Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27 Email!

My People,

Thank you for all of the pictures this week. 

Elder Hamula:
A member from the Seventy came to visit our mission for a few days this week. It is so awesome!
His name is Elder Hamula. In preparation for his visit, he did a mission-wide fast the Sunday before to better prepared to learn from him and the Spirit when he spoke to us. We met with him in a very large meeting on Thursday. There, he spoke a lot about Revelation and the steps, and procedures to better recognize and follow revelation. To me, it all boiled down to 2 things: Learn to call & learn to listen.
We must learn how to properly call on the Lord and, just as important, we must learn how to listen to him when he speak back.
A few days later, he met with only the Zone Leaders in the mission, so a much smaller group. That was also incredible! He talked a lot about being an example to everyone. Referring to how people who watch you will act to what you do, he said, "As you are, so are they"
That applies to all of us. Grandparents, siblings, coworkers, friends, neighbors and so on.

It was so awesome to spend time with Elder Hamula and to learn from him. Also, just so you can picture him, he spoke in this last General Conference at the Sunday morning session, he spoke on the sacrament/atonement.

We have an investigator and her less-active husband who we have been meeting with for a while. They are both coming to Church most Sundays, and reading and doing most everything they should be doing. We decided to have a lesson with them this week about 'conversion'. We went through the story of Alma 23-24 and discussed what "weapons of war" they might have.
They were both sharing personal experiences and it was a spiritual lesson. At the end of the lesson, Lisa Segel looked at us right when the lesson was over and had tears in her eyes. She said, "When I woke up this morning, I just knew that I needed to hear something today, something that could really help me. This has helped me so much. Thank you"

That was an awesome lesson. I love teaching lessons when the Spirit is so strong and people always want to become better afterwards. That's what it is all about.

Transfer calls came last night. Elder Shorts has been a Zone Leader in this Zone for a transfer longer than me, so we were both confident that he was going to be the one to leave. Strangely, however, he is staying and I am getting transferred. I am pretty sure I know where I am going haha it's not that hard to find out, but I will let you all know my new address next Monday

I'm excited for my next area, and to have my new companion. It will be so fun! I am also pretty sad to be leaving Bulverde after only 2 transfers. I really did love it here. The people are fantastic, and the ward is amazing. We didn't have any baptisms in the last 2 transfers, but we now have a handful of people who will be baptized in the next few weeks! Which is so exciting! But also sad that I won't be able to be a part of them :(

                                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I could go on and on, but I must close this E-mail so I can go play basketball.

I love ya'll!!
-Elder Giles

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20 Email!

La Familia,

Thank you for always sending me pictures of ya'll. It always looks you are staying busy and keeping happy!
Awesome that you went to Temple Square this week. I miss Temple Square a lot. I really wish that I would have went there more often. 

Frog Legs:
On Tuesday, we had a large meeting with missionaries from all around the area. It is always a good time to see everyone together. I gave a 'training' for over an hour haha it was so long! It was really fun though. We just talked about the history of 'Israel', starting with Abraham all the way to when Moses restored certain priesthood keys to Joseph Smith (D&C 110).
AFTERWARDS, a family in our ward took us to dinner at a restaurant called "Antler Cafe" in Bulverde. The menu looked delicious. Steaks, burgers, ribs and more! However, my eyes were drawn to something elder on the menu.
They were selling frog legs. I have never had frog legs before... so I ordered me some frog legs. They were pretty decent, i'll probably never do it again though ahah. I'll send ya'll a picture of them

James Richard:
On Saturday night, we drove up to Canyon Lake to have a baptismal interview with a man. His name is James Richard. He is around 50 years old. A classic Texan, he has always worked manual labor and now climbs telephone poles all day. Being raised baptist, he had a strong love for the Lord, and had always believed. He had struggles and problem in life, which soon dissipated when he found The Church.
He had smoked for 30 years, it was simply just past of his life. He wanted to stop, but never had a strong enough desire to. Once he was meeting with the missionaries, he felt that desire. One day he promised God that he would stop, and he hadn't smoked since that moment.
During our conversation, I asked him when he first believed that this was all true. I was half expecting him to say 'while I was praying' or 'It just made sense!'. Rather, his response was 'Here, at this building'. It was once he finally came to the Church that he found his testimony.
Sunday services are infinitely more than just sitting in pews, or watching the kids in front of us draw in their coloring books. Men like James Richard can receive revelation from God there. We should never go to Church expecting anything less than receiving personal revelation.

This Morning:
We are the closest missionaries to the Temple. Our apartment is only about a mile away. For working out this morning we all just decided to run to the Temple.
Big Mistake.
haha It is on the top of a huge hill! It was so hard running up! It took a lot longer than we expected, and it destroyed us. 
After we came home and showered, we met back up at the Temple. A lady in our ward works at the Temple to clean every Monday. She invited us to help clean this morning!
It was so awesome! We got a tour of every room in the Temple, and we were able to clean a lot of it. The Temple is always spotless, haah but it was fun cleaning it anyways.

Because of everything that we did this morning, we don't have too much time to E-mail!

I love ya'll!

Love, Elder Giles

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 13 Email!


