Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!

Happy Christmas, everyone!

This has been one of the best weeks. The Spirit has been so strong, and my appreciation for the role of my Saviour has increased so much. I have just loved every minute of it, and am kinda bummed that I only get one Christmas on my mission.

Do you know what I love about the UK? Christmas is like a two-week affair. And in Merthyr, it kicks off with a Christmas Eve carol service. I just loved it. I admit, I didn’t sing that much during it. There were probably about three hundred people there, and I just sat and listened to the Welsh Saints sing. And it isn’t called the Land of Song for nothing. It was beautiful. I don’t think Silent Night will ever be the same for me again.

We then spent Christmas Eve night at the Headingtons (the family who rescued us the night we locked our car in). We sang a few carols there as well—Sister Boots  and I sang an arrangement of Away in a Manger and More Holiness Give Me. The arrangement was beautiful and my companion sounded lovely. (And I was my usual “Scuttle” self. But hey.)

And then I told the story of the Other Wise Man. Grandpa, how do you do it so well? I was so nervous I was fairly shaking. But the Spirit was there and they loved it. So all was well.



For Christmas, we spent the morning with a recent convert, and then went to see the Hutchinsons. I just LOVE their family so much. I am thinking of stealing their three-year-old holy terror, Hannah. She thought we were the best Christmas present. When we knocked on the door, we could hear her shouting “MISSIONWEES! MISSIONWEES!” (If only everyone was that excited to see us!). And then she shouted it at us for the rest of the afternoon. haha.

I think my favourite new part of Christmas was when we opened the “Christams crackers”. They look like a gift gift wrapped tootsie roll kinda thing, and they are so fun! They all have a joke and a little toy inside, as well as a paper crown that everyone wears throughout the meal.

And then we went to the Flocktons, and I talked to my FAMILY! What a good Christmas present. :)

These are just going to be the moments I treasure forever.



And because I am in Wales, Boxing Day is Christmas, Day Two! I think I will bring that tradition home, for sure.



And, a spiritual story to top it off: I was on exchange with Sister Kuykendall, and we were out knocking. This lady opened a door, and did not want to talk. At all. But she gradually stopped closing the door and just opened up. She told us that she nearly lost her faith when she went through a really bad divorce and a few other trials that got pretty ugly.

So I asked her what it was that let her keep her faith in God, even when bad things happen. She stood there, and really thought about it for a bit. You could literally see the emotions and thoughts flitting across her face. Finally, she looked up and at me with tears in her eyes and said the single most beautiful word known to man:

“Hope.”



And that is the good news. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hope.

With Christ, the world revolved from night to day. The hopes and fears of all the years were met in the most humble, holy child of all time.



What a privilege it is to share that.



Nadolig Llawen.

Sister Miller

*I think every child in the world would love to build a fort right next to the Christmas tree and wait for Santa. Because Sister Boots and I are secretly five-year-olds, we did.

As I brought the mattresses down (we sleep in an itty bitty loft), we had a brilliant realization. So then we spent the next hour mattress surfing. My new favourite Christmas tradition.



*The most beautiful little valley we stumbled on this week. It’s on the way to a little village called Llangattock.
Peeking for Santa
Christmas fort


New Tradition for Christmas EVE:mattress surfing
Name tags as ornaments

New Christmas PJ's from Marty

Sister Miller & Sister Boots Christmas in Wales 2013

love valley 


 picturesque valley on the way to Llangattock Village

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfer eight, we are great!

If you were wondering where Sister Miller was this week, the answer is Wales! Still!

Cue happy dance.

I was SO shocked. To be honest, I was half packed when the transfer dodge came. And I didn’t believe my District Leader. But I was more than willing to unpack. (Refold? Yeah that’s a different story.)

Sister Boots and I are still companions! It’ll be our fourth transfer together, which is nearly unheard of. But she’s practically family now so it’ll be great.

It’ll be a happy Christmas indeed! We are so excited. Now Christmas feels real, because I know where I’ll be for it.

 And don’t worry Mum, we have matching jammies and a set of stairs. Christmas traditions will still go on!

I seriously feel like a three year old, I am so excited for Christmas. Some of my favourite families are having us over, and for comp study on Christmas morning I will be telling Sister Boots the story of the other wiseman. Basically it is going to be wonderful.

Last night we watched the Christmas devotional. It was phenomenal.

And on Friday we had the Mission Christmas Conference. Please imagine nearly 300 missionaries packed into Harborne Chapel. (And Sister Rasmussen made “Cafe Rio” burritos for all of us. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.) Fabulous. It was probably one of my favourite days on my mission.

Basically if you couldn’t tell, this girl is excited for the best Christmas of her life.



And there’s not too much exiting about this week. (Well, actually. I’ll been ill for a few weeks and I stopped functioning enough my companion convinced me to go to the doctor. It takes her about thirty seconds... “Yeah, you have a double sinus infection and an ear infection.”     Oh, is that all? No wonder I felt nonfunctional. But, I’m all drugged up and feeling much better. So, we had limited adventures this week.)



I love this ward so much. I just want to share two stories from the week that just show how fabulous they are.

Monday night, we were over at the Llewellyns. ( They are some of my gospel heroes.) As we were heading out the door, Davinia stopped us and said that she’d bought something for us. And she handed us a roll of refrigerated cinnamon rolls.
Let me tell you, we were happier than Scrat finally getting that nut on Ice Age.
Apparently they have only been avail

able in the UK for about a week, and she knew her American sisters would love some. (Her American companions on her mission said that was what they missed most about Christmas.)
Isn’t that the sweetest thing ever?

And then we were over for a DA at the Headingtons. We had never been at their house before, but they told us where to park and everything seemed great. Nothing spectacular happened, it was just a nice quiet meal.

And then we went outside. And we went to walk to the car, and there were these beautiful, big shiny  blue gates there.

Padlocked.

And our car was on the other side.

Padlocked.

All nice and cozy safe for the night.

See, this is one of those moments that I will watch “on film” in heaven. I’m sure our faces were hilarious. Here we are, late at night and far from home. There is no way to get home safely.

And so I did what I do best. I laughed my head off. We decided the best thing to do would be to go back to the Headingtons and tell them what happened. Mortifying, I know:

“Hi, remember how you thought we were nice, intelligent sisters, and you gave us a golden referral a few minutes ago? Yeah. Our car is padlocked in an industrial warehouse...and we were wondering what we should do about that?”

Luckily they thought it was hilarious. And so her son climbed over the fence (which had spikes and anti-climbing paint on it) and fetched our flat keys. And luckily they had a car and were able to give us a lift home.

And the next day she came and got us before she went to work so we could get the car before it was impounded.

So basically, this ward is willing to break & enter and spoil us.
 And those are the adventures of the Merthyr 1A Sisters.

xxxxx

Sister Miller
Oh Christmas tree. :)
I drive like an American? I don't think so. I am officially a British driver! Yes! Goodbye, learner plates! (And yes, Dad.... hello insurance discounts!)



Monday, December 9, 2013

Hedgehogs & Haggus & Santa. (Oh my!)

First off, did I tell you that I had haggus for the first time with Thanksgiving?

And to be honest,  I’ve had worse. Haha. It actually tasted quite good.

(Random, I know. But I couldn’t bear if I forgot to mention that. Heck, I think I told you about eating chicken bones. Haggus is nothing compared to that.)


So. This week was fab.


First things first. Guess what I did. So we were tracting on exchange (I was in Tewkesbury). And I happened to look around, and I saw a rat run out into the middle of the road.

Disgusting. I know. Grandma probably already stopped reading. But we looked closer, and it wasn’t a rat. It was a hedgehog!!!!!!!!!!!! So being the five year old I actually am, I picked it right up. (didn’t even think twice about it.)

I’ve never learned anything about hedgehogs in my life. But I did find out they aren’t dangerous. (Best test ever—it was kinda pass/fail, which I always thought was easier.) (Movie quoting. Still. Some habits are hard to break.)

 And I so held a wild hedgehog for like five minutes. It was the cutest thing of all time. But of course neither of us had our cameras with us. But I held a hedgehog. Fact. Oh I was so chuffed.



There’s a man named Clive who has been coming to church for ten years and hasn’t been baptised.

I know.

Ridiculous.

He’s been “working towards” his baptism for ten years. (There are some outside factors, but none worth ten years. In my mind.)

Sister Boots and I have been really pushy with him, but he loves it. (Normally if missionaries are pushy he ignores them, but for some reason he loves us.)

Which we of course use to our advantage.

We found out that he was Santa for the ward Christmas party this past weekend. So naturally we got in line to go see him.

(Please picture a line of 3 to 9 year olds, with two misssionaries randomly in the middle. We were getting some strange looks.)

When it was our turn, Santa asked what fancy things we wanted for Christmas. He said he was sure we had a very long list, because missionaries often did.

Sister Boots said “No, we’re pretty easy to please. We just want one thing, and we know you can handle it.”

Santa was intrigued.

So I told Santa that all we really wanted for Christmas was for a man named Clive Harris to be baptised.

For some reason, Santa went bright red! He was speechless. And he then laughed and laughed and said he’d put it on his list, and give Clive a ring about it when he got home.

The ward thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. The sister working Santa’s grotto started laughing so hard she was crying, and went out in the hall and told the Bishop.  All day in church on Sunday members were congratulating us for it.

Personally, I think out of all of the baptismal invitations I’ve extended, that one is my favourite. Probably will be the only one like that.

And in a few weeks we’ll find out how good Santa is. ;)



And Martin came to church. Which was more interesting than good. But it’s too long and frustrating of a story to go into.

And other good things happened. But this is already uber long and rambly. So I will spare you further details.



To top it off though, tonight is transfer dodge. I am so nervous. I do not want to get moved two weeks before Christmas. The flat is trimmed up, the ward is phenomenal, it’s the most beautiful place in the world, and we are finally working with some great people. I will not deal well with leaving right now. I feel like a deer on the first day of hunting season.

Next week I’ll tell you if I got shot or if I made it out alive.

But until then, know I love you!

xxxxx
Sister Miller

Pics:



They told us the area was dodgy. We didn't find out HOW dodgy it was till we got back to the car. (Just kidding. This is not our car. Although we are sending this pic to the vehicle coordinator for Christmas. haha.)

This house looks like it belongs in a Jane Austen novel. It was in a village where most of the houses were built in the 1700s! Alas, no one was home. Although we are pretty sure Mr. Knightley lived there, so we will be going back.




Long time, no see!

Before ANYTHING else, read this email I got this morning. MADE MY LIFE.



Dear Sister Miller.
                   It's great to be contacting you again. I'm not sure if you will remember or not, but a few weeks ago you and Sister Boots knocked on my door while you were on mission - my mother was reluctant to speak to you but I later caught up with you in another street. .....
                   I remember we spoke about the Church of Jesus Christ that you are currently attending while in the country and you mentioned that there was a youth program on Sunday mornings. I'm really interested in attending, even if it only a few times to start with. Since speaking to you I have researched more about the location of the Church and transportation there - I hope you don't mind that I have a few questions about the Youth Program.
                 Would I need a parent or guardian with me to attend?
                 What time does the service start on Sunday mornings?
                 Do I need to bring my own Book of Mormon?


God is so good. Have I mentioned that before? I love that He lets such imperfect people do His work because it changes us. It lets us grow in ways we couldn’t before. I cannot stop smiling as I think of Charlotte. God is just so good.



These past two weeks have been very....cultural.

 So, Britain attempts to do Halloween. It’ s horrible. Some holidays only work when EVERYONE participates. Some of the kids don’t even dress up, and they just go door to door in normal clothing. Faux pas, kiddos.

But guess what we dressed up as? JW’s. (I know. Wicked. I shouldn’t confess that.)

But then it was Guy Fawkes Day. Um, we should bring Bonfire night to America. It was brilliant. And we were driving to and from Cardiff because of our exchange. So we just got to watch fireworks going off up and down the motorway the whole time. I am a huge fan. Remember remember the 5th of November.

Gunpowder and treason and plot, mister.

And then it was Remembrance Sunday. First of all, BEST Sacrament Meeting I’ve ever been to. The two talks were on Sacrifice and Remembering, so it tied our covenants and Christ’s Atonement in, and just made it so powerful. SO GOOD. And the moment of silence was amazing. The Spirit was so strong .The reverance was almost palpable. I can’t even describe it. I wore my poppy loud and proud. And I will probably continue to do so even at home. J



And in case you were wondering why there were no emails last week, it would be because I sat down to email, and found out my mum was unwell and had been in hospital. So I called my mission president, got permission to call home, and spent the next forty minutes desperately dashing around looking for an international calling card.

When I finally dialled, it was the most wonderful time of my life.
See, when I call home on Mother’s Day and Christmas, my mum is expecting it. I don’t know what ran through her mind when she saw some strange foreign number calling, but she definitely wasn’t expecting me on the other end. I’ve never heard so much joy and happiness before. And then we just kinda sat there and cried for a few minutes and couldn’t talk. But don’t worry. If you know my family, you know silence can only last so long and we can recover quickly. And luckily my dad was nearby and so he came in too. It was just marvelous.
It gave me a glimpse of the joy our Father in Heaven feels when a child unexpectedly “calls” home. I can’t imagine the joy He feels when we reach out for the first time, or even when it’s been a while.

So call Home today.





Other than that, these two weeks have been a strange blur.  But I can so sense the power of the Lord helping me in ways I never imagined possible. I still find so much to say “thank you” for at the end of each day. I love being a missionary. I love getting to know my Father’s children. Because (like Alma says) their souls are precious. They are why I am here.

And the tender mercies of the Lord are just so evident everywhere. The gospel is true. Full happiness is available even in the midst of trials through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is real. It’s not just a one-time thing. Christ continuously redeems us, not just in a cleansing way, but also in a purifying one. We just have to sit it out a bit and have the tenacity to keep pushing forward. “Faith in God includes faith in His timing” (Neal A Maxwell).

Keep calm, cling to the gospel, and carry on. Onward and upward.



Sister Miller


 Pics:
Look who I GQ'ed. It'll be difficult to find a jumpsuit that'll fit over his head, but we'll figure something out.
 Troedyrhiw. This is my home, for now! (Troy-Duh-Rue)

Also. The Welsh are impossible to commit. "I'll be there now in a minute tomorrow, next week."  (Not exaggerating) It's kinda funny. Makes me think of Brian Regan: Thursday, late. Or Friday. Or sometime in November. (ha. That's not as funny in November)



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Monday, December 2, 2013

Real Thanksgiving!

