I am glad to hear that you are all doing well! I am doing well, still struggling with homesickness pretty bad, but I have been living on my knees, and I know you are all praying for me too. I truly feel the guiding hand of the Lord in my life, and I feel the spirit so strongly here! The language has been tough, and very frustrating, but I know I will be blessed and start to pick it up very soon! The days are very long, besides meals and gym time, we are stuck in one entire room for the whole day for personal and companion study, lesson prep for our investigators (MTC workers acting as investigators), and for language and Gospel study. We play basketball every day at gym, and it is good to have a taste of America! All they play in Mexico is soccer!!!!
So all the elders have been kind of sick this last week, some food we ate had something in it I guess. It was an amazing week filled with priesthood blessings! I have received three blessings since I have been here, and it is truly amazing to feel the instant power of the priesthood bring peace and comfort over my body. I have truly been living on my knees here in Mexico, praying for all of you to be blessed by my service! Mom, I am so excited to hear that you have lost 62 pounds! I truly am so happy for you, when I get back you will be a whole new person! Dad, I am happy to see that you are still riding your bike, and I hope your knee and ankle can begin to heal well, and that you can start to feel better! I’m sure pitching to me all the time didn’t help much, but it meant so much to me when we got to spend that time together! I am looking forward to playing catch with you when I get home!!
Mom, I hope you have an amazing birthday this week! I will be there in spirit, and I am in your heart! I am excited that you get to go to Washington for the wedding, give Julie and Paul my love and tell them I am happy for them! You deserve an amazing day surrounded by family, and filled with fun! I am so proud to have you and dad as my parents, and for the way you have raised me!! I couldn't ask for better family in my life!!! I miss you guys a ton, but I know this is where I am supposed to be!
The MTC is very frustrating because of the language, and being stuck inside for fifteen hours a day... I can’t wait to get out into the field! But I truly do feel the spirit here, and I don’t want to look on this experience as a bad one, because it hasn't been. In D&C 9:14, it reads, "Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen." I truly know the Lord has called me to Mexico and Panama for a reason, and that I need to stand fast and keep pushing forward in this work. It will bless me, all of you, and the people I teach in so many amazing ways.
Mom, I am sending letters to our house for you and dad, Courtney and Ryan, and one for Caleigh. Please make sure she gets it, I didn’t have her address. Also, please send more pictures! Seeing them gives me strength! I look at my photo album every night, and it makes me so happy!
So, our Latinos left on Monday morning, it was hard because we love them so much and grew so close with them! But we are happy for them to be out in the service of the Lord! We exchanged emails with them all, and the night before they left, I had most of them write their testimonies in my journal! It was a really neat experience! We get new Latinos today, and I am hoping to grow as close with them as the last elders!!! :)I don’t have much more time to write today, but I want you to know that I love you more that I can explain. I am so happy to have you as my family, and I am so blessed to be able to live with you for eternity! That is another thing that keeps me strong, knowing that we can be together for eternity!!! I can’t think of a greater blessing! I know this gospel is true, I know it with all my heart. My heart has changed here, and I truly love the Lord. In my blessing, it said I would have a relationship with Heavenly Father like I have with my earthly father. I know that is true. I am happy I have such a great relationship with you, mom and dad, and Courtney and Ryan, and I know it will only get better! Please continue to pray for me, and I will continue to pray for you!!! I love you all so much! I will send pictures in another email.
Elder Austin Kipp