Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

Hello there Family!
Letters from:
Bishop Prince- Thanks so much for the card. I sure miss you and hoped you had a great Christmas!
Package from Crystal and Family- I cannot believe how thoughtful you are!!  Thank you so much! The candy was very much appreciated by me and other Elders!! The CD is beautiful as well and is going to be awesome!  The sweet notes and pictures – just can’t thank you enough! Thank you so much for your example and I hope that everyone is feeling well in your family. I love you! Happy New Year!
Emails from:
Ethan Lopez: Thank you so much for your email!! It was so great to hear from you!! I keep thinking we will have to do our Christmas Jigsaw puzzle in a couple years. My family says they have one up and haven’t gotten very far on it! I love you man and I hope that life is going really well for you. Have a great Christmas break!  We have good times together!! Your’e the man.
Grandpa and Grandma Crouch: Thank you so very much! I haven’t been able to read everything yet but I very much look forward to doing so! I can tell it’s going to be a good one!! Sounds like you had  a great Christmas. I sure love you both and am so grateful for you! Papa, I hope that you are able to get your temple goal in by the end of the year. I am cranking out a goal as well for me too. Finishing the Book of Mormon in Spanish by the end of the year! 20 pages a day!  Happy New Year! I love you!!
Grandma and Grandpa Clegg- It sounds like you had a great time in California. I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. I love you both very much and I hope that you have a great New Year. Thank you for your testimonies and examples.
Uncle Richard- I am so excited to read your letter!! Thank you so very much. I hope that the family is doing well!! I bet that Dani is very excited. What a busy time for your family!! Please send my love to everyone. Thank you so much Uncle Richard for your example. Thank you so much for writing.  I love you.
And the steady and firm emails form Dad, Mom, Mikesell, Brennen, Alex, Harrison, and McCall!
Thank you so very much!!
Well, yesterdays phone call home was all I could have ever asked for!! It really felt like I haven´t been gone for long. That is the great thing about family is that you can pick up so easily where you left off. I hope that you had a great day with Papa and Grandma with Christmas dinner and that you were all able to travel back home safely. What a fun time up at Muldoon!! I was very glad that I was able to call back and pray with all of you. It was a little rushed but better than the first time the when the call dropped! It sounds like everyone is doing so well and it just made me so happy. I am still on cloud nine. It is great motivation for me to go for it and leave it all out here. I was also thinking that this is my only full year as a missionary in 2012 so I have to make it the best!!
(A little background) When Austin called he told us he had 2 – 50 minute calling cards. We did a “highlight” on him like we do in FHE each week where we each say something nice about a person each week. Then we all talked for about 40 minutes as a group. He called back after the first card was done and then we all talked to him individually. Well, time just flew!! The only request Austin had right from the get-go was that we have family prayer together. Well after everyone had talked we gathered individually we gathered around for prayer and then he said “I am getting a beep sound … I think I am going to cut out…then… I love”   AHHHH!!! NOOOO!! Well we had family prayer without him …and I was just sick to my stomach!! I tried and tried to wrap my arms around the whole thought that we just had two hours with him….yet the only request he had was to pray together and we didn't get to have it! I kept saying out loud, “You always pray first, and that is just what we should have done with the phone call as well! PRAY FIRST!” Jeff kept telling me “Be grateful for what we had” but I couldn’t find peace in it. I got busy with the details of Christmas dinner and was pretty much unsettled to say the least….even though he sounded about as good as I EVER could have imagined. I just wanted that prayer!!  About 15 minutes later the phone rang and it was Austin!!! He had found a calling card and had 9 minutes on it. Jeff asked Austin to say the prayer and it was exactly what this Mom needed... It was the sweetest, most loving prayer I have heard in quite awhile. He went through each of the family and prayed for each of us… our loved ones, and the day to day lives we lead. I will carry that feeling with me for a very long time. There just are no words. We got to say “goodbye” without getting cut off and needless to say it was a perfect day!!! I couldn’t not have asked for a better Christmas gift!!! He sounded so happy and so genuinly concerned for each and every one of us. His voice sounded like he was next door and there was no delay in speech at all!! He said that our next phone call on Mothers Day which is on my Birthday!! YAHOOO!!  -Audra
Today has been a really nice and chill day. We got here on the bus safe and our pday with the Elders here is going great. (He talked to us how he travels each week on the bus for district meetings. He is there now til Wednesday.) I have been able to read a lot and it has been really hot and pretty.
I am trying to think of anything else that happened during the week! We had a great couple of lessons with some less actives and I really am feeling a lot closer to those who come in the Branch. We fasted for a Sisters family one day this week and that was a great experience. The members here generally have a great love for the Elders because they remember the Elders who changed their lives.
Thank you all so much for all the fun things in the packages. It was so special. I loved each of your testimonies and the thoughtful words from each of you. It was very touching and I am very grateful.
Dad- It was so great to talk to you. You sounded so good. I hope that you have a great week filled with all of the things you love most about this time of the year! Thank you so much for the email. I appreciate your example more than you will ever know. Enjoy the bowl games this week!!  Have an awesome week and a happy New Year. I share your love for the time to start fresh and I loved the ideas about breaking up your goals. (Jerome goals and Redfish goals)  Happy New Year!
Mom- What an awesome day yesterday was!! I loved talking to you so much!! I agree - it did fly by but it was perfect! I hope that you have an excellent week and that you are able to rest and reap the rewards of all the things that you were able to accomplish in the past couple of weeks. Thank you so much Mom. You are so amazing! I hope that the week is a productive one for you! I keep thinking about that story with Alex and how that says about who you are. I love you. Have a great week.
Mikesell- Wow - so so awesome to talk to you. I forgot that I was going to tell you a funny story but I will tell you in a email or letter soon. I am running low on time here today. Enjoy your break!!  You will do so great in all the decisions ahead of you! I am so very excited for you. Thank you for being my best friend and your example. "I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you" have you heard that song? Love ya babe! Have a great week.
Brennen- Dude, you are a man! I couldn’t believe your voice!!  That was awesome. It sounds like you are growing both physically and spiritually and I am so proud of who you are. You are increasing in your confidence and ability to lead and starting to see the potential you have. Stay humble and close the Heavenly Father through prayer and scripture study. Keep it up man. Have you thought much about when you want to get your Patriarchal Blessing? I love you buddy.
Alex- Hey buddy, man oh man you sounded so good. I so appreciate your energy and realness. It was so great! I am glad to hear that you are doing well and dominating life. Keep doing the important little things and you will take on the world. Keep going strong in Bball and spiritually.  I love you bud.
Harrison- Hey my little man. You are so awesome. I loved talking to you yesterday! You will have to tell me about all of your basketball games. You will learn a lot with Dad as your coach! Sounds like you have wanted that for a long time. Ask him to have you do ladders, monkey jumps, and walls sits. Those are the best:) Have a great week I love you man! I hope you can go bowling over break!
McCall- Hey miss “YEP”!! I sure loved talking to you. Thank you for your highlight. You are very sweet and you sounded so big and smart on the phone. I love you so much. Keep being the great flower you are. I sure love and miss you. Give the cardbaord “me” a kiss for me ok? I love you. Have a great week. Keep thinking of games we can play in a year in a half.
Well family I love you all to death. Dad- I so appreciated your testimony. I find that much of my testimony also is rooted on the Gospel Network and the wonderful people that I am associated with.
This week I was reminded of not ¨sitting with your time¨ We have to stand up and get somewhere. There should never be a time in our lives when we don’t have a cement goal that we are working towards. That is how we grow eternally and are able to become something bigger than what we are. I want you all to know that Christ lives. The evidence is in you, and in everyday, the scriptures, a prophet, and prayer. It is undeniable the evidence of a Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Never forget that!! 
Go attack life my dear ones. :)
Elder Austin

