Friday, June 3, 2016

Aloha Brothers and Sisters!

Things here in the California Irvine mission have been going so great lately! Update: I am still in Las Flores (my second area), still with Elder Keith, and we are in the middle of my 5th transfer. The most exciting change that has happened companion and I are now on bikes! It is the best. It's nice being out, having people see us all the time and it also makes for great contacting!

We had a great experience this past week. We were dropping our bikes off at a members house so we could tract when we saw their 3 and a half year old daughter, Mae, playing with her friend in the yard. The friend looked at us funny and asked Mae who we were. Mae said, "Those are my missionaries!" then turned and smiled at us. Her friend then asked Mae, "what do they do?" Mae turned to her and simply and enthusiastically said, "They teach people about Jesus!" It reminded me of the babes that uttered things at Christs coming in the Book of Mormon. What she said was so simple yet it was so powerful to me! We do teach people about Jesus! That is what we do! It gave me a great feeling of joy and as I walked away, I walked away with a renewed feeling, knowing I was about to go and teach people about our Savior, Jesus Christ!

A few days ago as we were riding from one appointment to another, I felt or heard a voice yell behind me "Go back!" I turned around and nothing was behind me. We went back towards our last appointment but the gate to the community was locked. As we got back to the road we looked back the way we had originally come from and decided to just "go back" that way, not sure what we would find! As we did we decided to turn into our complex and as we got to the bottom of the hill a name popped into my mind of someone we had met a few weeks ago that lived within the complex! We road that way and sure enough she was just getting home with her 2 small children and was just preparing to leave again. It was the Lords timing! As we talked with her and got to know her more she explained she was recently divorced. She is a young single mom. She grew up knowing many Mormons but she herself didn't go to any type of church till she turned 18. She talked about how she felt scarred from the divorce but that she wanted to give the best life for her children. It was an amazing moment to testify of the power of Christ and His atonement. She explained she knew she could be healed from the pain but had never really tried, she had only tried to forget it but that wasn't working. She said she wanted to come to church and learn more from us about Christ's atonement and how she can have happiness for herself and her children! It was an amazing experience and I am grateful we were able to receive promptings from the Holy Ghost to "Go back" and talk to her!

I am loving my mission and the opportunity I have to serve every day! A scripture that has begun to have added meaning to me through my experience is Mosiah 4:26 :

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

As I have thought about this I have come to realize the impact service has in our lives. As we serve others, our own will begins to align with our Heavenly Fathers, we continue to put off the natural man, we experience a change of heart through the power of the Holy Ghost, and become truly converted!

President Marion G. Romney has said:

“The sure way to peace and happiness in this life and life hereafter is to serve the Lord today and every day.”
And we learn from King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:17
"when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

My invite to you all is find a way to serve someone this week! In the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “As disciples of Jesus Christ, we ought to do all we can to redeem others from suffering and burdens. Even so, our greatest redemptive service will be to lead them to Christ.”

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I know I will!

With much love,

Elder Matthew Mills

Friday, March 25, 2016

Miracle Family

Hello everyone!

This past week was great! Tomorrow is transfer day. I have survived and am remaining in Las Flores at least another 6 weeks. I am super stoked about it. I will be getting a new companion tomorrow, his name is Elder Keith. He has been out a transfer longer than me and is a fantastic missionary! I am positive we will see great things being together!

Miracle of the week: This past sunday as we left our ward council meeting, a family came walking down the street to the church building! They walked up to the church and our Ward Mission Leader was the first to find them. The father of the family expressed that they wanted to come to church and that they lived just the street. Ben invited them back to our service which started at 1 and sure enough they came! The two children that came go to Tesoro High School in our area and as they sat down at the pews, many of the youth who are good friends with them came rushing up to greet them. As sacrament finished the youth then came and swept them off to sunday school with them! The father was so happy and very grateful for every ones kindness. He came to the Gospel principles class where Ben then taught the Restoration to the class. The father loved it and was beaming as the class ended! As we got to our Priesthood meeting, Ben stood up to introduce Tom, the father, and as Ben stood Tom stood up with him. Tom then began talking to everyone saying that he loved the church and said that he was "Seeking Mormon truth!" He then thanked everyone and sat down with a huge grin on his face. We will be teaching the family this week! I know Heavenly Father is working in the hearts of everyone and is preparing all of his children even when we cannot see it.

Something our Mission has been stressing the last transfer has been living together the "Cultural Beliefs" of our mission, which are:

Express Gratitude
Please Them
Obey Cheerfully
Love Unconditionally
Submit Everything
Invite Everyone

One of these which I have studied a lot since these have been given to us is "Obey Cheerfully." This cultural belief has been one that I have studied a lot since the last Zone Conference, and I have seen so many blessings come from it. I have come to love rules and commandments because of it. I love it because they are very tangible things for us to do with very real results. And even when we cannot see the results we can feel joy because we can simply know that we are pleasing them, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!

I hope you all have a great week! Also if you haven't already, check out the church's new easter video! Its awesome!

Elder Mills


Malo e lelei! Hello everyone! I hope all is going well with everyone!

I am currently serving in the Las Flores Ward of the Mission Viejo Stake. Things this past week have been going really well! We have some great people we are working with and are seeing some amazing miracles lately.

We had a stellar time this week finding people to teach! We set a window this past week on a certain street, and then fasted and prayed that we might find someone to teach. As we tracted door to door we first ran into "T" and her family! They are from India and are Hindu but are not currently practicing. We started asking them what there belief was of who Jesus Christ was and they stated that all they knew was that they thought he was a prophet. Its so interesting meeting people who know close to nothing about who Christ is or what he did and still does for us. As we talked about who Jesus Christ is she became really interested in who he is and specifically about the atonement. She thought it was the greatest thing in the world that someone has felt everything she feels on a day to day basis and there for knows best how to help her and her family. We read in Alma 7, and she specifically loved verses 11 & 12:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

She explained she wants to know more of this Jesus Christ and has invited us to continue to come to her home and teach her!

Shortly after T, we knocked into another door where a guy named Shawn came to the door. We talked with him for a bit, learned a little about him, nothing we said really struck him until we mentioned that we believe in a modern day prophet. When we said this his eyes grew wide and asked what his name was. We replied telling him Thomas S monsoon, and he said very excitedly after that, "I want to learn more about THAT!" He welcomed us into his home and we began to teach him. As we got to the restoration of the gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith he really listened closely. We explained that since Joseph Smith we have had an unbroken line of authority all the way to Thomas S. Monson. As we bore our testimony of this he began to smile and explained that it sounded and felt very right. We invited him to be baptized and he said if he came to know all these things were true he would! I love sharing the message of the Restoration to all, but what makes it most meaningful is finding someone who will listen and apply the message of Paul, to "prove all things and hold fast to that which is good"!

A quote that has been on my mind a lot is something I get to read often in the Adjusting to Missionary Life booklet by President Gordon B Hinckley:

“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is

work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit,

he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch

the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness,

no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests

are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there

is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”

I think this would provide true in any situation in life. I love turning out and serving others. As I do that I see my own cares and worries vanish. Maybe that's one way Christ was able to bear everything he went through, because he constantly thought of all of us!

Thanks for all the thoughts and emails!

Have a stellar week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

1/25 - 2/8/16 Maggie!....and Transferred!

"Been slacking these past few weeks, but man how awesome and busy these past couple weeks have been! A few weeks ago we received a referral from church headquarters! We got the number and name, Maggie, and gave her a call and set up a time to meet with her! Maggie is a lady in her mid 50's who just recently moved to Dana Point! She has just a few years ago lost her husband, and she has been finding a lot of comfort in the Bible. Her friend at work is Mormon, and recommended that she meet with us to learn what we teach concerning her late husband and how she can learn more about Christ! We taught her the Plan of Salvation, along with what we are blessed to be able to do in the Temples. She was so grateful and the spirit was so powerful in our first meeting! We continued to meet with her and she started reading the Book of Mormon and she committed to be baptized this month, February 20th!! She is an amazing person. She has felt so alone lately, but as soon as we introduced her to the ward, they took her in as one of there own right away. You could see the happiness beaming from her and her testimony is growing and growing. This past week, I learned I was being transferred out of the area. When I told Maggie, she was so very sad, as was I; but her fellowshippers and friends in the ward are their for her, and I know she will have all the help she needs as she prepares for the 20th! Its been amazing seeing the change in her, as I have felt that in myself when I began reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. She told me concerning her baptism that she didnt know if she was ready. She felt she needed to learn more, become versed in the scriptures, and understand it all first. I was able to bear my testimony to her that baptism is just the gate on the path, and that Heavenly Father does not expect us to be perfect and completely knowledgeable about it all..He just wants us to act in faith on the things we know to be true. She thought about that for a second, prayed about it, and came back with the answer that she knows its true and therefor must be baptized! So I will be seeing her this month on the 20th!

This is now only my third transfer and I am now done with my 12 weeks of training! I have now been transferred out of Dana Point to the great land of Mission Viejo, in an area called Las Flores! My companion is Elder Johnson, and both of us have been called to be Co-District Leaders together. Its exciting, humbling, and a little bit nerve wrecking but my companion has been out almost a year and he is a great example for me to follow! Our area is about half the size of Dana Point, which is different, but the work here is so busy and we have some great investigators!

Every first Sunday the California Irvine Mission puts on a Temple Music Devotional at the Newport Beach Temple and we were able to go to it this past Sunday. Maggie was on her way and was going to meet us and the Dana Point Elders (who are continuing to teach her) and of course, opposition hit. Her car broke down on the way! She didnt make it to the night which was a bummer but she got help with her car and got home safe and sound which is good. Of course, there must be opposition in all things... but dang, awful timing haha!

Something that is really standing out to me these past few weeks that have made a huge impact on my work and all around happiness has been the small and simple things! Our Heavenly Father loves us all so much and continually wishes to blesses us countless times during our day. All we have to do is wake up and notice them! I have noticed that as I consciously am obedient and follow the commandments and do the little things that matter, I feel and notice the spirit more in my life and find opportunities to serve and help bless others! I mess up at this all the time, but I know as we try, we will be given opportunities to grow and become better! It reminds me of a scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants:
D&C 88:63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Till next week!
Elder Mills

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Miracles in Dana Point! 12/28 - 1/10/16

This past week has been amazing! So many miracles and blessing have come our way. 

To start with, our investigator Willy who I talked about awhile back. Willy we first met with a month ago, but has been gone because of work and the holidays so it had been hard to meet with him a second time, until last night that is! We met with him and were able to bring our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Hansen. As we recapped and checked for understanding of what we first taught him about, he was able to recall everything and he kept commenting about how he wanted help from God in knowing how to help his family. We then brought up the Gift of the Holy Ghost! As Brother Hansen talked about the help he has received in his family from having that gift, Willy became very excited and said "Now you have my attention!" He asked how he could receive this gift, which of course then led us into extending a baptism date. He excepted!! He explained he was nervous, but knew that the step of baptism will help him become clean and help change his life. At the end we set the date for February 13th, and he then said, "Well, we have a lot of work to do! Lets get started!" It is amazing to see someone recognize the Light of Christ in their life, and then understand that the Gift of the Holy Ghost can be their constant companion at all times! Willy does not live with his family right now, he is working through some things in order for to go back, but he says that just as Christ is an example for all, he wants to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be that same example for his family!

The New Year was fun here in Dana Point! All of us missionaries in the mission had to be in early New Years Eve. All 33 missionaries in the zone met at the stake center and the Zone Leaders showed up with a nerf gun for everyone! So its safe to say that we had a pretty crazy new years eve!

Things are still going really great here! Along with Willy, we now have a good number of people in our teaching pool and are continually finding others to teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

I am grateful to be out here serving a mission! It is so important for us all to be that example of Jesus Christ to others in our lives! One way to learn even more about Christ and how to be that example to others is through the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
I love Pauls words in Thes 5:21:
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
That is my simple invite to all who have never read the Book of Mormon! In the Book of Mormon we learn:
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God.. and that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." Moroni 7:12-13

I love you all!

Till next time,
Elder Mills

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tis the Season 12/8 - 12/28/15

Yokwe and Alooooha! I can't believe its already been 2 months to this day since I entered the MTC. Times flying by! The Christmas season here in Dana Point has been a blast. It finally got cold, but not cold enough seeing as how I still contact and tract in short sleeves. But its southern Orange County so I have nothing to complain about!

A quick update: This is now my second transfer, and Elder Everett and I are still here in Dana Point!

We've started this transfer off really strong. We had an awesome miracle happen on Christmas Eve! a few days before the 24th, we were contacting on the main street when we met a young husband and wife with their 4 kids coming out of a gas station. We began talking to them, they were in a rush but said they lived up the road on top of the hill. They were such nice people and very open to what we teach and said they would always give us water if we came by but that they had to rush off at that moment. Unfortunately I forgot to grab there information and give them ours....rookie mistake I know I know. A few days later as we were planning the next day out that family came to my mind and I said to my companion that we had to find them! We had only the general area of where they were, an area FULL of apartment complexes, houses, condos, and so on. The next day, Christmas eve, we went on our contacting and tracting spree. We knocked so many doors in that area but got nothing. At the end of our 3 hour block we decided we had to get back to our next appointment. As we were walking back we passed a home and my companion said to me "This house needs a Christmas card!!" So we turned back, walked up the stairs, knocked the door, and sure enough the man and his family open the door! They and us were very surprised, he gave us water just as he promised and asked us to come back and share our message when they had more time! So great!

Being out on a mission is really so great. There is always so much to learn and it is such a blessing to focus on others and to forget yourself! If I can at least get every person I talk to to smile, whether or not they except this message, I feel at least I am doing something right. We get so much rejection on missions, but not just missions, in life as well. At times it seems hard, it seems as if nothing you are doing is working. During those days and times, I remember the savior and a scripture that has been on my mind a lot:
Matthew 26:39 "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Christ has felt all that we feel! He is with us every step of the way. Be strong, remember him! When times seem hard, go "a little further", pray, listen, and "Be still and know that [He] is God."

Ofa Atu!
Elder Mills"

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Start strong, Stay strong! 11/24 - 12/7/15

These past two weeks have been stellar! Theres so much work going on and so much to be done, I feel like all I do is blink and the week is gone... but I suppose that's what it will feel like one day when I turn 50!

Dana Point is really beginning to catch fire! Over the past two weeks, Elder Everett and I have had so many different experiences! The members in our ward our so much help to us. We have such a great Ward Mission Leader and an amazing Bishop who are both so missionary minded. Its awesome to see all the members so fired up about missionary work.

Something I have noted since being out is that a good experience doesn't always mean that good things have happened. Something I've already believed but have really come to know is true for my self is that God allows hard things to happen so we can rely on Him and be stronger for it! And what a blessing it is that our Heavenly Father trusts us with that! He trusts that we can handle the hard things in our life and though he does not take it away, he gives us things that we can use that will help us through those experiences. Prayer, the scriptures, prophets, and so on. And as we use these tools with faith that we will receive help, we will receive it; through our thoughts, other people, or even from things that can at times seem random. All true and good things come from Christ! Nothing is random! I know that's true.

This past week we had some awesome miracles. 2 Weeks ago, we had a lesson fall through. As we were leaving, right as we got to the bottom of the apartment we met this guy walking up the street. So we talked with him, asked if we could meet with him sometime, got his number and went on our way. Finally this past Thursdayhe was able meet with us. As we talked with him and asked him why he wanted to meet with us, he said that in that short minute where we spoke he felt something. A "spark". By the end of the lesson, the spirit was so strong and he said, "I haven't felt this good in a long time... you guys have my attention." Then he asked us if he could come to church with us! And he said he would be baptized! It was such an awesome experience and I know he could feel the love his Father in Heaven has for him!

Things are going really well here in the mission! Along with Willy, we are teaching another man named Shawn! They both have said they want to follow Christ and be baptized and we are working on a date with them!

Side note, go to and check out the amazing video the church just released called "A Savior is Born". It is such a great video about the birth of Jesus Christ. I encourage everyone to check it out! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior and it is especially important to remember and to share with others during the Christmas season! He is the reason we celebrate Christmas!

Till next time!
Elder Mills