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Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016 - Feliz dia de accion de gracias!

This week has been great! I love the holiday time on the mission! It just seems so much more spiritual and happy but at the same time it seems a lot more sad. It's a happy time but it can also be a time of struggle for a lot of people and I've already seen some of that. 
The Ward

This week started off really well with Zone Conference here in Wenatchee on Tuesday. It was our zone and the Omak zone. It was an amazing zone conference and we really focused on what the purpose of the Book of Mormon is and then we worked on our finding skills. Which was really cool because Elder Aguirre and I got to help with this. We were in charge of directing everyone and splitting them all up so that way they could spend a couple minutes trying out new ways to approach people about the Gospel. It was super cool. Also at the zone conference we got a chance to watch the new Christmas video that the church has put out. It was a super powerful video and I loved how it showed just how much we can spread the light of Christ simply by helping those around us. Then on Friday we were given permission to go on the computers and spend some time studying the new mormon.org website where there are another 24 short videos for each day up until Christmas! I'm super excited for the new video and we've already seen some really cool things as we've shared it with others. 
Elder Aguirre and Elder Miles

This week was also Thanksgiving which is such an awesome excuse to eat as much as I want! Though I struggled to keep eating. We were fed 2 dinners and at each one they just kept giving us more and more food and we were given so many goodies as well. President decided that it would not be the best idea to go tracting so instead we made some brownies and went and delivered them to a bunch of members, and of course they made us eat their desserts. So in the end I think we ended up with 2 dinners and 3 or 4 extra desserts. It was so much food! But it was worth it. 

We met this awesome girl this week named Jenny but she's moving to Mexico on Thursday. She's already read up through chapter 7 in 1st Nephi! It's been super awesome but sadly we have to refer her to the missionaries down in Mexico, which is a good things I guess, but she was so cool. 

The members here are honestly all so awesome! They are so willing to help with everything. I love the ward up here and I'm excited to be able to stay here for a while longer. The missionaries in the zone are all so great! There are 26 missionaries in the zone which is the biggest zone in the mission. Elder Aguirre is from Colorado and wrestled in High School. He has been out 2 transfers longer than I have and is a fantastic missionary. He was born in Mexico but moved to the US when really young but he speaks super good Spanish and I've already learned a lot. 
Dining room

Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 21, 2016 - The Area

To start off I'll tell you a little bit about my area. Its official title is Malaga Spanish. Malaga is a little tiny town just to the south of Wenatchee. Plus we also cover the very south part of Wenatchee, south of the street Crawford. So if you check it out on a map you'll see just how small it is and about half of our area is Spanish speakers. So we have to be very smart about how we use our time. If we tracted all day we would run out of people to talk to so we try our best to go by former investigators, people that seem to have good potential to become investigators, and those who are less active. It's been a really fun and crazy first few weeks in this area and I'm loving it! 

We've met some pretty cool people this week, actually last night we met this guy named Salvador by following the smell of frying chicken (it's amazing how the spirit guides you). We went to these apartments and smelled the chicken so we followed down some stairs and walked around the corner and his door was already wide open. We talked to him for a minute and he expressed desire to return to church and let us in. It was pretty late so we didn't get a chance to talk with him long but we briefly shared the message of the Restoration and invited him to be baptized. He told us that he wouldn't mind it but he needs to spend a little more time studying before he gets baptized. So we talked with him about how if he wants to come closer to Christ he'll keep commitments and be ready to be baptized in December. So we'll see what happens. He's way cool. 

This week has been pretty crazy again. We've gone on 3 exchanges this week. 2 with the district leaders and their companions and then the APs came up from Yakima for a day. It was super legit going on exchanges with them. I went with Elder Taele. He played football down at SUU and is an amazing missionary but sadly he doesn't speak Spanish. So during our exchanges I translated everything so that he would be able to share his testimony and wow it was a pretty neat experience. There was a really special spirit that was with us as we did that. It's been a wild week though. Elder Aguirre and I haven't spent that much time together this week but the week to come should hopefully slow down a little, but we'll see. We have Zone Conference and 2 more exchanges this week as well as Thanksgiving so we'll see what happens.

So I don't think I've told you much about our car. It's a Dodge Minivan. I know. It's sad. But we named her Gina and she does a good job, but let me tell you it's tough to drive a minivan. 

I think that's everything for the week. I don't think I have any pictures but I'll check my camera and see. Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 - Transfer Week got Crazy

Sorry this email is going to be pretty short. This week has been crazy. I never thought how much stuff I would have to do being called as a Zone Leader.

Wednesday we had to deal with all of the transfer stuff and make sure everyone got settled.
Elder Aguirre and Elder Miles

Thursday we were running all over the place trying to get things set up for a baptism, and we had to do a welcome for all of the District Leaders, and we did service. It was a crazy day in which we were unable to do any actual proselyting. 

Friday we were pretty packed as well. We had to help with some Veteran's Day event and we also had Weekly Planning (which is usually around a three hour process). So we only got a couple hours to proselyte that evening. Then Saturday we had to help take down the Veteran's Day event so we missed out on a couple more hours of pros work, but it was all good. Things are going super, super well. And even though we haven't had a whole lot of time to do a lot of proselyting we have seen some pretty cool miracles. 