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for the emails from:
The Oveson Family-Thank you so much for your kind words and the pictures of the great gingerbread house!  That was awesome! I love you all and Merry Christmas! My family loved seeing you at the Christmas Program on Sunday.
Amy Ellsworth- Thank you for the email! It was great to hear from you.  I hope that you have a great Christmas with the fam and that finals went very well!! Merry Christmas!

And of course the faithful, Mom, Dad, Mikesell, and Brennen.

Thank you each for your emails.  I loved the pictures Mom. Loved the one of “Elfy” on my cardboard shoulder (gotta see that thing one day)  and especially the hookie bobbing at Redfish. I thought of you all and knew exactly what you were doing Sunday. The Christmas program sounded great as usual! That is one of my favorite things about Christmas. Awesome!  

It was a really good week, every week is always humbling but we just keep plugging on. On Tuesday and Wednesday we had divisions and I was with Elder Patterson - my roommate from the MTC!! It was really fun. It was neat because we are “here” now and doing the real deal. It was good to talk to him and we had stories to share about our missions and really was a tender mercy. I love him and he is a great Elder. He is from St. George and I think he will be making a trip to Redfish one day. I have talked a lot of missionaries into doing that so hopefully one day all of you will be able to meet these awesome Elders and their wonderful examples.
Ahhh... I have so much gratitude and love for all of you and the power of the Atonement. This week I have thought a lot about Christ life and the simplicity, but at the same time never-ending power of his mission. Some times we loose the point of his mission and I love Christmas because it puts things back into perspective. We also had our Branch Christmas party this week.  We were asked to give a little spiritual thought and so we did the “gift to Jesus” idea, we handed out little cards that we made with red and green. It was a great program. I wish our District had more activities. It is key to unity I think. Other than that it was a good, but simple week. We didn’t have lots of success but worked hard and will keep on keeping on. We are now waiting on our next investigators to get married and then hopefully we can progress from there.
To answer some of your questions Mom - Yes, you are right. This place has like tripled in people, it is nuts!  Today when we were walking around in town doing shopping and laundry it was just nuts. The smells remind me of Sun Valley and Stanley. It is very touristy. It helps me to feel a little more like home because I am pretty comfortable in tourist situations. haha! It has not been too hot so that it good. Christmas, to be honest doesn’t feel like Christmas here at all. About one in every 60 houses have lights and I always insist that we knock them. (haha)  I say Feliz Navidad all the time and I think I am the only one who does here. I don’t care. It is more of a party here... lots of barbeques and beer to be honest. They buy a ton of fireworks and they light them on the 24th and on New Years…. so picture a 4th of July atmosphere!?  Everyone has little small fake trees in their house though.

I probably say this every week, but I just can’t say how much I have come to appreciate the importance of “families”. So much depends on the family. I hope each of you know that I count you as my highest blessings. I will do anything to make my family stronger and grow closer to Christ. I am so grateful for the happiness that comes from keeping the commandments. I am also grateful for trials and their relationship to our eternal progress.

Please tell everyone in our family Merry Christmas for me and that I love them and am very grateful for their prayers.

Dad- I loved that analogy with Lehi’s dream. I actually thought the same thing. What a great insight to share - thank you! It sounds like you had a great week and that all the basketball, Christmas programs, and others went really well. Thank you so much for your prayers and example. They are greatly needed and appreciated! I hope that you have a great Christmas. I am very excited to hear your voice and talk to you. I can’t believe 2011 is coming to a close. What in the world just happened? Haha! I love you Dad. Have a great week. Moroni 7:41 Merry Christmas!

Mom -Thank you so much for your email. It was great to hear from you about the experience yesterday and about the week. It sounds like Christmas is busy and in full swing. I hope that you can relax at Muldoon once you get there and have a great time. That will be a lot easier if there is no snow for you and Dad…? Not have to haul everything in on snowmobile.  Drive up and good to go. I am excited to read your email in its entirety tonight. You are such an angel for me and so many. Sunday will like the best day ever. I am very excited to talk to you and hear your voice. Thank you for that awesome story of Alex. That really hit me hard. I loved that. Well, I will talk to you this week. I hope that calling at eleven works out ok. Have a great week Mom. I love you!

(This is the story of Alex that he is talking about from my letter to Austin)
One  story from the week: So Parent Teacher Conferences last trimester the teachers didn’t have much good to say about Alex though he had good grades.  (he was standing right beside me at pt conferences) I chatted with him on the way home about what the teachers were saying as well on the way home. That night he must have scribbled angry scribbles on Brennens’ board - bottom of Brennens bed. (their beds are bunk beds now) Alex is on the bottom bunk. A few days later I saw the angry scribbles and the words "Be Respectful" written in hard, angry writing. So for weeks I have been wanting to take those angry scribbles off. On Monday I bought a whole pack of very rough sandpaper and spent an hour sanding down the "ceiling" (bottom of Brennen’s bed) above Alex’s head. I left the words of "Be Respectful" but I added the following... "You were born to do great things in life"  "Great things happen to those who read the Book of Mormon" "Don’t forget to Pray" and "I love you very, very much" ....written all above his head. Well he came down that night and saw the sandpaper by my bed…asking what it was...I was tired and said..."If you get to bed you will find out" he didn't believe me and I said  again, “If you GET to BED you will find out!”  Well, he went up stairs and then came back down and thanked me. About 5 minutes later he came down AGAIN and said, "Mom can you do another one tomorrow?" I said, “Another what?”   He said, “Write something again tomorrow!?”  I said "Yes" and then he asked... "Can you write something every day?" It actually has been really neat in the days following- every day since he asked  me if I have written something.  He wants the whole board to have "sayings" that I want him to know on it.  I am enjoying it a lot.... He melted my heart - I see he gets it. He just loves a good time.

Mikesell-- FULL RIDE scholarship?! (UVU) Wow that is not to shabby my friend. That is a lot of decisions you are having to make right now. You are in my prayers. I am glad you got my email / text! Haha! That was funny and crazy how it came across on your phone. Keep me posted on everything. I am so so excited to talk to you about it all on Sunday. Thank you for your emails!  I cherish them. You are so faithful.  I am glad that you had a good week. I loved the pictures of all of you hookie bobbing behind the burb. (Suburban)  I am glad you are having great experiences going to the temple each Wednesday. It is crazy how fast time is going as a Senior huh!?  I remember when I was in your shoes like yesterday. That was two years ago though! Well have a great fun week. Enjoy your movies in school this week…killing time til Christmas break.  I will talk to you Sunday. I love you so much. Hey you should try and read the “Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck over Christmas break. You can do anything you want Mikesell. Keep it in your prayers and read the scriptures a lot  -  you will make the right decision.

Brennen-Sounds like you won all your games this week!  That is so awesome! One point in Minicio! My favorite basketball memories are in that Minico gym. Every locker room you go to remember that I probably was there at one point too! Crazy huh!  Sounds like you have a good varsity team too. That is really fun. I bet you are excited for a little break during Christmas. That will be nice and well needed. I am so excited to talk to you on the phone. Thanks for the Grinch Quotes. That was funny!! I love you man. You are my hero and such a great example to me. Keep the faith and keep making good decisons this week. I love you!

Alex- Hey Stud. Sounds like you also had a great time in Boise with your tournament. Are you excited for Christmas? I love you so much! Have a great week. You and Brennen have to be a good help with all the Muldoon things! It’s a lot of work to pack up Christmas and go somewhere. I love you bro. I loved the story of your bed that Mom told me about.  That is an inspiring story and I am so glad hear it. You are a good kid with so much potential. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much. Have a great week bro.

Harrsion- Hey little man! Are you so excited for Christmas!? I sure am excited to talk to you on the phone on Christmas day! I love you very much. Enjoy all the Christmas shows and the fun things that surround this time of year. Have a great week at school!

McCall- You are amazing. I love the one liners that Mom sends me from you. Some of them really make me laugh hard.  Haha - very funny. I hope that you have a fun week. You are amazing keep being the best you! I will talk to you this Sunday! Merry Christmas!!!

I love you all so much. Have a great week!

Love, Elder Austin!!!

Oh and you all have to listen to the Andrea Bochelli’s song called “Heaven on Earth” or something. It is really pretty.

You are all the best!

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011

Hello the ones that I love the most! Merry Christmas!

Postcard from Sister Hernandez- Thank you so much for the picker-upper!!
Letter and pictures from Amy Ellsworth- I loved your letter so much and thank you for the pictures!
Wedding Announcement from Rachelle- What an awesome picture and great couple!!

I got the Christmas packages Mom!  Don’t know why it was so much shorter this time. I opened the one that was labeled “Open before Christmas” and have just loved it. It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all but the little things helped, especially the music. Christmas for me is about giving thanks for our Savior, serving others, and FAMILY. So I have all the pieces except you all. Thank you so much!!

Emails from:
Grandma Clegg- Thank you so much! I hope you all have a wonderful time in CA!! Send my love to all. Merry Christmas!!
The Cox Family- Thank you so much! You are all very thoughtful and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! I love you all!
Chase Wright- My Man! So thrilled to hear from you, what an awesome mission call (they all are) oh man I am so pumped for you! I will send you a letter with some thoughts on preparation and things. I love you Chase. You are such a stud. I will write you soon my friend! Congratulations!
Clegg family- Thank you so much for the email. I am so excited to read it and saw your address so I will be sure and write soon. I love you all so much. I still remember driving away from Redfish and waving to all of you on the front lawn. You are all the best!! Merry Christmas!!

I very much appreciate and feel the love and support of all of the wonderful people that I have been blessed to know in my life. Missions give you such perspective on what is the most important.

This week was a week of prayers answered, things learned, and just all about AWESOME things!

I will start at the beginning and tell the story of the week. So on Tuesday I had the privilege of working with Elder Calarco, who is one of my best friends here and Zone Leader, he is from Argentina. He is a very hard worker and understands the power and authority that comes with the calling. I loved working with him. He is very in your face bold, but with love. We found an 18 year old investigator and as we started teaching him he began to smoke. Elder Calarco asked him how old he was and then asked ¨Can I see your cigarette? I don’t know what he was thinking but the investigator gave it to him and the he proceeded to put it out on the concrete floor. He then told him that smoking does two things in life, it takes away your money and your life. He gave him back the cigarette and told him to rip it up. We then took every cig in the house and put it in his scripture bag and we proceeded to have a lesson that was incredible. I got to work with him for two days in Miramar and then one day in his area because there was a meeting for all the district leaders and zone leaders in Mar del Plata. He has a great sense of energy that I want to have.

Now I want to talk about the good part of the week!! We had a lesson with Jose, with a high councilman from Mar del Plata. It was a great lesson. So great that we had the baptism interview, set a date, and yes... Jose was baptized yesterday!! It was such a special day!! The first thing he said when he got out of the water was how he wanted this for his wife and kids. It was a very spiritual time and he is very happy and ready. I think we would be a great Branch President but we will see. It is great to get some more Priesthood Leadership in our branch because they are struggling right now. Our one “active family” has not been to church for two weeks and are in big fight with the Branch President. Hopefully the Christmas spirit can blow things over soon. If this family goes then the branch is in trouble.  It will all be alright though. 
The pictures are:

                                                      The baptism of Jose

                                                              The cigs

It was a really great week. I learned so much about prayer. I seriously feel the power of your prayers and I hope you feel mine. I have made a goal to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish before the end of the year and it is helping my Spanish. If anything can help me learn this language it is the promise with that book. I have to read 18 pages a day to get it. But I will make it!!

It sounds like you all had a really great week! I am so glad everything went well with the Christmas program. That picture was amazing! I am sure it was spectacular. Wonderful.
         (I posted this so you could see what he was talking about...Way to go Jeff!)

Thank you for the pictures of the house and everything it was great to see. You will all have to listen to the song on the Christmas playlist by Sarah McGlaughlin that starts out ¨ “The lake is frozen solid, trees white with snow... all around are memories of you...” it is really pretty and reminds me of you.  I sent you the Christmas package hopefully you get it before Christmas!  You can’t open it until Christmas Eve though. I am glad you will all be in Muldoon. I think that I will call after church so that is like 1 or 2pm.  I am not sure what my companion wants because his familywants him to call at a certain time so I will let you know when. We bought calling cards today and that is what I am planning on using. It should work well; we will call from the church.

Dad- Thank you so much for your email! I just skimmed it and I look forward to reading it all tonight. It sounds like you had a great week and that the Christmas program went really well. I am very excited to talk to you. Please give my very best to  Coach Messick …. I think about him very often and the things I learned from him. I have “Attitude and Effort” written in big letters on my study journal. I loved what you said about being blessed with all the great people that we get to associate with. It truly is a great blessing. I love you Dad. Your example means the world to me. I hope that you have a great week. You are the man. I love you.

