Monday, December 14, 2015

Pues entonces este semana fue mío bueno. 

So we really improved on a lot of things this week. One of them was
OYM's or Opening Your Mouth to random people on the street. Usually we
just get about 10 a week. But this week we really focused on getting
more and we had a lot of success. This week we had 69 OYM's. Almost
all of them were English so no new investigators for us but we did
find two new investigators for the English Elders. 

The best thing that happened this week was our lesson with Isabel. She
is having a hard time with her marriage and is currently going through
a divorce. She asked us for a priesthood blessing and before we gave
her the blessing we wanted to explain the priesthood and what a
blessing can do as long as the recipient has faith.  She said that she
knows it will help her because she received one from other Elders
before us and it helped her then. So we gave her a blessing of comfort
and taught her about prayer. We told her that the next step for her is
to be baptized and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost so she can be
sanctified and have that guidance in her life. She agreed and she is
going to be baptized on the second of January. 

The worst part of this week happened the next day. It was late and we
didn't have any lessons planned so we went to an apartment complex in
which we knew everyone was Hispanic and just knocked on every door. By
our 17th door we had someone invite us in. We started to teach them
the restoration. They seemed really interested and right when we got
to the Joseph Smith part of the lesson a drunk Mexican stumbled into
the apartment. He sat down and listened to the Joseph Smith story.
Before we could get to the Book of Mormon the drunk guy says "why do
we need Joseph Smith's church? I have faith in Christ and what is a
prophet?" So we tried to explain who a prophet was to this guy and we
asked him if he knew who Abraham was and we showed him a picture.
"Yeah that's Jesus and he built an ark and Jesus was born on top of
the ark and killed a bunch of people with water." After that we just
left. The other people weren't paying attention anymore anyways so we
said thank you and left. That was about an hour wasted. 

During personal study this week I learned more about the definition of
faith, which is an action, and it's changed pretty much everything I do
especially what I pray for. It's also changed the way I teach and

I hope everyone is doing well, Elder Austin

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This week was very eventful and very exciting. As existing as
missionary work gets. 

This week I received my new companion Elder Rojas. He would describe
himself as brown and charismatic. I personally think he's weird and
completely mad...but in a good way. He's a very hard worker and really
pushes me. He is also helping me with my Spanish as best as he can but
he gets really frustrated a lot. What can I say I have really bad
language skills. 

Anyways my favorite part and probably the most spiritual part of this
week is that we had Elder David A. Bednar and Elder Dale G. Renlund
come and speak to all of us this last Wednesday. We talked a lot about
some of the social norms among members and how stupid and faithless
they are. Those were Elder Bednar's exact words. We also talked about
faith and agency. One of the most important things I have ever learned
is that faith is action. Bednar really stressed that. It's changed a
lot of the way I do things as a missionary and the way I pray also. 

Me and Elder Rojas were able to put two people on date this week.
Kimberly who is 12 and Miguel who is in his 40's. We worked really
hard to get them there and to solidify them for baptism throughout the
week. We sent texts and stopped by and did everything we possibly
could. However neither of them came to church. According to the
standards of the mission, if they are not keeping commitments then
they are not allowed to be baptized. And so they are no longer on
date. So that happened. However something I learned is that even
though you're working hard, sometimes the blessings of your labors are
not always immediately apparent. 

Something we did do is find about 10 potential investigators and set
up lessons with almost all of this for this coming week so I am very
excited to see how that goes! 

Today I received a blessing for being obedient that wasn't apparent at
first. Today we were scheduled to have dinner at an Italian family's
house who's father is a professional chief. However he lived barely
outside of the mission so we were left with a choice. Either call the
zone leaders and ask for permission or head there anyways and no one
would have probably found out. However we decided to call and ask for
permission. Once the zone leaders heard that it was outside of the
mission the maybe became an absolute "no you cannot go." And so we
didn't get any Italian food tonight. Bummed and hating leadership, we
went out and started looking for less active families we could bring
back to the church. One of these families we stumbled upon turned out
to be an active family that went to a different ward. They invited us
in and asked us if we had eaten that night. We said no and they said
"well we just made a bunch of Philippino food and we'd love for you to
have some!" Philippino food trumps Italian food every time in my book.

Also today while we were talking to random people on the streets, my
companion started hiccuping violently. I don't speak good enough
Spanish to carry on the conversation so he had to keep talking while
hiccuping. It didn't go so well because I started laughing at him
because he sounded completely ridiculous!!! And this caused the person
we were talking to laugh. And this is what missionary work is usually

My Spanish study has improved and I am getting better. I think the
main thing for me is that I just need to practice 24/7 and not speak
any English with my companion. Even if he gets frustrated or not. 

Well anyways I hope everyone is doing well, Elder Austin

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hey so this week was good. 

We were able to meet with Miguel and have a very good lesson with him.
He's doing really well and is reading the Book of Mormon. He seems
very interested and always has good questions for us. 

Isabel is doing really bad because she's having problems with her
marriage. However she's still interested in the church and still wants
to meet with us. I'm glad that we could have the opportunity to teach
her. Hopefully she'll start feeling better. 

So I found out who I'm going to get as a new companion. His name is
elder Rohas. I haven't met him yet but I've heard about him.
Apparently he's very funny but also very weird. So it'll be very
different from Elder Fonseca. But I heard that he's a very hard
I'll be staying in my area so at least I won't be changing areas
before Christmas. I have really good members that I know I'll be
staying with for Christmas which will be fun.

I don't really have anything else to talk about but I'm sure I'll have
more next week. 

 Hope everyone is doing well, Elder Austin

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Nov, 23, 2015

Hey everyone, 

So Isabel has been going through a rough time. She's our only
progressing investigator with a baptism date on the 28th. However life
for her has only been getting worse. Last Sunday she didn't come to
church because of her job so she is now off date but we're going to
try to get her to come next Sunday and get her baptized on the 29th
instead. We'll see what happens. 

Miguel our other investigator is never home now. We haven't been able
to meet with him again but we have a lesson scheduled with him later
this week. So hopefully we'll be able to meet with him.

We did however get an investigator to church this week. His name is
Brian Noguera and he's married to a member. They're very good to us
and they're turning out to be my favorite family. 

Anyways yesterday was insane! We get to branch council and we're half
way through when they say "oh by the way elders I know this is sudden
but we put you on the program for giving talks today." I won't lie I
was pretty upset mostly because I don't know Spanish. Also I had only
30 minutes to write it. But it all worked out. What I did was I wrote
it in English, translated it using google translate, then used my
companion to revise it. That was probably the fastest I've ever wrote
a talk. 

Anyways other than that this week has been really uneventful.
Hope you're all doing well, 

Elder Austin

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nov 16, 2015


So this week was crazy!!! Here's what happened Tuesday:

As you can see it snowed....a lot!!!! It's also suppose to snow again tomorrow. 

Thursday my companion apologized to me all of a sudden because he was being so lazy and he wants his last two weeks to be full of work and miracles. This lasted for about two days and now we're back to the way things were before but I think it'll happen at least one more time before he goes home. 

Friday my companion was sick so I spent the entire day with Elder Armantrout and Schunk. 

Saturday we picked up a new investigator. His name is Miguel. His stepson just recently committed suicide so he's been going through a really rough time. We taught him the first lesson and throughout my companion was being extremely bold. He told him that he knows that the lord has been preparing him for this meeting with us and the Book of Mormon is what he needs in his life. We also used some new stuff from some recent trainings which is that we had him not only say a prayer after the lesson but we also had him take time to feel the spirit and break the silence afterwards. This lesson went extremely well because he's reading the Book of Mormon without us regularly or as regularly as you can in two days and he's definitely putting in effort to find out if this is true or not. 

Sunday we went over to Miguel's house to see how he was doing and ended up teaching him another lesson. We read through 1Nephi 1 with him and taught him about prophets and revelation. Afterwards we committed him to the normal read, pray, and come to church. It was a very good lesson and we'll be seeing him again on Wednesday. We also met with Isabel today as well. We read with her in 3 Nephi 27 and taught her about the gospel of Christ. Towards the end she started to cry and we stopped the lesson. We waited a moment and my companion asked her if she believed that all of this was true. She said yes. He also asked her if she still wanted to get baptized on the 28th. She said yes. The rest of the lesson went very well and I'm pretty sure she'll actually go through with being baptized. She's changed a lot since our first lesson. Our first lesson she didn't seem all that interested but now up she is our most progressing investigator. Sunday was a pretty good day. 

Today we are going to be playing soda can baseball (sister's idea). So that's going to be interesting. We also received an email today that Elder Bednar will be visiting our mission on Dec. 5 which I'm really excited for! 

My Spanish is terrible and now it's messing with my English. I'm starting to have trouble pronouncing words I've been saying my entire life. So now instead of being bi-lingual I can't speak anything. Also I have two more Sundays until that talk I have to give in Spanish branch so planning on being sick then. I'll be sure to let you know how that goes. 

Tell everyone I said hi.

Elder Austin

Monday, November 9, 2015


Isabel is still progressing and still reading the Book of Mormon. Her
baptism date is the last Saturday of this month so everybody pray for
her so that she can have faith. If she decides to get baptized then
she will be my first baptism in the mission. Of course that means
nothing. What matters is that she makes a covenant with God that
allows her to be washed clean and have a way to return to her Heavenly

Also mom you're not the only giving a talk soon. I'm giving a talk in
Spanish Branch the last Sunday of this month. It's on missionary work.
My companions giving a talk on the same subject to mine will be a more
broken and childish version of his talk because he can actually speak
Spanish. So yeah very scary stuff.

I am very happy to hear that Amechie is still a strong member. I'm
also glad that she wants to share her testimony with everyone. It
sounds like she's taking her baptism covenant very seriously. Not only
her but Udy too. Passing the sacrament for the first time is very
exciting. But it also gets very boring very fast though. What doesn't
change is the importance of the job however. Passing the sacrament is
a very sacred privilege because you are carrying what is necessary for
other to be able to access the atonement and renew their covenants
with the lord. I hope that he understands that when he passes for the
first time. 

So for my personal study I've been studying faith in the topical guide
and keeping a journal on what I've learned. Right now I have five
pages written and not even Half way through the faith section on the
topical guide. I've learned a lot and I've been able to apply a lot of
it. Once I'm done with faith I'm going to go into hope then charity.
Exciting stuff! 

Our other investigators have been struggling a lot with just keeping
commitments. Isabel is the only investigator we have progressing right
now. Also my companion is going home in a couple of weeks and he is
getting really trunky. He never wants to do anything anymore. Also my
Spanish has stayed the same it was last week. People still say that I
speak really well for someone who has only been out for 3 months but I
feel like I could have been better. Hopefully I can find a way to get
my companion more involved his last couple of weeks.

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well and yeah that's pretty much it. 

Elder Austin

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hi guys,

This week has been pretty normal. I can't even remember most of the
week.....uug it's all bending together!!!!! What did I do????
I went on exchanges with the newest greeny in the
district Elder Schunk. He's from Kansas and is really good with
computers. He's fluent in 3 different programming languages and wants
to go into a career of cyber security. I can't even remember if I said
that in the last email. Wow this is getting bad. My memory is really
failing me.

Anyways the most exciting news I received this week was the news that
Amechie was baptized. It looked like a whole zone was there. Anyways
very happy to hear that she was baptized and I hope she stays a strong
member of the church.

Isabel is going through a divorce right now but still wants her
ex/current husband to baptize him if she does decide to join the
church. All of our lessons with her a great! She's definitely a solid
investigator. She didn't come to church today because of work but I
know that she would have if she could.

Christian decided that he's going to stay in Lyndin (I think that's
hoe you spell it) which is definitely outside the mission so we had to
give him up unfortunately. We gave a referral to the elders in his
area but they have yet to contact us.

Jose and margarita haven't made any progress. They're in California
right now and right before they left we all fasted so that margarita
could receive an answer during her prayers. We're hoping that she will
accept another baptism date next time we see her.

Saturday everyone in the mission had the opportunity to go to the
temple. I did not because I was sick. So instead I read 30 chapters in
Alma and it was AWESOME!!!!!! Moroni is such a BOSS!!!!! So cool!!!!
So yeah that was my weekend.

Today is P-day and we are going to airborne as a district activity.
It's like sky zone but much cooler and much more fun!!! I am very

Also I am now officially a Mexican!!!!! We had dinner at a Mexican
house yesterday and they served something that they said was an 8 on
their spicy scale. It was too spicy for they wife to handle. I ate it
and yeah it was spicy but I was completely fine. It was just warm.
Tasted really good though.

Anyways hope everyone is doing well,

Elder Austin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This week wasn't as exciting as the last,

Our new investigator Christian who is completely awesome and on date
moved out of our mission... But he is still coming to our branch
because thats here he feels most comfortable. He is only living out of
the mission until the end of the month and is trying to look for a
place in our Area so we can still teach him. So that's what we've been
concentrating on so we don't have to lose him. 

Isabel cried in our last lesson with her when she prayed for the first
time. She is getting very excited about baptism and is thinking about
who she wants to baptize her. It pretty amazing because at first she
didn't even seem interested and just wanted to be Catholic but it's
amazing how the spirit can change people. 

Margarita fasted with us this past Sunday for an answer and so we're
going to invite her and her husband to be baptized again and we're
hoping that she'll accept even if her husband doesn't. 

This week didn't have any unique events other than a Spanish training
meeting. They were suppose to teach us about Spanish culture and
things to watch out for that we wouldn't know. However they taught us
about the spirit instead which isn't bad but it was just like any
other meeting. I didn't learn anything about the Spanish culture. 

I was so happy to hear Amechie got a job!!!!!!!!!! SOOO HAPPY!!!!!!!!
I lost it a little. How is she feeling about her baptism? 
This was on the birthday cake for Elder Fonseca. As you can see there is a white guy and a brown guy. Yes this was planned and no I am not the brown guy. Spanish families always have a good sense of humor.

Well I miss you all and hope you're all doing well,

Elder Austin

Monday, October 19, 2015


This week was very exciting. First off me and Elder Fonseca
were the only companionship in the district that achieved the
standards of excellence this week. The standards of excellence are 5
lessons with a member present (2 of them has to be with new
investigators), 2 investigators at church (1 has to be a new
investigator), and 2 investigators on date (1 has to be a new
investigator). They are not easy and we achieved them on Sunday which
was the last day in the week before it resets. I'll be with Elder
Fonseca again next transfer so the goal is to achieve standards of
excellence 3 times before he goes home. 

We have a new investigator named Christian. We were eating dinner one
night when a member called us and told us to be over in 15 minutes
because he would have a friend over and he wanted to introduce him to
the missionaries. We went over and met Christian. We taught him the
restoration and invited him to baptism. He is on date for the 17th of
November. He's a great guy with a lot of questions and a good heart.
He is from Venezuela and but was born in Florida. His wife and kids
are still in Venezuela and he is working to earn money to get them to
the US. He is only 21 years old. 

Our other investigator that was put on date yesterday is Isabel. She
is a middle aged woman that speaks Spanish really weird so I have a
very hard time understanding her. However we taught her the plan of
salvation yesterday and she accepted baptism for the 17th of November. 

I had the best dinner I've had yet on the mission. So the
Hispanics in Sandy are really bad at making food for us. Most of the
time they just buy us a rotisserie chicken and yeah. I've probably
gotten 17 chickens now. But yesterday we had this:

This is a real enchilada. It was AMAZING!!!!! It was the best thing I've had so far. 

Anyways I have not had a baptism yet. José and Margarita fell off date because José isn't ready. We talked to Margarita and she told us that that she told her husband that if she receives an answer then she isn't waiting for him. So I was fasting yesterday that she would receive an answer. So hopefully she'll get one soon. 

Okay so the last thing I'm going to talk about is about the mission conference we had Tuesday. We had two special guests. One of them was an Elder Vesera from the 70 and the other was this guy:

The guy on the right. And for those of you that don't know him this is David Archuleta who spoke to us and we all were able to meet him. So yeah that was really cool. 

Anyways yeah so I hope everyone is doing well and I'll, write everyone next week.

Elder Austin

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Well I'm still alive. This week has been pretty great. 
Anyways next Saturday is the 17th of October and we originally had 3
people getting baptized on that day. However now it looks like we're
only having one. Margarita is our most interested investigator and we
believe that she will be ready for the 17th. José her husband doesn't
seem as interested but we're hoping to get his support for his wife to
be baptized and we are hoping that her example will open his heart to
the gospel. As for Kimberly we're going to have to mover her baptism
date back again. She's just never available for a lesson and when we
schedule a lesson with her she's never there. We know that she will
eventually be baptized but it just might take a while.

Ricardo was an inactive when we met him and now he's back at church
every week. He told us that him and his wife never want to leave
again. Our next step with him is to get him to the temple.

Hilda is the mother of about 6 children I think. About 12 people live
in the house so it's hard to know who's is who's. But she has 2 older
girls about my age and 3 others the oldest of which is 10. And
possibly one baby but he might belong to someone else. Anyways the
coolest part about this family is that the most interested people in
the lessons are the 2 youngest girls which I think is cool because I
thought church was the most boring thing ever when I was there age.
But yesterday when we were over there they had their Book of Mormon
Stories book out in front of them and both were bragging about how far
they read. They're also the ones who get up on Sunday and beg their
mom to go to church. I think it's the strangest thing ever but the
reason this family is still progressing is because of these girls.

