Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

Family,

As I have pondered on what to include in my final email from Texas, I thought about sharing stories but quickly realized that those are not important. There will be time tell stories and share experiences.
My mission was not about "stories", it was about "becoming". I also realize that even though the Lord has enabled me to become more than I ever was before, my 'path of becoming' has just begun.

The Book of Mormon is "the most correct of any book on earth". It is the actual account of the literal civilization which anciently inhabited the Americas. It was divinely delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It stands today as an undeniable witness of the reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has brought peace, faith, hope, and purpose to millions of people, including myself. I will always be thankful that I was privileged to share that most sacred book with many Texans!

The Authority of God which he bestows to man to further the salvation of His children, is the priesthood. That same priesthood was held in the primitive Church of Christ. When the Lord brought forth the Restoration of His church on the earth he sent heavenly messengers to restore the priesthood back to man. John the Baptist brought back the Aaronic Priesthood. Peter, James and John brought back the Melchizedek Priesthood. Both priesthoods were given to, and received by, the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have felt that Priesthood many times here in Texas. I have seen true miracles performed in the name of Jesus Christ. The Priesthood is on the earth, and it is here, in God's
kingdom!

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it" (D&C 135:3). Amen! I love the Prophet Joseph Smith. The world is in apostasy, and the only reason that we are not is because of what the Lord has revealed through Joseph the Seer. The world has no idea who God even is. Truly, without the Prophet,"[they] worship [they] know not what" (John 4:22). I have had engraved into my soul an unalterable testimony of the prophetic call of the Prophet Joseph Smith!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the plan of salvation. He is the gospel. He is "the way, the truth, and the life"
(John 14:6). He was born in Bethlehem. He was crucified on Calvary. He was placed in a tomb, but
no tomb can hold our Lord! He overcame death, assuring resurrection for all of mankind. He lives today as the Resurrected Redeemer of the universe. It is my conviction that our Savior, and His Father, appeared to Joseph Smith that sacred spring morning in 1820. This is His Church, and He is
in control. "I believe in Christ, so come what may" (Hymn #134)


Love,
Elder Giles

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

Y'all loved ones,

 
The heat is abundant in Texas. It's that time of year when you are never dry because of the mixture of humidity and sweat... I love it though. I have such a deep love for Texas and all the people here. I feel so humbled to have been able to be a part of these wonderful people's lives.

We visited with Charlie Houston a few times this week. He is such an incredible person! He gets along very well with all of the members here, and just loves the gospel. He already knows most of the doctrines and commandments, and is already living accordingly. He is getting baptized this Saturday!  It is so great to watch him get more and more excited as he gets more and more prepared.
Also, remember Jody and Tui? Well, they were in Salt Lake this past week visiting Tui's family, and on Saturday night they went to Temple Square.... Tui proposed!! They're engaged! Haha it is so amazing. I'm so happy for them. Jody got back to Texas early this morning and we are visiting with her this evening. She will be getting baptized really soon as well....


I really appreciate all of the comments y'all gave about how to best share our testimonies with out families. I am grateful that each of you have testimonies which have strengthened me at many times during my life. The influence a faithful person can have on all others around is much more than they might think. 

For The Strength Of Youth
Section: Sabbath Day Observance
-How can I more fully keep the Sabbath day holy?


"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy... The Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8,11)
We hear interesting language in this commandment, "keep it holy". What does that mean?
Well, as we read, "the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it", 'Hallowed' means to consecrate or sanctify (set apart, make holy). 
So, the Lord sanctified the Sabbath. He consecrated it. He blessed it. He made it. The Sabbath was and is made holy by our Lord. We aren't commanded to make anything holy, or to create holiness, we are simply commanded to keep it holy.

How do we keep it holy?
"Holy" means to be 'dedicated to God'.
The commandment is to keep the Sabbath day dedicated to God. I wonder how many of us can honestly say that our Sabbath days are fully dedicated to God?

I'll say this much.. The Lord did not sanctify the Sabbath for the purpose of watching mind-numbing TV shows and eating the whole bag of Doritos. He did not consecrate that special day for us to watch as many YouTube videos as we possibly can, and level up on Guitar Hero. He did not bless that sacred day so that we can have more time to go shopping, or break our previous record for eating ice cream.

Verse 9 in Exodus 20 states, "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work". The significant phrase in the verse is "all thy work". It's true, we do all of our work during the week, SO THAT we can have the Sabbath wholly 'dedicated to God'. It's a day of rest from our labors, not simply a day of rest from everything. 

Now, don't get nervous. That doesn't mean that He expects us to always be sprinting around doing service to others. He doesn't want us to completely disregard our health, or needs. I'm just trying to help us all see clearly what the Sabbath Day is all about.
Sometimes, the greatest way we can dedicate the Sabbath to God is by spending time with our loved ones, and strengthening those relationships. 
The Lord made the Sabbath day holy, and we don't have the right to make it unholy. But, we have the privilege to help keep it holy



I am grateful for the joy that I have received! I am grateful for the gospel which helps me to see all things with clarity.
I have full reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving truths.

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015

Loved ones,  
  
The babies are going off to girls camp, huh? They'll do just fine! Those girls could survive in the jungle for years by themselves. They are both more intelligent, and stronger than me. That's fun that it is almost a full week long! They'll probably come home smelling a little peculiar. They are going to have a great time though!  
  
Charlie Houston is still doing really well. Charlie's mother was a member of the Church, and would take him to Church for a lot of his growing up years. His father, however, was against the Church and would refuse to allow Charlie to be baptized. Because he was never very close to the Church of the gospel, he has been through a lot of experiences in his life. He is now nineteen, and has "came to himself" (Luke 15:17). He reached out to us. He has been to Church the last two Sundays, and yesterday he introduced himself as, "Charlie, and I am getting baptized in two weeks!"
The gospel has already made a huge impact on his life. Each time we see him he is happier and more energetic. He is a really good person, and I'm grateful to be a part of his story.

For The Strength Of Youth:
Section: Family

-What are ways we can share our testimonies with our family?
-How does showing love to family members show love to the Lord?

