Love you! You met Elder Hirschi's mom!? Haha that's awesome. I love him. We were in the same district when I was in Daytona. Thanks for the package! It was yummy. And the books will be cool. For Christmas I'll probably call around 11 am your time.
So this week was great! We set 4 new dates. One with our investigator Cristal. The other with a family of 5 (three baptism age). Our baptism with Ruby fell through last minute because she got in a fight with her mom and her mom said she couldn't get baptized. We are working on that. This weekend we should have a baptism though with a part-member 9 year old named AJ Baker. We have so many investigators right now. It is hard to keep track of them but the Spirit is doing His job while we aren't there. We had an amazinggg lesson with the Kvitkauskas family (4) on Saturday. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation briefly and then watched "Together Forever". The Spirit was so strong. They were crying, because their family is having some problems. But the mom is living the Word of Wisdon and they are working on fixing the family. They really appreciate what we have tried to do for them. They are a blessing to us. We love them. We were expecting 9-12 people on Sunday and almost EVERYTHING fell through the morning of. Brother Kvitkauskas was our one ray of hope. It was so good to see him walk into the Chapel; a big relief. Things are great though. So great. Love you! Have a great week!
A Short Testimony of the Atonement:
Words won't do justice to my testimony of the Savior. He is everything to me. In this world things are temporary, but because of Him, the important things can be eternal. He dealt with the worst so that we could all achieve the most. Throughout the mission, my testimony of the Atonement has grown mostly through seeing it work through other people. But at the same time, Jesus Christ has done so much for me while I've been here in Florida as well. I still have a long way to go, but as I've been here I have learned how to be a disciple of Christ. I know what it takes: you give Him your heart. If He has that, He can mold you and shape you into what He knows you need to be. I LOVE HIM. I know I understand very little of the Atonement, but of what I do understand...I know it's true! I am so humbled to be a missionary, serving the people that He suffered for in the Garden and on the Cross. And not only that, but the people that He lived EVERY day of His life perfectly for. I can't express enough of my devotion or love for Jesus Christ and what He went through for me. I don't know how he did it...but I know he did it! And I am grateful.
You are on a cruise. I bet that is nice. Soaking up the sun.
This week was awesomeee. We set 5 new baptismal dates. One with AJ Baker for the 24th. He is the son of a recent convert that got baptized over a year ago with her 3 daughters. AJ was 7 when they all got baptized. But now he is 8. And he is turning 9 on the 24th, the same day as his baptism. What a perfect way to celebrate Christmas! It's going to be a white Christmas! Then the other four is the Kvitkauskas family for the 31st. They are so great! A family. That is what the gospel is about. We are excited to work with them. Sister Old dropped her date because she needs a little more time to live the word of wisdom. She is trying so hard. The adversary is a tricky little dude. He uses that junk to keep people from receiving the REAL blessings of keeping the commandments. Sister Old has such strong faith and she will get there soon enough. Brother Old came to church again. We have been teaching both of them so we will see what happens. Another girl that we are teaching named Crystal came to church too. We are going to see if she will accept a baptismal date when we teach her tonight. RUBY is getting baptized on Saturday! Right before the ward Christmas party, so hopefully a lot of people will come. She has really strong faith. She told us a story from when she was competing for acting two weeks ago. She felt like she messed up and got really bummed and started to want to just give up everything, including the church. But she recognized that that was the adversary and wasn't going to take it from him. She remembered the great spiritual experiences she has had since she started learning about the restored gospel, so she sat down and popped open the Book of Mormon. Dun-dun-dunnnnnn! God prevailed. It made her feel a lot better and her attitude instantly changed. Awesome stuff. The Spirit is real.
What else...I don't know. Things here are just on fire. Miracles happen every day. Things are going to keep going up. I love you both! Life is great. I can't believe it's almost Christmas haha. Have a great week!
I didn't know that you were going a cruise this week! That will be fun. I got the Books of Mormon with the primary kids' testimonies in them. They are awesome! I think we have already given them all out haha. We showed everyone and gave a little background about what the primary kids did and everyone we gave them to loved it. Sharing the gospel! Good job primary kids!
I haven't gotten my driver's license yet but I should be doing it soon. I tried once a few weeks ago but I needed proof of residence in FL (like a water bill or something).
Mom, good job sharing your testimony in Sacrament meeting. That is great! I shared mine too :) Love it. Every time you share your testimony it grows! Funny how it works.
This week was amazing, as always. The Spirit helped us so much this week. There were many instances where we felt prompted to talk to certain people on the street and we ended up teaching them. I've learned that even if you think a prompting is just something you thought of in your mind...FOLLOW IT! It doesn't matter. As I've applied that in my missionary work I've realized how much it really isn't "just you". It truly is the Spirit. And if it's not...the Spirit will teach you after the fact and you will learn how to better recognize His promptings. It's a win-win situation.
The Lord is blessing our investigators a lot right now. One He is helping to quit smoking. The other He is giving strength to resist the temptations of the adversary through her mother. The others He is helping overcome heartache that has been caused in their family because of unrighteous decisions. And while He is doing all that...He still has time to lead and guide Elder Dawson and me to continue to find more people who are searching for the truth. I don't know how He does it, but He does!
Sister Old and her husband came to church this week. Ruby came. And the Kvitkauskas family came (I don't know if I told you about them but it is Patti and her husband and two daughters). 7 people! It was great! Please pray for these people. They need prayers. We also set a baptism date with our new friend Sam yesterday night for the 31st of December. We will end up handing him off to the Buena Vista Sisters though because he is 21 and it will be better for him in the YSA ward. Things here are moving! I love the Winter Garden ward a lot. The members and leadership are awesome! Last night we went to this thing called the Festival of the Nativity at the stake center across from the Orlando Temple. They featured nativity sets from all over the world. It was really cool. And then after that we watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional. Patti and her two daughters came. Good times. Well I hope everything is going great for you in Utah. I love you and hope you have fun on your cruise! Talk to you next week :)
Thanks for the great emails! Sounds like you had a week full of thanksgiving and family. That's wonderful. Our Thanksgiving lasted about an hour and a half :) it was perfect. We went over to a family's house named the Spurgeons and ate with them and their non-member neighbor. It was delicious and a good time. We were taken care of, don't worry haha. But then we went right back out and got our work on. Holidays on the mission are super weird haha. It's not even a holiday. It's just another day of missionary work. Love it.
We had a great week though. Fullllllll of miracles. Sister Old accepted a date for the December 17th and is working towards that, trying to get over a few roadblocks but she's is doing great! Very sincere and willing to follow Christ.
