Ain´t No Mountain High Enough

What a week. We started out in trio because the companion of Hermana Espinoza left for the States. It was crazy because we were running in 2 sectors and all the appointments fell through in both sectors. But it was an adventure.

Wednesday we had cambios. We ended up just switching out companions with Churrios. I miss Hermana Hernandez. The best summary I can give of her is her favorite color is red. She has a very strong personality and is passionate about everything. She helped keep up energy and I helped her learn how to take it down a few notches sometimes:) One thing I didn’t realize until after she left is that I really didn’t talk much when I was with her because she was so chatty, I just listened haha. I didn’t realize what a toll it had taken on my Spanish. The ward misses her a lot because she was such a powerhouse. There are also a few members she contended with that will talk to us now, so it all evens out.
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Hermana Rojas is my new companion and I just love her so much. She has 8 months in the mission so we´re just babies together. She trained Hermana Terry, my love from CCM. She is so calm and collected and is always telling me how much she loves me and he’s just an angel. She’s from La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a recent convert to the church. She has some pretty severe knee problems, so she can’t walk downhill. It makes things complicated in this sector, but we’re figuring it out. It’s sufficient to say we’re going to spend a lot of money on micros this cambio.
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The lovely Hermana Rojas! And sopapias we made yesterday.

Our 1st night we went to get ready for bed and the door to the bathroom was locked. Locked, with no one inside and no way to get in except with a key. Any trick you can think of, we tried it. Trust me. In the morning, we went to the apartment of the Hermana Leaders to shower, and that night the bishop came and demolished our doorknob to let us in. So now we have a nice scarf in the door.
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The remains of our doorknob

The other day we were in Viña for physical therapy and after lunch we had a service project for the mission, so we got permission to stick around for almuerzo and it was fabulous.
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And that’s all I’ve got.
Love you all!
Hermana Miller

Cuando yo me bautice

MY FIRST BAPTISM! It happened! People really can stick to their commitments and overcome trials and come to Christ. It’s incredible. We really didn’t do much to help Daniel. We just provided the resources and he practically baptized himself. Funny story with that: we’re at the baptism and they kept the doors closed until they were all ready. We heard a splash and Hermanas Hernandez said, “se cayó” and I said no he didn’t fall, he just walked into the water fast or something. But then they opened to doors and there’s Daniel soaking wet shaking. Turns out that without his glasses he really can’t see anything and he fell in the baptismal font. And, naturally, the water heater didn’t do a thing. So it was freezing water. So he really did try to baptize himself haha. I can’t stop laughing every time I think about when they opened the doors and he was just standing there already wet and shaking. Oh gosh, kills me every time.

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But, another miracle was that his mom came to his baptism! We had talked to her a lot about the baptism but she didn’t really want to come and he said she was busy or something  that day, but she showed up after all! And the end of the baptism he bore his testimony and it was so simple and so beautiful and I was so happy.
Also, don’t know if you’ve all heard, but we’ve have a whole lot of earthquake action going on around here I love it, but the members who sit in their houses watching the TV freak out a little. The scary thing is when there’s a possibility of tsunami. The earthquake on Monday was 7.1 and the tsunami warnings started on everyone’s phones and from what I heard and saw it was pure hysteria in Viña.
And, this week we have cambios! I’m sticking around here in Reñaca Alto, but Hermana Hernandez is heading to Viña Centro. I have no idea who my companion will be still.
I love you all chao!
 Hermana Miller
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Shakey, shakey, shakey, terremoto

I HAD MY FIRST TEMBLOR! Okay, to be fair there have been others but I am always so exhausted I don’t feel a thing. But on Saturday night we were laying in our beds moments from sleeping and it started to moan and then it started to shake. It was so fun! I loved it. I wanted more. It was 30 seconds max. A little disappointing. Turns out it was 6.0. In any other place that would bring down buildings, but not in Chile! All my wildest dreams finally came true. Fun fact: in Spanish there are two different words for earthquake. Temblor is just a little shakey, but terremoto is when all heck breaks loose. This was just a temblor.
So, Daniel didn’t get baptized this week. We had touched the topic of all the commandments, but we still hadn’t committed him specifically. Super rookie mistake, I know, but he drank tea on Thursday, so we had to push his baptism to this Sunday. But it all works out because we have Stake Conference this week, so he would have had to wait 2 weeks to be confirmed, so it’s all good. And he’s so well read. And so awesome. He knows as many members as I do, because we have every lesson in the house of a different member. He was sad we had to move his baptism date, but more than anything he’s so concerned that he will die between now and next week, because he won’t go to Spirit Paradise haha.
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Daniel and Familia Munoz (I promise he doesn’t hate us)

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This is the lovely couch in our apartment where I fall asleep writing in my journal every night.

