Monday, November 24, 2014

Calauag! Week something...


So the first bad news is that I need to start shortening my e-mails home... I know so sad... We as missionaries only have 1hr 15min to be on the computer so the big e-mails I send home take me like 45min to type out so I have to strive to be more obedient to the Lord and seek his blessings because we need it. 

The work has been good here, we are still struggling to get our investigators to become progressing investigators. We are seeing small and large miracles here in the mission field, and it is always a testimony builder. The Gospel is true, and there is no doubt about it.

Hey so I saw a new Mormon message that goes exactly what I was talking about in my last letter, you should all check it out its really good. 

nothing really interesting really happened, we talked to a lot of people this last week, and are really striving to follow up with these people, most of them just want to talk to us because we are white, but at least it gets our foot in the door, haha. We oym'd in a store once and I was asking about shorts while Elder Olsen would Oym and we would switch of with the lady's in the store, and then they just started freaking out haha, and Elder Olsen made us take a picture so I will add that with this e-mail, its pretty funny.

The Philippines is a part of me now, and I am really going to miss everything here beyond measure. I never thought I could get to this point, but all the people I have met and had the pleasure with working with has truly blessed my life. Elder Olsen and I are still going strong, its still a little quite at the house but Elder Olsen has taught me how to shut up and stay focus haha, which was something I needed! 

Well everyone thats about it for today, I hope you all have a good week, and of course Happy ThanksGiving!

Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Refiners Fire

Magandang hapon so inyong lahat! ( Good afternoon to you all!)

Elder Olsen and I had a pretty interesting week, and I will start with a few stories, and then some stuff I have learned this past week that might help future missionaries understand what the mission is like, and what to expect.

First thing is first! Elder Olsen ate Balut! for the first time in his mission! Ha, he didn't like it when he ate a crunchy part. For those who don't know what balut is... look it up on Youtube ha. I think it taste good, maybe its because i am now a Filipino! To top that both Elder Olsen and I ate DOG! yup thats right, dog. One morning I watched a family kill their dog (and for those who are dog lovers I wont describe how they did it, but lets just say it wasn't very nice.) and asked us if we wanted some and I wile, "Heck yeah!" Just one more thing to cross of the Philippines bucket list. Elder Olsen only took a bit, and I ate the whole bag. It was soo Good! I was shocked how good it was! It tasted exactly like roast beef with a beef jerky taste to it. So yea, I am pretty satisfied now with my experiences in the Philippines, I pretty much hit it all. I am now complete...

Another story I want to share happened while Elder Olsen and I were walking a long side of the highway around 7pm. We see this lady at what seems like a restaurant and she said hello to us, so we engage her in a Gospel conversation. as we were talking I noticed a girl inside who was scandalously dressed, and I thought to myself, Thats odd, Filipino Girls don't usually dress like that. We kept talking to the lady. There was another Girl who came out who was also dressed the same way, and I started to think where we were at. I saw a sign on the wall that said "bawal na umutang" which means you can't ask to pay back, or create debt. SO with out putting two and two together I thought it would be funny if I would ask "pewede ba ako umutang?" which means can I pay back later? Because on the wall its says you can't. Sometimes here in the Philippines when your white you can get away with anything like that, or get a pogi discount, pogi means good looking. anyways, I said "Pewede ba ako umutang?" and right when I said that the girls inside started to giggle. I was like, oh o what did I just say. I finally asked the lady if this was a restaurant, and she replies in English, "No! This is a bar!"... Which is the same thing as a strip club here in the Philippines. Then is just came to me that I just asked two strippers if i could pay them back later... smooth move kikel.. haha. I turned to Elder Olsen and I told him we needed to leave right now. and we left. The funniest part was that after I asked that question they said "Pewede!" ha! which means you may! even though there was a sign that says you can't. Pogi Discount... 

Okay, on a more spiritual note I want to share some personal feelings about the title of this entry. "The Refiners Fire" I read this in D&C 128:24 how the Lord refines us like Gold or Silver and shapes us into who he would like us to be. When I read this I thought about the Samurai! I love that whole time period and them its awesome! I remember watching a documentary about how real samurai swords in modern times are still made by ancient tradition. It was about an old guy who makes samurai swords for a living. Its a big long, exhausting process that takes up to 6 months i believe. In the actual creation of the swords they pound, beat, smelt, and fold the metal of the sword over and over again until its as strong as they want it to be. I feel that is what the Lord does to me personally in my mission and probably to all his missionaries. This has been the hardest and most demanding work I have ever done. I thought I was a hard worker back at home working two jobs and even cleaning windows on the side of that sometimes, but this, this is 24/7 for two years and it truly beats, pounds, and shapes yo in who the Lords wants you to be. I have faced the biggest challenges in my life on my mission, and has really helped me to be who the Lord wants me to be. I feel like I am 10 years a head of my life before my mission, and never would I have gained a testimony that I have now with out serving a mission. I now know whats important in life, and how important the gospel is, and that we follow it exactly! I am not saying this to scare those who are preparing for a mission, but to help you get excited because it will be the best experience in your life that I cannot explain to you or could you understand until you experience it yourself. As the saying goes 'Hard work ALWAYS pays off" so too in the mission, because its the hardest work its also the most rewarding thing in your life in so many ways. So prepare now, and get ready to work hard because if you don't your wasting your time, resources, and sacrifices, and most importantly the Lord's time. He doesn't expect you to be perfect but he sure expects you to do your best and to always be humble and seek improvement. I am so grateful for my mission, and how its has completely pounded, beaten, and shaped me into who I am today, in way I couldn't even imagine. I left as a boy and I am coming back as a man ( 1 Cor. 13:11) Thanks to the Refiner's Fire!

I hope what I have said helps Young Men and Young Women to be more diligent in preparing for their missions so it doesn't have to be as hard as it was for me, and also for everyone else to strive to keep the commandments more closely, because the Lord is refining us through out our lives. I love you all, and I thank you for all your prayers and support!

Yup Elder Mack is now gone, but this is a picture of our "Family"  

Yeah.. thats me eating DOG!

Elder Olsen and I under the Rainbow!

A sweet Rainbow in the Philippines!

The Philippines!

Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hard Work, Brings Blessings

Oh how sweet the blessings come  as you are obedient!!

There is not much to report this week we were just so busy!

We did go to another meeting in San Pablo for the 4 week training check up where President follows up with how are training is going, and if the trainers, and trainee's are being obedient, and oh how we are doing so!

Its always fun seeing other missionaries from different places, and different countries, and its really fun seeing new missionaries because it just reminds you of when you were new! Now its just gone by like the snap of my fingers! 

but yeah, after the meeting Elder Olsen and i just hit the pavement! We have just been working so hard lately, its awesome! I love it! I feels so good, and you sleep so much easier hahaha, I am exhausted. I thought I worked hard before but Elder Olsen is really pushing it, and that is exactly what I need especially right now when I am getting closer to coming home where I need to stay focused. 

We got a ton of referrals today that can turn into potential super progressing investigators, so we are pretty excited for those, and I will report if we have anything super interesting going on. Thats pretty much it this week folks, but I will make sure to send a bunch of pictures! 

I love you all and always remember who you owe your life too!  
our Zone in the Van to that big meeting we had a couple weeks ago!

Elder Olsen's mom sent him cookie mix, and this is how we cooked it, and it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my mission...

Me and Elder Hapi

rice field selfie.

The picture in my main e-mail was a picture of a few guys we met on the street, his idol is 2pac haha

Elder Olsen during companionship study haha

 me and my trainer Elder Mack he goes home in a couple of days

Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission

Monday, November 3, 2014

100% Agency 100% Responsibility

Hello Everyone! I think this is about my 67th e-mail I have sent home since I have been in the mission? I am not sure I am not really counting. Its hard not to count when the clock is ticking closer and closer, and all of a sudden you got to start planning and preparing, but I still got some good time left so its all good.

All right I don't have much time so I will dive right into the good stuff, the missionary training meeting that we went to! 

We were taught from on high by Elder Ribbons who spoke in the most recent General Conference. Even though we were dead tired, that meeting was incredible! 
Okay I will give a little background first, cmon Its me I got to tell the stories first! So after our work last Monday we traveled over the Zone Leaders area, and also the District Leaders area, they live in the same apartment, and also some other missionaries from a farther area were sleeping over at that apartment, so there was 8 of us in that apartment! Yeah... we didn't sleep... MONOPOLY! We did our planning, and got everything ready to go. Then we just played monopoly until 2 in the morning... haha oops... it was probably best that we got as much sleep as possible but it was to tempting! I havnt played monopoly in so long! They didn't know what hit  em' when you got a Kikel in a monopoly game things get real, and I took it all the way for the win! hah good ol' days...

So after we left, and picked everyone up with the van that we rented, we arrived in San Pablo at 5 in the morning, which was 5 hours early! haha, so we had some McDonalds breakfast, and we all slept at McDonalds! After a little while we went to the chapel, and saw pretty much everyone! Almost the entire mission was there 200+ missionaries! it was so cool! 

Elder Robbins talked about Agency and Responsibility, and it was awesome how he described it. Because we have agency we also have Responsibility, and we can't have any excuses for our responsibilities, and he continued to give a list of excuses and examples of how people use their agency to get out of things, and a big topic he talk about was blaming others, even when they are to blame.  It really put it into perspective how when we exercise Responsibility your are also exercising self control, and humility. You are acting in a more Christ like manner, and more outwards, then inwards. When we start to list the excuses thats when Satan takes control of us. We should always take responsibility for everything that we do, good or bad. Every choice has a consequence, and it all starts with the choice, so lets choose to be more responsible in our lives. 

Thats about it for this week, we had a good week and we talked to a lot of people! More then I have in my entire mission. Elder Oslen is doing great! The stories have kind of stopped but thats okay I am working more, and I am more focused! What a blessing! There is a purpose to all things! 

I love you everyone and I can't wait to see you all, Stay fresh, clean, and just stay there so I can see ya when I arrive home in some what months... 

Ingat kayong Palagi at huwag na malimuton mo ako! 

take care always and don't forget me! 

Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission