Friday, June 28, 2013

Miscellaneous Stuff

June 28, 2013

Dear Family & Friends,

BERRY PICKING! YeaHA! That's exciting to hear Ashley's getting ready to serve! So, yeah you only could see the top of my head, ha ha. They got a good shot of my companion's eyeballs though. So, as I emailed you last night, I'll be here another week. We found out today that my companion Elder Cervantes has been reassigned to the Colorado Denver South Mission and the Sisters will be going to Jackson, Mississippi. Elders McMaster and Wilson both got reassigned to Fresno, CA, which is where Elder Cervantes is from. So cool! More good news...guess who spoke at our Devotional on Tuesday?!?!?! JANICE KAPP PERRY; It was so neat. Her Husband Douglas talked about his mission in France and how we should focus on people rather than numbers. Sister Perry spoke on the importance of family and missionary work, and music...and a lot of stuff actually. We got to sing a medley of her songs with her. She sang "Like Jesus" for us, and Douglas and her sang a family song they had made with all of their kids and grandkids. It was so neat. In response to the enthusiastic new missionaries who have been called to serve, she added a new line for the Sisters to the Missionary Medley "As Sisters In Zion/We'll Bring The World His Truth" and I believe we were the first ones to hear it. We got to sing it with her. The Spirit was so strong. Other than that the work has been going well. Audriano has committed to be baptized and Anita accepted our invitation to read and pray about The Book of Mormon. Even though they are not real investigators I feel like I know them so well.

I got a Dear Elder from Jason Christensen, which was way cool. He just gave me an update on Salem and wished me well. I was not expecting it and was very grateful. He related the same things to me regarding the civil unrest in Brazil.

I also got a letter from Danielle today. I'll try to respond to it soon, and please tell her and Aunt Debbie I Love Them.

I finished The Book of Mormon today. President Brough challenged us to start and finish before we leave. I Love All of the Prophets and Heroes. Moroni always astounds me. I wonder how he was able to remain alive for so long with no family, no companion (other than the Spirit and the Lord), and no one to talk to. He truly had faith and knew the importance of charity, but more importantly he lived according to his knowledge. I encourage all of you to always read The Book of Mormon.

As far as what a District Leader does, it's pretty straightforward. I just get the mail, pick on people to pray, interview the senior companions, help meet the needs of members of the district, attend training and council meetings on Sunday, and report to the Zone Leaders and Branch Presidency.

I hope you all have a marvelous week,

Elder Weaver

Monday, June 24, 2013

Possible Elder Austin Weaver Siting

Chris Weaver took this picture from attending the Leadership Training - "Work of Salvation" at BYU Marriott Center.  This was attended by Aaron Weaver, Trisha Weaver, Melissa Weaver, Gordon Weaver, Glenda Weaver, Jessica Pukahi, and Joshua Pukahi.  Aaron believes he spotted Elder Austin Weaver with some binoculars up high in the choir section.  The meeting was spiritual and we are all glad to have gone.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Got To Teach A New Investigator

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:36 PM

 Familia & Friends!

I'm so glad I got to see them too! Thank you so much for your letters and care package this week. I promise to put those Mint Oreos to good use (you know what I'm sayin'? ;)

I got to teach a new investigator named Crispim. The Spirit was so strong. Elder Willett and I also went on an exchange and I taught a man named Jorge whom he had been teaching. Before our last training meeting, Brother Bartholomew pulled me aside and asked me if I would accept the assignment to serve as the new District Leader for 69-D. I accepted. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and develop a deeper Love for His children.

I am stoked for the Worldwide Leadership Training this Sunday. Keep an eye out for me. We just got back from the Temple. I love it there. We get our travel plans/reassignments (if necessary) next Wednesday!!! I am so excited to find out where the Lord will have me serve next. Life is Good. I Love it Here!  I'm sorry I don't have much time to reply. We did laundry and I studied for a while, but I will spend more time writing next week. I will also be sure to post meis imagems next semana since that will be my last P-Day at the MTC. I want to make sure we have pictures of all these great people and this Lovely Place. Y'all are the best. Glad to hear everything is going well with Nani's house, Father's Day, and Mommy's Birthday. I hope Mom got my letter.

Keep the Faith,
Preseverar ate O Fim!

Elder Weaver

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Just Saying Hi!

Friday, Jun 14, 2013

Ola, Mae! Tudo bem?

Hello Family & Friends,

Thank you so much for the package and I received your letter last night. Yes that should be everything I need for right now. Thank you for sending that to me. 

Elder Cervantes & Elder Weaver - MTC Companions
My companion's name is Elder Cervantes, he is from Mederra, California. He actually used to live in Salem for a bit. He is honestly one of the most Christ-like people I have ever met. He speaks Spanish fluently and helps me with the Portuguese a lot. I'll send a picture later today of us as the day wears on.

I have been to the Temple.  We go every P-Day, which is Friday (today). So, I have gone twice and I love the Temple. Every time I go, I learn something new and become better. My companion forgot his recommend on accident one time and so we thought we were going to be late, but we made it in the nick of time. When we finished, everyone was surprised to see we had made it. So anyways, my companion is very great. Everyone in our district looks up to him for his meekness. We are currently teaching two investigators, one named Anita, and the other, Audriano.  Anita is a little timid, but she is very curious about the church.  Audriano has a wife who is a member and he wants to make some changes in his life.  I remember bearing my testimony in broken Portuguese during my first lesson with another investigator, Solange. We all cried, and the Spirit was so strong. Even though the investigators are "fake", I pray for them every night and they are very much real to us. My companion always makes me feel good. He never puts me down or makes me feel bad for not knowing the language very well.

Our MTC District
Let me tell you about a few more people:

Elder McMaster: He and his companion Elder Wilson share a room with Elder Cervantes and I. They are in a different district but in the same Zone (or Branch) as us. Elder McMaster is the district leader for his district and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Him and Elder Wilson are about 6 feet tall and Elder Cervantes and I are about the same height. The four of us always sing in the shower and in our residence. We are thinking about auditioning for a special musical number. We sang "How Great Thou Art" one morning and split up into parts. Elder Cervantes thinks he has a bad voice, but I think I can convince him to do it with us. Elder McMaster and Elder Wilson both play a lot of basketball, and they're always throwing their trash "baller" style. It's pretty great. Both of these Elders are very obedient and they observe golden hour to a tee.

Elder Reinhardt: This Elder is my district leader, the one who sent you the email and picture. It doesn't matter, but I received the least amount of mail during our first three weeks. Elder Reinhardt wrote me a letter, and he said, he knew it wasn't as good as one from my family, but he felt bad for me and thought I should have at least one letter. I'm going to keep that one forever, if I can. Everyone looks up to Elder Reinhardt and sustain him as our leader. When he saw we had made it to the temple that one day, he cried and gave us a big hug.

Elder Capawana: This Elder is the companion of Elder Reinhardt. He is honestly one of the funniest people here at the MTC, probably the world. He's the kind of person who can tell a joke and keep a completely straight face. Whenever we're having a tough day, Elder Capawana is the one who makes us smile again. He reminds me of my mother, because he is the kind of kid who you can tell was probably very popular in high school, but he somehow manages to be nice to everyone. I received a blessing early in the week, and I asked him to give it. The Lord gave me a very beautiful blessing through him that night. His friendship and love are something I shall always be grateful for.

Elder Knudson: He is probably the most patient person in our district; he is the super tall one in the picture. He always bends down super far to give me a hug. There were two missionaries in our zone who got their visas, and Elder Knudson's first companion; Elder Pinargotte was one of them. He had been having some struggles with his testimony, and I remember as Elder Knudson shared his beautiful and hard-earned testimony with Elder Pinargotte. He was very patient with him and always made sure he obeyed the rules. It was shortly after this testimony meeting when Elder Pinargotte received his visa. Elder Knudson is now in a trio with Elders Willett and McKnight.

Elder McKnight: This Elder is a little bit confrontational, but other than that he's harmless. He always makes sure we get places on time and he has a strong testimony. I pray every night to be nice to him.

Elder Willett: He is also very funny, and he makes sure to use his study time effectively. Everyone loves this about Elder Willett.

Sister McElderry: This Sister is from Arkansas and she always jokes about the south. She's going to be the new Sister Training Leader, and she's super strong in the Gospel. Her and her companion are the only Sisters in our district, which is pretty rare because there are about half Elders and Sisters at the MTC. My first day here they told us it was the first time they had more Sisters arrive than Elders.

Sister Sirmans: She is the second Sister in our district and she is very funny. Her and her companion get outnumbered a lot with all the Elders, but they always have nice insights that we miss.

Elder Hamrick: He and Elder Whittaker are our Zone Leaders. They are sooo COOOL!  My first day here he was super nice, and one night he came into our room just to tell us how much he loved us and he shared his testimony and thanked us for being good men so I Love Elder Hamrick.

Another note, there will be a massive choir of missionaries (basically the whole MTC), on the 23rd of June for the new Worldwide Leadership Training. You may have heard of this. IT'S GOING TO BE A BIG DEAL! Apparently there's going to be a monumental announcement. The choir will be performing in the BYU Marriott Center before the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. You may get to see me sing.  Our room and I were speculating over the announcement saying China would open and we'd all have to learn Mandarin now. We'll see! But seriously you HAVE to watch it.

Another thing, if you can get your hands on a copy, you NEED to watch a talk Elder Bednar that he gave to the MTC a while back called "The Character of Christ" it changed my life.

Another thing I like about the MTC, there are pictures EVERYWHERE. From Church paintings, maps, and my favorite, real photos of missionaries and investigators from around the world. It's beautiful.

When I got the email from Stan, I seriously shouted "WHAT?!" in the computer lab. Everyone heard me, ha ha. But seriously that was a beautiful message he shared.

Sorry, we're not allowed using the V-Word around here so, no; I know nothing about my status on entering Brazil.

Yes! Everyone in our district, except for the Sisters, is going to Vitoria!  So, I'll see them often. I also met a Hermana Hadley who has family from Espirito Santo who we promised to visit, and hopefully teach the gospel to.

I'm glad to hear everything is going smooth with Nani and Cathy!  Please send my Love to them. I can think of a few things in my life that were more precious to me than going to the Temple with Cathy and spending time with Nani.

That quote from C.S. Lewis (I almost called him Elder) is killer! I'm going to use it a bunch!

I'm going to write a letter to Elder Cervantes family to say thank you and Elder Reinhardts as well.

Yes! If you could, I would love some thank you notes. If not don't worry about it.

Please forgive me for how rude I was to all of you last week. I know all of you are busy people. I let doubts enter my mind and I began to worry something terrible was happening like you and Dad were divorcing, or got killed, or sick.  Elder McMaster and Elder Wilson consoled me and told me y’all love me. I remember crying when Elder Wilson gave me a hug. I know you all would tell me if something was wrong. I Love You ALL So Much!  I shall send some pictures later!

God Be With You!

There Are No Coincidences!!!

Com Amor,

Elder Weaver

P.S.  Here are some pictures of two Elders from back home.

Elder McKay Noll from home
Elder Andrew Cunningham from home

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I Certainly Know How It Feels To Be Isolated, From Friends and Family!

June 11, 2013

Hello Austin….

This is your Uncle Stan, I certainly know how it feels to be isolated, from friends and family!!  Let our savior wrap his arms around you, feel his love and peace!  We have no better fulfillment in our lives then to trust in him with all we do.  Sometime’s easier said than done, late at night when you are in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking about the one’s you love.  Keep your eyes focused and your mind clear, as you humble yourself before Christ and his command of the great commission. 

