Friday, August 28, 2015

MTC - Week 2

Bula Vinaka! - Week 2

2 weeks down, less than 4 weeks to go, and 10 pounds heavier! Haha. Our schedule is literally: Wake up, eat, classroom, eat, 30 minutes of gym, classroom, eat, classroom, go to bed. So you can imagine how I'm gaining wait. Don't worry mom, everything still fits alright! We'll see if that's the case in a couple more weeks though... And also, all of my teachers that served missions in Fiji said that they lost a ton of weight out in the field. So I think I'm ok.

Anyways, this week was awesome! There was LOTS that happened and it's so hard to pick and choose things to tell you guys. But I'll try my best. 

At the beginning of the week, all of the missionaries speaking Tongan left for the field. We had some really spiritual meetings, when they all said their goodbyes and sang one last hymn from the Tongan hymnbook. To be honest, it was kind of just awkward for us Fijians... Because we didn't know them too well, and everyone was crying and giving hugs goodbye. It was mostly just a realization that in less than a MONTH I will be in their shoes, hopping on a plane to fly to Fiji. Wow I have a lot of language to learn before then.

Speaking of the language, it is coming great. I learn SO much every single day. It can be really hard though. The sentence structure is really different. For example, to say "I know God called Joseph Smith as a prophet" you'd say "I know He called a prophet Joseph Smith, God." It's crazy. And they have some really really long confusing words. Like vakavinavinakataka and vakalougatataka. But I love the language. I KNOW I am being blessed with the Gift of Tongues because I have learned so so much. Thank you for your prayers, I can truly feel them!!

So a little more about our schedule. Every day we teach a "progressing investigator" which also happens to be one of my teachers. Haha. But the whole lesson is in Fijian. They're really stressful, but so fun at the same time. We mostly rely on the Lord for these lessons, because there's no way we can talk in straight Fijian for 10 minutes without Him.

Ok, I could not decide between these 2 spiritual thoughts, so I'm going to share them both. 

So, this last week, the importance of prayer keeps coming up. In every lesson with our "investigators," we make sure to close with a prayer and ask God to bear to the investigator the truths of our message. Well during our devotional this tuesday, we sang hymn #45, and it was so spiritual for me. I don't know why I haven't heard it be before! Here are the lyrics:

Lead me into life eternal by the Gospel's holy call.
Let thy promise rest upon me; Grant me ready strength for all.

Father, all my heart I give thee; All my service shall be thine.
Guide me as I search in weakness; Let thy loving light be mine.

Hear me as I pray in meekness; Let my strength be as thy day.
Give me Faith, the greater knowledge; Father, bless me as I pray.

Those last two verses are so beautiful and powerful. If you missed it, I encourage you to read the last 2 again. I love this hymn. I know that as we pray to our heavenly Father in our darkest, weakest moments, he will fill us with strength and faith if we pray. Prayer is our most powerful tool. 

I named this last story. It's called the Life of Pai. One of my Fijian teachers named Brother LeDoux sat both Fijian districts in a room and showed us a TON of pictures from his mission in Fiji. It got me SOOOO excited to get out there. But he stopped on a picture of a little boy name Pai (pronounced Pie). This little boy practically raised himself. And he LOVED the Gospel. Whenever the Elders came into his town he would run over to them and FORCE them to take him with them to their next teaching appointment. One sunday during church, it was the Primary Program. All the little kids got up and bore a short simple testimony. But then Pai stood up on the stand. He bore the most powerful testimony of the happiness of the Gospel, and about how he KNEW that God loved him so so much. While Brother LeDoux was telling us this, he started crying. It bore such a strong testimony to me of how important this message is. Little children in tiny villages of Fiji are counting on me to bring them the good news that God knows each and every one of them, and that he loves them all more than anything. I can't wait to bring this message to them.

I love you all. Thank you so much for thinking about me and sending me things! It makes me SO happy to hear from you guys. Miss you all.
Au lomani kemuni!

Elder Jaxson Jeremy Miller

This is my District

Friday, August 21, 2015

MTC - Week 1

Bula vinaka! Vakacava tiko?

Well, week one down in the MTC! And HOLY COW did it go fast. There's a saying here that the days feel like weeks but the weeks feel like days. It's so true. The days can be long and tiring, just because we have 11 hours of study time, whether it's personal study time, companionship study time, language study time, or language class. But when I think back, it feels like it was my last P-Day just yesterday! I love this place so much. There are so many missionaries here, and we're all working so hard. At night time I honestly get really sad just because the day's over!

The language is coming pretty well! It is such a unique language. Lots of the letters make different sounds than in English, so I keep spelling things wrong in English. Haha. For example, the other day I wrote "think" in my journal but spelled it "cink". Haha! But I love learning Fijian. I already have the missionary purpose memorized in Fijian, and I'm working on the First Vision! I always offer to say the prayer because I love speaking the language so much. I learn SO much of it every day. But sometimes it can be discouraging when I realize how much I still have to learn. But my Branch President's wife, Sister Willes, told me it helps IMMENSELY if I pray for the gift of tongues each and every day, and enlist my family and friends to help pray as well. So if you guys can remember me in your prayers that would be so amazing!!

