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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, March 27, 2017

Elder Peterson's Letter

It has been a great week here in the Bagong Silang 2nd Branch! The last two days in San Rafael were a bit hectic as Elder Nielsen and I prepared our area for the incoming Elders. We had to travel to every part of our area and jot down addresses, names, and phone numbers to give to them. One of the Elders that will take over the San Rafael Ward is Elder Frias, my trainer and first companion in the field! It was very sad to leave the last five months of my life behind and start afresh in a new area, but I have been enjoying the new area. I really hope the progressing investigators that Elder Nielsen and I taught will be baptized. We felt that many of them were very close to or on the verge of getting an answer to their prayers whether or not this church is true.
I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to work with Elder Nielsen. I have never met someone that works harder or that laughs more than him. He is just like my older brother Thomas, and felt just like an older brother to me as we worked together in the San Rafael Ward. I was in a very dark time in my life and mission when he became my companion, and he helped pick me up and set me back on my feet and understand that a mission isn't too bad after all. I have learned so much from his obedient example, and hope to emulate him throughout the rest of my mission.

I have found one thing come to pass that was promised to me in my setting apart blessing. I was told that the people here need me, and that I need them. Throughout the past week, I have been having a hard time with missing my old area and companion. I felt really lonely and sad as I unpacked my bags in the new apartment here. But once I headed out proselyting on the first day, it was so fun to meet the new members and investigators here, and they have helped me feel more at home here. Also, I have seen several times when we are finding that my smiling and happy attitude has helped put a smile on the faces of those we teach, and given them hope. In sacrament meeting, one lady also told me, "I can see your smiling countenance: there will be lots of converts because of you." I really hope that comes true, and that I can help some of the people here feel the love of their Heavenly Father for them, and make changes in their lives to come unto him.

One of the first families that I met here is the Tan family. The mother is Sister Maria, and she has two children, Christian and Lorenzo, who were all three baptized in the last month. They are all full of faith and very excited to be members of the church. Lorenzo and Christian had drug addictions when they were younger, so they haven't fully mentally matured. They are a very kind family though, and Lorenzo worked with us all day on Thursday, and we had a fun time. We also taught Sister Maria's friend, Sara Erlanda, in one of our visits to them. She is not a member, and seemed very emotional from the message we shared about the Restoration. Hopefully the Tan family takes her to church next Sunday!

We also taught the Garcia family, a Less Active family in our ward. The father and son in their family are the barbers at the MTC, and cut my hair two or three times during my stay there! They haven't attended church in a while because it is expensive to travel to the church and the youngest boy is a bit rowdy at church. We taught them on Saturday night, challenged to come to church, and they came! It was very fun to see them at church, and we'll hope to see them next week as well.

My companion is also amazing and a really hard worker. He is on his last transfer, and told me he wants to work hard to the very end. He is Elder Salazar. He is from Bacolod, Philippines, and speaks Ilongo as his first language. (That is also where my second companion, Elder Mahinay, is from! They knew each other before the mission) He is a very kind and compassionate missionary and companion, and teaches from his heart and with the Spirit. We have been getting along great!

Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Peterson

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Welcome to Minuyan Ward!

We had a great week last week. Elder Richards is helping me familiarize myself with the area and is introducing me to all the members and investigators. I am doing my best to learn and remember all the names, addresses, and statuses of all the people whom we are teaching in this area. With the help of Elder Richards, I am slowly, but surely beginning to learn my way around our area. 

Elder Richards and I believe this area has a lot of potential and with concerted effort it will progress. Our goal is 20 baptisms before i leave. We had a baptism last Saturday so that means we only have 19 to go!  There are many members who are excited about doing missionary work and are willing to fellowship and pick up investigators to help them go to church. I have already developed a pretty good relationships with the ward members ( The Filipinos are easy to please, a few cheesy and corny jokes and they love you! haha )  Elder Richards and I want to take advantage of the ward's excitement to do missionary work, and we plan to utilize the members in our proselyting. 

The ward I am in has been split twice. Currently, our ward is pretty small because it was just spit last February so we are still in the growing process. Our goal is to fill the chapel with investigators and returned less actives.

The SJ North zone is doing well. At this point, we have no concerns or problems in the zone. Our zone is filled with wonderful missionaries and we are excited to see all the accomplishments this zone can achieve in the upcoming months. 

Elder Richards is a great companion. We get along great. He is a South Jordan boy. He is a Bingham Miner and played basketball, baseball and football in high school. We are about the same size. We are pretty much the same type of person; big, athletic, and like to crack jokes. We will have a great time together.  I am thankful for this opportunity that I have to work with him and to be his companion. I know I will learn a lot of valuable lessons from him.

Overall, it has been a great week. I am finally unpacked, and now I ready to go! Our plan is just to hit the streets and baptize. So we will see how it goes! 

Have a wonderful week! Have fun in Hollywood Sum Sum! Carly, you just watch where you are pointing the barrel! ( "Icky, put the pea-shooter down..!" )

Love you all! 

Mahal ko kayong lahat,

Elder Nielsen 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Zone Leader

Dear Brother and Sister Nielsen,
I am so happy to let you know that Elder Cody Scott Nielsen has been called to serve as a Zone Leader in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. 

As a Zone Leader, Elder Nielsen will be responsible for the teaching and training of many missionaries.  His example and motivation will become their model to follow. 

He is learning to be a Preach My Gospel missionary and as he develops the Christ-like attributes he is learning, he will build a firm, spiritual foundation for the rest of his life. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to know and serve with this fine young man and appreciate the love and encouragement you’ve given him.

Sincerely yours,

President Bertin's Signature
Kim C. Bertin
Mission President

More pictures

Heart-Felt Hellos and Heart-Wrenching Goodbyes

Well, well well. This week will be a week for the journal. So many great things have happened this week.,

First off, we went to the temple on Thursday to attend the Endowment sessions of Sister Lourdes Faustina and Sister Paraiso. It was wonderful! We met the whole Malolos ward at the temple. They all surprisingly remembered me! We all exchanged hellos and stories for a while outside the temple. It was great to see some of my recent converts and less actives that are now completely active and temple worthy. Then we went inside and waited for our session. It was a wonderful and exciting time! It was a sweet day that I remember for the rest of my life. 

Yesterday, was transfer announcements and I was informed that Elder Peterson and I were both transferring..( pull out/ open area)  I was so shocked! I did not want to transfer and I was not supposed to transfer. ( President told me in my interview a week earlier that I would stay in this area. ) Ahhhh I was so sad! I did not want leave our investigators that just started progressing! Our ward and area has finally turned around and is progressing and now we have to leave it behind. It is so sad. So last night we went around and informed all of our investigators and members that we were both transferring. It was rough, I loved this ward and area so much! 

My new area will be in Minuyan. One of the prettiest and farthest areas in our mission. I will be companions with Elder Richard ( a very talented and young missionary) and we will be the zone leaders in that area. 

President called me this morning and talked to me about why I was getting transferred. He said that he sent me to Montalban to be with Elder Peterson and help the ward and zone progress. He said that I fulfilled and completed that assignment and he felt that I needed to complete one more assignment before I go home. He said the Minuyan ward and Elder Richard needs a good "mentor" and I could help. The APs told me that it was a very last minute decision. ( which means it was definitely revelation, all of President's last minute decisions are always based on revelation ) So I am excited to help. I am willing to go wherever the Lord wants to send me. 

I will definitely miss all of our wonderful progressing investigators, Kristine, Chat, Richard, Jess, Veronica, Vermila, Juvie Ann, and Rhea, Rujello Jaber, Marifosa and all the others. 

It has been a wonderful opportunity to serve in the San Rafael Ward. I have learned many valuable lessons from my short time here in this area. I have truly learned what converted investigators look, act and sound like. Elder Peterson and I were blessed to have been able to witness and observe the conversion process occur in some of our progressing investigators. We have seen them experience a mighty change of heart and completely change their attitudes, habits, and beliefs because of the impart the Restored Gospel had upon their lives. It is heart wrenching to leave right before their baptisms and the their family member's future baptisms, but I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us and them and that they will continue to progress with the new elders in this ward. 

Elder Weeks and Elder Frias (the incoming elders)  will have a great experience here in San Rafael. The ward is starting to feel the missionary spirit  and is beginning to give referrals to the missionaries. We have recorded all the names, addresses, and numbers of the ward members, newly found less actives, and new and progressing investigators for them. I am very confident that they will be able to finish the work that Elder Peterson and I started. 

I am also very thankful for the opportunity that I had to serve with Elder Peterson. He is a great missionary and has a very bright future. I admire his burning desire to share and preach the gospel with all those that he comes in contact with. He loves to learn and study the gospel and is always striving to improve in every aspect of missionary work. I have truly enjoyed and cherished our time together her in San Rafael. I have learned many valuable lessons from Elder Peterson and I am thankful I was able to serve along side him these last two transfers.  

Tomorrow I head out for new territory and adventures in Minuyan. The work goes on!

I love you all! I hope you have an amazing week! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teachin' Teachers

We had another great week last week. The number of investigators attending church is increasing weekly. On Sunday, we had five investigators attend church for their first time. Sister Veronica and Sister Vermila are twenty-seven year old identical twin teachers ( they look like the same person, it is so funny ), that we found through OYMing about a month ago, and on Sunday they were able to attend for the first time. We visited them last night, and they said, that they really enjoyed Sacrament meeting and the other classes they attended on Sunday. They will be out of town this weekend, but they said that, they will go to church again next weekend. 

Sister Reya and Sister Jovie Anne are also newly found investigators that we are teaching. Sister Jovie Anne was a referral from an active member. They are also teachers, and they coincidentally are co-teachers and good friends with Vermila and Veronica. On Sunday, they all attended church for all three hours. They are very outgoing and intelligent, and they participated a lot in the classes. They all enjoyed their time at church and want to go to church again. 

Brother Richard and Sister Jess attended church for their third consecutive time on Sunday. Their testimonies, especially Richard's, have grown dramatically in the last week. Brother Richard received a Gospel Doctrine manual last week on Sunday, and by Thursday, the same week, he had already finished reading the entire manual. In the past, Brother Richard normally drank about ten cups of coffee everyday, however, last week we taught him the Word of Wisdom, and he has not drunk a single cup of coffee since. 

The Lehi district is also doing well. Elder Estoque and Elder Price are still struggling trying get investigators to go to church. However, they have had companionship studies and discussions about what they need to change or do in order to help their investigators attend church. Sister Aldemita and Sister Sheets are getting a lot of ward support and referrals, and are working hard. Sister Freeze and Sister Seuifalmeua are doing okay. As a companionship, I do not feel they are the most unified, but every time I ask their Kabahays about them, they say they are doing okay together. 

Overall, everything is going great! The area is starting to progress and flourish. Except, there is one problem... transfers are next week and Elder Peterson is most likely going to be transferred.. NOO! The reason why I am emailing today is because we have temple P-day this week and zone interviews, and in my interview with President he practically told me that Elder Peterson is going to be transferred. He thanked me for all my help, and said that Elder Peterson has really grown and is doing a lot better, however, he said it is time for Elder Peterson to move on and progress in his mission. We were having so much fun together! It will be sad to see him leave next week!

Also, I have very excited news. Elder Peterson and I are going to the temple tomorrow to attend the endowment of Sister Lourdes Parisyo.Lourdes is the person that I OYMed back in October 2015. She got baptized, the week I got transferred. Now, she is teaching the doctrinal principles class in her ward and tomorrow she is going to the temple to be endowed and we get to attend. Practically her whole family is baptized now! What a blessing!

Have a wonderful week! Love you all!


Elder Nielsen 

This is our posterity picture. Elder Godinez, Me, Elder Gurtiza. Elder Mariano and Elder Slade ( Elder Gurtiza's two sons), Elder Bastilong (son of Elder Mariano). And the other American in front, he is Elder Godinez brother, Elder Egbert's second son!

Sunday, March 5, 2017


We had another great week last week. Yesterday, we had a decent amount of progressing investigators and less actives attend the Sunday services. Kristine, Marifosa, Jesse, and Richard were the progressing investigators that were able to attend. 

Kristine has attended church five times and is preparing for her baptism on the 1st of April. Last week, we had to move her baptismal date after teaching her the Word of Wisdom because up until that point in time she had been drinking coffee everyday. However, after our lesson she committed personally and to us that she would no longer drink coffee. Also, last week we were able to meet and teach Kristine's husband, who has recently returned from a business contract in Qatar. Nelson, her husband,  was very open and wiling to listen to our message. After our discussion, he agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and to attend church in the upcoming weeks.

Marifosa attend church yesterday for her fourth time. Last week, Marifosa finally received her answer from our Heavenly Father that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is and was a prophet of God. Unfortunately, despite the witness that she received, she most likely will not be baptized at this point time because she will leave for Lebanon within the next two weeks on a business contract. She promised that she would bring her Book of Mormon to Lebanon and continue to read from it, as long as her boss will permit her to do so. We know that God works in mysterious ways, and that He has a special plan for Marifosa. Though she may not be baptized at this time, we know that she will eventually become a member of this Restored Church and enter into the waters of baptism. 

Richard and Jesse attended church for their second time on Sunday. They are steadily progressing and preparing for their baptism. Richard and Jesse also are starting to build relationships and friendships with the members at church. We are excited to continue to guide and direct them as they continue their preparations for baptism. 

Also, we found 2 more less active families last week. "They are popping out of the snow.. Like daisies!" One of them has a lot of potential. They said that they were ready to return to church and become active again. A funny story, their little 7 year old girl came up and gave me a big bear hug when we entered into their house. (I think she must have missed the missionary's visits ) 

Overall, our are is really starting to progress. 

This morning we went to Wawa Dam for a zone activity. I think this is the place where Mom went when she visited the Philippines. It is super pretty up there and is practically in our area. The Japenese hid out in Wawa during WWII. They had a great big battle in Wawa. It is a pretty interesting place. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Choose the right! I love being a missionary and studying the Gospel. Love you all!

Mahal ko po kayong lahat,

Elder Nielsen