Elder Giles

Elder Giles
Mission Photos

Monday, January 26, 2015


Greetings and Salutations

This was a rather pleasant week. We served the Lord with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. 

In order to keep my eye single to the glory of God, and leave behind all other personal affairs, this will be my last letter.

- Elder Giles

Just kidding! That was Elder C (one of our lovely Assistants) and he said he thought of the perfect letter to write to my family for the week. He`s a funny guy. 

This week was awesome. Holy shniekies we are so busy. We literally don`t have time for anything. Its awesome. Between balancing investigators, the Kobe Ward, and all the tech stuff, both my companion and I wonder how we would ever do this without the help of Heaven. We`re so grateful that this is the work of the Lord. 

Among all that, I managed to get frostbite. My feet had been getting little sores on them and I just thought it was athletes foot or something and didn`t think anything of it. I decided to ask one of the awesome Senior Missionaries (who was a nurse) about it and she said that it was frostbite and I couldn`t go outside to proselyte until I got new shoes. Yay. I just can`t seem to catch a break this winter! Well, I guess its like President Welch always says, "How do I know he loves me? He makes me do hard things." That is 100% truth. I`m sure you`re wondering how I got frostbite as an Elder that sits in front of the computer for most of his life. Well, me too. 

I can`t help but write a little bit about my companion. I literally have the greatest companion in the world right now. Aside from him knowing six languages, being a medical doctor, and knowing the in`s and out`s of programming, he really is the kindest person I`ve ever met. On top of that, he said I have a place to stay if I ever want to go to Rome in the future. It pays good to have good friends!

A few months ago we received a challenge from President W to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of February. That goal has been awesome, but last week we received homework from Elder Aoyagi of the Quorum of the Seventy to stop our current challenge and start a new one. We were told to write down and make a list of all the missionaries in the Book of Mormon, then we are to write about each of them and why they were successful. We`ll be doing this until he comes on February 11 and we`ll finish our previous goal by the time Elder Nelson comes on March 20. I`m super excited about all of this! I love the Book of Mormon so much. It has played such a huge role in my missino, if I`ve learned anything so far, its that the Book of Mormon is 100% true and we can receive inspiration from it every single day. 

Yesterday on of the members of the Bishopric gave an awesome talk in Sacrament Meeting about prayer. He`s an American guy that married a Japanese lady and now lives here in Kobe. He spoke about how amazing prayer was and shared an awesome experience of hearing his parents pray together for their family when he was a little boy. It was amazing because I`ve been feeling recently like prayer is something I`ve been struggling with. I think its being so busy and constantly thinking about what I need to do next because I feel like my prayers really weren`t very meaningful and I wasn`t getting anywhere with Heavenly Father. I prayed that morning that I would be able to improve my prayers and I feel like that good brothers` talk was an answer to my prayer. Awesome. 

Well this week has been awesome. We`re moving fast, but I know that God is still in charge. Because I have been given much, I too must give. I love what I do and I`m incredibly grateful for the chance that I have to be a missionary. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles
Japan Kobe Mission

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A day in the life of an IT specialist

Dear friends and family,

  I`m not an IT specialist. I just happen to have an absolutely incredible companion who teaches me so much everyday. I hope you`re all having a great week and not getting to snowy back at home. This last week has been incredible. We`re having a blast creating our new webite and designing all the graphics for the upcoming wave of technology thats about to happen in the Japan Kobe Mission. Never in my life would I have thought I would have the chance to do something like this on my mission. Its a special calling for sure and one that I feel very humbled and blessed to hold. 

  We have literally moved mountains in the past week, and by me, I mean my incredible companion. The guy seriously does anything and everything. Its so easy to work with him because we both respect each other so much that we`re comfortable saying, "Oh I don`t really like that." or "Maybe lets try this...". Its awesome. The portal is looking really really good. I`m excited to see it finally starting to come together. I find myself feeling a little inadequate with him a lot, but I know there's a reason that I`m here, too. Balancing our time between our new investigators and proselyting with the portal has been a transition that I believe we`ve almost made completely. I think we both feel that there just isn`t enough time in a day, I`m sure you all feel the same. 
 We taught an amazing guy last night with the Assistants. He`s from Brazil so my companion was obviously perfect to have with us. He was awesome. I feel that he`s so prepared and ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in his life right now. If you`ve seen "The District" DVDs, we`re pretty much teaching a `German`. We`re meeting with him today at 3:00 again and I`m way excited because we`re going to invite him to be baptized and he`s so prepared, I`m sure the answer is going to be a yes. The coolest part is that none of us went out and found this guy. The Assistants just happened to be in the church studying and he called the church himself and set up an appointment. The Lord truly does lead them to us. I love the work. It means the world to me and its times like right now where I can truly say that I`m doing what the Lord wants me to do. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what its done for me in my life and I love watching it change others as well. 

  Well we`re busy busy busy this week so my time is running out. I love all of you guys and I`m so grateful for the awesome examples and sources of support I have back at home. You`re all truly amazing. I know the Church is true and Christ is at its head. I`m so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The world is getting darker and darker, but I know we stand as beacons of light to those who stand in need. I hope you all have an amazing week! Elder DS loves you all as well! 愛しています!

Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles
Japan Kobe Mission
Walk With Me

Friday, January 9, 2015

Morning, Elder Ringwood.

Good afternoon friends and family!

  I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Believe me, its a little strange that I`m emailing on Saturday now instead of Monday, but I think I`ll get used to it. This last week was awesome. I absolutely love working in my new calling in the mission office. Even though I`m mostly in the office on the computer designing logo`s and building websites, I`m still able to get out and go find almost every day, so that has been awesome. I can`t say enough how much I love Kobe!

  So I had a lot of really cool experiences this week with my temporary companion, Elder C. I had an amazing week with that kid. Even though we were only companions for about 10 days or so, I learned so much from him and he has become a very close friend of mine. He really showed me how to make everything we do throughout the day, fun. I went with him and President W to the hospital the other day for his follow up appointment on his appendacitis and while we were driving down to the hospital, President got a call that came through the bluetooth in the car. He answered it and it was our Area President, Elder Ringwood, of the first quorum of the seventy. No big deal. President Ringwood told us that we were to be getting a visit from Elder Nelson of the Twelve in March the same week President will be in Tokyo for training before we get our ipads! Its was funny because as soon as he said that President, Elder C, and I all gave a silent fist pump to each other in the car. haha! 

  Right now my main job is creating our new mission logo. With my extensive background in graphic design, that should be no problem, right? (sarcasm). Its been a really cool experience. I created a rendering and then was able to sit in on our Missionary Leadership Council with all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders and unveil the first draft of our new logo. For the most part everyone loved it so I`m excited to fine tune it with the imput from the missionaries. Just like our theme, `Walk With Me` I want the logo to come from the missionaries as well. This is a blast!

  As you can see, I`ve had some really really cool experiences here in Kobe. Its a different side of the work, for sure, but this is where Heavenly Father needs me right now. Regardless of where I am or what calling I have, the church is the same. This is still true. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and our way to the Celestial Kingdom. The effect we can all have on the people around us, member or not, through the gospel is so powerful. Even just walking back from lunch the other day not a kilometer from the mission home we stopped to pet a womans dog and told her who we were. She told us where she lived and said to come by and visit whenever we had time. The Lord leads us to his children, I know thats true! 

  Thank you for all of your love and great examples. Being blessed with an amazing familiy and great friends has brought so much into my life that I don`t think I`ll ever be able to appreciate. Thank you for all that all of you do! I love you!

Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles

Friday, January 2, 2015

Tech Staff Pioneer

Friends and Family,

  I'd just like to proudly state that I am the very first missionary in the great Japan Kobe Mission with an iPad! In case you were wondering, yes, I'm typing this email with two fingers, it probably won't be the longest email I've ever sent. As you heard last week, I've been called in by President W as the first Tech Elder in the mission and also the one who will be testing the iPads until their release in March and building and designing our mission portal. I'm sure many of you are wondering, "he doesn't know how to program a computer OR build a website." Well, you're right! But don't worry, they're bringing an Elder in next week to be my companion that knows how to do the hard stuff. Right now I'm in a companionship of five elders. One is a ZL currently recovering from a hernia and appendicitis, one is the new mission recorder being trained by the current recorder that goes home next week, one is the assistant recorder, and the Japanese elder in charge of just about everything financial or commercial in the mission. It's been a fun week.

  Because I literally have no experience with programming or anything like that, President W has put me in charge of designing our new Mission Logo! That's something that is definitely more up my alley, so I've been working on that for the most part of the week. I have to say, creating a logo that has the potential of being the Japan Kobe Mission logo for the next 3 years is quite intimidating. I'll be giving some training at our Mission Leadership Council next week so I'll hopefully get some insights from the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders on more of what they want to see. It's going to be a blast!

  I've mostly been companions with the sick Zone Leader, Elder C, who's currently recovering in the mission home for the next little while. We got a call from Sister W after we taught a lesson with the sisters asking if we wanted to go with them and the assistants to a New Years Festival down in the city. It was so cool to be able to spend some time with the W's down in Kobe. That's definitely been the highlight of my week and the new year so far. I almost forgot that it's the year 2015 as well! We all went to the top of the mountain here in Kobe to watch the first sunrise of the year. There was about 100 people with us as well so we had some great chances to talk to people. The best thing about my new job is I'm still able to actively proselyte in Kobe. This area is a blast. We don't even have to bike here because we can just walk outside of the mission home and talk to people. Its a great time to be in Kobe! 

  I know that this church is true and that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I've been blessed with some amazing opportunities on my mission and the Lord's hand continues to be present in my life. Whatever he asks me to do, I'll do it. I love you guys and I hope you all have an awesome week! 

Elder Giles
Japan Kobe Mission Tech Staff