Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 46 Fasting Really Works

Boy we had the most fun filled week this week. You are gonna love the spiritual side of things and the funny Elder Cahoon side of things.

My zone really struggles with getting new investigators to teach so as a zone we had a 24 hour fast that we would be able to each find a new investigator. We have the coolest story from it.

It happened to be the hottest day when we decided to do this fast. So it was hard to stay away from water. We decided to knock a street called Honeyeater. It was 2 k's long and we did both sides. From the whole street we got nothing. It was the craziest street we have knocked. A whole bunch of crazies. Things were just not looking up. We were so tired from being in the sun for 4 hours with no water but we pushed on. We taught some lessons and it was rolling about to that time of the night when there is nothing to do because it is too late. We felt prompted to go street contacting and when we parked at the place we both crashed. It was 8:30 and we had 30 minutes left of our dying state. I got the prompting so clearly to talk to this lady who was walking past our car but my body did could not do it. The spirit was willing but the body was weak. I thought nah it was just my head, well she walked by again coming from the other way. Talk to her!!! Ugh I am too tired.

Upon her walking by the 3rd time she just stopped in front of our car. We mustered up enough strength to get out of the car finally and right as we did she talked to us. How are you she asked? Good you? We struck up a conversation and she is just amazing. Her name is Titania from Brazil. We talked on the side of the road for 10 minutes and then she invited us into a mall area with a bench. We asked if she believed in God and she did so we shared how much he loves us and wants to show us the way. He does it through prophets. It was amazing after I had shared that little statement she just broke out into tears, not crying hysterical tears but like the spirit touched her heart. She was on call for work for a delivery company and right as we shared that she had to go. We got her number and have made more contact throughout the week. We got her Portuguese pamphlets and a Book Of Mormon in Portuguese. The saddest part about this whole thing is that she is so awesome and even is sharing the gospel with her friends from her building but she lives one block outside of our area. Still in our zone but not our area!! NOOOO we have not given the referral yet but have taught a lesson. We are waiting for our district leader to go home next week so we can hit it off with the new D.L Fasting really works and even though in Australia it is hot and you want to die it is worth it!!

Funny story time, mom this is the one I was talking about. As we door knocked Honeyeater there was a house with a massive gate and fence, the gate was open so we walked in and knocked on the door. An old lady in PJs told us to go away so as we left she ran back out and said, "Wait how did you get in?? My gate is always locked!!" We said, “No it was open, we walked in.” She said “That’s weird” and walked back in. When we got to the gate to get out it was locked. Now the problem was not getting in but getting out. There was no dog so we were good there but there was no way we were going to tell this lady that the gate locked itself. There was no way out and we did not know what to do. It would look bad if we try and jump it. We told her we did not jump it. So we walked around the yard like ninjas trying not to get caught. Finally we gave up and decided we needed to jump it. It was so funny I made it up and over and then fell right on my face on the other side. My leg got caught on the top when I jumped over. It was like when you try and jump over a tennis net and your foot gets caught. It was so funny. No injuries but I bet whoever was watching almost died of laughter. It was so weird.

Oh some big news that I want to share is we have a new Ward Mission Leader who is the best!! Every body in the ward just loves him and this month for August we are doing member mission month. He got the ball rolling on Sunday since it was a 5th Sunday we got up with him and talked about what we as a ward are going to do for mission work. I am so excited and hope I stay in this area for a long time. The members are so great!! My only complaint about this area is the food. It is so good but they give so much!! I get sick at every dinner. I have never ate so much food. Almost every night we have a roast or pork or some kind of fancy dinner with heaps of food. Aussies don’t let you dish your own food. Boy they give me heaps. I love it but hate it. By the end i am so full. The other night I was praying saying Help me finish this food. There is just way too much! haha It was so funny!!

We have done heaps of finding and finding is great but you don’t really get anything from it. The zone does heaps of finding but never follows up. So they never have new investigators. This week we had a miracle follow up. We found Shae last week door knocking and got her number. When we followed up (that is the key) Follow up. She invited us in and we had the first lesson with her while her father listened from the side room. She took so much comfort in a living prophet. It was amazing to see the spark in her eyes go when it clicked for her. She still needs to learn more and get a strong witness but it was so cool. Usually when the dad walks in a lesson he tells us off but Mark, her father, wanted to learn more too. We just roll in the new investigators. That night we went to a dinner with some members and we were getting to know them. They have a daughter in college. We asked what she studies and she said education. Shae also studies that so we asked on the off chance that she would know her and to our surprise they are in the same class!! I testify that the Lord has a plan for all of his children. Holy cow what are the chances?!! Shea now has great fellowship and we have a friend to come to lessons with us to fellowship!!

