We are loving it being here as metro missionaries! We had a lot of fun "metroventures" this week. The first one was unplanned. We were in an apartment building going up to visit a less active and we got stuck in the elevator! It was the first time in my life I've been stuck in the elevator. It was exciting, especially since the call box didn't work. We used our metro missionary skills though, and just pushed the alarm button instead, which is like a school bell that is really loud, so the entire building can hear you. Finally someone came and got us out, but not before laughing at us first. haha. It was funny. There is a little trap door in the top of the elevator and he kind of peeked in there and laughed and then opened the doors for us. We were still two floors down from our final destination, so we climbed the stairs to the apartment we were looking for. When she saw that we had come up the stairs she asked us why we hadn't used the elevator, and we told her we had, but that we had gotten stuck and she exclaimed, "Oh, that was you?" Good fun for everyone.

Another exciting metroventure we've been having daily is taking the train to our area. We are living in Caparra and we are almost out of miles, so we decided to ride the train everyday. That is tons of fun and a cool way to contact people. Then we walk around all day (which is tiring!), which is also a great way to contact people. One train contact was cool because he started speaking English to us (people like to do that to practice on us), and we asked him where he had learned his English. At first I thought he said, "On the street," but then my companion helped me understand he had said, "On Sesame Street." So. That is a valuable program after all! I liked that. We left a family proclamation with them (it was a lovely family).

Speaking of a lovely family, the Solano family (the family we are teaching), came to church this week! It was so great! They loved it (it is their second time to church, but first time to this ward). They arrived about 5 minutes early (which is better than a lot of the members, even), and they came dressed up. We talked about baptism in Principles of the Gospel class and they learned a lot. People were pretty friendly with them. They are progressing so well. I just love going over there because they always have read and they always have good insights into the reading and appropriate questions. They are humble and fulfill their commitments. They still have a lot of challenges though. We just talked to them last night about the Word of Wisdom, and there are a few challenges there, but we asked them if they believed it was a commandment and they said that yes, they do believe it is a commandment. I know that they can overcome any problems because they have faith in the Saviour and they truly believe in the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. He still hasn't found work and was really sad yesterday about it because I guess he was really excited about some job that he had interviewed for but that they still hadn't called. That must be so hard. He wants to support his family so bad but just can't. We pray for them a lot.

We also taught another investigator this week. We had a first lesson with her a while ago and it was basically just answering all her doubts, and she was a little the same this time at the beginning, but then we started teaching lesson 1 and she listened and understood and was excited to read in the Book of Mormon. We conditionally committed her to baptism and she agreed that if she were to receive an affirmative answer about the book of Mormon that she would be baptized. It was really cool to see the difference that a lesson taught by the spirit can make in a person. She changed just while we were teaching, and that was exciting for us.

After a couple week sof being homeless, we hope to finally have an apartment to move into on Friday. There were various problems and hang-ups, but thanks to a nice guy we found a great apartment at a nice price. Long story short, the guy we were going to rent from told us he thought his apartment was too small for us and showed us an un-advertised apartment of his neighbor's, because he thought we'd be happier there. He is not getting commisioned or anything by her, it is just because he is a great guy. They also gave us mangoes, which gives them triple points in our book (they are so good!). The apartment is kind of like a little guest house thing behind an older women's home. It is situated in this little garden wonderland and is really quite beautiful. I will take pictures once we get there. There were problems getting the apartment, but the latest word is that we're moving in on Friday. We're excited to live in our area.

Also this week, we tried an almost, "half-extinct" fruit, called the Mamey. It looks like a coconut or a brown breadfruit, but is soft. It has a weird flavor, which is like a mix between papaya and apple or papaya and mango. We're not really sure, but it is a flavor of papaya mixed with something. Not my favorite, but it is almost extinct! That means it is a delicacy and worth eating if you can get it. I wish you could try all these exciting fruits. I just realized that you don't know what breadfruit is. YOu can make really tasty tostones con breadfruit. It is called panapen in Spanish.

We are still really working on the doctrine of Christ here as a mission. I had a cool insight on it this week while reading the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 18. Verses 20 and 21 hit on specific points in the doctrine of Christ, faith and repentance and also that there should be no contention, but rather there should be unity and love. In verse 22 it says that is how they became children of God. So, truly living the doctrine of Christ and having unity and love helps convert you to become a child of Christ. I feel like I'm on the brink of something with the godhead and the doctrine of Christ, but I just can't figure out exactly what. I like these verses though, because they are helping me understand both (the godhead and the doctrine of Christ) better.

I love you and am happy you found me again. :) I love all the pictures.

