Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016

Well today I was transferred. I will miss Mountain View 4th. Some of
my best memories are in this Ward and there are a lot of people I will
miss being with but I know that it is the will of the Lord that has
moved me. I will be going southwest to Daybreak and I'll be with an
Elder named Elder Cardenas. He is pretty new to the mission but he is
a self starter and loves to work hard! We're going to get some amazing
things done!

I will miss Elder Sewell a ton. We're like brothers and it was an
amazing two transfers that we had together but he's going to be going
to Sandy to be a district leader over there. I wish him the best.

This week we had some sad news. Jose is moving back to California and
won't be coming back. He was so close to getting baptized but he's
just going to have to do it over there. I hope that the Elders in
California will be able to find him okay. Other than that we have had
some amazing last experiences here with some new people that we've
found. The Hernandez family was someone that we found knocking doors.
We shared the light the world video and the Spirit there was
amazing!!! We taught that through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from
sin and we left with a prayer. There was a change in the atmosphere
when we left and we are willing to bet that the next Elders will be
welcomed in with open arms. It's truly amazing what the Spirit can do.

This week I learned a great deal about standing in holy places and
being not moved. In the mission, especially in Utah, there will be
many people who will try to get you to forsake your faith and your
beliefs. They will offer you anti church documents, alcohol, drugs,
etc. But for a missionary, it's super easy to avoid all of these
things. As an investigator, it's much harder. When an investigator is
making the switch, they will have people offering them the same
things. For the, it's so easy to fall for the temptations of the devil
and be lost. It's up to us as me her to stand with them. To take them
to holy places. One of the best places to do that is our own homes.
The home is only second in holiness to the temple. It is the best
place for someone learning about the church to be able to feel the
love and support of friends and their Heavenly Father. I hope that
everyone will make an extra effort to sanctify our homes and to help
others as they go through the conversion process. That's one of the
reasons I love Utah so much because it's filled with wonderful members
who are always willing to get to know and support our investigators.
This is the best mission in the world!!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Happy Holidays!

Elder Kallin James Austin
Utah SLC South Mission

December 8, 2016

Today I had the amazing experience of going to the temple. I feel that
this time I had left with many new and wonderful ideas on how I can
become a better representative of the Lord. I am so grateful that in
this mission we have the blessing of having 3 temples that we can go
to on occasion. It's always a wonderful opportunity to learn how we
can improve ourselves and find answers to our questions. The Bible
dictionary states:

> "A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."

Let all of our homes become comparable to the sacredness of a temple.
I hope then that this Christmas, Christ's Spirit will be present in
each home as we remember his birth, life, and Atonement.

A wonderful experience that we had this week happened with a returning
member. This man, 2 years ago, suffered a serious Brian injury falling
from 20 feet onto his head. When he woke up, he couldn't remember
anything from his past life except for his testimony of the restored
gospel. Over the next 2 years, he had to meet his wife, kids, home,
and parents as of it was for the first time. We ate dinner with them
last Sunday and his wife invited us to teach this brother the
missionary lessons over again. She told us that he has a testimony of
the gospel but just doesn't remember what the gospel is. So we taught
him the first lesson. He stopped us in the middle of the lesson
excitedly and said "Elders I remembered! I remember the Elders
teaching this to me just before I was baptized! The feelings and the
joy it's all back!" He then said "you know, the man who lives
downstairs isn't a member. Let me talk to him and I'll set up a lesson
for you both to meet him." We were overjoyed! It reminded me of the
scripture in John 14:26,

> "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

I hope everyone has a great week and a wonderful time participating in
the new Christmas initiative "Light The World." If you want to know
more about it, go to and you'll see many videos and
suggestions on what you can do to serve as the Savior did.

I love you all,

November 28, 2016

The week was a week of many miracles the best of which was someone
coming into Christ through the covenant of baptism.

Last Sunday Ramiro, through a miracle, accepted to be baptized. Every
day since then, we visited him to prepare him for baptism. Ramiro's
main concern was about the Prophet Joseph Smith but the day before the
interview he had a dream where he experienced something similar to
what Joseph Smith experienced in the grove. The next day he passed the
baptismal interview and we prepared for the baptism on Saturday. The
baptism was very small but it was very spiritual. Ramiro asked me to
confirm the next day. It was the second confirmation that I have ever
done. Later right after Priesthood meeting he told us of another dream
that he had which confirmed that he had found the true church. We were
super excited and thankful for the opportunity we had to teach him.
Right now he is looking for a job here in the valley and we're hoping
he can stay.

