Monday, November 24, 2014

Some big, big changes and guess who has a car?? Sorry - a VAN!!

Well I had a bit of a shocker this week! haha. I am no longer in Lopez which is sad because I had progressing investigators and our apartment planned on having a really cool Christmas. I am also sad because I got really close to a lot of members out there. Oh well, I just gotta move on I guess. I spent literally all of last Thursday traveling. I went from one extreme to another. Lopez to (can I get a drum roll) Calapan Mindoro Island, land of the Mangyan!! Haha - so that will be fun. I had to go through Lucena, San Pablo, Santa Thomas, Batangas, and then road boat to get here! 

My new companion is Elder Pulido. He is the best teacher I have met so far on the mission. I will learn so much from him. The other cool thing is I have one of two areas in the mission with a car. I have a car!!!! I had to drive it on the first day too. WOW is driving something else here. I had to transfer the entire Zone here so I put in a good couple hours behind the steering wheel. I am getting really good at passing people on the right side and driving in the middle of the road and playing chicken with the cars on left side of the road. It really is fun. Oh and I can drive as fast as I want and no one cares (except maybe you guys back at home ha-ha). I will send a picture of my new van ha-ha! 

Another cool thing is that Josef emailed me. (Remember Josef??) He was ordained an Elder last week. How cool is that! I am so proud of him! He is going to serve a mission here really soon too. I can't wait. When I was traveling to Mindoro for 14 hours or whatever it was I really wanted to stop by and visit him but I was traveling alone so I didn't. :( I really hope to see him before he leaves on his mission. He is going to be an incredible missionary. I guarantee he will be 10 times better then me (that rhymes). Oh and when I got to the area it actually had a teaching pool! Wow it was a Christmas miracle! We even had a baptism on Saturday! Let me tell you something else. The branch is fully functioning here as well! They have meetings! They had ward missionaries! They have 150+ in attendance each week! We have 2 sister companionships in the branch! Home teaching is weak but better then the rest of the mission. We teach a workshop on home teaching each week. The other problem is there are almost 1000 less actives in my area... ( That's a stake!) We are going to be working really hard with less actives. 

Well love you lots. I hope you have a great week. 31 days till Christmas!!

Elder Nielson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Some Very Worn-Out Shoes!!

Wow I am missing so much stuff ha-ha. It feels crazy that Kenzie is now done high school girls Volleyball! I feel like I was just emailing all of you yesterday. I hope life after the mission goes a little bit slower because if it doesn't I well be old before I know it! 

Well, I am still having a good time out here in Lopez. This is transfer week right now and I am pretty sure I am staying for one more transfer, but next transfer we may be pulled out :(. Sixty missionaries are leaving before the end of December. Oh well - I will go where I am told to go. (Pray that I go to the Island ha-ha or Siniloan (That's where all the wood carvings come from)). 

We had another basic week this week. We are really struggling getting lessons. Back in my other areas we would teach upwards of 20 lessons a week and now we are having trouble getting over 10... Oh well I don't really feel like the members really like giving referrals to elders unless there is a Filipino in the companionship. That's fine though. We are still surviving. 

I am really looking forward to skyping with you guys. That should be a really good time ha-ha. I can't wait! 

Well I think my shoes have almost had it. I have literally worn some nice big holes in them. I am going to wear them  as long as I can and after my mission theyare going to my mission shrine with a white shirt, a tie, my tag, my shoes, ang isang Aklat ni Mormon all together. The more hole-y my shoes are the better ha-ha. I will send some good pics of them.

Thanks for sending pictures of Grandpa's birthday party, Mom! Wow!! I can't believe how big Jack is getting. That is a crazy picture of him ha-ha. 

Hey Dad!! It's too bad that you guys aren't going to provincials. That hurts a bit. Well at least you guys played really well. Thanks for all the updates and say congratulations to Kenzie and the girls! 

Well I hope you all have the best week! I love you lots.

Elder Nielson
Check out these shoes!! I don't think they will last another year!! Wow!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Hump Day!! Shirt burning pictures!!

Wow - I have like no time to send this email so I am really sorry if my grammar is terrible! Oh well ha-ha. I hope everything is going good out there. Cause here it is going great. We had Elder Hapi's 4 week check up on Thursday which meant that we didn't get to work for another two days again. Oh well, the trips are actually pretty fun. Trips to places like Fernie will be so easy for me now!

If the scale was right I also found out that I lost 10 pounds over the last month. Not cool. We haven't been eating very good lately I guess. A lot of missed breakfasts and suppers. It is hard living with 4 elders that really like to talk ha-ha. I am going to really work on getting better at that. 

I am glad that you like the shirt burning pics, Dad and don't worry Mom, the shirt was really torn up on the one shoulder when I gored myself on a metal bar at night a couple months ago. (*** Don't worry son, the word "gore" doesn't worry me at all!! :)***) 

Things are cooling off out here in the Philippines right now. I actually get cold at night sometimes but it is so nice to work in weather like this ha-ha.

I just said good bye to a good friend in the mission who is exactly one year older then me out here and I remember him on the first day I got out here. I am getting super excited to see all of your smiling faces on skype at Christmas. It is only 40 some days away! 

Well I am super happy that both Kenzie and Dad did some good winning in the past two weeks! They both deserve it. Sounds like they have a pretty good team this year! 

Also wish Kristy and all the rest of you Valentine's day babies a happy birthday. There is just so many of you! Our week is always super busy but we got punted from so many lessons in one week. That's ok. We did find two really good families last night while we were tracting. I taught them and gave them a baptismal goal date and the one mom said "Sige Mag-Mamormons na lang kami" ( "Ok, we will just be mormons" (We will become/ we will do the mormon thing)) In other words we had a pretty fun week. 

We are going to decorate our apartment for Christmas later today so hopefully my packages come in before then ha-ha. I may cry if I don't get any presents under the tree this year. l Love you all a ton! Hope you have a great week.

Elder Nielson
 The doomed white shirt (the one he was apparently "gored" in.
 A missionary tradition - burning his white shirt at one year mark.

 Some sweet posing!
Green as it gets!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Holy cow! So much is happening while I am gone! Where has the time gone? I was just talking to an elder and he told me he had a year left in his mission and I quickly reminded him that he actually had only 5 months left and he started freaking out ha-ha. That was random, but it was funny.

Yes apply for me to go to school. I think pre-dent and pre-med are the same. Put me in those classes and just get me to the smartest school ha-ha.

We went and spent 1200 Php on food and candy for 1 night and we had a pretty fun time. We had 3 kg of fried chicken, 2.5 kg of gummy worms, a couple boxes of chocolate bars, a billion little Filipino candies, and several litres of Mountain Dew. It was the best and it only cost like $5 each ha-ha. That's how you celebrate Halloween!! Don't worry Mom, I have been brushing my teeth!!

I have a baptism set for December 7 but that's it. I had to pretty much drop all of my investigators because no one wants to come to church. We have been working super hard in our area with less actives and active members so we can get referrals and find incomplete families. We have several referrals but the members don't want to go and actually talk to their friends (we have about 400 less actives in my area). Work is tough right now but we are moving forward.

I got nominated best white basketball player in the mission by a couple elders so that was kinda cool. Dad - I can't believe we haven't been in the senior high league until now. That is the dumbest thing ever. We should have been in that league like 4 years ago. I guarantee if we were, you would have won provincials by a whole lot more last year and 2 years ago we wouldn't have had problems with players shutting down in close games because they would have been used to losing or having close games. Oh well that's my rant for the day haha.

I will probably be in Lopez for 1 more transfer after this one so I can finish up my training and then my guess is I will be transferred. I really need to polish this area up if I want to get it ready to leave it with Elder Hapi. Elder Hapi's Tagalog is way, way better then mine was when I was only 1 month in the mission. We have a 4 week check up next week - which means that I have to go to San Pablo again - which means that I miss another 2 days of work. Not a fan of that.

But I totally am a fan of Travis getting baptized! I think that is the coolest thing ever. Amy is already doing a rocking job of being a missionary. Wow super excited for those two!

Well Love you all a ton. Have a great week.

PS Kylie and Dallin's kids look so cute!  
Elder Nielson
Looking good at a Zone Conference! My MTC comp is over my right shoulder!!
 Happy Halloween!! Sugar high for days!
Selfie in a rice field! Notice the live wire directly above my head?
 Interesting! A very low electrical light post in a continusly flooded rice field!! Yikes!!