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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pagkain, Mga Ahas, and Exchanges‏

This week was a lot like last week. A lot of good lessons but no one will go to church. I can see their faith growing and they read and pray, but they just don't go to church. So it's a struggle, but we are continuing to pray for them and work with them. We find lots of new investigators each week so hopefully they will go to church this Sunday. But we will keep working with them, I'm about ready to show up at their door at 7 in the morning and walk with them to church so they actually go. Money is a big problem for most of them, because they live so far away from the church. And they are so so poor. So this week I really want them to put their trust in God and pay that money and go to church, because I know God Will make it up to them, and money won't be an issue. 

But this week went by really fast. And I feel like I ate soo much. On Monday we had two FHE dinners with the sisters and that was a lot of fun, but these little Filipinos are so worried about me being hungry, and losing weight, so they keep telling me mas Pakain, so I'm always so full after. But I love the people they are so nice. 

Next, we had our first encounter with an ahas, or snake. My kamasa and I were walking down this dirt road at like dusk while it was raining and my companion says "Oy Snake!" This little two and a half footer was right in front of us so we just stepped on its head ( took pictures of course) and then threw it. So in the MTC all my teachers said there weren't snakes or anything crazy in our mission. So we went to the member's house and told them and they told us they see big cobras, pythons, rat snakes, these big lizard things like gila monsters in the fields all the time. So I was very excited to hear that! But we were also very careful of where we stepped on the way back home.. 

And I went on my first exchanges this week, I went with Elder Westenskow our District Leader. And we went to his area, so I slept at their house and everything, then we worked in his area and it was a lot of fun. His area was sooo pretty. Rice fields on every side of you, fruit trees everywhere. It was like the Philippines I imagined in my head. But on the way back home in the Jeepney we were talking and he talked and acted just like Joe Nielsen, and he was from Riverton. So I was like, do you know Joe Nielsen? And he was like," Awww I love that kid, is he your cousin?!" And I asked him about Cassidy, and he says his girlfriend and her are best friends and they went on double dates all the time. So that was a cool experience, we really bonded hahaha. 

And moms, be wondering about the food. So I'll give a little background on that.

So every morning I have oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas ( mom thanks for teaching me to be healthy), because it feels me up and its cheap. And lunch we have rice and canned meatloaf, sardines, corn beef, etc. Then Dinner I have Roman noodle stuff and bread. I eat a lot of toast with this little cheap chocolate spread. And the money we don't spend after two weeks we keep and we put it in our emergency fund. Sooo I'm going to have quite the emergency savings because I am so frugal (thanks dad for teaching me that) and yes I eat lots of fruit, whatever fruit they have in the little markets. Its not "mango season" but they still have them and they are soo good. 

running out of time, have a good week! 

Elder Nielsen 

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