Tuesday, July 5, 2016

June 13th, 2016 (part 2)

​These are the invitations we made for the activity on Thursday! 
​This is the official branch presidency picture of Estanislao del Campo. We´re going to print off a copy and hang it on the wall next to the photo of the First Presidency.

​I think maybe one of the best parts about the baptism on saturday was that Julio Diaz directed the baptismal service, which is a huge step for him, directing a meeting in front of 50 people. We sustained him and set him apart on sunday. Hopefully in the next 6 months or so Estanislao del Campo will have a branch president thats not a missionary!

​This is Fernanda, she is super awesome. 

Thats about it. Its been a great past week and my last week should be fun too! Things are going really well here. 

Its an odd feeling that this is the last email I will send you guys! Im so excited to see you but I am sad that the mission is ending. Its been a rollercoaster the last two years of my life but I would never change these years for anything. I feel like the mission is kind of like an older brother. It beats you up sometimes and sometimes you dont like it, but in the end you realize that it really helped you to become a better person and you end up loving it. I love my mission so much. I love all the people that I have met and I am sad to leave this branch. I love being a representative of my Lord Jesus Christ and I love wearing a plack with his name on it and talking to everyone about Him and His gospel. The mission has made me into a person that I would never have been if I hadnt have served.. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve Him and be on His errand. I testify that He lives and loves everyone of us. I testify that this is His church. I know that He is there, watching us, taking care of us, and letting us have just the right amount of adversity in order that we progress and reach our potential. 

I hope you all have a great week! See you next wednesday! :)

Elder Miles

June 13th, 2016 (part 1)

Hola! Hope you´re all doing well!

This week was awesome! The highlight was definitely the baptism on saturday! You guys should assume by now that the water to fill up the baptismal font the day of the baptism never has worked once in my mission, so you shouldnt be surprised that it didnt work for us on saturday. Its the quite the dramitic story but maybe I will tell it to guys when I get back in person because it is quite long! The important thing is that in the end it all worked out and we had 2 baptisms! Mili and Fernanda got baptized along with other 2 eight year old girls in the branch. So in total, there were 4 baptisms, but only 2 were converts that we taught. Ricardo didnt get baptized this week because he part time lives in the wilderness taking care off a flock of goats, and this week his goats escaped and he was looking for the goats with his step dad all week and he couldnt come back until they found them... And they still havent found them. So he still hasnt come back yet. But maybe this saturday he will come back and we will have his baptism! We´ll see. Besides the baptism, it was a pretty good normal week! We did divisions on Friday and the our district leader, Elder Tapia (Costa Rica), come here with me so he could do the baptismal interviews with our investigators. He is a great missionary and I learned a lot from him. He does the mixed martial art "judo" (its kind of like juditsu) and was ranked number 1 in central America before he came out to the mission. So I decided not to get on his nerves or get in a fight with him. Haha. 

This week on thursday we are going to have a father´s day activity that should be really fun, Julio Diaz (the ex branch president that recently got reactivated) will be in charge of some games outside on our football field, and Elder Rossi and I are going to make pizzas for everybody. And maybe we´ll have a baptism on saturday! So it should be a great week.
​On Thursday it was my companion´s birthday and I bought him a cake and we traded ties.

​This is the baptism! From left to right we have: Me, Brother Fiestas, Kiara (daughter of Bro. Fiestas), Fernanda, Cintia, Elder Rossi, and Mili. Mili and Fernanda are the 10 year old girls that are converts and Kiara and Cintia are the 8 year olds. 

​I baptized Mili, my companion baptized Fernanda and Cintia, and Brother Fiestas baptized his daughter. 

​As well as being the baptism, it was also the birthday of Cintia! So her mom (the one that teachers seminary) organized a birthday party for her here in the church after the baptism and they decorated everything really pretty and we ate a huge cake and hot chocolate! It was super fun. We had more tha 50 people come to the baptism. Thats like more than double than any sacrament meeting we´ve ever had! So it was a huge success, really fun.

Im going to send a second email with more pictures because I cant put more than 4 pictures on an email, so I will conclude my thoughts on the next email!

June 6th, 2016

Familia! Chï iwoýe!

¿Há istát? Thats wichi for "family! Hi, how are you?" haha. Wichi is the most common language that they speak in El Potrillo, and then there is also Nivacle, which would be, "Familia! ¿Ta ajunash? ¿Tajuthey?. It sounds like that language in Africa with the clicks in the throat mixed with chinese. Its nuts! 

