Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Week 71 Wednesday P-days Are Weird

I had a pretty great week this week. It is really weird to write on Wednesday and have P-day. It is a good break during the week but it makes it hard to remember what happened and when. So it is a mix of this current week and last week.

Oh boy though, last week we had Brad Wilcox visit our mission. We gathered together to hear him. I have listened to a lot of his talks while we drive in our car. He is the funnest guy and so smart. He takes simple doctrine and breaks it apart and finds the coolest stuff. Our main topic of discussion was “why are we different?” The primary answer is because we are children of God. Well that is true but so is the guy smoking weed or breaking commandments. The real reason we are different is because of the "Birthright" we have. Oh boy that is a fun topic to study. We got so deep into that doctrine and went all the way back to the 12 tribes and how it relates to that. I learned so much and just had the funnest time learning about the gospel. The only thing to complain about was being in a chapel with 250 people and no air conditioning. That was hot but it was so worth it!!

One big thing that happened was the baptism of Paige. She was taught and found right before I got to the area but I got to teach the last lessons. She was so ready though. It was the easiest baptism ever.

She made the program, booked the chapel, got the bishop notified, filled the font. All we had to do was show up. That was pretty cool.

A few weeks ago I shared about a girl named Beth. She chased us down while door knocking to learn more. Well she has been heaps busy with school and work so we have not seen her for a few weeks, this week we were able to see her. It was one of my funnest lessons. We met her in a coffee shop and taught the restoration to her. Before we even started teaching she told us she was a prophet. Boy that was a fun way to start a lesson. It really opened it up to learn and grow. We shared about revelation and how it is personal. The spirit was so strong and you could really see it touching her heart. She would pause and ponder what we said. When we invited her to baptism she took forever to think about it but in the end she said yes!! Our only thing that we will struggle with is getting her to church. With work and anxiety she is a bit nervous to come but she is really keen and ready!! It was so amazing!!

One thing that is pretty hard right now is being in two wards. We have church at 9:00 and 1:00 plus all the meetings attached. We got to church at 7:00 and did not leave until 4:00. It was really the first time that I was not excited to be at church!! In the second ward in sacrament I was struggling so hard to stay awake and ended up falling asleep in one of the talks. I was out hard. Church is so good but I was just so tired.

Well this was a brief quick email but I hope you feel the love of the Lord. He is truly in charge of this work and I love serving as an elder. Have a great week. 

Elder Cahoon

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Weel 70 Great things always happen door knocking

What a week, ups and downs, hot and hot...

I did not think that I would be out on my mission when the prophet died. Oh it was so sad to find out about it. I just felt lost for a little bit. It was a sad way to start out our week after P-day. I remember when President Hinckey died but I was only 8 so it did not mean much. My whole mission I have been testifying to people that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. Boy do I know that with all my heart!!

It made it quite interesting the first time this week to testify of a prophet when the one that I have been testify of passed away. We know that the next one will be Russell M. Nelson but it just felt weird to say that he passed away.

I know that the Lord is still the leader of the church even if a great prophet passes on. The Lord is still in charge and presses forward. So do we in this work...

My first week here we met a really nice old lady named Dianna. She told us all about her father and how he was a pastor and did so much good. Way back then her father used to have the elders over for tea and converse doctrine with them. Well she remembers how wonderful it was to have them over so at the door she invited us to come back and share a message. We really did not think it was going to go anywhere. She was very persistent on letting us know about her father and his faith. When we came back the spirit was so strong. Some times you just smash a lesson. You really teach a person not a lesson. Well she opened up and we bore a powerful witness of the Restored Gospel on the earth. It lit her face up so much. At the end of the lesson we asked if she came to know if this was true would she get baptized. YES of course she said. It was just beautiful. She is super excited and her husband is on board and wants to hear our message too.

One of the biggest strengths that we have going for us is we get out and go door knocking everyday. Our mission sees miracles happen when we get a lot of contacts. Despite it being the middle of summer over here we have still been able to get out. It is not as hot as my first area up north but it has been 36 consistently and humid. When you walk outside you can feel your skin start to burn. I have put on so much sunscreen but still have been getting rosy cheeks. I don’t know how people live here and deal with this.

Great things always happen door knocking. We started this really big street and straight away a lady asked if we were LDS. We gladly replied yes and she said well I am not interested but I would love for you to come in and pick out a gift from under our Christmas tree. She went on about how much she loved us for what we do and our love for the Savior. It was beautiful to see her love for the Savior as well. I got a cool key chain and some chocolates. It was just amazing though to see a tender mercy from the Lord saying keep going you are doing great!!

Today was our Temple P-day so we got to go to the temple. Oh it was so nice. Just being able to sit in the house of the Lord and relax and see the big picture of why we are here and how important this work was is amazing!! Getting up at 4 am to catch the train was not. But the temple is so worth it. Afterward we had a great time getting interviewed by our Mission President. He was so excited for us and all the wonderful things happening in our zone. Things are really taking off and going great!!

It was so weird today while taking the train, this is the first time I have served around sisters and the elders ditched us on the way back. They did not stay around to wait for everyone to finish. So it was just me and my comp walking with 4 sisters. It felt like I was at mutual or something. It was so funny. They are great sisters who work really hard. This is the best zone right now!!

I hope everyone is having a good time in the cold weather. I love you all.

Elder Cahoon

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Week 69 Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEARS!! Wow 2018 is here. 2017 was my whole year for being on a mission. It was so weird to think that next year I will be home. It was funny, we had heaps of time new years at the flat so I started to make goals.

Towards the end I was like
Goal: go on a date
Goal: get good grades in college.

It was really weird to think that I will have to do that stuff this year.

Anyway I still am on my mission and am focusing on it. Boy do I love this new area. It was so hard at first to get used to it and overcome missing Gold Coast but I can say I am going to love this area just as much.

It is a poor area compared to Gold Coast so just in the 2 weeks that I have been here we have seen so much success. People love to hear the gospel here. I am covering 2 wards so it makes it tricky trying to figure out who is who and where is where but I know the main roads and can drive around fine right now. The people range from white to islander. Mostly islanders. So we are getting fed a feast every night. The meal calendar is never empty. I hope to put on some weight. Heaps of weight. Haha I am skinny.

My comp is named Elder Aspacio. He is from the Philippines. At first I did not like him and thought he was going to be hard to work with. The first week was hard because of leaving GC and having Elder Lim but that has passed and I am loving being with him now. We have our fun moments and our quiet ones.

We do heaps of finding so I have lots of fun things to write about what happened while we were out. My favorite thing that we do together is come up with a word to say at the door as we knock. We started with A and then B and so on.
A= Aligator
b= Bannana
c= Cockroach
d= dinosaure
e= eggplant
f= farmer

That is as far as we got and boy was it so funny and made door knocking way more fun. We were less awkward at the door and it made for good conversations. Some of the best were, "Hey I saw a huge cockroach on your driveway." The lady said, "Oh no that is not good." She looked so scared.

I said to a lady after she said not interested, "Do you know your plants very well. I was wondering if that was an eggplant tree?" I about lost it in laughter when I said it. It was very obvious that it was a mango tree. haha she must have thought I was so dumb. It was so funny.

Elder Aspcio asked a lady after we talked to her if she knew a farmer. She pondered it for a while and he replied with "the farmer family, we are looking for them." haha I bet this seems really cheesy but man we were having a hay day. It was so funny. Door knocking gets so long and boring some times. It is the same thing every time. This game made it really fun and unique to good conversations.

The biggest miracle we had this week, ok wait we had a few. The coolest one was after a long street of rejection we came to a house that was having a party with a heap of YSA. A kid answered the door and was not interested one bit but we asked if anyone inside was. NO!! Then he shut the door. After moving on to the next house a girl came running out of the house asking if we were the religious people. After she came out and got our attention we started to get to know her and began to teach her about Heavenly Father's love for her. I guess that last week was pretty hard for her and she prayed for help and then we showed up. I felt for her because last week I had a pretty hard one too with exactly the same things she was going through. Anxiety and stress. I talked about how much prayer has helped me and I asked if she thought we were an answer to her prayer. “YES,” she said. It was amazing. We got her number and are going to start teaching her at the chapel. Her name is Beth. She is just wonderful and so prepared.

