Tuesday, April 29, 2014

28 April 2014 "Someday I'll make a man out of you!"

Hello Fellow Earthicans! 
     I have been transferred to Aurora, Missouri or how everyone here calls it "Misery".   I think not.  It's kinda fun here in Missouri, ha ha.  I have a new companion, his name is Elder Palmer. He is so excited to have a Missionary companion who is not Apostate. He really likes to sing all the time.   I feel like My grandpa has prepared me for this.  Thanks, Grandpa Cliff!   ha, ha. 
     It definitely has been an interesting change.  My food is more tasty in this area, because some previous missionaries bought us spices to use in our cooking.   I am in a "cooks playground" .  To put it simply, I love spices. 
      The second day I was here, we had a full on service day from 8 AM-7 PM.  At 7 PM we ate and drove home.  It was 9 PM by time we got home. Back breaking labor reminds me of the song, "Someday I'll make a man out of you"!  Disney's Mulan is amazing!  ha ha. I feel like this new assignment just might make a man out of me.  I feel amazing with it, all thanks to my parents who taught me to work hard.
      During our service day, we caught a spider and put it in a jar full of spiders we caught in our apartment.  Now there is only one spider left.  We named her "BIG BERTHA".  You have got to see her picture.  I included it along with a few pics from Nixa. 
      The Nixa picture is a really awesome couple that we were teaching in Nixa.  They offered to take us to Silver Dollar City on P-day.  I hope that works out as I would love to see them again, soon. James, the husband, said that he has a spiritual pilot light on, but no gas is getting to it to stoke his flame.  I love the way he expressed that.  He says he just wants to be fed again.   I hope they let me go back for the baptism. 
                                    Elder Caldwell
Saying goodbye to a fantastic Elder Marriott in Nixa MO.

We might be a little obsessed with hot sauce!  LOL

Two amazing investigators in Nixa.

Big Bertha.

Monday, April 21, 2014

21 April 2014 First Transfer...Aurora MO, here I come!!

My week was interesting.  We started out just like any other... well, kinda....We actually started the week with eating steak and potatoes. That is pretty rare on a mission!

I had my first Zone Leader Exchange where I did the driving in Nixa for the first time.  That was an adventure. We got stranded at a Firestone for 3 hours waiting for our car to get an oil change and tires rotated. It truly baffles me how much silly stuff auto-shops do.   For those of you who do not know, this type of job takes about 30 minutes. Waiting 3 hours kinda foiled our day.  Well anyways, that was just a weird blip of frustration. 

We met a lady who once lived in Riverton, UT and at the time it was Elder Sudberry (my zone leader)  and I. Both of us are from Riverton, it's a small world.  I love being here and seeing how much things can change.

We have a wonderful lady in Nixa who had one daughter commit suicide, one son come home from a mission after 6 months, and the other son ran away at age 14.  The son that ran away is now 15 and is back at home.  He came back,   He is completely removed from the church, however.  He is really nice and came up to us and introduced himself (something, according to her, never has happened before). She walked us out and started crying.  She told us that she needed the very message we shared and she was so happy that her son could have something to relate to us with. 

I am so amazed at how fast things are coming together.  I am 1/6th through my mission already.  I was going through letters last night trying to decide what ones to keep as I have been transferred to Aurora, MO.  I am still in Missouri, haha.  I am so excited for this new journey.  My new companion will be Elder Palmer.  I guess I am going to be the one to kill him. :)

We are teaching this couple, Brandi and James, and they are probably the coolest couple and most excepting that I have ever seen.  I love them so much. James is just really down to earth. I hope to be able to get his email so I can stay in touch with them when I go to Aurora, CO on Thursday. I have never loved people so much whom I have only known for a week.  I know they will be converts in no time.  Ones that really just stick it out and be forever converts. They know what they have to do and they know that the church is true already.  They just need to make it to church. They were not there yesterday because Brandi got sick.


