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Monday, August 17, 2015

Letter #36

JUNE 8, 2015

This week was good.  Its weird cause I feel like I get to write you guys so much.  I feel like I’m just writing you guys like every other day.  Maybe from now on Ill just do it every other week. Well but this is the first time that I have written Sophie.  Jenna always wanted to have a sister right?  But hey Sophie don’t feel bad if you want to call off the wedding to go and serve a mission.  Stick to the iron rod.  HAha jk that would suck.  Plus you are already trapped in the Miles family.  But Jenna should think about a mission.  That wouldn’t be bad.

Sounds like Jayden & Sophie will be close by in Mexico for their honeymoon. Well, just make sure to keep away from the narcs.  It seems that there is a bit of a problem with that here in Huehue. And it’s a problem because we are close to Mexico. Lots of pot gets grown down in Momostenango.  There are literally mountains of it actually.

Well this week not much has happened.  I went ahead and took some anti parasite stuff and now I feel like 100% better.  I will start doing exercises tomorrow hopefully.  It’s just nice knowing that I now don’t have things living inside of me.  That is not even the highlight.

I went and did divisions with the elders in my district.  I went way back up in the mountains to see how their area was.  I had been trying to get out there for a long time but the bus ride is like 1.5 hours and the bus doesnt come or go very often.  So out in the mountains I was with the best people again.  The poor people of the mountains that speak just about only Kiche.  I felt like I was at home with the people and we joked and I got to practice a lot of my Kiche.  It was super fun getting to be out there.  My comp is from the capital of the Guatemala.  They majority of the people who are from the cap are super racist against the poor people of the mountains.  They call them inditos. And my comp literally told me that the people from the cap are better in lots of ways.  It turns out that I love the little culture of the people of the mountains here in Guatemala.  I have never been able to get along with the super prideful people of the cities that look down on everyone here.  I just hope that I can get back out to the middle of nowhere as soon as possible.  Even if the people out there are very unknowing of the outside world, their world is better than the one that the rest of the other areads.

In this little town called Pueblo Viejo there are only two houses that have lights.  At night the people will gather up in the 2 houses with lights or they just go to bed around 730.  There is only one bus that passes by the town.  One at 4 in the morning and it comes back at 1230 midday.  Most of the people live of the land in pure substance farming style.  They almost only grow maize.  I made quick friends and I hope to visit the place at least one more time before I get lowered as district leader.

The work in my area has begun to progress really fast.  All of the numbers in progressing and dates for baptism double so that is weird.  The real thing that I like is that there are lots of people who we are friends with that genuinely want to listen to us.  We are teaching a little family from Honduras.  I love the way that they talk haha.  It’s super different and really interesting.  Other than that the people are really normal guatemaltecos.  Nothting different.  Just fighting the evangelical and catholic backgrounds.

That made me laugh to hear that the chime infront of the house is still there.  I totally forgot about that.  I hope you guys cry every time that you hear it haha.  jk.  But is it really loud?

The food situation is difficult right now.  I’m having a hard time with some of the food. It is so fatty and it has hardly any flavor.  I don’t mind just eating beans and eggs every time that we end up eating at people’s houseas.  Also, most people never eat or serve vegetables.  There are a lot of overweight people in Guatemala.  They eat a lot of stews that are just fatty meats and like some carrot thrown in for flavor.  Then there are always tortillas made of maize on the side.  Always.  Doesn’t matter what you eat.  The people also think that we always eat bread.  Its funny because they think that because people from the capital of guate don’t eat much tortilla because its a poor thing.  I just explain to them that we just usually eat food without bread or tortillas on the side.  That’s how it is right?  Sometimes we eat rolls I guess.  Or like crazy bread from Little Caesars or something… haha.

The whole spiritual growth thing has been good!  It’s just that I have been sick for a long time.  So the whole body is a temple of the spirit thing is now a strong part of my testimony.  Hopefully that means that I never get lazy enough to let myself go haha. I feel like the testimony of most people here that are members is based on the restoration.  I feel like its base on the plan of salvation a lot more for me.  The thing that counts to me is that the basics are really getting pounded down.  Things just make more sense in the gospel these days.

