Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Prevail

Good week my friends!

I just can not believe that I am coming up on my 7th month here on my mission. The last 3 months here in Lucena have just flown by so fast! I can't believe, and I don't want it to go by that fast, Elder Strobelt and I are doing great together and we are just loving it here in Lucena Philippines! It is true indeed that it is a hard area, but I can honestly say I love it here. We are starting to get a ton of help from the members and working more closely with out Bishop. Our Bishop is awesome right now, he just got called as the new Bishop and he is fixing a ton of things in our ward. He is literally going by the RED handbook and it is SWEET! He is just getting work done and making sure everything is going the right way. Making sure everything is done how they are suppose to be, and it is really helping.  We are starting to receive a ton of referrals from members and investigators that we have, and they are very progressing so we have goals and plans to extend baptismal goal dates and really help these people come to know their Savior. I hope I am not transferred! We will find out if we are transferred tomorrow. It is unlikely that I will be transferred because I am training Elder Strobelt and training is 12 weeks. We are only at 6 weeks. But, it has been known that anything can happen in this mission. 

Speaking about our Savior, I have had these thoughts these last few days that I really want to start working and striving to become a Master Teacher. I have thought a lot about what I am doing to help my investigators to progress and how I can do this. I thought that obviously I need to become a better teacher. Then I thought, why did the Apostles of Jesus Christ have so much power and Authority to teach in a such a short period of time. Of course they were blessed to do the work to which they were called.  " Who the Lord calls to do his work, the Lord qualifies" -I don't know if thats the right quote- Then I often thought how did the Missionaries in the times of Joseph Smith do such miracles and teach with such power, even when they had none of the tools as we do now. So I started my quest on learning how to become a Master Teacher. What better way to start off by Studying the Bible of the Teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles. I am also following a Study Guide which is called, " The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles." It is a really good manual and I am learning incredible amounts of information. I just hope that I can obtain many teaching skills on my mission but I believe become a Master Teacher, come through time. Just think... Before Thomas S. Monson was called to be a prophet, he was a member of the quorum of the twelve for 50 years. That is a life long journey. That I am willing to take. 

Not much to say this week, just still working hard and being obedient. Nothing this week really happened that was of unusual interest. One of our Zone Leaders here in Lucena became AP yesterday so that was cool, I got to know him pretty well, we talk about hanging out after the mission all the time. He name is Elder Boyd and he is from Sandy. Anyways I hope you all had a good week, and are trying hard to remember your nothingness compared to God's Glory. 

Thanks for the Love and Support!

-Elder Kikel

Monday, January 20, 2014

Rain or Shine the work must go on

Every week there is just something that spices things up a bit in the mission field eh!?
This week our work was a lot better in getting lessons wise. But, we had a few unfortunate things happen to us that just wasn't the most enjoyable thing to go through. Our investigator Sister Anabel and Elinor didn't come to church last week, again... So now the count has to start over again and they can't be baptized for another month. Sigh... Then on top of that they are having doubts and don't really want to talk to us right now, soo.... that has been kind of depressing. So close to my first baptism and it slips right out of my hands. Yeah it was sucked, and I haven't felt that sad in a very long time. I love these people and truly have the desire to help them and I would get butterflies every time I would think about their baptisms. You know it really wasn't fun to see this all fall apart, but it is a part of missionary work, we just need to keep on working hard, and hope and pray for the best. We watched a broadcast the other day for the entire Philippines. It was a broadcast for the yearly goals for the Philippines given by Elder Neilson the Area President. I like a story that he shared in the broadcast. He shared a story about the Pioneers, and how in their long journey they mostly had flat plains all the way, but at the very end they had a huge mountain to climb and get over. He also said the some people say that people share way to many pioneer stories, and why they always share them. He said, that is because they showed what hard work was and showed the sacrifices that needed to be made to establish this Church and to find true Happiness. I feel this experience is the start of my Mountain, and I am making my climb, how fast I am going to get over it? I don't know, but I do know that I can try my best to get over it with the tools that I have. Also through the Enabling Power of the Atonement I am given strength to keep going even if I don't get any sleep, and I am super tired. I am so grateful for this knowledge of the Gospel and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to spend another 18 months to learn it ever more.
My Trainee Elder Strobelt is doing really good, and we are having a blast out here. Though it is stressful and tough, it is super fun! I mean come one... I am in the Philippines! It is going to be a sad day when I have to see him leave. Today we went and designed, and bought, custom jerseys for our Area. They are sweet and it is going to take a couple weeks for them to get finished.
Nothing really weird or strange happened this last week, so I will try and remember this next week, and share more cool funny stories with you guys.
Lastly, I just want to share some scriptures that I read in my personal read that I felt impressed to share with you all. They are found in Jacob 1: 17-19. These scriptures talk about magnifying our calling, and how important to remember that what ever calling that we are given is from God, and he has trusted us with that work. There are many blessings to receive from diligently working in our callings what ever sacrifice it takes. We had a member in our ward that was called the 2nd counselor in the Bishop brick, and he ended up quitting his job so that he can fulfill his calling. That is what I call faith, and magnifying your calling. He was a huge example to me. I hope you will all ready these scriptures and the words the Prophet Jacob has said, and think how we can magnify our callings.
Thanks again for your love and support!
-Elder Kikel

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Power of Prayer

Hey everyone!
Nothing much to report on today, this last week has been very similar as last week. Elder Strobelt and I are just trying to pull through, evaluate, and Improve. It has been tough, and I have just been so stressed lately. I have just been so worried about our Investigators Anabel and Elinor. They didn't come to church this last week, and one of them are having doubts. We all ready had to push back on their baptismal goal dates but we had a lesson with them that I will tell you later that I think really sealed the deal with them.
Nothing really exciting happen this week that I could share that you wouldn't really see in America. Right now is just one of those times where we need to really humble ourselves and recognize the struggles we are going through and look for why we are going through them and what can we learn. (D&C 122:7)
So I share a pretty cool experience I had yesterday that really gave me a spiritual boost.
We were in a lesson teaching our baptismal candidates Anabel and Elinor. We were teaching about Baptism once again because we wanted to absolutely make sure that they know what they are preparing to do and the commitment they are going to take. So we read 2 nephi 31 with them explaining more in depth what Nephi is saying to us. After we read the feeling was that it was just a review and it didn't really help them. Sister Elinor who is the one who is having doubts and says she is not ready for baptism told me she wasn't ready still. So I went ahead and asked her the first few baptismal questions. She believes it is all true everything, she has just been to ten different churches and doesn't know which is the one she should devout too. She told me. If I could prove to her that this Church is the only true church here on earth, she will read every assignment that we give here, she will read the entire Book of Mormon, and go to church every Sunday, and become baptized. I felt a very strong impression to tell her that if she was to kneel down and pray at this very moment that she would receive an answer to her prayers and know that this church is true. At first I was really scared and didn't want too cause I thought what if I tell her that and nothing happens, then what do I say. I said a quick prayer in my heart asking for strength and courage, and saying that I am doing this in faith. So I Sister Elinor to do this, to my surprise she was willing to do it. Everyone in the room knelt down on the dirty floor and began to pray. Her prayer has probably been the most powerful prayer I have heard. You could feel and hear that she knew that she was talking to God, and that she had sincere desire to know. The Spirit was stronger then ever. After the prayer everyone was in tears, and there was nothing to be said. She told us that this has been probably one of the best days of her life, and that she will be baptized, and start reading the Book of Mormon. Phew! I was spiritually drained! Just so much power in Faith, and Prayer.
I am grateful for this opportunity to exercise my faith and build my testimony once again. Brothers and Sisters. When you receive a prompting from the Holy Ghost, You Do It. Don't ask questions, and just do it.
I thank you all for the constant support you give to me, and I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and New Years.
and that your all getting skinnier....
-Elder Kikel

Monday, January 6, 2014

Time to Work!

noowww the Holidays are over! Yay! Time to go to work!
This last week has been a little ruff for Elder Strobelt and I. We spent this whole last week trying to find members houses and also less actives that we can start to more closely work with. It was really successful, and I think we built a lot of relationships and trust. We weren't able to get a lot of lessons though which was kind of disappointing but God knows what we are trying to do so thats all that matters. Elder Strobelt and I have been trying really hard to do our best out here and to try and get things going. Elder Strobelt is awesome! He is all ready leading lessons, OYM'ing people on his own, and just doing everything else like a missionary should be! I am such a proud father! On those terms, Elder Boyd, who is one the Zone Leaders I am living with talk a lot about marriage and families and all the jazz all the time, and every time I just think to myself. Why am I talking about this I am way to young for anything like this, but man just teaching the Gospel, and how the Gospel can bless families without comprehension, it just makes me want a family of my own. I won't get too deep into that because thats not important right now. But, ladies prepare yourselves for the KeakSneak. haha jokelang. Everything else is going good in my mission just enjoying being in the Philippines, getting up in the morning and doing the same old routine, just hoping and praying that we can find new investigators to teach, and baptize. Speaking of Baptism, this last week we had Sister Annabel come to church for the 4th time in a row now so I really think she is going to be baptized on the 25th I am super excited! Your sister didn't come to church so now we have to extend her baptism to the following week, and I feel that she isn't really ready to be baptized which makes me sad, but I don't want anyone being baptize unless they really know this church is true. 
Something that has been difficult for me is to see the success of others. While we had 1 investigator come to church our Zone Leaders had 8! Freak! At first it really made me feel like a failure to see that, and just kept asking myself what am I doing wrong, what can I do better. Then I realized of course, one; they are Zone leaders, they have been here for over a year and a half and have way more experience as a missionary, and can fluently speak the language. I am just trying to be more patient with myself and the Lord. Also reading D&C 18:15 really comforted me also. So now its not a big deal its just something that makes me to want to work harder!
So for another funny story of the week, I had a pretty interesting experience.
Elder Strobelt and I were OYM'ing a few tricycle drivers about the Book of Mormon and how it is another testament of Jesus Christ, and as we were talking and right when I said that he lifts up his shirt and pulls out a gun! Holding it up and saying in English.  "This is my New Testament" the funniest part was the I thought it was a Airsoft gun at first because little kids run around the streets with Airsoft guns all the time, but then I quickly realized it was a real gun by the way it looked. It was custom and it was freaking sweet. but, Elder Strobelt and I looked at it for a second and just kept talking hahaah didn't really even take heed to it. After we kind of realized the situation we were in, saying to each other that this guy pretty much pulled a gun on us! It was funny but I am glad that it didn't turn out to be anything else.
This last week Elder Strobelt and I have been getting into deep Doctrine of a lot of things. From stuff in the D&C's to the Book of Revelation. I have found that when you really take the time to pray and study and use the cross references that are given to you, that you learn a lot and also find out really cool stuff that just blows your mind! And all you need is the Scriptures! There is just so much to this Gospel that we just don't understand, and that the average person only knows just the skim of the Gospel. Everything can go so deep, and you will find out that everything here on earth is just nothing compare to the blessings in heaven, and what we do and what we all have in-store for us! I invite you all to read the scriptures more and try and more fully understand the Gospel and how much of a blessing it is. You kind find out some pretty cool stuff, that if you talked about it, people would think your crazy. Its cool and its really fun to find. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years, and is now back to the Normal grind! Good Luck with the New Year, and I will see you all Next Year!
-Elder Kikel