Friday, September 5, 2014

Every Book Comes with an Epilogue...

Okay, maybe I'm just being weird and sentimental. But does it annoy anyone else how mission blogs just suddenly end?

"Yay, Mom, I get to see you tomorrow!"
-----silence-----
I guess I always wonder: Soooo, did you see her, or what happened there?

It would be like a Disney movie ending with the line "Hey, I'm looking forward to a happily ever after".

So I thought I'd actually finish sharing my experiences as a missionary.....



That Wednesday flying home was seriously the longest day of my life. On my flight from Paris to Detroit, there was a little monitor that showed a little plane moving across the Atlantic at an agonizingly slow pace.
I kept a close eye on that thing, and let me tell you--I'm pretty sure we went the long way around the earth.

But. I came through the airport, around that stereotypical corner, and my parents were just walking up. Those were the sweetest hugs of my life.

And then the next morning before I was released, I was able to go to the temple one last time as a missionary. I am so grateful to my parents for letting me do that. It was the ending I wanted and needed to my mission. It was such a powerful, revelatory experience. I still feel like I can't quite grasp the scope of what I felt that day.


Basically, it was one of the most spiritually overwhelming days of my life.


And then I went to my house. Dude, did you know that place actually exists?
I guess surreal is the only words I can think of to describe it.
 I ran barefoot down the field road and just stood there and stared at that little valley I love with my whole heart.
You know those weird moments where you just know your soul belongs there and everything is so complete? Man I had so many of those the first few days back.

Which is good, because I needed that reassurance that I was supposed to be there.


And then life hit fast forward and knocked me off my feet. I'm at uni again. Already. Which is crazy.
We took a major road trip out to Utah, stopping to see all of our family who conveniently live along I-70.



It's still so disorienting to wake up and realize where I am.
I still refer to myself as a missionary in my prayers.
And in case you want a good laugh, I am ALL kinds of awkward. I guess it's just payback for me mocking awkward fresh RMs before
Literally.
I just don't know what to do with myself and I find myself attaching to a surrogate companion at all times.
Whenever I've been somewhere or with someone for about an hour, I freak out. I don't even have to look at my watch. My internal clock just screams at me to go.
I have driven on the left side of the road more times than I care to count (Fair warning to all Utah drivers.)
I keep trying to relate every conversation back to the gospel like it's a GQ.


But it will be okay. I know that I was called to serve, and with that came the call to someday return.

In closing, I just want to share a snippet. On my birthday, we stopped this eighteen year old kid. He didn't seem too serious, but we set a return appointment for my last morning in the field.

We stood there and waited until about ten minutes past the appointment. Great. I thought. Exactly what I wanted--my last chance to teach a lesson, and the kid doesn't show.

And then he came.

And I had one of the most perfect lessons of my mission.

Hakim is ready for the gospel. We asked him if he'd looked at the website (we'd only given him a passalong card). He said yes. He loved it. He said he felt good, and every just seemed simply, genuinely happy. And he said that's what he wants. He said he'll do the work to know if that is true.

And he closed with prayer. It was beautiful. First off-- I loved that he started by thanking Heavenly Father for letting him meet the two Mormons. I got a kick out of that. But it was what he said after that that (to me) summed up....everything.

He asked for a happy life.
He said that he knew stability would come as he developed a relationship with God.
He said that he thought maybe he had found the truth and asked God to confirm that to him.

It was so powerful.
I miss that so much--hearing the first prayer an investigator offers. It was straight to God.

And you want to know the best part? Hakim is going to be baptised next weekend.
I know. Miracles still happen.
I am so grateful I was allowed to teach him my last day.

I guess that disproves the point I started with--coming home was not the end.
The work goes on.
Because there are still so many of my brothers and my sisters who don't yet know.
Now hopefully I get to influence them---although in a different way.


Being a missionary has been such a precious, life changing experience. The gospel is perfect, and it is so real. It's the realest thing there is. Sometimes we lose sight of what matters most. My mission cemented these things for me. I am so thankful for that perfect and complete mission my Heavenly Father prepared for me.


Go home, don't go back.

xxxxx

Miranda

Monday, August 11, 2014

Last Call.

I honestly have no clue what to say today. I’ve been procrastinating starting this email.

In two days, I go home. It’s so surreal. I haven’t really grasped that yet—there’s always been another transfer, another week to try harder and to serve better. Up until this point, I haven’t really thought about it. I signed up for classes the same way you’d look at houses you’ll never buy—just for kicks.

Friday, I went to the mission home for my departing interview. It was definitely my favourite interview of my whole mission. The Spirit was so strong, and overall it was just fantastic. But it still wasn’t real that I was going home. It felt more like just a nice chat with President, and then we came back and worked.

Sunday, we were greeting people in the foyer, one of the members asked me (so sweetly!) if I was emotional. Psh, why would I be emotional? And then a thousand reasons to be emotional hit me like a ton of bricks.

 I am really grateful for the chance I had to speak. To be honest, I can’t believe I’ve only been here six weeks. The ward members were so sweet and kind when they said goodbye to me. My favourite were Delma and Peter—they are two of the Deaf members here. Peter told me he would see me in the Resurrection, and Delma told me she would always have a place for me in her heart. It was so simple, but meant so much.

Today, we went for a hike again. We hiked British Camp, where Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff dedicated the British Isles for the preaching the gospel. And then we took the hike along the tops of the hills. We could see a huge storm cloud and rain falling on both sides of us. It was fantastic. Those hills will definitely always hold a piece of my heart.



I am so grateful that I was able to serve a full-time mission. I have learned so much from it. It was like taking a sketch of something, and then seeing the real thing. I can’t put it into words, and that frustrates me. It has been the most humbling, powerful, precious thing I’ve experienced.

I know that God called me here. He knew which of His children I would meet here, and He knew which refiner’s fires I needed to experience. As a whole, it isn’t what I would have chosen, but that simply shows how short-sightedly I would have planned it. I’m grateful that He did—because it was the one that I needed. I wouldn’t trade or give back a single day.

That’s all I have left—one day. Twenty four hours from now, I‘ll be heading to the mission home.

So there isn’t much time left that I can work. But we’re going to make the most of it.

Wednesday, I get to hug my mum and dad. I finally looked at the flight details the mission sent me and realized I’ll have to wait all flipping day for that, but it’ll be worth it.

Thursday, I’ll be in the temple and I don’t really care what comes after that.

Thank you for the support, prayers, and patience. I needed it.

Sister Miller.

xxxx
British Camp is the place Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff went to to dedicate the British Isles for missionary work.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

British Birthday #2!!

Wednesday, I was told that BBC said it was supposed to be ALL sun for the next six weeks. (It’s been hot and beautiful.) So I was excited to hear that was the official report said it would stay like that.

And then it poured on Thursday.

And we had a thunderstorm on Friday.

And it rained on Saturday.

And drizzled a little bit yesterday.



Isn’t it great to know the weathermen are equally accurate all over the world?



But actually, I kinda loved it. There is no better feeling than walking down a street in the pouring rain. I can’t even tell you how much I love it. British rain is fantastic. I’ve noticed people think  you are nutters if you walk down the street smiling in the pouring rain.



I’ve been studying a lot about happiness lately. It’s simply a product of righteous living. We can be happy even in the midst of our trials through living the gospel. God gave us the pattern. He can give/allow us to experience anything. Why? It’s the question I get asked all day by nearly everyone we stop. If God is there, why do bad/hard things happen? This isn’t the complete answer, but I think the biggest part of it is that the refining fire is necessary. We need polishing. It’s why we are here. We agreed to come and be tested.

 It’s okay, because He has given the tools for us to find joy and peace in any circumstance. We cannot pick our trials. But we can choose to use the provided tools. No trial is too great—the resources at our hands can overcome anything. That’s the crux of agency. It’s not the situation or the tools. It’s the reaction. It’s the action.

I spent ages studying and linking all references to happiness in the scriptures. We are meant to be happy.



