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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 15, 2015 - Departing interview

This week we had our departing interviews with President Riggs. Usually when he does interviews with missionaries they are about 15 minutes. For departing interviews he talks to us for 30 minutes. We were not aware that we had our interviews until two hours before it started. Our zone leaders got the times to us late... so I wasn't able to think about to many questions to ask him. It was a really good experience. Mainly he talked about how great of a missionary I have been :D and gave me advice and counsel for my future (school, work, marriage, etc). A lot of his advice is stuff that he tells everyone, but there were several things he said he felt prompted to tell me that were specific to me. He also offers to give everyone a blessing at the end and of course I accepted. That was a great spiritual experience. It was pretty hard not to feel good about myself after the interview.

We met with President Riggs yesterday afternoon to talk
Elder Miles at a location know as "great falls"
about our assignment. While we were there he said he won't be available to play me in 1 on 1 during preparation day before we leave. He offered to pick us up this morning and take us to the stake center so we could play. He is very good at basketball. He is not super athletic, but he can shoot and he just knows how to play the game. Plus he is tall. He usually destroys missionaries when he plays them (one missionary has beaten him). We played best 2 out of 3 (going to 11 by 1's and 2's). I beat him the first game 11-6 and the second game 11-7. I was pretty winded after, but it was worth it. I feel like my mission is accomplished now (haha).

I started making a list this week of the things I have learned on my mission. I have really come to love studying the gospel. Before my mission I would read my scriptures for maybe 5 minutes a day right before I went to bed. Let me tell you, that felt like a big sacrifice! Now I wish I had more than an hour to study every morning. I have gained a lot more gospel knowledge during my mission and more than anything, I love learning from the spirit. I have come to recognize the edifying influence of the spirit and when he is trying to teach me something.

Learning to recognize the feelings and promptings of the spirit in my life has been a huge blessing. That was a bit of a struggle for me before I left. I questioned whether or not I had ever felt the spirit before. Obviously I had, but the adversary was trying to tell me otherwise. Now I would be lying if I denied the feelings I have felt in my heart and mind - especially the spirit confirming the truth of the gospel and the Book of Mormon.

I have also learned a lot about developing Christ-like attributes (patience, humility, charity, etc). I feel like I have made great strides in a lot of areas, but I am still working on it just like everyone else. So don't expect me to be perfect :). Some of my favorite spiritual experiences have to do with charity and seeing other people as Christ sees them. I feel blessed when I get a glimpse of how God feels about each of us. I know he loves us more then we can comprehend.

I have also learned a lot about less spiritual things including planning, using time wisely, teaching, public speaking, etc. These are just a few of the thoughts I have had this week. I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity I have had to serve a mission. I can't believe it is almost over. I have been thinking about being a missionary my whole life and now, all of the sudden, it is coming to an end. I also get nervous when I think about leaving because I don't quite know what to expect. I am very excited to come home and see what life has to offer me, but it will be hard to go.

Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support!

Yours truly,

Elder Braden Miles
Another picture from "great falls"

Another picture from "great falls"

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