Monday, August 31, 2015


ay ay ay.


wow I miss you guys with all my heart. Im out here in the middle of nowhere, let me tell you. after travelling 8 hours on the bus, we came up over a hill and there I beheld where Id be living for who knows how long. I think I grew a few moustache hairs looking at the mountains and stuff. I think they send boys here to become men. I live at the base of a mountain, and behind this mountain we can see what looks like the Matterhorn straight out of disneyland, it is breathtaking.Its just covered in snow, so im back to wearing sweaters and jackets everyday hallelujah.

Where we live, it is just straight people from the chacra. They actually speak a different language, all of them. Spanish is their second language, and their first is an ancient indian language here called Quechua. Im learning a bit and I can communicate with some really ancient people out here. imanotanquekanki is how are you doing? Im convinced these people are the straight descendants of the lamanites. Im stoked to be out here. All ive been hearing lately as well from the zone is how hard it is to do the work out here, and oh man am I tired of hearing that. of course its going to be hard, no matter where you go but you just gotta work and find solutions. My companion is from Ecuador and is also 25 years old. he resembles a vampire. 

We dont have a ward here, or a branch. we have to travel 30 minutes to go to the nearest ward, so its a little hard to get investigators to come to church because they cant pay for the movility. Im thinking that we need to start a family group here, the most basic unit of the church. There is only one really active family here, and we live in their house and eat with them. They are the best and so so strong in the gospel. Im really hoping I can create a good friendship with them so we can start brining people into this family group, and then eventually into a branch.

so much to talk about, wow. ahhh so we recently found the best family in the world out here, just the upmost humble. they are the cordero family, and they live waaay out there. we have to travel 15 minutes to get to their house in the middle of the fields. they dont have much, but they do have a car which is really out of place haha. we are hoping we can help them progress and get them to church in Caraz. They always serve us food when we come, and because of the rules we cant eat it. but if we dont eat it, they will be offended. (everyone gets offended really easily here). you have to eat all of it. last night we had some orange slop with watermelon seeds in it. I dont know what it was, haha. But I love them and I cant wait to keep you guys updated on how they go. 

I wish I could send you all pictures, but my computer isnt too good today. next week you will see the matterhorn! also something really random that happened, is that a sister Flake came into my district, shes brand new, and my cousin! from arizona and everything. shes great, my district is great! if any of you though have ideas on how I can better change their attitude towards their difficult areas, please help me out. 

love you all con un gran amor que no puedo describir. 

elder caldwell

Monday, August 24, 2015


´´for the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.¨ mormon 8.22. a small verse that gives me a lot of hope and peace.

I love being a missionary of the Lord. it´s nice to know that as I leave this beloved area of mine, just like that scripture says, the work will roll on. I´m so excited to hear how my companion and his new companion do, and what miracles what they see. I loved this area, and the people I met here will forever be apart of me now. it hurts to leave, but when changes like this happen you have to know that it´s only for the better, and that the Lord wants you to become something greater.

I got the call last night to be a district leader in a super far off land in the mountains again, called Yungay. It´s pronounced like yoonguy. It´ll be close to a big popular area, called Huaraz. you gotta look up pictures of this places, I hear it is super pretty. there are snow on the mountains there. I´m so unbelievably excited to return to llama land. I´m gonna hop on a bus here pretty soon to be travelling for 10 HOURS. holy moly. There is some crazy legends about my area, maybe not legends. in 1970 the missionaries were where I´m going. the people were super wicked and totally rejected the elders, even they started like fighting with them. Eventually they left the little town and they returned to try again, and they warned the people that if they didn´t stop being wicked, and repent, they would be destroyed. they kept up being evil people, so the elders left again. soon after a huge earthquake happened, and a landslide completely destroyed the town and everyone in it, except the children were miraculously saved. hahaha. you might think that im just saying some made up story, but everyone I ask tells me about how yungay had been destroyed. Í´m so scared and excited. 

I´m so grateful to learn more and progress, I´m so grateful that I have been trusted with a district, I feel super unqualified for that but I´m going to do my best. holy moses such crazy news. Our fantastic family, are getting married this week, and atleast 2 of them are getting baptized the next day. my heart is full, and I wish I could fully express myself how blessed I have been to be apart of their lives. everytime I look at my patriarchal blessing and read the promises therein, I realize how they are being fulfilled. I´m excited for life and the future, man. thanks for everything, everyone. I´m so happy to be apart of your lives and know each one of you. our lives are so enriched, yet sometimes we don´t even realize it. the most important thing we have in our lives, is the people. 

ahhhh can´t wait to go to yungay, and tell you all about the crazy adventures I will have up there next week! we have the whole town to ourselves, my new companion Elder Pacuasi and I. The whole town is gonna know us! 

