Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Hi all!

Well it is so crazy that this is the last email until you guys are in Florida and then up here in DC! Sounds like it's been a crazy but fun week for you guys as you get ready to take off. That was really fun to see those pictures of Caleb sailing! Also so crazy that Alyssa is now in the MTC. I'm on her mailing list so you don't have to forward her emails. I'm sure it was nice to have a last night as a family with her but lots of emotions since you guys now are veterans at sending off missionaries;)

Really it's just at the point that it is so surreal. I can't explain the mix of emotions that it is. This Wednesday is transfers for a ton of the guys to go. Jenks, Florence, Torgerson, all of them take off this week. The Johnson's were really nice and invited me to do all the going home stuff with that group since I'm going on the mid transfer. So this week I'll get to go to departing temple and dinner on Wednesday. Only catch is they all go to bed that night to fly home and I have to go back to my area. 

This week has been a good one, just full of regular missionary work which I think at this point is the best thing to have happening. Mike is doing awesome! Him and Aminata are set to get married on the 8th and then the baptism will be July 15th in the early afternoon! It's so cool how that all came together. I feel so blessed for how my mission will end. It really is going out on a high note. Other than that I don't have much to say about the week, we did some service and washed out a shed for like 3 hours. The things that are entertaining as a missionary but I would have refused to do if I was at home haha

Well I'm all emailed out, I'll give you guys all the good stories in 2 weeks when I see you!! It's so weird that it is that close until I see you all. Like I said a mix of emotions, but know that one of those emotions is being so excited to see you all!! Love and miss you guys. 

Love, 
Austin 


District Activity today
We played sand volleyball & disc golf!



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017

Hey Gang!

I sent Dad an email last week for it, but Happy (late) Father's Day to Dad, Grandpa, Papa D and all the other Dads in my life! I'm glad you were able to spend some time with the family, especially at Alyssa's farewell. Thanks for sending me her talk, it was nice to feel a little bit apart of her leaving. It's so crazy that her and Ethan are already getting to the point where they are taking off on their missions! Well it sounds like it was another busy week for you all! I'm glad that girls camp was able to get pulled off despite the snow! And I'm sure it was fun for Dad to be down with the young men, their trip sounds like a ton of fun!! 

Well this week was so great!! Get this! After district meeting we decided to grab some lunch at Cafe Rio and as we are walking up guess who we see sitting in there?? THE COOKES!! We ran in and got to talk to them and ahh it was so great! I've missed them so much and it was fun to catch up with them and talk. They had just come from working out so they kept apologizing they weren't all done up and because of that we weren't able to get a picture with them. Sister Cooke beat me to even asking, they want us to come visit them so I'm thinking probably Monday since they live in the same neighborhood as the mission home. But it was so awesome to get to see the Cookes and reconnect after a year. 

And then guess who else I got to see this week?? Coombs!! So he was in town with his wife to visit and had sent me an email asking if we wanted to go to lunch with him. So of course we said yes! It was so awesome to get to catch up with him too and see how just like with the Cookes nothing has changed. Even though it's been a year, the relationships are still the same. Him and his wife also came to Why I Believe and it was nice to have them.  They are going to come down to my homecoming so you'll get to meet Coombs then! 

On Saturday we got to meet as a whole mission at the VC because Elder Nielsen, the executive director of the Missionary Department was in town for a Stake Conference and he wanted to meet with the mission. It was a great visit! Him and his wife gave super awesome trainings! It's been fun to interact with so many General Authorities lately.  

Also then to top off the week get this! So remember when I said we were teaching the boyfriend of a member? Well they are now getting married and he's gonna get baptized! So the wedding is July 8th and the baptism will be July 15th! Yup while we are here! So we will be coming up to MoVille for one last baptism while you guys are all here!!!:)

Like I said Why I Believe was last night, and it was so weird to realize it was my last one as a missionary since I'll be released before the next one with you guys. The time sure is going quick, it will be a good last few weeks!! Sure love you guys!!

Love,
Austin 
 Spencer (Coombs) and his wife Jori 

And of course got to see my boy Elder McDonald!