Here's an update on my week:

Spanish Speaking Branch:
I went on an Exchange this week with Elder Vazquez in the Spanish Branch here. The Branch building is in Boerne, Texas. Elder Vazquez is a short Mexican who is from the center of Mexico. He is around 5'2'' and is so hilarious! hahaha he doesn't know English extremely well, so he always uses weird words and phrases. It's hilarious.
We spent the day on bicycles. Which I was excited about! I haven't ridden a bike for like 8 months.
Most of the day was in spanish, which was interesting because I do not know spanish. haha all I know is how to say simple things, but I can't have a conversation.
We met a man wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles boxers, so we knew he was nice. We taught him more about The Book Of Mormon and explained it's relationship to the Bible. It went very well.
Bikes, Spanish, Elder Vazquez, and TMNT... good day.
NFL Superstar:
Spending the day with a Priest in the ward, we decided to knock on a few doors. We knocked on a door and a man that looked like he just rolled out of bed answered. He told us that he wasn't interested in listening to us. As we were walking away he said, "Wait a minute. I have something for you."
What was it.. A bottle of water? Some money? Maybe a book?
Nay. What the man brought out was three large pictures of himself (one for each of us). Turns out, that he used to play for the Minnesota Vikings a while back, and was their starting quarterback. His name is Tommy Kramer.
He signed these pictures of himself and gave them to us.. haha after talking about football for a few minutes, he invited us inside. His entire house was a shrine to himself. His front room was only pictures of himself, and trophies he has. He had magazines laying out, turned to the page that it mentions him. I got the hint that he was very proud of his accomplishments.
He was a nice guy though, and I still have the autographed picture!

Miss Jonas:
On Friday night, we had a lesson planned with a family we were teaching. We were very excited for the lesson and even had another member family coming with us. An hour before the lesson, the mother called us and said that he is "joining" another Church, and not to come over. That was upsetting.
We had to call the member family and tell them that the lesson canceled. Elder Shorts and I were both pretty bummed out. So, instead of having that lesson, we went out to try and find other people to teach. Right before it got too dark, we decided to go visit one more street before we stopped for the night.
At the last house we visited, a very nice lady opened the door. She was really happy to see us, almost like she had been expecting us. She told us how her husband 'used' to be a member of the Church, and she has always been interested.
We went back the next day, and taught her about the Restoration of the gospel. The lesson went incredible, and it made perfect sense to her! We even stopped by later that night and met her inactive husband, who was super nice and told us that he "still knows the Book Of Mormon is true".
The husband had to work, but the next day Miss Jonas and her little son came to Church, and they loved it! The ward members were really friendly towards them and they felt comfortable. She will be baptized soon.
Looking back at it, I realized that if the first family wouldn't have canceled, than we would not have found Miss Jonas. They would not have came to Church, and who knows if the missionaries would have ever found them.
It was a true miracle.
ALSO, she is related to the Jonas Brothers. So yeah, she's awesome.
Please keep Stacy Jonas, and Albert Garcia in your daily prayers!

I love you all very much!
Love, Elder Giles

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6 Email!


"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." (2 Chr. 20:20)

That was my 3rd General Conference here in Texas. It was so incredible. I have really grown an unquenchable desire to listen to the Lord's oracles and follow the counsel the give. That same desire came come to any of us, by simply acting on their counsel to begin with (John 7:17)
I hope that we can all show our sustaining of Thomas S. Monson by following the counsel we have received, and sharing it with others.
Also, thank you for all the letters I have been getting. I love reading them over and over again. I am sorry that I can not write back as much as I would like. I do love receiving letters and am so grateful for everyone writing me :) thank you

*This picture is the missionary I was with in Kerrville and Fredericksburg this week*

Kerrville & Fredericksburg: This last Tuesday I traveled up to Kerrville and Fredericksburg. They are both really old, beautiful towns.  Fredericksburg is an old town that was originally settled by Germans, there is still a high German population there and the architecture looks like an old German town. It's incredible.
In Kerrville, we saw many miracles. We decided to stop at a random street and go meet people. As we were walking up to one of the first houses, a man inside stood up and ran to the door. His name is Steve. He is from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has recently moved to Kerrville. In the next few minutes of talking with him he talked about the many trials and addictions he is now battling with. We told him about the power of Christ and the sanctification that comes through The Holy Ghost. He was in tears for most of the conversation. We prayed at the end and he was crying the whole time. We gave him a Book Of Mormon, gave him the time for the Addiction Recovery Program and invited him to Church. As we were leaving I heard him say,  "I love you guys".
We has so many other amazing experiences in that city, but I will have to save the others to tell you face to face.
Emerson Family: A few days ago, Elder Shorts and I were about to leave a neighborhood. As we were hopping in the car, we saw a woman and her two young kids walk around corner. We promptly decided to talk to them before we left. Luckily.
She told us how she is "looking for a church" and was concerned about her family.... that's a perfect thing to say to missionaries. haha
A few days later we taught the family. A humble family. We taught the lesson in the garage as they were on a bench and Elder Shorts and I were on lawn chairs. The lesson was powerful and they all were excited to read The Book Of Mormon, and continue to learn more. Each of them committed to be baptized, and become a member of The Church.
Please keep the Emerson's in your prayers
General Conference: Sunday Morning Session was extra special for Elder Shorts and I. President Slaughter invited us over to his house. We went over there at 10 am, and they had a huge breakfast prepared. Large portions of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. It was so good! We then watched the first session with him and his family. It was a great experience. We really love and respect our Mission President and it was a great privilege to be able to watch General Conference with him.
I wish I could tell you all everything that happened this week, but it would take 7 days and I don't have that much time.
I love you all, and I am so proud of each of you!
Everything is going amazing here in Texas!
Love, Elder Giles