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