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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Letter by Sister LeBaron, who now serves with Ariel's former companion, Sister Ivanova

 "One time this week when we got on a bus, Sister Ivanova started talking to this lady and invited her to church.  I was further toward the back of the bus, but all of a sudden I heard this old lady start YELLING and SCREAMING at Sister Ivanova.  There was this old babushka just like taking it out on my companion about how we shouldn't bother people.  But it was so loud and people don't usually talk in buses so EVERYONE was just watching.  The old babushka hit Sister Ivanova's papers out of her hands and continued to yell and yell.  Then this old babushka that was sitting right next to where I was standing (because I gave her my seat!) started yelling at me!  She asked me the name of our church and I told her and then I told her we read the Book of Mormon, a second witness for Christ, and she said, "Oh, I know about the Mormons!  They're an EVIL sect and they do terrible things to children and they oppress their women!  Everyone should run away from the Mormons..."  Etc.  And everyone around us was just watching and listening as I, in my very poor Russian, bore my testimony about Jesus Christ.  I told her that we believe in Jesus Christ just the same as she does and she was like "Oh, don't try to pull that on me.  I know what you believe."  I showed her Jesus Christ's name on my badge, and that quieted her  for just long enough for the lady sitting next to her (a woman maybe in her late 20's), to ask for information about our Church.  I was holding several brochures and she wanted to read them.  She took one of each and then asked more about what we believe.  I told her about what our church believes about families and the whole back half of the bus was listening....  it was crazy.  We had to get off the bus before I got the chance to get the woman's phone number :(  But I was grateful for her sincere inquiries about our church to make me feel better about being attacked by an old babushka."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Krasnodar adventures! August 29, 2011

Well Family!!

Here we are again, and it has been another really busy crazy week! Congratulations to Melissa who is getting married and to Alicia who just got married!! and thanks to Simone, aunt Becky, Alicia, Sister Katie Campbell (it got here! thanks for the stickers!!),  and Melissa (your wedding announcement was SO cute!!!) for their letters!!

We played your get to know you mingle game this week at FHE and they all LOVED it and got way into the game! thanks for all of the ideas mom!  We have a new sister coming into the mission this transfer, and so President was looking for a young sister who could serve on a mini mission for the next transfer.  This week we got together with our district and were working on putting together a member book.  A member book has a page for every member/family in the branch.  We want a picture for each page, their name, when they were baptized, what they do for work, their hobbies and any other important information. This really helps when new missionaries come into the ward, they can look at the book and learn who people are and have comments about who will help them, etc.  Also it is really good information about who is less active, or doesn't come at all.  As we were working we started talking about the possibility of someone in our ward being the mini missionary.  We were working on Alexander and Tatiana's family at the time and Sister Potter mentioned Vera.  That night we were visiting that family, and when we went, we asked Vera if she would like to be the mini missionary.  She said YES!!!  She has actually just started coming back to church and we have been trying to meet with them fairly often!  We were SO excited about it!  She is wonderful!

This Thursday we actually got to have Sister Potter with us on splits again.  It was really neat as we met with one family.  Sister Zamorina did a wonderful job and included her in the lesson by asking her to share an experience about the principle she was teaching, etc.  The way awesome part was that as I was translating the lesson for her into English, I also got to translate what she said into Russian.  It was such an awesome experience as she bore her testimony, and I felt like as I translated it into Russian I was also able to bare my testimony as she bore hers!  It was a way neat experience as I translated what Tatiana said to Sister Potter.  She told her how sister Potter didn't need to speak Russian for them to know that she was a wonderful person.  They could see it in her face and in her eyes!  Sister Potter was really touched and I felt SO blessed to be able to be her mouthpiece! 

We had Zone Conference this week and so on Friday we did splits.  I got to work with Elder Nancallos and Ness for the morning part of the day.  We went to a hospital to visit a little girl and her mom.  The little girl had hurt her back and the mom had wanted the Elders to come and giver her a blessing.  I don't think that the mom really knew what it was, and the little girl said that she didn't want one.  I tried to just talk with her so that she would feel comfortable by showing her my pictures from home. It was funny as she took all of my pictures and laid them all out on her bed, not once, but like 3 times, making the same comments about them!! haha  We showed her a picture of a blessing, how they laid their hands on their head and then would just say a prayer to give her health, comfort, etc.  She didn't want one, so we just ended up praying with them.  It was rather amusing and super awkward though as the Elders really didnt' say much.  They both felt WAY uncomfortable and stood their awkwardly the whole time... leaving me to try to speak Russian with them the whole time... haha :)  o-well, good practice right?

That night we had 2 meetings so Katya( a member) and I were able to teach Amy!  It was such a GREAT experience!!  I was able to explain and say what I needed too and Katya was their to help me if I couldn't explain something all the way in Russian!  It was really cool!  After the lesson Irina, Amy's mom, asked if I would be here long.  I, of course, dont' know but said that I hoped that I would be here for another 3 months or so.  She said that they would be praying for that too!  It is so cool to as Amy, Vita, and Irina help me with my Russian and just love me!!  They are GREAT!  And we also laugh a TON on the lessons!

Zone Conference was wonderful as usual!  We talked about becoming better teachers.  We are all teachers now!  We thought of attributes of our favorite teachers and talked about how we can use those better in our teaching.  We also talked about finding the gifts that we have.  All of us have been given a gift from God and as we come to know what our gift is, we can then use it.  We can know this by 1. asking our moms 2. reading our patriarchal blessing.  The AP's talked about studying the scriptures.  When we really come to know the scriptures, they become a part of us and then the Lord can use them to help and teach other people!  Saturday was a PERFECT day because after Zone Conference we had Vacalissa's baptism, and after the baptism we had sports night!  It was a BLAST!!  Needless to say I did my first ever backward somersault!  haha!  I was running backwards and the the Frisbee was a little bit to far back.  I leaned back and grabbed it but then the momentum took me to the ground and I just kept rolling!  I rolled right over into the goal line!! ya!  It was a WAY fun game of ultimate, super fast paced with all the Elders! :)  We LOVE sports night!

Last week President had asked us to write an article on being a united companionship.  He had loved the picture that we sent and said that he had sent our article into a lady in Moscow who works for the Liahona.  She said that she wants to use our article!! haha!  Sister Zamorina did the dirty work, as I can't right well in Russian, but President said that the lady had started to cry when she read it!  So, maybe we'll be in the Liahona!! :)  Today I read 2 Nephi 21:10- It talks about how people will search for the Savior and the Savior's rest will be glorious.  The Savior is not physically on the earth today, but as His missionaries on the earth, we are His literal representatives, and people are seeking for us, because we represent Him!!  And I hope that we can share the message and be the message so that people know they will find a glorious rest in the Savior!!

I love you all!!
Cectpa Cunningham

 Us at Zone Conference.

 Us at the baptism with Vacalissa.

 This is Irina Vitya, Amy, me and Katya.

 Dinner at the potters with all the elders!

 We wanted to see if we could flatten a ruble on the tramvie tracks, but the next one that came was the one we needed to get on... it stopped when we were almost there because a car was stalled on the tracks so some of the elders and others got out and had to push it off! haha

Margarita, Marina and me. The little girls that live next door to us.

 This is the picture of comp. unity we sent to president. Reading the liahone on a bus.  me in English my comp in Russian.

Our Ulya and Vera.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Watermelon August 22, 2011

Hi Family!!

This week rained pretty often...well, a couple times.  And I seem to always wear the same pair of shoes when it rains,so I guess I know what to do if I want rain.  We met with Amy officially for the first time this week.  Her brother and mom were recently baptized and she also wants to be baptized.  It was great to meet with her.  She has so much light in her eyes.  First we just kind of checked to see what she remembered from the first two lessons that she had had with her mom, brother, and elders.  Then we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we follow him by faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  We also introduced her to prophets that lesson.  We talked about how in "the enduring to the end" part of life, God has given us not only the Holy Ghost, but also our leaders to lead and guide us.  A prophet is the mouth of God on the earth.  I like to do an example where I put my fist out and then ask them to put their fist underneath mine.  They then attempt to follow my fist.  They don't know where I'm going to move it, so of course it's hard.  Then I hold a pen and they hold the other end of the pen.  it is then very easy to move along with my hand.  My hand is an example of God.  With out prophets we don't know how to follow Him exactly, but when we have a prophet, we know what God wants us to do.  Now, of course that doesn't take away our own personal revelation for our lives, but a prophet gives us the information that we all need in order to return to the presence of God.

This week we were running a little bit late, and with public transit you never know when you'll get anywhere exactly.  We were waiting for a marshootka and we decided to pray.  The next one was ours.  We had actually gotten on on the wrong side of the street.  The driver got to the end of his route and asked us where we needed to go.  we told him and he explained we had gotten on the wrong one.  Usually they have a break before they start their route again, but he immediately pulled out and went back the other way so that we could get where we needed to go!! AWESOME!!  I have had a bit of a struggle with the language this week.  I didn't feel like I could understand as much or talk as much... it was kind of frustrating.  After one of those lessons where I didn't feel I could say very much, we were heading home on a marshootka.  I ended up sitting next to this super nice lady and was able to just talk with her.  She wasn't really interested to talk about  the gospel, so we talked about other things, but wow!  It was just what I needed!  She said I spoke Russian well! haha  It was kind of funny as she wore the same perfume as Grandma and when I talked with her it felt like I was talking with Aunt Becky or Grandma.  I LOVED IT!! :)  As we were getting out, sister Zamorina accidentally stepped on her skirt... luckily it didn't fall down, but I still found it very funny.

We were able to meet with Natalia this week.  She is the Relief Society president in our ward.  Her daughter has the most amazing story how she joined the church!  she met the missionaries and got baptized when she was 13.  Decided to go on a mission and served in Washington D.C. (p.s. ask Elaina what her last name is.  She served several years back at the visitors center there and maybe they knew each other!!!).  After her mission her mom, Natalia, got baptized and her daughter then went to America just feeling she needed to go there to meet her husband.  I'm leaving out  a lot of details, but she just got married and lives with her husband who served a mission in Russia, in Georgia! haha  She made us the most DELICIOUS lunch!  It was cheese filled, fried-ish kind of bread things...I don't know how to describe it, but they were SO yummy!

One night this week we were so hungry that we ate half a watermelon... in the morning as we said what we were thankful for, I said that I was glad that I couldn't get fat off of watermelon because it's mostly water..  Sister Zamorina asked how I knew and I said because I had to use the bathroom last night.  She started laughing and said that she had had to use it 3 times last night!! hahaha!  I couldn't stop laughing!!  I love my companion!

We have a new little girl we're teaching.  She is 9 years old and her mom wants her to get baptized this Saturday.  so, this week we have been rushing to try to help her get all of the lessons.  We have tried to do interesting things for her.  When we taught about the Law of Chastity for instance, Sister Zamorina did a little cut-out of a princess.  We made her a crown.  Kings and princesses live and castles.  Temples are the house of God, and so, we as his children, we are like princes and princesses.  We talked about how she wants to get married in the temple to a prince who has also kept himself clean.  We talked about how princesses wear special clothes and we, as children of God also need to dress modestly.  We will wait to get married in the temple and then start our families with our prince etc... We hope that she understood enough of what she needed to at that age!! haha

