Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Festivus!

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year. I used to wonder from time to time why it is our church - the true church of Christ - does not discourage the celebration of Christmas: a tradition of Pagan origin, Christianized by Constantine during the age of apostasy. In the end, although Christ certainly wasn't born during this time of year, the anniversary of His birth is worthy of the most joyous of celebrations! And how strong is Spirit all around us as people reflect on the importance of family, their goals in life, and possibly even their relationship with God and His Only Begotten! As a missionary, I do believe the tradition of Christmas is an universal tool the Lord likes to use to soften the hearts of His children and bring to pass His Work. Our district's Living Christmas Cards are still working wonderfully. We've been getting into more houses than ever, spreading the story of Christ's birth and bringing His Spirit into family's homes. The Cub Scouts in one of our wards made a bunch of Nativity Christmas ornaments that we've began to pass out while we carol; the people absolutely love it!
On Thursday night this week, just a few of us Elders when out to Bonanza Ward (my old area) to carol to a few houses there. The Bonanza Elders decided to go see an old couple they only ever talked to once before very briefly - no member's that sent them or anything. They answered the door and we sang our very best "Silent Night" we had ever sang. We greeted them and gave them their nativity ornament; we asked if we could step in to share the story of Christ's birth, and they gladly invited us in. They hang up the ornament on their tree as we recited the beautiful words of those scriptures to them. By the end they were in tears, telling us how wonderful it was to see young people like us sacrificing our time to share what we believe with them. It was a powerful experience, paralleled by very few on my mission so far. Now whenever they look at the nativity ornament, they'll think back to the time the missionaries came to their house and brought the Spirit into their home. I don't know if this will be the first of a chain of events that will lead to their conversion (and it just might be), but at least I know there will always be that. When we first came up with the idea to do this, it was the kind of experience that we ended up having at Harold and Sheryl's that we were hoping and praying for. We got to testify to many more families beside them, but that was really something special I'll never forget.
On Wednesday, we had our annual Christmas Conference in the mission. We got to play Family Feud with questions about the Book of Mormon and the missionary handbook. It was, sadly, Sister Spencer's last mission conference, and she got to go up and share her "dying testimony" with us towards the end of the meeting. It's hard to believe that her time has come to an end (and I'm not too far behind). It's been wonderful serving with her (counting the MTC, we've actually been in the same district three times!!), and I've been able to see a great, positive change in her.
We got news about transfers on Saturday. President Browning called me early to tell me that I'm going to be the new district leader and that I'm getting a new companion - Elder Esplin.
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy this time to dwell on God's greatest gift to us all - His Only Begotten, Jesus Christ.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace; good will toward men." -Luke 2:12-14


Elder Miller   

Monday, December 11, 2017

Since Elder Maynes training last week, we’ve been making an effort to talk to more people than we usually do. We’ve set a goal to talk to 13 people everyday - who we aren’t already teaching. From Wednesday to Saturday we spent some time in parking lots of Target and Walmart and other places just passing out cards for LighttheWorld to hit our goal. It’s difficult to stop people sometimes and when we do, the conversations aren’t really of high quality. We’re thinking we should just try to spread our contacts out throughout the day rather than packing them in all at once.
We’ve also continued our caroling and presenting of the living Christmas Cards. Tonight we’re doing our wards as a district and we’re really looking forward to it. Our ward mission leader just yesterday sent us eleven names to do. The members in our wards really like this idea.
Sorry the letter’s short this week. We’ve just been spending a lot of time finding, but a lot of people just haven’t planned out the way we hoped. Hope you all have a good safe week!
Elder Miller

Monday, December 4, 2017

Living Christmas Cards

I’m very excited for this holiday season. It’s about this time of year most people are taking the time to ponder on the things that matter most: their family, their lives, their goals, and perhaps even their relationship with God Himself. Our district is doing something super fun and special to take advantage of this. We’re delivering Living Christmas Cards on the behalf of our members to their neighbors and friends. What we do is we knock on their door and carol to them (Silent Night, First Noel). After the song we say “John and Mary Smith, this is a living Christmas card sent to you by your friends Steve and Kate Johnson. May we come inside and share the story of Christ as recorded in the Bible.” We would then recite Luke 2:7-14 and bear out testimony of the Savior followed by a quick prayer. We tried it for the first time last night in our district leader’s area. It went super well; the first family we did it to was actually Jewish, but they loved it so much and invited us right in. We presented it with great confidence and that made the Spirit strong. Another house we went into was in the middle a “mental meditation class,” so there we a ton of people we got to go and share it with during their break.
This past Thursday we had our mission conference with Elder Richard G. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy. He spoke to us for over two and a half hours and just about every minute was wonderful. He focused a lot on the importance of giving our investigators the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon themselves, rather then read and preach at them. He talked of instances while he was a mission president where people were convert just from reading the Book with no missionaries around. Early church History has many examples of that as well. He also focus on how we need to make our purpose as missionaries a part of our “inner fabric.” Looking at data from missions in the US, we need to be having quality gospel conversations with at least twenty people a day to maintain productivity and regular baptisms in our areas. It was very eye opening the way he presented the importance of talking to pretty much everyone and anyone. We can’t just say hi, but we need to try to actually stop them and give them something to ponder on and learn from. That can be hard, but it’s very important.
In my studies, currently, I’ve begun to do something super fun. President Nelson gave a great talk last Conference about making lists during his Book of Mormon reading; I’ve started to make one of my own of the many phrases that we owe to the Book of Mormon. Not so much a list of doctrines in the Book, but phrases and expressions that are unique to it. Some are doctrinal like “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17) or “It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things” (2 Nephi 2:11). Others are just expressions like “great and abominable church” (1 Nephi 13) or “tight like unto a dish” (Ether 2). It’s been super fun seeing how many different ones you can find and it has helped me appreciated it even more.
Will go for now, but hope you guys have another fantastic week and a wonderful December!
Elder Miller

Monday, November 27, 2017

First Week on Bikes

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine including a ton of biking (as did the whole week), so needless to say I'm glad it's our week to use the car. We were invited to three homes for dinner. The first one was a less active member. We went over there and he ended up being sick; the rest of his family wasn't members and didn't really know who we were, so it would have been weird for us to stick around. We just filled the time by giving quick visits to a few members and making them aware of the #LighttheWorld initiative (go to to learn more - share it with your friends!). That ended up making us a little late to the other two places, so our dinner was a little cold, but still pretty good. We just about had to roll ourselves home by the end of the day. We also got a little bit of football in that morning, too, so that was fun.
I was on exchanges with our district leader on Saturday and that morning during studies we came up with a wonderful idea for contacting people this December. We memorized the story of Christ's birth in Luke 2:7-14 and practiced retelling it during lunch. We also saved some photos on our iPads that went along with the story. We then went out a tried to share it with the people we met. Most people only took cards from us and didn't want to hear our story. We got to the end of the street and decided to start walking back to the car, when we saw an old man in a wheelchair checking his mail. We offered to help wheel him back into the house, and once we were in we offered to share the story of Christ's birth with him; he told us to go right on ahead (our first customer!). Once we were done reciting the scriptures, he was just staring at the picture of the Savior on our tablet. He then asked "How can I get closer to God?" We about fell over; we told him about how to follow Christ's gospel and about how his Church is restored. We set up an appointment for the next day (I just wish it was my area it happened in). My companion and I are definitely going to try to do this this December!
I really love and miss you guys. I appreciate the emails as well. It's always wonderful to hear from you.
Elder Miller

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lakeside Week 1

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m back in the Tucson Rincon Stake. My second area on the mission was part of a “car share” with another ward and now I’m in that other ward. Luckily, this week was our week to have the car. Saturday, however, we did have to be bikes for a good part of the day. It hadn’t ridden on one since April, and we had to go all the way out to the other ward we cover. Did I mention the hills out here are ridiculously huge? We think the hill down the road from Riverview huge, but that’s a pretty regular occurrence down here. Needless to say, I couldn’t feel my legs by the end of the day; it’s going to take some adjusting - once again.
We have some wonderful investigators in this area (if only they’d come to church). We met with a guy named Matt who said Christ was supposed to be the last prophet according to the Bible, I showed him a fun verse in Acts 11 the talks about “prophets coming out of Jerusalem” - one of which was named Agibus. Here as Matt’s response: “Well, you got me on that one.” Aren’t the scriptures great? After that he said he will look more into the Book of Mormon.
I was also blessed to walk into a baptism this Saturday. It was a nine year old girl who’s parents are currently inactive (they did come on Sunday for the confirmation, though). Although it wasn’t what you typically think of being a “convert baptism,” it was still one more person making those sacred covenants with the Lord, which is a wonderful thing to witness.
Yesterday night we had a great experience. It was late at night and we had no appointments (the typical set up for a miracle). Elder Terry decided to try this less active he saw only once. We knocked and he answered and received us joyfully. He was in the middle of hosting his annual “Friendsgiving” party and invited us to join in. I took a seat with a little food when a young man named Zarick sat down next to me and asked me what I want to be when I grow up. This led to a long discussion that ended with - of course - me giving him a Book of Mormon and testifying of its truth. He said he’d take it only if I could promise him it’d change his current beliefs. Whiteout hesitation I said it would change not only that but his life. It’s uncertain if I’ll ever see him again, but I’m satisfied with the great things he allowed me to share with him that evening. It was a good ending to the week.
Love you guys and hope you have a great holiday. It’s a good time to reflect on the many great things the Lord has given us and the opportunities He may have put in our paths this year. I know for one, that I’ve seen hundreds thus far on my mission, and I know there are so many to come for the remainder of it and the many years to come after.
Elder Miller.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Got Transferred

On Saturday I found out I’m going back to my old district in Southeast. It’s Lakeside and Suagro Park Wards. I’ll be on Bike part time and I’ll be with Elder Terry, who just got done being trained.
I’m a little sad about leaving La Canada and Rancho Vistoso Wards. I put in a lot of good work here and have taught a lot of great people. I’m so grateful to have seen a great baptism here, too. My companions and I tracted almost all the houses in La Canada boundaries as well. It was hard, but I will look back on my time here with fondness.
We had our lesson with Frank that went pretty well; he’s a funny guy. When we invited him to read the Book of Mormon, but he said he’d read the Gospel Principles Manuel instead and pray on it since it teaches the same stuff as the Book of Mormon. Can’t say I’ve had someone say they’d do that before. I supposed that’d work, too.
I’ll be turning 20 tomorrow. I can hardly believe I’m so old now. Time seriously goes so fast out here. You first come out here and wonder how in the world you’re to do this for two years, then before you know it it’s almost been a year and a half.
Love and miss you guys!!
Elder Miller

Monday, November 6, 2017

It was a little bit of a slow week. The Bonilla family was a cruise, so we couldn't teach them and they didn't make it to church! We got straight zeros on our key indicators (the numbers we report to our leaders: people on date for baptism, people at church, and new investigators). That's okay though, it doesn't happen very often (this was perhaps only the second or third time on my mission it's happened and the first time in this area), and it won't happen this week!
On Halloween, we had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Tucson Temple for a session, since we couldn't really proselyte that evening. It's the first time I've been since its dedication; it was a long overdue visit and it was so recharging to be in that sacred place. I truly do feel renewed after that visit.
Saturday I was on exchanges with our district leader's trainee in his ward. It took back to when I was in Central Ward (because this ward was also in the hood). The people there are so receptive; it's like night and day compared to the area I'm in now, with all of its big houses and not an apartment complex in sight!
I am excited for this week though, because we get to go on a teaching visit with one of our bishops to go teach a man named Frank. His daughter is already baptized, and his wife wants to be baptized but only if he commits to do it as well. He just finished studying the Bible with the Jehovah's Witnesses and now he's curious as to how the Book of Mormon fits in with the Bible and he has a lot of question about our understanding of the Bible (the the Jehovahs understand it a little differently than we do).
I love and miss you guys! I hope you all have a good week!
Elder Miller

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hello everyone. The lesson we had with the Bonilla family was a good one. We went over the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them for the second time (this is the one that deals with baptism and why it's important. We even brought a recently returned missionary with us from the La Canada ward. At the end of the lesson we asked them if they would be baptized once they came to know the Book of Mormon is true. The mom and the kids gladly said they would and that it'd be the obvious course to take. The father, however, still maintains that he is doing this to support his wife, so he told us he couldn't give a direct answer at this point. That was a little bit of a let down to hear; we felt like he was further along than that, but he still comes to church with the family and remembers just about everything from the lessons. I'm sure he'll come around, eventually.
Aside from that, lots of going door to door in the neighborhoods. With that - a lot of rejection. People often think of tracting and imagine doors slammed in missionaries' faces unceremoniously. I will say that happens hardly ever, but our encounters with people are still pretty short, nonetheless. I was on exchanges with our district leader on Saturday and we were at it for four hours straight. We did come across a super nice lady named Hannah. She goes to Lutheran and let us teach most of the first lesson to her on the doorstep. She took a Book of Mormon and said she'd need a good amount of time to look at it. We set up a return appointment for a little ways in the future, but she seems to have the intent to read it. It was certainly worth the effort; I pray something good comes from it in the long run.
I love you guys, I hope you have a good, safe week,

Elder Miller

Monday, October 23, 2017


image1.jpegIt was a wonderful weekend with Seirra's baptism. So many people showed up - including the Bonillas and Seirra's neighbors who aren't members of the Church! I'm not sure if I mentioned last week, but she asked that I do the confirmation (give her a blessing in front of the congregation so that she may receive the Holy Ghost), which I got to do yesterday. It was such a great experience, but it was very nerve racking. I even messed up on the wording a bit (just as I thought I would), which made me even more nervous. But I still got through it, and she seemed to have appreciated it very much. I'm so thankful to have been able to play a role in her conversion, as well as many other people I have seen so prepared by the Lord over the course of my mission thus far. I know there are many more just like her ahead in the the few months I have left.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Visiting Seventy and a new Bap Date

I don't really know where to start with all that has happened since I wrote last. I believe I said last week Elder Carlos Godoy was visiting Tucson and was going to visit the Bonilla family. Turns out, there are actually two Elder Godoys in the first quorum of the Seventy and it was Taylor Godoy from Peru who came and not Carlos like we told the Bonillas (this matters, because we showed them a conference talk by Carlos and told them he was the one who was going to visit them). Either way, it was still a General Authority who came and saw them, so it was pretty cool; we didn't get to be there, since we weren't asked to. At church yesterday, he attended La Canada Ward and Elder Toomer and I got to shake his hand and meet with him for a little while. He told us he talked a lot to the Bonillas about gaining personal revelation and challenged the father, Bobby - in Spanish - to find out for himself if the Book of Mormon is true. The Sunday School lesson was on baptism that day, too, so hopefully the Bonillas are starting to see what it is they need to be thinking about.
As I've mentioned before, the Bonillas were introduced to us by Sis. Beauto who is a recently reactivated member in the La Canada ward. Her daughter Sierra is unbaptized, but she has been sitting in on the Bonillas lessons this whole time. We just found out on Saturday that she has decided she wants to be baptized this weekend since her family is visiting for fall break! She has asked that I confirm her a member of the church that Sunday, too. This is going to be the first baptism I've had in my three months in this ward. Needless to say, I'm very excited for it.
Last week I talked about the Byzantine Catholics we knocked into. We saw them again on Saturday and they let us in. They're a very faithful couple - Misty and Kieth. We had a great discussion about our beliefs and they said they had a great admiration from the Mormon church (mostly because they see that we recognized the need for authority in setting up Christ's church and performing ordinances of His Gospel). We invited them to come see Elder Godoy of the Seventy and Misty came for that, but not Keith. She left early, so we weren't able to talk to her at the end. They also invited us to their Liturgy that evening, so we went to that after our ward meetings. This was the first Catholic service I had been to in my life; I could go one for a few paragraphs about my thoughts on it, but I'll just say it was interesting and very informative. Their meetings are a lot more organized than Mormon's - I will say that. We had to leave early - right before the members were going to partake of the Holy Communion - so we, again, couldn't talk to Misty or Keith afterwards. We'll have to go back and thank them; they are super nice and the first Catholics of the hundreds I've talked to invite to one of their Liturgies.
That's what I got. It's been a super week! Hope you all have a great one,

Elder Miller

Monday, October 9, 2017

16 Months

I can't believe I have only eight months left (but who's counting, right?)! Has I have said before, time just needs to slow down a bit; I can't be this far out already! I need more time. The amount I have grown in the past months has been huge (and I'm not just talking about the 25 pounds I've gained). The things you learn out here I know will help me for the rest of my life (perhaps eternity). I can communicate with people better, I can do harder things, and I know even more now than ever before that Christ is my Savior and this is His Church.
Elder Toomer has been a joy to work with (and note I don't say that about everybody). He's a funny, relaxed guy - a lot like Elder Lamb, but he talks a bit more. We've set a goal to tract as much of La Canada ward as possible this transfer (everything short of the gated communities). I want to get this done especially, since I may be gone in the next six weeks - who knows?! We tracted three hours straight on Saturday and got a whole neighborhood done. It was early afternoon, but not too many people were home. We did meet a nice lady named Misty, who is a Byzantine Catholic (can't say I've met one of those - they've all been Roman around here). Of course, she told us our church was set up by Joseph Smith, while her's was started by the Apostle Peter (making allusion to the fact that her church was truer than ours - side note, if Catholicism is true, which Catholic Church is truer and why?) She also told us the King James Version of the Bible isn't acceptable since it was made for the Church of England and the kings are immoral rebels to the Pope (fun fact: King James had hardly anything to do with the Authorized Translation). She then told us her bible - the New American Version or something like that - has four books in the Old Testament that aren't in the KJV. This had me intrigued so I asked if she has a copy I could study; she told us to come back next Saturday, so she can get one and we can discuss more. Needless to say, she's a lot of fun.
We also met a guy named Mark, who doesn't go to church. Interestingly, it's those type of people that most often accept a Book of Mormon, which he did. He said we can come back on Thursday - woo!
Our investigator family - I'm just going to say their name - the Bonillas, have been working and reading to receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We set a to know date for October 21. Also, Elder Carlos Godoy of the quorum of the Seventy is coming down to Arizona to train area authorities. He asked for recommendations on who to visit while he's down here and the Stake President recommended the Bonillas. Elder Godoy is moving forward with the recommendation and will be seeing the Bonilla family on the 15th!!! I don't know if we're supposed to be there, but the family is excited for it since they just learned all about who the Seventies are after watching General Conference this month.
Love you guys and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Miller

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


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


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

Monday, August 7, 2017

Going on 14 Months!

Hard to believe I'm over half way through this transfer (and going on 14 months tomorrow). Time certainly does fly when you're having fun. It saddens me to say we did not repeat the success of last week by finding seven more investigators, but the seven we already have are doing great. We read through the Book of Mormon with them and extended the baptismal invitation, but they said they'll want to learn more before committing to anything. They're continuing to come to church, so it's good to know we haven't scared them off just yet. I'm sure as they all continue to have the positive experiences they've been having, that desire to follow Christ will grow in them.
In other news, we had our first personal interviews with President Browning on Thursday (no I'm not in trouble, everyone got one). President Browning is certainly every bit as loving and inspired as President Passey was. There's over a hundred of us missionaries, but in the moment I was being interviewed, he cared for me and wanted to know all about me. It always feels good when you know the people in charge are really mindful of you. It's a wonder how when calls someone to direct His work, they immediately totally look like they know what they're doing.
On the first we got to celebrate Swiss Nation Day (as does everyone) with the Psotas - a family in Ranco Vistoso who moved in America from Switzerland about a year ago. They had us for dinner, and it was certainly one of the more fun dinners I've had on the mission. We had this special type of sausage I can't quite remember the name of, but it was kind of a one time deal to have it since Swiss meats can't be exported to the US.
The Cultural Celebration and dedication for the Tucson Temple is finally happening this weekend! It's been really fun seeing the angel Moroni going up, going to the Open House, and now getting to witness the dedication of this beautiful house of the Lord. Especially after getting to do the same with the temple of my home state just before. I feel very much blessed for this opportunity to serve in Tucson at this time.
I hope you all have a good day/week,
Elder Miller

Monday, July 31, 2017

New Investigators!

