Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

Hello there 380 East 500 North,

Sounds like it is a pretty exciting time there in Jerome..... I am sure happy that you are all doing so well and that it has been a great week. Thank you... as always for the letters. I know that there are those serving missions who never receive letters from home. You would have to be very strong to open your inbox every Monday and have it be empty. So thank you so much for your constant support!! :)

It was another week of miracles here in the promise land of Bahia Blanca. Sadly this week four elders had to go home, some for health problems and others for other problems.. There isn't anything more heart breaking then that and I almost did'nt even want to mention it in my letter.  Two of them will be back after their surgeries. Needless to say I was in the airport almost everyday last week. But we also received some really special, prepared Elders. So the work keeps working forward. In March, we get a ton of sisters and we are preparing for that. 

We had a great deal of meetings with President and I  always learn so much from those. Raul received the Holy Ghost yesterday and he is doing well. We were finally able to find a teach Camilia Moran again and she came to church and accepted a date for the 10 of Feb. It really depends on her family, her Dad is less active and her Mom is a great catholic lady, but is a little cold with us. We will see what happens. The pastor didn´t come to church yesterday. The mission is doing pretty well right now and it looks like it is going to get better. Next transfer we lose 11 of the 21 Zone Leaders that are currently serving, so we will have lots of  young leaders. Elder Cruz, my new companion, is doing well and we trying to  work a little harder every day. I really love work. It is so satisfying. Yesterday we knocked and knocked in the empty streets of the siesta with the heat and with out much luck, but then at about 6 clock we found 4 people and they are solid, one of them is called Malone (like Karl) and he is studying to be a Pharmisist. I am excited for him. It was funny last Monday and Sunday early in the morning we were doing a ton of trips to the bus terminal and every time we have to pass through the parking attendant the last time of the morning I said,  "This will be our last time" and smiled and she said, "Kids like you used to pass by my house". After a couple of questions we found out that she lived in our area and we went by and talked to them, they fell threw for our appointment...but we will keep trying... they seem like a solid family... we will see what happens. Hopefully they are married. :)
I am excited and want to reach my goals. This week should be good!!


I sure hope that you are doing well Dad. I sure love you. Hey, where is David going on his mission? How is the reservations going? Did I tell you that a couple of Elders might want to work up there? They end in May 8th and one of them is from Idaho...his name Is Jordan Gravelle. He is the other Assistant and he is great.
We are doing a challenge to read PMG in 30 days and it is great. It is really helping me. I love you Dad! I hope that you are doing well and that you can get spiritually ready for the feast this weekend. You will have to tell me everything about it.
Sure love you Pops. Have a great week.

Mom - I am so excited for you!!  "Just talk slow, Fake it till you make it, do your best and forget the rest, have positive energy, smile, Say your prayers, be confident..." Sound familiar? haha You are so great Mom. I know you will do great and I will be praying for you. We will do it together -- next Wednesday we have a leadership conference and we have the opportunity to give an hour talk. Elder Viñas, from the Seventy will be there. I am excited for that. I am so pumped for you Mom. ha ha What a neat experience. God really has a plan for each of us... You asked "what I have learned the most or gained the strongest testimony of...." That is hard question because there is a theme behind every area and companion and experience. I have learned a lot about how knowledge allows you to have more vision, and that if we establish a vision, cultivate "third degree" desires as Papa would say, and then work, God will grant us our righteous desires.  Also how to better trust in the Lord. But mainly, my testimony of the Atonement has developed into something deeper and more meaningful to me... I will be praying for you! Go get em!

Mikesell- I sure love you! I am glad that you are having such a wonderful time at school. You sound very spirituality strong and that you are doing so wonderful. I hope that you can get up to Nampa this week. That would be fun. Sounds like you are going on lots of dates with this FHE brother????  I sure love you Mikesell! Keep being a champ. Have a great week.

Brennen- Glad to hear that you are getting to play a lot. That is sad about your teammate....send the missionaries to his parents house. Glad to hear that you are doing so great. I love you buddy and sure appreciate your example in my life. Have a great week. Go get em Tiger.

Alex- One of the highlights of the week for me! To hear that you are dominating the scriptures every night!!  I really congratulate you Alex. I promise you that you will achieve your deepest dreams and desires if you can keep that habit everyday of your life. I got to tell you man your letters crack me up... they sound like this " Hey man, Whats up? Sorry I haven´t written you in a long time. Have a good week!! love you.  bye"  I am seriously laughing out loud right now.... Oh buddy I love you and so grateful to have you as my brother. Have a great week and keep being the man on and off the court. BE GREAT --BROTHER!!

