Monday, May 28, 2012

Hola Querido Familia,
What an incredibly busy week you all had!!! Thank you so much for taking what little free time you do have and write me. I am so happy to hear that everything went so well with graduation, Brennens Patriarchal blessing and all the tournaments and races. We were all greatly blessed!!
I received letters from Ethan Lopez - Thanks so much Ethan! Your letter was very kind and I am glad to hear that you are doing so well.  I look forward to seeing you down the road also. Thank you so much for your wonderful example. I miss you bro - hope finals went well and that summer will be great for you!
The Oveson Family- I honestly cannot tell you how much I loved your letters! Margaret - you should seriously consider writing a book!! What a great experience that you had in the "Flashing red light zone”.  Thank you so much for your letters!! I miss you all and I hope that all is well. I am sure it is beautiful and that the cattle will arrive shortly if not already. Have a great summer and thank you all so much. Thanks for the sweet letters KY and Logan!!
Well, it was a great week. Really I learned a lot and grew much I feel like. I love times when I can see where I am at and have huge desires to do better. Last week we had a meeting for the district meeting just in our zone right after I sent you the email last week -  it was a great meeting. On our way back I was looking at my clock and it was 8:30pm. I figured the bus would pass by our house at about 8:45….which only gives us about fifteen minutes to work.  I was pretty pumped from the meeting and thought how I want to be the type of missionary that really does that kind of thing. The bus was a little late due to traffic and we literally walked in the house at 8:55pm. I asked my comp if he wanted to go knock on just one more door right by our house. I told him if nothing happens tonight for sure Heavenly Father will see our efforts and we will be blessed down the week. He is great so we said a prayer… half smiling because we knew it was crazy ...SO as we shut the door it literally was 8:57 so we had three minutes before we had to be back in unless we got into a house within three minutes. As we rounded the corner heading out of our complex the other Elders were coming in. Right behind them was a neighbor who we had contacted before… he is a college student our age and was really nice. He were just getting back from his church. I went up to him and shook his hand and within thirty seconds he invited us in. I looked at Elder K and just smiled. We talked for 25 min and we were back in the house by 9:30. I testify to all of you that God sees our little efforts and wants to give us faith building experiences. I was just taken back with gratitude for that experience.
Another experience that we had was on Friday. We made a jeopardy game for a ward mission activity, for Friday night. That day I had an interview with an investigator from the other Elders in our house who was scheduled to be baptized on Sunday. We went there and he was not there so we went on splits to wait for him to get back home (well he never did come home and was not baptized, send your prayers for him) but as we were on splits we went to a family that Elder Hansen and I had found on splits about a month ago. They are doing well but haven’t come to church. We had a great lesson with them and they told us how they wanted to come to church but wouldn’t be able to this week because he had to work. I rather gutselly told them that we would love to come by to get them up for the activity tonight. We persuaded them after a while and then we had the closing prayer and we actually were able to set baptism dates with them also. They came to the activity and they loved it and he actually kicked my trash in a pushup contest for one of the categories. It hurts me to tell you that. I was so stoked because I have been doing pushups every morning without missing a single day for almost 11 months but he just whooped me. Man... But it was great.
It was a sad end of the week when the other elders were not able to baptize there investigator. I am learning a lot about how to help people be motivated and really see what it means to have that tag on your chest. It means more and more to me.  I love this work and just want to scream to take out every one of natural man and complacency out of me. But I am grateful and happy.
This week is a big week. The familia Garcia gets married the 1st and baptized the 2nd. I am so excited and really just feel like a dream to be able to have found such a great family. I want them to stay in this so bad. I have faith that they will.
Dad  - It sounds like the race went well and I hope that everything was well marked this year!! haha That was great!! I am excited for you to have this summer. I think it is going to be a really great one and that a lot of lives are going to be touched and a lot of good is going to be done. I was thinking how wouldn’t it be neat if you all could have the goal to try and help an employee reach the waters of baptism this year. Maybe just all be looking for someone who seems really prepared and then pray for some way to share, without any complications with the boss / employee situation. I sure love you Dad and you sound so good!! I loved hearing about your state track experience. I sure appreciate all that you do for everyone. I thank you for your motivation and all that you do. I love you and will keep praying for you. Have a great week and enjoy Harrisons B-day. Love you Pops!!
Mom-  Feeding 600 people in one weekend… ouch. Probably not your record though…even a close second if I remember right…? Wow… what a week!! I hope that this week you can be a little more settled and get some last minute things down. Sounds like you will be hitting the road a lot this week. I hope the kids can step it up this week and help you. (Hint, Hint) How are you feeling?  Lots of emotions the last week…Mikesell graduating… maybe you haven’t had the time to take it in. I am so glad to hear about Brennen’s Patriarchal Blessing. I thought about that a lot this week. Mom, I love you so much. Thank you so much for your email and your words of encouragement. You are pretty on the ball!! I hope that this week is great and if the Clegg cousins are still there tell them Hello for me and that I love them. I love you Mom. Have a great week and thank you so much for your awesomeness. You are the best!!
Mikesell -Wow, there she went. You looked so great in all of your pictures - thanks for sending them. I am glad you got your letter just in time for graduation! I sure love you and am so grateful for the person that you are. I hope that this summer is a great one for you. Sounds like you had a lot of fun last week. I sure miss you sis. I love you and am super excited for this summer for you. It should be a lot of fun.  Work hard and go get that vision this summer. I love you Mikesell.
Brennen - How are you buddy. What a special experience that you must have had. I am so grateful that you were able to get your Patriarchal Blessing. You will cherish that day for ever. You know in Dad´s blessing it talks about how his children will be special spirits reserved to come forth in the last days and you live that perfectly in every way. You are such a good kid. Stay strong and work hard this summer. I am super excited for you. I sure love you brother and keep being the great person that you are. Have fun up there in that little piece of heaven. I am glad that you enjoyed Marsh Valley Tournament!!
Alex-  Hey man, so your Ipod got stolen!? At mutual - that is a bummer… but maybe it will be a good little experince.  It sounds like you played really well. That is awesome.  I sure love you man and I pray for your daily. I hope that this is a growing summer for you in every way. It will be lots of fun. I sure love you Alex. Keep being a great example buddy. You the Man!
HARRISON- THE BIG 9, are you soooo excited for your birthday!? I am... I hope that you have a great day and that you can have lots of fun and remember how loved that you are. I sure miss you buddy. Keep being awesome. What are your big plans for this week? Have you jumped in the lake yet? I love you buddy. Keep saying those prayers!!
McCall- I hope that you love this week so much!! I love you and miss you. I still remember your cute face from Skype on Mothers Day. I hope you can play a lot but be a good little helper and that you will have a fun week. You are getting so big!  This will be a great summer for you. I love you Cally. BIG KISS...
Oh the weather here is actually still surprisingly nice. I love the autumn here.
Papa and Grandma Crouch - I just saw your email come through. I am way excited to print it out and read it. Thank you so much and I love you both!!
Tonight I have a 5 hour bus ride to Bahia for out last leadership conference with my beloved President. I am excited for that.
I will keep trying to be the missionary that all of you think that I am.
I love you all and have a wonderful week. All my love ---
Elder Clegg

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012
Another week, another week! I appreciate all of your letters and the updates on the week. Everyone sounds really well and I am glad to hear about the success of state track and all the great energy as well as movement up at Redfish and in Jerome.  Thank you so much for your prayers this week. They were greatly felt and answered. Yesterday the Ochoa family was confirmed and their baptism on Saturday went really well. It has been about a year since the ward baptized so it was good to "break that ice" and get that water flowing. 
Thank you Grandma Clegg for your email. I will be praying for Grandpa and that the preparation for the surgery will go well. Thank you for sharing that neat experience with me. I am so grateful for your example. I love you both.  
Papa and Grandma Crouch - thank you so much for the Mothers Day email. There are no words to describe the gratitude that I feel reading these letters. I hope that you both have a wonderful week in Idaho. I love you both.
 Well with the baptism on Saturday and some other success it was a great week. I had some serious desire to work this week….and it just felt like a good week. I want to work more with the members here though, we can have a ton of success as missionaries and forget the importance of involving the members. They are so crucial to the work. That is something that I wish I would have realized growing up. Always ask the missionaries if you can go with them out on lessons. It will bless your life greatly. So this week the zone leaders got put in my district and that is such a blessing. You are not going to believe this story but our new Zone leader is from Arizona, and he went to BYU.  This Wednesday when they came to our area to have the interview with the Ochoa family before baptism we started talking and I was asking him where he lived.  Funny thing is, he was dating Amy Ellsworth roommate before his mission. He knows Jessica and Amy very well. He was in their ward. Funny connection huh? He has been out about a year and 5 months. Elder Ryan Garrison is his name. I am happy to work with him. He has great vision. Other than that it was a great week.  The Garica  family has the certificate and they are sealing the deal the first of June to be married. A true miracle. The thirteen year boy, Julian reminds me a lot of you two Brennen and Alex. He is a stud on the bike and is a really good kid, looks up to and respects his Dad so much. 
Well, sounds like life is rolling up at Redfish again. I thought about the wonderful feelings that exist up there at this time and was so happy for you all to be there. Even if you were not there this weekend! haha. Next weekend! ;) Tell all the employees that I love them and that they better have the best summer ever. Kill em with kindness and make it so they want to ask you about the gospel… but more importantly…. open your mouths. Just like you said in your letter Dad.  Hey Mom, would you mind emailing me each of the baptism pictures that there are on that SD card I sent you? I want to print them out here to have them, and i will save them on my SD cards here. I am glad that you got my letter ok for your birthday and that you enjoyed it. You deserve so much more. I am glad that Grandma and Blair and Anneli got there letters also. So far the mail system has been good to us!!
I had a good week of studies this week, I wanted to share just a few scriptures, one is Proverbs 29: 18. The other is the first 15 verses in D&C 76. I have been reading Jesus the Christ and the New Testament and it has been really cool to learn more about the life of Christ.
Dad- Sounds like you had an awesome time at the state track tournament on Friday. That is so great! I am so glad to hear that Jerome did well and that Eric Harris did so well too! I am guessing he will be running at the Y next year. What a great example of vision and desire and effort. Sounds like you have some great returning crew members. I am so happy for Cass to be the Nanny. I hope that you all just have the best summer ever. What a blessing is that place.  It is a part of us! I sure love you Dad. Thank you so much for your example. You don’t know what a huge impact you have on so many. Tell the branch up there that I love them. Have a great week. You are the MAN!
Mom- I am so glad you got the letter and the SD card ok. It was kind of risky of me to send that, but I am glad that it got there ok. What a week you have ahead of you. Brennen will get his Patriarchal Blessing, Mikesell Graduates and the fun begins of trying to get the family moved to Redfish. I will be praying for you extra this week.  You are so amazing. I don't know how you do it all.  Thank you for sharing your testimony. Thank you for all the fun little acts of service that you do for each of us. Those little things are what make the biggest difference. I love you so much Mom. I hope that you have a awesome week. I sent a letter to Amy´s parents and asked if they could just forward it on. Have a great week and travel safely! You are superwoman! I love you with all my heart! 
Mikesell- Mikesell!!  I was thinking about you today. You know I just want to tell you to take a second and look back at your high school career. You have done more good than can be written. You too, just like Eric have reached your vision. Have an attitude of gratitude like you do and you are only beginning to see the potential that lies within you. The story of you with Kristen was so touching. Maybe this was to help you see that you do want to be a trainer or something like that to help people do what they want to do physically. You are so gifted. This is the week. You should get a letter from me. Act like it is a surprise. I love you so much and am so proud of who you are. Thank you for being my best friend and sister and example. You are going to have a great week and one that you will remember forever. Tell Terran, Tanner, Melissa, Hannah all your friends who I know and cant name individually Congrats for me. I love you Mikesell. GO get your vision. 
Brennen- You also have one of the most life changing weeks coming up for you. Mom and Dad I am sure will have some good advice for you. Fasting before will help you to be more spiritually intune. I am so excited for you Brennen. I was thinking and when I get home we will climb a mountain or lake together and we will share our thoughts. Sound like a plan? Have fun in Marsh Valley. Trust in Coach Messick, you will learn a lot from playing with the big boys and just enjoy it. I sure love you buddy. I will be praying for you and I am so proud of the person that you are. Love you bro!!
Alex- Thanks for your email little buddy. You are so great. Are you excited to get up the fish? I didn’t know David and Rio where coming up there again that is awesome. Take advantage of that and tell hello and that I love them. Keep growing in all the important ways buddy.  I love you bud. Keep being a stud!!
 Harrison- Hey little man. Your last week of school! Are you so excited to be with that awesome Cass all summer?  I would be.  I hope that you have a good last week with your friends and enjoy your time. That is sometimes hard to leave all your buddies for the summer, but don’t worry they will be there when you get back. I love you Harrison!! Keep saying your prayers and living life to the fullest.
 McCall- I bet you are really going to miss your buddies…Allie has been a good friend hasn’t she!?  Did you know that I was 7 years old my first summer ever at Redfish? You are already a pro and know all the fun stuff though. I love you McCall and pray for you so much. Have a great week and remember that your big bro loves you.
All my love!!! Have a wonderful week dear family. I love you with all my heart. Be safe and keep living the Dream.
Mikesell Congrats and Brennen enjoy getting your blessing on Sunday!
Alex, Call and Harrison help Mom as much as you can!! 
I love you. This all is real and AWESOME!
Elder Austin

