Hola familia y amigos!
By now you might have heard the news. If not here we go.
I have been struggling with severe depression and anxiety for a long
long time. The mission field is highly stressful and my depression has
gotten worse. The Church has wonderful programs to help people like me
who face problems like mine and I am so grateful for the help I have
received here in the field. Even with the help I have had serious
thoughts of suicide. This past week during a panic attack I broke down
and took a razor to my skin. I felt so low and dark. No one would have
know but my mission president, President Slaughter, asked me to report
serious event about my depression to him. He heard the news and is
obligated to report information like this to mission headquarters. Now
the church is willing to help heal me but I am a risk to myself and
the well being of the church. The Church doesn't want to gamble with a
missionary's mental health or, in my case, self harm.
I will be coming home .
This is medical release and I am under the impression I will not be
allowed to return to the field. I am so sorry. You all were incredible
in your support to get me out here and to help me while I've been
here. It truly takes a village to raise a missionary. You all deserve
missionaries who are strong, and valiant and can push on through hard
times. I wish that could have been me. I didn't want to let you, the
people I love most of all, down.
I do want you all to know that this week I have worked my hardest. We
set 6 people with a baptismal date, got 13 people to come to church,
and taught 9 lessons coming to a total of 7 progressing investigators.
For those of you who don't understand what my missionary talk means.
Know this, my area is doing best in the entire mission of Texas San
It's been a short while, but I am in the business of changing heart
and in this past 4 months that is exactly what I have done!
I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ,
called of Him by prophecy and revelation,
and assigned to serve in the Texas San Antonio Mission.
I have been sent to teach repentance and baptize converts.
This is who I am and this is why I am here!
I invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the
restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement,
repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and
enduring to the end.
My decision has been made. I've put my hand to the plough. I've
crossed the line. So as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Every Sister, every Elder, all in!
Monday, March 28, 2016
Dull week...PSYCHE! We straight baptised Ruben!!!! Guess who he asked to confirm him...ME. It was Spanish and I aced it! The Gift of Tongues is real! I love it here!
Transfers just happens and I'll be staying here and staying happy! I'll get to see the Mutters get baptised! They are progressing so well! At this rate we will baptise the whole area.
Well actually let me talk about Friday night. We were in a super ghetto area. We were looking for those humble enough to receive change in their lives. Surprisingly everyone was impatient and angry. Hmm signs of a rough time in their lives. Well we got door after door slammed on us. That's ok we are planting seeds. They will come around soon enough.
Well here are some pics.
Monday, March 7, 2016
This week was hard. We invited the "V" family, who are so ready for
baptism, to be baptized. They said yes, then backed out. It absolutely
crushed me. They were a bit upset and said they wouldn't come to
church. We fasted for them, and they came to church!! The Lord
Happy Birthday Dad! You're super old. Hopefully you aren't dead before
I come home.
Missionary work is hard. This week wasn't fun. For your guy's sake
I'll leave the details out, but I want to testify of the power of God.
He caries me through everything. When I don't think I can keep going
he pulls me along, when I am in a lesson the spirit teaches, I am
learning Spanish faster than humanly possible and that is a miracle on
its own. God is with me. I know e gospel is true and that the church
is the way Christ promotes our faith. I know the scriptures are true,
and reading them will change your life, no matter how many times
you've read them. I know that Joseph smith was a prophet, and I know
we have a prophet today. Revelation is real.
I love you all,
Here are some pictures
Dear Family and Friends,
Well I'm in double digits for my weeks. I guess that means I'm a pro
missionary. This week has been swell!
We had a bunch of appointments! Juliana had her baby!!!! He's so cute
and healthy. So I guess we got a free new investigator. She is so
happy and she came to church we just didn't see her. She also cute the
dad out of her life which is awesome cause he was a tool!
We went to a gardening expo and served food because the ward members
think we are free labor...freaking white people. But it's ok we got
free succulents they are called campfire succulents and are beautiful!
I named mine Phoenix. I will care for him for my whole mission because
succulents are super easy to care for. The master gardener (yes that's
a thing) told me water it once a month. So awesome!
Spanish is incredible I gave a talk in the Spanish group Sunday. It
was so cool. I had no fear because faith and fear or doubt can not
dwell in the same place. ¡Yo soy valiente! (I am brave!)
Hispanics are incredible. We had a meal with a Hispanic couple and
they invited our investigator they only have a table big enough for 4
people they gave the seats to us three companions and our
investigator. They truly see us as emissaries of the Lord. They are so
kind and generous...and don't look at us as free labor.
I'm learning how to juggle! I'm really good at it! Also we got a
coconut and smashed it on the ground like we are cave men it's so
yummy. Also thanks grandma for the cookies they were awesome! Everyone
should send me cookies or cookie mix or something like that because
you love me. Quiero galletas. (I want cookie). Thanks in advanced!
I hope y'all are doing great! Cause I sure am. I love it here! Me and
my companions got buck wild this week. We went to wing stop with some
new converts and they got us crazy hot wings. They had ghost peppers
in them! If you didn't know ghost peppers are the hottest peppers in
the world... I screamed
We met this girl named Juliana. She is so golden and ready for the
gospel. She is super humble and sweet. She is going through hard times
because she is pregnant and really young. But even though her life is
hard she is very grateful to God for all of her blessings. I really
admire that about her. We invited her to church and she didn't come. I
We talked to this crazy lady. She was super drunk. It was a blast I
learned a good lesson. Keep control of your body so you don't look
dumb. Pray for her soul.
I got my first hair cut. I look pretty fly! Elder Lawrence did a
pretty neat job if you ask me. Also Elder Villeda and I shaved each
others legs. So that's cool. Tambien cociné una pastel. (Also I cooked a cake) it was soooo good!
I'm in Texas!! My first day here they took us to the Alamo where there is a line drawn on the ground. The men at the Alamo crossed that line to show that they would be willing to die for their freedom. All the missionaries have the option to cross that line and give everything to the lord for the next two year. I crossed that line.
Missionary life isn't fun. It's boring, the days are long, and I miss my friends and family. Missionary life is horrid but missionary work is incredible!
We taught this man named Jerry Jr. He is on parol right now but when we walked in the spirit hit me so strong! He wants to be baptized so bad and he knows the Church is true! He gets off parol this week after that he can start coming to church and work towards baptism!
We also have this new convert named sister Landín. Ella habla solo en español (she only speaks Spanish). Also she talks SO FREAKISHLY FAST! I understood about 2% of what she said. I have a lot of work to do.
I'm in another trio! Los nombres de mis compañeros están Elders Lawrence and Bartier. (There names are elders Lawrence and Bartier) great guys both of them. And they are pretty good trainers if you ask me. They said I'm really good at both Spanish and teaching El Evangelio (the gospel) for being out for 5 days. They said I'm way further than they were when they came out! I put my proud pants on for that. Our apartment is nice, two stories 2 bedroom 3 bath. We eat a ton of quesadillas (Mexican style the good way) and our area feeds us everyday! The members love us.
If y'all want to write me or send me a package filled with hot-wheels or something my address is:
6298 Lockhill Rd. #704
San Antonio, TX 78240
Also because I'm in an iPad mission I can read emails everyday, but I can only write back on Monday.
Ok I love and miss you all,
Monday, February 1, 2016
I got some new teachers and one of them is the single most beautiful person i have ever seen. His name is Brother Woodbury. He has Eyelashes that are so long when he blinks i get hit by a gust of wind. He is going to BYU to become a professor!
We taught him and he pretended to be a menos activo (less active) He didnt want to go to church because he is divorced with an 8 year old son. Ward members gossiped about him and his son is rowdy. so its just super difficult, but he knows how important the gospel is and he knows it is a commandment to go to church. So we were talking and I asked him if he was reading the scriptures and he said "no". I was devastated and then i got a super strong prompting. A fire filled my belly and i opened my mouth I thought I was going to breathe fire but instead I spoke. "¿POR QUÉ NO?" (WHY NOT?) he was taken a back. he paused and thought then he spoke "no tengo un excusa" (i butchered that but he said he didnt have an excuse) i testified that i knew he would be blessed and that God and the Spirit of the Comforter would be with him. The spirit was so strong i know my prompting to be more abrasive was inspired and not by me, not by my companions, but by the power of God. We ended the lesson and i invited him to come to church. He said he would.
I am still Austin. Some punk kid who likes to get in trouble and talks to loud, but I now have a second mantle I wear: Elder Hollingsworth de la iglesia de JesuCristo de los santos de últimos días. I am an emissary of the Lord. I get up every day, still tired from the night before because i never get sleep, I put on a tie (all of which are starting to look ugly now that ive worn them so much) and march out my door to speak a language i don't know all day. I'm here to make a difference. My purpose is so simple invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo (invite people to come closer to Christ) my reason is even more simple. porque es bien (because it is good) God does not call the qualified. he qualifies the called. that punk kid who left Las Vegas is not the right person to preach, but I am growing and changing mediante JesuCristo y su expiacion (through Christ and his Atonement) and becoming qualified
Im getting long winded. here are some pictures. Aint i a boss.
