Monday, July 28, 2014

The Greatest Gift

Alright, well, I've had a special request from my mom to write about my new mission president and if there's one thing I've learned in my life is that requests/suggestions from mothers are more like requirements! :)

My new mission president's name is President Dahle. He is from Salt Lake City, Utah and was a lawyer. He is super nice and even though I've only met him once, I can already tell that he really cares about the missionaries and is trying his best to make a difference for us. He has already extended emailing time and has allowed us to have monthly zone activities, so he's alright in my book. His wife is also super awesome! I talked to her for quite a bit while other missionaries were being interviewed by President. She seemed a little overwhelmed and said she thinks she needs an assistant. I readily volunteered. :)

This week I was able to see how important support from the members is in missionary work. I honestly believe that members make the difference in conversion and retention of new members of the church. I mean if we really think about it, it's a no brainer. If a new member doesn't have any friends at church, they're not going to want to keep going back. I am so thankful for the members here and the fellowship they have and are currently giving to my recent converts. 

The process of fellowship begins long before baptism. It starts even before missionary lessons. Everyday we need to follow the example of Christ and be willing to befriend all. If we are really friends with them, we will WANT to share the gospel with them. 

This Gospel is the greatest gift you can give to anyone. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share with others what has brought me happiness all of my life. I know that this is the true Church and the true way to be happy.

I love you all so much!
-Sister Miller

I met a baby carabao.....

and decided to name him Choncho!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Feasting on the Words of Christ

This week has been one of the fastest of my mission! I'm not too sure why, but I feel like just yesterday I was sitting here writing to you guys!

This week the health of my companion, Sister Ete, has been on the rocks. Well, that actually sounds worse than it is.  She has high blood and hasn't been taking her medicine so we weren't able to work much. It was so hard to have to stay in so many days this week. I never realized how much I would miss working when all I was doing was laying around, cleaning the house, or reading my scriptures.  It makes me scared for life after the mission when I know now that all I will want to do is walk around in the rain wearing a skirt and teaching people about the gospel in Tagalog!!

With all the spare hours I had this week, I was really able to dive deep into the Book of Mormon. I brought out my old religion study guide and just started from the introduction. Although I read the Book everyday, I always seem to get something new out of it. This time was no different. I loved having the time to really read and ponder the messages within the book as well as read the prophets' insights through my study guide book. I have come to gain a new appreciation for the word of God whether it come from the prophets of old through the scriptures, or the prophets of this dispensation. I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much and wants us to be successful in this life so he has given us the tools we need to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.  

I know that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. Through living the principles taught in the Book of Mormon, I know that we can grow closer to our Heavenly Father and feel His love for us everyday. Being here on a mission and seeing the difference reading the Book of Mormon makes in people's lives makes me love it that much more and gives me a greater appreciation for the family I was born into and the fact that I have grown up in the gospel and was taught about the Book of Mormon since I was a kid. I know that the knowledge contained in this book is literally life changing! 

As it says in 2 Nephi 31:20 we need to "feast on the words of Christ". A special shout out to Julian for this picture of his friend taking that verse literally! :)

This Book of Mormon was from the cake below.

This cake was awesome....every single thing was edible!

I am thankful for the time I was given to really dive into the scriptures this week but I am soooo ready to get back into the game and work, work, work!!

I love you all so much!
-Sister Miller

This is Brother Marlon who always gives us free rides on his trike!

I found a little friend on the way to an investigator's house!

We went on splits yesterday so I got to work with Sister Emz.
She is preparing to go on a mission and is AWESOME!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Witnessing Progress

This week has gone by so fast but I have had so many wonderful experiences. One that really meant a lot to me was the progress we were able to see in a less-active man we have been working with. I loved seeing how much he wanted to leave his past life behind him and continue on strong in the Gospel. We were able to see him overcome some big trials and move forward with a smile on his face. 

