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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Worldwide Day of Service

We had another great week last week. We spent most of our week focusing on our investigators. Unfortunately, we did not quite have the turnout of investigators at church like we were hoping for. Many of our investigators did not attend church on Sunday due to school activities, funerals, and for other reasons. Yesterday, Elder Narciso and I discussed our area and the people we are teaching. We decided that we need to start focusing on different investigator families that we think have a higher potential of progressing. We know that if we continue to find and focus on repentance our investigators will start coming to church. We know that there are many sons and daughters of God that are ready and are waiting for our message. 

I would like to share a quick experience that Elder Narciso and I had last week while using the Inspired Christmas Questions that our mission made for OYMing. Last Saturday night all of our scheduled appoints fell through. It was about 8:15 p.m. and we wanted to find one more new investigator family. We decided to find in a higher-class subdivision in an area that we usually do not focus on. Our first two attempts were unsuccessful. The people we talked to said they were too busy to listen and were already devote Catholics. While passing down the street, we saw a man inside a house sitting down on his coach. We said hello, and asked him if he knew where Junior Vilaruel ( one of investigators that works down the corner) lived. He said that he did not know him. We then started asking him about Christmas and his plans for Christmas. We then used the inspired question about why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ during Christmas. After we asked him that question, he just silently stared at us for a few seconds, then he suddenly opened his gate and let us come in. He invited us to sit down and teach him. He later mentioned in our discussion about how that question really struck him and he felt like he should listen to our message. We had a powerful lesson with him and he invited us to come back and teach his family. He told us that he would go to church yesterday, however he was unable to attend. We are excited to return to his home and teach him and his family later tonight.

I promised that I would continue my story about my birthday. 

Soooo.. On my birthday we had to go to SJDM to join in on their Zone Training Meeting. It was good meeting and all went well. But, after language study a few missionaries went out of the room for a few minutes and came back into the room holding a cake box. They all started singing and it was very embarrassing. I do not like being in the center of attention. But when I opened the cake box, I saw a word/name that I recognized.. A name that I haven't used in two years and a name that is also found on my birth certificate. I won't tell you what the cake said, but I will give you a hint. It starts with "C" and ends with "ody". I said, "bastos and mga anak dito" , which does not translate well, but pretty much means "you awful little kids" Somehow my name was leaked out.. anyway. Apparently Elder Narciso arranged everything and he "joked" about writing my first name on the cake, and then the zone leaders actually did it. Embarrassing. hahaha
Another sweet sister gave me a cool pen and a cupcake, which was quite scrumptious. Elder Narciso literally told EVERYONE in our ward that it was my birthday because I wanted to keep it a secret and not tell anyone. But because of that, we had a few lunches and dinners from the ward that day. Then that night, Elder Snyder and ELder Valdez bought 4 boxes of fake Filipino pizza and caned peaches and ice cream and we had a nice celebration. Elder Snyder also bought me some cool fake Beats by Dr. Dre. (too bad I can't use them in the mission haha). And that was my birthday. I thought I had survived. Then unexpectedly, in the middle of our office planning meeting on Friday, Sister Bertin went out of the room for a few seconds then came back out with a blueberry crumb cake with candles on it. They all started singing and I got all embarrassed. Again. I thought I had overcome my blushing stage, but apparently not, I got all red and embarrassed. But all went well. The cake was tasty, but not as tasty as good ole' Momma Connie's cookin'. What a crazy birthday! 

Our week was pretty busy. We had two zone conferences, MLC, and a service project. We kicked off the Christmas theme #lighttheworld by doing a service project. In my old area in Camarin. We painted the member's gate. It was nice to say hello again and help the members in that ward.

Overall, another great week! 

Have a happy Christmas season! Christmas wishes! Missionary work is the best. Enjoy the cold. I am still sweating over here. Our low here this week is around 78 degrees. Our highs are in the high 90s. You gotta love Christmas in the Philippines ;) 


Elder Nielsen

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