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

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