Monday, December 30, 2013

Week Six in Ecuador - Merry Christmas From Loja!!! - December 30, 2013

Dear Family,
Our skype call was so wonderful!  It honestly was the best Christmas present I could have asked for  and I am so glad that you all are doing so well! It was so nice to just talk to all of you! And ya, it was hard after the phone call to focus because I love you all so much!
I am very glad that you liked my testimony. I feel like I have somewhat of a special testimony because I know this gospel is true and that is why I have a testimony but I can see both sides to everything so I understand when people have doubts about the gospel.  But I know the gospel to be true and if one church has to be true on this earth than it is this one. The world is just too amazing not to have a God that created it. 
The other two missionaries in my house are from Ecuador and Peru and I love them because they are both such great guys! So, one of them is Elder Castenda  and he is constantly making fun of me and so I make fun of him back and it is hilarious! Then the other Elder is so nice and I have had some good talks with him and it's in Spanish so I love it even more :) So those are the other Elders in our house, and it is very nice to have them with us!!
I'm so glad you all had a wonderful Christmas!!! Mine was good too. I got a tie from the Bishop of our ward and lots of candy from the ward so that was good :)
I hope Jacob is doing okay with me being gone...and I just want him to know that I really do love him so much and think about him all the time. Also, tell him that two years is nothing...I will be back before he knows it and I will have time to watch him play varsity basketball for Brighton. So I hope he is okay..... I love that kid :)
My companion loves all animals and insects so he got a little annoyed with me the other day when I killed a moth and he helped a spider leave our room by guiding it with a broom... it took like 10 minutes.... hahaha.
Ok,  so this week in general was good however, we didn't get too much work done because of Christmas Eve (which is really big here.....much bigger than Christmas Day) and Christmas so that was too bad. We had two invetigators come to church with us and they are great so hopefully we can get baptism dates for both of them!
Also we went to this one place called Guagora and it was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I will send you a picture that is so awesome. 
Also I was thinking I really do want to bring you guys back here after my mission....Ecuador is soooo cool!!! I love the city of Loja.
Also if I make pancakes do I use butter for the pan or cooking oil?
I can't believe it is almost 2014. The year of my mission! The only year of my entire life that will completely be for the Lord....pretty crazy. I can't believe how the time has flown! I have almost been on my mission for three months and over a month in Ecuador!!!

Love you so much!
Elder Lignell

 Christmas in our casa!
My new tie....a gift from our Bishop...I opened it at 12:00 a.m. Christmas morning :)
The Sunset in Loja 
We went to of the most beautiful places I have ever been to!!! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week Five in Ecuador - Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Family,
So I obviously made it back from Guayaquil and the 8 hour bus ride wasn't that bad. I slept for most of it so that was good and this week was really interesting. I had a few cool experiences. One was that I really noticed that I love the Book of Mormon! We were teaching two investigators about the Book of Mormon and they were sceptical about it being about the Americas and I felt annoyed because I realized that I really know that it is true and that I want other people to know that its true too. It really is a very cool book and everyone should take the chance to read it at least once.
It was kind of a wake-up moment for me because I realized how much I really want to share with others and I believe that I am slowly becoming more and more of a missionary :)
I was also talking to our zone leaders and one of them I really like. His name is Elder Males he is from Ecuador and he was giving me advice on how to teach better and how to be a better missionary.
Also, this week was good and we got five more baptism dates but we'll see if they carry through. I kinda don't think they will...
We now have two other elders in our house and they are great! I love talking to them in the evenings and I gave one of them a blessing of comfort this morning. I did it in English but while I was doing it, I realized that I could have done it in Spanish which is awesome!  The language is coming slowly and I understand a little bit more and more every day and it makes me so very happy because I see my potential as a missionary. 
I'm still trying to figure out how to make an omelet without everything sticking in the pan.  We are eating a lot of eggs here for breakfast and bananas all the time!  The coach roaches aren't as bad as they were in the beginning, but there are ants everywhere.  We do have netting to use for our beds, but I haven't had to use it and haven't seen one mosquito here. 
We did help someone put up their Christmas tree the other day and I had to laugh because it was just like our fake one at home....the kind where you hook the branches into little slots.  Other than that, we haven't had too many services projects yet. 
I can't wait to Skype with you on Christmas!  I have the account and password so I should be all set and ready to go.
Talk to you soon!
Love, Elder Lignell

