Monday, November 30, 2015

November 23rd, 2015

Amigos, Familia-

Tuvimos una semana de diez. All is well here for us in Resi, we had a super good week. I love being with my companion Elder Miles and I love being here in Resistencia. Next week is transfers! We are praying that we both stay here together. Next week being transfers means that I will have P day on tuesday, so I will write on tuesday. I have been SO blessed to be here with such a good companion and in an area that I like, I hope that things can stay the same! This week we worked with Romina, she is progressing well but unfortunately she didnt come to church this week, she went out of town. We worked a little with Juan and Ana that came to church last week but unfortunately they told us that they dont want to keep going with the church and stuff, they decided that they are catholics and they do not want to change. Very sad, but its alright. We are finding A LOT more people with a lot of potential though! The Lord seems to just be pouring out blessings in this area. For example, we found Fernando. Actually, Fernando found us. We were in a store one day buying meat, and we were walking out of the store and this boy comes running up to us and asks us if we can give him english lessons. He knows how to speak really really good english but he just wants someone to practice with. So we decided to meet at the church one morning and he came! As well as practicing english with him, we are teaching him the Restoration and the Book Of Mormon. He is really receptive and he likes the church a lot. He is 18 years old, one day he wants to move to the united states. He understood the message of the Restoration probably better than any other person I have ever taught it too on my mission. He has a lot of potential! He invited us to an asado (a barbeque) at his house sometime this next week! Super cool guy. And along with that we found a lot of other people that have potential. So thats why Elder Miles and I want to stay here so bad, I really think we will so the harverst of all our hardwork here. 

This thursday and friday I did divisions with Elder Vargas, he is working in an area called La Leonesa in our zone. He is from Columbia. He is super cool, I really got to know him better and he is a good friend of mine. 

Now I at the begginging of 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon. Remember 2 weeks ago when we were just starting our Book of Mormon challenge at the start of November? We are already almost done! We will be finishing this week. Its been really cool to read it so fast.. I see so many key concepts and lessons that the Book of Mormon shows us. I just love how many times the Lord is so merciful to those who truly come unto him and are humble before him. Thats what I want my life to be like. 

Everything is going great! Thank you for all your emails and support. I hope that you have a great week and a great thanksgiving! (No, they dont celebrate thanksgiving here). 
​Elder Vargas (Columbia) and I

Love, Elder Miles

November 16th, 2015

Friends & Family!

This was a great week. I hope that you are all doing great. Good news! Romina came to church this week. Glory hallejah! Miracles exist. She brought her two kids with her as well. There is a young married couple in our ward named Ammon and Laura, and we brought them to some lessons with Romina and they become really good friends with her and they have been helping her out a lot. Romina a single mom and she really struggles. So its been such a blessing that Ammon and Laura have been helping us out so much. On sunday morning Elder Miles and I went out to the bus stop to get the bus that takes us to church, and we look down the street and there we see Romina and her two kids bopping along walking towards the bus stop with Ammon and Laura. It was such beautiful sight. Ammon and Laura just went to her house before church and helped her get ready and motivated to go to church. It was a miracle, we were so happy. I will be so so happy if Romina gets baptized. Just needs it in her life. She really liked church, Laura really helped her out with her two little girls, controlling them in sacrament meeting and everything went really smoothly. We are on track to have her baptism in 2 weeks!.. Also, this week we found an elderly couple named Juan and Ana. They are catholic but they are super nice and really love it when we come and visit them. We committed them to going to church and they said they would go, and we were so surprised and happy to see that right after Romina went into church and got situated, we saw Juan and Ana walking down the street towards the church. That was the 2nd miracle! They are more hesitant to baptism but they said that they are going to think about it. They really liked church as well. So those were the highlights from this week! We had 3 investigators attend church after a really long time of not having investigators at church. It was a pretty good week for us, we had a lot of lessons and I love being with Elder Miles, we are truly brothers. Its been raining a ton this week, we are in what they call "el corriente de El Niño", which is a huge storm front that hits northern argentina like every 5 years or so, so like all the month of November its just been raining like crazy. It rained so hard last night that I couldnt even sleep through the sound of the rain pounding the roof! We just were rain boots every day and we trek through mud. Its pretty fun. Its probably the happiest I have ever been in the mission, thanks to Elder Miles and all the good things that are happening right now. I really know that Jesus Christ lives and that He leads this great work that I am in. I see his merciful hand everyday and I am becoming so close to him. Life is beautiful when we live the gospel. I hope that you are all doing great and that you have a great week! Thank you for your love and support. 

Elder Miles
​This is the countryside part of my area, all farming land. Kind of pretty. 

​This is me just enjoying some peaceful Rio Negro. This is the backyard of recent convert here, right on the bank of the river. Legend has it that there are crocidiles here. 


The first picture is Elder Miles and I at the church in Barranqueras (my first area! Elder Miles was there too when I was there, we started there together. Not in the same area, but the same zone and church building) because we had to go there to do some baptismal interviews for the zone leaders in the zone next to ours. I interviewed a lady that they were teaching and Elder Miles interviewed another person. The both got baptized the next day. So we got to go back to our very first church and it was weird because we both havent been there for a year. We walked the streets of my first area and it was cool to be back there. So we talk a picture of us outside the church building after the interviews.
The next picture is at consejo (the zone leader meeting) and we talk a picture of our MTC district because almost every single one of us that was in that MTC district is now zone leader or sister training leaders (the equivalent of a zone leader but for sisters). So its just cool that we all grew up to be leaders. It was so much fun to see all of them again, we are all so close.
The last picture is of our apartment door. On halloween, our next door neighbor, which is the apartment owner, (super nice lady, she just adores us and gives us food and we think shes great), decorated our day with halloween decorations. The dont celebrate halloween here but she wanted to make us feel at home, so she went out and found a few halloween toys/decorations and put them on our door. She gave us like a toy bone that you put around your leg and it looks like you have a broken leg and she gave us vampire teeth, but the best part was the she went all the way to walmart and bought us donuts (SOO GOOD, I havent had a donut in forever!!) So that was awesome of her, she is so cool.
Let me know if you guys cant download these pictures!

Nov. 9, 2015

Friends, Family-
How are you guys doing?! Everything is good over here, we had another good week. I am still loving being here with Elder Miles in this area. On tuesday I went to my first consejo (means "counsil", its where all the zone leaders have a meeting with the mission president and the assitants and they give messages about what we need to do as a mission to get better). And then on Thursday we had our zone meeting. At the zone meeting we just say to the missionaries in our zone almost exactly what President Franco said to us in consejo. So I did my first zone meeting and it went really well, Elder Miles and I just talked for like 3 hours in front of 15 missionaries. It was very spiritual and everything went great, the missionaries really liked it and I think we did a good job saying what we needed to. The sister training leaders in our zone gave the part that Sister Franco said in consejo. So that was all very exciting! The rest of the week was good, just the same old. Romina and Antonela didnt come to church again, so that was a little disappointing. This week we are just going to start from scratch and find new investigators to teach.
Something that I am really liking about the Book Of Mormon this time I am reading it is how often the prophets say, "Remember, Remember".. I think it is fascinating that Laman and Lemuel were so quick to be disobedient even after the had seen an angel and known of the surety of the existence of God. As well I think it is fascinating that in the story of Moses and the Children of Israel, the children of Isreal were so forgetful in remembering the miracles that Moses had done and were quick to sin. One of the prophets of our latter days (I dont remember who) said that the word Remember is the most important word in the english language (and in any language). Ive noticed as I have been reading that as long as the characters REMEMBER the tender mercies of the Lord that they have seen in their lives, they avoid sin and remain faithful to the Lord. But as soon as they would start to forget the Lord, then God would withdraw his blessings and they become unhappy. So it is the same with us. Its not easy to read the scriptures and pray everyday and go to church, but if we can just remember the spiritual experiences that we have had and all the blessings our God has given us, we will realize the responsability and the need we have to do those things. And we see that as we keep the commandments, we are blessed and we live happy. Its like a cycle. When we start to not keep the commandments, thats when things start going bad for us, until we remember God again and the promised blessings if we keep his commandments and do the little things (read, pray, church). And then we are blessed and we live happily. So, I invite you all to remember. Remember big things as well as everyday miracles. For example, just remembering the wonderful family that God has blessed me with and the amazing youth that I had (growing up in Riverton, Utah, having all the friends I did with good standards, having the blessing of going to church growing up, my parents that taught me so many good things, being born into a family that always had what we needed, etc.), I realize how truly blessed I am. I realize that I am a very very choosen son of God, and with great power and knowledge comes great responsability. So that motivates me to always go to church and live the gospel. As well we need to remember the everyday tender mercies of the Lord. For example, the other day I was really worried about talking in front of the whole zone because I am not the best at public speaking and my voice always shakes, so I said a prayer and asked God to help me, and as soon as I got up there and started talking, all my fear went away and I was able to talk clearly and I could think staight. I knew that God answered my prayer and helped me in that moment. So, I wrote that all down in my journal. And for all that day, I just remembered that tender mercy from the Lord, and that motivated me to be obedient and work hard that day. As humans, we are so quick to forget. But I promise you all that if you remember God and look for the ways that he blesses us, we will always be happy.
This week I will be doing divisions with Elder Cordero (Mexico), he is an office Elder. We will probably just be working in my area. So that will be fun. We also have a multi zone conference tomorrow. So this week should be pretty good!
I hope that you are all doing great, thank you for your emails and support. Have a good week!
Elder Miles
P.S. I will be sending some photos in another email.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nov. 2, 2015

Buen día!!

How are you guys? I hope that all is well. This was a good week here for Elder Miles and I! Antonela and Romina are still progressing pretty good, so we are praying for a baptism or two by the end of November hopefully!.. One day this week we were eating asado (argentine barbeque) with a member family, the Genes family, after church and they had prepared this lunch super nice, and we were eating, and my companion went to grab a bottle of soda and he knocked it over all on to me. He bathed me in soda. From the top of the collar of my shirt down to my pants, all over my suit, just drenched me. Haha. I looked up at him, and he just starred back at me, and he said that he thought that I was going to just going to freak out at him, but we just both burst out laughing and then the whole family laughed too. Super funny. haha.

This week I did divisions in Las Palmas with Elder Christensen. Las Palmas is an hour and a half away from Resistencia, you have to buy special bus passes to get there, its kind of like jungle but not really, its just a small town out in the middle of no where. It was way fun to go out there, they say that sometimes in the mornings they hear monkeys screaming outside their house in some near by trees. I didnt see any monkeys because it was just raining and raining the whole time that I was there and monkeys dont like rain. Elder Christensen is a really cool elder from Nephi. He has like 3 months in the mission, it was fun to be with him because it made me remember when I had that much time and how hard it was to learn spanish and everything. Divisions went really well, while I was there I did a baptismal interview with a lady named Sister Riveros. It went really well! We didnt have any problems. It went well for my first interview. She got baptized this past saturday

On saturday night and sunday morning we had stake conference here in Resistencia. It was an AMAZING stake conference, probably the best one that I have ever seen. Presidente Franco and Hermana Franco both gave really touching talks and the temple president of Asuncion, Paraguay came out to talk to us as well. But I think the best part was when 2 recent converts, one of them being a woman that the other Elder Miles found and taught a year ago in Barranqueras, gave talks and bore their testimony and their gratitude that the missionaries came to their house and taught them the restored gospel, the talked about how it has changed their lifes. It was just cool because it really encouraged me to keep working and struggling to find those people that God is preparing. I know that if we are obedient and work hard, God will help us find people like that to teach. 

As a mission we are reading the entire Book of Mormon in the month of Noviembre. So we are all reading 22 pages everyday to be able to finish it in a month. I am loving it, I love the Book Of Mormon so much, there are so many things that we can learn on every page and I truly testify that it brings us closer to Christ. It is the rock of my life, all of my life I want to understand better the Book of Mormon and live its principles. It shows us the tender mercies of the Lord and how we can see his hand in our lives more. I invite you all to read it as well and I promise you that you will feel the spirit and youll feel closer to God. 

Well, thats about it! This week is going to be great, I am super excited to be here. Everything is going well. I hope that you alll have a great week, thank you for your love and support!

Elder T. Miles

Oct. 25 2015

Friends and Fam-

This was a good week for us here in Rio Negro! I am still loving being with Elder Miles and things are all going swell. Our same investigators are still progressing, slowly but surely, nothing too new. It was exciting for me to hear about Austin and Matt´s wedding, I am glad that everything went so well, I am so happy for you guys. 

Next week I will be going to Las Palmas to do divsiones with Elder Johnson, and I will do my first baptismal interview with an investigator that they have thats going to get baptized. So thats exciting! 

Something that I am doing right now is I am marking in my scriptures every time it names or makes a reference to God or Jesus Christ. I am also writing summaries of every chapter and writing down and making chart of all the principles the Book of Mormon teaches. Basically, I am just devouring and memorizing the Book or Mormon in any way that I can. I truly see that so much motivation and spirit comes from reading and living the BOM. It makes me so happy and I feel so good when I read it. 

Uuuuummmm. Yep! I hope that you all have a great week! Thank you for all your emails and support, I hope that you have a good week. 

Elder Miles

October 20th 2015

Hola hola!

This was a good week. I am writing today and not yesterday because we had transfers yesteryday. Elder Miles and I are staying here as ZLs still! The zone changed a lot, there was a change in every area. We now have here Hermana Gull and Hermana Allred, which are the sisters that were with me in my MTC group! We are super good friends so I am excited to be with them her. Also, Elder Gonzalez, my last companion from Mexico, is now in my zone too. He is in the Leonesa, its his last transfer. 

This week nobody came to church, but we did have a lesson with Romina together with a really cool recently married couple in our area named Ammon and Laura. It was probably one of the bests lessons we have ever had on my mission. It was super key to have Ammon and Laura there. She committed to baptism for the beggining of November. I think that this one will probably really follow through. So that is exciting. Romina is 23 years old and she is a single mom of 2 little girls. I want her to find and understand the gospel for herself more than I can tell you. It would bless her life so much. So please, lots of prayers in order that she can came to church and enter the waters of baptism!

Yesterday, as ZLs, we were in the bus terminal from 6 in the morning to 7 in the evening. With transfers, the missionaries came to the bus terminal in chaco and then they go out to the different providences, Formosa, Santa Fe, Corrientes, etc. So as zone leaders in Resistencia we just stay there all day and we have to help everyone buy their tickets and make sure they get on the right buses. Probably 50 missionares pass through the terminal. It is the most stressful thing I have ever done.. some missionaries miss their buses and we have to call the other zone leaders and get things organized and we have to make sure that everyone travels with another person so they arent alone. Its fun!!

Thats about it for me this week! Sounds like a lot of great things are happening on the home front with Austin getting married and Matt getting married this friday, baseball in Arizona and all that fun stuff. Thanks for writing me and for all your support! have a great week!

Elder Miles