Monday, September 24, 2012

To the best family in the world...
How are you all? I am sure that is was an another really busy week for you all. Thank you so much for your letters last week. We passed the day when we have exactly the same amount of sunlight. It seems like yesterday I was in Miramar and the same day passed.
This week has been a great week….a bit of a roller coaster…but I have a lot to be grateful for. Yesterday Elder Arnold came and spoke for our Stake Conference. It was so good. He has been through so many experiences and has a testimony that is incredible. His classic line that all the missionaries copy is ¨No es fe para mi, se, se que JesuCristo vive y que hay vida despues esta vida¨" he says it with such power it kind of gives you the chills. He patted me on the shoulder and shook my hand. I am so grateful for example of the prophets and apostles. Hermano Moran came to the church yesterday and it was honestly one of the sweetest moments ever. His wife is our music director and she is the sweetest and most active later and her husband is not a member - I still don’t know why, but we are teaching him with Presidente and Hermana and he is coming along. I think that he will most likely be the next one baptized we hope and pray. I learned a lot this week that I have to work with members so much more. Three of  our investigators told us for sure, for sure that they were going to come yesterday. I can read them well and I knew that they were going to come. They even prayed at the end of the lesson to be able to make it there safe.  Then yesterday they didn’t show up. That is the hardest thing about this work. But the two that did come were results of working with members, or they were members of incomplete families. The other three we have passed by with member also, but the strong friendship with the members isn’t there yet.
I am learning a ton from Presidente and Hermana. This week we discovered that we were all fans of "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie, it is Presidents favorite book.
Tonight all the Zone Leaders are coming in and tomorrow we have a meeting with them. That will be great. In October we are doing the zone conference rounds and so I am excited to get to know the mission a little better.
I am doing well. Trying to do all that I can and serve with all I can.
Dad- What day will be the last day of Redfish? What a quick season! I bet it is really pretty up there. I love you so much Dad. I just can’t thank you enough. Thanks for living, doing, and applying the Gospel in everything that you do. I hope that you have a great week. You’re the man. Go get em.
Mom- I am hope that things have settled down a little and that you have been able to put your feet on the ground a little. Are you excited for General Conference? I sure am. How is everything going with your family? I have been praying for them. I hope that everything works out. I have grown so much vision for my life here in the mission. Like the scripture says in Proverbs, I truly believe that men without vision, without something to strive for, perish. We lose hope, without vision there is no desire, so the stronger our vision, the more we can have righteous desire, and I know that God grants unto us our desires. I love you Mom. Have a wonderful week. I miss you and am so grateful for you!
Mikesell- Thank you so much for you sweet letters. You are awesome. Sounds like you are going out on lots of dates these days. That is fun. I love you Mikesell and am so grateful for you. Your coach sees in you what you have. Keep up the good work and doing great things! I love you sis. Moon is getting full.
Brennen- Thank you so much for your letter. You sound so good. I am excited for you. How is Cross Country going? I hope that you are enjoying it. How are your efforts in school going? I hope that you have a wonderful week. Keep being awesome my friend and brother. I love you.
Alex- How are you man!? I would love to get a email from you. I love you so much buddy. I hope that Cross Country is going really well. I sure miss you bud. How are the Cougs doing this year?  Keep praying being an excellent person.
Harrison- I sure love you buddy. How are you doing in school? I bet you are doing super well. I love you Harrison so much. Are you happy?  Enjoy piano and become good at for me okay? Have a great week little man.
McCall- Hey sweet pea, I sure love you. I hope that you are liking school also. What are you learning? Is it cold at Redfish? Have you seen any bears? Will the salmon come this year?
These are some of the scriptures that I liked about hope last week.
