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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 2, 2015 - I get a brand new iPad!

Up to this point our mission has been a "pilot" mission for
Elder Miles at the train station
the use of iPads and Facebook. We are now moving from a "pilot" mission to a "test" mission. I am not sure what the difference is. This last week we had a member of the seventy, Elder Schwitzer, come to do a "reset" on our mission. About a year ago they just threw us into all of this and wanted to see what would happen. They have been having us take surveys to get a lot of information about how we were doing. They have now come out with new handbooks, rules, and technology for us to test out. The two handbooks we were given are not even finalized documents. They both say "draft" on them. We are handing in our old iPads on Thursday and they are giving us brand new ones with different software on it. This reset is meant to help everyone refocus on the new approach and get rid of bad habits. We will be reintroduced to everything slowly. We will not be using Facebook for 1-2 months. Any missionaries who will be here after August have to buy the new iPads and then take them home, but since I come home before then I get to borrow one for the time being. Elder Schwitzer talked a lot about how we are vital to this phase of the hastening of the work. It has been really fun to be a guinea pig!

This was our best week for a long time. We taught more lessons and found some new investigators! We had two membes present lessons with our investigator Jeff. Both of the members that we took with us connected with him very well. They are both converts and used to have the same struggles that he is facing. Each time we go over there he changes a little bit and becomes more interested. It is really exciting to see. For Fast Sunday (yesterday) he committed to not drink any alcohol for 24 hours which he hasn't done in a long time. One of the members we took with us has been messaging Jeff since the lesson. The member just called to tell us Jeff did it!  We were really excited. Knowing that President Riggs is coming on exchanges with us this Tuesday, we scheduled our next appointment with him for that night. Miracles always happen with President Riggs around, so we are excited for that lesson.

Prior to our exchange with President on Tuesday, we have zone interviews with him. As zone leaders we have to be there all day and "interview" the companion of the missionary that is with President at the time. We have to be at the church at 7:45am to set up and we won't finish until around 5:30. President Riggs will be taking us out for lunch and dinner. I am excited to be around President for the day. We have several questions for him about our area that hopefully he can help us with. One of those is how to respond to people that "aren't interested in religion." We have received that response a million times recently...

Since we have been spending so much time tracting recently we wanted to switch things up a bit. There is a train station (VRE) right next to our apartment complex that tons of people in the area ride to DC for work. We decided that would be a fun place to street contact as everyone got home from work in the evening. We went there right after dinner and talked to a bunch of people. It was a little difficult because everyone just wanted to get home, but we had a good time. We had some 5x7 pictures of Jesus that we were handing out to people with our names on them hoping to catch people’s attention.

I am having a great time. I am learning a lot and becoming better each day. I am grateful for these two years I have to serve! I know that Christ is our Savior and that Heavenly Father loves us!

Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

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