Sunday, July 26, 2015


Hello fam bam and friends! Twas a funny week for sure :P

Among some of the jovial activities were me and my companion purchasing massive machetes for service projects, getting massages on p-day, playing a prank on our apartment mates by trashing the apartment and hiding to make them think the apartment was robbed, having a barbecue night in which we cooked giant slabs of meat on an open fire on Friday night, and making lemons of lemonade when my bide imploded.

We were in very hilly area when my bike (which since I have arrived has been a tool of the devil and at times refuses to pedal) destroyed itself. The fancy pants mechanism near the chain which switches the gear finally gave out and because caught in the chain itself and was destroyed, which stopped the bike from being able to move. We were pretty far from home and had quite a few appointments to make, so we decided to just snap the whole thing off and take the chain off the hub so the tires could move freely. I kept the chain from getting caught back into the hub by tangling it around my left pedal and I spent the rest of the time either walking the bike uphill, riding it down hill, or standing on the pedal and using it like a scooter when the roads were level enough to do so :P

BUT there's been plenty of hard spiritual work while we've been at it, haha. We need you to pray for these folk. They came to church the first Sunday I was here, but neither of them were able to come yesterday.

The Kubo sisters: Sister Zenny, Sister May are sisters-in-law. Both are very interested but only Sister May has  a baptismal date because Sister Zenny isn't married to her husband yet. Sister May is a single mom with one child. They are of modest means and live quite a distance from the church, so it's a sacrifice to go.

Love you all.

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Bananas that grow without any effort
in the back of the house!
Hello all!

I am happy to have pleased my mortal father with the 'weight' of my last correspondence, and he unintentionally reminded me of the burden it is on a family to be financing a full-time missionary out in the field, so I figured the least I could do would be to again write out my week in full. (I'm well aware of all the blessings that come to a family because of missionary service, and that my father will insist on me not calling it a burden, but nevertheless his amazing enthusiasm and spirit I know he works himself down to the bone for us kiddos, so I will be happy to update him fully.) My wonderful stepmother also shot me a few questions, the answers to which I will try to weave into my letter. This letter will also be easier because there is MUCH to update you on, for much has changed in the recent past.

Last week, on Wednesday, I got my new companion! His name is Elder Howell. I lack a picture (which is my fault and will be repented of next p-day), but his entire persona can be summarized into two words, his mannerisms, appearance, and attitude and even the general atmosphere of the place he's from: Clark Kent.

I've had Filipino companions for over a year now, so I was VERY excited (even if just for a little while!) not to be companions with someone who I know wouldn't have language barriers with me and wouldn't be offended at some point by my American sarcasm.... or at least that's how it was for about two days until I got emergency transferred!

Due to medical difficulties experienced by an elder in Santiago (about a thirty minute bus ride from Narvacan) I was thrown into my fifth and last area with less than twelve hour's notice! To be brief: I am in love with this area after two days. The ward is strong. It can be felt when you walk into sacrament. The land is beautiful, and there are three investigators progressing to baptism. On my first Sunday, we had six investigators come to church. I almost cried. It feels like I just got to the promised land, haha. My companion's name is Elder Alonzo! He is a pure Filipino!... from New Jersey :P haha! He's basically American, and I can tell we are going to have a great companionship. The picture will be sent next week.

A few pictures of my new area here in Santiago!

In response to your query about investigators from Narvacan:

Brother Boondok went to church for the first time two days after I left the area and twelve weeks after we started teaching him, hahaha, oh the irony.

Brother and Sister Maliwanag/Brother Noe/Brother Bukid: dropped us and are no longer investigating, due to a various blend of being busy and spiritual apathy :P

Brother Gulaw: We went back to his home over six times now, but he wasn't there each time. He lives in a pretty remote area, so it's a bit hard to get to him. We've been trying to contact him through family members, and we ended up meeting his younger brother, who also seems to be interested.

I love you all!
Stay groovy!

Elder Mikesell III

A few pictures of me battling the eternal puddles in my apartment in Narvacan!

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Hello all! Due to a gentle admonition of my father, I will provide a weekly update with greater weight. I dedicate this update to my wonderful father!

This is the fifth week of this cycle, so I'm for sure about to get a new companion. But, an interesting development took place about a week and a half ago that actually kind of already did :P My apartment is me, my beloved companion from here in the Phillies, Elder Lesa of America Samoa, and Elder Smiler of New Zealand. Elder Smiler, unfortunately, is too tall and good looking for his own good and has attracted the attention of quite a few lady folk in his area. Even more unfortunate, the woman with the greatest measure of obsession with him is over the age of 60 :P After more than one or two calls and texts of this woman professing romantic intentions for Elder Smiler, our mission president thought it best that Elder Smiler not work in his area, hahaha. But, Elder Smiler was only a week away from going home. Rather than order an emergency transfer, I worked with Elder Smiler for the last week and a half of his mission and Elder Lesa has been working with Elder Macalaguim in their area.

It was grand fun, and I think I've started picking up a New Zealander accent. But, don't tell him, he'll get prideful. He and I always debate about how our respective countries are better than the other. I usually focus on our military might and being the birthplace of the restoration and all the prophets. He focuses of New Zealand's Nephite roots and the amazing climate and dairy products to be had there. Elder Smiler's mission ended yesterday when me, Elder Lesa and Elder Macalagium buried him in his "coffin" as we refer to it, or in layman's terms, the bus going to San Fernando for his interview with the mission president, complete with his luggage and tickets for his flight home. I love the big lug.

Other than that, no one is progressing or going to church. I expressed thoughts on the subject in an email to a dear friend of mine. "The missionary is a crazy phenomena for sure. Usually, when I put a lot of effort into something and repeatedly fail at it, I give up. But, here on the mish, I somehow manage to build my hopes up every week that people will come to church and progress toward baptism, only to have said hopes crushed again :P whew. But, whatever. I'll keep going until Christ tells me to stop."

I was told by someone much wiser than I that it's not an option to quit the mish, even though I've been tempted. If I can do the mission, I'll be able to do anything in life because I was able to do the mission. But, if I quit now, there will always be self doubt when challenges come at school or in a marriage about whether or not I can.

I'll keep going, and I'll keep thoroughly enjoying it. :)

Little other news other than the fact that it's monsoons season, and that I'll have a new companion by the time I get back.

Love everyone back home!
Feed your fire!
Elder Mikesell III

Monday, July 6, 2015


Quite a week indeed.

Typhoon season has officially started, and from what I understand, my mission is currently caught between two... which should be fun :P As of now, we have no power or running water, but pfft, who needs those anyways? That's just for city slickers. We weren't able to work yesterday, as our zone leaders instructed us to stay inside. Hopefully I'll have some good typhoon stories to take home.

In other news, as it pertains to my area, very little new happenings to comment on. No progressing investigators. The universal Achilles heel of the folks here is church attendance... That's all :P I'm so sorry. Nothing new or exciting I promise.

Love you all!
Elder Mikesell III