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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas

We had another great week last week. Despite the many events and busy schedules caused by the Christmas break, we were still able to have a successful week. 

Firstly, Benedict passed his baptismal interview last Saturday, so his baptismal service will be held this Saturday. His brother Benjie should be baptized in January. It has been very exciting watching the progression of this family the last few months. It was a miracle that we were able to find their house after some much trackting and searching for their family. We saw their family name on the CMIS and after a lot of help from the ward, we were finally able to find them. And now, a few months later this less active and part-member family is active again, with some family members being baptized, and now, their family is slowing moving closing to their family's temple sealing. 

The Camarin 2nd ward is a superb ward. The bishop and ward leaders are very responsible and orderly in their administrating in the ward. The ward is constantly helping the missionaries resolve concerns and always helps us find fellowshippers for our investigators. The ward has been such a blessing for us and for our area. 

I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had to be companions with Elder Narciso. Elder Narciso has taught me numerous lessons and skills in the two transfers that we were together. He is a great missionary. He has such a big and loving heart. He is always reaches out and loves everyone that he meets. He loves learning and studying the scriptures and he is always striving to improve himself. Elder Narciso has been a wonderful example for me. I know Elder Narciso and Elder Markham can really make a difference in the Camarin 2 area and in the mission. 

I am super excited for my next area! It is one of the prettiest areas in the mission. It is way up in the mountains next to this big river. It is a big tourist spot. There is also a zoo in my area. Which I am excited to go to. 

I am kabahays with E. Price. A really nice elder I met in SJDM. He is a basketball player. and E. Peterson is my companion. (English speaker!). He is a really nice elder. He is still pretty young in the mission and He has had some hard companions. So I am glad to be able to be with him and help him have an enjoyable time.

The area and the set up is perfect. I have to say I lucked out on this one. 


I have 2 sets of sisters in my district, the ZLs are in my district. All sisters, means no exchanges. The ZLs live in my house so I do not have to travel for exchanges with them. 

They have a new BIG house next to Wawa Dam. They have a labandera (a person who does laundry) . Covered court in their subdivision. Weights. Carendaria down the street (food place). Nice area. Nice ward.  

I am super excited.

Take care family! Merry Christmas! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bye Bye Batch & BIG NEWs

Elder Narisio and I had another great week last week. However, due to the Christmas season, we had a little bit of a hard time meeting with and teaching our investigators. But in end, everything turned out alright. Our ward Christmas party turned out to be a very successful and productive gathering. Five of our investigators and many less actives were able to attend the ward party. We were able to introduce many of our investigators to the ward members. One of the active members in our ward was even able walk home with one of our investigator families. 

Benedict and his brother Benjie are still preparing for their upcoming baptisms. Benedict's baptism will be held on December 31 and Benjie's baptism is scheduled for the first part of January. We hoped to baptize Benjie on the 31st of December, but due to his busy schedule, we have not finished the lessons with him yet, and we felt that he is still not quite completely prepared for his baptism. Benedict has completely stopped drinking coffee. And we feel he is prepared for his upcoming baptism. But overall, we have no problems or concerns with them.

Our area is doing well. I feel like our area is right on the verge of progressing. We have about ten investigators that go to church every other Sunday. We are trying to help them make going to church a weekly tradition for their families. Once our investigators fully understand the importance of attending Sunday services and partaking of the Sacrament, we feel that they will start going to church every Sunday. 

Last week, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Gumban. Elder Gumban is a very creative elder. He loves making his teaching and OYMing very creative and fun. Elder Gumban's strength is definitely his teaching. I was impressed with his fun and simple style of teaching.  One thing that Elder Gumban and I both need to work on is being a little more aggressive in our attempts at getting in doors. We decided that it is more effective just to say, "Brother, we are coming in to teach your family, is that alright?", instead of asking, "May we come in your house and teach your family?". The first approach is must more bold and effective. It also limits the investigator's ability to decline your offer. 

And now for the exciting new...!

First off! My sister batch went home last week. Sister Stancliffe and Sister Hulme completed their 18 months and were shipped home! They were both great sister and had a lot of success on their missions. It was fun to be able to see their exit day! 

Next! We got a new van! ( I will send you a  picture of the new van next week! ) Santa Clause came through and got us a new van! The old van had many war scars and battle wounds, ( scratches and dent. BUT not from me!) We were really excited to hear that! But unfortunately, I will only get to use the new van for about another week because... I am transferring!! President mentioned that he planned on Elder Narciso and I to stay together for 3 transfers. But, last week President pulled me into his office and talked to me. He said that he was not planning on me transferring this transfer, but he said after he had prayed about it for a while he said he thought I was needed elsewhere. He said that I already have the office work and teaching figured out. He said it is too easy for me now. And it is time for me to do something else. He said he will send me an area that is struggling or "stagnant" as he put it. He said he thinks that I can help my new companion and help change his missionary life.He says I still have enough time in my mission to make a difference in the zone. He said I need to bring some energy back to the zone. but, not as a zone leader.. hint hint. I do not think I can officially tell you where I am going or who my new companion is because transfers is next week. But I will tell you next week! But I all I can say is I am super excited. 

Have a wonderful week family! I will SEE you all next week about 4:30 your time! 

Merry Christmas!

Elder Nielsen

The Old Van! 
Exit Day

Sunday, December 11, 2016

"It's NOT lookin' a lot like Christmas..."

Hello Fam!

We had another great week last week. I personally believe, that we had a lot of progression last week with our investigators. One example is when we accompanied Junior and Melva to the City Hall last week, to get their joint affidavit form notarized and filled out. Junior and Melva have been a little worried about the cost of the notarization because they have a very tight budget. We were able to talk to the people that worked at the office and they said the notarization would only cost 150 pesos. Unfortunately, they had not yet received their paycheck so they were unable to notarize the paper last week. However, they will go back to City Hall this week and get their joint affidavit form notarized. 

Another family that has started to progress is the Merlan family. The Merlan family is a family that we found through OYMing. Sister Merlan works for a catering business, which is owned by our bishop's wife. Over half of the employees are members, so when we started teaching her she already had a little background information about the "Mormons" and she also has many friends that are members. In our lessons, their family has been very attentive and interested in our message. They really wanted to attend church as a family. But unfortunately, Brother Merlan works on Sundays and Sister Merlan arrives home from work very early on Sunday mornings. They have tried a few times to attend church, but unfortunately, Sister Merlan did not wake up on time to attend church at 9 a.m. However, last week, she committed to us that she would attend church on Sunday. And sure enough, she kept her commitment and came to church with her family, even though she had very little sleep the night before. Her husband has also committed to come to church on the 25th of December, because he does not have work on that day. Starting in January, our sacrament services will start at 1 o'clock p.m. Which will work much better with their working schedules. 

Last week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges (for the last time) with Elder Perkins. We had a blast together! That was probably the funnest exchanges that I have been on. We laughed and told stories the whole time. (and of course we felt the Spirit too ;) ) He goes home this Friday. So we had a good time on his very last exchange. He is a very jolly and optimistic elder. He loves missionary work. He understands the gospel and teaches it with simplicity. One strength that Elder Perkins has always had is relating and loving the people whom he teaches. It is evident for me and for the people we taught, that he loves the gospel. He has such a strong desire to share what he knows with others. He knows that he only has a very short time left in his mission, so he is striving to do his best and finish his mission strong. I have learned many important things from Elder Perkins. I am thankful I had the opportunity to work along side him here on my mission.  

I cannot believe Christmas is approaching so fast! It literally does not feel like Christmas. Last night, we attended the broadcast of the Christmas Devotional and I thought to myself, "It does not feel like Christmas." That may be because I am still sweating here.. But also because everyday is Christmas as a missionary. Everyday, we are thinking and testifying of the birth and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyday, we are serving and helping others. Most people on earth only do these things during Christmas time, but as missionaries and members, we can experience this joy, peace, and happiness, that we experience during Christmas, all year round.

Oh and by the way, thank you for sending that box filled with candies! I received that last week. Thank you so much fam! That was very sweet and thoughtful! The three little squirts are sure growing fast! Summer. Carly, and Addi all look much older and maturer. 

And for "Christmas Calls", I was planning on doing it at the same as last year. About 8:30 a.m.on Monday (my time). That would be about 4:30 p.m. in Elko on Christmas. Is that okay? Or is there another time that works better for you? My schedule is pretty flexible because I will do my Christmas call at the office on the computers. So there should be no little Filipino boys yelling and screaming. #perks
Also, Happy Belated Birthday Erin!!! You are growing up so fast :') "And already saving China! " ;) Hope you had an awesome birthday! Love ya lots! And p.s. Tell Johnny and Seila, that I say, Hi ;) 

Thank you for all you do fam! Enjoy the Christmas season! 


Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Worldwide Day of Service

We had another great week last week. We spent most of our week focusing on our investigators. Unfortunately, we did not quite have the turnout of investigators at church like we were hoping for. Many of our investigators did not attend church on Sunday due to school activities, funerals, and for other reasons. Yesterday, Elder Narciso and I discussed our area and the people we are teaching. We decided that we need to start focusing on different investigator families that we think have a higher potential of progressing. We know that if we continue to find and focus on repentance our investigators will start coming to church. We know that there are many sons and daughters of God that are ready and are waiting for our message. 

I would like to share a quick experience that Elder Narciso and I had last week while using the Inspired Christmas Questions that our mission made for OYMing. Last Saturday night all of our scheduled appoints fell through. It was about 8:15 p.m. and we wanted to find one more new investigator family. We decided to find in a higher-class subdivision in an area that we usually do not focus on. Our first two attempts were unsuccessful. The people we talked to said they were too busy to listen and were already devote Catholics. While passing down the street, we saw a man inside a house sitting down on his coach. We said hello, and asked him if he knew where Junior Vilaruel ( one of investigators that works down the corner) lived. He said that he did not know him. We then started asking him about Christmas and his plans for Christmas. We then used the inspired question about why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ during Christmas. After we asked him that question, he just silently stared at us for a few seconds, then he suddenly opened his gate and let us come in. He invited us to sit down and teach him. He later mentioned in our discussion about how that question really struck him and he felt like he should listen to our message. We had a powerful lesson with him and he invited us to come back and teach his family. He told us that he would go to church yesterday, however he was unable to attend. We are excited to return to his home and teach him and his family later tonight.

I promised that I would continue my story about my birthday. 

Soooo.. On my birthday we had to go to SJDM to join in on their Zone Training Meeting. It was good meeting and all went well. But, after language study a few missionaries went out of the room for a few minutes and came back into the room holding a cake box. They all started singing and it was very embarrassing. I do not like being in the center of attention. But when I opened the cake box, I saw a word/name that I recognized.. A name that I haven't used in two years and a name that is also found on my birth certificate. I won't tell you what the cake said, but I will give you a hint. It starts with "C" and ends with "ody". I said, "bastos and mga anak dito" , which does not translate well, but pretty much means "you awful little kids" Somehow my name was leaked out.. anyway. Apparently Elder Narciso arranged everything and he "joked" about writing my first name on the cake, and then the zone leaders actually did it. Embarrassing. hahaha
Another sweet sister gave me a cool pen and a cupcake, which was quite scrumptious. Elder Narciso literally told EVERYONE in our ward that it was my birthday because I wanted to keep it a secret and not tell anyone. But because of that, we had a few lunches and dinners from the ward that day. Then that night, Elder Snyder and ELder Valdez bought 4 boxes of fake Filipino pizza and caned peaches and ice cream and we had a nice celebration. Elder Snyder also bought me some cool fake Beats by Dr. Dre. (too bad I can't use them in the mission haha). And that was my birthday. I thought I had survived. Then unexpectedly, in the middle of our office planning meeting on Friday, Sister Bertin went out of the room for a few seconds then came back out with a blueberry crumb cake with candles on it. They all started singing and I got all embarrassed. Again. I thought I had overcome my blushing stage, but apparently not, I got all red and embarrassed. But all went well. The cake was tasty, but not as tasty as good ole' Momma Connie's cookin'. What a crazy birthday! 

Our week was pretty busy. We had two zone conferences, MLC, and a service project. We kicked off the Christmas theme #lighttheworld by doing a service project. In my old area in Camarin. We painted the member's gate. It was nice to say hello again and help the members in that ward.

Overall, another great week! 

Have a happy Christmas season! Christmas wishes! Missionary work is the best. Enjoy the cold. I am still sweating over here. Our low here this week is around 78 degrees. Our highs are in the high 90s. You gotta love Christmas in the Philippines ;) 


Elder Nielsen

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fw: Elder Nielsen bday

Hi there!!

Sneak peak at photos of awesome Elder Nielsen at our office meeting today — we are back from Mission President’s Seminar.  
Made the blueberry crumble cake last night (yikes!  I hope I did it right) and we had it; very yummy.  

They are laughing because he couldn’t blow out 5 candles  :-)  We love him,
Sister Bertin 

Thanksgiving with the Cuuuz

Hello Family! 

We had another great week last week. Christine and Ryan's baptism went very well. There were many members that were able to attend the baptism. All of Ryan's family was able to attend his baptism. Kristine's parents and sibling were also able to attend her baptismal service. It was wonderful baptismal service. The talks and testimonies that were shared were very sincere and powerful. We are very happy for both of them and their families. 

One family that has really started to progress is the Santo-Domingo family. They have attended church for two consecutive Sundays. They have a very sweet family that is earnestly seeking for the truth. They are very willing to learn and keep our commitments in order to receive their answer. Their adorable  young daughters love to attend primary and to be with the other children. Brother and Sister Santo-Domingo really like how family-centered the church is. They want to raise their children in a spiritual and safe environment and home. We believe this family is getting closer and closer everyday to recognizing the answers to their prayers about this church.

This week, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Magpili, Elder Sajulga, and Elder Articulo. 

Elder Magpili is an intelligent elder. He works hard and is humble and obedient. I thought he did a good job teaching the doctrine in our lessons, and not only that, but teaching the doctrine simply and clearly.  He also did a good job of using the scriptures while he taught. The only thing I felt that was lacking from Elder Magpili's teaching is energy. I felt like he could have been a little more energetic and enthusiastic in his teaching and finding. I know that is a little bit out of Elder Magpili's comfort zone, but I believe that energy could play a very crucial part in his teaching.

Elder Sajulga is good missionary. He is nice and friendly to all those whom he meets. He teaching skills are little above average. On our exchanges, he talked to many people which I thought was good. I thought he was a little too laid back and could be a little upbeat while  working and finding. But overall , he is a very good missionary.

Elder Articulo is a gifted missionary. He is very friendly and outgoing. He always has a big smile on his face. He loves to OYM and talk to and meet new people. I was impressed by his teaching. I thought he was a very effective teacher. He did a very good job teaching people not lessons. He had special way of relating to each person that we taught. I think Elder Articulo 
could be a little more doctrinal based in his teaching. And also, he needs to not use his cell phone while teaching. I noticed that a few times in the lessons he would check his cell phone or text back. If he will avoid the temptation of checking his cell phone throughout the lessons, he will be an even better teacher.

I really did not celebrate Thanksgiving.. But we did have a little desert fest at night. And Elder Snyder did cook a special recipe/rendition of peach cobbler for us at night. Which wasn't too shabby. We also had smores, ice cream, and other little candies.  So Thanksgiving was still a success. And guess who came over for exchanges that day, yes, that is right, Elder Nightingale. Who is now a zone leader. Unfortunately, we were not companions. However, we did spend the holidays together! He is a very nice and goofy kid. I really like him a lot. Every time we see each other we just call each other "cuuz" (short for cousin). 

Overall a very busy week! I ran out of time today, but next week I will tell you more about the surprises, ect from my birthday.

Thanks for all you do! Loooove you all! 

ginagugma taka,

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Transfer Week

Well this last week just zipped by. 

We had meeting or activities nearly everyday. Monday we had exit day for the missionaries that are going home. Tuesday we had transfer announcements. Wednesday we had new missionary arrival day. Thursday we had New ZL, STL, ZL training and also New DL Training. Friday we had office meetings and follow-up calls. Saturday we had exchanges and baptismal interviews. And Sunday we had church. The week was little busy.

We had another great week last week. Our area is doing well. Some of our investigator families are starting to attend church and progress. One example is the Santo Domingo family. The Santo Domingo family is a investigator family that we have been focusing on. We found this family through OYMing  a few weeks ago. Brother and Sister Santo Domingo are a married couple that has two young daughters. We have been teaching them and inviting them to attend church. Yesterday, their family was able to attend church for the first time, and they really seemed to enjoy the spirit and the meetings that were held. We are excited to continue to teach them and help them to come unto Christ. 

Andrew Yaon and Christine Aquino both passed their baptismal interviews last Saturday. Their baptism will be held this weekend. Andrew's mother has been in the hospital for the last few weeks because she had appendicitis and had her appendix removed. There were a few complications with her surgery so she has not yet fully recovered or been released from the hospital. We are praying that she will be released from the hospital before Saturday, so that Ryan's baptism does not have to be rescheduled.    

The Camarin 2nd ward has had great success in helping less actives return to church and to become active again. Through the combined efforts of the ward's visiting and reaching out and our visiting we have been able to help reactivate five different families. Now we have no less actives to teach because they are all active now.. so  Elder Narciso and I are starting to focus on finding new less actives in area to teach. We have had great success in finding less actives through the CMIS and other finding activities. 

That is pretty much all I have time for right now. Our email time was a shortened a little today because of all the preparations for Christmas and the "Light the World" theme. 

Congrats Summer on making the JV team! Work hard and play well! Bring the #12 some Nielsen honor and pride! 

Next week, my email will be better! 

Have a great week! Enjoy the Holidays! And drive safely! 

Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fwd: Elder Nielsen

Hi Sister Nielsen (and Brother Nielsen too!):

I just want to thank you for raising such an amazing son;  Elder Nielsen has been a blessing to us from his first day in the mission!  He is everything I would want in a son — he is a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.  Right now he is doing a wonderful job as an Assistant to President Bertin.  We love him!

His birthday is coming up on Tuesday; on Friday of next week, I thought I could surprise him with a birthday (cake) treat during our office planning.  We were ‘snooping’ around in conversation about that and he says he loves Blueberry crumble cake??  Is that a recipe you could share so that I could consider making?

Please let me know what you think.
And thanks again.  We would like to clone him.

Sister Jennifer Bertin,
Quezon City North Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

Softening Hearts

We had another great week last week. We had a successful week with teaching our investigators last week. We feel that their faith and testimonies are growing with each of our visits. We have many investigators that are right on the verge of being fully committed. These investigators have attended church once or twice and are reading from the Book of Mormon in between our teaching visits, but we feel that there is still just something lacking in their commitment. We are going to help them focus on receiving their personal witness that what we are teaching is true. If and when they know of the divinity of the Book of Mormon and our message for themselves we believe that they we be fully committed and willing to make changes in their lives in order to follow the Savior and be baptized. 

We have a few investigators that are preparing for baptism. The Aquino family and the Yaon family. The Aquino family is a part-member family that Elder Perkins and I found. The mother and father were less actives when we met them, but now they have returned and are now attending church again. One of their daughters, Christine, has been to church 4 or 5 times and is ready to be baptized. Unfortunately, Christine has been pretty busy with her schooling lately and we have not been able to teach her. But, we are planning to stop by there tonight and see where things are at.

The Yaon family was another less-active family that we found. Before their father was an unemployed drunkard that did not really like the missionaries. However, through our constant visit and reaching and fellow-shipping to him the Holy Ghost has softened his heart. He has now attended church 4 times consecutively and is reading in the Book of Mormon and is participating in our discussions. It has been rather miraculous watching his conversion take place. He still is not quite there. He still has problem with drinking, but the Holy Ghost has entered into his life and house and is slowing softening his heart and converting him. One of their sons is also preparing for his upcoming baptisms. 

Another fun story about less-actives. I had a less active father that I was working with back in my old area in SJDM. He had a big Word of Wisdom and testimony concern. We committed, testified, promised blessings, the whole ten yards, but he would still not go to church. In my 3 months of serving ins SJDM he did not attend church once. But lo behold, one day while working in our area here I saw him here in Camarin. He is currently staying with his daughter and son-in-law, who are both active. We were able to teach him again. We taught him about the Sacrament and the Atonement and committed him to come to church. Well, he came to church last week. The first time in over 20 years! And he came to church again yesterday. It is amazing watching the Lord perform miracles in His work.  

Well, another transfer has come and gone. We will be having transfers again on Wednesday. The time has just been flying by. It is a little overwhelming at times. 

Elder Narciso is a great missionary. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be his companion. He is a wonderful example to me. He has really helped me improve my Tagalog and my teaching skills over the last few weeks. It truly is a blessing to be able to work with him in this area. I am excited to serve with him for another transfer. 

Another little fun story. About two months ago Amber sent me a talk by David A. Bednar entitled   " Reservoir of Living Water" . It was a great talk about how to study and obtain "living water". Well, I really like this talk and I read it a few times. And so for every weekly office meeting ( a meeting we have with all the senior couples and President every week to plan for the upcoming week ) we have a spiritual thought. I decided to talk about the blessing of studying the scriptures, and used and quoted that talk that Amber gave me. Well, apparently the office like the talk, so President sent the talk out to the whole mission. And their will be a assigned topic district meeting on it. So good job Am Bam! You inspired our whole mission ;) 

Also, today we traveled to Montalban zone. A pretty mountainous area. And while we traveled we listed to "Discovery the Lands of the Book of Mormon" by Dr john Lund. Wow. It was a great CD! I learned sooo much! I believe I could now accurately tell you where the Book of Mormon took place and the proof behind it. It was a really interesting talk. If you are traveling anywhere in the near future I would advise you to download it and listen to it. I really learned a lot. 

I think that is it! Have a super week! I love all of you!


Preview attachment Bednar David A Reservoir of LIving Water 2007.p
Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

One Year in Camarin

We had another great week last week. Many of our investigators went out of town to celebrate All Saint's Day and All Souls Day so we were unable to teach them this weekend, and they were not able to go to church. But overall, our area is still continuing to progress. We have a few new investigator families that we are starting to teach who are showing signs of progression. We are still seeing many miracles in our proselyting area. 

First off, we had Halloween last week. Halloween is a little different here. On October 31st it is called All Saints Day. On this day everybody lights candles and stuff for all the saints. And on November 1st it is all Souls Day. Here in the Philippines everyone goes to the cemetery on Oct 31-Nov 1 and visits the grave sights of people that have died in their family and spent the night at the cemetery.They all make food and leave it for he dead spirits to eat (waste of food in my opinion). So it makes missionary work a little hard because everyone is at the Cemeteries. No candy. No costumes. I don't think Chelsea would really enjoy Halloween here in the Philippines because we know how much she enjoys dressing up in costumes and Trick-or-Treating ;) 

On Tuesday we had a curfew due to the Holiday, so we stayed home from 5-9. We just hung out, ate, and played around. It was nice to have a little free time to relax. We were going to carve these miniature pumpkin things that they had here, but we never did.. Maybe next year!

This week also marks my one year anniversary here in Camarin. On November 4 last year I transferred to Camarin to open area. One year later I am still in the same house. That is crazy! Luckily I am sleeping in a different bed! But, I have loved my time here in Camarin. It has litterally become my second home. 

Last week I had the privilege to go on exchanges with Elder Saludar and Elder Carson. Elder Saludar is a very intelligent elder. He is very knowledgeable in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and he does a good job using the scriptures in his teaching. He understands the doctrine and teaches it simply and clearly. He loves to find. He is a very focused and dedicated missionary. Two things I believe I Elder Saludar could work on are first, being friendly, but not overbearingly friendly. Elder Saludar is a very friendly person, but I felt in some instances throughout the day he was a little too friendly and bold. I felt that his boldness had a wrong impact on some of our investigators. They became quiet and a little hesitant from the start. The second thing I believe Elder Saludar can improve on is slowing down his teaching while teaching important doctrine that is most likely new to our investigators. Elder Saludar teaches at a faster pace. Which is not a problem, but when he taught about the five principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ he quickly rushed through the principles not allowing them to fully sink with our investigators. As missionaries we are very familiar with the doctrine, but this may be the very first time the person that we are teaching has ever heard about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe he should slow down his teaching pace on doctrines that are very important or new for investigators. But overall, Elder Saludar is a very skilled and talented missionary. 

Elder Carson is also a very nice missionary. Elder Carson is a happy person and likes to share the Gospel with others. He understands and teaches the doctrinal principles found in Preach My Gospel. Elder Carson is outgoing, and he relates well to investigators and members. Elder Carson likes to find and talk to new people. I believe the biggest thing that is holding back Elder Carson back right now is his confidence in his Tagalog. Elder Carson's Tagalog speaking is about average. He can say what he wants to say and he can get his point across, but he lacks confidence in his Tagalog. On a few occasions he started to stubble in his teaching and he started to get a little frustrated and rushed in his Tagalog. I believe if he will continue to really push himself in his language studies he will gain that confidence in his teaching and his speaking. Once Elder Carson gains that confidence in his speaking, he will be that much better of a missionary. 

I think that was everything that happened last week. 

And a big Congratulations to Erin and Landon for their baby girl! That is super exciting!! Erin this still doesn't give you the privilege to say that you are "eating for two". You still only get one desert at Thanksgiving! We don't the wrong tummy to start showing! ;) 
But congratulations again! I do not know why this family is so highly populated with women.. Luckily I still have little David. We are like the last of the Mohicans! 

Hope you have a great week and enjoy the holiday! 


Elder Nielsen 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Power Scrub 3.0

Well hello everyone! 

We had another great week last week. Last Saturday Andrew was baptized. He is a part-member that told us that he wanted to be baptized. We taught him and scheduled a baptismal date for him. Andrew was supposed to be baptized the very first part of October, but when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom he told us that he drinks coffee. We moved his baptism, and he committed to not drink coffee anymore. Finally, last Saturday he was able to be baptized. He has many friends and family members that are members. We are happy for him and the step he has taken in his life.

Our area is really starting to blossom and progress. Almost all of our newly found less active/part-member families are starting to return back to church. Last week we had 26 less actives and 10 investigators in church. Yesterday we had about 16 less actives and 12 investigators in church. It is great that they are all going to church, but it is such a hard task getting them to go where you want. It is literally like herding cats. They are all trying to make a break for the door and slip out without us seeing them. Elder Narciso and I have mastered the skill of one of us standing and blocking the door that leads outside while the other one pushes and ushers them to Gospel Doctrine Class. It is quite the scene hahaha. The ward has been such a big help for us. Every time we have a new investigator or newly found less active family attend church our ward members flock to them and introduce themselves to the new visitors. We are excited for all the progress and baptisms that will take place in the next few months. 

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go on changes with Elder Good win for the last time. He was the Assistant that I replaced. He goes home in about a week, so it was a good last exchange with him. He is a nice humble kid from Blackfoot Idaho. He loves the outdoors and sports. His grandparents own a cabin on the river at Island Park and we have made plans to go fishing and snowmobiling up there in the winter. We want to room together. ( if I go to BYUI..) He has some very convincing offers for me. He said that the cabin is only 45 minutes from Rexburg, and we have also discussed going pheasant hunting up in Blackfoot. He is a great missionary and has worked hard out here on his mission. 

Also, we just finished our 3rd Semi-Annual Power Scrub. ( it is where we just clean the apartment for 4 hours). It is funny because I have been in the same exact apartment for every single Power Scrub. I know that has to go down in the record books for something. I have been serving in Camarin for a while, but i do not mind, I love it here. 

I can not think of anything else that happened last week. Just keeping busy and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Congratulations Summer on the buck! He is not too shabby! He is bigger than all the bucks Amber killed! And it is about time that 'Old Guide' of yours was able to help you knock down a buck! Congrats on the buck again! But, next year I want you to shoot an even bigger one! :)

Thanks for all the love and support! Enjoy the cool weather. It feels like it is getting hotter over here. The typhoon season is about to end. Have a great week!

Ginagugma taka,

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Full House.. of Companions.

We had another great week last week. We have experienced many miracles in our area the last few weeks. We have some less active/part-member families that are returning and receiving callings in church. We have some new investigator families that attended church for the first time. The ward is really starting to help us with all the less active and part-members in the ward. We are also started to have more success in our personal finding efforts. Overall, the area and ward are really starting to progress. Next week I will tell you about the Yaon Family. "It's a great conversion story do you wanna hear it?" (The Best Two Years) 

Well. Every week I go on about two exchanges, then I have to report about the exchanges to President. I decided to add these this week, so that you can see what I am doing. 

"Last week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Salo and Elder Kirifi. Though it was hard getting Elder Salo to come on exchanges with us, in the end, I think the exchanges were a success. ( He not would come to our house because they are very far away and he goes home in about two weeks. President had to call him and give him a little "Encouragement" to come) Elder Salo is a good missionary. He is a well-experienced missionary. Elder Salo was a little quiet in the apartment, but once we started working he opened up and acted normal. I was pleased with the work ethic he showed on our exchanges. He did not act like he was going home soon. He is a good teacher and knows the doctrine well. The thing I thought Elder Salo could have done a little better was to teach more simply. A few times in our lessons, I think Elder Salo said a little too much information in places where he did not have to. For example, he started teaching about the Lamanites, Nephites, and Jaredites in one of our lessons to a new investigator. I think if he would have focused a littler more on the importance of the Book of Moron or how to know if the Book of Mormon is true, it would have been more effective. I believe if Elder Salo keeps his lessons simple, he will have more success. 

Elder Kirifi is also a great missionary. He understand the doctrine, and he teaches it simply. He is a good Tagalog speaker. The goal we made for our exchange was to teach the lessons and doctrine as simple as possible. I believe we achieved our goal. I was honestly very impressed with Elder Kirifi. I really liked the way he taught, how he dealt with members, and how he acted throughout the day.  I felt like he really enjoys doing missionary work. He did not mention or bring up Elder Vinas (problems in the companionship) once throughout the day. I think Elder Kirifi could use a little more scriptures in his teaching. He only used one scripture in our day of teaching lessons. If Elder Kirifi will starting using the scriptures in his teaching, I believe his teaching will be even better."

So I write little reports like this in my letter to President every week. 

And a little weather update. The big typhoon missed our area. We had some wind and rain but nothing drastic. So that was a big blessing!

Elder Narciso and I also got to drive to Baliwag this week for zone interviews. It is the farthest area in our mission and also the prettiest area. I felt like I was driving around in Africa and in the Rain Forrest. It was really pretty and tropical. 

Also, just so you know. Elder Snyder my MTC companion has been our kabahays all transfer. He got transferred to my apartment. And guess who his companion is.. Elder Godinez. My trainer! So my apartment is literally filled with all my old companions! It is a lot of fun! It is a good thing we all got along when we were companions! Or that would be kind of awkward ;) 

Have a great week! Be safe! And read your scriptures! I love you all heaps! 


Elder Nielsen 

ps. Please send me pictures of the buck Dad killed. Please and thanks. :) 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"... and the Floods Came Up.."

Wow. It has been quite the week. 

Despite all the rain and floods, we still had another great week last week. Last week, we really focused on building relationships between our investigators and our active members. We were able to introduce most of our investigators to some active members in our ward, that we thought would be good fellowshippers for them. Not a whole lot of our investigators were able to attend church last Sunday due to the typhoon, but they are making plans to come to church this upcoming Sunday.

So last week, we had a decent size baguio or typhoon hit the Philippines. Things started to go a little hectic last week when I was on exchanges. Elder Diso and I were out working and it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It started to rain so we hurried and went to one of our investigator's house.  Right when we got their house the rain just started coming down in buckets. We could hardly hear our investigators. But we still taught and had a really good lesson. We left their house ( it was still raining really hard) and went outside. The little market area had flooded and their was about two to three feet of water in the market ( the market was kind of in a low area), but that was no big deal. So we avoided the flooded area and walked around to the main road. But when we saw the main road it was completely flooded. There was a river below the road, but the water is usually very low. But the water had risen 20 or 30 feet, so now the river was completely filled and the bridge and road was completely washed out. There now was a huge brown flood river. Not only that, the water was moving quickly. It had to be at least class 2 or 3 rapids plus all the floating debris. 

So my companion and I walked around another way to another bridge to see if we could cross. Same story. We then figured, that we might as well start finding people to teach. But everyone started panicking because the water kept rising and it was flooding their houses, and not a single person would listen to us. People started yelling, shouting, and crying because they could not find their kid, or something important got washed down stream, or they could not pick their kid up from school because they could not cross the huge river that was above 7 feet deep.

The problem in this story is that we could not get back across the river, and everything we needed was on the other side of the river; our car, house, our companions, so eventually we needed to get on the other side. 

I felt like I was on the Titanic because these houses just started flooding and the water was getting about 5 or 6 feet deep. All their belongings were just floating in the water. People were getting trapped in their houses. Crazy stuff. 

This was the condition we were in for a few hours. But then finally, the rained stopped and the water started going down. Around 8 o'oclok at night we were finally able to cross the flooded road. The water was still moving quickly but it was only about knee deep. The rescue squad had ropes to hang on and the whole 10 yards. It was quite the experience. In the end, 2 kids died. One drowned because the water rose to high in his house and the other one was washed down stream. Apparently, the big dam at the very top of the river overfilled because of all the rain, so there was nothing to stop the water from flowing down river. 

And after all is said and done, that was just the warm up typhoon. Apparently there is a bigger and stronger one coming this week. So let's see what happens! 

And that is all I have for my weather report here from the Philippines. The work must go on. The area is still really progressing despite the rains. (Pictures hopefully next week)

And a big shout out to Miss Adelaide May! Happy Birthday Addi pants! You are getting so old! And you are growing up so fast! Hopefully your body is the only thing growing and not that little attitude of yours ;) But thank you Addi for all your little sarcastic jokes and all the funny things you say. You keep our lives a little more comical and humorous. I still don not know where you get it from.. probably Erin, but your jokes are a lot more funnier than hers.. joke lang ;) 

Also Big Landino, you have a birthday coming up this week! ( I am such a good brother in law for remembering... p.s Erin did not mention anything.. joke lang ) 

At lastley Little David Boy. Well, I still haven't meant him. But he seems like a nice guy in his pictures! ;) 

Take care Fam bam! And Mom and Dad watch out for the Peru quickstep!

Mahal ko kayong lahat

Elder Nielsen