Another door knocking miracle that happened was while we were playing our game. We were on the word banana and it was Elder Aspacios turn. We knocked into a Filipino and she started to talk with him. While they were conversing in Tagalog I heard the word bananas and he looked at me with the biggest grin. I don’t know what he was saying but he said banana. Haha this lady is named Arlene. She is wonderful too. There was a bench out on her front lawn so she invited us to share a message with her on it. She just moved over and was in contact with the elders over there. Well long amazing story cut short, Elder Aspacios taught her in Tagalog and I taught in basic English and she accepted to be baptized on Feb 17. She was so excited and it was so amazing!!

In this area there are heaps of families that come to church or are sorta less active with 9 to 10 year old kids that are not baptized. We have started to go around to all of them and teach them and their kids.

The Martin family is one in particular. The parents are not active but they love having the elders over. We have seen them a few times this week and on our last visit we talked about the importance of baptism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After a great lessons their son Kelehn accepted to be baptized on Jan 20.

It has been a week full of miracles. I am so excited to be here and love it so much!!

We had a big meeting called MLC where all the zone leaders get together to be accountable and come up with fun new ideas and plans.

One quick side note was last year in the meeting we set a goal of the ABM 500 for 2017. 500 convert baptisms. Well on December 31 at 5pm we were at 499 with no more planed for the evening.

One of the stake presidents heard about it and felt so sorry that we all worked so hard and came so close. So he grabbed the sister and they started visiting all the families they could with unbaptized children. At 7 pm they found a family that was coming to church and had a 9 year old not baptized. So he and the sister taught a lesson and invited the family and kid to be baptized that night. So at 8 pm new years eve we hit our mission goal of 500 baptisms!!! Haha it was so crazy!!! 

At our big meeting we talked about how to take it to the next level by being accountable and using the stake and ward leaders.

So we came up with a way to be accountable daily to our zone and ward/stake. It involves everyone in the zone having a zone calling and responsibility. It makes our load lighter and gives the missionaries a sense of love and trust.

The callings consist of gathering all contacts for the day. Sending out a fun fact of the day. Scripture text. Diligence points, Member presents at 20 other lessons at 10 and contacts are 1. This means we are measured on what we can control. They are the only numbers that we measure that are not affected by the investigators agency.

This week went amazing for it. Everyone loved it and it has been so fun to see the work hasten. This church is so true and great!!

To end this amazing email I have a fun thing that happened today. We have a senior couple in our zone and they are pretty old. We love them but they are a bit slow and take their time for things. Yesterday in our zone meeting Elder Stokes found out I love tennis. He invited us to play with him today at 7 am. I thought why not. It will be fun to play and beat this old guy!! Well I got one part of that right. I was having the best time playing tennis. I’ve missed it so much. I just loved it. To my surprise I was not that bad but to my greater surprise he was not that bad too. In our warm up I started to see that this guy meant business. During the game he did not hold back. You would not believe how fast this old guy moved. He could hit hard too. It ended up being a really fun match. We did not keep score but he won for sure. I was all over the place. We both loved it so much that we are going to do it every Wednesday morning at 6:30.

What a week it was. So amazing. I love you all so much. Happy New Year. Cheers.

Elder Cahoon

 Calling home

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 68 Transferred to Brisbane North


I am so mad!! I got transferred!! I got moved to Brisbane North. It is a good area but still NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I was so upset to leave. After all that has happened in the Gold Coast, saying goodbye to everyone was the hardest thing!!

I was in Gold Coast for 6 months so I got really attached to the people. It was amazing to see success there and watch them grow.

Sheila is still going amazing and has not missed a week or had a sip of coffee. She was hard to leave. It was truly amazing to see her feel the spirit and react to it. I will miss her heaps.

Our week was pretty hectic. We had heaps going on this week because it was the end of the transfer. So for one full day we got to clean our flat and the new flat that the sister missionaries are moving into.

The next day we had our Christmas mission party. That took all day and was fun but also tiring. Then we had our ward Christmas part on Saturday for Tallai ward where Elder Lim is serving.

I felt like we did not do any real big mission work. It was pretty quiet.

I wish I had more to say. There was no big thing that happened. It was a good week for fun and Christmas.

I do have a stupid story though. At the ward Christmas part they set up a zip line that was just terrible. If you weighed more than 10 pounds you hit the ground. So they took down the rope and put it up on top of a tree 50 fit up and asked if we would pull kids up and then lower them down. They had two harnesses and let the little kids put it on all by themselves. Geez I did not participate and I tried to stop it. Some kid was going to die. We could pull them up and then accidentally drop the rope or trip and the kid would fall. Plus there were some big kids. No matter how many times I said, “bad idea” the 1st counselor went with it. I took some videos of it happening.

I am so glad I learned safety in scouts. The best thing I did was tighten a few harnesses up before they about fell off. So dumb!!

I am sure that next week is going to be crazy!! Learning a new area is always fun. It should be great!!

I love you all and I will write more next week.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 67 The Spirit Really Testifies

Bia and Alessandra got baptized!!! Oh my goodness it was the most stressful thing as all baptisms are. Man has it been so fun and rewarding though.

It started out last Monday at our lesson with them. Bia started to avoid us and not agree with what we taught because her mom was telling her to do it. Well she is a teenager and rebelled against her mom so it scared us a bit.

About halfway through the week she dropped her date and did not want to do it anymore. She did not want to keep the word of wisdom or the law of chastity. We were pretty sad but still excited for Alessandra. She was rock solid and just wanted to do it as soon as possible.

On the night of the interview we got to their house early to teach one last lesson but Alessandra ended up having to work late so it was just Bia. We made sure to sit outside but we took the opportunity to teach her boldly and without Mom breathing down her neck. Bia speaks very good English so we could communicate. With Alessandra we need to get translated.

As we started to have a real talk with Bia both of us told her about our rebellious teen lives and how now we see that our crazy moms really do love us and wanted the best. We also explained how the commandments worked the same way. It is just God trying to protect us. Man it was a cool powerful moment with her.

At the end of it she asked if she could still get baptized!! YES!!!! The spirit is real and it teaches people and causes them to change!! She got interview and passed and so did Alessandra.

The next day at the baptism it was beautiful. By far the best one I have had on my mission. Heaps of members came and one family learned how to sing I Am a Child of God in Portuguese. That was the coolest moment. Both Bia and her mom were in tears and you just knew that the spirit was there and that they were ready.

The coolest lesson I learned from teaching them has changed me forever as a teacher and missionary. From our first lesson with them, they could not even understand us. They had no clue what we were saying but they had a clue on what they were feeling. For the first time I had the biggest realization that the spirit is the teacher. We always say it but in this one it was so relevant. It did not matter what the heck we said, all it took was them to feel the spirit. No words in English could have convinced them this church was true. It was only the spirit. The cool part now is when I have a comp struggling with English I can share this with him. Who cares if he struggles to say the right thing when teaching. It just does not matter.

That was just the coolest part of the week. This really is the Lord’s work and he loves his children. He has a way prepared for all of them. No language barrier can get in the way.

Now time for a fun Elder Cahoon story moment.

We have a member in our ward who cuts hair. We go there all the time now to get our hair cut. Their names are Ephraim and Jess Hannet. They are so fun. So last P-day we went over for our haircut as usual and it was great.  I look so good. The funnest part about these members is they treat us like normal people. All members do but there is always a little weird feel. Anyway not at the Hannet house. We talk and laugh just like family. I think I might have mentioned them before but anyway.

At the end of our haircuts we just go shower and get clean for dinner. The first time I thought it was kinda weird but now I am used to it. This week though I was showering after my haircut and had the thought "whoa, I am naked at a members house. Wait a minute." It was a really funny thought. As I started to think, I have never been naked at any ones house my whole mission. That’s good!! This was just so funny and maybe I was just having a deep ponder in the shower but boy did I get a kick out of it. Haha they are a fun family.

At church we still have heaps of investigators come. I met someone though who was visiting from a ward up the road in Gold Coast and we got chatting and he asked where I was from. Utah. What part? Highland, Oh I served with someone from Highland on my mission. Who? Trevor Garrity. oh cool I think I know him. Wait I lived next to him and he is in my ward.

It took me a sec to remember and put the name together but how cool is that. He was comps with Trevor. We had a fun chat and I thought the whole thing was really cool!!

Boy it is just great right now!! The area is great and things are going well. I love you all. Have a good week.

Elder Cahoon