By Richard Thackray
Cushing Pride Director

(Cushing, Okla) — Just one week ago I woke up on my retired man’s schedule (11am) and like usual I checked my emails. I was pleased to receive the following email:

“Hello, my name is Elder Merrill. I am a missionary here in Cushing Oklahoma! I am looking for a service
opportunity in the community. I was told that y’all might have somewhere for me to help. If there is an opportunity for me and 3 other missionaries to help serve please let us know. Thank you so much!
– Have a blessed day!”

As director of Cushing Pride I have so many great stories of community givers but this one became special. I Contacted Elder Merrill and explained the Adopt-A-Block program and that one of our teams has been having trouble getting out and wondered if he would be interested in taking over for this month.  He quickly responded with a definite “YES” so I called him to set up getting the missionaries some tools for the job.

While speaking to him I realized he was young but spoke with extreme confidence and demeanor and after meeting with Elder Merrill and Elder Bleazard I was impressed. They agreed to take on our trash pickup as well as volunteered to help our city airport manager’s cry for help as he needed volunteers for the upcoming “FLY IN” at the Cushing airport on Aug 21st – 23rd. Before I could call Mike Middleton at the airport to tell him the good news, the missionaries had beaten me and called him and were all set to go as volunteers. That evening I dropped off the supplies for cleaning up 9th Street from Linwood to Harmony and by the next night 4 huge bags were filled and all was clean.

The four missionaries are visitors to our city as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I asked them to tell us about themselves and I would like to share that with you. (Their congregation address male missionaries as “Elder” and females as “Sister”)

Elder Merrill – “I am from Sugar City Idaho! I grew up helping my father build houses. My father taught me to work hard and be happy. I came to Oklahoma 13 months ago and served in 5 different cities.”

Elder Bleazard is from Duchesne Utah – “I grew up on a cattle ranch with 300 mother cows. I was taught that we work until the job gets done and then some. I have been here in Oklahoma for two weeks and I love it!”

Sister Nelson is from Kaysville, Utah.- “I love crafting and creating art. I came out on a mission because I have a strong desire to serve others and show Christlike love to those who haven’t had any. I was serving in Korea at first but now I’ve been in Cushing, Oklahoma since June.”

Sister Theriault is from Bakersfield California. “I love music and I also love making others feel happy! I am here on a mission to spread happiness I’ve felt from Christ in my life. I’ve been in Oklahoma since June and served in two different towns.”

They ended their text to me with, “We all love the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much, and He has truly blessed our lives! If y’all ever want to learn more about his love please reach out to us at (405) 822-2104.”

On behalf of Cushing Pride, City Commissioners, City Manager, and the City of Cushing I want to thank these missionaries for picking the city of Cushing and making it a little bit better while they are here and pray for safe travels as they continue on.