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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, October 31, 2016

Power Scrub 3.0

Well hello everyone! 

We had another great week last week. Last Saturday Andrew was baptized. He is a part-member that told us that he wanted to be baptized. We taught him and scheduled a baptismal date for him. Andrew was supposed to be baptized the very first part of October, but when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom he told us that he drinks coffee. We moved his baptism, and he committed to not drink coffee anymore. Finally, last Saturday he was able to be baptized. He has many friends and family members that are members. We are happy for him and the step he has taken in his life.

Our area is really starting to blossom and progress. Almost all of our newly found less active/part-member families are starting to return back to church. Last week we had 26 less actives and 10 investigators in church. Yesterday we had about 16 less actives and 12 investigators in church. It is great that they are all going to church, but it is such a hard task getting them to go where you want. It is literally like herding cats. They are all trying to make a break for the door and slip out without us seeing them. Elder Narciso and I have mastered the skill of one of us standing and blocking the door that leads outside while the other one pushes and ushers them to Gospel Doctrine Class. It is quite the scene hahaha. The ward has been such a big help for us. Every time we have a new investigator or newly found less active family attend church our ward members flock to them and introduce themselves to the new visitors. We are excited for all the progress and baptisms that will take place in the next few months. 

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to go on changes with Elder Good win for the last time. He was the Assistant that I replaced. He goes home in about a week, so it was a good last exchange with him. He is a nice humble kid from Blackfoot Idaho. He loves the outdoors and sports. His grandparents own a cabin on the river at Island Park and we have made plans to go fishing and snowmobiling up there in the winter. We want to room together. ( if I go to BYUI..) He has some very convincing offers for me. He said that the cabin is only 45 minutes from Rexburg, and we have also discussed going pheasant hunting up in Blackfoot. He is a great missionary and has worked hard out here on his mission. 

Also, we just finished our 3rd Semi-Annual Power Scrub. ( it is where we just clean the apartment for 4 hours). It is funny because I have been in the same exact apartment for every single Power Scrub. I know that has to go down in the record books for something. I have been serving in Camarin for a while, but i do not mind, I love it here. 

I can not think of anything else that happened last week. Just keeping busy and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Congratulations Summer on the buck! He is not too shabby! He is bigger than all the bucks Amber killed! And it is about time that 'Old Guide' of yours was able to help you knock down a buck! Congrats on the buck again! But, next year I want you to shoot an even bigger one! :)

Thanks for all the love and support! Enjoy the cool weather. It feels like it is getting hotter over here. The typhoon season is about to end. Have a great week!

Ginagugma taka,

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Full House.. of Companions.

We had another great week last week. We have experienced many miracles in our area the last few weeks. We have some less active/part-member families that are returning and receiving callings in church. We have some new investigator families that attended church for the first time. The ward is really starting to help us with all the less active and part-members in the ward. We are also started to have more success in our personal finding efforts. Overall, the area and ward are really starting to progress. Next week I will tell you about the Yaon Family. "It's a great conversion story do you wanna hear it?" (The Best Two Years) 

Well. Every week I go on about two exchanges, then I have to report about the exchanges to President. I decided to add these this week, so that you can see what I am doing. 

"Last week I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Salo and Elder Kirifi. Though it was hard getting Elder Salo to come on exchanges with us, in the end, I think the exchanges were a success. ( He not would come to our house because they are very far away and he goes home in about two weeks. President had to call him and give him a little "Encouragement" to come) Elder Salo is a good missionary. He is a well-experienced missionary. Elder Salo was a little quiet in the apartment, but once we started working he opened up and acted normal. I was pleased with the work ethic he showed on our exchanges. He did not act like he was going home soon. He is a good teacher and knows the doctrine well. The thing I thought Elder Salo could have done a little better was to teach more simply. A few times in our lessons, I think Elder Salo said a little too much information in places where he did not have to. For example, he started teaching about the Lamanites, Nephites, and Jaredites in one of our lessons to a new investigator. I think if he would have focused a littler more on the importance of the Book of Moron or how to know if the Book of Mormon is true, it would have been more effective. I believe if Elder Salo keeps his lessons simple, he will have more success. 

Elder Kirifi is also a great missionary. He understand the doctrine, and he teaches it simply. He is a good Tagalog speaker. The goal we made for our exchange was to teach the lessons and doctrine as simple as possible. I believe we achieved our goal. I was honestly very impressed with Elder Kirifi. I really liked the way he taught, how he dealt with members, and how he acted throughout the day.  I felt like he really enjoys doing missionary work. He did not mention or bring up Elder Vinas (problems in the companionship) once throughout the day. I think Elder Kirifi could use a little more scriptures in his teaching. He only used one scripture in our day of teaching lessons. If Elder Kirifi will starting using the scriptures in his teaching, I believe his teaching will be even better."

So I write little reports like this in my letter to President every week. 

And a little weather update. The big typhoon missed our area. We had some wind and rain but nothing drastic. So that was a big blessing!

Elder Narciso and I also got to drive to Baliwag this week for zone interviews. It is the farthest area in our mission and also the prettiest area. I felt like I was driving around in Africa and in the Rain Forrest. It was really pretty and tropical. 

Also, just so you know. Elder Snyder my MTC companion has been our kabahays all transfer. He got transferred to my apartment. And guess who his companion is.. Elder Godinez. My trainer! So my apartment is literally filled with all my old companions! It is a lot of fun! It is a good thing we all got along when we were companions! Or that would be kind of awkward ;) 

Have a great week! Be safe! And read your scriptures! I love you all heaps! 


Elder Nielsen 

ps. Please send me pictures of the buck Dad killed. Please and thanks. :) 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"... and the Floods Came Up.."

Wow. It has been quite the week. 

Despite all the rain and floods, we still had another great week last week. Last week, we really focused on building relationships between our investigators and our active members. We were able to introduce most of our investigators to some active members in our ward, that we thought would be good fellowshippers for them. Not a whole lot of our investigators were able to attend church last Sunday due to the typhoon, but they are making plans to come to church this upcoming Sunday.

So last week, we had a decent size baguio or typhoon hit the Philippines. Things started to go a little hectic last week when I was on exchanges. Elder Diso and I were out working and it was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It started to rain so we hurried and went to one of our investigator's house.  Right when we got their house the rain just started coming down in buckets. We could hardly hear our investigators. But we still taught and had a really good lesson. We left their house ( it was still raining really hard) and went outside. The little market area had flooded and their was about two to three feet of water in the market ( the market was kind of in a low area), but that was no big deal. So we avoided the flooded area and walked around to the main road. But when we saw the main road it was completely flooded. There was a river below the road, but the water is usually very low. But the water had risen 20 or 30 feet, so now the river was completely filled and the bridge and road was completely washed out. There now was a huge brown flood river. Not only that, the water was moving quickly. It had to be at least class 2 or 3 rapids plus all the floating debris. 

So my companion and I walked around another way to another bridge to see if we could cross. Same story. We then figured, that we might as well start finding people to teach. But everyone started panicking because the water kept rising and it was flooding their houses, and not a single person would listen to us. People started yelling, shouting, and crying because they could not find their kid, or something important got washed down stream, or they could not pick their kid up from school because they could not cross the huge river that was above 7 feet deep.

The problem in this story is that we could not get back across the river, and everything we needed was on the other side of the river; our car, house, our companions, so eventually we needed to get on the other side. 

I felt like I was on the Titanic because these houses just started flooding and the water was getting about 5 or 6 feet deep. All their belongings were just floating in the water. People were getting trapped in their houses. Crazy stuff. 

This was the condition we were in for a few hours. But then finally, the rained stopped and the water started going down. Around 8 o'oclok at night we were finally able to cross the flooded road. The water was still moving quickly but it was only about knee deep. The rescue squad had ropes to hang on and the whole 10 yards. It was quite the experience. In the end, 2 kids died. One drowned because the water rose to high in his house and the other one was washed down stream. Apparently, the big dam at the very top of the river overfilled because of all the rain, so there was nothing to stop the water from flowing down river. 

And after all is said and done, that was just the warm up typhoon. Apparently there is a bigger and stronger one coming this week. So let's see what happens! 

And that is all I have for my weather report here from the Philippines. The work must go on. The area is still really progressing despite the rains. (Pictures hopefully next week)

And a big shout out to Miss Adelaide May! Happy Birthday Addi pants! You are getting so old! And you are growing up so fast! Hopefully your body is the only thing growing and not that little attitude of yours ;) But thank you Addi for all your little sarcastic jokes and all the funny things you say. You keep our lives a little more comical and humorous. I still don not know where you get it from.. probably Erin, but your jokes are a lot more funnier than hers.. joke lang ;) 

Also Big Landino, you have a birthday coming up this week! ( I am such a good brother in law for remembering... p.s Erin did not mention anything.. joke lang ) 

At lastley Little David Boy. Well, I still haven't meant him. But he seems like a nice guy in his pictures! ;) 

Take care Fam bam! And Mom and Dad watch out for the Peru quickstep!

