Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Philippines

We only have a two hour p-day today so I don't have a lot of time. But I will talk to you in a few days anyway. But I have some good news. Sister Chimene Cinco passed her baptismal Interview and will be baptized this Saturday. She was smiling from ear to ear, it was precious. She is very excited to bear her testimony at her baptism. And we also moved Jem's baptism up to January 9th, so these next few weeks should be good ones. His plan is to serve a mission after one year, which we absolutely great. We have the ward Christmas party tomorrow and the mission Christmas party on Thursday. My first Christmas should be an exciting one. We are having a gift exchange, and I bought a half Thai half spanish Hannah Montana "monopolio" ( Monopoly ) game and a little bow and arrow thing with the sticky suction cups on the end. I'll send a picture next time. I thought it was quite the gift! hahaha. It is crazy to think I am already having my first call home. The time really does fly. I love this gospel so much. I love all of you and will talk to you on Christmas, (your time) 

Mahal ko lahat kayo

Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 14, 2015


It was a good week last week. We were very busy with Zone Interviews, 5 week training, Christmas Devotional and exchanges, so we did not have a whole lot of time to work in our area. But overall, it was still a very beneficial week, we were able to complete  lesson 4 with Sister Cinco, and schedule her baptismal interview on this coming Saturday. She is doing very well, and is looking forward to her baptism in the next few weeks. Brother Jem is continuing to do well, he has attended church four consecutive Sundays. He attends institute every week and he also attended the Christmas Devotional on Sunday. We hit another small block last week with Brother Denilo. After we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, he told us he drinks coffee two or three times a day. He tried to give it up last week, but said it was very hard and he needed to drink it. We will continue to work and pray with him to overcome his addiction to coffee. Sister Queenie our other investigator, made a lot of progress last week. She is the only one in her family that has not been baptized. Her parents are recent converts of little over a year and her sisters were baptized in October. She is 19 years old and is pretty shy. She was a little reluctant when we extended a baptism date to her the first time. She seemed unsure or nervous, and we weren't quite sure why, but we have continued to teach her and she has really progressed. She has came to church three times since we have been in the area, and a few more times in the past. Our last lesson we taught about the Holy Ghost and we gave each person in the family the assignment to find a verse about the Holy Ghost and share it with us the next lesson. Sister Queenie studied and watched videos all about the spirit and she shared practically a small talk with us about the spirit. You could see her knowledge and testimony had grown from all the studying she had done. We are excited to continue to work with her, and extend her another baptismal invitation. 

Exchanges went really well last week. I was companions with Elder Foster. He is truly a great missionary, he taught me a lot in that little time we spent together. He is just a wonderful example for me about how to be humble and Christlike. 

Oh I forgot to mention but I'm sure you figured, we had transfers again. But just like a figured, Elder Gurtiza and I are still together. 

Elder Gurtiza is continuing to  help me everyday in every aspect of the work. We get along and work really well together and are excited to be together for another transfer. 


Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 7, 2015

Faith of a Mustard Seed‏

We had another good week this week. This was probably my fastest week in the mission.We really focused on our progressing and recently found investigators. Our main progressing investigators are doing really well. One of our investigators left and went to the provinces to spend time with her family for the holidays. Unfortunately, she will not return until the first of the year. But she promised us she would continue to read and go to church with her active family out there. We are trying are best to stay in content with her and remind her to read and go to church. Sister Cinco, our other progressing investigator, moved her baptism back to the 26 of December, in order for both of her parents and family to be able to attend. Brother Gem, attended church again this Sunday for the third time. We just finished lesson 3 with him last week. We have no problems or concerns with Gem, he is very solid and has a very strong testimony and reads all our assignments. His baptism will be held on January 16th. With Brother Denilo, we still haven't really been able to figure out his concerns yet. He attended church again for third time, but he still seems unsure about working towards his baptism in January. We want to really focus on him this week, and figure out what exactly is holding him back. 

Our recently found investigators seem to be interested in our message, but did not attend church for whatever reasons. We want to focus on them making that next step and commitment, and go to church.

Elder Gurtiza is doing great. He said this last week was the fastest week in his mission. He really like when the day is busy and we have a lot of appointments to go to. I told him the advice grandpa, " The harder you work, the faster it goes." The key is just to work hard and lose yourself and then the days just fly by. I really think I'm starting to really focus on the work because the days are just flying by. Last week I really focused on my attitude, having a really positive attitude with the heat, when we get punted, and how there is no rain. I think it really helped. 

We had a spiritual experience last Monday, we had a FHE planned with an active member, then at literally the last second they canceled it. So we had no idea who we were going to go to next. We started walking and then we thought we should visit a recently returned less active. So we visited him and he let us in, he told us he had stayed home from work because he head really hurt because of his tooth ache. So we taught him a lesson and at the end, he asked us if we could give him a blessing.So we gave him a blessing and at the end of the blessing he said the pain was completely gone. He said he felt peaceful, and he could probably actually fall asleep now ( he couldn't earlier because of the pain). He said he took pain pills earlier but nothing worked. He said the power of the Priesthood is so powerful and he asked us to give him a copier of the priesthood prayers in case his kids were ever sick. We thought this experienced really strengthened his testimony about the Priesthood and also our testimonies.That was my first miracle I have seen through my priesthood blessings. It was simple but powerful, it really changed my perspective on things as I pondered the experience. I decided I need to have a lot more faith when I give blessings, I need to have the faith giving the blessing that the person will be healed, as long as it is God's will. If we had the faith of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. And if we have the faith, Heavenly Father can perform any miracle through us. 

And last night we had a fun experience. We were invited to the Mission Presidents Home for dinner to break our fast. There were 3 other sets of missionaries with us. And it was a really good time, it was the first time I had American food in a long time, we had Mexican lasagna, it was wonderful. And after the dinner President picks on a set of missionaries to give a short active member lesson. And sure enough, he called on us. We both just felt like he would. So we taught about the Savior and Christmas and watched the short Christmas Clip for this year. It was such a relief being able to say what my thoughts and feelings were since the lessons was in English. I thought the lesson went really well, I felt the spirit really powerfully and so did everyone else as they shared their feelings on the Savior.

Next week is going to be a hectic week. Lots of meetings and activities going on. I was asked to give a talk on being exactly obedient at the 5 week training for all the trainer and trainees, so I still need to prepare for that. This church is true and Christmas season is a great opportunity to share the Gospel. Don't hold anything back, invited everyone to learn more about the Savior. 

Mahal na Mahal kayo
Elder Nielsen

ps. It's too bad you couldn't get a bull elk, mom. But the hunt and the memories are just as fun. That makes two of us with elk tag soup. But don't worry, in 5 years we can start putting you in for the draw again ;) 

Monday, November 30, 2015

No Thanksgiving in the Philippians..‏

Hello my wonderful family. We had another good week this week. Our progressing investigators are doing really well. First, Sister Cinco, we are just finishing up lesson 4 to her, and she has continued to go to church and keep our assignments. We are really confident in her because she already has many friends in church and she also has the support of her very active grandmother. Next is Brother Gem, he is doing really well. He has been taught by the missionaries before, but before he could be baptized he left to go live in a province for a few months and lost contact with the missionaries. He already has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and has many fellow shippers in the ward. ( He's actually came out and worked with us, and has born testimony to our other investigators, and he's not even baptized yet.. whoops ) His baptism will be on January 16th, along with Sister Grace. We have been teaching Gem, Grace, and Sister Abrasado all together. Unfortunately Sister Abrasado was able to be at our last discussion, so we have not extended a baptismal date to her yet. Last week, we tried to extend a baptismal date to Brother Denilo, but he told us he was already a member in the Catholic church. But he said, if he prays and knows that this church is the true church, he will be baptized. With him, we are continuing to teach him and help him receive that witness and testimony for himself. He also attended church again this Sunday. We were also able to find many new investigators this week that we think have a lot of potential. We are excited to return to them and continue teaching them. 

Elder Gurtiza is doing great. He had a little cold this week, but he wanted to continue to work, even though his nose was stuffed, he had a headache, and didn't quite have his full energy. I really admire that about him, he always wants to work hard and do his best. He is becoming a better missionary and a better example for me each week. 

Besides that it has been a pretty normal week. We were going to do something for Thanksgiving and go by a chicken and stuff, but it was ill planned and never happened. But we have decided we will do something big for Christmas to make up for it. Stay tuned. 

Next week I am starting my 40 day fast. No it's not like a sugar fast like Erin, something a little more spiritual ;) it's coming from the talk " The forty-day fast" if you want to do it too, but in summary this elder was doing his very best but still was missing something, so a church leader told him to this fast. You start with a fast and then go and pray and then write every down that you feel is distracting you from the work and having the spirit, ( 40 things) like hunting, sarcasm ect. Then you give those things up for 40 days. It was a really powerful talk. So I will start my fast next week. 

6 Minutes Pop! Waiting on that email. 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Best Kind of Birthday Gift‏

Hello Family! It was another good week. We were able to find and teach a lot of new investigators. We actually found 11 new investigators, so that will help strengthen and expand our teaching pool. We already have a lot of good signs of progression from them too. We were able to start teaching and extend a baptism date to one of our new progressing investigators. Her name is Sister  Chimene Cinco, she is 9 years old. She reminds me so much of Carly. She looks like a Filipino Carly, she's kinda tall and skinny, kinda shy, but just the sweetest thing. Her dad is a long long time less active and her mom isn't a member, but her grandma is an active member and was the one who gave us the referral.  Sister Cinco has been to church before and is really active in and enjoys primary. She is very knowledgeable about the gospel for a nine year old. She was very shy to us in our first lessons, but we think we have  gained her trust, as she has opened up to us a lot more. We planned we were going to extend her a baptismal date, we were a little nervous and didn't know how she would respond. At the end of the lesson we extended a date to her.. And she just started smiling and had the biggest grin on her face and said YES. This was probably one of the best moments of my mission, who know that a little 9 year old just saying yes could make you so happy? It's because I know how important this step is for her. She is completely the first out of three essential ordinances to enter into the Clelestial Kingdom. This was by far the best birthday gift.  She is planned to be baptized December 19th. Her parents are very accepting to us teaching her, in fact, her dad has already planned to get work off so he can attend her baptism. Hopefully her baptism will be able to create a teaching opportunity for her parents. Sister Abrasado and her daughter Grace have really been progressing, each lesson with them  seems to be getting better and better. Unfortunately Sister Abrasado was unable to attend church, but her daughter Grace did. Our other two investigators texted us  early Sunday morning informing us they would not be able to attend church, due to having to babysit and a migraine headache. But they have both promised us they will attend next week. 

We have been visiting a young less active who hasn't been going to church because he has to work grave yard shifts every night. But last week we had a really strong and spiritual lesson with him, and we could see him feeling the spirit. Then on Sunday, he got up early and attended church. We really hope this is his start, back to being an active member again. 

Elder Gurtiza is doing great. He is becoming more and more confident in his teaching. We are now able to do effective transitions in our teaching, and teach the lessons more unified. He has even been leading some of the lessons. I know that with each passing week, we will become more and more unified. 

It was a nice peaceful birthday. Some people at church knew and wished me a happy birthday, President and Sister Bertin texted me wishing me a happy birthday, then we had a little jelly pie cake thing that night at a members house for my birthday. It was quite delicious. Overall a wonderful birthday while serving the Lord, what more could you want? ...Well tell Grandma Croft to save the "Disc Shooter" for when I get home ;) hahaha

Overall it has been a really good week. The area is really starting to open up and we see a lot of work that needs to be done. We pray that we will be the proper instruments in the hand of the Lord. The whitewashing effects are over, we are now just getting to work. There is so much work to be done her in the Camarin 1st ward. 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week! Thanks for all the birthday wishes.  Mother, hopefully you can get that Elk! Erin and Landon, the pictures look wonderful. Have a great Thanksgiving, Eat Lots! 

Love, Love Love, 
Elder Nielsen

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Work is Starting Again‏

We had a lot better week this week. We are really starting to familiarize ourselves with our area, making it a lot easier to find and teach. We have two current progressing investigators, but a lot of potential investigators that will hopefully soon start progressing. The first one is Brother Danilo. We found Brother Danilo sitting on his porch one night and we stopped and started talking to him. He agreed to listen to our message, so we taught him the Restoration and he really enjoyed our message. By our next lesson he had read the whole Restoration pamphlet. Our next lesson was on the Book of Mormon, he agreed to read the introduction. By our next lesson, he had read the whole introduction, testimonies of all the witnesses and was now reading Joseph Smith's testimony. We were very thrilled when he told us. We invited him to come to church last Sunday and he came. We have very high hopes for this brother. Our next progressing investigator is Sister Abrasado, she's been taught by the missionaries a while back but never really progressed or accepted their message. Her daughter is an active member, but she has still been a little reluctant to join the church. But she has been keeping our reading assignments and attended church last Sunday with her other nonmember daughter. We pray for her and are hoping she will continue to go to church and eventually follow her daughter's example and be baptized. Another family that we have really been focusing on is the Akala family. They have been taught by the missionaries for about 5 months now. They read the Book of Mormon, pray, and know our message is true. But their only problem is attending church, this is why they have not been baptized yet. Brother Akala is a manger at a local grocery market and he has work every Sunday. Sister Akala has to take care of their two young children and says she can't control and watch them both at church alone. Elder Gurtiza and I decided we wanted to be a little bold with them, we taught them about baptism and the purpose of baptism. We extended a baptism invitation for January 2nd, and to our relief they accepted. They said they really wanted to start going to church and are going to try to figure out a way with Brother's job. We have high hopes and goals for this family. 

Elder Gurtiza is doing great. He was a little stressed the first week, as are all new missionaries, but he has adjusted very well to missionary life. Each day he is coming more and more out of shell, with teaching and with me. He is really start to open up with me and is talking a lot more. I know that each passing week our relationship will become stronger and stronger, which will make our teaching capabilities better and better too. 

Overall this was a very good week. Each day seems to be getting easier and easier in this new area. If we continue to put our trust in the Lord he will guide us everyday. I am starting to see more and more miracles in His work. This is His work and it  will never stop, regardless of the lack of talent and experience of the missionaries is that area. 

A fun story. So this week we had the First Annual Power Scrub. It going to start happening twice a year around General Conference. But its a special day where we just clean our house from 7 to 11. I'll tell you what', we really needed it in this new house. So we turned on some music and we got to work. It was actually a lot of fun, and the house looks so much better. Elder Gurtiza and I feel a lot more at home now because everything is organized and clean. 

Besides that it has been a pretty good week. Last week we bought a basketball so every morning we have been playing basketball at the court right next to our house. We have been getting a few good pick-up games, so that has been a lot of fun. And I'm really excited to hear about mom's elk hunt. I've been praying that you'll get a "big one", I figured it worked with Dad's bull elk hunt when I was 5, so I'm trying it again ;) You guys are all great. I've been blessed with such a great family. Unfortunately, it took me traveling across the world to realize how great all of you all are, but know I pray about each of you daily. Thanks for all the love and support! :) 

Mahal ko kayo 
Elder Nielsen 

1. Last day in Malolos 
2. I forgot to send this, but my Batch after the first 4 week

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fwd: Elder Nielsen‏

Dear Brother and Sister Nielsen,

My husband and I, Elder and Sister Brady, have served with Elder Nielsen the past few weeks.  We have missed him since he has been transferred.

We just wanted to let you know what a fine young Elder he is.  He is very dedicated to the missionary work, and has a warm personality.  We enjoy working him in Malolos.  He told me that you live in Elko, Nevada.  I grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho not too far away. 

With a great like Elder Nielsen, the work is moving forward in the Quezon City North Mission!  

Elder and Sister Brady
Quezon City North Mission
Sister Mary R Brady
"Chosen by God to serve him below,
To ev'ry land and people we'll go,
Standing for truth with fervent accord,
Teaching his holy word."

Monday, November 9, 2015

"We aren't in Malolos anywhere.. "

Hello Family! A lot has happened this last week! So Wednesday was transfer day, so all the trainers went to the mission home to pick up their trainees. So they had some workshops and I got to talk to all my batch mates who were training too, so that was a lot of fun. Then we were assigned our companions. Elder Gurtiz is my trainee or anak (child). He is a Filipino from a province near Baguio, up north. He is great. He is kinda shy and quiet, but give him a few weeks and I think I can break him out of his shell ;) 

So my new area is completely different from Malolos. I am in the big city now. I am actually like 5 minutes away from the mission office which is still kind of weird for me. But the first day we made it back to our apartment and met our kabahay. I am housemates with someone I knew back in Malolos, Elder Perkins. He's from Salt Lake, and we get along really well. We like to talk since we both have quiet Filipino companions. But he shows us our study room, (the room of the old Elders) and it s just a mess.. It was so bad. Hahaha it look like they left in a hurry, they left ties, pants, random weird things, papers, pamphlets, scriptures, just everything you could possibly think of. It was a mess. I wish I would've taken a picture. But the area book hadn't been updated in months.. It was quite the welcome hahaha. 
My companion and I just tried to hit the ground running this week. Due to the fact that we both were completely new to the area, we decided to make this week a learning week. We wanted to learn the area, streets, members, investigators, ect. But unfortunately, the area book and board was a bit outdated, and was little help to us. The first two days we had a worker come with us, which was such a blessing. He was able to show us where members, Less Actives, and investigators lived. He was such a big help for us. On Friday and Saturday we did not have a worker so we were left to fend for ourselves. These days we did a lot of contacting, OYM's, and finding. We were able to find some recent converts and less active families. And teach a few new investigators.

 On Friday we experienced a tender mercy. The past elders left a note of all the names of investigators, Less Actives, and Recent Converts. Unfortunately we did not have addresses or last names to some of these families, so we had no idea where they lived. But on Friday night we were contacting people, and we decided to talk to this one man walking down the street. He told us he lived with a member of our church, so we asked if he could show us to his house. He agreed, and took us to his home. When we got to his house we met the wife of the member, we later learned that this member was very less active. She said she had been taught by the missionaries too, so we asked her name, and it turns out she was the same person who the missionaries wrote about in their note. It was a miracle we were able to find her and we talked talked to the exact person who was living with them. I know even though we felt lost and alone in this new area, the Lord was watching over us and directing us in the ways we need to go. 

Saturday was probably the most tiring day of my mission. We walked literally all day. And there are tons of steep hills in our new area. But we did get 48 received this week. So our efforts of just talking to everyone worked. Since we have no progressing investigators in our area I figured we had to just start from scratch. 

My new companion Elder Gurtiza is a great missionary. I feel bad that his first few days in the mission had to be so hard and confusing. But he has had a positive attitude the whole time. He likes to work hard and has been such a big help finding and teaching. He is a big help in the Tagalog. And to answer moms question last week. No I don't think I have mastered it yet or anywhere close. I can read and write and understand fairly easily. The hardest part for me is just speaking. But training should help me with that. 

I'm not sure Dad, I will try to find some more information about that. It might not be open to the public or something. 

But this transfer is definitely going to be a challenge. My faith will be tested. But the challenging and hardest times always have the most rewarding outcomes :)

Love all of you so much. Thanks for all the support and love. Because I have been given much I too must give. Have a great week, and enjoy the cool weather, I'm sitting here sweating in a computer shop ;) 

Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Goodbye Malalos..‏

This was probably the CRAZIEST week of my mission. First things first, our investigators. Our investigator Jason was baptized and confirmed this week! It was very exciting to be able to watch him grow and enter in the waters of baptism. He was very excited and it was a really spiritual experience for him. The bishop is going to interview him next Sunday in order to receive the priesthood. Our other investigator, Sister Lourdess, had her interview last Saturday and is going to be baptized this Sunday. We were talking with her last week about her baptism and then she said, (referring to her teenage daughters in the room) "Yes, and they're next!" Then she took one of her daughters to church with her last Sunday. Her family is very important to her and she wants to be with them forever so she knows how important it is for them to be baptized. We want to start teaching her children next. Our other investigator who is getting baptized on the 21st of November invited one of her friends to church. She is doing great and is starting to make a lot of friends in the church, which is so vital. Our area is really starting to progress and is showing signs of even more progression. There is just so much work to be done here in Malolos. 

Unfortunately, I will not be here to see all the fruits of our labor, but I know Elder Godinez will do a wonderful job taking care of and teaching our investigators. I will not be here because I am transferring.. I will tell you the story.. So Friday, during weekly planning we get a call from the zone leaders and they told Elder godinez and I that we are training! We coudn't tell if they were serious, but they told us to go check our emails and we had an email from president informing us that we are training. My kabahay was going crazy and saying how no foreigner has ever trained after training. We found out later, that Elder Webb, Elder Snyder, Elder Lake, Sister Stancliffe, and I are ALL training! Which has never happened.. Everybody has been telling us that President thinks we are the future hope for this mission. We thought for sure that I would stay and Elder Godinez would open area, ( he was actually already packed, and said all his goodbyes to the ward and ect.. hahahaha) then yesterday they told me I am transferring and opening area! I'm headed to the NOVA zone. I was quite shocked and a bit overwhelmed when I was informed that I would be training. I felt much like the new apostles in last General Conference, feeling a bit unqualified for the new calling. I was a bit uneasy and skeptical of my abilities much of Friday and Saturday. But I fasted that I would receive a peace and comfort about this very sacred responsibility. My fasting efforts were answered and I feel much more at ease now. I now that the Lord has called me to this calling and if I am faithful and obedient he will help me and guide me in all things. He will make the weak things strong, and he qualifies who he calls. I know if put my trust in him and work with all my heart, might, mind and strength he will help and guide me along the way. 

So this is my last day with Elder Godinez. I am thankful for the opportunity to be companions with Elder Godinez. He is a great missionary and has taught me many things about this work. He truly loves the people and this gospel. He will make a wonderful trainer for this new missionary. I am thankful I was able to serve along side of him. 

We had a 6pm curfew on Saturday and Sunday because its Halloween and its kinda crazy. There is no trick or treating here, all the adults and the teens go to the cemetery and sleep by the graves and stuff. Its kind of an interesting celebration? lots of candles and food and such! But since we had a curfew we bought two big chickens and had a going away feast. It was great. 

SO crazy last week in Malolos. I'm packing and headed up to pick up my trainnee tomorrow, then somehow find our new appartment.. 


Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 26, 2015

Last Week of Training

Another good week this week. Our investigator Jason's baptism was rescheduled to next Saturday instead of last week, due to our ward having a temple trip last Saturday. But he said that it is okay and he is still very excited to be baptized. He told us that he was thinking about his baptism all last week at work. He is a little nervous but we continue to reassure and comfort him. We met with him on Sunday and reviewed everything and answered any questions or concerns he had. We now look forward to this Saturday for his baptism. 

Or other investigators are continuing to progress too. Sister Lordess is planning on being baptized on November 7 and the Paraiso family is planning on being baptized on the 14. We taught Sister Lordess a lot about temples this week and then in Sunday school class the lesson was on temple marriage. She was a little concerned when the teacher taught in order to be able to enter the highest kingdom in the Celestial Kingdom you have to be married in the temple ( she is a single mom, not living with her husband). We answered her concerns but it seemed like she was still a bit worried because she really wants to reach the highest kingdom. But we need to just take things one at a time with her because first she needs to be baptized, then we can start working on the temple marriage after that. The Paraiso family is doing well. Her husband is always very busy with his job so he is only been able to listen to us a few times, but Sister Paraiso is the one who is really progressing. Every time we teach her she always has the best questions for us. She just really wants to understand and soak everything in. When we answer her questions you can always see how she's starting to understand the gospel more and more every lesson. 

We had Zone Conference last week and I really enjoyed it, I learned a lot and received some good personal revelation. We watched this video clip of these two recent return missionaries teach Brother and Sister Cook  the Restoration in just 4 minutes! They taught in front of the 12 apostles and about 180 mission presidents. It was about the best and most powerful Restoration lesson I have seen, and they did it in for minutes. Afterward Brother and Sister Cook were both in tears. We watched this because it a new thing the Quorum of the 12 wants to incorporate in missionary work to certain teaching situations. After watching those missionaries teach the Restoration in 4 minutes it really inspired me to learn and study the Lessons and the Restoration more fully. Because lately I have been focusing too much attention to teaching and studying in Tagalog but that made me realize I can't even teach the Restoration that effectively in English nor do I know all the lessons completely. So I have committed myself to really learn all the doctrinal points in all the lessons in English first, then during language study and learn the doctrinal points in Tagalog. So my goal, and I want you to follow up with me on this, is to learn and memorize the main points in each of the sections in each lesson, and have my favorite scriptures for each section memorized. I want to do this in English and Tagalog side by side. So by Christmas, I want to have Lessons 1 and 2 done in English and Tagalog. It's going to be a lot to learn but I know in order to be a Preach My Gospel Missionary I have to know the doctrine inside and out. But let me clarify, I'm not going to be giving rote memorized 4 minute lessons, but it says in Preach My Gospel to know and even memorize the Doctrinal points. Because once I know all the doctrine then I let the spirit work through me to know what points to talk about and which ones to say. it's like it said in Where the Red Fern Grows, " I have to meet God half way". If learn and study and do my part to learn the doctrine, God will do his part by giving me the spirit to know what to say. 

And a fun little side note: So they are selling baby quails right now for only 3 pesos. So all the little kids have these baby quails that are about the size of my thumb. I wish we could have pets because they are the cutest little things ever! 

And I will email on Tuesday next week due to Transfers. 

I'm learning how to be a real missionary more and more everyday. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I love you all. 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 19, 2015


Uncle Elder Nielsen..  WOOOWEE I'm an UNCLE :D I told Che Che to teach him about donuts so his first word would be just like Dad's, because according to Grandma Nielsen, Old Pop Scott's first word was "donut" ;) 

Another good week this week. Our investigator had his baptismal interview earlier this morning, so now we look forward to next Sunday for his baptism. He is very excited to be baptized. It has been a privilege watching and guiding him as his testimony grew these last two months. This is probably the biggest decision he has made in his life to this point. And we are excited to be able to watch him enter into the waters of baptism and complete his first of the sacred saving ordinances.  

We also plan to finished our lessons with our other progressing investigator this week. She has come so far since our first visit with her. She has completely given up coffee. She proudly stated that she is drinking Swiss Hot chocolate instead. After we taught her about tithing and fast offerings this week ( a hard rule for Filipinos because of poverty), we committed her to paying tithing and fast offerings once she became a member and she said, "Of course!". She loves reading the pamphlets we give her because it is easier for her to understand. Since the Ang Aklat ni Mormon is such deep Tagalog. But she said she reads the Book of Mormon too. We are planning on having her baptism the first week in November.

