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Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017

We had another amazing week. Our group of 21 investigators shrunk a little as a few people dropped us, but we are still working with about 15 people. It's been really amazing to see the progress of some of these people, especially this week. 

The biggest highlight is that Angie and her kids Lydia and Riley came to church and loved it! Angie is super excited to become a "Mormon" she loves the Book of Mormon and has already seen it bless her life. We also talked with her this week about the Word of Wisdom, she struggles with smoking, so your prayers for her to stop smoking would be wonderful. She has already made huge progress in her effort to stop smoking and hopefully she will be fully free from cigarettes by Saturday. If she's not 100% clean by Saturday we will have to push her baptismal date back. Investigators have to be clean for at least 2 weeks before their baptism and she and her kids are currently scheduled for June 17th. Also, if you could pray for her about her fear of water. She gets super anxious about water, especially going all the way under the water. She even gets anxious when just thinking about her baptism. So all the prayers you can give would be extremely appreciated.

Evva also came to church again! She's doing super well. It was tough couple weeks of little contact but we seem to be back on the same page. We've taught her several more times this week and tonight she's going to have the talk with her boyfriend about the Law of Chastity, so hopefully everything goes well. She wants to get baptized super bad, and absolutely loves the Gospel. The problem though is her boyfriend is an atheist who also isn't a huge fan of families, so any prayers you can say for Evva would super good for her as well. 

We're also back on track with Trinidy. She's the 14 year old girl we were working with. She came to church on Sunday as well!! Her mom only wanted her to go to church on Sundays and do mutual on Wednesdays, thinking that we met with Trinidy each time, so this week we stopped by and talked with her mom a little and worked out how we can help Trinidy continue to learn and grow in her knowledge and testimony of the Gospel. She's also had a bit of a rough spell this weekend. I guess her dad, who is not a good guy, showed up back in town randomly this weekend and she is pretty stressed out about it. So more prayers for her would be awesome. 

I wish I had more time to tell you about some of the others we started working with last week, but I'll fill you in on them as they start to progress. Love you all!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May 22, 2017 – 21

Things are going super amazing here in Omak! Elder Allsop and I are seeing so many blessings and miracles, and this week was so full of them! I feel so blessed to have had all these wonderful things happen, I am humbled by how much the Lord has blessed us recently. This week alone we found 10 new investigators and we now have a teaching pool of 21 investigators! This is easily the most I have had my whole mission, and it has been crazy to try and find time to visit all of these people. A good amount of these people have a ton of potential as well. 

I wish I had time to fill you in on everyone that we have been teaching, but that would take more time than I have so I'll update you on a few people. 

First, Jeff and Amanda are still doing well. Amanda was a little turned off when we talked about marriage with them. I guess she doesn't think that not being married should affect her being with her family for eternity. They had a little rough bump but they're still doing super well. 

Eva is still doing well. She really wants to get baptized but is just not putting it as a huge priority right now. She decided that she actually wants to marry her boyfriend, which was a very unexpected decision. He has no belief in God, doesn't want children, and doesn't care about eternal families, and she wants all of that. It's kinda a tricky situation, but we'll see what happens this week. 

Trinidy is still doing well, just progressing slowly.

We've also started working with 3 new families. The first is Angie and her kids Lydia (11) and Riley (9). Angie has been clean from drugs for two years and is looking to get more support from God in her life and her kids’ lives. She was a referral from a member and now they're looking to be baptized on June 17th. They are super stoked to learn and grow as a family.

The next family is Dimitri, Dejan (14), and Shenaine (12). The dad is a single dad from the Philippines and he just wants to grow his personal relationship with God. He is currently Catholic but says that religion to him is a way to become closer to God, so we're hoping that as he reads the Book of Mormon that he will recognize that this is the truth. His only hold up right now is that Catholicism is a tradition in his family and he doesn't want to change that. So pray that his heart is softened to the fact that there is only one true church.

The third family is Greg and Vicki with their two boys, Brecken (10) and Logan (5). They are such a cool family as well!! We've been trying with them for a while and Vicki just kept telling us that they were too busy and that we should come back another day, but this last week she set an appointment with us for Sunday, and when we went by they were totally ready to sit down with us. It was super cool. They live in a really nice house up on a hill, and you wouldn't generally expect those types of people to be open and humble but Greg and Vicki totally are! They are super family oriented and they loved The Family Proclamation. They also said that they want to do whatever will make their family closer. So they're willing to do just about anything. They're even going to hold a FHE by themselves! The hard part is that they are just genuinely busy. They are super busy all of the time so if you could pray that their schedule opens up that would be awesome! Also Brecken is a soccer stud. 

Oh also we taught seminary this week, which went super well. The youth up here are so cool!