Harrison- Hey Stud, thanks so much for you letter. I am glad you liked the pinewood derby. Dont worry buddy we will do lots of handshakes soon enough. I sure love you Harrison. Keep being the man!

McCall- Thanks so much for writing me! Allison will be baptized this week huh!? That is so great! You are getting so close also to your special day! Are you excited? I think you would do a great job in Africa as a missionary! I love you Cally. BEAR HUG!

I love you all with all my heart, and am excited for each of you to have a wonderful week.

I love our Savior, this work and the JOY that comes from putting our lives more in line with that of the Savior. The message of the Restoration is true. Tell Elder Holland I love him!! :)
Hel. 3:35

Elder Austin

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

Hello Family!

Sounds like everything is good and smooth at home. Sounds like it is a cold winter. I am glad to hear that everyone is busy and happy. I enjoy your letters so much! Thank you for writing!

It has been a wonderful week here in Bahia. A lot happened this week... We were greatly blessed. On Monday and Tuesday I was in the office and working in my area. On Wednesday we had a meeting with President. On Thursday Elder Costanzi and I went to Santa Rosa for the last Zone Conference. That was a really great time. We had some really great experiences...some great stories. I really enjoyed talking with President and Hermana and learned a lot. It turns out the Stake President wanted Raul to be baptized in our ward so we had a baptism yesterday. It was such a neat experience. We were blessed somehow (MIRACLE) to be able to teach him and some other office elders helped us when we were in Santa Rosa. Martha and Miguel Angel were there to support him and they were really great. Raul is a humble man who sells flowers. He cried and got really emotional. His daughter was there with her husband who is a pastor of a Evangelical church. I talked to him after and gave him the copy of the DVD that we watched and a Book of Mormon. He said he will come to the conformation of Raul next week. He actually seemed to like it. I asked him for his directions and told me that he was going to ask Jesus if we could come. I told him that I thought that was a great idea! Oh man, pray we can teach him! That would be the best ever.... The ward is doing great. My ward mission leader is leaving for his mission in Brasil tomorrow. He will be on the same plane as all the sisters and Elders that are finishing their missions. Elder Vaterlaus from Boise is finishing tomorrow and I met him at BYU. He is great friends with Taylor Morris. He is a great missionary.  So transfers struck the office. I stay here and we have only two assistants now. Elder Costanzi is in a ward  close by now so I will see him. He finishes in March. He was assistant for 11 months. I was so glad to be his companion. It was a great blessing for me. Now I am with Elder Cruz from Mendoza, Argentina! I am happy to have two comps in a row from Argentina and it is helping with the language a little bit. Today we loose 8 Elders and 2 Sisters. This last week I also had some really spirtual expereinces with Elders that are struggling a little. I thought a lot about the scripture in Jacob 1:19 this week.

                                                                   Love these Elders

Dad- I hope that you are doing well and that you enjoy your week this week. I love you Dad.
Enjoy your time away with Mom.

Mom- Sounds like you are nice and busy with some great projects. That is wonderful. I love what you said about smiling. I couldn't agree more.  I love you Mom and I hope that you are doing very well. Thank you so so much for all that you do.

Mikesell-It sounds like you are getting in the swing and working really hard. I am so happy for you and I hope that you just learn all that you can. I love you. Keep running strong! Stay warm!

Brennen- I am super happy to hear that you had some good games. Thanks so much for writing Brennen. I love you. Keep being a great young man.

Alex- I sure hope that you are doing well little buddy. I hope that you are doing good with that goal that you set. I love you Alex. YOU THE MAN!

Harrison- I am glad that you are doing so well and that you are happy. I love you bud. I hope that you enjoy your basketball games.

McCall- I sure love you Cally! I am glad that you love to smile. You make me happy.

Well dear time is really running short. Transfers makes this week busy, busy, busy. I love you all. I really do.

I hope that you have a excellent week. I pray for you everyday and I hope that you keep getting stronger in the Gospel. Yesterday I gave a talk from GenConf about how we become better disciples through obedience and service to others.
I love those two things..

Have a wonderful week!
Mom and Dad enjoy your days in Hailey together! Plan some great things at Redfish!!
All my love!!!

Elder Austin

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

Howdy Family!

Thank you all so much for the wonderful emails! What a great week you have all had. That is crazy that you got a snow day on Friday! That is so fun. It seems like everyone is doing well and the magic of basketball season is in full swing. Thank you for taking the time to write.

