Monday, July 11, 2011

RUSSIAN GALORE! July 11, 2011

Hi Everyone!!!
I loved the pictures of the 4th etc mom!!  And your yogurt definitely beat mine... but I tried right?!! :)  Thank you Simone and Kailegh for your wonderful letters!  And, Corrie... I can't wait to get your wedding announcement!
This week has been crazy RUSSIAN!!  I have been serving with 2 Russian companions as Sister Undejzorova is on her visa trip, so her companion Sister Zamorina has been staying with us.  So, Sister Ivanova and Sister Zamorina have been speaking A TON of Russian, and they both talk SUPER fast when they're together.  It has been a little bit challenging, as this week I sometimes have felt like a third wheel missionary because I don't always know exactly what's going on, but it has also been very mind-stretching!  One night, as I got into bed, I realized my brain was just absolutely SO tired and FRIED!!  I had pretty much only heard Russian ALL day!  That's probably the way it should be, but wow, my brain was tired!  It's different from other weeks because I usually hear mostly Russian, but Sister Ivanova is really good at speaking slow and clearly with me.  Also, if I don't understand she will explain in English.  Well, this week I have mostly just had to try to do my best to try to understand as much as I can without any explanation.  I knew that they didn't want to NOT include, but it was just natural to talk fast and a lot with someone who could understand everything.  With that in mind, I did my best to stay involved in the companionship and continue to help teach and make decisions all together!  It was GREAT!
This week Sister Tunney's companion had her visa trip also, but that was only for a day.  So, Sister Tunney and I actually got to go and teach a lesson ALL BY OURSELVES!! haha :)  It was SO fun!  Sister Tunney has been out as long as I have, so we have only been here for 3 months, but the lesson went really well!!  We taught the plan of salvation to a less active, and it was SO great!!  I could understand most of what he said and we carried a conversation for about 45 minutes!! WAHOO!!  I think when you have to be the one speaking you realize how much you can really say and understand, and the gift of tongues helps a TON also!
Something that I have noticed that I just find really interesting, is that children always want to talk with us.  We will contact their parents, and as their parents say no and walk away you see these little children looking longing back at us and they slowly drag behind following their parents.  One time we tried to give a pamphlet to a woman that we were talking to.  She didn't want it and said no, and then her little daughter of about a year reached out and grabbed the pamphlet.  After the woman gave us back the pamphlet and was walking away we waved to the little girl.  She got the biggest smile, I think I have ever seen, on her face and reached her little hand high up in the air and waved back at us!!  It was SO cute!!  Maybe one day she'll meet the missionaries and remember something.
These week we tried some new ways of contacting.  We had so many street lesson this week and really did all we could to talk to EVERYONE!!  We went out one day and tried an idea that she had used earlier in her mission!  When we asked to talk to people we just asked them if we could ask them a couple questions about what health means to them.  If it's important to them, what they think they can do to be more healthy, etc.  I was really surprised as some people didn't think you could do ANYTHING to be more healthy... weird...  Well, it was a great way to just start talking to people and then tell them about the law of health that the Lord has given us. He not only promises to give us physical strength but also knowledge, etc!!  One lady, we started out like this and then ended up talking about our Savior Jesus Christ and bearing testimony of Him that He lives and can help her in her everyday life!  It was a great way to introduce the church without being too crazy "missionarish" i guess you could say... hahababooshka (grandma) that I was able to talk to on the bus, and she said how it was neat to see that I was here in Russia because when she was younger the relations of Russia and America were not really good, but to see me here showed that things had improved! :)  Our third thing we did differently, is that wherever we went, unless we needed to get somewhere pretty fast, we would hand out invitations to church to everyone that we saw.  It was a GREAT, but tiring week!!
We did get in touch with Sara this week, but for right now she said that she has felt really confused and she thinks it's because she hasn't been reading the Bible as much.  She said that she didn't want to meet anymore.  We are going to invite her to our music night and I want to ask her if she has seriously read the Book of Mormon.  I'm praying she'll give it a chance.  The A.P.'s also found a girl who actually studies in Utah and went to church there.  She is SO golden and sometimes stays up till 3 in the morning reading the Book of Mormon!  They have been having us help teach her as they are sometimes out of town.  Her baptismal date is for the end of this month, and our 9 year-old David is getting baptized this SATURDAY!!  YAA!!  And his big brother Aram has come back to church and this past Sunday he brought two of his friends with him! We had a fast this week with the members for Dima Andreva and he was found this week, but has lost his memory... it's weird.
Scripture for the week: 1 Nephi 18:21-Nephi says that his brothers were angry with him because he had warned them that they should be righteous.  Therefore, they had tied him to the mast of the ship so that he could not move.  A great storm arose for four days and finally, because his brothers were afraid they would be swallowed up in the sea, they let him go.  So, now the scripture records in Nephi's words what happened.  "And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it.  And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm."
 Nephi could have chosen to lash out at his brothers, but instead he immediately prayed.  We can do the same, and like Nephi, the Lord will also calm the storms that may be raging inside of us!!  It really works!!  I have prayed here more than I have ever prayed before, and prayer really does calm the soul!
Love you all! Have a WONDERFUL week!  Sorry... this one was kind of long!!

Cectpa Cunningham

 A wonderful Armenian family who fed us!! Forgive the shiny faces... it's HOT!!

 The food!! the black nut things were TO DIE FOR!!!

 Us street contacting!! 4 sisters!! Watch out!!

 Sister Ivanova, me and Sister Zamorina... ya... we can still be crazy at night!

 my companionship for this week!  Sister Zamorina on the right.

A cute little lady in the other ward!  I just love her she always gives me a BIG hug and is just SO cute!! you know how short I am... she's mini!!


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