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Monday, October 17, 2011

Flashmob! Rockin' Krasnodar October 17, 2011

Another exciting week in Krasnodar!
Before I forget, I saw Alena and Trisha in Mo-tab!! I love seeing you both during General Conference!!! Love you guys!  This week there were some visa trips that took place in our zone, and since Krasnodar is kind of a central city we ended up having about 6 elders here.  We decided to all get together one morning and try doing a reading of the Book of Mormon flashmob!  There is a fountain on the center walkway of Krasnodar with benches surrounding all of it!  The Potter's came with us also and so we had about 3 missionaries on one side of the fountain and 4 on the other.  Elder Hansen and I took the job of contacting the people that went through.  So, the point is that all around the fountain the missionaries each just sat reading a Book of Mormon.  Elder Hansen and I would just contact those that had walked through and hopefully seen and been interested, wondering what this book is that everyone is reading.  We are hoping to do it with members as it is always better to have normal people without name tags reading the book and helping us!  It worked out pretty well though and was fun!  We gave away about 4 Book of Mormons in about 40 minutes!  I also had a funny experience... I contacted these 2 men sitting on a bench together and started talking with them.  I asked them how they know each other and the one wearing a hat took it off--showing me that they look like each other-- and said that they were brothers.  One of them lives in Germany and the other one here.  They loved that I could speak Russian and at the end one of the brothers-the one who lives here- took a Book of Mormon.  As I was getting ready to walk away I stuck out my hand to shake theirs and one of them took my hand and kissed it... haha  I was a bit stunned and then as I walked away couldn't stop laughing! :)  Gotta love 40 year old men!

This week I also got two personal tutor lessons with Sveta from our ward!  It was SO great!  Sister Zamorina was practicing for our upcoming music night and so Sveta just worked on helping me with my Russian.  She had me write sentences and tell her stories about my family and she helped correct my grammar.  Serving with a Russian companion is the best because I pretty much speak and hear Russian 24/7 (I try to do pretty well at speaking English at home because I need to help her learn English).  So, most people can understand what I'm saying, but my grammar is not very good.  I'm hoping to get better with that!  It was so neat to be able to talk with Sveta though.  I told her all about the year that dad had his stroke and all the blessings and the things we had learned and the relationship of mom and dad through it all.  She said that you (mom and dad) were an example to her, and that your story had helped her know and feel what changes she needed to make in her life!  Thank you mom and dad for being SO amazing! :)

I have been wanting sometime to just get on a bus and ride it to the end and then just stay on it and ride it back... well... I got my dream this week.  We were heading out to a members house, and we are inevitably ALWAYS late to her house, she lives WAY out there.  Well, we had to transfer buses and the second one that we got on was not the right one...  It would have been crazy to try to make it out to her house and then head back to the church for whatever else we had that day, so we just stayed on the bus, which was almost to the end of the line and then headed back. haha  On the way back this WAY too nice of a man sat by me.  He had brought grapes along with him and thought that it would be rude to eat them in front of me if I didn't have any, so he kept giving me grapes!  He let me talk to him about the gospel, but I am not so sure he was super interested.  He gave us his number though and wanted ours.  He then wanted to take a picture of me so that he had a caller ID picture of me for when we called.  I said no, so instead he took a picture of the cover of the Plan of Salvation brochure.  So, next time he calls a picture of the Savior will pop up!  That is a pretty important call that he should answer I think! :)

I was on splits for a lesson with Sveta this week as Sister Zamorina was on another lesson.  We taught a lady named Lubov.  She is just really interested in talking about God and really open about it!  We had a good 3rd lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  And it's always GREAT to have a Russian speaker on the lessons as sometimes I don't always understand everything.  The funny part was that she couldn't leave her dog home alone or something, so she brought it with her to the lesson.  I think that that was a first time I have seen a dog in the church... we just went into a side room on the bottom floor.  During the lesson the dog was sleeping under the table and started snoring... :)  On the way home that night Sister Zamorina and I were singing Sound of Music songs and acting them out... aka we were running down the sidewalk!  It was good as we had to hurry home anyway, but it was SO fun to just laugh and sing!  I love Sister Zamorina!! She's the best!

Tanya got baptized this week!!  She has been such a miracle!  Immediately when we told her about Joseph Smith she just believed it was true!  She loves singing Joseph's Smith's First Prayer--- i think i may have sung it 100 times with her :)  She reads the Book of Mormon, D&C, and marked them like she was a member before she was even baptized!  She is 18 though and very active... so her baptism was really interesting!  Every time someone got done speaking she would thank them, and then during the bearing of testimonies after she would like have conversations with those on the stand who had gotten up to bear their testimony! :)  It was way funny and finally we got her to kind of quiet down!

We went over to dinner at Vladamir and his wife's house last night.  They fed us and the Elders some kind of onion pastry thing, a Russian egg salad, chicken and potatoes, bread with some kind of spreadable cheese sauce, and fruit stuffed pastries and cake for dessert! :)  He has been coming to our church for a while but has not been really open to the gospel, so we are trying a bit of a different route with him.  He's really passionate about what he teaches (it's about art and child development or something) so he gave us a brief rundown about what he teaches.  Yesterday after he talked with us we were able to share a little spiritual thought and for the first time he talked openly about what he believes and didn't just put his head in his hands! :)  We have been wanting to do a culture night for a while and his wife also said that she would like to go to the ballet with us as her husband doesn't like to go and she doesn't have anyone to go with!  We are excited to be able to get to know her better! she is SO cool!

So... right now we have a couple of cool people we're working with, but there are SO many people here that are "married" but not legally married.  They usually live with their "husband" or "wife" and so they rely on each other for support but don't want to get married and have that commitment, but they can't just leave them because then the money isn't there... it's a way hard thing!  Ekaterina is so close and basically almost a member... but so far as she still smokes and needs to figure out her marriage situation.  She has asked her "husband" to get married and he's like, why!  Pray for something to open up there!  Well, anyway!  I sure love you all SO much!  have a WONDERFUL week!!

love,
Cectpa Cunningham

 cool rainbow we saw! what you see is the back of the church... basketball hoop etc.

 on our way to do the flashmob and after when it started raining harder.  yes... i'm in the process of falling in this pic... Elder Haws pushed me over!

  Art night

 makeshift rain cover for the guitar

 Baptism

 surprise Sister Zamorina did for me!! the 9month what i love about you!! 9 months already on my mission!! wow!!

our room! love it!!

video
This is part of a video of the song that Sister Zamorina and i put together for the baptism!  It was WAY fun we just kind of figured out our own parts and played and sang!  I played the violin for part of it too!

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