Monday, October 20, 2014

Oct 20 2014

I´m not going to do a general email this week because I already talked to my family last night via skype because it was mother´s day in Argentina. And anyway, nothing too excited or new happened this week, just the same old grind, same old struggle. It got super super hot this week, I found out that the providence that i´m in, Chaco, Argentina, is the hottest, most humid place in the entire world. They had the hottest day out of every other place in the world last year. Not even Africa or Australia beats it! So, we started to get a small taste of what´s to come.. January and February will be when it is the worst.
Talking to my family was really great, it was so nice to see and hear you guys. I´m going to focus my email time this week more an individual emails! I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Miles

Oct 13 2014

Hola todos-

This isnt going to be a very long email this week. I get really really homesick this week and really stressed out, It was definitely the hardest week of ever. I try hard not to think about home and I try not to stress out but it´s super hard for me right now. Nothing very big happened this week. Just still stuggling to understand conversations. My companion and I grew a little closer together this week, but he still treats my kinda bad and that´s tough. I´ve been neglicting telling you guys that because I dont want to complain about my companion but yeah, he´s a real butt head. 

One thing that I want to highlight that I really learned very strongly this week and that I will always cling on to:
Elder Holland said something along the lines that he firmly believes that no evil could write the book of Mormon, and no good man would. I love the way he says that. It is so true. If you read the words of the BOok of Mormon with real intent, you will find that WERE NOT written by some fraud of man. They were written by real prophets in the ancient americas. Even though I cant speak spanish all that good yet, I do testify to people with all my heart that I know that the B.O.M is true.

Okay, I´m going to take more time this week to do individual emails. Sorry for the glumy news this week, I really hope the mission gets better soon for me. I hope you´re all doing great!

Elder Miles

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oct 6

Hope everyone is doing good. Thanks for your emails. This week was good and bad for me! Conference was amazing, I loved it so much. I actually got to watch it in english. In the stake center, they set up a room for the american missionaries where they had a TV playing it in english. So not only did I get to watch conference for two days straight, I got to be with american, english speaking missionaries for two days. I LOVED it. The missionaries here are so much fun to be around. Conference was so relaxing and nice, and it answered a lot of questions that I had and was praying for. I want to explain a little later what I liked about conference.
So Sat. and Sun were both really good because of the conference, the rest of the week was really hard though. I always have really good days towards the ends and the beginnings of the week, and the middle of the week is really hard. I didnt make much improvement from what I said I wouldnt to do last week.. I didnt improve much in talking to people like how I want. Its so hard  to understand people, its so frustrating. And its really hard to get the courage too when you know youre not really going to understand them or make sense. But, talking to a lot of the american missionaries this weekend, they told me that about 2 months out is when you can understand basically everything in a gospel vocabulary, and 4 months until you can understand everything else, normal, everyday vocabulary talk. But, I basically already can understrand almost everything in gospel vocabulary. In sacrament meetings, during lessons, whenever its centered on a gospel vocabulary, I can basically understand everything. For example, the two native spanish speakers that spoke during conference, in the english room we turned off the english subtitles, and I understand almost everything they said because both of them used simple words and only gospel words. So I know that im on my way, I know that im going to get there sooner or later. Its just really hard to be an outgoing, talkative, successful missionary when you cant really talk to the members or anyone else thats not about the gospel. Argentines have a really weird accent too that is really hard to get the hang of, and a special kind of verb conjugations, so thats a big part of why I could understand the 2 native spanish speakers at conference.
