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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

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 

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