Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Prayers to be Strong and Filled with Charity and Humility

Dear Fam,

this week, and last week, was a complete blur. Last Wednesday, President asked me into his office so that he could consult with me about some office and apartment matters. In the middle of his questions about an apartment, He asked me a little about myself, then extended to me a new assignment and area. He asked me if he was willing to serve in Tacloban 2nd ward, just downtown, and then asked me to serve as his assistant. Yes, I am now the assistant to the president. I cannot even begin to explain just how inadequate I felt about that assignment. He then told me that he had been asking for a very long time who would be the new AP. My name kept popping into his mind. I remember 2 weeks ago that I had a feeling, and that feeling was that I was needed and had to step up and work harder and be more obedient. Now, I know why. 

During the last week, I have kept that assignment secret, because President asked me to. Naturally, A lot of people are excited for transfers, and a lot start asking who will be the new leaders. A lot of names were thrown around, and the Lord picked me. I am no perfect person, but I am expected to serve as a leader. It just shows the Lord knows who I am. He has prepared me for this work, He has trained me. Elder D was my companion in Palo, and now he is now my companion again. I love him, he is the best missionary here. It just goes to show that the Lord picks small and simple things to be His leaders. I ask for your prayers that I may be strong, and that I keep my head clear and my heart may be filled with charity and humility.

I am currently training my replacement supply manager, Elder M. it's an easy training, he's doing great.

Other then those things, normal week. Just working and trying to prepare for later today. I love you fam

Elder Kuehne

Something Big Happened

dear fam, 

I am a little disappointed I didn't get to email you earlier, but this is transfer week, and we are absolutely SLAMMED busy! I will email tomorrow morning when I have some time.

Here's a trailer about my email.... Something big happened last week, and It has a big effect on my mission work. 

Love you all, KitaKitz buwas

Elder Kuehne


 

Hard Things Make Me Strong

Dear Family,

I have officially started my picture game. I am determined to firstly, not lose my photos, and secondly, to send more to you and take more. that explains these photos....

This week was a very spiritual and exciting week. General Conference was amazing! I was deeply impressed with every talk, of course, but I do have some that I remember better. For Example, Elder W. Craig Zwick said "We live in a world that feeds on comparisons, labeling, and criticism. Instead of seeing through the lens of social media, we need to look inward for the Godly attributes to which we each lay claim. These Godly qualities and longings cannot be posted on Pinterest or Instagram." Isn't That amazing? I have found that I do that often, and learned about trusting in the Lord despite our imperfect eyesight and imperfect faith. in addition, the talk by Stanley G. Ellis, entitled "Do we trust Him? hard is good" was exactly what I needed to hear at this time. Missions are hard, believe it or not. These hard things make me strong and capable for later challenges and struggles. This Conference was especially memorable to me, and I hope to have time to read the talks and prepare for further inspiration from reading them.

Conference itself was fun, because of the people. Palo is Tacloban stake, so the members were all there. The missionaries are great, the Spirit was strong, life is good! 

Other then that, just preparing for a tough week this week and next. Next week is transfer week, so It will be soon that we can expect some changes in the mission. Busy as always, nothing to report really. I'm just doing my office work and trying to do some teaching and finding. Brother D is super busy, so we will be making a appointment with him. we have an appointment tomorrow with a family we will follow up, hopefully all is well there.

I do remember that sister. she was very kind, and in my limited Cebuano, I did my best. She spoke nothing but Cebuano, which makes it difficult for me to have a conversation with her. I don't really understand.   In Sta. Margarita, the branch president spoke nothing but Tagalog, but he understood Tagalog, English, and Waray. I have no clue how it works. Most Filipinos are fluent in Tagalog and their local language. Tagalog is the national language, but here are about 172 different languages, such as Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilongo, Bicolano, Kapampangan, Chavacano (which is kinda like broken Spanish), and English. No offense to Leyte, but I really enjoy Waray, so hopefully I stay around here 😂😂😂😂

that's all for this week. Love you all

Elder Kuehne






Monday, October 2, 2017

"Pagbabayadsala"

Dear Fam,

General conference is now available on my computer, and It takes all my will power not to watch it early. I may just not open lds.org until Saturday... we'll see😂

this was a very enjoyable week. I have had lots of time to think and consider, and Many great things have come from it. not a lot of lessons, because busy. But, still such a great week. We found a little family that we started talking to, and we shared the lesson to the son and mother, with the sons wife and sister coming in and listening every once in a while. The issue is in the Philippines, people are pretty shy around the americans, especially the girls and kids. even the boys are pretty shy. We asked them if we could come back, and they invited us back. It's just me and Elder C, Elder D is a little better and back to normal work. 

All we really did this week was office work. We are going to start cooking more, so I can practice some filipino cooking. The new apartment is pretty darn fancy, with aircon and all that. It's a nice place to live, and really makes it easy to study and rest in there. 

I would like to share a word in Waray. The word is "Pagbabayadsala," which means atonement. The direct translation is Pagbabayad, which means paying, and sala, which means sin. so, it literally means paying of sins. While I was sharing with brother D, I realized the literal translation of the word, and I just broke down. I had a feeling, undeniable, which said that this is true. Jesus Christ is alive and He really did pay for our sins. It was a very special experience for me. 

I heard about Elder Hales, and while it's not a big surprise, it still is sad. It's wonderful to think about the reward that is waiting for him. that same reward awaits all those who are as valiant to their testimony as he was. many times, people think of the apostles as greater then anyone, unfallable, and above everything. Yes, the apostles and prophets are all amazing men who have worked and are called of God, but they are not perfect, and if we work as hard as we can, Our reward will be the same. I fully believe that this church is true, that the gospel is here and we have the fullness of it. Elder S, the assistant, has a poster on his wall that said "if you knew how to cure cancer, would you share it? of course. You know how to bring souls back to the father, so share it." This gospel is the answer.

I miss you, but the work here is so important and progressing that I cannot help but love it. The Philippines is the 4th country to receive 100 stakes! that's amazing, considering missionary work truly started sometime in the 60's. The people are prepared here, and I love that so many are finding their way to the path that leads to eternal life. I really enjoy missionary work. 
I love you all

Elder Kuehne

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Stay Strong in the Gospel and the Blessings will Come

Dear beloved fam,

This week has been a good time. To start, We moved! our apartment is just too expensive, so we moved in to the senior couple apartments right next to the church. Yeah, definitely an upgrade. It took all morning, but was well worth it. we finish cleaning it tonight. 

Teaching in San Jose has had some amazing blessings. Brother D is our best investigator, and he is the brother of one of our recent converts. We taught him about the gospel, and the steps he needs to follow, and we asked him if he wanted baptism. He said "yes" but also wants to be sure that's right. He had some amazing questions that were serious and inspired. His biggest concern is that he says he doesn't really know about Jesus Christ. We said that we would teach him, and he was excited about that. he came to church, and enjoyed it. He is the best. We are also teaching a family, the O family. the nanay is inactive because she moved, and we are teaching 4 of her family. They read without us asking them to and enjoy when we visit. We will be working with them. 

other then that, we just work in the office. nothing really new. Just work work work. It's like dad, but in a more exotic location and no pay. Wish my email was more exciting.

I wish you didn't mention rice krispie treats, because those sound SO GOOD! I miss american food, but I still am enjoying the filipino food. Just different tastes, that's all.

I heard about Lance and Angie's new baby. Congratulations! 

Really, that's all. I love you all, and hope that all is well in life. Stay strong in the gospel, and the blessings will come.

Love,

Elder Kuehne

 

 
 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

If The Savior is With Me, How Can I Fail!

Dear Fam,

So, we had some visitors last week and this week as well. Elder Soares, from the presidency of the seventy, and Elder and Sister Hayne from the Seventy. they had a devotional for the missionaries for those in the close zones, and I was invited. Elder Soares talked a lot about the "Center of Strength," and his own family and their conversion. It was a great devotional, and I learned a great deal. Elder Hayne is here for a few more days as he gives trainings, tours the mission, and evaluates. These are inspired men and women, and they speak the words that Heavenly father desires for us to hear at this time. 

we had a good week of work. We have a new investigator, we visited his home and asked if he knew someone we were finding, turns out that's his cousin. so, we set an appointment, and we visited and shared about the restoration. Great lesson, strong spirit. We go back Friday and see. we have another investigator who is the brother of a recent convert. He asked some amazing questions about the plan of salvation, and he understood it so well. we go back on Wednesday to visit with him again. lots of work done, lots of chances to teach.

I have been reading, and I think I finally understand what true charity is. Charity is a word that is used a lot, but I never truly understood what it was. Charity is basically doing what Jesus himself would do if He were me. It means kindness, patience, and thinking of others more then yourself. I understand it more, but That does not mean that I have it mastered. IT'S SO HARD TO DO THAT!!! I want that so much, and I want it so I can be like my Savior and help others as he did: unflinchingly, lovingly, and boldly. I hope some day that I will figure out how to have that type of love for others. a great example is President Argana, who traveled to Manila for the celebration of the 100th stake in the Philippines. Despite a 5 hour drive, a 1 hour layover in the airport, and the general tiredness, he still found time to bring back Krispy-Kreme for the office and assistants, something we don't have here in Tacloban. I want to be like that. I want to be able to remember other's needs and happily do them. I want to be thoughtful and considerate to those who pass my way. It's going to be a long road, but the Savior is with me, and if He is there, how can I fail?

Still busy in the office, still enjoying it while at the same time completing my work. it's pretty rough. busy couple weeks. But, I'm thankful that I can take an hour and email you all. I love you all, and I still know the church is true, I know that the Lord has restored his gospel through Joseph Smith. Many people have tried to convince me that that's not true. But, I have read the evidence, the Book of Mormon, and I have felt the Holy Spirit confirm to me that this is true. Who can argue against that? it's true, all of it, and I know that it is. 

I hope all is well. No news from home, so I assume that you all are ok and well, though busy with school. Go get it done. Love you all

Elder Kuehne
 
this is a quick follow-up. Last Sunday, we had a lesson about developing our talents. It was a great lesson, and I have felt a stronger desire to improve my talents. one of the suggestions is to ask family and friends for help in finding my talents and figuring out which ones are worth developing. I would like to do just that, Ask you my family and friends what you think my talents are. I really feel this is important, and I would love to hear an answer from everyone so I can develop my talents and be better then when I left. 
Love,
Elder Kuehne
 





Thursday, September 14, 2017

Helping Others Makes Us Better As Well

Dear fam,

Sorry for the late email, what a busy transfer/MLC. MLC this cycle was actually on Tuesday morning, so we had a lot of prep to do on Monday. better late then never, I say 😅

last week was very busy, as I said. it's been a wonderful time in the office, and we are slowly starting to pick up the proselyting. last week, Our area changed, so I have whitewashed 2 times so far. Yeah, it's hard. but, we are slowly finding some people to teach and we have a great ward mission program that is working pretty well. We have done some finding, and we have been doing some great work in the office.

Elder C is still my companion, but we have a trio now. The new missionary is Elder D, from Pampanga, the same place as my last companion, elder D. He was assigned in Sta. Margarita, my first area, but he has been having some health issues and President Argana wants him in Tacloban until his health stables. He was assigned to work with us, and he helps around the office. He's a good kid. Elder C is a bit hard to work with sometimes, and I feel that I may not be his favorite, but we are still trying. we will get it eventually. 

Balancing office work and proselyting work has been a real issue, but we have found the solution: set a time when we leave the office, and keep it. we leave at 5:30, and so far, We are all leaving because we help each other and remind each other. We do the same for our morning studies. helping others makes us better as well.

yeah, driving here is fun, by the way.

The mission is good, and all is well so far. Hope everyone is well and ok, and that some good is happening in your lives. 

love,

Elder Kuehne

PS - Please tell grandma that I truly appreciate the package.