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 ButiĆ”! 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