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Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 – JOSE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!

This week was sooooo awesome! We spent so much time working
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with Jose and preparing him for his baptism!!! On Monday last week he was a little nervous about the first of April, he said he wasn't sure if that was the day he wanted, but as we talked he eventually told us that the day didn't matter as long as he was able to make that baptismal covenant with God. When he said that it blew my mind. He is probably one of the most converted people to the Gospel I have ever seen. He's not converted to us or the ward but he is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He understands what faith is, how to repent, and he told us Saturday night that he super is excited to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. He'll be baptized this Saturday, the first of April, at 4 in the afternoon, just before the Priesthood session. 

It's been super cool to watch him progress and I am so grateful for this opportunity and I have learned so much from it as well. One of the biggest things I have learned from Jose is how we ought to honor the commandments. He treats them very sacredly and understands that they come directly from God. As soon as he learns a new commandment he doesn't hesitate to keep it. He just says "okay" and dives in, even before he knows what the blessings are. Like with the Word of Wisdom and Tithing. With both of those commandments he was like "alrighty I'll do it. If it's a commandment then I need to do it." It has helped me to realize just how I should treat and honor the commandments. They are not suggestions or things that are good to do. They are given to us from God and we need to keep them and as we do, God promises to bless us. 

This has been a theme for me throughout the week. I have pondered and thought a lot about the scripture in Mosiah 2:22. It says "And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you." It's so simple! Yet such a powerful promise. All he requires is that we keep His commandments, and when we do that he promises to give us success, and as we know, God is bound to His promises. 

Jose is honestly doing so well. I wish that I could just record every lesson we have with him and send them home to you. He just has so much desire to be better. It is really cool. On Saturday we had an awesome lesson with him about the Atonement and Baptism and he told us about some of the changes he had seen in his life since he started reading in the Book of Mormon and going to church. He feels like he has changed a lot and we have recognized it as well. 

One of the coolest changes I have seen in him is how personal his prayers have become. He just empties his soul to God, and the Spirit is so strong every time he does it. Another is just his countenance. He just looks different. When I first knocked into him when I was with Elder Aguirre he just looked sad (for lack of a better word), but now he has this light about him, and it's sooo cool to see!

 A neat experience with him was on Sunday in Priesthood. Bro Clive (our Ward Mission Leader) stood up and announced his baptism on Saturday and Jose's biggest fellowship, Hno Martinez, was so shocked. I didn't see his face but Elder Cannon told me that is was first like pure shock, and then pure happiness. He then turned to Jose and gave him a huge smile and a big fist bump and then after church Hno Martinez spent like 15-20 minutes just talking with him and sharing scriptures. 

Man I wish I could keep going but I'm running out of time. Jorge is still doing well. We had several nice lessons with him and he's progressing very slowly. He is now praying twice a day and reading 2 verses a day, which is a lot for him. His biggest thing is that a lot of what he learns just doesn't stick, however he has seen some awesome progress and looks a lot happier lately. 

We also had interviews with President again this week and as usual it was an amazing experience. They're always so spiritual. 

Anyway love ya all!! 
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 20, 2017 - What a good week!

Honestly this week has been so good! I honestly am not quite sure where to begin. It's just been so full of miracles and spiritual experiences and I am blown away by how cool the week was.

So this week was transfer week and Elder Cannon and I got asked to be site coordinators down in Quincy. Just about everyone has to go through Quincy to get to the rest of the mission, and it was super cool because we got a chance to see a bunch of missionaries. 

That was fun but not that cool. Then on Friday we had Zone Conference with Elder Juan A Uceda from the Seventy. I don't know if you all remember him but he gave an awesome conference talk last conference about a story on his mission when he was a Zone Leader and his zone went to visit Machu Pichu I believe. Then he nearly ended up falling off a cliff. Any way he came to the mission and gave us some amazing insights. I wish I could have recorded it and sent it home but that's against church policy. It was honestly so good and so spirit filled. I can't really describe it. He just had this presence and power to him, and it was so good. 

Elder Klossner, Elder Allsop and I with Elder Uceda.
His wife is on the back left. He was soooo cool!!!!
One of my favorite quotes from his talk/discussion thing was "I cannot follow a stranger." He was talking about our relationship with Christ and how we have to know him before we can follow him. 

It was also really fun to talk to his wife and him in Spanish. He speaks really good English but she doesn't know much so it was super cool to practice a little Spanish with them. 

