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Monday, September 29, 2014

Semana 5!!! (Week 5 in Paraguay!!!)

Familia y Amigas,

This week was a good week! We are still working with Brother and Sister Flor, and I'm not exactly sure what happened, but all of a sudden my Spanish has really taken off, and I started to really understand the people, and I can communicate what I'm trying to say...kind of! (haha) It's such a cool experience to learn a language because you literally have to rely on the Lord and the gift of tongues. It's been super humbling for me.  

Anyways, we worked a lot with the Flor family this week, and we're really trying everything we can to get the dad to stop drinking. He really wants to, but he's just got an addiction. It's been really sad. We decided to teach them a few lessons on the Atonement and teach him that he can use the Atonement to help him with this.  The lesson was super spiritual. We read in the Book of Mormon about Alma the Younger and how he had to change his life. We told him that no matter what we do in this life we CAN change! All we have to do is use the Atonement. He told us that he's trying. And he is, he talked to his boss to get work off on Sundays, he and his wife are praying together,and he's gone from drinking 25 cans of beer every Saturday to only drinking 3. It's amazing how much he's changed already, but he needs all the help he can get! Pray for him please!  

I also really started to make friends with the kids in that family. Paula is their oldest daughter, and she and I have become really good friends over this past week! (haha) She wants to learn English, so I made her a vocabulary sheet to practice with! She's the best! Also, there's one younger sister named Pamela. She's awesome too. She is 11, I think. (haha) The other night we were walking them to mutual, and before I knew it, Pamela had my backpack and was saying "Soy misionera, Soy misionera" She then told us she wants to be a missionary when she grows up! Kind of a cool experience for me, made me realize how much these kids look up to me. I realized how big of an example I am to the kids here, and the people we teach. Also, a side note, one of the older brothers is probably gonna get baptized this week! He's awesome! He's 16 years old, I think. Anyways, I LOVE THE FLOR FAMILY!!!!  Hermana Cheney and I were talking, and we truly believe we were sent to this area to help this family. They're amazing, pretty much my family here in Paraguay, AND cool side note, when the parents get baptized I can GO TO THE TEMPLE WITH THEM IN 1 year! Literally so excited.

We also have another baptism this Saturday, his name's Gustavo. He's the nephew of one of the members here. He's like the golden investigatior everyone dreams of! He's so cool, he's like 24 years old or something.  

That's pretty much it for this week...I'm sooo excited for General Conference this weekend, and Hna Cheney thinks we'll get to watch it in English!  I'm not gonna get my hopes up...(haha) but either way it will be awesome! 

Love you all have a good week! 

Love, Hna Austin

Monday, September 22, 2014

Semana 4!!!!! (Week 4 in Paraguay!!!)

Familia Y Amigas,

Wow, what a week! (haha) First of all, WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!! Tuesday night we realized that Matias, the 13 year old boy I told you about last week, has been to church 3 times! Which means he could be baptized! We went and visitedhim at his house and gave him a date for last Saturday, and he accepted! The rest of our week was LOCO!!!! because we had to plan the baptism, teach him the rest of the lessons he needed, and make sure he was ready for his interview. He's awesome though, literally the coolest kid ever! When the elder interviewed him he asked about his own kids, when he has them, and whether they had to be baptized. He basically told the elder he wants to be a good example for his future family. H'es awesome! His little brother, Isaias, is going to be baptized on the 4th of October! He's awesome too, he just needs to go to church a few more times!

We also had zone conferences last week, and it was a party! Any time you get a bunch of missionaries together it's a party. I dunno if I told you guys about Hermana Kimball or not, but she's the sister training leader right now, and we had intercambios (exchanges) with them a few weeks ago. (haha) We HIT it off. Literally. I dunno, she's just awesome. We spent 24 hours together and we're like best friends now! That's one cool thing about the mission; you make friends FAST! (haha) Anyways, the zone conference was fun 'cause I got to see her, and meet a lot of other sisters! Oh, also, I ran into someone from home! Elder Dakota Klauk is here! (haha) We went to elementary school together! It was so cool to see him...  I hadn't seen him since junior high probably, and he was all grown up! (haha) It was so weird! He's awesome though, and Hannah, he asked about you. He wants to know how you're doing, and what you're up to!

(haha) I have a really funny story this week! So, the other day, Hermana Cheney and I were out working right, and we go to do a contact... It's probably like 6:30 in the afternoon, and this middle aged Paraguayan comes out, and we start to tell him who we are, and he interrupts us and says, "Estoy en la cama con mi senora ¡un otra dia POR FAVOR!" ("I'm in bed with my lady. Come another day, PLEASE!") and then ran back inside... (hahaha) Hermana Cheney and I were dying! It was so great. So, we're gonna pass by another day and teach the law of chastity. (HAHAHA)

On a more serious note, la familia Flor. The dad is having a really hard time quitting drinking. It's really sad because we know they want to get married and be baptized, but he's gotta stop drinking first. We're still working with him though, and I truly do believe they will eventually get baptized, but keep them in your prayers, por favor.

Also Hermana Llurdes, the one with the twins moved... We were so sad when she called us. We went over and helped her pack all of her things. (Which was insane by the way, no organization at all. We threw all of their stuff in bags.) It was so sad. We had one final prayer with her and her oldest daughter, who is so much like me its scary, and left. I wanted to cry, but I didn't cause I'm tough. They're still in our ward. They just moved to the Elders area, but we don't get to visit them anymore.

I have a cool scripture this week that I think y'all might like. It's Moroni 7:33; If we have faith in our Savior anything's possible! Its such a sick scripture! Anyways, that's all for this week. I love you all! Have an awesome week!  

Hermana Amby Austin

Semana 3!!! (Week 3 in Paraguay!!!)

Famillia Y Amigas,

Wow, this week was crazy! The thing that we learned most this week was that the Spirit literally guides you to the people that need the gospel! Its literally amazing! This week, Hermana Cheney was going through our area book and found a few registros (papers of old investigators, mas o menos) of people who were meeting with the elders before we got sent to this area. We decided to look for a few of them. One thing you have to know about Paraguay, is the streets are a mess. It's nearly impossible to find people because they don't know their address! It's loco... We have a hard time finding the houses of some of our investigators sometimes! Anyways, the first person we set out to find is an older lady named Mirina. On the registro it says she knew a family in our ward. We talked to them and they helped us find her! We had an awesome lesson with her, and she CAME TO CHURCH yesterday! Probably the coolest thing ever. It was literally a miracle that we found her.  

The other people we found are brothers named Matias and Isaias. They live in the boonies! There is literally no way we could have found them without the Spirit. We had a member with us who was showing us where another inactive family lives, and Hermana Cheney just happened to ask them about these brothers, and they knew them! These two brothers are awesome! They're 13 and 11 and Matias, the older one, came to church this week, and has already come two other times. So that means he can get baptized this Saturday! We are going to put him with a fecha tomorrow, and hopefully, get him baptized this Saturday! These kids are literally amazing! It's a miracle that we found them! I learned this week that when we rely on the spirit and do what were supposed to be doing, miracles happen! (1 Nephi 4:6&7)

Also, one more thing, I was gonna update you on the famillia Flor!  They are awesome!  I don't know if I told you all this or not, but we are planning a WEDDING!!! (haha) Talk about crazy. Two nineteen year old girls planning a wedding... (haha) I had no idea I'd be doing stuff like this on my mish. The only problem we have with them is Brother Flor has a pretty bad problem with the Word of Wisdom. He has changed a lot even since I first got here, but is having a hard time dropping his drinking habit. We´ve been praying for him a lot these last few days. I believe that they'll all get baptized soon though, we just have to help him and be a little more patient... (haha) which is hard as a missionary.  

Anyways that's about it! Oh, just wanted to tell Chris and Whitnee congrats! I'm so happy for you guys! And Jimmy and Ty too! Id love to see a picture of little John!  I love you all have a great week!  

