Dear family,

This has been a crazy week! I loved it. It is my second Puerto Rican Christmas, and I really enjoyed it this time through. First of all, more deets on what the Christmas Conference was, and then on to what the real Christmas activities entailed.

Christmas Conference was held last Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a two day spectacle of lights and color. Not really...that just sounded appropriate there. It was a two-day activity with lots of missionaries and lots of fun. Tuesday was the fun day and Wednesday was the spiritual day (not that it wasn't fun though...). Tuesday (as previously mentioned) we went to the Yunque, which is the rain forest! It was very exciting. We did two hikes. The second one was really intense, and some of the missionaries couldn't make it to the top, so President had the Elders carry them. It was all very dramatic because it was raining too (I mean, we were in the rain forest). We made it to the observation tower, which is the famous part of the Yunque. We climbed the tower and all we saw was cloud, because it was a cloudy day. We were in a cloud. Very exciting, but not a beautiful view. We had a title of liberty type activity up there. It was cool. But cold.

Later that day, we did the flash mob I had previously mentioned at the outlet. It was super fun. We had a dinner and talent show that night, and it was really good. There were some entertaining talents, some talents that were actually good, and a really wonderful moment when some members from a nearby ward came in a did a real Puerto Rican paranda: Puerto Rican Christmas caroling. It's like that picture I sent of the Puerto Ricans playing music and singing loud, but even cooler. I want to be Puerto Rican just so I can do that. Seriously. You should have seen our President. It was awesome. It was just loud and rowdy and completely awesome. We recorded some on video, but you just can't capture that. It comes out as noise, not as music. It was awesome though. So good.

The next day we had a little talk with the President and then we watched the Christmas devotional by the first presidency. It was good. I noticed how much I've grown this year. Last year, I couldn't understand completely what they were saying on the devotional, and now, 1. I know why I couldn't understand (Church translators have Spanish accents!), and 2. I could understand with absolutely no problem. It was very cool. Elder Vines also came and talked to us about knowing God through other's experiences (the scriptures), and through our experiences. It was cool because he said that we can know Him through the scriptures, but we can testify of Him when we experience His characteristics and attributes in our lives. It was a really cool talk. He knows the scriptures really well. Later, we practiced singing again so we could sing at an Art Museum in Santurce (downtown). We went and ate lunch at the mission home, where I had weird flashback experiences. We ate food there last Christmas too, and it was weird to change from being the youngest last year to being the oldest this year. Looking back on this year, I don't know where it went. It flew by so fast. It was a very pensive moment. Anyway, we went and sang at the art gallery and then went on a walk through the botanical gardens afterwards and went and had a testimony meeting and then watched a movie of the activity. It was a really nice activity. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

On Thursday night we ate dinner at a member house and it was the classic Christmas meal. Lechon, (some type of pork?), rice and gandules, and pasteles, which are those tamale-type things that are actually gross. Surprise! It was the 4th time I tried pasteles, and the first time I actually enjoyed them. It was a surprise for me too. So, it is true what they say: you have to try someting several times before you like it. We also had arroz con dulce, which is like a sweet rice pudding with cinnamon and raisens and ginger that is chilled in the fridge. Not my favorite. But then again, only have actually tried it once (I've always found an excuse to avoid it...).

Next exciting event was Christmas Eve. The enchilada tradition continued because the family we ate with had Mexican friends visiting, so we made enchiladas (they were actually pretty good; I ate them even though there was melted cheese on them...). It felt like home. Haha. Not really, but they were good. We also had Chinese take-out leftovers and other stuff (ranodm, but tasty). Half-way through dinner we experienced a little tremor (of the and earthquake, but not strong enough to be termed earthquake). It's my second! It was very exciting. We were just eating, and I was talking about Niagara Falls and then all-of-a-sudden, the hostess jumps up and yells: "It's a tremor! It's a tremor!" and the host jumps up and is like "Oh no!" and the rest of us are just kind of sitting there. Not gonna lie, I was a little worried when she jumped up. My heart did one of those little jump things and flashes of destruction came to mind...and then it stopped. It was cooler then the last one because I was awake for the whole thing. It happened in Aguas Buenas, which is actually fairly close to us. People have been saying it was a 5.4, which is a step up from the last one, which was only 5.1 or something. It was exciting, but I wouldn't mind if I never experienced it again. There is just something unsettling about a solid thing like the earth shaking. It is not supposed to move, in my experience. Luckily there wasn't a tsunami or something. Nothing feel off the shelves either. Then, we continued eating.

On Christmas Day we went around and caroled to members and shared a little scripture about Christmas with them. Then we went to a senior couple's house (missionary couple) to eat Christmas dinner. It was fun because we were a ton of missionaries together eating American Christmas dinner food. Delicious. After that we went to a hospital and caroled to the people there that we just happened to find in the halls or in rooms. It was a really great Christmas. I really enjoyed it.

Somebody really cool that we met on Christmas Eve and then went to teach on SUnday and had a return visit yesterday is Wanda. She is a single mom with a son, and she seems to really understand the message and seems excited to learn more. I'm excited to keep teaching her, especially since she is the only thing like an investigator that Hermana Comoletti has experienced. Yay! We mostly just visit menos activos. But, something really cool that has been happening with them is that we have been really working on listening and question asking...asking "questions from the heavens," and these last three days (Sunday, Monday and TUesday), we have had several "confessions" as to why people are inactive, which is wonderful, because we haven't been able to get to the root of things for so long. The Lord has really blessed us this week though with these "confessions" (for lack of a better term), so that we can focus in on the needs of each person instead of just blindly guessing. It has been a really cool experience. Well, it is kind of sad to hear why every one is less active, but it is definitely going to help us as we work with them.

Thanks so much for talking to me on Friday! And thank you for waiting patiently until I was ready. I really enjoyed talking to you. I hope you have a happy new year1

Hermana Miller


0075: First stop with Hermana Comoletti. It was a really pretty pool thing with a really picturesque bridge.

0098: Second stop with Sister Purdy. It was a really pretty waterfall thing with rocks to climb on and stuff.

0110: Third stop with Hermana Comoletti. This is the observation tower. We are probably one of the most ridiculous couples because she is 4'10' and I am nearly 6'. This was a funny one that captures that ridiculous.

0111: The observation tower on the outside.

0127: Me with two other sisters wearing our garbage bag ponchos.
0164: Hermana Comoletti and I on Christmas. I look so big next to her!
0169: All the sisters at the Christmas dinner. They're all so pretty!
0171: This is us with the Peitz, the senior couple that hosted. They are really cool. He reminds me a little bit of Grumpy because he always wears cowboy boots and a big belt buckle. He has a ranch in Northern California.

0236: A lizard that we found on a lemon last night. It was so cold it couldn't move, I think. A cold front has come in this week, and it is like in the 70s every day. Brrr. It finally moved after we touched it for a while. It was really strange.
0215 and 0221: Some orchids that grow in our yard. They just kind of grow in the wild here. It is really cool/beautiful.

Today, we went to the rainforest. It is like every other forest, but we took pictures anyway. It rained on us, and we got wet. It is called the Yunque and it is the only rainforest on US territory. We are doing a Christmas conference thing today and tomorrow. I don't have a lot of time to write today, but call me on Thursday to confirm when we're going to talk and stuff. My number is the same that it was on Mother's Day.

Other Christmas conference fun was a flash mob we did in a food court where we sang Joy to the World and Angels we Have Heard on High. It was fun, because we were just sitting and eating like normal and then all of a sudden some people stood up and started singing, and then we all got up and started singing together. It was planned and stuff, but it was fun.
I'll talk to you soon and we'll arrange the stuff then.

Hermana Miller

Dear Family,

Happy Christmas! It is Christmas time. Yesterday we had a really cool opportunity to go and sing at the mall. It was the entire San Juan Zone that went to the mall in Carolina (one of the pueblos to the East of San Juan) and sang a series of Christmas hymns and passed out cards, DVDs and pamphlets. It was cool. I really enjoyed the opportunity. It was also really cool to get together with other missionaries and spend some time together. It was a cool way to help others feel the spirit. I loved going to the mall and singing and sharing the gospel in that way

Last week we also had a Sister's meeting. We all went to the office on Wednesday night and had a little devotional thing. Then, we stayed at the office overnight and were in the office all day on Thursday for talks and activities. During lunch we watched Errand of Angels, a non-church made movie about sister missionaries. It wasn't like, the best movie ever made, but the colors were really pretty and I liked the lighting. And also the message. It was an nice break. It was good to see that the mission is hard for every one and we all have challenges and disappointments at times but it is good and fun to work hard. I could see similarities between our two mission, and I appreciated that. We also watched the video that was played in the Young Woman conference in March. It was so good. It was like Mormon messages. I had read the quotes in the Ensign and really liked them, but it is amazing how powerful images and music can make the words. I really loved it, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to feel the spirit (or in other words...go and watch it now! Of course you want to feel the spirit!). It wasn't just put on by leaders...lots of the hermanas participated by giving a talk or sharing a musical number. I talked about unity and the importantance of being unified and how it is a godly attribute. It was really cool. I loved it and think we should do it more often. I came out of the conference with a greater resolve to work harder and be more obedient. It was a nice way to relax and learn at the same time. It was also nice to see my only remaining ex-companioin, Sister Summers. I miss being with her. She was a really great companion for me.

After the Sister's conference, on Friday we had the ward Christmas party, which had food and people and fun. After eating the food, they started the Paranda, which is basically Christmas caroling (but we didn't go from door-to-door; we just sang right there in the church). They sang traditional Puerto-Rican Christmas songs and played instruments, including bongos and shaky things and guitar and other stuff. It was awesome and little bit difficult not to dance. We just sat down and shook our feet instead. I loved it.

Sister Comoletti is doing really well. I think she might be training me. She has a real gift for thinking of what people's needs are and can really come up with great ideas for lessons. She has an amazing energy for and love of the work. Like I said last week, she has a real fire for missionary work and I am really impressed at how good she is at it. She has a lot of faith; in Jesus Christ and His gospel, and also in others. It is amazing. She is still struggling a little bit with the language (mostly understanding), but I feel like she can speak fairly well for someone who arrived so recently. She is a great companion. She has a strong testimony and bears it often.

We had a new less active come to church on Sunday. That was really exciting. I was so happy to see her there. It is just as good to have a less active come to church as it is to have an investigator make it there.

I don't think I'll be writing again before Christmas (there are some rumours flying around, but nothing officially confirmed yet. We'll see), so I hope you have a great week, and we'll talk to you soon.

Hermana Miller

5821: This is Karina and Gilberto with their family. The woman on the right is Gilberto's mother, the one that referred Karina. She is from the ward next door, Trujillo Alto.

5823: This is their family with us, ready to baptize/be baptized. :) Aren't those kids the cutest? The girl's name is Koraima and the boy's name is Diego. He is hilarious and she is calm.

007: These are just some pictures we took of Diego being cute. He loves playing with the phone. He only likes to touch things he is not allowed to touch. Therefore, our phone is his favorite toy.

0011: He loves to laugh and his laugh cracks me up. He kind of just pushes all the the air out at once and then forgets to breathe for a second. And he likes to clap as he does it. He is 2. So cute.

0046: This is the group of Hermanas that all came to Puerto Rico on the same day. We're the old ones now! From left to right: Hermana Melgar (Guatemala), Hermana Palmer (Arizona...but her family recently moved to Peru!), me, Hermana Barker (Utah), and Hermana Rodriguez (El Salvador). We're all pretty cool.

0050: Here are the Puerto Ricans playing and singing. I love this picture because there is action and color. This is Puerto Rico! They're so happy. :)

0053: This is Sister Comoletti and I at the Christmas party...trying not to dance.

Dear family,

I got your packages in the mail this week! Thank you for thinking of me. Our landlady lent us this little 4 foot fiber optic Christmas tree thing, and I put the gifts on/under that. Our apartment looks so nice and Christmas-y with the tree and the lights and the gifts etc. It is a wonderful place to live. :)

Karina was baptized on Saturday. Woohoo! It is something we have been working on since July. I know that was one of the miracles we could see with Hermana Beltran. Part of the miracle was that her husband, Gilberto, former menos activo was able to baptize her and he did it perfectly! When they were coming out of the font, he spoke to Benjamin, the Elders Quorum President who invited him to do it and coached him on how to do it. He said that he was so happy (he was crying), and thank you because he had never imagined that he would be able to do that. That is, baptize his wife. It was a really cool experience. I will send pictures next week when I have my cable with me.
Well, transfers were today and new missionaries came in yesterday. We picked up a new missionary for me and I sent Hermana Beltran to Bayamon (almost next door), to work with someone else. My new companion is Hermana Comoletti. She is from Springville, Utah. She is really happy and bubbly and reminds me of my roommate from last summer, in Indiana. It is fun. She has the fire! It is so weird to compare her with me. She is very excited and trusts people and has faith in every body and I am tired and not as bubbly. I know I am going to learn a lot with her. She has a strong testimony and a love of the Lord and the desire to be here. It is cool to think of all the good that she is going to accomplish in her mission. Sister Reid is going home today, which is really weird. I am now the next sister to go home; I am the oldest sister in the mission, along with Sister Palmer. It is a really, really crazy feeling, because I still feel like I'm trying to figure out how to do things the best way. I'm still trying to figure out how to be the best missionary possible. I guess there is always room for improvement.

Everything has been going fine and we are enjoying the break from the heat. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

Thank you for the letters you sent me this week (mom). I can't believe it is December already! In November, it was okay that it didn't feel like winter, but now it is really difficult to believe it is December because it still is sunny and stuff. It is cooler, sure, but even I can't deny that it is warm outside.

Investigator news:

Karina's baptism is just around the corner, and we are really excited. Every time we go over to visit her we realize how prepared she really is. I hope everything goes well and she'll be ready to be baptized soon. They've been to church 4 or 5 times now and yesterday in the interview, Gilberto and Jose (a RC the Elders taught) really hit it off and are pretty good friends now. They bonded over computer things and video games. It was a good moment. And they got a dog...which is so cute. They called her Canela, which is Spanish for Cinnamon. I love her! Another less active member got a dog too and I love him too. I think when I get home I am going to get a dog. Because I love them. Maybe it is just because I'm not allowed to hold babies, but I love holding dogs; they are so cute!

We were blessed yesterday with a new investigator (sort of...). He is the "practically son" of a less active we met yesterday and we left him a Book of Mormon. We are going to try to continue working with him and try to check up on his reading and such. He isn't an official new investigator, because we couldn't set a return cita, but he's all we've got right now, and we're holding on to that. There is another family that we contacted a while ago and we finally figured out where they live, so we are going to try to work with them. We haven't been able to teach them yet, but we will hopefully get in this week sometime.

Companion news:

Sister Beltran is growing leaps and bounds. I am so impressed with her. She is overcoming her timidity and learning so much about the gospel and even learning some English, and how to conduct music. She is just learning so much because she is so humble and teachable and willing to learn. I am really happy for the progress she has been making here.

Missionary life news:

I completed one year in Puerto Rico this week. Maybe you recall, that my first day here last year was Thanksgiving. I was surprised to find that alongside their turkey Puerto Ricans eat rice with gandules (which is a kind of pea/bean thing). I am happy to announce that I was again privileged to eat Turkey and rice with gandules on Thanksgiving day this year.

On Thanksgiving we went to have dinner with the primary president and the Kay family came (an hour late, but they did arrive, so we were happy). It was a good time and the turkey was delicious...I thought.

Next, we went to a returning less-active's house and she gave us more turkey with rice and gandules. This turkey was even better. She also made a pasta salad thing and it was a good time.
The next day, we went to visit another returning less active who just happened to be taking a turkey out of the oven. She gave us a piece of turkey for helping her carry it from one place in her house to another (it was a huge turkey and she is about 4'10"), and it was the most delicious of them all. It was amazingly moist and juicy. I don't know how she did it. Thinking of the other turkeys, a line from one of our favorite movies came to mind: "This bird is dry! Haven't you people heard of basting?," and chuckled to myself.

It was a good Thanksgiving and a delicious one too.

I hope everything at home is going great. Thank you for sending me the pictures and the news about the family. I'm happy for all of you!

Hermana Miller.
/Auntie J. :)

Haha. I wonder how often that girl will hear that in her life. But for reals? Congratulations to my family! I can't believe I am an aunt! I made a special photo for the occasion and will send the banner to baby Grace in the mail shortly. Sorry for the lameness of the welcome gift, but my resources are limited. (5746)

In the picture, you may notice my hair is down and that I am wearing a cardigan. That is because it is getting cold here! It is like, 80 or 83 every day, and that is really chilly. It has been cold for the past several weeks. I am going to buy a quilt or comforter today or something because at night it gets down to like, 75...and I just can't handle that. I'm not really sure how I'm going to handle the Utah weather in March...especially beginning of March; In like a Lion. I'm scared for that.

This week was cool. On Thursday night we had an activity where the Relief Society thought it would be cool if I taught people how to conduct music. It was harder than I thought to explain. I kind of just wanted to say..."just feel the music...and when you feel a downbeat, bring your arm down." But it wasn't that easy. I don't think it was that successful, but we did learn things and practice a lot, so that was cool.

Every body (well, lots of people) went to the temple this week. They'll be gone for this entire week and should be back on Saturday. There is a stake temple trip and there are about 80 people going from the stake. That is so cool! We saw the people from Puerto Rico who were there last year, while I was in the CCM, and now I realize that they were probably people that I know now. How strange. It is interesting to me that our paths already crossed once without me knowing, and now here we are again and we know each other. Anyway. I am excited to go to the temple when I get home.

Yesterday we went to Centro Medico again and did contacts. We did a ton in the train station before we left, and then we did some in the train and then walked around Centro Medico for a while. We found a member of the church there, and she informed us that it was the area of Hato Ray, the ward that is just to the North of us, which is a shame because there are tons of people there, just sitting...perfect for contacting. But, we won't go back because generally speaking, I like to be obedient (haha...not generally speaking. I do like to be obedient...always?). Anyway. On that little trip we taught 4 lessons. We are really struggling getting in a lot of lessons during the week, so we are just teaching more in the contacts that we do, and counting them as lessons. For example, we share some more of the doctrine and then we ask a few questions that get the person to think about and feel the doctrine, and then we maybe share a scripture, and we try to end with a prayer. But right there in the street? You say. Yes. Right in the street. We gave out a Book of Mormon yesterday and committed someone to pray about the Book of Mormon. They were some cool experiences. And...when they are waiting (for a bus, for their ride to come, for their family member to be released, etc...), it is a great opportunity because they can't say they're in a hurry.

The Elders met a really cool lady a couple weeks ago who was baptized in the DR but who is now inactive, but she has come to church twice and she came to the RS activity (the other women present were the presidency members...). We went to visit her yesterday, and she is so cool! She loves us, first of all...and we didn't have to do anything! And, we talked about the baptism of Jesus Christ, and we talked about the purpose of baptism etc, and then we asked her if Jesus Christ had any sins, and she thought, and she's like, "well, as I understand I mean, he's supposed to have been perfect, right? why did he get baptized?" she asked us.) She loved the lesson, and you could tell she really learned from it. That is not always the case. She is really awesome though, and has a 7 year old daughter who participated in the primary program on Sunday.

Karina was going to be baptized on Tuesday but couldn't be because her husband's mother couldn't make it, and since everyone is at the temple anyway, no one else would be there but us missionaries and the Kay we decided to put it off until next Saturday, 4 Dec. We had a really cool lesson with her on Sunday where we talked about the baptism of Jesus Christ and she asked us some questions about the Holy Ghost and miracles/spiritual gifts. She testified to us of the power of prayer, which was really special. She said she had never shared that testimony with anyone before, but you could just see the fire in her eyes. I was really impressed by the spirit that she invited by sharing her testimony.

Well, I love you and look forward to seeing more pictures. Attached are some pictures of me with my girl I am training.
Hermana Miller

Dear family,

I love you so much. Thank your for writing me. I can't wait until next week to see what happens with the baby. Yay! I can hardly contain myself.

This week was fun. We did lots of fun missionary activities. One day we ended up at a large hospital complex called Centro Medico. It has like, 11 hospital right there next to each other. We were planning on doing contacts there, and we thought vaguely that it would be cool to come back sometime and visit the patients there and sing them a song or something. We happened to contact a member from another ward, and mentioned that we were thinking about doing it "sometime," and he said that he has seen other missionaries do it before. So, he said, "follow me," and he introduced us to the guard and got us into the Trauma unit. Unfortunately, we didn't see any blood or anything, but we did visit 3 people. It was kind of weird, but we are going to work on perfecting our approach and maybe do it again sometime. I know that we were led there though, because we had planned on doing contacts that day but without a specific location in mind, we got on the train and we decided to get off at Centro Medico. We walked a random direction (because we don't really know that area very well), and ended up at the hospital (and met a guy on the way and left a Book of Mormon with him! :) ). We happened to find a member whose wife works in Trauma and who knows all the guard people and who got us in, because we just happened to show up right at 6:30, which is when visiting hours start. It is a wonderful feeling when you feel you are being led by the Lord.