As you may not know, I spent a lot of time in South America, back in the corporate days, growing the company.  It is such a beautiful loving culture, learn from them, as you teach, and have them learn from you.  Keep your heart available, as people respond to a pure heart.  Of all things in scripture of who and what God is, we know the most talked about is God’s love…….. He sent us a savior, that we can find hope, and trust in all things!!

I know you were sent to be a servant, a mouth piece, and a refuge to the people in South America.

Your family loves you, I love you, and your Father in heaven loves you, for your dedication to a larger cause, and rising above self, to be a true servant of your Father in Heaven!

God, bless you!

“Uncle Stan”

Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Letter Written Home May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

Dear Family & Friends (Especially Mom)

"Tudo bem?!"

Day One at MTC:  Check!  Aaron, Trish and Melissa got me from the airport and everything went smooth.  Aunt Anette, Uncle Ron, Jessica and Jeremy wanted to eat lunch with us so we ate at the BYU Commons.  When we got there, Grandma and Grandpa surprised us!  We ate lunch with them, and yes, we took lots of pictures.  

Thank you for the kind letters, I love them all so much.  I got to the MTC and really felt the spirit as the van rolled up to the curb.  Nice people greeted us.  Everyone said, "We love Elder Weaver"!  Like a thousand times which made me feel really good.  Immediately after getting a name tag I took a quick survey and was sent to a classroom to learn Portuguese.  My teacher is Brother Irmigo Rosewood and he is way cool!  Even though it's only the first day I feel like I have learned a lot.  My companions name is Elder Cervontes.  He is from California and he is super humble.  I think I'll learn a lot from him.  Also, I saw Elder Devin Crump and sat with hime during some teaching exerciser.  Right now my companion and I share a room with another companionship Elders McMaster and Wilson.  They are very focused and I think our dorm will almost become a secondary companions to my primary one.  The reason I want to write a letter first is our P-Day (Friday) probably won't happen this week, so I want to make sure you don't worry about me.  Our Zone Leaders gave us some advice to handwrite our first letters.  I may be able to start email with a few (1-2) weeks or so.

Ready the Book of Mormon.  Invite! Invite! Invite!


Elder Weaver

First Hand Written Letter

Friday, June 7, 2013

If you do nothing else, please read this...

Jun 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Hey, so sorry about that...and for yelling at you guys. I hope you know I love you and I hope you are all well. So, P-day's, are on Friday, and yes I can only email on P-day. I just got back from the temple. I'll head to dinner soon. Thanks to everyone for they're emails. They mean so much. Did you get my letter? I mailed it my first or second day...anyways I Love my Companion, Elder Cervantes. He is one of the most remarkable people I have ever met. He actually used to live in Salem. He speaks fluent Spanish and he helps me with the "Por-too-gaysh" a lot. The rest of my District is way awesome. Especially my district leader, Elder Reinhardt and his Companion Elder Capawana.

Eu sei que Jesus Cristo Vive!

Till next week,

Elder Weaver

This Accurately Sums Up How I Feel!

June 7, 2013

Read Alma 60:6-15 Especially VERSE 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It would not go amiss to read the whole chapter though. That too expresses most vividly how I feel.

If this is part of some kind of isolation experiment or stress test, well, it's working. BECAUSE I AM VERY MUCH ISOLATED AND I AM VERY MUCH STRESSED OUT RIGHT NOW!

And if you still don't get it I am sorry. But I send this to you so that I may have a clear conscience before GOD and ALL MEN, THAT I AM NOT GUILTY OF NOT EMAILING HOME!!!

Elder Austin Weaver

Hey Weaver Clan

District in the MTC

June 7, 2013

Hello, this is Elder James Reinhardt and I'm your son's district leader and already call him one of my great friends.  I don't have much time for a great email, but just wanted to say thank you for raising such a fantastic Elder. He is always so diligent with his studies even when we have class for 10 hours out of the day.  He is always so sincere, sings great Disney songs in the shower, and has a ton of love for everyone.  He really does. His love lifts me up, the district, and the whole zone.  Attached is a picture of the district. Thanks again.


Elder Reinhardt