 
The family is ordained of God. Parents are to raise their children in a married relationship. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Marriage is much more than "love + commitment", that is very basic and elementary. Marriage is about progression, preparation and loyalty to God. Marriage on earth is between a man and a woman because that is the only way it exists in heaven. We must see marriage as God sees marriage. We didn't invent marriage, and we can not re-invent marriage either.
We live in days similar in comparison to the days of Noah. In those days, only those who were loyal to the prophet survived. Interesting how history repeats itself.
My prayer is that each of us will rise to a higher commitment to sustain and support President Thomas S. Monson. I have total reliance and trust that he holds and exercises all the keys of the Priesthood given to man. He is a prophet of God.
We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!


 
I love y'all
Love, Elder Giles

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

Y'all,
 
How was Pioneer Day? Nothing happened here, but hopefully it was a big celebration in Utah! Elder Allen and I had a very busy week. We have been finding some really wonderful people to teach. There is one investigator named Charlie Houston who is getting baptized on August 15th! He has a powerful story. Basically, he grew up in the Church and his whole family is members, except for his dad. His non-member father was against the Church and wouldn't let Charlie get baptized. However, now that he is grown up and living on his own, he is ready! He already knows everything very well, he is really happy and excited to be getting baptized!
Jody and Tui are getting married soon! They are both going to Utah next week to meet Tui's family at a HUGE Tongan family reunion haha. They are doing really well.

 
You each have such wonderful responses to the For The Strength of Youth study! It was great to read your testimonies and the knowledge you have. Since this was a study we were doing together, I would like to share some of my insights as well...

The first line reads, "Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself". We have been given moral agency to "choose right from wrong". Right FROM wrong, not right OR wrong. I've heard the occasional person say, "I have agency, so I can do whatever I want". God did not give us moral agency so we can do "whatever we want". Agency is to choose God.
The book of Abraham helps us see this, "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;"(3:25). We are here to prove that we will choose God, not do "whatever we want". Contrary to how many people think and live today, we are not given agency to be idiots. 
"He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death" (Helaman 14:31) . In essence, life is one choice made by the millions of choices we make: life or death. God's Great Plan of Happiness is not for us to choose everlasting death. Yes, that is a choice (that seems to be growing in popularity) but that is not the plan. That is not why we have agency. Agency is to choose God. To choose right from wrong.

For The Strength Of Youth
Section: Gratitude
-How can you set an example of gratitude to others?
-"Express your gratitude to others for the many ways they bless your life" this week, and tell me about that experience. 

I love y'all! I love the examples you are to me. 
Choose God.
Love, Elder Giles

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Loved ones,

It has been cooler here, until recently... It's not getting hot, and I mean HOT. The type of heat mixed with humidity, that by the time we walk out of our apartment to our car, we are  covered in sweat. Pretty fun. 
 
Y'all have been doing phenomenal with the Preach My Gospel studies we have been having. Your faith and diligence is always inspiring to me. You each have strong testimonies of the Restoration! You are sound with the doctrines of the gospel.
Seeing that you each have a firm grasp on the doctrines, we will be moving more into the "application" mode.
The Lord taught us that a "wise man" is he who, "heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them" (3 Nephi 14:24). There are two degrees of faith mentioned in this verse: the faith to hear, and then the faith to do. We have been "hearing" the doctrines of the gospel for years, but as we strive to further and fully "do" them we will receive all the blessings that come with greater faith.

The question is, "how can we start fully living the doctrines of the gospel?"
The answer is, "thank heavens that we are members of "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" (D&C 1:30).  It's "living" because it's led by the living Lord through his living oracles. The Lord, through them, has given us ample applicable knowledge. We will put a pause on studying from Preach My Gospel, and begin to study "For The Strength Of Youth"

A naive person may think that 'For The Strength Of Youth' is only for the "youth". Yes, it was written towards  the youth of the Church, but that's because all of us should internalize these vital principles and standards in our "youth". That does not mean, however, that once we turn 20 or 21 or 105 that we forget these essential life-long standards. 

It reminds me of the words from the prophet Alma to his son, Helaman, "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God." (Alma 37:35). Alma understood, and was teaching his son, the importance of learning and applying principles of wisdom as soon as possible. The Lord expects all of us to "learn wisdom in [our] youth", so that we "will remain steadfast and valiant throughout [our] lives and that [we] will trust in the Savior and His promises." (For The Strength Of Youth)

I invite each of you (family, friends, random person who somehow received this E-mail) to get a brand new copy of For The Strength Of Youth this week. Each of you, individually.

For The Strength Of Youth
-1st section "Agency and Accountability"

-Why did a loving Father give each of us the agency to choose right from wrong?
-What other insights did you gain about agency and accountability?

 
I am certain of the Restoration. I am sure that God's Kingdom is on the earth and is known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am convinced of the Savior's power to heal, change and save. God does speak through his chosen servants. Thomas S. Monson is absolutely and completely a prophet of God. As we following the counsel from God's oracles, we will be guided, directed and protected. 

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Loved ones,   
  
I'm glad that y'all have been enjoying your extended stay in Oregon. Speaking of Oregon.... I received my new companion this past week. His name is Elder Allen. He is from Oregon! The other side from Ontario though, he is from Portland. He is such a great missionary, we have already seen miracles together and we work together really well. Our personalities are pretty similar, plus he laughs at my jokes... ALSO, guess where he just came from?! Yep, Marble Falls. He was also there for 6 months, so we have A LOT to talk about hahaha we have already had such a good time talking about those old, crazy people up there.
This is going to be a great transfer!

It's so fun to be staying here for almost 8 months. Haha I know this area so well now, but it's crazy how many people and places I'm still so unfamiliar with. I was informed at Church yesterday that I broke the record for the longest time a missionary has ever been in that ward.... Haha and I still have a month to go!

The last lesson that Elder Hendricks and I taught together was to Brother Tui on Monday night. Remember, Tui is a returning inactive who is living with he is girlfriend, Jody. Jody seemed to be more dedicated than him, he was surprisingly the one holding her back. For example, when he does show up to Church he just comes in BYU sweats. So, we decided to visit with just him. That lesson was POWERFUL! We discussed the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and read many scriptures about redemption and forgiveness. The Spirit was very strong. I could physically see hope enter into Brother Tui's heart as the Spirit taught him. He was so motivated when we left! That very night he went to the store and bought a new shirt, tie and slacks! Haha isn't that awesome? It was so amazing to watch him walk into the Chapel yesterday with his shirt and tie! They are doing great, just trying to find out a marriage date and then she will be baptized.

We have an investigator named Allizah (ale-eh-zay). Who is probably getting baptized on the 25th of this month. She is such a kind young girl. Please keep her and her family in y'all's prayers!
 

I love each of you! 
Love, Elder Giles

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Kinfolk,
Yes I remember the "wall of fire" from the Ontario firework show. I've actually been telling a lot of people about it this week haha as they ask me about the Fourth of July. I just remember how you can feel the heat from the fire, there's no way that's legal.  Celebrating the Fourth of July in Texas is something that can only be experienced. Every street is draped with American flags every few feet. I also saw multiple people in all American flag clothing, including a man running shirtless carrying a large American flag. Now that I think about it, I think just about every single holiday is bigger and better in Texas. However I'm glad to hear that y'all had a great Fourth of July weekend and that everyone was safe.
That's great that you're staying longer, mom, in Ontario to help assist grandma. Please tell grandma (graham cracker) that I love her and she's in my prayers.

The weather has been unusual here for this time of year. It really hasn't been that hot, it actually feels really cool. Which is nice compared to the last two summers I've had here in Texas.

 
We had some remarkable experiences is this week with the people we are teaching. If you remember, Tui and Jody are a couple we've been teaching for a few weeks now. Tui is a returning less active returned missionary, who still has a strong testimony of the truth. Jody is extremely prepared for the gospel. She perfectly fits the description of those "who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" (D&C 123:12). Jody has decided to be baptized, but they are living together without being married. So, the next step is to get them married! We went over to visit with them on Wednesday evening. When we walked into their house they were boyfriend and girlfriend, but when we walked out they were engaged! Haha! They have a tentative marriage date for August 14th, which means Jody has a baptismal date for August 15th!  They truly are a wonderful couple and we have already seen growth in them individually and together as they've been learning and living the Gospel. We're excited to continue to watch as they more fully live and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have now been in Castle Hills ward for six months. All the people we've been able to teach and be a part of their conversion have continued to strengthen their conversion to the Lord. For example, Danny Cavazos: yesterday at church Danny said the opening prayer, he passed the Sacrament, and he also bore a powerful testimony! Angelita is always one of the very first ones in the chapel reverently waiting for sacrament to begin! Brother Boyd is always wearing a nice looking suit with a big smile on his face! Gilbert Navarro loves the gospel. He has received the Aaronic Priesthood recently and he continues to strengthen his understanding and testimony of the restored gospel! Evon Kardos is such a saint! She hit the ground running when she got baptized and she's an incredible member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. However, unfortunately she's moving to another ward. 
 
We received transfer calls last night: I will be staying in Castle Hills!! That's five transfers! The last 7 1/2 months of my mission here in Castle Hills. I am so grateful to be staying I truly love this area and all the people here. Elder Hendricks will be coming home this week. He will be returning home a few months short of two years, because of medical conditions. He lives in Bountiful. He has been and is a phenomenal missionary! He has become one of my greatest friends. I love him.
I'll be receiving my final companion, for my final 6 weeks.... He will be another brand new Zone Leader, I'm excited!
 
I've been convinced that the Priesthood of God has been restored to the earth. By that very Priesthood families can and are sealed together forever. It is upon the keeping of our covenants which enables those promises to be fulfilled. I know this is true.

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Loved ones,

The girls look so cute! Haha I'm sure they had a lot of fun at the parade! I love seeing the pictures  of y'all and to see how everyone is doing. However, I decided that it would be fun to not send any more pictures of me for the remainder of my mission. Therefore, the next time you see me will not be on a computer screen. So yes, mom, I did buy a new suit this week and I really love it... but I'm not going to send a picture haha.  
  
 
We visited with Nancy Walter this week. As you remember, she's married to a less active member named Christopher, who is a returned missionary. It is amazing to watch as the two of them read the Book of Mormon together. When we first met Nancy, she was a little hesitant to visit with us but as we started answering some of her questions she began to really open up. As we taught her the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon, she began to read with her husband. The two of them have been reading together and the blessings are significant. They admit that they had been contemplating divorce for years, but now their relationship is being healed. If any couple on earth will simply live the gospel their relationship will be healed and will continue to strengthen for the rest of their lives. As we read the Book of Mormon together, and pray together, and keep the commandments, we will grow in our love for the Lord and grow in our love for each other. No relationship will struggle if together they faithfully keep the commandments and strive to live the gospel.

It was amazing to see the look on Nancy's face as she came to church with her husband. As we visited with her a few days after she was talking about how excited she was to attend church the next Sunday. One of the greatest blessings they have seen through meeting with us is the strengthened relationship they have with each other.  
The Gospel has been restored, not only so families can be together forever, but also so that they can reach their true potential here on earth.

 
Jody and her return missionary boyfriend Tui, are still doing well. Jody wants to be baptized and we just need to get them married. Please keep them in your prayers along with Nancy and Christopher.
 
I know that a loving Heavenly Father has given us the Book of Mormon. As additional evidence of his incomprehensible love for all his children. As we prayerfully read the Book of Mormon and live by the teachings therein, we will grow in our love for the Lord and by so doing we will strengthen all our relationships. I know that is true. I am the product of that promise.

I love y'all
Love, Elder Giles

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 22, 2015

Beloved family and friends,

I could tell stories and experiences that
happened this week, but I
would rather do this... I'm going to take a few
minutes to share a few
thoughts about Father's Day.

As members of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have
greater reason to celebrate
Father's Day than any other people on
earth. We should have more joy and
excitement for this occasion than
all other people combined. We actually know
the true significance and
importance of fatherhood. I'm going to share a few
thoughts on the
doctrine of fatherhood...
(Though in this letter I will only
refer to fathers, many of these
apply to mothers and fathers)


In the
beginning, "God created man in his own image, in the image of
God created he
him; male and female created he them."(Genesis 1:27).
Christianity should know
that fathers are literally created after the
image of our Eternal
Father.

What does the Savior Himself teach us about the role of
fathers?

“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father
do:
for [whatsoever things He] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise”
(John
5:19).

“I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me” (John
8

The very Son of God acknowledges and addresses the importance of
fathers,
especially His Father, in the teaching and upbringing of the
human
family.


Okay, now let's talk about why we love and appreciate fathers
more
than all the earth.
So, What is the restored doctrine of
fatherhood?

"Each is a beloved spirit son... of heavenly parents, and, as
such,
each has a divine nature and destiny."(The Family: A Proclamation to
the
The World)
We know that all earthly fathers were part of a family well
before
this earth was formed. We know that parenthood is not only an
earthly
principle. We know that fathers have a "divine nature and
destiny".

What is the "divine nature and destiny" of fathers?

"By divine
design, fathers are to preside over their families in love
and righteousness
and are responsible to provide the necessities of
life and protection for their
families."(The Family: A Proclamation to
the World)
We know that fathers are
divinely appointed to preside in their
families. We know that there are many
responsibilities that come with
fatherhood, and fathers "will be held
accountable before God for the
discharge of these obligations." (The Family: A
Proclamation to the
World)

We also know that because of the restoration of
God's Church it is
"possible for individuals to return to the presence of God
and for
families to be united eternally."(The Family: A Proclamation to
the
World)
We know that being a father is more than a 30-50 year experience.
We
know that fathers can, and will, be fathers forever. Elder Tad R.
Callister
once said, "In the life to come, I do not know if titles
such as bishop or
Relief Society president will survive, but I do know
that the titles of husband
and wife, father and mother, will continue
and be revered, worlds without
end."

So, what do we know about fathers? More than the rest of the
world
combined. We know all the truth that they have, and much more. We
know
better, so we must be better.

I would like to express my love for my
father. My father, who would
give anything and everything for his children. My
father, who taught
me how to work. I would never be who I am today if I had any
other
father, and for that I thank God that I had my father.

To my father,
to my friends, to myself and all who read this E-mail, I
close with the words
of President Ezra Taft Benson, “Remember your
sacred calling as a father in
Israel--your most important calling in
time and eternity--a calling from which
you will never be released.”

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Loved ones,

Well, the heat has arrived here in Texas"...and there is none
to
escape...." (D&C 1:2). We did, however, have a break in the heat
yesterday.
It began on our way to Church early in the morning. Just as
we were pulling
into the parking lot, a little bit of rain was falling
on the windshield, we
didn't think too much of it. After we got out of
our meetings, the rain was
coming down pretty bad. Sacrament Meeting
began with only a handful of people
there, and few were filing in as
the meeting progressed. The downfall outside
was continuing to get
worse. Soon, the chapel was being echoed with many phones
going off
with "Severe Alert: Flash Flood Warning" (Let me make this
remark
here: Mom, everyone was okay, no one was injured in this
experience).
The Bishop ran out of the chapel to the backdoor. Why? Well, there
is
a large canal behind the Church, the top of it only a few yards from
the
parking lot.
He returned to report that though the canal was fast-flowing, it
was
not over-flowing. Sacrament Meeting continued, however the whole
time
alerts were beeping on people's phones.
Following Sacrament Meeting, we
went to the second class,'Gospel
Principles'. We enjoyed that class for about
ten minutes until a very
startled looking woman ran in and exclaimed, "The
water is flooding
the parking lot! Everyone needs to leave now!
Awwwhhhhh!!!"
....well, that got people's attention. As I walked out of
the
classroom into the hallway I felt like I was in the middle of
a
'jail-break'. Three wards worth of people were running around like
mad-men,
grabbing their children and trying to survive. The "river"
(It was now a river)
was filling the parking lot and approaching the
Church. Many cars were in the
water, some up to the windshield.
As I walked outside I was surprised to see
firetrucks and ambulances
all around the Church, helping to evacuate the
cars.

........ A memorable day in the Castle Hills ward.


Now to
important things:
--TUI & JODI--
Brother Tui is a less-active, big ol'
Hawaiian who wants to come back
to Church. Jodi is his girlfriend, and she is
incredible!
We met them for the first time last Sunday, as they showed up for
the
first time (I believe I mentioned them in last week's E-maill)
So, we went
over to their house on Wednesday, and had one of the
greatest lessons on my
mission. We taught her the Restoration lesson,
and she understood all of it
almost instantly. For example: After we
taught about the Great Apostasy I asked
her, "Jodi, what would God
have to do to bring back His Church". She instantly
responded, "He
would call a prophet, just like he always as". Good answer.
The
Spirit was incredibly strong throughout the visit, especially as
we taught
about the First Vision. After I taught a little about Joseph
Smith I was about
to recite the First Vision to her, when I felt
prompted to ask Tui to do it.
(Now, Tui is a returned missionary, but
has been completely inactive for over
10 years). Many missionaries
struggle to memorize the First Vision for the
first few weeks, but
here I was being prompted to ask a 10-year inactive member
to recite
it from memory.... well, I asked him.
With tears in his eyes, he
said, "....I saw a pillar of light, exactly
over my head, above the brightness
of the sun which descended
gradually until it fell upon me... When the light
rested upon me I saw
two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all
description,
standing above me in the air.  One of them spake unto me, calling
me
by name and said, pointing to the other, 'this is my Beloved Son,
hear
Him!'"
He quoted it verbatim! Word for word! The Spirit flooded the
room.

Jodi is now set to be baptized :)    (Now we just need to plan
another
wedding...)


Well, I could continue with stories (trust me, I'm
full of stories),
but I will end this E-mail with testimony:
In the 29th
chapter of Alma, verse 10, Alma is praising his God for
all the blessings he
has received while being a missionary, "And
behold, when I see many of my
brethren truly penitent, and coming to
the Lord their God, then is my soul
filled with joy; then do I
remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even
that he hath heard
my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he
extended
towards me."
I echo the words of Alma. Every time I see people feel
redemption, and
freedom, every time I see people find purpose and clarity in
life,
every time I see people feel the Savior's love, "..then do I
remember
what the Lord has done for me.."

Only in God's Church, can the full
power of the Atonement be accessed.
Thankfully, there was a restoration.
Thankfully, Joseph Smith was a
prophet. Thankfully, we all know these
things.


I love y'all! Save some strawberries and creme for me!
Love, Elder
Giles

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 8, 2015

Hello beloved friends and family,


I hope that y'all are really enjoying spending time with family.
Family is central to God's plan for the happiness of His children, and
it must be central to us as well. I love my family and each of you
individually!


Elder Hendricks and I get along very well. We continue to find and
teach. So many incredible things have been happening in this area. The
recent-converts are all
doing very well. Danny Cavazos loves to help
us teach and to share his
testimony with others!  He was one of the
first people up there yesterday to
share his testimony. Gilbert
Navarro Jr. was ordained a Priest and received the
Aaronic Priesthood
yesterday! Evon Kardos taught part of the Gospel Principles
lesson.
Angelita spent all day Saturday with the Relief Society doing
service.
David Boyd is always one of the first ones in Church, with his
new
suits and ties. I sure do love this ward so much!
Yesterday we met a
less-active member named, "Tui". He used to play
football for BYU, he's a big
Hawaiian. He joined the Air Force and
over the years went inactive. He's now
with a wonderful woman name
Jodi. She wanted to go to a Church on Sunday. He
said, "I'll never go
anywhere besides my Church". So, they showed up to Church
and both
seemed to have a really good time! We are going to start
teaching
Jodi, and help them to both become active members. They are
really
cool and easy to get a long with. I'm excited for this!

EL
TEMPLO:
(The Temple)
This past week we had another wonderful opportunity to
attend the San
Antonio, Texas Temple. Two "zones" of missionaries were able to
go
with our Mission President.
My love for the Temple has increased
hundredfold while on my mission.
The Temple is the goal for these people I
teach. It's not just to get
them to attend Church, or even get them baptized.
It's about preparing
them to endure faithfully to the end. I really felt that
in the Temple
this last week. I want these people to be in the Celestial
room.
I know that the authority of God has been restored, because I feel
it's
power in a very real way. I feel it especially strong in the
House of the Lord,
The Temple.

Following the Temple, we met at a nearby Stake Center and there
we
distributed Ipads to the zone and helped them get started. The
whole
mission now as Ipads.



It's great to hear that you each have
strived to go out of your way to
do something nice for somebody else!!

I love y'all!

Love, Elder
Giles

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

Those whom I love,

Well, this is my first E-mail from my new iPad...

I received that package this week, thank you very much. My new
companion and I
have really enjoyed all of those snacks! I really
appreciate all the letters
and packages I have been receiving, though
I may not respond with a letter in
the mail there are all really
appreciated.

Mom, you look great with that
machine gun in your hands haha. I do not
think you have ever purposefully hurt
even a spider before, but you
would make a great big game hunter

(I am not
used to typing on this wireless keyboard, and it is a little
annoying, so this
letter might be a little shorter than usual)


Well, one of my best friends,
Elder Nebeker, went home this week. It
was actually pretty hard to say goodbye.
I have spent the last 18
weeks with him basically 24/7. He is a great friend,
and a phenomenal
missionary. He had a great love for the people of Texas, and
people
just love him. I look forward too seeing him again.
My newest companion
is Elder Hendricks. He is from Bountiful, Utah. I
didn't know too much about
him before hand. We got to work
immediately, and worked really effectively
together. He is full of
energy, and loves to have fun. He is such a personable
person, and
people love talking to him. We already have a great relationship.
It's
very possible that he will be my last companion in Texas, lucky
number
10!


It sure has been a lot of fun showing Elder Hendricks around
and
introducing him to everyone. All of our recent converts were at
Church
this Sunday, so he saw all of them there. David Boyd was there in a
new
suit, looking very classy. Angelita was one of the first people
there, just to
make sure she wasn't late and could say Hi to everyone.
Gilbert Navarro Jr, was
sustained and received the Aaronic Priesthood.
Danny Cavazos was passing the
Sacrament, for his very first time, and
was the one who passed it to me (which
was such a wonderful
experience!). Evon Kardos was sitting with her young
family surrounded
by all of the many friends that she has in the ward.


I
love the Lord, and al the mercies he has given to me. My entire
mission has
been me being placed in the right place, at the right
time, with the right
people.


We continue to labor. The work continues to progress. We have
some
really incredible people that we are working with right now, I would
like
to ask y'all to pray for:
-Alan & Zanida Garcia
-Saul Garcia (not related to
Alan & Zanida, Garcia is just a VERY
common name in San Antonio)
-The Shaffer
family


THIS WEEK'S ASSIGNMENT:

Go out of your way to do something kind
for someone.
-Write me and tell me about it (and yes, I am going to do the same
thing)



I love y'all!!
Love, Elder Giles

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 25, 2015

Loved ones,

Thank you all very much for the letters I have been receiving! I love them all, and even though I may not be able to write and send you a letter back, I really cherish and love all the letters I have been receiving. Thank you very much. A lot has happened this week, but because it is Memorial Day and all the missionaries have to E-mail at the Family History Center, I don't have much time. I also won't be able to send other E-mails besides this one today.

We had an amazing opportunity to visit with two members of the Seventy this week: Elder Evans and Elder Allen. The meeting we had with them was wonderful! They came to talk about us each of us becoming more devoted disciples of the Lord. This week, missionaries in the great Texas San Antonio Mission will be receiving Ipads. The use of this technology is going to help us reach and teach people we never would have been able to previously. It's a very exciting time! Thankfully, because I only have 3 months left I do not have to purchase an Ipad, I will just be given one to loan. It's sure going to change many things about the work, having this additional tool.
The Seventy hardly talked about the Ipads at all though, it was more about learning how to righteously use technology. Technology is to be used for good.  The Lord is "inspiring the minds of great people to create inventions that further the work of the Lord in ways this world has never known" (Russell M. Nelson)


Evon Kardos was baptized this week! It was a truly remarkable experience. I was able to be the one to baptize her. The Spirit at her baptismal service was so apparent.
I love baptisms! I love watching those I have come to love make that covenant with the Lord. It is always faith-strengthening for me. After we changed and got back into the Relief Society room, Evon was able to share her testimony. She spoke of her whole life being preparation for this moment. She now sees clearly the people and experiences that God put in her path, and the care He has had watching over. She began to cry as she expressed her gratitude and thankfulness to nw be a member of the Lord's Church. She also mentioned that she was so proud and excited to raise her two little boys in the Church.
Those boys will grow up in the truth. A family has joined God's Church this week. I am overcome with thankfulness and awe that I was blessed to be a part of this crucial and life-changing time in their lives.


TRANSFER CALLS: Elder Nebeker will be returning to Arizona this week. He has served a faithful mission, and has become a true servant of the Lord. He will continue to build the Kingdom throughout his life. 
I will be staying in the Castle Hills ward, and will be receiving a new companion


I love the Lord, and all that has been given me from Him. I pray that everything I do will be with an eye single to His glory.



Love, Elder Giles

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015

Beloved family and friends,

I'm glad to hear that it has been so wet in Utah. It has been the same way here. Everyone in Texas has been concerned, haha they claim they have never seen so much rain this late in the year. On the way to Church yesterday, it was coming down really bad. I was fine driving in it, probably because I am used to even driving in snow, but all the Texans had their hazards on and were going like 10 MPH haha. The thing about Texas is, that the sun comes out really fast and them it becomes UNBELIEVABLY humid!

 
Well, this past week was incredible! Many, many wonderful experiences and stories. Time only permits me to share a few, here we go!!

A WHITE WEDDING:
Danny Cavazos and Tulsy Celestino were married on Friday, the 15th!!
The wedding and reception took place at the Stake Center, and the Stake President was the one who officiated and married them. They both had many friends and family that showed up from all across Texas and Utah. For all of Danny's friends and family, it was their first time entering a Latter-day Saint chapel. It was great for them to see the wonderful paintings of Christ, feel the great spirit that always resides in His church, and meet many wonderful members of the church.
It was so cool to be a part of it! To watch as two people who love each other make that promise and commitment was a phenomenal experience. They both were so happy! Danny is so focused on the gospel, that he wanted to just get married ASAP, so he can go to the Temple sooner to be sealed. Even though none of his family and friends are members, he openly expressed his excitement and desire to enter the Temple.

Once the reception started, and they started playing slow-dance love songs......... we left.


Brother Cavazos:
17 hours after Danny was in a suit marrying Tulsy, he was in all white about to be baptized.
So many people showed up to support him that we almost had to move it into the chapel. His family, all non-members, also came to watch and support Danny. His new father in-law baptized him, which was a sweet experience. The Spirit was very strong throughout the entire service, and all who was there felt it. Danny is a pioneer. He is paving the way for others in his family to follow. He is a wonderful man.
He was confirmed the next day during Sacrament Meeting. The blessing was specific and spiritual. He already is a strong, faithful member of God's church, and it will be so exciting to watch all the many individuals and families he will be able to bless.

It has been a great journey to be on as Danny and learned about the Church. At first, he was a little skeptical about the whole thing, he had heard many lies and half-truths and wasn't sure what to believe. All that was resolved as he began to read the Book of Mormon. Very quickly he recognized the Spirit, and realized the blessings that were entering his life. He continued to grow in faith and understanding, and a week ago in Elders Quorum, he bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon to all in the room.

 

 
I have witnessed the power of Christ. His Atonement truly is "infinite and eternal" (Alma 34:14).
I have seen and felt it in my own life, and the lives of many others.

Thomas S. Monson is the God's prophet today. Heavenly Father leads, guides and directs His Church, through him. I will always sustain the President of the Church and heed His counsel. I hope that we all can see clearly, to choose correctly.

I love y'all
-Elder Giles
 

 

May 11, 2015

Family,
 
UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE:
I was able to spend the day in a Spanish area on Friday, and I was with a terrific missionary named Elder Hardman. Elder Hardman and I both started our missions in the same ward, Heritage, so it was great to talk about our similar experiences there and the great people we both know. He is a missionary that has a lot of heart, and great love for the work of the Lord. We were able to learn a lot from each other, and had some great experiences as we walked the stormy wet streets of downtown San Antonio. It was raining pretty bad that day, and we spent a large part of the day outside: we got soaked.
It was fun though, and we met some really great people! We taught some people in English, and some people in Spanish.
When we taught in Spanish, I couldn't contribute as much as I would have liked. However, I learned quite a bit.

There was a moment, while we were teaching a full Spanish family who didn't know any English, that we all understood each other perfectly. As we taught about The Book of Mormon, and how God answers prayers with His spirit, we all felt the Holy Ghost. We all felt peace. At that moment, we all understood, and it was wonderful. I think of the words of Nephi, "for [God] speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding." (2 Nephi 31:3)
All can feel The Spirit, and all can understand the gospel.

I'll send home a picture of Elder Hardman and I


JOURNEY TO THE TEMPLE:
Danny and Tulsy are getting married this Friday, and then on Saturday Danny is getting baptized! It's a full weekend, and it is going to be so incredible. In preparation for the steps of marriage and baptism that they are taking, we wanted to remind them of the "big picture" and to always be focused on that! 
So, on Tuesday evening we had planned to go to the San Antonio Temple with them, to walk around the grounds, feel the Spirit, and visualize themselves getting sealed in a year.

We met at the Stake Center, which is only a few miles away from the Temple. They wanted to also look around there, because that is where they are getting married on Friday. The first hurdle, was that traffic was terrible for us and we were like a half-hour late to the Stake Center.

Once we finally arrived at the Stake Center, we hurried and showed them around, and then went back to the cars to go to the Temple. We got in our car, and waited for them to pull out so they would follow us. We waited,.... and waited....and waited.

The second hurdle was that Danny's car died. He had no idea why! He was shocked that his car died, "This has never done this, it's still a new car!" he said. It was now getting pretty late, all these set-back were really making it hard to make it to the Temple. We went inside looking for someone who had jumper cables. Luckily, we ran into the Stake President who had jumper cables and was eager and happy to help!
We were able to get the car started. As we were putting the jumper cables back in their bag, the zipper broke off. UGH! So, we had to hurry and fix that!

Finally, we had everything working right. We got in our cars and drove to the Temple. 
It was raining very lightly, just felt like mist hitting your face. The Temple was all lit up and glowing, because it was now dark. The parking lot was full, but we were the only ones on the grounds. It was wonderful to walk around the Temple, explaining to Danny the wonderful blessings and promises found in this most sacred place. Our walked concluded right outside of the Celestial room, as we talked about the eternal marriage which awaits them in a year. A true and great peace was with all of us, and we were all feeling the peace of God. We took a picture outside of the Celestial room, with the intent of taking another picture in one year at the same place, after they have been sealed for all eternity.

I will also send that picture in the E-mail
 
I love ya'll!
 

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

Loved ones,
 
It's great to hear from you every week! It sure sounds like things have been busy for y'all lately, which is a very good thing. As far as Skyping on Mother's Day, I'm not sure where I will be yet. It'll probably be after Church though, like around 4 or 5. I'll text you the day before and let you know what time I'll be calling :)
I can't believe this is my 4th, and last, call home....my mission just keep going by faster and faster!
 
A DELIGHTFUL SABBATH:
Many wonderful events took place this last Sunday at Church!
1) Angelita got confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful blessing, and she was in tears afterwards with a huge smile on her face! She already has many friends in the ward and everyone loves her! She is such a genuinely good and kind person. She is studying her scriptures everyday and growing in knowledge of the gospel every day, it's so awesome to see!
It was amazing to watch her sitting there up there, as she was receiving her very first Priesthood blessing, becoming a member of the Church, and receiving the Holy Ghost. I reflected on all that took place to get her to that spot, and it was an overwhelming experience.
2) Gilbert Navarro got confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and was given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Nebeker and I were privileged to be a part of the blessing while he got confirmed. It was a powerful experience. To be gathered with the Priesthood of God, surrounding the new member and bestowing upon him the Holy Ghost. The power was undeniable, and the Spirit was strong.
Gilbert Navarro is a faithful saint. He has a strong testimony of the restored gospel and of modern-day prophets. He will be a tremendous example to others. It was wonderful to be a part of his story.
3) David Boyd, our recent convert from two weeks ago, was sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. To watch as he stood, with a smile as big as any I'd ever seen, and be recommended as one worthy to now hold the Priesthood of God was a very terrific feeling. He was given the Priesthood after Sacrament Meeting.
He is going to be such an incredible Priesthood man. He told me previously, that one of the reasons he had decided to be baptized, was so that he could be the man his wife deserves. Now, with worthily holding the Priesthood, he brings so much more power and protection into his home.
 
Two new members, and one new Priesthood holder.
The Sabbath is a delight (Isaiah 58:13).
 
 
BECOMING HUMBLE:
We have a wonderful investigator named Cody Simpson. It has been a truly incredible experience being able to teach him and see him progress. I'd like to a share just one example today: prayer.
Cody did not pray before we can into his life. He actually wasn't sure if he even believed in God. We had to teach him slowly, and simply because he was starting further behinh than many other investigators.
The first time we got him to pray, a few weeks ago, he said,

"God, God bless America, Amen"

That was his first attempt at a prayer, and it was a great starting point!

However as kept teaching him, and showing him the truth of the gospel. His faith really began to grow, and his prayers began to improve.

"Dear God, I thank the Elders for coming over, keep them safe. God bless America, Amen."

He was still just thanking us though, and not truly speaking with God. Well, recently he as been praying on his own. He prays before he goes to sleep at night. Also, he has been living the commandments of God, and recognizing the Spirit and the blessings that come. He gave up smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, which were both hard for him. As he has done so, his faith has really jumped up the next next level.

A few days ago, we had another lesson for him, as he said the closing prayer he said similar to,
"Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for my path to baptism, please help me along and prevent things getting in the way.
Please help to get my girlfriend on board, so she can come to Church with me.
(And then a powerfully humble, and sincere)
...and thank you, for everything.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Prayer is communication with our Father, and it is so rewarding to help His children realize how wonderful it is and begin to communicate with "my father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)


 
I love the Lord, and I love His children in Texas.

Love, Elder Giles

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Beloveds,

I had no idea that Grandma and Grandpa Tolman would write poems all the time. haha I guess the rhythm of rhyming is just in my DNA. That explains a lot.
Glad to hear that y'all had such a great, busy week.  I love that our extended family is always coming into town. It's so nice to have such a close family! The babies had a piano recital today? I'm sure they both did amazing!  For some reason they are both very gifted with piano. I practiced piano diligently, day and night, for years but when the girls came a long they were instantly better than me. Oh well, that's just the way it is.
hahaha Amanda and Mom will be practicing pulling people over this week. I would love to watch that! "Excuse me... excuse me,.... would you like to, possibly, pull over....and pay a ticket...... or, I can just pay it.... yeah, i'll just pay it for you..... have a good day....".
 
SISTER ANGELITA:
teaching Angelita has been such an inspiring, incredible experience. She was first found about a week before Elder Nebeker and I got transferred into the area. The Sister missionaries just knocked on her door and she let them in.
When we first started to visit with her, she was meeting with us and some Jehovah's Witnesses. But that only lasted a couple of weeks. We never even said anything specifically about it, but she told the Jehovah's Witnesses to stop coming over. "I have joined with the Latter-day Saints, and that is my Church. Don't come over and talk about anything different from my Church."
She was very open to the Spirit and would feel every time we would visit her. She quickly came to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.
We had many spiritual experiences with her.
It was amazing to see the apparent change and transformation that has happened to her. You can visibly see the change in her countenance, she has more light in her now and it shows! Her happiness grows by the day.
I had never seen her as happy as she was at her baptism.
She was baptized by a Priest in the ward named Ambrose Garza. He is an absolutely incredible young man, and will be a phenomenal missionary!
The power and Spirit of God was greatly felt at her baptism. Many member of the ward came out the support her, and she is already a part of the wonderful congregation.

To see a child of God progress from confusion and darkness, to understanding and light is such an amazing and magnificent experience. One that will always be imprinted in my heart.

POWER IN THE PRIESTHOOD:
Why would anyone ever leave the Church that has the power and authority of Almighty God?
Elder Nebeker and I had some really amazing experiences with the Priesthood this week.
1) We stopped by a rather random Less-Active family in the ward this week. We planned the night before to go visit them, we didn't know why at the time.
When we got there, the mother of the family went on the explain that very recently her older daughter had passed away. They were all in a deep mourning phase, and were pretty depressed. She explained that she kept feeling that she "should call the Elders", but she never did. She kept feeling that way for a few days... until, we just stopped by. 
She said, "I never did call you, but you came... because God called you" 
We taught and testified of God's great plan of happiness, which doctrine always calms and stabilizes the uneasy heart. We answered many of their questions. Then, they asked for individual blessings.
As I laid my hands on the oldest son's head, I felt a profound love for him. A love that wasn't from me. I went on to give him a blessing, which I never can really remember what I say while in the Spirit. I do remember, however, that after the blessing he stood up with tears pouring down his face and said, "That was too accurate". "That's because it wasn't from me" I said, "It was from your Father in Heaven".
"I know it was." 

2) A young family in the ward named the Mann-Ramos' called us on Saturday asking if we could come over and give a blessing. We said we would. At the time, we had a lesson planned at every part of the day, we literally wouldn't have had time. We were talking about what we should do, then one of the lessons called us saying that they had to postpone for a few days..PERFECT!
We drove over to their house, and saw Julian sitting up in his bed, looking like he had just been in the war. He looked terrible, and from what he explained, he felt even worse.
He had never before received a blessing of healing, but he had faith.
He refused the medicine that he mother was trying to give him as we walked in, because he knew he was about to receive a Priesthood blessing.
Well, I laid my hands on his head, and through me the Lord promised recovery and healing. It was a powerful blessing to be a part of it. 
Just seconds after I ended the blessing he said, "Wow. I feel a lot better!"
A few more seconds went by, then, "Wow. I feel A LOT better!"

 
Gilbert Navarro is getting baptized this Saturday!
Danny and Tulsy are getting married on the 15, then Danny is getting baptized on the 16th!
Evon Kardos (I used to spell it Yvonne Carter... yeah, I was confused) is getting baptized in May 23rd!!


 
God absolutely lives. Jesus is absolutely the Savior. The Book of Mormon is absolutely true. To leave this Church is an absolute mistake.

 
I love y'all!!
Love, Elder Giles
 
 
 

 

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

Loved ones,

WOW. What an absolutely incredible week! I love my mission so much!
It looks like y'all had a great time as well in Ontario. You look incredible in that picture! You'e the only person I know who gets younger with each birthday. The birthday cake sure does look delicious, Mom. I am sure that you loved celebrating your birthday in Ontario, and hopefully you enjoy my birthday card! I love you

The babies have been doing "no TV for a week"? That sounds really hard. I don't even know if I could do that! hahaha that's great though! They definitely need time to turn off "Finding Nemo" and "Max and Ruby". I'm proud of them.
Amanda and Mom are doing 'Police Academy'?.... oh, brother.... The last thing the world needs is Amanda running around trying to do a citizen's arrest to everyone she doesn't approve of. That's really cool that the city is doing that though. Sounds like a ton of fun.


BROTHER DAVID BOYD:
Well, it's official. He's a Mormon.
Brother David Boyd got baptized on Saturday, the 18th. But, let's back up a few days...

On Wednesday, he had his baptismal interview with the District Leader. He was very excited to talk to him, and was extremely prepared for the interview. After a few minutes, they came out from the back room and Brother Boyd, with tears streaming down his face, walked straight over to his wife, hugged her and said, "I love you!". It was such a sweet, tender moment. Brother Boyd then came and hugged me, and then everyone else in the room haha

The baptism was beautiful, and much of the ward came out to support him. In fact, there were so many people that we had to do the service in the chapel, so everyone would fit. Brother Boyd was baptized by one of his best friends in the ward, named Brother Taylor. Brother Taylor is straight from Samoa, and joined the Church as an adult. He still has a very thick Samoan accent... and he is such an incredible man.
As Brother Boyd came up out of the water, they embraced each other. Then, Brother Boyd turned to the crowd with a huge smile on his face and waved with his hands high above his head. hahah it was great!
He bore his testimony right before the Baptismal service ended. In the testimony he said, "I always knew this Church was true, I just wanted to join on my own terms.... well... instead I came in crawling" haha. Remember, this man has been 'investigating" for 13 years! He kept pushing everything off, until the Lord finally "snatched" him... and he came in crawling.
Beautiful.

The next day, he got confirmed in Sacrament meeting. It was a wonderful blessing, and the Spirit was very strong. As he arose, now a member of the Church and endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, he hugged everyone in that circle. Then, with tears now running down his face, walked humbly back to his family. Now, the family was all members of the Church.

It was incredible to be a part of his experience, but it was all from the Lord. The Lord is so wonderful, and loves all of us. I am forever grateful for the evidences I have of His love.

Go Brother Boyd!



WONDERFUL UPDATES:
The work continues to hasten, by the day. Elder Nebeker and I are working so hard, we honestly come home for the day, and just fall asleep before our heads even hit the pillows. We are grateful for it, though. Grateful that the Lord trusts us this much, to teach His children. 
This so y'all can keep these people, and their baptisms, in your thoughts and prayers.
We currently have:

Angelita Espinoza- April 25th (This Saturday!!!!)
Gilbert Navarro- May 2nd
Danny Cavasos- May 16th
Yvonne Carter- May 23rd
Cody Simpson- May 23rd

I truly love each of these people. It has been such a spiritually enlarging experience to watch each of them grow, learn, and progress. To watch the light, and happiness come into their lives as they learn more truth about their God. Each day, my testimony clings and intertwines even deeper to the rich bedrock of the Gospel.


 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
PREACH MY GOSPEL:
You all had great comments and thoughts from last weeks study about 'God is our Loving Heavenly Father'. Thank you for your testimonies! Now, make sure they are always getting stronger and that you never, never, never lose them.
Always remember that even though a few members do not endure or remain fully active, enduring to the end is a personal responsibility.

-Chapter 3: The Lessons
-Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
-Section: "Endure To The End"

*After reading through this, all I want to know is.. 
What are you going to do to make sure that you always endure to the end, and that you never, never, never leave this Church?

I'll start this week, here are some of my thoughts.
1- The Lord (meaning his commandments, His Church, His scriptures, etc.) always comes first. Ezra Taft Benson has said, "When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives"

2- I choose to never be offended. I will never let the words or actions of another prevent me, or my family, from accessing the full power of the Savior's Atonement, which can only be found in and through His Church. 

3- I will always respect, honor, sustain and support my leaders. 


But, I am most excited to hear what your answers are! Nothing makes me happier, than knowing I have a faithful family. Nothing would break my heart faster, than hearing that one of my loved ones has left the faith they once cherished. If any of you do, for whatever reason, you can be assured that I will be coming after you.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on earth.
Never leave.


I love y'all!
Love, Elder Giles