Monday, December 16, 2013

16 December 2013   A Change in Transfers

Well, there is a quite a bit of news to talk about in this email. First off, I am not in Intercap anymore. Yep, Monday morning I got a call from President Castro and he told me to pack my bags and be at the bus station at 2:00. I was called to be the Zone Leader in Restinga with Elder Horst, an American. It was all a big rush to get out of Intercap in time but I managed to make it out and into Restinga later in the day.

I can't talk about why there were changes at the last minute but now I am a ZL which is pretty cool. I already have a week under my belt as a ZL and it has been very rewarding. We had a training meeting with our zone and we will do some divisions this week. Working with another ZL is awesome because we both have some skills in the missionary work so it is like two man tag team, when one finishes talking the other knows exactly what to say. Elder Horst and I managed to do a ton of work in little time. We marked baptisms every single day in the week and we always had some new to teach. I arrived in the area and they already have other baptisms ready so I think I finally landed in a gold mine on the mission. I have noticed that the only difference between a ZL and any other missionary is confidence. When I saw Elder Horst inviting people to be baptized in the middle of road I started doing the same and what do you know it works! We had a ton of investigators at church so my life is pretty good right now.

The area Restinga is literally what Americans would call the "Hood." We are working in the most dangerous area in Porto Alegre. Just about everyday you will hear a few gunshots ringing in the air, but hey I like a little bit of adrenaline every now and then. Oh don't worry about me because no one messes with us. The area is completely flat so hiking hills is no longer a problem. Now the problem is the sun. There is no shade in this city! I feel like a piece of meat on a frying pan the whole day. Our only focus is getting into houses and away from the sun.

The Ward here is even smaller than the branch in Butiá! There is about 40 active members but they are all very good, humble people. This area has been baptizing a lot recently so that is why the ZL's are here. I really want to make a difference in this area because the members really deserve it. I will work my butt off here the next few months and hopefully we can get this Ward back on it's feet.

Tomorrow we will have a Christmas conference with the President in Porto Alegre which will be really cool, at least it was cool last year. It lasts the whole day and we will have lunch and Christmas presentes. I am looking forward to it all.

I will need my Skype information to prepare for my call home the 25th. Can you all organize that? I think I will be calling about 7:00pm our time but who knows. Just be ready any hour.

I cannot think of anything else to write you all at the moment. There is so much to talk about but I have little time. In my next email I will have all my thoughts organized.

Lots of Love

Elder Miller
9 December 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

The results of the transfer are in and... no one will be leaving. Yep, I will be in Intercap for another transfer. How do I feel about it all? At first I was a little disappointed, but then I remembered how there is a purpose behind everything that God does so I am fine once again. Elder E. Santos will continue being my companion and we will be here for Christmas and New Years which will be cool. What I was not expecting from this transfer was that no one in my district was transferred. This is super rare and it shows me that the President trusts us a lot. The other district in our zone was totally dismantled and reorganized.

So why was I disappointed at first with the results of the transfer? Well, I have mentioned before that I really want to work at my full potential. I know that right now I am nowhere close to where I could be. In Dom Pedrito I felt like I was reaching the top spiritually, mentally, etc., but now I feel like I have taken a nose dive once again. We will make the necessary adjustments. I want to go ZL in the next transfer so that I can begin to take flight. I feel like I have been held back for some time now and I just want to be let loose. I want to find, teach, baptize, that is it.

The good side is that I won't have to be in a new place where I don't anyone during Christmas. The members are starting to help us out a lot now which is nice. Also, Christmas in this Ward is going to be pretty rad. I don't know if I have mentioned but this Ward is full of lawyers and restaurant owners so you can bet that Christmas is going to be big time here. I have already received two boxes from home and yes I have already opened them. I thought I was going to be transferred so I had to open everything, but thanks for the gifts and messages I enjoyed it all.

In others news, the Lord is blessing us a lot with new families to teach. The majority has to get married or stop smoking, but these families are very special. Last Sunday our District had 16 investigators at church. The gospel principles was full of people. The members noticed and think this sent a message. At the end of the Sunday meetings another Young man, Igor 14, asked to be baptized so we will start working with him and his Family. Junior is firm in the church and we are working with his Family now as well. We have the potential to have a lot of success here in Intercap, the thing that is missing is good organization and focus. We really have to repent and get to work.

Well, that is about all I have for this week. If you have any questions send me an email.

Lots of Love

Elder Miller

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2 December 2013

I did not even know that Thanksgiving was this week. How sad is that? It sounds like everyone had a good time. Lots of food, football, etc.. Dad put up the Christmas lights, that is cool. Christmas in Brazil is not the same compared to Christmas in the States. It is hot and humid!!  Well, it will be the second and last time I am away from family on Christmas now that is a blessing. Also, there is nothing better than getting to talk with my family later in the day. Oh and by the way I received a package already.


So this past week was a good one. We baptized Junior which was cool. A lot of non-members showed up to see him be baptized. Elder E. Santos had the honors of baptizing him. I was happy because my goal for this transfer was accomplished which was to get Elder E. Santos his first baptism on the mission. I had the privilege of confirming him a member of the church. We will start working with his family now. Also, there are a lot of other boys like him that are interested in the church. Our plan is to baptize them and then their families.


In my district we had another two baptisms which was a great blessing, and this week they will have another baptism. My district has improved immensely since I took over. I do not know really why, but my theory is that by just being a good friend and an example to others things change. I never criticized or pushed them to work harder. I was just a friend, and I led by example. That is it. I think this is my gift that God gave me which is friendship.

Well it is the last week in the transfer. Like you already know Monday morning I will get the news if I will stay or go. I have a hunch that I will stay in the area. We are working a lot and we have some baptisms coming down the pipeline so I think the president will keep me here for another transfer which is fine with me. We are starting to see miracles so I want to stay and see what else God has in store for us in this area.

I don't know what else to write. I'm not sure what the president will do for Christmas this year. Last year we went to a military base and listened to the testimonies of some member soldiers. Then we sang carols, opened presents, and ate etc.. I expect something similar this year.

I know this email is short but I will include some pictures for your enjoyment

Lots of Love,

Elder Miller

Saturday, November 30, 2013

25 November 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Well, there is not too much to write about in this e-mail. The week was normal. The highlight is that we will probably have a baptism this coming Saturday. It will be the baptism of Junior, an eleven year old. I don't necessarily want to baptize kids on the mission but who am I to deny him, he asked to be baptized after an activity we had at the church Saturday night. We met Junior and a lot of other young investigators my first week in Intercap in the house of a member. We invited them all to go to church that coming Sunday and to our surprise all of them showed up to church, all 8 of them. Over the past 4 weeks Junior has been the only one that has shown interest in the church and has not missed a Sunday yet. We spoke with his mother yesterday and she gave us the go ahead. I see potential in his mother as well, so we will baptize him this weekend and then start to work with his mother. The best part is that his neighbors are members so he already has a lot of support. I am super stoked for him, he is really good kid. He answers all of our questions perfectly and understands the messages. Also, he is reading the BoM and had memorized all the names of Nephi's brothers ha ha.

I mentioned above that we had an activity in the church Saturday night, it was about the missionary work. We the missionaries were invited to do the spiritual part of the activity. I think a missionary's worst enemy is probably procrastination and well... we procrastinated. We decided at the last minute to put together a play about the missionary work which was definitely not a smart idea because non of us are actors. Our play turned out so badly, but it was extremely funny. And because of this play now our lunch calendar is full for like the next two months ha ha. We even have back-up lunches if necessary The members really liked our play a lot. The play started with us making a contact in the street with a punk teenager and after the lessons he is baptized and serves a mission. It was classic.

So we are teaching Carlos and Fátima, an older couple in their 50's and they are super interested in the church. They have already been to church and also the activity and they are preparing to be baptized. The only problem now is that they have to get married and stop smoking. Carlos has already stopped but it is has been a lot more difficult for Fátima. Also, Fátima has to get divorced from her husband from 11 years back. Can you believe that she is still married to her ex-husband which separated from her 11 years ago? That is Brazil for ya. But all in all they will make great members of the church. It will take awhile to baptize them.

The missionary work is kind of difficult here. I thought it was going to be a breeze, but I have come to realize that this is not the case here. It is mainly because the members are so busy and the missionary work is not really a focus for them. I don't really know what to do because we don't have time to train members. Also, I have a feeling that I won't be here in this area for too long and I don't have the will power to fix this problem. We are on our own here. But hey it is not the first time, it is been like this my ENITRE mission so it is all right.

Lastly, our district is doing well. All of us will baptize this coming Saturday. All three companionships. I am excited for this day. If I don't go ZL in this coming transfer I think it will be guaranteed for the next transfer. I don't want to go ZL for any kind of glory it is just that I am tired of working from scratch in every area that I pass through. I want to have a stud companion that likes to work just as much as me and having a good area would be a cherry on top. I want to have a lot of success until the end of mission so that I can go home without any regrets. This is the great desire of my heart.

That is all for now, 


Elder Miller

Monday, November 18, 2013

18 November 2013

Hello Family and Friends, 

It is very true that as district leader the time flies by even more quickly. We already entering into the 4th week of the transfer. It is hard to believe that so much time has already passed. I feel like I have not had any time to work in my own area. We have had meetings, splits, divisions etc. that have taken much of the time. I am hoping that this week will be calmer so that I can work hard in my own area. My goal is to get Elder E. Santos his first baptism in this transfer, and it is seeming to be more of a challenge than I thought. The members are cool, but they are all so busy and they do not seem to understand that the missionary work is for all members not just the missionaries. President Castro has told us countless times that the missionaries which baptize the most are those that teach more with members present. In Dom Pedrito we managed to teach a whole lot of lessons with members, and when we taught with them we finally got baptisms. Right now I am trying to find a way to integrate them into the missionary work.

Another difficulty of the area is finding people that are willing to commit to something. It is easy to get into homes, but the people are pretty lazy and do not seem to want to change their lives. This past week we found a couple that we taught one time and they have already gone to church which was pretty amazing. We will work more with them and we will cut the rest that are taking the lessons more for the friendship than for the commitment to live the gospel.

This past week I went on splits with Elder Oslo, one of the ZL's of our zone. I really like going on splits with the zone leaders because I always learn a lot from them. Well, we had an excellent day of work in his area, and I was feeling the spirit big time. We worked hard and then crashed hard that night at their place. In the morning Elder Oslo wanted to study with me which was the first time on my mission that someone has asked to study with me. We studied super hard and then practiced some things and all in all it was very beneficial. I felt like I was receiving the greenie missionary training that I never received, it was great. If only my companions had studied with me I think I would be so much far ahead as missionary than I am now. Oh well, you cannot change the past. Everything I know how to do was from live trial and error.

In our mission 8 zone leaders will leave this transfer so that means 8 district leaders will be advanced. I am hoping that soon I will be advanced so that I can work with a ZL. I learn so much in 24 hours with them now imagine 24 hours 7 days a week. I am sure we would baptize like crazy together. We will have to wait and see what the President thinks about the work I have put into my district first and then maybe he will give me the higher position which would be cool. I like to help missionaries and I would love to baptize a ton until the end of the mission so I have my sights on one of these positions.

Well, there is not much other news to talk about. Elder E. Santos and I are working out almost every night. He is a monster pushing weights and because of the heavy weight I am seeing myself increase in mass quickly. All I have to do now is lose the gut. Currently, I am weighing in at 95 kilos! That is crazy! I think I have gained 25 pounds since I came out on the mission. It does not matter how healthy I eat the weight will not come off. The only thing that has some effect is doing some abs workouts. If you all have some ideas I would appreciate the help. Also, I cannot do hardly any cardio because we live on the fourth floor and about 5 minutes into the workout I have someone knocking on the door telling me to stop jumping around. It is amazing that meat, rice, and beans is destroying my body. Before the mission I was eating pizza, ice cream, and Oreo cookies and it had no effect. I think after the mission I will push weights as a hobby. Also, I want to get into triathlons.

Alright I am getting off topic so I will put an end to this email.


Lots of Love,

Elder A. Miller

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

11 November 2013   Morro da Cruz!

Hello Family and Friends,

Well, another week has passed in my new area, and I am liking the it a lot. The only downside is having to hike the "Morro da Cruz," or in other words, the Hill of the Cross. Yes, there is a cross on top of the hill. One of these days I will hike to the top and take a photo. My legs are already taking strain from the steep inclines and declines. Also, summer is approaching so hiking this hill everyday will not be pleasant. I can already see myself arriving at all our appointments dripping in sweat. Let's just say that I am looking forward to it all.

I am getting to know the members and it seems that they are all pretty cool. The Ward functions like a Ward should. We have lunch everyday and every now and then we get a reference. All in all I am a happy man.

My companion, Elder E. Santos, is well.
We are already really good friends and we are working hard. Like I mentioned in my last letter he is a lot older than me which is cool. I respect him a lot especially for his boldness in the missionary work. This is his best quality, boldness. It does not matter how rich or poor, smart or dumb you are, he will tell you how it really is. We talk to almost everyone that passes by us which is cool. With my other companions we did not talk to that many people in the street (well we did not have that many people in the street) nevertheless we are working hard to find some good investigators. He is also funny which lightens up the day. We get along well to say the least.

