Tuesday, May 27, 2014

26 May 2014 Ryan's Birthday

Hello Family and Friends, 

Well, I am 21 years old today. I remembered late last night that today would be my birthday so I did not have time to let my companion know beforehand. I told him this morning and he was like, "WHAT it is your birthday!" I don't think we will celebrate tonight because we had already marked a whole lot of appointments. Maybe next week I will celebrate by souvenir shopping in the center of Porto Alegre. I want to buy some Brazilian and gaúcho things for you guys back home.

This past week passed by very quickly, probably the fastest week of my mission. We had meetings, birthdays, church activities, splits etc.. Every Saturday my companion goes to the temple to watch the sealing of families that he has baptized on the mission. Yeah, my comp is one of the best missionaries of this mission. He has baptized a ton of families and now he has the blessing of seeing them be sealed in the temple. It is a privilege to work with him. I feel like I am being trained all of over again. It is a shame that I will only have this transfer to work with him, because these are his last weeks on the mission.

The only thing worth mentioning in this letter is that we had an activity at church Friday night and about 60 young investigators showed up. It was awesome there was ping-pong, pool, and a movie on the projection screen. We were not expecting some many people to show up so it was kind of a rush, but everything worked out at the end. We will visit them and their families so for sure we will have a lot of work to do these coming weeks.

In other news, the World Cup is about to start. We got a message today that during Brazil's matches we will have to go to our apartments and study. Brazilians are crazy for soccer and this year their team is really good so are expecting some craziness in the coming weeks. Also, there are other factions that are looking to protest so it should be pretty fun. I will root for the US of course but when they got knocked out of the tournament it is all Brazil for me.

That is all for now,

Love, Elder Miller 

PS. I did not get my parcel yet
No Explanation given for this picture
19 May 2014

Hello Family and Friends, 

So I am pretty happy right now, actually really happy. There are various reasons for why I am so happy. First, my companion is excellent. Elder Aires is finishing his mission right now but it does not seem like it. The lessons are taught with power and authority. We are talking with everyone about the gospel. The members of our ward are friendly and trust us. We have marked baptisms already in this first week of the 7 week transfer. We are the zone leaders of 10 companionships and all are working hard. The list doesn't end.

My new area is Medianeira as I stated in my last e-mail. It is identical to my first area on the mission, Glória, which is one of the areas in our zone. There are a lot of hills in the area and it is right next to the mission office. Our ward has an attendance of about 70 which is very low considering what it was about a year back. Many leaders from the ward had to move because of the world cup and as a result the ward had a fall in attendance, but it is getting back up on it's feet. The chapel is prettiest that I have seen in Rio Grande do Sul. It is three stories with an elevator and new appliances and gadgets. The members are super cool and I have hit it off with them already.

We have an American missionary that lives in our apartment that has been in brazil for 2 months now, but he has already served almost a year! He had to stay in the US for about 9 months before getting his visa. This is the story of a lot of American missionaries now. I am helping him to get his Portuguese down quickly. I am grateful that I went on the mission when I did. If I had hesitated even a little bit I might have been serving in another mission. His companion is an American also and served in Houston, Texas. It was classic listening to him tell the story of how he attacked by a pit-bull, the scar is huge! Don't mess with TEXAS!

Everything is pretty chill right now on the mission. Unlike in the beginning of the mission now I know how things work and what I need to do. It is a pity that only at the end of the mission you really know how to be a missionary. Honestly, I am enjoying everyday now. Before I was really anxious and nervous about what to do every minute of the day. Now it is just take a chill pill and let the spirit guide.

So yeah, all in all the week went well. I am still getting to know my new area, searching for God's prepared people, and for the first time I can say without hesitating that I am loving the mission. 


Lots of Love,

Elder Miller
12 May 2014 Happy Mothers

Hello Family and Friends, 

The news is in and I will be moving to Medianeira! I will be serving as zone leader with Elder Aires, another zone leader. Elder Aires is from the city Fortaleza, the Northeast of Brazil. He is in his last transfer on the mission. I not worried though because he is a very good missionary that baptizes a lot and he asked to stay an extra transfer on the mission. The zone is located close to the center of Porto Alegre so I won't be going to the interior, actually the zone is right next to the zone I am serving in now. I have heard that the ward I will be serving in is rather weak at the moment, but hey that has been the story of my whole mission.

Our zone should be a strong one because we have the assistants, secretaries, the leaders of the sisters, and another 5 companionships. This zone is the first one that I served in when I arrived on the mission. It was kind of an unexciting zone almost 2 years back because the work is definitely harder closer to the center of the city. I look to change that image in the last 2 transfers on my mission. 

So it is tchau tchau to Restinga. I had the most success on the mission here. It was here that I finally figured out how to be a missionary. Really it is just invite everyone you see to go to church and be baptized without any fear. It is testify with power and authority through the spirit. In Medianeira, my last area, I will apply everything that I have learned this last year and 9 months. I know that we will have much success.

In other news Everton was baptized Saturday! It was an awesome baptism, the missing piece of the puzzle in our work here in Restinga. We had been working with him since January and finally he was baptized in my last week in the area. I had the privilege of performing the ordinance. I think his Mom, Neuza, will be the next one to be baptized. 

Also another great blessing was talking to my family on Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day Mom! I LOVE YOU!
The family is doing well from what I saw. My Dad has a six pack, I thought I would never see the day. It was difficult talking in English this time because I hadn't practiced in awhile. I was stressing out the whole day because the computers were not working but Elder Saboia is a computer wiz and got it all sorted out. It was funny watching him calling his family all emotional and what not. All in all it was a good day and I am really looking forward to being home again, but until then I am going to work harder than ever. The mission is 2 years, can't give in the towel yet.

 Lots of Love,

 Elder Miller

Thursday, May 8, 2014

5 May 2014

Hello Family and Friends,

Well we are now in the last week of this short transfer. I am stoked for this coming transfer. I have high hopes that I will be transferred to my last area on the mission. I have another 2 transfers on the mission and I look to take advantage of every minute. I have been writing my friends from college and they are all going home in the next few weeks, it is so weird.
I am stoked right now because I think I will be able to squeeze out one more baptism before leaving this area. His name is Everton and we have been working with him since January I think while Elder Horst was still here. He was married in January and then Adriana his wife was baptized. She passed through a lot of trials in order to be baptized. Let's just say that Everton was a completely different person before being introduced to the gospel. The lessons were always spiritual. Everton is probably the smartest investigator I have ever had, photographic memory. Everything was going well until he found a new job and quickly went back to his worldly ways. I thought it was all over but Sunday morning who showed up to church, you guessed it Everton. He showed up with a white shirt, tie, and slacks. The first thing he said to me was "When is my baptism," I was practically speechless. He went on to tell that he had managed to quit smoking, drinking, and the other things that he used to do. He said that things went all wrong when he stopped receiving visits from us and went through a rough process of repentance. We marked his baptism for this Saturday.

This was very emotional for me because he is a very good friend of mine and Elder Horst. I thought that he was lost forever, but he returned and now his family will be complete. It is funny because while we were planning for this week Elder Dos Santos and I were setting goals and he asked me how many baptisms we would have. Then he asked me who would be this person we would baptize. I looked off into space for awhile then said, I have no idea, but it is going to happen. Everton is that person. Pray for him this week so that everything goes according to plan. We will need the prayers of everyone.

In other news I will call home this week on Mother's Day. Woohoo! It will be the last time before going home. Also, Greg will be turning 25 this week, May 7th. Congratulations, miss you a ton. Eat a lot of cake and ice cream for me. Today we will play paintball! Tomorrow we have zone counsel, all the zone leaders meet with the President in Porto Alegre, it should be cool.

 Love you Lots,

Elder Miller


Sunday, May 4, 2014

28 April 2014

Hello Family and Friends, 

This past week was very special but challenging. I think I experienced the hardest day on my mission last Friday. Long story short I had a stomach/intestinal infection. I got it after splits with one of our district leaders. I don't know if it was the water or a badly cooked dinner but I got awfully sick. The next morning returning to my area in Restinga I hurled in the bus. Luckily my companion had a plastic shopping bag. The bad part was that it was ripped.

I got home and got cleaned up and then laid down and that is when the stomach pain hit. It felt like someone was continually stabbing me in the guts and it did not let up until the next day. I threw up again in the house and then had diarrhea 9 times. I stayed in our apartment until 7:00 at night.

My many prayers were answered when we went to the chapel that night. Our investigator who was being interviewed to be baptized the next day saw that I was suffering and went to the pharmacy and bought all the meds I needed to get better. I was shocked by the charitable act from our investigator, Adriano, because it was a non-member that ended up caring for me, and he did not have the financial means to buy all the meds that he did. He acted on the hour without delay. That is charity to me. It isn't tomorrow or next week, but NOW. If someone needs help it is our obligation to help right then and there even if it means opening up our wallets in order to help. Your neighbors burden is your burden too. God will bless you in double for the act.

The good part of the week is that we had 2 baptisms this past Saturday. Maria, 63, and Adriano, 34, Mother and son.
They were references from the bishop's councilor. In our first visit Adriano asked to be baptized! The Lord has been preparing them for some time now. Before teaching the word of wisdom Adriano mentioned that he had stopped drinking coffee because he felt that it was harming his health. Also we asked him what chastity was and he answered absolutely perfectly. I had the privilege of baptizing him. It was a super good baptism.

Sunday there were 56 people at church a great improvement. I still want to be transferred in 2 weeks. We will go to the temple this week which will be cool. Oh and a new paintball field opened up right in front of our apartment so I think the next p-day we will play. 

That is all for now,

 Love Elder Miller