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. :)