Friday, August 30, 2013


The other day, Elder Ostergaard's mom and Elder Acheson's mom contacted each other and realized that they had common friends! Since Elder Acheson has taken photos and sent the memory cards home, and since their friend works at the MTC and takes weekly pictures of the missionaries, they sent some on to us to enjoy as well. I will share a few here.

Elder Kimball O eating lunch al fresco:

Elder GQ Ostergaard:

Elders from the Adriatic South Mission holding up the flags of the four countries in their mission:

Elders Acheson and Ostergaard with some Sister missionaries:

The companionship points to their mission on the world map:

Elders like toys too! Obviously from a fun care package.

That's all for now. But FUN! isn't it!

#8 August 29, 2013

Hello, hello, hello! For the Last time from the MTC!

Well, it is getting close here. Whoa. It kinda feels a lot like I am about to leave on my mission again from an extended, really intense EFY that has no focus on girls. I mean really, 14 of us are about to jump on a plane and fly across many waters hopefully with our craft being tight like unto a dish and start sharing the best message in the world in the limited language of something I started learning 8 weeks ago yesterday. The Church is true! Haha, but really even though I really don't feel ready at all, I think we are ready to go out and do the work of our Savior. We have been working for this our whole lives and well, hopefully in this baptism by fire we don't get singed too bad!

Mom, I guess we get to call from the airport (maybe that is something I should have been expecting but I had no idea) so I will be getting a phone card and doing that. Dad says he will be on the road probably then but that you could conference call with him and that would be awesome. We have to be at the Travel office by 4:30 Tuesday morning and our plane leaves from SLC at 8:30. We go from SLC to Dulles in Washington DC with United and I think from there we fly Lufthansa (I think that is what it is called and I know President Uchtdorf flew for them) to Munich and then to Tirana. We will be arriving in Tirana at 11:15 A.M. (Tirana time)on the 4th.

Really quick before I forget, there are 2 photos today that I am including. One is of Elder Acheson and I in front of the Provo Temple today on our last P-day in the MTC. The other one happened yesterday. Our district was helping to host new missionaries, and in the process my pants ripped on a door. So, last night I pulled out my sewing kit (because I decided that I am a man and real men can sew up their own pants) and mended my pants. It is way noticeable and it is actually a navy blue thread on the dark gray pants, but I am way proud of it!

Mom and Dad, thank you so much for the package! That was so fun to get today! The pictures were just awesome and I love that I can now look at the fam which is so great! Elder Acheson was also really happy about the licorice, so thank you for that! I am also excited to be able to use that watch when I am being more active!

Consecration Week went well, though it didn't feel like it was enough for me! I was actually dreading speaking English again because I feel like I learn so much when I don't, and now that I don't have to press 1 for English again, well, let's hope I am not any worse than I possibly have to be to communicate the Spirit in Albania! I mean, I know that the Spirit doesn't require words, but I am sure that being able to actually say words won't hurt that!

Elder Hald is actually the District Leader for the other Albanian District, so that is way cool that Sophie knows his sister! He is actually an opera major at BYU right now, or rather he was a couple months ago until he took a couple years leave of absence.

Well, I guess I will be talking to you in a bit Mom and Dad, and I will be writing again soon (though it might not be until next Monday because those are the P-Days in the Adriatic South Mission). Love you so much! Kisha e Jezu Krishtit e Shentorëve të Ditëve të Mëvonshme është e vërtetë dhe unë kam një nder shumë madh të jem një misionar për Shpëtimtarin im. Mos harronin çfarë Krishti ka bërë për të gjithë njerëzit dhe për ty!

I am praying for you out there in the crazy world!

Elder Ostergaard

Friday, August 23, 2013

#7 August 22, 2013

Hey Mom!

I am so glad that you are having such a wonderful time out there in Michigan! Haha, that is so funny that my name came up in conversation! I would definitely be lying to say that that does not make me excited and glad that I am remembered in the legacy that is Dow High Band! (and I am trying not to lie, that is not very missionary-like!)

