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

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Homecoming Weekend

Kurt flew home from Utah State University Friday afternoon.
Heavenly having the 4 boys all together!
Your Pie, Sally, Swimming, Basketball and a little rain and lightening too.
Friends and Family together again~
Brandon shared some thoughts and stories from his mission at church.
How he's grown!  What a blessing Brandon is to our family~

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Last pictures of the mission
Waiting at the airport...not patiently:)
 Brandon did not come up the escalators because of departing the plane
at the T gates.  After he went to baggage, Brandon wandered over and
found us waiting and came up to us from behind.
 Oh Happy Day!
Some serious walking throughout his mission...
Brandon is Home - Ye Ha!!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

the name tag is written in my heart

Well, this week was a pretty good week! Sadly...it was my last full week that I have being a fulltime missionary, not a missionary though... that name tag is written in my heart. I have loved my mission so much! The people, the country, some parts of the culture haha, but also I have grown to love my Savior Jesus Christ.

When I came out to the mission, I didn't make a promise to follow him for 2 years, but throughout all of eternity. I am looking forward to seeing how much I have grown when I get back and although it will be hard, it will be better because of the rock I am built upon.

I am looking forward to seeing you all if you can make it This Sunday in church for my homecoming talk!!! I will explain so much more! I don't have a ton of time right now, but I am so, so happy I came out here. I wouldn't take this back for anything. I will be going back to El Salvador tomorrow and Thursday I will be with my AMAZING family :)

Thank you so much to ANYONE who ever prayed for me or sent me an email or talked to my mom about me or anything! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I will be forever grateful!
See you all soon! - Elder Austin

*Brandon will speak in church on Sunday at 1:00pm (101 South Peachtree Pky).  Would love to have y'all there ~ everyone is welcome!

Monday, June 26, 2017

we are everything to God

Hey! This week was busy but good!! We had our last interviews with President and our last multizone meeting. I love all the people in my group. Those of us who are here in Belize, we gave our last testimonies. It was super amazing! Very spiritual. 

Also it rained SUPER HARD here. Everything got flooded. Lots of houses. Luckily our house is raised up. But we don't have water and won't for a while. Maybe we can get permission to go in the river in our backyard haha.

But besides that...time is FLYING!! The days just keep coming and I tell them to stop but they don't. This is my last normal week as a missionary :/ I am very excited to go home, but sad, because there is still so much to do here. But sorry all these emails are short. Everything is going good though. I am still learning every single day!!

And another HEFY (Humanitarian Especially For Youth) group came out with us yesterday and we are going to have another one starting Saturday that will be doing activities in the Bullet tree branch every single day for like 2/3 weeks. Very cool.

But have a great week!! Also I haven't seemed to grow too much on the mission... but I was reading and realized many things. In 3 Nephi 13;27 or it's also found in the Bible in Matthew 6:27 ("Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"). Cool scripture that helps me realize that compared to God we are nothing, yet we are everything to God.

My comp killed a spider...picador.
The rain was crazy...the church flooded.
This was a couple hours after it had all drained.

Monday, June 19, 2017

when we are obedient we are immediately blessed!

Things have been going pretty normal this week. Pushing along trying to get the branch back up. It is the rainy season now!! It is starting to rain almost every day here which is super nice because it cools it off. It is hot sometimes haha.

But, surprise for my mom, I have had a random strong desire to learn how to cook this past week and I have been practicing, and telling members how to teach me so I know before I go to Utah haha. The food here is good. But besides that, pretty normal.

I lead another HEFY (Humanitarian Experience For Youth) group on splits and it was pretty fun. There will be one more group that I will see as well.

I have been practicing basketball in the mornings and on sports night, and I have been gaining the respect of the youth here. Pretty cool :) But besides that, people still don't want to get married... but we are going along :) Keep your prayers up!!

And I have learned that when we are obedient we are IMMEDIATELY blessed! Don't wait for those blessings :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

I learn a ton every single day

Hey things were super cool this week. We had a surprise multi mission conference and we heard an apostle speak to us (Elder Renlund https://www.lds.org/church/leader/dale-g-renlund?lang=eng), and it was super amazing! The work this week wasn't too good and we were super busy the whole week... and it rained almost everyday...but we have been happy :)

My companion made my agenda.... kind of baggy... but it's alright. I'm really trying to enjoy being a missionary and helping people because although I tell myself I have a lot of time left... I know sadly it's not true.

