Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Dedication‏

Last week's letter was way long as I've realized I've been writing "epistles" home lately. Just really really long letters with tons of detail and honestly that can be good or bad. Good because you can walk in my shoes(well kind of I don't talk about the bad stuff that happens to me very often). But the bad side to that is it takes up a lot of my email time and I'm not the Michael Phelps of the typing world(did that comparison even make sense(I like how I comment my own letters it entertains me kind of)). But this week was exceptional.

I think I said last week we set 2 more dates, doubled our lessons, and talked to over 200 people. Well last week was essentially the same. We talked to over still and we still have 3 dates. But not we taught over 20 lessons last week, which hasn't happened in this area for a long time.Things will be really good here if we keep up our faith, diligence, obedience, eh and probably some other Christlike attribute too but that's all that is coming to mind right now. Probably humility or something, I don't know.

We did have a few scares this week. We had a few scary street contacts and Elder Henderson can get a little fiery which sometimes is not what people need. But still it amazes me sometimes how rude people can truly be. For about a month now I've had a lump on my neck. I got it after I started jogging for exercises again in Snowflake. It just doesn't look normal so I went to the doctor. He commented about how healthy I am(yeah my jaw dropped too) and said it was probably just a swollen lymph node but that they would keep an eye one it. Weird huh? I feel like a one sided Frankenstein!

Sunday was the highlight of my week by far. Sunday was the Gila Valley Temple dedication. The temple itself is in Safford I believe. We got to watch that on Sunday but before that something interesting happened. We got a call from a Nursing Home(Same kind of place Grams lives) and we were asked to come speak are their church meetings Sunday morning. It was crazy we showed up and the only person their was the guy in charge, our ward mission leader, and us then all these like way old people. I played piano, and led the music(don't ask how), then Elder Henderson blessed the sacrament and I passed it, then Elder Henderson spoke and then I spoke and that was the meeting. It was crazy but a lot of fun. There was a spunky 102 year old there who said I was the best looking missionary she'd ever seen(jealous?)

Then we went to the temple dedication at noon, via satellite broadcast. It was very unique in fact because they did 3 separate live sessions at 9, 12, and 3. We went to 12 and loved it President Monson is awesome. He is so funny without being undignified. I really enjoyed it because I had never seen one before.Its a very pretty temple. Speaking of temples I went this morning and saw a few familiar faces. It was awesome. Viva la Vida! or Love Life! I really am right now. Peace out.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Art of the English‏

Wow its amazing to be working this hard I don't even know what to do with myself. By the time we are done planning and everything in the evening its already time to go to bed. I'm so exhausted. I always imagined that this would be how it feels to be a missionary on a bike. We are working really hard and we are one of the top companionships in the area. We are still leading the area for street contacts. We had 230 last week. It was incredible but so tiring. To get the energy to talk to every person you see takes a lot. For the first few days I was here I did a lot of it. Elder Henderson had a rough transfer last transfer and wasn't overly excited about the area. But when I started flying out of the gates now he is talking to everyone too. We just need to fine tune our skills and things will blossom here I know it.

The district leader and zone leaders are pleased. We doubled our lessons from last week. Found some new investigators and things are looking up. We set 2 more baptism dates which brings are total to 3. We are hoping that things will continue to look up. You can see the wards are beginning to get excited. Which is so cool! We are speaking in every ward within the next month. Its the best way to talk to every member and say hey we are the missionaries are we are going to serve you in anyway we possibly can. Its awesome I love being a part of this and I know things will pick up! The life of Snowflake is coming down to Mesa.

The members are fun down here. I'm trying my best to just be kind, funny, and as personable as I can be to gain trust. They still say I look like a little kid but I'm so glad I'm tall otherwise there would be no hope! NO!!!!!! Pourquoi!?!?!?!?!?!? Its really cool because we seem to always show up in the right place at the right time. When people so they needed uplifting we somehow showed up. When people say they needed a blessing for some reason we were there right when they needed it! Woo hoo! So much goodness!

Our 3 baptism dates are John, Katie, and Cecilia. John is awesome he has done some things in his life that will prevent him from being baptized until September but he is solid. He knows much more about the church then I could ever hope to. He is going to be getting baptized on Sarah's birthday. We just need to get him there. Katie is a street contact from a bus stop. We taught her the first lesson and she said "that was the way I always thought it had happened, I didn't know whether or not the Lord's church was on the Earth" She is hooked on the Book of Mormon and is reading it almost every night. Cecilia is really awesome, she is brilliant. In fact in her lifetime she has created two churches and has been the minister for each of them, having huge congregations in each(no joke, she has a baptism date). She said the Lord told her that "it's time to come home you must be baptized the right way" Soon she found the Book of Mormon she won't leave the house without it. She is getting baptized in June. Miracles woo hoo.

I titled my email the way I did because we have one of the coolest members EVUR(I'm aware I spelled that wrong). His name is Brother Waters. He is from England. He is tight. He tells us all about life. He is teaching us how to be English because people around the world think England is alright and that America... Well isn't. He's teaching us little things in our speech such as "Morning Lads" or "Well that's alright". He said its the English way. He tells us all about life. For example yesterday I lost our cell phone. We went to his house to call around to see if we could find it. When he gave us a ride this morning he gave us his two cents about it. He said "In my day we had one phone and it was fastened to the wall, now we have 6 and it seems like 5 of them always end up in the bathroom" the he said "All the phones nowadays look like the remote you see, sometimes I'll be trying to change the channel and end up dialing up someone I don't want to talk to". He's so much fun.

