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.
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.
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!