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Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015

Our schedule was thrown off a little this week. The AC was broken in the car that we got, so we took it into the dealership on Tuesday morning and we still haven't gotten it back yet. We assumed it would be a pretty quick fix, but they haven't even called to give us an estimate yet. For two days we were on foot until we finally got a loaner car until ours gets out of the shop. The dealership won't give us a straight answer as to when it should be done. That has been pretty frustrating. Due to the car problems we had to reschedule one of our exchanges, so we only had three this week.

The Office Elders think they're funny!
It is pretty fun traveling the mission with Elder Johnson. On Saturday, we had an exchange with some Elders that live close to where Elder Johnson and I lived in Algonkian. We stopped by the old apartment for a minute for old time's sake. It was crazy to think we served there 18 months ago. President Riggs liked what we have been training the missionaries about so much that he is having us present it to the mission this week.

This week we are receiving "Tiwi's" in all of the mission vehicles. They are little boxes that track where you are, how fast you are driving, and lots of other things. If you get too many warnings they take away your driving privileges. Luckily, we only have to deal with them for a month. While those are being installed we will be doing our training with all of the missionaries.

It has been fun to be back in the Burke ward. Last year there was a member that was going to take us on a tour of The White House, but he had to cancel on us. He is moving in three weeks so he isn't working right now. I asked him when he is going to show us around The White House and now we are going with him next Monday!

Elder Miles' latest cooking
experience - fried chicken
We don't really have any investigators to work with right now. It is hard because we started from scratch and only have 3 days each week to work in our area. Hopefully we can get some things going with our limited time.


I am honestly not sure what else to write about... Not all that much happened this week. Love you all!

Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 18, 2015 - My last transfer!

Last week we received this email from Elder Miles -

I just read my weekly email from President Riggs. This is what he said: "I would like to meet with you after transfer meeting. The Lord has an interesting assignment for you."


I have no idea what that means... but I assume that means I am getting transferred. I will let you know next week what my "interesting assignment" will be.


On Saturday we received this email -

Elders Miles and Johnson with the mission transfer board

I was transferred back to the Burke ward on Thursday. Guess who my new companion is!?!? You guessed it! It's Elder Johnson! Our "interesting assignment" is that we are traveling assistants. President Riggs said technically he isn't allowed to have 4 assistants, but that we are basically traveling assistants. He told the mission we are "traveling 
trainers". We will be on exchanges with others Elders all over the mission 4 days a week. I will fill you in with more details on Monday.
Love you!



Here's this week's email -

I found out what my "interesting assignment" would be on Monday evening last week. Elder Johnson called and asked me if President Riggs had talked to me. I told him no, but explained the email that he sent me. His response was that we were definitely going to be companions! He said he received a similar email, but then he learned more when he ran into President Riggs later in the day. I don't remember all the details, but essentially from everything he gathered he figured we would be companions. He called me just to confirm his suspicions. He was told we would be some sort of "traveling trainers". That got me super excited and all
Elders Miles and Johnson in President Riggs' office
week I was pumped for transfer meeting.

Everyone was pretty shocked when we were put together because most people know we are really good friends. We were in the MTC together, roommates for 6 months, and were in the same zone for 3 other transfers. It was just fitting for us to finish out together as well. President Riggs announced to the mission that we would be traveling around the mission to train missionaries. After the meeting we met with him briefly to learn a little more about our assignment. He told us that he received some pretty strong spiritual impressions about the need to extend this assignment to us. President Riggs said "the missionary department says I can't have 4 assistants, but if I could you would be called traveling assistants". Instead we are "traveling trainers".

Our assignment is to spend the entire day with a companionship to train them on the work 4 times a week (Tues-Fri). We will leave our apartment after studies, spend the entire day training and working with them, and then get home at 10 or later. We are going to be doing this with some of the younger companionships that will really take our training to heart and apply it. We are really excited for our assignment, but exchanges can really wear you out. We are going to be pretty tired by the end of this. We will only proselyte in the Burke ward Sat-Mon, so it will be hard to get as much work done in our own area.

We have some pretty nice perks as well. We have another Ford Fusion which is one of the nicest cars, we get extra money (since we will have to eat out a lot), and we have really comfy queen size mattresses. It was awesome to see some of the members of the Burke ward again at church yesterday. A lot of people remembered me even though I wasn't here too long. President and Sister Riggs are speaking in other wards every week before they leave, so they weren't at church. Their 3 daughters were all surprised and excited that I am back in their ward.

At the same time I was sad to leave the Manassas 1st Ward.
Elder Miles with Sophia and Destiny
Mostly because I wanted to be in the ward when Destiny and Sophia get baptized and so I could make sure they are ready for the date we set with them. I trust Elder Wagner will do a good job though. I will still get to go back and attend the baptism next month. They were both sad that I was leaving to a new area as well.

It is going to be a really busy final transfer for us!


Love,
Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015 - Happy Mothers Day!



Elder Miles at the site of the Battle of Bull Run
Remember how while we were Skyping yesterday you asked if I have crazy experiences while tracting? Well last night we went tracting right after dinner (by the way the members made us the best salmon I have ever tasted. It was amazing). After about 30 minutes of knocking doors, we see an Asian looking guy getting his mail. As usual, we approach him and start talking to him. After talking to so many people over the course of my mission, I can tell very quickly the level of someone’s interest in what we have to say. In the first 30 seconds of talking to him it was apparent that he wanted to "teach us a thing or two about Jesus". For the next hour or so he told us all about how all we need is grace and the bible is God's only word. He talked basically the whole time. At one point I looked over at Elder Wagner and he had the most blank stare on his face I have ever seen (see Acts 20:9). At the end he invited us to read the bible and seek for truth. We informed him that we do that every day, thanked him, and continued knocking doors.

Elder Miles with a statue of Stonewall Jackson
After receiving that hour long sermon, we visited a "lost sheep" on the ward list. It was a Cambodian family and they had some sort of party going on. Some drunk guy basically dragged us into their house and was trying to make us sit down and eat some food. I escaped the drunk guy and started talking to some of the other people. Elder Wagner wasn't quite so lucky. He ended up "entertaining" the drunk guy for about 10 minutes. He said the guy made him pray for him and was trying to hold his hand (haha). The people I talked to were pretty cool and want us to come back sometime. We never did find the guy on the ward list though.

Destiny and Sophia are doing great. They were going to
Home at the Battle of Bull Run site
come to church, but Destiny was pretty sick. They are coming this upcoming Sunday. Hopefully I am still here in the area (I will find out tomorrow if I am getting transferred). We started teaching them about the Plan of Salvation and it went really well. We are getting better at teaching really simply, so they can understand. I also feel like they are learning a lot and getting better at comprehending the gospel. We have another lesson with them tonight and then they are going to mutual on Tuesday. They are both really excited to get baptized on June 13th!

It is hard to believe I will be starting my last transfer on Thursday. I want to make the most of it!



Until next week,
Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission

"There stands Elder Miles like a stone wall" - Elder Braden Miles

"GQ pose" - Elder Braden Miles

Cannon at the site of the Battle of Bull Run

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

Elder McInerny, Jason, and Elder Miles
This past weekend was great! On Saturday morning we had breakfast with the Stake President and his family then went straight to Jason's baptism. One of the members from the Singles Ward baptized Jason. Elder McInerny and I were asked to be the witnesses. Jason is a really tall guy, so we were afraid it might take a couple of tries. It took about 30 seconds to help them get situated in the best spot so that Jason wouldn’t smack his head on the wall (haha). When he was walking up the stairs out of the font I heard him say to the guy that baptized him "Wow. I feel amazing". He bore his testimony afterwards and it was really powerful. He talked about how he knew he needed God in his life, so he was attending a bunch of different churches. He was throwing down on other churches a bit and it was pretty funny. He said he could tell they were teaching false doctrines and all they wanted was money. Then he talked about how strongly he could feel the spirit as soon as he started learning about the church and he knew right away it was what he needed in his life.

While we were teaching Jason we told him about how amazing he would feel after he got baptized. During his testimony he was like "Man, you all weren't lying about the feelin!" He is so in tune with the spirit. He already knows how to recognize and act on it. I talked with him after about if he has considered serving a mission (he is 19) and he said he is going to pray and ask God if it is something he should do. I have no doubt if he prays about it that he will go on a mission because of how close he is to the spirit. He would be a powerful missionary! He has already been getting his mom and sister to go back to church (they are inactive members) and he has been trying to get his friend to come to church.

Larry and Elder Miles
On Sunday, Larry (that we passed off to the other missionaries) showed up at our sacrament service. We asked him why he was at our meetings and he said he was following the map on his phone (thinking he was going to the other building) and he just showed up at ours. He has told us several times he likes our ward better, so that might have something to do with it... (haha). He was the last person to get up and bear his testimony during sacrament meeting. Everyone in the ward loves him and they were all on the edge of their seats listening to him. He told a story about an event that changed his life.

He was in the navy, played college football (defensive end), and was a professional boxer. Back then he was not a religious guy at all. He picked up a guy on the side of the road because his car broke down. The guy ended up pulling a gun on him and trying to steal his car. To make a long story short, he heard an audible voice tell him what to do and he ended up getting the gun and turning the guy into the police. He felt that God had saved his life and that caused him to instantly change his life. He was telling the story in detail over the pulpit and it was pretty crazy!  At the end of his testimony he was like "I guess I am going to be what you call a convert too because I am going to get baptized.” After sacrament meeting everyone swarmed him to tell him how much the loved his testimony.

The member that had been Jason's fellowshipper was already having Jason, his mom, and us over for dinner, so she invited Larry to come join us and he did. It was really fun. I might not see any of them again if I get transferred next week, so I am glad it all worked out. Then we took a recent convert from the ward to the "New Member Fireside" and it was good as always.

Harrison Littledike (my trainer) moved to Manassas to do summer sales, so we are going to go to lunch with him sometime this week hopefully. Destiny and Sophia are doing well and we are having a lesson with them tonight in a member’s home.


Love, 
Elder Braden Miles
Washington DC South Mission