Tuesday, December 23, 2014

22 Dec 2014 "Sorry about the picture bomb message"

      I figured this week is much better said by pictures.  My family is the best!  Those Dollar bill creations were amazing!  I would also like to thank all those who put together that tree and wrote all the notes!  It was like getting 100 letters.....pretty exciting week!!!  My companion and I are loving the 12 days of Christmas. Thank you so much for all you work!  
      I am so grateful for all ya'll. I want ya'll to know that I am having a fantastic Christmas Season!   Merry Christmas!  We have been able to talk to a bunch of different people and found 2 new investigators. I am really impressed with all the many blessings that I have had by being out here for the Christmas season and continuing to do the Lord's work.
      Another Transfer is coming up.   I wanna stay in Ash Flat, but I am thinking I will get transfered this time. New Years Day is Transfers. I will talk to ya'll next week and tell ya'll the verdict.

       Love, 

           Elder Caldwell
My Origami Birthday Present!!  Thanks Family!!

Dollar cubes?!?...AWESOME!!

Dollar Shirts and Ties..AMAZING!!

Dollar Hearts...SUPER-D-DUPER!!

Many creations = an undisclosed amount of Birthday AMAZEMENT!!

2014 Christmas Tree.....WOW!!  It's like getting 100 letters!!

Best Christmas Tree Ever!  

..and you thought of it all...Omaha Steaks??  Family....YOU ROCK!!

Above all...the real reason for all the Celebration!  I love my mission!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

15 Dec 2014 "Another week in Paradise"


Hello Friends!

 I really can not imagine a better way to spend my week than doing what I am doing, currently serving in the Ash Flat Branch.  That being said, it has many challenges but I know that all the challenges are just to better me.  It is truly what makes this Paradise.
I would not love this if I did not struggle at all.  It would be a sad realization. I love the fact that it has not been easy. "Embrace the suck".
My 22nd Birthday was just yesterday.  I celebrated by tracting down the streets.  We found a new investigator. That alone really just made me happy.  To be able to reach out to someone who has the same questions that I did once upon a time.
I am amazed at how everyone's mission is so specific to what they need.  I know that there can be 200 Elders and Sisters in one Mission and not a one of them will have the same Mission as the other. I love that fact.  I know that this is for me.
I hope ya'll have a great week 

Love,
       Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

08 Dec 2014 "This week has been a new adventure"

  The 4th was my Yearmark!  I am over half way done already. It's kinda sad. It went too fast..way too fast. I am so glad for all the opportunities that I was given this wonderful year.   Much more to come.   I am sure of that one. The days get shorter and shorter it seems like and no, I am not talking about sun light. I did burn a shirt and I will post pictures for sure.

     This week I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament and I have been amazed at how symbolic the Law of the Sacrifice is!

      We have been teaching a lot of people and we had a lot of fun at the Jensens role playing with their kids on how to pass out passalong cards. They are a pretty fun family.

       We also had some good Deer steak with the Mansfields. They did not think it was quite as good as I did, so I ate a couple steaks.. ha, ha. I am so happy that I am in an area where the members are so accommodating. Wow! I never realized how big that word is haha!!!

        We have been doing a lot of tracting.  We were able to meet this guy who was using a metal detector looking for buried treasures.  He had found a lot of historic coins and cool stuff. It was really fun talking to him we shared a little about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were on our way.

        I love ya'll and hope you have a great week I will be 22 by next week around this time. That is kinda odd of a thought!!!


        Elder Caldwell 
Shirt is prepped for burning.

I might have had a little too much fun with the marker.

1 Year Shirt Burning.

1 Year Shirt Burning.


Monday, December 1, 2014

01 Dec 2014 "Hola Everyone"



Hola Everyone!

Well another crazy fast week down.  I am working hard on getting so much done!  We do lots of service here. We just got the whole side bag thing going.  Not going to lie, I am none too happy about carrying a purse (or man bag, if you will.)  It is a mission change that we are no longer allowed to use backpacks so we all had to convert to these lovely side bags?!?  Oh well, pride aside, there must be a reason for it. 

On a lighter note, I got some awesome Missionary Twinkies in a box from my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Lowell.  I love my Family! ha ha!  I had to take a pic of these cuties!

I also thought I would take a picture of our backyard.  No, we are not the ones responsible for mowing of the lawn, that would be our Branch Mission Leader.  Hmmm

 I don't really know what to say.  We did have a cool experience where we knocked on this lady's door.  She told us to go to the back door and talk with her there.  She later invited us in, listened to what we had to say, took a Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation Pamphlet. She told us to come back and next time she would have more questions.  So who ever says that tracting is not effective is a little mislead.  We also street contacted a few people and gave them the spiel about how Christ is the gift of Christmas. They loved that so we left them with a card that has christmas.mormon.org on it, which is an amazing website that the church has put out to show the importance of Christ in Christmas.

I am excited to see how everything else plays out for this Month. Christmas tracting is a lot of fun!!!

Love
Elder Caldwell
"Do I really need a man-bag?"

Missionary Twinkies!  AWESOME!

The swingset may be missing come spring!

Working on the Selfie!

Elder Caldwell..going strong!
 


Monday, November 24, 2014

24 Nov 2014 "Another Crazy week in Ash Flat"

Hey Ya'll

     What a fantastic week this has been.  It has been a little slower, but we have been able to set up for the next transfer.  The area book looks a lot better and things are going well.

     I got my teeth fixed at the Orthodontist.  That was a fun 50 bucks just to get my retainer glued back in. After that things kept getting a little crazy. We went to Myrtle, Missouri.  We have some members who live out there that travel to our little branch. We burned probably 4 full big trees of wood in a burn pile to clean up the yard. The flames were so high they went above the telephone wires. I don't know what it is, but I think people in Missouri and Arkansas get cold too easy or I just stay way to warm the whole time.  I had people asking me if I was cold. I was just in a Flannel Shirt in a rainstorm.  There was nothing cold about it, haha. I was burning up almost too warm. Maybe I got to move to Alaska when I get home.

     We had an Recent Convert call us this morning and tell us that his dad had passed away.  I assume I will be going to a funeral in the next week or so. I am so glad for the Plan of Salvation at this time.

      For those of you who don't know I have lost 2 Relatives while being out here.  My Grandma Jan (Mom's mom) passed away the 3rd of September and this last Monday, my Uncle Jim passed away. I never would have expected that one.  I do know that he is in a better place and that I am right where I am suppose to be.  I have learned so much about God's plan.  I can truly say I don't fear death, but I will not try to make it come sooner than it has to. I am so grateful for the knowledge of Eternal Families. I love that teaching more than any other in the Gospel.

      I love ya'll and I will see you in a year and 10 days. 

      Elder Caldwell

Grandma Jan

Uncle Jim

Thursday, November 20, 2014

17 Nov 2014 "What a week"



Howdy Folks

I have more pictures this week, haha. I was able to see some awesome things that I have never seen before such as a Woodpecker door knocker. I thought that was pretty cool.

 We taught a total of 20 Lessons and got us 2 new investigators and one of which said that he would see us at church this next Sunday, pretty cool.

I am still not sure what I am doing for Thanksgiving but I do know that I will be here until January 1st. . I will be here with Elder Howard for Christmas, my year mark, my birthday, and Thanksgiving.   Loaded transfer I say.

Not a whole lot to write today.  Just that we got our first snow of the season.  It's barely a skiff and people were freaking out about it saying that it was going to be really Icey and all, but it never was. Reminds me of the Utah Blizzard a few years back, haha


        Love,
         Elder Caldwell

Woodpecker Doorknocker

I love the random scenery of Ash Flats!

My zone

Icicles hanging from the truck!  Guess it's gettin' cold!

The skiff of snow on my front yard!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Nov 2014 "Crazy week again"

I am not quite sure what happened this last week. It seemed like we had a lot of meetings, but we only had a zone training and interviews with President Shumway and other than that it's beem a pretty normal week. 

We did a lot of service.  We split about 5-6 ricks (a rick is about 1/3 of a cord) of wood for Brother Child. Then the next day we pulled T posts (steel fence posts) by hand and pulled pig panel out of the ground. We will just say I was beat after tha.  Then the next day, we went out and taught quite a bit.

  I am so amazed at how much this little branch helps us fulfill our callings and also how we are able to step in and teach.  We taught 2 different lessons on a Sunday because people called in sick and/or can't teach their classes. We taught the youth and also priesthood.  Church starts at 10 am and goes til 1 pm.  We got there at 9 am and did not get out til 330 pm.  Pretty awesome.  The lessons we taught and the contacts we made with different recent converts and other things was just incredible.

Sorry no pictures today I just picture bombed you last week.