Hermana Miller

: )

Dear Family,

This week was really great! We are getting to know the ward and the members in this area, and they love us! Like I said last week, they haven't had missionaries proselyting in their ward for at least 7 months and people who have been baptized in the past 5 years say they have never met sister missionaries, so we are a pretty novel feature in this area. A lot of people we met on Sunday or during the week told us that they have some people they want us to visit, which is the best! Referrals are the best way to do missionary work, so we are really excited to work with the people here. We had two member-present lessons this week, which is more than I have experienced in several months, and that is before we even attended church (we were here last Sunday for church, but it was Stake Conference, so we didn't know a lot of ward members this week)! We are really excited to work in this area with these people.

The family we've been working with was a referral from a member in Ponce. The Elders who were covering this ward before us weren't really working here, but they would go and teach any referral they received for this area. They had taught them once before we arrived, and then when we got here they introduced us to the family and then just let us take over. We talked to the member from Ponce yesterday and the story of how they were referred was really cool. The husband of the family has been out of work for a long time and really working hard on finding work for a long time. I guess he wrote an editorial in one of the papers here about the lack of jobs, or something like that, and the member down in Ponce read it. She felt like she needed to contact him and tell him about the church employment services, so she got a hold of his number and called him, and then she invited him to listen to the missionaries too. He agreed, and so she turned in his name as a reference. It was a cool story! Then, we went and visited them yesterday with a couple from the ward and the husband of the couple works in a bank, and says he thinks he knows of a job that is available that he could help him get. It was really exciting the way the Lord works little miracles like that. The really horrible thing about his lack of employment is that it is not because he's not looking, nor that he has no marketable skills, it is just because there aren't a lot of jobs down here. They are reading The Book of Mormon though, and we are already seeing a change in the family. Last Sunday, the mom barely said anything and barely acknowledged us, but last time we went she was smiling and had read the pamphlet and was showing us her favorite parts of it and was answering questions. It just feels so good coming out of there. We set a baptismal date yesterday for 14 August. We're really excited for them.

We were visiting a member this week and she told us her neighbors were members too who attended church every week, so we went over to visit them after we visited her. We were walking down the street and the husband yells to his wife, "Hey honey! It's the muchachas!" (That is what they call us here). And so they let us right in, and they didn't even wait for us to introduce ourselves, she just started telling her story right away and just went on and on. It was so cute they were so excited. We thought the husband was a member (he was excited to see us, and he goes to church every week), but it turns out he's not. We're not really sure why not, but we suspect he doesn't want to make a commitment when he knows humans are fallable (I didn't realize how common that problem would be), or that he just doesn't want the responsibility that comes with being a member of the church. We talked about the importance of baptism and how it is necessary and how it is something that God has asked us to do and He feels happy when we do do it. We're going to work with him and help him. His name is Pedro.

We were just walking around a neighborhood one day this week talking to people outside and this guy drove by once and then came back around. That was normal, but then he came by a third time, and that was weird. But then he stopped and talked to us, and it turned out he thought we were testigos (we still wonder if he just drives around neighborhoods looking for them...) and needed information on their church. He has a bachelors in theology and now is working on a paper with a friend (just for fun?) about various religions, and the only one he lacked information on was the Jehovah's Witnesses. He said he already had information on us, but we left him a Book of Mormon and a copy of the first pamphlet that talks about the restoration (he didn't have either), and are excited that he is going to read them. This has happened before, where people are doing projects and need information from us, and I always get a little excited...because they're really going to read. The problem is that they don't always pray. But. I can't help but get excited about the possibilities.

So our ward meets at the same time as the English Speaking ward, so it was weird seeing Americans in church on Sunday. Other than that, church was really cool. There are some really strong members, and we are going to help strengthen it a lot. They have given us some of the names of people to go and look for and they are really great people who, when they come back to church, will be a really great strength to the ward.

I'm finishing up the Book of Mormon and still love it. I am reading in Ether again and love the Brother of Jared. He is so cool! I love the example of persistence he gives us in chapter 1. He asks the Lord to protect his family and his friends from the curse of the confounding of languages, and the Lord says "...I will do [this for] thee because this long time ye have cried unto me." He wasn't trying to change the Lord's mind on what He had already said, he was just persistent and patient while waiting for an answer. If only we were patient and persistent every time we prayed about something, I think our prayers would be a lot more powerful. I also love chapter 3, where the Brother of Jared has to act and think for himself and solve his problem (there is no light in the barges) and then take his solution to the Lord for approval and the power to carry it out. It is a great chapter.

