Monday, October 28, 2013

"Why so serioussss?!"

Hey everyone how are things going!?

Todays e-mail is not going to be as long but here it is anyways.

This last Tuesday I went on exchanges with another Elder that I live with. His name is Elder Gallen. He is my same batch meaning he got here the same time I got here. He hasn't been progressing as fast as others have and he is having a really hard time with everything, he has tried to go home a couple times now, but President won't let him haha!
So when we went on exchanges all four of us in our apartment didn't expect good things to happen from that day, but prove to be challenging. Last Tuesday was my most successful day on my mission, me and Elder Gallen did great together! He was really weird, but it was really cool to see, if we put our faith in the Lord he will help us to accomplish his work. I spoke a whole lot more Tagalog then I though I could so that was also interesting, but most of the lessons we taught were in English. We had some spiritual experiences and we both got a lot out of our exchanges together! 

I was talking with one of the Ward Missionaries that I know better then the others, and he told to me that all the Ward Missionaries are scared of me cause I am so serious all the time and I yell at them. haha, oops! So I have been more relaxed around them and starting to be more goofy, and they are all starting to like me now and they all ways joke around with me. The reason why I have been so serious with them, and not really being friendly is because I don't want to become good friends with them, and then get transferred, but I guess its just something I have to expect, cause they have started to work with Elder Mack and I since I have been more outgoing.

Elder Mack and I are starting to play a lot more basketball in the mornings now since we kind of know some of the kuyas (guys/boys) that play. They always get so excited when I show up, and want me to be on their team. Since I am super tall and white they think I am the best at basketball, boy do they get disappointed haha. Sometimes, I am starting to get a lot better now because I am starting to play so much. I can now dunk, I repeat, I can now dunk. It was sweet! I kept telling them I could't dunk, and I got up and tried and just slammed it in, I was shocked myself! So they keep throwing me ally-oops in games, but it never works haha. 

The work here is Sta. Rosa 2 has been the same we are struggling to find new investigators still, and we are now focusing our efforts on teaching members so we can gain their trust and receive referrals from them. I has proven to start working, they are enjoying us a lot. 

I have a feeling that I might get transferred soon (Nov 7) So I will find out if that happens next Monday or Tuesday. I don't feel like I am ever going to change areas or companions, so it will definitely be an experience if I do get transferred.

Thanks again everyone for you support you are all awesome! 

-Elder Kikel

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week something, I don't know


So, first of all, I am okay, and safe. The earthquake in the Philippines was over 250 miles away from my area, and didn't even feel a thing. Still, pray for those who were affected by this event, and I fear that some of our missionaries were affected also, I am not quite sure.

This last week we finally moved into our new apartment, which is like 10 times better then our last. It is really nice. I actually have a shower head now! Woo! No more bucket showers! It is a lot bigger and we have so much more room to do laundry and other stuff. Our rooms are a lot bigger which is nice and I sleep so much better! The actual moving process wasn't very fun, but we got it done and now we don't need to worry about it!

Nothing really interesting this week happened, so I'll talk more about missionary work, since I haven't really talked about it lately.

It basically still the same and just as hard. Elder Mack and I are having a hard time finding new investigators. The most frustrating thing that we have been dealing with lately is investigators agreeing to be baptized and then not following through with commitments, and really just not progressing at all, so the baptisms don't happen. The work is definitely proving challenging, and Elder Mack and I are trying to find new investigators to increase our teaching pool so that our schedules are busy. Sometimes we find ourselves with nothing to do, and then we get unmotivated and nothing gets done. We are trying to stay more motivated and determined to do the work from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed. I have been trying to study harder, and to really pray and seek guidance for help. I really want to do my best to improve this area and to bring more souls unto Christ and for others to feel and joy, and happiness that comes from living the Gospel! The language is still proving very difficult but, I will get there at some point.  (hopefully) ha. 

Not much this week, its been pretty rough. Hopefully next week ill have some sweet stuff for you guys to hear. This week I tried to think about what would be good to share to you guys back home, and feel what was needed to be heard. Two things came to my mind.

St. Matthew 25: 31-46.

This is Jesus teaching the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. When I read these verses the thing that comes to my mind is Charity. What is Charity? (Moroni 7: 44-47) Charity is the Pure love of Christ. When we have Charity we have Christ's Love, we start to see people as Christ would see them. When we can see them as Christ would see them we start to have a desire to serve them. When do service as Christ would to do our fellow brethren, we begin to feel his love and grace. Service is the best way to feel God's love. 

Help those who are in need, and turn them not away. 

Mosiah 4: 11-12

I read this scripture and thought it was a very powerful scripture. 
We need to remember that we are nothing without Christ, and his teachings in our lives. 

Thanks for all of the love and support you all give me. It definitely helps!


-Elder Kikel

Nothing like enjoying a ice cold Pop Cola on a hot day!

Also had some Dragon Fruit! I just got it because It looked delicious and it is from Fruit Ninja. It was really good!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Enforcer!

Hello Everyone!

I loved everyone's e-mails that they have sent to me. I love hearing from you and how things are going!

First off I was finally able to watch Conference! Man oh man how much better conference is when you are actually seeking to gain from the talks that are being given! I can't even describe how awesome it was, why couldn't I realize this earlier!? All the talks were so good! I think my favorite talk was from Dieter F Uchtdorf when he talked about raising to our full potential! It was very inspiring and I just wish I could share my thoughts and impressions to you all on each and every single talk. I thought they were all very good, and I learned from them. I can't wait to for the next one! 

So I have to start trimming down my letters now, Sorry. We are only suppose to e-mail for about an hour and half, and I usually spend 2-3hrs on mine cause I am always so detailed haha! So in my efforts to striving to work to my full potential in missionary work and being obedient to the rules I have to start following the rules more strictly. I am also trying not to become the White Hand Book nazi, where every little rule someone breaks I freak out on them. but, I am not don't worry I know when to have fun and when to be serious. That is one thing I have noticed about myself since I have been on my mission. I have changed a lot. I am always so serious, so focused on what we need to do, that I'm  not very goofy that often. I'm serious cause its a serious work that we are doing here! but, don't worry the goofy is still inside me, I'll let it loose when I get home!

Ugh! this last week has probably has just been so stressful, and probably the more frustrating week I have had since I have been here! Dealing with Pasaway missionaries, trying to help other missionaries from going home! and trying to motivate others to do better! It's been stressful but I am doing my best. I want to complain about my companion but I won't cause there is no need for that, it just finally that time where I just know him to well and there is just those things that get under my skin. Just working on my patience that's all.

So the funniest things just happened as I am typing this e-mail. So one of the pasaway missionaries are playing video games on the computer while we are e-mailing and our Ward Mission Leader comes in and stands right behind him and watches him play for almost 5 mins and he didn't even know he was there! Oh when he saw him there it was so funny! Justice at last! muwahaha we try to tell him to get off and all the joyous stuff but he just ignores us. He goes home in a couple weeks so I am guessing he is just trunky! I better not be that way, someone remind me not to when the time comes!

Today we moved from apartment to a nicer one. It was a very stressful and frustrating experience, probably because I basically did it myself. but, it got done and its finished so thats all the matters. Hopefully no more ghosties! We haven't really had any problems since that first night. I don't really care anymore if strange sounds start happening in the night, I'm just a boss like that ya know.

Well It is time for me to go. I forgot to prepare a scriptural/spiritual message, just from all the things that have been going on. hmm... 

The Chapter of 2 Nephi 31
It is about Baptism and is one we use to help our Investigators see the importance of Baptism. but, as I have read this Chapter many times over, I have found many other doctrines and teachings that have helped me. I hope it will help you. Remember always your Baptismal Covenants, and strive to keep them each and every single day!

I love you all, thank you so much for the support! 

Only 20 months to go ;) 

-Elder Kikel

P.S. My return date is June 17, 2015

Monday, October 7, 2013

Paranormal Activity

This last week has been a pretty crazy week! Things just get crazier and crazier.

So just to begin I would like to say that I am starting to really love my mission. I enjoy every single day! I try to work harder, and harder, each and every single day. but, man... it can be pretty hard sometimes! The funnest part is that I am starting to get so use to the Filipino Culture. Things you Americans would find weird, and don't think is weird. The Philippines is a great place, crazy hectic, but a great place. Everything here is so cheap! I still eat the same thing pretty much everyday cause I am to lazy and don't really have any money to go out and buy stuff to make meals. I just eat hotdogs, rice, and eggs. Masarap! 

The everyday life is the Filipino life! I am use to the Humidity all ready! which is good I guess! Today it was soo hot! but, It didn't even feel humid outside, it just felt hot. So I guess when I get back to Utah I am going to dry up so bad! It's so hot we use umbrellas to give us shade! Oh man something I can not get use to is the women sometimes. I kid you not. We will walk by a bunch of college girls and Elder Mack and I will say hi to them, and they just squeal in excitement, and giggle. It is so funny! I still can't get use to everyone staring at me! I feel so weird and I want them to stop! No wonder celebrities hate it! I'm just so beautiful here! ;) Nah, Elder Mack and I get a kick out of it though. Everyday there are these girls that work at a vegetable stand and they ALWAYS say "Hey Kuya..." which pretty much means. Hey boys... haha and so we always wave at them and say hi. They try to give us free veggies but we just keep walking. haha. 

The work has really improved this last week. We finally have our Ward Missionaries start to work with us and we are seeing the results. We are starting to have more quality lessons. As of right now we have 5 Investigators with a baptismal goal date, and hopefully 4 more this coming week. So we are supper excited to see some improvement. We just hope that everything goes well and we have some baptisms. I have been enjoying doing the work. Elder Mack is making me do more stuff, so that I can prepare to become a Trainer. Daw (He said). So it hasn't been fun cause I still can't really speak Tagalog very well, but I have been studying really hard, and been trying to apply it more often. So the language is getting better, Elder Mack says I can speak more Tagalog then I think I can. I don't think so. But, I am trying really hard. 

One thing that has been hard is our new District Leader that took the place of Elder Bayubay. His name is Elder Nerza, and he is Filipino. He is what we call in the mission, a Pasaway Missionary (Disobedient missionary). He  isn't really bad but, He doesn't follow a lot of the mission rules, and he is going home soon. He has about 2 months left. So his companion Elder Gallen, who was in the MTC with me, has been having a really hard time since he has gotten in the field. He was just starting to get better when Elder Nerza came in, and kind of stopped progressing in his improvement. Elder Nerza tried to help him, but from what I can tell is that he thinks Elder Gallen is a lost cause, and stopped trying to help him. So since he is Pasaway, and Elder Gallen doesn't really know his purpose as a missionary, their work is not very good. Our Ward Mission Leader doesn't trust them, and they are always arguing. We have all ready had the Zone Leaders and President get involved. So I took upon me to help both of them. Unfortunately since then Elder Nerza doesn't like me cause he thinks I am a tattle tale I guess. pshh.. I don't care. If you are going to be here on a Mission your are going to do it right!
So I have just been talking to Elder Gallen, trying to help him realize his purpose as a missionary and what he needs to do to make his mission mean more to him. Also in how he can help himself and his companion. Then I am trying to think of how I can help Elder Nerza be a better example for Elder Gallen. I just think its pathetic that someone who has been in the Field for only 2 months has to tell the District Leader, and some one who has been in the field for 1 year and 10 months, The rules, and how to be obedient! So I just feel like I have had to take care of things myself around our apartment. Sometimes Elder Mack gets really lazy, and doesn't want to do anything. So I am cleaning the floors, I'm cleaning the kitchen, I'm cleaning the bathroom, I'm updating the Area Book, I'm leading planning, and weekly planning, I'm the one trying to help us stay focused. but, we are not perfect so we always have room to improve and become the best missionaries we can become! 

So something I have realized since I have been out here is that I am always so serious. I am goofy sometimes. But, not nearly as much as I was at home. I still have the goofiness inside me but, I just feel so serious all the time its weird! 
 The story I am about to tell you is not a lie. Is not exaggerated, and is real.

After I finished writing in my journal, and read in the Book of Mormon for a while I went to bed around 10:30 p.m. As I was laying in bed I as thinking about our Investigators and Less Active families, as a little time passed by Elder Mack come from outside the bedroom door, flicked on the lights, and said, " Elder Kikel, It's happening!" Elder Mack just looked like he was scared out of his mind! Breathing deeply, grabbing his chest, and just shaking! I thought It was a joke at first but then Elder Nerza came in my room looking just the same. 

I asked Elder Mack what happened and he told me that he was in the other room talking to Elder Nerza when they both "distinctively" heard chairs moving downstairs multiple times. Like there was someone scooting a chair out from under them. but, there was no one downstairs. They told me it happened 4-5 times. They were so scared. The weird thing was that I was wide awake in my bed, and I didn't hear anything. So Elder Gallen proceeded to go downstairs cause the other Elders were just freaking out. I was the first to go downstairs, and as soon as I stepped foot in the room I could feel the presence of something bad. I half expected something to happen when I was looking around. So I started to feel a little sketched out. I turned on all the lights and I set the chairs in a way that I would recognize that if the moved again in the morning, and I also put heavy stuff on all the chairs. After I have done this I felt uneasy so I went back upstairs, and we were all upstairs just talking about the whole situation. They all heard the chairs but me, so I thought it was weird and that nothing else was going to happen, and maybe they just heard something else that I didn't.

 As we were talking we just hear something fall downstairs, all the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up, chills just shoot up my back. As we were all looking at each other in shock, wondering if we all heard the same, we heard something like a cup fall on the ground! So now at this point we are all freaking out, its past midnight and things are happening and we are all witnessing it! We decided that we needed to kneel in prayer. They had me give the prayer. In that prayer asked for safety and comfort, that the apartment that we are living in would be blessed and a place for safety, and for the holy ghost to dwell. I prayed for that if there was any unclean spirits that were in our presence to be cast out, and to never return. This was the part that made this whole situation so surreal to me. When I said those things in the prayer. I heard a soft but very distinctive growl behind me. I continued to finish the prayer. When I finished I slowly raised my and asked. "Did you guys hear what I heard" and they all said that they heard a growl that came from behind me.

Brothers and Sisters. Just like how God has power on this earth, so does Satan. So be watchful of your actions, be careful to not entice such spirits to dwell within you and within your home. This experience has strengthen my Faith and my testimony that we have a power from God. We have priesthood authority to do mighty things on this earth, that some would say would be a coincidence, but the power and authority to do his work, according to our faith. So be Faithful and work in his name! 
So I decided I would share a scripture or anything else spiritual with you every time I write home. So here is this weeks special.

D&C 27:15-18.

These scriptures talk about the armor of god and what each piece of the armor means. I invite everyone to put on the armor of God each and every single day that Satan's temptations will not be able to take hold of you.

Helamen 5:12

This is one of my favorite scriptures. It is very self explanatory. Build your foundation in Christ, and you shall not fall. 

Thanks everyone for the love and support! 

-Elder Kikel


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Work with the Missionaries!

Time is just flying so fast!!! wow! I can't believe I am all ready e-mailing you guys again! Elder Mack and I have just been working so hard lately that the days are just a blink of an eye. I can't even imagine what is is going to be like when I only have a year left. I always hear about all these people going home and stuff. It's so weird! 

Well today's e-mail isn't going to be long cause I said so much last week!

This last week has been pretty good. The work has been getting a lot better. We had a lot of talks, lessons, and activities, dealing with Missionary and Member missionary work. In our MCM meeting, which is pretty much a meeting with our Ward mission Leader and the Ward Missionaries. We kind of threw down the law and I was just getting really annoyed by the immaturity that was coming from them and just the fact they never work with us. So I threw down a hymn book on a table and it was so loud, and I put on such a serious face, everyone got quite real quick. I kind of yelled at them and chastised them. I was just sick of their attitude, then the Ward mission Leader did the same thing haha. I worked too, that day we were getting messages from everyone asking when they can work with us. Sometimes you just need to throw down the hammer and show that you are serious to get things done. 

We have had some really great lessons the last week, actually the most we have ever had! It is nice to finally be able to really see some progress in some of these investigators! We extended a few baptismal goal dates this last week and hopefully everything works out and our Area can get a few new members!

So this last week was the end of my first transfer in the Mission field! 6 weeks! I can't believe I have been in this country for 6 weeks. Sometimes is just hits me while I am walking around. "Man... I am in the Philippines right now. Its so weird and so cool to think about. Here I am barely 19 years old in a Country 5000 miles away from home, in a country the speaks a completely different language, in a country with a different culture and lifestyle, and here I am walking around with my companion. No one watches us, no one telling use where to go, or what to do. Just us two trying to preach the Gospel. That is so cool! If you guys were somehow able to be with me now I could take you to the mall, restaurants, little side shops, anything really! That is so weird! I could take you to the church, to members houses, and everything! Its so weird to think about! Just the fact that we are on our own almost all the time and have so much responsibility, it just all really blows my mind. I feel like when i get home Ill be able to do anything haha. 

Yeah at this point I don't think those shoes will help me haha! NO! they definitely will but just not in this case! We have had some crazy flooding lately and this is how high the floods can get! Its crazy! and we have no choice but to just walk through it! Struggles of a missionary!

This is a picture of my District before transfer day!

So this last week was transfer week and my first Filipino friend got transferred! no!! He was so funny and so nice! He was the coolest, and he spoke extremely good English, better then me! He was our District Leader and we got a long really well! Here are some pictures of use the night before he left. His name is Elder Bayubay.

So these pictures are from an activity that we did with members and investigators. We had a cook off competition and this is me and all of the rest of us just eating it all off banana leaves that we cut from trees! It was so good! I ate so much food. They kept shoveling rice in front of me and to see how much I could eat!

Yeah, that's pretty much it for this week. but I would like to leave you guys with a scripture that I found this week that I think is really good.

Alma 37:37

Read the scriptures every morning and every night everyone! You will recognize the difference.

-Elder Kikel