Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A life of peace, joy, and purpose.

My dear family and friends,

I'm really glad that you're all mine. That's one of my favorite parts of the gospel. We can be with people forever! 
I think the summary of what I learned this week is that the gospel is joyful. I have spent so much time trying to really get people to understand the godhead and the apostasy and the reasons to keep the sabbath day holy. And I won't stop that, because it is an incredibly worthy effort. But most people do not go to church because they understand the apostasy. If they did, I'd worry about them. I am a member of this church, and missionary because the gospel makes me happy! The Book of Mormon provides direction. I've felt peace everytime I pray to Father in Heaven. So I'll still teach the other things, because it is in teaching that it clicks for us- we need a preacher to gain faith. But I want them to be happy!

We met a woman who'd met some rude sister missionaries in the past, or she thought they were rude. And then she let us in (in Bacong on exchanges) because we were smiling even when it was hot!

Updates on people:
Marciana isn't doing too well. We're back to step one. She's back to saying she doesn't need to be baptized because she was already baptized as a baby. We might be giving her some time.

Catherine is as determined as ever to be baptized. She and her little son sat by me in sacrament meeting and they were both so quiet and reverent during the passing. I know she gets it. We teach her sitting on top of sacks of coconut husks. 

Josing is trying hard as well. Her foot got better so she had to go sell things at the market and she's sure this church is true, but maybe it's okay if only her family goes to church, not her. But she'll be fine. 

New people: So many again!

One of my favorites is Sis. JingJing. We met her husband and he told us to come on Friday.. well, we forgot, and we assumed he did too- he really wasn't very interested. But it came to friday and we had no appointment and we couldn't figure out what we were doing wrong until Sis. Joson remembered Bro. Edwin. We had a really vague address and had to ask lots of drunk people and funeral people but then we found them! And  they were waiting. Sis. Jing2x talks 30 miles an hour and loves God. And somewhere in all her stories, she was almost baptized in another town when she was a kid and she went to church for 3 years. She's scared to commit to anything because she's been in so many religions and she doesn't want to back slide. But both she and Bro. Ediwn are looking for change. They had an offer for a free house the day after we found them, so she's taking that as a good sign.

Some miracles: buses were hastened by the spirit to get to boats back to Negros, someone let me help them shell peanuts while I tried to tell them about the Book of Mormon, a sister in Bacong understood the need to seek for truth, a less active told us that she's lonely, that's the only reason she doesn't come to church.

I laugh daily. The rain got really hard and then it went away, but it's drizzling now, so wemight be in for some more adventures. I'm so profoundly grateful for the calling of a missionary.

I love you.

Sister Tueller

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The vineyard

My dear family,

Rain is back on Negros. Remember all the emails about rain a year ago? It's back. And this time we're in the mud. I'm seriously considering asking about rain boots... It's an adventure. All of our less actives happen to live in the back of a field that fills with water, and so we spend fifteen minutes navigating the mud with our cell phone flashlight (don't worry, we're buying flashlights today) and inevitably sinking in the mud and laughing hysterically. I learned to do missionary work when it was rainy season, and it's my favorite. It adds the extra challenge and I believe more miracles happen in the rain. Apparently, it's a Filipino tradition too- if your big day is rainy, it means more blessings are coming. So I call it valid. That's from Venz our recent convert with the biggest testimony I've seen.

This week has been incredible. I've been studying Jacob 5, so everything seems like plants to me, and everything has been blooming this week!
We've been working so hard and finding and it still wasn't clicking. This week had its share of people who aren't quite ready, but there were so many ready people!!

Sis. Marciana is doing so well.We splashed through the mud and her granddaughters ran out to meet us with the biggest smiles. She first told us why she hadn't come to church (she was sick) and then was so excited to say that she's ready to come next week.Her light is changing. 

Sis. Catherine is also doing great- she's ready for baptism, just waiting for her husband to come home so they can get married, but maybe somethings are changing and she could be ready to get baptized soon! We'd been praying for this progress and it's coming!

We were tracting in the rain and we stopped at a house, a smaller one in the middle of a lot of bigger ones. The Nanay came out and basically pulled us inside and asked who we were looking for. "Maybe you!" She got kind of confused and then said okay. We started teaching her, and only 15 mins later, we realize that she's actually the grandma of one of our members. Jenabel is so strong- she's 15, living away from her family to go to school and she comes to church every week alone. But this week, she's not coming alone. 
Yesterday, we went to teach Nanay Josing (yes, that's her name, isn't it great? In this same day, we also met a sister Josephina and Diosie- maybe that's how I should start spelling my name?. We had to help her shell her sprout beans and so she started telling us stories about how she speaks English very well. I can't quite explain how funny this is without the Visayan context, but she was going on and on in this really deep Bisaya and then all of a sudden she says, standing up with actions and everything "I'm dressed to Kill!" I just about died laughing. 
Then Jenabel got home from school and we taught Sis. Josing. We invited her to be baptized and she just looks at us and said, "God sent you to my house, didn't he? How can I say no to that?" 

I wish I could be more like that. How can we say no to everything he wants us to do?

We have another incredible investigator- he helps with Venz's store. He has lots of questions and I feel so edified when we talk to him. He has that same pure faith that I admire so much in the Filipino people. We have some things to work out for Bro. Arnel, but I know he'll make it. 

We're working to help people understand the family's eternal role. I've been grateful 10 times over for my peaceful loving home.

My heart's feeling really full right now. I love missionary work in any phase but there is something exciting about growth for other people, not just me. Bro. Jun Caballero is making it, through all of the tears, he's getting baptized this week. I know there are so many more. Sis. Rosita bore her testimony this week and made everyone in Siaton cry. I'm so blessed to learn from them.

Pictures next week, I promise!

I love you.
Sister Tueller