Happy bday Sophie!

Well guys that was my week.  Miss you guys and hope i just thought about how the next time I see you I will have like 15-16 monthes in the field.  Cool beans.  Hope that everything goes well.
Hopefully Jonny is doing well.  He didn’t write so i don’t know if he was just erased due to a glitch in the matrix.

Love you guys!!!

Elder Miles


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Letter #35

June 1, 2015


So today its p-day again.  I feel like the time only seems to move super fast like this on the p-days for some reason.  Everything seems to just be speeding up more and more though.  They tell me that once I have only a year left it will go by even faster.  I have no idea how the time could fly even faster.

Seeing that picture of myself back in DC made me feel really good about myself haha!.   I feel like the same person that I was when I left just a little more refined.  Refined spiritually of course.

This week we are feeling a ton better.  My comp took some anti bacterial stuff and now feels better.  I am feeling a lot better but I haven’t taken anything.  I don’t know if that means that the animalitos inside of me are just happy or if that means that my body is super cool and I can fight off all kinds of parasites without medication.  I have some medicine in the house called nitazoxanida.  Hey dad if you could look at that and then tell me if I should take it or not that would be stellar. 

I haven’t gotten my birthday package yet.  I should be getting it this Wednesday.  That would be the soonest that it could have possible come.  We will see if I get it or if it is still in one piece.  I cant tell you how many packages get here after 3 months and how many packages just don’t get here so Im not getting my hopes too far up there.

So on my birthday I did this   
I got up at 600 to get ready.
Went to a wedding here in Malacas.  It was a wedding for one of the areas in my district.  They did it here because the lawyer couldn’t make it all the way out to the missionaries aldea.  The wedding the two people getting married were 18 and the guy was a member.  The girl wanted to get baptized too so she got married.  It was a room of like 15 people attending the wedding and it was super simple.  The guy wore jeans and a sweater and the girl just wore here traditional corte garb.
I then got to do my first baptismal interview.  That was interesting and the girl passed as there werent any problems.  It was weird being the one to do the interview.
My comp bought me cake and we ate a little bit before going to a cita with a progressing investigator. 
The rest of the day was just normal.  The president of the mission called to congratulate me.  i hate getting calls from the president just cause I have no clue what he is going to do.  Give me a new calling, move me areas, chew me out for something.  Scary stuff but he just said happy bday.  
We ended the day just ordering food to the house and I ate a hamburger mixta that had chicken and burger, and a mango strawberry smoothie.  Super rica

So the house is infested with spiders.  They are all about the size of a 50 cent piece.  If not then the leg span is bigger.  I hate spider’s sooooo much.  One almost bit me today and freaked me the freak out.  I was just picking up a bible and the thing jumped at me to try and kill me.  I wanted to burn the house and the go back to the US for just a sec there.  I have killed 6 spider of this specie in the past 2 days including today.  I have seen 7 of them.  DO THE MATH.  There is a giant freaking spider in my room and I will not sleep until it is dead.

Today we have money again because it’s the beginning of the month.  That’s good news for me hehehe.  I think I’m getting a little more lax with the money spending on foods.  I have been eating well but that is making it hard on my budget.  Time to tighten up the screws.

I don’t have to worry about district meetings this week or next week, which is nice.  I talked about faith in the meeting last week and I used just a little bit of what i learned from lectures on faith.  Most of the meetings are spent talking about stuff in PMG that we read everyday.  I wanted to spice things up just a little bit and actually teach the district some new stuff.

It seems like Jenna is taking some pretty crazy classes over there for her last year of school.  I’ve heard that ap art history is a killer.  Good stuff sissy lin.  I just thought about how Jenna will be on the same level of education as me when I get back.  That’s super weird.  Two years seems like a longer time now haha!  I can’t let my little sis get smarter than me!  And now jonny is going to be a sophmore when I get back.  That’s some super weird stuff.

I have been doing lots of study in 4 gospels of the New Testament. I have just been meaning to read it again and be ready to teach stuff from it. I read the Book of Mormon every day in studies as well and then I use Preaching My Gospel to get rid of the problems that I can see with my teaching and with how I work.  I was reading in Alma 32 today and my comp and I discussed 2 nefi 27 and 28 today for comp study.  Really it all comes down to that I study what the spirit tells me to study.  This is to answer Jayden’s question.

