Saturday, March 19, 2016

Feb 8, 2016

This week was Cary!

So because my companion is the district leader, we have to do
exchanges with every elder companionship in our district and with the
zone leaders. An exchanges is when I switch companions for 24 hours
and the goal is to learn from a different perspective. I had 3 days
strait of exchanges this week. One of them I was working in an English
area and the other was my area. I've gotten so used to talking in
Spanish that testifying in English was really hard for me. We ran in
to a less active who used to be a golden member. He invited us in and
we shared a really good message with him. His name is Don. After the
message he said,"I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you."
He then talk about how he "knows" that God doesn't exist and that he's
happier for it. But to me he didn't look happy at all. He then started
sharing all of the problems he had with religion that I think ended up
ruining his testimony. All of the things he told me however I've
already heard before and have already struggled with. Now I have
answers for them and when I heard this man talking to me I just felt
sad for him. Instead of praying about these problems he let his doubt
take over and now he has no more faith. All I could do was share my
testimony and let him know that all of the things he was telling me
had no effect on my beliefs. We left as soon as we can and decided
that it was best that we didn't argue with him. It's really hard when
you want to share something that you know will help someone but there
really isn't anything you do if that person refuses to listen. However
that doesn't mean that you're a failure. Everyone has there agency and
all that matters is how you use yours.

The second exchange I had was in my own area with Elder Pagnin who is
from Italy. He was called her to serve English speaking so I was the
only one who could speak Spanish. All we did that day was visit
members and invite them to the event me and my companion have been
organizing, Noche de Ammon. This really helped my Spanish and without
my companion I was able to see how far I've really gotten with
learning Spanish. We also talked to a potential investigator named
Cubé. He came outside and told us that he thought about it, talked to
his wife, and decided that he's happy being Catholic and does t want
to change. It was sad and was about to leave but I remembered
something that President Chambers wants us to do with everyone that we
talk to. It's called "3 no's before you go." So I had to invite him 3
times before I was allowed to leave. So I talked about everything I
could with him. I talked about Christ and prayers and faith. I talked
about how there is only one true church on the earth and that the Book
of Mormon is the work of God. I wish I could say that something came
out of this but he gave me my 3 no's. I ended with bearing my
testimony, inviting him to read the Book of Mormon, and wishing him a
good night. Sometimes 3 no's before you go works and a person will end
up becoming an investigator. But most of the time you get your 3 no's
and end up leaving. But I also thing that the testimonies that you
bear during that time are also important even if they keep saying no.
I've heard many stories of people saying no at first but eventually
something would pass in their lives to remind them of the words said
by that missionary or member that would be the catalyst of their
eventual conversion. I'm certain that Cubé will eventually be reminded
of the things we talked about because this message really is true and
God wants all of his children to know that.

I am very excited that the snow is finally melting. I've decided that
snow is only good for skiing on. Other than that it's good for
nothing. It should be getting up to the 50s this week for the first
time in almost 2 months. I'm going to love every second of it.

My Spanish has really Improved in the 4 weeks that I've been here. We
started having our language study with the members in stead of by
ourselves. What we'll do with the members is we'll read the Book of
Mormon with them and then, since my companion already knows Spanish,
I'll either teach them a lesson in Spanish or tell them a story. They
will correct me on any word I pronounce wrong or tell me a better way
to phrase a sentence. It's really helped me improve and now I finally
feel completely comfortable sharing an entire lesson alone in Spanish.

Other exciting news is that last Monday we went into a letter shop
because my companion wants to buy a pair of moccasins because he says
its like walking barefoot. We go inside and the owner is a member and
offered us a huge discount and the opportunity to make our own fully
customized with whatever type of leather he owns. Things like this
only happen in Utah. I love my mission.

I must say that the best part of the mission so far is when you're in
a lesson of any kind and you just open your mouth to share what you
know to be true. Sometimes what come out isn't your words at all. You
just start taking and realize that what you are saying is from the
Spirit and is exactly what they needed to hear. The feeling that comes
during and after is amazing. There's really nothing like it.

8 Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even
as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness.

9 Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with
sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you.

10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent,
repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths
straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; (D&C 33)

That's pretty much everything that happened this week. I hope that
everyone is doing well!

Elder Austin

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