Saturday, December 26, 2015

12-26-15

fammers,

heyo. it was another christmas in peru, really great. I had my lights up in my cuarto and we actually recieved some carolers one night. it was another one to put in the books, a christmas where I wasnt with my family and didnt celebrate it too much, but one to remember because I feel I understand more what christmas is really about. CHRIST, MAS!

It was great to skype some of the family and to festivate with some other companions and to see their families. we had a strange occurence and really quite the miracle happen as we were in the office yesterday, christmas day. We were there, just kind of wrapping up some work and some lady with her young children walk in. I thought she was just going to ask us for directions but she then went on to tell us her story. Us office elders stood around us as she kind of chastened us, saying, "its so hard to find you guys! Ive been looking everywhere!! do you have a book of mormon I can read??" She is about the one peruvian person I have met who used a computer and found out about the church and wanted to get in contact us. She went on, "Ive tried about every other church but it amazes me that I have felt nothing too special with them. When I read about this church though, I did feel something. I would really like a book of mormon to read and go to mass (haha) with you guys someday!" We were thrilled, handed her every pamphlet, a book of mormon and some words of advice and direction to find the elders where she lives and meet with them. It was so amazing to see something like that occur on christmas. She left so happy, promising us she was going to the park right now so her kids could play and she could read the book of mormon.

I have no doubt in my mind she did, well, because she came in today during our district meeting and made the best interumption that I didnt mind at all. She came in and sat down and told us her experience reading and praying about the book. She told us she knew it was true based on her feelings. Honestly, I had never seen someone so ... prepared, so smart and clear and really knew her feelings. It was awesome. Im super stoked and jealous the elders are going to have teaching her in their area. 

I hope that little cuenta warms your hearts this (after) christmas day, and I hope its been a memorable one for you. I love you guys, and Im excited for another year to keep working for the Lord and being his servant for a few more months. 

elder caldwell.

adventures:

shiny shoes.
the tree
elder price burned his pants in the mountains
other thing i forgot




Saturday, December 19, 2015

12-19-15

hello from the south,

hey guys! well, we travelled again. we went to a place close to my last area of Yungay, 
called Huaraz. It is the best here. It is the only place you can wear coats and see snow.
We are preparing more and more for Christmas here, and we are travelling to all the zones
of the mission to do Christmas Devotionals with the missionaries. Its been fun seeing
everyone de nuevo. Especially I have been fascinated to be with a lot of the new missionaries
and learn from their simpleness. The past 2 nights we are going to be staying with Elder 
Price and his son (trainee) Elder Ortiz from Ecuador. I was able to proselyte with Elder
Ortiz last night. He only has about 5 weeks in the mission and he is already inspiring and
helping his family, even miles away. Him and his mom are the only ones baptized in his
family but he just found out that his sister will now be baptized as well, after waiting about 7
years of his life. We taught a less active family, and he told them how important it is
to just read, pray and go to church. We commited the family for the new year,
(new years resolutions = great technique for missionaries trying to do commitments)
to read as a family every night. The mom of the family was super excited and so were we,
in the freezing winter rain of Huaraz. She gave us some bread as a parting gift. I love the 
mountains here.

With all the cosas going on this end of the year, I have been searching for a lot of spiritual
and mental refuge. A really great section of this months Ensigns (or Liahonas) gave me just
that with this quote: "He recalled that when he prayed in his earlier years, he diso with list of requests and   solicitudes. He would approach heaven with what  he called “a kind of shopping list.” But now, he said, “I think [I am] trying to grow in just being   there. Like when you sit in front of fire in winter,  you are just there in front othe fire, and you don’t have to be smart or  anything. The fire warms you.2"

we dont have to be smart or elegant or anything in our prayers. I love that metaphor, we can just pray and kind of just soak in the warm spirit of the Lord, until that peace we require comes. As the cold approaches us spiritually, and phisically this time of year, hope we can all learn from this council and pray in such a way.

Love you guys. Wish I could send some picture but I have forgotten to llevar mi camara hoy dia. disculpeme. Next week will be chalk full of some mountain pictures. 

also pray for my mom if you can! she is having surgery soon. also for our investigator francisco so that he can progress. 

Elder Caldwell. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

I like the desert 12-12-15

to those who still read,

hi. how was the week? thats good. much love. im still here in Perú. 
This one was quite a good experience for me. We got to travel
the mission once again, and I was able to help my companion
do some legal things while president and the assistants did
interviews. We got to see all the missionaries and feel their
fire that they all have. My favorite night out there was when 
I was able to go on divisions with two elders, Elder Rice
and his trainer Elder Rodriguez. Elder Rice reminds me of my
first days in the mission and it was awesome. We went out into
the middle of nowhere in their area, called Cambio Puente. Just
dirt everywhere and we got the chamba going. We taught some
and I got to know them pretty good. A touching experience was
when we were driving back to home, our taxi man. I told him
my feelings of God. It was a long drive, so I was able to delve
into my testimony with him. I felt the spirit that night.

