Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 41 Double Baptisms

Haha. Wow what a week. I am not doing individual emails today so I can type a big email. Heaps of amazing things happened this week!! I love being on a mission so much. Sorry fam I might have time at the end to do a personal one.

Ok I want to start with the BAPTISMS!!!! haha yes!!!! It finally happened after Jody missed her last one we made sure she would not miss this one!! Matthew was not even a worry about canceling. He was so ready. This whole week we went and saw both of them every night to keep things going strong. After each visit we just felt so good. The Boyce family are amazing and you can see them growing in love for each other and testimony!! This gospel blesses lives!!

The time came for the 2 interviews on Friday and there was a huge car wreck on the way so both the Zone Leaders and us were running way late!! As most of you know I can navigate myself pretty well so we went on an adventure through the bush roads the back way. We ended up finding a shortcut that passed all the traffic and we made it to both of their interviews on time.

Matthew was first and he put on a big feast for the ZL and us. Again some kind of meat that was really good. I think pork. Well he is just the type of man that anyone could get along with. We had a really fun dinner and proceeded to have his interview!! He passed and we moved on to Jody just down the road. She was ready and so excited. It was a fast interview. She just knows her stuff.

We did this Friday night before the baptism and went to bed and then woke up at 6 to be ready by 8 to start filling the font. Two hours later we had a font full of hot water!!

Both Matthew and Jody showed up early so we went through what we would be going to do. Elder Paramore and his comp from Germany got permission to come and Elder Paramore gave a great talk!!

The time finally came for the baptism part and I hopped into the water and then Jody came down. We got all ready and I said everything right and then dunked her. Her arm stuck out so I pushed it down. When she came up the witnesses said you forgot amen. So Jody blurts out in an awesome way "AMEN." Haha. We had to do it over and we got it right the second time. It was so fun. It was my first time baptizing someone. It was a neat experience. I got out and Matthew and his son-in-law Ofaatu got in. I stood at the stairs to watch. It was beautiful to see two souls be forgiven of all their sins and look so happy. It brought me so much joy and a deeper drive to get out and work harder.

This happened on the 24th and it also happened to be the McSwains anniversary. So our AP sent out a mission text without the president knowing but we made a goal to set 42 baptismal dates for the 42 years that they have been married. Well after our baptism we prayed to be led by the spirit to know who to see so we could set a solid date. Well we were blessed and set 3. Tracy for the 15 of July. Ivan for the 15 of July. And a less-active's son named Joshiah for the 22 of July. Things are just going so well right now.

Elder Choi and I found our groove and are doing heaps better. We now go to an English class on Saturdays with a senior couple and all the Asian missionaries in the mission. It is the bomb!!

On this day the AP's had us text them every time we set one so they could send it to the whole mission and inspire us and see miracles. Well I got a message from Sam in Ayr. Elder Fukafuka (our AP) is on trade off up there with Elder Martin who took my place and committed Sam to finally give up his smoking habit. He made a solemn oath that he would do it this week so he could enter the water of baptism so that in a year in July 2018 he can go to the temple with Elder Cahoon!! He still remembers me and calls every so often. You have to be a member a year before going to the temple but he is determined to do it and do it with me!! I am so excited to have him come down and enter the temple with me right before I go home.

Speaking of my old area, I got word that Angus is not baptized but his son is I think. They are still coming along but just need constant work. Someday.

Oh this Sunday after the baptism Jody asked if I would confirm her. Geez I got so scared. We have an awesome ward and she is a great person but I hate giving blessing in front of people. Haha. I said I would though and got up and was also able to give her the Holy Ghost and a blessing. It was scary!! My legs were shaking like crazy but we got through it and then Bishop announced that he was moving so next week we will have a new bishop. So Matthew wanted bishop to have the privilege to do his confirmation right before he leaves. It was a good way to send off our bishop with convert baptisms and confirmations.

Things just keep going great and I really am praying I don’t get transferred this week. We find out on Saturday. Things are just amazing in this area. It took me 8 months in my first area to get 1 baptism and here I get 2 every transfer!! What could be better? The Lord is in control of his work though and I will go where he needs me. What a blessing it is to serve him though.

Another big thing that happened this week was that we got a new car!! We got a new one that Sister McSwain was driving. To let you know about Sister McSwain, she is petrified of driving so she does not. So the car is practically brand new!! She got a brand new car though. The mission got the new 2017 Toyota Corollas. It was cool to see 4 new cars all driving in a row. The mission is getting a big upgrade. We have been getting newer nicer flats and getting rid of all the really old cars that are a bit bruised.

Well I hope this was a bit more info for everyone. I love writing and telling you all about it. Time is going by so fast and the Lord is helping me so much. Some days I just want to sleep. Well one day we did. haha oops. We had lunch and then both feel asleep in our cars for a bit.

This week I am trying to work more on obedience so when I roll out of bed in the morning I pray for strength. Everyday we seem to just keep going and going and sometimes I have no clue how. I am always so tired. This is hard work but if you are preparing to serve a mission know this. It is the best work. After a baptism you feel so amazing and all the "bad" is made up. I have never done drugs before but there is no way anything can compare to that feeling you get when you know you helped save a soul. I love you all and testify that Jesus is the Christ. Joseph Smith was his messenger on the earth and restored the true authority of God to preform baptism and priesthood ordinances. Love you all, until next week.

Elder Cahoon

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 40 Learning to get along

Wow!!! This week went by fast, partly since I emailed like 4 days ago. Well a lot happened in those 4 days.

I will start with Elder Choi and I. We have gotten along really well the last few weeks but this week something was up. He was sleeping in, he never talked for 4 days, not even in lessons. He was easily angered. So we sat down and talked for 2 hours. He has been letting all the little things I do that bug him build up and then the day we talked he exploded. Americans and Koreans have a pretty big culture difference. His standards are a bit higher than what we were doing. We had a really good talk and are both working on doing things different to make it easier on each other.

I felt bad, some of the stuff is stuff I don't even know I do. For instance, I talk too loud and it really makes him angry. It is a good thing I was working on being humble this week. I can’t change my nature but I will try to do things different so it doesn’t make him go off again. President McSwain challenged us to do good things for each other every day and make it a competition. So I make his bed every morning. He has yet to do anything but I will deal with it. A big thing president told him was you have to accept the Aussie culture. He is a Korean who is trying to live Korean culture in Australia. It was causing way too much stress. So far with our talk things are going way better.

Ok only 6 more minutes on the computer.

Matthew and Jody are still going strong and both came to church so they will be getting baptized this Saturday!! I am so excited!! I sent a picture with me and Matthew and his family. Matthew is the older looking bloke. We are making daily contact with him and he makes a mean feed for us every time, even if we have already eaten dinner. When I get home every one will ask what is the craziest thing you ate right? Well I will be able to say two now. Kangaroo and Aussie Deer. Deer is not super crazy but it is still not normal over here so it was really fun!!

Elder Choi and I were teaching a man named Ivan and he is a really old stubborn Baptist. Lesson after lesson we invite him to be baptized and he is finally praying about it. We took our Elders Quorum president with us to a lesson and they hit it off really well, the only problem is Bro Gordon is leaving for Utah today. For the Murrays this will make sense. He is the neighbor to that really rich guy that Dexter took us to for New Years last year. He is Kiwi but has a vacation house in that really rich neighborhood. Crazy!! His house here is huge too.

At one of the lessons we had before we went to see Ivan I was saying our prayer and as I did I prayed that we would be able to baptism him, even if it meant having a baptism for the dead. Hahaha Elder Choi just lost it when I said that and I could not finish my prayer. He is pretty old but man it was just one of those fun mission moments.

Our ward is the best at helping us. We have been setting appointments with investigators a few days out and having members come with us. It is the key to it all. To have a normal person there is so great!! Especially if it is a friend of theirs!!

Lachland is overcoming hard drugs right now like weed and meth. The awesome part is he wants to change but even better we have a convert that was baptized in January who is preparing for the priesthood. Anyway he was in the same situation so it makes it perfect to bring him along because he knows what Lachland is feeling and how to help!!

The work is going so great in Beenleigh and I love it so much!! I want to give Sister Cahoon a big shout out for leaving on her mission!!! Good luck in the MTC sis it gets better when you get in the field. She is going to be a great missionary who brings lots of lost sheep into the fold!! Love you sis.

Well I love everyone else too. Have a good week. I forgot it was summer break over there!! Enjoy the heat!! I don’t miss it. Haha It is nice and cool all day long right now.

Love, Elder Cahoon

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 39 Heaps to say and no time

Ah sorry to be so late on this email. We had temple P-day so I just got out of the temple then had to have an interview with president. Man I have so much to say and no time to say it. We keep having great week after great week!!! Oh man I love being on a mission and have so many great spiritual experiences to share from this week. I’ll start with Lachland.

At the beginning of our week all of our set lessons fell through so we went door knocking for the whole day. Sometimes that can really suck but this day was just the best!! We door knocked into Lachland and before we even said anything he invited us in and we started to teach. Things went good with him. He had a great knowledge and loved learning what we were sharing. Well we left and did not get a return appointment but the next day we felt like stopping by and as we did he was home and had us in for another lesson. We were just going to invite him to church but during our lesson we invited him to baptism. He was so excited for the offer and he is one date for the 24 of this month. He did not come to church so we will move it a week back but he has been so prepared by the Lord. He is 21 and his mom came into the lesson and we asked if we could do anything for her. Her reply was, “Make sure my son becomes a Mormon.” Haha. It was such a shock!! He has been progressing so fast and we are so excited for him.

So the other good news is that the 24th of June will be a mad house at the chapel. We will be having 3 baptisms that day. Two are set and solid. The other is Lachland who might go the next week. Still 3 keen awesome investigators. Jody and Matthew are so ready and we are seeing them tonight for dinner and to go over the interview questions!! Man it is just so great!!

We have had the best week and have seen so many miracles. The Lord is definitely running this work. We could not do it without him.

A big strength that Elder Choi and I have is teaching at the door. People always ask who we are and we break the ice with them and then just start teaching. The spirit always takes over and we talk about so many great things about the church. It makes me so sad when people listen and hear our lesson and reject it or when they say we are not Christian. This week it got to me. So when an old lady said we were not Christian I asked what does it take to be Christian. #1 you have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Ok yup. #2 that he died for us. #3 believe the bible. Well to my very basic non-professional understanding we believe all that. Well this lady did not see eye to eye with us. So we humbly left and just felt so bad that she will be accountable at the judgment bar of God and will have to eat those words. Man it bugged me!!

Another fun thing this week was just going to church. It felt like going to my home ward. I am pretty knowledgeable of all the members and we all get along so much!! Having dinner every night really helps. At church we all joke around and get along really well with each other.

We had Ivan and Matthew both come to church and Ivan really got along with all the members and just talked and talked with them!! Matthew comes so much he is like a member already.

The next day we had a family home evening with the Cotters. We usually don't have anyone come to the activity but tonight was a big change!! We had 12 people there and 2 investigators. Tracy came along and so did Ivan. Most of the people were active members but we did have a less active member and her kids. It was just such a fun night full of activity and love. Everyone got along and we all had a good chat and laugh.

Sorry this is all over the place. I have heaps to say and no time.

We just got back from the temple and it was the coolest experience. I love going to the temple. It is such a great escape from the world and I learned heaps of stuff that I didn’t pick up on before. It is so cool to go to the temple after having just gone. We get to go every transfer so it is so great to go to the house of the Lord.

After the temple we got to have interviews with the mission president. I love President McSwain so much and have so much respect for him. My interview was the bomb!! We had so long together and I really got some help and advice!! When we were getting interviewed Elder Cadiang showed up and I got to talk for and hour with him. Man I hated him as a trainer but I love him so much now!! I am so thankful for the example he set for me to be better. I was such a hard missionary to train for sure. He is a great elder. I am so glad I got to talk and catch up with him. You truly make some great friends out on the mission. I always go around when I can and talk with all the missionaries. We have some great elders and sister in this zone.

I give you all my love and hope this email gives you an idea of my mission and how many miracles I have seen and how much love I have for this work and for the Lord. I want to email my family now so I hope this is enough for the week.

Elder Cahoon

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 38 Fire! Fire! Couch on Fire!

WOW, I have no time to type and so much to say!!

I will just be brief in the stories...

We had a great lesson again with Ashley and invited her to get baptized. It was a powerful lesson full of the spirit.  When we invited her she said, "Oh I was already baptized." We thought we explained it so well, well it turns out she was baptized. haha So she is inactive and a part member family. So that was a really funny experience to have.

On the crazy side of stories, I always have one. We were helping an old man who lives in the bush mow his lawn. He lives in a big tall house and is too old to come down. Well we made a big pile of rubbish to burn and he yelled down to us, “I don’t have a lighter but I will light a book on my stove and throw it out the window to you to put on the fire.” I was against it but he was stubborn. It went well and he threw it out to us. The big pile was lit and we hear the smoke alarm going off. We thought it was from the stove but it turns out when he lit the book on the stove a page fell out on fire and landed on the couch. I felt strongly prompted to run up and see how he was. I started out walking up since I did not think anything was wrong. Well I felt a need to sprint the rest of the way up the hill into the house! His whole side of the couch was on fire and getting bigger. The whole house was full of smoke and the old guy was in the kitchen getting a cup of water to put on it. He is really slow, so by the time he saw the fire to the time he had the water the flame just got huge!! So I frantically started to fill a huge jug to put it out, it took some time and water damage but the good news is his house did not burn down, just the couch. It was so crazy!!

Ok the other awesome thing was Mathew!! He is just progressing so fast!! We moved his baptism to the 24 of June. That is the same date Jody is on. They are both really solid and ready to go!! So the 24 is going to be really good. Matthew is such a good guy. We saw him a couple of time this week and really got to know him and his family!!! His daughter was a convert and served a mission and never thought anyone in her family would ever want to join the church. Her father Matthew grew up in Croatia. He has smoked and drank to the point of death several times but has seen the great example of his daughter and wants to be like her. Our lessons are so fun. When we went over the word of wisdom he loved to tell that he already gave up. He was the same when we went over the commandments. He was like, "I already do that!!" haha He is just so prepared by the Lord and his family to enter the waters of baptism. I am so excited for him and his family.

The work is just going great here in Beenleigh. I wish I had more time to tell and write more. I feel bad it is only a bit, but it gives you a taste of what I am going through.

I just want to end with my testimony since I have a minute left. I know this church is true. We were able to have zone conference and really learned more. Sometime it can get hard when we door knock and get rejected so much but at zone conference we learned how important it is for us to keep going. This work is progressing so much faster than we can see and I truly know that the Lord has a bigger plan than what we can see. He runs this church and I know it is true. The work goes on no matter how much persecution we get. It just pains me so see how many people get the opportunity to hear our message and pass it up. They pass on our message so much. They miss out on knowing how much Heavenly Father loves them. They miss out on learning about their own personal salvation. They miss the opportunity for their children to grow up with more guidance and protection. It is just great to have such a true church on the earth. I know that God loves us and wants to help us if we are willing to listen and ask. I know the church is true and that God has a plan for me. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I am so grateful I am serving right now and even though it is so hard it is so fun to see people accept the gospel and its teaching!!
Love you all,

Elder Cahoon