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.


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.


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.


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.


Elder Call