Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a Happy New Year

Its nice to see that you and Grandma had some time together at the
beach :) I would say that the best part of Christmas was the phone
call home as well :) Things continue to go on though. We are teaching
a lot more people including a man who his family are all members and
he is the last. He is the the father of the family and has bee living far away for the
past year for work but now he is back and wants to join the church. In
our first meeting with him he told us that he already knows the church
is true and had read the Book of Mormon three times. A very humble and
caring man :) He will be baptized in February.
We are having another quiet holiday season here for new years. I
haven't received Grandma's and Judy's package yet but it should be
here this week :) We are just planning on playing different sports
today, go out to lunch with some other missionaries and tomorrow we
have been invited to a very nice family for a new years lunch :) But
other than that we are not allowed to work today or tomorrow for
safety reasons so we need to find things to keep ourselves busy. Other
than that there isn't to much going on here right now. It has been
really hot lately and the mosquito's are out :( But I am doing well, I
am happy and still working hard. I love you and hope you and the
family have a very happy new year :)

Monday, December 10, 2012


So Jordyn pulled off straight A's, why does that not surprise me.
Caity is looking good though, and I am sure she
did her best to look her best for that picture haha. I received
letters this week from a lot of people in the ward so I will do my
best to respond to as many as possible :) Christmas is different
here in many ways, one of those ways is that it is about 90 degrees
here during Christmas haha but there are also a lot of fireworks and
everyone slaughters a Chicken for dinner (not prime rib but thats ok).
Nothing to special but we are not allowed to go out on Christmas eve
or Christmas so we just hang out at our apartments.So here is the
weekly update on the work in Johannesburg :) We had a much better week
than last week partly because I wasn't sick but also because we have
started working harder than ever! We really felt like we could do
better and so that is what we set out to do. We started to talk with
everyone we could and it has proved to be of great worth to the area.
We set 12 appointments with different people and also 3 appointments
with new families that we are very excited to see. So our finding
efforts are being blessed by the Lord right now. He is showing us that
as long as we depend upon Him we cannot fail :) Things are looking up
for the city of Johannesburg and I hope to leave this city in a much
better situation than when I found it. No health problems this week
but there has been a lot of rain, thunder and lightning and when it
rains it pours, sometimes for hours at a time. It was like that
yesterday. We were walking and we just came out to a street corner and
it was raining cats and dogs so we sat there for about and hour,
contacting people as they braved the storm, and waited to be picked up
for our dinner appointment, Which was a wonderful dinner :) Well that
was my week in terms of the work and I look forward to what this week
will hold and hope that we can maintain the spirit of finding more
people to teach and help on their way back to their Father in Heaven.
One lesson that I have learned this week is about depending fully on
the spirit and the lesson was put so clearly and beautifully by our
Bishop on Sunday when he spoke at Sacrament meeting. I want to relate
to you the example he used from the scriptures that really opened my
eyes to our possibilities. In Matthew we read of the account of where
Peter was saw the Savior walking on water and asked that the Savior
would bid him come unto him and he knew then that he could do the
same. So the Savior bade him come and Peter stepped out of the boat
and began to walk on water focusing his attention fully upon the
Savior. Now this is the part that got my attention, as soon as Peter
looked away from the Savior and looked down at the waves beneath him
did he falter and begin to sink into the depths of the sea. Then the
Savior calmly extends his hand returning Peters focus to him and they
both continue on to enter into the boat. We can do anything the Savior
can do if we will turn all of our focus to him and then not deviate
from that focus for anything. I think it kind of goes along with
having an eternal perspective but I think it is a lot more focused
than that. Learning to trust in the Savior fully and completely is not
easy. It involves a lot of blind following on our part, a step into
the dark or unknown, or as Nephi puts it going without knowing what
you are going to do before hand but knowing that the Savior will not
leave us alone because he loves us and we are putting our trust and
faith in Him. This is a lesson that I am trying to learn right now.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Poor Caleb was sick this last week so he had a uneventful week due to his illness, but he and Elder Rakoto are back out there looking to share the Gospel.

Our area struggles a lot because of how hard it is to find people to teach but
our Zone leaders are coming to help us contact people on Friday so
Elder Rakoto and I are excited for that. I almost have to pretend that the holidays aren't here
because if I think out them I get a little home sick besides I am
still not used to the whole Christmas in summer thing :)Anyway I am
happy and doing great. The work is slow but we are still working to
change that :) I love you and hope you have a great week :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I am glad that you liked the pictures. Sadly we did not celebrate Thanksgiving at all but that's okay because I completely forgot about it on the day of :) . Thank you for sending my supplies and a package :) I cant wait to get them and I will have to see if I can wait until Christmas to open my presents :) and you are not here to stop me haha. I will do my best to wait but I cant make any promises :) I also have some news for you. Due to the younger ages in which missionaries can now go on mission the mtc's are now shortening the time that they have to spend in the mtc so they can have more missionaries go through. This means that the next two transfers will only be 5 weeks instead of 6 weeks and that means that everyone who is on mission right now will be coming home two weeks earlier so I will be back Oct 3 and not Oct 17.
Things are going good right now. We are still looking for people to teach but it is hard. Johannesburg is getting ready for its mass exodus that occurs during the holidays. The two wards will even be combining for about a month because so many people will be gone. Other than that though there really isn't to much going on here. We have our mission tour tomorrow and the Area President will be addressing us. He will be also be giving a special leadership training so I am excited for that. I am doing good and I am happy :) The holidays are not affecting me to much and I am excited to spend my Christmas here in the city :) Know that I love and miss you.
Love your son,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Three New Investigators