We met with Ruby again on Wednesday and it was the most amazing lesson ever. The member family that was supposed to have her over at their house cancelled last minute, so we had to call another family to see if they could help us out. They accepted and we were SO thankful for that. We ended up teaching Ruby about the restoration of the gospel. During the lesson things were a little hectic. People were getting up and sitting down, texting, the dog was moving around, and other things were going on. The Spirit just wasn't there like it needed to be. So we finally got to Joseph Smith and popped in the Restoration DVD. It was perrrfect! Because it provided an environment where everyone present could focus and feel. After the video, we asked Ruby how she felt and the Spirit swarmed the room. She said things like "I've never felt this before! What is this!?" and "My chest feels tight!" and "I feel different, but joyful!" and "I feel light!" She went on and on about how amazing she felt. We invited her to be baptized and she willingly accepted. She said "I know this is what I need to do." It was a miracle! We've taught her a few times since and she is on track for the 17th of December. She and Sister Old both came to church and loved it!
We also met this family that is going through a rough time together. We are trying to help them work things out through the gospel. The father's stepmother was a member of the church and his father's funeral was at the local chapel. They have two teenage daughters also. We will be teaching them more this week. Good stuff.
Other than that we are just working our tails off trying to sow while we reap. The Lord has blessed us a ton since we've been here and we don't want to slow down because of that. The Winter Garden ward has only had 2 baptisms this whole year. Compare that to a few years ago when they had about 30 baptisms in one year. There is so much potential here. It's a great ward! The ward and the missionary efforts just need to be united and things will blow up.
I'm so stoked to be here you have no idea. And being a district leader again is so fun! We've had some spiritual district meetings so far. It's great. So yeahhh. But Sterling Stolle! At RiteAid! I lived with him when I first came out. I thought he looked familiar and then we both found out that he worked at the Orem RiteAid and I had gotten prescriptions from him before hahaha. It was crazy. But when you see him, tell him I say I love him!
Oh yeah and the thing with Uncle Larry won't work out. Sorry. You shouldn't even try haha. All those cities are out of the mission and there is no way that is happening haha. It would be cool though. I'll have plenty of opportunities to do stuff like that after the mission :) I LOVE YOU BOTH! Have a great week!
p.s. The pictures still aren't working. You'll have to suffer a little longer ;)
Everything is great. My new companion's name is Elder Dawson. He is from Plainfield, IL. He is a boss hogg outlaw missionary. Love him. He has such a sincere desire to share to gospel and help other people accept it. He is the man. Our new area is good. It has some ghetto parts and some rich parts. We saw miracles this week. We worked out little tails off.
Our first day we met this guy named Jose, who lives in our apt complex. We set up an appointment for the next day. We went by and he asked us how he could know God was really there. He believed he was but he just didn't know. We read a little out of Alma 32 and the Spirit was so strong. We invited him to be baptized on December 10th and he accepted, willingly. The next day we texted him to see how he was doing. He texted back and said that he wanted to stop our meetings because it wasn't the right time. We think his family was involved in that...so we were a little bummed but it didn't stop us.
That same day we went out and saw this lady named Kathy getting out of her van with two young kids. We stopped and talked to her a little and asked if she had 20 minutes that we could share something with her. She accepted and we sat out on her front lawn. We found out that she is married, has 5 kids, AND has a car! What more could we ask for? So we taught her about the restoration of the gospel and invited her to be baptized on December 17th. She accepted and cried after she said the closing prayer. Sunday came along and we went by her house before church to double check and make sure she was coming. She answered the door and said they were getting ready to come. We were so excited! Then she texted us 20 minutes before church started and said that she and her husband "changed their minds about coming to [our] church" and to "not come by [their] house anymore." It was another kick in the face but we didn't let it get us down. We just kept moving forward.
A non-member daughter (49 years old) of a less-active woman that we met earlier in the week came to church though! We were very happy about that. We are meeting with her tonight with one of the sisters in the ward that knows her. We will see where it goes. Then last night we found this wayyy cool girl named Ruby who is a senior in high school who says that she always feels judged at church and never has friends. So we set a dinner up with a family in the ward that has two daughters around her age that she can be friends with on Tuesday. It will be great.
Church was good. The ward is nice. We have been praying for them a lot to get more stoked on missionary work. Please say a prayer for the members and the Bishoprick. On Saturday we went back to Buena Vista for Gabriella's baptism. She asked me to baptize her. I was so excited :) I love her. She is going to be the best member in the world. Pharrell.
So yeah, I'm a district leader now and the district is awesome. We had district meeting this last week and set some goals as companionships for baptisms this transfer. Good stuff.
I'm sorry to hear about Mike Aiken and Grant's father. The news of the gospel is great though. They are happy. Send my love to the Heaton family. I am very grateful for Mike and all the letters he sent me. I was really really really really really looking forward to thanking him personally for all the thoughtful letters he sent me on how I could improve as a missionary. Now I will have to wait a little while but I hope Aunt Emily and all of her family knows how much I love and appreciate Mike and all that he did for me. It really meant a lot to me. Just to have someone, besides the two of you, who wrote on a consistent basis.
My address is 180 Windtree Lane, Winter Garden, FL and I don't know the zip. For Christmas...I really don't need anything. If I could ask you to do one thing it would be to go make someone who is less fortunate happy. Not even in a big, extravagant way. Just something simple that will help someone to feel the love of our Heavenly Father.
I love you both so much and am so thankful that you are my parents. I am such a baby. I feel like I cry about everything now hahaha. I cry during hymns, during testimonies, during baptisms, everything hahaha. It's crazy. But I really love you a lot. I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. And please give my love to all of the family and friends that you see. Talk to you next week!
p.s. This computer isn't letting me attach pictures for some reason. Sorry!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
When we met with President on Saturday after I emailed you, he said he knew exactly what needed to happen with transfers. There were some pieces missing and he received some revelation at the mission president's seminar he had been attending. They were talking about Assistants and they said that the best thing to do for an Assistant is to send them back out into the field to train their last 2 transfers. So he told me I'm going to whitewash an area
(clarification: That means that ALL the missionaries from that area will be transfrered out and the area will be "reset" starting from scratch)
and train a new missionary haha! I'm stokeddd. Back on the grind. Biking and sweating and all that :) I'll be in the Winter Garden ward and my preparation days will go back to Mondays now. Crazayyy change. I feel like you told me a long time ago that one of your friends or associates or something was in the Winter Garden ward. Or maybe it was the Winter Park ward. I don't remember. Anyway...we're going to pick up the missionaries at the airport in a few hours and then tomorrow I will find out who my companion will be. I'm going to miss the Buena Vista ward a lot but I know that the Lord has a purpose for this change. I know that this is how I need to finish my mission. There are things I need to do in Winter Garden.
So sounds like things are great back home. I can't imagine the snow and cold weather there...it's perfect here :) it was actually pretty chilly last night though. We spent last night at the bus stop with Cindy contacting people for about an hour and a half. It was so fun. She gave out a BOM! She was so happy. It was great. I love the members in the ward. I think I say that every email...but they are the best. Really missionary minded.
Nick is in the MTC!? Laura Sudweeks is going on a mission to Italy!? What is this! I am SO happy for them. I didn't know that Laura was going on a mission. Could you get me her address by next Saturday? I would love to write and congratulate her. I'm also really happy that you were able to spend some time with Ty. I love that guy. He's probably dazed out of his mind being back in Provo haha.
So this week was wonderful. Week 6 of the transfer. Each transfer goes by so fast. Ugh. We went on two exchanges this week. One on Tuesday with the Cocoa ZLs and one on Thursday with the Orlando South ZLs. I am so thankful for all the good friends that I have made out here. We have the best missionaries in the world here! Literally. We also did a lot with Transfers. A lot of things happened last minute that have changed some things. We are meeting with President one last time (most likely) later today to finalize it all. I love being involved with transfers. I have gained a very strong testimony of companions, areas, and leadership responsibilities all being for a reason. It's amazing how Heavenly Father does it. I know without a doubt that every companionship in the mission is together for a reason, because the Holy Ghost confirms it as we discuss and pray about transfers. It helps me to know that each area I've been in, each companion I've had, and each leadership position I've held has been divinely appointed. LOVE IT!
This week we mostly taught members. We are trying to get them all pumped up again so they can continue with their missionary work before they leave in the beginning of January to go back to school.
Gabriella is doing AMAZING! She has such a strong testimony. She has had some struggles with her family accepting her decision this week but each time has come from it knowing that she is supposed to learn something. She will be getting baptized this next weekend! She is solid! Carlie is back home in Washington right now for a couple more days. She needs some prayer. Her family isn't very supportive of her decision. She is still trying to find out what to do. Kristen was supposed to get baptized today...she hasn't texted or called us back for the past week. So her baptism fell through. We're not really sure what happened. Something did though. Either with her family or friends or something. Not sure. We have been praying so hard and so much for her and so that we can contact her. Hopefully this week we can see her...Right now we are in the process of trying to find more people to teach! It's a little rough but it will pick back up soon. The Lord has blessed us so much recently. We have absolutely no complaints! Our patience is being built. Two scriptures I've read recently come to mind:
Hebrews 12:1-2 1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. James 1:2-4 (JST) 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions;
3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. I love how James' reading says "let patience have her PERFECT WORK". Every trial of faith we go through is for a perfect reason because it was set forth by a perfect Being. Remember that when you go through your next trying time :)
I love you both! Hope you have the best week everrrrrrRrRrRrr!
p.s. How are things going with the food storage stuff?
Another great week in the FOM. Very busy. We had Zone Conference on Monday and Tuesday. Elder Larry W. Gibbons of the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy came to the mission and taught at each one. It was un...realllll. He taught us so many important things. A lot of it had to do with "real growth" in the Church. Basically retention stuff. As well as a lot of things about member work and working with wards and stakes. Good stuff. Elder Gregson and I also did some teaching and role plays on member work.
On Monday night Elder Gregson and I had the opportunity to go over to the mission home and talk about a few things with President and Sister Hall and Elder and Sister Gibbons about how we could make the next day even better. We also both had a private interview with Elder Gibbons. It was AWESOME! He asked me some things about the mission and other stuff. But at the end I got to ask him a few questions. He had some great advice about things that had been somewhat on my mind lately. It was an amazing opportunity.
Wednesday was a miracle day! Here's a story for you: We had an appointment with Carlie on Wednesday. She was originally supposed to get baptized today, but we had some feelings that we needed to move it back a week so she could meet the Bishop and just feel more comfortable and confident in her decision. So we call her before our appointment and she explains to us that her friend Gabriella will be there with her as well. So we were thinking "Great! The more, the merrier." So we go to teach them at the pavilion and this is what goes down (give or take a few words):
Elders: Hey! How's it going? We are Elder Engemann and Elder Gregson. Gabriella: Hi! My name is Gabriella. Elders: So where are you from? Gabriella: I am from Washington. Carlie and I used to hang out back in Washington; we were roommates. I used to meet with missionaries too! Elders: No wayyy! That's great! (double high fives) Gabriella: Yeah, I've waited for this for a long time. Now there is nothing holding me back. Things used to always get in the way of this but now is the right time.
Our jaws practically dropped. It was pretty much the first thing she said to us. The Lord has been preparing her for this for a longgg time. All her friends when she was growing up were members. She used to go to church, seminary, FHE, everything. So we talked for a while and ended up setting a baptism date with both Carlie and Gabriella for next Saturday (we later found out that Carlie would be out of town next weekend so it will be on the 19th). The Spirit was strong. They both have amazing backgrounds and stories. Pretty similar too. Please pray for Carlie and her family. She needs it right now. Pray for both of them. They are so amazing and ready for this. And the Lord, in His tender mercy, provided a way that they can both be here on the College Program to accept it together. Then after the pow wow, we invited them to go on a Temple tour that night. Carlie could go, but Gabriella had to go to work. She really wanted to go, and in the closing prayer she asked God to provide a way for her to be able to go. She called her manager, who never lets people off, and he said she could have the night off. WHATTT...miracles. So they both came, along with tons of other people from the ward, and loved it. So great. Thursday we had ZLC. Talked about a lot of good things.
Friday we went on another Temple tour with Dave and some peeps from the ward. Temple tours are great. So that was our week. Good times. Kristen will be getting baptized next weekend. She was out of town this week for a funeral but is here again and we are excited to meet with her. She is awesome. Please pray for her.
In response to some of the things you said to me in the email: 1. Yes, I did lose some friends from the Stuart move. But I'll see them soon, most likely. 2. Dad, you were correct. I was right next to Sister Parker when she was on the phone with you about my Social Security card/Birth Certificate hahaha. 3. I don't know if I'll finish as AP. You really never know haha. But Elder Gregson and I will stay together another transfer. Four transfers with the same companion. Doesn't happen too often. Stoked. My guess is that after this next transfer Elder Gregson will go back to Spanish work (which he is dying to do hahaha) and I will finish off my last transfer with someone else. I don't know...but the Lord does :) 4. Tell Ty and Brett that I LOVE THEM! And any of my other friends you see.
So thank you for all of your prayers for our investigators and us. I know it helps. Prayer changes things. The weather here is cool. And so is missionary work. Love you both! Tons and tons! Have a wonderful week :)
p.s. Brother and Sister Gregson, if you read this...I love you. And your son is a savage missionary!
The Lord is pouring out blessings from above. Like...pharrelllllllllll. I love the ward. I love the area. I love the people in the college program. I love my companion. I love Florida. I love the Florida Orlando Mission, including all the Elders and Sisters in it. I love recent converts. I love Jesus. I love life. I love YOU! I love a lot more things too.
Speaking of loving you...Happy 26 year anniversary this week! WOWWW...it's like you love each other or something...
So crazy news: The entire Stuart stake (aka the Stuart zone), including all of the missionaries in it, was just moved into the Ft. Lauderdale mission due to the Temple districts changing. Huge change for the mission. We lost 22 soldiers. But they will do great things in the Ft. Lauderdale mission. And our mission will be blessed for it as well. All things happen for a reason and the Lord has His divine purposes. I trust Him ;)
We had a great week. Steve got baptized today! It was an amazinggg baptismal service. Everything went perfect! One of the best things about baptizing guys is that you can give them a GIANT bear hug after the service. I love that. We have Carlie set up to be baptized next Saturday and then Kristen for the next. Carlie could possibly be moved to the 12th as well. We'll see. But Heavenly Father is hooking us up. We are so thankful and humbled with all the success. The ward is on fire. Sharing the Gospel so hard. They are the best missionaries ever. Everything is just awesome.
We had a lesson with April a few days ago. She basically said that she didn't want to get baptized. But she said that she hadn't received an answer if the Book of Mormon was true or not. So we set up a plan to accomplish that by Sunday. Please pray for her to receive an answer.
So yesterday we were doing a little weekly planning and we realized we needed to help some people get serious about this (due to the fact that it had been a long time since we had met with some people) or find new people to teach. Then Heavenly Father just filled our night with miracles. We had 6 amazing people to teach. We had a lesson with a girl named Faith that went amazing. We had a lesson with Kristen and she is so ready. Then at the end her roommate walked in and she is now coming to church tomorrow. We had a lesson with Angie and Nozomi again. And we had a lesson with Arden and her husband Chris. It was like in one night the Lord brought us back to where we needed to be. So great. Please say a prayer for all of the people that I have talked about in this email. Just one mighty prayer will do ;) Things are just amazing. I've said amazing like a thousand times.
I love you! Have a great week!
p.s. Will you please stop the auto-ship on the Xocai protein. I will have enough to last me the rest of the mission. Thank you!
p.p.s. The songs you recorded are GREAT! So good I'm going to burn them to a disc! Love you!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
1. Brett is home! When you see him, please give him a bear hug and tell him that I love him.
2. Thank you for praying about the whole issue of my release date. It is much appreciated and I agree with you :)
3. For me to get a FL driver's license I will need my original birth certificate and my social security card. That is somewhat of a hassle but "come what may and love it!" right? So if you could somehow get that to me quickly I would appreciate it. Thanks!
Alright, now for the good stuff. This week was full of greatness! We went on two exchanges. One to Daytona, where I saw Grandpa and a few of the people that I knew up there. Then the other in Orlando, where we worked with Elder Bennett and Elder Hyde. Good times. We were able to set two new dates for November 5th with girls named Carlie and Kristen. They are awesome! Both reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church! They are friends with a member from Provo named Jolene. We have taught them a few times now.
There is a guy in our ward named Tommy that is preparing for a mission and so he has been coming out with us quite a bit this last week! He is a great addition to our teaching. And something that I haven't found to be very common out here is that he likes the same kind of music as I do! (At least what I USED to listen to before the mission haha). So we are pretty tight now haha.
Dave is doing great! We had an awesome lesson with him about the Priesthood and the responsibilities that he will have when he is ordained a Priest. We talked about the Sacrament, baptizing, and missions. I started crying as I shared some feelings about the mission and how much he would love it. It was a cool experience for me. I can't explain it through email haha sorry.
Steve went home to Pennsylvania for the weekend to see his family, but he is still set to be baptized this next Saturday. Please PRAY for him! Thanks.
Demi's baptism was today! It was so great! She was pretty nervous but she was really happy after the ordinance. She is a great girl. April came to it as well and had a grand old time! We haven't been able to get in contact with Angie or Nozomi really this week, but we are working on it!
The Lord is blessing us SOOOO much right now! Week after week. That's it for now though! I love you both so much! Thank you for being the best parents and the greatest example I could ever look up to! Have a great week!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
This week was awesome. So many great things happened. We had a mission conference this morning from 11-1 with Elder Andersen from the Quorum of the 12! It was amazing! It was kind of a last minute thing. We knew he was going to be here to speak in the Hunter's Creek Stake Conference and on Monday he told President Hall that he wanted to speak to the mission. I love hearing from Apostles! He spoke a lot about patience in the work. So good. But yeah I'll share some of our experiences from this week.
1. We were asked to give a girl in our ward a blessing. She was having a hard time with some things. We went over and two of her nonmember roommates were there, Angie and Nozomi. As they listened to us explain what we were about to do, they became very interested, and eventually asked if they could receive blessings as well. We ended up giving all of them blessings. There were three priesthood holders there so we each gave one. I gave one to the member. Elder Gregson gave Angie a blessing in spanish because she is from Puerto Rico. And Ben (a member) gave Nozomi a blessing. The Spirit was in the room so strongly during these blessings. We felt the love the Lord had for these girls. After Elder Gregson gave Angie a blessing she stood up, turned around with tears in her eyes and started to explain herself in Spanish. I obviously had no idea what she was saying, but I could tell that she was filled with the love of God. Elder Gregson translated what she had said after she finished. She said that when we put our hands on her head and started she felt something that she had never felt before flow from her head down to her toes. After the blessings we explained that the Spirit of God was what they were feeling. We had an appointment right then, so we asked if we could come back in an hour and talk to them more about what happened and how important it is. They accepted. We came back and had a great lesson. Invited to baptism. They said if they found out it was true they would. They are coming to church tomorrow.
2. We taught Demi for the fourth time on Wednesday. We had fasted for her on Sunday that she could accept the restoration of the Gospel and be baptized. Each out of the three previous times we had met with her we invited her to be baptized. We had feelings that this, the fourth, would be a pivotal lesson. We went in and eventually were inspired by Heaven to ask if she was scared. When we asked that simple question...everythinggg poured out. She wept as she explained all of her concerns and how she was scared to make the wrong decision. Everyone from her home had been telling her that she was making a mistake to study the Book of Mormon. She had been having an inner-conflict with herself about making the right choice. We helped her through it and explained how the adversary makes us fearful and the Holy Ghost helps us feel peace and love. She recognized that each time she read, prayed, went to church, and so on, she felt the presence of the Spirit. At the right moment, we invited her to be baptized again and she accepted. We set her date for next Saturday, the 22nd. As it set in, she lit up and started beaming. It was like she was being filled with helium-stress and it was finally able to be released and relieved. It was pretty amazing to see it happen. So she is preparing to be baptized!
3. Dave's baptism was this morning before the mission conference. He was SO happy. Everything was amazing. The girls who introduced him to the Church gave the talks and they blew it out of the water. They made Dave cry and brought the Spirit very strongly. We are so thankful for ward members who are devoted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We couldn't do it without them! They also got Dave the quad scripture set with a case and his name engraved. He was so thankful. Charity.
4. We went on exchanges with the Stuart and Hunter's Creek zone leaders this week. Stuart has a lot of great things happening in their area. They are happy and excited. Elder Schmeil and I were able to set 3 dates. One of them was a girl named Mary that accepted to be baptized next Saturday. As we invited her to be baptized the Spirit was being intensely felt by all those present. I was literally burning inside after she accepted the date for next week. One of the few times that I've actually felt a literal burning in my heart. It was an amazing experience. Hunter's Creek has some things going as well. They are excited for the success that their zone is having and are planning on meeting their baptism goal of 16 this month. We were able to set a date with a girl for the 29th of this month. It was their miracle for this month. I love being a part of other missionaries' success and happiness!
