Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 14 -- I hate shots

Wow the time is going by so fast. It feels like I just wrote the last email. Like I always say, every week is crazy!!

Last email I talked about getting bed bugs. Well the rash kept spreading and getting worse so I called the mission doctor and he found a doctor in Ayr that could see me. So I went there and they had never seen this before. It look 3 doctors about 2 hours to figure out what was going on. It was not bed bugs but I did get bite by a bug. I had an allergic reaction to it. They could not figure out which bug it was, if it was poisonous or not. Just little things like that. So I had to go in for a blood and urine test. Well for those of you who don't know me too well, I HATE NEEDLES! I hate flue shoots, vaccines, and anything that pokes me. I thought crap I have to be responsible and force myself to go since I did not have my parents to force me to go through with it. I was so scared. So we walked in and the nurse took me back and sat me down. I asked the typical questions, “Does it hurt? How long?” The nurse told me not to look but with her accent I thought she said look. Oh boy!!! Bad Idea. The needle was huge, the good part though was it was in and sucking away. So it did not hurt but I could see my blood being sucked out by a mini vampire. I about passed out. I went pale and limp. So the nurse picked me up and laid me on the ground for a good 15 minutes to get it back together. The results come in a week so I got put on some medication and I have a cream for the rash. It is doing a lot better and not itchy or spreading. I am gonna be just fine. It was quiet the experience though. I have to thank everyone that warned me about all the things that live in Australia that try to kill you. I had my first run in and it was not fun.

Anyway the mission work side of things went really good! The first day we got back to Ayr we were on the deadly treadlies biking to a less actives house. I noticed a big scary man standing on the side of the road and felt like I should talk to him. I did not want to talk to him. He was a scary looking guy but I trusted the spirit and walked up and started talking. He was the best!! We taught him a quick lesson. He invited himself to church and to be baptized so we did not have to do any of the hard stuff. Sadly, he did not come to church but we have his number and all his info so we are gonna work with him a lot when we come back to Ayr. After our lesson with the less active family we were riding home and another prompting came to us to talk to a man on the road. Turns out the same experience. He invited himself to church, did not come but we have all his info to follow up so we have some really promising people. It is just amazing how much the Lord blesses us and prepares people to receive this full knowledge of the gospel.

The wonderful Yip family had us over for dinner and they planned for us to go Christmas caroling. We recruited a few of the other branch members and had a good number of people to go around and sing. Not your typical caroling experience. No sleigh or hay bale to sit on. No snow falling down. No hot coco. Same music about the snow and Christ’s birth. We went around to all the less actives with a plate of cookies and sang a couple of songs. It really helped them feel loved and bring the spirit into everyone's home. It was so fun!!

During our district meeting the zone leader came on and told us we are gonna start implementing the invitations to be baptized into our key indicators. BOOM look at that. My idea made it all the way up to him and then out to everybody. He gave us our credit and it was just so awesome to have our little idea become a big one.

Since we have the car we go to all our surrounding areas to follow up with less actives. This week we spent time in Alva. It is right on the beach and quite the little beach town. Everyone has a fishing boat or sail boat or something for the water. So after our visits with everybody we had lunch on the beach. Nobody swims or plays on the sand because of sharks and jelly fish. So it was an empty beach and not to impressive. It was still pretty cool to see the ocean and the reef.

Charters Towers had their Christmas party for the branch. We drove over a day early to attend it. The only bummer about it was that we have a very strict 2nd counselor and the branch president is too mellow and shy so the 2nd counselor takes over. So the party was at his house and not the chapel. This meant we could not invite anyone that we were teaching to the party. We did invite Angus and he came with his family but we could have had so many other people come and see the church and the members but the 2nd counselor had to have it at his house. It was fun don’t get me wrong. There was just no room and no investigators to show around. In the end it turned out good and we had a fun time. Lots of laughs and love.

We had some really good lessons with some people that we have been teaching. We took more time in these lessons to open up and talk as friends and this made them open up to us and we got down to what is holding some people back. It was really good.

We visited Jose and his wife. We showed them the Christmas video and started to talk about my life before the mission. Juliette, the wife, found my YouTube channel and we ended up watching all my videos. The way they see me totally changed. Juliette wants to show her school this and have me come in and give a motivational speech and all this stuff. I talked with them about my dad’s saying. You have to have your main course before you can have your spice. They loved it. I also talked about trails in life and how we can overcome them. I used my bad back as the analogy. This caused them to really open up to us and it turned into the best lesson we have ever had with them. Usually Jose is always changing the subject or talking about something else but today when we were teaching he was backing us up. ( Jose is a member, his wife is investigating) Jose was bearing his testimony and the spirit was so strong in this lesson. I was praying so hard that we would get through to her but she does not see why she needs to change, she is good where she is. I got really emotional and teared up when asking questions and bearing my testimony. She is gonna think about it and wants some time. We understood. She still wants us over all the time because she likes how she feels when we are there. If only she could understand. In time she will come around.

I am getting so excited for Christmas and to Skype my family. I want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. Enjoy the cold snow and be safe. I love you all.

Elder Cahoon

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 13 District conference was amazing

G'day mate, How ya going?? I have been on my deadly treadly the last few days before hitt'n the frog and toad. Fairdinkum mate my shakes ponies have been sore!! I am not gamman with ya. AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE Oi Oi Oi

I thought I would start out the email in my native language. I will be impressed if someone can figure out what everything means. 

This was the funniest, craziest, laziest and, best week ever!! Since I had to drop Elder Talaipa off and pick up Elder Cadiang, the elder he was with was companion-less so we had to stay in Townsville until his new golden missionary came. We got a call that he would not be here until Wednesday night. It was going to be crazy.

Elder Cadeardo, the 3rd companion was having some doctor problems so for the first 2 days we were there we just sat in doctors offices all day. At the last doctor appointment he was told he would need a colonoscopy. He had no clue what that was. I did. I started to laugh so hard. When we got in the car I told him they were gonna stick a thing up his bum. He went from being ok to pure terror. So that next day we had to stay in the flat all day since he was being cleaned out on the toilet. It was not a pleasing day. To add the craziness that day that he was stuck on the toilet was the day his new companion would fly in. So at 10:00 at night we went to the airport to pick the new golden up. We got there only to find out his plan was grounded in Brisbane due to rain. So we had to call President and figure out what to do. He said, "Go back to the flat but stay awake until I text you when he leaves." So we stayed up until midnight then left to the airport very tired to pick up a new missionary. We got him at 1:00 in the morning. We were all so tired. It was so fun though to pick him up. I understood exactly what he was going though since I did the same thing. So I felt like a pro. It felt like, “Just follow me kid and you will be good.” We got him back to the flat. He showered, ate, then we went to bed. We had permission to sleep in. But I had to drive Elder Cadeardo to the hospital to get a thing up his bum. We got there at 2:00 and did not get out until 6:00. I had no phone, no entertainment. Well I did have a Book of Mormon for entertainment but that got tiring after an good hour. So I slept and sat in the waiting room for hours. This whole week has just been crazy!!

It was a good week though. It taught me to love Elder Cadiang. He is the best now. I love him so much!!! We are doing great together. We struggled getting along with Elder Cadeardo, but through the experience I grew to love Elder Cadiang so much more!!

District conference was amazing!! We had an investigator (Mariah) from Ayr catch a ride with the Yips to come. It was her first time at church and it was the best. We got to go to all the sessions. Priesthood, Saturday and Sunday. It was the first time in my life that I wanted to go to learn. I took 15 pages of notes and was on the edge of my seat listening the whole time. It only felt like 20 minutes of talks. Not a couple of hours. Every talk was so good and inspired. Our mission President is just so amazing and just lifts you up whenever he talks!!

On Sunday we headed back to Ayr for the next week. It started to rain. One thing that is so funny is whenever it rains, the day before someone always asked us to pray for rain. We do and then the next day it rains. Every time. The power of prayer is real!!

Speaking of prayers, in district conference my companion and I got to give the Melchizedek priesthood to a new convert in Townsville. He did not want Elder Cadeardo to do it for some reason. Hmm wonder why. haha so I felt so honored to participate in that. He was baptized in September and is already ready for this. He is amazing!!

I have heard about all the snow in Utah. Still not getting any here. It is gonna be a hot Christmas. So weird to see all the lights up and decorations but have it be 110 degrees out. 9/10 people here have never ever seen or touched snow. I feel so bad that they are missing out on it. Everyone has a dream of seeing snow and playing in it so I talk a lot about it and let them know what it is like.

It feels so good to be back in my area after not working for a week. Time to share the gospel. If you have not heard already, the church is doing a Christmas initiative. #LIGHTtheWORLD 25 ways over 25 days. Go look it up and start doing it. It is so fun to share with people here and get them doing it so you should too.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Elder Cahoon

Translation to the Aussie slang

G'day mate, How ya going?? I have been on my deadly treadly the last few days before hitt'n the frog and toad. Fairdinkum mate my shakes ponies have been sore!! I am not gamman with ya. AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE Oi Oi Oi

Hello, I have been riding my bike for the last few days before driving the car. Geez man my legs have been sore. I am not kidding. Go Australia.


 New golden missionary

 Mission President

 Bed bugs

Free fruit

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 12 -- It is hot!!! But the work goes on.

Well I am done being trained. I have gone through my first 12 weeks and am doing great!! We had a great week up in Charters Towers!!

With all of our finding efforts from last week we had some great lessons with some of the people that we found. It was one of the hottest weeks so far!! It got up to 46 degrees( Celsius) not Fahrenheit
I wish it was 46 Fahrenheit. So if you convert that to F you get about 114 degrees!! It is hot!!! But the work goes on.

We had a sad day; one of the members had a heart attack and died. We attended the funeral and the wife asked if I would get up and read a few scriptures. I was honored to do so. It was the first funeral that I think I have been to where I was old enough to really understand it. It was a sad day. I don't think a normal funeral is that crazy! They put up a slide show of him and there was some nice classical music playing to it but out of nowhere it changed to really loud heavy metal music. Boy did that wake everyone up. Then when they were carrying the casket to the car the same thing happened, loud heavy metal music. It was quite the funeral.

Every morning we still go work out with Angus and help him understand what he read from the Book of Mormon that night. I said last week he shared it with his family and this week we got to sit down with the family. They are not as solid as Angus but the Lord has giving Angus such a strong testimony and he is going to be able to help his family come around. During the lesson he did more teaching then we did. We would start with Joseph Smith wanted to know.. and Angus would just step right in with so much energy," So he prayed and God came to him" and from there Angus just gave the lesson and we just helped here and there. It was so fun to see him share it and go through it with other people. On Sunday he got up and bore his testimony in front of everyone and he is not even a member. It was so great!! He also asked when he could give a talk. He was so prepared by the Lord.

We visited the Lowery's a ton this week. They make me feel like I am home. Just the way we talk and laugh and tease each other. It is so fun. They are a great family!! It is so good to have them in the branch. Brother Lowery gave us some gifts. One of the coolest ones is a bunch of hand drawn pictures of all the historical building in Charters Towers. They are really beautiful and super cool. They also gave me and Elder Talaipa matching Aussie shirts with all the Aussie slang on it. I have so much love for their family and for them.

We had to go back to Ayr a couple of days early to make it to a Christmas Party. It was really fun to be apart of. The members in Ayr have so much love for each other and they help us so much. Brother Yip gave me a referral during the party. Later in the week we went to contact him. He works in the police and we got to know him and talked for a good hour about things and then slowly brought in the church and he was open to having us come by again. So I am praying that this guy will be good. He has no smoking or drinking problems, which is the big thing that is holding us back from baptisms.

The Yips also had us over for dinner this week and they took us out to see all the Christmas lights. Some people here go really crazy with the lights but it is nothing compared to Hidden Oaks at night with all the trees lit up. Even though it is Christmas time and looks like Christmas, it does not have the same feeling with out the snow. I heard it snowed a little bit for you guys in Utah. That is so great!!