Romans 8:28
1 Peter 1:3
Ether 12: 4, 32
Moroni 7:40-48

All my love to each of you----
Elder Austin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello dearest family,
I am so sorry that I was not able to write you yesterday. It was crazy busy, from 4:30 in the morning until the night time. I just got back from the airport as we said goodbye to the Elders and Hermanas. It is really bitter sweet and you feel a lot of emotions. Also, an Elder from Argentina parents came and picked him up and to see them was spectacular. Those moments are so great. I can’t keep my eyes dry. 
You won’t believe it but. Gionabilii the player for the spurs is from here in Bahia Blanca. We just saw him in the airport. My comp went downstairs with another elder in the airport and when he came back up he showed me the picture that he took with him. I will send it next week. Crazy huh. Seeing a NBA player in small Argentina airport!!
This last week was really good. President got his things from Spain and we helped them move in and we had a huge breakfast with them. It was really nice. They are so wonderful. I am learning a lot. We will only have three assistants this transfer and within the next few transfers we will only have two. The area has asked that we only have two assistants. The Torres family is doing just okay. The father started going to his Evanegical church again, It looks like we are going to drop them. I am trying hard to find a balance to have success in my area and the office. Happiness comes from forgetting yourself and serving others.
I read a great talk from Elder Maxwell titled ¨Put of the natural man and come of conqueror" it is excellent… I encourage you all to read it this week.
I am happy, trying to grow, and really grateful for your prayers. I loved my studies this week on hope. I have some scriptures written down for you in my journal, but I left it in the house, so I will share it with you later.
Dad- I am glad that you are doing well. Thanks for your insights on that talk. I remember in BYU we had a devotional when someone invited us to write down one goal or thing to do after the talk that way our actions correspond with what we learned that week. That was pretty inspired. I love you Dad. I miss you, and am happy to be here serving the one who has given us everything that we have. Have a great week.
Mom- Thank you for sharing your thoughts and whats going on with all of the family.   I am so grateful for the relationship that you and Dad have. It has blessed our families lives beyond measure.  You had quite a week last week... I am amazed at all you can pull off and make it look so easy. I love you more than air Mom. Have a good week and I hope that you can get you feet back on the ground a little. You are amazing.
Mikesell- Today I saw a missionary, who was my zone leader and a great example to me, give his Mother, Father, and little sister a hug for the first time in two years. That is about the happiest thing that there is, but only after two years and after we have all grown the ways we need to grow, and helped the people that have needed to be helped. I was so happy to read your letter yesterday. You seem happy, you are adjusting, and doing wonderful. Just like we all knew you would. Enjoy it. I love you so much and miss you. Keep strengthening your relationship strong with Heavenly Father. Have a wonderful week. I love you.
Brennen- I think that it is outstanding that a 15 almost 16 year old young man, takes time out of his week to write his 20 year brother every week. Brennen, you are a outstanding young man and I love you so much. Keep being excellent and never settle for anything average in your life. Put a lot of effort in your seminary. Enjoy Cross country and all the fun times. Live it up. I love you  Bro. Keep up the work.
Alex- You can do it all – can’t you!?... A pink unicycle, by the time I get back you will all be hang gliding or something. I love you broth. Keep doing your prayers. Write when you can--
Harrison- I love you so much little bro. I hope that you are enjoying school and all of your classes. I am so proud of the great kid you are. Keep being great!
McCall- I love you so much I hope you are happy and enjoying your classes. I love you. Keep saying your prayers and doing nice things for people. I love you.
I love you so all so much.
Have a great week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hello there dear family!!!
 How is the fall? Thank you each so much for your letters!!
Grandma Clegg, I hope that everything works out with this man. That is really a hard thing when that happens. Thank you for your political updates and your great positive attitude through everything. Please tell Grandpa and Uncle Alan hello for me. This last week was the dedication for the temple here in Buenos Aires. I was thinking about how great it will be to have the temple there in Boise. I also thought a lot about Uncle Alan.  Please send him my love and support and encouragement. Tell that I am looking forward to the plan. He will know what I mean. I love you and Grandpa so much. Have a great week. 
Well this week was great. The highlights were obviously the dedication of the temple in Buenos Aires! President Eyring, Elder Ballard, (his grandfather opened up the South American Mission), and Elder Christofferson, who served as a missionary here were all here. It was a really neat program and I really enjoyed it. We had an activity with the youth and I got to work all day with a 16 year boy. I can’t believe Brennen will be 16 here shortly. What a stud he is.  We have also been teaching a spouse of a Hermana here with Hermana Parreno this week. That has been great. She is so awesome. He is a little hard hearted, but we always trust in the Lord as missionaries and we will see what happens. The family Torres is doing good, they didn't come to the cultural celebration and that bummed me out, but this week should be a good week we hope! Also this week we have transfers, so according to Elder Costanzi, my companion,  it is a crazy week… so that will be exciting. The other AP Elder Caicedo, who is a really good friend of mine from Columbia goes home this week.  I will really miss him. He was also in Miramar so we have that brotherly bond and I love that. Also today I received a letter from the Garcia Family. I am praying and hoping that they can go through the temple my last day here in Argentina. We have one day waiting in Buenos Aires and I think that we can go through the temple this day. Oh man, we will see what happens oh man would I love that. I would love that, but I accept the plan of Heavenly Father. It has been a great week. I am learning more patience and the importance of preparation here in the office.   Today, we actually got a P-day and played Frisbee in the church lawn. It was a nice break. The second day in my entire mission that I have thrown a disc. But that is ok with me, this is a special time. The mission is so great, I have enjoyed being able to see missionaries come in and then leave. It is a very spiritual experience.  I am doing great. I love the mission and I have so much to be grateful for. I was reading in my journal this week, a year ago was my first week in Argentina. It was so weird, a year ago!! I don’t think I could have imagined even that I would have been blessed so much with all that has happened and the wonderful experiences that I have had. Heavenly Father has just put really prepared people in my path and I owe him so much for that. I have learned so much and try to keep growing. I just love it. I love trying to do better.
Dad- Thanks so much for you email. I am glad to hear that it is pretty fall. Sounds like the fires are better… nobody seemed to say anything about it in this weeks letters. I hope that you are doing well up there and enjoying your time in that place of Heaven. I hope that you enjoy your fall. It feels weird here to be getting hotter in September, but I am not complaining. I love you Dad. I thank you more than anything for your Gospel Legacy. This week I was studying with Elder Caidedo, the Elder that is leaving, and he asked me what my parents did, especially my Dad. I got thinking telling him everything that you did and I got emotional thinking and talking about it.  You are the best Dad, and thank you for using the priesthood to bless so many lives.  
Mom- This week will be one of your classics, but you do so great under pressure. Thank you for your sweet email. That is a lot of mouths to feed and details to pull off!! Thank for the update on McCall and Harrison. It is a little harder to know how they are doing because they cannot write me. So I appreciate the little updates. Thank you for all your prayers and example. I love you so much. Thanks for being the best Mom in the world. I hope that you are healthy and happy. Thank you for your many sacrifices.  You are truly the best. Have a great week-
Mikesell- sounds like you are doing well. Learning what Heavenly Father wanted you to learn through all of this experience. Keep strong, keep your eye on the top of that mountain, Squaw Peak, if you would like. Ask someone which one that is. I love you Mikesell. I am so excited to see how you have grown. Keep being happy and loving life. Be wise in all things. I love you Mikesell. Tell all the cousins hello for me.
Brennen- I am glad that you got your new unicycle! Thanks so much for writing me. I hope that school is going well and that you are enjoying your classes. Sounds like you got a good line up. Please send my love to Coach Nordquist. He is so great --- learn how to be a team player. I love you buddy. I love you more than you know. Be a warrior, The Lord needs a tool like you, you have so many great abilities and, your potential, really is scary high. What you want to do, you can do. I love you Brennen!! You’re the man.