Those were the highlights. I LOVE YOU A TON!!! Have a great week!
I apologize for not speaking enough of Uncle Ed last week! I don't know what happened because I thought about it a lot. I emailed Grandma Barnes though and tried to give her some words of encouragement. Tell Aunt Verna and Grandma that I love them very much. I testify that Uncle Ed is not far distant from us. I testify that he still lives as the spirit-child of God that he was first created as. I know that one day, through the resurrection of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, Uncle Ed will have his body again, perfected, and not a hair of his head will be lost. Every limb, joint, and bone will be brought to an immortal state and he will be free from any of the pains and afflictions he suffered in this earthly life. He lives! And it's only through Christ. The reason we have this pure knowledge is through the restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I testify that that man was called of God. I testify that the work that he was called to perform was the work of our God, our Heavenly Father. The Bible contains Christ's resurrection and the Book of Mormon teaches us the wonderful knowledge that resurrection is available to all of God's children. The Book of Mormon teaches us in an in-depth, simple, and clear way the doctrine of the resurrection. That is why it is so important! Aunt Verna, I love you! I am sorry for your loss. You will see your sweet husband once again! I KNOW THAT IS TRUE! I invite you to read the passages in the Book of Mormon that teach of where Uncle Ed is and how happy and set-free he is! Please! I beg of you! And when you do, pray and ask the Lord to help you understand the teachings. It will change your life! It has changed mine! I testify that the fulness Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth. We are led by Apostles and Prophets. God has always worked in the same way and will continue to do so until the second coming of our Savior, when we will see Him face to face. I love you Aunt Verna and Grandma Barnes! All will be made right through Christ.
I will explain about my release date next week! I'm sorry I ran out of time! Love you!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
LATER THAT DAY . . . :
Hey I am so scatter brained when I email you guys I'm so sorry! DAD! HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYY! I love you so much. You are the best father ever. Like...numero uno fo sho! I have learned so much from you in my life. And most of it is things that I've realized on the mission. Weird how that works. But you have blessed me with things that will benefit me for the rest of my life! You aren't that old...don't worry. Adam was like 1000 or something hahaha.
So about the release date thing: I would love to have you here my last few days. I would also love to just come home. Whatever you think would be best. Because I know that you both have waited a long time to see me and however you want that to happen is fine with me. It's because of you that I am even here on the mission :) both have pros and cons. I do want to finish my mission strong though. 100% till the last second. I think it's something you should pray about for sure...just like everything else haha. Get back to me next week and we can talk a little more about it.
Things are great. Conference was so good! Every talk. The most significant thing I learned from conference was that the Brethren are trying to hasten the work. Most of the talks either had a prominent or an underlying threading of missionary work.
I am so grateful to be so heavily involved in the Lord's work. I hope that throughout my life I can have the same desire to share the love of the gospel as I do right now. We had 3 investigators come to conference, 2 that were new, and a few watched it at member's apartments. They all learned a lot. We went by yesterday to teach one named Demi and she had taken a few pages of notes. We were shocked at how much she got from it. I guess we shouldn't have been though, since it is the Prophets and Apostles haha. But it was cool because she is trying to gain a testimony of modern day prophets and as she studied after conference the Spirit guided her to read some passages in Jeremiah. The verses really touched her heart and helped her realize that God could call prophets, and if He did, He would answer her prayers about it. Then another named April enjoyed President Monson's talk and his sense of humor. It was just a great experience for all of our investigators.
This week was arrivals, transfers, and departures. It was busy, like always, but fun to help with. Zone Leader Council was this week too. It was really good. I felt like it was one of the best I've ever been a part of. We talked about a lot of good and important things that will help the work. 5 of our members came to do some role play with all the ZLs. They LOVED it. They were thankful they could be a part of it.
I was sorry to hear about Uncle Ed's passing. Please tell Grandma B and Aunt Verna and her family that I love them and that I am thinking of them.
So we should be having 1 (possibly 2) baptisms this next Saturday. Dave is excited about his baptism and changing his life. He is reading the Book of Mormon and is close friends with some members that are giving him a lot of support. And Steve is waiting to gain a testimony of Joseph Smith. He just finished 1 Nephi! So cool. But his original date was for the 29th. He is so ready though. So we can pray for a miracle! He is great though. All of our investigators are just awesome. And Steve and Dave are both going to be Priesthood holders! Our area hasn't baptized guys in a long time haha. It will be wonderful. We have a lot of people that we are teaching and are trying to help them accept dates. God is blessing us with success! It's great. So things are just super fantabulous. I LOVE YOU BOTH! Have a great week! Hope you feel better Mom!
This email could possibly end up a little short because we have to leave to the chapel pretty soon for Conference. This week was awesome though...as alwaysss! BUT before I forget, I really need some info on my license. Like really really. Because the James' (office couple) are leaving on the 28th of this month and a new couple will be in the office. He knows everything about getting a FL license and the new ones will know nothing about it. So if I need to get a FL license then I would need you to send my birth certificate here. PLEASE get back to me about this.
Alright, enough of this logistical stuff. Let's get to the spiritual meat. So all of our investigators with dates came to church last week. Miracle! Arden came too. She finished the BoM in 10 days! And she said that her husband said he would be "behind her" on whatever she chose to do! Miracle! Prayer works! God softens people's hearts! Another girl, Demi, came to church last week with a member. We have taught her a couple times since then and she is coming to conference this weekend. God has blessed us so much lately with people to teach. There are so many. It's literally hard to keep track of all of our investigators and potentials. I love missionary work! :)
We went on three exchanges this week. The Cocoa ZLs, the Hunter's Creek ZLs, and the Leesburg ZLs. And somehow we still managed to get a ton of work done in our area. Miracle! Oh, cool experience. So when I was in Cocoa with Elder Schmutz we went to teach this guy that they had met a few days earlier. He said he used to have missionaries over at his house all the time when he was younger. He also told us that he had been baptized before and all this other stuff. So we taught him about the Priesthood and some other things and then invited him to be baptized into Christ's church. He said he would. Then a little later we invited him to conference and his brother, who was sitting at a table in the other room, asked what time it was at and said "It's not every day that you hear from modern Apostles!" And we were like "Yeah you should come!" And he started to say it had been forever since he had heard Apostles talk and also about how earlier in his life he was going to go on a mission and he wanted to go to Japan and all this stuff. We were really confused. So we said, pointing to our name tags, "Wait...are you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" He said "Yeah, we were both baptized when we were younger." We looked over at the guy we were teaching and he nodded his head. Hahahaha the first time a less-active accepted a baptismal invitation! There is a first for everything. But there is a reason I told you this story, don't worry. Something that really touched my heart happened. We were finished up and we invited the guy we were teaching (I feel bad because I don't remember his name) to say the closing prayer. He said he didn't feel comfortable and asked if we would. The member that came with us didn't help really because right after I said "Will you offer the closing prayer?" he said, before the guy had a chance to answer, "BUT if you don't feel comfortable you don't have to..." haha it was weird. Anyway...so he didn't want to and we asked his brother sitting at the table to say the prayer. He didn't want to at first because he said he hadn't done it in such a long time but then we explained a little and encouraged him, so he did it. As he prayed I started to tear up a little bit. It was such a little tender mercy from the Lord. Hearing someone offer a simple, heartfelt prayer after years of not communicating with Heavenly Father is a very spiritual experience. Those little, repentant steps toward God are such blessings to witness.