We had a good week!! Nothing too excited. The biggest thing is that we went to El Potrillo on tuesday and wednesday for my last time! It was really good, it was kind of sad for me knowing that it would be my last time seeing them. They are a very special people and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to know them and know their way of life and to learn from them. The rest of the week we have been teaching our investigators! They are all ready for their baptism.. this saturday! The week has finally arrived. We are hoping and praying that everything goes well and that everyone is able to get baptized on saturday! We are also praying that we can fill the baptismal font without any problems.. We´ll see how it all goes. 

Sunday was a great day. We had 29 people come to church, thats the highest its ever been since ive been here! Also I had an interview with Julio Diaz (he was the ex branch and district president that I told you guys about) and he accepted the calling as the branch mission leader (in other words, he is going to help us with our investigators and plan baptisms with us).. I was so so happy. Its a big step for him in his life and its a giant step for Estanislao del Campo that Julio is coming back to church. He has lots of power over the members, they all love him so much. If he becomes fully active, he brings lots of members back to the church too! So that has been a blessing that we saw this week. 

I dont have any pictures to share this week. But for sure next week! Which by they way, will be my last email that I will right you in my mission. So all of you that recieve my weekly emails that are sick of hearing from me, you can all sing hallellujah! haha. 

I know that the Lord lives and that he guides our steps, I know that he reveals his truths to those that humble themselves and ask.. "A man is tallest when he is on his knees". I know that this is His church and His work. I love to serve him. 

Hope you all have a great week!
Pa´acum! oýik! (see  you later!)

Elder Miles

May 30th, 2016

Friends & Family!

Thank you for your emails!.. This week was pretty good for us, we are just trying to teach all the lessons to our investigators before June 11th. Everyone is still on good track, hopefully everything goes good this week and next week. Unfortunately today for P day we did not go on our adventure that we were planning.. The Elders in Lomitas couldnt find a taxi driver to get us out there.. So maybe next week! The best part of this past week was the mutual activity that we put on for the youth.. Like how I explained last week, we had a nerf dart war with PVC pipes like I use to play with my friends. IT WAS SO FUN. They loved it. At first they didnt seem too excited about it but then they started playing and it was a blast. We used all the tables and chairs in the church to make obstacles and bunkers. Then when we finished we read Helaman 5:12 and talked about how Christ will always be safe ground for us.. and we talked about how we always need to "stay in holy places", because in our nerf war there were certain places taped off where if a dart hit you, you didnt get out. Then we watched "stay within the lines", the mormon message by Elder Holland. It all went super good! There were 5 kids there that werent members. So it was a success.

On sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about standing in holy places, and how the blessings of the temple arent limited to the time we are physically in the temple.. rather the blessings are with us after we go to the temple and serve as a protection for us against all the negative things in the world. That way, we can always be in holy places with the blessings of the temple as long as we are doing what we should be. Here in Campo we started the class "Invested on High" which is a temple preparation class for the sisters here that are planning on going to the temple in July. It went super good. 

Tomorrow we are going to El Potrillo.. We are going by ourselves in bus so we have to wake up at 3:00.. tonight! It will be my last potrillo trip! Should be a great week, we are excited! 

​Unfortunately I forget to take photos of them actually playing! I just took photos beforehand. But you get the idea! Thanks for sending me the nerf darts mom! 

Hope you have a great week! 

Elder Miles

May 23rd, 2016

Dear Family and Friends-

Thank you for your emails and support! This was a killer week. On wednesday and thursday we went to El Potrillo and I showed Elder Rossi where all the members live and all the responsibilites he will have (since he will more than likely stay here as Branch President). On Friday we had an activity of Relief Society. We downloaded the broadcast of the conference that happened in BYU for woman that took place not to long ago. While they watched the conference, Elder Rossi and I made 8 hand made pizzas and we all ate them after the conference! On saturday we visited Ricardo (Our investigator that has attended church 2 times now) and we taught him about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and we challenged him to be baptized and he accepted! He will be getting baptized on June 11th. June 11th is going to be a huge day because up until now we have at least 4 baptisms planned. We are going to do 1 big baptismal service for all of them. 2 of them are converts, Mili (10 years old) and Ricardo (18 years old) and then 2 kids that are 8 years old. So they dont count as baptisms for us but we still have to do their baptisms since we are the branch presidency. So that will be in 3 weeks, 1 week before I go home! So we are super excited for that. Really good things are happening here in Campo, we are always busy and suddenly we have lots of people to teach and we have lots of baptisms to plan! Elder Rossi and I are getting along too good. Today for P-day we played "Estanciero" Wich is the Argentine version of Monopoly that he has. We are always talking and having a good time and I know that he is going to be a life long friend. 

