Monday, August 26, 2013

Anyone want an autograph!

Hey! I love e-mail. It is so nice to be able to hear from you all and how life is going. It is my favorite part of my P-day. Lets continue the story...

So this last week has been pretty hard for me. I have been sick all this last week and I am still having bathroom problems haha so that has made things reals fun. On the bright side of that though is that I found a place that sells toilet paper! So a little bit of heaven is back in my life again haha. All of this week it has been raining straight every single day and there are floods everywhere its so crazy! One day we were not allowed to go out and work. When we do work we are just wet all the time, no matter what you do to stay dry. All the matters to us is keeping our feet dry. Our power and water have been on and off through out the week so at times we just sit out in the rain because it is just to hot in the apartment. Another thing that has been very frustrating is the work. So since Elder Mack and I re-opened this area, we have almost no investigators and tons of less actives. The Elders that got pulled out did a terrible job at updating the area book and after 2 weeks working in this area, we can tell they wern't very good missionaries. So at this point, we have had 3 baptismal goal dates fall through so we are trying our best to hold onto the one that we have. The reason why its so frustrating is not because of investigators, but its because the Ward missionaries don't want to work with us, or they make excuses so they don't have too, and they are never at the meetings they are suppose to be at. So we are not getting help from them. We are working really hard to get members to help us and work with us but they don't really want to do it. They said they will try but we don't see any effort, cause we are not getting referrals at all. Right now that is the biggest way to get new investigators, cause if we can get a referrals from the members, those investigators automatically have a fellowshipper and a friend in the church. but.... That hasn't been happening. We get punted (canceled) from appts. all the time. So this last week Elder Mack and I have been working really hard trying to talk to people and the street and tract houses. We have literally spent 2 days in a row walking around our area for 8 hours tracting houses, we got 2 return appts out of that and hopefully new investigators. So thats been really stressful and a struggle for my companion and I right now. The language is still frustrating, I still can not understand anyone and I feel like an idiot because I have to turn to my companion and have him translate for me. I can't really complain about the language though cause I haven't put in the extra work to learn it this last week just because of all things that have been going on. So that is one huge goal for me is to start spending extra time everyday to learn the language, and I think when I start to understand what people are saying that will help me alot! People talk in lessons and I can feel the Spirit and the power of what they are saying is true and that they are saying from the heart. But, oh how I wish I could hear what they are saying, instead of asking my companion what they said after the Appt. So it's been a crazy week, and I have definitely needed this P-day. 

So its been interesting with my companion Elder Mack. He is still a cool guy and is willing to server diligently. But, he has the tendency to do everything how he likes to do it, cause when he first got here his trainers were not very go trainers and didn't do anything to help him. So he had to learn how to do everything by himself, including the language. He said its weird when we have companionship study cause he never really done one before, cause his companions will always sleep in. So every time we discuss lessons and how we should go about it and stuff like that he always says "Well, this is how I like to do it." and it gets pretty annoying. Also during lessons he just likes to repeat the same monologue that he says all the time. He doesn't do it all the time but he like to do it the same way he does everytime. So when I try to give in input on how we should teach a lesson or some suggestions on others things we can do, he kind of shuts me down. Also its kind of hard for him to start the "How to begin teaching" the we learned in the MTC which is basically building trust with people and getting to know them before you start the lesson. He just likes to jump right into the lesson. So, I have been trying to help him, teach him, and work with him on how we can begin teaching and teaching the needs of the people. He is a good trainer though, he is always making me do my part in the lesson which is good, but it sucks cause I can barely say what I really want to say in Tagalog and it ends up being Taglish so I can get my point across. It's funny cause he is a big nerd like me cause we always talk about video games, MTG, and stuff like that from home. He was a Professional League of Legends player back home and made a lot of money doing it too! Other then that we are getting along great! 