Zone conference pics! http://vamosvina.blogspot.cl/2017/04/conferencia-de-zona-quilpueachupallas.html

Judge me.
Sorry I’m the worst. But that’s all I have time for right now.
Love you all!
Hermana Miller
P.S. (Note from Author / Sister)
Hermana got her wish! More earthquakes
You can track any earthquakes happening, or happened.
Here is a map of the area affected, Laine is on the North end of the yellow mark, close to the shore. Luckily there was no tsunami risk.
No damage has been reported, that I can find yet. Our wonderful God is watching over us through the moments of shakes AND stability.

And So She Wrote

This is the worst keyboard in the entire world. My hands hurt from typing.

To sum things up. Daniel is amazing. He read all of the introduction and testimonies in the Book of Mormón and he knows it’s true. He knows it so hard. What I love is that he know it logically and he feels it. He understands everything so well. And he’s the first investigator I’ve had that actually reads the pamphlets we leave. So really all we have to do is answer questions in the lessons. Our lesson on Monday was in his house with his mom, and we invited him to be baptized and he felt it so strong. He said no, but it was different from any other no I’ve ever gotten. I didn’t immediately feel disappointed and sad. I knew that he would eventually accept it and he knew that he would too. After that he asked if we could have the next lessons somewhere else. Since then we’ve had lessons in the houses of members. He told us he doesn’t want to get baptized because of the toll it will take on his family, but he knows this is the church of God and he can’t deny it. HE’S GETTING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY! He came to church yesterday in a suit! The progress of this kid kills me.
And Valeria. She’s amazing. She’s telling everyone that she’s going to be mormon. She gave away her Restoration pamphlet to her Evangelico friend. We’re working on smoking right now, but she is so ready to be baptized with her kids on the 30th! Sunday when we came to pick them up for church, they said Cristian couldn’t come because of his game, but they couldn’t find the coach and he “had to” come. Milagros.
 DSCF2340We had a Zone Conference and I found the lovely Hermana Canterbury.

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We also had the Príncipe de Paz activity. And a million other things, but I am chata de este keyboard.
Chau!
Hermana Miller
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Yee Gats

Pucha. [Wow.] What a week. I had to spend almost all of my time today finding and downloading videos in French, so sorry this is really brief.

This week we really focused on investigators first. It ticked off a few members because we had to skip onces and a correlacion meeting, but we’re seeing miracles from our sacrifices of time #sorrynotsorry
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The lovely Maria trimmed my hair for me and let me use her electronic massage bed (aka cama de milagros [bed of miracles]). We felt like we should visit this old investigator that wasn’t really progressing, so we did. Still not really interested, but we gave it one last push and have a final cita to see if she prayed about it.
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Martes
We’re walking up this ridiculously large hill and meet a lady named Carmen. She tells us that she’s going blind and we told her that God has a plan for her and she invited us to her house. We taught her, her grandson, and spouse and they said they want to be baptized! We had The baptism date for Marco as 8th, but we passed by his house and he’s smoking again. And now he’s talking about how he worships the three kings and believes there isn’t one church of God. All sorts of apostasy. That broke me because we have put so much faith and work and tears into this man and he was all words. That night, our Zone Leaders were coordinating everything so that I could go on Saturday for Bruno’s baptism in Belloto. And we found out that something happened and he doesn’t have permission from his parents anymore. You could say I was a bit of a mess.
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We put post-baptism goals with Andres and he’s pumped to serve a mission as soon as he finishes his year mark. But he says he wants to serve for 6 years haha.
We felt like we should go past the house of a contact as she said that she was just about to call us because she decided her family needs the unity of the gospel. She investigated when she was 16 and wants her kids to know God. It was funny because I really needed to use the bathroom, so I asked if I could and she said no because they don’t have water. I thought it was a joke because people say stuff like that all the time. Nope not a joke. They’ve gone 6 months without water.
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We received a reference for Brayan who is so read to get baptized. Really sketchy past life, but he is super ready to change. Also we talked to our Haitian friends frankly about the lay de castidad and they are all about it. We just need papers to go through to have the wedding!
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We put a baptism date with Fabian, but he doesn’t want to give up Regueton. Remember that not progressing investigator? We went by her house and found her son Dani. I don’t have more time so I’ll just tell you the short version. He came to church on SUnday and he feels like this is God’s church! All we have to do is put his baptism date on Martes in our cita!
Long of the short of it, Brian told us he doesn’t want to get baptized anymore yesterday and craziness happened, but we’re still seeing miracles every day!
Love you all!
Laine
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PS We finally went to the highest hill in our sector and you can see the ocean and it’s beautiful.
And for my mom, this is the state of my shoes.
And this is fruit of Chile and I love it. The yellow one is Membrillo and it’s like an apple and a lemon had a baby.
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And if you ever start to feel proud of your tan lines, know that I am still winning.
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Príncipe de Paz

Hello family! What a week.

