Monday, May 18, 2015

Three emails from Elder Nielson this week!

#1 - Hey mom! Thanks for the mid week email! I was so busy this week going to almost half the apartments in the mission I didn't get to check my email at all. I hope I will be able to send a nice good email tomorrow with some good pictures too but I am never sure about how much time I will have. If you notice it is like 10 pm out here right now ha-ha. Me and Elder Daduya are still out here working in the office and tomorrow, really early, we take off to Manila to Pasay City to deal with some customs problems. I think we will stop by the Mall of Asia on our way home though and maybe even the temple. It will be a fun p-day.
Hey I found a place to make me a suit and I found a place to make handmade leather shoes! I am going to get all my shopping done here before I leave ha-ha. I also started ordering some cool wood carving things. I need some ideas though because I found a guy that can carve anything you could possibly imagine and it will only cost about 500p. He is a master caver and world famous. He has many works in the Vatican and other works worldwide that were sold for thousands of dollars and he is in the world record book for smallest and most detailed last supper carving ever. He went crazy though due to being over worked by his ex-wife. Long story short, she left him and took everything leaving this poor old crazy man with nothing. But ya he is actually crazy now and just carves his dreams ha-ha. Me and the office staff thought it would be funny to get him to carve a bust of President Mangum winking out of stone ( he does stone as well). Well send me your ideas.

Love you lots! Hope the party went well.

#2 - Hey mom. We had a great time in Manila earlier today. I will send you some nice photos. Well I am glad that my letter was worthy enough to be read in the ward. I sent a bunch of emails. Hey grandpa spilled a big secret I think haha. He said that you are going to Disneyland next week! Well I hope that goes great for you guys. I am sure you will all have a ton of fun out there. Just be safe.
Well I got to go and buys some stuff for the week. Have a great day. Love you. I emailed more to dad and if I get time later I will email you more. Well Love you lots.

#3 - Hey Dad!

So we just got back from Manila. That was a cool trip! Your son now knows how to deal with customs. Man, me and Elder Daduya fought so hard to get a stupid package back from the Philippines customs.
There is a couple of funny restaurants out here that are still really big here in the Philippines but managed to go under back in the states. One of which we just ate at. I don't know if you know what Kenny Rogers is but it was a really good roasted chicken restaurant. It was started in the states and ended up dying out several years ago I guess. Another great restaurant that started and died in the states is Shakey's Pizza. Shakey's is huge here  but it is no where to be found back home or in the states. I guess this is just where all restaurants go to die haha. Well thanks for the email dad. Love you lots. Hope you have a great week.

Elder Nielson

 Elder Nielson and Elder Daduya
 Old water filter and new water filter!

 A delicious treat!!

 Practicing my swing!
 A beautiful view!

 The beautiful Manila Temple
The Manila MTC

A Wonderful Mother's Day!!

We were able to Skype with Erik on Mother's Day on the 10th and we will be posting a clip from the Skype as soon as Jon has it available for me to attach. It was so good to see his happy face! When you don't get to see or talk to your kid for months at a time, you sure do appreciate every second when you finally do! This was his last Skype session before he comes home in October - which is really just over 5 months away! I am so proud of the man he has turned into. He has learned so many things living on his own, away from us for 2 years in a foreign country. Life has been very different for him and he has had to learn to adapt to things that he would never have guessed. Overall I know it has been a great experience for him. Can't say I haven't missed him a tonne!!! .... but I am so glad he went. Now if the next 5 months can go smoothly that would be awesome!! Love you son!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Some BIg Big Changes! And a letter to the ward!! Next week is skype time!!!

Sweet! I am glad that everything is going good back at home and that the missionaries are still working hard. I actually am getting transferred today... I am leaving Lopez and going to Alaminos San Pablo mission home! Turns out 2 of the 4 jobs in the office opened up. One was Assistant to the President and the other was Office Elder. I guess I was one of the three candidates for both jobs and it turns out that I am the new mission office elder. Mom just sent an email saying that she was happy that I didn't look all that stressed in any of my photos. I have a feeling that I am going to be a lot more stressed now ha-ha. I not only get to see how the organization of our mission is - I get to be in charge of it. This also means I will finish off my mission in the Office which has some up sides. I won't get trunky in the office, I also get to say bye to all the out-going batches, and I get to hang out with President Mangum all day in air conditioning! The only problem is my missionary work is done, no more baptisms, and I also won't really get any more P-days. Well I will tell you how I like my new calling when I actually start. The reason I am emailing right now is that I am not sure if I will be able to email later when I get to the mission home.

Oh and I will try really hard to Skype you all on my Monday morning (your Sunday afternoon). Just leave your cell phones on so if I email you, you can read it right away.

Love, Elder Nielson

This is Erik's Mom! I received this next email from him Monday afternoon!

Hey mom I just got to the mission home about 10 minutes ago. I am emailing on Sister Mangum's laptop really fast. I just wanted to say that I am doing fine and that I love you lots. Oh and please send the Daryl selfie photos - I wanna see them. I will try my very best to Skype you on my Monday at 9 am my time. I don't know what that will be for you back home. You guys can do the math. Well, love you lots. I sent Dad a pretty big email. Use that in the blog. Hope you continue to have fun at work. 

Love you lots.

Elder Nielson
This next part is the letter that Erik wrote for the Rosemary Ward and whoever else is interested in reading it! :) So proud of him - he is doing so well. I never worry about him. He is going to come back a very different person. Still crazy and weird, but very much grown up!

Mission preparation

Dear Rosemary ward
Thank you so much for your support and many prayers on my behalf and for all missionaries worldwide. I want to let you all know that I am doing just fine out here in the Philippines. I also want to let you know that I love and miss every single one of you, and I can't wait to see you again.
My parents have kept me well informed about how everything is going out there. They have told me that the missionary work in Rosemary is really something else, that all the missionaries that get assigned out there love it because Rosemary is the “most missionary minded ward in the mission”. I am very proud to come from a ward that is so focused on what really matters. I have experienced both missionary minded wards and wards that believe that missionary work is up to the missionaries alone. I can tell you that it makes a world of difference to the missionaries when a ward or branch wants to do the work. So, on behalf of all missionaries worldwide, thank you for your hard work and continue to strive to make the Rosemary Ward the best ward ever.
Now I have some words of advice to give to those young men and women who right now are preparing or contemplating serving a mission. As a missionary who has now past my 18 month mark, I can tell you out of experience, that there really is no better place in the world you could be than on a mission. I promise you that you will see more blessings and miracles during these 2 years or 18 months than most people would see in a life time. You will also gain many new skills and experiences that will help you throughout your entire life. There is much personal growth and learning to be done on the mission and you won’t regret serving.
How do I start preparation for a mission? Well if I was to redo my last 4 years of high school I would start with seminary. I encourage all of you youth to attend seminary, not just attend, but listen, participate and actually do the reading assignments. Before my mission I went to seminary almost every single school day. My attendance was great but my attention to what was going on or being said was not. Listen, make notes, keep scriptures organized, and read. These things will help all of you on your way to preparing to serve a full time mission.
Like 2 Nephi 32:3 says, we need to feast upon the words of Christ. Daily scripture study will help you on your path to missionary preparedness. We need to feast upon the scriptures not just snack on them. Real spiritual power comes from small and simple things like daily scripture study. Also, there is a difference between study and reading. Study is done with a question or goal in mind and a journal and pen in hand. Making daily scripture study a habit will really help all of you with preparing to serve a mission. It will also help you to get used to missionary life faster because we missionaries do scripture study every day.
Read Preach my Gospel. PMG is a volume of Holy Scripture written by modern day prophets to help us in this dispensation with the work of salvation. We need to give it as much attention as say, the Book of Mormon or the Bible. Anyone who doesn’t have a PMG in their home needs to get one right now. The PMG is not just for missionaries, it is for everyone. We can learn great things through study of PMG. Future missionaries, work on memorizing the order of the principles in the first 3 lessons. That will help you out so much and give you a real head start in the MTC and field. Also, make lessons plans for each lesson. Write down scriptures, questions you could ask investigators and personal experiences you have had that you could tie into the lesson.
Working with the missionaries or even doing missionary work of your own will help you out a ton before your mission. One thing that a missionary can’t be is afraid. Fear is the opposite of faith and can’t coexist. Working with missionaries or inviting your friends to church will help dispel your fears of missionary work before you even enter the MTC. I encourage you all to do this and start assisting with the work of salvation.
Worthiness - future missionaries. If you’re not worthy enough to go to the temple, you’re not worthy enough to go on a mission. My advice to you is to get worthy. No one is going to laugh at you of make fun of you for mistakes you have made in the past, especially not the bishop. Set an appointment with him and work on getting yourself to the point where you are worthy enough to go to the temple. Those of you, who don’t think they can repent or are too embarrassed to do so, don’t have faith in Christ’s Atonement. Trust me, true repentance makes a world of difference. Go out and do it now.
The MTC and the first couple months in the mission are the hardest. It’s that way to weed out those who aren’t fully prepared. I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been and I wish I could have done a better job of that before my mission. The mission isn’t some YSA party camp; it’s not easy to be a missionary so mission preparation should not be taken for granted. Parents, encourage your children to prepare now for full time missionary service.
I love you all and can’t wait to see you all in 6 months. I wish you all the best as you strive to prepare to be good missionaries. I know this is our calling. In the name of Jesus Christ.

A Simple Hello!

Hey mom!

Thanks for the email. Ya I was so frustrated with the branch presidency. Our convert wasn't very happy either. He tells us that he lives on American time not Filipino time haha. He chastises even us if we are more then 2 or 3 mins late. Oh well, he was just made first counselor in the Sunday School, he will be a good leader out here in no time. The branch really needs someone who knows how to be strict with something like time. 

I haven't been able to get Dad's letter for the ward done yet. I worked all week on a talk for my branch out here. I told them that we aren't reaching our potential and that we need to use the faith that we have to stretch before that faith of ours weakens and dies. I will really try hard to get Dad a letter this week. 

Well I am glad that Dad is taking to being a bishop like a fish to water ha-ha. Hope that he doesn't burn himself out like you said. I know that he will be a good bishop for as long as he is bishop. 

Well I am glad that the missionary work back home is going good. Make sure you're all helping out with that. It is so hard to do missionary work without support from members. It is almost impossible. I am also glad that your job is going good for you. There is a lot of funny ladies out there that you get to work with. I am glad that you're having a good time. 

Did Chase and Jackson put their papers in? I hope so. Maybe one of them can come out here to San Pablo mission and I can be their trainer for my last couple cycles here in the mission. 

Well, love you all very much and I am glad that everyone is doing OK back at home. Keep it up ha-ha. Sorry no pictures this week. 

Love you lots.

Elder Nielson