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

Hi all!!

Sounds like it was a good week for you all! I'm sure all the little ones are super pumped about it finally being summer! Sounds like there is all kinda of activities and events for you guys this upcoming week!  Have fun with girls camp, high adventure, and everything else! It was fun to see Caleb ridding the old mission bike in Moab! 

This week was a pretty good one. I got over the sinus and ear infection so that was nice to get over. Work wise it was a little slower considering we had a full day Zone Conference, interviews, and an exchange with some Elders in our district. Zone Conference sure was a reminder that the end is coming soon. It was my last one and they do
a little tribute thing to the missionaries going home and have us bear a final testimony. And wow that was a lot harder then I thought it would be.. there is a lot of emotions that go into 2 years. It was good though, Sister Johnson talked about how this is really hard for her because it feels like she's sending away her own missionary but knows the emotions on your end of us all coming home. So it's mixed emotions for all of us!

Well with bearing my death testimony in Zone Conference and the fact there is only 3 weeks after this one I've been thinking a lot about my mission. I'm glad I've had all the experiences and met all of these people here. There has been some amazing times but also some really tough ones. But I look back on it all and the biggest overwhelming feeling is that it was all so worth it. I'm so glad I had the chance to serve here in DC. It's been an amazing 2 years and I can't believe it's only a few weeks left. Sure love and miss you guys! See you soon!

Love,
Austin
The only picture I have of the week is with one of the Bishop's sons
at dinner the last week.  He is hilarious, he's 2 and a complete chatter box.  
It was nice to eat with Bishop and his family-it's been great to work with such
good ward leaders here in MoVille.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June 5, 2017

Hi all!!

I know it is so crazy that it is June now! Sure sounds like all the end of the school year events are all going on. Sounds busy! The kids out here still have like 2 more weeks, so tell them to count their blessings haha. Also sounds like it's been quite the adventure putting down that new sod in the back, I have to say I'm not too broken up
that I missed it:)

So this week felt really short with how busy the end of it was. On Tuesday morning I ended up calling the mission doctor because I was pretty certain I had an ear infection on top of what was either a cold or sinus infection. So the mission doctor set me an appointment to to see someone and we ended up leaving District Meeting early to go to it
and come to find out... both were true. He said the ear infection was pretty bad, so as of now it's the only thing that not quite 100% yet. But I've been on an antibiotic that I still have a few days left to finish. Also kinda funny story at the doctors that only you guys will really get. So know how Carroll's have like super low blood pressure?? Anyways so the nurse is doing all my vitals and steps back and asks me all concerned if I have high blood pressure and I kinda laugh and then realize she's serious and I'm like uhh.. no? Then the doctor takes it and it was as he would say "elevated". So I asked if there is anything that could raise it and he lists off "medicine like NyQuil, caffeine
but I know you Mormons don't drink that, and increased stress in your life situation". And I was like, well shoot that's 3 strikes. I've been pounding NyQuil, I was drinking a Pepsi no joke 5 minutes before I walked in here, and I'm coming home from a mission! I then had to briefly correct the whole we don't drink caffeine thing. But yeah
so then we go to CVS the next day to get my prescription and I throw my arm in the blood pressure cuff there and sure enough.. I was back to normal Carroll low blood pressure. 107/64 with a pulse rate of 53 bpm. So don't worry I didn't develop hypertension at the age of 20 like the doctor thought.

The rest of the week was good, and Friday was awesome with Mackedas baptism!! It all went smooth and we had a pretty good showing from the ward! Elder Vance baptized her and then I confirmed her yesterday. She's so awesome. She's really shy but she's getting more comfortable around us. One time in a lesson I gave her a thumbs up and now that's just her thing with us, she just will smile and give us a thumbs up a lot and then basically whisper back to us when she talks. And then Saturday was also way cool, Elder Vance got called to go back to an
old area to baptize someone. And it was like an hour and 40 min drive there! But it was super cool because if was a Mom and her two sons, so it was a weekend of baptisms!

Well that's a wrap.  This weeks will be pretty busy with my last Zone Conference and interviews with President and Sister Johnson! So crazy how fast time is flying, love and miss you guys!!

