Sunday, August 30, 2015


I really really apologize for this lame weekly update. I'm trying to figure something out, and it's taking a lot of time.

The hand and eyes are now fully operational.

The Kubo sisters have not yet turned a corner. The two are supported by Sister Zenny's "husband" although they aren't yet legally married. Brother Kubo is just a rice farmer. Their house is tin sheets and bamboo walls and roofs with dirt floors and no running water. The Kubo sisters' stay at the house, cook, clean and take care of the kids.

The Itak family didn't come to church and haven't yet accepted their baptismal invitation, but we have a family home evening planned to happen at their house on Sunday this coming week, so hopefully that will change things. Please pray for them!

I love you all!

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Elder Mikesell and Elder Mussleman rocking their eye infections...

Quite the week, quite the week indeed :P Someone tell my wonderful earthly father that this will be quite the hefty update indeed.

On Monday, after my emailing, I decided I would have the warts on my hand taken care of which seem to have been multiplying since March. The water that comes through the tap here isn't potable or always safe like it is back home, so Americans are known to get some sort of skin problem during their mission at some point. I went to the Candon City Hospital last Monday thinking I was just going to be picking up some of the liquid freezing agent stuff. Little did I know that it would end up involving 2000 pesos, a doctor and two nurses with a small surgery, anesthesia and stitches :P

I then entered the charming world of one handed people, which made me very grateful for my two-handedness that I have enjoyed thus far and will enjoy again in a week or two. I have also become adequate at many various activities using only my right hand, including but not limited to dressing myself (including tying shoes and my tie), riding a bicycle in mountainous terrain for extended periods of time, cooking, bathing, and so on.

On Wednesday, we assisted in a ward service activity which took me to San Emilio, a nearby municipality about 40 minutes from Santiago, which is FAR but which I found out is technically still in my area, although the members I was with assured me no elder has seen yet. It ended up being so far that their regional dialect actually changes from Ilokano to Itneg, which sounds about as intelligible to me as Klingon.

On Thursday, we noticed an infection in our apartment mates eyes, Elder Musselman, which was like pink eye on steroids. On Friday, we experienced a monsoon! The difference between a typhoon and a monsoon is the first is all about wind and the second is all about rain. Fortunately, our apartment is well situated and we became an island. One we had to stay inside those three days, during which time I contracted the eye thing as well. The rain was so heavy that we had no service on Sunday, which was very odd. Instead, we went around with the Bishopric trying to help members here whose houses were being destroyed in the floods.

The Itak family is progressing, and I feel they will be baptized :) We had planned to teach them, but the appointment itself was for Sunday sooo ended up not happening. I'll keep you updated. Elder Musselman also finished his mission earlier. RIP. Love that lug. Lastly, before my time runs out, I'm not sure if I ever told you all this, but my companion in the MTC had to go home with worthiness problems. He told us he would be coming back in a year, but when January came and left and he was nowhere on the lists I gave up hope. At the hospital earlier, when I was getting my stitches removed, I got a call from a friend of mine in the office who told me he'll be entering the field on Wednesday :)

Life is good :) Sorry if there are clerical errors in this... typing with one hand and all, haha!

Elder Mikesell III

(Don't worry about the clerical errors... Kelly's got your back :P)

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Hello fam bam and friends! :) I made the mistake of applying thought to how long I have left on my mission and my soul is filled with great alarm because I have less time than I thought I did, haha! But, there are some really good things happening in my area. I'll divide my thoughts over two sections: shenanigans and the work.

Me and my fellows here have become addicted to giving service. I love doing so because sometimes I feel that the less actives we visit see us as walking nags with neckties, but service shows that we really do love and care about them. I've seen service cut through hearts of steel like butter, haha. My favorite service this week was when our Elder's quorum president took us up his mountain, pointed at a grove of mango trees he has there which has been overrun by Tarzan quality jungle and basically said, "I want everything that is not a mango tree gone." After which we attacked the mass with our machetes :P fun stuff.

There have also been tri-zone conferences and the occasional homeless man breaking into our apartment to get bread and water which has happened twice or thrice in the last few months or so :P fun stuff for sure. My machete is usually within reach of my bed, haha.

The Work: Update on some of the fold here.

Please pray for the Kubo sisters. We're on the verge of dropping them as investigators because they've lost the motivation to make or keep any commitments.

The Machete family is doing so good! We'll be extending them a baptismal date this Wednesday, and we taught their oldest son for the first time on Sunday, and I daresay he might be golden. Please pray that the Spirit will soften their hearts at our next appointment.

I love everyone back home, but I'm going to thoroughly enjoy my time here before I get back :)

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Nothing very exciting has happened since the last email update other than service projects that me and my district have been engaged, namely chopping wood with our machetes (because we totally bought our own personal machetes, haha) and moving lots of dirt. So, I'll use this email to give very specific updates on our investigators. These are the groups I need some serious prayers for...

the Itak family: We found this family buying our own machetes for service projects that we encounter very frequently. The father is straight Ilokano (which is the regional dialect here and is very different than the national dialect which I learned in the MTC, which is Tagalog. Kind of like an Elder Calhoun moment, "That's not the language they taught me in the MTC!") Because of the language barriers, we had a very interesting bout of lessons initially... until we found out that his sister is an active member in the ward! We didn't know initially because his sister is married and thus has a different last name, which is the name we know her by. We recruited this sister, and she also needs some prayers. She herself is faithful and is only a convert of about a year, but her children and husband who were baptized at the same time as her are pretty steep into less activity. We're visiting her family as well, but that's a completely different battle. I'll call this sister, Sister Abo. The Itak family is interested but it's a struggle getting an appointment with them. The culture of the Philippines is very different than back home. Very few people here have a western concept of "an appointment" down. The Philippines culture about meetings and schedules is called "chamba chamba" which basically means "you can come over any time you want. If I'm here, I'm here, if I'm not, I'm not." It's very hard to get people to commit to a specific time or day, and sometimes they aren't even there when they do so.

The other group is the Kubo sisters. They need some prayers in the way that they need more desire.

I love you all back home. Keep emailing me!

Elder Mikesell III