Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear ones,
I love hearing about your adventures in Japan and all over the world. Keep the reports coming!

This week has had all sorts of highlights. First, to finish my story from last week- Sister Quinto was the grandmother who found us on Friday night. Her daughter is Marcela. Marcela’s only 18, but her second child passed away on Thursday morning. She’s done a lot of growing in the last week. We (the missionaries) had to do all sorts of organzing because priesthood is hard to come by in Sibonga, especially when the Elders were gone. But we got missionaries to come so we had priesthood. Early on Saturday morning, we went to their little home up the mountain path. They all tried to be busy and cheerful- they are strong people. The Elders conducted a short funeral service and then they walked to the cemetery with the coffin. As we sang I am a Child of God, every single person was crying- especially the non member family members. I was just so grateful for our knowledge that the 1 year old child will be resurrected to a celestial glory and live with God. This week, we've been working with Marcela and her boyfriend Joel. They are seriously preparing for the temple in a year from whenever they save enough money to get married. That should be soon- and we're seeing the miracles for them

First, we had a little bit of a difficult week in terms of lessons- we had lots going on and lots of dropped appointments. On Saturday, we weren't anywhere close our goal. At the beginning of the transfer, we'd set a spiritual goal to have 28 lessons every week and committed to work for that. We asked God for his help, and felt sure that he expected us to achieve it. On Saturday, we had a choice to have faith or to make an excuse. We chose to have faith that in one day, 11 lessons would happen. We trusted that nothing is impossible for the Lord and that there were people prepared. We went out after church determined to find those people prepared and we did. From that one day, we had 6 new investigators, some former and lost, and some truly elect and ready for the gospel. By the end of the day, we'd taught 12 lessons. It's not about the numbers, but in a way it is. We'd committed to the Lord, and when we worked to keep that commitment, he poured out the blessings. I'm learning the importance of goals and planning, once again. 

The Lord is so merciful. The promise of D&C 4 to "Ask and ye shall receive" is true. This week, we'd been meeting all sorts of elect people from other areas. We'd laughed about it and joked that everyone else was getting referrals from us. We weren't discouraged, but we'd hoped for new investigators for Sibonga. Yesterday afternoon, we got a text, with a referral from the missionaries in Basak. I'm excited to contact this referral, but moreover, it was another testament to me that the Lord is keenly aware of us. 
And a baptism! Joshua was baptized this weekend- my camera just died, so picture will be forthcoming. It was wonderful. Sibonga doesn't have a font, so we go to CarCar. Some of the members from Sibonga made the sacrifice to come and we were so grateful. I was also grateful for the missionaries who came to support us and Joshua- we did end up having a full room- our Zone Leaders conducted the meeting and witnessed the baptism. We're working on the priesthood. The night before was even better.  he practiced his testimony that he'd prepared, but then he stopped and bore his own true testimony- He knew that God was happy with him and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was a sublime moment in my life- a true tender mercy of God. That's it. The gospel's just true. 

Next week, we’ll know about transfers. Sister K keeps making fun of me because I always want to know ahead of time. But I get to learn some more about patience! We’ll just see what happens. There’s been exciting news about Tacloban as well- there are now 50+ missionaries in the Tacloban mission. The work of the Lord just goes forward.

I know it's true. I too know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that God is happy with me for my service. That's the biggest blessing I can think of.

Sister Josie Tueller

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