Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Naa ko'y kanding! (I love goats!)

It's been another exciting week in Bayawan!

As you can see, I held a goat. It was the cutest thing ever. My companions just laugh, because we see cute puppies and kittens all the time and I couldn't care less, but there were three baby goats while we were doing a service project, sweeping leaves, and I just couldn't contain my joy. Isn't it cute? We were helping Sister Valentina- Cristina's mom, and it was tons of fun. There were only 3 brooms/rakes (I use the term broom loosely- picture 30 thin sticks bound together, or some straw sewn together), and she insisted on working with us, first just using a stick to sweep. I took the stick away from her, so I spent time hitting leaves with a stick trying to get them into the pile. I got a golfing technique down by the end- and in the meantime, I provided entertainment for Sister Valentina plus everyone on the beach. Of course, we were quite the spectacle in our skirts, and mostly just our American-ness. But we got to teach a lesson to Sister, and I know she felt the spirit- from our service, and from our lesson!

The same kind of thing happened this week when we went by the Tumabini family's house. They run a little tindahan from inside their house and so Sister is always busy. Or she just runs away from us, or refuses to talk to us. Her husband is really progressing to being temple-ready, and their son is sort of on his way to a mission (he's another story entirely, he was so strong a few months ago when he was baptized, but he's lost a lot of purpose, and now we have a less-active recent convert. But he'll make it- I know it.) As we walked by their block in GK, Sister Merlinda was putting charcoal in bags to sell. Our appointments had fallen through for the day, and so we sat down and helped her. She tried to stop us, but she really did need the help. It's not a fun task at all- you breathe in all this charcoal, and you squat for a long time, and your hands get so black and filthy. But it was the funniest part of my week. All our neighborhood children friends gathered round, plus more, plus their parents, and just watched us. They kept talking about us- I guess forgetting that we can understand them? Mostly, they just wanted to say we were fat, or white, or that we shouldn't be getting our nice clothes dirty. But as they all walked away, they said- That's what missionaries should really be doing. Isn't that true? All the time, I'm trying to do what Jesus Christ would do- and I know that Jesus Christ would want to help Sister Tumabini put charcoal in bags.

A little miracle of the week: Do you remember Roselyn? I think I told you about her my first week. She's from an inactive family, who live right behind Cristina, and she joined our lesson my first week in Bayawan- mostly for the American curiosity. We always drop by on our way through GK Village, and while they never let us teach them, we're building a little bit of relationship. I held a hamster outside their house, but no picture evidence. This week as we walked by, Sister Bohol was sitting outside looking worried. When we talked to her, she opened up a little and told us that Roselyn had been gone for a week without calling (she's maybe 20, and she's a little bit of a wayward youth). We listened to her, and then reminded her to pray. Of course, I prayed for Roselyn that night. And yesterday, when we stopped by again, guess who greeted us? Roselyn. She came home the next morning. Lots of people might call that coincidence, but I know that the Lord works miracles. Does it mean that they're going to progress, or come to church? They still have agency, but I saw the miracle, and I know they did too.

We're off to another adventure- we have a zone activity to Balanan Lake, so I apologize to everyone who I didn't reply to. Next week, I promise! I'm wearing pants right now for our activity, and it's really weird- I guess I'm getting used to this missionary thing. Actually, I know I am. I'm learning to love the work more everyday.  And this week is Sister Bibing's baptism- so look forward to the next update in the life of Sister Tueller.

I love you all so much. Every night as I pray for you, (and if you're reading this, then you're a person that I pray for), I feel close to all of you and it's a great part of my day. Of course, I also get to feel close to my Heavenly Father, and that makes it the best.

Have a wonderful week!
Sister Tueller

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