Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

A very happy day late birthday to my dear, dear friend and cousin! I love you Cass and I hope that home life is treating you very well. I would love to hear from you and I will try and get a letter out to you hear soon. You now have the same amount of schooling as me and will soon pass me!!! haha. That is wonderful, I love you Cass, Keep being you. This all is real. Find your vision and go for it. You are amazing!
Thank you for the emails from-
Grandma Clegg- I am glad to hear that you got my letter ok. I had to give it to another Elder to send and I am glad that he is a trust worthy fellow. I appreciate the updates on your lives so much and I hope that you are enjoying the warm weather. This week was our first week of winter. We leave the house bundled to the max and we look very similar to mafia members I am sure. I sure love you Grandma… please tell Grandpa the same. Thank you for your legacy.
Lindsay Hayes- So great to hear from you Lindsay. All my family said they loved having you over. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying you time back at home and that you kicked  BYUs trash in the grade department. Atta way. To try and answer at least one question, I am doing great.  I love everyday and love the mission routine. Everyday has new challenges and new things to learn. Have a great spring and I will for sure drop you a letter with in the next few weeks. Thank you for taking the time to write and for being a great example. Have a great week! You are awesome!
And of course the mighty clan of Jerome:
Well this week sounds like it was a very (no surprise) busy one for all of you. I am glad that all the events in Boise went well and the weather is getting better. What a pretty time of year. I can hear the killdeer and the sprinklers out my window now...
To explain the pictures:
                    The first one is of the peeps that we received in the Easter package from you....
      The next one is of me on the phone which is substantial amount of time talking to the Elders in my district.

and the third one is of the Familia Garcia, whom I have really come to love so much. They are waiting to be married and will be baptized shortly after. They are amazing. I love them so much.
Thank you so much for your prayers this week and Mom thank you so much for your story on Prayer. I am excited to read it in greater detail. I have thought about Papas letter a lot too this week. After I read it I dreamt that I was with Papa and Grandma Crouch and we were in the Conference center listening to President Hinckley talk about education. Later this week I also dreamt that we were all at Alex's bball game and with a couple seconds left Alex went to dunk it for the win and, you are not going to believe this rim checked yourself!! I ran down to the court and was so passionate about it . I was so upset. So Alex - Work on that dunk before you go up for that buzzer dunk ok. ha ha-
This week was a really good week. I was on exchanges with Elder Hansen here in Santa Rosa and we learned a lot and had a great time. I am really learning a lot about the importance of exchanges because they really help us grow as a district. We had 8 people in the church last Sunday and that was really great. Lots of them need marriage and so hope we can see the fruit soon, but probably not for months. We keep looking for those who are ready to be baptizing sooner. The ward here is getting along better. We have three or four families really strong but other than that we are lacking. I love the families that are here they are young and very good families. The ward mission leader and Bishops families are very dear to me.
Well I had some computer issues at the start so I am trying to make this as clear but short as possible. It was a great week and things are starting to feel normal. I just want my district to have success.
Dad- Thank so much for your email and your update about the lodge. I am glad that you enjoy the scriptures. I hope that you have a great week and that all is well. I am very excited to talk to you all. I hope that everything goes well with all the equipment and everything getting back up to Redfish. I sure love you Dad. I hope that you have a great week. I feel your prayers so much. Your the man....
Mom, Thank you so much for you email. I am so very excited to read more of it tonight. You are wonderful. Sounds like you are doing well and being the amazing super woman like always. When I think back I seriously do not know how you did / do all the things that you do during the times that Dad is at Redfish. I have said this before, but the sacrifice that you make will be one that will be rewarded beyond your imagination in the future. I hope the kids can help out a lot. I am sure prayer helps you a lot, and straight good ol’ will power. I sure love you Mom. Please know that I feel your prayers and that I do the same for you. Have a great week and enjoy the weather.
Mikesell- I remember having experiences that are similar to the one that you told me. Some days it just kind of smacks you in the face. I am planning on writing you a letter with all the ideas and advice that I can think of but I would just encourage you more than anything to prepare yourself spiritually to leave. It will be harder than you think right now, but you are going to rock it. I am very excited for you. But now just enjoy your time and don’t let a day go by without learning, progressing, or moving forward in some way. Spend every second you can with the Fam. I love you Mikesell!v I miss you so much and I hope that you have a wonderful week. I hope that you legs heal up quick. You are amazing.
Brennen- I sure love you brother. I miss you man. I can’t tell you how many good things that I hear about you.  I hope that you have a wonderful week and keep enjoying your tennis experiences. May Heavens richest blessing be yours buddy and keep standing strong into the face of temptation. I love you. Keep being the good example and helper that you are. I love you!
Alex- Hey Brother! I sure hope that everything is going well.  Those running times you knocked out this weekend are insane. You are going to break five minute mile by your sophomore year.  Keep at it buddy that is so great!  And be sure to keep working on your dunks. I love you bother and I hope that you have a great week!!
Harrison. I love you little buddy! You will have to write me on Moms laptop this week. I want to hear what is going on in you and Calls life. I hope that you are having fun. I great big bear hug for you buddy. I love you.
McCall- You are too beautiful for your own good. It sounds like you are doing lots of fun things with Mom and going to a lot of fun places. I sure love you Cally and I hope that you know that. I know that the three sentences that you hear from me every week may make it hard for you to know that, but I pray for you so much and I love you a lot.
So I will try to call about three o’clock your time on Mothers Day. I will let you know next week after I coordinate with the other Elders but that is what we will plan on tentatively.
I wanted to talk to you about something that I learned in the Book of Mormon that I thought was really cool. The first thing I would invite you all to read the in 2 Nephi chapter one. The other little thought that I had was as I was reading in Mosiah 29 I found something interesting. In Mosiah 28 it talks about how the Jaredite plates were translated by Mosiah and then in Mosiah 29 he talks about how he wants to do away with the king system and put in judges rather than have the people choose between his sons. I was asking what would have helped him to think to do that and I realized that probably days before he had just translated a whole set of scriptures that talked about how an entire civilation had been destroyed by a very similar situations. I thought that was a great example of how we can liken the scriptures for ourselves.
My family, I know this is real. I know obedience brings blessings. I know that you all more potential that you can imagine. Live up do it. I promise you there is no goal that you cannot achieve. Get your vision and go for it. I love you all and I testify of our Savior. I love him.
May this week is wonderful and may the spirit of spring bring a new sense of service and gratitude for life and family, friends and all the blessings that we have.
I love you tons.
Elder Austin

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 - Getting Seasoned

!Son los Mayores¡
Wow, what a busy week you all had!! Thank you all so much for taking the time to write me. I am so grateful to hear from you all and I take great strength from all of you.
This week I received your the package with all the candy and the sweet notes. (Easter) Thank you so much!  I was meaning to send a picture with the box, but I can’t send it from this computer.
Letter from:
 Bishop Prince- It was so great to get the letter from you. I appreciate it so much, even more than that I am so glad to hear that you and your family are doing so well. It sounds like you have had a great winter and that busy spring is in full swing now. I will write you here shortly. Please tell all your family that I love them and that I am very grateful for them. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts for me.  Keep being “the man” Bishop. I love you.
Emails from-
Grandma Clegg- I figured you must be up to something really exciting.  ;) I am so glad to hear that you were able to have such a good time in McCall with the Pearsons. What a memorable time. Thank you for all the updates and your encouraging words. I am so grateful for you and love you so much. Have a wonderful week and I hope that the beautiful Boise Spring is going well. Thank you for your example.
Grandpa Crouch- I appreciate these letters so much and I treasure them. I hope that everything is going well at Crossroads and that the spring is going very well. I love you and so grateful for your influence in my life.
Sklyer Ochsenbien- The great warrior has officially returned. I am glad to hear that you are doing well and that you have many plans for the future. Have a great time in California and I miss you brother. Thank so much.
