Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Be Still.

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who sent prayers and fasting my way, and to the way of the Philippines.  It was a crazy week for sure, but we are all really good here.  We are safe, and there was no damage to our area.  But man, did we learn a lot this week.  
Wednesday.  We got a text Wednesday morning that a typhoon would be headed our way, and that we needed to get a 72 hour kit together since it would be pday.  It was a crazy experience.  We took it seriously, but we didn't think too much about it at first.  Then we went out to work that night, and we started talking to our members and our investigators, and that's when it started to get really real.  We taught Sister Quiro, who was beside herself she was so worried for her little family.  We taught a really powerful lesson on faith in Jesus Christ, and about how we must prepare for the spiritual and the physical storms of our lives.  The whole city just had a really weird feeling to it.  Really quiet.  We found out that this storm was being compared to the typhoon that hit Tacloban last year.  And thus started one of the craziest weeks of my life.
Thursday:  We were out at work, when we got a text that we needed to go home at 4:00 and physically pack a 72 hour kit in case of evacuation.  The good news, is that I'm from Utah, and I'm totally pro and 72 hour kits because I have been taught it my entire life.  And all the things that dad made me take, that I told him I wouldn't need, like that giant emergency flashlight that I insisted was too heavy?  The roll of ducttape?  The extra medicine?  And so on and so forth, I was very grateful for in that moment.  We were allowed to go back out and work as long as we stayed as close as possible to our house.  The crazy part about being a missionary, is that we don't have any news!  We don't have a radio or a tv.  So we just went out that night and talked to as many people as possible.  Asked them if they were preparing, and encouraged them to buy extra food and water just in case.  And we went from house to house just talking to people.  If they had a tv, we would ask them for the lastest updates.  
Friday:  During our studies we got two texts, one that we would have to sisters coming to stay at our apartment with us.  Mind you, the STL's who usually live with us were stuck on Cebu, they had shut down all boats.  So it was just me and Sister Villacorte in the house.  They told us that we needed to fill up any bucket we had with water just in case, and that we needed to go out and buy more food for the sisters coming to stay with us.  We went to Gaisanos, and the lines were unreal.  Everyone was stocking up on food.  We were then told that we had to be home at 5:00.  When I got that text, it just hit me really hard.  I stood in the middle of this dirt road, and I just looked around me and realized just how small I was.  I looked at the little bamboo huts surrounding me, and I realized just how far away from home I truly was.  I wanted to panic, I wanted to run and hide, I wanted to go home.  As in HOME.  But there isn't a way you can out run a typhoon.  There isn't a way to get home.  You can't go around it, you've just got to go through it.  I stood in the middle of that little street and shed a tear or two, and said a silent prayer.  I think it's one of those moments I'll never quite forget.  
Saturday:  The storm was supposed to hit on Saturday.  We had the Sisters from another area staying with us.  We were inside all day long. President McCurdy asked us to say a mission wide kneeling prayer at 12:00.  I deep cleaned the house, wrote millions of letters and watched every church movie known to mankind.  We were really blessed, and the weather was really mild on Saturday.  We had a little wind and a little rain, but truthfully, nothing out of the usual.
Sunday:  We were told that we wouldn't be going to church.  We stayed at home all day, and were told to have a testimony since it was fast sunday.  The four of us had a really sweet testimony meeting.  Then we all just kind of kept to ourselves and did our own thing and waited for the storm to hit.  I brought out the Beyer in me, and went on an organizing spree. I unpacked, organized, and repacked all of my stuff.  It was kind of like dad and his garage in the summer time.  The Andersons texted us, and they told us they had gotten permission to bring us the sacrament.  So Elder Anderson came over and blessed and passed the sacrament to us, and we had a sacrament meeting with the six of us.  It was really powerful and so special.  We had a lot of time to think, to ponder, and to study.  I was really able to think about my time her, what I've done, what I could have done better, what I want to do.  I was able to just realize how blessed I am to be here.  We were so blessed, and by the night, the storm had pretty much passed over us.  The storm barely even hit us.  It was scary, but truthfully, I've worked in worse wind and rain than what hit us.  We were so blessed the whole time.  That night, it was actually rather chilly.  Only about 80 degrees in our house.  Which is the coldest it's ever been.  So since I had nothing else super important to do.  I once again spent an hour heating up hot water so I could have a hot shower before going to bed.  
Monday:  We got a text that all was well, and that we were able to go out and work.  It was a weird feeling to actually go out and work and be a missionary again.  We had a CSP in one of the elders area, about a 40 minute bus ride away.  We went up into the mountains to one of their members houses, and then we got into the river in front of their house, and collected rocks so that we could make a road for them that wouldn't get washed away in the mud.  It also felt very Beyer.  We all decided we felt a little bit like Lamanites.  And then I took a butong, (coconut) and a sundang (like...a sword) and chopped open my own butong and drank the coconut water within.  And that was the day I became a true Filipino according to all the elders I was with.  
Tuesday:  The Sisters finally were able to make it home!  And I met Sister Laub.  Our new housemate.  She is wonderful and I love her already.  Sister Villoria worked with us, and suprised us by taking us out to lunch to let us know she's moving to Manilla in two weeks to be with her family.  We're so excited for her, but I'll miss that woman like crazy.  And, that was our week.  It was madness.
I mentioned last week that I had a study I wanted to share, and I'm actually really grateful I wasn't able to send it last week.  I'll share what I was going to share last week, and then add onto it this week.  I'll be honest, when transfer calls came last week, I was a little disappointed.  I felt like I was ready for a change.  I felt like I was supposed to transfer.  And I was saying a prayer, to kind of ask for peace for this next transfer, and I just felt the words come over me ever so gently to "be still".  So I decided to do a study on the words be still.  The first scripture I read was D&c101:16.  "Therefore let your hearts be comforted concerning zion.  For all flesh is in my hands: be still and know that I am God." 
So I just thought, be comforted.  He has a plan for me.  All flesh is in his hands.  I am in His hands.  So just be still, lose the chaos, and know that He is God, and he is in charge.  In D&C5:34 it talks about standing still and that He will provide a means for us to accomplish the things he has commanded us.  In D&C61:36 we are told to be of good cheer, for He is in our midst, and he has not forsaken us.  And in D&C 123:17 it says "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God, and for His arm to be revealed"  And I just thought of that mom of mine, and how she always tells me not to worry about the things that you can't change.  And that the one thign we are in charge of is our attitude.
Which brought me back to a memory I have of oh so long ago with Sister Passey.  She shared an experience with me, and truthfully, I don't remember why, maybe it was so I could remember it now.  It is in Jacob 5, the allagory of the Olive Tree.  It's in the part where the master of the vineyard and the servant go to the furthest part of the vineyard (aka San Carlos) and it all just felt mighty relatable.  In verse 20 he talks about staying and nourishing the farthest part of the vineyard for another season.  Aka, "stay another transfer".  And then in verses 21-22, the servant says unto the Master of the vineyard, "why!  why did you bring me to the poorest part of the vineyard" and then the Lord said unto him, counsel me not.  I new that iwt was the poorest part of the ground, wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time, and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit"  I don't need to know why I'm here, as long as I know that the Lords ways are higher than mine.
Sometimes it's so incredibly easy to say "I'll go where you want me to go"  Everyone loves transfers, the new change, the new start, the adventures.  But sometimes you've gotta say, "i'll stay where you want me to stay".  My dear friend Lauren has written me some wonderful emails on my mission about some personal experiences she has had, where she has just felt the words "Be Still and let me be your God".  And so that's exactly what I'm trying to do.  Because, as my dear mom taught me, everything happens for a reason.  
So now we flash forward to this last week.  When I do a study to send home, I think about it all week long.  I ponder how I'm going to portray it, what i want to say.  And so it was a really tender mercy to get to study this out all week, and really think about it.  I think you all know that my worst fear is typhoons, it has been since my mission call.  I was scared out of my mind.  But as I felt peace, and felt the words over and over again to be still and know that He is my God, it was okay.  It was an amazing week.  We were so blessed.  And I'm so grateful for the things that my Heavenly Father taught me this week.  I'm so blessed here in San Carlos.  And I'm so grateful that I Heavenly Father doesn't always listen to what I think I want.  
I love you so much.
Love,
Sister Carlee Beyer

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