On the fourth week of every transfer all the Zone Leaders gather together at the chapel across from the temple and discuss each zone, strengthens, weakness, and help needed. The APs give a few training and then President McSwain talks to us for a bit. It was so much fun!! We have the best mission. Everyone is doing so good right now and I just love being a missionary. It was so cool to see how much the Elders really care about the zone, I did not know how much planning went into each area and elder. Everything is recorded, noted, and saved. Diligence is key and it is so fun!! We got to see the numbers for the mission and discuss why some months were better than August and why March was miserable March for us. It was just a really good learning experience for me and inspired me to me the best I can be!!

That activity is called MLC which stands for Mission Leadership Counsel. Anyway it took up all day and we had to leave straight away to go interview people for baptism. Elder Paulino from up north is smashing it down here with the baptisms. So I got to interview one of the girls and the mom had to get interviewed by President McSwain. He came down behind us with his family but his family left him to go to the city and explore. They were visiting from Utah. Anyway after the interview he was stranded at the chapel and asked if he could catch a ride with us. Elder Westbrook threw me the keys and said, "You drive."
Since he is half Chinese he is not very good at driving. I don’t want to scare you mom but he is bad. We almost crashed into a garage door that was down yesterday. So I do more driving now that he has almost crashed. Back to President McSwain though. I was petrified to drive with my mission president in the car. We had to drive pretty far with him to the city in our area. His wife was on the phone saying we don’t know where we are, there is a big round building by us. haha We were in a city. What big tall round building?? It got stressful navigating a city with no clue where we are and the mission President in the front seat. To make it worse we were low on petrol and the car said we had 10 k's. It was so fun but scary but fun!! haha We found our way around and got him back with his family!! What a day and night!! 

It is so fun to hear from back home so email me!! It is fun to hear from everybody!! I hope you all have a good week.

Elder Cahoon

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 45 Things are starting to pick up.

Another week has come and gone. Time is just flying right now.

As you know going to the temple was just great!! It really got us going for the week and we had our most productive week. As for my finger I can make a fist now but it is still very big and painful. Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor.

A few weeks ago I spoke about Roslyn. We have been hit and miss with her and finally we caught her at a time that we could sit down and teach. It was a pretty okay lesson. She had heaps of questions and was all over the place but once we got into the groove things went great!! We taught about having faith and praying for answers...She said oh I pray all the time and have never got an answer. We asked well how do you pray...I pray to Mary. We could not hold back the laughs. haha Oh well that is why you are not getting answers. Mary is just a normal person who was Jesus’ mom. She is not the source of all truth. haha It was just one of those mission moments. She said a prayer for us and prayed to Heavenly Father, we will see how the follow up goes this week.

In our Zone we had a baptism on Saturday and it was amazing to see this man and the testimony that he has. He is from Brazil and when we went to do the interview I said, “eu falo Portugues.” haha It means I speak Portuguese, but I don’t really. That is just all I know how to say. It took him by surprise and he went off in Portuguese at me. He lives in one of the tallest building in Gold Coast and on the top floor so when we did the interview we had the best view in the whole world!! Early in the morning he says he sees whales jump up and breach. While we were interviewing I was watching a massive wave brake and there were 2 dolphins on the wave surfing it. It was the coolest thing ever. They kept jumping out and riding the wave.

Gustavo is his name and when he first met the elders he said he did not believe in God or anything. Man his testimony now is so powerful!! He is quite the guy!! It is just so amazing right now to see someone’s life go from being totally lost and hopeless to having the strongest testimony and the most happiness they have ever felt.

When he got baptized the size of the smile on his face was massive!! He was just so amazing and he got up at the service and gave the purest testimony ever!! I love hearing a recently baptized persons testimony. It is pure and from the heart! They only know the basics but what they do know is true. It is just amazing!!

Man at the baptism I was on trade off with Elder Tuitama who is Samoan. He got up and asked the bishop if we could sing a musical item. So when we got there he told me we would be singing all by ourselves. I was ok with it up north since we had heaps of people but this time it was just us. Oh man it was so embarrassing. I was going to die. haha I love to sing but not in front of heaps of people. It went well though and people said we did a good job. It must have been a sight to see though.

Things just keep pushing on. We are having a great time in this area and things are starting to pick up. When I got here we only had 2 investigators but now we have about 7 or 8 and things are looking up.

One of the members referral is Rebecca. She has been so busy and still has never had time for an appointment but this week when we followed up again she said I am busy now but please don’t give up on me. Haha ok you said it not us. She is great and in 3 weeks when she stops working she will progress really fast!!

I am going to die when I go back to Utah. I am so used to being hot right now that when it gets cold I get really cold. It has only gotten down to like 18 degrees, which is like 60, but man that is so cold right now. I bet I sound like a wimp but man I just shiver to death!! It is so cold. I can’t imagine going home to below zero temperatures.

Love you all have a good week,

Elder Cahoon 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Week 44 Be Humble or . . .

This week was a bit of a late email due to us going to the temple today. (Wednesday) So we had to wait until today to email. Sorry about that.

This week was pretty normal as far as mission work goes. Right now our members are really getting the hang of member mission work and it makes it so much easier for us to do mission work when we have the members on board. It is really great!

One thing I have found is that if I work hard, Elder Westbrook will work hard but as I slack he will slack. So it has been hard to go go go and keep things going when if I stop he stops. But non the less we still are doing good.

He came down with a sickness that caused him to want to receive a blessing. We talked about stories of people being healed from cancer and other sicknesses so when he got his blessing he was very hopeful to wake up the next morning and be healed. Well long story short he work up even sicker. We got to talking that day and I started to boast of myself. Never again. So long story short again this week I learned a really good lesson on being humble.

Our conversation went like this. I bet if I broke a bone and asked for a blessing I could be healed. I have seen some really cool miracles on my mission so I thought I had enough faith. Literally 1 hour later we got out of a meeting with our bishop and started to throw an American football around. I went up for a catch and it hit my ring finger so hard and really hurt it. I thought nothing of it just a hurt finger. Well for the next few days it got huge and really big and I could not move it. So the mission doctor had a look and declared it a broken finger. Heavenly Father was really putting me to the test. I mean I did ask for a broken bone I guess, so I could show my amazing faith and be healed. So I learned first that Heavenly Father has a good sense of humor and to not boast of myself because as to my strength I am week. Haha it was pretty funny but now my finger really hurts!!

While at the temple today we got to have interviews with our mission president and he is just the best. It is like talking with an apostle. He is so amazing. He shared with me how really doing mission work 24/7 can be hard but the Lord will give us strength. It was just amazing. He just goes 24/7.

This week we were a bit slow in mission work. None of our investigators kept their appointments so we had to do a lot of finding and following up. Some people can be so funny at the door and we have gotten pretty cleaver to catch people in their words and in a sense use their own words against them. haha

The only real investigator we have is named Celia and she is on date to be baptized September 15. Her only set back is her boyfriend . They are dating and getting married on the 24 of September so it is a bit weird that she is getting baptized before. In our lesson on the law of chastity she planned out when she will obey it so she can get baptized. It is a really weird situation that I got transferred into.

The big news I found out is Sam and Angus from up in Charters and Ary are both getting baptized in September and are going really good right now. It was so fun to hear that all that hard work is paying off for the elders up there. We have a saying in our mission, when one elder baptizes we all baptize. It is so fun to help lift others up and get excited for those that are doing good.

Thanks for the love and prayers. Have a good week and be humble or it will bite you in the butt.


Elder Cahoon

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 43 The Gold Coast is crazy


The houses here are massive!! Knocking doors is really interesting. Most of the homes have the new camera doorbells at the gate in front of the house. So we can go 10 doors and never see a person but still talk to them. It can get frustrating. Still the work goes on and we have still had success. It is just a lot slower.

This is still the Lord’s work and he has been preparing people. We knocked into a nice lady named Roslyn who really took to the Plan of Salvation. We had a brief lesson at the door and she invited us to come back. Now that I am a zone leader I have do go on trade off a lot more. Well Elder Westbrook my comp left me hanging in the area. He left to go with the other elders and I had to figure out what we were going to do for a day. Lots of door knocking but that’s beside the point. Elder Tuitama and I went back to see Roslyn and she invited us to the back of her mansion. It is right on the lake with a great view. She wanted to come to church and really thinks it is amazing that God has called a prophet again. She is an older lady with huge potential.

In all my areas the members have never really shared the gospel with their friends. I am not bagging on them but this area the members are so proactive in sharing the gospel. I have a fun story with a spiritual side too.

So one day after 3 hours of painful door knocking we really wanted Dominos Pizza. So when we finished we looked it up in our GPS and drove to the location. There was no shop there so we went to another one and then another one. Each one was a fair bit away from each other and we were getting frustrated that we could not find this pizza. Lo and behold we spent our whole lunch driving looking for pizza and decided to have our companion study in the car while we drove to the last location. Again no pizza. We were starving at this point and had wasted an hour. Yeah that sounds bad but there was a reason our desire for pizza was so strong. We kept saying ah lets give up but we kept feeling the need to keep looking. Well we decided to call a member and ask if she knows where a shop is for pizza. As we called here she told us in 5 minutes she was having a non member come over to her home to talk about the Book of Mormon. What the heck right. So we dropped every thing and drove to this member’s house a few minutes away. When we got there he was there with her and asked why we stopped by. This is where it gets great. She said, “They are coming over for lunch. I got pizza for them:)” haha No way what the heck just happened. We got a new investigator named Dave and a free lunch that just happened to be pizza. If that does not grow your testimony I don’t know what will. God works in so many neat ways. It all started from a really deep pizza craving but ended in sharing the gospel with a man who has been prepared by God. It was really cool.

The members always carry a Book of Mormon around and give them out. It makes it way easier to do the work. We can knock on 1000 doors and get 1 solid investigator or we can have a member invite them and the chance goes up to 660 in 1000 to have a solid investigator. I will take those chances any day.

Another member had us over and told us about a friend that has a son who has been going to mutual and wants to come to church. We went to stop by the address and both the young kid and mom invited themselves to church. The best part with this family is they are best friends with a member family. They live in a massive house right on the beach. It is in my photos and looks squarish but has lots of floors. There are five floors and an elevator in the house. It’s crazy here on the coast.

Anyway even though the work is hard it keeps going in ways you never see. At church I was asked to give the opening prayer. It was fun to meet all the members and see their readiness to share the gospel.

For Sunday school, the lady giving the lesson is the one with the pizza miracle and her lesson was on members being missionaries. She shared our little experience and then another member shared her referral story. The members are so ready to go now. I can’t wait to have dinner with them. We still get fed every night which is really good.

Elder Westbrook and I are going ok. He likes to take charge and teach all by himself. He taught a whole lesson to one of our investigators on date. I tried to speak but kept getting cut off. It was frustrating. But I will talk to him about it. He is sorta the kid that likes to do things himself. So we are struggling a bit but are doing better. Ah the other thing that drives me nuts is his ability to fart 100 times a day. Not just a little one but giant earth shaking ones. He just does not care. Even in front of investigators and people we have never met. He is quiet the embarrassment some times. It makes it interesting. Haha But we are getting along so don’t worry about a thing mom. Life is going good right now.

I miss Beenleigh and the investigators there. Elder Choi will have fun getting 5 baptisms this transfer. President said I could call and check in so I will still keep in touch.

Thanks for all the love. I hope all is well back home. Thanks to all those who sent me an email. That was fun. You are all the best. Until next week...

Love, Elder Cahoon... God is great and Joseph Smith is his true prophet.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 42 "A breath of fresh air"

Man just when things were going great the Lord decided to move me!! I have been transferred to the Las Vegas of Australia. It is called Gold Coast and it is crazy!! I am in the area Burleigh. This area is so crazy!! It is a white rich people place. Super rich and high class living. I am out of place right now. Every one is driving really flash cars and lives in huge massive houses. You will not believe the photos I send next week of the area!! 

My new comp is finally one that I will be able to visit after my mission. He is from OREM UTAH!!! Final I got an American comp and we are going to smash it now!! His name is Elder Westbrook. He is the man. We are in the hardest area in the mission work wise. Not much happens since everybody is too rich for church or listening to us. We will see how it goes though. I have high hopes for it. Positivity is the key. 

So since we live in a flash area we have a really flash house. It is the niceness in the mission. I can’t really describe it so I will send pics next week. 

Elder Choi is staying in Beenleigh. I did not think I was going to get transferred. We had 5 solid baptisms coming up and heaps of good things going for us. I am a bit upset that I left but also really excited for this new part of my mission. Being up north I never got moved around but now that I am down south I don’t seem to stay in an area long or with a comp for very long. Oh well not my will but the Lords. 

Really the only thing that I want to share is about Jody Boyce. The lady I baptized last week. At church on fast Sunday while everyone was getting up to give their testimony Jody got up out of the blue and gave hers. It was the coolest moment of my whole mission. Every since she got baptized the holy ghost has just helped her so much and caused her to grow. She does family history work and is preparing to go do baptisms for the dead for her parents and family. Well when she got up I was a bit nervous she might say a weird thing or mess up but it was the purest best testimony I have ever heard!! In that moment when she was up there every bad thing that has ever happened, every mean person we have meet just was made up for it. To know that I helped this family and Jody gain a testimony and help get her on the right track was amazing!! It was the best!! 

As for the rest of the week we did our normal thing and door knocked and taught lessons. Elder Choi and I did get along but we had moments where he would just not talk and it was hard. We had fun though and I learned heaps from him!! It was good. It is weird to be moved on now. 

Upon saying goodbye to all the members our 1st counselors got up and told all the members I was leaving and gave me a really cool comment that helped me feel good about my mission efforts. He said I was the breath of fresh air that the Beenleigh ward needed. I thought that was pretty cool of him to say and all the members said keep being positive and be you. That was fun to hear. I love this work and the things that happen to make me, me. The Lord sent me here to be me not to try and be someone else. 

I wish I had more to say but with a new area I don’t have much. I will have heaps next week since this area is so crazy!! I wish you all the best and thank you for the love and prayers. 

Elder Cahoon