Love you all,
Hi Everyone, This is Austin’s Mom -
We have some news… Austin’s mission got reassigned. Crazy I know, but he is no longer going to Kentucky to serve, he is headed to the San Antonio Texas Mission and he leaves . He will still be teaching in Spanish. We don’t have his new mission address yet, but his email is still the same if you want to get ahold of him.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
ok so my pics are me in my mission shirt and mtc sweats. me on the toilet because there isnt a door there ((Note from the editor: The toilet picture will not be enflicted upon the internet. But it is being kept for the mission album)). the other districts left and threw their trash in the hall for us so i got a pic of that. jokes on them the janitor cleaned it up hahaha
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,This is my last will and testament. i just drank 48 ounces of MTC orange juice as challenge. i succeeded... those of you who don't know mtc oj gives violent poops.We got a new investigator this week. His name is Allen he comes from new york he had a feeling he should move to Utah for school. Now he is going to BYU to be a graphical designer.I had this awesome experience this week that starts with a terrible day: So last tuesday i didnt get any sleep. I was pissed. i was so grouchy and rude to everyone then i went in to a lesson with emily. and i just wasnt having it. i barley spoke but then i got this feeling i should open my mouth. I dont remember what i said (something about the value of repentance) but I do remember how i felt. i was washed over with peace and i felt so empowered. The spirit was with me. My spanish was perfect and my doctrine was sound.That's how it all works. i study everyday, Spanish and the gospel, i work hard. when we work as hard as we can and are worthy to have the spirit in our lives the spirit will give us what we need in the very moment we need it. my spanish is far from perfect and i am one lousy teacher. but the spirit allows me to be a mouth peace. he teaches i just be the best tool i can be. The church is true. Emily committed to be baptizedI got to go through the temple last saturday. The provo temple is so ugly on the outside. the inside is beautiful but it is freaking packed all the time! I was so grateful for the calm spirit there. It was the recharge i needed after a long week of getting reprimanded.The mtc is a highly corrective environment. they really try to work the flaws out of you, and im a stinker so its been rough.Im fine dont worry about me. im happy and safe and having a blast. if you guys know anyone who wants to be on my list tell my mommy. she will put them on it.I love you all,Elder Austin Earl Hollingsworth
Saturday, January 9, 2016
WHATS GOOD!my pday got moved todon't worry i'm still alive!Let me give a lesson in human anatomy: when a missionary enters the MTC he eats a grossly large amount of food, this elder than gets what i like to call "the Woopsie-Poopsie" Brothers and Sisters i sharted my pants. if you don't know what a shart is, ask your father. Dont worry folks im pulled it off well, no one knows. not even my companions.Bishop read this to the priests also everyone else read this: Anyone who is thinking about serving a mission here is my advice: work on your 4-square game. mtc 4-square is literally the most serious thing i have ever done in my life. its more challenging than my language study, more intense than gospel study and takes more focus than teaching investigators. stop laughing, 4-square aint a joke.SOME IDIOT IS HUMMING CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN THE COMPUTER LAB RIGHT NOW.I just yelled at them. She stopped humming. she looked very scared. oops (this literally just happened)I got a promotion: startingi'm the zone leader. that makes me incharge of about 2 dozen missionaries. that's the highest rank i can get at the MTC! i'm a super missionary! its awesome! i get to help all the missionaries with any issues they have: homesickness, breaking up fights, reprimanding them for flirting with the cute hermanas (only i can do that). im really excited for this opportunity to serve!Spanish is easy peasy perro, mi espanol es basura ahora (but, my spanish is trash right now) ill figure it out.i really miss music. i rap myself to sleep and sing basically all the time. im starting to forget lyrics its FREAKING ME OUT! i miss fetty wapmy companions and i rearranged our room and pushed our beds together to convince the Hermanas in our district that we share one giant bed, don't worry we separated them afterwards. the other picture is our new years eve picture! we matched aren't we the cutest! also this is hermana knowlton if any of you know Marissa Paz she is my mtc equivalent of herlove you all,Elder Hollingsworth!