When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    4 years, 2 months, 2 days, 23 hours, 17 minutes, 7 seconds ago

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Week 4: The Small and Tender Mercies of Missionary Work‏

Hi Mom written in the sand

Austin’s Message to Mom

·         Week 4: The Small and Tender Mercies of Missionary Work

We got in twelve hours of tracting this week. TWELVE HOURS.

The result? Three new investigators, one less-active family who was basically waiting for us to show up and bring them back, and a fourteen-year-old girl who wants to get baptized.

So yeah, when we’re only averaging about one new investigator per week, three is a pretty high number. We were supposed to shoot for ten for our mission trek…but still, three is good for us.

I’m really trying to focus on the present while I’m out here. If I think too much about back home or the past, I get depressed, and if I think about all the work that’s still ahead, I psyche myself out and never get a break. But, if I look at the here and now-for example, while we’re out tracting, just thinking about who the person is at the door-then it becomes fun. It becomes bearable. It turns missionary work into something meaningful and purposeful rather than a chore I have to suffer through.

Our mission president is always telling us that he doesn’t measure his success by numbers, but by how we live our lives ten or more years down the road. I think I’m starting to understand that now. The mission is as much about converting ourselves as it is the people we teach. Sometimes, as I’ve been out here, I’ll have experiences that really make the veil seem thin. These come as a result of many things, but first and foremost obedience. And that doesn’t mean just doing what you’re told, but having faith enough in God to say “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded”. Sometimes we have a lot of knowledge to base that faith on, and other times we don’t have anything at all, but as we place our trust in our Heavenly Father, we can have comfort and peace in knowing that the things he asks are for our benefit, and we eventually will know of the reasoning behind them.

For unto some it IS given to know the mysteries of God. That’s the beauty of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The mysteries of God aren’t so mysterious to us as we live them.

Anyways, that’s my schpiel today. And make no mistake, these are not my opinion but facts. Cold, hard facts. Or, I suppose in Heavenly Father’s case, Warm, fuzzy facts. Because He does love us. And now He wants me to show and tell that love to everyone. And not just me, but EVERYONE. Who are we to deny someone of that knowledge and of that joy?

Well everybody, I’ve appreciated the outpouring of letters from you. I hope you all know that each and every one is read and appreciated, and I’m sorry I can’t always respond to all of them. To those I’m unable to get to, though, just know that you are loved and appreciated. It’s those letters that keep me going sometimes. They always provide a boost at the end of a bad or even a good day, no matter where they come from.

I thank everyone for their support. Know that you’re in my thoughts, and I feel privileged to have such a wealth of friends and family rallied behind me.

-Elder Rushton

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