Next P day we are planning on going to a place called "Bañado de la Estrella". (Stop what you are doing and look for pictures of this place in google). Its SUPER cool. Its an abandoned place that got flooded and now its super eery and there is lots of wildlife everywhere. We are going to pay someone to take us and we are going to go with the other elders that are in Lomitas! We are super excited! its like an hour and a half away from our area. 

On saturday we are planning a super fun mutual activity for the youth. We are going to make an obstacle course in our church and we are going to have a dart gun war with the dart guns that mom sent me. And we are going to buy PBC pipes and use them as blow guns for those that dont have dart guns. And we are going to have a "safe zone" where if a dart hits you, you dont get out. Then we are going to read Helaman 5:12 and talk to them about how they always have to stay in the safe zone and it will protect us from "the darts in the storm". We are stoked. 

Thats about it! Im REALLY enjoying my last tranfer here! We have lots to do. Hope you all have a great week!
​ALLIGATORS. In el Potrillo!! Zoom up on the photo. 

​Relief Society Activity! Im not sure why there are guys there. I suppose they heard there was food or something. 

​This adorable little critter is called a wasuncho, Ricardo´s mom has it as a pet. Its basically like a small little deer. At first it didnt let me touch him but now he lets me scratch his head like a dog. He drinks milk out of a baby bottle!

​These are the invitations we made for the mutual actiivity saturday!

Love, Elder Miles

May 16, 2016

Family & Friends!

How are you? Thanks for your emails. This past week was probably my favorite week here in Campo yet! Elder Rossi and I are super good friends, he is a way cool guy and we are always talking and laughing and have lots of unity. And when you have a companion like that it doesnt matter what happens to you.. you are always happy and positive. So this is going to be an awesome transfer, I am super excited for my last weeks. I complete 22 months in the mission today!

Interesting experience! On sunday we had district conference in Ibarreta. So, being the branch president I had to arrange for the transportation for all the members to get to Ibarreta, which is like 30 minutes away. So we found a trafic driver (a trafic is like a big van that seats 20 people) and we told everyone to meet at our chapel at 8:30. So everyone came around then. And we have a little old lady thats really sweet but she is kind of crazy and she is epileptic. And to make the story short, this sister got mad about something and decided that she wanted to go home instead of going to the conference and she refused to let anybody drive her home, she insisted on walking. Well, she made it like 2 blocks and had an epileptic attack and went down to the ground. And to make matters worse the trafic was there waiting for us and it was already 9:30 and we had to get going to get there on time for the conference but the lady was on the ground and we were trying to call an ambulance and tons of people were watching and ahhhh! It was a disaster. Haha. In the end after like 2 minutes she got up and was okay and we all went to the conference and we made it on time. The good part was that we had an investigator come to the conference with us. Her name is Mili, her parents are members but inactive. Every sunday she gets up early and gets ready for church but her parents dont get  up, and she only is 9 years old and cant go alone, but we asked one of the sister of our branch to go by to take her with her and now we are hoping that she can get baptized soon! Being the branch presidency we have to plan the baptisms of children that are 8 years old too, and we are planning a baptism of 3 girls for June 11th, 1 of them being Mili who would be a convert. As well this week we had 2 lessons with Ricardo who is the boy that came to church last week thats 18 years old that is super cool and is super excited to come to church, hopeful he can get baptized too this transfer. So lots of good things are happening here! We are enjoying ourselves a ton.

​This is my companion and I. We do our grocery shopping at a small grocery store called Supermercado Melniezuk and we have become super good friends with the owner and she gave us free offical "Melniezuk" hats. Quite the souvenir! My companion Elder Rossi is one of the best companions ive had, he is super cool! Fun fact, He met Andrew McMullin. Andrew served in his ward in Mendoza :) haha. 

Thanks for your letters and support!! Have a great week!

Elder Miles

May 10th, 2016

Querida Familia-

It was great to see you guys! I cant believe that it was the last time that i´ll do skype with you. Im glad everyone is doing good. For those that didnt skype with me on sunday, i´ll share a lot bit of what happened last week. 

On thursday we had a Multi zone conference. An area Seventy came, Elder Salas. My companion and I had to leave at 1 in the morning on wednesday night to take a bus to Formosa capital. We got to Formosa at 5:30 in the morning and killed a few hours in a coffee shop waiting for the church to open. It was so nice to see so many of my mission friends. As well Elder Salas´s talk was really great and helped us me out a lot. Then at 5 pm. we took a bus back to Campo and got there at 12:30 at night. Then we woke up bright and early the next day to get ready to go to El Potrillo! We went to Potrillo from Friday to Saturday. We got all the members from el Potrillo together and had an activity. We taught all the priesthood holders how to consecrate oil and how to give blessings. Then we gave them all their own oil containers for their key chains and they all had to consecrate their own oil. It turned out super good, I dont think they could do it on their own yet because the spanish is hard for them but at least they understand the basics, and they could read out of "The Family" phamplets when they need to. Then we played a game with them where everyone stands in two lines facing each other and everyone puts their hands up against the person in front of them, and the first people in line have to run underneath everyones hands and when they get to the end of the line then the next people start running. And you do that in two different groups and see who wins. They LOVED it. At first they were hesitante to play games but after a couple rounds they were dying with laughter. It was really fun. Then we bought sodas and cookies and ate with them. It was a huge success. 

So, transfers came! I am still the branch president here in Estanislao del Campo! But, my companion left to Corrientes and I have a new companion now! His name is Elder Rossi. He is from Argentina, from a providence called Mendoza. HE IS AWESOME. Im so happy to have an argentino! He is super humble and nice and we are already great friends. Its going to be such a fun last transfer. I am so relieved. I will be training him to be the next branch president, so we will be busy going to all the members houses and Ill have to teach him how to do all the branch stuff. He has 6 months in the mission. I am stoked. 
​These are my zone leaders we´re at the multi zone, we´re all really good friends.

​This is a cool canal in El Potrillo, we come here to take a break and eat lunch! Looks kind of like a future painting of mine, right? 

​They built this fence around their meeting place, this is what we transported that one day in that diesel truck with that truck driver. They´re gonna plant stuff in here.  

​Mi gente en el Potrillo! This is where they have their sacrament meetings, underneath this tin roof!

Thats about it! I hope you have a great week! Dont get trunky!

Elder Miles 

May 2nd, 2016

Family & Friends!

I hope you are all doing good, thanks for your updates and emails. We had a good week here. There was actually a big climate change and its been kind of chilly this past week. I have been loving it so much! I will never complain about cold weather again. This week was great, we did divisions with the elders from Lomitas, I was with an elder called Elder Carrizales, a super cool guy from Wyoming that I became really good friends with.  Sunday was a really good day, we had 24 people attend church, and we had 2 investigators at church! The husband and son of one of the sisters that comes to church. The son´s name is Ricardo, he is 18 years old and is really excited to keep coming to church, so hopefully we can work with him, he has lots of potential. As well on sunday we had a branch council meeting that went super well! I feel like we are doing a good job at exciting the branch to do home teaching and help less actives come back to church. Also on sunday, a man named Julio Diaz came to church, who was one of the branch president´s here a few years ago but went inactive. This sunday was his 3rd time attending church so he is officially reactivated in the church! Which is really big for us because the idea is that hopefully one day he can replace me as branch president, that way the church here could really see some big progress with a branch president that actually lives here in Campo. If there is something important that we do here in Campo, it would be find a man to be the branch president. So it was a pretty big step for us that he came to church for the third time. We have been working really hard with him, having family home evenings with him and stuff like that. 

Well, next week will be the first week of my last transfer! After this coming week I will have 6 weeks left in the mission. On monday there will be transfers, so p day will be on tuesday! I will write you guys on tuesday. 

Family!- Get everything ready for skype on sunday! I will be calling around 7:30 Argentine time, which will be 3:30 utah time. I will call Matts account and Natalies account. Im excited to see you guys!
​This is the Portillo Family. They give us lunch twice a week!

​This is Julio Diaz sitting down here, to the left is Hno. and Hna Cano! We do family home evenings with them every week!

​These are the folks of branch council that we have weekly! 

I hope you have a great week!

Elder Miles

Abril 25th, 2016

Querida familia!

Thank you for your emails and updates! We had a good week here in Campo.. So President Franco bought a bunch of materials to build a garden in El Potrillo (the group that we are in charge of that are native indians 6 hours away) so that way they could grow their own food and be self suficient, as well as 100 chairs (because when they have sacrament meetings they sit on the floor underneath a tin roof and bugs bite them). On tuesday night we were informed that at 7:00 a.m. the next morning we would have to accompany the trucker that would be transporting all these materials all the way to Potrillo. So it was quite the strange experience, being in a huge diesel transporting truck with a trucker guy for 7 hours. But it was fun, his name was Aldo and we became great friends. BUT, we happened is that it had rained there the day before, and the dirt road that goes to Potrillo is impossible to drive on after it has rained because it gets too muddy and your car will get stuck in the mud. So we had to stay the night in a hotel in a city named Juarez, with is like 2 hours away from Potrillo. But, it rained the next day too and we couldnt go again. So my companion and I we took a bus all the way back to Campo because we had a branch council meeting thursday night. Then on friday morning at 4:45 a.m. we took the bus all the back to Juarez, and the path to Potrillo had dried up enough and we were able to get there finally. 

It was an amazing experience as we were pulling up to where they have church. When I say "church" its really just a big tin roof, theres no walls. And around it is like a big open patch of dirt. Thats where they are going to put the garden. So as we pulled up there, we start seeing the members emerging out of every which way, from dirt paths, from the forest, and formed a group. It was amazing to see that see many members came out to help us unload all the stuff. We unloaded everything, and then we formed a circle and my companion and I we shared a scripture. We stood up in the middle of the big circle of people. I felt just like an old time missionary when they would stand up on boxes in front of a crowd. We read 2 Nephi 25:23, 25. We talked about how just like how the people in the Book of Mormon worked hard to write the Book of Mormon so that their kids would know who Christ is and how to have a remision of their sins, we work hard to do same thing. We talked about how all their hard work in building a garden, coming to church every sunday, sacrificing their time, would all be for the benefit of their families and their kids and the quality of their lifes. It felt so good to testify of Christ to them. It was cool for me to see the prophecy in the Book of Mormon come true that every tribe, tongue, people, would hear about the BOM and hear about Jesus Christ. Now I just need to learn how to speak Nibacle so they can hear it in their own language. haha. 

On Saturday night we had an activity here in our church, we watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration and after we ate empanadas. It was a really successful activity and we had like 30 people come! Thats double what we usually have at church on sundays. And 5 of those people were non members. So we were pretty happy with how it turned out. And then on sunday the talks in sacrament meeting were about the Restoration. I talked about the blessings that I have seen in my own life due to the Restoration, I talked about the Book of Mormon and how it is such a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ. 

The Lord is definitely blessing us and helping us to run this little branch! Nothing makes me more nervous than when an indian chief asks me tough questions. Like how to build a garden. And I have no idea how to build a garden nor do I know how to explain it to him so that it makes sense. Haha. But luckily the Lord is on my side and helps us to know what to do. There is so much to do all the time and ive never been more stressed out but I know that Im learning lots and im enjoying the ride.
​This is the road to Potrillo! Its 2-3 hours on this dirt road, surrounded by wilderness. 

​This is the chief. He is the one that usually directs the sacrament meeting and does everything. To the right is Aldo, my new truck driver friend! He is cool. 

​These are the members that came out to help. Theres lots that arent in this picture. Behind us is all the rocks and dirt and the transporting truck, to the right are all the chairs and stuff that you cant see too well. 

I hope you all have a great week! P.S.family, we will have to organize amongst ourselves to plan out when I am going to skype call you next sunday, May 8th!

Love, Elder Miles

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 11th, 2016

Friends & Family-

I hope you all had a great week! I am still here in Campo trying to learn how to be a good branch president and visiting all the members in the branch. Its probably the hardest experience that I have had in the mission because I really want to do good but I dont feel like its going too well and I am worried a lot that I am not adequate or I dont know what to do. But I know that I am probably learning a lot and it will be for my good, and I know that the Lord knows why he gave me this assignment so I trust that He knows what he´s doing.

Sacrament meeting went pretty good at least this week, we had an attendance of 10 people (including us). It was testimony meeting and it was really peaceful and nice. 

I am really truly sad to hear about Grandpa Gary.. I hope that everyone can find comfort in the knowledge that we will all see each again on the other side. 

Elder Miles

April 18th, 2016

Querida Familia-

Thank you for your emails! I really appreciate it. This past week was definitely lots better, lots of interesting things happened. On wednesday we had interviews with President Franco, so we traveled for 2 days to Formosa capital. I am one of the farthest away areas in the mission, so on tuesday we traveled in bus to Ibarreta and we stayed the night with our zone leaders and the other missionaries in our zone. I was with Elder Simmons, who is from my MTC group and it was fun to catch up with him and we talked all night. Then we had the interviews on wednesday, and we traveled back to Campo. On Thursday we had a Branch Council meeting (thats where all the members in the branch that have callings like relief society president, president of the Elders quorum, young womans presidency, etc, get together and we talk about problems in the branch, future activities, cleaning the chapel, etc.) We have that meeting every thursday. Then, on friday andsaturday, we went to El Portrillo. Thats what I told you guys about 2 emails ago, how as part of the branch we are over 2 groups called Las Lomitas and El Portrillo. El Portrillo is a group of native indians that live isolated away from society, we have to drive 6 hours to get there. We went with the 1st counselor of the District, President Fernandez, because his assignation in the district is El Portrillo. He has a car. Soon friday we drove 4 hours to a small town called Juarez, and we rented a hotel. I stayed in a nice hotel!!! It was probably the coolest thing that has happened on my mission yet. And that night we ate in a really nice restaurant! It was definitely a good break from our apartment in campo. In Juarez that day we went out and worked and visited some inactive members that live there, and we tracted and found 7 new investigators. So we had lots of success in Juarez. Then the next morning we woke up early and we drove to El Portrillo. Its 3 hours on a dirt road. El Potrillo is in the middle of nowhere! We got there and we went and visited the casique (which means chief). He is the chief of all the Nibacle people there. He is a member and all of his kids are members too. Its kind of hard to talk to them because they hardly understand any spanish and they talk really quietly and slowly. They all talk Nibacle to each other. But we attended some of the needs in the group and we shared a message. They were super grateful for the visit, they are such nice, gentle, loving people. As we were leaving the mom offered us some hand made bags that she made and hand made dolls. They are super cool and we both bought some and the ones that we didnt buy, they just gave them to us for free. So I will be coming home with a bunch of handmade indian dolls that I know my mom will love. As well one of the sons of the family, Fulgencio, brought out an amazing picture of Jesus that he drew. (See picture). I have no idea how he learned to draw so good, really impressive!

