Elder Giles

Elder Giles
Mission Photos

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Bird, Two Stones

Friends and family,

  This week has been a crazy one thats for sure. I`ll just say that I am really, really, really grateful for the power of the Priesthood and prayer. I also became a trainer for the second time and it's been great! My new companion is Elder P from Provo, Utah. He`s awesome. His parents are from Puerto Rico and he speaks fluent Spanish (we`re working on the Japanese). He`s a beast though. He played football, lacrosse, and wrestling at Timpview in high school and served in the Army reserve for a few years before the mission. He`s awesome. I can`t tell you all how much I love this guy! I`m really grateful for the chance to be his trainer. 

  So last Sunday I had a pretty scary situation and I had to go to the Emergency Room because something felt really wrong with my back. Basically we were riding our bikes to go visit a Less Active member with the Sisters and I all of a sudden had the worst pain ever in my back. It was like I had a searing pain in just to the left of my spine in my lower back and I didn`t know what it was. All the neighbors in the area came out to see if I was okay and a member came and called an ambulance. Before the ambulance came the member said to me that I needed a Priesthood Blessing right there on the street. He kneeled down next to where I was laying and he and my companion gave me one of the most powerful Priesthood blessings I have ever received. I went to the ER and they x-rayed my back to see if everything was okay and the x-rays came out fine, my back was in good shape. After a while my back started to calm down and they decided that it was nothing more than a really bad pinched nerve. Well I thought it would be fine after that, but I kept having really weird pains throughout the week and at one point on Thursday I called Sister W and told her something was still wrong. She said to go to the hospital and get it checked again so we ran up to the hospital Thursday morning. They thought that it could have been a hernia so they had me take a test that showed my red blood cells were higher than they should have been. They had me do a CT scan which showed that I had two small kidney stones! That was the reason my back hurt so bad on Sunday night. They`re pretty small stones so they should dissolve by the end of the week, but man, these hurt pretty bad... I know the Lord is mindful of the situation though because I`m not really in a lot of pain, and haven`t been since Thursday morning. He`s sustaining me right now for sure! It's funny, everytime the Lord allows me to feel pain, it`s a reminder that Christ felt that once. He knows what it's like and he can empathize with us. Granted, his pain was a lot worse than a few kidney stones, but I know he`s helping me all the same. I know my Savior lives!
  So that was a fun experience. We also had our Stake Conference here this weekend and President W was able to attend and speak. It was amazing. Even in Japanese that man is extremely powerful, and I`ll say, he has some pretty freaking good Japanese. He told the wards basically what our job is in relation to helping them fulfill their callings. Our mission goal is to find out the goals of the wards and stakes and work with them to achieve those! I can`t wait until the wards here actually apply the great things he spoke about this weekend. 

  Well I`m onto another week in the service of my God as a trainer. I`m loving my mission more than ever and I love it more and more every day! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Giles

This is my #2 Son!

​Elder B and I back as trainers for the second time! Love this guy. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Hello friends and family!!!

So its transfer week this week and we got the transfer spreadsheet this
morning in the weekly email. I`ll be staying in Takatsuki for a little
while longer and I was called as a trainer again! I`m SUPER excited. Its
going to be a blast. I think I`m most excited because Elder B, who`s on
the other side of the mission right now, is also a trainer again so we get
to meet up at the mission home on Friday! Pictures to come, folks! 

When I was called as a trainer a few transfers ago, I was way excited, but I think I surpassed that today when I got the news again. I`m much more prepared to train now! The only scary thing now is the fact that this week, I`ll begin
my tenth transfer. I`m officially an old missionary!

This last week Elder F and I pretty much knew that it was going to be our last full week together so we had an awesome time. The eight missionaries in our district practiced `I know that my redeemer lives` all week to sing in Sacrament meeting in both the Ibaraki and Takatsuki Wards because one of the Sisters, Sister D, is going home tomorrow. It was so cool! The song was super powerful and I think we had just about everyone in tears. The funny part was that no one really knew
about singing in choirs and stuff so I had to coach and lead everyone all
week. Talk about a flash back to junior high choir!

We had interviews with President W 
this last thursday and it was awesome! I absolutely love talking to that man. It was fun being able to talk to Sister W as well. Turns out her maiden name in N and her
family lives in Charleston, Utah (my Dad's hometown)! We`re probably related somewhere! My interview with President W was a blast. We talked about just about everything and he told me that I had to stay for the struggling ward I`m in
right now and that my companion would be transferring.  
He gave me a great compliment when he said that I am the
least of his worries in the mission right now. That was extremely humbling
and made me want to be that much better and actually deserve those kind of

Well yeah. Thats basically it for me this week. I`m a trainer again, my
companion is transferring to Hiroshima, and its getting colder. I`ve actually
had to break out the sweaters a few times this last week! I`m loving life.
I`m loving my area and I`m loving the gospel! I love you all! Have a great

Elder Giles

Monday, October 13, 2014

Master, the tempest is raging!

Friends, family, future coworkers and associates, and hopefully my future spouse (that should cover just about everyone)

  This week was really good! Right now we`re focusing most of our efforts on visiting and strengthening up the ward. We`re doing a ton with the Sisters in our area, Sister M and Sister M (they`re awesome!). The four of us visited a few less actives and some members this week and had a few really cool experiences!

