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Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015 - Transfer Week!

Birthday cake with Rachael and Nefy
This week was extremely eventful! Especially compared to last week. For starters, it was transfer week which is always crazy. On Monday, we played basketball and volleyball as a zone at our local stake center. In the evening we had a lesson with Robert, so we could finish teaching him everything before his baptism. Then we went to have dinner with Rachael and Nefy. I didn't tell anyone that it was my birthday, but Rachael happened to see it on Facebook two hours before we came over. They ran around and bought stuff to throw me a birthday party. When we showed up at Nefy's house they started shooting those confetti things where you pull the string and it shoots everywhere. They had the whole dining room set up for a Spiderman themed birthday party! We had pizza for dinner and they bought me a birthday cake with my name on it. I forgot to take a picture of it all before we were done... They got me a present with some random toys and a Redskin’s hat. Also, thank you for all of the birthday wishes and presents from everyone else!

On Tuesday, we had district meetings and a bunch of preparations for transfers including making transfer calls to all of the Zone Leaders. We had the final pre-baptism lesson with Robert and then went to our Bishop’s house to correlate and say good-bye. He always sits down with all the missionaries before they leave the ward. He thanked me for all of the good that I have done for the ward and complimented me a lot. It was very nice of him.

Elder Miles with President Rasband and 1830s Bible
Wednesday is always my favorite day of transfer week because we get to pick up the new missionaries! In the morning we had meetings with the senior couples in charge of cars and apartments. The missionaries usually arrive about mid-afternoon. We were sitting at the gate with President and Sister Riggs when I see Elder/President Rasband walking through security to catch a flight. I waved at him which caused President Riggs to turn around and see him. We all walked over there to talk with him. He said he was early for his flight, so he got out of line to come talk with us. He was in DC to attend the swearing in ceremony for Mia Love. She was baptized in his mission when he was a mission president, so he knows her very well. The church allowed him to take an 1830's bible to use in for the ceremony. It is the same version that Joseph Smith used to translate (but not the same copy). He let us hold it and take some pictures with him.

When there was a break in the conversation I told him that I know his daughter that lives in Highland, Utah. He looked at me for a second and glanced at my name tag. Then he said "Elder Miles, I know you!" That kind of shocked me (haha). He told me that the Chases had mentioned that I was in DC on my mission or something. He said Brayden is working on submitting his mission papers right now. He asked if he could get a picture with me to send to Brayden, so we took one more picture of just me and him on his phone. You'll have to check and see if he did! It’s not every day that you run into a General Authority at the airport, they know who you are, and want to take a picture with you. :)

Elder Miles with President Rasband at the airport
There were several flights of new missionaries coming in and the first one was coming from the Mexico MTC. They didn't show up until an hour after they were supposed to land. Turns out they missed their connecting flight, but because they did that gave us time to talk with President Rasband. We finally found all the missionaries (13) and took them back to the mission home. We had dinner and had a small devotional before the all went to bed. Then I spent the remainder of the night packing for transfers...

Thursday morning we had Sister Riggs' famous pancakes with buttermilk syrup for my last time. Then we had a meeting where everyone met their trainers and had lunch. Transfer meeting started in the afternoon and was strange because this time I already knew where I was going. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to be their Zone Leader. I got transferred to the Manassas 1st ward with Elder McInerny.

The ward I am in is one of the top baptizing English speaking wards. I have heard great things about it. Elder Ni, Elder Raban, and Elder Josh Smith all served in this ward. Elder McInerny is from California and is a convert of less than three years. He was baptized just before graduation of his senior year of high school. None of his family was part of the church. He was dating a member who invited him to church. He got baptized and left on his mission just over a year later. He came out 2 transfers after I did. Since being on a mission his mom has joined the church. I am excited to be companions with him.

I knew this prior to being transferred, so I prepared well. Our apartment in Manassas had bed bugs... Yes they do exist. I always thought they were just a myth meant to scare little kids. I bought covers for my bed, box spring, pillow, and luggage to prevent them from spreading. It has worked so far because we haven't seen any since I got here. We have someone coming to spray our apartment today, so everything should be good. We have a nice apartment that has only been open for six months. They think they got the bed bugs from someone that they visited. We also drive a Ford Fusion! It is one of four in the mission (including Sister Riggs'). Somehow I have never had to drive a regular mission car (Cruze/Corolla). I've only had a minivan, truck, and a Fusion.

We only have one investigator right now, but we are going to change that this week! This area is one of the most ghetto areas of the mission. There are a ton of Hispanics. There is one apartment complex that sister missionaries aren't allowed to go to. The Singles Ward covers this part of the mission so I am already very familiar with it. Alejandra lived here while we were teaching her. It is about 30 minutes away from the Mission Office. It does have very nice areas as well. A couple of the members we visited yesterday are very wealthy. I met a lot of members at church yesterday. One is a convert that wears all black to church including a kilt and a spiked leather jacket (haha). In second hour a lady got really upset when she found out she can't be sealed to her daughter because she isn't married. She started bawling and ran out. I felt really bad for her and it was pretty awkward. The ward is great and I am excited for the next several transfers in this area!

Elder Miles with Robert at his baptism
On Saturday was Robert's baptism. The senior couple from the Braddock YSA ward took us to the baptism. Robert asked me to perform the baptism for him. There were a ton of people that came to support him which he was very grateful for. They must have run out of hot water because it was freezing cold! Elder Raban filled it up, so maybe he was just trying to play a joke (haha). Everything went very well and he loved it. We said a prayer together after changing because he wanted his testimony to touch any non-member’s hearts that were in attendance. He will be a great missionary! He shared his testimony and it was very powerful. He talked about the blessings of letting Christ back into his life. His non-member parents watched the whole thing over Skype and his mom even started crying. He said his mom might take the missionary lessons at some point. He was disappointed that I am leaving, but said he will come take me to lunch at some point. It was an amazing week!

I think that was the longest email I have written on my mission! You're welcome!

Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

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