Monday, May 14, 2012

Good morning fam!
So I had this crazy dream last night that I got to talk to you and things....holy cow that was so fun but feels like that never happened.  So good.  I loved seeing you and just talking with you.  I was right back in my cell at SVU!  Man I was so glad we got to do the Skype and all, that was so fun.  And you got to see one of my Russian mamma's.  They are so awesome aren't they?  She gave me a whole low down on things after I chatted with you just on enjoying the mission.  But I have never seen them at church, and now they said they'd come so we'll see!  That whole evening was just a treat.  Elder Taylor and I were saying how it's a good thing we can only do that twice a year or we might be a mess!  So...happy mother's day to you momma!  And Grandma ‘Net and Grandma Nielson!  Definitely would have loved a giant conference Skype session with all.  45 minutes just wasn't enough.

Well I will maybe try to give some highlights from the week and maybe take a second to try and attach some photos.  What a mess.  I am sitting next to some 10 year old gamers in this little internet cafe.  It's just like we talked about last night. 

We had a week of pounding the pavement here in Kazan.  We spent a lot of time on the streets.  I don't know about other places, but I have yet to meet a Russian that actually plans in the first place, and then follows through on plans.  But it's all good, those that are prepared will follow through.  And then we just get some funny stuff on the streets anyways.  Probably the highlight of the week was yesterday at church.  That crazy Raisa lady that I told you we had talked to showed up to church.  I had no idea she walked in and then I all the sudden hear someone like, "where's Taylor?!"  It was pretty funny.  Anyways, she ended up just taking us outside and talking to us for a minute and leaving.  I can't remember what she was saying, but she was just all over the place and Elder Taylor and I were dying just talkin to this crazy old lady.  Man they are so funny.  But this really nice girl named Albina just showed up off the street to which was awesome!  She lives right by the building and decided to just come and check it out.  We hope we can meet with her this week and hopefully get her going on things! 

After church this super Muslim kid wanted to meet with us.  We were so pumped to have a meeting that we were like heck ya!  He actually came to the building with his buddy and they did some work on us to convert us over to Muslim.  It's pretty funny- some of the Muslim people are just so staunch.  But always super nice.  Man good times in Kazan.

We also were able to have a sports night on Friday night which is so fun to do.  You feel a little naked being able to run outside in regular clothing.  But sports night is just an evening that we gather and get investigators there...and play sports!  It is pretty fun and a good way to get some investigators.  We only had like 6 people, but we are definitely upping the game next week!  We spent like 30 minutes sprinting all over the place looking for a frisbee.  They don't believe in those around these parts.  If an aerobie [Frisbee] ever snuck it's way on over to Russia, I would not be upset.  But we got a kid that was just walking by to play with us and he ended up becoming a new investigator!  That's what I'm talkin’ about!  I think he was just sold on my Nike's.  That is a joke...but kinda seriously.  ;)  Anyways, those seem to be about the highlights outside of just some serious contacting out on the beautiful streets of good ol' Kazan!

Again, it was such a treat to see each of you last night and chat with ya.  And I was glad to let you catch a bit of a glimpse of the special place that I am at.  There is not much I can say to portray Russia to ya.  This is the good work that's for sure.  Mark's mom was going off about how beautiful our family is.  Man, I am so blessed with the fam that we have.  I have found that my two greatest missionary resources are: 1) the Book of Mormon.  Of course nothing can replace that.  I have gained such a love for the testament of Christ which the Book of Mormon is.  I hope that our family continues to read it because there is nothing better for our testimonies, and for our family than to read from the Book of Mormon.  and 2) is my picture of our family.  People just love to see my pictures, yes of course they love to see our lives but they notice something different almost every time.  Sometimes they have a hard time grasping that we have what we have because of the gospel, but I have come to learn how true that is.  The gospel in our family and our individual lives is everything.  There is no problem that can't be solved and no conflict or fear that can't be overcome by the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love that our family is a living example of that.  I can't wait to see that enter into somebody's life here in Russia.  They have such a desire to have that happiness, it's just my job to find those that the Lord has prepared to have that real happiness in life.  I love you so much and am so grateful for the gospel which we have.  Maybe look for a way to share it with someone, and you will be surprised what will come into your life.  Sure love ya fam, keep on keepin on!  (thank you preston)
Elder Nielson
PS I think that this is saying that my cam isn't compatible with this.  I'll keep trying, have a good week!

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