I am still learning so much everyday just like when I started... I learn a ton every single day. That is something that I love.

But sorry... I'm really not sure what to write anymore... haha sorry, but things are going good! I love the challenge from the prophet about reading the Book of Mormon. The blessings are real!! I just started 3rd Nephi :) I challenge everyone to beat me!! haha but I read super slow right now! It's possible!

Monday, June 5, 2017

trying to have lots of success...

Well... I turned 20 this week but I feel pretty normal haha. Things have been going good!!! I don't have a ton of time so I have to make this short!! But I hope everyone is doing okay!!

We had a group of gringos come to Bullet tree yesterday and they went on splits with us. 4 gringos with me and four with my companion. That was super nice although it was kind of weird haa. It was a Humanitarian EFY group. But it was super awesome and they had a great time even though it was raining the whole 4 hours they were walking with us.

Still trying to have lots of success before next change!!! Also I saw Elder Hallman!!! I love that guy!!! But I hope everyone has a good week!! Take care!! Bye!

Monday, May 29, 2017

true happiness comes from keeping the commandments

So this week was a good week. We put a date with this senor named Maximo. The 10th of June. Please pray for him. He is such a sweet and humble man with some crazy dreams! I will take a picture of him and send it next week. But things have been good.

I am with Elder Herrera from Panama AGAIN! haha. He was my companion in Orange Walk. He is great and fun haha. We are really trying to get along with the members here! It is working okay. We are seeing small miracles everyday! I am learning A TON! from Elder Herrera. He is crazy.. but he probably teaches better than anyone I have ever seen. Super cool!!

But anyways... not really much more to write. I just know that the only true happiness comes from keeping the commandments. Anyone who doesn't know that yet, right now is a perfect opportunity to start :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

I love the experience that God has given me

Well.... I have a lot to say this week. So... I got my flight ticket... crazy stuff. Crazy how time flies. Tomorrow I start my last change. And I am staying here in Bullet tree but I am receiving a former companion, Elder Herrera from Panama. It should be an interesting change haha but we get along well.

But wow.... I don't really know what more to say. I just hope my dad has an AMAZING birthday!! :) I just came from a baptism.... wow... what joy that brings to my heart seeing people get baptized. Even though I didn't know them, haha it was still very special.

Church attendance was a little down like in the 30's this week, but we think it was because of the activity we had on Saturday night, but this week should be good!! The members are getting along a LOT better than before!!

It is so hot in this country... haha but I have found joy in all of the things I have used to dislike. I can feel myself changing in a good way. It is amazing. I am happier and always full of peace for the most part, even though almost daily I feel the sadness that the book of mormon prophets had when the people wouldn't listen, but I have become a lot closer to the Lord. I love this mission. I love the experience that God has given me, and I love this gospel and the plan that God has for every single one of us. Families are such an essential part in God's plan.

Well... keep praying for me!! haha the fried chicken place still isn't open and I am getting pretty skinny without it so please pray that it opens haha. HAVE AN AMAZING WEEK!!!

The dog is ours pretty much haha "White" is it's name

Mothers Day activity!!  I wish you could have been there mom.
We went to a wedding in another area because they were
former investigators of my companion.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Skype

Loved seeing and talking with our cute Brandon!
It was the clearest and shortest lag time of our 4 skype/facetime.
Brandon is doing great and loving his missionary life.
We look forward to him coming home in July~

Monday, May 8, 2017

Super Amazing!

I really don't know what to put for the subject sorry. But this week was GREAT!!! Super amazing! The weather cooled down a ton to the point where I wake up trembling and have to turn off my fan and put on my hoodie.

Also we had interviews and multizone with president Adams (mission president) which was super cool and I saw someone get baptized in like a pool thing haha really cool.

But... I tried to stop drinking soda. I forgot to tell everyone but I went 2 weeks without soda, and then... Elder Burrell tempted me to drink a swallow of Root Beer he found and had a swallow left... ughhh forgiveness is hard. But This week except for that I haven't dranken soda since. But things are going good!!

