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Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 - The Cabin Crew

This week has been a good one, but Elder Allsop got shipped down to Yakima. It'll be sad working without him, but this next transfer in this area is going to be amazing!

Everyone that we're working with seems to be doing well. Working
with the Hispanic guys has been super fun. We call them the Cabin Crew. There are 20 of them living in a single cabin in the middle of a cherry orchard. We had the chance to teach them another lesson this last week and it was super cool. We all read in the Book of Mormon together and there was like 6 or 7 guys that joined in. Not all of them are super interested but it's been super fun to teach them. Its kinda weird teaching in Spanish again but I feel like my Spanish hasn't changed much. If anything I feel like it's gotten a little better. There are two that are the most interested. One is named Antonio and the other is Carlos. They were the two friends of Jose that came last week.

Antonio especially is really cool. He dislocated his shoulder this weekend while working in the cherry fields and had the weekend off to rest so he was able to come to church. Everyone else had to work on Sunday so they couldn't come. Jose told Elder Allsop and me that he absolutely loves coming to church. He says it feels amazing to be at church and that being at church and having us come visit him brings him so much peace, and he told us that he'll come to church as long as we have someone come pick him up. So I'm pretty stoked for his potential. My vision for him is to have him get baptized up here and then return to Mexico and help his family get baptized as well. 

Trinidy is doing super well. She is reading and praying every day and this week she is going to girl’s camp. I'm super stoked that she gets to go. It's going to be an awesome chance for her to be away from any bad influences from her mom or dad and she'll get to really feel the spirit. She is an awesome girl, and I really hope that she can stay strong in the adversities that she faces on a daily basis. The coolest thing is she continues to read, pray, and go to church, and these three simple things are what allow us to have strength when facing any challenge. 

Angi isn't doing super well. She hasn't been to church in several weeks and we're a little worried about her. She seems okay when we go over but she doesn't read at all. Please continue to pray for her! She needs it!

Also! We taught Jeff and Amanda again! I don't know if you remember them but we were teaching them when I first got here. Well around Memorial Day they stopped responding to our calls and texts and we lost contact with them. Well this week we stopped by and had a quick chat with them and then had an awesome lesson last night. They're doing well, but almost too well. They stopped reading and praying and feel like their lives haven't changed much at all. So we had a good lesson on how that it's especially important to read and pray when life is good, so then when life gets hard we have those good habits formed, and we can withstand the struggles that come.

That's about it for the week. If I've learned anything this week it's how important the Primary answers are! Never stop reading, praying, or going to church!
-- 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 - Finally Got to Teach in Spanish!!!

So the highlight of the week was we found someone to teach in Spanish! The entire time I have been in this area I have been praying for a chance to teach someone in Spanish, and just as I was beginning to think it wasn't going to happen our Ward Mission Leader gave us a referral. 

He met Jose a little over a week ago and talked with him about the church. Apparently Jose had gone to church several times in Mexico and enjoyed learning from the Elders down there and now he is here in Okanogan working in the orchards. When he met Josh (our Ward Mission Leader) he was excited to reconnect with the church. We called Jose on the phone last Tuesday night and set up a lesson for Wednesday and then spent an hour looking for him Wednesday night. Jose didn't know his address and so we just kinda guessed where his house was and went for it. After a little while we found it and had a nice lesson with him. We also went back on Saturday. On Saturday Jose asked our Josh if he would be able to pick him and a friend up for church the next day. And when he showed up to church he had brought two friends with him! And now all 3 of them want to learn!! 

This experience was super neat. It helped me to realize that God answer's prayers but in his own timing. It doesn't always come when we want it, but it does come. 

We had another visit with Trinidy this week. Which was really good, but she's having a hard time. I guess both her parents are extremely awful to her, so she has to pick which one she hates less, and that's the one she lives with. It was super sad to hear about her struggles so if you could all keep her in your prayers it would help her immensely. She needs the Gospel desperately in her life and if she can figure out how to apply the Atonement it would be so good for her. 

Angi is doing well. She's been hard to meet with but is doing well. We've been trying to work with Tasha but it's been super hard because she spent all week at her dad's house. But we saw them last night for a brief moment and talked with Tasha and Lydia about being at Angi's for the week. Pray that they stay with Angi all week so we can work with them and help Tasha get to baptism. 

For the 4th, Elder Allsop and I spent it in Yakima at the mission home. It was super fun and is always an awesome learning experience. I think my favorite part about MLC's are that the entire time we are discussing the focus on the missionaries in the mission. It's a "How can we help the entire mission?" attitude, which I absolutely love. As with every MLC Elder Allsop and I have a 5 hour trip back to Omak, which is not too bad, and this time it was even better. As we neared our apartment, at about 10:15, all of Omak was lit up in fireworks. There were so many fireworks going off as we pulled into town. It was super cool. 

There were a couple really neat experiences this week that really touched me, and both of them happened last night. So every Sunday we go over the Bauer's, who are the fellowship family for Trinidy, to have a lesson with them and Trin. Trin calls them her mom and dad, and her brothers and sisters. This family literally has created a safe haven for Trin from the awfulness she faces on a daily basis. Being at the Bauer's is always a spiritual and special experience but last night there was a brief moment that really touched me. 

We were waiting for Trinidy to come into the living room and I looked to my left and I saw the Bauer's 7 year old son praying personally over a small bowl of noodles that he was having for a snack. When I saw this, the thought came to my mind "This is how you make sure your kids can withstand the temptations that they will face." Because of this experience I want to make sure my kids understand prayer at a very early age, that it is more than saying a few words to God, but rather that it is building a personal relationship with him. I don't know if I ever prayed personally over my food until I was in High School, and seeing this young boy already beginning to understand why we pray really touched me.

The second experience was later that evening while talking to an elderly gentleman. This man poured out his soul to us and explained how when he was a child his father used to beat him mercilessly and that he had "angels pull him out of his body, and he was held by God until his unconscious body woke up." It always amazes me how people seem to trust a couple 20 year olds with their most painful memories, but this experience helped me to understand a little more about the special spirit of the calling we hold as missionaries. 

Love you all!!
-- 

Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017 – Zone Conference

This week was a good week but not very eventful. We kept well busy but nothing too crazy happened. This week we did have zone conference which ended up taking all day Wednesday. It was planned to only take
part of a day but it ended up going two hours over. It was a really good zone conference though. We focused on all the different ways we can find people to teach. Elder Allsop and I got asked to give a training on tracting, which was super fun. We talked about how to make tracting effective in finding new people to teach. Then we did some practicing with the five zones that were there. 

Angi and her family are doing well. Lydia turned 11 this week and the ward missionaries bought her a cake so we took it to her on Thursday and she stuck her face in it. We're working with Angi right now to help her get to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, which would be super good for her. It would help her solidify her testimony and give her continued motivation to stay on the right path. We're still trying to work with her oldest daughter Tasha, which has turned out to be harder than we thought. She’s your average teenage girl who isn't super interested in much, so pray for her and we'll see what happens. 

We had the chance yesterday to teach Trinidy again. She is doing really well. We are still trying to make plans to help her fix her garage, but most important is that her mom is starting to get on board a little. Her mom was at the lesson last night and Trinidy was answering all of the questions and was showing her mom just how much she knew, which was awesome! Her mom still wants her to wait a year because she feels like Trin needs to know more before she gets baptized, but man Trinidy has learned a ton and now her mom is able to recognize it, so that was super cool. 
Other than that there aren't a whole lot of updates from this week. Happy 4th of July tomorrow!!! Elder Allsop and I will be down in Yakima for MLC. Hopefully we'll have a good barbecue for lunch!
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission