My Favorite:

This post is dedicated to Sister Courtnee Wood’s dearest and closest friend Elder Miller Toa who passed away this past week while serving in the Micronesia Guam Mission. Miller referred to Courtnee as “My Favorite”.  As we read Sister Wood’s email last night we were impressed by her faith in a loving Heavenly Father and hope you will feel, as we did, her spirit as you read her words. Miller will be greatly missed by Sister Wood and all those that knew him.
Ofa lahi atu Elder Toa

Elder Miller Edward Toa
True Happiness – Sister Wood loved this picture of Miller

As many of you know, this week has been a flying roller coaster of emotions for me. I found out on Saturday about my Miller. Haha yes, I call him my Miller as if he was really mine. 🙂 I am sorry if this email is all over the place. I hope you can understand where my thoughts are at at this point. President Barrientos came to our apartment on Saturday to check out our apartment, and then pulled me aside and told me the news. Still to this point nothing is real to me. I just haven’t been able to process anything that has happened. All I know is that Miller was an elect son of God. I told my mission president that every letter (yeah you bet we wrote each other every single week:)) I got from him helped me be a better missionary. His knowledge of the Gospel, his Immovable testimony, He was truly inspiring. I have never met someone so selfless. I would smile as I read his letters about him being so tired from going up in the mountains everyday or in the swamps to help the people gather fire wood or food, and how many machetes he has gone through because he is doing so much service. He told me recently and apologized for not being a textbook missionary. That he shares the gospel through service, and that is what touches the hearts of the people in Chuuk. He’s remarkable. This email I got a while ago really touched me. He has a way with words I am telling ya. I am so lucky to have a Heavenly Father watching over me. But I am extra lucky now, to have Miller up above watching over me as well. 

“Hey favorite! i got a letter from you today!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 loved it!! i love
how short and sweet your letters are to me! 🙂 they are definitely a
need to me 🙂 🙂 ha the work is going good! i hope that you are
finding as much joy as i am in the work!! 🙂 🙂 because it really is a
joyous work to be performing 🙂 too bad this isn’t handwritten because
we both know that letters are more intimate and rewarding to receive
🙂 🙂 but oh well 🙂 i hope that this email will bring a smile to your
face 🙂 haha its way funny to read your adventures in the philippines
🙂 i LOVE hearing how you are doing and what you are doing 🙂 haha i
wish i was as spiritual as you 😉 there is so much to say and so much
to write but i think that the best way to tell you everything is just
in person! so we definitely will be together when we are both home and
just going to talk and talk and talk for hours and hours and hours!
it’ll be fun ya know? 🙂 🙂 🙂 haha i hope that you are finding the
joy and happiness you deserve in your new area! sounds pretty rough!
but i know that you are capable of finding the success the Lord has
set for you to find 🙂 and i know that the Lord also knows that you
are going to work miracles out there or else he would not have called
you there 🙂 ahha isn’t it such a comfort to know that there is a
person, who knows each and every one of us and is there to help and
protect us!? 🙂 to comfort and support us! 🙂 🙂 haha isn’t that just
the greatest comfort to the heart? 🙂 🙂 haha because it is to mine 🙂
there is a certain glory that comes from the service of missionaries..
haha and that glory has found its way to you and is for you only 🙂 🙂
as you find this glory you will perform as an instrument in God’s
hands! 🙂 🙂 🙂 haha and like wise as an all knowing master of
perfection, He will surely take the best care of His instruments! 🙂
🙂 just like He is and will take care of you 🙂 :)i’m sorry if i am
just rambling on about nonsense 🙂 haha but i hope that you are doing
well! please know that i am praying and hoping for the best in all
things for you 🙂 🙂 🙂 have fun out there doing the work and find the
joy which can and will fill your heart and soul with pure happiness 🙂
🙂 🙂 know that i think of you often! 🙂 and love you even more 🙂 🙂
:)” 

I know that Miller will be with me for the rest of my life. Even though he won’t be able to be here on earth to approve of the man I will end up marrying, or my kids won’t be able to dominate his kids in sports in this life, the chance will come. 🙂 Sister Barrientos was also there when I found out, and I loved what she told me. She said Sister Wood he is going to visit you in your dreams, you don’t need to worry. This was so fitting because if anyone knows, Miller would tell me “sweet dreams” whenever we were talking, whether It was morning afternoon, or night time! 🙂 I pray for it every day. That I will get a visit from him in my dreams. 
I really could go on and on and on about this boy forever, but there is no reason to! All of us know the type of kid he was based off his example and interactions with everyone. Oh, one more thing. The day I heard was the day I found the first white piece of hair on my head. But it couldn’t have been any more perfect! Miller always said that if you had white hair that mean you were really wise. 🙂 Now me and him are just the same! (but really inside I am freaking out because I am 20 years old and found a white hair haha.) More than anything I know that Miller would want me to just get to work. To quit my crying, smile, and enjoy my calling as a missionary. So I will update you on the work this week!
We had 8 investigators at church again this week. What a miracle. Which means that we have a fore sure baptism of Jocelyn Gototos next weekend, and then most likely the baptism of 5 children (all family) on the 29th! How exciting. Next week I will more fully fill you in on the details. 
I finished my 2nd journal of the mission! Yay. Got to start a new one yesterday. Talk about perfect timing. I love my journal. And now, whenever I start a new day instead of dear diary or journal or whatever, I write Dear Favorite: And I will do that the rest of forever. 🙂 
I know that Miller left the world as a “good soldier of Jesus Christ.” I will forever thank Heavenly Father for having the chance to be so close to him! (Philippians 1:3). 

Everyone, thank you so much for your love and prayers and concern. I am grateful for the knowledge that I will get to see him again. And when I do, I can’t wait to get a big amazing hug from him. 🙂
Love,
Sister Wood
P.S. darn it. Looks like he and I will have to wait for the next life to make our dang floating paper lanterns! 🙂 Love him. 
Courtnee and Miller – Best Friends for Eternity 

Miller’s mission farewell

High School BFF’s

Mischief!!

Rodeo with the Family

Graduation Night

Graduation June 1012

Layton High Graduates 2012

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dear Courtney,
    I read your post at work and started crying at my desk! I could totally feel the spirit in your words and in Millers as well. Thanks for sharing your love of your dear friend and your testimony. My prayers and Ally's prayers are with you. We are thinking of you at this time.

    Like

  2. Court..
    I had someone once tell me that if you pass away in the service of the lord you get to be in his company forever….. I hope to witness his HAKA that tells his ancestors that a warrior is coming home to them….
    Mike Oliphant

    Like

  3. Kenneth Ott says:

    Dear Beautiful Sister,
    What a wonderful tribute to Elder Miller Toa. I am the Bishop of his home ward. Today we held his funeral and the Spirit was there in such abundance. Also, there was such love as I have never felt before.
    I wish you great success on your mission as you serve the Lord and the people of the Philippines.
    Bp Kenneth Ott

    Like

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