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