Family,This weekend we had the baptism of Rowell Santos! Wow it was incredible. Rowell is married to a member in the ward and has been coming to church consistently for the past two years and meeting with missionaries for the past four. He was literally a dry Mormon, living all the principles just not opening the door to receive all the blessings. His baptism was one of the best baptisms I have ever attended. The spirit was so strong and the support from the ward was incredible. When emerging from the water Rowell looked through the glass and saw his two year old son staring right at him and stood there for literally a solid thirty seconds just staring at him. It was really great because he loves his family and I think knowing that he can be with them forever has been a large motivating factor for him.I don’t know if I told you before or not but his parents were both killed in a car accident when he was only 10 and so he has had a rough start to life. However, he now has the gospel and knowledge of how he can be with them again. Also, his wife’s family are incredible. They have been praying and praying for this day to come for a long time. They are all from the Philippines and his mom was one the funniest loving woman you will ever meet. You catered his baptism like it was a wedding and gave one of the nicest prayers I have heard. So humble so loving.Okay things are going really great. We still have six investigators dated for baptism and Lorna (grandma miracle number 2) is going to be baptised soon. It might be this weekend if not it will be next. She had to run to London last minute for a family emergency, so we may push it back a week so that we can announce it. However she is so ready it’s unreal.This weekend we had a mission home fireside and zone leader council. They were both really great. President Preston does it so that the fireside is just about 6 recent converts who tell the conversion story and then we close and eat cookies. It’s great. There is a really strong spirit and all the converts did an amazing job. Sister unsworth was their and is still looking forward to meeting you.That is sad about Steve jobs. I heard he gave an amazing speech right before he died? How was it? Also, that is exciting about mitt Romney. That would be great to have a mormon is presidency. That will be exciting to see.Hope all is well.Love, RichardPs. You can find elder eliasons blog on the web it should be under Elder Cody Eliason on google. You can get double time!Pps. I got the saddest letter from the sayles saying that they are planning on getting sealed FEB19th!!!! I am going to write him today and see if he can push it up a week or two. I will tell him we are planning on coming up in early feb but if someone could get on fb and talk to him that would be great!!!
Sunday, October 16, 2011
That is annoying that you didn’t get my letter. I am sorry. The computer says that it sent so who knows… Anyways, it has been transfers and thankfully I have not been transferred. Elder Eliason and I will stay together for another transfer and I would not have it any other way because we currently have 7 investigators dated for baptism! I think seven is the most I have ever had. We are being greatly blessed.Rowell (the part member family) has finally gotten home from his holiday and when we met up with him he had been reading and praying while is Spain. After over two years of investigating the church he has finally come to see that the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He is going to be baptised this Saturday! It is really great to see that he has had that mighty change of heart. I have seen it in the past few months since I first met him.So things have been interesting with Nicky. We taught her the WOW this week and it was difficult for her. When we first told her she said, “no, No, No, not my tea, no one is taking away my tea”. AS we continued to talk to her and explain the commandment we uncovered and even bigger concern and that was that God does not love her. It is quite sad. She has fibre Myalja sp? really bad and feels that she has a painful horrible body and that god has forgotten her and giving up tea wont do a thing.It was a little intense this is usually when we call in the sister missionaries to come give the big pep talk about your divine worth and gods love. Unfortunately there are none even remotely close so it is going to be up to me and Elder Eliason. We printed a talk from elder Holland broken things to mend which is an amazing talk but soon she will begin to see.Lorna is doing incredible. We have taught her in members home and she has fallen in love with the book of Mormon. Her questions are incredible and she is going to be baptised next week!!!Barbara grandma miracle number one is also doing really well. Her progression is a little bit slower because she has a catarax (my normal spelling is no good let alone medical spelling …sorry)and cannot read the book of mormon. However, she has accepted a date for the 29th of October!This week we have had a little fun running into loads of Gypsy’s. I thought they only existed in the hunch back of Notre dam with Quasimodo. Not so. There are loads here in England. I never really knew what they were all about but recently have been educated. They consider themselves a race. It is really not my thing and quite strange. None the less they are all Gods children.General Conference was soooo good. I loved it. We got to watch all of general conference except for the Sunday afternoon. Technology is amazing. When we went to watch Saturday morning last Saturday evening the satellite sound was not working. I was able to use one of the members ipads pull up general conference live and get the sound. It’s pretty incredible. Also, I have been able to download a few talks like cooks on to my camera memory card so I will get to watch those soon. I loved all of them. Tad Callister and sister Dalton was a couple of my favourite.Love,Elder CunninghamLoved all the pictures thank you , thank you. Jen looks beautiful. How was the wedding? What sessions of conference did you see? Speak to you Monday
Those were quite the letters you sent…especially dads. Yikes! Glad to know everything is going well.