To answer a few of your questions no I haven't ran into anyone that I

There are 3 restaurants that give missionaries free food and we
go to them a lot for lunch. I'm able to exercise but it's always
alone. My companion is really lazy and doesn't want to exercise ever.
I just do a couple workouts I remember from crossfit every morning in
one of the empty rooms. 

We might have found a new investigator but we don't know yet. It's a
home of two sisters and their father. One of the sisters has already
taken all of the lessons and is just waiting for an answer but the
other one hasn't had any lessons. However they told us that their
father (who is never home) is hardcore Catholic and might not like
them being taught so we told them to ask for permission and that we
would get back to them on Thursday. And I do go tracting and it's
usually in the more poor parts of sandy that we find people to teach. 

I think the hardest thing about my mission is opening your mouth to
strangers on the street or sitting outside. It always seems intrusive
and I never want to do it because my Spanish is really bad but I've
been told that I'm going to be doing all of them from now on because
it's time that I get some practice. The best parts about my mission are
meeting and teaching people like Margarita. 

Anyways that's pretty much all that happened to me this week. I hope
everyone is doing well and I wish you all the best. 

Elder Austin

Friday, October 9, 2015


The key to happiness is not when you become
important but when others become important to you. 
I'm doing fine here. People feed me a lot. I'm still struggling with Spanish but I can teach the first two lessons pretty well now. I can understand certain types of conversations now. Certain key words let me know what the topic is about. However if the conversation strays
from anything gospel related then I have no clue what's being said. My vocabulary isn't that extensive.

We finally met our landlord this week. His name is Ben. He is a pretty interesting guy because he's 32 and lives in the Stone Age. My grandparents are more advanced than he is. He doesn't own a computer, t.v., he steals wifi from the neighbors, he collects his own honey, and he makes some pretty good salsa. Honesty he's a pretty interesting guy and is very fun to talk to. He works at his own radio sports station and talks mostly about BYU and U of U football.  My companion told him that we need wifi (because we don't get any in his basement) for my language study and missionary training. (We actually don't because we usually just drive to our ward building and just use the church's wifi. However I did not know my companion
told him this). And so all I know at the time is that Ben is considering getting Comcast and asked us to print off the papers and advertisements for him since he doesn't own a printer. We do this at the family history center, bring the papers back to him, and he calls Comcast. The fist thing Comcast does to him is pull a bait and switch and raise the advertised $40 a month to $50 a month. Ben does not like this at all. This is when we learned that Ben has a temper because he just completely loses it. He starts yelling at this poor Indian man on
the phone calling him many MANY names that I cannot write in this email and politely says goodbye and hangs up. He looks at me and says "sorry Austin I was probably really mean to that stupid Indian and it probably was uncalled for but don't worry I'll get you wifi. I know a
guy. I know that learning your language is really important and I get that. Just hang in there with me a couple more days. Can you do that for my bud?" This caught me completely off guard because I've never once mentioned my language needs to him before. So with the most
confused look you can imagine I said "it's fine I'm good?" But he's determined about getting wifi for me because if I don't get my wifi I'll apparently "be so far behind the other missionaries." This is what my companion used as an excuse.

That reminds me I haven't really introduced my companion yet.
This is my companion Elder Fonseca. He tells everyone that he is from Costa Rica but he is actually from West Palm Beach, Florida. He speaks Spanish fluently so he really helps me out. He hates exercising but loves eating. He's pretty friendly and knows pretty much everyone in the mission. He is leaving in 7 more weeks and he calls me "my only begotten son" because I am the first greeny he has ever trained. So apparently that makes him my "dad." I don't come up with the names. Apparently it's a missionary thing. We get along pretty well. He likes to work but he's also pretty lazy because he's really ready to go home. He'll probably be my companion for the rest of his time here so I guess it's a pretty good thing that we get along pretty well. 

I am sorry I do not have any pictures of me but I'll try to get some for next week. My iPad case isn't good for pictures and so I would have to take my iPad out of my case every time I take a picture. 

As for conference we watched it at our next door neighbors house. His name is Paul and he is probably the nicest guy in the world. He would do anything for anyone just because he wants to help others. I've never met anyone this nice. He reminds me a lot of Dave my last boss in Lehi. They could be twins. Anyways we watched the entire conference at his house. 

As for my investigators we still have the same 3 preparing for baptism. Kimberly is the 12 year old girl who has the maturity of a 20 year old because her mother is really disabled physically so she's having to take on the responsibility of caring for the family. She knows what baptism is about but she doesn't really know the commandments. She knows that one of the things we promise to do during baptism is to keep the commandments but she said that she doesn't know what the commandments are. Our next lesson with her will be over the commandments and the sacrament. Hopefully she'll feel more comfortable with the idea of baptism after this lesson. Her mother fully supports her in investigating the church and she would become a member too but she is currently getting a divorce and living with someone she is not married to so she would have a little bit to do before we could even consider extending her a baptism date. 

José and Margarita are in the same state as always. If it were up to Margarita she would be baptized tomorrow but she still wants to wait for José to be ready.we're trying to get them to temple square and have a lesson there. We're also going to talk about modern day prophets with José to try help him better understand the importance of prophets. Right now it's all about getting José reading the Book of Mormon and praying. 

Vania is the one who was getting attacked by her family. Fortunately her family is gone for the moment and she is still up for meeting with us. We gave her the talk "My Words... Never Cease" to help her with her doubts about Joseph Smith. We are also trying to get her to go to temple square with us. 
Today for P-day me, my companion, Elder Fonseca, this guy my district leader Elder McCarthy and this guy, Elder Armantrout  are going to wallabies for Elder Armantrout's birthday.

It's an Australian restaurant. Afterwards we're going to a place called airborne which is like sky zone only cooler. So yeah that's pretty much what I do during P-days.
Concerning Christmas send me everything sweet and delicious and minty that you can find. Also letters from everyone would be nice. Also maybe a cool piano book.

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well,

Love, Elder Austin

Monday, September 28, 2015

This makes 2 months pretty much. It's going by pretty fast. The work
is going by slow however. Our investigators are struggling with going
to church and some of them are getting back lash from their families.  It's pretty annoying. 

Anyways I'm still alive and doing well. Everyone loves giving the
missionaries food so I am definitely not starving. We have this one
family who feeds us every Friday and every time I eat there I feel
like throwing up afterwards because of how much they feed us. It's
very rude in Hispanic culture to not finish everything on your plate.
So this family makes sure to give us at least three servings of food
on one plate every time we go over. I look at the rest of the family's
plates and they have normal servings. It's not fair! It's just too
much!!.......yeah so anyways I'm fed pretty well.... 

Some of our investigators are really struggling. We have this one
investigator who's named Vania and she was on date to be baptized and
was actually excited about it. However when she told her family about
this she immediately got chastised and told that she was a complete
idiot for listening to our lies. The last time we stopped by was today
to see if she was still good to go to church. Her mom was standing out
in the yard and told us that she wasn't home and that she wanted us to
leave. I think that we just lost one of our solid investigators. It's
really sad when you can't even find peace with your family. 

José and Margarita are progressing really well however and something
crazy happened with them. We went by the house prepared to teach the
Plan of Salvation for the first time. They invited us in and we were
sitting in the living room when Margarita felt like she needed to
share a dream with us that she had about two years ago. She said that
in the dream she was in another world which was so beautiful and so
much better than the world we live in. She said that everything was
perfect and there was this beautiful river with many different types
of fish in it and standing by the river was Jesus. Jesus then said
"This is the third heaven. My father lives here but you are not ready
to meet him yet. That is why I'm here." I'm not one to be live in
stuff like this EVER and it still feels really weird whenever I tell
it but just the fact that she's never heard about the three kingdoms
of glory before and to say something like this was really odd. Anyways
once we taught her the Plan of Salvation she accepted all of it. She
said "oh it's just like my dream it has to be true!" We ask her if she
was still planing on being baptized on the 17th and she said yes but
that she wants to wait for her husband José. We asked José the same
thing and he said no actually. He said that he likes our message and
always enjoys talking to us but that he doesn't want to give up
drinking. Which is a problem. And so I'm hoping that he'll gain a
stronger testimony about this gospel and as he does so maybe he'll
gain a desire to change and stop drinking. 

Ricardo came to church this last Sunday. It was the first time him and
his wife have been to church in over a year. They said that they liked
it and hopefully we can get them to keep coming. I still don't think
they trust the members yet but we have some pretty good
fellow-shippers for them. 

My Spanish is still really terrible but I am doing a lot better
teaching the lessons in Spanish. It really helps to read the lessons
out of Preach My Gospel In Spanish and see how it's phrased there. I
can teach the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation really well in
Spanish now. Anything else is not so good. During language study I'll
be reading out of the Spanish version of Preach My Gospel. I try to
talk in Spanish with my companion as much as possible but he just
speaks way too fast and I can't understand a thing and we both get
frustrated and just resort back to using English. It's improving
slowly but surely. 

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well and I can't wait to hear from you.

Elder Austin

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Spanish is coming
along very slowly. I understand a lot but it's just a couple words and
conjugations that throw me off. Also everyone's accent is different
depending on the country they're from so there's that too. 

Okay so my week this week was pretty bad actually. We had almost all
of our investigators cancel lessons on us. My companion says that
sometimes you'll just have bad weeks like that. But we did have some
good things happen. 

Vania is an investigator that the missionaries have been teaching for
a while. She always has questions that are really hard to answer and
she's always trying to find a loophole in the rules that will allow
her to do stuff like drink coffee. Of course we told her she can't and
she has been doing really well on all of her commitments. The largest
challenge we have is getting her to church and getting her to read.
She doesn't see the importance of church and the says that she hasn't
gotten an answer from God that this is true yet. That is when I shared
with her my personal conversion story. I explained Alma 32 and taught
about the metaphor and the invitation. If any of you don't know what
the chapter is about then read it because it is a really good chapter.
I told her that this is the way that I found out and that it was a
long and slow process but the seed grew and now I know. She said that
she will read it because she thinks that it will be that way for her.
We then invited her to be baptized on 10/17. She said that she would
pray about it. She also said that she felt a overwhelming sense of
fear. I told her that change is really scary.and the change we're
asking of her is a big one. But the more the seed grows the more the
fear goes away. I also told her that this is just a goal and she won't
be baptized unless she is truly ready. 

Ricardo is a much older man who is a less active member of the church.
When we met him he welcomed us into him home which was an old trailer
not too far from where Vania lived. He immediately opened up to us. We
asked him why he didn't go to church anymore. He said that he knows
the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that its
all true, but a year ago someone did something terrible to him and his
family. A year ago he was regularly attending church and was looking
for a new home for him and his new family. A member offered to sell
him a house and he agreed. The paperwork was all finished, the house
paid for and Ricardo was a proud, new homeowner. Only there was no
house to be sold. The whole thing was a hoax and it was a well planned
hoax. Ricardo took this man to court and lost. This other member of
the church took all of his money and left the area. Ricardo didn't
have the money to pay for his current house anymore so they lost
everything. They now live in an old trailer with him and his wife.
They have no faith in the members anymore and haven't been to church
since. It makes me sick that a member would do something like this.
Anyways we've been trying to get Ricardo to come back and yesterday we
saw him at a branch party. It completely caught me off guard when I
saw him walk through the doors. We welcomed him and showed him to the
gym. Now our Elders Quorum President is one of the greatest guys I
know. When we told him about Ricardo he immediately got up, went over
to him, and introduced himself. He then took him around the gym and
introduced him to about 8 other people and they immediately fellowshipped him into
the Branch. We didn't see him at church today because I think he still
has his trepidations about coming back and trusting people again but
if he does it's going to be because of people like President

The party was also insane! It's completely different from the ward
parties back home. Everyone brought food. Also they had flags
everywhere. All the Mexican food when under the Mexican flag and the
Argentinian food went under the Argentinian flag and so on. They even
had a US flag for us gringos. After we ate came the cultural
celebration where people would sing songs and perform dances from
their country. It was really incredible seeing all of the different
cultures gathered in one place. It's nothing like our home ward.

Anyways I miss you. 
Elder Austin

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hi, hows it going?

I'm doing great!  I was sick as a dog my first week in the field but I'm feeling much better now.  My new companion has been here for 21 months.  He's from Florida but he tells everyone that he's from Costa Rica because that's where he was born. He is fluent in Spanish and English so he has been helping me a lot. We live in the basement of a member's house but apparently we're moving today because the sisters need it. For some reason the wife left the husband of the people they where staying with so now they need to leave. 

We do have a car which is nice and our area is HUGE!!! We have many investigators and the Hispanic community here is enormous!!!! We go tracting a lot in trailer parks and random neighborhoods. We're not allowed to teach English speakers so whenever we run into anyone who speaks English only, we just ask him if he knows any of his neighbors that speak Spanish. My Spanish is terrible! I can't understand anyone! I only get about 30% of what's said and I can understand more than I can speak. But everyone tells me that my Spanish is good for someone who's only been out for 7 weeks. Our main problem with investigators is that no one is married. They all like to live together but none of them are married. And so they can't get baptized unless they do get married. But either the man or the women doesn't want to get married but the other one does. It's really weird. I don't understand. 

All the members here are really good to us. We've had a dinner appointment every day and they feed us way too much!!! Yesterday we had an amazing lesson with a couple. This couple is named José and Margarita. They are related to a family at church and so they were present during sacrament meeting. They're going to be here for 2 more months and they want to learn more about the church. And so later that night we went to the home of the member family's home to teach this couple. We taught the restoration and the entire time you could tell that they were interested. They didn't ask many questions but they were considering everything we told them. You could tell that they were feeling the spirit the entire time. After the lesson we asked them if they would be baptized. We now have two baptisms scheduled for the 17th of next month. 

I hope everyone is doing well and I'll email next week

Elder Austin

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Utah Salt Lake City South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070

September 9, 2015
 Dear Parents of Elder Austin ,
What a pleasure it was to welcome Elder Kallin Austin  into the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission.  His first day with us included breakfast and orientation at the mission office, a training session, lunch and of course, meeting his first companion. I am impressed by his desire to serve.  He is well and in high spirits as he anticipates the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  Please be assured that we will be watching over him while he is here.  I'm attaching photographs taken as he was welcomed at the mission office.
After prayerful consideration, an excellent missionary, Elder Fonseca, has been assigned as his trainer and first companion.  I am attaching our Family Guidelines which we urge you to follow.  We have learned from experience the importance of family and friends following these guidelines.  Please share the guidelines with those who may write to him.  Your compliance of these guidelines can reinforce your missionary's willingness to follow the guidelines in the Missionary Handbook.
All hard-copy letters and packages should be sent to the mission, addressed to Elder Kallin Austin  at the address listed above. 
Thank you for raising such an outstanding young person, worthy and willing to serve the Lord full time in our mission.  I know you will be blessed for the sacrifices that make his service possible.  May the Lord's choicest blessings be yours.
Robert E. Chambers
Mission President

Friday, September 4, 2015

I am really excited to leave the MTC but I am sad to leave my district. Elder Maloy is going to Sacramento, California so I won't be seeing him any time soon.  Oh and I have some pictures for you.

​Here is me! My Companion, Elder Maloy,  just got his camera and went on a photo spree. 

Here is my CanAsian roommate, Elder Lan, He is from Canada and he is Asian if you could not tell. He has the habit of yelling in mandarin while he sleeps. He also is a martial arts expert. 

This is my other CanAsian roomate, Elder Huang.  He just talks a lot. I don't really have much to say about him.

Here is our fearless district leader, Elder Sargent, drinking wine. (it's not really wine).

Here is his companion, Elder Trujillo, who goes running with me during gym time. He's the nicest guy I know.

This is Elder Thomson. He likes to come into our room at night and talk to us. He's just a really likable guy and gets along with everyone. 

​This is Elder Dean. He likes robotics and rarely talks to anyone. His spirit animal is a squirrel who is plotting to take over the world. Just look at that diabolical smile.   

My spirit animal is apparently a chinchilla and Elder Maloy's is a verdad. We have invented a new phrase in Spanish. Pues Entonces. It has no function in the language but if you translate it in English is says "Well then." I'ts always fun saying it to a native from the motherland because they always have the most confused look on their face haha! 

We had Elder Dallin H. Oaks come speak to us this last Tuesday. He spoke about how we can have and keep the Spirit. Only a missionary who has the spirit is a true missionary. He talked about the Sacrament prayers and one of the main blessings of the Sacrament prayers is that we will always "have His spirit to be with them." He then commanded us all to know the Sacrament prayers by heart. "Every member of the church should know the Sacrament prayers by heart." The worst missionary with the spirit is better than the best missionary without the spirit. The same goes for members. 

We also watched a talk where Elder David A. Bednar talked to us about two missionaries that he new. They came over one Sunday for an hour and fifteen minutes playing with the kids and getting to know the family. They then taught them a spiritual message and asked Elder Bednar if he had any referrals for them. Elder Bednar replied with "Elders you know that I love you. So listen closely as I tell you this. I would never give either one of you referrals ever. You have just wasted and hour and fifteen minutes of the Lords time goofing off in our home. I would never trust the either of you with referrals. If you would like referrals from the Bednar home then this is how one would act. They would knock on the door, say 'Elder Bednar; we don't have much time but we would like to share a BRIEF spiritual lesson with your family if that would be okay.' I would then invite them in and gather my family and listen as the Elder's taught a very BRIEF lesson. Then they would ask me for referrals and I would give my referrals. Then I would tell them to get out of my home and back to work."  

I love you and hope everyone is doing well.

Love, Elder Austin