This has been another terrific week full of exciting experiences. First off I will tell you about a miracle in Bolton.
Whilst on an exchange with Elder Johnston (new missionary from billings Montana), He and I had an appointment up in Bolton (my first area). The appointment was confirmed but when we knocked on the door he wasn’t in. I remembered a Hungarian family that I had previously taught at the beginning of my mission, the Balogs. They were very close to baptism but needed to go back to Hungary and get married.
Unfortunately, transfers came and they lost contact with the missionaries. We knocked by and low and behold they were ecstatic to see us. They informed us that they were now married and wanted to know why no missionaries had come to see them. As we spoke they talked about the wonderful spirit they felt in their home many months ago when Elder Sturt and I were teaching them. They said it was the best and they wanted it back. After reading some scriptures with them we helped them understand the spirit is what had been missing. Elder Johnston committed them to baptism and they accepted. I am really excited and look forward to seeing how things go. The best part is Eva (the mom) doesn’t speak hardly any English but the one Hungarian missionary in the mission is serving in Bolton. So many lessons to be learned from one experience. First is never be discouraged (the original app. that we drove 30 min to and fell through) because we cannot always see the big picture. Second is, always listen to prompting that you receive. Third never lose hope sometimes people just need a little extra time. Lastly, there is no such thing as coincidence. If the man was home and we taught him there is no way we would have stopped by their home.
Another miracle is on our way to church we had little extra time and tried by a former. When we knocked by the man who we originally wanted to see wasn’t in but Henry who answered the door said, “I have 15min would you like to come in.” He is from Lithuania and a converted Christian and speaks over 5 languages and uses them for his work. His family has no beliefs but he has always felt there is more out there. He knew a little about Mormons and his impression was that they are hard working prosperous good people. After we taught him he was really excited to read the book of Mormon and also accepted baptism. His only concern was he wasn’t sure if our values were conservative enough for him! Can you believe that? The best concern I have ever had to resolve.
So over the next two weeks President and Sister Preston are having each of the missionaries come over to their house divided into zones (we have seven zones in the mission). We will have a specialized training and on top of that sister Preston will cook a full Christmas dinner. I do not know how she is going to do it because on top of making 7 full Christmas dinners she has to make an 8th dinner for the departing missionaries. Can you imagine the dishes let alone the work that would take? It will be a really fun experience for everyone though I am sure. She truly is one of the best cooks in all of England.
That is exciting to hear that you had 26 baptisms in the stake! Do you know how much the Az mission baptizes in a year? What is the name of the mission we live in? Hope all is well and I look forward to hearing from you in a week.
Love, Elder Cunningham
Ps. we go into the office on Mondays and spend most of the day compiling data and making reports and preparation for baptism in the coming week emailing stake president reports etc. Also, I get to write this letter, which is wonderful because these computers here are the best! We go on lots of exchanges but less than the previous assistants because we have to worry about our own area. This past week we went on three