This week during personal study I read a scripture in Ether 12:42 which says, “I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever.” In order to receive grace it takes action or works on our part each and every day. This week Eliason and I felt that grace as we diligently sought for opportunities to improve the member work in Chester. This week we were able to teach 11 member present lessons 6 of them in members homes and 9 of them were with different families (the fellowshippers were all different). Going back to that scripture I know that we were greatly blessed by the grace of God through our hard work. Because of it we now have five dated investigators! Kicky and Mathew accepted a date, Richard and Bianca are still dated, and Lorna (miracle grandma number 2) is dated. As well, misses Lawson (miracle grandma #1) accepted baptism and is just shy of accepting a date! Such amazing things are happening.
I forgot to mention last week how exciting it is about that woman who asked mom what she need to do in order to be baptised. You should have just responded in the words of elder Holland “HAVE FAITH AND REPENT”! (He gave this amazing talk to the mission presidents and he says that faith and repentance are the things we need our investigators to do most…one of the best talks I have ever heard) Make sure you get a chance to teach her in our home though. I have been praying continually for you to have missionary experience and I am so excited to know that you are. Prayers are answered.
So Elder Eliason and I were driving down the road and got stopped at a red light. We unrolled the window and called to the people on the street. It was right in fornt of Chester University and a man name “Miracle Joe” or just Joe comes up to the window and is so excited we are speaking about Jesus. He is from India and didn’t have time to get his phone out and find his number so we gave him ours and hopped for the best. Two days later we receive a text and it says, “hey its joe the believer this my number.” We rang him up quickly and taught him this past Saturday. He has amazing faith and is really excited about the book of Mormon. He couldn’t come to church this week but plans to next. Just goes to prove Alma 13:24 people are prepared all around you.
General Conference, the most exciting Sunday of the year! I cannot wait.
Have a wonderful week!
Dad Manchester is quite central I think we might want to stay in Chester for Friday and Saturday. The town is one of my favourites and we can take a drive through Wales for a little bit. Also, it’s only about 30 min from Liverpool. On the isle of man there is a hotel that president and sister bullock stayed at that they said was great I cant remember what its called but its in Douglas on the peer. President Preston went to the isle the last week and saw the sales and some of the other recent converts and said that they are all doing incredible. You may want someone on facebook let keith know we are coming that weekend. I will write them soon but unfortunately I am horrible at writing letters. Some how I can manage 1000000000 thank you cards each week but not a letter!
This has been another great week. Lots of exchanges, lots of new people, lots of great member work!
Here is a little update with our teaching pool-
Nicky and Mathew- I street contacted Nicky a few days ago in a little town called flint. We set up an appointment for Friday night and it went really well. She is a single mother, two children, and has never had a particular religion. She has always been searching for the truth but her parents are devout atheists and would never let her discover anything to do with religion. Now that she is a grown woman she’s been looking for something but hasn’t been able to find it. Mathew is her younger boy and he has a firm faith in God. They both came to church on Sunday and from what we can tell really enjoyed it. We are excited to see what will happen with them.
Bianca Richard- We have been able to steadily meet with Richard and Bianca. They are both doing really well and have progressed so much. We taught them the word of wisdom this past week and so we are working with both of them to overcome their addictions to coffee and smoking. It is scary to see the grasp that Satan can get on people through simple things like coffee!