I love hearing your updates and feel sad that this week we had early p-day. I hope all is going well and that you're safe and happy.

Hermana Miller

Dear family,

First off, I am SO happy to hear the news about Jenn! That is awesome! I wish I could change my feelings to words. What joy to hear that one of my friends has accepted the restored gospel. I'm so excited that you were able to go to church on Sunday and see her there! It must be cool to visit Orchard Park and see such exciting changes. The gospel is for everyone; share it with everyone! Maybe you don't think the person will be interested, or even that they'll be offended, but it really is for everyone.

Speaking of exciting changes.... We have some more! We had interviews on Thursday in Ponce. During our interviews, President made the decision to take us out of Utuado and bring us to the metro area. We are now working in the Guaynabo ward. It is the area just to the east of Caparra, my first area. That means we have crossed the line and are now working in an area of the old east mission (but it's actually all one mission now...). We are the first west-siders to go to the black hole of mystery that was the east mission. Surprisingly, it actually looks a lot like the west mission. We feel safe here, not in a wild wasteland...as we expected. :)

We are white-washing a ward that has not had proselyting for 7 months. Since the change was so fast, and there weren't any missionaries previously, we don't have an apartment and are living with one of the office missionaries in my old area, right close to the office. It is weird to be back in this area again, but I like to be back in the city...living the rush and being part of the masses. Haha. It's not really like that, but it is a lot busier, and there are a lot more people. It is not quite as quaint as dear little Utuado was.

Our ward is called Guaynabo, but most of our area is actuallyin the San Juan Municipality. It is kind of an up-scale area; there are a lot of really nice nieghborhoods...the old mission home is part of our area. We're still trying to figure out the area, but it is fun. I like this white-washing thing, although, it is kind of sad that I have closed both areas I've been in...what is wrong with me? It was really sad closing Utuado, because he is not sending missionaries back anytime soon, and we were the only missionaries there. At least when we closed Caparra we left another set of missionaries there. I don't want to sound really full of myself or something, but I don't know what that branch is going to do without missionaries. They are really going to stuggle.

We were asked to visit everyone we could before we left, but not to tell them that we were going. That was probably the saddest part, because they didn't even know what was coming; we just didn't show up to church on Sunday. We shared a message about the doctrine of Christ. It is something that our mission president is really stressing lately, but I think I am still trying to understand it. We've taught it in pretty much every lesson we've had for the last 6 days now, so I am coming to understand it better, but still feel like there is something missing. One interesting insight I've gotten is what the doctrine of Christ actually means. At first, I thought it meant the gospel of Jesus Christ...the pathway Christ created for us to return to our Heavenly Father (fe, repentance, Baptism, Reception of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). I still count that as the doctrine of Christ, but I feel like there is another understanding as well. In 2 Ne. 31, Nefi is talking about the "doctrine of Christ," and the more and more I teach it, I realize it is the doctrine of why we have a Christ. Why it is we need a Christ. It encompasses so many parts of the gospel, like the laws of justice and mercy, the atonement, the priesthood, faith, and most of all, love. I love that the base of the doctrine of Christ is love. It was all done (and still is) out of love.

We are working with a family here in Guaynabo that is really cool. The parents have been together for 14 years, I think and they have 3 daughters. There is true love in their home. They attended the Caparra ward on Sunday, where they learned about eternal families. We went to visit them on Sunday night, and they really want an eternal family. They are willing to do what it takes to have one. They have some problems in their life right now that are real struggles, and I know the gospel could help them. We excited to teach them and help them prepare to make those eternal family covenants. Yay! Our first family. :)

Continue having fun on your trip and say hi to everyone I know... :)

hermana miller

This week we ate at J-mart with the member who takes us out to lunch every week. We didn't request it or anything, we just ate there. It was the experience of a lifetime! There were purple tablecloths and a pretty mural. The food wasn't so great...the rice was a little hard and the beans were yucky, but the important thing is that I was in J-mart...my dream come true! So, that is how I know it was time to leave Utuado...we ate in J-mart. Here is a picture as proof. Best lunch ever (which was actually gross, but a great experience...).


Dear family,
Things are going great here in Utuado. Sister Thomas and I are so fun together! We are just up to a lot of missionary work fun and side projects that entertain. (In fun side projects category: I hope you have received Flat Hermana Miller and are having lots of fun together.) Also, we are in a district with another companionship of sisters (again), so that is a lot of fun too. We are going to Ponce every week for district meetings, which is a bit of a hike (Ho9ur and 15 minutes).

We had a surprise mission conference this week to meet the new President and his family. On Thursday night they called us to tell us to be in Bayamon at 7:30 the next day for a meeting. So. We live in the middle-of-nowhere in the west part of the island, and Bayamon is on the more east-ish side. We had to get up at 4:00 am so we could leave at 5:00 to be there at 7:30. It was kind of ridiculous. But we made it. And I saw Sister Palmer (my companion from the CCM)! It was cool to see her again and chat, and also really weird to see so many missionaries that we didn't know/recognize. We met the new president and his wife and their kids; an almost 16 year old, an 11 year old and a 7 year old. They sang a song for us as a family before the kids and Sister Alvarado had to leave for school. It was nice to meet the family, and then President Alvarado spoke for a while. I can see that there are going to be a lot of changes. Things are not going to go on the same as they have been. We'll see how that goes. He is really trying to focus on mission unity right now, which is understandable, because we are two seperate and very different missions all-of-a-sudden trying to be one. It should be very interesting. He teaches different and administrates different. We'll all learn new things together as a new, unified mission.

Vincente, the friend of the branch president's wife, came to church again this week and we went to visit him to teach him a first lesson too. He is really cool. At church he got up in from of every one and spoke about how he is trying to raise his daughter without a mother, and after church everyone was really supportive of him and really friendly. That is the great thing about being in a small branch; when someone new comes, every one knows and greets and be-friends. I wish bigger wards could be that welcoming too. His daughter, Tanairy, really hit it off great with our young woman (yes, our one young woman), and they are great friends, which is really cool. He has been reading and we can see some great potential with him. We're excited as he starts to lean more about the gospel.

On July 5 we went to a neighborhood that was (Surprise!) near a lake, so we went and walked along the lake and talked to all the people who were randomly fishing there. Cool thing? They didn't use fishing poles; they just used fishing line...some just line, and some with the line wrapped around an empty beer bottle. It was weird. But people were catching fish, which was cool. It was a lovely day and we got to invite a lot of people.

We went to visit Shaira again this week and were really excited when, right after we walked in she told us she had read and had a lot of questions. We started out the lesson and then let her make her questions. The first one was about polygamy. And that is when we found out she had read, but not in the Book of Mormon, but online. Sad! She had read the blic of the chapter we had left her (the summary thing?), but then when she realized we wanted her to read the entire chapter she was like, um, seriously? Haha. Kind of cracked me up. But, she turned out to be really cool and is going to read this week. We called her yesterday to see how she was doing and she reminded us about our cita on Friday, so that's a good sign. We feel like she really understnads the necesity for a restoration and that she understand authority.

I read in 3 Nephi this week and I really loved reading about Nephi in chapter 7. I read it just in time to share in District meeting, where I was asked to talk about a successful missionary (see PMG chapter 1). 3 Nephi 7 talks about how he was a really powerful missionary who had great faith and that he ministered with power and authority. I love how inverse 18 it says that he had such great power that "...it were not possible that [the people] could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ...". In the next verse it talks about how he performed miracles, including raising his brother from the dead. "Wow! If only we could have that power as missionaries," I thought, "then we could be baptizing machines, right?" Haha. Wrong. In verse 21 we learn that "...there were but few who were converted unto the Lord...". Sad. The saddest part is not that Nephi was deprived of the baptisms he wanted, or that people didn't believe in his miracles. The sad part is that the people knew that what he was preaching was true. Remember how it said in verse 18 that they couldn't disbelieve his words? They knew the truth and still rejected it. Preach My Gospel says that you know if you are a successful missionary based on your dedication. Nephi was dedicated, but people still had agency and rejected the message. Some who reject the message know it is true. But Nephi was successful because he dedicated himself to the Lord. Preach my Gospel also says that when people reject our message, we may be disappointed, but the most important thing is that we are not disappointed with ourselves. I really liked that story and thought you might too.

Also, we shared a talk with a recent convert this week from the General Conference of April. Wow! Awesome talk! "All Things Work Together for Good." It is by Elder Martino of the seventy, and he talked about how we look at Jesus Christ's last experiences on earth before His death as an example of how we should react in trials. It was a great talk that discussed how we need to accept the Father's will; depend and trust in Him more through our trials; learn from the experiences instead of complaining and serve others. I loved his perspective and the examples he gave.

Thanks so much for the package; I finally received it on the 3rd (a little late, but it came all the same). I like the drawings on the outside and the gift-wrapped fun on the inside (who wrapped that stuff; it was like, laminated in tape!).

I love you and loved hearing about the adventures of the week. Keep me up to date on all the fun you have together.

Hermana Miller.