Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30 Email!


This week had been engulfed over by Heavenly Father's Plan Of Happiness for us.
On Father's Day. I was called by a lady in the ward. Telling me that a man in the ward was dying, and they wanted us there. We raced over to the house right after Church, and walked into the door 5 minutes after he passed away. The man had cancer, and was getting worse. I was talking with him just a few days prior.
His funeral was this last Saturday. It was beautiful, and everyone was celebrating his amazing life and everything that he had accomplished. He is a great man, who had a great life.
Later that day, I got a call from a man who we are teaching. They just had a baby girl, and wanted us to go over to the hospital and give them a blessing.
So, immediately after Church yesterday, we drove up to the Llano hospital and gave blessings. As I was looking at the new baby, I realized, that she truly was recently with her Father in Heaven.

Within days, I was with a new life, who was just recently with her Father in Heaven and sent down here to live a mortal life. I was also with a man, who, accomplishing his mortal life, was returning back to his Father.

We have a Heavenly Father, who we all lived with before this life. He loved us so much, that he gave us this life, and these bodies, in hopes that we will have as much joy as He does. We will all return to Him some day. Because of His Son, Our Savior, we will all be resurrected and have our bodies perfected and glorified. No cancer, no missing limbs, no depression, no imperfections.

These are not just pleasing words that sound good to the ears. 
These are truths.

Now, let us rejoice!

I love you all
-Elder Giles

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23 Email!

Loved Ones,

Those pictures look great! The girls look very old. Strawberry Days is always the best! Ya'll have to make sure that you go to the rodeo. It's insane though, Strawberry Days was one of the last things I did back in Utah. I've already been out for over 10 months. It's crazy how fast it goes by!!
I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing good!

This week has been very exciting! A lot has happened this week!
On Monday- We went Fishing AND miniature golfing. I caught like 7 fish and a turtle! hahaha
On Tuesday- We taught a family from Norway. That was really cool.
On Wednesday-We went to this amazing Taco restaurant in Austin named 'Torche's Tacos' (it destroys your stomach)
On Thursday- We helped a member who is building his own mansion from scratch haha
On Friday-We had dinner with a man who we are convinced is one of the 3 Nephites, and burned my old camera
On Saturday-We celebrated my 10 month mark and had many great experiences. People just see us and beg us to come in their house just to 'share the word of God' and pray with them. I love it!
On Sunday- We had a great time at Church, and then had a huge dinner and roasted S'mores! 

Elder Whitney and I have been blessed enough to meet some great people this week, and we are helping them prepare from baptism now! So keep them in your prayers!
I love you all very much and I am proud of each of you!!

Oh, Transfer News: Elder Whitney and I are both staying in Marble Falls, and I am now the District Leader.

Have a good week Ya'll!!

-Elder Giles

Here's some good ole pictures of this week..


Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16 Email!


I hope everyone had a great Father's day! It sounds like you had plenty of cake and ice cream, so, sounds like a successful Father's Day. Nothing quite like greasy taco meat and chocolate cake to help a man feel like he has made it in life!
The Pre-Wedding Dinner looks great! There's a bunch of good looking people, and then there's Amanda and Trevor too..
Their celebrity couple name is Trevanda.

Great! Sounds like everyone had a great, exciting week. I did too. We found some new people who are interested in The Church, and we had a lot of good dinners.
Just to keep ya'll updated. I'm still in Marble Falls with Elder Whitney, and it is getting very hot here. haha.
Actually, it rained quite a bit this week. There was even another tornado warning in our area, so we had to go home. The tornado never touched down,. But it was the worst rain storm I have ever seen. Tree branches were just flying every where haha. 
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Ya'll did great in your studies this week! I'm glad to see that. It's hard as a missionary to work with people who lack in testimony, or used to have one but lost it. I heard once that, "A great testimony has a short shelf life". Gaining a testimony is awesome! But if you don't continue to work at it, it will fade.
You are all more wise than you may know. Thank you for sharing what you learned with me.

I studied faith, like Averie did.
-I knew that faith was a belief in something you can't see
-I learned that faith is not just a belief, it is so much more. It is infinitely more. One thing it also is, is trust.

I'm going to tell a story to try and demonstrate my point..

You are standing next to a huge cliff. The wind blows, and you fall off. As you are falling you are desperately trying to grab a hold of something. You finally grab a branch, and as you're hanging there God ask you. "Do you have faith in me?"
You think to yourself, "Well yeah, I believe He is there. I believe that He created everything including this cliff and this branch I am holding on to. So yeah, I have faith."
"Great" God says, "Now, let go of the branch."

Your faith then goes to the next level, it is no longer just a belief that he exists, or loves you. But an absolute trust in him.

"okay, okay" you think to yourself "I have faith in God, so I will do as he asks, knowing that he will take care of me"

You let go, and fall. You hit the ground breaking both legs and a few ribs.

"What?" you think to yourself "I had faith in you and you let me fall! You let me break my legs!"
"I only told you to let go, I didn't tell you what would happen next" God says, "Your expectations were that I would place you gently on the ground. My expectations are not yours. My expectations for you are greater than you can comprehend."

"So" God asks, "Do you have faith in me"
"Yes, Father"
"Then, stand up and walk"

I want you all to think about that story and how you can apply to your life.

I applied faith this week by pushing out any type of fear, in any form, that entered into my heart or mind. 
"Fear and faith cannot coexist at the same time in the same being" -Joseph Smith
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Now, we will be reading about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. Chapter 3 in Preach My Gospel.
Just study the first three sections, ending on Page 34, with the Prophets.

I'm excited to hear what you learned!

I love you all, and love to hear from you!
Be safe and smart
Love, Elder Giles

June 9 Email!

Mom & Family,

Thank you for all the pictures you sent me from the wedding!! It looks so nice! Amanda looks really happy.
hahah that Elvis Standee of me is classic. That's a really good look for me.

I'm really proud of Amanda and all ya'll. Well done.
Gosh, I love you all so much. Ya'll look so good!

CONGRATULATIONS TREVOR AND AMANDA!! I pray that God will bless you and your marriage :)
Congratulations Mom and Dad, your first child married!!! How exciting!

* * * * * * * * * * 
The Baptism went amazing!!
Ozzy was baptized at 1 pm on Saturday, June, 7th. 
He had a lot of family and friends show up to support him, and a decent amount of the ward came to the baptism also! I was really humbled that he asked me to baptize him, but also excited! Ozzy and I have become good friends, he is a really good kid.
The whole baptismal service was powerful and The Spirit was strong the whole time.
After I baptized Ozzy and he came out of the water, he just grabbed me and hugged me. We hugged for a few seconds. After we got out I asked him how he felt. He looked at me with the biggest smile I have ever seen and said, "Good.. Very Good!!"

Ozzy is a stud.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Father's Day shout-out:

Dad, I love you.
On my mission, people often ask us what we are thankful for. I always go straight to my family.

I wouldn't be able to be half the missionary or man I am today if it wasn't for you.
You are a self-sacrificing man. You don't ever give up. You have more heart than anyone.
You have had a lot of trials in your life, but look at where you are: You have a beautiful, close family. Both of your oldest sons have served missions, your oldest daughter just got married, two amazing little daughters and a beautiful wife.

Dad, thank you for never giving up. Thank you for setting the bar of hard work so high for me.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
This whole week was great!
To give you a little taste of what this week was, i'll just tell you SOME of the meals I had.
*TEXAS-SIZED breakfast, (pancakes, bacon, eggs and 2 kinds of sausage)
*Fried Catfish
*Chicken & Waffles
*THEE spiciest hot wings I have ever witnessed

I wish I could tell ya'll everything I am doing and learning and doing out here, but words on a page would never suffice.

I love hearing others testimonies, and I share mine at every opportunity..
God is a living, loving, active, physical, glorified, personal Father over all of us.
Jesus Christ is His Son. The Literal Son of The Literal God.
Because of Christ, we can all start-over. Try again. Be forgiven. Move on. Become better.
Because of Christ, we will ALL live again.

I love you all, and I miss you.
Pray for me, pray for Ozzy and his family

Enjoy your week, and never miss a chance to smile
Love, Elder Giles

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2 Email!

Mother, Family, and Aspen,

There was apparently a Tornado warning around here, we had to go into our apartment on Tuesday and such, but nothing happened. False alarm.

How is summer vacation coming along? Any fun plans coming up, or just chillin'?

drum roll please............................................. SUMMER IS HERE
haha it's been pretty brutal this week. The heat is here, and he brought his ugly cousin Humidity with him. Good thing we are in a truck with a nice A/C, but still... it's pretty hot here haha. 
Everyone is coming here for the summer to go boating and stuff, so everyone we see is all dressed up to go boating, and the lake is just filled with people. oh well.

Elder Whitney and I, are like best friends. haha he is such a cool guy, we really do get along really great!
We have been teaching a lot of lessons, and preparing many to get baptized.

I'm sorry that I will miss Amanda's wedding, I wish I could be there for the biggest day of her life. She's been my best friend 
since I was young, and she was the most reliable friend I have ever had. I know that she is proud of me though. I am so proud of her, she will be an amazing mother and wife. Friday will be a new beginning for her.

The next day, Saturday, will be a new beginning for a young man who lives in Texas. He is 18, and has been studying religions since he was 14. He has notebooks full of notes, scriptures, and studies he has been doing for years. He has been to, or investigated just about every religion imaginable.
About a month ago, he drove to a LDS Chapel by himself to check it out. We happened to be walking in together, so I started talking to him. Later that same day, we went to his house and introduced him to the Church, and the Book Of Mormon.
The next time I saw him was 6 days later. He was on page 62. He had been praying, and reading about 10 pages every single day. How many 18 year-olds can say that? 
Within days, he knew that it was true. He told us how he felt every time he read it, and he know it was from God. As we continued to teach him about the Restored Gospel, he would say things like, "That makes perfect sense" & "It's all fitting together now".
Ozzy is getting baptized on Saturday, and he's asked me to baptize him.
He has also said that he wants to serve a mission.

I am so thankful for the gospel being restored. I'm so thankful that God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet. The great questions about God and Life are no longer unexplainable. They 'make perfect sense' & 'all fit together'.

I love you all, and hope you have a great week!
Save some wedding cake for me!
Love, Elder Giles

May 26 Email!


It's raining here! Hallelujah! haha it's been raining pretty hard here for the last few days, and everyone is so excited. This year we are supposed to hit a really big drought, so this rain is gooooooooooooood news!
This week was fun! We were able to meet some cool people and had a few barbecues! haha I love the barbecues here in Texas, they have every kind of meat, cooked in every way you can think of.
Ozzy is getting ready to be baptized, and his mother right behind him. We had a great lesson with them this week when we taught the the Plan of Salvation. It was really spiritual and I think everyone was crying at some point during the lesson haha. Sandra (Ozzy's Mom) kept thanking us during the lesson. She was thanking us for coming over and teaching them this, she understood that it was true and how important it was. She probably said 'Thank you' over 20 times.
Ozzy understood it well, and at the end he said, "I feel like I understand God more". Which is the best response I could ever hear! No discussion, lecture, or lesson will teach you more about God and his nature, than the Plan of Salvation.
I love it. I love being able to share happiness with others, all day every day.
That's just one amazing experience that happened this week, there were many others.. but I need to start talking about our "Preach My Gospel" study.

Mom, you mentioned in your E-mail, " sure to give us the first lesson that you want to give us. We will enjoy reading it during Family Home Evenings each week. We are doing really well with doing our scripture reading every night!"
Oh, you have never been so wrong. haha. I will not be giving lessons, I will be joining you in a study of Preach of Gospel. Again, any of you, feel free to cop out. You're only a quitter and a loser, nothing too bad. 
Week #1: Chapter 6- Christlike Attributes
"If you define hypocrite as someone who fails to live up perfectly to what he or she believes, then we are all hypocrites. None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." -President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So, let's become more Christlike.  On Page 115, the chapter starts. There are 9 'Christlike Attributes' in the chapter. Each person, (Laura, Royal, Jeremy, A-man-duh, Trevor, Hannah, Averie, Brett Clayson and whoever else wants to try) will pick one that they wish they were better at.
As you study, think about at least these 3 points:
1-What did I previously know about this Attribute?
2-What new knowledge have I gained about this Attribute?
3-How will I become more Christlike in this attribute tomorrow? *not in two days, not next week, not soon. TOMORROW.*

Then, either in a letter to me, or your weekly E-mail include these three things, and how you noticed a change in your life once you applied it. I will be doing this too, don't worry.

This may seem lame or boring. People may think, "Matt is in his missionary mode. We don't have time for this in the real-world". Or, "I don't have time for this, Matt is adorable that he is trying to do this... but that's not really how it works out of the mission-world"

I know this may seem dumb. I know I may seem like I have "changed". But, trying to become better, especially becoming closer to Christ is the realest your life is ever going to get. I'm not doing this because "i'm a missionary", i'm doing this because my life used to be a lot different. My life is so much better now, and I know what can help people.
As I have worked on these exact things you will study, I have felt closer to God. I have more self-worth, and confidence. I am happier. I feel stronger. Everything is a lot clearer. Life is better in literally every sense.

I know that God lives, and is watching over us individually. I know that Jesus Christ is out exemplar, and as we try to become more like him, we find out who we really are. Life is a lot brighter on Christ's side.

I love you all,
-Elder Giles