Saturday, August 30, 2014

A nice new watch!

My companion is still super new ha-ha. He has only been out for 3 months. Sometimes stuff like that happens.  I have sent several letters to the mission president saying that he should consider my companion for training after I finish his training. I am not that surprised that he's going to be training now.
 
There are two islands in my mission. Both of them have a large problem with mangkukulam or witches ha-ha. Marinduque is smallish and a super hard area - daw. Mindoro is bigger and the missionary work there is pretty good. I hope I get to go to one of those islands. Yes on the islands there is no McDonalds or any other modern restaurant and I guess the markets suck there as well. Which reminds me. I am super good at buying stuff at the markets here. Veggies, fruit, spices, fish, pork, chicken etc. I always get the best deal even though everyone tries to rip me off. 
 
Oh, and my watch broke this week so I bought a new one. Sent a picture of it!! :)
 
Well love you all lots. Thanks for everything!
 
Elder Nielson   
 My sweet new time piece!!
 My district.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Transfer Day is fast approaching!!

It is true that it is always more fun in the Philippines ha-ha. Mas Masaya sa Philippines. Looks like you guys had a great time at the Vadnais cabin though! ha-ha. I would love to go there someday.
 
Transfer week is coming up and my companion just found out he is going to be training. Meaning there is almost a 100% chance that I am transferred. I am happy but also a little sad. There are a lot of good investigators that I have here and I am really close with two families here. Just cross your fingers that I am going to one of the islands. If I go to the island I will have alot nicer pictures then your pictures of the lake.
 
Dad asked me if I was good at the nun chucks yet. I am not that great yet but maybe by the end of my mission ha-ha. Most of these missionary apartments are just loaded with swords, knifes, nun chucks, tasers etc.. I would feel really bad if someone tried to break into some of these apartments. Everything is legal here :). Ha-ha - just kidding.
 
I really like the quote that Dad sent me from President Monson - "When we treat people merely as they are, they will remain as they are. When we treat them as if they were what they should be, they will become what they should be."
 
Well I did get another baptism on Saturday. It went super good other then I was conducting and I choked super hard. Kind of embarrassing. It is funny. I can teach fully in Tagalog and I understand almost everything that is said to me but I still get nerves when I speak to people sometimes and that is when I really mess up hard. Oh well - that was Saturday - we always move forward.
 
Well, I love you all a lot! Hope you have a great week. 

Elder Nielson
Jesse's friends and family 
 Jesse on his baptism day
Best friends!!??
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Some Sweet New Skills!!

Well I have another baptism on Saturday. His name is Jessie. He will be the first baptism I will get as a senior companion. I can't wait for it! It should be super good. Hopefully he will remain active. He is super good and we can't teach him anymore then he knows right now. His brother should get baptized sometime in September which will be super good as well. Actually, there should be a few good baptisms coming up in September but unfortunately I probably will get transferred on August 28th. Dad can probably testify to this. All the good elders spend their missions repairing and rebuilding and planting. While all the bad ones spend there missions harvesting and wrecking areas... Oh well I did have some good successes in this area which is awesome ha-ha. Seven transfers are happening in the one island so I am hoping it is my time to go there ha-ha. Oh well that is still like 3 weeks away.
 
No Dear Elder package yet which is too bad. I sent a cool video for you all haha. It is one of my very cool new skills I have picked up on my mission. 
 
I would love to take you all to the Philippines! It would be a lot of new very different experiences and it would be super fun but maybe not a "lie on the beach for 2 weeks" kind of vacation. Oh and you would all be treated like super stars! Filipino's love white people. You would all feel the most popular you have ever felt in your life haha. I think Dad would love to come to the Philippines. Basketball everyday, new food, and videoke (karaoke with random videos playing in the back ground of the songs). But of course, we would do the resort thing as well. Maybe Tagay Tay or Puerto Galera.
 
Wow I wish I could have been there at the family reunion. It looks like you all had a great time. I can't wait to get to go to a family reunion in 2 years haha.
 
Oh well. Thanks for the email. Love you lots!

Elder Nielson  
Looks like Hawaiian Haystacks to me!!  Let's guess that's what it is!

Some re-enacting maybe?? Don't know!
  video

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Enjoy More Fully the Sunlight

So I have been feeling kind of frustrated lately- ha-ha. I was able to baptize Reyna Zerate within my first four weeks here which was super cool and she is super active. Her husband was inactive for fourteen (maybe even seventeen) years and her children were just baptize approximately a couple weeks before I got here. So we visited her kids my first night here and we decided to teach all of them, not just the kids. It makes me wonder why no one else ever tried to even teach the rest of the family. We gave her a baptismal goal date on the first lesson and she accepted. Since that day she and her husband haven't missed a single week of church. She is first counsellor in the primary and her husband Procy is going to get a calling shortly, I am sure. They have been awesome! I wish I could just visit them everyday ha-ha. Now, I said I was frustrated. The reason I said that is because the key indicator numbers of this ward are not very good, for example home teaching is virtually non-existent and the ward has about 80 active members with 360 inactive. Lately it has been hard because our ward mission leader was just made a service missionary and he has to spend four days a week in Manila. One more thing, I kind of had to re-open this area and now I will probably get transferred next transfer just as a big load of all my investigators are starting to want to get baptized.
 
I love the quote from President Hinckley that Dad sent me: "I am an optimist!... My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we "accentuate the positive"". I have actually been trying to apply that advice in my work lately. This area has a lot of problems, but since I have stopped focusing on those issues and more on what's going good and what I am doing to improve the work, I have found big changes taking place in our ward. Yesterday was the first day that we had over 80 at church in the whole time I have served here. Normally we have about 60 with about 80 active members. So the 86 we got yesterday was awesome!
 
Despite all the problems I still like the ward and the area. The church has only been here for 50 years so there is lot's of time to mature and get better. We should have a baptism coming up in the next two weeks. His name is Jesse and he is 20. He and his brother are actually being sponsored by a member family in Utah and are living in an en-suite of a member here in San Pablo. They got double referred ha-ha. The rest of the up-coming baptisms (6), I won't be around for because their goal dates are after Aug 28 and I will probably transfer out then.
 
Everything else is going just fine ha-ha. It isn't that hot here any more. Lots of clouds with on and off showers all day everyday. Still better then the heat. Which reminds me. Tori looks like she has a nice tan in those pictures you sent. She must be spending some time outside. 
 
Yes, things are different with the new mission president but not that different. 
 
Anyways I hope you have a great week. Well anyways I better go. Love you all lot's!
 
Elder Nielson