Monday, November 30, 2015

30 Nov 2015 "Wow! it does not slow down. It does not give up. It just keeps going and I'm never giving up."

 Hey ya'll 

        This week has been pretty crazy.  My emotions going wack as I prepare myself for the life ahead. I don't know how I made 2 years disappear but it must have been an amazing magic act. I know life kicks and bucks just like a rodeo bull. I know it is not easy but we better get the best out of our 8 second ride. This life is thrilling.  It does not stop. 

         I have one pair of pants worth saving and I will be wearing it home. I split my pants last night in the most amazing way. We had traveled 3 miles down a dirt road on our way back to town. We came to a Low water crossing that had washed out a trench around the concrete. we had to build a ramp for the truck to go up so we could get home. As I bent down to grab the first rock my pants ripped from the zipper to the belt loop - all I had left to do was laugh and enjoy the experience. I went my whole mission without splitting pants until the last week. 

        On your Mission you will experience the greatest trenches the biggest pit-falls. You will also see the most Miracles.  If you are willing to put knowledge to work, you will find yourself able to get across the ditches, the chasms, and the cliffs. The Lord provides a way when we just smile and keep working great things happen. 

      The Lord is aware of all your struggles and I know that he is pulling for you.  Don't ever give up in life, whether it is a Mission, The Military, School, or in your profession. I won't give up..will you?  It is now time for me to continue in the things that I have learned here in the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission and the Arkansas Bentonville Mission. I will come back a Man when I left a boy. I have learned so much and I am so very grateful for all ya'll who have been praying for me and supporting me on this journey of life. 

                        Elder Caldwell 

Sorry there is more..
 My companion wound up in the Hospital on Thanksgiving due to a wonderful plant called Poison Oak. I, in the meantime, was in Houston on exchange with Elder Hedges,  We ate dinner on paper plates in the Houston apartment. It was kinda nice to have it small. Elder Hedges taught me a lot. I love that man and a lot of you will see his amazing artwork.   He is one silly Elder. This Zone is my Favorite, it is a good one to be my last.  I will miss all the zone members for sure. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

23 Nov 2015 "Week of Adversity"

The title is a little rough. I thought about this and all I was going to talk about in this email was the sicknesses and discomforts that this week has been. From losing investigators to being laid up for a couple days hacking and gagging. 

However, now I see, after emailing my Family, how blessed I have been throughout this whole process. I have been feeling down but there are worse things out there and I know that I can be nothing but Thankful for everything that has gone on this week. 

I know that God Loves me and watches me

Elder Caldwell

Friday, November 20, 2015

16 Nov 2015 "hey y'all"

    It has been such a fast week. I believe that Missions are like funnels, the closer you get to the bottom- the faster it goes. I have been so privileged to be here at this time.   Teaching the people I have been able towns having  a companion who understands it. I am down to 18 days which means I only have 2 more emails to send home. I am amazed at how 2 years has just been a drop in the bucket. I am so happy.  II don't want to leave here but I do know that "there is a time and a place for everything under the heavens!" Ecc 3:1. Now my time is come.  The change is happening.  I will fight to the end and we will go from there. I know that I was called to serve 24 months and I plan on serving the last one with as much fire as the first one. 
       I am here to help people in their journey just as others have helped me in my Journey. I am here because of a handfull of people. Hopefully I can be in multiple peoples hands  through out my life. I want to be one to inspire uplift and bring closer to Christ always. I am no perfect man nor am I close but I will work to become perfect every day. I hope ya'll know how much I love and respect you. 

                        Elder Caldwell


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

09 Nov 2015 "This will be short"

Sorry this will be real fast. The computer is about to shut down. I love you and I am so glad that ya'll have been reading this blog. I dont have many weeks left but I do have enough to be busy.
Got to go. 
Elder Caldwell 

Monday, November 2, 2015

2 November 2015 The time is winding down

This is Jenni, Zach's mom actually writing this.  Zach has been very faithful in writing home each and every week while out on his mission.  This week, he didn't sent a "Group Email" as his computer time ran out.  He has one hour at the Ava Library to get all his communications out and this week he fell short.  In the email that he sent me personally this week, he states that he is "excited to give his homecoming speech.  He already has quite a few ideas."  He said that he is excited to meet his 20 month old nephew, James and his soon to be new brother-in-law, Andy.  He loves the work in Ava.  He knows that it is a perfect place for him to end his mission.
Thanks to all of you for following Zach on this adventure over the past four years.  No, he hasn't been a missionary for four years, but he prepped pretty darn hard for two years, and then he was unleashed into the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission that later became the Bentonville Arkansas Mission.
He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, December 13th at 1 PM.  You are all invited to come and hear his testimony and experiences he has had while serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
Any questions, just let me know.
32 Days and counting!


26 October 2015 "I am only a wrench..."

 I have limited time and I dont know what happened to this hour but the warning has popped up..only 5 minutes left. 
       I can't deny that I am only a wrench to work on the car. The Car is the world.  The wrench is me. The one who controls the wrench is God!! I am here as a 10mm wrench because that is what the Lord needs in this specific area, on this specific bolt if you will. 

       I have met some of the most interesting people in my life in this area. We tracted into a man who is missing an arm. He knows that the Word of Wisdom is a true principal. He knows the Law of Chastity to its fullest. He is prepared.  We have not taught any of these things to him, but he knows the universal truth. Amazing.
                   Elder Caldlwell 

Monday, October 19, 2015

19 Oct 2015 "love the Lord and serve him the very best you can."

   This week has been pretty crazy from zone training to Transfer calls. I will be finishing my last transfer in the Ava area. I am kinda sad that it is coming to a close so fast. I realized that I am one of the oldest in the Mission and it gets sad. 

     I love My Mission and I understand that there is a time and a season to all things under the heavens and this is my time to serve, to love, and to work hard up to the end. I have been severely blessed to be on a Mission. 

    I have met some incredible people that I never would have met or ever associated with before my Mission. I have learned more about who I am and who I can become. 

    There has been some confusion as to what my address is so here it is again:
             Route 6 Box 6470 apt 15:
             Ava, Mo 65608 
     I love you all, wish I had more time to write but all I can say is love the Lord and serve him the very best you can. Your life will be much happier and you will find yourself more focused and having more time to do the things you love. 

                        Elder Caldwell 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

12 October "I will not trunk out...Never"

  Hey ya'll
       It has been a crazy week,   We found 18 new potential investigators and taught 22 lessons which is the most I have done in Ava the whole time I have been here. Transfer calls are this weekend, so we will see what happens.  I will write bout it next Monday.
    We have been doing a lot of finding and had a few people yell out of a few car windows at us. I hope that everyone knows how much I care about them and how much I love my mission. The Last couple weeks training has been really great. My greenie told me he was so glad that i have not trunked out. I thought I was getting trunkie but I will not trunk out...Never.
     I hope ya'll have a great week.  This week has been so miracle filled.  I have had the opportunity to plan and find out why we planned to tract that street.  After we tracted it, I knew why we were there. We met a man that slipped through the cracks 30 years ago and we were able to come in contact with him. This man invited us in and we talked for a little while.  We will be going back there this week!
                                   Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 Oct 2015 "Hey ya'll"

       I don't know what to say in the few minutes I have left.  Time goes too fast, the miracles still happen, and the word is still true. I have felt the spirit so strongly this week as I have been able to watch General Conference and as I have truly felt the spirit testify of the truth spoken of. 

       I am not perfect but I do know that through righteous desires focused on acting, we can become perfect in all things. The Lord does not give commandments that cannot be reached. I am far from perfect but as I strive everyday I feel just a little more perfect in one way. I know that Jesus Christ has already suffered for my sins and my afflictions and I know that he wants me to be the best that I can be now and forever. 

     We are the Children of God and no child wants to disappoint a righteous Father. At least I know that I don't. The miracle of Repentance and the Atonement is so powerful. I know if the Atonement can strengthen me and wash me clean, then it can you too. 

     My life right now is engulfed in gospel acting. I am so privileged to not have a care in the world, I don't worry about the end.   I embrace the journey I am on. I have no reason to worry about the price of gas in Asia and even less to worry about the Pope coming to America. I worry about the people I love getting attacked by the adversary. I worry more now about the spiritual development of myself and others. Missions are incredible experiences that I can't put into words. All I can say is that I am here to serve and I know all that I have talked about here because of my serving a Mission.

           Elder Caldwell 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

21Sep2015 "Wow! What a week"

      Why do weeks have to go so fast? I am ending the first week of the transfer and starting the 2nd week. That means soon the next 8 weeks will be gone, and I will be sad at home. Missing the Mission Field. I am scared, sad, and excited. I know that the Lord loves me and has a plan for me, even after My Mission. 

            I hope that I can continue this work throughout my whole life. Today, I discovered that some of my pants are a little see-through.  Good thing that you still cant see my garments through them, haha. Joys of finishing strong and doing 50 Miles on a bike down dirt roads!  I want everyone to experience these funny truths hahaha. 

           I have a great companion from Burlington, Wyoming. He really is just one cool, relaxed, country boy. I love it.  He is ready to work and loves to work. I got the best greenie in the world...he cracks me up! We are pretty much alike.  Same kind of humor mostly and we both love to work. 

        We went to 4 different places trying to get cash back just so we could wash Laundry today. Well noone would give my companion cash back and not much mattered.  We figured it out and now we have laundry hanging up in our apartment to dry!  In the process, though, some real nice lady bought us an electrical cord because my companions card was not working and I did not have enough to cover. What amazing people there are here in this town!

                                                Elder Caldwell

Monday, September 14, 2015

14 Sep 2015 "Hey, how are ya'll?"

This week has been crazy from chasing pigs to broken windows to log splitting.  We have had one crazy fun week. Elder H has been out 4 days now in the field. He is one great and motivated  "Greenie". 

       We did a service project splitting wood for 3 hours on Saturday. We got back and called the cops because our window was broken the night before on our truck. Next thing you know, we get a call from JR asking us if we could help him catch some baby pigs that had gotten free. We jumped fences, fought the bushes, and worked our way back on both sides of the pigs until we were able to set out a fish net to snatch them up.  It worked really well, After catching the pigs, we banded a goat, then drove home, got changed and off to dinner. 

        Elder O had a hard time packing through the week.  So we got up at 4 am on Thursday to finish up his packing. 

       This is going to be a great transfer.  Well, I got to go.  Time is up 

                                    Elder Caldwell 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

07 Sept 2015 "Hey Y'all"

  Another crazy week!! We got transfer calls on Saturday and Elder O is going to serve in Oklahoma with Elder J! Elder S is a Zone Leader.   I feel like they are taking the young ones in the mission age and making them Zone Leaders this Transfer.   I think it is an incredible idea!   Wow the Lord is Smart!

    Everyone in My Zone here in West Plains are trainers except one companionship!  It is super cool.  Today our laundry was interestin'!! It did not dry very well, so we have it hanging all over our apartment.  We used some Para-chord.   I will send pics of it next week!

      Crazy, Odd, Terrific news!!! I am getting a 3rd trainee which means that I very possibly will end My Mission in Ava, Missouri...pretty crazy eh!! I am also still District Leader so I get the opportunity to do both! Seems like a great way to finish my Mission.  

                                Love ya'll,
                                      It is time to rock the world,
                                                                  Elder Caldwell  

31 Aug 2015 "Hey ya'll not much time but here it is...briefly"

- We moved
- We played volleyball and got a private theater for the zone activity today with "all you can eat" popcorn and "all you can drink" drinks
- I found out that some valentines that I left in Ash Flat 9 months ago are still there. 
- We did lots of service and even ripped off a roof and did some work on the farm. 
- We met some more less actives and we had lots of bike rides.

Thank you!

                     Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

17 Aug 2015 "This week has been great"

 One day, in a land far far away the missionaries rode 10 miles into town to save a few miles and rode and walked seven more while in town and then rode 10 miles back.  It was a pleasant journey and I kinda wanna do it again. It's a really pretty bike ride. 

       While these two Missionaries were walking around in-town, we discovered a rookie mistake that is quite hilarious.  The picture will be attached of a bucket that has been concreted into the sidewalk. That has to be expensive to fix properly. 

        Weird fact of the day in Ava, Missouri...I think it's against some kinda rule to walk anywhere. People are strange and some members seem to get a little huffy when we don't accept a ride from them (learned, as I do most things... the hard way). I don't quite understand this weird alternate universe, but I am not here to offend anyone. 

       I truly enjoy the people in this area especially the family that we ate with last night!! They built a house out of mud that looks better than stucco in my opinion and its bulletproof (yes that has been tested and is a fact). It only cost them $1,800.00 and the walls are 18" thick, meaning the heating and cooling cost near nothing. It is fully wired and hooked up to solar panels, which really makes the heating and cooling cost nothing. Mortgage free and livin' the dream. 

       True, this place is a little backwards, but maybe its not and the rest of the world is backwards. Well who knows these days!! All I know is it has opened my eyes to new things that I might implement in my life. 

         As for teaching...we got a new potential investigator but the only way we will be able to get in contact with him is if he is walking down the road towards the town of Ava! He has no cell phone and would not give us an address but we will keep working and praying to get in contact with him and many others!!