Monday, May 14, 2012


Hello there Family!

So great to talk to you yesterday!!! I so enjoyed it and can’t tell you all how GREAT it was to see you all and your bright faces. It was strange to be honest. It really made me see that you are all doing  so well and that really, you are all still YOU! 

Thank you so much for the packages. I now have two shoes and am wearing them and loving them! I loved the hand written letters so much it was so great to read those and thank you so much for taking the time to write them. I really appreciate it. I also got a letter and a small “Preach my Gospel" in Spanish that was really great from Amy. That was really nice of her. My guess is she probably won’t read this on the blog now that she is on her mission.  I will send a letter though.

Thank you so much Grandma Clegg for your sweet email. You are so thoughtful to do that. I hope that you had a wonderful Mothers Day! Please tell Grandpa Clegg and Uncle Alan I love them and hello. I hope that Grandpa is feeling alright. I will be praying for him a lot.

Also Papa, thank you for your letter!! Happy Mothers Day Grandma Crouch! I sent you a letter and it should be getting there this week. I love you both so much and thank you so much for your example. You have influenced my life in so many, many ways.

So this last week was wonderful. An amazing highlight was obviously talking to you all. It was a little harder week in the sense that is was harder to find investigators and we lost some investigators, but through all of that we have the amazing Garcia Family and the Ochoa family that are progressing very well and are stoked for baptism. This Saturday the Ochoa family will be baptized and so your prayers are appreciated for them!! Satan throws everything at them the last week. The family Garcia is going to be married June 1st and be baptized June 2nd. Sergio asked if Elder Knuteson and I could do the ordinance. He loves learning and is so prepared right now. I feel so blessed to have them as investigators. I love that family so much. I am so excited for the 2nd!! I love all the Elders in our district and zone.  We will be getting hermanas (sister missionaries) in our zone and I am excited for that because they add such a special spirit to the work. The Elders act more like elders when there is Hermanas around. Ha-ha!!

Dad- You looked just awesome yesterday. It was so good to see you and to hear your voice. I am excited for this year for you at Redfish. I am confident that it will be the best one yet. I am glad you can just kind of “escape” the political scene for the summer. I am glad I am out of it. It may get pretty ugly. I have some serious passion for that stuff and the country that I love. I hope you have a great week up at Redfish. I can’t thank you enough Dad. Thank you for your prayer yesterday with the family and for the leadership and example that you provide in the house. You are truly “the Man”. Keep at it and I hope that your heal up nice and good soon! Love you pops, keep classy.

Mom- What an amazing woman that you are. I thought about today the story you told me with Grandma Daw. That is so you to think of that even on your birthday. What a blessing that experience was. Life is just precious isn’t it? When we are living right we are just blessed beyond reason. I loved that line “if hands could talk” that you talked about.  Oh hey, one funny story… about a week ago I broke a shovel helping an investigator take out a root system. You will have to tell the Oveson’s.  Some things never change!! They will get a kick out of that. Mom I love you so much. Thank you with all my soul for who you are. I hope that yesterday you were able to feel just a hundredth of the love that God and people around you have for you. I love you much Mom. Have a great week and thanks for everything. I don’t need anything….and you were right on the shirt size just so you know. (16 and a 34-35) I love you Mom!!

Mikesell- Oh what an angel you are. You looked so beautiful yesterday and I hope that your graduation went really well. I miss you so much. I am so excited for your adventures. Use this week as a missionary tool for Jazz while she is staying with the family and keep your head up. I am sorry you were not able to run in districts or state. I hope you heal soon. There will only be one state champ for the most important things. Keep your chin up and face that future with a blue eyed fire. You rock sis. I love you so much. Thank you.

Brennen- I am still blown away at you. You looked so good yesterday! Wow. You are a young man of honor. Keep it up. I hope that you have a great week and can keep helping Mom. I love you man. Keep at it. Thank you for your example. We are all in the fight together.

Alex- Great to see you buddy!!  You looked so tall and your face was all thinned out and grown up - all of you. I love it. What a great brotherhood. You got the world in your hands buddy. Have a great week and do the important things and love one another. 

Harrison. -  Ha-ha “I didn’t do it!” That was the best line ever. Thank you for that buddy. When I asked “How is your testimony” you instantly thought of getting up and saying your testimony in church. A testimony is your relationship of friendship with Heavenly Father. But it is good to share your testimony also. I love you buddy keep being awesome. Have a great week.

McCall- You looked so grown up and good. You are just a little angel. I hope that you have a good week pretty girl. Keep being awesome. I love you!

Well if your could all read in Mosiah 4 : 11- 15 this week that would be awesome. Also 1 Nephi 16:11-13 to me that talks all about attitude and effort. I would love to expand but my time is up. I love you all so much. I know this is the Gospel of Christ and that obedience does bring blessings of all kinds.

I love you all! Have a great week!!!!!

Elder Austin

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

Letters From:
Stephanie Bingham- Thanks so much for your letter. Sounds like you are doing really great and that picture in Egypt was awesome. How fun! I hope that things at school are going well and that your family is doing well. Have a great week. You are awesome.
I officially have one shoe, I got the package last Tuesday. I don´t know how it got here so fast but it did. I hope the other one will be here tomorrow. I loved the pictures. Thank you so much for the thoughtfulness. You all are the best!
I also received emails from Grandma and Grandpa Daw, Aunt Julie, and (Elder) Skyler Ochsenbein. Thank you each so much. It is so good to hear from you all. I love you and pray for you often. I will look forward to reading them tonight and I so appreciate you taking the time to write to me.  Have a great week.
-And thanks so much Mom, Dad, and Mikesell for each of your letters.
So on Sunday at 2 o clock is the time that we all have worked out to call on Mother’s Day and Moms Birthday!  I will try the house phone first. I am so very excited to talk to you all. Where is time going!!!?
What a great week you all had. Sounds like the journey of the “journeys” has begun and that this week will be the last one in the Jerome ward. That is always a bitter sweet time. I hope that you are all doing well and excited to get up the fish. Enjoy your last several weeks in the great Jerome. We live in two awesome places!!!
Well, I had a really good week. I am glad to see that you also noticed the full moon. That was beautiful!  I cannot believe that 10 months has passed. Wow. Well the highlights of the week were splits with Elder Scoma my Zone Leader, which was really awesome.  We had 7 people in church yesterday and the ward attendance went up from 45 to about 60. That was wonderful. Lots of members stood up and said how grateful they were for the Four Elders here now. It is nice to see the change in their trust in the missionaries after some not so great experiences with others. It was humbling. The Famila Garcia has all the papers that they need to get married now and they should get a date this week.  Also on the 19th a single mom and her two girls have dates and are progessing well. (Maria, Llumina and Maria)  Prayers in their behalves would be great. 
To answer some of your questions: Yes we all sleep on the same room. I have slept on the floor on a foam mattress for over 5 months now. So sleeping at normal bed level will be a change whenever that comes…. but it is great sleeping. There has not been much talk about Brother Mitt here as of yet. It will come.  It was actually really warm again this week. However we do jackets even. So I am not sure what the weather is going to do.  So far I have loved Argentina in the Fall. Just really pretty. The trees are changing now.  The district is doing well and we all get along really well. Tomorrow is Elder Knuteson and Elder Hansens birthday! Crazy huh! 

Grandma Crouch! Happy Birthday!! I hope that you have a truly wonderful day. I hope that you get my letter before your birthday. Thank you for being the amazing Grandma, and person that you are. I will be praying extra hard for you on the 11th. I love you.
Also please tell Clarissa and Drew Happy Birthday and that I love them also!!
Dad- Sure am excited for you to be up at the fish. I hope that your health can get better with your ankle and all. How are you sleeping?  I am sure excited to talk to you. Thank you for your prayers and the great leader and person that you are. You are an inspiration. Have a great week and I will TALK to you on Sunday. I love you Dad, with all my heart. Keep being great!!
Mom- Thank you so much for your package. The one shoe fits great and they are really nice.  That should last me for the long haul now. I don’t know why the shoes I have know didn’t make it for longer but thank you so much. Sounds like time is just flying. I am always amazed at how you can still do the most important things when it gets so busy. I love you so much Mom. I want you to know that I love our Savior and I am so happy to be doing this. It would be my dream job if I could just come home at the end of the day to you all every night.
Mikesell-  Here it comes you big Senior! I will fast and pray for you this week. I hope that all goes well. Regardless of what happens look at the GOODNESS. What a blessing would be to be able to run. I hope that you can heal quickly this week. If you do or don’t run in districts…it will all be okay. I love you so much Mikesell. I am so excited for the things that await you. I think of you often and pray for you hard. Enjoy this time and stay close to Heavenly Father. I sure miss you. Listen to some Strawberry Swing for me. Your’e the girl!
Brennen.- How is life behind the wheels my brother? How is your scripture reading coming? I am so excited to hear that you are getting your Patriarchal Blessing the 27th., I actually was reading mine today and was thinking about you and how close you were getting. I sure love you Brennen. You are affecting hundreds of lives. Keep being a warrior and doing all those good things. I hope that tennis is going well. I love you buddy.
Alex- Hey my little man. I am pumped to talk to you. I hope that you have a great week and that all the sports life is going well. More than that I hope that you are doing well and that you and Brennen are able to help Mom a lot. I sure love you bro. You are such a stud and keep being awesome. Finish Strong in school!!
Harrioson!!! I am so excited to talk to you!  I bet you are going to sound so grown up. Are you excited to go to Redfish in a little while? Are you going to miss your friends…? You will love having Cass as the Nanny that is wonderful. I love you buddy!!!
McCall!-  Hey sweetie- I am so excited to hear your voice. I miss you so much. How is your room. Is my room still clean?  What are you doing to do for Mom for her Birthday?
Well this week I had some great studies in the morning. I read through 1 Nephi 16: 28 - 29 and I realized that the best way to follow the spirit is to have good Faith (attitude) and to be diligent and use our own thoughts to make decisions. That is how heaven uses personal revelation. I also read in 2 Peter 1: 3-8 that talks about Christ-like attributes and how they are related. I still want to think more about that scripture.
I want you all to know how much I love you. I am doing well here. I miss you all like crazy but am so grateful for my time here. I am grateful that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us and will shape us if we let him. I will talk to you all on Sunday so be ready. I am so happy.
I love you all and may you be safe both spiritually and physically. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Love ,
Elder Austin