Monday, November 30, 2015

When We Do Our Best, Our Best Improves

Hello friends and family,

 I woke up yesterday with body aches everywhere! I basically slept for 24 hours. I'm feeling a little weak but I am hoping and praying I will be able to work without interruption for the next 3 weeks. 

 I would like to share a few highlights from my week!

 On Tuesday, I was praying and I was thanking Heavenly Father for the birds chirping outside. I think there might be a nest close to our window. Three seconds after I said that, a bird ran into the window. hahaha it was funny! I said "no Heavenly Father, I said THANK YOU for the birds, I didn't say I WANT a bird."

 This week we had a member of the Quorum of the 70 come to visit us. His name is Elder Zeballos and he is from Chile. We learned many things that day but what stood out to me the most was when he answered the question "What is our best?" It is toward the end of my mission now and I have asked myself the question, "Did I do my best?" So it was a huge answer to my prayer when he told us this story:

    When Elder Zeballos lived in Chile, he lived close to the ocean on the beach. On the other side of him was a mountain. He didnt want to climb the mountian because it was too hot, but his son insisted that they climb the mountain together. "I'm too busy", said Elder Zeballos. Haha but his son grabbed his planner and found a day that he was going to be home and said, "We will climb the mountian on this day, you wont be busy." Elder Zeballos told him, "Ok, under one condition! We leave at 6:30 am this way we will leave before it gets too hot." They agreed. A few weeks later, Elder Zeballos thinks his son forgot about the arrangement they made, but he didn't. He came into his bedroom and woke him up. They climbed the mountain and when they got tot the top of the mountain they looked over at the beautiful beach on one side. When they turned to look at the other direction, they saw another mountain that they did not see before. They could only see the second mountain after they climbed the first. So it is when we do our best our best is always changing. When we climb to the top of one mountian, we see another mountain to be climbed. But each time we do our best, our best improves. So his son said, "Next week, we climb the second mountain." Haha and they did! It was a cute story. It helped me realize that I have done my best on my mission. But my best will continue to get better, which is what life is all about!

Dennis came to church yesterday! Dennis wants to be Mormon but his wife is a different religion. So after he went to church with his wife,  then came to our church and he loved it!!!! The whole high priest group (basically all the older men in our church) welcomed him! Dennis said he felt very at home. I know that this Gospel is a place for everyone to feel at home!

Sister Beaduette and I gave a talk at Haley's baptism on Saturday. The communication wasnt very clear and I thought I was the only one giving the talk. When we looked at the program it said "Sister Missionaries." Sister Beaudette was horrified! hahaha she is so shy...but she did really good! We talked about how the invitation to be baptized is like the invitation to become a princess and live with God again someday. 

The other night we hadn't found any new investigators in a while and we had an hour left until we needed to go inside. Sister Beaudette and I tried to pray very sincerely that we would be able to find someone to teach before we had to go in. We were walking and we met a lady named Tarran, she listened to us, took a Book of Mormon and invited us back! I am never surprised anymore to see those miracles and prayers answered, Heavenly Father hears us and He answers our prayers!

I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I know that Jesus Christ can strengthen us when we need it. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ, the one that He is the head of. I know that God loves us so much that he guides us through personal revelation and also through His Prophets and Apostles on the earth today. I love the Gospel with all my heart!

I love you all and I will see you shortly!!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

"I have gained experiences, and spiritual knowledge that tells me this is the true church of Jesus Christ"

Hello! many people have been asking when I come home. December 15th is the exact date. 

We have a very fruitful week:) We found 5 new investigators! We taught a less active lady named Betty on Tuesday and all of her house mates joined us. All the ladies in the home have mental disabilities, like mild retardation I think. We went and taught them a lesson by playing Jenga. They loved it and usually we only see Betty but this week they all joined us! It was a really fun lesson:) They all got really loud when the Jenga would fall over. Haha. They were able to learn some basic principles about God, Jesus Christ and the Restoration of the Gospel.

When we taught Karen this week, we brought a member of our congregation with us. It turns out that when Karen was going through a really hard time with some deaths in the family, she had a grief counselor.This was about 15 years ago. It turns out that the lady we brought was her grief counselor! So they clicked right away and it helped me to realize again that Heavenly Father loves us and He knows exactly what we need. Karen was also able to make it to church yesterday:) 

A family we had dinner with on Wednesday gave us some extra cookies. We wanted to keep them but we knew we shouldn't keep a plate of cookies all to ourselves and we prayed about who we should take them to. We thought of a less active in our ward who we stopped by often but he was never home. When we went by, he was there and he was grateful for the cookies.Wwe were able to teach him and give him a moment of peace in his stressful life. He takes care of his wife who has really bad MS, it was a really great experience. 

I got my last set of "trunky papers" this week. Those include a piece of paper to write down my goals, and a piece of paper to write down my most spiritual experience on my mission. I wanted to share with you what I put for my experience.

It was about halfway through my mission and I had just moved from Cypess to Huntington Beach. If you don't remember, I was in the same ward for 9 months and it was really hard to leave. When I got to my new ward, everything was in disarray. Nothing was the way I wanted it to be. Not only that but it is one of the more wealthy parts of the Long Beach Mission which means that the work was very difficult. We talked to everyone on the streets but got rejected most of the time. They would say "I have my Lamborghini, I don't need God." haha just kidding, they never said that. Anyways, I started to have doubts, concerns and questions. I didn't know what I thought to be true anymore. So I did a lot of praying, studying, and soul searching. We had only one investigator left and we went to his house for a lesson with a member from our church. I could tell the lesson was going downhill and that he was going to tell us that he wasn't interested and didn't want us to come back anymore. In desperation I opened up my Book of Mormon to the third chapter of Nephi when Jesus Christ comes and visits the Americas. Usually as missionaries, we stop every couple versus to discuss what it is saying but I just kept reading almost the whole chapter from beginning to finish. With tears streaming down my face I felt in my heart at that moment that I knew the Book of Mormon was true. I wanted so badly for him to know it too. Sadly, he still ended up telling us that he wasn't interested. But I am grateful for that lesson because I needed it. I needed to feel the confirmation from the Holy Ghost which testifies of all truth. I can testify to you that I know that Book of Mormon is true. I have gained experiences, and spiritual knowledge that tells me this is the true church of Jesus Christ. 

Well I love you guys, I hope your finding joy in every stage of your life and I hope you are looking to good in all you do.


Love, Sister Miller

This was a picture of us and the Elders in our ward on Halloween!

No Unclean Thing May Enter Into God's Presence

Oh boy, I just don't know what to write about today!! This week there were really good things that happened but there was a lot of unraveling of things too. 

I guess I will tell you about the big revelation I had this morning that was really cool!! You might not think its cool but I thought it was! We have a lot of people we teach, nonmembers and less actives that just don't make it to church! So this morning I was thinking about the Sacrament and how to help people understand what the Sacrament is. For those of you who don't know, the Sacrament is the bread and water that we take each Sunday. It represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We take it to renew our promise we made when we were baptized to basically live a Christ-centered life. Then Heavenly Father promises us that each time we take the Sacrament we can be cleansed of our sins and have the Holy Ghost with us. Like the scripture says, "The spirit doesn't dwell in unholy places." So we need to be cleansed in order to have the Spirit with us. Anyways, as I was studying this morning I realized that every scripture that says "baptism" can be replaced with "sacramant" because It is basically the same thing. Each time we take the Sacrament it is as if we are being baptized again. so that solves the problem when people ask, "Why do I need to go to church, I already believe in God." Because we need to be cleansed of our sins in order to be prepared to meet God!! That is one of many reasons why we need to go to church. Here is an example: 

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of 
Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into 
the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s 
burdens, that they may be light;

 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those 
that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and 
in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be 
redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye 
may have eternal life—

 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you 
against taking the sacrament in the name of the Lord, as a witness 
before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, 
that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his 
Spirit more abundantly upon you?

