Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 times, 4 if you need it!

Dearest People across the ocean,

San Carlos has been holy ground this week. Not that it’s ever not, but sometimes I forget to look. We had some incredible miracles and hopefully, they come across this lovely keyboard.

Also, I’m praying for all of you in your exciting summer adventures- enjoy!

Updates on people:

Brother Jun didn’t actually quit.. He tried and then got sick and so he went back, but he has faith and he’s going to get a blessing and it’s going to work out. Thank you for the prayers, I know they’re working. One of my favorite moments of this week started last week Sunday. Jayvee, the oldest son in the Caballero family, also a newly returning less active (from his baptism until now) was assigned to give a talk in sacrament meeting. And he stressed about it and planned every night and asked me to write it for him about 50 times but finally made this beautiful talk about Obedience out of Love. He basically threatened his dad if he didn’t come to church because he was so nervous. We got to church on Sunday and JV’s not there yet, but he gets there eventually- late because he was ironing his shirt for the first time in his life (he used to come to church in red skinny jeans.) His family is following in their tricyle and JV sits on the stand and then proceeds to give a great talk through tears about how he loves his dad and that’s why he obeys him even when it’s hard, and then that’s why he wants his dad to obey our Father. So we know Brother Jun can do it.

Brother Buen continues to progress- he asked me about the temple this week and how he can get there. Just the kind of questions we like to hear!

I’ve been focusing again on God’s hand- like Elder Eyring did for years, I look daily for how I saw God’s hand in my life. I'm just going to testify that it's there every single day, probably every single hour, but sometimes I'm a little slow to catch on. Example: We were talking to some little children (they were talking to us) as we went to our appointment with Eugene, and the 13 year old boy invited us to visit their house, and thick Sister Tueller brushes this off as a joke. Next, Eugene isn't there, but we decide to go find someone else. Later, we're looking for a referral from the Elders in the same area, who supposedly lives at the house of Jennifer. We asked people on the street. and they send us to the other street. So even though we know that it's the wrong street, we follow anyway. We're walking down this alley way, and we're suddenly at a house that I know. Back story: we found a less active 3 weeks ago, tried to go back multiple times, and never found him again. 

We ask for Jennifer. And Jennifer is there. Dear Sister Jennifer was baptized at 8 years old along with her brother who we met and stopped going to church at age 11. But her children have been asking her questions about the eternities and she can't answer and really wants to know. She is coming to church this Sunday for the first time in 25 years.

Later, I was looking through my planner and we got a referral for "Jay Alfaro" who just happens to be the husband of Sister Jennifer. We cannot wait to go back to this family because God obviously really wants us there!

And that's happened daily. I can't even describe how blessed we are. We have scriptures that tell us what to do, we can pray and ask and listen and then we have the Spirit every single minute. PLus, this isn't just for missionaries, it's for all of us!!

Also, yesterday, I  taught a Muslim yesterday- like for the first time, I taught someone who didn't believe in Jesus Christ, and basically, missionaries in non christian lands are fantastic. It was incredible To not just help someone understand who Christ really is instead of a fake idea, but to tell them about him for the first time. I know that Christ lives and loves us and I don't just say it but I know it.

We had a successful PMG class for the branch and so much great is happening. Thank you for your prayers- I promise they are felt. I know you'll feel God's love as well if you just look- he'll show you over and over again!

Palangga tamo, until next week
Sister Tueller

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pagpasalig- walay mawala!

News: Transfers- I get to stay here, but Sister Luyong is leaving :( But I'll see her often- she's in Toledo and will get to be the STL for Sis. Cuajao! My new companion is Sister Tandiman from Indonesia! We get to figure out this STL thing together because she's just new, but it's going to be the best!
Happenings of the week: Brother Jun quit smoking! Now for follow up!

Brother Buen continues to teach himself the doctrines of the gospel, we just kind of sit in awe and try to aid the process

We went to Dumaguete- a 5 hour bus ride- for an all island Zone conference to say good bye to President and Sister Schmutz. I want to be a better person, and I already am because of them.

We went up early because Sis. Luyong and I and some other missionaries sang the musical number. We sang I believe in Christ- I loved practicing with people who do believe in him, and enjoying other missionaries and the love of the gospel, and then as I looked out on all of those missionaries, I didn't sing. I literally couldn't sing for two verses because I was so full of joy and belief. But with all my heart, to him I'll sing.

Oh, I haven't told you about Carmel! This is an incredible story that got better this week! On transfer day (6 weeks ago) at the temple, a member overheard that I was going to San Carlos and gave me a referral automatically of a recent convert who'd moved there and gone inactive. In my first week here, we contacted dear Carmel and she came to church that first week. Honestly, she just needed support and the hand of the Lord. When we first visited her, her mom had passed away two weeks earlier and she was so weak. But she's doing so well now! She's missed church for the past couple of weeks but this week, we got to really talk to her. Somehow, we went from "why weren't you at church?" to "Do you think you should go on a mission?" to which she said Yes! But wasn't sure yet.. Don't worry, the Spirit came to the rescue, she read a scripture and looked up with the biggest smile on her face- she's this cute little skeleton of a 23 year old girl and says, Yes really!. So Carmel, despite all odds is going on a mission.

I've been thinking a lot about commitments recently. Of course, we're trying to help Bro. Jun really quit (he seems to be doing well, but we need constant vigilence to conquer Satan!) and help people read the Book of Mormon daily, and commit to come to church even though they've been offended, and that's our whole missionary purpose! But I realized this week how important it is that we personally make commitments to God- of course, there's the big ones that we call covenants, and I can never belittle those. My realization this week though was that we must constantly be making and keeping commitments to God- I have to commit to talk to every person in my path and then do it, or to memorize scriptures and then do it, or any number of things. It's completely changed my view- I was so able to understand how to help others come to Christ through commitments that I forgot that it's a necessary daily process to me. And as I've made commitments to sacrifice more, and then kept those, I can testify of the real blessings that come! The title means Commitment, nothing will be lost, which is something Brother Buen told us this week, in nice contrast to every well meaning Filipino person who says, well, I can't promise, I can't commit because then I might sin if I break it. People, the whole point is that we commit so that we don't sin!

But I love the word Pagpasalig, because it means cause to trust. Brother Jun is saying, Sister Tueller, Sister Luyong, family, Heavenly Father, trust me now because I'm going to stop really this time. I'm saying, Heavenly Father, trust me with more of thy knowledge because I'm going to be better about recording revelation. And trust is something I understand. My trust in God got me on a mission- the year before my mission, I learned lots of things, but they all came down to "TRUST in GOD!" Every time I read the scriptures, that's what I got, and now I'm so grateful to understand that I cause him to trust me as I do his will.

I'm sure so much more happened- I bore testimony in the face of real adversity, we saw the world really clearly in a poor struggling Brother Jad, we had a dinner appointment (!), our recently returned 17 year old LA used his priesthood for the first time in his life to bless the sacrament, we had safe travels, we were leaders, much more- but that's  the week summary.

You're constantly in my prayers,
Palangga tamo,
Sister Tueller

Hope Becomes That Light

Tawo nako sa kahangturan,
I've learned a lot this week. First, the Book of Mormon teaches me what to improve every single day. The spirit touches different parts of my brain and gives little strokes of understanding, and guides me as I write revelation, and I always leave a little reprimanded for my weaknesses, but a better person. That is not just a book, but it is the fullness of the everlasting gospel. Where are you all reading? What's changing you today?
Second, I have bad news, so we'll get it out of the way. Sis. Sally has disappeared. She left all of a sudden and is gone, not answering calls or anything. She apparently left early Sunday morning, so we found out when she didn't show up to church. It's been hard.I managed not to cry in front of everyone, but it's not easy.  I learned to love her so much- I believe in miracles of the disciple variety because of Sis. Sally. So I am grateful that I had the chance to teach her, and that I have a companion who feels the same way who I can rely on.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Onto happier news:
I love Sis. Luyong. I don't know when you're all going to get to meet her, but you should. She is so wonderful, and still working on all her weaknesses, even when I can't even see a weakness there. She sings constantly and is probably the most diligent selfless missionary that I know. 

A nice bright moment: yesterday, we went through a big list of people and no one seemed to be home. Of course, we don't get discouraged, but we were a little bit at a loss. So we decided to pray and ask for help/encouragement/guidance. But before we could even say "Amahan sa Langit" we look down the road a little bit. We hear a bell ringing and see Ronico coming down the little rocky path with his ice cream bicycle. That place isn't his route, but Heavenly Father put him there to cheer us up, and bring us Mango ice cream.
Brother Jun Caballero is doing great. His 18 year old daughter LynLyn is the sweetest and she wants nothing more than to be sealed in the temple with their family. So she buys him candy instead of his cigarettes and is bold enough to tell him to stop. She got really discouraged yesterday, because his quitting is a slow process, but we taught, his wife shared what she'd learned from the BOM and LynLyn sat there and said, He can do it! Brother set a goal to be completely smoke free by Saturday and we know he can do it!
Also, Bro Buen is completely cigarette free. He wasn't last week, but after a lesson on Thursday about our choices here on earth, he completely stopped. He has a fever right now, and it might be a side affect, but he smiles through it all. This 60 year old man has nothing left of his former life, nothing in terms of the world, but I can see the light and happiness in him.

More happenings: I gave an impromptu talk!

We spend lots of time at the bus terminal figuring out travel for next week, going to zone conference 5 hours away in Dumaguete.

We met Brother Buen's nephew and his boarder and both committed to be baptized. We taught the apostasy and then asked, "So it was lost, where do you think the true church is now?" Jerome, the boarder, starts thinking really hard and says, "It's by that place... (we're really scared he's going to describe the location of the Catholic church).. Um, I forget Sisters... " Sis Luyong says, "Endrina St?(that's where the church is)" Jerome: Yeah, I think so, I'm still new here, but if that's the Mormon Church, then yep, that one!" I'm not quite sure what's going on with Jerome, he avoided us the other day, so maybe it won't be an eternity miracle, but it was certainly a miracle for the day- and really really funny.
That's all for now folks, I promise better interesting details on another day- we found a couple of really great families this week, and I'm so excited. San Carlos is changing me daily and I stand in awe and gratitude for the miracle of Jesus Christ. This work is the pinakabest!
Have hope, gather yourself and Israel, feast on his bread, seek hot coals of cleansing,
And Nahigugma ko ninyo!
Sister Tueller