We didn’t receive a letter on Monday and assumed he was traveling out of the country. Apparently, it was only that they couldn’t find a computer to use to type their letters!]
Hello Family! Good Monday...or Friday morning! Who even knows which day it is anymore! I hope you got the message that everything is good here, just had trouble finding a computer on Monday. Made for quite the goose chase of a p day on Monday. P days just don't seem to be what I expected, then again I don't know if anything is here. Good ol’ Russia for ya. We got a new senior couple here, and so we were able to come before district meeting and write! So thank the Childers! It's been a great week and just good times on the mission the last little bit. Thanks for the fun reports, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit jealous of your little retreat and imagining watching some fine college ball.
Sounds like you’re all just doin’ well. And go get 'em coach Nielson and lil' Tanner in the flag football. Make me proud. Just answering a couple questions: #1 I will have the eyes peeled for a large suitcase coming through here. Man you guys sure know how to treat. I have been trying to get something to make it there in the midst of birthday/Christmas season myself. P days and Russian postal services just seem to be working against me recently. The postal is pretty funny, you gotta go to a post office and wait forever in a line (reminds me of the DMV) to have a lady talk too fast through a glass window to get a couple of envelopes. They then stamp them themselves and it is just a nice time. And the same thing with boxes.
Which brings up #2 dad had asked about the transfer and visa trips. I should be having a visa trip somewhere in the next few weeks. You kinda just find out a few days before seems to be the trend. As far as transfers, we find out tomorrow! What the heck, can't believe it's already been 6 weeks. We have been working to divide our area, there are going to be two more elders moving into Zavodskoy and so we are pretty excited about that. It'll help a ton. We went and checked out an apartment yesterday, so funny all the registration and everything required. I have no idea what will happen to me.
And #3 as far as study goes, I just read some good ol' 30 minutes outta the Book of Mormon everyday. The last 15 minutes of study are usually on attributes or something outta Preach my Gospel. I'll every now and then read outta Preach my Gospel in Russian, but it would be more language study than spiritual study if I read in Russian. Good deal. (I had to throw that Troy Diederich flavor in)…..and by the way, happy birthday Brayden! And fun letters from Tanner and Eric. Well as far as the week goes it's been quite the road. I would love to just have a solid week of normal missionary work. T
his past week Elder Whittermore had a visa trip so I spent a day here in the center with Elder Glavodskee which was a good time. Then, on Friday Elder Whittermore got pretty sick so we spent most of Friday and Saturday inside which was a little bit of a bummer. Our area book and branch list is organized to perfection, we'll just say that much. I didn't have much to do. It just seems sometimes that we have all this stuff going on, and there isn't just time to do normal missionary work. It's fun though and definitely keeps time flying by.
I have got to tell you about Sunday though. For some reason, we didn't have many priesthood holders show up, and the Stephens (senior couple) to do training on branch counsel. So, I was running back and forth between helping translate for them, talking with an investigator that came, playing the piano, and finally got settled in having to bless the sacrament. It seemed that finally things settled down as the meeting started, but when we began to sing the sacrament hymn, Sasha and I raised the sheet on the sacrament to see that there was no bread! AH! It was just like a movie. So funny. So he ran over and told the branch president and sprinted out the door to run across the street and buy some bread and so we did the talks first and I had to run down and translate for the Stephens. Holy cow it was hilarious. Who woulda thought. Everything ended up alright, except we just ripped the bread in half and so the pieces of bread were huge for the sacrament, and I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit as I watched the whole congregation put this massive piece of bread in their mouth and have to chew all big. It was a good time, good story.
I have been very blessed the last few weeks to learn a little bit about our Father in Heaven's perspective. I am kinda in the stage of being between a "newer" missionary and becoming that missionary which we all aspire to. I have especially been wanting to develop patience and charity. It seems that as I prayed for patience and love for everyone, it was just getting harder to love people. It seemed that more people were just wasting our time and seemed to have nothing good happen. We have so many great things in this area, and then all the sudden it seemed that we didn't. It seems that I was just pushed to my breaking point many times, and even just didn't react in the most Christlike way, then would get more frustrated with myself. Even the thought of not getting any help from Heavenly Father came to me. It finally seemed that on Monday during personal study that I realized - He had been answering me. Heavenly Father had definitely sent me some things that only I could have dealt with…with the help of our Savior and His love, and I hadn't necessarily done so. I then realized, things just didn't bother me as much. What is really happening is that process that we call repentance. What a blessing I have been able to observe as our Heavenly Father has helped me in His own way to begin to change and hopefully one day begin to achieve and develop some of those things which compose "the" missionary. As we learn to rely on Him, we learn to have our will in line with His. His will is nothing but to do that which will help other people, and so we develop that charity within us. And that love for Him, and for others, which is true love for ourselves, is repentance. But it comes with a price, and I have definitely been able to see that taking place within me. Well, I believe that does it for the time being! Monday will come fast again now for sure! By the way, Ivan just seems to kinda be going downhill. We do all we can to chat, but he is just having a hard time. As for Sergei, he is a lil' different. He was the crazy one with the beard, and is showing up to church in a whiteshirt and a tie. Both deserve it, but there is just a little bit of a different look in Sergei. I love that guy. I sure love you too my family and hope that you continue to pray together. Don't know why I say that, but there aren't many families that get to. We are so blessed with this gospel, sure love ya!
С Любовю, Старейшина Нильсон