Elder John Miller

Elder John Miller

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 6 in Homer, Alaska


Welp. We got our transfer calls again this week. I'm staying in Homer.
And I'm training again. I pick up a new missionary on Wednesday and
we'll be here in Homer for the next 12 weeks together. What madness is
this. But I'm not the district leader anymore. Apparently one transfer
of ghetto district meetings was good enough. Except for this last
district meeting every single one started late because we couldn't get
the technology to work. So I don't have to worry about that anymore,
which is very relieving. The weird thing is this is transfer 9 of my
17 transfers. Meaning that this transfer I go over the hump.
Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. Scary thoughts. I feel like I came out yesterday.
I'm too green for this.

Elder Contreras is going to Bethel. If you don't know where Bethel is,
it's in the southwest corner of Alaska. And it's a native village. And
the only way there is by plane. And the missionaries there live in the
chapel. And he's whitewashing it because it's been closed for a few
transfers. So he's freaking out. So this week we ended up saying a lot
of goodbyes, which was weird for me because I'm staying here. I love
this area. The people here are awesome mainly because they're
absolutely insane. Especially the members. They're funny people.

This week we got drafted into building a cabin, which was pretty fun.
We were laying down the foundation beams. Those things are heavy.
Hopefully next time the Elders quorum will be able to help. Then on
Friday we went running with our Elders quorum President. I haven't
been running in a year. We were so sore afterwards and he was just
running in circles around us. I never knew there were so many hills
here until Friday. I think we ran up all of them. Homer is actually
very similar to Newberg in a lot of ways, there's just a lot less
people. And an ocean.

We were also able to teach a lot this week. The tourists were finally
willing to talk with us so we spent a lot of time out on the Spit
talking with people. We met a lady from South Africa, another from
Kenya, a man from Germany, some Samoans straight off the islands, and
a Chinese guy. People from all over the world come here. It's really
fun to talk to all of them. I'm finally starting to pick up the
differences between accents.

That's pretty much been our week. I'll let you know who my companion
is next week because right now I still don't know who it is. Hopefully
all of you have a good week as well! I love you all.

Elder John Miller

Me and Mama Dee 
(No other explanation given)

We found this at the Russian beach

This Seagull reminded me of the penguin from Wallace and Grommit.  He just stares you down.

This is a video from the Russian beach

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 5 in Homer, Alaska

I think I am becoming far too Alaskan for my own good. Tourists make
me angry, I'd rather drive on dirt roads than pavement, and TV shows
about Alaska make me want to break the TV. Those shows are so dumb.
There was a member of our ward here who's from Homer Alaska who was
paid 1,000 dollars to walk around Homer, look at houses, and pretend
to be someone looking to by a house which isn't even for sale, because
it's owned by another member of the ward. It's just another prime
example of the man trying to squeeze as much money out of the most
beautiful place on earth as possible. Grumble Grumble. Alright, my
Alaska rage is sedated. For now.

This week was pretty fun. The area here is too huge. We use so many
miles on the truck it's unbelievable. Today we went down to the
Russian village Voznenskya to check it out. That was pretty fun.
Russians party hard up here. It's scary. We drove down the steepest
hill ever and ended up driving along the beach for a while. It doesn't
make much sense to me either. Nobody knows how to lay out a town
apparently. Or they just don't care. Or they were drunk. Probably a
combination of all three.

We also had a lot of success on the Spit this week. One day as we were
walking along the harbor to guys yelled at us from up above and
invited us to talk with them. So of course we did. I thought we were
about to get reamed by some drunks, but we actually ended up having a
really good, spiritually uplifting conversation with some drunks. It
was pretty awesome. Craig and Kevin. My two main Spit homies. Then the
next day we started a conversation with the most touristy looking
people on the Spit and it turned out they were locals and one of them
was a less active member. They gave us their contact info and we set
up a lesson. Craziness. When the weathers nice people love talking on
the Spit. It's super fun.

We also got a tour of an ice factory. That was pretty crazy. I never
knew so much effort went into the making of ice. The more you know.

We were able to teach a lot this week and some of our people's are
finally starting to progress which is really nice. Hopefully soon the
area will be en fuego like it should be. That's the dream. Alright
people. I love you all. Peace out.

Elder John Miller

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 4 in Homer, Alaska


I say howdy all the time when I greet people now. I'm turning into an
Alaskan red neck. That's different than your average red neck. They're
more crazy. And they live in dry cabins and sometimes walk around in
nothing but chest waders. Don't ask me why. I don't ask.

This week has mainly been filled with rain. Which is good because I
like the rain. But it makes everyone else all cranky. So luckily the
sun came out for a few days and we were able to talk to a ton of
people. The second run of the red salmon hit this week and dip netting
is starting so everyone is fishing right now. And we eat a lot of
fish. It's so good. This one guy who fed us halibut took the halibut,
cleaned it, filleted it, deboned it, then chopped it up, breaded it,
and dropped it in a frier. It doesn't get much fresher than that. The
whole time I was thinking "Man, if there's bacteria in this I might
get diarrhea for a week, but I don't care, it tastes too good." I did
not get diarrhea for a week, thankfully.

We also went on exchanges this week so I was up in Sterling with my
zone leader Elder Bailey. We did a service project while we were there
for this man at his home which was seriously rundown and he's trying
to renovate it. He's a former drug addiction, his wife is in failing
health, and their house is falling apart. And he has two kids, a son
who's like a little mechanic, and a daughter who's like an Olympic
level gymnast. And even in this rough situation this guy is one of the
best dad's I've ever seen. He supports his kids in every way and
provides for them when he can barely provide for himself. It was
really impressive. Oh, and that girl did a round off into a triple
back hand spring into a back flip and landed it off the trampoline
with a perfect finish. Next year they're trying to find an Olympic
coach for her. It was nuts. Random people you meet in Sterling Alaska.

Also, last Saturday, Jackson, the guy I taught in the YSA, got
baptized! And Elder Call was the one who baptized him! It made me so
happy. I was so overjoyed at the whole situation. I wish I had been
able to be there, but just knowing that I got the privilege to help
him out feels good to me. Now we just have to get the rest of them.

That's the highlights over here. Hopefully y'all (dang it) are having
a good time as well. Enjoy the travesty of not being in Alaska.

Elder John Miller
Elder Bailey and Elder Miller

On exchanges with Elder Bailey in Sterling, AK

The Kenai River

Zone Meeting
Jackson on the day of his baptism.  Elder Call is the one in white next to him.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 3 in Homer, Alaska!

Happy Independence Day!

So the Fourth is kind of lame in Alaska because it's so light out so
late, so you can't even see the fireworks. Saying that, they're also
Alaskans so they just blow stuff up anyways. Because huge explosions
are fun. And massive forest fires are fun. That's why fireworks are
illegal here. Too bad no one cares.

This week was pretty slow here in Homer because of the holiday weekend
and it's been raining for days. People get grumpy when the clouds are
out. But other than that we're still doing good. This week we went out
to the Russian villages and they are sketchy. The roads are all
unpaved and they drive so fast down them. While they're drunk. And
shooting off firearms. It's awesome and terrifying at the same time.
Also, at one point we were driving down the road and this guy just
started sprinting after our truck. But they have a super pretty church
out there. The patron saint of it is Saint Nicholas.

I also got stung by a hornet twice. We were doing a service project at
Haven House (the abused women's shelter in Homer) and as I was putting
a box in a shed I learned there was a hornet nest in there. They came
at me. Elder Contreras smashed one so they came at us. We ran. They
got me anyway. My hand is still a little swollen.

We also met two crazy cat ladies, cut down a tree with a machete, ate
some pie, bought some big knives, shanked a punching bag with them,
and then ate some more pie. Good times. Hopefully this next week the
sun comes out and everyone is in a better mood. Have a good fourth of
July everybody! It's one of my favorite holidays. So enjoy it for me.

Elder Miller