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Monday, January 1, 2018

January 1, 2018 - The Final Email

This was the last door I knocked on Saturday.
We talked to a Pentecostal guy named David and
he seemed pretty interested, so hopefully
something sweet works out.
This last week has been pretty weird, but it's been incredible.  We did a lot of stuff with transfers for most of the week, which was fun as usual. My favorite result of transfers is that Elder Anderson is the new Assistant!! I trained him nearly 18 months ago in Yakima, so it's really neat to see the progression he made and know that he's the one filling my shoes.
Stevey, Gunner, and Skyler. I have loved working
with them so much! The little boys have so much energy!
I had the chance to say goodbye to a lot of people this week.  It was weird saying goodbye this time, because instead of being transferred I was going home. We also visited Stevey a few more times. She's been reading quite a bit in The Book of Mormon and is starting to really get into it. That's been exciting.

One neat thing from this week was I had my departing interview with President Lewis. It was really fun to talk with him about the changes I've seen in myself during the mission and the changes he's seen in me. It was really neat to reflect on my mission with him. He also gave me some great advice on what to do with my future. 

There was also one thing that he said that really struck me.
Gabriel and Crystal blessed their baby yesterday
and Elder Walker and I got to stand in the circle.
That was pretty awesome.
We were talking about recognizing the spirit, and he said "The most important thing we can do when recognizing the spirit is that we stay worthy. When we are worthy we don't have to question whether it's our thoughts or the spirit, because we know that the spirit is with us, and when we know that the spirit is with us we can be assured that any thoughts we have come from the spirit." 

I thought that was really neat. Often times we question whether or not we have the spirit and that we're being led by the spirit, but we can have the assurance that if we're worthy he will lead us. 

It was a good week and I got lots of pics.

See y'all soon!!

Elder Miles

This is Matt, Sarah, Curtis, and Josie. It's been awesome to get to know them as well. Hopefully Sarah comes around soon and they can start working towards the temple. ​

The Parker Family. Sister Parker is the Relief Society President. Bryson, Liam, Brother Parker, Elise, Sister Parker, Matsen, Olivia. They're incredible!

​Bother and Sister Prescott with little Theodore and Max. (Their other boy, Danny, wasn't feeling well) They are such an awesome young family.
This is Evelyn. She's the most spiritually mature 13 year-old I've ever met.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December 26, 2017 - Christmas!!

We had a zone breakfast on Christmas and this
is the crew that helped make the breakfast. As part
of the breakfast President Lewis let us watch a movie
as a zone, so we watched Prince of Egypt.
It was super fun!
It's been a wonderful week leading up to Christmas! Probably one of my favorites of the mission. I feel like in this last week I have learned so much about the Savior and His Atonement. This month President Lewis challenged us to study the books of Matthew and Luke in an effort to get to know the Savior better, along with that I have been studying what it means to come unto Christ. These things have filled my studies this last week and I feel like I have gained such a greater understanding of Christ's role in my life. I also have learned so much about what is required of me to receive of the power of the Atonement.
Getting ready for Christmas dinner at the Magalei's
We've been able to do quite a lot this week. We did two more sets of exchanges with Zone Leaders here in the Yakima area, and we started transfer planning early. This was done so President would have more time to spend with his kids when they came up for Christmas. We still have a fair amount to do, and that will fill quite a bit of time this week.

On Christmas Eve Elder Walker's parents had sent a bunch of little presents with scriptures attached to them as clues for what was inside. We decided that we didn't need all of these presents and so we delivered a lot of them to the families in our ward. When we delivered them, we would leave the presents on the porch and then doorbell ditch the family. It was a ton of fun! But we realized that everyone in Washington seems to have huge front windows right next to their doors, so things got a little dicey. We ended up getting caught a couple of times, but of the 12 we only got caught 3 times, which isn't so bad. 

President Lewis, Elder Miles, Elder Walker
Stevey is doing well. We visited her several times this last week and she's been reading in the Book of Mormon quite a bit. She's starting to understand the role of the Restoration and the importance of it, which has been really fun to see. She tells us that her only desire is to get closer to God and Christ, which is perfect because that's what we do. We went and caroled to her on Christmas Eve and it was super neat. Her boys were so excited and she was all smiles the entire time. I think she'll get baptized soon. Not while I'm here sadly, but soon.

Merry Christmas!!
His last transfer planning has begun
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 18 2017 - Christmas Parties

So, this week was super fun. We got to go to both sets of
"It was super weird at the Christmas gatherings.
I would look at all the missionaries and think
about how I would likely never see them again.
It was a very strange feeling. Kinda surreal." Elder Miles
Christmas gatherings in the mission. The first was on Tuesday and that was for all the zones in the southern half of the mission. The second was on Wednesday and that was for all the zones in the northern half. Both were super fun. It was so cool to see all the missionaries in the mission again. This mission is incredible. There is such a strong presence of the spirit here and I am so grateful for that.