This week at sports night we started playing with the football and about 10 little Russian kids ran and started chasing us and trying to get the ball away from us!! It was like a zoo!  We would have to run and almost tackle them to get the ball back and then they would start running back and forth in between us as we kind of played keep away.  we ended up playing with them a little bit and I taught 2 of them... kind of... how to throw a Frisbee! haha  It was way cute and funny!  Most of them, the little boys and girls, were just in underwear running around! :)  I also got to play my violin at church on Sunday!  I played dad's favorite version of "if you could High to Kolob."  I felt so blessed to be able to do that as I can't always share my testimony in words, so I hope that they could feel it through my music!  After our Branch President came up to us and he asked me if I could play every week, or maybe every other week while I was here!  I guess one of his counselors had talked to him and said that it was SO wonderful to here the music and that I wouldn't always be here to play, so they needed to use me while I was here!! haha!  Well, hope you all had a WONDERFUL week!!
love,
Cectpa Cunningham
Natalia and me with her yummy lunch!!

 Our half watermelon! haha night time... don't judge how we look!  It is 122 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity on top of that!!!  Our apartment has about 86 degrees Fahrenheit!!!  So,  watermelon does the trick!!!

Our missionary family at the baptism.

Playing with the little kids.

 I taught them how to play ninja destruction at sports night! love it!

  Crammed in the car with Ulya who leaves on her mission soon and our investigator Ekaterina! She took us to her friends house, so we had 3 investigators who all work for the company Nature Sunshine.  it was started by an LDS person and is based in Provo.  Sergei, one of the men, said he'd noticed the brilliant light of the smiles of the owners of the company, who are LDS, and he said that we have them too!! :) We read Lehi's dream with them!  Cool!

video
Morning Work Out

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good times in Krasnodar! August 15, 2011

Krasnodar... oh HOW I LOVE KRASNODAR!!!

So many way awesome things have happened this week!!!  Here we go!! This one day we were coming back to the city on a marshytka and I helped this old lady on.  She opened up her purse and she had a bowl full of blackberries.  She made Sister Zamorina and I eat SO many! haha!  lucky we didn't get sick!! :)  It was so funny this week also!  We were sitting on a bench waiting for a couple minutes for our lady to meet us for a lesson.  There was a lady in the apartment building nearby and she just sat there watching us out of her window on the 3rd floor.  Sister Zamorina said hello and we talked a little bit too her.  She went and got some paper and a pen and even wrote down our number! haha! I haven't ever really talked to people through windows, but it has happened serveral times while I've been here in Russia!! haha! LOVE IT!!  On Thursday we were on our way to the church building and this drunk man asked if we could call a taxi for him.  He wasn't dangerous, just sitting there wanting a taxi to get home.  So, Sister Zamorina called like 3 times to try to explain to the taxi where we were.  We had to wait for the taxi to come, as we had called on our phone.  It was bad because we were meeting up with sister Potter that day so that she could come work with us.  The elders and elder and sister potter were all waiting for us!! :)  Well, we waited, and waited adn then finally the man just said, oh well... I'll just walk home!  I couldn't help but laugh!  He could have just said he'd walk home in the first place! haha  We also started several new traditions this week!  The two girls that live next to us have these little beach cruising bikes, so every other day Sister Zamorina and I ride them on this really pretty path here in Krasnodar!  It is SO pretty and looks like Europe!  And it's just fun to cruise on their bikes!  The other tradition that we started is a little more serious.... So, I have a horrible time fully waking my brain up in the morning.  this week we read Alma 37:37 in a lesson.  It says "and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God."  I decided that that was for me.  So every morning we have to say at least one thing that we're thankful for!  Sometimes they're kind of wierd as we may be half a sleep... for example, this week Sister Zamorina said, "I am glad that it's almost breakfast time." But it has really helped make our mornings... well, for me at least, so much better! Also at night we have started saying one or more things that made us laugh, or that we found funny during the day!  It's great to go to bed laughing with smiles on our faces and wake up with thankfulness!! you should try it!!

This week on Thursday we worked all day with Sister Potter.  she is the Senior sister here in Krasnodar! It was SO great to work with her, but i have to tell you... wow!! I was SO tired at the end of the day because I had to translate for her all day!  I had to translate what everyone else was saying, what she was saying, and then also try to talk and participate in the lessons myself!! haha!  So ya... I basically talked ALL DAY LONG!! And my brain hurt so badly from having to really stretch to try to understand EVERYTHING, but it was really good as I had to always be REALLY paying attention and REALLY trying to understand everything that people were saying!

We also got stuck in an elevator! haha  the doors had started to close on me so Sister Zamorina tried to jump in by pushing the doors open.  Well, they closed most of the way, but then stopped.  Elder Potter came and try to man handle the doors open as he peeked in at us through our small crack, but in the end, after about 15 minutes maitenance came and got us out! haha!  It was rather comical! :)  We also had a music night this week! Wow!!  They enjoyed the american fiddle tune i played, but wow There is SO much talent here in Krasnodar!  Everyone who performed did a FANTASTIC job!!  We had plays, singing, dancing, etc!  ANd one of the highlights... haha... Larissa and Sergie were M.C.ing and they got up to announce the next song.  In the dead silence their little daughter yelled, "Mom! I have to go pee!!!"  we all laughed!

I also saw a picture of Brother Porter, my MTC teacher, at Denis's home! haha Denis and our Branch President (ammon and joseph will really enjoy this story) were in a band together.  They had long hair and wore all kinds of punk clothes.  When we visited Bishop's house this week we knew that we had to hear the whole story of how he joined the church.  After bringing out enough cakes, candies, and soda to feed 6 elders... we asked him to tell us his story.  He had actually been a satanist! ya! cool huh!  After he had decided to turn his back on Jesus Christ, he had a dream!  In his dream he saw the Savior.  The Savior looked at him and waved goodbye with tears running down his cheeks.  After this his son ended up in the hospital and his wife got sick and they ended up meeting the missionaries, etc.  I didn't understand all that he said, but I want to hear more details!  They are SO amazing!  the elders also gave us a new investigator Amy this week!  Her brother and mom were baptized just a couple weeks ago and she has already talked to us about wanting to get baptized soon! so many miracles are happening!  We didn't have a lot of time to teach or contact at all this week pretty much as we worked A TON on the music night, but things are going AMAZING here!  I hope that you all are doing well! I LOV EYOU TONS!!
love,
cectpa Cunningham

 The rinok where we bought our fruit and vegetables

  I taught them how to play pictionary at FHE and at first they just walked and didn't really get it... but then they got WAY into it and were running and having a BLAST!!

 Riding bikes in the morning

 our day with Sister Potter

 Started making popsicles in plastic cups by freezing yogurt and fruit... great on a hot day!! or hot all the time apartment!

typical night... eating lots of watermelon.. this is what's left

 Ulya, my comp, katya, and amy!! :) I love them!!

 our investigator Ekaterina who invited all of her friends to church also!! :)

 sister zamorina on our bike ride!!

this is a family picture of the family we live with... i hope it was ok I took this pic. of their picture... but I couldn't help it... so I was wrong that they don't have a son... but notice the Book of Mormon in their family picture!! I LOVE THEM!! ;)

Me and Amy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Krasnodar!!! August 8, 2011

Wow!!  I LOVE KRASNODAR AND SISTER ZAMORINA!!!!

This has been SUCH a wonderful week! Full of SO many miracles and adventures and wow... it has just been AMAZING!!  I will try to express everything that has happened.... :)

After our wonderful party at presidents, which I'm actually working on sending a video to you right now... so I hope that it comes through.. Sister Ivanova and I went out to go and visit an old city.  There really wasn't much to see, and we only had like 40 minutes... but we wandered around and saw this beautiful church.  There was also a really cool view over a river... I think it was the Don with the big city of Rostov in the background.  IT was great to just get out and enjoy nature a little bit.  At the end of the day my head was really spinning though because I had been in the sun ALL day!!

Well, Wednesday morning came around and I got all packed up and headed to the office.  At about 4 we headed down to the voksal (train station) and boarded a train to KRASNODAR!!  It was a fun 4 hour train ride! Super hot... no air conditioning... but Elder Ness and Elder Haws and I just talked and our two Russian elders (Reingard and a mini missionary) slept! haha  We made it in to Krasnodar at about 8:30 p.m.  Sister Zamorina was brought to the train station by Dima and some girls in our ward!  I didn't know who was who as it all happened so fast and there was just lots of hugging and what not... haha  Dima drove us to our apartment and OH MY GOODNESS!!!  I felt like I had literally come home!  We live in part of the house of some members.  It's a tiny apartment, but OH SO COZY!!  The wallpaper is yellow with stars and moons on it, and it glows in the dark when we turn out the lights! :)  Our carpet is like one of those rugs that has all of the roads and houses on it... you know... where little kids play with their toy cars!  But it covers our whole bedroom floor!! :)  We have our room with a bunk bed and desk and bookshelf and a bit of an open space, a walk in closet, small bathroom and kitchen!  The members that live next to us are a single mom with 2 daughters and a son.  There is one door that connects our houses and it's SO cute as sometimes they just knock on it just to say hi and give us hugs.  My first night the daughter Margarit brought us over a little treat!  It is SO nice to live with members SO close!

 Wow!!  It is TRULY a miracle to be here!  The minute I got here I felt like I had come home! Sister Zamorina is WONDERFUL!  I LOVE teaching with her!  So many miracles have happened this week!  I do not understand every single word that people say, but I usually can understand what we're talking about.  Yesterday we had a lesson with a member.  Sister Zamorina and I didn't really have time to plan and put a lesson together, but I was able to talk and teach along with her!  I feel like I finally found myself this week!  In English I can say what I think and feel and teach how I would normally teach, but finally this week I feel like I found myself in Russian!  I can pretty much express everything that I want to say and how I feel.  Of course, it's with a very limited vocabulary, but I can understand most things and talk with people, and just share thoughts and stories in lessons!  Also, the members here are SO amazing and are always helping me with my Russian! 

A really cool experience happened yesterday.  It was fast and testimony meeting yesterday, so I bore my testimony and introduced myself.  After church I went to find and introduce myself to the members that I hadn't had a chance to talk to before church. I talked with one man, and I didn't fully understand what he had said, but he told Sister Zamorina and the elders, so I got the whole story... but anyway, he told me that he had had a dream about me.  He said that he had seen me in his dream and and he then saw me in church on Sunday when I bore my testimony.  He said that in the dream I had come to him and given him a big hug.  He said that he had realized and felt that in the dream I had brought the love of God to him and his family.  His name is Alexander, and I found out this week that one of our investigators is actually his wife Olya!  I feel such a drive to do the work and teach and I hope that i can use every second here to be and instrument in God's hands in bringing the love of God to the people in Krasnodar! I feel SO happy and excited and really hope that my Russian will improve even more!!

I just really hope that i can do all that i need to do to fulfill my purpose in bringing the love of God to these people!!......

We haven't had anytime to contact here yet, as we have been teaching lessons!  We have a wonderful investigator Zara.  She committed to prepare to be baptized on September 17.  She is 22 and has a little daughter.  I love teaching with Sister Zamorina!  All of our lessons have seemed SO natural and we just talk with them and discuss the principles of the gospel!  It's SO natural and we both just share and talk and laugh!  And most importantly the spirit is there and that also means that I can understand more!!

Love you all!

video
A video from the party at President's house.

 A better close-up of our shirts!!

 Us getting ready to board the train to Krasnodar!!

 Us and our signboards.  Elder Ness on the left, Elder haws, sister Zamorina and I

Katya, a new member and music wiz! We love her A LOT!! She is WONDERFUL!!

 Funny looking cat I saw in the morning!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Thing!! August 1, 2011

Hello From Rostov!!!

Well, sorry if the e-mil last week didn't make a ton of sense as I had to quickly retype it.... :(  So, I want to clarify a few things. Olya-- The AP's had the feeling that they needed to go out and contact a month or so back.  They met Olya on the street who studies in Utah. She wanted to get baptized but had decided to wait until she was home in Rostov.  When she got here she tried to find the church online, but none of the numbers worked... but the Lord provided a way for her to find our elders!! And he AP's couldn't teach her alone as she was a girl, so they asked us to help!! We really didnt' have to do anything!  She was SO amazing!  As we taught her dress became more modest and we taught that she should only wear one pair of earrings and the next time we saw her she had taken out her second pair!! She is SO amazing!! And no, Sister Nechiporova didn't put anything in the food on
purpose.... It was chicken and so maybe the chicken was just bad... or a little undercooked or something... we dont' know!! haha

So, I have found a friend on the track we run on!  haha!  He calls me "Zaika" it means like little rabbit and always says hi to me!! haha! he told me one time "You run so fast, baby, you should run slower!' and then he asked me if I was preparing for the Olympics in Sochi!! haha!  Well... it has definitely been COOKIN' here!!  This week we saw
a thermometer that had been sitting in the sun and it said 51 degrees Celsius.  i would have you know that that is 122 degrees Fahrenheit!! OUCH!!  And our apartment is at a constant of about 86 degrees ....haha... yes... everyone is just sweaty ALL the time!!

We were able to teach Svetlana again this week.  She is SO SO humble and just SO wonderful!  She just listens SO intently and wants to learn!  I really hope that we'll be able to see her read the Book of Mormon and pray and gain a witness of truth from God for herself!! Our favorite questions we used this week were about happiness.  We
would ask people what happiness was, and what gave them happiness in life.  We would then testify that just when we follow physical laws of health, etc we are healthy, that God gave us commandments and his laws so that we could be happy.  sometimes we feel like they tie us down or our prohibiting, but our Heavenly Father knows what we must do to be happy, and that is why he gave us commandments!!

So... random funny story... The elders from Zapodny gave us a number of a girl that they had taught.  She is a little different, but we had never met her before.  There was a baptism in the other ward and so we asked her if she'd like to come.  She asked us if she would need to bring her swimsuit....  haha!  It was really funny!

After returning from church on Sunday we were contacting as we usually do.  When we are just on the way to somewhere else we usually just pass out passalong cards with our number on it.  Sister Ivanova gave this man our card and he got really angry.  He ripped it up and threw it in her face.  HE then yelled at her to go away.  She stepped away and was all ok... ok....  I was just standing there awkwardly... not knowing if he had seen me or not.  He then started yelling at me and coming toward me.  We were in this like outside market, shopping area
and just were walking away from him as he yelled at us.  No one did anything...  But then there was this little lady who was probably about 3 feet tall and she asked the man what we had done to him?  When he finally had gone away, this little women came up to me and wanted me to give her all of my pass-along cards.  I didnt' want to, as I figured that she was going to throw them away.  I gave her some and then she asked Sister Ivanova for hers too.  Sister ivanova gave her some also.  This little woman then went and started handing them out to everyone in sight!!  And then she came back to get more from us. We gave her all that we had ready and she went around handing them out to everyone!!  I gave her a pamphlet about the purpose of life and our contact info and we thanked her!! She was just SO cute and wonderful!! She made our day!!

Well, sorry that this is a little short today, but we had a party at President's house for P-day and then Sister Ivanova and I are going to go see an old town in the area!  It is my last p-day in Rostov!  We heard transfers and I am going to Krasnadar to serve with ......SISTER ZAMORINA!!!! YAYAYAYAYA!!  I feel SO blessed that I will have gotten to serve with a native for the first 6 months of my mission! She is SO wonderful, but speaks SOOOO fast so it will be good for my Russian!! :)

love you all,
Cectpa Cunningham


 Me Sergei and Natasha and fam! love them

 Viktor and Svetlana! love them 

Sister Ivanova and I with our shirts that we made!! yayaya!