Monday, September 15, 2014

Tropical Storms and General Authorities

This has been a fun and exciting week! First let me tell you about what happened last night. A big tropical storm came through. It started at about 2pm, which is coincidentally right when we start work on Sundays. So we go out in the pouring rain and harsh wind. We got soaked, to say the least, but the work goes on, right?!? As the day progressed, the storm got worse and worse. By the time we were walking to our last area, I felt like we were walking into a tornado...the wind was that strong!Just add a couple million gallons of rain falling from the sky and you'll have a nice mental picture of what we went through. Just another day in the Peens! The other sisters that we live with had already gone home due to the weather but Sister Ruga and I had a 7 o'clock dinner appointment that we weren't giving up for anything!! Most of our appointments had fallen through because of the storm and the power was out so the day consisted of us walking around trying to find people to teach. It wasn't very successful seeing as we were the only people out in the streets and the people in their homes couldn't hear us calling because all of the houses here have tin roofs and it gets pretty loud when you mix hard rain and tin roofs. Luckily, some people took pity on us and let us in their homes. By the time 7 o'clock rolled around we were tired, wet, cold (yep, even in the Peens!) and hungry. Filipino food never tasted so good! We had hot mami, a soup with crunchy noodles, veggies, and beef...yum!  Finally when we got back to the apartment the power was out and the other sisters were in bed. We still don't have power but luckily they do here in town so I can email today.

During one of the calmer moments in the storm!!
So that was a fun experience never to be forgotten. I also had an amazingly spiritual experience this week. On Monday night we got a text that President Dahle would be coming to our apartment the next day and to make sure we cleaned the place up. We didn't think much of if because they do apartment checks regularly. Then we were told we should met President at the church building because he wasn't sure exactly where our apartment was. Again we thought nothing of it. So we were waiting at the building when up rolls President and Sister Dahle with Elder Shayne M. Bowen and his wife. Elder Bowen is in the Philippines area presidency and the First Quorum of the Seventy. He came for a mission tour and to speak to all the missionaries at zone conference. I guess Elder Bowen chose San Marcelino to hold personal interviews and make sure the living conditions were okay. Elder Bowen is a general authority which means he is a regular converser with the prophet and I got the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with him! It was really cool to talk to him and ask him questions! We just talked about missionary life and I asked for any advice he could give me. His advice was simple, exact obedience. He talked more about it in our zone conference. He told us that it's the little, seemingly easy rules to follow that are most often broken because they are seen as unimportant. His examples were waking up and actually getting up at 6:30 every morning and planning for a full 30 minuets every night. Then he had us raise our hands if we had been exactly obedient to those two rules for the past 30 days. Out of the over 100 missionaries in attendance, only a few hands went up in the air. He then said he felt a 'lack of power'. It really hit me that we need all the help we can get as missionaries and although we may be following the big rules, we are sometime lax on the little ones.  This is true on the mission as well as in life. When we let ourselves slide on the little things, we won't be fully prepared for the trials that are to come in our lives.

I was so grateful for the opportunity to speak to and learn from Elder Bowen. I could truly recognize him as being called of God. I am so happy as a missionary in the Philippines! I love all the exciting moments that I am able to have here! 

I love you all and thank you for all of your support!

-Sister Miller

This is the last time that I saw my trainer, Sister Leakehe, before she goes home in November.

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