And in case you were wondering, the Malvern Hills are the best thing in the world to hike. They are just a few feet short of being peaks. The hike is lovely, and the VIEW. Oh my goodness. I didn’t know that there was anything in the world that beautiful. I wish I could bottle it up and send it to you. (One sister I went on exchange with told me her greatest wish was to send her eyeballs home. Haha.)  Basically, I could see all the way to Abergavenny mountain, which is in Merthyr Ward. And I could see all the way to Birmingham as well. So I got to stand up there and see everywhere I was called to serve for the past eighteen months. It was such a sacred experience. We may do it again next week, weather and travel arrangements pending.



And this week I broke my own rule. For six months, I've been telling people that I've been on my mission for "a year". But this week I started telling members that I would be leaving soon (only those that asked). I decided it might be weird if I magically disappeared and then my companion said I’d gone home. Last thing I want is for them to conclude that I am dodgy. Haha.

It felt so odd. And I hated how they are all like “How do you feel?”

Answer: NO idea. I’m so confused by it. And a bit excited. But I know I will be “mission homesick” for the rest of my life.
Basically the whole thing feels so surreal that the question seems pointless.
So I will just keep loving my mission.
 I will procrastinate thinking about it till next week---I'll be older and wiser by that point.

xxxx

Sister Miller



PIC:
Part way down. It took us less than n hour to hike it, but we sat at the top for like two hours. It seriously was mindblowing.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Another Moses....

Hellooooooooooooo family!!!

Okay, this week I had seriously the most hilarious experience of my mission. You are going to hate this, but I am going to say that I am going to save it. It will be SO much better to see your faces when I tell it. So. Wait a month. Xx



This week, we found absolutely amazing people, and taught some of them. Thank you for your prayers. It amazes me how I can feel the power of them.



I seriously love being a missionary. I have learned SO much. I feel like I'm just beginning to grasp how crucial our covenants are. That's what my studies have focused on this week. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father's plan's for us includes them. It's such a privilege.

I will have to cut this off though---sorry to do this the second week in a row. We are going to hiking, and so we want as much time for that as possible. J Hopefully I’ll have some good pictures to send you next week.
Also. I don't really have time to read/reply to any emails today, but rest assured that I took pics of them and will read them.


Xxx

Sister Miller

Okay. I hope you can read this. This is part of the story I'm saving. I could NOT stop laughing when we got this text. How safe do you keep your scriptures?

Finally. A good hug.

Last night, my companion pointed out to me what I had written on the back of half the pamphlets I've handed out this past week. People are probably super bummed when I don't actually show up with Moses.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I like to look for rainbows....

So. Today’s letter will be way brief. Hopefully that’s okay. If not…well, it still will be brief.



This week, we were GQing this woman, who had two little girls. She said something to the effect of how she felt that religions were exclusive to “dissimilar” people.  My companion was answering her question, and started talking about how we are all God’s children.

The one girl’s eyes lit up, she grabbed her sister by the shoulders, and excitedly yelled:

         “I’M RELATED TO THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND!!!”

Probably the highlight of my week. If you are having a bad day, I guess you can just remind yourself that you are related to the Queen of England.



It’s cool when you go to church and the talks are just for you. That’s one of my favourite things. I tell my investigators about that when I tell them about church. We explain to them that if they prayerfully come to church with a question, they will find the answer. That’s how personal revelation works.

We don’t simply ‘go to church’, we go with a purpose. When we do that, it makes the renewal of our covenants much more poignant. When an entire ward does that, the reverence is almost palpable. I love seeing that pattern in my own life. I am so grateful that revelation is ongoing. I know that God is fully aware of us, His children. His plan for us includes a million opportunities for us to realize that for ourselves, and then act with the power that comes from that knowledge.



This week, we got soaked, got burned, got lost, found people, and a million other seeming contradictions that are the backbone of missionary life.

Thank you for all your prayers. I really appreciate it.



I love you all!!!

Xx



Sister Miller

PIC:
Probably one of my favourite things I've seen my whole mission.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Meaning of Happy

This week was a bit rough. We got flogged SO many times, and still haven't found anyone to teach. I'm starting to chop at the bit. Patience has 'always' been a skill of mine. But I'm trying to   be patient with what the Lord is giving me. And I know I am in the right place doing the right things, so things will happen when they are meant to.

I could talk about the 50000 people we met, but I just want to talk about one.

We have about ten formers the elders finally gave us. One was a lady named Andrea. We didn't know anything about her, but we showed up and knocked the door. A teenager answered the door. Usually we would have asked for the lady we were looking for, but we both felt prompted to just talk to this girl.
She didn't seem at all interested, and was kinda of trying to get us to go away. We were about to give up and ask for Andrea, when she started to close the door and then paused and just blurted out:
"I mean, it's something I never even thought about till my mum died a few weeks ago. Now I need to know. I need to understand."

It turns out the lady we were looking for had passed away, but I know the person who needed us then was her daughter. We shared the Plan of Salvation, and you could almost see the worry leave her face.

I love that about the Plan of Salvation. It immediately resonates and is just so comforting.
Hopefully someday Millie can be taught more. But for now, we just taught her what she was ready for. And I love doing that.



One thing I love about the Worcester Ward is the Deaf "community" there. There are three active members who are deaf, and a few less-active ones as well. Most of the ward has at least learned the basics of BSL, and quite a few of them can sign full lessons, which is really cool. So far I've pretty much just learned the alphabet and a few other signs.
Last week, Delma wanted to bear her testimony. She's this little tiny old woman. She just stood up, looked around, and motioned to a random member to come up with her.
She signed her testimony, and he spoke it for her. There were a few times she had to stop and spell things because he didn't know the sign, but it was so powerful. Her face was just so intent, and you could feel her sincerity as she bore her testimony.

I loved that. Then on Saturday, the daughter of one of the deaf men (Antony) was baptized. We helped her get sorted after she came out of the font, and we came out and starting walking back towards the chapel.

Antony was standing there with tears just streaming down his face.
I asked him if he was okay, and he just clapped his hands (they were horizontal, not vertical)three times.

And then he spelled it for me: H-A-P-P-Y.

And then he clapped three more times.


Happy.


That has to be my favourite signs of all time. It's just perfect. Think of how often in the Book of Mormon they clap their hands for joy.

H-A-P-P-Y.

Since then, I have studied little else other than the meaning of happiness in the scriptures.
I am so grateful that we can be happy, and that that is God's intent for us as His children.


Have a good week.

xxxx

Sister Miller

PIC:

The Sisters Miller! There's a new German sister named Sister Miller. She is so flipping cute. It's a big joke to everyone. It feels good to again have Sister America and Sister Deutschland. :)


Worcester Cathedral, England

Monday, July 14, 2014

FRESH START

Goooooooooooooooooooooood morning, everyone!!



So. This past week was transfers.

I was moved. You are going to have to keep reading for a moment though because I like pretending I can leave people in suspense. J

I’ll give you this though…for the first time in nearly a year, I’m not in Wales. (I was gutted to go.)



Leaving Cardiff was a lot harder than I expected. I thought that because I had only been there for four months it would be easy. So not true. I just loved how…vibrant the city was. I could seriously write a book on the people I met and taught and the members there. So many characters it’s unreal.

My last night, I was sung the Welsh goodbye song, made heart-shaped Welsh cakes with a member, and got loads of unexpected sweet goodbyes. Basically, it was perfect. I am so thankful I served there, and know it was definitely called of God. It’s going to be my favourite city for the rest of forever.



And now, I am in….Worcester!!

I know. Go to your cupboard, pull out the sauce and think of me. Try to pronounce it as well.  ;)

Wuss-tur. Wuss-tur-sure.



So, when we got the dodge, I was told I was whitewashing in after elders. Which was cool. And then when we were dropped off at our flat the first night, there was absolutely nothing.

By process of elimination, I found out I’m not just whitewashing—I’m opening!!

Flip. I cannot tell you how UNBELIEVABLY excited I am. I have wanted to open an area my entire mission. AHH!!!

