Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Epilogue September 10, 2014

Elder Miller made it safely home on September 26, 2014--after an overnight flight. Just like when he left--I tracked the plane!

Dad was first to spot him coming down the escalator. I must have been jumping and or crying because my pictures were all blurry. Luckily his Dad got a pretty good shot.

That last step off the escalator . . .

I got the hug I'd waited for for 2 years!

Then it was Dad's turn.

Then big brother, Ryan . . .

Then little brother, Remington.

After a party at our house, unpacking, packing, a bittersweet few days of seeing family members and saying farewell to his Grandmother, more unpacking and packing . . . Reece gave an awesome talk in church (despite English feeling like a foreign language).

And then he was off . . . to new adventures at BYU. Thank you for sharing this adventure of a lifetime with Elder Miller and his family!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Last One (Ones) August 18 & 19

War Party!!! They fought the good fight on!!!
We love you guys!--President and Sister Montiero

Wow. Last email.

I’m drained . . . ha It’s been hard to sleep this past week, because I’m nervous/sad/excited, but mostly excited to see you all.

Yesterday we baptized!! M. . . . is the daughter of an older couple in the ward. The parents are recent converts and were less active three weeks ago when we found them. But we have successfully re-activated the family and now baptized the oldest daughter (M.) I’ll send pics. She is pregnant, and it’s a high risk pregnancy, so the baptism was a little awkward. ha I kneeled down and she sat and I had to like hug her . . . but it worked out, and it was a spiritual moment. :)

We’re going to work our butts off this week. And hopefully I’ll get to see 2 more baptisms before I head home. The man we were going to baptize two weeks ago, has been coming to church by himself for four weeks now, and he is so ready to be baptized. Hopefully, President will see that, too and we can baptize him this Sunday.

F., a man I taught in my last area (the one who gave me the Brasil jacket) was an “eternal investigator” (someone that goes to church forever, but never wants to get baptized). I told him I wanted to see his baptism, before I left and he said ok. So it’s going to be this Saturday!!! He is awesome . . . and he is for sure going to be Bishop someday!!! I’m stoked!!!
It’s going to bitter-sweet, going home. It’s so good to be an "Elder."  The mission has truly changed my life and I am so grateful I served. Thank you Mom, Dad, Ryan and Remi, for all the support, emails, letters, packages and love. You are the best. I love you all.

ELDER Miller

PS My comp is letting me hook my camera up, but I’ll show the pics of the baptism next week.
Trunky Scripture
John 1:13-14
13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.

[Sadly, we had to contact Elder Miller again on Tuesday to let him know of the passing of his last grandparent. Scott's mother, Gail Miller, passed away on Monday evening. She was the one who opened the door and her heart to the missionaries many years ago, setting the Miller family in motion towards living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.] 

Well I was extremely sad to learn this morning that Grandma passed away. I really was looking forward to seeing her next week. She almost made it two years and right at the end she passed away.

If you want me to call, president said that I can. Personally, I felt like it would be better to email and talk next week in person.

I will miss Grandma a lot, especially as she was my last grandparent alive. She was so sweet. I miss hearing her soft voice and Southern accent on Sunday afternoon phone calls.

As sad as I am, I’m comforted to know we will all see her again. During the past two years my testimony of the plan of salvation has grown, and I know with certainty that we will see our loved ones who have passed away again. I look forward to seeing Grandma, healthy and happy in the next life.

I´ve learned in my mission that a scripture is worth a thousand words so I’d like to share a couple that bring me comfort.

Alma 28:12 “While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness.”

Alma 11: 42 “Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.”

Mosiah 16:8 “But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”

I love you all so much. You are all in my prayers. Can’t wait to see you next week.

Elder Miller

What are the funeral arrangements?

[Wednesday evening Memorial Service in Grandma’s home ward. And Friday morning Graveside Service in Birmingham.]

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Next to Last Email from Curititba

Oi fam,

Well, time is flying by. Seeing my flight itinerary made me trunky... ha 
I can’t believe there is only two weeks left. Crazy.

We were supposed to have a baptism this week, but President said he needed to wait a little but more to be baptized. It was sad, because he really wants to starts over and become a member of the church, but it’s probably the right thing to do.

His name is J., and since we have been teaching him we have flushed his weed and alcohol down the toilet, and this Sunday he showed up by himself at church at 7:30 . . . because he wanted to get there early "to talk to God." He’s a great guy . . . and hopefully before I go home I get to see his baptism.

We also have another lady that we are teaching named M., that came to church this Sunday and liked it. Hopefully, I get to see her baptism as well. ha She’s been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and already has a testimony, I think.

Mom, stop falling. ha That looks like it hurt.

Dad, Looks like I’ll be getting in at 9 on the 26th. ha

Ryan, when are you going out to Provo?

Remi, only two days left of summer? It goes by fast, huh?!!

Love you all,

Elder Miller

From the back-and-forth with Dad:

Dad: Hey, bud! Just called the library to tell Mom you’re on, but it’s busy. I’ll keep trying.

So how are you set for money? Did you call BOA, or decide not to worry about extending your card?

Glad to hear about J. I think the president is right, and if J. really is repentant he’ll wait. And good for M.! I hope you get to see them both baptized.

Elder Miller: I wasn’t able to call Bank of America . . . I don’t think I need to, though. There shouldn’t be any fees. I just will have two bags and my guitar which I think counts as a carry on.
And yeah hopefully he keeps going strong! He’s a great guy.

Dad: Will you be allowed to visit any previous areas or do any sightseeing before you leave?

Elder Miller: I think next Monday we are going to go to Park Tanguá. But other than that, no. I’d like to go visit a man I baptized in Tamandaré that’s less active now and try and help him.

I’m excited to date again. :) haha. You need to see the cover I made for my planner . . . It’s a tradition in the mission here to make a "trunky" cover for your last planner . . . mine’s about marriage. Haha

From Mom, at the last minute Elder Miller was on:
Mom: Love you, Reecer! Only 2 more. Make ‘em count!

Elder: Love you, too, Mom!!! I will!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Where in Brazil is Elder Miller?

Beleza minha familia??? 

I can’t believe how quickly the time is going by. 
The map of where Elder Miller is! Thanks Mariliana!

Well, I’m here in São Lourenço . . . I’m still zone leader, and my comp Elder Barroso came to the field in the same group as me! He’s way chill and were working well together. Elder Barroso came to the field with me, but I was in the CTM for a whole transfer before him. President will just leave Elder Barroso as Z.L. by himself. I was Z.L. by myself for a transfer. It’s normal here. ha

We’re also training . . . Elder Lindsey ha. Remember him? He’s only got 2 weeks left of training, but its super funny that he’s back with me . . . the prodigal son returned. LOL

We joke around a lot and it’s been a fun week. I think the best thing about the transfer though, is that I’m the ZL of the Elders in Tamandaré, and I already got to go back and do an interview. There was a ward activity and I did the interview there, so I got to see a ton of people. It was awesome. I love that ward! It’s def a fav from the mish.

Yesterday, we had two investigators at church, and I think one has potential for baptism this Sunday. :) I bore my testimony and got a little emotional as I realized it probably was the last time I’d bear my testimony at the pulpit as an Elder :(

I’m going to  miss the mission. Wow. Its be sad. [?]

But I’m stoked to see you all. I miss you guys so much and can’t wait to be with you again.

Mom, your article was good. I only read the first little bit, but I liked it. And the changes to the school system sound good to me. It would have been cool to customize my diploma when I was in high school. Your bike is sweet, too. 31 miles!!! Congrats, Mom. Keep it up!

Dad, the rack looks sweet. Professional. Thanks so much for fixing up the car, Dad. I’m excited to drive again . . .  if I remember how. haha It’s like riding a bike, right?? The AAA is great, too, Pops. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Remi, you stud. I miss you. Way to keep the yard in ship shape and help dad with the power cage. I liked the glasses . . . It’s a distinguished look for you. I bought you a present today!  It’s a Barbie!!! JK ha 

Love you all,

Elder Miller

Monday, July 28, 2014

None of Us Saw this Coming! One Last Transfer! July 28, 2014

J's Baptism!

Well, this week we baptized!!! Again! Her name is J. She’s a young woman that’s been going to church for a while now and seminary, too. We taught her a few times off-and-on, but her mom is really strong in another church and she didn’t want to let her be baptized . . . But Thursday, we did a division with a member. Elder Bell went with the member, and me and Elder Frame (our new comp) went to talk to J’s mom. When we got there they were a little closed off, but we got them to warm up to us. ha We found [out] that the pastor of the other church had said a ton of bad stuff about our church and so we explained a ton of things and then talked about baptism. After about an hour the mom signed the "ficha batismal" [permission?] (I don’t know how to say it in English) and said she would be happy to support her daughter! :) 

On Sunday the whole family went to watch J’s baptism and they loved church, too. And now we have an appointment to teach them on Wednesday! 

Elder Frame? And???

As you probably noticed . . . Elder Jones went home :( But me and Elder Bell got a new greeny . . . Elder Frame, from Texas . . . he’s a cool guy. But he is already being transferred . . . and I’M BEING TRANSFERED TOO. How lame! ha I only have 4 weeks left and there sending me to another area. IDK [I don’t know] where yet, but they told me I’ll be zone leader and I’ll train another new ZL.  

Mom, your activity sounds good, Mom. It’s nice that the ward [stake] that functions so well. haha Oh, and its “tchau” not “ciao.” haha Do you know how much money I have in my bank, Mom? Wow, that’s weird [Weird that Bank of America is cancelling his debit card--due to possible compromise of some of their accounts. Cancelling it two weeks before he comes home!]. ha. But, yeah, I don’t like Bank of America. ha. And no, I won’t have extra bags. Ha

Dad, your rack looks like it’s coming along . . . IDK really what I’m seeing, but it looks like progress. I like how you rounded off the corners! It looks professional! It’s going to have a bench for like bench press, too, right? The cage will be sweet!!! Are you going to by an Olympic bar and weights? IDK how much [money he will need to last and get him home], Pops. Well, I think 200 should be fine. The only weird "bag" I’m bringing home is my guitar. And I know lots of missionaries have done the same. Apparently, you just take it on the plane with you and there isn’t any fee.

