Monday, December 29, 2014

Completing Families!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

What an amazing week!! Here in the Peens, Christmas consists of a lot of sweet spaghetti, people handing out money to children, and lots of lights and decorations!! The sisters here celebrated by singing carols on vidokie at the District President's house! It was awesome!! I sang 'I'll be Home for Christmas' with an emphasis on "if only in my dreams"!! :)

Also had a blast celebrating my birthday. The people here are so nice! The Relief Society had an activity where the made me my favorite Filipino food and the District President bought us all dinner and a birthday cake!! To top off an awesome day, I had a baptism!

These sweet sisters are making some of my favorite Filipino foods!

Birthday cake....YUM!!!!
Something I have learned out here as I 'grew old' in the mission is that the gospel thrives in the family unit. Bruce R McConkie said, "Salvation is a family affair." That is so true! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is centered on strengthening families not only here on earth but into the eternities! And it is soooo much easier to live the gospel standards with the support of your family! I have seen countless numbers of people who stop going to church or fall back into temptations because of either lack of support or pressure from family members. I've learned that it's easy to convert a single member of a family but Heavenly Father wants all of His children to come unto Him. It's hard work to find and baptize a whole family but it's really what is best for the individuals. We pray everyday to be led to a family that is ready to accept the gospel. So far we've been struggling but I know that as we continue to show Heavenly Father our faith and trust in Him, He will provide. 

We have been working lately on completing families as well. This month we reactivated a family who hasn't been to church in years! The whole family is now active again and we were able to baptize the youngest member of the family, Jana. I have such a strong testimony that families can be together forever. I know that it is our Father in Heaven's plan for us to come to earth, learn, grow, and return to Him, as a family!!

A baptism on my birthday is the best gift EVER!

This is a typical baptismal font in the Philippines!

I know that this is the only way to return to Him. I am so thankful for my family and for the opportunity to help strengthen families here in the Peens!! 

-Sister Miller


Here is my Christmas tree FULL of Christmas wishes from all of you....
Thank you so much!  It is so beautiful and means so much!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Sister Cervantes and I having some fun with the holiday decorations in our city center.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Early Christmas Present!

Christmas came early this year!  We were able to talk with Marissa via Google Hangouts last night.  Marissa's mission president allows the missionaries to call home on their P-day rather than Christmas day because all of the internet cafes are closed for the holiday.

This year, we were spread out all over the country and world!  Meagan was in Qatar and Mallorie was in Wyoming but we were all able to join the session and had a great time visiting with Marissa.  She has only five weeks left on her mission.  We will be flying to the Philippines to pick her up and spend some time seeing the various areas where she served and meeting her "peeps!"  We are so excited for that!

Marissa looks so happy!
(It was the middle of the night for Meg!)

Even Macy got to chat with Marissa!
We are so proud of Marissa and her dedication to the Savior and the people of the Philippines.  We have been blessed as a family because of her great service and I know that she had grown and learned so much during her time in the mission field.  Those things will continue to bless her throughout her entire life!

I want to extend a special thanks to all of you who have written to Marissa or sent her packages and called or emailed me when you heard about typhoons just to check up on her.  She has felt your love and support and I know it has meant so much to her...and me!

Merry Christmas...........Maria

Monday, December 15, 2014

Manila!

This week we got to go to Manila! All of the foreign missionaries going home in January had to go to Immigration to get fingerprinted for our exit visas. While we were in Manila we were able to go through the temple!! It was so amazing!!

We started out sleeping at the mission home on Thursday night. We didn't really get a chance to sleep because we were taken to the bus station at 2 o'clock in the morning where we hopped on a looooong 4 hour bus ride to Manila. 
Sister Ete-aki, Elder Powell and me on that looooooong bus ride.....
feeling a little goofy!
There a van was waiting to take us to the immigration office. Then it was a grueling 6 hour wait before we all got finished with our paperwork. We were going to go to Taco Bell to eat but it was on the opposite side of town from the temple and we were running out of time so we couldn't. Luckily we passed a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant called Hermano's and stopped. IT WAS SOOO GOOD!! In all honesty, it was better than Chipotle!!  

I felt so close to home!
 We were able to get a session in at the temple before we headed back to Olongapo. It was perfect! It's been so long since I've been to the temple and it was much needed! The Spirit was so strong there and it was great motivation to finish my mission strong and do all I can to make the Lord proud of my service.


