Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

Multiple musical notesMarriage for eternityMultiple musical notes

Yes the subject of the email s a little weird but I'll explain why I
chose it at the end. 

This week was tough but rewarding. A lot of things happened in the work.

Last week I talked about our 2 new investigators named Ezequiel and
Jeisi. Now when Hispanics live with each other for over 6 months, they
tell everyone that they're husband and wife. Well it is a lie! It
turns out that they never had the opportunity to be legally married so
that means their baptism date for the 7th of May is no longer an
option. However we are planning another Elder Guapo lesson!!!!! For
those that don't know Elder Guapo is the marriage specialist in the
mission. He can get people married within a week and he does it with
ease. So our next step is to get them married or separated. It's not a
fun job but it's our only option. So we have a lesson wth them on
Wednesday where we'll talk more about what's going to happen.
Hopefully everything will go well. 

Also I have an update on the first family I taught in my first area.
In my first area there was a lady I got married and that I baptized
named Valerie. Well the rest of her family including the daughter are
now members of the church and are active. They are so awesome! I wish
I could have been there to see the other baptized but I am thankful
that I could be the one to baptize Valerie. Before I end my mission
and if everything goes well then they should have the opportunity to
enter into the temple and be sealed. 

We also met a new couple this week named Juan and Rosa. They both are
Catholic (the wife more than the husband) but they are both extremely
open to the gospel. The wife told us "having you two over here in my
house must be a sign from God that this is what he wants me to do." It
was amazing and the next time we meet with them we're going to extend
a baptism date. We're very excited to continue teaching and getting to
know them. 

Okay, now to explain the subject of the email. So this morning I was
sitting on the couch studying a talk I found by Elder Ballard when
suddenly I start hearing this song: "Multiple musical notesmarriage for eternity.....Multiple musical notes"
it was my companion singing and he came into the living room dancing
ballerina style singing this song. I felt so uncomfortable.... It's
one of his favorite songs. And no he's not obsessing over marriage. He
just does things like this to creep me out and then he laughs at my
reactions. :P 

Well that's everything that happened. Hope everyone has an amazing week!

Elder Austin

April 18, 2016

Hello everyone!

This week was absolutely amazing! Me and Elder Stout started the week
with few investigators so this whole week we've been finding. And we
found some pretty amazing people!

Ezequiel and Jeisi are band new from Mexico and they've only been here
for 1 month. We met Ezequiel the other day and he didn't let us in
because it was a little late but he said that he would if we came
back. Well he lives in the basement of a member and we challenged that
member to invite him and his wife to church and they did! Ezequiel
came with his wife and stayed for all 3 hours. Afterwards we met with
them and invited them to be baptized. They are on date for May 7th!!!!
We're meeting them this Tuesday and we're super excited!

Pedro is a man that we OYMed a couple of weeks ago but we never could
find him after that. We saw a man walking him with his son the other
night and it was dark so we weren't able to recognize that it was
Pedro until we talked to him. He told us to come back in the afternoon
and we did yesterday. He was home and we taught him the restoration at
the door step. He didn't say much the entire time but when we invited
him to be baptized he said "pues sí." Which pretty much means "of
course." He didn't accept a date because he was leaving and didn't
know when he would be back but he told us to come back next week.

Bernardina is a woman we met the other day as well. She is a
Pentecostal convert and was a Catholic until she read the bible and
decided that the Catholic Church wasn't true. So we pretty much told
her to read the Book of Mormon and that she would love it. We saw her
again yesterday and she was in a lot of pain from a recent surgery so
we gave her a blessing of health. She doesn't have a baptism date yet
but we're going to invite her this Tuesday when we see her again.

This week was amazing and I can't wait to see what happens this week!
We have 5 lessons today and hopefully we'll be able to pick up some
new investigators.

Hope everyone has a great week

Elder Austin




video

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Well all the prayers worked!!!! We had a miracle happen!

So me and Elder Stout were praying every day for our investigator Omar
so that he wouldn't have to move and so he could be baptized on the
9th. Well he texted us Thursday night and told us that he was
staying!!!!! He was baptized the following Saturday and confirmed
Sunday.


It was awesome!!!!!! Omar loved it and he is a very strong member of the church! Elder Stout confirmed him the next day. 

Well transfers were today. And.....me and Elder Stout are staying!!!!!!!! Which is awesome because he has been my favorite companion so far in the mission. He's awesome!!!!!!

video
Also here's a funny video:



My companion


Hope everyone has a great week

April 4, 2016

This week has been absolutely exhausting yet amazing!

General conference was one of the best I've ever seen! I was able to
attend the Sunday Morning Session and it was an amazing
experience!!!!!


These are some pictures we took at the conference center.



Well this week we had a lot of problems and miracles. To start off we had an investigator named Daniel who kind of dropped up. Well this week we finally met him again and he invited us in. I pretty much just started out with "Daniel what happened? Last time we talked you were interested and this text said otherwise." He then told us what has been happened and the backlash he's been getting from his family. Daniel has a pretty rough life but he is really a good kid. He has a desire to do what's right. We were able to teach him a lesson and he's committed to give it another try and he's not going to give up this time. We're texting him everyday and trying to meet up with him as much as possible. Hopefully we can get him on date soon.

So that was a miracle that happened this week. Omar watched conference yesterday so he is still on track to be baptized. He reads and prays everyday and there is nothing that can stop this man from being baptized.....or so we thought. It turns out that he encountered problems with his landlords and now needs to find a new place to live. His boss offered him a place until he could find another and it just so happens that this new place is 5 minutes away from his old house and just happens to be a stone throw outside of our mission. He moves in about 2 days. If he doesn't find a new place inside the Ward or mission boundaries then we have to give him up to the west mission and he probably won't be able to get baptized this Saturday because handing people off can be a complicated process. Everyone please pray for Omar that he can find a new place so that he can be baptized this Saturday and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost this Sunday. We'Ll keep doing our best to find a place for Omar. The Ward is really helping us in this matter. 

Other than that we have a couple new investigators. Some of them want to meet with us but just work way too much and others aren't really that interested but are meeting with us because they want to see what Mormons are all about. Something to know about Hispanics is that almost all of them are Catholic but only Half of them know what Catholics believe and only a quarter actually attend the Catholic Church. So when we talk to people they will almost always say. "Sorry but I'm Catholic" and I am always tempted to say "well we can help you with that problem!" But I don't I'm not that bad. We always testify boldly of Jesus Christ and especially of our own personal conversion because something that this church has that no other church in the world has is a witness of the Holy Spirit. No other church has this and when you testify that God has let us know through his Holy Spirit that this church is true then it really throws them off because more likely than not that is something they have never experienced before. When you tell them that they're entitled to this same experience then it really gets them thinking and wanting to try it out. 

However we do encounter a lot of people who's hearts are just too hard to talk to. What do we do with these people? That's a question that I've had for a while and I finally found the answer,during conference. A talk by Mervyn B. Arnold during the Saturday afternoon session held the answer. We don't ever give up on the children of the lord. I'll do my best to never give up and to see them as they may become when they accept the everlasting gospel. 

This past week was wonderful and I'm very excited to see what this week will be like. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful week, Elder Austin

March 28, 2016

Well we did it! Jessica was baptized last Saturday! Elder Stout
baptized her and I confirmed her the following day. It was amazing and
we were able to have Omar there as well. He is very excited to be
baptized and he's counting down the days now.

Jessica feels great! She had a smile all day at church and we were
really happy to see that many of her family and friends came to see
her get baptized. We hope that her example will help lead them to
investigate the church.

Elder Stout, Jessica, and me
Family and friends of Jessica 


We're still meeting with Omar everyday and he's so solid that it's unsettling!!! I keep thinking "there's no way anyone is this solid. There has to be something wrong!" But the truth is he just wants to have a relationship with God and the most important thing in his life right now is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He reads on his own, prays, comes to church and always seems to know all the right answers to the questions that we pose. He is being edified by the spirit every day and I do believe that he will be one of the strongest members of the church. I'm excited to see him be baptized and mostly to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

We met someone else this week who I want to talk about. His name is Daniel. He is about 18 and lives a very humble life. His family is very poor and he's had a very hard past. He says that he's always been the black sheep of the family and has always neglected God. He wants to finally get to know who he is and wants to be baptized. When we talked about the Book of Mormon with him he completely took to the idea that God is still revealing scripture. What he does is he prays for guidance and then he opens the book and starts to read. When he did this for the first time he read 3 Nephi 37:20 which told him to be baptized. He was going to come to Jessica's baptism and to church the following day but about 30 minutes before the baptism he texted us and said "hey guys I think I'm going to give the Catholic Church another chance."

When you're a missionary you learn how to "see others as they may become" (talk by Thomas S. Monson). You develop a desire to teach them not because it's what missionaries do but because you realized that they're your brothers and sisters here on this earth and you want to see them obtain the celestial kingdom with you when this is all over. Daniel is one of many who has dropped us and it is always what hurts the most on a mission. But we just can't give up on him. We have to keep bugging him because it's his eternal salvation that is at stake here and if we're not bugging him then who will? No one. 

If anyone has not read the talk "See Others As They May Become" I encourage you to read it. Especially future missionaries!!!! 

Also my companion ate a grilled Jalapeño yesterday and just so you know, when you gill a chili it becomes about 50x more spicy than usual. I at 5 and this is what happened to my companion after eating one:
Also because me and my companion both have a mutual friend on the mission we sent this to him for his birthday:
video


March 21, 2016

This weeks has been amazing

We've hit standards of excellence this week. It's been a while since
the last time. 


We have an investigator named Jessica who is going to be baptized this
Saturday. The first time we met her she came to church with a recent
convert. She came up to us and said "I want to be baptized in your
church." We were kind of shell shocked because that never happens!
We've taught her almost everything now and she is very excited to be
baptized. 


We met a new investigator last Saturday named Omar. He has only been
in the United States for a month now and he doesn't speak English at
all. In our first lesson he told us "I was born Catholic but religion
has never been a part of my life. I want to know who God is." After we
taught the story of Joseph Smith he said "I feel like Joseph Smith is
like me because I have that question too and I believe in his story."
He came to church yesterday and we showed him around the building. We
finished with talking about the sacrament and when we where done he
said "this is what I've been looking for my entire life." He will be
baptized on the 9th of April and we are so excited! 

Other than that we found 5 new investigators this week and taught many
lessons. I'm very excited to see what this week is going to be like.
We have a lesson with Omar later so we're going to start the week out
awesomely. 


Something that I read this week that really changed the way I teach
was a talk by president Monson entitled See Others As They May Become.
It's an awesome talk and I encourage everyone to read it.

Have a great week, Elder Austin