Elder Uceda when he was here made a really special experience
when he shared his testimony. He made sure to mention that
sharing a testimony is actually a really sacred experience. It 
is to show what we know, because of what we have experienced.
We cannot say we know something if we have not experienced it,
it would be more like lying and the spirit would not be there. 
That what the most powerful part of his training to me. 

Im thankful for testimony and the little one I have. I hope it is growing.
Im thankful for you guys. Here is a little poemI love, and lets me know
how important we are, whatever we do or whoever we are. Its all for God.

"Father, where shall I work today?
And my love flowed warm and free
Then He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, ´tend that for me´
I answered quickly, óh no, not that!
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me.´
And the word He spoke, it was not stern,
He answered me tenderly:
´ah little one, search that heart of thine,
Art thou working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
and so was galilee.´
-Meade McGuire

Love,

Elder Caldwell.

pics:

title.

also thanks mom for the christmas package!!! love you.







Saturday, December 5, 2015

12-5-2015

My family,

Hey there. Its has been a few tedious days for me. I have learned a few things here in my days of trying to figure out things and help run a mission.
1 .I never want an office job.
2. I love people more than computers.

Haha, well, I’ve learned a little bit more than that. Christmas is approaching, the end of the year is approaching, we just finished a mission tour and the waves of work here in the office, the time I am here, is a lot and it stresses me out. I often feel my work is useless, and I question why I am here, why I got this position, why can’t I just be outside preaching the word more than I do. I have battled much inside of me, and I have tried more to pray harder and read more to understand why and how I can overcome what is becoming a challenge to me. I hope this doesn’t appear to those who read that I don’t like my time here. It has its ups and downs, but the down has come this week.

In turn I have tried more to be a missionary in every moment. Even to my fellow companions. To listen to those who come to the office with problems, I am trying more to listen with a compassionate heart. Or to talk to those I am surrounded about daily about the gospel. I feel like God placed me here in this strange position in the mission to really help me to realize what outside, non-mission life will be like in the future. I will not be preaching the gospel 24/7 at home, I will be place in uncomfortable situations a lot at home, I will have to deal with money, business stuff… God just is kinda shoving me out of the little cove of safety we like to call missions for a minute to show me what it’ll be like. And I’m learning. I’m learning to put God first in the world. And that is why I think I am here.

I have also really enjoyed reading 1 Nephi 3.7 in this time, and pondering over the talk “Bearing up their burdens with ease” by Elder Bednar. In that talk he compares a small story to our own personal burdens we have every day. Whether that be sin, or business, family problems, we all have something on us. A man gets his truck stuck in the snow in some mountains while he goes out to chop wood. He does everything he can think to get the truck out of the snow, but to no avail. He finally gives up and cuts the wood anyway. He loads up his truck with this wood and thinks probably, “what next?”. He starts the truck and try to back up, a little hard at first, but finally escapes the snow and gets back on the road, towards home. So, it was the burden that got him out of the snow. It was the burden that gave him the traction. In our lives our burdens get us back on the path. It is our constant burdens of sin, family, business, school, or in my case, weird office/financial things that constantly remind me of Our Savior and what he did for us so that we could feel happy, even under burden (Mosiah 24.15). Burdens are essential to life, and right now I find myself grateful for the burden of being placed with tedious tasks to shine forth with faith, with ever growing fervent prayer, searching scripture study, going to church with a repentant heart.

I realize todays letter is a long one, but it feels good to express my feelings and what I’ve learned this week.. I am looking forward to recognizing my burdens, thanking God for the challenge, and just try to keep moving forward. Love you all.
Elder Caldwell.

Ps. don’t worry, here we also go out and teach people. We are teaching a fantastic man named Francisco. He has huge desires to be baptized, to help his ancestors. I will talk a little more about him next week. LOVE YOU!

pics.

ran into an old returned missionary, elder cano
ponderizing jaja

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mission blog

To ready more about Elder Caldwell's mission.  Go to

http://beatrizymanuelrios.blogspot.pe/

Saturday, November 28, 2015

11-28-15

FAM,

I did done love this week. We spent most of the days with one of the Seventy of the Church, Élder Juan A Uceda. That man came with fire. He singed our eyebrows! I wish I could adequately describe to you all how full of the Spirit and with life that guy was. He taught us so much, and it was a great Thanksgiving, to be able to learn so much, and be thankful for it. 

He taught and showed us exactly, exactly what I needed and longed to hear for the longest time. We travelled to all the mission, him teaching us all for long periods of time, the longest to be like 5 hours in total. He just unloaded, on what to focus on, being more converted, converting the people, showing us what truly is important in mission work. Inviting people to Christ. That means we also have to come unto Christ, every single day. At random times during his periods of teaching, he would pause and just you could see the energy in him. He would then say in a higher-raised voice, but not to the point of yelling, (kinda like Jeffrey R. Holland) "You are TRUE SERVANTS OF GOD! YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED BY REVELATION!!" It wasn´t as preachy as it sounds, it was just a great motivator. 

He pointed out at the beginning, before he started teaching, to pay more attention to what we were feeling, rather than to what we were hearing. He said, whatever you write down from this, I hope it is more of stuff you have felt and prompted to put, rather than exactly what I said. I put it to practice. Even though he taught us great things, like not being superficial in studying the scriptures and just really escudriñarlos, I felt a different thing the spirit kept prompting me. It was to profundizar mis oraciones más. To make more profound my prayers. To, instead of just sitting there, and having a one-way phone call with God, to sit there and kind of meditate, ponder, feel the motions of the Spirit and see what God would have me do that day, and who to serve. Im doing that every time I pray now, and it is ... really special and extraordinary, to kind of sit there, after asking a question in your prayer and kind of reach out spiritually for a confirmation or for some sort of feeling. You know truly that the "heavens have opened" just like what happened when Jesus prayed with his disciples.

Well, thats what happened these 7 days. Just a bunch of learning, improving. We also went to a botanical garden today in Trujillo and got kicked out because we put our hammocks up. 😀

haha sweet. love you guys. I share this email with you today with the hopes that you can also learn much this week, right along with me. I know the opportunity to get closer to God and feel His love is not just available to me because Im on a mission. Its open to all of us.  

LOVE,

Elder Caldwell.

pics.

in our travels we found the mystical poop corn cart. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

11-21-15

Wonderful people,

Hi. It has been another week. Here is a scripture I really like.
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8. 37-39 

This week has been exhausting. It was the end of transfers, so we had a lot of work. Moving missionaries around, saying goodbye to the old ones going to casa, welcoming the new ones. I really enjoyed it though, a lot of good feelings seeing the new missionaries and the fire they bring to the mission. Every time we have new missionaries we have a little meeting with them, before they meet their trainers and they all share their testimonies. This week as they shared their testimonies, I got the impression, "they really had to work and fight for those." In the mission, testimonies and answers come a little easier as you are living the gospel 24.7. But man, I think of the outside world, and see it everyday, I wonder how we used to do it before the mission, or how people even live the gospel in a crazy world like this. So much respect for you guys back home living the gospel. Keep going.

This week I had some interesting experiences with english! Im the one supposed to help the whole mission learn english, because we have a lot of latino missionaries. Its been not the funnest of my jobs, but some things really stuck out to me this week, to lighten the load. So one late night after sending the old missionaries home, a local member who lives in Chimbote decided to come by and try his hand at the final english exam (if you get a good score, a latino could potentially get into BYU somehow. its a big deal). I wasnt too thrilled to give the test because I was tired, but I went along with it anyway. The test involves using the internet, and our internet that night was the slowest, to the point it wouldnt allow him to finish the test. His name was Nelson. Nelson had brought with him that night his girlfriend. As he was pretty devastated he couldnt finish the test, I looked over and saw his girlfriend to my surprise, praying. arms crossed and head bowed, mouthing words. Then I looked over at Nelson, doing the same thing (relationship goals). I was pretty awed and humbled at the example of these 2 good people. No joke, after they said their prayers, a few minutes later the internet started working, and he passed the test with flying colors. Nelson Pérez is the man.

I'm excited for this week, Elder Uceda, the area president is coming to our mission for a mission tour. He is going to set us in our place hahah. We have to arrange everything for him, so that his tour is good. I'm super stoked to see what insight and counsel he gives the mission. It will be sweet. That also might mean I wont be writing next Saturday, we are going to be busy. but we shall see!!

love you always.

Elder Caldwell

pics.

saying goodbye to oldies.

hello newbies.

elder cardenas gave me his old film canon camera from the 80s. excited to put it to use










Sunday, November 15, 2015

11-14-15

Family,


Emails are hard to write because sometimes I feel I don’t have much to share, but when I think and sit for a while the experiences start coming and I see how blessed I have been. So for maybe the 200th time Ive said, its been a good week this one.


