Thursday, August 7, 2014

4 August 2014   Last Week

Hello Family and Friends,
Carlos and Sheron were married and baptized this week!!! Wednesday they were registered as a married couple, Friday were baptized, Saturday was the bishop's blessing in the chapel, and Sunday they were confirmed members of the church. What a week it was because everyday was dedicated to them getting married and baptized. All in all everything went smoothly with the help of your prayers and the willing members of the ward. Carlos and Sheron are super excited to be part of the church and for having found the truth. They bore their testimonies this past Sunday sharing their individual convictions of the truthfulness of the church.

While I was sitting in the sacrament room I felt overwhelmed by the spirit. I remember looking around the congregation and seeing 3 young men that we had baptized passing the sacrament with brand new suits on. Looking to the other side I saw some other youth that we baptized or helped to remain active. I was singing hymns with our recent convert Maria, and then Carlos and Sheron were confirmed and bore their testimonies. It was very emotional to see the fruits of our work and to be humbled knowing that we are just instruments in the hands of our Lord, helping to bring his children back to him. I bore my last testimony in sacrament meeting to the congregation and I mentioned how I saw people's lives molded, and while molding the lives of others my own life was molded significantly. Jesus Christ is our master and he can mold us we let him. This I came to understand while on my mission. I gave thanks to the members for all that they had done for me and my companions.

Friday I had my last interview with President Castro. It was one of the more spiritual experiences of the mission. He asked a lot of divine questions that caused me to reflect on my life and what I need to do when I arrive home. He gave me a picture of myself that he uses while doing the transfers and behind this picture has all my areas and companions. He told me to look at that picture of myself, which was taken while I was in the MTC, and then tell him how that missionary in the photo changed until this point in time. I won't say that I am 100% different than I was before but there was an incredible change in my heart while serving the Lord these 2 years. I am more confident, I have more faith, I am extremely grateful, and I see myself as an agent now instead of an object which only receives the action from others. More than anything I am now committed to this gospel and I never will deviate from this path, it doesn't matter the obstacle I will continue forward. I learned to love others and to love God and Jesus Christ and to show this love for them.

I can't believe that my mission is coming to an end it just hasn't phased me yet. One thing is certain is that even though the badge will be taken off my chest I will never stop being a missionary. There is a lot of work to be done at home and so many people that I neglected to show the gospel. Yes, it will be sad to leave the people that I learned to love here in Rio Grande do Sul but I have the hope that this love will only expand to the people that await me wherever it is that I go in life. I will do my best to keep in contact will everyone that I met here, the friendships are eternal and are part of me now. I am excited to see my family once again. I can't even describe the feeling for them that I have kept locked away in my heart these past two years. I know that when I see their faces that lock is going burst open and it is going to be a mushy mess in the airport, but I don't care love is love and I can't contain it anymore. I hope I will be able to write one more email next week but if not know that these were in fact the best two years of my life, however it is only the beginning.
I love you all,
Thanks for all the support,
I will see you soon,

Elder Miller
28 July 2014

Tuesday I bore my testimony together with the other missionaries that are leaving the mission. It was a zone conference so there were quite a few missionaries present.

My testimony was very simple. I counseled the missionaries to become agents, or in other words, do much good with their own free agency and not wait to be commanded to do good deeds. Also, I told them to love their companions, learn to put the needs of their companions first and then attend to you own. I gave the advice that if they could find a christ-like attribute in their companion and then learn to develop that attribute in themselves they would be a lot happier. If you are not happy it will be much more difficult to invite the spirit in your lessons and the spirit is everything. Therefore, unity is essential in your companionship, if you don't have it forget about teaching with power. Then I went on to bear my testimony that God watches over us and that his love is so profound for all of us that he sent his most perfect son to the world to live, teach, suffer, die, and then live again in order to break the chains of death and allow us the opportunity to stand before god's presence, without stain, worthy to enter into his heavenly home. In addition, Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God with the mission of reestablishing God's kingdom on Earth, and that there is a prophet and other special witnesses of Jesus Christ here in our days. I gave thanks to President Castro, Sister Castro and all the companions that I had. 2 of them were present. I mentioned that I love and am grateful for missionary work especially the missionaries that introduced our family to the church. If they had not given 2 years of their lives where would I be today? I am eternally in debt to them and I hope that I have had this kind of impact on the people I met during my mission. The gospel is everything to me now that my eyes have been opened.


