Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

Hello dear Family!!

It has been a another great week here in the great mission of Bahia Blanca. It has been unusally warm, hot almost we are still waiting for the full sting of winter. It was another week of miracles...small but important.  Next Thursday and Friday, Elder Zabellos from the Seventy comes and so we are  in full preperation mode for that great blessing. I am excited. Also this weekend is transfers. So, surprise, life is busy!! :)  But I am just loving it.

This week we had some up and downs in our area. The people that we were really excited to come didn't  show, but like always Saturday night at the last hour we found a really great family that are from Chile.  They were all converted a little while ago from a Baptist church and now thier nephew is going on a mission.We had the first lesson with them.  It was awesome. It was a good first lesson, and then we went by on Sunday with a The Martinez family. It was a great lesson with members...text book. They got a good relationship formed and that is what is important for the first few weeks. Members are so important. How many times will you hear me say that...!?

Mom, your service stories have inspired me on Friday we got up at 5am in the morning and made pancakes for the Seminary kids and thier teacher. (7 people) Sorry for type errors...the keyboard is a little special again. But we dropped of the pancakes at 5:50 and left a note. We went back to the house and we did not hear anything from them. On Sunday the Dad of one of the seminary kids talked and told the whole story in church.  I was embaressed... it was something so little. Thanks for your great example of service Mom.

The ward is doing well. On Saturday we had a big service project with our new Bishop and that was great. I am ready to be a brick mason now, and am fully trained in whatever type or cement making. All the houses here are brick houses not wood houses. I dont think I have seen a single one.  We had a great dinner with Miguel and Martha and they are doing awesome.  They invited another friend and he is a good solid investigator. Nestor is also doing really well. We had a great FHE with him and some other members.  I am excited for the area, I feel like we are on the verge of explosion. I know that I can do more, we work in the office and then at the same time we are putting huge amounts of effort in trying to leave the office and get out as much as we can.

Dad- Thanks so much for you email. I will tell the Elders. They leave this weekend so I will see them. I am glad that you are doing well with the lake preperations. Tell the Ovesons hello for me. I will try to shoot them off a letter.  I sure love you Dad. Thanks for you great example.

Mom- Sounds like you have had a great week. I am happy for you. Are the cows in the fields already? I will be mailing your birthday letter soon. Hermana Parrrenos Mother is still in the hospital. She is stable but  not doing very well. Oh Mom, don't even think about sending anything for my birthday. All I want is one on one time with each of the family. I might ask for some things to give to President and Hermana Parreño... but I will keep you posted. Thank you for your thougthfulness! I love you Mom. Have a great week!!!

Mikesell - I will never forget the feeling that I had as I drove away from BYU after my Freshman year. It actually was hard because you are saying goodbye to so many people that you love. Very strong memories I have of that time. You will love being home and I am excited for you. You are so strong and can take whatever test that is thrown in you way. Nothing can stop Mikesell Clegg. Have a great week. Remember who you are, and just look over your shoulder.

Brennen. -Last week on crutches huh...? Good news indeed. I bet you are excited!
Now therapy. Have a great week Brennen!! I know that Heavenly Father has big plans for you!!

Alex- Hows it going buddy?  I am sure love you buddy!!  I hope that you have a great week and that track goes well. I have been running more. I was super sore one day because we sprinted a block then jogged a block. It killed my little walking legs.  Have a good week buddy. Love you.

Harrison - How goes the battle soldier?Are you excited for school to end? What are you learning?  How is baseball? I love you buddy!!  Have a  great week!!

McCall - I hope that you are doing well. I sure miss your voice! I love you McCall so much!  Have a great week.... little soccer player!

I really enjoyed my reading in Mormon 9 this week and in Jesus the Christ.

