Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 55 Exciting News!!!

I had the best day yesterday!! I don’t have too much to report on today since it was only 4 days ago that I emailed. I have some really good news though!!

ANGUS and SHANNA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! Holy heck it was so amazing!!!

I was in a big church meeting with President McSwain and our Stake President and all the Bishops of the Stake. It was crazy! President was up giving his training and during the meeting shared a miracle that had just taken place. He said,  "We had a miracle take place up in Charters Towers. (He paused, looked at me and said...) Oh Elder Cahoon you know that place very well. That is where we banished you...oh wait sent you. haha"

President has a good sense of humor. He let me tell everybody about it up there and then asked me if I remembered anyone named Angus and Shanna. I said yes of course I remember them. President said well Elder Cahoon they got married yesterday and baptized today. After this meeting will you give them a call to congratulate them.

Oh my goodness I lost it in this meeting. It felt like I was there baptizing them. When one baptizes we all baptize. The cool part is I found them and if I had not done all the work up there it never would have happened. The Elders did a great job with them. It was almost a year to this day that we invited them to be baptized. I was reading through my journal and Elder Cadiang and I invited him on October 28 to enter the water of baptism. It only took about a year but boy what a feeling.

I got their number and had the funnest conversation with Angus. He has grown so much and I could feel his spirit and happiness so strongly over the phone. It was so weird when talking to him it did not feel like any time has passed. I was talking like I had just seen him yesterday. He named a few streets and I still remember them ( I only knocked all of them twice though) Oh it was just such a great thing. He talked about going to the temple and coming to Utah!!

I miss that place so much. Beenleigh was a fun area but geez I will never forget up north in Ayr and Charters Towers. I don't know if it was because it was my first area or because I opened it. But boy do I miss it so much. Elder Paulino and I had a good talk reminiscing in the good ol'days up north. Wow I hope this makes senses and you can feel the excitement.

As for what has happened this week, not much...

One fun thing that happened that is really good was on Friday we got word that at the chapel there is a pick up basketball game that happens and most people that go are non-members. So we got permission to regularly attend and try to get some people into the chapel part of the church and not just the gym. There are some really good people that come and they love the Mormons. It will be really fun to start working with them and playing basketball.

We were at a dinner with some really fun members that we have and they made heaps of cooked chicken and raw salmon. I was so glad they made the chicken I was eating the chicken and they asked why are you not eating the salmon? I was just not up to try it. They kept asking so jokingly I say I am allergic to it. haha they took it so serious. I felt really bad. I am not allergic to it. I feel bad now because they told everyone in the ward that I am allergic to salmon. So if any one asks this is the story of how I found out I was allergic to salmon. haha

Well next week I will have more to say. Things are just slowly pushing along. Until next week.

Elder Cahoon

 Zone T-shirt

 Angus and Shanna

Angus and Shanna's baptism

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Week 54 I look forward to the day I can sleep in

Ohhh what a week. I feel like sleeping all P-day but I’m doing the opposite. Long story short, and it will make sense as you read the rest of the email, I did not sleep the whole night ( Thanks Fukafuka;)) Plus to not sleeping I "woke" up at 4:30 to drive to the temple for temple P-day. That is why this email is so late.

Ok lets get started. I don’t know where I left off last week. We had our fight and then all good and I think then the investigators.

I guess I will start with all of our investigators on date. Jessie and Damion have been dropped as well as Astrid. The only people we have on date now are Celia and Shelia but Celia moved over the weekend. AHHHH some times you just say, “Stuff it. I am done!!”

We just have not been able to catch any of them. It gets frustrating but I learned a really good lesson. It is the Lord’s will. Ah that is the hardest part. If he wants people to join his church he will make it happen. I hope you get what I am saying. I am here to do work but if his will is to shape me instead of having me go for a swim then that is why I am here. The Lord will get them baptized if they need to get baptized. He knows I am here ready to go but it has to be his will. Oh it is hard.

Shelia is still on coffee and had a really close friend pass away. It caused a bit of a set back and a hard time for her but it also opened up a more real sense of the Plan of Salvation.

Even though we have dropped people we have also found people. Now get ready for the story of all stories. We were GQing along this path in our area when a lady came up to us and it sounded like she wanted to bash. (I hate when people do that) but she was just testing our testimonies and knowledge of the savior. She is not Mormon but loves them. Long story short after talking with her on the path. Elder Sharma did a stretch for his back. He hurt it a bit and was just loosening up. She noticed and asked if we would like to pray. Sure why not. She asked if she could put her hand on his back. It was a bit awkward but he said, “No...” She ended up holding our hands and saying the prayer for us on the lines of giving thanks but ending with,"We command you in the name of Jesus Christ to be healed from your troubles and trials. Amen..." I was trying so hard not to just bust out laughing. Haha it was so funny!! We got her address and number and saw her again. She is a new investigator now.

Another crack up as Elder Sharma and I finished up our day. We found ourselves walking down the path that Maria was on a few days before. As typical Elders do, we talked about girls for a bit as the night finished and I popped the question, “If the opportunity to kiss a girl came about on your mission, would you?” It is a fair question to have some fun with. But LITERALLY 5 seconds after, we walked in to Gracealia. She is from Brazil. We found her a few days ago and she became a new investigator. I also have learned heaps of Portuguese. I can say, “Hello I speak Portuguese” and then “Just kidding I am lying” and then “How are you?” It gets people. They get a crack up out of it. Anyways right after asking the question she showed up and shakes our hand but then says, “Kiss?” We were so confused. But then I got it. They do the kiss the cheek thing over there to say hello. Well now that we are friends she wanted to do it for us. Hahaha it was so funny, so right after asking the question, I kissed a lady from Brazil. Well not really but it was still funny how it happened. Oh boy the mission is so fun.

We had a day that we were so tired when we woke up. I got on my knees to pray and 30 minutes later finished my prayer. I fell asleep on the floor. When we awoke we realized we missed our exercise time and had to go straight to showering.

Upon doing that I got the thought, “Boy I am so excited for the day when I get home and don’t have to feel the biggest amount of guilty when I sleep in.” haha

The day before our temple pday we had trade off with our AP Elder Fukafuka. What a man. It was so fun. We did some really good things and tried to visit some part member families. Not much came from any of our work but I really got to see and learn from him. It was all fun right up until it was time for bed. This is where the beginning of the email will make sense. Right as his head hit the pillow he started a lawn mower. Now Elder Sharma snores like a monster truck but Elder Fukafuka is like 2 monster trucks!! Geez I have slept on the cough to get away from Elder Sharmas snoring and it works but there was no escape from Elder Fuka. He is so loud!! Goodness. What a night. I am so tired right now and about fell asleep in the temple.

Well this was a lot in one go and I missed about 90% of what happened but you got the good stuff.

With much love,
Elder Cahoon

PS Fuka when you read this I still love you but geez you snore so loud. Love you though.

Oh man I forgot to put this in the big email. Well this transfer we have been with everyone in the zone once and some elders 2 times. This week we had 2 trade offs and boy are they so fun. I love being a zone leader. Trading off is hard but fun. You get to switch things up, work hard, help others and see miracles. It is so great!!

Well now I am good. Until next week.

Elder Cahoon

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Week 53 I just gotta say I love being on a mission

Haha things went really good this week in a very funny way. As you all know Elder Sharma and I have had some problems and this week on Tuesday we just both exploded!! Yelling and arguing. It is so funny to look back. But from it we both found out what we can work on and do for each other. It is funny how that works. Even though it does not sound good that we were yelling and screaming at each other it opened up our relationship.

For all the people getting ready to go on a mission this advice is for you. Talk to your companion. As fun as it is to point out something that they do it sure beats waited 2 weeks in hell and then yelling at each other to figure it out. Be open but also humble. You will find you will love all of your companions and be able to work with them a lot easier.

I think that was what was holding us back. This week we saw the Lord’s hand in this work so much!! It was amazing to see all the miracles.

The biggest one was just the amount of work we were able to do. It was nothing huge but it was diligent and full of tender mercies. Upon while door knocking we found 7 people that accepted a return apt and we got there phone numbers. That is unheard of in Gold Coast. It was amazing. While following up we caught 2 and 1 became a new investigator. The others were not home but still wanting to meet with us.

