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Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26, 2016 - Feliz Navidad y un Prospero Ano Nuevo

Well I don't have a whole lot to tell you. This last week was pretty
Saturday afternoon Spanish caroling
great. We've had a couple investigators drop us but we were also able to find a couple more investigators this week, so when they start progressing I'll give you an update. 

I think I talked about just about everything last night, but I should have a lot of pictures for you guys. We did some caroling this weekend and it was a lot of fun. The cool thing about caroling was when you carol to a Mexican there is a pretty high chance that you get let in and fed. So we got a second dinner Saturday night and I was super stuffed, but it was fun. 

Love you all!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
Spanish Caroling Sunday night after dinner

I slipped jogging back to our van and Elder Aguirre wouldn't let me get up until he had taken plenty of pictures.

We played pool while the other elders got haircuts. I should have won but I scratched on the 8 ball at the end

We took some cool pics of the Christus statue I got

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2106 - Feliz Navidad

I honestly don't know where to begin this week. It feels like so much has happened this week, but it all seems so long ago. This week we had to organize transfers for the zone, which was quite the crazy experience. I don't think I've ever made so many phone calls in my life but it all turned out well in the end. 

This week has been full of some pretty amazing miracles. All of which I am certain are because of the Christmas spirit. We have been invited into so many houses and have had the chance to talk with so many cool people that I honestly am amazed. This week we have found 3 families to teach each of which has some awesome potential, plus we have found several individuals. Each time we taught these families the spirit has been amazing. 

The first family is Jorge and Maria Villamil Rojas with their
Elder miles tracting in the snow, in an orchard
daughter Juliana. They are the happiest people I have ever met. It's amazing. When we first went to knock their door the husband Jorge came down the stairs with the biggest smile on his face and opened the door before we even had to knock. Then when we went back to visit them they let us right in and we had a super spiritual and amazing lesson. 

The next family is the De La Cruz family. We knocked on their door and they instantly let us right in. It turns out that the mom is the sister of one of the members of our ward. We were shocked when we she told us they had never talked to missionaries before. So we taught them the Restoration and the lesson was super powerful. When we talked about Joseph Smith's first vision there was this silence that fell over everyone and it was honestly so cool. 

The last family is the Bernal family. They're great as well. They let us come right in and we shared the Christmas video with them and they were more than happy to let us come back. 

​"Exploring our area a little. Trying to find the Hispanics hiding in the hills."
Oh, we also met a Cuban guy this week who is honestly so cool. He doesn't really have a belief in God but he wants to. We talked with him about the Book of Mormon and how it's the proof that our church is true and a second witness to the bible that Jesus is the Christ. It was a super neat lesson and we are super excited to go back. 

This next week should be fantastic. We are really looking forward to being able to teach these families especially with Christmas coming soon. We're praying that things keep going well for them and that they will be able to receive the answers to their prayers. 

Love you all! Feliz Navidad!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016 – Leavenworth

This week was a pretty awesome week! We had the chance to take
Elder Miles and Elder Aguirre in Leavenworth, WA
part in a really cool service opportunity for the city of Leavenworth. Leavenworth is this German-like town that is up in the middle of the mountains about 30 minutes from Wenatchee and every year they have this huge Christmas event that people from around the world come to. They say on average they get 15-20 thousand people per weekend for each week here in December that come to this event. There are several members of the church that work with the city and they recommended missionaries to help with the event. One of the members got in contact with President Lewis and he agreed to send missionaries up there every Saturday for the month of December to help with the events. 

Elder Aguirre, Sister Hirsche, Sister Lowham, Elder Miles
These were the stars and bells they walked through
the crowd with
This last Saturday Elder Aguirre and I had the opportunity to take part in this event and it was honestly so cool. The city honestly looks like a little old German town and it was packed with people. It was a great chance for the church to get some good exposure for people all around the world, the hardest part though is that we weren't allowed to do any proselyting. So we couldn't bring up the church unless someone asked us about it. So to try and talk to as many people as we could Elder Aguirre and I would offer to take pictures for people and then chat with them as we were taking their photos. Not many Gospel conversations got started but we did get to talk to a lot of people.

We also got to help with their lighting ceremony, which I am sure is on the internet somewhere. Elder Aguirre and I help with giant stars and two sister missionaries rang bells as we walked to this little gazebo thing. When we got to the gazebo they did a countdown and then lit up all the lights. It was pretty awesome. The lights, with the snow falling, was quite the sight. 

Also this week on Tuesday, we had our Christmas Gathering in Quincy! And I got to see both Elder Allsop and Elder Klossner for the first time since the MTC. It was so cool. We had a chance to see so many missionaries and it was a really neat experience. We had to do a musical number and share a short Christmas story. So our zone sang "Mary, Did You Know?" (the Pentatonix version), and just shared the Christ story using scriptures from the point of view of Mary. It was super awesome and went really well. 

The week has been great. It's been pretty busy but things are going really well. We have found several more investigators this week and the work is coming along. We just need to find those people who have to the desire to make a change. This week has also been super cold and snowy. We got our first snow storm and it snowed for a good long while. The week has been great and I couldn't be happier! Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
Elder Aguirre and Elder Miles in Leavenworth, WA

Elder Aguirre, Elder Miles, Sister Hirsche, Sister Lowham

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016

Elder Allsop, Elder Harman, Elder Wunderlich,
Elder Cannon (the one half squatting),
Elder Miles, Elder Kiser - 
Elders Allsop, Harman, Kiser, and I all served
around each other in Yakima. Now we get to see
each other once a month at a meeting! 
This week has been another crazy week. We've had so much going on that I haven't left my study room until 10:25 every night, which means I just brush my teeth, pray, and then go to bed. We've had a lot of things to take care of this week and we're looking at another pretty busy week. I honestly can't remember how much stuff we've had to do but I know it's always been crazy. 

This week we've had quite a few meetings. On Tuesday we had a meeting in Yakima with President and the other Zone Leaders and STLs, then on Thursday we had a meeting with our District Leaders, and then on Saturday we had a meeting with the whole zone. It was crazy and we had to plan for a lot of it, as well as try and get all of the numbers we needed for a meeting with the Stake Presidency that we had yesterday. Even with all of the meetings we've had we have seen some cool miracles. We were teaching this girl named Jenny, and she was progressing super well and reading in the Book of Mormon, but sadly she moved to Mexico this last Thursday, so we got her all set up so hopefully the missionaries down there will help her make the final steps. We also have been working with a lady named Norma. She's the mom of two young kids who is going through the loss of a loved one. We've taught her a few times about the strength that the Book of Mormon can bring into our lives, as well as the Plan of Salvation. 

It was a little foggy Sunday morning,
so we decided it was a nice time to pose
Last night we had the chance to watch the Christmas Devotional and something struck me that I had honestly never thought of before. I don't remember who it was but one of the talks was about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it is one of the greatest gifts we could ever be given. At one point he said that the Holy Ghost is part of the godhead and for some reason that struck me like it never had before. I realized just how much we take for granted the Holy Ghost in our lives. We literally have one of the godhead promised to be our constant companion. He is one of the 3 most powerful beings ever! And we get him as our constant guide! What an amazing blessing that is for us. I think that so often we think of the Holy Ghost as our buddy when we behave correctly but he is so much more than that. He is a member of the godhead and he is our constant companion. That struck me pretty hard. I had never really thought of it like this but it was definitely a wonderful learning opportunity for me. 

I think that's it for the week! Love you!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission