Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letter #8 *~MTC~* March 8, 2011


Mom!! You are ABSOLUTLEY fantastic! Thank you SO much for the care package this week! We enjoyed munching on the animal crackers and the cookies (which are AMAZING btw) during our weekly district game night! :) Thank you for always being SO thoughtful and doing so much for us!

This week has been another fantastic week, but, as usual, so much has happened that I will have to try to focus on the main points. First of all, I realized that I have not really talked about my Companion very much! Cectrpa LeBaron is from Sandy, UT. She took 2 years of Russian in high school, which has given her a bit of a head start on all of us. It can be hard sometimes because she picks up on things so much faster and easier than I do, and can remember things so much better, but it has also been a great blessing and help to have her help me with the language! She loves to laugh and finds joy in the little pleasures of life, and we share in our love for cookies!! :) This past week during our companionship inventory (where we talk about strengths in our relationship, things we can work on, and make goals) we had decided to be more open in communicating. It was amazing to see how much our companionship was strengthened. We were more on the same page and able to teach more effectively and be more considerate of what we were both struggling with! She is amazingly great!!

The other day I was re-reading in Genesis 39. I absolutely love the story of Joseph of Egypt. His faith and example is exemplary for all of us. I especially love verse 23 where it says that the keeper of the prison trusted him in anything that he was in charge of , "because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper." I also hope that as I work hard and go forth to serve, the Lord will make everything that I put my hand to prosper.

This week as I studied 2 Nephi 2:6-8 it really hit me. I love how it talks about the atonement of the Savior, and that only through Him can we receive redemption, but we must come to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And then in verse 8, "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is now flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah." And this is my job as a missionary! This is my message to the world, and in particular to the people of russia, that the Savior lives, and did redeem all mankind. And, as we come unto Him, we can be saved! The reason I am here on a mission is to help bring people unto Christ! In 3 Nephi 11:31-41 Jesus Christ outlines His doctrine of faith, baptism, repentance, and the Holy Ghost. I love how He tells us that the Father bears record of Him and that if we believe in Christ, we believe in the Father also, and that the Father will bear record of Jesus Christ unto those who believe in Him through the Holy Ghost! What a marvelous blessing that everyone can receive this witness through the Holy Ghost. I love verse 41 as it specifically spoke to me, as Dad so often tells me, to "Go Forth." Go forth and declare these things unto the ends of the earth! What a blessing to be in the most important work in all the world!

Yesterday we had a workshop on Russia and the importance of inviting people to come to church. In Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church or Bratislavian church is very prominant. Going to one of these great Cathedrals where you walk in and burn a candle to a small rented and renovated school, or the upstairs of a rented building over a grocery store is very different. But the reason we go to church is to gather together with the Saints and worship God. Whether there be 4 members or 20, they gather together to worship, and instead of a very impersonal distant way, it is very personal and intimate as they join together and learn together in the small, humble church meeting house. However, where the meeting is held is not important. We come to feel the spirit, partake of the sacrament, serve each other, learn the gospel together, and rejoice in the spirit of the Lord! We have been told in the past that Russia is very closed to the gospel and not to expect much success, but a lot of the success depends on me and my faith, my obedience! I want to go into Russia with happiness and joy and boldness to declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ! In sacrament meeting this week one of the new elders was talking about how he had researched Russia when he had first gotten his call. one thing that he learned was that Russia had a fairly high depression rate, adn since he had been here he had noticed that all of the missionaries going to Russia were extremely happy and enthusiastic people! We have a message of hope and happiness! And as we go forth to serve, I hope that the people in Russia will feel of the joy that the gospel will bring into their lives! This is a fantastic work! Russian is hard, but it's coming. We gave 2 lessons in Russian yesterday, they were each about 30 minutes or so. I don't understand everything, but as I try to listen and bear testimony of what is true, the spirit can carry the truth to the hearts of those we teach! Have a great week!! Less than 3 weeks left!!! :)

Cectpa cunningham


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