Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beautiful St. Anthony

Elder Call sent these photos home a few weeks ago. What a beautiful place to serve!

A view of the Grand Tetons from Elder Call's and Elder Walker's home in St. Anthony. The Elders are living with Brother and Sister Crapo, who are wonderful and giving members.







Sunset in St. Anthony. . .a memory Elder Call will hold dear for his entire life. Note the irrigation sprinkler.






What an awesome view of a sunset over the Grand Tetons as seen from the Elder's home!









Elder Call and Elder Weatherston with Sara, one of their baptisms.








Elder Call and Elder Johnsen with the Gold Family.

Elder Call's Hopes Realized: Staying in St. Anthony; Elders Meet Interesting People

28 December 2009

Hi Dad,

Thank you again for all of the gifts that you guys sent me. I love them.

Nothing much is happening here since I called home and wrote home on Christmas. We did find out that Elder Walker and I are both staying here in St. Anthony. So I will be here at least another 6 weeks, unless another ET (emergency transfer) occurs. At the end of the six weeks I will have been here for 3 transfers or 4 1/2 months! I will also be short a week of hitting my year mark! Isn't that weird, by the end of this transfer I will have been out for pretty much a year already.

Saturday we had the baptisms of Stephanie and Kyle Westover. Stephanie is the mother and Kyle is her 8 year old son. It was a very good baptism and Stephanie and Kyle are solid converts. They both have very strong testimonies. Stephanie's husband is not a member so Kyle is a convert even though he is 8 years old. They are a good family. It is really cool to see people's lives change through baptism.

I am really excited for all of the cool things happening here, I hope that they can continue to happen.

We met a couple of interesting people yesterday while tracting. One is named Mad Jack. He just kind of lives in a shack. He is an older man probably in his late sixties or seventies. He described himself as a mountain man and he pretty much looked like one too. He took us into his quarters and he had probably a dozen or more buffalo skulls hanging on the ceiling, with hides stretched, drums, bows, etc. All sorts of random things all over. He used to be in biker gangs and grew up on an Indian reservation. He says he is a member of the Mormon faith. He has a few "choppers"(motorcycles) that he is very proud of. We have heard all about Mad Jack from people around the community. He was really nice. We think he might have been slightly intoxicated.

The other guy we met was Amil Quayle. He lives in the house on the banks of Henry's Fork of the Snake River that his father built when Amil was one. He grew up in it. He is very into learning and accumulating worldly knowledge. He has a lot of books and National Geographics and several sets of Encyclopedias. He also is a member; his son served a mission. But Amil really didn't want us to proselyte to him at all. He was a river guide on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and I believe he has also been a professor. He insisted on giving us some homemade sourdough bread and some jam. He also gave us a book he wrote--poetry. He is an artist. He is about 70. Interesting guy. Told us to not spend too much time reading his poetry and forget about the Book of Mormon. But then he also told us we should go home and have fun with the girls. So we are not quite sure how he feels about the church. He really wouldn't tell us.

He did tell us that his family was from the Isle of Man and came to Utah in 1847 in the "John Taylor Company". (Wasn't George Q. Cannon's middle name Quayle and wasn't he from the Isle of Man?)

He said that his great-grandfather and his brother had a problem with tithing and Brigham Young and went to California during the gold rush and sold whiskey to the workers and then came back. I think he was implying that they have never really been very active, but I'm not sure.

Some of the people that I have met here in St. Anthony (several different families) have all been less-active. It is pretty sad.

It makes me grateful to have a family history with ancestors that have had testimonies and taught their children to gain testimonies so I could be where I am.

Love,

Elder Call

Elder Call Expresses Gratitude for Christmas, Love and Appreciation for Area; Fears Transfer will Come Soon

25 December 2009
Christmas Day

Dear Family:

I cannot thank you enough for the presents you sent me for Christmas. I was very touched that you would send so much--especially a new suit. I am very excited about that. It is a very nice suit and I am glad that it is just plain black. The other suits that I have that fit me are gray with pin stripes and the other one is dark green, and both are from the DI.

It is also nice to get the little things we need, but are a bit of an annoyance to buy, like paper, pens, etc. Thank you for the stamps you sent a little while back. These are like gold to missionaries.

Things are going very well. This area is definitely blessed. Miracles just keep on happening. I hope the miracles will keep happening. Tomorrow we are supposed to baptize a lady and her son. Every baptism that I've had so far is for someone who is an overage youth (parents are less active) or for a part-member family, except for one other baptism. And for this baptism tomorrow, we are pretty sure the father and other son will get baptized in the coming months.

The other day we went to have an investigator interviewed by the zone leaders for baptism. Elder Navarette, who is from Chile, did the interview. When he was signing his name, I saw his full name, so I said, "Oh, your name is Sebastian." He said, in his Chilean accent, "No. My name is 'Say-bass-tea-own!'" It was quite funny. Elder Dangerfield remarked, "Sebastian is the crab in
The Little Mermaid. Say-bass-tea-own is the dignified Chilean Elder Navarette."

I am beginning to truly love this area, and that scares me. Every time an elder begins to love and appreciate an area, he gets transferred. Transfers are coming up on the 30th, just a few days away, and we won't find out what will happen until Sunday night. I hope we both stay here at least one more transfer.

Thank you for everything. Tell all the family and the ward that I am doing well and thank them for the cards they have sent.

Love,

Elder Call

Missionary Work Goes On. . .

13 December 2009

Hi Dad,

Thank you for your email and thank you so much for the birthday present. It will really help keep me warm. And it is alright that I didn't get it right on my birthday.

Things are going well here in St. Anthony. We do have a bit of a crisis that began to develop at about 8:30 last night. Our investigator that was planning on getting baptized on Wednesday we found out is on probation. That means that he probably will not be baptized this week, or really anytime soon. I don't know really what we are going to do. But it was a chaotic night with phone calls between us, the district leader, the zone leaders, President Colton, Bro. Chelson (High Councilman over missionary work/Seminary Teacher), Bro. Johnson (High Councilman over missionary work), President Walker (Stake President/judge). I am praying that a miracle will occur and that doors will be opened. We will find out more today hopefully.

It sounds like everybody's plans are changing pretty drastically. I hope that all goes well for everyone and the decisions they are making. I am confident with faith and prayers that all will work out.

I sent a letter to Rachel, but it was returned with a note saying she didn't live there anymore. So tell her I am sorry and will probably just mail it home so she can get it during Christmas break.

Thank you for everything and I am going to try to send Christmas cards to people, rather than letters this week and next week. I have gotten so many letters these last couple of weeks that I think it would be impossible to write a full letter to everyone.

Good luck with the Artisan Theater this week.

Tell Mary Ann not to stress out over high school and that it all works out in the end and just to take it one step at a time, and pray.

Love,

Elder Call

Elder Call Answers our Questions Regarding Missionary Clothing

Note: We discovered through pictures that Elder Call has sent us that he has lost a lot of weight, so we inquired regarding what sizes he wears and how he is doing with clothing. —Editor




7 December 2009

Hi Dad,

Things are going well and thank you all so much for all of the Christmas Cards you sent us! Those were so much fun to read and they really brightened the day. Also thank you, Rebecca, for all of those chocolates! They are really good. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), Elder Walker is one of the few people on Earth who doesn't like chocolate! Tomorrow is District Meeting and interviews with President and the APs, so maybe I will take to share.

I have bought two suits at the DI. One has a funny story with it. I bought it at the DI and it had a handkerchief in it that said "Elder B. Bartschi." I heard Bro. Johnson talking about a man named Brian Bartschi. He is in the Wilford 2 ward. So I went to their home. Just his wife was home and she said that was his suit and that he served in the Alberquerque New Mexico mission before I was born. It is really nice and is grey with pin strips.

I did bring ear muffs. Hats really, really bother me. They are tight, annoying, scratchy, etc. So if I am humbled enough by the cold and wind MAYBE I will go by one somewhere! (I am serving in a car area, and we don't do much walking for extended periods of time. We are some of the lucky few.)

My dress coat is a little big, but not so much that it looks funny or is annoying. It is plenty warm.

My shirts are too big (but still in good condition). The ones I have now are a size 18 neck and sleeves are 34-35. Elder Walker has some shirts that are a little too big for him so I tried them on. The neck was a size 16. That was several days ago, so I can't quite remember. But I think the neck was fine (maybe a 16 1/2 would give a little breathing room). The torso, though, was kind of tight. The 34-35 sleeves are good.

Everything that I have is good and I don't need much. So don't spend a lot of money. As long as I am covered that is what matters.

I have been thinking lately that the suits I have that are too big I should donate to the DI. I have three that are too big. One that I have had for a few years. The black one with pin stripes, and the gray one you gave me that we got tailored. If you want they gray one or either of the others I can mail them to you instead of giving them to the DI, just let me know.

The mission office asked that packages get mailed directly to our homes rather than the office. So our address is 684 N. 2100 E. St. Anthony, ID 83445.

I will continue to pray for you and the business I am excited for you guys and hope that things continue to go well.

Love,

Elder Call

Monday, November 30, 2009

Elder Call Muses over Personal and Mission Geneology; Gets Pulled Over by Police Officer

30 November 2009

Dear Dad,

Thank you for your email and for the excerpts from your journal. I really wish I would do a better job of keeping a journal. I just kick myself every time I think about it. I started a little journal where I write about each investigator that I have helped progress to baptism. I need to catch up though, because I started it after I had been out several months. I write about their conversion. It is kind of fun.

I also have a little journal that Elder Poppleton named "Journal of Relations." Being in Idaho I have met many people that we are related to. So if we can figure out how we are related I put a little chart in this book and then on the back of that page I write about them. I figured it would be kind of cool to have. I think I have met about 40 people that have told me they are descended from Cyril Call, (mostly Anson). Most were in Pocatello, several in Idaho Falls/Ammon, and only a couple up here in St. Anthony. I think that is because there used to be a town called Chesterfield, Idaho. It is just outside of the mission, just east of Pocatello. It was founded by Chester Call (b. 1841 in Nauvoo to Anson and Mary Flint Call). Chesterfield is now a ghost town and a bunch of the people that lived there (most were related to the Call's) moved to either Bancroft or Pocatello. So their families are all in that area now.

I looked in the phonebook and there were a ton of Calls in Idaho Falls, but not in my area.

I also know that there are a lot of people that we are related to, they just don't realize it. Sorry, you know me. When I start talking about family history I go on and on.

So that is really funny that John is acting more and more like me. I think we are WAY different. But we are probably more similar than I think.

I am excited to be Elder Walker's first companion. He is a great missionary. Like I said his middle name is Rigby. And we met one family that is related to him. I am sure there are others. I don't know how unusual it is to be called to senior companion and trainer at once, but I know it has happened before. It is a little scary, especially since President sent me a letter that said I could have a large impact on the rest of Elder Walker's life.

In this mission we do a mission genealogy. The person you train is your son and the person he trains his your grandson. So Elder Pieper(one of the APs when I came out) trained Elder Burton and Elder Cameron (also one of the APs when I came out). Elder Burton trained Elder Bridgewaters and Elder Call. Elder Cameron trained Elder Dangerfield (one of my Zone leaders). I am training Elder Walker, Elder Burton's first grandson. Elder Dangerfield trained Elder Canales, Verdune, and Moller. Elder Moller is training this transfer also and he told me that he has three nephews. That is Elder Pieper's posterity. It is a large posterity for the mission. He had a couple mission brothers and they have large posterities also. Elder Cameron told Elder Burton (who is serving as a zone leader in Pocatello) at the transfer site that I was training and that made Elder Burton so excited that he found Elder Walker at the site and got his picture taken with him. Poor Elder Walker, Elder Burton is so crazy and I remember what he was like at the transfer site my first day in the mission also. I was kind of scared! I will probably never see Elder Burton again on the mission because he goes home in February. We will be at different Zone conferences this transfer because he is serving in the south and I am in the north. So unless one of us gets transferred at the end of the month then we won't see each other.

I have to tell you that I got pulled over the other day for the first time in my life! It was about 8:00 at night and we had just tried to contact a referral and got back in the car. We had gone through all our plans for the day and we still had an hour left. So we sat in the car for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. We decided to go to a church building (just around the block) and pray about it. We were parked on the side of the road and I looked and no one was coming (it was in a quiet neighborhood) and I pulled out. Drove about 10 feet and Elder Walker said, "Um, you’re getting pulled over." My first thought was, "Shoot, I didn't use my turn signal to pull out. I bet he was just waiting for that."

I pulled over and the police man walked up.

"What were you doing?"

"I'm sorry sir, I didn't use my turn signal."

"Why were sitting out in front of that house?"

"We were just looking at our plans, trying to figure out what to do."

"That's my father's house. I was just wondering why you were sitting in the car outside his house. You guys have a good evening."

Other than that, things are going great.

Love,

Elder Call

Elder Call's Dad Remenisces

[Note: With Elder Call's being assigned as a trainer this past transfer, I went back to my own missionary journal and read about the one month I served as a trainer to Elder C. Blaine Peterson. I included some of my journal entries in my email to Elder Call. --Editor]

30 November 2009

Dear Elder Call:

It is unbelievable to me that tomorrow is December! Where has the year gone? It seems like only a couple months ago that we were celebrating the arrival of 2009, and here we are just a few weeks away from 2010. Time marches on. . .
We were so surprised to receive your email on Thanksgiving! It sounds like you had a wonderful day of service, feasting, and maybe even some recreation. We had a good day, celebrating with just our own family. Mom and Rebecca made a terrific feast. The turkey was the best we've ever had, and Mom says she doesn't know how she did it. She says she roasted it just the same as she always has, so we're chalking it up to another blessing.

The day after Thanksgiving, of course, we went and got our Christmas tree from Valley View Farm. John seemed to take great pride in being the son to cut the tree and step in where Bob left off with helping to carry it out of the grove, getting it off the van, etc. He also set up your train around the base and when we had the Stewarts and Burninghams over to watch the BYU-Utah football game the next day, we thought we were witnessing a transformation as he started to sound and act just like you! At first he was very willing to show the little kids the train, but the first time it came off the tracks and he had to climb back behind the couch to fix it, well. . .you know better than we do how that feels. He was a good sport and seemed very proud when we laughed and said he was acting just like Bob. . .a little put out but very patient. It was great.

Speaking of BYU-Utah, oh my goodness. Did you hear about the game? BYU won in OVERTIME! It never should have gotten to that point. We were up 20-6 going into the fourth quarter, but Utah tied it up with about 1 minute left. In overtime, Utah had the ball first and we held them to a field goal. On our possession, the second play was a pass up the middle to tight end Andrew George, who ran another 15 yards or so into the end zone untouched. It was great!

We were so thrilled to receive your letter about your new assignment as a trainer. Wow! That seems unusual to go straight to senior companion AND trainer in one move. Is it unusual? And it sounds like your new companion (Elder Walker, right?) is a great missionary and that you will have much success together. It was almost 30 years ago that I was made a trainer--a position I held for only one companion. The following is from my missionary journal:

*************************************
July 30, 1980.
Wednesday.

Well, today was Elder Brown's last day here. We got the call out at lunchtime. Also Elder Hibbert is moving to Kwai Chung to be a senior. Elder Pincock is also moving and Elder Keene is the new district leader. He's really neat.

Elder Brown sure took it hard.

July 31, 1980.
Thursday.

Today was a mission conference with Elder Marion D. Hanks! It was really great! I really like him!

Also got my new companion--Elder C. Blaine Peterson from Salt Lake City. He's really great--a lot of fun. I really like him, and I'm looking forward to a lot of success.

August 1, 1980.
Friday.

Today was a really good day -- our first day out together. In the morning we met with Leih Sou Mahn—it was going pretty good until her little sister and friend came. We closed the meeting—tried to make another appointment, but she wouldn't let us. I think we'll be able to see her again—I hope so, anyway.

Then we went to Olivia's—Mace went with us. Mace is great—she really is.

This afternoon we went and bought my companion all kinds of stuff – briefcase, pillow, etc. Tracted a little bit.

At night we went and saw the Cheuih couple—the deaf couple that is inactive in our area. It was really a lot of fun communicating with them—I know a little bit of sign language. They were really excited to see us and to have us over. Also went and saw Sister Lee—the one with two kids. I really like them.

***********************

I'm surprised I didn't write more about Elder Peterson those first couple of days we were together. But my memories of our time together (only one month) are still very vivid.

We are confident your mission president is inspired and that you will be a terrific trainer. You have a glorious work to perform there in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. We are grateful you are making good use of every day you have to serve the Lord.

We are proud of you and love you deeply. We pray for you night and day. Keep being the best!

Love,
Dad

Thanksgiving Day Message

26 November 2009

Good Morning,

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we get an all day P-Day! We have already helped a little bit at a community thanksgiving dinner and then we are going to go back and help serve at about 11:00.

Then later in the day we are going to go a family's home and eat dinner there for a couple of hours.

Other than that we are just going to hang out and maybe go to a church building and play some basketball.

A couple of weeks ago I found a suit jacket at the DI that fit me really well, but there were no pants. At the DI they have several big racks of slacks and just two minutes after I found the jacket Elder Lagazo called me over. He had found the pants that go with the jacket! The jacket was 10 bucks, and the pants only 2. Somebody had taken the pants in so they were a little small, but Sister Crapo was kind enough to take them back out. So now I have another new suit that fits me and it was only $12!
I didn't get to write a letter on Monday because we were only given 2 hours for p-day because of Thanksgiving so I will write one later today. I am so sorry I didn't get to write one earlier in the week.

Elder Walker and I are doing great! Things have slowed down a little, but hopefully they will start to pick up again. We still have 2 people being baptized in December and hopefully a third and fourth.

Next Thursday is a special Zone Conference. It is going to be Idaho Falls, so that means it will probably be about half the mission. It is going to go to 6:00, about 3 hours longer than normal. We were told to bring sport clothes. We also heard rumors that we might watch a movie. President Sommers did that last Christmas, so we don't know. It will be weird, that's for sure.

So you know how I have said I want to name my son Rigby. Well, Elder Walker's middle name is Rigby and his family all called him "Rigby" or "Rigs." So no one can make fun of me anymore. It is a name. I think "Rigby Call" is a cool name.

Love,
Elder Call

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Junior Companion Already a "Pro"; Teaching Seminary a Success

23 November 2009

Hi Dad,

Thank you for your email. I am doing well and you can tell anyone that asks that I am doing well and truly enjoying the mission. It is nice of people to wonder how am doing.

This past week has been a hectic one. With that meeting in Pocatello I had to be at, transfers, etc. The meeting was pretty good. There were 20 trainers attending. That is the largest group of missionaries coming to the mission that anybody can remember. Basically they told us at the meeting that the future of the mission depends on us. That we need to be the absolute best missionaries we can be and then teach the new ones how to be better. It was lots of fun, it was a bit of a reunion. I drove down with Elder Moller, Elder Slocum, and Elder Poppleton. Elder Moller is serving in Terreton, Elder Slocum in Driggs, and Elder Poppleton in Jackson. Elder Poppleton said his dad still reads the blog and loves to find out what is going on.

At the meeting in Pocatello I got to See Elder Travis Taylor. We were in the MTC together and quickly became good friends. We were standing in line to go through all the medical stuff on the first day at the MTC and he told me he was really hungry. We then found out we were both going to Pocatello! We bonded really quick. I haven't seen him since May 3 at Elder Bednar's conference. So we had a really good time together at the meeting. Monday night I stayed at the mission home with the three elders I drove down with. Then Tuesday morning we left right before the new elders arrived.

Wednesday morning Elder Johnsen and I went to go teach the Seminary kids how to give away a Book of Mormon and how to share the gospel with their friends. It went really well. We had to go to transfers after that first class. But Bro. Chelson (the teacher and a high councilman over missionary work) asked us to come back and teach the other classes as well! So We picked up my new companion (Elder Walker from Castle Rock, Colorado) and drove from Rexburg straight to the seminary and began to teach. It was his first experience in the field. His bags were still in the car. Elder Walker did a terrific job. He is a pro already. It was a ton of fun to teach that class and Bro. Chelson asked us to teach every class. He wanted the whole school to experience it. So for three days we got to teach seminary.

It has been really productive already. Two people asked for Book of Mormons to give away, we have a couple less actives we get to work with, and a few referrals and we know that other kids are sharing the gospel with their friends from what we have heard.

We are extremely grateful that the seminary teachers allowed us to use their class time and that it has been so successful already.

It snowed for several hours yesterday and I think it is here to stay.

The work is going extremely well, new things are happening and the doors are being opened.

Love,

Elder Call

New Assignment Humbles Elder Call

16 November 2009

Dear Family:

That is pretty cool that the Beloit Ward Relief Society hosted the zone conference. We always appreciate the sisters (or brothers sometimes) that are willing to prepare a lunch for us. They are always really good.

It's good to hear about Sister Novak and the help you and other have provided to her. She must be very lonely.

Things are going well here. I wrote Dad an email about a baptism we had on Saturday. It was really good. A teenage boy named Nick Gold. His birthday (age 15) was yesterday and he was excited because, as he said, the best gift he could get was the Holy Ghost. He was confirmed yesterday.

Transfers are on Wednesday. Sometimes the zone leaders have to stay at our place for a night or two because they live with members and sometimes those members have family come over for a few days. So they got to our place on Friday night.

As I was talking with Elder Hingano, our phone started to ring and it was President Colton. I figured he was calling about the zone leaders staying at our place. I answered and he told me he had a new assignment for me. That kind of scared me, but I figured it was just a calling to be senior companion. He asked me to train a new missionary coming this transfer.

I am really, really scared. It is going to be pretty hard. I have to teach him how to do missionary work, but more importantly, how to become a missionary. I have a meeting way down at the mission home in Pocatello tonight at 6:00. It will probably go late so we are staying at the mission home tonight. Then I get the new missionary on Wednesday morning. I have no idea who it is. I hope I can do a good job.

Thanks for your letters this week. Thank you for everything.

Love,
Elder Call

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Elder Call Waxes Elequent on. . .what else? Family History!

[Note: In my last email to Elder Call, I told him that I have been called as the Family History Center director for our ward. Additionally, some months before his mission, Elder Call and I had discussed getting permission to publish the journals and related papers of John Scott, a family ancestor—but we had decided to wait until after Elder Call's mission to move forward on the project. In my email to Elder Call, I mentioned this project and said I may not be able to wait until he gets home to move forward with it. —Ed.]

2 November 2009

Hi Dad,

I loved your email!! It was so much fun to read. Don't ever worry about it if you forget to email me, though. You are very busy. We have a set schedule every week that is the only time to email, so it is easier for me to do it.

So I finished that letter I wrote you guys about that one couple on Wednesday. I had been praying every opportunity I had for them. On Wednesday night I prayed even more sincerely and earnestly for them. I pled with the Lord that they would be able to work things out. Thursday morning at 8:00 we got a text message (we can receive them, but not send any). It read, "Please pray for me. Help me be strong." It was an answer to not only my prayers, but to many, many others' as well. That is the last we have heard from them.

That is so exciting for the Brumbles! I can't wait for them!! Elder Naverette, one of my Zone Leaders is from Chile. He goes home at the end of December or the beginning of January. Is it a 2 year proselyting mission, service mission, office couple, or what? They will be great missionaries. Tell them congratulations, and please thank them for all they have done.

I am glad things are going good with your clients. I will increase my prayers on your behalf. I have seen literal miracles happen when we pray with faith and humble ourselves to accept the Lord's will.

That is so cool that you are the ward's Family History Center Director! I am so jealous. You will do great, I just know it.

The John Scott Journals would be sweet to publish. It would be great if you were able to publish them. If I can remember correctly, we were thinking of doing the John Scott Journals. I think there are two of them, maybe, but in that one packet.

He served two missions, I believe. One throughout the Midwest with an epistle from the brethren about gathering the saints to Salt Lake. (It might be kind of cool to maybe find that letter and include it.) And then I think he served a mission in Ireland.

We were also thinking of Jacob Scott's letters to his daughter(s?). They are in possession of the Community of Christ, I think. I seem to remember that you and Rachel got me a CD from BYU with some John and Jacob Scott stuff on it from their Special Collections library. The CD would probably be in that cupboard with the family history stuff.

We also considered finding letters or other documents written by John Scott's siblings. They would probably be in possession of the Community of Christ. As you know John's siblings went apostate. The one brother Isaac Franklin Scott I believe wrote some letters too.

It could be a "Jacob Scott Family Papers" project, or whatever. It would be really interesting because the Jacob Scott family was involved in things, but you never really hear very much about it all. The Scotts were Irish Canadians and converted around 1836. They knew people like the Laws and Isaac Russell in Canada. They all joined the church and moved to Missouri. A lot of them were excommunicated.

Apparently there were some financial dealings with Joseph Smith, because Jacob Scott writes a letter of apology to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and mentions it. He also wrote an unkind letter to Joseph and Hyrum while they were in Liberty Jail. Its whereabouts is unknown, to the best of my knowledge. Ann Scott (I believe), one of John Scott's sisters, carried the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible under her dress to keep it safe from the mob. Then gave it to Emma who carried it under her dress to Nauvoo. I think Ann's husband was James Mulholland, one of the scribes to Joseph Smith. I think he got sick in the Nauvoo swamps in the spring/summer of 1839 and died. Then Mulholland Street was named after him.

There is a possibility that Sarah Scott, John's sister, was a plural wife to Joseph Smith. (On that same thread John Scott had three wives while in Nauvoo: Elizabeth Menerey, Mary Pugh, and Sarah Ann Willis. Sarah is our ancestor.)

Of course you know the Robert Scott story with the group that was organizing against Joseph Smith. (That was the Laws; could they have invited him because they were family friends and there was already dissension among family members and the church?) I think there was some sort of Irish Rebellion in Nauvoo and I bet you anything that the Scotts were a part of that. It would not surprise me at all. Then all of the Scott family joined different apostate groups and were quite active in them.

As far as I can tell the only sibling that didn't join an apostate group was Robert. Was that because of his experience in being a spy for Joseph Smith in that dissenting group? One thing that always makes a researched, published family history better is if you ask yourself what was going on at the time of the events, what could have influenced the family members to act as they did, why did they choose to do so, who did they know, or were there individuals outside of the family who seem to be involved in those same historical events, etc.

There is a lot that could go into the project. You might consider putting together some sort of researched and documented brief history of the Scott family. It doesn't need to be anything too detailed. Just major points in each of the siblings lives; i.e. moving to Canada, baptism, Missouri, excommunication, joining apostate groups, etc. Just so people can kind of have an idea about the movements of the family members. I don't know, just do what you feel inspired to do.

Of course you would need to get permission to publish the journals and letters. As you know any authoritative work is well documented and cited. I am sure you know much more about writing and publishing than I do. I've just done research.

That is probably way more information than you wanted to know, but you would do a great job with however you decide to do it.

It will be great, just do what you think you should.

Love,

Elder Call

P.S. One more tidbit of information that just popped into my mind: If I remember correctly Jacob Scott and possibly other family members were still living in the Far West Area in the 1840 census. Active members were out by that time. The 1840 census only has heads of households listed. So it would be helpful if you knew who Jacob and Sarah Warnock’s children and sons/daughters-in-law were.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Elder Call's Family History Skills Retained in St. Anthony

12 October 2009

Dear Family,

Right now I am writing from St. Anthony, Idaho. I wrote about the emergency transfer in Dad's email. My companion is Elder Johnson from Minnesota. He is pretty nice. I really like it here. It is farm country, very rural. Ammon was the city and I didn't like that so much.

Our district includes Ashton, St. Anthony, West Yellowstone, Sugar City, half of Rexurg, the sisters who serve on the BYU-I campus, and Island Park. There are mountains all around us, mostly in the distance. It is pretty cool. We can see the Grand Tetons! It is really pretty.