I am loving the culture down here and just so weird and crazy! You see something weird and different everyday, but I am starting to learn my area and learning where everything is! I love riding Trikes and Jeepnys now they are awesome, they can get pretty decked out sometimes! Sometimes since I am in a nicer area you will see some people will some really nice pimped out cars and bikes! It makes me want a bike so bad, and I am definitely  getting one when I get back. When you go to a grocery store they will be playing music like eminem and other kinds of music you wouldn't think would be playing in a grocery store. So little things here and there just make this country so cool!  So this morning we get up at 5 in the morning to go play basketball at the chapel which was probably the most fun since I have been here! These Filipinos just love to play basketball, and I was kind of hesitant because I am not very good, and watching these guys played scared me cause they look way good. One of the members that we are with a lot cause he likes to helps us, went around the church on sunday and told everyone I play basketball for BYU!!! I was so pissed hahahaha and that I knew all the Jazz players and stuff, so they were expecting that I was going to be really good. They all wanted me on their team, I was laughing so hard cause I can only imagine the disappointment on their faces after they see me play. I ended up playing extremely well, better then I ever had in a while! probably cause I am 2 feet taller then everybody else haha! but, I was making shots left and right and making these crazy layups that I didn't think I could do so it was a  lot of fun and I got to know a lot of the younger guys in our ward. I ended up playing basketball for almost 4 hours this morning, it was nice but my legs hurt so bad now and I am going to regret it tomorrow. We went to a mall today to get some things that I needed for my mission. We have the biggest (SM) mall in the mission in my area! It was so huge! I felt like I was back in America! I had Mcdonalds and Dairy Queen for lunch it was so good. Cause I usually have like this hot chocolate drink and oatmeal for breakfast and lunch everyday. It was nice to kind of feel like I was home again.

So because of all the rain and stuff, I am going to need new shoes. It is really hard to find good shoes my size here. So next time when you send me a package will you please buy me some rubber church shoes and send them to me that will be so nice. im sure my shoes can last for a while so don't feel rushed to send the package, but they are starting to get ruined cause they are leather. oops. haha Also when you send your next package please, please, please, load it up with some candy!!! There is like no candy here and I am craving it ha. The Mission President has asked us not to use DHL or Fedex because I will have to pay more money to receive it when it gets here. If its more convenient I guess you can but it just cost a whole lot more if you do. On my end. I am sure you all ready have the mailing address but here it is anyways:

Philippines San Pablo Mission
Brgy. San Juan Alaminos
Laguna 4001

Well, I think that this novel is over and I have spent like an hour typing it out haha. 

I hope everyone is doing well and everything is good. I look forward every week hearing from you all and you shall hear from me next week!

Love you all,

-Elder Kikel

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Philippines!!


I am here in the Philippines whooo!! It's about 5:30 pm right now and its probably in the middle of the night over in America. Boy, it feels good to say that! So you want to know about the Philippines ay?

Well let me tell ya....

So for the family the best way to explain it is that it looks and feels exactly like Jamaica!

The flight to Tokyo took forever!! especially since you couldn't watch any movies. I stayed up the whole time so I could defeat the jet lag, whiched work later on and I slept great while everyone else had a hard time sleeping cause they slept the whole flight.

Anyways the Philippines!

So this place is freaking crazy slash cool at the same time! I would send pictures but the internet cafe that I am at won't allow USB. So first off the land here is beautiful there are just so much green everywhere there isn't industrialness. It is very hot and Humid here! it sucks! hahaha Your not always sweating but you always feel like your about to sweat and you are always sticky. If you do anything physical or crammed in a Jeepney you get real sweaty real fast. Jeepney's and Trikes are what we use to get around my area. Look them up on the internet and tell me if you think I can fit in those. We got 6 people on a trike and I have seen 9. The driving here is insane, its like Jamaica's driving its so scary! They have no street lights, Barely any street sings, and no speed limit. So if you want to pass someone, you just go ahead and drive into on coming traffic to pass someone. The rule here is.. Big always wins hahah. I have adjusted to it very fast and now I think its fun everytime we drive. 

The thing is though. The people here are so curtious! it may be crazy driving but if you have a bigger car then the person you a barreling towards too in the wrong lane they will move out of the way for you to squeeze by. If you were to walk out in the street people will almost stop traffic for you to cross, or just move over a little bit and wizz past ya. No biggy just walk in the middle of traffic everyday. The people are awesome they are so funny, they look at me and just laugh and are so amazed about how tall I am. It's been pretty lonely over here because I left all my family from the MTC but the members of our ward have helped alot with that. They always so suprised to hear that I have only been in the country a few days and that this is my first area! So they help out a lot and make me feel welcome. To my suprise everyone here speaks a lot of english and most of them really good english its crazy. So I try to speak in as much Tagalog as I can but I can still speak english and they will understand me. 

So my companion Elder Mack. He is a pretty cool guy, he has been in the field for 7 months now and knows the language very well. It is hard working and diligent, and I am grateful for that.  He has told me that he has had a lot of troublesome companions that he hates and never had a good time  So I do not want to be that way with him and I think he is going to be a great companion. We get along very well. He is way to caring haha. He says he usually gets up earlier in the morning to study and do other things but he didn't want to cause he thought I would get mad. Psh.. he thought I was a mean guy hahahah. 

So Elder Mack and I are re-opening the Santa Rosa ward 2a, In the Cabuyao area. So we have had a struggle trying to find new investigators and teach those who are in the area book. We have been tracting a little bit but thats been alright. We have gotten 3 return appointments. 3 of our investigators have a baptismal goal date for next month so that is pretty cool. Teaching is awesome it is really cool to experience the real thing and just knowing that how important the work we are doing is. We are starting to get more referals and are getting more lessons so hopefully things will start to pick up! 

Things have been pretty good over here so far. As expected the Language is very frustrating. I can''t understand a thing people are saying to me. They speak it and pronounce it differently then the way I learned it in the MTC. So I am trying to focus on listening to them speak and how they say things and figuring out what words or sentences mean. During the lessons they we teach I try to particpate as much as I can. Older people who know better english can usually understand what I am trying to say in Tagalog and younger people just think I am an idiot haha. I am trying my best to not be shy and just open my mouth even though I can barely say anything in everyday talk in tagalog. I just keep reminding myself that I have only been in the country for about a week and its going to take patience, and faith. I know I can learn this language. Another thing is and I am going to be blunt. I have had diarrhea every single day since I have been here, and the worst part is that my apartment does not have toilet paper so I have to splash my bum with water from a bucket and then wipe with my left hand. Yup, thats real fun to do. and to top everything off the toilet doesn't flush in our apartment so we have to fill up a big bucket of water and force it down the toilet but dumping the entire thing into the toilet. The same bucket that I have to fill up everyone morning and take a shower with! Oh, the water is so cold in the morning. We just had a pretty big rain storm come in last night and our apartment has leaks everywhere! The elders before us didn't even bother to clean anything before they left so we came home to a big trashy mess which made me mad, it stinks so bad. haha The beds are super tiny and I can barely even fit but I sleep all right. On the bright side I am enjoying embracing myself in the culture. The good part is that I live in a pretty wealthy area so most of the members invite us over for dinner appts, and they literally shove the food down your throat if they have it hahaha its freaking awesome! the food here is so good!! Pandesal is what I eat every morning since there is a Tindahan right next to our appartment that sells it. Pandesal is like hot rolls. Something about it is so good!! I just love it. Everything here is just so cheap its crazy. You go in some areas and the poverty is really bad. It is very humbling to see what these people have to go through or the living conditions the live in. At church the people like to call me Elder Pogi. Pogi here in the Philippines means good looking, and since I am new they don't think I know what it means so they say it and just laugh at me hahaha. What evers. Over all I am loving it down here and the experiences are great. I haven't had anything huge yet but I will let you know when I do. They work is awesome and during lessons I just smile cause you can always feel the spirit and even though I don't know what anyone is saying I know that the Holy Ghost is helping us. 

So I hope you have the Mailing address for my mission cause I totally forgot to bring the paper that had it on there and so I can't give it to you today. but, I know it takes like a month or so to recieve packages and letters. Cause they only give is our mail and packages every time we meet which is for like when we have transfers and zone meetings and stuff like that. So it will take a while to recieve letters and packages and any other items. but, they will make sure that I get it. I hope all is well at home and I am very excited to spend the next 2 years in my new home here in the Philippines. I can't wait to know the area and know the language so I can truely put forth the work. I love you all and I miss you all. I got a lot of e-mails from friends from home and I loved it so much I love hearing from you it makes my day! 

Oh and my apartment is in Santa Rosa homes block 4e. So that won't give you that exact apartment but you know the location I am at. Good luck finding it haha. 

I hope I remembered to type everything that I had on my mind! and I hope I answered all of your questions! Love you so much!

-Elder kikel 

Last Letter from the MTC

Written August 10th (Saturday)

Dear Family & Friends,

Mabuti ako dito sa MTC

     Thank you so much for the photo album it's awesome.  It mad me very happy.  I have been waiting for something like that for a while now, I love it, thanks!  I think in the future it would be awesome if you round up pictures from my friends and send them to me that would be wonderful.  Well I don't know when I will next be able to email you so you might not hear from me for a while.  I leave for the Philippines in two days! Oh! and the cookies were bomb!
     So, I am super excited for the Philippines after our teachers have told us a lot about it and it just makes you so stoked to do the work, at the same time I am really nervous and scared! Going to the Philippines is just a dream to me I don''t think it will actually happen.
     By this time next week I will be getting ready to go to church in the Philippines!! Ahh! So sketchy!  I am not looking forward to the flight though it's going to suck! 14 hours!
    I am going to be super sad when I have to leave m y distric, I love thme all so much!  I will be flying with my companion, and another district going to San Pablo.  I think its going to be awesome that I am going to be in Tokyo for a little bit too!
    Being Zone Leader has been pretty fun, it hasn't been as stressful lately bedcause things are getting better and I am also sleeping a lot better, but I don't know how well I will do in the Philippines haha.
So a few funny, weird stories for the audience.....
     So this last week our district volunteered to host the new missionaries coming in on Wednesday.  So as I was waiting for a car to pull up, I saw a sister get out of a truck and she looked exactly like Kira Baird, My math teacher from my Junior year.  I thought it was her at first, but realized it wasn't it was trippy.  Then I saw another girl get out of the truck and it looked even more like Kira Baird and I was like "no way, is that her family!?" because they all looked like her!  Ha! Then Kira Baird gets out of the truck and I was positive that it was her.  It was so weird, I didn't want to go up and break the family love fest.  So I didn't do anything and watched her take off.  I saw her sister, I'm guessing, later that day I saw her standing around and so I went up to her and introduced myself and told her how I know her sister and welcomed her to the MTC.  She probably thought I was super weird and creepy!  Sh also probably forgot who I am now cause of just the moment of just entering the MTC.  But, tell Michelle that I saw Kira and to tell Michelle to tell Kira I said "Hi" because I know she will talk to her haha.
     So another funny story is that there is an elder Ian Anderson in my zone who says he knows Lexi Yraguen! He lives in Riverton and went to Bingham, and apparently him and Lexi dated hahaha! so I got the inside scoop on that ha!  It was just so funny that we both knew Lexi, so we talked about her for a while.
     Well, just looking back on the MTC experience it was so great and full of amazing experiences.  I'm really sad to leave cause I feel my life is here now.  An I have to leave it behind again.  I have grown spiritually here then I probably have my entire life.  This place is amazing!  I am honored to have been given the chance to stay in a place like this.
      I will be taking a lot of pictures today and tomorrow with my teachers, district, and zone.  I will be sending home my SD card and it should be in the envelope.  I think you will love the videos that I have for everyone.
     Knowing that I will be in the Philippines in the next few days makes me feel like I don't know the language at all!  I know it's going to be hard the first few months but I am looking forward to the challenge.
     This past week we were given an opportunity to skype members and do a thing like family home evening.  It was so awesome!  I was so nervous at first but, it was really fun to see where they lived and what it looked like.  They said our Tagalog wasn't bad for six weeks.  I was pretty happy to hear that.  It's going to be so awesome when I am fluent in the language.  I need to find people that know Tagalog so I can keep it for a while and not loose it.  It is going to be weird coming home and adjusting.
         So I can't thin of anything else to say, haha.  I'll just leave this open so if I think of anything I'll write it. . . . . . . . .
      So it's Sunday August 11th I leave for the Philippines tomorrow, scary!!!  This Sunday has been full of emotion from everyone.  Journals are flying around, everyone wants pictures! BTW I got a ton of random pictures and videos so good lick with that ha!  I'm almost ready to go.  Just need to finish packing.  It still doesn't seem real to me, but it's starting to kick in.
      We had our "farewell" already and it is really sad, I am going to miss all these people.  I hope I can stay in touch as much as possible with them through out my mission.
      So when I am in the field, mom I'm sorry to say, but I won't be able to be as detailed as I send my emails home.  Because I can no longer send letters home quickly and I will need to also email other people too.  So bare with me the first couple of weeks.  I took a lot of pictures from my zone and other people, so that should be fun.
     thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me to get here in my life.  In a few days my new home will be in the Philippines.  I love you all and I miss you all..  I'll see you in two years!  Hopefully hear from ya in a few.
     Well off to the Philippines!!

_Elder Kikel

"Tough times don't last....Tough people do"
-D&C 128:17

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Goodbye MTC, Hello San Pablo!


     Well, this is my last E-mail from the MTC. I am going to miss this place. I am writing a monstrous of a letter for you guys to enjoy in a couple days so my e-mail will be pretty short this week. I have had some really fun experiences this week that includes: Spiritual experiences, Speaking to people actually in the Philippines, I saw Kira Baird my math teacher from my junior year at the MTC, ummm... one of the elders in my zone knows Lexi Yraguen so we had a conversation about that haha. Don't worry all this is explained in the e-mail so you have to wait muwahahah.
     But, yeah its been really great serving so far and i have met so many people and made so many friends. We all say we are going to hook up when we get back and I really would like it if we did, but come on.... in all reality are we really going to be talking to each other after 2 years?? Doubt it.. I am going to try really hard to stay in contact with my district because most of them live in Utah or are going to school here so I want to be able to see them after my mission and speak the language!
     I am so excited to come back and just speak the language. It is going to be so weird adjusting to everything! I have been told many stories from my teachers and other teachers about San Pablo and how deep the Tagalog goes down there because its more rural. It sounds pretty gnarly and I am in for a ride but, I am looking forward to the challenge!! The pictures were awesome the made me laugh and I love them. I guess I could of been more specific on the pictures that i wanted hahaha. More pictures of my friends, my car, everyday random stuff, the St George trip and things like that is what I was expecting. but, this pictures are really good to and I love them thank you for sending them to me. I was waiting for something like that for a while and it really helped me. You know just pictures that says my life in a photo album and goofy hahah and there were some of those in there too. i look forward to being able to make that photo album bigger throughout the years from myself and you guys.
The cookies were devoured almost instantly! They were so good! Thanks Kennedi your awesome!
umm... what else...
     Oh that picture of Daniel and Mike and their bikes were really cool. Everybody kept wanting to go through my pictures and kept asking me if that was me and my bike, and I was very tempted to tell them it was hahahah. but, I didn't i just told em' my friend is super cool. For some reason it won't let me e-mail Daniel so if you can tell him that he needs to e-mail me sometime so I can get his e-mail address and not the military one I guess, I don't know. I have a lot of cool videos for you to watch I am sending home my SD card. I am also sending home a package of stuff I don't need. Nothing special is in it sorry, i was in a hurry to send it. It's just silk ties that I can't take with me and my watch that broke. So Dad if you want to go to fossil and get it fixed you can have it.
Well I hope life is going well without me ;) ha, get use to it cause I ain't going to be there for another 23 months. I know I am just where I am suppose to be cause I haven't had homesickness, I don't care about any worldly things from home anymore, not even my xbox, tv, car, laptop. It's all yours if you want it. I feel like I have nothing to my name and that my home is now in the Philippines. I will come back and start off fresh. It all doesn't matter to me anymore. Just my Family and Friends that matter to me from home. So write me, e-mail me, call me in like 2 years what ever! I would love to hear from all of you and share my experiences.
Well, if I keep saying more I'll pretty much re-say everything I wrote in my letter.
Good luck to you all and have a good one.
The next time you will hear from me, is when I am in the Philippines!!!
Ingat po. at mabuti suwerte.
-Elder Kikel

Another day in the life at the MTC

Kamusta po ang familya at mga kaibigan!?

