Tuesday, November 23, 2010
4 Baptisms and a Wedding
Well as you can see from the title of my email you know what I'm going to be doing on Thanksgiving weekend! I'm so excited! It's going to be way fun. I love serving here. Saturday is going to be interesting, it is also transfer news day. It's sickening to me to watch the time go faster than the speed of sound. It's the one thing that no one has control over(despite any sci fi guy's opinion). We're blazing through this but it's still awesome. I've been reflective lately. It's amazing to see that we are put where we are put for a reason. I love serving here and there's several reasons why I think I got put in Mesa. I think one of the big reasons is that I didn't know a whole lot about the church and teaching so much on my mission has allowed me to learn the doctrine very well and explain it too. There's plenty of opposition here where the majority of the people have at least heard the term Mormon and are quite aware that they are all over Mesa. That has allowed me to learn to rely on the Spirit and to show patience and love to those who some may consider our enemies(though I don't think the Savior showed any less love for his enemies). One thing this experience in the valley of the sun has allowed me to have, is it has allowed me to mature a lot. We are under the spot light here a lot. By members and non-members. What people's views of the members and missionaries are often reflected upon by your own behavior and admittedly I was rather immature at the beginning of my mission(and am still immature at this point and will more than likely keep many of those but hey I've grown up a little). While we are on our missions regardless of country or continent, whether we are having problems with are companions or struggling in the area all I can say is the Proclamation that President Hinckley said and that I echo "Lose yourself and go to work". There's a lot more to that than just being a little trunky for home and the things you used to do. You stop caring about yourself and those around. You wonder how you can help your companion and the people you teach in anyway you can! Then you're happy and successful. I learned that lesson and it's sweet.
This week was full of goodness. We lost one baptism date, she got "antied" by a "friend' and has backed off completely. We care about her so much and we're going to find a way to reach out to her. I was at Leadership Training for most of the week learning the new principles that have been given down to us from the First Presidency of the church. It's really an incredible experience! It's humbling to for me to be in the presence of so many of the wonderful leaders of the mission. They're examples to me. I hope sometimes I can be half the missionary some of those Elders are but I do what I can.
One of the scarier experiences of leadership training was seeing my name on the departing missionary list. It said Elder Brandon Caywood April 5th, 2011. It suddenly hit me like a brick, ah! This is creeping up on me! It gave me a since of urgency I guess. Which means I'm pushing myself more(woo hoo!)
This past Sunday I spoke in 3 different wards and prepared 3 different talks collectively adding up to about 30 minutes. Many of them were linked to my conversion which is something I'm asked to speak on rather often. It was crazy speaking that much but luckily I had prepared pretty well and had no problems.
This weekend Lisa is getting baptized. She is the mom of the young boy who was baptized about 2 weeks ago. It's going to be an awesome baptism! Then we are having Gabe, Kelly, and Shelly getting baptized on Saturday as well. They are so often and I don't know if I ever met anyone with Greater faith. For example Bishop called yesterday and said "Gabe and Kelly aren't married!" My jaw dropped as I thought of how they were going to handle this news(we thought they were already married). We went to teach them and Gabe said "Did you hear the good news we're getting married on Friday! Bishop said we couldn't be baptized until we got married so we're having it this weekend!" It was sweet I'm pumped! We also had a cool experience with an investigator named Kenny, Kenny was supposed to be baptized this weekend but we asked him if he had quit chewing tobacco, He told us he had been doing better but that's not what we asked so we told him to get baptized on December 4th his new date he had to quit completely that night. He said follow me and we walked into the bathroom and he flushed all of his chew into the toilet and threw the container in the trash can. Then he said "Well I'm done" once again it was awesome, God is helping so many of these people.
Well many of you probably have dropped out of this by now so for those of you who have made it to the end of this email I will bid the fondest of farewells.
Love, Elder Caywood