How is everyone this week?
I'm incredibly excited for conference. Sis. Joson just laughs at me now whenever I turn to her and tell her that I'm excited for conference. But it's true. This time, I really want some answers for Siaton. It's such a special place.
My companion dealt with some sickness this week. She's doing much better now. Thank you for all of your prayers. I felt them really acutely as I stayed in the house for a couple of days.
Sister Catherine’s baptism was incredible. We had a few bagyos pass through here which made it a special experience. We weren’t able to go visit her on the day before her baptism (see sick companion) and so on Saturday, we worried if she’d be able to make it, or if they were flooded or any manner of things that float into a worried missionary’s head. Sis. Joson had great faith and managed to shower (this is the Filipino belief. You can’t shower if you have a fever. But once you shower, it will completely go away.) and we got to the chapel for our 3 o clock baptism.
Luckily, the Elders had remembered to fill up the font, but it was going really slow, and very very green. We spent a few minutes - I'm sure we were a really funny sight- 4 missionaries, plus the couple missionaries, and then some of the YSA at the church, all trying to use the 2 brooms in the chapel to get out some of the slime and fly wings from the baptismal font, with the mirror reflecting us on the other side. Then we realized that Sis. Catherine wasn't there and it was 3:30.
THen comes, The Henrichsens to the rescue! Catherine actually lives really far away from the church, but she makes to church faithfully. Sis. Joson stayed at the chapel, I hopped in the truck, and we drove out to Catherine's house. Sis. Henrichsen came in with me. We navigated the rooster houses and the puddles. First, her father in law- who is supposed to be baptizing her- came out and said, Sister Tueller, it's raining.
Yes, Tay Senda, I understand that. I'm soaking wet.
Well, I guess she could still get baptized in the rain...
Yes. That would be best.
Okay, well, I can't come because it's raining. So you can just baptize her.
(Sis. Henrichsen didn't understand any of that exchange, but she started laughing at this point.)
You know, I actually can't. But we can find some one else.
Catherine came out at this point, and changed faster than I thought was possible. She looked great. She and her sister in law ran out with us to the car. That car ride was so beautiful to me. Catherine and her very pure desires with her young less active sister in law who wanted to see and then the Henrichsens in their shiny silver van and then a Sis. Tueller who was just really happy.
I got a chance to share my testimony right after Catherine was baptized. I read Mosiah 5:8 and I was completely struck with the simplicity of the gospel.There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh. And as I testified of my Savior, as I said Jesus Christ, it was just really real. I think I got it a little more. I bore his name a little more fully that night.
More adventures: We drove through a bunch of fiestas. We ate MacDonalds. Missionary Leadership Council was the exact inspiring words I needed. We watched President McCurdy is awe over rice fields. We got a really great referral- Bebe Rose
The title is the first phrase that I knew how to say in Bisaya. It means that we're loved by God. I learned it first because I knew it was true. And I figured if I couldn't say anything else, or when I got really lost in a lesson, I could probably just say this, and it wouldn't work out too badly. I didn't ever forget it, but I did learn to say other words, and maybe it just got crowded out. But I've made a point to use this phrase more recently, because that is what people will understand.
That is what I understood in the front chapel one night. That's what I understood again on an airplane going to college. That's what I understood again and again as I opened the scriptures and they opened to me. There's not really any reason for conversion except for love.
So if you could pray for Arnel, JhayJhay, Nali, Francis, Bebe Rose, Cheryl. They have so much potential. They are ready, but they really need to come to church. I know there is power in prayer!
I love you all so much. And I think I mean something different when I say that than I did a year ago. So that makes me happy.
Sister Josie Tueller