Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30 Email


Does Amanda think she is so tough now that she is 23? How did the party go? It sounds fun, pictures look great too. YES, I finally got the package this week haha. Thank you so much! I have been getting your letters, have you not been getting mine? I've written back to the family and the girls a few times..
      This week has gone by so fast, I can't believe it is already Monday again. The mission is insane how fast it goes. I gave a blessing to a woman last Monday night. She has been struggling a lot with family problems and stress and a whole mess of other things. It was so cool! The blessing was long, and very spiritual (my companion says) it's weird, as soon as I said "Amen", I couldn't really remember anything I said. Probably because it wasn't me talking haha but it was awesome!!
     We have been so busy. We didn't knock on any door this week that we didn't know who was behind it. We have been teaching a lot of people. We were on companionship exchanges a little over a week ago and I was with Elder Jones (funniest/weirdest person ever). We ran into this older couple (Julian and... his wife) and they were very eager to hear more. So we set up an appointment with them this week. When we got there he said how he was about to leave to help his son with something, but something told him to stay. That he had to listen to what we have to say and that we were going to change his life! This was before we even said anything about the lesson. The lesson went really well. We gave him a Book Of Mormon and  he left it open on the table, saying that he was going to read it as soon as we left.
    We met another young family, the same day we met Julian, and they have already taken all the lessons from the missionaries, but they weren't ready to get married so that couldn't get baptized. Well, they are married now. So we have met with them 4 days in a row and they are really interested. He is younger than me and has 2 kids.
    We met with Manuel twice this week. We shared a Mormon Message called "A Book Of Mormon Story" and then shared our testimonies. It was probably the most spiritual lesson I have been a part of so far. I took a picture with him so I can show ya'll hahah he's so cool! He used to own an old record store so his trailor is FULL of old rap cd's and old rap merchandise haha he's a homie for sure!
    All is well in Texas. It's been raining kinda... it's weird how it rains here. It will be so sunny and hot, then within seconds it is POURING rain, then it is sunny again. It feels like someone is turning the shower on and off again haha. I took a picture that helps explain the weather here.
   Well, I love Texas and I love my mission. God definitely knows me. So he has been helping me become more humble. It's never easy to see someone who is looking everywhere for the truth, but they won't listen to it when they find it. Being a missionary is the best thing ever! I am already so grateful for this experience. I have grown so much already. Manuel told me this week, " I just want to be like you. I want to be happy all the time." Well, let me show you how. haha.
It's tough, OH BOY is it tough. The heat is a beast, the humidity is ridiculous, the dogs are punks, most of the people are worst than the dogs, but I know that I am doing what I am supposed to. And it's worth it when I get to be a part of someone getting closer to Christ. I asked Manuel and his son, Latrell, to be baptized. They said yes.
I love you all so much!
Elder Giles

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23 Email

      I haven't got the package yet, but we have a zone P-day today, so I'll probably get it then haha sorry about that. Yeah, confirming him was awesome. Also, at his baptism his little brother came up to me and said that he wanted to get baptized, so we are now teaching his whole family. They are sweet. They are from Missouri and they have some think accents! Their grandma lives with them, hahah. Her accent is so think you can only pick up a few words here and there, so talking to her is a real challenge. It's like a riddle, you have to go off the clues you get from those few words and try to form together what she is saying... Most the time I reply, "I bet", and do a little laugh. It works.
      We get fed pretty good here. We have a dinner just about every night. I've had tacos like 5 times haha but they're actually all really good. One of the members here is Puerto Rican, and he owns his own Puerto Rican restaurant. So we went there this week and got a free buffet. It was actually really good!
      One of the people who are working towards baptism is a 10 year old kid named Deon. His parent are members, but just really Less-Active, but they want him to be baptized and he really wants to be baptized also. He's a cool ol' kid. 
They live out in the country though, it's like a 20 minute drive to their house. There are so many trees here (in some parts ((the Hood doesn't have any trees)). When you are on top of a hill, you can't see any houses, all you see is trees. The sky here is so cool! The clouds here are really cool looking and every sunset makes you stop and look at it for like 5 minutes.
      We've been doing a lot of teaching, we're actually doing so much that sometimes we have to go on member splits, where I go with a member and Elder Miner goes with another member, because we have to schedule two appointments at the same time.

