Sunday, September 28, 2014

Choices and Cookies!

Elder Nielson's letter this week starts out with a talk he gave in church on Sunday. It is in tagolog. He follows with a letter in English so just scan your way down to the English part (unless you read tagolog of course!). At the end of his letter, I have enclosed the google translate version of his talk which doesn't do a great job of translating it so it doesn't make total sense but you will get the idea.

Magandang umaga Brothers and Sisters
Ang talk ko ngayon ay tungkol sa Pananampalataya.
Ito po ang isang pokus sa mission namin ngayon. At ganoon din, malapit sa puso ko.
Muna  may kaunting background sa faith.
1. Ito po ang unang alitutunin ng Ebanghelyo ni JesuChristo.
2. Ito po ang unang katangiang ni JesuChrist.
3. Ito po ang poundation ng religion natin.
4. Sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya na may mangyayari ang mga himala
5. Ibibigay ng pananampalataya ang kapangyarihan sa atin
6. Kaya natin maging mas mabuting mga tao sa pamamagitan ng pananampalataya.
Sila po ay ang mga katangiang ng pananampalataya.
Maganda  talaga ang Pananampalataya, pero minsan na mahirup na maintindihan na ano ang pananampalataya.
Alma 32:21
Ok lang ang definition yan. pero, pangbata yan.
Yan ay tinatawag "Seminary Answer" sa amin. Mahina yan.
Dapat maging mas malalim.
FAITH- Action work yan
Kailangan natin ang action or kilos.
James 2:7
Ang kahulagan yan ay hindi basta paniniwala ang pananamplataya. Kailangan natin ang gawa. Kung walang Kilos, mamamatay ang pananampalataya natin.
Parang tanim siya.
Kung Ibibgay ang tubig at pagkain sa tanim, buhay pa siya. Pero, Kung hindi natin ibibgay ang nutrients sa kanya, mamamatay siya.
Kailangan ng tanim ang araw, tubig, at pagkain para mabuhay.
Katulad sa faith natin
Kailangan natin ang pagbabasa, pagsisimba, at mga kilos.
Sinabi sa BD pahina 641 na "faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith."
Ibig sabihin, mahalaga talaga ang patotoo natin at mahalaga na meroon tayong totoong pananampalataya din.
Importante sa mga kapwa natin. Kung hindi tayo magpatotoo o wala tayong totoong faith; hindi nila kaya makakaroon ng pananampalataya.
Sige, gumising na kayo.
Meroon akong commitment para sa inyo. Dahil Kailangan ng mga kaibigan natin ang patotoo natin.
Ibahagi po ninyo ang patotoo tungkol sa simabhan natin, sa isang kaibigan, bago yung susunod na Lingo? 
Ito po ang isang paraan upang ipakita ang faith natin sa Diyos at magtanim tayo ng buto ng pananampalataya sa kaibigan natin.
Matthew 17:20
Katulad sa halimbawa ko kanina, nagsimula ang lahat ng tanim bilang buto. Ganoon din sa faith. Umpisa ang faith bilang isang maliit ng buto. Kung pakainin natin ang buto ng pananampalataya; lalaki siya hunggan sa isang malaking puno. At kung ganoon, meroon siyang kapangyarihan para ilipad ang bundok.
Sempre, katulad ang binangit ko, mahalaga yan sa kapwa natin. Pero, baka sinasabi ninyo sa sarili ninyo na what's in it for me?
Jacob 4:6
May kapangyarihan sa faith.
Sinabi sa PMG na "Ang pananampalataya ay ang alitutunin ng kapagyarihan, kumikilos ang Panginoon sa pamamagitan ng kapangyarihan, at nakakagawa tayo ng mga himala ayon sa kagustuhan ng Panginoon.
Ibig sabihin na kung nais ng Diyos, makakagawa tayo ng mga himala kung may totoong pananampalataya.
(D+C 42: 48-51 ang isang magandang halimbawa ng mga himala na kaya natin gawin.)
Sa closing, bilang mga missionaries at mga members, mahalaga na may pananampalataya at ipakita yan.

Dear Family and Friends
As you can see, a big portion of my email is in Tagalog. This is because I had to give a talk yesterday. Yesterday's talk is the first talk of my whole mission where I actually had notice and time to write it. Hope you enjoy the nose bleed (only Filipinos will get that joke).  Now don't start thinking that my ward here is nice and organized cause it is so far from it that I don't know what to compare it to. But I will tell you about all those stories after my mission. Hint, has something to do with secret combinations, Gadianton robbers, king men, and free men. Well I have said too much now and probably endangered my life by doing so. The last part about endangering my life was a joke but it is up to you to decide if the rest of it was or wasn't... (Joking!!)
Well I am definitely at a bit of a low for my mission right now. I am being forced to choose between unity and obedience. I have chosen obedience so far but it really sucks. It's like choosing between a dry old cookie that tastes like dirt or a dry old cookie that tastes like poop. Again I will tell you all of these stories after my mission. Just remind me to tell you these stories when I go home - I mean, I am almost half way done. 

In other news I am probably in the best shape I have been in my whole life. I am addicted to working out and boy am I getting sexy. Well not quite sexy yet but at least I am not a little twig anymore. I even have a butt now but I think that is solely due to the rice. Most Elders get big ugly rice guts, others get rice thighs. I on the other hand luck out and get a nice rice butt which I needed if you remember how poky that thing used to be.

We are also super poor right now. For breakfast, lunch and supper we eat nothing but rice, eggs, and tuyo. Tuyo is sun-dried fish. Yes not baked, fried, boiled, or cooked in any way - just dried. The bones get really brittle and eatable in the sun so you can eat the whole thing. Even the head. Yum, Masarap! I may have high blood pressure before the end of my mission because of how much salt is on that stuff.
Baptisms. I have baptisms coming up. Hopefully 1 on the 18th and like 4 or maybe even 6 on the 25th. Things like that change really quick so I will keep you updated. 

Wow - the Watson's are going to the Naga Mission! That's pretty cool daw. All of my MTC teachers served in the Naga mission. Actually right now I only live a little ways away from the mission border. I could totally see them becoming office couples or something like that. Tell them to take the language thing seriously. Most senior couples don't but I think they could learn a lot ha-ha. The secret is actually talking to people that you don't know.

Well I am glad you all had a good week. Hopefully you like my email this week. Love you all lots bye.

Elder Nielson

Good morning Brothers and Sisters
The talk today is about Faith.
This is the one we now focus on the mission. And as well, close to my heart.
First have some background in faith.
1 This is the first alitutunin JesuChristo's Gospel.
2 This is the first character of JesuChrist.
3 This is the religion poundation of us.
4 By faith with miracles happen
5 of faith will give us the power
6 So we become better people by faith.
They am the qualities of faith.
Faith really beautiful, but once you understand what mahirup faith.
Alma 32:21
Ok definition just that. But, wear that.
Ie called "Seminary Answer" us. Poor that.
Should be deeper.
Action FAITH- work ie
We need action or motion.
James 2: 7
The kahulagan ie not just feel the faith. We need the work. If no Action, die faith.
Crops like him.
If issues a water and food crops, he was alive. But, if we do not issues a nutrients in him, he will die.
Plants need sun, water, and food to live.
Similar to the faith we
We need reading, attendance, and behavior.
BD page 641 told that "faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith."
I mean, really important and crucial testimony of meroon have real faith also.
Important to both of us. If we do not testify or do not have real faith; So they will have an faith.
Go ahead wake you.
Meroon my commitment to you. Because we need for the testimony of friends.
Please share you testimonies we simabhan, with a friend, before yung next Sunday?
This is the one way to show we have faith in God and we plant the seeds of faith in our friend.
Matthew 17:20
Similar to the example I mentioned earlier, it all started as a seed crop. So also faith. Over the faith as a small seed. If we feed the seeds of faith; man he hunggan a large tree. And if so, is the power to ilipad meroon mountain.
Sempre, similar to the mentions I, ie important to both of us. But, you might say to yourself to what's in it for me?
Jacob 4: 6
There is power in faith.
PMG said that "Faith is the alitutunin authorizes, the Lord acting by authority, and makes us of the miracle by the will of God.
That means that if you want God, we can make miracles if you have true faith.
(D + C 42: 48-51 is a good example of the miracles that we do so.)
I testify
In closing, as the missionaries and members, it is important to have faith and show that.
District meeting at Elder Kikel's apartment (church was locked). Ironing board desk of course! Looking pretty sauve!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hard Work Going on in Lopez 1!!

Ako si Elder Nielson. Ako ang isang missionary dito sa Lopez. Yung ward ko ay lopez 1. naglinkod ako sa Batangas at San Pablo. Ito yun pangatlong lugar ko. Ako ang tagapaglinkod ni Jesu Cristo. Bilang mga missionaries gusto naming ibahagi ang mensahe sa lahat ng mga tao dito sa mundo. Mahirup yan. Hindi naming kaya yan. Pero, ito ang aking dakilang kagustohan.

Hope that's enough. ha-ha Well I had a good week and I even managed to send you some photos this week. It isn't a party yet but were getting close to that with the new investigators that we pulled out of the wood work this week. I did exchanges here with both my district and the zone leaders and we just tracted like bosses. I ended up getting lots done and even picked up a whole bunch of new investigators. Now that we have investigators we can always set appointments so now there is no reason to be lazy. Well that was pretty much the gist of my week. We tracted like crazy and we got lots done.

I have been trying to work out really hard lately because one of the elders has a set of Shaun T dvds "T25". It actually works great and is only 25 mins each day. Something like that would be a great thing to throw in a package :). I really am left in the dark about the natural disasters here in the Philippines haha. No one tells me anything. I knew we had a typhoon because it flooded a fair amount here in Lopez. Other then that nothing. Typhoons are a lot smaller (area wise) then I thought. Well things are going great for us in our area right now.

Hey I just found out that I have only 13 months left as of today! How crazy is that? I return as of October 21, 2015. I only have to miss 1 Halloween ha-ha. Well I hope my skin won't peel apart when I get back into a dry climate. I can't imagine that looking very appealing haha (get it? A-PEELING). Well I love you all lots.

Elder Nielson

 Recognize these two! My comps at the MTC!
 A game of Pogs! Pretty sure we are going to lose!!
A very handsome selfie!

Flooding - pretty much normal!
 My study area
 Fancy bathroom facilities! :)
 Giant bucket of ..... Not sure!
Our Kitchen
 Lopez 1st Ward Celebration
Lopez 1st Ward

Monday, September 15, 2014

A brand new Jollybee!

Ya - we had a good week. The new mission president is really pushing the missionaries hard right now. He wants every companionship in the mission to be contacting 50 people a day. That is almost impossible in my opinion. Normally I get about 10 OYM (open you mouths) per day. I had exchanges with the Zone leaders this week and we got 24 and we literally talked to everyone we could have. It is hard to get such high contact numbers here because we have so many opportunities to teach. 10 OYM per day was the mission excellence standard back with president Peterson. 
I have been trying to work stuff out with my companion this week but it is hard because he had really bad companions (other then his trainer) his whole mission and he doesn't want to change at all. So I am not to sure what to do because really, an area can't progress if only one elder wants it to.
In other news a Jolleybee is opening up here in Lopez. That means I get to eat fast food again! Winning! Lopez is a very interesting area. It is so far away from the major cities and really, there is no touristic stuff here so there is almost no Joes (white people) here. That means that I am like a super star here in Lopez! Everyone loves me here ha-ha. Girls flirt with me daily which maybe isn't that good for a missionary ha-ha. 

Ya - Elder Kikel is pretty funny ha-ha. We didn't talk about video games for a couple hours FYI ha-ha. We were stuck in the computer shop for a couple hours because our companions didn't want to get off. We just talked about what we did back home and it turns out we did pretty much the same stuff other then I did more sports and he did more working out. He played paintball and everything. We even read most of the same books. Weird ha-ha. Oh ya and his story of the puke ball is true. I was sitting right beside him on the bus and the little kids (two of them) puked like 10 times I swear. We had to lift our feet off the ground because it was seeping under our chairs! :) 

The house is ok... now. We spent a couple of hours cleaning this morning and managed to get it almost to the point where I feel comfortable. You could turn the house in to a pretty beastly haunted house if you wanted to. I will try to send some pics of it next week. That reminds me I was mopping the house and the one zone leader was washing his laundry outside and when I went out to dump all the dirty water I ended up dropping the mop bucket into his freshly washed clothing ha-ha. I felt so bad ha-ha. 

Well later tonight I have exchanges with Elder Kikel so we will see how hard working he really is ha-ha jk. I don't really want to leave my area yet on exchanges because I feel like if I left my area no work will get done. Oh well that is just the mission life I guess. I feel like the mission life is super fast. It is way faster then I would have ever expected it to be. I can burn through 3 months in what feels like 1 week. That makes it really important to not waste anytime on your mission. If you do, you will probably regret it for the rest of your life. 

Yes I did get the Dear Elder package ha-ha! Thanks, it was just what I needed. 2 pounds of candy ha-ha! They give all the packages to the zone leaders but that can only happen once per transfer so we don't get very many packages very often. 

I will send pics next week. Thanks for your pics of Miami! I am glad you had such a great trip. I think that would have been super cool ha-ha. Well I hope you continue on with Elizabeth Smart's advice and only have good days this next week.

Love you lots and stay safe.

Elder Nielson

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reporting from Lopez

Well I am doing just fine here in Lopez. I now have five new investigators - one is a gold investigator. His name is Jun Jun and is a security guard here in Lopez. He works everyday 7am-8pm so his only problem is church. We are also teaching a little part member boy who will hopefully be baptized in the next 4 weeks.

Yes, I am Elder Kikel's district leader ha-ha. He is super funny and I don't think I have found another person that has more common with me then him. I replaced Elder Oliva and yes he didn't do anything in this area ha-ha. This was his last area in the mission and really, no work happened here. I have yet  to walk into an area with a teaching pool, so it doesn't effect me very much. But it is sad that the good elders spend their mission planting, repairing, and rebuilding and the bad elders spend their mission harvesting and destroying. Stuff like that really irks me. I know elders who have baptized 25 people and don't do anything. Well that's my rant for today.

I like the area. Lot's of super nice members here and so many part member families. There is so much work to do here that I still am having trouble figuring out what to do first.

Yes, my companion shouldn't be on Facebook and I don't know how he found you all. Oh well, that just gives you a taste of how much he cares about the rules ha-ha. At least we are working pretty hard. I am really going to step up my game with him next week. :)

Well, this week we only got three days of work in because we had a mission tour in San Pablo. Elder Bowen came and spoke to us all. It was hopefully a big waker-uper for the elders in the mission. I really enjoyed it. The doctrine was nice and deep, just the way I like it ha-ha. Oh and I have read every book in the missionary library already (including Jesus the Christ) They are super cool and I found some cool things that I still don't fully understand.

Well, I love you all a ton and I hope that you are all doing great.

Elder Nielson

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A New Life in Lopez 1

Hey Dad! You need to work on your Tagalog! It really isn't that hard. I can sit and have a 30 min conversation with someone in Tagalog now and it just feels natural! :) It still needs a lot of work but I finally feel confident enough in it. The most important thing is that I am almost 100% in all the lessons and my accent is pretty good now.
Well, I got transferred to Lopez 1. Not the Island... I am so far away from everything. :( I also had to travel here by myself. We live with the Zone leaders in a super old haunted house (all the Filipinos think its haunted). The area is actually dead ha-ha. President Peterson liked to send the "other elders" to Lopez zone. This zone used to be an Elders only zone and almost all the elders were less then perfect. The area book is clean so its kind of like opening one of the islands ha-ha. I have a lot of work to do here. My companion's name is Elder Daranciang and he is a Filipino. He was in my batch coming into the mission. He was here before me and kind of told me that they didn't do anything but he wants to fix the area and get Lopez running again so I am happy about that. The people here are the nicest people I have ever met in my whole life. Every appointment we go to we are showered with snacks and pop ha-ha. I am going to gain weight in this area! Wish me luck with my new area ha-ha.
The internet here isn't that good so I am not sure if I will be able to send too many pictures while I am here in this area. Just know that it is beautiful. Another thing about this area is there is lots of NPA here (New Peoples Army or Rebels). So that adds to the excitement ha-ha.
One more exciting thing is that I have a stalker here as well ha-ha. Her name is Joy, and she is crazy... She follows us everywhere and was outside our apartment the other night crying. Me and my comp have to get really good at hide and go seek if we want to even get to lessons here.
Well I love you all lots.

Elder Nielson