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Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017 – Angi, Lydia, and Ryley got baptized!!

This week was quite the week! We had a lot going on, but
Top: Elder Allsop, Me, Tasha, Angi, Josh Lyles (Ward Mission Leader)
Bottom: Lydia and Ryley​
the busyness was totally worth it. The biggest part was making sure Angi and her kids were ready and had been taught everything in preparation for their baptisms. We had taught most things but they were missing just a little. It was super fun working with them this week but Angi was still super nervous about going into the water. So one of the lessons had a huge emphasis on the Priesthood and the power of Priesthood blessings. She was excited to learn about that and little Lydia was blown away that we had the Priesthood. 

Another exciting event from this week was that President Lewis came up for interviews on Tuesday and asked to meet Angi and her family after he had finished interviewing all of the missionaries. It was super awesome. He just talked with her and her family a little about the journey they had made to get to this point and about how excited (and nervous) they were. There's a picture on the mission blog of Elder Allsop and I with Angi and her kids after that little meeting. You'll have to try and track in down. 

This is Sister Mills, Tasha (black beanie on), Lydia,
Angi, and Ryley. Sister Mills was a huge fellowshipper
for them. She's taught just about all of Angi's kids.
Of course the biggest update from this week though was the baptism! It was soooo cool! Angi was terrified of the water but we gave her a blessing beforehand and she told us that she felt "a warm fuzzy feeling" come over her and that she felt like it was all going to be okay. When it was time for her baptism she beat the member into the font and had a HUGE smile on her face, and there was absolutely no trace of fear in her. It was so neat! I got to baptize Lydia, which was awesome, and Elder Allsop baptized Ryley. All around it was a neat experience and I am super happy for them. They are going to make great members. Now we want to work with Angi's oldest daughter, Tasha, to help her get baptized. We're hoping by mid-July she'll be ready.

I'm gonna try and attach a little voice note thing that will allow me to explain it more in depth and you'll be able to hear my voice. So look to that for the details. I hope the voice recording makes sense. It honestly was such a cool experience!!!!

One thing I forgot to mention in my voice note was about the Spirit. Angi asked that I give her the blessing before her baptism and it was probably one of the most humbling and powerful experiences ever. I felt completely and 100% guided by the spirit during the blessing. Not a single word I said was my own thoughts and it felt like the Lord was working through me to talk with Angi. It was so neat! This helped me a ton to strengthen my testimony about the Holy Ghost and his role in our lives. 

Everyone else we're working with is doing well. Trinidy is doing good but she didn't come to church on Sunday. Our member told us that she said she was out of town. The garage project is about to be started but we're waiting on just a few members who can help us really get it going. 

Almost ran over a turtle this week.

I honestly think that's it for the week. Making a voice note makes everything much simpler.

Oh and thanks for all your prayers on behalf of Angi. I'm certain they helped her out a lot. Love you all! The church is true!
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

So as usual this week was super good. We had MLC again on
A picture at MLC. It's Me, Elder Allsop, Hna Andrews,
Hna Fano, Hna Stocking, and Hna Torrez. All of us were
in the MTC together. The sisters all go home
at the end of this transfer. 
Tuesday down in Yakima and we talked about how to implement more of what Elder Anderson talked to us about. It was an awesome meeting, but took up all of Tuesday. We didn't get back to Omak until late Tuesday night, but it was totally worth it. 

This week we've spent a lot of time working with Angie and her kids Lydia and Ryley. They are doing super well. Last night they had their baptismal interviews and it all went really smoothly, though Ryley was a little crazy. He has some autism and ADHD and some other stuff so it was really difficult to keep him focused. He spent like the first 45 minutes at the church at full speed and then totally crashed at the end of the interviews. 

Elder Allsop and I made the cake you sent
us to celebrate our 20th B-Days. He turned 
20 on the 15th

As part of the interview we took Angie down into the baptismal font and filled it up about 6 inches with water so she could walk into it. It took her a while but she slowly moved down into the font and stood in it for a while. She made the trip several times and each time she did better and better. Eventually she was able to sit down on one of the steps and let her hands and feet be in the water. She also at one point put a little bit of water on her face, which was extremely tough for her, but she made it. It was really neat. The entire time she was whispering a prayer that she would be okay.
The drain plug in the font wasn't working correctly
for Patrick's baptism, it was leaking slightly,
so I went in and did my best to fix it.
I got a little wet though.

If you could all please remember her in your prayers this week as she prepares to be baptized this weekend that would be extremely helpful. I don't know if I ever told you but her struggle is that her brother drowned in a river up here in Okanogan and ever since then she has been terrified of the water. So please pray for her so she can make her first covenant with God. She wants it so bad and your prayers will help a ton. 

At Coulee Dam.  We went a few weeks ago.
Other neat highlights of the week - We have been working with a girl named Trinidy for a couple months now and for the first time her mom came to church yesterday!!! It was so cool! Her mom at first was really distant from us, but as we have had more contact with Trinidy we have slowly grown a really cool relationship with her mom. This week her mom offered to let us help her fix up their garage. It was pretty beat up and missing some basic things, like a wall and a door. So we got the Bishop over to their house on Saturday and we took a look at it and the Bishop took some measurements, and then yesterday at church he set up a cool service project with the ward to make sure it got done. This service will be huge for Trinidy and her mom. Trinidy's mom initially didn't want to let Trin get baptized until she had been going to church for a year, but she has seen Trin changing a ton, and this service and her coming to church may just be enough to allow Trinidy to get baptized much sooner!!

The other elders in the ward had a baptism this week as well. He is
the husband of a long time member and just about a month or two ago he told us at dinner that he wanted to start coming to church, and now he's been baptized. This week I had the chance to interview Patrick for his baptism and it was an extremely spiritual experience. He explained to me how he initially didn't like organized religion and had had some bad experiences, but had just recently recognized the power that is in the true church of Christ. He had had some struggles in his life but when I asked him what differences he had seen he told me "It's hard to explain, everything is just better." It was super cool! My favorite part of the interview though was when I asked him if he felt like he was ready to be baptized, and remain true to his covenant for the rest of his life, he said "Yes. I will stick with it until the day I die. I used to question myself out of everything, even the simplest of things, but this I will not question. I know it's true, I know the doctrine is true, and I will always be a part of this church." It was so cool!!! It hit me so hard when he said that and I felt the spirit so strongly. I was extremely impressed by his faith and example. 

Coulee Dam is the largest man made dam in
the world...I think. It's up there. The thing is
absolutely massive
I think that's it for the week! Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Friday, June 16, 2017

June 12, 2017 - What a week!

This week was definitely a highlight from the mission. We've been teaching a lot of awesome people and finding a ton of people, and then to cap it all off we had an amazing mission conference in Kennewick with Elder Neil L. Andersen and President Donald L. Hallstrom. The conference was so good! It was so full of the spirit and was so powerful. There is definitely a special presence around those men. 

President Hallstrom talked a lot about being humble and willing to change. He also talked a lot about how when we go to meetings, we go to be edified, and that the only way to be edified is to feel the spirit, and that the only way to feel the spirit is to have faith, and faith is action. So when we go to meetings we must be willing to act on any impressions that we receive or else we will not get as much out of it. 

Elder Andersen talked a lot about different ways to find (investigators) and how we have to be doing everything we possibly can to find people to teach. That includes being as creative as possible. He talked a lot about focusing on the youth, the less actives, and the part member families in order to receive referrals. It kinda humbled me listening to this because I've never been very good at asking for referrals, but Elder Allsop and I have already made goals to ask for as many referrals as possible, and we have already seen a couple successes. 