It’s nearly the end of another transfer, and so my life is MAYHEM. This week, we have two exchanges and a workover. And mission leadership council. No pressure. And no time in my area.

(No matter how perfectly we plan our transfer, somehow the last week ends up being pure madness. I guess that’s what happens with having 9 teams of sisters. Stuff just gets crazy.)

On the other hand, this past week was fab.

We decided to go see Martin again (we had kinda dropped him, hoping that would help him progress.). So we went back, and best miracle ever.

Her name is Juliette.

To be honest, I thought he’d made up his girlfriend.

(I know. Bad Sister Miller.)

 But... she exists and she is brilliant. She asked great questions, and lectured Martin to bits. In a good way. At one point, she turned to him and said: “Martin. You need to just do what they tell you to. These girls glow, and they just GET it.”
Preach it, Juliette.
And we ended up spending most of the lesson talking about eternal marriage. Juliette loved it. (It was really cool because the member we had taken with us is recently reactivated and married to a recent convert. They are going to be sealed on their first wedding anniversary, so it was amazing to have her testimony. She and Juliette were BFFs by the end of the lesson.)



And we met with Max again. He said: “Now, before you teach me, I have some questions for you about this Plan of Salvation. First off, I want to talk about agency.”

Well I guess that’s the perfect place to start.

He asks the most brilliant questions, and he processes everything SO well. He needs to step back and let it click a bit, but he will. He didn’t accept a baptismal date, but he did say he would be baptised. He reminds me of a young version of Dad. He’s incredible.




And last note: Thanksgiving. One of my favourite families in the ward had us over. They made us a “cooked dinner”. (Which is roast meat and veg.) For the ‘spiritual thought’ we each said what we were thankful for. And the Spirit was just so strong. By the time we went around the table we were all pretty teary eyed. It’s amazing how simply being grateful can bring such joy. I think we all overlook that too much.

My mission President sent us this poem. I fell in love with it:



I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for—but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.



I am most richly blessed. I have an incredible family, the restored gospel, my mission, and my Saviour.

What more can I ask?

xxx

Sister Miller

 random epic sheep.(If it seems like I have become obsessed with sheep, it's just because I'm in Wales. )




Monday, November 25, 2013

Fake Thanksgiving.

Most confusing moment of my life. Because I’m not in America and have no access to internet, I have to rely on what other people tell me and I come to the strangest conclusions sometimes.

For example. Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, right? So we had plans for how to “celebrate” it on our own. On our way to a meeting, Sister Boots and I were talking about how much we love Thanksgiving and different traditions we have and such. And then guess WHAT.

We asked an Elder what he and his companion were doing for Thanksgiving that night, and he looked confused. Do you know what he told me?
It wasn’t Thanksgiving.
And I just stood there and looked at him. I couldn’t have been more confused if he’d told me that black had gone out of fashion.
Un-American Award for the Year goes RIGHT here! Haha. (But I did know about the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death. So I’m not totally useless.)

So I guess I’ll just celebrate it again this Thursday. For reals this time.



Other than that, this week was a blur of Zone Meetings. We go to THREE each month, and usually present at all of them. (We are over three zones, so we are “invited” to each of their meetings.) I counted and realized that I’ve presented at a Zone Meeting 8 out of the 9 months I’ve been on a mission. Pretty soon I'll do it well enough they won't make me keep doing it.

My favourite this time was when we presented training on ideas of what to do at 8 to 9 pm. (It’s cold, dark, no one is out, and they get angry when you knock their doors. The most difficult part of each day is that hour.) We had planned to give the training from President, and then tie it back into diligence. We hadn’t planned this, but I asked “If you measured your entire mission by how diligent you are from 8 to 9 pm, how diligent of a missionary would you be?” The room got super quiet and some of them squirmed a little and suddenly were studying the floor. That's right. Think on that, buddy.

We also met some of the most amazing people this week.

We were knocking doors in this little town called Abertysswg. This guy opens the door and here is a brief synopsis of the conversation (his side): “No. No. No. No. No. Definitely not.”

We were starting to get the idea he wasn’t too interested. About that time, he started closing the door.
My companion handed him a mormon.org card, and just before the door clicked shut she says: “I know God loves your family.”
Random, right? But actually, it was SO inspired.

The door flies back open and he says “ I know that God doesn’t love my family.”

He told us that his wife died a few years ago at age 37 of a heart attack, and his son died 6 years ago at age 15. I can’t imagine how hard that would be to deal with. We taught him the Plan of Salvation on the doorstep, and the Spirit just came so strong. We all stood there crying. If anyone had seen us they would've thought we were all mad.
Can I just say how much  I love that we can fully understand the scope of our Heavenly Father’s plan for us? I am so grateful for the restoration and all that implies. And so of course I connected it to that.
He looked really confused when I suddenly started talking about authority. I’m sure he wondered what that had to do with anything. And then I told him that because the priesthood had been restored, marriage didn’t have to be ‘till death do us part’, but it could be for time and all eternity. And I promised him that he could have his family for eternity. By this time, his teenage daughter was in the background listening. And you could see the hope in Mark’s eyes.
He invited us to come back. And we cannot wait.

The gospel makes so much sense when you have the whole thing.

And that is what I am eternally grateful for. Because of the Atonement, we can have hope and joy in our lives. And that’s what I'll be thankful for this week...for reals this time!



xx

Sister Miller

Miranda

Pics:

This is on the road between Abertysswg and Tredegar (both in our area). We had to stop for sheep in the road (I know. Stereotypically Welsh.), and I looked out the window, and threw my camera to my companion and jumped out really fast. In case I ever go missing or don’t come home, chances are good this is where I am.

 I can't tell if this one turned out or not. I love the little lights. It looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting. (In real life. I can't tell if it turned out in this one or not.)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nine Months.

Guess. WHAT. This week was my nine-month mark

 I woke up, and was just having a normal morning. And then I looked at my calendar and wondered why that date seemed familiar.

 Cue MAJOR freakout.

 How in the WORLD have I been a missionary for nine months?  I haven’t learned or accomplished half of what I wanted to. And I still feel like a new missionary. It’s not fair that I’m half done. I would love to restart with everything I know now.

But. I don’t really have a choice. So I dealt with it.

How?

Well, first comes chocolate.

(As any sister missionary will tell you that is emergency procedure number one.)

And then I took some pics, did missionary work, and went on exchange.

Pretty much my life now.





This week, we met a woman named Hazel. She opens the door, sees we’re missionaries, curtly informs us she has a faith, and begins closing the door.

Okay.

I’ve had enough of that routine. That doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to me!

So, as she was shutting the door, I say really fast: “No way! Well, have you ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints before?”

She paused and said yes. “Oh really? Well, have you met missionaries before?“

“Yes. And I listened to EVERYTHING that you lot teach, and I didn’t join your church. And I won’t.”

Really, she didn’t sound too nice, but the door was still open, so we kept going.

We asked her if she’d read the Book of Mormon as she met with missionaries, and she said yes.

“Did you ever pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon was true?”

And she stopped. And she looked kinda out in space, and her eyes got super teared up. And she just nodded and couldn’t speak. And then a few seconds later, she said: “Yes. I know it’s true.”
And to think it was almost just another slammed door.
She was really hesitant about meeting with us, but Hazel agreed to meet—to “just” chat and have a cuppa. (Which I’m fine with. I’ll just chat about the gospel, and the Holy Ghost will testify again to her that it is true. Sha-zam.)

And there’s been some other amazing miracles this week too, but I need to practice for my driving test so this is all you'll get.


Can I just say how much I love the gospel? The Holy Ghost is REAL. His job is to testify of truth. It’s our job then what we do with it. Agency is incredible. (Sometimes though, as a missionary, I hate it a lot.)

And there are just so many things that I love about each day. We’ve stopped SO many people this who are like “You don’t want to talk to me right now. I’m going through ____ and it’s making me question my faith.”

To be honest, that’s the PERFECT time to talk to a missionary.

And so the work goes on.



Xxxx

Sister Miller


Pics:

Surprise, Mum!!
Just kidding. It's a weird tradition in my mission for sisters to take a pregnancy pic for their nine month mark. (If you ask me, I should hold a BABY for it. Come on, peeps.). I always said I never would do it. But what else do you do to celebrate?

Welsh love spoons! An investigator gave me not one, but TWO. Holla Holla. (Awkward, though: they originally symbolized fertility. Let's not read too much into that.)





Random exchange pic. Sister Macadangdang is from the Philippines and my exchange with her changed my life. I'll tell you about it sometimes (Maybe.) Sister Lambert is from Canada, but I'm pretty sure she's actually my twin. Just not identical. haha. I love my calling. So. Much. (Do you love how exhausted I look? Major photo editing will be needed from here on out.) photo not posted per request of Sister Miller

Monday, November 11, 2013

Long time, no see!

Before ANYTHING else, read this email I got this morning. MADE MY LIFE.



Dear Sister Miller.
                   It's great to be contacting you again. I'm not sure if you will remember or not, but a few weeks ago you and Sister Boots knocked on my door while you were on mission - my mother was reluctant to speak to you but I later caught up with you in another street. .....
                   I remember we spoke about the Church of Jesus Christ that you are currently attending while in the country and you mentioned that there was a youth program on Sunday mornings. I'm really interested in attending, even if it only a few times to start with. Since speaking to you I have researched more about the location of the Church and transportation there - I hope you don't mind that I have a few questions about the Youth Program.
                 Would I need a parent or guardian with me to attend?
                 What time does the service start on Sunday mornings?
                 Do I need to bring my own Book of Mormon?


God is so good. Have I mentioned that before? I love that He lets such imperfect people do His work because it changes us. It lets us grow in ways we couldn’t before. I cannot stop smiling as I think of Charlotte. God is just so good.



These past two weeks have been very....cultural.

 So, Britain attempts to do Halloween. It’ s horrible. Some holidays only work when EVERYONE participates. Some of the kids don’t even dress up, and they just go door to door in normal clothing. Faux pas, kiddos.

But guess what we dressed up as? JW’s. (I know. Wicked. I shouldn’t confess that.)

But then it was Guy Fawkes Day. Um, we should bring Bonfire night to America. It was brilliant. And we were driving to and from Cardiff because of our exchange. So we just got to watch fireworks going off up and down the motorway the whole time. I am a huge fan. Remember remember the 5th of November.

Gunpowder and treason and plot, mister.

And then it was Remembrance Sunday. First of all, BEST Sacrament Meeting I’ve ever been to. The two talks were on Sacrifice and Remembering, so it tied our covenants and Christ’s Atonement in, and just made it so powerful. SO GOOD. And the moment of silence was amazing. The Spirit was so strong .The reverance was almost palpable. I can’t even describe it. I wore my poppy loud and proud. And I will probably continue to do so even at home. J



And in case you were wondering why there were no emails last week, it would be because I sat down to email, and found out my mum was unwell and had been in hospital. So I called my mission president, got permission to call home, and spent the next forty minutes desperately dashing around looking for an international calling card.

When I finally dialled, it was the most wonderful time of my life.
See, when I call home on Mother’s Day and Christmas, my mum is expecting it. I don’t know what ran through her mind when she saw some strange foreign number calling, but she definitely wasn’t expecting me on the other end. I’ve never heard so much joy and happiness before. And then we just kinda sat there and cried for a few minutes and couldn’t talk. But don’t worry. If you know my family, you know silence can only last so long and we can recover quickly. And luckily my dad was nearby and so he came in too. It was just marvelous.
It gave me a glimpse of the joy our Father in Heaven feels when a child unexpectedly “calls” home. I can’t imagine the joy He feels when we reach out for the first time, or even when it’s been a while.

So call Home today.





Other than that, these two weeks have been a strange blur.  But I can so sense the power of the Lord helping me in ways I never imagined possible. I still find so much to say “thank you” for at the end of each day. I love being a missionary. I love getting to know my Father’s children. Because (like Alma says) their souls are precious. They are why I am here.

And the tender mercies of the Lord are just so evident everywhere. The gospel is true. Full happiness is available even in the midst of trials through the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is real. It’s not just a one-time thing. Christ continuously redeems us, not just in a cleansing way, but also in a purifying one. We just have to sit it out a bit and have the tenacity to keep pushing forward. “Faith in God includes faith in His timing” (Neal A Maxwell).

Keep calm, cling to the gospel, and carry on. Onward and upward.



Sister Miller


 Pics:
Look who I GQ'ed. It'll be difficult to find a jumpsuit that'll fit over his head, but we'll figure something out.
 Troedyrhiw. This is my home, for now! (Troy-Duh-Rue)

Also. The Welsh are impossible to commit. "I'll be there now in a minute tomorrow, next week."  (Not exaggerating) It's kinda funny. Makes me think of Brian Regan: Thursday, late. Or Friday. Or sometime in November. (ha. That's not as funny in November)
Troedyrhiw, Wales

Look who I GQ'ed

THIS is Wales!

"CRYING REPENTANCE". haha This is Gadfield Elm chapel, the oldest LDS chapel in the world where the United Brethren met before they converted.

Benbow Pond: so the pond is super low because it's been a "dry" year, but this is Benbow Pond, where over 500 early saints were baptized.

Gadfield Elm Chapel

Huntley Church. There's now a school next to it.




Sister Rasmussen and the Sister Training Leaders (STL's)
left to right: S. Krylborn (Sweden), S. Miller (Pennsylvania) , S. Boots (Colorado), Mission Pres' Wife Sister Rasmussen (Oh, how I love her!), S. Hanks (Logan, UT), S. Mueller (Germany), S. Sassenus (Belgium).  Have I mentioned there are missionaries from 44 different countries serving in my mission? It's LEGIT.

Tree in church cemetery. Think this tree was big enough that a Huntley could have seen it?  :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tut tut, looks like rain! (From a hurricane!)

We had a Zone P-Day today. So my email is nice and short. And late. (So I will respond to all emails next week.)
We had a talent show, and it was absolutely hilarious. It was the first talent show I’ve been to in my whole life that I’ve actually enjoyed. It was legit. And I did the “I Once had a Chicken” song.  Hopefully I live that down.
This week has been good. We’ve gotten soaked, we’ve gotten bashed, we’ve  gotten lost. And I’ve learned and loved it. Unfortunately it seems to be in the hardest weeks that I’ve grown the most...and I want to grow. So good thing hard weeks come! :)



How do I tell you every wonderful little moment each week? I wish I was good enough with words to convey everything to you. But you’ll just have to make do with what little I can share.

Yesterday we met a family and started teaching them (I know! A family! Life just does not get better than teaching a family.) The little one year old just would not stop smiling at me—she tottered over to me and just held on to my boots and stared at me and smiled for a most  of the lesson. Oh it just melted my heart.

Monica’s English wasn’t too hot, so we mostly taught Max. It was seriously the most perfect lesson I’ve ever sat in on. And not because of us at all. Max is just so prepared. He asked the most AMAZING questions. We taught the Restoration lesson backwards, which was a bit of an experience for me.

But it was interesting. Max was raised in a Christian faith where he was taught that only certain people (the leaders of his faith) can feel the Holy Ghost. And he hated that. We shared that ANY man can do the will of the Lord and then know it is true (John 7:17 and five gazillion other places in the scriptures). How horrible to think that you couldn’t receive confirmation for the Lord for what He wants you to do!

I felt like the entire lesson was just so entwined with testifying of the Holy Ghost. How could you have hope if you thought you couldn’t know?

 And he told us that it’s something he wants more than anything else—to know that God is there and that He cares for him and his family.

And so I asked what has become my favourite question to ask: “If you came to know this was true, what would you do?” (I use it as a lead in for the baptismal question)

And I loved his answer. He looked us straight in the eye and said: “I’d change my life.”

I love when the Spirit is just so strong in the lesson. He KNOWS.

As a missionary, my job is so simple. We are children of God. We lived with Him before we came to live here. I just testify of what they already know. And the Holy Ghost brings all things to their remembrance.

That’s it. It’s a cinch.

If you came to know it was true, what would you do? What are you doing?

Sister Miller

Monday, October 21, 2013

Put the bodies in the basement....my missionaries are coming on Friday.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Miranda Miller <miranda.miller@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 7:02 A



Hiya, family!

If I was the Wicked Witch of the West, I would have melted this week. Many many times over. I love the rain. Which is good, because it does that a little bit here. In fact right now, it's pounding on the roof of the library quite loudly.

Oh man. I thought I broke the weather opening line habit. Oh well!

And in case you read the subject line (who actually does), one of our recent converts wrote that into his "talk" he prepared to share with us. It was hilarious.


Can I just say Martin is like my favourite person ever? He's so frustrating. It's great. But he is reading in 2Nephi now, and he LOVES it. (Of course he does. There's nothing much better.)

For some reason, he really struggles on Saturdays. He just feels like he is "trapped" and miserable on Saturdays. And he doesn't know what to do. He asked his pastor, and his pastor gave him five tips to improve his Saturdays: "1. Stop meeting with the Mormons." hahaha. I got a kick out of that. Especially because Martin read 2Nephi 4 on Saturday, and he said that brought him more joy and peace than he's felt on a Saturday for a long time. It really resonated with him.

So I guess my list for him to have better Saturdays: 1. Become a Mormon.

:)

Because let's face it. The Book of Mormon is incredible. There is no way Joseph Smith wrote it. It's my greatest resource and refuge. I'm reading in 3Nephi 27, and I just love it. (I've been there for three days and just keep learning more and more.)

And if you want a free copy, go to mormon.org and request one. ;)


So, we were tracting one day. In the rain. (Which, in case you ever think of me and wonder what I'm doing, simply picture that.). And I think someone must have been passing out Grumpy pills, because I've never met ruder people in my life. It was getting to be almost funny just how grumpy they were.

And then this girl opened the door, and let me tell you. She just glowed with happiness. She was really excited to talk to us, and she said: "Hold on, I'll get my mam and then you can teach both of us. If that's okay."

Umm, let me think about that for a second. Of course it's okay!!!!!

And then her mom comes out, and I can almost hear the angels singing.

And then her mom says: We may be religious, but we don't go around inflicting it on other people.

SLAM.

Cue heartbreak.

I mean this scene happens in one way or another about 100 times a day, but for some reason this girl felt different. But, we're missionaries. So we just kept going. We finished knocking the street, wandered up another and GQ'ed for a bit, and gradually made our way back to the car.

We were about to get in, and we hear someone yell: WAIT!!!!!!

I turned around, and there was this girl! She was so out of breath. She said: "Wait. I'm sorry about my mam, but my grandma just died. But I want to talk to you. I've wanted to meet missionaries for ever so long. Would you mind just talking to me about what you believe?"

And so we did. We stood there and taught this 14year old girl. The Spirit was so strong. We just stood there in the pouring rain and testified. And she just glowed. I've never seen someone respond to the Spirit so quickly.

I feel like I can't convey how precious it was. I just felt so humbled by it. This girl chased us down, running up and down streets just to look for us. She knows God is there. She knows He answers her prayers. She knew we were sent to find her.

I love the tender mercies of the Lord. I can't even describe it. I don't know how it will go with her (with her mom being so...unpleasant.) But Charlotte Anne is one of the reasons I was supposed to be a missionary. I know without a doubt that that small instant was no "coincidence". She's why I'm am where I am.

And I love that. I love that she matters so much to the Creator of the Universe that He would let that happen. The worth of a soul is so great to our Heavenly Father! And I love getting those little glimpses of it.

Basically, being a missionary is incredible. Each day is so precious.

xxx

Sister Miller

Ps. If you have been wondering as to the lack of pictures, my comp's camera cord has apparently grown legs and run away. So there may not be some for a few weeks. But just imagine rain. And beautiful countryside. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Same subject as always. Missionary stuff!

This week was so amazing. I feel like my testimony of my Heavenly Father's love for and awareness of me grows so much each week. I think I mentioned that we keep having people make appointments and cancel on us, yeah? (Oh man. I have to break the habit of saying that. It's a Valleys things that they say a sentence and add “yeah?” at the end. It's like they doubt that I can listen to a whole sentence unless they are checking my comprehension.)
Anyway. We kept getting flogged on this same street. We got flogged FOUR times on it. Which is ridiculous, yeah? And we didn't just set up appointments on the doorstep--some of them we met in town and they just happened to live on this street. So, basically, I was starting to HATE Darby Crescent. On Tuesday, this lady asked us to come back in an hour. So an hour later, we come trooping up the steps. And find a very very dark house. I could hear her inside. Subtle, right? I'd rather just be told that you aren't interested!
And the next day we got a text with a Media Referral. I don't know about other missions, but those are rare and precious here. And guess where this lady lived? Darby Crescent. She'd seen us coming and going on her street and wondered what we were up to. Then, we had GQ'ed her in town, but she felt so vulnerable because her dad had just died so she didn't want to talk. I have no idea how she found the website. I have no idea how she even figured out what church we represented! Basically, she is a miracle. And the gospel will bless her life so much!
It's been really frustrating few weeks, but Heavenly Father wanted us to find Sarah. Each heartbreak on Darby Crescent was totally worth finding her. She's a young mom. She's incredible. It probs sounds way weird, but I just love her so already. I feel like I can sense just how much she means to her Father in Heaven.
Basically, I'm excited.