Alex- Hey Warrior, are you excited to run at Challis this week?  Are you running a 5k or less? I want you to destroy all of my high school PRs your freshman year ok? Think about that. How are you doing spiritually? You are at a very important time in your life and people will start to label you according to your decisions. First off, make good ones, and second off, you be Alex and no one else. I love you brother. Keep reaching new heights.
Harrison- I love you so much little brother. How are you liking school? Are you being a good example?  You are a stud Harrison. I miss you and love you. Do five pushups a day ok? I love you little man. Stick strong with piano, listen to the words of your sinning brother and practice like your teacher asks you to!
McCall- Hey sweetie, sounds like you like your teacher and I hope that you like piano today. What games do you play at recess? Thank you for your prayers. I love you so much. Keep being happy and a good sport in all those travels back and forth to Redfish each weekend. Wear your seat belt! Big kiss Cally.
 I want you each to know that you are the biggest treasure in the world... My heart is with you, as it is here in Argentina for these people. This week is the week of hope to study. Thanks for joining me. I had some great thoughts come to my mind and tried to apply it in our lessons.  I love you all, Be strong, Be great, and keep up the good work. Thank you so much for your prayers. Tell everyone there in Jerome that I love them, and give them a card or a book of Mormon or something. May it be a happy week for you all...
Love, Elder Austin 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello those that dwell in the mountains,
It was so awesome to get all of your letters!!! I am grateful for all the experiences that you are having, the hard ones and the happy ones.  We can learn from everything. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write and your words of encouragement and support. I think that all of the many blessing that I have received on my mission are just Heavenly Father answering the prayers of my extraordinary parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends...Thank you.
Please also send my love and regards to the Boren family. I hope that the service goes well. Books need to be written about President Boren and his great family. I hope that the spirit is strong there testifying of the blessings of a temple marriage and the plan of salvation. (Our Branch President's wife in Stanley passed away last week...the funeral was today in Boise. She has had alheimers for almost 6-7 years and has been in a center for the last several years. It is a love story between the two of them that I will forever remember. She has not known him for years...but he continued weekly to drive to Boise from Stanley each week and stay for days to visit and to show his love)
I received a letter from the man Ryan Connolly this week. Thanks so much Ryan, (still want to say Elder Connolly). Glad to hear that you made it safe and that the adjustment is going well. I hope your stomach bug goes away soon. Those gomitas had to catch up with you some time my friend. haha.  I miss you and thanks for your great example. The mission is doing great. Keep progressing and good luck in school. Love you Brother.
Bishop Prince- Your letters are the best- thank you so much. I hope that you and the family are doing awesome. Have a great fall. I love you Bishop. Thanks for your prayers and your kindness. Your’e the best. Hope that those chickens are still laying eggs, your windows are still getting graffiti on them and you are being blessed for your service.  I love you Bishop.
First  off, I got to say…. Alex, I wasn’t going to let that tic tac toe going to end in a cat, so I am glad you let me win. That is too bad you thought you put "o"s.  haha. No just kidding, yeah you were  O, but I thought I would try to pull a fast one you, but good work, you caught it.
This week has been a week of serious miracles. Little things, but looking back I am really grateful. On Tuesday, we had a leadership conference and that was amazing, I learned so many great things about leadership and the presentation that we gave went well. Oh man, I wish you all could know President and Hermana Parreno. The are un-human. Hermana is just amazing. I wanted to share a story. So during the conference with Elder Vinas, Elder Costanzi and I snuck away to the office because we were waiting for the lunches to show up. As we were in the office the phone rang and a woman wanted to know what church was closest to her. We gladly told her and then set a appointment with the hermanas that are in her area. They set a baptism date and she and her family went to church. We just thought it was a miracle that  1) she had the office number and 2) we just happened to be in the office.
Then last Monday Hermana was telling us how she had been giving out cards with the office number on them. Elder Costanzi raised his hand and told the story of what happened, and Hermana jumped and raised her hand and said “THAT WAS ME”.  It was really special. They are examples of good missionaries, not only mission presidents. I love them so much for that.
Last Monday, I also received some letters from converts in Miramar. I am super stoked because they have been practicing in Mar Del Plata to participate in the temple celebration this end of the week. Oh man, it is so great. They are doing so well. The Gonsalez family. Also we were teaching a husband of a super awesome hermana there in Miramar, and he was baptized and they went to the open house, They sent a letter thanking us for teaching them. Oh, it doesn’t get any better that that.
Funny story for you Mikesell-
Last week we were contacting on a Saturday night and we were not having much luck, but we found a man who was really upset because his curtains broke and his family was coming the next day and he wanted to have them fixed but didn’t have the money. We were desperate to find so we told him we could sew his curtains. After some persistence he let us in and, you wouldn’t believe it but we sewed his curtains. I have almost never sewed anything in my life, but I managed to sew his curtain we fixed it, shared a lesson about the Book of Mormon and we will keep passing by. Classic “fake it till you make it”.
Yesterday we found a awesome family. I am really hopeful for them and I see a lot of potential in them. They are a family of 9 the grandparents, who are married, and their daughter who is divorced and her 5 kids. They are great and we have a FHE with them tonight with a member. Pray for the family Torres. Everyone is really excited for the temple this weekend and Elder Eyring will be in BA. It should be great.
I loved the scriptures that I read this week in DC 88:63 and DC 67: 13 this week. I am going to be doing a deeper study of ch 6 of Preach my Gospel the next nine weeks and this week. I will be studying faith. You are all welcome to join me.
Dad-Thanks so much for that picture of the fire. I am glad that you enjoyed your time in Utah and I am sure that it was really hard to say good bye to Mikesell this time. It will all turn out great.  I keep praying for " Brother romney" and we will see what happens- I hope that the fires settle so that you can get a little more weekend business this fall. I sure love you Dad. Thanks for your example and I am glad  you  got the letter.
Mom- I liked the picture of those scarves by the way. Lots of color! Impressive you knitter you! I kind of have spring allergies, and I can’t believe you asked me that. I will find your camera man down to take that pic for you. I hope that you can use the questions when people ask about me being in Argentina into missionary experiences. I short  5 second testimony shared allows the spirit to touch people if they are prepared. I love you Mom!! Have  great week and I hope the adjustments and the ache of leaving Redfish passes quickly. I love you more than air!!  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and prayers. You are truly the best.
Mikesell- I am grateful for the tests that you are having and I know that you will win. I pray for you a ton. Hey, so you know Rueben Christanson, was the AP when I got here, I told him you were going to be at UVU.  Well... I’ll say this….if I got to have any say in the boys you date, he makes the cut, but you are a freshman.  And it sounds like you already getting drilled. Holy smokes, why are you so good?  I love you Mikesell!!!  Keep your head up and your chin high. Christmas will arrive and you will look back on all of this and just be grateful for the time to grow. I love you and good luck.
Brennen- I hope that the dish pit is going great and that you are stoked for the xc season. You will do great!! You look strong in all of your pictures. I don’t think you will have any problems with your heal. Keep strong stripling warrior. You are the man and go dominate your life brother. Thanks for your example.
Alex- haha, sorry I cheated on you man. I saw the opportunity and I had to take it. I hope you forgive me. Pretty cool you had taken that picture of our tic tac toe game before….caught red handed wasn’t I?  Are you going to dominate in XC this year or what. I love you and am proud of the growth that you are having. Tell the Oveson family hello for me.
Harrison- hey buddy, I hope that school is going great brother. I sure love you. Keep being a stud and work hard. You are so tall. Give Copper a hug for me. I love you.
McCall- I love you sweetie. Have fun at school this first week and I hope that you just love it. Learn lots and be a good example. Have fun. Give everyone a big kiss for me (the family) I love you!!
Well I love you all so much!! Have a great week.  Have a great day!!
I love you all
Elder Austin