Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

Dear Family,
If all goes well this letter should be slightly easier to read this week.  I am glad that you were able to get a kick out of it all last week! haha
This week I received letters from:
Uncle Alan, Nikki Hernandez and Mikesell. Thank you each for your letters, they lift and inspire me to become.
Grandpa Crouch, Grandma Clegg  and of course Mom, Dad, Mikesell, and Brennen.  I cannot tell you how much I cherish these letters. Thank you each so much and I love you all.
This week was a great week. Zone Conference was amazing times ten. If nothing else I was called here to learn from President D. I loved that so much. Tuesday we had District Meeting and then we got back in our area and continued to bust it. Tuesday was a great day. After our lesson with Claudio he and his daughter were set for baptism. He even asked if Elder Yarger and I would perform the ordinance. We came back the next day and as we sat down with the family Beloqui and he told us that he no longer wanted to continue investigating and that he was going to need some more time. It happened in less than 24 hours. We think that his wife told him she would leave him or something if he continued with the church. He was really sad. I was just absolutely shocked. His wife has cried in three of the four lessons that we have had. We scheduled an interview with our Branch President and the family after sacrament meeting. I don’t want to ever say that I have done everything that I could have, but we put a lot into them. So we are just patiently waiting and praying that he will call us. I know they have felt the truthfulness of the gospel and I know that if they would read and pray with real intent they would feel it. Heavenly Father really respects our agency.
The good news is that we had our first Argentine wedding on Friday! That was a cool experience and I will send pictures when I can. It was pretty informal and rather short, but it was a really special time. German was baptized the next day. He asked me to perform the ordinance and also we had a miracle because one of Elder Oschebiens and Elder Holmquists investigators that has been working with decided to be baptized and that was a tender mercy for Elder O since he goes home this week.  I am going to miss him a lot. Transfers always help me refocus. I think Elder Yost should get here this weekend. Mom, you asked what I am feeling about transfers.... I don’t dare say, really anything is game. I just got to work. We will spend the weekend in Mar Del for General Conference and we are excited for that. Elder Yarger and I spoke yesterday in church and it went really well. We had five investigators in church and that was great. Gonzoloes are the next baptism we are praying. We found him about a little bit ago. He is 17 and has a great heart and lives with his grandmother. He was teared up after Sacrament Meeting and that is a good sign….to feel the spirit there at church. We found some awesome couples that I hope can progress. Elder Yarger and I work really well together and he is a stud. I would love to have a couple more transfers with him. The family Gonzalez is doing really well and we had a BBQ with them and the family Beloqui on Saturday. I had one of the best talks ever with Hermano Beloqui. I learned so much from him. I asked him what was the most important decision that he made in his life and he told me his life story. I loved it.
Well, we are really cooling down here. The coats are coming out. 
Well my Vegas bound family, sounds like when you get this you will be in route to be with Mom. Sounds like you have some great things planned. Be careful down there. I will praying for you and I hope it is a spiritually uplifting experience. 
I wanted to share quote with you that I found the other day. By the wonderful Elder Uchtdorf...  “A heart filled with gratitude for the blessings of life and an earnest desire to hear and follow the words of counsel will prepare the way for personal revelation"
Ponder that as we prepare to receive revelation. I love General Conference. I don’t think that we will be able to watch Priesthood but unless I get transferred I should be able to watch everything else.
Dad- I hope your ankle is getting much better. You are going to need that do drive to Las Vegas! ;)  I hope that it is a fun experience for all of you. Thank you so much for your email. Sounds like you are doing well. I can’t think you enough for all you do for the family.  I love you Dad and I promise you to bust it out here. Enjoy your conference and I will be listening at the same time. I will most definatly think of you when we hear duty from President Monson. So get your ears ready to ring. J
Mom- Tell Jon and Raquel hello for me and that I love them both. I hope it is a successful time. Tell Jon about the Book of Mormon. I sure respect and love him, he is great. I hope that you enjoy your time there. When I went to Las Vegas last spring I remember the awesome group made  a circle around me and would make jokes like we have a "future Misionary here" as we walked around town. That was some really great times. I am sure you will have a great time. I sure miss you Mom. But am happy as can be when I work as hard as I can. Have a very fun week and make lots of memories. I am excited to hear about it. I love you.
Mikesell- I can smell the scent of that yellow fruit from that banana tree outside of our house from here! here. haha That is fun. What a great way to ask to Prom! Tell Jake he better take good care of ya. A whole world away just isnt enough to stop me. haha  Jake is awesome. I really respect him and miss him. Tell him hello for me. What are his plans for college? I hope you have a really fun week with the family. Just eat it up and do every fun thing that you can. That is my advice. I love you sis. Keep on keeping on. You are in my prayers. Go Wolverines!!! Once again btw who says by Salena is playing here..... hahaha
Brennen- Sounds like you had a awesome first tennis match - that is great. I don’t know too much about tennis but I am excited to learn from you. I sure miss you br. So did you get my letter you three? I hope so. Have a great time this week. It will be sick! I am pumped for you. Then you will almost have your permit! That is legit. Stay strong bro. You are the man. I love you. Keep focused in the important things.
Alex- Hey I am missing your email this week... I love you man. Have a awesome time this week. It will be legit for you. Learn a lot. Sounds like  AAU bball is going well. Keep working hard. I sure love you bro. keep being awesome and rocking life. Enjoy the time with the family. I love you bro.
Harrison- You are going to have a blast this week. How was your last week of school? What did you learn in Church yesterday. I love you buddy. How are your teeth doing? I bet you are growing so much. I love you bro. Keep it up and say those prayers.
McCall- I bet you will love that big 12 seat van. Are you still wearing a car seat? You’ll not know what to do with so much room. I am excited for that!!! I sure love you Cally. Have a great time. Remember I love you ok!!!!   Be safe.
Well I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week your spiritual thought for the week is in Alma 37. I love that chapter. Well, my dear ones  - Go have a great spring break and hold nothing back. I am excited for you all. Let me know how it goes!!!
Enjoy your drive and Mom, keep Dad Awake!  
Elder Austin

