Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Mga pinangga ko,

How are you all? Thank you for all of your updates- I love the smallest details of your lives.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that- the details of our lives. I don’t know how to write this without saying something cliché about threads in a blanket or drops in a bucket or something but I have felt so profoundly lately that every little action is important. We all have these worlds going on in our head and then we say words and they come out in little ways and we meet other people and our worlds exist in the same space. Preach My Gospel and Elder Packer teach that in order to succeed, a missionary needs to understand how an investigator feels to be converted and how a missionary needs to feel to teach with power. So I’m trying to not be so caught up in my little thread but in seeing more. It’s kind of hard. But really interesting.

We had another crazy week- we had a mission tour and conference on Thursday and Friday with Elder Shane M. Bowen of the Seventy. It was so amazing. He gave us some really great things to improve, and taught us that we’re not as good as we think, and then he told us who we really are! We’re scattered Israel, we’re the heirs of Father Abraham, we’re covenant keepers. Here’s something he said that stuck with me: “When we know who we are, we act accordingly.” That’s so true- and so we must have the correct understanding of ourselves.

On Thursday night, we had some extra time in Cebu City and our zone leaders had challenged us to talk to 23 people during the conference, so we went out. Sis. Joson is so great at talking to everyone, and she taught me how to talk to people in the big city. We had so many incredible people that we met. A jeep driver who was passed by by missionaries before, a Baptist woman dissatisfied with her life, a woman asking questions because her husband recently died. Heavenly Father was so happy with our little sacrifice, and choice to follow- how much happier would he be if I did everything I was supposed?

Yesterday, we also had such a cool chance! Our mission is made up of 3 islands, but until this past year, only Cebu and Negros had missionaries, but now Siquijor is a full proselyting area with a new growing group. Some crazy turns of events had us heading to Siquijor rather than having the Siquijor sisters come to Siaton. So I went to the Isla del Fuego! It’s famous for witchcraft, but we just saw lots of the Holy Spirit working. Sis. Pulgado and I worked together and saw so many people prepared. We “ayo”ed at a door and a grandma yells through the window, “why are you at my house?” “we’re missionaries! We have a message for your family!” She opened the door a crack and says “In your religion, are you going to die? Because if you’re going to die, just like everyone else, I’m just going to  stay in my religion because I’ll just die anyway and I don’t want to die.”  Grumpy, but we can work with that. We told her about the resurrection and the door inched opened, and we smiled and it opened a little more. Nanay Separina actually has lots of problems with her children and husband, and she ended  up considering being baptized by the end. I was in awe at the change of heart. 

And they're happening in Siaton too! We're so excited for this next week. I know we're going to find a family who is really ready to accept this gospel. Please pray for them. We don't know them yet, but Heavenly Father is preparing them.

More events: The primary presentation in Siaton, Finding someone ready to ask questions at the very last house, lots and lots of travel, more joy in his service, more purpose in prayer. 

This week's another full one- so I'm going to do my best to use every minute! The Book of Mormon really ahs the answer to everything.

I love you all!

Sister Tueller

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Madala rag smile! (It can all be carried by a smile)

Minahal ko,

Thank you for all the updates and everything. I love hearing your stories and your voice in my head. 

I'm going to try to contain the miracles of this week here but for a quick run down: exchanges with 3 sets of sisters, Sis. Rosita's baptism, and a service project pulling weeds extreme style- like an acre of land and weeds on everything and red ants and coconuts - see attached picture! ( I apologize for the blurryness- that's what happens when you give your camera to a very excited Elder)

We started off the week with a lesson at our returning less active’s home. She just had her 3rd week at church after a year of inactivity- and she’s already preparing to go to the temple. We’d been working so hard to get Brother to join (he was the branch 2nd counselor before) and he wasn’t there, but I prayed for it anyway. And as I said Amen, he walked in. He sat down, we taught the Atonement and he committed to get Sunday off that week. Then on Sunday, Bro Agir walked into church and said- “I have Sundays off forever.” I think my face came close to breaking with a smile.

