Tuesday, May 27, 2014

26 May 2014 Serve the Lord, first..

Ello peoples round da world
    This week has been fantastic!  I have learned so much from the people here in Aurora.  I can't believe how much this area has come alive in the last week. We did service for two non-members, one of which at first was completely turned off to the Gospel. Because of our efforts, she was more willing and even accepted the Book of Mormon as a gift.
     I think that we did a total of 12 hours of service this week. We helped a member get two full truck beds full of wood and stack it in his yard. We planted a few trees with him too. We also (as usual) served with the people of the Harvest Church in distributing goods to the poor.
     We had some exchanges with the zone leaders and I was with Elder C leading the Area for the day. In that day we had people coming up to us and asking us questions.  One even chased us down in their truck and asked for a Book of Mormon. I have not had an experience like that until now on my Mission. I know that as we put forth our greatest effort not only can we find people that are ready, they will find us.
      In this Mission so far I have had troubles with getting people to come to church. This week we worked hard and had 4 investigators at church!  That is the most I have had my entire Mission. I am so excited to see this area grow and become what I know it can be. Serve the Lord first, then serve Man and everything will fall into place.
      Brother T stopped by this morning.  He was worried about us because we were not answering our phone. Turns out he just had the wrong number. He gave us money for breakfast and told us to have a great day. We were thinking we have run out of food, good thing its P-day. Here comes this wonderful man to help us. God knows exactly what we need and he does provide.
     Thanks for all the support. I know it has helped me to be a better person and to be a better Missionary. We have great people all over the world. 
                            Elder Caldwell 

Monday, May 19, 2014

19 May 2014 "Life being easy was not really ever in God's plan"

Hola Hola Mis Amigos!

    Well anyways, I don't speak Spanish. I have had some really hard times in this area especially.   I have never cried more, I have never loved more, and I have never learned more.  God never said it would be easy.  The thought of this life being easy was not really ever in God's plan.

    We are here to be tested and to be tried. We go through trials so that we can become more.  So we can make better of ourselves.  I hope for harder times, for it is in those times that we learn and become more.   As the Lord says in Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee!"

     I know that the Atonement is real.  I know that there is only one way back to our Heavenly Father and that is through Christ our Savior.

     I have had some really cool experiences this week.  One of which is with an investigator named JM.  He lives in a 5th wheel trailer.  He is about 60 years old, and plays the guitar. We started teaching a lesson and he asked us if he could play us a song that he thought of while we were teaching him.  He started off by saying this song reminds him of the Mormon Church. He proceeded to play and wow!  This is an investigator that gets it. He just needs to come to church. I did get him playing on video but I can't find my camera chord so maybe I will send it next week.

     We had Elder __ of the Quorum of the Seventy in our Stake Conference.  He said something amazing in his closing remarks.  He said, "Don't remind the Lord of something he has already forgotten!"   Going along with a scripture that says that the Lord remembers the sins no more.

   In closing I want all ya'll to know that I love ya,

                                                       Elder Caldwell

Monday, May 12, 2014

12 May 2014 "Chocolate Desserts will kill me!"

Chocolate Desserts will kill me!! My companion absolutely is addicted to chocolate.  Naturally, he tells the entire ward this. I would rather have peanut butter bars or something, but all our dinner appointments include chocolate!  Chocolate has been involved in every meal and I am starting to get tired of chocolate!! .
Well, that was like my 3 second ran.  Moving on.  I have had so many great experiences this week. We had Zone Conference and I was able to talk to Elder Marriott, my last companion and catch up on how Nixa is doing. We talked about a family that we had taught and now he is seeing the fruits of our labors. It was amazing to hear the stories of what is going on in my last area.
In that Zone Conference I bore my testimony about how I am prideful and how I will change. I have never shared my testimony with such great power and so little words. I said,  "For three years, I have worked my hardest to get out here. When I got here I said 'I've made it'.   I now know that I have not 'made it'. I let pride slip in and say that 'I am good, I have come so far'. Yet I have just begun."

       Now for a funny, off the wall yet somewhat impressive moment. WE GOT KIDNAPPED!  At 8:30 a member in the ward picked us up to help him pick up a couch and a chair. We went and did not get home until 10:30.  While we were out I learned that Minivans are evil! . I hopped in and grabbed the door frame. In an instant, my companion slammed the door and my hand was jammed in it. Now, I could have been irrationally mad or screaming out in pain, but No. I grunted when it happened, and asked my companion,  "Elder Palmer can you please open your door?"   He felt pretty bad but for me it was all pretty OK.   I just wish he was not so hard on himself. Stuff happens that we can't control.

We had a Member give us this drink that apparently is hard to get your hands on,  It's called Cheerwine its pretty much my favorite soda I have ever had.

 For those of you who have not experienced a mission, just know that Mothers Day and Christmas are the only holidays that matter!!

Well I love ya'll!
Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

05 May 2014 Speaking Spanish

Hola Mi Amigos!

    Ya'll might be wonderin' why I greeted you en espanol. The reason being that I am now teaching some Hispanic familias and I am learning a little of Spanish.  It is hard to teach Spanish people when you don't know Spanish. We are also teaching all of our English speaking contacts too.

     They closed the area for the Spanish speaking Elders, so we have been picking up there Spanish investigators. I cannot tell you how crazy this is, because we are not given time for language studies but we still need to. It is a good thing we have some awesome ward members who speak Spanish to help us in those situations.

     I have had a fantastic week full of all sorts of crazy things. One of our investigators lives in a fifth wheel camping trailer out in the boonies. He also works for a crop dusting company. In my opinion he is "livin' the dream" ha ha!  I love this man.  J M is awesome. He found a panther out in the woods by his trailer and he was telling us about it.  I thought that was a pretty odd thing to see out here in Missouri, but I don't doubt that he has seen something out there. I know it sounds weird, but this man is my hero.

      We have done lots of service in this week.  Probably 12 hours of service. A quick shout out to my parents "thank you for teaching me how to work hard even when my body says no!!!"   I know that this one teaching is how I am making it through this and loving every minute of it!  Work is not hard, if you have fun doing it.  I love doing it.

       We have done anything from planting trees to helping out at a local church that has a food pantry. Reminds me of the fun I used to have at Arctic Circle just running around quick as can be laughing and singing and rejoicing in the work.

      Well, l got to go fight off more dragons,

                                          Elder Caldwell