Monday, April 28, 2014

The Redemption!

Okay lets get to business...

So... as I reported about my challenges with Elder Oliva and how we worked things out... well there was a relapse, for some reason he just was sick of me I guess and just went back to silence and no work... again... Such a waste of precious time... but this time I wasn't so patient, I have done my best to help him, and to resolve everything, and honestly I had a little resentment about everything that happen so I left it up to him to choose how he wanted to leave each other, and unfortunately we ended up leaving each other with out even saying good bye... In all reality I actually felt sad. sad that maybe I could have done things differently to change the situation but we all have agency, and some of us are just hard headed soo... yeah... haha 

Good news is the my new companion is great! Phew! It is exactly what I needed and this area also! His name is Elder Bituen and he is a Filipino, and in English his name is Elder Star, haha He is awesome he knows how take take charge, take responsibility, and lead, and guess what!? He just finished his training!! What the freak! He is so good! I was so surprised when he told me he just finished training, which means he has only been in the mission field 3 months! Just in the last few days we have all ready set a ton of goals, and visions for what we want to accomplish, and what we want to see different by the end of this transfer which is in June I think. We decided that we should focus on the Branch, because after looking over everything, we realized we are pretty much re-opening this area. We have almost no investigators, some potential new investigators, and not much help from the branch in finding new investigators. Grabi naman! This area just got even harder! but in a good way cause Elder Bituen and I are looking forward to working hard and trying our best to change this branch for the good. We have started to work with our Branch President and apparently he had something he wanted to say to the missionaries for a long time. He pretty much chastised me about me and the previous missionaries that have been assigned in this area have been lazy! hahah I took no offense because it was true, not much work got done while I was with Elder Oliva, and the same with the previous missionaries that I heard about. After that we began to share suggestions and ideas and now we are on page with the Branch President and he is going to start working with us to really help us know the area and all the less actives in our Branch, because there is a lot! 

This area is now i would say my hardest but now I got a companion who is willing to go through it with me, and we are excited for the challenge. I was reading Elder Wood's email today and he talked about how they were only managed to pull out 25 lessons! I don't know if thats just a joke or not but wow! hahahah... we got 4 last week... and 2 the week before... so... hahah that will explain my area. I understand all missions, and areas are different and have different standards, and visions of success. I have also learned never to compare yourself to another missionary or else your just going to tear yourself down! I am proud of Elder Wood, and it sounds like he is having blast! 

Well thats pretty much it for this week. Elder Bituen and I are praying everyday that the Lord will bless the minds and hearts of these people at this time in Victoria to prepare them for our hard work, and diligence we are about to bring forth. Hopefully next week, or in the next weeks to come I will be able to share some cool stories. I trust in the Lord that this is the very thing he will do for us, because this is the desires of our hearts and we have faith that its going to happen, and we are willing to do what ever it takes to be able to even find at least one person to help accept the gospel in there lives, and join the fold of God. I ask everyone to always remember the importance of the gospel in our lives, with out it, all life is eating, sleeping, and working, and that has no meaning. Try to help others know that there is more to life then that, and much more after! 

Okay... lets brighten things up a bit! Last week after District Meeting I was sitting with my District Leader, Elder Hammer who is also my batch! I was eating a desert that is called Halo-Halo (Mix-Mix) It just a bunch of random stuff with ice, milk, and icecream, I really like it but because its got a bunch of weird things in it he doesn't like them at all, I told him to try once again because its really good! So he took a big spoonful and put it in his mouth and was pretty much gagging hahahaha! The funny part is a few minutes later while we were talking he pulls something out of his teeth.... can you guess what it was? It was a fingernail hahahahhahaha! He was so mad! hhahah I couldn't stop laughing... I got a six pack that day, and now I lost it because of all the rice I am eating. But, because of me he will probably never eat a Halo-Halo again... but I made sure to thank him for removing the fingernail for me! 

Thanks everyone! Till next week!

-Elder Kikel
Me and Elder Bituen on our date... 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Longest Week of my Life

Phew! Things just keep getting crazier and crazier! Okay where to start...

So first off Zone Interviews was awesome! President chastised us to work harder in our areas, and I also got chastised in my Interview hahah soo I guess that means I need to work harder! President is just whipping me into shape! Here is when things got crazy... In my companion's interview he thought I rated him out for everything that he is doing that is pasaway so he was really mad with me, I could obviously tell he had a problem with me so I asked him if he had a problem with me, and Indeed he did. Thankfully we were able to discuss those things instead of fighting, or arguing. Man.. oh... man... I took everything I had not to get angry with him because he was just assuming a whole bunch of things and I just wanted to set him straight, but I remembered what I have been learning for the last 9 months and applied the love of Jesus Christ haha I killed him with kindness! It didn't work though he just brushed it off like it meant nothing. I expressed with him how much I care about him and how much I want to help have a good mission, and to be able to work together, and also asked him how I can help. It was tough to do, cause you know we are macho Elders, but it just doesn't work that way in the Mission Field, or in life for that matter. I tried my best but he didn't really care so for a couple of days it was just pure silence, no work, and a lot of time to study! Imagine being with someone who hates your guts 24/7! It's not fun... I knew this time would come in my mission and now that it is here its not fun to deal with, but I have learned a lot from this experience, that I can definitely apply in life later on. Its all about love, service, and patience, and everything will work out. Which it did, after a couple days and a few phone calls with the Mission President, Elder Oliva sat me down and we talked again for a long time and finally worked everything out, so now we are back to normal, and I am glad we won't leave each other on a bad note.... Yup... I am transferred again!!

Ha jokelang... Elder Oliva is transferred, So this next transfer I will have new companion and I will stay here in Mindoro. I think I would be happy to stay here in Mindoro for 6 months (4 transfers) Even the the work is hard it is just happier over here, ya know.. cause we got beaches! Anyways you probably all want to know about the baptism! Jeez la weez! Talk about stress! Our Branch President was out of town, so we had to organize the whole thing ourselves! Also, this is the first time I have done this so I had no idea how to make sure everything was done right haha, Elder Oliva did most of the organizing is much more experienced. A lot of the members were really helpful also which was awesome! Through all the choas and stress the baptism went smoothly and I got my first baptism! It was awesome! We wern't able to baptize in the ocean because it was  a holiday and there was a ton of people at the beach so that was a bummer but we organized for everyone to go to Calapan which is the Zone Leaders area and have our investigator baptized in their baptismal font, so it al worked out great and it was a really happy day, everybody was so excited, and all the members know who are investigator is so it was nice to know that the members will take care of him after we get done teaching him the rest of the lessons after baptism. Brother Crisostomo was so happy and he bore a pretty powerful testimony, it was great. It brought a lot of peace to me and I am grateful for this experience to finally see the full conversion process, and the happiness that it brings!  Phew! so its all done and taken care of now which a relief so I am ready to get my new companion and hit the pavement running and start finding these people in my area that are just praying for answers, and searching for that something in life that they can't find. 

I am grateful for all the experiences in my mission, good or bad, they help me to improve to become the person that I need to be by the time I return! I still got 15months! Whoo yeah baby I can't imagine what else I am going to experience in the next year! It is just going by so fast! 

Also just help you all feel better about yourselves I washed my clothes by hand today, and it took me 3 hours... bleh... my knuckles are bleeding! Only... in the Philippines!

Love you all! Thanks for the Support! 

-Elder Kikel

Monday, April 14, 2014

Conference Weekend

Hey everybody! How are things going!?

There isn't much to report on this last week it has been a really quick one with a bunch of meetings that we had as a Zone and stuff! Then we also had General Conference! which was great I will talk about that later!

So first off I had exchanges on Monday with another area here in Mindoro and their area was like a resort! It was so Maganda! (Beautiful) it was crazy cool, we did a lot of walking in the mountains to do some tracting and it was almost like we were hiking, I sure do miss hiking!

Wednesday we had Zone Training meeting, and this where the Zone Leaders travel to the Mission home and receive council from President and then they come back and have a meeting with us to share President's council to the whole zone. It is really fun because you do receive a lot of spiritual insight and you get to see your entire Zone! My Zone is so awesome here in Mindoro its one of the smallest Zones so its more like a family and we all get to know each other personally, I got a funny story for you all... So there is only 3 sisters in the entire Zone and there is 17 total, so I was talking to the sisters at one point when we were all chit chatting and I was just being my goofy self and making them laugh and stuff, I forgot what we were talking about but this one sister her name is Sister Beninon in front of everyone yells out laughing " Elder Kikel is my favorite Elder in the entire Mission!" umm.... what? hahahahah it was so awkward! Everybody was like " ooooo..." so great, now everybody thinks we are going to hook up after the mission! anyways... We had two days of work then off to General Conference weekend! General Conference was great! We watched it in the District Center in the Zone Leaders area it was really nice, and I loved all the messages that were given and during the whole things I just thought about what kind of person I wanted to be, what kind of priesthood holder I am going to be, and what I am going to do, It was really weird! General Conference goes by so fast now when you actually look forward to listen and watching all sessions, it was something I really needed lately and it put me back onto my feet! 

with General Conference and P day its almost a 4 day weekend! Because tomorrow we have what we call Zone Interviews. Thats when President Peterson will come out to Mindoro and personally interview all of the missionaries in the zone, and we also have a workshop by the Ap's and Zone Leaders so thats going to take a good chunk of the day! but It will be super exciting and I look forward to it!

Also today we had a Zone P day and we went to the Beach! It was awesome nice white sand beach! I will try and send some pictures! It was really fun we played a lot of games and even played some rugby which was way fun cause I have never played it before but I think I would of really liked it back in High school, A lot more then Football.  

We are expecting a baptism on the 19th of April and it looks pretty solid, our investigator even traveled to come out and see General Conference also. He said when he saw the Prophet that he just got a feeling the he knew that he was a true prophet of God. Thats so cool! Now he really wants to be excited so hopefully this can finally be my first baptism out here and baptized in the ocean! Oh yeah! 

Thats pretty much it for today folks, I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend! I am not sure what the Filipinos do for easter but I am sure they do something! 

Love you all thanks for you help and support!

-Elder Kikel


Monday, April 7, 2014

It's so HOT!

Hey everyone! It just the time a week again! weeks go by so fast here in the mission, you are just always so busy! All right where will I start of here... hmm...

Oh yeah... It is so hot!! I am constantly sweating here, and it is just ridiculous! If you don't have a fan on you, you are going to be sweating! I have all ready lost so much weight from sweating so much, and just eating rice and fish all the time! .

Well first off our investigator that we have who has been coming to church 7 weeks in a row and is going to come with us to General Conference is still having a hard time deciding if he wants to be baptized! He got up yesterday in sacrament meeting and bore his testimony, he  is all ready in 2 Nephi chapter 10! He just wants to make sure this is the right thing for him! Also, we don't know if he can get baptized because we encounter a few problems with him so its been a crazy week trying to deal with it! The Branch President is out of town because his father died, so we have had the 1st councilor and also the Elders quorum president involved with the situation and we have just been trying to deal with it but, I think through the Branch and our investigator they will be able to figure everything out and he will be baptized! I so excited! I am so close to another baptism! but we got to work for it! 

We also finally found a new investigator who is part of a less active family! We call this a Part Member family and it is a focus in our missions to complete families and get them sealed. So this is a GOLD find because he has been taught before and told us he wants to be baptized and believes that church is true, he also has a wife that he says that is interested too so thats awesome! So him, and also his less active family all came to church yesterday, and all the branch members were so excited to see them and were very welcoming! We also had a lot of Less active families show up to church which was really cool to see! Things are slowing progressing here in Victoria, as hard as it is I love it here in Mindoro its so crazy, and fun! The people are awesome, and just like experience the true side of the Philippines! I am sure you have all seen  my bathroom and stuff hahah! yup, thats how it is, and its going to be a huge culture shock to me when I come home, and have toilets where I don't have to squat haha 

Elder Oliva and I are starting to get a long a lot more, there is still a lot of things we can work on obedience wise, but we are slowly getting there. Elder Oliva is really cool, I think outside of the mission we would be pretty good friends.

Okay, a few funny stories for you.

First when we were teaching our investigator who is close to baptism ( Crisostimo) about following the prophets, we were talking about general conference, and he asked as if he could request to be baptized by the PROPHET! hahahah of freak.. we couldn't help but laugh, but we explained to him, and helped him to understand that we hold the same priesthood power that he does and that the Prophet would not be able to baptize him.

Also, almost every night on our way home there is a bunch of teenagers who are on the side of the street chilling and every time we pass  them they always say " Hey American, and then they say the F word to us. It doesn't bother me because I am use to it and thats just what you get for being a foreigner. My companion was fed up with it, so he slammed on his brakes and turned around, and the whole group just started running! hahaha! We followed one of them down to this little section of houses and we were trying to find them so we can talk to them and their parents or something like that. Since then we havn't heard a word driving past that street. Go Elder Oliva haha it was pretty funny to see them all take off as soon as Elder Oliva slammed on his brakes. It's good to know that hes got my back!

Well thats about it this week, I hope you all enjoyed General Conference, and I will watch next week! Ill let you know my thoughts about it!

Love you all,

-Elder Kikel

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Zone Conference!

one Conference was awesome!

We left early Tuesday morning because Elder Oliva requested if he could go to his first area which was close to the Area we were going to first before the Zone Conference. He got the approval and away we went! Traveling on the boats is super fun, you get to take some awesome pictures! I also got to hang out with Elder Gallen! From my first area, does everyone remember Elder Gallen!? He is still here and is doing great, it was great to hear from him again, and talked to him about how his mission has been going!

At the end of the day we met up the Zone and ate at Pizza Hut which was super delicious and then traveled to the Hotel which was super nice (To the Phillipines.) the most important thing was... THE HOT SHOWER! ohhh mann.. I took a 45min shower before I went to bed, and another 20min shower in the morning! it was a nice day haha, it kind of hurt though because I got sun burned on the boat pretty bad, but it was worth it I didn't care. Zone conference was awesome! As usual it was filled with the spirit, and I received tons of thoughts and impressions according to my situation right now in my new area and stuff, I love Zone Conferences, and also as usual I got to see some of my old friends from old areas in the Mission which is always fun to do! Everyone is always just so happy at Zone Conference.

Things went back to normal as soon as we got back to the area, it was kind of hard to get back into the groove and get focused again, we just had so much fun! Work was slow as usual but we are still having fun! Yesterday at Church there was a return missionary that came back to the branch to visit with his dad and he is from Nephi, Utah. He served in 2008-2010. It was cool to see him still speaking  Tagalog and remembers all the members and stuff like that, maybe someday, one day I will return to the Philippines! That would be cool.
Lastly, I got some funny news for you all. Yesterday as I was riding my bike I was taking a video on my camera because we were in the middle of nowhere to find this less active! We were riding pretty fast and I only had one hand on the handle bars and we hit a really rock part of the path and we can all guess what happened next! I went head over my handles bars, and pretty much did a cart wheel over my bike haha To my suprise I landed right on my butt and nothing else happened. My companion thought I broke something or passed out because I landed on some big rocks, so he thought something bad should of happened, I guess the Lord was really looking over me, even in this small event. Best part... I got it all on camera hahah so It was just another memory to add to the banks! I hope you all had a good week, and enjoy Conference next weekend! I think its next weekend right? well anyways enjoy your week, and be good!
-Elder Kikel

Hey look its Elder Gallen!

My Zone before I got transferred!

my District back in Lucena. Im not a District leader anymore... so sad..

picture of brother Rogelio's baptism! from Elder Strobelt

Elder Perez and I with our Trainees at the end of training!

This is pretty much what my entire area looks like! its awesome!

Me on the boat to Batangas port!

My Shower

The Dungeon
My Bathroom