Monday, August 8, 2011

August 1st- August 8th


This has been an exceptional week. It sounds like things back home are going well. I love getting the pictures! Thank you thank you.

Beverley’s baptism was a wonderful event. We had a great turnout from the ward and a very special spirit was felt by all who attended. Beverley was able to progress to her original baptismal date which was only a matter of 4 weeks. As we taught her we could just see how she had been prepared by the Lord to hear the restored gospel! Her husband mike is an interesting man and has zero interest in God. He is really kind though and supportive of his wife. He drives her to church every Sunday and likes to have a chat with us when we come and visit.

Dad asked me a little bit about We use the website a lot and have pass along cards with the website that we give away. We do not get on facebook but we are given some time each month to go and take a brows so we can familiarise ourselves with the site. Take a look at is always our departing message. It’s really good. Tell me when you have made your profile so I can take a look.

I want you to know how grateful I am for the power of revelation and fasting. By Friday night I looked at my planner to see where we were for the week and realised that we had 0 new investigators. Time was short and was cut even shorter by our desire to go to the mission home fireside with Beverley.

We reflected on why this week was so low and realised we hadn’t been making inspired plans and the plans we did make we weren’t sticking to them. After repenting we prayed and fasted that we would be able to hit the standard of four new investigators. As we sought revelation for the plans we made we were committed to stick to them. Quickly, the blessings started to come and we found three new investigators on Saturday.

Sunday after church we were tracting in a well off area looking for that one last investigator. Wondering why the lord chose this street for us to tract, we continued knocking. Fifteen minutes before our lift came to pick us up we taught Ryan on the spot, our 4th new investigator. It was amazing because the area we were in was really nice it was unlikely that we would of taught someone on the spot. However, because we had prayerfully made plans and diligently stuck to them we were blessed.

The other part to this story is that we could not find a lift to Manchester for the fireside. Things were just not adding up. The way was prepared and we found last minute a member who was able to take us. Like the scriptures say, “only after the trial of your faith” (ether 12:6). I had an earlier experience on my mission shockingly similar to this one. I have come to realise that when we come to the lord in prayer and fasting he blesses us abundantly.

The mission president’s fireside was great. President and sister preston are really hardworking loving loving people. Beverley was really happy and loved meeting all of the recent converts and investigators throughout the mission. Lots of people attended and I was able to meet up with many of my former companions/ friends. I truly have found some of my closest friends on my mission. I know that there are many of them who I will keep in contact with forever. Also, Sister Unsworth was there and just thinks my parents are the most incredible people in the world and cannot wait to “feed em’ propa.” Apparently she lends the books out to people so they can see it and is also working on doing a fireside with the dvds. You will love her.

Family love you and miss you. Hope this email finds you well.
Love, Richard

That is really exciting about Whitney. I have a good friend in the mission who is from Portugal. He says it is beautiful and sunny so I am sure she will love it.

Paige-If you could send me her address that would be great. I will write her a little message.  Also I would love to see some pics from Melissa’s wedding. Has she had a reception in phoenix yet? Also, how come Kati isn’t pregnant yet? Is she trying to give Elizabeth a run for her money? (Bible humour priceless) 

Ps. Beverley is a womans name here and Beverly is a mans name, Beverley was sure to correct me!!! Only teasing she just let me know the difference

Pps. Misses Lawson (Barbara) was sick and wanted to leave it for this week. WE will see her sometime this week.

PPPS. Mom you were not joking when you said your hair is platinum and short! ? haha it looks good. You will have to send a real picture next week!

July 25- August 1


Elder Jager and I have been so blessed and so busy. Everything is
going amazing. We have had 2 exchanges this week, meetings both stake
and missions related, swapped the car, and continue in our everyday
proselyting efforts!

Beverly is just one in a million. Just a couple weeks ago I spoke to
her on a bus stop and this week, Saturday, she will be baptised! She
is the only investigator I have had that has progressed to their
initial baptismal date. Everything we have taught her she has accepted
and begun living immediately. Last night we taught her tithing and she
told us about how she was excited to get her pay check in the next few
weeks so that she can pay it! It has been a wonderful opportunity to
teach her.

Rowell Santos is also now dated for the 20th of August. There
anniversary is the 18th of August and his wife committed him to read
the book of Mormon by then and make the first step to being an eternal
family. It is exciting. He has had hesitation because of Joseph Smith
but as we have shown him the significance of the BOM he is beginning
to develop faith in him. What we have been doing is meeting him on his
lunch break and reading with him. Tonight were going to have FHE with

The car swap is a funny story. The missionaries in Ashton had their
car Sheniqua stolen. Out of all the cars in the mission sheniqua would
be the one to turn up missing. Some thief’s crawled through the window
and took the keys. Eventually the police found the car a few days
later but not the keys. So sheniqua has been relocated to Chester with
the spare keys!!! She is wonderful, true to her name. The car we gave
was automatic and we are back to manual and it is a nice change.

This week we had a few minutes to tract before we went in for the
night. Whilst driving past a row of cottages we felt prompted to stop
and knock them. Once we began knocking we felt as though the homes
were dark and looked empty, no one was in. Instead of picking a new
street to tract we decided to walk down the road and stick to the
initial prompting we had. At the end of the row of cottages we saw a
little old window with a light on and decided to knock. Misses Lawson
as 78 year old grandma answered the door and responded “I was
wondering when you were going to turn up.” As a young woman, misses
Lawson attended the church and even contemplated baptism. Due to
family objection and moving she had lost contact from the church.
However, she kept the fond memories. She told us that as the new
chapel was built in Ewloe she was contemplating attending, waiting for
someone to knock by sometime. The time finally came and as we taught
her she explained to us her desire to be baptised! She has some
hesitations because of her health but knows that there is a special
spirit in that church, one that she hasn’t been able to find anywhere
else.  I know truly that revelation is real and that it comes from
God. As we listen to the promptings we receive we will be blessed to
find those who are truly prepared and be the instruments that he needs
us to be!

Alright I love you and am glad to hear about all the exciting thigns
going on. I love all the pictures and love getting emails on Monday!
Hope you have a great week and know that I love you.

Love, Elder Cunningham

July 13-25


CHINA! You are kidding me. That is the most exciting news I have
heard!! Wow, it is like Christmas, in the middle of summer, in an
email! I cannot wait. I hear also Beijing is a must see if you making
plans on where to go. Too bad you cannot see my face while writing
this email. I have a huge smile.

Okay, this week has been very good. As mom noticed the weather has
been a bit nip. It is summer and I am still wearing a suit coat and
the heating is on in the house. However, the work goes on.

Beverly came to church again this week and loved it. She is still
dated for the 6th provided everything goes well with the word of
wisdom. If so it will be a wonderful day. We are cutting it pretty
close though so her date might be pushed back a week but all is well,
she loves church and is progressing quickly.

We are also teaching a part member family. The husband, who has not
been baptised yet, is a man named Rauel. They are both from the
Philippines but Rauel has lived in England his whole life. They had us
over for dinner the other day and fed us this delicious traditional
Filipino meal. I am sure Ramsey will have a great time serving there.
I have been meaning to ask glen which mission he served in? Rauel has
been taught by the missionaries before and goes to church almost every
week. He just hasn’t made the final step/ first step. When we teach
him tonight we are going to try and figure out what his real concern

So my companion Elder Jager (pronounced yayger) is one of ten
children. He lives in Hamburg and is the seventh of the ten. His two
older sisters also both served missions. One in Hawaii and the other
in Phoenix Arizona! We are trying to figure out if she ever served in
our stake.

Right now we are out fnidnign those who are prepared. Chester is an
intersesting area because majority are English, well off, and drive
cars so we cannot street contact them. However, the lord provides a
way and great things are happening. I love you all and am grateful for
the emails.


PS. Mom yes the retainer issue is an orthodontist issue Dr…. I cant
remember his name. The land lord said he was doing some vacuuming and
sucked up a shirt that broke the belt. Well I think it might not been
the shirt that broke it but the retainer. Who knows?

June 20th- July 13th


This has been a great/crazy crazy week as i am sure has yours. You could probably guess that it was transfers this week and my companion has gone to Manchester. My new companion is Elder Jager from Hamburg Germany and I am excited to work with him. He will be the second missionary that i kill off. He goes home at the end of this transfer and this is his first transfer being a zone leader.

So exciting that Page had her baby. He is really cute. don't worry i felt very close to the family because while you were in the Hospital watching porter come into the world I was with a missionary (his first transfer in the mission) who had his appendix taken out. Crazy, but it was fun knowing that you were all at a hospital as well. The missionary, elder Webb, is now out and recovering but cannot really work for a full 2 weeks.   

The work is continuing and we have recently met some great new people. Sadly, Em the miracle woman is not answering our phone calls and flaked on our last appointment. The second time we went to teach her she was still very excited and enthusiastic about baptism. As we taught the plan of salvation our fellowshipper asked her what is means to her to know that she can become like Jesus Christ! I think it might have been just a little much the second lesson. Hopefully, she will answer the phone soon and we will be able to resolve her concerns.

However, as one disappears the lord places another prepared person in our path. We found a woman named Beverly who similarly is looking for something new in her life. The church of England church she goes to is cold and just doest touch her heart. She has loved reading the book of Mormon and is excited for church this Sunday! After that she will be dated for baptism.

Lately I have been studying the Acts. It is incredible book, one that i have never had the much appreciation until this last transfer as I have been able to take my time and see the great work they were doing that is still going on today.

Sorry this is short. the comp didn't have word and so i had to switch computers and my time got caught short and the comp i switched to didnt have it either. Sorry about all the type-o's. I look forward to hearing about the adventures in LP. Keep sending pics.


last letter to the mission pres

President Bullock,

What a bitter sweet opportunity it is to write you this one last email. When you and Sister Bullock shared your feelings about receiving the call to serve in England I could only remember having the same feelings when I opened my call. Although I received a confirmation right when I opened it, I received an even stronger confirmation the first day I sat in your living room and learned about yourselves and the culture of our mission. I know with out a shadow of doubt that I was called by God to serve here in the EMM with the two of you.

I want you to know that the time that I have had to serve here with you has literally changed my life and more. This past week I have been reflecting on a few of the things I have learned from you and Sister Bullock. The lessons and principles you have taught me are innumerable and invaluable. A few of them are, the principle of Becoming, the mission vision (exact obedience, purity of heart, Preach my Gospel), gospel study, consistency, dignified language, revelation, the eternal principal of hard work, and serving with full heart, might, mind, and strength.  

Although many of these principles were taught from the pulpit the reason I have been able to understand, apply, and strive to become them is because of the great example that you and Sister Bullock have both set for me. I have waited my whole life to be here on a mission. Now that I am here I am eternally grateful that I was able to serve with both of you. I do not think you will ever be able to measure the magnitude or impact that you have had on each of us missionaries lives. However, I do know that the impact you have had on me is eternal. I look forward to the day when we will meet again.

With great love and respect,
Elder Cunningham

June 20th - 27th


Well it has been quite a week. Zone Conference was very simple but quite touching. President and Sister Bullock told us of their most special moments, favourite quotes, and shared pictures of their three years. It is really sad to see them go. I think the whole mission was in tears.

However, great things are going to happen with President Preston. We have some exciting days coming up. This Friday, we have a council meeting and it will be the first sit down with the new man in town. Everyone is just sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to see how things are going to be. I have no doubt that the Prestons will be incredible and the mission will continue to see great success.

Jason’s baptism was great. He asked if I would confirm him. That was only my second time I have confirmed someone but I think things went well. His wife and him are really great together and have an exciting future.

So this week I learned a great lesson. I am still trying to figure out exactly what the lesson is but maybe you can help me. So this Thursday my companion and I were planning and I started looking at the phone. I realised that the phone had a ton of old potential investigators/ former investigators numbers and I started to complain to my companion telling him that missionaries needed to learn how to clean up their phone and keep it up to date. Well before deleting all these numbers I gave them a call. Guess what happens?  Arash answers the phone with extreme excitement and says when can we meet? Well we set up an appointment and it turns out Arash lost contact the missionaries but has been reading the book of mormon and knows that it is true. He loved church and is now baptised for the coming month! He is currently getting his PHD here is Chester.

I hope you had a great time at LP. Looked like tons of fun. I want you to know that the things I wrote to president and sister bullock are all true. They really are some of the most amazing people I have ever met and have changed my life.  


PS. At zone conference I did see sister lovelle and she actually was at the house for my farewell party. I hear that she is a good missionary. She is actually serving in Manchester where I was two moves ago.

June 13th-20th


Wow, sounds like great things are going on at home. You all look amazing. I love getting pictures of all my friends. I cannot believe they are all home now except for me and Ali! I know I was never good at writing them but if they would like to send me a letter tell them I would gladly read it and try my best to respond!  

Okay so this week has been busy, busy, busy. Because Chester is one of the more rural zones elder Metsarata and I have been travelling long distances throughout the zone to do exchanges. However, the good part is we get to see all of the beautiful countryside of Wales. As I was speaking to my companion we both realised that I have now served in three different countries on my mission. Probably not too many missionaries can say that.

This Saturday we have the baptism of Jason Chan. He is the rugby player with arms the size of my thighs. That is no exaggeration. He is the one who is from Australia whose marriage we were able to witness. He is really great and has the right desires for baptism. It is wonderful to see him and his new wife getting their life in order.

Yesterday President and Sister Bullock came to our sacrament meeting. It is there second to last talk that they will give in sacrament. They did amazing like always and it will be said to not have them anymore. However, all I hear about the Preston’s is good things so I am sure there will be more greatness to be had. 

Our last zone conference with the Bullocks is this weekend. I do not know all the inn’s and outs but President tells us it is going to be good. Knowing them it will probably be life changing.  

Hope you have a great week at LP. Send pictures. Tell mellissa I am so excited for her and grateful for the steps she is making in her life to have an eternal family.

Love you all,


June 6 - June 13


Great things are going on here in Chester. First of all, yes I did get to go back to Liverpool and see Sunny’s baptism. I gave a talk on the plan of salvation and it went very well. She was so excited. Apparently after her baptism, when she was getting changed, she was dancing around in the bathroom because she felt so happy. It was really fun to be there and see everyone.

This week we had our last interview and trainings with President and Sister Bullock. Oh it is getting very close and sadder the closer it comes. The interview went really well he had lots of nice things to say and is happy to leave the mission in the hands of great missionaries and great new mission president.

In the afternoon, him and sister bullock sat us in a circle and we had a QA. Then they went on to tell us a little bit more about their lives, things they have learned, and what they want us to learn. It was amazing. President spoke about something he has learned from being a business man…the key to success. Sister Bullock spoke about finding true happiness.

The town of Chester is great. It is very English but I bet if you looked it up on google you could see how pretty it is. As well, we spend lots of time in Wales. That is where the chapel is. Overall, the area is just a bunch of little towns and so we go to these towns for a day and walk around speaking to people and teaching them on the spot.

Elder Metsaranta has perfect English and so there are no troubles there. He has heard of Pilvy’s brothers but doesn’t know them that well. We have a great time together. The car we drive now is still a Mariva but it’s an upgrade…haha it is an automatic. She thinks she is a race car and practically hits the redline before she decides to change gears. It makes for a fun ride.

Yesterday we tried by a former investigator and it turns out she has these two massive pythons that just live in her house. One is over 100 pounds! She let me put the smaller one (still 50 lbs) around my neck. She then went on to tell us how they can escape the cage and she has found them in her bed!!!

This week we went to teach a less active who had been struggling lately. We had planned to teach him this lesson but when we got in I just felt like teaching him this little object lesson with a mirror and a little maze drawn out on a piece of paper. It goes to show how Satan makes life look the same but actually its much different. Anyways, he showed up to church on Sunday and said thank you so much that lesson really clicked in my mind and helped me cure my struggles that I have been having for the past few months. Revelation is great.

Well family I hope all is well. Ps. I did not know Rosen was engaged! That is great. Tell him congrats.

Love you all,

June 2 - June 6


Oh my goodness I cannot believe that Shelby is already married! Wow, that is crazy. I feel bad I haven’t written her yet but let her know that one day I will. When it is I don’t know… Make sure you tell her congratulations and that she looked beautiful.
All my friends looked great and I love the blanket. Who would have known…?

Well you would not believe it but I am gone from Liverpool and now in Chester. Chester is the zone that includes Wales and so I am extremely excited to be here. This will be the true English/Welsh experience. The town is beautiful and everything is green green green. Also, my companion is not from UTAH!!!! He is actually not even from America but from Finland. Elder Metsaranta is amazing and we are going to have a great transfer.

Well saying goodbye to all the wonderful people in Liverpool was quite sad. On Tuesday we had another huge Chinese hot pot where we were able to all get together as well Fiona and Olivia had us over for lunch. It was truly a wonderful opportunity getting to teach them and see the change that the gospel brought to their life. Fiona is one of the kindest persons in the world. When she found out that I was leaving she stayed up until 3 in the morning making me a gift. What she did is she folded these Chinese stars that are made out of thin strips of paper and folded into a star. On each of them they have little had written inspirational thoughts. She made over 200 and I am supposed to open up one a day. She is incredible. I will have to send a picture so you can see how much work it really was. She had already started a while ago but didn’t expect me to leave so soon. That’s why she stayed up the entire night.

Sunny is still doing well and is getting ready for her baptism next weekend. She is an amazing person and hopefully we will be able to drive up and witness it. You would not believe her understanding of the book of Mormon. She gets it better than most Mormons let alone someone who knew nothing about Jesus Christ a year ago! The other day she wanted us to explain to her Alma 41 and why Adam could not partake of the tree of life anymore.    

Well family my life has turned around in only a day and so my memory is shot of what happened last week. Hopefully by Monday I will have some good stories for you. Tell then I love you.


 ps. the boat looks good.

May 23rd- June 2nd


Alright I cannot believe this! Am I going to have any friends by the time I get home? Wow, this is so crazy. I am excited for Melissa though, that is great. Also, I want it to be known in big bold letters Hillary Taylor owes me some DINNER! We had a bet that Megan would be either engaged or married by the time I got home and sure enough Megan sent me a letter telling me the news.

Okay so first thing first, Qian wen chen (Olivia) was BAPTISED! It was a really great baptism and had a very sweet spirit. Fiona her friend made an intermission DVD that is so great. She gave me a copy and so I will send it home soon. It is extremely Chinese/great you will love it.

Sunny our other Chinese investigator whom we have been teaching for a while accepted a baptismal date! She is going to get baptised on the 11th of June and is very excited. On Saturday she had us over for lunch. She homemade sushi and pot stickers for us all from scratch. It was delicious and I am actually starting to really like fish, well at least the sushi. Can you believe it?

Last week we had our Multi-zone-trainings and it went really well. We trained on weekly planning, specifically, how to plan efficiently and by revelation. Tomorrow we are having another sports day at the Manchester South building (the one I just came from) and so every one is excited for that. Pray that it won’t rain. Today it is raining but that’s not much of a sign of anything.

This week I spent a little time studying the epistle of Timothy. These scriptures have touched my heart greatly and that is because of the motivation it gives me to do missionary work and accept persecution. I especially love in 2 Tim 1: 7 were he speaks about God giving us the spirit of power and love and of a sound mind so that we can go out and find the elect. I never before knew the power that these scriptures have but after my study recently I have much greater appreciation for Paul’s writings.

Love you,

Mom was it a huge bday party or was it more intimate? I would have loved you to stop that wheelchair and get to speak to him! His family is amazing. Also, sounds like some Chicago trip! Wow. Too bad we just spoke sometime I wish we could skip this whole email business and just give you a ring. Good thing the next one is only in a few months! Love you

May 16th- 23


Great emails this week. thank you. Loved all the pictures you sent as well. The house looks great and seems like it was an amazing party!

Okay so some great things have happened this week.

First thing is Olivia, one of our Chinese investigators, is getting baptised on Saturday! She is really funny and what we would consider a PA (pop Asian). She is 20 and is going to school here in Liverpool. We found her through a recent convert named Fiona. It is amazing the testimony that she has. Her family is not aware of the decision she is making and if they knew they would be really angry. She says that she wants to tell them when she can sit down with them and explain it but even if they don’t like it she doesn’t care. Our ward mission leader phrased it as “she is bad to the bone!” Fiona and her have fed us Chinese a couple of times recently and it is delicious. The other day we did what you call a chinese hot pot. Basically you get a boiling hot pot filled with all sorts of Chinese spices and then you kind of like fondu put whatever vegetables/meat in the pot you want and it cooks. It was delicious and you would be so proud of me because I ate squid, shrimp, tofu, fungi and these fish balls. Not only that but i liked it.  
Since I am on the topic of food we also had some of our Indian investigators feed us one of the largest/spiciest /most delicious meals I have ever had in my life. Alright so they invited us over for dinner (the first white people they have ever cooked for) and just brought out piles and piles of food. This was some of the spiciest food I have ever eaten yet they said they made it especially mild for us (yeah right). We were so excited when we first started but towards the end I was wondering if they would ever stop bringing out food. They just kept bringing in more and more and more and more .... I used to think my stomach was a bottomless pit I now know better. They had curies, kebabs, salads, nan and sorts of delicious Indian things. It was by far one of the greatest meals I have had. I think they main cook, rajan, was sad when we had to explain to him that we literally could not fit anything else into our stomachs. I think he could of kept going for a long time. It was great experience I will have to send pictures sometimes.

The other day we went tracting and we knocked on the door of Rodrick who is a massive (muscular not fat) African man. It was freezing outside and so we knew we knocked on the right door (Africans like their houses HOT). He goes to school in the US but goes home for the summer. Immediately he had a few questions about why there are so many denomination of Christianity and so on but we were able to answer all of them. Finally when we went to share with him the first vision we told him to pay attention to his feeling because he was the spirit tell him the things we were sharing are true. Half way through the first vision he goes “wo, Wo, WO, what is that? What is that feeling?” He was practically out of his seat. It was funny how strong the spirit was and his reaction to feeling but he was definitely touched. After having such a spiritual witness he accepted all the commitments we left him.

It is great to know that the spirit is the true teacher and the one who converts those we teach. It brings comfort to me to know that with all my imperfections the spirit makes up for the rest!

Love, Richard      

Ps. DAD The boat looks amazing! I hope it has some big speakers on it so we can blast some jenny Philips/ motab when I get home. Also, don’t let them give you a hard time about being in the spa with the phone you’re a “hip grandpa”!!!

How did Rowland and Amanda like Africa?

May 10th - 16th


It was so good to see you and speak to you. You all look great!

Alright mom it is time to spill the beans. Have you had some work done? If yes you look great. If no well then take it as a compliment that you still look young and beautiful!!!

Elder Packer was amazing. He came and spoke to us about the language of the spirit and how to learn and recognize it promptings. After he took a little meeting with a few of us just to talk about what we need to do for the mission. He was great and told us that follow up is the key to success. It was funny he gave the 8 of us all a hug.  

I will just keep this short and sweet. I love you all hope you have another great week.

Love Richard

Ps. Love all the pictures especially with maddie! 
 If I have some dark conservative sunglasses that would be great. I cant remember all the ones I have had but If the blue ones are around you can just through those in the box.  Thank you