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 dearelder.com website works for this MTC too. That is, you can write a letter on dearelder.com, and they will print it off here and deliver it to me...free! 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. Umm...no. 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!

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