Thursday, September 29, 2011

Utah Provo Mission Address

Hillary is out of the MTC and serving in the Provo Mission until she goes to Argentina.  Here is her most current address:

Sister Hillary Nicole Miller
Utah Provo Mission
2520 N. University Ave #100
Provo. Utah 84606

Monday, September 26, 2011

Poco a Poco

I am on BYU campus right now!  This is so unreal. There are thousands of computers here, so good luck trying to find me ; )   This is not our area, but we come here on our P Day to email.  Our area is "south of campus" in the latino communities.  I love it!
The theme this weekend, and probably for the duration of my mission - is "poco a poco" thanks to my companion Hermana Montano. She is such a great example of a strong leader.  She gets work done!  She and the companion before me are the first sisters to open this area - beforehand there were always Elders.  We are so busy with lessons we only knocked on doors for twenty minutes on Saturday!  I am impressed with how well she fellowships with people.  I can see her being a really awesome businesswoman.
I understand about 80% of what people say, but sometimes their accents throw me off.  I am learning to be patient with myself, because I know I want to be as talkative I am in Spanish as I am in English.. but it will take time.  I am surprised at how much I have improved in speaking up and sharing my feelings just this past weekend.  
The latino community here is amazing. I was a little familiar with it when I was attending school here - I'd go to the salsa club, occasionally to the latino market and even the latino carnival.  I assumed that most latinos here in Provo were already members, that they were here to be with their children who came to study at BYU and UVU.  That is true, but I had no idea there are so many nonmember families!  Their stories are similar to people in LA - they came here to learn English, or to work, or to gain an education, any and all of the above.  I have been so impressed with the young adults I have met who left their home country to be here to learn English - and yet they have no work, no money, and no family.  Things were a little overwhelming my first day here considering all the logistics of handling two wards in our area, but after a day I was able to really learn these stories and feel so much love for them.  I wish I could give them all a steady job and wholesome meals every day.  The Spirit has been SO strong in our lessons.  I have cried in front of strangers, seesh!  I am getting used to it though.  I guess I shouldn't be embarrassed because I am least being honest and sharing what's in my heart, poco a poco : )
 We went and saw 17 Miracles today at the Scera theatre in Orem!  I don't know if it is still in theatres where you are, but I highly recommend it!
I hope you are all doing well.  I am sorry if my mail is late to you, I think they are still forwarding things to me from the MTC. 
Love you all xoxo Hermana Miller

The First Pictures!!

Hillary sent me a couple pictures of her while she was in the MTC.  Downloading pictures is not as easy as it normally is, so she will slowly be sending them.  She said that she already has over 100!!

This first picture of her and three other Sister Missionaries all pointing on a map to where they will be serving.

This next picture is Hillary holding the Maryland flag.  Before Hillary left for her mission, we were watching College Football and one of the teams playing was Maryland.  They had the ugliest uniforms on!!  It was half one color and pattern and half another color and pattern!  We couldn't figure out why they would want to wear that!!  Well, we found out that it was the flag of Maryland on their uniform!!  She happened to see someone who had that flag, so she had to take a picture!!!

That's all for now.  I will post more pictures as I get them.

XOXO, Cousin Cara

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"If you open your mouth, then God will fill it"

WOW - this week has been incredibly awesome.   So much has changed in the last five minutes.  I have been so anxious this week to receive info for my temporary assignment.  That means I am going to another Utah mission while I am waiting for the Argentina consulate member to come (in a few weeks) so I can complete my Visa process! I ran into an elder from my district and he says, "Go to the travel office right now Hermana Miller.  We're leaving in the morning!"  That was Elder Arroyo, who is also going to Rosario. 
I am LEAVING TOMORROW.  What??  I was expecting next Tuesday!  The travel office told me my temporary assignment is the Utah Provo mission.  HA!  Love it!!
I had a whole letter planned out to write you, but now I am just so excited and scrambled I can't think straight, I left my rough draft of my letter to you all in my room, so I will do my best!
Yesterday was a great day - our district, among others, were invited to help as Hosts for the brand new missionaries!  It was a great way to rekindle my excitement for being here.  I helped three different sisters find their rooms, drop off their luggage, get their photo ID and official missionary badge, find their district classroom, and get the huge heavy bag of reading and study materials! The sisters I helped are going to Chicago, Thailand, and Guatemala.  After this month we will have about 450 sister missionaries (there are 2400 elders!) which is more sisters than last year.  It feels great to be part of that!
My companion, myself, and our two roommates who were formally a trio with me all participated in that great "Teaching Experience" activity I talked about my first week here.  There are amazing actors who are investigators, and missionaries come in and teach in a role play in front of A LOT of brand new missionaries.  Hermana Dalton and I taught a cool kid named Steve, and we also taught my favorite character/investigator from the activity in my first week named Arnold!  (PS I am sorry my grammar is not up to par, I think the Spanish is getting to me and I am rushing right now)   It was great to help the new missionaries feel excited about being here! 
I have to share a story with you from last Sunday.  Every week we go to choir practice and have a different choir director. They are volunteers, but are incredibly talented!  This past choir director told us about his friend who thought to give up Church for a while because she was tired of doing the right thing and not getting any results.  She had just ended a long relationship and thought, "Great.  It's not even worth it. I need a nice long break, this is too much work."  He comforted her by reminding her about the 99 sheep and the 1 lost sheep.  A little girl in the primary class he taught told this story once, and he loved how she stood in front of the class and counted - every.single. one.  She said the shepherd first counted his 99 and THEN went looking for the one.  Our choir director told his friend that the Lord is taking care of those that are already doing good.  He is looking over ones that are astray too, but sometimes we forget that He is looking out for us too.  So his advice to us was, "Don't ever throw in the towel.  We have to endure to the end!  There are 98 sheep out there in the same wilderness with you, you are not alone." 
 I loved this different take on a story we here all the time.  So often we need to console those that suffer the most, but then again we have to remember those that appear to be fine on the outside.  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. 
So - the title of this post - "If you open your mouth, then God will fill it."  I know I have mentioned about how everything here is about the Spirit, and I can't re-emphasize that more.  I am learning to forget about my limits in Spanish and let the Spirit guide! 
Provo, here I come!  haha (The MTC is in Provo, fyi) 

xoxo hermana miller

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"I Can't Believe This Is Happening, I'm A MISSIONARY!!!!"

Hillary was lucky to have her cousin's Matt and Brooke and her good friend, Alana, take her to the MTC!!!  I asked my brother, Matt, if she seemed nervous before going in.  He said that she just kept saying "I can't believe this is happening, I'm a Missionary!!"  He said she had the biggest smile of her face!!  And I am sure she hasn't stopped smiling!!!!

 Here is a picture of Hillary and Alana right before she entered the MTC :)

XOXO, Cousin Cara

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Tears

I am in my "second" week already even though it has only been one week here!  SO many beautiful and spiritual things take place during my days here.  I have discovered that it is not a ocmplete day until I Have become teary eyed in some way.  That's a funny and new thing for me, I am not used to feeling this emotional!  

Yesterday was a really good "happy tears" moment. First of all, I have a new companion, Sister Dalton!  She jumped from beginning to advanced and will be serving in Barcelona.  Her dad served in Rosario, and she has studied abroad in Madrid!  I love her enthusiasm and she has really helped me feel more like a missionary.  She has been here for one more week than me.  Sister Dalton's name was called from the intercom in our classrom. So she was called to an office in the main building and I of course accompanied her.  Turns out we ended up meeting the MTC President, President Brown!  He is such a sweet man.  I wish we could have spoken with him longer.  He called us/her in to ask us/her how we/she like the new curriculum, which is new as of August 3rd.  He told us, "Thank you for serving... You are the cream of the crop."  I teared up and paused until I looked back up and said "Sorry!" and laughed, and then I saw that he was teary eyed too.

Elder Ballard came and spoke at our devotional Tuesday evening!  He gave us such amazing advice about feeling the Spirit when we teach, and not giving "wooden discussions" as President Hinckley once called it.  I of course got teary eyed during the devotional.  My hermanas and I sang in the choir.  We were in the third row and the camera caught us singing a few times.  Woot.

This is one thing I especially love about being here: speaking with the senior couples and volunteers.  They really know how to make us smile.  It's a nice break from learning in a classroom with young men all day.... whom I actually completely and fully admire!  Our district is becoming closer!  We are understanding our senses of humor better (I had forgotten what 19 year old young men think is funny).  We respect each other and consider ourselves a little familia. 

The other night my companion and I participated in our first TRC appointment.  The Training Resources Center I think it is called.  It's funny because I was once a volunteer here, and now I am sitting on the other side of the table with a name tag on!  These are real people with real stories.  This woman we taught shared so many personal struggles with us.  It is crazy to think how quickly I have become concerned for people I barely know. 

I have learned that the gospel is a "one size fits all".  No matter what you are going through, no matter how much you know about Christ, he knows an dloves you and can help you find happiness thanks to the Atonement!

I wish I could bottle up my feelings and experiences and send them your way.

A few other things I have learned:

Elder Holland said, "Be your first convert." If I am teaching someone who needs to pray more sincerely, than I need to pray more sincerely.  If they need to be humbled, then so do I!  
When people are converted to this wonderful faith and share their story, they first mention how they felt  before what they knew.  The Spirit truly is everything!

I hope you are all well.  Thank you for your little cards and letters.  I love!!  

Con amor,  hermana miller

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hit the Ground Running...

Hello, this is Hillary's cousin Cara!!  Hillary has asked me to update her blog while she is on her Mission.  I got my first email from Hillary today...

Wow where do I begin?  This has been a pretty amazing couple of days.  I am  a missionary!! I still laugh to myself when others greet me as Hermana or Sister Miller.  That sounds so old.  The MTC is FUN.  I got lucky, I am in a really fun trio!  My two companions are from Nicaragua and Mexico/Texas, and we work really well together.  I am the only "gringa" in my district!  I love it, especially because it keeps me on my toes. 
I have been so impressed with the way they teach us!  You all need to look up "1 in 8million" from The newspaper interviewed different people in NYC, and our teacher had us discuss what about the gospel they need. Before arriving here, I assumed that some of teaching would be corny!  I was SO wrong.  Everything we learn, in addition to the doctrines is 1. Teach by the Spirit and 2.  BE REAL.  These are real people, and they will not want to listen to our message if we are not real ourselves! 
My companions and I have had two chances already to practice teaching to pretend investigators, and it had been amazing!
I have been so humbled and so strengthened at the same time.  I love hearing all the testimonies from my district. I am proud of these young elders even though I hardly know them! 
There is so much more I want to say.  I am soooooo sorry I can't give you photos right now, this computer is not set up normally and there is no one around me who knows how to upload photos :/ 
I love you all !!! 
xoxo hermana miller