So, yes,  transfers are this week. President called me into his office this morning and told me that he was planning on sending me to the field to finish...but that he wants me to stay in the office til the end. He counciled me to keep working in the office and to leave even more from the office and get to the area, and to go out and visit zones, work as much as possible. That is what I want to do. So I will finish this magic in the office. It will be a 11.5 months in the office. I have learned so much from President and Hermana. I am so incredibly grateful for them. I am also excited to work in the ward. I am glad that they have put up with me so much.  So, life lesson of 11.5 months in the office. Diligence.... I am grateful for your prayers and look forward to a flat out sprint. The next few weeks will be busy and I am not sure if I will be able to write on Monday or not, but I will sure try.

I love our Savior. His love is real and changing... Have a wonderful week and I love each of you deeply. Hasta la próximo 

Elder Austin

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23, 2013

Clegg Family!
Sorry I am a day late writing…yesterday we were in Santa Rosa observing district meetings while President had his interviews. I also was able to see the Garcia Family. They have been so blessed since a year ago when they were baptized .  They are struggling a little to get to church, we had a nice visit. They had framed the photo of the the temple I gave them and the house feels good. hope that they can get it together a little bit.
Thank you so much for your great emails. I enjoyed them so much. Thank you Papa Arlen for your great advice...  Grandma Clegg, I am glad to hear that you are doing well and that your temple session broke the temple baptism record. That is some great news... I am very glad to hear that everyone is doing well. There is no greater blessing for me!!
We were in a zone meeting last Tuesday and we were setting goals as a zone and I was sitting in the first row listening to some of the comments from the Elders and Sisters and I realized that they really didn´t believe that they could reach the standard of excellence. I asked Elder Mikesell  (Zone Leader) if I could talk and shared with them my testimony of how if they don´t believe it…they will never achieve it.  I was kind of heated, but hopefully guided by the Spirit. I left the reunion with a ton of energy and Elder Bird and I decided to do everything possible to leave the office a couple of hours early every day. It was great and we had a really successful week in our findings. Now this week we hope to bring in the member squad to get them in the church this Sunday. We finally will get a missionary leader this Sunday. It has been four months since we have had one.  But I am excited because it is Bishop Martinez, so it will be an excellent experience.
As usual it was a week of miracles as well…two that I would like to share with you.
On Friday night we were leaving a members house planning the baptism of their daughter. We crossed paths with a man and gave him a card. He was in his 40´s in a collar shirt and gym pants. He asked us if he could tell us something.  We were in a street with very little light and he put his hands in pockets. To be honest my first thought was that he was going to rob us. Then he started to cry and said, "I have been doing drugs all day, I have tried over and over again to stop, but I just can´t, I want to stop for my kids and my wife, they don´t know I have this problem" .  He was really honest. We walked  11 blocks with him to his house. He was not doing good. He kept saying, I can´t give anymore, I can’t give any more. We talked. He is married, has three great kids, he showed us pictures on his phone, has a set job. He is a cocaine addict since he was 27. We testified to him and explained what we could do, said a prayer with him outside of his house, and gave him a Book of Mormon. We set an appt. for Saturday. We went to Viedma on Saturday for interviews and got back at 6:30 and went to his house. He was there and we talked again. The problem is that he still has not told his family. We committed him to go to the baptism service. We passed by and his kids told us that he was at church already. So we jetted it to the chapel but he wasn't there. I hope that we can help him and his family. That is what I love about being a missionary, there is nothing better being put in real positions to help people.  Which brings me to my second story.
Sunday Morning we woke up and I sat down to write in my journal. I love Sunday mornings and writing in my journal. The phone rang and... long story short,   a less active members mother had passed away in another small town close to here. Her funeral was going to be held at 8:30 and she wanted to know if someone could dedicate her grave. We called President to see if it was ok. He said yes and Elder Bird and I went to the cemetery to wait for the hearse and the family to show up.  We were a little nervous and didn't really know what to expect. They called us telling us that they were leaving the funeral home and about 10 minutes later the hearse showed up.   We followed them in the cemetery  (way different than the states)  and got out of the car, there were like 25 people. We asked a man in back of the group if he knew the less active members that we were looking for he told us that they were nobody here with that name. Then we realized that this was not the group that we were looking for. We walked away respectfully. It was really sad…oh how the Gospel blesses our lives.  I am pretty sure it was someone young who passed away. We then went back to the entrance quickly for fear of missing the family. They got there just as we showed up the family less active waved us down and we followed them in. We got up to the grave and they put the coffin in place and then it was our turn. We testified of Christ and the resurrection and told them who we were. None of them were members. Shared a scripture then dedicated the grave and shook hands with each one of them. They were super grateful and I hope that something good comes out from it. They called the other Elders and told them how grateful they were. It was a little nerve racking. We then showed up to church an hour late. It was a very humbling experience. The gospel blesses our lives so much.
Dad- I was thinking about you lot today in the car ride back from Santa Rosa. I thought about the letter that you wrote me the day that I opened my mission call. Dad, I can´t tell you enough how much I admire you. The sacrifices that you have made so that our family could “live the dream”.  I know that this time is so busy for you. I hope that you know that you are in my prayers. I know of no better father, leader, boss, husband, and best friend than you. Have a great week Dad. Shovel off a snow covered roof for me will ya?
Mom- Do you ever think about yourself…ever? ... You are truly amazing Mom.  Thank you for your letter and your moral support. I think I am going to need that support that you talked about. It hurts, honestly hurts to think about this all ending. But I am grateful and happy with the work that has happened.  (just saw your  "fyi" email come in.) I hope that Ben Forsgren is ok. I will think about your questions.  Mom, I sure love you. Have a great week. Keep fighting. You are in my prayers, in those nonstop 5 trips into town a day days…baseball game days…basketball game days…soccer game days…track days… know that I am  praying for you. Brennen will be back to driving soon to help out. I love you Mom. You truly are #1.
Mikesell- Sounds like you lived the perfect experience at Long Beach. I loved the pic of you running on the beach, that sand is so great huh?! I hope that you can rock finals and that you are feeling better for your BYU race this Saturday.  Sounds like your next couple of weeks will be crazy. I sure love you Mikesell. Keep being the best. I will keep checking the moon-Have a great week!!
Brennen. How are you holding up buddy? How much time till you kick out the crutches? How is school going? Are you going to run for Student Council again?  How are your classes? I sure love you buddy. If you see Gus again tell him I love him and hello for me. Have a great week. Keep being the warrior that you Alex and Harrison are.
Alex- How’s it going? School good? How is the Book of Mormon coming? I miss you buddy. Keep being a great man. Fuerza Capo. Te amo amigo.
Harrison- Will you read with Dad and Brennen and Alex this scripture?  Eph. 6: 10-19. I sure love you Harrison. Keep up the good work. Are you reading like a champion? Reading will help you so much. Love you Bro...
McCall- hey there princess!! I hope that you have a great week. I sure love you McCall.... Enjoy school... What do you play at recess?
I love you all so much. Have a great week! I should be able to write on Monday next week.
I was thinking today about that the experience in Mark 9:22-28 I love what the phrase "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief"  teaches us about the Atonement. It is so real and has the power to transform our lives.
Mormon 5 22-24
Moses 6 33-34
Eph. 5, 7-8,17,19,20,21
Elder Austin