Well, I have some good news for you all. Vanzenir and Flávio were married and baptized this past Saturday. I was not there to see the fruits of my work, but it is alright I am super happy. Elder Machado sent me pictures that I will forward to you all. Everything went smoothly and apparently Vanzenir bore her testimony Sunday and I had a honorable mention in it. So my dream came true, a family baptized in the true church, a strong family. Vanzenir's next goal is to be married and sealed for all time and eternity in the temple. That will be a marvelous sight. Another good notice is that Ivana and Fabian, another family that I was teaching in Dom Pedrito will be married and baptized in the coming weeks. The missionaries out there in Dom Pedrito are being blessed immensely.


Speaking of temples, we went to the temple Wednsday. It was the third trip I have made since I arrived in Rio Grande do Sul. When I was in São Paulo we went 9 times to the temple! That is 12 times in total since I left the States. Every time I go I feel my testimony grow. It is so nice to get away from the world for a couple hours and feel that much closer to our Heavenly Father.

I want to visit a lot of temple during the course of my life. It is such a blessing and we should take advantage of it every chance we get. I could spend hours just looking at photos at all of the temples throughout the world. In my album of photos that I show to investigators I have a photo of Greg in front of the San Diego temple and everyone becomes amazed while looking at this photo. It is an excellent way to bring up the topic of eternal families and other blessings of being a member of the church of Jesus Christ.

In other news, my companion and I are working out almost every night. Elder E. Santos was basically a bodybuilder before the mission so we are pushing some heavy weights (he is pushing some heavy weights) and so expect to see a new and improved Elder Miller in the coming weeks.

And that is about it for now. Post the new pictures on my blog when you get the opportunity.

Lots of love,

Elder Miller

4 November 2011    I am in Intercap

Hello Friends and Family,

Well right now I am extremely happy with the results of this past transfer. As you know I have returned to my home, Porto Alegre, deep in the thick concrete jungle. My area is cool but at the same time physically challenging. Let's just say that my area is about 9 long roads that climb the side of a large hill. The incline is about 30% if I had to guess. I am finding new muscles in my legs that I never knew existed. When we finally scale this hill we are soaked with sweat and trying to catch our breath. It is a complete beatdown but I want to lose weight so maybe this will help me out. At the bottom of the hill we have all the rich people and at the top we have the poor. We want to work more with rich people but as always we have more action with the poor. The people are super receptive here which make the missionary work a lot easier. In this past week I think we taught 2 or 3 lessons in the middle of the road to groups of 7 or 8 people which was pretty cool. Also, there is people a lot of people everywhere so we always have somebody to talk to.

My companion is Elder E. Santos from Sergipe, a North Eastern State of Brazil. He hardly has 2 months on the mission, but it seems like he has been out for years. He is teaching me which is ironic because I am supposed to be training him. He is 25 years old which means I have another dinosaur as a companion. This is my third companion that is 25 or older! Elder Weber is 27, Elder Leal 26, and now Elder E. Santos with 25. I don't know why President Castro likes to put me with the elderly but I am cool with it. In fact working with older missionaries is 100x better than working with 18 year olds for example.  Obviously they are a lot more mature and they know how to sweet talk the people. Elder E. Santos is the master at this, he can talk people into doing anything. Also, the older missionaries are a lot more bold and have a lot of faith due to the extra experience. The only bad thing is that they get tired quickly and sometimes like to take a nap during the day. This is the only downside because I want to work, but I don't have any complaints. I can tell that Elder E. Santos will be my best companion on the mission. We work really hard and our personalities mix which makes teaching lessons flow more smoothly.

We already have some good investigators. We are teaching some good families and we have some baptism dates already. The ward is awesome here. The bishop works and everyone else does there part. I think this is the first ward that functions that I have had on the mission, it is nice. The members are super kind and always offering food and references, yeah!!! There is lady, Juliete, that makes a huge loaf of bread for us every Friday. Oh and internet is free here! Right now we are on a university campus using touch screen computers. I feel like I am in the future. Our apartment is nice, it has an elevator which is a first for me. There are 2 other elders that live in our apartment and they are cool.

So I am the district leader here. There are 4 other Elders in our district, Elder Nascimento, Tiago, Harris, and Del Castillo. They are all good missionaries. Nascimento is super trunky and does not really work to much. I have to find a way to help him out. I gave my first training meeting Wednesday which was pretty mediocre, but it was a last minute kind of thing so the next one will be better. I will have to give another one tomorrow.

The meeting with President Mazzagardi was outstanding, a real spiritual feast. There are so many things he talked about that pumped us up. After these meetings with general authorities we are really lifted up and we want to go out and preach the gospel to everyone.

We are going to the temple this Wednesday which will be the third time for me. I'm excited to go, but we are really needing this day to work in our area, oh well. 

So yeah my area is awesome, my comp is awesome, and so is my district. I am blessed man. I'm anxious to baptize strong people that will help and bless the church. I hope I can stay in this area for a long time.

That is about it for now. If you have other questions send me an email.

Lots of love,

Elder A. Miller
These Pictures are from his last area, Dom Pedrito.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

28 October 2013

The word is in... I will be transferred! I'm going back to the big city, or in other words, Porto Alegre. The zone is called Partenon, and I will be serving in the district Intercap. Oh there is another detail, I will be the District Leader and trainer. My trainee/companion with be Elder E. Santos who has one transfer under his belt so he is not completely green.

Yeah, so I am excited. It is a shame that I won't reap the benefits of my work in Dom Pedrito, but at least I know that I gave it my best and that Dom Pedrito will baptize a load of people in the coming months. Also, other Elders say that Intercap is a very good area so I am stoked. The members help out the missionaries and the people are receptive ect..

What is going to be hard now is saying goodbye to everyone here. Our members and investigators literally love us and unfortunately have become attached. In almost every visit we have mentioned that one day we would have to leave and that they would have to continue without us. Fortunately they undestand and know that their commitment is not with us the missionaries, but with Jesus Christ. They will all be fine without me. The new Elder will come in my place and they I will begin to fade into their memories. Elder Machado will stay and continue being the Junior companion. I trust that he will finish off the work that we started with the marriage and baptisms of Vanzenir and Flávio, and a big list of other families that we have been teaching.


Speaking of other families, we have been teaching a young family, Fabian, Ivana, and Emily. They made their second appearance at church yesterday and liked it a lot. Also, they went to a investigator/new member party that the ward put on last night, and they had a great time. They will be future baptisms for sure.

In a few hours I will leave Dom Pedrito for Bagé. I have to pack my bags quickly and say goodbye to our investigators. I will leave with Elder Carlos who was transferred also. Then I will leave early in the morning tomorrow for Porto Alegre with Elder Wright a good friend of mine. I will then find my companion and then it is off to my new area. I think I will have to give a training meeting my first day in the area which will be exciting.

Thursday, a member from the area Seventy will visit POA and we will recieve some counseling. It will be really cool. These kinds of training meetings are always very spiritual and uplifting. Maybe I will receive some personal revelation to help out my district or our area.

Lastly, I would just like to say that I am content. I am grateful for everything that the mission has provided me.  I am grateful for the new leadership role that I will assume. I know it will be for my benefit and for the benefit of others. I am grateful for my 4 months will Elder Machado in a difficult area. I have come much closer to Christ in this time. I finally feel that I have a grip on the mission and know what I need to do to have success. I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father and our Saviour.

That is all I can think of right now. If you have any questions email me!

Lots of Love,

Elder Miller

Monday, October 21, 2013

21 October 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

The time is passing by me so fast and there is nothing I can do to slow things down. Elder Machado and I are in our last week together and we are closing in on 18 weeks together. As I have mentioned before we have learned a lot from each other. It will be sad to part paths at the end of the week, but it is time to experience new things. I love all my companions that I have had on the mission, they are my true friends. Like my other companions, Elder Machado is another brother for me. If God has given me a gift in this life I think it is being a real friend. All my companions have mentioned that I am their best companion that they have had, and this brings me a lot of joy. I'd go to hell and back for anyone of my friends.

This past week was great. We taught a lot of lessons and made some more progress with our investigators. Vanzenir and Flavio are doing great and are anxious for their wedding in a week or 2. They will have their first family home evening today. Calebe is starting to prepare to go on a mission in the beginning of 2014. He will receive the priesthood the coming Sunday. He will be an amazing missionary because he is super spiritual and is a people person. Neiva Marcela, the newest member of Dom Pedrito, is doing great. We are preparing Luis, Neiva's boyfriend, to be baptized as well. I feel like this family is now part of my own family, it's incredible. 

Thursday night we traveled to Bagé and then on Friday we went to Pelotas for Zone conference. The conference was excellent. The theme was locking our hearts to things of the world and dedicating ourselves 100% to the Lord. The messages were all very inspiring. We wrote a list of things that are impeding ourselves from giving our best and then we put it in an envelope and sealed it very tight. Our mission is improving dramatically in all aspects. It was also very cool to see all the missionaries that are now in the mission. I also saw 4 of my 5 ex companions which was cool. Elder Weber gave his farewell testimony at the conference. He will leave the mission Wednesday.

In other news the members here in Dom Pedrito recognize that we are good missionaries so they have been taking us around to their friends and family to teach. It has been pretty cool. We have their confidence finally. It is a shame that all this is happening in our last weeks here. Our first two transfers could have been a lot less painful if the members had this confidence in us from the start 

I am not sure now what will happen in the next transfer. The president told us that one of us will surely leave. He mentioned that there is a possibility that one will go to Bagé. We will see what happens. I would like to go to Pelotas because the church is growing quickly in this city.

Oh I got your package, thanks.

That is it for now

I Love You All


Elder Miller
14 October 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

So we had a baptism this past Saturday. Neiva Marcela was baptized. Elder Machado performed the baptismal ordinance and I confimed her member of the church. It was a very spiritual experience for us both. I was literally shaking when confirming her. I was not nervous or afraid, but I could not control myself, it was powerful.

Shortly after we had fast and testimony meeting, and to say the least it was one of the most spiritual in which I have ever participated. Neiva and Calebe bore their testimonies, and everyone in the chapel was teary eyed including Vanzenir and Flavio. Elder Machado and I also bore our testimonies, it was pretty cool. After all of us had born our testimony about half of the ward got up from their seats and went to the stand.

Something Joseph Heilner wrote me a short time back was to keep on doing what we were doing and the Lord would open the floodgates and the baptisms would come. Well, he was right. Elder Machado and I kept on working hard and so the Lord, as always, kept his promise. And not only did he bless us with this family, but in the past two weeks we have found 5 new families to teach!!! All of them are taking the lessons very well. One family showed up to church yesterday and had a wonderful experience. They are a young family, Fabian 26, Ivana 20, and Emily 3. They need to get married, but they are an elect family.

So there are only 2 weeks left in this transfer and then one of us, Elder Machado or I, will have to leave this area. It is disappointing that one of us will have to leave now with all the success that we are starting to have. We have a ton of awesome investigators and the members of the ward have really started to help us out. I have really had to contemplate a lot about this and I think it is time for me to go. Elder Machado is now a better missionary than me and deserves 100% of the blessings that will come his way here in Dom Pedrito. It is been interesting watching his development as a missionary. When we first arrived in Dom Pedrito almost 4 months back, he was very green and complained a lot. I remember walking in between appointments and him being a mile behind me trying to catch his breath. Now it is the exact opposite, and he is the one that is now pushing me. I will talk to the president soon demanding an excellent missionary to help him baptize all these families we are teaching. For me, I'm sure the President has another area for me to fix up. I don't mind going into the pits of the mission and working my butt off, it is what I have done for my entire mission. I don't need the glory of men, just God.

The only thing I can do is thank God for all these blessing he has given me in these past three transfer. We have taught many. We have grown spiritually. We have learned. I am so thankful for everything. In a couple weeks Vanzenir and Flavio will be married and then baptized. I hope I can return to Dom Pedrito for this, because they want me to baptize them. I guess we will see what happens.

In other news, we will be going to Pelotas for Zone conference. It will be very cool because there will be at least 5 zones. I hardly know anyone in the mission. I have been away from the majority of the other missionaries for almost a year now, ever since I went to Butiá. So it will be cool to see all the new missionaries that have entered into the field.

Well that is it for now,


Much Love,

Elder Miller
7 October 2013  The Wedding Bells Are Ready to Ring

Hello Friends and Family

We have some good news to tell. First off, Neiva Marcela will be baptized this Satuday at 6:00. To help you all remember she is the daughter of Vanzenir and Flávio. She is 14 years old. So we are super stoked for this. Also, we will have a marriage here in a few weeks. Yep, the papers are in and it is just a matter of time now. Vanzenir and Flávio will be married!!!!

Elder Machado and I are really excited. As you all know it has not been easy, but to tell the truth I would not change it one bit. We have learned so much from each other and the trials that we had to face. I am completely a different missionary than I was 3 months ago, stronger.

So there is a lot of people want to know how I feel out here on the mission, thoughts, feelings, desires, etc.. I am liking the mission a whole lot. Of course sometimes I get tired or fed up, but if there is one thing the mission has taught me it is to control my feelings. My thoughts are always positive. I know there is a purpose for everything that happens. The only thing I want is when I return to my home, I return without any regrets. I want to give my maximum to Lord. 

There are so many things that I like about the mission. I like being in a foreign country experiencing news things constantly. I like being immersed in the gospel 24/7. I like all the friendships I have made. The only dislike I have is the disobedience I see from other Elders. Like they say everyone is at a different point on their road to conversion, some are farther ahead then others.

