Sunday, November 29, 2015



Happy Thanksgiving to all! I'm not sure if I mentioned last week, the Philippines does not celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead, they start putting up Christmas lights as early as September :P but there is a whole lot of stuff to be thankful for, a lot of which I've noticed since I've been here in the Philippines. I think the list would go on for a while, let it suffice to say that there is much to be thankful for that I think we all take for granted, especially for those who are all in good ol' America. For our Thanksgiving feast, my beloved companion, Elder Dougal, called up Jollibee (a fast food restaurant here in the Phillies) and had them deliver, so we had fried chicken, hamburgers, fries and sundaes.

This week was good in general. We worked hard, and the Ricana family came to church again, so we're very happy about that! My companion also showed our area and the people to the new elder who will take over our area when we leave. His companion was sick, so I just stayed home with him while they went and did productive things.

So, I guess that's all for this week. I love you all.

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, November 22, 2015


This week was righteous! We worked hard and did a lot this week. It was much better than the last couple of weeks. We doubled our average lesson count and new investigators and about tripled our TC or "testifying of Christ". Basically, just talking to everyone. Some other missionaries call the OYM or open your mouth. Brother Uwi came to church, and it was nice because he still came even though his wife couldn't come! Usually folks here would use that as an excuse to not go but not him! And the branch is doing a really good job of making him feel welcome, always talking to him and such like. Because of the amount of Suday's we have left, we're working hard to make sure the branch is focusing on them as well as the new missionaries who will take our place, too.

We ate pizza today, which was nice, at a place called Yellow Cab that used to only be in Baguio but there is now one down here. I nearly cried. Sooo good.

In somewhat funny news, I saw a real live genuine "Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix" shirt in my area yesterday! I was dying. The world is a very very small place indeed. It even had the address of the one next to my home, if there are even others in existence which I'm not sure there are.

Love you all :) Shout out to the women who make my life possible/enjoyable and who have been doing so much stuff fore me, I don't even know how to thank them, the beloved Kelly Mikesell and the most wonderful Barbara Thorton! :D

Love you all!

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Back in Baguio for a special mission conference.

Jimeny Christmas, this was quite a week indeed! Since about May 2014, I've had it as an item on my bucket list to shake the hand of a living apostle... check!

Our mission was visited by both Elder Neil L. Anderson and Elder Dale G. Renlund!

I though I'd never get to see Baguio before we went home, but I made it up for one last visit, hoorah! We had a special mission conference up in Baguio, on Friday, with everyone from the mission. A lot of the people I saw are on the other side of the mission, and there is an 80 percent chance I won't be able to see them again before I go home and 99 percent chance that I'll never see them again in this mortal life. Very weird thought. Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy and Elder Ian S. Ardern, the Philippines Area President were also there! So, it was cool to listen to them and shake hands with them. But Elder Renlund, who is the newest of the Apostles, talked about knowing whether or not we're successful by judging our level of commitment. In that way, we can find out immediately how we are based on if we're committed. It definitely applies in missionary work, and I can imagine how it applies to other parts of our life, too. I took notes too, but left them at the house, so I can't recall everything they said, but I'll definitely go back and study it. It's not everyday, after all, that two apostles come and speak to you.

But, if that's not enough, we got to listen to Elder Renlund again on Sunday when he came to our district in Agoo for a special district conference. We had one investigator come, Brother Wakas! But the Uwi family did not which shattered some dreams. Quite the Sunday not to miss, too. Oh well.

But, other than that, this week was pretty normal. My beloved companion, Elder Dougal, made oatmeal raisin cookies because we had lots of oats. He had to do a little bit of maggot wrangling, too, as he sifted out the flour to make sure there were no uninvited guests in the cookies. We didn't have any real cookie sheets either, so I just used a couple of flat metal drip pans that go inside the bottom of the other oven (the smaller unused one). But they turned out pretty well.

I love you all so much!

Elder Mikesell III

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Oh golly this week!

The first and prime major super duper ultra hyper amazing thing I wish to declare to the ends of the world this week... both the Wakas and the Uwi family went to church! :D They even stayed for all three meetings! There is hope!

Me and my beloved companion are very excited, haha. Both families are doing quite well, but one of the main hurdles with the Uwi family is that Sister Uwi never even started schooling and doesn't know how to read. Brother Uwi can read, but also wasn't able to continue his schooling past the second grade which means he's a little bit unused to reading books with 100's of pages in tiny font with two columns on each page about ancient prophets and prophecies... like the Book of Mormon :P But, we're working on it. They're wonderfully humble and sincere people, and they already have quite a few friends at the church. I overheard him talking with the Elder's Quorum President who's from the same barangay as him and was very pleased with his comment.

"It's a little different... but it's definitely better than the church we go to now."

Hahaha! Which is a little bit promising. They had a baptismal date set for November 28th previously, but because they didn't go to Sacrament meeting for three weeks in a row, it was postponed. We're going to re-extend to them for December 12 on Tuesday. Please pray for them!

Brother Wakas also went to church! Because he spends so much of his time in Baguio, we're actually going to try and have the companionship in Aurora Hill, where he stays, teach him while he's up there and we'll teach him while he's down here!

In other news, me and my companion, Elder Dougal, have made it our goal to find every last member of our area on the directory, which is quite a task. Almost every ward I've ever been in here in the Phillies has AT LEAST 600 members on the roster... I've also never been in a ward with greater than 150 in attendance at a sacrament meeting, haha. To further complicate matters, the directory's information sheds about as much light on the whereabouts of the people recorded on it:

Name:               Address:
Alabra               Tubod
Alabra               Tubod
Alonso               Pong Pong
De La Cruz        Raois

And so forth :P Imagine trying to find "John Jones" with no more info than "within five miles radius of the McDonalds at Decatur and Lone Mountain", haha! It involved a LOT of asking members for anyone they remember from way back in the day and when that falls through just going to the barangay listed and asking about 10 people if they've ever heard of the people you are trying to find. It is possible, though, because Filipinos are very talkative and know about 43 X more people in their neighborhood than any given American would. When you ask people, you eventually get a "hit" as we refer to it which narrows it down a bit further. You then go to that place and repeat until you actually find the house, knock on the door and see the fear in the eyes of these years now inactives who are no doubt thinking "how on earth did these white boys find me!" Some awesome experiences have resulted, though. Here's one:

We determined to find a name listed in barangay Baybay, a coastal barangay that actually can't be accessed by the roads of the municipality it belongs to. We bussed up to the city of Agoo and then walked down the coast in order to find it. All in all, we ended up walking about four hours that day, which was about 12 miles :P Then we semi-miraculously found the person's nephew who lives on her house and was willing to take us there. He was the second person we asked :P She was a bit shocked when she saw us, and then a little cold, but she warmed up to us fast. By the time we left she was almost crying and saying that she was so thankful we took the time to find her.

No one from the church had visited her in 20 years.

I love being a missionary!

Elder Mikesell III