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

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