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

(K so this letter was an adventure because of the miserable keyboard he got on at the cyber center that I left it as - is....We didn't get his letter til 10:30 last night...saw it on my it...laughed at the typos and spelling...but loved how happy he I left it as-is so you can appreciate your nice keyboards today...and feel a little of "Argentina" cyber center love today - and maybe get a good smile!!  )

Hello my be autiful  family ! I am  sorry that I am late.WE  jus t had an a mazing  z one conference.  This keybo ard that I am on  is terrible.  I hop e you can make out wha t  I w rite. 

  I  dont have time to read your  emails.  I have the great opportunity to do split s with the  AP and my zo n e  leader j us t    now.  WE had an awes ome conf erence. I love my MI ss ion   P resident so much.    

I wanted to share a  l  ittle of what I  learned.                                    Presid ent  h as g iven us the theme of           not being comp  lancent and always      striving for hi gher h eights.  We talked a boout intuition  and ince ntive. It was  amazing.        I  lear ned al ot ab o ut  wo rking with   you r   m embers and a lso what it means  to p ut a way childn ess.,  and become  who I want to become. 
 He  also t a lked ab out     h how only t he valient recieve celes tial glory. the honora ble people kno w wha t th ey ca n ddddo to obtain celest ital glroy.. I can not tell you al l how life changing my mission  has  b een so far. 

 I  guess I s  ound ed homesick l ast l etter. I a m doing  great. WE h ad three b aptisimis l ast S a  turday and hopefully two m ore this S atu rday!!   WE a re  really    bei n g  b  less ed.                                                    Th e  C laudios whole  family  came  to chu rch on Sunday.  Pl ease p ray for  them.

SO f rom wh at I can see it sounds like i t was a  r  ougher week for you all.

Mikesell, Your letter shows you r wonderful a ttitude.   Heavenly Father  has his eye on you and in   5 years you will lo ok back at all this and smile.  Lean on Mom  and D ad and P rayer. I wil l   pray        my heart o ut for you like always.
çI love you and will  writ e more when I can ac  tually  type ne xt week.  Go to work for track this  week. You  rock babe. I lov e you and p`ic tur e the         biggest                   hug                                   ever-

M om and Dad-      Sounds like you are all doing really goo d.   Thank you for your prayer s and all of your support. You   are two            truly     ama zin g     peop le. I am so e xtremely grateful for you   both.ç

  Brennen and Alex - Hey my s tuds , did you get my  letter  yet? I hope so. I s ure l ove  you both . STAY  STRON g.  i want to encourage you to if you can go on splits with the missionaries, read and prayevery day. THes  e times are  c  riticial for you.

