Monday, February 27, 2017

A Small Problem and Hunger Games. Gotta love the variety!

Dear FAM,

This week was a butt-kicker. however, lots of new happenings, with some firsts as well. What a busy week this has been.

to start, we now have bicycles! that is right, we are now cruising down the streets on the way to teach some people. it's a good time to see all the people just checking out the new bikes. They are great, except for one small problem... they are Filipino sized. they are SOOO small. it's kind of a pain to ride, because the dang thing is so small, but other then that, it's pretty nifty. We can use them for anything. really nice, they allow us to teach lots more people.

 things here in san miguel are great. we have one family that we have taught 2 or 3 times, and they are amazing. We never taught the tatay of the family, but he said to us while he was cooking fish, he say our "plan of salvation" pamphlet that we gave the family, and he just decided to read THE WHOLE THING!!! that never happens, and A, the sister my age, is as shy as shy can be, but once I pulled out my map of the plan of salvation, she sat down and payed attention. the whole family wants to come to church, and is progressing so quickly! next lesson, we will be giving them a date for baptism, and get them on the road.

they are one of the 5 lessons we taught last week. yeah, 5 lessons. We got punted all over the place, and simply could not land a lesson with anyone. just one of those weeks, and we were so busy with district leader responsibilities that we have no time for that for a whole day.

I got to have my first baptismal interview. yeah. As district leader, I interview all baptismal candidates in my district, and the zone leaders area if they need it. saturday morning, I went to a place called Jaro, and did my first interview with two people, M, and C. When I interviewed M, She was amazing! she knew so much about the gospel already, it was amazing! the spirit confirmed to me that she was indeed ready for baptism. for C, however, No such spirit existed. so, I may have to go back next saturday to do another interview. hopefully, he prepares. I also did another one in Carigara, which is where the zone leaders are. the candidate, J, was so polite and amazing with her answers. she didn't give me primary answers, she went above and beyond. truly amazing. she will be baptized this Saturday. I honestly love my work.

we had the chance to baptize sister J, in front of about 10 people. Small service, but still a baptism. what an amazing opportunity to have one more come to the gospel of Christ. She is well prepared to come into the fold.

lots of fun things happening this week. I have exchanges with the zone leaders in carigara thursday, friday we have a zone conference, and saturday, We are giving a training in the wards missionary fireside. the ward is working hard to improve the members missionary work, we can't succeed without their help. We have one RM, brother S, who asked us one night if we had a dinner appointment. He made us dinner, then told us that we would teach a family while he finished. We taught the family of a recent convert, and brother S came over with the food. We then ate while he talked with Sister L, the recent convert who he thinks is very attractive. the YSA here is like the hunger games, honestly. 

that's really all this week. I ordered myself a 2 terabyte flashdrive, so I can have ALL the mission photos and music. It is going to be a party when I get home. lots of good memories and things like that.

love you all, and that is all. 

with great love,

Elder Kuehne

Monday, February 20, 2017

The work is good!

Dearest fam,

another fine week here in san miguel. We had the opportunity to baptize Brother C. his baptism is a little sad, because his mother is hard catholic, and refused to come, and his dad was drinking tuba, and chose not to attend. so, we took him, and we had his baptism. He really is excited to be a member, and even asked how he could get his brothers baptized. he is great, really loves the gospel, and ready to continue. We have a baptism this week as well, with sister J. she is really good, and so excited. the work moves fast here. We had 14 of our investigators come to church last sunday, and you don't need to be a missionary to know that that is a lot! such a great opportunity to see the work move like that! nothing better then this!

we have been told that we can expect bikes, which means we can get outside the area that we visit everyday. get some new people, visit new areas. really nice.

Nice to hear you met president C. He was the branch president of Sta. Margarita, and now he is the elders quorum president. he gave us so many referrals, hope he is still doing well. 

my first district meeting went ok, but it could have been a lot better. Now, however, I actually know how to do it right. So, I am going to be making it tonight. hopefully, it is better this week. Being a district leader is hard work. I am to give the training every week, collect the weekly totals for our "Key Indicators", and make sure all is well in our district. I have the option to call the people in the district and see how everyone is, and I can even do surprise visits to other apartments. not saying I will, but I can.

next week, we have exchanges with our zone leaders, and then a zone conference. Really excited to meet everyone in the zone. still haven't done that. but, we will be having a great little training, so really excited for that. good time here

other then that, just working hard. dad, keep playing Blokus. I do remember that game, and it was fun. working hard, maybe hardly working. to morgan, seeing as I am almost out of time, I say just hang in there, remember we all have times when we aren't happy. I would look into some good conference talks, and have a good week. The Lord loves you, and is ready to help. Tyler, good to hear you are out of the wheelchair, this will give you time to prepare for summer basketball. Hope you are still having fun with trains, legos, and sports. Maybe, you have a new favorite. I would love to know if you have a new favorite something. 

I love you all. I love the people here, and really trying to do all I can to be obedient. The work is good, and hopefully next week, I will be able to send some more.

peace,

Elder Kuehne

Monday, February 13, 2017

New area, new responsibility - lots of excitement!

dear fam,

This has been a week of work. pretty much everything is new, so, lets get started, shall we?

I have been asked to serve as a district leader. That is a big responsibility, and can be a great chance to serve others in the mission calling. it is just my companionship and one more, so it is the smallest district in the mission. thank heavens for that!

my new companion is elder H, from Washington. he was actually Elder R companion in the MTC, and they are night and day. Elder H is having such a good time working hard, and is willing to work hard. he has fun, but also is willing to put in the work. I am looking forward to this companionship. When I got here, elder H's trainer was not the greatest at working hard or updating the area book, even though Elder H really wanted to do both. so, he is having a blast with the work so far. 

My new area is called San Miguel, in Leyte, south of Tacloban this time. Now this is a little problem, because the language is different. It is still Waray Waray, but all the markers that start with "S" now start with "H" and some words are different. this presents a unique challenge, because I know the language, but I don't know the language. the area is pretty big, and we requested permission to get some bikes. hopefully, we can get them. they would be so much easier for this specific area. there are lots of rice fields, and we are walking around all the rice fields talking with all the homes of the farmers there. it is beautiful, and hopefully I can get some photos soon.

San Miguel is actually a ward, and has a very nice building. lots of members, and lots of Branch missionaries, many of whom have already gotten home from their own missions. it is pretty awesome to have that help from RM's. it just goes to show that even after the mission, the work never ends. they are all super active, always going out with us to find and teach people. they go  out of their way to do home teaching TWICE a month, going above and beyond their calling. 

you mentioned Sister T. I do know them, they are one of the most active and helpful families in Sta. Margarita. we drove by their with president Maurer, and he asked about them. Their efforts are well known throughout the mission, and they are a huge inspiration to all who know about them.

tomorrow, I will conduct my first district meeting, and I will also go to Tacloban for a district leader training. I am really excited for it, so I can get an idea what I actually need to do.

We taught a nice sister, and this was their 2nd lesson. we taught them about the Book of Mormon and the importance of the BOM. well, as it happened, Elder H already gave them a BOM, and the sister's daughter already started reading. She even took the book to high school and continued to read it. she also read all the lesson one pamphlet, and she already feels that it is true. There are truth seekers everywhere, and we get the opportunity to find them.

I love this work. the people here are great, the work is wonderful, and nothing brings me more joy and excitement that seeing how the work progresses and people can make it home after this life. It is a special thing.

I love you all, Thank you dad for all the great photos, lots of inspiration. Morgan, just work hard, forget your problems as best as you can, and have an eternal perspective. Tyler, hang in there, work hard in school, listen to mom and dad, and be a good boy.

with love,

Elder Kuehne

Monday, February 6, 2017

The New Schedule

dear fam,

Greetings from Philippines. No, I haven't transferred yet, and to be honest, the suspense is killing me! I really, really want to know where I am going! but, I probably won't know until tomorrow some time. Really, really want to know.

We found a less active, a much older Tatay. He has been a member for a while, but he is out of the way and didn't know where or what time was church. we told him, and lo and behold, Sunday at 9, in he comes. He is a preferred Cebuano speaker, but he understands Waray. Just a different kind of find, and a different kind of success. he is so great, and really excited for him to come back.

the new schedule we got is amazing! it was issued worldwide at the last missionary broadcast. The brethren said they had been working on it for about 6 months, and they felt now was the time to issue it. Before, everything was scheduled. now, we have a certain block of time to do all those things like finding, visiting, our studies. We come home at 8:30 instead of 9, get things done, and we can get to bed early if all our work is done and the companionship chooses to do so. way more effective, and a really nice new approach to missionary work!

zone conference was held in Catarman, and that gave me the chance to get some new teaching methods down. the training was all about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. we are focusing on baptism, and ensuring people know how to repent and that they need to do so. it can be uncomfortable to talk about repentance with people, but it quickly allows us to figure out who is ready and who is not. great training, lots of great, great things were learned.

you mentioned that one brother who followed me on facebook. I don't know who it is. never met him before. but, here, that's not too strange. they just see that you have friends, and they join in on the fun. they are worse then Americans when it comes to Facebook followers. but, the Filipino people, member or not, know about Jesus. EVERYONE knows about Him, and reverence Him above anything else. at least, they profess to. the members are very converted, and they are amazingly spiritual. 

Elder R is a hard one. very independent, very unwilling to take advice. he reminds me a little of me pre-mission. Elder D taught me that that was not good, and I changed. He is not so willing to do that. but, his follow up will be sure to correct those things.

not a lot of amazing things happened. played some real basketball, game wise. it was really fun. Brother J is struggling, we are going to try to help him out. this is hard. I was there for his baptism, and he is starting to fall a little. I can do nothing more then pray and hope he recognizes the problem. 

Really happy to hear about the little additions to the fam. poor dad is going to work himself into the grave, doing all this snowmobiling for customers. what kind of sick boss makes an employee do that?!?! Ty, hang in there, observe the wheel chair speed limits, and maybe, you can practice some nice stunts, going off of ramps and things. love the Blake playlist. I will not lie, that is perhaps the hardest thing for me to adjust to. I have some nice church works from the other missionaries, they ease the pain a little. continue to jam out, Blakestyle.

make sure the family knows I love them, I work hard everyday knowing the Lord will make sure that you all get the blessings you need from my service. keep on keeping on. 

Love to all the family, wherever they may be. 

until next week,

Elder Kuehne

p.s. could you perhaps send me a camera? I can't find one anywhere outside a cell phone camera. it may be easier if you send me one.