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