The transfer ended this week and my companion Elder Talaipa got moved down to McKay and I got stuck with Elder Cadiang again. We will see how it goes. It is crazy how fast the time is going by so I hope it stays that way these next 6 weeks. I drove Elder Talaipa to Townsville and picked up the Townsville elder so we could drop him off at the airport. So right now I am in a tripanionship until the Townsville elder gets his new comp.

Things are hot but going good. Thanks for all the love. Talk to you next week.

Elder Cahoon

James Lowery

Working out with Angus

Sister Lowery

Angus and his family

Christmas party in Ayr

The Yips

Saying goodbye to Elder Talaipa

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 11 New companion is awesome

This week flew by. I love my new companion. We are working so well together and having huge success. We started out the week visiting a less active who may be a J.W. Well it turns out he is a strong J.W. but is not quite one because if he was then he could not drink and stuff like that. So he believes in it all but does not commit so he can still drink. Anyway... He made me want to punch him the face!! We were being so kind and caring and he took everything the wrong way. Man he had a hardened heart. We could not even bare a simple testimony to him without having some "argument" come up. Don't even get me started on the Book of Mormon. To him that book is from the devil. Sooo... To sum up we are not going to visit him anymore. I got so feed up that he would not even just listen to us for a second to maybe see that he is missing something. At the end we asked why he initially joined the Mormons and he says his mom forced him and he was never interviewed. He just got dunked without knowing. We both thought that sounded funny but are just gonna let him be. He is too far gone. It was sad.

That was about the saddest part of the week, from there it only got better! We meet with a man named James Lowery. He is an ex-member. Everyone he lives with goes to church but since he is EXed he does not come. Since the first day we got here we always visit him. He is by far my most favorite man!! We figured out how he can get back to being a member and have really worked with him by visiting him and just being his friend. Well our hard work has paid off. He came to church. All dressed up in a white shirt and everything!! It was so amazing. I had the biggest smile the whole day. We have set him on a baptism date. He is quite stubborn but fun and we joke around all the time so currently he is set for April 1, 2018. Haha he has got some time but we are gonna get it to a year sooner. haha such a great guy.

Speaking of great guys, I have talked a lot about Angus and his family. Well they are amazing. Angus and his family are progressing so fast and so strong. They have been through all the lessons and now we just are reading the Book Of Mormon and making sure they understand everything. Like I have said before it is marriage that is keeping them from baptism. Well we were able to set a date for them to get married and then they wanted to get baptised that same day since they are using the chapel to get married at. Jan 25, 2017. Angus loves the gospel so much that he has been sharing it with his parents. He has done so well preparing his parents. We got them some Book of Mormons. They live about an hour out of town so we have not visited them yet but when we do Angus is going to come help us teach. Haha he is not even a member yet and he wants to share. As he has taught his parents they want to be baptized. So we need to put them on a date. The family thinks it would be a cool experience to have the baptism after the marriage ceremony since all the family and friends are already there. Sorta 2 for 1 deal. He wants his parents to go on that same day. I am praying that I will still be in the area.

Now that I have a BIG Samoan comp we eat a ton and work out all the time. Push up competition every night and stuff like that. This last week every morning at 6 we rode our bikes over to Angus's house and worked out at the gym that he has. First off Angus is big muscle wise and so is Elder Talaipa. Well those of you who know me I am a skinny mate. I have muscle but not huge. Well they have put me through the ringer. I have never been so sore in my life. It is fun but while I am bench pressing 40 kilos and getting tired they go up to 85. Haha hopefully I come back a little bigger. It has been fun and Angus loves it. He loves the spirit that we bring. Such a good man.

He came to church with his whole family and participated in everything. Elder Talaipa gave a talk and Angus asked me how he could get up and give one. I was like WHAT?? you’re not even a member and you want to go up there? Most members don’t want to go up. So he will be giving us a talk here soon and will get up on fast Sunday to bare his testimony. It is so fun to see him grow in the gospel.

