Sunday, February 22, 2015


Hello friends and fam!

This week was an interesting one. Among the highlights are the fact that I had to spend four hours and over 300 pesos (quite a chunk of change) going BACK to the botanical gardens to check with the care taker whether or not the monkey that scratched me had been vaccinated or not and the fact that our apartment, due to a series of unfortunate events, has been without power or running water for the last few days. In regards to the former, the monkey (although still a mean hearted and bitter soul) appears by all means to be healthy and as to the latter, it's been a great experience. I've become quite proficient at alternative cooking methods, showering and dish washing, haha.

However, my time in this area is definitely limited. My entire mission I've been 4 1/2 months (or three transfers if you're mission language savvy) in each area, and this is my last 3 weeks in this area if that holds. Although the work is a bit... challenging here, I'll miss a LOT of things here, including being so close to the mission office, the fantastic ward, my district mates and of course proximity to fast food. However, I'm a huge fan of change! Essentially:

I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord
Over mountain or plain or sea
I'll say what you want me to say dear Lord
I'll be what you want me to be.

Love you all :)

Elder Mikesell III

Watermelon is yellow in this country. No one can give me a definite answer as to why... Elder Mikesell: giant lizard rider. Missionary cooking methods. The dish is pasta. The mug is hot chocolate.

My last area and evidence thereof. Monkey family :) awww. Owl gang. Cats are privileged to have mustaches here. 


February 16, 2015

Me and my companion in San Fernando

I'm going to slow down and write a nice long letter with pictures attached :P

Hello family! Thank you first and foremost for the prayers on my behalf. I had a much better week this week than the week previous. Two weeks ago was the worst I've had on my mission (statistically), but last week was the best week I've ever had in this area (statistically)! Regardless of those things, I am, of course, having a smashing time on the mish :) Many missionaries are excited to go home because of prospects like dating, music, movies, and son on, but all I see is having to get a job again, rent, money, school, taxes, that kind of stuff. No, no, no, no, no! I'm quite happy on my spiritual/jungle adventure out here in Le Phillies :P

The highlight of my week this week was our zone activity! Me and my companion had the wonderful burden of planning and executing said activity for the 26 missionaries in this, the San Fernando Zone, and we had a scavenger hunt type deal planned out until we heard about a botanical gardens type deal out in the mountains that was supposed to be well worth the trip. We ran the risk and took the zone there instead, and I was soo happy when it didn't blow up in our face, haha! The gardens were amazing. I forgot my camera :P but I'm considering going back before I leave this area just to go. I'll try and get as many pictures as possible from the missionaries. Also, fun was the fact that they had a little zoo! There were monitor lizards, motits (which is kind of like a native foxlike monkey) owls, eagles, and monkeys! One of the monkeys reached out to shake my hand which I foolishly took. He betrayed my trust by trying to bite me, and I sustained a small wound on my finger to the great laughter of my comrades. I disinfected it ASAP and was way afraid I would have to go to the missionary recovery center in Manila for rabies testing, but (happily) the mission president's wife (who handles all the health stuff) didn't think it was necessary.

Now for the investigator corner!

Pray for these folks! (They are code names, but Heavenly Father knows who they are. I'm sure he'll get the right blessing to the right people if he has a mind to, haha.)

The Ube family: 24 and 34 with two kids. (Does the age gap remind you of anyone in our immediate family? I told them about it actually. They thought it was funny.) Not married. Met them through their half paralyzed father-in-law who we've been visiting in their home. Sister Ube is quite interested, but Brother Ube's interest might not be so potent.

Thank you all :) Enjoy the pictures. I know you would want better pictures of my companion, so here's one of him and me together. Also, this is the chapel I'm assigned to. Keep feeding your fire!

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Hello friends and fam! I've had some requests this past week, so attached to this email is me and my new companion, Elder Cu in the elf hats I received in a Christmas package, haha. One thing I've definitely noticed is that Filipinos celebrate Christmas long before it starts and long after it is finished.

Some other questions I was recently asked:

Q: Tell me about your new companion?
A: His name is Elder Cu! His granddad is Chinese, he's Filipino from Quezon City in the national capital region, his favorite foreign food is lasagna, he's 20 years old and is a licensed nautical engineer, and he's extremely low maintenance, which I'm a huge fan of.

Q: One year mark with pizza at the mission office? Very cool! Do they do that for all the Elders at their half way mark?
A: I paid for said pizza :P  The tradition here is that YOU treat YOUR district at your half way mark. It might be a Baguio Mission deal that doesn't happen elsewhere, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

Q: Are you still getting fed well?
A: Every Sunday the second counselor in the Stake Presidency feeds us. It's my favorite time of the week, except sacrament.

Q: Do you cover one ward or multiple wards?
A: I am only in one ward, the Lingsat ward here in San Fernando La Union Stake. So are three other companionships, haha. It's a bit different from back home. One unit usually has anywhere from three to five companionshps in it here.

Q: Any crazy things that you've had to eat lately?
A: The craziest thing lately was fried chicken and rice at McDonalds :P That's a popular deal here. Nothing too crazy recently.

I love you fam :) I hope everything's going well, including grandma's back and Kelly not being able to put her socks on due to advanced human-producing. Pray for you folks :)

Feed your fire!
Elder Mikesell III


January 25, 2015

An investigator fed us a fruit I've never had before this week. It's like a giant half orange half lemon, and it's wayyy good. It's called suha.

Things are continuing to improve!

This week was even better than the last! If you remember those standards of excellence I talked about last time, we are doing better than last week! However, this is the last week with me and Elder Guiuo. He will be transferring on Wednesday. I genuinely enjoyed his and my companionship together. I have no idea who my companion will be, and it's kind of stressing me out a little, but that's all right!

In related other news, I celebrated my one year mark with pizza at the mission office where all my friends are (if it can be said I have any :P) and I also traded a tie with Elder Harris. It's a native Igorot Filipino weave. Cool stuff. I apologize that the news is a bit sparse this week, but really very little has happened. None of our investigators are progressing if progression can be marked by church attendance. As soon as there is, I'll give you their names for you to pray for them.

I love you all :)
Elder Mikesell III