Well this weekend is the Gila Valley Temple dedication. I'm excited because I've never seen a temple dedicated before. Its going to be sweet! Love ya bye.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cay... Hood?‏

Well this has certainly been an interesting week. SO different from my beloved little Snowflake and Taylor. I miss that place and cannot wait for the time when I can go back and see it. That'll be a lot of fun. But as the old saying I learned goes "God lives in the present" as do I so I focus on what I am doing now and fondly remember the past.

Upon further study of the area and talking with my companion, it seems that this area is a little slower than it has been in the past. We only have about 2 investigators right now. We baptized a couple on Saturday at probably one of the most spectacular(and that probably an understatement)baptisms I have ever attended. It was close to 2 hours long. The talks were incredible and the people that referred these people from East Mesa are the Bawdens. Which may be a familiar name to the music lovers of the LDS church. The pianist's name is Clyde Bawden who is arguably the most renown musician for the church(Besides David Archuleta of course *cough*) he is known for both Reflections of Christ and several of his own solo work. Yeah he referred and played at the baptisms it was tight. No joke my jaw was on the floor. He's also the most humble guy ever. It was incredible. Kind of makes you want to be a musician(the same feeling that you feel after watching August Rush the first time). The couple's name is the Babbs and they are incredible. They study the scriptures every morning for a hour and they have a strong testimony of the gospel. I don't know them well but being part of their baptisms have provided me with some of the most spiritual experiences I've had on my mission.

Now back to the area. Not a whole lot happened last transfer and Elder Henderson was obviously down about that. So Tuesday night and Wednesday combined we talked to 104 people. That was fun. Elder Henderson saw that I'm willing to help out and do all I can and now he's trying a little more too. It's hard though but I think we can do it. We found a lady who we began teaching last week and after we taught her the Restoration of the gospel she said "you know I stopped going to other churches because they were always changing but what you're saying is that the Lord's church was lost and that everyone only had pieces now God has done what he always had and has called a prophet to act in his name, it makes perfect sense" my jaw dropped, its amazing when you can teach so clearly that they can explain it back to you just like that wow. She is reading and praying, she loves the Book of Mormon. We're going to set a baptism date with her for our next lesson. Woot!

The biggest difference I've noticed since being down here is the city life. Lots of suburbs and ghetto. The people are very different, there weren't rude people in Snowflake(even the ones that hated us weren't rude) here is a different story. I just don't take it anymore if they want to fight I let them, they can fight with themselves because if they won't open their heart a smidge then you get ANGERYEYEYY Caywood. Grrrr. Its amazing to be back in the "hood" again, nothing like that in Snowflake. I handle myself surprising well and know how to talk to people pretty well. All and all I say this will be a growing experience. Hahaha we'll see how this goes peace out.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You're a Stranger Here‏

Well I'm currently in the Mesa Public Library roasting like a hot dog in a gas station, an old hot dog... Well I've had an interesting week so I'll try to unfold it. I am now in Mesa and I'm cooking but its way good to see all the missionaries down here.

I found out I was leaving on Saturday, I couldn't sleep on Sunday it was hard to keep my mind off leaving this place which I love so much. I got up Sunday and prepared to what I assumed and was right to be a painful day. I got to share my testimony is Snowflake 4th ward and Taylor 5th and I essentially cried for 6 hours straight. We taught a few lessons and in the process said goodbye to quite a few people. That was so hard.

Monday I was well rested and still moving so I had a pretty good day and I got to say goodbye to most of the people that I needed to. Sister Yazzie and Sister Ollerton did one of the coolest things ever! They called all my recent converts from the Taylor 5th ward and then some of the people I was close to and they threw a party. We had food and socialized and then I played two songs on my ukulele. It was the most people I had ever played in front of in my life and to be honest I almost peed my pants(true story). But I did well and everyone said I did a good job. It was amazing to feel the love that they had for me and Elder Robertson. I love all those people so much and I cannot wait until I get to see them again. It will truly be a great day when that happens. I will visit there frequently after my mission is all said and done. I woefully packed until about midnight last night and then got up 5:45 to make two more visits. I saw Robert Yellowhair the famous painter who gave me some really cool stuff which I will tell you about on Sunday Mom and Dad. Then we saw the Yazzies, I love the Yazzies so much and I'm going to miss them terribly. I gave them my samurai sword to hold on to until I'm done with my mission. I gave Brother Yazzie a tie that I signed and then I gave them something kind of cool to remember me by.

The drive down was long and tiring, We got lost and showed up to transfers 45 minutes late which meant that I didn't get to say goodbye to any of the missionaries I knew they were long gone. But I did get to meet my new companion Elder Henderson, he's cool and from Utah(my first Utah boy in the mission field since the MTC) he's been out for 9 months. I'm going to try turn things around here and quick, it's going to be a blast. I'm down in West Mesa right now. Best way to describe it is there is a interstate or highway or something(whatever you call it) and right off of it is a Bass Pro Shop which is in the area I cover.

Well I think my time is far spent after an hour these computers just shut off so I'll try to send pictures but I only took like 3 this week so we'll see. LOVE YOU BYYYYYYEEYYYYYE.

<3 always Elder Caywood :D (it looks like a thirteen year old girl finished