                             Elder Caldwell

Thursday, August 13, 2015

10 Aug 2015 "..the love my Heavenly Father has for me is constant and forever."

Hey,how are ya'll doing today?   I really had to laugh about this sign we found on a building. 

I hope ya'll have a great week. 

    This week has been fantastic.  I got to teach my companion about car engines and how they work for a little bit. I hope we can find some new investigators.  Please pray for us and please pray for our obedience. God loves us and he loves you!!  Satan just wants to bring us down. 

      I am so grateful for all the many blessings that I have seen on my mission!!! I hope it continues.   Trials come and they go, but the Love my Heavenly Father has for me is constant and forever. Have a great day. I will get ya'll more pictures.

Elder Caldwell   

Monday, August 3, 2015

03 Aug 2015 " hard and love those you serve."

 I am now in Ava Missouri and I am working alongside Elder O! Super exciting!  our district has 2 Riverton Folk in it..Me and Sister D.  Pretty cool...ehh?!?!

 I am working hard to get things rolling.  I am trying to gain some Member trust back here.  It's pretty easy, you just have to work and love those you serve.  Not too hard. 

     Well other than the crazy cleaning experience that we had in the last two days, not much has happened.  Just trying to get bearings and get going.   I love my life so much out here as a Missionary!!

                  Wish ya'll the best. I will write more next week. 

     Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

27 July 2015 "Shortest Stay in an area my whole mission"

Guess what ya'll??  I am headed to Ava, Missouri on Thursday.  Apparently I cant get it right in Missouri.  I am serving with and Elder that served in a district that I lead not too long ago. I will serve as District leader in my old District with Ash Flat, Arkansas in the District. I am so excited!!!  I have only been in Jenks, OK for 6 weeks. They also separated the Jenks and Sapulpa areas into two again, like they were before I got here.  

     I don't know why I came to Oklahoma for just one Transfer, but I do know that Elder Shore feels like he knows. He says he needed me, but I have no clue what I said.  He will be training his 2nd trainee and he has only been out for 9 months.  He is one incredible Missionary and I am so glad I got to serve with him.
     Elder Smuin is going home at the end of this next transfer.  We served in Ash Flat about a year ago together. We had an exchange and I got to talk to Elder Smuin a bit. I realized that it had been a year since I met him.  It really shows how fast time goes on a Mission. 

     The Lord works in Mysterious ways and I know he tries us, tests us, and turns us into better people than we could ever be on our own. I have met some great people here in Jenks in such a short amount of time.  People I won't forget. I hope everyone gets the experience to serve a full time Mission. It is incredible! You have no idea what the Lord can make of you!

 Elder Caldwell


Monday, July 20, 2015

20 July 2015 "We worked hard and had an enjoyable week"

I now understand fully how amazing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is. We went to a church called Life Church TV and I tell you what,There is a very different feeling there. I am convinced that it is not for me.  It was a great rock concert with laser lights and everything. There were a few scriptures in it and a Movie watched.  All things that seem super weird as a Missionary!!!  We did get permission to go to this church, as we got invited by a potential investigator.
Doing more with less.  That is what is happening in our Mission.  We are teaching more, Baptizing more, and bringing more closer to Christ with less people. Yes, it is agitating covering 2 areas.  However it is the Lord's way of making me better than I could possibly make myself. Remember that there are many who look up to you.  Don't budge under stress.  Put a smile on.  Be the one to change people from a depressed mood to a happy determined mood. 
   We worked hard and had an enjoyable week. it was definitely an eye opener! I hope you have a great week.  I don’t have much time but enjoy.  The coolest thing about that church?   I got to hold Darth Vader’s light Saber.  Life is good!

Love Elder C
Life Church TV ..even Darth Vader is welcomed.

Elder S and Me with Darth Vader!


Monday, July 13, 2015

13 July 2015 "Spiritual gifts..sometimes hard to see."

  The Spiritual gifts that we have are sometimes hard to see.   I am so glad that I have such a great companion so that I can stay focused on the true gifts that I receive. Heavenly Father loves us and wants the best for us.   I know this for a fact.  I have had ups and downs and crazy Roller coaster rides, but it is the ups and downs that make it interesting and fun. I have learned so much out here and especially in the last week. I love being able to search the scriptures every morning and then pick my companions brain and bounce the impressions and thoughts I have off of him.

     I feel like me and Elder Shore make pretty good companions. We work pretty well together and try to plan things to be most effective. We met with an old man on his driveway and he was so excited about the news that there is a Prophet on the earth and we know his name. I hope it goes further than that. 

It really hits me how blessed I am to be able to know that God loves me that he has a plan for me. He has sent me Prophets to guide me and to love me. I am so glad that I know of the Book of Mormon, that I know that it is a true record testifying of the Messiah, the Son of God. I know that we can have Eternal Families. I wish everyone could have this same comfort that I feel in my soul.

    I hope that you can all conquer the trials you are going through.  There is only one way.  That is through Jesus Christ, our Savior. I love This Knowledge I hope you do too!!


Elder C

6 July 2015 "...just LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS!!"

This week was rough and the results were not quite what we wanted. We had a Zone Conference with President Loveland, that was kinda weird. I am going to miss President Shumway but I am also excited for President Loveland and his wife. They work hard and that is something I like. They talk in today's terms and in today's language. He even said "awesome" over the pulpit. He is a "White Handbook Mission President". He asked us what makes this Mission so successful and we said it is the culture of obedience that is around the Mission.
    The Lord has prepared this Work for us and we need to be worthy to do the work.  We need to be willing to serve him as members and missionaries. I am so glad to be in the ABM (Arkansas Bentonville Mission). We can do great things and we have done great things in the past. The Church started with one prayer less than 200 years ago and has now grown so fast. It would not grow if it were not God's Church. I know this for a fact.
    It is incredible the effect that we have on other people. I can tell ya'll that if it were not for members being true and doing what they should, this work is made a lot harder. That does not mean that we have to invite everyone to church or to read the Book of Mormon, It simply means we need to invite and be good examples in all we do. Invite them to a barbecue, to go roller skating with you, or on a hike....just LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS!!!


Elder C

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

29 June 2015 "Off to see the Wizard."

 I don't have much time but there is a bit to say. Lots is going on at home and I am excited about it.  Life seems to make us hit the ground running. This week we will be trying to double the standard of excellence and we will be working hard at it all week. We are going to cut our Preparation day a little short so that we can do this.

      This last week we met some new people and I am terrible with names.  It is really sad.  I have noticed I don't know hardly anyone in the two areas. There is this guy in the ward who just got off his Mission and the next day he was out helping us out.

     My new companion is Elder S.  He is from Caldwell Idaho. He is the youngest of three.  See the parallels?  He has been out seven months.  We both like to ski and love the same music.

     I hope that all goes well and hope to see ya'll in a while, too bad it will be a short while. I am off to see the wizard or something like that
                                     Elder Caldwell

Monday, June 22, 2015

22 June 2015 "Another Crazy Week"


I have so many crazy things going on this transfer.  I found that time goes way too fast.   Elder S (who I served with in Ash Flat, AR) Is one of my Zone Leaders.  It's super cool!  

The day before I came to Jenks, OK, I got a call from President Shumway telling me that I will be in a Trio and that I will be covering 2 areas again.   When I got here there was only Elder Shore.   No Tripanionship...and we shot gunned into Jenks. So many last minute changes.
I am so happy!  We are in such a nice place.  It's super cool and I know a whole lot of people who have served here.   I am still a district leader.   I need to email President and I have run out of time, so I got to go 

Elder Caldwell


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

16 June 2015 "What a crazy week"

     I am going to Jenks, Oklahoma this next transfer on Thursday!  We went Caving in Willard for a combined zone outing.  It was super sweet!  We got super muddy!  It had rained for the last two days before we went. When I got there I was greeted by a friendly face that I had not seen in awhile.  Her name is G.  It took me a long time to spit out the reason I remembered her!  Her mom passed away while I was in Nixa and I didn't want to bring up that's how I remember her.  She told me that Elder Marriott and I were her favorite Missionaries.  It sure was good to see some good that I have done.
      As we were going through this cave there is one part where you are waist deep in water.  Then you hop up out and you have to army crawl to get through the crevasse into the next cavern.  It was such an incredible experience.  Especially because your light does you no good when you are army crawling with it, so I just turned mine off and put it in my pocket. We sang the Spirit of God, The power of a hymn in complete darkness is amazing.
      I feel like there is a lot more to Missionary work than the Mortal mind could even comprehend.  I love being able to help people even if I don't realize that I have done anything.  The people around me remember me, sometimes better than I remember them. You never know who is watching so we must live our best at all times and become the best that we can be. 

     A Member's non-Member girlfriend made me brownies as a going away present.  I hope we all can make a positive difference in the lives of many. I am going to miss this Area.  I do know that God has a plan for me and that I am needed in Jenks. Well thats about it, I will send ya'll some pictures! Also, I have to say Marshfield is on fire....3-4 new investigators every week!

