Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 19, 2011

                             Austin's companion, Austin, Mission President and his wife

Hello the people that I love the most!

How are you? Thank you so much for your letters last week! I printed them off and just loved them. Mom thank you so much for you journal entries – I treasure them.

I just skimmed through and found saw some questions that I will try and answer quickly in this letter so you don’t have to wait a week. I am also sending some pictures with this email. It is my third computer so I hope it works ha-ha. So food here consists of bread, pasta, and meat. It is crazy because I have not seen a single green piece of food I swear. We have lunch with members about 4 times a week which is so nice!  We shop and cook for ourselves the rest of the time. We usually don’t really eat a big dinner. I have had pasta, eggs, sandwiches, cereal etc. I bought a whole bunch of veggies so I am excited to eat those this week. It is just being creative with the food. Mikesell - send all mail to the mission home address. The one that Bishop had put on those cards is exactly right. I printed out your emails and will read them after I am done typing. I am excited for that. Dad - I imagine this place is very much like Spain, like a lot. They are very liberal in their morals. Everyone kisses everyone on the cheek. I can’t believe the “lack of marriage” here. To find a family with a married Mom and Dad is very rare so far. I want to tell you about a tender mercy I had this week. On Thursday, I was having a hard day, sometimes you just feel overwhelmed when you don’t understand anything. But lo and behold we were out talking to people and we came in contact with a man who spoke English. It was so nice to just say what I wanted to say. Of course he said “No young man I am 55 and I don’t want to change” but that was just part one. Three houses down the road an awesome person opened the door and was really kind with us. Turns out he works for the Special Olympics, which just happened to be in Idaho like two years ago. He had been to Sun Valley and he even toured Temple Square. He is hard core Catholic but had a lot of respect for the church and got emotional talking to us. So we will keep trying with him. We have five investigators with baptismal dates right now. If one of those actually happens that will be legit! The branch here relies heavily on the nearby town of Mar Del Plata. There is only like three worthy married priesthood holders max. A lot of the members are older widowed or divorced women. It is really sad. There are a few youth and we work with them a lot. The missionaries are a huge part of the Branch here. I spoke (attempted to speak) on Sunday. The language is really hard. But I will get it. I have gained a lot of perspective and feel much better than I did before. Thank you for your prayers - they work. It really is amazing. Please tell the Williams family thank you for the letter. I really appreciated it. Also, please tell Trish I got her email as well. I love mail.  I am told anyone can email me - I just can not reply via email unless they are family. I have a great exercise routine and that helps me a lot. We run to the ocean. It is like 15mins away and then I do 60 push ups, 2 min of core, 2 min wall sits, or lunges and all that good stuff. The branch here really is kind. They need more families with worthy priesthood holders really bad. I will try to send pictures every week. Thanks Mom for your pictures. I love them so much. Thank heavens for that awesome phone huh?
Dad - Thanks for you email. I am so glad you and Trei found Miramar on Google Earth.
Mom – It is like you said - Mate is everywhere!!! We don’t drink it thankfully. It is a really big deal here.  The branch actually reminds me somewhat of Stanley.
Mikesell - I did not really get to read your email yet but I will. I love you dearly!!
Brennen - Stud muffin How is High School? I bet you are just rocking it!
Alex - Thanks for the update. 1 point huh man. Classic - love you!!
Harrison - How are you stud!!  I sure love you bud. Pray for you always.
McCall - That flag picture Mom sent of you with the flags is so cute! That belongs on a magazine.

         (I put pic in so you would know what he is talking about...-acc)
Well, this week I thought a lot about the scripture in Alma 29 the first three verses. I know that feeling now. This gospel is so awesome. I am so very happy. I miss you all but am very grateful. I can see that the time is going to fly. I have to work with urgency. I will learn Spanish. I have no doubt. I just need patience. Family - you are my inspiration and are in my heart always. I work hard because I want others to have the blessings of family and Gospel that I have. Mikesell -yes we are always together in sprit and it is the same with all of you. I think of you and what you are doing. I pray for each of you individually every night and morning. With a vengeance. I have such a testimony of prayer. You all better get to work because I will be home tomorrow if this keeps up. We both gotta make it “the best two years”!! Brennen I sent your birthday letter today. I hope it gets there on time. Oh yeah, Mom you can send stuff via pouch (letters) they just get here slower I think. Well - God bless you all. Tell Grandma and Grandpa Crouch I love them and Grandpa and Grandma Clegg. Wow and have fun at the BYU game this week if you end up going. How great for Courtney to be put in Hall of Fame as a runner for BYU.  Please send pictures. What an experience that will be. Love you all.
Love your son  & brother
Elder Clegg. 

