Monday, July 29, 2013

Good morning everybody!
Well, that was a great round of emails from this past week, thanks for all the fun updates of things going on and glad to hear that you are keepin’ busy and involved in some good stuff.
We have had a good run at it this past week, we are doing a lot to get ready for President Schwab coming out and we are getting pretty excited. Just a quick update, he'll be getting out here on Thursday and the Sartoris heading home on Friday, crazy how this has all come up so fast. I swear it should still be 6 months out like it always has been.
Anyways, we took off on Monday up to Tol'yatti for some big exchanges. Elder Taylor took off with Elder Owen up to Izhevsk and I stayed there in Tol'yatti again and was with my other old companion, Elder Whittemore. It was a super fun couple of days and we were able to get some good work done. Honestly, we were still pretty hammered from our last week Saratov exchanges, but we went for it anyways and were able to get some good things done and hopefully got some missionaries excited in those areas. I wish I had a good story for you, but honestly, we just had a few days of raw missionary work with them, that is: finding people, and had some good successes and things. I like those kinds of days because you just keep on working and working and Heavenly Father just blesses you throughout the day. Pretty simple.
So, we headed on back here to Samara on Thursday morning and had a sweet lunch here with the office staff and President and Sister Sartori. It was a Russian barbecue for them heading home which was super fun. I love all the staff workers down here in the office, they are all fun to be around. I also think that President Klimov (one of the branch presidents here) may have emailed you a photo from that of me and president...just wanted to see if that made it. So, basically from that point on we had to spend some time getting things together for when President Schwab comes. We had to work on the upcoming transfer and things like that because he won't know anybody and things like that. Honestly, that is kind of how the rest of the week went. On Saturday evening we also had a fireside for president here in Samara and he spoke and gave a great talk. It was a good way for him to go out, and it was really cool too because Svyetlana gave the closing prayer. She is integrating well and just happy to be there.
That pretty much sums up the week, everything is going well as usual. I just had some interesting thoughts today as we were studying- honestly I was a little down just because of the fact that sometimes I see how easily people can be influenced by Satan.  Anyways, I was just reading and got to Alma 7- these are some verses that are often quoted about the Atonement, they are some good ones that I was excited to read as a good pump up. I would love to help people catch it. Something else kind of hit me though- right before those verses on the Atonement, it mentions of the Savior's humble and simple coming into the world. I was taken back a little bit to think of the simplicity in which our Savior came to the world and how that simple event really is what we are trying to turn people's hearts to. That simple night of His coming definitely has gained much more meaning in my life as I have tried to explain the greatness of a Savior when people have a hard time accepting such a simple thing. I am grateful for that though- there is just something warm and tender about imagining the simple form that the Savior took upon to help us out. I know that anybody that accepts this Savior into their lives will see themselves changed and their families will be happier- that's what we all want anyways.
I am super grateful for what the Lord has taught me on my mission. I hope you have a good week this week, I sure love you all.
Elder Nielson

p.s.- here's a shot from out there in tol'yatti. we felt pretty cool- pretty much we were hackin through this jungle until we baptized a family of 4.


This is outside our apartment.  We always see guys squatting like this and eating sunflower seeds and drinking a beer!  Ha!

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