So basically the scripture is saying, if you want to follow Christ then why don't you take the Sacrament??? So that was my big revelation I had today. :)
We met this guy named Dennis this week, he is awesome!! And he knows everything about his family history. That is so unusual for people that aren't members of our church! He can talk and talk forever, he also teaches science and history. We call him grand-pa. He is pretty great, I hope he lets us to continue to come over.
Other stuff this week. I taught sister Beaudette how to pump gas and this week was the first week she did it by herself! While she was pumping the gas she was thinking, "What would happen if the car blew up." Then the gas was done and it clicked, she jumped like a foot in the air because it scared her hahaha it was so funny!!
 I cant remember if I told you but we teach a recent convert at Jack in the Box. We are regulars there now! I am also friends with the most famous homeless person in Long Beach, his name is Jerry. Last week he gave me a can of pears for Halloween and this week he gave me a brand new knitted blanket. I told him that I didn't want to take it from him but he insists ever time so I don't know what else to do but take it. haha!He is famous because he carries a cart around town with all of his belongings, so he is know as Jerry the cart man, and he is my friend. Haha!
Ok well I love you all, I hope you have a good week!!

Do Something That Will Bring You Closer to Jesus Christ

We had a really great week, here's a preview...

There is a homeless lady that goes through the dumpsters looking for plastic bottles around our apartment. So now instead of using our water bottles, we busy plastic ones so we can give them to her. It makes her very happy when we give her our plastic bottles:) This week we gave her cookies too! We are good friends although we cant understand each other very well, she is originally from somewhere outside of the country.

Another homeless man we are friends with is named Jerry. He pulls around everything he owns on a cart. We walk the same streets so we talk to him often, he is a really sweet old man:)

Some of you may be wondering what I am going to do when I get home. Im really not sure yet! I am going to wait and see what doors of opportunity present themselves when I get home. Ive thought about joining the Air Force, going to UCCS, BYU, online degrees etc... but I don't have a definite answer for you.

This week we did service with the Temple Baptist Church. The pastor and his wife are the nicest people! We helped assemble backpacks for elementary school kids and high school kids. Altogether 209 backpacks were made:) There is something really special about working side by side with another church, it feels right, we should all work together and love each other!

One of my favorite parts of this week was doing Family Home Evening with the Frederick's. So the Frederick family is related to some people that I used to teach in Huntington Beach and when I came here they heard about me and we got along right away! They are a young family and their mother just moved in with them, her name is Carry. She seems so prepared to hear the lessons so I am really excited to teach her!!

When we got to this area we were starting from scratch. We had no one to work with! Now we have a little over 10 investigators and 6 less actives we meet with weekly. We also have found a lot of part member families to work with. Its been really awesome to see the area grow! I learned that it comes a little bit at a time. It doesn't come over night so we just need to be patient and have faith. Then you will look at the changes that happened and see God's hand in everything. I will apply that lesson for the rest of my life, we need to be patient and everything will work out. Even if you don't see the blessing day to day, when you look back you will see them:)

If you asked me the reason why I came on a mission before I came I would have said, "Because I know that I can be closer to Jesus Christ than any other time in my life." This is so true, I do feel like I am closer to him than ever before! But I also learned that I can keep that feeling with me always not just on my mission. It comes through prayer, through scripture study, and through going to church. It comes through sharing the Gospel with others and serving people. We don't need to be on a mission to do those things! So I invite everyone who reads this email to do something that will bring you closer to your Savior! I only ask you because I love you and I know the happiness it will bring you. 

One thing you can do is simply to watch this video of our Prophets testimony of Christ. I just watched it a few minutes ago and I loved it:)

 Ok well I love you all!! Have a great week