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


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