Monday, April 27, 2009

Gun Shots and Halfway Houses‏

Greetings from beautiful Arizona. Man that first sentence is way cheesy. Unless I had an exotic accent then all the sudden I'd be way cool. Its been a while but I'm back at a computer. P-days are Mondays here and occasionally Tuesdays(for when we go to the temple). So my last days at the MTC were sad but excting. We said all of our goodbyes. Our zone was really sad to see us go. I've gotten emails from them saying it just hasn't been the same since we left. I'm so glad to be out of the MTC (Or the Missionary Torture Center as Elder Frisby likes to call it). It was good but I was so ready to leave.

Anyways we arrived around 10 on Tuesday. When we got to Scottsdale it was about 102 degrees and the highest it got was 104. Blech. So I went to pick up my bedding all I saw was a smallish box(small for bedding). So I opened it and found a pillow and a blanket and loads of candy. I was happy but now I didn't have any sheets and what not. But luckily the rest of it came on Saturday so now I have a nice comfy bed. Lovely! Well anyways I got to meet the mission president he's very nice and has high expectations. This is pretty no nonsense mission. No guitar allowed unfortunately. I would of loved to play on my P-day. But I have a piano I occasionaly play on so its all good.

Well we all got assigned our areas. Elder Paiz got Mesa I believe I was kind of zoning out and he was first to go. Elder Gilbert got Greasewood which is an indian reservation about 4 hours away and from what I hear some crazy stuff happens there. I can't remember where Elder Morgan went. Which leaves just 2 left from our district. Elder Bickmore and myself. I got called up and I found out I was going to Phoenix in a place called Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is home to Phoenix's very own "The Square" which is a square mile of the cheapest living in the entire city. I have yet to see anything classier than a Burger King here. No joke. And to top it off they took the car away this week so we're in one of the biggest biking areas in the mission. That was a wake up call. I bought a bike on Wednesday and I bike several several miles a day. Elder Bickmore is in the area next to us. My trainer is Elder Yates. He's my height and really really good at basketball.

Its been a comfortable 90 something the past couple days. I'm staying at a member's home. Their names are the Bjarnsons! They're way cool. I bought my groceries the other day. I got 115 dollars a month. The members essentially feed us every night. Its been way fun but I've been so tired. That bike takes it out of me. Wednesday morning we went 8 miles on one appointment. I'm getting quite tan though. I just remembered what was bothering me. This place is like anti-Steve Nash! I love Steve Nash but everyone in this area at least doesn't appreciate his little white guy fun power.

Anyways I better elaborate on the title. I've only heard two gun shots so I don't know a lot about that. As for the halfway house we teach a guy there named Jason. He's way cool and asks a lot of good questions. We asked him to read the Book of Mormon and he said yeah. He was on a lot of drugs and he's quit all of them he leaves the halfway house in 3 weeks. We're teaching a few others here too. We taught a guy named Dagan he was waaaaaay out there. The member we took with us was pretty sure he was on meth. It was obvious that what we taught Dagan didn't stick because we saw him taking a prostitute home later that evening when we were heading home. Another guy we met was a former gang member named "Dragon" He had spent the past 17 years in maximum security prison. But he changed his ways and read the bible 6 times in the past 3 years. It was way cool but he was telling us some way weird stuff. He pointed up the street and told us he got shot at that corner. He seemed pretty legit. We talked to about 77 people this week on the street. Elder Yates says we can do better because Elder Keir and Elder Bickmore got 177 last week. But we also taught twice as much as them. We have 2 baptisms lined up already. We have a guy named Robin on the 9th and a girl named Sammy on the 16th. For the most part everything is going well.

My scriptures are slowly becoming very well marked and its getting easier to talk to people but its still way hard. Well you're probably wondering about my address. Its actually just the mission home and they forward it to me. Go figure but I thought that would happen. We're suposed to get a car in 2 weeks so we have our fingers crossed.