On Sunday, we were talking to people again and I went to talk to one man while my companion went somewhere else. It was a long contact with a guy that looked really cool and normal on the outside, but who was really against us on the inside. He insisted on several things that we didn't agree with, including the fact that he had to contend because the bible says to contend for your faith (and it does, but there are a billion others that say that contention is of the prideful and devil, blah blah blah). Anyway. It was kind of an ugly experience. I've had that experience before. Many times before, but why do I share it with you this time? Because there was a different result this time. Not with him (you can't say anything that will touch those kinds of people), but with me. I've always walked away from experiences like that feeling a little disheartened because, well? Somebody is attacking you and your beliefs, and they refuse to stop attacking, because the Bible says they have to. Ok. This time, I'm sure he didn't feel the spirit because he was yelling and stuff, but I could feel the spirit because I stayed calm and asked him questions, and even though he barely allowed me to talk, when I did talk, I just testified. I know that I benefited from the conversation. I know that my testimony grew in that moment. I know that we are children of a Heavenly Father and that we lived with Him before we came here, and we are here to prepare to live with Him again. I know that the Book of Mormon is true because I've read it, and I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It's that simple. So. It is true that we grow through trials. Although it was an ugly experience, I can look back on that experience and see that it was a actually a really wonderful one.

As far as investigators go, I don't know what we're doing wrong, but we haven't had a new one for weeks now. I guess it could be because every body we find seems to be in a different area, but it is frustrating. We are continuing to look though, as we prepare for the baptism of Karina. She couldn't come to church on Sunday because Diego, her two year old had a fever on Saturday night. They were in the hospital until 4am and so didn't want to come to church on Sunday. We hope they'll make it next week. We're excited for her baptism!

Thank you for your love and support. I love you so much and can't wait to see the pictures...lots of pictures. :)

Hermana Miller

Dear Family,

This was a crazy week! We ran around a lot and did lots of fun things. On Friday we had a missionary activity which was a movie night/dessert competition. The idea Hermana Summers had was a movie night, because she had done it in another area and it was a big success. The idea I had was to mix with the movie night a dessert competition because then people would want to come. So, we did them both, although I think the dessert competition kind of overshadowed the movie night part. But it was still good. We started The Testaments at 6:35 (the activity started at 6:30) and just let people come in during the movie. By the time the movie ended (almost) every one had arrived. Later, we sang a song and said a prayer and shared a little thought and then invited people to come up and explain their dessert. Next, people came up and ate what they wanted. We (the missionaries) judged the desserts and gave each a title. For example, "most creative," or "most exotic," or "Choco-liscious" (but in Spanish), and awarded them. It was a fun activity.

On Sunday, we ran around like crazy trying to find people to teach. Due to a set of circumstances during the week, we were short a lot of lessons (we try to have 20 a week). So, we ran around and successfully taught 8 lessons in one day. It was kind of exhausting, but it was a good experience, because we could feel the hand of the Lord. We had a set of plans, but ended up changing them a couple times. We ended up going to this one lady's house who is on the brink of inactivity, and it turned out that she had been in a car accident the day before and was really bumped and bruised. So, we were able to help her by sharing something really fast and then informing the Relief Society President. I felt like we were led there.

Yesterday we had a zone conference. Zone conferences used to be every transfer. Now, they are every 3 months. BUT, they also last for 8 hours. I don't know why this change was neccesary, but I know I've mentioned before that we are kind of a prototype mission right now, so the new schedule is based on what the church wants us to try out. It was kind of tiring to be in a meeting all day, but it was a nice meeting. We talked about the prophet Joseph Smith and the importance he has in our lives. We watched the Joseph Smith movie that is shown in downtown SLC and it was really good. I haven't seen that since I was in the CCM, so it was cool to see again. It is a really powerful video. I can't wait to see it again someday. We also met with the new ward mission leader last night and he is really excited to help us in the work here in Guaynabo. I've never had a real ward mission leader before, so I'm kind of excited to see how the work may change with that blessing.

Thanks for your prayers and your other forms of support. I love you. :)

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

So the craziness is finally settling down. Hermana Beltran came in on Friday afternoon (we found out Friday afternoon and had to run to the airport to get her), and we are learning a lot together. We are going over lesson one principle by principle in companionship study and we are making outlines. She is very ready to learn, and although she feels uncomfortable talking to people and using the phone and teaching, she is taking steps out of her comfort zone and doing all of those things. I am so happy for her. Yesterday we were out doing contacts and the phone rang. I answered it and was talking to the Elder's Quorum president and she was waiting for me to finish. The conversation took a while and after about 8 minutes, she left and went to talk to somebody waiting for a bus nearby. I was so impressed! She is getting more and more comfortable, I just think everything about Puerto Rico is a shock for her. But she is doing awesome.

We really don't have a lot of investigators right now, but we are looking for new ones and have had a couple promising contacts, but we haven't had a lesson with them yet, so we'll let you know about them next week.

Two investigators came to Church on Sunday. Karina is the wife of a less-active, and we have been teaching her since we arrived in July. We have let up a little bit recently because she wasn't progressing, but the new Elder's Quorum President is really helping a lot with them. They have been in church 2 weeks in a row now. It is cool to see her in church finally, with her family. We'll let you know about the baptism. We hope that her husband, Gilberto can prepare himself to be worthy to baptize her himself. :)

The other investigator was Monique. She is the one who went to California for a week to see a healer because she has lower back pain. She is really cool and I like her a lot. She rode the bus to church, which I was so happy about, because she is acting. She says that there were a lot of impediments that were keeping her from coming to church, but she realizes that was what it was; obstacle from the devil, and she overcame them. We've also been teaching her since about July. I am happy she finally came to church, and the members were really friendly and offered her a ride and everything. She says she is going to come back next week because she felt really good.

Other then that, we don't have a lot going on. I was super excited though that there were two investigators in Church.

I love you! Thanks for the letters and packages; they make me feel good and loved. I like reading about your lives.


Dear family,

Yesterday we had district meeting. My district leader is going home this week, but if appears that he has dengue! So sad. He had to go to the hospital yesterday. It is sad. I wonder if he'll be able to go home or not. Anyway, at the district meeting, we found out transfers. Sister Summers, my companion is going to Mayaguez and is going to open an area there. We were sad to change companions, because we were awesome together. haha. That sounds really full of myself, but mostly it is just that I really liked her. And I like to think that she really liked me too. :)

Anyway. My new companion was going to be...Hermana Palmer! Yes. The very same! The one with I was with in the CCM. But why is that sentence in the past tense? you might ask. Well. On the way to transfers today, we got a call informing us that Hermana Beltran was coming back within a couple days and that I would be with her again. So, Hermana Palmer is staying where she was and I have a mini-missionary for a couple days until Herman Beltran arrives. So, after 4 companions in 6 weeks, I will settle down with just Hermana Beltran and we'll work together in Guaynabo.

As far as the work goes, we are still working really hard here to find people to teach. We visited Tony this week and talked about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon and he said he would come to church, but he didn't make it. Also, an investigator that we have been teaching since the first day we arrived here, Karina came to church on Sunday with her husband and her children. We kind of had given them a break for a while, but we are going to visit them tonight. I'm excited to help them, because they came to church! I was shocked when I heard they were coming.

That is really about all that is happening, and since we have only one computer, I am going to pass it over to my companion.

I love you! Have a great week!

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

This week has been great. We are working with a couple investigators and several menos activos.