McCa ll an d Harrison- I love you both so much.  I hope that you had a wonderful day. I miss you thank you for your examples. You two are a mazing. I h ope you  lea rned alot at  c hurhc.  

WE wat ched a video  today by Elder Holland .    I t was so touching. I want to testify to  you o f the  real ness of our SAvior and my love for him. When we understand who  we ar e and      where         were can  go, this all becomes real. I   w a nt to c halleng e  al l you  to  find o ut what   you can  do to help others to find the joyy that comes  f rom him.   I  testi fy of this  wo r             k. I love you a ll.
      German, Nicholas, a nd Y essica were bap  tized. THe y are all doing really well. On l ast tuesday  I ha d on e of the most spi rtual mo m        en ts in my mission. W e  had ta ken the b us to maR del pLata  fo r o ur Dis tric t Mee ting. WE went and ate in  Mar del Plata af ter o ur  district  meeting                                                                        with    the fa milia Belo        qui.  We got talking and it was just am zing the storie s that they hav e.  If you remember we bap tized  two To rres byos a couple of weeks a  go.  T hey h av e a older b  rother.     He is now living with the B Elo  qu is famil y  and  t hey are  paying for his school and helping with his mi ssion. They chagned his life forever. I started cryigng w hen we ate with theym. THe b o y  is  c al led ALe jo and h e  is one of the fa  vorite people that I hav e met  h e re.  I am so so rry for this l etter.  THis  can be yo ur fami ly home ev e                                                                                                                         n                            ing ga        me  to f  I gur e   ou t   my letTe r.                                                                                                                                        
 I am so sorry for a very short email. Please know How much that I love each of you. I know my prayers reach you and I hope you all have a excellent week.                                         I p romise a better letter ne x t week. h aha

A llmy love.

Elder Au stin

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012

!A big abrazo para todo!

Hello you all! Sounds like you are all doing very well, that is wonderful!

Emails from:

Grandma Clegg- Thank you so much for your email, I am glad that you were able to have a good time with Dad and Alex. Sounds like you are all adjusted in your ward and you are all doing wonderful. I am so glad to hear that. I sure love you Grandma and am so extremely grateful for your emails each week. Thank you for your example.

Aunt Julie- I also appreciate your emails so much. Thank you for the update on your family.  Sounds like everyone is rocking life. I am glad you could spend some time in Montana. I love you Aunt Julie, thank you for thinking of me and know that you are in my prayers. Please tell Alan, Cass, Bey and Allie I love them. Have a wonderful week.

And the Faithful Family – thank you so much!!

Well this week was a good week. Yesterday was a great day because we had branch council and the stake was here. The Gonzales family was there and it was just precious. I firmly believe that they are in this for life. This Saturday Nicholas and Jessica will be baptized. They are the two nephews. Also we hope that Claudio Heriqez will be baptized this Saturday and also a nice man named German Jiminez. The work is progressing and it is great to see!!

We found some pretty solid people this week and I am excited to start working with them. The city population is starting to drop and things are starting to slow down. Winter will be here shortly I suppose. We kind of found a house. It is a huge apartment. It is just kind of run down, but very livable. We will see what happens. It is like two blocks from our current house. So we will see what happens there. We also had divisions this week. It was fun to work with Elder Ochsenbien for the last time. He is anxious and we are all kind of anxious for him. He has had a very different mission with going home in the middle of his mission and coming back. I really respect him for hanging in there. This transfer will be on conference weekend so I hope that we can watch it still - I am sure we will. Other than that I am doing really well. I want to let you know how much I love and respect my comp right now. He is a stud and we are good buds. It really makes all the difference. Has taught me a lot about the power of teamwork. God answers prayers. 

Missions are awesome and I am grateful that I have this time to be able to grow. I sure miss you all. Some P-days it hits me how long I have been gone and I really miss you all….but I am so happy and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I love doing this.

This week I thought a lot about the scripture in Mosiah 2 :41. I have come to truly love that scripture. We use it all the time. I would like to encourage all of you to keep finding the joy in keeping the commandments. That is the way to be happy. I thought about one conference when our Mission President taught us that sin is any time when we don’t act on the knowledge that we have of God. I thought that was interesting. He is such a great teacher. I am looking forward to zone conference in about two weeks. 

Dad- Sounds like you are enjoying your spring. You are all really busy right now. With Redfish coming up…it is definitely that time of year again! Sounds like you had a great time in Boise. I had to laugh today because we walked into a shopping center and I heard Coldplay. It was a song I have never heard before and it sounded awesome. Funny how you run into things like that. I have Ecos shoes right now. They are holding up alright. I’ve got some more time out of them. How are the snow levels up North? Thanks for your insights from your class that you have been teaching. I have always felt like you were the best teacher ever. You have been for me. I can’t thank you enough for your example of covenant keeping Dad. I really miss you but am at peace. Thanks for being such an awesome Dad. May heavens richest blessings be yours. Have a wonderful week and thank you for your prayers. 

Mom- Thank you so much for your letter.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and ability to know what peoples needs are. Thank you always for sharing your thoughts and insights with me. Sounds like you are oh so busy right now. Spring is so busy…always has been for us. Please tell Tyler and Maggie congrats for me. That is the best stuff ever! I love those two very much.  They both are great example - both in high school and now. I hope Tyler s keeping up on his swimming! I hope that have a great week and are able to grow in all the ways that would like to.  You are an angel. Thank you for your prayers and I feel yours. I am glad you and Dad were able to go to the temple last week. I love you Mom. 

Mikesell... I am dying to hear the news…this college stuff just keeps going on forever! I keep praying for you and your attitude is awesome. It will all work out great in the end. Sounds like you are having a great time in school. I am excited for you to have your meet. You will have to keep me posted. Go rule the world! You will do great. Thank you for your sweet letters very week.   I hope I get your hand written one. I don’t know if I have gotten all of them that you have told me you sent, but it’s all good. Well keep working hard and focusing on the good things. Your decision to go to the temple and do baptisms every week will bless you for all of your life. Thank your for being my best friend. I did see the moon. Keep being awesome sis. Enjoy this last couple of months of school. Just have fun and enjoy your time.... I have a song for you. Amberland -Unwinding Cable Car. One of my comps has it on his ipod. 

Brennen- Sounds like you are living the very busy life right now. I am excited to hear how your first tennis meet goes. I love you so much man. I hope that you are keeping strong and fighting those temptations that are being thrown at you. You are keeping busy and that is good - just keep doing the things that bring you real "life" results.  How much more Drivers Ed do you have? How has the weather been? Well buddy - I sure love you man! Keep doing good things!! Have you been able to go to the temple? I sure hope so. I don’t think I really realized the power that comes from that before my mission. But you have a great example in your sister. Sure love you!! God speed and keep being the big man on campus at JHS!!   Hey good job on the Piano. What a stud!

Alex- You don’t have to hand write me …. I am just talking about emails. ha ha. But you all should get a letter from me soon anyways by the way. Sounds like you did really good in the tournament. We can’t play sports at all here. I am going to have to learn from the “A man” when I get back! I am running still in the park. It is getting colder and a little harder to do but I will do it as long as I can. How is your attitude and effort? Are you telling everyone you love them all the time? Ha-ha I sure love you buddy. One more foot and you will have got me. How tall is Brennen now? That is crazy you are that tall! Well buddy. Keep doing good things. I sure love you! Rock on!  Thanks for the email.

Harrison- What’s up little buddy?? Sounds like you are being your happy awesome self that is great. How are your friends in school? Did you like your sleep over with Ty?  What did you learn in Church yesterday? I love you little man.  I hope that you are learning a lot in school!!! Have a wonderful week ok??? Do 10 pushups for me ok? Ha-ha.  Love you bro. I hope that your teeth are doing well. You sure looked like a stud in the picture Mom sent.

