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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Snapping Turtles+ Large Spiders= Fun Exchanges!

1. Some tasty squid!
2. Family Home Evening at the Mago's house. 
3. The weird cars I was telling you about. 


We had another good week this week. The Nicol family was able to attend church for the first time last Saturday. Unfortunately, Brother Nicol was not able to attend church because he hurt his foot in construction work last week. He really wanted to attend with his whole family, but hopefully his foot will be healed so they will be able to attend next week as a complete family. The Nicol family has really started progressing these last two weeks. They know what we are sharing is true, and now they are starting to show their faith by keeping our commitments and going to church. The Nicol family is preparing to be baptized on the 28th of May. We have very high hopes for this family. Brother Rudy and Sister Mirna, an investigator family we found two weeks ago, has also showed major signs of progression. Brother Rudy was able to attend church last Sunday for the first time. We classified Brother Rudy as a "Golden Investigator". He feels that the message of the Restoration is true and he wants to be baptized. He was smiling all day at church yesterday and he was shaking and making friends with all priesthood members at church. Their baptism is also scheduled for the 28th of May. There are many recent converts in are area, and most of these recent convert's families are not members so we have really been focusing on our recent convert's families and all their relatives. Our area is really starting to progress and we are very excited for the upcoming weeks.
It was a busy but fun week! Elder Alcala is a great missionary, it will be a good transfer with him! But on Saturday we had exchanges with the Assistants. So we are already living with them, so it was a really easy exchange! But I was companions with Elder Perkins! He is probably one of my favorite missionaries in the mission, so we knew the day was going to be a fun day. We had a great day sharing stories and experiences in our mission and just laughing, but of course it was a very spiritual day and I learned a lot . But some experiences we had was when we went into this house to teach some active member nanays and they showed us some cool little turtles their little grandsons had found in the river. They were the weirdest turtles I have every seen, they were still really small, but they were so fast and they had the longest necks! They grandma thought it was some kind of crazy weird kind of mutton turtle. They told us to grab it because they were swimming around in this little tank, so I grabbed it and that little bugger started snapping and me and trying to bite me, and all of them started screaming because I was putting it close to them, It was really funny. But they were the littlest, quickest snapping turtles I had ever seen, Then later this huuge spider cam running through the house and they all started screaming again and all the little kids were trying to catch it. It was so funny. I will send you a picture of the spider next week. I am sure Erin will love it ;) Sorry the stories are hard to explain over email, just ask about them in the Mother's day call or something :)
Overall another busy and fun week in the mission. I am really start to love my mission more and more every week. I can express myself in the language and I even joke around too, and that helping to be more of myself. I love the mission, and I love serving Our Saviour, it is a special time in my life and I am trying to work my hardest and make the most of it! I love all of you! Choose the Right! At bumalik nang may pangal. ( Return with honor)
ay ay atin ka
Elder Nielsen 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Home Sweet Camarin

We had another great week this week. Sister Jocelyn was baptized last Saturday and she received the Gift of Holy Ghost on Sunday. It was a wonderful baptismal service and Sister Jocelyn bore a very strong testimony about how she knew that this church was true. We are sure that she will stay active in the church. She has great fellow-shippers and friends in the church and she also has a very strong testimony about the truthfulness of this church. Our next goal is to get her to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Unfortunately none of our other investigators were able to attend church last Sunday. We have been struggling with getting our investigators to church. We are able to find lots of new investigators every week but we just can not get them to go to church. We have been trying to improve our commitments and our invitations these last few weeks, but we still have not seen too much of a difference. We are still trying to figure out what we can do better or improve in order to get them to go church. 

Our recent converts are doing great and still progressing. They still attend church every Sunday and are participating in the ward and youth activities. Most of our recent converts are about to finish their RC reteaching lessons. We are very happy with their progression and desire to continue to strengthen their testimonies. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to be companions with Elder Alejandro. He is a very consecrated missionary. He has taught me so much these last two transfers. He has help me immensely with my Tagalog and my teaching. He worked as hard as he could until the very end. He truly has been a wonderful example for me. 

Also, we had transfer announcements this week. ( the reason I didn't email yesterday, sorry I forgot to tell you) And of course Elder Alejandro is going home, so I will be staying in Camarin for another transfer. This will make 5 transfers or 7 1/2 months. But I don't mind, I really like this area and the time flies by anyway. But my new companion is Elder Alcala. He is a pretty young missionary ( younger than me, like 4 1/2 or 6 months I think) and he has never been a zone leader before. So I will kind of be his trainer/helper. But I have only heard good things about him, so I am very excited. I am happy he is another Filipino. I love to ask them questions about the conjugations and grammar. And also, Elder Perkins (my old kabahay) was called to be an Assistant, so he is back in the Camarin apartment. He is companions with Elder Goodwin, a Elder from Idaho Falls. He is nice and home grown. We get along really well and we love to joke around with each other, so I am excited to be their kabahays again. 

The Camarin Zone is doing well. The missionaries in our zone worked very hard this transfer and they showed a lot of improvement. We are excited to see how well they will do this upcoming transfer. Remember how I told you our zone goal was 23 baptisms? Well we ended up only getting 20 baptisms this transfer. But that is still really good because last transfer our zone only had 4 baptisms. So that is improvement! 

+Mother's Day Calls+ 
So we need to set another time and date for the Mother's Day calls. You have the options of the 8th or 9th of May. Whatever time you guys want. We can do the same time as last time, if that worked for you guys? My plan was to call on May 9th, (Monday here, Sunday for you) around 9 o'clock my time. So around 7ish p.m. for you guys. But have a family council and let me know what you guys decide. 

And to answer Mom's question if I get I get discouraged, ummm not really, I get frustrated sometimes, like when I know what to say but the words won't flow out smoothly in Tagalog, or when I lose my focus during a lesson or something, Or when our investigators don't go to church...;) But usually that only lasts for a little while. The mission is really teaching me to be a lot patient, patient with other people, myself, and patient during the hard times. Usually I just think of all I have been blessed with and the Eternal perspective and all my frustration or discouragement goes away. 

Thanks for all you do and all your prayers. Keep striving to improve everyday. I Hope Adelaide feels better! I am grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission and help other people grow and also help myself grow. Looove you all. 


Elder Nielsen

Ps. Sorry no pictures. Next week na lang! 

Monday, April 11, 2016


We had another good week this week. Sister Joselyn, her bother Danny, and his wife Ester were all able to attend conference last Sunday. They really enjoyed listening to the conference in Tagalog. They said they really enjoyed all the music and talks. Sister Joselyn will be baptized this coming Saturday. She has such a strong testimony and desire to follow the Savior. We are also teaching her brother Danny and her sister in-law Ester. They too are showing great progress and are progressing. Brother Nicole, the father of an investigator family we are teaching, also attended conference. This is the first time that Brother Nicole has been able  to attend church. Brother Nicole has great faith and understands the reasons why  he needs to be baptized, but he has been struggling keeping commitments and attending church. We are hoping last weekend will be a turning point for him and he will start to have a stronger desire to attend church every Sunday and be baptized. We are really starting to see some great progression in our area.

We had two exchanges this week. The first exchange was with the Assistants last Wednesday. I always enjoy going on exchanges with them because I always learn some much from them. I was companions with Elder Heaton, and he taught me many new teaching analogies and new words in Tagalog that I will use in my proselyting. The other exchanges that we had this week was with Bagong Silang 2, Elder Martel and Elder Miguel. I had the opportunity to be companions with Elder Martel. Elder Martel is a very good teacher. He does really well at connecting and relating the lessons to the people that we were teaching. He is a outgoing Elder and likes to talk and OYM with everybody that we pass. The only area that Elder Martel is struggling in is his planning. When I checked his planner, there were many days that were not filled out completely or the key indicators were not written. He admitted to me that he has not been planning as well as he could have been. I encouraged him to plan everyday and use his planner more effectively in order to help the people he is teaching in his area and to essentially better fulfill his purpose. He committed to me that he would improve his planning. 

Conference was absolutely wonderful. I learned sooo much. They were all my favorite. It is hard to pick just a few. But I really liked, President Nelson's talk on prayer, both of President Uchtdorf's talks, Elder Bednar, Elder Holland, pretty much all of them! They were all pretty unique and powerful talks. And my favorite song was Come thou Fount. That song is so powerful and loud when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings it. My favorite session was the Priesthood session. All those talks were great. It is funny how fast the conference sessions go as a missionary. I remember how some of the sessions would just feel so long for me back in the day. But now the sessions just fly by. I love General Conference, and especially more now as a missionary. I always find so many ways to improve. So many areas where I am lacking and struggling in. I have this vision of the new and improved Elder Nielsen that I imagine myself to be at the end of my mission. And in order to get there I have to continually improve. I have to Fix and improve the little things and big things in order to get there. I'm really excited for when the Ensign will come out with all the talks. I still haven't finished all of the talks from last conference! But I am getting close! Overall a very spiritual and uplifting weekend. 

A story I forgot to tell you. Now people are selling the little quails again but now they are selling little baby ducks, or ducklings now too. They are the cuttest little things. ALl the little Filipino kids run down the street chasing and playing with their little ducks and quails. I always ask them to let me hold their little birds. They only cost like 40 cents. I might bring some home with me and start a duck and quail farm like Grandpa ;) 

Thanks for all the prayers and support. Thanks Summer for watching over the "flat" Elder Nielsen. Carly, even though I am flat I can still be squished! Congratulations to Amber and Kevin for their big Day! Welcome to the Fam Kevin! Now that it is official.. Kevin, The bug needs a little repairing, the trooper needs an oil change, and the van needs a fix up, so when you have some time that would be nice of you if you could just fix those ;)  Amber chose wisely on who she would marry, now we have a new mechanic in the family ;) 
I love this work and the People of the Philippines. And I love all of you. Have a great week! 

Mahal kita 

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

"The Elections are Heating Up" ;)

1 and 2 Sister Rosita's Binyag
3 The Promised Land. 

We had another great week this week. First off, Sister Rosita had her baptism on Saturday and it was a wonderful baptismal service. She bore her very simple but powerful testimony at her baptism. It has been amazing watching her testimony grow these last few months. We are very happy for her and her decision to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. We are not worried about her because she has great fellowshippers and she can go to church with Sister Mago every Sunday because they are next door neighbors. Our next goal is for her to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead. Sister Joselyn was unable to attend the baptismal service or church yesterday because she went out of town for a doctors appointment. We visited her last night and had a very powerful lesson with her. We talked about her baptism and her preparation for her baptism, she said she was not quite ready to be baptized this week, so we rescheduled her baptism to the 16th of April. 
We are really struggling getting our investigators to church right now. All of our investigator promise to go and then on Sunday none of them show up. Therefor our main focus this week is getting our investigators to church. We also want to focus on member present lessons, last week we had many member lessons planned but they all fell through. We want to increase our member present lessons in order to increase our investigators at church. 

Our companionship is doing well. Elder Alejandro is a very hard worker and wants to finish his mission strong. He is a great example for me and I have been learning lots from him. 

The elections are coming up in the Philippines! The campaigning is a little different here.. So all the mayors, VP, Secretaries, ect. they all make posters and stickers and big signs with their pictures and names on them. And they make like thousands and thousand of them and they put them literally EVERYWHERE. There are so many posters and pictures of all the different candidates. Then they hire people to drive around these little cars (covered in posters) with huuuge speakers blasting these songs about the candidate. The songs are all the super famous up beat songs, ( like Happy, and like all the popular american songs) but they change the words and say the names of the candidate in the songs. They are really clever and funny. But these cars are driving around all day blasting these songs. Then they do little parades, all the candidates in their cars (covered in posters and sticker) and all their music cars and they just drive around all day. It is really interesting. I will try to send pictures of them. 

Overall another great week in the Philippines. I am so excited for Conference! It is like Christmas for missionaries! I hope you are all doing well! Congratulations Amber and Kevin! Save some brownies and cookies for me! ohh wait.. they would last, our fridge is broken.. ;) Keep workin hard. Love ya bunches!

Mahal na Mahal ko kayo

Elder Nielsen