Hermana Austin

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Message for My High School Friends

Students of Springville High,

I've been thinking about you guys a little these past few weeks since school started and all. I'm stealing this idea from Sister Marie Terry, and I would recomend you all go read her email she sent last winter.  

I just want to give a few words of advice from someone who's been there. High school is so short, so you all need to make the most of it! HAVE FUN!!! You only get one chance. I want to tell you what I think the best way to have fun in High school is.

Being nice! To everyone! Everyone's different and you all have different strengths. Be nice to others. You don't know what someone's going through, just be nice. Make sure and include people, you can have fun with more than just your group of friends. It doesn't matter who you're with, just enjoy it!  

I also want to talk a little about jealousy because it's something I had problems with in high school. I'm going to share a little of my experience with you all. I'm sure all of you know or have heard of Malia Nawahine.  I got the opportunity to play basket ball with her in High School. For those of you who don't know her, she's amazing at basketball. She's currently playing at the U of U right now, actually. Anyways, Malia moved to our school my junior year, and was amazing at basketball. We played the same position on the team and consequently a lot of my hopes and dreams with basketball were crushed. I didn't get to start like I had always wanted. I was super jealous of her and was constantly comparing myself to Malia, and it damaged our relationship. After we graduated, and the issue of basketball was out of the way, we became pretty close friends, because I wasnt jealous! Bonnie L Oscarson said, "When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others...We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences. We need to realize that we all desire to serve in the kingdom, using our unique talents and gifts in our own ways."  Each of us is different, and you all have different talents. Malia and I are different and thats okay! I'm doing what I need to be doing, and she's doing what she needs to be doing!  Some of you may be good at sports, some may be good at singing, math, playing an instrument, the list goes on and on.  Heavenly father loves all of you!  (D&C 18:10¨)  Stop concentrating on your differences! Sister Oscarson goes on to say, "If there are barriers, it is because we ourselves have created them. We must stop concentrating on our differences and look for what we have in common: then we can begin to realize our greatest potential and achieve the greatest good in this world." Look at what you have in common and not why your different, JUST BE YOU!  Don't try to be someone else.

I have a goal for each of you, think of someone that needs your help, or a friend you might be jealous of, CALL THEM! LOVE THEM! INCLUDE THEM! You won't regret it, I promise!  

Hermana Amby Austin

PS  If you would like to read a few talks I have a few to recommend: 
1. Sisterhood Oh How We Need Each Other--Bonnie L. Oscarson
2. Your 4 Minutes--Gary E. Stevenson

Sent from my iPad

Semana Dos (Week Two in Paraguay!)

Famillia Y Amigos,

This week was so great! First of all the famillia Flor that I told you about is progressing so much! The parents want to be baptized! Ahh, they are so awesome, and the dad is great. On Sunday we had a really hard long morning because we always have to pick up all of our converts and walk with them to church! We ARE ALWAYS LATE to church on Sunday, but we always have investigators there. Anyways, we went to pick up two of our investigators. One was asleep and one didn't want to come, so we were in pretty low spirits, BUT the familia Flor was our last stop, and as we rounded the corner to turn to their house, almost the entire family was walking toward us, 7 of their kids and the parents in all. I have never been so happy to see anything in my life! Haha, we probably walked 2 miles that morning, and it was all worth it to see them on their way to church.

I'm not gonna lie, the Spanish is hard.  I'm very blessed because I can always understand my companion, and I can kind of talk in this broken Spanish. But I can't always understand the older people that talk really fast. It's okay though most of the time, but on Friday we were at a members house and she just opened up to Hna Cheney about a really hard experience they have in their lives. They were talking for probably twenty minutes and I couldnt understand hardly any of it. I was getting super frustrated with myself because I wanted to know what was going on! Then a miracle happened...  Just Give Me A Reason by Pink came on.  Hearing the song in English and thinking about St George with the team was all that I needed in that moment. I truly believe it was for me, and I'm so grateful. Haha, it's the little things that count in the mission!

HAHA, one more funny thing...It rained on Saturday! Haha, buckets. The funnest experience of my life to hike all over our area in the mud and the rain...and that's not even the best part. We were on our way to see an investigator and Hna Cheney decided we should try to find a faster way to his house...Mind you, it's POURING OUTSIDE!  Haha so we try to go a different way and we were lost for 30 minutes! We did see some giant toads and I chased them around for a second...haha it was great!

Also good news!  Hna Lurdes isn't having twins! She's the one who left her husband to be baptized. She has a set of twins already, and two other kids. Shes only having one baby. What a blessing! 

Anyways that's what's going on here!  I love you all, have an awesome week.  I love getting your Emails and I read them all!  

Love, Amby

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Primera semana en el mision! (First week in the mission!)

Hola!!!! Wow, what a week it has been! I love it here in Paraguay! My companions name is Hermana Cheney, and she is great! I'm the first missionary she's trained, and actually it's the first time she's even been a senior companion. It's good because it's really made us work together on a lot of things, and I'm learning so fast! Honestly,we don't have a lot in common, but she's a HARD WORKER which is perfect for me, 'cause all I want to do is work! She's great, and she's teaching me so much.

I love our area too. We are in the campo, which basically means poverty, but the people are so amazing. We actually had 5 confirmations yesterday of a family that was baptized the week before I got here. They're little kids! The name of the family is Flor, and they are awesome! They have seven kids in their family, and they live in two shacks basically the size of the parent trap house. My eyes have been opened at how blessed we truly are to live in the US. These people have literally nothing. It's so sad. We are working with the parents and the older kids now to be baptized, and they are trying. The dad has some problems with the word of wisdom, but Hermana Cheney says he's changed so much since they first found him. We taught him for the first time when he wasn't drunk the other day, and even though I couldn't understand everything he was saying, I could tell he wants the gospel in his life! It's literally amazing how much the gospel can help people. We were teaching him yesterday, and he asked about tithing. Hermana Cheney explained it a little bit timidly, worried that he wouldnt want to be baptized because of that. He told us he wants to pay his tithing and recieve the blessings that come from it. CRAZY! Tithing's something I have a hard time with! But he wants to pay it, and he has nothing. If Brother Flor can pay his tithing, and he hasn't even been baptized yet, I can for sure pay my tithing. (Haha) Anyways, this family is amazing.

I also wanted to tell you a little bit about a recent convert I met on my first day. This woman left her husband to join the church, and she's literally amazing. Her name's Sister Lurdes, and she has 4 kids, probably under the age of 9. (with a set of twins at the end) Every time we visit them I have flashbacks of when the twins were younger! They're probably about 18 months old, maybe two years, a boy and a girl, and that's not even the craziest part. She is pregnant with another set of twins! (due in november I think) She is my hero. They live in this little 10 ft by 10 ft room and have hardly nothing, but she knows the gospel is true. All I want to do is help them, but we dont have the time. It's really sad actually. We try to stop and visit all that we can, but we are SO busy! Nonstop all day long teaching investigators. My feet have never been so tired, and I have never been so happy, en serio!  

I've found its really easy for me to love the people here, which is great, because it makes it so much easier to work. These people need the gospel and we HAVE to bring it to them! I'm so thankful my companion is already a really hard worker, because there's so much that needs to be done here! I know there are people we need to find to be baptized!

Anyways that's not all that's happened, but I dont have time to tell you all all of it. I love you guys! Be thankful for what you have, because I promise, you all are so blessed! I love it here! And please, if you all could pray for Hna Lurdes...  She needs all the prayers she can get right now. And pray for the Flor family as well cause they need it! Paraguay is great, and I'm doing awesome!  

PS my Spanish is horrible, in case you were wondering, BUT I am learning SO FAST!!!!!! I can speak a lot more than I thought I could. The gift of tongues is REAL, EN SERIO!!!!!!  


Hermana Austin