Tuesday, October 1, 2013

(Just an update...In the past couple of weeks Elder Nielson's homecoming date has been up in the air.  We were given permission to talk briefly on the phone just the other night so Elder Nielson could tell us what had been decided between him and his mission president.  After all is said and done, Elder Nielson will be arriving home on December 18th!  We can hardly wait!)
Hey family-
Emailing is a little boring after being able to just talk for a second! Just kidding, it was good to get all of that out of the way and just focus now on what we got. Anyways, it was good to hear all your happy little voices there!
We're already back to transfer Monday- can't believe it. We had quite the last couple days with Elder Taylor and with him heading home and coming through our apartment. Because of travel and things he had to come in a day early and so we had a couple of days to do some work together and meet together with some members and converts that we have grown to love. It was a fun couple of days and then at about 1 this morning, they took off to the airport! You gotta be looking for a call from him in the next couple of days- I hope it's alright that I gave him your info. Hope it hasn't changed! Or that I remembered correctly! Haha… anyways, we went out on a bang for him by going on all the busses and public transports that we could find and "dan jones" style preach the gospel. He was pretty sad to leave and it was sad to see him go, but I guess that's a good thing. As he said, "we'll see each other way too soon."
We had a good week like I said down in Saratov and here in our area. I had one experience that I wanted to share- while down there in Saratov. I was with Elder Davydov from Kiev and on a lesson with a woman that they had been teaching forever. She's way awesome, just hasn't really had something click and is just "busy" like most people are. Anyways, after lots and lots of meetings, it seemed that on this meeting she finally allowed Elder Davydov to explain the value of reading the Book of Mormon (don't know how that's been missed...) and she really understood, but then said how she just doesn't understand everything that is written there. This is where I jumped in and just shared my experience when I was 15ish years old and President Hinckley gave us the 100 day challenge and for some reason I decided to read it. I finished by the end of the year, definitely didn't understand anything, but had just felt that it was true. I don't even recall a magical Moroni 10:3-5 moment, just with time I knew it was true without understanding anything in particular. Anyways, I shared that and she just looked at me and said, "I'm going to read the book every day now. I don't know what you said, but it convinced me to read it." she went off about how they have been meeting for over 6 months now and almost arguing even at times to try and teach her the message, but for some reason she legitimately (and since then has been reading) promised to read every day. Obviously, we know that it was the Holy Ghost that convinced her and that touched her heart. In Preach My Gospel, there's a quote from Brigham Young that says (paraphrased) "I could hear a man explain the Book of Mormon with the most eloquence and beautiful words, but if I heard a simple man simply say that he knows the Book is true by the Holy Ghost, I would be convinced..." something like that, you'll have to find it. Anyways, I for the first time was a personal witness of the divine power that comes from a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I personally didn't really feel anything when I shared my experience, but I was very humbled because as soon as she said that, I knew where the real power had come from. I am grateful to represent my Savior and help people to feel of His power which is from the Father, through the Holy Ghost. We are given no better tool than the Book of Mormon not only for doing His work but also in combating against the adversary. I challenge you all to use it!
Love you all-
Elder Nielson

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