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Monday, October 10, 2011

General Conference in Russia October 10, 2011

Hello!

This week was another fun filled and full week!  We came into church for FHE this past Wednesday and our usual friends were perched on the front steps.  There are two homeless people that always sit on the steps of our church.  They are often drunk, and this time the man was just sitting there and had dried blood all over his face...  We don't know what to do most times because it's not good to have them sitting there right in the way of people trying to come into church.  But they're pretty good usually when we ask them to move.  There is also this kind of crazy women who always come to FHE.  She is not a member and always falls in love with the Elders.  She thinks that one of them will one day give her a free passage to America as their wife... too bad she is like 45 and kind of crazy! :)  She always insists on playing the hymns that we sing for FHE too.  She can play, but she is used to playing for like a Baptist church or something so she always changes the rhythms of the hymns and adds extra notes!  It's way funny trying to sing along and we all can't help but laugh!

I found a documentary on the life of President Monson this week!  It was in Russian and I watched it with Sveta while Sister Zamorina practiced a play that she's putting together for our upcoming music night.  I loved President Hinckley SO SO SO much, and when he passed away it was really hard for me.  As I watched this film, however, the spirit was SO strong and i realized that I had come to love President Monson just as much I had loved President Hinckley!  He is an amazing man and I know that he is a prophet of God and the Lord's mouthpiece on the Earth!

I had a fun experience trying to send a little package this week.  I had written a card and then had 2 extra pieces of paper I had written on to go along with the card.  I was sticking it in the bigger envelope that they had given me and the lady said that it was allowed to send the card, but not the extra 2 pieces of paper!! ya... weird.  So, then she had me stick it inside the little gift that I had gotten to like "hide' it from the people who check the mail or something.  ya... thinking about it afterward I'm not so sure that they had us do something that was allowed... but I was able to send my whole letter!  What a hassle it was though...

This week we met a women, Lina on the street who has lived in America for the past 20 years.  She gave us her phone number even though she is only visiting her mother here for 3 weeks.  We were getting ready to leave for District Meeting Friday morning and I realized that I hadn't filled our our potential investigators on our sheet this week.  I kind of brushed the thought aside to fill it out right then, but then decided that I should do it.  As I was looking through my planner I saw Lina's name and number written.  It was also written that we should call her at 9 a.m. on Friday morning.  It was about exactly 9 o'clock.  I called her and she asked where I had been registered in Krasnodar, as she needed to also get registered.  I was able to call Lydia and give her the information that she needed.  I invited her to come to General Conference and she said to just call in the morning.  I forgot again on Saturday morning, but was urged by the spirit during one of the first talks to call her.  I got up during one of the songs and called her.  She said that she couldn't come today, Saturday, but she thought that she could on Sunday. 

Everyone who came in our ward watched the sessions in the chapel in Russian and all of us American missionaries watched in English in a side room on a laptop computer!  It was GREAT to see it in English though and wow!! What an amazing conference!  Lina did come for an hour on Sunday, so I sat with her in the chapel in Russian.  I want to hear those Sunday morning talks again in English, but it was kind of fun to listen in Russian because I really had to pay attention to my feelings and thoughts of what the spirit was trying to teach me as I couldn't understand everything!  I'm not so sure Lina quite understood the importance of General Conference, as when she had to leave early she turned to me and said, "I know what this is, this is just ABC."  I'm not exactly sure what that meant...

General Conference was amazing and I loved all of the talks about the Book of Mormon and Elder Oaks talk about who we really believe that Jesus Christ is!  I'm excited to get the copy of the Ensign so I can have all of the scriptures that he used.  It was SO much about missionary work!  I was SO grateful for the testimony about Father's example by Sister Dalton and couldn't help but think of dad's example for me!  Much of my faith and testimony as a young girl did come because I saw the gospel in the life of my father and wanted to follow whatever he said to me! Thank you dad! I sure love you!  And mom!  one of the speakers used your favorite example with the 2 dots. one for the BOM and one for the Bible  I loved what Elder Scott said that the Book of Mormon was written by people who have the answers to the problems in life.  There were also SO many talks about Missionary work!  As mom always taught I had written and taken my questions to conference and I got almost all of my answers in the Sunday afternoon session!  So much was about Russia too!! I was a little worried about getting what I needed to hear as I had to listen in Russian for the first part of Sunday, but I just really felt at peace knowing that I needed to sit with Lina.  I loved Elder Richardson's talk about teaching BY the spirit! I hope that I can do better at that.  Also Elder Yamashita's words helped me remember that even though I can't always say everything, or express myself as I can in English the most important thing as a missionary is how we show our love.  That was such a tender mercy to hear his talk as sometimes I really feel rather helpless!  People have a special feeling about us as missionaries however because people can feel the love of God through us and our example.  Love is often more powerful than anything we can say.  I had another experience this week that made my week!  after running around and playing ultimate Frisbee at sports night I was just laying on the grass and talking with Amy.  I told her how blessed I felt to know her and that I knew that SHE was one of the reasons that I had received my call to serve in Russia!  As we were talking she said that the other night she was pretty angry.  Her brother Vitya said to her, "remember how Cunningham smiles?"  Amy said that immediately she couldn't help but smile and feel better!  It made me feel so good and confirmed that what Elder yamashita said was true!  The feeling and example of our love is the most important thing!  We are here to show God's love to people!!  Well, I love you all and hope you are having a WONDERFUL week!

Love,
Sister Cunningham

 a cake like thing we made

 Mama tatyana on the left!! and her sister olga on the right

 drew President Monson to contact with about Conference

  scary pictures... but sister Zamorina is teaching me how to draw!! lips, eye and nose!

sports night

 so, i had an infection on my finger this week. Mama Lidia was superworried when I showed it to her but so excited that we have an investigator who is a doctor.  so on sunday he did a mini operation on my finger!  i hope it's my one and ONLY operation I'll have in Russia! no worries! my finger is doing GREAT!!  it was funny bringing all the materials for my operation to church!! haha

 backrub line!! ya!! haha

  i know we have a lot... but more pics of my favorite AMY!!

  amy drew me! haha

this little cat crawled up my leg when I was typing home! he wanted to say hi to everyone!! so hello!!  there are two little kittens her in Lidia's house!! haha

video

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