Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

The four of us Elders- the ones all crammed into our one bedroom house! haha

"Give a little more effort!!!"
Hello my dear ones!
I hope that you are all having an awesome Monday!

Letters From:
Libby Baum- Thanks so much for the letter and postcard Libby. I got a kick out of it. I hope that life is awesome. I am sure that it is. Sounds like you have some really fun classes. Have a great week. I will get a letter off to you as soon as I can! Thanks so much Libby, you are awesome.
The Bingham Family- Thank you so much for your Christmas card!! I hope that all is well. Thank you for all you do for me and my family. Thinking of you…
Emails from:
Grandma Crouch- I am so looking forward to reading your email tonight. Thank you so much! I love you and am so grateful for your influence in my life. I am so grateful for you!
Grandma Clegg- I am getting your emails wonderfully. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful week. I appreciate you taking the time to write.  I love you.
Ethan Lopez- I am excited to get your letter Ethan. You are the man. Thanks for taking the time to write. Love you bro. I hope life is going well for you…I think of you often and our good times!
Elder Lott- SO glad to hear you are doing better. You are in my prayer! Thank you for the update. Go teach some families in good old Jtown. I love you bro. Hang in there. God is going to bless you like crazy. Thank you for your example. I am rooting for you big time!
And of course the faithful family! Thank you to each of you!!!
The pictures are of the baptisms last Saturday.

 The first is of Yael , then Guissermo, then his family!   It was a really neat experience. Yael asked me if I could confirm him and it was a very humbling and spirtual time.  The coolest thing about working with Yael has been to see his family come back to church. I hope that they can stay.

We found a Grandma of Gold this week. Her name is Marta and she is 65. We found her name in some old records and went to visit her. She is very kind and went to the baptisms and wants to be baptized. If all goes well and we do our part she should be baptized in two Saturdays. Lisbet will be baptized this Saturday! She is also very prepared to change and better her life. I can’t remember if I told you but her family has a resort here. It has been really cool to relate our life with her Family.  It is really pretty. They have a polo field surrounded by sunflower fields it is gorgeous. It is fun to walk out there to teach her.
Heavenly Father is blessing Miramar right now. This family from Mar del Plata, called the Beloqui family is something else. I mentioned about them in last weeks letter. They come down every Wednesday and just go out with us. They are working miracles here. I love them so much. Sister Beloqui brings us food every Wednesday and they really are just 5 star people. I am so glad to be able to learn from them. They are awesome!!
So some funny stories of the week:
The first: Elder Yarger and I were walking down a street that we always walk down. We went to turn a corner and a big black German Sheppard was lying down. I teasingly said, ¨I fear no German Sheppard¨ and started to walk on ¨his little patch of lawn”. Usually the German Sheppard’s here are pretty nice. Elder Yarger apparently has more dog sense then me and he started to walk in the middle of the street. I was looking at the dog as I turned the corner and it started to look like it was going to cough or something, then I realized that is was more of a lion like growl in its throat. I started to maybe fear this German Sheppard a little - but I was too late. They dog stood up and started charging me. I literally yelled and stuck out my black scripture bag like a bull fighter straight out in front of me. It bit my scripture bag and I ran to the other street. Elder Yarger was nearly dead he was laughing so hard.  I have a lot more respect for German Sheppard’s now, but it was good to use my quick reflex muscles for a minute. That is just a funny little story made us laugh and helped better the attitude of the day.
Also this week I was praying after my morning run upstairs by our window and I felt something on my back. I thought it was just an Elder teasing me and I didn’t do anything. Two seconds later Elder Holmquist who is Elder Cohesions comp came up the stairs and said ¨Elder Clegg, there is a bird on your back! ¨I jumped a little and the bird flew off outside again.
So I guess thinking back I had some experiences with “nature” this week. Good memories.
I can´t tell you how much I loved the story of Alex and Elder Lott. That is really touching... I really appreciate it.
This is what I wrote to Austin in my weekly letter and this is the story of Alex/Elder Lott:       
Here is the scoop on Elder Lott: So he came home from London, England on Thursday to SLC. They came home to Jerome on Friday night after Dr. appts.  Long story short...he has an anyurism (probably born with it) which is like a bubble in a garden hose in your vein. In that bubble...a blood clot has formed. They will test him again in few months for a blood disease. (clotting)  He has had to give himself shots in his stomach. (he hates needles) In a couple of days he will switch to blood thinner pills. After a few weeks if all goes well he will most likely be re-assigned to a stateside mission and to be close to a hospital for tests and treatment. He has not been released as a missionary and Andy/Annette are his companions. We saw him today at church. He looks so great...but we all know he doesn't want to be here... he wants to be on that mission!!! It’s heart breaking actually. We are all doing the same old stuff ~ he has bigger fish to fry ~ and he knows It ~ we know it ~ but I suppose you can’t do that if your health is not there. We are praying for him like crazy. Today (Sunday) was the sweetest... Alex passed the sacrament and afterwards was trying to come and sit by the family... we were in the middle of the row and hard to get to. Alex chose to sit on the Lotts row in front of us. He sat about 4 seats away space from Payson. Alex looked back at Mikesell after he sat down. Mikesell and I were motioning him to go scoot down and sit by Elder Lott (Payson). Alex was being shy and the look on his face was no...”I’m too shy”.  However upon realizing that Alex was there...Elder Lott motioned for Alex to "Come sit by me!!". As then Alex slid down next to Payson. Payson reached his arm around Alex and pulled him into his side. They visited quietly for a few moments. Even more touching was Payson left his arm around Alex for a long time. Like probably 20 minutes. It was so sweet. It meant the world to Alex. Payson has got that "missionary glow" and he has “love” radiating from him like crazy. Alex said to us in the car on the way home… “Payson is the coolest ever” – which translates to “I love Payson....and that meant the world to me that he showed so much kindness to me”. We pray for his quick healing that he can return to what his heart desires!!
I read a quote from Elder Eyring this week that says ¨I  can´t be a perfect servant every hour, but I can try to give more effort that I thought that I could¨.¨
That is my mission statement for my mission. I know I can not be a perfect missionary, but I can always do just that one more effort every day.
It sounds like you are all doing really well. I am so glad. I can’t tell you how much I love to come check email on Monday and hear from all of you. I feel so blessed to hear you are all doing well!!
Dad- I am glad that you were able to go get the “plan in place”.  Enjoy your time away with Mom!! Hailey sounds like a great place to get away to. Lots of planning to do for Redfish I am sure. Thank you for the update on the kids and on the politics also. Sounds pretty dirty... what a surprise!? I hope that you have a great week Dad. I sure miss you. I love you so much and am so grateful for you example in my life. I love you Dad!!
Mom- Thank you for your letter last week Mom. I have re-read it many times. You talked about leadership. One thing I learned at BYU is that it is lonely at the top. To be a leader you do have to stand for what is right, not what is popular. They more the kids do that- the more success they will have. You are so sweet to me in your letters. Your words are very humbling. I loved your note card idea! You have a lot of insight and the more you share that insight with others…the better! I love you so much Mom. You are truly an Angel. I hope that you have a very productive week. Thank you for your service for everyone. Enjoy your time in Hailey with Dad! You coming home Tuesday? You bless the lives of everyone who knows your name.
Mikesell: I love your stories and I am excited to read them all tonight. I can’t tell you how often I think about what a blessing you are in my life. I really miss you Mikesell. Thank you for your prayers. I hope that you can make a decision based on whatever is best for you for college. Both schools are really great. You will do awesome. I sure love you Sis. Go conquer the world and know that you also influence so many. - And be nice to those missionaries’ cars!! Ha-ha that is really funny. (Mikesell backed into a car while at lunch with her friends…left a note…got a phone call from the owner of the car…it was the missionaries! They said it was nothing…not to worry about it!)
Brennen- Sounds like you had a killer game man!! Good work. Are you enjoying ball? I hope that all is well with everything. I love you man so much and you are such a great example to me. I hope that you have a great week. Keep smiling and attacking people on the court. You are a winner! Glad you got a chance to go skiing! What a nice thing of the Holyoaks!
Alex- Whats up bro? Thanks for your email. Sounds like things are good. I miss you buddy. Keep making good decisions and being a leader “on and off” the court. Your potential like everyone in the family, is huge. Go after it and get the vision of your life!
Harrison- Hey man, sounds like you a defensive stopper! That is great. I hope that school is going well for you. I love you so much Harrison!  You are such stud. Keep doing good things and remember the Harry way. Who has treats for FHE tonight? Mom says you will be getting some braces soon for the old teeth huh?
McCall- Hey baby! Sounds like you are working the Mom taxi system! You are something else. Are you ready for you birthday? Tomorrow I send your letter. You should get it in time. I sure love you Cally. You are so special to me.
Well my family - We move forward through life trying to do our best and giving thanks for what we have. This week I really missed you all at different times. But I am really happy and living the dream. I want this mission to change my natural man forever. I know I can give more.
May you all have an awesome week!! I love you all so much.
Elder Clegg


Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

Live up to Your Potential!!!

Letters this week from:

Rachelle Miller- (Nanny) Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and sweet words. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying married life and that you are living happily. Thank you so much for your example. You are the best. I love ya.
Emails from:

Grandma and Grandpa Clegg- I got both of your emails! Thank you so very much. It is such a treat to hear how all of you are doing. I hope that all the computer problems were able to be solved. I love you both more than I can say. Your examples speak so highly of the blessings of Gospel Living. May you continue to be blessed. Have a great week and stay warm and dry!

Aunt Julie- Thank you so much for the inspiring letter. Thank you for sharing the story about the young missionary in the ward. Missions are not easy in the least and often times missionaries do feel like there isn’t a soul out there that wants to listen. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is still true. Thank you for your testimony. Please tell all the girls I love them and to keep being superstars in all the things they do! I will try to send a little Argentina sun your way. Love you Aunt Julie.

Cass!- Hey Squirt... Thanks so much for the address. I will be dropping a note in your direction. Yes, I remember very well the feeling of leaving and all the farewells and friends leaving. It is a bitter sweet time. I hope that you and Ash and Sadie are rocking life at BYU. I love you very much. Hope you are enjoying your hamsters every Sunday night. Have a great week and keep living the dream. Love you Cousin!
And of course the mighty faithful Residents of 380 East... haha!!  Thank you all very much for your letters!! I feel the prayers of everyone and am so grateful for the wonderful people that I have been blessed to know. You are all my inspiration...
Well, I can picture what this last week was like for all of you in my head. I remember the winter weeks filled with endless Basketball games, late nights, and busy times. It sounds like everyone is doing really well in school and that everyone is progressing nicely. Sounds like you have gotten a lot of rain / snow!

This week was pretty great week. I seriously love my new companion a ton! We laugh a lot but work a lot too. It is quite a change with four in our house now, but we are getting along. We have been like this for a week now. Today I went to a least four rent places and all of them said to come back in March. This place is like the Disneyland of Argentina sometimes. There are so many tourists here for the summer!!