Very excited about this week since we've got new people to teach for the first time since being transferred - seven people to be exact. That is a record for me personally on the mission. It is quite a blessing. How it happened was we had an open night for dinner last Tuesday and a less active we've never met from La Canada signed up for it. When we go over there, she tells us she has a friend who wants to have the missionaries come over to teach her and her kids. Plus Sis. Beauto - the less active - has a daughter who is participating in the cultural celebration for the Temple, but she hasn't been baptized, yet! So we taught her (her name is Sierra) along with the family who's friends with Sis. Beauto together on Thursday. The family's names are Melody (the mother), Bobby (father), Janea, Lalony, Andreas, and Lorenzo (can't use last names, sorry). It was a good lesson, and we gave them a chapel tour on Saturday, too. And guess what? They actually came to church yesterday! They received a very warm welcome from the ward (and by that I mean they were completely mobbed by members after sacrament meeting). They had to run right out after the block meetings (I hope we didn't scare them), but from what our ward mission leader told us they seemed to have a positive experience. We'll go back to teach them again on Tuesday.
This is the first time this area has had new investigators in at least two transfers, so it's quite a blessing to be a part of all this that is happening now. We now have a completely new non member family, an unbaptized child, and a less active who wants to come back to church to teach!
Elder Miller

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fourth Area

I don't think I have sent a mass email since I've been transferred out of Central Ward (I probably have, just have bad memory). Anyways, I'm in Rancho Vistoso and La Canada wards in the community of Oro Valley - pretty much still Tucson. We live a twenty minutes drive out of our area, so we get a pretty nice monthly allotment. The area we cover is pretty much all housing additions - half of which are still being developed. The church building is super nice and was built less than ten years ago. The ward members are incredible as well and very eager to help us find more people to teach. They even hold a stake class once a week, focusing on helping members learn how to share the gospel to others.
The work here is pretty slow right now, as it is summer. Our recent converts and investigators are all out of town/country until next month (I haven't even met any of them yet). The one investigator that is still around has been coming to church for over a year now, but still doesn't feel ready to be baptized (incredible). We're going to begin going over the lessons with her again with one of the priests in the ward to give him some teaching practice. Hopefully, we can make something of that. We're planning on a fair amount of tracting this week, but I'm just fine with at. The people in this community are very kind (and normal). We haven't had any takers yet, but everyone will at least have a good conversation with you for a little while. Everyone you run into knows a member in one of the wards, too, because they are literally everywhere! The space we cover is not big at all, but still makes up two wards.
My new companion Elder Lamb is tons a fun; he has a great sense of humor (and is a They Might Be Giants fan - what are the odds?). Will go for now, but I hope you all stay safe and have a good week
Elder Miller

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 - Getting Transferred

Just got some surprising news on Saturday night: I'm leaving Central
Ward already! I'm going to Tucson North Stake - La Canada Ward
(pronounced keen-yadda).This was only my second transfer here, which
is a rather short time to be in an area. I wasn't expecting that kind
of news to be honest. It's too bad to; we have so many things that are
coming up for us with all the people we saw this last week. Just on
Saturday when my companion and I were on exchanges, Elder Lorenzen
invited a new couple to church they ran into, and they actually came!
Not a normal occurrence, by the way. The lady who we gave a Book of
Mormon to last week wasn't there, but we're keeping a close eye. We
also got a referral from other elders in Tucson. The people they
referred us to turn out to be ex-members. The wife had her name
removed and the husband got baptized into a different church that she
was going to - thus getting his name taken out, too. He was a
bishopric member in Michigan years ago, and he really wants to get
back into activity. His wife on the other hand, doesn't really believe
in our faith, but she is very nice and said she would go to church to
support him. So that's a start. We're finally getting referrals from
the Temple Open House as well. They've just started coming in. Elder
Lorenzen gets to contact them with his new companion while I have to
leave:/ My new area is more affluent like my last area, so the work
probably isn't going to be as good, but that's alright - just have to
look up.
I love you and miss you all. Will go for now,
Elder Miller

Monday, June 26, 2017

Central Ward South

No crazy adventures this week, but things have been moving along
pretty good. We had a good lesson with Russ and his daughter Audrey on Friday. They had bedbugs the past few weeks, so this was the first time they were able to meet with us in a while. We reviewed the baptismal questions with them and had a really good discussion about various points of the Restoration. Russ is definitely going to be ready for his baptism on July 29. Audrey is slowly opening up to us more (she's eight and very shy), and she even gave the closing prayer at the end of the lesson.

I went on companion exchanges with the North Central Ward elders twice this week in their area. On Tuesday we taught a very good lesson of the Restoration as well. On Saturday, I not only was on exchanges, but also on splits with the zone leaders. I went tracting with one of the zone leaders for an hour that day to help the North elders find a new investigator. We went to an apartment complex and were going nowhere for a few minutes, but suddenly we can across an apartment with a bunch of Catholic stickers on the windows. We knew it was going to be a good one; an old lady answered the door and invited us right in. She was alone, so we just talked on the door step for a good while and had a good conversation about our beliefs and set a return appointment.
She's probably just going to try to convert the North elders when they go back, but finding someone like that while tracting is a rare and exciting occasion.

I'll go for now, it have a good fantastic week guys

Elder Miller

Monday, June 12, 2017

Central Ward South

All is going well in Central Tucson. I've just finished my second week with my new companion Elder Lorenzen (from South Jordon, Utah), and we're working very well with each other; we've found two more investigators this week which is great. One we found from street contacting with a less active who really likes sharing the gospel, even though he doesn't come to church. The other was someone whom missionaries contacted in an other Ward, but they needed help moving into my area. Last night we went with our assistant Ward mission leader to an apartment complex to go see a family he knew to invite to the Temple. We ended up talking to a Nepali family that was eating dinner outside instead. They were super nice and invited the three of us inside of their home. They gave us some of the food they were eating and it was very HOT. It was the spiciest meal I have had on my mission by far. It turns out they are Christian refugees, trying to escape persecution. We taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel and how this church is the church Christ established. They said they'd be interested in both seeing the Temple and our church and asked us the time for it on Sunday.