There's a lot of other people that I wish I had time to tell you about but I don't have much more. Love you all! I appreciate all of your prayers.
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15, 2017 – Quick Update

Not quite super sure what to talk about this week. There wasn't a
We went and did a hike last P-Day.  This is the Omak Valley.
You can sorta see Omak off in the middle left side
whole lot that happened and since we talked last night. I guess a quick update on everyone we're teaching. 

Jeff and Amanda are doing really well. They came to Sacrament meeting again yesterday and seemed to really enjoy it. They had family coming over afterwards so they didn't stay for all three hours. We've had several awesome lessons with them this week. One, we talked with them about how them getting baptized doesn't just mean that they are now part of the church, but it means that they can start working towards the temple and being sealed for eternity, which seemed to put everything in perspective for them. It was really awesome!

We just picked a mountain and climbed straight up it.
Trinidy is doing well! She really loves learning and has been progressing well. She has had a lot of struggles in her life, but it's been cool because she's already seen how much the Gospel has already affected her. She recognizes that her struggles have lessened since she started learning about the church, and her mom has recognized it as well.

Evva we haven't seen much this week. She's been having a hard time lately and we're not quite sure what's going on. Hopefully we can get back in contact with her this week.

Also we met this awesome other little family. The dad's name is
Dimitri and they're from the Philippines. He is a single dad with a son and a daughter. We met them on Wednesday and then had a return appointment for last night, which was super good. Dimitri is currently Catholic, but he was telling us last night that he only sees church as a place to worship God, not as something that defines him in any way, so we're pretty hopeful for him. As he reads the Book of Mormon he definitely recognizes that there is more for him and his family.

I think that's it! Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission
​Selfie with Elder Allsop

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017 – Milagros!

So this week has been so full of miracles and some super
Pic of our car and a part of our area.
amazing experiences! I wish I had a little bit more time to write but I'm running out so I may have to make this a little shorter than I want to. First off we had an awesome MLC on Tuesday! There have been a lot of changes in the missionary work lately and we're still trying to figure out how we're going to work through some of the new changes, so we spent a lot of time counseling on how we can implement new things without losing anything. Also it was super good to see a bunch of other missionaries again, and President and Sister Lewis. One of the coolest parts about MLC was President told us that on June 10th our mission is having a joint mission conference with our neighboring Kennewick mission and that a member
Our apartment
of the Quorum of the Twelve will be there!! Along with a member of the Presidency of the Seventy! It should be a super cool experience!! Don't know who they'll be yet though.

Ok so this week we've worked more with Jeff and Amanda and Evva. All three are doing super well. Though sadly none of them came to church this week, which is kinda sad. However they're doing really well. On Friday we went and helped Jeff and Amanda build these garden things. We stacked a ton of logs in a prism shape and then poured wood chips all over them. Now Jeff is going to put a bunch of top soil over the top of that. Apparently what happens is the logs decay underneath and keep the dirt super nicely fertilized. It looks pretty good. We're working with them to help them get an answer.
Our apartment
Hopefully by the end of this week they'll have one and be more active in coming to church.

Evva is doing really well! We had an awesome lesson with her on Wednesday about baptism and the Law of Chastity. She's living with a boyfriend right now and he is not interested at all. It was super cool though, before the lesson even started Evva told us and our member that she felt like it was time to end her relationship with this guy because their views on life, God, and kids were complete opposites. So we talked to her about God's stance on things and she was totally in. Now we're just waiting to see what happens. Also she super badly wants to get baptized and is currently scheduled for May 27th!!!! So pray for her!

Our apartment
We found another awesome person this week as well! We were doing some tracting and we saw a member outside of her house doing some yard work so we figured why not ask her (Sister Bauer) who we should visit on her street. As we were talking to her a young girl walked by and SIster Bauer said "Hey Trinidy! How're you?" Trinidy (age 14) walked over and we talked with her for like 20 minutes with Sister Bauer, we showed her the Prince of Peace video from Easter, and she loved it! She thought it was so cool. So we invited her to church and she said she was in! Then on Saturday Sister Bauer hooked us up with a church tour with Trinidy and we had an awesome church tour where we taught the Restoration and Baptism, and she totally wants to get baptized!

It was super funny during the church tour she told us that
Mustache man painted on a fire hydrant.
her mom said that Mormons all have 2 wives, and her response to her mom was "Okay! I'm okay with that!" She also read us a text from her brother that said that he was okay for her going to whatever church she wanted as long as it made her happy. Also she introduced herself to a member of the bishopric as the newest member of the church. She is totally into the church and has absolutely loved it! Then last night (Sunday) we had a lesson at the Bauer's home with the mom there. We re-taught the Restoration (for the mom) and invited Trinidy to be baptized on May 27th! With her mom's permission of course and the mom (Tina) said that would be okay as long as Trinidy wanted to!! So Trinidy is also going to be baptized this month! It was so awesome! Tina seems fairly interested but she's kinda reserved right now. Hopefully as we continue to teach Trinidy she'll start to open up more.

