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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

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