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

Letters sent home from the Phillippines

Elder Nielsen

Elder Nielsen

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Best Two Years

Well, this will be my last email as a full-time missionary because next Monday we have transfer announcements, and on Tuesday morning I will go to the mission home for Exit-Day.

There are so many things I could say. But, I would like to list 10 important life-lessons that I learned throughout my mission that have helped me grow as a individual. 

1. Hard work triumphs over skill. It does not matter how talented or untalented, intellectual or nonintellectual, skilled or unskilled, a person is, if, he or she is willing to work their hardest and give it everything they have. Eventually, the unskilled and untalented people become skilled and talented because of their consistent and rigorous work ethic. 

2. If you want to accomplish some great achievement, you have to be willing to lay everything on the sacrificial altar. You have to be willing to sacrifice your time, effort, money, focus, attention, energy, and your all, in order to obtain your goal. You can't be half-committed. 

3. Obedience never failleth. The ones who are obedient are always the most successful and happy. You cannot receive blessing from On High before you obey. You must obey first, then, and only then, will the blessings follow.  

4. Optimism is key. Optimism is the key to be able to carry on in the work of the Lord with a smile even on the hardest days and when everything seems to be working against you. Optimism is contagious. 

5. Make the best with what you have.There are many things you can not control and very few things you can control in this life. We must learn to make the best out of what situations and circumstances we have been given.

6. You get out what you give in, while studying the scriptures.The more attention and focus you give to studying the scriptures the more understanding and a revelation you will obtain.

7. Learn to love to learn. Constantly learning is the key to success in this life and in the life to come. I truly have developed a love for learning during my mission. 

8. Frown or Smile? I have discovered that you have two options in life. You can frown and get upset and angry when things do not go your way or you can smile and laugh about it. ( It is always easier to just smile and laugh ) 

9. Spiritual eyes. On my mission, I have closed my temporal and carnal eyes and have opened my spiritual eyes; which is the ability to see yourself and others through heavenly eyes and to see the vain and foolish things of they world as they truly are. 

10. Love one another. Love is the antidote for everything. It is the key to unlocking hearts and developing rich friendships. It also allows you to gain the favor and trust of others. They don't care about how much you know, until they know how much you care. 

I now would like to list a few things I love about the Filipino people and the Philippines.

1. Filipino people are the most caring people. Even if they do not have sufficient needs or funds, they are always willing to share with others. 

2. A home is what you make it. The happiest homes are not always found in the largest or most extravagant houses. A happy home can be found in the smallest of houses. It is not what is on the outside that counts, it is about what is found inside of the walls. I love the unity of the Filipino families. 

3. Food! When in doubt, eat rice! When you are tired, eat rice! Always eat rice! I love the Filipino dishes and ulams. I can eat them 24/7 365. 

4. Friendly. The Filipino people are the most friendliest people in the world. There are no strangers in the Philippines, there are just friends you haven't met yet. I love watching two random people naturally and instantly start talking to each other and become immediate friends. 

5. The "Elect" people. The Philippines is prepared for the message of the Restoration of the Gospel. 80% of the people are Christians -believe in Christ- and they are all willing to listen to your message. The Philippines is capable of producing such a bounteous harvest in terms of missionary work and church membership. They truly are the "elect" people. 

I could go on forever. I love the culture, landscape, dialect, people, and traditions. I love everything! It has been a blessing and a privilege to serve in this beautiful country! 

Five words that describe my mission:

1. Smiles 2. Sweat 3. Laughs 4. Love 5. Growth 

In conclusion, I would like to leave my sure testimony and witness that I know God is our loving and Eternal Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World. Without His infinite and eternal Atonement, life would be worthless, and we would not be on our way to immortality and eternal life. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ was removed from the earth for a period of time but has now been restored to the face of the earth by another prophet, seer and revelator, even Joseph Smith. The Love of God is apparent and available to all who are willing to repent and follow Him. I know He lives and loves us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

My mission truly has been 'The Best Two Years'.


Elder Nielsen