Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ikaduha lang ko sa imo

Dear you!

It's been a great week. My companion was sick for a few days which doesn't make it great, but I did have lots of time to study and pray. In ways that I can't really explain, the project of my soul is continuing. Heavenly Father is helping me to remember who I am, and those things that he assigned me to do. Spend an extra minute in prayer- those moments are worth so much.

In other news, I have a new companion- a new anak (trainee) actually. Sis. C is 24, from Davao and she seems wonderful. We're excited for this next transfer, and I hope I can be a good trainer for her. I promise more details next week, but we've been together for a matter of hours.

But we have some good stories from the past week. First, we got to work with a wonderful 60 year old woman, Sister Capuyan. From the moment we left her house, she was inviting people to hear from "the servants of Jesus Christ." That's how missionary work ought to be! We taught a lesson to one of those people that she invited- she'd basically forced a place on the bench and just began sharing. When the other sister wasn't interested, or tried to dominate conversation, she'd testify and then turn time to us- "You will listen to them, because they are sent from God." And when we left without a return appointment, she simply sang to herself and said that God loves her too, but he loves us more. She's a sparky one.

We also had a lesson with the Sugabo family who have all sorts of struggles, but we will be helping them complete their family by baptizing 3 of the children. As missionaries, we don't have the solution to their transportation, or the flooding, or hardness of life, but Nanay Capuyan, and the Relief Society did- along with the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Sis. LitLit Sugabo and I both learned again that we are never alone and that we don't need to fear. There were definitely tears. Dear 10 year old Maricris also cried on Sunday when she couldn't go to church- she wanted to walk the 6 kilometers on the highway alone. I'm so excited for her and her growth.

Plus, a really funny story. Brother Huling came up to us- he's Perla's neighbor. He said, I've finished the Book of Mormon. We didn't believe him, but it turns out he has- and it's good according to him. However, the problem is that he's almost deaf. So we stood and yelled and tried to invite him to be baptized in this little hut- across the river also. But he's maybe 70 years old plus. It's going to be an adventure!

TImes up, more next week!

Love you all,
Sister Tueller

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

But we have fog!

Dear family- that's all of you,

first, I love you all immensely. And I pray for you frequently.

We had a great chance this week to go to Cebu 2 times- for a sisters' conference, and for Zone conference. Both times I felt so edified and full of the word. It's kind of a weird sort of gathering of all these missionaries, but it's the most important thing going on on Cebu.  Usually President teaches us the doctrine and helps us be changed, but this time he talked to us about Hastening the Work. We've had a hard time getting members help in our mission, and so we have some new implementations to make it work. I really felt the weight of this time. Family, friends, if the work isn't hastening where you are, we have to be the ones to do it. It's not an easy or natural thing for us to do- it means taking the extra step. I was really struck with the need to make the connection. I used to serve all the time- to look for an opportunity to pick up someone's fallen books, or carry someone's groceries inside, or help with homework, but I didn't know how to make the connection. As a missionary, that's my job- connect that to the gospel. But that's what the Lord is asking of each and every member of his church. So let's do it!

We also got to go to a wedding for two members. Aren't Filipinos the best?

I also want to just share with you all what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do- I get to be in the same zone with my anak Sister H and she's just doing so well- her progress here!
Monday I had a flashback to my first district meeting of my mission. We were in district meeting and at the end of every district meeting we do a practice teaching. My first district meeting I was a little distressed and still jet lagged, I also was worried about my appearance. So I sat through the whole practice teach not saying a word while Sister Tueller taught Elder B- then at the end I lost it and said I just needed to find a place where I could get eye makeup remover so I could wear my makeup and at least feel somewhat like myself. 
Fast forward to Monday...Sister W and I had the opportunity to practice teach Elder B. The second time I have done a practice teach with Elder B since the first time which was a disaster. It was a really neat experience to see how much I have grown and changed since that time- I was able to speak in Cebuano with no problems, I was confident, I had my makeup remover ;) and most importantly I was (and am) HAPPY. He commented on how much I have changed since that time and I am grateful he saw a difference. 

I think one of the most gratifying parts of this mission is watching people grow. 

Time is so short right now- Perla still hasn't come to church, but she's coming this week. Please pray for her- and that we can really get the members involved in helping her.

Also, huge miracle: Ardgie is getting baptized! It's a long story that I will tell better next week, but his parents gave permission after 8 months- this 13 year old has the biggest smile and testimony I've ever seen for someone his age. 

Sorry for the lack of good details, but I am happy and healthy and growing. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I love his children, especially in my place of Cebu. 

Here's some wisdom from the wedding- Use your gugma (love) to think of ugma (tomorrow) and to uma others ( nurture and care for) Isn't that nice?

Love you all to the stars and back,
Sister Tueller
All of us on Cebu!
My nanay and all her posterity!

Sister H and I! 

The wedding!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


(That's the name of the new jungle village we found this week. It's not said Bang like a gun, although I do have to think of ChittyChitty BangBang every time we go there. I think the name might actually be from another Visaya word- butterfly is Alibangbang. And we did see some mga alibangbang there, plus lots of miracles, so we'll be going back to BangBang)

Dear ones,

Are you all excited for the stories of the week? It's been a good one. I've learned a lot. President Schmutz taught us all about the foreknowledge of God, combined with our foreordination, and what that means for our discipleship. If you get time, read Elder Maxwell's talk about the same thing=, I'm sure he'll explain it much better than I can in a manner of minutes. But I know that God has a plan for each of us, and we have to work to fulfill that. Some of the most sublime moments on my mission have been those times when I could see myself coming in line with God's plan for me.

Updates- Sis. P is doing really well. But she didn't come to church! But she wants to tell her whole family about the gospel of Jesus Christ and that we're his representatives! But she didn't come to church! But she read half of 1 Nephi! So we're confused, but when we go back, we'll figure it out. Hopefully, we can get there soon, not only so that we can cross in the river boat, but so that we can make it to this special daughter of God.

The DumDums are also doing well. the oldest son just got a calling as the YM secretary, and he hasn't missed an activity. We were riding in a tricycle to our next appointment and we saw 3 young men in white shirts and ties- I almost thought it was the Elders, but it was 2 other prospective missionaries walking with Ronnie to institute. So happy! A recent convert we're teaching also was called as YM President and he's doing so great- Bro. Racquel only been a member for 4 months, but the Spirit has enlightened his understanding- he's so ready.

New stories- we had some great member help this week. First, on Sunday, we had branch conference, and we got to sing in the choir. We stuck out a lot- but what's new? I just was so happy to be singing "If the Savior stood Beside me" with my favorite Filipino people, and knowing that he really is always near us.

As part of branch conference, we had a branch FHE in this tiny home- I think we fit 25 people in a room the size of 5-C's kitchen. I'm finally at a point in Visaya where I can be funny and get jokes and things, so these opportunities are a delight. 

We also had help in BangBang! Pres. J (branch president) came with us and we all looked for some inactive members. We found one house where the women were all gambling and invited us to join while the nanay ran away. but we'll go back! Even better, we found the Sugabo family. Three of the 8 sugabo children need to be baptized, and that's exactly what we're here for! We really want to help unite this family- the Philippines area presidency has put a focus on those part member families, and we'd been praying for those opportunities and here they are! We also met all sorts of children in BangBang who were shocked to see an American. One little boy asked me if I was born white- it had never even crossed his mind that this was possible. But their families were also really kind and seemed like some of them might be looking for something more.