     So here I am again on my P-day in the laundry room writing everyone so I will have time to e-mail.  This week has been one of excitement, hard work, and sleepiness.  The call has been every exciting and also very tiring. Since the calling I haven't been able to sleep very well at all and thus forth I am tired all day and work hard to stay focused and set and example.  All the sisters in my district say I look like death haha.  But, I have been blessed to run and not be weary.  The new missionaries that came in are really cool.  I am going to miss my district so much I have gotten to know them so well.
     So the highlights of my week is getting my flight plans!  I can't believe I'll be in the Philippines in a week! It just isn't real to me and I'm scared and excited at the same time.  So mom pay close attention and family. I leave Monday morning August 12th and my first flight leaves from Salt Lake City at 11:15 am.  I arrive in Portland OR at 12:04 pm.  I then leave for Tokyo Japan at 2:10 pm and arrive at 6:25 pm.  I leave for Manila Philippines at 6:26 pm(Aug 13) and arrive at 9:55 pm. Note all these times are in their local times. So good luck guessing when I am where.
      I am so excited to fly over to Japan and the Philippines.  That's going to be a whole new experience for me! kind of scary!  The language is getting a little better, but I am still struggling. I feel like I'm behind everyone but I am trying not to get discouraged and work my hardest.  The food all taste the same now and I want some real food ha!  I will at the airport.
     I did get my hacky sacks thank you!  They are awesome. Regarding the pictures I wanted. I wanted hard copies of pictures. Like, printed out pictures in a picture book.  That would be so nice!  You can send pictures of anything and everything that anybody wants too.  Its all very much appreciated.
     Well that's all I pretty much have to say. Thanks to everyone who sends my Dear Elders and e-mails it really does help me during the week.

Love you all

-Elder Kikel

P.S. My purpose in Tagalog...

(he wrote it out all in Tagalog but it is so different I couldn't type it so I'll just type what he translated)

To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them believe the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

1 Month in the MTC

Kamusta po ang Pamilya at mga Kaibigan!?

So not much to say this week, but I have already wrote a letter that better explains my weeks but its kind of been same old same old, except for the calling that's been kind of crazy!

I got my flight plans (I put all the flight plan details in the letter) but, for mother and father my flight leaves SLC on Monday August 12. I am super excited to go to the Philippines! I can't believe its already here! Time is going by so fast!

Today is my 1 month mark on my mission, and there are only 23 more months to go. If the other months fly by like this one did my mission is going to be over before I can even know the language. The language is coming along alright. I am trying to use it more everyday so I can get use to automatically speaking. We try to talk to each other at lunch and stuff in all Tagalog, it's pretty cool how much you really know if you think about what you are going to say. This last week my companion and I just started trying to teach lessons without memorizing any lines or anything. Just going in with the material and the Spirit. It has been going pretty well, as long as you speak some cave man Tagalog you are going to do alright! My district is the best we are bonding so much I realize that I couldn't have been more lucky with the people I have been placed with in my District. There is almost absolutely no problems within our District and we just all love each other its insane. It is really going to be sad when I have to leave them. It going to be leaving my family again. A lot of them live in Utah and Idaho so we might see each other again. The Sisters tell me that they are going to be at my homecoming haha. I doubt that will happen but they seem pretty dead set on it. It is crazy how much found love you can have for a group of individuals you have only known for a month. Tho we are with each other almost 16 hours of the day it still blows my mind with the blessing and capacity to have that extended love for everyone. It is really nice. I am loving the MTC and I am going to be sad to leave cause I can almost call this place home even if it has its rough times. but, I am excited to finally get into the country and teach real investigators. I have a journey ahead of me and I am going to make it the best that it can be.

Other then that things are pretty much the same. Just sleeping, eating, and studying. 16 hours a day everyday! Even on P day you think you can just sleep all day but, no not really, you find yourself pretty busy on P day also, just in a different way.  umm... Sorry that this is going to be so short I just haven't really had a ton happen this week that I haven't already said in letters that I have sent home! I hope everyone is doing well and that I am doing fine, so no worries. For those who are preparing to go on a mission, prepare for this. You will change as a person almost instantly, Because we are set apart for this work, and we are at a higher plane of thought. As missionaries we are blessed to do so many things that we wouldn't be able to do back at home, I am grateful for those blessings. There is a quote that I can't remember who it is from and how it is said. Maybe i will find it and give it to you exactly but there is a part of it that I like that I want to share.

"The Lord will shape your back to bear the burdens placed upon."

If we have Faith in the Lord and in ourselves we can do anything, and anything is possible. Never doubt. Never quit. Never give up. For I know I am here for a reason, and it's not suppose to be easy, and I don't want it to be. Salvation isn't cheap, so we must work hard to help those receive it.

Thank you for everyone's support and love it means a lot and I am ready for this journey in my life and I can't wait to experience. I try to imagine what it would be like if I was to come even right now. I wouldn't know what to do cause right now all I know how to do is, study, pray, teach the Gospel, and love those around me. Literally I would come home and just be blank. So there is no reason for me to come home and nor will there be a reason that I will come home. I will Endure to the End until my work is done.
-Elder Kikel 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mom is spoiled with multiple letters in one week!

Dear Family & Friends,
     I'm busting out letters to you guys left and right!  Probably because I have no one else to write.  So I felt bad not explaining who is who in those pictures. I will just tell you who is in my district.  If you look at that picture with me and a bunch of people in front of the temple, I will tell who they are from left to right this is my district 
Sister Judd(orange skirt), Sister Escobar, Sister Smith, Elder Crowther(roommate), Elder Mamrose(roommate), Elder Duspain, Elder Pincock, Elder Perez(my companion), Me(Elder Kikel), Elder Smith, Elder Blessent.


     So zone leader is already taking it's toll.  I am more exhausted during the day, because I spend all night thinking about other missionaries needs and how I can be a better example to them.  The added responsibility's are not to bad but it does make it harder to prepare for lessons and study.  I am grateful for this calling though.  
     Today my companion and I had the chance to get our first international missionaries.  They are from the Marshal Islands.  They speak pretty good English.  We took them on a tour, ate dinner, and then went to the devotional.  They are nice and really excited to be here.  
     On Wednesday night my companion and I, with the sisters, training leaders will meet 21 new missionaries that we will be getting.  We have an hour to get to know them, tell them general rules, and show them around.  It's going to be fun and exciting.  I can't believe I have less then two weeks left here in the MTC.  It's all down hill from here!  I feel like I have been here for months and that I'm going to serve my mission in the MTC.  I'll never get into the Philippines! Not true... I feel like it was yesterday that the zone leaders before me were called. Now, they are gone. It's going to be great to finally get into the field and start this journey. Until then, I have to do my best here.

Zone Leader!

Dear Family & Friends,
     So.....the rumors are true.  This last Sunday Elder Perez(my companion) and I were called as zone leaders for our branch.  There are five current districts and there are two more coming in on Wednesday.  I never could of thought that I would be in charge of seven districts.  Granted being a zone leader in the MTC and being a zone leader out of the MTC are completely different. It's still a lot of responsibility on me to always be an example and to do the right thing.   Now my days got a lot harder and more stressful, because I want to do my best.
      The branch president gave us a quote when he had the meeting with us and it said "The Lord will shape your back for the burdens that are placed on it."  I know this to be true. I have experienced it before.  How else was I suppose to work 13 hour days with only 4-5 hours of sleep? Day after day and not be exhausted or tired.
     I am excited for this calling, it will be good to better myself as a missionary and a person.  I am making so many new friends and I love them all.  I am going to be sad when I will have to leave them.  Less than two weeks before I leave for the Philippines.
      The language is tough but it doesn't matter. I know if I keep my faith, work as hard as I can, that I will be blessed and I will learn the language in no time.  I get emails from people I met in the MTC and are already in the field, and they have already had a baptism in their first week! That's crazy! I'm so excited to get in the country.
     So, I think since I have been here I haven't gone a day without drinking chocolate milk, let alone a meal!  I am gaining a lot of weight, probably the heaviest I have ever been.  Oh! One thing about the language that is really cool. I can understand it so much better than I can speak it.  That's so weird how it works.  Well, time is running out it's time for me to go to breakfast. One thing that I would really love is pictures. Everybody here has got these huge albums of pictures of their family and friends.  I'll be honest, I'm a little jealous. So if it's not to much to ask, I would love to have pictures from everyone! At least a few before I leave for the Philippines. I heard it takes two weeks to send mail to the Philippines!
     Thank you all for you love and support!

Mahal Kita Lahat! - "I love you all"

-Elder Kikel