Christopher is the man’s name. He is a 7th day Adventist but also goes to church on Sunday. He is a bit confused right now. He is also writing a novel on the life of Jesus Christ and his teaching. That takes up most of his time. Haha when we followed up he has a few questions.

1. Is the book of Mosiah a combination of Moses and Isaiah?

2. I heard that Joseph Smith got all his teaching from the devil.

He had about 10 other easy ones but these 2 got me. #2 is just a crack up. We asked if he read any of the Book of Mormon. He said no. So we began to read from it. We testified that it was written by prophets of God who wrote it down and Joseph Smith translated it. Haha it is so fun to testify of the BoM. It did not come from the devil. We said you can find out too by taking Moroni's promise at the end. He really took to that and wants us to come back. The only problem we foresee with him is he wants to know everything at once. So he has doctrinal question one after another. So we will have to go in with a really good lesson plan and help him understand we will answer all questions when the time comes. What a guy though. He is about 70.

The next best part of our week was going to MLC. Mission leadership council. Oh the inspiration we get there and the vision we see. Right now my mission baptizes 50 people on average every month. President McSwain foresees us reaching 100 a month by next year and the last year that he is here he wants this mission baptizing 300 a month. That seems like heaps when you think about it but with the things we are implementing it is going to happen. Not by us alone but with the members and the Lord. What a great work we are apart of.

Shelia is quiet the character. She is still on coffee but is slowly doing better. It is the most painful thing to see her. We never teach big lessons like the restoration with her. Usually we go over coffee and then deep doctrine. She is going to know everything by the time she gets baptized. Right now she wants to do it on the Lords time. So she is waiting until she gets an answer from the Lord on when to be baptized. It is just so great but frustrating.

One of the funnest parts of this week was a stake family fun day. We spent the morning on Saturday inviting ALL of our investigators to this. There was food, fire, jumpy castles, and my favorite Bull Riding. Haha what a day. We had Shelia come and she brought all her grand kids. We are teaching a few of her grandkids by the way. The bull riding was so fun. I figured out a good technique and stayed on for one of the longest. Ben is the name of one of the youth. He was really good too. We would take turns him then me and so on. Haha he loved my camera and took so many random pics. So sorry for all the random ones.

This has been such a good area and there is so much potential that is coming from it. I really hope that I will still be here for all of the investigators baptisms. I keep getting moved right before they go into the water. I got word of Angus and Shanna. They are married and getting ready for baptism in a few weeks. I was so excited when I got word of it. It took a year but it was so worth it!! What a miracle. I am going to call up there in a few days to get more info.

I just gotta say I love being on a mission. It is crazy to think that I only have so long left. You sorta switch when you hit a year. Before I kept saying I am 3 months 7 months 11 months out. Now it is I only have 11 months left. How weird is that?? Only a few months left. I got to call Sister Day from the MTC. She told me how many transfers she has left. 2. Soon she will be home. When that happens I will only have 6 months left. What a growing adventure this has been.

We had a couple move into the units across from us. They are members but they are from Switzerland. The poor wife has a massive infection on her leg so the dad was in charge of moving and watching over the 3 boys younger than 4. The parents both speak English but the kids don’t. I really felt for them as I know what it is like to move to a new country and have a curse follow you. Everything seems to go wrong. So we went over to their home for the day and spent 4 hours setting up IKEA furniture. Oh I hate that stuff. It was so frustrating. We got it done though and it was so good to be able to help them. We got in touch with the Relief Society and they now have meals for the next 2 weeks. It is amazing to see how much love we can have for others who are in need. Everybody helping them has no clue who they are but since we are Mormon we don’t see each other as strangers. Rather brothers and sisters of this great eternal family. It is so cool. I love it.

Well this week should be another good one. Love you all and have a good week.

- Elder Cahoon

Sorry I forgot the funniest part of the week. We meet a man from China in our parking garage. He just talked and talked to us and we thought he was interested in the gospel. We never got a number or contact info but a few days after we got a note on our car that read. "I would like to have you for tea and biscuits. My number is ... and I live in unit... Please come at 3 on Sunday." My first thought was that Russian movie when they get kidnapped. But that was not the case you see. As the day went on and we were trying to figure out why he wanted to have us visit I jokingly said he wants to use us for money...

The day of the apt came and it started out nice. Do you want tea or coffee? Sorry we don’t drink it. Water please. Ok simple enough. As our visit went on we started to see that he was trying to get us to buy a product. He played us really smooth. We could see through it though. He asked how many people we talk to everyday and his mind exploded when told him. He started to crunch numbers for us and we found out that if we work with him and sell this product we each could make 1 million dollars. Oh boy what a deal. Hahahahahahaha we were trying not to crack up but what a meeting. It was a huge pyramid scheme thing. We started to have some fun with him and play along. Oh we had too much fun. He was so easy to mess with. He got so excited and thought we were going to sign. Hahaha what a crack up. I loved it. What a mission memory.

Ok now I am done. Love you.

 Elder Hanson MTC companion on the right

 Stake Family Fun Day

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 52 One Year

What the heck I have been out a year. That went by so fast. It did not feel like a year!! It does not feel real right now. I feel so young but old on the mission. Most people are younger than me now on the mission.

We had a great zone conference full of inspiration on the Book of Mormon and at the end I was talking to my Mission President and he showed me when I am going home and who I am going with.

I will fly into the SLC airport on the 29 of August. The only people leaving the mission will be me, my MTC companion Elder Hansen and Elder Johnson. It is gonna be a fun plane ride home. But I am not thinking about it yet. I still have a year to go.

So the coolest thing happened on the day I hit my year mark. We had a fireside at our chapel for the Gold Coast stake and the Coomera stake. That means all the members from Beenleigh were there. It was so fun to see everyone and catch up with them.

The best part though was the speakers that came to talk to everyone. The only one we knew that would be there was John Bytheway. When I was up north in Charters and Ary he was the only way we survived the long car drives. He is so funny and wise in his knowledge of the church. It was so fun to see him and meet him at the end. While our stake president was announcing who would be speaking he announced that Emily Freemen would be speaking. When I heard the name I thought to my self, I know that name. Why do I know that name?? As soon as I saw her stand up I knew exactly who she was. She was my seminary teacher when we lived in Europe and I went to school with her kids. I ran up at the end to say hello. She remembered me and with a big smile said, “Spencer!! My seminary student.” It was so fun to talk to her and she took us over to John and we got to talk with him too. It was quite the way to celebrate being out one year!!

The other great experience we had on my year mark day was doing service for Ben Hannet. To give you an idea who he is imagine a ex-NFL football player who has won heaps of super bowls. He is so famous over here. He is a member who lives in our ward. So on Sundays we see him but today we got to do service for him and really get to know him. Geez he is broken. He cannot touch his knees or shoulders with his hands because his body is so broken. It is a brutal sport. We did some yard work for him and on Sunday we will be having dinner with him and he wants to give us training gear from one of the teams he played for. How cool is that. He is quite the guy.

Right now all of our investigators are just coasting by. We really want them to progress but things are hard. Shelia is still on coffee but is down to one cup. Jessie is just to busy for church and Celia is always sick. Oh the ups and downs of the mission are just great!

Elder Sharma and I are going ok. Not much to talk about again this week. It was just a normal slow week in the Gold Coast. We are hoping it starts to pick up as we work harder and pray with more faith.

I love you all. I can’t believe it has been a year. I officially can say on this day next year I will not be on a mission. How weird is that to think about. So crazy!! Time is flying.

Elder Cahoon

 Ben Hannet

 Elder Sharma, Ben Hannet, Elder Cahoon

 Emily Freeman Spencer's seminary teacher

Spencer's stake president

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 49 On My Knees

AHHHHHHH I am going to be totally honest. I don’t want to make it sound all nice and good. This week was the hardest ever on my mission.

Elder Sharma and I had a hard week trying to work. Let’s just say I was on my knees a lot praying for what to do. I don’t want to sound like I am pointing a finger too. I was a part of the problem too.

In the end after some yelling on Sunday we came to the agreement to start over and both be humble. It is going ok. We are talking now I’ll put it that way. I have never had a comp not talk to me for a week. I would ask a question. No reply. Man was it a hard week. But hey things are going good now and I don’t care if you know or not. It is just part of the mission and all returned missionaries know.

Oh so I don’t have much to report on. Nothing happens in the work if you and your comp don’t do it together. We still got really good numbers and lessons in but there was no miracle or blessing. Working together is key also in this work.

The one fun but terrible story is Elder Young. He severed in this area right before I got here. Well he ended his mission and his parents picked him up in Australia. That always sounds so fun right?? It is so great for the elder who gets to see his parents. But man for everyone else it sucks big time.

He called us from his father’s phone and said “Hey elders my family is on the Gold Coast. Are you seeing Shelia today?” Luckily we were and he asked if he could tag along. That seems great right. Well that is I guess where the fun part was. To have Shelia see Elder Young right before he leaves back home. It was a really powerful lesson and we made huge progress with her. This week she only had about 1 to none coffees a day. Thanks Elder Young. He is from Orem, Utah. Oh dad do you work with any Young's? The dad knew you and said he worked with you. I even made sure it was not the football one. It was you.

So the terrible part comes when you see the whole family together having a great time. When we got home I was in a huge depressed home sick slump. So badly did I just want to just call up my family like Elder Young did and just say “Hey Dad. How are you?” Man it sucked.

I did have a good week in the growth of testimony and the power of prayer. Holy cow is this church true. We had a lesson in church about Joseph Smith. The lady that gave the lesson was like an apostle. I don’t know how, ok wait I do know it was through the spirit but how the spirit works so well I have no clue. It was amazing. I have never seen the prophet in that way. I testify right here, right now that I know that the prophet Joseph Smith is a true prophet. He would not have done or gone through what he did if he was just making it up. I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know they live and love us and through the power of a simple prayer brought about this great work. This week I have really learned the power of prayer. I was in such a need to know what to do with my crazy comp. I was so eager to email my earthly father and ask him what to do. Dad I am still going to ask you but I knelt down in prayer and asked my Father in Heaven what to do. Boy did it make all the difference.

Sorry about the small letter this week. I just had a rough one. But life goes on and next week is gonna be great!! I love you and miss you.

As Parker would say:

Onward and Upward,

Love Elder Cahoon.

Crazy to think you are home Parker.

 Elder Sharma

Sore knees from lots of prayer

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 48 The Work is Hastening

Whoa guess what!!! Even since I have been sent down south from up north I have got a new companion every 6 weeks!! So my exciting news is that I am still in Gold Coast but I have a new companion named Elder Sharma. He is from Fiji. This is his first time being a ZL so we are going to figure it out together. I sorta knew him before. He was in my district up north but we only saw each other on skype. It was fun to meet him in person today. I can see just from meeting him we are going to get along. He reminds me of Elder Bodeeletkaseam. He loves the area and the flat. He is just a really fun outgoing person. I think that is where my last comp and I struggled. He did not ever like to talk with people or connect with them. He described it as an extrovert and introvert. But the good news is Elder Sharma and I are just the best.

So not much happened this week. I can’t remember if I said it last week. I don’t think I did. Jessie's mom and son are both on date now with Jessie so that is just so great!! Oh no I don’t think I told you, but last week we went fishing after we emailed and while we were fishing Jessie came by in a kayak and then started fishing with us. After fishing we went and had a lesson with him and his family and they wanted to get baptized with him!! Like I said last week, the work is hastening!!

On that note another cool hastening story happened. We have a member who is always doing mission work. Well trying. No one she invites wants to take the lessons, but she still prays and tries. This week she/we got a miracle. She was walking into work when she got the strongest prompting to talk to a man in a wheel chair. As she did she heard his American accent. Long story short he is from Park City, Utah. He is in a wheel chair because he fell 50 ft while rock climbing and broke just about everything. Sucks to be him but he is ok. His name is Graham and he is not a member. But he would really like to take the lessons. She got his phone number and we gave him a call and set up a time to meet. He is just great and really has true intent. He is looking for the truth and really willing to try everything. So now all we have to do is let the spirit testify to him. What a miracle. When we meet him we talked all about rock climbing and he went up AF all the time and knows right were we have been before for scouts. We hit it off great. He thinks it is a sign from God to have had this lady stop him and then for me to be from Utah and into all the same things as him. Hopefully this week we can set him on date.

We again had a cool hastening miracle happen while GQing. We were done and walking back to the car when we hear a yell, “HEY MORMONS.” Usually that is just terrible. Someone just wants to be mean and fight with us, but this guy came up and said, “Hey my wife is Mormon.” Haha what?? After talking he loves the W of W and has just been able to start living it. He has struggled with smoking but just last month has given up and really stuck with it. He has been to church and is ready to take the lessons.

It is just amazing to be apart of this work. We are not in charge at all. We would not have seen any success if we had not been obedient and tried to do the work. Really the Lord is in charge and we are privileged to be apart of this work!! Too many crazy things happen on your mission that you just cannot explain. No one else could have planned it better than God. It has been so cool to see his hand in this work. I am not like the brother of Jared where I have seen his actual hand but I have seen his hand in this work. He is in charge and running it.

One sad thing that happened this transfer was we had to close down an area. We had two elders get into a big fight and they got emergency transferred to different areas. The crazy part of this whole thing was we did not find out until after it happened. We had no clue that they were separated and gone. It took us 2 days to finally get word of it. The sad part is they have to talk to the area presidency to sort things out. So their area is shut down and they have no missionary's any more. Since they left in a hurry they did not have time to deep clean their flat and since they had been fighting the whole transfer they never cleaned their flat. So we had to go over and spend our whole day cleaning up rotten food and crap. There was just so much crap everywhere. It took so long to clean but now it looks so good. Mom, I bet you wish I would clean our house the way I clean a mission flat. It is spotless.

From now on we are going to go around and inspect all the flats and make sure the elders are keeping them clean. It was so bad. My flat took 20 minutes to clean because we keep it clean throughout the weeks. It makes it way better in the end.

We helped an investigator clean out a shed in his back yard and as we did we found these massive fishing poles. They were huge!!!! 12 ft tall. We helped him get all clean and settled and then at the end he said for our hard work to help him he would like to give us the fishing poles. So now we have the two little ones that we bought and 2 massive ocean fishing poles.

We have found out that all the rivers and lakes in our area are salt water and there are heaps of bull sharks in them... so we have asked around if it is possible to catch them. Heaps of people said it is all you catch. Oh just off topic last week we saw a massive sting ray just swimming in the water. So in like an hour from now we are going to the lake to fish for a shark. Our members said just get a big hook with a big chicken on it. When we cleaned out the flat they had heaps of bad chicken in the fridge so we kept it and this afternoon we are going to try and catch a shark!! It will make for a good story next week. Hopefully I don’t lose an arm or leg... hahah don’t worry mom:)

Well I think that is all I have for this week. It has been really good. I am really working on getting an Aussie accent and it is coming along. I have got some people really confused and they said, "Wait are you Australian??" The old people are easy to get but the young YSA think I still sound American. Either way I sound funny. It is great.

Love you all,
Elder Cahoon

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 47 I have never been happier

Haha this work just brings so much joy. I have never been happier. It is crazy to think I am so happy and I am not doing "adventurous things." I am just sharing the gospel. This week was just so good.

It started with a trade off. Being a leader I have to switch with other companions and be an example for them and help them. So we traded off with our farthest area. I was with Elder Sautia from Samoa. He was just great!! We have so much fun and saw one of the greatest miracles yet.

As we planed I wanted to follow him. So I asked where we should go to door knock. He wanted to go to a street that started with F. So we prayed about it and looked on our map for an F street. Sure enough we could only find one so we went there and nobody was home or answering their doors. We were persistent and continued on only to find the greatest person ever!! Her name is Astrid. She is YSA age. She used to have a boyfriend who was a member in the Coomera stake and she started to investigate the church there. She was going to church for about 6 months but got pregnant with her member boyfriend so she moved. Long story short she was going to get baptized but could not since she was not living the Law of Chastity. Well now she has had the baby and moved into our ward boundary and is not living with a male. We met her on Tuesday and then again on Sunday. We set her on date to be baptized on the 15th of September. It is going to be great!! She is so awesome and prepared since she has already done the lessons and gone to church. She has just been too scared to come to church since she does not have a friend. Well again at a dinner we were talking with the members and sure enough Brother and Sister Butters were in her same ward where she went to church and knows her. So now she has a friend in the church.

Gold Coast has it’s reputation to never have success or baptize. But we as an area and zone are not seeing that at all. We have really tried to get all the Elders excited about the work and this wonderful area. Last month we got four baptisms as a zone and reached the goal that we set. It was pretty impressive. Out of our six areas none have baptized since February. Something has just changed. Things are really going now.

As of right now as a zone we have 11 baptismal dates set. Three for August and eight set for September. It is just so great to see this work start to hasten. In my area we have five on date right now and they are all excited and progressing in the work. Shelia went two days with no coffee and now she knows she can do it. She is on a detox plan and will be ready to get baptized in September.

Ok before I get too off track I want to go back to the four baptisms last month. President McSwain invited our whole zone to come to the mission home to have a dinner and game night. On Friday night we all carpooled down and had a really fun filled night with our mission President. He called us and said Elders this is a FHE so don’t dress up in suits. Wear normal clothes. Haha I felt naked going to an activity not in a white shirt and tie. We played some really fun games and had a great night with our Zone and mission president. The funny story comes in when we were driving home. President McSwain let us stay until 9:00 and our area is an hour away. So we were really pushing our time limit on being back at the flat on time. With traffic and dropping everyone off we did not get back until 11:00. On the drive back we had Elder Paulino, laspinas, and Sauita in our car. I was driving and pretty tired so we turned on the music to keep us awake. We sang our hearts out on the drive home. The crack up came when we pulled up to a stoplight. We were in normal clothes, it was 11:00 at night and we were blasting church music out of the car. At the light a member just happened to pull up next to us and just lost it with laughter. Haha he must have thought we were so dodge being out so late in normal clothes with other missionaries. We all had a great laugh and you are going to love the videos that we took.

On the more spiritual side, I had something really hit me this week. We were door knocking when we got a frantic call from a YSA member in our ward. She was in need of a priesthood blessing. When we got there she expressed her love and gratitude that we were worthy to hold the priesthood. For the first time in her life her father and brothers were not worthy to hold or use their priesthood and she had nobody to turn to for a blessing. I have never been around someone that is not a worthy priesthood holder, but then to see this sister not have anyone and have it cause such a great scare really got to me. I am so grateful for the priesthood and that I am worthy to use and hold it. I never knew how much it meant to me or someone else until you don’t have it. It grew my testimony so much in the power and responsibility to remain worthy to hold it. It was a really humbling experience.

On the other note of amazing miracles, we got a referral from a member who we helped move last P day. He had run into an old friend named Jessie who was 15 at the time an is now 18. Jessie used to go to mutual and church but never got baptized. He used to be in foster care and there was nobody to sigh the paper for his permission. Now he is living back with his mom and little brother who all have huge potential to get baptized. They live in a pretty scary spot where everyone is on drugs or doing something stupid, but somehow Jessie has always stayed on the right path. No drugs, smoking or doing stupid things. You would think he was already a Mormon. He is just like me too, loves to fish, loves sports and to have fun, goes kayaking and surfing. We have really hit it off.

We met him on Wednesday and got to know him, we tried to start up his car with a jump start but no luck, but we did jump start him with the spirit. With just our causal visit to meet him and see who he was and if he would be interested we set him on date for the 2nd of September. We are hoping to have Jessie and Astrid baptized on the same day. So we might move Jessie back or Astrid forward. Right now we are five on date all for September. It is going to be a really good month.

Another great thing but also sad thing that happened was Tash. She is Shelia's daughter. We set her on date for September but she is moving to Cairns. It is about 24 hours away by car. The good news is I know the sisters in the area. It is SISTER DAY!! From the MTC. I have only talked to her once the whole mission but since Tash is moving there we got to call and give a golden referral. Oh it was so fun to talk to her. I loved giving the referral. Imagine getting a referral from someone where the person has been taught and is set to get baptized. All they have to do it finish the lessons and fill the font. It was so fun, she was so excited!!

I just love this area so much right now. We are hitting it off amazing with the members and the work is hastening so fast right now. It is amazing to see how the Lord is in control of his work.

I love this gospel and I love the people I am serving. I miss you all but know how important this gospel is.

God Bless and have a good week.

Elder Cahoon

 Driving to FHE

 FHE with President McSwain

 Elder Cahoon with President and Sister McSwain