Elder John Miller

Elder John Miller

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage, AK, Week 33


This has been one of the craziest and most tiring weeks of my life.
Woo hoo. But it's also been really fun. There's been a lot of real
sincere prayer this week. I'm going to fall asleep while I type this,
holy cow. I'll just get into the meat of it so I don't ramble to much
here. Also, does anyone know what Middle Tennessee is doing in the
elite eight? I'm confused.

Tuesday was my last day with Elder Santana which was sad. He was
probably my favorite companion so far. So we went hard in the paint,
just like Middle Tennessee, and we talked with a lot of people. Marc
was struggling pretty bad that day, but we were able to contact him
and help him too. So it was a good last day of the transfer.

Then Wednesday was crazy. We had to be at the stake center at 9 in the
morning to do a training with President before we picked up our
trainees. They were really good trainings, but I still have no idea
what I'm doing as a trainer. Then we all went into the big room where
the trainees were and I thought in my mind "Golly, I hope I don't get
introduced to my trainee first because I don't know what to do. Do I
hug him or what?" Then President is all like " Elder Call! Where do
you think you're going?" And so Elder Call points somewhere on the map
of Alaska and then President says "Elder Miller! Why don't you show
him where he's really going!" And I was like "Golly" but what came out
of my mouth is "That's what's up brother!" And I hugged him super hard
on accident. And then I forgot to tell him which ward we were serving
in. But President corrected that mistake. So if you haven't picked up
on it yet, my new companion is Elder Call from Spanish Fork, Utah.
He's a pretty quiet guy, but he's got a strong testimony. He's pretty
funny too, and when we get in awkward situations he makes
situationally inappropriate jokes and I laugh way too hard. This
should be a fun two transfers, if I don't die of stress before we get
to the end.

Thursday we went tracting for the first time. As I expected I did most
of the talking, but we found this woman named Julie who was actually
super interested and we taught her a lesson. It was awesome. I can
count the number of real lessons I've had tracting on one hand with
two fingers cut off. Greenie power right there. We also had our first
lesson together at our dinner appointment. We were teaching Laura, who
is super funny because she does a lot of research on the Church on the
Internet, but she doesn't go to church sponsored websites or anti
Mormon websites, she goes to random, positive, third party websites.
So she comes at us with a bunch of questions that are super deep. And
so we answer them and she understands. But we haven't even really
taught her the basics yet. But she's super interested and loves
learning. So I won't complain. Then I got my haircut at another
lesson. Missionary perks.

Friday was rough. I started getting really sick. I have a horrible
cough and stuff. It's unpleasant. But we persevered because that is
what we do and we went out and got to work. We did more tracting and
finding and we tried to teach a few investigators and less actives but
everyone canceled or wasn't home. So that was hard. It's funny how I
used to think it was weird how trainers were called dad's, but now I
have this weird paternal need to protect Elder Call from the suckiness
of the world. I want him to have the best mission ever. I don't want
there to be hard days for him. This is super weird.

Saturday I got quarantined to the apartment except for set lessons
because I'm sick. It honestly is terrible to not be able to do
anything. Luckily that day we had a lesson with Marc and with Linda
who are both doing really well. All our investigators are doing good
right now, so that's a real blessing. But then we had to stay inside
and play checkers. Elder Call is really good at checkers. Like, scary
good. The good news is that I'm probably losing a little bit of the
freaking 20 pounds I've gained out here cause I'm not eating a whole
lot. Always look on the bright side. Being sick is great.

Sunday was awesome. Because of general conference today was testimony
meeting which was super good. Bishop looked at Elder Call in ward
council and asked him to bear his testimony in Sacrament meeting. Then
we had a super good Sacrament meeting. When I bore my testimony I said
talofa (which is hello in Samoan) and they actually said it back! It
was awesome. That's what's up. Everyone just bore super powerful
testimonies and by the end everyone was crying for the most part.
Funny how that works. After church we had an awesome Easter dinner. We
had ham, and rolls, and scalloped potatoes and it was just like being
home. It made my Easter. Our last appointment for the night was with
Marc and we had a really great heart to heart with him. We gave him a
date for baptism in June. I'm hoping that he can get baptized before I
leave this ward. That would make my mission.

