Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 24 Sixth Month Mark

WOW, I hit my 6 month mark!! I made it this far, bring on the rest!! I set a goal to get one baptism in my first month here. I think I kinda jumped the gun on that one. Things are picking up though and I have some big news for this week!!

Like always this week was a bit crazier than the last. It was transfer week this week so I found out if I am staying or going. I have not moved yet on my mission so I was kinda hoping I would get moved and thought I was going to get moved. 6 months is a long time!! But the Lord needs me here in Charters Towers and Ayr for another transfer. I am defiantly not complaining. This place is like home now. Just think, I lived in Luxembourg for a year. This is already half of that!! Crazy!! Elder Bodeeletkasam is still my comp. President told him he was going to "die" here. That means he will finish his mission in this area. So he will be here for 6 months too.

Anyway now that you know I am still here I can talk about how Ayr went. In one word I can describe it, BUSY!!

I think I said last week that Sipa was going to Brisbane and was not going to be here for her scheduled baptism date. So we planned on moving it later. I was pretty sad since I did not know if I was staying or leaving and her baptism day was the day we found out if we were leaving or staying.

Well we got a call from her and she didn't leave to Brisbane until Tuesday night. This meant that we could drive over to Bowen and teach her the last little things. She has been prepared by God. We got right through the lesson and had enough time to continue to the last lesson and go over the interview questions. We did this Monday and then Elder Pugsley from T-ville came over and interviewed her before she left. Well she got back on Friday night and wanted to get baptized Saturday still.

I was so excited!! We came to the problem of ok what do we do now?? We have no numbers for anybody in the Bowen branch, no way to prepare and let people know. So after a crazy day we finally got the numbers and made some calls and set things up.

Our biggest problem was the baptism. Where it was going to be, where to change, etc. We did some searching for a private bay. Bowen is the most beautiful place and has lots of islands that are on the reef. So it is a big tourist attraction. We found a good bay called Murray Bay, beautiful!! Lots of palm trees, crystal clear water. It was a great spot. The only problem now was where to change.

We meet at the chapel so she could change into whites there but where was she going to change after the baptism. We took down the Ayr Chapel curtain and brought a rope to hang them up and make a makeshift changing room. It looked good and would have worked but she wanted to change back at home since her home was close. So she got wrapped up in her towel and changed at home. No drama.

It was a really cool baptism. She had her cousin preform the ordnance and then we got to give her the Holy Ghost. It was amazing to experience a baptism. She was so excited and looked so happy!! What a wonderful day!!

The rest of the week was just complete craziness!! Like I said last week, we have a new flat but it has nothing in it and our beds were being taken back by the member that loaned them to us. So we were living out of the chapel still but sleeping in the new flat. Lots of back and fourth across the road.

We called the office and they have known about this problem we were going to have when they bought the place. Yet they did not have a solution. Being up north is great but we are a bit neglected up here. I ordered a small PMG 3 months ago and it just got here. That is about how much time it takes for them to get something done for us. It is a real pain but not much we can do since we are so far way.

So I was a bit skeptical about ever getting things for the new flat. The office called the Redd couple who live in T-ville and had them order and gather all the things we would need. The only problem was that they live in T-ville. About an hour away from us. Sadly the mission only has a Toyota Corolla. Not Tundras or Tacomas. On the bright side I did see a really cool Toyota Tundra while driving. Anyways, we do have a trailer hitch on our car but no trailer. So we drove to T-ville and borrowed the District Presidents trailer and followed the Redds all over a busy town with a huge trailer. It made it really hard to follow them and we lost them a few times. I have driven trailers before but not in a busy city. It was a bit stressful but we managed.

After a couple of hours we had most of what we needed. So we drove back to Ayr. Like I said before, I have driven trailers so it was not a problem to get back to Ayr. The road that our house is on is not that busy but that day it was one of the busiest. I took my chance though and tried to back the trailer full of stuff up the tiny drive way and in between our shed. It took two or three tries but I did get it right in perfectly. The only stress and problem was all the cars that were driving right past me as I tried to back up. Only one car stopped and gave me room. It was a big pain. We unloaded all the stuff and then went back out again into Ayr this time. We still needed to buy a fridge, washer and dryer. So we went to a store and called the office so they could pay for it. They loaded it up on the trailer and we proceeded to drive home and unload.

It took all day for this to happen and that was only to get everything. It was all still in boxes and we had to open and set everything up. That took the rest of the night and right when we thought all our drama and problems were over, the power went out. Only our power though. We went to the big power box and flipped all the switches and still nothing. So we called the mission office and they were making calls to the power company and nobody knew what was wrong. Randomly the power turned on and all was well. Our mission president said to us, “Before you do anything else, dedicate the home.” So we dropped to our knees and dedicated our flat so it would be safe and have the spirit.

It was the craziest day ever to figure out what to do with all that stuff but we managed.

Sadly with all of this flat stuff and everything we did not have much time for mission work this week. We managed and did pretty good. Got some lessons and did some finding.

We did meet twice with Sam. He is doing really good in his search for the truth. He really likes The Book of Mormon but has a hard time understanding it. So we gave him a Book of Mormon Stories book. He really loves it and has been going threw it and studying that and the real book. We gave him our number and he calls us a lot now. He asks us questions and wants to know about when church is and what we do. The spirit is really working at him and he is going to come around some day. It is pretty cool to see a man have a true desire to find the truth. Our only stumbling block is going to be the Word of Wisdom. I do not have the guts to steal his tobacco or beer but I think when we have the lesson he will understand.

We are back in Charters Towers this week. We got here Saturday night. Sunday morning about 20 minutes before church started the Branch President called and said he and his wife would not make it today. Well they were the ones that were going to speak. So me and Elder Bo had to prepare 20 minute talks in 20 minutes while also getting ready for church. It was so stressful but we managed. It is crazy the stuff that you have to do sometimes. It makes the mission so fun. Our talks went really well and we had a good service.

With this new transfer we are really going to work hard to find those people that are ready. We want to get the ball rolling for baptisms. Angus has put in his application for his birth certificate and that will come soon and then they can put in a marriage paper. I think if we really try I will be here to see him baptized!! It will be cutting it close like Sipa but I think it is possible.

The man who lost his camera has not gotten back to me. So I have been having some fun with it. I have messed around with the setting and figured out how to take star photos. The stars in the outback are just beautiful!! The Milky Way is so clear.

I am so blessed to be in this area for so long. I love it and hate it. The love is just that I love every part of it. The hate is the driving and soon someday having to say goodbye. These people have been in my life for 6 soon to be 8 months and one day I am just gonna pack up and leave! It is gonna be a sad but happy day. Lets make the most of these last few weeks. I don’t think it is possible for me to survive one more transfer here.

Hope all is well at home and everyone is good. I love you all. Have a good one.
Elder Cahoon 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 23 - 25 Pounds

Geez one more week has gone by again. I will hit my 6 month mark on the 24th this week. How crazy is that!! I only have 3/4 left on the mission.

Elder Kallas had to get back to Rockhampton so we drove again to Mackay. It took the whole day to get there and back. So for one full day we just drove. It was terrible. We did carpool with the Townsville elders. So I got to sleep on the way back while another elder drove. It was so nice. I have done so much driving on my mission. We have to keep track of all the kilometers we used and I was able to calculate that I have driving 9,128 kilometers. So far!

I also thought that coming on my mission I would be done moving people. Well turns out I had to move my own house. We are officially out of the chapel and moved across the road to unit 3 #60 Burke St. Man what a blessing it is to have our own house now.

As we moved our beds in, the beds are the only things we can move since the rest is the chapels. Anyway the first bed was fine, the second bed is currently stuck at the top of the stairs between the wall and the door. I don't know how it got stuck and we can't move it. So we got a tool to take it apart today. I will let you know how it goes next week. So moving was a pain but we did it real quick so we could do more driving. This time to Charters Towers.

We got to Charters Towers early so we decided to go do some more service for the Lowry’s. They had one more really really big dead tree to chop down. So we got to work with the axe. About 30 minutes later the neighbor came over and said, “Hey boys you are doing great but with this axe you are taking forever.” He was holding a chainsaw. He cut it down in 10 seconds. It was still good though to lend a helping hand.

We planned to do lots of finding while we were in Charters Towers. The first day we tried to go out it rained harder than ever before! So we drove around in all the flash floods that it created while visiting potentials. It was a crazy day.

