Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Welcome Home - Elder Austin Ainsworth!

Hello Everyone! This has been one of the craziest weeks! Last Tuesday was my final day to proselyte as a full-time missionary and it was also my last District Meeting. It was a great way to end the day, by seeing Joe and teaching him in a member’s home, as well as seeing Michael and Michelle! They are doing so good and are such a great couple!
Wednesday was the big day! It was transfers! I saw most of my companions, before heading off with Elder Fisher, Sister Degraffenried and Hermana Ward. We were with President Christiansen the whole day! We stopped at mission BBQ and ate a great meal, then drove through Delaware to Philadelphia.  We visited the temple, as well as historic sites like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We met with the Philadelphia Temple President afterwards and he gave us some advice on what we can do when we return home. I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful temple and feeling the spirit that is there.
That night, we got home late and never went to sleep!  We had a quick devotional with the Christiansen's, before heading off to the airport! A 4-hour flight later and I was able to see my family for the first time in two years. It was such an amazing day! It's moments like these that make me think what it will be like when we return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know that the family is so important. It's these relationships that will carry us, even through the difficult times. On Friday, I spent time with the family attending the Jordan River Temple open house.  I also had the opportunity to talk with Joe right after his baptism on Saturday. He was so happy! Sunday, I gave my homecoming talk in my home ward and it was good.  I appreciated everyone who came that day.  It was awesome!
It's definitely been a weird adjustment being home, but I still feel my Father in Heaven close by cheering me on, as I move forward in this new phase of life. Thank you so much for all the support that you have given me. It's helped me tremendously. I hope that the mission experiences I have shared over the past two years has helped you, as well.  Again, thank you so much! 
My mission funeral! 

Philadelphia Temple

Final pictures of transfers!

Mission BBQ

Liberty Bell

Independence Hall

The Airport!

Hermana Ward and Sister Degraffenried

I'm home!

Meeting with President Hogge to be released.

Taking off the tag was pretty emotional.

Jordan River Temple Open House!

Homecoming Sunday

Elder Worsham!

Mission Plaque

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Last Blog Post!!!

Hello Everyone! Wow! This is it! This will probably be the last post that I write. I may do one next week, to cap off returning home, but as a missionary, this will be it! It hardly seems real to think that 2 years ago, I made the choice to serve my Father in Heaven. It has been a choice that has blessed me more than I could have possibly dreamed of. There is no greater service that we can render to our fellowmen, than that of being on the errand of the Lord. I have witnessed broken families come together, men and women who are at rock bottom be lifted in ways where there is no possible explanation, other than God was in their life.
I have seen that in action more so with our investigator, Joe, who will be baptized this Saturday. Joe's life has changed for the better, since he met the missionaries.  It's been really neat to see his progression and the light that has come into his life. If there is any spiritual truth that I have learned over the course of these 2 years, it is that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is a real tangible being, whose love for us is more than we can comprehend. I know He is real, because I have witnessed things that are not just mere coincidence, nor easily explained. He loves and watches over all His children and if we let Him, He will make more out of our lives than we ever possibly could on our own.
Thank you all for your immense love and support, as I have journeyed through this chapter of life. Your prayers have sustained me over these 2 years and I know that I wouldn't have been as successful without them. Have a wonderful week and I will see you Sunday!!!!
Elder Tucker had the opportunity to make a stain glass butterfly! Really cool! 

Service for a member!

Me with Elder Tucker!