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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Elder David A. Bednar

We had another great week last week. Our week was full of highlights and spiritual experiences. 

Sister Kristine and Sister Chat attended church again on Sunday. They are still keeping our commitments and progressing, and do not have any concerns or problems. They have many fellowshipping friends at church and near their homes. Brother Richard and his wife Sister Jess attended church for the first time yesterday. Brother Richard is a house contractor, and is sometimes required to work on Sunday. However, yesterday he had a day off and was able to come to church. Richard has been reading the Book of Mormon and is currently in 1 Nephi 14. He has accepted a baptismal date and he really wants to start attending church weekly in order to prepare for his baptism. 

We have many new investigators that are right on the verge of progressing. They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true. They have not attended church yet, however, many of them committed to come to church this upcoming Sunday. We are continually finding and teaching new investigators, as well as dropping the investigators that do not show signs of progression.

Throughout the past three weeks, in preparation for our mission conference, I have study a lot about faith. Normally, I would define faith as a belief or hope in things that are not seen, which are true. However, I learned that faith is a broader and deeper subject than I originally thought. Faith is the first principle in revealed religion and is the foundation of all righteousness. Faith is also a principle of action in all intelligent beings (Faith without works is dead) . Faith is a form of power that we can use in our daily lives. The opposite of faith is fear and doubt, when we stop or no longer act we no longer show our faith. Our faith causes us to act and perform righteous deeds, when we do good and perform righteous deeds God blesses us, when we recognize that God is blessing us for our righteous deeds our is faith strengthened and we have a stronger desire to be obedient. Miracles are wrought by faith. Thus, if we strengthen our faith the number of miracles we perform will also increase in number. In order to have success and witness and perform many miracles in this area, I must strengthen my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

On Thursday, we had our Mission Conference! ( we sat in the very front row, thanks Elder Peterson!) It was a wonderful and life changing experience. It was honestly not what I was expecting, Elder Bednar did give talk, instead, he just a large group discussion/question&answer for 3 hours. It is hard explain everything he taught in our discussion, but I will give you a little summary.

1. We are agents not objects. We need to act for ourselves(2 Nephi 2:26 D&C 29)
2. Our church has some bad traditions. Ex. playing "guess what is in my head" while teaching lessons at church. Instead of asking thought provoking questions to the listeners we tend to ask questions with one specific answer that we are looking for. Ex. Why should we go to church? (the answer you want to hear: Sacrament), We need to ask questions with no definite right or wrong answer. 
3. We should never say "Please bless those that were not here this week that they will be able to come next week." BAD! Faith without works. That shows no faith. We should go out and find them and bring them to church. 
4. Our church talks too much. We need to be doers and need to act. Talking does not show faith, acting does. 
5. I learned soooo much! It was great!

He is so intelligent. His answers to all the questions were so simple, but were still right on the money. He truly is a representative of Jesus Christ. 

I wish I had more time to write what I learned..,

Overall, it has been another successful week!

take care! Have a wonderful week!


Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lost Sheep

We had another great week last week. Our greatest success this week occurred while teaching Christine. Christine has attended church three consecutive times and is reading the Book of Mormon daily. Her only concern was that she had not yet received her answer from God, thus, she did not quite know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. She had constantly prayed and asked for three weeks, but still no answer had come. She said, that she was starting to believe our message was true because she frequently felt an indescribable urge or "push" to keep reading the Book of Mormon and attend church. However, last week she finally received her witness that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. While reading the revelations of Isaiah in 2 Nephi, she came upon the verses which prophesied about Joseph Smith as latter-day prophet, and how he would be named after his father. After reading that passage of scripture, Sister Christine said, that she finally felt that Jospeh was a true prophet of God. Last night, she officially accepted a baptismal date on March 25. Her husband, who will be returning from Qatar this next week, also agreed to listen to the missionaries and attend church with Christine. 

Last week will trakting, Elder Peterson and I found another seven less-active families. Remarkably, the Lord keeps placing lost sheep that have wandered from the His fold into our paths. Yesterday, we made plans and coordinated with the relief society president and other auxiliary leaders to visit and home teach the newly found less actives that we found over the last month. 

The Lehi district is doing well. Three out of the four companionships in the district had over 20 new investigators last week. The only companionship that is struggling with finding is the Montanna sisters. As a district, we discussed a few ideas that they could try in order to have more new investigators, but the ideas did not apparently help. But, as a district and as a zone we have a new finding activity that well begin tonight. Hopefully, the finding activity will inspire the Sisters to continue to find new investigators. 

Overall, it was another successful week. Elder Peterson and I are focusing on having strong enough faith in order to see miracles and baptisms in our area. 

I am very excited for Thursday. Elder Bednar will be speaking to only mission. Annnd Elder Peterson was asked to be the pianist for the mission conference. SO what that reeeeally means is front row seats ;) Maybe I will turn pages for him..

We also bought a new basketball today, so that means we will be playing basketball every morning again. Our old ball got a whole in it  two weeks ago.. I really need to stop dunking it so hard.. I keep popping all of our balls! ;) 

Have a great week! Welcome Little Emma Jean to the family! It is good to see that she got her cute facial features from her old Uncle Elder Nielsen! ;)  

gihigugma tika,

Elder Nielsen 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Finding na Finding

We had another great week last week. Elder Peterson and I had a lot of success in our finding. Not only did we find a lot of new and potential investigators, but we felt that we found the "right" type of investigators, who have a high chance of progressing. One example is Sister Ramos. We met and taught Sister Ramos at one of her friend's house a little over a week ago. She invited us to come teach her and her family in their home. We found her house last week and taught the Restoration to them. After the lesson, she wanted us to come back and teach her friends as well. She told us that she has observed and tried many churches, but she felt that there is just something missing or lacking in all the churches that she has attended. After the lesson, she accepted our invitation to go to church this Sunday with her friends. We also found a few new potential part member families. 

Our ward has been helpful, but they have not really provided very many referrals for us. So Elder Peterson and I have been doing a TON of finding. Everyday we find a lot new investigators. If in doubt, find. 
Sister Chat and Sister Tin Tin are still progressing. They both attended church again yesterday. Sister Tin Tin has already finished first Nephi and Sister Chat is in chapter 8 of first Nephi. They are both very eager to learn and live the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sister Marifosa, a 27 year-old mother, also attended church yesterday. She has attended church twice. She is also progressing and moving towards her upcoming baptism. 

Elder Peterson and I were also able to find four new less active families last week. We are excited to return to those families and help them strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ and become converted to the gospel. It amazes me how many less active families we have found together. We added it up last week, and we have found over 20 less active families! They literally just keep popping up everywhere! We have seen many miracles in our less active finding. 

Elder Peterson has improved drastically in the last month. His Tagalog and teaching skills are steadily improving everyday. I am very impressed how well he already speaks Tagalog. One attribute of Elder Peterson that I admire is that fact that he is never content with himself, he is always wanting to improve. He has taught me numerous things in the last few weeks. 

Overall, we had another great week! There is nothing better than studying the Gospel all morning, then preaching the Gospel all afternoon. I hope all of you have a wonderful week. Love ya all!

Mahal ko kayo.

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Terrible Twos are staying Together

We had another great week last week. We are starting to expand our teaching pools in all the different subdivisions in our area. Last week, we tracted in some subdivisions that we normally do not focus on. Through the CMIS list and asking around we were able to find four new less active families. Our companionship goal is to find two new less active families every week. 

Our investigators are also starting to progress. Sister Tin Tin and Sister Chat attended church again last Sunday. Sister Tin Tin is already in chapter 10 Nephi and is really starting to progress. Sister Chat is still waiting for her answer from our Father in Heaven. Last Sunday, we watched the Restoration with them and their fellowshippers in Chat's house. After the video, Sister Chat said she is starting feel a little better about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We promised her that if she would continue to pray and ask our Father in Heaven with sincere heart if this Church is true, eventually, the Holy Ghost will touch her heart and she will know it is true for herself. 

The Lehi district is doing very well. Sister Seuifalemua and Sister Maputi have had many baptism and are they expecting another baptism this Saturday. Sister Zamoras' and Sister Sheets' investigator family was baptized last Saturday. They are also expecting a few more baptisms in the upcoming month. Elder Vinas and Elder Price are starting to have few more investigators in church, and they are expecting a baptism part way through February. 

We also had transfers last week... But thankfully Elder Petereson and I are staying together for another transfer. We are having so much fun together and we have been working so hard. I am super excited for the upcoming transfer!

BIG NEWS. Elder Bednar is coming to our mission on February 23rd.  I heard he is super interactive with the missionaries. He has already sent us three of his talks that we need to "study, ponder and pray" about before he comes. I am sooo excited, it should be a experience of a lifetime.

EVEN BIGGER NEWS: I do not know if you have already heard, but there is now only 4 key indicators. The Missionary Depart has changed everything. There is now only indicators for baptisms and confirmations, Invs with Bapt date, Invs in church, and new investigators. We also no longer report our total number of lessons.. Interesting changes. Our schedule changed also. We start work at 10 am. Then we can come home and do our language study at whatever time is most convenient for our schedule. From 9-10:30 is for journal reading and relaxing. Our nightly planning is now in the morning. Morning planning I guess I should say.. Weird right? 

That is all I can really think of at the moment.. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Ginagugma taka,

Elder Nielsen