Our finding did go really good though. We continue to use our 5 street picking method and again saw many miracles from it. We were able to teach people right at the door again and they were pretty interested. Lots of the people we met were really good friends with members in the branch and had some really good questions. One of them even came to church on Sunday with their member friends.

While we were finding we knocked on a door and I recognized this lady but could not remember how. Well she met us at an investigators house while we were teaching a lesson last week. She was interested but did not want us to know where she lived or phone number or anything. So we could not ever teach this lady. Well we found her and she was really excited. We asked if there was anything we could do for her. For the first time ever someone said yes.

She needed someone to vacuum her house. Their vacuum broke and was not fixed. They had gone 3 weeks without cleaning the floor and it was gross. So we grabbed our vacuum and spent an hour and a half cleaning her home. I vacuumed while elder Bo did magic tricks for the kids and taught them a lesson. It was a really cool experience. Now usually I hate to vacuum but this time I was thinking what would the savior do? He would serve these people and give them his all. Well that is what I did and I felt so good. I gave it my all. I did 110% and cleaned that house so it looks amazing!! It was just a really cool thing we got to do.

Angus was just amazing this week. Well it didn't start out good. He has read everything - Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price. Everything. Over and over. He wanted to know more so he started to read other non church approved book. Mainly the gospel of Judah. It has a lot of false doctrine in it and it really confused him. He has all these terrible questions and was losing his faith. After a big lesson we got nowhere. So I called Elder Redd and got some help from him. He told us to go study about the Apocrypha. Oh my goodness this is exactly what Angus needed.

I have never had so much fun studying the scriptures and trying to figure things out. I mean I was digging and reading and writing and trying to find everything I could. I found some really amazing stuff that helped me grow but also helped Angus. We had the best lesson with him and I crushed him with the spirit in a good way.

We got him back on track and reading Jesus the Christ, so now he will get lost and confused in true doctrine.

On that note with all my studies, Elder Kallas taught me how to really use a study journal. Elder Cadiang didn't have one or teach me how to use one but I am eternally grateful for Elder Kallas now. It changed the way I study and I have already filled a binder full with all my notes. I am gonna be honest I never really got into or read the scriptures back home. I wish I did. I just never made time for them. Well now all I want to do is read and grow and be better. The scriptures are so amazing. It was so cool to be able to really study them and then teach Angus all about what I had just studied. Man what a cool week.

That is not even the biggest news. We went to Roy's house for dinner. We had some really amazing steak and all sorts of food. Side note I have put on about 25 pounds from all the food and working out. ok I am off topic. We had a really good lesson with them about temples. They are getting sealed as a family soon. We also taught them how to dedicate their home. At the end of the lesson and dinner as we were saying goodbye he said tomorrow is gonna be a big day. You are gonna like it.

I could not figure it out. What was he talking about? President Mayers came from Townsville and got up and started making some announcements. Well we have a new branch president. ME. haha no jk but we do have a new one. President Goll. He was the 2nd counselor but now is the President. Everyone else in the presidency got released and we also have a new first counselor. Me, haha no jk again. But I could. It is Roy. So things are really going to pick up now that we have a good branch president and a really good counselor. They are going to work together to really get things going now. It is going to be great!!

Right before we left to Ayr on Sunday we stopped by the Lowry’s again to see how they liked the new Presidency. They love it. So great!! Anyways we were talking with them and had some really good funny conversations with them. We then started to talk about quitting smoking for good with Bro Lowry. Finally I was done. One way or another I was gonna get him to stop. So I ran into his caravan and took his pack of tobacco and hid it in my pocket. haha He went crazy and said fine if that is how it's gonna be, he then went and got the rest of it and madly threw it into the trash!! hahaha oh boy what a home run. Things are looking up for him. He is doing so great!! But boy was he mad at me for doing that. In my defense it was Sister Lowry's idea. So blame her. It was really fun and awesome that I have such a good relationship with him to be able to do that. He is fine and he gave me a hug after. Everyone just pray for him. He is the best. Keep it up brother Lowry. BTW he reads this blog. haha.

We had a good safe drive back to Ayr and slept in our house for the first time. I was making my bed and threw the sheets up to lay them down. Now I am a tall man with long arms. Our fan was going as fast as it could and my right hand got hit by the metal blades. Just a small cut but gosh it hurt so bad!! I thought I broke my hand!! I was so mad. It is all fine now. Not broken but badly hurt. I was so mad. What a great new house it was turning out to be.

Anyway this week was so great with lots of good experiences and full of a strong spirit. I grew heaps just in this week. Hope you all have a good one. Bro Lowry, keep it up. We will see you Saturday.

Love you all, the church is true and the book is blue. Have a good week.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 22 Sick of driving

Another crazy week in Ayr. It started out really good. We had a zone meeting and learned a lot of good things to help us with finding and teaching. I loved going to the meeting because I learned so much.

Nothing too big happened at the first of the week but we really tried to get out and go finding in the heat and get those people the Lord prepares. We did the same thing with the 5 streets this week and made it to a pretty big street. At the end of the long street there were 20 units. So we knocked the whole street then started on all the units.

The whole street was a big blow. Rejection after rejection, until we got to the units. We started at number 1 and the lady was eating but wanted us to come back tomorrow. She was really nice and also wanted a pamphlet. So we were excited for her. The blessing or miracle did not stop there.

We made it to unit 10 and the man was a real scary bloak. He asked if we were Mormons. We said, “Yes.” He then looked at us for a good amount of time thinking. After a bit he said, “What the hell. Come in.” Haha man what a reaction. I guess he has heard of us and wants to know more. He had heaps of good questions and told us he wants to find the true church. We ended up visiting him a few more times throughout the week and each time he was reading from the Book of Mormon when we got there!! What a miracle!!

We got a call from the ZL saying Elder Bo was getting transferred. I thought they were just kidding. You could sorta say that they were but not really. Since Eder Bo is Thai he speaks Thai. Well our ZL found a man that wants to learn more but his English is terrible. So... they thought we could do the world's biggest trade off for a weekend.

So on Friday we started the 300klm drive to Mackay. It is halfway between Rockhampton and us. It took about 3 1/2 hours to make it to Mackay. The Zl had a 3 hour drive. So right now I am with an Elder from Wyoming. Elder Kallas. What a man.

Anyway so this drive took the whole day since we had to come back the same day too.

The fun part about this whole thing is that Elder Talaipa got transferred to Mackay so I got to see him again in his area. He is doing great and goes home in 12 days.

Tomorrow we are going to make the drive back to Mckay and then back to Charters Towers. So it will be a 3 hour drive there and a 5 hour drive back. I am so sick of driving. It started out fun. Oh look at me I’m on the wrong side of the road, everything is different... Now it is so boring. Gotta do what the Lord wants done though so I continue to drive everywhere.

On Saturday we had scheduled to see Sipa in Bown. Again 1 1/2 hours away. Long drive. Some of you may know me as eagle eyes. I have really good eyesight. So while we were driving I saw something off the side of the road in the bush. I said, “Elder Kallas? Do you want a new camera?” We turned around and went to check it out. It was a really nice camera. I thought geez this poor guy. We are 1 1/2 hour in the bush. We watched his videos to see who he was and how we could get it to him. No name, number or anything. So we looked and looked as we drove back and fourth for a guy looking for a camera. He is a vlogger and has a bunch of really good gear but he is missing one of his cameras now. Luckily he rented a van and he showed the license plate. We called the company and asked if we could have their number to contact them. All they left was a number and it was a fake number. So now we are hoping when they return the car the company will give them our number so they can come get it. So all in all we have done heaps to try and find this guy but it looks like I just scored a camera.

While at the lesson with Sipa the spirit was so strong. Her cousins were testifying to her and we pretty much recapped all the lessons and she wants to get baptized Feb 25!! So I will still be here. The transfer ends the 27th and like I said I feel like I am leaving but who knows. I am so excited for her. There is no font but the ocean is right there so I get to go in the ocean too!! Everything on a mission is just so amazing and happy and full of love.

We had branch conference in Ayr so heaps of people from Townsville came along with the district president. It was amazing to see the Ayr Chapel full of people and what it could be like in the future. We had a really good line up for speakers - our branch president and the district president. They just did an amazing job and there was such a strong amazing spirit. They based their talks about growing this small branch and talked about us and all the work we do and how we need the members help too. It really got the branch going and things are just amazing!!

I can't write too much today, our district is going to Billabong Zoo so we have to leave in a bit. I think I covered everything. It was a great week but slow with all the driving.

Love you all so much have a good one.

Elder Cahoon