El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission Spanish Speaking July 2015 - July 2017

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"I'm Just"

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN THE BEST WEEK BY FAR!!!! One more week of the CCM and I´m finally out there!!! I´m so excited!! I seriously am dying to be out there right now!! Today I was going to go listen to a talk by Elder Nelson (see below) and all the missionaries were going to get to shake his hand, but the Church decided it was too dangerous for him right now so I didn´t get to do that. It worked out though :) I went to the temple and this has been the first time I have cried in a temple. When they prayed for the missionaries and in the celestial room...wow. It was amazing!!! I have never felt so clean and full of the spirit before in my life and it is amazing the kind of spirit that God blesses you with if you desire it.

Also tonight I get to watch "The Best Two Years" (see below) so all the missionaries are super excited about that!! Although I miss family and friends and especially music like no one else, this is going by way too fast!! Already over a month!! But thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me become the person I am today!! And...THANK YOU MOM FOR THE PACKAGE!!!! That made my day :) And week..and now I´m not freezing all the time!!

I really hope all is well out there and not too much has changed! I´m not sure if I will be able to write next week cause I leave EARLY next Tuesday and get straight to work, but I´m excited to actually have some cool stories and things to share :) We have learned lots of new tenses this week so I am learning on getting them all down and still need to work on listening to how fast and quiet people talk but I´m still doing pretty good. :)

So...I have written a couple poems with my room and they took the poems and now they are spread throughout the mtc and so many people have copied them down. It´s pretty cool and they all say they are going to share them at their farewell talks..... haha and also are trying to pay me to write their girlfriends poems for them :P I didn´t know I could make poems that good but I wanted to share my first one and shortest one with you guys. The beginning comes from a song though, one of my favorite songs "Broken".

"I´m Just"

A broken instrument in the hands of the greatest,
so if the notes are off it's cause I ain´t nothing to play with.
And you can fault me,
but ain´t we all off key.
Somehow he still makes these melodies
Even though I carry around some felonies
So forget the kings horses, forget the kings men,
The King is coming to put us back together again.
From me a rebel sinner, but I've accepted his call.
Telling the world about the message, we can be saved from the fall.
I used to push away his pierced hands, the pains I never felt,
But now my hands are His, and He still uses them to help.
His body was sacrificed, his pains I will never feel,
His blood is used to clean, and his love will forever heal.
For those who seek the truth, and honestly search,
I know it´s been restored, I belong to the church.
People spit in His face, whipped his back, ripped through His body with nails,
Don´t know how He still loved them, but His grace still prevails.
Through my hands he will still heal the deaf, sick, and blind,
Through me miracles will happen, He put my imperfections behind.
From me just a boy, 18 years of age,
Christ took my life, changed it, turned it to a new page.
I used to be a rebel, putting filth inside my soul,
I would go up to play hymns, but kept climbing down the hole.
Knowingly breaking the rules of Father, and still He showed me love,
I never looked up at Him, but He kept watch from up above.
After time I opened my eyes, and guilt hit me like a train,
I cried up to him, asking for help and immediately took my pain.
The Lord helped me overcome sin, so His cross I will forever carry,
I am His servant. I am His missionary.

"Elder Austin from GA"

We are´t allowed to have gum on the mission which really got me sad cause I brought like 30 packs and then the ones you sent me but the president said we could have gum at night so I have one a day and I love it! Thank you so much!!

Well we are the older group now so that is cool! And the two new groups that have came in I´m not the shortest anymore, I´m like the 40th out of 200 so it's getting better! Soon I will be the tallest in El Salvador! haha! It´s 6 hours but it will be so fun! It´s on a nice charter bus too I've heard.

Also I don´t have my visa yet but I haven´t asked, only one person has had a problem here but in my mission if I don´t get my visa in time I just go to Belize so it all works out :)

Elder Nelson

The Best Two Years

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Look for God's hand...

Hey guys!!!

TODAY HAS BEEN SUCH AN AMAZING WEEK!!! I can´t explain it, I have just been so happy!! Everything just seems to be going good and it´s great!! Just went to the Guatemala City temple again, and I love it every time!!

I lost some of my best friends though, the Latino companionship in my room and I was pretty upset about that but they wrote in my journal and my pillow case and they just were so nice to me. Elder Castillo bore his testimony in a broken English to the room and it was incredible!! He was crying and it made everybody else cry! I got his email so I hope to stay in touch with him for the rest of my life!! He is a trooper!

I am pretty used to the food now and honestly it is pretty good! And I have also been learning about my area in San Salvador and apparently it´s kind of like a city like Atlanta just not as big, and I will have house maids who will do my cooking and clean my clothes so I feel kinda spoiled like back at home!

I have 3 poems that I have written but I don´t have them with me so I promise next week!!! I won´t forget!! My Spanish is completely taking off and so is my basketball playing!! Also I kind of like it here because playing basketball and walking to the temple we have body guards that walk with us with shotguns and pistols and it makes me feel really important haha! But I still cannot wait to get out into the feild and start teaching people!! It´s weird to think in 2 days I will have been a missionary for a month..it only feels like a week! It´s really cool but scary at the same time!!

Guys here are so amazing and nice and we all talk about doing cool stuff in Utah after missions and are pushing each other to be the best we can be now!! Also I looked D&C 68:2-4 (see below) and if any of you get the chance to read it it is a really cool missionary scripture. I urge you all to read your scriptures EVERYDAY!!! I´m not gonna lie it can be boring if you read it cover to cover, so look up a topic and find cool scriptures and promises and just study them!! It´s an amazing thing!!

Also pray to know the love that Heavenly Father has for you and I know he will answer you as he has answered me! Look for God´s hand and I know you will be able to find it . Seek and ye shall find! I hope you all had a great week and will have another great week!! Thanks for keeping up with me and writing me! I love every single email!! Stay true to the end!!
-Elder Austin

P.S. I had a really sweet experience yesterday and I have a thing I´m going to work on for my mission which is not ask for stuff I don´t need because there are some people out here who you wouldn´t believe how hard they have it and how lucky they are to be on a mission from their circumstances!! But Thank you so much for sending the suit and if I do need something I will definately ask I just ask that you guys keep emailing me! It makes me so happy reading all these emails :)

Doctrine and Covenants 68:2-4 
 2 And, behold, and lo, this is an example unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth— 
 3 And this is the example unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. 
 4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation. 

Here is a new picture :)
Brandon is in the back row, right center, yellow tie (his favorite color)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

peace to my heart

Hey Family and Friends :)
 I hope all is well with you guys! Just got out of the temple again and it never fails to bring peace to my heart! Today was a really good week and this week my Spanish has took off! I talk to the Latinos here all the time and don´t translate in my head anymore. It is so cool and I just cannot wait to be out serving the people!!!

 Alright I´ll do bad news first, actually awful news. I had to get a shot this week because they changed the rules for tetanus shot and it hurt :( But my stomach has been feeling better and I keep switching in and out of the 2 and 3 club (for the bathroom) unlike most people who are just in the 3 club!! This week I also haven´t been as tired as a usually am so I think my body is getting used to it. 

We got two new Latinos in my room so that is helping with my Spanish a ton and his story is crazy!! He is 23 and has been a convert for only a year and a half. His mom died when he was a little boy and his dad left him when he was like 10 so it was just him and his sister. He is the only member in his family now and worries about his sister all the time but knows he will be blessed for it. Cool stuff. 

Also those who signed my pillow case I finally pulled that out and almost started crying because of how sweet you are. Thanks to all of you who have helped make me who I am. And no I´m not perfect but I wouldn´t change a thing about me or what I have grown up through or to become. I am so blessed to have this opportunity to serve the Lord here and to serve the people.

I hope school is going good for all of you who are in school, having the worst time of your lives while I´m having one of the best...hahaha not to brag but hang in there! Miss you all a bunch but I know I will get to see you all again soon! It´s flying by! 3 more weeks! I´m someone who has left my family for 2 years so others can be with theirs forever and although it´s hard I know this is the right choice. I made a poem I want to share with you all tomorrow but I forgot my journal so I will do it next week!! Can´t wait to be out and start sharing all my stories and teaching real investigators instead of teachers!
Les Amo :)

In the CCM everything is fine and in Guatemala where I'm at the city is so nice!! Like there are the nicest houses everywhere and such nice cars driving around! Water is perfect here!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

a second in my shoes...

This is everyone in the CCM

I have the shortest group of guys... and I´m the shortest. It´s so weird haha

Hey guys!!

This week has been a crazy spiritual week!! I have learned so much and felt the spirit stronger than really I ever have except for my patriarchal blessing. I just got back from the temple again and for those of you wondering they have the sessions in English but everybody talks to you in Spanish. It is pretty cool.

It is so beautiful here and I´m kinda getting used to the cold. We have the coolest mission president ever and he always laughs and tells people to have fun and lets people stay out longer for sports or eat more despite what the teachers say. He is very good at basketball too despite his age.

(Mom don´t read this part, don't worry, nothing is wrong :)) We were going to go to the City square today and place Libros de Mormon, but there are protests and riots and crazy stuff with an election coming up, on so we can´t go do that. Instead we are having a basketball tournament and eating pizza and drinking coke!! I´m so excited. We met some ´real missionaries´today too and that was so cool!!! But I also have been sick most this week and although I wasn´t a double sided dragon like most people, I didn´t like going to the bathroom if you know what I mean...Stoamch still hurts but I´m doing fine! (Okay mom you can read now)

 I´m so excited to leave the CCM and start teaching! There are so many cool stories! We are getting new people here so hopfully I won´t be the shortest anymore! I hope all is well and happy late birthday to one of my bestfriends!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEL! Wish I could have been there and hope all is well!

I´m so grateful to be out on my mission and am very lucky to have this experience! I´ve now been a missionary for la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias! My nametag is so cool :) I hope all is well and any questions you have or stuff you want me to say on my emails let me know!!

Stay true to the end! Endurance is the real test after you have started. Wish you all could have a second in my shoes but only a second because I love it! Good luck to those of you going to school also, haha stinks for you but work hard! Talk to you all later!
Elder Austin