That day we also had a kid name Fernando go to church for the second
time. Later after church we taught him about the commandments. He had
been being taught for a very long time now but yesterday he accepted a
baptismal date for the 10th of December. This is the closest that he
has ever been and he will be the first one in his family. Everyone
please pray for Fernando that he will be prepared and ready to be
baptized on the 10th.

This last week, we had a meeting on Wednesday for the entire zone. It
was led by Elder Zwick of the first quorum of the seventy. We also had
Elder Basera and Elder Salinas who are area seventies there as well.
They talked to us about the Spanish work in Utah. They told us that we
need to raise the bar and work closer with the members in order to
reach out to all of the new people coming here from South America. I'm
very excited to see the work pick up in the zone and Elder Sewell and
I are doing our best to get the Ward involved as well. Hopefully this
week we'll be able to see the first fruits of this "Spanish
Initiative" in our area.

I testify of this work and I am so very thankful of the opportunity I
have to be a part of it. There is nothing I want more than for people
to come unto Christ and for us as the Spanish speaking missionaries to
fulfill the vision of the Spanish initiative.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

November 21, 2016

This week had a lot of ups and downs. It was an upward battle for most
of it and it looked hopeless at one point. But it ended with an
amazing miracle.

So we've been working with a kid named José for a while now. He's a
really cool kid and he's going to be the first one in his family who
becomes a member of the church. Wednesday we taught him and his
brother, Axel, the plan of salvation. It was a very difficult lesson
because they both had so many strange questions like "who created
God?" and "did God creat the devil?" But by the end we invited Axel to
be baptized and he accepted a date for 10th of December. We were super
excited!!! Just then their mom (who never talks to us) came into the
room and asked us if we would like some eggs. We were like "why not!"
She made us dinner and it was eggs, beans, and tortillas. It was
delicious!!!! It was the first time that she wanted to talk to us.
Also they invited us over for thanksgiving dinner! We're super

We also taught a man named Ramiro. We have been teaching him for some
time now. He was a man who just walked into church with his friend,
Brother Taylor. It turned out that he lived with Brother Taylor. We
went over there about 3 times every week and we were there that night
after we ate with José and his family. We taught Ramiro about modern
day prophets and we showed him a video of Thomas S. Monson. Ramiro
didn't like the fact that we had Prophets. He told us of a man in Peru
who claimed that he was a prophet and fooled many people into giving
him money. We assured him that it is not the same here and he asked
"how do you know?" We shared the scripture "by your fruits ye shall
know them." He then told us that he read the testimony of Joseph Smith
just before we came and had fallen asleep and he had a dream about a
man planting seeds. We have him Alma 32 to read and told him that it
would help him interpret his dream. We left thinking that it was a
really hard lesson we had and we just prayed that what we gave him was
the will of God.

Later we talked with José again on Friday and he told us that all of
his family besides him and Axel all went to California. His uncle was
in charge of them and he lived in west valley which is outside of the
mission. We were like "oh great..." We asked "well are you both still
good to go to church?" They said that they couldn't because they would
have to ask their uncle for permission and they had no way to get into
contact with him. Just then his uncle opened the door and we invited
him to sit down with us. We didn't waist any time and started teaching
them all about Jesus Christ through Alma 7. The uncle, Christian,
asked us about the Book of Mormon and that's when we started teaching
him the restoration. He accepted a Book of Mormon and was committed to
read it completely! He also accepted to come to church and to also
take José and Axel with him. Right when we were about to invite him to
be baptized, the door opened and Christian's cousin and his girlfriend
walked in and ruined the moment. But we were able to leave with a
prayer. We were super excited and wee eager to see them all at church.

Saturday came along and we had a battle of a lesson with a kid named
Fernando. Fernando has been taught by many missionaries in the past
but has never come to church. We showed him the restoration video and
talked to him about Prophets. We ended by inviting him to church. He
declined immediately. But we would just not give up. He said that it
just wasn't that important to him at the moment. That he had other
things go on. We told him that it was important to his Heavenly Father
who wanted the best for him. He asked why it was necessary to go to
church. We told him because that would help him prepare to be
baptized. He thought about it a little and then asked by baptism was
necessary. We taught him the Atonement and his purpose in life. We
also taught him about part of the plan of salvation. He then accepted
to go but only if we brought him a white shirt and woke him up in the
morning. He showed us his bedroom window and told us to knock it at
8:30 A.M. tomorrow. We were super excited!!!! We were going to have
like 5 people at church!

