Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fulfilling Week‏

Well this may be a little shorter because I've been dinking around for the past hour talking with Elders and day dreaming and all that jazz, yet I seem to start every email like this and yet write a ton, so we're going to do it. Are you pumped!? Woot woot? Yeah yeah!? Well I got to say it has been hard up here. We're still trying to find new people to teach which can be a challenge but we have found a few new investigators and have now set 7 baptism dates which is more than last week's one.

It's really really funny and a little strange being up here again, I decided it's bitter sweet because it's really great to see everyone I used to know in the area I used to serve in but I can't really go and see them they have to see me like shopping and stuff like that. That part can be hard because I really do love this area up here. But I know that I'm supposed to help the Taylor area I'm assigned to and I'm already beginning to see miracles from being up here again.

On Thursday we went on an exchange with one of the assistants, that was a blast! I love going on exchanges with them it's so much fun! Some missionaries don't like it or get scared or intimidated when they are there but I just think it's a blast. We had a good time that day and were able to set another baptism date. We have now set one date a day for the past 6 days, it has been incredible! I cannot believe the miracles we are beginning to see.

Friday was our interview with President and we had a great time, we talked a lot about the area and he told me why he put me up here and what is expected of me before I do go home(AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!). It's exciting times up here in the wonderful land of Taylor. I'll share a funny story. It took us about a hour to clean our truck. There was about 5 inches of mud in our wheel well and if I had my camera battery I would have taken a picture to show you. Our vehicle inspections were on Friday as well. So I thought that I'd be a good boy and clean the engine to make it shine. So I got up early took a shower and put on my shirt and Pac-Man pajama pants!(oh yeah) Then I got to work. As I was putting the Armor-All on the disgusting engine something began to happen which got me quite frustrated... It began to freeze! The stupid stuff would freeze on contact it was ridiculous! I've learned to control my temper on my mission which I'm grateful for so I walked away after turning the car on to heat it up. Luckily with a bucket of hot soapy water we were able to get most of the job done.

I wanted to let you know about a few of the people we are teaching. One of them is named Amanda, she has been Jewish, most of her life. She decided to talk with one of the members of our church and was going to attempt to save him from Christianity. After sitting down with him and talking she couldn't even remember what she was going to use to challenge him, she was just so shocked but what he had to say and then she really began to feel it. She said it took a lot of effort to accept Christ but she managed to do it and is finding peace. It amazes me when we taught her for the first time this week how easily she feels the Spirit and recognizes it. It's how she confirms truth and it's really really cool and I'm looking forward to continuing to teach her. Another person we are teaching is a woman named Renata and she is Navajo. She met with missionaries before but it never really went anywhere. A few things have changed in her life and she has been coming to church consistently and participating. We taught her Sunday night and asked her if she felt this is right. She did but I could tell that she was feeling something or there was a concern .I watched her as my companion continued to teach. There was a pause meaning it was probably my turn to begin talking but instead I asked "What are you thinking what's going through your mind right now?" She voiced a few concerns and then we testified of what God wanted her to do and how having the Holy Ghost could be a great blessing for her. We set a date for the 12th of February for her baptism, she needs to check with her doctor to see if she can because she is pretty pregnant, but I'm grateful for the experience.

Many more miracles will happen here but we just got to have faith, we aren't the greatest missionaries ever but we can do our best as we follow God's will.

Love you bye.

Love with Love,

Elder Caywood

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dang Cold‏

I was thinking of a Spongebob episode the other night as we trekked up to this trailer 30 miles out of town barely able to get my foot out of the mud, I thought of when Spongebob and Patrick get trapped in Sandy's treedome during winter and Patrick keeps saying "I'm so cold, I'm shivering", for that brief moment of cold I remembered my favorite episode of Spongebob. Now that lovely run-on sentence I just wrote was a sad attempt to let you know how cold I am up here! Oh my goodness, it's so cold right now. I honestly don't know how I will survive not living in the valley I never thought I would acclimate to 110 degrees but I did. Apparently this is the coldest winter they have had in about 25 years, it was negative 18 degrees on New Year's Eve here. Nevertheless I go on and smile and my face gets stuck like that because of the cold which can be amusing.

I had a rather fun week up here. My new companion's name is Elder Hill and I get along with him really really well. There wasn't that awkward get to know you phase like there is with most companions we just get along already and have the same goal of getting this area moving. There is a lot of potential here and that excites me a lot. Unfortunately there has not been a lot of success here and I think we only 4 investigators total. President told me he had a big job for me but I don't think last week I truly comprehended the extent of it.

The drive up was fun and leaving that area that I served in practically since I left Snowflake was hard, but It makes visiting easy when you serve in places that are close by each other(yay post mission road trips back to mission yahoo!) so glad I didn't go foreign! I love the people in my last area and I find myself praying for a lot of them still. In fact I've been super reflective on my mission as a whole since in missionary time, I'm older than time I guess.

We only taught 3 lessons last week which was hard for me, but we've made a plan to find new people to teach and get the area excited about doing missionary work. We're going to be having a stake fast on the 6th of February for missionary work here. We're going to be starting up a week day Gospel Essential class, also we will be pushing Mormon.org the new and improved version. Mormon.org probably like the coolest way in the world to do missionary work. I love it. My companion and I are excited though for things that will happen here.

