Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Visa Trip


Sorry that this e-mail is a day late, but you guessed it, I was on my visa trip!!  and before I forget!!  HAPPY 29TH (that's the right number... right? :) ) ANNIVERSARY TO MY WONDERFUL PARENTS!!!!  AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL BROTHER JOSEPH!!!  I sent a letter, so hopefully it will get there soon!!  Before I tell about it I'll quickly tell about our week!  This week it was fun to go to a members house for FHE!  We had a wonderful time.  They had invited some of their friends and were SO excited to share the gospel!  But... they, like all of us are still learning how to teach, and I think their friends were very confused!  At one point Sister Ivanova asked Sergie to share an experience how prayer had blessed his family.  He talked for about 5 minutes and Sister Ivanova leaned over to me and said, "you can talk about prayer, he didn't say anything about it!!"   haha!  It made me laugh, and I talked a little bit about prayer! :)  We went contacting with Elder Dana, Haws, and Sister Undezjorova this week.  It was right before transfers, so Sister Undezjorova stayed with us for a day or so, as her companion had finished her mission...and so she didn't have a companion until later in the week when transfers officially occurred.  It was rather funny as Elder Dana, and Sister Ivanova and Undejzorova were the ones who drew.  This meant that Elder Haws and I were the ones contacting... aka all of the missionaries who could speak Russian were drawing and those who really can't were contacting!! haha!  But guess what?!!! I taught my first 2 street lessons ALL BY MYSELF!!  It's amazing how much I can understand and say when I have to, and don't have my companion to rely on!! It as great!  So, I know that I need to start talking more when we contact, as I now kno that I can!

We had some rather interesting experiences this week.  First of all, it has been about 35 degrees Celsius this week... aka 95 degrees Fahrenheit!!!  Super hot!  We had some very interesting experiences this week... that were rather funny.  We were contacting and met this lady.  She wanted my number, just my number, but I explained we only had a number for me and sister Ivanova.  She called us the next day and wanted to talk to me.  We talked on the phone and she said that she wanted to meet just with me..... I explained that we are always with our companion and that therefore we would always be together!  I said I didn't know if we could meet that day, but maybe the next day and that we would call her that night.  She said that she would be waiting for my call.... ya... kind of creepy! haha  We finally got in touch with her the next day as her phone hadn't been working the previous night.  We invited her to a branch activity, but she said that there would be a lot of people there, and she just wanted to talk with me.... So... we think that she may not be straight... It was just really random and we will definitely make sure we're careful! )

We also met with this non active member this week.  We thought that he was pretty normal, but as we talked we realized that he was pretty crazy!!  He talked about some things that were really weird!!  I couldn't help but laugh the next day when he randomly called us and said, "I just wanted to call you and say good luck to you for the day, because I had a dream about you last night." haha it was really funny!

We had a really cool experience also this week.  Before we went out contacting we made a goal to find 3 people that we could teach on the street.  We made the goal to find one single person (and we would give them a book of Mormon and the commitment to be baptized if they knew the true church was on the earth), and then talk to 2 families.  We prayed and then headed out!  The first person we talked to we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and we asked her if she would be baptized if she knew the true church was on the earth.  I don't think she understood my question... but I asked it! haha  We then went and saw a mom and her daughter walking across a street.  We crossed the street and followed her to catch up.  We were able to have a good talk with her.  She didn't give us her number, but we did talk with her about family.  We then met another lady, she was by herself, but had a family and we talked with her about family.  It was neat to see how we made the goal, prayed, and then the Lord helped us find!  I hope I can get better at doing this more often!

Ok... so... we went on our VISA trip!  It was pretty crazy and LONG!  We left the office and went to the bus stop.  Our bus left at 7:55 a.m.  We drove to the boarder of Ukraine and they checked all our paper work.  Sister Tunney had somehow lost her immigration card.  The rest of us had to continue on, on the bus and we had to leave Sister Tunney with Elder Reingard (from Ukraine... thank goodness we had a fluent Russian speaker with us) at the border.... we didnt' know what was going to happen, but we had to continue on.  We realized part way through that Elder Reingard had our Ukrainian money... so Elder Hill was really worried we wouldn't be able to eat :)  not so much about them getting across!  We showed our passports and sat on the bus.  Then we got off and put our bags through an ex ray machine.  Then we got back on the bus and sat.  We drove about 20 more yards to the Russian border and they checked our passports again.  So, this whole time we are in about a 100 meter stretch between the boarder of Ukraine and Russia.  When we got through Sister Tunney and Elder Reingard were waiting for us on the other side.  The drunk patrol guard and wanted them to pay him money, but thank goodness for Elder Reingard and all they needed was to fill out another form.  We drove about 30 minutes into Ukraine, got out and met someone on the other side who had our new passports with our new visas inside, walked to a place to eat, went back and got back on the bus.  We drove back to the boarder, filled out our immigration cards and used our passport to get back across the Ukraine border.  Now... this is the cool part.  Then, as we sat in the bus, in no mans land, we made the switch and whipped out our SECOND passport with our new visa to get back across the Russian border!  We all felt like spies.  Whoever figured out this system was SUPER genius!  It's legal, just super awesome! :)  So, yes, we all have 2 passports and they use them so that we can constantly be getting a new visa on our old one.  So... that was pretty much it... a lot of sitting and waiting and riding in a bus.  but it was WAY fun to be able to see our MTC district again!  Well, I gotta run ,but I hope that you are all having a WONDERFUL week!!!  And I hope this all made sense... I never have time to re-read what I write...

Sister Cunningham

 This is us at Family Home Evening with Sergie and Natasha!! And yes!! I put my life in the hands of a Russian hair stylist and I chopped off my hair!

 Our ward picnic!! ya!! SO fun! volleyball, Frisbee!

 Attempted jumping picture that failed but I thought was fun! my comp. nastia and natasha.

 Chalk drawing on Sunday! me and Ulia! my comp!! She did a great job talking to people about the Joseph Smith story!

 They drew Joseph's Smith's first vision!

 Me and sister and elder jeppson the office couple.

 Sister Tunney and I and Elder Wrights hand!

 This is us and our 30 minutes in Ukraine.

 AFTER A SUPER LONG DAY, with my 2 passports.

Me and President.


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