Sunday, December 27, 2015

LAMI - Week 11

Bula Vinaka!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!! Christmas felt way different here. Instead of freezing cold and snowy it was burning hot and sunny. But it was good! I'm blessed enough to have the BEST family on Earth (Sorry to break to you guys who aren't my family... I'm sure your families are ok too). I got to open up some presents from home and best of all, I got to see them on Skype! That was so bittersweet. It was AMAZING to see them and talk to them, but it so hard to say goodbye. I guess that's a downside of having the greatest family on Earth. ;)

Other than that it wasn't a super eventful week! On Wednesday I got to go into Suva, the Capital of Fiji, with my companion. It was way cool! Our doctor appointment was in Tappoo City, the big mall in Suva. It was so weird to walk into a mall! But it was fun. I'm glad I didn't have any money spend, otherwise I would have spent all of it, haha. 

This week I want to share with you guys about obedience. We have an investigator that is having a hard time with the Word of Wisdom. He tells us he just doesn't feel the blessings from following it. My companion said the perfect thing in response. He told the investigator that it's important we obey commandments because we love the Lord, not only because we want the blessings. THEN, the Lord will bless us. This changed our investigator a ton, and he's excited to try to submit to the Lord's will! We all struggle with one commandment or another. It's important that no matter what commandment it is, we trust that the Lord has given us that commandment for a reason. We show our love for him by obeying Him. I promise that if you do this, you'll feel the Lord's love in return!

I love you all SO SO much. Stay strong in the faith! I hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas, and wish you all a happy New Year! Keep on keepin' on!
Au lomani kemuni vakalevu!

-Elder Miller

Church at the unit (smallest form of a ward) in my area. Just in someone's house
The pulpit
SUB 4 SANTA! Jaxson headed up donations for Christmas for some less fortunate in Fiji.  He raised enough to help 13 families! They provided a nice meal to include chicken (unheard of), gifts for the kids and something for the parents.  He was so overwhelmed with gratitude to those that donated.  And felt amazing helping the families!  

A member helping my companion and I bring the boxes around to the families
Setareki (we call him Pie)
One of the houses we gave presents to
The Vuqona family
Another house we delivered presents to
Our Christmas tree (cut nearby), with presents underneath. Haha. (I forgot to take a picture after we put lights and decorations on the tree). 
A mouse that got caught in a trap we put up. He was actually cute! We tried to free him but was permanently stuck. So we had to put him out of his misery.... RIP

Sunday, December 20, 2015

LAMI - Week 10

Transfer Week!

Sorry all, this won't be the longest email this week because I've been pretty sick this weekend and looking at a computer screen is not helping my headache. But I'll try my best to edify you to your desires! Haha.

This week was transfer week. The week where the Mission President decides which Elders are staying in the areas and which are going. I was anxiously waiting ALL day on Tuesday for the call from President Layton. Then when it finally came... It was not even CLOSE to what I was expecting. 

So my area (Lami) is so big and has so much work that it was split between 2 sets of Elders. Then I pick up the phone and this is what my Mission President said: "Elder Miller, all 3 of the other Elders in Lami will be leaving and you'll be the only one staying. Your new companion will be Elder Otene, and you'll need to head Lami for the next 6 weeks." So I was a bit shocked. First of all because I was way scared to lead an area, and second of all because I knew I would miss these Elders that I've grown so close to. Another Elder in my district got called away too, so our district was going to be COMPLETELY different.

So the week went on. We had our goodbyes. Then my new companion came, Elder Otene. He's the man! He's way cool. He's from Australia. We got to know each other a ton this weekend as I've been bedridden.

It wasn't until about yesterday that I realized that I wasn't nervous or freaked out about the transfer anymore! A brand new Elder came here this week to. He's from Italy. He's WAY cool too. This will be a fun district. I realized that my Mission President is literally called from God to lead us in this mission, and he knows EXACTLY where the Lord needs us. 

I truly hope you all have an AMAZING Christmas week. I testify that if you remember the true meaning of Christmas this week, the Lord will bless you with one of the BEST Christmases you've ever had. I love you all so much!
Au lomani kemuni! Merry Christmas!

-Elder Jaxson Jeremy Miller
Pig head (a commodity in Fiji) - Looks appetizing, eh? 
The Fiji Rugby national team trophy. A player came by! 
Me in my new "Bula" shirt
The people sitting on the floor. These are all the most respected men in the village, and they asked us to sit at the table.
Us missionaries sitting at the table during a party, which is a HUGE honor in Fiji 
Me, Elder Burgener and Elder Harris 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

LAMI - Week 9

Week 9 in the Books
Ni sa bula vinaka!

Another week come and gone! Time honestly moves so fast. This coming week is Transfer Week, where I find out if I'm going to stay here in Lami or head off to somewhere else! It happens every 6 weeks. I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since the last transfer week! I'm definitely torn on whether I'm hoping for a transfer or not. I want to see as much of Fiji as I can... But I would be sad to leave the people I've met here! We'll see where the Lord wants me I guess.

