Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Loved Ones,

We saw many miracles this week! It was such an incredible week, I don't have nearly enough time to tell you a fraction of it, but I will mention an experience:

Humbling Power:
Elder Nebeker and I have been working tirelessly in this area. We cover many, many people and we are always on the run from one appointment to the next. We are very blessed to have been led to many people who are open to the gospel, and we have some really excellent investigators. 6 of them came to Church yesterday! Which is really good. It was a great turnout, and they each seemed to really enjoy it.
In addition to that, there is this great story:
There is a man here named David Boyd, who is what missionaries call an "eternigator", which means someone that is always investigating but never decides to get baptized. He is married to an active member and comes to Church almost every Sunday with her. Elder Nebeker and I have taught him once, but he wasn't very interested to progressing towards baptism. He has been taught for years. Many, many missionaries have taught him and tried to baptize him, but he was not ready for some unknown reason.
Well, since he seemed uninterested Elder Nebeker and I had been focusing our efforts elsewhere. Until, yesterday at Church when his wife came up to us and said, "My husband really needs to talk to you".. We were a little nervous, and not sure what he was going to say. He came up to me after Sacrament Meeting with tears in his eyes (I could tell he had been crying during the meeting), he said, "You need to come over this week. It's good! It's really good!". So, we set up a time for Wednesday night.
A few minutes later Sister Boyd spilled the beans and told us with tears in her eyes as well, "David has decided to get baptized!"

We had nothing to do with his conversion, we weren't even around. However, the Lord did all the work (as with any and all convert baptisms).
The Lord has shown me this time and time again. He always rewards us, but it is never how we expected. That is how he keeps us humble, and keeps us from thinking that we accomplished it by ourselves.

David Boyd will be baptized next week, and then we have many baptisms coming up after that! The Spirit of the Lord is being poured out here in Texas, and the floodgates are opening!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Easter is the time that we celebrate the Resurrection of our Redeemer. The greatest miracle ever performed on earth. It goes beyond what we can even comprehend. However, I would like to share my testimony of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Only Begotten and what it truly means...

Let's begin with this question, "What if there was no Resurrection?"

To some, that may not mean much, but that is only because of their ignorance.
 "...the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord...this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more... if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of out God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery..." (2 Nephi 9:6-9)

Not only is there no salvation without the Resurrection, but that exact contrary, we would all be damned.
That is crucial to understand.

Here is the miracle:
The Savior "gained the victory over death" and "breaketh the bands of death" (Mosiah 15:8). Thus, "all shall rise from the dead and stand before God" (Alma 11:41), also, "the spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form" (Alma 11:43). The Resurrection is an unconditional gift to all of God's children, everyone, "all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost"(Alma 11:44). The Resurrection is permanent to all, once Resurrected "they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided" (Alma 11:45)

We see what would happen without the Resurrection, "But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." (Mosiah 16:8)

Because of all this, we can have true hope. Hope that can never be diminished or shaken. True hope is "hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal" (Moroni 7:41). We may have hope for Eternal Life, only because of Christ. Moroni explains that we can have "hope for a better world" (Ether 12:4), because Christ has "prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope"(Ether 12:32)

We will each be reunited with our bodies, in a perfect condition. We can each have a hope of everlasting life with our God, and our families. All this is because of Christ, and his glorious Resurrection!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This week's assignment:
-Listen to the words of the prophets
-Take notes
-Share with me what you learned

I love y'all!
Love, Elder Giles

March 23, 2015

Loved ones,

My St. Patrick's Day was super fun. Elder Nebeker and I both wore our green ties, and went out to lunch with a Recent Convert to a huge Mexican restaurant in Downtown. It was in 'El Mercado" or "The Market". A very large outdoor shopping area in San Antonio. A lot of fun.
The rest of the day was a blast also! Taught a World War 2 veteran about the Restoration. Took a young Priest out with us to prepare for his mission, and had a great visit with a family who lost their father, but are very strong in the gospel.
Good day!

Danny Cavasos:
We taught Danny more this week, and he is doing so well! As we taught the principles and ordinances of the gospel (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) he kept saying that it all made perfect sense. "I know this is true. I just know it."
Just last night, we taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he loved it! We taught him at a member's home (the Welch's) and they get along very well. It answered a lot of big questions he has had, and he wants to get baptized! He said the closing prayer at the end of the lesson and said something like, "thank you for showing me your restored Church, and please help me prepare for my baptism". Awesome!
We just need Danny and Tulsy to get legally married now, because they live together, and then he'll be baptized! So, that's what we are working on. Please keep them in y'alls prayers.

