Monday, July 29, 2013

Snow in Curitiba! July 29, 2013

Oiii tudo mundo!!!!!
Como vai???
So the coolest thing that happened this week was that it snowed!!! It didn’t stick, but it was snowing for about 20 min! Ha. It made me miss Rexburg!!! I wanted to go snowboarding so bad. But it’s already warmed up quite a bit :( I was enjoying the cold.

This week we had four investigators at church, and two of them should be baptized this coming Sunday and the other two in the next. C., D's mom, should be baptized this Sunday! She's gone five days without drinking coffee and just needs to stay strong. D. should be baptized, too. He's been to church three times now, and the first time we took him he found out his best friend's a member. Ha! He had no idea. D. lives with his grandma. She won't go to church, but she supports D. and is really excited for him.
A. is doing really well ... we are going to visit him tomorrow and teach him about tithing. He’s super excited for his baptism, which will be on the 11th.
Being district leader is fun... I give training every Tuesday for the missionaries and my first one went really well. I have a lot of ideas. Ha.
Elder Cruz is doing well... I think he’s got Remington beat on the random facts (which by the way Rem, I loved the email … way to save the planet, bud.)* ... I don’t know if I already told you this, but the other day, we were following up with an investigator about why she didn’t go to church, and she started explaining how she has pains in her foot... Elder Cruz jumped in and said "Speaking of pain... before the mission I had seven warts on my hands and two on my nose and it hurt A LOT to freeze them off!" I think it really helped her understand the importance of going to church.
Ha But other than that everything is going really well here in Tasmandaré!
Dad, I liked your bull comment ha. I want pics of the Miata still. Ha.
Mom, thanks for sending the package!! I'm sorry you were sick and you and Dad missed dance class, but I'm glad you're better now and can get back to cutting the rug.
Ryan, I’m glad the sales are up!!!
Mom or Ryan, can you get Heitje’s address for me? I sent her two letters and they both came back :(
Remington, your email was hilarious. I literally laughed out loud when I read it ha. Way to teach dad not to ruin the planet, Bud. I’m proud of you.
Well, I'm going to send some pics here in a sec, [Sadly, we never got Reece's pictures today.] but that's all for now.
I love you all and miss you all,
Elder Miller 

*[From Remington’s email to Elder Miller:
“Yesterday I saw Dad with a box. He asked Mom if he could get rid of it and he threw it in the garbage can. And I said, Dad, did you just throw that box in the garbage can? And he said, yes. And then I said, Dad, you’re ruining our planet.”]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It was a Whopper of a good week! July 22, 2013

Oii tudo mundo,
We had transfers this week... and happily both Elder Cruz and I are staying! There are lots of people to baptize here and I want one more transfer to get it done!
The biggest news I have is probably that I'm the new district leader. It’s a little stressful, but nothing I can’t handle... and I’m actually really excited to do baptismal interviews for the other missionaries in the district... I think I will be good at it!
We had 4 investigators at church this week. G. and one of her daughters, C., went... and they stopped drinking coffee finally! So we should be able to baptize them here in a little bit.

A. also went. He’s a guy. Here in Brasil A. is a guy’s name. Ha, but IDK [I don't know] if I already explained about A. or not. He’s awesome! We've been teaching him for a while now (He was a reference from the Bishop.). He’s dating a member of the church and really likes how she has standards and the way her family is so loving and friendly, so he was really interested in the church before we even taught him. They have been dating for about a year, and he went to a few ward activities with her (She’s lives in a different ward.) and really liked it. He has already changed a ton. He was partying on the weekends, but because of his girlfriend’s example he’s really changed!! It’s awesome. Anyway we have been teaching him for a while and he now has a baptismal date for the 11th of August. Yesterday was his first time at church and he loved it. He participated really well in the classes (I taught Gospel Principles again... for the 10th time I think ha) and told everyone that talked to him that he was going to be baptized on the 11th ha. It was awesome. Tonight were going to go by and make cookies with him and teach him the law of chastity! It should be fun!
A. is another investigator that I really feel prepared to help. It’s crazy how god prepared me to help the people in my area... or at least put the people that I can help in my path. I am so grateful for the mission. It’s changing my life.
But that’s all for now. I’m excited for the package... if you ever send it, Mom ha. [It’s on the way!] I hope you feel better!!! You’re in my prayers.
Remington, I’m sorry your sad bud, I am too, I miss Truman :( but the new dog will be a good one too (my votes a Husky ha...) I don’t really have any vote on the name.
Ryan, where is my email?!
Write me back if you can, I still have a lot of time! [And we did--see below.]
Love you all,
Elder Miller


Here are a few pics I took on the cell phone. A. gave me a Whopper! He works in the center of Curitiba (like 2 hours away) at a Burger King and he brought me a Whopper!  I have missed fast food –ha!