Congratulations once again on your anniversary! I love you and Dad so much and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend up north. Dad has two great counselors, Brigham and Grant are mature enough, and the Dow High Band has 400 parents to help out, you don't have to worry about everything being okay on the home front!

So this week I got to play piano for a duet of sisters who are headed to Argentina on Monday. That was fun, we tried out last week and got a notice to play in the West Campus New Missionary Devotional that was yesterday, so that was very exciting! The song was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” and really it was just them singing (three verses in English and one in Spanish) and me playing the top hand of the hymn book and making up notes that were in the right chord (most of the time) in the bottom hand with a key change at the end. I know now more than ever that there are fewer and fewer people playing piano if I am the one to go to for a special musical number!

One of our teachers (Vëllai Eckel) just had his last day of teaching us before leaving for California with his wife yesterday, our travel plans should come today (they have not come yet, but maybe in a later mail truck), and Consecration Week started today. That is a lot of changes in a week for the fairly predictable life of a MTC missionary! Consecration Week is a week where we really are trying to consecrate and dedicate ourselves to the Lord. I will only speak in Albanian as of coming out of the Temple today to the time that we go back into the temple next Thursday...exciting! It is going to be a tough thing, but I know that I can go hour by hour and word by word. I mean, Elder Scott blessed us with the Gift of Tongues according to our faith and so I expect as such! This week is also meant to help us discover the most important things that we need to be doing as missionaries as well as the things that we need to improve upon to be better servants of the Lord, so here goes! Ne mund ta bëjmë këtë!

This week I was reading, and I am not sure what got me to it, but I came across the phrase "learning, even by study and also by faith" in D&C 88 and I was just thinking how I could better learn by faith. I was then reading in the Preach My Gospel about how we need to begin and end every study session with prayer, something that I really need to be better at! How am I supposed to expect the Gift of Tongues or any other gifts of the Spirit if I am not willing to include the Spirit and Heavenly Father in on my studies? I think that is what learning by faith is. We need to be studying and working as if everything depends upon us and then hitting our knees and pleading with Heavenly Father as if everything depended upon Him. Learning by faith is pondering as Nephi did 1 Nephi 11 and President Smith did in D&C 138 before, during, and after we seek to learn of answers by ourselves. This is a principle that I am really trying to become better at because it is so important!

Oh and Mom, because we only have one more P-day until we jump aboard the airplane, I need to start thinking about extra stuff. When I am packing and making sure I am hitting the weight limit, I think that I am going to put extra stuff in a box and put it through the dry cleaning people to get to Carley/Marsha who I hope can then get it back home. If this plan has a kink, please let me know in next week's email.

Hmmmm, other stuff I need, I am not sure. I try not to be very needy! The photos will be great though! Could one of those be a wallet-size that I could keep with me? I dunno, I just love getting anything! That is so wonderful of you to do that!

Well, I love you so much and am really hoping that I can make you proud. That even though you really don't know exactly what I am doing, you will know that I am trying my hardest to be the best missionary that the Savior and I can be!

Ju dua shumë!
Elder Ostergaard

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#6 August 15, 2013

Dear Mom,

I have indeed been getting letters from Grant and I just got one last week from Alex and Brigham! I hope they have gotten my responses to those as well!

Man, as busy as everything seems out here, it seems pretty downright crazy back there on the home front! It seems like time just keeps on moving faster and faster for everyone everywhere and the only way to stop that is to not do anything ... and well, there is no way that is happening!

Well mom, it was really interesting to read about your experience with your television show, because I had a somewhat similar experience pretty close to when I came out as well. I was watching one of those detective shows on Netflix and it was fun and I liked it quite a lot. However, the material became progressively more down a path I did not want to go and I just decided that I was not going to watch that show anymore. It was kind of hard at first because when I got home from work or was making necklace pendants for you I wanted something to watch. However, the fact that I decided that that was something I wasn't going to watch (and finding a different show) really made it possible and making it a thing in my life that was no longer a choice but rather a fact made all the difference. I think that that is super cool that you were willing to do that because those small things are pretty tough to do sometimes.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad once again! I hope that you have a wonderful time up there next week! At that time we will actually have started our Consecration Week which means just Albanian for a whole week (P-day to P-day). The language is getting better and better though I don't know if good is really a good descriptive word of how it is sounding. But really, everyday there is improvement in comprehension, speaking, listening, and reading. This is definitely an inspired program here to help us learn!

