Monday, April 24, 2017

Finally Finding the "Right Moment"

Dear Fam,

This week has been wonderful. busy, of course, but so wonderful.

you wrote about sister A. we have two members of that family that are not yet members; nanay A and sister A. Nanay A also has 2 daughters that are members, though less active, and 1 son who is 8. they are amazing! they have baptisimal dates for June, and are speeding toward them! Nanay joined our gospel doctrine class, and absolutely blew us away with her answers and thoughts. she fully recognizes the blessings, and after years of waiting for the "right moment," she has finally found it! so amazing! great family! we also found a really nice family that seems interested. Excited to find them so I can have some good Investigators lined up for my next companion. 

Elder A is in the final week of his mission. he himself says he is so trunky! he is right, he really is. But, he still works and gets things done. He wants to set this area up for the next missionary, just like me. He really is a great companion. He loves to have fun, work, and things just work out. I am curious to see who my next companion will be. lots of zone leaders are going home, so we will have lots of new missionaries accepting leadership roles. Right now, my companion could be pretty much anyone. 

I just got back from a zone activity. we planned for the zone to come to Tacloban to play some games indoors. I have never had so much fun! just little games really got everyone excited and that was really enjoyable. we have an FHE set up for tonight, and that will be fun, because it is with a less active family we are working with. they came to church, so they are progressing. lots of less actives in the Philippines. many people forget, are too easily offended, or just lose track of their church life. it is really sad to have that happen to people who once had all the blessings the Lord has to offer, but have lost their privilege to them. hopefully, we can help them feel the spirit again and they will be returning to the church soon. we just have to keep working with them.

personally, I am doing well. I am working on staying on time and getting things done. Still love the work, still know the church is true. being a zone leader is a bit hard, and a bit hectic, but all in all it's great! I have continued to lose weight, but only a little. Daily exercise is stressed during this new schedule, and the apartment has a barbell. Elder A doesn't like to cook, and prefers eating out. I will be changing that, because no more money if we do that. 

the members here are really special. they are strong, and usually, willing to help, whether it be food, lessons, referrals, or anything else. lots of member meals means lots of enjoyment and time to get to know the area. Palo is huge, and lots of areas are just too hard to visit to make it worth it. but, we still visit as often as possible. I feel pretty comfortable with this area, figuring it out. Hopefully, I can work on it and improve. still love the work and all it has be do. zone leader is hard, but I can do it. 

Lots of love to you all. not a whole lot to report on this week. Next week may be more interesting, as it is the last week of the cycle. many people will be going home, and that means lots of different experiences. until then, love you all.

Perhaps we can make sure the skype works and then resend me the information so we can be ready for that. Thank you, love you all.

Elder Kuehne


Monday, April 17, 2017

The Message I Carry is About a Living Christ!

Dear fam,

to start, happy Easter to you all! Here in the Philippines, Easter is a holiday, but it is overshadowed by "Holy Week." allow me to explain. Holy week is a chance for people to remember the Saviors atonement and death. they sometimes have a big party down the national highway. in the party, they have a little parade, with someone actually lifted on a cross. outside of that, everyone is in "mourning" and don't leave the house. Traffic that day was non-existent, and most of the stores were also shut down. it was a really hard day, because almost all of our investigators are out at the cathedral, or inside the house. they also had a big showing of "the passion of the Christ" at the cathedral. however, the event is so big that president had all missionaries avoid heavily populated areas during those 2 days, just to avoid any issues and contentions. The issue I have is that this is a reenactment of the death of Christ. However, no one seems to mention the resurrection of Christ. the message I carry is about a living Christ, who died and was resurrected so we all may do the same when our time comes.

I personally am ok and well. I still love the mission, despite the hardships that come from it. so many meetings, so many other things to do and take care of. I learned that 5 missionaries are going home from my zone, and that means the transfer announcements are going to be BRUTAL, because it will be just me that will be doing them, with a ward missionary. we will also be closing down 7 areas this coming May, due to lack of missionaries. mighty things this May

Elder A is a great companion. He wants to finish strong and work hard. I will be sad when he leaves.

It has been a slow week. With a zone training meeting, 2 exchanges, a bad storm on Saturday, and a meeting with a baptismal interview yesterday meant we didn't get a lot done teaching wise. lots of punts, but also, some good finding. just another week. zone interviews were nice, President Maurer gave me some very constructive advice, and I will be sure to use it. I got lots of advice from my exchanges with the assistants, and with the newest missionary in Tacloban zone. So much learning, It is so nice to learn! Zone conference is Wednesday, and that is the last big event we have. after that, I will have time to focus and prepare for transfer day so I can know more of the area and investigators before I lead the area. hopefully, All will go well. wish me luck.

I do remember Sister J. I went on splits in San Juaquin, and she was awesome! such a great person. I miss the Calbayog district. Maybe some day, I will return there. I can only hope so. so many people I would like to see again, and who knows? maybe I can be the zone leader in Calbayog, Work with the saints there. That is honestly my dream right now; to return to Calbayog district.

but, with all these busy things, the blessings come also. There are so many blessings, and I feel so loved to be able to receive the help that I have received, from the Lord, people here. It is such a blessing.

the Lord lives. I know it, and I wish everyone else did too. I love all the fam. I am especially proud of Ty and Morgan, for both moving forward, Morgan with driving, and Ty with 3 for 3. That is called skill.

Until next week,

Elder Kuehne

Sunday, April 9, 2017

It is a Party Here in Tacloban, and Everyone is Invited

Dear fam,

This was a rough week. Lots of work going on. busy, busy, busy. with a big Mission leaders conference, general conference, exchanges. SOOOOOOOO muuucccchhhh work!!!! but, I still love it.

played ball earlier today, had some members come. We really connect with members and even investigators to take some time and have some good quality time playing ball with others. however, my body is soooo sore. we may be playing volleyball next week, and maybe even tomorrow, if time permits in the morning. It is a party here in Tacloban, and everyone is invited

Mission leaders conference was pretty interesting. It was the zone leaders and sister training leaders coming together and receiving training, then discussing some important points about missionary everyday life. Everything from new water to headphones. It was actually really interesting, and a real pride of mine to take part in helping the mission better achieve its goal. My zone is also so amazing! everyone is a real hard worker, and we see lots of growth every week. it's a blessing to be here in Tacloban.

We had exchanges, and during that, we had a great lesson. We oym'ed someone to ask them about a name I never met, and she didn't know either. Then, as we are leaving, she calls out "Brother!" everyone here calls us brother, because we call them that. we go back over, and it turns out the daughter and nanay have a Book of Mormon from a while ago and LOTS of questions. So, we shared a message to them about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel, commonly known as lesson 1. It was an amazing experience, because they participated in the lesson, asking and answering. such a wonderful message. we plan on returning next week.

this April's conference was truly an amazing conference. there were so many amazing talks that definitely are staying with me for a long time, including some calls to action. one of the larger ones was Elder Ballard inspired me to start working on goals. I never was very confident in setting goals, and a little hesitant of failure. But, I don't need to be. also, rule #6. to top it all off, President and sister Maurer even invited us and our investigators to the mission home for a lunch of peanut chicken and chili. the generosity they share is so amazing, and they truly do love the work and the people here. 

We ate at a members home, and they said they would look me up on Facebook. one did, and I asked how many friends I had. She told me, and It blows my mind to think that the account was only made maybe 3 months ago. 

not a lot to say this week, just lots of meetings. This week, we have zone interviews and zone training meeting, which I will be helping to teach. I love interviews, where I can get some personalized advice from the president, who of course holds the authority to lead the work here. He has said many things to me that have been so helpful. next week, we have zone conference, so just another thing to prepare for.

I actually received a package, and I was pleased to see it came not from Utah, but from Idaho. Huge thanks to the Slater family and Grandpa John for the candy and love. Elder A loved the Reeses bunnies. such a nice gift to receive, thank you.

To Tyler, I heard about the trains and how they didn't come. Life just sucks. but, all will work out. there are different opportunities to find some. Just work hard in school, be smart, and build your testimony. Everyone needs to know about Jesus Christ and his church, especially the ones who are already members!

to Morgan, Whatever the issue is, the answer is universal. the answer is Heavenly Father. He has a way of knowing how we feel and helping us. You have a testimony, You have my testimony, You have the testimony of Tyler, Mom, Dad, and all the family, that He WILL help us in our times of need. Just work hard, focus on school and activities, and let Him take control. Life is easier when we allow Heavenly Father to steer us in the right direction, while sometimes He allows us to make big choices. He does love us, after all, and we have our agency. and when school gets really hard, Just remember: Blake is done with high school ;)

Love you all, and I will see you all next week with an email.

Peace out

Elder Kuehne

p.s. In home gym. I couldn't be happier about it :)


Life is so much Sweeter Knowing the Facts

Dear Fam.

This week was a punt week. Lots and lots of people being busy. Filipinos hate to turn you down, so they do so by being "Busy" or having excuses. it makes some of the work extra hard because Everyone pulls the same excuse, so you know that most of the time, they aren't being super honest. but, sometimes, they are genuine, and you can tell.

My companion, Elder A, is a great companion. We can have fun and kid around, but He also is able to teach unlike any other of my companions. And so far, All is well with us. His language is dizzying. He is fluent in Waray, Cebuano, Tagalog, and Inogaynon, his birth language. his English is pretty good as well. Today, he has an English test at the mission home, so We have been speaking English all week to prepare him for it. feels nice to practice my English every once in a while :)

For Zone leaders, Elder A is technically Senior Companion because he has been in the mission longer. However, I believe that I count as a Senior Companion technically because I have trained, and been here pretty long. I think that counts. But to be 100% honest, Not too sure how that works. That said, I am the youngest zone leader, so ANYONE is older then me as of right now. 

We have a really busy week ahead of us. We have to go to Mission Leaders Conference this week, we have exchanges later this week, We have to arrange catering for zone conference next week, we have to get the zone T-shirt started, SO MUCH TO DO!!!! we can sometimes make it a little better with some down time. This morning, We got up at 5 to play ball with some members. Really fun. at least for MLC, Sister Maurer will be cooking. She knows how to cook. Although I love Filipino food, and am starting to learn some bigger dishes, I also love some American food. Elder A said last MLC, She cooked lasagna, So I am dying to know what meal she will be making this time around

Brother T had a little too much fun with some of our OYM's. He introduced himself to a lady of the jeepney, and started with the plan of salvation. He somehow got to temple sealings, after which, he got on to baptisms for the dead. The poor lady looked so confused! he also gave us a shoutout over the pulpit at testimony meeting and encouraged everyone to feed us and to give us referrals. I was dying! He is the funniest person ever! he also really loves Americans, as well as girls. He is single.

Palo is such a ready place. We had a baptism yesterday, Brother J. He was an investigator for a really long time, and finally was ready. His son will be coming up soon. we have 28 people with baptisimal dates, and I hope they all come through. It's harvesting time here. I love this work so much!

in my last email, I said I would be starting to learn Tagalog. That will actually start this week. I have a lot of resources to do so, as Tagalog has a place with all the church publications. I may start with the first vision. A lot of people know no Waray, Tagalog only. one here only speaks Cebuano, but his English isn't bad. Before his conversion, he was a Muslim living in Mindanao. He still remembers all the things he did during that time, such as prayers, celebrations, etc. It was really interesting to hear about a faith that actually doesn't center around Jesus Christ. But, he thinks the LDS church is number 1, so that is amazing.

This week, We will be going on splits. I am excited. A new rule says that all exchanges take place in the model area, and because we are the zone leaders, we will be here in Palo. MORE WORK DONE!!!!

The work goes on, lots of exciting things are happening. President Maurer will be released this coming July, as well as the senior couple and the self reliance couple. A lot of missionaries are also out the door this coming May. Big changes are soon to happen, and I just want to survive through it. 

As I think more and more, I think I was born in the church for one of two reasons; either the Lord wanted me to get started and be able to help others, or he knew I wouldn't recognize the truth in this life if I wasn't. it's odd to think about, but it still says to me that the Lord is in control, That he is guiding the work, and that Through my mission, I get to help Him do this marvelous work. It is a true miracle in my life to have this. I thank the Lord every day that I know the Gospel.

Hope all is well on the home front. I am curious; what is my room being used for? there were so many ideas thrown around, I would love to know what use it has. I really miss music, I miss road trips, I miss home-made food. But, I can have plenty of time to mess around with those when I return. Until then, I am on the Lords errand, and like Nehemiah in the bible, I just say to all the temptations below me "I am doing a great work. Why should It stop, While I come down to you?" the church is true, the gospel is perfect, And life is so much sweeter knowing the facts of life through our Savior, Jesus Christ. In America, I was a bit shy to talk about religion, because people there are so touchy about it. But here, That's all people talk about. Every jeepney, pedicab, car, and truck has some sort of sticker or painting of a scripture or the Savior. and don't forget plenty of crosses. I don't need to teach faith to anyone. We simply need to help them redirect that faith toward the restored church of Jesus Christ. it's the best job I can ask for.

I love all you. Enjoy your time with the Slaters. Poor dad is working so hard. Sometimes I wonder how he can get through the boatload of "office work" he has. I love messing with him.

Mom, You always send emails, you always encourage me to work, and that makes me want to work harder. Thank you so much!

Morgan and Tyler, Both of you may be punks, but I still love you both, and hope the Lords greatest blessings upon you. keep growing, keep improving, and enjoy this life. It is to be enjoyed, not just endured, after all. That is from a prophet, so it's important :)

Till next week, peace out

Elder Kuehne (OR as president Maurer always says, Elder Queenie)