One investigator is Ana. Ana found us in the Library two preparation days ago. She attended the church in Florida for a while. She is already reading the Book of Mormon and has been to church twice. She is difficult to understand because she likes to talk to us in "basic English", as she describes it, and I have no idea what she is saying. We have respectfully requested she speak to us in Spanish because we can't understand her in English, but she hasn't really changed. She also likes to try to speak to the members in English, even though she is Puerto Rican. She likes to talk a lot and can't really focus in the lessons. So, I feel confused about her because she frustrates us a lot, but she is also the most agent-like investigator I have had my entire mission; she had no ride to church and she still got there...twice, and she is reading the Book of Mormon. We are trying to develop patience. Although I feel frustrated with her, I also feel Heavenly Father's love for her.

We are also trying to teach Tony, who is also reading the Book of Mormon. He declares that it is true, but is impossible to have a cita with him. He thinks Joseph Smith was a prophet, but wants to know more about him to be sure. We've testified to him of the power of prayer, but he insists on learning more about Joseph Smith. He is cool and has been to church once.

Olga is a menos activo that we have been working with for several weeks...basically since we got here, and she is rather consistently coming to church and has started to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning. She is really excited about her reading and likes the story and the things she can learn from it. It is wonderful to see her really growing in the gospel. She bore her testimony last week in fast and testimony meeting, which I thought was a wonderful demonstration of her progress.
Last week we went to Old San Juan again. It was cool. There are two main castle there; el morro (where we went the first time, when I was with Sister Thoms), and San Cristobal, which is where we went this time. It was cool. There was a really long tunnel and that was my favorite part. We also took a picture in the Christopher Columbus plaza, because it was the day after Columbus day. How appropriate! It was loads of fun.
Olga lives in the campo, but not super campo. There is a hill by her house that we drove up and we could see all of San Juan and the Ocean and Old San Juan and everything. It was a really cool "scenic overlook." and free! We took some pictures, but as always, our lame Point-and-shoot cameras just can't really capture the beauty of this island.
I love you so much! Thanks for everything!

Hermana Miller

Dear family,
I loved the pictures you sent, but felt sad that I wasn't in them. Thank you for sending them to me and writing to me to let me know what is going on. Amanda looks pregnant. ! Especially from the side. :) That is good though. And expected at this stage.

I am still in Guaynabo and still with Sister Summers. So, that craziest transfer ever has finally calmed down a bit. I will attach a picture of us together. There is a member that lives in the campo a little bit, and near her house there is this scenic overlook thing where you can look out and see all of San Juan all the way to the ocean, and all the city in between. It is beautiful! That is where that picture was taken. So, even though you can't tell, that is all of San Juan behind us. :)

We are really searching for less actives, and we found a really great family this week where the mother is the only member, but the husband and the children are wonderful. We shared a message from the family proclamation yesterday and plan to continue teaching from that a while to help them feel the necessity for the gospel in their family. The son recently spent 2 months in Virginia with his aunt and her active family, so he already has a wonderful base. We have found them twice at home this week, and from what we've heard about them (from members and they, themselves), they are never home, so it was really a miracle to find them home twice. We look forward to helping them.

We are still working with Tony, an investigator who came to church once. He is the one who dreamed about us. Naturally, we are really excited about him, but excitment is waning as appointments fall. He seems very busy and can't always receive us, but we asked him this week if he still has interest in our message. He responded by saying he is reading the Book of Mormon and is about halfway through. We asked him how he feels when he reads it and said, "Well, it's the truth," in a "Well, duh," voice. Ok. So, we set another appointment and are going to keep trying to visit him. He just always seems to have personal crises that prevent him from being able to recieve us, such as and inventory at work, or an exploding (or leaking?) fishtank (resulting in lots of water in his home), etc. We're going to try to be patient with him and continue calling and visiting.

We are learning a lot together, Hermana Summers and I and I must say enjoy each other's company. We studied a lot this week about the sacrament and are gaining a better understanding of that sacred ordinance. We also went to the General Relief Society broadcast on Sunday night, and it was really great! I loved all of the talks, basiclaly, and especially the one by President Monson about not judging others. I feel like that is something I can really improve on. I feel like as a missionary I judge others more, just because it comes naturally; you have to judge whether or not someone is serious about being interested in the gospel and such. So you have to use good judgement, but you shouldn't judge, and sometimes there is a line there that I cross. I like how he said that you can't ever know the true intent of their heart. Good to keep in mind. We are going to work on that.

I love you,
Hermana Janae

Dear family,

We've had another change! The three-some was dissolved and I am now in Guaynabo again, 100% with Hermana Summers. She is cool; a math teacher from Idaho. It is good to be completely dedicated to one area again, because I felt like I couldn't focus very well when we were covering the two areas; it was too many people to think about and keep track of. We don't know if she'll be here just to the end of the transfer, or until the end of the week or for a little longer. We'll see. Our president likes to switch things up and keep us on our toes.

Conference was so good! I loved it. I feel like it went really fast though! I don't know how two hours when you are a child can seem an eternity and two hours when you are a missionary (or and adult, I guess) can seem an instant. I loved basically all the talks. I liked the talks on faith, I liked the talks on agency, and the talks on Prophets. When President Monson was welcoming everyone to conference, it was the first time I really had the spirit testify to me of his call. I know that he is a prophet of God and that he talks to God face-to-face. And so, how interesting it is, I thought, that his message to us was on gratitude. It wasn't some intense doctrinal message or even a really heavy topic, it was about gratitude. I loved how he compared the attitudes of the disciples and Jesus Christ in the story when Christ fed the 4,000. We've already shared his message with 2 people this week. It is so important we are grateful for the many blessings we have, be they temporal or spiritual, we all have many blessings in our lives. I feel like the prophets and apostles are just so in-tune to what we need today, in the world. It is a wonderful experience to go to conference and listen to them share their testimonies and those things they feel are pertinent for us in our day.

We met a new investigator this week; Alejandro. He is young (25 or so) and can really relate to Jose Smith and his confusion about why there are so many different churches. He said he had stopped praying, but will start again to know the truth.

We are looking for less active families. There is a really good family that we have been trying to contact but who are a little resistant to missionaries right now. There is another family that we are going to look for where only the mother is a member, but it looks like around 2 years ago the missionaries were teaching the father and the children, so we've been trying to contact them this week.

I know that as Sister Summers and I really focus on our area we'll see miracles.

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

Some interesting things have happened since last I wrote. My companion went home sick on Thursday. She had some serious digestional problems; a really intense case of gastritis or something. I'm not exactly sure, but bad enough that they had to send her home. They aren't releasing her though; so she should be back soon enough. I'll probably be her companion when she gets back, if I'm not busy doing something else president asks me to do. So. Who is with me now? I got moved back to Caparra ward, which is the area I started in. It is weird to be back where I started, but it is cool too. The people here are so good. But, it has also helped me realize how much I love the area I'm in now. It may actually be better than my first area, which I never would have suspected! Haha. But, we are in a trio that is covering the two areas. It is hard to be in a trio, and it is hard to cover two areas at once. But, I am starting to get the hang of it. I'm not sure how much time we'll be in this situation, but I'll let you know if something interesting happens.

Are you excited for conference this weekend? I am really excited! I can't wait! Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday for various reasons, but we should be able to see it on Sunday the 10th. Yay! I am excited to listen to the Prophet and Apostles and their testimonies again. It is weird to think about where I was last conference; I had just left Caparra, and now, here I am again.

This week on Monday and Tuesday we went to this all day (8-5) training meeting where we worked a lot. We talked a lot about the family and how we need to change our focus from individuals to families, and how we can teach better. We did a lot of practicing and it was cool. Just exhausting. And freezing (air blowing on you all day long). And then we went out at night to work. It was a cool experience. You could feel the spirit really strongly, and it was cool to be with missionaries you usually aren't with. It was a nice experience.

As far as investigators go, Wendy, the man who is friend of the less-active family accepted a baptismal date and feels like Joseph Smith really is a prophet. He is reading in the Book of Mormon with the dad of the less-active family, and is growing a lot. Tony, the guy who had a dream about people coming to his house came to church on Sunday and really liked it. we tried to visit him yesterday but he couldn't receive us.

I love you,
Hermana Miller
Here are some pictures I've been meaning to send...

5275: This is me in front of our cottage. That is seriously how big it is.

5308: This is one of the sentry boxes at el morro. Isn't it a pretty picture?

5327: This is me in one of the tunnels that take you closer to the sea so you can shoot people. It was pretty tight....

5360: This is where I was when I felt like I was in Harry Potter. YOu're just walking along and there is a surprise secret spiral staircase. My companion took this picture; we took lots of fun pictures on her camera, but I don't have copies yet. :(

5370: This is the view from the east side of the morro. The pretty colors are a really sketch community called La Perla; we didn't go there. And just before the colors is a cemetery of the Morro. It is a pretty view.

5447: This is my (old) companion and I. She went home :(. We were happy in this picture.

Plinio got the priesthood! We thought they weren't going to go to church on Sunday because when we talked to them on Saturday, he had taken some medication that made him drowsy, so they weren't sure if they were going to be able to come or not, because Maria doesn't drive. But they came! And he recieved the priesthood. It is so cool to see them going step-by-step through the gospel. They are a great family. Every time I go over to their house I feel more and more love for them. We went this week one day and we couldn't stay for very long because night was falling and their electricity had gone out, but Plinio was just so happy. And Paola, the little 2 year-old (who was born on leap day in 2008, um. cool!) calls me ti-ti, which is short for tia, which is aunt. She calls me aunty! Oh, so sweet. I just love them so much. I am really excited for you to meet them. I would be concerned if they only loved us and no one else at church, but they have friends and are participating, and they even invited a family over for dinner. Cool. They are doing great. Maria went to a stake relief society activity on Saturday with a member and said it was really cool. We didn't even have to go with her! She is so brave!

Other cool thing that happened this week. A member gave us two referals. We took them, but I don't think I took them too seriously, because she is always giving us terrible referals (for example, the last one she gave us was for somebody she met on the elevator in her building, and she sent us over because she chain smokes. Or one of the ones she gave us this week was for a woman she met on the bus (who she didn't even know the name of, I might add), because she has "emotional problems."). But, we went over anyway, and the first one turned out to be a beautiful family with a 9 year old, a 5 year old, and a 5 months old. There was also a mom and a dad, which is great. They said that they were interested, but that they were going out of town this week to Orlando because the 5 month old has epilepsy and they need to do testing. Anyway, they said we could come back the following week to share. I am really excited for them, because although they didn't seem overwhelmingly interested, they seemed to want to learn more. The other one, the one for the lady with emotional problems, it turned out that that lady moved, and there was a new family that lived there, also with a mother and a father and two little kids. They had recently moved in because the other lady had moved out. They didn't seem very interested at first, but then they seemed interested and invited us to come back another day. So, we'll let you know how that goes.

Well, that is mostly all I have to say this week. I hope everything is going great back at home. I love you all. I'm excited for the RS broadcast this week! Can you believe it is that time of year again? Yay! I love conference! It is like Christmas for missionaries. I've been waiting for months now.

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

This week was exciting, as usual. It was my companion's last week as a missionary, so we did a lot of fun stuff. Haha. Just kidding. We actually just did missionary stuff, just like normal. We just dropped her off at the mission home with another sister who is going home (one of the sisters we used to hang out with when I was in Utuado), and now we are doing fun things. I am going to miss Sister Thomas. We did well together.

I got a new companion. She is from El Salvador. She is tiny; more tiny than my last companion from El Salvador. Salvadorinians are so humble and loving. They are just so soft spoken and respectful and full of love. They have a humility about them that an American could never achieve. I am excited to show her around Guaynabo and work with her.

Last Friday we had a missionary activity in the church, and it was a big success! We got people there that we can't get to come to normal now we know that, if they just want to come enough, that they can make it. Haha. It was a talent show thing, and there were about 50 people there. It was so stressful; like planning a party! But, people finally arrived, and we got the party started. And man! Latinos know how to bring a party with them! We didn't ask anyone to bring refreshments or anything, but they all came with something to share. It was great. I made no-bake cookies and they loved them. I think they've never tried them before, but a lot of people asked me how to make them, and said they loved them. :) Also, it was a talent show, but it was mostly spiritual stuff. The jovenes sang True to the Faith, and it was so nice! It was wonderful to feel the spirit through their words, even though they didn't sing so great....

We met a new investigator in the house of a less active this week, and he came to the activity, which was great! He is reading in the Book of Mormon and can really identify with Joseph Smith, wanting to know the truth; wanting to know which is the true church. It is a really special experience to teach in a member home, even if the member is less active. In fact, cooler since the member is less active, because the husband of the family is really teaching the investigator. The first time he prayed, at the end of the prayer, the member was like, "Well, that was great, but you have to end by saying, 'in the name of Jesus Christ,' because he is the one who we speak through. It was a cool experience. We'll see.
Hector, the one who rescued us from the rain, is reading in the Book of Mormon, but is also getting a lot of bad ideas about the church (read: false ideas) from his brother. We are still teaching him though, we are just trying to get in with him. He is trying to set up a time for us to meet his we can have a smackdown or something. Not really sure. But, it is good that he is already sharing the gospel. :)

I think I experienced one of my favorite stories from my mission this week. As you know, we knocked doors a lot until we moved from Utuado. We spent two hours a day doing that, basically my entire mission. New mission president arrives and asks us not to knock doors so much. So, we complied with his request (not that it was that hard; this sun is intense here!). Anyway. Since we have moved to Guaynabo, we've knocked twice, both times because all our other back-up plans fell. So basically, we don't knock doors a lot. On Sunday we had planned to knock doors to be able to speak to a lot of people before the end of the week. Third time we've knocked doors since we got here. It was raining, and when it is raining, we don't knock because Puerto Rican's don't answer their door when it is raining. But it stopped raining right when we were going to start. Hermana Thomas and I both thought of the same place to knock, so we went over there. One of the doors we knocked, a guy came out, and long story short, he had a dream about us! I've always wanted to meet somebody who dreamed about missionaries! He said that he had dreamed the night before about meeting two women with an important message. As soon as he found out where the church is, he promised to come to church on Sunday. We're really excited to teach him. We have a cita scheduled for tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes. Just a lot of "coincidences," right? We are blessed as missionaries.

Last week we went to Old San Juan. It was so beautiful up there! We were planning on going back this week, but things are crazy here and we weren't able to. But, we'll make it up soon. We went to El Morro, which is the fort right by San Juan bay, and it was beautiful. I have a ton of great pictures, but I forgot my cable, so I'll have to send them next week. It was a lot of fun! We're definitely going there when you come down. Old San Juan is beautiful! It is all a tourist attraction, but I like it. The businesses have like, a building code there so they are all similar style, but different colors. The streets are lovely. I'm excited to bring you there.

Anyway, thanks for all you do and the love you send me every week!

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

Things are going great. Another hurricane has passed by, Gaston. We were sad we didn't get to meet him...we've been singing the Gaston song from Beauty and the Beast all week. But, it was a good week, despite Gaston's noted absence.

One day we were walking around and we didn't bring umbrellas because it was a lovely blue sky with no rain clouds in sight. After a couple hours of walking though, we were on our way home and it was thundering. By the time we got about 2 blocks from our house, it started pouring, but really pouring. So, we run and huddle under a little branch near the sidewalk and we're just (well, I am just) kind of screaming, and then a minute later, we hear this whistle, and this guy sent his daughter out with an umbrella to get us. The umbrella blew inside out in the wind, and we all got wet, but they let us in to wait until it stopped raining. The family was really cool. I guess the dad lived in Chicago for a while and met missionaries up there, "but they didn't speak Spanish too well," he said, and he also said he went to church a couple times, and it was in English, so he didn't understand it. But, he invited us to come back and share with him, so we did the other day, and it was good. He seemed very interested in the Book of Mormon. We'll let you know how it goes

We had Stake Conference on Sunday, and the Solano family came. It was a really great meeting. I loved the Stake President's talk about knowing Christ and developing a personal relationship with him. One of the scriptures he shared was in 2 Nephi. He talked about how Nephi had such a personal relationship with the Savior and that he had made him his personal Savior. In the scripture, he refers to Christ as "my Jesus." It was a really cool scripture. After conference, the Solanos were invited over to Ben's house for dinner, so we were really happy that they went. We talked to them about the temple last night, and they seem excited. Maria seems concerned about how to get wise, but I'm sure they'll be fine. Plinio is still without a job (did I tell you he had to quit about a week after starting because he had his miniscus operated on several years ago and it was swelling with all the lifting, so the doctor told him to stop). We got him into LDS employment services, so he is working hard looking for anything he can do.

We are also working with this lady, Ivette. She is a grandmother, but a very young grandmother (she has hair that is darker and longer than mine...), and she seems really interested in the gospel. We have visited her twice already, and she read the reading we left with her. When we asked her how she liked it, she was like, "Oh, it was good." and that is where most people stop, but she continued, "You know, it was mostly just about what we talked about. The difference between the father and the son, the importance of baptism and also some about the authority...". It was cool that she had clearly read it. We are going back to visit her tonight, so we'll see how it goes. We're really excited to see her progress.

Hermana Miller

1353: us with our awesome tie-dye shirts. Hers turned out better, but it was a fun adventure together. We like making peace signs in all our pictures now.

1275: The family before the baptism. :)

1280: The family after the baptism, without Paula, the 2 year old.

1219: Our District: Metro District We are a huge district! (and coordinated!)

5274: This is me in front of our cottage. It really is a shoebox. But, we do have a washer. :) It is in Yaya's backyard, that is why it seems so country-ish.

5219: This is on Sunday Morning after the baptism; the jumpsuits were all out drying, and we decided to take pictures. It was kinda cool. I am really tired in this picture....

The family got baptized on Saturday and they were confirmed on Sunday. It was so nice! They are going strong on the Word of Wisdom and are loving the gospel. A ton of people were able to come to the baptism, including Maria's sister from Bayamon, which I thought was really cool. We are really excited because people seem to be accepting them into the ward pretty well. Ben and his wife (You know...our friend from Buffalo), invited them over for dinner and also invited someone else over, which I thought was genius. They are going to be okay. We are really happy and excited for them. See attached pictures.

Hurricane Earl came through on Monday, but it was so far off shore that it was just a tropical storm here. It wasn't even that bad though. We went home a little early and had to make sure we had food and water etc., but if it ever came, it was after I had already fallen asleep. The whole day was especially windy and rainy (it was funny trying to see the birds fly...), but nothing more exciting than that. I hope to have a more exciting one than that before the end of the season, which is 1 November. :) (nothing too serious though...).

Sorry the letter is kind of boring, but that is mostly all that happened this week. But don't get me wrong...a baptism and a hurricane are both pretty exciting! It was a good week. We have tentatively planned to go to Old San Juan this week, and also to tie-dye shirts, which will both be bundles of fun. If we don't go this week, we're off that direction next week the week after...just going to go before my companion goes home.

I hope everything is well at home! Welcome back-to-school. :)


Dear family,

This week was really quite epic...not really. I'm just thinking about your trip. Congratulations on finishing that, by-the-way. One cool thing that happened this week? They were filming Fast and Furious 5 in our area. That's right...word is that they've been all over the island filming crashing cars and exciting police chases, so I may need to watch it just to see the Puerto Rico all over it. We didn't see any one famous and we weren't invited to be extras either, although we really have the missionary look down. It could have been cool. So, when it comes out we can sit down and watch it, and I will tell you when my my area comes up that, "Hey! I used to contact people on that street!" Haha. It was cool. Also, there is an Elder in my district with dengue, which is also cool, but kind of sad for him.

Other cool things happened too. One of our investigators is really interesting. She has this trip to California planned for the end of this week. While in California, she will see family members and also, go to a healer who will heal her lower back pain "through the power of Jesus Christ" for the low, low price of $200. She will be with the healer for 2 hours. All she knows is that she'll "give 10 and he'll give 1," referring of course to the necessary faith. She says that he is really good and that you have to set an appointment with him one year ahead of time. Anyway. We've been hearing about this trip for a while and have been concerned about it, so we told her we were concerned this week and told her that men with the priesthood don't sell its power. It seemed to make a lot of sense to her. We asked her, "What would you do if you knew there were men right here on the island with the power to heal?" She said that she would like to meet them, "But I bet they have a long line of people waiting for that." Haha. It kind of made us laugh that she said that, but we went over with the Elders the next day to give her a blessing. We're going back tomorrow to see how she is. Something that is really admirable about this story is how much faith she really has. She has faith in Jesus Christ and his power to heal. The problem is that her faith was just a little misplaced in believing in things that were not true. I guess this experience helped me understand that Alma scripture better.

We met a lady on the street the other day named Maria. We went to her house later this week and they were just leaving, but we talked to her husband and he told us to come back another day. We hadn't even told him who we were or what our message was, but he said, "Come back tomorrow because you look really interesting." Um... It was kind of weird and I may have been a little skeptical, but they ended up being really cool. He kept saying, "That is sooo cool!" and "Wow. How interesting." Haha. We haven't taught a complete first lesson, but we will this week.
We had zone conference this week. While there, I met sister missionaries who are younger than me! (As in started being missionaries after me). It seems that the east mission was getting all the new sister missionaries since I came to PR and the west mission wasn't getting any! I have been the youngest sister in the mission (except two that came in the transfer after me) ever since I got to PR, but now we have younger sisters. It is weird, but at the same time exciting; I'm not the baby anymore!

Elder Vines came to our zone conference, which was great. He talked about making the church a multi-generational church here in Puerto Rico, because that is where true strength comes from. He also talked about some things that we want to do as missionaries to help recent converts stay active after their baptism. One change was the requirement for church attendence prior to baptism. It used to be 3 Sundays, but now investigators have to attend church as many times as is required for them to fit in comfortably as a part of the congregation. I think that is a lot better than just assuming that 3 times in church will do it.

The Solano family is feeling more and more comfortable in church. They are progressing really well. They accepted Tithing this week and keeping the Sabbath day holy. Also, Plinio got a job! We are all very excited. He is still looking around because it is not the best job, but it is great he has that because he has been looking for over a year. Maria is coming to a RS activity tomorrow and seems to be more friendly with the sisters every week. :)

We recently got Elders in our ward. It is great to have somebody working on your team. Not that we are teaming up against any one, but it is good to bounce ideas off one another. We have planned to have some sort of weekly sport night thing (it was their idea) which will help give the church a little bit more public light and help to create some sort of fellowship between church members. I am excited. Also, I guess one of the Elders was border-line hippie before being a missionary (I mean, as hippie as you can be as a mormon) and he has tie-dyed sheets. That he tie-dyed himself. So, one day we are going to make tie-dyed shirts together (maybe next p-day). I'm excited about that too.

Hermana Miller

Hola Familia,

I loved the pictures you sent me this week and look forward to a detailed explanation of exactly what "Harry Potter Island" is, and what you did there. Send as many pictures as possible for that one.

The work here is great. I love this area we're in; there are not as many mountains to climb or as many mosquitos, but who misses that? Haha. Just kidding. I really did like hiking around Utuado. But Guaynabo is doing very well.

We are still working with the Solano family, and they are progressing well. They are still struggling a little with the Word of Wisdom, but the father said that he is taking some pills from the doctor to help him with his cigarette problem (I'm not sure what pills they may be), and they said they didn't buy any more coffee this week when they went shopping. :) I am really excited about that, because I see it as a large step of faith on their part, and so I expect them to recieve blessings for that. We discussed thier baptismal date with them and changed it . The father actually set it himself; we asked him how long he'd like to wait, and he said he would be ready in 2 weeks. We are really excited about their dedication to the things they are learning. They continue coming to church weekly, which is great. They really seem to like it and are getting more and more comfortable there.

We do a lot of walking here because we still don't have a lot of appointments, so we walk to appointments and talk to people on the way. We met a guy this week with really intense dreds, and he seemed really interested. When we told him about the Book of Mormon, he wanted to know if it was legit, or if some human made it up. We told him it was real and written by ancient prophets, and that it contained the fulness of the gospel. He let us set an appointment to come and see him, and we were really excited. BUt then they put Elders in our ward, and where he lives is where they are working. They went to see him and taught the first lesson, and said he was really cool. It was probably better that the Elders went because one of the Elders is a surfer and as hippi as you can get and still be Mormon, so they really clicked, I guess. They talked about surf boards and looked at all of his and he sang for them (because I guess the guy with the dreds is a singer in a band). We're really excited for the Elders to teach him. :)

We also had a contact on the freeway on-ramp. We were just talking to this guy there for 35 minutes (don't worry; it was on a side-walk with a guard rail between us and traffic), and in the end he accepted a Book of Mormon. It was cool. He really likes to read, and he said he would read in the book. I really like walking around and just talking to random people on the side of road; you never know who you're going to meet.

We are really excited to have a set of Elders working in our ward with us; they are really great missionaries. We went to have a lesson with a part-member family with them this week (to introduce them to each other), and it was really great; you could feel the spirit very strongly as one of the Elders testified of the blessings of the Temple and eternal families. I am really excited for this part-member family, because the husband is not a member, but he attends nearly every week with his wife. He is just afraid to covenant with the Lord, when he knows that as a human being, he is fallable. I know the Elders are going to help him.

I love you so much and hope all is well! Can you believe you're almost done with your trip?! It has been longer than a transfer already. Crazy.

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

I tried a new fruit this week. Canepas! They are kind of like the hairy fruit that I tried in January, but a little bit more tart. I have enclosed a picture. We saw someone selling them on the side of the road and bought some the other day. I know that sounds a little sketch, but that happens all the time here. They were tasty. I would try to describe the taste to you, but they are unique. You just have to come here next summer to try them. Yum.

We have some great investigators here in Guaynabo. The family we are teaching is progressing beautifully. We did a noche de hogar with them last night and they loved it. Part of it was a memory game with pictures of them. It was fun to make and a BIG hit; they loved it! It was fun to play. We brought a member family with us and they really became good friends. It was good to see that amistad between them kind of start. We are a little worried about the mother, Maria, because she is very shy and hasn't really made any friends at church. She kind of clings to us, but we are working on finding her a friend. We have brought a member over with us, and the member is very kind to her, but Maria is very shy. We're working on it. They are progressing with the word of wisdom. Maria was drinking 2 cups of coffee a day and now she is down to one. Plinio is changing just as we saw Maria change. He is happier and more smiley now, even though he still doesn't have a job. The gospel changes people. You know that it is the gospel, because it is the only variable in their life. I love to see that!

Magalie, the one we conditionally committed to baptism last week has not received an answer about the Book of Mormon (she hasn't asked yet), but she has read a lot. She read 2 Ne 31 (which we left) and also 32 and 33, and then read the introduction and the testimonies and the first chapter of 1 Nefi. We are really excited for her. We set a date for 28 Aug. We told her about how sometimes answers don't come right away, but they always will come. At the end of the cita when we asked her to pray, part of her prayer was that she might receive an answer quickly so she could get baptized as we had planned together. We are really excited for her, because she is developing a love for the Book of Mormon already.

The ward is doing great. We are visiting a member and helping her develop a true love for the scriptures. The members are recognizing their responsibilities and how it is important for them to go to work too. As one member said to us this week, "Why would the Lord give us any new families if we can't take care of the ones we already have?" That was spot on and it really excited us that they are are aware of and making plans to fulfill their responsibilities.

We moved into our new apartment this week. It is nice. It is a cottage. Seriously though. It is a pre-furnished apartment and is decorated in what I like to call "Old Lady chic". Very nice. I imagine Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother living there. Our landlady's name is Yaya (pronounced Ja-ja), which is also very cool.

Lastly, we had a district activity today in a fun place called "Ă„dventureland". Not that fun. The height of the adventure was sneaking onto the twelveth floor of the building to see what was up there (it turns out to be nothing but a large empty we didn't really sneak up...we just went up and it turns out no one was there to tell us not to), and a large plastic dinasaur outside. I've attached pictures of all the fun adventures this week to keep you up-to-date.

I love you,

Hermana Miller


5111: A pretty rainbow we saw on the way to district meeting this morning. I like the change n the sky color. Pretty!

5081: Me with our memory game. It was tons of fun!

5073: Canepas! This is an extra strand that the guy gave to me. He saw me taking a picture of his stand (and naturally he was in the picture), so we predict that he thought I was taking a picture of him and then he vey kindly gifted me these extra canepas. I'm okay with that. :)

5130: This was at adventureland. It is an albino boa conastrictor. I took this picture so that if I ever decided to buy snake skin boots, I'd be able to show the craftsman what kind of snake skin I want. It was pretty.

5142: This is me in the big emptyroom on the twelfth floor we went to at adventure land. It had pretty views on the city of Carolina.

5156: Me with the dinasaur. Cool.