After that we went and visited some other families in El Potrillo. The goal was to give to all the men that have the priesthood the phamplet "The Family" which teaches them how to give priesthood blessings and other priesthood ordinances. One of the families we visited was the Morales Family. All of the kids in the family were very very sick, ive never seen people so sick before. And my companion and I gave priesthood blessings to all of them. We gave more than 10 blessings that day. It was amazing to spend the whole day giving priesthood blessings and visiting such humble people, it made me grateful for having the priesthood in my life and all the luxuries that I have. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.

Sunday went really good, 18 people came to church. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting and I taught the Gospel Principles class. Things are going a lot better and I think I am getting the hang of being branch president a little bit better. 
​The entrance to good old Estanislao del Campo

​This is a page from an old "Principles of the Gospel" book in Nibacle that we are going to make copies of so that they can start teaching this class in the 2nd hour of church (up until now they have just been having sacrament meeting and then they go home). I just took a picture of this so that you guys can see how crazy their language is! 

​Hand made indian dolls and a bag

​The Paredes Family. The man to the right of the drawing is the indian chief of El Portrillo. The guy next to me is who drew the picture. He wants to be a missionary. Super cool humble family. 

Hope you all have a great week, 

Elder Miles

April 4th, 2016

Querida Familia-

Thanks for your emails! I hope you all are doing great. This first week here was pretty good, im just staying  busy trying to learn all the things I need to do and we are trying to visit all the members so I can know where they all live and who they are. General Conference was great.. Luckily our satelliate worked well and we were able to watch all the sessions here in our little chapel! I hope you have a great week! 

​General conference in our chapel! 

Elder Miles

March 28th, 2016

Hola familia!!

How are ya? Thank you for your emails and support... We had a super great week last week in Rio Negro! So, transfers happened. Are you guys ready for a curveball?? Im not Elder Miles anymore.. Im President Miles. I got transfered to a place called Estanislao del Campo and I am the new branch president. (That means like bishop. Like back home how we have Stakes and Wards, here in Argentina where the church isnt very well established we have Districts and Branches. Districts and Branches are smaller than stakes and wards. When the branches in a district reach a certain number of people, the district becomes a stake.) Here in Estanislao del Campo, a missionary is always the branch president because there is no worthy priesthood holding men that could be the president. There is only one other area in our mission where the missionary has to be the branch president. So there are only 2 of us in our entire mission. So it is a pretty big, sacred responsability that President Franco and the Lord have given me. My new companion is Elder Jauregui. He is from Uruguay. He has 9 months in the mission. I was already really good friends with him because I befriended him when he first came to the mission. He is a very cool guy, he is very smart and he knows how to run the branch really well! So for right now, he is basically in charge because he has to teach me how to do everything. He is my 1st counselor. He has already been in this area for a transfer and he was the 1st counselor for the last missionary that was here, so he knows how to do everything and he is going to teach me.  Basically, we do EVERYTHING here. I do almost everything that our bishop at home does... We plan the sacrament meetings on sunday, we give people callings (and we help the people here understand what they need to do to fulfill their calling), we collect, count and put tithings and fast offerings in the computer every sunday, we plan and do all the branch councel meetings, we organize and clean the chapel, we give lots and lots of talks in the sacrament meetings, we order hymn books, cleaning supplies, everything and anything that we need through the internet and  by calling salt lake city, I do interviews for temple recommends, interviews to see if someone is worthy and willing to recieve a calling, and many many more things that I dont even know yet because its only my second day here! haha. 

