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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

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 But unfortunately, the area book and board was a bit outdated, and was little help to us.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

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