Things are going good here in Johannesburg. We have three new investigators and we should be having a baptism next month so we are excited for that. We still struggle to find people but we are learning how to work better in the city every week :) President Omer surprised us by attending our district meeting this week and it had to be the best district meeting of my mission :) He is just a very humble yet powerful man. I am very grateful to have such a mission President.
I have been missing home a lot more lately but I think that just comes with the Holiday season, it just means we got to go work harder :) Anyway I hope that this email finds you well and know that I am very happy with where I am, who I am with, and with what I am doing. Have a great week and a great thanksgiving :)

love your son,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Temple

 This is the Johannesburg Temple that sets up on a hill in my area I am in now.
Things are good this side. We are working very hard to still find new
investigators and hopefully with all the referrals and contacts we
have had last week we should more than double our teaching pool :) We
also received a referral from President Omer for a young family that
he and Sister Omer met at a Mission Presidents Seminar and they want
to come teaching with Elder Rakoto and myself (We are both excited and
nervous about that haha). Patricia is doing good. She cancelled her
meeting with us today but the last two times we have seen her have
been very powerful visits and she is just so determined to do what is
right (which reminds me we need to call her today). Elder Rakoto and I
are staying together for another transfer :) We are both very happy
for that. He admitted to me today that until he was companions with me
he thought that all Americans were racist. This mission faces a lot of
challenges with that and it is sad to see such good young men hate
each other because of a few differences they cant look past. But Elder
Rakoto and I get along so well, he is one of my favorite companions so
far :) Well that's all for today. I hope that you have a great week and
that everyone is doing good. Love you to the moon and back :)

Love your son,

Elder Caleb Coon

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Things are going good here. The work is still a little slow but we
where able to meet with one of the referrals for the second time today
at the Area office and her name is Patricia. She is doing good and is
very interested in learning about what God expects of her and what she
needs to do in order to gain forgiveness. Speaking of forgiveness I
read a book the other day entitled The Miracle of Forgiveness. It is
the greatest book I have ever read in my life and I will never
recommend missionaries to read it while on mission. I just saw it at
the distribution center and I felt like I needed to read it and boy
has it broadened my perspective on life, sin, the Atonement, and
forgiveness. It took me four days to read it was so good! If you
haven't read it yet I highly recommend it :) Other than that though it
has just been work as normal. We are facing a lot of challenges right
now when it comes to finding still but we are determined to just press
on and do are best. Transfers are in a week and Elder Rakoto and I are
hoping and praying we get to stay together another 6 weeks. We get
along great and have a lot of fun together.
It has just been an interesting week and the book has added to it. I
feel like I am at the cross roads of life when it comes to choices of
who I want to be. I feel almost like I have come to a fork in the road
and there is the good way and the best way. I am doing a lot of soul
searching you can say to find out what I really hope to get out of
life and what I most want to achieve. Most of all I just want to be a
worthy husband and father and live a life that I will be able to spend
a lot of time with my family and at the same time provide the
necessities of life and many of its comforts. Its a gift to be simple
I have come to understand, not simple minded but simple in desires,
hopes, and dreams and what ever comes after that is in the Lords
hands. Spiritual growing pains hurt but they are so worth it. Things
are good and I am happy but most of all I am finding more joy than I
have ever felt in my life. Joy doesn't always mean happiness but what
it does mean is satisfaction in doing what is true and right leading
to everlasting happiness :) I love you mom and hope you have a great
week. Send my love to everyone and hugs as well :)

Love your son,

Elder Caleb Coon

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


 So this is gonna be short because I am short on time and because of
how long it takes to down load pictures :) but everything is going
good here and we are having a blast. We just came back from the Area
office by the temple because there is a person there who was given to
us as a referral. Our booth didn't work as well as well as we had
hoped but that's alright we were blessed with two referrals because of
our efforts haha. We had the opportunity to meet Elder Holland this
week. He came to do an area review for the South East Area of Africa
and he came and spoke to us. We each got to shake his hand and then
when he got up to speak he told us that in our hand shake he
interviewed us and told us that there were one or two of us that
needed to repent out of the 120 that were there (Powerful and
scary)haha. Things are going good though, I interviewed a man in my
district this week and he was very powerful and ready for baptism and
he was very focused on getting to the temple with his wife who is
already a member. There is nothing better than bringing families
together forever :)
My health is doing good and there isn't anything I really need, music
is always fun to get, the Mormon Tab choir has become a favorite but
that's about it anything you think a missionary needs put it in :). It
sounds like you will have an eventful holiday season.) Thanks for
the pictures as well its good to see everyone :) I will make an
appointment with the doctor probably next month and get my blood work
done again and see where I am at and Health wise I am doing great :) I
am also very happy and doing great and having a lot of fun and still
learning a lot. I have made it my goal to read the book of proverbs
this week and I am already half way done haha. I hope all is well with
you at home and that you guys are happy. I always pray for you guys
morning and night:) Have a great week and enjoy every minute of it
for life is a journey not a race ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Things are going good here. We are just having to work very hard to find new investigators and its hard because we are not allowed to tract and contacting is rough because most everyone we talk to does not live in the city but the missionaries around our area love us for all the referrals haha. We have now devised a new plan to find new investigators though that will be both effective and easy :) We are setting up a booth in a park with a big poster that our mission has about the Book of Mormon and the Bible showing a picture of both. So we figure if we can find people who are interested ion the Book of Mormon then they will probably be interested in the Restoration :) Anyway my comp and I are giving up our P-day today to go set it up in a park and let the people come to us (I will take pictures there).
The Lord continues to show me my weaknesses, I never thought I could have so many haha that's pride for ya. But in my study today the familiar scripture came to me in Ether 12:27,37 and that brought some light of what I need to do. Weaknesses are given to us to humble us and cause us to depend upon the Lord and his merits and mercy and that is something I have been failing to do lately. I got too comfortable and thought I was doing everything that I should be doing but I realized after a powerful talk given by Elder Cook of the Seventy on Sunday that I was not following the spirit even though I thought I was but I happy to now say I am in the process of becoming fully dependent upon the Savior and his power. Life is good though and I am loving what I am learning and loving discovering what I need to learn more of. Elder Rakoto is great and a lot of fun. We work very good together and he is a great support to me when I get stuck in a rut. He knows the New Testament like nobodies business but he will always deny it so we made a deal that each comp study we would come up with a topic or principle and then we would have to give each other two scriptures that we know I give him from the Book of Mormon and he gives me from the Bible. We are becoming master Scriptorium haha (or so we think). Always smile :) I love you to the moon and back.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I need to remember is not a race, its a journey

Oh how I miss eating Chilidogs and watching the "best two years" every Sunday haha those are some good memories. ? Family is the greatest blessing that our Father in Heaven has given us, we can have the greatest joys together but we can also bear each other up better than anyone else can. I really miss my family I miss all of you but I know I am where I need to be and am doing the most good here. I officially have one year left before I come home. That is crazy to think about, I have been in Africa for a year now. Okay time for the Long awaited update. I am now serving in the City of Johannesburg also known as Jozzi Central :) My new companion is Elder Rakotondramanana, also known as Elder Rakoto, he is from Madagascar. The work is progressing slow but sure. We are having to rebuild our area but a challenge is always fun. The ward is big and are chapel is the second oldest LDS Chapel in South Africa. The city is crazy and as you could imagine is very dangerous and we are not allowed to tract or walk in certain streets. The city is very very wicked for the lack of a better term. I will have no problem walking anywhere in Portland After serving here. The members are very kind and fun, the return missionaries are helping a lot as well which is something that has never been the case in any of my areas. We are working very hard to find new investigators and to build our relationship with the members to gain their trust. We watched general conference this last week end and it was amazing! Its amazing how the Lord can speak to us so perfectly through His servants. President Monson never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh. I really enjoyed his talk on service and feel even more compelled to go out and help all I can through the gospel. I have a lot to learn still but I feel very grateful to have such great leaders to teach me what I need to become.
Time is flying by and I feel there is still so much I need to accomplish but I need to remember is not a race, its a journey and I need to enjoy it and use the time given to the best of my ability. Love you mom and know that you and everyone else is in my prayers :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

My new Companion is Elder Rakotondramanana

I am so happy that Grandma got that letter. I felt so impressed I needed to write her and I am glad that it did some good. I can't believe Caity is considering going on a mission! When she does go she is in for the spiritual awaking of a a life time haha. I am now in my new area and things are going great. My new Companion is Elder Rakotondramanana or Elder Rakoto for short. He is from Madagascar and is awesome. He learned how to speak English in six months and is just a fun guy to be around. I am now in the City of Johannesburg also known as Jozzi Central to the mission. Church was awesome on Sunday and we will be watching conference this week end. We get conference a week later here but everyone was talking about the change in the mission age at church. I am very excited for that and couldn't help but laugh a little because I had wanted to go when I was 18.

Elder Holland is coming to South Africa this month and he will be addressing our mission on the 25th. I am very excited to hear and meet him. Things are good though and I am loving being here in Johannesburg. There is plenty of work to be done and we are having fun while doing it :) Thank you so much for all of your love and support, I know I would not be here if it weren't for you :) I hope you have a great week and enjoy every minute of everyday. I am really so grateful to be serving in South Africa right now and I hope I can serve as the Lord would have me. I almost cried when you told me Grandma's response to my letter. I cant but feel closest to my Father in Heaven when I am able to lift someones day especially someone in my family. I love you so much mom and know that you guys are in my prayers everyday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It Snowed and Everyone Went Wild

It did snow and everyone went wild. It was so fun to watch all the kids get out of school and start playing in it. For most of them it was the first time they had ever seen snow. I don't have my A1C yet I will get it today. I have put off calling the doctor because we have been so busy and having fun :)
So here is the weekly update. Things are going good here in Protea Glen. We are tracting a lot and trying to find knew people to teach which is pretty fun in a township :) Lots of great, funny, drunk, happy, and Religious people :) Friday and Saturday nights are avoided because mostly every man is drunk. I feel like Manti when he emailed me and told me that people in Jamaica struggle with the Law of chastity except here people really struggle with the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. Other than that though the ward has called a new ward mission leader and a new assistant ward mission leader. They are both very powerful members who are excited about the work and are ready to hit the ground running :) Life continues to move along swiftly. I cant believe how much time has gone by and how little time I have left (14 months looks really short from my point of view). I love being able to work and have fun. Learning is my favorite thing to do now which is weird for me haha but there is nothing better than a good book especially the scriptures because there is so much in them that I thought I knew that I realize now I know absolutely nothing (for the most part). Its weird how happy I am right now. I am tired and I know it is gonna be a crazy week but I am just happy. Its really weird I am sitting here smiling and I don't know why. Life is good :) This last week we had our Zone Conference and our Zone Activity. For our Zone Activity we barbaqued and played Basketball, soccer, and dodge ball :) The only bad part of all of it was my Companion when throwing a ball threw his arm out of its socket and now is not allowed to play sports the rest of his mission but other than that it was fun. Elder Sibandze's spirits are high and he is doing great. His arm feels much better but he is now sick with a cold. He's had a rough start to his mission but he is loving his time right now. At our Zone Conference President Omer talked about our Stewardship in taking care of our Flats, cars, bikes, and Allotment money. He also talked a lot about receiving personal revelation which was awesome. There is no greater feeling or experience than being taught by an inspired leader. Sister Omer is the best as well. She talked mostly about using our money wisely and told us to stop eating out as much haha She told us she was tired of getting phone calls from missionaries telling her that they are out of money halfway through the month. All in all it was a very rewarding experience and I learned a lot!
One day all three of us will get to bless the sacrament together it will just have to wait 14 months :) Things are all good here and I am sending a letter today :) I hope you have a great week and are starting to realize you might be moving to Rexburg in a few years haha Love you to heaven and backI knew that I realize now I know absolutely nothing (for the most part). Its weird how happy I am right now. I am tired and I know it is gonna be a crazy week but I am just happy. Its really weird I am sitting here smiling and I don't know why. Life is good :) This last week we had our Zone Conference and our Zone Activity. For our Zone Activity we barbecued and played Basketball, soccer, and dodge ball :) The only bad part of all of it was my Companion when throwing a ball threw his arm out of its socket and now is not allowed to play sports the rest of his mission but other than that it was fun. Elder Sibandze's spirits are high and he is doing great. His arm feels much better but he is now sick with a cold. He's had a rough start to his mission but he is loving his time right now. At our Zone Conference President Omer talked about our Stewardship in taking care of our Flats, cars, bikes, and Allotment money. He also talked a lot about receiving personal revelation which was awesome. There is no greater feeling or experience than being taught by an inspired leader. Sister Omer is the best as well. She talked mostly about using our money wisely and told us to stop eating out as much haha She told us she was tired of getting phone calls from missionaries telling her that they are out of money halfway through the month. All in all it was a very rewarding experience and I learned a lot!
One day all three of us will get to bless the sacrament together it will just have to wait 14 months :) Things are all good here and I am sending a letter today :) I hope you have a great week and are starting to realize you might be moving to Rexburg in a few years haha Love you to heaven and back

