Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Week 37 Just when you think it is getting good it gets better!!!

Hahahaha just when you think it is getting good it gets better!!!

I want to start off talking about Elder Choi!! What an Elder!! He visa waited one transfer in the Korea mission, not Elder Murrays. While he was there he was trained by zone leaders who became AP's. So he had really good examples.

Whenever you get a new companion you always have these awkward moments. You don’t really know each other and don’t know how to talk and get along. It is pretty normal but as the weeks go on you get used to each other and things get better.

Well, Elder Choi and I skipped that awkward part and are just so open with each other. We were sitting in the living room one night talking this week and he looked at me and ripped the biggest fart ever!! At first with a new comp you always are like ok who is gonna fart first. It usually does not happen within the first week. When he ripped his I looked back and ripped one. We both just started to laugh and really open up and talk openly with each other.

Haha just so fun!! Since we are so open we are always asking what we can do better or work on or improve. It helps so much to be able to talk openly and really make changes to be better. Our weekly planning was one of the best ones on my mission so far!! Before I get to that I want to talk about the week to show how awesome our weekly planning was.

We did lots of door knocking and as we did people started to invite us in to sit down and have a lesson. This was very unusual. Most Aussies do not just invite you in on the spot. Well we got invited into 7 homes this week. As we taught each family we really focused on How to Begin Teaching. It is the key to letting people know why you are sharing this message and how they can act on it!! So in our comp studies we really focused on learning how we can start our lessons better. It helps and we got 5 new solid investigators and set one on date the next day!! Ivan is on for June 24. He invited us into his home before we even said any words. He studies about Joseph Smith and knows more than anybody. He already knows he is a prophet and the Book Of Mormon is true.

Another cool experience we had was following up with Ashley. She was a potential that was pretty nice to us and invited us to come back. Well we felt like we should come a day early to see her. A quick back story is that when the cyclone came it flooded her whole house that she just moved into and everything was ruined. She also lost her job and is having a really hard time. Well the day that we went to see her was the day she wanted to commit suicide!! She had called the life line to get help and comfort her but then we showed up!! She was just in tears and so emotional!! We again had a great How to Begin Teaching and it really helped her understand how this gospel can help her in her life, whatever she is going through!! It was a really cool lesson.

So those are some of the stories we had this week while finding investigators. The rest of them were pretty normal. Their names are Lennet, Michelle, Ivan, Sarah, Mathew, Samarian, and Ashley!!

It was just amazing to have this much success with really solid people who want to learn more. It was one of our best weeks on the mission. With all the new people we had to plan for them!! That was hard!! We did not have room on our little planners so we pulled out a white board and made these big huge lesson plans and ideas of how we can help them progress!! It was really fun!! I sent a picture so you can see!!

Our bishop never really liked the last missionaries here because they did not obey the rules or work so it has been hard to work without his support.  Well I wanted to change that with Bishop so we called him up and set a dinner appointment so we could really show him we are here to work and we need his help!! We had the best yoking visit with him and really got to know him and how we can help him!! Like I said it was the best week for mission work for us. So he was able to really help us this week in getting member presents.

Members are the key to mission work!! So the bishop helped us get a member present at most of the lessons we had with all the new investigators!! We also are starting to have lessons at the chapel with members!! It invites a great spirit and really helps them feel the spirit!!

I just love this gospel so much and it only gets better the harder we work and grow in testimony!! I thought I was figuring out mission work pretty well but this week was such a good growth week and opened up a huge potential for us to improve!!

I love this area and the members so much!! Elder Choi and I are going to have heaps of fun and success!!

Elder Cahoon

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 36 It is all in the attitude.

Wow skyping for Mother's Day was amazing!! It just makes it hard to figure out what to write in so little time!!

I guess I should start with my biggest change. We had our transfer day and I am still here in Beenleigh but Elder Paramore is gone!! We were only together for 6 weeks now is transferred. So today I got to drive him to the temple where all the elders and sisters meet and trade and switch companions. While there I saw Elder Hansen from the MTC again and it looks like I will never see Elder Johnson from the MTC. He got sent up north. haha He is the ZL up there. Good for him but darn, I want to see him. Anyway... all is great in Beenleigh. My new comp is Elder Choi from Korea, Seoul. Haha so now Elder Ahn has a Korean friend. He seems pretty awesome!! He speaks pretty good English already. He just finished getting trained so he is still pretty fresh. He has not had a baptism so I am excited to really work with him and get 2 or 3 in the next few weeks.

Another big thing that was really neat was going to the temple. I have not been in so long now. It has been almost a whole year. So going was so fun!! I forgot like half the stuff but learned so much. It was amazing to really just get out of the world and feel so close to Heavenly Father. The Brisbane temple is beautiful!! It is not huge but it is still great!! When I was sitting in the celestial room I had only been in there for 5-10 minutes and then felt prompted to leave the room. I thought no way man!! It has been so long since I have been in such a holy peaceful place. I am gonna stay a bit longer. Well I made a promise to never deny a prompting so I walked out and right as I did a temple worker said, "Brother we need you right now to do a sealing." There was a family doing their relatives names and they needed one more person to help. So I was able to go into a sealing room and participate in my first sealing. It was so spiritual. I thought wow it won’t be long before I am doing this with my wife. haha no haha That won’t be for awhile. haha just kidding. But still it was amazing to think that there is a family that now is sealed and could be with their family for eternity. This gospel is just so great!!

As for the last two weeks all of our investigators are going great!! Jody canceled her baptism but we talked with her and worked out her concerns and now she is ready and just thinking of a date in the next few weeks. It is so amazing to see a family accept and learn and live the gospel. Even when she canceled and was unsure of the church she never broke the word of wisdom. We also have a man I think I have mentioned from Croatia. I did not know his name at first but I got it at the last lesson. His name is Mathew. He is 70-80 years old and has smoked his whole life. Well, he gave it up just like that and has never looked back!! Now he will be getting baptized on June 10. His daughter is a convert and served a mission and he is living with her and her husband. They have been teaching him and reading from the Book Of Mormon every day. He loves the gospel.

On that note, to all the word of wisdom people, I hate the man who invented cigarettes. Man, are those things nasty!! The smell, the way it makes you look, the cost!! Everybody we see or door knock into smokes and it is just terrible!! I love being able to help people overcome such a stupid thing. Never take that first one. Geez!!

We have an investigator named Tracy who is struggling to give up smoking but we are getting there. She is doing great and we teach her a lesson every day. She has a bit of a fun story though. She is older and has never been married and she met a scammer on Facebook. They talked forever and now he is asking for money but she has none since she smokes. Don’t smoke it makes you sick and poor. Anyway she wanted me to talk to him to find out if he was a scammer or not. Ok so I looked at his Facebook and he is only following old ladies. haha We knew he was a scammer. Soooo... haha shout out to Uncle Tyler. I was talking back and forth to this guy and was like, "Hey Jeff we are on to you. My uncle works for the federal criminal violation department and we are on to you" haha I hope that is a real department. I remember my dad used it one time and I thought I would give it a try. Well it worked and this guy Jeff Smith from Nigeria has not said a word back. haha So I helped a helpless old lady from getting scammed. The mission is just so fun and you never know what will happen.

I can't remember much from last week and the week before. Time is just going by so fast!! I will hit my year mark in a few months. I keep looking back at my year in Luxembourg and how long it felt. It is all in the attitude. I have been so excited to serve and be here and now the time is just going by so fast. I have found that the more happy and positive you are the more enjoyable things are in general.

Well I am so excited to have a new companion and get to work with him. Things are going to be just great!! Next week's email is going to be so fun.

I love you all and hope you have a good week in the hot summer heat over there! haha It is winter over here. I saw my breath the other day but no snow. I got my hopes up but had to just forget it. Usually when it starts to get cold I get really excited for snow but I have to just get excited for cold now. All good, it is better than being really really hot all the time. 

Elder Cahoon

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 34 Satan works in crazy ways

Ok well this week was great but full of craziness as always, I wanna focus more on the fun crazy this email and a little bit of spiritual.

We started out the week with another trade off. This time it was me taking the new missionary from Korea. His name is Elder Ahn. I picked him up and was going to see how he is doing, teaching, finding, and adjusting. Well he slept the night and I asked what should we do for our workout. He said go for a run. YES!! I like that one. I am good at it.

So we started our run and got about 10 minutes from the flat. We were running in a grass field and a car had driven through it and created a big rut. Well Elder Ahn was going strong with me and then out of the corner of my eye I saw him fall. I looked back and he was grabbing his ankle. He thought he broke it and it swelled up fast and huge!! We waited a bit to see if he could walk back the 2 or 3 k's home. He made it one foot and then fell. We had no phone and really no way to get him back. So I made the decision to quickly sprint as fast as I could to the flat and only leave him for a second. haha Never leave your comp right? haha I sprinted the whole way home without throwing up!! Good job right? haha Got in the car and drove to go get him. He was alright and we got him back to the flat.

Our mission doctor is great!! He is from A.F. and came and checked in on him. He just tore a ligament and needed a brace. So we got a brace and he just had to ice it the whole day. So my trade off was spent on the couch watching the district videos. I am just a great district leader right!! Breaking my comps ankle his first few weeks out. My first trade off was a big flop!!

Ok another big crazy good thing this time. Jody is coming up to her date this Saturday so at the beginning of the week we had the word of wisdom lesson with her. Coffee is her big weakness!! I thought ahead and bought a huge thing of Milo, Not cousin Milo, it is hot chocolate that every Aussie just loves. When we had the lesson it always feels to them at first like we are taking something away. Well to help her feel better I offered her a deal, my Milo for all her coffee. She did not even take a second guess. She jumped right up, got her coffee and gave all of it to us!! haha She is just the best investigator ever!! Saturday is going to be so great!!

Now my comp and I have a huge thing of coffee in our flat. haha We won't drink it but we thought it would be funny when our mission president inspects our flat and sees it. He is so fun and will have a big laugh about it!!

As for the father of the family, he is still not too interested but we understand where he is coming from. The only lessons that he has sat in on are all the ones that are "rules" you could say, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, Commandments. So to him right now it looks like another church with all these rules. We wanna have him listen to the resto lesson and watch the Joseph Smith movie, that could change all of it. They are a great family, I took some photos with them that you can see, they are the ones with the kids and family. So great!!

My mom asked how it is going with the Thai guy Steven and his partner Ellie. Well to answer you mom, great for them terrible for us. Now I bet you are thinking what the? How is that possible? They are just another great family with two young kids, a two year and a 12 month old. We had a lesson at the door on Wednesday since Steven was not there and there was not a male for us. So we got another day to come back where we could teach them both. Saturday. Now how could it be good for them but bad for us? We came back on Saturday and sat down with them and just talked for a bit. They have known Mormons and elders for 4 years. So things were going well. We were right about to get to Joseph Smith with them in the lesson. The spirit was there. It was so strong. We were about to testify and then we heard the biggest crash and then explosion. Ellie went running to the door, as did I, only to see that a car had crashed right into our car. Satan works in crazy ways to stop the work from progressing you could say. haha

Long story short, it was the kid’s first time driving a car. His dad was in the car. They pulled out of their drive way made it 10 feet down the road and then hit our car. It was parked on the curb and not in the way at all. The kid just stepped on the gas and not the break. Classic newbie mistake. Too bad we have to pay for it.

Ellie was laughing so hard and said, “At least it was you elders and not some crazy guy that would be mad!” Then she laughed and said, “Ha, you are gonna be on push bikes again.” No way!! We put the spare on and our mission office is getting it fixed this week. haha crazy!!

So things are going great!! Tracy also gave up coffee and smoking this week. Things are just going so great!! We had stake conference this weekend and that was so cool to see hundreds of members and families!! I love this gospel so much and I’m so glad it is a part of our lives!!

I have to go, we have interviews with President today. Love you all, have a good one family and friends.

Elder Cahoon


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Week 33 Quite the Run

Haha I am so sorry to all those who have to wait to hear from me. Aussies love to put all their holidays on Monday and for 4 weeks in a row.

Time is just flying by!! It feels like April just started and I had my birthday. Now it is May.

My week was just amazing as always!! It started out with just the typical door knocking and we found a great family that we have started teaching. Their names are Steven and I think Ellie. The dad is from Thailand so I can say a few words to him like “hi, how are you” and “do you have some food for me.” haha Elder Bo was good at teaching me.

As our week went on I got a call from our APs. They are the best!! Elder Fukafuka and Jackson are both from Utah but one was born in Tonga. Anyway, they called me on Tuesday and invited me to attend what we call Golden Orientation. This is when they take all the new missionaries that just got here and sorta train them for two days and show them the ropes. Well, I never went to mine since I flew up north right off the bat. So they invited me to come and attend.

They held the training in the chapel next to the temple so I got to spend two whole days seeing and being by the temple. I am so grateful for the temple and cannot wait to go inside in a few weeks.

At the training I was the "oldest" missionary. All those around me had just come. So I got picked on a lot. No in a bad way, but a scary way. President McSwain and the APs would always call on me and have me give my advice. I was ok with that and had heaps of fun trying to help out.

The real scare came when the APs invited me to teach a whole big lesson to President McSwain and his wife. I was pretty nervous. They went pretty hard on me. They pretended to be catholic and really tried to get me on the trinity. I had a strong spirit with me and we ended up having a really good lesson and I set President McSwain on date to get baptized. Haha so fun.

Going to a beginners training after being out for 9 months really helps you pick up on all that you forgot. I was so surprised all the little things that I missed out on or forget. So I learned heaps of stuff that will help me serve.

Quick funny story time now. We stayed there for two days and stayed in a really fancy hotel in the city. That was cool. In the morning our mission does what we call snap gravity. It is a workout that we do to defeat the natural man. It started with a big run from the hotel to the temple. About 4 km away. As we run through the city we stop at all the stoplights and do little workouts like push ups, squats, and ab workouts. I told myself I was going to give it my all. So I did. I was so tired and sore but I kept going.

When we got to the temple we had a quick workout on the grass and then did a big run back to the hotel. Well I was not feeling very well but Elder Jackson challenged me to a race back to the hotel. Come on mate lets go!! We sprinted the whole way and when we were nearing the finish line about 4 blocks away I could not hold it back. As we passed a little outdoor breakfast restaurant I let loose a beast!! As I passed I threw up all over the road and all in front of all the people eating. I kept running though. Elder Jackson passed me and said, “Are you ok?” “Yes keep going”. haha We had the biggest laugh after and it was so funny!!

When we got back to the hotel we showered and went to more training throughout the day.

That was a great time to learn and grow and then I got to apply it the last few days of the week.

Our baptism of the two girls sparked an interest in the mom and she is going under the water the day before mother's day!! She is so excited and when we announced it in church during sacrament she stood up while bishop announced it and told everyone how excited she was. It was pretty funny!! It has been so great to teach her and have her know it is true. She has looked around a bit for the right church and knows now she found it!! It is great!!

Their dad has not taken any interest the whole time until just a few days ago. He sat down with me and really started to ask questions and show an interest!! It gave us a great opportunity to testify how much the gospel will bless your family and help you live a good life. This was his first lesson really and it was on the plan of salvation but just a little part of it. But we felt so prompted to invite him to be baptized. Well he said he had never thought about it but is going to now. His wife is really helping him and the members are so great!!

We had the first counselor invite us over for dinner and also invited the Boyces. That is the family name. Anyway the whole family came and they loved it. We could not really teach the family with a good spirit because the kids were being crazy and causing noise and panic for the parents. Well our bishop showed up at the door unannounced and said he felt prompted to come. Well it worked out amazing. The family got to meet the bishop and the first counselor took the kids out to play. We had an amazing spirit and he will be on date soon. He said he just wants to make sure this is right and not to be rushed. All is well and he will come around with time and fellowship.

Our other big miracle was on trade off with my ZL from AF. He went to AFHS so we had a bit of a rivalry going but overcame our differences and became powerful teachers. We set some amazing plans and then had a member call us up and say, ‘I have nothing today. Can I tag along with you!!“ Haha yes!! It was amazing. He came with us to two people. Elle and Tracy!! Elle was on the verge of crying the whole lesson about family and Gods love for families. She is just a great new investigator. Having a member with us really helped too to get that connection. The big miracle though was our lesson with a new investigator, Tracy. She knows the church really well and loves it. After we had a powerful lesson on Jesus Christ and his love for us to establish a church and prophet she said yes to baptism on June 16. We prayed really hard about this date and it paid off!! That was her birthday!!

I guess I just want to bare testimony on the reality of this gospel and how much God is in charge of this work. So many things have happened that show me that God loves his children and has a plan for them to accept the gospels and as I plan by the spirit and do the Lord's will, miracles happen. I testify that this is the church of Jesus Christ in the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

Love you all, 
Elder Cahoon