            Talk at ya'll Later
                           Elder Caldwell

Monday, November 3, 2014

3 Nov 2014 "Ha,ha, I tract in weird ways"

Hey ya'll

What a week..oh wait..what a week is every week!  They just keep getting crazier. Elder Howard and I have been trying to contact everyone on the Branch List. We have also done a bit of Tracting. I was able to talk to a man about his 1980 Z28 Camaro and I asked him if he would mind if I took pictures of it. He said I could so I did.  As I was, I noticed that he has a Honda Shadow, too.  He did not seem to interested in talking gospel with us, but I got him talking cars.  We had a good time.  He told us to come back any time.  Maybe we can slip subtle gospel messages in with car talk.

I love all the old cars and trucks out here.  This is the place if you want to buy a fixer upper house or car.  I love the ability to talk to people.  It may sound weird, but by talking cars some doors have been opened on my Mission.  People have, if nothing more, stopped thinking of us as devil worshipping suits.   haha.

I always try to come up with car analogies for the gospel.  If anyone has any I could sure use the help, haha.  I am happy to be in this part of the world.  We spent some time with the J family last week.   I love all the little kids,  It's kinda hard not to pick them up and become a human rollercoaster ride, but I will try my hardest not to break Mission rules. I can't wait to see my Nephew James Hansen, he's a cutie.

Well, anyways, that was an odd section.  Started with cars and ended with family. Maybe my mission has made me a little bit of a scatter brained individual. I hope it continues, some of my conversations have become really interesting.

 Its a scary thought when you have a dream about you crashing a Mission Vehicle and totaling it. I had that dream last night and I cant believe how crazy it would be to not be able to drive for the rest of your mission.

Well, I hope ya'll have a great week and just enjoy the little things. I love the book of Job.  His family dies and the first thing he does is praise the Lord. Everything we have is given to us by our Heavenly Father.  Sometimes its hard to remember that when it is taken from us.

                     Love,

                      Elder Caldwell

1980 Camaro Z28

Corner of Utah &Utah in Cherokee Village

The Beautiful Falls
                       

Monday, October 27, 2014

27 October 2014 "Well, who knows what to say..."

Hola Amigos,

This week my companion, Elder Howard, hit his year mark and I changed another tire this morning.  We contacted lots of less actives and had a grand old time in a place in Missouri. 

As a zone, we went to Grand Gulf and I need to go back there when I can swim, I decided.  The water got up to my knees pretty quick as I was trying to get to the gulf.  Can you say spelunking?  In Missouri it's kinda like taking a mud bath.  It surprisingly feels pretty good.  Half mud, half water, and a few Elders.  Some Elders cared about there service clothes a little too much. 

NOTE: Anyone thinking about going on a Mission....Please don't be afraid to get dirty!  If you do..you will limit who you can help.  That's what I have found on this Mission.   Service is always more than you bargain for and it is always more fun then one would think.   I have wrangled goats and pigs in a white shirt and people are so appreciative. :)   

Just Loving every day I have to do this and to help those around me.

         Love Ya'll
             Elder Caldwell

Monday, October 20, 2014

20 October 2014 Wahhahahahahahahaha

  Subject line be awesome!! Ok, well anyways, on with my week.  I have been doing all sorts of different things. We have been doing some Family History and I was able to get rid of some duplicate info. I found my Grandma's Obituary.   I am so proud of her.  She is an amazing woman and I cant wait to see her again. The Gospel brings such peace to my life.   I can't imagine what I would do without the knowledge of an afterlife.

      This morning we found out that we are able to go to the zone outing today. We got up and got ready to go and my companion Elder Howard walks out to the truck and walks right back in and says "We ain't goin' nowhere." I then walk out and kick it into high gear! I drop the spare and change the tire right there in our monsterous gravel pit (folks...9 inches of gravel is way too much for a driveway.) Anyways, I was able to change the tire in less then 20 minutes and be on the road.  Good thing we had some wood to put the jack on, otherwise it never would have worked.

      I found out this week that I might like to be an electrician.  When you learn more about Electricity it becomes pretty intriguing. I learned this from working on a school that was built in the 1940's. I was running new wires and testing old wires and all that fun stuff. I really enjoy doing that.  Maybe it just might be a career option. I have learned so many things on my mission. I could almost build my own house with what I know.

      Oh also while I was down there, we found a dead cat that was like it had just been petrified.  It still had skin on it, but that is about all it had.  It was really weird.  I don't even know how to explain it. I have never seen anything like that other than in Haunted houses.  Pretty cool stuff.

     We were contacting less actives and we walk into Brother C's house.  He has been breaking everything in his house and is going through a divorce. His wife has become unfaithful.  It's really sad. He told me to take a picture and give it to to the M Family so that he does not break it. I did not know he knew the M Family but apparently he does. It was the kids baptismal picture. I thought that was pretty special.

                                     Love,
                                         Elder Caldwell

                         That's all folks!!  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

14 October 2014 "...you don't find better people then them."

1st NOTE: Don't ever tear a bed apart the last week of the transfer. Even if you think you both are staying because then you have to put it back together in a rush and build a new bed! We were kinda in crunch time and put together this bed for me to sleep in, so we could get Elder Howard into the other bed. We only had one bed ready until 3 hours before we had to leave to go to the transfer point.

2nd NOTE: One full week of service. We are trying to get a 110 year old lady into a members home, so she can come to church and its pretty crazy. She was baptized at age 103 and is still going strong at 110. Her name is D Wagner and her conversion story is all because of BYU TV. Pretty crazy! BYU TV actually did a documentary on her. I don't know how to find it but the story is pretty cool.

Brother C's sister in-law is moving into the branch, too. We have been building her house. As we have been doing this, we have spent lots of time in G's Grocery eating lunch and stuff. The G's are about to be taught by the Missionaries. They may not even know it, but they are pretty receptive and you don't find better people then them. Good ol' town of Oxford.

I really like this place. The people are so amazing. I don't know that I could be in a better place. Elder Howard is my new companion. He is from Erda, Utah. He is familiar with Rush Valley, kinda. He likes to snowboard and he has a sheep ranch with 2100 head of sheep, not too bad. Much more adventures to come, I am sure of it.

Love Ya'll

Elder Caldwell
Rickety Bunkbeds Before
Loft Bed After....no more fear for the bottom bunk Elder. :)
                                       

Saturday, October 11, 2014

07 Oct 2014 "Our Mission President told us to build our branch..."

How to tell you about this week.....Hmmm........Fantastic. Service for 6 days in a row. Our Mission President told us to build our branch. Funny thing is how we just took that to heart and started building some houses for new move ins, building wheelchair assessible ramps for the elderly so they can make it to church. While on the side fixing our rickety bunk bed. I did fear for my companions life a few times. After we took the bed apart I know Heavenly Father was watching out for me. I know it took a few nights after planning to get the bed to what it is now.

Oh, and I bought a fantastic cast iron skillet! Hopefully it can go on the plane with me home..hahaha. I love ya'll. This week has been a little hectic.

Oh, one more thing our Branch Mission Leader signed us up for taking care of carnival games. We were over the Nerf dart booth. Learned that I will train my kids how to behave so that they never become free range chickens with nerf guns...haha. I love kids, but where are the parents?!? Who knows. (I should have told my ward Mission leader that we can't babysit. It says so in the white Handbook for Missionaries:)

I am glad I got called to a tractin' mission...everyone needs that opportunity and training....it's like fast food, the things you learn you just can't always explain.

Hope ya'll like the photos

Elder Caldwell
Our mode of transportation...car miles just don't go far enough in Ash Flat.
Mission Central

Suring up a rather rickety old bunk bed.

So glad to have a dad that taught me how to fix things.

 The Rickety Bunk Beds!

My new amazing cast iron skillet.


Monday, September 29, 2014

29 Sept 2014 "We are now on foot with fishin' poles lookin' for fishin' holes."

       So I will not complain about the work too much but ya'll might just get a kick outta this. We was movin' some people out of our branch, they are fixin' to go to Florida. Well anyways, as we were moving we found some wood off to the side (apparently the man wanted it packed up because there are no trees or ways to obtain wood in Florida).  I have never seen so much literal junk in my life!  Like anything from a door shim to fly traps to plants to a smashed tin can. In other words: I packed my first horder up.

        We also found ourselves in exchanges 2 days in a row.  First with the district leaders, then with the zone leaders.   I spent 2 days away from my companion. That normally does not happen, but it was so good to see him again after the two days and to catch up on what is going on in the Ash Flat Branch.

