Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

The Friendship of a Child

Date: July 18, 2011
Area: Manga, Mozambique
Companion: Workman


Dear Family,

Well this week certainly was inspiring. I've had a pretty intense day/week and I'm exhausted. We got the car back and it runs a lot better. We went around all day doing business instead of having a p day so I'm wasted. haha. We bought new tires for the car and bought food, ran accross the entire world getting baptismal forms and kits and stuff and running around like a chicken in the middle of the road (which we did see today. It's true the chicken DID cross the road to get to the other side).

I have survived today basically on cookies that I bought from shoprite and so I feel pretty terrible and my sugar high has worn off so I'm dead. Haha. Well other than that, things are going well.

I understand Isaiah perfectly now. I know what he is talking about because everytime it says the word "Israel" replace it with "Mozambique" and you get the picture. I don't know what happened but something clicked this week and I understand things a lot better now. Something hit me and everything just got very real.

This week has been one of the most spiritual experiences for me. I see Mozambicans as my brothers and sisters instead of lazy sacks (haha which they are anyways) but I feel closer to them and I understand what I need to do to help them change. It started with so many things but after thinking about the mission and other missionaries and whatnot, I got a little discouraged. I didn't feel like anyone was making a difference. Our branch has about a billion members and I think 2 of them actually have testimonies. I was losing hope and didn't know what to do. We had a training that friday by the assistents and they talked about the current status and progress of the mission and we all know it is not where it needs to be. I have often been very frustrated with the levity and light-mindedness that some of the Elders have as they do the work. This was talked about and we resolved to change. I had already thought about this a lot actually before the training and Elder Workman my comp can attest that I constantly remind him that "I'm sick and tired of  a) missionaries without real testimonies b)members without testimonies c) investigators without testimonies d) the fact that no one treats this like it's real e) laziness of everyone f) unrepentant people g) stupid mistakes that we all make." Haha. I don't think I had ever been more sick and tired in my life! It certainly seemed like Satan had the upper hand. So in this moment of discouragement, we walked home from the church. 

Almost to the house, some little kids ran up to us and screamed "AMIGO!!!!!!!!" as they always do haha. So I did exactly what I did every other time (because this is a frequent event) and I gave 'em the thumbs up and a little smile. This time was a little different though. They all ran to me and despite the fact that I had some papers in my hand and didn't really pay much attention, for whatever reason they grabbed onto my hand and walked with me saying "Let's go amigo! We are going to go with you to open the gate to your house for you right now!" They held my hand and just kept walking with such enthusiasm and a bounce in their step. One of the kids asked "Are they really our friends?" One of them responded "Yup! We're really good friends." I felt such an intense love come over me and I understood the Saviour's love for children despite the iniquity of the world. Holding back tears and smiling, I turned to them and said, "We definitely are really good friends aren't we?" A difinitive "Yup!" was my response. Hand in hand we walked until we reached the gate of our house where they ran and enthusiastically pulled the gate open for us. "Thanks" was about all I could get out. I felt such an incredible love from Heavenly Father and somehow he knew that experience would give me a little boost and an added hope for the future. I caught on to that and I cherish that experience. When the Lord wants something said or done, he uses his best messenger--a child. 

That's just one experience out of many I had this week. The gospel has a new reality to me and I am literally in a battle for the salvation of souls. Currently and really for my whole mission I have been battling false traditions and secret combinations (of a very very literal sort even within the branches themselves) and so I know my call. I am here to preach repentance--and those who are with Christ will change. I have renewed faith and hope and I know that this is in the Lord's hands. This is his work and if we fight with all our might, we will truly come off conquerers.

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

I love you all and please love God with all you have. It makes all the difference.

With love,

Elder Miller


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April 19th, 2014 Elder Miller has returned home.
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