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."


"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.

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.

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


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.

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


That worked for a


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.


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

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.

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?