Monday, December 14, 2015

12/07/2015 Letter

Good Morning!
This week has been INCREDIBLE.
Sister Lauritsen and I have been working so hard this week and have truly been blessed for our efforts. After such a hard few weeks, this week was truly heaven sent.
Will is now an official member for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and it was such an awesome day. We made lots of cookies, and went to Monroe with brother Fossum and his adorable kids to fill up the font around four and it was STEAMING! The water is so hot, so we filled it with ice and it still felt like it was a hot tub! But Will said it was nice, and the Whole Davis family was able to attend. Which is an incredible feat because most of them are basically in active, and want nothing to do with the church.

Then after the baptism we received TERRIFIC news about Alicia and Geno. They are in the Greensboro side of our branch, so their in our Branch but in the Greensboro sisters area so they are working with them. They have been meeting with Missionaries before including my last companion Sister Russell, and the sister who passed away in the car accident sister Barnard. Well, They have been on the fence about baptism for the last year now, and our basically members and want to be baptized they just needed to take the initiative and just say when! Well there last lesson with the Greensboro sisters they had prayed about a date and Alicia felt very prompted to do January 2nd, and she was so serious about it she called Sister Barnard's mom and told her.. and January 2nd is actually sister Barnard's birthday!! Oh my goodness. She is definitely here with us helping further the work! It was so incredible.
We've also been able to find 4 members in the Branch that no one knew about, because there records were never sent here and the members had just become in active. But ALL of them were super welcoming to us and want us to come and stop by and we have plans for members to bring them to church this next Sunday! Wahoo.
We've also been meeting with Brittany, I forget if I've told y'all about her or not, but she lives across one of our other investigators homes and we knocked on her home one day and she basically taught us the plan of salvation. She is so golden, and we had found out the sisters had found her mom out in Greensboro and were teaching her as well! No coincidence I'm sure. Well things were going really well with Brittany's mom we were told, and then out of the blue she dropped them! We were a little worried that it would influence Brittany, and she wouldn't want to meet with us as well.. Well that night her mom had dropped them, Brittany called and asked us to come over and keep meeting with her! WE had an amazing lesson about her influence as a mother and how vital it was that her and her children knew who they were to Heavenly Father and how he would continue to help her as she fulfills her calling as a mother. She then expressed how distance she felt from her family, and that she wanted to find friends and a family to help her! We of course told her how coming to church was like coming to a Family Reunion and that it would help her feel closer to her Heavenly Father! She came to church this Sunday, and LOVED it. She also brought her two adorable kids ( RJ and Zee) who are super rambunctious, so we took babysitter role and lassoed them during sacrament so Brittany could have a  spiritual experience. And this sacrament meeting was probably one of the most spiritual meetings I've been in. All of the testimonies touched Brittany's heart, and Alicia and Geno got up to bear their testimony as well. Sister Lauritsen who was sitting next to Johny heard him say, "Next time I want to get up there." It was incredible! And after Sacrament The fossums took Brittany and her kids to their home to have lunch and to watch "Meet the Mormons." She said it was so nice!
Eli Fossum and I, this kid has my heart!

The members here are just so loving and so willing to help everyone here feel at home. Sister Lauritsen and I feel so privileged to serve here!
We went over to Quita's house and had an awesome lesson with her in The Book of Mormon, and also talked to her about the importance of coming to church. She is amazing and sincerely just wants to do what God wants her to. So she fully relies on all of the teachings in the bible and has a hard time believing the Sabbath day is on Sunday, so we promised her that as she continued to pray for confirmation that the Book of Mormon was true, and show faith by coming to church God would tell her in her heart through the spirit that it is the true Church and we celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday. She also sweetly told us after we told her one of us may be getting transferred this week how much she'd miss us! Oh man, I already know how hard it will be to leave Madison when that time comes. :(
ALSO. Elder Holland this Weekend! We are SO stinking excited. We not only get to see him this Saturday, but he's broadcasting a devotional to all the women that we get to watch on Friday! Wahooo! It's like General Conference all over again.
On Sunday I was reading in Nephi about how he was truly expressing his sorrows and the pains he felt as he was trying to get his brothers to repent and how much it grieved him that he had to pray to Heavenly Father for strength. It then led me to read in Moses, and I love the part where Satan tempts him and asks him to worship him, but because he says, "son of man" Moses knows that it is Satan and disputes back with, "I am a son of God." And then he acts on his true character and prays to his Father in Heaven. AT times I feel straight up weak, and sad and things can be tough! But when I acknowledge who I am, and act on who I am. I receive strength from my Father in Heaven. I want y'all to remember that you all are a son or daughter of God. And yea life can be tough, but y'all are tougher than that because y'all belong to the most important, all knowing God. So like it says in the Lion King, Remember who you are. And ACT on it. Pray to Heavenly Father! Do his will, not yours! He knows what will strengthen you and uplift you! :) I know this is true because I've been striving to do the will of our Heavenly Father and I know that his way is the only way that works! I love y'all!
And Heavenly Father does too! :)
Another thing I wanted to share was an article I read in this months Ensign, it shares a story of a brother who had Kidney failure and he needed a transplant so desperately and his sister was the matching donor. They both went through the surgeries, but because it caused his immune system to become so weak he had to be in isolation for a time and not see his family or his sister after surgery. He then received special permission to attend a family Christmas party and this was a direct quote from the article,
"Wearing a face mask, Ed walked in the door, headed straight for Dottie, and enveloped her in a tremendous hug. As they embraced each other, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Everyone could feel the love emanating from them. A sister had suffered in order to give her brother the gift of life. It was a gift of love, a gift of sacrifice, a gift he couldn’t provide for himself.
As I watched them, with tears streaming down my face, it dawned on me: this could be what it will be like to meet the Savior face to face. He did something for us that we are unable to do for ourselves. Only He, being divine, was able to endure a sacrifice so great that the law of justice would be satisfied. And only He, being perfect, was worthy to atone for the sins of all mankind so that the law of mercy could be extended to all who accept Him as their Savior.
As I savored these insights, I recommitted myself to do all I could to show my appreciation for the Savior and His sacrifice. I would strive to live my life as a disciple so that someday I might be worthy to enter His presence, embrace Him, and personally thank Him for loving me enough to make such a sacrifice." (Ensign December 2015)

I hope that this Christmas season, and all year round we can all recommit ourselves to show appreciation for our Savior. I cannot wait until the day I can see his smiling face, and I can hug him. I know that what we do in this life is the opportunity we have to thank him. How are you thanking the savior?

Y'all are my favorites. I love each of you tremendously and pary you have the greatest week ever!

Heavenly Father loves you and I do too!

Love, Sister Cunningham

p.s. the title for this e-mail came about because last night we had to teach one of our recent converts about not encouraging her little children to taze drunk people, just because the cops do it. hahah it was hilarious! :)

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