“My name is Austin Cardinell. I am 19 years old. I live in Fergus, Ontario.
“I’m a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
“I have chosen to serve a two-year mission, without a doubt the biggest decision of my life so far.”
With these words, Austin Cardinell starts his self-produced video called “Austin Cardinell – Called to Serve”.
When Austin was in High School he volunteered at the Fergus Radio Station which is run by volunteers. He did the news updates, weather, community events, and a mid-morning show from 10:00 – 12:00 a.m. Monday – Friday. He also volunteered at the local TV station.
During high school, Austin was thinking that he would go straight from high school to college to continue on with his dream – to work in radio.
“Radio is not just work to me; it’s a passion of mine. How could I give up my dream? I’ve gotten so far at such a young age.”
Then, Austin saw a quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley, “…the sun never sets on this work of the Lord as it is touching the lives of people across the earth.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The State of the Church”, Conference Report, October 2003).
“After reading this I knew I wanted to be a part of the Lord’s work.”
His only problem was that he didn’t have much saved - $600.00 from a summer job at the snack bar in town. After he made the decision to go on a mission things started to come together for him to earn the money needed.
“Our radio station received a grant of $10,000 from the Youth On Air Program, a program geared towards campus and community radio stations interested in working with young Canadians interested careers in radio. The radio station suggested to Austin that he should apply for the summer internship from this grant but noted that there was competition from college students who were also applying.
He earned $9000.00 from the internship which ran from June through August 2015, most of the amount needed for his mission. He did have to work some Sundays, but the station helped him with a schedule that didn’t interfere with him going to church since they knew what he was trying to do.
Austin also got a job with a horse racing track in Elora Ontario filming horse races, and he still had his job at the snack bar and was thus able to earn all of the money needed for his mission before the end of 2015.
When he got paid he turned it all over to his mother and she put it into a savings account for him, because “I’m not very good at saving money.” She would take out money for his tithing, give him $100.00 to spend and put the rest into savings. With three jobs he didn’t have much spare time so he wasn’t spending much.
“I am excited to serve a mission in Colorado; the only thing is that I have never been on an airplane, so I am a bit nervous about that.” As it turns out his friend is leaving for his mission to France the same day, March 29, and is also going to the Provo MTC. They were able to make arrangements to fly out together so it will be a great adventure for them both.
“I had the amazing opportunity to speak to the youth at YLC 2015 (Youth Leadership Conference) held at the University of Waterloo, about this story in August 2015. One quote from that talk is ‘Those choices are not what's Good or Bad, but sometimes between what's Good or what's Better.’”
“Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be. As the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, 'After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.’” (President Thomas S. Monson, “Come, All Ye Sons of God,” Liahona, May 2013)
Called to Serve, Hymn #249