It’s been so great. We had no food or supplies, no map, no Area Book, no ward list, nothing. (Luckily the zone leaders gave us the few copies of the Book of Mormon that were in their car along with some pass-along cards.)

I’ve never been so excited to buy a map.

Basically, this is the best thing that could have happened to me.



Chuffed.
Just so so chuffed.

It’s been an adventure. My companion’s name is Sister Moser. I’m pretty sure she is Aunt Judy’s doppelganger. She’s an absolute doll, and I love working with her. We have just been working like nobody’s business. So far, my time here has consisted of finding. Which probs doesn’t surprise you.


Our area is half of the city of Worcester, and then Great Malvern, about 6 miles away. So, the famed Malvern Hills and Worcester Cathedral are right at my fingertips. This area has SO much potential. There’s a huge uni here (which is dead for the summer but will be amazing in a few months) and then Malvern has hardly been worked over.


So basically, this place is amazing. The ward is all really old people. (in testimony meeting yesterday, there were loads of long pauses. But it was simply travel time for people trying to get up. Haha)

But that’s okay. They were SO excited when we went by and met them our first few days here.

I love this area already. Hopefully I’ll have good things to share for next week.



Oh. Cool story on LDS newsroom. I love the quote from the European Mission Pres.



Xxxx



Sister Miller



PICS






Sister Moser and I!

Worcester Cathedral, England.  The view from the bridge. Can you see why I fell in love with this place?

Monday, June 30, 2014

: )

How do I even summarize this week. It’s been as crazy as the weather—brilliant one minute and then pouring the next.

This week, we had a complete miracle. It’s something I’ve never has anything like, and is really precious to me. Last week (so eight days ago) Jennifer came to church a little bit late. She sat there with her head down, and I thought that she wasn’t really enjoying church. After Sacrament meeting, I got up and went and sat by her. She was crying.
I wanted to ask if she was okay, but for some reason instead I said “Is there something you need to ask me?”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and said “Can I be baptised this Saturday ?”

I was absolutely gobsmacked. I just kinda stared at her, and said “Do you mean in Cardiff?”
(Again.  I win the intelligent question award.)

She told me all about the experience  (it was the one I mentioned last week), and then said: “God told me this is right. It’s the whole truth, and I need to live it if I want to become what He needs me to be.”

I wish I could explain the Spirit I felt this week. I can't adequately describe it.
Honestly, it seemed impossible to get it organized. There were extenuating circumstances with her, her family, the ward, and everything that made it seem like it wasn’t even possible.  I wish I could give you a play by play of the 5000 miracles we saw.

But I guess I have to shorten it by saying the stereotypical, which expresses nowhere near what I felt and experienced:
Jennifer was baptised.
She made her first covenant with God. And nothing will ever be the same for her. She is a kingdom-builder.

I have felt like I've been floating all week.



Nothing else I can share can measure up to that, but I'd best tell you a bit more about my week.

Remember how I said we gave Keith loads of pass along cards? He is officially finding people for us to teach. We called him on Friday, and he goes “Sisters, I have been waiting to hear from you. I have a comrade here that I have told all about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. He is ready now for you to teach him your message. Shall we meet in the park later today?”

Uh, okay Keith.
 
So we meet in the park. Keith is normally the chatterbox of all chatterboxes. So I was worried about who would actually be teaching his friend—him or us.
We sit down on a bench—Keith was on one side of me, and Sister Eldredge and Gary were on the other side. We were doing some how to begin teaching, and Keith was being pretty quiet. As we started to teach the Restoration, Keith leans forward And whispers “Sister Miller, Give him the Book of Mormon now.”
 
A few minutes later: “Sister Miller, I suggest you give him Alma 5—a highly enlightening chapter.”
 
And he did that the whole lesson. It was SO funny—a Catholic priest was cueing me on how to teach the Restoration.
 
 
 
And Rebekah (our psychic) is doing well. I cannot even tell you how much I love her. I just have so much charity for her. One of my favourite things about my mission is being able to see people with Heavenly Father's eyes. Every lesson we have with her, I learn again on a deeper level the worth of a soul to God. She came to church, and it was hard. The Gospel Principles lesson was on the hardest thing it could have been for her. We ended up not going to Relief Society, but instead we resolved some major concerns that she had.
 
I've never prayed so hard or studied so diligently for my investigators as I am right now. We are teaching people with concerns that I didn't even know could exist, let alone be overcome. It's a very real way that Heavenly Father is showing me that the Atonement of Christ can conquer all things. It's so real. Through Christ we can be cleansed from our sins. I say that in my mind and ponder it so many times each day. What a precious statement that is.
 
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
 
Sister Miller

Post baptism hot pot!!!! Okay. I have loved getting to know so many Chinese people throughout my mission. They are AMAZING, and I love their culture. One thing they have is called "hot pot". Basically, it is the most social fun meal you will ever have. You all sit around a huge table around the pots. The pots have boiling water and loads of spices in them, and you just throw all the food in and then gradually pull it out and eat it as it cooks. The meal is designed to be long and it's so fun. I guess in China they have it like twice a week. I've had it a few times now, and I've eaten some weird things with it. Squid is my favourite. It's the most interactive fun dinner you will ever have. Why do we not do this????? New family tradition for Sister Miller.

This is Maqsood. When he found out we could be moving (this week is transfers), he insisted on getting photos with us. I just love this man.

Jennifer's baptism!! we didn't teach Cassie (the one cwtched in to me), but she is a sweetheart. Jennifer was just glowing the whole time.

 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Man, I see those girls everyday. They go EVERYWHERE together" Yep, we do :)

So. I’m going to start with a movie reference. That’s right. Sorry to be slightly dodgy, but it is exactly how I feel.

BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!!!


If you know that’s from Tangled, three bonus points in my book. :) My trainer and I used to say that all the time.
This week has been full of the best days ever. Can I just say that I am so thankful for the many tender mercies of the Lord? This is truly His work. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

I can’t even tell you every thing. You know how I get so excited sometimes I forget English and just happy dance everywhere and squeal? Yep. That’s where I am now. (Yeah, my companion is learning that side of me now. haha.)

Let me try to tell you why. :)

Okay. Antti. We taught him in a park one day (we couldn't get a member), and just gave him the d.l. on the priesthood. He doesn't get authority. So, we were just whipping out loads of OT verses and examples in Acts, and then I pulled out Dad's priesthood line of authority card. Let me tell you, I am so grateful I have that. I can't even count how many times I have used it. It should be in the "pack this" list.
As we taught, I had one of those cool moments again where the reality of the gospel just hits you. This really is the restored fulness of the gospel. We asked him what it would mean to him if the authority to act in God's name had been restored through Joseph Smith. I felt like it was the first time he really internalized our message.
He said : "Well, I guess it would mean everything I believe in is wrong, because it doesn't have all the truth."
We clarified that he isn't wrong, he has been prepared to accept the fulness. He's on a date, but it hasn't clicked. We think it kinda freaks him out, but he doesn't tell us what is going through his head. Frustrating.
And there is a Finnish YSA girl in the ward who came with us for another lesson. She just testified to him in Finnish for a long time. It was really cool.
We weren't really sure how to move forward from there at first----his concerns are not your typical PMG concerns. But during planning, we had direct revelation on what to teach him. It's gonna be good.

And Maqsood. I cannot tell you how incredible this man is. He asked us for 5 Uurdu copies of the Book of Mormon, because he has friends that cannot read it in English and he doesn't have enough time to keep translating it for them. He has shared the gospel with everyone he knows here, people he works with, and people back in Pakistan. He keeps apologizing that he hasn't brought anyone else for us to teach yet. He asked if we could get him a badge, and if he could come out teaching with us. This man is going to change the Church in the Middle East with his testimony.




Also. Chalk up another "first" for Cardiff....We started teaching a psychic. Like, a proper psychic medium. I know. Right?
She is so cool, though. I have so much charity for her. She could feel the Spirit immediately when we pulled out the Book of Mormon, and nearly started to cry when we read Moroni’s promise. And she wants to be baptised--she said that se feels like that is what God has asked her to do now. We put her on a date.
She has a long way to go, but I have complete faith that anything is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. None of us are past the point of change.