Actually, a reason why I have a ton of faith that the language is going to come came this Tuesday. Elder Richard G. Scott gave the devotional which was just incredible. He talked to us about communicating to Heavenly Father and that was a phenomenal experience. Not only did I learn a ton and my testimony of prayer grew, at the end he actually pronounced an Apostolic blessing upon all the missionaries learning a language that they would be able to receive the Gift of Tongues according to their faith. I guess that gave me some more homework as a missionary! So the plan right now for studying is: study the language, study the Spirit, keep going through the Book of Mormon, and study for lessons. Even though studying is most of what we do here, there is not enough time in the day for it! Obobobo, I am really banking on the help of my Heavenly Father because without Him I am just another guy with a really cool nametag. I see the need for His help even more every single day.

Another incredible thing that happened this week was that we got to go to the Temple today because the Provo Temple just opened back up! What an incredible experience! I am so grateful for that opportunity that we have as members of the Church to go and participate in the sacred ordinances of the Temple! I just come away feeling so good!

Well, I don't have a whole lot of time left! I love you and think about when I am not being overwhelmed in a wonderful way with learning!
The Gospel is true!
Elder Ostergaard

P.S. thank you for the Pics Mom, I didn't have any from home!

Pictures are of me with the whole Adriatic South mission here at the MTC:

Me and da flag:

Elder Baker (a missionary in the other district) and me:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#5 August 8, 2013

Dear Family,

So this week has been another for the books! I was asked to serve as District Leader for the second half of our Missionary Training Center stay and so I hope I can do well in that capacity with the Lord's help! The language just keeps a-coming and hopefully we are exactly where the Lord wants us to be at this point in the process. It is really cool though, I was just reading the Book of Mormon in Shqip [Albanian] this morning and it was so much easier to comprehend than even earlier this week. Rules and different concepts are just clicking a bit better and "a vash a vash edhe hap pas hapi" (slowly, slowly and step by step) I am becoming more proficient. It is a wonderful thing to look at improvement and blessings that have been received over a time!

It was awesome to receive that package with all of the notes, cookies, and watch! Thanks a ton! Mom, a cheapie watch might be good, but don't stress about it too much, we don't even wear watches here during gym. I also loved to get some updates on other missionaries! Welcome back Addison! One of my FHE sisters is going into that mission [Zambia Lusaka] really soon here and it was cool to have been able to tell her that she was going to love it and that my cousin was getting that field ready for her!

Just yesterday I was studying truth a bit and once again found that scripture in Doctrine &Covenants that talks about how knowledge is light and truth, and when I was thinking about that it made me think about the First Vision which I have been saying over and over again in Albanian to get it really memorized. The pillar of light that Joseph saw over his head --the knowledge-- "descended gradually until it fell upon me." He saw this light, this truth, this knowledge and line upon line, precept upon precept, the knowledge came to him until he was bathed in the light. That is a pretty cool thought! More often than not the Lord will let the sun rise instead of flip the light switch. In this way we learn everything, and that is a pretty comforting thought. [Truth and light is given to us gradually for us to comprehend, not all at once to overwhelm us.]

Well, I don't have much time left, but life is good! The new cafeteria here started serving hot food for every meal on Monday and it is way good! Oh and Dad, today we actually got Pho [Vietnamese noodle soup] which wasn't really at all like the stuff at home, but it was still good!

I love you and I will talk to you in a week!

Elder Ostergaard

Thursday, August 1, 2013

MTC Address

In addition to the email posted, I also received a hand written letter from Kimball today in the good old mail box. I was interested to see the return address on the letter is a bit different than the address he first gave us, and even different than the one on his hand-written letter to his brother last week. Probably any or all of them will get to him, but I am going to list today's below. I will be sending him a package with his repaired watch and a few notes from some people in our ward. Of course he would be ecstatic to receive hand written letters (even packages) from anyone else as well! This address will be valid until September 3rd, I believe, when he is expected to fly out to Albania.

Elder Kimball Ostergaard
2023 N. 900 E. Unit 808
Provo, UT 84602

#4 August 1, 2013

Jave Katër Është Ndaluar (The fourth week has ended)

Well hello everybody!

Greetings once again from the West Campus of the Provo MTC! We actually hit our half-way point in the MTC on Saturday of this week...which is kind of exciting and kind of freakishly terrifying me out of my mind! Haha, I mean, I know I don't have to be fluent or anything before I hit it off in the field, but that wouldn't be too awful either! It is pretty cool to see the progression in our learning though! We have at least 5 progressing investigator lessons a week as well as the TRC, so seeing how much we improve in conversation and being able to relate Gospel topics is way cool! I am getting better about trying not to get hung up on saying something a certain way but to search for a way to say it with the words I know.

I was thinking about why we are here for 9 weeks and the Spanish Elders are only here for 6 and I think I have it -- noun declensions. I did not know what this was during my years of Spanish or English. In just about every language that I know of you have to conjugate verbs which is definitely something to get used to (Whether it is in past, present future -- or in Shqip if it is in wishing tense, etc. -- and who is doing the action). While we do this in Shqip, we must also look at every noun and alter it according to whether it is the subject, indirect object, direct object, plural, singular, indefinite, or definite. In all, there are 20 different forms of each noun, though only about 12 of these are distinct.

We also learned a while ago that we do not need visas! That was pretty exciting. I guess not very many people go to Albania and they want whoever will come. Albania is the Mexico of Europe I guess, so Alex and I might have a bit more in common in our missions than we thought!

The daily schedule here does change depending on the day of the week, but usually not too drastically. I get up at about 6 (we have to put 4 Elders through the shower by about 6:35) and then we go get some breakfast. After breakfast we have class for 3 hours where we will learn Albanian, do some Gospel Study, and teach our progressing investigators. Then we have about an hour of study time where we can study whatever we think will help us most to become better teachers, and then we have lunch. -- Quick note about the food: We just got the new cafeteria opened up this morning here in the parking lot of Raintree and it is way nice! We will be having the same sort of cafeteria as Main Campus except smaller, but it is way bigger than the temporary one we have been using. With this new cafteria, they are going to be able to multiply the number of missionaries here on West Campus because there are still a ton of buildings in Wyview and Raintree that are vacant and are being prepared for missionaries. -- After lunch we have another 3-hour session of class, and hour of Gym (there is basketball, sand volleyball, Katër Katror-- 4-Square, and trashketball -- where a bunch of people juggle a soccer ball into a trash can), TALL (Technology Assissted Language Learning), dinner, some more anything study time, and personal study time where we just focus on Gospel topics rather than the language.

Some more about Elder Acheson: he is a former Timpview T-Bird and a politician through and through. I guess that I had always thought that maybe deep down I could have maybe been a politician, nope, I have realized that I do not have what it takes! In the picture a couple weeks ago I think it looked like he was taller than he really is. Elder Acheson isn't a short guy, but I am probably at least 3 or 4 inches taller.

Well, it sounds like everything is going on just splendidly back at home! That reunion sounded like a blast and I am excited to get the shirt!

Ju dua shumë dhe uroj për të qenë misionarë më i miri që unë mund të jem!

Elder Ostergaard

Fun Photos

Last week I (Kimball's Mom) received an email from a nurse at the MTC Health Clinic. It turns out that the father of Kimball's MTC companion, Elder Acheson, is this person's Bishop. Fun coincidence. So when she brought Elder Acheson in for a fun photo shoot with the Gatorade Immunization, which she said would protect them from all Gatorade induced diseases (clearly a joke), she graciously had Kimball pose for a fun picture as well and sent it on to me. Only seeing the picture without reading the explanation, I didn't get the joke at first, and had a panic attack when I saw that needle! I thought we had taken care of all of his immunizations!!

Well, here it is, for your viewing pleasure.

And here is his companion, Elder Acheson: