Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Right place, right time

Dear everyone,

First, I love you. I love the gospel. So I want you to love the gospel. Please do.

And now for this week! It's been a good one. I don't think I ever say anything different than that, so be assured, it's always a good week out here. 

I learned again this week that the Lord is aware of us, and when we work hard, he just blesses us more. Thursday was an incredible day. We recommitted to talk to the people in our path, and to search for the elect. We went forward with our plans trusting in the Lord. That day, every thing went right. Our first appointment wasn't there- busy (more about them later). 
Next: Marlo Cabije. Thank you for your prayers! We had an incredible lesson where she committed to come to church this coming week. She really understood the judgement day and she just gets it. She needs to courage to do it and to change. It took forever, and I started to understand a little bit of what Ammon felt when he was exhausted in the Spirit. But we had so much more to do. 

Does anyone remember Jolly B? She was the rich lady where we tracted into her house in my first week. She got really busy, but this week, we visited her again. She first told us that she's not allowed to visit with us, so that was sad, but then she continued to talk and tell her about her problems- she's got all sorts of things going on, and she really needs to come to know her Savior, but she's not willing to change. We're going to give her a Book of Mormon because she needs it so much, and I know that the Book of Mormon has the answers to all of our problems, but that too was hard.

We continued into a different baranggay, and we have so many return appointments from the one day- we're excited to follow up with these cute families and people kind enough to allow us into their homes. They definitely need the gospel, we just hope that they'll have the faith to act. 

Next, Tatay Redoblado. We couldn't teach, because there weren't any women there and none of our members could come with us. But he promised to come to church- he hasn't been back since that last time. Guess who was the first one there at the chapel on Sunday, even before us? Dear Brother Redoblado and his granddaughter. He was also given the Aaronic priesthood! God's miracles are sublime.

Then to the Cuderas- some of my favoirte people here. We've been working with them and their neighbors and their son, Philitaeo but in the last few weeks, even Brother Cudera has been joining our lesson. (He's been against the church in the past) We talked about Joseph Smith and he shared his testimony of Joseph Smith and cried- it's still going to be a long haul with them but I will visit with them in the celestial kingdom. 

Another incredible experience: On Friday night, we were in the right place at the right time to find one of our members who was looking for us. She came to ask us to come to the funeral of her granddaughter who'd passed away early that morning. It's probably indescriblable
and my time is up, but I know the plan of Salvation is true!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Hello all! 

I'm glad to hear that you haven't had seasickness. Enjoy your adventures! My life seems normal now compared to my family.

This week has flown by. Sibonga is becoming comfortable- and still exciting. Here's an update on people and events:
 Sister K. She should come first, because she's my companion! I love serving with Sister K. She is absolutely never discouraged, and she's learning so much. Growth is inspiring, even when it kind of hurts. We laugh a lot, but we've also been discussing our questions and the doctrine. It's really been making a difference in our work- we're seeking more knowledge, and it's brought blessings. Every week, we get to ask our Zone Leaders a gospel question and they'll do their best to answer it- so we're working on stumpers. 

Joann. Remember her? When we split the area with the Elders, they got her area, so we haven't been by. However, this week, the Elders have been sick, so we've been covering for them. We'd been having a day of no one being home, and the Spirit very clearly told us to go to her. She thought we'd forgotten her and was so excited to see us. She was sick, and didn't come to church, so we're hoping it was just that. 

Gege Sanchez. She's been really sick all week, so we haven't taught her. But last time, we left her an assignment. When we stopped by, she said "your assignment was really long, I haven't finished yet." This is fairly normal, it's sad, but we keep going. We enquired a little more and found out how wonderful this actually was. I meant to leave Alma 32, but forgot the "32" so I assigned Sister G to read the book of Alma. She didn't finish the whole thing, but she read 20 chapters! Miracles abound.

Joshua. You would never believe he had a problem with prayer! He won't let anyone else pray anymore. He and his older brother have to do "rock paper scissors" to see who gets to pray. His brother Brian is wonderful too. He's 13 and needs someone to believe in him. For his birthday, we got him a scripture case and he immediately started calling himself Elder Brian- it kind of looks like the bags Elders use here.  We put some pamphlets and things in it, and the next time, he asked us for more. He'd given them out to people who'd asked him questions and he got us return appointments! That's member missionary work at its finest!

We're always trying to talk to people and find the elect- those prepared from the foundations of the world to receive the gospel now, and I know they're there, but sometimes, I feel like I'm pulling people along, instead of people with true desires. That's my job now, but every so often, the elect really come. I got a really strong impression this week to stop by one of our street contacts, even though she hadn't been there every time we'd gone back. We went to Jen Suico's house and her sister told us she was sick. We said we'd maybe come back, and then stopped to tell her who we were. As we testified, she flung the door open, told us to come in, and we proceeded to have a lesson with Hanimae and her husband Jake. They are so elect. They're both from different religions, and they see problems with both- they're looking for the truth. Unfortunately, they live on Negros, not even in our mission. But we'll send a referral, and they will come into the fold. It was enough for me to see God's hand, and his people that have been prepared. This work truly is hastening. We're no longer just fishing, but we're hunting to find them. I've been feeling a sense of urgency, mostly just to work with all my might for his glory. This week, I hope you all can have to faith as well. There are elect in your path. Be an example in deed, and then be an example and invite in word. They need what we have!

I love you all, I know this gospel is true!

Sister Tueller

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Look at me building a house!

Add caption

Ungoys! (Monkeys!)

Dear family,

Sibonga continues to be a delight. I keep wrenching more love out of my heart, and then sometimes, it just flows freely. 

Funny story of the week (which also maybe illustrates a point): We were walking yesterday, kind of exploring because we'd just had a bunch of dropped appointments, and a woman comes out of nowhere (actually, she was probably peeing in the bushes). We said hello, and she didn't respond, but then turned around to tell us to visit her mom over there. Already, this is getting weird- but it's a referral, so we went to contact them. No one was there, we continued on, and taught a lesson to a very Catholic woman, mother of someone who ran away from us. We came back to our referral, and ayo-ed at the gate. (Have I told you this? We don't knock doors- you just yell "Ayo!" and that's it.) A nice woman came out, we told her who we were, and she hobbled away without a word. In a minute, a nice old man comes and opens the gate into this weird resort thing- like picnic tables, but also chain link fences. He tells us to follow him- and I felt okay about it, even though this could have been totally horror movie. He took us to the back- where there is a zoo!! In tiny Sibonga, there are monkeys and tropical birds, and lizards and a huge crocodile! They weren't really interested in our message- but maybe. 

Here's what I learned though. I don't know how the plan of the Lord works, and I don't know lots. I was starting to think I knew this area and had gotten things figured out- and then there's a zoo! And so I'll keep walking, and following strange referrals, and visiting less actives who don't seem like they're making much progress, because when you least expect it, there's a zoo!

Updates on people here:

Joshua, the 9 year old who's getting baptized at the end of this month. We've been working with him- and his less active family members. There are all these children- I'll take pictures tonight, and we have a great time. This week, we got some of his uncles to join our lessons. He'd also been struggling to pray in front of people, and we were really worried about it. But don't worry! On Sunday, after church he bounded over and told me that he'd said the prayer in Primary, and then prayed gladly every time this week. He's also reading the scriptures by himself, and even in the youngest converts, it's wonderful to see the power of the gospel.

Brenda Baran: she's progressing so well- and understands the scriptures like only the elect do. She wants to be baptized, but she's not married, just living in- it's such a problem here because of all these legal complexities and money. So it'll be a little bit of a long haul with her. But it will come nonetheless.

Marlo Cabije: Oh, she's special. She's a reason I'm here in Sibonga. She's slowly but surely taking the steps to repentance. She told me yesterday- "You're smart. You get me. You have me pinned down. You know that I needed that scripture (Ether 12:4) and that I need an anchor of hope." And then she paused. "Actually, it's just the spirit. Strong vibrations." Just the spirit! And Marlo Cabije is so right. I can't figure the woman out. She laughs and then cries and then swears and then hugs her child. But her Heavenly Father loves her so much and sometimes, he shows us a little bit of who she is. So pray for her, please, that she'll have the courage to do what she knows is right. She's reading the scriptures everyday, and that's incredible progress.

I know, that's not everyone, but that's it for today! I love you all so much. Read the scriptures, understand who you are, love a little bit more, expect the best.

Amping mo,
Sister Tueller

Kamao na ko! (Jan. 7)

Dear family, 
How are you all? How's life in Utah and Hawaii? Are you ready yet? No one here can believe you're going on such an adventure. 

Also, I got your packages this week! Thank you so much. And thank the Laie 8th ward for me. It's all about love, isn't it? And I was so lucky to learn that from such a great family and ward family.

It's been a great week in Sibonga. We got Elders! Elder Consigna and ELder Carroll are both new- Elder Consigna is training right after training, and they're so enthusiastic and ready to be here. I think they might be just what Sibonga needs, plus two sisters who are really trying their best to help some people come closer to Christ.

Miracles of the week: Gege Sanchez. Oh, she's incredible. She has a long complicated story, but basically, she was baptized, then got pregnant, left the church, but led half of her family to the church in the process. There are all sorts of miracles going on in her life- we couldn't visit her before because of the owners of their house, and then they had a sudden windfall of cash and they built their own house. Often, when we visit less actives, they've simply become lazy, or maybe they didn't have a testimony in the first place. We remind them of their responsibility and God's enduring love, and we hope and pray that they come to church. She's different. She first told me- I'm having doubts. (most people  here don't understand enough to have doubts. I tell people about Joseph Smith and then ask what they understand, and they say he's a prophet. They won't pray to ask if it's true, because they already know. But they think all churches are the same. It's an evil trap of Satan and I spend all the time working on it- but when someone has real doubts, I just about jump for joy) We got to talk about her feelings, and her need for repentance and mostly just feel her "real intent." I'm so grateful that we can trust in God's promise that he will give them knowledge- they simply need to do the acting so that they can progress.

Also, I'm learning about believing in people. I've visited the Taladro home every week faithfully for the past 3 months. I've entered once, and shared a short message to no one really listening. This week, we went by, and they welcomed us in, sat us down, asked us gospel question and the time of church. Do I know what happened? No idea. Did they come to church? No. But they will! Maybe it'll take another 3 months and I might not be here, but that's okay! People need someone to believe in them more than they can themselves. I've experienced that so many times in my life. Thanks for being those people then, and for me now. Right now, I'm so blessed to be that person who believes. It's not always easy, but it's so worth it. And then when the members who didn't believe in them see it, they learn to believe in themselves a little more. Sibonga keeps teaching more than I could ever have learned otherwise- weaving roofs with my favorite families, or loving more than I thought possible. 

I'm just grateful. And I love you all. Keep doing your good things.

Oh, the title- I can already do it/know how to do it! it's really just fun to say, and to tell Filipino people that I already know how to ride a caribou or make roofs, even though I don't. But maybe I will. There are lots of things that I can do, that I didn't really think would be possible, but I can. 

I promise more fun stories next week- I'm short on time and I've been thinking about a lot. But keep loving and progressing and learning, everyone! 

Ampin mo ha!
Sister Tueller

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bag-ong tuig!

Happy New year everyone!

first news: Transfers have come and gone and both Sister Kalonihea and I are staying in Sibonga. I sort of thought I might be transferred, but I've seen over and over again this week that I still have lots to do here. Those miracles are really coming.

People are still saying Merry Christmas to us, they just add a Happy New Year, so I've been thinking about that relationship. And as grateful as I am to have had a Christmas season as a missionary, I'm almost more grateful for a New Year. A new year means that we get to start over, and that this year, we can be perfect jounalers, exercisers, perfect tithe payers, perfect church attenders for 2014. This has been really inspiring for my less actives here- that everything else wouldn't matter because they could start over. And yet every single day, we actually have that chance- not just today, but as the sun rises everyday, we can start again.

So miracles of the week: The Cudera family. They've been my family here in Sibonga. Sister Cudera is a recently returned less active, and two of her 10 children were baptized in the last year- however, four were supposed to. They have all sorts of trials, and her husband is sometimes against the church, and they're incredibly poor, but they keep trying. Sister is working to the temple- and we have a third of the zone leaders in the mission working for that too- they've all served here and they want to make sure she gets there. But back to the four that were supposed to be baptized- one is 9 and we're working with him, the other one is the miracle of this week. Filitaeo is 16 and I only knew who he was because of his teaching record. For some reason, he avoided our lessons, and all of my efforts to fellowship him, and the branch, and it made me sad every week. But this week, I said something, or the spirit did, and he started hovering on our lesson. In this same lesson, Brother Cudera was participating, and developing a testimony of the church- he's not ready to change yet, but he does know it's true. Anyway, back to Filitaeo. I was scared to say something, I didn't want to spook him, but the Spirit guided me into asking him to say the closing prayer. He agreed readily if slowly and then gave an incredibly sincere prayer, including a plea for forgiveness for his distance. As we left, we were in a hurry, and then there wasn't a motor and I wasn't super happy about it because we'd be late to our next place but the Lorrd has a plan. Filitaeo decided to walk with us down the mountain to make sure we were safe and he apologized the whole way down. I don't know what changed, but he promised to join our lessons. This was when I thought I might be transferring and he almost cried- I had quite a few people praying that I wasn't transferring. the love I feel for them is immense.

And then our next appointment- the one we were late to! Lizel and I got there late (we'd been on splits at the Cuderas) and sister K and lovely joy were already teaching at Lizel's house. Lizel's nephew Joshua is 9 and hasn't been baptized because this branch sometimes forgets things, so he'll now need to be a missionary taught convert- and he needs to grow his faith just the same. I'm excited for his baptism, and for the possibility of more to come to their family. When we committed him to baptism, after trying to help him understand (any tips on helping a really active 9 year old boy?), I had some really cool revelation- looking to his uncle- Lizel's less active brother who really is so close to coming back to church. And guess who will be baptizing Joshua? Chael, his uncle! The Lord's plan is marvelous. people just need to be needed, to have a responsibility to feel loved. This year, let us love a little more, remember the lost a little more, remember who we are. 

I love you all so much- I toast that!

Sister Josie Tueller

Me with the three YSA who work with us- Lovely Joy, Lizel and Maricar. They're also the YW presidency.