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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 26, 2016 - El Traslado

That apple is actually that big. It's at
least 2/3rds of my face
Well Saturday we got our transfer calls and sadly I'm going to be transferred up to Wenatchee serving in the Rocky Reach area. I get to serve in one of the two Spanish wards in our mission so that should be pretty exciting. President told me when he called us that he felt like I was needed in Wenatchee for some reason, so I'm interested to see what that will be. It's gonna be pretty tough to leave, but I'm excited. The Terrace Heights Branch has come to feel like home and I'm really going to miss it. Yesterday after church we had a branch potluck and I just stepped back and looked at everyone. It was honestly super hard, not gonna lie. I was amazed to see all the
​This is the branch president's family. Brother Wilson (married to Alina Juarez), Me, President Roberto Juarez, grandson Aiden Wilson, Alina Juarez Wilson, Hna Macaria Juarez, and Ariana Juarez
lives I had the chance to touch, and the lives that touched me. I am so glad to have been able to serve here! 

This week was a pretty awesome week! We met these five kids that are all super awesome and they have been interested in coming to church and learning more, and so yesterday all five of them came to church! It was crazy! Yesterday at church there were 8 visitors, our 5 kids and 3 others that members invited! It was super cool! That's been my favorite thing that I have seen since I've been here. The desire to do missionary work in the branch has grown so much! The change has been so awesome!
The Torrez family - Little Mateo, Rafeal, Me, Ayde, Andrea, and little baby Diego
When Elder Harman and I were companions we worked with them for our
two transfers and helped them return to activity.
The family that came is the Castillo family. The oldest is a girl named Selene(18), then Manny(14), Chewy(13), Jr.(10), and then their cousin Anthony(10). We've taught them a couple times this week and it's been awesome! As soon as we start talking about the Gospel they go instantly quiet and focus really well. It's been super awesome to teach them this week, but it's kinda hard to leave. Outside of them we found several more people who look like they could progress really well. It's tough to leave the area at this point but I feel good that I have helped it grow into something more than it was when I got here.
Last P-Day: Zone Party
There has been a lot of progress here, and even though I didn't see a whole ton of personal success (such as baptisms), the branch did, and I feel good knowing I was able to help them get there. 

The church is true!
Love you all!
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission
Mount Adams from the view outside our church building

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 – Ya me llene

This week was a pretty good week. We've been fed so much this week that I feel like I've gained some serious weight. Every day we've been fed so much for dinner that most mornings I didn't even want to eat breakfast, but then Elder Anderson and I would make pancakes and get stuffed in the morning. So the food has been great recently. I honestly love Mexican food so much. 

This week we had Zone Conference on Thursday and it went
"Sick old Camaro we found last P-Day"
super well. The whole focus was the idea of making sure that the people we teach become converted to the Gospel. It was centered around a missionary broadcast that was done back in January while I was in the MTC. The title of that broadcast is "Teach Repentance, and Baptize Converts." So in order to baptize people who are truly converted we have to make sure that they are making changes in their lives. The way we are able to see this is if our investigators keep commitments because they want to, not because they feel obligated or the missionaries are cool. During Zone Conference we also talked about maintaining a positive attitude and how to find better. It was a super good conference as it always is with President Lewis. Oh while I was there I picked up a super comfy robe. I'll make sure to get a pic in it for next week. 

We did service at a senior center and this lady told me a pretty funny joke that I thought you'd all enjoy. She said, "Do you know why seagulls fly over the sea?" "Because if they flew over the bay they'd be called bagels." Kinda goofy but I figured you would enjoy the goofy humor

So this week we've been teaching this girl named Gabby. She's a senior in high school and recently had her brother pass away, so we've talked with her about the plan of salvation and she really seems to be enjoying it. She was born catholic but doesn't know a whole lot about the Gospel. So, when we taught her about how we can all be resurrected and live with our families again, she really liked that. Our plans for this week are to get her whole family involved, so hopefully that goes well.

Elder Anderson and Elder Miles
On Wednesday this week we went and mowed a member’s lawn who overworks himself too much. His health is good, but the doctor doesn't want him doing too much and he already works like 12-14 hour days. So we went over to help out and of course we got a little carried away with the pictures, but hey it's not too often we get to wear jeans, so we had to take advantage of it. 

Oh random experience - we were walking down the road one day and we found this 20 sided die (as in dice) and Elder Anderson goes if this lands on an 8 we're talking to the guy in that truck up there. The truck was off our path a little and we were already pushing being late, but I was like sure why not. And well it landed on 8! So we went and talked to him and it was this Mexican guy who recently moved to Yakima because his kids are here with his ex-wife, and he wanted to be closer to them. So we talked for a little and he said that we were welcome to come by his house. So we'll see what happens. 

Yesterday I was thinking a lot about the branch and the
Local apples
progress it has made since I've been here. The branch hasn't seen any baptisms in a while, but since I got to the branch there have been like 2 less active families that have been strengthened a ton, and an inactive family that has come back to church. Plus Daniel and Lucia have been super solid, and the Contreras family has stayed super faithful (they were baptized a month before I got here). I was thinking about this and the spirit struck me pretty hard, and I felt this huge reconfirming feeling of the truthfulness of our message. 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12, 2016 – Abeja

Well this week was pretty cool. To start off I got stung by a bee for the first time in my life and I definitely don't recommend it to anyone else! That thing felt like getting a pin shoved into the back of my neck. We were waiting at a Taco Bell for a member to come pick us up for dinner, and I was just standing minding my own business, when I felt a nasty prick on the back of my neck. I grabbed back there and pulled out a pretty nasty looking stinger. Not the best experience in the world.

This week we had a zone training meeting and I also had a district council to run. In the district council we talked about how we can get investigators to church. That being the hardest thing for them to do and in zone training meeting we talked about how we need to focus on the needs of our investigators.

We taught a lady named Leonarda this week. She seems pretty awesome. We were walking on the street one night and this little dog started trying to bite us. Well her son ran over and grabbed the dog and we started talking with him. He told us that they had gone to church a few times about a year ago but then moved and stopped going. He said he wanted to start coming again. We had a lesson with them and she told us that she really liked the change she saw in her family and kids as they listened to the missionaries and went to church and that she wants that strength back in their life. They seem pretty awesome. 

We've had a few odd and funny experiences this week. We met 2 drunk dudes while helping them move some things and we got talking with them for a little bit. They were super nice guys, but the conversation was all over the place. They were super interested in what we were doing and what some of our beliefs were, but they could not focus very well. One guy, called Cents, we happened to be walking by his house the next day and he treated us like we were his homies. It was pretty funny. 

I think that was it for the week. Love you all and I'll talk to you next week!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, September 5, 2016

September 5, 2016 - Una semana normal

To be honest I'm not really sure what to write about this week. This past week was a pretty
On the way to do our shopping
basic week. Nothing really too crazy happened. We just did missionary work. We did a lot of finding, taught some lessons, and then did some more finding.

There really isn't much to say about this week. I love this area and the members of the branch. The members are honestly all so amazing. Something I always thought was a little odd while growing up was that all returned missionaries said the favorite part of their mission was the people, and I am starting to understand why. The people here are truly amazing. 

​The tent city in downtown Yakima
Sadly we haven't had a chance to work with Roxanna. Her husband is being lame. He says he doesn't want her talking to strangers. 

I love training and being a District Leader! It's pretty fun and there isn't a whole lot extra that you have to do. You just kinda make sure things run smoothly and follow up with the other companionships in you district. Which does take some time, so my nights are usually a little shorter. The training is going super well. Elder Anderson is awesome! The bikes are good but I've already had two flats. Which is kinda lame but thankfully the member that donated the bikes knows how to fix them up. 

I also love Elder Anderson! I'm so grateful to be his
Elder Miles and Elder Anderson
companion. I have always heard that often the trainer learns more than the trainee, and I am definitely learning a ton! 

I love the mission and I definitely wouldn't trade it for anything! 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Pics of the new apartment -