Monday, June 11, 2012

It was you! June 11, 2012

I love Russia!!

Let me just say that again... I LOVE RUSSIA!! And I really am going to miss all of the little things that you can only have and experience here.... the transportation, street vendors, weird drunk people (ok... that I may not miss very much) the sweet and amazing members with their amazing testimonies and miracle stories of coming to the church...

We went to visit Valentina (she's the older lady that I used to practice my Russian on when I first got here by always asking her how she had met the missionaries.)  It was SO funny!! When we went to her house she saw me and she was like, "It was you!!"  As we were walking in and for like 10 minutes after we got there she was blaming me and getting all mad at me for prank calling her.  We didn't understand what she was talking about at first but then she explained that I would apparently call and then hang up and then she would try to call me back and we wouldn't answer or we'd hang up on her.  She was like, "What is your name?"  I said, "K-ANINGHAM"   She was like, no, in Russian, so I said it again in Russian and then gave her my name-tag.  She looked at it and was just like, "hmph."  She then asked for our first names. I told her that I hadn't even been in Rostov for like a year!!  Well, she finally believed me that it wasn't me and then got over it and at church yesterday she was SO excited to see me!! haha!! It was so funny!

Sister Wood and I were on splits one day and we contacted into this really awesome lady.  She first told us that she didn't believe in God, but later in the conversation said that when she was having a hard time she would pray and she always got help to fix her problems!  It was so cool because as we talked I could feel the spirit really strong and felt the Holy Ghost helping us to be able to say all that we wanted to say.  It was just one of those times where you can really feel the gift of tongues because you can say everything right, or at least understandable.  I know that we needed to meet her that day and that she needed to hear what we had to say!!  We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and get her number.  We hope to meet with her this week and then pass her off to one of the other companionships when we leave.

After this cool experience we went to visit Natasha and Sergei.  It's SO cool to see them!!  I could just feel SO much love for them!! I can see how much their family has been strengthened and grown closer together after they were sealed in the temple a year ago!  They are SO amazing!  We challenged them to read their scriptures as a family everyday.  I will miss them SO much!

We had another other miracle this week.  We were looking for the run down house by the Don River that is filled with water from a hot spring.  (Don't worry... we didn't go swimming!  just wanted to see it! :)  We were having trouble finding it and so asked these two girls for directions.  One of the girls was going that way anyway and so started walking with us. It was kind of narrow side walks so I ended up walking with her as I had been the one to ask her for directions.  I started talking with her and she told me how had stopped believing in God when her brother had died but that she had had several dreams where she had seen him.  I told her how hard things often happen in our lives but that God has timing for all things and that our lives are the time and experiences that we need.  I told her that her brother is still alive and she said that she would be interested to meet and we could tell her more about God's plan and where her brother is!  She gave us her number and we are hoping to meet with her this week too!  

We also were stopped by this guy named Konstantine asking for the time.  We were on a way to an appointment and he started talking with us.  We couldn't tell if he was creepy or normal or what and then he bluntly told us, "This isn't about sex, I'm interested to know more about who you are." (yes... Russian men are that forward... the other day when I was contacting with Sister Whitaker and Wood we were walking and this guy was looking over at us so we asked him if he was interested to know more about God and then he asked us if we would have sex and we said no and then he walked away.... ya :)  We got his number and I called him last night and when he answered I told him that it was the sister missionaries.  He answered, "I know, I already put your number in my phone." haha  We invited him to FHE and he asked if he could bring a friend... so we'll see if he comes today!

Well, we're off to go and meet with some missionaries and Emi, Vitya, and Irina!! (they came all the way up to Rostov from K-dar to see me before I leave to go home!! :)  We're going to go to the Zoo!! I hope that we will have a wonderful and exciting last week where we can find some more people and help them accept the gospel!  I love you all so much!

Cectpa Cunningham

My entire mission..

Monday, June 4, 2012

I will call you an hour ago June 4, 2012


Wow!! Back in Rostov!! It's SUPER crazy!!  I'm just WAY glad that we don't live in the same apartment that we lived in when I first got to Russia. This one is a lot happier!  Besides our water heater braking and not getting fixed for FOREVER and having to turn on the hot water with a rusty pliers... it's GREAT!!! :)  Right before we got to our apartment early Wednesday morning, one of the elders had been showering and the hot water had broken and water  had gone everywhere. They got it all cleaned up before we got there... but we still had to get it fixed.

We called Sister Nechiporova and she sent over a man from one of the branches.  He was late and got there at like 9:45 p.m.!  Then he came the next day and tried to fix it but when he turned the hot water on it exploded, so he had to call another man who came that night for like 3 minutes, said he understood and then left.  Then finally.... the third day someone came and got it all fixed!!!  It was SO funny as the man Armen would try to speak English with us.  He was asking me all these names of things in English... and I'm like... 'i don't know... I'm not a plumber!"  And then he would hold up something and say, "Example number 1." and then holding up the next thing say, "Example number 2."  My favorite was when he was leaving and said to me, "I will call you an hour ago..." haha!

It's been fun as I got to go on splits with the other Center Sisters, Sister Whitaker and her new companion fresh from the MTC Sister Wood! We did English Club together and Sister Wood and I got to be bankers and decide how much money the groups would get for a loan.  We would joke around and for example, when the rock band asked for a loan we bargained for free season tickets before we would give them the loan. The funny thing is... it probably wasn't that funny in Russia because that's what they actually would do! :)

Saturday night we had a great meeting with Olga and her daughter Liza. Do you remember them?  I had taught her husband Alexander when I first got to Russia.  The one who wasn't ever able to quit drinking!  I called her to get the number of bus that we needed to take to her house and when we got there was like, "I remembered you!!!"  It was SO good! We talked about the love of God and she told the most amazing story about when she met the  missionaries.  They had knocked on her door once when her husband wasn't home, then another time when just
her husband was there, and another when her husband was in the shower.  They wanted her number but she was going to change one of the numbers so that it didn't work, but for some reason she wrote her number right.  As she was walking away the words came into her head, "I come and knock at your door, but you don't even want to open it and let me in."  It was SO cool!!  I love her so much! She gave me the biggest hug on Sunday when we saw her!

The other sisters went for Sister Tunney's last Sunday in Severney so I went on splits with the Center Sisters and went to our branch. It was SO good to see everyone and even OLYA was there from America visiting!!!! She's getting married soon and so her fiance will be there next Sunday!  It was SO awesome to see everyone again! And actually be able to talk to them!  I got put in primary for one of the hours and got to work with Natasha.  I can't believe how big her kids have gotten!  Well, i wish you all a FANTASTIC week!!!

love you!
Cectpa Cunningham