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14, 2013

Hello Family,

I hope that you are all having a great start of the week!! Is is getting hotter there?  *My question mark doesnt work fyi* so you may have to edit it.  It has been nice here this week, rained a little while we were traveling, but overall a beautiful fall. I love fall here. Everyone sounds really good. Busy time of year.... 
It was a good week... ended with lot of tests and we will see how it goes. There is surely a force that works for bad, but we always know who is going to win. We got back on Thursday, we can't pass by the family Barbosa, because their neighbors have complained about us coming. So we have been sending members to set appointments. On Saturday night we passed by with a plate of brownies and a card, a member did. She reported back to us that they were in the hospital for in a city close by. Sister Barbosa has leukemia and she is not doing well. I don't exactly know her condition but she is in the hospital and it sounds like she is not doing very well at all. I called Brother Barbosa last night to ask how they were doing. I asked him and he said >bad> we talked and he said that he did not want us to call or pass by anymore. I was quiet thinking what to say... I could hear the hurt in his voice. I think he is upset with God for what is happening with his wife. He hung up before I could say anything. I just stood there a second and thought and decided that I better call him back. He answered to my surprise, and I tried my best to testify and tell him that this was the only solution to his problems, that we loved thier family and wanted to really help them. He closed  up so much. I don't know what happened in so short amount of time. The only thing that I can think of is that his wife is doing really bad. It is a really hard situation. Like you said Dad, we are just going to pray, really pray. We are still kind of in shock. ..... 

They released Bishop Martinez yesterday. Six years as bishop. Our new Bishop is a stud and we have done several service projects with him already and so we are ready to work. 
I was thinking about how grateful I am for the wonderful Bishops and Branch Presidents that we have had in our family...we have been so blessed.  Payson emailed me and told me he left on exchanges with a Elder who just got back from Bahia Blanca, Elder Howard. I love Elder Howard and I am glad that they will be able to get to work together! 

I am not sure if I told you about the athesit and agnostic couple that we found. He works for Sony and we have had two lessons with them. They are really great people. They actually have a lot of faith. They pray with us and everything, but I think they have had some bad experiences with other religions  One of the greatest couples that I have met in the mission. 

All is well.... you just got to keep working and it will all be good. 

Dad - It sounds like you are super busy. This week starts the madness of Redfish for you. How are the snow levels?  I sure love you Dad.  Have a great week and enjoy your personal resort.

Mom - I loved your piano story  -that is special. You played the piano in public (seminary) and I can eat bannanas fine now. Our little victories... hahaha. Have you heard anything from BYU about that major... I will need to get that nailed down sooner than latter. I have that schedule conflict that I need to fix also. Could you maybe take a look at that.... Thank you so much Mom... I hope that you have a great week.

Mikesell - Long beach! That will be an adventure!  I hope that your finals go really well. I am excited for you. It was really hard for me to leave college as well. you get attached to the people and the atmosphere. You will do great though. Just keep busy. I sure love you..
Brennen - How goes the healing process? I hope that you are doing well. I bet you are a pro with the crutches now. I am praying for you and I hope that everything goes well... Love you buddy!

Alex.. How is is your team doing? So are you done now? I love you buddy have a great week.

Harrison... How is school? Are you playing soccer too? I know you are doing baseball! I love you!

McCall...I love you! I hope that you are doing well in school and in everything!! I love you so much!

1 Peter 5 :1-7
Ephesians 3: 13-21
D & C 121

I sure love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

You are all the best!!

Elder Austin

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 13, 2013

Hello Cleggs,

How has the week been?

It was a excellent week. The tour went great throughout the mission with President.

I don´t have much time but I wanted to tell you about the Family Barbosa.

So we were waiting on them Sunday. We called the night before to tell them what time we would pass by to pick them us and he told us not to come... that they would come alone walking. Experience has hurt my trust a little and I pushed a little saying that we would love to come by and that it is not a problem, but he didn't budge. I told him that we would be praying that they made it and we would save them seats with our Bishop Martinez´s family. Then at the 1 o clock Sunday afternoon and they were not there. Bishop showed up and had a spot for them but they were not there. We were sad. I called him at 1:20 and they didn't answer. We had fasted for them...we did everything. I said to Elder Bird, "lets go to their house and look for them", he told me "if they wanted to be here they would already be here, just let it go". We decide to look for them between sessions. Literally just in that second, Elder Cruz, my old comp came out and said to us  " Hey your investigators are sitting in front of us!"  My first thought was  he has got to be joking and just brushed it off. Then he said, "No really!" So we ran to the back and sure enough... the whole family was sitting there. Sister Barbosa in a skirt and the kids were in back playing with some friends from Taekwondo. It was so awesome so we sat with them and then Bishop walked home with them.

We haven't been able to teach them this week because we haven't been here. But we have called them everyday and we have the commitment for the church. Thank you for your prayers in there behalf. They are greatly needed.

Conference was amazing. I loved President Monson´s talk at the end of the session. They all were so great!! I am so excited to read it.

Well once again my time is short...this Monday should be normal. This morning I translated with President and a Elder who is struggling and the psychologist of the area who doesn't speak Spanish. That was a really tender experience.

Well I love you all with all my heart. I love the gospel so much.

Have a great weekend...

Thank you Mikesell and Amy for two wonderful letters. You are both inspiring.

All my love,

Elder Austin

Mosiah 3:19

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8, 2013

Hello dear Family,

I am writing from a internet cafe in Mar Del Plata. We left Bahía Blanca at 7 o'clock this morning and while President is doing interviews we are observing the district meetings in the mission. We were in Necochea today. Roberto and Melissa put a marriage date for the 26 of April has been a good and we have had some really great conversations with President and Hermana Parreño. They are just awesome. 

Tomorrow we have three zone meetings. Wednesday we are in Tandil and Olavarria and on Thursday we are in Trenque Lauquen heading back to Bahía Blanca. So I imagine I will write Thursday or Friday.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers for the familia Barbosa. They went to the conference. I will tell you the whole story later, but they went to Bishops house after and drank mate. Bishops family loves them. GOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for them. It is hard to be away from Bahía, but the Sisters and Bishop will be helping us out. It was such a miracle!!

I loved, loved the conference. It was incredible. I will tell you my favorite parts later. 

Dad, Mom, Mikesell, Brennen, Alex, Harrison, and McCall -- I love you!! Have a terrific week!!

I love you so much. I am glad to hear that Alex had a good birthday and I hope that Grandma Clegg did too!!

Could you pass me Tanners Email address?

I love you all so much. I just can´t tell you enough. I am so grateful for the Gospel in our lives. I love our Savior and I know that this is his work.
Go get em Tigers... You are in my prayers....

Elder Clegg

1st Corintios 13:11

I promise that one day I will be able to write a normal letter on Monday. Thanks for your patience!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013

Better late than never right? I hope that you had a very Happy Easter!! What a wonderful time of year....

I am so sorry to be writing late again. These last two weeks have been the busiest weeks of my life. We have barely slept, but some how I don´t feel tired. And I have never been happier. After the transfers of last week we had one day in the office and we worked the afternoon in our area and then we left at 10:30 at night in the bus for Necochea. We got to  Necochea at 3am, slept on the floor, and then we had a great normal missionary day. I worked with Elder Cano who finishes his mission in May. His companion is Elder Yarger, my old companion, and the missionary I trained, also one of my best friends. We had a good work day. We found a less active family with kids who are not members and then, they had a appointment with some converts. Roberto, Melissa, and Estefina. I could not believe the blessings that they had recieved since I was there. Roberto and Melissa have finished their house. They were reading in Alma in the Book of Mormon together. You could feel the spirit so strong. Melissa was reactivated while I was Necochea and her boyfriend Roberto came to church several times and we had a great relationship.  They are not married so he is still not baptized. But as I write this they are in Necochea getting a marriage date!! They are such a great young family. I love them so much! We got back to Bahia at 9:30 on Friday night and then we had a meeting with President for the leadership conference that we had yesterday.  We spent part of Saturday and Sunday preparing for that conference and also worked in our area. It has been raining a ton last week. It even flooded a few houses on Saturday.The streets literally were rivers. We got up early on Sunday to prepare talks. I was last and I only had three minutes so I just shared a scripture and my testimony. Nestor who received the priesthood was passing out hymn books. Bishop took him to a service protect on Sunday afternoon. Gal, there is nothing better than seeing members form relationships with new members.  It is so so important!!! On Monday we took the stats of the mission,  had a meeting with President, put up tables for the conference, and finished the presentation. Mom, when I read the email on Monday that it was time to register for BYU classes, I couldn't ´t believe it. I tried to do some of it... but my mind wouldn´t let me. Thanks for your help. I trust you!  

The leadership conference yesterday was incredible. President's message was just so awesome! To give a quick summary he talked about  Isiah 40:31 and waiting on God. Then we showed us the painting called "The Raft of Medusa" it is a French painting from the 1800's. Look it up...but it is a really interesting story. But he talked about how each of us are at a stage in the painting. There is a person on top the raft who is waving a flag and calling for help. He encouraged us to be that person no matter what stage of the mission that we are in. .

After the conference we had a true miracle....Elder Bird and I split to work with the Zone Leaders of Tandil because their bus didn't leave till this morning.  So I went with Elder Forbes and we went to the family that I told you about last week...the referals. We were able to teach them. They are AWESOME. The family Barbosa. They accepted everything. They have a baptism date for April 27th. I am so excited for them. Sister Barbosa, the Mom, has cancer, she has very little hair, but is always smiling and is a fighter. Brother Barbosa drives taxis in town close to here. They are literally looking for exactly what the gospel can offer them. They are just golden, golden, golden. I hope that we can do our part and help them all that we can. They said they will be able to come to General Conference and so your prayers so that they can make it to one of the sessions would be great. They live one block from the Bishop, who is helping us a ton right now. After the appointment we were running back to the church. (I had my phone on silent and they called me a ton during the lesson because I had the keys to the car to take other Elders to the terminal...but I knew they would figure it out and take taxis) 

I have realized that one of the great lessons that I needed to learn in my mission is... 


In every area I have been in God has put families who are just ready to accept the Gospel. It is unreal. I was thinking about the scripture that Papa talked about in D&C 112:10 and Proverbs 3:5-6.  There is a great likeness in trusting in God and being humble. 

Dad- Thanks for your great letter. You are Superman. Go get em. I gave Elder Mikesell and Elder Gravelle your email. With the rule change they can email you now. They will be great. Also, is there any other positions open anywhere? Dustin Sonderegger, another Zone Leader from Boise would love to work up at Redfish too.  He also is a BYU-I student. I highly recommend him but I also realize there is a order to all this. I just know the type of employees that you want, and these people fit the mold. I was thinking maybe he would do a great job in the Store?  Sure Love you Dad. Thank you again for you letter. The other day a missionary asked me what is the key to success is. I told him to not compare yourself to other missionaries. I told him that this is not a business, this is the biggest team sport that there is. 

Mom- Thanks so much for your help with the classes. I think I would like to take that first class for the American Studies Major. You won´t believe it but we just got a new Elder here in the office who is in charge of the ecomonics of the mission. His dad is District Judge in Idaho Falls. I have been talking to him and he gave me his infortmation to contact him when I get back. I have been thinking (but not too much :)) about maybe a law degree and I actually like the idea of maybe trying to be a judge down the road. But, hey we will see. Got to have VISION.  I love you so much Mom.....You are truly an angel...100%

Mikesell- How did your meet go? I hope that you are doing well! I love you a ton! When are your finals? Did you see the moon?

Brennen- You can still be a stud even if you can´t walk. Double knee surgery....Wow! THREE MONTH RECOVERY? Will you still be in crutches in July? We got mountains to climb! Keep your mind busy and I loved the service stuff that you are doing. That is great. You are a stud B. Keep it up. I love you. Try to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days, andPreach my Gospel too!!

Alex- Hey All-Star!!   HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Saturday! When are you going to send me a sock with your autograph?  Sounds like you are balling it up and doing well. How are you coming in the Book of Mormon? I sure love you buddy. Keep being a good example. Have a great Birthday...I haven´t been able to get a letter off to you yet, but you will get one, don´t worry.

Harrison- Did you color a lot of eggs? They don´t have Easter eggs here. Will you save me some? :) I love you buddy.

McCall-  Are you excited to listen to the prophet this weekend with General Conference? (Church on TV as Mom says) You look so grown up in all the pictures. I sure love you Cally. Have a great week!

Grandma Clegg - I hope that you have a very special birthday. I love you and am eternally grateful for your legacy. Thank you for being a true queen!

All my love and I hope that you enjoy conference. 

Elder Austin