Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving - or Forgetsgiving week 😏

Dear mom,

I email you at this time, about 7:30 local time, because we didn't have time to email earlier today, and we had to travel to Tacloban for the training tomorrow. I am in Tacloban, at a computer shop, and I must say, It's pretty fancy. 4 hour drive to Tacloban is always terrible. just a really long drive in a not-so-comfortable van. but, we get to all hang out and just talk and laugh. it's a good time. 

I must say that my language is not bad. however, Many missionaries here settle for good in a language, and I cannot afford to do so. so, I will be working as hard as I can to improve.

I would like to share about how your gifts are helping our families. The CTR rings you sent, played a pivotal role in bringing not one, but TWO families back to church. the gum you sent, is currently helping a tatay quit smoking so he can be baptized with his wife. one of the bags of jerky went to our branch president, who ate only 1 piece everyday so it would last as long as possible. the basketball shorts made a great gift of remembrance for Elder Dela Cruz. the steak seasoning was perfect for our spicy spam with fried rice (delicious). thank you so much for the great gifts. 

so far, budgeting works well. We spend the majority on travel, and we spend about 100 pesos a day on travel. I wish we didn't have to do that, but none the less, that's just how we get to do it until transfer day. I will be in Sta. Margarita until February, then, automatic transfer because I am training. 

There is no thanksgiving, but, we do have the lift the world campaign. in fact, we are spearheading it. we have about 1000 pass along cards about it, and we are expected to get ride of ALL of them. We have the calendar's about service, but nothing is planned for it as of right now. we may come together as a zone and do a little show for all our areas one night to celebrate the movement, but, we still have lots of planning to do for that. 

We all actually forgot that thanksgiving was a thing, until that night. little awkward, but, true. 

To Morgan, I strongly encourage you to go with the missionaries when time permits. great blessings await you. one thing we want more of in our area that is very hard to do is LMP, or lessons with members present. lots of work, lack of money to pay for travel, make it hard in our area, but in the MTC, lessons with members are strongly focused on, and absolutely crucial to the work of the missionary. blessings are not just for you, but also through your testimony, you may be a huge help to bringing someone closer to returning to the presence of heavenly father. pretty crazy to think about it that way, right? you can do it, I have faith in you. You don't need a perfect knowledge of the scriptures or a perfect knowledge to help. all you need is faith that the spirit will guide your words, your testimony, and a desire to help and befriend another child of god. if you have those things, then you are a missionary already (just no nametag yet) 

to Tyler, Just continue to be happy. Don't change, just help around the house, love trains, and hang in there, Utah will win a game. As I write you, the guy on the computer next to me is watching highlights from game 7 of last years championship between the warriors and the cavaliers. Love you bud, and I can't wait to talk to you all this coming Christmas!

good to hear Heidi and the gang are in town. that's always a treat to see them, right? here in the Philippines, it doesn't matter, guests are respected and cared for, even getting the best and most food, though sometimes the family can barely care for themselves. Show them you love them through your service!

that's just about it for today. Hope this helps. if there are any questions, please ask! I love to hear what the family is curious about.

with love,

Elder Kuehne

Here's a little excerpt from the email to BK:
lets start with P-day. P-day is the day we do most of our laba (laundry). sometimes, it's not possible to do all of it on P-day, but we try. we clean the apartment, then we get ready for the day. We go email at a local netcafe, (one of which is called Rasta netcafe, and it looks like heaven. I will be sure to send a photo.) then we go shopping. in Calbayog, we have a super metro, which is the closest thing we have to a smiths or other store like that. after all that, we go and we visit some people in our area. always fun to do that. everyday, we wake up, prep and eat, at 8, we start personal study, at 9-11, we do companion study as well as study for our training. 11-12, we do language study, 12 we eat, and when we finish, we travel by trike to our area. depending on the day, we will visit certain parts of our area and visit certain people. that's really the plan. my clothes are doing great! they are hanging in there, which is great. 
that's really all the time I have. I love you dad, and I will be talking with you a bit more next week.
Elder Kuehne

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Companion

Dear FAM,

Firstly, love the photo.

This has been a mostly uneventful week. Not a lot of new investigators, things like that. However, I am a trainer now! 

My trainee's name is Elder R. he is from Layton, 18 years old. He has a great work ethic. He loves to go out and walk and work. He is less then excited about the food, and we will have to see about that, but, I am excited to teach him the language and see how he does in his first 12 weeks. Excited to be able to do this!

Traveled to Tacloban, and while the drive is beautiful, it is so long; about 4 hours. Next week, I have specialized training about budgeting and cooking.
We have a less active family who has been less active for a long time. however, for the last 3 Sundays, they have come to church! It is so exciting to see them do that. They are really getting over their problems and it is so exciting to see them so happy to come to church. They haven't come in a while, and the members have been such a great help. I want to say that members make a huge difference in the work. They have gotten these less actives to come back, and one more has decided to come to church, if only because EVERYONE in the church has invited her. Miracles do happen indeed. 

Not sure what else to say this week. Lots of travel, lots of nothing happened. Just one of those weeks. 

I celebrated my birthday with a chocolate bar at 10:00 at night. Pretty much nothing else. Next year, maybe I will get 2 chocolate bars. That would be pretty crazy.

That's really all for this week. sorry for the short email, but not much to talk about this week. Next week, hopefully, I will have more.

Love you all, and I will see you next week!

Elder Kuehne, 19

Here is an excerpt from the email he sent to Morgan that I thought you might like to read:

I still remember the first time I read all the way through them. I was at work in Jackson. One night, I finished, and I wanted to go to the Lord in prayer. Unfortunately, It was way too noisy in the tent, and scouts were everywhere. So, I went to the bathroom, in one of the stalls. There, I knelt and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, and if my desire to serve a mission was worth it. At that time, the strongest feeling came over me of determination and love, and I openly wept. It was in that little stall, in a boy scout bathroom in an obscure town in Wyoming, that I gained a testimony about the Book of Mormon. I encourage you to find your own testimony, Morgan. The kind that only comes through reading the scriptures. Continue, and know in all your work and school that the Lord has promised to help, if you ask of him.

Here is also the picture we sent to Blake that he loved:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Great Changes

Dear family

Firstly, I want to apologize. I haven't been very specific in addressing you all and the accomplishments you have all had. I am trying to be efficient, but in doing that, I have sacrificed personality. I will do better every week, starting now.

Morgan, I do read your emails. Every week. I love hearing how well you do in school and other activities. Of course, math is hard, and yes, sometimes, friends have their drama (believe me, I know). But, I will be working harder to include you more. I may not have time to send you a personal email every week because of time (90 minutes only, and I have some things to take care of on the computer) but I will make it work. Please forgive me. I will do better.

Tyler, I cannot be more proud of you! tying your own shoes! that's a big step, little bro. and the puzzle, I can barely do a 4-piece puzzle. you are growing up very fast, and sometimes, I didn't tell you I was happy for you. I'm sorry buddy, I will do better to talk with you more every week. I promise. I know about your little problem right now, but Heavenly Father knows too, and he will take good care of you. I will pray for you, and I would like for you to pray too. He will help you. Be patient, and after this, you can continue to have fun and grow. I will work harder to be there.

I apologize for emailing late. Because of transfers, President Maurer decided to have p-day on Tuesday this week instead of Monday. this is for this week only. next week, back to Monday

so, I want to tell you about some amazing news. I was doing personal study in the new testament on Wednesday, and the phone rings. Elder D is downstairs right now, so I reach over to his desk and grab the phone. I read who is calling, close my eyes, opens them, and read it one more time. President Maurer is calling. he never does that, because he never has time. I answer, we talk, and after some little questions, he says to me, "Elder Kuehne, I want to ask you to be a TRAINER this coming cycle!" I am going to train! I go to Tacloban tomorrow, and the next day, I return with my new greenie! so excited for that!

I also want to share a little story about a miracle. I have long felt that I don't have any talents. It has bothered me a lot. so, I asked in a prayer that I would be able to feel better and receive comfort. I was reading the new testament, Mark 8:36, and I felt the prompting to visit the sole footnote, which is Jeremiah 45:5. I'll let you all read that, but I know that if I work, the Lord can make up the difference. we are working hard every day, and I feel the difference when I work by myself and when I let the Lord guide the work. 

also, quick little story. Kids here have a game. this game is called "Spiders." they put two spiders on a stick and have them fight it out. each kid has a little match box with SPIDERS in them. they just whip them out and play. little terrifying.

anyway, that's all for this week. next week, I will have lots to talk about, so, until next week

Elder Kuehne