I LOVE being involved in this work. So that was a cool experience for me this week. Anyway...we have to go to conference haha. I love you both so much though! Have a great week!
What it is home skillets. This week has been...so...sick! The members are throwing down on their friends and roommates. We met 4 new referrals this week and they allllll accepted baptism dates for October in our first meeting haha. It has been such a blessing! There is Dave for the 15th, Steve for the 29th, and Bery and Charlie for the 22nd. They are all so great! So prepared and just the biggest blessing from Heavenly Father ever haha. Dave has been to church a previous time. He came with members that he met while helping them carry in their groceries. Then Steve has never been but he is coming to a baptism today at 3. And then Bery came to church last week with a member and said we could come teach her. Then when we came by she brought her friend Charlie. They are both from China. They are all very sincere and just amazing all together. They have all recognized the Spirit and want change in their lives. It's awesome.
We are still meeting with Arden. She made us pancakes yesterday morning and there were 3 members there. We invited her to be baptized. She said she wants to but she wants to make sure it's ok with her husband, who is in another state right now, and his family. Long story. But please just pray for her and that her husband and in-laws hearts can be softened. Thanks. Arden is awesome. Then we saw April again yesterday right after breakfast and there were 2 members there. Our members are just on fire right now haha. It's sweet. But April is doing good. She is very sincere.
Earlier in the week we went down to Stuart on exchanges and on the way we stopped to see Karolyn and Jonathan. Karolyn has had some hard stuff that she has been through lately. She needs some love right now. It was SO good to see them but as I was talking to Karolyn I started to cry. I never thought that I could care about a person and desire their happiness so much. There is a very special bond between missionaries and the people that they help in the conversion process. It's pretty cool. I asked her if she would call you both and she said she would. I did that because I got a prompting as we talked that there was something you could say that would help her. Mom, I think I gave her your phone number. But if she doesn't call before next Thursday or so, will you call her? Will you also please pray before she calls or before you call and ask the Lord to help you know what to say? This means a lot to me so I would really appreciate it :) Anywayyyy...things are great! I'm so stoked for conference!!! Love you!
Things here are greattt! Things are picking back up in our area. We've been struggling to find new people to teach consistently. We find tons of people but their schedules conflict with ours quite often because we have lots of meetings, exchanges with zone leaders, etc. We have people come to church each week that we just meet around and invite but then we can never get appointments set up with them. They are all Disney slaves. Don't tell them I said that because they get offended hahaha. We're trying to find a balance.
But Thursday and Friday we saw miracles! We taught 3 roommates of a member on Thursday. The member's name is Amy and she is from Orem. Went to Mountain View. So we know a lot of the same people. It's fun to play the "who do we both know" game in this ward haha. There is a girl in the ward named Elisheva that is from Sacramento and knows Hayley and her family and friends. She told me yesterday that she put a picture that Elder Gregson and I were in on Facebook and Gina Hernandez saw it and commented about how Elisheva and I know each other. Pretty funny stuff. Small world. LDS world. Any way back to Amy's friends: their names are April, Patti, and Kat. They all have catholic backgrounds and are pretty devoted. But Elder Gregson and I had a great lesson with them all.
Later that day we went to go see Alex (the recent-convert Alex) because we wanted to drop something off for her birthday. We gave her some treats and a balloon that says "Baby Girl" and is all cutesy and stuff. It's funny because before she was baptized she always joked about how she felt like she was preparing to get married, not baptized hahaha. So we wanted to congratulate her on her new baby girl haha. So while we were talking to her out on the sidewalk of her apartment complex a girl walked by named Mayra. We said something funny to her about wishing Alex a Happy Birthday and she stopped and talked to us for a while. She said she wanted to come to church. So we will be teaching her soon. Then right as we were about to get in the car, Elder Gregson started to say "Hey, you should call kens..." (Kensie is a member in our ward) when lo and behold Kensie and her 3 friends drove up and stopped. One of them, Amanda (the one that went on the Temple tour a long time ago), we have been trying to contact forever . . . so that was a miracle. And then one in the backseat said they wanted to come to church too and will be there tomorrow. Everything happened in such an amazingly timely manner that there is no way there wasn't some divine help from upstairs. It was unreal! Oh and I forgot to mention that the previous night, as we were praying, Elder Gregson had that impression that we need to go see Kensie so we could talk to Amanda. "...the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty..." (1 Nephi 1:20).
Then on Friday we had a super-Spirit-filled lesson with a Canadian girl named Arden that came to church last week and another guy named Xander. We had 3 members there. It was a little pow-wow. We started by asking a little about their background and Xander explained how he was Buddhist. Right when he said that, in my head I was thinking "Oh no...this is going to be interesting teaching a Christian and a Buddhist at the same time." But it actually went reallyyy well. We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and about the Book of Mormon. At the end we invited Xander to pray and he said a very sincere, heartfelt, kneeling prayer to Heavenly Father. The Spirit was very strong. We pointed it out and hope that they were able to recognize that the Holy Ghost was there with us. They said it felt peaceful, so that's a start! It was great.
On Tuesday we went to Deland on exchanges. I got to see Grandpa, so that was wonderful. I'm pretty sure he is struggling with health and some other things. He seemed a little worrisome. Please say a prayer for him.
Then on Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Orlando zone leaders, Elder Bennett and Elder Hyde (speaking of Elder Bennett, Mom, you asked when he gets home: December 27th). Every Wednesday they go set up a table and the University of Central Florida campus with posters and tons of supplies. So we were there from 9 am to 2 pm. I got a little tan haha. All the students walk by in floods so we talked to hundreds and hundreds of people. It was the funnest and funniest thing I've done in a while! There are a lot of scantily clad brazen hussies at UCF though :) . Gotta be careful! Eyes straight down sometimes hahaha.
It's actually really sad to see what the world is coming to concerning morals, dress, and modesty. It is so prevalent. Everywhere you look there is some type of pornographic picture or immoral something. The magazines in the grocery check out lines are disgusting. And that is what the world is saying is alright and even popular. Elder Oaks gave an awesome CES fireside about Tolerance vs. Truth this last Sunday. It was amazing. You should look it up actually. Anyway...that is my little spiel about morals this week. Hahaha.
Just to answer the other two questions you asked before we have to bounce: I'm sleeping great. I've never been more tired in my life. I've probably said that in previous emails but now...it's pharrelllllll. So tired. But the Lord is my strength, right!? Right! And concerning Elder Mullen: I see him all the time. He is in my old area, Hunter's Creek West. We live right across the street from him and we also see him every Monday at the office when we do accountability with President. So...hope everything is great with the both of you! Have a wonderful day, Sabbath, and rest of next week! Love you!