Ryan, your resume is awesome. You have a good amount of experience and talent. I’m sure it will get you the job! What is the job by the way? ha It’s a company in Scottsdale, but what do they do? I remember knocking doors in Scottsdale [summer sales] . . . it’s a rich area. ha 

Remi, sounds like you’ve been working hard. The yard looks good in the pic Mom sent. I couldn’t really see your glasses very well in the pic you sent, but from what I could see, they look good! Zack’s Court of Honor looks fun! Before you know it, that will be you!!! How’s the project coming along BTW [by the way]?? 

Well, I love you all!!  Thanks so much!!!!!!!!! Love you guys!!!

Elder Miller

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Highlight of My Mission July 21, 2014

Well, this week was incredible. 

Of course I’ll start with the temple. It was the highlight of my mission . . .

Words can’t explain the feeling I had as I watched A., D. and their two little boys, all in white, kneel at the altar and be sealed for time and all eternity. Everyone cried. ha After the ceremony, I hugged them before leaving the sealing room, and A. and D. whispered "thank you" in my ear. Wow.

I was one of the testimonies [witnesses?] for the sealing, and as I watched I couldn’t help but think back to their condition when we started teaching. They were so lost in the world, and the gospel completely transformed their lives. I feel so blessed to have participated in their conversion.

Also, we baptized!!!! R.! He was an elect that fell from heaven. We were on our way to an appointment and we passed a store. A lady came out and told us, "My friend lives in that house and her son wanted to talk to you . . . I think he said something about wanting to be baptized in your church." We three looked at each other and smiled ha. We went there immediately and R. let us right in and said, "How great you guys are here, I’ve been waiting to get baptized for a while now." ha

He used to go to church, but never was baptized because he smoked . . . but now it’s been three years that he hasn’t smoked, so we taught him this week and he was baptized on Sunday!!! ha Miracle!

Mom, I’m glad the foot’s better. Your clay lamps look good. What’s the article for the Ledger about? Next time a patron yells at you punch them in the face. That’s what I do when people are rude here. ha JK [Just kidding]

Pops, sounds like the power cage is coming along. You think you’ll be done by the time I’m home?? Thanks so much for getting the Corolla fixed up. I’m so excited to have a car. If you paint it whatever color is fine . . . I guess the original would be the easiest right? But if I had a request I’d love to have some good speakers. As long as it runs and I have music to listen to I’ll be set. ha

Ryan, Niagra Falls? How did you make it up there??? It looks awesome . . . I want to see it, too . . .  They say Iguaçu Falls dwarfs it though. :) ha And the pageant looks cool. I didn’t know that many people participated. Do they do it every week or what?

Remi, send a pic in your new glasses, Bro!!! I bet you look like a stud!! Can’t wait to beat you up when I get home!

Love you all, I’ll send lots of pics! (That I took at the Temple.)

Elder Miller

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Exciting Temple Trips! July 15, 2014


D’s  endowment was so special. The feeling I had in the Celestial Room was incredible! Looking at A. and D. all dressed in white. One short year ago, they were [baptized] and now they are on track toward the Celestial Kingdom. This gospel is incredible and without a doubt this is Christ’s church.

Their plan was to wait for C. (D’s mom) to take out her endowment and then get sealed in December . . . but after D’s endowment they decided they wanted to be sealed the quickest possible. TOMORROW at 3 o’clock they are going to be sealed, and I am so stoked!! (And yes, I get to go!)

This week we had 6 investigators at church and we are going to invite all of them to be baptized this week. ha We need to baptize more. This month has been poopy so far in the zone. Tuesday we are going to have to burn the zone for slacking off. ha But hopefully this week we have a lot of success.

Mom, I’m not sick anymore. ha How do the Elders eat there if the members don’t have investigators?? They probably starve if the members there are anything like the members here. [We are.] ha I thought about the reception thing and I think it be fine to just have it at home . . . I don’t really think many people will come, so it would be weird to have it at the chapel. [I hope our ward and stake prove him wrong!]

Dad, I am fine. ha I feel great. 100 percent. I’m excited to see your power cage, Dad. I’m excited to work out, too. This morning I did 20 pull-ups without an extreme amount of effort.

Ryan, send me a pic of your surgery. That’s crazy it severed the nerve. Were the sales good this week? I wanted to set you up on a date with Elder Jones' (my comp’s) sister. She’s [beautiful] and she’s studying in Ohio (She’s a doctor. ha), but she kind of has a bf [boy friend]. ha But if they break up you need to take her out.

Remi, it sounds like you’re making the most out of your summer! That’s awesome you know how to fix the lawn mower and trimmer. How many yards are you mowing?

Well, I love you all. I’ll send pics next week.

Elder Miller