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