I am trying to think of some of the highlights of the week and the first one that came to my mind is this one...
 Last Monday our appointment for an investigator fell through and so we were knocking doors and doing the normal “plan b” things. We walked past a house that I recognized from a few months back, and I realized that it was the house where Gaston, the twelve year old boy that was killed had lived in. (Burglers broke into his home when he was home alone and killed him) I recognized it because they had police outside for several weeks. We walked by and at first I was a little tentative to knock on the door. But then I said to my companion "We are going to try something a little bold here¨. So we knocked on the door and out came Gaston’s Father. We talked to him for a while and at first I played dumb... then we got talking about Gaston and he got very emotional. We asked him if we could come in and say a prayer with them and they let us. We taught a little about the Plan of Salvation and it was a really emotional time for all of us. We invited them to Church and set a return appointment. She was just leaving for the city and they didn’t come to church this last Sunday, but we are going to pass by them some more. More than anything it was just really humbling to enter that house and feel the pain that they were going through. I hoped we helped them in some way. They seemed really grateful and were very emotional. Your prayers in their behalf are much appreciated.

This week should be a great one. Gishermo and Yeal are getting baptized . Gishermo is a man of gold. He cries every Sacrament Meeting and is so humble. His wife passed away last August and he suffered a stroke and is recovering well. It is cool to see because we found him through street contacting his son. Elder Ochsibein and Elder Holmquist our teaching him now since there are four of us now we have divided our investigators, but I feel a lot of love for him. Yeal´s family is slowly reactivating also. It is great to see the change in his family. We also found “Lisette” this week. She is 23 and has a three year old kid who is just awesome. She is in the divorce process - which is rare here. Normally they just stay married if they separated and they having a court case over the children. She is very humble and we taught her all the lessons in one week. Her date is for the 11th but she is progressing so well and so we may change it to sooner. It is great to see some success and we are excited for the future. Alejandro will not quit smoking, mostly I just think it is because his heart really is not too much into this but hopefully it will change. We fasted for him and helped him with a plan and a goal and he is working with the members. Desires are powerful and can be good or bad.

We had interviews with President Defletson this week. (Mission President)  It was so awesome. He talked to us for two hours before the interviews but it felt like two minutes. I just soak up every word from him. I love him so much. He is a very inspired person and I love the things he talks about. I will never forget the things that he has taught me.

Some fun things about this week. Contacting two men on horse back in the street. Elder Yarger loves horses.
Elder Yarger and I in our matching "get ups" to go exercise

We also had a branch activity and I taught the branch how to play “signs”. The cousins would be proud!!  (It was taught with great difficulty!) I died laughing because we were playing with four elderly women and to watch them try to play and remember everything was just too much. Oh man -I will never forget that. I was crying. I wish you all could have seen it.

We got a new mission leader from Mar del Plata and their family is so awesome. He sacrifices so much for us. He comes down all day each Wednesday just to do visits and help us. He knows what it means to honor covenants. I love their family and I am going to have a very hard time saying goodbye to them some day.

All four of us gave talks this Sunday and it went well. I talked on President Monsons message and the ABC´s (Pretty great Brennen huh!? :)

Please send my love to the Lott’s and I will keep Elder Lott in my prayers. I hope that all is well... What a strange thing to happen. (Austins dear friend from Jerome is serving in England and has a blood being sent to SLC for testing this week) I did not see it coming at all. Please keep me posted.

Out Mission President has challenged us to memorize one scripture a day. It has really helped with my teaching and my study of the scriptures. I am really learning the importance of studying the scriptures for our investigators to apply in thier lives.

I hope that you time in Utah today goes well and that the roads are all dry. That is great that you are going to Logan. It is really good to keep your options open for Mikesell and to have a second route. I hope that you are able to have a great week and do the things that you would like to do. I sure miss you Dad. But I am very grateful for this time. Thank you for the revelation and ideas that you receive each day to guide us kids. I think back on the one-on-ones we have had, the interviews with each of us kids, and moments like that...Those types of experiences are what keeps a family strong and centered in Christ. Thank you Dad. Have a wonderful week. You are looking great in all your pictures!   You are the man. Hey what’s up with Romney? Apparently there was a newspaper article down here about it?? I love you! Have the best week of your life!

Hey there Sunshine- It sure is great to get your emails!! I loved what you said about “leadership” and I look forward to reading more tonight. Sounds like you had a good week filled with a lot of ¨things¨. I am glad to hear that you were able to stick to the basics and your ¨guns¨ through all of the games and hectic schedules. I don’t know how you keep it all together…you are amazing! I loved hearing how you are playing the piano a lot. That is a great blessing. To answer some of your questions - Yes I am feeling great - No, I still have not found my scriptures. I ordered some here from the mission office so no worries about anything. I will be fine and I am grateful for the experience. Mom - I sure love you so much. I hope that all is well for you. Hope you get that get-away with Dad soon! Thank you so much for your prayers. Keep up the great work! I love you Mom!  You are the best!!  (-Just got your email back to me in response about Romney- Thank you so much for your update! Your phone telling you when you get an email comes in handy!)

Sounds like you are keeping busy but happy! I hope that Logan / Utah State recruiting today goes really well. Good to keep your options open until you hear from BYU. What a long day for you and Dad! Leave at 4am! What a great time to spend with Dad. I hope that everything is going well for you. You are in my prayers and thank you so much for your goals you sent for the New Year. I loved them. Have a a wonderful week and keep up with the good work. You are my hero. I miss you a ton. We are never far in spirit. God bless you sis. Watch an Andy Griffith Show for me when you have time…?

Brennen- Hey you stud muffin. I enjoyed hearing about Seminary.   Absorb every bit – it is truly a wonderful time of life. Those are the best moments of the school day.  You are blessed to have such an awesome teacher! Mikesell says the same thing in her letters. Jerome is blessed to have such a great man!! Mom told me about the Fireside. That sounds like a very great broadcast. I love Elder Packard. Thanks for sharing those ABCs from President Monson’s Message. I hope that you are enjoying the basketball life!! Some of those days you get tired of the same things but work hard and enjoy your time with the team and play hard. Did you read that talk this last week from the Priesthood session? Has Mikesell taken you out to lunch lately? I think you two should go to El Sombrero this week. That place is good and they have cheap burritos. Good luck with your games this week - it sounds like everything is going well. Keep smiling and naming 5 Things you are grateful for every day. You have loads of potential so go kill it man! Thanks for being my bro.

Alex- Hey stud muffin how is your life? Thanks for your email I love hearing from you. I hope that you have a really great week! I miss you buddy. Keep doing good stuff. How is your calling? Are you being a good Deacons Pres? You pulling straight A´s? Good luck on the court this week. I love you bro. Keep being  a stud and treating people like you want to be treated. That will bring you more success then any thing else in you life. Love you Alex! Drop 30 for me this week!

Harrison- Man I just love you so much. I miss you buddy. I loved the picture of your bball team that Mom sent. I hope that you are having fun. Have a great week and good job on your reading. You are doing awesome!! Less TV and more books means a world of success. I love you Harrison!! Thanks for your prayers.

McCall- Hey you old 6 year old! I will send you birthday letter tomorrow. Hopefully it will get there by your birthday Valentines girl! I hope that you had a good week. Sounds like you are doing really well in school. Thata girl! I loved your bball picture Mom sent.  I sure love you Cally. Keep being awesome and dong good things. Give all the siblings a big KISS for me.

I love you all and am so grateful for your examples. I challenge you to live to your potential. I know that we can do more and we can at the same time have gratitude for the blessing and abilities we have. That is how you dominate life. Please send my love to all. Have the best week ever!


Elder Austin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan 16, 2012

My New Companion from the MTC, Me, The Elder that trained me when I got to Argentina

Letters from:
The Lloyd Family- Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness. You are so thoughtful. The candy was much appreciated. I love you all and thank you for your example and kindness.

Bishop Brett Thompson- Thank you so much for your letter!!  I appreciated it so very much!  Be looking in the mail for a return. I hope all is well. Love you all!!

Sister Norma Bartholomew- Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and I enjoyed remembering those times at Jefferson. Thank you for being such a wonderful example to me.

Emails from-

Lindsay Hayes- Thank you very much for your email Lindsay. I look forward to reading it. I am glad you got the letter. I hope that school is going really well. Thank you for your example and I will write soon. Have a great week. You are great. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting to tell you that I met and am friends with an Elder Oldham here who went to Madison and knows you.

Crystal Cox- You are like the best cousin ever! Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to write me. I loved hearing about your testimony building experiences and the wonderful time Dani had at the temple. That is so neat. What a wonderful experience.

Happy Birthdays this week to Dani- the newly wed, Grandpa Clegg, and Sharee!!

Grandpa Clegg- I hope that you have a wonderful day and are able to feel how loved you are and the influence for good you have had on so many. I love you and you will continue to be in my every prayer! Happy Birthday!

It was an awesome week this week. It was really fun to travel to Bahia Blanca (5 hours + away)  and see some of the country side of Argentina and meet some new Elders. We got back on Thursday and we had a successful week since then. So my new companions name is Elder Joshua Yarger. He is from Casper, Wyoming. He has roots in Grace, Idaho on his Moms side, their names are Don and Julie Reno. I figured I would try my luck!? He is awesome and we have a lot in common, things like we both can´t speak Spanish and we are both white... haha! no just kidding!  Actually this week has been awesome!!  I have gained a lot more confidence with my Spanish. I will ask a question and then I will get an answer right bacl. I was quite shocked the first time. So things are getting better! I still mess up a ton but I am so grateful of this opportunity. Elder Yargers family are big cattle ranchers and it has been really fun to get to know him. He has some big desires to work and so we will do awesome!
This week Yeal, the son of a less active progressed a lot. He will be baptized the 28th of January. We are working with his Grandma’s boyfriend to get him to quit smoking. He keeps coming to church so he just needs to get the desire. Right now I don’t know if he is doing this because he wants to change or wants to get married. Prayers work though.
So I was humbled this week in more than one way. When we got back from Bahia Blanca it was 1 or 2am. We grabbed our stuff and then headed for another hour bus ride to Miramar and got here at like 3:30 in the morning. We woke up and at 8 when I went to start my personal study I opened my backpack and saw that my scriptures were gone. I panicky checked my other bag and then remembered that they were on the bus in Mar Del when we arrived. But my old companion had loaned our phone to other elders to call a taxi and they had left with our phone…. so their was no way to call the terminal. Two days later my companion’s luggage came here to Miramar. (the poor guy was in the same clothes for four days) and the finally the phone. We then called the terminal and the zone leaders and they cannot find it. Today I called 75 percent of their terminals between here and Bahia Blanca and no one has it. My guess is it is still on the bus or someone now has the Book of Mormon… which is a good thing. But these scriptures were special for a couple reasons. One I had a photo of you all taped inside and I also had a leather case made for the outside. Really pretty. And I have every single scripture marked in Lesson Three from Preach my Gospel, so it was my life line.... I prayed a ton and now I would like to tell you how Heavenly Father answered those prayers.