That's about it for the week! Love you all! 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 1, 2017 – Omak

Had to get a pic with all of us before I left.
Jose is so cool!! I miss him and his kids.
Hey so this week has been pretty sweet. I had to say goodbye to a lot of really cool people in Wenatchee, which was kinda sad, but it's been super fun to meet everyone up here in Omak. To give you a little info about my area - I am actually serving in an English ward that has a little tiny Spanish group attached to it, and because of this I am actually doing both English work and Spanish work, which is super new to me. There are a lot of areas like this in the mission but up until now I haven't been in one. I've been fortunate I guess you could say but I am super excited to be doing some English work as well. It'll be a little different but it's going to be super fun. Elder Allsop and I have already seen some pretty amazing things happen.

I'm serving in the Omak Ward which is part of the Ephrata stake and I am one of two sets of missionaries in the ward. Our area is technically the towns of Okanagon and Mallott, which are two towns just south of Omak. There's not a whole lot of people in those areas and even fewer Hispanics, but there are certainly a lot of Native Americans. Just outside of Omak there is an Indian reservation and so a lot of the people that we talk to have direct Native American descent which is pretty cool. It's also really interesting because most of them have no Christian background.

The Purple Palace! Our apartment in Omak.
We live in the upstairs apartment.
The ward members are super cool. I may or may not be related to one of them. One is actually from Cedar Hills and went to Lone Peak back in 2008, the rest are pretty amazing. We are the only ward that uses our building so it's pretty small. Our chapel back home could probably eat it three times. It's kinda funny everyone here in Omak and Okanagon know exactly where the church building is. It's right in the parking lot of the only Wal-Mart around.  

So I got to jump right into working with some pretty cool
This is the Villalobos family. They are such a strong family.
Brother Villalobos would literally do anything we asked
him to, and he has been a huge part of the
success of the ward recently in Wenatchee. ​
investigators. One is this small family of 4. The parents are Jeff and Amanda and the kids Quinn and Ty. When I got here they had never come to church but had met a lot with Elder Allsop and Elder Harman, they'd been to the church building several times for activities and for a church tour but for some reason the idea of going to the church was scary for them. So Saturday night we had a lesson with them and our only goal was to make sure they got to church. So we talked about church for 45 minutes with them, and just broke down every excuse they may have, and gave them as many good reasons to go as possible. We focused a lot on their kids, and how going to church would affect their kids more than anything. Our member, Sister White (she's the wife of the guy form Cedar Hills), bore some seriously strong testimony about how the only way their kids are going to learn about God is by them doing things. She got pretty bold with them which was super awesome! And they came to church Sunday morning!! They only stayed for Sacrament, that's all that they would commit for, but at least they got there, and they really enjoyed it. Hopefully next week we can get them to come for all three hours.

This is Nancy. She's the one Elder Cannon
and I were working a lot with before I left.
She's hopefully is getting baptized this month.
We also taught this really cool girl named Eva who is super prepared. She loves the Gospel and really wants it in her life. She loves church and loves the ward. She's also doing super well. We had a lesson with her on Saturday and we taught the Plan of Salvation, and she totally loved it. She thought it was so cool. She didn't come to church yesterday because she got really sick in the night but we have a lesson set up with her for tonight.

This is Brother and Sister Clive and their little boy Russell. He is the Ward Mission Leader in the Spanish Ward in Wenatchee and he is a lot like Brother Villalobos. He would do anything for us, and they fed us every Thursday, and the food was always so good! Brother Clive has probably some of the best Spanish I have ever heard, and he's teaching little Russell which is so cool! Russell's Spanish is amazing.
I am super stoked to be in this area and to work with Elder Allsop. I love teaching with Elder Allsop, it already feels like we've been companions for a long time. In the MTC we thought it was funny because we had basically the same personality and ideas, and now actually working together is super cool. I feel like I'm working with myself. It's kinda strange, but I love it! We honestly work so well together. 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

This is Ivan and Melissa! They're Jose's kids and they are probably the cutest kids I have ever met. They look like twins but Melissa is a year and a half older than Ivan. He just turned four and she's been five for a while, but he's bigger than her which is pretty funny.

This is Jr. and Julissa Zavala. There family came to church once and we were working with them for a little while. They're pretty cool. 

This is Esteban, Liliana, and Aldo. They would feed us the best Mexican food every Wednesday. Liliana was our "Mom" in the Spanish ward. She made such good Mexican food and I'm super stoked to show some of it to you all.