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