Trying to Finish reading the Book of Mormon before I go home! I'm in Alma 44 and I read everyday!! Super cool and the blessings that the prophet promised are real!!! Also we have been having contention between us and the branch president who doesn't even live in our area, and we had a meeting with him, and we are starting home teaching up, visiting teaching, piano lessons every week, Relief society activities once a week and youth activities which neither has happened in a LONG time. The attendance last sunday was 25. Yesterday was 49 with 7 investigators. We are really happy for the success that is happening right now and we hope that it continues!! Please pray for Bullet tree!!

Also a Chinese restaurant opens up tomorrow we think!!! Time to get big!! haha. But you all take care!!! AND ENJOY YOUR MOTHERS DAY!!!! Oh and Also I learned how to juggle 3 objects without dropping them.... I learned with oranges that people gave to us on our long walk to the next house. Miracles are still happening haha.
Dangriga (last area) pictures!
Knockerballs - This was super fun haha!

Monday, May 1, 2017

work of the Lord

HELLO!!! IT IS HOT HERE!!! I am dying!!! hahaha no not really but we are sweating off every single bag of water we drink! haha it is fun. We are working hard here, not too much success. It kind of stinks during the day because everybody tells us it is too hot to listen to us and we are always the only ones in the street... haha but it is okay.

THERE IS A NEW CHINA RESTAURANT THAT WILL OPEN RIGHT BY OUR HOUSE!!!! We are so excited!!! There are Chinese EVERYWHERE in Belize EXCEPT bullet tree. It is really cheap to buy but amazing yummy and filling food. There aren't really many restaurants here and they all sell the same 3 things. Tacos empanades and salbutes. Those are good, but we are excited for the Chinese restaurant haha.

Besides that nothing really much. Everybody is ALWAYS in the river swimming...it's crazy how full one river can get. I didn't even know that many people lived here, and just stand there... haha but it's okay we are in the work of the Lord. 

Soooo... my family surprised me... I got a 1 year old sister.... haha SURPRISE!!! that is crazy (it's a dog) but that is pretty exciting! I don't know how my brothers are doing all these things and getting mom's permission... haha they are smart. I think she is just busy with what date I am going to be home which I still don't know yet.

But anyways.... We are going to play soccer in knocker balls right now!! It should be fun if there are clouds!! haha Take care!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!

Monday, April 24, 2017


Well so this week was pretty normal as well haha. I guess things are just normal for me now, I don't remember what "Normal" is. But my companion and I are getting along great which really helps. But here in Bullet tree is super nice!

There is this gringo who lives here named Austin, and he is 24 and he married a girl here and now lives here so that is super confusing in church... haha but besides that... I am getting pretty good at soccer and super bad in Basketball. I am eating and loving all the rice and beans here! Wow! I can't believe I didn't like beans before the mission. Now I can't live without them #WordOfWisdomProbs

But anyways... it is hot!! I am turning RED! haha which is kind of cool, I can start my own race. Oh and I cut my comps hair... I think its in my genes from my mom because I did an alright job haha.

Just there are bees everywhere in our house!! My comp got stung yesterday haha while on the phone, I should feel bad for him but it was kind of funny haha. But anyways, TAKE CARE!!! KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!!! Do the book of mormon challenge from the prophet :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

BE HAPPY! But not worldly happy...be happy by doing what's right and God will fill you with joy...

Hey I am here in Bullet tree!! I got changes I forgot if I wrote that! My companion is Elder Gaona from Mexico! He is amazing!! But literally we live in the middle of a Jungle away from EVERYTHING!!! There isn't even a place to cut hair here. Glad I halfway learned haha.

But things are going good. It is super peaceful where I am which gives me a ton of time to think which is good and bad sometimes haha with only 2 changes left. But I love it here and we are going to see miracles!

I am back to playing the little keyboard that no one can hear in Sacrament but it is amazing! Also if any of you need to go shopping, come to Belize. Wow it is amazing!

But anyways... things are great! I am way far away from the ocean, right by Guatemala right now so it is a lot different but really cool! I hope everything is going great!!

