Thursday, July 7, 2016


Happy fourth!  Yesterday at church a few people asked us what we were planning for the holiday. We're going to run around outside waving American flags! Really?!! No. But we're going to have steak and watermelon. Oh yeah.

Started off the week with splits in solnechney, which is the area waaaay on the other side of the city. It almost feels like a different city. I think solnechney:saratov::stepnoi:orenburg. That might not make sense. Point is, I liked it. Got some serious work done, accompanied sister Palmer (former companion) to the railroad hospital to get her some x-rays, made taxi drivers laugh. We have awesome hard-working sisters here. Also Sister Hines and I totally destroyed them in our tag-team super-kontik race.

Here's what that is. Everyone gets half a cup of milk in a bowl and two cookies. You switch off with your companion to drink all your milk through the cookies. Whichever team finishes all the milk and the cookies first wins. It's more complicated than it sounds.

But yeah, this week was good. Did...stuff, met cool people. Food adventure for the week was snezhok, which is super delicious. A testimonial from Sister Hines: "when you drink that stuff you look like a legit Russian! But just because no one knows that it's just sweet yogurt". It's quite refreshing. I want to try it with raspberries.

I don't talk enough about how cool the Russian saints are, so I'm going to ramble: In our ward there's a woman, Sveta, who was baptized a little over a year ago. Around that time she met (at institute...Mormons) Dima, a long-time member, and they fell in love and got married. They both have 9-year-old daughters, and they have the cutest family. Two months ago they were able to go to the temple to be sealed, and a few weeks ago their third daughter was born. Yesterday they took Sofia to church to be given a name and a blessing. It was awesome. What a wonderful thing for their family! How great for their daughters that they get to grow up in such a home! Addictions and unhappy families are so common here. These girls have something that very few people here do. It made me so happy. Dima recently lost his job- the people he works with knew he was Mormon, and viewed it as unpatriotic or pro-American, so he was fired. It's definitely a difficult time for them. (shout-out to the relief society for being the best) Yesterday Dima got up and bore strong testimony about trials and the atonement. They're so calm through it all. It's because they have a foundation on Christ.
Also super cool thing about Dima, he's the elders' quorum president and since he has a much more flexible schedule now, he's been taking a lot of time out of his job search to go out with the elders and make visits to inactive and sick members. 

Yeah so cool have a great week, great holiday, do good. Love you!
Sister Nielsen

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