Estanislao del Campo (where I am) is clear out in the middle of NOWHERE. It is in the providence of Formosa, which is the providence with the most poverty in all of Argentina. It is the hottest and most humid providence probably in all south america. I am in THE JUNGLE. Its a place where kids dont every really go to school, so there arent very many educated people here. That last word in the name of the place, "campo" sounds a little bit like the english word "camp", right? Because that is what it means. Its just like one big giant camping place for a city. Its like everyone is just camping, but just a little bit more permanent because their tents are made out of metal and tin sheets instead of tarps. The people cook all their food by making fires and cooking the food on the fire. Even our apartment where we live.. to be honest is a wreck. But I dont really want to focus on the negative. I will perfectly fine and I am very happy to be here, so dont give yourself a tumor. (mom ;) ) 

Also, we arent only in charge of Estanislao del Campo, we are in charge of helping the branches Las Lomitas and El Portrillo progress as well. Las Lomitas is a place where there were missionaries there like 20 years ago but the mission president decided to take the church and the missionaries out of there, but recently, like 9 months ago, President Franco put missionaries back in the area and called a branch president over there. The chapel where they do sunday meetings is just in the living room of the branch presidents house. Elder Miles, my companion like 2 months ago, was the very first missionary to go to Las Lomitas when President Franco opened it up. He LOVED Las Lomitas, so I am excited to go over there to get to know the few members that there are. AND THEN, there is Portrillo. Portrillo is a very special place. A year ago, when the missionaries here in this area were walking down the street one day, they found a man who said that there was a tiny little town of indians like 4 hours away where they were all members of the church and were meeting every sunday underneath a tree to read the book of mormon together. Missionaries like 20 years ago had taught them and bapitzed them all. Theres like a 100 of them. But for some reason they were forgetton about for like 20 years and the missionaries never went there again. Anyway, so this guy that was kinda like the leader of this group saw the missionaries that day and told them that they had to go out to this little town so that they could baptize all their children and friends and stuff that hadnt been bapitzed yet. So the missionaries went out there with president Franco and the baptized A TON of people. But they dont have a branch president over there, they just have a group leader. So the responssabilites of doing interviews for them and all of that stuff is mine. So I guess we go out there like once a week to do interviews and other stuff, I havent been there yet but I am excited to go. From what I hear, we drive for like 4 hours down a road until we get to the town, and they are all native indians and are really really poor, and its really humbling to go there and be with them becuase they LOVE the missionaries and the church.
GET THIS, their native language is Nibacle. Like most of them understand spanish, but they all speak nibacle. WHICH, if you remember, is the tribe of native indian that the missionary (Elder Toledo) that I started training was from. (He was the native indian missionary that I started training but went home after 2 weeks, remember). Yeah. All of Elder Toledo´s family members live in Portrillo, he had even been there to visit his family a few times himself. So I am sure that will be an amazing experience when we go. Im sure this is a lot to understand in one email, huh? And I am probably leaving out and forgetting so many things! 

But we are mainly working in the branch Estanislao del Campo. It has a typical attendance of 25 people. Thats why there isnt a branch president or anything, because the branch is struggling to keep its head above water. Those 25 people that do come.. Dont really understand how the church works or how to live the gospel. They cant read too well for the lack of education, and not to be mean, but there are basically all children. They dont undertand that they need to read and pray every day and basic stuff like that. So we barely have a relief society president, and a primary president. Little kids make up the majority of the 25 people that come because people here typically all have like 8  or 9 kids. So theres lots and lots and lots to do here. I still dont really know anyone yet and I dont know what I have to do to be a branch president yet.. but I am sure that I will learn lots over these next weeks. I thought that I was going to end my mission nice and easy.. But this will probably be the time in my mission where I willl work the hardest and stress out the most! But I super excited to be here, I am so excited to learn how to be a branch president. I think being here in the mission is a sweet time to learn how to be a bishop.. When I get back home to the states I will already know to be a bishop and I will understand a lot of things about how the church is organized and ran. So I am sure it will be hard for me my last 2 transfers here but I am  sure that I am going to get experiences that I wouldnt change for the world. 

Being a branch president, I go to read the book "Manual 1", which only branch presidents and bishops can read. Like its forbidden for normal members to read it. Because it explains what procedures to do when people confess grave sins to you. So I get the great priviledge of reading this book and learning lots! So thats an experience that I might not have ever gotten. So thats exciting.

We have a different schedule than the rest of the missionaries do, because we have to always be planning and diong lots of stuff in the church. So we are here in the office a lot but every chance we get we go visit the members and less actives of our branch to help this branch grow. We have our very own little church! I will attach a picture. Its small but nice. Its super cool, Its like I have my own little church that I am in charge of.

