love Love Love them. :)
So that was his talk pretty much, it was really powerful. We all needed it. I have to say this. Whatever I am or am going to be, I owe to great teachers- beginning with my parents. Thank you so much for hanging in there and teaching me. Thank you for teaching me about life and about this gospel. Because of so many wonderful examples in my life, and from the love within my own family, my desire to teach well and love those that I teach has grown so much!!! That's all I want to do is teach the way I've been taught, because my life has been so blessed by so many wonderful people. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for supporting me on this mission. I am so sorry it's so tough. I love you more than I will ever be able to tell you. Seriously. I wish words were more powerful. I am so excited to write to you from Poland. I don't know when that will be, but I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to call you!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!! :-D I hope you have a blast in Lake Powell- just relax and don't think about me okay? You'll be busy doing the things I said to do in those letters ;) Dad, I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day next week. I love you so much! I will be thinking about you! Be safe and have a blast in Lake powell. Anyone who is going to write or email again, needs to send stuff before friday otherwise I will not get them. Sorry :( This is so Crazy!!! I'm going to Poland!!!! :-D I've never had a one-way ticket before! I can't wait. Seriously, my district thinks I'm absolutely crazy because I'll radomly get so excited and giddy that I kinda... freak out :-D Hahaha, this gospel is amazing, this church is true. You're in my prayers night and day. Stay strong and endure the tough times- it's all worth it. I love you all!!! Talk to you in Poland! :-)
Love, Sister Shelby Ostler
PS. Momma, please don't be sad. I sure miss you. You and dad each give each other a big hug for me okay?? :) My scripture for the plack is actually my song :) There is sunshine in my soul today :) I LOVED the pillow case. You are amazing. Thank you so much. I cherish that picture!!! Your package was so great! Everyone LOVED the pretzels. YOu do so much. Have fun! I love you!!!! :) oh and you'll get my travel plans, I sent them to you on friday. :) :) Muah!