Monday, March 27, 2017

New Areas, New Callings, New Experiences

Dear Fam,

To start this email, I want to say it won't have much to do with San Miguel, Because I transferred. One cycle only in San Miguel. It's a real shame. I am now in Palo, Tacloban. And to make things more interesting, I am the new Zone Leader. Yeah, terrifying. as if district leader isn't hard enough.

Palo is on the southern side of Tacloban. it's nice because it has great restaurants, good internet shops for emailing, a real transportation system, and is pretty nice.  It is a wonderful area, with a thriving church membership. we had the chance to see 140 people come to church. My new companion, Elder A, is batch with Elder D, and is from Davao, Mindanaw. You know, the place I can never go because of the whole kidnap Americans thing happening down there. he is a real hard worker, if not a hair trunky. this is his last cycle, and he is really trying to go out with a bang. But, he really does work hard, and it is so nice to have a companion who is older then me that can teach me new things. such a nice thing to have. 

I went on splits, and my companion was Brother T. He is an absolute fireball! he was baptized in '95, and wouldn't leave the church for anything. He pedi-cabs during the week, and on weekends, he loves to work with the missionaries. He knows EVERYONE! members, less actives, even all our investigators! he is simply amazing. 

the work of a zone leader is hard, but it also has several key blessings. I have the chance to help not only our investigators, but also can help the missionaries in Tacloban zone, or my zone. I collect numbers, and am in charge of helping others do the work. I see it as a big chance to help others. lots of paperwork. not a big fan of that.

we had the chance to go and have dinner with a family. They have one person in the family, a little boy, who is as white as me, and speaks only English. His father is from Denmark, and is a member. The strangest thing to speak English to someone not from America. 

we had a CSP, where we built a new kitchen for a family. Building here is down to earth and not fancy at all. nothing more then wood, some nails, no building codes, and aluminum. I was able to help because I could get heavy things higher then the others. for support, we just nail bamboo to the frame, and then people start climbing up it. no fancy tools, just a hammer, nails, a saw, a level, and some string. yet, we built a whole kitchen, with furniture, in about 6 hours, and it's not too shabby. I think I like this style, it's less complicated. 

in this area, Waray Waray is used, however, there is a great deal of Cebuano and even Tagalog. I was actually recommended to start learning Tagalog from my companion and a couple members. So, now I dive into this strange new world of an organized language with national usage. hopefully, it will be easier then Waray, since the language structure is almost identical. Different words, some different markers, but that shouldn't be too hard. so, I think while I learn the Waray, I will start Tagalog. Wish Me luck with that.

I miss march madness. Really, I do. I have no way of knowing how that is going. Well, Ty, you always were ridiculously lucky when it came to the tournaments, so get er done, Ty.

Dad, sounds like you are enjoying the travel. should be pretty enjoyable. trip to Moab, then to Oregon. Some jobs have better benefits, I guess. 

Morgan, I am so glad you are still doing well. I will not lie to you, I miss the temple. I can't go, due to travel constrictions, but nonetheless, I really miss it. I am definitely going to enjoy it when I return to the good ol USA.

That's really all for today. Working hard, getting some things done. We are meeting my old zone leaders at a place called the Texan, which apparently is REAL American hamburgers. Couldn't be more excited! I will be withdrawing today, because I am told it is a little mahal (expensive, I just type Waray as a reflex), so that is personal funds for that. other then that, I will be talking with you all next week, 

good luck to Grandma and grandpa on their journey to Germany. Next time, Take me with you, eh?

LOVE YOU ALL, AND PROUD TO SERVE THE LORD IN HIS VINEYARD OF THE PHILIPPINES!!!!

Elder Kuehne



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Teaching Brings Joy

Dear fam,

To start, I got an unmarked box full of snacks. because there is no name, I give the credit to an angel. but, thank you for the box. it is delicious.

This week was a bit trying. We had one investigator drop us. He is very poor, and is using a caribao from his church to help him get farm work done. someone over there found out he was meeting with us, and said that if he continued to visit with us, they would take the caribao away. so, he cracked and asked us to not visit again. I do not speak bad of other faiths; they believe different then I, and that is ok. however, some people here are very intolerant. it is how it is, just a shame to see that.

we had two new faces at church today, and that's odd because as a missionary, I should know them because I probably invited them! but, they were not invited by missionaries; one was invited by his member sister, and the other, I still don't know. she is interesting, because she has 8 kids, and despite the steep price she had to pay to get here (20 pesos), she said if she had the money, she would return happily, maybe even with some of her children. We are definitely going to visit, and I am very excited for it.

