Elder John Miller

Elder John Miller

Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 11, Homer, Alaska


This Sunday I had to speak in church, which is never fun, but in the
middle I made a joke about how nobody ever writes to missionaries.
Then the Bishop got up and told everyone in the ward to write the
missionaries. So I counted that as my good deed for the day. Then I
got a ton of emails and it was great. Good deeds are returned unto
you. The only problem was I had a hard time replying to all of them.
Missionary problems are the best.

We got to split wood this week! That means winter is coming. Cutting
wood is the best. There's something very satisfying about smashing
wood to pieces but nicely. It's great. Now my back hurts and I love
it. Pictures will be attached.

We also got somebody to come to church for the first time in forever.
Tina, who hasn't been to church in a long, long time, wanted a ride to
church. So we found someone to give her a ride and she actually came.
What a baller. It was super cool. Plus I had to talk and it actually
went pretty well and people got excited to do missionary work. It's
picking up here, it's awesome.

This one is going to be a shortie because not much happened this week,
but it was still a good week. I'll tell you more adventures later.
Y'all are the best, thanks for actually talking to me! Peace out

Elder Miller

Monday, August 22, 2016

Homer, Alaska, Week 10


Today has been a very crazy day. We went to a funeral today at noon
and it was like the most relaxed funeral I've ever seen. No one cried,
the husband of the woman who died was chilling like a villain. It was
great. Everyone was like "Why be sad? She's in a better place." It was
pretty cool to see all these people for whom death is no big deal at
all. Then we got to the graveside and Elder Freestone and I were the
only Priesthood holders there, so one of us got to dedicate the grave.
Needless to say, the lot fell on me. I've never dedicated a grave
before, this was the third funeral I've ever been to, so it was an
interesting experience. It was super cool. Dorthy, the woman who
passed away was super old so it was her time to go. But it was really
spiritual. Now I've dedicated a grave. New experiences.

There were three nice days this week, it was pretty great. We've had
measurable rain every day but two in August. So much water. I'm glad
I'm not in Louisiana though. However, tourist season is starting to
shut down. Some of the shops out on the Spit are closing. It will all
shut down after labor day. I'm excited for all these tourists
to be gone, but it'll mean we have a lot less people to talk to. In
the winter Homer has about 5,000 people. And this winter is supposed
to be brutal. The trees and plants are already turning yellow and the
firewood is bloomed out. So winter is coming up quick. However, if the
last three winters are any indication, and that whole climate change
thing has its way, then this winter won't be too bad. I hope it is
though. I hope it's an awful, freezing, horrible winter. That's what I
live for man.

In more exciting news, we have a crazy awesome investigator. Her name
is Melonie Meeker and she asked us "What does it take to join the
Mormon church?" Which we explained to her. Then she said "I want to do
that." So that's pretty exciting. That's not a normal thing for us up
here, so when that happens we kind of poop ourselves a little bit. But
the toilet is fixed so that's not really a problem anymore. But in all
seriousness, she's the bomb. All our solid investigators are older
women. That's the in-crowd these days.

Other weekly highlights include (but are not limited to) almost
getting stuck in cement, losing the battle with the mosquitos,
shooting the gap when I really shouldn't shoot the gap because my
depth perception is a little off and almost getting in two accidents,
farting really loud on someone's porch right as they opened the door,
and finally learning what a horoscope is. Good times.

Despite all the craziness, this week was actually really good. It was
an uplifting and spiritual week. We've built up our teaching pool so
we have a lot of work to do so we don't have to spend hours on hours
tracting anymore, although we probably will for fun. This next week is
looking like it will be even better, so I'm excited. Hopefully all you
people whom I love and care about have a good week too!

Elder Miller

Elder Miller after a service project.

John and his bird friend.

Hump day!  
(Hump day was his one year mark.  I sent him a box with some stuff to celebrate.  One of which was a big tube of confetti.  Apparently that is what is all over the floor.)

These next pictures are from the Iditarod this past year.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Homer, Alaska, Week 9

Buenos dias,

Well, this week our toilet broke again. Why do the toilets in all the
apartments I live in keep break. This time wasn't as bad as the last
time, we just couldn't flush the toilet for a while. It didn't smell
good in there. So we went in with a flashlight, a wrench, and some
rusty pliers and Jerry rigged ourselves a functional toilet. Sure we
could have just called the landlord, but that's too much effort. The
only problem was, to fix the problem we had to break he toilet in a
different way. So now to flush we have to go into the water tank in
the back and pull the thingy by hand. It has led to much more thorough
hand washing.

I also learned today that one of the people I taught in the YSA, Eve
Moss, just got baptized this last weekend. That made my week. Long
term successes are great.

This week was pretty crazy. Along with the toilet breaking we also did
a lot of work this week. There were many service projects. This
Saturday we did an eagle project on steroids. We rehabilitated three
trails. We were also the only two there that were younger than 50. So
we did most of the heavy lifting. We were hauling actual trees out of
the woods. It was great. We got to look all tough it was sweet. And
there was free pizza.

All our investigators are on vacation this week so we tracted a lot.
It was actually very fun. Only 4 people were mean. But I'm out of time
now so next week you will get a more detailed report of actual things
that happened. The highlight this week is that Elder Freestone is
hilarious. He told me one of the funniest poop stories I've ever
heard. Life is great. Have a good week!

Love y'all

Elder Miller

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Week 8 in Homer, Alaska


Exactly one year from today I will be arriving home at the Portland
airport. How weird is that? I know it's weird for me. It's halfway
over now. I'm on the downhill. That's madness. The last year has been
filled with the craziest experiences and wildest adventures of my
life. I've almost been killed by at least 4 moose and at least 7
people. I've seen -40 degree temperatures. I haven't seen anything
above 80 degrees in a year. I've talked with more people than you
could shake several sticks at, knocked on literally thousands of
doors, dramatically improved my basketball skills, climbed several
mountains, made a lot of friends, eaten many strange foods, had more
impacting life experiences than ever before, had more powerful
spiritual experiences than ever before, prayed harder, worked harder,
and eaten harder than ever before, watched two people make the
commitment to whole heartedly follow the Savior, and come closer to
Jesus Christ than I ever have been before. I'd say that's been a
pretty successful year. And I get to do it all in the most beautiful
place on Earth. Booyah.

This week was pretty awesome. We've been really busy which is always
what we want to be. I don't know if too many exciting things happened
this week, but I am also super tired right now so I can't really think
clearly. The struggle is real sometimes. There comes a day on a
mission where you realize that you will never wake up before 6 30
again, for at least the remainder of your mission. It's kind of a hard
realization. You get used to it though. One of the members in our ward
here takes us out running so we run about 4-5 miles on Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays. Never skip leg day.

We had a lot of meetings this week. Meetings can get pretty boring,
but our zone is pretty awesome so it's always exciting when we get
together. One of the zone leaders threw me an iPad when I wasn't
paying attention so it hit me in the face. And a bunch of other
ridiculous things happened. Oh the joy of meetings. I feel like that's
how corporate office meetings go too. I hope so anyways.

It's been raining here for the past week. It hasn't stopped, it's been
constantly raining. But it's also been super foggy which is fun to
drive in. None of these Alaskan people seem to know how to drive in
the fog. They all start driving like 90 year olds. But it's also much
harder to spot the moose in the fog so you have to be careful. My
policy is just to drive really fast. Don't tell anybody that though.

Our people are doing well, or they aren't doing anything. That's life
in Homer. Everybody either has too much to do or they loaf around all
day. Funny people. Hopefully y'all have a good week, I know I plan to.
I love you all!

Elder John Miller

Monday, August 1, 2016

Homer, Alaska Week 7

This week has been crazy. Very crazy. But that's life. Now that I have
a new companion I realize that I don't know this area at all. Or
anybodies names for that matter. And because previous missionaries did
not keep up well with the area book I don't know where anyone lives.
The stress is real! But it's also been a heck of a lot of fun starting
training again.

Tuesday we drove up to Anchorage. It's about a 4 hour drive, but it
was made significantly longer by the amount of times we had to stop
and pee. This is the problem with staying hydrated. You don't do good
on long trips. I realized when I was back in Anchorage that I missed
Anchorage. I still know that city super well, so it was fun driving
around and seeing a few people. I hung out with Jackson, which was
awesome. He's doing great. Probably going to move pretty soon, but
he's not sure where yet. He's thinking about going to Utah, when I
asked why he showed me a picture of a girl he had met and said "Those
legs though." That's Jackson right there.

Wednesday I picked up my new companion, Elder Freestone. I didn't know
there was such a thing as a freestone peach until now. Clearly I don't
know enough about fruits. He's awesome. We drove back from Anchorage
to Sterling that night after many hours of meetings and we talked a
lot. He's from Monticello Utah which is a very small town in the
southeast corner of the state. It's about 2000 people. So he's used to
the small town life. He was a mechanic before he came out, and he
graduated this year. That's messed up. But he's awesome. He's also
much taller and stronger than me, so hopefully we never get in a

Thursday we finally got back to Homer. The next couple days were
filled with a lot of teaching and finding and it was really busy and
we had a lot of fun. We get lost sometimes because I have no idea
where I'm going but that's okay because Elder Freestone doesn't know
I'm lost. I'll get it figured out in a couple weeks I hope. The
highlight of the week was that yesterday we put our long term
investigator Billy Swisher  on date for baptism! Miracles happen. And
she's going to need one. Her roommate hates the church, and her sons
are super bitter about it. But she's this sweet old lady who's
attitude went from "Well I don't want to upset the family" to "I don't
care what these people think, I'm following Jesus and they can eat
it." She's really funny. Old ladies are the best.

Other than that Elder Freestone and I are just out here finding all
the crazy people. Who knew tracting was the best way to build a
relationship with your companion. Elder Freestone loves tracting. It's
awesome. Alright I gotta go, y'all enjoy yourselves for another week.
Next week will be crazy. Love ya!

Elder Miller
Elder Freestone, Elder Miller, Elder Jesperson (John's trainer), and I don't have this other Elder's name.  Elder Jesperson is training him.

Several weeks ago John told me he bought a knife.  I asked him for a picture and this is it. 

This is Elder Miller with his previous companion Elder Contreras.  John says he's not that fat, the wind was blowing from behind and making his shirt puff out.