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

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