Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16 Email!


My Birthday was great. The Beef Tidbits that the Thuesen's made were actually pretty good! haha they had streamers and balloons all set up in their house when I got there. Yeah, I picked up the cake, thank you! haha i'll send a picture of it.. there's a little typo, see if you can find it. (No one knows how to spell in Texas). 

Also, the day after my birthday I went over to Fred's house and they threw a party for me! They had a cake made for me and gave me a present and the whole family sung 'Happy Birthday' to me. It was great. I also went and say Manuel on my birthday, I took some pictures of it all and i'll send them to you.
 I opened my presents on my Birthday at night time. I'll send pictures of that also. Thank you guys so much for that stuff! haha it was great. I really like everything ya'll gave me.
  On Saturday morning, some families form our ward took us to this Pizza Parlor named "Big Lou's Pizza". Biggest pizza in Texas, and that's saying something. They have pizza there that is 6 feet long, each slice is 3 feet! haha so dumb. The pizza we got isn't that big but it's still ridiculous. I had 4 slices.
    We had a ward Christmas party a few days ago, and it was really fun. I love everyone in this ward, they all feel like family. It's going to be so weird when I finally leave this area..
  Manuel, his wife Porsche, and their son LaTrell finally accpeted baptismal dates! They are going to be baptized on January 4th! I am so excited! It's not like 100% that they will be baptized on that day, but now at least they have something to work towards!
   I've been doing a lot of thinking this past week, as I turned 20 years old. (I hit my quarter-life crisis) and I am so thankful that I am at where I am at. Life is made up of the small choices we make throughout the day, and it's those choices that create your future. I'm thankful that I am here in San Antonio Texas, even when it's really hard and stressful.. I'm thankful for it all. I realized how I love everyone who is in my life, or has been in my life. The people I have spent the most time with are the people who helped me the most, and I will never forget them.
Another stellar week, I hope all is well back home.
-Elder Giles

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 9 Email!

Mi familia,
Hahaha it's in the single digits there? We haven't hit freezing yet, but we got pretty close a few times. I think the coldest it has been here is like 40, but with the humidity, it goes straight to the bone and feels like -17. No snow. It's actually finally starting to look like fall hahah I took a picture, i'll send it to you.

Well, this has been another stellar week. This week has gone by faster than any other week so far, it's crazy how fast it all goes by. Elder Condie and I are like best friends. We are always laughing because we have the same exact type of humor (imagine that: finally someone who laughs at what I laugh at), but we get work done. We have had a lot of success this last week too. We had a whole bunch of lessons, even though we were both sick. Fred Travis, the guy that got baptized a few months ago, has been working hard to get his family baptized before he leaves to the army in January. We have been over there a lot teaching them. He had a TWO hour lesson with them teaching the Plan Of Salvation, they all had a million questions, but I think we did a good job with answering them all. They loved it. They all came to church yesterday. Fred's mom, Shabazz, and his 6 siblings.
We were over at Manuel's house a few days ago, and after the lesson. He started telling us about how he got started in the rap game and more about his rap career. sidenote: he did a song with chamilloinaire a pretty famous rapper. Anyways, he has some nuts stories. After he showed us a music video of his, he freestyled for us. It was so sick! He went off for like 5 minutes, it was easily the best freestyle I have ever heard.. haha I know you guys don't care, but I thought it was sweet.
Apparently my birthday is coming up, haha we have like 6 dinners on that day, so that'll be nice.
I want to ask for one last thing for my birthday (from everyone in the family): On December 11, at some point during the day, find someone who is having a hard time and do something nice for them.
On my mission, I have continued to teach many people what prayer is and how to pray. I have always had prayer in my life, and I did take it more granted many years. These people are so thankful for prayers, and it makes me sick to think how I used to take it for granted. Whether it's in the trailer park praying in a circle with a family, or just on someone's porch, they always say something like, "thank you" or "I needed that" and you can see it just saying the prayer helps them. Jeremy once told me something that is very true and powerful, "if it matters to you, it matters to God." Don't ever hesitate to ask, or talk to God about anything. The power of prayer is very real, and I have seen in in my own life. God listens to each prayer, and answers each prayer.
-Elder Giles

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2 Email!

I hope ya'll had a great Thanksgiving. Our second counselor in the ward here took us to have Thanksgiving dinner with his family and some friends, it was really good. Then they gave us all of the leftovers haha so our fridge had been pretty full these last few days!
So far on my mission I have been able to see, Jeffrey R. Holland & Neal L. Anderson, and I shook hands with Elder Golden (of the seventy). It's so cool meeting those people, you can just tell they know so much more than you haha
This week has been really good and really stressful. I have a new companion now named Elder Condie, he's actually way cool. It's just hard because now I am the only one who knows the area, the investigators, or the members. I'm the designated driver now so I have to know how to get everywhere. I mean, I do know it all but it's been a little stressful.
 Elder Condie is sweet though. A few nights ago we stayed up like all night talking and everything I told him, he said, "me too!" and everything he told me I said, "me too!" haha. I'm sure we would have hung out before our missions.
 The work is going great. We currently have 3 people with a baptismal date. One named Richard, will be getting baptized on December 21st. We finally got him to Church for the first time on Sunday. He said that it was the first time he has ever stepped into a church building.
So, we had a lesson with him on Saturday, quick back-story: he's 19 (younger than me), he is divorced with two kids. When we went over there for our lesson, he had two guys friends over and there were 3 girls there. All about my age. It was really interesting to see these people who are my age, just hanging like I used to be doing before my mission. They could all instantly tell that there was something different about Elder Condie and I. All of them have never been religious before, but they were so interested to hear what we had to say. I actually loved it, loved teaching people who are my age, people who I can relate with really well. The reason I am telling this is because something happened that was HUGE for me... growing up I always wanted to have a powerful testimony, a testimony that could make anyone feel it. During the lesson they were taking in all the information, but they were still being a little joking around and rowdy, (like any group of 19 year olds).. I started to bear my testimony, as soon as I started speaking it went dead silent in there and they all listened to what I was saying. The Spirit was so strong. When I was done, there was a few seconds of just silence and then Richard said... "those are some powerful words".
It's incredible to be able to share my testimony so often, to continue to help people find happiness.

I love you all so much!