Also, we keep running in to Keith. (Moses on a Motorbike). Everywhere. We figure there has to be a reason for it. So we gave him a stack of mormon.org.uk cards, and asked him to pass them out. He asked who to give them to. We said anyone. So he is!
Also, he calls us and reads out of the Book of Mormon to us-- "Sisters, is your Book of Mormon handy? Let's crack it open to today's reading.". It cracks me up. He always picks where he reads to us from, and he always comments over and over about the power of it.

And biggest miracles of miracles is Jennifer. I wish I could tell you everything. It’s almost too precious to plaster everywhere in this email though. Remember how I shared about her singing I am a Child of God? This week she had one of the most amazing experiences ever. Maybe I'll tell full details someday.
After our lesson with her last night, she didn't want to leave and neither did we. So we just sat there, grinning like fools and just feeling the Spirit. We had like a twenty minute lesson and then just sat there for ages. I was just so happy I didn't want to think about doing anything but sit there with her and thinking of how miraculous everything is.
Knowing her for just a few weeks has really changed me and my understanding of how the Lord works.
Basically, our God is a God of Miracles.  "Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles." (Mormon 9:15)
xxx
Sister Miller



The Bay.

When you put in the Elders in charge of District PDay, they will remember the grill.... and the food..... and the sports equipment, but not the utensils. haha. (Also: these are disposable grills you can get for a pound. Cheap fun.)


On our way to Zone Conference. I can't tell if this is the one with the hilarious guy in the back or not, but his face was great. haha


I assume the same campaign is going in the US, but look! Share a Coke with Suzanne. :) xx

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I am a Child of God

Okay, I am just going to jump right in to my favourite moment of the week.

Saturday morning, we were GQing in the park right next to Cardiff Castle (it’s one of my favourite places to talk to people.) There was a Down Syndrome man and his father riding a side-by-side tandem bike. We smiled and waved and said hello as they went past. The dad turns to his son and goes: “Did you see them waving at you?”

And the son gets this HUGE smile on his face and says: “Dad, do you know how many girls have flirted with me already today?”

Oh my goodness. Cutest thing ever. It reminded me a bit of Bruce. It totally made my day.



Remember that girl that came up to us by the river? Yeah, we taught her four times this week. She is amazing. Her name is Jennifer. She said she just cannot figure out what is drawing her over and over again to our church. She told us that she knows that this church is Christ’s church, and she is so grateful that she found it when she was twenty so it can shape the rest of her life. Amazing, right?

She goes back to London really soon, and sadly she’ll be baptised there when she goes back, but teaching her has been a miracle and I am thankful just for that opportunity.

Slight jump in topic:  Saturday, we stopped a girl who name I cannot spell and will not attempt to. I think I will call her Lucy. haha. When we told her about the Restoration, she said “ I think that could change the whole world, if that’s true.” It was just the most amazing conversation ever.
And guess who her best friend is...... that’s right. Jennifer. Jennifer had already told her about the Book of Mormon and invited her to meet with us.
Lucy leaves tomorrow for four months, but she said that when she comes back, the first thing she wants to do is come to church with Jennifer. Isn’t the Lord so amazing??
The world never seems as small as it does when miracles happen.


I think the moment that is kinda “painted” in my memory the clearest is when Jennifer came to church with us. She sat next to me in Relief Society--the opening hymn was I am a Child of God, and the closing one was Teach Me to Walk in the Light.
Even though she’d never heard either song before, she was singing. And I listened to her. It was like hearing her newfound testimony. Do you know how strong the Spirit is during the hymns? I hope you sing them with your whole heart, no matter how you sound. Jennifer didn’t really know the tune, but she was trying.
And I could tell she was paying attention to every word, and what they meant. I felt like I was hearing them again for the first time. The message of those hymns is incredible.

I am a child of God, and He has sent me here…. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday.

Can you hear that? I just sat there and realized (for the millionth time) how precious the opportunity to be a missionary is. She is learning that she is a child of God, and that understanding changes everything. Think about it. What about us is not transformed when we realize our divine natures??
I have been blessed to be able to share that with people. What an amazing calling. I think I will always think of Jennifer now when I sing that I am a Child of God.

After church, she said that she felt so good. She said that “it was like coming home after a long trip away. I feel like everyone is comfortable here and has just made me feel like I belong.”
For the record, I managed to not cry when she said that. But the Spirit just bore such strong testimony to me that she will be an influence for good in the gospel.


Basically, the church is true and the work is amazing. Also, next week, when I’m not busy ranting about Jennifer, I want to rant about what I have learned about charity this past week. SO COOL.

Xxx

Sister Miller


Pics:

Last Pday, we went to Caerphilly Castle. (We realized that we live in WALES and never go on adventures for PDays. Silly us.) It is like the "stereotypical" castle.  Basically, the best adventure ever. I may have pretended I was a princess.

Monday, June 9, 2014

:)

We had a lot of bittersweet miracles this week. (It felt like everyone went two steps forward and five steps back.) There were so many witnesses that we were exactly where we needed to be, doing what we had to be doing. So even though a lot of things didn't work out, I know that what happened was meant to be, and I am trying to just leave it in the Lord's hands.
But I will say that my companion and I have been so blessed. We have been so unified in our lessons—so many times it has felt as though we really are “one” as we teach.

Also, Dad... fast update on Antti. He is SO solid!!! He has the most serious, genuine questions ever. He really wants to know. So keep him in your prayers, but he is great.

So, cool thing.  We left Beulah’s after our lesson with her, and literally right in front of her house was Keith. He was sitting there just staring at the river. We didn’t really have time to stop and talk to him, but it just didn’t seem like the best idea to leave an alcoholic right next to a river, ya know?
So we plopped down next to him, and asked him what he was thinking about. And he told us that a lot of people have committed suicide in that river. Ah. Comforting, Keith.
We started talking, and we pulled out the Book of Mormon to address some of his concerns. We were explaining to him, and suddenly, this girl (who had been walking by behind us) jumps in and says: “Excuse me, is that the Book of Mormon?”
“Um, yeah.” (I know. Highly intelligent answer. Good job, Sister Miller.)
And she goes, “Oh, good. I’ve been studying it. Do you mind if I join in?”
“Um, no.” (Again. So inspiring.)

She had the most fabulous questions ever. She was so sincere. She had been meeting with the elders here in Cardiff, and then went back to London, and is in Cardiff for a month again. (We tried to get her to agree to meet with the elders again, but she said no. Which kind of crushed our hopes. And then she said that she’d meet with us instead, if that was okay. yeah, that's definitely okay.)
Before we closed the lesson, we used her phone to show that mormon message 'Because of Him'. People were slowing and watching it as they walked by, and one guy kept riding his bike slowly back and forth to see it as well.
It was so cool, in such a ‘hardened’ place to see people who could still be touched by the spirit in a unique way. The guy on his bike came up after the video finished and asked to meet with us as well.

I have never had any thing like that before, and I was so grateful for it. People actually wanted to talk to us! And they were completely sane! That right there is a one time thing. haha.

Also. The other miracle of the week. We usually walk to church with Beulah. She was about five minutes late, and as she came up she asked if we had come and rung her flat at 9am. We said no. It turns out that her alarm hadn’t gone off, but at 9am, someone came and rang her flat. She answered it, but there was no one there.
Heavenly Father definitely wanted her to come to church on Sunday. Before my mission, that would have been a weird point that someone attributed to a miracle. But now I know differently.


Love you all!!

xxx Sister Miller


PICS:

I wish you could tell, but it was absolutely chucking yesterday. So naturally I had to jump in puddles.

On the river, there are swans everywhere! There were probably at least sixty swans there yesterday. They are seriously one of my favourite things.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Moses on a Motorbike

Okay, I seriously feel like I just barely emailed home. Where has the week gone?
But we were so blessed this week. Really. We found some incredible people.