Mahal ko kayong lahat

Elder Nielsen

Friday, October 14, 2016

Typhoon Karen

October 15, 2016

Dear Families of Missionaries in the Quezon City North Mission,

I am writing to inform you of the situation in our mission related to the pending impact of typhoon Karen.  The Church has been observing this storm for days and has made numerous preparations for its arrival.  The main track of the storm should be north of our mission but we will have wind and rain as the margin of typhoon will be felt here.  It is also possible that the path could go further south and we would be impacted directly.  If that happens, we are lucky because we are located far enough inland that much of the energy of the storm will be expended by the time it reaches us.

In any event we are preparing for a significant storm.  Yesterday we alerted all of our missionaries to purchase enough water to last them through next Tuesday and enough food to see them through until Tuesday.   They have also been instructed to keep their cell phones charged.  We have a calling tree in place for rapid communication if needed across the mission.  Each missionary has been instructed to have 1000 Pesos in small bills ready for an emergency.

If the weather looks at all dangerous we will be keeping the missionaries inside their apartments.  It is the plan to be very cautious and if we error administratively, it will be our intent to error to the side of safety.

If the storm compromises our electrical or internet infrastructure, you may receive your email late next week from your missionary.  I as the mission president and the Church will report again when the storm is finished regarding the safety of you missionary.
Join us in prayer for those who will be impacted by this typhoon.  We pray for their safety and protection.


Kim C. Bertin
President Quezon City North Mission
New Mission and Area Goals outlook

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Because of HIM

Because of HIM

·        Question: Do we really understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
1.       We teach this in every lesson ( all 5 Lessons) 
2.       We know it is central to God’s Plan and is the most important event in the history of mankind. But ask ourselves do WE understand it?
Takeaway- To explain what the Atonement of Jesus Christ truly

·         Atonement-
1.       To atone is to suffer the penalty for an act of sin, thereby removing the effects of the sin from the repentant sinners and allowing them to be reconciled to God. (PMG 58)
2.       To atone is to reconcile or bring to harmony. To be compensated for and made right – Through Jesus Christ we can be reconciled to our Heavenly Father “having been made perfect through Jesus Christ..” (D&C 76:69)

We understand to atone means to pay for another person’s sins, but.. Why do we need the Atonement?
·         Why is the Atonement necessary for our Salvation?
1.       Moses 6:57 All men must repent. No unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of God.
We are sinners. We are unclean. Therefor we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. No matter how righteous we are, we are stuck. We will never be able to enter into the Kingdom of God, we are in fallen state.
2.       Mercy cannot rob justice. The Eternal Demands of Justice require our sins to be paid for or atoned for, every sin must be atoned or paid for. We need someone to redeem us, and pay our ransom. We are unable to pay our own debt of sins. And are therefore stuck, with an impassable barrier in front us.  We are hopeless by ourselves. Because of the fall we cannot overcome physical and spiritual death by ourselves. We need a mediator, redeemer, and savior to pay the price of our sins to release the bands which are binding us. Without a mediator, all hopes of returning to our Father in Heaven are lost because “.. In Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor 15: 19-22)
·         So we understand that we need a mediator, redeemer, and savior. But why Jesus Christ?
1.       Jesus was called to be our Redeemer before the foundations of the world. ( Ether 3:14)
2.       He was the only sinless, perfect person to live on this earth.
3.       “He suffered temptations, but gave no head to them.. “ ( D&C 20:22)
4.       He is the literal Son of God. He was able to die because of his mortal Mother. But he had the power to overcome death because of his immortal Father.

·         How did he atone for all mankind?
Jesus Christ performed a three-fold Atonement.
1.       First, In the Garden of Gethsemane. D&C 19:18-19 “Which suffering cause me to tremble because of pain and bleed from every pore. “
We usually just think about the sins that Jesus Christ atoned for in Gethsemane, but he suffered for so much more. He suffered for our pains, sicknesses, temptations, afflictions, infirmities, illnesses, struggles, doubts, fears, heartaches, suffering, grief, guilt, sorrow, humiliation, mental pains, physical pains, emotional pains, physical torments, depression, failures, inequities, weakness, and inadequacies.  

2.       His suffering did not just end in the garden it continued onto the cross. The death and crucifixion of our Savior Jesus Christ is the second part or second-fold of his Atonement.
Where he hung and died for us. While he hung, wounded, naked, and with a thorn crown on his head for us. This is one of the most excruciating ways to die. Yet, he partook of the bitter cup. He loved the His Father and all us that he was willing to die for us, and hang on a wooden cross in Golgotha.  Motivated by love and empowered by grace.

3.       The third and final fold and part of his everlasting and infinite Atonement ended in his tomb where he was laid. When he overcame death and was resurrected on the third day. And he became the first fruits of them that slept. ( I Cor 15:20)
With his resurrection he overcame physical death and provided that we all may overcome death and be resurrected. (Alma 11:44)  And thus completing His everlasting Atonement.

·         Jesus Christ did his part by redeeming the world. But, in order be saved we must also do our part.
1.       Although we are redeemed unconditionally from the universal effects of the Fall. We are accountable for our own sins.
2.       D&C 19:16-17
3rd Article of Faith.. “.. BY obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel..”
Mos 4:2   We can be forgiven and cleansed from the stains of sins IF we “ apply the atoning blood of Christ.”
We must do our part and have faith and repent of our sins to be forgiven.
Jesus Christ suffered all of our sins. He knows with a perfect knowledge exactly what we are feeling and going through. Only IF we reach out him, will he be able to extend his arms of mercy unto us and give us remission of our sins, strength in times of need, and comfort in times of tribulation.

The Atonement is the supreme expressing of Heavenly Father’s love for us. And the Savior’s great expression of love for His Father and all of us.

“No other name given, nor any other means whereby salvation can come to the children of men. “  Mos 3:17
“ In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
·         Video: Because of Him.
Commitment: Will you study the Atonement in order to more fully understand it.

“Because of HIM” we know all things are made possible.. Amen. 

Fighting Against the Adversary

We had another great week last week. Our investigators are continuing to progress and are moving towards their baptisms. We are also starting to find and teach new investigators by using the recent converts in our area. The newly baptized members are now starting to invite their friends to listen to our message. We are still searching for our next "Espiritu Family", a family which is prepared to hear our message and are willing to act and keep our commitments. We know that they are out there, so we are doing our best to listen and follow the quiet promptings of the Spirit in order to find them. 

We had an interesting experience last night that I would like to share. Two weeks ago Elder Perkins and I talked to this happy looking man that was walking down the street in the rain. He was a little shocked and intrigued when he met two Americans that were out walking around happily in the rain and while speaking Tagalog to each other,  so he decided to listen us. After we gave a little overview of our message he invited us to visit his house and to teach him and his wife. We came back on the scheduled day and had a powerful first discussion with them. We then came back a second time and taught them more about the Book of Mormon. They committed to be baptized if/when they knew the Book of Mormon is true. After the lesson, Elder Perkins and I talked about how we really felt that they would progress. We stopped by their house a few more times, but they were gone every time we visited. Then last night, we were finally able to teach them again. 

In our lesson with them last night the wife opened up some concerns that she had been thinking about. She told us about all the hard things that had happened to their family in the last week since the time her family read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. She told us her mother had a stroke, her husband's boss (who also wanted to listen to our message, and was planning on going to church with them) got in a motorcycle accident, their eldest son was sick all week with a fever, they started to have financial problems because somehow there was a problem with the husband's paycheck. She told us that all of things thing have happened since they read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. She then said something along the lines of, "Perhaps this is God answering our prayers, that we should not listen to your message." Elder Narciso and I testified about how finding the truth is not an easy process and how Satan or the Adversary of God's perfect plan did not want them to find out the truth. The Spirit filled their house as we testified of the truthfulness of our message. At the end of the lesson they committed to us that they would read the Book of Mormon every night for the next week. 

This experience reminded me about Joseph Smith's first vision. Before Joesph Smith received an answer to his prayer, his faith was also tested, and Satan did everything he could to prevent Joseph from receiving his answer and understanding the truth. Satan knows our potential in this life. And he will do everything in his power to keep us from reaching our divine potential and receiving answers to our prayers. We also think that Satan knows the potential of this family and he is doing everything in his power to prevent this family from coming to the truth. But, we know that Satan cannot dwell in places where there is light or where the Spirit dwells, so we know if they read the Book of Mormon every night, their house will be filled with the Spirit.

Last week was a very busy week. We had tons of meeting and workshops we had to give. We had to figure out transfer plans for all the missionaries. We had to prepare for MLC. It was quite hectic. I feel like Dad when he is running around in April trying to get all the taxes send off. It was a little stressful because I didn't have Elder Perkins here reminding me of things and helping me. We were on our own. But it all went surprisingly well. We were able to get everything finished without any problems.Tender Mercies! 

On Thursday night we had 2 hours to prepare a workshop about the Atonement for the MLC that was on the next day. So we spent our first hour digging through the scriptures and reading everything we could about the Atonement. Then the next hour we threw everything together and made our workshop. I learned so much from preparing our workshop. The Atonement truly is a gift. I will send you our little outline we made. I encourage you to do your own little study about the infinite and everlasting Atonement of Jesus Christ. And also, our workshop went great. We received many complements. 

General Conference was GREAT, I learned a lot. I loved all the talks, especially the ones in the Priesthood session. I don't have enough time to writ about all the things I liked, maybe next week. 

Have a Great week! Mom and Dad good luck in Peru, and make sure to remember your only favorite boy that hasn't received birthday or Christmas presents in the past few years as your are doing your souvenir shopping.. ;) Have a great time! And enjoy your trip! Love you all! 


Elder Nielsen

PS> HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY CHE CHE! You are getting soo old! Joke lang ;) 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Tripod is Over.

We had another great week this week. We saw a major improvement with the part-member families that we are teaching. The Aquino family came to church again on Sunday, but this time their older daughter was able to come also. She is still in college, and her college is far from their home, so she is normally not at their house. However, this weekend her daughter did not have class so she was able to visit home for the weekend and go to church with her family. She is also interested and wants to be taught. We are excited for the progression that the Aquino family is showing. Melva and her son M-Bong also attended church on Sunday. Unfortunately, Brother JR was not able to attend due to his work. We are still helping JR and Melva fill out and notarize their marriage papers in preparation for their upcoming wedding. Their baptism is scheduled for the last week in October. 

We have really seen the power and effectiveness of teaching and finding part-member families. After hearing President Bertin's workshop from last zone conference about using all the different finding techniques, Elder Perkins and I really started focusing on using all of the different finding techniques. And because of this new change in our finding we have started focusing more on the part-members in our area.  We now have five or six part-member families that we are focusing on and teaching. Some of those families are starting to progress and went to church on Sunday. And last night, we able to find two new part-member families that are willing to listen to our lessons. 

And I also have some exciting and sad news, Elder Perkins is heading out of the office. He will go serve his last few transfers as ZL in Kalookan. Kalookan is really struggling right now, and there have been many missionaries send home for disobedience. So he is excited for the upcoming challenge before he goes home. And my new companion is.... Elder Narciso! He is a really nice and smart Filipino. I like him a lot. He was actually our Kabahay (house mate), so he was living with us serving as a ZL, but now he has been called to serve in a new calling in the office. He was called last week, and has been working with us for the past week. So we were in a tripod or three-some all week. But, this now means I will have to train him in the office. I feel like I still need to be trained.. but I will do my best. I have to show him all the computer things, workshops, ect. But he is smart and will pick it up real fast. We will do great! 

I am very thankful for the opportunity that I had to be companions with Elder Perkins. He is honestly one of my favorite companions, and I feel like I have learned the most from him. He has taught me to work more effectively with members by just stopping by their house a few times a week just to say hello and see how they are doing. He has also taught me how to be a little more creative in my teaching and to focus more on the people we are teaching and not the lesson we are trying to teach. He is truly a great missionary. And with that, I am very excited to work with Elder Narciso. I have only seen and heard good things about him. He has such a big heart and really cares about the people that he is teaching. I am very excited to see what work the Lord has prepared for us, and the work we can accomplish in the upcoming months. 

That is pretty much it. Just staying busy and teaching the Gospel with other great people. That last transfer just flew bye. When you are having fun and loving what you do, the time flies. I am verrrry excited for next week's General Conference. I have reviewed most of the talks from last April in anticipation for this one. I am very excited to her the Lord speak to us through his chosen servants. 

Have a wonderful week! Be safe in Peru! I love all of you lots!


Elder Nielsen