Then after Zone Conference we stuck around and had a special Mission Leadership Council with Elder Uceda. It was another super spiritual experience with him. He taught a lot of things, but one of the biggest things that stuck out to me as I sat in MLC was about the power of a simple and sincere testimony. It made me realize that I spend too long trying to convince people to read in the Book of Mormon, pray, or go to church, and instead I need to just bear my testimony. 

That Friday was super powerful and I have a lot of things that I want to work on this coming week. 

Friday night we also had another lesson with Jose! Basically what we did was teach him what we learned from Elder Uceda that day. During Zone Conference Elder Uceda went over Moroni 10:3-5 with us and just pulled it apart. Especially verse 3. He talked a lot about how in verse 3 are the things that Moroni tells us to do in order to prepare to ask and receive an answer. Basically that you can't have verses 4 and 5 if you don't have 3. It was so cool. In verse 3 Moroni invites us to remember how merciful the Lord has been and then to ponder on those things. So he told us that remembering means to remember all of the blessings that he has given us so he told us to write down our blessings. Which is what we did with Jose. We read Moroni 10:3-5 and told him to write down his blessings in preparation to get his answer about baptism. 

We were driving and I thought this was funny.
Then on Saturday we had another lesson with him in which we read a bunch of stories from the Book of Mormon about how different people got their prayers answered in different ways and in different amounts of time. The last story we read was about the brother of Jared and how when he took his question to God, God basically said "What do you want me to do about it?" Then he went and made his rocks and went back to the Lord. We told Jose that this was very much the position he was in. He has been praying and not yet had an answer about when. So we told him, basically God is looking for you to make the first step and so we set a date with him! He's currently working towards April 1!!
When we asked him if he would prepare for that day, he told us that he wasn't sure what it would take. When we told him that he had learned everything and basically just needed the interview he was surprised. He then told us that it didn't matter how many questions he was asked he was going to answer them. It was so cool! He is so ready and is doing soooo well!!! This lesson was probably one of the most spirit led in my whole mission. I literally didn't feel like I had to do a single thing. I just opened my mouth and the words came out. 

Jorge is also doing really well he's just progressing a lot slower. This week our big focus with him was just getting him to read. So our commitment was to read one verse a day, which he has kept all week! He came to church and enjoys it every time, he just doesn't really understand much of anything about God and doesn't catch on to things very well. 

Honestly this week was so powerful, so spiritual I honestly cannot describe it with words, but I feel so motivated to work just that much harder. My testimony has grown so much this week, and I am super excited to share it!

Love you all!
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 – Wow

So this week as usual we had some awesome lessons with Jose and saw some amazing faith from him. Also we taught Jorge a couple times and he is doing super well. 

We taught Jose 3 times this week and each one was super
Elder Cannon and Elder Miles
cool. We have started teaching him some of the commandments and each time we have taught one he's just like "okay I'll do it." We taught him the 10 Commandments, Keep the Sabbath Day Holy, and the Word of Wisdom. The Word of Wisdom lesson with him was especially cool. We were a little nervous about what he would think of the Word of Wisdom because he had told us several times that he drinks a lot of coffee. Well we started to teach him and he was a little surprised. He told us " I had never known that God asked us not to drink coffee but that won't be a problem. I can give that up in a day." He went on to tell us that he had given up smoking so coffee shouldn't even be difficult. That was on Saturday. I thought this was so cool. It showed so much faith on his part. As soon as he learned that God commanded us to not drink coffee he was willing to do it in an instant. In the same lesson Jose told us that he has been working late recently so that way he can come to church on Sunday. #SabbathDayHoly

Then on Sunday his biggest fellowship, Hno Martinez, invited him and us over for dinner with his family. It was probably the most perfect dinner/lesson that we could have had with Jose. Hno Martinez had invited some other of his family over and so it was a full house and the spirit in the house was so cool. We spent like 35 minutes during dinner talking about different types of bananas. The Martinez family is from Ecuador and that's where most of the bananas are grown. We also ate this cool food called seco do pollo. It was this chicken boiled in this really tasty broth then put over some rice with fried bananas on top of it (that's how we started talking about bananas). Then as dinner was wrapping up all of the relatives left and it was just us with Jose and the Martinez family. 

