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 :)