Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Meridian of Mission‏

I really really can't believe this is happening. On Thursday(April Fool's!) I will have been on my mission for exactly a year. This morning as I pondered I decided I'd take a look at myself in the airport last year. I remember it was freezing. I remember we had to ditch my duffle bag be cause it was going to cause 8 bazzilion dollars to send 3 bags instead of the normal like 50 or something. Then I remember one thing. I was scared it hit me. I looked at my family and the thought finally hit me like a body builder throwing a brick at my thick thick skull. I ain't gonna see these guys for 2 years! Oh flippin' goodness AHHHH!!! I looked at the picture of me in the airport. To the untrained the first thing you notice is that guy is really pale. But when I look at the picture I see one thing. That guy has no idea what's happening to him. And boy I didn't. If I had known before hand how hard a mission would be I may not have so readily signed up. But now being a year out I'm for sure super super sure glad I did.

We've had a fairly decent week this week. One thing did backfire though... We assumed that spring break would mean tons o tons of people home from school and plenty of families for us to teach and to contact. WRONG. We failed to acknowledge the size of Snowflake and remember that there isn't a whole lot to do here and a lot of the residence when gven the chance... skip town. That meant that not only our numbers plummeted but so did the district's. Everyone had it rough except for the zone leaders who still managed to pull off 13 investigator lessons. But there is a bright side to this situation to this. We found people. Despite everything oh did we find people. Since I wrote you last we have set 4 more baptism dates for the 24th of April bringing it to a total of 6 for that day!!! All 4 people we found last week it's incredible. We're going to reset 2 dates tonight and set 1 more tonight for the 17th. Bringing are grand total to 11 for the next month and a half. YAHOOOO!!! It's so exciting I can't wait. We just gotta keep up our faith and spirits and keep relying on the One providing all this. I'm just estatic.

As for my birthday we had a way good time. I wore the new ties Grandma and grandpa got me. Sister Yazzie made Elder Robertson and I the most intense quilts ever! And then we had a party there on Friday. Then on Saturday we had a party and a lesson twice. It was way fun. I had way too much ice cream at the first party and then about 3 hours later we went over to Dave Finck's and fam. They had the coolest cake ever and I've been snacking on it. They got me some way cool gifts and it was a blast. So cool to help people out and then get to enjoy the coolness of it. Love it.

This transfer is kind of sad cause I know I'll probably leave and two of my favorite missionaries are finishing up soon. A dying missionary is never a pleasing sight I have to tell you. Nothing quite like it in the world. Well I better go off, I'm excited for an awesome conference Easter weekend. Who knew you could combine two amazing things! Love ya bye.

Love, Elder Caywood/Aka Elder Catwood(yeah it happened never gotten that one before)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2 decades of me!!!‏

Muhahahahaaha! The world has let me live for 20 years starting on Saturday March 27th 2010! Do they not realize they have left me here for too long... now, now is the time for me to take over the world! Then they will see their mistakes! They won't know what hit them... 2 decades!!!! Now is the time!!!! AHAMUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAZHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

And that's what it would be like if I was a tyrannical insane dictator who at age 20 decided it was time to take over the world. But luckily I'm just a geeky tall person from the Mountain village of Colorado Springs(which is actually at the foot of a mountain and a city of a few 100,000 people yay geography). But alas I am turning 20 on Saturday and I'm excited. Thanks for all the Birthday wishes and support it means a lot.

Well transfer news was Saturday and we were informed that both Elder Robertson and I will be together another 6 weeks. Which means I have never been with a companion longer than I will be with Elder Robertson and I will have never been an area longer than I have been in Snowflake. I guess I'm just meant to be here. I really like it. The small town of 5000 people or so still hasn't won me over from the city life that I am very accustomed to but I do have an appreciation for it. The only downer is no Wal-mart or shopping malls of any kind. Just a grocery store and a dollar store or two. But I will see the valley once again.

Our missionary district only experience a small change. Out in Heber Elder Bickmore will be getting a new companion. I cannot say who because I don't know he has been given the priveledge to train. He is so pumped up. He is going to flip Heber upside down I'm excited to see how he'll do. The rest of the district as I said has stayed the same. Elder Maxwell in Taylor will die here(Go home) in May and Elder Stewart the zone leader in Snowflake will die here in June. I'll probably leave in May but I am not sure we'll see.

As for the work, we had 2 baptisms this weekend for Ricky and Brittany Rider. It was saturday morning. I baptized Birttany and Elder Robertson baptized Ricky. Their Grandpa also invited someone from the grocery store to listen to us. So I'm excited for that. We set 2 more baptism dates last week and I'm hoping to be able to set 2 more this week and 1 or 2 more next week. Its going to be good. We had 7 baptisms last transfer. The mission as a whole only had 132, according to the text we got this morning from President. We had mixed feelings about it. Seeing as we dipped significantly as a mission but the Elder Robertson and I out of the 90 companionships were able to attribute so much. We felt good about it on a personal and companionship level. We upped it again least week we had 153 TTI's. Its so good for little Snowflake!

Well I'm running out of things to say. Mom thanks so much for sending those pictures of Brady from his mission. He looks like he's having a blast and doing a lot fo good for the people down there. Though it's honestly strange to see him with hair that short. But I still love him. Well I better get going. Love you all! Peace out!

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh man change!?‏

Alright so I do have some exciting news. We had a baptism on Saturday which was incredibly spiritual, I really enjoyed it and because of that baptism the girl who was baptized brother and another friend want to be baptized as well. Its really incredible to see. We're having 2 more on Saturday which will mean 7 for the past month and 13 since I've come to Snowflake. We've had some promising potentials just pop up so I believe things here wil just get better and better. Last week we finally topped 142 street contacts or TTI's as we call them in the mission. Yesterday was a great start to the week. We taught five lessons got 3 new investigators and we had 47 TTI's. Who knew that things could be so good in Snowflake eh?

We have about 6 lessons tonight and 5 the next night and like 5 the night after that. Things seem to just be getting better. I'm excited to be a part of the Lord's work here and see the miracles happening. Which will lead me to my next topic. Change... I've been informed our area will not be split this transfer on the 23rd but more than likely on May 4th or 5th at the end of the next one. President can't split it now because he doesn't have enough missionaries but in May he is getting 8 more missionaries than usual. Which means an area split!!! Woot hoo!!! He also said that he's getting more missionaries not more vehicles and that one of the areas in Snowflake will probably be a bike area. That'll be intense. Which brings a couple scenarios out. I could one be transferred a week today and none of this will matter. Or two I stay and split the area and get to ride my bike all across Snowflake which would place me here until June. So many different scenarios and I'm excited.

Over the past month I've had the priveledge of reading a book called Jesus the Christ which I have felt has been approbiate to grow closer to Him especially with Easter season so fastly approaching. Its a rather long and in depth book but I'm still trucking through it. The words can be a little over my head but I understand a lot of them(AP English did something holy crap!) and its just under 800 pages. I started around the beginning of the transfer which was in the middle of February and I'm 650 pages in. I'm expecting to be done in the next week. Its interesting because I don't believe that there is a greater commentary on the life of the Savior. I have gained so much in reading it. I understand his teachings and parables. They make sense now but it certainly hasn't been easy. Its taking a great amount of study but man I have enjoyed it. It's changed my life and my perspective on life.

Well, next week if you don't hear from me in the morning, I am either A. Being transferred, B. Doing something else at the moment, or C. Stopping a hord of zombies from overtaking the quaint little town of Snowflake. I hope it's not C, I hate zombies. Love ya.


Elder Caywood

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

We got heart‏

I am feeling very good right now. Its so amazing to see the progression I have made in my missionary skills. The goal of 100 people on the street talked to every week seems like nothing now and I'm quite comfortable getting it. This week we are going for the daunting 140 which has never been done in the area where I am serving. In fact it had never been done in the northern part of the mission until the Taylor Elders and the Zone Leaders did it a month ago. We had a strong start yesterday with 31 and I'm praying as I do always that the Lord will put people out there to talk to. I do have to say last week was a little slower than I would have liked. We didn't teach as much as we have because several of our lessons fell through. I may have mentioned this last week but we set a baptism date for this weekend. Her name is Bryanne Yates and she has asked me to baptize her. Finally I'm baptizing a Yates(in your face Elder Yates you never got a Caywood on your mission). I'm incredibly excited I've never seen a family have such a strong conviction of the gospel. Their daughter Bryanne is the first one taking a step forward.

This past week we had a lesson with one of my favorite less active members. His name is Brother Yellowhair. He is a 70 year old Navajo. Missionaries in the past have always tried to get him to come out to church and every now and then he'll come out for a while but then will once again get comfortable where he is at. Elder Robertson and I knocked on his door 2 months ago. He greeted us the same as he did every other missionary who has tried. But we took interest in all he did. He told us many stories of the Navajo culture and he's a professional painter. He has had paintings in the church magazine the Ensign. A few weeks ago in response to a question I told him that I am a convert of 2 years. His eyes widened and said you've only been in the church for 2 years I nodded. His desire erupted into a flame. He told us this last week that if I could come as far as I have in just 2 years then there is still hope for an old indian like him. He said that we were the first missionaries ever who have come by who have heart. He said every other missionary who he has talked to is on their mission for their mom or a girlfriend. He said but not you guys you are here to help me. Its so incredible to teach that man. He said Elder Robertson and I are the Sons of water and lightning and he is going to paint us a picture of what he means.

Well in a few weeks I'll be turning 20. I gotta say the thing I want the most in pictures and to hear how people I know are doing. That would be cooler than almost any gift. I don't know if I'll be in Snowflake for my birthday because transfers are on the 23rd I believe but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. Love ya all peace out.

Love, Elder K-Wood

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

11 months‏

I'm really trying to think of what I was going to talk about this week. But I honestly can't think of much. I think there was plenty to talk about but I wasn't feeling too hot this morning so my brain is a little. Dinner last night didn't sit wel so I'm trying to keep my stomach from churning a little bit. Can I do it!? Who knows?

But besides that it was kind of an off week for us. We didn't teach as much as usual which could really hurt us in our case to split the area. It just seemed that people couldn't meet up last week. And also a dilemna I've been worried about is beginning to unfold. I have been worried that as we keep baptizing and baptizing that we won't find fast enough to keep having people to teach. I think my fear is beginning to come true as it seems our pool of investigators is slowly dwindling. I hope that we can change that and that we can keep it moving forward instead of just one huge jump in baptisms and then nothing. So we'll be working our guts out. We have a goal of 140 street contacts this week. We're finally consistently hitting over 100 so I think we can get it.

Saturday we had the baptism for Dave Finck. I gotta say I love him and his family they are the best. I'm going to visit them a lot when I'm done with my mission. It was one of the best services I've been to on my mission. The speakers were incredible, the prayers were incredible, it even seemed that the intermission was incredible. It was crazy awesome. They help us out so much. Its been such a priveledge to teach him and to see how the spirit has changed them. I hope to be able to come back in a year and see them get married in the temple. That would probably be one of the sweetest moments in my life. To see that family become one and thrive off one another really goes with the scripture "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord". As Elder Holland said its not just good socialogy but it is theology, its an eternal concept and I've seen the gospel bless families and this just one of the examples.

Yesterday we had zone conference up in Holbrook where we saw the official changes to the mission. The Farmington mission will take the top of our mission and any of the 8 missionaries who are left there on July 1st will but put into that mission. So baically anyone who gets transferred up to the res between now and July will be in that mission. The Mesa mission is still subject to change as President Bassett will finish his term in June. Our new President is President Ellsworth and he is from Carry, Idaho. He will take over on July 1st as well I believe. President asked us to begin praying for him and his family. The rest of the conference was on using the Book of Mormon in teaching. We talked a lot about it. How to introduce it and how to get people excited about reading it. Then President Bassett shared his testimony of his spiritual witness of it's truthfulness. He then took it a step further. He prooved the physical existence of it. Of how it came about. He talked about the education level of Joseph Smith and how he translated the Book in just a few months. He was not well educated as President Bassett prooved with quotes from both friends of Joseph and Joseph's own wife. He talked about the magificent literary elements of the book and had come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith wasn't some clever genius he was a hard working farm boy who was called as a prophet. Theres no other way it could happen. It was cool.

This week we also got to meet with Cody Core. He is saying now he wants to go on a mission. One concern a lot of people have though is that he is way way way in love with his girlfriend who introduced him to the church. I really think he'll be a great missionary and that everything will work out. It can be a hard to leave someone for 2 years knowing she'll get together with someoneelse most likely. But if you lose yourself in the work of the Lord there is no need to worry. You know that you are doing the better thing. I know it'll work out for Cody.

Well theres no baptisms this weekend but a couple are coming up in the up coming weekends so I'll keep you posted. Peace out.

Love, Elder Caywood