Sunday, August 12, 2012

OK!! I'm Back! Man, time is just flying by! Mom said that Jeremy Colling is back from his mission, and Courtney said that Theo should be back here in a few weeks... I remember their farewells! Well, maybe not Jeremys, I don't know if I went to that one, but I do remember when he left though! So crazy!

Anyways, Big news in my life here in the past few weeks! Wait, no, I guess it's only been a week...

I'll start with the smell. My dad grew up on a farm, and so often we would go down for summer holidays to the farm to hang out with my Uncle Verl and Aunt Linda. But my dad had this saying, whenever he smelt cow poop, he would say "Smell like Money!" Because if there was cow poop, there were cows, and for a farmer/rancher, cows meant money. Well, every once and a while, if the wind is blowing just right, or we are in the right town, MAN! It smells like money. And its such a great smell actually... My companion must think I'm a nut ball because every time I take a big deep inhale and smile, because it reminds me of the farm, and swimming in the creek...

Everyone here is kinda old though, and with that comes a sense of youthfulness, that at certain levels is healthy and good for you, but with everyone here, everyone decided that they want to have a motorcycle. Well, old people don't have the best balance... So motorcycles aren't the safest choice. I know there is a house not far from my house where the people have a motor-trike. It's a 3 wheeled motorcycle, and that was the only one I had ever seen in my life. But here... Oh man, EVERYONE has a trike. It's hilarious actually. I mean, good for you for staying young, but you look like a fool riding with your motorcycle gang with 5 senior citizens all doubled up on tricycles.

We met this super awesome dude the other day in a town called Hebertville-Stationne. We were talking to him and he told us that he didn't believe in God. So, Elder Heder asked him "What brings you joy in this life?" And what he said to answer was not anything that anyone would EVER have expected. He said "Let me show you, come inside". He then proceeded to show us his Lock collection. He had thousands of locks! it was crazy!!! He said he had a lock from almost every single country in the world, and some of them were hundreds and hundreds of years old! I took pictures, don't worry. But Elder Heder asked if we could have a souvenir and he let us each pick a little lock, nothing special from his cheap pile. He said he had three to four hundred thousand dollars worth of locks in his house. It was insane. Elder Heder and I now refer to him as the Lock Master, but I personally think he should get a ghostbusters title. I don't remember the name of the two, there is the gate keeper and then the other one. They have to come together to unleash Zool? Zod? Maybe I'm just crazy though and none of that makes sense...

We had a baptism this weekend!! Our Good Friend Roger got baptized!! It was such an awesome moment! We had 19 people at the baptism, and 6 of them were investigators! Roger invited his mother and 3 of his freinds, and they all want to talk to us more about the things they felt at the baptism. Alma is a new area in the mission, it has only been open since January, and now, after months of hard work, the results are starting to show. The work is about to explode with good, solid contacts and converts and baptisms. I am so blessed to be able to work in the area and to start my mission in a place as blessed as Alma is. With that, Roger was confirmed on Sunday and received the Holy Ghost too, and that was an incredible moment too! Frère Martel did that and I don't think I have heard anything quite so beautiful in my life, his blessing was amazing! It was basically a patriarchal blessing. Roger will be a great strength to this ward and to the missionary work here in Alma and all of Lac-St.-Jean.

With that we also received transfer calls this weekend! Very exciting news, I am staying with Elder Heder in Alma! Not that we were expecting anything different, it's kind of the way things work, trainers and trainees stay together for at least 2 transfers. But the mission is being turned upside down! We had 16 missionaries leave this transfer and 15 new ones show up, so there are tons of greenies out here. President said that almost every single district in the mission will be training by next transfer, because the same thing will be happening next time too, a whole bunch of missionaries leaving and a whole bunch coming in too. it's nice to have that "Greenie Fire" driving everyone to work hard and to do their best to serve the Lord with all their Heart, Might, Mind and Strength.

With The baptism this weekend, we actually had a few others in our District. Our district consists of three of the most distant areas in all the mission. Alma, Chicoutimi and Rimouski. All three of them are small in regards to church members. Infact, the last baptism we had in our area was almost 9 years ago! But, all three of us had baptisms this weekend! This is the first time in recorded history (and recorded history starts about 2 years ago when President and Sister Cannon started here) That all the areas in our district have had a baptism on the same weekend! It was great, we got to go out to Chicoutimi and see their baptism and they came to ours because ours was Saturday, and theirs was Sunday. And Rimouski got to do thier baptism in the river because they don't have a baptismal Font!! So cool, right!?!?!

Anyways, we are always working hard here in Alma, always looking for ways we can improve ourselves and be better missionaries. We take all our problems to the Lord, and we see the Lords hand in helping us with everything that we ask for help with. We spend lots of time going door to door, but there are also many hours spent in lessons, teaching people about the blessings that come from the gospel. It is such a blessing to be here with my life dedicated to serving the lord, forgetting myself and focusing entirely on the people. I love this work, and I love the Lord so much!

Spiritual Thought:

1 Rois 1:1

Le roi David était vieux, avancé en âge; on le couvrait de vêtements, et il ne pouvait se réchauffer.

1 Kinds 1:1

Now King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.

My Spiritual thought this week is this. Next time you see a "Gangsta" walking around with his pants halfway to the ground, just remember, this problem we have isn't something new that we have to deal with, but even in the Bible, they had problems with this! King David obviously wore his pants so low that they fell off completely! So they had to cover him with clothes and COVERED him with clothes. They took matters into their own hands and put some pants on him and made sure he was covered. Modest is Hottest... And of course, he Gat no heat, so he obviously wasn't packing a gun, which is good, because that really would have scared the people back in that day and they probably would have killed him for being a witch or something! There were G's back in the day. So next time you see a "gangster" don't be hatin', dems juss followin' d'example of dems in da bible. How many of you have absolutely dedicated your life to following the example of someone in the scriptures? Granted they picked the wrong person to copy... But details!

Anyways, back to the point on the story! When you think you are dealing with a problem that is new and never been seen before, remember that Jesus Christ suffered for us. He felt everything that we have felt, he knows exactly what we are feeling, and he knows how to help us. And the best way to get help with problems like that is through the scriptures and prayer. You will be surprised to see that there are people in the scriptures, whether ancient or modern, that may not have dealt with exactly the same thing that you are dealing with, but they may have the exact answer you are looking for. And the best way to try and find that answer is through humble supplication of the Lord by prayer. He is there for you. He is listening when you speak to him. And he wants to help you, and he CAN help you, all you have to do is have faith that through his atonement you can have those feelings taken from you and find relief in our Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all so very much!! And I hope that life is treating you well.
Much love,
Elder Austen Oviatt

This is one wall of the Lock Masters house. It was crazy!!

I had to throw this one in too. This is a picture of his keys. He knows which key goes to which lock. for all of them. =/

Every now and again, we wake up with a thick fog blanketing the town.

BAPTISM! Elder Heder, Roger Hudon, Elder Oviatt!

Someone poured some fertilizer in a big smiley face on the side of this overpass. We drive past it almost every single day. It's awesome.

It's a good thing I don't take signs anymore. I mean, It's a good thing I never took signs before... Otherwise I might really want to take that one...

We took a road trip the other day to Lac-St.-Jean and I took this cool panorama shot where the sun was going behind the clouds so it got darker.

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