Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Final Email!!!/Disciple of Jesus Christ/Testimony

Family,                                         Monday, December 26th, 2016

It was so great to see you all yesterday and to have the opportunity to talk to ya'll for a little while. I am so amazed at all the changes that have happened in the last two years, but so excited to be a part of this new season of life as a family. Honestly, we have the best family on earth!!! I love you all so much, and I'll see you all in 8 days!!!!

So, next Monday I am going to be in Palanque visiting the ruins there, so I am not sure exactly if or how much time I will have to write, so today I am going to end the Book of Elder Cavenee (my mission experiences) and seal it with my testimony!

I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ
I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
The die has been cast, I’ve stepped over the line; the decision has been made;
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed; my present makes sense; my future is secure.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded .
I now live by faith, love by patience, live by prayer, and labor by power .
My pace is set; my gait is fast; my goal is the heaven. My road is narrow;
My way is rough; my companions few; my Guide reliable; my mission clear!
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity;
I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, nor meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I will not give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I have prayed up, preached up, stored up, and stayed up the cause of Jesus Christ!
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go until He returns; give until I drop;
preach until all know; and work until He comes.
And when He comes to get His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me;
My colors are flying high, and they are clear for all to see.

So...I didn't write that, but that is exactly what I feel. I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

In the past two years, I have come to truly know the love that our Father and our Savior have towards their children. That love is real, and true. They LOVE us, and have done everything that they can so that we can be happy. I have felt and seen this love towards me, and towards all of God's children that I had the blessing to meet and teach during my time here. That love is why we are here, and what we can become. Everything is made possible in our lives because of the love that the Savior had/has for us. Because of His love, we can always start again, there is light in darkness, we can overcome sin and death and return to our Heavenly Father. He will never leave us alone.

I know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That true happiness in this life only can be attained by living and loving His Gospel. The Spirit of the Lord can abide freely in our lives through our obediance, dedication, devotion, and love towards our Savior. The Holy Ghost is by whom the Lord speaks to us and helps us overcome any trial that is placed in our paths. As we listen to Him and follow His council, we can come to find true happiness and peace during our lives.

I have no doubt in the world that all of this is true. This is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Not only have these been the best two years OF my life, but they have also been the best two years FOR my life.

Alma 29:9-10

I want you all to know that I love you so much. You all mean the world to me and I am so excited to see you all again!!

Elder Cavenee

Christmas Dinner/Conference/Baptism

Hey Family,                                                 Tuesday, Dec. 20th, 2016


Sorry if I sound a little stressed out today....it's cause we have a wedding of some of our investigators in two hours, and we can't get a hold of the judge. I really hope that he doesn't bail on us!!! I'm a little stressed out for that right now because their baptism is today as well, and if they don't get married, they can't get baptized!!! I'm sure everything will turn out right, I'm just a little stressed out right now.

Yesterday we had our Christmas dinner/conference with President Haws and his family. It was a ton of fun. We played broom hockey as two zones. President only had three rules. Players couldn't lift the broom above the knee, goalies couldn't lift the broom over the waist, and everyone could hit Elder Cavenee with their brooms!!! They were messing with me because I'm the one who's going home soon. As we were playing, a sister hit me with her broom on accident. She was like ''Elder...I'm so sorry...wait...we're allowed to hit you, right?´´ Hahaha it was pretty funny! After playing, we all changed and ate. They catered food. I'm not sure what it was, but it was pretty good. After we ate, we read the Christmas story, and sang Christmas hymns as we went along. It was a lot of fun. I played the piano! Afterwards we had our white elephant gift exchange. It was a lot of fun.

Last Saturday Luis and Ana got married, and Luis got baptized. I went to the government records office like five times last week, and was running all around Mina trying to get everything ready while my companion was in divisions in our area. He joked around with me telling me that I needed to learn how to get people married so that it's easier when I get home! But we got everything done, and they got married. It was a wonderful service....I cried! As they were saying their vows (that's what its called...right?) they were both crying from the joy they felt, and it made me cry as well. It was great.

We painted two houses this week. I love service!!! My companion and I were joking around about coming back to Mina and starting a painting business (we were just joking...not for reals).  I like painting though:)

We are preparing a Christmas sacrament meeting with our ward mission leader. We got a choir together, and I'm playing the piano. Then my companion and I are going to give talks. It will probably be my last talk here in México:(

Everyone here seems to be counting down the days until I go home. Everyone I talk to always reminds me of how many days I have left, or that I'm going home soon! I try not to think about it too much, but the truth is that it is very soon!!! But there is still a lot to do here!!!!

Sorry, I gotta run to the judges house so that our wedding can go through!! I wish you all the best Christmas and that Saturday and Sunday you can all remember and feel the LOVE of the Savior.

I Love you all,

Elder Cavenee

Service/Zone Class/Temple

Hey Family,                                             December 15th, 2016

It's nice to hear what you are all up to for the holidays. Don't you just all love the Christmas season? It is absolutely amazing as a missionary. The Lord is literally putting in our path people to teach. We are praying for opportunities to serve everyday, and we are finding so many people that need help....which leads us to teaching them and helping them feel the Spirit.

This week just absolutely flew by!!!!! On Tuesday morning we helped a less-active sister cut down her tree. It took us forever, especially when we got to taking out the trunk!!! We spent about four hours on it, and weren't able to get it out. In the end we just poured gas on it, burnt, and buried it. It was a lot of fun, but later that day I had seven blisters on my hands, and the next day my whole body was sore...but it was totally worth it!!! After 3 months of not assisting the sister came to church on Sunday!!!

On Wednesday was my last Zone Class:( It went very well. We had a zone council, on how we can better our teaching, and become more efficient. We talked about several points, but my favorite that we hit was LISTENING. It is extremely important to listen while we teach our investigators. Listen to them, and to the Spirit. When we do this, the Spirit makes know to us their needs, and gives us the perfect words in order to meet that need. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk called the Divine Companionship. In this talk he explains that every missionary companionship consists of three members...the two missionaries, and the Spirit. Our job as missionaries is to create the environment in which the Spirit can enter and take the investigators out of this world for a little while, and into the presence of our Heavenly Father. Any and all investigators that experience that, will never want it to end, and will do anything to feel that presence again. I am working on listening to the Spirit, and trusting him in every moment. Missionary work goes a lot better when you just follow what the Spirit says:)

On Saturday I spent all day in the Temple. I went with Elder Maldonado, an Elder in our Zone, and we enjoyed the Temple all day long. It was my last time going to the Temple here in Villahermosa. In the morning we were witnesses in the baptistry, and in sealings, and in the afternoon we went through a session. It was such a wonderful day!!! I can't wait to go to the Temple back at home!!!

I got back to Minatitlan at 8:00pm just in time for our baptism of Roberto!!! It went really well, and his sister showed up. She also came to church on Sunday and we put a baptismal date with her for the 23 of December and she accepted!!!

This Saturday we have a wedding and baptism of one of our investigators. Luis Balcazar is getting married at 5:30 and then baptized at 6:00!!! We also have three baptisms for Christmas weekend!!! We are going to try and put two more dates this week!!

Everything is going amazing, and we are seeing the blessings of obedience in our zone. It is such a great time, and I am loving every moment of it!!!

I Love you all and wish you the best week!!!

Elder Cavenee
Elder Maldonado had transfers! 
Chillin in a hammock

Monday, December 5, 2016

Conference w Elder Pino!

Hello Family,                                                                    Monday, Dec. 5th, 2016

Man, did this week fly by. It feels like I was just here yesterday!!!! So....29 days left, but who's counting. Honestly the only time that I think about it is at night as I'm trying to fall asleep. The thought hits me, and it doesn't matter how tired I am, I can't fall asleep. I think its the nerves. Anyways, I'm pretty excited!

Crossing Freeway....with my new camera!!