This week, Martin told the member in the lesson that he knows when he meets with us that I would lay down the law, and my companion would explain why. Which I find hilarious. For some reason I just know I can be really bold with him. Example: Martin told me he tends to procrastinate. So I asked him to read Alma 34:32-34 and reflect on how he thought that applied to his life. He loved it.

On Friday, we went to Benbow Farm and the Gadfield Elm chapel. (I think the pics from it are up on the mission's blog.) It was incredible. It was so humbling to sit in the oldest operating chapel in the world and think of the purity and the faith of these people and the sacrifices they made. We sang More Holiness Give Me. It was utterly brilliant. The hymn just expressed everything. I felt like my heart would burst. And I guess that's what drives me. I'll do whatever it takes to become better each day. I love it so.

Yesterday my ward was reorganized. It was combined with the Merthyr Tydfil Ward, and we are now the Merthyr Tydfil First Ward. Most of the members expected it, but some were floored by it. I am now so grateful for my Corry/Warren pinball experience. I feel like I was specifically called to be here for these people at this time for a purpose. I feel like I understand what they are feeling. So it'll be an uphill climb. But it'll be so good for the ward. And I look forward to helping them see that.


If you have a few minutes to spare, go look up D&C 27:15. In it, we are given three directives. Follow all the footnotes and see what you learn. It blew my mind. But the scriptures do tend to do that a lot.

Random tidbit of the week: I miss tumbledryers. I think the first time I get to use one again, I may cry with joy. But I'll miss their radiators. They are great for drying out your coat during lunch break or for having a hot towel when you get out of the shower. There should be some happy medium of here and home with Cafe Rio and crumpets where I can be ridiculously happy. haha.
Random fact: There are 3 million people in Wales. 7 million sheep. Which are easier to chase. But harder to baptise. ;)
Another random factoid. Chasing sheep is illegal in Wales.

xxx

Sister Miller

Friday, October 11, 2013

:)

Can I just say I have the BEST family in the world? Really. I opened up my emails today and spent forever just reading them and loving them. The video Dad sent of Emery melted my heart. And gave me a slight panic attack. She’s not my baby anymore!! So much has changed since I left home.

My family is so good. Which I thought of so often this past conference weekend.

I feel like each missionary has their personal study “rants” that they go back to again and again. I shared one a few weeks ago about coming to look like Christ. Did you notice how many conference talks mentioned that?? My other is about learning the value of work. That’s what we are here to do! And it won’t stop with this life. So our task is to learn to LOVE work. Not being busy, but enjoying working. And I grew up with such an example of that. Exhibit A: My father! Exhibit B: Oh! Hey! That’s my dad again. (He must’ve finished working on Exhibit A and moved to Exhibit B).

So, if you can’t guess: my favourite talks were Ulisses Soares and Edward Dube. SO. GOOD. Basically, it was my study rants. In Conference. It was great. Preach it, Brethren. And I loved Elder Scott’s. And Elder Holland's. And President Monson’s. Actually, let's be real, I just loved them all. I was so sad last night when the last session was over. BUT, it’s okay. I’m in the UK...there is another session I haven’t listened to yet! (It’s like “Mrs. Claus” for Conference! J)

And as a side note, I would like to mention that I didn’t bribe any of the Apostles to talk about member missionary work. It is just true doctrine. My favourite sentence of PMG is: As your understanding of the Atonement increases, your desire to share the gospel will increase. And that’s so true! And it doesn’t have to be fancy. And if you are super shy about it...share it until you aren’t! J It’s perfect. It’s pure. It’s restored.



Ah. Conference. A year ago yesterday changed my life and answered a prayer so private I hadn’t told anyone. I KNOW there is a living day prophet who receives revelation. It’s a beautiful thing. And it is meant to change each of our lives. So, shall we finish, or shall we falter?



As for the rest of this week, it’s been crazy. We LITERALLY had TEN working hours in our area this week. Ten! How do you function only doing 10 hours of missionary work?? But Heavenly Father was so good to us.
Remember how I said last week was the FIRST time I’d ever been let in while door knocking? Well, we got let in again. I was in shock. Is this real life? And Gareth and Jane were lovely. Basically, Heavenly Father knew we wanted to do our best in our own area, but that we had limited time. So we just had loads of miracles crammed in to itty bitty living space. And then we had Conference. Talk about AMAZING.
And our exchanges this week were SO good. I love learning from these Sisters.

And that’s pretty much it.

Except for a random comment:

I was really hoping that I could learn how to imitate the accents over here. Well, no. It’s just too beautiful to even attempt. But I have perfected my American accent.

Everyone thinks that Americans sound like one of two things:

1.       OMG. Like, totally. Like, SO TRUE. Like, what was she thinking?
2.       I thought I saw a UFO, but it turns out....it was just a dead squirrel.

If you can't figure out the voices for those in your own head, well. Try again.

I love you! Have a great week!!!
xxx
Sister Miller

Pics:
This is the view from Wolf's Castle. We took our lunch break here the other day. Is this the most beautiful thing you've ever seen or what??

Tewkesbury Abbey. Built in 1121. Which kinda blows my mind.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This weekend is conference. I am more excited than a man in a Home Depot store.

This  past week I had pretty much my favourite missionary day ever.

Basically what it was was Sister Reed and I were on exchange in Swansea. We were trying a new finding technique out for the first time, and it was AMAZING! We invited NINETY-FIVE people to do something!  All in one day! It was ridiculously awesome. Which I’m sure to everyone reading this thinks I’m super weird.

Uh, shoulda figured that out already.

Haha.

But without going onto a HUGE tangent to explain all the circumstances, basically we worked harder than we both knew we were capable of. And there were HUGE miracles as a result.



We found this incredible woman named Jemma. We knocked her door and started talking to her. Her three year old daughter peeked around the corner. I smiled at her, and she turns and goes “Mummy, you should let them come in.” So Jemma waved us in.

What? That has NEVER happened before. I have never been invited inside a house while tracting (except for one time when they thought we were some of their party guests. Haha).

Made me think of Alma 32:23. :D Jemma would never have invited us in if Jess hadn’t decided she wanted us to come inside. But she let us in, and we had a brilliant first lesson. And she invited them to come back. And she is SO ready for the Gospel. The timing could not have been more perfect.

Basically, it was a HUGE miracle, and it was exactly what those Sisters needed in that area. So, unfortunately, I won’t get to see Jemma grow and change, but they will. And that’s what matters. Man I love my mission.



And we met with Martin again this week. We taught the Word of Wisdom. Let’s just say he has interesting theories about having an individual Word of Wisdom. It was pretty entertaining. So just keep him in your prayers. He did NOT accept it by any means.

But he will. It’s a commandment! And if he sincerely asks he’ll get that witness.

All of my investigators are kinda at that point. Which is frustrating. But good. (At least that's what I tell myself so I don't freak out.)




Someday I’ll tell you more details, but basically this week has been full of witnesses that I’m exactly where I am supposed to be at exactly the right time. I’m here for a reason. I’ve never felt more sure of anything in my life.

The church is true. The gospel is perfect. When we apply it in our lives, we are magnified in ways we didn’t know were possible.

I met a man named Peter Evans this week. He’s Welsh. He and two missionaries “fresh off the boat” were the first members in Newcastle Emlyn. From their work, there is now a chapel and a ward  there. He’s in his 80s now. His hands shake. His memory’s gone. But he spoke with such faith and strength as he sat there and told me about his vision of having a temple in Wales.
And that’s what the gospel comes down to. And how I love it!
xxx
Sister Miller

Pics:

It's almost the anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. It's heartbreaking. The mountain slid down on a school, killing 116 children in 1966. We went to the Garden of Remembrance (which stands where the school used to be) and the cemetery. I can't really describe the experience. People bring it up on the street all the time as a reason why they don't believe in God. But when something like that happens, how can you not? How can you move on without that faith?
Troedyrhiw!

It is now "winter". I think normal people would call in Monsoon Season. ;)

Seriously, I opened my email this week to the BEST emails ever.

Tony FINALLY got baptised and Sister Roscher sent me a pic.

Emilee got her mission call!!!! Ah!!

Carolyn emailed me, and it was marvellous!

My old YSA bishop (who helped me so much last summer when I was quitting my job) emailed me.

And of course my fam’s emails always pic me up.



Basically, reading them made my day. The first ten minutes after I log in to my email is always the highlight of my P-Day.

I may force people to write me emails and letters even after I come home. I just love it. Phone calls? No. Emails? YES.



Rare experiences of the week:

*I now know for a fact that Peter Pan is real. I met Schmee on Saturday! He has escaped Neverland and is terrorizing Wales.      Actually, what happened was we were walking in town and suddenly this chav walks up to us and asks if we knew Scooby Doo. Next thing I know he is introducing me as Velma and kissing me on the cheek. Thank you, sir. This drunk man routine is getting rather old. I may begin wrapping myself in Saran wrap when we go out. But on the bright side, I’m pretty sure he actually was Schmee.

*As we were bearing testimony to this guy about how the gospel blesses our lives, he starts bearing HIS testimony on how Call of Duty has prepared him to deal with his daily life. I was confused at first. It took me a few minutes to realize he was talking about a video game so it was really disorientating. To each their own, I guess.

*My comp and I were proposed to twice. Yes! Post mission options, sign me up! (That’s a joke!)

*I GQ’ed an Area Seventy this week. How often does THAT happen?

*I hit my companion with the car.

    Yep. You read that right. It was just a bad week, and I had to deal with it somehow.
    Easy target.
          That’s kind of a joke. I mean, it wasn’t that bad of a week, and I prefer to use the
     word  
           ‘bumped’.

                And she will admit that it was her fault.



Funney week, eh?
Because this was the kind of week where you either laughed or cried the whole time. I chose laughter. And as you can see, it worked out pretty well.



Okay.

Yesterday we met the most amazing woman named Jayne. It was almost like someone had paid her to have all the right questions about the gospel. We were just talking on her doorstep and she just poured out her soul

 She just lost a family member and doesn’t know how to deal with it. She has a baby and wants to know what will best help her raise her daughter. She doesn’t understand how people who have experienced loss can be so happy. She said she wants the “light in her eyes” that she saw we have.

Did you get excited reading that? Because I loved teaching her. It was just amazing testifying to her. She could feel the Spirit, and asked if that was how she knew something was true. Um, yes. Basically it was amazing and I am SO stoked to go see her this week.

Ah.

I love being a missionary.



And I just had SO many powerful personal witnesses this week that the gospel is true. I’m going to rant about them to my parents and then they can choose what to share.

Basically, being a missionary is hard some days. We’ll go three or four hours without people even taking a pass-along card. And the Welsh feel rude saying no, so they’ll set up appointments and accept commitments and then flog you. (That happened sixteen times this week. Ridiculous.) But there are so many tender mercies that make this the best thing I have ever done. And I plan on it shaping my entire life.

So I love it. Loads.

And I love my area.

And I love my calling.

And I just love the whole thing.


Ta ra

Sister Miller



PS. No pics. My battery died. Which is too bad because I had some AWESOME ones to send you!! It’s okay though. I will bore you to death showing them to you over and over at some point. Haha.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why does there have to be a subject line? Just read the letter.

Hiya!
I feel like a three year old saying that, but that's what everyone says here. It's odd adjusting to it. But it's either say it or sound like an American. ;)

Also, to answer your question: my favourite Welsh word is cwtch. It's means to cuddle up, but not necessarily in a romantic way. So those people all want to fit in your pew? Well, we'll just cwtch up and let them in.
And Mom, sorry to be anticlimactic, but the word for Mom is Mam. Pronounced Mom. Haha.
And THANK YOU!!! For sending all the family history things. I LOVE it! And guess what???? I drove to Carmarthen this week! So I was SOOO excited today to see that was a hometown of my ancestors. If I ever serve in Newcastle-Emlyn, I will be sure to drag my comp around to a few cemeteries and parishes with me. She'll love it. I'll make it a game like we did when we were little. Haha.

Have I mentioned how much I love Wales??? First off, it's the most beautiful place it the world. It's the first country God created (See Gen 1:21 for proof. ;) ). And the Saints here are incredible. I love my ward so much. When President tells me it is time to move on, I will be like that little old groundhog on Ice Age. No! I was born in this hole and I'll die in this hole. This is my hole! :) Really. I just may move to Abergavenny and buy a fifteen passenger van and command the missionaries to fill it each week on the way to church.
Basically, I may just live here for the rest of my life.

But on to the missionary work. You poor people have to hear me rant about it Wales all the time. Feel free to skip it and just admire the photos. I'll annoy you with it enough when I come home. Haha.

So this week, my companion and I presented Zone Meeting. And I spoke on Sunday. (So it was the week of Sister Miller preaching.) This wasn't my entire talk, but I do want to share my favourite thing about the gospel that I have learned. Like, ever. (And it's not crazy deep. I'll share those things when I get home. Haha)
So. If you know me, you know my LOVE of anatomy and physiology. One of my favourite things I learned was that as couples age, they begin to look alike because they mirror each other's reactions and begin to age in the same way, and so look more alike.
So, take that with 1 John 3:2 and Alma 5:19. Go read them now. And then keep reading.
(Or just be lazy and keep reading.)
When we spend our lives looking to Christ and trying to emulate Him and react as He would, we then can look like Him. Just like those couples can look alike after a lifetime relationship, so too can we look like Christ when we spent a lifetime trying to become like Him and emulate Him.

So COOL right? Oh man I love how everything comes back to the gospel.

And then I applied that in the scriptures, showing an example of how a prophet applied that to overcome—applying the example of Christ enabled him to endure joyfully. Someday I'll give you a long run down on it.
(My poor companion has to listen to my rants about what I learned each day in Personal Study. Hey, captive audience. I will take what I can get. That is one of my favourite things. I feel like the scriptures have just come alive for me. Each day when I look at the clock and see it's 9:00, I'm absolutely gutted. But it always comes round again!)

Best miracle of the week is Martin. So, last week we left him 2 Nephi 31 to read to prepare him to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (That's the baptism chapter, if you can't remember off the top of your head.). We start the lesson with the normal small talk: Oh, how did our reading go?
And then he told us.
Holy cow I am still freaking out about it.
He said: I've been thinking about it all day. I was trying to come up with a list of reasons as to why I shouldn't be baptised. And to be honest I really couldn't. So the conclusion that I have to give to you tonight is why shouldn't I be baptised? If Christ did it and this is His Church, why not?

