Monday, September 19, 2011

Krasnodar Miracles! September 19, 2011

My wonderful Family!

We had another baptismal date set this week!  Her name is Ekaterina! She is super active and bubbly.  Her husband is not really her husband... that is one of the things we need to get over... she has to get married to him before she can be baptized!  It has been amazing this week to see her!  I noticed more light in her face and eyes! she has been working SO hard to quit smoking and drinking coffee!  She had some bad headaches and got a blessing from Elder Potter! After the blessing she was just like WOW!!! Those really work!!  She is trying SO hard and doing SO well! We set the date for the end of October and fasted with her this Sunday to see if she can get her marriage situation figured out!

This week we started a new program!  Everyday we need to do an hour of power contacting.  We call it our "Power Hour."  This means that we talk to everyone we see, which we usually try to do anyway, but then also pray with them.  We were a little nervous about this as it can seem kind of weird to pray with someone on the street, but we knew that we would try it.  Our first contact on Tuesday was an older babooshka...  so, my thought in my mind was, well... we can practicesome tactics to pray with people on the street!  It worked!  WE just asked if we could demonstrate how we pray.  she could just listen and then at home she could try it!! HOORAY!!  It's been funny as almost everyday that we have contacted on the really pretty walkway in Krasnodar, we always meet and are able to talk to people in this one circular section of the pathway.  We call it our happy circle!! haha

We had a miracle this week as we were contacting, and it was in our lucky circle!! :) We came up to a girl sitting on a bench and started talking to her about the gospel.  She looked really down and like something horrible had just happened.  We asked her if she prayed and she said that she had been praying for the past half an hour and nothing had happened!  As we talked she finally told us that she had lost her wallet and so she didn't have any money to get home so that she could get to work.  We talked to her for a while and then had a prayer with her.  By the end of our conversation she was laughing and joking with us!  She said that her prayer had been answered, that we were the answer to her prayer.  She joked around that she should have prayed for God to send us to her sooner!  Her friend was on his way to lend her money, but I know that the Lord sent us to her as an answer to her prayer to help to lift her load and show her that he really
does care for His children!  When we are doing the Lord's work, He puts people into our path that we need to meet!  I'm so grateful that we were where we needed to be when we needed to be there!

We also had an awkward meeting this week as one of our investigators told sister Zamorina that the only reason he had been coming was because of her!  It was funny as I felt like I should be watching a love seen from a moving---I was just standing there watching as this boy told my companion he really liked her, but the glitch was that instead of be flattered like in the movies, sister Zamorina just said, well, are you truly interested in learning more about our church?! haha

Ekaterina's friend Rayisa also came to church with her this week.  She has been meeting with us and reading the Book of Mormon, but she said that she doesn't feel like it's true.  We talked about how revelation comes step by step.  I love the scripture in 2 Nephi 28:30.  We are given only little bits at a time, we need to act on the knowledge and revelation that we have received before we can get more!  We shared the story from 1 Nephi 18:1-3.  The Lord asks Nephi to build a ship. He has no idea how to do it, but step by step the Lord shows him how to build the ship.  I love how Nephi says that from "time to time" the Lord showed unto him "after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship."  Then in verse 2, Nephi tells us that he "did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men...but I did build it (the ship) after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me."  This principle is the same with our lives.  The Lord only gives us revelation for our lives a piece at a time, but as we follow it, our lives are not build "after the manner of men," but are built after the manner of God.  I really hope that we will be able to help her receive that answer that it's true.  I know that she has felt something and as she keeps working and praying and taking those steps of faith she will come to that knowledge!

The branch here is SO amazing! Don't worry mom!  I have several mom's in the ward!  Tatyana told me to be sure and write home to you that she was my mom here!  Also, Amy's and Vitya's mom I call mom!!  This
week also, Lydia (she is the owner of the house that we live in) fixed my skirt.  The zipper had broken.  I found it hung on our door and she'd put stickers on it and a picture of the Savior!  I thanked her SO much for it and she said that as she had fixed it she'd felt like my mom!!  So, I think that she felt your love for me as she worked on it just as you would have done!!  Thank you mom!!!  But don't worry, I have 3 mother's here!! :)

This week a man named Edward was baptized!  the spirit was WAY strong as we watched him be baptized!  He had been given a Book of Mormon several years ago.  He's about 65 and had read the whole thing.  He hadn't been meeting with the missionaries but just had been coming to the Potter's English class.  They usually have some kind of spiritual thought I think.  Well, he finally asked them what he needed to do to be baptized!  What a miracle!!  I have really felt that this week, that as we do the work the best that we can, the Lord provides the miracles!  People that have been prepared just fall into our laps!!

The work is AMAZING!!  Eward's daughter is visiting from Moscow and said that she would meet with us this week!!!  We're excited!

  We had a party for Sister Zamorina's one year mark and here we all are playing a game where we each had an animal! I love our Krasnodar Family!!

 The famous arch and fountain in Krasnodar.

 So... maybe this was kind of mean... but we had a fresh missionary from the MTC join our family this transfer.  His name is
Elder Belnap... so his first day in Krasnodar contacting... what do we do? ya... you guessed it, we played a joke on him.  Like we all were he can't really understand or say very much.  So Elder Ness contacts me (without my name-tag, and with headphones and a purse) and I say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I actually don't really speak Russian!"  So... we played the game for about 5 minutes, me pretending to be a golden contact and poor guy, he believed it the whole time!! when we were about ready to write down my telephone number I finally said, well, I'm actually sister Cunningham!  He gave Elder Ness a dirty look!! but we all got a good laugh!! :)

My very favorite Amy! Notice... we are wearing the same shirt!  We knew we had an identical shirt... but this was not planned!! :)

 We had an activity and I helped Amy make Borsch and some kind of cake, sweet bread!! SO YUMMY!!  don't worry! i will for sure make you all borsch when I get back! it's AMAZING!!

 We love sports night!!! :)  ooooorrrraaaa

  hehehehee.... some cute babooshkas... ya... we couldn't help it!! This is us in 50 years or so!! :)

 Just some statues and a fountain in Krasnodar.

 Mamma Irina

 Some more ladies from her choir.

 Me and my favorite Amy again.

 Us missionaries.

The children's choir.

President took some pictures last Zone conference!  Here they are!!


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