Also in Bang Bang- the Copas family! Referral from the Elders and they are incredible. The 18 year old daughter is from a Born again background, but is really willing to learn. She had some wonderful questions, and I was so excited to help her see the truth. She’d share her belief, ask ours and we’d discuss it. It was so interesting to see the way that these other churches compensate for lack of truth. She believed that baptism wasn’t a requirement for salvation because there are good people who never had a chance to be baptized. It seems so obvious to look to baptisms for the dead, but that is only in the true church of Jesus Christ. The doctrine truly has the answer to everything- and it, more than anything else, will lead to change.  They're really busy this coming month because the oldest daughter is getting married ( like married for real!) so please pray that we'll be able to visit them.

Lots is going on- I don't think I do a very good job of conveying the blessings I see everyday here. But I hope you all feel it a little- it's true joy going on- and even when we can't see it immediately, maybe we have to wait to figure out why things are happening, and maybe we won't know until we get to understand like God, but we do the good things anyway, because we know they come from God.

I'm grateful for all of you, for being good things in my life! Thanks for being you. Smile and love a little more today!

Love all the way from BangBang, Nangka, Balamban, Cebu, Philippines,

Sister Tueller

A family I am teaching!
Also, we spent quite a bit of time sojourning in the jungle this week. So here's a picture of my normal life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Live on those prayers

And we're halfway there! Somehow, it's March 5. 2014 and not August 5, 2013 like I'd like to believe, so I've actually been a missionary for 9 months today. More miracles await!

I love Balamban! The whole thing about it just feels right. I know I'm supposed to be here now, and this week, I found some reasons why. We had one of those weeks where our plans didn't work, but the Lord's plan for those hours was so much better.

Starting with: Splits with the Sister Training Leaders. Sister A and Sis. D are so great. I got to work with Sis. D who's also 19, from Montana and my senior batch. She emanates charity and everyone around her feels that. That's the point, isn't it? Be loved by God, love others, love Him. 

Sister D and I went to Cantuod the magical jungle land. We taught some more people, but the best part was Sister Perla. We began an OST in a home with some neighbors joining in- I think a large part of the draw may have been the two American girls. We were losing people as we went, but we felt good about continuing with those who would stay. Halfway through, another neighbor came in. Sister Perla sat down right next to us and began to ask questions, and truly desire to be taught at our feet. Her eyes filled with tears and she had the biggest smile. She’s been through a lot in her life, and looking for the word of God. When we returned, she’d reprimanded all her neighbors for not accepting us, and she’s told all of them that we are messengers from God. The elect truly hear His voice. She’s accepted a baptismal date, we do have to work out marriage problems, but it was a huge blessing for me to see that the Lord has prepared people.

And she didn't come to church. But a less active sister did- she was the last of her family- the DumDums! So families are being united! 

We had more things like that. Sonya, and Janisa, and Catherine. Time's running out,  and I wish I could tell you all their incredible stories. I'll get to the ones that stay so special. 

We went to the city yesterday and rode lots of jeepneys and weaved through crowds and bought medicine in little alley way stores and got directions from the apple sellers and refused buying lots of banana que- I'm used to the mingaw, silent province with my caribou, but that's okay. The city is beautiful. We were coming back at night and I looked over and saw the Cebu Temple all lit up- we're so lucky to have this light in the darkness.

But one more miracle: we have an investigator who's living with a less active. He's been an investigator for 2 years, and they both come to church now every single week. The only problem is their marriage. We've been at a loss for how to help them- they understand the doctrine, they want to be baptized, so we have to help them. On Sunday night, we stopped by, no one was home, so that was sad. But Cherisa's mom stopped by with the best news! Apparently, they're going to get the papers today. I don't know if this is actually finally happening, but it would be such a miracle if Christian and Cherisa can get married. Pray for their wedding to go through and that we can help this little family!

I've learned a lot about faith and humilty and diligence this week. Not anything new, just feeling nourished. of his water and word. In Visaya, we don't talk about feasting on the words of Christ, we talk about "busog" = about getting full of food, or in this case, something better. It's such a true description. When we pray truly ,when we study with intent, when we follow humbly, he fills us.

Learn the doctrine and live it!

Ayaw malimot nga tinuod na! I love you all!

Sister Tueller

Me on a river boat!