All of your prayers have paid off because Saturday we had the baptism of Lucas. By wednsday we still were not sure if he would be baptized or not because of his parents permission. While we were eating with a member, who is Lucas's Sunday school teach and returned missionary, I had the thought of inviting him to teach Lucas's parents and ask for permisson to baptize Lucas. It was perfect and the member hit it off with Lucas's parents and we were able to teach them well about the importance of baptism and they allowed him to follow christ example and enter in the waters of baptism. They went to watch him be baptized Saturday and I am sure that they felt the spirit.


Tomorrow Carlos and Sheron will be registered as a married couple then Friday night will be their baptisms, and Saturday will be their marriage cerimony in the chapel. We are stoked for this to happen and it will be a great way to close the final chapter of the mission. I am sure these last two weeks will be full of work and some mixed feeling about leaving the mission. I know that it won't be easy to just one hour to next stop being a full time missionary but I will be honest that I am anxious to see my family and get my life rolling. When the mission concludes it will then be time to put everything I learnt into practice. The mission is the MTC for life and I finally feel prepared.

 Lots of Love,

Elder Miller


Monday, July 21, 2014

21 July 2014

Hello Family and Friends, 

The work is quickly progressing. We are focused and prepared to take on the obstacles of the coming weeks. Lucas, a young investigator is battling to be baptized this week. He has been coming to church for about 3 months now, seminary, activities, the whole bit, but his parents have not permitted him to be baptized. They have set some unattainable standards for him in order to be baptized, however this past week they verbally permitted him to be baptized which was a milestone. Now we have to get their signature this week. For sure this young man will bring his family to the church one day due to the faith and diligence that he holds.

Sharon and Carlos passed out their wedding invitations to all the ward members this past week so it is official. Over these past weeks they have come to recognize the necessity of baptism in their lives and are more and more anxious for this day which will be the 1st of August and marriage ceremony on the 2nd. They will be registered as a married couple the 29 of this month.

We had the blessing of one of the members of the ward bringing a friend to church who has been passing through a lot of trials after a cruel breakup. We met with her last night and it was a spiritual experience. We mentioned how Christ is the source for lasting peace in this rapidly changing world. She was able to recognize the need to be closer with Christ and committed to be baptized the 9th of August if she is prepared. Her name is Fátima and has been really afflicted by the injustices of the world. I am truly grateful that I am a member of the church and thus have been protected from these disappointments. My life has been a lot less painless because I was taught which decisions would bring lasting happiness and which would bring just a taste and then regret. What I have learned is that we have to experience a bit of pain in life, it is how we learn and there are some that only can learn by pain and discomfort, but I know that these difficulties will make them stronger and produce faith that will take them far in mortal life and then eternal life. Christ suffered more than anyone can imagine and the scriptures tell us that because of this he learned obedience. In the same way affliction can teach us to be obedient and thus we will be worthy of God's many blessings.

To finish my email I would like to tell just touch on our English lessons that we are offering to the public. Saturday, we taught how to pray in English and we had the blessing of watching young individuals praying in English after just one hour of practice. I was amazed because it took me weeks to pray in Portuguese. It brought much happiness satisfaction to me and I know that the spirit was present to help us learn.

Lots of Love

Elder Miller,

PS. Keep praying for our investigators, it is helping

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

14 July 2014

Hello Family and Friends, 

All the hard work is paying off. We have the marriage of Carlos and Sharon planned for the 2nd of August. They are also striving to be baptized some time around this date. In my last email I mentioned that they literally called us from across the street asking to be married in our church. After a few lessons this week they committed to be baptized as well. When we taught the Word of Wisdom to them they gave us all the coffee that was in their house. I am truly humbled by the fact that God placed them in our path. I can't think of anything better than baptizing a family before finishing the mission. We also have a few young men that are preparing to be baptized. My hope is that we can attend to all their needs in the next few weeks, and that they can be fully prepared to make covenants with God.

