Monday, October 2, 2017

New Transfer

Hello everyone,
Sadly, an other transfer has come to an end and Elder Lamb will be leaving the Northwest Zone. He will definitely be remembered as one of my favorite companions on the mission. In our two transfers together we have had a lot of fun and a lot of hard work done. When it comes to finding investigators, this hasn't been the easiest area, but we've put all excuses aside and just knocked with faith, knowing that the Lord will put things in our past. Our zone (15 companionships) had a goal to get 450 Book of Mormons out by the end of September. We found out last night we reached a grand total of 469, with Elder Lamb and I contributing nearly 20 of those!
I love, love, love the Book of Mormon. I think at the beginning of my mission I felt it didn't have a lot of relevance to me. I knew it was true, but I also thought I already knew everything about it. I saw why my investigators really need to read it, but I, myself, had already got everything I could possibly get from it; I should focus on the "deeper" things found in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Old Testament and so forth. Although it is true that all scripture is very important, the Book of Mormon is FOUNDATION to our testimony of it all. Elder Tad R Callister's talk yesterday really laid it down. What would we know without it? What would our lives be like without it? Everyone in the universe needs to listen to just that short talk. How is it made up? How do you feel when you read it? How many people have felt closer to Christ and felt a great peace in Him from reading it? Listen to this talk if you didn't catch it - share it with a friend -- post it on Facebook--it's just that good. Our mission president explained that the Book of Mormon was the "lead in" to the Restoration of the Gospel. It was translated, it was publish, the copyright was secured, then the church was restored. In the case of a missionary (and possibly anyone who is a member missionary), we should also use the Book of Mormon as our "lead in" when introducing people to the church. If the lord wouldn't even set up His Church without it, what are we doing when we're NOT testifying of its truth at the first sign of even remote interest?
On Tuesday we were tracting and the third door we knocked on turned into an hour appointment. It was a lady named Dana who had lived in Utah for three years previous to coming to Tucson! She "wasn't interested in converting," but she gladly took a copy of the Book of Mormon and said she'd read it! Wonderful! We'll follow up maybe tomorrow to see if she read anything. I used to be restrictive in my distribution of the Book of Mormon, my reasoning being we should only give it to those who read it. But if we gave a copy to everyone who would take one, think of how many people would start reading it for the first time?? She doesn't want to convert now, but the Book of Mormon and very much change that if she will "give place in her heart," as the prophet Alma would say.
I failed to mention last week our mission was approved for Facebook use in proselyting as a means to communicate with investigators. To be honest with you, I haven't even downloaded it yet. I'm sure it will be successful tool among the younger people, but it would be nothing more that a distraction on the screen in this area full of old people.
Tuesday, I'll be getting an Elder Toomer. I've never met him, but he's been out just a transfer less than myself, and I've heard he works hard; I'll be excited for that.
This last conference was simply wonderful; I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I was grieved to hear of Elder Hales passing - what a wonderful man. It was great to hear Elder Neil Anderson share a few of the words he wanted to say if he could have been there yesterday. I also pray for and honor and sustain our beloved prophet Thomas S Monson. He could be the prophet till the Second Coming if it was up to me, but there will come a day he will leave us as well. He will always have a special place in my memory, being the prophet of almost my whole youth.
Love you guys, hope for the best!
Elder Miller

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sup?

Tons of tracting this week. Our zone has a focus to pass out at least one Book of Mormon out every day this month. We've done good for the most part, but this week was a little difficult. Despite our best effort - and giving most of our time to tracting - we only got one out two days out of the week. We did find a nice older gentleman who invited us to come back when he gets of vacation. His name is Bill and he doesn't understand why we don't believe in drinking wine when Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine - haha! It'll be fun to see him again to answer his question.
We gave the run down on general conference to the big investigator family we teach. Bobby, the dad, was fascinated by the fact we have twelve apostles in our Church. They probably won't watch all ten hours of conference (I don't know why they wouldn't want to), but they seem interested in catching at least some.
Sorry this email is super short; just not a whole lot from this week. I will like to say congratulations to Bryant who made it home from Sao Paulo this week! Wish you the best of luck; I'm sure you had a wonderful mission.
Love you guys!
Elder Miller

Monday, September 18, 2017

La Canada ward

We had our primary programs this week, which was super fun to see; everyone in the ward invited so many nonmembers and a lot of them showed up, too! The kids of the investigator family - Lorenzo, Janeya, and Andres - did so well on their lines. Janeya, who's eleven, did the thirteenth article of faith - I don't even know that one!
Tracting wasn't as great as it was last week, but we did still get a good amount of Book of Mormons out. There's so many young families the La Canada ward, and they always seem to be the most open and promising contacts we get in the week. One family we ran into actually saw the temple during the open house, because their neighbors invited them! They took a BOM and said they'd like a tour of our church building as well.
Our ward mission leader invited us to come teach a friend of his on Saturday who lives in his neighborhood. His name is Adam, and we had one of the more interesting discussion of my mission thus far. Instead of teaching our normal first lesson, we asked him if he had any questions he'd like to ask us first, and he had a TON and it took up the whole time. He asked about why we Mormons, what's right and what's wrong, about dinosaurs, and aliens, and the purpose of religion and whole bunch of stuff. Then before we could invited him to read the Book of Mormon - he walked out! It was still pretty fun though; probably the first time I had a lesson turn out that way. The ward mission leader and we got a good kick out of the whole thing. He might invited him over again when one of us gets transferred, so he can throw the book at him, too.
Apparently, our mission is going to be getting Facebook this week. I have no idea what that all entails, but we'll find out on Wednesday. I have to give the details next week, but I heard I might be able to teach relatives from home who aren't members of the Church (the catch is eventually they'll have to meet with the missionaries in their area).
Hope you guys are doing good and have a nice week!
Elder Miller

Monday, September 11, 2017

Tracting

Things are going good in our wards. Our tracting has gone pretty good this week. We gave Book of Mormons to like six people which is about six more than we gave out last week. We've met so many great, new people while going door to door. We met a Hindu from India named Perry (his English name) who took a Book of Mormon from us and invited us to come back to talk more about our scriptures (he also invited us to his Hindu Temple, we'll have to check it out sometime). We also ran into a super nice lady named Denise who works from home for a company centered in Utah! She talked about how great the Salt Lake Temple during Christmastime. Amazingly, she hadn't had a Book of Mormon offered to her yet, so we gave her one and set up a time to come back. Just yesterday, we met a young, married couple who apparently used to have missionaries over all of time, but lost touch when they moved into our ward. The husband Frank's mom was baptized by missionaries three years ago and that's how they're familiar with the church. They said we could come back in a few weeks for dinner. We're so excited that we were able to run into them as well.
I now have a confession to make, last Friday I succumbed to temptation. We were at an eternal investigator's house for dinner (she's the mother of someone who was recently baptized into our ward). Her friends from another ward were there as well, and they started talking about this new stand up comedian with a special on Netflix who is a member of the Church! I probably sound so stupid right now cause you all already know who he is, but this Ryan Hamilton guy is not too bad. They wanted us to watched the whole special with them, but I told them we'll draw the line at five minutes- and we did. So it wasn't really that bad -right?
Love you guys, hope you have a good week,
Elder Miller

Monday, August 28, 2017

Teaching with the President

This was a great week and I did end up catching a glimpse of the eclipse on Monday (the coverage wasn't nearly as good as it was in Indiana, though).
Thursday we taught our investigator family with the one and only President Browning himself - the first time I've had the mission president sit in on a lesson. He didn't rag on us afterwards, so we must have done a good job; we talked about examples of prayer being answered in the Book of Mormon (Brother of Jared and Enos and such). President Browning gave his testimony of prayers being answered and how the Book of Mormon has guided him in his life - needless to say it was a good contribution to the lesson. The kids have really gotten a hold on the gospel and they are excited to be able to participate in the Primary Program here in a few weeks. We're really trying to get the parents in the same place they are; President has a few good suggestion on how to do that - very glad he could come with us.
Our tracting efforts go on with minimal success, however we are beginning to see some real results through our member work. At dinners, we have began to give families the challenge to consider those they know who are moving, have had a death in the family, a new baby, eta, and invite them to have some sort of gospel experience. So far, one family was able to give us the opportunity to help their nonmember friend move. We were able to have a gospel conversation with her and she gladly accepted a Book of Mormon. She also allowed us to refer her to the missionaries in the area she's moving to. An other family didn't really have anyone to work with, so they prayed during family home evening to find someone. The next day one of the daughters found out her manager at work is a less active member who wants to go back to church! If we act in faith by praying and seeking for missionary opportunities, I can assure you they will come as they did for these families.
Will go for now, but I hope you're having a good day and will have a nice, safe week,
Elder Miller

Monday, August 21, 2017

Northwest Tucson

This week has been pretty good. Transfer calls were Saturday night and both Elder Lamb and I will be staying in Northwest for the next six weeks. Sister Spencer, on the other hand, got some big news; she'll be opening a new area in St. David Stake as a Sister Training Leader!
Our teaching of the family of eight continues. The whole family was there for church on Sunday for the first time as Bobby - the dad - got the day off of work. In regards to being baptized, the dad said that they will need more time to read and learn before they can make a decision on that. President Browning as been pretty curious about this teaching opportunity and told us that he wants to come to a lesson with us. So we'll be taking him with us to our next lesson with them a Thursday. I've never taught with the Mission President before, so this will be interesting.
We've been trying more and more to find new people we can teach. Going tracting is an option and we've done a good amount of it this week, but the results just aren't showing, unfortunately. This kind of takes me back to my second area is southeast; it's evident that working with members is going to be essential to get things done. We went to visit a Brazilian family in the ward who we thought would be good to work with last night. It turns out the husband and wife both have people they've been thinking of inviting to church. We helped them set a timeframe to do it and they seem excited to give it a go.
You may have heard about the eclipse going on this morning. In fact, at this moment I believe it's reaching it's maximum visibility in Tucson, which is like 65%. I was thinking of trying to see it, but kind of forgot to find some special glasses, whoops.
Will go for now, but I'd like to wish you a good week!Q
Elder Miller

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Temple is Dedicated!

This has been a very great and special week. Just two years after seeing the dedication of our beautiful Indianapolis temple, I can now say I've also witnessed and celebration and dedication of the temple of my mission as well. After years of preparation, beginning long before I ever got there, the Tucson Arizona Temple is finally read for use. President Uchtdorf is the one came down to watch the cultural event and give the dedicatory prayer. I simply love him; he has always been one of my favorite General Authorities. He's always so lighthearted and optimistic. He is still in Tucson meeting with President Browning today. I probably won't get to meet him or anything like that, but that's okay. Seeing him enjoy himself with the youth and listening to him address us as a community has been a wonderfully enough of an opportunity.
I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned that the first Temple President and Matron are from Tanque Verde Ward, one of the previous wards I've served in! The Moellers are a wonder couple, I've been to their house for dinner a number of times. They gave great addresses for the dedication.
Saturday was cool, because I got to go on exchanges with my District leader Elder Hugh (yes, his name is Elder Hugh). He is in what is called an ASL area, which stands for American Sign Language. We had an appointment with a deaf less active, and before hand I asked him to show me how to introduce myself and bear my testimony at the end of the lesson in sign. To my amazement, I actually remember all of it and used it in the lesson! I told President in my email today that if he needs any more Elders to learn ASL, I'm up for it. We'll see what happens with that.
I love being here in Tucson at this time. I couldn't think of a greater place to be or a better time to be there. I love and miss you guys and hope you enjoy your week.
Elder Miller