The beautiful Manila temple. I can't wait to be here with my family in six weeks!
My batch sisters: Sister Makihele, Sister Garrett, and Sister Ete-aki.
We all started in the MTC together and will be released together.
I am so happy here in the Philippines doing the Lord's work!! This week was kind of a wake up call that I only have six weeks left here. I am going to cherish every moment and not waste a second! I know that all good things have to come to an end so I'm going to go out with a bang! I promised myself that I will work hard everyday of my last transfer and that I won't let anything distract me from doing what I am meant to do here!  

I love you all and am grateful for all the support I have received from each of you!

-Sister Miller

Here is my Christmas tree as of today...only ten days til Christmas!
Opening a new envelope is the first thing I do everyday and it makes me feel SO loved!
THANK YOU ALL for your warm wishes and holiday greetings.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Be Preparrrrrrred!!!" -- The Lion King

Helllllo family and friends!! 

I learned something interesting this week. Did you know that “the Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world with frequent exposures to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, flooding, and landslides”? (National Disaster Coordinating Council website) 

Well this week there is a super typhoon in the Philippines. We found out about it on Thursday and it has been on and off havoc since then. There have been basically non-stop texts coming from the assistants to the Mission President giving us directions about what we need to do to be ready. We are evacuating later tonight to get to "safer ground". Not to worry though, we are being taken care of and I'm positive that everything will be okay.

In all the chaos I have actually learned a lot! We read in the scriptures, "Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready" (D&C 50:46) I am so thankful that we are being prepared for this storm. I think it is a perfect parallel for life in general and the role missionary work plays. We are all preparing for the storms of life. As we watch, as the scriptures direct, I know that we will be ready. Ready for any challenges we may face. Ready for life's problems. Ready to return to our Father in Heaven. As missionaries, it's our job to raise the warning voice and help others see the path or know the things which they must do in order to be ready or to obtain their exhalation. No matter where we are in life, there is always more preparation to be taken. I know that as we follow the teachings of Christ and are obedient, we will be ready. We can 'watch' through the little things we should do everyday, especially prayer and scripture study. I know that as we are being prepared through the little things, when the storm comes we will be saved.

I love this gospel and the knowledge it gives me. I can't wait to return to my loving Heavenly Father, embrace Him in a hug, and say 'I did my best!' I know that He will take care of the rest.

I love you all!
-Sister Miller
The classic after FHE picture. When we are playing games and you mess up, you get a mark of lipstick on your face. We went straight home after this but didn't wash off our faces until we got there. The trike driver was cracking up and kept saying how great we looked, then he only charged us half of the normal rate. I told Sister Cagata that we should wear lipstick on our faces everyday to save on travel expenses... :)

This is what kids do after the rice is harvested. They find bamboo sticks and play baseball!! I joined in the game, channeled my inner Royals player, and hit a home run! All the kids thought it was hilarious to see me running the bases in my skirt! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tender Mercies

This week I have realized a huge miracle in my mission.  In the Book of Mormon, we read the story of Nephi and his family as they journey in the wilderness.  Throughout their rough journey, they saw many mercies of the Lord come to pass.  One in particular occurs in 1Nephi 17.  Before my mission, I would read this chapter and think little of it.  Now that I have experienced a certain tender mercy of the Lord in my life, I appreciate Nephi's experience so much more.  In verse 12, we read the Lord's words saying, "I will make thy food become sweet." BAM! That's it!

Let me take you back to my first week here in the Philippines. Now anyone who knows me knows that I often rave about how delicious food is in Kansas. It's the best! So I found myself eating a plate full of rice (yuck!) with fried corned beef (yuck!) with ketchup they make from bananas (I'll admit the ketchup was alright). Is this how I was going to be eating for the next year and a half?  I was going to starve!!! Then I was introduced to real Filipino food.  One word...YUCK!!! I honestly disliked almost every meal we ate.  I remember one meal in particular.  We were at a member's house and they made sinigang.  This is a very sour soup with vegetables and a little bit of meat.  I distinctly remember nearly choking down the soup so as not to offend my hosts. It's safe to say that, for the first one third of my mission, I lived on candy bars and chips. Eventually I found things that I could cook that were semi-American. Until about a week ago, I could honestly say that I was not a fan of Filipino food! 

Then something miraculous happened.  My companion, Sister Cagata, made sinigang!  I thought to myself, "Oh great....I'm going to be hungry all day now."  As we sat down to eat, I took only a little bit of the soup, remembering my past experience. I took one spoonful and slowly brought it to my lips.  I took a sip.  "What? This is delicious!," I thought to myself.  Maybe it was just a fluke so I took one more bite.  It was so good! This week I have been trying everything again and I love it all! As big or as small as this may seem to you, it is truly a miracle and a tender mercy of the Lord in my life.  I know that He knows us and is always watching out for us. Whether it be our safety (or just our tastebuds!) He only wants what is truly best for us.

I love being a missionary here in the Philippines.  I now love the food here. :-)  I know that this is the Lord's work and that we are changing the course of people's lives.  I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to spend the last 16 months focusing on others and their needs.  I would call it a sacrifice but I don't feel like I have sacrificed anything at all.  I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

I know that this is the only true church here on Earth and that through living the teachings of the Savior, we can all return to live with our Heavenly Father.

With nothing but love,
Sister Miller

Thanksgiving dinner with the Whites!!

We have to cross a river to get to certain appointments.
Luckily, the water wasn't too high this day!

When we are really tired, we look for a ride....the Filipino way!



Monday, November 24, 2014

I Love the Book of Mormon!

Ang Pamilya & mga Kaibigan Ko,

This week Sister Cagata and I have really been focusing our teaching on the Book of Mormon and something amazing has been happening.  Of course, we always teach out of the Book of Mormon, but as we have been emphasizing it's importance, we have felt the difference in our lessons.  We had an awesome lesson with a new investigator about the Book of Mormon.  It was like all of her questions were coming out a student manual.  All of the answers she was looking for were right there in what we were sharing. I saw the 'ah ha' moment numerous times throughout the lesson.  When we were done, she said, "I get it. It all makes sense."  I know she felt the Spirit testify to her that the Book of Mormon truly is God's word.

I love teaching about the Book of Mormon because it is what really sets us apart from every other religion.  All the evidence anyone will ever need in order to know if this is the truth, they can hold in their hands.  It all rests on whether or not the Book of Mormon is truly coming from God.  If it is, then Joseph Smith was a prophet with authority from God.  If it is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's only true church on the face of the earth and the only church with the authority to perform ordinances such as baptism.  It ALL depends on the Book of Mormon.  With all that riding on the truthfulness of one book, it boggles my mind when people don't read it.  There is literally nothing to lose and all of salvation to be gained.

I love what President Ezra Taft Benson said regarding the Book of Mormon, "We do not have to prove the Book of Mormon is true.  The book is it's own proof.  All we need to do is read it and declare it!  The Book of Mormon is not on trial--the people of the world, including members of the church -- are on trial as to what they will do with this Second Witness for Christ."

We are all on trial whether we've seen the book once or it's been a part of our whole lives.  I have come to have such a greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon in my life.  I know that it is the word of God as written by ancient prophets.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, of our witness of Christ, and of our testimony.  I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to declare it to the people of the Philippines.

I know that as we apply the teachings within the Book of Mormon, we will grow closer to our Father in Heaven.  I know He lives  and loves each and everyone of us.  I love Him.  I love this work.  I love you all!!!

Sister Miller

P.S.  I got a nice surprise this week -- a Christmas tree in the mail!  I am so excited to read the messages everyone wrote every day as I count down to Christmas.  Thanks for thinking of me.  I love you all!


Do you remember Sister Hart from Australia?
She is one of my besties from Candelaria and we are excited to be serving in the same zone again.
I wish I had a funny story about how she fractured her elbow but she just slipped and fell. That's it!  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Hello my people!!!

This week has been one of HARD WORK!! One of the things I love most about coming into a new area is seeing the huge progression in the first full week of the transfer. This is the week that I like to push myself and my companion the hardest and really set a standard for the rest of the transfer. As Sister Cagata and I have given it out all, we have really seen the blessings of the Lord. We more than doubled our total lessons taught and new investigators. We also achieved over five times more lessons taught to an investigator with a member present. We've really seen the potential this area has and I'm excited to see the growth we are going to see for teh rest of the transfer. 

I think Ezra Taft Benson said it best when he said, "One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work."

I have seen that when we work hard we are happy! When we get lazy the days seem to drag on for forever! I love this work and love coming home exhausted at the end of the day because it means that I really gave my all to the Lord that day. 

I know that this is the true Gospel and through living according to Heavenly Father's laws we are being prepared to return to live with Him in His kingdom! I love sharing this message with the people of the Philippines!

