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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, February 28, 2016


We had another great week this week. Sister Rosita is continuing to steadily progress. She attended church again last Sunday and is continuing to read the Book of Mormon, she has already passed 2 Nephi 10. Our main focus for her is to finish up her lessons and prepare her for her baptism on the 26th of March. We also had three investigators attend church for the first time last week, Sister Cascarro, Sister Joanne, and Sister Joselyn. Sister Cascarro and Joanne are neighbors, and we have been teaching them for the past few weeks. They show a lot of interest in our lessons but were not coming to church. We decided we would give them one more chance to attend church and if they did not attend we would drop them. Luckily they attended church and seemed to really enjoy our meeting. We hope this is a sign, that they are still interested and will start attending weekly. Sister Jocelyn is a investigator we had found many weeks ago, but we have had a hard time meeting with her. However, recently we have coordinated our schedules and we are teaching her again. Sister Joselyn has been attending the Iglesia ni Cristo Church for the last few months, but she said she is not convinced that it is the true church. She really enjoyed church and the Gospel Principle class. We have very high hopes for her. 

I also had the opportunity to go on exchanges last week with Elder Miguel. He is a very quiet and humble missionary. He is a very good teacher and teaches the doctrine very simply. I had the opportunity to get to know him better and about his life. He is overall a solid and humble missionary. 

 Sorry I had to report to President about a little problem and I had to reply to the 3rd ward Young Women so I ran out of time to write anything else! I am really sorry! Next week na lang! I'll attached the letter I wrote to the young women so you'll have a little longer of a letter.. Please make sure Sister Simons was able to receive it? thanks!

Thanks Brianna, Sophia, Penelope , Ivy, Sister Simons and all the other Young Women that helped with the package or sent letters!

I really enjoyed your package! The food and snacks were great and the letters were very sweet, I kept them and put them in my journal. You guys are Great!

The Philippines is absolutely wonderful! It is beautiful here and the people are soo nice. The food is a little different than back home, but it is just as tasty and fun to try new types of food! Like balut.. ;) Tagalog has been really fun to learn, it is a little hard sometimes and my tongue gets tied, but it is still a fun experience. 

The mission is great. It has absolutely blessed and changed my life. I have learned so much about this wonderful gospel. Sometimes it gets hard and you miss your family and friends, but it is all worth it in the end. I heard a quote I really liked one time; "A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a short time, so others can be with their families forever." My testimony has grown so much because of my mission. I encourage and invite all you young women to serve a mission when you are older! It will honestly change your life. 

Thanks for all your wonderful examples to me and to others. Continue to read the scriptures and pray every night. I know this Church is the true church. I have no doubt about that. Be an example of the believers at your schools. Don't be ashamed of this wonderful Gospel and light you have. 

Thank you so much for your support and snacks :D 

Pagmamahal (love)

Elder Nielsen 

Thanks for lahat Fam Bam! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

President Nelson

1. Mission Picture. "Where's Waldo?!" (Elder Nielsen) 

2. Choir Picture. I still have my choir face smolder ;) hahaha

We had another good week this week. We had a very successful week teaching Sister Rosita. She is currently in 2 Nephi 9, and is still reading everyday. Last week, we asked how her preparation for her baptism was going, she answered and said, "I'm ready." She loves coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. Her granddaughter has been coming to church and primary activities with Sister Chimene, a recent convert. Sister Mago, her fellow shipper and neighbor, said that last week Sister Rosita  bought 3 dresses so she could wear them to church. We are very happy for her progress and love seeing the changes she is making in her life. Our other investigators are slowing progressing, but there is still something missing. We are trying to figure out what they need in order to help them progress and come unto the fold of our Savior. 

Our Recent Converts and Less Actives are continuing to show signs of progression. Last Sunday, one of our less active members attended Stake Conference, this was the first time she has been to church in many years. While she was active, something happened and she got offended and has not been back to church since. We have been working with her, trying to build her courage and faith, and finally she went to church with her neighbor who is a member. She said she would go to church again next week too. Most of our Recent Converts are really progressing. They continue to go to church and activities. Unfortunately, we have a few that have fallen by the wayside, and attend church every now and then. We are trying to help them get back on the straight and narrow path and stay on it. 

We also had Mission Conference this week and it was a wonderful experience and I really learned a lot.We rented a jeepnee for our zone and we drove to this really big chapel in Manila, ( 3 Floors). We got there and there was so many Elders and Sisters, half of them I have not even met before. Then everybody just kinda talked/had personal study. But Elder Alejandro and I were selected to be in the choir ( I forgot to mention that...) so went and did a little practicing before the meeting started. All the missionaries went into the gym and lines up for the picture and waited for President Nelson. When he came in the room just went silent. It was a special moment. We took the picture, then he stood by the entrance of the chapel and shook each of our hands as week walked backed in. Another really special moment. Then we had our meeting. President and Sister Bertin spoke. Elder and Sister Hayne spoke ( area presidency) and Sister and President Nelson spoke. It was great. All the talk were so good. My favorite was President Nelson, he talked about repentance, obedience, the blessings of serving a mission, and answered a few questions. It is hard to explain in email. But it was great. I will write more about the talks next week, sorry a little cliffhanger. But one thing I really noticed was how old and fragile President Nelson is. He is 91. He seemed so quite and reserved but when he spoke, he literally seemed 10 to 15 years younger. The spirit literally filled him and strengthened him while he was speaking. It was crazy. He is a character too, he was cracking a few jokes. It definitely strengthened my testimony of prophets and apostles. I was thinking about this throughout the week, and I was just thinking, these men have to be called of God, I have never met a smarter 91 year old in my life. God has preserved their health and their minds for their sacred calling. Most 80 to 90 year olds have lost their memory but all the quorum of the 12 are as sharp and smart as ever. That is a witness in itself. 

 One quote that I really liked by President Nelson, he said, " Repentance is not an event. It is a process." Repentance is something that we need to be continually doing in our lives. It should be a process that happens daily, not just a few times every now and then. I think that is something I can apply more in my life, to repent more often and make repentance more of a process than an event. 

Great. Great. Great. Week. I sang for and shook the hand of an apostle of God. A modern day Peter or Paul. I know this church is true and apostles and prophets are called of God. Looove you all. 

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sis. Abrasado is Baptized!

First off. I received your package! It got her safely, there was a little mix up, but your prayers have been answered. Thanks for the retainer! It was a little tight when I wore the first few times, meaning my teeth had moved a little, so it is great to have that. And thanks for the jerky! That's the first real beef I have had in a long time. Beef is really expensive here. Only Pork and chicken for me. I also received a package from the YW in our ward! I'll send you a picture of it next week. But it was really nice. Will you tell sister Simons I received the package and I will write a thank you letter to her and the girls next week. 

We had another good week this week. Sister Abrasado was baptized last Saturday. The baptismal service was a nice experience and went really well. Sister Abrasado had many of her friends and fellow shippers at the service, supporting her. Then yesterday she was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. We are very confident that she will continue to progress in the church. She has a very strong testimony and desire to be an example for her kids. Our main concern now is trying to get our other investigators to progress. We have found a lot of new investigator families, who show a lot of potential for progression, but they just aren't attending church. We did a lot of finding last week, trying to find that family or person who is ready for our message and ready to make these commitments in their life. 

We are continuing to have a lot of success with our Less Active members in our ward. The last few weeks, we have been finding lots of less actives who are ready to come back to church. On Saturday night, we taught a less active for the first time, then the next day she went to church. It just goes to show, there are less actives all over who are ready to start coming back to church. They just need a little push to help them get back on the right track. 

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Tripole ( he is one month younger than me and my old kabahay in Malolos) while Elder Alejandro and Elder Mabala went and had their x-rays done. It was a lot of fun!  It was a great opportunity to work with him, and learn from him. He is a great missionary and has a strong desire to serve. He is great at "OYMing", he is very friendly and warm so we had a lot of success in finding. He is overall a solid missionary and teacher.

I will send Pictures next week of the Baptism. 

Sorry I am running a little low on time, so have a wonderful week and chose the right! And President Nelson comes this Friday to visit our mission. I am really excited! Thanks for everything. 

Elder Nielsen

Ps next time send it to this address: Letters:
Zabarte Rd Cor llang-llang St
Almar Subd
Camarin, Caloocan City
1100 Quezon
Zabarte Rd Cor llang-llang St
Almar Subd
Camarin, Caloocan City
1100 Quezon

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Filipino License.. and I still can't drive..

We had another busy but successful week this week. First, Sister Abrasado passed her baptismal interview last Saturday and will be baptized this coming Saturday. We do not have any concerns or worries for her, she has a very strong testimony and is eager and ready to be baptized. It has been exciting to watch her life be changed by the spirit these last three months. Sister Rosita, our other investigator, also attended church last Sunday for the first time. She was a referral from her neighbor who is a member (Sister Mago, the grandma of Chimene, she is so great) . She is very determined to receive an answer to know if this church is true. We started teaching her about three weeks ago and she is already in 2 Nephi 8. She has felt the spirit in our lessons and recognizes when she is feeling the spirit, she just wants to be sure this is what she should do. She has a great desire to know, and a great fellow shipper so we have very high hopes for her. We also had two other investigator sisters attend church for the first time. Unfortunately their whole family could not attend, but we are hoping the younger sisters will be the example for their family. The area is starting to progress again, we are starting to find those who are ready to receive the Gospel. It is a very exciting time in this area. 

We also had a lot of success in our Less Actives at church this Sunday. We had 9 LA's at church.  We had a family attend for the first time in many months. They were a bit offended and it has been hard for them to swallow their pride and fear and attend church again so we are very happy with the large step the have made. The father did not attend church, and we are still working with him. He has had some hard experiences in his life and his faith has dwindled a little, but we are praying for him and will not give up on him. We also have seen many miracles in our area the last few weeks, people have been placed in our paths many times last week. We found and met two different less actives on the street who are ready to start living the Gospel standards again. 

A few fun stories, so on Tuesday pretty much all the new foreigners went to the Philippines Transportation Agency to get licenses. But Unfortunately, we aren't getting cars in the mission yet.. We did that because there is some new rule in the Philippines that you cant get a Drivers licenses if you have less than a year on your Visa, so we had to buy them now if we wanted to be able to drive our last year of our mission. So I got to see all my fellow foreigners and hangout at the DMV place all day. They aren't too strict on who can get a license in the Philippines, they don't even make you a driving test or anything. You just have to pay 600 pesos and you have a license. So I know have a Filipino license, I think it is pretty cool :) 

And the presentation on Tuesday went well to the 300 to 400 students. Everything went well, I think it could've gone a little better, but I am pretty picky when I grade myself. But we had over 30 new referrals and students that gave their information to us to have missionaries visit them. Others took Book of Mormons, and pamphlets. Overall a great learning experience and pubic speaking experience! 

It has been a great week. I'm really starting to love missionary work. It is hard work, but the reward is better than what you give. I am very thankful for this opportunity to serve a mission. It is a special privilege. I love this Gospel and Missionary work, and I love all you! 

P.s I watched the videos dad send, that so crazy! And just like I thought, dad is trying to speed skate on the ice. Leave that to Apollo pops! And are you wearing my shoes?? hahaha it looks like you are rockin the old pumas! 

Mahal Kita 

Elder Nielsen

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Good Bye Elder Gurtiza..

Well this was officially my last week of training. And it was another really good week this week. We wanted to finish the transfers strong, and this week we had the highest lesson that I have ever had in my mission. We had a very good and enjoyable week together. As for our investigators, we only had one that what as able to attend church, Sister Abrasado. She has attended church many times, but this is her third consecutive Sunday attending church. She is preparing for her baptism in the first few weeks of February. We do not have any concerns about her upcoming baptism, she has a very strong testimony and many fellow shippers in the ward. All of our other investigators had situations that arose, preventing them from attending church. But we need to do a better job on our part in helping them get church. This is going to be one of our main focuses for the next few weeks. We have found a lot of wonderful young families with great potential, we just have to help them get to church. 

We had a very good week teaching our Less Actives. Most of our Less Actives have strong testimonies and know why they need to just go to church, but with night shift jobs, work on Sundays, and probably even a lack of desire, it has been hard for them to consistently come to church. We had a good turn out this week of less actives at church, but we really want them to start making the commitment to attend every Sunday.

This was my last week with Elder Gurtiza. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be able to have served with him the last two transfers. He is a great missionary with a strong testimony and a love for this gospel. He has taught me so much these last few months, and has helped me with my Tagalog so much. 

So last week on Friday I was invited to a surprise MLC or Mission Leaders meeting. I wasn't sure why I was invited, it is only for Zone leaders and Sister training leaders. But at the meeting President Bertin showed a video given to all the mission president in the world.  It was talking about exchanges and the importance and opportunity that we have to teach by example and help other missionaries. But they said exchanges are going to change. Instead of leaders going to the other missionary's area. Both of the elders would come to the leaders area to see what an area should look like, and it should be a model area for the other missionaries. But in order to do this the Leaders need the best areas in the zone. So the leaders should be placed in the best area. It also talked about assistants to the presidents are going to change. Usually they just work in the office and go to the other elder's area. But he said they are going to change the role of Assistants. They should be working and being an example to the missionaries instead of just stuck in a office all day. The video gave a really good example, it said, You don't take Tiger Woods of the field to hold the bags, you should keep him on the field and let him hit the ball. Referring to what Assistants are doing now.  So the whole mission is going to change. All the Zone leaders are going to be sent to the best areas in the zone. And the Assistants are going to be sent to the best area in the mission. ( which is our zone leaders current area) So after he showed us the transfer announcements early. So after that I knew why I was at the meeting because I was getting called to be a Zone leader in Novaliches (my current zone) . So what is happening, the Assistants are moving in with us in our apartment. And I am going to be companions with Elder Alejandro, my current kabahay. And he is moving into my area with me because the APs are taking his area. So Elder Gurtiza and Elder Perkins are leaving. Elder Gurtiza is going to Kaloocan and will be companions with Elder Egbert his great grandfather, my grandfather in the mission. I am excited for him, Elder Egbert is great missionary. And Elder Perkins will leave and go to Fairview to be a Zone Leader. I hope this all makes sense.. hahaha 

So it has been kind of a crazy week. But I am excited, Elder Alejandro is a great missionary and is very obedient. He only has two transfers left but he still works so hard. It should be a good learning experience. 

Sounds like all you are doing great! Congrats Dad on the missionary opportunity. Keep following up on her, don't let her slip through the cracks. If she becomes reactivated it would change her family now and her family in the future generations. This could be life changing for them. And no I have not received the package yet.. so we should keep praying and hopefully it will get here. :) 

Thank you for all your love and support. I really liked what dad said in his letter, "My dad always use to say, he had the best kids in the world.  He would say you might find some equally as good, but none better." I think I can say that for my family. I very very thankful for all of you and your love and sacrifices, especially Mom and Dad. This Gospel is a blessing in our lives. Keep learning and growing in it. 

Mahal Kita,

Elder Nielsen

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Special Assignment

We had another wonderful week this week. I was able to show Elder Alejandro around our area and help him start familiarizing himself with the area and people. We had a very successful week of teaching, and our investigators showed a lot of progression. But unfortunately, on Sunday, only one of them was able to make it to church. That is something we have been struggling with the last few weeks, getting our investigators to church. We are still trying to figure out what is preventing them from attending church and what we need to teach or do, to help them get to church. Sister Abrasado was our only investigator who was able to go to church. She is ready for her upcoming baptism on February 13th. We are just finishing up the lessons with her this week, and her interview will be the this coming Saturday.

On Friday we had exchanges with the Assistants, and that was a great learning experience. I was companions with Elder Heaton.  We did a lot of finding since they are opening an area. He is a great missionary and a really good teacher, and really good in Tagalog, so I learned a lot of new teaching techniques and analogies. He gave me a really nice complement on my Tagalog, he said don't worry about the Tagalog, you are doing really well, and you already have a better vocabulary than some missionaries when they went home. It is good to hear all my studying is paying off, but I am trying to stay humble because I know if I become prideful any Gift of Tongues I had will be gone. Overall, it was a great experience and I took a lot from it.

Then last Saturday President Bertin called us and gave us a special assignment. He invited us to give a big presentation about the Church with the Sister Training Leaders in our area to 300-400 college students at the stake center. Apparently the Church let the students use the church for an activity or something and in return they agreed to listen to a message about the church. This will be the second lesson with them, the first time they showed the students the Restoration. So we wanted to teach them the Plan of Salvation. President was really excited for us, he said this how they used to teach in the olden days. It should be an interesting and exciting experience. Sometimes I wish I could do stuff like this in English, so I could say everything I wanted,  but I was called to speak in Tagalog, so I'll just put my trust in the Lord. 

Overall it has been a busy but fun week. I am thankful for this opportunity I have to serve a mission. I have to remind myself not to take it for granite, and this is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I'm trying to enjoy every second. Thanks for all the prayers and support. Keeping having the spirit with you always, and Tell dad to stay off the ice! No trying to do a 920 backspin tail-fish, leave that for the professional ice skaters! ;) Send me that video please! 

Loooove you all!

Elder Nielsen