There’s also one from a steak from lunch yesterday. It was so good – I love that family. They always feed us super well… it’s the same family that let us Skype at their house on Mother’s Day.
Also, there is a pic of the street our house is on. It has been raining a lot and flooding the street. Ha.
Also, D. thought I was leaving this transfer, so she went to the center and got this jersey from my fav team—Coxa Branca, for me. It’s awesome! It’s original Nike (expensive here) and she put my name on it and the number 20 (Alex) the best player on the team. I love that family. Ha.


Interesting back and forth:

I said:
That is a lot of water on your street! Can you walk around it, or do you have to wade through it, sometimes? How are your shoes holding up? You’ve bought boots since you’ve been there, right? 

Elder Miller said:
Yeah, I bought and  destroyed a pair of boots already. My shoes are fine. Elder Cruz’s dad makes boots and is sending another pair for me.

I said:
Awesome! Nice to know people with great talents, huh? So how is it that your shoes have held up, but not the boots you actually bought in Brazil?

Elder Miller said:
Uh huh. I was using the boots a lot though and when you walk 10 miles a day on the dirt roads they don’t last long. Ha.

I say:
Ten miles!?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

S'mores and White Man Jumping July 15, 2013

Oi Todo Mundo,
This week was awesome! We baptized R! It was a miracle, too, haha. He had a baptismal date for the 10th of August, but he was already ready to be baptized, so we went there on Thursday night and talked with about a ton of stuff. We had a heart-to-heart conversation and there was like 10 times during the conversation where I was blown away by how much the experiences I have had in my life were able to help him. At the end of the conversation we marked a date for the 20th (this coming Saturday) and he was way excited ...

Then Friday night Elder E. came to do the baptismal interview. Then later, when we spoke to President Monteiro (who is awesome by the way)  he said, if R. is ready to be baptized why wait one more week.... so then we went in and talked with R. and asked him if he would be okay with moving his date to this Saturday (it was Friday night LOL) and he said he was fine with it. Haha Miracles happen. 

The baptismal service was simple and didn’t have a lot of people there, but, none the less ,the Spirit was. I’m so happy for R!! Ha On Saturday night we made a fire outside at his house and I bought the stuff to make s'mores ha and taught everyone how to make s'mores, and they loved it! It was awesome though. I sat back at one point and looked around at everyone. E. and I. were both there (R. is E’s boyfriend (soon to be husband) and I’s uncle) (we baptized all three of them) and K (I's boyfriend) who is preparing to go on mish [mission] (he’s been teaching with us a lot) was there too. I really feel like I am making a difference here, and helping every one of these people!

Making s'mores in Brazil. It's winter there.

I'll attach pics of the baptism and the s'mores! Other than that, everything is going well here. The work's going well, and we found a new family this week that has a lot of potential.

I hope you’re all doing well. I don’t have an email from you guys Mom and Dad ...  did you send it to the wrong email again? [Yes, we did. But Scott read this while Elder Miller was still online and we were able resend it!] Ha Did you send the package yet, Mom? I’m excited for it!

Ryan, sounds like you’re having fun, man. Thanks for saying goodbye to Truman for me. You’re in my prayers that you sell a ton! Ha

Love you all, 
Elder Miller

Love the "somebody needs a hug" expression on Elder Miller's face!

 P-day fun with Elder Cruz and ??? K. that has been teaching with them?
Who says white men can't jump?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Miracles and Progress July 8, 2013

Well, this week was little better than the last one. Actually a lot better. We saw a few miracles and our investigators are progressing well now.

R, L, P, Gr, C and Gb all went to church this Sunday! SIX! So that was good. I ended up having to teach the lesson in Gospel Principles again... It was supposed to be about fasting, but it turned into like an open discussion about the gospel and lots of questions were answered and testimonies were born. It was way cool!

In the 3rd hour I had to teach all of the Young Women by myself (there’s like 20) about baptism. The Young Women’s president asked me to teach them as if they were investigators and to explain the covenant of baptisms. (Elder Cruz wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t participate). It turned out really well though ha I drew a drawing that I like to use when we teach our investigators and they all laughed and learned a lot... but it was a little nerve racking teaching a bunch of girls by myself haha.

The miracles.... so this week we taught Gr’s sister... L that lives literally on top of a mountain with her 8 kids. Climbing it is tiring. ha The lesson went pretty well and at the end we left them a few Books of Mormons like we always do. The next day Gr, L’s sister (who we are also teaching), who lives at the bottom of the mountain, was doing laundry outside and some man she had never seen before came up to her and gave her 100 reais (it’s a lot of money here) and said it was for her sister. He said he felt like she was having some struggles and felt prompted to give her the money... but he didn’t want her to know who he was. He left without saying anything else. Gr. called L. and she walked down the mountain, but thought Gr. was joking ha. When she handed her the money though she cried! I guess she was really needing the money (she is single with 8 kids), but the cool part, is that L. had been reading the Book of Mormon, and right when she prayed and asked if it was true, Gr. called and told her about the money. CRAZY. L. afterwards ran back up the mountain to read more and try and see if more strangers would give her money. haha

