21 March 2007

Elder Austin Graham - Canada Toronto West Mission

This picture was taken upon Elder Austin's arrival at the mission home a month ago. He arrived on February 21, 2007. He first area is in a small town on the Georgian Bay called Midland. I will add his weekly letters as comments on this post from now on. We'll see how that works.


Lead Dog said...

March 21, 2007

Hi fam,

Thank you for all you words of wisdom. Brad hit it right on the head. He knows exactly what I was going through. This is what he said.

"I know what it is like to not see eye to eye with your companion. It is very disheartening. It might help you to know that after a month or so of dinking around my apartment and watching my companion sleep in, waste time, break rules, etc. I had it up to here!!!! I was so bummed out at him that he was destroying my precious time to serve. I had been raised ready to rock and roll in the mission field, and no one was going to get in my way. I found myself sinking into a deep despair, thinking the Lord was unhappy with me. And yes, for the first time in my life I entertained the thought of “why am I here?” The more I thought about that, the worse I felt."

This is exactly what I was going through. I HAD all the same feelings.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Now, about my companion: He is 21, great testimony, father is stake president, great heritage, been very blessed in his life. He is a really great guy. He is our DL. I love him, but we all have are weaknesses. I especially have a lot to work on.

So we have been having some troubles, ever since I got out here 4 weeks ago – a lot of them. But I really have been patient with him. I make sure that I am exactly on time with everything and always up and ready to go. I never get on him, but I do every once in a while, very kindly remind him that we need to go or we need to plan, or we need to do something. I am mostly was just a good example – always ready to do everything that we are supposed to do.

6:30 a.m. Get up and work out
8:00 a.m. Be ready for the day and start personal study
9:00 a.m. Comp study
10-10:30 a.m. Leave the apartment
3:00-5:00 p.m. Break-they put our lunch break and dinner break together. This has been very effective when we actually do it.
9:30 p.m. Come in and plan
10:30 p.m. Go to bed

That is how our day is supposed to go. My day was usually study until 12:00 p.m. or most of the time even later. But I really took this opportunity that I was given to really get to know the scriptures. I have been growing so much. I really can’t explain it. The Lord blesses you when you are obedient. But I was starting to get "fed up." Just like what Brad had said. But I prayed, I prayed with everything that I could muster for the strength to overcome. I found the Lord really blessed me with the strength to endure this little, and I mean really little trial. I realize now how miniscule it was.

As long as I was obedient, the Lord was going to bless me. And I was really blessed. I really learned from this companion. Patience was the biggest thing. The Lord really wanted to test my faith and he really did. I almost succumbed to the temptations of the devil. But I put my mind to it that I wouldn’t let him in. I wasn’t going to let it get me down. The Lord blessed me every day. I could see it. I learned why he had put me with this companion. I love the Lord and the comfort that he sends.

I am sorry this was so short. But I have to go. My comp is being moved down to the mission office in Brampton. The Mission President called this morning and said that he will be leaving tomorrow. Yeh, that’s weird. I am going to be getting a comp that is going to be great. My mission president said he was going to be great. I am a little nervous but I am ready for someone to fly with.
I came out here to work and I am not going to let anyone stand in my way. Not ever again. Any companion that comes in to my area is going to get worked and worked hard.

I love the lord. I love this work. I know my Savior lives and that he loves us. I know that we have trials to grow. Take the opportunity to learn from each and every trial that comes your way. It will strengthen your faith and in the end, if you endure and endure it well, you will be blessed. I am on another spiritual high and I won’t let anything get me down. Not again.

I love all of you and thank you for your prayers. I can feel them.

Your Elder Graham

Sorry, I have a lot on my mind and the Spirit is just all around me. So if this letter doesn’t make any sense, I really am sorry.

Mama said...

Way to go Elder Graham!! You are the best! Our prayers have been for you in your stretch. It is so great to have the advice of your experienced uncles, isn't it? I asked Grandpa what you should do and he said, "Learn to love his companion". "Take advantage of any time to dig into the scriptures and read and learn. Sounds like you have done all that and reaped the good reward for doing what the Lord wants you to do. Your faithfulness is a blessing to our whole family. This is my first comment on our family blog. Scott kind of helped me get it going. I love it! Hope everyone checks it daily and uses it to our great advantage. I have been in Seattle helping Jeni for a few days. Leaving today to go back to SLC. Seattle is for ducks! It has rained everyday. . .and I mean RAIN! We have about got things ready for the movers who come on Monday. It is a sorting process.. . .What goes to storage, what goes to German by sea, what goes to Germany by air, and what gets packed in suitcases for a few weeks stay in SLC. Tyler will leave on April 9 for Germany. Jeni will stay on with the kids until their house is ready in
Germany. It is being built right now.
IMPORTANT! I am suggesting a family gathering for the Allens on Easter weekend. We could do Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday. Please respond asap so we can make plans. This will be our farewell to them for quite a while I am afraid. I am working on them coming in September for the UCA concert.
Tons of love to all of you! Clan Queen

-st- said...

Seriously though, i just love that they are standing in front of a hanging quilt!