Elder Brandon Caywood
Arizona Mesa Mission Office
6265 N 82nd St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Well I had a terrible train of thought for this email. I was having trouble focusing so I might have said the same things. Its so obvious that I'm a grennie its not even funny. Everyone knows it too. Bah... Oh well so much for trying to appear experienced. I'm trying to think of what else to write. Well people on the streets are funny. You get yelled at and told some weird things. I heard the Broncos drafted Knowshon Moreno! Such a good pick! He's going to bull over people. He's the second coming of Ladanian Tomlinson I swear it! Is the recital coming up? How's Sarah's foot will she be ready? I heard the Nuggets are awesome. I hear a lot of things. Whatevs. Dad how's your classes going? Could you get me Lindsay Bancroft's email? I forgot to write it down on paper and I wanted to send her something. I think she's on the email list because I remember putting it down. Man, you have the worst memory as a missionary no joke. PEACE OUT.

love,Elder Caywood/Cay-dub(Some guy at the MTC called me that a lot)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Welcome to Provo Elder Caywood‏

So pretty much I've been wondering what to write all week. I sit in bed for countless hours just pondering what will I say to the entire world in this short little message. Naw I'm just kidding I just kind of think as I go. Lots of stuff has been going through my head and it has been an incredibly busy week. Let me get started from I guess whatever point I left off before but first.

I've been thinking about the Jay Cutler trade a lot. I don't know a lot about it but I thought, this coach essentially created Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. So we should be alright right? Plus Cutler msay not pull through in the windy city even though I think the Bears are suddenly super bowl contenders, sigh. So they sent Scott home on idol huh? Well I guess it was bound to happen. Sorry to hear about Fiona hopefully Sarah's dance is still good. How's Sarah's foot? The weather sounds frightful but remember it hits here first. Provo is about as bi-polar as Colorado Springs. We got a ton of snow yesterday and apparently its a illegal to throw snowballs(I don't think its true but whatevs)

So apparently the term b-mail was more clever than I thought. I got a bunch letters telling me how awesome the term is. So yeah I'm cool apparently. I also got a few letters telling me about Elder Holland's talk at conference and asking if I saw it. I did not get to see it unfortunately. My roomate got food poisoning so I was in the residence hall that Sunday. But... Elder Holland spoke at the devotional here on Tuesday. It was so amazing. He speaks to missionaries with so much passion. I loved it. He said "I hope you have a fraction of an idea of what you're doing, cause then you're on the right track". I just love that guy it was a phenominal talk.

I better elaborate on the title of the email. Well this week I've gotten to go all over the place here. The temple for starters, twice! But thats across the street. On Saturday my companion got sick. I took him to the health clinic only to discover that they are closed on Saturdays. I asked him if he could wait then he uttered something I won't soon forget. "Elder Caywood I can't see the lower half of your body". I froze and rushed to the front desk and we went to urgent care. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with him gave him some pain killers and sent us on our way. Tuesday it happened again so this time we went and saw an eye specialist so we got to go into Provo. They couldn't figure out what was wrong either. So I've gotten to see the town a little bit because of our trips to medical places(we're suposed to see the 4th doctor this week for him). Its funny how many people wave to you when you're out on the street. Its either a wave, a honk, a smile, or a scowl it seems. Not too many scowls in Provo though.

I've started the 2nd lesson but my companion hasn't been able to study it much so I don't have much practice at it. Gym time is always fun here. I always play volleyball since I'm only coordinated enough to do that. I'm not allowed to serve to girls anymore. I served to a guy on the other team and he tried to return it. It hit him in the arm and he started bleeding. He was mad but I think he must have like retarded skin or something. Whatever. Referral Center is fun I think I talked about it last week. Its when we call people and bother them about free dvds and scriptures and what not. I called a lady on Monday and I think I converted her over the phone. I got her to pick up a B.O.M. read 3rd Nephi and have the missionaries over. It was just a taste of what it'll be like. I'm excited!

So I got my departure papers and such this week. I leave on Tuesday around 8 40 in the morning. That'll be cool. Also parentals be around on Tuesday morning because I'm allowed to call you from the airport briefly so be available! Its weird to be leaving. The new Elders came in yesterday. We decided to prank them. I gave Elder Paiz my sunglasses and he pretended to be blind and pulled it off beautifully. We kept it going everywhere we went. He held onto my bag and just follwed. We had people get his food and everything it was flawless. The new elders completely bought it. Bahahaha. We ended the charade at lunch today. They took it well and really thought it was blind. We're just glad they didn't write home and say "There's a blind kid here, he's so inspirational to my testimony of the church I think I can do my mission because of him. " That would have been bad. P-day is winding down. This window is going to close in 5 minutes.

I've been studying so hard this week. My scriptures are starting to look missionary like. I liked Easter. But someone had to tell me it was Easter cause I didn't know. I lost track of the days. I'm still doing well I can't believe its almost over. I've gained 5 lbs since getting here. I'm fat and its gross but whatevs. The candy is good mom! You're taking every holiday candy package I see. Can't wait for Earth Day or 4-20 but missionaries don't celebrate that. Actually only drugees celebrate 4-20 why am I even talking about that. I don't even know. I just want to say I appreciate the letters so much. Its nice to know someone is thinking about me. Mom you're pretty on top of it you don't miss a day. Dad you're pretty good at it too. Sarah stop having mom quote you and write something you hobo. I get letters from several people and I really appreciate it even if its small. I read them and I think about you guys and keep everyone in my prayers. Peace out.

Love, Elder Caywood

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rule 42‏

Welcome to B-mail bahahaaha. Thats actually not all that funny. Anyways whats up family? Its been awfully of nice of you guys to send me letters everyday. But of course thats easy when they're free to send. Here's my thoughts on what you've sent me. Jay Cutler is an immature child who will break the hearts of every Bears fan. He's like the quarterback white version of T.O. Stupid baby. The Broncos will crush the throat of the competition. American Idol seems... Exciting? I don't really know. North Korea launched a missle over JAPAN ASUFDIUWAHDAUIH**^@%@?????? Crazy. I told Sarah that the car charger wouldn't work but since when am I right?

The MTC has been simply AWESOME! I love it but I can't wait to get out of here. I had the opportunity to go the temple for this first time since I've gotten here. It was also the first time I've left the MTC since leaving. The outside world is nice oh so nice. LOVE IT. The food is very two faced it can be great and well not so great. Lets just say that if you have any... problems coming into the MTC the orange juice will clean you out. Literally in everyway. Mayfield was a hairy beast! It was nuts but it was cool. I've learned more than I ever thought I could in a week. Its been really cool but I'm looking forward to next week when I check out and head to the oven that is Arizona. General Conference threw everything out of whack this weekend so we've been in a bit of a funk since we came. I've spent a lot of time at the Referral center which is the place where all the calls go for the church. So if you call to get a free Book of Mormon or DVD (or whatever else we give out) you get to talk to missionaries at the MTC. I got to talk to a guy about the church in New Orleans. He told me about the joys of getting high. Thats so nice.

My companion is from Utah and is the first person I met here who can sing better than me. We harmonize and sing everywhere and its pretty much hilarious. I've been terribly sick this week so I haven't been able sing at all terrible (lousy british accent)! My other roomates are Elder Gilbert and Elder Morgan from Idaho Falls and Spokane. Its really weird I've met people I've known before here. 3 guys from college. And oddly enough the guy I roomed with at EFY crazy eh? This whole 30 minutes to write thing is kind of ticking me off. Especially since I had to set up an account so that went into my time. Theres this timer on the right corner of the screen just taunting me. Grrr.

I've memorized the first lesson and have taught a couple times. I try to use the scriptures as much as I can when I teach. I'm getting quite good at that but I have to remember to adjust to meet the people's needs. Its strange I keep thinking I see people I know here. Like occasionally I do as I mentioned above but for example. I swear Tuesday I saw Justin LeBaron. I had to look a few times. Then yesterday I swear I saw Christina, kind of random but true! Like mirror images...

It seems you gave everyone my address or some kind of variation of it. The most correct one to use and to give out to people is the one I sent you in my last letter. At least while I'm here. I can't believe I sent you guys Kalab's letter. I wonder if I put one of yours in his envelope. Cause I put something in there, hmmm I'm attentive. Oh the title of this message is rule 42. That is because rule 42 in the missionary handbook is not to chew gum in public. Crazy eh? Well I'm running out of time slowly but surely so I better wrap this up. Keep the letters coming from everyone! Nothing delights me more than seeing that old mailbox filled! Plus people have some interesting things to say! :D P-days are on Thursdays. I love you all! My email I believe is

Pretty sure thats the right one if not just edit this really quick. Alright peace out everyone.

love, Elder Caywood

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on Elder Brandon Caywood

Hello Everyone,

This is my first attempt at contacting all of you to update you on Brandon. Yesterday was very difficult and joyous at the same time. We miss him terribly, but are excited for him also.

Brandon's plane left at 8:30 yesterday morning from Colorado Springs. He was met at the Salt Lake City airport by Sister Emily Van Wagenen's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Meibos. We are very grateful to have become a part of the Van Wagenen family. Although we were not able to be with him when he entered the MTC, two of his very good friends, former Elders Martin and Mayfield were making the trip to see him. I hope that worked out.

Brandon's contact information while residing at the MTC is as follows:

Elder Brandon Caywood
Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
MTC Box #186
Provo, UT 84604

Many thanks to Sister Angela Frisby for her information regarding the website For those of you who are interested, you can contact Brandon via this website. Enrollment is free and while he is at the MTC all messages are free. Any messages sent by 12:00 will be delivered to him that same day. You will need to know is box number (186) and estimated departure date from the MTC (4/21/09). I know he would love to hear from as many of you as possible. Any of you who wish to send messages to Brandon via a response to my e-mails may feel free to do so. I will print and include your letter with those I send. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Chris Caywood

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1st Letter Home

Airport Goodbye......

Dear Family,

So arrived safely. The flight was boring and I fell asleep. Salt Lake was less than stellar conditions. We actually went the wrong way. Jenny's grandma was there and so was Casey. Robert really wanted to come, but couldnt' miss the lab. Mayfield and Martin were good. Mayfield is very hairy. But he's good. I checked in and I have my name tag, which is certainly neat. We watched the video and just as advertised, it ended and the tears began to stream. I find it interesting, well just this place in general. It's really cool, just bizarre.

I'm all moved in for the most part. I do keep losing things though. My suitcase exploded (the big one with front pocket). Luckily, everything is accounted for. Stuff I keep losing is things they give me. I must just not pay attention. My companion's name is Elder Paiz. He's a good guy. He's from Utah and actually knows several people here. I live with two other missionaries too. We're all english speaking and going to Mesa. The whole companion this is going to take some getting use to. It's pretty hard, but I haven't seen anything I can't do yet. Still, I have a few things I'm doing tonight. I haven't decided whether I'll like it here yet. There has been ups and downs, but th real adventure starts tomorrow. That's when we get into our schedule. This is still a little wierd to me, it's happened so fast.

I do know this, I can't wait to get to Arizona. Sure, this is kind of neat, but Arizon is where I want to be.

I have a few e-mails I want you to add to the list. I'll get them to you when I can.

My mailing address is:

Elder Brandon Aaron Caywood
MTC Mailbox #186
A2-MESA 0421
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

My estimated departure date is April 21st.

That's about all I have.


Elder Caywood