Another thing I want to say is that I LOVE my Zone. I honestly think that I got put in the loudest, craziest, funnest zone in the MTC. It's 70% Polynesians because it includes the Pacific Island Missions. So during lunch, dinner, and gym time and stuff we're always laughing, playing pranks, and just having fun. Which is really good for me I think, because it is a stress reliever. We really do learn stuff the entire day, so it's really nice to be able to look forward to chilling with my zone. There's nothing like some good ol' poly fun.

Ok before I wrap it up I want to tell a funny story and then a quick spiritual thought. Funny story first.

So on P-Days we get to go to the temple, and today I did an endowment session. The sessions are always WAY full because it's full of missionaries AND just the people coming to the temple. Well about halfway through the session, the recording stopped working. So everyone was just sitting there in dead silence for a few minutes. Then right behind me, I heard a WAY loud snore. So I turned around and this old guy was DEAD asleep, snoring soooooo loud. Everyone in the entire room heard it, and turned and watched him. I know i shouldn't laugh in the Lord's house, but I just could not hold it in. This guy honestly sounded like a train. I laughed so hard. Hahaha! Eventually the guy next to him nudged him and woke him up. When he woke up he looked around and saw everyone looking at him. He was so embarrassed. 

Ok, now for the spiritual thought. While I was studying this week I came across these scriptures in Mormon chapter 9.

22: ... Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature;

24: And these signs shall follow them that believe - in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; and they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover

These verses felt like they were being said to me personally. I've already heard tons of stories about things happening in Fiji... Like people getting possessed, poison drinks, and just weird creepy things. The people are very superstitious. But momma, I thought you'd take comfort in these verses. That I will cast out those devils, those drinks won't harm me, I will crush serpents below my feet, and heal the sick. I know that as a set apart missionary, going out to preach the gospel unto every creature, I have the Lord with me. 

Alright, well sorry for the way long letter, I just have so much to say!! I love this gospel so so much. Thanks for all the letters and emails! They really help me a ton and keep me going. Send me pictures, I want to see how everyone's doing! Also, shout out to my family finally getting moved in to the new house, congratz! I miss all of you like crazy. Thanks for all the support!
Au lomani kemuni!

Elder Jaxson Jeremy Miller
These are the Elders in my District (I told them to do a straight face)

Me and Spence

Friday, August 14, 2015

Entering the MTC

Bula Vinaka!

Hello to everyone from the MTC. My first few days here have been CRAZY. So busy. But soooo fun. I already LOVE the MTC. There are so many missionaries here. 600 new missionaries arrived with me on Wednesday! So right when I when you pull into the MTC there are tons of missionaries acting as "Hosts", helping all the new missionaries unload their luggage and escort them around to get our nametags, books, find our room, and take us right to our first class. Take a wild guess who my Host was... Elder Will Burchett!! (One of my best friends during high school) It was so fun to see him and talk to him! I've also seen TONS of my Olympus buddies, including Matt and Spencer. They all look so happy, and are all doing great! They're the veterans to me... Haha.

Anyways, everything happened SO fast. We fit so much in our first few days. The VERY first thing you do when you arrive is you walk in the front doors, and they hand you your name tag. So it hit me right away! I looked down and saw the name tag on my chest and thought.... Holy cow. I'm a missionary. I had to keep telling myself that throughout the day. 

Like I said, we went right to our first class, which was language class. I think I got lucky with my teacher, because from what I've heard from all the other missionaries, all the other language teachers don't speak a LICK of English the first day. My teacher helped us out a little in English. :) The Fijian language is INSANE, but I already know how to bear a simple testimony and how to say a prayer! So that's good. I LOVE my companion, Elder Nelson. He's from Stansbury Park, Utah. He's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Loves to smile. My zone, which includes the Fijian, Samoan, Tongan, and Marshallese missionaries is EASILY the best zone in the MTC. We had zone prayer my first night, and after a spiritual thought and prayer we had a zone "Group Hug". Which was just basically 70 huge Polynesians and a few little white guys screaming at the top of our lungs and hugging. 

One of the most significant moments of my first few days, was our opening orientation. All 600 missionaries came together and the MTC President spoke to us. Our closing hymn was "We'll Bring the World His Truth". But as we got to the chorus they changed it a little bit. We sang it like this:

We are as the Armies of Helaman.
We have been taught in our youth,
And we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries
to bring the world His truth.

I got goosebumps when I sang those words. I looked around me and saw all the Elders and Sisters with bright beaming faces and I was hit with so much spirit. I knew right then that that I'm doing the right thing. 

So all in all it has been pretty much the longest 2 days of my life, but the most exciting. I can't wait to keep learning the language, and to keep learning how to be a missionary. I love this gospel so much. Talk to you guys next week!
Au lomani iko!

Elder Jaxson Miller

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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