Dear family,

I got your little letter this week...with the pictures. I love the pictures! I seriously love receiving pictures, especially with litte comments on the back. I think you're all so cute! For reals. You all are very good looking people. Haha. :)

This week was full of fun. It all started early in the week. One night I was in the kitchen, cutting up mango (mango is delicious. I am sad I had to wait 23 years to try it. It is wonderful!), and I saw out of the corner of my eye a dark spot. I ignored it and kept cutting the mango, and then I saw the spot moving, really fast. I looked down, and what should I see? It was a monster like that one slithery one in Monster's inc., who has all the legs and steals screams from children. I definitely screamed. It was a big worm with lots of legs and it was headed towards me. I screamed, but thought quick and grabbed a box and put it on top. When the box started to move, I added weight. We decided to get rid of the bug the next day, but the next day, it had disappeared! So, we were kind of living in fear all wee as we would come home and not see him, but know he was in their. We just decided that he had escaped the same way he had come in...but then we were cleaning last night, and he magically appeared again. I got a picture to send to you. It was frightening, but also exciting. We talked to a member about it and he said that when they bite, it is like being bitten by 10 waps simultaneously, and that to kill it you have to cut it up into pieces using a machete. Well, seeing as we don't have a machete, we just swept it out the door.

In other news, we finally got our hands on a conference issue this morning! (no...not the one you sent me, but one from the office). It is so good! I love conference. I have only read three of the talks so far, but they we all good. I read one by Elder Oaks in the priesthood session that talked about priesthood blessing of healing, and I loved it. I know the priesthood is real and that men on earth again have the power to heal...if (as Elder Oaks says), we have faith and it is the will of the Father. I loved the talk. I also read the Happily Ever After talk by Elder Uchtdorf in the Young Women conference. You all know how I love fairy tales, and would love to live one...little did I know I actually was living one. :) What he says is true; if there are no tests or trials or tragedies in your fairy tale, well? It is really boring and there is absolutely no growth. I never really thought about eternal life being the "Happily Ever After" that Heavenly Father is offering to all of us, and it is in our reach, if we just do what we can and follow the map that He has given us. Wonderful talk. Honestly though, I think I can say that about all the talks in conference.

I read this week in Ether, and I've never really liked that book. At least at the end, because I felt like it was just a travelogue of ugly killing sprees and such. But, I feel like I understood something different this week. I never noticed before that Coriantumr was repeatedly trying to end the fighting and the bloodshed, but Shiz didn't want to. I found it to be a lesson in pride. In Ether 15:2 it says that 2 million men were killed...and their wives and their children. So, if you assume every man had one wife and one child, that is at least 5 million people. But, probably more. And that was before the bloodiest battle. How terrible! Then, they gathered more people for four years. There were so many people that it took 4 years to gather them (v. 14) and then had an epic battle to end all battles. Verse 15 in Chapter 15 was especially...I don't know. Touching? I don't know the word, but what I want to say is that it really affected me. It says that every one was armed, including all the women and all the children. How sad! How ugly! I just can't imagine an entire people falling so far that they would arm their children to fight. But, it was all for the pride of a man who insisted on avenging the blood of his brother (Shiz). But, Corinatumr himself had the opportunity to repent and save his people before all the battles really picked up, but also refused that opportunity because of pride. How terribly devastating pride can be! How horribly damaging to those people who depend on you. It never really hit me this hard until this week.

I fiinished the Book of Mormon again this week and I realized that I have fallen in love with that book. I love the Book of Mormon. It has so much power. The prophets who wrote it were inspired. It is amazing to me the powerful doctrines and teachings that are in there. Sometimes through stories, and sometimes more directly, but it is amazing all the wonderful testimonies that we find there. It is really cool as you read the book at different times in your life how the same verses can take on totally different meanings. I really like to think that everything in that book was put there for a reason. For example. Although I never really saw a reason for the end of the Book of Ether before this week, I now can see how valuable of a lesson it is for us in our day. It is really true that Mormon Moroni saw our day and spoke to us as if we were present. They shared some very valuable lessons for us that *sigh* are just amazing. I feel like I can't articulate myself in English anymore, but I think/hope you get the point.

I am also reading the New Testament, and I am falling in love with that book too. It just takes a little more time and effort reading it, but it is so worth it because there are beautiful lessons and lovely passages to be found there. Confession: I've never really read that book all the way through (unless you count seminary...), and really spent my time trying to understand, but now I have been reading it since the CCM and I am really moved by the beauty of the words of Christ and those faithful men who spent the time to write it. Although there are not a lot of words (as in you have to read between the lines a lot of times), I find that the people portrayed in the New Testament are wonderful examples of faith and obedience and diligence. I almost feel like a dork saying it, but, I love the scriptures! I feel like shouting it to the world. I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love! :)

Right now our "best" investigator (she reads in the Book of Mormon) is Mirta. She is cool because she reads pretty faithfully the assignments we leave her. She surprised us the other day by writing down her feelings and impressions on the assignment we left her; Moroni 7. It was cool to see someone take the initiative like that, and it really impressed us. She still hasn't made it to church, but she is acquaitances with two of our...15 active members, so we hope she'll make it sometime soon. We also talked about the Book of Mormon with her 20-something (or maybe 30?) year old son. He seemed interested, and we read the introduction with him and he really read it and understood. He had a couple things that he disagreed with, but I felt like he was really open and ready to learn, while others are mostly just ready to fight. We left him a Book of Mormon and he said he would like to read it and that he was going to start at the beginning. So. We'll see. He is really cool, and I think he could really gain a testimony if he has real intent in his heart and not just in his words. We'll see.

Carlos, our investigator, basically fell off the face of the earth, but we contacted him last night, and we have a cita with him on Wednesday. That is really great news, because we know he wants to get baptized, but apparently he has been in Caguas with his daughter for a couple weeks. He is really cool, and it's good will be able to see him again this week. Finally.

Well, we're out of time, but I hope everything is going great back home. I had some more things to tell you, but they weren't that exciting anyway. I love hearing from you all and hope you get some of our heat up there soon. It has been in the high 80's. Add humidity and it is gross! But oh, so fun. :)

Hermana Janae

That is my hand on the side, just so you can have an idea of how incredibly massive it was! Ok. "incrdeibly massive" is a bit of an overstatement, but it was quite large.

This is us before tocing one day. It rained on us really hard that day and we came back soaking. Also, a guy randomly gave us "Parcha", which is known as passionfruit in English. Yum.

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