When I daydream the only thing I dream about is seeing my Mom and Dad again. I know I shouldn't but I'm anxiously awaiting that day. When I am not thinking about the work my mind goes automatically to this day. I know it will be a marvelous moment.

As for ideas of post mission pursuits, it is pretty slim. After studying and graduating from BYU I kind of want to join the military. It has always been a great desire of mine. I really look up to the leaders of the church and the majority of them have paid time in military service and has given them a big advantage in life. Unless something else sparks an interest in me I think I will take this route in life.

We had conference this past weekend. We got to watch all the sessions except the Priesthood, because it was really late at night. Obviously I liked it all, but I was way too distracted with other things to pay close attention to what they were saying. Also, watching conference in Portuguese is a ripoff, it does not have that same feeling as hearing the actual words from the actual speaker. The talk from Richard G. Scott was hilarious to me. He knows Portuguese so he pre-recorded his speech in Portuguese for conference. Well lets just say that he sounds just like Yoda from Star Wars trying to speak Portuguese and I had a hard time paying attention to what he was saying. 

I noticed also that in other missions they are using Ipads and Facebook. I don't think these things will ever be liberated here in our mission. These kinds of privileges would be abused severely. And imagine a missionary walking around Porto Alegre with an Ipad, he would be left in pieces in a matter of seconds. Oh yeah, I will not be going to Porto Alegre tomorrow, it was rescheduled for November and yes my passport is safe and sound in the mission office.

Well that is about it for now. Pray for Elder Machado and I, and for Neiva Marcela.

Thanks, Much Love

Elder Miller

Sunday, October 6, 2013

30 September 2013  The Blessings are coming

This week was a good one. I think Elder Machado and I set new personal records for lessons taught in a week. Even the zone leaders called us last night to congratulate us. It was a nice change because for three months the only thing they have ever said to us is that we need to improve and work harder. I basically just listened to what they had to say and then hung up the phone because we have worked a lot harder in the past weeks but we had nothing to prove our arduous work in terms of numbers. This week the numbers were sky high because of the past three months of difficult work. This is missionary work for ya.

Some good news is that V won't lose her pension as we previously thought. Our district leader called President Castro who is a lawyer/judge and he set the story straight. So now we are planning the marriage and baptisms of V, F, and N  M. The only problem now is time. Elder Machado and I want nothing more than to baptize in our time together. We have worked too much not to. To realize this marriage it will take at least 30 days so that will mean that they will be baptized in the next transfer which will be on the 29 of October. We have a baptismal date for N M which is the 12th of October.

We had one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission Saturday night. We took a member couple with us to teach V and the family, and let's just say that everybody was feeling the spirit. Everybody was saying the right thing at the right time, it was amazing. Elder Machado and I were teaching literally by the spirit. At one point I did not know what to say, but I opened my mouth and said what needed to be said. God is really wanting this family in the church, it is the right time.

I would like to stay in Dom Pedrito for another transfer. I want to see this whole family baptized and active in the church. Also, after all the trench work we have done the members are seeing the difference in us from past missionaries and are starting give good references. They trust with their friends and family with us, there is a new energy in the ward. A week ago I had a talk and kind of gave a wake-up call to the whole ward and to my surprise they liked it, I'm sure things are going to change.

In other news... the 8th of October I will have to travel back to Porto Alegre to renew my visa. It will be like a 2 day event because of the traveling. We will have interviews with President Castro the 12th, I think. He is always coming up with new tactics and ways to hasten the missionary work. He is a really good president and his job is not easy here in Porto Alegre, I think it is the mission that baptizes the least amount of people in Brazil. He has a goal of a 1000 baptisms in total until the end of the year. I think we have about 600 right now this means that every missionary has to pull his weight until the end of the year.

Well that is about it for now, 

Love you all,

Elder Miller

23 September 2013  Calebe's Family

This past week was better, to say the least. I don't know if I have mentioned that we have been teaching Calebe's family the past 4 or 5 weeks, but we are and now we are starting to see the blessings. In our first transfer here we made a street contact with V, Calebe's Mom, and she insisted that we pay a visit in her home. When we arrived a few days later we came to find out that she has a son who is a member of the church, Calebe. Calebe was baptized in 2005, 10 years old, by an American missionary, Elder Brian, and remained active in the church for about 2 years. This family absolutely loved this missionary, he was basically part of their family. The only reason V, and F (Boyfriend) were not baptized was because V is a widow and does not want to lose her pension that she receives from her dead husband by remarrying. Also, Calebe has a sister, N, that did not have the baptismal age when Elder Brian was here. Well, we have moved into the place of the old missionaries, and let's just say that this family loves us.

So we have been teaching them for awhile now and finally all of them, including N's boyfriend, went to church yesterday. Needless to say they all had an excellent experience at church. Elder Machado and I have had some good lessons with them and now we are 99.9% sure that Neiva will be baptized within the coming weeks. Also, V has spoken strongly about marrying F despite the fact that she would lose her pension and money would become really tight in the family. I'm not sold yet that she will marry, but we are going to do everything within our reach to baptize this family. It is my dream to baptize a family like this. They are absolutely the most kind and loving family I have met here in Brazil. Every one of them has a strong testimony of what we teach. They are truly an elect family. We are going to need a lot of prayers with them because I do not know how we are going to pull this off. We are going to have to rely 100% on the spirit.

In other news the new missionary arrived in our apartment. He is a riot and that's all I will say. 

I think I am finally starting to slim down just a little bit. Elder Machado gave me the idea to eat granola and yogurt and I found out that it is pretty good stuff even though it is pricey. Also, I have been working out about 20 minutes a day ha ha, it is all that our schedule allows to do. I want to maintain this weight I have gained and somehow lose the handlebars, because now I can throw my weight around and see people fly. It is like having a super power. Alright, on that random note I will let you all go.

Thanks for all the emails you send me,


Elder Miller

16 September 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

There is not much to report from this past week. We worked really hard and then a torrential rain storm came in Saturday night until Sunday night so none of our investigators showed up to church. Yep, this is kind of our life right now, work like dogs and get nothing in return at the end of the week. I think our area has a curse over it from the past missionaries that passed through, who knows. I know we need to keep working hard no matter what happens, but this monkey on my back is getting pretty heavy.

So this morning we got the word that Elder Machado and I we will be companions for the third transfer. A third transfer is very rare in our mission. Obviously, there is something we still need to do together... BAPTIZE. I'm fine with the decision even though we are little tired of each other. It was funny last night we fought each other just for fun, Mauy Thai versus American Muscle, but at one point he almost lost control of the fight so I had to just fall on him with my 95kilos and it ended ha ha. I was hoping that in this transfer some young gun would come here and get me back up firing on all pistons but God has other plans.

