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.

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!!!!


Sister Miller

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.


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 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

Sister Miller


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! ;)