Mom- You are such an angel. I hope that you had a good week.  Keep being “you” and praying. Life sounds complicated a bit. You are such an angel and this is such a very busy time of year for you. Thanks for the dog biting tricks!  Another one that I use a lot is to bend down and act like you pick up a rock they run away, or just face them, they always try from the behind us.  A lot of Elders here have big stitches on their pants from dog bites, they just rip their pants a lot when they bite. I am excited for you to get the package I sent!  I think you will like one of the things. It is kind of different but fun. Mom, you are so great, you touch so many peoples lives for so much good. I miss you and am very excited to talk to you. I think one more pday to get everything organized and then it is Christmas!? The weeks sure go by fast for me. I don’t know what it is like there…!?

Mikesell- I loved your picture of the moon. I literally have a matching one on my camera that I took in Mar del Plata. I thought the same thing! It sounds like you are really busy and working hard. I am praying that you will be able to be at peace with whatever decision you make with school and that you will be able to make the decision that will have the most potential. You are so wonderful Mikesell! I really feel close to you in sprit. I miss you terribly and love you so much. I am very excited to talk to you. I hope that you have a great week. That is awesome work with Kolby giving her a Book of  Mormon. She seems like a very great person.  Just like Cam S.  I sure love their family.  Just love her, be a good example and friend, and talk openly about the thoughts you have had about her,  and your testimony. What a stud you are!  I love you sis. Keep on keeping on.

Brennen- Dude you are so awesome - I just got to tell you that!  Great game this week huh? That is good. Sounds like shooting baskets was tough for all…but some games are like that.  I noticed when I was reading about Captain Moroni this week that he worried about the defense of the city before the offence. Haha!  We read a lot of scriptures during our missions and there is a scripture for everything. How is seminary? I loved what you said about “thoughts”. That is really important. You will run into a ton of kids who talk about not so good things in the locker room, halls, and wherever during high school. Don’t be afraid to say something, but sometimes it is best just to leave. You will know. I sure love you man. Hey today I bought a Frisbee, it is kind of lame but the best I could find. We have a super P-day coming up and I wanted to throw some discs with some Elders. I love you man. You are awesome! Keep making good decisions. You are at a key point in your high school experience. Be the example. Love you bro.

Alex-. Thanks for the letter man!! I love hearing from you. You have a tourney this week huh? How is your calling? Are you excited for 7th grade tryouts? That is a fun time. We practiced in the old Central gym. That was a memorable experience. I love you Alex. You are such a stud. You are bound for greatness! I am very excited to talk to you. I sure miss you. Your siblings are your best friends. I miss playing ball with you. You are going to smoke me. I love you man. Keep doing the important things. I will talk to you later. Have a great week!!!! You the man!

Harrison!  How are you man? Did you find elfy yet? I am glad you got to play with the Williams dog yesterday -  I bet that was fun.  I sure love you buddy. I know you are way excited for Christmas huh! That is so fun. Keep being a great kid! How are all the Christmas shows? I am excited to talk to you. Have a great week little man! I love you so much!

McCall- Hey sweetie! How is your Christmas going? Are your reading lots of fun Christmas stories in school? I bet Grandma is reading you all of those fun stories too. She was my favorite person to read to me when I was little. She has the voice of an angel! I hope you have a great week. I love you so much. I am so excited to hear your voice. Keep it up Cally! You are the best!

Well everyone! I love you all. Another week in the books. I know that this is the church of JESUS CHRIST. I know that The Book of Mormon is true and changes lives each day; I know that we have a Prophet today that leads and guides this church. I love you all and have a great week!!

Elder Austin

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Hello Family!  Another Monday is here!

Emails from:

Grandpa and Grandma Daw- Thank you so much!! I am glad you got my letter and it was great to hear that you had a good time with my family. They love to go over on Sundays so much. I love you both very much and am very grateful for your legacy. You are special to me!

Papa Arlen and Grandma Del-   The email meant the world to me and was great to hear how things are going. I really appreciated your thoughts and words. Thank you for taking the time to write. I love your letters.  I love you both! Merry Christmas!

Grandma and Grandpa Clegg- Thank you so much your sweet email! I am so extremely happy for the women in your ward who is choosing to be baptized. Tell her she is making the best decision of her life as she continues to honor the covenant she is about to make. I love you both and hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Tricia Cox- Ha-ha I love you emails so much! I appreciate so much hearing how life is going for you and of your experiences. I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas Tricia!! You are Terrific Tricia!!!

The Oveson Family! - Thank you so much for the wonderful email. It was so great to hear how everyone is doing and of all the adventures in your lives. I miss you all very much. You are all the best! Have a very Merry Christmas! All my love.

And the faithful family emails as well. Thank you so much!!

Picture of my view out the bus window to Mar del Plata, twice a week. Tough life huh?

Greetings from Argentina! It sounds like all is well at home and that is was another wonderful week for you all. I love to hear about everything.  Please send my love to Rachelle and Scott. I am very happy for them and glad that you were all able to have a good time in Utah for their wedding! Also very glad Brennen was able to ball it up!!  Mikesell, sounds like everything went really well at your college trip. Danielle is engaged huh! Wow that is awesome!! What a lucky guy! That will be great.

Well, it was another great week here. No baptisms, so it can only be so “good”, but it was as good as it can be other wise.  We found a couple who is golden. But like 95% of Argentina  - they are not married so we are going to be working with them to be able to baptize before the end of the year. Jose is so close. We had some great lessons with him this week AND he went to church. He just needs to pray for his own sure knowledge and up he goes.   His wife is great but doesn’t want anything to do with the church as to now but I know she will with time. Jose will be the leader. He is such a stud; he offered to take the couple home in his car after church. He just is struggling to do the prayer part... it is going to happen and if not it is his agency.  He had a crazy lesson with this member, she doesn’t believe in about half of the doctrine and it got a little heated. As we were leaving my companion talked about how it is better that one person go inactive then a whole branch to perish. With the reference to Laban and Nephi.  That made me laugh a little.       
I had a good week of studies this week. Some scriptures that stood out were Alma 58:37.  I thought about personal accountability. It was great. Other than that I feel like I became a real missionary this week because I got bit by my first dog, got  my first rocks thrown at me by little angel 10 year olds, and learned my first couple of swear words. When I can’t understand a single word in the conversation that usually means there is a rare use of vocabulary that is being used and that was interesting! haha I truly love everyday as a missionary!  Tomorrow I will send your Christmas letters and some little things. Hopefully they get their in time. 
So real quick  I want to talk about something that I learned in my study this morning. I decided to call it 
" The six steps of complacency according to Captain Moroni"
1. Alma 60;14 " Slothfulness and neglect towards others"  Msh 4:16-23
2. Alma 60;19 "Surronded by security"  Msh 4:6,7,27
3. Alma 60:20 "Have ye Forgotten"   Msh 4:11-12 Msh 3:34
4 Alma 60:21  "While we not make use of means" xc Msh 2:11,23
5. Alma 60:22 "Surronded by idleness" Msh 2:24-26
6. Alma 60:12  "Because of their wickedness" Msh :5:5-8
I wish I could explain more but I want to write to you each of you individually as well. But I cross referenced every attribute of compliancy with the teachings from King Benjamin.  

