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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Zone Leader!!

Dear Brother and Sister Nielsen:
I am so happy to let you know that Elder Cody Scott Nielsen has been called to serve as a Zone Leader in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. 

As a Zone Leader, Elder Nielsen will be responsible for the teaching and training of many missionaries.  His example and motivation will become their model to follow. 

He is learning to be a Preach My Gospel missionary and as he develops the Christ-like attributes he is learning, he will build a firm, spiritual foundation for the rest of his life. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to know and serve with this fine young man and appreciate the love and encouragement you’ve given him.

Sincerely yours,

President Bertin's Signature
Kim C. Bertin
Mission President


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Temple P-Day

Hello Family! Sorry for not writing on Monday, our P-Day was moved to today because we had a temple P-day today. So that was absolutely great, it was the first time have been to the temple since in the MTC. It just gives you a complete recharge and new spirit after going to the Lord's house. After our session I was actually asked to be a witness and stand in as a child for some proxy temple sealings. That was something I had never done before, but it was a great new experience.
But as for our area,  It was another good week. First off, Brother Jem was baptized last Saturday, along with Brother Jimmie, an investigator of the Sisters in our ward, that they have been teaching. The service went very well, and as planned. Our investigator, Sister Abrasado, was able to attend the service. Her baptism is scheduled for February 6th. Last week most of our investigators were really busy or out of town so it was a little harder to schedule appointments. But we are figuring out their schedules again so everything should be a lot smoother now. We have found a lot of great new investigators, who pray and read our assignments, but most of them have not come to church yet, so we want to focus this week on teaching them about the importance of church and commit them to go to church. 

As for recent converts we have some that have really progressed and some that have become less active. Sister Cinco who was baptized in December has continued to progress. She is great. Her Lola (grandmother) told me, that she said I was her favorite, and she wanted to add me on Facebook when I got home hahah :)  She has been to church every Sunday since her baptism. But some of the other recent converts in our area haven't been to church since their baptism, so we are trying to rekindle that fire and the testimony they have of this restore gospel. 

Elder Gurtiza is doing wonderful. I honestly have no complaints about him. He has the biggest heart and loves to serve and work hard. He is very obedient and tries to be exactly obedient in everything he does. Transfers are next week and I don't want to change companions. We get along so well. These last 3 months have just flown by. 

And I have some exciting news for all of you.. President Russel M. Nelson is coming to our mission on February 19th to do a mission tour and talk to our mission!! That is about as exciting as it gets as a missionary :D 

We have transfers next week, so I will not email until Tuesday. It will be interesting to see who will go and who will stay. If I had a preference I think I would prefer to stay in this area. But I will be happy wherever I am called.

And a little update from Malolos, Sister Paraiso and Lourdess are still solid in the church and progressing. Sister Lourdess said she misses me. I want to print off some pictures and said them to all my RC's in Malolos.

And the wedding sounds like it was a blast! Landon welcome to the family! :) That is very exciting! All your emails crack me up! I can tell the marriage was a little pricey from Dad's perspective hahaha ;) I am glad everything turned out great. And Erin did a great job on the Elder Nielsen Manikin I must say ;) We add that to the missionary manikin collection. It sounds like it has snow a lot over there! That will be good for Elko, we have been lacking snow for the last 5 years or so. 

Thank you for all the prayers. I have been overly blessed in my life. I love this gospel and I love learning more about it. One thing the mission has changed is my desire to learn more about this Gospel. I think it is fascinating. I hope you have a wonderful week. Love all of you! 


Elder Nielsen
At Jem's and Jimmie's Baptism.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"That's Embarrassing!"‏

Another good week this week. We had a lot of really good progression with our investigators. First, everything is planned and scheduled for Jem's baptism this coming Saturday. He is very excited to finally be baptized. We don't have any worries or concerns about him staying active after his baptism.  We also had a really powerful lesson with Sister Abrasado this week, our other progressing investigator. We have been working with her for a few months and she just felt like she was not ready or worthy to be baptized. We have been teaching her a lot about fasting, forgiveness, and repentance. In our lesson on Monday, she said that she is ready to be baptized. We have scheduled a baptismal date on February 6th, for her. She has attended church many times, but not consecutively, but she attended church the last two weeks in a row. We also had a new family we recently started teaching, Brother and Sister Galiga,  attend church this Sunday for the first time. We have had a hard time trying to teach them, due to their three young children, who are very rambunctious, and always drawing away their attention. But last week, the children were sleeping, and we were able to have a really powerful lesson about baptism, in which they realized the importance of baptism and wanted to be baptized. We have set a baptismal date on February 20th for them. Unfortunately, we were not able to teach Brother Denilo this week because he had a bad allergic reaction to something he ate. He has been on bed rest the last week. We have stopped by a few times to check up on him and he seems to be recovering. 

Most of our Less Actives in our area are unable to attend church because they have jobs that require them to work on Sunday. We continue to support and encourage them to read and pray everyday, and to keep the Sabbath Day holy as much as they can, even at work. 

Elder Gurtiza caught a little cold this week, that seems to be going around. He was a little sick the past few days, but he said he still wanted to work so we continued to work. Besides the cold, he continues to do well in the filed. 

A fun little story that happened this week. So in our mission we have occasional apartment checks, given by the senior missionaries that work in the office. They go around to each apartment, and check the house and make sure everything clean and orderly. At they grade you based on a score sheet, and if you get 90 or above points out of a 100, you get something called the Lapu Lapu Award and you get to pick a poster to hangup in your apartment. Since Elder Perkins and Elder Alejandro are Zone Leaders they really wanted to get the Lapu Lapu award, to set an example for their zone. So we cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned the apartment so we would get it. Then on Saturday they elder missionaries came over and graded our house. Then the Elderly sister asked to see our 72 hour kits.. We weren't expecting this... ( each apartment has them) We had put our 72 hour backpacks under the sink, it is old, wet, dirty, probably has black mold under there, we call it the outer darkness. So we pull them out, and as we pull them out a little cockroach takes off running, and Elder Perkins causally steps on it, luckily she didn't see him. My bag had little baby cockroaches running around on one side of the back, so I tried to hide that side so she didn't the cockroaches. So we started taking out the food in the 72 hour kit, and apparently we were lacking a few cans of fruit our something, so it was a automatic disqualification. So she started talking to us, trying to give us words of comfort, saying how she was sorry she had to DQ us, and how our apartment was really clean. Then she said, "At least your 72 hour kits are pretty clean, last week a group of missionaries pulled out their 72 hour kits and cockroaches ran everywhere!" We all just gave a look at each other and agreed with her how bad that was. And Elder Perkins, while his foot he still on the smashed cockroaches said, "Really? That's embarrassing " (referring to the other elders) So we had a good laugh about that after they left. But unfortunately no Lapu Lapu Award this time. 

And yes, mother, we do get fed frequently. Not as much as Malalos but we still get fed about every two weeks. But we always get something called Mariendas, It is just a little food ( like bread, cookies, fruits) and drinks. We get those all the time and those are just great, especially when you're tire and hungry. The people take care of me here, no worries there.  

Overall another great week. Thank for all the letters and updates, Erin and Landon good luck on the marriage and reception this week! That really exciting fro you two :) I love all of you and pray for you always. Choose the Right. And always been an example of the believers.

Mahal po kayo

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Back To Normal Again‏

Another good week. We feel a little relieved that the Christmas season is officially over. Our schedule will hopefully return back to normal, with our investigators and less actives returning back from the provinces, where they spent Christmas. We had a lot of success with finding this week. We contacted some of our recent OYM's, and taught them Lesson 1. We feel that these newly found investigators have a lot of potential because after the first the lesson they said they really felt something. We plan to return back to them tomorrow, and continue teaching them. We also have been teaching these 4 ladies that are really good friends and neighbors. They attended our ward party two weeks ago, and have really been progressing in the lessons. One of them, after our last lesson, said that she knows what we are teaching her is the truth. We hope they will have the desire to continue reading the Book of Mormon and go to church. 

Our investigator Brother Jem, had his interview last Saturday by President Feliciano. He said he would report back to President, but he said he doesn't see any problems with him being baptized. To avoid any problems, we decided with him, it would be best to move his baptism back one week to the 16th of January. This way we won't be rushing his baptism and can announce it in church next Sunday. 

We had a great turn out in church on Sunday, most likely due to New Year's resolutions and the time of our meetings switched from 9 to 1. Nonetheless, we were able to talk to less active members we have never met before, and they said it would be okay if we visited their families and taught them. We plan to find and teach those less actives this week. 

Elder Gurtiza continues to teach and perform wonderfully. He has such a strong desire to talk to everyone. It has been exciting watching our teaching improve the last two transfers. We feel like we can teach and transition effectively now. We haven't had any problems getting along with each other. 

Yes Mom, I remember Hannah Blach, she is a really sweet girl. She always like to hangout with our little Mormon group. That is exciting she is going to be baptized! 

Not a whole lot to write because I talked to you a few days ago. But I love all of you and hope all the wedding preparations are going as planned. Work hard always, and pray even harder. 


Elder Nielsen

1. The carolers that sang to us. The kids go to houses and sing, and the people give them pesos. We just gave them pass along cards, good enough right? And yes Am Bam, that is a lava lava, or how every you spell it. A Polynesian sister gave it to me in my last area.
2 Our Christmas Picture

Friday, January 1, 2016

Christmas + New Year‏

Sorry I have been slacking a bit with the pictures! 

1. Chimene's Baptism last Saturday 
2 and 3 Our Christmas feast. 

1. I forgot to tell you. but I talked to Elder Godinez and all our baptisms in malolos went through. So Sister Lourdess and Sister Paraiso and her daughter were baptized. 
2. And my District last transfer. 

Wow, I feel like a lot has gone on in the last few weeks. But first off, It was great seeing the whole Nielsen Gang again. You guys all look the same, the only ones that look different are Addi and Erin. Sorry it was a little hard to hear me.. But I could hear you guys great, and that is all that matters right? ;) So I will do a little recapping of the last two weeks.

 So the Tuesday before Christmas we had our ward party and it was a great turn out! We had over 20 investigators come! We had 5 mothers that we just barely found and started teaching (all together) because they are really good friends and neighbors, come with all their children. We didn't even think they would come. The bishop was so shocked when our small herd of investigators came through the door. He asked, (English Translate) "Are you teaching all of them?" with a bit of a shocked expression. Elder Gurtiza and I looked at each other and gave the little shoulder shrug, and gave the you betcha response, acting like we were planning on them coming the whole time, hahaha. All our other investigators came too. I think I figured out the trick to getting our investigators to church, I'll just tell them we are having a party every Sunday and they will all be there.

Then the next day, Thursday, we had a our Mission Christmas Party. But it was only with half the mission because the mission was split into two different Christmas parties in order to fit everyone. But that was a good time, we had a few devotionals, watched Ephraim's Rescue (my favorite part of the whole day) had a gift exchange, in which I won a sewing kit and dominoes. I will probably use the sewing kit so looks like a made a good exchange there. Then we had a talent show, which was fun to watch. Sorry no talents for me this year, I was thinking I could get up there and do my animal calls, but I figured the Filipinos would have no Idea what I was doing and just think I was crazy.. hahaha maybe next year ;) . And then we sang hymns and left. It was a good break and mix up of schedule. Then we went home and made our Christmas Feast. I made the potatoes, jello, and the Filipino fruit salad. Elder Perkins made the gravy, Elder Gurtiza made Graham Cake, and Elder Alejandro provided the Root beer hahaha. Then we bought chicken and rolls. It was a great meal and everything tasted great. 

Then, on Christmas we woke up and went and played basketball for a few hours, came home made a big breakfast of eggs, potatoes, bacon, and toast. It was the first "American breakfast" I have had in a long time! The we had a few other eating appointments and played a little cards. Overall, a happy Christmas, with lots of eating. 

Then On Saturday we had Chimene's baptism, and everything went just great. We had a really good turnout, the primary sang, her parents came. It was just a really sweet baptism. We bought paper and we did the little thing where everyone writes their testimonies, and then gives it to her, and at the end she bore her testimony and it was just the sweetest thing. She said, that they said the water would cold, but she said, that she didn't even feel the coldness because her feelings were so warm inside. Elder Gurtiza and I have just grown to love her so much and we were so happy to see here baptized.

Then last night was New Years so we had a curfew at 5 o'clock, so we came home and just ate some chips, dip and had some pop and just watched the fireworks. It was a nice simple New Years. But the people are crazy here with the fireworks. It was literally like we were in a war, with some many explosions coming from literally every direction. It was the loudest fireworks and stuff I have ever seen. It was almost a little chaotic hahaha. But it was a lot of fun and exciting to watch. 

The last few weeks have been kind of hectic and crazy, so I'm excited to just get things back to normal so I can focus back on missionary work. This year, 2016, will be my full year of missionary service, so I'm excited so see what is in store and what I will learn and how much I will grow. 

To answer mom's questions, about the wild pigs, It is kind of hard to explain in writing but in summary, we were trying to get close enough to take a picture, and then the pigs started making these weird squealing noises and we thought they were going to attack us, so we took off running like we have never ran before. Next, that man is Tatay Denilo, I usually talk about him in my letters. He still attends church, is about completely over his addiction to coffee, but he has not been baptized.. yet. We have big plans for him. And Kevin seems great.He seems really nice and home grown, I think we will get a long just fine. And when my truck or four wheeler breaks he can fix it, sounds perfect to me! ;) 

So I decided I haven't done a very good job answering your questions or talking about the culture. So if you have any questions just write them at the end of your emails and I will try to answer them :) 

Thank you so much for all the encouragement and support. I love all of you. You have been such good examples for me in my life. I know this Gospel is true. I know this is literally the best thing I could be doing in my life right now. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Mahal Kita 

Elder Nielsen