Sunday came and we went to go wake up Fernando. He got up and we gave
him the white shirt and told him to get changed and that we would be
back. We then left to go to talk to Jose and Axel. They didn't answer
the door so we threw rocks at their window. They waved us to stop and
they opened the door and let us in. Apparently they were playing video
games and couldn't hear the door but they weren't dressed for church
at all. We asked if they were ready to go and it turns out that their
uncle told them on Saturday that they couldn't go because he wouldn't
be able to make it. Which means that José won't be able to be baptized
this Saturday and his brother won't be able to on the 10th either. We
were devastated. But later that day we were able to go over and teach
them a lesson in which we moved José's date to the 3rd of December. He
is soooo ready to convert but he just doesn't have the support fork
the family. Hopefully after thanksgiving his mom will want to come to
church with him and she can be the one who takes him.

However Fernando and Ramiro did come to church and they both loved it.
We had a lesson that night with Ramiro that changed everything!!!!

It was Elder Sewell, Jorge, and I at the door of Brother Taylor's
house. He let us on and Ramiro came down stairs to greet us. Ramiro is
one of the most humble men you'll ever meet. He is the only one that
will hug you whenever he sees you. Also everything he does he does it
for his family. We sit down and we start to talk about the questions
he had over what he hear about in church. He said "I love everything
about your church except for the fact that you all talk about Joseph
Smith too much. A man cannot be saved through Joseph Smith! Only
through Jesus Christ!" We then neared our testimony about how we
believed that the words that have come from every prophet are the
words of Christ. We talked about Moses and Abraham and Noah. We talked
about how they received the teachings of Christ and gave it to their
people. We neared testimony that the prophets today do the same. He
accepted it but he still didn't like it too much. He brought up the
chapter that we left him to read, Alma 32. He said that he loved it
and especially the part where it talks about the seed. He said that he
thinks that he just has the plan the seed and be baptized and after
that he will know it's true. We knew that he wouldn't pass the
baptismal interview without a testimony so his idea wouldn't work. So
we said "keep the idea of baptism in your mind and let's pray right
now. We're going to kneel down and that he will say a prayer and ask
for an answer concerning baptism in the church. That afterwards we
will stay silent and let you feel the Holy Spirit tell you what you
need to do." We did so and we spent about 20 minutes kneeling in
silence. He ended the silence and told us how he felt. He said that he
felt an overwhelming sense of warmth in his heart and that it was a
sign from God telling him that our church is true. We invited him to
be baptized this very Saturday and he accepted wholeheartedly. It was
a miracle and we all left that house rejoicing. We're going to go back
tonight and set up the time for his baptism.

I'm very excited for this week and please keep Ramiro in your prayers
as he prepares to be baptized this Saturday. I love you all and I hope
you all have a great week!

November 14, 2016

We had a miracle this week!!!!

Right now we are working with a young man named José. José is the only
one interested in his whole family and he is on date to be baptized on
the 26th! However he has to go to church at least 3 times before he
can get baptized. So we did everything this week to make sure he was
going to go. We bought him a white shirt, we committed his brother to
go with him, and we had a member giving him a ride. Sunday cam and we
were 5 minutes from arriving at his house when he called us. He told
us that he couldn't go because his mom was going to buy him jeans and
he had to leave then. We asked if he could go later and he said sure
thing! We planned on picking him up at 12:30 and taking him to the
English Ward at 1:00. We finished church, found a new person to pick
him up, and went over to make sure he was ready to go. We get there
and we run into his older brother who told us that he hadn't gotten
back from getting a haircut. I was thinking "first jeans and now a
haircut!" His brother told us to come back in 10 minutes. So we went
around the neighborhood trying to get to know people and then we saw a
car pull into his driveway. It was his younger brother Axel. He told
us that he was still at the store. At that point it was 12:50 and we
started heading back to the church building in defeat. Right when we
got back to the church building we receive a call. It's José telling
us that he just got back and he's ready for church! We run over to his
house as fast as we can, pick him up, and take him to church. Because
of that miracle he is still on date and is progressing. We're going to
be doing a family home evening at his house tonight and we're really
excited. José has invited his mom and we're hoping that she's going to
like it and that she can become an investigator as well.

Something I learned in my studies this week was that faith is a
principle of insanity! I had recently heard a story of a Tongan
fisherman who would go spear fishing every night. Everything he caught
he would give to the poor in his home town. He was asked occasionally
about what he would do when he would encounter the many sharks along
the coast. He simply stated "God protects me." I have realized that
faithful people see miracles because they are faithful enough to put
themselves in situations that requires them (the miracles). Whether
it's paying tithing or teaching the gospel, there are many ways in
which living the gospel can put you in a situation in which a miracle
is required. Just as the Book of Mormon states: "faith is things which
are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not,
for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether
12:6). Let us all be more faithful then and see the miracles that were
promised to us. Just as Jesus Christ Himself said while preaching the
sermon on the mount:

25 "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye
shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye
shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than

26 "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they
reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?"

33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and
all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:25-26,33)

I hope everyone has a great week!