Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Farewell to a friend‏

This week has been pretty good. To be honest I have been so tired. Like if I stop anywhere my body goes on complete shut down, which is why I never stop. YEEE HAW! But nevertheless we push on. We still managed to squeeze out 200 street contacts last week. That was crazy there were some... interesting people out there this week. We lost a couple investigators, a couple got evicted we're still trying our hardest to find but the summer and the heat causes people to be a little grumpy under the southwest sun. Its all cool.

This week was really awesome, we had a great baptism on Saturday. It was for Scott, it was way spiritual. The talks were great, the people were great, and Scott was great. You can see in the pictures that he is just beaming! This has made such an impact in his life and it will continue to do so. It was really special for me to see his brother baptize him. I will remember this moment forever because to me it seemed as if time was standing still. Scott came up and his Brother Bill gave him a hug. Not just a normal hug, it was a huge hug, a man hug, a hug between to brothers. They were so happy and you could just see it, it was priceless. I got to sing at the baptism and was accompanied by the famous pianist Clyde Bawden. It was way fun, he's incredible with the keys!

The one hard thing this week was saying goodbye to President Bassett. We went to an early morning meeting, first Sister Bassett spoke to us and then President. It was so cool. I learned a lot, in that hour I was there. It was incredible. Then we went to the temple with him. Our President and 100 missionaries or so. It was powerful. When we were finished I remember seeing all the missionaries in the temple, it certainly was one of the sweetest moments of my life. Then we had lunch. He explained how the change to the new President would work. We sang "God be with you til we meet again", I about cried, it was incredible. Then we got to take pictures with them and say a few words to them. A couple funny things happened. First we were "allowed" to hug Sister Bassett goodbye. I found it humorous but maybe it's because she's the first girl I've hugged in 15 months or so. Then when I was getting some food, President Bassett asked me "quick Elder Caywood, what's Elvis Presley's middle name", I wasn't sure why he asked but I had no clue. I said "I don't know" then he said "Aw, of all my Elders I thought you would know that", then Sister Bassett said "Don't be mad at him, he's just focused", it was so funny.

It was nice to see a lot of the Elders I've known throughout my mission, especially since a lot of them are finishing up real soon. Tomorrow we'll meet President Ellsworth for the first time. I'm excited I know he's going to bring a bunch of new ideas and a strong Spirit to our mission. Is going to be so much fun! I'm excited to work with him! Well talk to you next week.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Corn Roast...‏

It was a super hot week, like a super hot week. But I know something about that, it's going to be this hot until about October. Yesterday was the first day of summer which meant a long day in the Southwest. The past few weeks have been uncommonly nice because it cools down in the evening. Yesterday was the first of many evenings that will not be that case. It was the same temperature recording around 110 at 6pm. *sigh* the only difference from the rest of the day was that the sun isn't beating down your face.

But besides the usual annoying sun we're doing simply splendid! I think I just used an uncommonly used word. But this week was so good. We have still had our unprecedented streak of over 200 street contacts for 7 weeks straight so far. Supposedly the heat slows missionaries down and it has hit us but I've learned that it's not about me or my needs that if I just go and do what I'm supposed to things work out.

This weekend we had Cecilia's baptism, I got to baptize her, it was such a great service, she's an amazing age. She's around Grandma Anderson's age. Had a lot of people out for it. They asked me to sing at it as well. That was fun. We also had Scott's interview and he's set to be baptized next week. I've been asked to sing at that one as well, and I could possibly be accompanied by the famous pianist Clyde Bawden. That's kind of scary but still good. Scott is awesome, I think we've only been teaching him for about 3 weeks or so but he has progressed so much. It's truly incredible. It's what he wanted and he lived a good life, and didn't think there was a group of people who believed and held his standards outside of his family. He said when he goes to church, the people are just so good and genuine, living what they teach that it just blows him away. And his brother who got baptized the first week I was here will be baptizing him.