Anyway, my writing time is already coming to an end. I probably wont be able to resond to many of  your personal emails, sorry! I will try next week. There is lots that we have to do here right now. Nothing too exciting happened my last week in Rio Negro.. Just the same old. I LOVED being with Elder Grover, it was proabably the best transfer of my mission. He was just a simple easy going hard working guy. It was really sad for me to say goodbye to all the members that I loved there after being there for so long. I gave a pair of my shoes (shoes that I have never used before nor will I use because my shoes that I have used my whole mission will last me till the end of my mission) to one of my really good friends named Ezequiel. He is going to go on a mission in a year and he doesnt have any money to buy himself good shoes and stuff for his mission, he lives with his aunt and doesnt have much. And I had a nice pair of shoes that I wouldnt want to take home in my suitcase with me anyway because they are heavy and take up space, so I just gave them to him. He was so happy and thankful, I will never forget that experience. He is going to be a truly incredible missionary. 

I bare my testimony to you all that I know that Christ has called me to this important assignment.. I know that he will help me and my companion every step of the way. The Lord qualifies those he calls. I know that the church is true, I know that it is Gods church and his organization to bring salvation unto his people. I am grateful to administer in this great work. I KNOW that God lives and he has restored his church and his gospel to the earth today. 

I still dont have a picture of me and my new companion together. I promise next week I will send one!

I hope you all have a great week, thank you for your support, please be praying for our tiny branch here! We need extra prayers.

Love, Elder Miles

​This is Ezequiel, who I gave my shoes to! Super cool kid.

This is our tiny apartment! Its probably the nicest apartment in all the town. I would venture to say that it is the most humble gross apartment in all the mission. But I am cleaning it little by little everyday and I am very happy to be here. There is only a little kitchen, a little bedroom, and a little bathroom. We burn our own garbage because there isnt a garbage system here. 

This is the church! It has a little soccer field in the back.

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 21st, 2016

Friends & Family-

Thank you for all your emails! I appreciate your support. We had a good week here. We are trying to find new progressing investigators. We had 2 investigators at church this week.. First we had Daniel, he is a new investigator of ours that listened to missionaries awhile ago but never got baptized. He wants to get baptized really bad but he just needs to get divorced from his old wife and married with his new wife. So we will have to help motivate him to do all the paperwork and stuff. And then we had Ludmila at church, she is the daughter of the Garnier Family, and she hasnt been baptized yet. She has been to church 2 times now and she loves it, so all we have to do is start teaching her the lessons and hopefully we should have a baptism soon! 

Today for P day Elder Grover and I went to another cool musuem and then we went and ate at a nice fancy restaurant. It was so much fun. Probably the best P day I have ever had on my mission. I am loving being with Elder Grover, he loves going to explore the city with me and do fun things. 

Next week will be transfers, so P day will be on tuesday. I have been here in this area for almost 5 transfers now! We will see if I get to leave yet or not!

Everything is going great. I have a huge testimony of the restored church and of the reality of our savior. I hope you have a great week, 

Love, Elder MIles
Cool musuem of old chaqueño art and artifacts and what not



​Fiorela at her baptism!

​The entire Ramirez family that we reactived

​A cool native american musuem that we went to

​Subway with the elders (Elder Moreira from Brazil and Elder Garcia from Mexico

March 14th, 2016

Friends & Family!-
How are you doing? I love you and appreciate you all very much, thank you for your emails this week! This was a great week, Fiorela got baptized on saturday! It was a beautiful baptism. For the first time in my mission, nothing went wrong this baptism. The water went into the font and STAYED in the font this time. haha. Saturday was probably one of the happiest days of my mission and probably my life, lots of people came to the baptism and it was just a nice rewarding good feeling. I am so happy for Fiorela, she is such a cute, nice, sweet little 9 year old and I am glad that I could teach her.
Yesterday we went and visited the Garnier family, (they are the ones that we reactivated and now they have the goal to go to the temple) and it looks like we are going to be able to teach his daughter that came to church last week and maybe if she wants we will be able to baptism her, so we looking forward and praying for that!
Today for P-day we had our zone activity, we went to a cool musuem that had all these cool old communication machines, then we went to subway, and after we are done writing here we are going to go play basketball. Pretty fun day!
Lately I have been so happy thinking about all the things that have happened in my mission and especially in this area. I am so happy that I have been able to become so close with these people here and I am grateful for all that I have learned on the mission. I am so grateful for the life I have, I am grateful that 2000 years ago Jesus Christ suffered for my sins, making possible the gift of this life. Life has been so beautiful and I have learned to enjoy it. Everything is going great, I am super content here with Elder Grover! I hope you all have a great week,
Elder Miles
P.S. The computer that I am trying to email on isnt letting me upload photos, Ill try to send pictures a little later!