Also, this week, we were eating lunch with one of the members when one of her cousins, who is a less active member, freaked out. She was outside and having like a panic attack, crying and freaking out... I guess about one month ago she was in a really bad motorcycle accident and shattered all the bones in her left leg... and since then she has been freaking out about really small things. She had fallen off a chair she was sitting on... so we went outside and tried to calm her down, but it wasn’t working (it was really weird) I had to pick her up and carry her inside and put her on the couch and then I gave her a blessing. I really felt prompted on what to say and it was a powerful blessing. And the end I blessed her that she would recover quickly. At the end of the blessing she stopped crying and calmed down (she’s like 30 so it was weird seeing her cry like that)... But then the next day we went by and talked with her and invited her to church and shared a scripture. Then on Sunday... for the first time in over a year she went to church! And she was walking! (with crutches) the doctors had said she wouldn’t be able to walk with crutches for another 3 months though! The best part was when she bore her testimony about the blessing I had given her and how she felt comforted in that very moment.. Wow! It was awesome! And it really strengthened my testimony to say the least.

But that’s all for now. No baptism this week, but were gunna try really hard to help R.  be baptized this Sunday!

Mom did you send the package? We have a new address. [NOTE: New address in sidebar!!!] It’s fine it was already sent, they will just bring it to the new office... but if not, send it to the new address! I’m excited!

Dad the garage project sounds really cool. I'm excited to see it when I get home... I hope it’s all done, ha! If not ill help you finish it!

Ryan thanks for the email! How long do you have to stay in that area? Why don’t you just try and find a new one that hasn’t been worked already? 4th of July sounded fun for you... It was really lame for me here Brasil ha. Take that girl on a date

Remington! You can’t be dating yet??!!! How are you already 16? Crazy! I hope it was fun buddy!

I love you all and miss you lots.

Elder miller

P.S. I'm really sad about Truman . . . but I'm actually glad I wasn't there for that, because I would have cried like a baby. I love that dog. IDK [I don’t know] if you remember “Marley and Me,” but at the end when the put the dog down, has been flashing through my mind all week! Truman really was part of the family.

Sad Week at Home July 1, 2013

Oii tudo mundo!

This week was pretty good. A couple of our investigators are being a little lazy... but we found a few awesome investigators too! So they canceled each other out ha.

L. is gunna take a little more time until she’s baptized. But we're gunna keep working with her.

R. went to church for the third time! He is progressing really well! We marked a baptismal date for the 10th of August, but for sure, he will be baptized! I love teaching him! Every time I feel the spirit, and I really feel like I’m being guided to say exactly what he needs to hear.

Also, on Friday night, we taught a lady (S.). Her family is all members and she was never baptized. So we went by and taught her a first lesson. But before we got far into the lesson, she started Bible bashing with us. It was really awkward because we were sitting in front of the whole family, and it turned into like a competition. ha She tried to talk about the scripture in Revelation that says you can’t "add to the Bible"... so I showed her Deuteronomy 4 and explained the significance of the scriptures and how they are talking about the Books of Revelation and Deuteronomy specifically and not about the Bible as a whole... and how if we take these scripture literally... nothing after Deuteronomy in the Bible is valid. She understood, but then started saying that people [couldn’t] actually see God. I used the scripture in Exodus that says Moses talked with God as a man would with his friend. Then she said that stuff only happened before Christ came and that it stopped after He left. I opened Acts 7 and we read about the apostle Stephen, and when he saw God and Christ. But as I was proving [those points] using the scriptures, I realized she really didn't understand still. So I stopped, and bore my testimony, and then we invited every one of the other members of the family to bear theirs. As they did, the Spirit touched S. and she started crying. 

It was a good reminder that no matter how much I know about the scriptures or the gospel, teaching is pointless without the Spirit.

She read the Book of Mormon and on Sunday she had a dream about the tree of life.... and saw that painting the church has, in her dream. We started talking about it (she didn’t know what it meant) but we showed her that pic and she said, "I saw that in my dream!" She again got emotional as she realized she had received an answer. We explained the symbolism to her and it was awesome. She is still a little closed off to us, but we are going to keep working with her!

The training is challenging to be honest, but I know I can handle with God's help.

BUT, I’m stoked for the package!! Whatever works with the pants, Mom. If you put money in my account I can just by them here next time I go to the temple. But if you already bought them that’s fine too!

Ryan, I hope your week is a little better. Have fun on the date! And 4th of July!

Remington, I’m stoked for your business bud! Make money! Woo!

Do you have any plans for the 4th?

[Sadly, we had to tell Reece that our dog, Truman, was dying. They were inseparable when Reece was home.]

Wow... I just read the email about Truman ....dang. I wish I could be there. I love that lil dog. 17 years. I really wanted to see him when I got home. Give him a kiss for me.

Well I love you all. And I miss you too, have an awesome week.

Elder Miller
Reece and Truman circa 1999.