Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25 Email!


This week has gone by so fast! Holy Moly. We are teaching some hilarious people here. Let me give you a little taste:
Jose Gomez: Mexican, married to a member who doesn't speak English. He speaks English very well and says that he learned it all from watching 'The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly' haha. He smokes cigarettes and is trying to quit, so we are starting a program with him that helps people quit smoking really fast. It's the Church's 15-step program.
Lisa Segel: She's 6'7''. She has recently married an inactive member who is 6'8''. Tall people. They are both wanting to go back to Church, and so he is getting active, and she is getting ready to be baptized. She really wants her husband to baptize her, which would be awesome. The only thing is, it might be a little while until he is ready.
Chris Hughes: He is 18. He works with a member of the ward here and asked to come to Church with him. He has come a few times and really loves it! His whole life he has been agnostic, but now he feels like he has finally found the truth. He told us yesterday how he believes that God is his Heavenly Father and that Jesus is his Savior.
That is just a taste of some of the great people we are teaching here.
I love you all!
Talk to you soon
-Elder Giles

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18 Email!

How are ya?!
My first full week in Bulverde was great! Bulverde is actually just a really small town, that we never go to. The majority of our area is the Northern top of San Antonio City. It's really nice and wealthy. There are a lot of great people here though, and we have been finding a lot of new people who we are now teaching!

Elder Shorts and I are getting along really well, we have a lot in common and have basically the same sense of humor. So, there is rarely a dull moment around here haha. It's insane that I have already had 7 companions, and they have all been like my best friend. I'm really not just saying that, or trying to be a nice guy. They are totally people I would hang out with after the mission, I've been really blessed.
This week has been good, hot and busy. I usually tell ya'll a little about what happened this past week, but this E-mail is going to be a little bit different. I have something else I want to talk about today.

In 2 days, I hit my year mark.
It has been a year since I was in Utah
It has been a year since I have seen many of my friends
It has been a year since I was dropped off at the doors of the MTC, and gave hugs to each of you
In this last 363 days:
I have worked harder than I have ever worked.
I have sweated more than ever before
I have laughed harder than ever before
I have met many of my best friends
I have been more tired than I have ever been
I have learned so much about myself
I have cared for people more than ever before
I have felt closer to God than ever before
I have been thanked more than ever before
I have been mocked more than ever before
I have had times when it wasn't so glamorous
I have had the most spiritual experiences of my life
This has honestly been the best year of my life.
This year has gone by so fast, it's hard to believe. I try to look back on everything that has happened, and am overwhelmed with all the amazing experiences and people I have met
I can't explain, or convey the importance of my mission in an E-mail. But I can say that I am a better man today than I was a year ago, and I will be an even better man in a year than I am today.

I am so grateful for my mission, and everyone who has affected my life to help me get out here
I love you all!
-Elder Giles

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11 Email!

**22202 Estate Hill Drive #15211, San Antonio, Texas, 78258**

I will be expecting oodles of letters this coming week...

The Zone I am in is called the Hill Country Zone. It covers basically the top north of San Antonio and the country area right above it. The actual area I am in is the Bulverde ward.
So, my area is about 1/2 super rich and wealthy city and 1/2 country. It is pretty different from what I am used to, but I really like it so far. We got "doubled-in" which means that me and my companion both got to the area on the same day and neither of us know any of the members, investigators, and anyone around haha. We ALSO, got moved into a BRAND-NEW apartment. I mean, this is unreal! It is in the nice part of the city. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two closets, a huge kitchen/living room area and a fireplace.... and it is just my companion and I.
haha next transfer they are moving two more Elders in there, but for now, it is just us.
My companion's name is Elder Shorts. He is 6'5''. haha I feel bad for him, everyone we meet makes some lame joke about how he's tall but his name is Shorts... haha it's so funny. Elder Shorts is from Gilbert, Arizona. He's a funny guy and likes to have fun. We already get along really good. I have been pretty lucky, I guess. I have gotten along really well with all of my companions.
This week I have been thinking a lot about prayer, and how grateful we should be for it!
Think about it.. we get to speak to the Creator of all, Almighty God, our Loving Heavenly Father whenever we want. We can speak to him for however long as we want, and we don't have to pay any money.
Think about prayer, how much it has helped you and how amazing it actually is. Now think about if we couldn't pray.
We would do everything and anything to have that opportunity to speak with God, tell him what is on our mind, and receive revelation from heaven.
It's an amazing gift we have to pray to Him. The more we pray sincerely, and listen for our answers, the more we appreciate prayer.

I love you all
Write me (holla at me)
-Elder Giles

Elder Kunz and I being weird on our last day together

here's a last-minute picture of Elder Shorts and yo' boy

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4 Email!

Dearest Kinfolk,

Bad News: I am no longer a District Leader :( I was only a District Leader for one transfer, and I loved it!
Good News: I am now a Zone Leader.

I am actually really scared to be a Zone Leader. I went to a meeting in San Antonio this week, they call it M.L.C. (Mission Leaders Conference). The meeting is for all Zone Leaders. It was really awesome, but I felt pretty weird the whole time because I was the youngest person there (mission age). I was the only person there who wasn't to their year-mark yet.
I'm really nervous to be a Zone Leader already, but I am also excited! It's going to be really fun, and I already know I am going to learn A TON.

President told me I was getting transferred a few days earlier than usual, so I was able to tell people at Church. The First Counselor announced it over the pulpit and then called me up to bear my testimony haha it was awesome. I am really going to miss Marble Falls. I have learned and grown so much here! I have made some really good friends, and met great examples to me. The First Counselor made me promise to the ward that after I get married, I will come back and visit haha.

So make sure that no one sends me anything this week, because I am moving! I will give ya'll my new address next P-day! **DO NOT SEND ANYTHING THIS WEEK**. Also, I tend to collect a lot of random stuff that I don't need on my mission, so i'll be sending home another box (or two) this week.

I had my final District Meeting this week, haha also only my third District Meeting. I'm going to miss it. I love this District so much, we are all so close. We had a lot of fun at District Meetings. My current companion, Elder Kunz is taking over as District Leader here, he is going to do great!

The work here is going excellent, it's hard to leave. We just met this week a man named Milo (me-low). He is such a stud! He's like 27 or something and he just moved back from Idaho. While he was there, he had met with missionaries and even wanted to be baptized, but he couldn't because he was on parole. But, now he is off of parole! So, we are teaching him and starting to teach the family he is living with and we'll get them all baptized in no time!

I'm going to miss Elder Kunz, it's not fair that we were only together for 3 weeks. We got along great haha he is such a goofy guy, we are always laughing about something stupid.

Baptism is like giving a starving person a big feast. It will keep them alive and is the only way they can survive (be saved). But if they don't eat the feast, it doesn't mean much. We must eat, bite after bite after bite. Too many people think they are "good to go" because they have gotten 'the feast'.
We need to keep our baptismal covenant active, by enduring to the end.

I love ya'll very much!
Pray for me, as I pray for you!
-Elder Giles

picture of me last P-day golfing: