Dear family,

How is everything back at home? Things here in Puerto Rico are going great. We had a wonderful zone conference this week where we talked about a change of heart. The president discussed a little bit of the talk "Clean hands and a Pure Heart" by Elder Bednar (Nov. 2007), which I had happened to read the week prior to the conference. I really love zone conferences and learning from the Mission president every transfer. This was his last zone conference. Sad! He and his wife are so amazing; I have learned so much from them both. Sister Martineau is always happy. I don't know how she does it. But she is always happy and always thinking of us missionaries. She is a wonderful example of selfless service and I hope to be like her one day (of course, I want to be like you too, mom:) ). President Martineau is so knowledgeable and has a wonderfully powerful testimony. He has a wonderful way of leading us missionaries without telling us what to do. He just leads with love. Somehow. He definitely gives us guidelines and pointers of what we should do, but we do it because we don't want to disappoint him. He has taught me so much and I will always look up to him and Sister Martineau.

On Thursday after the zone conference, we toced doors for a few hours in the upper part of our area. We found a really cool family. Seriously, so cool. While we were teaching, there were visions of baptisms and missions for their kids dancing in my head. While getting to know them, we found out that the mom is a cousin of one of the members from Caparra. One of the strong members. She's been a member for 20+ years and has been to the temple and everything. She always accompanied us on citas and everything. So, that was factor number one. Factor number two is that the son was really interested. When we mentioned the Book of Mormon, he was like, "Whoa. Can I see that?" and he took it and started looking through it. He understood the message quite clearly. He had great answers to our questions and had some really good, thoughtful questions himself. The family has two older parents and two kids that are 20-somethings. The daughter showed up from work half-way through and sat down and listened to the lesson too. We always invite everyone to listen, but usually people who come in late don't listen. But she came. When we invited them to read in the Book of Mormon, the parents both said they would prefer not to because "all who add or take away from [the bible] will be taken from the book of life." You know the the bible. Every missionary does too. Anyway. Omar, the 20-something son started defending the Book of Mormon to his parents, "They aren't adding of taking away from the Bible. This is a supplement to the be read with the Bible. It was written by other prophets." I could hardly contain myself. I was just so excited. The daughter chimed in too. Sister Reyes and I were sitting next to each other and throwing excited looks back-and-forth. Omar accepted the Book of Mormon and said he was going to read it. I believe him. Then we asked them if we could come back another day to share more of our message with them. That was when everything turned sad. The parents had already decided they didn't want us back. But we were really surprised that Omar didn't want us to come back later. He and his sister both believe in one of the most pervasive lies of Satan, which is "It doesn't matter what church you belong to, just that you believe in Christ." And I thought they understood authority. It was very sad. All my visions came crashing to the ground. But. We have not lost hope. And why? We have an awesome story this week.

A random returned missionary from Guatemala called us this week and asked us about a couple people that he had baptized and how the branch was doing and other such pleasantries from "ex-misioneros." Later, we were looking through the area book and noticed that this missionary had left a Book of Mormon with a couple, Jose and Evelyn in 2005. They were only able to teach lesson one and didn't return after for a third appointment. Jose (also known as "Junior") and Evelyn are recent converts, who were baptized in January. They are one of the strongest couples in the branch. Evelyn has already read the entire triple. They come to church 30 minutes early every week. They are one of the couples that attend English class. They are on fire in the gospel. It is amazing to see. Junior bore his testimony on May fast Sunday and shared the story about when the missionaries first came to his house (the Sisters who taught and baptized them). He was sitting in his front room looking at and holding a copy of the Book of Mormon (that we now know this missionary from Guatemala left for him) and thinking about it. Then, the Sister missionaries called outside their house. He let them in, and now they are baptized and going strong. It just took more than one exposure. Omar, if he really reads the Book of Mormon like he said he would will come to know the truth one day. I love meeting prepared people. Sometimes they don't know they are prepared, (or sometimes they are short just a little), but they will accept it eventually. Isn't it amazing what a small world this is? I just thought that was a really cool story about Jr. and Evelyn and this RM that randomly called us. The Lord works in amazing ways.

Another sad-ish story from this week though. We lost Candida and Miguel as investigators. It is sad. We tried to set a baptisimal date with them 2 weeks ago, and they said no, because they understood the importance of authority, but incorrectly thought that men in each church had this authority. This is good. That is why you try to set baptismal dates with people, because then you find out what they don't understand. We spent our next two visits focusing on authority and how Christ only gives it to one church. They came to understand it. We then (on our third visit after) invited them to be baptized again. They refused again and it was sad because they believe they are too old to change. Candida is a Methodist and Miguel is a Catholic, and that is who they are. They definitely understand the authority though, so it was really sad to see them refuse to accept it. It was also sad to tell them we couldn't come back anymore, because you could tell they really enjoyed our visits. They were great investigators (always kept commitments!) and and it sure was sad to say goodbye. We saw Miguel walking through the Pueblo today and I wanted to say hi, but we didn't because we were in the car. It is sad, but we told them that our purpose here was to find the people who were prepared to make those changes in their lives, that we had really enjoyed helping them learn what they've learned, and that they could call us when they were ready to take the important steps in their lives that we had taught them about.

So. This week was a little hard. On the up side, Omar's dad grows pineapple and gave us some. So. Good. Not even kidding. Natural, fresh pineapple is amazing. Like candy. It is a different species though I think, because it was white instead of yellow and you could eat as much as you wanted without hurting your mouth. And, the core wasn't really hard. He just peeled it and then cut it into four long slices (from top to bottom) and gave it to us like that. We each ate three. That equals a pineapple and a half. It's just because he offered it to us! Not because we are demanding, nor that we eat everything we see. He offered it, so how could we say no? It was delish.

I hope all is going good at home. I've enjoyed hearing about all your summer plans and hope your "trip across the world" is turning out as planned.

Hermana Miller

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