Love,
Austin

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 29, 2017

Hi Gang!

Well sounds like it was a low key, but good week for you guys. That's how I would describe our week out here. 
It's crazy to think that exactly 2 years ago I was here in DC with you Mom and Dad! Man how time flies. It's been weird to have a super clear memory like that this weekend to think about how much has changed in those two years. Like us running around trying to figure out how to get places, or ride the metro, or find places to eat. And now DC is like my second home. I can't wait for a few weeks to have you all here and get to show you the DC I've now come to know and love so much. 

Well this week has been good, but a little slower since I got sick on Friday. It's just a head cold with a bad sore throat and hacking up my body weight in mucus. Some other missionaries had it before me so it's going around. Judging off their recovery time I should be all good within the next day or so. But we were still able to have a good week with the people we are working with. Mackedas baptism is this week! We are super excited for her. It's been so awesome to teach someone who's been so prepared by the Lord but as well her family. She knows basically everything about the church and then we fill in the gaps. Like we taught tithing and her only questions was "which guys in the suits can I give it to?"  Ha, classic. 

Well that's all I've got.. the more emails I write the harder it is to make them long and detailed. But things are going great, I hope you guys have a great week! Love you!!

Love,
Austin 

 Elder (Jake) Kohler from Draper takes off in the coming week 

Crashed a birthday party

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 22, 2017

Hey Fam!

Sorry it's a late email getting to you! Like you said in your email, I was in Arlington today! It was such a great time, really just hanging out with all the missionaries going home in the next little bit was tons of fun. I just kicked it with McDonald and Florence most the day.  We started out and stopped by places like the Kennedy's grave, the
Arlington house and finished out at the amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guard. I'll add the pictures for you to see.

It was another great week out here. Like I let you guys know last week, I'm staying here in Montgomery Village to finish out my mission which I'm really excited for. To answer your questions- yes I'm still serving as a District Leader for this transfer, and MyPlan is still going good. This last week was the Study of what they title "Remember and Become". So you think a lot about what you have learned on your mission and what you hope to build on from what you've learned. 

As far as the work, Mackeda is on date for June 2! And then we have a new investigator (that members boyfriend) and his name is Mike! He is so solid and we expect he will get baptized soon! He's so solid. The recent converts are all doing well and things continue to be going well here!

Another highlight for the week was Why I Believe where Eric Weddle spoke! Super cool to hear an NFL player talk about his conversion to the gospel. And then of course get to see all the mission buds.

Well I sure love you guys! Have a great weeks!!
Love,
Austin




Elder Cowan and I showed up to
Why I Believe 
wearing the exact same thing...
May 15, 2017

Hello family!

Well it is good to know you all are alive and well after the Skype! It's always weird to send an email less than 24 hours after seeing each other. So this one will probably be pretty short. But I agree, it was beyond the hi light of the week to talk to you guys. It's always so nice to see how easy it is to jump back into our relationships as a family even after this much time to just jump back in. 

It's so crazy to say goodbye and realize that the next time I see you guys it will be in person! You asked about My Plan, so it is each week we work on a different section and we just do it during our personal Study time. I've really liked it so far, the church did a really good job with it and I really like the message it sends to returning missionaries. I think it's helped manage the emotions of coming home some. Tonight I'll get the call of where I'll be for the last transfer. It is so crazy to realize I'm starting my last transfer. Now just to see where I'll be for it!

Things are going really good here in Mo-Ville. Like I mentioned on the Skype call, Latif blessed the Sacrament for the first time yesterday and Mackeda came to church. On top of that a member brought her boyfriend and we are going to start teaching him! Things are going well as we continue to work with George and Susan as well as Tiara and a few others. The work is going awesome here, I really would like to stay here with Elder Vance, but we will see. 

It was so great to see you yesterday! I'll probably be a little later next week responding with the trip to Arlington, but I'll make sure to take some pictures! Love you guys!!

Love,
Austin 

An e-mail that we received later....
Well looks like I'll be finishing my mission is Mo-Ville with Elder Vance. We are really excited to be stay here together and see what we can pull off with these last few weeks. 

Love you all and thanks for all the support!
Love,
Austin

 We had District Activity today, we just hung out at the chapel and played ping pong 

We came back to this place after we knocked it a few days before and found this sign 
May 8, 2017

Morning!

So for our DC trip last week we met up with Elder Cowan and Elder Blood (I'll attach pictures) but I'm excited for you guys to get here and to show you around DC as well! It's going to be a blast! I'm excited for Sunday!! As far as a call time we have dinner from 4-5 with a family so 5:30 my time would be perfect! I'll see you guys then:)  

So I started MyPlan this week (so to answer your question yes we use it), the church made it so you do it for you last transfer and just work your way through all the stuff, and it's got me thinking about all the smaller details of pulling together plans for home. Like work and everything, but I know most of that can't get solidified until I'm actually home. So we can talk some on Sunday and then catch up the rest when you pick me up! But it's funny you brought up MyPlan cause I was gonna mention it in my email. I got the email that started me on MyPlan this past week. It's such a cool thing the church is doing and I really like the message they are trying to send to missionaries. That your mission was great but you need to move on cause there are bigger and better things out there. Which seems crazy to be told cause it seems like your whole mission you are told that this is the most important thing to be doing and nothing else will come close. But really God is all about progression so of course there are better things in store. That's how your entire life should be, continuing to progress and continuing to Become who God made you to be. And that's the whole purpose of MyPlan, so I'm excited to keep working on it for the last few weeks I'm out here. It sure is weird reading it and it congratulating you on being in your last few weeks and how you'll soon be a returned missionary. Sure settles in the fact the end real is coming fast!

Work wise this week was a little slower one, Mackeda still is doing great! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it went well. She's getting her work schedule changed so she can come to church. We had to bump her date to June 3rd because of her not being able to come to church. But you are right, with her Mom already a member this is like a lop over the center of home plate, it's been easy teaching her. 

Biggest event of the week was our good old Bible bash with our dear friend Danny. The Spanish Elders knocked into this guy and invited them back so they sent us the appointment and we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. This guy was prepared to throw down. He didn't have any opinion of himself really so he just quoted all this stuff from the internet and didn't accept our answers for anything. But I thought we did a super good job in trying to teach him and defend what is actually church doctrine. It was Elder Vances first good bash so it was good for him to be a part of, and it had been a little bit since I had one that big. It's been kinda nice to serve state side where you have to learn how to explain, correct, and defend church doctrine that's not just the basic PMG lessons. So all good learning experiences!

Well I'm excited to see you guys on Sunday! Crazy that it's the last Skype call already!! I love you guys lots!!

Love,
Austin

 




May 1, 2107

Hey Fam!

I'm writing this email as I sit on the metro down to DC. Like I've mentioned before things have change with policy with when we can go sight see in the city so we can go every 6 months and we decided to do our trip now. So this is my last time in DC until I'm here with all of you!:) It will be nice, I've missed the city so much, but I'm glad for the 8 months I served there. So my letter might be a little shorter since I don't have as much time to sit and write. 

Not too much to report for this week. We had two exchanges this week, one was with the Zone Leaders and I got to go with Elder (Darius) McFarland. So we got to re-live those flash black days of playing AAU basketball together so that was tons of fun. 

Work wise it was a little slower with some meetings filling some time. The biggest hi light was picking up this awesome new investigator named Mackeda! She is the daughter of one of the ward members and she just moved from Liberia to live with her Mom here. And her Mom then called us over to teach her! The ward here is really starting to catch momentum with the work and it's going great!

I'll get back to you about the Mothers Day call, probably after church for you guys works better for me. So in the evening for me and late afternoon for you guys. I can't wait to talk to you guys, times coming to a close so fast out here! Love you all! 

Love,
Austin 
 Shipped my bike home:)

Remember...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 24, 2017

Hi all!!

This week was super good! We had interviews with President and Sister Johnson on Tuesday and they went awesome. It was so weird to realize it's just one more and then a departing interview left with President. But I had really good talks with both of them. And then President basically said I'll either end here in MoVille or go back to DC3rd. But we all know how transfers go so basically anything could happen. 

We also had Zone Conference this week which was pretty good. It was great to see a lot of the friends because we do multi Zone combined since we do Zone Conference every transfer now. It was another weird realization when Elder Florence leaned over and pointed out we only have one more now..

On Friday we got to go to the temple and once again was a kinda last, I only have my departing temple trip left. It was super nice to be in the temple again and feel the spirit there. I'll miss the DC temple a lot, I've had a lot of amazing experiences there through my mission. I'm so grateful to have served in a mission that had a temple that I could attend regularly. I've gained such a testimony of the temple and the blessings we can have in our life from it. It will be hard for this area to have it closed when it's renovations start in March but I can't wait for it to be rededicated in 2 years and have the open houses. It will be a huge missionary boom in this area from that. 

Lastly and defiantly not least we had Latifs baptism! It was such an amazing service. Elder Strubell got to come back and see the baptism which was nice to have him there and get to see him! Latif was crying as soon as the kids gave the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost. Bishop baptized him and then we came back and they had asked the missionaries to sing Called to Serve...and it was absolutely awful haha. We told them we can't sing and they said they didn't care. Some ward members I guess had some mixed reviews to bishop about our singing but hey we all said in the first place we didn't want to sing and couldn't so we aren't mad hah. Then both Bishop Ure and President Arnold bore testimonies about how amazing it was to see this all happen. They have knows Latif for nearly 10 years and they said they would have never guessed he would have been baptized even 2 months ago. They said it truly is a miracle. We are so excited for Latif and the family, they are amazing. 

Then to top the week off last night was Why I Believe and the speaker was one of the missionaries who was in the Brussels Airport bombing. Super amazing kid and testimony. 

Well it was very busy and full week, I'm glad I was able to be a part of all this that has happened. This truly is Gods work and because of that we can expect miracles to happen. I'm so glad I got to play a small part in this miracle that's going to allow a family to be sealed in the temple. I can't think of a better cap stone to my mission. There's still time to go though so it will be fun to see what else happens. Love and miss you guys!!

Love,
Austin 



Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Hey Everyone!

Like you said the work is always better when you have a great companion. And goes even better when you have a good companion AND a good area! And that's what life has been this past week, Elder Vance and I are still doing awesome and the area is doing even better. We had 5 Investigators at Sacrament on Sunday! Granted it was Easter but it was still great to see so many of them come out to church. We are prepping for Latifs baptism this Saturday and we are super excited for him and his family. We had a really cool experience with the Bahamou's (Latif's family) on Friday night. We went over to finish up some of the last lessons and we taught about the priesthood. During the lesson Amber started to get a migraine and she has fibromyalgia so she was really hurting and asked for a blessing. After the lesson we gave her a blessing that was just powerful, there aren't words to describe it and the spirit that was felt. The priesthood is so real. The next day at church Amber said that the pain was taken away after the blessing as well it was kinda the cap stone of Latifs learning where she feels the switch got flipped and he gets it all now better than before. I know God continues to be a God a miracles today, this whole story of Latifs conversion and the small parts like that night all are a living testimony of that. 

Easter was an amazing Sunday for this ward, there has been a 14 year old girl from the ward who had been in the hospital for about a month who passed away on Saturday night. So it was very emotional for the ward and it was really amazing to see the focus on the true meaning of Easter for all of them. To end the meeting her Dad got up and bore his testimony and it was so powerful.  His daughter has died 12 hours before but offered such an incredible testimony. After we got to go have an Easter dinner with a family in the ward. It was kinda like normal but with a twist because they are from El Salvador. So we had ham like at home but then some dishes that aren't quite what we have on Easter but it was so nice to be with them. They are such a nice family and they are so good to us. She insists we call her Grandma:) Sister Romero (Grandma) said to tell Mom that she had missionaries so she knows what it's like to have them away so she had to make sure we were taken care of. They are incredible people.  

Well that about it for the week, can't wait to let you know how the baptism goes this week. The work is going great and time is flying. Love you all so much!

Love,
Austin 

Ice cream this past week to celebrate 
Elder Vances year mark!!

Before & After...
This is one of the Bahamou kids, Alex. (His nick name is Doodle) 
So it was time for the summer buzz cut and he asked if we 
would do it for him when we were over talking to Amber 
and Latif one day this last week!



April 10, 2017

Hey Fam! 

Well the week was another pretty good one. We had transfers like I mentioned last week and last minute we got the call saying there was gonna be a change. So Elder Strubell left and now I'm comps with Elder Vance. I felt pretty bad for Strubbs especially with all the stuff going on with Latif and his baptism coming up. But it's all good, actually it's been awesome! I love Elder Vance. We can just talk and talk and get along so good. He's from Orange County California, little older at 25, and races motorcycles and fought MMA before the mission. So he's a pretty cool guy to say the least. 

Biggest event of the week was the Cherry Blossom Parade. Just like last year it was so much fun!! Plus it felt so good to be back in the city, just getting to ride the metro and walk around DC again. Sure brought back good memories of the near 8 months I got to serve there. Miss it so much. So for the parade we didn't really get a legit job so we just got to walk around and then watch the parade haha, it as a good time. But at least some missionary work was accomplished. I was talking to this other volunteer and she said she's going to come to Why I Believe. Like let's be real she probably won't show but it's gotta count for something! Haha  Plus just getting to see all the missionaries was a blast. After the parade I grabbed lunch with Cowan, McDonald and some other mission buds at one of our favorites, &Pizza. Kinda bummer of the day was when we got back to our car and realized we were absolutely fried from standing in the direct sun most of the day.

As far as things work wise everything is still going super great! Latif came to church which is no surprise considering how he is doing.  But then George surprised us and actually showed up!! It was awesome having both of them at church. Tiara and Jeff are still working on deciding if and when they will get married. But we have good feelings on that one. Bishop is staying in touch with Jeff which is so nice. Such good member support in the ward here. Also we are suppose to see Dipo today so hopefully that holds. Latif is doing so great, he's progressing like no investigator I've ever worked with. He's now on date for April 22nd. It's been a mission highlight, like the best end to my mission I can think of to work with this family. Watching Latif finally decide to join the church along with all the changes we have seen in him have been incredible and now make them an eternal family that's going to prepare to be sealed in a year. I feel so blessed and privileged to have been able to be apart of this whole process, it's amazing to play just a small part in the Lords work here. 

Well that's a wrap, I'm glad you all had a great spring break!! Love you all and miss you too!

Love,
Austin


On Tuesday we all got up early to play basketball one last time then enjoyed a 
nice McDonalds breakfast before transfers. 


Spanish ward had a Tree of Life ward Activity so the other 
Elders got dressed up by the ward for it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Hi all!

I know it is crazy it's already April. The months just seem to keep clicking by. Sounds like you all had a great week and enjoyed General Conference. That's so great you were able to attend Alyssa's endowment, what a great time to be with the family. I'm glad you were able to enjoy Conference with all the normal traditions. I'll admit it crossed my mind a few times that I'll be home for the next post Priesthood at Goodwood. 

It was a great Conference weekend out here, good one to end on . So for the Saturday sessions we went up to the Stake Center where it was broadcast. Between sessions we went and grabbed some Cafe Rio for lunch:) Any time we are able to be up in that area we have to take advantage of it haha. Then we were at the Stake Center for Priesthood session. Then Sunday morning we went down to the Visitors Center. There was a good handful of missionaries there and the Johnsons as well. They had some family in town so it was fun to see them in Grandma/Grandpa mode with some of their adorable grand kids. Plus Elder Cowan was there that morning so I got to sit next to him and catch up some. To finish it out we went and watched the last session at a members house. It was nice to finally sit on a couch for a session haha. There was a lot of really great talks this Conference, I felt like there was a lot of focus on the Plan of Salvation and recognizing/listening to the Holy Ghost. I'd have to say some of my favorite talks were the three you mentioned as well as Elder Ballards.  Plus his joke at the beginning reminded me a lot of when we was here visiting the mission and just how personable he was with us. 

