Monday, March 24, 2014

The Stronger the Wind Blows, The Stronger the Trees Grow

Hello everyone!

This last week sure has been a tough one! First off I have come to find out that we really only have 1 investigator! He is progressing and coming to church but he has so much questions about everything! He is quite not ready to be baptized, so hopefully we can work with him and get him to the font, or should I say the ocean! Yup we baptize in the Ocean here in Victoria! I want a baptism really bad now haha that would be so cool! Also this last week Elder Oliva and I wasn't able to get to work for 3 days! I was way sick one day then the next day Elder Oliva was way sick! Then it rained all day so we couldn't get out and work because we have bikes! awe man it was rough.. but i Look forward to the challenge, and hope to learn some new things i probably need to learn from this new area. Also dealing with my companion has been a struggle, I am trying to help him but he has his agency so I can't force him to do anything or else we would be constantly fighting. He is a good Elder and I really like him but he just doesn't have the right focus. I still have 15 months left so I know there is going to be some pretty good times ahead of me!

In good news I called up Elder Strobelt and he said Brother Rogelio's baptism was a success and he even received the priesthood! Wow, that was so awesome to hear, it gave me such peace in my heart, even if I didn't get to see him baptized! 

Tomorrow all of the Mindoro Zone is traveling to Lipa, to go to Zone Conference. Zone Conference happens every 3 months, and it is a blast, you get to see all your friends, President provides some pretty fun activities, he also caters lunch, and as always blows us away with the Spirit that inspires us all to work harder. Since we are out on the Island we have to travel a lot longer to get to Lipa so we are going to stay in a Hotel, and I heard its nice, and that it has a hot shower! Oh boy! I can't wait! 

So something funny that happened to me this last week was that I broke the handle bars on my bike right in half! I was doing a wheelie on the bike and when I landed it just cracked hahah oopss... The bikes are fun, but they constantly break so that's a bit annoying but I am enjoying my stay here in Victoria! Hopefully I can get some pictures to you guys! 

Well that's it for today hope you all had a good day!
Those handle bars haha

This is me on a beach that we found in Mindoro.

The view from my apartment.

-Elder Kikel

Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm on a boat!

Well my friends and family.. The rumors are true... I have been transferred... NOOOOOO! hahah whyyyyyy!

Anyways... I have been transferred to the Island of Mindoro! Sweet! I am on an Island! Mindoro is split into two missions, the right side is San Pablo Mission,and the left is Manila Mission I think. My area is called Victoria, Mindoro. It is pretty rural and it a lot different from the city of Lucena! They don't really speak any english here then they did in Lucena, so its been really hard to understand people, but I know I am going to learn a lot of Tagalog here on the island because my new companion is also Filipino! His name is Elder Oliva. He is a really cool Elder and President has assigned me to be with him to fix a few things (Otherwise known as a special assignment) he actually is pretty cool, and we have been getting a long pretty well so far, so we will see what happens with him! We also have bikes in my area! OH man, my butt hurts so bad, I probably haven't ridden a bike since I was 16! It is really nice though because Mindoro is so beautiful, it is all rice fields every where you go, and it is just so quite and peaceful, there were times when we had to bike for 20-30mins to get to an investigator and those were so nice bike rides, its a good time to think. I am going to lose a lot of weight here in Mindoro because they have no fast food restaurants and stuff like that, so its all   home cooked meals (Oatmeal). This is my first Area where I have a meeting house instead of a chapel. Wow... it is so small, and no wonder because there is only like 40 members in our Branch! I love these members all ready, they have so much faith and continue to go to church despite how small it is and how hard it is to organize everything. The members here are super nice! There is one member who literally feeds us everyday. If we don't go to her house to eat, she will seriously get mad, and not go to church sooo... guess what have to eat right?  haha Its a pretty crazy area, I have all ready seen water buffalo just walking down the street by themselves and no one even bothers to look or care hahaha The people here are crazy and the missionaries adapt to it also! One example, the Zone Leaders picked us 5 missionaries at the dock to take us to our areas. They have a pick up truck that is 4 door and a bed with a cab. We shove everyone's luggage in the back and slam as many missionaries as we can in the truck but there wasn't room for me and one other elder, because we are big boys. So what they made us do is put down the tail gate with luggage practically spilling out, and made us sit on the tail gate. The was probably one of the scariest things I have done on my mission! I could barely get my cheeks on that tailgate, let alone anything to hold onto for dear life! They drove for a little over 20mins with us on that tailgate going way to fast I almost fell off while they were drive quite a few times because they were over passing other cars and going over speed bumps and all sorts of crap, I was getting mad, but I made it alive hahah soo yeah.. lots of new things here in Mindoro I don't know how long I will be here, I might even be here for my year mark, not sure... but I am looking forward to the next few weeks, hopefully we can get some success out here on the island the people here are really humble.

I am surely convinced that every missionary has an experience about getting....  (okay so I'm not sure what happened with the rest of his letter. Maybe he lost connection, he did tell me that" internet here is suuperr slow! bleh")
Picture of Parkers new area

Monday, March 10, 2014

Duty calls

Well everybody its just that time of day again!
One thing I just want to point out to all those we think about what a missionary life is like, P-day is not a day to relax and do nothing, ITS STILL BUSY! ugh.. haha at least it is in the Philippines. I have been cleaning, buying groceries, doing District Business, organizing, updating, and all the other good stuff. Bleh... every once and a while you can just sit down and relax but then your doing something again 20 mins later! Phew! So busy all the time but its awesome! One example, our kitchen was just destroyed because no one cleans their dishes! They just leave it all out! No one cleans up there messes! They just leave it there! Its so frustrating! I am sure all the parents reading this are saying to themselves ( I know!!! Exactly!) So mom.. dad... I am sorry haha I must have been really frustrating as a kid. I spent 2 hours this morning cleaning the kitchen! bleh.. For those who are reading this and still living with their parents please start cleaning up after yourself, cut your parents a break, they probably want to rip your head off. ha..
Other then that missionary work is still happy! I actually got pretty frustrated and stressed this last week, but what can we do about it? Just let it go, and work harder, thats the secret. We have been having a hard time trying find new people to teach and work with our members, the Ward is really great but just not so great at missionary work... haha but it been mostly our faults we haven't been more diligent and trying to help them to want to do missionary work.
Today is the last day of the 12 week training for my companion Elder Strobelt! Wow! That was a fast 3 months phew... it never slows down it just keeps getting faster! We are hopefully going to have some success here in Lucena next week, we have a baptism planned for Brother Rogelio Cimafranca this Saturday! Woo! Baptism! We are both super excited for this baptism, this man has been so prepared and has true desires to follow Jesus Christ. The only problem is... We have transfers on Thursday!! NO!!!! so one of us might not be able to see these baptisms that we have planned for the next few weeks! sigh... we find out if we will be transferred tomorrow. I really don't want to be transferred, and I really don't want my companion to be transferred either because then he won't be able to see these baptisms. It's really hard to judge which one will be transferred and if none of us will be transferred. I hope and pray that Elder Strobelt and I both get to stay and have another transfer with each other, we have a strong companionship. If I go another transfer here in Lucena, I will be here in this area for 6 months! that is a quarter of my mission in one area! I want one more transfer to try and do all that I can in this area. We will find out tomorrow.
As I always say before I am learning so much on my mission. This mission has changed me, and for the better. I can't even imagine where I would be if I didn't go on a mission, and though it is difficult, I am so glad I made this decision. It puts a whole new purpose in my life, helps me to see the important things in life, for example. I think a lot about when I am going to me that girl that I will spend eternity with, or I think about the family I will have and how I am going to raise my family in the Gospel, and all sorts of stuff like that, its so weird! I am only 19, and I feel like I am in my high twenties! its pretty weird but its awesome at the same time! Anyone who is worthy to go mission and chooses not to go is making the biggest mistake in their lives. Its almost impossible to describe all of my feelings about my experience as a missionary, and about the things I have learned, but I can say its worth it, and missionary work truly prepares you for life, and a life time of church service, and the many blessings that come from it. I am so grateful beyond words for this experience.
Yes I do often think of home a lot, because I have forgotten what home is like! I have been adapted, and converted into this culture! I can't even remember what is it like to drive a car! Or have a hot shower! Or even use toilet paper!! hahah... all true. I can all ready tell that it will be a hard time for me to adapt again when I get home, so Ill just stay here in the Philippines for a while and enjoy it.
Well everyone thats about it. Thanks for everything and all your support I really appreciate it! Ill be back sooner then you think!
These are all my study manuals that I have obtained through out the mission. muwahahah.... Knowledge...
-Elder Kikel

Monday, March 3, 2014

Howdie Doodie

Howdie Doodie everyone! 

Tagalog na lang? Sige.. ang huling lingo ay ayos lang... Mayroon kami ang maraming potential investigators sa pamamagitan ng mga oyms namin. kaya sana mayroon maraming bagong investigators susunod lingo. masaya kami na magturo ng mga tao tunkol sa ebangehlyo ni Jesuscristo, at tunlungan sa kanila na malaman ang katotohanan tunkol sa alin simbahan ay totoo. minshan hihingi ako ng mga tao na alin simbahan ay totoo, at hindi nila alam ang sagot. duh... dahil ang simbahan ni jesucristo ng mga banal sa mga huling araw ay totoo. 

hahaha... I am going to stop there. My Tagalog is still panget! (ugly) but I am still trying to so what evs. I don't know why but I am still have the biggest struggle trying to learn this language, and being able to understand people! but Im not letting that get to me anymore, I'll just keep on studying the language and praying for the gift of tongues.  
Well once again people this last week has been the same as usuall. Elder Strobelt and I have just been in this rutt with our work that we are trying to get out of, but it just seems the same every week, even though you never know whats going to happen in a day if when you plan out the whole day. Elder Strobelt and I have talked to a lot of people this last week and have a lot of potential investigators so we are really excited for this next week and turning those potentials into progressing investigators. For the Good News, we have two investigators that are going to be baptized this month, and they are pretty solid, so we are pretty excited for that. One is on March 15, and the other is on March 29. So we are trying our best to do all the we can to help them every way possible and make sure that they are ready. We are really excited. Rogelio Cimafranca who is 49 we just started teaching a few weeks ago wants to be baptized so bad he doesn't want to wait till the 15th. He walks for an hour every sunday so he can go to church! Wow! Inspiration! The other Investigator I have mentioned him before is Johnathan Javierto. I have been teaching him since I have been here, and he has been taught before. He has been taught all the way since last Augest. but, right now he is really ready to be baptized and he is also pretty excited! 

So the bad news is... That transfer day is on March 13, and there is a chance for me to get transferred which would not be fun considering these two exciting events! but if duty calls... duty calls...  I don't want Elder Strobelt to be transferred either! He has been working really hard to help these people come unto Christ and I would be really bummed if he didn't get to see the fruits of his labors! So we will just hope for the best! 

We also got a list of Less actives in our Ward from the Bishop that we requested and looks like we are going to be busy! There is over 300 names! Phew! No more tracting yay! hahah... we are also looking forward to trying to find these less actives and get some potential part member families! 

all right thats about it folks. I can't think of anything really funny that happened this last week, ill try next time to give better stories. 

Thanks everyone for you love and support! Love ya!

-Elder Kikel