Monday, August 6, 2012


-- Here is the weekly up date. We continue to see the Lords hand in our
lives and in our area. We have been studying the Book of Mormon and
Preach my Gospel so much lately that I have realized that I have a lot
to improve on. We are being asked by our mission president to focus a
lot more on Families that have Fathers. Africa is struggling to be a
more established area because of the lack of worthy priesthood holders
in the ward and branches. So it was a blast in our last district
meeting to discuss what we could do better in our finding efforts and
in our teaching to hold onto Father Led Families. I have found that
there is such a sweat spirit present when a whole family is actively
listening and learning about the gospel. It was a great district
meeting and the spirit was so strong :) I love being a missionary!!!
We are teaching an awesome family right now and we have had some very
spiritual lessons with them the past couple of weeks. They are the
Zondo's and they are a couple in their early thirties with two young
children and I hope and pray they can feel the truthfulness of our
message. We are still seeing Thabong Moanakwena and he is doing great.
He is a recent convert of about two weeks now. He was the first person
that I taught from start to finish and then baptized. He is doing
great! He's in the choir now and is preparing to go on a mission in a
years time :) There is so much I could go on about but I am a slow
typrist and we have a busy day ahead of us. I would like to end on a
more spiritual note though. I am learning more and more of the Love
our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. I am learning that
there are things that we could never hope to comprehend in this life
concerning the designs of Him who created us. This much I do know, we
are son's and daughter's of a very real Father in Heaven, Who loves us
more than we know. He watches over us, He cares for us, and He wants
us to be happy. He provided a way for us to become like Him to enjoy
perfect Happiness and Exaltation with our Families forever. He is
willing to speak with us and to listen to us. He knows our sorrows and
He knows our pains and He is willing to come as close to as as we are
willing to come close to him. The veil that is over our minds is a lot
thinner than we think. I have been learning so much since I have been
here. I have learned more about my Father in Heaven and His great Plan
of Happiness for us, I have learned more of my Saviour, Jesus Christ,
and the true role He plays in my life. I owe them both for everything
that I am and everything I hope to be. The thing I am most grateful
for is that I am learning about myself and what I need to change to be
more like Them. I was so blind before I came to South Africa to what
really mattered and what meant the most to me. I see now what I need
to change and slowly, very slowly, the Lord is purifying me and I pray
that I may ever let Him. There are three scriptures that I have
committed to live my life by. They are D&C 122, Malachi 3:3, and
Moroni 7:48 in that order. I know each of us has a divine potential
that we can reach if we are will to step aside and let the Lord help
us get there. These past ten months have been the hardest of my life
but they have been the most rewarding and wouldn't trade them for
anything. There is no end to love and there is no end to progression.
We are more than we are led to believe and are capable of more than
the mind can imagine and with the Lords help we can be who we are
meant to be, as our Father in Heaven is we can be :) I know That Jesus
is the Christ and that He has suffered all that we may return and that
He lives. May we all hold dear to our hearts these truths that are so
precious and go out of our way to share them with all who will listen
and obey.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Feel More Empowered Than Ever Before

 This last Sunday we had a baptism of a young man of 21 years old. His name is Thabong Moanakwena and he is a great powerful new convert. He tells us that he wants to serve a mission so we are still working very close with him and are gonna start involving more members in the recent convert lessons. Elder Sibandzi and I have been studying Preach My Gospel very in depth lately and have found a lot of things that we can be applying in our work that would help us so much! We have also been watching the District video segments as part of the New missionary training program and we had a very powerful study yesterday. We focused it on working with members and I about kicked myself in the pants because we have not been using the members as effectively as we could! So we have some big plans that we are gonna put into action this week and it should start making our work a lot easier and flow so much better. Training has definitely made me see what I can improve on. Last night I told Elder Sibandze that we were both being trained together haha. I cannot believe what new insights keep coming and how much I am learning. There is absolutely no end to intelligence that can be gained throughout our lives. Its so funny to look back before I came to Africa thinkig that I thought I knew a lot about the gospel only to realize that I have learned so much more now and that there is still so much to learn. I can truly say that my mission means everything to me and will define who I am when I come home. I am loving every minute of my time I have here. Last night, before we came home, we were having dinner at a members home and it was a great time. There were three different families over for dinner and one of our ward missionaries and it was just one of those times that I don't want to forget. Khwazi, the ward missionary, and I volunteered  to do the dishes after we ate and while in the kitchen I looked to where everyone was sitting and laughing having a good time and for a split second I felt as if I was at home. I felt like I knew each of them my whole life and I could not imagine leaving them. It was a great feeling to have. I love this work, I love the gospel, and I love the Church. I still wonder sometimes how I have been so blesssed to be in a family who honors the Covenants we have made to have a mother who is a perfect example to me and a father who always encourages me and puts me strait when I am out of line. Its a funny thought but these are the things I remember most from my life thus far. Its the fun I have had with friends, the moments of counseling and teaching from my older brother, the lessons learned from being a good and bad older brother, the tender mercies of the Lord that have flowed throughout my life, and most of all the love I have had from family, friends, teachers, and leaders through my life. I can look back anyone moment and feel the love of that time or the sadness. All of these things have prepared and shaped me for this time. I feel that I am being held in the refiners fire and at times it is more painful than I could have imagined but at other times I feel more empowered than I have ever felt before. It is my prayer that we always remember who we are and our divine potential and then focus our efforts on achieving that potential.
I love you Mom and I hope you have a great week. I am loving my time here and we are gonna have a great week. Love you MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Training Elder Sibandze from Swaziland

Good to hear that you and Cameron will have some time together while the other Kids are out living like the pioneers. We have been pretty busy this week. The Training is going good and so is being a district leader but it is hard at the same time. We are working a lot more with inactive members, doing all we can to find them and meet with them so we can get them to come back to church. We are in a ward of 900 with 750 less or inactive. So we are staying busy and we will be having a baptism this Sunday so that should be fun. Other than that though there isn't to much going on. Life is good and the work is better :) I am very excited to see what the next few weeks hold for my companion and I with all the all the inactives we have to find but it should be an adventure :)
My new companion is Elder Sibandze from the Kingdom of Swaziland. It is a land locked country in South Africa. He is a lot of fun, loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and to work hard so things are going good with him. I am doing fine I have my up and down days but thankfully I have way more up days and very few down days :) My health is doing good. I don't think I need anything but I let you know if I need anything. I am loving the work and all that it holds. I know it sounds like I am playing a broken record but I cannot get over how much I am learning and how much I am changing. These last couple of weeks have been hard for me because I think I am going through some pretty big changes that are requiring me to take a good hard look at my life and see what I need to do to correct so mistakes and mend some character flaws but I know with the Lord anything is possible.
That is exciting to hear about everyone getting their mission calls and going on their missions. I am sure Justin is excited to be going where Brandon was. Its always fun to see and feel the love that comes from members who have known your family :) Have a great week mom and know that I love and miss you too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I am glad to hear things are kinda back to normal around the house with Cameron being back. I am glad to hear Jordyn is doing better as well. I have included a document of some gluten free deserts that I found this morning so I hope they will help. My companions' sister also has to eat a gluten free diet so he is trying to get a bunch of recipes from his parents so I hope that will help.
Things went very good for us this week. We taught another 29 lessons, put Thabong on date for the 22nd of July for baptism and had a baptism on Sunday. Over all I feel very good about this week. I think its funny that this is the second week in a row that we got 29 lessons. We are trying very hard to break the 30 mark so hopefully this new week we will do it :) It amazes me how fast time flies when you are working everyday. I have discovered a love for planning out my days now. Missionary work takes the motto "Be prepared" to a whole level. Its nice going through the day always knowing what we will be doing every hour of everyday.
I had a good birthday, we just worked and now today we're going to a mall to spend some of my birthday money so I hope to get two or three things.

Love your son,

Elder Caleb Coon


Things have been going great here in South Africa :) I know I say that every week but it is true every week haha. Everyday holds a new adventure but Friday had to be the funniest day of my mission. So on that day Elder Ray and I were making tortilla's all day for the young men and women's combined activity on Saturday. They were having a formal dinner and the Elders were teaching the young men how to make Mexican food :) Anyways, our other companion, Elder Maybee, took one of our ward missionaries out for the day to our appointments. At the end of the day we receive a call from Elder Maybee that he got stuck in "some crap"(using his own words) and then before he told us anything else the phone cut out. We could not get a hold of anyone because our phone was not working and we couldn't leave the chapel because we didn't ave the keys, Elder Maybee had them. So Elder Ray and I start freaking out thinking that Elder Maybee had crashed the car and we had no way of getting to him. To make a long story short finally a member pulls up the chapel and helps us out. Elder Maybee had called about five men from the Elders Quorum and they had gone to help him. So one thing to remember about Africa is that when you are serving in a township area and you are white everyone will come to help you and try to rip you off for all the money you have for that help so we were happy to know members were there helping. So here comes the best part of the story cause to this point Elder Ray and I were pretty upset. One of the members drives up, Brother Fulu, and asks us not to yell at Elder Maybee because he feels terrible. So then Elder Maybee drives up in the car gets out and comes over. We went and looked at the car and then him and then just busted out laughing! Both the car and him were covered in raw sewage, toilet paper and all. He had literally got stuck in crap. When all was said and done the drive home smelt terrible and we felt so bad for the men who cleaned our car the next day. All in all it was a pretty good day :)


