When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    5 years, 9 months, 0 days, 7 hours, 33 minutes, 33 seconds ago

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Elder Rushton and the Half Week Baptisms‏–Aug 19, 2013

Austin with his MTC Group

Austin with his MTC group pointing to their missions.

See what I did there? I copied a book title. Pretty clever, right? Okay maybe not but that’s not what this is about.

We spent the first half of this week away from Brookings. We only came back late wednesday night and we left monday afternoon! All of tuesday, Elder Argyle had to go to some leadership meeting in Eugene, so I got left in Reedsport with Elder Spicer, who was brand new to the area. Luckily, we had a service project set up for us so we spent about six hours helping build what’s called a Pole Barn. It was kind of scary balancing on a plank seven feet in the air while trying to handle a power drill…but hey, that’s just good experience for the future, right? Anyways, we spent the rest of the day tracting until Argyle came back to pick me up to go back to Northbend.

Wednesday, we spent the entire day in Northbend with our Zone Leaders, Elders McBride and Gosar. We went on splits with them, and so McBride and I just tracted around for a couple hours while Gosar and Argyle taught a lesson. Then Stake Correlation, then finally the two hour drive back to Brookings.

Point? We were halfway through the week by the time we got back and we had ZERO numbers. Also, we’re about 200 miles over our allotted 900 for the month already. It’s pretty silly, I don’t think they understand how far out we are from everything.

So we got last investigator on date for baptism. We showed up to his house and found out he had pushed his back too hard too soon and hurt himself again. He was able to get up and get over to a chair though, and we were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation. It’s pretty crazy how his lessons go, though. They’re all different, but usually the only thing we have to do is present the information and then he’s able to connect everything he’s found on his own to what we present him with. The whole process takes about two hours though, because he not only has to tell us what he’s come to find for himself, but also the story of HOW. Still, what we’ve come to realize is that he did not start on this path when we met him. He is living proof that the Lord is preparing His people. Everything he has ever observed about our faith has appealed to him. That allowed him to listen to us. Through us showing the charity he’s observed of our faith towards him, he came to trust us with some of his most personal experiences: experiences that he knows others would call him crazy for. As we were able to relate these stories he would tell us to things within the Book of Mormon, he came to a knowledge of its truth, and now he’s on the road to baptism and beyond. And why? Not even so much because of our teachings, but because of the love he’s felt, and the trust he’s confided in us. He even told us that, in the past, a pastor had told him in church that he was scaring people, and that made him apprehensive to come to a church. He told us, also, that even though he had a “dirty house” and a “smelly dog” and even though he was a little off-kilter, he realized that we were still nice to him. I can’t stress enough how important that is. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it needs to be extended to EVERYONE.

Now I could talk about other lessons we taught this week, or other fun times we had, but I think I’d rather say this. The full-time mission is just a calling like any other really. Each and every one of us is not a missionary every day, but we all do missionary work. Consider this, when a Bishop is called, certain keys and responsibilities become his. Only he holds them. BUT, does that make him solely responsible for the maintenance and smooth operation of the ward? No, each and every member assists him in this calling, and he delegates out some responsibilities to leaders and other assistants. So it should be with any calling, including missionary work. We’re not asking a lot, simply that members sustain us in our callings as they do others. Missionary work is not a habit, though, and it’s definitely not passive. It’s not something we can do in our spare time. It is simply being willing to actively seek to contribute to Christ’s missionary effort. He has asked us to reach out, not to wait upon others to come to us. He has exhorted us to follow him in this way.

I can’t preach to people, it’s true. I can’t even say I’m normal, and I definitely have a unique calling that most members don’t hold. That being said, there are few things that can compare to rewards of bringing people to this gospel: of bringing them to Christ. It truly is the “hardest thing I’ve ever loved to do”.

-Elder Rushton


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