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