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:

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: 

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