Elder Andersen also spoke a lot about how important our time in the mission is. He talked a lot about this is the time to have our own personal conversion. He mentioned that while on a mission we need to develop our testimonies in such a way that we will never be able to imagine leaving the Savior. Then he gave us some ideas on how to do that. He said to pick 10 scriptures from the New Testament and 10 from the Book of Mormon that we know to be true without a doubt, and then memorize them. He said that once those scriptures are part of us they will become part of our heart and part of our bones, and they will come to us in the times of trail that we will face. 

Also, at the conference I ran into some old faces. Colin Van Wagoner is currently serving in the Kennewick mission as well as an old classmate from Lehi, Jaxon Tollman. It was fun to see the both of them again, and they seem to be doing well.

As far as investigators go everyone seems to be doing really well. Angie, Lydia, and Ryley are all doing well. We met Angie's other daughter this week, a 15 yr old by the name of Tasha. They are still doing super well. We had to push Angie's date back a week because she smoked on Monday (they need at least 2 weeks clean), but she has been clean ever since. Angie's been through a lot this week, but she has made some amazing progress. On Tuesday night we got a text from Angie saying her oldest daughter Tasha had disappeared and she was in a panic. We called her and said a prayer with her over the phone to help her rely on the Savior. 

After we hung up, Elder Allsop and I were super nervous that she was going to smoke in order to calm her nerves. We went to bed and the next morning we had a text that said that Tasha was alright and that it was a miscommunication between Angie and her ex-husband. Apparently Tasha had gone on a field trip and the bus had broken down, so naturally the ex-husband told Angie she's missing even though he knew Tasha was on a field trip (kinda messed up). So we went over to Angie's house that afternoon thinking she had smoked a bunch to deal with her panic, but instead she had read like 30 chapters in the Book of Mormon!!! She didn't smoke a single cigarette even though it was probably one of the most stressful moments of her life. She relied on the Lord instead, and because of that her testimony of the Book of Mormon grew so much! It was really, really neat to see. 

Evva, Trinidy, and Jeff and Amanda are all still doing well. Jeff and Amanda have been super hard to be in contact with them these past couple of weeks.

That's all I really have time for! Love you all! 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

June 5, 2017 - Transfer Week

It's been a great week! This weekend we got our transfer calls and Elder Allsop and I get another transfer together here in Omak! We have been super blessed with so many people to teach and it looks like the Lord wants us to continue to work with these people. I am super pumped for these next 6 weeks! So many good things are happening! Probably the coolest thing is that this Saturday we get to go to Kennewick for a joint mission conference. It will be our mission and the Kennewick mission and we get a chance to hear from Elder Neal A Andersen and Elder Donald L Hallstrom!! It's going to be so amazing! 

This week we got to spend a lot more time working with Angie. She's doing super well. She quit smoking and is really excited for baptism. Yesterday at church we had her and her kids, Lydia and Riley, walk down into the baptismal font. The goal was to help her feel more comfortable about having to be submerged in water, which she is terrified of. At first she panicked. She stood at the glass and breathed for a while, and then once she was comfortable there she walked around through the bathroom and came into the baptismal font area. Again she nearly had a panic attack, but with the help of her kids she slowly moved down into the font. She was super anxious but her daughter Lydia said "Its okay mom, just rely on Jesus." After that she totally was able to walk down into the font and stand there. Angie told us that she was about to give up, but her daughter saying that totally helped her to realize she could do it if she relied on Jesus Christ. So, small miracle. Keep praying for her as she prepares for June 17th!

Evva is doing well still. She still hasn't talked to her boyfriend about how she wants to get baptized, so we're still working on that one. She has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon though and is really enjoying it.

Also, Trinidy is still doing well. She's also been reading and praying everyday and came to church as well. She has really enjoyed what she's been feeling. She suffers a lot from anxiety and she told us yesterday that whenever she gets anxious she reads in the Book of Mormon and that it comforts her. Sadly, her mom wants her to wait a year before she gets baptized, so we're still working on that. 

I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week!
Love you all!!
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission