Monday, February 23, 2015

Busy on Mindoro!

My week went pretty good. I am glad to hear that you guys are the most missionary minded ward in your mission back at home! It is weird, I have never seen or heard anything about the mission or mission president back at home but our mission president has a really big roll in almost every ward/branch out here in the Philippines. 

Anyways, I will answer some of your questions. We met a new investigator this week who is super cool. We have taught her only 2 times but she has been coming to church every week for the last 3 weeks now. We had no idea that she wasn't a member. She is 17 and between our 2 teaching appointments, she read lesson 1, 2, 3, and a good section of the Book of Mormon. She also told us that she really feels good about our church and she would really like to get baptized. Also we managed to get an entire group of teenage boys to all come to church. Their grandparents are active members but their parents aren't. They are all super excited to be baptized and want to do it all on the same day. Ha-ha, we are really seeing some cool miracles out here in Mindoro. 

We get a fair amount of tracting done as zone leaders. Lately it has been a lot more than the last 2 transfers because Elder Wooden really wants to learn the area. We have to do a lot more stuff on p-day as zone leaders and we also have to deal with all of the problems in our zone - if there is any. I actually feel like being a district leader was a lot harder then being a zone leader. District leaders are the real work horses in the mission and they don't really have a district leader as a companion, so they are on their own. 

We are way down on missionaries right now. We lost 15 companionships last transfer. That means we closed 15 areas in the mission. And the reactivation activity would be effective if people could show up on time. That doesn't really happen here in the Philippines, they call it Filipino time ha-ha! 

Ya, I am not that big of a fan of exchanges. Last transfer we did way too many and it really takes a toll on the area. I am cool with like 4 in a transfer but not the 10 that we did last transfer. Also I really hated exchanges if I knew my companion was just looking to get a 2 day break from work. Good thing that my new comp is super awesome ha-ha!

I am glad that you guys are doing really good with all of the family history stuff. Our ward right now is really trying to make a push at that. Last year 5 names were submitted for temple work. For the entire year we have a goal of only 20 names. You probably did that many last week. Actually you should count how many you have done over the last little while so I can tell my branch out here to try to get them more excited. So far no names have been submitted this year.

Well I am excited to get that birthday present. I hope me and Elder Wooden are still together around that time. I have started working out pretty hard again because Elder Wooden is really into it and me and Elder Pulido kinda made ourselves a home gym before he left. Elder Wooden is actually a really big stalky guy and has been helping me out with working out and stuff like that. Hopefully it works so I don't have to be little skinny Erik any more ha-ha. 

Well everything is going great here. Love you all lots, and good luck with basketball, school, and everything else.

Elder Nielson

Monday, February 16, 2015

New companion - same area!

Ha-ha! Thanks for the email Mom! 

Well it looks like the girls are still having fun and all. It will be really weird coming back and Kenzie will be totally graduated by then. Those two will always be my little sisters in school. I feel like I am getting super dumb or something because I am totally forgetting everything that I learned in high school. All my math, science, everything. It is totally gone. School is so important ha-ha. 

Well, Elder Wooden is super cool and ready to really work hard in the area. I am super excited to be his companion ha-ha. He is a brand new zone leader. I guess he was supposed to be one of our companions in the MTC but because of school he wasn't able to enter the MTC until December 18 which is right when I left. He is from Utah, 19 years old, and his birthday is on April 13! One day after mine! His older brother served out here in the Philippines as well. How cool would that be if Kenzie came out here and served a Tagalog mission as well? Our apartment is ok. We have a home gym here which includes some dumb bells and a bench press. 

The branch out here is doing really good right now. They are really getting good at working with the missionaries. Actually we have a pretty good activity that we have been doing each week. Every Saturday we gather a few members up and go and visit less actives in Calapan. We always leave a blessing on their house, invite them to church and try to share a short message. It is a great way to find part member families and to reactivate less actives. Right now we are pushing to be split into 2 branches. That means that we need to get an average of about 210 for attendance for a few months. We are sitting at about 180 so we don't have that much left to go.

Can't wait to send you all of my photos but you may have to wait a little bit longer. 

Well I am still in Calapan and things are still going good. We should have a baptism coming up soonish - can't wait. I will keep you filled in. 

Well love you lots. 

Elder Nielson  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Barfing in the market!!

(This is Erik's mom.) So this was an interesting week of emails! I recieved the following three sentences on Monday! :( Poor guy!

I am so sorry. I feel like crap right now, I can't spend another second in this computer shop. I might just run home and throw up. I sent an email to grandma and Dad - use their emails for the Blog.

This was his letter to his Grandma Gibb!
Thanks for the email. Ya I did have transfers actually. Elder Pulido was made the new AP. I will miss him a lot. We had a lot of good times together. He was just in this area for way too long. I have only been here for 3 months. That's not long at all. I hope I will be put here for a good 6 months. It is way better that way. We ran into a problem with one of our super good investigators. When we first started teaching her we asked if she was married and she said yes. Her baptism is set for next week and we told her to get a certificate of marriage to show that she is married. Turns out she hasn't been married yet... So I guess some work still needs to be done... Oh well, love you lots.
And then this went to his Dad!

Thanks for the email Dad ha-ha. Ya I read your last email today! Sorry it didn't make it to me until now. Oh well. I probably wouldn't have had anytime to send you an email anyways. Sounds like your knee deep in basketball right now. Just think, only a couple weeks of basketball left ha-ha. Well my companion got transferred and I will miss him a bunch. He actually was made the new AP in our mission. My new companion is Elder Wooden. He is a super cool elder I guess. Actually I am not yet with him. I will be in a a group of three until Thursday, and Friday we have Mission Leadership Conference. My area might die this week ha-ha. Oh well. Love you lots. 

And then I was a happy Mom on Tuesday morning after worrying all day about my sick kid with a fever in a super boiling hot apartment - throwing up all day in a sort of yucky bathroom! 

Sorry about the email yesterday. I am ok now. I spent the whole evening yesterday barfing my guts out. In fact, just as I was leaving the computer shop I did some nice throwing up all over the market. But I am ok now. I already talked to president and asked him if I could send you guys a quick email because I wasn't even able to send my zones numbers in yet. Well it looks like you guys had a good time in Banff. I am glad that Kenzie was able to do good, and tell Tori to get better. I will be getting a new companion on Thursday, his name is Elder Wooden. Elder Pulido left for the mission home yesterday. I am going to really miss him. His only problem was that he was in the area for way too long. Well love you lots.

Elder Nielson
:) A bit of repetition but I don't care! Just glad he is feeling better!! I guess if you are going to barf - the market is a nice place to do it! Ewww!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Short Hello!!

Hey mom! I have no time to email you because I have been in a computer shop for like an hour and the internet has been down!! I am super sorry if this turns into a super short email. 

I am actually not in my area. I am stuck out at Pinamalayan because we have exchanges tomorrow. We came here early this morning so we could spend p-day with the elders out here. Actually we got to go to a beautiful white sand beach for about 20 mins. I took some good pictures. We were only there for 20 mins because the Filipino elders didn't want to get darker!! It really annoyed me because I really wanted to hangout out there for maybe 2 hours or so. It is not a close place and was really a big waste of money to go to. At least I got a lot of good photos out there. 

Well I am still doing fine out here. I am super excited to find out who my next companion will be out here in Mindoro - can't wait. Elder Pulido is super ready to leave the area right now and only wants to go on exchanges with the other elders. I think it might be a good time for a change for him too ha-ha. He is a good guy but I need someone who wants to work their butts off. I have a feeling that this area can really blossom if someone really wants to put the time into it. The branch is great and the people out here are as well. Everyone wants us to come into their homes. I know I could get a ton of baptisms in the next couple of months - I just need help with it. 

Well love you lots.

Elder Nielson
P Day! 
Beautiful Pinamalayan white sandy beach! 
Missionary Leadership Training