Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Madness in Kazan

Hello family!
Greetings from a sunny day in Kazan! Things are beginning to warm up here and we are happy to be here. I am writing on market day! Whether I will need it or not we are headed off the the market right after this so i can become a true Russian. Our investigator, Andrei, said the other day that I am a pure American in my Mr. Mac rain coat and other American gear. I got a thing or two for him to see after today. It has been a good week, I will try to do it justice. all ending with perhaps the most blessed of miracles that occured last night. I don't know if I will ever have another experience like it, but I will do my best to explain.

We started out the week pretty well. Monday night we had to run a relief society dvd to a lady in the ward and she gave us some legit Russian food that was super good. We couldn't find our way home, so as far as proselyting that night was a little bit of a bust. However, Tuesday was a great day. We were able to find 4 new investigators! The goal of the mission is to find 1 a day, and we were very blessed that day with 4. Tuesday morning was a pretty wild time as well. On monday, the members asked if we could help move 'a little' snow for a member who got in a car accident and needed to put his car somewhere. So we rode to the edge of the city on the bus where a member picked us up at the stop. We walked up the hill to their house. All I can think of to describe the houses is Charlie and the Chocolate factory's house. They were funny all pieced together. Anyways, so in the midst of a blizzard we shoveled a mountain of snow to clear a spot for this guys car. It was a pretty crazy morning. We kept on asking eachother what in the world we were doing. I felt like rocky workin out in the mountains of Russia lifting snow and stuff for a work out. The rest of the week seemed to just go by. we continued to find Wednesday and Thursday. We are pretty much starting from scratch here and so most of our efforts right now are in finding people to teach. Friday was slow as Elder Christensen was sick and so we were in. It was kinda nice though because then I used the day to organize the house and the area book. I finally just started calling people in the back. I have no idea what they were saying, but hey we got in contact with some former investigators. It was a fun little hour of Russian struggle.
Finally, I must describe yesterday. church was a little killer. It gets a little tiring when a guy rambles for about 30 minutes and you can't understand what he's saying. We will see if our 3 investigators come again. But church was good. We then had some time to contact last night. Our lesson fell through, as had every lesson fallen through throughout last week. We were walking and just couldn't find anyone. So we decided to pray where to go. We started down a random street and were just getting owned by people. Nobody wanted anything to do with us. Finally we had to turn around after about 40 minutes. this is where march madness occurred. We were bored and decided to try to speak english for fun to someone. We were shy for the first couple people, but then my companion just walked up to this guy and asked in Russian if he spoke english. The guy turned to him and said "I only speak english". So we talked for a minute with him and he offered for us to come to his house. We, of course, accepted. crazy huh? We talked a little about what we do and felt prompted to teach restoration. Time is short so I will give you the highlights. I'll give you some of these two brothers comments. Consider it the shining moment for the year..."Can we come help you talk to people about God?" "People don't just get how to find happiness. They use like money and alchohol and girls and stuff." "Oh the priesthood like God's power." "People need to know where we came from, why we're here, and where we are going." "Yes we will be baptized the 14th of April."
I was about in tears by the end of our lesson. Heavenly Father truly was looking out for us. We are going to bring them a Book of Mormon tonight. Elder Christensen said it perfect when he said following our meeting," I could never deny the existence of a God following that." What a blessing these two are. I do not know if i will ever find anyone prepared and willing as these brothers are. I have such a love for our Heavenly Father following that. He does not care who we are, what we have done, where we have been. His love is extended to all and the mercies of the atonement of Christ allow us to turn to him at all times of life. I can't wait to teach these brothers this. I love my mission.
Well that is about it. Mom it sounds like we basically will never get mail, we are about 9 hours away from the office, so whenever they come we'll get our mail. I think email will suffice. :) It will be a fun week and we will have some fun travelling around to visit the district. (Elder Christensen is the district leader-yup he's the man.) So we'll have some good 6 and 4 hour bus rides in the next few weeks but I'm excited. Tanner, it sounds like your ballin well. Well done my friend. Mom and Dad you sound great, and Sarah I love ya buddy. Em and Jackson, hope all is well. sure miss and love you guys, but wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I love you all.
Love,Elder Nielson

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