I love you all!
-Sister Miller

Sister Cataga and I got locked inside a compound one night while we were teaching.
We literally had to climb a fence to get out!!!
Missionaries need all kinds of skilz!

Here we are at a Zone activity this morning visiting Mt. Samat.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Prayer Answered -- Not in my time, but His!

This week I got transferred!  I really loved my last area, San Marcelino, but I am excited for the new change.  I am now assigned to Pilar, Bataan.  I am serving right next to my old area of Orion, Bataan.  It's funny because when I was assigned in Orion, I was an STL (Sister Training Leader) and would sometimes have exchanges here in Pilar.  Now when we go to the home of recent converts or members, sometimes we remember each other.  They will say, "Have you been here before?" or "Hey, I remember you!"  I like it because I already have a connection with so many people here and am semi-familiar with the area, which is a good thing because my companion is brand new! 

I'm training again!  Her name is Sister Cagata and she is from Bohol, Philippines. She is a native Cebuano speaker so she's still learning Tagalog.  I'm really happy to be training again.  There's just a different spirit around new missionaries. the excitement and enthusiasm for the work is so strong. I loved training my first "child" here on the mission but back then I had just barely finished my own training.  I feel like now I have more experience and am really thankful to be able to share all that Heavenly Father has blessed me with and all that I have learned with Sister Cagata. It's kind of like paying forward everything I've gained on the mission.

Hello, Sister Cagata!

Farewell, Sister Hess!
This transfer day made me realize that Heavenly Father knows what we need better than we do. A few weeks ago, a new sister came into the mission off of the normal transfer schedule.  When I found out she was coming, I really wanted to train her.  I don't even know why.  It's just something that would be fun and a good way to end my mission.  I started praying that I would get to train her.  While praying, I realized that if I wanted to be a good trainer, I would have to change some things,  I started being more diligent in my studies.  I started to strive to be more worthy and sensitive to the Spirit.  I started to be more exactly obedient to all the mission rules.  Now, of course, no one is perfect, but as I tried to be more aware of the things Heavenly Father wanted me to do or change, I found myself happier and better able to endure with patience the hardships or challenges that come in missionary work.  I began to feel myself progressing again and my testimony growing everyday.  It made me realize that its really the little things we do that decide the direction of our lives or our mission.

So the day finally rolled around that the new sister would be arriving.  My stomach turned to mush every time the phone rang.  I kept thinking, "Is this it? Am I going to train?" I had faith that Heavenly Father would answer my prayer, but I was still nervous.  To make a long story short (too late!), I wasn't assigned as her trainer.  At first, my heart was broken.  I started wondering why, after all of my hard work, would Heavenly Father not answer my prayer? Why, after receiving what I thought was a confirmation that this was His will for me, would things not work out?

Now from this point of the story, I could have done one of two things.  I could have sunk down into self-pity or I could look back and realize the blessings I have received from this experience and be thankful.  Much to the credit of the Holy Ghost, I chose the latter.  I realized that even thought the end result wasn't what I expected, the journey was a great one filled with spiritual growth and blessings.  So I kept working. I kept striving to be a better missionary.

When the regularly scheduled transfer day rolled around and we found out our new assignments, I couldn't help but smile. "Sister Miller - Pilar 2 - Trainer"  I remember turning to Sister Hess and saying, "God works in mysterious ways!"  I realize now that I was meant to be Sister Cagata's trainer.  I am so grateful for this and all of my experiences on the mission that have helped me grow closer to my Father in Heaven.

I know that we can trust in Him no matter what the circumstances.  I know He answers prayers.  I know He does so in His own way and in His own time.  I am so grateful for that.  Sure, it would be nice to get everything we pray for right when pray for it, but that may not truly be the what's best for us.

I know that God lives.  He is our Father in Heaven.  I know that Jesus Christ is His Son and only through Him can we be saved.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called of God through whom we have again on the earth the whole gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and our guide to obtaining eternal life.  I am immensely grateful for this knowledge I have in my life and the opportunity to share it with my fellow children of God.

I love you all so much,
Sister Miller

Here is a final picture of the housemates before transfers.

Sister Hess and I bought sling shots one day and did some target shooting while walking to our appointments.




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sister Miller Receives a New Assignment

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Philippines, Olongapo Mission
Km. 140 National Highway, Mangan-Vaca
2209, Subic, Zambales
Philippines


12 November 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Mark Miller
10420 S Millbrook Lane
Olathe, KS 66061
United States

Dear Brother and Sister Miller,

I am very pleased to inform you that your daughter, Sister Marissa Noelle Miller, has been called to serve as a trainer of new missionaries.  Several factors are considered in the selection of a trainer, and your daughter satisfies them all.  Her new companion is Sister Marissa Sajulan Cagata.

At this time, she has also been transferred to a new area.  She will now be serving in the Pilar 2 Area, Cabcaben District, Orion Zone, with her new companion.  We are sure she will find this a great area to serve in.

Sister Miller is an outstanding proselyting missionary. She follows the mission rules, and she has earned a well-deserved reputa­tion for her obedience, work ethic, and ability to get along well with members, investigators, and her fellow missionaries.  She also exemplifies Christ-like leadership among her peers.

As a trainer of a new missionary, she will work closely with her companion and be a mentor to her in all aspects of missionary work.  With her quiet dignity, she will be a shining example to her companion and to others that she will come in contact with.   Her obedience and love for the work will be passed on to her companion and much success will come because of her lasting influence.

We are proud to have your daughter in our mission and we are excited to see her growth in fulfilling her responsibilities as a trainer. 

Sincerely,
Dennis V. Dahle
Philippines Olongapo Mission                                                          
Mission President
DVD/mfg

Monday, November 3, 2014

Getting Closer to Christ

My family & friends!

This week has been all about work, work, WORK!! We have really begun to see some progress in the area here! I love this area and am hoping not to transfer this week but whatever happens, at least I know I did my best!! 

Lately I have been focusing my personal study on the Atonement and have really come to have a deeper appreciation and understanding of it. I have been reading the various accounts of the Atonement in the Bible and every time I read it, I feel like I come closer to Christ. When I read of what He went through for us, I can feel my love for Him growing.

I know that through the Atonement we can be forgiven and that's something that we ALL need! Another part of forgiveness is not only receiving it but giving it as well. That's something I have realized lately. That no matter what someone has done, if they have repented, Heavenly Father has forgiven them and so should I. Easier said than done, right? But that's why we are here on Earth, to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

As we go though our trials here on Earth I know that we are growing to be prepared to return to our Heavenly Father. I can only imagine our happiness when we face Heavenly Father and hear the words, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant'.

I love you all!
-Sister Miller

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Blessings

My dearest peeps :)

Another week has come and gone speedier than the last. As usual, I sat here looking at the computer in a stupor of thought as to what to email this week. Luckily, I have a very diligent mother who frequently asks me questions to share in her seminary class. And thus this email was born in response to one such question, "Can you share a list of blessings that you have received by serving a mission?" She also quoted Doctrine & Covenants, Section 31, which just so happens to be one of my favorites about missionary work. I love all of the promised blessings in that section and one of my favorite verses is verse 3, "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come." That's how I feel waking up every day here in the Philippines -- rejoicing to be here doing the Lord's work!

I have received an innumerable number of blessings while being here on my mission. Every day I seem to receive added strength to endure all the physical aspects of the work. Somehow I am blessed with happiness, even after a long day of disappointments. Some of the blessings that I hold most dear are not ones that came so quickly but ones that I had to work hard to obtain -- a reliance on God, a stronger testimony and understanding of the Atonement, and the ability to feel God's love for His children and see then as he sees them.. All of these are things that I really cherish. I think mostly because I can look at myself at the beginning of my mission and see how much I have grown, which I guess is another blessing in and of itself. 

Being able to teach His word in Tagalog is another blessing.  There were so many times at the beginning of my mission that I did not understand the words that were coming out of my mouth but I knew that Lord had loosened my tongue and was using me to teach what the people needed to hear.  Now, when someone asks me to pray in English, I can't hardly do it!

I love that through this Gospel I have received so many blessings, but what I love more is being able to go out and share my blessings with those who do not have the truth. 

In the last verse of D&C 31, it says, "Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you." That is the biggest blessing that any of us have, that if we always strive to keep the commandments and do what is right, our Savior is always with us. I know that is true. I know that this is the true Gospel. I am so thankful for the blessings it brings in my life. 

I love you all!
-Sister Miller

P.S. from Maria -- If you would like to read Section 31 of the Doctrine and Covenants that Marissa refers to here, follow this link: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/31


Monday, October 20, 2014

Speedier than Ever!