1.  Frozen custard has to be the best thing on the planet!  Why don't we have more of those at home???

2.  My irrational fear of falling through someones porch is now rational.  This last week I fell through Sister Cane's porch.  One more thing I can cross of my "bucket list".  haha

Love to all
Elder C

PS Easter Box delivered right on Easter....priceless!  THANKS ITS FANTASTIC!!

From: Nixa, MO To: Aurora, MO

Monday, April 14, 2014

14 April 2014 Challenge Accepted!

Hola Everyone!

So, last week was kind of rushed in the email department and in the week a bit. We were trying to get 77 lessons and we ended up getting 101!   Pretty awesome!   I think it has been a tough week.  My whole body is sore and I like it.  This week I found who I am.   I am a representative of Jesus Christ and so is anyone who belongs to this Church.  I don't believe I could have made it through this week without your prayers.  

I am not sure if this is totally appropriate but our zone leaders challenged us to get 96 lessons and if we did that we would be able to bring them each an article of clothing and they had to wear it.  So I can say I will never forget the fact that I made a coconut bra on my mission for the zone leaders to wear!!  Speaker wire and 2 coconuts and a member who is as crazy as us.  Of course, some sisters in our zone brought some dresses.  It fit perfectly!   I love the awesome experiences a mission gives you.

This is a week that I can't forget for the rest of my Mission and the rest of my life.   I really tried to give it my all and the results surely came.  I know that as we give the Lord our all, he will provide a way that we may reach our very potential even if we don't believe that we can hit the goal. I had little faith that we could get 77 lessons in the beginning of the week.  Turns out that we got 101.  

I know it was not me, I know it was not Elder Marriott. I know it was the Lord using us as the tools that we were made to be.   A toolbox never has 100 of the same tools in it.  We are all different.  We all have different approaches.  We all have things and gifts that we bring to the table.  I know we need to magnify those gifts and use them for what they were intended.  You would not use a hammer to loosen a hex bolt.   Find your talents and use them as best you can.

      Elder Caldwell

Elder Marriott gets the coconut shells cut and ready,
One of the members helping get the coconuts ready.

Our Zone Activity....pay off!

Our Zone Leaders sport a new look!


Monday, April 7, 2014

07 April 2014 It's Stripling Warrior Week in our zone!

This email may be a little unusual.  I only have about 10 minutes to type it out, so bare with me.

This week is what is known in our zone as "Miracle Week" or "Stripling Warrior Week".  The purpose is to completely lose ourselves in the work.  We, as a companionship, are trying to hit 77 Lessons.  In order to do so, we must cut our P-day a little short, so instead of emailing for 2 hours we are only going for 1. 

This last week was a lot of preparation for this next week.   Somehow last week, we taught just 19 lessons and managed to get 12 investigators from those 19.   Odd?   Yes.  Me and my companion have this quote that comes up frequently, "It's creepy how true the church is!"    We have been so blessed and it just keeps pouring out as we really try hard to do our best.

We met a lady named Brandi.  Taught her a little. She became interested and asked more questions, She proceeded to tell us that her husband was not very interested and not very open to any religion other then his own.  In that same week, we went back and met him.  Turns out that he is not against it.  Actually he seemed really open.  Long story short,  they watched some of General Conference and in his words "I feel like I am being drawn to it and would like to learn more before I make any decision."   Here is a man that has been prepared.

We also have been teaching a guy named Bryan.  I have talked about him. This, however;  is focused on one of his friends that comes to our lessons, Ashlee.   She is really prepared and she knows a few of our church members.  The same church members that promised us a referral  even though they "don't know anyone"  ha, ha.   Moral of the story is sometimes we make missionary work harder then it has to be.  Sometimes the answers are right in front of us.  We, missionaries, can't do this work alone.  We need the members.  Yes, we found this lady on our own but what if we had been referred to her a year ago?  What then?  Would she be going to church?   I don't know but it is a possibility to consider.   No effort is wasted.  Don't let anyone tell you that.

Elder Caldwell