At each Christmas gathering each zone had to do a musical
A Thank You for the Christmas Party hosts
number and a short message. They all were pretty great. Our zone, the Selah Zone, did what's called a "riff off" I think. Basically, we combined a bunch of different Christmas songs, but it was divided into groups and we would interrupt each other to sing the different songs. It was pretty fun and definitely unique. There was a lot of really good musical talent as well. 

Also, we watched a movie called "Freetown" at each
Getting ready to give out the missionary
Christmas Packages
gathering and man it was incredible. It's about 6 missionaries that are caught in the middle of a civil war in Liberia and all they want to do is teach, but it becomes way too dangerous, so they make the trek to Sierra Leon (I think). It's based on a true story as well. My favorite part I think was right near the end. Throughout their journey they have miracle after miracle, and at the end of the movie one of the main guys lists a bunch of the miracles that he had seen and said after listing the miracles "It just doesn't make sense to doubt." That rang very true to me. I feel the same way. After all the miracles I have seen on my mission and throughout life "It just doesn't make any sense to doubt."

This week was taught the lady Stevey, she was the one who
Elder Miles, President Lewis, Elder Walker
came with her boys to the Christmas party last week, several more times. She currently attends another Christian church but she says that all she cares about it where she can learn the most about God. So, we're pretty excited about her and her potential. She's said some pretty awesome prayers since we've started working with her.

Leann is doing well. I don't know how much I've told you about her, but she has been going through some tough stuff. She's a less active member who has gone through the grinder recently, but she's been doing pretty well. This week the ward the members pulled through and have started visiting the family, and they did a 12 Days of Christmas for them which really was quite spectacular. This little family is incredible. I'm going to miss them a ton.
Me, Elder Walker, Sister Banks,
Sister McCourt, Sister Field

Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017 – Return to Wenatchee

During our late night office prep for MLC we
made Cookies and Cream hot chocolate
and drank it with Oreos

So, this week was absolutely incredible. I finally got to go back to Wenatchee on exchanges!! It was so good to be back in my old stomping grounds. For exchanges I was with Elder Klossner! It was so fun being with another old companion! Elder Klossner is incredible!

I also was able to see Jose Rios again!!! He's doing so well. He's in the Elders Quorum Presidency, he teaches priesthood often, he's read The Book of Mormon several more times, and he says he's still learning a lot. I miss that man so much. It was really neat. When he opened the door, he got a huge smile on his face and said his classic phrase "Que tal?" which means more or less "What's up?" It was perfect.  I also saw his kids Melissa and Ivan again! They are doing super well! Ivan is huge! He's taller and bigger than Melissa, but he's a year and a half younger. Melissa is still adorable. It took them a minute to remember me but when they did it was so cool.

We also ate dinner with the Clive's. Brother Clive was my ward
​Jose!! Melissa! and Ivan! I love them so much!
mission leader while I was there and we would eat dinner with them every week, so it was really neat to see them again. Their little boy, Russell, has grown a ton as well. It was so good to see them!

We also had MLC this week, which went super well. Elder Walker and I led a discussion on our mission culture and what we hoped to see as far as improvements go. It was a really eye-opening discussion and we are going to roll out some trainings on it in the coming months. I also had to give my departing testimony. That was super weird. I had not thought beforehand what I was going to say. In fact, it didn't register that I was going to actually have to give one until I announced who was going to be sharing their departing testimonies. It's really weird thinking that was my last MLC. They've become such a normal part of my routine. I'm gonna miss them.

We also had two other exchanges this week. The Omak Zone
Elder Miles and Elder Walker teaching during MLC
Leaders stayed here in Yakima after MLC and then on Saturday the Othello Zone Leaders were here in Yakima. I love doing exchanges with other Elders. It's always so fun getting to spend a little time with them.

This week we found a new investigator, Stevey, who is a young mom who is going through a divorce right now. She has two kids both under the age of 4 but she is really quite interested. Elder Walker met her on exchanges on Tuesday and she came to our Christmas Party on Saturday. We have a lesson with her tonight. Hopefully that goes well. Her little boys were such a big help as we cleaned up the party. The older one, who is maybe 4, was right in the middle of everything. Grabbing chairs and putting them on the racks. He just wanted to be a part of it all and he wouldn't leave until it was finished.