First off, I was able to remember the famous “Box Story” from Grandma Crouch when she was on her mission in Washington DC... that helped me a lot... Second off, two days ago I was making room for the luggage that we have. Our house is so full now with four Elders here and I found a box. As I looked through the box I found a old scripture bag just like the one that my scriptures were in. As I searched through it I found a sheet of paper with all of the exact same scripture references on it that I had in my scriptures. It was just a little tender mercy of Heavenly Father saying... you might not get your scriptures back, but you can still go to work. I am still hoping some how I find those bad boys some how. I don’t quite have the same luck that I had in BYU - there when if I left my scriptures someone would call me within a day telling me they had them!! I guess I wore out my luck then..!?  And we also found a member with a cousin who is a realitor who probably has a house for us. We just won’t be able to move in until March, but we will take it and we are still looking.  It was a really neat week. I really loved the conference and with the new Elders it was just excellent and I really learned a lot.

I know that as a missionary if you forget yourself, the Lord remembers you.

I am so glad to hear that you all had a great time at Dani´s wedding! The picture looked great and I am very happy for the Putnams. What a great day! Thank you Mom and Dad for your wonderful emails and I am very excited to read them. I actually wrote Payson a letter today....I hope they find out what is wrong and can help him quickly! I will pray very hard for him. I hope that all goes well, tell the Lotts that I love them and they are in my prayers also!!

Dad- It sounds like you had a great but busy week. What you said was perfect --thank you so much. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity to grow. I am glad you had a good time at the wedding! Sounds like Mr. Romney could be the next candidate..... wow, I honestly didn’t believe that. That is great and I hope that he is qualified to stand up for what is right. Dad, I also prayed for you fervently this week like always. I wake up and go running and then just crave my time to pray for each one of you. I thought about the scripture in 2 Nephi 32:9 that talks about praying before you do something. I think that counsel is to help you get a vision of what you want of your day. My Mission President always talks about the word "vision" and I will forever remember him for that. I believe in the power of having a vision of your life and then going for it. God gives us what we want, if our desires our just. I love you Dad, Go make it happen Captain!

Mom-  I feel good! :) Yesterday I had a little head cold and couldn’t stop sneezing, but to day I am totally better. Don’t worry about anything. I hope that you get snow on Wednesday!  Sounds like all the kids are doing well in basketball and progressing well. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your letters and in the words of Dad your “books” to me every week. It is so nice to be able to feel what is going on at home and it is a great blessing and strength to me. I will remember it forever. I am glad you could help to the Putnam family with the wedding reception. I know they really appreciated it. I hope that you can have a really wonderful week this week. I love you beyond words. Thank you so much for all you do!!  I have just decided that gratitude is the way that I honor my family. It is quite motivating. I thought about the scripture in Helaman 5: 6-7 and also Mosiah 18: 8-10. I love you Mom. Have a great week. Keep me posted on Payson.

McCall- Hey! Thank you so much for you email. I will send you a picture of the facturas (pastries) next week... I sure love you McCall!! Your birthday is coming up soon. I hope that you had fun with the cousins at the wedding and have fun at the birthday party this week! I love you.

Harrison- Hey stud. How is life?  Thank you for your email! I just loved it. I hope that you have an awesome week buddy!! I love you so much. You are a very good kid. Keep it up!

Alex- Hey man, I hope life is well for you bro. Thanks for your email! I hope that you do well on your games this week. I love you so much Bro! Go get em. Be the man off and on the court!!

Brennen -100 percent from the three that is pretty impressive! I wish I could have seen that. Good work. I hope that your team can pull out some big wins this week and you can keep up the success. I love you so much buddy. Thank you for your example keeps being the stud you are! Have a good one.

Mikesell- Hey sugar! It sounds like a fun week you had! That is a funny story about that kid. Ha-ha. 4 months early to prom is good…? Very well prepared young man!? Mom is a wise woman to give that advise. I love you so much Mikesell. I just looked at your goals today and I will read them this week. I missed them the first week. I love you so much. You are such an Angel. I miss you. You are always in my prayers. Keep up the faith!

Well you all I love you so much. I am excited to read the emails tonight and hope that you all have a wonderful week. I love each of you so much. I miss you but am happy trying to become more Christlike in the land of Argentina. Christ lives and through him we become happy and find the peace that we need.

Heavenly Father loves all of his children!!!
Oh and Brennen and Alex your homework for the week is to read the talk by Bishop McMullan in the Priesthood conference again. I think it is called ¨The Power or the Aaronic Priesthood¨

God Speed!

Love Elder Austin

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012

Letters From:
Bryan Harper- Thanks brother!! I am glad to hear life is going well for you. It was so great to hear from you!! Keep up the good work. You the man! Great times together!!

Coach Messick- Coach!! It was so great to hear from you!  Thank you so much for the uplifting words. It is strange to think that those great times were a more than two seasons ago. I will cherish them forever. Thank you for all you have taught me. I am glad to hear that you are having success this year in basketball it sounds like. Keep it up and tell the team to go for it big!  You don’t get a second chance at it!!  Thank you Coach for influencing the lives of so many for good. It is people as you that make that real difference in others lives. Tell the team I love them and to bust it out there!  Send my love to Mrs. Messick and Mackenzie for me. Have a great rest of the season!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write!!

Cousin Cass- Oh wow is was so good to get your letter!  Thank you so much! I will write you.  Would you mind sending me the address of your dorm? I wrote a letter to your whole family… it should get there in a weekish but I would love to write you and Ash! Thank you for writing – it was so good to hear from you.

Oveson Family- I so loved the pictures! Thank you so much!  Tell everyone I love them. You are so good to me.  It is around 95 here and very hot. I am not sure if I like your weather or mine better…? Thank you!

Karen Call- SO good to hear from you Karen!  I am glad to hear of your service and thank you for the lesson you taught. You are a very gifted person and thank you so much for your example. Have a great January! Thank you for writing to me!

Sharee Jeffs- Oh so good to hear from you! Thank you for your advice. It is all so true. I am in the south part of Argentina. I hear those waterfalls are pretty sweet though. Maybe I’ll catch them in on the plane ride home…!?  Love you Sharee, thanks for reminding me to bust it!

Grandma Clegg- Your emails are so sweet. Your messages always lift me up. Thank you so much! I hope that your calling is going well. I love you and sent my love to Grandpa and Uncle Alan.

Emails from the faithful Dad, Mom, Mikesell, Brennen, Alex, McCall

Well thank you all for your emails and kind words. My Mondays are days of rededication.

This was a great week. On Friday we got the transfer call. It turns out I will be training here in Miramar. Elder Ochsinbien, my companion will be also. So we are going to have four elders now here in Miramar!! We have been the only two elders here thus far.  I am very excited about this!!  We now need to divide our investigators and bust it out. However, we have a big problem with our house because it is extremely small. I spent a big chunk of this afternoon trying to figure out how we can fit four beds upstairs and it is going to be a treat let me tell you. I am praying we can find another house to rent but as of now, everyone we says it is impossible because of all the tourists here now for the summer. But I know if we work hard and trust we can find one if it is Heavenly Fathers will. If not, then I am going to learn a lot of patience!! We go to Bahia Blanca tomorrow to pick up the brand new missionaries. I am praying I get a native Spanish speaker, but if not, well even more patience. I am grateful our Mission President has the trust in me and it really is an answer to my prayers because I want to grow, but at the same time I did not much care to leave Miramar. We had a really spiritual day yesterday in church. Guisermo is an investigator who is 75 years old. On one street we contacted his daughter and son and then we found him and it has been a miracle. He says the most sincere prayers about The Book of Mormon. He had a stroke within the last year and is just starting to get the mombility in his left side of his body. But his mind is totally there. His family is very nice and treat us kindly. He had a very good experience yesterday. He was very emotional. After the testimony meeting a sweet widowed lady, who is the rock of this branch, came up to him and bore the most straight-forward and sweet testimony to him. It was really a neat experience. And also we have been working with a less active lady who has a boyfriend and grandson who are investagators. She bore her testimony and that was really great. Good stuff!

The sad stuff is literally two families in our branch split up this week. On Tuesday we got a call from a sister who wanted to talk to us. Turns out she had a problem with her husband and left... long story... so we gave her a blessing and she is with her three girls... We can’t do much because it is the Branch Presidency stewardship. Really sad. And then another couple is having big problems who is in the leadership here in the branch.  Neither of them are coming to church and they wont see us....Then the call came that we were going to have four elders here... President is inspired. So it has been a roller coaster of a week, but so it is… we must press on!

Now I get to talk about you all!!  My favorite. Sounds like it was a busy but great week. All I could ever ask for as far as blessings from my mission is to continue to hear about how all of you are growing and doing so well and helping other people. It is the greatest blessing to me. It is amazing to me how I can be so far away and still ¨feel¨ like you are just a city away. I feel your prayers more than ever.

Dad- I am guessing you will be taking a trip to Redfish to check on things soon. I hope that you had a wonderful week. Thank you so much for sharing that First Presidency message. We get the Ensigns about two months after they come out. Sounds like you have a busy week ahead of you. I cannot bless the Sacrament without thinking of blessing of it with you in Stanley. I get emotional every time. Yesterday I blessed with our ward mission leader form Mar del Plata and it was a little close to home. Thank you for being my best friend as well as my Father. Enjoy the time in Utah for the wedding! I love you.

Mom- Hello you Angel. Sounds like you had another great week serving others. You need a tag!  I was able to read a little in the scripture book you sent for Christmas and was interested because a lot of some of my favorite scriptures are in there! I am very interested in it. I know that it is real. What we put out in life we get back. This week will be a very memorable week for the Putnam’s and I am very glad you get to help out with the reception. Please tell Richard, Robin, Crystal and Josh and kids, Drew and Emily, Dani and Lis  - that I love them. What a great week for their family!! I also have been thinking about Blair and Anneli - I hope that they are all doing well. Please send them my love. I am looking at my little book I keep in my pocket to write things down to tell the fam every week and I wrote down a couple scriptures to share. Proverbs 29:8, Mark 11;22-24  and 2 Nephi 9:39. I love you so much Mom! I loved the picture of you and your college roommate at the reception. Crazy how Nanny Kim knows her!  Thank you for your prayers. Have a wonderful week. You are an angel.