Last week we got a call from a less active from Texas right when we were about to finish studies. He said he was at his father in law's
funeral service, but there was no one to officiate or give a spiritual
though, so we volunteered out services to help him. The rest of his
family was non members, but we had the opportunity to testify of the resurrection of Christ and they were all touched by the message. It was a very unusually experience, but a great one. I hope you're all having a good day and I wish you a good week as well.

Elder Miller

Monday, May 22, 2017

Central Ward South Week 5

Sorry there was no letter last week. As I've mentioned before, sometimes I'm a bum and I just don't get around to it. Had a great experience with the Tucson Temple two weeks ago. The First Presidency suddenly decided they wanted a whole different landscape for the outside after they had already finished the first one (they want to plant grass there instead of having the decorative rocks they already put in). So we elders were recruited to help get rid of all the rocks around the Temple. It was really a wonderful opportunity to get to participate to some degree in the construction of the House of the Lord in Tucson. After the Elders in my Zone were done with their shift, the adviser over the construction of the Temple (I wish I remembered his name) gave us all a tour of the inside, weeks before it was to be open to the public! The freakiest thing was we weren't even in church clothes - just jeans and a tshirt walking around the Temple. It is a beautiful building; it's a mid-sized temple - about 38,000 square feet I do believe.
We have so many people we are teaching now; I don't think I've mentioned half of them. Our assistant ward mission leader brother Williams was out with us seeing people a few weeks ago when he decided to introduce us to his friend Arshad. Arshad is from Iraq and has been paralyzed from the waist down since he was five. He is very intelligent; he's lived in the states for only a few years, but he has learned to speak English only from listening to others speak it. He is a Shiite Muslim and actually teaches theology to students in Iraq online. He has an interest in the Church as well; it's more of an intellectual interest more than anything, but at least he's someone who will listen to us, right?
Robert Alexander is an eternal investigator that showed up at our church out of the blue a few Sundays ago and has been coming to church ever since. My companion Elder Lee has been pretty bold with him lately when it comes to getting him to commit to baptism, and he finally got him to commit to a date this past Friday for Bastille Day (July 14 - yes, he told us he wanted to get baptized on Bastille Day).
As for Russ Collins and his daughter Audrey, we are still trying to get Audrey to want to come to church. If anyone has any ideas on how to make an eight year old want to come to church - I'm open ears.

Elder Miller

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tucson Central Ward South Week 2

This week we have found a pretty good amount of new people to teach, which I'm happy for - needless to say. One Saturday we found a new Family that was taught previously by missionaries in this area who are really golden. It is a father and daughter. They were going to church and everything, but the meeting time changed after the new year and they didn't know when our ward met. Apparently, some missionaries just stopped teaching them because they weren't home for a couple of appointments - isn't that just a little bit silly. They were going to go to church yesterday, but the girl is seven and she didn't want to go (and she seems to be afraid of us for some reason), but we'll just have to work on that. The father really wants to get baptized, but he wants to wait until his daughter turns eight in July, so they can be baptized at the same time. We went to 7/11 on Friday to get some food and the the cashier started talking to us and obviously recognized us as elders. She asked us where we were from and how long we've been out and whatnot. Turns out she was taught by sisters years ago and was getting ready for baptism, too, but she was having a problem in the last place she was living. Needless to say, we asked her if she'd like us to teach here again and she agreed.
Last Sunday, an older gentleman asked us for our phone number and wanted to meet with us. We figured he must have been a less active who wanted to come back, but turned out to an eternal investigator (someone who has been taught by missionaries on and off for years). He seems to be seriously thinking about baptism now. It's simply amazing the miracles I've seen this week.
Yesterday I look at the program for sacrament meeting as saw that I
was supposed to speak. The bishopric asked me to speak last week and I forgot all about until a half hour before sacrament! I jotted down a talk quickly and it turned out to be the longest talk I've ever given (wasn't half bad either). I'd take that as a fulfillment of a promise in my patriarchal blessing that said I'd be able to communicate well if I chose to serve a mission.
I'll go for now, but I hope you have an awesome Monday,

Elder Miller

Monday, April 24, 2017

Tucson Central Ward South Week 1

It's amazing how the time flys; I've been transferred again and am now serving in Tucson Central Ward South. I'm right in the middle of the city now (the North elders get downtown, though - darn). It's odd because I'm only over half of a Ward here, as opposed to being over two wards in my two previous areas.

The situation in this area is a little interesting; it was once the
highest baptizing Ward in the mission, and now we only have one
nonmember family that we're teaching. The area Book has no records on what has happened in the past few months. I'm follow up training, and I'm in the projects. We'll see what happens. Right now the main task is cleaning up the area Book and seeing who lives in our area and who doesn't. There are a ton of recent converts and less actives in our records that my companion doesn't know, so we try to go see them and the apartment or the house is completely empty. Apparently, people are constantly moving around here.

The members in the Ward are a pretty interesting mix of people. The University of Arizona campus is within the Ward boundaries, so you get professors from the college and graduate students along with the people from the rougher places in town. There is a nice older man named Roy Salcido in the Ward that is a convert of about twenty years who helps us missionaries a ton, too. He'll go to lessons with you whenever you need him; he'll make you dinner if you don't have one; and he lets us use his washer, dryer, and wifi (all three of which I'm currently using) on P day. Shout out to him!

Oh, I'm back in a car area, too, which is so awesome. I get to miss
out on biking in the Tucson summer now (of course I'll still have to be out in it a lot, though). Can't wait to see what this place has in
store in the next few months or so for me.

Love you guys!

Elder Miller

Monday, April 17, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 17

We got transfer calls on Saturday, and I found out that I'm leaving the Bonanza and Tanque Verde Wards. I'm moving into the heart of the city and am going to Central Ward in Tucson to follow up train an Elder Lee. This area has been quite the experience; I feel like I've been here forever, yet for no time at all. There were some big challenges in the beginning with taking over a new ward and whatnot, but I'm proud with what I've accomplished during my time here.
I'll just go ahead and jump into the big news of the week as far as investigators go; that being we finally have a new baptismal date! We taught Jeff the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson toward the begin of the discussion (the first time I didn't extent the invitation at the end of the lesson), and after a short moment of thinking (which felt like an eternity) he agreed! On Saturday, we then taught him every investigators favorite lesson - the Word of Wisdom; although he acknowledged he would have to give up a lot of things, he said he was more than willing to follow it so he could be baptized. Unfortunately, his baptism won't be until May 20th, but hopefully my mission president will let me travel to go see it.
Sometimes I forget some of the people getting this email might not be familiar with our Church's lingo and what I teach people as a missionary. To explain briefly, The Gospel of Jesus Christ are the principles and ordinances (or sacred acts) we live by to follow Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost makes up the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. The Word of Wisdom is a revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith that acts as a sort of health code for us to live by. We believe we have been commended by God to abstain from namely alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea - as well as recreational drugs and other habit-forming substances. These were the things I was teaching Jeff this last week.
Easter was a lot of fun; I never noticed before how truly sacred this time of the year really is. This was the time in which many of the important events of the Saviors life took place - birth, suffering, death, resurrection. As a missionary, you inevitably have these things in mind during the holiday and it adds whole new meaning to it.
I hope also enjoyed it and I can't wait to talk about the events to come in my new area on the mission
Elder Miller

Monday, April 10, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 16

I'm going to do something different with my emails to put more order in how I write them. I'm going to try to do a day-by-day account of his week, so you can get a better idea of what a week in Tucson is like for me. Hear it is:

Tuesday, April 4: We spent most of the afternoon visiting less
actives. A good way to get to talk to them is to knock on their door,
look like you're real thirsty, and ask for a drink of water. They'll
give you a glass and then they'll have to stand there and wait for you to be finished with the glass. Works almost without fail. We also gave a single sister a blessing since she was going in for a medical procedure that Friday. And we shared a conference message with a part member family. That evening we had a lesson with Jeff - our new investigator in Tanque Verde. We had a great lesson on the Book of Mormon and read 1 Nephi 4 with him. As always, we had to explain why god wanted to have Laban killed, but we seemed to resolve his concern rather easily.

Wednesday, April 5: Most of the day was Zone Conference where we had trainings from the assistants and President and Sister Passey. It's always a great motivator for us. We then got to teach the story of Easter to the Andrews kids (they never get to go to church because their parents are constantly working). That night we met with our high councilman who's over the missionary efforts in the stake. He has been pushing us to invite as many people to the Temple Open House as possible. It's such a great blessing to be in Tucson at this very special time for the city.

Thursday, April 6: I was on exchanges with Elder Hansen, our district leader. We spent a good part of the day helping an older member unload two tons of sand and gravel from the back of his truck. It was a lot of fun. It reminded of all the odd jobs I'd do with Grandpa Kennedy all the time. That night we went on splits with their Ward missionaries to go see some less actives. The one we were assigned to go see wasn't home, so we just ended up talking to his dad who was an active member. Oh well.

Friday, April 7: Weekly planning day - boring. That night the Bonanza Ward was having a Family History potluck. People brought dishes that had to do with their ancestors and the cultures they came from. Some members brought their nonmember neighbors with them and we sat down and talked to them a bit. The husband asked me what college I wanted to go to and I told him I wanted to go to Hillsdale College. It turns out him and his wife are from Michigan and they had a nephew who went to Hillsdale. They called me a "hero" for wanting to go there and getting into constitutional law, haha. We invited them to the Temple Open House and they seemed to have a lot of interested. Can't wait to
see where it goes from there.

Saturday, April 8: Hit my ten month mark - I'm getting old! Sadly, we had to move a great family out of our ward - the Harris'. That took us clear into the afternoon. That evening we had another lesson with Jeff. A family in Tanque Verde Ward named the Decasters had him over for dinner. We taught the Plan of Salvation and I really wanted to invite him to be baptized, but it just wasn't feeling right. It'll have to wait for another day according to the Lord's timing, I suppose.

Sunday, April 9: Fast Sunday. Jeff came to church for the first time!
We sat him up front so he wouldn't have to hear the crying kids so
much and see everyone looking at their phones and whatnot. It was
perfect, he was attentive to it all, and I could see he was really
pondering the things he was seeing and feeling as the sacrament was being administered. That evening we were discussing what we learned in conference with our investigator Ben Zesch. He is so ready for baptism; due to special circumstances he just can't yet. That night as we were about to go in for the night, one of the neighbors of our complex stopped us. We talked to a very troubled man named Robert. He has gotten himself in a bad situation, and he's not sure how much longer his life is going to be spared. He told us he desperately wanted to get closer to God. I simply handed him a Book of Mormon and said reading this book has brought me closer to God. I put it in his hands and he looked down and stared at it in awe for a moment. "Are you sure you want to give this to me?" I assured him I did. He expressed exceeding gratitude for my gift and said he'd begin reading it immediately. We then said a prayer with him and promised to see him again tomorrow. Dare I say it was the most powerful contact I've had on my mission thus far.

That's it. I love you. I miss you. God bless you all.

Elder. Miller

Monday, April 3, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 15 General Conference

What's up guys!? I hope you enjoyed Conference weekend. I particularly enjoyed the talks given by Elders Renlund, Oaks, and Rasband. Elder Rasband's talk was especially helpful and very applicable to missionary work; I could certainly do better in listening and acting upon the impressions I get from the Holy Spirit. It reminded me a lot about a great talk I heard from Elder Bednar in the MTC (I did't actually see Elder Bednar in the MTC; it was a video). The basic principle taught in both talks is that the more we strive to be like Christ and heed to the prompting of the Holy Ghost in the moment we receive them, the more the Lord will trust us and the more opportunities He will give us to be an instrument in His hands. This week has been a good one, considering we actually got a new investigator in Tanque Verde Ward (our ward that is struggling). Last preparation day I got a phone call from a member in Gilbert who said he had a friend he works with who has agreed to meet with us. He set up the appointment for us and even drove all the way down from Gilbert to sit in on the first lesson! His friends name is Jeff Rosano. He's
39 and single; when he was younger he was going to seminary to become a priest, but he decided it wasn't the path he wanted to take. He comes from a Calvinist upbringing but has always had problems with its teaching of predestination. We taught a great lesson of the Restoration; he was very involved in the lesson and had a lot of great questions about prophets, the priesthood, and dispensations. He is truly trying to find god's truth. It's very refreshing to be able to teach someone who actually wants to learn.

I love you guys. Have a good week,

Elder Miler

Monday, March 27, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 14

Hey everyone,
With the simplified key indicators - meaning we no longer report our amount of lessons - I technically got my first week of all zeros this past week - no new investigators, no one at sacrament, and no one with a baptismal date. We did get a lot done though, just not in those regards this past week. The week before was a lot better - probably one of the best I've had in this area. We had two new investigators - including a former investigator named Norm who called us out of the blue and asked us to come over. We also had three investigators come to church as well. One of those investigators was Michael Tebo, who came for the first time with his less active wife and mother-in-law. It was a pleasant surprise; we were a little unsure as to where their desire was.

I hardly ever share pictures in my emails, so I think I'll throw a few
one here for your viewing pleasure. Have a good week guys! Elder

Here's the one and only Tucson Arizona Temple. The Open House is scheduled for June 3-24. The dedication will be on August 13. I believe President Uchtdorf will be the one officiating in that.

An old zone portrait.
This is the Andrews, a Native American, recent convert family in Tanque Verde Ward that we teach each week. We taught Lehi's Dream of the Tree of Life, and we had the kids draw a picture of it together.

Here is a way over due, yet awesome Christmas photo from when I was still in Silver City. From left: Elder Thomas, Elder Bangerter, Elder Wilcox, Captain Awesome, Elder Stephenson (my companion at the time).

Monday, March 6, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 11

I'm so excited to start a new transfer with Elder Plaizier. He'll be the first companion I've had longer than one transfer since Elder Coyne - my trainer (training is always 12 weeks). I feel like we'll have a better six weeks than the last six. We have a clear vision of what we want to accomplish with the people we're teaching now, and we're excited to put our goals in to action. I will be saying good by to some good friends in the district as well - namely my district leader Elder Cox (the only person in Tucson who like Seinfeld as much as I do). 

We had a great lesson with our new investigation Micheal Tebo and his family Saturday night. Elder Plaizier had the opportunity to teach and recite the first vision, and he taught how we're supposed to pray. It's great to see not only investigators learning, but my companion as well. Our new ward mission leader was there as well to share his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how we get one. He shared a story from the life of Christ that goes perfectly with the subject: After the Resurrection of the Savior - in Luke 24 - Christ walks and talks to two people on the road to Emmaus about the things that had just happened to him. Christ told them about the prophets from the time of Moses and how they prophesied that such things were going to pass. He sat and with them and broke bread with them, and once they realized who he was, he vanished from their sight. One man said to the other "Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" Those people talked face to face with the Savior, but their knowledge of the divinity of the Him only came through that witness or burning from within that comes from His Holy Spirit. What a marvelous blessing that the Lord has given us a way to know these things with a surety. It's only through the prayer of faith and true intent that we can have the witness, but I testify of it's reality. 

I love all of you and I hope you have an other good week,
Elder Miller

Monday, February 20, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 9

Hello everyone,

This week has been good, and we've had a good amount of success. We had a new lady move into our ward who needed to be visited on
Wednesday. It turned out that she moved from California to live with her daughter - who was a less active we didn't know before. The mother and the daughter both asked for blessings of healing for their health problems. Elder Plaizier and I both got to give one. As we gave them blessings, the less active daughters husband - Michael - sat in and watched. When we were done he asked if he could have one as well even though he's not a member. We agreed and gave a simple blessing to help with the trials he is going through in life. He said he felt the Spirit while we were giving, and asked us when we meet for church on Sundays. He expressed that he has felt that Christ is missing from his life (he is a Catholic from Germany, but hasn't practiced in years). Needless to say, we asked him if he'd like to learn more about our church, and he agreed. We're so excited to get a promising prospect after a few weeks of slowness.

On Saturday we did a "district Blitz" in Sister Spencer and her
companions area out in Corona de Tucson (about twenty minutes away from town). A Blitz is where all the missionaries in a district go to the same area and knock doors there for an hour or two. While we were doing it, Elder Taylor (another missionary in the district) and I found a new Family for them to teach! They had already met with missionaries in the past, but their work schedules got in the way. We certainly knocked the right door at the right time, too. The husband was talking about how his wife just quit work and they'll be able to start getting back into it again. That was an other exciting event that happened.

Have a good week. I love you all,

Elder Miller

Monday, February 6, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 7

This week has been a little harder than most. We've had a few more appointments fall through than usual and have had a couple of investigators who have decided to stop meeting with us, unfortunately. I ask for the prayers of all of you to help Elder Plaizier and I as we are stuck in a bit of a rut with no clear way out. Pray that we may be fruitful in our finding efforts this week.
Now don't think that's it's been all gloom and doom over here - we all have our ups and downs. I don't know if I've already mentioned this in my letters or not, but the dates for the Tucson Temple open house have been announced! It will be from June 3-24 of this year, and the dedication will be on August 13 with a cultural celebration the day before. I don't know what the missionaries role in all of this will be; we probably won't know until it's about that time. It is still very exciting to be serving the people of Arizona at such a special time. We've been encouraging all of the members in our wards to start thinking now of people to bring to the open house; this will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for so many people; to be a missionary during all of this is a marvelous blessing for me. An other thing I don't think I've mentioned is that the there is also going to be a new mission president coming in this year; the Passeys will be going home this June or July and the Brownings will be "taking over." Lots of big changes taking place this year.
Yesterday, we went to mission prep class like we do every Sunday morning, however, the regular teacher wasn't there; which meant that my companion and I were called on to teach the Great Apostasy on the spot. And by my companion and I - I mean just me. It came completely unexpected, and i just got up and rambled on for about 40 minutes while Elder Plaizier just kind of stood there, looking like a deer in the headlights. Eventually Brother Neilson in our ward told him to sit down, and at that point I felt like a complete windbag. The lesson is, teaching in unity is important; otherwise, it just looks weird.
Hope you all have a good week; I love you and miss you all,

Elder Miller

Monday, January 30, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 6

Elder Miller and his new trainee, Elder Plaizier
Very exciting week this past week; so much has happened. First off, on Tuesday, I picked up and met my new companion and trainee. His name is Elder Plaizier (plaz-ear); he's from Nampa, Idaho (my second companion from Nampa and my third companion from Idaho). His 6'5'', so it's nice to have him around during basketball. It's pretty fun to be training; I can just watch how he reacts in certain situations, and I can remember how I would do the same thing when I was being trained, which really wasn't that long ago. It's funny how fast the time flies. Anyway, he is adjusting to mission life pretty good, and he has a great desire to be the best missionary he can be. I'm so glad to be able to help him do so.
January 25 marks a big day for everyone who is in or will be in the mission field. We got to watch a worldwide broadcast from the executive missionary council in Salt Lake, which including Elders Oaks, Bednar, and Anderson. In the broadcast they announced a new daily schedule from missionaries to live by. Basically, we now have more freedom to choose when we want to do certain activities in the day. Prep time in the morning has been lengthened, while lunch brake and certain studies have been shortened. Plus we have simplified the "key indicators of conversion," which are just the numbers we report on every week to our leader. We used to have nine to report on, but they have been cut down to four now; it's sounds like it's nothing, but it's a huge change from someone who's been doing the same thing the same way from eight months like myself. To have to train someone to do all this while adjusting to it myself is also interesting. 
Our most recent baptism, Steve Wilson, was interviewed to be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, and he has asked me to do the ordination next week! I'm so honored to have the opportunity, and I can't wait to do it. We also have an other baptism schedule for a part member family named the Cluffs for February 18th. Lots of good stuff going on in our area. 
Yesterday after church, I wanted Elder Plaizier to get some practice finding people to teach, so we went over to an apartment complex next to ours. We knocked on a less-actives door and he wasn't home. His apartment was on the second floor, so we went downstairs and saw a door on the first floor that was wide open. So we just went up and started talking to whoever was inside. She was an older lady recovering from two back surgeries who just moved to Tucson. She said s

