Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Austin Enters MTC and the FIRST Letter We Receive

Saturday July 9, 2011
Hola mi Familia!
I won't write this whole letter in Spanish even though I probably could:) Ok ,so I am very much kidding about that. I will just tell you a little bit about my experience here so far. All of the Elders here suggest that your family sends you letters via That way I have time to actually reply via email on my p-day. There is an MTC icon appearantly. When I go out to Argentina you just specify "Bahia Blanca Argentina Mission" on the options.
Mikesell, thank you for your letter. I got it yesterday and it meant the world to me. Mom, thank you for the letter you sent with me, it also has been a great comfort. I miss you all very much, but I want you to know that I have never been happier. The day that I arrived seems like a long time ago, but they showed me my room and I met my companion, Elder Tapia from Benson, AZ he is a excellent person and we get along great. The second we walked in the classroom the only thing they would speak is espanol, that is the way that is will always be, except on some very rare occasions.  I love my district and get along well with them. My roomamtes are Elder Patterson and Elder Koeven, both from UT. They are great. I have especially loved personal study time. We get quite alot of it. I also so love my teachers, they are exactly who I want to become during this process. The first day also consited of several workshops teaching investagators as a group. I love gym time so much, it is great to clear your head. Within my first five minutes here I saw Easton, Adam, Garth, Colton Grange, Colton Pitcher, and have seen so many BYU buddies since then. It  is like I am still walking around the Helaman campus. It has been a blessing to see them and they have been very kind to me.We met with the Branch president on Thursday and that was a great blessing. He reminds me alot of Grandpa Crouch. The first thing he told us was to stop using the word "guys" I am grateful that I was somewhat prepared for that. I have recieved the calling of District Leader. It has been very humbling and I am going to have to work very hard. We aready have a young man who is trying to deciede weather or not to stay here or not. Keep him in your prayers. I have felt each of your prayers and am so grateful for the blessing that I have recieved.  I apologize for any typing errors, I am trying to crank it all out in the short time that I have. I hope that I am not missing anything. My normal pday will be on Friday but we get a half day today.  I will share with you a few of the things that I have learned in my time here. I have learned that everything that I do as a missionary is about bringing people to Christ, member or nonmember.  That is what my purpose is. When people come closer to Christ they are filled with happiness and that is what life is all about is being happy! I can not tell you how much I have thought about that. I am grateful for each of your happy examples. Keep it up.  I pray for each of you everyday and night and can not tell you how much I have felt your prayers. I challenge you to countinue to grow closer to Christ. Tell the Redfish family hello and that I love them.  Dad, I love you. Mom, I love  you. Mikesell, I love you, Brennen, I love you, Alex, I love you, Harrison, I love you, McCall, I love you.
God bless and I will talk to you next Friday! Thanks for the letters and I love getting them. Vaya con Dios!
Elder Clegg

July 6, 2011  (written by Mom)
Wow...the fastest four minutes of my entire life. We had driven down from Redfish to Jerome on Tuesday July 5 in the nick of time to meet with the Stake President to get Austin set apart. The setting apart was amazing and it was a humbling experience to be a part of. My parents were there... (Arlen and Derrel Crouch) at the Stake Presidents home as well as all of our family. His 5 blond tan brothers and sisters watched as Austin was ordained a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was quite an experience. After his setting apart, the Stake President asked Jeff to give Austin a fathers blessing in the morning before going to the MTC. He then turned to Austin and asked Austin to give his Mother a blessing in the morning before going into the MTC. It was a very spiritual experience.
We then drove on to Provo and stayed in a hotel. The last few hours with your son are full of emotion...hard to keep focus and hard to stay strong. In the morning breakfast together was quiet...and meaningful. A lady in the lobby of breakfast came up to Austin wanting to talk to him "you just have such a radiant missionary look"...of coarse I start to tear up. The mantel of a missionary had already taken place. We got packed and ready to leave and then Jeff gave Austin a fathers blessing in the hotel room.  Then Austin gave me a blessing (Mom) some things you will never forget...
We went to the mall to eat lunch and get the last of Mr Mac things. We were warned about the drop off and pulled into a grassy area to take pictures and organize the last things in his suitcase. Then the drive to the MTC. We pull up and they put a post it note on your windsheild telling you which place to pull up to. You begin the drive and it all of a sudden feels like an airport. People loading and unloading. But as you look closer, you see missionaries everywhere....happy ones...with smiles on their faces.  The doors fly open on your car and your missionaries luggage begins to get taken from the car. The hugs goodbye start...they hurt...its know you aren't suppose to linger... they take your luggage and they take your missionary. Austin gave his hugs to each of us...looking back several times at dear Mikesell.  As luggage was in the other Elders hands, Austin begins to walk away...squared shoulders...walking tall...ready to begin the next two years.
As we drive away from the MTC you have to drive the whole length of the MTC. You then pass 200 missionaries who look like the happiest people on the planet. They wave to you with bright happy faces and loving looks on their faces. It was then I realized..."How could I ever wish Austin not to have an experience like this!?" I got most definately will be the best two years.

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