Mikesell- Hey sis ! Today is a  full moon! I have been monitoring it al week. ha ha. Sounds like you had a really fun week. I am so happy you are giving it like you are. You are so amazing. I love you very much. Thank you for being the ever faithful letter writer. Have a fun week. ¨ Popcorn and Lemonade¨¨

Brennen- Hey buddy! Sounds like you had a great week of bball and everything. I remember those feelings of feeling like you “did not play well”. Just keep your head up and do your best. When you step out there on the court, that thing is yours. You are the boss, so go attack somebody. I love you man. Keep close to the important things. Have a wonderful week!

Alex- Hey man, so you sent me an email on your iPod? cool. Sounds like you are doing well. I sure love you  buddy and pray for you every day. Keep doing good things and follow the example of Brennen. I love you buddy. I am going to kick your trash in bball in a little while. no jk  - take care bud. Have a great week.

Harrison- Hey little man! I hope you are doing well. Are you excited to go to Utah? How was church yesterday? Has bball started yet? I love you buddy. I bet you are getting so big. Have a great week. Thanks man.

McCall- you get to see another pretty girl in a pretty dress this week at the wedding! Do you get to miss school? I bet you are so excited. I am very excited for you! I love you Cally.Thank you for your joke. I have my favorite for you!  Ask someone in the fam “what time is it?” They will tell you the rest of the joke. Hey - by the way I hope it is ok if I taught a ten year old boy here “our hand shake”…? He wants to be baptized so I figured it was ok. But don’t worry I won’t do it again. I love you Cally.

Well... Another week!  A quarter of my mission has passed. Crazy. I want you all to know that I know that Christ lives and that the closer we come to him the happier we are in this life. Life is wonderful, even through the hard times, temptations; all trials make us what our eternal destiny should be. May we all grow closer to Him and accept His role in our lives is my desire. Do all you can to protect our family from Satan. I have seen enough things here that destroy families that I get very ... I guess “angry” when I see families fall. STAND UP FOR THE FAMILY. Church member or not - help others have stronger families. That is when the world will change!! May Heavens richest blessings be yours. I love you all with all my heart.

Go get em!!!

Elder Austin 

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012 my friends...

Emails from-

The Oveson Family- I love your emails so much. I am glad that you had a great Christmas!! What a great experience. I hope that the snow storm ended up hitting the valley. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I pray for you all often and think about the principles that I have learned from you often. I love you all and have a great week. Happy New Year!!

Grandma Clegg-
Grandma-  thank you so much for your sweet email. I am so extremely grateful for your letters. Your testimony and legacy shines through in every word. It was great to hear about the events of the week. I love you very much. Have a wonderful week. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Please send my great love for Uncle Alan and Grandpa. I love you!

Papa Arlen-
Thank you so much for that creed from George Albert Smith. I am excited to read it a little more deeply! I love you and I hope that you have a great week. Happy New Year!  Please send my deep love for Grandma. Thank you so much Papa. I love you.

Emails from- Dad, Mom, Mikesell, and Brennen... Thank you so much!!

Happy New Year!

I just feel like someone pushed the “fast forward” button and they are not letting go. It was a great week here in Miramar!! There are people from so many different places here now and the temperature has raised a lot! For example while we went to the bank this week to pull out our money for the week while my companion was in the ATM, I was outside talking to people. The amazing thing was that I literally talked to three people in a row who knew English because they were tourists from Buenos Aires.  Most of them were people who were here on business and had studied English. One of them said in English ¨I know who you are. My daughter lives in Salt Lake City and I am not very happy about it.¨ He was a nice man though and we talked a little and that was that. I think a lot about the words ¨planting seeds¨ a lot. I firmly believe in being very bold about the truthfulness and hugeness of the message I have to share. But I have learned that you have to love the people first. People listen if they feel loved. I love the holidays -  I have never said "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" more in my life because it is a automatic ¨same ground¨¨ with the people. This week I really tried to open my mouth as much as possible. It is so huge!! It was a good week though we were away in Mar Del Plata for two days for two meetings. It was really great. New Years was great.  Miramar is a huge tourist’s destination and so there was a ton of people and so many people who live here were at the beach working. The local Miramar attendance has dropped down and the tourist member attendance has gone up. This week my companion and I blessed the sacrament, gave talks, and I lead the music.  It has been really neat though! Jose was the first person in the church and a local family was in the church so that was really nice to see that improvement!  We found some rather solid investigators this week. The family that we are working with “to get married” is progressing. We made them sign a piece of paper to go set a date in the government building and then the next day we framed it and gave it to them.  It was a good week!!

This week I thought a lot about the New Year and what I want from this year. This is my only full year as a missionary. I have been thinking about goals and I am still working on getting them in writing.  The thought occurred to me this week about the importance of ¨today”.  I decided that the way to be who I want to be is to do all I can with ¨today¨.  I have woke up this week several days and said, ¨Ok Heavenly Father, this is your day, I am going to give you my best for every single part of this day!¨ As a missionary there is so much to take in. You just have to break it up and promise to do your best with the little parts of every day. I talked about goals in church, and the importance of the Book of Mormon. It has been fun to see how in everyone’s letters they have said how much they are looking forward to studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday school.

On the 31st I took some time during my personal study to write in my journal. I started out at the first of the year and went all the through the big events and milestones up until now.  It was very great experience. What a blessing it is to live life!! I am so grateful for the blessing that comes from gospel living. What wonderful memores I have with all of you - at Redfish and all of life experiences. I can not think of those two days before I entered the MTC without getting tears in my eyes. I will never forget that beautiful summer day in President Tatioka´s home when he set me apart as a missionary.