The brother of one of Mom's ancestors was the first stake president here. At the time I believe it was called the Yellowstone Stake, but now it is St. Anthony. His name was Daniel G. Miller and he was stake president from 8 January 1909 to 11 June 1925. He was the son of Daniel A. Miller and the brother of Mom's ancestor, Clarissa Miller Hammond.


Daniel A. Miller
Clarissa Miller Hammond
Clarissa Hammond Brown
James H. Brown III
Thadeus H. Brown
T. Dee Brown
Shannon Brown Call
Robert M. Call


Daniel G. Miller is Mom's 3rd great-grandma's brother. Mom's 3rd great-grandmother, Clarissa Miller, was born in Quincy, Illinois. Her family joined the Church when the Saints went to Quincy. Then her mother, Clarissa Pond, died before they went west. Daniel G. Miller was born to Hannah Bigler in Farmington, Utah, in 1859. So there was quite the age gap, I believe.

Nothing real exciting has happened today. We went shopping at the Walmart and at Albertson's in Rexburg. That is where we do all that kind of stuff. Though we do the emails at the Family History Center in St. Anthony.

Have fun in DisneyWorld! I am glad you guys are able to go.

Love,
Elder Call

P.S. Remember that God is watching out for me. Remember that I love you very much and am grateful for all that you do for me. Thanks.

Elder Call Receives Sage Counsel

19 October 2009

Hi Dad,

Thanks so much for the email. It was great reading about your mission experiences. It is truly amazing to see the miracles that God unfolds for the salvation of man when we pray with faith.

I am enjoying the work here in the St. Anthony stake. It is going really well. Within my first week here we have set 2 new dates. We already had 3. It is all through the grace of Christ and through the actions of inspired members that so many people are prepared for baptism.

Nothing real exciting is going on besides all the work.

That is terrible to hear about Bro. Fairbank. He was such a good man. It must be really hard on his wife. But she is a strong woman with incredible faith in God.

We were tracting the other day on Main Street in St. Anthony and the last house we knocked on was the home of a 94-year-old man. All old people always invite us in and talk for a long time. But he told us in a very stern, sincere, heartfelt manner, "Impressions--follow them. You should always follow your impressions." He told us how he was pulling into his driveway and thought he should go visit a friend. So he drove over and walked in the house. He called for his friend, but there was no answer. Then he called again and heard a moan. He ran up as quick as he could. The friend was crumpled up on the floor. He asked what was wrong, and his friend said, "Hubert, I think I am dying." So he called the ambulance just in time and saved him.

"Impressions--follow them. You should always follow your impressions."

Love,
Elder Call

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lord Blesses Elders Call, Weatherston with Baptisms

5 October 2009

Hey Dad,

It sounds like your trip to Utah was a lot of fun. It would be cool to be there at the game with some of the family.

That is kind of cool that you all got ordain Addison to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Did I tell you that Dan wrote me a letter saying he met Addison? It is such a small world.

The work here continues to go well.

We did get to watch all of conference. In between the sessions on Saturday we baptized Sara Morrison. That was really cool. Her parents and sister came to the baptism. That made us really happy. Sara's boyfriend Jonathan baptized her. Due to the surgeries she has had this year she has no stomach muscles. She is also quite a bit taller than Jonathan. So they asked me to assist in the baptizing. I was just there to make sure she went under all the way and was able to come back up. We baptized her and I looked at the branch presidency member that was acting as a witness and he nodded and said it was all done right.

Then as I was just beginning to change the brother came running in and asked me what the wording was. Jonathan had said it wrong! So we all rushed back into the clothes and got Sara to change again. Jonathan was really nervous but he said it correctly and we got her correctly baptized!!

Transfers are this Wednesday. We found out transfer information last night. Elder Weatherston and I are staying together here in Ammon West. This will be our 3rd transfer together. Elder Weatherston is going home at the end of the transfer, so that means I will probably stay here at least one more transfer after he is gone. So Ammon West will probably be a 6 month area for me. That is good; the work is going extremely well. We have plans to baptize 6 people on 5 consecutive Saturdays. So if the Lord keeps blessing us, we can continue baptizing weekly and achieve the mission standard of excellence!!

Thanks a lot for all that you do. Good luck with your future and current clients.

Love,

Elder Call

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Elder Zwick of Seventy Visits, Inspires Missionaries

28 September 2009

Hi Dad,

Thank you for the email.

We had a couple of exciting things happen this week.

First off, on Tuesday we had Elder and Sister Zwick of the Seventy come and speak to us. It was really good and it is quite obvious that they are both inspired. People were a little frustrated for a few things and I think it is all rather funny. First off we were told that we had to have a presentation prepared because we might get asked to stand up and do the training/roleplay. We were told to prepare one thing, then it changed to another, and then to another thing, and then to another thing. Then the location changed a couple of times. Then the time changed two or three times.

It was held at a stake center here in Idaho Falls and we were told we needed to be seated by 8:00 AM and then reverently prepare. When zone conferences happen we need to be there a half hour before it starts. Then the President, seventy, apostle, APs, or whomever would show up a few minutes before that half hour is over.

Well, it got to be 8:30 and President and Elder Zwick still weren't here. Elder Weatherston had to go use the men's room. We decided to wait, mavbe he was just a few minutes behind. Then at 8:40, Elder Weatherston said he thought he should go. I said, "Well, maybe it starts at 8:45." He said he would wait. Then at 8:45 he said, "I am going to go to the restroom." So we got up and left.

At about 8:50 several other companionships (elders, sisters, and seniors) all started to come and go to the restroom too. It was kind of funny. Then while I was still waiting outside the restroom, Elder Zwick, Sister Zwick and Sister Colton all came down to the restrooms. Elder Zwick said, "Elder Call, How are you? I'm Elder Zwick."

"Good," I said. "How are you?"

"Good. Where are you from?"

"Northern Illinois."

"Oh, that's great!" (Everybody says that because they know nothing about it and want to make missionaries feel good.)

Then he stepped in and came out a couple of minutes later. I was still waiting for Elder Weatherston. Then he came out.

I said, "He's here."

"Who?"

"Elder Zwick. He was in the restroom with you."

"I was in the restroom with Elder Zwick?!"

Then we went in and it was just getting started. Elder Zwick did the whole handshake thing and when it was my turn he said, "Elder Call! All the way from Ohio!!" I just smiled and laughed to myself.

Sister Zwick shared a cool story that I would like to relate:

When they were first put in as mission president of Santiago Chile in July 1989 they had just dropped the previous president off at the airport. The first phone call Elder Zwick received was this:

"President, I'm Elder So and So. You don't know me and I don't know you. I am standing in a telephone booth with only my companions over coat on. A few minutes ago. My companion and I were in a chapel conducting a baptismal interview when seven terrorists with machine guns came running in. They put the guns to our heads and made us take off our clothes, all of our clothes, infront of the seminary students."

"They then poured hot wax on us. They lit us on fire and the chapel. The chapel is currently burning to the ground. What would you like me to do President?"

Sis. Zwick said she really didn't think she could do this. She almost got back on the plane to go back home.

Her 8-year-old son said, "Mom, don't worry. Heavenly Father will help you."

Elder Zwick finished the story later in the meeting.

The next sunday after it burned the little branch of 35 showed up for sacrament meeting. There were 200 people there.

One year later in July 1990 there were two strongs wards in the same boundaries.

One year after that in July 1991 there were four strong wards and one branch in the same boundaries.

A little less than one year after that in 1992 there was a strong stake thriving.

I thought that was an amazing story.

Later when I was thinking about it I related it in my mind to how we need to be purified and sanctifed by the Holy Ghost, or the baptism by fire, before we can grow strong and steadfast in the Lord.

Well, I should probably go.

Good luck with the work trips and have fun at the football game. Tell Grandpa Happy Birthday for me.

Love,
Elder Call

P.S. Yesterday morning at the stake center Brother Farr (The one who baptized Dora Goldsworthy) came out of his bishopric meeting and asked us if we had met Elder Clark. We said no. "President Clark from BYU-I is here," he said. "They are fininishing up after the bishopric meeting. You should wait here and meet him." So he came out and we met him. He was then in the Sacrament meeting we attended. At the the end he spoke on D&C 84:88 I believe. It was kind of cool.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Hand of the Lord is. . .Well. . .of Course it's in this Work!--It's HIS Work!

21 September 2009

Hi Dad,

Things are going really well here. It is amazing to see the hand of the Lord in the work. Well, I guess it is His work so of course His hand is directing it and in every detail.

That is too bad that BYU lost.

I am glad that everyone in the ward is doing well. On Saturday we were asked to help move our ward mission leader. We helped him move and somebody told us he was from Illinois. So I brought it up and it turns out he is from Rockford. He moved away 27 years ago though.

Sister Tippetts, the Relief Society President, under her own initiative, started a list for members to provide meals for us. Her and her husband do so much for us. We really appreciate them a lot.

A few exciting things have happened this week, but I think I will write a letter home about them.

By the way we were in the stake center's library earlier this week and I found an article that you wrote several years ago. It was about being a shepherd in Hong Kong and what a successful missionary is. It was very good and interesting to read. I had no idea about any of that. It is definitely one that I will keep. I had no idea that you were ever an AP (I know that wasn't the point of the story). But we meet people who served missions and tell us "when I was a zone leader" "when I was in leadership for 18 months" it is kind of sad, because alot of them say those things just so we know that they were "good, successful missionaries". That was a really good article.

