Monday, December 26, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! с рождеством December 26, 2012

This week has been very interesting!!  After our fabulous party at the Potter's we went to church for FHE and Katya played a song for me on the piano and sang in English ("One Voice"). It's an amazing song and made me feel really good!  Emy and their family gave me a children's book in Russia, a movie, etc. and they bought me a cake!! I was already SO full that I didnt' want to eat ANYTHING more, but I knew that I had to as they had bought it.  So, going home I was ALREADY WAY stuffed, and then we got a knock on our door separating our apartment from Lidya's and their families.  We went into their living room that was dark and on a table was another cake for me with candles in it!!  They sang to me and gave me a gift!  They are SO sweet!! I felt so much like home!! It was a very special day!  Thankfully they just let me take some of the cake back to our apartment as we explained we had already had 2 cakes that day!

We only had 2 working days this week and were able to meet some members.  We realized, however, that some of them really don't understand the basic principles of the gospel at all or really have a testimony!!  It's really bad!  Hopefully we can help them.  We also tried to go out to the Erominka's this week.  The traffic was SO bad that it took us like an hour and a half on the bus and then we only had like 10 minutes with them!! But I'm so glad that we went anyway.  We also got to meet with Lida, a young married girl in our ward!  She is SO cute and just talked with us for like an hour about how she met the missionaries and met her husband!  After Sister Tunney turned to me and said, did you ever think that we would just have an our long conversation in Russian and understand what they were saying?!  It is truly amazing!!  We are far from fluent, and probably never will be... but it's such a miracle to be able to interact and communicate with these people.

We did however lose Roman this week.  He came to church on Sunday and he just seemed really angry and said that he had some questions.  We planned to meet with him on Tuesday.  HE came to FHE Monday and then started walking with us on our way home.  Sister Tunney and I got kind of scared as he was so angry he was shaking.  We called the Elders and Elder Tropnikov took him back to the church and talked with him.  Elder Tropnikov is an amazing missionary.  He saw the very crude and horrible episode of South Park about the Mormons.  He was interested and just wanted to meet with the missionaries because he thought it would be fun to mess with them... well, there you have it... he is now a missionary himself!  Roman called us that night though and just said that he's not ready.  He knows where he can come if he wants to come back and feel the peace that he has already felt.  We told him that we're always here.

Thursday evening we headed up to Rostov for our Visa trip.  We spent the night at President Nechiporov's and then headed our early in the morning.  This time, the mission driver Vascili, just drove all 7 of us in the mission van.  We drove to the Ukrainian border and then got out.  We got through the Russian, Ukrainian, and then Ukrainian border OK again, but then at the Russian border they asked if we had two passports and wanted to know why.  We gave them the sheet that said it was legal for us to have 2 passports, but the lady wasn't buying it.  She told us to go and stand off to the side.  By this time we were already all FREEZING!! And standing for another 20-30 was the last thing we wanted to do.  As we waited, a random man came up to us.  He asked if we spoke English or German.  He said that German was better.  So, at this point I got nominated to try to speak with him in German.  He asked me what we were doing here, etc.  And I tried REALLY hard to be able to remember some German and talk with him.  Then, randomly he starts speaking Russian!!  I'm like, why are you trying to talk with me in German?!! I speak way better in Russian!  He wanted some information about the church.  Elder Hill said that he had brought a brochure, but it was in the van across the border.  He said well, come on let's go get it.  We said that we were waiting for something. He then says, I'll get you through!  So we go up with him (and he's not dressed like the guards or anything), and he just marches into the office.  The same lady at the window was suddenly way nice and stamped us all through.  When we got back we realized that we didn't have the brochure after all, so we could only give him the missionaries number in Tagenrog and hope he called them.  It was a miracle!  He just appeared and then disappeared!! We decided that we met one of the 3 Nephites at the border and he just tried speaking German to me to test me to see if I remembered!
dar!  And we ate a TON of food again.  The same night was our ward Christmas party, so we played for that too.  After hearing our missionary choir (they had volunteered us and asked us to sing, but our practice was our first time singing together) they kicked us out and put some other people in singing... oops! :)  And then Sunday we got to call home!! It was great skyping and seeing all of you!!  I love you tons and hope that you all had a MERRY CHIRSTMAS!!

Cectpa Cunningham


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