                                      Elder Caldwell

Oklahoma Tulsa Mission to Arkansas Bentonville Mission!

Monday, June 8, 2015

8 June 2015 "I Love Service Projects"

 This week I hit my 18 month mark.  Weird to think that if I were a Sister Missionary I would be going home right now.  I am so glad I am not serving a Sister Missionary Term. Missions go way too fast and buck ya off at the end!!!
    Last Preparation day we played knee hockey in our apartment.  My knees still have carpet burns and scabs on them.  It was well worth it, though. We had so much fun!! 

    We have done a lot of service this week.  We lifted a wooden swing set over a fence onto a trailer and then took it off at Scott's new house.  We helped Scott move.  He is a non-member and threatened to shoot us until we got an "in" by helping him move.  Now we have us a Porter Rockwell.  He defends us all the time.  It's great.
     We also helped a less-active man named Bob build a garage linking steel beams together and grinding through them.  It was a lot of fun.  I love service projects.  Today I get to replace a bearing on a Member's Truck.  It's a '78 F-150.  Beautiful truck and I get the opportunity to work on it.   I love preparation days :) 
     Elder Caldwell

Thursday, June 4, 2015

01 June 2015 "Hey Ya'll"

 This week has been so fast.  I look back and Monday was Yesterday, I swear!!!  I think I must have blinked and missed it.  I am so happy that I am able to work here in Marshfield and Fordland.  The Ward is really loving us and I might get a little fat because of it.

    We made an Atlas to Baptism usually we call them Maps but this one was a little long. We had fun decorating it with stickers and all.  It's beautiful.  Hopefully the picture sends.  If not ya'll can see the picture in 6 months.

     I know I have been placed here for a purpose. I still have almost two weeks til transfer calls, so I will let ya'll know if I go or stay. The Lord is my Director as Nephi says so nicely in 1 Nephi 17:47!!! I love The Scriptures.

     Well, nothing is really new other than I learned a little more this week about various groups like Baca and Hells Angels. We have a lot of Bikers we are teaching right now.  It is sure fun!

     We have had some communication with the Amish Community. They are pretty straight forward about the Bible being the only book and it is only to be read in German.  It's pretty interesting, if I do say so myself.

       We had a wicked storm with Flash Flood warnings and all. We were driving home from Fordland which is about a half hour drive. We got half way down the road and came to a flooded bridge, Elder Gehring was convinced that we could make it across if he were to move this one branch off of the bridge! To say the least, I am now sitting in the Mission Home without a companion. Just Kidding....I would not let him do it, There was more than 9 inches of fast moving water flowing accross that bridge! So we turned around and drove down a different Highway back to Marshfield.  The journey took us almost an hour and a lot of miles!! But all of us are safe and good to go!
Atlas to Baptism Calendar

                   Elder Caldwell  

Monday, May 25, 2015

25 May 2015 "Sup all ya'll"

    I am so happy to be a Missionary at this time. I have seen so many blessings as we are getting ready to close the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission and to open the Arkansas Bentonville Mission!!!   I am so lucky and I found out recently that my Dad helped open the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission!!! 

    The reason for the change in the Mission name is to make the mission office more centralized in the mission.  Tulsa is in the far west as far as the Mission boundaries go!

    This week we came really close to setting an all-time Mission record for new investigators. The last time we made a record we had 80 more Missionaries than we have now.  We were only one short of matching the record. 

   The Last 5 months of my Mission I will have a new Mission name and a new Mission President. I am super excited. 

    We have had one crazy week.  We worked hard all week and we decided that in order to stay within our miles budget, we would have to cut down and make Marshfield a Biking area and make Fordland a car area.   It is a 60 mile drive round trip every time we go to Fordland.
    I am going to be the best Missionary that I can be through the end of my Mission. I am excited for the changes and I want to make the changes memorable by working as hard as I can through it all!!

    Missions do come with trials.  Ups and downs that make us grow and learn.  That is for sure.   The other day we were asked if we prayed for people. We said yes, knowing that what the lady was saying is "do we give blessings?"   We ran upstairs and she talked to the lady that needed a blessing and she refused us because we are Mormon.  Yes, this happens all the time but I have never had it happen in a life or death situation like that!   I have learned patience and love through this.  We don't learn half as much through the good times as we do through our trials. I am grateful for this opportunity.  As we rode our bikes away, all I could think of was hymns from church which was exactly what my companion and I needed!!

      I love all ya'll and wish ya'll a good week!
           Elder Caldwell

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

18 May 2015 "Sorry super short and lame..."

 This week has been fast and incredible. I am starting to understand what it takes to be a District Leader. I love it all and life moves faster and faster.  Hopefully I will catch up someday but the Lord has the fast way and it is amazing to see his hand in it all.
       I am so happy I have the knowledge that I am a son of God and he loves me individually. I am seeing lots of turtles and possums and odd things every day. I wish I could just send pictures. I promise Pictures next week but this week has been one crazy preparation day haircuts and going to Wilsons Creek.  It made me happy, sad, and a little agitated but thats ok.  It's only because I know enough about the civil war for little things to bother me.
      Love ya'll talk at ya next week 

              Elder Caldwell

Saturday, May 16, 2015

16 May 2015 "Week #47"

  ...  it is not week #47 its just a random #.

..This week has been crazy. We talked to a lot of people and shared family history with a Mortician. That was an adventure!!
    In Sacrament meeting on Sunday I gave a talk on the Law of Chastity for Mother's day. Ya, that was an interesting talk.  It was super fun to study and to talk about.  It has been the only talk I have been given that people did not come up to me and say nice talk.   Well, except the Harris girls.  They said it was great, funny, and real. I am trying to be a real Missionary.  We all slip into the robot mode here and there.
    As I have become a more real Missionary, people have been more accepting of me on a general level. From Tracting to talking with Members.  When you are real and use your life experiences to help teach principals of the Gospel, people laugh and have a good time while they are learning. I hated school so I don't ever want to teach like a school teacher. No offense to school teachers...they just don't have the opportunity to teach in small groups and make it personal!
    I have a great feeling that I am really going to love these last 7 months of my Mission. I am learning so much that I wish I had learned earlier but I am glad I get to learn it at all.
                     Elder Caldwell

Monday, May 11, 2015

04 May 2015 "This is the story and I'm stickin to it"

  Oh Yaya
     This week has been fantastic. I am looking forward to this next transfer. I just got word that I will be staying in Marshfield for another 6 weeks with Elder Gehring!!! The only thing that changed is the Lord called me to be District Leader. I know that this came from the Lord.  I also know he has a little more Faith in me than I have in myself. Sister M is coming back into the District, I replaced her in Marshfield when I got shotgunned in.
     I am so grateful for the wonderful support we are recieving in this Ward and Branch where I am serving. I know why it has changed, too.  I have been working harder in the last week in this area than I had the last 6 weeks combined. The Lord has blessed me for sure. President Shumway will be leaving in 9 weeks and he has set some pretty hefty goals for the Mission. I hope we can send him off with a bang. I know that we can hit all the goals he has set.  No matter what the Lord has set these goals, not President Shumway.
     I Love all the work we are doing.  We have been finding a lot of potentials through our own efforts and member referals. God Loves each and every one of us and wants us to do the best we can.  That is the simplicity of the Gospel.
     I hope ya'll have a great week and I will continue to write weekly. Oh ya, this is so cool.   In Marshfield they have a large Crank Shaft standing on end. I had to get a picture to show ya'll.  We also found a snapping turtle on a cool dirt road:)

                      Elder Caldwell
Me and the Marshfield Crankshaft

Elder Gehring and the wandering snapping turtle.

My Marshfield District

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

27 April 2015 "This week brought some surprises"

This week started like any other exchanges with Klay Atwell and everything! Then on Friday, we had a mini Zone Conference.  I talked to the Castors from Ash Flat.  They got a good picture of me while we were conversing. My companion, Elder Levitz, went and talked one on one with President Shumway.  At that point I realized something was wrong. 

    The next day I drove down to Monett Stake Center which, in order to get to, I had to drive through Aurora, Missouri (my 2nd area). While I was there, the memories started racing through my mind and I am so glad that I have the opportunity to go through there. I found out that Jacob Numbers got his Mission Call and is going to Argentina!
    Elder L then met with the mission Psychologist and found out that he needed to go home immediately. So I spent the last two nights with the Zone Leaders and on Sunday, Elder L flew home.  We dropped him off in the Springfield Airport.  We cried a little and watched him go on his way.
   I was sent back to Marshfield with Elder G. He is amazing and energetic. He loves all the same music and is one incredible OTM Elder! I hope we get the whole next transfer to work together, but we might just have a week and a half. We get along real well. I hope we can light this area on fire even more so than it already is.
    While I was in the Monett stake building, I ran into the Angel Kids (as we used to call them from Aurora). Lauren talked to me for some good time and I am so proud of all of them. The Little girls are all still looking forward to baptism.  They are still waiting on their dad to come back to America from Mexico to Baptize them.
      Other than that love ya'll,
                            Elder Caldwell 

