Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Phew! Time is just flying by! I can't believe it! Just been working so hard lately!
So the report.
Elder Maiz and I have spent this whole last week tracting 3 or more hours a day at least trying to increase our teaching pool. We have new investigators but some of them we are not to sure about. It has been really tough trying to teach good quality lessons and to be able to finish on time to make it to the next appt. Our investigators live all over the place and since Elder Maiz and I are almost out of money we walk, or almost run everywhere! Things are getting better and I am trying really hard to make something happen over here! Our numbers this week were better then last week. We have a few more Baptismal Goal Dates and so we are pretty excited for those but then again we are not to sure how committed these people are to be baptized, so thats something we have to find out. We have a few investigators that want to be baptized so bad, but there are just things in the way that prevent them from going to church and so they can't be baptized! Arghhhah... aggravating.
I gave a blessing this last week to one of the sons of our investigators. It was kind of cool actually. We when were teaching this family right when we started they told us that their son was sick and I felt the prompting to tell Elder Maiz that we needed to give him a blessing. During the lesson I was trying to find a good time to bring it up, because they are not members and don't really know what  Priesthood blessing is, so of course they would never ask for one. I wasn't able to find an appropriate time to ask if they would like a blessing. After we were almost done with the lesson the father walk in the house, and he is the reason they are not able to go to church because he doesn't like us, and doesn't really like it when we teach to his family. I was like "Perfect!" and the prompting was stronger and I just decided to kind of interrupt and ask the mother if she would like us to give a priesthood blessing to her son. She was very happy, and really wanted us to do it. So we gave the blessing and the father was watching, so I am hoping and I have faith that this witness will help soften his heart, and allow us to teach to him and his family so they can all be baptized!
Okay so the Apartment and the people I am living with, I haven't said much about that yet. So I live with the Zone Leaders as you know, and we also have a new Zone Leader, Elder Boyd. He is really cool and is a great example, he works so freaking hard its ridiculous. He is a really good missionary, he has been here for almost 2 weeks and has all ready improved the area. Oh man! the water here is ridiculous! It is like taking ice water out of the fridge! I am not even joking it is so cold! After almost 3 weeks of taking showers with it morning and night, it is starting to become refreshing at the same time. Especially cause I am starting to work out every morning! Elder Boyd, Elder Inlayo, and I all just love working out so we made a work out plan, we made our own weights, and we are eating way healthy! Its freaking awesome! Every morning we all wake up and just go crazy doing circuits and lifts in the morning, it makes my day so much better and I feel so much better through out the day. I have all ready lost almost 20lbs since I have been here in the Philippines. I didn't look like it at first because all my muscle turned into fat, but one of the Elders has a scale and I weighed myself. Under 200lbs!? what!? crazy...
So quick funny story. Elder Maiz and I were out tracting at night and we came across a few guys on the street, and they were smoking. I was in such a good mood and I just didn't really care what they would think, I decided to OYM them about the Word of Wisdom. So in the best Tagalog I could I was telling them about the Word of Wisdom real briefly, basically just telling them we think smoking is not allowed! After I said this one of the guys looked at me and said, in English. " I don't like this! I throw it away." and he flicks his cigg hahaha! after it was all ready finished! hahah and then they all agreed to stop smoking and follow the Word of Wisdom. haha even though right after we left they pulled out another one. tsk.. tsk... tsk..
So tomorrow we have the Awesome opportunity to go to a Mission Tour! So basically this is when the whole mission gets together for pretty much a devotional! but, the speaking is the Area Seventy for the Philippines! Elder Neilson! Crazy! So he is going to talk to us about what we can do to improve our mission and what ever else he would like. So that is going to be really cool to experience that and also see all of my friends from the MTC and all the fun jazz! Also! I have some pretty cool news! I am one of the first to know and now you guys will be too! So this Sunday we had a visitor that came all the way from America... Santa Clause! hahah no... We had a man who is Filipino but works for the Church's financial department and is pretty high up there, his boss talks with the prophet about the Church's finance. He has been living in Provo for the last 33 years. So when I heard him speak perfect english I was a little surprised! He is a really nice guy, but the reason why he is all the way back here in the Philippines is because he has a dream that he wants to accomplish. He told us what his dream is... and his dream is to build a "BYU-like school here in Lucena, Philippines." What!? Thats freaking sweet! It will be the first LDS school in the Country I believe if he is able to accomplish this. He said the Church will not fund for more school because of the cost or something like that, but he wants to try and build a school where kids the live the poorer life here in the Philippines can still go to a good school, afford it, and be able to have thing atmosphere of a BYU like campus. So nothing for sure yet, but there could be something like that happening soon!
So a crappy thing happen to me last week while I was e-mailing! I lost all my pictures on my SD card! Noooooooooooooo!!!! Some virus or something erased all my pictures or something and I couldn't get it back! I was pretty bummed but oh well, what could you do?
Something I came across in church this week, is a few lines from the Hymn. The Lord is my light. it says. " The Lord is my light, the Lord is my strength. I know in his might, I'll conquer at length. My weakness in mercy he covers with power, and, walking by faith, I am blessed every hour." - I really enjoyed this and I hope you all do too.
A real quick spiritual experience that I had this week, is that we randomly came across a member as we were tracting and he invited us in and fed us. Then he proceeded to tell us his story of life and what he is going through right now. he just really needed someone to talk too. but, I just wanted to say that he is probably the most humble man I have ever met. I mean, here is this Father who has been through so much all ready in his life, he kids are falling away from the church, and treat him like dirt. He can barely provide for his family, but he has to sacrifice meals, showers, clothes, entertainment, pretty much everything just to make sure his family has a roof. He walks for hours every sunday just to go to church. Through all these things and many more, this man testifies to us that he recognizes the blessings in his life and he doesn't need anything more. He puts his life and the life of his family and the everything else in trust to the lord. And still this man still strives to serve others and help others! He wanted to go take us out for food because we looked tired, but didn't let him haha but man I just can't believe how humble and submissive he was to the will of the Lord! and the Faith that he had. It truly built my faith and testimony, just to see a man who has pretty much nothing, and turns it into a lot.

Well that's about it for this week, I hope you all enjoy Thanksgiving! I can't believe I left in July and its all ready Thanksgiving! It is so ridiculously fast! I hope all is well, and I love you all!
-Elder Kikel

Monday, November 18, 2013


Once again my Family and Friends its time for the Weekly Report!

So things here in Lucena are pretty much the same as my last area according to the work. I think the ward is a lot better and more willing to help us out, but we haven't really gotten any member present lessons. So that stinks.. Oh well, Elder Maiz and I are trying to gain the trust of members so that they will trust is with Referrals! So the work is still hard, I think it will always be hard, you know why? Because, SALVATION IS NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE! I look forward to reep the rewards of the fruit of my labors, I am not quite there yet. We have 3 Baptismal Goal dates in December so hopefully we can really help them to prepare themselves to be baptized on those days in December. One of them Jonathan was pretty prepared, he has been  taught a few times but since I was new we retaught him. I talked to him about the restoration a little bit and ask him some basic baptismal interview questions. He answered them all perfectly and he says he knows and wants to be baptized. Then he even worked with us after we taught him! Ha! That was something I wasn't expecting. He is a really nice kid and want to do the right thing, he even asked me if I had a facebook and when I would be returning home. So I think he added me on facebook haha. He name is Jonathan Javierto. So yeah we are just going to keep on keeping on! 

I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting and of course again I went way to long and spoke all in english, When I feel the spirit I just start to speak in english hahaha at first they were all excited to hear from me, but then I took to long and half of them couldn't really understand me so at the end of my talk I saw a lot of heads down and a lot of people not paying attention haha! When I sat down and went over my talk, I realized something, "Wow, I am a boring talker" so next time I need to keep it short and in Tagalog! 

The language has been getting better obviously because I am around Filipinos all the time! Except for now, One of the Elders in my apartment finished his mission and went home today, so I have a new Zone Leader and he is from Sandy, Utah. He is name is Elder Boyd. He is pretty cool. 

Well ya know, not a whole lot from me this week, just the same old, same old missionary stuff. Some days are super exciting and others are just not as much. 

Love all of you and hope things are good back home! 

Maybe in the next couple weeks ill throw a few Tagalog paragraphs in my letters. 


-Elder Kikel

Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon Survivor

Hey everybody!

 So first of all, once again I am safe and everything is well after the Typhoon. 

From what I know, the area that I was in during the Typhoon was kind of on the outskirts of the storm so we didn't really get hit hard. They was some crazy wind, and rain, but just some fallen trees, and stuff like that. Nothing crazy like what I have recently been hearing. I can't believe what has happened. Our mission President told us we needed to stay inside because there was a super Typhoon, so I was thinking we were going to be running around helping people evacuate and stuff. Nope, everyone is fine over here, no help needed. I remember thinking during the storm, " This is a Super Typhoon?". After hearing more about the Typhoon I was shocked to hear what happened and the destruction the came from it, and how big the Typhoon it was. For those who don't know, as missionaries here in the Philippines, we have no TV's no radios, no Smart phones, no nothing, to here about the news. We find these things out through rumors and members. The storm passed where I was at and we just went to work the next day. So everything is fine here. But, man first the Earthquake, and now this!? The Philippines is really getting hit hard. Always keep them in your prayers, there are many people suffering.

Well on a lighter note, I was TRANSFERRED! Yay... It was a interesting experience. I was transferred to an area called Lucena. If you type in Philippines, Lucena you could probably find the general location of where I am at. My new companion is Elder Maiz, he is Filipino! Oh man does he talk fast, I can barely understand his Tagalog, and he speaks basic English, so it is kind of hard to communicate with him. Since I have been with Elder Maiz I have realized that I can speak more Tagalog then I thought I could, it's crazy! He is really helping me to learn the language and I am helping him with his English. Elder Maiz is a really cool and nice guy, he goes home in 2 months, and has all ready admitted to me that he is starting to get a little trunky. I told him that I was going to help him work hard, have success, and enjoy the last few months of his mission. Hopefully I will be able to accomplish this. I feel like Elder Maiz and I will do great things together and we will get a long just fine. My new area is still a city but has more jungle life to what I was expecting when I came here. It was the first time I actually had to trek through the jungle to get to investigators houses, it was sweet! Shoes and pants, covered in mud. It was a cool experience. 

I had a really hard time though when I got here because I also live with the Zone Leaders and they are Filipinos also so all they do is speak Tagalog and I couldn't understand a word they were saying. Even though they welcomed me and were very friendly, and funny. For some reason I just felt so down, and overwhelmed. The Zone Leaders were tell me that this area sucks, and that its super hard here, and members to help us and stuff. I was just thinking I am never going to have any success! Plus, I got the package you guys sent me, and just went crazy on the candy. I got so sick that day and ended up throwing up all night and not eating for a while hahah so I was really physically weak and just not in the right mind set. Being in a new area, with a new companion, harder and more difficult challenges, just kind of overwhelmed me there for a little bit. On Sunday I decided to fast for strength and sensitivity of the spirit that I might be able to work hard in this area and have success. It's been hard lately, all of my batch that I came with from the MTC have all ready gotten baptisms and have great success, and people say they always get at least 1 baptism every transfer, and I haven't gotten any yet, or really had any immediate success yet, so I was just getting really down about all of it. During sacrament meeting on Sunday I was just thinking about all of this and how I am going to cope with it, and I remember I just felt the biggest feeling of comfort come over me, and the words coming to my head, and actually saying it out loud to myself. " Elder Kikel, Its okay." For some reason from these few words that came to my mind made all the stress and worries go away. I just felt that it doesn't matter what success I have or do not have, as long as I am trying my best to invite others to come unto Christ. I did receive strength and I felt the spirit working through me that day, and I felt God's love for me. Just those words... "Elder Kikel. Its okay" made all the difference, so I am just going to keep on pushin and hoping and having faith for the best! 

Elder Maiz and I have all ready made plans to work together to find new Investigators and turn this place around, so hopefully in the next few weeks we see some progress. Thanks for all the support, you guys give me, I love hearing from ya, and I am sorry if I don't reply immediately. I hope all is well for you all and I hope you enjoy  a happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

I'll be working....

-Elder Kikel 
This is me and my new companion Elder Maiz


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Update from the San Pablo Mission home

Dear Parents,
The typhoon is passing beyond the western borders of the Philippines.  We are still getting rain and winds in our mission areas but all missionaries remain  safe and accounted for. We have received several offers of  parents wanting to send supplies to the people hardest hit.  President Peterson made a call to President Ardern of the Area Presidency regarding this.  President Ardern advised those wishing to help should make a generous contribution to the humanitarian fund on their tithing slips.  This fund is what the local leaders draw from to assist those in need to get the things they have urgent need of.  We thank you so very much for your prayers, for your generosity and for your willingness to help the Philippine people.  We know the Lord has watched over and protected the missionaries here in San Pablo Mission. Please continue to pray for those in areas south of us who were hardest hit with the effects of the typhoon.
Kindest regards,
Sister Hansen, Mission Secretary
          Philippines San Pablo Mission

Friday, November 8, 2013

Elder Kikel is safe from Typhoon Haiyan!

I received an email this morning from the San Pablo Mission regarding Parker, I thought I would post it just in case friends and family are worried. Keep the Filipino people in your thoughts and prayers. We know Parker will be out as soon as he is allowed helping the Filipino's where ever and however he can. 

Dear Parent,
We wanted to let you know that as of Friday, November 8, 2013 6:30 PM Philippine time, your missionary is safe and accounted for.  We know you are concerned about the typhoon.  The eye of the storm is south of us but because it is so large, we are feeling the effects of heavy rains and strong winds.  All missionaries have been prepared with adequate food supplies, water, and candles to last through the storm.  They have likewise been instructed to remain in their apartments until the storm has passed.  We would welcome your prayers in behalf of all the missionaries in the Philippines.  We will update you in the morning.
Kindest regards,
Sister Hansen, Mission Secretary
          Philippines San Pablo Mission

Monday, November 4, 2013

Watch out Jehovah Witnesses, here comes Elder Kikel!

All just start off with the bummer news first, just to get it out of the way.

This last week of work has not been so well, frankly terrible. We had a few holidays over here and also just the knowledge that we might be transferred discourage us and slow us down. We were barely able to teach lessons and didn't really do much, most of it is because of our faults, we got very lazy and the motivation was lost. I felt really bad about these things lately and I have told myself that I wouldn't let it happen again, because our area is not doing very well, and we barely have any investigators! I know Elder Mack and I can do better but, Tomorrow I will find out if I get transferred our not. Elder Nerza our district leader, and his companion Elder Gallen our getting pulled out, I am not sure why. So that means either Elder Mack becomes the new District Leader or one of us is going to be in this area for 6 months. We can't both be in the same area for 6 months because that would mean we both get transferred, and then the area gets closed for a while cause there are no missionaries! So I think I will be getting transferred tomorrow, but I am not for sure. 

I can't believe how fast time is flying its insane! I have all ready been in the Philippines for 3 months now! Wow! Where did that go!? I have been on a mission for 4 and half months! what!? There are times were I think wow I still have 20 months left that it so far, how am I going to do this? but, most of the time I think, wow! I only have 20 months, and I have almost done a quarter of my mission all ready! I don't have enough time! So it has its ups and downs. 

I do look forward to the point in my mission where I finally have everything down and I can just go Kikel Spaz in missionary work and just to the best that I can do, till the very end. Coming home to me is unimaginable, it would be so weird for me. I am living such strict rules every single day, I would feel everything that I am doing is against the rules! haha! That time will come, some day. Right now I just want to enjoy that fact that I am in the Philippines. I mean come one, I am all the way around the world, living in a completely different country, with a different culture, and a different language! Thats pretty sweet.

Elder Mack and I were walking down the street the other day, and this car pulls up to us, and in the window we see two men wearing Halloween masks. We just thought, " oh this will be interesting" The guys were obviously drunk, and we could smell it, but they pretty much told us if we needed a friend, we should just call him. hahah. Yes, he did give us his phone number. Later on the day we say the same to guys dancing in the street like bafoons. Elder Mack and I were laughing so hard! This other time we were on our way to an appointment, yesterday actually. While we were walking we so A LOT of Jehovah's Witnessses missionaries tracting houses. They were every where! When we got close to the house of the appointment that we had, we saw that there were a few Jehovah's witnesses talking to our Investigator. Elder Mack got scared and didn't want to walk up to them, I was just like. " Shoot man! Thats our investigator! I'm going in, back me up!" Haha the look on those missionaries faces were priceless,. when we walked up to Brother Oscar and he just let us in. Hahah. It was funny, but I give props to those missionaries out there, they are just doing what they believe is right, just like we are. There is nothing wrong with that.

Anyways I leave all you guys with a spiritual thought. First of all something that I realized this last week during personal study, is that the Lord even calls the weak to do his work. All he wants from us is to do our best. In the Preach My Gospel it say that a successful missionary is one who does the absolute best the they can, and feel the spirit working through them, even if they don't have immediate success in their labors. If we try our very best, the Lord will take care of the rest. This gave me comfort in the thought about my challenges learning Tagalog, after every lesson I get so frustrated cause I wasn't able to convey the message I wanted to convey. Now I know that it doesn't matter if I can't fully explain or teach the lesson to my full potential, but as long as I try my best, the Lord will take care of the rest for me! Knowing this it has helped me to realize, I can handle anything that comes my way in my mission, as long as I seek the Lord's help, and do my absolute best. I haven't been doing this lately but I plan on doing so now. This principle just doesn't apply to me or missionaries, this can apply to everyone. As you do your best to follow the commandments of the Lord, he will take care of the rest for you. but, the question is... Are you doing your best?

Another thing that I found particularly powerful was a scripture that Elder Mack came across for one of our investigators who is going through many trails in his life right now. This scripture is the very, and exact answer why we have trails in our life, and why God would let such bad things happen too such good people. Remember everyone that every trail and challenge we go through in our lives, is ESSENTIAL to our salvation. They give us experience, and they are for our good. I know through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are able to overcome any challenge we face in life. Don't loose faith my friends, and never doubt God. 
D&C 122:7
 Me chillin with like the coolest cats I have ever seen! They are my ward mission leader's cats. 

Add caption

 Me and Elder Gallen wrestling, he knows a lot of martial arts stuff, and has been through a couple weeks of Basic Training in the US Military. He is so funny. 

We did a service project that we did with the YSA group. It was fun. We had to pull most of the grass and plant life out of one of the members yard's.
 Me just working like a boss. In my boots.
hahahaha this one is with me and Elder Nerza. He is about 5' 1" I believe. I am almost taller then him on my knees. The average Filipino is like 5' 6"-8"

Lastly but not least for this week. Is that Big Poppa Kikel got himself a new ride on his mission. nahh... It was one of our Investigators and I just had to get a picture of me on it hahahaha


Till next time.

-Elder Kikel