I also get really home sick in the middle of this week . I miss Utah, Riverton, my family, friends, how much fun everything was all the time, how easy it always was, everything. It was a rough week, until conference. Conference was SO NICE: We have another new promising investigator, his name is Cezer. We found him contacting, and I think at this point in his life he is really looking for God in his life. He is 18 years old, has a construction job, and has his own small little home all by himself. Crazy, huh? But the 2nd lesson we had with him, right before we were about to give him the bautisimal invitation, he asked us, How can I be baptized? Haha. So his date is the 25 of this month, we are really excited to keep progressing with him.
I dont have a lot of time, but a few things from conference that I want to share. David A Bednars talk and Boyd K. Packers talk really helped me understand some things that have been hard for me on the mission. For example, in the past, I havent liked how persistently uncomfortable we are with our investigators to try to do something. Because we really do make ourselves and our investigators feel terribly uncomfortable at times to do things or commit to do things, and I havent like it. And the talks of Bednar and Packer really helped me understand why we are so persistent and at times uncomforable. We do it because we know how incredibly important and the gospel is in our lives. The atonement of Jesus Christ provides us with uncomprehensible joy in our lives. And the reason LDS people are so persistent to do things is just that.. we know how much it will bless their lives and we sincerely LOVE the people we are extending the invitation too and we want them to have that in their lives. Yes, its uncomfortable to share the gospel and boldly commit people to do thigns at times, but its because you love them. Its not something easy to do, not for me at least, but I will do it for the Savior. Something else I understand a lot better was my purpose for serving a mission. I have been given the gospel in my life. I live in Utah. Probably the best place in the entire world to be born into. My life is truly absuolutely perfect in every way. I love where in the world I live, I have a perfect family with loving parents, everything I have been given is truly amazing. And because the Savior has given me so much in my life, I will sacrifice 2 years of my life. I will make myself really uncomfortable at times to help bring his lost sheep home. I will do anything that the savior asks me and in the exact way that he wants me to do it because I am so blessed. I really dont think that us, who have the gospel, who live in Utah, USA, can even begin to understand how tremedously, uncomprehensibly blessed we are in our lives. Another thing that I really started to understand is how great of a testimony I really do have of the prophet Joseph Smith. But more importantly, the reason WHY I believe that he was a true prophet. I believe he was a true prophet because the words in The Book of Mormon, to me, are undeniably true. The words of the prophets of the ancient americas scream truth. A person only needs to read the words of the prophets to know that they are sincere, true, honest words that came from real people. I dont believe a liar of a man could make up words like that. I feel a deep Spirit when I read the BOM, I know its true with all my heart. And for that, I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and I know that this is Christs church on the earth today. That was something that I really needed to know, that I really do have my own burning testimony, and im so gratefully for this conference to help me understand that. I was super spirtually recharged, I really needed it.
I am sincerely really happy to be a misionary at this time serving the Lord. although, it is really hard. Some nights when I lay in bed I cant not smile and its the happiest ive ever been, and so nights I basically almost cry and I think I cant make it throught the next day. Like I said before, a mission is a really coaster. For me at least, foriegn speaking. But the happy times definitely outweigh the hard times, they really do. Im so happy to be here, I know im on the right path. I know that a life devoted to following the Savior will be a life filled with happiness.
I hope everyone has a super good week, thanks family for everything.
Love, Elder Miles

Oct 6 pics

​Hola! Here are some photos. Those are my new scripture cases for my spanish scriptures. Theres a man in my area that makes these scripture cases out of leather and he engraves images in them. My spanish scriptures were getting beat up without cases, so I decided to buy some. They are super cool. The Book of Mormon cover is a picture of John the baptist and Jesus hugging after the baptism of Jesus. The backside is a picture of Jesus holding one of his lost sheep. The bible cover is a picture of the Draper temple because its my favorite. The backside is a picture of a mountain/nature because I <3 nature. They are really nice, I love them a lot. And then the other photo is a picture of a big lagoon that´s in our area. Its not as fun as the Lagoon in Utah, but it´s still really cool.

Sept 30th pics

Real quick, the first picture is a wood carving from a sculpture making contest in the town square of our area this week. It was really cool. Both of the pictures of the fish are from that. And then theres a picture of our apartment, a picture of the view from our window, and a typical, random, road in argentina. 

Week of Sept. 22-28

Hola familia!
I hope you´re all doing good. This past week was hard, but good, as always. A lot of contacting, finding new investigators, lessons with recient converts. Our iluminador that I told you about, Enrique, who was suppose to be baptized on saturday, didnt end up being baptized. He had his interview with the district leader, and he didnt pass the interview. I guess he had been doing some bad things that he didnt think was a problem, and it came up in the interview and he wasnt able to get baptized. But, we rescheduled his baptism for the 18th of October, so thats really exciting. Its super nice to have something like that to look forward too. We love Enrique, he is the funniest little guy.
I had splits this week with the district leader, which is where I go with the district leader for the entire day and night, and part of the next day. The district leader, Elder Anderson, is super super cool. I LOVED being with him for a day, it was so nice to be with him. It felt so good to speak english for a day. I learned so much from Elder Anderson, it was incredible. I learned a lot of bad habits and things that Elder Nava teaches me that I dont want to do when I have more of a say in my next companionship. He showed me a lot of things ill never forget. The biggest thing, he sincerely loved the people we were talking to. With my companion, I sometimes feel like we´re sales man. Elder Anderson took time to get to know the people first, understand who they are, what they love and hold dear, instead of just doing a quick lesson of the Restoration with them and leaving. I learned a lot, I grew a ton this week. It was a super good learning week. It was funny, at first when I was with Elder Anderson at the start of that day, I had a hard time answering his questions in english. Some words and prashes that I say everyday in spanish were hard to think of how to say them in english. I havent spoken english really in 5 weeks! I only hear spanish all day. So that was cool to see a little bit of progress like that. While on the transfer with Elder Anderson, in his area, we clapped a lot of houses that were just made of mud. Little mud huts. It really blew my mind. How do you live in mud? How do you live on a floor that is nothing but lose dirt and rocks? I know when I got my call that I would see stuff like that, but seeing it in real life is really crazy. My perception of a lot of things in the world has definitely changed. That night with Elder Anderson we went to a members house, hich is a panaderia, which is basically a bread bakery, and the members feed us all we can eat bread. It was so heavenly. Argentine bread is so yummy, I ate so much.
The spanish is still hard. I know I talk about it in every one of my emails, and you guys are probably sick of it, but thats really all my life is right now. Is not being able to understand and talk to people. Thats all I do and think about all day. I feel like its coming every so slowly though. The thing about learning a foreign language is you cant translate in your head. WHen you hear a word, you cant translate it into english in you head. It takes too long. You have to hear the word in spanish, and automatically know what it means, no translating. So thats why its so hard, and thats why it takes so long. It takes awhile for things to become mechanical like that. I just have to be patient, its so hard and frustrating everyday though. Sundays are great days for me, I am always filled with the spirit and motivation during the sacrament.
This week I really tried to focus my self in my personal beliefs, my personal testimony. I soul searched really deep, and it was really good for me. I internalized doctrine during my personal study. I am starting to get a really deep testimony of the things I am teaching. I really focused on my spirit, what spiritual means for me. What a mission means for me. And I had a lot of growth this week, I learned a lot. I really need to gain confidence in the things that I´m telling is true to other people. I have to be able to say I know that these things are true with confidence. So thats what im focusing on again this week. Above all, the best thing I learned this week is what I believe mission work is. Or should be. Missionary work is sincere love for other people. Sincere, simple, honest, real love. Its something I want to examplify my time as a missionary. I also learned that Im way too stressed out about being a perfect missionary. SOmething Elder Anderson told me that I really needed to hear was this. He said,¨You cant really be an effective missionary until you learn the language. Its that simple. Thats why its so hard for the first little while. You just have to be patient and learn the language first, thats all there is to it.¨ So that helped me a lot. I try my best to be the best missionary I can be, but I learned I need to relax a little bit.
THis week im really going to focus on talking more. Asking questions with people, joking with people, whatever. I just need to talk more. THats the next step in becoming fluent at spanish, I just have to force myself to be really uncomfortable and try my best to talk in spanish with people. I already know its going to be really hard, but im ready for the challenges. Another thing I need to focus on is listening really intently. Its hard to focus when you dont understand what people are saying, but I need to focus on how people are using words and really try hard to follow everything everyone says.
This week, during a family home evening I was at, I taught a man how to read and play guitar tabs. It was super fun. haha. Im really excited for spanish general conference! I probably will only understand half of it, but im just happy to get of my feet for a couple days and sit down! haha. Im really excited to be spiritually fed. The only place that shows conference here is the stake center in Resistencia, so all the members from al around pile into one chapel. It will be fun. Its crazy to think about how hard it is for everyone else in the world to watch conference, when we watch it right in the comfort of our own homes. Living in a foreign poor country is crazy, you guys should all do it sometime!
There was a way cool sculpture building contest in the town square of Barranquerras, it was awesome. Resistencia loves sculpture art, and fish. So they had a contest to see who could make the best statue of a fish. It was cool. Thats what the wood fish was that I sent.
Well, thats my week. Its hard, but im getting there. I pray to the Lord so hard everyday to be able to learn the language and to keep going. I know that I can make it, I just need patience and hardwork. I hope you guys have all have a good week! I dont have much time for individual emails again, im sorry. Please keep them coming though, I love them! :)
Love, Trev