Rosita was baptized. We were really hoping all week that her family would come and she reminded them probably 10 times a day but no one showed up :( But her branch family was there! All of the youth came to support her plus probably half the branch adults. We also had a really cool miracle where our lost investigator showed up to the baptism- she's actually just busy and so we pray for Sis. JhayJhay, because after the baptism, her best friend, our Recent Convert, Sis. Venz asked, "So when's your baptism?" And she says- "I know, I know. I'm next" 

It was a perfect baptism. The water here in Siaton is interesting some days, so she was baptized in mildly spring green water, and then the font was really slippery, so she slid on the way up from her immersion- 1 and a half times immersed and completely clean. She surrendered herself to God!

And then Nanay Marciana. I don't quite even understand the whole story with her- something about her son really wanting to be taught and then going through persecution and turning to alcohol and it's a sad story. But Marciana is 80 years old and probably 4 foot 10 and she's adorable. We taught her and committed her to come to church in a 15 min lesson, more of just checking up on the family. But she came! When we followed up, she said, Well, of course I came, because God told me it's the true church. We completely thought she wasn't getting anything, but she understands everything we teach her. She explained the apostasy to me better than I've ever said it. So we committed her to be baptized. She thought about it for a second and then said "That's probably God's will isn't it? What day is that again?" Please pray for her understanding to continue, and for the rest of her family!

We saw other miracles- we found an amazingly elect Sis. Juvy, and the family of Sis. Venz (the recent convert) is progressing finally. They're still not sure, but we can change that! I love them so much, they just need the courage to get to church. We taught them and asked if they'd managed to pray if it was true. Sis. Sol- venz's mom shyly adds her experience that she prayed and felt so overwhelmed with joy and then saw two people dressed in white i her minds eye. Just come to church and then the temple!! We'll get them there. 

Yesterday, we (Sister Anderson and I- she's such a sweet new sister ) also got to learn how ready the Lord is to bless us. We had been looking for a contact and we didn’t find her- it was getting to the point that we’d decided to hurry along to the next set appointment, so we were waiting for a tricycle. One sister was walking towards us in the distance and I knew we had to talk to her. We began, and all of the transportation came by, but I knew we needed to be there with Sis. Sita. She immediately told us to come into her house and teach her the restored gospel. Okay! When we got there, the spirit wasn’t really present- her husband was drinking outside and this dog would not stop barking for 10 minutes. But we continued and we began with a prayer. I began praying and something told me- “Peace Be still”

That gave me the courage or faith or whatever it is that we pull up from inside of us to ask that the dog would not disturb. In that very second, the dog stopped barking and was silent for the next 15 minutes as we related this sacred message. I came up from my bowed head with eyes wet. After we left, with a committed and ready investigator, Sis. Anderson said- "I was scared to look back in case he started barking, but I wanted to see the angel holding his mouth." Neither of us did turn, but like Lot, I trust in God, and go forward expecting his miracles. 

So, I am fantastic. Life is wonderful. We're crossing the ocean again tomorrow. 

God is real. He loves his children. Ask and you shall recieve. He's waiting for us!

I love you all! 

Sister Tueller

Friday, August 15, 2014

He knows you!

Kumusta man mo??

Family, I love thinking of you back in school. Mom, I'm sure those 3rd graders are loving all of your activities. 

Quick update on San Carlos: Bro Jun got a priesthood blessing and hasn't had a cigarette since!! Plus, the baptisms we had planned are going through and everything is just coming together in that place. I'm so grateful to have had a chance to serve there!

Siaton is a fantastic place.

I got to work with the newest American missionary here yesterday- there is something really special about seeing the world with new eyes. And Sis. Smith is a very prepared sister. 

I know the Lord gives us experiences to teach us. I was really excited yesterday because we had splits which always yield lots of miracles because Heavenly Father is really willing to show missionaries the blessings that come when we work hard. So Sister Smith and I set out to the bukid and we taught a great first lesson and then the rest of the day just went weird- people losing interest in the middle of a lesson, no one really in their houses or out and about, a woman who wouldn't pray no matter what because she was shy and embarrassed.

We did really enjoy hiking up the mountain- I'm counting it as one of the biggest miracles of this week that I made it down the 75 degree slant alive! We met this sister while teaching a less active. The member really wanted us to go visit her friend, so she promised to come and we promised to go. It turned out to be really , really far away, like over the 5 rivers and through the bamboo forest and then at the top of a cliff and Sis. Smith and I could not stop laughing. My life is really funny sometime. Sis. Elizabeth was actually really good- like if she decides to come down from the bukid to church, she'd be the best RS president ever. 

Anyway, after the day, I was sort of disappointed because I wasn't quite seeing why we had to do all these things, and we were giving advice to Sis. Smith about just trying, and not being shy or embarrased about her language. And she just smiled and said- yeah, like that sister who wouldn't pray. In the whole lesson while she hadn't really understood, Sis. Smith had been listening to the spirit and learning- This is more important than being shy and embarrassed. And so she talked! And then she said she learned to be cheerful when it's hard.

Heavenly Father knows us. and he'll give us exactly what we need- just look for his reason!

On Sunday, we taught our PMG class and then headed out to the far Maloh. We got there to this home and the old LA nanay tells us. Sit down. I will give you the coconuts that I prepared for you because I knew you were coming because I prayed and I didn't really think you'd come but I made the coconuts anyway. 

Sis. Escalante is funny- but I'm so glad we went, and that she had the faith to prepare the coconuts.

Sis. Rosita is just a fiesty lady. Someone was complaining about how repentance is hard in  in relief society class and she just starts muttering. " No it's not! Just decided to repent and then give up yourself!" She can't wait for her baptism. I can't either. 

I love Siaton. I love Sis. Joson. We're turning vegetarian because there's no meat in this town. That' s fine. A man gave us a bunch of avocados so we eat a lot of avocado. 

I prayed and the veil was really thin. God is real and I say that without a shadow of a doubt.

I love you all so much. Thanks for your examples to me!

Sister Tueller

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sha Ton


1) I love you. Don't forget.
2) Siaton feels like I've been for a month already in the best way that I can say that.
3) MLC was wonderful, but it means that my email is going to be flown out and scattered.

Leaving San Carlos continued to be difficult, but I started to feel the peace that I'm used to.We had an FHE with the Sandoval family, and Brother invited Branch members. He taught the lesson about the Atonement and how it feels to repent. The branch came to support and in this wooden home- I was sunk into an old couch- I could just see how much San Carlos is going to progress. Bro. Sandoval had Sis. Tandiman and I share a scripture- hisknowledge has truly been taken. But he bore the most powerful testimony and he will make it back this year.

We then proceeded to have meetings every day of this week. I've only slept in Siaton 3 days this last week- that's the life! But good things are still happening.

Siaton (see pronunciation in the title) is a nice and small town- just Sister Tueller size. We've already slipped through the mud and gotten eaten by mosquitos trying to teach the less active Agir family so the bukid life is back! The tricycles here have 10 seats! And then we fit 15 people on one last time we were going to the far part of Siaton.I don't understand the physics- the Filipino people just make it happen.

Sis. Rosita is going to be baptized next next week. She's one of the most elect people I taught. We gave her a pamphlet of the plan of salvation- she looks at the LDS version of the Savior and just starts weeping saying- It's him!. She's a 50 year old nanay who is going through so much persecution in changing from Catholic but she's incredibly strong.

I've been thinking about what miracles happened this week, and I reflected on how it's harder to recognize the miracles when you're new in an area. I can't quite yet see the change- his heart was softened, because I don't know how he was before. Ofcourse, they are there daily- but I also thought about how often we do that. We don't understand all the things that Father is doing behind the scenes, for the past two transfers, or 20 years to make miracles come up from the bottom of the pond and just float to the surface. If we just take a second and think a little under that surface layer- I know we'll see that he was there from the beginning.

We were driving to MLC in the van of the zone leaders and I had a really long time sitting in traffic in Cebu city. People kept walking by and I started to see them. I wasn't caught up in anything that I was doing and I could try to get into their heads- and all of a sudden it switched to how Heavenly Father was seeing them. I can't really describe that. Like a pain in my sternum and having to blink lots of times and feeling so sad. Our brothers and sisters need this gospel. And they're just walking all around us.

We ate hot fudge sundaes. I got to see most of my old companions. I crossed this ocean 4 times this week. I have so much laundry to do in my bucket with my hands on Saturday morning. I love being a missionary!

God bless and more power,
Sister Tueller