…..

Que shocked silence from Sister Boots and I.

And then stuttering.

And then my favourite question ever that I would love to get to ask all day long: Well then, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptised by someone holding the proper priesthood authority?

Martin: I feel that is the conclusion God has been preparing me for.

And then more shocked silence.
And then the lesson. We were SO chuffed.
Man. God is good.
Can I just say how much I LOVE the Book of Mormon and the Spirit? God is just so incredible. There are so many miracles I get to see each day as a missionary. I love it. He is preparing people everywhere. They are hard to find here, but they ARE here!

And the great part is YOU are all missionaries too! Go do the work! ;)
And read your scriptures. For reals, people. FEAST.

Ta
Sister Miller

Pics:


Me in my happy place.

Sunset in Wales

Silly "traveling buddy" that Miranda & her MUM have sent to each other for years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How is it already Monday??



This week was a hilarious combination of illness, travelling, and having literally every appointment cancel. So it was a little bit frustrating. But the good news of the week is:    uh, well..........Darth Vader is Luke’s father!
Just kidding.  Figured Mum would love that. J
If you have a moment, get on Google Earth and look at Tewkesbury. I was there this week and fell in LOVE with it. The town is perfect, and the River Avon is just covered with houseboats. It was great. And the people were so great! “Yeah, you can come back and talk to us more.” Really??? Okay! I tried to hide my shock a little bit.



Random sidebar. Guess WHAT. Remember Steven ,from Harborne? He went to church last week! YES! And he said he felt so comforted. Which is a HUGE step for him. Hopefully I’ll get to forward you picture from his baptism at some point. That would totally make my day!



We did meet with Martin this week. He showed us a tract from another church, saying that he had agreed with it until it said that all pain and suffering was a result of the Fall. He said: I just can’t believe a loving God would have designed it so that we could screw it up so easily and then just be miserable.

Pretty much.
 So we read in 2 Nephi 2 with him: Men are that they might have joy!
I love the Gospel, It just makes SO much sense! And Martin loved it too.



Also, we ended up having a surprise first lesson with a recent convert’s housemate. It was one of the most hilarious things ever. With both of them, we need to keep it simple, so we were teaching with Resto cups. We’ve barely started the lesson, and I’m LITERALLY in the middle of a sentence: “God always calls a prophet so---“

All of a sudden, Richard interrupts me and goes: “Edward, how do you feel? You excited to get baptised?”

Where did THAT come from???

And Edward goes “Yup. Sounds good.”

Hahahahahahaha. Not how we had seen it going down. It was hilarious. But, hey, I can deal with it. And now I constantly interrupt my comp and ask her how she feels about being baptised. (Missionaries are so easily amused.)

 

And, personally, I felt so blessed this week. We went on an exchange with the Cardiff sisters. We usually switch at night so we can be at home in time for planning. We had just started the exchange, and I was just not feeling the greatest. Out of the blue, Sister Hamnett just goes: “How would you like a footrub?”

Which normally I would consider awkward. Hello, you’ve only been my companion for an hour. Personal space policies definitely apply.

 But it seriously was an answer to prayer. Which sounds really goofy. But it’s true. And that’s what I love! Those little tender mercies that show that Heavenly Father is totally aware of my needs.

I love being a missionary. Seriously. I get to meet the grumpiest, happiest, and strangest people in existence, and tell them about the Best News there is. And it can help them! It’s beautiful. I love it.

Ta! have a good week!
Sister Miller


Pics:

This is one of the churches in Ebbw Vale (which is one of the Valleys). We were tracting a street (on a steep hill over town) and suddenly BOOM! It just popped up out of nowhere.


This week, we had to go to Cardiff! Three times, which means I can now drive to Cardiff and back without a SatNav. haha. (I can't remember what a SatNav is called at home. It tells me where to go.)
So, I had to drive in Cardiff City Centre on a Saturday night. We were just slightly traumatized by the experience.  (Sorry I find this kind of pic much more entertaining than nice ones. Don't worry I do take some nice ones.)

HOW is it September????






This week we did an exchange in Milford Haven. If you want to see the most beautiful place on earth, google Pembrokeshire. Seriously. Their branch is surrounded by water on three sides. So all of their little Welsh towns are all nestled down in the bay. It's beautiful. I was in heaven.

Also, this week we drove through a town (in England) called Huntley. I shrieked with excitement and gave my comp a heart attack. haha. Where did the Huntleys in our family come from, again?
I wasn't in Berkshire (I don't think) but I was just wondering.

Also, We drove to Gloucester twice this week and then we go to Swansea today, Birmingham tomorrow, Evesham on Wednesday, and Cardiff on Friday (and again on Saturday). I seriously feel like an itinerant preacher. haha. It just means that half the lessons I teach each week are to people I'll never see again! It's frustrating!

Other than that, the missionary work is good! There's an investigator we work with named Clive. He's been investigating the church for ten years. Yep, that was not a typo. He literally started seeing the missionaries in October 2003.But he's incredible and said that this is the year he'll be baptised. So he only has four more months! Yes!!! ;)

We gave them a chapel tour, and took them right down into the font and read Mosiah 18:8-10 with them. It was one of the coolest moments as a missionary. We were worried that it might seem a little weird, but it wasn't at all! The Spirit was so strong. Clive and Bev were both really touched. For ten years, he has been coming to church almost every week without fail. But it was the first time he'd been in the font. And it was funny--you could tell he kinda didn't want to come out. (Dang it! should have had a priesthood holder hiding in the background.)  Our goal is to get him back in it soon. Sister Boots and I teased that we should write every missionary who's served in Heads for the past ten years and have them send a name badge for his baptism. If we took his picture in front of them, it would look like a black wall. haha.

And we met with Martin again this week. We taught him the Restoration (last time he'd been a little too chatty for us to get much doctrine in). He didn't talk through the whole thing. I was a little worried...how did he go from being the chattiest man ever to being dead silent? Helllllo?? And then he told us that he believes the Restoration happened. He believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
Uhhhh, sorry? Can you repeat that??? That was music to this missionary's ears! We were just flabbergasted. Not all ALL what we expected. You don't hear that much here in the Valleys.

OH! And other good news: Kristen was baptised in Harborne yesterday!! YES!  I got to call Sister Roscher last night and see if the baptism actually happened and it did! She said she'll email me a picture, so hopefully I'll get to send that home to you. And steven is set to be baptised in three weeks. And Tony will be baptised in a week. I wish I wasn't missing them all, but they happen! And that's what matters.

Other than that, I'm just knocking on doors and talking to people all day! It's pretty great, but it makes for short emails.

Ta!
Sister Miller
Miranda


Pics: (I'll send another email with more :) )


My comp hit her year mark this week. Which means that her American license is no longer valid here. This is apparently how she feels about being my passenger 24/7. haha.


The viaduct we explored last PDay. And we picked blackberries and made a crumble. It was DELICIOUS!!!! Guess which bucket belongs to the farm girl. haha.


Bay at Milford Haven