Elder G and Me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

20 April 2015 "Week-odd be it"

Hey Folks! 
   My week has been fantastic. I got a cool Alarm Clock today for $9. I figured I cant beat that I will include a picture. Our districts are so small right now that we have been having Combined District Meetings. We only have 3 companionships in our district and one of them is Sisters.
     We have been doing a lot of Less-Active hunting lately.  I think we found the Seymour Ghetto. It was pretty cool, all in all.  There were a few girls mocking us there.  I find it super funny when people mock Missionaries expecially me.  As they were talking loudly mocking us, I over heard this phrase. "If I wanted to come to their church I would go to their church, don't knock on my door that's annoying as _________."  My immediate thought was, "thats exactly what this lady that we are trying to see did at one point!!" Then I laughed outloud and Elder Levitz just looked at me like I had lost my mind.
     I have been reading up a lot on the Atonement. I am so glad I have a Savior who truly loves me and wants me to progress. The Law of Moses does not sound like too much fun!!! I would definately be stoned by now and I do mean the Biblical term of "stoned".
     I hope ya'll have a great week.  Don't you just love my color scheme I chose today haha. Well, hmm, what else to say?  Oh.. we were going down a dirt road and there was an unseen jump just in the middle of the road.   Well, I found that if you almost come off the ground, the box on the windshield yells at you back to back for driving too agressively. haha.   Tiwi problems it did sound pretty funny!
     There is this 18 year old priest who came around with us all day on Friday. We went to his dad's work and saw what he calls "Mini NASA". They have air conditioning units (emphasis on the s).  More than one would fill my entire bedroom. They use them just to keep the computer equipment cool because it generates so much heat. We also went to a lot of different peoples houses (non-member family Members of him). At some point during the day he played my guitar, I found that he likes the same music I do! K is a beast!!
      Love ya'll.  I gotta go,
                             Elder Caldwell
Walking on water!!
Cool new alarm clock!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

13 April 2015 "Just SERVE!"

Hey Ya'll!
            This is just going to be a short email of appreciation to ya'll. Thank you for all your support in helping me to get out and serve the Lord. Thanks for uplifting me and helping me carry my burdens. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people expecially President Shumway.  He is such an amazing man. He really wants me to be the best man that I can be.
     Our FATHER in Heaven is so full of grace and Love! He knows where we are and what we are struggling with. He can help.  Let him help. I am grateful for the knowlege that I have of knowing that there is a God and he cares about me as an individual! I know that I am nothing without him.
    Love everything you have because in all honesty God is who really owns it!! Love those around you and look for ways to serve those around you. I feel that is the recipe for a happy life....JUST SERVE.
           Elder Caldwell

Monday, April 6, 2015

06 April 2015 "Well, for those who think Mission Life is Crazy,yet fun...I got some Pictures for you at the end of this Email."

Hey Ya'll!
           The folks 'round here don't speak the same language as the Arkansas people.  Some laugh at some of the things I picked up from there. We all know it's good in the Neighborhood. Elder Levitz and I had a fantastic April Fools day.  First off, we have what we call the Unifan and just some other great pictures taken during lunch time!  Yes, the Unifan is self explanatory haha!!!
           We had Zone Conference and I got to see Elder N who replaced me in Nixa with Elder M.  J C is getting real close to going to the Temple. She was given less than a year to live when she got baptised. Now her white blood cell count is up and she does not even need to wear the mask anymore.
         I saw Sister M, too.  She came out with me.   It is really odd to think that the sisters that came out with me are going home at the end of this transfer!!! I am becoming an old Missionary but I am still moving forward not trunkie enough not to serve!! Never Trunkie enough to not serve.
         Missions are incredible experiences. I would not give up this work for the best vacation.  I have learned so much as I have seen when I get out and do work I don't get sad.  I don't slow down.  When I become lazy is when the Mission life gets really hard.  We Must learn to love all aspects of life and just put others above ourselves. We must reach out.  We must stand out. We must help out.  I love being in a capacity to serve and not have to worry about much else.  God loves us all and he wants us to succeed.  We are the only hold up! ya'll got to check out this movie on this website! I never thought I would hashtag anything seriously, but hey Missions change you.  #BecauseHeLives


                           Elder Caldwell

P.S. Sorry guys I forgot about the all you can eat Ribs at RibCrib!!! 12 ribs later a piece!!!

Me and Elder Levitz