This week was absolutely amazing. Elder Pino, who is the second counselor of the Area Presidency came and visited us this week. On Wednesday he had a special conference with the zones Acayucan, Minatitlan,and Coatza-Qualcos here in Mina. My companion and I as zone leaders were in charge of setting up the church for this conference of 56 missionaries. Elder Moore and Elder Gramajo, office secretaries showed up at 9:00 pm on Tuesday, with the instructions for the setup. It took about an hour and a half to get everything ready. We didn't leave the church until like 10:30 pm!

Wednesday, the conference with Elder Pino was spectacular. He took one of the missionary call letters, and we went through everything that it says about our calling. It has been a while since I have read my mission call letter. I took it out that night and reread it. I started crying, even though every letter is almost the same, it is so personal. My favorite part is when it says ''Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children.'' Yes, it is a labor of love, and I Love this labor. I have received so many blessings, and have been happier than ever in my life during this time. I have learned to love the people here...not only here, but everywhere. Heavenly Father has increased the size of my heart, and I want to share His love with everyone. I feel like Alma when he wanted to be an angel with the voice of a trumpet so that everyone could hear him. I want to be able to share the Love of Christ with everyone, but like Alma, I need to humble and do the best that I can, and follow the will of the Lord.

I was asked by President Haws to sing a special musical number for the conference. I sang O Holy Night (Sister Haws asked for that) and it turned out well. Sister Pino afterwards thanked me for using my talents in order to invite the Spirit. But I am learning that it is not me nor my talents, it comes from God through the Spirit. Without Him, I am nothing.

Sleeping Baby

On Friday we traveled to Villahermosa for the Mission Leadership Council also with Elder Pino. It was a great council. We talked about how we as a mission can double our monthly baptisms in the next four months. Elder Pino talked about the story of Nephi the boat. He told us that as a mission we are preparing to build a boat, a boat that the Lord is instructing us to build.

On Saturday we baptized Christopher!!!! His mom is going to get baptized in a couple weeks as well. He was so excited that when we were entering the water, he practically jumped in:) It was awesome!!! We have another baptism planned for this Saturday, so we'll see how that goes.

It is very hot here right now. We are in December, but it's like 96 degrees!!! Warm Christmas!!!

Anyways, I am doing amazing. I Love the work and am working with love.

I Love you all and wish you the most amazing week!


Elder Cavenee

Friday, December 2, 2016


Monday, Nov. 28th, 2016

Sorry for not sending a letter this week. I was chatting with mom, and checking application stuff. But here are some pictures.

Anti-Nephi-Lehis burying weapons lesson. Leaving behind sins, and addictions, and making a promise with God to never go back.
This is dedication!!



Anti-Nephi-Lehi burying weapons lesson. Leaving behind sins, and addictions, and making a promise with God to never go back.

This is a sickness that almost all of the kids here are getting.

Our Convert (middle) and an investigator wearing our name tags (future missionaries)

Thanksgiving Week

Hey Family,                                                  Monday, November 21, 2016

So.....here in México Christmas has officially started. In church on Sunday we sang Christmas hymns, and I broke out the Christmas music in the house. I know that it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but we don't celebrate that here so....Christmas here we come!!!

Can you believe that I only have six weeks left!!! What!!! Do you know how fast six weeks passes? Really fast, and even faster when Christmas is coming. I can't believe it....I still have so much that I have to learn and do. I have a couple more goals that I need to meet before my time is up....but I'm almost there.

This week was great. On Thursday I went back to Hidalgo (my old area) in divisions. It was awesome. I worked with Elder Jensen. He is a new missionary that just got here two weeks ago. He is a great guy from Georgia. He comes from a family of five and is the youngest, but also the first missionary. We had a great day together. Special experience: We were walking down a street looking for a contact that they had made the other day when we passed a house of a family that I was teaching when I was there. As we were passing, I saw one of the daughters of this family, and when she saw me, she ran inside and the out came her entire family. Obviously we went over to talk to them. I quickly found out that after I left, the missionaries stopped visiting them. But, they totally remembered me. They invited us inside and we taught them lesson one. They came to church on Sunday!!! I also got to visit another sister that I was teaching two years ago. Mayra....it turns out that she got baptized shortly after I left. It was very special for me to see that and to be able to visit her.

On Tuesday I was in divisions with Elder Maldonado. He is from Cuahila....a state underneath Texas. Really cool guy. As we were working, it started raining....not just raining, but absolutely down pouring. In seconds we were soaked to the bone....but we just kept walking. All of the morning appointments fell through, so we were looking for someone to teach...but nobody was outside (for obvious reasons) so we just got soaked. When we got to our lunch appointment, the sister made us take off our shoes and socks, and gave us towels to dry off. Although it was very cold, that was one of my favorite days of the week. Not sure why, but it was awesome.

Lunch while we were soaked
Wednesday we had interviews with President Haws. It was great to see him and talk to him again. They only thing that he said to me was ''Elder Cavenee, great work. You are working hard and finishing strong. Now, do not take your foot off the gas pedal. Keep it up until the end.'' In the conference we talked about using converts and investigators as a way to find new investigators by asking them for references. My companion and I are still working on that, but we'll get there:) We also talked about the Christmas Initiative that starts on December 1st. The video is amazing and will be available on mormon.org this Friday!!!!! Watch it!!!! Mom, I was talking to Sister Haws, and she told me that an Elder Knudson from Missouri just got to the mission. Do we know them? She said that his family has a whole performance thing. I feel like we know them, but I can't remember. The name is so familiar.

Our Zone
This week we did not baptize....but we did have 11 investigators at church!!! We also have 4 baptisms planned for December 2nd, 10th and 17th. Our goal now is to give follow up to all 11 of those investigators, and hopefully invite all of them to baptism this week. We'll see how that goes.

President gave me permission to go to Palanque in December. Palanque is where the giant ruins are....and I haven't been. I never was in an area close to there. So that will be awesome.

We are going to have a 70 come and visit us. We have a special conference with him next Wednesday the 30th and then us zone leaders have our mission leadership council with him on December 3rd....that Saturday. I'm also going to ask permission to go to the temple on December 10th. One more time before I go home.

So....on Thursday I invite all of you that are in the United States to remember everything that you are grateful for. It's actually something that we should do every day when we kneel before our Heavenly Father before going to bed. Thank Him for the blessings that you have in your life. One of my greatest friends once asked me ''What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for Today?''. Sometimes we are so caught up in what we need, that we forget to give thanks for what we have. Heavenly Father loves us, and has blessed each one of us with so many things. I invite you all, and I will do the same, to say a prayer of thanks, and only thanks, for the blessings that you have. And this week, take moments out of every day to notice the little miracles that are always passing in your lives. God is great.

I hope you all have an amazing week:) I Love you all!!!!!!


Elder Cavenee
Grafiti in Mexico

This is how we dry our shoes here

They don't have a lot of toilet seats here.....but when they do....

The leaves are HUGE here!

Baptism of Karime!

Hello Family,                                Monday Nov. 14th, 2016

Cool napkin
Cool floweJust letting you know that I have a short time to write today....so sorry that my letter is not going to be very long this week.

River in Mina!!

So.....yeah....seven weeks left. What?!?!?! Sometimes I feel like the time is flying by....but there are other moments when the days drag on and on (normally when our appointments fall through and it is raining, and we are soaked). But normally I am so focused and occupied with everything that we have to do, and everyone that we have to visit, that I wake up, and realize that it's Friday or Saturday....and the week is gone! Normally if we have a baptism, the week goes by fast. Sundays after church are usually the longest day of the week. I don't know why, but almost always our appointments fall through on Sunday. But it's my favorite day of the week because we get to go to two sacrament meetings.

So....the story about Jonathan's baptism last week. So, we had been teaching Jonathan for several weeks with his baptismal date for the 5th of November. Everything was good to go until the Thursday before his baptism we went and visited him. When we showed up he came out and told us that he wasn't going to get baptized. We were a little shocked, and didn't believe him at first. But he was being serious. He said it was because he was baptized four months ago in another church. We sat down with him and began teaching him. I don't remember what we were teaching when all of a sudden he turned to us and asked ''Do you think I should get baptized?'' It caught us off guard, but we said of course he should. When he asked us why, we told him because it was the true church. He told us that he didn't know if it was true, but wanted to know. We explained to him how to get his answer from Heavenly Father through prayer. That Heavenly Father would answer him through the Holy Ghost. Then we explained what the Holy Ghost feels like. We left him with the commitment to pray that night and ask God if it was all true....or if we just made it all up. On Friday we went back, and on arriving I asked him how his prayer went. He answered ''Oh....yeah....I'm getting baptized. You guys are going to baptize me tomorrow....right?'' I was like slow down buddy, and I asked him what had changed his mind. He told us that when he prayed, Heavenly Father, through the Holy Ghost answered his prayer and that he was ready to be baptized. It shocked us but we were super happy. He was baptized on Sunday. He shared his testimony in church as well. It was great!!

On Saturday this week we baptized Karime!!!! She was sooo excited. The ward really helped us out with the baptismal program, and all the young women prepared a special musical number. It turned out really nice.

We are teaching a ton of people right now. I know I dont really share a lot about the people that we are teaching, but I'll give a brief summary of some of them.

Hermano Luis. He is a great guy, about 40 years old and lives with a member. They are not married, so we have been in the process of getting him divorced from his last wife so that they can get married and he can get baptized. On Thursday we went to the....Civil Registry...I think that's what it's called...to finalize his divorce papers. And on Sunday we planned their wedding date for December 17th!!!! He will be getting baptized on that same day!! He finished reading the Book of Mormon last week!!! (First investigator to finish the Book of Mormon before baptism) and now he wants to read the Pearl of Great Price before Dec. 17th.

We are also teaching a single mom named Carmen and her 11 year old son Micheal. They have come to church three times now, and are progressing a ton. The ward has really stepped up in helping us out with her. The relief society visit her once a week, and she comes to all of the activities. We are currently helping her open up her own buisness selling Moharras Fritas (fried fish). She is very excited for that. We invited her to baptism last week, but she feels like she needs more time before making a decision. We are okay with that because she is really changing her entire life.

The little old less-active lady that we were visiting.....turns out that she is not a member. We searched for her record (because the bishop said that he didn't remember her getting baptized) and turns out that she is an investigator. She is hilarious...always talking about how we need to be careful because the girls are going to sneek up on us and kidnap us. We always get a good laugh with her. She has a baptismal date for the 26th of this month.

Elvis is the dad of a family of five. Him and his wife just got married today (we are going there right after this)!!!!! They have not come to church yet, but on Friday Elvis told us that after his wedding, his next goal is to get all of his family baptized in a church....we were very excited to hear that. We are going to keep working closely with him and his family. The Bishop is helping us out with them.

On Mondays we teach Fernando. I told you guys about him last week.

We have another investigator in Paquetal that has come to church twice now. His name is Roberto and is 17 years old. We teach him in the home of another member. he is progressing reapidly ands tomorrow we are going to invite him to baptism!!!

Anyways....it continues to rain here. But that's alright because at least its not very hot.

This week I have been reading in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testement. For my whole mission I've studied the great missionaries from the Book of Mormon, so I decided to take some time to study the great missionaries of the Bible. The apostle Paul is amazing!!!! The Spirit that he had with him everywhere he went was so strong. He had no fear....of anything. He was beaten by the Jews and bound by the Romans, and then stood in front of them and testified of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. That is all he taught...that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. With that testimony he converted thousands of people. I have one chapter left before Romans.

I have also been studying Christlike attributes. Humility, Diligence, Obedience, Charity and Love, Patience etc. I have really felt guided by the Spirit in my personal study time every morning in receiving revelation for my personal needs. I have also started dedicating an hour every night to reading the scriptures as well. I feel like I have to read it all again before I come home.

I Love the mission, and am sad that it is coming to an end. But I am excited for the work that I can do in 7 weeks. I am so close to my baptismal goal that I set at the beginning of my mission. We'll see if I can make it. I'm pretty sure I get it done:)
We are #1 in the Mission!

I love you all, and can't wait to see you!!!!


Elder Cavenee