Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9, 2017

up your game


I reflected back on the good old days when I was getting bit by dogs and finding ant nests in my clothes and wondering why nothing hilarious like that has been happening lately. So yeah, this last week was my first in the Redlands Bay area. It's definitely my smallest so far, but it's still a ward. Oh yeah, and before I forget, we celebrated a birthday this last week. The birthday of the greatest county in the world. 󾓦🗽🎉
We didn't get to do much for it other than singing a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful" for comp study. There's a lot of people to visit here. Plus the members are awesome. One night we made homemade pizza, that was really cool. We have an investigator Lachlan, who's only 16 or 17 but he's really excited to get baptized and wants to serve a mission and all. We're excited, he's excited, the ward is excited because everyone knows him, and even his parents are excited even though they're not members and aren't even interested in joining (yet). But we taught the Plan of Salvation with his parents there and it went really well. He's already been taught everything (his baptism is this week) but we're reteaching everything with his parents so they know about what we believe.
Highlight of the week FO SHO was going to the islands. We have a couple islands in our ward boundaries because our area is right on the coast, so we have permission to take a ferry out to them every other week or so to visit less actives. I thought all the fancy rich people would live on the islands, but actually it's where all the boguns live (think: Australian hillbillies) and they're really fun to talk to because they'll talk to you about anything, especially fishing.
We started on Macleay island and visited this one lady who asked us if we wanted her to show us her chooks, and she asked me if I knew what a chook was, and I was like LADY, I've been in Aussie land for 16 MONTHS now, I'm practically STEVE IRWIN at this point....not really but I already knew they were chickens. We had to bike HARD around the islands (that's the catch, we don't get to take the car) because we needed to catch the ferry. Then we went to Lamb island and visited another less active. We sort of helped him remove some old blinds and start to install some new ones but only got so far before we had to dash back to the port. I say sort of because we almost stripped a screw so bad we couldn't get it out of the wall but couldn't screw it any further. But fortunately we got it out and kind of left it half installed.
He showed me this super ancient image capturing photograph machine (a camera) and told be to find the "secret latch" to open the lens. There was a button on the back and I just thought "oh, easy" and pressed it but instead of doing what I thought it would it just kind of broke. It was like that part in Nacho Libre where he pokes the china doll and the eye just shatters, except it was with this button on the back of this old camera. He didn't get mad thought or anything. I think he might have been too old to get mad anymore.
Sunday was great to, we had a stake priesthood meeting and there were some really awesome talks, one was about how the Aaronic priesthood are like the "wingmen" to the bishop, another was about the importance of serving a full time mission, and another was about what we can learn about priesthood service from Melchizedek. Overall great week and this week will be exciting too.
Elder Cummings 




July 2, 2017

here today, gone six weeks later

So transfers have again arrived. And incredibly, I'm already getting transferred out of Bunya Forest. I was only there 1 transfer (6 weeks). It was a tough area, the hardest so far of my mission, but I was actually hoping to stay another transfer because we just started building things up but now I'll have to leave it behind :(. So here's this transfer's stats:
I'm on my 12 transfer now.
My new area is the Redland Bay area, which is right next to the ocean so that's pretty cool.
My new comp is Elder Hymas, from Tooele, Utah.
And...I'm also a zone leader. Whoopee!
Last week we gave a blessing to one of the sister's investigators, visited a couple less actives, and got in a couple bible bashes at the door, which hasn't happened to me in a while. This guy tried to get us on polygamy and just general claims that Joseph Smith was a liar, made it all up, etc. etc.This other baptist lady said the Book of Mormon was made up ("Gold plates? Please!"...."Indians are from the tribes of Israel? *rolls eyes dramatically*) stuff like that. The first guy I was pretty stumped because it caught me off guard. Tried bearing my testimony but then his wife cut me off to tell him to come in for lunch. But the second lady I invited to show me physical evidence of stories from the Bible because she claimed the Book of Mormon was false for the same reason. That stumped her so I said these things are only known by the Spirit. I wish I could give a line by line how it went but when these things happen you only remember a couple things you said after it happens. 
Saturday night we visited our Brazilian investigator family, they're one of the ones I'll miss most from the area because they were so nice and awesome. They fed us casava bread and cheesebread, which was really good. I'd love to upload pics but this computer doesn't have a sd port :( so I'll have to bring my sd to USB adapter next time. Cheers!
Elder Calvin Cummings

June 25, 2017

week 5 of transfer 11

So this week went by pretty fast, it was a good week as well. Wednesday we were able to meet a new investigator who referred himself to us. Funnily enough, he's from washington and he just moved here a few weeks ago and want to learn more about the church because his brother's a member. It was really cool but we met at a shopping center and that lesson went HORRIBLE. With all the noise and people and distractions it was hard for both of us to teach by the Spirit. I learned a lot about the importance of reverence. It was the first time I've taught in that environment and it'll hopefully be the last. He was saying how he had prayed many times before but had never felt anything and me and my companion just struggled trying to discuss it. But this week we met a couple times with our Brazilian investigator family, the Baruffis. They're solid and super nice, but at the moment they believe any church is good, because at the end of the day it's not the church that saves, but God, and it doesn't matter which one you take, kind of like how you can take different roads to the same destination. But we taught that in Ephesians Paul taught that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," and the Book of Mormon is the proof. Not too many other highlights this week, we had lunch with a member from my first area, Bracken Ridge. Me and my companion both served in B-Ridge (not at the same time) but my companion kept in touch and we had lunch at a park. That was fun. 
Well, there was this one referral we contacted, and she was telling us that the Bible says the earth is flat, therefore, it's flat, that water can't stick to a globe, and all the pictures from NASA and things are just CGI and they're all satanists. That was interesting. Plus there was this other guy who was telling us after going to a Catholic seminary for years, he realized that to know God, (and not just know ABOUT Him,) he had to forget everything he thought he knew about God, and told us to do the same. That threw me for a loop. But not to worry, my testimony stand firm. 
Elder Calvin Cummings

June 18, 2017










June 15, 2017

it's been an age

So our zone had temple p-day today, that's why I'm emailing friday instead of monday. Man, so I have to email for almost two weeks worth of stuff, wowie. Well, actually, not too much has happened. This area was pretty dead but we've found a couple new investigators the last few days. One is a really nice family who just moved here from Brazil a year ago. They're pretty solid. Another is a lady from PNG named Sonia. She's really nice and pretty solid as well. It's a pretty well to do area so most people aren't interested so we're really depending on the members to do the finding and inviting for us. It's been pretty cold and rainy. We had interviews with President McSwain as well. Those went well. We had dinner at Bishop's and played ping pong. I regret to say I lost but it was a close game. I've lost a lot of my mojo (if I had any to begin with). But yeah that's all I got. I'll send another email with pics.
Elder Cummings

June 4, 2017

run of the mill week

Yeah sooo this week was pretty normal besides the zone conference we had. Last p day we went to this super awesome exhibit at a museum where they had heaps of props and costumes from the marvel movies. Obviously with me being the way I am I had to see it. I took pictures of almost everything. I'll email pictures next week because I forgot my camera at the flat. Tuesday we went on a road trip with the zls up to sunshine coast for a zone conference. It was pretty good. I had to play the piano for it. President said the area presidency wants to crack down on obedience, especially with unauthorized electronic devices. So President basically issued an ultimatum that if anyone was caught with a smartphone, mp3, etc after interviews in a couple weeks they'd be sent home immediately. Wowee. Besides that all week was door knocking. There was only 2 or 3 investigators when we came into the area but they've both kind of dropped us. We found one new investigator, a guy from Egypt, and he was pretty interested in our message but he's moving out of our area next week :( Yesterday we went to a Tongan fireside and I had to play the piano for the hymns, they were tongan hymns so I didn't have much time to learn them but luckily Tongans sing REALLY LOUD and REALLY WELL so no one could hear me :) I forgot my camera, so I'll send pictures next week. 
Elder Cummings

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 28, 2017

its aight

So this week was pretty good. Nothing super exciting to report. Most of what we did was door knock and meet members, since both of us are new in the area. We tried seeing the investigators, but there's only a couple and they weren't available, so this next week we're trying to build up the teaching pool and get things going. My first district meeting went good. There's 4 companionships in the district, including the office elders and the assistants, but because the office elders/assistants are so busy they apparently don't make it to district meeting a lot of the time. But the office elders were able to come and I gave a training in district meeting on companionship unity. Other than that as a district leader I call the district a couple times a week just to see how things are going, invite them to work on certain things, report their key indicators to the zone leaders, and yeah that's basically it. One of my previous companions, Elder Banks, in an office elders so I'm glad I'll get to see more of him often. We had a bbq at our ward mission leader's house. He's really cool. He owns a boxing gym. And he's filipino. But he's not manny pacquiao :( In this zone we get to play touch-rugby with 6 or 7 other elder companionships a couple mornings a week so that's really fun, even though I'm no good at juking people out. But yeah hope everything is going good. 
Elder Cummings




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 21, 2017

May 7, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

CRIKEY LOOK AT THOSE ROOS

So most mornings for exercise we go for a run through this park that always has heaps of kangaroos jumping around and I finally brought my camera to take some shots. Usually when we get close they jump away but this one morning this big buff one just stood up and stared at us and we got pretty close but we dared not go past it. It was a buff kangaroo. Apparently if they feel threatened they can either box you, put you in a headlock, or grab you with their arms and gore you with the claws on their feet by standing on their tail. So yeah we weren't gonna mess with that guy. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera that day but just know it was on steroids. 
We went to our investigator Stacey's house on Thursday to talk about her baptism on Saturday, and she and her older brother said their mom decided she wasn't ready to be baptized yet. We kind of freaked out because we thought she already had permission so the baptism had been announced and the program was all figured out and everything, fortunately Stacey's brother made one last appeal to their mom and got permission. Thank goodness. so the baptism on Saturday went great. I was able to do her confirmation on Sunday which was also great. Yesterday we door knocked into a super awesome Peruvian couple who said they had been trying to find out more about the Mormon church and practically begged us to come back since they were about to head out to a picnic. We graciously accomadated them. The wife asked if she could buy a book of mormon but of course we hand them out for free so I gave her one that I carry when we go door knocking. It was a super awesome experience so I hope that goes well when we see them on Sunday. So yeah that was my week hope you all had a good one.
Elder Cummings





Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 25, 2017


April 17, 2017

Easter week

Yeah so the reason I'm getting around to this on Tuesday is because they changed our pday. Monday was a public holiday so they wanted us to get out and work since people would be home....or at least, they THOUGHT people would be. We went tracting for a couple hours and only talked to a couple people, everyone was out. Not a whole lot to report this week, other than we found a part member family. They live kind of out in the bush so when we drove out there there was a big fence around their property, we yelled out to see if anyone was home (because you never know what kind of dogs will be lurking inside) and we were about to leave but then a taxi pulled up and a couple of kids got out and said they lived there. They invited us in and we talked to their family about baptizing their 3 baptismal age kids which they were pretty keen for. We'll hopefully have a baptism on the 29th. Our investigator had her baptismal interview yesterday and she passed so now we just need her mom's permission. Soooo yeah for Easter we just did regular missionary work besides going to church and had dinner with the Stockman's, a pretty cool family. Their son just got back from his mission in Sydney North, he was pretty good mates with one of my best friends who's serving there, Eugene Jo. But yeah it would be kind of sad to live in Australia or New Zealand because if you do you have a 90% chance of getting called to somewhere in Australia or New Zealand, and there's only 7 or 8 missions so you have a really good chance as serving in the same mission as other people from your stake, your cousins, or even your sibling, as is the case with Elder and Sister Evans in our mission. Anyways hope everyone had a great Easter!
Elder Cummings

April 9, 2017

April 2017

This is a picture that was posted on March 19th on the mission blog (australiabrisbanemission.com).  It was taken at a zone conference.


April 2, 2017

The FLOOOOOOD

Hey everyone, so this week was a pretty crazy week. For the first time ever on my mission we got confined to our flats because of bad weather. And by bad, I mean SEVERE. There was this massive cyclone that hit Australia farther up north the coast from Brisbane but the rain and wind still reached down to us. So Thursday we got a text saying for all the missionaries to stay in their flats for the day to stay safe. It was a much needed day off. We just laid around and studied, slept, and watched our scanty collection of church DVDs. It was just constant hard rain all day, with no breaks. Fortunately our flat didn't flood or anything.
But the NEXT day was strange, because we woke up and it seriously the nicest weather I've had in Australia so far. And I've been here for over a year now. Not humid, not cold, not too hot, a nice breeze, clear skies. Its just too bad it took a cyclone to get that nice of weather. We had service scheduled for a member but when we tried to get to his house all the roads were flooded. We tried like 3 different ways to get to his house but each way was flooded over. 
It was a great week this week though. Got a lot done. They had a multi stake mini MTC where youth/ysa who are preparing to go on missions went and were taught by RMs for a day. We went to help out doing role playing and stuff like that. It was pretty cool and I got to see a couple people from my first area who were there. Overall pretty A+. We're trying to help our recent convert who got baptized a couple weeks ago get prepared to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.
We had an investigator tell us he likes how our church is okay with people getting rich. We tried explaining prosperity is a blessing from living the gospel and not a main priority for members of the church and we help people become self-reliant, but he just kept saying how much he liked that the church doesn't condemn being rich. Interesting guy.








March 26, 2017

March 19, 2017


March 14, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 5, 2017

February 26, 2017

I actually got transferred this time

February 19, 2017

the group email

I'm just inching and inching closer to the big year mark but it just doesn't seem to come! Just a couple weeks away!😫
This week was another pretty average one. Except for the fact that we had district conference (kind of like stake conference) on the weekend. 
Throughout the week we caught up with most of our investigators. Still no progress but I think in the next couple of week we'll start to see some steps forward. Well, that is, if I'm here...I've been in the area for 5 transfers, or almost 7 months, now and transfers are next week, so chances are this is my last week in the good ol area of Atherton. We got the address of our investigator from Papua New Guinea because he flies back today. We got his email and stuff so we could keep in touch because he was probably our most progressing investigator and he doesn't even live here. Saturday we traveled down to the ZL's area, Cairns, for district conference. First they had a District Missionary Training Conference which was mostly for the branch missionaries and branch mission leaders but the full time missionaries from Cairns (theres 3 companionships in Cairns, including the ZLs) presented the trainings. I played the piano for the opening and closing hymns :P And with missionaries we're ALWAYS singing "called to serve" for ANY meeting and that happens to be one of the hymns I have a really hard time playing but for the MTC I just simplified it enough that I could play it well. 
After that I went with Elder Fukofuka to invite less actives and part member families to the district conference. We went up to this one place where you can basically see all of Cairns from. I'll attach pictures. Then we had the adult session of conference. It was alright. A couple of the talks were about marriage. One was about participating in YSA. Soooo yeah. For dinner we bought a ton of KFC and between us, the ZLs and the Innisfail Elders it was gone in like 10 minutes. The Sunday general session was really good. The mission presidency and the district presidency all spoke, as well as the Brisbane temple president, who is awesome. I particularly liked his talk because he got super animated and was all
"Critics will say the church is declining. Anti mormons will say it's failing. THEY. ARE. WRONG. The church has NEVER been stronger. The temple has NEVER been busier." It just hit a lot of things on the head with stuff I've been worrying about lately because to see all the people going less active and things it's really disheartening but President Cowen's talk was all about doing family history since the temple isn't as available to people so far up north. Took some pictures with President McSwain the mission president after but by then half the zone had left.
And lastly the biggest highlight of the week was I got to ordain Joey to the Melchizedek priesthood. We baptized his son last October, his wife a couple weeks ago, and he and his son got the Aaronic priesthood a few weeks ago, and yesterday he got the higher priesthood. It's been so good to see their family take all these big steps. I'm super proud of Joey for deciding to come back to church and to make changes in his life. So yeah, that's my week. Wish me luck for transfers :((((((
Elder Cummings







Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 12, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 5, 2017