One weird thing is seeing people who I know from when I was here before though I don't serve in the same area as I did previously, the towns are so small that it's hard not to see people. A lot of people are rather surprised to see me and I can understand. Most of us were under the assumption that I would never be back here as a full time Elder and that the next time I would see them would be after my mission. It's funny when people see me it goes like this..... They look at me weird, they look again, they get confused and say"What are you doing here?", then after I explain that I didn't break rules and sneak back up here but that I'm the Taylor Elder we have a good ole time.

I'll let you know a little more about the area and people we are teaching next week, mostly because we have to find them this week :D

Love you bye!

Love with love,
Elder Caywood

P.S. I totally sunk a hook shot from like ten feet left handed this morning during basketball, don't think this means I don't suck at basketball, but just wanted to let you know!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Transfer news came in and I'm getting moved... I"M GOING BACK UP NORTH TO SNOWFLAKE AND TAYLOR TO FINISH MY MISSION OH MY G-OSSHHHHH!!!! Can you believe that? I'm not going to be in the same area but I will be bordering it. This time around I will be only in Taylor. It was so shocking and my jaw about hit the floor when the news came in. This means many things. One of which means my bike is probably coming home this week. It's so crazy I'm a little bummed because I won't get to see the valley again until they put me in chains and give me my plane ticket home but on the bright side the land northward calls! It was crazy but I know it's where I'm suppose to be.

On the other side we had the best teaching week in my mission. We had 19 member present investigator lessons, one of the leading totals in the mission. We have 6 people right now set up to be baptized on the 22nd and plenty of more on the way. It's really amazing to see how much this area has exploded with work. Talking with the stake president apparently President Ellsworth was only going to leave me here for 2 transfers to see if I could get the area going even more. We have seen so many miracles, many people baptized, the area split, and wards that are excited about missionary work. He told me that he wants me to do that up in Taylor again. I've helped out a lot of areas in my mission but it's been all through the Lord, as a missionary all I have to do is get up, go to work, and follow the Spirit. You'd be amazed at what happens when you just do it.

Today we have a lot of things planned that we need to do. This morning I got to go to the Mesa Temple for the last time as a full time missionary, I got permission from President to go twice this transfer so that I could go. It was a sweet experience even though we went to the 5:30 AM session.

As excited as I am to go back up north I'm really sad to be leaving this area. I really figured that I'd finish my mission here, and if I didn't finish my mission here the last thing I ever would of thought would be my return to the land northward. I love the people, I've been in this area since early May '10, actually since I left Snowflake and Taylor the first time. I will have spent 18 months of my mission in these two immediate areas, Snowflake/Taylor and West Mesa. It's weird but visiting will be easy in the future(Coming back in May yahoo!!)

Elder Tanner will be getting Elder Henderson as his new companion, if you remember Elder Henderson was who I was with when I came down here. There's so many people I love, many of which in my opinion in just a short time have become life long friends and I will visit here often(some people want me to live here but we will see). I am though, looking forward to what the Lord has in store for me up for that one last hurrah up north. I'd love to write to you more about the people we taught and the miracles we saw. I'll just let you know that there were a lot. I love them. They are in good hands and I know that. Well I'm such shock(still) that I really have nothing more to say, love you bye!

Love, Elder Caywood

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit as I wrote 2011(yup that means it's really here folks!) I just forwarded about 40 pictures I took this weekend, from our hike and from the New Year's Eve party I did take one picture or so of the entire mission rehearsing for the concert before it had started. It was rather exciting!

This past week had it's challenges as people we're getting over post Christmas syndrome. It's amazing how busy people can be during the holidays. It was really hard to meet with people and work around their schedules. But luckily still managed to teach quite a bit. We had a really good day yesterday and we have 5 really solid people set up for the 22nd to be baptized. Transfers are next week so I hope I can stick around to see this baptisms.

This weekend was the New Year. It was very very different from last year when I spent the night trying to pack as Elder Robertson and I had to move from one apartment into another. What was really cool was this year President Ellsworth let Snowflake come down for the concert so the entire mission was there to be a part of this! It was really exciting but also really really cool. Probably one of the chilliest I have ever spent down here in the Valley. My song went well (I mean it was so simple that we would have had to try to mess it up if we did) but it went perfect. We had a huge party after with the entire mission and I took pictures of a lot of them.

On Thursday I went on an exchange in the Vineyard(the hottest ward in the U.S. over 50 baptisms or more this year alone!) unfortunately it wasn't the best day a lot of our appointments fell through and it was cold. I don't think I've ever been that cold on my bike in my life. We even saw SNOW. BA BA BAAAA!!!!(dun dun). It did happen and I saw it. Well I don't have a whole lot more to write at least I don't think.

Wait I do! We made a New Year's Resolution. We're teaching an investigator who is trying to quit smoking! He smokes about a pack a day. We asked him to quit so that he can be baptized. We realized this was going to be a rather large sacrifice for him so we decided that we would get in on the deal too. Our Ward Mission Leader said that he would lose 15 lbs. I agreed that I would lose an inch off my waste(yay Special K! Lean jeans in just 2 weeks! ) We had a weigh in and I was at 218 pounds(48 pounds heavier than when I left I've gone to about a 38 waist line as well(and also I have busted 7 pairs of pants because of this... SEVEN!)) so we'll see how it goes, it's hard when members feed you every night because the tendency of every member in the world is to overfeed the missionaries. As you can tell from this paragraph this quickly became one of the most unique lessons on my mission.

Anyways I'll stop before I let loose any more deep dark secrets about myself. Love you bye! Buenos Nachos!

Love, Elder Caywood