Another great week in the Florida Orlando Mission. Cooling down a little. We had Leadership Training on Wednesday and Thursday. It was good. The main focus was on helping people make and keep commitments. Another big part of it was inviting people to attend church. Tons of revelation was received by all who were present. Leadership Training is a meeting with all the zone leaders, district leaders, trainers, certain Sister companionships, us, and President and Sister Hall. Good times. So that took up a lot of our time this week.
Other than that we did a lot of busy work haha. We moved stuff around from apartment to apartment, did stuff in the office, and tried our best to teach in between all that. Dad, you asked if we are mostly in the field or doing administrative stuff...it's about half and half.
We have been going back to the bus stop. Shh...don't tell anyone. We aren't as active though because if we make a scene, we're doneski. We just kind of sit and wait for people to come sit by us. It's different, but we have found some cool people. Rather, the Lord has sat them down next to us on the bench haha. We didn't find them, they were placed there haha.
So yeah I got a call from the Elders serving in the St. Cloud ward earlier in the week and they said that they met Kirsten Clark. Apparently she has a family member that is getting married down here or something. I feel so weird because I have been away from all my friends in Utah for such a long time. It's like a completely different part of my life now. Super weird ha. And Micah has a CHILD!? Whattt...that is unreal hahaha. If you see him tell him I love him and am glad that he's happy. And Stephen Clawson is such a baller. Tell him I love him. Those were some really nice things that he said about me. It definitely put a smile on my face.
I still haven't found the memory card. Lo siento. I can't believe that happened. It's like out of a movie. It will show up somewhere hopefully. And if not, when the world comes to an end, and righteousness prevails, we'll be able to see what happened to it hahaha. And we'll probably be able to see all the snapshots I took too :)
Things here are great. Trying hard to find people to teach. Brad is good. Delphine is taking it slow right now. The members in the ward are awesome! We're going to play volleyball right now with a ton of them and some nonmembers too. It will be great.
Hope things are well for you both! Love you! Have a splendidly spectacularly sick week!
So you said in your emails that the things I said in my last email were things that you needed to hear. Let me tell you...things in YOUR email this week were things that I reallyyy needed to hear. Everything you said and, as lame as this may sound (haha), the things that you showed me my friends put on FaceBook was a tender mercy of the Lord. It's kind of been a hard week for me. I don't really know how to explain it but I just haven't been as happy as I normally am. I think Satan has been working on me. That punk haha. But I'm good you don't need to worry :)
Alex got baptized on Thursday!!! It was so great. Elder Gregson baptized her. She asked me if I would confirm her so that will be tomorrow. I am honored. She is so cool. I'm stoked to go see her in Vegas after the mission.
We went on a Temple tour with Delphine on Wednesday. She enjoyed the information but disagreed with some things. We want to help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Everything else will work out if she has that testimony. That's the formula A + B = C. Read + Pray = Testimony haha.
We've been doing a lot of work on the computer lately. It's been a huge project over the past few weeks. We made documents for Stake/Ward monthly numbers for every ward in the mission. It took forever but we finished late last night.
We did find a really cool investigator this week though. A guy named Brad. We went over to a recently returned missionary named Jeff's apartment to teach him and found out that all his roommates aren't members. Brad sat down with us and we answered some of his questions about the Word of Wisdom, Joseph Smith, and some other things. We are meeting with him again tonight at 6:30. He's way cool. Say a prayer for him.
What else...I don't know haha. Just staying super busy. Trying to teach as much as possible. We need to find more people. We are kind of starting over right now. From square one. Things will pick up soon though. I am going to go to the post office today to see if they have the memory card. Cross your fingers. Or say a prayer. That will probably work better haha.
I finished the Book of Mormon last Saturday. It's true! Did you know that!? Yep. The best part about finishing the Book of Mormon is reading it again haha. When Elder Bednar came here a few months ago someone asked him "If there was one thing that you wanted to leave with us today, what would it be?" He replied "To gain an ever-increasing desire to understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ." He then invited us to read the missionary copy of BOM (the cheapest, soft cover edition) and mark when it talks about the strengthening power of the Atonement. And then at the end to write what you learned in the back. And then to do it again with another copy. And then again. And again. And again. And again. For the rest of your life. So I started. And I learned more about the Atonement in the first 3 chapters of 1 Nephi than I have in my life haha. Pretty cool. So I'd invite you to do the same.
So that's all folks! I love you both a ton! Have a great week!
So we had the craziest hurricane ever here in Orlando! Huge! 10 mph winds with a 15 minute rain shower! I thought we were going to die! Ha yeah nothing happened. At all. Not even windy. I'm really thankful that it didn't hit us though. Near the beginning of the mission, I wanted one to hit. But now I definitely don't. That would be horrible. Thanks for the prayers :)
Sooooo...no memory card. I've looked places that it could be but no luck. I am 99.9% positive I put it in the box. So it might be lost. But we can still pray for miracles. Hopefully it will show up somewhere.
So if you have problems at the DMV for my license I can just get a FL license. I would just need my birth certificate. Just let me know what happens.
Mom to answer your question about the College Program: The program goes from anywhere between 3-12 months. And basically the purpose of it is to just come and have the experience of working with Disney. Some people want to work with Disney full-time eventually but most people we talk to just do it for fun. Students from all over the world come to do it. It's cool.
So this week was busy with transfers and whatnot. Lots of running around. It's great though because I've learned how to step outside of stressful situations and stay in control of the things that I have control over (if that makes sense). I've learned a lot about that. So we met with Alex this week. We taught her with a member from Spanish Fork named Jocelyn. It was perfect too because Alex needed to hear someone else's testimony besides ours. So it went great and Alex said that she would be baptized this coming Thursday. PLEASE keep her in your prayers as you have so far because she needs it badly. She is seriously so prepared but Satan is working on her hard. And once she is baptized she will be such a good member!
Thanks for the prayers that you have said on her behalf so far :) We also met with a girl named Delphine this week. She is awesome! Super intelligent and has tons of great questions. She has a catholic background and loves to learn. She lives with a member named Leah and they have talked about the church a little. But Delphine is doing all the right things to find out the truthfulness of the Gospel. She is reading, praying, and coming to church tomorrow. We have had two amazing lessons with her. Please keep her in your prayers as well.
I am really thankful for all the prayers that you both send out for me and the people that I work with. Prayer makes a huge difference in so many things. Prayer changes things. I love it. There is so much power in a kneeling prayer. I am always reminded of the story of Alma the younger and the four sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church. When the angel appears to them in verse 14 of chapter 27 he says: "Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." It's cool to think that the whole reason an ANGEL OF GOD appeared to Alma the younger was because of his father's prayers. I wonder if anything would have happened if Alma the elder hadn't prayed in faith for his son. Interesting thought. This is why it is so crucial to pray for investigators; so they can "be brought to the knowledge of the truth".