      Did I tell ya'll about Manuel? The really big guy in the trailor park? Well we taught him and his 12 year old son, LaTrell, this week. It went awesome. I talked to him the next day and he said that he knows that he has to read The Book Of Mormon. We are meeting him again tomorrow. He is such a homie! He told me a lot about his life, he grew up in & out of foster care and he has been through A LOT in his life, but he loves talking to us.

      Did I tell ya'll about the Hepworths? They are the couple with the Herbie car? She talked to me a few days ago and said that they have kinda been having problems with their marriage. So we went over for dinner this week and after dinner we played a talk by Richard G. Scott about the importance of families and marriage. When we first started listening they were sitting on different pieces of furniture, but about halfway through Brother Hepworth stood up and walked over to her. He sat next to her and help her hand. They were both crying. It was awesome.

       I know there is a lot more that happened this week, but I can't think of what to say right now.

       Well, I pray for ya'll every night and I really miss you. I've been comforted though by helping others feel happiness in their lives. I've already told a few people how to pray, that never gets old. I don't know what I would do without prayer. One thing I love about Texas is the diversity of people here, from one door to the next you'll find a straight thug, then a nice old lady, a family of immigrants, or a group of rednecks. It's so amazing how they all find common ground when we help them learn about the Savior. These people seem like they're all different species from one another (some might actually be..) but Heavenly Father loves them all, and they all are looking for the truth. Whether they know it or not. When they pray, they pray to the same Father in Heaven, when they "feel good" it's the same Spirit. From Deon to Manuel, God placed me in their lives to help them come back to him. I've already learned so much about myself and my testimony by helping others find those things out for themsleves.

       Before my mission, I was worried about 'changing'. I'm not changing who I am at all, I still freestyle rap everywhere I go (I battled this little punk a few days ago hahaha), I still make the same dumb jokes and die laughing at the same dumb things. I still love the things I loved before. I just feel more confident. I know that the person I am is the person God needs me to be to help all these people come back to him.

      I love this Gospel, I love my mission, and I love ya'll!

 Love, Elder Matthew James Giles Sr.

Carson and Tano: I am so proud of you guys! I love you so much. When I read your E-mail about your mission calls it took me like 10 minutes because I was crying so hard haha. You guys are my brothers, we have been through so much together and now we get to go through so much together haha but this will be so worth it. Being a missionary is the single greatest feeling I have felt in my life so far. Nothing beats helping others become happy. I have taught people how to pray, I have taught addicts that they can receive strength through Jesus Christ, I have taught crying mothers that they can see their children again and live with them forever. I have never been so happy in my life. I am so proud of you, brothers. I love you so much, and I can't wait to kick it with you for the eternities.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16 Email

      Each day seems to go by faster than the day before. I'm beginning to really love it here. This week has been really awesome. When I first got here to Texas my companion was already teaching this 20 year-old guy named Fred Travis. He's really cool. Me and him really hit it off. He wanted me to "confirm him". So, this past Saturday my companion baptized him, then on Sunday, I confirmed him a member and gave him the gift of The Holy Ghost. It was a really cool experience. At the baptism his whole family came up to me and basically said that they wanted to get baptized too... so we'll be teaching them now too.       There is an Air Force retirement home here, it's called Air Force village. We go there sometimes and talk to all those old people hahaha. They have a cafeteria there and it's way good though! . They have the weirdest stories and they love to tell them to us haha
   YEAH!! When I was on base on Sunday morning, after Sacrament metting, I was teaching a lesson to a group of about 20 Air Force Pilots when I got called out of the room. Trevor's family was there! hahaah it was so weird, I was way confused at first. That's amazing though! That I served on the Air Force base he was on, and I tought lessons to like all of his friends. He said that he was graduating though, so he won't be there anymore. So, if I would have served in this area at any other time other than this, I never would have saw them..
       It's crazy how much love I have for the people who live here. It's so sad to see all their trials and troubles. Just last night, Fred's mom called us and wanted us to give her a blessing. So he hustled down there as soon as we could and gave her a blessing. We talked about trials and why we have them. We ended up being there for like 2 hours. It was really spiritual, everyone was crying.
At the beginning of the week, I was having a hard time. Because I was scared of what I would miss during these two years, I was scared of what I didn't know. I was only worried about myself and how I felt.. There are so many people here who have never said a prayer, they feel like they have no hope, they feel completely alone. They don't know about Jesus Christ. They don't know what Jesus Christ did for them. They don't know that they don't have to feel hopeless, that they are never alone. I have never felt more joy, then when I can promise people that they are never alone, that Jesus Christ knows how they feel. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


     So, I got here on Wednesday. The flight was cool, the plane was smaller than I imagined though, it was pretty crowded. I got light headed when we first took off, but then I was fine. When we got to the airport President Slaughter and some other missionaries were there waiting to pick us up. We went to his house and had a small lunch, then they took us to downtown San Antonio to The Alamo. There we were told to go up to people and give them a Book Of Mormon hahah I was pretty scared. I gave one to this kid about my age though, we talked for a little bit and I told him about it. He said that he was going to read it.

             The next morning we had a big meeting in a Chapel and that's where we met our companions and found out where we are serving. Everyone (except me) was called to smaller cities. Then they called my name and said that my area was the south side of San Antonio City hahaha I was pumped! My trainor's name is Elder Miner, from Farmingtion, Utah. He's really nice and he's all about obedience to every rule in the mission.

          My Area: San Antonio South, we live in an apartment with 2 other Elders and we switch between bike and car everyday.There is a big Air Force Base here, (Lackland Air Force Base) and we get to go on base and teach people. We can't go tracting on base, but we go there on Sundays and teach lessons afterwards to the soldiers who want to know more about "Mormons". On Sunday we went on base and had a sacrament meeting with them. It was cool! Everyone there was in their Air Force Camo! After Sacrament meeting my companion & I taught the first lesson to about 8 soldiers who were interested. Also, there are some memebers who live on base and so we'll go in there to have dinner appointments with them. It's a huge Air Force Base! I talked to this one Pilot named Sergeant Richardson for like 2 hours haha he's a homie.

          So, the second part to my area (after the Air Force Base) is south San Antonio, or DA HooD. Whichever you prefer. All the houses here are......... not good. Really small and really bad shape. Everyone owns AT LEAST 2 pitbulls. Because the theft rate is so high, they need the dogs as security to their homes. So, I have met a lot of dogs. There's also a lot of stray dogs just wandering the streets. My first day here, my companion and I were walking down a street and we ran into this guy. His name is Lupe. I told him about our Church, he was really interested. We basically gave him the whole 1st lesson right there. I gave him a Book Of Mormon and he said that he would read it and pray about it. We have an appointment to go visit him this Friday.

     There is a pretty big trailer park here. We have an investigator who lives there, so last night we drove over there to see how he was doing. He didn't answer his door. So while we were walking back to our car, this ginormous man yelled over to us. This guy is big. But he was so nice, he was wondering what we were doing. He said that he believes in God but has never been religious. But lately, he has felt like, and been trying to get his family more religious. WELL, gave him a Book Of Mormon & we have an appointment with him on Thursday. When I told him that it was more scripture, that goes along with The Bible, he was really excited!

         It is so hot & humid here. I have never sweated so much in my life. The sweat literally drips off your face if you're outside for too long. Remember how I didn't like ice before my mission? Ice is my only friend out here. It's all I want.

      It's really cool being the person that helps others become happy. I taught a guy how to pray yesterday. He said that he has never prayed before in his life, after the prayer, he said, "that feels good". 

Write me lots!!

And here are some pictures that Elder Giles sent over!: