That's right folks. I have been bitten by fire ants! Or, as they call them here, hormigas de FUEGO! Haha. I like that name. And I'm allergic! It is making things very interesting. My left foot is swelling and red, but I am elevating it as often as I can and icing it and trying to be kind to it. I don't know if I'm allergic to it, or if it's just the fact that it was fire ants, but I remember when I got bit by them. We were outside this guy's house yelling in at him about our message (this is often the case; people don't always come out of the house or through the gate; they just yell out the window at you. Haha. It is really weird actually), but his yard had a lot of trees and wasn't really well taken care of, so it was kind of a wilderness-type setting. I felt ants on my foot and I looked down and there were some crawling into my shoes and I felt them there too, but it was a different feeling; it was more like a sharp fire that just kind of shot up half my foot. So, we're talking to this guy and I'm jumping around trying to get the ants out of my shoe, but trying to be discreet about it at the same time. It was probably really funny for him, come to think of it, but for me, I was just like "Why me? Why now?" Haha. The next day or so my companion saw them and she said I had been bitten by the ants, and my foot started to swell in church yesterday. It looks a lot like Dad's feet looked in 2001 around Christmas-time when every thing was...swollen? I didn't realize that he was probably in pain until now, because it really hurts a lot. Especially when I'm wearing shoes and toc-ing doors. Uncomfortable. But, Sister M., the President's wife says that it'll last probably a week and then be gone. We'll see.

Other then fire ants, the only exciting thing that happened this week was that I talked to you! It was so cool! Thanks for all being there and being willing to talk so long. I didn't realize how much time it was until I hung up (it went so fast!), but thanks for your time. It was good to hear what is going on with you, and also to talk about the mission and what is going on with me down here. I appreciate your advice and votes of confidence. I look forward to May 9 when I can talk to (almost) all of you again!

On Christmas, we toc-ed doors and ran into an older man and his daughter and they actually let us in and we taught a first lesson. It is always exciting when people let you into your house while you're toc-ing doors because you get so much rejection it is good to get a not just a reception once in a while, but an invitation to enter their home is even more exciting. Louisa and Adrian ( the people we taught) were really quite receptive and I'm excited to return this week with a member to see how their reading went and to teach them some more. They had a lot to say about the lesson and seemed interested in our message.

Also on Christmas, we had two other experiences that I thought were really interesting. Okay, actually two funny experiences while knocking. Like I've said before, every house has a dog (practically) and some go crazy when we come by and some just lay there and don't don anything when we come. So, we were in front of a house when the dog looked lazy and bored and like he wasn't going to do anything. He was laying really close to the gate, and looked at us and looked uninterested. So, I yelled just like normal; "¡Buenas Tardes!" All of the sudden he jumps to his feet and barks, and it scared me so bad I actually screamed out loud. Haha. It was really funny. The owner was probably laughing inside his house, but he wouldn't come to the door. It was really quite terrifying.

Two houses down, we met a man who was Chinese and who had lived in Puerto Rico for 15 years or something, but still could not speak Spanish. He couldn't speak English either. So, we spoke in very slow Spanish for him to understand. It was also an interesting experience, having a conversation in one language where only one participant is a native speaker.

I attended my first baptism on Saturday! It wasn't a baptism of someone we taught, but it was a baptism of the grandchildren of the Bishop of our ward. The Bishop's daughter is inactive, and her kids were taught by the Elders in our ward, and they were baptized on Saturday. It was really nice. Remember the girl who looks like Gabriella Montez in my ward? She sang with her family, and their entire family can sing really well. It was a beautiful song, and the service was really nice.

Lastly, (because I'm running out of time) we had a Mission Christmas Conference on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and we went to the Mission Office and every missionary on the Island came and we watched a Bell choir play Christmas carols. They were actually really good. The Bell Choir is sponsored by the stake I am in, and was made up of 9 - 17 year olds in the stake. It was cool. then we went to the President's house and ate ham and potatoes and vegetables. Really delicious lunch. And then we had a talent show, which was hilarious because most of the "talents" were by 19-21 year old boys. A great time was had by all and we laughed and enjoyed it. It was a really great way to spend Christmas.

Well, that is all I have to say because this computer is extremely slow. I had really great pictures to send, but seeing as this computer can't even handle the speed at which I type, I'm not even going to try the pictures on it.

I love you all. Thanks for the stories you send me about your member-missionary efforts; members are the best missionaries we have, so keep up the good work!

Hermana Miller

And it was massive! Seriously. We were walking around doing some contacting before a lunch appointment in our urbanization and all of a sudden we hear this metallic scrapping, and it is the iguana trying to jump a gate into someone's back yard. Eventually it gave up though and started running away. I couldn't get my camera out before it started running away, so I have a sweet picture of this iguana (1.5 feet) running off. It is pretty sweet. Hna. Lopez says that you see them all the time, especially in the campo, so I maybe I can get a better photo next week.

In other news, last week I finally succeeded in acquiring my Puerto Rico Driver's License! I guess this is quite an accomplishment, considering I only had to go to CESCO (PR version of the DMV) three times. *Sigh* I learned how to say nightmare in Spanish by working with CESCO (it is pesadilla, by-the-way). Anyway, after 3 visits and plenty of paperwork etc., I have my license! Woohoo! I will attach a picture to show my felicity and excitement.

As far as interesting/quick observations of mission life are concerned: Every morning a car alarm in our neighborhood goes off at 6am. I think one of our neighbors somehow uses it for his alarm clock. Call me crazy, but I'm just observing. Also, I feel like I'm preparing to go to the beach everyday because I wear sunscreen everyday. It is kind of fun, but also a little disappointing when I remember I don't get to go to the beach. haha. Toc-ing doors is better than the beach anyway! Seriously. I have some great stories this week (we always get great stories from toc-ing. Maybe that is why I love it so much).

We found this really cool neighborhood that is quite mysterious because it is not on the map and you have to go up this secret hill to get there and travel through woods to get there (really, it was very adventurous of us to even check out this mysterious street). Anyway, after the woods cleared, we found ourself in this quaint neighborhood with tons of colorful houses really close together. It is called a barrio, and basically, there is a main road (the road we were exploring), and then there are tons of little path-type things that lead off the main road to houses, like alley-ways. It is really cool because it is exotic and quaint and exciting. Something you wouldn't find in the US. I would love to take some pictures, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. We'll see. Anyway, as we were getting out of the car and debating whether this was part of our area or not, a guy comes up to us and is all "Hello, hermanitas!" (if you add -ita to any word here it changes from a normal word to a word of endearment). I vaguely recognized the man who addressed us, but didn't know if I actually knew him or not. We chatted and he told us about where we were (what it was called...Juan Domingo) and showed us how we could exit. Come to find out, this is a man that we had contacted in Grande (a grocery store) with his friend on the day of 51 contacts, back a couple weeks. His friend lives just around the corner. They told us they lived in Guaynabo, which is the next town over, so we turned their names into the office because they weren't in our area. "Luckily" we "ran into" him and we now know that he is in our area, and also where he lives (because if we just had the address to go off of, we would never be able to find his house). We ahave a lot of interest in our message, both still have a lot of interest in our message, which is way exciting. And so, the spirit guides us again to find those people who are ready to learn about the gospel and change their lives.

Another story about Juan Domingo: We met an inactive in Juan Domingo. Her name is Grecia and she was baptized 14 years ago in the DR and she moved to PR 6 years ago and has been inactive ever since because church is too far away to get to. She was so excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon because she had to leave hers in the DR because she didn't have room to bring everything on her trip. She really seems sincerely interested in the gospel still, so we are working on getting her pong (this is the PR word for "lift," as far as I can tell, or a "ride") so she can come to church. She was so sweet and excited when she saw us. It is cool to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.

!! I can't believe I forgot to say this already, but I received some wonderful things in the mail this week! I received packages from the Miller family, a package from the Ballards of Florida, a package from Grandma of AZ, and this huge poster from the Glenmoor 8th ward! Woohoo! It was kind of like, the best day ever to get all of that. We opened up the packages and found the most beautiful tree inside and lots and lots of gifts. I am really touched that you would all think of me and actually send me something for Christmas. I like the 12 days of Christmas thing, and I'm excited to see what is in store for us tomorrow. (PS. I love the fudge!)

Although we have really great stories like the ones above in Juan Domingo (and others...we met 2 inactives the other day on the same street and in between their two house was a man who wanted us to return and share our message. That was pretty cool...kind of like the jack-pot), overall there are not a lot of people that want to hear our message. Every one is really, really, nice, but not really interested in changes beliefs or changing their lives. We do have a lot of respect here, but we also have a lot of rejection. One family let us in to sing a song a say a prayer for their sick father. I guess they have been in contact with missionaries for years and actually used to be active members of the church (without actually being was interesting), but didn't feel like changes from be officially Catholics. How sad! They were a very sweet family though, and we're going to stop by again to say hello. This other lady was really excited to see us and went and got us juice boxes and apples before we left, but didn't want to hear our message; she is another lady who just has a lot of respect for us and loves the missionaries. I want to help people! But they just don't let us. It is nice to know there are good people in the world though; they are all over Puerto Rico!

One last story. Right after we sang and prayed with the family that used to be active non-members, we went to teach a lesson to one of their neighbors. We met this woman when we went to a teaching appointment that we were really excited about and the lady wasn't there. The neighbor was outside working with Christmas lights and we offered help and contacted her. She said that she was interested in hearing our message, so we came back a week later (this week) and shared it with her. It was a really great lesson and she was interested, and we could tell that she was sincerely interested because she was asking good questions and actually thought about our invitation before committing to anything. I am very excited about her, and it is just another way that we see the Lord works in mysterious ways. We thought we were going to this street to help one woman, and we end up being led to help another. Very cool. I love being a missionary!

Thanks so much for all your love and support! It is good to know there are people rootin' for me and the work in far away places!

Hermana Miller

Dear Family,

First of all, congratulations to Tyler on his Board of Review! That is really great news. I didn't realize it was such a pain; I helped you on your project and you are just now getting all the paperwork through? What a pain! But, congratulations! A lot of work, but definitely worth it, right?

So, thank you for making me learn piano, because I get to play in church here! There is a young woman that can play some songs, but others she doesn't know how to, and so when she doesn't know how to play a song, I get to play it. It is nice, because I really love playing, but never get a chance to here. The really awesome thing about the girl who can play piano is that she looks exactly like Gabriella Montez from HSM. I mean seriously. How cool is that? I wonder if she sings like her too. Haha.

I feel like I have a lot of things to tell this week, but as always, only a limited amount of time, so here I go:

This week we saw some really interesting things. Cultural things, I suppose. Things that most Puertoriqueños wouldn't think were that crazy, but were really amazing for me. First of these is called a caravan. The caravans are these mini parade things (like two "floats") that go around the neighborhoods at night. There are decorated a lot with lights and they play loud music and they throw candy at people walking by. The music is loud and so it attracts all the neighborhood kids to them (kind of like the pied piper...haha), but really. This is legit, because they have the police escorting them and blocking the roads and such. My compañera says that this happens all the time in the Christmas season. It is pretty cool. I'm not sure who funds them, but I guess they're pretty common.

In other cultural news: we were driving away from a recent converts house recently and on the corner is a bar thing. At the bar, there was a party, and what was at the party that made it so interesting? A pig on a spit! Seriously! An entire pig, roasted, on a spit. It was crazy! I wanted a photo, but shucks. I didn't have my camera. It was pretty crazy.

You asked if people speak Spanish or Spanglish, and I've been meaning to tell you about this, because it is really cool actually. Everyone speaks Spanish here, but the really crazy thing is that practically everyone (not everyone, but nearly everyone) can switch to English at the drop of a hat and with practically no accent. It is really pretty cool. We know this one family where the 15 year old boy can speak English just by watching movies and talking with American Missionaries. He says that he actually knows and English word sometimes without knowing it's Spanish equivalent, which is pretty cool. Also, sometimes in conversations there is a little bit of Spanglish going on, where they use one or two words in the midst of Spanish, but this doesn't happen very often. It is really useful, because if someone says a word I don't know, I can sometimes ask them right then, and they'll translate it for me. Sometimes when people see I'm American (I don't hide it very well...and I sound like an American too) they'll just start speaking English to me. My companion, however cannot understand or speak English, so I try to speak in Spanish and translate by including the question in my answer, so she can follow the conversation too. It's so hard though! That is, to hear and think in English, but then to be asked to speak in Spanish. Ah! It is crazy, but I'm getting better at it.

So, there are always good door-knocking stories, right? And this week we had some awesome ones. We knocked a lot of doors this week, because we're opening in the area, and my companion assured me it is often like this when you're opening an area; a lot of knocking. So, first the funny ones. We meet a lot of people who say they're really busy right now, and some of them truly are, but some of them it's just like "Tell us you're not interested. It's okay. We get rejected all the time." This one guy this week was sitting on the curb watching his kids play and drinking some sort of beverage..."Oh, I'm reeeally busy right now," he told us. Haha. It was funny. Another lady we knocked and she appeared at the window (this happens all the time; people talk at us through the window. Sometimes we can't even see them, which is a little weird) and she said she was busy. But we could see in her other hand that she had 7 or 8 cards, like she was playing a card game. haha.

We also met a lady this week who said, "Oh- I've read that book, that book, that book..." "Oh, The Book of Mormon?" I provided. "Yeah. That Book of Mormon. I know your story, and I know all about John Smith." Hmm. I thought. I don't know if she knows all about it, but okay. It was pretty funny. We actually met two people this week who knew all about John Smith. Nobody that knew about Joseph Smith though. Haha. People can be funny sometimes. We just have to stay happy and remember not to take it personally (even though their rejections are meant that way at times).

We were knocking on Saturday and hadn't had a lot of success, but we had 10 minutes left after we finished the street we had chosen, and only 5 houses or so between us and the car. I had a good feeling about a house a little bit down the hill, so I said "Let's just do these three houses here (the house I wanted to knock was the second) and then we can go back up the hill." Well, we got the the second house and they weren't interested. We got to the third house however, and met Emilia. Emilia is 37 weeks pregnant with her second daughter. Her first daughter is 14 months. She is a nurse. She was really interested in our message, and is really excited for us to come over and teach her this week because she wants something more for her family. We started teaching her a little bit about the plan of salvation, and she got excited and let us come in to meet her daughter and her mother. (Her husband lives somewhere else that is closer to where he works.) So, we met the family and shared a little something and had a prayer. We're going to return this week and teach the first lesson, and I'm really excited! She seemed really interested and she is at an important time in her life right now, with two young children. It is exciting to meet someone who is interested after being rejected all day, but it always seems to be the last house. It just shows us that we need to endure to the end and stay faithful even through hard times; that applies to life as well as missionary work.

I experienced my first Puerto Rican rainfall recently. It is crazy because you can see rain clouds, but it doesn't rain, it doesn't rain, it doesn't rain, and then suddenly out of nowhere it is like buckets are just being thrown down on you. It was actually pretty intense. My shoes got soaked, and my skirt too. But the nice thing about Puerto Rico is that the sun is so powerful here that my skirt was dry within minutes. Sometimes while it rains the sun is shining too; there is a lot of sun-showers, which is also pretty cool.

This is exciting: I discovered this week where I can buy skim milk! Yeah! I bought some today and the guy was like "oh, here is some regular milk." He was stocking whole milk and tried to give me some, and I said "No. I want this one." "This one is without fat. You want milk that is completely without fat?" "Yes. With 0% fat." He gave me a weird look and surrendered the carton. People here really like fat, which is hard for me, because I really don't. But, they like the flavor. I don't know why. But thus it is. I realized this week I am going to gain weight here, because we started eating at member homes. The food was good, but definitely not healthy. With the exception of the vegetarian sister's home. Her food was good and healthy.

One last story: We had an appointment with a young girl who we met in the street the other day, and we went to meet her at her home. She wasn't there and was not answering her phone. As we were leaving, we met one of her nighbors who was eating lunch. We asked him if he knew anything about her and started chatting. Apparently he is a member of the church, but inactive. We did not have his address because he moved after he left the church. We stopped and shared a song and a thought with him and talked for a while. We are coming back later to watch a video with him. It sounds like he was a really stong member, because he has a lot of books from the church and reports that he used to go out with the missionaries all the time, so we don't know what happened to make him inactive now. I just love these stories where we randomly run into people who are inactives; it turned out that Kayla wasn't interested (we went back to her house after talking to her neighbor; we knew she was there because she had just walked past; but she wouldn't let us in), but we were led to Carlos (the neighbor) through Kayla. The Lord works in really amazing ways and it is cool to see the results of seeking out and following the spirit.

Well, I'm all out of time, but I hope everything at home is going great and you stop feeling sick all the time! I don't feel like my letter this week was that spiritual, but I know the church is true! The Book of Mormon is the word of God and was translated by a prophet of the Lord, Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ lives and loves us and through Him we can be clean and return to live with God and with our families after this life. I'm happy to hear it snowed (from more than one person...haha) and that you are all getting ready for Christmas.


Hermana Miller

Dear Family,

So, I am in the library right now and there are signs everywhere that say "¡Silencio!" Haha. I don't know why that really makes me laugh, but I kind of think it is hilarious. I guess because it is just so stereotypical library and I've never really experienced that before. When we were talking to the lady at the desk for permission to use the computers there were some people talking behind us and she does this huge "SHHHHH!" Haha. I could hardly contain myself. In Spanish, the "shh" people differently. It is actually just an "Ssss" sound, which is interesting.

This week was a good week. We are doing a lot of work and still trying to figure out who the members are and all that good stuff. Basically all the baptisimal dates we had from the Elders we were replacing (3 dates) fell through, because we can't get ahold of anyone and when we go over to their house they aren't there, so they aren't progressing anymore. That is kind of a bummer, but we are meeting new people to teach everyday.

Yesterday was an especially exciting story. We had an investigator this week that we met at "Amigo," a grocery store (we go to Amigo to make amigoes. That is, we go to the store and make contacts in the parking lot. Haha. We just think that is so funny). Anyway, we met Charity selling Lotto outside the door of Amigo last Sunday and she was really excited to learn more about the gospel, so we went to her house on Tuesday and taught her the first lesson, and she was really excited and wanted to come to church and wanted to read the Book of Mormon and pray and be baptized, and we were just like "Wow! What is this?" We were pretty excited, but a little hesitant at the same time. We had a return apppointment and brought a member with us, and she was there but was busy and couldn't have the lesson. We made another return appointment, but when we arrived, she "wasn't there." (The adult daughter told us she was gone, but my companion says she heard her voice before we knocked.) It is frustrating becuase we call her to confirm appointments, but she is never there. So, yesterday we decided to knock doors on her street to stop by unexpectedly to see if we could catch her off guard. Haha. Anyway, she wasn't there for reals, but be continued knocking and found a girl a couple houses down who was really interested in the gospel and we taught her the first lesson right on her doorstep. Her name is Patricia. I am really excited because she seemed really genuinely interested. Unfortunately, she is in High School and having finals right now, so doesn't want us to return until December 20, but I really think that she wants the gospel and wants to learn more. Awesome! It is good to see that even though it feels like we got turned down (by Charity) the Lord was really just leading us the Patricia.

We have lots of interesting stories about knocking doors this week. Since it is pretty hot here, people answer the door in all states of undress. Men have their shirts on probably less than 40% of the time, and women are often wearing as little as possible. We met a topless woman this week ("Oh, just let me go and get my blouse") (!), and a woman without pants (she was kind of hiding behind the wall. haha). So, that is always interesting. Oh, and the best one is that we called at this one house and we could hear the shower, and when we called "Buenas Tardes!" she yells back at us "No puedo pagar! Estoy bañandome!" Haha! We just died.
So, we are on Atlantic time, which means we are 3 hours East of Utah. So, last night was the Christmas devotional, and I thought we wouldn't be able to go, because it was at 9pm, and I was really sad! But, then we found out we could go, and I'm so happy I could, because the music was awesome. I didn't really understand the talks because they were in Spanish (could you maybe send me a copy, if they're available?), but I just loved the music. Wow. Handel was an inspired musician (he did write a Largo that they used in Pride and Prejudice, so what more can I say about his talents? haha). Seriously though, Handel was an inspired musician and Isaiah was an inspired prophet, so when you mix these two together you get an absolutley beautiful work of art. I LOVE the Messiah. My companion thought it was funny that they went up and down so much (singing), but I loved it. Also, seeing as my favorite Christmas song is "O Holy Night," I was overjoyed that they sang that one too. I really liked it. And Silent Night was so calm and peaceful; it was a great song to end the night. I also like the other one, "How far is it to Bethlehem," I think, but it wasn't as amazing as the ones before. I never thought I would say this, but I think I miss Utah. I would have loved to have gone to the Devotional last night in the Conference Center, but it was great here too (maybe better if I could have understood it...:)).

The president has certain goals for us as far as finding people every day. We are asked to knock doors for 2 hours everyday, and make 20 "unplanned" contacts, which means, any invitation we make when we're not knocking doors. This is what we're doing when we ask people for directions, or when we go to Amigo to make amigoes. The other day we were behind on our contacts for one reason or another, and so our goal had changed from 20 to 51, which is a lot of unplanned contacts. But, we worked hard, and Lord blessed us! We met a lot of people that day and actually got a lot of contact information, which is awesome. We got 51 contacts, and my companion says that is the most she has gotten her entire mission in one day.

One story from the day of 51 contacts: We decided to walk into this corner store to "ask directions," right? and we contacted some people who were shopping and we met this one man who had a little daughter with him (adorable little girl), and he was very interested in our message. Unfortunately, he was in another area, so we have to pass his info. on to other missionaries, but it just shows me that when we have worthy goals and when we work hard, the Lord will bless us to find the people who are ready to hear our message.

Also on the day of 51 contacts, was my companion's 1 year birthday; she entered the MTC a year ago, so we decided we were going to buy biscocho (cakes) and celebrate. So, we went to this pandaneria to buy them and we met a man we had contacted one of my first days here, and he was really nice and gave us a discount on the pastries. He had a son that I remember meeting whose name is Saul, and I'm really excited that we "ran into" him again because I know that they are ready for the gospel, he just doesn't know it yet. Haha. So, we are going to keep going to the Pananeria and become friends with him and try to get an appointment to talk to his family more about the gospel. It is awesome to see the little ways the Lord blesses you to "run into" the people who are ready for your message.

One last story about "running into" people. We were calling at a member's house the other day (last Tuesday, I think) and they weren't home, but a lady walks by with 4 dogs, walking them. We ask her if she knows the people living there, and she says to us (in English with a German accent) "Yeah; they're members. I'm a member too." Hmm. But we hadn't met her at church that day. I was so flabergasted to be speaking in English that I forgot to ask her where she lives, so we chatted and then her dogs pulled her away. I was talking to my companion after wards, and she's like "Ahh! You should have asked her address!" I was sad. Anyway, this was the night of our first appointment with Charity, who lives close-ish to the member's house. We went over the Charity's house after our meeting with Ilsa (the English-speaking dog walker) and what do you know? We ran into Ilsa again! I asked her address this time, and she went on walking the dogs and we went to teach the lesson. A couple days ago we went to meet Ilsa at her home, and we were knocking on the wrong door and she came walking by again, and she only cam back to her house so soon because one of the dogs was ready to come home early. Ilsa has an interesting story, but I don't have time right now. I just know that we were meant to meet Ilsa, (we "ran into" her 3 times) and that we will help her somehow. It is cool to see the spirit leading us to where we need to be. We don't really feel any real strong impressions, but we always seem to be where we need to be. The spirit really does guide us, and I love it!

Thanks for all the support, I can really feel everyone's love.

Hermana Miller

Dear family and friends,

Here I am finally, in Puerto Rico. I got my call in July, and now, finally, I have set foot on the island itself. It is really different here! First of all, they are not afraid of color! There are crazy colors everywhere; pink, violet, orange, yellow, lime green (these are colors of houses I'm listing off here...). I am happy to report that my house is a light pink. How lovely. On the expressway the barriers were painted purple and teal. Seriously. It has a distinct island feel in that way, in that there is color exploding everywhere.

My companion in from El Salvador and doesn't know how to drive, so I have to do all the driving and seriously - you thought Utah drivers were bad? Puertoricanos have no idea; no clue how to drive. It is a nightmare. Mom, when you come to pick me up, you will put my name on the car and I will drive us everywhere, because I will not allow you to drive here; ah! It's crazy. People just stop in the middle of the road, people cross the street right in front of cars, people park in the middle of road, lanes are more of just a guideline than an actual rule, etc etc. You can tell that the government knows no one knows how to drive, because there are speed bumps EVERYWHERE. Instead to speed bumps, they're called "muertos" though; deaths, or something. They can be pretty bad sometimes, but, it keeps you on your toes, which is important in the kind of traffic here. So, it is an adventure everyday, to say the least!

My companion and I are "white-washing" the area, meaning we are both brand new to the area. This is kind of hard becuase neither of us knows where anything is, nor do we know anyone, and it is really hard to go and visit peopl because addresses here are really wierd; an address consists of the "Urbanization" which is kind of like a neighborhood, only much bigger, and then you address it to the street number, block number, and house number. It is really difficult to find where anybody lives because the addresses don't work the same here. Oh yeah, and there are no street signs. ANYWHERE! You just have to know where everything is and ask people who are walking around. Everyone is very kind, they're always ready to help (even though half the time they don't really know, and they're just making stuff up), but this is a good way we get in our 20 "unplanned" contacts a day; asking directions.

On Thanksgiving, the Elders in our ward planned dinner appointments, meaning we had two and ate a ton. Whew. It was a lot of food! The funny thing is that at both appointments we had turkey...with rice and beans. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Haha. We ate at the bishop's house and also at a recent convert's house; Luz is her name. She is nice, and now we (the sisters) are teaching her, because the Elder's are working in the other area.

My companion (like I said) is from El Salvador. She is pretty cool. She arrived to Puerto Rico last year on Christmas Eve, so she has been here almost a year. She speaks no English, which is very frustrating at times, because I have to think before talkng (which maybe is a blessing for me...). But, it also means that while I'm driving with the crazy Puertoricanos I can say whatever I please in English and she has no idea. Haha. She says all her American companions have done that. She taught me how to make tortillas yesterday, and it was pretty fun. You only need corn flour, water, and heat. It was kind of impressive. She is going to teach me how to make rice and beans and all that good stuff. I'm excited. She is a good missionary, and I can learn a lot from her. So, she is really short, and I am kind of tall and we look pretty funny together; she comes up to my shoulder. But, even though I'm tall, people still think I'm like, 17. Luz asked me the other day why Hna. L. is a 20 something and I'm just a "joven"; teenager. Sigh. I guess I'm doomed to look like a child forever.

My mission president and his wife are really cool. We (the new missionaries) stayed at their house on Tuesday night and until noon on Wednesday, and it was fun. Sister M., the president's wife is really nice, and knows almost no Spanish, but tries really hard. President M. served a mission in Guatelmala and knows how to speak really well. They are going to be done with their mission in July of next year, so I'll be able to work with two mission president's while I'm here.

So, something we do everyday is "tocar puertas," or knock doors. The funny thing is though, that we don't knock at all! We just stand at the end of the driveway (houses are pretty close to the sidewalk) and yell "Buenas Tardes!" or, if it is after 6 "Buenas Noches!" and wait for someone to pop their head out. It is really pretty strange, but I guess I'm used to it now. It is kind of ineffective, because it is a lot easier for people to glance out the window and see who it is before answering, so if they see it's the "mormones" they don't answer always. Also, the entire neighborhood can hear us coming down the street because we're yelling, and every house, I mean EVERY house on the street has a dog, so we kind of set off a chain reaction so that every dog on the street is barking as we walk down. It is a pleasent experience. Haha.

We have had some cool experiences tocando puertas though, we met a man yesterday, Manuel, who is pretty cool. He is from New York (ps. I tell everyone here I'm from New York because, EVERYONE is from New York or knows someone there. It is a good way to relate to the people), and he has a strong testimony of the bible. He listened to our message, because he knows that us running into him was not coincidence; he got out of the car just as we were walking past, and at first he didn't want anything to do with the Book of Mormon, but after we testified and shared a little bit about the Book of Mormon, he was willing to read it and find out more about the church. Unfortunately, he was visiting his mother and lives in another area, but we are giving his information to the sisters in that area so they can follow up. It is fun to find someone who is actually interested, because you get rejected so many times. Sometimes people even yell at you (!), but not a lot. Most people here are actually very nice and kindly say they aren't interested or something. It is sad that I can't save the world as I wanted to, but I can help a soul here or there. :)

Thank you so much for everything; I've been getting letters, and I really appreciate it. Keep sending them to the mission office, because I don't even know if we have a mailbox.

I love you all and hope everything at home is going well.

With love,
Hermana Miller