Well this week was absolutely insane!!!!!!!!! We achieved standards this week!!!! We worked really hard and were able to get it. We had some pretty incredible lessons and things are really looking up,for the area. Marcos is a 72 year old man that we're teaching. He is absolutely solid!!!! Everything we give him he reads. Sometimes when he's not home we leave things for him to read on his car windshield. He always reads everything we leave him. Right now he is praying that his family will let him be baptized. He wants this so much. We will keep working with him and especially his family to help him be baptized soon. Aurora and Liz are 2 new investigators that we picked up and they are both solid!!!! We had brother and sister Valero with us and they ended up being the perfect people to bring with us. Brother Valero used to be a catholic priest when he was converted. So he was able to answer a lot of Aurora's questions because she is still a Catholic. Also sister Valero has a heart of gold and will do anything for anyone. They invited the both of them over to dinner where we taught them again and also brother and sister Valero picked them up for church. Aurora has a baptism date for the 25th of June and she really wants to be baptized. We are very excited to see what happens this week. Anyways transfer news. So one of our zone leaders that we share the Ward with, Elder Kelley, was called to be an assistant to the president and left Sunday night. Elder Stout and I stayed with Elder Lyons Sunday night and awaited for transfer calls the next day. During studies this morning we received a call from the APs and they told Elder Stout that he is a zone leader. I found out that Elder Lyons and Elder Stout will be companions and I will be staying!!!!!! I will be companions with Elder Jimenez who is from Ecuador. I will be talking in Spanish all transfer. I should get much better at Spanish. So yeah that happened. I'll still be seeing Elder Stout almost every day because we share the Ward together. So I'm happy that we're all sticking together. This transfer should be really good. I'm very excited to see what happens. I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Elder Austin
Friday, May 27, 2016
So I see some people write the week number when they write their emails back home and to friends. I just realized that I have no idea what my week number is. I feel like I just got here yesterday. So we'll go with week 1.
This week we had our ups and downs. First I want to start with the ups. Last week we found many new investigators. This week we had the opportunity to teach them again! Rey and Sergio are still amazing are both are really cool guys! They'll wake up early and play basketball with you during exercise, the feed you carne asada out of the blue, and they'll even listen to you talk about the gospel. Rey immediately accepted a date to be baptized once again when we taught him Wednesday but Sergio said that they want to wait a little bit longer. Both promised to come to church with us however.
Mike is a guy we've been teaching off and on. He has no belief in a God or a higher power. However the last lesson we had with him was absolutely perfect! We were in exchanges and I had Elder Fehoko in my area with me. Elder Fehoko is from the Kingdom of Tonga where 75% of the population is Mormon and the other 25% is Methodist. Elder Fehoko told Mike his story of how for 9 years he rebelled against the church and God and how he came to repent and know the truth. He was the perfect person to have there. We had Mike promise us to pray later that night. He told us that he would try. We'll see what happens. Francisco Regalado is a very crazy man. He is absolutely insane. He is completely open to having missionaries over but once you sit down he will talk your ear off over everything. Literally this guy can talk hours on just about any subject. It's extremely hard to keep the lesson on tract and even harder to have him keep commitments. The missionaries have been teaching him for about 6 months now and he has progressed only a little. One of the major things I have seen is that when we met him he would schedule lessons 2 weeks ahead. Now we're meeting with him twice a week. He also promised to come to church and we hoped that meeting the members would help him start to be more interested.
The last person I want to talk about is a 73 year old man named Marcos. He is completely amazing!!! We talk a lot about the Book of Mormon with him because out of everything we have in the gospel, the Book of Mormon is what he is most interested in. In our last lesson we taught him how to pray and he gave the closing prayer. Afterwards he cried and said that that was the most amazing he has ever felt in a very long time. He won't commit to any major commitments yet but he will commit to reading more of the Book of Mormon. When he does I know he will come around. He also told us that he would try to make it to church.
Okay now for the downs, we had only one person come to church. It was Fransisco. It was hard for us that no one else made it and we even went by some of their homes before church to make sure that they would come. But Fransisco came all on his own and loved it. He has his parents coming in town this week and they are very Catholic but he said that he's going to invite them to come next Sunday. We hope that this is finally his time to accept the gospel.
That's all that happened this week. I hope everything is going great back home.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Well this week was crazy! I feel like I say that every week......
Well I had one of the wonderful opportunities to see one of the best missionaries in our mission teach the restoration. We were at a baptism for someone in our Ward and Elder Mason taught the restoration. What makes Elder Mason so good is that he was an AP not too long ago. And usually that doesn't mean too much but being an AP in a mission located within the valley of the prophet and apostles is something else. He's met almost every apostle and has participated in a training given to all of the first quorum of the 70. He's learned a lot and watching him reach the restoration in Spanish taught me a lot as well.
I learned something that reminded me of our last zone training meeting. And that is the power behind your authority. During the last zone training meeting we talked a lot about where the power of our words come from and how to access it. As missionaries we are given power to testify just as powerfully as an apostle however being 18 and up its a little hard to figure out how to use your power and authority without all of the knowledge and experience that the apostles have. But at the last training meeting we talked about how every time we give our credibility as representatives of Jesus Christ we are using our authority. The more we use and rely on this authority the more power our words will have. This power comes from the spirit. As I watched Elder Mason teach I saw the way he used his title as an Elder and how the people reacted. It's incredible how much power his words had and you could see it in the eyes of everyone their. And so I've been studying a lot on this stuff. The more I learn the better I get at teaching and also allowing the spirit to teach. Me and my companion have been working on letting the spirit teach rather than us and we've seen some pretty amazing miracles from it.
First off we found 8 new investigators last week. I have never seen anyone finding that many in one week before. It's incredible how the more sincere our testimonies get the more the people we talk to can feel the spirit. Every one that has allowed us to talk to them has accepted the Book of Mormon and also the baptism invitation. Now getting them to stay on the path towards baptism is the tricky part but we're working on it. Right now we have 15 investigators and 2 of them are getting ready to be baptized. We are very excited to see what happens these next two weeks.
In other news I just went on one of the hardest hikes of my life. 6 miles total up and down a mountain. Here are some of the pictures.
Fried Oreos!!!!! Bringing the south to Utah!!!!!!!
Also the highlight of this week was being able to talk to my family last Sunday. It has been too long!!! Everyone looks so different! But it was really nice talking to everyone. I forgot how funny my dad is haha!!!!!! I love all of them to death.
That's everything that's happened. Hope everyone has a great week!
Well this week was absolutely amazing!!!!!!
This last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go to the temple with Abidam and Hena (2 recent converts from my last area) and I was also able to see Elder Montgomery. Elder Montgomery forgot,to call ahead and schedule a time so there were a lot of people doing baptisms and confirmations already and Abidan and Hena had to wait for a while before it was their turn. However as we were waiting we were pulled aside and asked if we could help do some confirmations. And so for about 30 minutes I was confirming people and it was an amazing experience. The spirit is palpable in the temple. I absolutely love going there. Seeing Abidam and Hena baptized for their ancestors was also a wonderful experience. They loved every second of it.
Elder Montgomery is going home after this transfer so that was probably the last time I was able to see him. I'll miss him. He's an amazing Elder. Also Ezequiel and Jeisi were able to go with us to visit the Salt Lake Temple this last Saturday. When we got there we were in the north visitors center and I was teaching about the life of Christ with the pictures they have there. There was a man who was listening in on us and I honestly thought he was a returned missionary just listening to see how our Spanish was. I was expecting him to come up at any time and say "you're Spanish is excellent elders great job!" But that's not what he said. When we finished talking about the live of Christ we started talking about his visit to the Americas and that's when he came up and asked "when was he in the Americas?" We asked him if he's ever heard of the Book of Mormon before and he said no. Then without a moments hesitation me and Elder Stout taught this man the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and gave him a Book of Mormon in Spanish. He joined our group and stayed with us for the rest of the time we were there. We then watched the family videos they have at the temple and then challenged Ezequiel and Jeisi to keep the commandment by being married and baptized. They said yes and we're going to have a lesson with out marriage specialist on Tuesday. I can only think of how confused our new friend was this entire time. But as we were teaching Ezequiel and Jeisi one of us would also teach this other man. We also had a member with us who would talk a lot with him as well. We ended with talking pictures by the temple and then went back home. It was a really cool experience and it just taught me that you never know when you're going to have to teach the gospel like that. Also we saw Elder Moreno from the district 2 taking a picture of himself at temple square which was pretty unexpected. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!