His testimony, like many others, has strengthened my testimony of this Gospel. Seeing his example has made me want to be more steadfast and immovable in mine. I love experiences like this that just make you want to smile and be a better person. I have met so many amazing people since I've been here on my mission. Whether it has been other missionaries, members, or even the investigators whom we teach. Each and every one of them has made a difference in my life. I have seen or heard stories of great sacrifice based on faith alone. I have been so humbled with the experiences of others and wouldn't change this mission or give it up for anything in the world. 

I know with all my heart that this is the true and only way to return to our Father in Heaven. I am so glad to be able to be serving a mission and inviting others to learn of this Gospel, 

I love you all and am so thankful for the difference you have made in my life.

Before I officially sign off, I have a favor to ask of you. As a part of a little project I am doing, I would like to collect some conversion stories. Whether you have been a member for your whole life, converted when you were younger, or are a more recent convert, I would really appreciate a story of your personal conversion. You can send it to my email...

I love you all so much,
Sister Miller 

Sister Miller was REALLY late getting online last night because of a zone the beach!  She sent along some fun pics!

I've been in the Philippines for 50 weeks and finally made it to the ocean!

Grillin' chicken and fish at the beach!

Sister Hart and I didn't really care for the fish they we brought our own!
Sippin' some fresh coconut juice.  The coconuts were huge!
A Tongan missionary climbed the tree and just started kicking them down to us.

The people who were hosting the beach party are American and had just received a box from home that included eight bottles of this!  When I told them where I was from, they very generously gave me one...YUM!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, America!

Have I told you guys lately how much I am enjoying my mission? Well, this week was no different! 

There was a plethora of things that made this week a good one but let me highlight two things:

First, a prank. This was literally the best prank that has ever been pulled here. It was a little after our apartment family home evening. Sister Hart got a text that read, "Sister Hart, please pack your bags. You are being emergency transferred to Orani. We will be there in an hour to pick you up." It came from an Assistant to the President. Immediately, Sister Hart started to freak out. She was close to tears and, I have to admit, so was I. We all went upstairs to help her pack. She was just talking about all the things she was going to miss (including our 4th of July celebration the next day!) Sister Ete started to take a video seeing as it would be our "last video together". That should have been our first clue. Then Sister Ete got up and left the room as Sister Hart finished packing. The phone buzzed and read "YO HART, YOU JUST GOT PRANKED!!" Now, being frazzled already, poor Sister Hart just didn't get it so she called the "Assistant" who had been texting her only to hear the laughter of Sister Ete on the other line. It was Sister Ete the WHOLE time! No one else knew! We were all freaking out and then had a good laugh. It will go down in prank history! 

Second, INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!! You may be wondering how much a person can celebrate America in the Philippines. Well my dear, sweet friends, you can celebrate it A LOT!! I spent the day with Sister Manilingan, a Filipina, and Sister Hart, an Australian. It was a good time! I dressed them up in red, white, and blue and we all went out to work! We sang patriotic hymns alll day! Sister Manilingan was the most excited! 
All decked out for the holiday!

This is a branch missionary that often works with us.
He LOVED celebrating the 4th of July!
That night we convinced the senior couple to feed us a real American meal. They made ribs, corn on the cob, pasta salad, and cherry limeades! It was AMAZING!!! Easily the best meal I've eaten here in the Peens! I almost felt like I was back in the good ol' US of A!!! #AMERICA! I love it here in the Peens, but I am so grateful to have been born and raised in the United States. I am thankful for all the men and women who have sacrificed to make America the land of the FREE because of the BRAVE. Always remember that freedom isn't free. 
It doesn't get any better than this!

BBQ Heaven!!!
So aside from pranking each other and celebrating America, there were many spiritual things that happened. Everyday I see miracles in our work and have come to realize just how much Heavenly Father influences our day to day lives. I know that He lives and loves each and everyone of us! I am so thankful for all of the many blessings I have in my life. I'm even grateful for all the trials in my life that have helped shape me into the person I am today. 

I love you all!
-Sister Miller