To start off, we had a rep`lica meeting and we learned that our mission has been selected to do a special Easter event in correlation with the world wide Principe de Paz blitz [video explaining event]. We are handing out cards with a picture of Christ on the front, nothing more. It’s great because everyone wants one, but also kind of a problem because everyone wants to pray to them haha [learn about how we pray here]. We’re having like an open house in the Stake center to learn about the church and Christ and all that miraculous stuff. It’s going to be a really big event for members and nonmembers alike in the whole stake. I have to memorize my little part as a tour guide. Every time I practice, my companion just laughs at me. I’ll take it as a good sign.
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Hna Hernandez and I making her version of pancakes (very different)

So many miracles this week I have to just pick a few to share. On Wednesday, we spent the whole day walking and contacting. We had 4 citas and they all fell through. I got to know those sweet sweet hills all too well. We made 38 contacts that day. That might not sound like many, but our daily goal is 20 and that requires effort. It was 9:00 we still had half an hour and it’s kind of sketchy to contact people walking in the street that late. So we started knocking all the houses that still had lights. We knock one door (well actually we yelled out side of her house, Chilean version of knocking doors) and a Brazilian woman opens the door. We give the run down that are missionaries and want to share a message of Jesus Christ. She leaves, and we just waited outside her gate. She comes back, and she’s gathering children to “listen to the good word”. She invites us in and we taught her and a little boy about The Book of Mormon and baptism. She made us once [afternoon tea/snack] and we’re about to leave to have almuerzo [typically a multi-course lunch] at her house right now. Her name is Ana and she works in a Brazilian restaurant. She lives with her friend and her two kids from Colombia and another friend from Venezuela. And they are so ready to be baptized! They didn’t commit all the way because they want to ask God first, but I think that’s pretty fair.
Conference was a beautiful thing. I got to watch it in English and listening to Elder Eyring speak was like listening to my dad. Not going to lie, it was startling to see so may white people in one place. Elder Rasband’s talk really hit me. The Spirit is our amigo and we really ought to listen to Him!
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This is how we watch #ldsconf

I love you all a lot and hopefully next week I’ll be able to write more!
Hermana Miller

ACHUpallas! Bless you.

Well here I am. The first new sector. It was rough leaving Belloto. I knew that I was going to miss people, but I didn’t really believe that anyone would miss me. It was definitely the hardest to say goodbye to Familia Valdez. Bruno’s little face broke my heart. I was counting on being able to ask for permission to go to the baptism, but now it looks like we’ll be having baptisms the same day. Sure love that little boy.

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Hermana Lozano made me this official graduation from training certificate thing. She made all these people sign it, pretty legit. And our last night Hermana Johana bought us Papa Johns:) I ate my half in one sitting #noshame. Also this keyboard is awful, so I apologize in advance.
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My sector is called Reñaca Alto. And it is huge. It literally doesn’t have a boarder and is more than half of the zone. And it’s in the hills. LOTS of hills. But we normally end up taking micros because we can’t get to city in time walking everywhere. There are no street signs here and no real central streets, so you just kind of have to memorize it all. And I’m so terribly lost, I just follow my companion. But, I didn’t realize how much I missed hills. And there is greenery here! There aren’t any real stores, just little shops to buy your bread everyday. There’s a really wide variety of people that live here. From people who have really nice big houses to squatters. We met a lady the other day that lives in a little shack on property she just bought without water or electricity. She was really interested so we wanted to give her a Book of Mormon, but she doesn’t know how to read. That was a first.
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My lovely compañera is Hermana Hernandez. She is from the capital of Honduras (which is a clever way of avoiding remembering what it’s called). She has 11 months in the mission and 3 cambios in this sector. This girl eats, sleeps, and drinks baptisms. She has so much fire. She just goes. I feel like she would be really funny if I could understand her haha. AND it was her birthday on Saturday, so I made her a manjar banana:) And we had asada in the house of a member who was actually a bishop in Liahona. Small world!
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Instagram skills not wasted

