Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 68 - September 26, 2016 Ukulele in Kazakstan?

       Hey there beloved readers!

I bought I ukulele and have been learning a lot. So hopefully when I get back, I'll be a pro! 
We are having our last visa trip this week. I'll be bringing my uke (Максим), 
so he'll be all over the world soon enough. 

When you have too many volunteers at the bus station.

Bussing it with the elders.

Man, so much to update y'all on...

Tuesday: Zone Training! It turned out pretty well! The Zone leaders had the great idea of having a zone breakfast before training. Usually we skip breakfast those days because we just don't have enough time to go, but we woke up at 5am to get ready and eat some good pancakes, 
has browns and eggs. Good one elders. 

We go hard for breakfast at zone training! 

More Food!

 Just like old time with Sister Miller!

Then we had some good training and then we had our bake off!! Woooo! 
While the elders put up a good fight (almost had me convinced they'd win) 
the sisters pulled strong and despite a mistake on my reading coherency, 
we managed to win!Hollah!!! 

          The winning cookie! Go sisters!!!!

    The vote on the Battle of the Sexes: Bake Off. 
   The sisters won even though I put a tablespoon 
  of salt instead of a teaspoon. . . oops haha

After we had Family History training from a Russian member 
from Moscow teach us. . . in English! What a champ. 
He is actually from Samara and he loves the volunteers! He is super awesome!

The Zone leaders and Sister Palmer and I 
rocking that training! Elders Call and Allred are such the homies. 
Notice the intentional matching of our zone. 

 Derping it at Zone training

Wednesday: We went to institute and were able to study about the fall 
of Adam and Eve and the Atonement. Agency and responsibility are two precious gifts 
we need to treasure. How great is it that we can choose to be happy?

Thursday: We had a Chinese Night (naturally). We had a decent group come. 
We printed out the Chinese Zodiac and some phrases in Chinese to teach them. 
While in the midst of teaching Russians how to speak Chinese, a young couple walks in . . . 
who are from Mainland China studying here in Kazan. Boy, did I feel pressure 
right then and there. If anyone knew how to say "ni hao," they did! Luckily, 
my simple Chinese was good enough and it turned out well. 

Notice the Russian to Chinese pronunciation guide 
on the board created by yours truly?

They LOVED the activity and are planning to come back next week. 
The members just about fainted seeing real Chinese people at our Chinese Night haha. 
I love them. The young man, who is one of the elders' friends even came to church! 

AHHHH They are so great!!!!! I felt so at home with them!

Friday: We met with the Family History specialist in our branch, Galina, 
who is the lady who called the museum. We tried to share some of the new skills 
and training from this past workshop, but she ended up teaching us! 
It was awesome, she knew everything and was just so kind. 

We were at a members home and they give this 
Russian fruit thing with a lot of seeds, 
so I spelled my name out with my fruit seeds haha #tooclassy

Sunday: We made brownies for a member's birthday and for the primary kids we teach. 
They LOVE it when we shared our homemade goodies with them. Later this Sunday, 
we found out that one of our members had all of her stuff stolen from her storage unit. 
She was just sobbing at church. We did our best to comfort her, but we can't bring back 
all her stuff, so we felt pretty useless. After church she headed back home. 
She had forgotten her bag so a member asked us to drop it off to her. 
Well we were walking and I felt so bad that she didn't have much food either, 
so we decided that this was a worthy cause to buy something even on the Sabbath. 
We just went to a nearby food shack and bought her cookies and crackers 
and hid them in her bag. We gave the bag to her, she had no idea we stashed a treat for her, 
but I just felt so good inside. The sum of the money was less than 2 dollars, 
but I was able to get so much more out of it. God truly does love all His children.

This week is conference. As usual we will be watching the week after. 
Tell me what your favorite talk was, or all of your favorites. If you are going to t
he conference center, give President Monson a great ol' hug from me and Russian volunteers!

Made some yummy chicken and cucumber stir fry. 
Thanks mom!
Much love, 
Cectpa Graham

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