Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hello family!
Well I'm writing this week from a little booth in the Russia post office.  So funny.  We finally tracked it down somewhere near our new house and are just living the dream here in Kazan.  We had quite the week and got quite the schedule a'brewin for this coming week.  It is hard to believe that we are already to the last week of this transfer cycle again.  Holy cow this one flew by.  I really hope I get to stay here in Kazan and also would love to work another cycle with Elder Taylor. Before I forget, the office couple did call and say that the package has arrived and so I will be able to pick that up when I go in to Samara next week I believe for visa trips.  Yes, I have already been in Russia for three months!  What the heck?

We had such a good and fruitful week this week.  As far as to answer your questions dad, we were able to meet goals this week.  Our mission has a pyramid, maybe you can see it in the background of the photo I sent of Elder Christensen and I.  As far as stats (cause we're all about stats) we have a pyramid that if we find 16 investigators, have 7 progressing investigators, have 4 at church, and 3 with baptismal dates, we average getting one baptism.  So our goal is to have that pyramid full.  I thought you would like that, my accountant father.  A lot of the time is spent in contacting, because as you know, people have a hard time just meeting again to become progressing.  They are new if we teach them and pray with them and give a commitment.  We go through a lot of new investigators.  This week we were able to get 11 new investigators!  That is a solid week.  We had the zone leaders come visit and it was such a blast to work with them.  Those have been my favorite days on my mission, when the zone leaders came about 6 weeks ago and then again.  We then all headed together to Ul'yanovsk to go on exchange there.  It was way fun, but spent a lot of time travelling.  So, for having two days out of our area, it was a good week.   I had a good experience that has taught me a lot about the Spirit.  A lot of time is spent in our lives trying to figure out whether the Spirit is speaking to us or not.  Especially in missionary work, a lot of focus is used and even wasted.  But while in Ul'yanovsk I was working with Elder Hughes and we had spent a solid 6 hours out on the streets just (in the words of Elder Hughes) getting our faces kicked in.  We had about 15 minutes left for the evening and just had no idea where to go.  We had prayed a few times throughout the day, and just had no sense of where to go or anything.  We spent a second on a street corner just trying to figure out what in the world to do.  Finally, we just had to start heading home.  Of course, about three minutes later, a girl and her boy friend came running up behind us, basically saying, "we're interested, do you have a book?  Yes we'll come to church..." For sake of time I will spare some details.  We spent a second to just stand there, pretty stunned at what we just saw after a long day of people not even stopping to talk.  Of course, Heavenly Father sent us somebody who was prepared.  Do I think it was the Spirit's direction to stop on the corner? No.  However, I have learned so much that as long as we are living righteously and looking for the Spirit in our lives, we have the Lord's promise.  So much as we try our best, we can move forward and do that which is best.  Heavenly Father has given us the ability to do that which is best, and sometimes we have to trust that and move forward.  It was a way cool experience.
Elder Taylor and I also had a great evening back in Kazan following this trip.  We had six meetings set up for Saturday, that every single one of them fell through.  Good times.  However, we ended up getting a hold of a way cool couple and were able to meet them at the park.  They didn't even want to spend time looking at photos or getting to know us.  They just wanted to know our purpose and our message.  It was pretty cool.  So, we threw down the Restoration on them, and they are in line to be baptized on the 16th of June!  We are so excited, they also have 2 daughters that they had asked if they could get baptized with them!  So keep Sergei and Tonya in your prayers! 

I believe that would be the bulk of things to report on a great week here in Kazan!  Thanks so much for everything you do my family!  And dad don't worry about it, the aerobie was nothing but a joke.  For whatever reason, the markets here just don't carry those.  And I will look for a Rob Galloway roaming the streets of Samara soon!  You will have to let me know why he is out of the ward boundaries.  I sure love you all again, love the reports I get and am happy to hear that things are going well back at the ranch!  Till next week!
Elder Nielson

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