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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 28, 2016

Eco Park

This is Eco Park.

It was another successful week this week. Sister Rosita passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized this coming Saturday. She is a lot more comfortable with the church and all the members now. She attended a Relief Society activity last Saturday even though both of her main fellowshippers were unable to go with her. After the activity, she told us she had a good time and enjoyed the activity. We are very happy for her progression and are excited for her baptism this weekend. Our other progressing investigator, Sister Joselyn, was unable to attend church on Sunday. We are not sure why she was not able to attend church, she told us on Friday she would attend. We will visit her tomorrow and find out why she was not able to attend. Her baptism is scheduled for the 9th of April. We were also able to find two families this week. One of the families we found was a referral from one of our recently returned less actives. The family was really nice, and very willing to let us come in and teach them. Unfortunately the father was doing a lot of talking and preaching to us in our first visit, and we were not able to clearly teach the Restoration. However we are planning to visit them again this week and we will hopefully have a better lesson. We had a lot more success in teaching our other new investigator family, that we found through OYMing. We had two great and powerful lessons with them this week. When we returned after the first lesson they said they all read the Lesson 1 pamphlet and prayed about our message. They are very interested in our message and we have very high hopes for this family. 

I will answer Mom's questions this week. "Have you ever gotten sick from what you've eaten?  How was the temple?  How are your feet holding up? Did you ever get any of those native sandals?"

1. No I haven't gotten sick from anything I have eaten. I have been pretty lucky with that. I have only had one little cold my whole mission, and pink eye a few times in my first area. I learned not to touch my face or my eyes throughout the day.  I have eaten a lot of interesting things, and luckily Grandma and Grandpa Nielsen's old food storage food has strengthened my immune system enough to handle all the foods here. One thing they do here is they give you pork with all this pure pieces of fat on it or in the ulam ( main dish). And when you are at a member's house you just can't leave it or throw it away because that is like the best part for them, so you just have to eat these pure pieces of fat all the time. Not the healthiest thing. 

2. The temple was great. It is always so quiet and peaceful. And you just get to sit and relax and not worry about anything for a few hours. I love it. 

3.The feet are doing fine. They are officially trained to walk everyday and be sore. My shoes that Sister Conklin gave me are awesome. They are still holding up pretty well. They are getting worn out on the bottom but over all they are doing great. Thank her the next time you see her for me! And yes I have bought the little Filipino shoes, but I only wear them on Sundays or to meetings because they are still new and look good. They are the not the most comfortable shoes, but they are really cheap. 

And today our zone had a zone activity at Eco Park. It is like a big tourist National Park place. It was sooo pretty there. It was a lot of fun. 

Overall another great and eventful week in the mission field. I love all of you. Thanks for all the love and support. As dad would say, " Study hard. Learn a lot. Choose the Right. And Return with Honor." Have a great Week! :) 

ay ay akin ka   (Ilocanno) 

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cow Stomach

1. and 2. Pictures from church yesterday. 
3. This is the ole E. Nielsen trumpo 

First Things First. HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPPA SCOTT! You are getting quite old! I was wondering if you were starting to slow down, old bones, aches and pains ect. But then I read your email about how you were playing basketball at mutual with all the young pups and was, and I quote, "schooling them". And you were completely drenched in sweat after. Then I thought, nope. He has not change a bit. His age keeps increasing, but in his head he is still 22. "You can't teach an old dog to quit." But hey take it easy over there! I don't want you to hurt yourself so I wouldn't be able to school you in basketball ( like I always do) when i get home ;) Happy Birthday! :D 

We had another very successful week this week. Our investigators are still progressing and doing very well. Sister Rosita attended church again last Sunday. She feels a lot more comfortable and has many friends now at church. Her baptismal interview is this Saturday. She was a little nervous about the interview and was not sure what she needed to do in order to prepare, but we explained the purpose of the interview, and told her that we would practice the interview and prepare her for her interview. She was very relieved after we explained this to her. We are very happy for her and this big and life changing step she is about to make. We have no worries or concerns for her, we feel that she is ready. Sister Joselyn, our other progressing investigator, also attended church last Sunday, and she brought one of her friends, that we have recently started teaching, with her. Sister Joselyn loves when we teach her and loves attending church. She has two wonderful fellowshippers that are present at all of our teaching appointments with her. They have invited her to Relief Society activities and have texted her just to check up on her. Joselyn's baptism is on the 9th of April. The last few weeks, we have been looking and trying to find an investigator family to teach. We have found a lot of new investigators, but we have not been able to find any families yet. Our goal for this transfer is to find two investigator families every week. We are still searching for those families that are prepared to hear our message. 

WE ate some cow stomach this week at a dinner appointment. It wasn't too bad. But let just say I wouldn't order it at restaurant. It was just really chewy and fatty. It didn't have a whole lot of flavor. I will tell you a little more about food next week.

Overall Another great week. The weeks move by so quickly! Every week I ask my companion, "Did anything interesting happen last week?" All the days just run together.  But it is a great time! I love his work. Everyday I learn something new about this never ending gospel. I love you all. have a great week! :) 


Elder Nielsen

Ps. Sorry mom, I ran out of time, I will answer your questions next week! :) 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Get your Trumpo

We had another busy but also successful week this week. Everyday we had something we had to do or attend. Tuesday we had our district meeting, Wednesday we had to do transfers, so we had to make sure everyone knew how to get to their new area and ect., Thursday we had a Leadership Meeting. Friday we had weekly planning and had to do some baptismal interviews, and Saturday we had a ward FHE. It was a crazy week! It literally blew by! 

 Our investigators are really progressing and working toward their baptismal date. Sister Rosita visited her brother, who lives out of town, this weekend, so she was unable to attend church last Sunday. However, we had many really powerful lessons with her last week, all with her fellowshippers present in all the lessons. She continues to read the Book of Mormon everyday and is preparing for her baptism. We also had a really successful week teaching Sister Joseline, our other progressing investigator. Last week, we really focused on finding her more fellowshippers in ward. She attended our ward's Family Home Evening on Saturday and we introduced her to all the Relief Society sisters and they all took her under their wings and helped her feel comfortable. She attended church last Sunday and brought her teenage daughter and all her friends to church with her. She is really progressing and her testimony is getting stronger and firmer everyday. 

Our mission is focusing on increasing our number of convert baptisms that we have. Last year we had over 900 convert baptisms and this year we want to raise or even double that number. For the meeting on Thursday we had to come up with a goal for the number convert baptisms we wanted to have in our zone this transfer and the next. Last transfer we only had 4 baptisms in the Camarin Zone, we average around 7 a transfer. So we really wanted to increase that number. We looked at some number and statistics and we made a goal of 23 baptisms for this transfer. President thought that was a little high, but we told him we think we can really do it. And as of now we already have 8 baptisms in our zone. And we have lots more baptisms lined up. We think it should be a very exciting transfer. 

Yes mother, it is getting hot. Very hot. April to May is the hottest time of the year here. The highs this week are all in the 100s. Plus the humidity. But you can't the weather I've learned. You just have to keep going. I think my body has adapted to the heat quite a bit, but I still am constantly sweating. I think I have just adapted to being constantly sweating and hot. But it is great! You gotta love the heat! 
And yes mother, we just walk around all day. But we have a really good area, so we can get 6-10 lessons in a day. So thankfully we can do more teaching than walking. And yes I think my body has stayed the exact same. I walk a lot, but I eat a lot, so in the end it evens out. 

And to answer your question from last week. Yes I do know Victoria, her last name is Deguizman. She is a very nice little girl. She was in my graduating class.

We have taken up playing with trumpo's these past few weeks. They are a little top thingy and string that all the kids play with here. They are actually pretty tricky to get the hang of, but I have officially mastered the skill, now I am learning tricks. All Filipinos are surprised that this big American knows how to do it, I think I earn a little more respect from them ;) Sorry I don't have any pictures, just look it up on google or youtube.. haha

It is a great time to be a missionary. The weeks just fly by. I am trying to follow Dad's council and enjoy every single moment. It is going by way too fast.  It truly is a special time in my life. And I love it. Have a Great Week! 

ps. Mom, I memorized all the amendments in high school. You could do that next? ;) 


Elder Nielsen 

Monday, March 7, 2016

I have never Killed a man before..

Sorry! I forgot to tell transfers were this week so I would email today instead of yesterday! Wow this transfer has absolutely flown by! By far my fastest transfer yet. We had transfers yesterday and I am... staying in Camarin! :) This will make it 6 months here. But I don't mind, I will serve wherever the Lord wants me to serve. Elder Alejandro is still my companion so no changes here. And this is his very last transfer in the mission! So in missionary terms, I am going to "kill him"! I will have officially killed an Elder! 

We had another very successful week this week. Sister Rosita attended church again this week. She has now attended three times, with two consecutive Sundays.. She is she really progressing and her testimony is growing everyday. We decided Sister Rosita needed a few more fellow shippers at church, so yesterday we asked Sister Abrasado, a recent convert, to come with us and help us in Sister Rosita's lesson. It was a wonderful lesson and the spirit was very strong. We are excited for her upcoming baptism on the 2nd of April. One of our investigator families we are teaching really wanted to attend church, but they were a little nervous to go by themselves, so we arranged to go to their house on Sunday morning and go with them to church. Unfortunately, on Sunday morning something had come up, and the parents were unable to attend, but their teenage children still able to come to church with us. The parents promised they would go next week, we are praying they will be able to attend next week. We are continuing to search for those elect  children of God, who are prepared for our message. 

Some fun little stories, so I don't think I have told you but spider fighting is really big here in the Philippines. So in the Philippines only 20% of spiders are poisonous, compared to in America where 80% are poisonous. So most the spiders are usually always safe. People go into the mountains and jungle and bring back these big cool looking spider and sell them to the Little kids for like 5 to 10 pesos. The kids keep them in these little matchboxes with a bunch of little compartments. Then when they want to fight them, they take them out and put both of the spider on a little stick. Then the  spiders start attacking each other and trying to wrapped the other one with his webs. Eventually one of them will wrapped the other one up and kill it. It is really exciting to watch. And when adults spider fight, they usually put money on it, so it is a bit of a bigger event. 

And NOTE: Next week we have temple P-day, so I will email on Wednesday next week! 

I am excited for the upcoming transfer in this area. Elder Alejandro really wants to finish strong, and I am excited to work along side him on his last transfer. This is a lot of work that needs to be down in this part of the Lord's vineyard, and we are honored to work here. I am constantly trying to improve myself and become a better missionary and son of God. Thanks for all you do! Ingat! 

Mahal Kita 

Elder Nielsen