Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Week

This letter might be a little bit shorter, just because I got to skype this last week! Skyping is the best! One more to go then I will be home! ITS TOOO FASSSTTT ANO BA YAN!!!

Well the really surprising news is that I am NOT TRANSFERRED! WHAT! yeah, everyone thought I was going to be transferred, I have been here 5 months now, and now I will be here for almost 7 haha, I am way excited though because I didn't want to leave, there is going to be so much happening the month of January! We have 4 solid baptisms coming up this week, and two of them are a part member family, which would mean this will be my first completed family in my entire mission! I love that flippin family so dang much its insane, I just want to be with them all the time, and they nearly cried when I told them I thought I was going to be transferred. I really feel the love from the Ward, and the members here. I have gotten so close to all these people here, i figured I was transferred, so I kind of warned everyone that i was going to be transferred, haha. They all start giving me gifts and pictures, letters, and food... haha so I am going to go to church on Sunday and just say JOKE LANG! which means I was just kidding haha. They will all miss Elder Olsen as well, they really like him here. I am so grateful I get to spend another transfer with these wonderful people. 

Christmas was awesome, we visited some families, of course we ate tons of food, and did some work of course. Then we went to a house and had a REAL American dinner. A foreign man from Switz cooked us tenderloin steaks, with mashed potatoes, veggies, and apple pie with ice cream. I will not even attempt to explain how good it tasted... ah... They are so nice, they own a big store, and they just give us free stuff all the time, and I just feel like a boss when I just walk through the back like I own the place, everyone just gives us that look.. haha plus we are friends with all the workers. I am trying to get a lesson in with them but they don't really care about religion.. we will change that.

We had our Christmas Parties with the Zone Leaders, and also as a ward which was really fun. As a district we had a Nacho Bar! played games, and shared spiritual messages! We had lots of fun at the Ward Christmas party, there was a lot of dancing and music, and fetch!! I wanted to dance so bad! but I just can not, its bawal... when I get back, and I can be YSA ah man I am going to be all up on that dance floor lookin like a dweeb! ayos lang... At our District Christmas party we played games from Whose' line is it anyways! haha It was so funny. We were playing the bachelor game, and one of the elders was Squirttle hahahahaha  I almost had an ahzma attack from laughing so hard! it was a good time. The mission is the best! 

Yesterday was actually a really cool day and I will try and keep it short explaining it. Basically we went to a really far area to visit a member who hasn't been visited for how many years now, and it was weird because some guy showed up to church who has a car that lives right next to him, so we were able to get a ride in his car to the super far area, the car ride was so nice... anyways it turns out that this family has been praying for missionaries to come back recently, and boy was the father so excited, he was jumping up and down shouting for joy, and invited all his neighbors to come and see us, and be taught by us! Plus everyone we talked too over there was way receptive! So the members and I have plans to see if we can get something started over there, like a group or a branch. We will see what will happen, but it was a testimony builder. We got 38 oyms in one day, and our mission standard is 50 in one week. it was another testimony builder for me that the Lord prepares people to fulfill his purposes! 

Well I will just leave it there for now, because I said this was going to be short but it still wasn't, I can't do it... haha its impossible! I love you all and wish you all a happy new years!

Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission
just having fun while we work with the members! 

Potential Completed family!

My shoes after visiting that family!

Our Christmas Dinner!

Here is a picture of that Family that lives in that really far area! The father is the the guy in the cut off blue shirt in the middle. He is the man! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Concecration Round 2

Hey everyone!

Boy has it been a crazy busy week, by far one of the fastest weeks in my mission, I can't even measure the time of the weeks anymore, seriously a blink of an eye.

We taught a lot of lessons about Christ and why have Christmas in celebration of his birth and ministry. We had a lot of success as well in having some Less actives come back to church last week. That was really exciting, I really hope they will continue to come back, and realize how much the Gospel can bless their lives if they are only willing to sacrifice small things, sometimes big. 

Our Christmas Zone Conference was awesome! We traveled to Lucena Sunday night, and stayed with the Zone Leaders which by the way lives right behind the Chapel where the meeting was held, which was super nice because we didn't have to wake up super early and got a little time to study! I had to sleep on the floor though because there wasn't enough matresses for everyone, and I ended up getting sick from it too because it was a nasty floor. The Christmas Zone Conference was awesome as expected, was full of the Spirit of course as President, and the Ap's delivered a powerful message of the Atonement, and more specifically the repentance side of the Atonement, and lovingly called us all to repentance just like King Benjamin did with his righteous people.  We also had lots of fun and games, with food. The bought a roasted pig for our feast which was the best! there was so much food! Thats how it should be on Christmas right! 

After the Zone Conference we went to the mall to prepare for Christmas! We all know what that means right! MORE FOOD!!! hahaha so we had fun, and enjoyed the compnay of our fellow servants. We didn't get back until 1 in the morning because we just slammed on the worst bus the kept stopping for everything little person to get on... I was not very happy plus the lady's kid in front of us pooped in his diaper and yeah.. we got to smell that for 4 hours... I was pretty irritated but what evs.. nothin you can do but breath in threw your mouth...

Going along with the title of the e-mail, as we have been teaching about Christ and God's gift he has given us through Him, I personally thought what Could I give Christ this Christmas?? I was all ready in His service, and doing what he wants me to do, even thought sometimes I am not the best at doing but I am definitely trying my best each day. I thought of the best thing I could give him, especially with 6 months left in my mission, and this is the gift of consecration. I have tried to do this my entire mission, and i even think at some points i was even acheiving this goal but I really thought about it and I am sick of thinking about what school I am going to go to when I get home, or what career I am going to go into, what job I want to have, cars, entertainment, and who is possibly going to be my wife hahaha I am sick of thinking about all of it, and I am ready to throw on the blinders, and just see track and finish, because its pretty close, and I can run a lot faster in this race. I feel that I now have been trained, I now have experience, I now have the knowledge of how things should be done, and just haven't been the best at applying it all. So now is the time where I am going to take all that and start hitting the pavement. I am not going to come home regretting that I didn't work hard till the end of mission, I will not allow it. A Sister in my batch made an interesting comment while we were having a testimony meeting while we were stuck in the Chapel for 4 days, she said: " At the end of your mission and you go through the temple before you go home, and you are in the Celestrial room then you should ask the Lord if he has accepted your mission, and your efforts as his called servant." That hit me pretty hard, and I have been thinking about it ever since. How heart wrenching would it be to be told that the Lord didn't accept your mission because of your lack of will, obedience, and love. Knowing you had one chance to do it, man that would not be fun, and that ain't going to happen to me. 

Consecration is what I am going to give to the Lord on His special holiday, and I challenge all of you to look within yourselves and give a gift to Christ that He is really going to like, something challenging to help you really feel closer to Him, and I know he will be proud of you in your efforts doing so. I love you all and hope you have a very Merry Christamas! I am grateful I can be in His service at the special time of the year! 

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Hey everyone, the weeks just fly by so fast in the mission, I feel like it was yesterday i was in Mindoro on my birthday thing Christmas was in 5 months, and then BAM its here! Its unreal..

So there is not much to report on this week, so I will keep it pretty short. So most of you want to know how the aftermath of the storm here in Calauag. There really wasn't any aftermath at all. The natives say it was just like another storm that had stronger rain and winds, so there was no damage, just a little of flooding. We thought for sure our apartment was going to flood because it was level with the road, and between you and me the Philippines sucks at installing draining systems haha. Luckily we didn't get flooded when we returned home and all is well, we got back to work and checked up on our investigators and members. 

Nothing really interesting happened this week, its was just a simple week. We have our Christmas Zone Conference on Dec 22nd which is going to be lots of fun, the Christmas Zone Conferences are always the best. 

I guess I will share something from my personal study this week. As I was reading the Book of Mormon I pondered about how these many people in the Book of Mormon and how they received such spiritual experiences like seeing angels, prophets, and other signs, and miracles. Then I thought about how can such people who have seen and heard such great things fall away from the Gospel or the church!? How could someone lose so much faith after receiving such a great witness? Then I often thought about missionaries in the mission field who sometimes make wrong mistakes and are sent home or disciplined. How could missionaries do such a thing? After reviewing my own faults, mistakes, and weaknesses, as well as those in the Book of Mormon, that we are all just people, and we are all imperfect people, capable of sin, forgetfulness, anger, and all other un Christ like attributes. We all have weaknesses, some of us many, some of us few, and some that strike us to the very core... and this is something we have to accept in our mortality and try to overcome, through the amazing powers of the Atonement which we all come to know so very close in our journey through life. So what I am saying to all of you is that whether is be a leader, a missionary who comes home early, or someone you love. Don't judge them so quickly, try to understand what they are going through, and also look at yourself first before you start pointing fingers and saying things you do not really know. An apostle once said that if an apostle was to become apostate and do something terrible how many of us would still know the Church is True? How many of us would stay strong in the Faith? and how many of us would fall by the wayside in unbelief? I know this Church is true and I will never forget it! 

Let us all have a little more Christlike love on His special Holiday, and everyday of our lives as His Children in His Church. I love you all and remember to #Sharethegift

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Typhoon Survivor 3

Well Do I have a story to tell this week... It was definitely the craziest thing that has ever happened to me on my mission... so lets get too it.

So first off is that the storm was obviously weaker then yolanda from last year, as I am e-mailing home only a day late, and I will explain later. All is well, and the Philippines is at its regular routine, it was a miracle. basically the storm was weakened enough by the time it hit us. 

The story goes.. Friday we get a call to start preparing for the storm by making sure we have our 72 hr kits, food, water, and all other essentials for a huge storm to hit us, at that time it didn't look that bad but slowly it got worse. Saturday we received another phone call that we are going to be evacuated out of our area to a chapel in a different area that is far away from the ocean, and high up in the mountains. We packed our stuff, and headed to the chapel before 8pm and the journey began... 

We spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights in the Malinao chapel in the Lopez Zone.. and what an adventure that was, 14 missionaries stuck in a chapel, limited food, water, and nothing to do...

Day 1: Saturday

Day one we got to the chapel, and of course as missionaries we were way excited to see all the other missionaries and the whole zone together. We were all kind of in shock that this whole thing is happened and not even knowing what exactly is going to happen. We all felt that we were just going to get smacked by another huge storm. It turns out the storm slowed down a ton, soo it took days for it to actually get here, and the only news we get is from the the Ap's talking to our Zone Leaders. It was just super cloudy and nasty looking outside the whole day, but no rain or storm yet. That night I slept on the floor, no blanket, no pillow, nothing... haha Lets just say I didn't sleep well that night. 

Day 2: Sunday

We woke up on time like we would have if we were in a regular schedule, it was Sunday so we still continued with church because the storm still hasn't hit because it was moving slow and it still looked nasty outside. There was a few members that still came to church and we had a good sacrament meeting, it was kind of cool going to church as a zone. We just had sacrament. After church which was also a fast Sunday, we kind of just spent the next few hours in quite time, reading scriptures or small chat, or the amazing Sunday nap because nobody got sleep. After a couple of hours we starting to play some games, and other fun stuff to pass time, and at night we had a Zone Family Home Evening! Which was really fun, of course tons of little things here and there people did was funny, all of us just still in shock that we are actually having to use our 72 hr kits, and not taking showers. Up to this point the power just went out, and the storm started to pick up but hasn't hit yet. It rained constantly half the day. I managed to grab a couch, I slept a little bit better. 

Day 3:

Apparently it rained all night long, and strong rain as well and it ended up backing up the water pipes in the chapel, and the bathroom was over flooding during the night!!! We had members waking us up at 5 in the morning telling us that there was a flood in the chapel, so we all ran around like the fire alarm was going off, and there was 2-4in of water through out the chapel! Coming from the bathrooms! ah man... did it stink... it was so bad! We were all going crazy trying to get the water out of the building because the whole place was flooded. It was just a flowing stream coming out of the pipes in the bathroom into the church. We were trying everything to stop it, and it took us forever to figure out what the problem was, but after a couple of hours we solved it, and ended up cleaning the chapel up by the end of the day which was nice. Today was the day the storm hit, and because we were in the mountains all there was, was heavy rain and winds. We still had signal service for our phones but not electricity, bathrooms didn't work, and also no one has taken a shower for a couple of days, we were all going kind of crazy, and sooo bored... We had to get creative with the bathroom situation too.. haha that story I will have to tell in person... We basically spent the whole day relaxing and playing games, just waiting for the word saying we can go back home. Ultimately the storm was not what we all expected, no trees were knocked over, houses weren't destroyed, just lots of rain and flooding, so it really wasn't that bad but President just wanted to make sure the nothing would happen so he made us stay at the chapel. slept on the floor again..

Day 4:

once again we woke on time, I actually got up a little bit earlier because I couldn't sleep, and because everyone was a sleep i decided to take a shower in the custodial closet mop room haha best shower ever! it was really nice after not taking a shower for 3 days and getting all sweaty and dirty. We stunk so bad.. all of us eating crackers and canned foods for every meal we were so ready to go back home. We finally got the word to leave and we all went to McDonalds and feasted! It was great end to the experience. I have never heard of anything like this in mission happening and its going to be a story for a long time! We learned a lot about how important preparations is for emergency and because we prepared we were just fine during that storm, and managed to have a good time during the whole thing. 

The storm is just passing right now as i am writing this e-mail and all is well in the Philippines, nothing is destroyed like it was in Tacloban, just floods, and loss of electricity in some areas. but everyone is back to the daily routine, and I just want to sleep, and eat some more food haha.  That was one crazy experience but its time to get back to work! I miss teaching lessons and its only been 4 days! Thank you for everyone's prayers on my behalf and also the Filipino people. We were truly blessed by the storm being slowed and weakened. If you could only see how this people live their daily lives, you would wish that these kind of things would never happen to them because they have it hard enough all ready. I am safe, and well, and getting back to work! I love you all, and I hope you are all Typhoon Survivors! 

I will try to send pictures! 
this is the one picture i was talking about in my last e-mail
me and Elder Olsen on a Tricycle.

Where Elder Olsen and I slept on the first night...


The sisters just loving the experience!


Add caption

The Zone!

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Super Typhoon

I received this email on Thursday and I'm not sure if I will hear anything by tomorrow. I also included the statement from the Mission president

So as you have probably heard there is a "Super Typhoon" coming to the Philippines again, the same size as "Ulanda" that hit the Philippines last November. I am e-mailing you now to let you know that President Mangum has said that the direction of the Typhoon has a potential of striking us dead on, so... yeah... its going to be Tacloban here in San Pablo mission haha soo... I have no idea what is going to happen. We have been spending all morning preparing, buying food, water, and all kinds of other stuff to prepare if the storm hits us directly. Good news is that we are in one of the nicest houses in the area so if the storm hits, I am pretty sure our house will stand, it will just get flooded like crazy. Most of the natives have been saying we have nothing to worry about, because its not going to hit us very hard here in calaug because we have a lot of mountainy areas. Out of the 5 categories, they said we will be at a category 1 or 2 here in Calauag, but President seems to think its going to slam us. We are all prepared and hoping and praying for all who are going to be affected by the typhoon. Also If we are hit, I probably wont be able to e-mail for a couple weeks, maybe a month or so if its really bad, just to give you a heads up haha also President Mangum will send out an e-mail before the storm and after I believe. I am sure its going to be fine here, because like no one here is preparing haha but we always expect the worse and hope for the best! Love you! See you on the other side ;)
Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission

(A message from the Mission President)
Dear Philippines San Pablo Mission Family,
You are probably already aware of Typhoon Hagupit, locally referred to as Ruby, which is off of the coast of the Philippines and headed our way. We have been tracking the storm for the past few days and have been working to prepare our missionaries for its arrival. The latest projections show it is tracking directly toward our mission and it will arrive sometime this weekend or early next week. The speed of the storm has been decreasing so it is difficult to estimate when it will reach us.

All of our missionaries have been alerted to prepare for the storm and have been given very specific instructions about how to prepare. We are working to relocate missionaries from coastal lines and areas that might be prone to flooding, mudslides, etc. We are being overly cautious and conservative in the approach we are taking to protect your missionaries.

Given the timing of the storm, you may not receive an email on Monday, which is your normal day to hear from your missionary. Don’t panic if you don’t hear from them. In July we lost internet service for a period of time following the storm and I assume we will have the same experience with this storm. I will allow your missionary to email home as soon as services have been restored. As soon as possible following the storm, I will send an email confirming that everyone is well and accounted for and give you a brief update

Please continue to keep our missionaries and the Philippines in your prayers. Our hope and prayers are that the storm will weaken as it reaches us and all of our preparations will have been unnecessary. We are preparing for the worst while praying and hoping for the best.

Thanks for the amazing sons and daughters you have consecrated to the Lord’s service. It is Sister Mangum and I’s great privilege to serve them and serve with them!

President Mangum

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fear not, I am with thee.

Hey everyone! How was the Thanksgiving!? Elder Olsen and I forgot it was thanksgiving so we didn't do anything haha.. I know how lame... but they don't have thanksgiving here in the Philippines so its nothing big, but Calauag is getting crazy for Christmas, I am excited for Christmas here in Calauag we have all ready been invited to so many houses to eat, and have christmas and most of them aren't even members! Since Elder Olsen and have just been walking everywhere and opening our mouths we have talked to so many people, and are making so many friends here. Almost every day now we will walk down the streets and people will always yell out at us "Elders!" give us a wave or a smile, its feels pretty good, and its nice knowing that the community is starting to recognize us for who we are, representatives of Christ. The Girls still freak out, its even worse now with Elder Olsen! He is just the chick magnet here in the Philippines because he has got these bright blue eyes, and blonde hair so the girls here just literally stop and stare at him, its so funny. Actually the other day we were sitting down at 711 drinking some hot chocolate, also where we were sitting there is a big glass window, and outside of the glass is some tables and chairs. There was a bunch of girls outside trying to sneak photos of us as we were sitting there, and at one point they just starting taking selfies with us in the back ground, so Elder Olsen and I thought it would be funny if I just randomly pulled out my camera and took a selfie, so I did... haha I will attach it to this e-mail.

The work has been getting better here in Calauag. We are starting to see more success and progressing in our investigators, potential baptisms as well, I don't know if I will be here for those baptisms but at least Elder Olsen will, and I would rather have him get baptisms in his first area so that would be awesome! We are getting really close with Ward here, and they are really helping us in our work. Its hard being in one area for so long, you just build this love and bond with those you serve and you just want to do everything you can to help them! I will probably be transferred Jan 1 to my possible last area! Who knows! 

During Sacrament as i was pondering about the greatness of Christ and His influence in my life a scripture came to mind, and i believe its in St. John chapter 16:33. The words that came to mind was "Fear not for I have overcome the world" those aren't the exact words in the scripture but it reminded me of that scripture, and I just felt comforted knowing the Christ the Son of God has overcome the world through his Atonement, and obedience to His father's commandments, and we ourselves are sons and daughters of God and have the ability to overcome the world through Christ's atonement, to overcome all of our challenges we face in life, and in mortality, that no matter what we can overcome anything through God's grace and mercy. For me personally that means so much to me for my personal weaknesses and trials which I have been through all ready at such a young age, and I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel that is going to lead and guide me for the rest of my life. How could someone not want that kind of happiness and knowledge? I invite all of you to ponder how much your knowledge of the Gospel has blessed your life, and what you life would be like without the Gospel.  

I hope you are all doing great as usual nd staying pogi as ever! Love you all!

P.S. This computer won't let me send pictures... next time na lang.
Elder Kikel
-on the Lord's errand-
San Pablo Philippines Mission