Elder Giles

Elder Giles
Mission Photos

Monday, May 4, 2015

Officially OLD!

Friends and Family,

 This week I will hit another month down, but I refuse to think how
long I have and just try to focus on the here and now. Every day is a
blessing from God and I want to treat every day like its the last. I
also want to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary! 25 years is a long
time, way to keep the Faith Mom and Dad! We were able to see the hand
of the Lord plenty of times last week and I'm grateful to have been
able to do the things I did.

 Last Monday was awesome! Himeji Castle was tons of fun and we
actually ended up running into a member from Akashi who took us around
and acted as our tour guide. It was awesome! I couldn't believe how
beautiful it was. They just finished restoring the white paint a few
weeks back and now the thing literally glows in the sunlight! I was
actually surprised how empty it was. The thing was literally a battle
fortress. There was nothing fancy about the interior at all, but the
build quality was amazing. I guess that's why it's the oldest and
biggest original castle in Japan! I can mark another World Heritage
Site off my list!

 I had a companion exchange with my District Leader, Elder S on
Friday and we tore it up here in Kobe! I've known Elder S for a
long time now, and it's always great to work with him. We talked about
having the mindset for miracles and the importance of planning from
the heart so you're excited to get out and do things during the day.
It's funny because even though he's my DL, I still end up telling him
more info about the mission and what not. It pays to have a front seat
with President W for most of the week! We went out to find during
the day and ended up teaching a guy from Sri Lanka that has interest
in learning about God and Jesus Christ! He was way cool and we hope to
meet him again this week. It was a big testimony builder for me that
this is the work of the Lord and he will guide us. I think the older I
get as a missionary the more I realize that no matter how good you
are, you won't be able to do a thing unless you're humble and know how
to follow the Spirit. I think it took me a while to learn also that
big, life changing miracles are pretty rare, and we need to be looking
for the small, but evident signs in our days that the Lord is guiding
us and with us at every turn. I learned a lot from Elder S about
how to be one that others can turn to for help and suggestions on how
to improve and we had a great day for sure!

 Nothing particularly spectacular happened last week, but we did get
to go up to Mount Rokko and Mount Maya with our investigator during
the week and do some hiking for a little bit. We were able to get to
know him a lot better than before and hopefully strengthen his faith
and his resolve to change. The mountains are a great place to feel the
Spirit! Today, we had a BBQ with one of our investigators, his family,
members from our Ward and Akashi Ward, and the Akashi Elders. It was a
blast and the members really came through big on Fellowshipping our
investigator and his family! The best thing was that it was actually
our investigator that set the whole thing up and invited the members
and the missionaries! He's getting really strong and will hopefully
take the plunge and exercise his faith soon. He has three adorable
daughters under 8 and will be a great addition to the Ward for sure.

 I don't mean to boast, but this entire email has been written with
my thumbs on the way home on the train and bus from Akashi, pretty
good right? I'm exemplifying being a missionary in the digital age ;).
 I have a conference call with the missionary department in Salt Lake
tomorrow to discuss music on our iPads so this week will be another
busy one. We have a few more meetings as well so we'll be off and
running for sure! Hopefully we'll be able to get music on our iPads as

 I found an awesome scripture in John while studying last night that
really changed my perspective. John 12:35, "Then Jesus said unto them,
Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the
light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness
knoweth not whither he goeth." I stared at the first part of the
second sentence for at least ten minutes last night thinking about how
it sounds like a call to action for an old missionary. I only have a
little while left, and the light that comes from being a full-time
missionary will one day be over. I need to act now and walk with the
light I hold by doing whatever I can to invite others to come unto
Christ. I absolutely love that scripture!

 I`m running out of things to talk about so I better start winding
down. I love what I do and the chances that I have to be a disciple of
Jesus Christ in the Digital Age. My calling has been incredibly
humbling and I`ve learned more about myself than I ever have before in
my life and I wouldn`t trade it for anything. The church is true and
the gospel blesses families. The Book of Mormon has been something
that I`ve taken a little bit for granted lately, but I intend to get
back on track and see what I can learn from the truest book on Earth.
Its a powerful tool and I can definitely use it better in my day to
day life. I love the Book of Mormon and I know that it`s 100% true. I
love you all and couldn`t ask for a better support system. I hope you
all have an awesome week doing whatever it is you do... What do normal
people do again? Haha I love you guys!

Elder Jeff Giles

Top of Kobe!

Ramen after soccer on saturday.

I don`t think you can tell from the picture how much I fried my
face playing soccer in the sun.

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