Wednesday, September 25, 2013

He has been converted!!

So week six is here and I can't even believe I have been here for a transfer all ready. For those who don't know a transfer is six weeks. So you can be in one area from either 6 weeks or even up to 6 months. I won't be getting transfered this thursday because I am on a 12 week training program with my trainer. So I will be in my area for a least 3 months, which is really weird to think about but it goes by so fast!

This week has been just so crazy! So much to tell so lets get started!

On Tuesday I went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders. I worked with Elder Salisbury who is from Cache Valley Utah. He goes home pretty soon, which is crazy to think about. The coolest part was the fact that he is exactly like me! Just the good ol goofy me is how he is. So we instantly got along! So I was working in his area for that day and their house is so big! Their house was their bishops house and he left to go work in Saudi for a couple years so he rented it out to the missionaries and left it completely furnished! the best part! it is three stories! What!? it was so nice i couldn't believe it! and they had hot water which was the best part! That hot water felt so good! Everything there was just so nice. So the exchanges helped me a lot. Elder Salisbury helped me alot to be confident in myself and just to have fun doing the work. He told me all these funny ways to start to talk to people and open up a conversation so its not to hard to open my mouth and talk to them about our church and what we do. It was a really fun day and I really enjoy working with somebody else in a different area. The funniest thing that he told me that actually helped me a lot was. " Elder Kikel you just have to think. You're white. People want to talk to you. They are to just to scared to cause you are so beautiful to them. You know how you go somewhere and you see a really hot girl and you want to talk to her but you are just to scared what she is going to say to you, so you just don't talk to her. but, if she was to come up to you and start talking you would be all over that. right!? So just talk to them and they will talk to you I promise, they are friendly people." It is so true. hahaha since he told me that I have just been talking with everyone hahaha girls get so giggly when you talk to them its funny. 

So I have been converted everyone. I now wipe my bum with my left hand after using the bathroom. ( To much information?) haha oh well deal with it. I finally reallized that it is so much cleaner and better then using toilet paper. And not to mention cheaper! Put some chocolate on your arm and wipe it off with toilet paper. It smears. Put some water and soap on it and it is completely clean! It makes sense. So when I get back to my people, don't shake my left hand. ha!

So I just want to give a shout out to the letters that I received from a family back home. I want to say thank you! I didn't think I would get letters so soon! It was awesome and it made my day! I will write back to you as soon as I can. That reminds me. Mom I need you to send me Forever stamps. and a lot of them too. Cause I need them to be able to send letters home and packages if I dare. Thank you! 

Since its all ready christmas here people are setting up christmas decorations and playing christmas music yay!! haha it is so weird! How is Halloween coming along!? They don't have that here. Just christmas for 4 months! Guess what!? I'm working and glad to be working!

Mom this one is for you. Today I was in the grocery store getting some groceries, and they started to play Bon Jovie songs over the speakers it was so awesome! It just immediatly reminded me of you! Man I just realized my spelling is terrible!

So the work... wow... there is a lot to tell, but it is good!

So this week we have been getting a lot more progress. We found 7 new investigators and our ward missionaries are starting to work with us a little bit more. We through down the iron fist and are getting serious so we started to chew some people out for their laziness and its kicking things into gear. The lessons are going so well. Which leads me to what I really wanted to say in this E-mail home. Last week I talked about how I wasn't really able to feel the spirit that well and just not really knowing what to do. Well that has changed. I found that my problem wasn't that I wasn't feeling it I just didn't really know how to recognize it when It isn't one of those huge powerful moments. It is also a very calm and faint feeling. The answers to my prayers hit me straight in the face this last week haha. almost to the point like " Jeez I get it know!" haha! First off we had a Zone Conference this last week where 3 zones got together and we had talks from missionaries and from our AP's, from our senior missionaries and also from our President. One of the Missionaries talks was on Teaching with the Spirit. I paid close attention. He talked about what we can do to have the spirit with use before we even teach, and what we can do when we are teaching and how to recognize the spirit when we are teaching. When I was listen I noticed that all the things that you need to do and how you know that the spirit is with you, I was doing and I suddenly realized I did have to the spirit with me. Then the Mission President talked about the same thing. He talked about sometimes we dont even realized that the Holy Ghost is working through us and we are feeling the spirit. When we are spiritually intune with the Holy Ghost every though and impression that we get is from the spirit. If its some we think we should do. DO IT. if you feel like its something you shouldn't do. DON"T DO IT! It was so simple and so clear it just hit me and the face. Now that I think about the things that have been said on that topic, It is so true. These things have been happening for me. This last week I have been just having a new found faith and confidence in myself to do this work. Even though I don't know the language I just teach in Taglish and Simple English. I have things I want to say. I have impressions and feelings that I should say something. So I am going to say it in Tagalog or English. I know the Spirit will testify to them that even though they don't know what I am saying, they will know that I know the things that I am saying to them are true. A couple of experiences for you. First. I was asked to give a talk 30 minutes before Sacrament started, because someone didn't show up. I was so scared put I took on the challenge. So for 30 minutes I just thought of a topic and a few scriptures. Of course my topic was Missionary work, and Member missionary work. When I was looking up scriptures about missionary work I came across a scripture that is in D&C 100: 5-8 These scriptures talked about even you have the Holy Ghost with you. your mouth will be filled with words in the very moment you speak. Also after my recent realization of the power of the Holy Ghost from Zone Conference, I put my faith to action. Right before I went up to talk having no idea what I am going to say. I said a prayer to myself. Asking for the Holy Ghost to fill my mouth with the words that which the Lord would want to me to say and to say something that the congregation would need in their lives. Lo and behold the spirit was so strong! I turned a 5 minute talk that they wanted me to give into a 20 minute talk. When I got up I just said good morning and stood there for I feel like an hour, but probably just for a minute, in silence. Then just words, thoughts, impressions, were coming to mind, I was thinking of scriptures to use left and right. It was a very powerful moment for me and I big testimony builder. So I talked about the Importance of Missionary work, shared the story of Alma and Amulek. Then I talked about member missionary work and how important that is also. I pretty much chastised them in a nice way that they need to start doing what they are suppose to do hahaha it was funny. People were coming up to me and just telling me how great of a talk it was and it helped them so much. I didn't tell anyone that I only had 30mins to prepare it, and the person who asked me came up to me and was just blown away haha it made me feel really good, and it makes me feel that I am serving my purpose as a missionary. Also I said the whole thing in English. It just proves that the Spirit is the Universal language. That's not all! the very same day, we went to go teach to the Mata family who have been less active for a long time. They said they do every thing that we do expect go to church because of a few concerns. Elder Mack and I were able to dig deep and to find the real and biggest concern and the whole time I can barely figure out what we are talking about. We just want them to get to church again, cause they are doing everything else right. So we talked about obedience and I didn't really participate in the lesson cause I didn't have a part and I had no Idea what was being said, so I was just kind of waiting for the lesson to be over, cause in our Ward correlation Meeting we talked about dropping this family cause they just keep giving us excuses to why they won't go to church. But, I am glad we didn't. So at one point in the lesson which was about an hour and half by the way. I just started to pay attention and I started to know what they were saying. Immediately thoughts and impressions came to mind on what I needed to share. I talked a lot about how the lord takes cares of us in our afflictions and how if we are obedient we will receive blessings in our lives. They were telling me about there obedience and how they are praying for a miracle to help them with their concern. A quote came to me that I heard of somewhere. and I said to them. " Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings Miracles" and I just waited, and waited, and waited. The spirit was so strong and it just hit them so hard. I asked them " How can we can be Exactly Obedient?" During their answer they started to get terry eyed. Then after all was said and they were just thanking us for all that we have done for them and helping them to realize what they need to do. I thought came to me that they needed a certain scripture. It was Mosiah 24: 13-14. It talks about how the Lord visits his people in their afflictions. I waited for them all to turn to it in their scriptures and I read it. I was very clear when I read it and stressed very important points in the verses. As I was reading it I just felt the Spirit so strong Chills were going down my back over, and over, and over again. I knew as I was reading that It was impossible that they were not feeling the spirit. When I finished reading and I looked up the Mother was in tears. It made me wrench inside and made me so happy to see the Light of Christ just hit her. We just sat they for a while for the spirit to truly testify of the things that I have just read. The goes on to tell me that she just knows this church is true and that this scripture just helps her in so many ways and that the book of Mormon is true, and is thanking us for not giving up on them and just digging and digging to help them. The father thanks us for our preparations to give them this lesson. Which we didn't Elder Mack just thought that we should talk about obedience right before we knocked on the door. I told the father that and I also told them that the things we have said was from the Holy Ghost. The things we have said are what the lord wants you to hear. and it is him that is speaking not us, we are just the instrument. You know, It has been a struggle for me since I have been here i have had my challenges and struggles, but that moment right there made it all worth it. 

So that is my novel for this week. I hope that you will all seek to talk about the gospel to everyone around you and help them come closer to Christ ( Mosiah 28:3) help them to know the joy that you know to be true. If you have the Holy Ghost with you, you will not have to worry about what you are going to say. It will be the right thing to say. Thanks to everyone and their support. I love you all.
This picture is when we were tracting in a new neighborhood and all these kids just kept following us. we couldn't find a member that was in the area so we asked them if they would run out and find where they live. and they found them in less then 10 mins! haha they were awesome! we sat for a while and taught them some English! 

-Elder Kikel

Monday, September 16, 2013

"If you are feeling lazy, that means you are not working hard enough" - quoted by Elder Kikel

So its week something I think 5!

Time is just flying by so fast now and can't even believe how fast P day comes. I don't even think about P day during the week and all of a sudden it is just here! Maybe that is why it goes by so fast.

So this week has been interesting... The work has all been the same but, I have been really thinking how I can improve the work that I am doing here. What can I do to help everyone around me have a better experience? How can I help those who are in need? How can I help Investigators and less actives feel the spirit? Every single night this past week I think about these questions and many more and I am thinking and how I can just improve everything and become a better missionary. One thing that I have realized is that I have been having a hard time feeling the spirit and recognizing promptings of the Holy Ghost.  These last couple days I have noticed that during lessons and while we are out in the street and I seek to have to spirit with me and I listen for those promptings but Im just quite not there yet. I know the the Holy Ghost and feeling the spirit is key when teaching lessons and being in tune with the Holy Ghost is key to how we can prepare ourselves to receive those promptings. I just haven't been able to do that. So that's kind of been frustrating and I have been thinking why this is, and how I can feel the Holy Ghost every single day and every single second while I am out on my mission. I pray day and night to have the Holy Ghost with me and to prepare myself to receive promptings for guidance in the this holy work. So that is one thing that has been a struggle this last week for me.

I have been doing a lot of evaluating of myself on how I can improve and become a better missionary. What I need to work on. What I need to do different. I noticed something that I haven't been doing which is probably why things have been so tough for me lately. I was reading a talk called " The Fourth Missionary" I don't know if anyone has read it but it's a mission President speaking to the missionaries in his mission about the difference between missionaries. It talks about 4 different types of missionaries and how they put forth there efforts and how they do things in their missions. While reading it, and while it talks about the attributes of the Fourth Missionary it talks about how the Fourth Missionary gives up himself fully unto the lord. He gives his Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. So far I have only been giving my Might, and Strength. Since I have been on my mission, I guess you could say that I have been homesick. I would constantly think about things at home. My car, xbox, movies, games, tv shows, things that I like to do, my friends, my family. Things that I want to do when I get home. The kind of Truck I want to buy when I get home. What school I want to go to when I get home. My companion and I just talk for hours about video games and stuff we want to do when we get home, and it just made me so homesick!! I just wanted to do all these things so bad! and It was all I could think about. I would constantly think about who e-mailed me and wishing that when I get on my E-mail account hoping that certain people e-mailed me. Just all these things, and my mind not being in the right place. If my mind is not in the right place then my heart is not also.

I have now given myself FULLY to this work. I do not think about home anymore. I do not think about what I want to do when I get home, and I don't think about who I am going to be able to hear from when I get on my e-mail. I just think about my purpose hear as a missionary, and how I can help everyone around me have a spiritual experience. Since I have done that I have realized a big difference in my attitude and efforts. I now realize that the Philippines is my home now. Missionary work is my profession. I have nothing at home for me right now. I am here to work, and work is what I am going to do. I hope and pray that with this new insight that I have been given that I might be able to feel the spirit more strongly everyday and that I might be able to bring more sheep unto the Lord's fold. Missionary work is my profession, so now its my job to become the best and also help others rise to their potential as I do so. There is no excuse to slack in this work. If you are going to be on a mission. Do it right.

So this is my advice to all those who are preparing for missions:

If you are attending school, go to seminary/institute, sit down, take notes, and pay attention. Read, Ponder, and Pray when you ready your scriptures. Read your scriptures every single day. Learn how to effectively study the scriptures and how to effectively and constructively mark your scriptures. Read and study the Preach My Gospel. Learn how to teach Lessons 1-4, do practice teaching with friends and family. Practice sharing a gospel message to someone on the street. Pray day and night every single day. Learn how to take notes that will actually benefit you. These are the things that immediately come mind because this is what probably would of helped me the most before coming on my mission. Honestly guys... the MTC helps you just a little bit. They just spoil you there. When you get in the mission field its a whole different story. but, enjoy your MTC experience, if you go in with the right attitude it can be a great and spiritually uplifting experience for you, I know mine was. I promise to you that if you will do these things honestly and earnestly before you mission and really prepare yourself to give yourself fully unto the Lord when you go on your mission. You will be an insane missionary and you will end up training your trainer. I wish I would have been smarter and would have done these things. but, that was in the past so now I have to work harder to make up for it. Don't just take my words for granted either, Do it! If you don't you will be sending the same e-mail home to your parents a couple weeks in your mission. haha!

Okay well... the deep feeling are out... now what do I say?

Hmmmm... Well. The work in my Area is the same just struggling to find new Investigators and get members to work with us. I guess I could say things have been improving since last week but it doesn't feel like its good enough for me. I am finally sleeping so well every single night! Thank goodness! It is so nice to be able to sleep through the night. I have finally been able to have regular bowel movements. (I thought you guys would want to know that) so that's also very nice. I eat like the same thing every single day, which is fine with me cause its so dang delicious! Today we had a Zone P day where our zone got together and played games and stuff. That was really fun I was able to more express myself and be myself since we weren't in our churchy clothes and just having fun. I can all ready tell the some of the Sisters think I am so weird and goofy. Oh well, I'm a mission! Who cares! I played a little basketball! That is one thing about the Philippines. Even though it is raining outside it is still so freaking hot! I was sweating in the rain! This place is just crazy I love it. There is so many things you guys would see and just be like " What the heck!?" and its awesome! I am learning all the little tips and tricks to things and how to really live like a Filipino. So I think I am adjusting well now. I can Honestly say after all the hard things that I am going through. (Which isn't even that bad) I am really enjoying my mission. I mean come on! I am in the Philippines! for two years! That's awesome! and It's going by way to fast. I love it here. No need to worry about me. Next time I'll make sure to write down ideas and stories that I want to tell so that I can actually have something fun to say instead of sounding like a teacher haha!

OH! one thing that is kind of funny is that it is all ready Christmas down here! They call it the "Ber" months. So, September, October, November, and December. So four months of Christmas, yay! I get to work on christmas! Best thing ever! It's going to be weird to skype home and see everyone's faces.

Well I went over my time again, and I need to get going so I will see you all next week!

Then this is me and Elder Mack doing the Filipino squat just for fun.

So I as able to see Perez my companion from the MTC again this last week at a Zone Confrence. It was so awesome to see him again. He is doing great.

So these are pictures of me eating Balut(google it) for the first time, and what it looks like!

Surprisingly it was not that bad, just looks terrible. I have a video of it. It is pretty funny cause I am just freaking out and I don't want to do it! but, my Filipino housemate forces me to do it!


-Elder Kikel

Monday, September 9, 2013

".....he looked into my soul"

Hello everyone!

This is start of week 4 in the mission field! that is so crazy to me! Time goes by so fast!! Cause we are just so busy trying to do something everyday. Funny story though. So one day we were talking to this guy and doing something we call an OYM (Open Your Mouth) and we were asking him if there would be a good time for us to return and teach to him. So the guy asks us what day we work, and my companion replies, "Every day". and he looked kind of shocked and was like okay what time do you guys work everyday, and my companion goes on to tell him. "From the time we wake up till the time we go to bed" and the look on his face was priceless and he was just like wow you guys are dedicated to your church. It made me realize that wow we really do work every single day and we work from the moment we wake up till the time we go to bed! It helps me to remember that I have sacrificed everything to fully give my life to this work and that is what I am here to do and I am going to do what I need to do to come home from my mission with no regrets!

So the mission... Bleh. It's still been pretty ruff. We are having a hard time trying to find new investigators and getting people to work with us. but, Elder Mack and I have been working really hard to improve our efforts and improve our ability to get out there and just talk to everyone we can and try and get some kind of referral so that we can start teaching actual lessons! I have finally gotten over the sickness I had and just have a stuffy nose now from the pollution. So that's good! I spent a lot of time one night laying in my bed thinking how my attitude has been these last couple weeks. I just want to tell everyone that I am sorry for being so negative and selfish. It doesn't matter how I feel it matters how our Investigators feel and how  I can help them progress even if I am dead tired and puking every now and then. It doesn't matter, I only have 2 years here to do the most that I can do and if I just spend my days being sad and disjointed it is going to be pointless to be here. So I got the good ol' Kikel back in me and I am trying harder then ever this last week and right now. It has been tough and every night I just think, "oh... bed...." then I am asleep. I am so tired! I try to get up earlier to work out and stuff and I just can't do it! I am just so tired all the time! but, I have been going strong and I have had a lot of support this last week and it has helped a ton! Talking about support this last week has been interesting. In this last we we have had the Zone Leaders, AP's, and even the President himself visit our apartment and have companionship study with us. I didn't do anything I swear haha! President was chastising us about companionship study and keeping our apartment clean. He is a very serious dude. He asked me if I get up on time and I said. " Honestly President sometimes I get up at 7 or 7:30 cause I don't work out or eat breakfast. and he looked into my soul and said " Elder Kikel, never again will you wake up past 6:30 on your mission" hahah scary! It was really funny though. So nothing much has changed with the work just the attitude. We are trying to meet with the Bishop and some bigger authorities of our Ward to coordinate more success.

Anyways, Mom you would absolutely be suprised and wouldn't believe what you would see if you saw me everyday. Everyday I clean my room and make my bed. I clean dishes everyday and I am just always cleaning. I even do laundry by hand! Can you believe that! I also iron my clothes each and every day! Man did I think I hated doing dishes and doing laundry back home, now I have to do it all by hand! Bleh... it is not too fun! Sorry this e-mail is so short but I have taken to much time to e-mail all ready and I need to get off so I love you all and I miss you! Thanks for everyone's support!

-Elder Kikel


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pepto anyone?

Week 3 in the Philippines!

So this week hasn't gotten better a little bit worse actually. I still have been sick all week and last night I was throwing up just lovely amounts of fluids! but anyways with the mission. The 5 Investigators that we had with baptismal goal dates is now 0, because of complications. We have 1 progressing investigator and are having a really hard time finding new investigators! We are having a hard time still getting the members to work with us, and making sure the Ward Missionaries are performing their calling. Things have just been so discouraging that Elder Mack and I often find ourselves in our apartment with nothing to do and basically wallowing in sadness. It sucks! So one day I just got pissed that all this stuff was happening, so we sat down for a couple hours and evaluated our work and efforts. What we can do better and what things we need to focus on to find new investigators and stay busy. Also focusing on how we can get the members and ward missionaries excited of the work. We have though of a lot of things and I feel that this week is going to be a good week and Elder Mack and I are going to flip this Area around!  Oh and here is the actually place we are living so hopefully you can look it up on google earth or something and try and find it.

Golden City, Phase 4E, Santa Rosa, Laguna. 

Something like that so that pretty much the area I am walking around all day.

This place is crazy! It's so polluted where I am at because I am close to a city. I start to get sick because of how much I am breathing in everyday! but, its still pretty sweet country to be in. Every now and then it still hits me! Wow! I am in the Philippines! Over 5000 miles away from home.Since we have been walking so much people start to see us more often and come up and talk to us. Mostly kids though. Word spreads around these neighborhoods though that there are to Americans walking around every now and then and so my companion and I will just be walking around and some random group of dudes come up to me and just say " Whats up Kikel" " Hey brother Kikel" Hey six four whats up!?" hha they all know my height and so they call me six four hahahah
People just stare at you for days here. It makes me feel like I am a celebrity. A lot of people are to scared to come talk to us. Kids ask us if we are celebrities because they only see white people on TV. So it's really fun walking around, guys always want us to play basketball, but we never do cause its just so freaking hot! So I don't know what its telling you but after that rain storm it hasn't rain for almost a week! It has been getting so hot!! I am going to dry up like a prune when I get back to Utah. The humidity here is crazy!  My companion has actually lost 80lbs since he has been here! thats kind of scary! He said in the mtc he was 5'9" and 270lbs and he showed me pictures! he was a big boy. 

So my companion Elder Mack. He is pretty cool and a big nerd like me! 
All we do is talk about video games and food everyday and how much we miss it! He even plays MTG and we get into that way to much and it makes me want to play it so bad. but, it is forbidden so it doesn't matter. We will come to the computer shop to e-mail and we will see kids playing video games and we just want to play so bad!! We also talk about cars and stuff and man it made me so homesick! knowing I still have 22 months left! Oh well I need to forget it now so I can surround myself with the work. Elder Mack is from Georgia, and he is planning on going to school at BYU Idaho. He wants to get a internship down in California for gaming or something like that. Elder Mack use to be a Pro gamer before he left so he just loves talking about videos games. He is really nice and really considerate, I think he thinks I am mean because I a really big and stuff haha. psh.. like that can ever be true. Im like a plush cuddly bear.

Yeah well thats pretty much it for this week. Hope all is well at home! Love ya!

-Elder Kikel