Whoever has family home evening lesson tonight…you got your lesson!  You are welcome! haha.

Dad - What a neat tender mercy you and Mikesell had at BYU on Friday!  UVU sounded great too!! This week I have done your challenge on “only gratitude” in my morning prayers and I have really enjoyed it. Thank you for that insight. How is all the preparation for the ward party going? This Friday huh!? I am sure it is busy and good. It will be awesome and I am really excited to hear about it. No snow huh!? I guess the Redfish storms missed everywhere else. I don’t have any snow here either. Ha-ha. Actually there were some pretty crazy rain and wind storms this week. We didn’t have power for 5 hours one night, but luckily we have gas stoves and all that so was not a big deal. I love you Dad!  I hope that you have an awesome week! Thank you so much for your example and prayers. I feel them. I am working hard to conquer this language so I can help other find the peace and joy they are missing! You the man.  !Siga Adelante!

Mom- Thank you so much for your email! They are always so great! I am glad to hear that you had a great week. Sounds like it is the “busy normal”. You are such an angel. This is a busy time of year for you because you serve so much. Pretty much like all the other times in the year but...I am glad to hear your still at your spinning class and daily exercise. How is your knee? I am so sorry I forgot to answer your questions about the money last week. I really am so sorry but I don’t remember anything... like nothing. I wish I cold pull something. Vanished in thin air it sounds like. Don’t worry about money for the calling card. I will figure it all out just give me the number of Muldoon. I remember your cell as a back up number if the phones don’t work so that is all good. I am excited for that! By the way every time I show a picture of the family here they always compliment about how pretty you are and how young you and Dad look.  I love you so much Mom! Have a great week. You are in my every thought and prayer and I feel close to all of you in spirit!

Mikesell- I so loved your email this week and what you said about agency. What you said how Heavenly Father expects us to make our own decisions is so true. Ask Papa if he has a copy of the talk that he gave up at Stanley a couple of years ago.  I think he would have titled it “It mattered not to me".  Agency is so important. Remember you have the ability to receive revelation for these things though, some scriptures to help are D&C 8; 2- 3 and Moses 6: 61. You will make the right decision. I will be praying for you and I know that it will be awesome.    I am looking forward to hear about everything .You are such a stud and I am so proud that you are able to have this trial about who to run for in college.   Not many have that question…so be grateful. I love you so much! I can’t believe you talked about the moon. I seriously looked at it and thought that a ton this week! haha.We are close in Spirit Sis. I love you so much.   Live the Dream! You are in my every prayer beautiful. Love ya!

Brennen the B-baller:
Sounds like you did great in all your games! I am so proud of you!  I am glad you enjoy it and that is most important. Keep working to get out of your comfort zone and having fun. Attitude and effort. I love you man. Keep being a stud. I hope that you are enjoying seminary. Have a great week and have fun against Kimberly on Tuesday! I love you.

Alex Hey man!
How was your week? How is ball going?  How do you like your calling?  Are you enjoying Christmas time? So the Cougs got the ducks - that is great! I love you man.  Keep being awesome. Have a great week. Keep being a leader! God speed bro.

Thank you for letter. I just loved it.  I am excited that you get to  play some ball! Dad is the best coach ever. You will learn so much. Go out there and win!  I love you Harrison. That is really funny about Elfly.  He is  a sillly man! I love you bro. Have a great week!

McCall! I love you so much! Thank you for your email. That is great about Boots. Is he is puppy?  I am glad you have such a good friend in school.  Have a great time during this Christmas season. I love you so much. Have a great week sis! 
 I am  excited to hear your voice on Christmas day!

 Well everyone I love you all so much!  Have a great week. We will keep on keeping on! You are all the best! I am so grateful for your continued protection and success. You are all incredible. Tell everyone hello and that I love them!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 27, 2011

Letters received from:
Bishop Prince- Thank you so much!!  Your letters always inspire me. I love you Bishop. You are the man. You are in my prayers and I hope that all is well. Thank you for writing!
Mikesell- Thank you so much....loved it so much!
Papa-  Thank you so much for the Dear Elder. As always I learn so much from your letters. I loved reading your journal entry on your birthday. I love you Papa and Grandma. Thank you for taking the time to write. I cherish your letters.
The Packages!  Thank you so very much!!  Everything made it great and I have just loved listening to music in the house. Thank you for the card, the pictures... everything. It was very thoughtful like always.  

Dad, Mom, Mikesell, Brennen, Alex, McCall
Grandma Clegg- So sweet to hear about Thanksgiving and the investigator in your ward. I loved it! I love you both very much.
Bryan Harper- Thank you so much for the email man!   It meant so much to me. It was so great to hear from you. I am glad to hear you are staying busy and working hard with school. Keep at it brother. I hope that all of your family is doing really well. You are the Man!!

 Thank you all so much for your support, prayers, and love.

It was another great week. We had a lot in success in finding this week. We found 21 new investigators. (There is a story behind this…. Austin sent Jeff an email saying there was a break in / murder of a young boy when he was home alone and the burglars stole a computer. The town is in an uproar about it all and are seeking peace and answers. Thus they are anxious to talk to missionaries this week. When Austin was in the MTC they told the missionaries “tell your Dad the freak out things…not your Mom”…haha… I believe it… but am doing fine.  This was 10 blocks away from him. I found this newsclip of it. Where each of us all live isn’t much better!?  However,  the news clip kinda freaked me out a little I will admit it.)

I sure hope that at least some of those will come to church and we can progress a little. I would think that at least some of them would. I would prefer quality over quantity.  Jose did not come to church this week and we have not been able to get hold of him as of today. Hopefully we will tonight. I know he has felt it, he knows what is right, and now it is in his court. It is really hard. We will pray and work for the best. Trinidad story is even sadder. She is now moving and does not want to be baptized basically  for fear of not be able to keep the commandments. She comes from a really sad home. We had a lesson with our Branch President with her and  afterward the meeting he told us to pretty much “drop it and let it go”. That was hard. We know that baptism is the thing for her. We are going to try and send the missionaries in Buenos Aires to her house when she moves there. Possibly a miracle will occur and she will have a change of heart.  Amidst all that it was a refining week. I have had the goal  for the last several weeks to really try and open my mouth more, at least five time a day. Even when my first thought I don’t want to talk to them or I can not talk to them. It has been amazing what has happened. Heavenly Father really blesses you when you get out of your comfort zone. There was a baptisim in our Branch of a little girl whom they had lost her baptism records. So she was baptized again. We were in charge of organizing it and it went well. It was a good time. Our branch doesn’t have many activities which is a problem… so it was good to have it. Dad - you asked how are members are in helping.  Quite frankly there is not a single completely active family in our branch so it is hard to have the church feel like a happy loving place. It really is another hurdle to go. But we are working on reactivating families and all that. The Branch Presidents wife has not come to church since I got here. It would be nice to get some more families. I know we would have more baptisms if the members lived what we teach in lessons. But I can not worry about them. We just do our best. I try and take accountability for it and not use it as an excuse.  
One fun story that happened this week is that we were walking this dirt road and I turned to my comp and asked him if he wanted to find two new investigators. He of course said “yes” so I said lets knock on this house. Turns out we found a kid named “Franco” who is ten years old who was baptized in Buenos Aires a year ago and then his family moved. His family has hard hearts but we were able to teach them and it really was miracle that we were able to find them.  I testify that Heavenly Father answers your prayers every time, in His time. Some other good news is that with transfers this last week my roommate from the MTC is now in my district. Elder Patterson is his name. I am so happy and it really is a tender mercy .He was one of my best friends in the MTC. I am really excited for that. He is from St George. 
This week I learned a lot about charity. I keep thinking how in order to be better missionary I need to have a more love for people and really let that be my motive for everything. I have been reading about Captain Moronia and I realized what it means to really put your whole mind and strength into a cause. I want to get there as a missionary and just loose it for this work and change. I am just a normal person and I need to become more to represent the tag that I have on my chest.   It is all about overcoming your fears and weaknesses and it is not easy and it takes work.  D&C 12: 8 and   D&C 19: 18 are my scriptures for this week. 
The pictures:
1.)  Of our church. 

 2.) Trinidad and our Branch President.

 3.)  A rather funny bag of chips at the baptism 

4.) One of the Hermanas who gives us lunch every Wednesday.
Yeah as you said Mom - Thanksgiving does not exist here in the slightest. I was going to send you a picture of our Thanksgiving but I didn’t want to make you all cry. Ha-ha just kidding!  We had pasta, just like every day. Thank you for those cooking ideas Mom!   

Dad- Sounds like you had a great week. Thank you for your letter. I loved what you said about gratitude and prayers and I will do it.   I can’t  believe you found your keys. What a crazy story! That is my Dad. I love it. Sounds like Redfish has a lot of snow already up there. That is great. I hope that you have a great week Dad. Thank you for all that you do. Know you are in my prayers. Your the Man!!

Mom- Thank you for the pictures and everything in the package. I really enjoyed it.   I will look forward to reading your letter. Oh yeah, I was wondering what time would be good for me to call on the 25th?  I think with the time change I am either 4 or 5 hours ahead of you. So I think if I called like at 1 that would be at 8 your time. We have church until 12:30 here. But let me know what is good for you.  Are you hoping to go to Muldoon? Thank you so much for the package. I have loved having music, pillow, and vitamins. Little things that don’t matter but it actually has been nice. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I love you so much Mom. I miss you and hope that all is well. Look forward to reading your entire letter. You are in my prayers.  Thank you so much.

Mikesell- Sounds like it is raining men for you!  ha-ha.  You will know what to do as far as college things go. Don’t worry.  I will keep praying for you. Virgina is far... we will see what happens! huh. I am with Mom on this one. I want my sister close. Don’t worry too much about it. You will know what to do and do what you feel is right, talk with Mom and Dad. Good work on your Physics! Are you doing the second trimester of it too?  Nordy is a hard nose with the 79% or 89% grades. It is good…it is like college. I love you Mikesell. Keep it up! You are my hero. Keep enjoying your days!! Love you Sis.
Brennen- Hey Stud...  Big game day on Wednesday! I love the Buhl first game. You are always the most nervous and it is just fun.  Play hard, be loose and just put into practice what you have learned. Thank you so much of your emails. I sure love you. Keep being awesome. Do you have Seminary now? You will love it! Mom says you are working on a really awesome song on the piano for the Stanley Christmas program. You got the gift!

Alex- Hey pretty cool calling my man! I am sure they have talked about the importance of that particular calling. You will learn a lot. Take is seriously and do your best. What a blessing. You are a stud man. Good work on your team. Keep it up. Thank you for writing. It meant a lot.  The church is true! I love you. Keep up the great work! How were your grades last trimester?

 Harrison - I loved the picture you sent in the package Harrison!! It was so great. I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving. I miss you!!  Are you going to have a Christmas chain this year? When does “Elfy” come out? That is such a fun part of December to see where he is at each morning.   I love you Harrison!

McCall- Thank you so much for your email. You looked so cute in your dress in the picture Mom sent. What a princess. Mom said you got your haircut!  I hope that all is well. I love you McCall. I am excited than you are learning to read and am enjoying school. Practicing our handshake!? Don’t forget how to do it! I love you.

Well all. Sorry for the mountain of typos - this key board is a little frustrating.  It keeps sticking. I love you all so much.  Thank you for your prayers. I can do so much better, but am very grateful for everyday for the opportunity to be a missionary. It is a very growing time. 

I love you all.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Love your brother and son,

Elder Austin                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

Amy Ellsworth- Congrats on your call!!! Ohio Cleveland Mission!! Kirtland Visitors Center is awesome!!How exciting!!!  Scott Maughan´s sister is in that same mission! I will drop you a letter here soon.
Grandma Clegg- Thank you so much for your words of support and for sharing how things are going. I hope that all is well and thank you for your prayers.
Lindsay Hayes- Thank you so much for the letter. I sent you a letter but with the address thing I don’t know if you will get it. I’ll try again…

Letters from the Faithful Family:
¿Que Tal?

