Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Tuesday P-day. Its also almost all the way gone again. That always seems to happen to me. Huh. We decided not to take P-day yesterday because we figured we could catch a lot of people home for P-day. We certainly did and I enjoyed it! The day was in the mid to high 90's which felt so nice. Its amazing how that feels cool now. So weird. Anyways we made our rounds and we were on bikes all day. My bike is still hurting a smidge because of the accident but it's still good to ride. We're teaching a former gang banger right now. He lived in Los Angeles and certainly did some... things. He's built he could kick my butt anytime but he's one of the nicest guys who ever lived. I felt accomplished yesterday being back on a bike. I felt like i was getting lazy in a car. Which is true, it's so true. We met with Jellys and his family and he addressed their concerns and I think we answered them fairly well. He's coming along nicely we just have to stay consistent with him. It may be easier in the next week or two. Here's why we're pretty sure they're going to change the area(not split it). Our areas right now are interesting. Elder Yates and I have a lot of people we're seeing but both of our wards meet at 9 on Sundays in different buildings. Elder Keir and Elder Bickmore don't have very much work and their wards both meet at 1 in different buildings. It was the old stake president's call and its got all of the bishops in a fuss.

So next week its quite possible this area could be shaken up. But here's the other deal with next week. Tuesday is transfer day. We'll know Saturday night whether we're staying or going. I think I'm safe but you never know. I think this is either make or break for Elder Yates. He only has two transfers left after the end of this one. He's been in this area since the end of November. He's been here for a long time. They don't keep us in areas very long in this mission. So I really think that he's going to get transferred but hey once again I don't know its not my call we'll see on Saturday. I really don't think I'm going anywhere though. So I better elaborate on the title of this email. Its a funny story kind of. So we were teaching an investigator in a member's home. The member is native to Africa and has a pretty thick accent. I can't remember how but we got on the topic of rafting. I told them about how I went last summer and such. We kept talking and he asked me "Elder, have you see the rushin' river?". I was kind of confused about what he was saying. I was almost sure he had said "Russian River". So I answered "I can't say I have". He looked really confused. He said "You've never seen a rushin' river!?". I said "I really haven't". He asked where I was from and when I told him Colorado he raised his voice a little and said "Elder I am sure that they have rushin' water in Colorado". Thats when I caught onto what he was saying. It was way confusing and Elder Yates thought the same thing for a while but he figured it out quicker than I did. That was such a funny night. Staying on the topic of water, it poured rain at the end of last week. It was really refreshing! But unfortunately good things sometimes have bad things that go with them. When we got home that evening we were in our room just a little after 10:30 we heard some screeching from outside and then a loud crash. We knew exactly what it was. We both darted outside to find our brand new 2010 Toyota Corrolla smashed into buy some teenager who was texting. He tried to do a hit and run but his car was too damged and Elder Yates chased after him and caught him at the stop sign. He was just confused and scared and we had a nice conversation until the cops came. But our car was not drivable so they gave us an '08 Malibu. So its not the end of the world.

Well this letter is coming to an end. I don't have a terrible amount more to say really. I hear the Nuggets are really putting up a fight! Thats really cool. This week is going to be big. Its transfers, their switching up the area. And last but not least we are talking about missionary work in church. These wards down here don't really know how to do it. They're kind of prideful about it. They don't help us out a ton everyone we're teaching is off of our own efforts. The return missionaries from South America bother me because they don't get it. They just so go find and it'll work out. Its differnt here. So we're going to teach them how to be missionaries this week. We also went to the zoo so there'll be a few pictures from the zoo here. Fare the well!

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Empty streets‏

This message may not be as in depth as I'd like it to be but I'm going to try it anyways. You may have noticed that its Tuesday. In fact I'm almost sure of it. So this is probably making you wonder "isn't his P-day on Monday?". Well, this is true. Yesterday we had interviews with President Bassett. So no P-day yesterday. My interview went well and by well I mean it took less than 5 minutes. Generally its longer but I didn't have any concerns. He asked "How are you Elder Caywood after 4 weeks?" and I said "Yeah umm pretty much good". And that was essentially it. Only the reason the shortness of it is relevant is because my interview time was 3 hours behind schedule because of everyone else's time. I guess I'm an elder of little concern.

Today has been a little tiredsome. We woke up at 4 and went to the temple. The temple is sure something else. Blows my mind everytime I see it. Then we had some local flavor at a restaurant. We also went bowling and shopping at Walmart today so my P-day is essentially over. I haven't had a lazy P-day yet which is kind of upsetting and not upsetting. Whatevs. Also just so you know I bought some things so some money may be missing on the account.

Theres some crazy things going on at home eh? Nuggets are in the Western Finals that must be exciting. I bet they'll give the Lakers quite a fight. I get basketball updates frequently from a kid in the ward, he seems to go out of his way to tell me which is nice I guess. So the ward got split eh? Actually I already knew because Sister V sent me the update. She said that we have 12 wards now and like 4300 members. Also I found the Bishopric in my new ward quite hilarious. Not in a mean way but in a... those guys names are all named Dan kind of way. Dan Lamb, Dan Larsen, Dan Lindorf. They're going to be great! Bishop Larsen did such a great job but he defintely deserves some rest he's been bishop for so long. Brady got his mission call to Peru that is so exciting! I'm going to congratulate him soon! Besides that all is quiet on the Eastern front over there eh?

Well here we've had an eventful week. It has been hot! Like crazy hot too fast. The Phoenix area has set a record for the Month of May for most days in a row where it has been over a 100 degrees. Which leads to my title of the email. The streets are empty because people aren't out in the summer in Arizona. We still are but no one else. We went from 180 people talked to on the streets in a week to 98. Crazy. In investigator news. We've had some ups and downs. We pushed Sammy's date back but now she won't meet with us. It was very sudden and she doesn't want to see us so we'll just have to leave that one alone. We set another date with a woman named Diana for June 13th I believe. The work is picking up we had a investigator family of 5 come to church on Sunday and they stayed for all 3 hours. It was AWESOME! I was so excited! The work is going good but the members really aren't helping us. What we've found has been really through our own efforts. And that is great and all but missionaries leave and such. So that connection and that fellowship that an investigator has in the church is gone and then they fall away. I cannot stress the importance of members of the church fellowshipping investigators and finding people for the missionaries to teach. I say that because if you look at the results it works. I mean I'm a living breathing example of that. It is so important. Well we'll see where all this goes.

Let's see some things of note. I found two funny scriptures in the Old Testament. 2 Kings 2:23-24 that is where a bunch children make fun of a bald prophet so he summons bears to come and maul them... thats one way to solve problem. And also Exodus 16:13 which I am proud to call ATTACK OF THE QUAILS!!!!! Bahahaha. Well this is probably coming to an end because my mind is drawing blanks. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to write me. I truly am thankful for it. Glad to hear things are winding down for you mom and dad. Good job finishing up that class. I may be sending some things home soon just to let you know but I do not know when. And to my lovely sister, Sarah... Write me you bum. Alright PEACE OUT


Elder Caywood

Monday, May 11, 2009

How half full or empty is your glass?‏

Man I'm kicking myself today. I felt totally awesome for remembering to bring my camera. I got here and looked in my pocket and realized I forgot the usb cable for the computer. *sigh* so unfortunately no pictures this week but alas I must carry on. I don't know how much letter writing I'll get done today my P-day is pretty packed but I certainly appreciate all of the letters and such. Certainly brightens my day when I see them. But I will try my best to write back, I like to make it a priority to write back to people who take time to write me.

Arizona has been hot this week. Not as hot as it could be but pretty dang close. Saturday was pretty brutal. We had our baptismal service for Robin lined up at 7 and we were going to be at the Stake Center by 6ish. The day started out good and we finished eating lunch at 11. We had several appointments lined up for the day and we gave the other Elders the car for the day. We had 6 scheduled appointments and all of them fell through except for one. We biked from 11 to 4:30 in 105 degree weather. It was actually pretty funny we went taught at the apartment complex full of African refugees. We asked a family if it was easy to get use to the weather here because it must be a lot hotter in Africa. To our suprise they said Africa is much cooler than it is here in Phoenix. They don't like to be outside much here because of that.

Thursday and Friday were really weird days for us. Thursday was rough, we were having no success. Everyone on the streets told us to go away. All of our appointments fell through except for one. It was blazing hot and to top it off some members were yelling at us for some dumb reason. But that night we had a great lesson with a woman named Diana and we commited her to come to church with us on Sunday. It really helped Elder Yates and I, it made the day worth it. Friday was more interesting. In regards to the subject of the email; we decided to try the suposed law that it is illegal to deny someone a glass of water if they come to your door. So we decided to test it out in the square. We went to an apartment of a guy who hates mormons but his family like us quite a bit. We showed up and he said that his family was out and began to shut the door. Then Elder Yates said "Can we have some water". He said "Its just out of the tap" and he began to shut it again. Elder Yates responded "Well do you drink from the tap?". He grunted and slammed door. We waited and he returned to disgusting mugs. He said "Well drink" then shut the door again and opened it when we were finished. Not exactly the way we hoped it would go but we can definitely drag out a conversation if we need to. Anyways we rushed off to the other side of our area because we had an appointment in half a hour. We were going down one of the main roads on the bike paths. We were quite close to our destination. Elder Yates decided he'd go onto the this small dip where the sidewalk dips briefly in the road. He did it fast so I tried to follow. My front tire made it but my back tire caught the curb. That was the slowest split second I've had in years. You know like when your life flashes before your eyes in a life or death situation but not nearly as dramatic. Anyways my back tire caught the curb and I flew off straight into the concrete. My knees and head took the blunt off the fall. I was a little confused and woozy getting up. I had hit my head hard enough that my helmet had popped off and was about 5 feet from me. I got up and I had no idea my helmet was off until I saw it. My knees were a different story. One was a bit bloody and the other was just sore(I think I may have a monster bruise there). My bike took a bit a bit of damage too but luckily were taking it in for tune up in a week or two.

Wow that was a long paragraph. I got to go to the visitor's center on Friday which was lovely. We took Sammy and her sister there. We watched the Joseph Smith movie which was really really good. I may have seen it once before but I don't really remember it. The Mesa temple is sure something else. Its just awesome. The visitor's center is really good just by itself. Speaking of Sammy we've pushed back her baptism date. I'm not sure if it's going to happen but I'm optimistic. She's been really umm... weird the past week or so. She didn't come to church last week. She hides from us when we come over. We sat down with her last week and she said "She doesn't think she believes in God" and asked who made God. We think her family may be fueling some of these questions because they aren't supportive. She wouldn't come to the baptism on Saturday and when we sent people over to her house on Sunday this week she didn't want to come to church. And to top it off their family is moving on the 31st. It's been a dramtic turn from a few weeks ago which is saddening. We're teaching her on Tuesday so we're hoping for the best.

Sunday was a little disappointing. None of our investigators came to either ward. We were expecting about 5 of them to show. But alas not so good. We were really disappointed that one of our most promising investigators didn't show up. We went over to her house later and no answer. But, all of this doesn't matter. Enough sadness because! Robin's baptism was Saturday night! It was phenominal! There were so many people there. We actually had to move the service into the chapel, my estimation is about 80 to 100 people showed up for it. It was truly incredible and it just reminded me why this is so important. Plus its a great spiritual boost! I really wish I brought that usb cable so that I could show a picture of him.

This next week looks awfully promising. We have no meetings, no doctor appointments, no holidays. Just a regular week, as it gets. I have expectations for this week which probably means I'll be way tired which is so good!

It was way nice talking to you guys last night. I'm glad Sarah enjoyed SNL so much it sounds like that will become a classic. Stay healthy no one needs sickness right now. Yeah just send that package to the mission home when you can. I'm really warming up the ukalali(spelling?) idea. I'm going talk to President Bassett about getting my guitar or a guitar. I don't want to have a lot of junk that I have to lug around but I am really missing that thing. If I can only play hymns on it then I don't care I just want it. Some of the members here said they would give me one of their old ones for a bit but I want to clear it up with the president before I do anything like that. Oh well a ukalali would still be way cool I have some hymns in mind for that. Sarah enjoy thr rest of the school year! Send my regards to Mr. Bauer and Mr. Traenkle if you see them! Dad be ready for that final I'm sure its not as bad as you think. Mom feel better.

I hope that my letters are grammatically correct. I also hope the sentences make some sense. I don't have spell check on this so I'm never quite sure if I make any sense. By the way I want to hear from Steve, if you hear from him tell him to send me a letter or an email. Farewell from the desert.

love,Elder Caywood/The Southwest Son(Eh, I thought I'd make something dumb up but its kind of a cool play on words get it Southwest "son" its like sun bahaha oh well I'm rambling)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jumbo Domguiango!‏

Hola! Bonjour! Hello! Jumbo! AIUIASD! Hi this is Elder Caywood using his email time wisely? I don't know. Well anyways hey. So heres the deal I said my P-Day is on Monday. Which is still true. Its just this week we had training blitz which happens once a year. And it just happened to be this week. So I've been a Mesa most of the week and I've been absolutely exhausted. Its so not good. The exhausted part. The week has been way but so goooood! Let me see if I can recall what all has happened.

So last week we had most of our normal teaching appointments. My thighs are beginning to burn. We did the math and we're in the 2nd largest biking area in the mission and we easily bike over a hundred miles a week. My new bike is holding up quite nicely. However my lack of espanol is starting to become a burden. We speak to a ton of people who don't speak a lick of english. No bueno. So I may have to get a spanish to english dictionary or a phrase book of some sort. Here's one I wasn't quite expecting. If I knew a bit of swahili I'd probably be set too. We teach at an apartment complex full of African refugees from the Congo. Thats actually the whole point of the subject! "Jumbo Domguiango(though probably spelled very wrong)" means "Hello Friends" in swahili. Its so cool!!!

So last week I was reminded of what some people think of the missionaries. We were in the southern most tip of our area and we ran into some teenagers. We got to talking and we asked them what they thought the purpose of life is. The girl just smirked and one of the guys said "you don't want to know". Then the last guy said "I'll tell you" then he proceeded to tell us one of the most haynous things I've heard regarding God's purpose for his people. Let's see. Saturday night wasn't very good. We were standing at a street corner and some girls started screaming at us from across the street. We couldn't hear what they were saying but then we figured it out. One of the girls flashed us... Ugh. Elder Yates turned around, sighed, and said "come on Elder Caywood let's go someplace more wholesome". Sunday we got yelled at by some guy but Elder Yates handle it pretty well. He always does so well in all these situations where I would generally get way frustrated or upset. Last week was kind of weird like that we had a really bad day Saturday(as you could probably have figured out).

This week has been much better because of the training blitz. We wake up around 5 and then spend 5 hours in meetings in Mesa. I learned so much it was way good. Elder Yates had toe surgery on his ingrown toenail. That was certainly... interesting? to watch. They took like a third of his nail off he's still in a bit of shock. The doctor said "well when the resurrection happens your toe will be as good as new but in this life you're not winning any beauty contests". Our coach was Elder Young from Montana so him and Yates talked about Montana a lot. It was kind of weird but cool. Elder Young is actually the reason we don't have a car. He got hit by a truck last month on his bike and isn't allowed to ride a bike in his tiny little area because of it. So we got to use his car in our area for two days and got so much accomplished it was refreshing. The car is definitely a plus especially since the members don't give us many rides here.

Actually speaking of cars. We got one this morning. Its a brand new 2010 Corolla newest car in the mission. Its so nice! We have to share it with the other companionship but a car some of the time is better than a car none of the time. As for people we're teaching. Robin is going so good! His baptism is on Saturday! He's so strong I'm not worried about him at all. Sammy on the other hand is struggling and we're probably going to have to push hers back. We're teaching a guy named Victor right now. He's so funny and laid back. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he said he believed it was true just because we told him. Apparently we're convincing. We told him to read it for himself. We comapred it to food. Someone can tell you its good but you don't know until you try it.

I totally forgot to bring my camera here so no pictures this week(Not that I've taken a ton anyways). So Mother's Day is on Sunday so I get to call home. I know I get a hour and it should be towards the later evening but we'll get it figured out I'm sure. The recital is coming up when is it? How soon til Dad is done with classes? I saw a LeBaron Tax place in Mesa I wonder if there is any relation to Steve? Did you ever figure out where the Tollers were at in Mesa that'd be cool to bump into them. Well also wanted to tell you that mission is pretty easy going in terms of emailing so I can respond to any direct email if you want to save some stamps mom. But the letters are still so nice! You can read them anytime you want instead of just a hour a week you know? Well whatevs. Peace out everyone! God be with til we meet or speak again!!!

Love,Elder Caywood/The new tall elder who not a lot of people know all that well but he seems friendly anyways just awkward looking hmmm.