I think we will go on the blitz these first three weeks of transfer to find an elect because frankly the people we have right now can't seem to progress. I can't say that these first two transfer were a waste because we managed to reactivate 3 teenagers that have the age to serve missions so that is pretty cool. Also, Adriana we will be baptized by someone, and the members here absolutely love us. Now we just need some references. I have a talk on Sunday so I will kick some butt.

So what happened with the rest of the household??? Elder Beary was transferred to Porto Alegre and Elder Carlos will stay. I have not heard anything good about this new missionary coming to live us, nothing at all. So this is going to be another challenge. He is a crazy Brazilian that is about it. We will have to put him in his place if this is possible.

I don't know what else to write about. It is a little cooler which is nice, I'm not a fan of the heat. 

Pray for Machado and I. Oh, fun fact for you all, Machado means axe in English so basically I'm serving with Elder Axe.  And what is ironic is that he likes to chop wood ha ha. 

Yep, that is it. 

Love, Elder Miller


Oh yeah Elder Machado wants to taste american candy so if you could get a package set up that would be cool.

Monday, September 9, 2013

9 September 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Let's just say that this past week was a major disappointment. First of all Adriana was not baptized. Last week, right after we had sent our e-mails to you all, we went directly to Adriana's house to prepare her for her baptismal interview the next day. We arrived and instantly we could feel that something was not right. She went on to tell us that she had earned a scholarship -she is studying to be a judge- to go study in Porto Alegre. The bad news was that she had to leave immediately. So she moved to Porto Alegre Thursday, 2 days before her baptism. So yeah the baptism fell through. The good thing is that she is still eager to be become a member of the church. We will send the closest missionaries to where she is living and all they will have to do is interview her and then baptize.

Both Elder Machado and I have been walking around with a knife in our hearts this past week. There is nothing more that I want than a baptism while Elder Machado and I are companions. We worked so much, its pains me to think that this transfer will end this coming Monday and we will not have baptized anyone! It is even worse when other missionaries are baptizing around you with much more ease.

Another thing which sucked this week was that one of our investigators died. Yep, we were teaching a couple, the sister and brother-in-law of our Ward mission leader. He had cancer, but he was slowly getting better. We saw his wife in the street the past Monday and she told us that he would leave the hospital soon, and Thursday morning he passed away. I gave him a blessing a month and half ago. I told him that he would have peace in his life even though he was sick. I think I can say that this past month he was a happier man. It was pretty hard to believe that he passed away when we heard the news. The last lesson we taught was the plan of salvation so at least he knew where he was going.

I have been looking for some peace myself after this past week, actually from these past two months. I have been thinking a lot about what I am doing wrong, and what I need to change. The only thing that keeps me from going crazy is the thought that everything that is done in the missionary work is done in accordance with the Lord's time. He has all the knowledge, he sees things that our mortal eyes cannot, his thoughts are not ours. I know that he has a plan for our area here in Dom Pedrito. Sometimes we become impatient and we want everything now, and thus we become ignorant to the fact that he controls everything and not us. This eternal truth gives me more peace out here in the mission field. In Philippians 4:7 it is said, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." I know that the baptisms will come, God knows my heart, he knows that I want this to happen. I know that as I strive to do my best he will bless me and others in his own time. This gives me comfort, this gives me peace. 

 Much Love,

Elder Miller

P.S. Happy Birthday Axel! 

Monday, September 2, 2013

2 September 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

This past was a good one. Tuesday, we had "Distrito Amigo" so the other missionaries from our district worked in our area in order to accelerate the work a bit. Every week we trade areas to help each other out. This program really produces results. We were able to find some good investigators.

Thursday, I reached the year mark on the mission, August 29th and went out to eat at a local burger joint. Okay, so it is not really a burger it is called a xis. Basically, the xis is comprised of a beef patty, an egg, a slice of ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and just about any other thing you can think of. If you can find someone that makes a good xis you will come to know that the xis kicks burger butt. So Elder Machado and I went to the closest xis joint and celebrated. I ordered the chicken heart xis which was pretty darn good.

Yesterday, we traveled to Bagé for the reorganization of the Stake. The former Stake president was discharged and a new young gun was called. I think this new Stake president is 30 years old! A member of the Seventy was there and he gave a good talk. The member of the Seventy made the new president stand in the front of the Stake and hold his arms up while he gave his talk. After some time we could see the new Stake president was struggling to keep his arms up so then he called his new counselors to help keep his arms up and that's when he began to speak about supporting this new president in his calling. President Castro was there too, and he gave a talk about missionary work of course. It was a very inspiring talk and I think the members will start helping us out a little more.

Other news is that we will have a baptism this week! Woohoo!!! Adriana will be baptized Saturday along with another lady that the other Elders are teaching. It will be such a sweet experience because of all the trials we have had to face opening up this area. It will also be my first baptism as the senior companion which makes it that much sweeter. Elder Machado and I are stoked and very grateful for all the divine help we have received. Adriana is so great it is hard to put it into words. She is surrounded by influential people and literally all of them have tried to told her that she should not be baptized, but she has stood her ground. We are going to do our best to put together a memorable baptism for her.


So I haven't responded many questions for awhile so I will use the rest of the email to do such. No, we do not have any online resources to help in the missionary work and I doubt that will get such privileges. No, I really have no idea what is going on in the world. Every now and then a member has their TV on and I catch some worldly news, but for the most part all the news I know is what you all pass on to me. No, I don't think I will ever go to the Doctor here unless it is an extreme emergency. The other day some guy went to the doctor to get his leg amputated and they amputated the wrong leg!!! Can you believe it? Yes, it gets dark around 6:30 which is really early, but now it is starting to lighten up a bit as we are entering spring time. Yes, I am super impressed with how Dad has lost a ton of weight. Actually, it is pretty incredible the difference he has made. I am way proud of him. I am going to print that photo he sent me shirtless and post it up on the wall where I do my exercises. Maybe this will get me more motivated. I want to fight him like Rod and his Dad fight in the movie Hot Rod. Elder Machado has taught a little bit of Muay Thai and Karate to help me prepare ha ha.

So that is about it for now. Pray for Adriana this week.

Much Love,

Elder Miller

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

28 August 2013

This is Carina (Ryan's mom), I post Elder Miller's (Ryan's) weekly letters to this blog.  I have been very reflective and emotional today as exactly a year ago we said our goodbyes to Ryan (Elder Miller) at DFW Airport so I am reliving some of the emotions we had that day.

Me (Carina,Mom) Elder Miller and Jessie (sister) a few minutes before our tearful goodbyes.

I hope everyone is enjoying his blog.  When I read his letters I see how much he has grown and progressed which I knew he would but I sometimes think to myself "who are you and what have you done with my son?"  Thanks to everyone for the great support they have given to Ryan.  Here is to another great year.

