Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My first transfer!!

Well, I did get transferred but that's ok. I got a new companion and his name is Elder Tupou. He is a Tongan Elder from New Zealand. My new area is San Pablo 2. It is very small compared to my last area. We have some work to do in it to get it running to where I would like it to be at. Me and Elder Tupou get along really well. I learned how to get along with "Polys" in the MTC which helps out a lot. The reason President put me with him is Elder Tupou is a hard worker when it comes to new missionaries in the mission and he has a lot he can teach me about Tagalog and teaching that Elder Richards couldn't. I need to start working on the language as well as my teaching ability. My new comp makes me do everything unlike my trainer. I can really feel my Tagalog improving though. This transfer will be a challenge but my next is going to be worse. I am going to be training and I will also most likely be district leader in my new area. That will be a real challenge. Elder Tupou told me that the reason he was put with me is because he is supposed to get me ready to become a trainer and a district leader (that's what he said president told him in the interviews we had). We should get along pretty well this transfer.

Well I am starting to really love pineapple now. The sisters in my new district live in an area that is famous for pineapples and a pineapple drink that is so good... Oh well I am still having a good time. 

Well I sent some new photos of me and I still haven't received that package yet... Oh well, I still love you guys even though I didn't get a birthday present. :(  I am super tired right now from Basketball this morning and I really can't think straight.

Anyways, love you lots and I hope you have a good week! Have a great week!

Elder Nielson

Elder Richards and I getting lunch ready! :)

How we cook our chicken here in the Philippines!

Just hanging out with the chickens! :)
A shower guest! Don't worry - I dealt with it!

A beautiful day!
Some boat docks.
Color Run all the way over here!!
All the Elders and Sister Missionaries in our District.
Some P-Day fun!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter from the Philippines!

Wow sounds like you guys had a great Easter. They don't really do anything on Easter Sunday here in the Philippines. All the festivities happen on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (good Friday). Everyone is pretty much given those days off so the Philippines pretty much shuts down for 3 days. No traffic, nothing. Everyone goes to the beach. After Friday though, everything is back to normal. There are groups of people here who crucify each other for Easter! Crazy, eh?  They get really drunk and then nail themselves to a cross! They call it penitence or self mortification and it is kind of messed up. Another thing they do is cut their sides open, wipe themselves, and carry around a huge cross while people pour hot wax down their bare backs! No one does anything special on Easter Sunday. It is just another normal work day for them. So weird and almost twisted. So that also means no Easter Bunny (sorry kids).

There was a Joe (what the Filipinos call white people) that came back here to visit his mission and also his wife's family out here. He brought his whole family to the Philippines for Easter break and when we ran into them they invited us to go his mother in law's house for Easter Sunday. The Easter bunny did visit them.

This week has been kinda crappy because Elder Richards has been pretty sick and we haven't been able to leave the apartment that much. Also Elder Pablico (one of the Elders downstairs) finished his mission and went home. Elder Richards and I have his companion until the transfer day. His name is Elder Abekoon. He is from Sri Lanka and he's a little different - haha - oh well.

I have been thinking about that "challenge" a lot too and I am worried that I will get an AP as my next companion (another problem) and that I will be a babysitter and stay here in Batangas. President Peterson has spent the entire 2.5 years trying to get the mission back in shape through really strict rules and it has worked ok, but there still are some disobedient missionaries (pasuway). The problem is how easy it is to be disobedient in this mission because there are so many distractions. So I am super worried that my area will die once I lose Elder Richards as a companion (if I stay here). I can't wait (sarcasm)... I bet Dad would be good at coming up with ideas to deal with all that.

Even with all that we had a good experience this week. We had taught one of our new investigators the importance and power of prayer. Her name is Analiesa and she had a great testimony building experience this week with it. Her son was cutting bamboo and somehow slit his leg right to the bone with a piece of bamboo. Their family is super poor and really can't afford to go to the doctor but he was bleeding really badly. Analiesa prayed that nothing bad would happen and that she would somehow be able to pay the doctor. She made it to the hospital and got her son stitched up and after that the doctor said that because it is near Easter time she didn't need to pay. When she told us this story she was completely in tears. Well that by itself made it another good week. Hopefully the next one will be good as well.

Oh ya, I still haven't received my package yet :( . Well have a great week. I will tell you next week if I am transferred or not.
Elder Nielson

Friday, April 18, 2014

Better late than not at all!! :)

Thanks for the birthday messages!! It was so great to hear from so many people! Sorry for the late reply. I am still safe here in the Philippines. Our P-day got moved today because we had zone interviews yesterday. Boy were those cool. President Peterson asked me if I was ready for a real challenge. Then he smiled and at first I thought he was talking about like a scripture challenge or something but after that I was like - "crap, what's he mean by real challenge?". Well I guess we will have to wait and see!

Well my birthday went great. I didn't buy anything yet.  I am glad you got to have my Birthday dinner and cake back at home! ha-ha. I went to a fancy restaurant that was all you can eat for 400 peso and loved it! ha-ha. Super fun. I hope things are going good back at home.

I loved Conference. I thought it was great. I loved Pres. Monson's talk on courage. And I learned a lot about faith. I learned that I need to move my faith from Alma 32 faith up to brother of Jared faith. I am trying and hopefully will be able to build up some more faith.

Well, I got 25 emails!! this week so I really don't have that much time to email much to you. The internet really sucks right now so I am not able to send any pics.  Oh well, I love you all lots and hope you have a great week! Please stay safe.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gonna be 19! Happy birthday to me!! :)

Wow - thanks for the update on General Conference! Sounds like you really loved it! Nice summary Mom! ha-ha I haven't seen it yet! Oh well, I will get to see it next week. I have been looking forward to watching it for some time now. It will be nice to listen to some inspired talks for 2 days straight.
Also, Saturday is my birthday and I can't wait for that. We're going to do something really stupid and spend 400 ($10) on meals at a fancy restaurant called Ginasal. It is all you can eat and food from around the world, daw (that's what we have been told).
Mom, you never liked watching me play badminton? Must be the case if you didn't enjoy Tori's badminton tournament! :)
Tomorrow I have some splits with my zone leaders which should be interesting and then on Wednesday we have zone meeting for this transfer. With General Conference on the weekend I don't see much time to work this week other then Thursday and Friday. Oh well, hopefully we don't get in too much trouble! :)
Wow, it is almost Mother's day! Guess I will have to figure out what time to skype you on that day. I think we get to Skype on Monday so it can reach you on your Sunday.
Well I had an okay week other then the heat. I am drinking tons of water but for whatever reason I got really sick again. I never got sick back at home. On my mission (including the MTC) I have been sick 4 times now. It must be just the different climate. I never feel over-stressed or anything like that and I always get at least 7 hours of sleep (some days we have to wake up earlier). Hope I can figure it out!! :(
Dad - you asked about President Peterson. He has definitely left his mark on the San Pablo Mission. Apparently, the last mission president was very relaxed. He let elders watch Disney movies on P-day and stuff like that. When President Peterson got here he completely changed everything. He is pretty strict but it is his mission and I will follow the rules that he sets. An example of one of the rules he set is for music and it is that if the music is inappropriate for the chapel, it is inappropriate for your apartment so I had to delete all my church songs other then Tabernacle choir music :(. One of his quotes is "we're not YSA" so no EFY music or anything like that. Another really memorable quote is "do you know bawal (the rules)?". He uses that one all the time ha-ha. Oh well, actually he is leaving soon, I think the beginning of June - so that will be interesting to see what the new Mission President will be like. I wonder how they train Mission presidents.
That is awesome that there was a lot of non-members at church. The most me and Elder Richards have managed to get to church is 6 and that was pure luck. We're having troubles with our teaching pool lately and we're going to drop several investigators I think. We would love some prayers from home about finding some "good" new faces :).
Well, I am running out of time so I love you lots and I hope you have a great week. Thanks for the Emails - love you lots :)
Elder Nielson