       We are now on foot with fishin' poles lookin' for fishin' holes. That's what happens when you're out of miles and money and we don't have borin' preparation days. :)

       Love all ya'll
       Elder Caldwell  

Monday, September 22, 2014

22 Sept 2014 "Crazy Arkansas, normal day."



Hey all ya'll!
    This week has brought some real Arkansas people about.  We did service for a guy moving into the branch. He had a 36 foot box truck (he rented just for his tools) and a trailer filled with steel. This day starts out with us walking to the pick up point where Ed Sojourn picked us up.  While we were walking to the pick up point, our Jehovah Witness neighbors stopped to pick us up. They drop us off and Bro Sojourn hops out of the Budget truck.  He asks us if we have ever taken a Box truck off-roading?  Well, obviously we said no.  He quickly responded, "Well, today's your lucky day!" (ha ha)  We drive a few miles on this dirt road, he stops and says "There she is."   We are looking around thinking, there what is??

       Then we hop out of the truck and here is this little four-wheeling two track road through the trees.  Here is where Murphy's Law comes into play.  We have an old Chevy van and a trailer hauling steel through mud.... Van gets stuck.  We go get the backhoe to pull it out.  The tire is flat.  The Air Compressor is in the box truck down the hill.  So now is the point where Ed goes to buy an Air Compressor from Walmart, 20 miles away...We started to unload all the steel from the trailer by hand (we being Elder Zachary Smuin, Rob, and me.)

       Ed gets back with the Air Compressor (this compressor is to put all other Air Compressors to shame!  There is a bike pump in Ed's hands and a pancake compressor that only holds a gallon of air?!?  Understand that this is a tire almost as tall as I am, and we are to use these tools??  After about a half hour of pumping, Ed realizes that the tire is off the bead. As Rednecks are, no problem, we have starter fluid and a match, "that ought to seat dat tire really fine."   Well, lets just say we all walked away from that one with all our fingers and toes.  Children do not try this at home.  If the tire blows off the rim, you are gunna be in a world of hurt!  In a bind, it works well. Too bad, I did not have my camera for all this.

       Now, it is time to finally get the backhoe out after another two hours of pumping to get it to 32 psi. Everything went fine from there.  We got the box truck up the two track with no problems at all.  Thank goodness!   I can't imagine trying to push that beast with a backhoe (yes, that was the plan all along.  If it got stuck, just push it with the backhoe?!?)

      Then it was all just unloading.  But that has got to be the best day that describes Arkansas!  I Love serving here and being able to see the effective things that people do to get by.  These things are pretty normal here. After all that, we got to see the best streets and the best sunsets in the world.   I love Arkansas,  if it had mountains and jobs I might live here in Ash Flat.   Maybe it will be my retirement in the future, when I cant climb the
Mountains anyways.

Love
Elder Caldwell





Monday, September 15, 2014

15 Sept 2014 "This week was incredible"

  I don't know if I have ever worked this hard in a week on my mission, and yet the numbers are kinda low. I feel like I served my best and did the best I could with what I was given. We did lots of service such as split some good oak trees and after being split some of the Logs were a good 80 lbs.  I am so glad that we got to do this great work.

      Our Branch President has 5 girls so in order to stay sane he buys Jeep Cherokees and turns them into these crazy radio towers that have so many gadgets in them.  So many different things that you could only buy in Arkansas like radar jammers and satellite jammers.  They are way cool.  He also Smiths his own guns and all. He is a pretty funny guy.

     I don't know what more to say.  Oh, we tried to save miles by riding our bikes.  We came around a turn and hit gravel!  My companion went down and I was sliding sideways when I saw his feet under the frame of my bike.  I realized that it was not going to end well.   I finally found a way to stop and his head was maybe 4 inches from my rear tire.  I think bike riding in this area has no benefits.  We rode for 3 hours, made it to one place, ripped up my companion, and saved us maybe about 10 miles.  Haha. 

                                                          Love
                                                                Elder Caldwell

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Sept 2014 "Service is how we forget ourselves"

      This week we did lots of service as usual here in Ash Flat Arkansas. I am so glad that I get to serve here.  The people are fantastic. Sadly, I have not met all the people yet but hopefully in the next couple weeks we will be able to meet them all.

       I am so blessed to have such an amazing Mission President.  He kept it short and to the point when he told me that my Grandma Jan had passed away. At the time I was standing on a ladder painting a neighbors house. There are so many Tender Mercies in this world.  I really think the situation and where I was and what I was doing was super inspired.  I was able to calm myself down by serving someone else through the rough.  I was talking to my companion about what happens when we die that morning.  I had some time to think while I was painting and it put me at peace with it all.