As I write, we are only a couple weeks from General conference, and I am so excited for it! I still remember my first general conference here in the mission. I went to the store with Elder D, bought oreos before hand, and went to Catbalogan one Saturday  and watched all the sessions surrounded by members and the other missionaries in the Catbalogan zone. it was such a good time. I actually downloaded it, and sometimes listen to it while we prepare in the morning. While there is no big feast, no family, and I'm wearing Sunday best, I still love it.

yesterday, I went on splits with the ward missionaries, and I got punted 10 times. in a row. For 4 hours we visited people, and NOONE was able. sick, not home, it was a hard day. At the end, I got to teach one lesson, and it was the greatest feeling in the world! teaching brings me joy, and I just hope that the people we teach take the time to think about it and find out for themselves that this is the true church. We never say "take my word for it, get baptized." the message is to ask God if this church is true. If anyone knows the true church, surely he does, right? And when He does, and they listen to it, There is the greatest feeling in the world about the gospel and the mission.

this week, I feel better. I do need to go to the CR, but that is a small problem, and mom, you nailed what that is. it's the bathroom.

As I read the scriptures, my patriarchal blessing, and other church publications, I realize that there is no way this could not be the true way. No one could write the BOM, no one can manufacture the spiritual feelings, and I am convinced of it. even though other's don't know the gospel, I DO, and if they choose not to accept it, I simply move on and try to help other people. one of these days, the blessings will happen.

Much love to all the fam, thank you for the love, the packages, and the prayers. I feel them, and they are not forgotten.

May the Lord bless you as much as he has me

Morgan, Not a lot of time today, but hang in there, follow the Lord, and just take some time and do some service. Making others smile is sure to make you do the same.

Ty, Love you buddy. Basketball here is really fun, and everyone knows about NBA. Love you pal.

Elder Kuehne

Monday, March 13, 2017

I Am Doing All I Can, The Lord is Pleased

Dear fam,

once again, another week. this week was really another week, nothing super special, except for the birthday of Elder H. big party Sunday for that, really a good time. lots of people, lots of good food, lots of love all around. enjoyed my opportunity to be here for this event.

I am just getting back from our zone activity. we went to the mission home in Tacloban and played volleyball. We really are awful. What was great is president Maurer came out in p-day clothes and a rice patty hat and played with us. he was probably better then the rest of us, honestly. Sister Maurer cooked ribs and coleslaw for lunch, and then we uno-d. I always lost. Turns out My ability to play uno is pretty bad. but, we don't need to dwell on it.....

You mentioned about the apartment. Yes, running water and electricity are available. Every apartment has them, and it's not rare to find either one in even the poorest homes. hot water is the thing to find. out of all the apartments, 2 have Air-conditioning, and only 1 has hot water. what I wouldn't give for that.

We also had zone interviews, and it was fun. I went finding in Carigara, the zone leaders area, the night before, and found a family. after, we had our interviews. President had some great things to say, especially since I have honestly felt like a failure since Elder R, and I felt I could have tried harder. But, he said that Elder R is doing much better, and his new companion is hailed as a great missionary. so, he told me not to worry about it, and that He felt that I did my best. We talked about my responsibilities as district leader, and to be honest, everything made sense when he said those things. I know I am doing all I can, and the Lord is pleased.

to talk about the 2 missionaries who have become my friends, Elder E is from American Samoa, and spent 4 months in the MTC due to his back. He knows the white handbook and PMG inside and out, and is an absolute giant. One night, he came back home with his comp, and he had a freaking WASHING MACHINE over his shoulder, carrying it like it was nothing! he was my zone leader for 3 cycles, and was President Maurer's choice for special assignments with particularly hard missionaries. he was blessed to be able to do it. Elder A is the other, short and small, but indeed teaches by the spirit. We became fast friends, especially since his trainer was a hard one. He absolutely DREADED being sent back with his trainer, and wanted nothing to do with him. They both got ET'd due to some missionaries being passaway, and now they are in a close-by zone. Elder E leaves this cycle, Elder A is just a bit older then I am, missionary wise. They both are great, and I have had the chance to go on exchanges with them, learning heaps from both.

We have a soon-to-be missionary here. Brother M is the only member in his family, and has been preparing for his mission. He lives in the most isolated place in San Miguel, yet faithfully comes to church every Sunday and splits with us also. He leaves march 22, and will soon be out in the world as a new missionary in Davao, down south. he loves to work, and is the greatest.

as for exchanges this week, I went with Elder G, the trainee. His progression is amazing! he just devours the language, the lifestyle, and especially finding. It was cut short because of me needing to use the CR Really badly, but nonetheless, really impressed with his work.

honestly, I am typing this tired, hot, and just a hair out of it. Not totally sure why, but it will be fixed by next week. Reading the scriptures are such a blessing, and I love to open them and get my reading done everyday. They have answered lots of questions, and have given me much to think about. I know the Lord wrote them, because honestly, only He could. Some people misinterpret them, some people retranslate them, and some straight up ignore them, but I know that all these things are wrong. I really do know it is true, and I love to tell others about it and help them.

I got an email from Emma Wyatt. Congrats to her on the mission call. Rome is a pretty fancy place, and I can bet she will be tearing it up the second she gets started.

President Maurer showed us a video, depicting the first vision in the way mentioned in ALL the accounts of the first vision. I love the old one, Titled "The restoration", but at the same time, this one felt right, and truly inspired. Sounds like you saw them, if not, I strongly encourage it. I downloaded it from LDS.org onto my flash drive, because It is allowed. in fact, it was encouraged. President Maurer strongly feels technology will greatly enhance the mission, if used appropriately.

to dad, I appreciate the work you do. We joke about it, but in truth, You provided for us, letting us do all sorts of things. I truly appreciate the sacrifice you made for this family. work, play, do what you need to do, but whatever you do, continue to give your all

Mom, Congrats on the removal of your brace. I can't imagine how great that feels. As you serve, the spirit will fill you and let you do all sorts of things that will help others come closer to Christ, as well as ease this hard life. You go!

Morgan, No email this week, So I assume all is well :) continue to do all those things the spirit says to you, and you will find all your problems simply melt away, as the Lords atonement overpowers them. keep it up

Tyler, so happy you got to go to recess. believe me, Ty, I walk and bike everyday all day. You want some good food in you to help you do your best. I started biking too ty, and it is hard, but to be fair, odds are you would fit my bike perfectly, so don't worry about it.

I love you all, and will be attaching photos from conference and interviews. Elder H, my companion, is the American in the middle, right next to him, the big islander, Is Elder E, and right next to him, the small pinoy, Is Elder A. Perfect how that worked out

Until next week, paghinay

Elder Kuehne

P.S. dad, I am pretty sure that the Self reliance elder here, Elder Eakins, played pro ball. Center, no doubt, and I saw a photo someone looked up, and he is spot on. Jim Eakins, I believe. Thought you would like to know. he joined us in sacrament, and he really made a stir, seeming as how he is 7"0 up. always hilarious to see him walk in

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lots of Great Progress!

Dear Fam!

this week was a very busy week. lots of meetings, lots of great progress! we had 14 investigators come to church! nothing is more amazing then to see all these people file in to partake of the sacrament of the Lord's day. lots of wonderful things.

We invited the family to church this Sunday, but they didn't make it. Not sure why yet, but we will be sure to find out. the rest of them are doing pretty well. I haven't had any baptismal interviews yet, not sure when that will be happening, or if it will. I just get to wait.

the exchanges were great. I went with Elder W, from Dallas. it's hard to find a more obedient missionary then Elder W. really focused on the work, great missionary. Loved the chance to work with him. I have my own exchanges with my district this week. It will be held in San Miguel, and should be a great opportunity to see how other missionaries do things and pick up some new tricks and tactics. though I love Elder H, I also like to have a companion who has been out longer then I so I can learn some new things. hasn't happened since training. as for the ward fireside, No one came except for maybe 5 people. Not so great attendance, but great training, great chance to prepare and learn new things. lots of learning this week.

We also had the zone training meeting. lots of people, and lots of great trainings were given. two of my best missionary friends were emergency transferred, so they participated in that. more on that next week, because I am almost out of time.

the RM's are a huge help. in our mission, if we have someone who is endowed, we can teach whoever. so, we make sure to bring them to as many lessons as possible. in addition, we have a future missionary. Brother M has been called to serve a mission! he leaves march 20th for the manila MTC. so excited to see him off and working.

we have an investigator. He speaks Cebuano, and nothing else. He doesn't know Waray, and can't even read Tagalog, which almost everyone can do. So, we got to brush off the Cebuano and tried to teach him in Cebuano. We both are bad at it, but it really is fun to try and use it. Great times.

congratulations on the new calling, mama! you can do it. the Lord qualifies who he calls, and he chose the right person for the job. go out and help others grow. Morgan has been emailing diligently every week, and I love to see how life is for you all. Hopefully, Ty will be ready for recess soon. I can imagine he is going nuts! 

I love you all. Short email this week, But next week will be much longer. I had to use internet time today to get some work done for Baptismal records and what not. Love you all, and next week will be better

Elder Kuehne