Well, another week….! Dad as you said the sand just keeps slipping through the hourglass, some days faster than others!! This week I was able to be in my area a little bit more and it was great. I was in General Acha, which is where the other Elders from our district are for splits. It was nice to be in a small town again for a while, and there house is huge. haha. No but Elder Sondregger is a wonderful Elder and we had a lot of success together. It was terrific.  The district is doing well and it is different now to be worrying about the potential and success of other Elders now. I know they have so much potential and I so want them to reach it.  Also this week I had some great time studying. I have been reading the New Testament and it has been great. I am starting to get a beat on the Ward and what our weaknesses and strengths are. We have a wonderful Bishop and Ward Mission leader. There are lots of less active members that also have a lot of potential to come back we had about 45 in the church last Sunday. We had more in Miramar when I left and it was a branch - so we have a lot of work to do!! The city here is a different feel and the people are nice. Yet like in all places there are those that aren’t the biggest fans of missionaries. We knocked a door this week and as I reached my hand through the gate to shake his hand and he told me how he does not shake hands with Chonkies (North Americans) and then proceeded to say things that.... well after about five seconds I tapped my companions shoulder and we walked away in the dark. I was truly frustrated. He was saying things about a country that I love, that were so false and I was either going to not be a good representative of Christ or walk away… so thankfully, we did the later.  With Mitt Romney, I have heard of some stories of some Elders getting some heat so it could get fun down here. It was a good journal experience. Other than that it was a really great week and I am hoping to see the fruits here in May.
The miracle of the week is this, Sergio and Maria agreed that if Sergio found work they would set a date to get married. I fasted for them on Sunday and lo and behold as I was in General Acha, my comp called me and told me that Sergio had found work. He is in a wheel chair so it was a big miracle. They will hopefully have a date before next P-day!  I testify of the power of fasting. I have seen miracles through it on my mission and it is something that I have really learned on my mission.
Other funny story is that a couple of weeks ago we did a mid split in our area because we had some time and me and another Elder knocked a door and a man came to the doorand told us that he was talking to our friends. I was not sure if he was sane and I teasingly asked him what were their names. I then heard in the back of the house (in Spanish) I am Elder Knuteson. We laughed and told him to go ahead and keep talking. So we had knocked the same door that the other Elders were inside teaching. Appearently they needed that message. haha. What are the odds!!!
Well, Mikesell my thoughts and prayers were with you and I can see that you had a wonderful time. Prom Queen!! You look so gorgeous in your prom get up…. and you didn’t need to be elected Queen again, because you already are on in the most important way. What a special time for you and I am so glad to see you happy. What a cool picture that is!!
Dad- Thank you so much for taking the time to write me. I know how busy this time is for you and for you to even remember is a great act of love in its self. Thank you. I love your letters. I am happy to hear that you all had a great time with Lindsay and Scott and that you are so excited for another great year. Will  Callie and Leah be working up there again this year? Who all will be returning? It looks like the lake is almost ice free. It is cooling down here, the jackets are out. They tell me it gets really windy here in the winter, never snows but is just cold. So I have been well prepared thanks to Jerome. Well Dad, I sure love you and am so grateful for you. I just wanted to tell you that Christ does live and that through Him we can become. I love my mission and love my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I know that I can do better and look forward to a new week to try a little harder.
Mom- What a week that you have had! I have always loved how you just love to have people over and it is such a good thing. You have lots over this week to visit and stay! It sounds like this next week is busy - so much going on right now. Thank you for the pictures. I am sure grateful for you and I love you so much Mom. Today Elder Henry told me that we write some 102 letters home in our mission and I am pretty sure I say a lot of the same things every week but words just kind of fall short in some things. I feel so blessed to feel like I have grown closer to you all during this time. The prayers that we pray for each other are real. I love you Mom. Thank you for the package. You are truly amazing Mom. May you have a truly blessed week!  
Mikesell- haha I got a good chuckle about your “throwing up” story at the end of the airplane ride…and the way you told it. What a fun surprise to have an airplane ride to McCall for breakfast…and to fly over Redfish too! What a guy!  You looked so BEAUTIFUL in your dress and I am glad that you had a good time. You are truly amazing Mikesell. Oh the places that you are about to go. I miss you and am praying hard for you. Enjoy this time you have left and just live it up, but put first things first. I am glad you had a good time with Lindsay and Leah and all the wonderful Redfish buds. Mikesell... I love you. I sure miss you some days. Keep being strong and I will too. Sometimes I just picture how I want to feel when I see you all again and give you all hugs and that motivates me to change and to make myself who I want to be in that very moment, and that moment will only be sweet in the future and if I give all I have now. I love you and I know this is worth it. Stay strong and never forget your bro who loves you and prays for you daily.
Brennen- Man you are a stud! Hey I was thinking about what you asked last week and I thought of something. You can look at people as who they are capable of becoming. We all have so much potential, but not all realize it. How is tennis going? I am excited for Amy to enter the field and thanks for giving me the update! haha. Little bro I love you. Be strong and I am glad that your talk went well. That is the way that Satan will try to destroy you so build up those walls just like Moroni did. I love you man. Keep being awesome.
Alex- Hey my little man. Thank you for writing me every week …and thanks for the letter that you sent. I hope we don’t end up in a “cat” in that tic tac toe game we are playing in our letters to sent each other… and that we can finish the game before my mission is over! haha. How is ball?  I hope that you have a great time in Boise with your tourney this weekend. I sure love you buddy. Keep being awesome. Don’t back down and always keep your focus.
Harrison-   I love that picture of you that Mom sent in your soccer uniform. That made my week!! Thank you so much for that… How is soccer going? They play soccer so much here. It is way bigger than church. Are you excited for Redfish? Thank you for your picture in the package and thank you for your prayers. I sure love you. Keep being awesome!!
McCall- What a cute picture of you also. That was wonderful. What a cute little soccer girl that you are. I hope that you are tearin it up out there. I am sure that you are. I sure love you little sis. Have a great week at school and keep being you!! I love you and keep it up. Do 15 pushups for me!!
This week I found a lot of great scriptures and I would like to share and talk about them with all of you but I will just write the reference.... Romans 8:24-28 Proverbs 4:7  I have come to love the scriptures so much.
This week I have been thinking about a quote by President Eyring that has given me a lot of vision and desire to do a little better each day, maybe it can help you all too.
¨ I promise you that if you do all that you CAN, God will magnify your STRENGTH and WISDOM. HE will SEASON you.¨
I also thought a lot about Alma 17 and what it means to be born again. I think it has everything to do with your desires, to want to know who Christ is.
Well… This all is real. I love you and know that I will see you soon. Keep busting it!!!!!!
All my love-
Elder Austin
GO and DO my beloved family!

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012

To the best!

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY TO GRANDPA DAW!!!  I love you!!! Thank you for your life and example!!
Emails from:
Jay Newman- Thank you so much for your great email. I look forward to reading it this evening. It does seem like just yesterday we were in Helaman Halls studying Preach My Gospel. Thank you so much for that great blessing. I love you Jay and am sure grateful for your example. I hope that you studies are going well. Thank you so much for your email and have a great day.
Crystal Cox- What a great picture that was of you all" Thank you so much for your email. You are so sweet and thoughtful. I look forward to reading your email this evening. You are so special! I love you and please tell all of your family the same...
And the Faithful Family!!
First off, I have to say that I broke into tears with that picture and news that Zach Ingraham was baptized. That is about the best news of my mission. What a great decision he made. Please send him my love and happiness for him.
Thank you so much for all your emails!! I am looking so forward to reading them. From what I skimmed through the letters it sounds like everyone is doing well.  Brennen that picture of you with your Drivers Permit is awesome! What a handsome man!! Congratulations!!!
This week was wonderful. On Monday we left at two in the morning for Bahia Blanca and it was just such a great conference. I learned so much. I will always be grateful to my mission president for teaching me about one word, and that word is VISION. He is a man with a great vision of what this mission can do and become. I will miss him terribly when he finishes in July. I also was able to see my trainer Elder Perez and a whole bunch of other zone leaders that I have had and have loved so much. It was a great experience.
The picture is of me with one of my first zone leaders Elder Ramirez. When we got back on Wednesday we had a great district meeting and then on Thursday and Friday I was on splits with the zone leaders in their area. It was great.  I learned a lot from our zone leaders. On Sunday we had a special conference. Elder Avila of the Seventy came and it was amazing. I learned so much. He is such a great person. Sergio and Maria were in the church and they had a great experience. They have dates for the 12th of May.  I hope they can get married and make this step. Elder Avila had a great talk - it was simple and about Christ, but I learned a lot and was grateful for his message. We also had an interview with President yesterday. It was a busy week and I feel like I was hardly in my area at all this week, but Elder Knuteson is highly capable and he did a good job with splits.
So Mitt Romney is the man. Santorum dropped out huh? I don’t know if I believe it. I am excited to see this. Get ready for the battle. When I was in the zone leader’s area we had a lunch with the most amazing family. He was a stake president and had been to Idaho - Rigby, and American Falls. That was a small world experience. But he taught me something in that time. He has two kids who are going to BYU and all of his kids speak English perfectly. He taught me that education is the key to vision and that education opens doors to all sorts of potential. He knew all about every candidate in the race and it was neat. He almost cannot see now, but you can feel the power of his life in that house. He knows what it means to keep temple covenants and he has an extremely happy family.
I am grateful for families who help us get a vision of what we want in life.
Dad- I am very excited to read your letter. Thank you so much for that picture. That was so great. I am also very glad to hear that Scott Hall the Man has returned with Honor! What a wonderful friend he is to our family, and a fighter. I am jealous of all the hikes that he is going do this summer at the fish. I know I will still have the blessing to walk more though. Ha-ha. I hope all of the preparation is going well for the season. How are snow levels up there? Sounds like a high LDS crew this year. That will be fun. Young adults will be rocking. That is a great blessing. Oh, Elder Henry here shares a love for Coldplay, today in the supermercado a song came on called Charlie Brown. It was an interesting sound. It is funny because every time I walk in a supermercado I always tease the Elders that a Coldplay song will come on. God gives you what you want when you put him first in your life. Even if it is just something as unimportant and small as that. Psalms 37:4-5   I love you so much Dad. I am eternally grateful for your example. I cannot sing Hymn 137 in Spanish without choking up. I remember the plaque that you gave Grandpa and Grandma. You will have to look up the hymn number to refresh your memory. I love you Dad. Have a great week and a safe preparation for the season. Sounds like it will be a good one.
Mom- You are so sweet to do all that you do. I feel so bad to ask for anything from you all. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness though. Sounds like you are doing very well and are very busy. I loved to hear that you are listening to the Conference talks – on your phone- technology is wonderful! That will be a great blessing for you. What do you need to do for Prom this year? That will be a fun time. I am sure excited for you. You love all that stuff. I appreciate so much your little updates and everything about home. More than anything your prayers. It is amazing to me that I feel closer to you all now then before and we are, let’s just say, right around the corner from each other. I love you Mom. Thank you for being who you are and doing what you do. Your legacy will echo on for eternities. And you are just getting started...Have a great week. I love you.
Mikesell- The big Senior prom. You better be home by midnight... haha. I am excited for you. It will be a great time. I am glad that you had such a good week last week. That is so awesome that you are graduating with the can nurses degree. I am so proud of you. You have a great ability to manage time and I have always loved that about you….among a thousand other things. I was thinking about you today as the other Elders took a nap and I had about an hour to ponder and to read my Pat.Blessing and the scriptures. I am so grateful for the example and best friend that you are to me. You have quite the exciting couple of months coming up.  You have to keep me updated. You are going to learn much about yourself and what really is important to you. Keep working hard and remember what things will give you eternal life. That is what our vision should be. I sure love you. You are beautiful.
Brennen- The man with the wheel permit! What a stud. I bet you are pretty excited. Thank you so much for your email. I was thinking about what you said. That is a very profound question. Mom always says “fake it until you make it”. The more you try the easier it will become. Pray for help. That is something that I have found works. Put yourself in their shoes and see life through there perspective. Have you read “The Noticer” yet? Also there is no greater book than the Book of Mormon. You are such a wonderful man Brennen. Hey this week I wanted to tell you about, or maybe just put a thought in your ear about doing Student Council. It is a great experience and I would highly recommend it. It is really something quite simple also. It is something that I would encourage you to do, and not let fear of failure or something like that holds you back. You have much potential as a leader. I love you brother and you are so special. I am happy to hear of the person that you are becoming and the kindness that you show to all people.
Alex- Man, I heard today that BYU has the record in NCAA tournament history for the biggest comebacks -that is sweet. I sure love you! It sounds like you are doing well and I am glad to hear that you are reading the Book of Mormon. I sure miss you buddy. Keep making the best decisions and doing the right things. You are a spectacular person and the world is yours to conquer. Go get life my friend. I love you and miss you like crazy. No, I am pretty sure I could not dunk it right now. My life consists of walking, my lunges, pushups and sit-ups in the morning. All reflexes’ are gone for now. Have a great week buddy. Keep doing the best you can. I love you.
Harrison the man!!! I miss you buddy. Sometimes just I picture what you look like and I bet you are growing so much. Are you doing well in school? How your friends are? Remember that you don’t have to follow your friends if they are doing something they you don’t feel is right. You can be super Harrison and do things the best way, and that is the HARRY WAY! Keep being a great kid little bro. Lots of kisses and thanks for saying your prayers every day. You are the MAN!
McCall!  I am sure excited to see this picture you drew for me. I love you McCall and I just hope you know how much. I am so grateful to be your brother. You are so special. I hope that you do really well in your last month or so of school. I love you so much. Keep being super girl. You need to tell me some funny stories and things you say ok? I love you!!
This week after the conference we got back to Santa Rosa at about midnight and after I was in bed I couldn’t sleep very well. For some reason as I was laying there I had the weirdest thoughts of time and how I don’t have much left. It was like a panic attack to work harder.  Time is moving and I know soon we will be together. But I am so grateful to be here. I promise to bust it more that ever right now. May Heavens richest blessing be yours. Thank you for your prayers. I love you all more that I can say!!!
Elder Austin

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Hi there people that I love so much!!

Thank you so much for your emails this week! I felt your prayers more than ever and am so grateful for them!!
Emails from:
Emily- Thank you so much for your emails and the great pictures of the Festival of Colors. That was truly wonderful! I sure miss you and thank you so much for taking the time to write. I love it here and I love the opportunity to be a missionary. Thank you for your sweet example. You are a dear friend to me. I hope the preparation for Redfish goes well.
Family: Thank you all for your emails!! I hope that Grandma Clegg and Alex all had a wonderful birthday. I prayed for them hard and I hope they were both able to feel very loved!!
Life here in my new area is going well. Santa Rosa is very different from Miramar. There have been a lot of changes here… SO we are the first missionaries in several weeks. The people here are so wonderful and the best part is there is like three or four FAMILIES with kids and Dads and Moms!! It is awesome! They don’t have great assistance, we had better in Miramar, but the families are stronger. I am super excited to be here. Elder Yost got sent up to my old zone in Mar Del Plata. I have been in his area before during divisions. He will love all the missionaries and people there. In our house we have Elder Hansen, Elder Henry - who is brand new, and Elder Knuteson - all from Spanish Fork, Utah! In my district the other two elders are Elder Sondregger from Merdian and Elder Solares from Argentina. They are all studs and I love them a lot. Tonight at two in the morning me and the Zone Leaders and the other District leaders are going to Bahia for a leadership conference and I am excited to see some mission buddies and to learn from President. He is the best!
We decided to stick out this little house and just but a bunk beds and a closet and a table. It is getting better. We had five investigators at church on Sunday and we have found a lot of new investigators as well. This week we just had to rely on old registers and knocking on doors. The city has a very different feel. There is like a WalMart here and the people are a lot better off. I miss my small and quiet Miramar. But it is growing on me. I sure do miss those people. It has been hard. I have cried reading the sweet letters that they gave to me when we said goodbye…. but I know it will all get better and I love the people here also.
I think I forgot to tell you about a story that we had last week. I was outside the church in Miramar and a man walked up with sunglasses out of a minivan and said, " Hello Elder, Where you From?" Turns out a whole family from Salt Lake City and traveled down to Argentina to see their son who works for the US Government. Their last name is Clayton. But they were in Miramar because the son was in Miramar in 1999. They all had on BYU gear and everything. It was the strangest thing! I am on a very slow computer and so I will try to send the pictures next week.
It has been a really good week and I have really felt your prayers. I am reminded of the story of the people of Alma and Limhi in Mosiah and how they dwelt with hard times. That story has always helped me in Mosiah 21-24 and with conference I have been well prepared for a stretch.
It sounds as if you are extremely busy. I am glad to hear that Brennen finished the job of Drivers Ed Class and now is ready to take the wheel. What a stud!
Dad- Thank you for your words. I have come to feel the power of the Sacrament on my mission like never before. I just feel so, so good after church and it is indeed a tender mercy. I am excited for things to get moving up at the fish for you. I will be there in spirit when you are shoveling off those roofs. I will treasure that time I had with you last spring. It is a lot hotter here and my summer has been extended for a few more weeks at least. I love you with all my heart Dad. Thank you for your prayers. I have never found so much comfort in saying prayers for each of you every morning and night. I can’t start or end my day without it. Have a great week and be safe in all things.  YOU the MAN. Siga Adelante Pops
Mom- You are so sweet to jump on the call for shoes. You asked what I need / want for now and my birthday - I beg of you - All I want is for all of you to send me something hand written for my Birthday. If I need anything I will ask for it and space here is very limited. I am so grateful for your thoughtfulness. I love you so much Mom. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for all that you do for me. I hope that you have a wonderful week - and are able to do the things that you desire to do. The things you do each day will live on forever and the legacy that you and Dad are making is truly incredible. I love you with all my heart. Hey, not too long and we can hear each other’s voices! Your Birthday and Mothers Day all in one! I love you so much Angel Mother! 
Mikesell- What a busy week you had. I love hearing of your testimony of seminary in your letter. That was very special to me. You are very blessed. When is prom? What day is graduation? That is just so crazy!!! I love you Mikesell with all my heart. You have so many gifts and are going to do so good. I hope your tendon heals up soon so you can go dominate. There are lots of runners here and it makes me think of you and also makes me want to run. You are an incredible spirit. I love you and keep strong!
Brennen-  You are an official driver and class is done! What a stud. How was your tennis meet? Thank you so much for writing me each week. You have been so dedicated! I love you buddy. Keep strong in your teams in life and hold to that iron rod with all that you have! I love you man. Keep it up!! You look so grown up in Moms pictures.
Alex--- Hey big 13 year old!  What a stud. How does it feel? How are you doing in AAU basketball? How are you progressing in the Book of Mormon. Please read that book. It will have a profound effect on your life...more than anything else in your life.  I miss you bro and love you so much. I hope you got my letter ok and the bracelet. Your’e the man!
Harrison- Hey little buddy. I sure love you and miss you. How is school? Is it getting hot there in Jerome? How is Copper?  Are you getting excited to go to Redfish? I bet!!! I love you little man. Keep up the good work. I bet you are growing so much!!
McCall- I love you so much Little Angel. I heard you were quite the kick in Vegas-  that is really fun!! I am excited to hear all of your stories and to see this humor with my own eyes and ears. What is your favorite thing to do right now? I love you Cally. Have a great Family Home Evening tonight!!!
Well Fam - Words don’t cut it for how much I love you and how grateful I am for my mission. I love my mission.... I have such tender and special feelings for the past nine months and the things that I have learned. Tell everyone you know about this message and what we have been blessed with. Tell the youth to do this too…. It is not easy, but boy how sweet are the blessings. This time is sacred to me and I just feel the weight of my future on my shoulder. I am just filled with joy now how good my life is going to be because of this short time to be on a mission. It has changed my life forever. SERVE OTHERS. Help people find who Jesus Christ is and what it means to make and keep covenants.  You all are so special and please tell all  the family hello for me. Tell them that I love them and all the great families in Jerome. Tell Elder Gilbert congrats for me and tell him to do what he can for Spanish now, but mostly to make sure that when he enters the MTC he does not come back for two years. There are way too many stories about Elders who do not make it. I love you all!!
Have the best week ever!
This is real....
I love you and will be praying for you!!
Elder Austin

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012

Hello my dear family!
I am so very pleased to hear that the Vegas trip went so well and that you were able to enjoy General Conference.
What a fun time!!  What a great treat it was to watch General Conference!! Last week I had written down five questions that I wanted to be answered. Within the first session, four had been answered. It is amazing to me how tuned our leaders are into our lives.
I received emails from: Grandma Crouch, Grandma Clegg, Blair & family, and of course - the great and faithful family.  Thank you each so much for your sweet time and I really look forward to reading them.
Well, I am not writing this letter from my usual safe zone in Miramar. I have been transferred to a town called Santa Rosa, in the providence of La Pampa. I love it here so far. It was a twelve hour bus ride from Mar Del Plata.
It was extremely hard to leave Miramar. I had been there since I got here in September. I have had so many spiritual experiences and the people were oh so kind. I am truly going to miss them. It almost felt like “leaving home” again. I will treasure the notes and kind words that they gave me. They are such special people. The best part was to see almost all of the recent converts there at the General Conference. That was really special.  This last weekend was really a spiritual feast with the wonderful words of the prophets and all of the many feelings I had of leaving.
Elder Yarger, my old companion, is the only one who stayed in Miramar. He will be training there with three new Elders coming in. He is a stud and will do great things.