BE HAPPY!!! But not worldly happy... be happy by doing what's right and God will fill you with joy, the greatest joy we can experience as we do what's right.

 these shoes were expensive haha but I have basketball shoes!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bullet Tree in Cayo

HEY!! This week was super normal just it is getting so hot! Wow. But things are going good. I have changes on Wednesday. I am going to Bullet tree in Cayo and I will be with Elder Gaona. It should be nice! I really don't like packing though haha but goodbye ocean. But time is flying by! It is sad and weird.

But I hope you all are doing well and remembering the conference!!! I hope everything is well!! Keep on doing what's right!! I will miss Garifuna food so if anyone can learn how, that would be super amazing! haha. But sorry I don't know what else to write!! If anyone has questions of suggestions I will add them next week haha. Take care!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

pick your favorite talk and do...

This week was great because of conference!!! Even though I was pretty dang sick for it. I got a blessing last night though and I feel better, but I felt awful. I managed through though and conference was so amazing!! I loved it!

IT IS GETTING HOT THOUGH!!! Holy cow the weather has changed so much this week! It is insane!! But things are doing good. The work is moving along slowly but surely.

It is hard knowing what to write anymore haha sorry...I really don't know what else to say. But..... ummmmm... the dogs that were always following us moved to the other elder's area :( That made me a little sad :(

But besides that...some Elders have been telling me I'm on the less than 100 day countdown...like what the world...but that is still a lot of time to work!! haha I am trying to work hard!!

But anyways, my invitation to you all is to pick your favorite talk and DO ALL THE INVITATIONS THAT THEY ASK US TO DO!!! You will find joy and be happy :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Watch Conference this week!!!

Hey this week was cool. We had interviews with the mission president and we slept in the APs (assistants to the mission president) house because we live far and then had a Multizone (meeting/conference) on Friday. It was super nice.

Things are going well. I have really been trying to be the best missionary that I can be. The countdown has started to hit me and become real... it is a scary feeling. But I had the cool opportunity to watch the womens general conference!! It felt super short but it was amazing!! I translated the whole thing to a lady sitting next to me who only spoke spanish. The spirit really helped me on that one haha.

I really want to go to El Salvador so please pray that the Lord can have his will that I go there, but if not I could stay here. A family that we completed the baptism are going to get sealed (eternal family in the temple) in June. That is really amazing!!

But besides that, not much has been happening different here. But I hope that you guys are doing amazing and that the weather is getting warm there!! Keep it up!!

ALSO WATCH CONFERENCE THIS WEEK!!! Member or not, the prophet and the apostles of Jesus Christ for the world are going to talk. Imagine if you had the opportunity to hear Peter, James, John...God is the same yesterday today and forever. That is something I don't think many people would miss. It will be inspired and amazing!! Take care!! Do what's right!!!


This is at women's conference.  We watched it twice.  Really cool.

I (LeAnn) received the following message last
Wednesday with these pictures below!
"Good morning Sister Austin, My name is Lesina Maiava from California.  My family returned from vacation in Belize yesterday.  My son has a HS friend serving in Belize so we decided to go visit with him on Monday before we returned home.  We had the pleasure of meeting your son as he was one of the 4 Elders serving in the Dangriga area.  You have a wonderful son and it was a pleasure meeting him.  He is doing well and he looks great.  I just wanted to share some pictures and video of him with you.  As mothers we worry no matter the situation, but I hope this can ease your worries and put a smile on your face today.  With Love, Sina Maiava"
Bless this dear sister - she truly made my heart smile!

Monday, March 20, 2017

so try!...and you will see miracles in your own lives and in the lives of others...

This week was an interesting week. It seemed to go by a little slow but things are going well! We have interviews and a multi zone with president on Friday so I am super excited!! It would be so cool!

So this week I had interchanges with Elder Gastulem which was very fun and also I have this weird thing on my leg... but I am okay haha. It is still getting hotter every day but that is okay!!  I am thinking that I will go back to El Salvador in April or in May and I am super excited to go back!!

But also WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY!!!! Of a 10 year old boy named Daniel. His parents soon follow... I have been seeing lots of little miracles lately.

