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 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!


Sister Miller



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.


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.


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.


Sister Miller


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

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?  :)