Monday, October 21, 2013

Enabling Power Lifts the Duet

Hello Family and Friends!!
It has been another full week already. They seem to come and go so quickly now.
This week we had a Specialized Training in Merced. The "highlight" of that experience for me has to have been a duet that Hermana Parra and I preformed. For every conference we have every zone puts together a special musical number. I've been a part of a few of those when the whole zone sings but this time was a little different. Our zone had not put together a presentation and so the day before when my companion asks about it the zone leaders put her in charge of it. (I should also note that we are the only sisters in the most northern two zones right now). So with that she decided that we should sing... we as in her and I. I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my whole life. We climb the steps to the podium and I can't even look out to see the 100 something missionaries that are sitting there. My heart is pounding so hard that it feels like it is going to break through my chest. But I told myself that I could do it, the worse thing that could happen was it would sound horrible and everyone would make fun of us (which in reality wouldn't happen knowing the audience was mostly all missionaries). I said a silent prayer before we went up and just asked that angels replace our voices or alter the hearing of everyone in the room, because I didn't think that it was going to turn out without that divine help. So there we are and the piano starts playing... I clench my hands and lock one knee, and we start singing. That divine assistance didn't come through the way I had prayed for it haha. So, we sounded alright with my quavering voice. I didn't die and no one made fun of us so I think that it was alright in the end. Really though there is truly nothing like singing with joy about the love that we have for the Savior. I was grateful for the opportunity and by the end of the fourth verse I had calmed down enough that I could feel myself bearing testimony of the truth to the words we sang. I love how the Atonement can really give us an enabling power to do things that we otherwise would not be able to accomplish alone. (In case anyone is wondering we sang the lyrics of #197 O Savior Thou Who Wearest a Crown to the tune of If You Could Hie to Kolob).
Sopes are my new found favorite Mexican Food. DELISH!!!  So yummy.
Highlight of the week was when little Erika a not even 2 year old who NEVER talks told me "bye Hermana" as we left an appointment.
I love you! And I miss you all! Have a great week! 
Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."
Hermana Miller

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Running After Corn Man

Hello Family and Friends!!
How is life?! Things are going great here! I've included pictures of Sister Parra and I out in front of a Walnut grove/field, and one of her with her "Elote" (mayonaise covered corn then drenched in cheese and chili powder). That Elote story was pretty funny. We were driving down and we see the man with his bike cart, so I pull over and we get out. Sister Parra then runs down the street to catch up with him hahaha. It was great. She also bought tamales out of the back of a trunk from a man we met while contacting people the other day haha.
Miracle this week was us NOT getting in a car accident. (No I wasn't driving erratically!!) We were stopped at a light and were the 1st car in the line up on the right hand lane. The light turns green and we and the minivan in the left lane start going at the same time... when all of the sudden this blue cube car makes an illegal left hand turn. I couldn't see that car till I should have been smashing into it, BUT somehow (miracle) my foot was on the brake and there was no accident. I could literally feel the wall of angels standing in front of our car bumper as a buffer between us and the cube car. It sounds crazy but I swear that is exactly how it went. I am so grateful for prayers and for a loving Heavenly Father, as well as a special blessing of protection from President Gelwix last Zone Conference to all of us if we were being obedient and following the rules.
We had one of the BEST Zone Meetings of my whole mission this past week. I love the Atonement and studying it with a room full of missionaries just brought it that much more to life for me.
I got to go on exchanges with Sister VanWagoner this week in Turlock!! I love her! It was just like we were companions again. I can't believe it has been so long already. We have both grown so much, but still it felt like picking up right where we left off. We are just the best of friends. While on that exchange we were out offering prayers to people when we met Louisa. She was very adamant that ONLY the Bible is true. Thing is as I read and study the Bible more and more it just confirms to me how true the Book of Mormon is. I LOVE how the two books really compliment each other and work TOGETHER to testify of the Savior and His divinity. Both reaffirm my faith and strengthen my resolve to always strive and be more Christlike.
I also gave a talk in Sacrament yesterday... in Spanish. That was a little nerve racking still because my Spanish still isn't where I'd like it to be, but all in all I think that I did alright. And truth be told I think my language skills are slowly improving. haha.
Keep smiling and know that I love you!!
Isa. 26:3
Hermana Miller

How is it already October?!

Time is flying by and it is scary how the days and weeks are just suddenly gone and used up. I cannot believe that it is now October and already time for me to write this email again.
Modesto is wonderful. I truly love it here. I love my companion and I love this branch. Our goal is to help them become a ward and so we are going to focus on teaching the importance and blessings of tithing. I cannot wait to get my hands on a Spanish copy of President Bednars talk from this last weekend to do it too haha.
I wanted to just make a small comment about good leadership this week. I have been so privledged to see excellent leadership in my mission. All the way from the top down to the bottom. From the Prophet and my Mission President, to the Assistants, to the Zone and District Leaders. These men are some of my new found heros. They know how to sense concern and then discover its roots and respond accordingly. If only men and women in power everywhere could have such genuine love for those that they serve this world would be a better place.
special miracle I witnessed this week was also a result of worthy priesthood holders. A young boy in our branch has had surgery on his legs to help fix his clubbed feet. As a result of these surgeries, Javier is now in double leg casts and has to ride in a wheelchair to get around. We were over having dinner with his family after Saturday Conference before the Elders had to go to priesthood session. As we finished our meal and prepared to leave little Javier was shaking on the couch from the extreme pain. His humble mother asked for him to recieve a priesthood blessing. The Elders made no mention of their need to leave, no comment about the time, nor did they hint at any slightest inconvenience. They willingly took out their oil and knelt down around Javier and pronounced upon him one of the strongest blessings I have ever felt. I could not hear the words of that blessing, but I did not need to. I know that Heavenly Father was very aware of Javier; that he provided a way, through four Elders being a conduit to the Spirit, for him to feel relief.  Sister Parra and I stayed to share a message with their family and so we were able to see that after the Elders left Javier recovered from his pain and was smiling almost minutes after that blessing. These are the moments that I live for as a missionary. I am sure those four unassuming Elders have no idea how much they helped to strengthen my faith that night, but I am so grateful for them.
Another neat experience was a Less Active Member having a dream about Sister Parra and I before we ever met her. She told us upon our first visit that she had seen us in a dream before we came and that in that dream she was with us back at church. Heavenly Father truly does prepare each of his children to recieve the truth in the way that they or we need it.
I love you all and am grateful for your continued support and love.
Deuteronomy 4:9 ... keep thy soul diligently...
Hermana Miller