McCall- Hola mi vida. I hope that you are doing great. Are you excited to bang on those big drums with Ms. Lock this week at your concert? I had her as a teacher also! That is great. How are all of your friends and are you learning a lot? Are you excited for Spring break here in a couple weeks? Sounds like you have a fun vacation planned. That will be awesome. I sure love and miss you Cally. I hope that you still remember your brother Austin. Thanks for being awesome. Have a great week. I love you!!

Well, I sure love you all. Thank you all for your support and prayers. Keep doing good things. Our family is our biggest support we have!


Elder Austin

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5, 2012


Well, here we are again!

Letters from:

Nanny Kim and Matt- Thank you so much for your sweet note. I loved hearing of your fun times.  I couldn’t stop smiling reading your letters. Thank you both for being such wonderful examples to me. I love you both. Keep pushing on! I am excited to see your brother Nate here in a couple of weeks! Isn’t it great we are going to be here together!?

Scott Maughan: I know Scott won’t see this but so you all can know. He is doing really well. He is so awesome. Tell his family hello and that I love them. What a wonderful roommate and friend he is to me.

Emails from:

Cameron Stauffer- Hey my brother~ so good to hear from you!!! Sounds like you are still the great Cam I know!  I hope that ISU is going great for you. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your friendship. You are the man! Keep dominating life. Sure love you man.  Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. I think of you often and we have a lot of good times together!

Grandma Clegg- Thank you so much for the update on everything Grandma. I loved hearing that you are doing well in the new ward. I loved hearing all the miracles with two weekends ago. What a special time. Please send my love to Grandpa and Uncle Alan, Julie and the girls. You are amazing.  I love you Grandma.  

And the Faithful Family:  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for each of your letters and support!! I love you!

This week was a great week. We didn’t find too many new investigators, but it was truly a week of true miracles. Well, on Saturday we had six baptisms. The entire Gonzalez family was baptized!  Ignacio included!

                                               Carmen, Maria Eve, Elizabeth and Ignacio.

                                               The Torres brothers, two were baptized

Last Sunday we fasted so that the entire Gonzalez Family could be baptized. We went and visited them on Wednesday and they were having a hard time because they didn’t have money for that days food. Maria Eve is looking for work. We were with the family Beloqui who came down for the day and they are awesome.  We were able to help them and hope that was an answer to their prayer.  That is the first part of the miracle. On Thursday we were in the Church for the interview and only the three girls showed up so we were happy but also a little sad because Ignacio was not there.  As were teaching with Elder Holmquist and Yarger… I was talking and I saw him walk by the window outside. I said to Elder Yarger, “Will you finish teaching?” and I left with Elder Holmquist to go find him outside. He looked at me with a little shock. Elder Ocsenbien was in the room next door interviewing so he wasn’t “too alone”.  We went outside and saw him walking down the street. We walked following after him for a little bit but we turned and we decided to give him his agency. I was just praying he would come back. We got done with the three interviews and he still wasn’t there. So they left and we were putting chairs away getting ready to leave when I see Ignacio and his two sisters walking back in the gate. I was so pumped. The four of them were baptized. And on Sunday, one of the cousins who has been visiting came up to me after Sacrament meeting and asked me if he could be baptized the 17th of this month because he was going to be moving here. I told him that would just fine with us! :)  The Torres family is really special and has been through a lot.
Yesterday we had a great dinner with the Heriquez family. It was great and I have the faith that they are going to progress. Claudio was in the Church and he loved it. 

I want to thank Grandpa Crouch for his letter.  Papa thank you so much! I loved your insights and I have thought so much about that word on my mission. (desire) More than any other. Thank you for your time to write – I loved it so much.  I hope that all is well with you both!  Please send Grandma my love.   

Yesterday was a tender mercy day. I bore my testimony and got really emotional. Then right after me, Hermana Blanca got up and bore her testimony. She was recently reactivated when Yael,  her grandson was baptized. Then Branch President got up and bore his testimony and talked about how happy he was to have his wife in church with him. She never comes but hopefully she is changing. Then he told a story about me that was really nice of him. He said how the first day he met me he asked me a question and I smiled and said (beuno) and he looked at Elder Perez my companion and asked “what was up” and then Elder Perez told him that I didn’t understand much Spanish. Then he said how he was a little frustrated that the branch got a missionary who couldn’t speak well.  He was really nice and bore a great testimony.  It is going to hurt to leave this branch one day. I am just going to enjoy everyday. 

Sounds like you are all doing really, really well. I am glad to hear that.  Thank you each for your letters and your updates on life. I really enjoy them. That is an understatement.

Dad- Your email got cut off a little, but it sounds like you are doing really well. Glad to hear your back is getting better. Yes, this is the time when our weather is very appreciated. This week we had it all - we had rain, really hot weather, and wind. Today it rained like crazy, but yesterday it was so hot. We will go look for a house sometime this week we hope. I am excited for that. I hope that you have a great week Dad. I sure love you. I can’t not thank you enough for all you do. The other day he heard a Billy Joel song and I thought of you. I am excited to hear a little of the “Spain Spanish” when our new mission president comes in July.  You will have to keep me updated on the political race. It will be hard to not talk to people about it.  I sure love you Dad. Have a great week. Thank you for your prayers.  Hey! I just saw your other email. I just read that talk this morning by Elder Scott. I have read all of conference and just eat it up. I am seriously stoked for April.  Funny how you talked about that. I love you Dad.

Mom- You seriously freak me out. I am not kidding. This week I brought my shoes into a shop here to get fixed and he did a great job. Why in the world would you think to ask me about that this week? haha. Sounds like you had some crazy weather up there. Thank you so much for you letters. I just treasure them. Tomorrow is eight months. It is go time. Elder Oschenbein goes home at the end of this month and he is hanging in strong. He has had a rough mission and is a really great example. I am excited for him. I sure love you Mom. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. I miss you bad; it doesn’t ever really go away. But we keep going forward, after the storm comes the Sunshine. You are the best Mom. I love you!

Mikesell- Oh my gosh - I am being tested with patience here also. Ya gotta hear from BYU soon it is killing me. You are so good to keep it up.  I am excited to hear. That is too bad about Jake getting hurt in the state game. Tell him I love him. What is he looking at for college? It is so wired to think that your class is Seniors. I hope you are enjoying your new trimester.  Bust it in Track. It will be awesome for you!   You will have to tell Lon Egbert hello for me. He was a great influence for me. I really respect him and think a lot of him. He does a great job there. You have a lot of great people to be able to work for three different people in Work Base Learning.  Well, Sis I think we go a full moon coming up here soon. I sure love you.   I miss you bad!  Keep doing good things.  Have a wonderful week.

Bdog! Hey my man -- How is tennis? I am so excited for you!! You are going to do really well. Sounds like you are really busy right now. You asked if I speak Spanish or English with my companions… we try to speak Spanish outside all day and at night we do tend to speak English. I set my alarm to go of every two hours to remind me to speak Spanish. I need to do it more; because that is the only way I am going to get better.   How is seminary? How is the Book of Mormon coming? Be sure you are in that book every day. I cannot beat that drum enough.   It is the determination of your future.  I sure love you man. You are such a great example to me.  Keep doing great things. 

Alex- Hey man!  Dude. I expect an email from you every week for the next 16 months. Deal? If not I am going to have to send some kind of torture devices for McCall to use on you. How are you? Are you making good choices? How is the Book of Mormon coming? I sure love you man. Do real things that bring real, results.  Half page letter next week deal? I love you buddy. Sure miss you so much. Have you thrown a disc in a while? I hear AAU basketball starts this week – right back into it!

Harrison -I love your braces that Mom sent. That is awesome.  I sure love you buddy! It sounds like you are doing really well!   What are you learning in school right now? Keep being awesome buddy!! You are the man! I hope that your teeth get better and your visit to the dentist goes okay!

McCall- Hey sweetie! How are you? I hope that you had an awesome week. How is school going? I am glad that you watched some Andy Griffith and that you are having some sunny days. I love you Cally. Thank you for your prayers. Keep being the special wonderful person that you are. 

l like the the scripture that I read in 2 Nephi 25:29 this week.. Helps you so see what is most important. 
I have so many blessings. I cannot thank my Heavenly Father enough or live well enough to show my gratitude for all that I have been blessed with in my life. These blessings include you.

Love you all so much....

Until the next time!!!!!!!

Elder Austin