We've seen Sarah once this week. Luchi went in for surgery on
Elder Walker, President Lewis, Elder Miles
Saturday and the whole family has been super sick, so it's been really difficult to meet with them. Plus, her work schedule is crazy. Because of all the craziness we went over to the Magalei's house and did some "planning" with them on how we can best help Sarah and her kids. it was super effective and we've got some darn good plans for this week.

Alicia and Evelyn came to the Christmas party also. We had a "planning" session with the Gilman family (he's also our WML) for how we can help Alicia come to church. It also went super well.
I think that's it for the week! Love y'all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017 - Lots of Travel

So, this week we've been doing a lot of traveling and we've had quite a few meetings. We started this week with our Trainer/Trainee and Doctrine of Christ meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday we spent nearly the entire day in the mission home for both meetings, and then on Wednesday we went to Quincy, which is a little over an hour away. The meetings went really well. Every new group of missionaries that we get always impresses me. They always seem so prepared and well versed in the Gospel. It is heartwarming to me to see their desire to work and bless the lives of those who they don't even know yet.

After the meetings on Wednesday President and Sister Lewis took us out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Tijuana's
Dinner at Tijuana's
. It was super good. I ate a huge burrito! It about killed me but I ate the entire thing. It was super tasty. Then after dinner we continued on to Moses Lake for exchanges with those Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Palacios (he was my District Leader when I was a Zone Leader in Wenatchee), and Elder Walker was with Elder Anderson (my trainee from forever ago). It was a really fun exchange and it was neat to be back in Moses Lake. 

We drove back to Yakima on Thursday night and then spent all day here Friday trying to play catch up on a few things. Then Friday night we took off again and headed to Ephrata for another exchange, which is about 20 minutes past Quincy. It was really fun being in Ephrata. It's a really small farming community but there are a ton of members there. 

Sunday was a good day. Matt Palmer came to church in the
Elder Miles and Elder Walker
morning and then him and Sarah and the kids all joined us for the Christmas Devotional in the evening. They really enjoyed the devotional and it was really good for them. Especially Sarah. Their family is doing really quite well. 

Evelyn and Alicia were up in Leavenworth for the weekend so they didn't come to church, and it's been really hard to meet with Sarah and her boys. They are still doing well. The boys are still going to mutual, but she started a new job and is trying to wrap up some finals for school so she's been extremely busy. We are very prayerful that we will be able to meet with her this week. Please pray for us to be able to visit with them.

Love you all!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
Grabbing lunch between meetings

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27, 2017 - Transfer Week

Sorry this email will be very short. I spent all my time
Surviving Transfer Week
registering for classes. This week was great, we welcomed in a ton of new missionaries and sent home some really good ones. I love being comps with Elder Walker. He's from Midvale and played soccer, basketball, and football in high school. He's sweet! I'm gonna miss Elder Allsop.

This next week is going to be another wild one. Sorry about such a short letter. Love ya!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
With the departing missionaries

With some arriving missionaries

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017 – Transfer Planning Week

So, I don't have a ton to report this week and I am very
Elder Walker, Elder Allsop,
Elder Miles, President Lewis
limited on emailing time this week. It's official however, Elder Allsop and I are being split up for the final time. It's amazing how much time we have spent together and as companions. I have learned so much from him. It's gonna be really sad to see him go, but it won't be for long. We'll see each other a couple times this next transfer (he's staying in the same zone). He goes home December 19th. 

My new companion is Elder Walker. He's from Midvale, Utah. He played soccer in High School at Hillcrest. He's a super good Elder. I'm really grateful he's my next companion. He'll be a good one to finish with. 

Transfer week was really good. I always feel like I learn so
much when I'm around President and Sister Lewis. I'm super grateful for them. 

Sarah and her boys are doing well. They've continued to read and pray, but they just can't get to church. This Sunday they were planning on coming to church but they had a darn plumbing issue and the plumber came on Sunday. What kind of plumber works on Sunday? Anyway, they're doing well. The ward has really grabbed hold of them, which is awesome. They have some great friends and the boys love mutual. 

Alicia is doing really well. She also didn't come to church (because it was Stake Conference) and she wanted to go to Primary. It was too bad, but she is excited to keep learning. She wants to be baptized but she's a little nervous about it. In a lesson we had the other day with her she prayed and asked if she should be baptized in December. Hopefully that happens. 

Oh, with Stake Conference I ran into some members from
Erika, Me, Diana, Elizabeth -
It was crazy running into them again
when I served in Yakima a year ago. It was super good to see them again. I'll attach a picture of us. It was the daughters of a member family that we always ate dinner with. 

Love ya!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
A visit to the Yakima Museum