Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

Hello my beloved mother and father.

Thank you so much for the package!!! I splurged a little and ate quite a bit of the Easter candy haha. And it is good to have a backpack now. Thank you.

This week was goooooooood. Although we didn't have anyone at church, we set a new date with Xavier and taught a ton of lessons. This was our first Sunday in the Kissimmee ward and there are a ton of new faces and a few familiar ones. The Bishop seems pretty cool too. It was good to see everyone I knew from Hunter's Creek too. We went and ate with Therma and family after church too.

We had a cool experience with asking for referrals. We went to this area to contact people and right when we got there we saw a 15 year old kid walking on the other side of the street, going home. We walked over and talked to him. He said his family might be interested and we got his information. So we said bye and were just starting to walk away when Elder Bennett stopped and asked him if he knew anyone that would benefit from a message about Jesus Christ. He stood there for a second thinking, and then said something like "Yeah, the house with the white car right there. My friend lives there." So we went over there right then and knocked on the door. This lady answered the door and could only understand a few things we were saying because she spoke Spanish. So she called over her daughter and she was able to translate for us. They were nice. While we were talking the husband came to the door and looked happy to see us. We told them we had a DVD that talks about how our families can be together after this life and asked if we could come in and watch it with them. The wife was nicely trying to say no but the husband was stoked about it and told us to come in. So we talked a little first and then watched "Together Forever" in Spanish. They learned a ton and after were pretty interested in learning more. We were able to teach them some things through the daughter's translating skills. We got their information and left. I walked out thinking "I guess the thing about asking referrals from everyone is there for a reason..." haha. It was a pretty cool experience. We passed them off to the Spanish Elders and are waiting to hear what has happened with them.

Anyway, on Wednesday we took Bob to a Temple Tour and he loved it. He said right when we entered the gate he felt something very different. And he noticed that the Temple was IN the world but not OF the world. He is such a humble guy. It's very refreshing to teach people who are lowly in heart. They are definitely a treasure. Lately, when we have to pass off our investigators to other missionaries (because of them moving or our area changes) the Lord gives us someone else cool to teach. Example: This was Bob's first week at church as the Sisters' investigator instead of ours. And some other random guy came to Sacrament meeting and said he is looking for a church. We lose one...and then the Lord gives us one. So awesome. Speaking of Bob, we called him last night to see how he was doing and let him know we wanted to take him out to lunch on Tuesday and he answered the phone by saying "My brothas from another motha!" It was so funny! I love him haha you need to meet him. Those are the cool things that happened this week. LOVE YOU!


Elder Austin Gable Engemann

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 18, 2011

FAMILY! HI! So transfers are tomorrow and Elder Bennett and I are staying together. So freshhh! We also found out on Saturday that the boundaries of three wards in the Hunter's Creek Stake were changed. Basically our whole area in the Pleasant Hill Ward and part of the Hunter's Creek Ward was put into the Kissimmee ward. Elder Bennett and I were nervous because we thought that all of our solid investigators were going to be given to other missionaries (kind of selfish, I know, but we love them haha). But we met with President Hall yesterday and figured it out. We're just going to keep our same area plus the extra bit from the Hunter's Creek ward and we'll be moved into the Kissimmee ward. I hope this is making sense; I'm sorry if it's confusing haha. It's weird too because I know a ton of members from the Hunter's Creek ward that will now be in the Kissimmee ward with me. Like Therma and her family will be in my ward! I love them so that is sweet. My old ward mission leader too. And some other families that I know. And now our area covers my old area in Hunter's Creek so I'm partially back in my old area hahaha. It's crazy. This is probably just confusing you so I'm sorry.

But anyway we had an awesome week. We found a ton of new people to teach and helped two new investigators commit to a baptism date. The Lord blessed us with two member referrals that are elect as well. We honestly don't know what we did to deserve it. 100% blessing. 100% miracle. Pretty cool stuff. I think they are both out of our area now though since the boundaries changed. But it's ok because they'll definitely get baptized eventually. The sisters will probably teach them now.

One family that we are teaching was blessed with a miracle too. This guy named Pucho is the head of the household and he hurt his right knee at his job about 25 years ago. Now he has arthritis and some other problems with it that he is going to the doctor for. After we taught the family the word of wisdom, we told him about Priesthood blessings and he accepted to have one given to him. In the blessing, Elder Bennett and I told him that his leg would be healed. After the blessing it was dead silent for about 5 minutes and he was just in the zone. We knew he was praying in his heart. Then we left after that. We saw him yesterday and he said it hasn't hurt at ALL since then. He recognized that God blessed him with a miracle and he now says that he will never drink again and he is going to come to church every sunday. He was so stoked about it all too. It was great.

Other than that we're just doing work. Getting blessed like crazy. On my mission I've gained a huge testimony that obedience brings blessings. We're not perfect but we try our best and I know that that's why the Lord blesses us. I just realized I've used the word "bless" a ton of times in this email haha. I wonder why...But that's about it. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Have a great week and a Happy Resurrection of Christ Day! Oh wait, one more thing: how much are you both going to the Temple? If you want, you should go more...haha. Because it will make your life better. Promise. But you know that.


Elder Austin Gable Engemann

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Here are a couple highlights of the week family! I love you!

We met with our investigator Donita, who we worked with for a long time, right before she moved up to New York on Friday. She is definitely going to get baptized up there and she said she'd send us pictures! It will be awesome. But she said some stuff to us that made us really grateful to be here in the Lord's service. She told us how much she appreciated us helping her learn about the gospel, how much we had helped change her life, how she feels like we are her kids, and a bunch of other amazing things. It almost made me cry. We were on top of the world as we walked away. Although we weren't able to see her receive baptism, it is moments like that that make everything about the mission worth it. We get to participate in placing the gospel into people's lives. It is such a blessing.

The Lord is blessing us with families to teach. We are teaching three families right now. We taught a new family last night. First let me tell you about our exchange. A soon to be 19 year old member, Kevin, was visiting his family in our ward and we went to eat with them last night. We had asked him if he was preparing his papers for the mission and he said no. We could tell that he didn't have the strongest testimony of the gospel. We invited him to come teach this family after dinner and he accepted. He was a really cool kid and we talked a lot about missionary work and how fun it is and stuff in the car with him. We asked him if he would give his testimony in the lesson (since a testimony is found in the bearing of it). He said he was nervous and didn't know if he could. So we go in to teach this family and everything is crazy. Kids running around, people doing dishes and laundry, people walking in and out, everything. We got to know the mom a little bit and she said that she hadn't been to church, prayed, or read in many, many years and was struggling with smoking. We explained the Holy Ghost and all knelt in prayer. Dead silence. The Spirit swarmed the room. After, we talked a lot about baptism, read from the Book of Mormon, and talked about the restoration of the gospel. When we talked about Joseph Smith, Kevin bore a very powerful testimony of the BoM and how he knows the strength that can come from reading the scriptures. It was SO great! He brought a cool spirit to the lesson. We testified that she could have hope through the Jesus Christ and overcome the things that are holding her back. Her countenance changed. She started crying and said "I guess there is hope." It was amazing. She accepted a baptism date for May 7th. After that, we invited her to pray and ask God for the strength to overcome her temptations. She was very nervous and said she didn't want to. Elder Bennett, Kevin, and I said we would say a prayer first and then she could do it after us. After our prayers we just waited. She started with "Dear Heavenly Father..." and then she stopped. Her little kids were whispering to her "Just talk from your heart! You can do it." I felt the Spirit so strongly as her children said those things to their mother. I teared up. I'm tearing up right now as I'm writing this. She said a beautiful prayer and we knelt in silence after. After she was done she said "I haven't done that in a long, long time." We thanked her and got out as quick as we could so she could be alone to feel the Holy Ghost. It was incredible how we went in, not knowing anyone, with crazy surroundings, and the Holy Ghost was able to help everyone be silent and feel God's love throughout the ENTIRE lesson. We started a reaction in her life that will change her forever if she chooses to continue in the gospel. We talked to Kevin after and he had changed too. As we were driving him home he was talking about how he was going to serve a mission. I know that everything last night happened for a reason. God touched the family's life and Kevin's life. Elder Bennett and I were able to see a very tender mercy of the Lord. All were edified.

I LOVE being a part of this work. The mission has given me new eyes. Everything I see now, I see differently than I did before. I've started to see through the eyes of our Heavenly Father. The eternal perspective. I still have a long way to go, but I'm such a better person than I was before. Thank you for your love Mom and Dad. Have a great week!


Elder Austin Gable Engemann

Photos, April, 11, 2011

Donita before she left for New York

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 4, 2011

Hi family!

This is going to have to be short. President asked for a way long email this week and I had to fill out a bunch of stuff. So my apologies.

Helen got baptized yesterday inbetween sessions of conference. She was so happy! It was great. We found out Wanda had a stroke and they didn't even know it. She is in the hospital right now. Pray for her please.

General Conference was SO good! I loved it. It was a little hard for me to pay attention because I was pretty wiped out while I was watching. So I can't wait for the Ensign to come out. Then I can get deep in them.
Thursday was crazy. It POURED all day. Huge rain drops coming down hard all day. We had a really busy day because we had our day filled with appointments (those days are the best). So we biked around in the rain. It was so fun. Soaked all day. We found a family of 4 that we are teaching right now too. 3 baptismal age. The Mateo's. They are so cool. We're excited to teach them.

The Orta's are kind of on the back burner right now. They aren't really committed. We might drop them. It's hard to see people's potential and then they don't do anything to move forward in the gospel. We can only do so much. They are a great family though. Things here are wonderful. I'm learning so much each day. The things I'm learning and applying are totally changing my life. I feel like I've grown so much since I was home. I LOVE YOU! Have a great week.


Elder Austin Gable Engemann

Photos, April 4, 2011

Helen's Baptism