We also had a level 2 typhoon this week. So it has rained the last 3 days straight. We actually couldn't go out to work last night. We didn't have electricity for a few hours because the rains and the winds, and the floods. So that was pretty exciting!  

Everything else has be going well. Elder Godinez continues to teach me everyday. I really admire his patience with me. He is a great trainer and I'm thankful for the opportunity to be his trainee. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary. I've learned so much about this gospel and I just want to keep learning. "I'm [GLAD] they call[ED] me on a mission"

Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 12, 2015

October Conference 2015‏

This week flew by! I felt like nothing really has happened since my last email besides General Conference. Oh and sorry for the late email, we played basketball and board games at the church this morning with our zone. But our investigators are doing great. They are continually progressing and learning more every visit. I've really noticed the spirit in their face and eyes. You can see the spirit working within them and touching their heart. It's easy for us because we aren't teaching them new doctrine, we are just reteaching and reminding them the doctrines they once knew and accepted before this life. Our job is just to teach have the spirit and teach the doctrine simply and then we let the Holy Ghost do the rest. I've been really trying to look at them as my brothers and sisters and not just investigators. I try try to imagine them dressed in white for baptism and the temple. Trying to look at them through our Heavenly Fathers eye's is how will we really come to love our investigators and worry about their eternal salvation. 

Conference. Conference was an absolute delight. Just like Dad said, this was probably the most intently I have ever watched conference and I plan to watch it this intently the rest of my life. I thought it was a very unique conference but I loved every talk. It didn't have too many talks directly about missionaries but every talk has something I need work on in my missionary life. I noticed a lot of talks were about faith, keeping the commandments, Holy Ghost, trust in our Father and Heaven and his chosen leaders and let our lives be molded by our Father and Heaven. Some talks that really stood out to me were by: Randall K. Bennett, Richard J. Maynes, Larry R. Lawrence, Quentin L. Cook, Jeffery R . Holland, Bradley E. Foster, and David A. Bednar. Sorry, it's kinda long, but I really gained and felt something in their talks. But I took Erin's advice and already have them downloaded on a flash drive so I listen to them every morning while I workout. This conference made me realize how much I regret not taking full advantage of the church and all its wonderful resources growing up as a youth. I wasn't focused on the right things and let those valuable years of testimony building slip through my fingers. So, Summer, Carly, and Addi, don't make the same mistakes as me. Read the friends and the New Eras every month, the simple doctrines will remind you of who you really are and what you stand for. Listen to the EFY music so you can have the spirit and be a standard and role model for your friends. They let the worldly influences blind and disguise you from what really important. I'm trying to work extra hard and be extra faithful to make up fro my lost time. We just need to step towards him and he will bless us more than we sacrifice. It doesn't matter how long you've waited or sinned, Heavenly Father and Mother rejoice with even the smallest step towards them. Remember it's not the speed, it's the direction you step that really matters. Improve one thing at a time and your live will be molded by the same hand that created you.  

I really loved the ponderizing talk by Devin G Darrant and I did it this week for our family scripture. The scripture dad chose was perfect with one of my problems I'm working on as a Missionary, which is treasuring up in my heart and mind the words of life continually. I read in a talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" By Tad R. Callister ( you should read it, I'm on my second time through already)  But it talks about putting things on the altar of sacrifice, and it talks about putting everything throughout the day to the Lord. A part I liked and wrote in my planner says; "[a Consecrated Missionary] His eye is riveted to this work.He is like a thoroughbred horse with his blinders on. He races ahead, seeing only track and finish." But it's so hard to keep my thoughts focused and centered on Christ. As we are walking my mind will start to wander and I will think about family, hunting, friends, memories, etc. And I have to push those thoughts out repeatedly throughout the day. But I never I will get better at this the longer I'm out, like Quentin L. Cook said, "Self control is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets." 

Thanks so much for being such an awesome family. Mom, Elder Holland couldn't have said it any better, I owe my whole life to you, and I know I've caused you stress and pain on countless occasions, I thank you for everything you taught and done for me. And Paps, I thank you for being so in tune with the spirit. Your motivation at the end of each of your letter always fits perfectly for what I'm struggling with and what I need to hear that week, "You must have been a missionary once too." 

I Have so much to work on and improve. But even though I am a thick and hard clay, Our Potter, is patient and will continue to shape my life into the one it needs to be. 

Mahal Kita 
Elder Nielsen 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Down goes Elder Nielsen..‏

First of all, SORRY CARLY, I forgot to say Happy Birthday to you! I even had it marked in my planner! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLY. Secondly, Mosiah 3:19 is my favorite scripture. And not yet mother, but I told my companion and he said we will try it. And ERIN is ENGAGED?! Whaaaaaaat?! Sorry Am Bam.. Try to catch her bouquet at the wedding I guess ;) 

We had another good week this week. We received a referral from a member in our ward this week who wanted us to teach her friend's family. They are the Paraiso family. This family attended our Ward Family Home Evening a week or two earlier. The member was able to be present when we taught the family  this week. The lessons went very well. It was very effective and helpful having that fellow-shipper there in the lessons. She was able to explain some principles more clearly to her friend than we were able to do. It made me realize how crucial a role the fellow-shippers play in the lessons because us as missionaries don't know these investigators lives who we are teaching. But this friend has known these people for a long time and knows all their beliefs, concerns, problems, ect. so she was able to explain the principles in a way she knew they would understand. The fellow-shipper was a RM so she knew how to teach the doctrine to her friend. The family attended church this Sunday and they have been keeping all their reading commitments, so we are excited to work with them more this week. 

We were also able to teach one of recent converts about family history work. He is an elderly man named Arnold Delfin, who is retired so we figured we could teach him and get him started on family history. After our lesson, we left him a My Family Booklet and committed him to try to fill it out as much as he could. Our next visit to our amazement, he filled out practically the whole book! We want to bring him down to the family history room at the church and get him started on it. He truly is such an amazing recent convert. A little background on him, he was baptized my first week here. He's read the whole Book of Moron and Doctrine and covenants and now is rereading them. His ward calling is an "usher" so he just welcomes people at church. So church starts at 8:30, he gets there at 7 a.m in order to organize the hymn books and everything in church. He makes sure he is early so he can greet the people that show up early at 7:30. He is so awesome! 

Besides that everything else has been going well. Our investigators are still coming to church and we are just waiting for after General Conference and stake conference in order to have their baptisms.

So funny story, I had my first mission fall this week.. It was about 8:15 at night and it was raining so hard. I convinced my companion to go to one more lesson. So we got off the jeepnee and it flooding really bad. So my companion runs and jumps on to the sidewalk, so me (being a good trainee and following his example) ran and made the extravagant leap! Except when I landed it wasn't water on the sidewalk, it was mud.. so as you can imagine my feet went out from under me and splat. Wet. Muddy. Elder Nielsen. It must have been quite the sight.. But we still went to the lesson and we committed them to be baptized and they said yes, so there was a positive thing that came out of it ;) 

Sorry the cord for pictures isn't working.. maybe next week. 

Mahal Kita 
Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 28, 2015

Balot. Tapos na.

Another good week!  We got a new kahabay this week. Hes Filipino too, so I'm still the only non fluent Tagalog speaker in our house. This week one of our investigator received his answer that he should be baptized. He said on Saturday night he didn't feel like going to church the next day because he had prayed over and over but still hadn't received his answer. But that night, he woke up at 3 a.m. and heard and felt a small voice that said being baptized was the right thing to do. You could really tell how special his experience was when he was telling us the story. He is excited for, and planning to be baptized on October 23. 

Our less active youth is starting to become active again. Ages 13 and 14 and have been less active for a long time. But they have attended the last few Sundays and ward activities. We are so happy for them and are continuing to encourage them. 

These last few weeks my companion and I have really been focusing on the Atonement. We have been listening and reading to many conference talks about it and have been trying to understand it better, in order to use it more fully in our lives. We have been taking what we have learned in our studies and sharing it with our Less Actives and Active Members. We have really been trying to focus on explaining how crucial and the impact the atonement has had on each of us. 

This week we hard a ward family home evening and we had a lot of less actives and investigators show up! It was a lot of fun! We had a spiritual thought, played some games and ate. For the dinner we did something called "Budol Fight" It's where you line up this big tables and you put down big palm trees and then dump a lot of rice in the middle and chicken, pork, squid, and vegetables on the edges and then you EAT. But there's a catch, you don't use any utensils (which is common here) and you eat with your hands. It was a lot of fun and I learned the special technique. It takes practice. But my companion said none of the Americans can eat with their hands. So in order to gain the members trust I've decided I want  to master the skill ;) I also had balot this week. We had it the last night before Elder Tinasas left. It wasn't bad at all. I thought it was going to be this nasty thing, but it really wasnt bad at all, it was just a slimy, yokey, feathery, egg. Elder Tinasas and Elder Rodriguez struggled getting it down. But it's all just a mental thing, they get grossed out by the looks. I've had grosser things in Grandma and grandpa Nielsen's fridge! Like 5 month old zucchini bread.. hahahah

Sorry no pictures of the food this week, or animals.. ( mom I read your 3 out of 5 picture comment)  because the elder with the special cord isn't with us right now. I'll send them next week. 

Have a great week and enjoy conference! We don't get to watch it until Oct 10th, bummer! 

Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

1st Transfer Already?!‏

This week we had my first transfer! Where did the time go?! It went by so fast! That's why I'm writing you today and not yesterday, so note to the Nielsen family * Every transfer week I will be emailing you guys on Tuesday. But I'm staying in Malolos with my same trainer so no surprise there! But Elder Tinasas is leaving :( And Elder Rodriguez is training, so I'm not going to be the young one of the house anymore, even though I never felt like I was the young on in our house anyway, I'm like always babysitting them, telling them its bed time and making them leave on time, I still haven't got them to workout in the morning.. hahaha.  

We had a busy but a really good week this week. We had church meetings, a trip to the hospital, and a service project, so we weren't able to work as much as we wanted this week. We tried to make the most of our time, but unfortunately we couldn't visit all the Less Actives and Active member families as we would've liked. Most of our time and effort was spent teaching our investigators and less actives. Our investigators are continuing to progress, we had four attend sacrament meeting on Sunday. And we have one other investigator that has been coming in the past weeks, but had to work this Sunday. We are seeing great growth with them. Two of our investigators, who have accepted a baptism date, are currently leaving together and aren't married. We taught them how they need to be married first, luckily they have been planning to get married, so we rescheduled their baptism date back three months in order to give them time to be married. 

This week I saw how Heavenly Father makes everything happen for a reason and there are no "coincidences" in his work. On Thursday, my companion and I had to travel to Manila to have a checkup on his ear. We were waiting on the side of the road trying to flag down a van to take us to Manila. But van after van was full and didn't stop. After about 15 minutes, my companion said, if this next van is full we are going to try somewhere else. As we were waiting for this next van, a woman walked up to us and asked "Oh, are you the Mormon missionaries?", so we jumped on this opportunity and introduced ourselves and got to know her. It turns out she was a long lost less active member and she moved so she hadn't been visited by the missionaries in a long time. We asked if we could come visit her and teach her and she agreed. And just as we finished writing her address a van pulled up and we left. It was literally perfect timing. Unfortunately she's not in our area, but we sent the referral to missionaries in her area. The other experience happened on Friday, we were on a jeepney heading towards our area we wanted to teach in that day, but somehow we missed our stop, which never happens, so we decided to keep going and visit another investigator that lived farther away. The last two times we visited her she wasn't home, so we hadn't met wither her in about a week and half. So we stopped at her house and she let us in and we had a wonderful lesson about the Word of Wisdom. Her friends were talking to her about "the Mormons" so she had a few questions about what Mormons can and can't drink/eat. So we switched up our lesson plan and taught her and answered her questions. At the end of the lesson she said she would give up drinking coffee even though it would be hard. She had been reading the Book of Mormon and she went to church on Sunday. I know we missed our exit spot for a reason, the Lord wanted us to visit that investigator at that time. The more I've thought back on it, we probably wouldn't have been able to visit her last week if we didn't visit her at that time because we had so many meetings and didn't have time to drive all the way out to visit her. I know the Lord guides us to where we need to be, and when. It's our responsibility to be listening to the spirit so we can be guided where to go and be exactly obedient and be on time, so we are at the right place at the right time. 

Besides that everything has been running smoothly. I have just finished my first transfer and it was wonderful, but I wanted to work even harder and make my next six weeks better than the last. I've learned so much this transfer in all areas, my tagalog has come so far these last few weeks, I learn so much spiritually daily, and I'm learning what kind of missionary I want to be because there are many different kinds of missionaries, Amber and Erin can testify about this, but I'm starting to write in my journal traits I don't like in missionaries and traits I do, so I can be the missionary not only I want to be, but the missionary the Lord wants be to be. 

Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 14, 2015

What a Busy Week!‏

It was a crazy week this week! On Thursday we had our 5 Week Training meeting at the mission home. So we got to see everyone from the MTC again. It was a good time swapping stories and laughs. Elder Webb and Elder Snyder are in the same district in Caloocan zone. Which is a no sister missionary zone because it's really dangerous and it floods sewer water everyday. Elder Webb got robbed.. Someone broke in and stole 9 thousand pesos, their cameras, shoes, and Elder Webb's electric toothbrush.. I got a kick out of that.. hahahaha. We swapped each others studying techniques ( we have a little internal competition so we push each other to study Tagalog as hard as the other one ) And companion stories, and how we have to influence our companions to be more obedient. But overall it was a great time, then on Friday we had zone interviews, and I love it. The older missionaries are such good teachers and I'm trying to be the best sponge I can and soak everything in! I love it though, it pumps me up and makes me want to be a better missionary. 

Next, we had a baptism this Saturday. Our investigator named Victor was baptized, he's 16. He was found by the missionaries a week or two before I came to the area, so I got to experience a majority of the lessons with him. We are so excited for him, but I'm also worried about him because I have seen so many teenagers join the church and then go inactive months later. I know how important it is to keep visiting and strengthening his testimony. Gordon B Hinckley said something along the lines of, " It is important to bring our brothers and sisters unto the fold, but once they are in the fold, it is just as important to keep them in the fold." Then he goes on and lists 5 things that all new investigators need. We will do all we can to make sure he stays active and keeps strengthening his testimony. 

In previous weeks we haven't had much success getting our investigators to church so last week we changed our companionship prayers and started specifically praying for our investigators by name and asking for certain blessings they are in need of. We witnessed a huge blessing from doing this, on Sunday, five of our investigators came to church! It was almost shocking to see them all walking towards the church on Sunday morning. I learned an important lesson from this, that is, there is always something  WE can do to help our investigators progress. Before I just thought that we did our part by inviting them to come to church and it's their responsibility to keep that commitment. But I see that there is always something we can do better as missionaries to help them. We need to put the responsibility of them not going to church and not progressing on our shoulders and figure out a way we can help them keep their commitments

One family we taught still didn't come to church, she's a single mother with 5 kids and is always stressed. We try so hard to get her to church, her son had a birthday and they were low on money so they couldn't get him a cake so the sisters in our ward and us pitched and got him a 480 peso cake ( very expensive ) and had a birthday FHE for him. She was very grateful. That's one thing I've already noticed, I'm becoming such a giving sharing person. Before I was always stingy with my food and etc., but now I share literally everything! The spirit turns you into a giver! 

Sounds like everything is going great! And BYU is doing great too, GO COUGs! Thank you for all the prayers and support, I thank Heavenly Father for such a wonderful family everyday. 

Mahal na Mahal Tayo 
Elder Nielsen 

We Got District Jerseys! Jerseys are a big thing here, everyone makes and wears jerseys. It was 480 pesos.. but converted into dollars its 10 dollars! 

So if you look carefully you might recognize it is the same jersey as the Golden State  warriors. But we have the Tabernacle Logo instead :D 

We had to take some team pictures.. 

And the Baptism.