Monday, September 16, 2013

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

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.

Sister Miller


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


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 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.

Sister Miller

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

It was: The Week of the Traveling Sister. Now: The Week of the TIRED Sister.

If you are reading my emails and are thinking about serving a mission, please go for it! I'm sick of feeling that I am just supposed to testify of missionary work because someone needs to hear it.
 Just kidding. I love it.
 But whoever it is that is thinking about it, you'd better start working on it before everyone else stops reading my emails because of all the “I love my mission rants”. Haha.

 This week, I've been a missionary in Cardiff, Swindon, and Swansea as well as in Merthyr. I feel a little bit like an old-time circuit preacher. Haha.
I LOVE getting to go on so many exchanges, though. I learn so much from each of the sisters. And I get to see so much of the mission. It makes me so excited to be a missionary in the EBM. (In case you don't know, EBM is short for Earth's BEST Mission.)
 Sister Lambert taught me how a better way to use members to work with less-actives. Sister Sassenus taught me how to be so bold you could be offensive, but to do it with love so instead they see you care. Sister Muhlmann taught me that the only way to be a good missionary is to get out of your comfort zone all day, and then your comfort zone will grow.
 Basically, this is the most humbling thing I've done. How am I supposed to uplift these sisters? They are simply incredible on their own. I feel so small compared to them. But. My goal is to help them have love for their missions, hope for their area, and increasing effectiveness each day. Because that's what I want too!

 Funny story of the week. When I was on exchange, my companion stopped a man who was clearly...not all there. I think he may have been a little drunk as well. When she asked if he was religious, all of a sudden he whips up his shirt! Of course, my mind is going: "what? WHAT ? OH NO!!!!" In stead of SIMPLY saying yes or pulling out his cross necklace to show us, he decided to yank up his shirt to show us his necklace.
Thank you, sir.
And then for the rest of the convo he held up his shirt. hahaha.
 Maybe he was worried we'd forget he was religious? I don't know.
When we were finally able to end the conversation, I went to shake his hand, and he grabs it and starts kissing it. Remember that scene from Singing in the Rain where he was kissing her hand? Yeah, it was pretty much that. By the time I finally was able to yank out of his grasp, he'd worked partway up my forearm.
 I am still grossing out about it. Blech. He gave us his address, in case we wanted to come see him. At the mental hospital. Uh, I think I'll pass.
Luckily we had enough time I could disinfect my arm before our next appointment.

 Mum, you asked about the Welsh in comparison with the Brummies. Well, they are even less interested in religion, if that is possible. But, they will talk to you about ANYTHING. They are so proud of the history of their land. Which is kind of cool, because sometimes they'll refuse to even take a pass along card, but if I start talking about Dan Jones—about how he's the most famous missionary—they will listen right up. They love it, especially when we testify that it was the Welsh saints who changed the early history of the church, and we could not have continued without them. In fact, a lot of them know about the church because some of their ancestors' families converted and went to Utah.
Which is kind of cool. (BTW, our Welsh ancestors, what town are they from? No one here is satisfied when I say I have Welsh ancestors. They want to know the exact little village and county. Haha. So if someone would check up on that, I would appreciate it.)

 I hope I didn't share this story in an earlier email. Because it didn't happen this week, but I want to share it now. So if I already shared it, humour me. We knocked this lady's door. As soon as she opened the door, you could FEEL the sadness pouring out of it. I've never felt anything like it. We at first just started to talk to her normally, but then we paused and said “Are you alright? What happened?”
 She told us her son had just died. (Later, we found out it's been over TWO years. But she talked about it as though it was yesterday.) We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and it just wasn't working. She couldn't accept it that God would make her experience something that hard. Finally, we just invited her to pray.  She said that God couldn't understand.
 I love it when the Spirit takes over: we just said “Actually, God understands perfectly. Because He lost a Son, too. There is no one you could talk to about it that would give you more love and comfort in return because no one understands better or loves you more than Him.” and then we talked about the Atonement taking away our pains and sorrows.
We've tried stopping by again (which is what made me think to share it now), but we just cannot get a hold of her. I just am praying that she took the opportunity to pray.
 Because it would have changed her completely.
But. We will keep trying!
 Because that's my job!
 Sister Miller

 Pics: Welcome to the U.K. This is thier shredded wheat. Two biscuits is a whole meal! haha. They are way better this way. Just saying.

 A lady we were going to meet with had to cancel, so she left us a note letting us know. Can you read it? ... She thinks we're nuns. hahahahaha. We were gutted. But it was pretty funny. So, I'm a nun now. If you wanted an update about my week, you got it. I am officially a nun!

 This is Swansea! Gorgeous, eh?