Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The first letter from Elder Cunningham!

Hey family,
Its your son. Remember me? Wow so time flies here and its way intense. If Nazis ran this MTC I am not sure if much would change! HAHA, JUST KIDDING! Its not that bad. It actually has been a ton of fun and I really love it. The MTC is full! There are about 41 missionaries here and about 4 districts. My companion is a Englishman from Worthing his name is Elder Baynes. I like him a lot. He has a lot of health problems like allergies and eczema, but we get along great and he is a good missionary. 
The work is good. We wake up a 630 and then work until 1030. It keeps us busy, but its great and I really love all the guys. Dad you can tell your missionaries that you have another testament to study Preach My Gospel as much as possible. I don't know if it would do much good though, because I never listened to anyone that told me that, but it truly is the way we do missionary work. 
So after we wake up have personal study and then we go to companion study. After that, we have class, then we work out, and then we usually go to lunch. After lunch we have some personal time and then we go to class, then have a devotional, and then class again, and then dinner ..... and so on. There isn't really any schedule to things yet except for in the mornings. 
We have had some really great devotionals. Yesterday we had the previous Preston Temple President and his wife speak to us. They did an amazing job and I conducted the meeting. It was really cool. The uncool part was later that night (unannounced to us) he was the fake investigator that we had to teach for our first mile stone. He was hard and wouldn't stick to the script that he was given and he just fired question after question, but overall me and my comp did fine. He is a really funny and nice guy.

The food has not been too bad but it also hasn't been too great! ha ha We had meat on Sunday and I was like why in the world does this taste so disgusting!!!! Then I came to find out that its lamb and people actually like that kind of stuff. Gross!!!!! I have lots to say to you but am running out of time cause we got stuck late at the temple so next week will be better!!! I will just list a few bullet points.
  •  Preston MTC is one of the prettiest places
  • I am district leader of the Nephite district
  • We went to the temple today and it was amazing. My favorite temple yet
  • The weather is what you would expect. Its been snowing but its not as cold as what I was thinking
  • My president and his wife are really great/nice people
  • The teachers are all great
  • I am learning tons
  • I think I left my cologne and my beanie
  • We have to wear a suit everyday everywhere
  • Not that many people here are from America, many are from Germany and the UK
  • Everything is good
  • I love this place

    Shoot, time is all out! I'm sorry, next week will be much better!! Tell people to write me letters that would be great! Its like Christmas when the mail comes
    Love Richard

    Friday, February 19, 2010


         Yesterday morning Richard said goodbye and left Phoenix on a first class flight to the Atlanta airport (Thanks to his Uncle Marc who is a big wig for Delta!).  There he had a long layover, so our favorite sister in law Alisa drove three hours to take the kids to meet up with him for one last goodbye. They were able to spend the afternoon at an aquarium (pictures to come in a later post). Richard said it was one of the best he has ever been to. They were planning on going back to the airport two hours before his next flight took off. Thus giving him plenty of time to get through security. 
         Well of course they ended up taking a little longer and were already running a little behind the planned schedule. When they got on the freeway they realized they were stuck in dead stop traffic. Not a car was moving. Richard and Alisa started to panic a bit as time was ticking and their car wasn't moving. All of a sudden Richard looked out the window and saw a zebra.... that's right, a black and white stripped animal that mostly lives in Africa.
         He and Alisa laughed hysterically when seeing this wild animal run down the highway, all while police men on foot, bike, and car tried to chase it down. (I can only imagine this image and wish I were there!) Long story short they were able to catch the zebra and traffic was able to begin moving. Luckily Uncle Marc was able to call the airport and have them hold the plane, he just BARLEY made it onto his flight.
         I'm sure this story will go down as one of Richard's fondest highlights... can you imagine the phone call to his mission president.... "Sorry Pres, a zebra made me miss my flight!" Thank goodness he didn't have to make that call and for all we know, all is well with Richard in Preston, England at the MTC.

    Here is a link to the news story... apparently the zebra belonged to the traveling circus in town.

    Phoenix Airport

    February 18, 2010, at 8:15 am,  Richard's first flight to Atlanta, Georgia takes off!
    Look at that name tag!
    Saying bye to his first LOVE
    Dad fixing his tie
    Uncle MARC
    Last picture with the parents for two years
    His favorite MOTHER
    See you in two! xoxo

    Opening the CALL

    We are going to back track just a little bit here.....
    Last November Richard received his Mission Call. He had the letter sent to his apartment up at BYU, and had my parents fly into town to be apart of the grand opening. He and his roommate Brian just happened to both receive their calls on the same day.
    The two boys were so excited they wanted to have a photo shoot with the mail man!
    After Richard picked up the letter, he and our parents came down to my office in Midvale to meet up with Glen and I.  Everyone from my office had gone home for the day, so Nicole let us get on her computer and skype with Rob, Alisa, and the boys, and have Rowland and Chareese on speaker phone. It was so fun to gather around and watch Richard read the call.
    Manchester, England!

    The best part about watching Richard open his call, was seeing his excitement! He could not have been happier about where he was headed. After he called all his friends and the rest of the family, we went out and celebrated at a nasty dinner! (sorry about that one) But we all had lots of fun sharing all the excitement with everyone.

    A few weeks later the whole family was in Arizona for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Richard and his older sister Charrese were both able to receive their endowments from the Mesa, Arizona temple. It was such a neat experience to have the entire Cunningham clan in the temple together for the first time.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    February 13th, OPEN HOUSE

    Last Saturday we had an Open House for Richard at the Cunningham house. Tons of friends and family came to support and send him off with their well wishes.
    Richard and I!
    Some of the party
    Grandma Maggie Tanner
    The Worthen's
    Some of his best friends!

    UK Flag toes

    Group Picture

    After Richard's farewell talk at church

    Breakfast at the house after church

    Richard departs on Thursday at 8:15 in the morning. I will post airport pictures as soon as my mom email's them to me!