Monday, February 13, 2012

Get the Work Rolling! February 13, 2012


Considering that it was like -27 this week, it wasn't so bad that we had to stay in sick for most of the week.  Sister LeBaron was not feeling up to par.  But this week on Friday we picked up our new mini missionary.  Her name is Sister Zaitzova.  She is from Sochi, which is in our mission, and will serve with sister LeBaron for the rest of the transfer.  She served a full-time mission in Ekaternberg and is so excited to be able to serve again for a little bit.  She has brought a lot of energy, laughter, and fun to our little apartment!  We love her.

I haven't really described the winters here, so I thought I should give some details!  It is SO SO SO COLD!!  When you have to wait for a Marshrootkaf for like 10 minutes you go numb!  We try to dance around and run around, but my feet usually loose most of their feeling!  Everyone is bundled up with their fur coats, and fur Russian Shopkas.  The little kids look like little Pilsbury dough boys and their parents carry them around on little sleds that they pull.  While crossing over a tramvai track this week I stepped in the middle of the track and sank knee deep into the snow! It was rather funny!  The Marshrootkas themselves are always fun because when you flag them down and they stop they usually slide for a good 5-10 feet on the ice before stopping!

Because of the whether, when we went contacting we usually go knocking.  This one time I got a little carried away wasn't patient enough to wait for an answer.  I had rung both doorbells and the people both came out from their doors (they usually have an outside apartment door with several different house doorbells next to it, then when you open that door there is a hallway or little entry way with more personal aparment doors).  We said we were missionaries and they were like, "we don't need them, do you?" "I don't need to talk to them do you?" and then as one person was going back into his house he told his neighbor to shut his door on us! haha

This week we knocked this one apartment building and this young like 17 year old girl answered.  She stepped outside her door and was like, "yes, I do want to hear more!  Tell me something."  Usually we just get no's and so her "tell me something" took me off guard and I didn't know what to say! haha  I just sat there like, "uh...uh... well.." It was way sad as her mom then came to the door and made her come back in.. .we hope that she'll maybe come to English Club.

This transfer has been an interesting part of my mission.  I felt almost like I had hit a wall.  I've seen miracles happen, but I just felt SO tired and had become content and lazy.  When Sister Zaitzova came she brought so much fire and love of missionary work.  I knew that now with just me and Sister Whitaker in our companionship there were some things that needed to change.  We hadn't been as strictly obedient and had become lazy about looking to make every opportunity a finding opportunity.  I had a bit of repenting to do and wanted to commit myself again to the work.  On Saturday morning I apologized to Sister Whitaker for my bad example and together we talked and made goals about what we could do to be more 100% obedient.  We also planned in a different way than I had been taught by my other companions.  We made the goals first, as a step of faith, and then make plans of how to reach our goal!

After setting our goals we have already seen some miracles.  Just on our way to and from the music night that we had in center on Saturday we were able to place two Books of Mormon. One was a young girl and I talked with her for like an hour and a half.  She said that her mom had cancer and so she'd prayed.  She said she's always believed in God and prayed to him.  The lady on the way home, we also talked to for like an hour.  Her husband died 3 years ago and she has 2 daughters, a 26 year old and 6 year old.  I told her that families could be together forever, but then she said that she'd had this dream where her dad had appeared to her but he was with another woman... i wasn't quite sure what to respond to that... so I just said, "but, families can be together forever!"  Hopefully we'll see them both again!  We told her we could come and teach them how to do FHE (thanks for that idea dad).  It felt SO good to see how many people are just so open and wonderful to talk with us. 

Yesterday we met with Pavel, that man who fixed the zipper on my coat.  He invited some of his friends to be there when we came and we also brought Brat Komo along.  They fed us chicken and potatoes with tortillas, a carrot dish, and then got some cake and fruit for us. We were able to place another Book of Mormon with Pavel's friend Zulya. He was not very interested.  He just wants to have good friends and he said that he could tell we are good people, but he doesn't seem interested to change or learn.  Zulya, however, seems very open and is interested to meet again.  As sister Whitaker said the closing prayer she paused as she was struggling to find some words and suddenly pavel speaks up and just finishes her prayer for her!  It was really funny!  Unfortunately Zulya lives in center Volgagrad, so we will probably need to hand her off to the Elder's this week, but I'm so excited to see and feel like the work is moving along again here.  We're committing to be more obedient and the Lord is blessing us!  Just on the ride over to write home a lady got on and was like, "What beautiful girls." It can be kind of awkward talking to people with my very strong accent on perfectly quiet transportation, but we took the opportunity to talk with her and gave her a church invite! 

I love you all! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Cectpa Cunningham


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