This last week was a truly spectacular week.I will try to sum it all up. I know that I will forget some things but I will try to include the most memorable and spiritual experiences. Wow... it just was a great week. It is nice to have some time to write today...sorry I have shorted you a bit the last couple of weeks.

So on Sunday my companion and  I shared our testimonies and then we had to leave early because President and Hermana came to pick us up at 12 o clock to leave to start the zone conference tour. We had a good Sunday drive and we got to Necochea at about 5 oclock in the afternoon. We left to do exchanges in Necochea and that was a great expereince. The Peñalva family wasn´t there but I left them a little something and a note. Estefinia was not there either. But we worked hard and it was a good time. On Tuesday we had the first conference. It was really great. Dad - to answer your question we have a two hour presentation and this time it was all based on how to begin teaching and also teaching so that the people understand. It is all straight out of Preach my Gospel and we did a ton of practices and asked members to come to be the investigators for a roll play. In some places they brought non-member friends and that was great. President talked about the metamorphosis of a leader.

D- Desire to help other people:Alma 13:27, Abraham 3:27-28 Mosies 4:1-2 (difference between desires of Christ and Lucifer)
I.- Imitate (follow Christ and all that is good): John 5:19, Hebrews 6:12
O- Obedience (follow your current leaders): Lucas 22:41-42
S- Service (help other people): John 13:4-5. Lucas 22:27

After that process has occured then you are ready to be called of God to be a leader. It was really good and I loved his message. He also talked about going out and making people happy. President Parreño read Dale Carnige "How to win friends and influence people"  during his mission and he applies it to everything in his life. He talked about how the gospel carries the happiest message in the world and people need to see that instantly. We need to be happy people.

Hermana talked about desire.  She talked how keeping our houses clean shows if we understand the perception of the sacred (see talk by Elder Christofferson) It was excellent.

Monday we left for Mar Del Plata and that was the conference with the most work because we had to move tables and it had the most people. The zone leaders are in charge of lunch and I try to delagate as much to them as I can.

                                            Love my Mission President and Hermana!!!
Tuesday we were in Tandil for another great confrence. Elder Yost is still in Tandil and is doing really well. President told me, ¨That Elder Yost is a good type" he didnt know we knew each other from before the mission so I explained to him that Elder Yost is as good as they come, and why.

Wednesday we were in Olvarria. The drives were amazing, usally everyday it is between two and three hours and there is just open pasture with big sunflower fields and cows. There is a few cities with hills (one) mountains in this part of Argentina are not found. An investigator came to the conference and she left with a baptismal date. Hermana Parreño is amazing.

                                                     Sunflower Fields
Friday we were in Pehaujo, another conference and another investagator that came with her Aunt who is member came to the conference. She also left with a fecha and had a really spritual experience. That day I left and worked with Elder Yarger, funny enough exactly one year to the date I had picked him up in Bahia to train in Miramar. He tried a new tatic to find that I actually picked up from the Budge Hall Newsletter from Helaman Halls missionaries that Mom sent and it worked like a charm. We just ask people if we can come in and leave a blessing on there house.  We entered three houses in a row in the same block. They got really emotional and it is a very spirtual experience. I am applying it in our area right now and Pres. wants us to do demostrations in Febuary for the leadership conference. 

It was really hot and the Elders treated us well in every house that we slept in to stay for the night.

Yesterday was the best! Miguel Angel received Priesthood! He will bless the sacrament next Sunday!! He looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me how he always wanted to serve God like this. He is a stud. He is also reading in the Book of Mormon and yesterday it was really funny, he told us he was in Mosiah and I was just about to ask him about King Benjamin and he said before I had said anything (not a perfect translation)  ¨King Benjamen, that dude, was a stud!"  He is great and I quite enjoy him. Martha left the Relief Society yesterday saw us at the end of the hall did a little spin thing to show off that she was in a skirt (she has that figured out) and then she came to give me a kiss on the check, which is the normal culture here... I stuck my hand out and said "Hermana!" and then she laughed and said "I am so sorry I forget. How are you brother?"  and shook my hand. She is the craziest 65 year old I know.  She is hilarous and the ward just eates her up. Her son is famous singer here in Bahia Blanca. I will bring back some CD´s of him.

It was been a really good, spiritual week. I feel really excited, really grateful, humble, and trust that even though I am not a perfect servant, I can get closer through the Atonement and diligence. I LOVE MY MISSION. I love my Heavenly Father so much. I know that church is the church of Christ!!

Transfers this week, we already had our meeting and so I am aware of what will happen, but I will wait to surprise you next week. Helping with Transfers has been a really growing and learning experience. On Thursday I will be in Santa Rosa for the last Zone Conference. We might have a baptism this Sunday. We are talking to the Stake President to see if the man is in our area our not, we found him through Martha and then we thought he was in another area so we taught him two lessons and then passed him to the other missionaries. He came to our ward again and has a relationship with the members in our ward so we will see what happens. Either way he will get baptized and that is what is important!!

Dad- Sounds like you are doing great - lots of basketball. Glad to see that God still answers Brennen and Alexs and Harrisons and McCalls prayers for snowdays!! Have a great week Dad. I love you!!

Mom- Thank you for such a great email. Yeah, I have heard that about those apartments too. Ask Easton Trejos Mom. Dont know... I just want simple, affordable housing that is somewhat close to campus. I am going back with a lot more focus on my studies more than playing like I did my Freshman year. So we will keep in touch. I love you Mom and thanks so much for your help.You truly are the best. You are so thoughtful. I love your letters and journal entries so much. For sure your ears were ringing for a reason.

Mikesell- I am excited for you in your calling! You will do so great. It is a blessing to serve. Sounds like you really like your Relief Society President and it will be fun to be in the presidency with her! Keep strong and I am glad that you enjoy your classes so much!!! That is great that you saw Angela. That is crazy that she is already at BYU. I  I love you Mikesell! so much! Keep up the good work!!

Brennen- Sounds like you had a great week!! I am super excited for you. Keep working hard and being a solider. I love you Buddy!! I am super proud of you. Keep it up-

Alex- Sounds like you are doing great buddy. Keep rocking it! How are you doing with your goals that we talked about? I love you Man. You are awesome. Keep it up. Good luck with all your games. Can't believe that you are as tall as Mom!

Harrison - Sounds like you really enjoyed basketball!!! That is awesome. I hope you keep doing good. You are a stud. Keep being happy!

McCall- You are so great! I loved that you rocked you basketball game!! 7 baskets is awesome!!  I hope that you are happy and loving the snow. I love you little sis.

I love you all so much thanks for being the best in the world. Sorry I havent been able to write very much the last couple of weeks, hopfully today I could fill you in a little bit.
James 4:17
Have a wonderful week!
All my love!

Elder Austin

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013

Hello Dear Family,

Glad you got my quick email yesterday. I was really thinking I would not be able to write this week. We are traveling all week with Zone Conferences. I am currently in Mar Del Plata, We finished a great conference in Necochea today. I left Regalos for the family Penalva and Hermana Gomez. I also saw a great member family. The conference was great. I really enjoy the messages of President and Hermana Parreno. Being able to travel with them is the huge blessing. Hermana Parreno has the greatest stories and really they are just incredible people. 

Last week I went to Tandil to do observations. That was great with Elder Calarco and Elder Hansen. We had a great day and worked hard. On the way back to Bahia I was the only one on the bus with the driver...that was a funny treat. More stories to come...

Also on Saturday we had a really touching experince. We were going to visit a referal from our
Bishop who lives by him. Turns out right at that moment he has giving dirt to the referal  and he intruduced us and we were given a opportunity to serve moving dirt. We as we trasporting the dirt from Bishops house to the hole and their family was filling in the hole. We dropped all the dirt and I asked them if we come share a message with them. They were way nice and asked a lot of questions about us. They said yes, and that as a matter of a fact, that we could come in right now. They have a 32 year old son who is in a wheel chair who lost abiltiy to move his body after a accident in the pool when he was 7. We had a really spritual lesson with them and I am really excited to keep teaching them.  The Suarez family. Please keep them in your prayers. I LOVE teaching families... oh man that is what keeps me going!! 

I don't have much time. Next week I will talk more about what President and Hermana are teaching in our Zone Conferences.  It is spectacular about leadership, and the Hermana about cleanliness. I will share it better with you next week.

Mom, next transfers are the 20th of January.

I hope that school goes well this week. I love you all so much. 

Tell Bishop Prince that I love him. This time as Bishop will echo for eternity. He has served and given his heart these five years more than I have ever seen anyone give.

Please tell Grandpa Clegg that I love him. Sounds like he is a fighter and has had a very rough go!_Thanks so much for your emails Grandma Clegg. Also Grandma and Grandpa Daw and Papa and Grandma Crouch that I love them so much.

I love the Gospel. I love change. I love being a missionary. We are so blessed. Have a great week. Listen to some Phil'll be in my heart!!

D&C 82 :3 

All my love!!!

Elder Austin