When Will Austin Be Home?

  • Austin left on his mission:
    9 years, 3 months, 7 days, 3 hours, 24 minutes, 7 seconds ago

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Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere!

Elder Austin Rushton Medford, Oregon Temple

Elder Austin Rushton at Medford, Oregon Temple

There is a lesson that is of the utmost value every missionary who wishes to find joy in the work must learn. It is that the work that counts most is the work recognized by God alone. It is personal repentance and growth, saying hi to people you know when you’d rather just get in and out of the store and go do something fun, and perhaps taking time to buy a treat for the children of the families you teach. It is making sure to have a connection with every member of the ward you’re serving in, regardless of if you click well with them or not. It is choosing to be nice to everyone, even when you feel otherwise.

That being said, sometimes its easy to imagine that no one sees our sacrifice. Our suffering. How can we possibly reach out when we are not being reached out to? How can we take care of someone else and ourselves at the same time?

The simple answer? Don’t worry about it.

Jesus Christ watches over us. All of us. You and your friends and family included. He is able to take care of everything. In fact, He IS taking care of all of it in His own way, which is perfect by the way. The only real question is whether we believe in Him or not. Do we believe He’s there? Do we believe He has all power? Do we believe He will use that power to bring about ultimate good? I hope we’re all able to answer yes, yes, and yes, because that is the God I know.

We are taken care of. Our friends and family are too. The whole world is. All things will be “restored to their proper and perfect frame”, and things will turn out perfectly. We just have to decide if we believe that or not, and that choice we make determines whether we will be happy or miserable. Personally, I choose to trust the Lord.

We had some great things happen this week. We taught a spectacular number of lessons for this small area. We also discovered a bunch of new people willing to let us teach them. But let me again stress that this is not what is important. What is important is that most weeks we DONT see such results. What is important is that, even though we don’t usually see these results, we keep trying. We don’t let depression take over, and we don’t quit. Just staying out on a mission is really the basis of accomplishment; learning that the Lord is pleased with all our efforts to do good is the foundation for happiness. And, of course, the Lord rewards in kind, whether now or later.

So let me tell about some of the miracles now.

First of all, something small. There was rain. And snow. All of Modoc County is in a severe drought right now, and it was much needed.

Secondly, we got to meet one of the nicest people out in the country. She is a Seventh-day Adventist, but she still talked to us while she gathered eggs from her chickens. I got to speak to her awhile while her seven-year-old daughter played soccer with my companion, Elder Campbell. It was a very positive experience, and we’ll be going back there in a week or so.

I’ll mention another less-active member we meet with on occasion. He’s not totally capable of understanding all we teach, so often we’ll just joke around with him a little and talk awhile before we give a brief spiritual message. He lives alone, so I always imagined that maybe in some way our visits at least helped him socially. That was confirmed, though, last time. He said a prayer for us this before we left, though, and said, “Thank you for the Elders. I wish that they could stay longer.” It was like God’s pat on the back for taking time we could have spent elsewhere on someone who really needed us.

Anyways, I hope all my friends and family back home can experience the same joys I have in the small day-to-day things. I never get tired of the little miracles like the sun rising, the flowers blooming, or a breeze on a hot day. And the miracle, of course, that just visiting someone and talking awhile can make a world of difference.

Love all of you. Thank you all for being the essential parts of my life. I don’t know what I’d do without you! (Probably nothing!)
Elder Rushton—Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1 comment to Numbers, Numbers, Everywhere!

  • LeAnn Rushton

    Hi! I read your letter to Uncle Darrel while we were talking tonight. He was as impressed with it as I was! Your letter was one of the best missionary letters that I have read! You have grown so much during your mission! Thank you for all that you do and for your testimony about your missionary life!
    God bless you always! We dearly love you and all that you do!
    Uncle Darrel and Aunt LeAnn

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