Tuesday, August 31, 2010


YAHOOO!!!!!! That's what I yell anytime I veer into traffic while riding my bike as my companion trys to keep up with my insane actions. We haven't died yet and I've never felt more comfortable in my life than when I'm in the suicide lane gingerly waiting to go as cars fly by me. Yay! Life on a bike is fun, and though the opening to this paragraph may seem otherwise due to my lack of coordination I am actually a very safe biker.

This week has been fantastic. We are really touching the hearts of everyone we meet. I love it so much. The people here are amazing. Members, non members, maybe members, hobos, whoever they are all soooooo good. I'm in a very splendid mood this morning so I hope you enjoy this incredibly enthusiastic entry of my mission life. Yay. We've seen a lot of miracles.

Last week we set another baptism date. I was by myself with someone preparing to go on their mission. We knocked on the door and the person we were looking for was not there. That made me sad but her mom was there and I asked if we could share a message with her. She agreed. We taught her the first lesson(well mostly me on my own). It was strong as I recited Joseph Smith's vision. As we talked I asked her to be baptized on the 25th and she agreed! And then she came to church and loved it staying for all 3 hours. Woah, I know I hadn't even met her before. Maybe a wave but not a whole lot more. Score one for the good guys!

We had some really good meetings with the people we are teaching and I feel that things are about to explode here. There are so many miracles on the way.The members are excited about missionary work too. I remember talking to a lady who is an active member my first night and she kind of blew us off. The other night we talked to her again and she was excited to see us. She told of the difference I had made here and of that everyone was starting to get excited about missionary work! They said they had never seen an Elder who talks to everyone he meets and invites them to learn more about the gospel. They said I was sincere and that I had the respect of a lot of people here. That was way cool. Considering what it was like when I got here. When it just me on my own. I spent a lot of nights praying for help and looking for miracles and I feel he's provided that for us.

I don't know what will happen this week. Transfers are nigh and for the first time in my mission I can honestly say I have no idea what is happening but regardless of what happens I know it will all work out! Love you bye!

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goodbye Humdinger‏

Oh Humdinger thou has plagued me for an entire 8 days! I love thee for thy air conditioning and the many times we have traveled 2 miles in just 2 minutes. I stand awed at your sleek gold coat and of your shiny bright engine. Oh Humdinger how great thou art but you grow close to the missionaries with your seat, doors, air conditioning, and speed but your heart is far from them. You take them away from the people on the road and street, you make them lazy and fat. Fare thee well Humdinger until we meet again. "As for me and my" companion "we will serve the Lord" and ride our bikes in 115 degrees. Fare thee well Humdinger fare thee well.

And that is the eulogy that I wrote for the car this morning as another set of missionaries took if from us. It was bitter sweet. With a heat warning coming for the next 3 days its a little scary but I'm better and feel better and look better. So we're getting back down and dirty and getting on our bikes. It's just a lot more fulfilling. It's lot easier too. That may sound weird but it's easier to travel around in the bike. You move too fast in the car. We blow through our plans in just a few hours and run out of things to do. You can't stop and talk to people as easily especially on the busier roads. As good as it has been my bike is currently in the shop. I look forward to being able to ride around again though the the next 3 days are supposed to be a nightmare! Gah! We're going to do it and prove that we're tough, prepared, and willing to do what it takes to help all the people here. They got a bit of a break from me bothering them on my bike and they feel safe to come out of their homes. Well the bat cave opens up today at 5 muahahahaha!

But really I'm excited to be back to normal. We have certainly seen a number of miracles this week with some of the people we are working with and I believe that we continue to see such. We another baptism date with a lady named Sharon Mandsfield. She is Hopi Indian. We had a way good lesson and she agreed to work towards September 25th as a goal to be baptized. We're going to get her to a baptism to see what one is like and get her moving forward! We are also teaching a lovely family from the Congo! Their names are Jerry and Sylvie and they are awesome. They have a lot of questions but they just want to be sure what they are doing is right. They love church and read the Book of Mormon, they don't know if it's true yet but they say they feel the same Spirit as when they read the Bible.

We also had a great lesson with a couple named Chance and Tara. they're supposed to be baptized on the 18th of September. They have concerns like church being 3 hours but love when we come over and are beginning to feel the Spirit strongly. Also on Wednesday I had simply one of the hardest lessons I've ever taught! We taught a lady named Evelyn who is in her 80's and has been attending the same baptist church since 1940 and has been a Sunday School teacher since she was 16. As I carefully taught every principle and threaded everything I said with a scripture from the Bible I finally came to the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. My companion didn't know what to say most of the meeting so I taught the lesson by myself. But as I recounted the experience of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel there was not a dry eye in the house and to our surprise, Sister McKay's surprise, and probably Evelyn's surprise she accepted a Book of Mormon.

I'm all excited right now but mostly to kick it on my bike in the unbearable heat. You haven't felt anything until you've felt the southwest sun as a missionary standing on a corner trying to teach them. So good.

love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On the verge of explosion‏

I'm having a very big problem right now. I know I'm an Elder and I know I'm not supposed to and I have become very very good at ignoring this problem but... The guy next to me is on ESPN.com and my goodness I cannot stop peeking over at his screen! Hahaha. Oh well, live and learn I guess, nothing says discipline like focusing on emails and not watching the computer screen next to me. That's what I get at almost 17 months out.

This week has been crazy. I don't even know where to begin. I'll start out by saying we have a car now. It's a little hard in our little area but it was either that or get an early transfer. Unfortunately those were the main choices. The dermatologist was worried when I went to the doctor last week that I possibly had staph infection again(persistent little bugger) so the mission president gave me a car. So now we're in a car. It's way weird. The final test came in yesterday and they said I do not have staph infection, it's just a lot of normal bacteria, and I'm on antibiotics for all of that.

The sad part of the story is that I may have punched my ticket out of this area a little sooner than I would have liked to. If I'm not all the way better by September 7th, I'll more than likely get the boot to a car area. Well we'll see what happens.

We applied a training we got from the Assistants to the President. We are now trying to set a baptism date in the 1st lesson. It worked! It was so cool, the Spirit was so strong. I loved it we're meeting with them again this week. We're going to try our best to set quite a few more this week, With a little help from above, I strongly feel we can pull it off!

One of the most exciting things this week has been teaching a man named Jerry and his wife Sylvie. They are from Africa and their native language is french. It's so much fun. They're awesome and going to get baptized for sure. He came to church on Sunday and loved it! He would of stayed longer but was worried about his wife who we discovered is pregnant with their first child! So excellent! Elder Evans who speaks a little bit of french clicks well with them.

Some sad news though. I realize I'm getting old in the mission! Some of my favorite missionaries are going home from their missions. I just said goodbye to Elder Hoopes this morning, he has to leave early to go to BYU. I asked him if he felt robbed because he had to leave early. He said he did. I know one thing. I'm staying until the bitter end one the clock strikes some predesignated time when I am to finish my mission! Nothing more, nothing less! 2 years is 2 years!

Well I'm pretty much done with all things I got to say. Except BRONCOS ROCK!!!

Love, Elder Caywood :D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Umm, I'm really at a loss of things to say, it's August which means it's really really unpleasant to be in Arizona. (I wish I could be a missionary forever but I will NOT miss the summer!) Monsoon season has actually kicked up this year. Which means that it is really really muggy outside. The humidity is incredibly high for Arizona. With the temperatures in the 100's it makes life even harder. especially for elder Evans who is new and hasn't done this before. He looks like death around 4 o' clock.

But besides my rant(I feel as if I have managed to complain about the heat every email for a while now). Things are going very well. We went to the temple this morning. We were late for the session we were going to so we and did something else in the temple. There were a lot of missionaries there(especially since some are leaving early for school they wanted to come to the temple one last time before the end). It was a lot of fun and I saw a couple familiar faces.

The week has been pretty good. We still managed to get 246 street contacts despite the heat. we have one person scheduled for baptism at the end of this month but she has really bad health so she may not make it. Her liver is having trouble and it's causing her legs to swell and giving her a pretty bad rash. We'll see if she is able to pull through it. We gave her a blessing of health on Saturday and I pray that she'll be ok. We tried to set 3 more baptism dates but 2 of the people said they had to think about it and the other person is on parole so they will have to wait for a time.

We did however find 8 new investigators last week and one yesterday. There are some great things on the horizon here. We just need to get them moving even more. I'm teaching the wards how to do what we call the "5 name list" It's one of the best ways the ward can do missionary work. Maybe I won't get to see the end result but I know it'll make this area really really good. I feel that things are going to be really really good here in about a month as I know we are going to see some miracles in the area.

Well I can't think of much else to say and if I'm forgetting something I apologize. Well I bid thee farewell.

Love, elder CAYWOOD

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"He's my special boy!"‏

That title is for you dad, and I believe you and the family may be the only people who ever get that. I've been calling Elder Evans that for about a week now. He's such a good missionary (ten times the one I was). Way more excited and diligent. Puts me to shame, but hey I've been out 16 months, I know what I'm doing. Just makes you think though what you could have been when you first came out though. But nonetheless it doesn't matter when you find the path and what counts is that you get on it before it is all said and done.

Training does come with some interesting perks. One of those is you are really really tired all the time and your greenie is just so pumped to be there. Their enthusiasm and faith are simply contagious. We talk to someone who says we can come back and he thinks they're going to get baptized. The unfortunate thing is a mission kind of hardens you and your expectations aren't as high when they should be. It's quite refreshing for me actually though I'm exhausted.

This week has been good. I've been trying to teach Elder Evans how to street contact. Which means I do a lot of them as he gets used to it. So different. This week we set a baptism date with a person named Debbie she is way awesome! I'm excited for her though she wasn't able to make it to church. We also had a baptism for a little girl named Ambria who's family is getting active again. Taylor Shirrod who is preparing for a mission got to baptize her. That was great for him he is going to be an amazing missionary.

Well it's certainly been an eventful week. We're going to the mall today which could be really entertaining. I can't even think of other things that are going on. We had mission President's fireside Sunday night and 2 of our recent converts spoke. It was a way good experience. We had a a few new investigators and I'm going to begin to teach some of the auxiliary leaders in the wards we cover how to be more effective missionaries. It may not be an immediate help for me but it could help the future missionaries in the area. Well I better go. Love you bye.

Love, Elder Caywood