Elder S. Silva and I are working well together. We are giving our best in these last weeks. I am really happy that we are able to keep a steady work pace. Honestly we don't have time to think about going home anymore, there are so many things to be done. This past week we had zone counsel, then we had to give a zone training, and of course the world cup. It was a rush to get everything done with little time.

So Brazil showed it's true colors against Germany. The Brazilians here in Porto Alegre have lost all respect for their national team. They say that Brazil was needing a wake up call like that 7-1 beat down which they suffered. They say that they don't play for the name on the shirt anymore, but for the fame. I am afraid to say that this is becoming the case for many these days. Germany totally deserved the win. From what we heard from people in the streets Germany was obviously the strongest team. The Brazilians like to pull my leg by saying that I am one of the German soccer players because of my last name, Miller. For sure things will now calm down now that the world cup is over, and we will be able to work 100% everyday.

 Lots of Love,

Elder Miller

Saturday, July 12, 2014

7 July 2014

Hello Family and Friends, 

There were a lot of mixed feelings this past week on the mission. My companion Elder Aires finished his mission and went home to Fortaleza. This has always been difficult for me to say goodbye to my companions and this time it was no different. Then my new companion came, Elder Silva, and it has been a great experience so far. Elder Silva is in his final transfer just like me. He is super humble and friendly. He was a little disappointed that he was taken out of his area in Pelotas to finish his mission here in Porto Alegre but we talked and he is determined to give it his best these next few weeks. I will be honest that it is a little strange being in a companionship which both missionaries are in their final weeks on missions. 

This being a transfer week and with the world cup game Thursday we did not get to work as much as I would have liked but we did see some miracles Saturday. My testimony of fasting grew this day. We were fasting to thank God for all the baptisms that we had as a zone this past month and God blessed us twofold. We came across a less active family that we were not looking for including some of which had not become members yet. They were happy to have the missionaries back in their lives to help orient them to the straight and narrow path once again. Then when we were returning to the chapel we heard someone call for us across the street. It was a young couple with a small child. They began to tell us that they had been taught some of our lessons and had gone to church a few times last year. They went on to tell us that in a few short weeks they would be getting married and would like to be married in our church. It was one of those moments were don't believe what is happening and you look up to the sky expecting angels to sing, "Halleluiah." It was incredible and last night we went to their house to teach all the lessons once again. At first they were a little hesitant on the thought of being baptized so quickly but we responded their questions and I have faith that we will marry and baptize this couple, Carlos and Sharon. Pray for them please.

My biggest hope for this transfer is just to baptize. If we can achieve this goal I would have baptized with all of my companions which has been my goal since the beginning of the mission and I will go home a happy man. Help me with this goal by praying for my investigators. I have another 5 weeks to do this. I think that at the end of the mission President Castro allows the missionaries to visit the areas in which they passed through. If that is the case Elder Silva and I will be traveling a lot the last week of the mission. It would be a great reward for a job well done.

Tomorrow Brazil plays Germany for a spot in the final game. It will get tense here and for sure we will be in our apartment the whole time. Wednesday we will be going to zone counsel here in Porto Alegre where all the zone leaders of the mission meet to talk about the success and areas to improve from the past month of the mission. In our mission there were 108 baptisms in June which was a record since I have been here. 

Lots of Love,

Elder Miller 

PS. These are the names to include in your prayers. 

Lucas, Miguel, Patricia, Gregory, Carlos, Sharon, Paulo

Monday, June 30, 2014

30 June 2014

Hello Family and Friends,
Another transfer has passed and a new one begins, and unfortunately it will be the last. This past transfer was the best of my mission. Elder Aires and I had accomplished our goal of baptizing 7 people this month and our zone achieved 18 which was also tied for the best this month in the mission. Although this was great for the mission, church, and lives of these 18 individuals I say this was the best transfer for me because it was the transfer in which I finally woke up. I was able to look deep down within in me to see what strengths and weaknesses I have and what I need to do differently to help more people and myself get closer to God. I look to apply the things I learned in this transfer so that I can finish my mission with honor and give a boost to my life back home.

So Elder Aires finished his mission today, it is very sad because he really is one of the best missionaries of this mission. I will be staying in Medianeira and I will be companions with Elder S. Silva from Bahia, the Northeastern part of Brazil. We will finish our missions together. You all are probably asking yourselves why is this happening. It is because the President plans on taking out the ZL's of the area and placing the assistants in our place so that they can be examples for the rest of the mission. This transfer I will be doing a lot of divisions with the assistants so they can get to know the area, members, and investigators. I will finish my mission as ZL with another ZL who is finishing his mission. It will be cool and kind of dull at the same time because together we will have a lot of success due to the experience that we both have however dull however really trunky. I really wanted to train a new ZL but that won't be the case. I have always wanted this on my mission to really train someone but I only had one transfer with that priviledge.
Moreover, we had 4 baptisms this past weekend. Pedro, Willian, Guilherme, and Bruno were all baptized. They were references from a member of the ward. I will work hard this transfer in order to baptize the rest of their families especially their parents whom are progressing. the baptism was awesome.
 President Castro and Sister Castro showed up which was nice. It was a real miracle that they came because at the last second we needed President to do an interview because Guilherme, who had participated in all the lessons, decided he wanted to be baptized when he saw his brother Pedro dressed all in white. It was not planned that the President would come to the baptism but it was inspired in order for him to do that baptism interview with Guilherme. He said in his interview that he wanted to be baptized because he wanted to follow God.
Today we went to Harmony which is a Gaúcho festival in Porto Alegre. Everything Gaúcho is there. A member of the church who has a cabin there invited our zone and we had a good Gaúcho lunch. We took a lot of photos and had a great time.

Germany plays tonight here in my area. You can hear the screams from the stadium. Brazil advanced which means that we will have to stay indoors during their next game. I am excited to hear that the United States is playing well.
Tomorrow it is that routine again, go to the bus station, pick up my new comp, take him to the new area, show what has been going down the past couple months, and then get to work. I know that these last weeks of mission will be the best. I ask for your many prayers for us and our investigators.
Thanks for all the support,
Lots of Love
Elder Miller

24 June 2014
Hello Family and Friends, 

Before starting this e-mail I have to mention that this week, the 27th, is my Mom's Birthday, Yay! I will sing the Brazilian birthday song to you.

Parabéns pra você, nessa data querida, muitas felicidades, muitos anos de vida!  

Translating it means, congratulations to you, on this special day, lots of happiness, and years to come. The divine calling that Heavenly Father gave to his daughters was chance to become mothers or the chance to give life to others. I can't think of anything more grand than that, and I thank Heavenly Father that I earned a place in your family. I have your present here with me and in a little while I will give it to you. Happy Birthday Mom, I hope that it is the best yet.

Well we got to go to the temple this week which was a good experience. There is always something magnificent to learn there. This is a great privledge that we have as missionaries of the Porto Alegre missions. We get to go to the temple almost every two months!

The work is progressing in Medianeira. When we are not baptizing the other companionship is. By the way there are two companionships working in the ward. There are activities in the chapel every week. We have various investigators going to church. We will have a baptism this Saturday and hopefully others on Sunday. My companion is showing no signs of being "trunky" with only this last week left on the mission.


Things are getting tenser with Brazil going to the next round in the world cup. Yesterday we were in the center and there was a full blown platoon of soldiers attending to the strike that was going on against the games. Brazil is a country where the people like to voice their opinion. Tomorrow Argentina plays here in Porto Alegre. Apparently thousands of Argentines are coming to the city to watch the game. Oh and the stadium in which they will play is part of my area in Medianeira, the stadium Beira Rio! That is cool, is it not? You will get a clear view of where I am working right now. Maybe you will see me on T.V. in the streets of the neighborhood on the other side of the stadium.

Well that is all the news for now. Next week will be a new transfer. I will make it the best.


Lots of Love, 

Elder Miller