Sunday, September 7, 2014

Another Mountain in the Range (April 21, 2014)

Dearest Family and Friends,
As you enter beautiful Coalinga you see...
First off Happy Belated Easter!! I recommended watching the Because of Him video on it is fantastic. This year the resurrection has become so much more real and meaningful to me. Without the miracle of the resurrection the rest of the Atonement wouldn't matter... repentance and everything else counts because we truly can live again thanks to our Savior.

What a whirlwind this week has been.  We had Zone Conference and I was reminded of the true definition of a successful missionary. We all pondered on what that meant to us. It helped me go back to the root, that a successful missionary is one who grows closer to Jesus Christ and helps others. I also really loved and appreciated Sister Poston's parting testimony where she said that the Lord sent her to the CFM as a Boot Camp for Life!! So TRUE!!! I have learned so much here that is going to help me be stronger and know how to follow the Lord for the rest of my life. It is intense and hard, but relatively this time is a short training ground for everything that is to come.

Dinner at Zone Conference
I got to go on some more crazy back to back exchanges this week. And a highlight of that was getting to be with my trainer Sister VanWagoner just days before she goes home tomorrow! I love her so so much. She has taught me so much and her example of unrestricted love inspires me. We are truly going to be the best of friends for the rest of our lives. While on that exchange we had a POWERHOUSE lesson with a member. Originally we  had set up a church tour and the member was just supposed to be the fellowship, but when our investigator didn't show we ended up doing the church tour with her as a practice. We made it to the chapel and Sister VanWagoner played "Come Thou Fount" (the song of my mission) and the Spirit just poured on us. We asked an inspired question if this member had ever been to the temple. She said no, and openly explained that not paying tithing was holding her back. Well with the strong spirit there we were able to resolve her concerns and promise blessings as official representatives of Jesus Christ. It was a bold lesson that cut us all to the core. I don't know if I have ever had a lesson that was so full of love, tears, and the Spirit. I would love to have been able to serve with Sister VanWagoner again... she continues to teach me. 

My Companion & I

The Sisterect
We got to play ping pong in an open garage with this random man we contacted on the street. That was pretty awesome. Turns out he had talked to missionaries before in the Philippines. We made a deal that we would teach him the gospel and he could teach us ping pong. win-win for everyone ;)

Funny of the week was Sister Johnson telling me that I could create a new key-indicator (how we measure and track all of our lessons and progress) with "downloaded the gospel library app". haha. I am obsessed with telling people about that and having them get it. But truthfully I have seen a lot of good things come from that. People look at their phones WAY more than anything else, and having someone/thing read the scriptures to them sometimes helps.

Me & Andrea
Transfer calls this weekend were a bit of a shock to me. I thought for sure I would be finishing my mission here in Coalinga. I have come to love this little strange town and all of the people. I won't lie when I heard the news that I was an "outgoing missionary" I was devastated. Instantly the tears came streaming down my cheeks and I sobbed. I will miss it here and my companionship with Sister Johnson. I really love her positive cheery upbeat attitude and all the dynamics of our little duo. But I have come to look at this transfer with hopefully a little more understanding and less gut-reaction. I know that there is a purpose behind all of the things that God has us go through. Kermin East with Sister VanWie will be a good area and a strong finish. I have thought of it as a mountain in a range. All of my mission has been this grand range of mountains (trials and struggles and growing opportunities), and this is just one more last push one more mountain to scale and to summit! I am excited and I know that there are great things that wait. A quote in our emails from President Gelwix this week said, "TRANSFERS. Some transfers and some companions are from what you will do for them, others are for what they will do for you, and still others are for a bit of both. If you start wondering why this or why that, think of Elder Bednar's talk about loading the truck up before it could get traction and how we grow when we carry a heavy load." (All that being said I am feeling the member love as I say goodbye... I think the Coalinga ward is ready to protest this transfer and picket the mission home haha).
I love you all so much. Keep smiling!
Hermana Miller

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