Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cotton fields, rain, and sunsets

Hey Y'all!
It's so sad that every time I go to write this email I have to rack my brain to remember everything! I truly need to repent and write in my journal more. haha
This week has been so, so good though! The weather has been so perfect! It gets so chilly at night though, in the lower forties usually and then it reaches about eighty degrees during the day!
On Tuesday we were able to have dinner with the Williams family who recently moved into the Ward from Utah! They are so cute! They are a young couple who both studied at BYU and have three adorable kids. Emmerson is four and he is so stinkin cute! He loves watching football with his dad and he would explain each of the games he had watched with his dad and he would laugh so hard and then say, "they just kept bumping, and bumping each other until they fell down!" and then his mom told us during the football games he would stand up right against the tv and run with them across the screen! haha He was so much fun. And their little girl Rachel was really shy at first, but by the end of the night she was talking and laughing so much! She started to cry as we left. Its so much fun getting to know all of the amazing branch members here. Sister Williams came with us after dinner to visit a recent convert, who sadly stood us up.. But in the car ride there and back we were able to hear about her conversion story and the desire she has to share the gospel with her neighbor! I love members who are so missionary minded, and see the desire to share the gospel with everyone! I encourage y'all to find more people for the missionaries, its so amazing the miracles you can see as members refer you to their friends. They already have friends who can help them with their transition into the gospel, and it helps us focus more on teaching than finding! :)
We have so many potentials here in Madison, some from three or four years ago that haven't been followed up with, so we've been going to so many! And have seen so many miracles! We were tracting this one neighborhood, and we see this big group of teenage guys just standing around and talking, so we walk up and start to get to know them, when one says, "Hey! You're the Mormons huh? I've been to your church a few times!" We asked him why he stopped going, and he said he moved! So we got his number and information and he told us to come back and teach him. This prepared souls name is Darius and he's awesome. Well after meeting Darius we felt impressed to stop by brother Boyds house, Im sorry I don't remember if I've told y'all about him, but he recently just got out of jail and the elders who were here before let us know how much he wanted to change his life around and get back to church. Well we haven't been able to see him since getting here, but that night we were finally able to meet him! He's shorter than me, and just the cutest little thing! haha he's in his fifties, and just a really funny guy. He told us his son was in town and he was excited for that, and we talked to him a little bit about his desire to start going back to church. Soon after we talked about the atonement for a little bit, we ask him if his son is a member, and he says, "No way! That kid needs Jesus but I don't think he has any desires to go to church." Well soon after, a car pulls up, out comes Brother Boyds son.. and its DARIUS! Definitely no coincidence. We are so excited to start teaching Darius, so not only can he enjoy the blessings of the gospel, but he can also help his dad out with getting his life back where it needs to be!
This Saturday we decided to just go through all of the potentials that lived right next door to us and there are so many! They're mostly trailer parks and apartment complexes. We taught five people a four minute restoration, handed out 5 book of Mormons and invited someone to be baptized who excitedly said yes and told us to come back soon! That never happens. Then we receive a text from out of the blue form a potential who had been taught by the missionaries before,saying, "can yall bring me one of those Mormon books please." OF COURSE! So we've been so grateful to have been able to see so many miracles this week, 
I saved the best for last, This Saturday we stopped by Johny's home.. its really a hit and miss with him because he works weird hours and he doesn't have a phone. We finally were able to catch him and see that he's been reading from the Book of Mormon! He sadly is being evicted from his home this week :( So we are just praying that he will stay in the Madison area. But we asked him if he'd be able to make it to church and he said he couldn't promise, but he would try his best! Well Sacrament starts, and we see that all of the Greensboro sisters investigators were attending and it was so awesome! But sadly no Johny, well ten minutes later, Johny sits right by us and says," y'all didn't think I would come again huh?" haha. Hes so awesome! He even participated a ton in gospel principles and said that when we had stopped by Saturday he was having a rough day and was praying to know what God wanted him to do and then we showed up inviting him to church! He said that he loved the feelings he felt at church and he felt like it was really God's church! AHH! I am so stinkin happy for Johny! And that we were able to knock on his door a few weeks ago. I know that whether Johny stays here in Madison or goes elsewhere, the Lord will make sure the missionaries find him.
I love Madison! It is so beautiful here, and the members are just AWESOME! The Manning family in the Greensboro branch had a crab leg dinner with us and the Greensboro sisters last night, and we sat around the fire and bore our testimonies of the savior, it was so spiritual.
I hope I stay here for the rest of my mission, haha. But I have a feeling that Sister Lauritsen may be step trained here, because she is seriously awesome! I love her, and shes become one of my best friends. And She's such a solid missionary, to see the love that she has for the gospel, and to share it with others has strengthened my testimony.
I invite y"all to Ponder Mosiah 18:30, where it says" 30 And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer;" And reflect on the moment you came to know of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Who is he to you?
I want to share my testimony of the Savior, I know that he is my favorite example. To see the way he loved, the way he cared. He truly loved everyone, and showed everyone how much he loved them. He talked, the talk and walked the walk. He gave the one thing our heavenly Father doesn't have, our will. And we can see how truly blessed and happy he was with doing that. Not only because he loved Heavenly Father, but he loved every single one of us he was doing it for. He is my best friend, as he succors me and carries me. White washing Madison is hard! Training an awesome greenie is really hard, talking to some scary looking people can be a bit intimidating. But the Savior knows exactly how to comfort me when doing it, he knows the tender mercies I need to help remind me of that. I 'm so grateful for all that I've learned about the Savior this past week as I've made it my goal to internalize all that I do with the thought, This is HIS work. This is what HE would do. I promise as you choose to do things in the way the savior would, you will be able to comfort more people, you will be able to be happier in knowing that you are doing what Heavenly Father would have you do!
I love y'all so much! I would LOVE to hear each of your testimonies of the Savior through out the week! But if you don't send them to me, at least write them in your journal. Make the time to reflect on all the things he has personally done for you. I promise it will help you to see all that he has done, and also the things you may have not noticed before.
My scripture to ponderize this week is: Omni verse 26, " 26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."
Have an amazing week y'all! I love you and Father does too.
"I learned in my life that we don’t need to be “more” of anything to start to become the person God intended us to become.
God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord."
 -elder dieter f. uchtdorf
Sister Cunningham

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Sunset over cotton field

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