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.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 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

Southeast Tucson - Week 1

Moving to this new area is so exciting. Tucson is a lot different that Silver City, New Mexico; it's a wonder that they're even in the same mission. The people, the scenery, the weather - it's all a bit different. My companion is Elder Barr now. He just got finished being trained, so that makes me senior companion for the first time. Things are just a little crazy for us right now. We have five investigators on date for baptism this transfer - incredible. They're all super solid and have been thoroughly changed by the power of Christ and His Gospel. In addition to that, we took over a new ward at the beginning of this transfer - the Tanque Verde Ward (just north of Bonanza Ward, which elders have always covered). The sisters there were taken out and we've been giving an additional ward we really don't know anything about. We got an email from the previous sisters that talked about everyone they've been working with, but forgot to put in any contact information for anyone of them! So we're going to have to depend on the ward and hope they were actually listen to the missionaries in Ward Council this past few months to see how we can find all these investigators.
This bike area has really been killing me by the way. It's probably been two years since I've ever had to bike anywhere, so I've got no muscle at all. My companion always has to wait for me to catch up with him, which I'm sure he finds irritating at times. Luckily, we in a "car share" with some elders nearby, and we get it certain days of the week to make it out to far away areas.
I'm very excited for this holiday season - my first from home. I really find my self more excited for the holidays out on a mission than I did back at home. I hope you all enjoy your Christmas this year and keep in mind that this, indeed, a time to commemorate the birth of our Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 

Elder Miller