I love prayer. It's amazing to think that we can actually speak with our Heavenly Father. I think a lot about how excited I am to meet God one day (in fact about an hour ago I told Elder Gregson how excited I was to meet God haha)...but while we are here we can literally speak with him. That's how he is able to bless us so much when we pray. All miracles and blessings are according to our faith in Him and in Christ "whom [we have] never before heard nor seen". Think of the faith that it takes to get down on your knees, with your eyes closed, and just start talking to someone that you can't see. My testimony has gotten to a point where I know that when I'm on my knees talking, God is right there listening. I pray that testimony will continue to increase. I don't know how He does it. I don't know how he hears and answers every single one of His children's prayers. And it's something that I don't necessarily need to fully comprehend right now because I know that one day I WILL know. But I've never believed as much as I do right now that when we pray to Him in the name of Christ, He hears, and answers through the power of the Holy Ghost, which is undeniable. So thank you for your prayers.
I love you so much! I hope you are happy and healthy. Stay fresh and go to the Temple! I want to invite you actually to do this: on a day that you can, go to the Temple and do initiatories, then and endowment session, then sealings. It might take a while but you won't regret it! (you know that though ;)) Ha I don't know why I am inviting you to do that but it would be great! Tell everyone in the family and all my friends that you see that I miss them and love them. LOVE YOU TOO! Have a blessed week!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann
Nick Forrest is going to the Philippines!!! When you see him tell him I LOVE HIM! And congratulations. That's awesome.
So I don't know what to do about the memory card...I'm 99% sure that I put it in there. There is that 1% that I took it out for some reason haha. I will look for it. If you haven't already, you could take out all the stuff and shake it. It might have been snuck into one of the shirts or something. Just a suggestion. There was a TON of pictures on it so I really hope it didn't get lost haha. It will show up. Somehow.
So my license expires one the 26th of January. So hopefully it can be renewed. I know it is under 6 months but if you could just see what you can do that would be great. I really appreciate it :) and if it can't be renewed could you find out if it will mess up my residency for school if I get a FL license? Gracias!
So your story about the lady from the cruise is so cool! See what you did! You started a chain reaction that will change their lives forever. Just by sharing what we believe. It's amazing! Missionary work is God's work for sure. Ha I love it. I'm glad you had a good experience. You'll have to let me know what happens.
This week was busy. Buhizuheeeeeee. We finished figuring out transfers. There is a big board in President's office with magnetic pictures of all the missionaries in their zones and districts. And when we do transfers we pray, move them around, see how it feels, and pray more. It's awesome how it all works out. We spent a ton of time over a period of days moving things around. After it was done you just feel so relieved. The Spirit is a reliever haha. And when you feel relieved you know it's right. Pretty cool how it works.
So Alex was supposed to get baptized today but she went to Puerto Rico. She doesn't like a date. It was set for August 20th. But she feels like it's too soon. We tried to reset it for next week after a longgggg talk. She said she would get baptized next week but she doesn't like a date. It's weird haha. But she is so ready. She already has a strong testimony and is living the gospel. No one at church knows she's not a member. It will happen. She's taking her scriptures to Puerto Rico so that will be good. We love her.
So this transfer there are 21 new missionaries coming in. SO many. There are hardly enough areas to fit them. Next week is week 1 of the transfer. It is a really really busy week haha. We have arrivals on Monday, Transfers on Tuesday, and Departures on Wednesday. It's fun though. So we should have a lot of new people coming to church tomorrow. All the BYU students got here this week. We're excited to meet them all tomorrow. Soooo...things are great.
I hope you are doing great. Have a great week. I say great a lot. Great! Love you!!!!!!!!!!
Hey family! I'm super tired haha. I'm falling asleep at this computer.
First, I'll answer your questions:
1. Zone Conference in our mission is split up into three different days for 7 zones. There were 2 zones together on Tuesday, 3 together on Wednesday, and 2 together on Thursday. We aren't really in a zone haha. We went to all of them. Elder Gregson and I accounted for the mission and had two different trainings on finding and teaching. It went really well. I learned a lot.
2. We don't really know anything about Elizabeth's parents. Hopefully they are ok with it haha. I think they will be. Her baptism was soooo great! Tons of support from the ward. After she got baptized, she sang "How Great Thou Art" and it was awesome. She was very happy. I'm glad that you were able to see some pictures.
3. It's probably hot here but I'm pretty used to it now haha. Because last summer seemed SO hot.
4. The memory card that I sent in the package is in the envelope near the top of the box. You can dig around and find it. I promise it's in there. Unless someone stole it. But I have faith that it's there haha.
So this week was great. We stayed super busy with Zone Conference and all. Here's an awesome experience for you though: On Tuesday we taught this girl in the ward named Janessa at the pavillion. She is leaving to go home this week and she wanted to give a BOM to her roommate before she left. So she asked us if we could help her. We eventually role played the situation of her giving the BOM away and the first few times she wasn't confident about it and was nervous. So finally we asked her to hold the Book of Mormon in her hands, look at if for 30 seconds, and ponder about how she knows it's a true book. At the end of the 30 seconds I asked (pretending to be her friend) "So Janessa what is that book that you're holding?" And she looked up at me and bore THE most powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon! It was the biggest change ever! But it's not over yet...we asked her when she was going to give it to her friend and she explained that her friend was home right then. So Elder Gregson committed her to go do it right then and there! She got up and just started marching to her apartment. IT WAS SOOOO COOL! There is no doubt in my mind that there were angels around her the entire time. No doubt. I know there were. It was the biggest change and she was completely filled with the Spirit of the Lord. About 15 minutes later she came back with a huge smile on her face. She explained how it all went down and said they both cried and it was awesome. We asked her how she felt and she said "I feel like I want more Book of Mormons" hahaha. It sounds great and all as in this email but honestly, words can't express how spiritual of an experience it was. It was so amazing that I had to take a picture so that I would never forget what happened there. I wish I could have the whole thing recorded and watch it again and again. One day in Heaven I will show you what happened.
Yesterday we went to Daytona on exchanges with the Zone Leaders up there. I got to see a ton of members, including Grandpa, at a ice cream party that they were having at the church. It was great to see them all.
Today we taught Alex again. She is soooo ready to be baptized! She is doubting herself a little though, thinking it's too fast. So please please please pray for her this week to receive an answer that she can be baptized on the 20th. She is so cool and has a ton of faith. She is living the Gospel already. Everyone at the Church loves her too.
I'm stoked for you to meet all the people that I worked with on the mission one day. It will be fun. But things are great! Elder Gregson is the man. We are having tons of fun. One thing that I do need from you is to find out if you can renew my driver's license. Or call someone in an office somewhere and find out if I can get a license from Florida without messing up my residency in Utah for school. That would be really great if you could do that for me. Because my license expires right before I go home and I need to renew it. So get back to me as soon as possible on that please :) thanks!
I love you both so much! Have a wonderful week and pray for missionary opportunities!