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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fw: Elder Nielsen bday

Hi there!!

Sneak peak at photos of awesome Elder Nielsen at our office meeting today — we are back from Mission President’s Seminar.  
Made the blueberry crumble cake last night (yikes!  I hope I did it right) and we had it; very yummy.  

They are laughing because he couldn’t blow out 5 candles  :-)  We love him,
Sister Bertin 

Thanksgiving with the Cuuuz

Hello Family! 

We had another great week last week. Christine and Ryan's baptism went very well. There were many members that were able to attend the baptism. All of Ryan's family was able to attend his baptism. Kristine's parents and sibling were also able to attend her baptismal service. It was wonderful baptismal service. The talks and testimonies that were shared were very sincere and powerful. We are very happy for both of them and their families. 

One family that has really started to progress is the Santo-Domingo family. They have attended church for two consecutive Sundays. They have a very sweet family that is earnestly seeking for the truth. They are very willing to learn and keep our commitments in order to receive their answer. Their adorable  young daughters love to attend primary and to be with the other children. Brother and Sister Santo-Domingo really like how family-centered the church is. They want to raise their children in a spiritual and safe environment and home. We believe this family is getting closer and closer everyday to recognizing the answers to their prayers about this church.

This week, I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Elder Magpili, Elder Sajulga, and Elder Articulo. 

Elder Magpili is an intelligent elder. He works hard and is humble and obedient. I thought he did a good job teaching the doctrine in our lessons, and not only that, but teaching the doctrine simply and clearly.  He also did a good job of using the scriptures while he taught. The only thing I felt that was lacking from Elder Magpili's teaching is energy. I felt like he could have been a little more energetic and enthusiastic in his teaching and finding. I know that is a little bit out of Elder Magpili's comfort zone, but I believe that energy could play a very crucial part in his teaching.

Elder Sajulga is good missionary. He is nice and friendly to all those whom he meets. He teaching skills are little above average. On our exchanges, he talked to many people which I thought was good. I thought he was a little too laid back and could be a little upbeat while  working and finding. But overall , he is a very good missionary.

Elder Articulo is a gifted missionary. He is very friendly and outgoing. He always has a big smile on his face. He loves to OYM and talk to and meet new people. I was impressed by his teaching. I thought he was a very effective teacher. He did a very good job teaching people not lessons. He had special way of relating to each person that we taught. I think Elder Articulo 
could be a little more doctrinal based in his teaching. And also, he needs to not use his cell phone while teaching. I noticed that a few times in the lessons he would check his cell phone or text back. If he will avoid the temptation of checking his cell phone throughout the lessons, he will be an even better teacher.

I really did not celebrate Thanksgiving.. But we did have a little desert fest at night. And Elder Snyder did cook a special recipe/rendition of peach cobbler for us at night. Which wasn't too shabby. We also had smores, ice cream, and other little candies.  So Thanksgiving was still a success. And guess who came over for exchanges that day, yes, that is right, Elder Nightingale. Who is now a zone leader. Unfortunately, we were not companions. However, we did spend the holidays together! He is a very nice and goofy kid. I really like him a lot. Every time we see each other we just call each other "cuuz" (short for cousin). 

Overall a very busy week! I ran out of time today, but next week I will tell you more about the surprises, ect from my birthday.

Thanks for all you do! Loooove you all! 

ginagugma taka,

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Transfer Week

Well this last week just zipped by. 

We had meeting or activities nearly everyday. Monday we had exit day for the missionaries that are going home. Tuesday we had transfer announcements. Wednesday we had new missionary arrival day. Thursday we had New ZL, STL, ZL training and also New DL Training. Friday we had office meetings and follow-up calls. Saturday we had exchanges and baptismal interviews. And Sunday we had church. The week was little busy.

We had another great week last week. Our area is doing well. Some of our investigator families are starting to attend church and progress. One example is the Santo Domingo family. The Santo Domingo family is a investigator family that we have been focusing on. We found this family through OYMing  a few weeks ago. Brother and Sister Santo Domingo are a married couple that has two young daughters. We have been teaching them and inviting them to attend church. Yesterday, their family was able to attend church for the first time, and they really seemed to enjoy the spirit and the meetings that were held. We are excited to continue to teach them and help them to come unto Christ. 

Andrew Yaon and Christine Aquino both passed their baptismal interviews last Saturday. Their baptism will be held this weekend. Andrew's mother has been in the hospital for the last few weeks because she had appendicitis and had her appendix removed. There were a few complications with her surgery so she has not yet fully recovered or been released from the hospital. We are praying that she will be released from the hospital before Saturday, so that Ryan's baptism does not have to be rescheduled.    