Monday, June 18, 2012


I cant believe Cameron is home and that Caity is graduated! Things seem to be changing rapidly at home for the Good. That must have been a very sweet reunion with Cameron at the airport. I cant wait to see him again. Thank you for the fax number and I am wondering if it would work to email you the receipts or do they have to be scanned? In any case I think I will just fax them to you. I should be able to do it today but I am not sure. We had a great week this week. We taught the most lessons I have ever taught in a week. We taught 29 lessons this week 10 of which came from Tuesday alone. We have been teaching like crazy and I having been feeling the spirit more than I thought was possible! I cant even begin to describe the wonderful feeling that comes from feeling the spirit work through you and touch the lives of others. We have also started a Saturday movie night that has turned into a huge success. Last Saturday we had less actives and investigators there with the members and everyone had a great time :) We showed "How to train your Dragon" which is a great movie. we had one confirmation on Sunday and we have one baptism coming up this Sunday so the work is going very steady and good. Being on the Lords errand is one of the greatest experiences of my life and I know that mission is just the launching pad for bigger and greater things. I was able to speak with my mission President not to long ago and the topic of returning missionaries came up. We talked about how in many cases missionaries will abandon most, if not all, they had learned while serving the Lord. It was him who told me that serving a mission is but a mere launching pad upon which we should base our life choices off of. Yes we do a lot of good in serving others and bring salvation to those who otherwise would have fallen by the wayside but when all is said and done you must be your greatest convert. We must learn all we can to be able to take those things that we do learn with us throughout our lives both spiritual and temporal. I am learning things that are opening my mind to new possibilities and understanding of our Father in Heaven and His great Plan of Salvation for us. I am seeing things as I have never seen them before and I thank God everyday for this new understanding. I am so grateful to be here in South Africa at this time learning these lessons in the way my Father in Heaven would have me. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been Restored to the Earth by Christ's duly called and ordained prophet and that through him His Kingdom has once again been established upon the Earth with His teachings in beautiful simplicity. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of the very living God, and that He lives. How grateful I am to know this and to be able to share this message with the world for the rest of my life.
Thank you for all that you do for me. I just sent a letter in the mail this last week so it should be there by the end of this week or beginning of next week. Thank you for the birthday wishes, its gonna be weird being 20 but I guess it had to happen haha. Have a great week.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Sounds like things are going good at home though. It doesn't surprise me that Jordyn is in the top 10% of her class but that is awesome! I am sure Chad is getting to be a giant now, it will be weird to see him when I get back. He will probably be able to beat me up by then haha (not likely). You are now a ward missionary! That is so cool! I used to not understand how that calling completely worked but now I realize how important that calling really is now. If I could give you one piece of advise it would be to get a "Preach My Gospel" manual and study the lessons in Chapter three. There are five lessons that we teach as missionaries and in that chapter is everything we need to teach to prepare people for baptism and enduring to the end. Once you know all those lessons you will be a powerful missionary for the ward and a great asset to the Sisters. The Bishop of our ward just yesterday asked us to start a Preach My Gospel class for all the ward missionaries and my companions and I are very excited to start teaching it. I am in a threesome right now and it is a blast! Elder Ray and I are already great friends and are working are tails off. The area I am at was just combined from being two areas so President is seeing if there is enough work to keep one or two sets of missionaries there. It is called Protia Glen and it is a massive township. We have about 20 lessons already scheduled for this week and we need to plan about 20 more so that week can see everyone. We also have a lot of less actives. There are about 150 or a little more at church every Sunday but the ward has 700 members so we have our work cut out for us and I love a good challenge. We have two baptisms scheduled for this Sunday and they are every excited to be baptized.
I love my new area and I love my new companions. Working is the best way to stay focused and concentrated on the work. The Lord is truly pouring out His tender mercies upon us. This work that we both are engaged in is true and Christ is at the Lead. He calls those that are prepared and that are able to help His children to return to Him and our Father in Heaven The Church is true but even more importantly the Restored Gospel is true and is the only way back to our Heavenly Father and we have it :) Oh the joy that fills my soul that I am on the path of redemption and that we have the great opportunity to be together forever in eternal happiness. Love you mom, have a great week and know that I am well and doing what is required of me and am having a blast doing it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It is Starting to Get Colder

Things are going good here in South Africa and yes it is starting to get a lot colder. The teaching is going good though. We have about 6 people planning on getting baptized in June but I think only 3 will really be ready. The less actives we have been seeing are still the same though. It is frustrating that some people just cant forgive and forget or are just to prideful to admit they were wrong but it is a labor of love and I love it. It is teaching me patience and long-suffering for sure :). I love and miss you and cant wait to write more next week.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Gospel Continues to Amaze Me

Things have been going really good this week for us in our area. We have been working very hard and have accomplished almost all our goals that we set and this week is look just as good.
The Gospel continues to amaze me. That was an amazing story that Dusty told and at the same time terrifying. I could not imagine having such an experience.. Its funny how being on mission really makes you have the desire to have a family and to be closer to the family you already have. Most missionaries I have spoken to have always expressed that if they could go back in time they would spend more time with their families and I wish the same thing. I never truly realized how awesome and great our Family is. I miss you all so much but I know where I am at is where I need to be and I am loving it. Seeing families drawn together because of the gospel is amazing and beautiful. I feel everyday the need to progress even more and learn more. It is so true that we are able to be taught directly from God. He wants to teach us and help us in any way possible if we but let Him and search out those righteous desires of our hearts. I love you mom. I know that Families can be together forever in joy and happiness. I know that My Redeemer lives. I have felt of His love and of His tender mercies in my life and looking back He was directing me more closely than I could ever imagine. Revelation is real, we can communicate with our Father in Heaven and He will answer us. I cant wait to share everything I have learned with you and the rest of the family. I am happy and I am doing well. I will let you know if I need anything and please let me know if you need anything. I may be on the other side of the world but I can still help with some things :) Love you mom. I will give you a quick call on Saturday to let you know what number to call on Sunday. Have a great week.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Progression is Hard but Worth It

-- I'm glad to hear things are going good for the most part back home.
Things have been good here. Elder Brey and I are getting along good but there is always
room for improvement. Its been kinda rough though these past few days
just because of the lack of work. We are trying really hard to get the
work moving along but its been hard for one reason or another. Also on
packages from now on only put missionary supplies on it and $20 as its
worth. Please tell everyone at home that who sends packages here.  Also
on the packages put Sentimental value as the price of the contents.   Time
flies by out here and I feel sometimes it goes too fast.
 There is so much to do and so many people we need to help that I feel to
rushed to do anything sometimes.
It sounds like Cameron is doing well though. He is writing
weekly now and that's nice. I love you mom and I hope you know that I
am happy and having a good time its just the Lord is teaching me a few
things and it is when we pass through trials and hard times that we
learn the most. I have decided and come to understand that the more we
endure and the more trials that befall us means the more our Father in
Heaven knows we can handle and wants us to learn that much more.
Progression is hard but it is worth it. Never has there been so much
promise and potential for greatness than the time we live in now. I
know the Gospel is true it burns within me and I cannot and I will not
deny it. This week we met with a less active family that we had never
seen before. They invited us in and right as we sat down we were
hammered with the most anti-mormon literature and doctrine that I had
ever heard in my life. My companion was so mad that he was almost
brought to tears but all I could feel was sadness. I looked upon these
choice sons and daughter of God and saw in them their own destruction
and fall because of their pride. I was in no way shaken nor confounded
but I felt a sadness I had never before felt in my life. It has been a
hard week but this new week is full of promise and joy. I love you
Love your son,
Elder Caleb Coon

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Things are going good here. I am getting a new comp tomorrow so that will be nice. I am gonna miss Elder Larson a lot though. We got along really great and I will be staying in contact with him. He's from Spokane Washington so he's close by as well. My numbers have been good though and so has the rest of my health. I won't be able to send pictures today because I still haven't had a chance to go through them which is good because it means we have been busy.We finally got to watch General Conference this last weekend. We get it two weeks late because of the time difference and also because of Easter. I got a lot of my questions answered and have a lot to look forward to these next few months in the area's development and in my own development. I love and miss you all and hope things are going good for all of you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Played with Baby Tigers

I am glad things are going good back home and that you got to have such a good time with
everyone. I will admit that I have been a little homesick lately but
that comes with the field of missionary work I guess. Things are going
good here. We just had some members take us to a wildlife preserve
today and we saw so many cool things and I even got to play with baby
tigers this time. I will be sending pictures in the near future. I
also sent a bunch of letters out to you guys so they should be there
either this week or beginning of next week.
This is also most likely my last week with my companion and he will be getting transferred.
I have really enjoyed being here in Randburg and hope I get to stay here in for another six
months. I love and miss everyone.
Love you MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

All in All, Life is Good

Things have been going very well for us in Randburg this week. We have
had a lot to do and have found our new love for baking cookies and
sweets for members and our investigators so they love us even more. I
continue to lose weight though and I am happy for that :) Alright now
for the big news of the week and mom you are not gonna like this. I
have made the resolution to get a motorcycle when I get home. My
companion and the members have finally convinced me. But all in all
life is good. The work keeps progressing and we find the time to have
a little fun as well.
So before you put down my idea of getting a motorcycle please hear me
out. BYU Idaho would be the perfect place for one and I would save so
much in gas. But if you are absolutely against me getting one I will
not. In a sense would like your blessing before I get one haha.
Things are going good here and we are having fun and working hard.
I love and miss you mom. Have a great time in California!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Lord Continues to shower His Tender Mercies Upon Us

Things are going good here in Randburg. We are working hard and the Lord continues to shower His tender mercies upon us. We have been having lots of fun as well. We see a lot of less active members so we love visiting them being fed and working on trying to come back. I feel a lot like Cameron right now when he sent that email about the only way to bring people back into the fold is to extend a hand of love. With all those we are seeing right now their concern that has driven them away is not feeling welcomed and loved. Its sad to see, but it happens more than we think. I have loved learning about the Atonement of Christ.  I feel that I truly understand the vastness of the Atonement now in all its power.

Thank you for sending the package. I look forward to getting it :) I love how you and Jordyn make those little figures that go on your emails. They are so cool haha. I'm so grateful for all that you do. Thank you for contacting President Omer, he let me know about the pump problem but mine was fine. It was my fault for not emailing you after I had checked to let you know everything is ok. Mom, I feel as though I am making leaps and bounds here in the mission field. My understanding is increasing so much in the knowledge of the Gospel. I know that the Lord is guiding me and preparing me for a great and marvelous work that he has revealed unto me. I love and miss you mom and know I am who I am because of you. Jesus is the Christ and I know it and I know that He knows I know it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Things are good here, time for the South Africa Update. Things here are going great! When I first got to this area, Randburg, our Zone leaders told us that President Omer was thinking of closing it down due to the lack of progress in the area but I am happy to say there is no reason to close this area down now for the work is starting to boom! Its hard even to schedule everyone because everyone want to meet in the evenings so from about 4-8 we're booked and then Saturdays and Sundays are packed. Its been a lot of fun building this area back up and am really enjoying my time with Elder Larson. Its been a quiet week though, not to much going on but we have been playing a lot of sports lately with the members and even today we're having a big Zone beach Volleyball game at the MTC where there is a sand pit and net.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm glad to hear everything is going well back home. Caity got the best tract in terms of weather to go to Rexburg haha.  I have a few things I can send Jordyn for her project so I'll send plenty of stuff next week.

Well things in Randburg have finally picked up and the work is progressing rapidly. We have truly been blessed this week in our efforts. The weather has been very good here as well except for one day. On Thursday my comp and I were out tracting about two miles from our flat and car because we have been instructed to cut back on our driving. So trying to do our best to follow the instruction we walked at least two miles everyday this week. On this day though we probably walked the farthest. Its hard to knock doors here in South Africa because everyone has gates and fences, so we ring intercoms and talk through them. We had been ringing intercoms for about and hour when we heard thunder. In Africa the Thunder and lightning storms and huge and can come at any time. So I talked with Elder Larson and we decided to start heading back to our apartment. All was ok and we thought the storm would go over next to us leaving us alone. Then the wind started to pick up and the clouds were being pushed towards us. Now in these storms there is normally so much rain that you can smell it before you see it and we started to smell the rain so we knew we were in trouble. The rain can as heavy as I had ever seen it (It was like when we were in the gorge coming back from Idaho). We started running as fast as we could. Normally you can find shelter under a tree or something but there was nothing and the Lightning was to much anyway for me to feel safe under a tree. We were SOAKED, if you saw us you would have thought we had gone swimming. It was so much fun though. Its one of those things I will never forget haha. We have been working with a less active member a lot lately. His name is Brother Willie and he is from Cameroon. He works a lot and is one of the most humble men I know. He supports his family back in Cameroon and has brought his younger brother to South Africa to have a better life. You can see that the Lord has truly blessed him in all that he has done. He is having us teach his younger brother and his two little children who are Mark (8) and Willie Jr. (6). I have never seen a man sacrifice so much for his family. He works about 12 hours a day sometimes seven days a week as a computer technician. His wife is very supportive of all that he does and is not interested in the church yet but it is only a matter of time. The last time we were there at the conclusion of the lesson we asked who would pray and he gave the most fervent and heartfelt prayers I had ever heard. It touched my heart in a way that I struggled not to cry. I know if he continues in this path that he and his family will enjoy the eternities together in Salvation and Exaltation. I have never felt the love of my Father in Heaven so close as I looked upon my fellow brother with a love I cannot explain. I cannot explain in an email what all I have learned here on my mission thus far but I can say that it is greater than anything I could have ever imagined.

I am doing good Mom. Please don't worry to much about me all is well. I have grown more than I knew was possible and have learned things that will change my life forever. What I can say is that I know the Lord is mindful of me and I have felt his love and assurance throughout my mission.  I love and miss you and please know that a great change has been wrought within me that will influence me for all my life and in the eternities to come. I love and miss you and hope you are well. You are always in my prayers and thoughts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our Saviour and Redeemer is our Perfect Example

I'm glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that things are good. I'm surprised to hear that Grandma got that letter so fast but that's great. I wrote one to Judy as well about the plan of Salvation and how real it truly is to me now. I have never I feel fully understood the full magnitude of the plan itself and how great and marvelous it truly is. How great is it to know that our Father in Heaven has provided us with the knowledge of this great and marvelous plan in our lives. I have grown more and more in realizing the greatness of the responsibility of Cameron's and my calling to take this message to the world. Every ear needs to hear this message, that God is our loving Heavenly Father and has once again called a Prophet in these Latter-days that we can learn by which way we can truly be happy in this life and be ready to return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know that God is not a confusing God and He wants us to know all that He knows. It was Joseph Smith who said that if it be the righteous desires of our heart and we ask our Father in Heaven with real intent then no matter what your calling be or who you are, the mysteries of God will be revealed unto you. I know this to be true for I have beheld them and I wish I could tell you more but it will have to wait until I come home. I feel myself changing. I see that we truly are nothing compared to the great vastness of the eternities and yet in the Sight of God we are capable of anything. Our Saviour and Redeemer is our Perfect example and has asked us to be like Him. I have learned a very profound thing in my short time here. It is not what we have done that will qualify us for Life Eternal and the Glory of God but rather it is what we have Become. It is very easy for someone to go through the motions and partake of all the ordinances but if that person is selfish here he will be selfish in the life to come, if he be prideful he will be prideful in the life to come. We need to do as the Saviour has instructed and Become as He is. Only then can we truly qualify for all that our Father has.

I love and miss you mom and pray that you are doing great. I love that talk by President Uchtdorf as well. I love your testimony and it strengthens mine every time I hear it or read it. Thank you for always guiding me in the right direction and helping me know how far I can go and what I can become.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Am Looking Forward to this Challenge

I'm glad to hear that you where able to get away for awhile and relax. I am also glad to hear that Caity made it into BYUI. I am very excited for her and look forward to going to school with my little sis in a couple of years. I withdrew some money from my account because I needed stamps to send letters and I spent the last $10 of my Christmas money getting pizza. My numbers have been good and the flat I'm staying in has a weights set so that helps as well.

Things are really different in my new area. My new companion is Elder Larson from Washington and he's a good guy. The City of Randburg is filthy rich. It is not uncommon for me to see at least five Porsche's a day and a Ferrari every other day. The work is very slow though. Where there is money there is pride and so we are doing our best to bring the area back to life. There haven't been too many obedient elders who have been in this area and so president is thinking of closing it down. So we got our work cut out for us. I am looking forward to this challenge in the mission so it should be fun.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I'm Being Transfered

Things are going great here now. My companion and I are both being
transferred tomorrow but we don't know where we are going. I am being
put into a car area close to Johannesburg from what I've heard though. I've
loved serving in Seshego and will miss the people and the members
dearly but that's the way mission goes.
Here is President Omers email address I miss
everyone at home and am glad to hear everyone is doing so well. I'm
still waiting to hear where Caity is going next year but all in good
time. Sounds like Cameron doesn't want to talk about home yet but he's
probably just nervous. One of my flat mates is leaving for home
tomorrow and he is going out of his mind but its all fun. I hope
everything is going good and the rain isn't getting you down. It is so
hot here that I'll trade sun for rain anytime right now haha. I love
and miss you mom more patient and that would help. I'll let
you know where and pray that you won't worry to much. Your right
though, I can be a little more patient I'm going as soon as possible.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It has been a crazy week in South Africa!

It has been a crazy week in South Africa! First things first. At the beginning of the week we were riding our bikes and we thought we found a new short cut to a part of our area but my companion and the group missionary we were with didn't want to test it. It was a steep hill and a narrow path and there were giant thorn bushes all over the place. So I being the brave one said I would go first. I took my backpack off and flew down the hill. It was going ok until right at the bottom of the hill I saw a one foot drop. I had no time to brake or react so all I did was said a word I probably shouldn't have said (Aunt Judy's favorite swear word) and then wrecked my bike as I was thrown into and did a double somersault into a thorn bush and tree! It was really exciting and didn't hurt all that bad at least not until we went to a members house and he was using a needle and tweezers to pull the thorns from my back. Haha something I will never forget. I also rolled my ankle and had to call president to let him know I needed to take a day to rest it. I told him the story of what happened and he just laughed and told me to be more careful in my trail blazing. It was a very slow week over all though. The other exciting part was at the end of the week when the zone leaders got a call Sunday morning that one of the missionaries in our zone had left early in the morning while his companion was sleeping and stole the bucky (truck). We had to figure out what had happened. About an hour later we got a call from the APs that he was now at the mission home in Johannesburg(four hours away) and that he was demanding to be sent home. So now later today we might have to go to JoBurg and get the Bucky (not looking forward to that drive). But all in all it was a fun exciting week. 
I hope things at home are going well at home and that everyone is getting ready for school to start again.  XOXOXOOOOO
Love your Son,
Elder Caleb Coon