Hello the people that I love the most. From what I have read it sounds like everyone is doing really well.  Another busy but great week it sounds like! Que bueno!
This last week has been really good.
We really grew our relationship with Branch numbers this week and that was good. The disappointing thing was that we worked really hard to get investigators to church and we had success. We had 6 investigators at church on Sunday!  However, there were only 25 people there with those six investigators. That was a little disappointing.  The meeting was really good still and it all worked out ok. We taught a class, blessed the sacrament, and then gave talks. It was a good experience. I am amazed at how the lessons in church always seem to apply themselves to the investigators. The promised blessing of going to church is real.
Jose accepted a baptismal date for the third of December. We have set dates with him several times but this time was different. When he accepted the first thought that came to my head was... wow my family really must be praying for him too... He seems to be progressing and was at church this week. Keep praying and I will work harder.
Trinidad also has a date set for the 3rd of December. Her family has some problems but hopefully she can lead out and they will follow.
The miracle of the week was that we had a family of four come to church Daniel and Sonya. We found them six weeks ago but they have not been coming to church. This week they did. I love this family and I want them in the water bad. We have not asked the ¨Are you married¨" yet and knowing what I know of Argentina, I am going to guess not. But we can hope they don’t need to be divorced to anyone else and that they can get married quickly. That is the investigator report. We had more success this week but I still have this hunger for baptism and seeing the change come in someones life. Please pray that I will have greater desires to give of myself and work harder to be a more "fluent" missionary with my language skills. I can understand pretty much everything within a lesson setting. They just can’t really understand me.
So we -boy oh boy - did we have a zone conference this week!! I am still shaking with a little bit of fear. But before I talk about that I want to talk about another little thing that happened.
Things that touch my heart:
Thursday night I was on Divisions with our zone leader, Elder Carlico.  I am going to spoil something for you Dad but I found this guy who makes home made shoes. I had asked him to make me some about a month ago. I got them praying that I would be able to give them to you Dad and also to be honest as a backup if my shoes don’t make it. But I think they will. So I was in the same area with a different zone leader and we went to contact a family who was getting in a car….turns out they were members. But then a man calls out ¨Elder” from across the street. It was the man who makes the shoes. I hadn’t noticed that we were in front of his house. So we came in and he gave me the shoes and  we went on contacting. We had appointment with a less active member right after and we had a great lesson. There was a young man there - about 17 or 18 years old and you could tell he was struggling. He has 4 sisters and an angel Mom and no Father. They didn’t know what was in the bag I had but for some reason we found out his shoe size was the same as yours and mine Dad. I still did not say anything about the shoes. We had a great lesson and they sang us a primary Hymn on the guitar for the closing Hymn. The Mother asked the young man to say the closing prayer but he said no. The Mother said the prayer and then we left. We got about one ten steps down the street and I told my companion we had to go back. We called this young mans name out... his name is Yvonne and I gave him the shoes and told him to prepare for the mission with some directness. I don’t know why I did.. I just felt like that was the right thing to do. The thought came through my mind “Dad would want me to give them to him". He was really excited and lit up a little though all this. We then left and Elder Calrico said ¨How did you know he needed church shoes?¨ I told him that I really didn’t know if he did or not… I just kind of figured he didn’t. He then told me that Yvonne had come to church last week with shoes that were really beat up and embarrassing. I hope you can make sense of this story. I am not here to help out people temporally which I realize. I am here to baptize…. but I think Heavenly Father gives us opportunities to learn and to test us. SO Dad… know your pair of Christmas shoes is on the feet of a future missionary in Mar del Plata Argentina. I don’t tell you this story to brag or prideful but rather to teach that it killed me to watch the love this Mother had for her son and to watch him just sit there and be selfish. He owes her and his Heavenly Father more.

And so do I....which leads me to my Zone conference experience:

We had the great opportunities to hear from Elder Aidukatius, a member of the Seventy. It was humbling beyond belief. They pulled up the stats of our zones baptisms and they were not good for the last 5 months. He asked us to stand up and proceeded to give us a Christ-like Coach Krum chastening. I was sitting in the front row and he asked me a couple of questions. I just prayed I understood him right and tried to answer right. Oh man - it was so intense.  I am still shaking a little. Needless to say that is why I titled this letter “repentance”. Because that is what I really need. I am not living up to my potential as a missionary right now. I am very grateful for all that I have and I know that I will be blessed with success as I just put forth that extra effort. I know that if I continue to be obedient we will see some baptisms this December. That has to be my main focus.

Dad- Thank you for your letter.  I look forward to reading it later this evening. How is your preparation for the Christmas party coming? I hope that you have a great time in Boise on Thursday and then Muldoon. I will never forget that time we stopped and looked at the stars. I feel that day like yesterday. Please send my love to Uncle Alan and family... they are in my prayers. And of course to Grandma and Grandpa Clegg and Papa and Grandma Crouch. What you said about some people here not liking the United States is true. I am excited to share stories with you one day about that. I don’t have the time to say them all in this email each week.  Love you Dad so much. You the man!  Oh this week was amazing  - I heard “Every tear drop is a waterfall” in its entirety on our taxi ride to Zone Conference and then “Speed of Sound” later haha. A tender mercy. I think Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor. Dad - you are one of the most thoughtful people I know.

Hello you Angel! Well good news... Your packages are sitting in the zone leader’s house and I will get them tomorrow. They called and told me... they were nice. I am hoping Mikesell´s letter is there also. Thank you so much. I will let you know the details next week. Sounds like you had a good week. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, journal entry, and everything. It really means so much and is a great strength to me. I love you very much. I feel your prayers. This week I figured out how to go running with my comp. We have a park right next door and so sits and he reads on a bench while I run circles around him. It has helped me have more enthusiasm and I feel better. The water is fine here... most of the time…? So far so good. I will use good judgment. Thanks for everything Mom. Have a great Thanksgiving. It doesn’t feel like Christmas at here. There is Papa Noel stuff up but it is not right. It helps with the homesickness though. I love you Mom. Thank you for your thoughts on Gratitude. It truly is a power that cannot be stopped.

Hey there dancer lady.... sounds like you had a great time with Spencer at Sadies. He is great. I am glad you asked him. Don’t worry the stuff you forget to tell me usually gets covered in Mom’s journal… so I have a heads up. J Good luck with all your tests and enjoy your Thanksgiving break. I love you Mikesell. Thank you so much for your letter. You are such an inspiration for me. Have a great week. You are unbeatable!  Keep the faith. Do you have seminary next tri? Have fun and   keep enjoying your senior year.

Sounds like we both spoke yesterday! That is great. Honesty is such an important principle. How was your first week of real practice for Basketball? Keep working hard! When is your first game? My companion is doing really good thanks. He goes home in April. We are getting better and we are working together. I am learning how to be a better ¨helper” for him.  I love you so much. _Have a great Thanksgiving. I am excited to hear what songs you  put on the Ipod. Thanks for everything man. I love you so much. Have a great week . Thank you for your example. Keep being awesome!!

Alex -
Hey man! Sounds like you did awesome at your tourney in Boise. What a stud!! You would be more studly if your dropped me a email with your stats at least. I want to hear how life is going for you man. I love you Buddy. Have a great week this week and enjoy Thanksgiving. I miss you man! Keep being a great stud and example for your siblings. I love you man. Be your best Alex!

Hey man. How are you? I miss you. How are all of your friends and school? Have you made any turkey hands? I hope that you have a great Thanksgiving Harrison. Keep being the energetic awesome person you are. You are such a good person. I love you so much.

McCall- It sounds like you might be able to read this letter on your very own here soon. Congratulations you smart little whippersnapper. (bet she can’t read that word)  I love you so much Callie. Have a great Thanksgiving and remember I love you. We have so much to be grateful for. 

Well everyone! I love you each so much. Have a great Thanksgiving! I will be there with you in Spirit! I promise you all to keep working and do so harder. Tell Amy Congrats on her mission call!

Have a great week. Tell the entire family hello.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 14, 2011

Oh how my love this hour that I have to write and hear form the people that I love so much!   It means so much to me.

Grandma Clegg

Thank you all so very much!!  I have skimmed them a little and look forward to reading them in their entirety tonight!

Well this week was another good week. It started out a little bumpy just because we were having a hard time reaching our goals every day but towards the end we were able to re-focus and have more success. We got an email from our Mission President today and apparently Elder Christofferson was here this week sometime and there has been a change in the way we do our transfers. Apparently we will now be in the same area for 6 to 9 months with the same companion for an average of three transfers. So I may be getting to know Miramar quite well. That does me good because I want to be successful here and baptize this place like crazy. This week was a good week though. I prayed for each of you a lot... I will talk about that later. On Friday we had a emergency transfer in our zone and our zone leader was sent to Bahia Blanca to be the missionary in charge of all the houses. We have a new zone leader who actually is one of my best ¨Missionary Friends¨.  It was hard to say good by to our old Zone Leader because he has really taught me so much.