September 14, 2011
SURPRISE so when my companion left for Bahia he did not get to email his family this week. Now we are back in Miramar and he got permission to email. He is our District Leader so he gave me permission to email also!  I was pumped to send pictures but to our dismay this particular computer is not reading my camera. But I though I would write anyway. Thank you all so much for your emails. They really helped me. I also got an email from Rachelle and Libby. I can only write family so tell them I loved there letters and I will write them. I also got Papa’s letter I loved it. I will email him back.
It sounds like the family is doing really well. I pray so hard for all of you. I really feel the blessings of your prayers. The last couple of days I have gained a lot of perspective on why I am here and have been able to realign my focus. The mountain I must climb is Spanish. But I am trying to have an attitude of gratitude and just bust it everyday. Have you found Miramar yet? It is a lot like Stanley but bigger and more not America. Dad - You and Mom talked about America and Sept 11.  I am so glad Papa did the flags at Crossroads this year. I would like to help him with that when I get back. USA is truly the best. How blessed we are to live in America!! Today I was able to talk to our zone leaders and it was nice to get perspective they are way nice. I think that this time is going to fly I must work hard. Papa talked about the importance of Baptism and I can really see that is why I am here.  I must be bold! But first I must be able to talk!! ha-ha!! Ï will send pictures next week. It is very pretty here I quite enjoy being so close to the sea.  Mikesell, Brennen, and Alex - what studs way to run hard - that is so awesome!! The picture Mom sent of you three at the same meet was so great!  Sounds like you all ran with heart. I love it. I love you all so much. I ache for you but I know with time we can do this and I will be able to work hard and then before you know it we will be together again. Mikesell - so cool about that concert with Dad!! What a fun surprise! LeAnn Rimes – I bet that was so great!  Awesome. Dad - good job!!  Oh I was going to ask also a favor. So we can not use the iPod I brought because appearantly it has video capacity - even though there are no videos on it and I couldn’t put them on if I tried - I had to give it to President. It had all my church music on it.  So, if with the backpacking pillow you send for Christmas if you could find a really cheap of old iPod laying around and fill it with a whole bunch of awesome church music like most. David Tolk, EFY, Paul Cardel - that would be awesome. Really cheap though and I will be totally fine if it doesn’t work. I know Rachelle said that she had some awesome mission music so maybe you could get a hold of her flash drive. 

(pic via Mom)
The meet in Burley / Cottonwood  this week huh/. I hope you are all helping Mom this week a lot.  Dad  - I hope that the Fish is going well. I am sure it is so pretty right now.
I love each of you so much. May you be blessed always every day!! You are always in my heart. I glued a family picture of you in my scriptures so you are always with me.  I know that this work - it is a work of love. I am doing this because I love you all; I love God and I love Gods Children. When we focus our lives on Christ all things are better. That is why we have such awesome lives!!

Story time- I want to tell you about a family in our branch Diego and Sol they were just baptized they are so nice; they live in such a humble place. When we taught our Gospel Principle class to them it was about temples and they want to go so bad. Diego looks like a Native American with really long hair. We tried to baptize / teach his mom and she would have none of it.  We are trying to find a lot more people to teach. There is like 200 non actives here.  It is like trying to be a JW in Provo. Lots of Evangelicals and Catholics. They don’t much care for us. But we care for them and so does God and we will have success here. I know it!! My companion is awesome and is super good. I am really trying to master my Spanish and then I can dominate with him.  Well - Dad I love you!! Mom – I Love you! Mikesell  -I loveyou so much!  Brennen - I love you!! Alex – I love you!! Harrison - I love you!! McCall - I love you!!

God bless you always!
Love you brother and son,
Elder Austin

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