26 August 2013   One Year Out

Hello Family and Friends,

I thought I would use this e-mail to just express my feelings and gratitude for the past year of missionary service. So I arrived at the, "Mountain Top" the 1 year mark of my mission. Looking back it seems that it has all passed by so quickly and I wish I could go back and relive a few moments. When I look forward it seems like the journey has just started and the greater challenge lies ahead. I have mixed feelings about the next year because on one side I want to return home as quickly as possible so I can see my family and friends and just relax for a little while. On the other side I realize how great of an opportunity I have to learn, grow and help others and I don't want to waste a minute. Of course I will have to go with the latter option which is the better choice, but the thought of another year out on mission seems like an eternity. I know that in a few months I will be wishing that I could climb back up to the top rather than make the quick descent. All the missionaries that are leaving the mission say that they wish they could trade time cards with me. To me right now this seems ridiculous, but I know I will be saying the same thing. 

You learn a lot while on the mission. This past year I learned more about God and Christ than I did my previous 19 years together. I learned that they are real. I know they are real, because I have felt their presence and I have seen my prayers answered many times. I have felt at times that his angels watching over me, keeping me safe, guiding me to the right people, putting words into my mouth that Ryan Miller is not capable of saying. I have felt his love not only for me but for others that I will never be able to deny. 

I remember a year ago saying goodbye to my parents and it being the hardest moment of my life. I could not even look at them directly in eyes because for sure I would have lost all control. I remember taking my first step on to the plane and thinking how unqualified I was to carry the name Jesus Christ over my heart, but what I have learned is that no one is ready and that He qualifies us along the journey. I remember looking over Porto Alegre while in the air and thinking that somebody out there was waiting for me, waiting to hear the Spirit through my medium so that he/she could accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and enter into the fold. I can remember vividly those extremely hot and humid days in Glória, ascending hills, sweating immensely, trying to find and teach. I remember traveling the dirt roads of Butiá with a Book of Mormon in hand, and thick forest on either side of me. And now I am on the farm land of Rio Grande do Sul, Dom Pedrito, with Gaúchos on every corner. 

I have grown a lot also this past year, mentally, spiritually, and even physically ha ha. I have grown to love the scriptures and the spiritual enlightenment and understanding that I gain by reading its many pages. I have had to grow mentally in order to take on many responsibilities and challenges. All in all I have had to overcome my weaknesses by striving to be better each and every day.

There are so many things that I am grateful for. I am grateful for more knowledge, faith, and charity. I am grateful for all the people I have met, especially our recent converts. I am grateful for the love and support that I receive from every one back home, also for the help I receive from the people I serve. I thank God for all the companions I have had, because they have all taught me life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Ultimately, I am grateful for the church in my life and the blessings I receive by being a firm member.

I am anxious to start this next year of my mission. I am certain that it will be the best year of my life. There are so many more challenges and wonderful experiences that are knocking on the door and it is now time to answer the call. I wish the best to everyone. 

Love you all,

Elder Miller  

P.S. Happy early B Day to Lucy, From your favorite cousin in the world

19 August 2013  A Better Week

Hello Family and Friends,

This week was a big improvement from last week. We taught a lot of lessons, contacted, and invited a few more people to be baptized. We have a rather large teaching group now which is always nice. With a big teaching group you always have a place to go if an appointment falls through. This helps to pass the time and remain energetic. 

This past Sunday we had 3 investigators and 2 in-actives at church. It has been awhile since Dom Pedrito last saw that many new faces in the chapel. We are teaching a lot of people, but the majority is afraid of making any kind of commitment. Our best investigator is Adriana, the 24 year old lawyer. She has been at church 3 or 4 times now. Also, we have taught her with members and she has been to one family night. She has told us that she knows the church is true and wants to join now. Her baptismal date is scheduled for the 7th of September. She said that this date she would be prepared to be baptized. We are really hoping and praying that everything will work out for this date. 

We are also teaching an in-active member, Calebe, 18 years old. He was baptized when he was 10 years old and is the only member in his family. We found him and his family through a contact in the street. His family is one of the coolest I have met on my mission. His parents absolutely love us even though they have mentioned that they will not join the church. We will start teaching them and his sister this week. Calebe went to church Sunday and liked it a lot. He is super smart and witty. He would be a great missionary.

Elder Machado and I really have been blessed these past few weeks. Our members and investigators have been inviting us to have dinner and to share messages almost every night. Dinner has never happened before in my mission. The only thing that is lacking is more references. For us the norm is 1 reference a week. Compared to other missions 1 is totally weak. In other parts of Brazil the missionaries only work with references. Why in Rio Grande do Sul is it that difficult? Until we can find a way to get members talking we will have to keep knocking doors and making street contacts the most difficult way to work. If you all have any ideas we would be grateful to hear them. And yes we have tried the family night and activities in the chapel approach which are not giving us that many results.

Other than this there is not much to say. I got really sick yesterday and last night was horrible. I think it is a minor case of the flu. I was supposed to get my flu shot a few months back but they all ran out before I could get mine. Thanks a lot Brazil! I have been shooting warm, green, snot rockets all over the city today. Elder Machado has been giving me all his meds so I should be good to go here soon. This winter has been pretty rough on me. I have not breathed through my nose for 2 months! I think I am allergic to something in this city.

Anyways I am doing fine. Keep praying for Machado and I, and especially for my investigators. Thanks for all the pictures you all have been sending me recently. I really look forward to being back on the bike with you all I am too heavy right now.


Lots of Love,

Elder Miller
12 August 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Honestly nothing too exciting happened this past week. The weather was really cold and rainy for the majority of the week. This killed our chances of contacting people because we were the only ones in the street! We were rather discouraged during the bad weather and so we fell into a hopeless state. We did not work as hard as we could of which we are both kind of regretting now. Our district leader chewed me out on the phone a little bit last night which woke me up from my slump. We are back into full gear, I hope.

Other than last week being sort of a low point for us, we managed to find some good investigators. Nothing was going our way, appointments were falling through and nobody was interested in hearing our message, so I decided to just, "Clean the city." That is codeword for literally knocking every door in sight. We were knocking doors and one after the other was just another door slammed in our faces. After about a hour we finally were allowed in by a lady and we taught her and her two daughters. I am including this in my email because I think they have a good chance at becoming members of the church. They have already had a lot of contact with members of the church when they lived in a neighboring city, but they lost contact when they moved to Dom Pedrito. In short, the lesson went really well and we have an appointment with them this week so we will see what happens. 