This week we were visiting less actives in Miramar and we came across a man who had been to the temple, got divorced, and now lives with his girlfriend at his 80 year old Mothers home- who is an angel. As we talked to him I thought about the scripture that Papa shared with me about ¨Bridling your Passions” and all that falls into that great line. He is a man with great doctrinal knowledge and said a very kind prayer to start the lesson, but somewhere in his heart he lacks the discipline to change for real. Maybe its because of the hurt he has had in his life or something that went wrong. Regardless, it was sad to see. I don’t much care to think about the huge amount of `people like him in Mirimar and in the world. It is so important to keep your eye on the prize.

Dad- Thank you so much for your wonderful email. I look forward to reading it more thoroughly tonight. It sounds like the fluorescent lights of the school gyms basketball court are becoming very close to you again!  It’s that time of year! It is a very beautiful thing!  I thought about your favorite song this Sunday and I am going to try and find that in Spanish. I have come to share that love for that song. I love this time of year to “go for it” again. How is the weather up there?  I sure love you Dad. Have an excellent week. Transfers are next week so I will let you know next Monday. I am expecting to be here for the next transfer…? I really hope so, there are hundreds of people I have not baptized yet... let alone talked to. (ha ha) Dad, thank you….Thank you for your legacy. I was thinking for some reason last night about the experience we had with Melissa Rojas and the storage unit robbery a few years back and how well you and Mom handled that experience. It was a powerful teaching moment for each of us. That really was a special memory for me. Youre the man! Good luck with all your goals. Go listen to some Coldplay for me...(ha ha) I love you Dad!

Mom the Marvelous- I loved, loved your email today! The story with Mikesell wiped me out. I could not read her email to me with out crying like a baby here in the cyber. Prayers are so real. "Ask and Ye Shall Receive". (Mormon 9: 21). Yes, I have read a little of that book you sent for Christmas on scriptures. I have loved it so far. I went full bore to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish before the end of the year. I finished on the 31st at 10:00. New Year’s here was like the 4th of July in the states. Lots of fireworks everyone goes to the beach... Beer, meat, and all that stuff. I slept through most of the fireworks or at least tried to.  I think I must have told you transfers were today, but we find out on Friday or Saturday for the following Monday. A lady came up to me in church and told me that she felt like I was leaving. I love the people here and I honestly think it is going to be really hard when I leave, but I all go where I am called! I am seriously freaked out with how “in tune” you are with what goes on here. Today I bought Bleach to wash my shirts in... the list goes on and on….unbelievable! Are you sure you don’t have a camera on me or something? (Haha) Between that and the Mikesell experience this week…I am in ahhh.  One thing if you wouldn’t mind whenever the next package could you drop the John Bytheway book called, “How to be an Extra-Ordinary Missionary”? I often think about some of the things I read in there but wouldn’t mind a refresher. I don’t care if it is next Christmas when I get it. If I remember right you told me to bring but I said I didn’t want to. It sounds like you are very busy. I hope the lady you visit teach is getting better. You have been busy with her. I love you very much and am so grateful for you Mom. Have the best week of you life. Thank you for all you do. I love you!

Mikesell- Hey Babe, I loved your email so much! It was so great. What an experience. God has his eye on you and whatever happens will be for the best because you put Him first in your life. I looked at the moon this week. We are going to go on a sweet night hike or something one day. I hope that you have a great first day back in the saddle at school tomorrow.  I love you so much. Keep fighting. You da best!

Brennen- Hey man!! Let me teach you something, you don’t kiss a girl even on the cheek until you at least have a name or number! Haha I laughed so hard when I heard that...I think I want to call you a stud… but I am not sure if I can with the tag on my chest... haha! Ahhh the good ol’ New Years Dance!  It sounds like you are playing well in life and on the court. Good luck with all your games this week and back in school. I love you Bro. Keep on keeping on. Thanks for your example.

Alex- Hey by the end of the year you better be dunking. None of this ¨touch the middle of the net crap¨. What would Jimmer do? How is he doing anyway? How is your reading in  the Bof M?  I hope you have an awesome week. Enjoy basketball! Make sure you lift people on and off the court. Everyone knows you and what you stand for.  Keep that focus. I love you little man. Keep up the good work. I miss your laugh. Have a great week! I love you.

Harrison- Hey buddy... How are you? Did you have a fun week? I think you did! Are you ready for school again tomorrow?  Are you excited for basketball? I sure love you Harrison. What was your favorite part about the week?  What are some of your goals? Keep being awesome Harrison. Keep working on bettering the ¨Harry Way¨. You are probably going to start a very successful business with that name some day by the way.
McCall- Hey you little angel! I bet you loved seeing Nanny Kim this week!! Are you ready for school tomorrow? I love you Cally. Keep being a wonderful girl. I miss you very much. Did you give the “fake me” a kiss this week?  I love you.

Well my dear ones... Our future is as bright as our faith! I never have had more comfort in those words... I can control my faith and therefore my future.

This week I thought of Scott Hall - How is he doing? He has got be get home this April I think..? Tell him I love him. Please tell the Thompsons, The Holyoaks, The Lott’s, The Williams, The Princes, and all of those wonderful people that I love them and pray for them! Mom when you say people ask about me…please tell them that I love them and that I am living the dream!! J

Christ lives. He is the reason that we feel the way that we do.  I testify of the reality of the Atonement and the power to become more like Him. Heavenly Father is our greatest friend and wants what we want in our lives. The teachings of the Church are the way to be happy in this life and forever.

Go make it happen!

Elder Austin
Christmas Day Phone Call - December 2011

Christmas Day 2011

Missionary Christmas Party - December 2011