Thursday, June 27, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Pamilya and friends and anyone who's reading this,
I love you all so much. I feel like the luckiest sister missionary ever because I know all of you. You know what else? This gospel is true. There is infinite light and peace and joy that comes in this gospel. And I love this work.
This week has flown by; it's crazy. I feel like I was just emailing you. I think it helps that we have a real schedule now, full of wonderful things. We get to start each day with personal study, and then breakfast and then class. Our teachers are wonderful- our class has two teachers- one for the afternoon, and one for the morning, but we know all 8 of the Cebuano teachers. They are huge blessings to me in language help, but also in teaching me how to be a missionary, or how to do this thing that I'm going to do for the next 18 months. The rest of the day changes throughout the week, but it all helps. We get to do TALL- technology assisted language learning, which is the coolest program, and I'm pretty sure it's inspired because it helps me learn vocab like I'm never learned before. We have more class, and we teach! We teach a lesson everyday, and I'm still nervous everytime. But I'm learning that fear and faith cannot dwell together, and that my faith can blot out any fear that I have. Plus, Cebuano comes. We learned some grammar principles this week, so I can put together sentences, and say some of the things I want to share with these people. It's still really frustrating to have this message that can make someone happy and only be able to tell them a few things. But I try, I have faith, and the Spirit will take my words to the hearts of the people I teach. It's also been really reinforced to me this week that any weakness I have in this language can be turned into an advantage of vulnerabilty, sincerity, and simplicity. That's so great.
I learn so much everyday, which is just fine by me. My understanding is getting better, and my love for this language grows. Even more importantly, my love for the people I'll teach grows. Thanks for that picture, Mom. The people of Cebu can't be ready for all these sister missionaries coming to them.
We definitely eat three meals here everyday like Pres. Purcell blessed me- sometimes it feels like we study and eat and that's it. But there's lots of great salads and fruits and vegetables and food prepared for us. We get mail after lunch and dinner, so that's another really good time. Seriously, you're all the sweetest people. We get to have gym/exercise everyday in the gym, or at another gym, or the indoor track, or the field outside, which is a great time to tire myself out, and think about the day. I end each day feeling like I gave my best effort, and even if I'm disappointed that I didn't learn more, that's all I can ask of myself. The Lord will help me do the rest. I absolutely know that- He can do anything, and through him, with him, and standing beside him, we can do the same.
Sundays are so wonderful in the MTC- and we're especially excited for this Sunday with the missionary broadcast. There's an amazing spirit of enthusiasm here in the MTC about everything. It's so fun to sit in the Marriott Center with our 1600 person choir and sing Hark All ye Nations. That's what we're doing- we're calling to every nation, that all may rejoice. This Sunday, Sister Rugg and I went to watch The Testaments- which I don't think I'd ever seen in its entirety. Christ is real. That's all I can say. He knows me and you and every other person. He knows exactly how to help us and he is working in our lives to lead us to good. This week, I think I've really gained a testimony of the Holy Ghost. As I try everyday to be worthy of that gift and that inspiration, I'm learning more about how the Spirit speaks to me. It can be little things, like the word I wanted to use in my prayer (tinguha-desire, oh and the rest of it means a desire to share the gospel), that I didn't remember before or after, but I did in the moment. Or it can be bigger things, like the confirming feelings, or precious messages that tell me that I'm here in the right place. The speakers and teachers here at the MTC know how to access that Spirit and we all hear something we need. On Tuesday, Robert C. Gay of the Seventy spoke, without notes, without a script, and he said things we all needed to hear. (He served his mission in Spain, right at the beginning of missionary work in Spain, so I got to think of my Mom and Dad- He told a great story about being inspired to put up streetboards to teach, even though they weren't allowed under Spanish laws at the time- did you use those to teach?) After Tuesday night devotionals, we come together as a district and have a testimony meeting about our thoughts, and I think that was my favorite part of this week. It's hard to choose, but there was something so special about each of us teaching each other, when two weeks ago we were doing entirely different things with our lives. My district is so great- half of my district is going to Tacloban, and that's sad because we love them so much, but right now, we all gain so much from each other. I think one of the blessings of a mission is learning to love people because of their differences from us, not in spite of.
We get to go to the temple again today, so that might become my favorite part of this week, and after dinner, we have our first TRC appointment, teaching someone we don't know in Cebuano. Faith not Fear Sister Tueller.
Thank you so much for your love and messages and thoughts and prayers. I have the greatest family. Thanks Mom for sending the news of my cousins who are serving. Their wisdom is such a blessing to me. And we're all here together, inviting others to come unto Christ.
I'm healthy and happy and thriving in this work. Ultimately, this is the best thing I can be doing right now, it's Heavenly Father's plan for me, and I'm gaining so many blessings as I try my best to do His work. Nasayud ko nga tinuod ang niini simbahan ug ang Basahon ni Mormon. Jesukristo mao ang Manluluwas. Buhi siya! Nasayud ko nga naa Amahan sa Langit og plano para ako. I love you all so much. How are all of you? How is life in Hawaii/Utah/ where ever you wonderful people reside? What's exciting in your life right now? I love any updates, and I care about your life!
Ayo Ayo ug Gugma,
Sister Josie Tueller
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Akong pamilya ug mga amigo!
I love you all- that's what the title means and it's so fun to say. Thank you so much for your letters and uplifting spirits. Dear Elder is the greatest invention ever. I love hearing about all of you! Are you having an exciting summer? Did you have so much fun with Yuna and Yaya and David? I love those pictures Grace- you model you!
The MTC is a wonderful place. I already feel comfortable here, and I've started to get the routine- I guess that's what a week and a day and the Spirit can do for you. There's such an amazing enthusiasm here with this wave of missionary work. On our first night, we had to fill four different auditoriums to be greeted by the MTC president. The first few days had a lot of information. As soon as I walked in with my host sister, I walked through a building where I was handed papers and grammar books and scriptures and all sorts of things and they put a name tag on me. I stand in the mirror for a few seconds every morning looking at it. That's me, right there, wearing the badge of a missionary, with my name, and Christ's. So cool! I got to put down some things and then they took me to class, where my teacher spoke Cebuano the whole time. I could feel the words flying over my head. But it's okay! We were all so scared and nervous, but also strengthened by our Heavenly Father. I told you a little about my companion Sis. Rugg, but I just want to tell you that I've been blessed. We're so similar, which isn't always good, because we're both a little more quiet, but her dedication and diligence are an inspiration to me. I get to be senior companion for the next 3 weeks and then we switch, so I'm being blessed to learn about decision making and being in charge even when it's scary. We went to all sorts of devotionals and firesides the first two days- I'm here to teach people. And not even people, I'm here to teach a person, one person at a time and help them feel God's love and plan for them. That's reassuring. I can do that. There is a tangible force present here. I can't wait for us to go out to all the world.
We got to have more class, everyday- I live in my classroom, but I like classrooms, so that's fun. I've gotten to a point where I can kind of understand what my teacher's saying in Cebuano. I can testify that miracles happen here. On Friday, we taught a lesson to our "progressing investigator" named Cixto who's actually a teacher here. I taught a lesson in Cebuano, and then I taught 3 more. I'm sure he's holding in the whole time with our halting words and mixing up consonants and making up words. In our first lesson, I kept slipping to Spanish and he kept reprimanding me with a "Castellano!." I'm trying not to do that again. We're teaching our fifth lesson, completely in Cebuano without notes- only our scriptures and Preach My Gospel. That should be impossible, but it's not. I can feel myself being helped by the Lord. Cebuano is so fun. I love it already. It's a lot more Asian-sounding that I thought, and the grammar is always interesting since it's not actually a written language. We're always trying to memorize more words and sometimes it feels like there's no more space but I find some more. More importantly, I can pray and testify and commit and promise blessings to the people that my Heavenly Father wants me to teach.
We get to exercise almost everyday, at a gym on treadmills and Mormon Messages, or a big indoor track, or volleyball and basketball. It's a good time to make sure that I'm still doing okay and assess the day. So I know that I'm doing great. It's hard work, but it's what I want to be doing. I know that.
Sundays are so cool in the MTC. We have a huge mass Relief Society meeting, and Branch sacrament meetings, and 1600 people choir practices and a Sunday night devotional. I think I needed to here each of those messages. Isn't this gospel great?
Tuesday evening was also incredible. Walking to the Marriot with the mass of missionaries was great. We stopped traffic, and got to see places that I had been just a few months ago. My whole district is in the choir, which will also be singing for a worldwide broadcast on the 23rd, so you can look for me! We walked over and filled 5 sections of the Marriot. Singing Called to Serve among thousands can't be described.
I absolutely love my district. There's so much pressure here and we all want to do so well, and so the littlest things seem hilarious. I think I've laughed more here than in the past month. It's good for us. It helps that they're all hilarious people.
Dad, I met an Elder Cameron Perkins in the laundry room, who stopped me because of my last name. He asked if I was from Logan. He's Heather Tueller Perkins's son, grandson of Uncle Rod. He's going to the New York New York North? Spanish speaking mission. It's certainly a small world.
I'll try to send pictures next week. I haven't been very good about remembering to bring my camera places, but I'll get good picture for next week.
Family, when do you actually leave? I don't want mail to miss you, and I like to know where you all are.
Thank you for the pictures Mom- I love all of them- I'll try to be the best elementary school teacher missionary that I can be.
Thanks so much to the Tuellers and Daltons in Utah for the best send off ever. I feel so loved and supported among all of you and your wonderful examples.
I'll add my testimony for your testimony meeting. I know this gospel is true. In Cebuano, there's a word for "I know with my heart" and " I know with my head", nasayud and kahibalo. I love that distinction. The gospel is somethign that we can know in our mind and in our hearts, but I think our hearts have more power. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, revealed for our day, and it can change lives. I know that with God, nothing is impossible, and that faith can always conquer doubt and fear. I know that Heavenly Father loves and looks after each of his children. I know he has a plan for each of us, and I'm so grateful that I have the knowledge that I'm accomplishing some of my plan right now. I know that I am strengthened and forgiven and uplifted only through Christ's Atonement. He is the light, and the way. Thank you for being my wonderful family, and teaching me so that I can live my life in the way that makes me the most happy. I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers, and the love and support of my family, and people thinking of me, who I know I can't possibly imagine. Thank you Dad for that reminder. I'll try my best to always remember. I love this work and I'm excited to learn more.
Love wala'y katapusan (forever, without end),