Hello everyone, hopefully all is well.
I am going to have to say that this week has probably been the most uneventful, but hey, what can you do. I like the fact that I'm on a tight schedule, I always feel like I get so much more done, and I feel more organized.
The older District in our branch left this week, so we got a bunch of pictures and stuff with them on Sunday. They were all way awesome, but now we're the senior district, woo!!! We get 2 or 3 more Russian speaking districts on the 28th of July, so that will be very fun. We're gonna recite the first vision AT them, and make them think that we know a ton of Russian, haha. So because the older district left, we got new leaders in our branch/district. Our Zone Leaders are Elder Reynolds and Tucker going to Kiev, Ukraine (Ukrainian Speaking) and my district leader is my companion, Elder Thomas. I totally saw it coming, he's a way hard worker, and the job really suits him well. Though he is now also the Senior Companion, so I am completely and utterly powerless.
Oh another exciting thing happens next week-the temple opens up next monday, so that means I'll finally get to go again! It's been so weird not having the temple, I guess it's good I got a taste of what it'll be like when I actually get out into the field. But yeah, the gym is still closed here cause they're re-doing the bleachers, so no more basketball for me (probably a good thing, I know). You can still run or lift weights on the third floor, but I usually just go out to the field and play soccer. It's pretty fun, I love it.
But because the gym is closed, they have to send us to a bunch of random places whenever there's a devotional, like on Sunday we were in the Cafeteria and they just broadcast it to us. Sunday we heard from Richard Heaton, head of administrators here at the MTC and it was really interesting to see how everything works behind the scenes here. He also talked about the process of how Preach My Gospel came to be, and that the transition from the pre-PMG era still isn't complete. Last tuesday's devotional was from Elder Ronald T. Halverson (another Emeritus seventy) and he gave a good quote from Emerson "God will not have his work manifest by cowards" We have been called here to do the work and there is no reason to fear; Fear was not given to man by God. If I intend to be successful as a missionary it is going to require more effort and energy than I have ever put into anything before. (1Timothy 4:12 and Alma 29) He also said that as missionairies 'we are not to linger on a plateau of mediocraty" i thought that was cool too. Anyway, I'm still learning and growing each day, thanks for the love, prayers and support.
-Elder Austin P. Atkinson