Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013 March 27, 2013

Hello dear family, 

I am sorry that I could not write yesterday. It was a group of 19 that left and a group of 13 that arrived. Since Sunday night we have not stopped. Today was really a good day and I felt we all felt the spirit a great deal during our transfers and it was a neat experience. Elder Bird is is a stud...I don´t remember if I told you that he is my new companion? 

The week was great. There is so many things, I don´t really know where to start!! :)  A lot of the time was spent in meetings with President helping with transfers. I have learned so much with him. It is incredible. I feel so inadequate sometimes, but President trusts in us so much.  This transfer we have the focus to get out and work in the zones. So tomorrow we are going to Necochea to to observations. On Sunday we had a huge miracle, (there are miracles everyday) a member from another ward came up to Elder Costanzi (we were all together for the stake conference) and told him he had a reference in a street that is in my area. So I spoke with the member and it is reference of GOLD. I am super excited we went by on Sunday and we talked with the father of a family of 4 kids and MARRIED!! His name is Feliz and his wife has cancer and is not doing well. We talked with him a while outside because they had company. He has a lot of hope and is really interested in learning. We gave him a Book of Mormon and set an appointment yesterday at 8. I told him I would call him if we couldn't make it. And right at that hour is when we had to be in the airport to pick up the newbies and so I called to reschedule the appointment and he told me that he has reading the Book of Mormon and that is is enjoying it. We have a appt. tomorrow right before we go to Necochea. I am praying that we can teach with lots of power and that the family can except it. That was a miracle. The transfer cycle went well. My mission heros all left and my brothers. I want to share what I learned from each of them. 
Elder Calarco- Was in my first zone and is from Argentina. He was my zone leader there after emergency transfers. He taught me how to love being in the streets and how to teach boldly with a ton of love. He taught me in great deal how to baptize. He just cried together as he left. I learned from him the importance of taking control of your mission and not letting your circumstances effect your level of work. I love him
Elder Ryan Garrison- Elder Garrison is from AZ. We were at BYU together but never met. He was friends with Amy´s roommates. He was my zone leader when I was a district leader in Santa Rosa. He taught me how to lead a district, how to verify, study and correct with love. The best zone leader that I have seen. Taught the importance of going for the goal. He will be at BYU.
Elder Jacob Horward- You cannot not love Elder Horward. Also a great zone leader and just loves the work. Always happy, always positive, always enjoyable to be around. Never got discouraged. 
Elder Andres Costanzi- My companion as an assistant for 6 months.  He is truly my brother. Taught me the importance of sacrificing everything. Being a perfectionist. Charity, how to build other people with your words and self-less service. He is from Argentina and will be moving to Canada with his family this year. I have so many memories with him. He, Elder Bird, and I prayed together our last night together. That was a huge spiritual experience.

I could write something about everyone of the great missionaries that finished. I feel so blessed to have been able to have brushed shoulders with them.

I really enjoyed 3 Nephi 27 this week. The Hermana Parreno is back from Spain. Her mom still is not doing really well, but she is of good spirits and is super strong. I sure am grateful for them.

Well I love you all more than you know. I love the Gospel. I love the miracle that has happened in my life that some call a " mission". I know I can grow. I know that there is not limits with faith. 

I love you all and am so grateful for your huge example, your support. I couldn´t be  more blessed. 

Have a wonderful week!!
Wishing Brennen a very healthy recovery from knee surgery this week! Will be remembering you in my prayers like crazy!  Love to each of you!!
I look forward to reading your letters tonight.
Have Papa and Grandma gotten my letter I sent to them?
All my love,
Elder Austin

(March 25, 2013)

Hello Dear Family,

We are in the the middle of the madness of tranfers. It has been enjoyable. I am sad but happy for this great group of missionaries that are leaving. We are getting ready to take them over to Presidents House for thier last interviews and I don´t have very much time. I will try to write more today, if not I will write tomorrow. We slept very little last night. We had to go the the terminal to pick up Elders and Sisters at  12:00, 1:30, 3:00 , 4:30 and at 6:00. I have learned during transfers that the Atonement helps us with our physical strength also. It is also a miracle every transer that all the missionaries get to thier new areas safley traveling in buses to places they have never been before.

We had a stake conference in all of Argentina yesterday It was super special. Nestor went and he loved it. He is doing well. Bishop went and visted him with the counselor and we had a FHE with him and a family that the husband is less active. I and Elder Bowen spoke and also Sister Stevens, Elder Clayton and also Elder Nelson. It was a great experience. Their messages were very inspired. It was great.

Turns out the North Americans are not coming for visa problems.We are recieving 13 missionaries. (4 Sisters and 9 Elders). 

I read a great talk this week from Elder Eyring called "This Day".  Please read it.

Well ...all the Elders are here and I need to take them to Presidents House.I am sorry to be so rushed. I will write more later.

I love you all with all my heart.

I love my Savior.

Elder Austin

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

Greetings from Argentina, and yes, we are proud of the Pope...are we ever proud!! I have some good stories about this week. I´ll wait to tell you some....

In all seriousness we lost Ana Maria, an investgator who came to church once and to Nestor baptism partly because of the news. She told me that she felt like Christ had taken back his church with the Pope.... but she is still willing to listen to us and her boyfriend went to church yesterday. So I am confident that she will find a answer to her prayers, she is sincere in her desires to get to know God so I trust in the message. 

Nestor, was baptized Saturday by Claudio Tidei, he is the Dad of a really special member family here. There lifestyle reminds me a lot of ours, he works in southern Argentina and is 21 days at home and 21 days at work. They are a neat family. Nestor is doing great. He bought a suit for his confrimation and he happy and really has desires to change his life. The ward has taken him in well and that is a HUGE step. Martha gave a talk yesterday. Tears were everywhere. She is a stud. The ward is doing good. Today we have a FHE with Nestor and another family as well. in a hour we are going to a appt with President Parreño. I love going to lessons with him. 

Also, big news for the Yost Family... we had a emergency transfer and Elder Yost is now my zone leader. I was pumped when President told us that and then we knelt in prayer together to ask if the decison was right. So I will be seeing the Elder Yost every week if not more. He is in a trio right now and next week he will be  with a new zone leader because they two that he is with are finishing now. So that will be great.  This week is tranfers. I am loosing so many of my brothers this round. It will be brutal. 8 zone Leaders, 1 old AP and a lot a great sisters. 19 in total. We will finally be receiving missionaries from the states on Tuesday, with visa problems we havent recived a missionary from the states for about 6 months. 
We had a great service project this week lifting beams up for the Elders house. That was fun.  Construction here is another ball game.

I have loved my studies this week and I have felt a difference in my teaching. I love persuading people with the spirit, that is one of the most satisfying feelings as a missionary.  

1 Samuel 15:22
Gal. 2:19-20
Eter 3 19:20
3 Nephi 19:28
D&C 50: 28-30

I would love to talk more about these scriptures with you but you can read them and think for yoursleves.

Dad- Thanks for your email. You sound good and I enjoyed your experiences from the conference. So Jordan Gravelle is fine with the docks and he want to do it. Also Jamin Mikesell (mikesell´s future husband) :) wants to work there as well. I know that they would be great dock guys. But I also understand that there is a order to things. but they both want to do it. So if there is a way, that would be great. Sure love you Dad. Thanks for being a great priesthood holder.

Mom- Thank you so much for working out the roommate/apartment thing. I couldn´t ask for better situation than that. Thank you! I hope that you enjoy your time in Vegas (not in a wordly way) . I am glad that you will be able to go to the temple. Tell Jon and Raquel hello for me. Does Jon have a Book of Mormon? I sure love you Mom.

Mikesell- So glad that you were able to have a good time in CA with David and Rio and with Uncle Kerry and Aunt Lisa. That is wonderful!!Thank you for your example of gratitude and happiness...always I admire that so much. I sure love you Mikesell. Thank you for your wonderful example.
I love you.

Brennen - Sounds like you are having a great tennis year. That is wonderful.  You go to the Doc´s soon don´t you? Good luck. I love you Brother. Keep strong.

Alex- Thanks for the updates. I forgot that it was that time of year. I sure love you buddy. Keep up the good work in school. 

Harrison- Whats happening buddy? How is school? Did you learn a lot this week?

McCall- If you are in spring there that means that it is getting colder here. The leaves are starting to change and we work with jackets now. I love Fall here.  I love you McCall....

I realized this week that I have learned so much in my time here in the office. I am eternally grateful for the examples of President and Sister Parreño. They are real people, and they are REALLY good people. 

More than anything this week. I want you to know that I love our Savior. I love our Father in Heaven. I love the restored gospel. I think of all the blessings that we have and I always come to the same conclusion.. that these blessing are to bless the lives of others. That is the only way it makes sense to me. 

"I pray that we will have the courage to extend the hand of fellowship, the tenacity to try and try again the humility to seek guidance" President Monson.

I really, really want to see a family friend to enter into the waters of baptism. Keep praying and trying to find someone who is ready to accept the gospel. You all have a huge influence with so many people.

I know that God knows each of you and loves you. He has a plan for you.

I love you all. 

Love, Elder Austin

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

Hello there Cleggs,

What a wonderful week that it has all been for you. I was glad to hear that Ash´s farewell went well and that you were all able to see a lot of family. I am sure excited for Ash. I know that she will be an outstanding missionary. Tell her I love her and that I will be praying for her and her family. That is neat that she and Cass could go through the temple together. I love that.... also glad that you had some great Redfish time Dad with the young men from the ward!! I love those young men campouts that is the best!!  Mom, sounds like you are "man-ning" the fort back at home like a good soldier. You will be greatly blessed!!
Well this week was a excellent week. I feel like I have grown spirtually and that is a good feeling. I think I was in the airport 2 times this week. Oh, a really funny and cool experience. One time we sent the Elder through security and behind us walked up the "Bahia Estudiantes" -the basketball team from Bahia. They were huge black guys. As they passed by us the line got backed up and we started to talking to player called "Lee". Turns out he is from Indiana. Played for TCU, against BYU. And then he played in the NBA for a couple years and now played in Argentina for 5 years. He doesn't speak a lick of Spanish.That was a neat experience. We didn't get to talk too much about the Gospel but we explained what church we were from and talked just a little. Small world.... The blessings of being a BYU basketball fan.:)
Nestor is dong great in a couple of hours we have a Family night with another great family in the ward with him. He is ready to go this Saturday. The Ward is taking to him really well.  I love the ward. The sisters are doing good. Elder Bird is a stud.  I love him and Elder Cruz is doing well. He is fighter, he has been through so much in his life. I really respect him. 
                                           President, Elder Bird, and Elder Clegg

Yesterday we passed by a old investigater that we haven't been able to find in a while. The lady who worked at the terminal and her family. It was her birthday and we talked a little bit. There was a another lady inside who told us she had read the Book of Mormon and she said she didn't belive it. We asked her if she had prayed and she said, "No one ever told me I had to pray!". So we told her clearly that she had to pray, then she went off on the normal "it doesn't say anything in the Bible about the Book of Mormon" line that is a favorite here and we shared with her the scripture in John 10:16 and  the spirit was thick. She opened up and we have a lesson with her at 6pm this afternoon. The spirit is the most important thing there is is missionary work. That was a neat a experience.

Today I went running with Elder Huey and we found a grove of trees and we stopped and thought and prayed.It was a great afternoon acttivity. Great stuff.
Well my time is a little short today.

Dad- I hope you are doing well and feeling that Redfish fire... Sure love you. Thanks for being the best.
Mom.- Thanks so much for your wonderful thoughts in your letter. I don't think there are better roommates possible. I am super pumped for that .Thank you for your help!!  Answer to my prayers. I love you Mom!!

Mikesell- I hope that you are doing well. I hope that you can get better for the race in CA this week!!  I will be praying for you. I sure love you. You are amazing.

Brennen- I hope that your knee surgery can go well  when you have it in a couple of weeks and that you can get better soon. Keep strong my man!

Alex- Sounds like you are doing well. I love you man. Keep growing that testimony. Love you Bro

Harrison - I love you bro! Have a great week!  Be great brother.-

McCall- Hey sweetie1 How was your first week as member? haha

I love you all so much.

Elder Bird and I have been getting up at 6 this week to study because of the shortage of time we have. I have loved my morning studies. You feel such a great difference!!

I love you all with all my heart. Keep strong and have the best week of your lives!!!!!

Elder Clegg

2 Cor 12:10
Moroni 7:41
D&C 59:23

Elder Clegg and Elder Bird

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Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Welcome to March!

Thank you all for your wonderful letters!! I especially loved the pictures of McCall's baptism and the district champs. That is awesome. It is so great to see pictures of you all!! Thank you for taking the time to write.

