Elder John Miller

Elder John Miller

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 24, Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage


This week I actually have time to draft an email. Last week on p day
we were playing a very intense game of Settlers of Ktan so I ran out
of time. I won, if that's any consolation. I know it is for me.

The last two weeks have been crazy busy, and since I don't remember
what happened two weeks ago, it looks like I'm only giving an update
on this week. Sorry, but that's my long term memory for you. Weak.

Last Monday was crazy. The whole zone went hiking, but because Elder
Crawford doesn't produce body heat we didn't go because we didn't want
him to freeze to death. So we ran around all day doing random service
projects, shopping, and then playing settlers. It was a crazy day of
many adventures.

Tuesday was legit. We were tracting all day because we had no
appointments and we met this man named Adam. He's from Alaska, but he
was a ski bum who bounced around for years and then got his masters
from George Fox University. So he knew where Newberg was because he
lived there for seven years. He had a masters in religion, one in
philosophy, and one in psychology. So naturally he was very poor, but
talking to him was awesome. We taught him the whole plan of Salvation,
and he loved it. He's not a YSA so we passed him off, but he's one of
the coolest guys ever. He used big words. It was nice to hear someone
use big words again. Sometimes I miss big words.

Wednesday we met with this awesome person we're teaching named
Whitney. She's trying really hard to come back to the church so she's
super fun to work with. Plus, she's a returned missionary so she tells
us hilarious mission stories. Then we had a lesson with another man
named Adam, but it's a different Adam. This one was a referral from a
YSA's dad, which was strange, but he's super into learning more. He's
reading the Book of Mormon and loves missionaries. It's awesome.

Thursday we helped Adam move. He gifted us some sweet fishing poles.
I'm not talking week river fishing poles, I'm talking halibut fishing
poles. He just gave them to us. He also wanted to give us his skis but
we couldn't take them. I was upset because they were nice skis. Then
we had dinner with Rhiannon. We've run out of things to teach her at
this point because she's had all the lessons, so we just make sure
she's doing okay and help her with any questions. She is pumped to get

Friday we tracted some more, and we actually found a potential YSA out
of it. Who'd a thunk it. His name is Joe. We also went around and met
a ton of people on our ward roster who we don't know. That's been one
of our goals this week, is meet everyone in the ward. YSA wards have
so many people in them because people leave and never have their
records transferred. So we have married people, people who work on the
slope, and people who go to college in Tennessee on our records. So
going through the list has proven pretty fun.

Saturday we tracted for four hours. We found five potential
investigators for other wards. It was awesome. I've come to greatly
appreciate knocking on doors. Some seriously crazy people answer the
door. That's probably just because it's Alaska, but still. I've met
gang members, satanists, cross dressers, hippies, overly protective
moms, and even combos of those. And they all have such interesting
stories to tell. I could write a book. I think I might. They'd all
probably sue me though.

Sunday at 1 30 am we got hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. It hit
across the Inlet in Kenai, but we got it in Anchorage. We were
shaking, I almost fell out of my bed, things fell off the tables, and
suddenly our water pressure in our shower improved. So that was a
plus. All the missionaries are okay, no one is hurt. Then we had a
really good Sunday. Erin Fleener (Rhiannon's best friend) gave one of
the best talks I've ever heard. Then we had to teach Gospel
Principles, which wasn't super fun, but it was a good class. So church
was good and then we had a bunch of lessons that night. Score.

So this week was busy and I'm exhausted, but it's a good feeling. This
was a great week. Hopefully all you peoples had good weeks too. This
week the zone is hiking again, if we go this time hopefully I'll get
some pictures. Alright, I'll talk to you next week!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Week 23, Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage

(How are you this week?  It looks like Anchorage has been cold this week with maybe some snow?  It has been raining here.  And then it rained some more.  We had such a dry summer though that it is hard to complain about the rain.  It hasn't been that cold so that it kind of nice.)
Global warming man. Global warming. It's been chilly here and we did get some snow, but I miss the cold. I wanted that true Alaskan experience with the winters but that's how it goes. 

(The Seahawks lost today so they are now done for the year.  They do not get to go to the Super Bowl this year.  Dad wore his Seahawks tie to church today and Max tells me he did not wear his so I am not sure whose fault this loss was.  Did you wear your socks?  You can probably only wear those on P days anyway.) 
I did wear my socks. I heard they got stomped in the first half. Maybe my faith just wasn't sufficient to help them win. At least the Packers also lost. Those guys suck. Now we just have to hope the Patriots lose too.

(I spoke in the YSA branch today.  Wow.  That is a small branch.  I don't think there were more than 25 people there.  I was thinking that my seminary class is almost that size.  I think my talk went pretty well though.  We talked about missionary work.)  
Yeah, out YSA is kind of tiny. But the one here is pretty big. A lot of people left for college but it's all good because we still have plenty of people to work with. It's really nice actually.

(Alenka got baptized yesterday.  Dad and I went.  It was really great.  She looked so happy.  Brother Southwick baptized her.  Then today she was confirmed.)
I heard about Alenka's baptism, she emailed me. That was really exciting.

(How is Marc doing?  How is the quitting smoking going?  Has he made it to church?  Is he still on target for baptism this month?  How about Rhiannon?  Is she still getting baptized Feb 6?  Do you have anyone else that you are teaching?) 

Our investigators are doing good. Marc is working really hard on quitting smoking and coming to church and Rhiannon is as solid as ever and is getting baptized here in a few weeks. So it's all good in the neighborhood. The ward is still awesome. 

(How is your ward?  Still loving it?  And your companion?  All good there?)
Elder Crawford is still Elder Crawford. Everything's good I think

RED = portions from mom's letter
BLACK = John's answers from his letter back to mom

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 22, Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage


This week has been pretty interesting. It was filled with ups and
downs and all arounds like any good story should. Today though, is a
sad day. My best mission friend, Elder Reading, my last companion, is
getting sent home today. He flew out this morning actually. He didn't
do anything wrong, but his companion did, and as a missionary anything
your companion does is on you too. He's doing good, but I'm sure he
could use some prayers.

Tuesday was the best day of my mission. We had a zone conference
because we had Elder Daniel Johnson of the Seventy came up. So it was
our zone combined with the North Anchorage zone cramped into a room
getting wrecked with spiritual knowledge. It was pretty awesome. I
learned a lot from that. Then we taught three member present lessons
and two less active members who actually came to church on Sunday. We
were rolling that day. It was the best.

Then Wednesday happened. Wednesday was rough. We pushed through all
our plans for the day by 2 o'clock so we tracked for hours. I've
actually come to really enjoy tracting. You meet all sorts of
interesting people. But no one was interested. Then that night we
ended up teaching two lessons which made the day feel worth it. They
both came to church Sunday as well. Apparently, this ward has a lot of
reactivation to do.

Then Thursday we again tracted all day. It makes for long days when
all you see is closed doors. But it was fun because we met some really
crazy people. Worth it. Then we again taught two lessons that night.
There's something about teaching two lessons every night this week.
Patterns are funny.

Friday we went on exchanges. I went to the Sand Lake ward with Elder
Loften. He's my district leader, but he was also in my first district
up in Fairbanks. I thought it was funny I got to go on exchange with
him again. We had really good enchiladas that night for dinner. It was
great. We didn't get much done because Elder Loften was sick and they
have almost no work in there area, but it was nice to work in a family
ward again for a little bit. I love the YSA, but it gets tiring to not
hear screaming children all the time. What's wrong with me?

Saturday morning I had to go to a leadership thing with the zone
leaders and district leaders in our zone. So it was just me and a
bunch of high powered missionaries. It was intimidating, but I
definitely learned a lot from them. I love the guys here. They're the
best people. Elder Bradshaw is one of the zone leaders and he's like a
more manly, better looking version of Tate. And he's nicer. I don't
even think that's possible, but that's what he is. So I got to hang
out with them at a meeting. Then we exchanged back and tracted more. I
think we did 12 hours of tracting this week. Oofta.

Then Sunday was ward conference. No one told us that ward council was
cancelled so we showed up to church two hours early. So we listened to
a bunch of general conference talks before going out and trying to
teach a lesson. Then at church we had 7 less active members and
Rhiannon. It was awesome. Everyone was feeling it because all the
talks were sweet, then we had a great priesthood meeting. Then we had
a much and mingle after church and ate nachos. Then we taught two
lessons. What the heck!

So this week was rough. But it was also really good. The funny thing
about missionary work is that it's easy to see the bad and the good,
you just got to pick which one to focus on. So I try and focus on the
good. It usually ends better that way. Alright, that's the update. Try
not to die on all that "ice" back home.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 21, Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage

Hello my peoples

So I don't have a lot of time to formulate this email because we've
been busy today, so I'm gonna cut the kiddie crap and show you the
poop your pants move. Yes, that's from hot rod.

Tuesday was terrible. Straight up. All we did was tract and I had to
give a training at district meeting. I don't know why I keep getting
asked to do trainings. Why haven't people realized that 99% of the
time I have no idea what I'm doing?

Wednesday we got to teach Marc again. We got to bring Lucas, a guy who
was baptized last month, and it was really good for both of them. So
that was really fun. Then we got to volunteer at Hope, an organization
that helps mentally handicapped adults, which was super fun because we
just painted the whole time. I made a chair. Pretty good, if I do say

Thursday was sweet. We met with Rhiannon in the morning and had a
lesson with her. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. So
she's on date for the 6th of February. So that's awesome. Finally,
people are accepting. Gotta love it. Then we helped some nice foolish
people jump there car. I have no idea why that nice lady bought that
car, that was a terrible decision. It's the worst car. Worse than

Friday and Saturday were days of more tracting. We tracked 10 hours
this week. I've actually come to really enjoy it. We aren't finding
people for us to teach, but everyone else is getting people, so the
work goes forward.

Sunday was also good. Our Bishop is awesome, and he throws down on the
ward council like every week. This is a really good ward, they're the
most missionary minded people ever. Then we went out and taught a
couple lessons.

And that brings us to now. Today I got a hair cut. Great Clips does
not do it for me. I need to go back to Tracy. Oofta.

And that's the week! Hope you guys have a great one! Sorry this was so late.

Elder Miller