Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Final email from the Philippines- May 17 2015

Everyone, as many of you are aware Elder Cuillard has been having significant back pain from his Jeepney accident about 4 months ago. There are no hospitals in his mission so his mission president flew him to Manila to get an mri. Turns out he has a bulging disc and to vertebra issues so they are sending him home with an honorable release. Depending on how his treatment goes he may have the option to go back out but we are unsure at this point. As you can imagine this was not in his life plan he is struggling trying to understand the Lords will for him but his faith is strong he seems to have found some peace. He arrives home tomorrow afternoon, the email below was sent this morning, thank you for your support and prayers.

Well first things first I just need to thank my Heavenly Father for this experience that I have been given to serve the people here in Iloilo. To be honest this has been the happiest hardest saddest most spiritual experience of my entire life. I never realized before my mission the growth that could take place in the short time I have been here. I realized that it would happen but I think in my head I thought it would be a little like efy or something.. boy was I wrong. The refiners fire is a real thing and I would just like to testify of the power of it and if we let the one who has the hammer and the tools shape us we can become a beautiful piece. To that I can testify as I feel like I went through that process maybe not the same as others but I went through that and it has changed me.

One lesson I also have learned is there are times we need to be willing to accept correction from our father in heaven.. and I know that because I know he has love inspired correction. It’s not for us to become sad or depressed. I love a talk called bearing our burdens with joy. Because how ironic is that with joy? ha how in the world are we suppose to do that? Let me tell you as we are striving and pushing to be the man or woman the lord wants us to be bearing those burdens can become light. Weird as it sounds I Feel that right now even though I feel disappointed and wonder at times why did this happen to me? I remember a talk by pres eyring called mountains to climb which has lifted me through my mission but it says when I at times ask myself why me? I give to myself this rallying cry Remember Him! He is our perfect exemplar of dealing with hard tasks and remember the savior has descended below them all.. art thou greater than he? " this hits me every time. I love that because it’s true. I hope that I never will forget HIM. Because its because of him I have been and will be able to again return to the presence of our father in heaven.. I love him and trust him. 

I want you all to know of my love and to know of my gratitude for all the things you have done for me while I’ve been out and the support, especially my family both grandmas my cousins and uncles and aunts. And my immediate family I love you guys.  I hope you know that I am doing great and am happy besides the situation I know that it’s the lord’s plan and I can’t do anything about it right now so I have faith the lord knows what he is doing and it’s his plan. Well I love you all I’ll be home Tuesday! I would love to hear from you. 

All my love, 
Elder Cuillard 

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 3 2015

Well this week was a great week we were really busy working but I loved it. Sometimes I realize how great the lord really is… and I realize that at some times more than others but I have been trying to have the best attitude about any of the situations that we are in. This week we started off with a Family night at the former branch pres. house and it was really fun and good. We gave a lesson on having a sure foundation and what that means to us if we center our lives on the Savior it doesn’t mean the winds won’t come and that the rains won’t pour on us, but it means we won’t be moved. I love that the gospel just so true, we can’t be moved if we have a sure foundation. Then Tuesday we went to guimbal the opening area with elder ananga from kittabus, I have never laughed so hard in my life, that kid is SO FUNNY. haha We found this family of about 20 and they all have been waiting to find the gospel I guess the grandma had heard the missionaries forever ago and was waiting for the church to start there so she is like my whole family is going to be baptized… I was like WHAT! :) that never happens but I’m not complaining. Yeah so we were tracting and elder and I said our plan is not to teach one lesson but to go tract and build trust with people. So that’s what we did we tracted like a whole area. Then after a while we ran into this nyny (grandma) who was doing laundry so we stopped and said hey we are going to help you and so we started to and she says what wait your missionaries and we said yes and she said come in come in so we did and there were 5 houses so she called them all over and said hey come listen to the missionaries. So we taught about faith, repentance and baptism and endure to the end and she said that’s what we are going to do, when does church open up here so we will come every Sunday and I was like ha WHAT? hahah I was like heck yes you can so we didn’t do anything but talk to her, the lord had prepared her and her family!
Its also starting rainy season thank the heavens its been so blasted hot I thought I was about to die, but now its cooling down. This week we focused on our baptismal candidate Brother April he was baptized on sat. It was way good I cried during his testimony, he also got kicked out of his family. And I was just so touched at the faith he has. But this week I noticed a lot of little miracles, we found this old lady and her husband this week and gave her a book of Mormon and she started crying and said thank you lord for remembering me I have been praying for this. I was also touched and told her that it was no accident and that I knew our savior knows her and loves her. But that’s about all for this week for news except I will be going later this week to manila to get an mri on my back and hopefully we will be able to figure this thing out but that’s about all, I love you and hope you all have a great week:) 

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 26 2015

Well hello family and friends. I wanted to just share my week with you and some of the experinces and impressions I felt this week. This week we had missionary leadership training for two days where we accounted for the last month in which we reached our goal for a lot of things. Our numbers increased in every aspect of the work for the last month which made me really happy. The next day we had a training about time and our how special it is. And it’s all about what we do with the time that we do have here. Not just here on the mission but in our lives. As I have time to contemplate my life from before to now to what I want to become, I have started to honestly realize the importance of time and how I need to try my best to love the time that I do have. Then we heard a training from Pres. Aquino on the Book of Mormon, which was really good.  He has challenged us to give them away everyday which we have been doing. The other privilege I had this week was to be the first one to work in a brand new area called Gimbal. It’s being opened this week. And it was rough but we found a family there that I think has been prepared. The truth is like I can speak the language but I’m not fluent. It's like I can not fully express myself by any means and its sometimes hard. I feel a promting and want to share it and I can’t and sometimes I’m like why in the world ha. But that was good. We also taught our investigator named April who is a boy. And he is going to be baptised this week I’m way pumped for him. He’s like my favorite to teach. But we dropped a ton this week and this week will be focused on finding. In closing I just want to share my testimony with you all that I know that this church is true. With every ounce of my heart. Even though I don’t understand a lot of things about my mission about my situation here right now I know God’s plan is perfect and I want to please him. I know that we have a living prophet and he guides us through the power of revelation. I love our Savior and I know he lives! His atonement is real. it changes us if we let it. I hope you all have a great week! 
Love, Elder Cuillard

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 19, 2015

Hey Family and Friends,
Well first I would love to thank all those who fasted for me today I am so grateful for you all. I talked to my mission pres. about my back and he took me to some gypsy guy and he like felt me and like did some pushing and stuff and it made it hurt so bad later. I am supposed to go back to him tonight but no way! HA! This week consisted of a lot of travel again and not very many lessons. But we had to travel to the farthest area on Wednesday and give a baptismal interview. We also had a meeting with the stake president where I introduced my new idea to help with retention. My idea was that every Wednesday there be an assigned Elders quorum member to work with us and other missionaries and have a 15 min tutorial how to teach a lesson. Then go and visit less actives to help them feel like they have friends and people who care about them. This will help the Elders Quorum members feel less timid to teach and home teach. The problem is most people here just have no idea how to teach or what to do during home teaching so I am trying to help that. That’s a major issue here is the members don’t know how to teach. The stake president said he loved the idea he actually came to our branch and spoke about it and actually made a whole sheet for it. He distributed them to everyone without me even knowing hahah :)

Yesterday we also had a baptism for our investigator Joy Acap it was really good. She actually asked me to baptize her but I asked if my comp would because I am trying to help the tension. I think it helped a little bit. I have been doing little things for him hopefully he will notice. Ha!  We will see. I had a really good lesson the other day with another investigator he's being baptized this week or next. He was gay and has totally switched it's been awesome to see that. We started teaching him like my 2nd week here. And to see the differences is just awesome. 
My advice for the week is that God loves us! Remember that. Remember that if someone ticks you off or maybe you don't see eye to eye the Lord loves that person the same as you so do your best to remember that. I know our Savior lives and its because of him we can have the privileges of eternal life. Have a great week!
Love Elder Cuillard

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 12, 2015

Well this week was a good week. We started this week out with splits with some Elders who were struggling. And I totally understand why. The people in their areas are so stuck and the catholic man has them whipped. We started talking to this lady and her husband came up to me and started screaming at me and saying "leave leave right now or im going to hit you" pretty much was what he was saying and he's like I don't want to listen to you!  And honestly I was like alright. I waited for a second then said to him well listen I respect what you have to say, but I really don't want to leave, I have a message to share. And he got more mad and then he like threatened to like throw a rock at us and so we walked off. His wife was sweet I was like dang it. haha!! But I'm fine he wouldn't have done anything to me. Also that night I had the lovely privilege of sleeping on a cement floor. Literally my back is so sore I sometimes really don't know if I can go another day. And I asked my mission president for a blessing. It was a cool experience but it's really not changed the situation. I use the back pack and the electro things every day. I really think there is something wrong. But lets see this week we got to watch conference. That time is always a time it makes me miss you all. But I know that there were some great talks. I was spiritually filled. I loved the talk about the ground like the sowers but how he used it to the ground and we are the ground I loved that. I  also loved Pres Gibsons talk in priesthood session. By far that was my favorite meeting. Also Elder Hollands talk was amazing I love listening to him he's a stud when it comes to his talks!  He throws down I love it. But thats about it. I hope you have a great week:) I miss you all and love you as well. I know that the work we are all doing for the Lord will be worth it. It doesn't take being a full time missionary to make a difference. Iloved this quote. " teach the gospel and when necessary use words." that's the truth! We need to live what we believe. And remember that that's the best thing we can do!
Love Elder Cuillard
These pictures are from zone conference

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 5 2015

Well this week was good with regards to working with other missionaries and with hours but the work its self wasn’t great. I still am having a hard time understanding and sometimes I feel like I’m never going to get this thing. But lets see this week on Tuesday we went on splits and it was good the elder I was going on splits drove me nuts he is 23 and kept picking up sticks and was like asking me to sword fight and I was like elder how old are you? haha Then we go to get lunch right and there is like this fish tank thing and he puts his face up to it and is like making fish faces and trying to get the fish to follow his face I was like dude sit down. Ha! So that was good but we taught some good lessons I felt comfortable because it was straight karia like my last area. Then we had a meeting the next morning with the stake president and his councilors that was cool he told us we were way prepared and presented the information really well. Our job is to find out all the strengths and the weaknesses of each branch or ward or group and report that. He told us he wants to focus on strengthening the units we have, so we prayed about it on the way home then that night I called every companionship in the zone and told them that they now need to spend every Wednesday with the elders quorum and go visit less actives. Also we have seen great success these last couple weeks. The highest number of baptisms in a month for this zone is 8 in the last year we already have 5 and the goal is 10 we still have three weeks for that so I’m glad to see that happening. Then the next day we rode an hour and a half on a stupid jeepney… not a fan of those things they are made for those little people from willy wonka! We also did comp study with the elders that needed some help it was a surprise visit and so Tuesday we will be going on splits again. Well we have a baptism planned for April 18 and I’m way excited we should have 2 but one might be moving so we don’t know, but that was my week!!
I love you guys!

Love Elder Cuillard

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 29 2015

Well this week has been good I literally have nothing to say but that I am beyond exhausted!  We have been constantly working and the work has been progressing but sometimes I wonder how in the world I wake up another day everyday! hahah We have actually been out past curfew almost every night. President knows Ha! We have had too much to do and not enough time but that’s okay. Let’s see we had a training this week at mlc and I thought it was good afterward my mission president said to me don’t be surprised Elder when you’re a bishop or stake president or something and I started laughing right and he’s like Elder I’m going to be on your tail after the mission!  If I see anything you shouldn’t be doing hahah and I said thank you and so that was good. The training I gave was on diligence I used the example from the Savior when he was at the temple when he was 12 and talked about from the earliest point of the saviors life showed the importance of the work and applied that to how he answered his mother, know ye not that I was on my Father’s business right? And talked about that’s what we are doing right now, we are on his business and then talked about D&C where it says act in all diligence and never being slothful and it was really good I train again tomorrow on obedience and any advice would be great. I am a little scared because I’m not 100% perfect by any means I am trying the best that I can for sure but I fall short at times ya know? And I feel like that’s the topic that no one really likes to talk about because we are all not perfect. Also let’s see so every lesson in this area has members working with us and I’ll be honest I get scared like because Im a zone leader and should be better at the language, but it’s okay. Well my comp and I are good but he’s like the totally blunt 100% of the time like always and I’m not totally like that but I am learning not to be afraid to tell everyone what our message is and say it straight up. But, that’s about it this week I miss you guys so much love you all!
Elder Cuillard