Elder John Miller

Elder John Miller

Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 20, Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage


The ball in New York will drop at 8 here, so I should be able to watch
it. Sweet.

This week has been pretty crazy. It's my first full week in the area,
and it's been super hectic. That's Christmas for you. Because it's so
dark all the time people put up tons of Christmas decorations. It's
been hard to get into the Christmas season, but it was a lot of fun.
We carolled a lot as a district and zone so that was fun. I finally
got to sing again. It's been a pretty relaxing week, a little hard to
work because of the holidays, but relaxing nonetheless. This week will
probably be the same. All the YSA people are home from college right
now for break, so our ward is mondo. They'll all leave again next
week, but that's okay. We'll keep going without them.

Monday night was probably one of the hardest days of my mission. We
texted one of our investigators, Marc, to see if we could meet with
him. He responded by telling us he was feeling suicidal. Then he told
us he was going to shoot himself. So we had a suicidal investigator on
our hands. At this point Elder Crawford had no idea what to do and
went into full panic mode, so I was basically left alone to handle the
situation. After trying several times to contact him and failing, we
contacted as many of his friends as we could to try and get them to
contact him. They also failed. So we called the mission president who
gave us the number to a suicide hotline who told us to call the
police. So we called the police, who also couldn't contact him because
it turns out the address he gave us was his work, not his home. So at
this point I have no idea what to do. We had already been praying a
lot, but at this point I think I was praying harder than I have ever
prayed in my life. And then, thankfully, one of his friends finally
got in contact with him. He never responded to us that night, but he
was okay. He ended up taking his gun and firing it into the air
repeatedly, Hot Fuzz style I guess. I was just relieved he was okay.

We weren't able to do much Tuesday, but we did drop off a gift for
Marc, which helped him out. We finally got him to contact us that
night and we set up an appointment for Wednesday. His mom died last
Saturday and he was really struggling with depression. He told us that
it was because of us that he was still alive. No pressure.

Wednesday we had a very long service project. We helped a woman set up
her new house. It's been so long since I've had to set up an x box,
but it comes back to you I guess. We were movers for a little while.
So many couches. Then we had our meeting with Marc. It went really
well. We taught him about the plan of salvation and then he committed
to baptism! So we now have an investigator on date, which is awesome.
Sometimes things just go right, through no fault of our own. It was a
good day.

Christmas eve was sweet. We basically just did a bunch of service
projects. We helped another person move in to their house, and we
dropped off a bunch of random Christmas gifts. It was a lot of fun
seeing people get excited about it. Then for dinner we were fed moose
steak. It was delicious. John Petijohn, the guy who signed up to feed
us, is leaving on his mission in three weeks. The family gave us ties,
mine is pretty cool. It was a good day.

Christmas was awesome. I got to open presents and everything. My haul
was pretty good this year, mostly clothes, but hey that's being a
missionary for ya. We basically get the day off, because nobody wants
you to come by, so in the morning we had a brunch with the senior
couples and in the afternoon we partied with the mission president.
That's how we do it up here in Alaska. Then I got to Skype home, I'm
sure mom recorded the whole thing, and that was really nice. Made me
miss home a little bit, but good none the less. Then there was dinner.
It was glorious. We went to the Fleeners and they made prime rib. And
it was so good. So much meat. I can say that it wasn't as good as
mom's, but it was delicious anyways. Either could eat that meal
everyday till I die. It was a heavenly day.

Saturday we went back to work, which was nice because that's why I'm
here. We taught a lesson in the morning to our investigator Rhiannon,
which was good. She was feeling it, we were feeling it, the building
was feeling it. Then we went to Marc's mom's funeral. I can tell you,
you don't know weeping until you go to a Filipino funeral. Then Marc
got up and gave the best eulogy I've ever heard and literally dropped
the mic. It was an accident, but he still dropped the mic. It was nice
to be able to be there for him, and he's really looking forward to a
brighter future now instead of focusing so much on the darkness.

Then Sunday I had perhaps one of the funniest dinners of my mission.
We went to our Bishop's house, and he and his wife are both very
straightforward people. Sister McCarrey starts in on fixing Elder
Crawford's hair because he has no hairstyle. And then Bishop starts.
And then their son starts. And Elder Crawford is just sitting there
refusing to let them fix his hair. I was dying. They were about ready
to tie him down and style it for him, but we got out in time. This has
been a pretty awesome week.

It's much warmer here than I'd think it'd be. It's kind of sad. I
liked freezing to death everyday. But that's just how it goes. The
mountains here in Anchorage are beautiful. Ocean, mountains, forests,
city, what more can you need? Alaska is the best. I wouldn't ever live
here, but it certainly is a fascinating place to be.

Have a happy new year! Make some resolutions, drink some egg nog, try
not to get smashed by the ball.

Elder Miller

This is a hat John's dad got him for Christmas.  He loves it but unfortunately it may not be mission approved attire.

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