Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 28 Preparing for the cyclone

I AM OK... for now...
So now let me explain. There is a huge cyclone and it is coming right at me!! Her name is Debbie and she is a huge class 4 almost a class 5 and that is the worst you can get and she is coming right at me. So before I talk about my week let me talk about this for a sec.

Ok so we found out about it on Friday but it was not big or a threat yet... Well Sunday came and we went to church and the members were in a panic. We don’t have phone, internet, or a way to know about it. So Debbie got big and changed course and is coming right at Ayr. The eye is going to go right over our flat. Scary!!

President McSwain called on Sunday after church and said that they have started to evacuate Ayr. So he told us to get our things and go to T-ville. It is still going to hit hard in T-ville but not as bad as Ayr. So we are safe in T-ville right now and it is pretty windy but not bad yet. I will sorta have to be quick emailing because we have to get back to our flat before it is too bad to go outside. We have been briefed and were able to shop and get ready. The power is for sure going to go out so we have all the right food you could say so we should be fine.

Today (Monday) we had to go around and help all the members get ready and do service so it is sorta late right now in Australia but we had a great day of service helping people out. When we left Ayr on Sunday it was windy but not bad. You could say it was really good kite flying weather. Right now in T-ville it is getting a bit more then a kite breeze so things are getting exciting and picking up. What a crazy start to the week and a great way to end the last week.

On that note I will try and give you my words before I get blown away in the wind. haha I will be safe.

Our week was really good. Ayr is just amazing and everyone is doing so amazing!! After our crazy start to get in the flat it got a lot better. We had so many people to follow up with and see and teach and make into investigators. So we were driving all over town trying to catch people at the right time and set appointments to come back and see them.

I guess I will start off with as my mom said "the girl" And to answer mom and all of you real quick “the girl” is that really pretty one. So we stopped by this week at the time that she said we could come back. She was home but no one else was. So we asked if we could just have the lesson outside. She said yes and we sorta got to know her. The basics like her age 17 religion Catholic and she likes to dance. I sorta got really nervous when we sat down and just jumped right into the lesson. We were also on trade off on that day so Elder Paulino was with me and was just as shocked as I was the first time. I talked really fast I guess and it was a good lesson but I am 100% for sure that she knew we were nervous. So funny. But it must have gone well because we are going back next time we can get to Ayr to share more. So all in all it was pretty good.

Even though we were in Ayr on Thursday we had to go to a funeral in Charters for the Lowrey’s son. Elder Redd was the one conducting and did a great job. He was so bold and read the chapters in Alma regarding where we go after this life. Even that sinners go to prison. Everybody in the room, about 350 people were all sinners and going to spirit prison. But he taught that just like down here as (then pointed to us) these missionaries go out there are ones in prison. It was great!! It was a pretty good funeral. I did not like the language though. So many people saying the F word and cursing and using foul language. That part was just terrible. It made we want to leave or get up and yell at some people to shut it and have some respect.

We used the opportunity in Charters to see Angus. We really just went to see how he was doing. We went over the commandments and then he told us he was struggling with a thing. We got really personal and I cried while testifying and the spirit was so strong. He is back on track and going amazing. Their marriage in on track and ready to go. We just need to, well they need to pick the day. I do not think I will still be here but it is just so great to see him embrace the gospel. It is so great to see him going down the right path now. We thought we were going to struggle with this problem but it is all good now so it was amazing to have the spirit work with him and us.

Ayr like I said is going great. When we had trade off we found two amazing people who became awesome investigators. We found them just through door knocking. One is named Jenelle and she has two kids who are 9 and 11 and want to learn also so it is great to have them to teach now. She wants a church that will practice what they preach and really do what Christ would do. So #1 she liked that our name badges have his name on them too.

Sam is also doing great!! We went over everyday and started the stop smoking program. He is having a hard time giving them up but really wants to try so things are looking up for him. He never looks like he is listening but then will ask a deep question or figure something out and get so excited. He just loves to learn about God and how he can be better and do what He wants. With the cyclone coming he and all of our investigators were busy preparing for the storm so they did not make it to church but I think it is a pretty good excuse to have to prepare. Right now it is a big thing to come to church so we are understanding that they want to prepare.

With the storm coming it is going to give us a huge opportunity to help people and do service. I am way excited for that. My mom sent my birthday package and it had a nice pair of gloves so it is perfect timing. Just goes to show that moms are the best and the spirit is real!!

On Saturday we had nothing going on so T-ville gave us a call and the sisters here. Sister McCall and Sister Campbell had a baptism. So we drove over and got to help participate in it. It was a beautiful baptism and for the song to close they had the missionaries get up and sing A Child's Prayer. I never thought that I was going to enjoy singing at a baptism but I enjoyed it so much. It was what I would call beautiful but then again I think highly of my own voice when I sing but there could be glass breaking as I do. Hopefully everyone else enjoyed it. haha

As we drove back we saw the coolest helicopter. For those of you who know me I wanna fly so bad and always look up at them when they go over. So seeing this really cool big one was awesome!! I did not think it could have gotten better. But it did. The Lord blesses us. Right as we got to Ayr the T-ville search and recuse copter was landing so we saw it land. We thought it would be wise to do our study in the car so we could see it take off. Hahah we were using our time wisely. On that note we did really study and prepared one of the best lesson we have ever done for Sam and the lesson was great!!

I got some cool pictures of it and then when it took off I lost it. I was so excited and just thrilled to be so close to a big Huey!! It was so loud and when they turned the jet engine on I was about to faint!! It was amazing. There were about 10 little kids watching and I was probably being one of the biggest kids of them all. I just love helicopters so much. But I had to remember I was not here to watch helis so we went finding as soon as it was gone and we finished studying. So cool though.

It has just been so great to be on a mission and really understand the gospel and start to really learn and apply it in my own life. It is twice as much fun when you help other people do the same thing. We have been able to listen to talks by John Bytheway in our driving all over. Yes he is nuts and very bad at making a good joke but if you ever listen to him look past the crazy weird dude and his message helps so much and makes things so clear.

This week we are still running into the problem of finding "new" people to talk to. I guess it is not hard to re knock the street but we just run into the same people and they have not changed yet. So hopefully our efforts will reward the next few missionary's that come to the area.

We get to email our mission president each week and this last week I lost it and told him I am sick of driving and have knocked all the houses. I am defiantly feeling a transfer coming this next week. I love my area so much and hope to come back some day in the future. The people are so great and I have loved getting to know everybody. Even just the members like the Yips. They are just the best and we hang out with them so much on P days and eat with them heaps. It is so fun to talk with them and fight over whose country is better. Last week Brother Yip wore the best American T shirt ever. It was just the American flag. He got me good though. I tried to say the pledge of allegiance and I hate to say but I don’t know some of the words. Neither does Elder Pugsley when I asked him. Haha it has been too long.

I have talked a bit about the trade off. Well I am a driver and our Dl is a driver so we are never together but it is still fun to be with Elder Paulino. He is great and we saw so many amazing miracles from it. While finding we ran into a man whose wife was a Mormon but passed away. He pulled out all this LDS related stuff and talked so highly of the missionaries. So it was great to find him. Now we are going to see what is holding him back. We are always so blessed when we trade off. It was great.

We always try and have our fun as you always hear me talk about. I have a motto right now. Work really hard and have fun!! It has been so great!! On this trade off me and Elder Paulino wanted to do something really funny. My b-day is coming up so I got a package and my mom sent balloons. So we filled them up with water and wrote on a piece of paper. 2 for us, 2 for you. get rid of things you don’t want wet. If you accept pick yours up." The balloons were big party balloons not your little ones. So we went to our drop off spot which is exactly half way between Ayr and T-ville on a little dirt road. We made sure to get there first and set up. They had the note and their two and we hid in a bush. As they pulled up they saw the note and were very hesitant and slow. Long story short they accepted our fight and we ran and ambushed them. I threw mine right at Elder Bo and it hit him right in the face but did not pop!! Unbelievable!! Elder Pugsley got hit too but was not wet. I was smart and wore running shoes and I ran up the road so fast as they both had their balloons. Elder Paulino is a bit slow and they got him!! haha one popped on his face and the other his back. He was drenched in water but we were all laughing and having a good time. The memories we make are just priceless and so fun.

I swore up and down when I was a kid that when I grew up and could decide if I wanted a flu shot or not I would not get one. I hate needles and as you know I pasted out when I had my blood test a few months ago. So yes I hate needles and swore never to get a flu shot when it was my choice. Well the Zone Leaders called and asked if we wanted one. I remembered all the times that I said I would never say yes but that word came out of my mouth. So some time in the next few weeks I will be going in for a self inflected flu shot. It is terrible being a responsible adult.

We are not expecting to much to happen this week with the cyclone hitting. We are praying that everyone will be ok and that it will open up the opportunity to help and get new people to teach. Mostly we will be on clean up all week but if anything fun happens you can bet I will let you know.

Thanks for all the love and support. I love this work so much and hope you like to hear about how I enjoy it and make it fun.

Thanks for the love,

Elder Cahoon

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 27 Don't forget the sacrament.

What a fun week it was this week. It was a bit hard at first but we pushed through and had a good one and made some memories.

We had a pretty ok week. We still are trying to work really hard but we keep running into a big problem.
There are no more people to talk too!! We finished knocking all the doors in Charters Towers this week. #1 I did not think I was ever going to be able to say I have knocked every door in a town. Let alone TWO towns. I thought passing out flyers to my ward back home was hard and that was like 20 doors. Try 3,000 doors in each town!! #2 The people are sick of me. While making our rounds a lady opened the door, one that we knocked on a few months ago. She said with a very big sigh, “Oooh... Not you again.” She recognized me!! It was pretty funny after but man that is the worst when the first thing they tell you is not you again. Geeez was I that mean. I don’t think so.

It is just hard to get our goal for contacts now since most people know us now. We did get told though by our mission president that it takes seven missionary experiences before a person finally opens up to talk with you and listen. So now we are seeing it as making more good moments for future missionaries or for us. It is just so fun... I hate to say but I am so sick of these towns. Everyone says just try and love your area and some day you will. Well I loved it right from the get go but geez I am so sick of these little towns and driving back and forth!!

Story time.

Ok so driving back and forth has always been a bummer. It is like driving to St George or Moab every week. (Dad, I know what it feels like now.) So Sunday came around and we packed and headed to Ayr. We left at 2:00 and after driving for just a sec we realized we forgot our food. So we turned around real quick, no biggy and got our food. We got to the end of the road that our house was on and felt like we left the stove on so we went back. We just felt like we forgot something. So we went back again. Checked the whole place and it looked good. We got everything. So after a big drive we made it to Ayr and went to open the door and realized we left our Ayr flat keys hanging on the wall in Charters Towers. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! We did not know what to do. So we called our AP and they said, “Buckle up and enjoy the drive.” Oh heck so we drove back to Charters Towers grabbed the key and drove all the way back to Ayr. With all of our turn around and from forgetting things we did not get home until 9:30 that night. We left at 2:00 and got home at 9:30. Man what a day.

On the bright side we had a good week in Charters. It was really hot but we had some success. After doing some exploring in the car we found a street that we had not knocked before. So we knocked it and found some pretty good people. The great part is they are all young adults with young kids!! It is just what this branch needs. So it was so great to have them show a bit of interest! We even knocked into a retired priest and he actually listened to us and agreed with us for the most part. So we had a quick lesson with him and he wants us back. My biggest goal now is to baptize him. It will be hard to teach him but he is willing to listen and I have had some really good studies on teaching and am constantly getting better at it. I hope to have some fun with him. We did not even get into a bible bash. I was surprised with him being a priest and all. I would have thought he wanted to destroy us.

Surprisingly the person that wanted to destroy our faith was an old sweet looking grandma. Oh boy here we go. I bet you all are thinking ok he warned us about the old grandmas. So, we knocked on the door and she said oh I have a question for you. What is God’s name? Well we said God or Father. Nope, it is Jehovah. Right at this moment I knew what I was dealing with. She then proceeded and told us, "If you want to think of yourself as a religion you at least have to know God’s name. Therefore you are not a real religion."  I kindly asked her to show me where it said that in the bible. She got flustered and could not provide. I also said, "Our salvation does not depend on if we know God’s true name or not. It depends on how we live our lives and do things." I asked, "Just because you know his name does that mean that you are saved in his kingdom."  She got flustered again. I proceeded to then share a bit of our message about the prophet. She said no that stopped ages ago.
I asked her if she thought God loves her. I then asked if she thought God loved his children before us. She said yes and yes. Then we asked how did he show that love to the children before us. Oh well he gave them a prophet... Wait a minute. If he loved them and gave them a prophet are you saying he does not love you now since you don't believe in the prophet? Ok so pause the story. I felt bad that we were destroying this woman's faith but she was asking the question and trying to get us first so we thought bring it on. I pulled out my bible and read the scripture where it talks about God being the same yesterday, today, and forever. Well yeah blah blah you can guess the rest. They had prophets yesterday so there is one today. Long story short we bore our testimonies to her and she was just so upset that she lost this battle that she just shut the door. haha ok so what did I learn. It is fun to share the gospel but we have to do it when people will truly listen. And I can't do it out of wanting to win a battle. It was still fun though to sorta have my first bible bash. Gotta watch out for those grandmas.

Another time while finding there was a house and it was being cleaned so we passed by it since we did not want to disturb the cleaners. Well as we passed a little girl came running out. She was maybe 5 or 6. She just came running to us and asked who we were. We told her and she was just so happy. It was just one of those cool moments when an innocent child really sees the angles that walk with you. She was so nice to us and made me feel so good that day. She did not want us to go. I love that with all the innocent kids. They always want us to come in and beg their parents to let us in. It shows you the love that God has for those kids and the beauty in a child. How they can see the good in you because of who we represent. It was amazing with this little girl. She was just so kind and nice and just wanted to be with us. I don't even know how to describe it. Little kids are just the best.

We are back in Ayr so we got to follow up with all of our potential people. We are excited for a few of them. We have some good people that have a good interest. Right before we left to Charters we followed up with the girl. I will just leave it at that. Well we talked to her dad and he was cool with us teaching her but we have been gone a week and will need to see if she is still interested. We set an apt for Thursday so we have to wait a bit and see.

Sam just continues to amaze us. We don't want to lose him like the rest while we are gone so we had the T-ville elders teach him while we were gone. They were so kind and made the 45 min drive to teach him. So they called us and asked what they could teach. We are down to two very important lesson for him. Word of Wisdom and Chastity. Lets just say they were so excited to go and teach him. Elder Pugsley has met and taught him once with Elder Bo on a trade off so there was no awkward two new guys for him. They decided to teach W.o.W. Well they got there and he is always smoking. The unit is always full of smoke. So they began to teach him not to smoke while he was smoking. They said they were so scared but like I said before! SAM IS THE BEST!! He felt like yeah it is not good. I just need help to stop. So now that we are back we are going to use the church's stop smoking program with him and with the Lord's help he is gonna smash it. He wants to stop because he knows it is a true commandment from the Lord.

Well the T-ville elders forgot to invite him to church and we did not since we were not there. Well our Branch President in Ayr called and told us he came but that he brought a friend. So not only is he doing this on his own free will but he is inviting others to come. The lady that came with him is named Mauri. She is a pretty good investigator. We taught her with Sam once while she was over. She had no interest and told us God was not real. Well she is reading the Book of Mormon and feeling that love from God.

I am so excited to see both of them this week and start helping them quit smoking. It will be hard but so worth it!! Things are just great!!

So a couple of weeks ago I joked about being the new Branch President for Charters. Well my dreams came true this week. We got a call from our district president and he told us none of the presidency will be in Charters this Sunday and they need someone to conduct. So President Mayers gave a big talk and had to read some things to me over the phone and I could accept or decline. I accepted and became the acting BP for Charters Towers. I would hold the keys temporarily to preside over the meeting on Sunday!! What an adventure this was.

Sunday came around and I was so nervous! I have heard people conduct for years and now it was my turn!! I prepared everything and picked hymns and talks to listen to from general conference and then we waited for the people to show up. Well 9:00 came and it was just me and Elder Bo. We thought we would wait just a few minutes more and the Vilalos came but just the mom and kids since her husband Roy was gone. Hence me conducting.

I was pretty nervous. I got up and announced general conference coming up and the hymn and opening prayer. I have been practicing the piano and now can say that for a day I played the songs in sacrament meeting and will never do it again. Lets just say the people sing faster than what I can play it and they don't follow my pace. I have some practice to do. Also Jakob the son was laughing instead of singing. I may have hit a wrong note here or there. The song was #60 Battle Hymn of the Republic. Lets just say it is a fast song.

After that I gave the prayer and then announced the speakers for the day. Now tell me what I forgot...I took a video of what I did after so you can see me conduct but also what I forgot. THE SACRAMENT!!! I just skipped straight to the talks. So Elder Bo got my attention and I ran up and re announced that we would have sacrament first. Oh boy what a classic beginner's mistake. We sang our song and Elder Bo blessed the bread and went to give it to Jakob and he forgot to break it so they just stood there forever deciding what to do. Elder Bo took it back and broke it in 5 pieces since there was only 5 of us.

If you want to have the craziest sacrament of your lives but still feel the spirit have the elders do everything. Boy it was crazy but so fun. I felt bad too. Elder Bo kept saying “has” for “was” in the water prayer and had to do it 4 times. It was really cool though for me. I felt the spirit so strong talking to me telling me ''No try again. It has to be right'' and then when it was the feeling of peace and comfort knowing that the prayer was heard. What a cool Sunday for me.

I love you all and I'm glad that you have enjoyed reading about my adventure. I love this gospel so much now and it has literally changed my life for the better now!! Have a good week.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 26 I forgot everything I have ever learned about being a missionary

I thought last week was good!! Man this week was amazing!! Still crazy but amazing. It started out with a big mission phone call with our mission president. He said to everybody, “I felt prompted to tell you all that are in areas that have not baptized in awhile to step it up. Work really hard. Miracles will happen.”

I thought last week we stepped it up but compared to this week that was nothing. Our ZL gave us a call and challenged us to really work hard and get out and contact and it turned into a war to get the most. So we went crazy. Every second of the day was spent finding if we could. One of the ZL is named Elder Winter. Well I didn't even make the connection but he went to LONE PEAK HS with me for a year. His family moved to Alpine for a year like what my family did with Luxembourg. Since I never see him I never made the connection!! It was so great to talk with him and have a good time. We would call every night to see who won the contacts goal. Lets just say we made him cry every night.

One of the days all of our set apt fell through so we had the whole day to knock on doors. There is not as much of a dog or Facebook problem with Ayr so it went really well. We found some great people that we have started to teach. A lot of old people who just want to talk too. So it was nice to be there for them. But this day was amazing. We got two new investigators and only 46 contacts. Our goal was to get 50 so we decided with the last of the night we would go walking down main street and talk to people. We said a prayer that we could have the opportunity to share the gospel with those 4 people because there is usually not many people out on main street. Well our prayer was answered. The movie theater got out and there were hundreds of people everywhere!! So we got to work. Like I said before we talked to everyone. Literally not a person went by that we did not speak to about the gospel. It was so amazing to see the Lord answer a simple prayer like that. With all those people with got to 104 contacts for the day.

Our Zone has set a goal to get 115 every day with all the areas added up. Well we got all of them in one day!! It was amazing!! On all the other days we got anywhere between 50-70 so we were working hard. I thought last weeks numbers were good. Well we tripled some of them and doubled most of them. 307 contacts for the week. 15 other lessons. 3 new investigators. and so on! It was amazing to really step it up. I don’t know what we have done. Now we are just trying to keep it up while we are in Charters. It is gonna be hard. We had to start to re-door knock some doors in Ayr because they have all been knocked. So I have officially knocked every door in one town. Not many people can say that! haha pretty cool. Hard work pays off so much!!

When the Mission President called we decided to have a 24 hour fast. It was hard with no water and being in the sun all day. But we pushed on knowing we would see a miracle. The next day we were going to see Sam. He loves to have us over and we see him every other day. But this day after the fast we knew he was ready. The Mission President said reach out to all investigators who have not progressed or have been slow. Sam has been slow so to speak. Gets distracted easily and things. But we knew this lesson was going to be a good one. We planned and prepared so much for this lesson. We were ready. We evaluated what we have done in the past with him and changed a lot of things. When the lesson began he just started to listen and answer questions perfectly. Just as we had planned for. The spirit has never been so strong in one of our lessons! It was amazing. At that right moment I asked if he would like to be baptized... after a long silent pause. (Oh I am getting so good at the silent pause to let the spirit testify, I struggled with it and just wanted to keep talking but now I can get anyone with the spirit.) ...He said YES!! oh my goodness!! I was so excited for him. We set April 15 for his date. I might not be here since the transfer ends the 8th but that is ok he will still make it. We came around the next day with President Olsen so he could meet him and have a good friend. We invited him to church and he said he might come. I will talk about that later on so just remember we invited him.

Shout out to my wonderful sister who is deaf. I learned ASL as a baby and then took it again in HS. Anyway I have lost most of it but still know some. We knocked on a man’s door and he pretended to be deaf. So I began to sigh to him. He was so taken back in shock and ran to get a friend to talk to us. Well no one else was home and this guy just avoided us. He was faking being deaf. He was the only one home so how did he hear me knock on the door. haha I dont think he saw that coming. I know ASL kid nice try. The Lord’s work will press on no matter what language. haha it was pretty funny.

Another funny story this week was while door knocking, ok I think I have 1 or 2 more stories after this so bear with me they are great! So this day while door knocking we parked the car. Locked it and walked about 2k's down this street door knocking. On the way back when the cars came into view our car was not there. There was a KIV parked where our car was!! We started a flat out sprint to our so called car only to see that it wasn’t there. We started to freak out. We lost our car that is not even our car. Oh man I though I was dead. It was bad!! As we were freaking out a person came out and drove off and our car was hiding behind his and another!! I felt so stupid but so glad that it was there! haha it was quiet the scare but funny story.

Ok two more. While door knocking we came across a house with Buda everywhere. Elder Bo felt at home. The lady that lived there is from Thailand. So they hit it off. She is 90 years old and looks 40. I was so shocked. Anyways she just talked and talked with Elder Bo in Thai and I just sat there. Well it turns out she has no kids and has pretty much adopted Elder Bo. She speaks very little English so she was in love with Elder Bo when he spoke Thai. Since she has no kids and she is about to die she wants to give Elder Bo everything!!! For reals. She started to give him all this money and talked about setting him up with a girl and all this stuff. I was laughing so hard. He gave the money back and said we can’t accept it. We can accept food though. Oh man. He should not have said that. This week everyday at 12 we would go to her house and pick up some lunch. She would go all out and make all this food for us. It was nuts. It was Thai food but still pretty good. I ate some of it. But man what the heck. It was just so weird!!

I saved the best for last. All the great things happen while door knocking. You meet wonderful people, you find people interested and you never know what to expect. Well after 4 hours of hot humid door knocking we made it back to the car. We were about to go when I felt prompted to knock one more house. We parked in the shade and there was a big fancy house behind us with a huge drive way. So we got out and I led the way to this house. It did not look like anyone was home but we still knocked it. Oh my gosh I am embarrassed!! I knocked on the door and was not expecting what was about to happen next! The most beautiful girl answered the door and I forgot everything I have ever learned about being a missionary. I froze and was just lost in her eyes. It was terrible. I have not interacted with a cute girl in so long I forgot how to talk to them. It was bad. I struggled so hard. To my surprise I did OK. Not my best door approach but I suffered through it. Holy cow though she was beautiful. I was trying so hard to focus on the Lord and his work but she destroyed everything. To my surprise she was interested and wanted us to come in. I was like ummmm, yeah, mission. ummm. LDS. haha it was bad. So she invited us in but we had to go to another lesson. So we told her we were leaving to Charters tomorrow and we could stop by in a week. She said that would be great and wants to learn more. Man it threw me off for the rest of the day. I was trying so hard to just focus on the Lord and the work but she threw me off and made me so home sick and sad to not be dating.

It gets worse. Elder Bo is always funny and jokes about me finding the ONE on my mission. So now he has me good. He said, “Elder you were guided by the spirit to find her. We were ready to go but you felt the need to knock her door.” He is full of it. haha it is pretty funny though. I don’t know, what if we teach her and baptized her??? haha no focus on the work Spence. haha I am gonna have to really prepare myself for our first lesson with her. We thought maybe just jump into eternal marriage and family but are thinking the restoration would be a bit better. haha Man you just have so much fun on a mission. It is great!!

Ok now back to the gospel. Sunday came around and we were really excited. We had invited so many people to church and really want to see some there. We prayed so hard that these investigators would come. Well Church starts at 9:00 and 8:58 rolled around and no one had come. I was pretty sad. We had the best week we have ever had and no one came. Right when 9:00 hit we heard a door open and saw Sam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness!!! It was the best miracle ever!! He showed up and stayed for the whole 3 hours and really enjoyed it and participated in everything. Right after he showed up a random lady just walked in and sat down. I guess she has come before and is interested in learning more. Because we had two investigators at church we needed to have a Gospel Principles class for them. I don’t think I have even been to that class but some how I got put in charge to teach it. I was so lost and struggled through it. Brother Yip came in and really helped us out. Sam and Dianna both really loved it.

Sam has a strong Italian background and a big influence in the mafia over there. So we hear heaps of crazy stories about all the times he has been shot at and almost killed. He is quiet the guy. Brother Bozzetto is from the same part as Sam and they knew each other so now he has a great friend in the branch and we think he will have no problem fitting in and getting along. Our only set back is smoking but he has a desire to give it up but it is gonna be hard. He has a great testimony already and knows the Book of Mormon is true, He told us there is no way a normal man could have written that. He was truly inspired by God.

Wow it is amazing to see Sam grow and to share this gospel with so many people. This week was hard. It rained most days we were out but we did not let it stop us. It was also very hot and humid but the Lord’s work goes on. I went to bed so tired every night and for the first time literally jumped out of bed ready to really work and give it my all. It is amazing to get lost in the work and really give it my all. I love my ZL so much for their help in getting us going and really pushing ourselves. It is amazing. I have some advice to all who are thinking about going but are not to sure. Ask yourself. Do you love the gospel? If the answer is yes then fill out those papers. It is so amazing to serve the Lord and see real miracles everyday.

I love you all so much and really appreciate all the prayers and help!! They do help and the Lord is listening to all of them. Thanks so much for all the support and love. Have a good week.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 25 Enter at Your Own RIsk

This week was hard but so worth it!!

I wanna start out on Tuesday. We were getting ready to go to our chapel for a district meeting when we got a knock on our door. I thought it was pretty odd but still went to check. Well guess who it was... The Jehovah's Witnesses. haha boy do I wish I had some time for them that day. We had to go to our meeting though. It was great. The kid, about 20, was going out and the first words out of his mouth was "Ohh..." We meet him a few weeks ago at his house. So he told us a little about what they do. The next words were "hey now I know where you live." I wanted to say, “Yeah we know where you live and you know where we live so if we ever need a good bible bash just come over”. haha no but we had a good chat with him and wished him luck on his journey. It was a pretty funny way to start out the day!

With the new transfer here and with me still in Charters Towers and Ayr I wanted to really work harder than ever. I am 99% sure I will not be here next transfer. Eight months is a long time in one area. Anyway so we kicked it into turbo mode and started to work even harder. We were more diligent, caring, and more organized. We wrote in the area book every night and we also had no fear.

It all started out in our district meeting. We had some really good training and it inspired all of us. Usually our district leader sets the goals for the month but this time he had us text in what we as a companionship wanted and then he added them all up from everybody. Well we all have high goals so our district goal is just way up there!! 9 baptized, 25 people on b date, 55 member presents, 88 other lessons, 35 new investigators and so on. So they are pretty high for a few small areas. But like I said our district meeting was inspiring and we have all worked harder than ever before.

We were in Charters this week and it was hot. We meet with Angus a couple of times just to keep him going on the right track. All we have to do right now is wait for his birth certificate to come in the mail and then submit his marriage certificate. Then the 30 day countdown begins!! So we are gonna cut it close to transfer day. I don't think the Lord will have just kept me here this long to not see him baptized. So keep him and the mailman in your prayers.

Like I said we have high goals and everyone laughed when we saw them in our meeting but we worked hard this week. I looked at them and said why not. We picked this, now let's do it. So boy did we ever do it this week.

Every second we had we were finding. In the middle of the day with all the heat or even when it was getting late and almost time to go back to the flat. We were out. We got the most contacts we have ever gotten on my mission and pretty much broke all of our previous numbers for the last transfer in this week. 140 contacts, 11 other lessons, 2 member presents, 2 at sacrament ,11 potentials. Now it was not just us doing this. We could see the Lord's hand in our work. It was amazing. But with hard work comes opposition.

When we push harder so does Satan. He was really trying to slow the work down this week. Maybe you remember a few months ago we had a big Facebook thing go around about us and dogs. Well it took a big hit in our numbers and really made it hard for us. Well if finally cooled down a month or two ago... until this week. Geez these stupid dogs and Satan causes so much contention. The whole street knows we are coming because when one dog starts the rest of them come in. So #1 the dogs bark and drive everybody crazy. #2 I was walking along a fence and a dog got spooked because the fence was a big wood one and there was a hole. So when I went by the hole the dog got scared and barked even harder.

Well the lady of the house came running out yelling and screaming and cursing me off. I humbly took it and apologized for anything I did wrong. She continued to go off at me and then called the cops. So we said sorry for walking by and walked away. Well the cops drove by a few times during the day to keep an eye on us. Nothing wrong with that. The bad part comes when she posted on Facebook that we were traumatizing dog. So first it was poisoning dogs and now it is traumatizing them. Geez man it was nuts.

Charters has nothing better to do except gossip on Facebook. So within the day everybody was talking about us again and going off. We went to a member’s house and read the comments and posts. It was bad. We were wondering why nobody was answering their door that day. Well it was because the people were stalking us. It went like this. " hick street. They are on hick street. Oh now they are on Hodkinson St. Watch out. They are coming.'' So people got a warning to just pretend no one was home. It was the biggest pain in the butt. I did so much praying and more praying and by the end of the day the lady that started it had a change of heart and took it all down. So we are in the clear again. Take that one Satan. The Lord's work will always press on no matter what you throw at us.

Another funny dog experience was not as bad but really funny for us. There was a dog about my dog Ljufa’s size. So not big but still able to give you a good bite if he wanted to. The dog was barking and going crazy at us but when we stepped into the yard he ran to the back. There was a big sign that said “Beware of the dog. Enter at your own risk.” So we took that risk and the lady of the house came running out in a frantic scream. “What the curse word are you doing in my yard. Can’t you read the bloody sign???” I answered back, “Yes I can read.” Then I wanted to say but did not. Can you read. I didn't though. Just yes I can. So she asked what it said. I answered, “Beware of the dog.” She said, “Yes now get out of my yard.” I said, “Wait it says more. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. I am a missionary and I am willing to risk this to share this message with you.” We thought we were gonna have a great missionary experience but instead she just shut the door. It was pretty funny.

The rest of the week we just worked hard. We got some great new people to teach and some great people to follow up with. So we are really excited for what is to come. I want to leave this area knowing I gave it my all and leave it ready for the next guy.

Sunday we got a call from our zone leaders. They called and said where were you this week?? Charters Towers... What did you do all week? Mission work...are you sure?? Yes it was a really good week... Uh yeah this is the best numbers we have ever seen from your area and your district. It was great!! They were so impressed and proud. It was just fun to see that when we really do give it our all miracles happen and people recognize it. We could not have done it without the Lord's help. It was just such a good week and we are excited to be back in Ayr. Elder Bo said the ZL need to get ready for next Sunday when we send in the numbers. They are gonna be doubled for this week. So now we really need to get going and work hard. It is just so fun when you get lost in the work and really try to help people grow closer to the Lord. You go to bed feeling so good.

Before I sign off it is time for one last story. This time in Ayr. We got back on Saturday evening went to bed, woke up, went to church and then came back to our flat to find the power off. No power again. Nothing was on to trip a circuit board or anything. So we called the mission office. They made some calls and we got the manager, owner, and electrician to come out. By the way it was Sunday so this was just so amazing that they could come out. Before they came over we had a prayer that we could fix everything and solely focus on thy work this week. Well it turned out great! They came and had to do some digging and find the cable coming to out flat. There was a faulty circuit on the main complex board and not just our unit. So they got it all fixed and now we are set to go!!

This week is going to be amazing!! Thank you for your prayers and loving support!! Have a good week.

Elder Cahoon