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week Four in Ecuador - Monday, December 16, 2013

Hi Mom and family. Today is really weird because I am in Guayaquil right instead of Loja.  We took an 8 hour bus ride from 10:00 p.m. last night to 7:00 a.m. in the morning today to get to Guayaquil because apparently, since I am new I have to get some paper stuff done for my visa and so all the newbie missionaries are in Guayaquil today.  We leave to go back to Loja in an hour or so.
Elder Myers is here today also.  He is my friend from the MTC and we talked a bunch and he told me about his experiences so far.  It was really fun to catch up.  We talked about a crazy game we made up at the MTC where the Elders would put "dibs" on the sister missionaries there after our two years were up and it was hilarious how competitive it got when it was really just a silly game, but also really funny. 

Okay so this week was good and I have enjoyed it. I am trying to have more faith and be more diligent in trying to learn Spanish because that is the hardest part by far! The fact that I want to say so much to people but I just can't and it is so very frustrating.
Unfortunately, we are not having  much success as we keep getting baptismal dates and then they all fall through so I have been disappointed a lot this week. However, I know that it will get better and I just need to learn Spanish first so I can teach the gospel and not have to rely so much on my companion.
Well, I asked my first person to be baptized and she said, "no."  Well , I guess there needed to be a first.
Next, my companion and I saw this goat that was caught on some barbwire so we untangled it and tied it to a different fence. So I didn't get any baptisms with my companion this week,  but we saved a goat :)
One day we asked a member, Carlos Luna, to help us go around and commit some people to go to sacrament meeting with us.  Carlos has a little Ford runner car and he is the craziest driver ever  and is about 75 or 80 years old and considering the fact that there are hardly any traffic rules here it was pretty crazy and I'm very suprised that we survived. ( haha )

We won't be able to Skype on Christmas Day, but will be able to do it on Christmas Eve around 4 or 5 in the evening my time so I'll need to make sure it is all set up and ready to go.  I'm glad I have one more pday to get some instructions from you.
I'm sorry this email is so short, but we won't be on the computer terminals long today because we have to return to Loja.  Also, I can't send you any pictures today because I heard that it is really easy to get your camera stolen here and I'm at a busy computer terminal, so I don't want to get out my camera.
I'll have to send you a longer email next week.
Love you all so very much!
Elder Lignell 



Monday, December 9, 2013

Week Three in Ecuador - Monday, December 9, 2013

Hello :)  Our week was good and  I am definitely understanding a ton more Spanish,  however it is extremely frustrating when someone says something and I just can't figure it out. But all in all, I think I can figure out the language and it will just take time.
I miss you guys a lot because of Christmas. It is crazy to think that it is  85 degrees everyday here and it is 10 degrees there..... I'm very sorry. However, I am very excited to talk to you on Christmas.
Ok...continuing with the week... it has been hard because we keep getting investigators with baptismal dates and then they fall through so it's like a rollercoaster with my hope that I can get my first baptism. "Todo es possible mediante dios amoroso todo poderoso eterno" (Everything is possible through all loving all powerful god eternal) 
Ecuador is beautiful and I love the people! They are so kind and humble and willing to talk even if they don't get converted. I love the city Loja! There are so many little stores everywhere and it is fun to explore.
The Church is not very strong here. There are very few members, but they are so great and they are so friendly and help out so much that it is amazing!
We got to watch the Christmas Devotional from the Church I was hoping it would be in English with Spanish subtitles but nope.... all in Spanish. Anyway, what I understood I enjoyed .
It is very nice to know that all my friends are out on missioins with me I absolutely love it!! And this life is very hard and demanding and yes, I am constantly expected to be happy and expected to want to talk to everyone so there are a ton of things that I am learning besides Spanish. Like how to take care of myself,   how to communicate to others in Spanish, how to enjoy myself and always remember at the same time that I am a representative of Jesus Christ.

 So here is a little more detail about our days. I usually make breakfast in the morning and have been making omelets. Then we always have a big lunch at a member's house and then we don't usually have any plans for dinner. 

Apparently the water is cleaner here but I still don't trust it and so we have these water bottles that filter the water so I just use that and I survive. (haha)

And for our clothing right now, we have a member that has voluntereed to wash clothing for us. Most people here wash their clothes by hand and I guess it takes like three hours for a weeks worth of clothing,  but the member has a washing machine so I am very lucky at the moment.

Other than that, I am doing good and everyday I get a little bit more used to being out here. I know this is where I am supposed to be and if for some reason I don't get one baptism out here I know that I already have one convert which is me :)  I love the scriptures and prayer and I can see myself changing but defintely in a good way. I am still the same Austin but I have a deeper appreciation of the Church and of this Gospel, of my family and my friends and just my life in general.

I think about you guys a lot which I know isn't good but its hard not to. ( haha ) I feel bad because I brag about you all a lot which I need to not do so much, but it's easy because I am proud of my family and I love you all so much :)

Talk to you soon,

Elder Lignell

Loja, Ecuador




Week Number Two in Ecuador - Monday, December 1, 2013

Okay, so this week, I have been trying to adjust to my new surroundings and it is not always easy!  I'm in a new country that speaks Spanish and 99 percent of the time, I have no idea what is going on!!

We had our first Zone Conference, which included the President of our mission and our entire zone.  The Conference was really good.  They fed us breakfast and lunch and it was very good.  My favorite part, however, was the individual interviews because I got to talk to the President.  He was so encouraging and supportive and helped me with so much advice! 

Also, there was another missionary there named Elder Riffel who came in the same time as I did and he was very homesick and I tried to give him the best advice possible, but it strengthened my testimony that if I can be able to tell others that they can do it, I can do it too!!!

Ecuador is so cool and it fun to see the people and practice my Spanish.  The buses are always packed and on the buses, they play a lot of American music but I'm not sure anyone on the buses understand what the music is saying. 

There are a lot of stray dogs here and a lot of them look like our dog, Bella.

Before we started our fast for this month, we had lunch at President Hansen's house.  He and his wife are from Washington state and it was like a mini Thanksgiving.  I loved it and I loved being able to talk to them in English!

Also, today I got my first haircut is certainly different. 

I found some cool scriptures that I would like you to read.  D&C 122: 5-9 and D&C 109: 2123.  They are about missionary week and have helped me a ton!

Also, something pretty funny I saw was a big pig head hanging at a local shop and people kept bumping into it.  I took a picture of it for you.

All in all, this is very hard and I'm still not perfect and I'm still trying to grasp the language, but I have hope and faith and I know I can do this one day at a time, one week at a time and one year at a time.  I know this will benefit me so much in the end.  I will be able to live anywhere and be a much better person because of all of the experiences I will have while I'm here.

I love you all so much,


Elder Lignell
Pig's Head Hanging At A Local Shop

Sunset in Loja

A Stray Dog That Looks Like Our Dog, Bella!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Week in Ecuador!!!

Hi everyone and family! This week has been absolutely crazy!
First,  Chandler... I know that he is in a better place now. I know that he is such a wonderful person and that he is looking down at all of us right now smiling. He lived a great live and he was ready to meet God, this is very hard on me and it makes me so so so very homesick and you don't know how badly right now I just want to hug all of you guys. But I think I wil be able to cope with Chandler. One day at a time...I will do better,  but at the moment I'm sort of sobbing everywhere. I know that I will see Chandler again, not in two years but it will be that much sweeter when I get to. I know that God lives and that Chandler is hanging out with him right now, cracking jokes and talking about the Jazz. I'm gonna make it through this. I know I can, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity"

Ok, so now I guess I'll talk about my first week here. Getting to Ecuador was crazy long however on my last flight to Ecuador I talked to a nice Ecuadorian man and his child, mostly about normal stuff and a little tiny bit about the gospel, but he seemed receptive and I gave him a pass along card and got his phone number so that was sweet. And, if I am ever in his area I will call him and try to set up a meeting with him.
Next we got to the Guayaquil temple and we met with our new companions and the mission president and my companion speaks absolutely no English, only Spanish and he is from Bolivia. 
My first area is Loja which is an 8 hour bus ride from Guayaquil, so we slept at the temple for one night and then went on our way to Loja. Loja is very beautiful and it is higher up in the mountains and there are mountains everywhere. I love the scenery. Our casa is pretty big actually, because it is meant to have four missionaries but we are the only ones here for now. My companion and I will have to start cleaning as when we arrived we found we have cockroaches in our kitchen and ants everywhere so making food scares me but I've got a system down for making eggs haha...
Mountains of Loja


 It was really hard to be away from you for my birthday, but one of the ward members made me the most awesome birthday cake.  It was really delicious!!!!

Birthday Cake For My 19th Birthday Made By One of Our Ward Members

I'm trying to work on my Spanish, but it is coming slow.  It has been a tough first week trying to get adjusted to my new surroundings, but I'm going to try to be more positive and hopefully will have a better week.

Love you all so much!

Elder Lignell

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week Six - November 18, 2013

Thanks for helping out Chandler's family, I know they need soooo much help right now.
 I'll keep praying for Chandler, because I know a miracle can happen if it is God's will.
 Oh and by the way, I got an email from one of Dad's coworkers, Jessica Ramirez. She sent me a wonderful email about Dad.  She said that he acts really proud of me and he always tells the different things that have happened to me here. It made me smile and it makes me so happy that he is proud of me! Also, she sent me a Spanish part and I could mas o menos read it but it is very difficult and definitely humbles me with my Spanish... 
Thats wonderful that Jacob made the first cuts!!! I hope he can make it all the way that would be soooo awesome! I can't wait to hear what happens!
Yes, send me the Thanksgiving family video that you make when it is finished!!! Also today before I leave could you send me some nice pictures of our family and stuff like the one that Steve Barton took at my mission call opening, the Jr. Jazz one and maybe a few of our family. I would like to show some friends from my district. 
Yes I got the package of cookies... thank you so much I have loved them!!
No, I cant believe I'm going to be 19! It doesn't even seem real at all.. It really doesn’t seem like its going to be my birthday cause I've just been so busy I've had no time to really focus on it. 
I heard about Andrew Campbell's mission call to South Korea... that is so cool! 
Also, can you get me the Bishop's email, I would like to email him, along with Tanner's and Amy's if you can :) 
Well, we leave here at 9:30 at night and then our flight leaves from Mexico at 1:15 Tuesday morning. Then we fly to Colombia and have a two hour layover there we should get to Colombia at 6 or 7 in the morning. So I could call you then to if you wanted me to. And then from there to Guayaquil!!! So most likely though I would just like to call you around like maybe 11.00 o'clock tonight before we fly out. How does that sound?
I am very excited to leave. My Spanish is not as good as I would like but I'm as ready as ever to leave. I am going to miss my district a ton because they have been like my family for the last month or so. I have loved being district leader and it definitely has helped me to be more focused here. I know the gospel is true and I have loved reading in the scriptures so much more here. I know the gift of tongues is true at least to a point because I have learned so much and I have said some crazy stuff to investigators that I had no idea that I could say.
Elder Pinkston from my district told me yesterday that he was so grateful that I was here, that I've helped him in so many ways and that he has looked up to me as a person here, it made me feel wonderful. As well as Elder quilter, he said that if anyone else was district leader he probably would have gone home (cause he has a hard time being out here and I'm pretty laid back) also me and Elder Myers have come to agreement that if we both didn't have each other we may not have survived our district, because we both relate to so much stuff and it has helped me so much. So I'm going to miss my district. I have come to love them all but also it has made me excited to get out and serve. I want to meet my next companion and learn to love him and find a way to enjoy everything that I do out here. I know it will be hard, but if I try my best and forget myself, I will be able to do it and by doing it, it will definitely make me an all around better person.
Love you all! Email me back today when you get the chance; I would love those pictures! 
Lots of love, Elder Lignell

 Local Missionaries that became friends of Austin's and prayed with him for his friend, Chandler Webb.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week Five - November 12, 2013

Alright, so this week has been interesting. I've had so really cool great experiences and some harder difficult ones. First,  I've been playing a ton of basketball here, and it's great! I love the fact that I can see that I've improved athletically in just the 5 weeks that I've been here.

I love my district and I have come to be really good friends with pretty much all of them. See picture attached.

Ok,  being district leader has been a good experience for me and it has forced me to be a good example and it has helped me to learn so much, and I am very grateful that I've had this opportunity. And who knows, maybe it is preparing me for something bigger in my mission. 

Ok, now spanish. So I am definitely worried to get to Ecuador because my spanish is not that great. I mean I have learned a ton but I still have a ways to go, but I know that if I trust in God and do my best that I will be able to learn Spanish and I can't wait for that day to come!!! Being able to fluently speak another language will be absolutely amazing!! But, despite the fact that I don't feel completely ready, I want to get to Ecuador soooo bad and I want to learn everything about Ecuador!! However, I have heard some stuff already such as: they have amazing pastries, it is toooo hot in Guayaquil, I will be eating a lot of fish and that Guayaquil is much poorer than Mexico city which is hard for me to believe. I'll make sure to take in everything when I get there so I can tell you all about it. 

Also, today we went to the Mexico Temple for the last time and they just barely got the new video which was nice to see again, and I actually understood most of what was going on in Spanish which is sweet!

I'm so glad that you and Jake have been reading the Book of Mormon/ That is wonderful. It really is such an amazing book and I know that it is true and that it teaches so many wonderful doctrines and principles. 

 We had a way cool devotional on Sunday about forgetting about our old lives and focusing on our new ones. He gave some cool scriptures and two quotes that I loved, one was "Man's extremity is God's opportunity" meaning, that if we push ourselves to our limits we give God the oppertunity to help us go even farther. And second, "Beginners are many but enders are few" meaning, that it's easy to get out here on a mission but it's hard to make it all the way through to the best of your ability! So I love those and I am determined to do my best and I can't wait to get to Ecuador!! Also, after that devotional, Elder Myers showed me some scriptures relating to that devotional which I also love. They are D&C 122.5-9 go look it up cause it is awesome. :) 

Love you all, Elder Lignell

Top Row: Elder Huber, Elder Lambert,, Elder Quilter
Bottom Row: Elder Pinkston, Elder Lignell, Elder Watts, Elder Myers, Elder Taylor
A big plate of hot wings!!! Yummy!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Week Four - November 5, 2013

Thank you so much for continuing to update me on Chandler. It has been really hard to deal with it out here, but I feel like I'm finally getting my head wrapped around it and that's good for me. I feel like all of our lessons and devotionals and everything here this last week has been specifically for me to help deal with this. And that has helped me a lot it. It feels like God really does have a hand in my life and although I may not be the best at recognizing it, I have been recognizing it recently. I realize that we aren't spiritual giants the day we walked in here, but through persistence we can be, and we have the opportunity to be the best missionaries possible! 

I know chandler will be okay whatever happens. God knows his plan on earth and he will absolutely help chandler to complete his plan here on earth, whatever that may be. Also I will make sure I email brandon today I know that he is having a hard time and he'll need a boost. 
I found two other kids from Brighton that just got here; Brad Wallace who played on the basketball team, he's a nice kid and also Sage Nelson, the kid who would always come over to our house to study physics with me. It is really nice to have some friends outside of my district and I've loved talking to them!!! 

My Spanish is coming along nicely (although its still not that great) and I've really been enjoying reading the scriptures. The book of mormon is a wonderful book and it can strengthen your life in so many different ways, I would suggest that you guys as a family should read maybe a chapter a night or just a verse or two. 

This week I bore my testimony in Spanish and fast and testimony meeting, I completed a 24 hour fast (and almost died ;) haha and we committed both of our fake investigators to be baptized on December 5th. 

Here's my testimony in spanish. Yo se que la iglesia de jesucristo es verdadero, y se que Dios y Jesucristo saben nosotros. Yo se que Jesucristo veni a la tierra para ensenar y salvar todos los personas, y la expicion es para todos los personas y la expiacion es muy imporante in mi vida porque yo siento el poder de la expicion cada dia y yo amo la iglesia y yo se que es muy muy impotant par mi estar aqui hoy en el CCM en el nombre de jesucristo amen.
I'm really sorry about Jacob I hope he heals soon!! However, if he does not heal soon, Courtney Long will understand and if Jacob deserves to be on the team Courtney will make it happen. You can tell Courtney I said that :) but I'm glad Jacob is being positive about it. Make sure you have him get a blessing for it, that will help!

Also, I did get my package on like Wednesday or Thursday of last week,  but I found out how you can get me food. You do it through "My Dear Missionary" or "Dear Elder." I would love some treats here like candy and stuff. No chips, I have a ton of those here :) but it would be great if you could get me a package or two :) 