For the message we shared President Monson's talk on the Word of Wisdom from the Priesthood session in October. Church that day had been all about prophets so we thought it would be cool to show Jose a video of the prophet. After we watched the video we talked a little about General Conference and Hno Martinez invited to take Jose to Utah for the October Conference!! It was so cool! Jose is basically a member he just hasn't been baptized yet. He's been to church 5 times now and has learned so much! He told us again this week that he was going to be baptized he just kinda hoped to have some of his family here. 

The Elders with the Wenatchee Stake Presidency
Mission President Lewis is on the far left
Also this week Jose has read from 2 Nephi 29 to Alma 11. That's like 50 chapters! He is loving reading the Book of Mormon. He said that along with his reading that he will listen to it as he works! He puts in headphones and listens to it and then he goes back and reads it. He also takes notes in a little journal as he reads. He has definitely figured out how to study. 

Jorge also came to church on Sunday. He's been doing well. He doesn't have a whole lot of knowledge about anything religious so we've been working really slowly with him. This week we focused a lot on just making sure he knew how to pray. This week somehow we ended up talking about the resurrection and how we will have perfect bodies that are without sickness, and since he has to go get dialysis 3 times a week this gave him a lot of hope. I could see it in his eyes and it was so cool. He had a big smile on Sunday, which was super awesome.

Also this weekend was transfers but I get to stay another transfer in Wenatchee with Elder Cannon!!!!!!!!! By the end of this transfer I will have spent 7ish months here in Wenatchee, which I ain't even mad about. The ward here is so cool and they have done a fantastic job at welcoming all of the people that have come to church. I love it here in Wenatchee and I'm excited to stay here!

This week also we ran this trail for workout one morning. It's called Saddle Rock. It was pretty short but it was fairly steep. The top gave a really cool view of the Wenatchee Valley. 
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017 - Chloe...Our New Fridge!!

Jose Rios came to church yesterday! He came for all three hours and absolutely loved it! He just gets stronger and stronger in the Gospel and he loves it. He just recently finished 2nd Nephi and is starting Jacob. He has kept telling us that he wants to understand more about the Book of Mormon before he gets baptized and so we're going to focus really hard on just reading as much as we can in the BoM, so that way he feels comfortable with it. He's going to get baptized, the biggest question however is when. He knows it's the next step and he wants to make it. He just also wants to know more. He honestly seems like a member now. He answers questions in Gospel Principles and loves learning. 

Also Jorge Gonzalez came to church again!! He hasn't been
Spray painting the skyscrapers for Special Olympics
i
n a couple weeks and this week he told us that he has been missing coming to church. He came to church and honestly really seemed to like it. He doesn't have much of any background in God and so we've slowed down a lot with him and we're just focusing on helping him with the little things (namely prayer), and teaching him little by little. Since we've started to do that he's changed a lot already. He seems happier and he'll call us to set up lessons. It's been really cool to see the change in him and Jose as they've made changes in their lives.

Sadly the Zavala family didn't come to church. They told us they were going to come but didn't make it. We're not sure why but they're doing good still. They've been reading in the BoM and have really enjoyed the changes they've seen in their lives. On Saturday night we had a short lesson with them and their Husky spent the entire lesson throwing up so I decided to try and win some brownie points and cleaned it up. It was super gross but worth it. He also peed. I think I spent 20 minutes washing my hands. 

Blowing up balloons for Special Olympics
This last weekend we also got to do service for the Special Olympics. The statewide Olympics for the winter are generally held here in Wenatchee and they always ask for missionary help. So we went Friday and Saturday morning and helped set up for all the indoor activities and events. We probably blew up like 4,000 balloons. Thankfully they had a bunch of helium tanks.

Yesterday in church we had Stake Correlation. I think Stake
​Special Olympics was superhero themed.
So we made a skyscraper.
Not the best job, but it could have been worse.
Correlations are one of my most favorite things about serving here in Wenatchee. President Hunsaker is honestly so cool. He has so much excitement and energy for missionary work and it's extremely catchy. President and Sister Lewis came yesterday as well and they loved the meeting.  

On Thursday we spent the day down in Yakima for exchanges with the APs. It's always weird going back there and seeing all the things that I spent 4 and a half months seeing. It was super fun though. We had some good success.

​CHLOE...keeps the food real fresh...
and my tag is upside down whoops
So the reason for the title. Our fridge was super gross. Had a lot of rust on it and was falling apart. The top shelf broke last week because there has been nearly 10 gallons of stuff on it. So we called and got a BRAND NEW ONE!! Then we named it Chloe and she keeps the food real cold.  

Love you all!!! The church is true!! Hope you have a good week!
-- 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission