Elder Giles

Elder Giles
Mission Photos

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reality Setting In

Morning Everyone!

I hope you`re all having a great day. I`m sitting here wondering how
it`s even possible I`m still functioning. I`m so tired, but I feel
good. It`s good to be a missionary. It`s good to soak up these last
few weeks as well. I had my final Zone Conference and final interview
with President W last week in Okayama and wow, I can`t believe the
end is actually here. It feels so weird. These last two years have
gone by so fast, but at the same time, it`s been the longest two years
ever! Ha. I guess that`s just how life goes sometimes. The bottom line
is I wouldn`t trade the experiences and miracles that I`ve seen on my
mission for anything. There`s been a lot of talk on what the biggest
thing I`ve learned on my mission is, and I think it`s got to be this
simple fact: there is a God in Heaven. He loves us and is very aware
of what we`re going through. I have conversed and spoken with my
Heavenly Father many times in the last two years of my life and I can
honestly say that he`s heard every single time. One of the members in
church yesterday about something that would happen in the Ward after
I`ve returned home. I told him that it was too bad I would be
transferring. He looked a little confused and surprised and was like,
"you`re transferring? Where are you going?" I responded with, "Salt
Lake City." That got a good laugh out of all of us. I just can`t
believe how weird it is that it`s almost over. My interview with
President W was incredible. I love that man. We both cried like
children and I can honestly say he`s one of the greatest men I have
ever had the opportunity to work with. After that interview though, I
think it`s safe to say that I`m prepared to transfer to my next area.

 Well, we were blessed with another baptism yesterday. The Lord`s
hand is so strong here in Matsue I love it! The daughter of a Less
Active, H M, was baptized by her recently returned to activity
Father and her Mom was baptized as well. This was one of those tender
mercy baptisms for sure. I seriously didn`t do a thing! I was merely
an instrument to teach M the lessons and prepare her to be
baptized. The Ward and the Spirit did the rest. It was so cool to
witness her Father, who just received the Aaronic Priesthood two weeks
ago, go down into the water and perform his wifes`, and his Daughters`
baptism. It was a special experience for sure and now they`re working
to go to the temple in a year to be sealed as a family. Hopefully in
that time their other children will make the same choice and enter the
waters of baptism so they too can join their family in the temple
soon! The work continues.

 During Zone Conference, President W issued us a new challenge to
read the Book of Mormon again by the end of November of this year.
This time, we`ll be marking and studying specifically the Doctrine of
Christ and how it can apply to us in our own lives. It`s so cool! I`m
only a few chapters into the Book of Mormon so far, but I`ve already
found so many things that have helped me out a ton. Nephi was a beast.
He also shared with us an experience from his own mission. He showed
us a chart of the number of baptisms per month in a three year period
while he was a young missionary and the numbers were crazy! They went
from getting about what we get, which is about 20 baptisms per month,
to over 200 in three years. He explained the reason for this jump in
success. His Mission President issued a challenge to all of his
missionaries that they were to rededicate their areas where they were
serving to missionary work, and also, they were to rededicate
themselves to the work. After they did that as a mission, miracles
happened for sure. Because of that, President W issued us the same
challenge. Next Sunday night, we will be finding somewhere special in
our areas to go, kneel down, and rededicate the area for missionary
work and for the finding of the elect of God. He boldly told us that
"they`re there. Go find them." and I know we will. I`m super excited
about this challenge and this final stage of my mission. I`ll only
have about ten days or so to be rededicated, but man, am I ready to
change and see some miracles in these my last days.

 I`ll close with my testimony of missionary work, my Father in
Heaven, Jesus Christ, and the Prophet Joseph Smith. My mission has
been far from easy. It has stretched me in ways that I never thought
it would. I have come to know myself better than ever before because
of these last two years. I love my mission. I have come to know the
God lives, he loves us, and we are really his children. I feel that
every day as I go out and work. I feel his love and I want so badly
for all of these people in this strange country to feel the same. I`ve
come to walk with my Savior. I know He lives! He descended below all
things, and now sits at the right hand of his Father. Without Jesus
Christ, I am nothing. My life would be incredibly challenging. He has
taken away my guilt and he has given my strength I never knew I had.
I`ve also come to respect and love the Prophet Joseph Smith more than
I ever have. I can`t imagine what he went through. I can`t imagine the
weight that was on his shoulders. I don`t even want to try to imagine
what the weight of an entire dispensation feels like. I know he saw
what he said he saw. He was a Prophet of God and through him, the Book
of Mormon was translated and stands of a witness of the Saviors
divinity. I know that this is the Kingdom of God on the Earth today.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I leave that
with you, as well as all of my love, in the name of Jesus Christ.

I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week! I`ll see you soon!

Elder Jeff Giles

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