It has been a excellent week here in Bahia. We received all of the new missionaries just fine and it was fun. We got 18 year old Elders and 19 year old sisters. They are young. After we got done explaining some of the mission rules (one of them being that we can not play soccer) and we saw their reactions I said to Elder Bird..."They come in boys and they leave men." They will do great and I am excited for them. The mission changes us all so much for good. The sisters are doing well in our ward. I am excited for them and the ward took them in well. They will be able to help a great deal with less actives. There are things that I have not been able to do very well here with the little amount of time we have left after our office work situation. Sister missionaries work so well, they really do amazing things. For example last week we were given a family that were member referels. We were not able to get to them beforeWednesday becaue of all the movement with the new missionaries. I love the sisters, but when it is transfer time they are a lot more work... : )  ) Anyway, the sisters were in the area, just happened to knock their door and they talked to them and invited them to church!  We came by the next day and talked to them as well and they (Jose and Ana Maria) showed up to church on Sunday. It actually was a testimony builder for me of the fact that this is not our work. It is Heavenly Fathers. He won´t let my lack of time, or weaknesses stop His work, he will just use someone else. haha They loved church and we will see how they progress!! They are not married, but we will see. 

Nestor, is progressing awesome. Started work at 10 at night, got done at 10 in the morning and showed up at sacrament meeting at 10:55. He has accepted a date completely for the 16th  and things are going well. He has accepted tithing, chasity, and the word of wisdom. He had a great lesson with him and Bishop. Bishop is really excited and pleased with the ward growth. On Friday we had lunch with his Mom who lives next door to him, and the sisters were going to eat with the Bishop. His Mom couldn't make us sack lunches though after all because she was gone so they called us inviting us to come. I told him thanks but we couldn´t because I was with my companion, another Elder from Tandil, and a sister who spends her day in the office because she hurt her ankle and can't walk. He said "no just come, just come" I said " No Bishop we don't want to bother you. " He then firmly said come. So we went and we were six missionaries in his house for lunch. It was a good time. It was a spiritual experince as we talked about the the work is "hastening". I did splits with Bishops son yesterday and it was a good time. I love Bishops family. They are solid.  The ward is doing well.

Miguel and Raul blessed the sacrament this Sunday together. That was really special for me to see them up their suits.  Miguel in his wheel chair blessing the Sacrament. Tender moment. Martha is the Secretary in Relief Society. She bears her testimony to everyone in Sunday School. This ward has done a great jobs with these special converts. 

Elder Bird, the other new Assistant, is a stud, super humble, and just loving. He is a perma-grin. I just love being with him and he has the assistant thing down, we have a leadership conference on Wednesday. Mikesell I don´t know how serious or how much you are liking this Carter, but Elder Bird gets home in January. FYI!!

Elder Yost was in the office on Wednesday, he was showing all of his pictures to President Parreño and his wife and they were shocked at such a big wonderful family. It was fun. Elder Yost is a super hard working missionary. He talks with everyone and just doesn´t stop. He is district leader of 4 sisters and 2 Elders and is doing really well. I love seeing him.  Tell his family that I love them.
Dad- Thanks for your letter last week. I have written on the back of my agenda "The other side of the pancake" as a reminder. Thanks so much, it meant a lot to me. I am glad to hear that you are doing well and am also excited for Cally.  Did you see the application of Jordan Gravelle? I love you Dad. Thanks for being the truly perfect father. 

Mom- Yes I did get the package, thank you so much Mom! I am so glad that McCall received the letter. That took a lot longer. I am also glad that you had such a productive week. There is nothing better than reaching your goals. Thanks for the talk--- I did read it and I just loved it. Jerimiah 17:10... I love you so much... Have a great week Mom!!!

Mikesell- I am so happy for Cass. I am glad that I will see her. We will go teach some guests and knock some doors. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. I sure love you Mikesell. Keep being the best you. Go get em tiger....I hope you leg gets better. I love you!
Brennen- What a great "stripling warrior" you looked like there in white with McCall. What an all out stud. I am just so proud of you and I love you with all my heart. Keep being strong. Thanks for being a great friend. I know that you will dominate this semester. Keep going for straight A´s and keep your vision on college and what you want in your future. I love you brother!

Alex.... CHAMPION.. oh man I loved the picture of that!! You are quite the "baller". What are your spring sport plans....I love you little bro. Keep on being the CHAMP. How is your Deacons doing? How is your testimony? Sounds like there is a campout planned this weekend at the lodge huh? Good times!

Harrison- How is life little brother? Did you like McCalls baptism? It seems like just yesterday you had your baptism! How are you doing in school? I love you Brother..... 

McCall- .... What a very special week for you. Heavenly Father is very proud of you and the choices that you are making. I love you McCall. I am sure happy for you. I miss you and love you. Keep being great. Big hug....

Thank you for all that you do.... I love you and am so grateful for you. Have a wonderful week. This is the Gospel of Christ...
Keep being great. 
All my love and prayers...

Elder Austin

Pictures from McCalls baptism----