And I have been eating lots of Iguana... haha weird but good. We are getting our church attendance up so high, and also I am eating so much food haha. But besides that things are pretty normal here. Just keep praying for Dangriga!!!

And keep working hard in your own life to become better! God has commanded us to strive to be perfect even as Jesus Christ was, so try! and you will see miracles in your own lives and in the lives of others as you do so!! Take care!! Have a great week!!

I don't know what that is on my leg but it is better don't worry mom!!

Baptizing in the Atlantic Ocean.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Life is very sweet...

Hello. So this week was normal... our investigator has lots of problems with his papers so him and his wife can't get married..so they can't get baptized...but they come to church every week and have started cooking for us every time we pass by. They are such an amazing family.

But besides that...it has been pretty normal. We are having a zone competition here in Belmopan... Belmopan zone (us, 4 sisters 6 Elders) vs the Cayo zone (10 elders and idk how many sisters). It should be easy... we have all the football players and I will be quarterback for the team and I have a Tongan as my lineman... no one will touch me hahaha :P But it should be fun.

It is starting to get really hot here so if you guys have any snow you can send that would be nice.... haha but it is nicer being on the beach because of the breeze. Things are cool though.

We told our cook no more...she wasn't necessarily giving us what we were paying for...so we are saving more money and eating more now so that is great :) haha

But besides that.... ummmm.... life is cool haha. Life is very sweet... that is a point of view that I have changed from being out here. Life is good. But anyways...if I think of anything else I will write it next week!! I'm too focused on football plans haha.

Oh also I changed my signature so that is cool...but if anybody has any ideas for a signature for me that would be cool as well!! But have a great week!!! RISE ABOVE!!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

it is hot but things are going good

Hey things are going pretty normal here in Dangriga... just it is starting to become hotter everyday!! Wow it is hot but things are going good.

Brother Deras one of the most dedicated members here passed away on Tuesday. That was sad but the family is doing great and they didn't shed one tear that I saw which I thought was kind of strange... but they had some cool miracles to know 100% that he is okay. I got to help carry the coffin and other weird things haha but it was a neat experience. So many people came to the church yesterday for the funeral that they couldn't all fit. 

But we had a sweet tender mercy yesterday as well. DELIO AND DALIA FINALLY ACCEPTED A DATE TO GET MARRIED!!! They have been coming to church with their 10 year old son Daniel and they finally accepted a date to get married. What a crazy miracle. Please please please I'm begging you all to keep praying for them. They are such an amazing family.

But besides that everything has been normal. Take care there!! I hope it starts to warm up soon haha. And also if I could ask...please pray for Daneri so that him and Susan and Megan can get sealed in the temple for time and all eternity soon! THANK YOU!!!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Do what's right and you will be happy!!!

Hey! I have to be really quick! But this week was interesting!! We had an emergency change in the house and Elder Richards left and we have Elder Kaufusi here with us now. But things are going good. No changes for this change!

Today we woke up at 4 today... my comp went to use the bathroom and when he put his foot down on the ground... his foot was ankle high in water. Our house flooded and we live on the second story. One of the bathroom pipes broke in our house and there was water EVERYWHERE!!! our neighbors were not happy! So we spent all morning cleaning...

I am a little sick, and we got an emergency call from a member in the hospital. We got special permission to go in the actual hospital and give a blessing to a member in a coma. Crazy experience. 

Also Saturday we went to blue hole which is SUPER PRETTY!!! Just so tempting as a missionary...you all have no idea... I almost jumped in... haha but besides that...things are great!!

We had a family pray and ask God if this was the true church and they all said that they got an answer that this is the true church! They have been twice already now. Please pray for Deleo and Dalea and Daniel. They need to get married and then we will see if we can get them baptized!

But thank you for all that you guys do!! Wish my mom a SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow!! SHE IS THE BEST!!! Also I tried cutting my hair by myself... I miss my mom!! bahahah But take care everyone!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!! DO WHAT'S RIGHT AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY!!!

Our cute friend Jordan sent her girl scout project to Brandon for the children in Belize!  They loved making the darling craft she put together for them.

I tried cutting my own hair

 We went on an activity with the branch on Saturday to a place called bluehole