It wasn’t all dandelions and warm fuzzies though. For about my whole mission now, one of my ears has just been really agitated and it itched all the time. I woke up one day this week and the pain had progressed quite a bit. Luckily my companion is a registered nurse (what luck) and he whipped out all the bells and whistles to see what was going on. After giving the inside of my ear a good look he found something really weird. There was a SPLINTER in my ear. We were super confused as to why and how a large splinter was in my ear haha. I figure that in my first area, we had a lot of investigators who were carpenters and they always did some work near us. I think a little chip of wood just might’ve flew and lodged itself into my ear. Haha, really weird. So he got it out and then it got infected but ill spare you anymore of that talk.


On to the real experiences of the week. In my new position I have the great opportunity to be surrounded by the great leaders of the mission. A few days ago we had Leadership Council with all the zone leaders of the mission and listened to some really inspired stuff. It was one of the more spiritual meetings Ive had here, so good man. I also got to partake in the training and get up in front of everyone and share a few experiences and what Ive learned is most important in finding chosen people of the Lord. I shared the experience of my good friend, Esther and how she was truly prepared because she had prayed asking God to guide her to a good church for her and her son before we had received the referral to her from a recent convert. God and Jesus are good, and they are in the smallest details of our life.


We then went to a beach called Salaverry and hung out with all the Zone Leaders. We played soccer on the beach (walter mitty type of vibes here), then watched the waves come in. It was so refreshing and fun to be back on the beach after a year of being in the mountains and in the downtown. Some good pictures were taken, but more importantly great memories were created with people whom I will miss. I know why God has created family and friends, so we can have memories with them. If we were alone all the time, who would we share that stuff with. That’s why He tells us to go out into the world and share the gospel. I love that, man. I miss you guys and cant wait to have a lot of memories to come. But Im also glad to be with my peruanos and share beautiful spiritual moments with them. It’s a great time.

November is my favorite month.

My companion walks really fast.

Love,

Elder Caldwell

Some pictures of the adventures this week.












Saturday, November 7, 2015

11-7-15

Habla familia!

Im happy! I dont want to go home! (sorry mom)

As I was wrapped up my personal studies on Wednesday, I stood up looking out the window just thinking about life. I watched for awhile outside and viewed as a man rode up on his bike that had a lot of collected bottles and trash. He started looking through our trashbags that was lying out in the street waiting for the garbageman. I watched as he looked through our filthy trash, trying to find some bottles or something of worth. At first, my first impulse was to judge him and maybe make some assumptions on how he had lived his life and that was the reason that he was picking through trash now. I then realized how hypocritical I was to judge someone, wearing my nametag that says the Saviors name on it, and after I had just studied the scriptures about how to be more charitable. After contemplating that fact and watching him a little more, with more compassion now filling my heart, I felt the small impression to serve him. Moved, I sat down and looked around, and prayed in my heart to know how to better serve this humble man. We had a stack of Book of Mormons laying around. I grabbed one, put it a plastic bag so it wouldn’t get dirty. I went to the window and said, “hey amigo! Tengo algo para usted.” I dropped down the copy to him and he caught it with grateful arms. He gave me a smile. He probably would’ve liked some money or maybe some extra bottles to put onto his bike instead, but I really hope that act I did helps him somehow, and that he can read that book.

That morning I had done something we exhort every person to do, which is to read, ponder, and pray. Those small acts prepared me to give that man a Book of Mormon. I hope we can all do that.

Haha, I hope this letter doesn’t sound preachy or like Im trying to show off my act of service, but I always like to share a small experience that highlighted my week. I really love you guys! Its been a good week and there is always something to learn, for all of us everyday.

Also, a funny experience happened one day when we were waiting at a crowded bus terminal to pick up some missionaries and take them to the hospital. As we waited in the baking sun of the coast of Peru, a random guy came up to me covered in tats and with a Mohawk. “Yo wass good dawg?? Whatcha guys doing here?” He looked like a normal Peruvian haha til he started speaking straight up hoodrat English with me. He was so confused as to why two gringos who had it good in the States would come down to Peru. He was a native Peruvian but immigrated to Florida and was now apparently a gangster. We told him we came down to spread the good word. He still couldn’t believe it, and asked us how much they were paying us. “Nothing!!” He was so shocked. I love being a missionary!

BYE!

Elder Caldwell

pics

thanks for the tie aunt sadie and uncle jeff! best one. sailboats

i finished my journal after starting 2 years ago. this thing is a bible

my breakfast every morning. pan y juevo. con nutella