he's been looking for a church to go to and asked us from the time of our meetings and whatnot. We gave her a card and she said when she starts to feeling better, she wants to have us over to teach her. It was a great finding experience; another one of those small events that shows you what can be done when you act on your faith in Christ. If you haven't read President Uchtdorf's talk "Fourth Floor, Last Door" I recommend you take the time to read it. It's pretty much my go to talk when I meet and talk to less active members - it's so wonderful. 
Elder Miller doing his weekly shopping (courtesy of Sister Kamrowski,
who sends most of the photos we have of Elder Miller) before going
fishing for P-Day.
I love all you guys, and I hope you have a good week,

Elder Miller

*Mailing address has been updated.*

Monday, January 23, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 5 - I'm Training!!

Hello everyone,

As you could probably guess from the subject line, I'll be training a new missionary starting tomorrow. I could have sworn I was just getting trained myself. It really wasn't that long ago. Our mission is getting pretty young; the oldest elder here doesn't go home from another three transfers, so there is going to be a long of us young guys taking on leadership roles. In fact, my last companion Elder Stephenson was just called to be a zone leader - good for him. 
This week has been pretty great. We had the baptism from Steve Wilson this past Saturday; my companion Elder Barr baptized him. Then yesterday, I got to do the confirmation during sacrament meeting. I had never done anything like that before. I guess I did alright; everyone said they enjoyed the blessing afterwards. 
During our Elders Quorum on Sunday we were looking at a talk by Elder Cornish entitled "Am I Good Enough? Will I Make?" It was from last conference - I would recommend everyone to take a look at it sometime this week. It presents an honest question that I'm sure we've all asked ourselves from time to time. I may not be a mass murderer, but I'm I really qualified from exaltation? What's I like about Elder Cornish's talk is that it talks about how there really isn't a such thing as being "good enough." We all fall short, and none of us are worthy of God's grace and mercy (of course that's exactly what mercy is - forgiveness we do not deserve). We could never possibly hope to "earn" our salvation; we simply aren't good enough - none of us. That is why an infinite Atonement was necessary on our behalf - so that we could all have access to that mercy. As long as we choose to not rationalize our behavior and decide to willingly and knowingly rebel against God's commandments we can receive and retain a forgiveness of our transgressions as we live according to the Gospel - even for the ones we commit over and over again. This is something that gives me hope for my eternal salvation. Wholly through the merits of Christ will I be able to live with my Heavenly Father; my works in this life are and will be an EFFECT rather than the cause of my salvation.
I hope everyone will enjoy their week and be safe. Love and miss all of you!

Elder Miller

Here are some photos we have gotten that I have forgotten to share.

- Hugh's Dad

Elder Miller and his most recent companion, Elder Barr

Elder Miller and Sister Spencer at the Temple.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 4

Hello everyone,

It's hard to believe that this transfer is coming to an end. It's
probably going to end on a big note as Steve Wilson baptism will be
this Saturday. It's so incredible to have two baptisms so close
together. Steve's progression has been so quick, and he is so ready
for the baptism. It's been great to be able to teach him all the
lessons as well as being at his wedding a few weeks ago.
The work in Tanque Verde ward is starting to pick up since we took it over. We got a media referral for there that we taught on Saturday. His name is Chris; oddly enough he wanted to learn more about the church after listening to Lindsey Sterling music, haha. What ever leads people to the church is fine with me. He recently left the Marine Corp and told us about all the strange "visions" he's had since (clearly a result of PTSD). He was pretty uneasy at the beginning of the lesson (it kind of scared the member we brought with us to the lesson), but he eased up as the lesson went on. We invited him to church he was there the next day! For those of you that aren't aware, it's basically impossible to get people to church, so that was a big deal to come the first time you're invited. He's one of the more interesting people I've taught, but he seems pretty promising, nonetheless.
I have a feeling I could be training next transfer, but I won't know
for sure what's happening until Saturday. I do no for sure I'm staying in the area I'm in now.
Enjoy your week. I love and miss all of you

Elder Miller

Monday, January 9, 2017

Southeast Tucson Week 3

Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (I think New Years was the last time I wrote to everyone). I've been missing New
Mexico at times, but it's been exciting working in my new area in Southeast Tucson. On Saturday we had a great baptism for an
investigator (if you could even call her that) named Noe Austin. I say that because she has been going to church for a year and a half now
and probably knows the gospel just as much as I do; she has just been waiting for parental permission all this time. This was one of the
biggest baptismal services I've ever seen; we actually had to go out
to the chapel to fit everyone as a part of the ward and a lot of her
family came to witness it. For a 15 year old, she is quite a spiritual
individual; after the ordinance she talked about how much it meant to
her that her family decided to come. There was not a single dry eye
I've come across some great people in this area since I've been here.
We have a solid investigator named Steve Wilson we've been working
with, who will be baptized in two weeks. He has zealously read
everything we ask him to (twice), has come to church every week, and
even got married to the less active he's been living with. Every time
we teach him a new commandment to him (including the Word of Wisdom)

and invite him to live it he simply replies "consider it done." I've
never seen anyone make the necessary changes in their life so rapidly;
it's amazing to witness the converting power of the Gospel in such a
short time frame.
There are some pretty cool member in both Bonanza and Tanque Verde. We
visited with a member named Floyd Bailey, who was a professional
musician before he was a member. He was a drummer for the Ohio Players
(who did the original version of "Love Rollercoaster") as well for
Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson among others. I'll see if I can
include a video of him banging around a bit. We had dinner with a
family in TV named the Trepaniers (pronounced "trap-en-yay"). It turns
out Bro. Trepanier served his mission in Indiana and was in Fort Wayne
for six months! It was so cool listening talk about all the different
things that happened while he served there (was talking about how his
zone leaders were in Huntington and they got into a fist fight in
their apartments once and they had to get white washed, haha).

I hope you all have a good week. Love all of you. Take care. Sister
Spencer says hi as well,
Elder Miller