Monday, April 27, 2009

Three Baptismal Dates Set; Work Picking Up

20 April 2009

Dear Family:

Thank you for your letters. We think the mail got a little backed up because of Easter. Elder Burton loved your letters, Mary. He really enjoyed reading them.

It is our last Monday of the transfer and both Elder Burton and I feel a little sick in the stomach. We are allowed to write if we are sick.

All last week missionaries have been joking that Elder Burton would be a zone leader. I didn't really know if he would be, but I think he would be a good one. Last night the zone leaders called at about 10 minutes to 9:00 p.m. and said they had received their calls at 7:30 telling them they would stay. So we figured President was done making calls. Then at 9:15 President called Elder Burton to be a zone leader in Rexburg. He was freaking out. While he was on the phone with President, he has sheet white, shaking, and scared. His zone covers Salmon, Rigby, Ririe, and part of Rexburg. He is excited to go there because he served in Ririe for five months and loves it there.

That's cool that Mary got to help paint the scenery for the school play. I remember they wouldn't let me help paint it, except for the base coat. I've never been very creative. I can't believe you are so smart, John. I could never make it to a science state championship contest. Tell Rachel congratulations for me--I wish I could win $500!

We are teaching quite a bit more than we have before. The first three to four weeks we had maybe one or two lessons (scheduled) a week. Last week had had 10! Things are really picking up. We now have three baptism dates. 1) Samantha--10-year-old daughter in a less-active family; 2) Patrick, in his 40s, whose son just got back from a mission; 3) Mary, in her 40s, her friend just died and she likes the plan of salvation.

We set Mary's date yesterday. It was pretty cool. When President called last night he asked how things were going and Elder Burton said,

"Good, we set a date today."

President said, "How many dates do you have now?"

"We have three."

"Too bad you won't be there for any of them," President said. I thought that was pretty funny.
Mary, your story about seeing the movie is hilarious! It made me laugh right out loud. I'm picturing you Mary, McKenzie, Emily--three 14-year-old girls in a movie theater seeing a scary movie all by yourselves. I would probably freak out too. I hate those kind of movies. I'm glad you all left, because it doesn't sound like a very good movie.

I don't know if I am being transferred yet. I bet I am staying.

Tell everyone "Hi" for me and that I appreciate their help and prayers. I am doing well and it is hard to imagine that I have been in Idaho for six weeks already. It is starting to go by pretty quickly.

Love you all,
Elder Call

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Things are Picking Up"

15 April 2009

Dear Family:

Today is tax day! And it snowed yesterday. It all melted, but it is not fun to say it snowed in the middle of April.

Thanks for the Easter box. I loved it and so did Elder Burton. I got it the day before Easter.

Something exciting happened this week. We woke up on Monday morning and found that someone had completely side-swiped our car. It is still drivable--just a bunch of dents and scratches. We had to call the police and the misison office. It was kind of a big deal. Elder Burton is convinced that someone did it on purpose, but I don't know.

We taught Mona last night. Well, we really just watched "The Testaments." She loved it and we think she will set a baptismal date tonight.

We also taught the 10-year-old daughter of a less-active member last night and set a date for her baptism. She pretty much begged her mom to let her go to Church.

There is a Johnson family in one of our wards and they are amazing. We have a few appointments through their referrals. They all sound like they will be baptized. Another one of their referrals said he wants to become a fully active member of the Church and we think that we will set a date on Friday. We are so excited because things are picking up and going well.

Thank you, Rebecca, for the cookies. They were delicious and we almost had a full cookie when we got the bug!!

I really wish we had more time to write, so please tell people that I wish I could write them more frequently. And I do appreciate their letters.

I am so glad that the business is going well. It definitely relieves a lot of stress. Tell me about school and work and how everybody's doing in the ward. I really wish I had more time to write.

Love you all,
Elder Call

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Elder Call Inspired with Stake President's Call to Seventy

Well, this is turning out to be a pretty good system. Since Elder Call prefers to write letters as opposed to emails, it turns out we get a short email from him on his preparation day, and a letter from him a few days later.

8 April 2009

Hi Dad,

We watched all of the sessions of General Conference at the Pocatello West Stake Center. I wrote about some of the things we did in a letter I wrote earlier today.

The weekend before conference I was sick and Elder Burton made me stay at the Davenports with Elder Johnson (the elders in Chubbuck stay with them) so that I could recover more quickly. While there we were talking about who the new apostle would be. I said it could President Ward, but then said that he isn't quite apostle material yet. :-) But that he would probably be a seventy. I was so excited to hear that he was called! I don't think many seventies come from Illinois.

Sister Davenport guessed that Neil L. Andersen would be the next apostle! Our apartment is in the basement of an older sister. Her name is Sis. Price. She has lived in Pocatello her entire life (she is 73). Elder Andersen's dad was her bishop here, and if I understand correctly they met in a building just down the road from us.

She told us that while she was pregnant with her son Bishop Andersen had a book about raising boys. He said to her, "You have raised two girls, but raising a boy is different" (Elder Andersen is older than her son). She said she was offended and said she had already raised two children and didn't need help raising her third. So she didn't take the book. Sister Price then said, "And look at where his son is now."

It sounds like conference was great for the family and lots of fun. That is kind that people ask about me, tell them I am doing well.

I'll try to send more pictures, I haven't sent any because I haven't taken very many since I got out of the MTC. I'll try to take more and send them.

I am grateful that I am in Idaho.

I am so glad that you are getting work to do. And thank you for emailing and writing me.

Love you,

Elder Call

Monday, April 6, 2009

Following the Spirit in Pocatello

This past weekend Elder Call's former stake president, Jack D. Ward, was sustained as an area seventy during general conference. The last missionary President Ward set apart before being released was Elder Call.

Today, Elder Call's adventure continues with his experiences of following the Spirit. . .

1 April 2009

Dear Family:

Thank you for your letters. I love to read them. I am writing on this [unlined paper] because we are at the library doing emails and the other elders aren't done yet. It will be hard keeping the lines straight. That is one thing I have always wondered when reading older documents in family history. How did they keep the lines so straight?

Yesterday we were on exchanges and I was with Elder Johnson. We had a few minutes before another appointment so we decided to do a little tracting. We started to walk down one street when I didn't quite feel right about it. So I said, "Let's turn around." We were walking up a street and then I felt good about it and said, "Let's start right here." We knocked on the door and a lady answered named Debbie. We shared a short message and she said she was inactive, but knew she really needed to go to church. She expressed interest and we were wrapping it up and then she said that her grandmother was a Call and was a member. I think we will go and visit with her every few days and maybe I could talk with her about family history a little. That might encourage her to go and it will build a relationship of trust.

Yesterday we had another appointment with Mona. It went really well. Elder Johnson is a convert of about 1.5 years. Elder Burton was definitely inspired to go on that exchange because Elder Johnson was perfect for her. I feel baptism is very close for her. We are very excited for Mona and her husband.

Tell me how things are going and anything new that is going on. Say "hi" to Rachel and Rebecca for me please.

Love you all,
Elder Call