Just a reminder of Janae's talk on Sunday. Our Church starts at 9 - you are welcome to come to all of the meetings. We have Sacrament meeting last at 10:50. Our chapel is on 98th south and about 4200 west (Skye Drive). Remember that the clocks change on Sunday morning.

You are invited after wards to our home for a light lunch. I think everyone has told me something they are bringing. If you can't remember, let me know.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.

I finished Jesus the Christ. Wow. It was so good. Everyone should read it. I've been reading it since the CCM but really have just dedicated myself to it the last few transfers. I think I want to read every book written by James E. Talmage; I learned so much. I look forward to reading The Great Apostasy and The Articles of Faith, both by him (He cites himself a lot in Jesus the Christ). I am now working on finishing The Book of Mormon in Spanish...another project I started in my first transfer that has been an on-and-off sort of thing. I just started Ether this morning. When I finish, I'll know it is time to go home. :) Speaking of which: I'm so excited to see you! But enough of that for now.

On Sunday Pedro wore a white shirt and tie. He blessed the sacrament. He was really nervous, but did really well. It was cool to see him and Gilberto, a re-activating less active blessing the sacrament together. Another cool thing that happened on Sunday? The first Sunday in my entire mission I didn't play piano! It was so strange! A new American family decided to come to our ward, instead of the English ward, and now we have a young men's president (finally!), and a pianist for sacrament meeting! It is an exciting development. But now I don't know what to do during church...sit with members, I guess. It was so strange not sitting in my seat.

There are still ants on my pillow. I woke up with one on my FACE the other day (ew.).

I attached a picture of us with an Elder in our mission. He just started about 3 transfers ago and guess what!? Looking through the Liahona one day, I saw a picture of him. Later, I showed it to him, and he confirmed it was him! It was so exciting, we got him to sign our copies of the Liahona at Zone Conference. He was pleased to do it. He is from England. Wow! What a story. :)

We had a cool experience two Sundays ago that I forgot to mention. Due to various circumstances beyond my control, we were quite behind on contacts, and since we turn in numbers on Sunday, it's the day to catch up. We were also had three lessons to teach (which is a daily goal, anyway). Some missionaries hand out pass-along cards and call it a contact. Sister Summers and I don't believe in that. It would have been easy to get the numbers that way, but instead, we decided to walk the neighborhood and talk to people in the street and go to a parking lot as a last resort. We were blessed. Not only did we get a few street lessons (where we teach a contact right when we find him), we also met some cool people. As we walked home, the last person we saw also turned out to be the last contact we needed to meet our goal. We were truly blessed for doing Heavenly Father's work the best that we knew how. I know that when we put in our part, He puts in His. I have seen that manifest throughout my mission. From funny "coincidences," to following "silly thoughts" that end up being spiritual promptings, God's hand has truly been very active in my life the past 18 months. I know that it's not just because I'm a missionary, but because I'm doing those things God expects us to do if we want His spirit to be with us. Looking back, I realize I have:

1. prayed and looked for the Lord's will;
2. studied the scriptures for an hour daily;
3. written my spiritual experiences in my journal; and
4. learned about and applied the doctrine of the sacrament (still working on this one).

You may or may not recall that this is the list of things President Martineau said we needed to do to have the spirit with us and receive revelation daily (plus temple attendance). I know that every one has the right to the spirit and that we can all have him as a constant companion...missionary and civilian alike.

I love the gospel. I love the scriptures. I love my Heavenly Father. I know the gospel is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love that book. I know we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, and He has a plan for all of us. Sometimes it is hard to realize (identify) or accept His will, but when we do, we can be truly happy. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that the church of Jesus Christ was restored through him, along with Christ's authority and all necessary saving ordinances and the pure doctrine of Christ. Jesus Christ is my Savior and I know that only though His true church can we take full advantage of His expiatory sacrifice and return to His and our Heavenly Father's presence to live forever with our families. I am so grateful for this knowledge and for your constant support through my experience in Puerto Rico.

I love you!

Hermana Miller

571: Also, we caught a little lizard one day and took some pictures. It was teeny-tiny! Sooo cute!

590: This is a little girl in our ward. Do your remember Darla from Finding Nemo? All the animals are scared of her? She is kind of like that. She also has lots of animals, which is ironic. This is one of her recent acquisitions, a little chick. I fear for her (the chick). It was so soft and fluffy! I am really red in this picture because I did not protect myself from the sun that day and then we went on a nice stroll for a couple hours to talk to people. It was sunny outside!


Janae will be flying into Salt Lake on Monday March 7th at 3:10 in the afternoon. Anyone who would like to meet us is welcome to. We are flying in on American Flight 3756 from Chicago ORD.

The Bishop just called and wants Janae to speak in church on the 13th of March. Our Sacrament meeting is last and starts at 10:45. Hope to see you there. We will be doing something at our home after wards. If you will be coming please let me know (801-282-6036) so that I can arrange the food. Our meetings start at 9 if you want to join us for all the meetings.

Hope you all can make it to one of these to Welcome Hermana Miller back home.

Dear Family,

Zone conference was great. Sister Summers and I really prepared for it well, I think. It was interesting, because although it took us a month, on Monday while telling her about what I learned in personal study, I finally realized that the conversion pattern is really just the gospel of Jesus Christ. The steps that every one takes in their conversion is (first desire, then) faith, repentance, and then some sort of covenant-making event. Then, they all want to go and share it with every one. We were just so excited when we finally came to that realization, we were practically jumping for joy. We felt ridiculous, because it seems so simple, but we felt more ridiculous when, later, we found that it says just that in True to the Faith. I don't know how many times I've read the entry on conversion in that book and in the Bible dictionary, but they both mention both conversion and the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I never really put it together or completely understood before. I am grateful for the opportunity we all had to really study and learn about conversion. I know that I have come to understand and know Heavenly Father better through this process; because conversion is the process whereby we can come to know Heavenly Father and prepare to return to him (the gospel of Jesus Christ!). It was a wonderful learning exercise.

This week in Guaynabo has been typical. We are looking for an apartment and have done a lot of contacting while searching. Unfortunately, a less-active practically asked us to not visit her anymore after zone conference, which was really disappointing. In spite of this, I know that there are other less actives who are progressing. We went last night to visit Ida and she let us in and told us that she likes to read the Book of Mormon at work, when she can. I think she really has a testimony, but that she just doesn't come to church consistently because of a little bit of laziness. She works at 2 on Sunday, and so she says that she has to run out really fast to make it to work on time, so she doesn't always come; and that she is tired a lot of Sunday mornings. We have real hope for her though, because it is apparent she has a testimony, and however weak it may be, we can help her.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have had as a missionary and love helping people come to know about and understand the gospel. I love Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, and I know that it is true. I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ, the only true and living church on the earth.

Hermana Miller.

I'm just warning you all because I had never had any such warning. I pass the word on for safety purposes. It was not pretty. We were visiting a less active whose husband used to work as a vegetarian chef, so he brings us some really random things sometimes, and what we experienced this week was sesame seed juice. It didn't even strike me as odd that someone would attempt to make juice from sesame seeds as he shoved it into our hands, trying to explain it in his broken English. A little concerned but with the prevailing feeling that, "It couldn't be that bad," I tried it and was immediately repulsed. It is gross. I couldn't even make it through half the glass. It was chunky and...I don't even know how he made it. Sesame seeds (in case you didn't know) don't have juice! It was weird. Please don't ever try it.

We found a new less active this week, Iris. She was happy that we came (which is a different response than usual). I feel like she was waiting for us. She has a daughter who is having some major problems right now, and was so relieved that we had come to find her and that we could pray with her. She committed to come to church when we invited her and even confessed that she currently attends the neighborhood branch of Discipulos de Cristo. She (as do most less actives) asked about Sylvia. I am very impressed with all the wonderful service Hermana Sierra has done in this ward. Everyone knows and loves her. She is a wonderful example.

Also, I have seen wonderful improvements in Pedro and Rafaela since he was baptized. I am so happy to see the benefits of following Christ's example through this couple. They came to church for the full 3 hours on Sunday for the first time since I've been here, and they said they loved it. There is an increased love in their relationship and a greater measure of the spirit in their home. I love them and am very excited for this new path they are starting down together.

I have been studying conversion for the last month. It is very interesting, and I see a consistent pattern in nearly all the stories, though manifested in different ways. I have studied several, including: Nephi; Enos; Lamoni; Paul; Zeezrom; Amulek; Lamanites and Nephite dissenters in Helaman 5; Ethiopian Eunuch; and Cornelius. The list to study is a lot longer; there are tons of conversion stories in the scriptures! Also, in connection with Zeezrom I studied Korihor (one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon) as a comparison exercise. Along with Korihor I was able to study the stories of Nehor and Sherem as well. It was interesting to see the commonalities between those who were converted and those who were not converted. Some major themes I have observed are the following:

1. Desire. Everyone has the desire to come unto Christ and to know the truth. Like I mentioned above, every one's desire is manifest in a distinct manner, but all of them have a true desire to do right. For example: today I studied Paul. Saul was a well-trained Jew and a strict Pharisee. I think he honestly thought he was doing right in breaking down Christianity, because as soon as he realized he as doing wrong, he changed. I read the scripture in John 16:2 which says that many who would break down the gospel would think they were doing God a service. I think Saul was one in this category, because as soon as he realized he was wrong, he re-directed his course and then continued zealously fighting for the cause that he believed in. Because he had the innate desire to do what was right, he was responsive to the invitation to act.

2. Agency. All the stories I have studied underline the importance of agency in God's eternal plan. Every single convert had been invited to act before his complete conversion. For example: today I studied in Helaman 5 when Nephi and Lehi were in prison with the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters. When they asked what they were to do, Aminidab told them to pray until they had faith in Christ. They responded and the cloud of doubt and skepticism represented by the smoky atmosphere was removed from their minds and spirits. It was especially interesting for me that they had to act until they received a response.

3. Perseverance. Many of the conversion experiences were fast, and others took a while, but what is common in all of them is the convert's perseverance in looking for and receiving an answer. After time of truly looking for what was right, they were finally able to receive, or perhaps recognize the response. A wonderful example of this is above from Helaman 5, or also in Enos. We learn that Enos prayed all day and into the night. I don't think that the lesson in this story is that we need to get onto our knees and pray until we get a response. Maybe...but for me, the lesson is more that we continue praying, through the days, months, and years until we get a response. It is such an important pattern, because although we would all like to see an angel and just know without effort, where is the growth in that? What's more, where is the exercise of agency?

4. Covenants. After finding out for themselves, everyone has a desire to make covenants with God, to show their love for and dedication to Him. My favorite example of this is that of the Ethiopian Eunuch. I love what he says to Phillip after they learn together from the scriptures about Christ: "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" He had that desire to make a covenant and then acted according to his desire and was baptized.

5. Sharing. After finding their happiness in the gospel and through covenant making, they have the desire to go on and share their experience with others. It is a completely irrepressible joy to participate in the conversion of others.

There is so much more I have learned in these past couple weeks, such as humility; obedience; the role of others in the conversion process; the role of the atonement; etc. I have absolutely loved this assignment, and I feel like I have grown and learned so much by doing an intensive study of several related stories. You should do it to! Then, you can bore people on your blog as you discuss what you've learned instead of talking about what you did all week...(I don't remember what we did all week!).

I love you,
Hermana Miller

Note on the picture: I don't know if I've ever sent a picture of the cockroaches they have here, but we had a HUGE one this week. This is us being a daring and picking up the corpse with a piece of toilet paper and taking pictures. (Raid is very powerful, by-the-way: it kills on the spot). They have wings and are ugly.