Elder Derek Miller's Mission Site

Happy Smappy

Date: March 14, 2011
Area: Maxixe, Mozambique
Companion: McCullough

 

Hello Family,

Well things are going pretty well. At least there are no earthquakes or tsunamis. Mozambique is actually pretty well protected by Madagascar anyways so nothing really drastic happens. The biggest natural worry you would have here is a coconut dropping on your head. That would be a headache. Speaking of a headache that's a large number in Japan. It's good to hear that the missionaries are safe. I heard that it was an 8.9 on the Richter Scale. I heard that Hawaii had some damage (Elder McCullough's sister lives there) but I heard that everything was pretty fine. Just minor damage to some ships on the north shore. Anyways. I bet the missionaries are doing some pretty intense service over there in Japan!

In other news. Questions.

Did the baptisms happen? Yes they did! It was actually very good. 5 people and last night we had a party thing. It was really good

--speaking of which--

I saw Jafar for the first time in a long time! He came to church. I guess he had a situtation where he lost his maid or something for a while so he had to take care of his mom, his neice, and his vendor station for a long time. But with the missionaries visiting him, he deceiced to pray about it (and this time he used our way and not the arabic way) and lo and behold, soon after he found somebody to help him out so he can go to church now. Awesome! I think he could be baptized here in a little bit but we will see.

How's the comp? He is doing great. He is an incredibly fantastic example to me. He is very balanced. He never says much; he just does the job. One of the things that is really good for me is how relaxed he is in doing the work. I always get up tight and worried that I am doing something wrong or that we are going to be late or mission rules etc. He is just super chill. That probably comes from Hawaii. Haha. I feel so schedule and rule bound. Elder McCullough (or Makala as the mozys call him) is very balanced. I am trying to learn that balance for myself. Not to mention he is very organized and I'm not. Haha. I willing to go on Neuro replete out here. I'm ready to give it a shot.

How are the others in the group? Doing fine. We are a bunch of clowns out here. haha. Me and Elder McCullough are probably the more serious ones. And I would say I am probably the most serious. Haha I feel like for the first time in a long time I need to lighten up! Probably comes from my last comp Elder GI Joe

What are things I like/dont like to hear? I like to hear how BYU is. I like to hear ALOT about world news--church and general. I like to hear about plans and what people are doing specifically--what they are liking about life and what things are a little rough. What are you learning? What is the weather like? It's all the same here. It's been the same for over a year now. Haha. Hot and a little dry in the MTC. Then Warm and humid In august. Then Hot and Humid. Then Very Hot and humid. Then Hot and humid. It's moving a little toward warm and humid. But ya. I see pics of snow and I'm surprised. And other than that, I LOVE PICS. I sure hope you guys are taking alot, even if you don't send them to me because I want to see what happened! I'm trying to do my part. But ya. If you aren't taking pictures--REPENT! And as far as homesickness goes, it doesn't really happen. I haven't read anything so far that makes me homesick I guess. I do miss carpet and exercising on my own. And I miss real air conditioning. And lots of other stuff. But ya. Can't say that I really get homesick as much as I wish I could bring stuff with me here. I know why I am here and what I'm doing so that's good. And I love it!

Fun story for the week. Well we had a mozambican wedding for 3 days non stop at our neighbors house. They all just get together and bring all of the speakers in the world and play loud music and sit around eating and drinking for 3 whole days. And dancing. So First off, trying to sleep was annoying since there is no rule on curfew here. But last night was the end, (my camera wasn't working) so you can see from Elder Astle's Pictures and Elder McCullough's that we all just got down with the gang. Hopefully there isn't anything too embarassing on there. Haha. Ya just gotta go crazy when you dance. They all tell me I can't dance. But really, they just can't appreciate true talent. :-)

Spiritual Experience for the week happened yesterday actually. We were teaching about Charity. There were alot of people there (45) and there was a decent amount of participation as well. We ended up trying to figure out ways we can show charity and we talked about the good samaritan and what he did to show his charity. Then I had an idea (as happens frequently thanks to the spirit) and I let Elder Makala take over while I slipped back into my lair (bedroom). I searched for some kind of a picture of Christ and I found a perfect one--the one of him coming at the second coming with angels and stuff. So I leaped back to sunday school and Elder Makala turned the time over to me. So I showed them the blank side of the picture (picture facing me) and I told them, "I have a picture here. It is one of my favorite pictures and I think it is beautiful. Isn't it beautiful?" There response was unanimously confused. Haha. That also seems to happen. I like making people confused. I got responses like "I dont see anything" and "No" down to "well.... it...has a nice soul." So I held it up a little higher so that I could see Jesus right above me and they could all see the white back. I asked "Are you all seeing the same thing I'm seeing?" "No!" they all chimed in unison. So I told them, "I want to show you all the way I see this picture." And I turned it around. They all thought it was beautiful. I told them "It is one of my favorite pictures of Jesus." I then went on to explain that sometimes we live just like the Priest and Temple Worker that walked past the hurt man. We don't have time or we are too important to help other people. But all of that changes once we see things the way God sees them. Many times, when we feel hate, anger, or envy, it is because we are looking at a blank picture, with no reason to think it is beautiful. But if we fervently seek and pray, God will reveal to us the masterpiece in each one of his precious children. Charity is the ability to catch hold of this vision and reach a higher level of understanding and appreciation for what each of us has to contribute to our eternal family. This same vision also applies to you. You must see yourself the way that God sees you. Often times we focus too much on our imperfections and faults and we fail to see the light that shines within us. In a world that strives for "perfection" in every thing, we must realize that trials and mistakes are to our lives much like a paintbrush is to a blank canvas. God sees your potential. It is up to you to reach it. It is often said that you must see the art you will create before you begin and that it will only become that if you keep the vision. Johann van Goethe said it this way "If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming." So that's my new motto. Keep the Vision. "Keep your eye on the ball" as a loving Father once said. Keep the vision and we will make it together to the Celetial Kingdom. (but that's after I come home :-)

Anyways. Love you all and I hope you all have a great week. Keep the Vision!

Love,

Elder Miller

PS Mom and Dad, Have you thought about coming out here to pick me up or the vacation at home. What do you think? What are your thoughts/what are you going to do?

 

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April 23rd, 2014 Elder Miller has returned home.
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