We also had the famous Corn Roast on Saturday. They had over 300 ears of corn roasting on an open flame. Its a very famous event in the area and attracts quite the crowd. It was a blast but I did make one fatal mistake. The kids who were in attendance were all playing water games. At one point they had large sponges and would fill them up with water ring them out on each other or just throw them. I saw an opening and went for a kid who had two sponges and ran. It was total warfare for the next hour. I was enemy number one for children ages 2 to 9. I got soaked in my pants, shirt, and tie. I was thoroughly defeated but it was a memorable occasion. And as the Terminator said "I'll be back"

We also spoke in church. The Yazzies were down from Taylor and came to the Sacrament Meeting I spoke at and also they took Elder Robertson, me, and our companions to Chili's yesterday. One, I love Chili's and two I love the Yazzies, and three I love Elder Robertson. So definitely it was a good way to spend a lunch hour. Well that's all I got for this week. I hope you can survive the extreme "heat" of Colorado bahahahhaha.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Harvest of Hard Work‏

Well its transfer P-day but Elder Henderson and I didn't get transferred which means theres like no one here at the library. Which is way good because this place can get crowded with up to 60 missionaries or more at a time. Which can mean if you are not here at 10 on a Tuesday that means you probably won't be seeing a computer until about noon. But today that is not the case. Of the around 9 companionships in the zone, all of them changed except for us and the Spanish elders. On a delightful note, Elder Robertson(my last companion) is being transferred here in the district. We'll be serving essentially right next to each other and we'll serve in wards that border each other. Elder Robertson brings something unique to the district which I believe will boost the work significantly. But we are seeing miracles ourselves.

We will be having a baptism every week for the next 3 weeks which is exciting. We're hoping to be having a 4th on by the end of the transfer. This weekend is going to be awesome. We're having the baptism of Cecilia. She is an ordained minister and has started two churches of her own. Its been a privilege to teach her and I've learned a ton from her. She asked me to baptize her which means a lot. I'm quite excited it's going to be a great weekend. It's amazing the ways things turn out. I can't quite explain them but I know one thing the Lord has a way of doing things and I have no complaints about it all I can do is try my hardest and he'll provide the rest.

I may have mentioned last week our teaching doubled. For the entire transfer we led the zone in street contacts, we ended up with 1121 people TTI'd(Teach, Testify, and Invite). We also took this area which had very little going on to something much more. We haven't dropped below 20 lessons taught in over 3 weeks and its only getting better. Yesterday Elder Henderson and I kind of hit our stride. We were talking to people and it was powerful and we were teaching people and it was powerful. The Lord is going to bless us hardcore this transfer I know it. Its gonna be sweet y'all!

I think about 20 missionaries finished their mission today, including my past companion Elder Miner and my beloved zone leader Elder Stewart. But alas their memory will live on they were great missionaries. But a lot of new missionaries are coming in and my MTC companion Elder Paiz is training! Elder Paiz is a stud. No doubt!

Well I'm running out of things to say. Its been cooler this week but I don't know how long that'll last but regardless I'll be on my bike cooking(sizzlin' bacon... delicious). Well Laterz.

Love, Elder Caywood

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All you need is Love ba ba da da dah!‏

I have briefly mentioned this before but I knew going into my mission that the hardest thing to give up would be Sports and Music. Well sports has gotten a lot easier because I discovered as you have no idea what's going on and as the teams change it's harder to relate. True statement. But Music is unchanging the music I like hasn't changed. The bands might go in and out of activity but the music they made stays alive. Which as a missionary can be hard but luckily most people I talk to only like really really really inappropriate rap, so it's not too bad. But the reason I even mention this in my email is because I've had that Beatles song stuck in my head for about 20 minutes now, and I can't remember any of the words except for those which is a little repetitive.

Well yesterday was weird. For our zone development meeting where we generally have our interviews with President Bassett, we went up to Scottsdale which isn't normal because he generally comes to us. The reason was movers are coming to their house to start moving stuff back because they finish their service in about 2 weeks. That is so weird. It hit home but I have confidence that the new President will be just as effective as the old one. Its not the person its the calling that makes the person, he'll live it up to it I have no doubt. But my interview was short President said I'm working hard and it shows because our area is getting really good. I had him sign my flag and it says "Keep the Faith" -President Bassett- I always will.

As for the area we are doing great are numbers are still going up I guess.We have led the zone in street contacts for the past 5 weeks and we are now teaching 25 lessons a week. Its insane based on how slow it was. Its incredible how much can change when you put everything else aside and despite being exhausted and hot and discouraged to never lose hope to go and work your heart unwearingly. We have seen the miracles because of it. As a past prophet said "The secret of Missionary work is work". That's true. One lady we are teaching is named Katie. Currently she is set for the 3rd of July to be baptized. We talked to her at a bus stop and she begrudgingly let us come back. We taught her and she said I always thought that was the way it happened. In the month we've known her she has read 117 pages of the Book of Mormon. So good! We were scared to teach her about the Word of Wisdom because we knew she smoked. But when we taught her the Spirit was strong. That was a week ago, she hasn't smoked since we taught her. So much is happening here.

We are hoping to set another baptism date tonight and possibly two more by the end of the week. We're getting a lot of trust from our fellow missionaries, members, and even the community, they know we mean business. It can be hard(especially in 110 degrees but worth it). I decided I never want to eat out at Tempe again. We went to In & Out for lunch and there were way too many good looking girls... I finished my food and left quickly, you needed blinders. BLINDERS!!!! Like for a horse! AGH FLEE RUN FROM THE RESTAURANT OF TEMPTATION AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Maybe I'm being over dramatic but it was still uncomfortable.

Well that's it for my random thoughts. Til we write electronically again next week.

<3 Elder Caywood ;D lol

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Heat of the Southwest Sun - Part 2‏

I'm terribly slow at this whole fast email thing that has been going on, I just wish they didn't place such a strict time limit but I guess all those crazy AP Literature essays I had to write in like 30 minutes or whatever are finally panning out. I can write well you just have to give me a few hours and like a root beer or something I don't know(I don't drink much root beer now actually so maybe not) but besides this random spiel I'm doing remarkably well.

You may have noticed the title of my email is similar to one of last summer. If you're not as observant as I am I wrote an email with same title last summer. I can tell you why though I feel the reason is terribly obvious. This place is so hot. Its so hot. Argh and it's just going to get worse. Hahaha. Man some days when we don't have any appointments we'll just bake. No one will let us in and it'll be like 7 hours of straight sun light. Its like being turned into bacon. But man its so worth it! We're still talking to oodles of people we topped 230 again last week. Which was way sweet. Unfortunately the heat will make people grumpy and they aren't out as much during the day but that's ok. We still get em.

We have 3 baptism dates as I have said but also this week we had a bit of a miracle. We had 3 people at church and we had a few inactive people at church as well. That hasn't happened in this area in a long time. One of the wards hadn't had an investigator attend one of their meetings in almost 6 months. That was exciting. I'm just hoping it continues. We should be setting a 4th date this week. It'll be way cool! Things are continuing to get better. We're working hard.

Its really weird that its June. I remember this time last year. I was way different then than I am now. Its also strange to think so many missionaries I knew are closing in on being home a year. Its strange to me how fast the time goes by on a mission but it does. Its cool though that when you focus on what's happening in the present how much God provides for you. Its going to continue to be an awesome experience. I'm certainly going to make the best of the time I have left.

To be honest I don't have terrible amount more to say here. The valley is lamenting the Suns losing to the Lakers, which also means I won't get to meet Kevin Garnett (long story but we baptized his sister in law). *sigh*. Oh well. I hope that everyone is having an awesome week. Laterz.

Love, Elder Caywood

P.S. We're taking P-day on Wednesday next week.