When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    4 years, 5 months, 27 days, 16 hours, 11 minutes, 35 seconds ago

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Genesis: Santa Clara 6th

Santa Clara, Oregon

Austin is now in Santa Clara, Oregon

So I’m here now in Santa Clara 6th, and it’s a pretty decent area and all but…well, let me put it this way. We got one lesson to an investigator last week. Yes, one lesson. That is by far the absolute slowest week I have ever experienced ever.

It’s hard to say what the issue is. Perhaps it’s the fact that we only have about four or five investigators, and of those only one is partially progressing. This is not what I was expecting at all from this area–especially after President Young told me the zone averages 23 lessons–but I have faith that Elder Sanders and I can rescue it.

Elder Sanders is the district leader here, and this is his fourth transfer in this area. He’s basically ancient here, and we’re already predicting that he’ll probably be leaving after this transfer and handing the area over to me. So we’ve already begun taking the steps necessary to get this area really going.

I dug out a paper President Young gave all the new missionaries when I first arrived. It explained the principles of “Real Growth”, essentially stating all of the stuff that should be happening in an area for Real Growth the occur. As I read through it, I compared it to my experience in Brookings and now here. On both occasions, the principles of Real Growth were not being implemented, and so my focus shifted to maintenance with the ward. In Brookings, that came naturally to me, but here in Santa Clara, I really needed to read that paper to understand what exactly I can do here.

Santa Clara 6th is a wealthier area than Brookings, and wealthier than back home as well. It’s an entirely different culture to me, and I’m desperately trying to connect with the people here. It’s coming, but it’s definitely a slow process.

This also used to be the Assistants to the Presidents’ area a few transfers ago, so the Ward here I don’t think is totally used to having us ever-present yet. We will soon be fixing that.

Sometimes I worry about how little I can actually affect as a missionary. I mean, I know I represent the Savior, but I really only have stewardship over investigators. So trying to help out the ward is a mountainous task, especially when I really cannot be the driving force behind it. All I can do is show my willingness to help out and hope they give me some work to do.

Regardless, I love the area, love the people, and am confident that, somehow, my workload will increase here. I get so bored not having anything scheduled!

Love you all, talk to you all again in a week.

-Elder Rushton

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