Love,
Elder Call


[EDITOR'S NOTE: The article in The New Era to which Elder Call refers is fiction. That's why he never heard that story before. I think he's heard ALL of my true missionary stories at least half a dozen times. :-) --Ed.]

Monday, September 7, 2009

Elder Call's 20 Memorable Experiences

Note:

Elder Call's paternal grandparents have been publishing a monthly family newsletter, The Call Connection, for 20 years. This month marks the 20th anniversary, and so Grandma Call has asked for family members to write lists of 20 things for her to include in the newsletter. These lists could be of anything we'd like. . .20 favorite songs, 20 favorite scriptures, 20 funniest jokes, etc. Here is Elder Call's response:





"20 Somethings?" Hmmmm....hmmmm.

Well, I think I will go with 20 memorable experiences.

1. If I remember correctly this was the first time that I got interested in Family History: While we were still living in Utah we went with the extended family to Battle Creek near Pleasant Grove. I remember hiking up there with cousins and going to a bridge. It was a lot of fun. Uncle Bruce told us about the battle and about John Scott leading the expedition there.

2. I also remember going to the Wheeler Reunion and running around up there and then Rebecca falling into a Cow Pie! That was pretty gross, but funny.

3. I have a few different memories of going to Bear Lake with my mom's side of the family. I loved spending time with all my cousins and playing in the beach, lake, and mud.

4. I also remember when Mom was teaching my preschool class and then one day she told the class that she wasn't going to be teaching anymore because she was having a baby!

5. I remember when Mary Ann was just a toddler and we were playing with these plastic blocks making towers. I knocked it over and Mary Ann cracked up. Mom was cooking just around the corner and we were so shocked! Mary Ann laughed for the first time!

6. I also remember one year, I think it was for one of Dad's birthdays, he opened up a book as a gift and "found" Disneyland tickets! We were so excited, Rebecca and I started dancing around in circles holding hands!

7. The day after Thanksgiving of 2000 we were all sitting downstairs talking and Dad asked us what we thought of moving to Chicago! That was a shocker. Then Grandma and Grandpa Call helped us move and Mary Ann and I rode with Grandpa in one of the trucks. We were somewhere on the plains and it was snowy and cold outside and Grandpa laughed. Mary Ann and I asked why he was laughing. "You two are just like your dad. He would sit in the car, look out the window and never say a word!" That made us laugh. It's not like there was much of anything to look at.

8. At the family reunion in Alaska Uncle Darryn told us he didn't want his kids learning how to cheat. Then at the reunion in Nauvoo Christopher and Geoffrey were cheating at "Pit"! It runs in the blood I guess.

9. Speaking of the Nauvoo reunion. Rachel, Rebecca, Tom and myself rode down to Nauvoo together. That was a way fun car ride.

10. One year for High Adventure, it might have been my last year, we went canoeing in Northern Wisconsin. Our second day the winds were at least 50 mph and we were in a marshland with lily pads and small stumps about 4-6 inches in diameter. We had no control. There was a lot to that High Adventure, more than I have room for. But it was one I will never forget.

11. I remember when I was really little riding my tricycle over to Bishop Pyne's and their dog came running over! I got knocked over and lost my cowboy hat! Rachel went back and got it for me!

12. My first summer at BYU, Summer 2008, Brooke got married. Rachel, myself, and Bruce and Patti's family got to help the with the reception. That was an experience!

13. 27 March 2008 our youth went to the Kirtland Temple. That was an amazingly spiritual experience. That was 172 years to the day of the dedication. That was one of those experiences that a person has that tells them the Church is true.

14. At that same Kirtland Trip, Dad and I got up early one morning and found some land that Cyril Call owned in Madison, Geauga, Ohio. I-90 runs right through it. On one side there are a few houses. On the other it is a Christian Church Camp and still forests. The Grand River also runs through it. We hiked through there. That was way cool.

15. I also remember driving to Logan, through Logan Canyon I believe, and knowing that there was a place called "Brown's Roll Off" that I wanted to see. I was telling the family about it and looking. Then I saw the sign, Dad zipped by, I whipped my head around and said, "There it was!" I wanted to stop, but they just laughed and kept going. It was a funny moment.

16. On the mission we taught a lady named Mona. One night she was going on and on about how she would make it into the Celestial Kingdom without being baptized into the LDS church. She said she would force her way in. Then in all seriousness said, "Bring it on, God." Right then something fell. Mona looked scared. We looked around in confusion. Her husband said, "Oh it was just a book." The book was called "Following Christ." Mona was eventually baptized.

17. I also remember the first day of kindergarten and someone made a joke about my name backwards was "Call, Bobby." Funny. The first of many jokes to come that were never very funny.

18. Also on the mission Elder Bednar called a special Mission Conference in May 2009. We sang "Redeemer of Israel" and "How Firm a Foundation.” The singing of those 160 missionaries was more powerful than the 2,000 in the MTC. It was truly an astounding experience.

19. John and I went to the Father and Son's campout one year. That was a lot of fun. I remember driving back from White Pines State Park and it had been raining in the morning. We were driving through Byron or Oregon and I we saw a couple of teenage boys walking down the road. Wet, long hair, dirty clothes and dirty feet. They look like a couple of hillbillies and I said so. John was appalled at me even though he didn't know what the word means. That was a fun trip.

20. I also remember the Alaska reunion and we went salmon fishing. You are supposed to be able to just throw the line in and snag a fish. Real easy. I somehow missed all the salmon, but caught a star fish. That was a fun reunion.

I hope that that works.

Love,
Elder Call

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two Elders and a Goat

31 August 2009

Dear Family,

This will probably be a shorter letter, so sorry for that.

It sounds like everything is going great and there will be some changes in the ward when I get back. That is great.

This story is mostly for you, John. I thought it might make you laugh.

Elder Weatherston and I were trying to contact someone who has a little farm with dogs, horses, goats, etc. You have to walk down a long driveway to get to their house. There was a loose goat just kind of walking around. Well, nobody was home, so we started to walk back. But the goat decided to follow us!

We got to the road but figured it wouldn't leave the property. But it kept following! We tried turning around really quick and scaring it, but that didn't work. We kept walking and it kept following.

So we turned around and walked all the way back and started over. It kept following. So we got to the road and it still followed. We tried running, but it ran after us.




We decided to walk

backwards.

That worked for a

minute,

but it started

chasing us again!






We decided to walk backwards. That worked for a minute and it stopped following us, but started chasing us again. We then walked back and we tried to get it distracted by something else. I turned the corner of the house, sneaking away. Then Elder Weatherston turned the corner and the goat saw him!

Elder Weatherston yelled, "Oh shoot! It saw me! Run!"

So we ran and I looked behind me and the goat ran around the corner chasing us down the driveway and road and almost got hit by a car!

So we walked back and found a rope and tied him to the fence.

It was quite the experience.

Love,

Elder Call

Photos of Pokey West


These pictures arrived about three weeks ago, and include photos of Elder Call's first area in the Pocatello West Stake. . .
































Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spirit Whispers to Elder Call Regarding Beloit Ward's New Bishopric

Note:
For those not in the Beloit Ward. . .we had a new bishopric sustained on Sunday, August 30. Bishop Brian Webb is the bishop, Brother Matthew Lakko is first counselor, and Brother Mike Moncur is second counselor. Read on!




31 August 2009

Hi Dad,

That is exciting about the new bishopric. I had a feeling last week when you told me you were getting released that Bro. Lakko would be in the bishopric. I suppose it was the Spirit.

Then last night just for fun I wrote a list of all of the men in the ward that I could think of/remember (25 total) and guessed that the following would be in the bishopric: Bro. Webb, Bro. Warner Jr., Bro. Lakko, Bro. Moncur Jr., Bro. Foster, and Bro. Crave. I know that was six men and odds were on my side, but it was just guessing.

It sounds like the meeting was very spiritual and uplifting. That is really good. Your bishopric did a great job for our ward and really helped a ton of people out. I am sure that the new bishopric will do the same.

I don't know if anything real exciting has happened out here this week. Just sort of the usual.

Tell me how everyone is doing and what the are up to.

Love,
Elder Call

PS. We just found out this morning that Elder Weatherston's brother who is attending BYU-I just moved into the singles branch we cover! Isn't that crazy?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elder Call Responds to Father's Release; Missionary Work Moves Forward

24 August 2009


Hi Dad,

It is sad that you have been released, but you have done an excellent job and helped many, many people as bishop in the Beloit Ward. It would be bittersweet. What do you think your next calling will be? I suppose that by next p-day you will know who the new bishopric will be. Please let me know.

It sounds like it was a very spirit-filled day yesterday for our ward. That is really good. Many people in our ward love you and appreciate all that you have done for them. I am sure that you must be physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. Being Bishop is hard work and it will be a big load taken from you.

I am happy for you though.

President Stewart is a very good man. I am grateful that he was my young men's president.

We had a baptism on Saturday! It was for "Three" his real name is Heakchun (pronounced Hitchin') Song. He is in the Singles Branch here. It was really cool. He need to get baptized at 8:00 in the morning so he could go to work and Elder Weatherston and I had to be at the church by 6:00 to start filling the font. So we had to get up at 5:40 AM! That seems so early. But it was all worth it for his baptism. Speaking of getting up early, Mary Ann is in High School today! She starts seminary soon! That is just weird.