Magandang hapon po sa inyo lahat!!! (Good Afternoon to you All!!!)

This week went by speedier than ever. It's true what they say about getting lost in the work!! That has actually been something that has been on my mind a lot lately. With my days here numbered, I feel like I really need to focus and do my best until my very last day. This mission only happens once and I don't want to leave with any regrets! 

That is something that is easily applied to all of us, especially my investigators. Our days here on earth are numbered and we never really know what is coming around the corner. As we have opportunities to change and align our will with Heavenly Father's, we must not delay! I love the verse in the Book of Mormon, "Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance." I like to see it as not procrastinating the opportunity to be cleansed of sin and receive innumerable blessings from our loving Heavenly Father. That's really all I am doing here, inviting others to come unto Christ, and the path is lined with faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We are all invited and His hand is outstretched to each of us. 

I know that this is true and I am so thankful for this knowledge in my life.

I love you. I love this work. I love God's plan for each and everyone of us.

Carpe Diem 
-Sister Miller

Here are some more pics from last week:

This is the beauty I get to see everyday!

Squeezing in the car to go watch conference!

Sister Hess and me pulling a "Karate Kid" pose!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Christmas in October? Why, YES!!!

This week was amazing!! General Conference weekend is like Christmas for missionaries! I have been looking forward to this for at least a month and it was no disappointment! My two favorite talks were during Saturday afternoon session. Number one coming from Dallin H. Oaks and number two form Jeffrey R. Holland. Usually Elder Holland takes first place because he is my favorite but I really, really loved what Elder Oaks talked about. His talk was about accepting others for who they are  no matter what your differences may be. That is something that I believe in wholeheartedly. 

I loved what Elder Oaks I loved what Elder Oaks said, " As difficult as it is to live in the turmoil surrounding us, our Savior's command to love one another as He loves us is probably our greatest challenge." I really love how he said to love others as Christ loves us. We are always told to treat others like we want to be treated but now I see it as treat others how Christ would treat them.  If you would like to watch or read his talk, follow this link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng 

I think being a missionary has given me a new perspective on loving others. I mean you take a person out of their country, out of their culture, out of anything familiar and tell them to go love the people. In any other situation, the results may not be so pretty, but as a missionary I have found a greater love for the Filipino people than I ever thought possible. I truly believe that I have had the opportunity to see these people through Christ's eyes. 

I am so grateful for the love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. I am even more grateful to be able to glimpse the love they have for others while I have been here on my mission. 

I know that this is the true Gospel here on the Earth. I know that we are loved. We are ALL loved. Now matter what, that is an unwavering truth that we can rely on. I know that we have a living prophet and apostles here on the Earth and that as we heed their words, we will be able to align our lives in harmony with Christ's teachings and eventually be able to return to live with Him who gave us all.

I love you all!
-Sister Miller
We had a fun zone activity at the beach this morning.

This is Elder Zarbock, me, and Elder Furniss at the beach.

  These two were in my District in the MTC and now they are my Zone Leaders.
We have a lot of fun!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Challenges are the Blessings!

This week was full of challenges! Every week as a missionary comes with it's own troubles and this week was no different. I'm not too sure why but everything just seemed to go wrong! Most of our appointments fell through, people just didn't want to talk to us, it was storming, and to top it all off none of our investigators came to church on Sunday! This week was really hard, to say the least. I came home on Sunday night, drenched, exhausted, and ready to just go to bed! When I got to my desk, I saw something I had taped down about two months earlier. It was a single sentence that really struck me when I read it the first time and even more so as a worn-out missionary after a disappointing week: "THE CHALLENGES ARE THE BLESSINGS." 

When I read that statement, all the agitation left me. All the angry thoughts and the sadness  were suddenly gone. I could feel Heavenly Father's love for me so strongly. I knew right then and there that all the challenges that I had faced that week were just really, really well disguised blessings. 

I know that the only way that we can grow in this life is through trials and challenges. I know that when we take them on with a positive attitude and actually try to learn something, we will be able to come out on top and even, dare I say, BE HAPPY!

I am so thankful for all of the challenges in my life and in my work as a missionary. The happiest of times wouldn't be so sweet without the hard times I had to overcome to get there. 

I am thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the impact that living it's standards has had on my life. I know that this is the one true way of obtaining never-ending happiness. 

I love you all and thank you for your love and support...especially support in the form of letters or packages! :)

-Sister Miller