Well there is basically nothing new from this week.  sooooo umm ya.

Love you guys!!!

Josh


ps ill get the foto of myself in the suit to you guys on this next pday.

Letter #34

May 25, 2015

So I’m going to do a day by day of how my week went.  Monday was pday of course and we had nothing to do because we are trapped in a very small town.  We slept and ate some food that seemed not so sketchy from a restaurant.  It was ok.  Tuesday I conducted the district meeting and we had a good time.  I made it into like a forum and that got everyone talking about the work and useful experiences.  After we all hung out for a bit and got to know each other more.  I wanted to leave this zone before because nobody was friends.  Now, I don’t want to leave because everyone is tight.

Miercoles.  We did lots of lessons and contacting in the street in between.  I had to stay up late taking stats from the areas.

We had to go to Xela for a leaders meeting.  It was like 6 hours in a chair just listening about leadership responsibilities.  We got home at like 7 and my comp got sick.  We did go to one cita at 8 pm.

Friday I had to go to a leaders meeting in Huehue. 

Saturday was very slow.  My comp was sick all day and so I was just in the house doing............. waiting haha.  I hate being cramped up in a house when I cant do anything fun.  No friends no games no nothing.  Did some planning for the investigators and slept a lot.  BAd day.

Sunday.   My comp was sick still so we went to church and then just up to the house.  Lots of nothing once again.  My comp was not doing well at all.

Today we went to Huehue early to get Aguirre into some tests for parasites.  He has parasites!  He has been dying for the past little while.  The thing is that I am sure that I have parasites too.  I just don’t have intestinal infection so the symptoms aren’t so bad.  Well later we went to my district activity.  We played some volleyball and a type of soccer (we aren’t allowed to play soccer). and then that game signs.  It was way fun and then we went to McDonalds.  I’m in Huehue right now in a fairly modern shopping center.  The district is doing great and the work is fine as long as your comp isn’t super sick.

For only being able to really work for a few days we did pretty well.  I think that my teaching is getting better as I have more examples and scriptures and stuff.  I just try to make sure that I don’t teach in the same way twice.  I just to at least change up the scriptures and focus with every lesson.

I did a fast just to try to increase my faith in the work and love for the people.  I’m probably going to be doing that more often these days.  That’s ok though cause the first step to repentance is to accept that something is not ok.  The mission is weird in how there are times of lots of spiritual progression and then there are easy times in the mission.  I love being here but I feel like when I get home I’ll be dropping a ton of bricks from my shoulders when I get back.  I don’t know if you guys know what I mean since every mission is different.

I have some great friends in the zone and my comp and I get along real well.  The other district leader is a cool guy from Panama.  I love talking to him just cause I don’t know if I have ever met anyone like him haha.  His comp is from New York and is a cool kid as well.  He is choosing between the Y and the U.  I would be happy to go to school with this kid over in the U.  My comp and I have a good time together.  I just wish the kid wasn’t sick.  It makes me baggie being in the house so much.

SO Jayden is going to get married.  I hope you know that that is the same week that I will finish a year in the mission.  Que semana mas baggie haha!  No that should be super cool.   Dude good choice on the ring.  That is definitely a tradition that the girls in this ward are going to keep around.  A free ring and man slave haha!  Well that whole marriage thing is going to be weird just cause by the time I get back I could be an uncle.  Ya please don’t do that to me ahha.  Getting married is fine.  I even expected it.  Just don’t give me a nephew.  You guys should make a cut out for me so that I can be at your wedding in the form of cardboard haha!  That would be some good stuff. Well good luck with all of that stuff.  I should be attending a wedding this Saturday.  I will then do a baptismal interview after so that the wife can get baptized on the same day.   Super cool stuff.

I can imagine perfectly seeing you guys watching the home videos.  It is so cool that we have that kind of stuff. Hopefully I will have some better stories for next week but really not much has happened during this week.

Is Jenna and Jonny out of school yet?  That is way more fun than just being caught in a class for 8 hours a day.  Jonny is going to be a freshman and Jenna a senior.  How weird is the world that existed for me like 10 months ago.

My health is fine dad.  I have a treaty between the parasite army inside of me.  So as long as I eat lots of carbs they will be happy.

I hope that you guys have a great week!!


Love you guys!!!

Letter #33

May 4 , 2015 

This change has only this week left!  It has flown by and felt like a million days at the same time.  Time is starting to feel a little bit like what it felt like when I was back home.  Things feel just a little bit more normal this week for some reason.  The work is always little by little.  That’s ok though I have gotten used to that.  

The president did interviews with all the 50ish missionaries of Huehue this week.  It is always a cool thing to get to talk to the Pres for a little bit.  He is a super nice guy and I don’t know if this guy even knows what doubt is.  He has a super strong testimony and is good with the scriptures.  At the end of the interview he asked me if I wanted a blessing and then gave me one.  It was a pretty cool blessing and he talked about some cool stuff.  He talked about pre-existence abilities.  Pretty crazy stuff goes done with the pres.  I feel like the guy is just a servant beyond a faith that I understand right know.  Crazy stuff.

This week I don’t feel like we were able to get much done.  We don’t really have any new investigators that are interested and the ones that we are trying to teach seem to be running out of the desire to listen to a couple of kids.  The people here are different from those in Xela.  They are better at hiding from us and giving us the usual stuff that people give so that we can’t have citas with them.  That’s fine though ahha!  The work is what it is.  So the best we can do now is just do some searching and keep trying to teach those who are reading and attending church with us.  A few of our investigators are moms who aren’t married so that makes things more difficult.  But hey my only convert had to get married as well and he just went out and did it on his own after we told him he had to get married to his wife.  Anything can happen

The president of the branch taught all of the elders how to give blessings during the priesthood meeting this Sunday.  It was super funny seeing how some of the converts had the tendency to say things differently and try to bless differently.  Hey have you guys ever heard of kash luna?  He is like the richest pastor in the world and is a self-proclaimed prophet.  He is an apostasy of choice for many of the guatemaltecos.  Turns out he started his own church after serving an lds mission.  Now he gives speeches in a stadium that he owns and leaves his cult sessions in a helicopter ahha!!   I can just see my career paths opening up.  Haha!

Thanks for sending the backpack!! It should be here by June.  The mission office takes longer than the mail here.  Also I just sent some cool stuff home.  I have a gift for dad, jayden, jonny in there.  The three of you guys can pick out of the 3 ties that are similar.  There is a red and black one that is mine and a multi color one that is tightly threaded.  The other three are hand made wipil that are really some of the best ties that I have seen.  Now I have to send those ties in to be handmade so these are not things you will find in a store down here.  Also the book is for Jayden.  For a happy finishing your mish thing.  Sorry I didn’t send you anything mom!!  There isn’t any cool typical stuff here.  I was looking for a bag or something but it turned out to be expensive to send stuff too...  Ill find something for you by Christmas or something!

Hey dad Ill think about the nap thing haha!  That might be the best thing to do at 1 in the tarde cause things can get super hot out here.  The rain season did start though.  SO its sunny and hot until like 3 in the tarde and then it just pours and pours rain into the night.  I am getting good use of that Mr. mac jacket.  Also an umbrella haha. It just started raining just like 2 seconds ago sooo haha.  I am going to get wet when I’m done with internet. 

SO the Skype thing is going to happen around 3-5 in the afternoon I think.  On the Sunday.  We will see what happens because we are looking for a place to be able to do it in.  I might call you just to see what we have to do to set things up before we are chatting.  Im pretty excited.

Happy bday jonny!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 years old.  That’s pretty weird stuff.  Ill be 19 pretty soon here haha!

When Jenna said janbo I was like.... Oh that woould be sooooo good.  The corn tortilla daily is nice but Id like some more variety.

The home life seems pretty busy and I feel like not too much is going on down here.  Just talking to people and trying to get them to read n stuff.  We did buy some slingshots so that the trips to the farther out places would be more safe and a little more fun.  Those wild dogs better look out.

Wellll I love you guys!!!


Elder Miles