Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Life is a Roller Coaster, so is the Mission!

Hey y'all! Ha psh... they would never say that here in the Philippines!

Well.. Just like the title says the Mission is a Roller Coaster as well! One week its super good, and the next is super bad...

This week wasn't super bad but it was just another rough week! man...
Work was hard, we kept getting punted from our appts. we had to drop some investigators, and the Investigators that we do have are not progressing very well, so its been kind of discouraging week, but you can't allow that! It will weaken your Faith! 

Also I got pretty sick on Thursday, I don't know what happen but I managed to get through companionship study and then it hit me like a truck! I just couldn't do anything! Everything form the neck above just felt like it was swollen! So that was fun, and then we had to do exchanges in our district leader's area, while I had this sickness which I think made it worse, but its okay we had a really good exchange.  Sometimes I wish you guys could be a fly on the wall, and just watch what I do every day, haha you would probably laugh pretty hard. In times of sorrow, and discouragement i have my ways of bringing our spirits back up, just being myself thats how! 

I am loving this area for sure! My favorite area so far, even though it is the hardest! I don't know what it is but I just love it here, maybe because this is the only area were I have actually came close to the members, and got to know all the members. I love everyone of them and they are such a good example of how we should Endure to the End no matter what. They live lives that most of us can't even imagine living. you thought our apartment was rough, actually, our apartment is nicer then any of our neighboors, and most of our members, and investigators. Most of the people here live in bamboo huts, some with no electricity. This area has truly humbled me, and helped me to be grateful for the things that I have. Our lives are what these people dream of living. So be grateful to live in God's country. 

Mom, and Dad, I just have to say you are going to love me when I get home... because I cleaned from 8am-1pm, just clean, clean, and clean. bathroom, shower, kitchen, living room, bedroom! Everything! I drives me nuts now when things are dirty and now I have to clean it agad-agad (Immediately) haha, and how much faster will it be with a dishwasher! and I used to complain to do dishes that took 5 mins! haha... psh... little did I know... Sometimes it just hits me that I am just living by myself with my companion in the middle of the jungle, in a far away land, buying my own food, taking care of bills, and all the other grown up stuff. This mission stuff truly prepares you for life! 

So one funny thing that I have to admit was when I was sick I got pretty homesick as well. I was just sick of it, and wanted home! I just wanted I nice hot bath, with some REAL juice, and a nice movie. Oh man! how that sounded so nice! I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wanted a hot bath so bad, I ended up boiling water and pouring it into a bucket, and stood in it hahahah, and then I slowly poured it over my head to make it feel like I was taking a shower, then I wanted to take a bowl and puncture wholes into it so I can make myself a makeshift shower head! ha! I was actually really nice, and I did it last night too! But I am feeling better now, and we got a good week planned this week. Those 9 baptisms that we had planned kind of all fell through so now we are hoping and praying that we can get 2 on July 12! Which is the week before Transfers! They are pretty promising, and one all ready wants to get baptized its just her Husband thats having a hard time recognizing his answer! Also we found 2 new investigators that were referrals that are so prepared! I guess you can call them the Golden Investigators! They  were asking tons of questions, they came to church even before we met them, and when we gave them book of mormons they asked us what their reading assignment was! jackpot! So hopefully that goes well also! 

Well everyone thats about it, it was just a simple week. I will try and send a bunch of pictures today. 

This picture is part of the Zone waiting at the Pear for the boat! and enjoying some Ice cream! 
Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission
Elder Bituen and I at the Hotel for Zone Conference

Dare to go to the Bathroom?

Foot long!

The Philippines!

Elder Boyd and I! he goes home July 12

We were tracting and came across this creepy doll! 

I am cute...

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Treat

Hello Everyone,This last week has been a real treat for me haha and I will try and share it with you!

So, I will just go straight into the good stuff, ZONE CONFERENCE! This last Zone Conference was the best one I have ever been too, and definitely the most spiritual! i don't even know where to begin to describe it! well, first off it was just a blast seeing the whole zone again, and just hanging out with them all, getting to know them even more, since a lot of us still are here for this transfer! We all got on the boat and took off for the mainland! I feel like I haven't been in the Main land for so long! We went to a place called "SM" which is like your average mall here in the Philippines. We all ate dinner there, and shopped for things that we needed. After that we all went to the hotel.... sadly my good friends, and family I did not enjoy the hot water...we got to the hotel, which was the same as last time, but the office accidentally booked the rooms the day before so there where no open rooms for us and we were stranded. It was about 9 at night, and we were trying to call President, and also APs to see if we can get another hotel. at about 10:30 we were finally able to get settled in a hotel, which actually was nicer, but the hot water heater didn't work! I didn't care at the point, I was just so sick off all the missionaries complaining about everything that was going on. Next time na lang... We have another Zone Conference this transfer in Early July to meet the new Mission President. So this transfer is pretty crazy! 

The next morning we went to Zone Conference, we went early so we can see some of the other missionaries in the other Zones and talk to them. Love It! I saw a lot of missionaries from my last area,  i saw Elder Boyd again before he goes home, i also saw Elder Perez my companion from the MTC! It was awesome, but the best part was the Conference itself! The Entire Conference lasted 8 hours!!!! 9-5pm! They are usually 4 at the max! President just had a lot on his mind before he left. Ill get to that later....
It started off with a few talks from Missionaries which were good, it was about having faith in Christ and converting it to faith based action. Faith is all about doing, and acting. Many people say they have faith,but most don't act on it. we also had a few talks from the couple missionaries which were awesome. We have a missionary couple that are 80+ years old! This is there 6th couple mission! Wow! what devotion. Then we have our little fun time we always do ever zone Conference, which includes a slide show of all the pictures that missionaries sent into the mission, which is always fun to see. Then before lunch Sister Peterson gave a 1 talk about the Doctrine of family which was really good, using the Family Proclamation! After that we ate lunch and did zone Pictures for about 45min, and then returned to our seats for the grand finally! Thats when President got up and talked to us for 4 hours! About the Priesthood, Doctrine of Christ, Family, and the Book of Mormon. I wish how I could have the time to share with you all what he shared with us. most of this stuff we all ready knew, but he showed us a different perspective, an eternal perspective, and also the deeper doctrines of all of it including the temple, it was INSANE! Even though it was almost 4 hours long, all of us were attentive, and just blown away in the Spirit. and then... Probably on of the most Spiritual moments happened in my entire life! The Spirit was all ready very strong, and definitely present in our meeting, but at the end When President Peterson bore a pure testimony to us, I felt as the whole chapel was lifted and was ascending to heaven. at this point everyone was crying, even I was trying very hard to keep it together for as long as I could! His testimony of the Savior,and Lord Jesus Christ was the most powerful testimony I have ever heard in my life, also as he shared his divine witness with us. Oh how I wish i could share with you what he said, but just Like Nephi of old "the Spirit constraineth me to write these things." This was a very sacred moment and I have felt that i shouldn't be shared openly. i have taken this experience personally, it has built my faith, it has driven me to work even harder, and with a hope one day I may too also receive such a divine witness of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I Think at that time I felt as i was one of the Nephites in the crowd as they say the Savior speak to those around him, just sitting there in awe, and amazement, and feeling the spirit in an abundance! i was a great moment in my life, and I will all ways remember it. Then at the very end, where I ended up breaking down was when President and Sister Peterson personally wanted to hug, thats when I broke down thinking this was the last time I would see him I just broke down, This man has helped me so much on my mission, through my struggles, and weaknesses, that non of you even know about, but just me and him. As I approached him I couldn't even speak or else I would have gotten his shirt all wet! haha..man it was ruff, and I think i was a little depressed for a couple minutes, as i pondered that event I thought about our time when we shall meet the savior for the first time after this life, remembering what he has done for us,and I believe just like that scripture says, we will all bathe his feet in our tears, how much joy will you have when you approach the savior and he just gives you a big hug and says welcome home! That brought so much joy to my soul, its hard to describe. Returning home that day i was just constantly pondering, evaluating, and thinking about my future potential and what i need to do in my own life to make sure when I reach the point when i meet my redeemer and creator that i can say that I did my best to follow him and what he would have me do. 

It was a good start of the week, work was just little bit because we also had a district Conference where we got to hear from Quiten L cook from a broadcast to the Philippines. We were still able to get some work done, and some really good lessons. I am more grateful then ever to be out here in my mission, and all the blessing that I have received from that choice in my life. Brothers and Sisters recognize something that I have recognized on my mission, that nothing temporal in this world, or nothing of it is more important then seeking to follow the commandments to exactness for your eternal salvation. Our time here on earth is extremely short compared to our time, which we shall spend in eternity! and it is according to how we act on our choices here on earth that will result into our eternal lives. Do wont eternal misery, or eternal Happiness? you choose, and act on it. 

I love this Gospel so much and the knowledge that it gives me, and how much Closer I have come to the Lord since I have started my journal, I could not imagine the person i would be without this experience, I don't know if I would have ever receive this kind of knowledge and understand the importance in life,and what purpose I serve here on earth. God has a purpose for all of his children here on earth, because we have accepted his plan to come here, become like him, and return to him, and continue our progression in eternity. I love you all, and miss you... but this is pretty sweet stuff and I think I will stay here a little bit longer.
Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Opposition in all things!

Well since I bragged about how good my week was last week, I guess I got humbled this week hahaah... it was not a good week...

phew.. This last week is finally over! It was a rough one for sure! Elder Bituen and I set some pretty high goals for our numbers this last week seeing how our numbers have gone up every single week! We were super pumped to nail this week, and really excessive faith. It was going good up to Wednesday, and then it just went all down hill... It started to rain heavy storms every single day, almost all day! I don't have an umbrella either hahah! So that made it really difficult to work, and when it rains in the Philippines, everything just shuts down and everybody takes a nap because its not so hot. So because it was raining so much 3 times in a row we got punted from almost all of our appointments for the day before we even got out of the apartment! wow, that was discouraging! We didn't know what to do! So it was definitely a rough week for us, and numbers wise we did okay, but mentally and spiritually it was a roller coaster! 

Its over now and its a new week! You can't ever give up or get discouraged! In the PMG is say that getting discouraged weakens your faith, THATS TRUE! Just go and do and the Spirit will guide, even if you don't know it, just like nephi!

This next week is pretty much a week long P-day because today is P-day, and then Tuesday, Wednesday we will be out of our area for a Zone Conference, since we are on an island we have to travel farther, and we get to stay in hotels again! Whoo! Hot water again, score! cant wait... then on Saturday, and Sunday we have a District Conference so that will take half the day. So really we only get to work on Thursday and Friday. At first I would think thats awesome but, since I have been on my mission I have realized the importance of time that we have in a day, and now I think, man we have so little time this week to teach, and to share, what a waste! It will be nice though to just relax for a little bit and enjoy our Zone and other Zones, relieve some stress (Its been really stressful lately) and regain that enthusiasm! 

So This transfer is going to be very interesting, President Peterson has us do what we call Area Visions every transfer, where are companionship sit down and set goals of what they want to accomplish in that 6 weeks. Elder Bituen and I can see the potential here in Victoria, and we are going to exercise some Faith this transfer that is going to take a lot of work. We have set a goal for 9 baptism this transfer!!! Did Elder Kikel just say 9 Baptisms!? But in his whole year on his mission he has only gotten one Baptism!? Yup, its true, but There are names and plans for every 9 of those baptisms, and so far this last week its not looking so good, but we believe it can be done. So, I am nervous and excited for this Transfer! We will see what happens, if we don't reach those goals that is okay, The lord just has different timing for those people, but I believe we got ourselves a few prospects that will end being baptized! 

Other then that things are going good, Elder Bituen and I are like brothers, we just have fun, and goof around sometimes, and other times we just don't want to talk to each other haha... and the language is getting a lot better, I pretty much just talk Elder Bituen in Tagalog now which is awesome! He understands English very well, so if I have a hard time I just speak to him in English haha... but I have a learned a lot of Tagalog from him so its awesome to think I am almost fluent in this language, and that I actually speak a different language! 

I am now in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, and can't even describe to you how excited i get when I read these chapters haha, Elder Bituen makes fun of me, because I will be sitting in a chair, shouting and hollering, and bouncing around as I read those chapters! They are just so awesome, and I get way into them hahah! Moroni is the man! 

Well, thats about it this week for you all, lets hope this next week will be better! Thank you for all your support, and everything that you do for me, I appreciate it!

-Elder Kikel

-This picture is the Halo-Halo (Mix-Mix) I was talking about. Its got corn, beans, and all kinds of good stuff in it haha its gooood...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Victoria Continues!

I am not transferred! whoo!!!! 

I am so happy right now that I am not transferred... phew! it is the biggest relief! I love this area! I have been getting so close with all the members (Which means more dinner appts. ha) and the work has just been great these last couple weeks! I have been getting the best numbers in my entire mission here in Victoria, which is crazy because when I got here there was nothing... so its cool to see the progress since I have been here! For example, last transfer when i was with Elder Oliva we were getting an average of maybe 6 lessons a week. Now this last week Elder Bituen and I got 18! and we are about an average of 15! It is just awesome whats happening here in Victoria! Also we have some pretty solid candidates for baptism this next transfer that we are super excited about, Our prayers and fasting are being answered at this time, we found 11 new investigators last week!! I don't know how well they will progress but hey, its the opportunity that counts that we give to these people to accept the Gospel in their life! Our only problem is our investigators right now arn't progressing very well... bleh.. we are trying so hard  to help them keep their commitments, but they just wont do it! This next Transfer is going to be the Slam Dunk transfer, we finally got Branch Mission Leader who actually wants to help us and work with us, and also we are begging to have coordination meetings in our branch that we were not having before, so the work is really progressing right now, and I am super excited to be here another 6 weeks, especially with Elder Bituen, we are like Brothers its awesome. Another cool thing about staying in this area is that we are going to have 2 Zone conferences this month. We usually have 1 every 3 months. We are going to have 1 before President Peterson leaves, and another for when the New Mission President comes in, (President Mangum) So thats means twice I get to enjoy a nice hotel and hot shower hahaha! This next transfer is going to go by really fast, who knows maybe Ill go 6 months in this area! 

As missionaries sometimes you just have time to think, actually you have a lot of time to think, and since you have nothing to do because everything is BAWAL! You just sit in a chair staring at a wall thinking haha... I thought about how everybody wants to be a part of a club or team, something like that. They want to have uniforms, have positions, rankings. They want to have activities, have friends, and be a part of something. They want to brag that they are part of it, they know they have support, they want to advertise it, and let everyone know they are part of this club, or team. I related this thought, as I always do... to the Church! We are all one big club! We have uniforms and dress codes, activities, leadership positions, friends, support, we have our "What Would Jesus Do" bumper stickers on our cars, and we are world wide! How cool is that!? We are all apart of the same team, Brothers and Sisters all working for the same cause, and striving each and every single day to add to our membership by spreading the Word, and sharing the Gospel. We are a part of something HUGE! and we all have a role to play. I don't know.. haha I just thought it was a cool thought thinking what we are part of is World wide and and its the same where ever you go! I think its cool in a worldly view what we are a part of, and what we can do to help others! 

Also I just wanted to share an experience that I had from fasting, it is nothing super Spiritual, but just something small that I notice that might help us all have a better experience when we fast. As missionaries, of course we still work when we fast, and we fast for 24hrs. No water, no food. That gets hard sometimes when you do a lot of walking, working, and its really Hot! This last Fast Sunday I realized that when we have a true fast, and are truly seeking for the blessings form heaven, you will find that you are not that hungry or thirsty. We started our fast Saturday after lunch. (That way after church we can eat lunch) We worked pretty hard on Saturday night, we got 5 lessons! and did a lot of walking in the heat, the next morning I found that I wasn't hungry, or thirsty at all. This last week we didn't have any investigators come to church I was just so bummed that they didn't come, and I was to worried about what they needed to progress, and how I can help them. I fasted for them individually, and thats all I could think about. There was no worry that I was hungry or thirsty, I didn't care, it wasn't important, I just wanted to know how I can help these investigators progress towards baptism! Then the minute I closed my fast, I got so hungry, and thirsty! ha! This experience just helped me to know, and remember, that the Lord provides. 

All right thats it! I am excited to spend my 1 year mark in Victoria, and I look forward to another year in the Philippines! I can't  believe in one month I would have been here for a year now, doing this work! I love it!

-Elder Kikel