Me, Miguel (Recent Convert), and Brucy (Miguel's sister).
They're so cool! 
So lately, President Lewis has put a huge emphasis on talking with everyone and on Saturday we saw a pretty neat miracle. We were walking down a street and we saw a guy sitting on a bench waiting for a bus, so we went over to talk to him. He was a rough looking guy and I'm sure that a lot of missionaries would have passed him by, but we walked over and we sat down and just talked with him, and he was absolutely amazed at everything we said. When we talked with him about the Book of Mormon he wanted to read it so bad, and there was a lady that showed up about 10 minutes after we started talking with John, the guy, and she bore testimony of the Book of Mormon for us. She said that it had helped her out in her life and that she had also given a copy of it to her friend because of how much it had helped her. And she wasn't even a member! She had been given a copy by missionaries a few months previously and they never came back. It was honestly an awesome miracle. Sadly both John and Cheyenne, the girl, only speak English so we have to refer them, but it was still an amazing miracle.

So Sunday was super nice because it was a major slow down from the past few days, but then once Sunday night rolled around we had to get a ton of information from the zone, write it all down and then get all that info to the APs which just barely happened before bedtime. It's been an interesting week and I'm looking forward to the coming one.
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 - Transfer Week got Crazy

Waterville Area
So this last Saturday we got our transfer calls, and we also had a Zone Training Meeting. So all Saturday morning things were pretty quiet and I started to think I was gonna get away from anything, but sadly that didn't happen. I will be transferred on Wednesday across the river. So I'll move from East Wenatchee to Wenatchee. So after ZTM we went back to the apartment so we could change out of our suits and do some language study. Well we were about ready to leave and President called. We answer the phone and he says that he didn't think I would be leaving this soon but I he asked if I would be willing to step into a Zone Leader role. When he asked that I was pretty shocked. I'm also pretty excited though. At the monthly mission leadership councils I'll get to see Elder Allsop and Elder Harman! Who both just got called as well! I'm pretty stoked for that but humbled because this will definitely be an adventure. I'm going to be in Elder Spackman's (My Trainer) old area. 

"The 4 Rocky Reach elders in front of the Dam sign
that gives us our names."
That's honestly the biggest update of the week. I don't know if I have mentioned it yet but we have been teaching a recent convert family the whole time we've been here. The mom and daughter were less active for a while but the dad just decided to join the church, so we've been going over and doing the recent convert lessons with him. It's been super fun to see their progress and the cool thing is that I don't have to say goodbye yet! Since I'm going to Wenatchee I'll be staying in the same ward. So things won't change too much. I'll just have to memorize a new set of streets. 

This last week we did a lot of service. We went to Waterville again
​"That is a lifted corvette for I guess when you want
to be able to drive through mud and snow in style."
but his time we helped a new member move in. Then we helped a member move into a town in our area called Entiat. It's been an exciting week, and this coming week should be full of surprises. That's all for the week! Love you all!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October 31, 2016 - Happy Halloween!

Elder Gaeta and Elder Miles
This week has been a pretty awesome week! Thanks to the temple trip we had last Tuesday! I honestly love going to the temple. The spirit inside is like nowhere else. As I was sitting inside the temple I kept thinking over and over again at how much I wanted to just stay there forever. As I thought that, my desire and motivation to keep all the commandments grew immensely. I knew that if I stayed true to my covenants, that I would be able to live in a place like that for all eternity with my family. 

Waterville Area
This week the highlight was definitely that we got to go to the temple. Other than that we spent a lot of time out knocking doors and trying to find people. At the beginning of the transfer we spent most of our time going by people that Elder Gaeta had found the previous transfer, but now that we've spent time working with them we've had to drop many of them and we've started to spend more time knocking on doors. It doesn't sound that fun, but it's definitely become more enjoyable the longer I've been on my mission. 

View of Wenatchee on our way back
from Waterville

This week though we were able to talk with Mario again. He's doing well, but he says he wants to take things slow and serious. He doesn't want to jump into something that he is unsure about. He's a great guy though. He loves his kids a lot and is willing to do anything for them. His kids also are super awesome. One of them told us that he knew it was all true because it was said by prophets, so we're excited to see how they progress. We've also found a couple more people this week. One named Felipe and the other Nancy, both we just had a first lesson with, but they seem interested.

Last Saturday we did a little exploring of our area and we went up to a town called Waterville. It's a 35-40 minute drive from East Wenatchee and it's up some mountains, but at the top of the mountains it opens up into a huge plain in which people grow stuff called winter wheat. It's a pretty beautiful area but sadly there weren't too many Hispanics. 

Elder Gaeta, Elder Miles,  Hermana Hansen,
Hermana Tecuatl, Elder Etter, and Elder Christensen
So this Saturday we get our transfer calls again. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. We had our last district council this week and at the end we all guess what's going to happen, and many of the missionaries think we're going to be split up, but I'm not so sure. I guess we'll see what happens.

Something neat I learned this week came from an English member, Brother Oberweiser, that we visited while we were in Waterville. He talked a lot about how he focuses on learning from the little things around him, and as he talked I realized that the smallest things can often have the profoundest meanings, so thinking on that over the weekend I came to realize how often we overlook those small things. In President Ucthdorf's first talk this past conference he talked a little about how we lose appreciation for those small things. As I read through part of that talk, and thought about what Brother Oberweiser said, I decided to focus more energy on seeing the little things and the little blessings in everything. Things like having another day on earth, having rain every day, and all sorts of other small things.

Anyway, love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Elder Miles is 3rd from left on middle row, Elder Gaeta is 1st on left on middle row