When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    4 years, 2 months, 1 day, 7 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds ago

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Weekly Rhythms

Elder Austin Rushton Eugene, Oregon

Elder Austin Rushton wearing glasses and his best smile!

Hello friends and family,

There is a truth I want to highlight in this letter: Sometimes you can guess how a week is going to go from day one.

On Tuesday, the first full proselyting day of the week, we had four lessons planned and scheduled in. All but one canceled the very same day. I told my companion at the end of the day that this was going to be “one of those weeks”.

Oddly enough, with that recognition and premonition at the head of the week, as the rest of it progressed it wasn’t too difficult to deal with. We actually started counting on certain appointments falling through, so we made some legitimate backups and scheduled lessons accordingly. When the days would arrive, all the ones we thought might fall through did, but we were prepared! Overall we probably had ten lessons cancel on us, and several others we normally can count on not even schedule anything. But we still managed to squeeze twelve decent discussions out of the week.

Some weeks are like that. They used to get me down, but now I think I’ve finally experienced enough of them to know when one is coming. The best thing to do is just take them with as much humor and laughter as possible.

The woman we’ve been teaching who is on track for baptism is getting closer every time we see her. She’s already almost halfway through 1 Nephi, has committed to live the law of tithing and the Word of Wisdom, and is down to just two cups of coffee per day. She’s also coming to church regularly. I think it really does take this type of person with this level of preparedness to become a fully-active member of the church. I have seen others get baptized without this level of enthusiasm who just drop right off the map. But the two baptisms I’ve had and likely this third have all had the same characteristics. THEY were seeking the truth, it was a high priority for them, and when they found it, I doubt if anything could have shaken them from it. All I really have been for any of them is a resource–a stepping stone in their searches for truth–and I’m just fine with that. It is THEIR salvation, after all. I’m glad when they take ownership of it.

One small miracle I saw this week came in the form of a lost phone. We called a man we’ve been trying to meet with for awhile now, and someone else picked up and told us he had found the phone lying in the street and was waiting for someone to call so he could return it to its owner. He gave us his address, so we went over, picked the phone up, and brought it to the man we were trying to contact. He let us in, and we taught a lesson. But those sorts of things are commonplace on a mission…

Another cool thing that’s been going on is that we’ve been taking a less-active member of the church out on splits with us when we need a third man. And he’s been loving it! Every time he tells us how much he enjoys it, and that he hasn’t really gotten the chance to do this since he joined the church. What’s more, he and his family came to church last Sunday and his son brought a nonmember friend. Blessings, blessings everywhere…

We also got the kids in a less-active/part-member family to church again. The mother would have come but said she was sick with a migraine. The nonmember boy, a ten-year-old, came for the first time, though, and sat next to me during sacrament meeting. He has ADHD (and a lot of other mental issues), so he kept asking how much time was left. I kept telling him sacrament meeting was kind of boring sometimes, but it would be over soon. Unfortunately he started having a psychological breakdown in Primary (he said there were too many people), so Elder Thomas and I waited with him outside while his mother came to get him. While we waited, though, we showed him a video on Jesus being baptized (subliminal messaging?). It was at least some good bonding time.

Finally, I suppose I’ll mention that sacrament meeting this week was held in the cultural hall. I guess that a church in Wisconsin of the same architectural build had its sound system collapse in the chapel, so until the engineers OK’d ours, we couldn’t go in. It was really different to have church without an organ or an elevated pulpit. I imagine that must have been what it was like back in the olden days.

Well everybody, I hope you enjoyed this letter. Maybe it even made one of your days…but anyways, keep the faith, do the work, and be good! Elder Rushton – Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

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