Monday, May 23, 2011

Ariel's Letter from Russia May 23, 2011 Hello to Family and Friends

Hello my dear dear family!

Woooahahahaooooo!!!  CORRIE STUM!!  I'm SO glad that I FINALLY :) got a letter from you and congratulations on the engagement!!  I hope to be receiving an announcement and to be able to keep getting letters from you too!! :)  I'm SO happy for  you girl! And you'll be getting a letter SOOOON!!!   I sure love you girl!! And DaLynn!!  Congrats on the mission call to Ecuador!!

This week, as we had continued praying like we usually do :) to find people that had been prepared for our message, seriously almost EVERY SINGLE person that we met while we were contacting already knew about the Book of Mormon or already had one!  It has just kind of continued, like last week.  I was thinking about it and often the people we meet will never meet with us again, or give us their number so we can call them, but that was another opportunity to touch their hearts.  And someday, I hope that another missionary will find them and that then they will be ready to meet and learn more about our message of God's Plan for Children!  All of our work builds off of each other.  And if we don't see the results now, I hope that the next missionaries that meet them will!!

We had a great lesson with our nine year old investigator David this week.  He is very active and so Cectpa Ivanova drew an intersection on a piece of paper.  She used the analogy of the road signs as commandments from God.  We then talked to him about prayer and scripture study and had him paint his very own prayer rock to go in his pillow to remind him to say his prayers at night, and to put it on the floor to remind him when he gets out of bed in the morning! :)  Hopefully he won't decide to have a pillow fight with his rock inside the pillow!

This week we had our landlord come to fix the light that is in our bathroom.  We have been putting a lamp on the top of the washing machine and it works fine... but... anyway, when we got home he had opened the cupboards, taken the shade off of the lamp and then taped the lamp into the cupboard, so now we can't close our cupboard because a lamp is sticking out of it!! haha!  He called shortly after we got home and my companion looked at me and said... I don't know what I'm going to say, because I can't thank him for that!! haha!  She made me laugh!

So... funny language moment.  I was at church and president Nechiporov was visiting the ward that meets right before ours.  He came out and I was talking to one of the members. I had been talking to Natasha about how my sister had just had a baby and my sister-in-law was pregnant, so when he asked where my companion was and I tried to respond in Russian and say that she was preparing her talk for the day.  Instead of saying the word for talk, however, I said the word pregnant which I had just been using to talk with natasha.... ya... he just kind of looked at me funny and we finally got the right word out there after some English... haha!  I'm always great at making good impressions!! :) 

And btw, Alexander's daughter is like Marissa's Russian twin!  Oh my goodness!! She reminds me SO much of Marissa!

This week I read the scripture in Moroni 8:16, "...Behold, i speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear."  I was thinking about my Savior as I read this verse.  Even for our perfect Savior, the Atonement was more encompassing and painful and... I don't even know how to describe it.... than I will ever understand.  I thought about the perfect love that He has for every single one of His children!  And I thought about the fear that He could have felt as He came close to having to perform the Atonement for us.  But I think that because of His perfect love for all of us, He was also able to cast out His fear.  He does love each and every one of us PERFECTLY and understands how each of us feel in our trials and struggles.  He is always there reaching for us, and with perfect love, He always will be.  No matter what we do, He will never forget us.  I hope that I also may work to develop this perfect love so that in everything I do, I will be able to cast out my fears and press forward with faith and courage.  1 John 4 in the Bible also talks about this!  It is such a wonderful chapter about love!

Hope you are all doing WELL!!
Cectpa Cunningham
 Cectpa Ivanova and I on a Russian road.


 Yes.. .crazy... like always!!

This is my little friend at church.  I think we know about the same amount of Russian... so we get along great!

 And this is Marissa's twin!!  Marina is her name! She is SO awesome!!

We met with Alexander on Tuesday.  He doesn't seem to have the desire or faith to do what it takes.  We're there when he's ready for us to help him, but if he won't choose to do what we challenge him to do to help him strengthen his faith and gain a testimony, then we can't do anything.  But he played the guitar for us and it was so fun!  I got it on video and will have to show you all later, but here's a picture!


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