Carol and Claire- Also doing wonderful and also helping Carol come off cigarettes. This week we put together this stop smoking calendar with sticky notes, quotes and pictures (im getting quite crafty here on the mission). She is making progress but is really struggling with the ciggis.
Rowell- Is still very solid but because he has been out of town lately we haven’t been able to teach him as much. Hopefully this week he will get back and will be able to start up again.
This week we were able to teach two lessons in member’s homes and get 8 member present lessons, all with different members. This new member work program couldn’t be better. I love it. We have seen so many miracles. Also, even though we have focused on member work we have been able to find 8 new investigators. I am not sure how it works but we have definitely been blessed.
I don’t know if you know or not but every missionary in the world now has a portable dvd player. It has been quite nice. We are able to watch all the church dvds and pmg dvds to study and use. The DC dvds have come in handy so thank you.
I hope everything is going well and you know that you are loved and missed.
Ps. Dad I haven’t been able to read the talk but I am sure it was amazing. Also, I am not sure about what you and mom would like to see. I would like to show you whatever you would like... have you ever been to Manchester or Liverpool?? The mission is not all that big and we can get everywhere in less than an hours car ride.That is unless you want to see a little of Wales… The town of Bangor and Llandudno are beautiful and maybe worth seeing. If you tell me what you have already seen then I will be able to give you a little more direction. The cities I have served in are Bolton, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, The Isle of Man. They are all great and worth seeing if you haven’t seen them before.
PPS. Mom I am sure you are busy. I did not get an email from you this week but will look anxiously for one next week!
Paige thanks for all the pics. The ones of Maggie are sad.
That is very bitter sweet to hear about Maggie. I definitely consider her my grandma! She will be greatly missed, however. There is no doubt she is back with her husband in a “state of happiness, which is called paradise.” Give the tanners my love.
This has been another terrific week. We had zone conference and it was lots of fun. We did an all out church history tour. We started in Liverpool, went to the river ribble (where the first baptisms were), saw president Hinckley house where he received the famous letter, and finished in the beautiful town of Downham. They have a little cathedral chapel there that they let us use. So we finished the day off with a great meeting in a beautiful, slightly apostate, building. Although apostate, the spirit was very strong.
President is very apt on member missionary work and so we are introducing to the mission a new initiative to increase member trust. Basically it’s a points system of doing service, small acts of kindness, teaching in members homes, and using different fellowshippers. The goal is to get 100 points and everything varies in its value most things are 2 points but teaching in a member’s home is 10. This week we had great success and were able to get 106 “member efforts.” It is very new to me and taking some getting use to however I think it will be a great benefit and help the mission see great success.
We now have 5 investigators dated for baptism on the 8th of October. Carol and Clair- they are doing amazing. We are trying to help carol quit smoking which is proving to be a difficult task. Claire is doing great, she went to a young woman’s pool party last week and loved it. Rowell- his date was pushed back because his family won’t be able to come and see him until them but is continuing to progress consistently. The last two is Richard and Bianca from Scotland. They are this little family with 2 little kids. They came to church yesterday for the first time and loved it. There obstacle is going to be getting married! However, they have a desire and are already planning on it!
Elder Eliason and I are doing great. I think we would have been great friends had we lived in the same area before the mission. He is a really hard worker, goal setter, and knows how to get things done!
This is short but hopefully you get the taste of what’s going on. I love and miss you.
Is the church tour something you would be interested in seeing when you come and visit? I would not mind if you did. Also, if we need a few more days it would be fine to leave on Tuesday or Wednesday if that’s what you would like.
Sad news though is my Chinese friends are moving back to china right before I leave. Hopefully, Sunny will stay. Also, Olivia said she would meet us in china if we were ever near her house. Are we planning to go to Chungdu?
Elder Moss is a good friend of mine who came out with me. There were four of us when we came out and now it’s only the two of us. He also is a zone leader and so we are good friends. His parents aren’t coming to pick him up. He will leave Thursday morning.
Dad this is the info of Sharon Ewing- I remember now the daughters with the back brace. I remember them most when one time we had a ward activity at the public pool near ray and they were there... Thank you so much for getting in contact and trying to find her. Obviously heavenly father is aware of her needs but as well answering the prayers of her father!
34 Elmfied Road
This has been a fantastic week filled with the spirit and great miracles. Zone Leader Council is always one of the highlights in the transfer for me and I am really excited about the new member work ideas we have going. We spent the full day going over how we as missionaries can improve member missionary work. I am looking forward to witnessing the great success this new initiative will have on the mission. I think the reason we were able to have such an amazing council meeting is because of the delicious cookies Sister Preston made again. The Preston’s are amazing and have a great idea about what they want to accomplish with the members especially since they are the members (born and raised in the mission).
On Sunday Elder Eliason and I had some extra time to find before a tea appointment. We sat in the car and prayed for what street we should go finding on. As we prayed the word new popped into my head. We looked at the map and saw only one street in the entire town that had new in it and that was New Street. We contacted there and low and behold we were blessed to teach Sharon on the spot. She has a family of four and has currently been looking for answers to life’s greatest questions. Revelation is such a simple yet powerful gift that Heavenly Father has blessed us with. One great blessings of being on a mission is the ability to receive revelation so frequently and act upon it immediately.
This Monday because it was a bank holiday we were blessed to go to the temple. It was a wonderful time and we were all richly blessed. While in the temple chapel a man sat next to me, asked me where I was from, and then proceeded to tell me about his less active daughter who lives in Phoenix. After a second we come to find out that she lives in Ahwtukee. Her name is Sharon Ewing. Have you heard of her? She lives near mountain point and has twins if I remember right. He was ecstatic and told me that when I get home I am going to have to visit her and help her. At the end of the session we exchanged details and he told me that I was an answer to his prayers. I know the Lord puts us in the right place at the right time and there is nothing more rewarding then knowing he is using you to accomplish his work. Let me know if you know or can find anything about her.
Elder Eliason is amazing and we are having a great time. We are just picking right up from where we left off last time.
Dad is that a new suit? Looks great
MOM- your pictures are so good. Glad to hear you are memorable even to those who have little memory
Chareese- Glad to hear all is well. Tell darien and erik hi from me. Thanks for the pics
Alright Dad you win the prize. My release date is February 8, 2012. I cannot believe you were able to figure that out! Good job. However, I will be in the mission home all night and will probably want to spend the night with Elder Moss so you probably won’t get to see me until the 9th. AS well, I think if you and mom want to do some touring you should do it before you pick me up. I think I just want to show you where I have served, give you a little taste of my mission (sister unsworth is going to feed you hopefully my Chinese friends) and then get home. I was thinking of flying home on Monday…?
To be honest, I have been thinking about February and you coming to pick me up. It’s dark, cold, and rainy/snowy. It is up to you if you want to come…tell me what your thoughts are. If you wanted to do it another time that would be okay. love you
It was great to see Alissa. She is really kind and I have heard all about her and her family from the other missionaries. They all love the Schafer’s. She also made these amazing cookie brownie type things that put a smile on everyone’s face!
This week has been really great. We were richly blessed. We have taught lots of lessons on the spot and have found some great new investigators. As well, I told you a little bit about Carol I think. Her husband passed away about 7 years ago and life just hasn’t been in order since. We have been teaching her on and off but started teaching her consistently these past two weeks. Anyways, her and her twelve year old daughter, Claire, came to church this week and it was amazing. They loved it and the ward did a great job at fellowshipping them. They are now dated for baptism on the 10th of September.
Beverley is also doing wonderful. She has a strong testimony and has already made good friends in the ward. We have sat with her at sacrament each week but this week she got to church early and had found some friends to sit with. We didn’t even know she was there until after sacrament!
Elder Jagers last P-day is today and so I am treating him to TGI Frigdays. He is one of ten kids and this might be the greatest meal he has ever had. I have had a good time working with him this transfer and am excited for the coming transfer. I am not quite sure who it will be but I know it will be someone good!
Exciting to hear about all of the weddings. Keep sending pictures. I am sorry this is so short but the library is about to close. I love you all and cant wait to hear from you soon.
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 mormon.org. 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 mormon.org 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.
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!