Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 20 World Wide Mission Training

We were in Ayr this week and our week started out ok, and by ok I mean terrible. We had our wonderful p day and at the end of the day we went to see the Ellis's. We see them every night to read the Book of Mormon. He has had a coffee problem. Well last week he found a coffee replacement. He wanted us to try it so he went into the kitchen and made some. I tasted horrible! I don't know how he drinks it. He told us he puts a little special something in it. I asked what and he went and got it. Vanilla. I was reading it and it has 10% alcohol in it. I got so mad and asked, “Why would you give it to us. You knew it had it in it. WHY???” I was pretty mad and everyone could see. Must have been from all the alcohol I had drank. haha no but I was mad. I called our mission president and told him about it. He was upset that this member did that but could not stop laughing. It is pretty funny and I guess the heat "kills" the alcohol so really I did not drink any. I was still frustrated. It was a pretty crazy way to start off the week.

Things only got better from there. We got a call from the branch president in Bowen. A town about an hour south of us. He needed us to come over and teach an investigator. I guess this girl, Sipa, went on holiday to Tonga and the missionaries taught her there for 3 weeks and when she came back there were no missionaries in her area. So we got permission to go and teach her.

We sorta talked and got to know her. Her whole extended family are members and her boyfriend in a RM. She is super solid. She said, “Tell me more about temples.” So our first lesson with her was about temples. Crazy!! She is gonna be really good. The only downside is she is an hour away so we only see her once or twice a week since the drive is so long.

On Thursday we had our big World Wide Mission Training. Pretty much right as I was really getting into the swing of things they went and changed it all on us. The big change was the schedule. We wake up at the same time and eat and exercise at the same time. The big change was that our study is more flexible. We can pretty much do it whenever we want. So for our mission we can do it at 1 or 2 when it is just too hot to go out. And then at night when we come back to the flat we usually had to plan for 30 minutes but now they say write in your journal and go to bed, even before 10:30 if we want to get more sleep. So now we do all of our planning in the morning. It has been weird to get used to it. It is helping though. The other big thing they changed was a thing called key indicators. Now for you older veterans out there it is the numbers we send in to show how our week went. We had 9 and could add our own on but now they said only keep track of 4 - investigators baptized, investigators on date, investigators attending church, and new investigators. It is going to help us focus on the new investigators and progressing them to a swim. It will be interesting to see how the changes play out long term.

We did our normal thing this week. We taught lots of people, we found door knocking, and did lots of door knocking. Today we go to Charters Towers. Not much happened this week beside what I have already said.

Oh we did go back to Clarence after he told us about his vision. I spent my study using the bible to have him come to his senses. He thinks the Salvation Army is the true church but they don't hold any service like church or even have baptism. So I found scripture where Christ pretty much said I set the example and got baptized and so should you. He was caught so off guard. It was awesome. He felt the spirit but did not know how to take it. He understood that his scriptures that he reads are telling him to get baptized, not just the Book of Mormon. He really started to wonder “wait why doesn't my church do baptism.” We are gonna let it sit and ponder.

Oh another thing. Man ok maybe this week was crazier than I though. The Ellis's told us last night that they are applying for a divorce. I was devastated. I could not even read the scriptures with them properly. I messed up every word. It was so sad to find out they are done. She is gonna move to USA with another man and he is gonna stay in Ayr and continue to come to church. It was a really sad day. I have put in so much effort everyday for 4 months. Visiting them every night and now it is over.

On the good news side of things, we got a call from our housing agent for the church. He had us go across the road from the chapel and look at the units for sale over there. And I am happy to announce that in a few weeks I will no longer be living in the chapel. They are really nice units. Huge and made perfect for missionaries!! It is two stories with a big cabinet perfect to hold all of our supplies. I hope we get it. It would be awesome to move out of the church. It has been a good home but I am sick of hiding my stuff when church starts and having members eat all my food after church.

Thanks for all the love. I think I remembered everything from this week. I guess it was a crazy week. I gotta run though. Love you all and have a good week. 

Oh also it was Australia Day on Thursday. Lets just say the 4th is the best. Americans really know how to celebrate. Nobody did anything here. They sell a whole bunch of cheap stuff at the supermarket. Stickers, wristbands, fun little aussie things. I think even though I am American I celebrated more than most Aussies. Nobody was out that day. Everyone was just in watching cricket. Boring. Where are the fireworks and explosions? The Olsen family had us over. It was Sky's birthday and Aussie Day. So we had some kangaroo and then cake for her b day. I thought it was funny we were celebrating Aussie Day by eating the national animal. Aussies are so weird. Well sighing off AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OI OI OI



Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 19 Six foot python

I start to lose track of the weeks. I think it is week 19.

I feel like it is a common thing to stay, but this week was crazy in a lot of awesome ways.

It started out saying goodbye to Elder Cadiang. Goodbye... My new comp was not coming until 4:00 that day so Elder Paulino, one of the Townsville elders, and I were together until 4:00. Well we thought. We showed up at the airport at 3:55 and saw that a plane from Brisbane landed. All the people came through the arrivals but no missionaries. We called the AP and they looked and their flight had been canceled. So after some rushing around they told us to come back to the airport at 7:00. Same thing. We came and no missionaries. We decided to wait in the airport. I got smart and parked outside the airport. I was sick of paying for parking. Lucky the mission office paid me back. Ok anyways off topic. It was 8:00 at night and no missionaries. This was bad. We have no way to get a hold of them and they have no way to get a hold of us or even the mission office. So we talked with President McSwain and after sorting a lot of mess out, we got a call that said they would land in 20 minutes. Finally they made it safely. We got to meet the two new missionaries for up north. They are both great!! Our DL is from North Salt Lake and went to the Murrays high school and knows Parker. His name is Elder Pugsley. I can pronounce that. I however am still working on my comps name.

Elder Bodeeletkasaem. We get to find out who our new comp will be two days before we get transferred. I was terrified. What if he is lazy, or not good, or we don't get along. Well none of that is a problem. He is hardworking, smart, healthy, and the best. He is from Thailand. He has been out a year and a half and is still learning English. He is mostly learning how to pronounce it. So at times he can be hard to understand. Mostly because he is always laughing. I have to say though, we get along so good. I wish you all could have seen his face when he got to Charters Towers. What a shock it must be to come up here. I guess down south is way different. I don't know though, this is normal to me. Oh by the way, everyone calls Elder Bodeeletkasaem Elder Bo. It is a bit easier for me and everyone else.

Once we got all settled and figured out the week began. Heaps of driving. We had another funeral in Ayr that we had to go too. It was sad but we did not know the man too well. He was too sick to come to church and a bit stubborn. We did sit down with him 2 or 3 times. It is hard to see people dying in these small branches. We need people. Not lose people.

On the bright side we gained back a wonderful youth in Charter Towers. When we drove back we met with Sister Dempsters. She is the wife of the other man that died. She has started coming to church and is the best for giving us friends to teach. She is the best. We met her grandson, Zepplin, about 4 months ago. He was 16 and drunk and smoking pot secretly. Well he came out and told his grandma. She got him in a program to come back and he has been coming to church. He wants to come to lessons with us and come finding. He also has heaps of friends that he gives us to teach.

Up until this week we had nothing to do with them. They never wanted us over or showed any interest. So I am kinda freaking out. What a miracle to have them both come to church and all of a sudden be so active. She has been having family home evening with Angus and his family and getting all her sons and grandson over at 6:00 every morning to read the Book of Mormon. This whole time I am thinking what the heck, who is this (new) person.

Zepplin has even said he wants to serve a mission. So we are doing everything we can to keep that desire in him and helping him stay away from drugs. Man he is quite the kid - from nothing to an awesome member. The church is true people. I testify of it. Miracles happen every day!!

Back to driving. Again we had to drive to Townsville. Our mission president came to give us a training and announced that there will be a world wide missionary conference that we get to watch. He is the best man ever. You know those talks when it is exactly what you need to hear. Man every word out of his mouth was like he has spent his whole life with me. I had been praying so hard for an answer and then he said everything I needed to hear. It was amazing!! He also interviewed us and we got to talk one on one. I loved it. He gave me advice, helped, etc. I feel so much love from him.

I am getting really good at losing keys and breaking into our flat. I don’t know how, but with all the traveling they seem to vanish. On the bright side we got a key to our chapel in Ayr. On the sad side we don’t know where the Charters Towers flat key is. So we bought a screwdriver and undid some screws and got a window open to crawl through to open our flat. The senior couple in Townsville has our spare hopefully so we are going there to make a few more copies. haha

We had an awesome lesson with Angus. He has read everything - Book Of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith history. He is out of stuff to read. So instead of teaching a lesson we filled out baptism papers. That was cool. He was so excited. So was Shonna and Jake, but I focus on Angus.

After a great lesson with Angus, we went to our next appointment with William. He is a new investigator that we found finding a week ago. He is... how do I say, a grown man who still plays video games 24/7. So it was interesting to see his social skills. There is not much. He also is very good at talking forever. He went on and on and on about a video game and then went on and on about Dungeons and Dragons. After an hour I blurted in, “Did your get a chance to read the pamphlet we left?” Again he went on and on about the pamphlet. It was good that he read and talked about it but I only got in two sentences and Elder Bo got in one. So he will take some time just because he talks so much but things could go well with him and his sister who was not there when we visited.

We got a call from our mission doctor Elder and Sister Calihan. They are from American Fork on the big hill by the Timpanogos temple. Just off the subject, they know Lenard Brunsdale. So I thought that was cool. Anyway we got a call from them and they said they would be near our area(s) and were wondering where we were so they could meet us and get us dinner. Well we had started to drive back to Charters Towers from the funeral. We quickly turned around and got to meet them for the first time. I love the senior couples. They are just the best. They help so much and just make you feel so good. It was so fun to have them come up to say hello.

While doing another driving trip from Charters Towers to Ayr it was dark and I had the high beams on. We were driving down a small old outback road. There was lots of high grass on the sides. We were going about 110 km when we saw the biggest snake I have ever seen on the side of the road. At least 2 meters. Which is about 6 ft. It was huge. So I slammed on the brakes and we backed up to see it. Ok now mom and dad, I love you and don’t you worry the videos of it seems close but I was zooming in on it. I was being really really safe. We parked the car and I got out and walked toward it to take pictures and get a good look at it. It was a carpet python but we did not know until later. SO I WAS VERY CAUTIOUS. I threw a couple of rocks at it to see if or how fast it could more. The whole time Elder Bo was dying of laughter and telling me to get back in the car. Haha by the way Elder Bo was on the roof of the car. He was so scared. If any of you think I am crazy you can blame my dad. Every time we saw a rattlesnake driving down on dirt road we would always stop and he would poke it with a stick.

We are back in Ayr and when we meet with President McSwain he said we should try staying one week in an area and then one week in our other area. That way we can progress our investigators and see them more often. It will be hard on our part to pack and unpack so basically I will be living out of my suitcase.

Anyway gotta run. I love you all so much. I wish I could respond more to all the emails but P days are always busy. I will keep trying though.

Love you all,


 Waiting for new companion to fly in

 Spencer can always find a helicopter
 Elder Paulino

 Elder Bodeeletkasaem

 Looking for a crocodile 

 Elder Bo gave Spencer a haircut
Six foot carpet python

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 18 New Companion!!

I hate when the end of a transfer comes. All you can think about is “what is going to happen?” Elder Cadiang and I have had a fair bit of troubles with each other but this transfer we grew so much and we had so much fun together. By the title you can guess, yes Elder Cadiang is gone and I have a new comp. I do not know who it is yet. I pick him up today at 4. So right now I am with Elder Paulino for the day to have a comp. I am still in Charters Towers and Ary and will be able to hopefully see Angus and James get baptized. I am nervous for the new comp but really excited.

Since we had the thought “what will happen this week” it was hard to do mission work. We got by and found some new investigators but spent most of our time doing service.

On Wednesday we left Ayr and drove to Charters Towers. It had rained for a week straight up there so all the grass and everything was over grown. It worked out perfect.

So Thursday we spent the whole day at the Lowery's house helping them clean up their yard. Boy did I have heaps of fun. James Lowery gave me the whipper snipper, AKA weed wacker, and I went wild with it. I whipper snipped the whole yard and every bush, grass, weed, you name it I snipped it!! I was having so much fun. It felt like I was back on the snowmobile. The motor was revving and there was the smell of gas. They have a huge yard so it took about 4 hours to snip the whole yard. They didn't have gloves so my hands are pretty torn up. But don’t get me wrong, I had so much fun!! Rough hands are a sign of good hard work.

The next day I whipper snipped the whole chapel lawn. President Williamson mowed the whole thing while I did everything else that he could not get or that was too over grown. They have a big fence that was covered in vines and weeds and all sorts of plants. Well now it is not. I whacked every bit of living plant and cleaned it up. President asked, “How did you get rid of so much?” I said, “I grew up cleaning a forest. We got rid of everything.” haha Thanks mom and dad for all those Saturdays in the forest. As I worked that day I cracked an egg on the cement to see if it would cook. Well it was not runny but it was not cooked either but it was very hot.

That was not the end of my service doing for the day though. I took a power nap while my clothes dried from all the sweat and after headed back to the Lowery’s to destroy a shed. The shed is at least 20 years old and falling apart but still some how standing. They gave me a sledge hammer this time and I wacked that thing until it was flat! I took a really nice video of the first few big hits. Hopefully you can get it and watch it. We had so much fun serving others and working hard this week!!

Elder Cadiang is pretty funny. He put himself in charge of supervising. So basically he did not work or did simple things to get out of working. He just wanted to watch and tell us what too do. It was ok because I was enjoying the hard work. Haha I thought it was pretty funny. He is still a very hard working missionary though. Love the kid to death. haha sad to see him go.

Sunday was sad. Elder Cadiang gave a goodbye talk to the branch and we went around after taking pictures and saying goodbye to everyone. It was hard even for me and I was still staying. We just had such a good relationship with everyone and they are all sad to see him go. Lots of tears. One of the funniest ones was Roy. He is a big kiwi in the pictures and while saying goodbye his eyes were flowing with tears. So he had a tissue box in the picture. He is the best though.

While still at church we got asked if we would give a lesson on Joseph Smith to everyone. We don’t go to different classes since there are not enough people. So everyone goes to one class. Well this was perfect because we had two people show up to church who we had meet door knocking. One of them was an investigator and the other a complete stranger. So it was awesome to give them the restoration lesson with all the members there!!

It was very weird dropping Elder Cadiang off at the airport. Felt like he was going home. He is gonna do good. He is amazing and wonderful but he does some weird stuff. haha

Last P day we went to Joel Yip’s house and played a board game with him. He is the policeman. I came so close to winning but he came in and destroyed me. We had good fun though.

I am getting really excited for James and Angus. We got their baptism papers all ready and are going to start filling them out this week. Angus just needs to sign a marriage paper and then they have to wait 30 days until they can get married and baptized. Whoo!! Along with Angus doing well, we had a less active member who is pretty much inactive call us up. I guess she went to church while we were gone and was pretty disappointed. So she has cracked the whip and started planning activities. She also invited Angus over for F.H.E and had us come along. We were so surprised to see her go from no interest to taking charge. This lady is the lady whose husband passed away so maybe she is turning to the church for comfort. Either way it is awesome. She is the best now!!

Well this week is going to be a good one. I can’t wait to meet my new comp and show him around. He is gonna be in quite the shock when we have to pack up and go to our second area. I will film his reaction. It is gonna be pretty funny.

Love you all so much. Hope you have a good one.


Elder Cahoon

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 17 Zone Training

Well I had a bit of a rough week!! I don’t know how to say it. I got arrested. There was a cop car just parked and I jumped into it and snagged a photo. Well the cop was right there and did not like that!! So he grabbed me and threw me in the back of the car. Whew what a day. 

Haha just kidding. Hope I got you;) We have a member in our branch that is a cop. Brother Yip. We were having a branch activity at the chapel and he needed to stop by for something while he was on duty. So he came in the full uniform and squad car. He could just see me dying to see the car and check things out. So he said, "Elder Cahoon go hop into the drives seat and check it out." It was soooo cool. I got some pictures and then when I got out I asked if I could get one of him " arresting " me to send home saying I got arrested. It was super funny and we were laughing so much.

The week was not too bad really. We had a great time. It started out with my Zone Training. It ended up being really really fun to train. I loved the whole thing. I prepared heaps and wanted to do really good. The training was about talking to everybody and teaching when you find. I did not just want to teach it. I wanted to live it so I could say it with confidence. This helped so much to teach but also helped us open our teaching pool.

The training went really good. I was clear, confident, ready, and engaged. It ended up going really well and everybody loved it. I ended right on time and had enough stuff and questions to take up the whole time. The spirit was really strong and we all learned so much from each other.

Since the training was on talking to everyone and teaching, that is what we have been doing and like I said it opened our teaching pool. We got 3 new investigators that are actually pretty good. Two are named Annie and the other is Don. They are all old people so it is slow going but they have been asking good question and really listening and learning. It was great to see some success with people.

It was great to get some new people but we also lost a person. Clarence. He has been doing so good. reading the Book Of Mormon, praying, coming to church, ETC... Well we were going to have a baptism lesson and put him on date and we thought the Yips would be good to have at the lesson. We got there and started and he said, “Wait before we go on I have received my sign. I saw a vision where God told me to stay with the salvation army." Oh ok did not see that coming. So ummm what do we do now? This guy just said no to everything we are teaching. It was the first time for both of us. The Yips could see our struggles and helped so much. This poor man though is done. It was sad to have a really good guy testify that it is not for him. Bummer

While door knocking and sweating like I am in a shower we came across some Jehovah Witnesses. Usually they are really mean and want nothing to do with us. Well these two lady's welcomed us to their porch. We sat down thinking we were going to give a lesson. Wrong!!! They pulled out their Bible, pamphlets, videos, ETC First off I did not feel the spirit and 2nd they were all over the place. No organization or lesson. We watched a video on drugs and then a minute later a video about Jehovah. Over all we learned more about them and how we can better teach them but it was so funny to be sitting down with them getting taught. They thought they got us so good. As we left they said, “See you at church on Tuesday.” haha it was funny. They gave us heaps of pamphlets and books. We are not allowed to have them and did not know what to do with them. Fire. haha ok you get the point.

When we were teaching one of the Annies, she left to go to the bathroom. We saw a Jehovah Witness pamphlet on the table under some papers. She told us they had been visiting her too. Elder Cadiang looked at me since I was the closest to it and said, "Take it." Me What. Him. Yeah take it. By this time Annie started to walk back so I grabbed it and stuffed it into my bag. I felt bad but she needs to be taught the right truth. It was pretty funny.

Every week is just so fun and full of so much unplanned adventure. The spirit is always so strong and I grow to love it more and more. Sighing off


Elder Cahoon