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.


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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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.


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.

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.


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.