Thanks for all the other stories you put in your emails.  I can't really touch on all of them but I enjoy reading them.
Okay so this week in general has been pretty bland, not too much exciting stuff has happened except that our toilet got plugged and me and another room mate went at it with plungers for a few hours to no avail, but now it is finally fixed which is such a great thing. haha
I'm so excited to get to Ecuador and a lot of kids keep saying that they wish they were going back to the states because it's not like America here in Mexico but I definitely want to go to Ecuador. I can't wait to explore my area and talk to people and become fluent in Spanish. I am so so so very excited even though I know it will be even harder there than it is here.
But one thing that Elder Myers and I were talking about is that since our Spanish isn't great and we can barely say stuff, we make our sentences as simple as possible and therefore we will teach our investigators in very simple ways making it easy for them to understand. Then the gaps that we can't fill in our lessons, will just be filled by the lord because he is always there helping us. It's cool to see how here in my district I can still be the same Austin, but also enjoy the gospel and what it has to offer. I'm going to continue to take one day at a time and try my best because that all I can do and Spanish will come at my own pace and so will understanding the gospel. I really like the verse in Ether 12:6 it talks about having trials before our faith is strengthened this applies to me so much right now and also applies to Jacob with his ankle and it's probably hard for him but he will be strengthened after his trial. 
Anyways I love you guys. I miss you a ton but I'm excited with what I'm doing and I know the Lord is happy with my decision to be out here. I love that I have all of your support and continue to keep me updated!

Love, Elder Lignell             Showing off our new soccer jerseys!

Week Three - October 29, 2013

Elder Myers and I just finished playing basketball.  He is a nice kid and he went to Bingham.  We are becoming pretty good friends :)  And, ya, I love Mexico!  I wanted "favelas" in my mission and when you look at the picture, I'm completely surrounded by them!

Oh, and I gave my first priesthood blessing the other day to a sick girl in our district and the next day she felt better, so I feel like it helped a ton!!!

Laundry is good and there are six people in my like dorm to one shower so that is interesting.....but it is just like a basketball camp, so it is okay :) We get an hour a day for gym time!

We take the bus to the temple every other week.  The city is awesome.  The whole place is packed with people!  The weather is great.  We are at 6,000 feet so higher than Utah and it stays about 75 degrees.  It is sorta humid and rains a lot, but I love it so much!!!

I've been thinking about Chandler a lot and it is very hard not to.....this week has been hard.  I've had my entire district pray for Chandler.  The native Mexicans that are here in the MTC are concerned about Chandler too because they could see I was very worried about my friend and even though we can barely communicate with each other, they are super supportive.

A plus this week is that we got our investigator to commit to baptism, which even though it's fake, it is still a really good feeling!

And in conclusion, I love it here.  El CCM (Spanish for MTC), es muy divertido y me gusta la comida mas poco poco poco.  Estoy mas or menos feliz porque mi estomago esta loco este semana. Le amo ustedes mucho.  I miss you gusy.  I love you all to death, but I'm doing the Lord's work and he needs me for a couple of years :)

Love,  Elder Lignell

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week Two - October 22, 2013

So week two is down! Only 4 more to go in the MTC!!! Im so excited to get to Ecuador and serve the people there! Um oh and something I found out today... My mission actually does have the Galapagos Islands in it!!! So I could possibly serve part of my mission there!!!!  

Also, tell Jacob thank you for the letter and I'll let you know when I get the package. Let Jacob know that if he wants to ever say anything from him, to just use his own email. It would be nice if he sent some every once in a while. Also the same goes for dad; I'd love for him to just send me quick little messages and tell him they don't have to be anywhere close to as long as yours mom :) haha Thanks for keeping me updated I appreciate it!

Ok, so it's absolutely crazy that you mentioned my patriarchal blessing because I've been thinking about it a ton lately which is pretty random I need to look at it though :)

The food isn't too bad. I'm definitely getting used to it! Although the past few nights I haven't gotten any sleep because apparently someone decided it's a good idea to celebrate with giant fireworks from like 4 to 6 in the morning! No one knows whats wrong with mexico... hahaha. I feel like I'm in the Hunger Games cause were enclosed and can't leave and cannons go offf every hour or so. haha.

It's difficult being district leader because I have to keep others in line and then myself also which is hard because I have to always be the example! But I'm still trying and it will set me up well to serve the rest of my mission!

 Ok, now to answer your questions. Yes, there is a small store or la tienda to buy stuff. We get about ten dollars a week to spend there ,however I just ordered a customized mexico soccer jersey for 30 pesos! It's awesome and way cheap here. Tell Kathy. thank you for her pesos!

Yes there is a gym and workout place and I worked out today actually.

Saturdays are like normal other days, just lots of study and teaching investigators in Spanish which is very intimidating, but it helps us learn Spanish soooo much!!!

Sundays are super relaxed except I have to give hour long lessons to my district and then we all prepare 5 min talks in Spanish for sacrament meeting. Then random kids get called up to talk and I got called up last sunday and I did mas o menos but I felt okay about it!

 All in all, it is super hard here, very stressful to be a DL. I have gained a testimony of the gift of tongues cause I've said some crazy stuff that I never could have said before in Spanish to investigators. I know that Heavenly Father is looking out for me because everytime I feel down he finds a way to lift me back up!!!!

 I'm so excited to get to Ecuador and I'll keep you updated!

Tell D.D. I got her letter :) it was nice!

Love you all so much!
                                  Austin's District and Spanish Teacher
                                                      Austin's District
                                                          MTC Campus
 Elder Lignell






Week Number One - October 15, 2013

Hello! okay so first off while I´m in the MTC my P-days will be every Tuesday so you can expect emails from me then. I have a ton to tell you and I hope I can get everything in! Okay so to start, my first real day in the MTC was the longest day of my life. You have constant meetings and everything is new and confusing. In the MTC you are put into districts, and branches. Your district has about ten people and branches have about 50. On the first day I was asked to be District Leader so I'm in-charge of my district, which is a nice tribute to me that they picked me on the first day. However, its an intimidating task. I have to "lead" my district and its tough because we're expected to be 100 percent obedient and I'm supposed to make everyone else be obedient also which is difficult because half the time I wont want to do some things either. But, I've just been sucking it up and trying to do my best. 

 We literally have dove into Spanish! The second you walk into the MTC you are expected to always use spanish, or at least try your best.   For instance, all the prayers are in Spanish, the meetings are mostly in spanish and our teacher hardly knows English so he obviously uses quite a bit of Spanish. I go to bed at night with different Spanish words just floating around cause its about all we think about throughout the day. We teach a fake investagator most days also and it's tough because we can only speak Spanish to him because he doesnt know any English. However, just yesterday me and mi copenero, Elder Watts, taught him the first lesson in Teach My Gospel in all Spanish. Which was way cool. I thought it went way good!!!

I like my companion he's very nice however he has never taken any spanish before this so I do most of the talking when we teach. So it's hard but it forces me to learn a lot very fast. He is from Layton, Utah I think and he just graduated like me and he is also going to Guayaquil Ecuador South, as well as three other goes in my district. He is a great kid and I'm lucky to have a companion as good as him.

I'm glad Jacob has started taking my clothes already, When I was reading your email at first I thought you were gonna say something like he was crying in your room cause he missed me... But I'm glad that he's taking advantage of me being gone. (haha).

The food is well interesting. They try to make American food and they can't do it so it turns out terrible. (haha)  

Mexico city is pretty crazy there are so many houses it's unbelievable. We are completely surrounded by people and something I didn't know is that Mexico City never sleeps! The noise at night is unbelievable!! Something funny about it is that different neighborhoods celebrate different saints on different days so since there are so many neighborhoods around us, at least one neighborhood is always having a party! So they light fireworks off until like 2 or 3 a.m. most nights. But it's okay cause I can sleep through anything now!

Other than that the MTC is very hard and stressful and super tiring (I always want to sleep) it's also very cool I'm amazed at how much Spanish I've already learned in like 5 days and the spirt is so strong! Also I find so much joy in simple things like listening to conference music or like corn dogs for dinner!  (It's a lot better than hot dogs and peaches for breakfast!) I'm slowly enjoying it more and more each day. However, I cant wait to get to Ecuador. I feel like I will never leave this place... haha

We went to the temple today and it was way cool. I did it in English but next time we go it'll be in Spanish, so hopefully I survive. I love you all so much and I appreciated all you would do for me. Tell dad I'm sorry we never got our last game of ping pong! I miss Mom making my bed! My companion makes his perfect everyday and I have yet to make mine......we'll see if I ever get around to it :)


Love, Elder Lignell

                                   Elder Lignell and Elder Watts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I Made It!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013  7:28 p.m.

Hey Guys, so here goes my first email. I just got here at the Mexico MTC and everything went well. I survived the plane rides and all my bagage is here. We were welcomed to Mexico by a nice rain and thunderstorm, so I´m soaked. But its alright so far and it seems pretty nice. Mexico City is really cool, it's super poor but its awesome to see all the houses just stacked on top of each other and all the homes are very colorful.

Anyways, I love you guys. I can't believe I´m here, but I´m excited I´ll update you soon when I get a chance, lots of love!

Elder Austin Lignell