This last Friday was so great. We were able to go to the Temple in the morning hours to help clean. Wow, if only everyone could start their day in the Temple, the world would be a MUCH better place. Even though we were just cleaning, there was still such great peace and love in the Temple. It truly is the House of the Lord. We should all make Temple attendance a priority in our lives..."Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult to receive those blessings. There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure" (President Thomas S. Monson)
That evening we had dinner with a great family, the Navarro's. Both of the parents have been baptized within the last year, (and are getting sealed to each other soon). They also have two twin sons, who are 18. The sons have not been baptized, and have never before shown interest in the Church, or to the missionaries. For the first time, the boys came out and spent time with the missionaries. We talked about their interests, and how everything is going in their lives. Once they opened up a little more to us, we had a great conversation. 
As dinner was ending I asked, "what questions do you still have about religion?"
One of the boys responded, "can you tell me more about Joseph Smith?"
We explained the Joseph Smith story, and the restoration of the Gospel. We then talked about the modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson and that really caught their attention. We decided to watch his testimony, his "Special Witness of Christ" on

As the video was coming to a close, President Monson bore his testimony of the divinity of the Savior and the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. That testimony seemed to shake the whole house, and everyone felt it. My soul was energized, and tears came to my eyes as the Holy Ghost witnessed the truthfulness of his words.
The video ended, and we all sat in silence for what seemed for a few moments until one of the sons, whose eyes were still glued to the screen, said, "...woah..."

Both of the sons came to Church on Sunday, and we are now teaching them :)

I truly know that Thomas S. Monson is God's oracle on the earth. He is the one man who holds and exercises all Priesthood keys God has given to man. Those keys were restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The Savior lives, and is the Head of His Church. To be wise, is to be an active member of His Church. To be foolish, is to focus on anything else.

I love y'all,
-Elder Giles

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

To Whom It May Concern (All Y'all): 

Well, It's official. I love every week of my mission. My love for the Lord, for my mission, and for the people of Texas seems to increase by each week. I will forever be grateful for my mission, and the change that it has had on my soul.

I was able to get the letter you sent me! We still technically have the other apartment, so we go their every once in a while hahaha. So, I have been getting the mail there this week and picked up the letter from the family. I really loved that letter. Thank y'all very much! Nothing is sweeter to the soul late in the evening, as when I check the mailbox and see my name on a letter. I am "filled with exceedingly great joy" (Mosiah 21:24)

Grandma Vi turned 95 this last week?! I never would have guessed that. Last time I was talking to her, I could have sworn she was in her 30's. hahaha I love her so much! Make sure that you tell her Hi from me next time y'all talk.

El Templo De Dios:
Earlier this week, all the "Mission Leadership" (Zone Leaders &Sister Training Leaders) were again privileged to go through the Temple. I have now been to The House of The Lord a handful of times on my mission, and each time increases in beauty and knowledge. This time was especially eventful.
There was a relatively small group of missionaries there, but 5 of them were my previous companions. It was powerful to look around and see all these amazing men that I have wonderful experiences with, and to be with them in that sacred place. It was a glimpse of divinity.
I was there with Elder Condie, Elder Whitney, Elder Shorts, Elder Loveridge and Elder Nebeker (Elder Nichols would have been the 6th, but he went home recently)

I am so happy that The Lord gave me such incredible friends, both before my mission and on my mission.

Danny & Tulsy:
Tulsy was baptized a few weeks ago in Utah. This last week she moved in with her boyfriend, Danny. They showed up to Church on Sunday, and the really had a great time! Danny is not yet a member, but he is very interested.
After Church yesterday, we went over to their house to teach them. We asked when they were getting married, so Danny could get baptized. At first, their plan was to WAIT until NEXT YEAR when her brother gets back from his mission, so he could be there for the wedding.
We explained the Priesthood again and the sealing power. Basically that earthly marriage doesn't mean much, but when they get sealed for all eternity... that's what her brother would want to be there for.

They are a really cool couple, and we are going back over there again on Thursday night to have another lesson. Please keep them in your thoughts, and prayers.


Happy St. Patrick's Day! Wear green, be safe, be happy

I love y'all!
-Elder Giles

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015


I heard it snowed in some places of Texas, but I didn't see any snow in San Antonio. However, it has been pretty frigid, and today it's raining pretty hard. I am excited for it to get warm and sunny again. I love the Texas heat!

They were some really great experiences that happened this week! I'll just mention a few..

Well, this week we started covering the entire mega-ward here in San Antonio (hundreds of thousands of people). They also moved us into a new apartment, so I have a new address.....

 * * *
2914 Olmos Creek #1208
San Antonio, Texas
 * * *

Everything has been getting new this week. We have a new apartment (which is A LOT nicer than the previous one), they gave us a new car, and we have a bunch of new investigators and people to teach.
Our apartment is no longer in "the hood", so that is relieving. It has a nice gym, and a lot of space.

She Made it!
In my last E-mail, I wrote about Angelita Gonzalez. She is such a saint! She loves the Book of Mormon, loves the Church, and loves meeting with us. It's been such a struggle to make it to Church on Sunday morning though, because she is watching her mother in-law and couldn't find anyone else to come watch her.
We went over to have a lesson with her on Thursday night. That night she told us that she doesn't think she can come to Church this Sunday, because she couldn't find someone to watch the mother in-law. We shared the classic 1 Nephi 3:7, and discussed how the Lord always prepares a way for us to be obedient. The lesson was powerful, but we still couldn't find a solution.

On Saturday night, she told us that she still hadn't found anyone, and she won't be able to make it. It was such a tragedy! She wanted to come so bad! She was doing everything she could, but could find no help. It broke my heart.

On Sunday morning, we were standing right outside the Chapel welcoming all into Church. A few minutes before Church began, I heard the door open and saw Angelita walking in with her Book of Mormon and Holy Bible in her hands. I was so glad to see here, and I could tell that she was very happy to be there.
She stayed for all 3 hours, with her friends in the ward introducing her and everyone was being very friendly. She really enjoyed it!

Turned out that on Sunday morning, A lady from Home Health-Care just showed up to watch her mother in-law until 2:30 (Church ends at 2). ALSO, her sister just happened to show up so she could drive her to Church.

It was a miracle. We had faith, and believed that she could come.. but once Saturday night came with no luck, we lost some hope. I learned that true hope should never be lost.
The Lord is able to do all things. Nothing is impossible with God. All things are in His hands.

There is a Father of us all, who is God. There is a Savior of us all, who is Christ. There is a Church with all truth, that is here.

Love, Elder Giles

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 2, 2015


I hope that all y'all had a fantastic week!
The weather has been Utah-ish this week. It has been very cold, and dreary and rainy, Oh well, only a few more days until the weather is bright, sunny and 100 degrees haha
Is it snowing in Utah? I don't know how I ever lived in Utah. Nowadays, if it gets below 70 degrees, I am freezing!

We had dinner this week with the Martinez family. They really love their spicy food, a lot. As soon as dinner was over. The pulled out a whole bucket of ice cream, and gallons of milk. I was really confused at what was going on. Then, Brother Martinez grabs a bag from the cupboard, and set this wrapped bag on the table. He rolled up his sleeves, and grabbed tongs from the drawer. 
They then explained that they were Ghost Peppers AKA one of the hottest peppers on planet earth.
You can't even grab them with your bare hands. So, he grabbed one by the tongs and put it on a plate in front of me. Elder Nebeker and I were both given one.
The trick was to chew it for 20 seconds, swallow it, and hold for 15 more seconds until you could eat the ice cream or drink the milk.

It was so very extremely hot! Between Elder Nebeker and I, I think we drank a whole gallon of milk and ate all of their ice cream haha.
We did it!

Angelita Gonzalez:
Angelita is one of our most progressing investigators. She was found by the Sisters, right before we got transferred in here. We have been teaching for a few weeks now, and is AMAZING to see the change in her. She has such a sincere heart, and she loves the gospel. When we first met her, she wasn't sure if she believed what we told her, but as she's prayed and read the Book of Mormon on her own, she has gained a solid testimony. She wants to be baptized, and she knows this is the Lord's Church. It's been a little hard for her to come to Church, because she has to watch her mother in-law 24/7, and the mother in-law ins too unhealthy to come to Church.
We're working on getting her sister to come watch the mother in-law so she can come to Church.
She is so great and can't wait to be baptized! Please keep her in y'alls prayers!

Elder Nebeker and I are staying together! Wa-hoo!
So this ward is a "mega-ward" it's ginormous. It is honestly like 1/3 of San Antonio city. So, it has been split between two sets of missionaries. They just changed that, so now Elder Nebeker and I cover this whole ward hahaha y'all don't understand how crazy this is! It's no exaggeration that we cover hundreds of thousands of people.

We will definitely be relying on the Lord, this transfer haha

I love the Lord, I love y'all, I love Texas

-Elder Giles

Pictures: here is a glimpse of my life