I thought I'd mix up the title this week, we have had a good doozy of a week for the record books. Anyways, thanks for the letters from everybody and it was good to hear from you!
So, we'll kick things off with a quick run down of the week- we had time for a lesson on Monday evening with Svyetlana and she is just doin’ well and things, it is fun to see the growth there. She was called as the librarian in the branch. Good for her. So, since then we have basically been doin’ some good work with President Schwab- Tuesday was our first mission leader council thing with president and that was good to give him a feel of the mission and things. I had a sweet moment when we all did reports on our zones and the sisters shared a report for all sisters (which was a good report) and Elder Taylor (who was conducting) commented on the fact that it was a good report. I was sitting behind the computer to type the minutes of the meeting and was just kind of thinking out loud and just kinda blurted out, "I liked that one..." pretty much everybody went quiet and president looked over at me and said, "nice comment Elder Nielson!" Man we just lost it after that. That definitely made it on Elder Taylor’s wall of pink sticky notes that he writes down all of my dumb comments on. Reminds me of Will Burgess. Anyways, sorry mom and dad, I guess the family name isn't being too well represented.
So, after that president wanted to do a quick little zone conference type meeting to meet all the missionaries so Wednesday we had that meeting and had our typical running around to make everything run smooth for a couple of hours. Right after this meeting, we got our stuff together and jumped in the mission van with president and rode down to Saratov. We did the same kind of meeting down there in Saratov and basically spent the last half of the week around with president to translate for interviews, getting laptops and programs up and going, and all that kind of thing that they haven't had time to do yet. They are also doing a simple fireside in every branch of the mission and so the evenings we have been going around and help out with the projector and things and translating for those as well. Basically, in all of this we just scrape out an hour here and an hour there of contacting. Pretty much, we were going non-stop with him headed home from Saratov yesterday and hit a couple other cities on the road back to get home at about 9:30 last night. Woo! We're taking off in the morning for round two tomorrow, so buckle up!
Anyways, although we didn't have much time to do too much missionary work, I was filled with gratitude for my mission as we went around. Coming a little bit closer to the last few months of my mission I kinda got a little bit discouraged thinking that regardless of the fact that I haven't seen nations get baptized, I was more just kinda bothered that maybe I didn't feel the love that I expected for Russia and the language and those kinds of things; instead maybe I more loved missionary work...if that makes sense. Not gonna lie, from first glance it is kinda difficult to love the place. Anyways, we were able to go around to these branches and just riding down the road and looking at the miles of sunflower fields (pretty cool) I was able to realize how much I love it...and especially Russia. I can't explain the amount of respect that I have for the saints here and how loving they are, even being in branches of members that I didn't know. I was able to see old members that I had known in Saratov that I love and can now talk openly with them now and just be friends. Of course, it is the gospel that binds us all together, but my stomach takes a cringe when the thought of "coming to a close" creeps into my mind. I love these Russian saints and the privilege it is to be here, it's humbling.
Love you all