Monday, August 31, 2015

The Office Season Finale!

Hi guys!!

Life is going pretty good out here for me. My new companion is Elder English. You probably know him from his blog. You might also know his mom. I think she is pretty in with the other mission moms. Anyways, he is doing pretty good right now. He is learning stuff pretty fast and I really think he will make a good office elder. I was his zone leader in Mindoro so we are pretty good friends already. Actually, I was zone leader for Elder Benosa and English. :)

I have been working really hard with a nice family out here. They are super poor and they are all members. The mom and the kids come to church literally every week. That father has been struggling with word of wisdom problems and staying active. Long story short, he came to church on Sunday so that was a really big step in the right direction for him. We have shown him the physical benefits and spiritual benefits of living the word of wisdom and we have tried super hard to teach the doctrine to him in a way that he can understand. I am sure you deal with stuff like this all the time. Do you have any suggestions? We have also been teaching a new investigating family that we picked up from tracting. They are super cool. The mother grew up as a JW but has kind of left that church because she got married to a non-member. Now she goes to church at a local born-again church. The mother really has a lot of respect for missionaries and what we do. She is willing to listen to everything we teach her and she is great at keeping commitments. If only I could teach her for 1 more transfer... I have met so many cool and amazing people out here during this last transfer. We have found so many people through the tracting efforts we are putting in everyday. I just love the work that we are getting done right now. There is no better feeling than the feeling after a hard day of missionary work.

I am super jealous of Kenzie and Kristy's trip to Kelowna. I want to go on a trip like that when I get home. I am in trouble... I really can't remember too much of the stuff I did in high school. Hopefully that is okay and won't effect me too much in collage haha. Actually I am getting kind of excited about college. Elder Brycen is working on his class schedule right now. Is that something that I should be worrying about? If it is, can you look into that stuff for me? I would hate to not be able to study next semester. I already don't know what I am going to do with my life for 2 months while I wait to go to school. I don't really want to try to get a job because who is going to hire me for just like 1.5 months? Oh well, I am sure I will come up with something to do. 

Hey Mom, can you try to sell my Xbox on Brooks Buy & Sell or something like that? It is still worth something and I have a lot of games but everyday that goes by it gets older and older and the value drops. I should have had you sell it 2 years ago... I think with all the games and everything you could probably get $200-300. That would go nicely in a laptop fund or something like that when I go home. I don't think I will be playing on the xbox anymore ( Doesn't mean I won't touch video games when I get home. So don't get you hopes up too high. I just won't play them nearly as much because they really are a big waste of time). 

Next week I am out of the office for good. I plan on leaving almost everything behind. I will take 2 shirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 polo and 50 books of Mormon. Bring it on. I am just kidding about that but I will be leaving most of my stuff at the office. It is starting to settle into my head that I am almost going home. I am still trying hard to kick those thoughts out. 

Kenzie! Sounds like you are doing really good. I am so happy that my little sister is able to go out and do scary things without her parents around haha. I don't think mom would ever be able to do a zip line. I hope we can do some fun stuff when I get home. We've got to pick something that we can get good at and really into like skiing, snow boarding, or just something super different. Lately on p-days we have been playing ping pong and chess. I am getting pretty good at both of them. It is super fun to just pick up something new and practice it. 

Oh well. Thanks for the email. Don't worry about me. Love you lots and have a good week.

Elder Nielson   

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Two More Weeks and Out of the Office :(

Hey Mom and Dad!

Life is going great out here. I am happy to be leaving the office. I actually don't think that it will be that much of an adjustment for me. Elder Benosa and I are teaching about 1-2 lessons every day to less actives and investigators and we also have been using literally every spare second to tract and talk to people. Honestly this is the hardest I have worked my whole mission. I think if I just transfer that energy from the work here in the office to the work out in the field I will be just fine. We found and started teaching a very nice family and they just love to listen to us and want us to come back all the time. Their last name is Gonzaga. One problem that we have run into out here is finding time to follow up and teach our potential investigators. It has been a very long time since the AP's or the OE's have really done real missionary work so almost all of the people we talk to have not really ever met with the missionaries before and want us to return to their homes. It is like the area is fresh again. Oh well, the next office elders can work that into their schedule haha. Thursday is the day that the new office elder comes in. I don't know who he is yet but I sure hope he is cool. I don't want to leave Elder Benosa with an awkward companion. I sure hope they will be able to keep the fire burning after I leave. I will get to train the new guy for 2 weeks and then I am out of here. 

So, your daughter is driving around in big scary Canadian cities and your son is driving around in big scary Filipino cities ha-ha. Which one is scarier to you? 

I am glad that you two had a nice safe trip to Las Vegas! Sounds like you two had a really fun time! I am glad that you were able to do something like that before school starts again. You have one more week before school starts again, Dad. You should go golfing or something haha. I wish I was coming home during summer time - that way I could spend a lot of time playing basketball and golf. 

I spoke in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday and had no notice. The stake president was supposed to be the concluding speaker but I guess I ended up being that. I spoke on repentance... I guess that was the topic for that Sunday haha. I also ended up teaching our gospel principles class on Sunday as well. Again I had zero notice. I am really honing my impromptu speaking in a different language skill. I am sure everyone is sick of my voice now. 

It also dumped rain on us this week. It was unrelenting. We literally got over half a meter of rain. I can't imagine where it all has gone to or how much water actually got dumped on us. It has at least calmed down a fair bit. Earlier today we enjoyed some good basketball, ping pong and chess. 

Well love you lots and I am glad you liked the photos. I will send more next week maybe haha.

Elder Nielson
 Finally! P-Day!
 Golfing with these crazy people! :)

Group Selfie!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Out of the Office!!

Thanks for the emails! I am not running my companion into the ground too hard ha-ha. I think he is getting used to it now at least. Our first week together he just about died from exhaustion but he is doing pretty good now. His name is Elder Benosa and he is from South Cotabato Mindanao. 

Wow - I hope you two have a great time in Las Vegas! That will be a really fun trip for you guys! Now you get to use up all the money your saving for not having me at home ha-ha. Things are going to get expensive again when I get back. I plan on drinking milk until I bankrupt you. Speaking of milk I hope I haven't developed an intolerance to it. That would not be okay with me. 

Wow Kenzie is the first child in our family to go and get a university education. She is just blazing trails in the adult world! I hope she does really well. 

Guess what? President told me that I will get one more area. That means I am leaving this office. My last month in my mission will certainly be the biggest test of them all. I would probably say that close to 70% of all missionaries have a really hard time in the last 2 transfers of their mission. I think it is definitely the hardest time in the mission to really work hard and be a good missionary. In my opinion the end is the most critical. You could have been a great missionary your whole mission, but if you crashed in the end your only going to be remembered as that guy who couldn't finish strong, only worked hard to get the callings, or worst of all, wasn't really converted. Now if you started your mission really badly or maybe had some hitches in the middle of the mission, but you finished really strong. You will be remembered as a really good hard working missionary who really changed his life to reflect God's will. Which is better? The servant that said he would do the chore but ended up not doing it, or the servant that said he wouldn't do it but in the end he actually completed the task. Same exact principle. This last transfer in the field is going be my best and I am going to literally be a PMG missionary. 

Well anyways, Mike emailed me and said that he was moving to Lethbridge and that I could room with him if I wanted.  That could be another good opportunity depending on location and stuff like that. 

I will try to send some photos today. I am just going to send a whole bunch I think. My camera is not doing so good right now so I will get the photos from Elder Bryson. Well I guess I won't be seeing Chase or Jaxon for a total of like 4 years haha. That is a long time.

I hope that the Vegas trip goes nice for you two. Send some pictures.

Well love you lots.

Elder Nielson 
 Amazing talent!

 Check out the cargo on this Jeepnee!
 A little closer look....
 Just another day in the Philippines! :)
 Seems like these two visit Crispy Creme Donuts fairy often!

To: Me      From: Me    :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Changes in the Office!

So you liked the little video I made for the family reunion? :) In the video I pretty much just greeted all of you and wished you all good luck with the family reunion and than to top it all off I said I was really excited to see all of you again in a couple of months. 
Well I had a really great week. It was so hard and challenging but my companion and I are really changing the office. My last companion didn't believe the office could be any different than it already was so we weren't able to change anything. This week we had meetings, filter runs, and lots of odd jobs but we were able to go tracting and teaching. We found several new investigators and have dozens of potentials. Mark 10:27 really is a true scripture. Being here in the office really requires me to work harder then I ever have before on my mission. It also requires me to effectively plan out every hour. I worry though, about my companion. I feel like I may be killing him right now. I hope I am not haha. My companion is having to make some big changes in his mission right now but he is doing an incredible job. I just hope I don't burn him out too fast. The APs are being a big help as well in supporting us in our work and we have been trying to support them well in their work. They are kind of in the same situation as we are. I know that with the work that Elder Benosa and I are putting into the office we will see some big miracles before I leave this place. 
I can't believe Chase and Jaxson are already leaving on their missions! I have gifts for both of them but I guess I can mail it to them after my mission. 
I will be back in the house only a month or so after Kenzie leaves to Lethbridge. Hey I guess I probably won't even get to see her at the airport because it will be in the middle of a school week when I get back home, right? I better stop talking about stuff like that before I make you guys too trunky ha-ha.  
Well I hope things at home continue to go just as good as they having been going. 
Love you lots!

Hey Dad! 
Pretty cool story you sent me about the tornado you saw up close in Foremost! That's too bad that you weren't able to get those pictures ha-ha. That probably was a once in a life time opportunity if you're that close to a tornado. Tornado in Tagalog is buhawi but I don't know why they have a word for it because there is no such thing as a tornado here in the Philippines. Everyone here always says how scary it must be to have tornadoes and stuff back in Alberta and I always say the Typhoons are way scarier than tornadoes. 
Well good luck and be safe with that little mini vacation you and Mom have planned. That will be very fun for you two.
I think it is just awesome that the missionaries just love it back at home. I don't think once in the whole history of Rosemary did a mission president ever visit our town. That is super cool. I am glad that he had a good time at the baptism. Well thanks for the email.
Love you lots.

Elder Nielson 

A Quick Letter but Pictures Included!! Yay!

Hey mom,
It is super late right now and we just got back to the office. We had to help with a sick sister for most of the day so our P-day got destroyed ha-ha. Oh well, at least I got to play basketball earlier today and my companion is going to teach me how to play ping pong next week. He played in College. The sick sister's name is Sister Pablo. We took a picture with her. I may send you one.  
Oh and thanks a ton for all of the wonderful photos. I cant wait to see all of your shining smiles in person. I bet a whole lot has changed since I have been gone. But don't worry, I am not really thinking about you. Actually I almost forgot to email you guys. I was more worried about getting my 10 OYM's before I go home tonight. Our mission is doing this faith experiment where every night all of the elders and sisters in the whole mission have to talk to at least 10 people everyday consistently for a month and than we will assess how our faith as a mission has grown. I somehow need to go and talk to 7 people on my way home tonight. 
Sorry this is such a short letter. Its really all I have time for this week! 
Well, love you lots! Hope you have a good week.
Elder Nielson

 Driving ahead! Yikes!
 Driving behind! Yikes!

 Elder Benosa and I with Sister Pablo.
Sister Galbraith with Sister Pablo, her companion and Elder Benosa. Does everyone look a little too happy? Except for poor Sister Pablo!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A New Companion!

My new companion isn't here yet. He should be showing up in the next couple of days though. His name is Elder Benosa. I will maybe send photos of us next week. We no longer have any progressing investigators. We gave our investigators to the APs because the one AP is related to the family and he would really like to teach them. They are still kind of our investigators though. 

I am getting a little tired of not really having any P-Day. I think I have now done 3 months in the office and only played basketball 1 time. That is super sad right? Actually not getting to relax through physical activities is my least favorite thing about the office. 

I am glad that Rosemary is doing so good with all the missionary work out there. If some of the missionaries realized how hard some of the areas in other missions are, they would stop complaining about their areas and start working hard. I consider Rosemary to be a very hard area for missionary work but I am glad that it is doing so well. Without good member support  in areas like back home I can only imagine what the work would be like. So glad to be here in the Philippines where even if the ward is terrible and wants nothing to do with missionary work the work is still fairly easy. 

I have notice as well that the dollar has dropped a ton. What is going on?  

Well we have ton of trunky missionaries walking around the mission home right now. I am already ready for them to leave and they have only been here for like 1 day haha. I hate when batches leave. I can't wait till the new guys get here. It is way more fun with the new guys. They act like a really good recharge to the mission's spiritual batteries. 

Yes I go home still on October 21st. That is my last day. Don't want to offend you guys or anything but I am so not ready to go home and I really don't want to either. I could totally do another year out here in the mission field. Oh well, I guess all good things come to an end. 

I will try to work on something for the Nielson Reunion back at home. When is the family thing? I don't know if I will be able to find time to do something but I will really try to send something later today. Love you lots.

Elder Nielson