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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Friday, July 31, 2015


We are now the Senior batch and running the MTC. The time has really picked up! 

It's good to hear old Blue is worth her keep! At least she's doing something right ;) But it sounds like California was a good time for you guys! 

But this week was another good one! We went to the temple again today, so that's like our fourth trip, but it closes on Tuesday fro construction or something, so today might have been our last time for a while. But everything has gone well. We got to go proselyting this week with the missionaries which was awesome! We actually went to our mission area too so that was even cooler! But we got assigned with a companion, mine was Elder Welch and he's been out a 21 months and he is a solid missionary! So we went with him and we went to have these two lessons with two families who are inactive. So we were walking around their little streets and it was SO crazy with all the people and huts, stray dogs, and jeepinees. I embraced the "culture shock". It was so fascinating to me where and how these people live. The streets were crowded with people and mopeds and jeepinees, and little kids running up to us and giving us high fives calling us "Joe". That's what they call all american boys. But people live in these tiny little ally ways with house hut things made up of cardboard and wood. It was very humbling. But we went to one lady's house/store and sat and taught her. I could understand some phrases and words but most the lesson went over my head, but Elder Snyder and I both got to bare our testimonies and testify in our best Tagalog which was really sweet. She was so sweet and loved how hard we were trying to speak and learn her language. But then it started to rain, and pour, and pour some more! Soooo much rain hahah. It started flooding the streets and we had to walk in 6 inches of water in some places. It was awesome! We were soaked! But we had a good time. Eventually we had to go back to the church and go back to the, about MTC. It was sad having to leave. Two more weeks and I'll be out there everyday! 
But another fun story, so I've been reading in Alma lately and there's something about being a missionary that gives you crazy book of Mormon reading skills. But every time I read its like a movie. All the wars and "stratagem". But I read Alma 60 about Moroni writing the chief judge and I thought of your mission story. So I shared your story with my district and they thought it was funny. They said they could see Elder Webb and I doing that someday when we are companions. They always tell me Elder Webb is the brother I never had. And I must admit it, he does have the Nielsen clever remarks and jokes. But I think that's everything! Have a good week!
PS. You guys need to start scouting for mom and her bull elk tag. If she wants to go see Chelsea's baby in New mexico. 350 or better. A deal is a deal ;)
Mahal po kayo
Elder Nielsen 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun
Another week down! The weeks are going by too quickly! But each week gets Better and better Than the one before! We had a lot of cool spiritual experiences this week! So the first on was on Sunday when we had our district meeting for Sunday school. Sister Coramandel who is actually from New Zealand. She told us to write letter to our family and act like we were on a plane that was about to crash and this was the last thing we could say to them. So We wrote these letters and read them to each other. Then she took them, and said the first few months they read the letters over and over. But then the months turn to years and the letter gets put on the shelf and it collects dust. Then eventually the paper gets old and ripped and nobody cares about it and useless. She related it to the scriptures and said how the scriptures are the exact same thing as our letters and stuff. And how those were people's letters and messages to their family and stuff. and she said "Don't you dare treat these holy scriptures like that. Don't leave them on the floor to get old and collect dust and rip." Sooooo powerful! Like 80% of our district was crying after the lesson. Then on Tuesday we got to watch the Testaments, only a stone cutter,and a few other short videos and they were so powerful! Everything is so much more powerful when you are a missionary. The next cool story happened in our investigator lessons, which the investigator know practically no english. But we were teaching the plan of salvation and the  investigator asked about what would happen to his child that died at 8 months old. And we forget to bring our english scriptures and only had tagalog. I knew it was in Moroni 8 but i didn't know the exact verse. I wasnt going to even try to look for it, but then I felt pretty prompted and confident i would find it. So i just kind of flipped there and was looking at the tagalog verses and my eyes got stuck on two verses 15, 17 because I saw the word bata which means young. So I took a chance and let him read those verses praying that it actually answered his questions and to our dismay it did! I was soo thankful! Listen to the spirit! Then last night we got to walk around the temple and talk to people in tagalog and practice short little messages. So we were talking to these two elderly sisters and were just asking if all their family were members. And the one said yes, but the other said her husband wasnt a member. Then she opened up and told us this story about when he was getting taught by the missionaries and had his baptismal interview and everything. But the night before he smoked again. So he never got baptised. But she says he still listens to them pray all the time and stuff. So i just felt like we should ask her his name so we could pray for him and his smoking addiction and she said his name was Vicent. And we told her we would pray for him and she was soo happy and said she would never forget us! Such a sweet lady. And pray for Vicent and his smoking addiction! That's everything I can think of! The tagalog is getting much better each week. I've been studying suuper hard! I think I get that from pops, but I'm trying to study as much as I can, My american sisters always tell me how I inspire them to work harder. My kasama I have to push to keep studying, he gets tired after studying a while. But I've memorized over like 450 root verbs this week and that helps so much. I can't conjugate the tenses properly yet because there are a lot of rules. But i'ts enough to get by. I can say like 80% of things I want in broken tagalog. But it will come, It's funny because the first week I had to ask my kasama for help in lessons because he took 4 years of Spanish and understood more than me, but now its like flipped and he asks me for help. I keep pushing him to study. study. study.
But thats about everything! Have a good week! 
Ingat ( take care)
Elder Nielsen

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hello, that is my tagalog for today‏

We are no longer the "Baby Batch",we are a officially the Middle Group! The time has floooown! This week went by super fast! We got a new batch of missionaries today and it was weird thinking that was us two weeks ago! We feel like we know everything now and aren't the confused new misssionaries. But this week was a good one. We went to the temple today which was really good! It's literally right across the street from the MTC. We also get to go to the nearby stores on p-day and go shopping, so that's always an exciting time being in the "real world" and looking at all the cheap stuff at the store. The Tagalog is still coming along steadily. We learn and study so much everyday. My brain is stuff solid at the end of the day. But Elder gray gave me a cool little quote before he left; "Your Knees need to ache more than your head in order to see success in the language" meaning you have to pray pray pray for help and the gift of the tongues. I think ill just find some knee pads so I can pray even longer ;) But everything is going well. The people are so nice here. My teacher and I have gotten very close. His name is bro Arecenna. He is SUCH a good teacher. But hes super good at basketball. But i beat him at Horse so one Point for me! The spirit really helps you shoot a lot better ;) Another fun story is there is this custodian that works here and every time we pass him, he always looks and me and say " Guapo", and just shake my head and laugh and say hindi po quapo (not handsome). But we wanna talk to him and get to know him more and ask him about his religious backgrounds. So we will work on that! Hey Jacobs farewell is this week right? Tell me how that goes! I think that all i really have. Have a good week! 
Elder Nielsen. 
And to answer dads question, We play both! He's fun to play with and he is a good shooter! But we played last week against the tongans and there was this skinny 6'6 tongan that was hot headed and throwing two hand hammers down. Hes kinda disobedient, so he was getting a little chirpy and me and him were getting a little physical, It was a blast! But Elder Gray and those tongans left so basketball has kinda slowed down. I'm working on my Volleyball skills Now ;)

"Elder Gray with Elder Nielsen - keeping the Lowry/Elko rivalry alive from half way around the world!"

Friday, July 10, 2015

Magandang Umaga‏

Magundang hapon pamilya ko! I don't have any emails so tell Erin to tell send me everybody's emails. B, both from cat the MTC has been great! I will first catch you up on the plane ride. So I flew to Salt Lake and had a few hour lay over so I was waiting sitting there in the airport when I met my kasama (Companion). He looked a little lost but he came up to me and was like "hey are You a missionary too?" so we talked and found out that he is going to the same mission. He helped me on all the planes and connecting flights and stuff so that was such a big blessing. His name is Elder Snyder. He is from Saint George. he is about 6'4. but we get along really well. We flew all the way to Japan and guess what dad?! The planes had complimentary meals and they were so good. We have sisters from California going to our mission. Their names are Sister Stancliffe and Sister Helwm both are from California. We also met Elder Lake, Elder Web, and Elder Hasting. We are all going to Quezon City North, So we all traveled together, spent a night in a hotel and went to the MTC the next day.

 It's a completely different world over here. The traffic and driving is sooo crazy. There is no rules and 5 lanes of traffic. Just imaging the driving in India and its like the exact same. It's so funny and crazy. They just honk and swerve into each others' lanes. But the MTC has been wonderful.My brain is always fried by the end of the day because all the language and religion and lessons we are learning. But the language is slowly but surely coming. You know how you used to know more than me dad? Not anymore! I can pray and speak tagalish in lessons. ( English with all the tagalog words I know). But I'm rooming with Elder Snyder and Elder Web ( the One from Nancy's ward). we get along sooo well. He reminds me of Weston Warrick and we always joke around with each other. And his kasama is Elder Hasting. 

I also got called to be DL in my district. There are 8 people in my district. Me and Elder Snyder, our two Quezon sisters, and 4 tongan sisters. We get along sooooo soo so well. We all talk and laugh together. And they have such rock solid testimonies.

Answers to your questions: It is hot and rainy and humid over here, but I'm already getting used to it, until we go to Gym... i sweat so much in gym.. hahaha. but is a lot of fun! And we have about 100 people in our MTC. I'll keep praying and learning. Also our pamilya needs to watch "what a missionary is" by Holland. Powerful talk. 

And also are we related to a Lee Roy Nielsen from Idaho, Edward Croft, from California? who died in World war II? we went a national war memorial today and I found those names.
Well have a good week! Tell the girls i say Hi!
Love ya'all,
Elder Nielsen.