Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 79 - December 12, 2016 Goodbye Motherland. . . Hello Mother!

Wow, where to even start? Honestly, I'll just talk about my last week, 
because it's been incredible!

Monday: We went to our weekly film club at the university. We were on our way and 
got of the metro (subway) and saw this group of young people singing outside in negative 
degree weather! We went up and took a little video. They are Christians from Korea! 
They study here, but they also share their testimonies about Christ as much as possible. 
They were out singing songs about Christ. It was super sweet and inspiring. I'm glad I was 
able to talk to them for a little bit and tell them that we greatly respect them and we believe
 in Christ, too! Then at film club, we brought the uke and geetar and played our famous, 
"Come, Come Ye Saints." They asked us to play it again, then we taught them the words 
and the next thing you know, all 15 of us are singing this beloved hymn! We then talked 
about the historical significance of the early pioneer saints. It lead to more questions, 
which we couldn't answer because of the religious law, 
but it was still a super sweet, tender moment!

Tuesday: Packed my suitcases. . so sad! Then last minute souvenir shopping with 
a member and a friend, Anton. We got sushi at this pretty cool place. Anton is one of 
our friends from the university. We have spent some time with him this past month 
and a half. He has become of our really good friends! 

Wednesday: Met with Vera, one of my favorite babooshkas ever! She is hilarious and 
stern all at the same time. She wished me all the best luck, especially at finding a husband 
(a common blessing here in Russia). Then we had institute! It was really good. 
I got a bunch of polaroids with members I love here in Kazan. 

Thursday: Met with our dear friend Gyzel and Lera! They are the sweetest girls ever. 
Gyzel drew me a picture in my planner. So sweet. Then later that night we had family night. 
It was Japanese themed and we made sushi rolls. I taught them the tricks, 
but honestly they preferred their rolls to have cheese in it. . . .yes you read that right. 
Cheese. Cream cheese is best :/ I don't get it either haha. Anyhoo, we had 4 friends there. 
We had the incredible experience of sharing the gospel with our friends (Anton included) 
and telling them about the Book of Mormon. Almost gave them out, but they wanted 
hard copies. Anton was SO interesting in the KM since he had never seen the book before. 
Luba, a young woman in the branch, shared a beautiful spiritual thought on Patience. 
She asked someone to read Mosiah 3:19. Anton's hand shot up and he read it for us. 
Then he continued flipping through the book with great eagerness. Sister Palmer and 
I almost cried with joy. It is sooo much more rewarding when you are sharing the gospel 
with a good friend. It just means much more!

Friday: BEST DAY EVER! Did service at an elementary school with our friend Marina. 
We all made t-shirts for one another in our district. SO FUNNY.  Saw all of my friends 
in Kazan for one last big hurrah. We went ice skating and had snowball fights. 
It was literally bliss!!!

Saturday: Traveled all day. Elders helped move all my bags and our friend Marina met us 
at the bus station. She made sure we were all settled in and even bought us some juice and 
muffins as our lunch. She's like our russian mama here. Her daughter is member in 
Los Angeles so I amgoing to meet her sometime when I get back. So cool!! 
Then we left to Samara. The sisters fed us and took care of us!

Sunday: BEZI!!!! Man, I've missed this place. They were in a new building. 
It was incredible. The members have been waiting for over a year to move to this new 
building and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! 3 stories high and so wonderful. There was a 
special spirit in that meeting. My good friend, Elder Pacheco, was then release as 
a branch president there for the past 5 months. It was incredible to see the change in the 
whole branch since the time I first served there (exactly a year ago) and now. 
It is night and day. I am so grateful for the Spirit. Then a member invited me 
and Elder Pacheco over for dinner at their place. 
We went on elder-sister splits. . . .lol just kidding! We went with our companions. 
It was super sweet!!!

Anyhoo, super long letter. I'm sorry, but I hope you enjoyed that! I love my life. 
I love the Lord. I know He loves you. God is good. I know that. I have felt that. 
And you can, too! Please feel free to ask me how you can have more happiness 
and peace in your life. I would love to have a long chat about that.

I have no regrets!

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

Much love, 
Cectpa Graham

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