      I Love the Atonement and how much of my purpose as a Missionary is to help people understand how to use the Atonement in there lives. We were teaching the M Family (they are amazing recent converts) after fishing and we taught about the Atonement and how we all get judged.  We can look at it two ways, one we can give up or two we can make a difference and let our light shine which will eventually give them nothing to judge you by.  I love the M Family.  I am in good hands and expanding my family because that is what we do on earth.  The people we affect are the people that affect us.  All become our family.

      I know that Service is how we forget ourselves.  My hands are torn, my brain is tired, my arms are sore, and my back is killin'.  However; I hardly notice it when I realize that I am able to help people in ways I never thought possible. I am just a man. I hurt. I do have pain.  Being a Missionary does not make you unhuman like some Members may think. It teaches you to control the beast inside better then ever before.

      I am so glad that I am out here and able to see the progression in others as they feel the spirit and make covenants and try hard to keep them.  These are the days that I have been looking for.  To help others, which in turn makes me grow and see more light.  You can not help someone travel a path that you have not been on.

                                   Love
                                          Elder Caldwell 

Monday, September 8, 2014

01 Sept 2014 "What a Fun Week"



This week has been a lot of good byes and a lot of hellos and I have just loved it all. The Angel kids are amazing and I will miss them but I also know they are in good hands there in Aurora, Mo

I am sorry I am running out of time, I only have an hour this week and lots of pictures can tell the story better then words, anyways. I got the opportunity to hold a Boa Constrictor the day before I left Aurora and headed to this great place named Ash Flat, AR.   I am so happy to be here, where what they do for fun is fish with the Mansfields, who are recent converts. The Mansfields story is pretty amazing.  He is an ex-gang member and now he is the nicest man. I never would have guessed.  His wife and daughter are pretty funny. I already love all the people here in Ash Flat.  They are those who know they have problems and know that they need to fix it. They really seam to love everyone. I love fishin'.  Good way to enjoy life is to fish.

My life has definitely taken twists and turns. A lot of these other pictures are of people from the Harvest Church where we worked each week with food bank things. (That's also the Church that the preacher gave me a Guitar.) I will definitely miss them, but I Love Ash Flat already.  It's so much fun here.  

I have helped in the building of homes and in building chicken houses. I got here and some non members came over and took us out for  ice cream.  I am impressed in this place and I need a picture of the school here it is literally the Rebels.  Yes, that is the Mascot. 

My Branch Mission Leader pranked me into believing that he did not want us coming around no more and told us that we could shove our book of Mormon where the sun don't shine.  Then I found out that he was our Branch Mission Leader.   It was pretty comical at how well he played that part.

Well I will tell ya more next week but for now just know I love all ya'll and God Bless.

Elder Caldwell







Monday, August 25, 2014

25 Aug 2014 "A week of ups and downs"

Ello

     What a week of craziness. On Friday as many of you know our Mission went through a pretty traumatic experience. We lost one of our loved Sister Missionaries, Sister Vea.  I know she is in good hands now and I know that God has a Mission waiting for her on the other side of the veil.  A mission is the best training we could receive for the Spirit World.  I hope that her family finds comfort through Christ, that is what is most important. The Oklahoma Tulsa Mission will miss her.
 
      We worked hard all week and I had a feeling that I was getting transfered all week.  Well, it came true.  I got the Transfer call and found out I am going to Ash Flat, Arkansas.  It has been part of this Mission for less than a year.  It used to be in the Little Rock Arkansas Mission but now its in the OTM.  I finally get the opportunity to leave the Springfield Zones now.  I get to serve in a branch.
 
      I have found peace through reading my scriptures every day. The Book of Mormon is an amazing book.  After I have read it a few times, I am starting to even understand a lot of the Isaiah chapters. I Love my Mission President.  He is amazing and he has really helped me learn so much.  Due to the events I wrote of earlier, he is going to be meeting with every Missionary in the Mission and helping to make this an inspiring thing not something to get down about. 
 
    For those of you who want to write me Letters this will be my new address:
 
                                                 Elder Caldwell
                                              114 Little Creek Cir
                                              Ash Flat, Ar 72513 

   I know that the trials in life are but a moment. We will move on, we will fight strong. For this is the best Mission in the World!  It is My Mission, the OTM.  I am so proud to have part in this Mission!

Love 
Elder Caldwell


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

18 August 2014 "...can't think what to write."

 Hello ya'll!

   This will be short.  Not because I dont love ya'll, but just because I can't think what to write.  We tracted a street in the middle of the "middle of nowhere" and rode our bikes 20 miles that day,  Not too abnormal, but it changes things when its to contact one single person. 

   I am excited to see what happens on Saturday.  Whether I am staying in Aurora or whether I go somewhere else.  I don't necesarily care either way but it would be kinda nice to see something new and different. 

   We are getting a set of Spanish Elders in Aurora. That is pretty exciting and all. The work is going well.  We had quite a few progressing investigators this last week.  Hope this finds you well.  Wish I had more to say.

   Oh ya..my family sent me a box with awesome socks and a sweet tie.  I also bought a necklace from a Hawaiian man.  He made it from Elk bones and a Coconut shell, its perty sweet if ya ask me. 
 
   Love all ya'll I will have pictures next week if the computers work at the Stake Center.
 
                              Elder Caldwell

Monday, August 11, 2014

11 Aug 2014 "Well, a week of miracles, and I can't remember what happened."

I have no clue what happened this week, but Hey! We got 3 new investigators.  I got lots of letters.  And, well, let's just say it was a busy week!  Oh ya, I got to do some Automotive work!   I love how we all have our different talents that help people out.  I really am just lost as to what to say.  We have been preparing for a week for this week.  It is another big challenge, Miracle Week.  We are challenged to get a new investigator every day for 7 days.  I am excited!  These are the kind of challenges where you have to put your whole heart and soul in it, then you see crazy results. I wish I could honestly be like that for my whole Mission.

 Our Mission President challenged us to read the Book of Mormon in just a few months.  So here we are, doing just that. We have been doing a lot of "OTMing" or Street contacting.  I love that.  Being able to just talk to people that are outside there houses and more willing to talk. 

 We got a Member referral from the Maynes.  Her name is Christy.  (For those of you that don't know, I have never taught a referral in a members home until now.)  It was super exciting!   I am so glad that we have been able to gain member trust more and more in this area.  The longer I stay here the more I get to see. 
 

                            Love y'all,
                                     Elder Caldwell 

Monday, August 4, 2014

03 August 2014 "Wow, wow, wow People be in AWE!"

Hola mis Amigos
 
    This week has been fantastic. I finally got a picture of a Marrionville White Squirrel. There are only 3 places in the U.S. that White Squirrels exist and one is Marrionville, Missouri. I have served here 4 months and just got a picture of one.  They are a pretty rare occurance.



 
     On a completely different note..this week has opened my eyes a little bit. I actually got to know what it is like to sit in on a baptism where you can't understand the language of the people.  We have been teaching a Hispanic family and they are pretty much my best friends.  These 3 little girls just are always making me laugh.   Little kids are the best, but anyways we were able to go to the fathers baptism.   He is a super amazing guy, just does not speak very good English.  Sorry I did not get any pictures of them.
 
    I dont know if you guys remember James and Brandi from Nixa.  James emailed me and he told me that he has recieved the Priesthood and was able to baptize his kids this last week.  I am so fanatically excited about this!  They are another amazing family. I am so glad that I was able to be a part of that.
 
   Missions are great.  Some weird things happen that you can't explain both temporal and Spiritual.  I will be honest this is completely temporal story.   We have been helping a local church with a food distribution pantry. When we got done distributing and started cleaning up this last time, the youth pastor told us just to come get him from his office when we needed a ride home.  We went to his office and he had a guitar.  He asked if we played and Elder Holyoak said that I used to a little.  I told them that I only know a few chords so I played a little and both Pastor Terry and Youth Pastor John said "what about the Epiphone we have in the back?"   I'm thinking, "what about it?"   They then walked back into their chapel with me and my companion and showed us the Epiphone then told me that it was mine. Wait what?  A preacher from a different church just randomly gave me a Guitar. (dont worry it is approved for this mission). 
 
     I am so blessed to be able to be in Aurora and to meet the people I have. I would not give this opportunity to serve a mission up for anything else in the world. Thank you all for getting me to this point.   I can't do it alone thats why I am so glad that I have had such support. I know that the things you all taught me are still with me even though I am more then 1200 miles away.  You are all here pushing me along.    I can't express my appreciation enough. 
   
                        Love ya'll
                              Elder Caldwell