Love you all so much! la misión es lo maximo.

Elder Caldwell.


one family, where im holding a cat is a family we baptized not too long ago. they are great.

the next family is the obeso leon family! love them!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Hey everyone.

we went to the temple today. wow was that a spiritual recharge. It was the most peaceful hours of my life. I hadn't felt that amount of the spirit in a long time. I'm really thankful for the temple, man. it's a lifesaver. 

as my first year in this service comes to an end i've been reflecting a lot and it is amazing to me how blessed I have been in so many aspects, when I look back on all that time I just want to shout and yell and say "i did it!" because it was hard, and because we have done so much. and because we have seen so much of the Lords hand in our lives. I know that there are other missionaries who feel the same way. I read a talk about being more of a consecrated missionary the other day, and the author included a quote he had recieved from an elder just finishing his mission. I would like to share the same quote, as I feel it matches my feelings exactly.

"I was reflecting yesterday if I would call the mission a sacrifice. And for everything it seems I might have sacrificed, I feel like I have been given tenfold. If I say I have sacrificed time with my family, then I must realize that I have been rewarded with a family more united and loving than ever. If the has been a sacrifice of time, I have been rewarded with knowledge that no university in the world could have taught me. If it has been a sacrifice of my talents, I have been rewarded with more than I ever had before. I can speak Spanish, I care more genuinely about people and I am less quick to judge and more anxious to serve. If it has been a sacrifice of human relationships, I have been rewarded with practice in speaking to men and women from all walks of lifeand in diverse situations. If I have sacrificed my earthly possessions, I have been given new ones that I value infinitely more. For anything I have sacrificed I have been given more." 

I know that that quote we can apply to all of ourselves, not just those in a mission. we can all devote ourselves to our callings more, or other causes, and get more than that we have sacrificed. how lovely is that assurance.

our beautiful family that we are going to marry, had some complications with the papers and stuff so the wedding and baptism is going to be the other week. This upcoming sunday we recieve transfer calls and im 100 percent positive im leaving, which makes me sad but I'm so excited as well. so many things are happening. missionaries make a joke that when we are at our year mark we are just like at the top of a rollercoaster. I truly feel that way. I just want to baptize the world haha i have so much desire. but I just gotta put my head down and work. I hope I get sent to a hard area so I can just put in my all. 

we had a classic experience this week, elder mollo and I. at this point we really dont have many investigators so like ive said in the past, we are knocking on doors and contacting like crazy. my goal is that everyone knows us in this tiny little area. we knocked on one door in a creepy little alleyway and a woman answered so we talked to her. she seemed disinterested, and then all of a sudden her furious grandma waddles up to the door. we didnt have any teeth. she says this, "HELLO. WE ARE CATHOLICS. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? LEAVE." in just the most menacing voice. we smiled and said, "we just want to talk about Jesus with ya!!!" she frowned deeply and shouted, "VAYANSE POR OTRO SITIO. SOMOS CATOLICOS, ENTIENDEN? ENTIENDEN??" and slams the door. I just started busting up laughing, it was the funniest thing. I love when stuff like that happens to us so I can provide you guys with stories or when I can tell them around a campfire. maybe one day ill get robbed. hahahaha.

love you all, 

elder caldwell.

Monday, August 10, 2015


hello dearly beloveds,

what a spankin great week. we just got back from making some genuine leather sandals with the craftiest man you'll ever see this side of the rio pollo. His name is Charles and he had bushy white eyebrows. He showed and guided us in the long process of making the sandals, and it was tedious but worth it at the end. now they're going to last a lifetime!

that process is similiar with all of us. I've been learning a lot and thinking a lot about becoming. A few weeks ago we recieved a training on how we can better teach with the end in mind. I also recently read a talk by our prophet Thomas S. Monson from 2012 about the same subject. In my 7 months here in this area I've seen many people change and grow in the gospel - including myself. "we should develop the capacity to see men not like they are now, but what they can become with a testimony of Christ." No matter who these people are, rich, poor, drug addicts, nobodys, depressed, God has a plan for them to unlock their potential. God doesn't see us for who we are, only what we can become. Imagine them in baptismal clothes, in the temple, then work towards that goal until they realize it. We can look at ourselves that way too. If we are burdened down by sin, feel depressed, like a loser, focus on what you can become. With a happy family, in the temple, living a healthy lifestyle with a good attitude. think of your best self, and remember that is the person that Heavenly Father wants you to become. It is so possible, I have come to realize in this year of my mission. 

