Monday, January 27, 2014


Well, hello all! First, exciting/funny thing... my companion and I were called as zone leaders! Haha, so my zone has two districts, 16a and 16b. 16b is leaving today, like we just said goodbye, so my entire zone is just the seven elders of my district. But TWO new districts arrive on Wednesday! There will be four sisters and twelve sisters... which is kind of a problem because there are no sister training leader (basically a female ZL) to help them... its just us... so that will be fun, haha. Oh, and we have to pretend to be more confidant than we are because we've only been here for two weeks if that will be fun.

Funny goings on - Elder Anderson, in our district, had his birthday on Sunday, and his mom basically sent a party in a box; candles, streamers, matches, balloons, cupcakes, party hats, donuts, like everything. We decked out our room and had a party, sooo much fun. So, there were only two elders in the district that just left, Elder Wooden and Williamson, funniest guys ever. When they left about two hours ago, they passed all their stuff down to us. That stuff included:
-every form, of candy known to man woman and child
-a stuffed rat that (according to the legends) has been passed down for five generations 
-a full life sized sword made entirely of wire coat hangers (called the sword of Laban, crafted  by the most disobedient missionaries to have ever walked the halls of 16m)
-a Nerf basketball hoop
-assorted tennis balls and Nerf footballs
-and some pretty awful ties.
-and the "scroll of the oaths of zone leader"
the scroll is really an index card which outlines the ceremony with which the title of zone leader is passed from one generation of Elders to the next. I'd tell you what the ceremony is, but it's a secret. (quit freaking out, it's pretty tame, haha)
We're all going to miss them super bad, haha.
I've started to understand that the MTC has a weird way of making things that aren't even funny into absolutely hilarious. I think it's because we are all so tired and worked that it feels good just to laugh.
The Tagalog is going pretty well. Here's my prayers in Tagalog at night! All from memory!
ama po namim sa langit nagpapasalamat po ako para kay jecucritso at para sa aklat ni mormon at ebanghelyo ng diyos. paki-basbasan po ninyo ako na kaloob ng mga wika at ng maramdaman espiritu santo. nagpapasalamat para sa nguyoun araw mugundung. si pangalan ni jesucristo amen. 
It's super crazy that I've been here two weeks already. MTC time: the days go by waaay slow but the weeks go by super fast. It's the weirdest thing ever.
Now for serious time. I would like to bear my testimony to anyone who might be reading this. If you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I highly encourage you to seek out the missionaries! I can testify and promise that the message they can carry to you will make you happy. It can solve any problem, it can lift you up to overcome any obstacle. However, as great as the missionaries are, my testimony is not of them, it is in the Lord and redeemer Jesus Christ. As an ambassador of Him, I plead with you to come unto Him, to gain faith in His atonement, to repent of your sins, to be baptized by a holder of the proper priesthood authority of God, to receive the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. I can witness that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of not only mankind, but to YOU, whomever is reading this, I mean YOU. He loves you, knows you, and cares about you. Come unto Him, and be healed. 
If you are a member of the church, I have some words for you as well! Something interesting you learn in the MTC is that our purpose is not to convert people. It's to bring others to Christ. Conversion is a consequence, not the sole goal. Here are my words to those in the church-
Do you have a testimony?
You don't? pray, study, ponder, with a deep desire to gain one, and you will gain it. I can promise this as an Elder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
You do? Good for you!
But that's not enough. If all you have is a testimony you will fall away from Him when your trials become great, or your pride overcomes your humility. You must be converted. Being converted unto the Lord is what you must now obtain. A testimony is knowing that your beliefs are true. Being converted to the Lord is consistently living what you know. I believe I know people who have been truly converted. They are amazing Christ like people.
To close my letter, I'd like to leave you with, what is in my opinion, the most beautiful word in the Tagalog language I have learned so far. It takes up an entire line in the Book of Mormon.
It means the Lord omnipotent, or is another title for Jesus Christ. My favorite so far. Love you all! Defend the faith!
Elder Mikesell III

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Well, hello there everyone and anyone! Okay, first thing, THE MTC IS THE GREATEST EXPERIENCE EVER! I love my district, which is composed of six other studly obedient elders. I love the food (although I'm pretty much just eating salads every day, because, ya know, I'm gonna get swoll)! I love the Provo temple. I love the atmosphere, the waking up early, my teachers, the spirit of this place - everything! Okay, second thing, THE MTC IS HARD! I am sooo tired all the time. Being with someone 24/7 is way more challenging than I thought it would be, the language is ALIEN to me, (there's almost no correspondence between English and Tagalog expect for a few randoms words that are just borrowed from the English language), I constantly feel inadequate, sub par, and lonely even though I'm never physically alone. However, the Lord is with me, and I will not fail. Where I am weak, He is strong, and it will be only through my faith that I succeed in my purpose, because that's what He requires. Elder Anderson, an elder in my district, gave me an amazing quote~ "If it doesnt challenge you, it doesn't change you." I am going to be a whole new person after the MTC and a whole new new person after my mission!

Anywho-sies, some great stuff is happening! I'm learning Tagalog at a steady pace, and I'm always getting better. We went to the temple today, and the Provo temple is absolutely amazing. I've started running, as Kelly would be glad to hear. On our temple walk I saw my first temple protestor, which was weird. What he was yelling made NO sense, and you could tell he had never bothered to learn what we teach. I got to hear an MTC talk from Elder Bednar, and it is without a doubt, so far up until this point in my life, the greatest talk I've ever heard. I don't know if its available on the internet, or if it's just at the MTC, but it's titled "The Character of Christ".

Funny story time- something I had never ever heard of was that your third day in the MTC you teach an investigator that only speaks the language you are learning. We were like, whaatt the heeckk?! Her name is Melody, and she's straight from the Philippines. We're all pretty sure she's actually a member who's just a super good actor. The only reason we know that is, she kind of acts like each companionship is a new lesson, even though the entire district teaches her companionship after companionship. Basically, the only reason we think she's an actress is because she's too good at it. So, getting back to the story, me and my companion are trying to teach her sa tagalog, and we use the word "kami" as we, as in Heavenly Father is our/kami slash Heavenly Father. The only problem is that in Tagalog there are two words for our, tayo which means all our (roughly) and kami which is our, but exclusive. We basically told her that God was mine and Elder Youngerman's Father, but not hers. bnsrobubnwruhnbt3!!! We had to fix that the next day. Unfortunately, we also accidentally said we are God, but that was resolved quickly. All in all, even though its hard, the MTC is awesome and I wouldn't go back for anything if I had anything to say about it! 

These are the elders in my district (usually districts are mixed with sister and elders, but mine is just elders, which is wayyy better I've decided). Elder Youngerman- my super tall companion. He likes to run off on me, but besides that, he is an absolute stud of a companion. He's the district leader. Elder Anderson- is going to be an apostle, his name, the way he looks, the way he talks, everything, there's no doubt in my mind. Elder Curtis- sooo funny. I've had, I think, more emotional bonding with him than anyone else in my district, and he's not even my companion! He's a fantastic elder. He's the elder in every group that has a girlfriend back home that is "totally going to wait for me" and sends him letters every day with kisses on the envelope. Elder Doogal- is sooooooo freaking hilarious, and he doesn't even know it. Like he's serious all the time, but its hilarious what comes out of his mouth. Like here's an example- (Elder Cook) "Sisters have a special place in my heart." (Elder Doogal) "Blood has a special place in MY heart." hahahahahahahahahahaha, weird things become absolutely hilarious in the MTC! Elder Perkins- doesn't talk a lot, but he wears the most good looking ties in the district and is a fellow music nerd. He was born with twelve fingers!!! The extras were amputated and he still has the scars. Elder Cook- super obedient and super well meaning. He's my iron rod in this district.

This is my prayer so far in Tagalog, from memory! ama po namim sa langit. nugpapasalamat po ako para sa ebanghelyo at ng alklat ni mormon, at para kay jesucristo. pakiabasbasan po ninyo na koloon ng mga wikas at ng maramdaman espiritu santo. Also, are we going down? in tagalog is bababa ba? So funny! And "good water" is mabuti tubig, which literally sounds like my booty too big! hahahaha! Like I said to a lot of people, I love everyone from back home, but nope, still not homesick! And to all the old people that insisted I was going to go through an awful shock with no fancy electronic gadgets like the internet or my phone or tv or movies or music... to you I say, HA! That stuff I miss probably the absolute least. I'm way better off without them, no doubt. Sorry for all the typos. The keyboard in the computer lab is awful. The computers in this lab are weird, too, and aren't sending pictures... one of them is, but there's a waiting line of like eight elders to get to use it... I'll send them as fast as I can. I'll write more! love you all! Defend the faith!

Elder Mikesell III
(I'm referring to myself as Elder Mikesell the third, dad is the first and Jay is the second. Just so ya know.)

Friday, January 17, 2014


 L-R in the photo: Elders Dougal, Curtis, Youngerman, Anderson, Perkins, Mikesell and Cook.
Dear parents,
My husband and I serve with a Tagalog branch presidency at the MTC. It was our privilege tonight to meet what is going to be the best new district at the MTC! You parents have obviously done a good job raising these young men. We look forward to working with them; our Sundays are always something to look forward to!
I'm especially glad to welcome some pianists, Elder Perkins and Dougal, and a vocalist, Elder Mikesell. The entire district will be singing in the choir for devotional next Tuesday night. :-) Elder Youngerman was called as district leader. 
L-R in the photo: Elders Dougal, Curtis, Youngerman, Anderson, Perkins, Mikesell, and Cook. (The only thing that could be better is the addition of sisters:-)

Sister Sowby
American Fork, UT

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


 Reporting to the Provo MTC! Taking a few pictures...

 Left, in front of the Provo Temple; top, in front of the MTC; bottom, GOODBYE FOR 2 YEARS!

Bottom right, eating with my dad and grandparents; top, my dad dropping me off!

Monday, January 13, 2014


Tonight I was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! It’s a little bit surreal. Beginning when you’re old enough to sing, they have you sing “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”. All throughout your Aaronic priesthood years, your told over and over how this or that will benefit your mission, how you can or can’t do that on your mission, the stereotypes, the jokes, the myths, the rules, then your call comes, and everything finally starts happening!

I am ready. I am ready to be an ambassador for the Lord, to feed my spiritual fire, to speak with the power of the Holy Ghost and to bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Or at least I’m ready to start learning how to.  
I think I’ll add a new verse [to "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission"]:

I’m glad they called me on a mission,
I’ll gladly serve a year, no, two!
I know the Lord will help me daily,
So I can teach and preach and work as He would have me do.

Elder Alec Mikesell


Thank you to everyone who came to support Alec yesterday! So many great friends and family came to listen to him speak! He did such a great job and will be an amazing missionary!

Sunday, January 12, 2014
Alec Mikesell Missionary Farewell
11:00am Los Prados Ward Building

Sunday, January 12, 2014
Alec Mikesell Open House
6:00-8:00pm Mikesell Home
Ice Cream Bar