Yes mom, I am in a better place, but I'm not dead. Haha. Don't you worry about me. I'm doing fine.

The Dominican Republic continues to be ever-so-exciting. Actually, it is kind of just the same thing here, day-in and day-out. We even have a food schedule that doesn't change; every Wednesday night we have pasta, for example. And every Thursday night we have hot dogs. These are both very different from their American counterparts. The spaghetti, for example, has the distinct flavor of beans and cumin. Oh-how delicious. As one of the Elder's in our district but it "They probably just thought one day, 'You know, I'm sick of rice and beans, lets put noodles with the beans!' Well, it worked for the Chinesse, but not so well for the Dominicans." Haha. Pretty funny. It was still edible, of course, but not quite as wonderful as my creations. On Thursdays we have a "special" soup for lunch. It is special because it's not rice and beans. Another one of the Elders in my district observed this week while we were eating it, "Hey, one of my buddies was telling me about chicken-foot stew. I bet you this is what he was talking about." I would like to say he was kidding, but he is serious. It is called "Soncocho" (I'm not sure how you spell it), and is something Dominicans only serve for special guests. We get it every P-day. If the "chicken-foot stew" concept wasn't visual enough for you, my companion observed the following: "There was a graveyard in my soup today!" And that my friends, is Sancocho. It really is pretty tasty, but there are pieces of meat in there that no one can identify and there is bones up the wazoo (which kind of adds a special kind of risk to meal-times) and there are huge chunks of papas (potatoes) and plantains. You put rice and avocado in it and eat up...but very carefully so you don't accidently swallow or otherwise severly intereact with a bone. I really do like it, I think I just prefer rice and beans.

So, it seems like I talk about food a lot in my e-mails, but that is only because that is the only thing that really changes around here. so, like I said, we usually have a very strict schedule as far as food is concerned. We eat sancocho on Thursday afternoons, because Thursday is preperation day. It's a special "treat" for going to the temple. This week however, we mixed things up a bit. We had Sancocho yesterday for almuerzo. "But why?! Why would we break routine like that?" That is a really great question. We had a special visitor this week, and he was here on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had Sancocho on Wednesday as a special Goodbye feast. So who was this special guest who warrented such a special change in routine? None other than Elder Hinckley and his wife.

Elder Hinckley is the son of President Hinckley, is a member of the first quorum of the seventy, and the head of the missionary department. He has been in the DR for about a week touring the missions here and checking out the CCM. He is pretty nice guy. The only results of his evaluation (that they announced to the general missionary population) was that the sisters (that's me and my companion) don't have to wait in line at meals - we get to go straight to the front of the line. I'm happy he came. Haha. Seriously though, the elders were pretty nice about that anyway; we always got to skip in front of some elders and often they clean our plates off for us, which is very sweet.

The Hinckleys spoke to us on Tuesday morning and they gave some pretty nice talks. Sister Hinckley told a story about how Sister Hinckley was dying during conference and President Hinckley didn't want her to go during that hard time, so he took a frame that was on his desk that said "Don't Quit" and went to her bedside and asked her not to quit. She died an hour after his last meeting. The moral of the story was to not quit. Keep going to matter how hard it takes.-

Elder Hinckley talked about missionary work for a while. One thing he told us was that there were 8,000 missionaries when he went on a mission in 1961 or sometime like that, and now there are 52,000. Dang! Can you believe that!? It was crazy to read about that.

So, I want to talk about the elders for a quick minute. They are pretty cool. Sometimes (not often, but sometimes) it is difficult to believe they're only 19 years old - they seem to know a lot and really know what they're doing. One of my favorite stories was my companion and I were studying one morning, and we look up and two elders in our district are teaching "Juan," an investigator they drew onto the white board. So funny. They were sincerely teaching him and bearing testimony. I loved it.

On the other side of things, they are very young sometimes. I have two really wonderful stories about that. One happened in the lunch room. All of a sudden I can hear a ton of elders laughing at the end of our table, so we ask what is going on. Remember how I told you we have bananas for every meal? Apparently one of the elders wanted to see if he could be like King Louie from the jungle book and squeeze his banana out of the peel. It was quite hilarious because he just ended up with banana pudding. The best part of this whole thing though, was that I think he actually thought that he could do it. Sigh.

The next story is for you Tyler. You should be grateful mom is making you do your own laundry now, because it is quite obvious that not every boy knows how to. One of the Elders here did his laundry the first week we were here. He put all his whites in with his blue towels. He washed the load with warm water. Now, he wears light blue shirts around. He has no white shirts left. Haha.

Needless to say, the CCM itself is boring, meaning we do the same thing over and over, day-in -day-out, week after week, but the CCM's inhabitants keep it interesting for us all.

My favorite thing about being here is being able to go to the University of Mondays. It is kind of the shining light of my week and the shineing light of my MTC experience. I get to meet random people and talk about the church, which is awesome! It helps me realize why I'm here studying so hard. It's so I can help them! It gives me an extra boost to make it through the week. I can't wait to get the Puerto Rico so I can contact and tract and talk and teach to people ALL THE TIME! I love going to the university. Unfortunately, we only go once a week. Shucks.

Well, I love you all! Thanks so much to you who went me letters this week. We get the dearelders, but the sad thing is is that they don't print them off for us until Wednesday night. I got my first correspondence in two weeks last night, and it felt so good! I don't know why mail is so wonderful, but alas. That is the life of a missionary. Since I am all out of American stamps, you'll all have to wait for my letters to come because they are being sent Dominican post - sorry!

Seriously. Thanks to all you who wrote. It made my day.

Hermana Miller

ps. Happy birthday to Dad - both of the birthdays; I forgot to acknowledge it earlier this month, seeing as it was right after I arrived here and was going CRAZY! Seriously though, have a fun time without me.

Hola Familia!

Le amo mucho! I hope everything is going just so wonderfully back in the real world - and back in the United States. That's right. I am in a FOREIGN COUNTRY! Wow! That is pretty cool! It is very different here. Like I told you before, there is only on other sister here, and so naturally, we are companions. She is pretty cool, and pretty great at Spanish to, which is helpful.

First important news: We have a pouch mail address. Do you know the rules for pouch mail? One sheet of paper, tri-folded stamped (with a US $0.44 stamp) and addressed to:

Hermana Janae Miller
Dominican Republic MTC
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

If you use the pouch, the letter will cost you less to send and may even get to me faster. Schveet! The letter for packages is the same as the one I left you from my packet. That is:

Hermana Janae Miller
Templo de los Mormones
Ave Bolivar #825
Esq. Genesis Los Robles
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

So, if you use that address (the República Dominicana address) make sure to add "Templo de los Mormones" at the top because every body knows where that is, so it gets here faster. Haha.

Also, it is important to note that the website works for this MTC too. That is, you can write a letter on, and they will print it off here and deliver it to! So, now that you know there are three options for mail, I'll be expecting some correspondence this week!

So, the MTC here is pretty small - maybe like 50 missionaries? I'm not sure, but there aren't a lot. We all live and study and eat in one building right next door to the temple. It is a pretty nice building. The food here is interesting. At every meal there are bananas. Every meal. And also these roll things that look a little like hot dog buns (in that they're long and slender and soft) but taste better. For breakfast every morning we have corn flakes, raisen bran, or Fruit Loops. The milk they drink is irradiated, so I'm afraid to try it. I do hope they have real milk in Puerto Rico. Maybe I'll try the irradiated stuff before I leave. Lunch is the biggest meal, and every day we have beans and rice and two types of meat. I eat the meat (sometimes) though it kind of frightens me. For dinner we usually have a smaller some somethin', such as tacos or fajitas. They use a lot of lard here in the cooking. I mean, I haven't actually seen them cook, but you can tell by how it tastes...and by how it drips. We have to drink bottled water because the water here is safe for us pampered Americans.

Our teachers here are all native Dominicanas. They claim to not speak any English (although I know they do speak a little), but it is good because now we are forced to listen to Spanish a lot and forced to attempt to speak it too. My favorite teach is Hermana Parra. She went on a mission 2 years ago, and she is funny. She says "Ay mi Madre" all the time, which is kind of like "Ohmigosh!" and she even says "Hota-kaa" (like j/k, but in Spanish?) sometimes because some other elders who came through before us taught her that one. Haha. It is fun to learn Spanish by someone speaking only Spanish. I really feel like my language skills are increasing, though I'm still not speaking too well.

Relief Society was weird, since there is just me and my companion, the President's wife and the 1st Counselor's wife (there is no second counselor, and thus no second counselor's wife). It was pretty fast too - we ended like, 20 minutes early because we kind of ran out of things to say. Haha. Awkward.... But, there are supposed to be five hispanic sisters coming in 2 weeks, so that will liven things up a bit.

Sorry I couldn't call you back in Miami; there were no phones in our concourse, and we would have had to run to the other side of the airport to access them. So, we decided not too. I'll probably call you before I go to Puerto Rico though. I had a pretty cool experience on the plane from Miami to Santo Domingo. I sat in the second last row of the plane...all the way in the back of this huge jumbo-jet thing, next to two Dominicanas. They were so nice! We chatted for a long time, and they were very patient with my Spanish and they told me all about the DR. The wife took out a little calling card with her name, numbers, and e-mail address on it and she told me if I ever needed any help while I was in the DR to call her and they would help me. So sweet! Finally they started asking questions about the church. I had tried to introduce the church before in the convesation, but they didn't seem to want to talk about it. They did tell me though, that they met "mormones" (that's what we are called down here) about 30 years ago, and the husband stopped smoking. I thought that was cool. They are older: they have 26 and 30 year old children (something like that). Anyway. When we started talking about the church, they had a lot of questions, and ironically, this is the area of the conversation I knew the least amount of vocabulary for (we hadn't practiced teaching in Spanish yet in Provo), but they continued to be patient, and the wife seemed to be really touched by the story of Joseph Smith, so I asked her how she felt while I was telling the Jospeh Smith story. And, she said "I felt...interested." Fail! I was so disappointed. I knew she felt more than just interested! Sad. Then the husband went off, and he was hard to understand because he had a rougher voice and was sitting further away from me, so it was hard to understand, but he said something about how they were Catholics, and the God still loves them, and it's fine that we're Mormons, but they are religious too...or something like that. I don't know exactly what was coming out. They were still nice after that though. She even offered to let me call home, and I accepted, but the call would not go through because our home phone doesn't accept calls from unidentified numbers. Nice. Thanks. Anyway, that was a really great experience.

On Monday afternoon, we had our first outing to the city. We walked over to the University (a 15 minute walk or so) and practiced contacting people. That was a pretty daunting, but exhilarating and fulfilling experience. We do it every week. We just go to the University and talk to random people, bear our testimony and give them a pamphlet. We had some interesting experiences. One was Marta. She was so sweet. I was talking to her, and she's all like "Why are you so nervous? You don't have to be nervous?" And I'm all like, "Umm...because I don't know how to speak? Yeah. That's why I'm nervous." But she was so nice. Apparently some of her cousins joined the church a couple years ago, but she doesn't know much about the church because they live far away from her. There were so many things I wanted to say but I didn't know how to! Let me tell you. It is so frustrating when you can understand what people are saying, but don't have the ability to respond. I just can't think fast enough. I know eventually I'll be able to say what I want, but I was frustrated on Monday because I'm just not to that point yet. We gave her a pamphlet and told her to call the missionaries. It was nice.

We also met Francisco and the University. He actually came up to us and asked us if we could hook him up with an English bible. All we had was a Spanish Book of Mormon, but he had a lot of questions about religion that we talked to him for about 35 or 40 minutes. That was pretty good. We got him to take the Book of Mormon, even though it was in Spanish. I really think he was interested and that he would be a great investigator, because he has really thought a lot of stuff out. But, initiallty he didn't want the Libro de Mormón because he is trying to learn English and wanted to us the scriptures to do that. Hmm. We´re like. You´ll get a lot more out of it if you read it in your native tongue. So, we told him to call the missionaries because he wanted to know when and where church was, but we didn´t know! Because we've never been there! But, we also took his phone number just to make sure he makes it to church. That was a pretty cool (yet exhausting) experience.

We went to the temple today and it was so nice. I love going to the temple. They call people on missions to be workers in the temple, so we had a session all in English. We also did what they call preliminaries here. Also in English. It was nice, but it sure took a long time! I felt kind of bad, because it was all missionaries and then some Dominicanas in the session, but they had to wear head phones because we were having an English session. It was like we were taking over there temple. Triste. Anyway, it was beautiful and lovely and all that good stuff.

Oh, one more thing about the DR. The lights go out at random times during the day, which is weird, no? I don't know if it's because it's so hot, or if it's because they have a poor infrastructure. I'm pretty sure it's the latter. Anyway, we luckily have a generator, so they're off for a few seconds (20 or 30 seconds) and then they kick back on again. When it first happened, everyone from the DR said "Welcome to the DR!" Haha. That is the answer they give too, when I ask why it happens they say "It's because we're in the DR." Haha.

Well, I should probably get going. I hope everything is going well for you all. I love you and hope to hear from you soon, now that you have no excuse!

Hermana Miller

ps. The pictures are from the Provo MTC. Here is an explanation of them:

34: Our Provo companionship. Hna. G on the left, Hna. N. in the middle, and me on the right (obviously).

69: The map in Provo MTC. Utah is so far away from the DR/PR!

59: This means I'm official.

93: The Hermanas in our district. There is a story to why we're all wearing purple, but maybe I'll tell it next week.

96: Haha. Our favorite pass-time at the MTC: peeking into classrooms. So fun! Don't know why.

91: Our district with out teachers, Hno. C. and Hno. H.

71: Our district at the temple.

72: Our zone at the temple.

33: Haha. The height difference in our companionship. I love these girls! They are so awesome. They are still in Provo and on their way to Paraguay. They're going to be so awesome!

Sorry all these pictures today - computers in Provo don't let you do pictures, but computers here do. Yay!

I'll be on my way to the DR! I'm way excited for that! We got our travel plans last Friday and I have to meet at the travel office at 3am. So...I don't know if you want a call from me or not, because I'll probably be at the airport at like, 4:30 or something insane like that. I have two layovers though, so maybe I'll call you then. You'll have to let me know. I am really excited to go to the Dominican Republic MTC because I know that I will learn the language so much faster least I hope so. I feel like I am in the wrong class here, because I am a little more advanced then the others in my district. There is a test you can take to see if you should be bumped up to the next class, but they didn't let me take it because I am going to the DR. It's not a big deal, it's just frustrating because when we have "Spanish-only days" I feel like I can communicate fine, but none of my district can talk back to me, so it doesn't even matter. I fear everyone in the DR will be so far above my level though, but I guess that means I'll be able to be pulled up faster.

In other news, I got to get three shots today! It feels great. Haha. Seriously though, I didn't even feel them going in. Kids now-a-days are so lucky. Those needles are tiny! One of them is hurting more than the others right now. One of them was a tetanus booster, and I think that is the one that is burning.

This week we had a really funny experience at the TRC, which is where you go once a week to teach volunteers a lesson and do a language task. So, for example. This week we had to contact someone in Spanish and talk about their family, link their family to the gospel and testify and then set up a return appointment. Then we had to return 10 minutes later and teach the 1st lesson in English to the person we set the appointment with and one other "family member." It went really well, but the other family member that was there was funny. It was her first time volunteering at the TRC, and she got there late, so they didn't have a chance to tell her what she was doing, apparently. So she didn't play an investigator. She was just herself. Haha. She just got baptized like 6 months ago or something, and then she just moved to Utah like 2 weeks ago. We asked to start with a prayer, and said one of them could pray at the end, after we taught them how. Then right as we're about to start, she bursts into this eloquent prayer in Spanish, and we could hardly contain ourselves because we thought she was an investigator. Haha. She was very sweet and shared her testimony a lot and shared some spiritual experiences that were good for our "investigator" to hear. Now I know why we want to have members at lessons...because they can offer a completely different perspective then full-time missionaries offer. So, that was all good, and kind of funny. But, the best part was at the end. We extended a commitment to Spencer, our investigator to be baptized, and she looks all surprised and looks over at Spencer and is like, "Oh, you're not a member? Oh, really? Hmmm." It was so funny! We could hardly contain ourselves. When we left we busted up laughing. I hope someone tells her what she is supposed to do next week. Haha.

So, general conference was pretty schveet. It is cool how they do it here at the MTC. Usually for large MTC-wide meetings, like firesides (on Sunday) and devotionals (on Tuesdays) there are only most of the missionaries in the large gym and then they have an overflow area in the chapels that are in the large administration building. But they rearrange the seating for Conference and add enough chairs so all the missionaries can sit together in the gym. They said there were 2,104 of us there. It was really cool, because if I had gotten stuck in the overflow, the singing wouldn't have been nearly as awesome. I love singing as a large group, and when you have 2,104 missionaries in the same room, it. is. cool. I thought conference was so cool! And it seemed to fly by so fast. Actually, time here at the MTC seems to fly by really fast in general. I can't believe it's already preperation day again; it seems like it was just yesterday. Anyway, there were a lot of good talks. I liked the talk when he told us (I think it was Richard G. Scott) to be patient with yourself while you're learning to follow the promptings of the spirit. That is definitely something that is hard for me. We can feel the spirit often while we're teaching, but it is hard to have that trust and learn how to follow the spirit to know exactly what to say or exactly where to turn in the scriptures. I also liked Elder Holland's talk about the Book of Mormon because it was so powerful. Everyone in the gym was just entranced and we couldn't help but just stare at the screen. It was pretty awesome. I wish I could bear a testimony like that. I feel like the themes of this conference were God's love and listening to the spirit. I think that is great, because the first lesson focuses a lot on God's love, and I have been really concerned lately about listening to the spirit. Conference weekend was great.

Thanks for the package; I kind of wish you hadn't dropped it off though. When you have a package dropped off, they call you down to the front desk during dinner. Yeah. I was in the Cafeteria just minding my own business, and then over the loudspeaker, "Would Sister Janae Miller please come to the front desk?" I had no reason to be embarassed, and I wasn't, but I felt my face get red. Haha. Thanks for the speedy response to my request though. The food was good, the pictures turned out pretty well, and the tights are keeping me warm...and in line with MTC dress code.

Thanks so much for your support. I continue to get a letter almost daily, which is pretty special. Just make sure that if you send a letter this week it will get here by Wednesday, because I won't be here on Thursday to pick up any letters. You can go to and you can type a letter and they will print it for free and deliver it to the MTC on the same day you type it so that way, you're guarenteed delivery by Wednesday. You have to send it before noon so something though, so make sure you don't do it too late.

I love you,
Hermana Miller


Here I am at the MTC, and honestly, it feels like I've been here forever! I can't believe it's only been a week, because I've done so much and I've learned so much! They keep us really busy here. I am in classes for about 8 hours a day, and then we study a lot on our own; personal study, companionship study, and language study.

So, like I said in my first letter, that hand written scribble I sent home on Thursday night, I am in a trio of Sisters, meaning that instead of just one companion, I get to have two! One is Hermana Galbraith, and she is from Indiana. I knew her while I was at Purdue, but not very well. I have gotten to know her better though, and she is awesome. She kind of reminds me of my BYU roommate, Allison. The other companion is Hermana Nelson, from Saint George. They are both going to Paraguay, Asuncion North. The really funny thing is that through some crazy random happenstance, they knew each other before getting here too. Facebook. Haha. Anyway, they are awesome and such a good example for me. Hermana Nelson is always good in lessons to bear her testimony first and really invite the spirit and Hermana Galbraith always has a good story to share with the "investigator."

I think the hardest thing about being a missionary (so far) is the teaching part! We are definitely getting better, but it is kind of stressful, but I feel like we're learning the lessons well, and we are learning how to transition between sisters and topics. We taught a really great lesson to the other hermanas in our district, and the spirit was so strong. We all came back to our classroom teary-eyed and sniffly-nosed. I think the elders think we're ridiculous, but they still love us.

Our district is made up of 12 missionaries, all going to South America. The other two hermanas are going to Argentina Mendosa, along with two Elders, and two elders are going to Paraguay with my comps. There is another trio of elders as well, who are coming with me to the DR MTC. They are serving in Puerto Rico San Juan East, and DR Santo Domingo East. I really like my district. The elders are very respectful; they always hold doors and take our trays at meals. They are easy to get along with and we are getting to know them better. We have set goals that includes something called BB (breakfast buddies...haha) in which we eat breakfast together everyday, and DGD (district gym day) where we play together in gym, like volleyball or knockout. Since we spend so much time together in class, we are getting really close. It seems like we've known them much longer than just a week.

We also sit with our zone at meals, which is nice because all the elders are fun to get to know and very friendly. Our zone is made up of several districts (classes) and has a wide range of levels, meaning some districts in our zone are leaving next week, while our distrcit is the youngest, and we're not leaving for 8 weeks.

I did get my departure date ironed out; I am still going to the DR MTC and I leave on October 15. That is only two weeks from today! Crazy! I'm pretty excited, because I think I'll learn a lot faster down there. Both the language, and the teaching skills. I guess instead of teaching volunteers, you actually go out and teach on university campuses and in neighborhoods in the surrounding areas. That will be stressful, but a really good learning opportunity.

Speaking of stressful, we went to the RC for the first time this week, and I practically had a breakdown! Haha. It was kind of intense. For those who don't know, the RC is the referal center, and this is where we accept calls from people who want to know more about the church, or where we call people who request some materials in the mail (such as a Book of Mormon, Bible, or DVD) to make sure they received it. Then we answer any questions they have, bear our testimonies and then invite representatives (i.e. other missionaries) to come and visit to tell them more. My first call, no one answered. On the second one though, which was a call to someone in Chicago, someone answered, and I "totally freak out." It was hard! There was no reason for it to be though; they have a basic script for you to follow, and then you bear your testimony when they say to, and it shouldn't be that terrible, right? No. When I got off the phone, and was just kind of frozen, and then my companions and the teacher were all like "It's all right, Hermana Miller..." And then I just started crying. I was just overwhelmed. Seriously though, I think I'll be better next week. We go to the RC every week to make calls, because you can make some really important contacts that way. I made more calls that day, but I only got answering machines, in which case you have to hang up. But, they didn't tell us how to hang up...haha. There is a funny story there. Hermana Galbraith was on the phone and she got an answering machine, so she thought the computer hangs up for you...but it doesn't. So, she was just talking away and saying, "what do I do next?" and stuff like that, and then we realized she was still on the line. Haha. Someone got a really strange message in their inbox that day. :)

So, I saw new missionaries coming in yesterday, and a I got a little tear in my heart because I remember when that was me...a week ago. Haha. But, it was kind of a sad day...saying goodbye and all, but everyone at the MTC was so, so welcoming, that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. After you dropped me off, those elders took me over to my building and dropped off my luggage. Then, a sister came and took me and my luggage up to my room and just dropped it, and then we went to get everything I needed. We went over to the big administration building where they checked us in and gave us our name tags and companion info. Then we went to the bookstore to pick up a big bag of books and such, then we went to our classroom and met our teachers and the other members of our district. Our teachers are really nice. And funny. Well, one of them is more funny, and one of them is more serious, but maybe we'll get into that another day. The sister who took me around was so nice and helpful and friendly and welcoming, and I was happy she was there to make me feel more welcome.

The rest of the first week was crazy hard, but everybody kept saying, "just wait until Sunday." They were right. Sunday was awesome. It was relaxing and we got lots of useful things done, but it was just more laid back and we didn't have to go to class or anything.

I have already learned how to testify and pray in Spanish. We aren't very good; we sound like a ton of 5 year olds, but we are sincere, and I guess that is all that matters.

The Coordinating Sister thing is kind of like Relief Society President for your zone, and since the only hermanas in our zone are in our distrcit, it's really easy. Really all it means is that I have to go to more meetings and try to help my sisters along. Which, all of the sisters in our district are awesome, so nothing really terrible has happened yet. I feel like we get on quite well, which is really a blessing for all of us.

Thanks to everyone who wrote me letters this week; I think I have gotten one everyday, except for the day our district leader forgot to pick up the mail :(. It really feels good to get mail to hear how everyone is doing. I promise I'll write you back soon.

Love you all,

Hermana Miller