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