Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Child is Born‏

Hola familia. I feel so lame, I'm like the only person who doesn't speak spanish it seems (well maybe I'm over exaggerating) but anyways I wish I spoke Spanish. Well this week has been one crazy week. It's transfer week but as I'm emailing Wednesday, that means something changed and boy has it.

We had a pretty good week last week. We started out fast finding 7 new investigators in a mere 3 days and then we ended with 3 more on Sunday. That was rather exciting. We are teaching in a women's half way house. We talked to a lady on the street and she said that she wanted to come to church and take the lessons and there were a few other people who wanted to take the lessons as well. We went over and knocked on the door. There were 6 women (most of whom already had Book of Mormons) that wanted to be taught. We set a lesson to return on Sunday and though only 3 were home. I still have high hopes for them.

Now the big news. Saturday night we were just minding our own business when a call came. I looked at the number and to my suprise it was from the mission office. I gulped and answered. President Ellsworth was on the other line and after a little bit of small talk he said "well Elder Caywood the reason I'm calling is because the Lord has called you be a trainer which is one of the most important callings and serious callings an Elder can get." So pressure officially on but I haven't been worried at all. We said goodbye to everyone and had a tear jerking goodbye to the Babbs who Elder Henderson played a huge role in their conversion. He got sent to Taylor in the area opposite of my last one in Snowflake.

Yesterday was long. Over 20 missionaries came into the mission so transfer meeting took most of the day. It was certainly a cool experience. When the time came President called me up to have me show my area to everyone. Then he told me I was getting Elder Evans. I knew it. I talked to him before and taught him a little bit during a few practice and training sessions and I could feel it I'm getting this Elder to train. We got back to the area around 4:45 and got out to work at 5. Woo... No P-day or rest this week.

We've had a good time. He's from West Jordan Utah (the heart of the Salt Lake Valley and the home to 3 temples, so essentially Mormon central). He knows a lot more about the church than I do but I'm excited to train him. I haven't gotten to see him in action yet but we'll see today. Should be fun we're hoping to set a baptism date tonight. But besides that life is all well. No complaints. This going to be so much fun.

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tanned Arms‏

Well I have the worse farmers tan I've had since I played football except for I don't have it on my legs. Its amazing how white your legs will get after a year and a half wearing nothing but pants(obviously we wear more than pants but I thought I'd clarify just in case). This week has been way fun. We didn't teach as many investigators as would have liked but we've had some good experiences. We're going to focus on getting the members more excited about missionary work. We're going to a try a few things. Like more innovative dinner lessons and being as involved as we can while still working our hearts out.

Haha, I have to say my heart will always have a special place for Arizona. It's way awesome. It's like someone through my heart into a cactus and when I pulled it out it was forever stuck with cactus spine. YAY. Isn't that a cheery subject. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love me some Arizona! I guess it's been too long since I've tasted the sweet crisp air of Colorado. The hot dry desert is what's fillin' my lungs at the moment.

The week started relatively slow. Not a whole lot of people outside. All of our investigators seemed to have either A. Been baptized or B. Not progressing. We met with Katie again. She finished the Book of Mormon again(this time it took her about a week and a half). She said "my favorite was Alma and then I got to Moroni!" That was exciting to see how much she loves it. She told me that I was the major part of why she started taking us seriously. Before she never really acknowledged missionaries and would ignored them when they pass by. But she said that the way I presented it was so powerful to her that she began to feel it was true. she said I got transferred from snowflake when I did to teach her the gospel. Which may be true. We'd never met her before and she was the first lesson I ever taught in this area. It's sweet I hope to teach the rest of her family too soon.

Saturday was nuts. We ended up having 153 TTI's(or street contacts) and we still managed to have 3 lessons 2 new investigators, dinner, lunch, and 2 correlations. It was so crazy and a lot of fun. We went on a triple exchange(using 3 companionships equaling 3 missionaries each in 2 different missionary areas). We had so much fun. I had Elder Moore with me who I knew up north and Elder Bruton who is a greenie(being trained). we ended the week with 334 TTI's. It was nuts. We also ended up teaching 5 new investigators over the past 2 days. Yahoo!

This week is transfer news week. We'll know what's happening on Saturday. I honestly have no clue as to what could happen. The most likely would be Elder Henderson leaving but I think the chances are just as high of me leaving or of us staying together. We'll see what happens, which means I'll probably be on late emailing. Hope your week rocked like mine!

Love <3>

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Presbyterian Minister‏

Word to the herd! I don't know what that means but I say it to the Elders and Sisters serving out on the Salt River Reservation. This has been one of the weirder weeks of my mission. I'll explain why in the following paragraphs but first I want to say Arizona humid is really not fun. Yay.

Well this week started out not well. Elder Henderson was having stomach cramps. He said he could not go out and work. So we arranged things for him to stay with a member while I went to work with a ward missionary. I told Elder Henderson not to eat those 20 tootsie rolls on Sunday night right before he went to bed so in the end I knew what would happen in the morning. It took about 2 days for that to pass. We found out the stomach flu is going around and I just knew I was going to get it. And I did! Yay! It was sad. It was a complete 24 hour bug. I took some medicine to get me through the night so I could sleep. Then in the morning I took some medicine so that I would be stable enough to do missionary work. Essentially I was delirious but I wasn't nauseous. So consequently our lessons went down this week. But we're hoping for a rebound.

We finally started to feel back to normal on Friday and we still managed 200 street contacts this week. I don't know how but we pulled it off. We had Katie Macias' baptism on Saturday. She is so smart! I love her so much! Her baptism was so awesome! So good! It goes to show you what diligence will do. I counted up the number of people we've talked to since I came here. It's well over 2200. Katie we talked to at a bus stop. As I said before it made since to her. She loves the church. She actually finished the Book of Mormon before being baptized!(just 2 months) She can quote scriptures from it. I got to baptize her which was a privilege. I think it was just what that ward needed. We hope to teach her family soon.

This weekends a very unique one. About 24 years ago a minister for the 1st Presbyterian church here in mesa was baptized into the LDS church. He spoke on his conversion and how we should interact with people who are outside of our faith. It was probably the most eye opening things I'd ever heard. he's brilliant. He has a Masters from Princeton and a PhD from Duke in World Religion. He teaches world religion at BYU after losing his job as a minister when he joined the church. It was phenomenal. Certainly one of the most unique experiences of my life. He helped me a lot with how I approach people and how to answer hard questions when they are asked. His name is Roger Keller. His story is interesting I would recommend looking it up.

Well that's all I got. I hope all is well in the mountainous plains of Colorado!

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The 4th Part Deux‏

Well this week was semi eventful...*cricket*. I mean holy junk it was crazy fun! We had a lot happen this week but the most significant of it all was meeting the new Mission president. President Ellsworth is incredible. You can feel the Spirit that he carries. He's probably a little scared of being a new mission President but the Spirit that he carries is awesome and honestly a little contagious! I loved it, and he brought Ice cream for refreshments which is A-OK in my book.

No baptisms this past week(boo) but we're having one next week(yay). This one is for Katie who I believe I've talked about quite a bit. She's really awesome! She has read more of the Book of Mormon than any person I've taught. She has just cleaved to the gospel as soon as heard it. Its so impressive to me to see how much she has learned so fast. The one thing that is scary to us is that she could possibly be evicted tomorrow. We had a fast for her on Sunday and she feels confident that she'll pull out of it. She said something very profound the other day about the entire thing. She said "You know I believe the Lord will help me out, I don't believe miracles have ceased I just think the faith of people have ceased and people try to justify miracles when they happen." I don't know how long our jaws were on the floor but it was a while. She's awesome! When we went over her program yesterday we asked her who she wants to baptize her, she asked me to do it. She said I was the person who made the biggest impact on her. So good!

As I said we got to meet President Ellsworth. We met 3 of his kids(there are more I can't remember how many though). We got to listen to each of them speak and I wrote down memorable quotes from each of them. They are all awesome. Then we heard from sister Ellsworth. She is very spiritual but she's also hilarious it's so awesome! President Ellsworth is definitely the man for the job if any can continue the path that President Bassett blazed its that man. They are from Carey, ID which is a little town of about 600. So it's quite the change to come here in the Valley of the Southwest sun. I'm excited to get to know them better.

On Saturday we set a personal best for street contacts. My district leader and I had 103 street contacts in one day. It was so crazy! I broke my bike kind of I bent the front rim so I'll get that fixed when i can. I can still ride it. It just looks ghetto. For the 4th we didn't do much. There were a lot of drunken parties going on so we didn't know what to do. We had dinner at a recent convert's house and that was a blast. So much fun! We had some of the best steak I've ever eaten. Well I think I'm out of things to say. LATER!!!

Love, Elder Caywood!