The Camarin 2nd ward has had great success in helping less actives return to church and to become active again. Through the combined efforts of the ward's visiting and reaching out and our visiting we have been able to help reactivate five different families. Now we have no less actives to teach because they are all active now.. so  Elder Narciso and I are starting to focus on finding new less actives in area to teach. We have had great success in finding less actives through the CMIS and other finding activities. 

That is pretty much all I have time for right now. Our email time was a shortened a little today because of all the preparations for Christmas and the "Light the World" theme. 

Congrats Summer on making the JV team! Work hard and play well! Bring the #12 some Nielsen honor and pride! 

Next week, my email will be better! 

Have a great week! Enjoy the Holidays! And drive safely! 

Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fwd: Elder Nielsen

Hi Sister Nielsen (and Brother Nielsen too!):

I just want to thank you for raising such an amazing son;  Elder Nielsen has been a blessing to us from his first day in the mission!  He is everything I would want in a son — he is a committed disciple of Jesus Christ.  Right now he is doing a wonderful job as an Assistant to President Bertin.  We love him!

His birthday is coming up on Tuesday; on Friday of next week, I thought I could surprise him with a birthday (cake) treat during our office planning.  We were ‘snooping’ around in conversation about that and he says he loves Blueberry crumble cake??  Is that a recipe you could share so that I could consider making?

Please let me know what you think.
And thanks again.  We would like to clone him.

Sister Jennifer Bertin,
Quezon City North Mission

Monday, November 14, 2016

Softening Hearts

We had another great week last week. We had a successful week with teaching our investigators last week. We feel that their faith and testimonies are growing with each of our visits. We have many investigators that are right on the verge of being fully committed. These investigators have attended church once or twice and are reading from the Book of Mormon in between our teaching visits, but we feel that there is still just something lacking in their commitment. We are going to help them focus on receiving their personal witness that what we are teaching is true. If and when they know of the divinity of the Book of Mormon and our message for themselves we believe that they we be fully committed and willing to make changes in their lives in order to follow the Savior and be baptized. 

We have a few investigators that are preparing for baptism. The Aquino family and the Yaon family. The Aquino family is a part-member family that Elder Perkins and I found. The mother and father were less actives when we met them, but now they have returned and are now attending church again. One of their daughters, Christine, has been to church 4 or 5 times and is ready to be baptized. Unfortunately, Christine has been pretty busy with her schooling lately and we have not been able to teach her. But, we are planning to stop by there tonight and see where things are at.

The Yaon family was another less-active family that we found. Before their father was an unemployed drunkard that did not really like the missionaries. However, through our constant visit and reaching and fellow-shipping to him the Holy Ghost has softened his heart. He has now attended church 4 times consecutively and is reading in the Book of Mormon and is participating in our discussions. It has been rather miraculous watching his conversion take place. He still is not quite there. He still has problem with drinking, but the Holy Ghost has entered into his life and house and is slowing softening his heart and converting him. One of their sons is also preparing for his upcoming baptisms. 

Another fun story about less-actives. I had a less active father that I was working with back in my old area in SJDM. He had a big Word of Wisdom and testimony concern. We committed, testified, promised blessings, the whole ten yards, but he would still not go to church. In my 3 months of serving ins SJDM he did not attend church once. But lo behold, one day while working in our area here I saw him here in Camarin. He is currently staying with his daughter and son-in-law, who are both active. We were able to teach him again. We taught him about the Sacrament and the Atonement and committed him to come to church. Well, he came to church last week. The first time in over 20 years! And he came to church again yesterday. It is amazing watching the Lord perform miracles in His work.  

Well, another transfer has come and gone. We will be having transfers again on Wednesday. The time has just been flying by. It is a little overwhelming at times. 

Elder Narciso is a great missionary. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to be his companion. He is a wonderful example to me. He has really helped me improve my Tagalog and my teaching skills over the last few weeks. It truly is a blessing to be able to work with him in this area. I am excited to serve with him for another transfer. 

Another little fun story. About two months ago Amber sent me a talk by David A. Bednar entitled   " Reservoir of Living Water" . It was a great talk about how to study and obtain "living water". Well, I really like this talk and I read it a few times. And so for every weekly office meeting ( a meeting we have with all the senior couples and President every week to plan for the upcoming week ) we have a spiritual thought. I decided to talk about the blessing of studying the scriptures, and used and quoted that talk that Amber gave me. Well, apparently the office like the talk, so President sent the talk out to the whole mission. And their will be a assigned topic district meeting on it. So good job Am Bam! You inspired our whole mission ;) 

Also, today we traveled to Montalban zone. A pretty mountainous area. And while we traveled we listed to "Discovery the Lands of the Book of Mormon" by Dr john Lund. Wow. It was a great CD! I learned sooo much! I believe I could now accurately tell you where the Book of Mormon took place and the proof behind it. It was a really interesting talk. If you are traveling anywhere in the near future I would advise you to download it and listen to it. I really learned a lot. 

I think that is it! Have a super week! I love all of you!


Preview attachment Bednar David A Reservoir of LIving Water 2007.p
Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

One Year in Camarin

We had another great week last week. Many of our investigators went out of town to celebrate All Saint's Day and All Souls Day so we were unable to teach them this weekend, and they were not able to go to church. But overall, our area is still continuing to progress. We have a few new investigator families that we are starting to teach who are showing signs of progression. We are still seeing many miracles in our proselyting area. 

First off, we had Halloween last week. Halloween is a little different here. On October 31st it is called All Saints Day. On this day everybody lights candles and stuff for all the saints. And on November 1st it is all Souls Day. Here in the Philippines everyone goes to the cemetery on Oct 31-Nov 1 and visits the grave sights of people that have died in their family and spent the night at the cemetery.They all make food and leave it for he dead spirits to eat (waste of food in my opinion). So it makes missionary work a little hard because everyone is at the Cemeteries. No candy. No costumes. I don't think Chelsea would really enjoy Halloween here in the Philippines because we know how much she enjoys dressing up in costumes and Trick-or-Treating ;) 

On Tuesday we had a curfew due to the Holiday, so we stayed home from 5-9. We just hung out, ate, and played around. It was nice to have a little free time to relax. We were going to carve these miniature pumpkin things that they had here, but we never did.. Maybe next year!

This week also marks my one year anniversary here in Camarin. On November 4 last year I transferred to Camarin to open area. One year later I am still in the same house. That is crazy! Luckily I am sleeping in a different bed! But, I have loved my time here in Camarin. It has litterally become my second home. 

Last week I had the privilege to go on exchanges with Elder Saludar and Elder Carson. Elder Saludar is a very intelligent elder. He is very knowledgeable in the Book of Mormon and the Bible, and he does a good job using the scriptures in his teaching. He understands the doctrine and teaches it simply and clearly. He loves to find. He is a very focused and dedicated missionary. Two things I believe I Elder Saludar could work on are first, being friendly, but not overbearingly friendly. Elder Saludar is a very friendly person, but I felt in some instances throughout the day he was a little too friendly and bold. I felt that his boldness had a wrong impact on some of our investigators. They became quiet and a little hesitant from the start. The second thing I believe Elder Saludar can improve on is slowing down his teaching while teaching important doctrine that is most likely new to our investigators. Elder Saludar teaches at a faster pace. Which is not a problem, but when he taught about the five principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ he quickly rushed through the principles not allowing them to fully sink with our investigators. As missionaries we are very familiar with the doctrine, but this may be the very first time the person that we are teaching has ever heard about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe he should slow down his teaching pace on doctrines that are very important or new for investigators. But overall, Elder Saludar is a very skilled and talented missionary. 

Elder Carson is also a very nice missionary. Elder Carson is a happy person and likes to share the Gospel with others. He understands and teaches the doctrinal principles found in Preach My Gospel. Elder Carson is outgoing, and he relates well to investigators and members. Elder Carson likes to find and talk to new people. I believe the biggest thing that is holding back Elder Carson back right now is his confidence in his Tagalog. Elder Carson's Tagalog speaking is about average. He can say what he wants to say and he can get his point across, but he lacks confidence in his Tagalog. On a few occasions he started to stubble in his teaching and he started to get a little frustrated and rushed in his Tagalog. I believe if he will continue to really push himself in his language studies he will gain that confidence in his teaching and his speaking. Once Elder Carson gains that confidence in his speaking, he will be that much better of a missionary. 

I think that was everything that happened last week. 

And a big Congratulations to Erin and Landon for their baby girl! That is super exciting!! Erin this still doesn't give you the privilege to say that you are "eating for two". You still only get one desert at Thanksgiving! We don't the wrong tummy to start showing! ;) 
But congratulations again! I do not know why this family is so highly populated with women.. Luckily I still have little David. We are like the last of the Mohicans! 

Hope you have a great week and enjoy the holiday! 


Elder Nielsen