A pretty normal week this week! Hard-working, fun, hot, and humid. We had another baptism this last week! It went great, except for one detail: nobody showed up. It was us missionaries, the bishop, and the person getting baptized. It was sad at first, but then I realized that it's ok! My bishop reminded us that at Christ's baptism, it was only Him and John the Baptist. It's the ordinance you're doing that really matters, and the fact that you're taking the first step to receiving eternal life. So it went well, and he was way excited to be baptized!

This week we also had ZTM, or Zone Training Meeting again. It happens usually once a month, where all the missionaries in the Zone come together. It was awesome! Way spiritual and I learned a ton. But my favorite part was afterwards, we had a Suva North Zone Talent Show. It was SO fun. All the different companionships and districts performed something. They were all so funny. One missionary showed his "hidden talent" of makeup. Put it on his companion. Haha. My companion and I sang "Love is an Open Door" from Frozen together while I played guitar. It was way cute. Other companionships did a Magic show, and Dance moves school, and sang. It was such a blast!

I don't have much more to share about this week except for this last story.  It's about a man named Apisalome. He got baptized about 10(?) years ago. He told us he felt amazing and thought it was the true church, until he learned about the Word of Wisdom. He opened up to me saying that he just didn't feel the blessings from keeping it and fell away from the church. Up to this point I hadn't really ever taught the whole Word of Wisdom in Fijian because my companion would usually do it. But I was with a member from the ward on splits that was SUPER shy so I kinda had to take it on myself. I don't even remember what I said, but the Spirit definitely took over. I was able to teach him and by the end I could see a change in him. The Spirit was so strong in the room. At the end he bore his testimony to me that he knows what I said is true and that he is going to try his best to keep the Word of Wisdom and start coming back to church. I was so excited!! He didn't come to church yesterday.. but we'll work on that. Haha. Experiences like this have helped me so much on my mission!

I think this will be my shortest letter home yet. Haha, it's still a novel. But just know that I love this work! I love this gospel, and all that it gives me, my family, and the families of Fiji! I just want to remind you guys to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas. Help someone in need this season! I love you all so much. Until next week, keep on keepin' on!
Au lomani kemuni!

-Elder Jaxson Miller

The path to an investigator's house
A Fijian home
A fruit called Kavika. It's way good! Kind of a mix between an apple and a pear
Baptism of Bulivou! 16 years old, way excited
A nice view from the top of Lami Koro
Bale, Josefa and Junior 
A Fijian Meke (Navua Christmas party)
We ULTRA cleaned our flat for inspections this week...passed with flying colors! Haha

Sunday, December 6, 2015

LAMI - Week 8

Week 8 Finished!

Ni sa Bula Vinaka na taciqu kei na ganequ!

Before I start I just wanted to thank all of you for reading my blog! I love my mission so so much already, and it has blessed me in so many ways. Hopefully when you read it blesses your life a little bit too, and gives you a little insight on the people of Fiji. Such an amazing country!

This week was SUPER hard working. I loved every second of it. We broke our record for number of lessons taught in a week! It also happened to be like my hottest week here in Fiji so far... So it was REALLY tiring. But it was worth it! 

On Tuesday we had what's called Mission Tour. The Area 70 for the South Pacific came and visited the mission. For me, we had a combined meeting with 4 zones. TONS of missionaries there. It was cool meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces from the MTC! The Area Authority's name is S. Gifford Nielsen. Some of you older BYU fans might know him... He was BYU's quarterback during Lavell Edward's time. He and his wife taught us. It was AMAZING. He has such an amazing knowledge of the scriptures and has the STRONGEST testimony of this church, especially about the Restoration. I learned so much from him. He was a big reason why this week was so hard working! He motivated me and my companion to just work. It's amazing to know that he works so closely with the prophet, and the prophet assigned him to come speak to us!

Ok, I want to tell about a man named Paulo Seniwaitui. This man is the nicest, most sincere, and kind man I've ever met. He's not a member, but his wife and kids are. For YEARS, missionaries have been trying to get him to take lessons, but he just hasn't been interested. Lately, his wife has been telling us that he feels he's missing something in life. Of course my companion and I became really excited when we heard that. We knew that all we needed was ONE CHANCE, to share with him this message and he would be hooked. We got that chance this week.

On Wednesday we got a call from his wife. She said that Paulo was really really sick. The hospital didn't have much to help him (the hospitals here are a bit sub-par as you can imagine). So she asked us to come give him a blessing. INSTANTLY my companion and I knew that this was our chance. I researched as much as I could about giving blessings and prayed so hard that I would say what I needed to say. Then came the blessing. It was actually a pretty short one. As I ended I was confident that I had followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I looked down at Paulo, and he was crying. He said he didn't know what it was, but he felt something go into his body through his head, and he felt warmth. And thus we see the power of the Priesthood of God. He is now taking lessons and is eating up everything! My companion and I are SO SO happy.

I'll finish up now by talking about what's on most of your minds a lot I'm sure: Christmas. This December, as some of you may have heard, the church has started an initiative titled "A Savior is Born". We missionaries are urged to share it with as many people as we can, so I'll urge you all to do the same. People can use the #ASaviorIsBorn or go to to see what it's all about. On the website there's a short video that I ask all of you to watch. It's amazing. It talks about why we celebrate Christmas, and why we celebrate Christ.

Christ gave us everything, including his own LIFE. What is our gift to Him the Christmas?

I beg you all to ponder this question in your hearts this Holiday season. The greatest gift that I can think of that we can give Him, is to show Him our true love for Him and His gospel. How will you show him your love this month?

As always, I love and miss you all so much. The work is moving well out here in Fiji, is it moving where you are? Keep on keepin' on! Until next week.
Au lomani kemuni!

-Elder Jaxson Miller

Lami koro (Lami village)
Two members that went teaching with us, Isoa and Sikeli
Stairs in a village called Nadonumai
A typical teitei, or farm. If you can't tell, it's almost a vertical incline
The view from a member's porch

A village called Suvavou - Literally "New Suva". It's one of the nicer villages
An investigator gave us ice cream and cake for dinner! Haha, I promise I finished my whole plate Mom
Selfies...Haha, even here in Fiji people take selfies

Sunday, November 29, 2015

LAMI - Week 7

First Baptism!
Bula Vinaka!

It's been a GREAT week here in Viti. (The actual name of the country) Sometimes it reminds me of Utah in the fact that the weather changes CRAZY fast. Like from scorching hot to pouring rain then back to hot in a matter of a couple minutes. It's summer here though, so it's hot pretty much all the time. Even while it's raining you're sweating. Haha. Sometimes I miss the cold snow back home and wish I could go skiing. But then I'm sure most of you in Utah would do anything to swap places and be here in Fiji, so I'm trying to be grateful for my time here. It really is an amazing place.

Thanksgiving week! They don't have Thanksgiving here so we didn't really do anything. The most anyone really talked about it was on Thanksgiving day, during studies, an Elder looked up from his desk and said "Hey... It's Thanksgiving today." I then said "Oh yeah... It is, huh." And that's about it. That night I thought a lot about my family back home, and imagined them sitting around the table eating Turkey and mashed potatoes. It made me happy. I'm so thankful that I have such an amazing family! I love you all so much, and think about and pray for you every night.

I had a really cool experience this week with a taxi driver that I got talking to. He's Muslim. Oh, I don't know if any of you are confused about this too, but Muslim is the person and Islam is the church. So if you associate with the Islam church, you're a Muslim. He explained that to me. Haha. Anyways, we got talking about our religions. He told me about what his beliefs are and tried to explain why they believe what they believe. He told me that he loves learning about religion. He also said that he never just believes what a preacher says, he always researches what they said so he can know for himself. Then I told him about our church. I told him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. I then asked him to research to know if what I told him was true. He was excited. I gave him the our phone number and a Restoration pamphlet and he said he'd call if he has questions. Who knows if anything will come of it, but it was a cool experience! Maybe one day, 5 years down the road he'll read it, pray about it, and want to get baptized! Planting seeds.

Ok now for the super exciting part of my week. MY FIRST BAPTISM!! It was this last Saturday, the 28th. I was SO excited all week. It's a family. Well, the mom, whose name is Iri, and 2 of her kids, Rusiate and Rusila. It went SO well. It was such a spiritual day for me! I was so happy, I'm still like beaming from it! I've become like best friends with the kid Rusiate, and he follows us around everywhere. He's only 14, and he keeps saying he wishes he could go on his mission right now!

Also that same night was the Ward Christmas party. I know, pretty early huh? But in Fiji, it's tradition to move back to your parent's village during Christmas-time, so they did it early. It was a BLAST. SOOO many people showed up. Lots of our investigators too! It was really such a fun time. Missionaries aren't really allowed to dance, so I wasn't able to hop into the circle when all the members urged me to come dance. But the song was just TOO good for me not to at least show off a couple of my moves. ;)

All in all, another good week! Time just keeps going by. It's really surreal. It's already December! I hope all of you are having tons of fun and making the most of every second. Life's a gift, treat it like one! Me being a missionary, I'll end on a spiritual quote. "Reading your scriptures is like brushing your teeth. You can't skip it 6 days a week and then say you'll brush 7 times on Sunday."

I urge all of you to re-evaluate your scripture reading. Read every day! Even if only for 5-10 minutes! It is the foundation of the Gospel, and is the true word of God. It can help you solve ANY problem you may face. READ!

I love you all so much! Thanks for taking the time to read about my experiences here on my mission! Keep on keepin' on! Au lomani kemuni!

- Elder Miller

An 8-year old baptism
My companion on the left, then Iri, then Rusila, then Rusiate, then me. I baptized the kids and my companion baptized Iri. Amazing day!
These kids followed me around EVERYWHERE at the party. Haha
TONS of food. Also, at most Fijian parties, they have this middle mat. Where little kids and their moms sit to eat food
The ward Christmas party. This wasn't even all the people!
A Fijian dance
Some Fijians dressing up in leaves... This mom was going crazy. Haha
We thought we were pretty cool at the time...