19 September 2007

Elder Austin - September 18 - Transferred!

September 18, 2007

Hi everyone.

I am getting transferred!!!!!! Man, I was so wishing I could stay. We have taken this place that had nothing and turned it, with a lot, a lot, a lot of help from a loving Heavenly Father, and turned it into a gold mine. The last few days all we have done is knock doors. We have over 25 contacts that said that we could come back. We almost finished knocking the whole town. It was a lot of work. I have a really big callus on my middle knuckle. It was really bruised too. But the Lord really blessed us. I have grown to love this place and I want to see the people that I have been teaching progress. It takes a lot of faith to walk away and trust that the lord will continue to do his work. I know he will. Elder Romine is training a new missionary here. What a place to be trained. It is really going to teach the kid. But we have a lot of work for him to do and they should see fruit from all the work that we have done the past 3 months. I pray that they do. I really have worked hard and I don’t say it to boast. I am just like Ammon when he is talking about the wonderful experience that he had when he helped convert all the Lamanites. I have been instrumental in planting seeds. Now is the time for the harvest, and it will be great.

We had a wonderful experience going down to the Island again. We were able to see Maggie. She had been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and she knows it is true. She expressed how she wanted to be able to see her parents again. It was very emotional for all of us and the spirit was really strong. We committed her to pray about baptism and she said she would. She is so prepared. I am so happy. My joy is full. It was so awesome.

We also had a good stake conference. It about temples and letting virtue garnish our thoughts. It was really good. Our new mission president is a rock. But something that I learned that I would like to share with you is that we don’t have to be the best at everything. Life is like a decathlon. Your total score is what really matters. If we will be the best we can, the Lord will fill in the gaps of our weaknesses. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It really gives us a hope. I know that we can be clean because of it. I can not wait for that wonderful day when I will stand before God and declare that I am clean because of the atonement. I will have not recollection of my guilt, because Christ, through the atonement would have washed me clean with his blood. I am so grateful for that. I can not express the love I have for my Savior. If you will repent, read your scriptures, go to church, attend the temple if you can, and strive to endure to the end, you will be able to feel what I am trying to explain. We most come to know the Savior. We must be able to recognize him before he comes. He will come again and we must be able to recognize him. And just like in Matthew 16, when Christ asks his apostles "whom say ye that I am?" and Peter says "though art the Christ". And Christ tells him that he is right but not because he sees him but because the Holy Ghost bore witness to his heart that he was. He felt the Savior more than he saw the Savior, true Faith. This is our goal. We must be able to say just like Elder McConkie that if he were to stand before us that we would know him no better than we know him now. What a testimony.

The other day we had stopped by one of the contacts that we had and she was not there. So we went back to that car and were sitting there trying to figure what to do next, when a man walked out of his house and knocked on our window and asked if we needed someone to talk to. We looked at each other and said sure. We got out and he asked if we had anything that he could read. We again said yes. We went into his house and started to talk. He told us about how he was raised a believer but was now an atheist. He had doubted so much that it ate away his testimony. It was a really good experience teaching him. I have never taught anyone that didn’t believe in God. We shared our message about a prophet and talked about the plan of salvation. We left him with all the pamphlets and the BOM. Just talking to the guy strengthened my testimony of what I know to be true. I know there is a God because of experiences in my life that are too sacred to me to discuses. I know he is there and that he loves us and that if we will truly seek him he will make himself known. I know that is true.

Well, I am getting transferred to Windsor. It is right across from Detroit. I am “follow up” training another missionary from New Mexico. His name is Elder Canyon. He is a native. I was able to talk to him this morning on the phone and I feel that it is going to be awesome. The place has not been doing very well because of the past missionaries so my job they told me, is to go and light the place on fire. And I plan on doing just that. There is a wonderful ward down there and the bishop is supposed to be awesome. I am really excited. The place is dead so that means work and I like a place that I can work because that means growth, right? Elliot Lake has been a life-changing experience and I have learned so much but I know that the Lord has a plan for me and that he wants me somewhere else. It is really hard to except that when you have to leave something that you have worked so hard to build. That just means faith.

Windsor is the farthest south you can go in the mission. It is going to be really different compared to the north. No more pretty trees and hills and rocks. That’s a shame.

Well I have to go. I love you all and will let you know my new address. My goodness, time is just flying. I don’t know where it has gone. Any ho, I love you all.


Elder Graham

O yes, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear GRANDMA, DANE, LANDON, AND DALLAS, (that is really hard to sing all in one sentence, try it) Happy Birthday to you!!!!! Just try and image me singing it. I should use the recorder and do that. I will do that next time.

1 comment:

Mama said...

What a thrilling experience to read Elder Austin's letter. This dear young man has grown in huge giant steps. I love him testifying of Christ and teach us the gospel in his letters. This is real joy!! This is reward day! How bless we are to have two missionaries in the field. Elder Austin and Elder James. How we love them! Do we have a mailing address for Austin yet? I have been holding off waiting to see if he is transferred to a new address. I guess it is good I did. I don't know for sure if I am writing to Scott who put Austin's letter on the blog, or if I am writing to Austin. Does he get to read the blog? Please put his address on the blog as soon as you can. We love Elder Austin and pray for him always. Our cup is full and runneth over with blessings. Love, Mom/G.G.