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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What a Week!

Wow. It has been a crazy week. We had a great week of finding and teaching. All our main investigators were able to attend church on Sunday. Brother Arnold is now only smoking 10 cigarettes a day. When we first started teaching him, he was smoking 20 cigarettes a day. Our goal for him is to be completely cigarette-free by the 3rd of July. His baptism is scheduled for the 6th of August. Brother Michael also was able to attend church last Sunday. We are still working with him, and helping him strengthen his testimony. His baptism is scheduled for the 23rd of July. Elder Mahinay and I feel like the area is really starting to come together. We have a decent amount of recent converts, less actives, and new investigators, that we are working with. Last week was also one of our best weeks in terms of finding. Every new investigator that we found and taught were prepared and ready to hear our message. It was almost surprising how well they accepted our message and invitations to be baptized. We are very excited to return to these new investigators that we found, and teach them. 

So last Monday we had some very bad news arrive. Monday was also the birthday of Elder Mahinay. President called us and wanted to meet with us. Elder Mahinay thought it was because his birthday or something like that. But President told me the real reason why he was coming over on the phone. And he told me I could not tell Elder Mahinay yet. President Bertin came over to our apartment, and sat us down. He told us that Elder Mahinay's dad has been in a motorcycle accident, and he was not wearing a helmet. His father died before they could get him to the hospital. Elder Mahinay was just in shock. It was very hard for him to hear that. Turns out, that his father and his mother have been separated for about 12 years. And he hasn't really been able to see him much. President talked with us for a while then eventually left. Elder Mahinay starting bawling and went and laid on his bed. It was a day I will never forget. After about an hour he was able to control himself. He said he knew the Plan of Salvation was true an would be able to see him again. I prayed really hard to know how I could comfort him or what I should do. Thankfully, Heavenly Father answered my prayer that night. When we went out to work that night he was very quite and did not say hardly anything. But suddenly, it started raining reeeally hard. So we decided to top and take shelter under some building. And while we were waiting for the rain to lighten up, Elder Mahinay opened up and we start talking about his father and the accident. And that talk in the rain helped him sooo much. After that he was a lot better. I know that experience was an answer to my prayer. The Area Presidency of the Philippines actually let him go to funeral of his Dad. It was only two hours away. So yesterday he went to the funeral. We were hoping I would get to go, but I was told to stay and work. So I worked with a member that is preparing to serve a mission all day yesterday. It has been a crazy week. 

Elder Mahinay is doing a lot better now. He struggled a little bit the first few days after he received the news. He was very quite, and a little depressed. We were able to talk about his father a few times, and that really seemed to help him and comfort him. By Thursday, he was doing a lot better. He was very excited when he found out that he would be able to attend the funeral. I think attending the funeral gave him a lot of comfort. I think it allowed him to say his goodbyes, and continue on with his mission. He is doing great now. He is seems to be back to his normal cheerful self. 

Then last Tuesday we had a Zone Conference and it was GREAT! It was so great. I learned lots. So President only has one year left as a mission president. He talked about how he wanted to make his last year the best year. Then he introduced the new mission goal. Our new goal is to baptize investigators WEEKLY. We are using this new calendar, and we need to write down the names of the people that will or could be baptized on every Saturday of the month. This is the same program another mission in the Philippines is using, and this mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in the world. So we are really focusing on baptizing. Then they raised all the finding and teaching goals in the mission. We are now supposed to have 55 lesson a week, 35, received a week, and 20 new investigators every week. Then they did this big presentation and we had to sign our missions "Title of Liberty". It was a great presentation. I think they really inspired all the missionaries to work harder. 

The Ether district is doing well. My only concern about the Ether district is that we have not had a baptism all transfer, and there was only one upcoming baptism this week. Last transfer, the Ether district had many baptisms. I believe the missionaries in this district are doing "Elevator Finding", meaning that all their investigators were baptized last transfer, and now, the missionaries are just finding, and loading up the "elevator" again. But, I really think our Mission's new focus on baptizing converts weekly will really help this problem. 

Overall another great, crazy, and spiritual week. I am learning so much about the Gospel everyday. And my teaching is really starting to improve. I am thankful for this opertunity to serve a mission. Thanks for all you do! I love you all bunches! :)

Elder Nielsen

Ps. To answer mother's questions. Elder Nielsen is doing great. He is always busy. But h loves it! And the rainy season is still starting, it is not yet in full swing. But it is getting close! And I love the food. The food here is great. And it is really cheap! Eat. Study. Work. Sleep. What more do you need in life?  ;)   And tell Dad not to be throwing out "I love ya"s to all the strangers in Elko! ;) 

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