Elder Giles

Elder Giles
Mission Photos

Sunday, March 9, 2014

7 down, 17 to go

Hello friends, family, and everyone else!!

I hope you have all had a great week. I didn`t even realize it until I looked at the calendar on Friday but I`ve hit 7 months already! I can`t believe how fast my mission is clipping by. It`s crazy! All of the older missionaries say that they can`t believe how fast their missions have gone
by, everyone always says that but you really don`t know what it`s like until you experience it firsthand. I`m having a blast.

Last week the ward asked the missionaries to make an American Style meal for the entire ward for an after church party yesterday. That was a little
intimidating to four nineteen year olds but we worked hard! When we were trying to decide what we could make that would be easy to make in bulk for a lot of people I thought about what Dad eats for lunch usually so we made egg salad and BLT sandwiches! They were way good too, I was actually a little surprised! I think we used something like 100 eggs, 3 big things of Mayo, 5 packs of bacon, 25 tomatoes, and 30 loaves of bread! It was a blast. We bought most of the stuff last week on Preparation Day and then a
lady from the ward brought the rest of the stuff for us on Saturday to make them. We started on Saturday around 3 o`clock and one of our investigators came and helped us out. Have any of you had to boil and then de-shell 100 eggs? It was nuts. The other companionship had to leave at about 4:30 and our investigator left an hour later so it took Elder Y and I till 8:30 but we ended up making 120 beautiful sandwiches if I do say so myself!

We had a great Zone Training Meeting last week from our Zone Leaders.
They really focused on helping us to have the faith to see baptisms and how
to personalize everything from the training plans we receive, to the
scriptures, to Preach My Gospel. Its awesome to have Zone Leaders that
really do love this work and recognize the revelation they receive for the members of the Zone. One thing that they talked about that really stuck out to me was they talked about how we are responsible and accountable for the
revelation we receive. If we don`t act on the things we receive from Heavenly Father, those things will be brought down on us later! I think for me at least, being a Junior companion right now, I get nervous and a little intimidated to share possible revelation to my companion every once in a while. That really motivated to be more bold and to come out of my faith bubble a lot! I know it has blessed our companionship for sure.

Another thing I loved from what they talked about was how to be `sweetly
bold`. In Japan especially it can be really difficult to be bold. The culture in this country is so based on how to not offend people and being as polite as possible but it can feel a little like beating around the bush when we`re trying to call someone to repentance. We were taught that if our investigators want to stop meeting with us because we talk about Jesus Christ and ask them to change to become more like him, they probably aren`t the ones we`re supposed to be meeting with right now! I absolutely loved
that. Now I`m not going to go around telling people they`re going to hell
(President told us not to do that...) but I`m definitley a lot more motivated to be bold! I had an experience along these lines a little bit a few weeks ago when we were street contacting at the train station. We
stopped a guy and talked to him for a little bit and then I said that we teach about Jesus Christ and asked if he had an image of Jesus Christ or new anything about who he was. The guy said he didn`t really know anything about Christ and my companion said something like, yeah thats ok its really not that important. I was furious. That night I told him to never do that again. We are hear to teach about Jesus Christ and find the elect of God. The elect will respond to Christ and his teachings if we introduce it. My
companion wasn`t being a bad missionary or anything like that, he would
just rather get people in an appropriate setting, like the church, before
we dive into the gospel. This was one example of how are cultures differ a
little bit but it was definitely an experience for me about being bold. I`m not afraid to testify and teach of my Savior regardless of where we are. They elect will hear his voice, and harden not their hearts.

I`m learning so much every day. I know that everything I learn on my mission will not only benefit the next 17 months, but the rest of my life.  I know this will make me a better husband and father in the future as well.  The bottom line is this gospel is rock solid. Some people won`t respond to what we say but thats ok. Their time will come. I love this gospel and I love this opportunity to share it with these people in this amazing country
of Japan!! I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles

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