The ward here is awesome. They just got a new bishop and the first thing he wanted to do is have a meeting with us to make a ward mission plan. He wants us to teach the families in the ward how to give the first discussion and then have them give it to the recent converts.
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Sunday we had a lot of investigators in church. There’s this one investigator from Haiti named Tibe and the only reason he isn’t baptized is because he’s waiting on legal work to be married. He brought 4 friends to church. They didn’t understand almost anything, but they still loved it. We had a lesson with them last night and it was really cool because we said something and then Tiben translated to French back and forth the whole lesson. Why didn’t I study French?!
Another family came to church that was a reference and we still haven’t been able to teach them anything, but their only question was how many times they have to come to church to be baptized.
I attached pictures with Marcos, Virgilio, and Juan. Virgilio was just baptized and confirmed and Juan is anxiously waiting for his birthday to be baptized too. Marcos is their dad and he’s struggling to give up smoking right now. They lived on the street for years, but they started building their little house way out at the limit of our sector (which is actually the end where there isn’t a limit, but it’s where the houses stop) and members have been helping out, and it’s all really such a miracle.
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So much new stuff and so little time! Summary: I love this little sector. It still doesn’t feel like home, put the miracles are flowing!
Love you all! Enjoy conference!
😘Hermana Miller

This Place is the Fleas Knees

Well folks. It happened. I have fleas. But not really, my bed has fleas. Turns out that the Chilean flea is a very advanced critter and has evolved more than any other little bug you’ll meet on the street. So today we had to bring my sheets to Viña and the pensionero is going to treat them with this stuff that kills fleas on contact. Apparently they use in in the Army, and supposedly it won’t kill me. Only time will tell!

What even happened this week? We finally had another lesson with Luz Maria to drop her as an investigator. It was pretty cool because we didn’t really know how to start and she said something about how we left her a scripture in Alma 30 and it talked about the Spirit World and Spirit Prison and we basically just told her that if she really believes this stuff is true she’s gotta act to end up where she wants to be. It was hard and sad, but definitely guided by the Spirit.
We had to do a little splits gig because we had a Noche de Hogar and Ingles class at the same time and that was good fun. And weird to be away from my compañion.
On Thursday we had a little lesson with a contact from the street who said she just let us in because we looked like we were starving and tired (accurate). We had a little lesson, but then her Uncle came home and we got some really weird vibes from him so we booked it out of there. We didn’t even close with a prayer we felt like we needed to get out of there so fast. It was weird, but I’ve definitely learned to just take the Spirit’s word for it.
Not going to lie, this week was kinda rough. lots of fallen appointments and then we visited a lot of people and had lots of inspired lessons, and then no one came to church. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain the faith that people can genuinely change. Especially with Chileans, they don’t want to say no to anything, so we get a lot of empty promises.
Friday we had intercambios again and I had the lovely opportunity of leading in my sector for the first time. It actually went really well. Hermana Haddon is amazing at making inspired questions. I realized that I’ve gotten a little too comfy lately and turned into a bit of a robot missionary. I’m really trying to focus on making every opportunity a teaching opportunity.
AND…. BRUNO IS GOING TO GET BAPTIZED!! I swear I just love this little boy with all my heart. We went by so a lesson and his sister was sick and his mom was busy with the baby, but Bruno still really wanted a lesson. We started out and asked him if he prayed to know if our message is true. One thing I love is every time we ask a question, we have to wait a little while, but he always answers so simply, but profound. He said he wasn’t really sure how to explain it, but when he was praying he felt like there was someone right next to him and he just felt warm inside and happy. I almost started crying. How many times have I invited people to read and pray and promised they would get an answer but they aren’t diligent and don’t ask or they don’t have a desire to act so they don’t feel an answer. I was starting to forget that answers really do come. And it reminded me of when I was a little girl and I realized what the Atonement meant and I prayed to know that God could forgive me and I had the same experience, like someone was right next to me. We taught the Doctrine of Christ and after asked him if he wanted to follow the doctrine of Christ and live with God again and he said yes. So we set his baptism date for April 1st with his mom. His mom was a little hesitant, but Bruno said, no I felt like someone was with me, so I know I can do it. I just love this little boy.
But… I’m getting transferred!! to Achupallas. It’s in Viña and I get a lot of mixed reactions from the members, so we’ll see.  Should be an adventure! Ojala que [hopefully] Presidente will let me go to Bruno’s baptism.
I love you all!
Hermana Miller
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For The Love

¡Hola todos! What a week, what a life.

I could just spend this whole email talking about how much I love the Familia Valdes. The struggle right now is that the mom is always taking care of her screaming baby, so we can only teach the kids. And Silvana is always throwing toys at my head. But we taught Bruno and Krisna the Restoration and they just ate it up. We had a ward activity in Viña and we got permission from Presidente to go with Familia Valdes. Sweet Pacific Ocean how I missed you. During the activity, Bruno kept on asking me questions about the Book of Mormon and Jesus. I’m just in love with this little boy. On Sunday only Bruno was able to come to church, but he walked over all by him self and went to all 3 hours! And, we found out that he’s actually 10 years old haha. And he asked us for a new reading assignment in the Book of Mormon because he already read the one we left for him. I just love him a lot and I hope one day I can have a little boy as precious as him.
Raul is still going strong, we finally taught all of the Restoration and he’s all about it and we had a really awesome concise and powerful lesson with him. He could come to church because he’s a fisherman and I guess the seas were really crazy this weekend. And he still thinks he has to read all of The Book of Mormon to be baptized, but he has progressed SO much from the man who just wanted to Bible bash. Paciencia:)
This week I’m finishing up my training, so I have to lead with everything. We’ve been spending a lot of time contacting and we’ve met a lot of great people. Carol just moved here from Venezuela and is really interested. We met Myra and her baby Maria Gracia on the street and she invited us into her house and we talked about the Book of Mormon with her. We met Marcela and her family in the calle [street] yesterday and she said she wants us to teach her daughters about Jesus.
Friday we had Zone Conference and conferences are so much more fun when you can understand things. I learned a lot about putting more faith in my goals. I love the example of Nephi when he said that he will not return to the tent of his father with out doing all the things he was commanded. I’m really working hard to have the same mentality. Also, I was reading in Predicad Mi Evangelio [Preach My Gospel] and it basically said that if you aren’t following the Spirit, you are denying the power of God. That called me to repentance real hard and I’ve really focusing on just going for it. Just contacting every person I see. Just inviting them to church. Just giving them a Book of Mormon. And honestly that’s when I find joy and that’s when God can open doors for us. I’m finding more and more that I don’t find people, I don’t do anything. I put in all the effort I can and God trusts me with opportunities to teach.
Also, getting on my soap box for a minute. Please, just get to know people. Just make friends. You don’t even have to preach to them, just make friends that aren’t Mormon. It is 20x easier to get someone to listen to us when they have some kind of personal experience with a Mormon. Perferably a good experience, but I’ll take what I can get.
Go make friends! I love you!
Hermana Miller
P.S. Here’s pictures in Viña with Bruno and Krisna and a picture with Bruna at church and Hna Lozano wearing a Navy hat thing of a recent convert we met.
¡Chao!

Bella Belloto

What a week. I feel like I say that every week, but it’s because every week is a whirlwind! My birthday was great! Hna Lozano and I treated ourselves to something different and ate our almuerzo on our tiny little balcony to our apartment for drying our clothes. I had lovely surprises from members for my birthday with a lovely cake from Hermana Morales and hamburgers and fries from Gustavo (because that’s all that Americans eat, right?) and another cake from Hermana Bacerra. I felt a little bad because we didn’t get much done because everyone just wanted to give me cake haha. Also, here you have to bite your cake. And then some one usually smashes your face in the cake. Thankfully I was protected by members and no face smashing happened. DSCF2241DSCF2247

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We had therapy this week as always and I almost learned how to pronounce kinesiologo. And we taught one of the therapists about the Book of Mormon. He’s totally going to get baptized one day. He just has to get married first…. Oh Chileans. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find married couples here.
We have been teaching an antiguo investigadora and we found out that she doesn’t believe that God has power. Like she doesn’t believe that any of the the Bible or BoM is real, just stories. And she’s read the entire BoM 2 times. I don’t know what to think of this woman.
Good old Raul. We taught him this week about the Doctrine of Christ and he wants to be baptized, but wants to read more of the Book of Mormon first. Now he just needs to get married… But he came to church and it was really great. An amazing testimony meeting. He’s going to have lots of questions, but really good. The ward got really excited about having an investigator there and started sharing testimony of their experiences of conversion and feeling the Spirit. Super amazing. I didn’t realize that the gospel has only been here since the 70s so almost all the adults are converts.
And….. WE FOUND A FAMILY! Familia  Valdes Or rather they found us. We were walking and Hermana Lozano made a contact with them and the mom asked how we baptize in our church and said that she wants her kids to get baptized. We had the first lesson with them on Friday, and they are so on board. And they’re married! And their kids are so attentive it’s insane. Bruno is only 7, but he asks the best questions and he said the closing prayer and it was just precious.
On Saturday we had to take a sick day for Hna Lozano. She’s got some weird stuff going on with her stomach… to be honest I have zero health terms vocab so I really don’t know what’s happening. All I know is I got to take a solid 2 hour nap.
Sorry to be so brief again, but I love you all to pieces!
Hermana Miller
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