just like it is found in alma 15.4-11, we can change even as zeezrom did. 

our wonderful couple and family we are teaching, I told you all last week, are getting married! they plan on the 21st of august now for their marriage, and the next day will be their baptism. When we first met this family, they pretty much wanted nothing to do with us. But when I saw them I knew they could become an eternal family. I tried to imagine them being sealed, and joy swept over me. This can now become a reality because we decided to put all of our efforts, prayers, fasts into them. They too have been working, and working more than all of us has been the spirit. I testify of the change in people. i am eternally grateful for the impact the gospel has had in my life and the lives of those around me. can't belive it's taken me this long to learn all this, enjoy all this, and fully live the gospel, but it is so nice. hope you can all enjoy the gospel this week, and your lives. love you all so much. keep keeping the Obeso Leon family in your prayers!! 

back to work now :)

love ya,

elder caldwell.

ah by the way ill be emailing next week on tuesday because we are GOING TO THE TEMPLE


enjoying a nice peruvian meal and drink with our peruvian grandma.

the man, the myth, the legend, carlos helping us with our sandals. 

Monday, August 3, 2015


"Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?" - mormon 9.16

Hi there fammy fam,

love you all. this week was a week of just hitting the pavement, and finding people. find, find, find. there is a huge difference in me as a missionary. from otuzco, where I was super terrified and shy, to here, where im really feeling more confident with just talking to everyone. its a change that is a huge miracle to me, I just love talking to people now. I feel like I mention a lot about miracles in my letters home. to me, miracles can be a lot of things. miracles to me are the small signs, tender mercies, that God is intricatley apart of our lives, and that He is doing his part. they are the marvelous works like in that scripture I shared, and truly it is hard to comprehend how many there are in a day. 

an experience I want to share this week is about finding. Elder Mollo and I were walking the street, keeping our eyes peeled, our spirits open, on who we could talk with. The street we were on was dead, so I decided to look at the doors and see what door we could knock on. (normally we don't knock on doors here, we try to get references) this week was a little dry from the references, so in fact we had been knocking a lot on doors. its not recommended haha. its hard, but funny as well. I noticed a sign on one door that said they were renting out a room. I mentioned to my companion, "hey lets go pretend we are looking for a room to rent just so we can contact this person." he immediately agreed so we went. an older lady answered, and she took us up to this super small room (it was terrible), but we felt we could talk to her about the gospel. we told her we were missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ, and that we needed a slightly bigger room to do our studies. she replied, "I know who you guys are." we asked her how.  she then relunctantly told us that she had been baptized in our church 40 years ago, and had been inactive because she had married a catholic. we were stunned. I looked at my companion, and immediately started telling her that we werent here by coincidence, that God was giving her an opportunity to return and listen to us. She declined us. I was super sad after that. I know it was a miracle to have found her, though it didnt even feel like a spiritual impression to knock on her door. God really gave her that chance, but she rejected it. I know she will have more in the future. I left that tiny room kind of astonished by how embedded, how personal, how intricately involved God is in our daily lives, even when we dont realize it. how marvelous his works are!

another thing this week. I probably have mentioned in the past one family we had been teaching, and the parents werent married. Giovanni and Harumy. well, they still arent married and didnt want to do so, so we had kind of dropped them for a week. friday night as an appointment fell, I felt the impression to go visit the family. we went apprehensively, not expecting much, but we were so so wrong. We got there, and the spirit was immediately there as we said a prayer and started talking. The mission is organizing a day so that there can be a lot of marriages. we invited them, again, to get married and they accepted. a miracle had happened. they knew that it was a commandment of God and they felt strongly about it now. I asked them why their answer was different, what had changed their mind. they told us that a family in the ward had invited them to come over for family home evening. they had had an amazing time to watch a family, grown in the gospel, share their testimonies, feel the love and unity in their home. I am grateful for that family, and how simple of an invitation it was to invite them to a simple event of family home evening. I hope we can all do that, and change lives, in a very simple, loving way.

love you all so much. it has been an amazing time in my mission here. i dont know if I will ever see that couple get married, or baptized, but I know they will, because the spirit had testified it to them. have a super good week, and keep the obeso leon family in your prayers. 


elder caldwell

pics: eating helado con mi amigo. 

alleyway lurking.

ps: i had a dream that jeffrey r holland came to visit the mission and I took a selfie with him. we'll see if that is a prophesy. hahah