Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hello Family!
Well I can't believe we are already back to Monday, I just keep on pulling the pages off of my doggy calendar. Thanks for that dad, everybody loves the pictures. Those were a ton of super fun emails to get this week, I guess we all feel the same that pictures are so darn fun to get and to just see what's goin on. We stay pretty busy around here, so it doesn't bother me too much if you’re worried about that dad. I'll let you know if it does. It looks like you had some sweet snow there, your beating us out here it looks like! It's been a rather "boring" winter here it sounds like, there have been some super cold days, but all the Russians just freak out whenever we say that it's not too bad and say that it's always colder and this and that. It's so funny. Or we just act like we're freezing and they get all serious and say "oh son, you haven't seen anything yet." Anyways, just a funny little snapshot of our funny Russian friends. That was a hilarious picture of charley, she was a blur flying across the snow. It cracked me up. And mom and dad you got some sick style in those goggles, that is some good lookin’ clear air and mountains behind you. That was a sweet picture. And it looks like grandma and grandpa are doin’ well also, hi grandma and grandpa!
Around these parts, it's been quite the past week. I think I have succumbed to the fact that most every day Elder Taylor and look at eachother and say "that was the craziest day of my life." It is always a good time. We spent a lot of time getting things together for the transfer that is going on right now and making sure things are where they should be. We just had a group of 8 missionaries take off this morning and I gotta say, that was one of the weirdest feelings I've had. Since they had a larger group, they came back and stayed at our apartment rather than down at the mission home and so we got to see the whole movement of missionaries leaving. It was super weird, my companion and I have been too busy to talk about it, but man it brought a lot of reality to the mission, that is the fact that it ends. This is the first time that I have known any missionaries well that have gone home and man, it was a lil’ tough. Of course, one of them was my last companion Elder Broekhuijsen which I forgot to get which ward he is from, so you will have to find him somehow and go see him when he speaks. That would be cool. There were a couple that I had a really good friendship with, I think that was something that I had no idea about was the friendships and times that you have not only with Russian people, but companions and other missionaries in the mission. It was kinda like all my high school football buddies at the end of a season, but even a little bit different- anyways it was a weird weekend.
As I said, the whole dismissing these missionaries really brought a reality to my mission and I guess made me very grateful for my mission. I was able to take a second and just look back on all the different people I have been able to associate with and also just the different situations I have been able to be in that pretty much only me and my companion understand that have made my mission what it is. A lot of these things I am trying to explain, but I don't really know how to. I guess anybody that has been on a mission can relate to those kinds of feelings. I have loved my mission. Amidst all of this, each of these missionaries that came into our place have companions, so we had about 16 missionaries sleeping at our apartment the other night and going to church with us which made for some good coordinating and running around to get mattresses and different things to accommodate that. Good times on the mission.
We also had quite the experience this week, as I have said on Tuesday we had our meeting with president. In the middle of the meeting, he had an interview with a member that needed some help from the church and this and that but hadn't gotten it so got super offended and is now not active. He has a good testimony and things, but was just being a little immature. Anyways, president had both me and Elder Taylor sit in to translate and it was super interesting to watch how he handled a situation that I probably would have just said, "listen man, you gotta get over yourself and get a job." But rather, he handled the situation so lovingly but in a way that laid down the law to make this man do something. His aim was clearly not to simply help the guy or to make him work like we want, but rather have him grow in faith to the point that he can accomplish those things. Anyways, it was one of my favorite moments to learn from on my mission. As President Sartori always says, "teach true principles and let them govern themselves." I hope to keep that for the rest of my life. Well, we will probably just keep on truckin’ this week and it will be a good one! Hope you all have a good week, sure love you all and I'll be looking forward to hearing from you!
Elder Nielson

Pay Day

Hey family!
Woo that was a super fun round of e-mails and pictures coming through, there is never too much to have a little fun to see what's goin’ on and things. It sounds like you all are doin’ pretty well and hopefully I will try to answer questions and things from those...that's my favorite way to do it. So thanks for all the fun notes. Sounds like your doin’ well there lil’ Tanner with all the ballin’ going on and everything, Way to do it. Those are fun to get all your updates about the games and things. And what's the deal with big Lone Peak bein’ number one in the nation? Kinda cool...I know this much that their fan club is just tryin’ to get back to the glory days! haha Thanks for sending that picture dad. And well would you look at sister is all growin’ up and things. Lookin good there, and it looks like you and Kristen decided to go to the dance together instead of you and Tieler. Pretty funny, but way to go hope you had a fun time. And way to be workin’ the algebra, all the babes know algebra really good. And thanks Emily for the letter, that sounds like good times with everything goin’ on and sounds like your doin’ well, especially riding in the elevator with Jerry. Tell him I say hi. And thanks momma for the update top ten style letter. I am liking the theme that is going on around here with the top ten's. All the pictures were super fun that you sent and it looks like dad and Tanner are doin’ well on that rocket there. Well done on the practice performance there lil’ Tanner, get those 10 in baby!
And as far as Ryslan goes, he is about 40 but a pretty spunky guy so he seems about 30 to us. Pretty fun. and I'm not gonna lie, every now and then some kinda comment comes out that has to do with Lake Powell when we have our meetings with president. Whenever we meet with him we first have an office meeting with the office staff that we translate for and then meet for a bit with president and head up to their apartment for some lunch. That's a little on the down low, but it's pretty fun to have a second to talk about stuff with him, and every now and then a little Lake Powell sneaks in. I think they do still have a share on a houseboat, so Elder Taylor and I have a plan to call him up one day in a few years and have everything packed up for him to just come hop in the car and head down to the lake with us. Those conversations are only on p day....
And by the way, that is fun news to hear about running into Coach McGeary, he's such a good guy. I'll be sure to get that done at some point here and send that to ya. and also that is a classic picture with Andrew and I- who would’ve thought those two jokers are on missions now? How's he doing by the way? That was fun, we got a good family.
As far as things go here, it is all super good. We were able to meet with our two new converts this week and they are just doing well. That is super good because it just seems like we are holding this fragile piece of glass and if we do something wrong we'll break it. Maybe that's just a lack of faith, but we really want the fruits to stay that's for sure. We had a good meeting with president and we're getting everything set up for the transfer which will be fun to do and also starting to look at stuff up until he leaves. He's still got some time, they'll be here till July 1st like always, but once that new mission president comes it's gonna be a party that's for sure. Talk about some shock for him and his wife. Anyways, its kinda fun to look ahead at everything. We then had our other zone leaders come in from Tol'yatti for exchanges this week which was way fun. We are kinda in rebuilding process to get some new people to work with, so we had a bunch of knocking and contacting involved. The cold has kinda come back and so it makes for a good time to do the "dirty" work of contacting and finding people. Our second day was a super good day in my mission...I got to work with Elder Glavatski- I've probably talked about him before- he's from Ukraine and just the happiest guy. He is pretty humble and it is always fun to be around him. But we had a really cool evening that proved to me how much it really is Heavenly Father in charge of the work. For the most part, (which I would assume this is standard for everywhere in the world) knocking goes like this: we get a stairwell with about 40 apartments in it, and usually you can expect to get a couple return appointments outta that or at least somebody to take a Book of Mormon. However, it just seemed a little different with Elder Glavatski that he just had this kinda humble faith in him and we were blessed with one of the first apartments we knocked on to open up and talk to us. It seemed from there, we just kinda had this big ball of faith that kept growing with each floor. We'd go down the stairs to the next floor and pray each time and then there was always somebody on each floor that opened the door and talked to us and took a book and wanted a return appointment. I learned a lot that evening from Elder Glavatski, I really want to develop that kind of faith and humility. And it showed me a lot about how when we have real faith and act, we see results. Then our faith gets bigger. Then our results happen more frequently, which grows our faith, and soon we just have this ball of faith that makes us instruments to do anything the Lord may ask of us. I want to bring that home- meaning I do my home teaching because I have faith it'll help. I read my scriptures and I see a blessing, and that faith grows, etc. As this cycle continues, the process of sanctification and everything grows. It is really cool the things you learn on a mission, and especially from all the cool missionaries we have in our mission, there are a lot of good buddies here. Heavenly Father has definitely taught me a lot and I still got a lot to learn. The rest of the week, we actually did a lot of knocking and contacting which is kinda the first time that we've had time to do that, so it was actually a really good time. We have a ton of people now to work with and so we are way excited for this upcoming week to get meeting with all of them. Good times.
Well, besides that as always, we're just up for another good week on the mission. We have had many good things and I really am very blessed to be serving and to have all your support. Hope you all have a good week and we'll see ya’ next week!
Elder Nielson