Over the week we had Thanksgiving. It was boring. Not the typical Cahoon style party with family all around and some basketball. Sad I missed out on that. It looked fun though. The senior couple held a dinner so we drove over to Townsville and we had the TV elders and sisters there and their branch president. It was fun but it felt like a normal dinner. I am not complaining it was a free dinner. With it being about 40 every day it just didn't feel like Thanksgiving time.

We sang a Christmas songs the other day. I said to my comp no no it is way to early to sing Christmas songs. Then I remembered what day it was. It is time for Christmas just not a normal one. It just looks wrong seeing decorations out in the summer. It has testified to me that I need the snow. haha oh well. Enjoy it for me.

We have been praying super hard to find new solid people to teach and miracles have been happening. We first meet a mom named Tianna and she did not want anything to do with us. Well the Holy Ghost worked at her and we got an appointment with her and taught the restoration. She loved it and said it gave her hope. Now she is willing to have us teach her more. She is evening thinking about baptism. She wants to pray before saying yes. So that was just so great!! We said our closing prayer for the lesson and prayed for rain. It was a powerful prayer for it being her first time. The next day it just stared to dump. So we texted her “look at the power of prayer.” She loved it so much. Elder Talaipa and I were in the flat having dinner when it started and you will never believe who the first one was to strip down and run out into the rain. Elder Talaipa. So I am not the only crazy one. The storm lasted a couple of hours which is really rare so we sorta just played in the rain until it was time for bed. It is the closest thing we can get to swimming.

We have another YSA who we taught the restoration to and it blew her mind. She is catholic and she said, “This is something I have never heard before and a lot to take in.” It took lots of explaining but she understood it and just wants to pray too. She is very interested and is going really well.

I want to talk a little bit about how me and my new companion are. We are having so much fun together. There is never a dull moment. One of his favorite saying is "The church is true." We have started saying it so much. Even to investigators. When they say, “Oh yeah that makes sense” we say, “You wanna know why? BECAUSE THE CHURCH IS TRUE.” haha it is the best. It is little stuff like that, that has unified us as a companionship. We are also always singing. In the car, while tracking, all the time in the flat. I am really hoping we are gonna stay together for a transfer.

Elder Talaipa shared a story with me that has made finding our number one priority. To sum it up it said "Imagine you had a best friend in the pre-earth life. Together you did everything and when you found out God has this plan for you both to come to earth. Together you get your "life package" I read mine. It said I would grow up in the church and know of my brother Jesus Christ. We both were so excited. You read yours silently and tears fell down your face. You would not have the opportunity to grow up knowing about Jesus Christ and the gospel. You looked at me in the eyes and said, “Friend find me. Whatever it takes, please find me."

This simple story changed it all for me. We went from contacting about 20 people a day to 50 people. I used to hate going out in the heat walking around and talking to people and getting rejected. Now it is my favorite thing to do. I don't let any rejection get me down or dull my spirit.

Elder Holland gave a talk to missionaries that said, "President? Why is it not easier? It is the truth. We believe in angles and miracles. Why isn't it that the only thing we have to worry about is getting sick of being in the font all day and night baptizing people?" He then goes on to say," This isn't church doctrine just my own personal belief. It is because salvation is not easy!! Salvation was never a cheap experience. It was not cheap for him so why would we think it would be cheap for us?" The talk proceeds to go on and it is powerful. It changed how I looked at things and how I can work harder. Salvation is possible but it is not going to be a simple thing. To find people ready for salvation you have to work HARD. What I am meaning to say is I love being on a mission and it is not easy but it is worth it. We have some of the funnest times but it is not all fun and games. It is people’s salvation on the line. So I need to work as hard as I can to find that best friend and to help him see the truth again.

One thing that drives me crazy when finding is people answer the door "ah nah mate I'm all good." I just want to say so bad, “No mate your not good. Take 10 minutes to listen to us and then see if you are good.” It just pains me to see a son or daughter of Christ deny the opportunity to come to the truth. We have started to say funny stuff like “oh well I haven't even said anything yet.” One time Elder Talaipa said, “Oh you don't need some extra money for the week.” That man had us come back we started to talk about the restoration. He caught on quick and kicked us off his porch.

Ok that was my rant for the week. Hope it was good. Thanks for all the love. I am doing great and having so much fun and feel so much love.
Elder Cahoon

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 10 New Companion

Mission life continues on and it just gets better and better. I am glad everyone likes these letters. I have so much fun writing them and this week is another crazy good one.

Now that we have a car we were able to visit all the less actives in the surrounding towns. They all have personal problems -- health, no car, and things like that but we are working with them to start coming to church. We were in a town called Home Hill, it is about a 30 minute drive from Ayr and you have to cross the longest bridge in Australia. I think we have longer bridges in Utah than this bridge. It was pathetic for being the longest. No offense to Australia but set it up. Anyways the town is wonderful. We did some finding and have some good potentials to come back and visit. While we were there we visited a less active. Her parents are both super active but this lady and her family have fallen away. They are a really nice family and we read some of the Book of Mormon with them. They are slowly going to be able to come back. They still have a good testimony of the Holy Ghost it is just a matter of getting them to church. The family owns about 60 acres of cane farms and that night they were burning their biggest paddock or field. So they took us to see the fire and it was huge and really hot.

Mariah is still super solid. We gave her a Book of Mormon and had the restoration lesson with her. She got an answer saying be patient with the missionaries and trust them. This was perfect. We have been having the lessons with her and she was all set up to come to church but caught the flu that is going around and had to bail on us. Super sad but she has sister Yip as a friend and they hang out so we are not scared about losing her. She will come around. She said yes to baptism and now we just need to pick a date for her. Ahhh it is so great!!

I have not talked about Andrew and Brooke for a while because they are moving to Townsville so the elders over there are going to take over.

About half way through the week I got a call from our mission president and he was in a frantic hurry. There was an emergency and my companion had to go to Townsville so we got in the car and drove over there. When we got there I had to get a new companion. YES! Oh he is great!! Elder Talaipa from Samoa. He is a huge giant but a gentle man. He is so great and we are so powerful together. We are going to hasten the work. We have so much fun and laugh so hard all the time. He is quite the amazing missionary and all the people in this area love him already.

We drove to Charters Towers and on the way saw a whole bunch of wild camels. I did not know there were wild camels in Australia. Weird. Anyway we were able to visit Angus. He was unable to go to church also but still is reading the Book of Mormon and progressing. He is keeping the word of wisdom and all he needs now is to be married and then we can baptize him. He loves when we come over and the spirit we bring. He wants it for himself and wants to always have the spirit. You can see him light up when he feels it. It is so fun to see!!

There is so much to say and so little time. Basically everything we do is awesome and we have so much fun doing it. The people love us and we are teaching lots more people just not on a date yet. So I will talk about them when they are on one.

The last P-day we went on a hike with Brother Finn. We hiked Incaman Hill. Haha it was so funny. He had us stop at the bottom to tell us how to hike a big hill like this. Go slow, take your time, etc... Haha he had no clue about my lifestyle. He said it takes him about 30 minutes to get up this hill. He was super proud of that but was disappointed when he saw me hiking up it. He had not resized I was an avid hiker and had done mountains 10x the size of this little hill. It was only 3/4 of a mile and boy it just about killed him. I loved that I could show him my awesome hiking skills. The view was pretty amazing at the top. We could see the ocean and all the cane fields.

Even though we are having all this fun with worldly activities the real fun comes when teaching people. It is nice to have the break on P day but when you see your brothers and sisters coming to the Lord their God it is amazing! I am so grateful I can be the one to help them do that.

I have heard lots of people say they love seeing what I have been doing and how perfect my calling is. Well I can truly say that I know when a missionary gets their calling it is where the Lord needs them. The Lord needed me here in this place for a reason. It is just a blessing that I am able to love it so much and gain so much joy out of it.

I love you all and love hearing from you.

Elder Cahoon

In the rain.