Adriana, our only progressing investigator, is doing well. We taught her last night with a member and it went really well, one of the best lessons I have had on the mission. It was about tithing and the member we brought with us bore a powerful testimony on tithing. She told us that her Mother has always been a faithful tithe payer. She told us that her mother has no doubts that the Lord will provide for them if they demonstrate their faith through their honest tithe. Well a few weeks back her Mother lost all her salary from the past month while traveling home late one night. This family is rather poor so they need every dime they can get. The member went on to tell us that miraculously in the past weeks they had more food and other things in their home than any other time that she could remember. The Lord fulfilled his promise and opened the windows of Heaven and bestowed a great blessing upon them. Adriana will be baptized before this transfer ends. I do not know what date yet, but I am confident that it will happen. 

Other than this not much happened. I have been writing quite a few letters lately so keep a watch on your mailboxes. I will include some pictures of the Brazilian country side for you all. The past 7 months I having been living in countryside which has been really tranquil.


Lots of Love,

Elder Miller
5 August 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

I forgot to mention in the last e-mail that today is transfer day!!!

But do not worry because none of us were transferred. I was grateful to hear that no one was transferred, because we are all working hard and have become great friends these past six weeks. Wow, that is crazy to say that I have already been here in Dom Pedrito for six weeks! As I always say to you all, it feels like yesterday that I arrived here.

The time is passing by so quickly it is rather ridiculous. In a little while I will have 1 year on the mission. I will have reached the mountain top and from there it is only a quick descent.

So this past transfer I grew a lot as a missionary and a disciple of Christ. Being the senior companion really forced me to be better everyday. I had exercise my faith and be a leader. I pushed ourselves to the limit a lot and sometimes I thought Elder Machado would give up, but he kept on pushing on no matter what, and at the end of the day he was always grateful for the effort we gave. We both agree that we learned more about life and the gospel in this past transfer than the rest of our missions put together. We are both working together to turn our individual weaknesses into strengths.

It is funny how you learn more about yourself and God when you have to overcome great difficulties. In the moment it can seem impossible to achieve anything, but what I learnt is that God always fulfills his part when we give 100%. He is never abandons us no matter what. I learnt that you have to humble yourself and never give an excuse for anything that you did or did not do. Every night I gave an account to God of what we did that specific day, and for the most part I was able to sleep soundly afterwards. Of course there is so much we need to improve in our missionary work, but in my opinion this past transfer was a great success. We have a teaching group now that did not exist when we arrived, we have gained the confidence of the members, and we have one investigator that is being prepared to be baptized.

This area has been deemed as the area that does not baptize, but we are all in full-gear to change that. In fact it has already been changed because the other Elders baptized this past Saturday, João and Leticia, a brother and sister. And Elder Machado and I are teaching Adriana, 24 young lady, and recently graduated lawyer. She is super smart and friendly, and is searching for peace in her life. She had told us that she feels the peace that she is searching for when hearing our messages and going to church. She always has inspired questions for us which really helps us teach her well. I think this transfer she will be baptized. Also, we are always looking for families which is one of my dreams being out on the mission, teaching and baptizing a family. I want all families to feel the happiness I feel when I am with my own family, which happiness comes from living the principles and ordinances of the only true and living gospel.

So I will be in Dom Pedrito for the next six weeks with Elder Machado.

Elder Beary and Elder Carlos will be companions again also. This transfer should be a little more relaxed now that we have opened up the area and everything else. I am liking this area a lot despite the difficulties. It should be a fun transfer.

Thats all for now,

Lots of Love,

Elder Miller
29 July 2013

Hello Family and Friends, 

This week was really rewarding, because after 4 weeks of hard work we are now starting to see the blessings.

This week Elder Machado and I sat down to review our past week and then set up our new goals for the week. We were still a little shaken by the fact that after so much effort no one showed up to church. 4 weeks without anyone in the chapel. So we prayed and started planning for this week as usual. We planned everything and then started putting down what numbers we thought that we could achieve. We arrived at the portion of our agenda that says, "Investigators that attended sacrament meeting." We thought deeply and both agreed on the number 2, two persons at church Sunday. This number was much more humble than what we are used to, 7 or 8, but seeing our results from the past week it seemed possible.

Later in the week, we had to travel to Pelotas to attend a training meeting with President Castro and the other zones. There we had some very valuable training meetings, but the one that caught my attention was given by Sister Castro the spouse of Pres. Castro. She spoke about humility, and I learnt a lot about being humble from her. She mentioned that we depend on God and that we must always subject ourselves to his will. Also, she noted that in order to demonstrate our humility we need to obey all of the commandments and rules of the mission with exactness, and we always serve arduous and are grateful for every blessing that is given to us, be it big or small. It finish her training she gave us the scripture D&C 112:10, "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." This scripture caught my attention and I pondered about it the rest of the day.

We arrived back in Dom Pedrito late Thursday night and Elder Machado and I conversed about what we had learned from the conference with Pres. Castro. In short, we made a pact to obey every little rule with exactness, for example, wake up and get out of bed 6:30 on point, no more wake up and take our time to get up and moving. It means exercising everyday, and be studying at 8:00 o clock no ifs or buts.

It means being out of the house by 10:30 and doing our 20 contacts for the day. It means being back at home 9:30 at night and always doing our daily planning for the next day. So this is what we did with exactness. In summary we worked as hard as we could, we were as obedient as was possible, and we did everything in our reach to achieve our goals this week, with goal of 2 persons at church in the back of our minds. We were confident that if we were humble, the Lord would lead us by the hand and would answer our prayer, and he did.

This week we were always in the right place at the right time. We talked with the right people everyday that are interested in the church. Really we were guided by the Lord, it was incredible. So finally we were at church and the first meeting had already passed by, (Priesthood Meeting) and no one had shown up to church. I still had a great hope that one of our investigators would come to church and I remembered that Adriana, an investigator, said that maybe she would be a little late to church, if she decided to go. I went outside the chapel and waited about 10 min anxiously. Then suddenly I saw her car coming down the street in our direction. Her car was gleaming with light from the morning sun. She parked and got out of the car and entered into the chapel with us. I could not stop smiling the whole time as much as I tried to wipe the smile off my face. She participated in the Gospel Principles class which was great. Then when we left the classroom I looked down the hall and to my amazement Glessimar, another investigator,  was conversing with some members waiting for sacrament meeting. My joy doubled in size and I quickly went to greet her. And there it was our 2 investigators that we had planned at the beginning of the week. God had answered our prayers. We had been led by his hand the entire week and it was because of our obedience and humility that put forth the entire week.

It is difficult to write this letter because I am almost breaking out into tears from the joy that we felt yesterday. I am so grateful for the answer to our prayers, the reward for our hard work these past 5 weeks. Simply, I know that our Lord lives. I know he answers our prayers. I know that sometimes blessings do not come when we want them to, but they always come to those who humble themselves and subject themselves to His will. I am so grateful for every little thing in my life, I am grateful to serve others.

Thanks you for all your prayers and support I love you all, Elder Miller