We were also asked to speak in the Singles Branch yesterday. That was pretty good. I have spoken about 5 times so far in sacrament meeting on the mission. And we are speaking again this Sunday in a different ward. The people in Idaho love the missionaries. All day long we get people honking and waving at us as they drive by. It is kind of funny. Kids, especially, like to run to their windows and front doors and say "Hi missionaries!" or "Look! It’s the missionaries!" It is very nice of them. But I must admit all the honking and waving does get quite annoying.

Transfers are this Wednesday and we found out last night what was happening. Elder Weatherston and I are staying together here in Ammon West. This is his second to last transfer.

Things in our area are really picking up. Last week we taught 13 lessons! That is amazing. Our district leader and his companion, in the Ammon Foothills, have only taught a few LARCs this transfer. A LARC is a Less-Active/Recent-Convert.

We met a cool guy by the name of Ray Murdock yesterday, but I think I will write a letter home about him.

Good luck and thanks for everything you have done as bishop.

Love,
Elder Call

Elder Call's Dad to be Released as Bishop

First, an email I sent to Elder Call. . .



24 August 2009

Good morning, Elder Call.

Yesterday in Sacrament meeting President Stewart concluded the meeting with the announcement that next Sunday we will be sustaining a new bishopric for the Beloit Ward.

Mom and I had met with President Evans a week ago, when he extended the release to me. It is a bittersweet time. I will greatly miss the opportunity to serve the Lord and to be an instrument in His hands in helping ward members and others come unto Him. It has been a glorious opportunity and I know that in all likelihood it will never come to me again. For these reasons it is so difficult and makes me so sad to be released.

On the other hand, it is time to move on and to grow through other means. What those means are, we do not yet know. But we trust the Lord will provide us the opportunity to serve in some capacity that will help me become a better person and that will bless our family.

Yesterday's Sacrament meeting was very spiritual. Following the sacrament, we had a musical number by some sisters in our ward. Erin Grush, Deb Wright, and Cammy Patton (I don't think you know the Patton family) sang "Abide with Me," accompanied by Terisha Foster. They did a superb job and truly brought the Holy Ghost into the service. We then invited Karrie Stewart, Jon Stevens, and Ken Davis to share their testimonies. The Spirit had whispered to me to invite them to share their testimonies, and they each did such a wonderful job. I then had Brother Webb, who was conducting, invite Lindsey Ealy, Valerie Smith, Paul Crave, and Adam Foster to share their testimonies. It was amazing. The Spirit was so strong, and many tears were shed, both by those sharing their testimonies and by those who were edified by their words.

We then stood and sang the Parley P. Pratt hymn "Come, O Thou King of Kings." I love that hymn. It is a pleading for the Second Coming and expresses so beautifully my own desires for the renewal of the earth through cleansing.

I then spoke. I had prepared some remarks around the theme that the Holy Ghost knows all things. But when I stood, I felt to go a different direction and share first my thoughts about another Parley P. Pratt hymn, "The Morning Breaks." Another favorite of mine. Isn't Parley wonderful? When I had left for bishopric meeting early that Sunday morning, I had the wonderful experience of again seeing the sun as it was just over the horizon. This hymn of course came to mind, and I sang it over and over again on my way in to the church. During my talk, I reminded each of us that "the dawning of a brighter day" can come to us EVERY day. . .that each day we begin with a humble prayer on our knees can be the dawning of a brighter day. . .that each day we forgive someone can the dawning of a brighter day in our lives. . .that each day we strive to serve others can be the dawning of a brighter day for our mortal experience.

Then I felt impressed to share a brief version of my experience as a missionary in Hong Kong when I knew my family back home in Philadelphia was in trouble and yet I felt so helpless to come to their aid. I shared how that evening as I cried myself to sleep, I felt arms around me, holding me and comforting me. And I shared that in the morning, I felt the dawning of a brighter day in my life, for I knew the Lord was with my family back home.

After sharing my testimony, I closed and President Stewart spoke for about 10 minutes. He was very kind and generous in his words about my service--more generous than I deserve. He reminisced a bit about some of his and his family's interaction with me and with our family, and then announced that next week a new bishopric will be sustained. He asked ward members to pray for three things: 1) express gratitude for the current bishopric and their service; 2) pray for the new bishop and the new bishopric; and 3) pray that we will be able to accept and to sustain the new bishop. It was a wonderful talk and the Spirit testified to me that President Stewart is called of God.

Following the meeting and the block of meetings, I had a few interviews, including one with our Young Women president, Sister Stewart, and our Relief Society President, Sister Burningham. What wonderfully uplifting meetings each of these interviews were. I felt the Spirit in the room with these and all the other interviews I had that day.

Then, at night, we had our final youth fireside at our house. It was wonderful. We opened with "Now Let Us Rejoice." I then shared with the youth the teachings about the Holy Ghost found in 2 Nephi 33:1. I told them that tonight we were going to put that teaching to the test.

I then invited anyone who felt impressed to share their testimony to do so. Melissa Wright spoke up first and offered a powerful and touching testimony. Jon Stevens was next--what a wonderful testimony he shared. Next, the Timmin's grandson Ben shared a very sweet testimony about how he had come to know of Heavenly Father's reality and love for him.

Megan Wright then sang "Adam-ondi-Ahman" a capella. . .it was beautiful! And it brought back a rush of memories for many of us who had been on the Missouri trip.

I then shared my memories of the past five years and some things I hope the youth will remember. I had compiled the list earlier in the day after praying for guidance. It was very special to me, and I believe it was special to most of the youth as well. I cried. So did a number of the youth and adult leaders. We all laughed, as well, as we remembered some of the funny things that have occurred. I expressed my love for the youth and then reminded them that throughout their lives, their bishop will always be someone who loves them and wants the best for them. . .someone they can trust and to whom they can go for help. I encouraged those facing challenges and difficulties in their lives to go to the new bishop immediately and open up to him.

Finally, I offered the closing prayer. It was amazing, Bob. The Spirit was so strong. It moved upon me to pronounce blessings upon our youth. I don't remember very many of the blessings, because they weren't my desires, but the Lords. But I do remember that the Spirit testified boldly and plainly that the words were of God, for as I was praying, many youth and adults were crying. It was truly a joyous experience, and I hope the memory of it will dwell with me so I may savor it for years to come.

It has been an emotional 10 days, and I'm sure this Sunday, when the new bishop is sustained, I will be emotionally drained. But the work goes on. The Lord calls us and the Lord releases us. And we build upon the foundations of those who have gone before us.

We love you and are so very proud of you. The Laurel class is delighted with the puzzle you sent them, but they have yet to all get together to see what you have written to them. You are an example to us all, and we pray for you daily.

Love,
Dad

Six Months Out. . .er, 18 Months Left. . .uhm. . .No, It's. . . .

17 August 2009

Hi Dad,

Thanks for your email. Things are going pretty good here. I wrote a letter this morning detailing a couple of the cool events that have happened this past week.

Tomorrow I will have been out 6 months! Isn't that crazy? It hardly seems like it at all. Well, I could say that I have 18 months left, but really that isn't quite true. I entered the MTC on 18 February 2009 and my Ministerial Certificate expires the 22 February 2011. So Tomorrow will be the "I've been out 6 months" mark and Saturday will be the "I have 18 months left" day. But, I guess I might not even go home on the 22, that is just when the certificate expires.

Speaking of tomorrow, it is going to be a busy day. We have district meeting and 5 other appointments set up! That is a great day for our area. Last week we taught 11 lessons. That is more than any other week that Elder Weatherston has been in the area. The week before we had only 1. But that was unusual and a bad week. I think generally this area has been getting about 6-8 lessons a week for the last couple of months.

It is kind of funny to tell people where I am from because of four responses that I get quite frequently:

1. Almost EVERYBODY says "Oh, IlliNOISE". Even after I tell them "Northern Illinois." (And they’re not trying to be funny, they just don't know.)

2. "Oh, I've been to Virginia." (or New York, Massachusettes, Connecticut, etc.) Maybe they don't worry about geography too much in the public schools of Idaho.

3. "IlliNOISE! They kicked us out already! What are you doing there? (Or “Did you get left behind?") It was funny the first couple of times.

4. "Oh, Coool. IlliNOISE." (As if they really are interested in that tidbit of eternally insignificant information.) A typical response from a member who wants to make me feel loved and special, yet knows nothing about the place and is floundering for something to engage me in conversation with. It's the thought that counts. No, really, it is.

So I thought I might try to recreate the typical introductory conversation (which we go through several times a day) that takes place between a member and a companionship:

Member (while shaking your hands): "Hi Elder...(pause while they read your nametag)...Call!" "And Elder.......... Weatherston!" (Weatherston or weatherSTONE or weatherSPOON, seriously.)

Elder Call/Weatherston: "Hi, how are you?" (It is a dangerous thing to ask for a name right off the bat, because you never know if you have met them before.)

Member: "Good. How are you? Whereyafrom?"

Elder Weatherston: "Texas."

Member: "Oh really!? What part?"

Elder Weatherston: "Corpus Christi."

Member: "I've been to Texas, but never Corpus Christi. Been to El Paso and to Houston."

Elder Weatherston: "Well, you've probably been through Corpus Christi too."

Member: "I bet you don't mind the heat then do you?"

Elder Weatherston: "No. I actually kind of like it."

Member: "And Elder Call, where are you from?" (notice more enounciated, because their excitement in meeting the missionaries is wearing off by the time they get to the second elder.)

Elder Call: "Northern Illinois."

Member: "Oh Coool."

Elder Call: "Yep."

Member: "I bet you’re used to the heat/cold then." (I would say it is about 50/50. Some think that Illinois is a ice chest and others a humidifier. When really the temperatures are pretty comparable except for the humidity.)

Member: "What town in IlliNOISE?"

Elder Call: "Have you ever heard of Rockford?"

Member: "Heard of it, not sure where it’s at."

Elder Call: "I'm about an hour and a half from Chicago."

Member: "How close are you to Nauvoo?"

Elder Call: "About 3 and 1/2 hours."

Member. "Cool, well it was good meeting you."

Elders: "You too."

Never knew their name. Never knew anything about them. Generally on their way somewhere. Generally never really talk to them again. Sometimes we're asked about the work. They are happy it is going good.

Well, apparently the place is about to close. So I have got to go.

Love,
Elder Call

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Elder Weatherston Invited to Confirm Convert

3 August 2009

Hi Dad,

Ya, our p-day changed. It is now on Monday. I figured that you wouldn't find out until after it changed.

It sounds like the Wheeler Reunion was lots of fun. About how many people showed up? And if it is possible would you mind emailing a copy of the group picture? I have some pictures that I should probably send to you in the next few weeks.

It is pretty crazy that Grandpa was at Aunt Marjorie's! Elder Weatherston and I walk past her house when we want to go to a part of our area. It is kind of weird because one of our wards isn't even touching our stake. So we have to go through Aunt Marjorie's stake to get to one of our wards. We don't get up that way a whole lot, but we should stop by sometime to say hi.

That is weird to think that Mary Ann will be in high school and starting seminary. That was five or six years ago for me! Is Bro. Burningham still the teacher?

There was a man in one of Elder Weatherston's old areas who was finally able to baptized! Elder Weatherston got a phone call asking him to give a talk and to confirm him. So on Saturday we went to his baptism. It was really cool. There were 3-4 companionships there that this man all invited because an elder in each helped teach him. He then took us all out to lunch, which was a ton of fun. He seems very solid and appears to have a very strong testimony. His wife and daughter are also converts.

I think that is about it this week.

Thanks.

Love,
Elder Call

Elders Call, Weatherston, Recruit Grandpa for Help

27 July 2009

Hi Dad,

Well I don't remember if I told you, but our p-day got switched to Mondays.

You have probably been at the Wheeler Reunion since I last emailed you. How did that go? Were there a lot of people there? What did you guys do?

We had our Zone Conference on Thursday. It was pretty good, it was our first one with President Colton. He did it a little differently than President Sommers did, but I liked it. He gave us an assignment from Preach My Gospel. We were all given blue copies of the Book of Mormon. We are supposed to read it and as we do mark, in four different colors, every reference to Jesus Christ, his words, his attributes, and doctrines and principles. Then we are to total each page up for the different categories. I started it this week and it is amazing to see how many times Christ is referenced, a lot more than you would suspect.

Zone Conference was in Rexburg this transfer. We had a ride up, but couldn't find anybody to get help us get back down. Elder Weatherston has a grandfather and a few uncles that live in Rexburg, but they were all busy. So I told Elder Weatherston that I knew that some of my family would be in the area and they might be able to help. I decided that I would look up Aunt Marjorie's phone number and see if she had Grandpa's cell. I found her number in the phone book and called late Wednesday night. I asked if it was the Cleverley's. She said, "yes." I asked if it was Marjorie. She said it was. I told her who I was and asked if she had Grandpa's number. She said she could do one better than that and that he was sitting on her couch! Then she asked if I wanted his cell or if I wanted to talk to him.

So Grandpa said that he could bring us back down from Rexburg. It was very kind of him and I am grateful that he was able to. It was pretty fun seeing him and grandma.

Good luck with work and everything.

Love,
Elder Call

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Work Picking Up Dramatically; Lord Moves in Mysterious Ways

30 June 2009

Dear Family,

Things are going well here in the Pocatello West Stake. We had a baptism! Kalob High was baptized on 27 June. He is such a cool kid. He is only 10 years old. They had all sorts of family from all over come to his baptism. I even believe he had a great-grandmother there! That is the first baptism of someone I have taught on the mission. (I guess Alexis Zamora actually was, but she was 8 when we taught her and didn't tell anybody she had turned 9 until 1/2 hour before her baptism. I think I wrote you about that.)

Last night we went to say "hi" to one of our investigators and she told us she already had her baptism planned! We have a sheet for the program we help investigators fill out, but this investigator is ahead of the game and excited. It is all planned out to the last detail.

So, there are two sets of missionaries in our district that serve in the Central Stake. One companionship is Elder Walter and Elder Huff. Their area has a large hill that they like to ride down on their bikes really fast. They were going down the hill and a lady opened up her car door! It hit Elder Walter's arm and he crashed and broke his arm.

But this is the miracle. The lady had been taught by missionaries in high school and wanted to be baptized. Her parents wouldn't allow it. But she had been thinking lately that she lived on her own now and could be baptized. So Elder Walter has a broken arm and an investigator who wants to be baptized! The Lord works in mysterious ways!



"Now Elder Walter has a broken arm

and an investigator

who wants to be baptized!"



One thing that I have learned is that the Lord prepares people, and all we have to do is find them. We have two or three people with baptism dates, others who are close, and we are picking up new investigators. Elder Poppleton and I are getting busier and busier. We are consistently teaching at least 10 times a week! Last week we taught 12 times and the week before that we taught 15! (These are formal, "sit down-pray-teach-pray" lessons.) When I first got here we were teaching only two lessons or so a week. We are very excited and hope to teach 20 lessons a week by the end of the transfer.

There is a program from the Missionary Department that wants each companionship teaching 20 lessons a week. That is rare and hard to achieve. But we think we can do it. Especially since Elder Poppleton has been sick the last couple of weeks and we still taught 27 lessons in two weeks!

Well, I don't think anything else too exciting has happened around here. Let me know what is going on back home, please, and how everyone is doing. Thanks.

Love,
Elder Call


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Elders Learn the Lord is "in the Details of [their] Lives"

Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught that while the Lord always preserves our agency, He is also involved "in the details of our lives" (“Becoming a Disciple,” Ensign, June 1996, 19). Elders Call and Poppleton discovered this to be true. . .





24 June 2009

Dear Family,

Again, thank you for the letters this week. It is always good to hear from home about what is going on.

Last Wednesday we lost our phone! Elder Poppleton thinks it is less botherrsome to ask a random person we see in Wal-Mart to give us a ride home rather than calling someone ahead of time and planning to have someone pick us up. I think it is more bothersome to ask someone we don't know, who could live anywhere and who might already have plans. So we compromised and call for a ride from the library to Wal-Mart and then Elder Poppleton asks a random person for a ride home. But that is probably more than you wanted to know. Suffice it to say that we've compromised.

So, after we were done shopping, Elder Poppleton asked for a ride home. The man hesitated, but agreed. His name was Ken and he had stopped to buy some donuts. He was on his way to the Palisades for a Boy Scout camp. He was from a town near Malad (which is outside our mission).

We got home and a little over an hour later we realized the phone wasn't in my pocket anymore! We looked all over the place. We had gone bowling with an older couple, so we called them. It wasn't in their car. We called the bowling alley. They didn't have it. We called Wal-Mart; they didn't have it.

Elder Poppleton asked if I remembered the man's name. "All I remember is that his name was Ken," I said. "I don't know what his last name is." Elder Poppleton remembered seeing that the name on the tent started with an "El." So we looked in the phone book and we found a man who lives in Firth. But that isn't anywhere close to Malad.

Well, to make it short, I found a Ken El--- living in ---, Idaho. We tried calling several times, and eventually we got ahold of him on Friday.

His wife said he was rounding up the cows. So she took the phone out to him (in the meantime, all the cows were mooing). He said they had been in and out of the car a lot, and they hadn't seen it, but he would look. Lo and behold, there it was!

He was coming up to Blackfoot and would be driving right past us, so Saturday morning he heard a semi pulling up and Ken, a typical cowboy, gave us our phone!

That saved a lot of stress and $100. That was definitely an answer to our many prayers.

Love,

Elder Call

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rain Finally Stops; New President to Arrive

30 June 2009

Hey Dad,

I loved reading your email! Thanks for emailing me before today. We should be back to p-day on Wednesday next week. Our new President came in yesterday I believe. We will meet him tomorrow. We are very excited to meet President Colton and found out more about him. It is pretty cool being here at this time of transition.

By the way, Elder Poppleton's dad loves your blog! It sounds as if he checks it quite often. E. Poppleton had forgotten to tell his family that p-day was today. But Brother Poppleton read it on the blog and made sure to email sooner this week.

It finally quit raining so much. It rained at least once a day for 3 weeks straight. Now Idaho is going back to its normal dusty self.

That is exciting that Bro. & Sis. Brumble are preparing to go on a mission. They will love it and will do a great job. Let me know where they are going. Pres. Evans emailed me and said that there are 11 missionaries that entered the MTC since March from our stake. Then there were the few who left before and he said there are 2 scheduled to enter in August. That is way cool to think there are so many missionaries from our stake. Do you know who they are and where they are going?

I am also very excited to hear that you will be doing work for Nauvoo University! That is so cool. You will have to keep me updated on the university's plans. I was wondering where they will hold classes? Is there already a building, or do they have to build one?

That is cool that you and Rachel will be in Idaho for the Wheeler Family Reunion. When is that? Transfers are 15 July. Who knows I might get transferred to Ririe! Wouldn't that be crazy?

Keep me posted and thank you for all that you do for me.

Love,
Elder Call

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Elders, Bishop are Inspired; Changing of the Guard an Emotional Experience

Next week Elder Call will experience what only some missionaries get to experience: the transition to a new mission president. As I read his email this week, I thought back upon my own experience of seeing my first mission president, President David H.H. Chen, be replace by my second mission president, President Garry P. Mitchell. I couldn't help but pick up my journal and read from it. . .

July 2, 1980.
Wednesday.

Today was a special mission conference --President Mitchell and his wife were there. First Sister Chahn spoke--she was so emotional she could barely speak. She just bore a quick testimony and sat down. Then President Chahn got up--he is so sai-leih [amazing]! I respect him so much! He just got up and built up President Mitchell--he talked about how great he is, and how much good he's done, and all that kind of stuff. He didn't say a thing about himself. I really love and respect President Chahn.

At the end of the conference, President Chahn stood at the door and we all walked by and shook his hand. I was the first elder to shake his hand--I said, "Thank you, President Chahn." He said, "Elder Call"--and he just looked at me for a second and said, "be successful." It hit my heart and soul so hard. "Be successful," was the last thing President Chahn said to me--the last advice he gave -- and I will follow it.






24 June 2009

Hi Dad,

Thanks for the email and don't worry about getting it to me after I already checked my email.

Last night we had another appointment with one of our investigators. This time she invited 3 friends of hers. They are all younger and RMs who served in the same mission. She has always wanted Bishop Sparrow to be there, but he was never able to make it until last night.

She still had some concerns about when she would be baptized and if it was what she really needed. We were answering her concerns and sharing scriptures with her and Elder Poppleton promised her that if we all prayed together then she would receive the "sign" that she was looking for. We all knelt down and she prayed. The Spirit was very strong. By the way she worded her prayer it was evident that she already believed the Church is true and she believed she needed to be baptized.

After a few minutes and a few more scriptures that she shared, she said that she will be baptized on 11 July! We were all very happy and all grins. She told the Bishop that he could put it on his calendar for 11 July definitely. Her husband said, "Did you watch him writing it down before when you told him the possible dates?"

"No?" she said. "What do you mean?"

"He didn't just pencil you in," her husband replied.

Bishop Sparrow said, "I wrote it in pen on the 11."

"How did you know?" she asked.

"I just knew," the bishop said.

It was pretty funny and cool.

Another of our investigators picked up smoking again. The poor man has tried so hard to quit. He is hoping to be baptized on 13 July when his other children will be up here. We are praying for him really hard.

One of the Elders in our district got here late because of the swine flu. He said that they stuck everybody in 4M on the second floor and quarantined it. Nobody was allowed up there. If you had to go there you wore masks and everybody had this breathalizer type stuff they had to take twice a day. Food was slid into the quarantined floor real quickly and the doors shut. His MTC district leader got sick and was in there for 5 days. Apparently it was just chaos and anarchy. No order whatsoever and no one in charge. They could do whatever they wanted.

Some elders got the janitors to smuggle in food from Wendy's. Well, that just made them worse and were throwing up all over the place. The janitors came very close to being fired. The sickies were staring out of the windows all day long.

I am certainly glad I wasn't there while all this was going on.

That is way cool that you will probably do the work for Nauvoo University! That is so exciting! That would be great if they ever got a family history or church history major.

Everything is going great here . President Somers leaves this weekend and President Colton comes in on July 1! We had our last Zone Conference with him last Thursday. "How Firm a Foundation" is his favorite hymn and we sing it at pretty much every meeting (all seven verses). I love that hymn too. So as the meeting was closing Pres. Somers said that we would sing "How Firm a Foundation" for the closing. He said that while we sang that at the Mission Conference with Elder Bednar, as we were transtioning from the 4th to 5th verse, Elder Bendar leaned over to Pres. Somers and asked, "Do they understand the doctrine behind these verses?"

"In full confidence I was able to tell him that you do," he said.

So we all stood up for President as we sang. It was extremely powerful. Sung with great earnestness, force, vigor, zeal , and spirit. Then as we got to the 7th verse it was sung with all that much more effort. It was astounding. Many, if not most or all, were in tears. President Somers is a man of God, a man we all love. It is sad and heart-wrenching to see him go, but exciting and anxious to have President Colton in.

Well, I think that is pretty much all from Poky West.

Thanks again for the update. Oh--next week we have P-Day on Tuesday, 30 June, because of President Colton coming in. So that is when I will be checking my email.

Love,
Elder Call

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Elders Call and Poppleton Find Joy in Sharing Gospel

17 June 2009

Hi Dad,

How's it going with you? Things here are going pretty good. One of our investigators decided he wants to be baptized on the 27th June. He told us that he had been thinking a lot the last couple of days and decided that quiting smoking was something that he couldn't do by himself, he needs God's help. He also wants to do it before his son is married on 3 July and before he is gone. This is the RM son who is going to baptize him.

We pray really hard to help him gain the strength to quit smoking.

I don't know if anything really exciting has happened this week. The missionaries that were quarantined at the MTC came in yesterday. They were quarantined for the swine flu. I've heard through the grapevine that the missionaries that were going to go to Mexico were either sent somewhere else or missions delayed. Have you heard anything? And didn't Dan Abbott get called to Mexico, do you know what happened to him?

How is the missionary work going in the Beloit Ward? Are they teaching a lot of people? How are the elders or sisters?

One exciting thing did happen last night. We had an appointment with an investigator and it was going pretty good. During the lesson Elder Poppleton and I both felt like we needed to set a baptism date with her. It seems as though what is holding her up now is just the Word of Wisdom. She doesn't have addictions to anything, she just likes to have coffee every once in a while. So we had previously committed her to stop for a week. She did it except for a day. Last night we committed her to stop for good. She accepted. Then we set a baptism date with her for the 11 July!!!!!!!! We are so excited. She says that is a goal she can work towards. When she said she would shoot for the 11th it made her husband cry.

I don't know if it has quite set in yet. We just need to help her make those last few steps to the font.

Well I'll write next week. Tell everyone "hi" for me and that things are going very well here in Pocatello West.

Thanks.

Love,
Elder Call.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Elder Call Loves the "Typical" Pocatello Family; Remains Well Fed

Well, Elder Call is really getting immersed with the people of Pocatello. And he's learning more and more about the "typical" Pocatello family. I remember having similar experiences in Hong Kong nearly 30 years ago. Seemed like every family in Hong Kong
  • Had a relative in America
  • Had a parent or grandparent who survived the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
  • The dad worked either in "the factory" "making things" or "at the ocean" "fishing"
  • Everybody, including children, was "working hard"
  • Wanted to learn English
  • Didn't "believe in church"
  • Worshipped traditional Chinese gods
  • Couldn't understand you, no matter how good your Cantonese was

Here's the latest from Elder Call:




10 June 2009


Dear Family:

Thanks for your letters. It sounds like everyone is having a ton of fun this summer. I'm glad you had such a good time in Utah, Mom. It is good to see family every once in a while.

On Monday night Elder Poppleton and I were coming up with traits of the standard Pocatello family. These are just a few things that we have noticed. Every family pretty much fits a few of these descriptions:

  • Born or raised in or near Pocatello
  • Parents or older children went to Idaho State University
  • They hunt or fish and some animal head in their home
  • They know Calls or Poppletons
  • Usually related to the Calls
  • Usually went to school with the Poppletons
  • Someone in the family works or has worked at one of the following:
  • Drives a truck or school bus
  • Simplot or FMC
  • Heinz
  • Railroad
  • They have a son or nephew on a mission
  • The teenagers are going to ISU
Oh—and every time they have a teenage-to-twenty-something daughter, she is mysteriously absent from dinner (We’re missionaries—can’t they trust us?)

Most families usually fit several of these. Se,e we came up with that Monday after dinner because the family has a nephew in the ward who just left on a mission. Their teenage sons are going to go to ISU. Their 21-year-old daughter showed up right at the end. And the father drives a truck.

Then our dinner appointment on Tuesday night had a daughter who is about 19 or 20 who was going to come home for dinner (it sounded like she was going to ISU) but decided she couldn’t make it. Oh—and the mother of this family is Ruth call’s great-granddaughter. Ruth Call is an Indian girl who Anson Call adopted. So that makes this sister and me fourth cousins once removed. She and her husband went to school together (they grew up in Pocatello) and knew a guy named Gary Poppleton! We firmly believe our “Standard Pocatello Family” to be pretty true!

Well, things are going well here. I’m still in the Pocatello West Stake. We’re usually teaching about 10 lessons a week. Some weeks less, others more. Our nights get filled up pretty quick and are busy. We just wish more people would keep their appointments.

Tell me what is going on and what everyone is up to.

Love you all,
Elder Call

P.S. We just realized that we have six sirloins and six rib eyes and 15 hamburgers in our freezer! The Saurey’s give us way too much!