We had a good week with one investigator named Trinidad. She is 14 and wants to be baptized but has lots of doubts because of her family has been baptized and has fallen away from the church and she doesn’t want to follow in their steps. I am glad that she understands what a covenant is and what it means to her. She comes from a pretty broken home. We are trying to get her Mom divorced and then remarried again. She has some issues but the Dad is a good guy. It could be quite a process for the family.

As for my man Jose... I am a little worried... We are trying to get him to receive an answer and have those spiritual experiences. He believes in the feelings he is having and  that things are true. He believes that all good things are of God. All of which is true....We just need to get him to understand why he needs to be baptized again. (Catholic).

We also found some other investigators with potential.  I want to baptize so bad and see that conversion in a person... but I know that this is a work that relies on agency. I just need to let these people be touched by the spirit and trust that the rest will work out.

Good week over all... This week we have Zone Conference and it will be my first. I am really excited to learn how to be more effective and bust it more everyday. The way to be happy out here is to work your tail off. I have made a goal to open my mouth fives times a day when my first thought is to stay quiet.

Well... Life is great here. My scripture thought of the week is in Alma 41:15.  Mom this is the “Law of Attraction” scripture of the century. I have thought a lot about vision and what it means to have goals and work to achieve them. I am trying to get a vision of who I want to be when I step off that plane and run to you all in the summer of 2013. I really am so grateful for every day and I know that Heavenly Father has His eye on each of you.

Dad-First off thank you so much for your email. I look forward to reading it in much more detail. What blessing you are to so many. Sounds like your talk went well and your lesson too! Isn’t Preach my Gospel the best? Someone told me here that our Mission President said that if the missionaries would live every principle in the book we could baptize like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah... interesting huh? I am glad all things with Redfish are going well. Sounds like winter is hitting hard... It has been hot here. It is very humid and you get soaking wet with sweat. It is going to be an awesome summer hahaha. It does not feel like Christmas or Thanksgiving at all really. Totally different feeling in the air. Well Dad I love you so much. Thank you so much for your prayers. I pray with energy for you. I hope that you have a wonderful week. Hey one non missionary question. How is he election looking? I can not tell you how much my love for the United States has grown. The average citizen in the US has no idea how much the world looks to us.  Our country has to be the example in keeping the commandments... We are strong because of our families. Love you Pops!  CHOU!

Mom- I love you so much. Thank you for your letter. That is funny what you said about sensing how I am doing.  I feel like I can feel the same with you all. To answer some of your questions: They drink a lot of Kool Aid type stuff here but soda is really popular. Tang is the most popular drink besides Mate. There is so much pastry, bread type stuff that seems to be the mainstay here.  I am getting better at cooking. It is really expensive to buy healthy. I have though about what Dad said he used to eat all the time with rice. Tomato sauce and eggs and cheese. Yep.. Thats how is goes!  I eat a lot of oranges and try to just eat as healthy as I can. It is lot of carbs, but all is well. That idea with the sheets actually would be great. (sew two sheets together as an insert for his sleeping bag so he could have clean sheets to sleep in!) I think you are freakishly able to discern people’s needs. It really is not human. (Haha).  My shoes and everything else are holding up well. I am planning on washing my sleeping bag here by hand next week or something. I want it to be hot so it will dry fast. But it is not a big deal. It is going to be really hot soon and I am pretty sure I will not be wanting anything. It is very humid. I am not expecting the package until next week the Elders say it takes a good month at the very least. I can send stuff quicker to you but once it gets here they have to bus it to our zone... the zone leaders pick it up once a week and so it is just kind of a slow process. Don’t worry though I am living the dream and doing great. I hope those pictures I sent are okay. We were walking this Sunday to pick up some investigators and I saw that sign about the men working and thought that I had to take a picture with that. It was pretty funny. I sure love you Mom. Thank you so much for all you do. Thank you for your prayers... support …and overall everything. Thank you for your journal and letter.  I love reading it and it is great to know what is going on. I love you Mom... With all my heart.

Mikesell... Well to be perfectly honest I don’t know how to put into words my feelings for you. I am so grateful for the bond and friendship that I have with you. As I prayed and thought about you this week I could just feel that it would be a hard week. I prayed that you would look to your Heavenly Father and realize that in time you will look back on this week with thoughts of love and gratitude.  I want to say you are a stud. I want you to know to not give up on BYU. That ACT test is not everything.  Because of your dominating other accomplishments in school like activities, sports, and all those things it is possible. Do not give up. Talk with them and work to see what you can do. I know that if Heavenly Father wants you to go there, you will go Mikesell. I wish I could talk to you on the phone also. Only like a month until we can... but know that I love you and pray for you very hard. Work hard... keep having a passion to do good in your everyday life and realize that you are bigger that sheet of paper with a number on it sitting in your room some where. Realize that in the eyes of Heavenly Father you are perfect.  Because you try to serve others and do your best. Read your Patriarchal Blessing. I have read mine over and over during this time and it has been as Dad said in the letter that he read in my call “An Anchor to my Soul” for sure. I love you Mikesell. You are amazing and have faith and hope. Go to work and don’t look back. You can do anything. Stay close to the family and enjoy your time with them I hope to get your letter tomorrow. Love you sis. I miss you too. Keep at it and we will be ¨playing frisbee in the park¨ together in no time. Good luck with the end of the trimester tests!

Brennen the Handsome one:
Dude.. Congrats on the baskeball team!! I am so pumped for you. Enjoy the great times buddy. Keep at it! Who is your coach? If you said in your email I will read it tonight. I prayed for you a lot and am so happy for you! Enjoy the time with the team and work your hardest. Don‘t be afraid to step out there first on the court when coach calls for volunteers. You are the man Stud!!  I love you. Go get em. Keep in the Book of Mormon!! Good luck with your trimester tests.

Alex - Hey man how is life? Sounds like you killed it in the tournament last weekend. That is a lot of points!  You got to tell me about your buddies… Your skills... everything!! I love you man. I hope you know that. Keep on keeping on. I hope that you have a great week. I am excited to hear of your success this year in AAU and then onto school ball! I love you. Keep up the good work. How is that white hat?

Harrison the Energetic. How are you buddy? It sounds like you are starting to learn how to read with perfection. What a stud! I sure love you and  I am excited to see some pictures of you. Keep being happy and smiling. How is your class? Do you have lots of friends? How is scouts?

McCall - You are such an angel. I love you so much. I hope that you had a great week. Sounds like you are starting to read really well also. BIG KISS for you. I hope that you are doing great. Are you excited to eat lots of turkey and do all those fun things?

Well my family.  All is well here. I love you all and will continue to bust it each day. May Heavenly Fathers richest blessings be yours. I sent a letter to Papa last week. but please send my love for his birthday. I love each of you so much. Keep being happy and know that hard times make us better.

I love you!

Elder Clegg