My new companion I actually know…? I think he is from Boise and went to Meridian High. We had divisions awhile back and he was in my zone my 2nd and 3rd transfer. We are going into our new area pretty much blind.  Also they are putting in four elders in a ward that has only had two in the past. I have been assigned to be District Leader and am excited to be able to serve the wonderful Elders here. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! I told Elder Ochsenbien to look you up on Facebook so if a Skyler Ochsenbien adds you, that is my old companion who just went home. Elder Holmquist who was in our house in Miramar is now in Bahia Blanca. I was looking forward to having a new house with a little more space, but apparently this one here is smaller and this is the first time with four elders have been in this one house, so that means house hunting again. Haha! Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.  By the way I just heard the new Coldplay song in its entirety… The one that says “ahahaha aha Air Tax! Wooohooooo” Something like that?  haha. (We laughed pretty hard at this…it says “Paradise” not Air Tax! The computer center must have a good sound system! J)
So far Santa Rosa reminds me of St George, Utah. but I have not been to my actual area here yet because I am with my zone leaders….. I am waiting for my companion to show up because he missed the bus.
Dad- Thank you so much for your letter and I so look forward to reading it. Sounds like you had a great time and I am glad to hear that. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I hope that you have  one of the Elders in my district is going to be training so maybe Elder Yost will end up in the same district as me. Or maybe Elder Yarger will train him!? Thank you so much for your encouraging words and the prayers and example that you offer to me. General Conference really does bring families together like I can’t believe. These messages twice a year are truly inspired. I lost it big time when I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang... “Love is Spoken Here”. I love you Dad. I hope that your busy week is filled with good things and that the transition for Redfish goes extremely well. Thank you Dad!
Mom- I got thinking and I realized that the best compliment that I can ever receive is for someone to tell me that I have great parents. I had some very kind people tell me that and it humbled me greatly. I want to give because I have been given much and I know that I can do more. I do indeed come from incredible parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. My family is everything! It was nice to hear so many family centered messages this conference. I am excited to read your letter and thank you so much for your letters and prayers. I miss you and pray for you daily.
Mikesell- How does that yellow and green feel? Mom sent me your “signing” picture for UVU.  I am so proud of you sis! You are amazing.  Enjoy this last couple of months of High School. When is your Prom? I sure miss you a lot. It sounds like you are doing awesome. Keep it up. I am excited to read your letter. Good luck in your track meets this week and go get them. I love you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and love for the scriptures in the last letter.
Brennen- Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with me. That made my day. I sure love you brother and I am so grateful for your example in my life. I hope that you have a wonderful week and that tennis is going well. This is your last week of Drivers Ed and then you can hit the road! That is awesome. I sure love you brother. Keep doing the most important things. Have you thought anymore about your Patriachal Blessing? You can begin preparing today.  I sure love you!
Alex- Hey bro! Thanks so much for your awesome letter! I am glad that you had such a good time in Vegas. I hope that the adjustment into school goes really well. I love you man. How is your testimony?  I hope that you get my letter in time for your Birthday! Keep up the good work!! I love you so much!  Look up Alma 29:4
Harrison- You look so grown up in your pictures! What a stud you are! Did you like General Conference? That is kinda hard to pay attention for that long, but I bet you did it with ease. I hope that your school is going well buddy.  Keep trying to get the best grades possible. I sure miss you and love you little man. Keep being awesome! Have a good FHE tonight with the family!
McCall- McCall, I know how awesome you are, and I will never forget it! I am glad to hear that you had such a wonderful time in Las Vegas with the family.  I hope that you learned a lot. You are the girl. Are you and Harrison saying your prayers every night on your own?  I love you McCall and don’t you ever forget it.
Mom, I was wondering if next letter you could send a memory card or two?  Mine is getting full and I think I will send it home soon. Also I think I am going to need some new shoes. I wear size twelves. And I hear that the best way to send them is in two separate packages. That is how Elder Yarger got them. That is all I need… don’t worry about sending anything at all for a while. I have more than I need. Thank you for all you do. I love you!
Well, This was a great week. I can’t tell you how much I loved General Conference.  I thought of you often. I am so grateful to be able to spend this time here to serve and try to give back just a little portion of what I have already been given. Keep reading the scriptures and doing good things. I am grateful for this time to be able to mature and grow eternally. I challenge all of you to think of a vision of what you want in your life and to pray to receive the desires to achieve that vision. I asked a Zone Leader a little while ago what had brought him the most success and he told me that He prays for charity every day. I have done the same and have seen the change in my desires. May Heavens richest blessings be yours. I love you all so much. This time apart will only make us closer and stronger in the long run.  For this I am very grateful....
Have the best week of your lives!
I love you all.
Elder, Austin