Wednesday, January 28, 2015

All is Well in the Philippines!

Wish both of the girls good luck with tests and basketball! I am glad that Tori is getting good at basketball! Maybe she will be the star of some college team some day ha-ha. That would be great.

Sorry - I could only send 4 pictures over the hour that I was in that computer shop last week. Not cool. There will be no pictures this week. Actually I was building a fish pond and it was only like my second day here in Mindoro. It was pretty fun. 

They shut off the cell phones for like three days while the Pope was here. He is probably the most popular man in the world ha-ha. If you wanted to see him you had to pay. And no I did not see him!

Oh well the work out here is still going great. We actually have 3 really good investigators. The first is Roselyn. She is about 25 or so and is married and has a child. Her mom and sister are active members and they are going to church every week. The next is Joyce. We just baptized her boyfriend and all the rest of her friends are either members or investigators as well. She is super good and loves to read the Book of Mormon. She has been to church now 3 times and plans to continue. She is 18 now and the only problem is that she is hard to teach because we always need a member with us. The last really good investigator we have is James. He is about 14 now and is going to church with his grandmother who we reactivated. His mom is also a member but she is pretty difficult to get a hold of. Hopefully we will be able to help her out somehow. The rest of the people we're working with are pretty much less actives. We are also trying to find new investigators and that is going pretty good I guess ha-ha. A new thing... every Saturday now our branch puts on a big reactivation event. Lots of members come out and we all split up and go to a different Barangay (subdivision) with a list of names and we just visit everyone. It is super nice because we can cover 6 areas at once. Great way to reactivate and find new investigators. 

Well love you lots. Have a great  week. 

Elder Nielson  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Finally some pictures!!

Thanks for the email Mom. I am starting to see  really good improvements in all the aspects of my work as a missionary. I actually can't believe how far I have come over the last year and however many months. When I left the MTC I was scared to death haha, but I thought that I understood what a missionary could/should be. I was very confident that if it was an English mission I would be just fine. Man was I dead wrong. Everyday I learn something new, I improve some basic skill, or work harder to become better in some way. Everyday I improve slightly but I am still so far away from achieving my goals. My goal for my missionary work will probably take me to the end of my mission. Elder Pulido has helped my out a ton with teaching skills and such. The next thing I want to work on is building a good relationship with the wards and branches in my mission. I am always able to get close to a few members but It is super hard to get close to a lot of members ha-ha. I feel like that would be a huge step in my mission. 

Well things are going great out here. I am sorry that I haven't had any huge spiritual experiences lately. I guess whenever you are able to get someone to live the Word of Wisdom, it is considered a miracle. We had a really good lesson this week about the Word of Wisdom. The lesson went pretty good and by the end we saw a real desire to change in one of our investigator's eyes. It is always really cool when that happens. 

We actually had kind of a crappy week. Elder Pulido hasn't been feeling all that well and we weren't able to go out and work on 2 of the days. The results were that we had no one come to church. Elder Pulido said it was the second time that had happened to him on his mission. I said it has happened to me a lot more then 2 times. 

I sure do miss being a part of basketball back at home ha-ha. Actually I manage to play it about 2 times a week. I can't believe how popular it is out here. I think it would be great idea for me, you, Uncle Kris, Chase, and Jake to all go out to the Philippines for a basketball vacation. We could play every night to make money for our expenses for the next day. All we would have to do is buy plane tickets and we are golden ha-ha. They have some crazy rules out here because there is no referees and I would have to teach you guys how to play Filipino street ball. The Filipinos would be all about trying to beat some "americano" white guys for money ha-ha.  :)

Oh well, all is still well out here in the pines. We also had some good drama with the STLs, the sisters in my zone, and our district leader this week but I probably shouldn't tell you anything about that. 

Tell Kenzie and Tori to be good and continue to work hard in school. Tell Kenzie that I will pray for her.

Well Love you all lots.

Hopefully Chase gets called to the Philippines! I will be his trainer! ha-ha!.

Elder Nielson 

Service work in the rain! 
Building a house or something in what looks like very slippery mud! 
Time for a break! Elder Pulido and I!
Our sweet van! One of two vehicles in the mission!

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Day at the Zoo!

Are you friends with Elder Richards or his mom? I assume his mom because you used the word "she". Well this last week we had Mission Leadership Conference which meant that we had no work for 2 days. That's okay though, because our other days were jam packed except for Sunday. We had an area broadcast yesterday which means that all the Elders in our Zone (16 including us!!) squeezed into our little house and slept over. We also had Zone P-day today - it was pretty fun. We went to a zoo! It was more sad then happy ha-ha. It was a bunch of birds and monkeys in small cages that we could pretty much walk up to and pet ha-ha. There was also a big tiger. It's cage was a little bigger but not much! He was behind what looked like a chicken wire fence that I could walk up to and stick my hand through! I didn't though ha-ha. I was trained by my mom to be better then that! :) It was definitely no Calgary zoo. It was more of what I imagine to be a nice exotic puppy mill is, rather then zoo. 

So everyone is spending some time doing genealogy, eh? That's great! I didn't know that N. Eldon Tanner was my uncle ha-ha. That's cool. You really do learn something new each day!

Well my investigators are doing really good right now. We had several to church yesterday. We are working really hard on one family right now. The husband is abroad right now and the mom and all the kids are living here. The mom is a less active member and we were able to reactivate her mom. I think they are just a little scared to come to church or something. I need something to give them a little push. Her kids are great though, in fact the oldest one has been coming to church regularly lately. I know that if I can just get the mom to come, I can get the whole family there every week. Oh well that's just missionary life I guess. 

Well I love you a lot, miss you a ton, and things are going great here. You know, just the regular stuff. Well, have a great week. 

Elder Nielson

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Do I detect a glimmer of home-sickness? Hope not!! :(

So - my New Years resolutions are to read the 4 standard works as well as the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and also restart my studies of  PMG. I also committed to writing in my journal ha-ha. I have now written in it for 4 days consistently! 

I think Elder Crichton is with Elder Richards. Or that's at least what I heard ha-ha. They should have a good time. Elder Richards is a great companion!

Sorry I can't send any pictures home... I feel bad because I am really loving all of the pictures you are sending me. I am just worried that if I plug my camera into these computers it will get virused, I know you wouldn't like that very much. Stuff like that happens all the time. Example: Elder Richards lost all of his photos for the last 3 months... How sad is that? Well anyways, I will send photos when I can :). 

Wow! I am missing so much stuff back at home ha-ha. Oh well I will be back before you know it. I can't wait to eat all the good Christmas food when I get back. That roll thing that you ate at the Hill's New Year's party is called Shanghai rolls. I don't really know why it is called that but I do love them! They go great with that tai chili sauce. Back in San Pablo I would eat at a restaurant called Ramzi and always order Chicken adobo, shanghai rolls, and 2 orders of rice. 

This is super random but I heard the song Bebot (Slang word for babae or Girl) by Black Eyed Peas the other day and I understood everything ha-ha. In fact it is all very basic Tagalog! 

Remember that time when we watched all of the James Bond movies over Christmas? - sigh......

Well this week we got flooded with new investigators. They are all really good and potential baptisms. I can't wait! For whatever reason the members just threw tons of new referrals at us. We managed to teach most of them already at least once. I can see a bright future for this area I am in. 

Well, Love you all lots. I didn't find time yet to get a new camera but I will - don't worry. 

Elder Nielson

Thursday, January 1, 2015

14 Minutes with Elder Nielson!! - Christmas Skype

The beginning of this video is a little choppy and difficult to understand, but it definitely gets better as you listen. Enjoy!!