This week also was super good in our area. First off on Saturday morning we went to Tiaras with Bishop. And Jeff (the boyfriend) finally sat in on a lesson!! Then Bishop talked about them getting married and it was so awesome! He's one of my favorite Bishops I've worked with out here. So we are excited to see them this week and see where they are at. Dipo and George are doing good too, just need to help them keep their commitments better. 

Here was our favorite of the week though, so we got a call from a member that we have known pretty good since we got here and she told us her non member husband had agreed to take the lessons. Little did we know that earlier this week they were on edge of getting divorced. So we meet with Latif (he's from Morocco) and had an amazing lesson. He's been basically watching the church for 8 years and it's just now is finally his time. He asked some really good questions and he's now on a baptismal date for May 6th, which might get moved sooner! When we asked if he would give the closing prayer he agreed and then asked for help. Which almost no one does cause of how the humility you have to show to do that. Plus he came to priesthood session! They have already started talking to us about getting sealed and everything in a year, so looks like I might be needing to take a flight out to DC next spring! (Temple will be closed so it will actually be Philly). But we are super excited to work with the them and see them come together to be an eternal family. 

Well that's a wrap, another great week out here. Hope you guys enjoy Spring Break! Love and miss you guys!!

Love,
Austin

Here's some pictures we took down at the temple Sunday morning. It was super bright so that's why we are squinting so hard! 

Reunion with Elder Cowan 



March 27, 2017

Hey Fam-

Yeah the weather here has been pretty weird too.  One day it's 80 then the next it's 40. So we are hoping it will even out and just start to become spring soon. The Cherry Blossom Parade is April 8th, so coming up soon! We are all super stoked for it because it's a day of getting to hang out with the whole mission on the National Mall and you get to help with/be in a parade. Pretty sweet:) 

Sounds like the week was a good one. Happy Birthday Dad!! Glad you got to have some good times with the family enjoying that and celebrating. I'm glad Leby got to speak! I actually spoke in Sacrament yesterday too! But yes you did have to work with my to slow down speaking.  I still have to haha. Sometimes in lessons out here there is just so much to try to fit in and I have to catch my self and slow down haha. 

Well to answer all your questions about the area then I'll get to the week. So in our mission all of our areas/zones are based off the units we are serving. So since we are serving the Montgomery Village Ward our area is called Montgomery Village. And then all our zones are based off Stake boundaries, so our zone is the Seneca Zone which is just all the missionaries in the units of the Seneca Stake. Same goes for all the previous zones, so when I was in Silver Spring Zone it was all the missionaries in the Silver Spring Stake. 

This week was a pretty good one. The people we are working with are great except for one thing. We can't get them to church to save our life! I don't know if it's because it's at 9:00 am or what, but it's been super rough to get them to church in this area. But Tiara is doing good, she texted us Sunday morning and wasn't going to make it because her baby daughter was sick. But we still were able to have a lesson with her last night. Right now it's just the challenge of getting her and her boyfriend married. As well as trying to get Jeff (the boyfriend) engaged with the lessons. He always has an excuse and then says next time when we invite him for the lessons. But I guess he has told Tiara he wants to be baptized with her. As far as other people, Dipo had fallen off the face of the earth until like 2 days ago when he finally picked up his phone. So we are gonna go see him tonight and see how things are going. 

Like you said transfers are next week, so crazy! This one has gone by so fast!  It really is crazy how fast this is all going, like this week is my last General Conference. I am so excited to be able to hear from our church leaders. Each of the last conferences I've been out here for have been so amazing and I know this one will be too. 

Enjoy Conference weekend as a family! Sure love you guys!

Love,
Austin 

Hey! Yeah I was gonna send what our weights look like! We just got a bar and some new weights. So now we are set. Still a little bugged we can't use the apartment gym.  Our apartment kinda sucks, one of the worst I've lived in out here. For PDay it was District Activity so we had lunch at Cafe Rio and then played volleyball at the church. 
It's kinda crazy!! 100 days left on Conference 




















When you let the kids at the lesson take pictures with your iPad...