And that's the week. Happy Easter everybody! During the Easter season
(and hopefully always) remember the greatest words perhaps ever spoken
by an angel "Why seek ye the living amongst the dead? He is not here,
for He is risen." Now go eat some leftover ham or something.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Cook's Inlet YSA, Anchorage, Week 32

To be real with you, I don't really remember two weeks ago all that
well, plus I'm too lazy to try and type out two of these because I'm
super long winded anyways and you would probably fall asleep, so I'm
not even going to bother trying to type out what happened. It was a
good week, we taught people, we had fun, we ate some cheese. Good

This week was pretty crazy though. March doesn't make sense in
Anchorage. One date it's 44 degrees, the next day there's a blizzard.
This time of year is called break up because it's when all the ice and
snow breaks and melts, but right now there's still a ton of snow. The
snow is always really pretty for one day, then it gets dirty and
gross, so that's less fun. But it is fun to drive on.

Tuesday we had our last district meeting, which was actually a pretty
good one, and transferdamus. So we all guessed where everyone in the
zone was going to go for transfers. I only got one person right. And
only one person got mine right. It was also free cone day at Dairy
Queen, so we got some free cones. They were good, mainly because they
were free. Then we met with Marc. Marc calls us three to four times a
day to talk with us and check up and pray with us. It's pretty funny.
He's my favorite. Then that night we also met with Linda, who is also
doing well. Good day.

Wednesday we met with Moroni and his girlfriend Maria. Sadly, they
plan on getting married so we have to turn them over to their family
ward elders. Well, that's not really sad for them, just for me,
because Moroni is the best. His girlfriend isn't a member, but she's
totally going to get baptized because she loves the church and her
grandparents are members, so there you go Brayton elders. Don't say I
never did nothing for ya. We also got Marc all moved out of his house
today and got to destroy more stuff at the dump. He was going to give
me this really pretty glass elephant, but then it broke, so we just
decided to break it even more. I also gassed a room with Glade because
it smelled like someone died in there and no one else was willing to
go in. By the time I was done there was more air freshener than oxygen
in the air. Then that night we taught our investigator Laura, which is
always super fun because she asks funny questions. Also a good day.

Thursday and Friday were both relatively uneventful so they'll get a
paragraph together. Because our area is going pretty well right now
we've been working with other areas to help get them going to. This
week we did a lot of tracting with the Elders in the O'Malley ward who
are on struggle street right now because they had one investigator,
then she got baptized and now they have no one to teach. So we went
tracting with them for days. It was really fun. We'd split up and
knock out a bunch of streets and we actually found several people for
them. The only sad part is we couldn't find any young single adults
for us to teach. But that's okay. We got trolled super hard Thursday
night by our Elders Quorum President, Payton Olkjer, and his dad.
Payton said his dad wasn't a member so we started teaching him at
dinner then like halfway through Payton was like "No, he's actually a
member" and then fell out of his chair laughing. The best part was
that they didn't plan it. It was all improv. Friday night President
forgot to call us for transfer calls too.

Then Saturday morning we got our transfer call. I was super surprised.
Elder Santana is going to Chugach Foothills and I'm staying here for
another 12 weeks and training. So I'll be in this ward for six months
by the time I'm done. I won't know who I'm training until Wednesday
when all the trainers pick up their trainees. But holy cow, I'm
training. Did not see that one coming. Saturday we also had a
blizzard. There were points where it was a whiteout. It was awesome.
In one day we got over a foot of snow. It was scary driving on the
roads though. As we were driving we found a 20 car pile up crash.
Craziness. The weather here doesn't make sense. It's March.

Then Sunday was again pretty uneventful. Everybody in the ward is
super sad that Elder Santana is leaving because he was only here for
one transfer. I'm sad too. He's one of my favorite companions. I've
only had four, so I hope he would be. But this has been a really fun
transfer, I'm excited to get back to six week transfers now though.

I hope all of you are having as many adventures as I am. Good luck
this week. I'll try not to get eaten by the bears.


I assume this is John's district.

This was last Monday and the reason we did not get an email.  Looks like he was too busy to write:)

I believe this is the blizzard John referenced in his letter.

Not sure what is going on here.  I asked John and he didn't know but he said it is totally Alaska.  I love this picture but hope the dog and the eagle are both ok.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage, Week 31

What's up party people?

This week was awesome. It was so awesome in fact that I totally didn't
write an email for all you crazy cats out there. I was at a bonfire
today and I didn't exactly have time so I promise I'll tell you all
about this week next week. Anyways, I love you all, have a great week
on behalf of me. Peace.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage, Alaska Week 30

Hello homies,

Another week in paradise. The days are starting to get pretty long. I
think this week we'll start getting equal sunlight to darkness. The
longer days are nice. I'm actually getting vitamin D now, so that's a
plus too. Now we just need all the snow to melt and the green things
to actually turn green. It was funny because basically everything had
melted away and there was just a ton of dirty ice left, and then
Friday we had a snowstorm and got a couple more inches of snow. So now
that had to melt too. But that probably won't take long seeing as how
it gets into the 40's now. Alright, that's it for weather.

In other news, this week was pretty good. Tuesday we really didn't
want to tract so we decided to go to UAA (University of Alaska
Anchorage) and talk to derpy college kids. And it's not even illegal
for us to do that because we're associated with the Institute of
religion so they can't kick us out like those jerk mall cops. Ain't no
one Paul Blarting me this time. And it was super effective. The second
person we talked to wanted to meet with us later. His name is Connor.
We also got new pass along cards that we had made that are super cool
and much nicer than our old ones. That night we were also able to
teach Moroni and Linda. So not a bad day.

Wednesday we had a temple trip in the morning, which was pretty
awesome. Because the Anchorage temple is so small, when the
missionaries go there we always fill everything. It's pretty funny.
Then we had a baller lesson with one of our less actives named Ben and
his girlfriend Edith. Ben is pretty crazy sometimes but he's also a
really good fellowshipper. Then we Bible bashed super hard with one of
our investigators dad's to the point where he almost bashed me over
the head with his Bible. I thought that would have been funny, but
Bibles are also pretty heavy so that would probably hurt. Then that
night we started taking Marc to the addiction recovery program classes
which are really good. They're held in the Brayton chapel, which is
the same chapel that the Temple is at, and when we went outside Marc
said that he wanted to go inside the Temple someday soon. Boss. Dang
it, I'm starting to talk like a Californian. Elder Santana is rubbing
off on me too much.

Thursday we went back to UAA and met this crazy girl named Ashley who
was super excited that we were the YSA elders because quote "Yeah I'm
gonna go to the YSA so I can find me some husband material" end quote.
It was one of the funniest interactions I've had. Then after a long
day of not being able to talk with people we had dinner with Marc, who
cooked us steak. Afterwards we started fasting with him and like
everyone in his house joined in. It was pretty cool. Then we met with
Linda again. I'm getting tired of typing.

Friday we had zone meeting which basically consisted of us talking
about the new Easter initiative and telling funny stories. Later we
met with Marc, broke our fast, and ate a ton of Taco Bell. Taco Bell
tastes way better when you haven't eaten in 24 hours, not gonna lie.

Saturday we did a bunch of service for the Iditarod race. All the dog
teams run through down town, but cars still have to drive so we would
shovel snow on intersections after cars drove through so that the dogs
didn't break their little feet. Those dogs are actually much smaller
than I thought, but they're balls of muscle. I got a bunch of
pictures, but they're on my camera not my iPad so I'll have to send
them home when I figure that out. I'm not good at technology. I also
now have some cool Iditarod souvenirs that I got for free. That was
pretty much all we did Saturday.

Sunday we had a really good testimony meeting. I was scared because we
had an investigator there named Laura, who we'd never met because the
other elders found her, but it ended up being good so it's okay. She
even stayed for all three hours and enjoyed it. This is what happens
when people actually give us referrals instead of poaching. Now we
have a dinner appointment with Laura. That's how we roll.

Today we're probably going to drive down to Girdwood which is where
Alyeska is, which is a ski resort. Not that we can ski, but still. It
should be fun. Hopefully you all are also having good times. Stay
positive party people. Have a good week! That's my plan.


This is a couple of zones of missionaries who helped on the Iditarod.

Elder Santana popping Elder Miller's neck.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cooks Inlet YSA, Anchorage, Week 29

Hello people,

This week has been a roller-coaster. The weather is gross like usual.
Everything is melting though so I think it may be break up season.
Break up is where the ice and snow melts and breaks up. I can't wait
for there to be green again. The sun is out pretty long now, it sets
around 6 30. By the equinox we'll be getting more sunlight than
darkness which I'm very excited for. Winters are long here.

But the best thing is that we got a new car this week. It's a 2016
Nissan Rogue and it is significantly better than the stupid jeep we
were driving. It's still a mom car, but at least it's a nice mom car.
Plus it has that new car smell. It's great.

Tuesday wasn't super exciting other than dinner. We had dinner with
Whittney at this place called Kriner's Burgers and Pies and it was
awesome. They give you jojos as fries. And the burgers are huge. And
the fry sauce is awesome. And they give you jojos as fries. It was
heavenly. Also super greasy. But I don't care. Elder Santana and I
started this new diet where we drink this shake for breakfast which
keeps us full till like 4 so we just work through lunch and we're
going to get fit. It's good because I've gained like 10 pounds and I'd
be lying if I claimed it was all muscle.

Wednesday we met with Moroni. He's like the hardest less active to
teach because we try and teach a point and then he just bears his
testimony of it. I'm not going to say it's annoying, but what the
heck. We also met with the Tamanahas and we talked with then about the
power of the Holy Ghost and made a weird sword metaphor, but it worked
and Brother Tamanaha said it was the best lesson he had ever had from
missionaries. Then they gave us this Hawaiian coconut stuff called
Houpika(?) which was delicious. So that was cool.

Thursday we stopped by to see Marc and he was straight up bicep
curling 50 pound water jugs. Man is swoll. We were able to talk with
him then we had true confessions time with him and his girlfriend and
it was all sorts of awkward. But whatever helps with the healing
process. Marc is such a funny guy. Then we taught Linda the Plan of
Salvation with Erin and Rhiannon and it was awesome. Good times.

Friday we went on exchanges. I went to the Sand Lake area with Elder
Creighton who's Samoan. He's so funny. He's from the islands, but when
he gets home he's going to move to New Zealand to play rugby for the
All-Blacks. That's how good he is. He also loves tracting, but his
companion hates it, so I took him tracting for hours. He hugged me and
broke my spine. We ran into this Samoan family and they gave us free
food. I'm normally a fan of Polynesian food, but this was the worst
halibut I've ever had in my life. All the bones were in. Nasty. But
I'm not about to deny free food.

Saturday was pretty standard. I district tracted with my zone leader
Elder Garver and he is hilariously bad at tracting. So we had some
good times. Then we taught some more lessons. Saturdays are great. I
also put the last journal entry into my journal so I'm starting
journal number two now. I write in my journal every day. It's weird
that I'm over a quarter done. I looked back in my journal and realized
how stupid some of my entries are. It's pretty funny.

Sunday we had a great church meeting. This ward is the best. Then we
saw Marc again. He gave me pizza. We're going to fast with him this
week. He's trying really hard to break his addiction and he'll do
whatever it takes basically. I've never seen anyone who wants to get
baptized as desperately as he does.

And that's the week. It's been real, it's been fun. Right now I'm in
the richest part of town. The houses here are mansions and a guy just
parasailed past me. Rich Alaskans are crazy. Alright well I'm going to
go have a dunking competition and probably get smacked around. The
view here is insane. Alaska rules.