When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    5 years, 0 months, 27 days, 4 hours, 3 minutes, 4 seconds ago

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The Second Week Transition

Elder Austin Rushton selfie

Elder Austin Rushton takes a selfie.

Usually, in the first week of a transfer after having received a new companion, missionaries tend to actually have a lot of success. Everyone is determined to start off the transfer right. However, while the first week of a transfer is usually an above average week, the second week is almost always a BELOW average week. There are a number of contributing factors, but generally this is the case throughout the mission, and this week was no exception.

As a district leader, I not only get to see it in my own area, but everyone else’s as well. Last night, when I called to touch base with everyone, people were exhausted with little or nothing to show for their efforts. Consistently, and that includes from myself as well, I heard the same story: appointments with people from last week didn’t pan out this week. It’s funny how that happens, but that is, again, almost always the case in a second week.

Elder Johanson and I did still have a decent week, though. A big highlight was having a couple of our investigators say, “I want to be baptized,” and/or, “I want to become a Mormon.” Obviously these people have a couple things to correct (an unmarried couple living together, word of wisdom issues, coming to church, etc.) before they can fulfill those desires, but where there is a will; there is most definitely a way. It looks like I’ll hopefully get to keep my streak going of at least one baptism per area going here!

This week we got to do some more service for people. I love doing service because it’s so easy to look back on what you’ve accomplished, pat yourself on the back, and say, “Job well done!” We got to team up with 10-14 other missionaries for one project that included clearing big blackberry bushes out of a backyard that was around 60% overrun with them. We worked at that project for around three hours. There was a shortage of tools at first, too, so I used a pickaxe to cut branches and dig up roots for probably two of those hours. It was especially funny, though, to see Elder Johanson go at the bushes with a machete. After the project was done, I had small cuts everywhere and my back was a little sore, but the woman we performed the service for (a nonmember) was so grateful she bought us a bunch of pizzas and started talking religion with one of our zone leaders. Mission accomplished!

Elder Johanson and I also got to do some more painting this week! I am going to be a master of paint by the end of my mission! But here’s the unique thing about this one: it was for another church! I got to paint a room inside their church. We got hooked up with it through the youth pastor we meet with occasionally. He was redoing the “high school room”, so we offered to help and he accepted it. We had a few people walk in while we were doing it and go, “Wow, thanks you guys! This is really nice of you!” Missionary work at its finest, if I say so myself!

The last thing I’ll plug into this letter is that I got to teach a section of Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) on Friday morning. They asked me the night before if I would teach for 10-15 minutes on “Exact Obedience”. So obviously I said yes and had about 14 hours before I had to teach it. I honestly didn’t know even how to teach it at first because obviously I am not perfectly obedient on everything. Then I remembered that no one else is perfect either, so I talked all about what the word “exact” meant (for those of you who are wondering, when we use it in the context of “exact obedience”, we are not expecting perfection right away, nor are we asking missionaries to be perfect immediately, but we are asking that they keep themselves WORTHY; that they continually strive to be perfect and not become frustrated or impatient when they make a mistake). It went over well, though, and I had lots of people tell me it was their favorite part of ZTM.

So that was my week. It’s been fun and stressful, but I’m still chugging!

Elder Rushton – Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints


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