  The first member we decided to visit was an older woman in the ward. She`s one of the sweetest people I know and has a great energy level. We went by her house to say hello, sing a hymn, and share a short message with her, but when we arrived, we were pleased to find out her nonmember younger sister was there visiting from Akashi (my first area). She welcomed us in and gave us some really good Japanese treats like she always does. Her sister was really nice and was asking all sorts of questions like what the U.S. and New Zealand are like (Sister M is a Kiwi), and why we came on missions and stuff like that. We sang Nearer My God to Thee and the Sisters shared a short scripture. I think it was 1 Nephi 11:17. After they shared the scripture they shared their testimonies that God is Our Father in Heaven and he truly does love his children. It was a great message and the Spirit could be felt for sure. Well that was all fine and dandy until Sunday we found out from the member that right before we came over that day, her and her sister were talking about God and the sister had a question that the member couldn`t answer about our Heavenly Father that the Sisters were able to answer for her in their message! It was so cool. I`m so glad to be working with such wonderful, in tune Sister missionaries. 

  We also had the chance to go over to a potential investigators house for dinner with her and her two children. The woman lived in Cache Valley for a year and England for seven so her and her kids speak fluent english (phew). We had dinner with them and talked about our families and about the fact that we wanted to help people so we joined the ranks and entered the mission field and stuff like that. It was awesome because she actually made us a straight up American style meal of chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy! In Japanese that would be `natsukashi` or `nostalgic`. They weren`t able to become new investigators, but they asked us to come back for dinner every Tuesday from now on! Hopefully we`ll be able to soften and touch their hearts with the message of the restoration. 

  I`ve come to realize on my mission that it isn`t the huge miracles and defining, once in a lifetime moments that make your mission amazing. It`s the little things every single day. A smile and wave from a little kid, a random act of kindness from an `obachan`, or a chance to share a testimony to a college kid in front of the train station. It all piles up to make for an amazing experience. This week was my one year mark in Japan. I know, right? I`m coming home in like ten months or something like that. I can`t believe what an amazing experience my mission has been. I love this stuff. I love my mission!

  We were able to watch conference as well. Yes, it was amazing. Yes, I loved all five sessions. I think my favorite talk was by one of the new recently called Seventy, Elder Jorg Klebingat. His message was awesome. I loved the six principles he shared with us and how they can help us live better lives. I love our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson as well. I know he is a Prophet of God, the worthy successor to Joseph Smith, and the leader of our church. I sustain him fully and try to live by every word that comes from his mouth! I love the Prophet!

  I hope you all have an awesome week. Yes, there`s quite the typhoon coming, but we should be fine. Christ calmed the tempest, right? No problem! I love you all! Have an awesome week!

Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles

Sunday, October 5, 2014

`Walk With Me`

Friends and family,
  We had another great week here in the Land of the Dropping Tempurature. The other companionship in the apartment was surprised on Tuesday with a call from the Assistants saying that the junior companion, Elder G, was going to be transferred early to switch with another Elder on the other side of the mission. It was extremely sad because the four of us, myself, Elder F, Elder H, and Elder G have become really close over the last two transfers. It was really tough to say goodbye! The new Elder that came into the apartment is Elder A and we love him already. His parents are from Nigeria, but he`s grown up in Sweden and speaks fluent American English. Its awesome! He`s a really funny guy and all of us get along really well.
  This week at our Zone Training Meeting our new Mission Theme was released! We`re all super excited to focus on `Walk with Me` as our theme for the rest of our missions! I will admit. I was a little surprised and bummed when I first saw it, but the more we talked about it and pondered what it truly meant, the better and better it became. The Savior doesn`t ask us to run or jog with him. He simply asks us to walk. I love that. Every time I think of it the most peaceful feeling comes over me and I just feel like everythings going to be okay right now. I love our new theme and I know the little adjustment will make a big change with what we`re doing here in Japan.
  The area and ward I`m in right now is very interesting. The feeling we get when we attend our meeting is not a very good one so the missionaries took advantage of testimony meeting to bring the spirit into our sacrament. All the members are awesome, but no one really does anything and no one really even associates with each other. Its really strange. Right now we and the Sisters are working really close to try whatever we can do to strengthen and build the testimonies of the members. Right now the idea we`re going on is to visit every member that comes to church, try to share a message, and sing a hymn. Thats just the start because there`s something like 400-500 Less Actives in the area and we haven`t even scratched the surface. Nevertheless I know the Lord's hand is over this land. I had the impression during sacrament that if the Savior wanted to, he could walk through the doors of the chapel into our meeting. He`s real. He lives and I know it.
  I love this Gospel. I know the church is true and Jesus Christ is at the head. President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's chosen Prophet on the Earth today and I sustain him as such. I can`t wait to have the chance to see General Conference this weekend! I know, I know, I`m a week behind, but don`t spoil it for me! I`m too excited! I love you all. I really do. The love and support from each of you is so incredible. It gets me out of bed at 5:30 every morning. Yes that's not a typo, Mom. 5:30. I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you guys!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles