Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All!

The Holiday seasons are almost over! We can finally get to work!
Christmas was pretty cool over here in the Philippines. We just went around and visited members and pretty much ate more food then I have ate in my life! Members just make food all day long just to make sure if someone comes over that they can eat as much as they can. We also managed to get two lessons in which was awesome! Elder Strobelt is so awesome, the whole day he was just like " I'm sick of just eating food and wasting time, lets go teach some lessons!" hahahah. I am so lucky! Towards the end of the week we were really able to get to work and ended up teaching a lot of lessons. I am ready for the season to be over so we can finally get everyone to focus and start working! Work, Work, Work, thats the secret!
We have two investigators right now. Sister Annabel and Sister Elinor that are progressing so well right now, they are reading, praying, and coming to church! Their baptism is on the 25th of january and they are really trying to prepare themselves for it. The ward is really working hard to make them feel comfortable and fellowship them also, they are doing a great job. I am so excited that I might potentially have a baptism! It is such a blessing to teach someone from the beginning and watch them progress and see the Gospel bless their lives. We are working really hard to prepare them, and make sure that they are ready.
It has been mentioned that I need to starting sharing more random stories and experiences here in the Philippines, that usually wouldn't happen in America.
So this week...
I was at a members house for Christmas eating dinner. We were finishing up and I had to fart really bad... yes you know were this is going... My stomach hurt so bad! So I just tried to let out a little bit so some of the pressure would go away, but that turned out as a bad idea... I ended up farting so loud! I could not believe it! There was a ton of members there! They all just looked at me for a few seconds and they just all busted out laughing! haha. The people in the Philippines just don't care and are just the most fun loving people!
Yesterday Elder Strobelt and I were tracting and we came across a few people standing outside of their house, and so we went up to them and starting talking and ask them what they were doing. In less then two minutes we were in chairs scarfing down food! The people here are so freaking hospital it is awesome! We barely even know these peoples names and we were all eating food and talking like we were all best friends! They were having a birthday party for someone in their family, and they were just so happy the two good looking white guys showed up. They took pictures with us and all that stuff! haha it just amazes me how people can just be so friendly! Then of course we shared a message with them.
Lastly this week, which most of you may be suprised, but it happens all the time I just have never mentioned it in my e-mails. During one of our lessons my new companion was trying to share part of the lesson, when the lady we were teaching just plops down her shirt and start breast feeding her baby. Hahahahah! My companion just started to studder and didn't really know what to do so I just took over. Oh man it was so funny. It happens all the time here in the Philippines, and its just a cultural thing here nobody cares.
Well I hope those gave you some good laughs. I hope you all had a good Christmas and will enjoy some more feasting for New Years!
Love you all, and I thank you all for your support, you guys are awesome!
Parker trying to be like Malone

We sent Parker this Jersey for Christmas

-Elder Kikel

Maligayan Pasko ( Merry Christmas ) (12/23/13)

Christmas time is here!! Wow I don't even feel like its Christmas all ready! I look at the schedule and see that Christmas is in two days, and I think... meh... ayos lang. Meaning its not a big deal. I am just worried how we are even suppose to be able to to teach! Everyone is going to be so busy with their Christmas activites! Just know when you are enjoying your jammies, eating your delicious food, and being all comfy like, Ill be in a hot room sweating, and doing my studies! hahah. That is okay cause thats what I want to do.
This last week has been pretty crazy and all over the place, just getting ready to train, to all the Christmas Parties, and Zone conferences that we have been having! Training! I am sure you all want to know how that has been going, oh, well let me tell you! My trainee is from Australia and his name is Elder Strobelt, and he doesn't know any Tagalog.... Oh boy... haha So its true people. I got a foreigner as my first trainee! It actually has been was awesome these last couple days serving with him. Elder Strobelt just wants to get out there and work, he is so pumped, and he is very obedient! He is just willing to do anything, and all he wants to do is speak Tagalog. He is not scared to do anything, he even asked me the second day we worked together. " Elder when am I going to lead the lesson?" What!? I didn't ask that question until I was maybe towards the end of my last area! He is so good! He has got a good attitude which is my favorite part. He is adjusting very nicely because he went to the Manilla MTC. He is a really cool guy, and we are all ready getting along. Training has been way fun, yes it has been difficult because of the language but I actually don't really care about that right now cause I know now that if we try our best the Lord will take care of the rest for us. I told Elder Strobelt. " If we are obedient, and have faith, and do our very best. We don't have anything to worry about and these next 12 weeks are going to be great." He is just so pumped he does so much stuff without even being asked or told to do it, he is trying to so hard to speak the language as much as he can, and to learn. I feel after these next 12 weeks he will progress in the language much faster then I have and I will start to be fluent. Who ever is there when I skype will probably get a little taste of Tagalog haha.
The work in our area this last week has been really slow because we have had all these Christmas parties and dinner appts. and also preparing for transfers. I feel like it is also going to be hard this next week also because of Christmas and New Years. We will try our best though, and try to enjoy ourselves at the same time! After the Holidays we plan to really dig deep and get this place going. I have to take advantage of this drive of my new companion while I can!
I want to give a special thanks to those Beehives I believe that sent me the Care Package from home! That was awesome! I didn't expect anything like that and it really brought a smile to my face. Plus the snack attack was good... I got sick again... haha worth it! I really appreciate the love and support you guys are giving me, and I am so grateful for all of it. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!
Something I just wanted to share was that this last week I was pondering about my mission and the time that I have left and what I am doing here. The thought came to me as to how much of a blessing, opportunity, and honor, to serve a mission. I realized it is a HUGE blessing at this point in my life to be strengthen in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That fact that I have two years to study this gospel 24/7 is one of the greatest opportunities I have been given. There is so much to learn from the Gospel that can change our lives around, and all of it is just by reading the Book of Mormon. After starting to understand the Atonement and other Doctrines of Christ in my mission it is truly an Honor to represent our Savior himself and bear his name over my heart. Christ is in my heart, his name is en graven and can never be removed. I know to much now and things have changed, my views have changed, my actions have changed, and my understand has changed. Now, that is a blessing. I am grateful for this opportunity in my life and I am glad that I have another year and half to study as much as I can, and to learn. I feel that I will be one of those criers when its time for me to come home, which I feel will come very fast. I encourage all those who are feeling, thinking, or preparing for a mission that they should follow those promptings and feelings that they are getting, because if you will serve a mission with the right purpose and the right attitude, it will change your life. I don't feel like I am a kid anymore, I feel like I have much more to live up to now and I have many more responsibilities
when it come to the point when I return. I hope you will all make time especially on Sundays to study the scriptures, and the Doctrine of Christ. No one can take away your Knowledge.
I hope you all have a good week and a Merry Christmas!
Mahal Ko kayong lahat! mamamiss ko kayong lahat hanggang panihon ng Pasko. Mahal kayo ng Diyos. nagpapasalamat ako para sa inyong lahat! Maraming Salamat! Maligayan Pasko!
Elder Strobelt

-Elder Kikel

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Too Fast Too Furious!

Wow, I say it every single week, but these weeks are starting to just go by faster and faster! I can't believe it! 

So after a very inspiring workshop by our Beloved Mission President, I feel very inspired to train and I am very excited to train now, now worries. Everything he said pretty much came down to this point. "Elder... Don't worry about the language, be obedient, and have faith in God. Good Luck." hahah It is just ridiculously crazy how inspired that man is, I am glad I have the opportunity to serve under his authority. I have been told recently last year when a member of the Seventy came to the San Pablo mission to give a talk, hey told the missionaries that we had one of the best Mission Presidents in the World. Which I think is absolutely cool to think about. I am so happy to be hear at this point and time in my life, to serve, and to be a disciple of Christ 24/7. It is a tough thing to do but they blessings and happiness that you receive and that you see others receive are just crazy.
At that Trainers meeting I saw a lot of my batch that came with me from the MTC! I was so happy and excited for them! It is weird to think that I actually have some experience in the field now and I am going to be helping a brand new missionary to adjust. I feel old! In our mission we call it being a Tatay (Father) and when you are training it is your Anak (Child/Kid) When you start to become more experience in the field people will ask you "How old are you in mission?" its funny. I am totally fine getting a great privilege to live in this country and serve for another year and a half. Every now and then it hits me, that I am in a different country, different language, different culture, doing a work that is very strenuous, and 5000 miles away from home. Guess what... I am only 19. Ha I don't feel 19 thats for sure. Elders always talk about marriage and careers and all the grown up stuff, and I just all ways think " Shoot, thats something I have to start thinking about soon!" NO! hahah that is so weird!
The work this last week has been pretty slow because my companion wants to visit a bunch of members he doesn't really want to work really hard because he only has 1 transfer left and he goes home, so its been kind of sucky but I just hope my trainee just have the drive to work, and we will go deep into this Area. We actually have a few investigators that are really progressing and are coming to church. We have given them Baptismal Goal Dates, and they seem pretty excited. They have fellowshippers, and friends in the church, they have also been attending church activites! Everything is perfect we just need to makes sure to teach them what they need to know, and to help them progress and know that this church is true for themselves!
We have a bunch of Christmas Parties coming up with members, and as a mission, and all kinds of stuff it is really cool to see everyone get all excited for Christmas, I have really missed home yet or gotten home sick from seeing all of it, but I'm sure that I will on Christmas Day, thats okay I got some good people around me. Things brings me to the subect of Christmas. We all know the true meaning of Christmas, and I am not going to give a long boring speech about what the true meaning of Christmas is. So just go out there and do it! Show that you really know what the meaning of Christmas is through Service!! Now knowing the blessings, and the good feeling you get from service I wished I would have done it a lot more back home. Just like Jesus said. " Whatever ye do to the least of your brethren, ye have opportunity  to serve those around you.  I know that if you do you will have an amazing experience.
Also one last thing, I want to try to leave a spiritual thought in my E-mails home and I have been failing at that lately.
Recently from the instructions of our Mission President to study one attribute of Christ the we more want to apply in our lives, I have been studying about Virtue. Weird for a guy right? There is so much more to Virtue then most people know. But, I want to touch more on an aspect of Virtue, which is Self-Mastery. If we can learn how to gain Self-Mastery over ourselves, thoughts, and actions. We can truly be blessed in our lives, and the lives of our families. We can avoid so many problems, and sorrows in our lives. Through Self-Mastery we can fortify ourselves against temptations, that we cannot fall off the foundation from which we are built upon. (Heleman 5:12)  I hope that you will all strive to obtain Self-Mastery in your own lives.
Well thats all folks, I hope you all have a very very happy Christmas! I probably get the chance to send out an E-mail right before Christmas! Have fun!
This is a picture of all of the Elders in my batch that are training!

-Elder Kikel

Monday, December 9, 2013

Training to be a trainer

So the news is out. I will be Training this next transfer!

Oh man, my 4th transfer and I am training all ready! My Trainer trained at his year mark, I am not ready! hahah I have only been in my area for 1 transfer ( 6 weeks).  Oh boy should this be interesting! I did not expect this. I thought I was going to be with my companion for another 2 months. Wow, this is crazy. Well by this time next week I will be getting ready for a new companion, and training. I will most likely stay in the area that I am in now. I could potentially have 6 months here in Lucena. Wow man do I have some work ahead of me. I know that the Lord will provide and help me to accomplish this task. The good ol' 1 Nephi 3:7 right?

Well now that we are all giddy and excited because good ol' Kikel here has taken off the Trainee paints and put on the Big Boy Trainer pants lets hear the news of the Area I will probably be working in. 

So work was slower this last week and we were not able to reach our goals, I got sick on day and my companion got sick the other day also. I was kind of disappointed in myself for letting this happen, but you know you are going to have your good weeks and your bad weeks. I am still trying to figure out how I can help this area to improve. We lack support from the ward so I think we are going to focus on talking to Bishop and the Stake President on how we can focus our efforts and get some baptisms. Thats pretty much it, not much has changed. 

The e-mails are starting to get smaller because now there is not so much new exciting stuff to report! Its all the same now. I am seeing the progress in myself as well as in other parts of missionary work and I can't wait to see what I can make of myself after a year! 

This last week was probably the fastest week in my mission. Even though I said it was slow we were working really hard this last week and it just went by so fast. 

Well thats all for today folks. Enjoy your day.
A beautiful landscape picture

Parker said this dog reminded him of Charlie(our dog)

This is a scary hanging bridge I don't like to cross!

Are they eating at a 7-11?(top left corner). Who new you could get a Slurpee in the Philippines!

Parker with his companion Elder Maiz - silly boys


-Elder Kikel

Monday, December 2, 2013


Hello everyone! Back again for some more news!
Oh man were to begin, so much to say but so few time!
So I guess I will start off with the work.
So this week has been a little bit slower because of the Mission Tour taking up a whole day. We were still able to get a decent amount of lessons in and teach some people. Honestly, it has been tuff. Elder Maiz and I have been just tracting/OYM day after day. It's very tedious and it is hard to have that drive and enthusiasm through out the day when you just get rejected over and over again. We are finding new investigators but they are having a hard time progressing, I am constantly evaluating myself to see what I can do to truly help these people increase their faith and keep their commitments! I always told myself, " Man this area is so much harder then my last" but then a missionary told me in an e-mail that there is no such thing as a hard area, its all about the attitude you have and trying to improve the area. Which I truly believe to be true, I have really been trying so hard to really get this area to have some success, it had been proving difficult. I still have a lot to learn, and I am grateful for this challenge in my mission because I am learning so much from it. I am doing my best to not get discouraged and just keeping on working. I know there is a reason for why I am hear.
So now for the exciting stuff! yay! The Mission Tour!
So the Mission Tour was absolutely amazing! We just literally got spiritually fed from on high! Elder Nielson is a really cool guy, and his wife is really funny. Elder Neilson is a Area President, in the Quorum of the Seventy, and a General Authority! It was so cool to be able to shake his hand and talk to him face to face. Our Mission President made this event a very big deal and now I know why! Just thing things he would talk to us about were so inspiring and I learned so much, and I just kept getting thoughts and feelings as to what I could do to help my area! He also went into very deep doctrine on some topics which just absolutely blew my mind, and you know its true because a General Authority is telling you it. He also did a thing where we can ask any question we wanted too, and he would answer them. For two hours we spent asking questions, and most of them deep doctrinal questions that people always want to know. It was really cool. Just was nice to see the we were able to have a discussion with him and participate then just sit and listen to him, which we also did. Then it was funny to see him talk to our Mission President like he was a missionary or something, because you know, our Mission President has a lot of power and authority so we are always scared and nervous around President. But, to see someone with more power and authority speak to him was funny. It was truly an amazing experience and I will always remember it. I learned to much about the Enabling Power of the Atonement, it help me to realize the I always need to study the Gospel, as well as all of us. We can always continue to learn and grow in this life.
Living in my apartment is a blast, the other Elders just love to work out, so we do crazy work outs everyday and just love doing it together. I have a new nickname here in the mission which I have never heard before. People are starting to call me the Kikelmeizer, haha I don't know where that came from but hey it works. I am starting to really open up and just get to know everyone! It is a lot more fun the way and you just start to enjoy your mission when you are comfortable around everyone! Even though the work has been difficult I am just really enjoying my mission right now and I am just so grateful for everything that I go through and everything that I am learning! Man I am changing so much it is so weird.
anyways thats pretty much all I can think of right now. I want to send you guys a attachment of one of my absolute favorite talks. It is a talk by David A. Bednar talking about the Characters of Christ. When I first heard this talk it blew my mind, and I just wanted to be a better person. Please take the time to read it and study it. I promise you by the time you are done readying you will want to improve on your Christlike attributes. It just makes you want to serve.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I can't believe Christmas is all ready coming up!
Elder Maiz and I at the Mall
I finally have some scenery in my area! It is so beautiful here in the Philippines!
Just the regular missionary tracting life!

Have a great day everyone!
-Elder Kikel