My favourite? A man named Keith. He lived in the US for a long time, and his wife and two children were killed by a lorry driver. Kind of as a result, he become a Jesuit. And then it wasn’t enough and he couldn't cope and he became an alcoholic. (I guess I could make a quip about teaching an alcoholic priest, but this is one of the most gentle men I have ever met. He’s gone through a lot of hard things, and he has a lot of character.)
And he’s met missionaries and been taught a few times before; apparently his nickname is Moses on a Motorbike. J
Anyway. He told us why the Catholics can never fire a priest—because in the Old Testament there is a verse that says Melchizedek will be a high priest forever. And then he went to explain who Melchizedek was. And we said “Yeah, actually, we know and it’s a term we use quite a lot.” We pulled out the Resto leaflet, explained the differences between Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, and pulled out Matthew 16:5-19 and explained how that sealing power had been restored, and explained temple marriages. We told him that in a temple, we don’t say ‘till death do you part’, but rather we say for ‘time and all eternity’, because that authority to do so has been restored.
The Spirit was so strong I almost couldn’t breathe. He just stood there, and looked at the picture of Peter, James, and John giving Joseph Smith the Melchizedek priesthood and then back at the “timeline” in the Plan leaflet. He just got it, in a way no one other than a Catholic Priest could. You could see the hope come into his eyes.

 And then he asked if we could answer his questions that no one had ever answered before.
The answer to that is yes. It has always been and will always be a yes. The restored gospel can answer all of the questions of our souls.

Isn’t he just incredible? I can’t wait to teach him. He reminds me so much of Steven from Harborne.



And our other major miracle this week was Maqsood. We met him on the street,  and he told us we were an answer to a prayer that had been unanswered for seven years. He came to church, and then we taught him a few times this week. The first lesson, when we invited him to be baptised, he said:
“Okay. Alright. When will this happen?”
I’ve never had someone ask for a baptismal date before!

And then our next lesson, he told us he had asked for all Sundays off of work ,and had asked for his baptism day off as well.He is resolving his own concerns and progressing so well.  And he said my fave thing ever: “What time will it be?”
That’s what I get for mocking step three in weekly planning each week when it says to prepare them for a specific date and time for a baptism.

We went to go over his reading, and he hadn't read the chapter we had marked for him. He’d only read the title page. At first I was like how can I talk about that? There isn't too much there.

But then he said, oh my goodness, he said: “From the title page, I prayed. And God has told me this Book is true. I know this is the word of God. But it has to be, because I already know that Joseph Smith is a prophet.”
And then he went on to bear testimony of Joseph Smith, and how the restored gospel will bring the needed healing to the world, especially the persecution in Pakistan to the Christians. (He’s a Pakistani Christian, and there are terrible things going on there right now.)

I can’t even tell you how much Maqsood has touched my heart. And what a contrast between last week and this—Mike read the whole thing and knew it was true, and Maqsood read the title page. I am so grateful for both of them. Both taught me so much.


I am learning so many simple things as a missionary, but they are the powerful ones.

xx
Sister Miller

Pics:Okay. So I am sending you guys some weird ones this week. sorry. I just feel like it.






The first one is kinda for Sister Roscher. Did I send the picture home where I papoosed her? An investigator taught us how to do that. And guess what I saw this week! (Yes, this is a totally creeper pic. haha.)




This right near our flat. I LOVE this thing. It says land of my fathers. :)





Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunburn in Wales? It's true. I was shocked too.

Guess what I’m going to start my email with.
That’s right. The good old weather report.

This weekend had some of the most beautiful days of my entire life. It was just warm and fabulous.
Sorry. It's just something I've learned on my mission. Everything is better when it starts with the weather.


Right before I got to Cardiff, the sisters met a man named Mike. He is probably the most kind and gentle man I know. He looks like a pretty rough character, but he has such a strong relationship with God.
We lost touch with him for about a month. (Anyone who was a missionary knows what that actually means: we were faithfully calling and contacting all the time. HE lost contact with US.)
We got back in touch with him, and his dad passed away and he’s kind of had a hard time with it. On our way to the lesson, I was doing what I kind of always do…map out the lesson in my mind, trying to figure out what way it will go. I had imagined that when we followed up on his reading, he would say he was too busy to read, and I knew that I would have a hard time arguing with that, given the circumstances.

But when we got there, I saw that his Book of Mormon was right next to his chair where it always was. I have never seen an investigator with such a lovingly worn copy of the Book of Mormon, which really touched me.  I had the passing thought that he was going to tell us something special about it.

When we asked how his reading had gone, he kind of smiled. He said he was finished.

Which was the saddest thing ever. Why had he stopped? What was wrong?
And then I realized what he’d actually meant.

He was finished. Mike finished reading the Book of Mormon!!

I’ve never had an investigator who finished reading the whole thing before their baptism. I never expected to. I had never prepared my self for the complete joy and excitement that comes with that announcement.

So I got to ask him one of my favourite questions of all time. “Mike, do you believe it is the word of God?”

And he said (OH MAN. I still get shivers from this part) : “Well, love, I don’t know what else it could be. There’s no way that boy wrote it. Pretty much everything I’ve wondered about my whole life was answered in that book. This is God’s book.”

“Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet, then?”

“We still need prophets, love. This church is the only one that has helped my faith feel complete and that has answered all my questions.”


I was SO happy. I just sat there trying not to cry from happiness. I couldn’t even speak for most of the lesson because my heart was in my throat. Even now I feel the same.
Mike just gets it. He still needs a lot of prayer. But he gets it.



I think that’s why I love being a missionary. I get to see people discover so much joy. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Nothing besides the Restoration makes sense. I have lived and breathed it, all day every day, for fifteen months now. And I cannot imagine life without that security and knowledge.
It just makes sense. It’s not a “crazy story”. It’s a story of God’s consistent love for us. And it’s true. I’ve received that witness a thousand times in a hundred different ways since I’ve been a missionary. It is the truth, and it entails so much joy. It applies to everyone.


Have I mentioned Fergal? He’s an “eternal investigator” we work with. He’s Irish Catholic, so being a Catholic is pretty much in his blood. But, since he met the sisters, he’s started to change. He knows that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church, and he’s just working through his own personal fears. He said something that I love:

“It’s not that you are just another ‘break-off’. You’re not Protestant. In fact, what you teach makes all of the quarrels and squabbles of European history completely irrelevant. That’s it, it’s over. It’s Christ. It’s His doctrine, it’s His way, it’s His authority, it’s His church. And that’s what you preach.”


It’s true. He is what we preach.


xxx
Sister Miller

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Love you!

Sad fact: my parents will never again be so excited when they see that I am calling home. haha. It’ll just be a mundane thing for the rest of forever.
Oh well. ;)

I loved it. I am so glad we get to call home.
It was SO good yesterday. Not going to lie, I was crazy nervous. Like, butterflies in the stomach nervous. Which sounds so weird. The longer the day went on, the more I realized I had no idea what to say. Which is stupid. That’s my family. So I decided to treat it like a lesson and lay some framework for the conversation.
(Yeah, that’s right. Total missionary nerd.)

But ya know, ask my mum if you want to know how well my two ground rules worked. ;) Probably the most hilarious thing of my life.


But. The WORK.

This week, I had the greatest blessing of all time. I got to go back to Merthyr on an exchange. Again. The butterflies. I was so crazy nervous.
Which sounds ridiculous. I have never loved anywhere in the world like I loved that area. I was there for nearly eight months, and changed so much. The Welsh Saints there are beyond precious to me. So many times when I was there this weekend, I just kept thinking, is this a dream, or is this a reality?
I was also blessed that the Sister I was with let us stop by a few people. There is one family I worked with quite a bit while I was there, and they mean the world to me. I’ve felt so strongly prompted for about a month that they are having a hard time, and have just prayed my guts out for them.
And I got to see them. I was so happy I couldn’t even speak. I just stared at them with a ridiculous smile on my face. (It’s okay. They did the same back.) Hopefully what I shared with them was a strength. Either way I’ll keep praying for them. I just kept staring at them, wondering if somehow I had conjured up the whole day.

Selfishly, it was one of those mission moments that was just for me.

Basically, just so blessed this week.

We’re teaching a girl named Alessia—have I mentioned her yet? She is just fab. Between the last two lessons, she didn’t respond to well to our contact. So I was pretty nervous coming into the lesson. We didn’t know how she was progressing, and I don’t like that.

When we asked about her reading, she was like “I’m not going to lie to you, I had a rubbish week. And I just thought it was just another thing to stress over. So I put it off till yesterday. I wish I would have read it sooner, because it helped so much. The more I read, the more I realized this was true and can help me in my daily life.”

And then we had just the most incredible lesson ever with her. She said that she realizes that commandments are not to hold us back, but God’s way of helping us get the most out of our lives.

I loved that. That’s what they do! They help us grow. And the scriptures help us so much before and in our trials, not just after.

So. Read it and weep. In a good way.

I love you!!!!

Xxxxxx

Sister Miller


Pic:
Okay. One of my all-time fave things here is banoffee pie. Every night on the phone, the district leader asks: Is there anything we can do for you? And for nearly everynight for over a year, my answer has been BANOFFEE PIE. And finally, someone made me banoffee pie. YES. Best gift ever.
(Part of the "price" of the banoffee pie was that I announced it in my email home. So, thanks Elder.)

Banoffee pie from Elder Battles

Also. This truck made me die.  can see my mother designing this. haha.




We get to talk this weekend!!!!!!! :)

The UK has this wonderful thing called Bank Holiday this week. Read: every library closed and so very short email time. Yay!


I don't have too long to email, but I'll be frank. This was a hard week. Like, really hard. But I've had a few of those. And I've learned how to look for the blessings in them.

Saturday, we left the chapel and were headed home for the night. It wasn't the best of days, and I really was praying for some help.

My companion suggested we go home the back way. I didn't want to, because I knew there wouldn't be as many people that way, but I followed her anyway. And there was absolutely no one.

Great.

Just what I needed. A walk with just me and my thoughts.

So we started talking. As we came around a corner, I almost tripped on a green camo backpack. I knew there would be someone there, but dismissed it as probably being a homeless person. (Not always the best idea to talk to homeless people later at night.)

We kept going, but I felt like I needed to go back. So I paused, and thought...is that the Spirit, or is that just me?

Let's be real.

That's a stupid question. I can't believe I even thought it. Should the Spirit have to prompt me to do every good thing? So I turned around and was really surprised to see a really clean-cut guy, eating steamed broccoli with a proper knife and fork.

We started talking, and let me tell you. He's amazing!! He started praying about a year ago, and knows God as blessed him so much. He said he hasn't yet found where he is supposed to worship, that something is missing.

Then somehow in the convo, I pulled out a Book of Mormon and read Ether 12:4. And he got kinda teary. His mum just died a week ago, and he said that he's been praying for God to send him something that would help strengthen him. He said that he was praying for someone to show him how to become more secure. And what verse did we read with him?

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

 

How could I know that from a camo backpack? God is so aware of the needs of His children.

He asked if we could share more. I think that would be okay, Rob.

 

I am so grateful for the multitude of tender mercies the Lord has shown me. What a privilege even just so many conversations with people have been. I could go off about numbers or crazy stuff, but it's the little things that have changed me. It's in the tender mercies that I have seen that Heavenly Father is a real being. He is there. He is aware. I promise you that. My favourite image is that of a little girl holding her father's hand. He will never let us go. He will be there for us. We may forget, but He will never forget us.

I love you.



Hey. We talk this weekend. How did that come so fast????



Sister Miller


A Ward Member brought us Skippy PB from Costco. First time I've had American PB in over a year. We just kept sniffing it. haha.  My taste buds were so happy.


 Millenium Centre, right by our house. This is like a five minute walk from where we live. Love it.
City Hall. It's right across from the chapel so we take a lot of lunch breaks here. Gorgeous, eh?

 

 



Friday, May 2, 2014

Caerdydd=Cariad And that is the extent of my Welsh. haha.

Happy Monday!!!

One of my favourite things about Mondays in Cardiff is that we email at the library in City Centre. We are one the fifth floor, and the windows look over the entire city of Cardiff. It's jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

If you remember how much I ranted last year about loving spring, you’ve probs been bracing yourself for it to start again. If not, brace yourselves right now, because it’s about to start.

 Life advice for you: if you want the most magical spring of your life, come to Cardiff. It is so beautiful. It’s the perfect picturesque old-fashioned/modern city, but it’s right on the beautiful bay and there is so much going on here. Basically, best place on the planet.

And if you want it to be more than magical, come be a missionary here. For reals. It is amazing. We spend almost our entire day GQing on Queen Street. If I ever forget I’m in Wales, I just have to look down the street and see the castle. Bah!

I love this place SO much. And the people. I cannot even describe it. (I feel like that weird little groundhog thing on Ice Age that like refuses to leave its hole… No! This is my town!)



Anyway. The WORK. This week, Sister Eldredge and I have worked harder than I have felt like I’ve worked for awhile. Not that I don’t work, but I felt like the energizer bunny. And if we ever felt ourselves slowing down or getting discouraged, we stepped off into a side street, said a prayer, and then just kept going. So much energy. It was cool. We came home at night completely shattered, which is one of the best feelings ever. (Even if you are too tired to even move after closing nightly planning.)
I love my companion. It’s such a good balance between the two of us.

And we found some flipping amazing people. I'll just share one.

We had a first lesson with a girl named Alessia. (She’s from Pembrokeshire… I went there on exchanges a few times and it felt like a fairy tale land.) When we told her that there was a living day prophet today, she was floored. “You have GOT to be telling people about this! This is absolutely incredible!!!” She loved the Book of Mormon, too.
About six months ago, she started praying for the first time. She has just been so prepared. And I love what she said—that she had really just wanted to express gratitude to God. She’s never asked for anything, but the first thing she will ask to know is if the Book of Mormon is true, and if Joseph Smith is a prophet. In her prayer, she thanked God for sending her on the journey of the gospel.

Oh, and also. Shallow side rant. She's the makeup counter manager at Debenhams and is giving us a free makeover later today. YES.

 There have been so many miracles this week. I wish I could share them all.
Basically, I love being a missionary. What a precious time I have been given. And I still have more people to find!

Actually, all of us do. The work is not done yet.

1 Nephi 7:12
xxx

Sister Miller

Pics:

The bay. Not the best pic. But I haven't really taken many this week, sorry about that. I will repent and get better ones for next week.
Okay. I understand forced marriage is not a good thing. But I feel like any YSA sometimes feels like they should call this number. The pressure! ;)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Girl : chick flicks :: missionary : The District

This week was transfers! My new companion is Sister Eldredge, from Spanish Fork. She went to the same high school as Danielle Esplin... small world. She is fabulous, and we are just going to rock it this transfer. So far, we've laughed loads, worked hard, and we are aiming for this transfer.
Weird fact: this is the first time I've been the older missionary in the companionship. It was always nice to delude myself into thinking I was young.
No more. Old. So very very old. You should see us hobble around when we wake up in the morning. We look like we are 80 and need hip replacements. haha.

We have short emailing time this week....the library is closed so we are sharing the computer at the chapel.

But my Easter was so good. :) I pulled a classic Miranda though. I had totally forgotten we had been asked to teach a Primary class until about an hour before church started. I was praying that there would not be any 4-7 year olds there, that they would have all gone to see their nans.
False.
Everyone else came to our ward to see their nans. We ended up with a class so full they didn't all fit in the class room. As we started singing the opening hymn, one girl just sat on the floor and started crying. I was really tempted to join her.
But guess what. We had a twenty minute lesson, they all participated, answered questions, had fun and it was so good. And then we all made Easter cards for our Mums.
The cool thing though was seeing that, as a missionary, I have learned to teach the gospel simply and use effective questions. I taught them the gospel the same way I would the investigators. I loved that.


This week: beautiful weather, beautiful conversations, everything. There have been so many moments that I developed charity for seemingly random people on the street.
And then I remember that they are  brothers and sisters. There is nothing random about that. So please remember that as you meet people this week. Remember that when the missionaries bring new (or old) faces to church. These people are precious. We have promised to serve them. So each of us need to step out of our comfort zone and make them welcome.

Have a good week!


Sister Miller

Pic: Cardiff Bay. Most beautiful one in the world. I just love this city. Friday was Sister E's birthday so we came and rode the carousel (during lunch break). So happy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Easter!

Okay. Here is the deal. Time is precious.

If you only have two minutes, please skip reading my letter today.

Instead, go watch the video on this page:

www.mormon.org/BecauseofHim



No seriously.

You all may have seen it a thousand times, but some of us don’t currently have access to social media and so just barely found it and fell in love with it.

Just blow it up big screen and love it.



Anyway. It’s the week of Easter! I am so excited. This is one of the best weeks of the year. This time last year, OT came to an Easter Concert that touched him so deeply he let us teach him the restored gospel. I can hardly wait to see what precious things this year will hold.


And so in light of Easter, I just want to share a story from a few weeks ago that seems to fit the theme of it.

We were walking home for the night, and there was a man reading the menu just outside of a restaurant. My companion stopped him, and we just started chatting.
He told us that he lives in Bethlehem. He is in the <1% minority of Christians from there, and he was in Cardiff on a business trip. He has toured the BYU Jerusalem Centre, and asked what exactly it was that made our church different. Well, good question, Sami.

Somehow we started talking about the temple, and he was so touched. He's been to Jerusalem countless times--he understands how important that is/was. We showed him the picture in the restoration pamphlet about the restoration of the priesthood. (I love using pictures in a GQ. We all listen so much better with a visual.)

He took the picture in his hands and just quietly stared at it. And then he looked at us so intently. He was silent for what seemed like ages.

“How can I know?”

This is the sweetest question of all time to answer.

I wish I was good enough with words to convey how precious this scene was. Here I am, an American girl holding a book and testifying that Christ came to the ancient Americas. I’m showing him a picture of the resurrected Christ and the Nephites coming unto Him. Here is a man who walks daily on the streets where the Messiah was born. He has a testimony of his Saviour. We are standing in the middle of a dimly lit street in Cardiff, simply testifying. And he could feel the Spirit. My comp just testified so powerfully, and he knew.

I wish could have a picture of that moment. I’ll probably never see Sami again. But that experience just touched me so deeply. It’s probably one of my favourite moments from my mission.

I couldn’t even give him a copy of the Book of Mormon because of how controlled the customs regulations are for him. But we gave him a resto leaflet (which he will have to get rid of before he gets to customs). He asked if he went to the Jerusalem Centre if there would be someone who could tell him more.

It was a once in a lifetime experience that I have thanked my Heavenly Father for letting me witness.

I love moments like this; irreplaceable and precious. They teach me that God is aware of us. That He has designed His plan to let us grow, and that the message that we share blesses us.

I love Easter. Our message is that He LIVES!
And I love testifying of that.

xxx


Sister Miller

Monday, April 7, 2014

Conference!

Heya, Family!

Guess what I did this weekend. I watched conference! Man, each time I watch conference I just get a confirmation that we truly are led by modern day prophets and apostles. What a privilege.

Didn’t you just love the talks? There were some that just spoke so personally to me, and were literally what I needed that day. You cannot tell me there is not modern-day revelation.

And this week was so good. We taught so many new people this week.

One’s name is Beulah. She’s from India. Basically, she is the sweetest woman alive. We taught her for the first time Tuesday night. When we pulled out the Book of Mormon, she said: “Oh! I know that book! Last night I was googling life after death and read about that book. Can you tell me more about it?”
The Spirit was just SO strong. She readily accepted an invitation to be baptized and is so excited for the Book of Mormon.
When we taught her the Plan of Salvation in our next lesson, she wasn’t as accepting. Which surprised us. But we invited her to pray to know the truth of what we had taught. And the session of conference she attended was PERFECT for her and for her concerns. Afterwards she said that she just felt so light and good inside.
Oh I love that woman.


And we also taught a man named Gareth. Our mission president gave us some amazing training last week. He suggested that when we kneel for the closing prayer of a lesson with an investigator, we first offer a personal prayer, just as we would if we were praying on our own, and invite them to follow our example. That way they speak from the heart rather than merely trying to imitate our prayers.
I did that, and then we invited Gareth to pray. He did. I just about started crying. Which shouldn't surprise you. Sister Waterworks, over here. The Spirit was there so strongly. He thanked Heavenly Father for letting us meet him, and said that what we taught made him feel valuable for the first time in a long time. And then he just poured out his heart.
 It was beautiful. One of my favourite things about my mission is hearing people pray for the first time. Hearing the shy faith move towards greater confidence is just so powerful. I love being a missionary. I love it with my whole heart.

I cannot wait to finish listening to conference. I love you! Have a fabulous week.


Sister Miller

Pics: Millenium stadium. Not the best pic, but I haven’t taken too many pics recently, so you’ll just have to live with this one. =D

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy British Mother's Day! (Yesterday.)

First of all. Can someone do me a hugely ginormous favour??????????????????????

Go to Julie Bonner's FB page and post this TODAY:     JULIE. I deserve the worst friend ever award. I WILL send you a letter. But I just wanted to make sure that you knew I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you, and I am so glad to call you my friend. You have done so much for me. Truly. I can't wait to play catch up, but until then have a GREAT birthday and know I love you! xxxx

Okay. Whew. Thank you in advance for doing that.

Some weeks, I can feel the power of prayers at home, and literally feel strengthened by them. My testimony of the power of prayer has grown leaps and bounds, and so much of that comes from others. I am so blessed to have so many miracles each day.

On Saturday afternoon, we were heading out of the flat, and I felt like I had hit a wall. I felt like I had given everything I could for the day and could not give any more. As I was locking the door to our flat, I was just praying that something would happen that would enable me to work. I wanted to work and I wanted to do my best, but it just felt beyond me.
As we started to head out, I had the thought to check the post. Now, I never get post at the flat (only from the mission home). And I never check it (for myself)because of that. At first I dismissed the thought, thinking that maybe I was just trying to buy a little bit more time.
But I have learned how to recognize a coming tender mercy of the Lord.

So I checked the post.
And guess what was there.

A letter.

And surprise of all surprises, it was for me!
One of my favourite members from Merthyr had thought to send me a note. It was so sweet. And do you know my favourite part: “Keep working hard, it’s missionaries like you that are the reason our families came into the church.”
I just stood there and started crying. My poor companion probably thought I had lost it.
But I was just so thankful.
The Lord was fully aware of me, and He prompted someone to take action, and they did it. I needed that tender mercy. The Lord cares enough about each of us to coordinate little miracles like this.
And we saw miracles that night because I was able to go past the point where I thought I could give anymore. I learned such a powerful lesson.
And then we talked about this quote in Gospel Principles the next day:
]
“God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs.”

I gained such a testimony of that this week.
I love the small and simple things.

And speaking of small and simple: the weather has been beautiful this past week. You’ll never guess what I saw. The sun. Yep, it was pretty beautiful.
Yesterday we needed to get to Penarth and had no other way to get there besides an hour long walk along the bay. Cardiff is seriously the most beautiful city. I am so in love with it.

And that’s it for this week! Today we are going to play rugby with the Elders for our District P-Day. I am stoked. (Don’t worry….it’s double-hand touch. No tackling. Haha)

I love you all!

xxx
Sister Miller

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring is officially here!

hello, family!

So, basically I have 30 minutes to email today... as a result of a long, not happy story. haha.

So this email? Short and sweet.

This week, I was privileged to read one of the best talks that has ever been given. It's called His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox. It was beautiful. He compares the Atonement to piano lessons. It is the most beautiful, perfect analogy that I have ever heard. And he said that the point of living the gospel is change. I love that. The purpose is to change ourselves completely. And that only happens when we trust our Father enough to do His will, completely.

And that's what I'm working on. It's been a bit of a rough week. But I love the opportunity to begin again this week.
One of our investigators told us each time he opens the Book of Mormon he finds the answer to questions he has wondered about his whole life.
I love that. That book is so true. It adds so much to our understanding of the Atonement, the fall, agency, revelation, and the nature of God. And much more of course. Our understanding would be incomplete without the plain and precious truths recorded by ancient prophets.

I love you all. Have a good week. The time change is this weekend here. I am not looking forward to it....one less hour of sleep, who came up with that?
But on the bright side, then it''s conference!  I have so many questions already. It is going to be so good.


Have a good week!

Sister Miller

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just one story this week

Today, I am in Wales. I have an English Companion. There are Scots everywhere in kilts because of the rugby match this past weekend, and I am celebrating St Patrick's Day. Talk about a British day. haha.


This letter will be brief. J Not really. I just have one crazy story that I want to tell and I want to paint it clearly.

I have had a crazy, emotional, up and down week. I can’t even describe it. So I will just go with one story.

The sisters were teaching a man named Tim when I got here. He was on a baptismal date but had only had a few lessons. I was here for quite a few of his lessons, and he was meant to be baptised this past week. He had passed his baptismal interview and everything.
We had an appointment with him on Thursday, the night before the baptism. He shows up and we were excited for the lesson we had planned.

(Oh, and just to give you an idea: picture a “surfer dude” look in his 40s… Tim has long hair and a permanent tan and all his wrinkles are smile wrinkles. He has such kind eyes and is one of the most kind people I have met.)

Anyway. He shows up and sits down and says that he has something to confess that he should have done a long time ago.

If that doesn’t send up a red flag, I don’t know what would.

And this is what he says: “Sister Miller, I’ve kind of already told Sister Reed this before you came. But I want to make sure you know who I am.”

Again, I was freaking out on the inside---what is he going to say????????

And he says: “I am actually Christ the Lord. I am the promised Second Coming of the Messiah.”

WHAT. THE. HECK.

There was like a minute of dead silence where he just stared at me and I just stared back. (This week, I learned the true meaning of the word flabbergasted.)

Tim: “I can see you don’t know what to say to that.”

That would be the understatement of the year. How do you respond to that???????????

And the silence carried on. I looked at my companion but she was as shocked and unsure as I was.

Great. Okay.
So I asked him a few questions. ~He said he first knew he was the “second Christ” when Madonna served him champagne and told him he was the “big amigo”.
He laughed at me when I asked if he thought he was the return of the same Christ from Jerusalem. He said: Don’t be silly, He lived 2000 years ago.

Of course. Don’t be silly Sister Miller. Ridiculous question.


At that moment, I said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever said. I needed God’s words, mine would not suffice.

And then suddenly, I could feel the power and authority of my calling. I knew without a doubt Who I have been set apart to represent, and I just started testifying. I had no idea what I was saying until I could hear myself say it.  I testified of who Christ actually was. I said that Christ has been the same since before the foundation of the world. I testified that Christ was Jehovah,  that He spoke to every prophet before His birth, giving clear signs so we could not be led astray. His disciples in America and Jerusalem handled His Resurrected body, and gained a personal witness of His wounds and His role of Saviour. I said that Joseph Smith offered a witness that it has been the same Christ throughout the history of the world.

I told him that that was the Christ that I was the disciple of, and it was that Christ who would come again in great power and glory. The only scripture I could think of was in D&C 45:52 ( which is also in Zechariah 13 I believe) and I told him that (if for no other reason)  he could not be Christ because it was the same Person who would return, and the wounds in His hands and feet would clearly testify that He was the Redeemer of the World.


I never imagined I would bear testify of Christ like that. It’s a little weird to say, but I learned so much. The Spirit just testified to me so strongly of the nature of Christ, and Who it is that I serve and am looking to return.


I wish I could just convey how weird this situation was to you. He asked if I “accepted” him even when he was not what I expected, and I said: “No. I know who I serve, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And He has not yet returned.”

The Spirit was so overpowering. In case I had wondered if he was telling the truth, I had such a distinct witness that he was not. I am so grateful for prophets, that they recorded their testimonies and revelations so that I could have clear signs that could testify to me who Christ truly is.

Then he turned to my companion and asked if we should adjourn the meeting. I thought he was asking her to leave with him and I had a minor heart attack.

Some other crazy things happened, but that’s enough for you to get the picture.
It kinda broke my heart though. This man may be slightly crazy now, but he is my brother. And I would give anything for him to accept the truth.


So that’s my crazy story for the week.

The plan for this week is to not have any more stories like this. :)

But. I love you. have a good week!!!!!!!!!


Sister Miller

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Guess what. The sun is SHINING. It's beautiful. Life does not get better than this.

This past week was transfers.
Again I was NOT looking forward to it. Erego why I didn’t really dwell on it and mention it.
It’s kinda like a forced breakup. Oh, hey, you are totally happy here and loving your life? Good. You’ll leave on Wednesday. Thanks.
And let me just tell you, leaving Merthyr was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

But you know what, it is totally called of God. And that’s the miracle of being a missionary. You have a forced break up and then can madly fall in love with your new area.



Maybe I should stop waffling and tell you where I am.

I stayed in Wales, which was an unexpected  but pleasant surprise. (There aren’t too many areas in the Wales part of the mission compared to England.)



I am in …………. CARDIFF!!!!


And oh my goodness I am so madly in love with this city. I’ve been here on exchanges loads of times and was beyond all excited to come here. There’s just energy in this city. ( I have this image in mind from Oliver & Co where they are singing about the rhythm of NY. Like that, but better.)There is so much wonder and potential here. It’s so invigorating.


Also. I got released from being Sister Training Leader. Which was bittersweet. I loved that extra opportunity to serve and was so blessed to have that calling. President called and released me and told me that he’d never seen anyone work harder than I had for the last five transfers. Which meant a lot to hear him say that, to be honest.

But, for the first time on my mission (and I’ve been out a year!), I am a “normal” missionary. I’m not a greenie, I’m not training, I’m not Sister Training Leader.

I’m just me.

Sister Miller.


And I have the full time and talents to give solely to my own area. It seriously just feels so good.



And there are so many good things happening in Cardiff. We have solid investigators, and the potential to just work so wholeheartedly. The mantra I’ve had my whole mission is that I can work harder. And that’s what we are going to do.


(If you can’t tell I am more excited than chocaholic in a candy store, then you don’t know me.)




We’ve taught so much already since I’ve been here. We were teaching this one guy named Bobby. We are thinking of dropping him because he is just not progressing, but that’s another story. He asked why God wanted praise. He said that he was confused why a perfect all-powerful God would need us to say thank you.

And the Spirit taught me an important lesson when I answered, one I've heard a million times but just needed to internalize. God doesn’t need us to say thank you to validate Himself. We are to be grateful and thankful because of the change it renders in us. Isn’t that amazing? God is our perfect loving Heavenly Father. That is a lesson I have learned over and over again on deeper levels and I am so thankful for that lesson.


Top miracle of the week: Amirah got baptised and I got to go back to Merthyr to see it. Even just getting there was a miracle—all trains were suddenly cancelled (we think someone may have jumped on the tracks) and we caught the only bus by just a minute.



Basically, this week in a nutshell: The tender mercies of the Lord are overwhelming, and I will do all it takes to serve Him fully.
In Cardiff. :)


xxxx

Sister Miller




 Pics:

Okay. So this is one of my fave shots from last PDay. We went to an old mine and went down in it. Like, we wore proper mining gear and explored, and then went to a castle. It was fabulous and just amde me appreciate this people so much more. I can't see if this is the one that had a rainbow visible in it, but there are some of those ones somewhere.

Oh yeah. PS. My new comp is Sister Reed, who is from Cambridge. She actually came out into the field with Sister Roscher's group. She is a rock