Monday, November 29, 2010

More Success in Taylor Mountain Stake; Transfer to Alameda Stake in Pocatello this Week

Dear Dad,

We had a pretty good week. We went over and had dinner with the Collette Family on Thanksgiving. That was very nice of them to invite us over. They have a son on a mission right now.

Thanksgiving was an all day Preparation Day. So we didn't have a whole lot going on. In the evening we got together with some other elders in our zone and played different games. In the morning we all volunteered at the "Run to Feed the Hungry" We had to be over at Freeman Park in IF at 7:00 in the morning. It was the coldest year they have done it. It was a whopping zero degrees when we got there. We had different posts along the path to point the runners in the right direction. Elder Durnall and I with several other elders and a few sisters were posted at the end of the race to cheer and form a tunnel as the runners finished. It was funny, because nearly all of the runners had frost all over their faces. Lips, cheeks, eyebrows, eye lashes, ears, hair, everything was white with frost. By the time we left at about 10:30 it had warmed up to a whole five degrees.

One of our investigators is experiencing some serious opposition. She told us she called some distant relatives who are LDS, and that helped her a little bit. She also called a neighbor that moved away seven years ago that is LDS. He is very excited for her to be baptized. So we think that this should go pretty good.

Last night we had a really good lesson with one of our other investigators. We have been teaching him for a few weeks now. He has been to church twice since we have been teaching him. We read through the second half of Alma 32 and discussed faith. We asked him what some goals were that he and his wife wanted in life. He wants to become a doctor, and she wants to make sure that her home is peaceful and happy. He told us he wants to be a "good son" to his Heavenly Father and do the things that God wants him to do so that God can bless him with the things that He wants to bless him with. We told him that is exactly what baptism is. We invited him to be baptized. He told us that he will prepare to be baptized, that is what he is doing, but that he wants to make sure that he knows the commitment he is making. It was an amazing lesson filled with the Spirit. His wife then chimed in and said that she is grateful that she was baptized because she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and that that has helped her a ton throughout her life. So we explained that to him a little bit.

So this Wednesday I am getting transferred. It will be five months to the day that I served in the Taylor Mountain Stake, 1 July to 1 December. I am sad to leave, especially with all of these things going on. But on the other hand I was hoping to have one more area and I wanted to serve in Pocatello. And that is where I am going! I will be serving with Elder Rudd in the Alameda stake. Elder Goncalves (Gone-Sal-ves) will be with us for the first few weeks because he is going home a little bit early. Elder Rudd was serving in Ashton, as my Zone Leader, while I was in St. Anthony. He is a really good, easy going, kind, hard-working type of guy. Elder Walker (the one I served with) is replacing me in the Taylor Mountain Stake and I will be replacing him in the Alameda Stake. I am way excited to serve down there.

I really hope that you guys will be able to find a home in Missouri sometime soon. I also hope that being able to rent will work out for you guys. That has got to be way stressful not knowing where you will be living. I pray everyday that something will work itself out soon.

That is way exciting that John was able to finish his Eagle Scout Project. Tell him congratulations for me.

I think that is about it for this week. Thank you.


Elder Call

Monday, November 22, 2010

Member-Present Lessons Off the Charts!

22 November 2010

Dear Dad,

I am so sorry that that home in Missouri might not work. I have prayed that you guys will be able to find a house though. That has got to be really stressful to not know where you will be and having to be out by the end of December. I so hope that you will find the right home soon.

That would be pretty cool to live in the Gallatin Ward. It would be really interesting to live in that area with so much history. I loved Adam-ondi-Ahman, it was very beautiful there. I will pray that this home or another will work out soon for the family.

I would like to speak in the Beloit Ward if that is possible. That would be good to be able to see all of them again. The Hobbs have also offered that I could stay in their home. I'm not sure how long I would want to stay in Illinois for. It would be good to see some people, but honestly what would I do? I think we just feel so disconnected from the world and everyone while on a mission, we just get used to not having roots set down anywhere. We move from place to place every few months, eat dinner at a different family's home every night, rotate through several wards each week, missionaries coming and going every six weeks, etc.

Speaking of that, transfers are coming up a week from Wednesday. Again we will find out sometime this weekend what is going to happen. Honestly, I have no idea what will happen here in the Taylor Mountain Stake. I was only here four weeks longer than Elder Durnall. We are completing our third transfer together, either one of us could go. Or maybe we will stay together again.

We had a snow storm this weekend. Now there is a good five inches of snow, maybe more. And we have 70% chance of snow today, and 90% tomorrow. Then it will be cold the rest of the week. A couple of weeks ago it snowed a bit, then it got warm (40s) and melted. But I think this is here to stay. It is strange because I got here on the 1st of July and it was hot and sunny, middle of summer, everyone was out and about camping, now it is cold and snowy.

We had our training meeting this week. It was really good. We had Elder De Mola stay with us Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. He is from Italy and he and Elder Durnall served together over in Ammon. That was a lot of fun. We were able to teach eight member present lessons this week--that is an absolute miracle for the Taylor Mountain Stake! We struggled getting two or three for the longest time, those were good weeks. Then we had two weeks in a row where we were able to have three, then the next week we had four. We were very excited, then this past week we had eight! That was huge. I think this week might be lower because it is Thanksgiving, holidays are always tough for missionary work.

Yesterday at church Brother Romrell gave us each ear warmers, that was very nice. He is a very thoughtful man.

I hope John's Eagle Scout project goes well. That is exciting that he is getting it all done so soon. I hope it doesn't snow before Saturday! That will be one cold Eagle Project.

Thanks again for the email. I will pray that you can find a home to move into in Missouri soon.

Have a good Thanksgiving!


Elder Call

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Miracles in Taylor Mountain Stake

15 November 2010

Dear Dad,

Your email was great to read. I have been and will continue to pray that you will find a home in Missouri, especially that the current home owner will accept the offer that you give him.

That is pretty interesting about the real estate agent having a similar experience as you and Mom, also that others in the area all have felt compelled to move their. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and we don't always understand why or what the outcome will be. As long as we trust in the Lord and lean on Him he will direct all of our paths to where we need to be.

That would be neat if you are able to purchase 25 acres. What would you do with it all? Would it just be left alone, or would you improve the land at all? That would be way neat if you are able to acquire more land as the years go on. I think it would be cool to live in Missouri. I really liked it the couple of times we have been there.

I think I will write Dan today. I hope he is enjoying his mission. We are getting several more visa-waiting missionaries (like Dan) today, President Colton found out last night. Then most of the ones that we have right now are getting transferred over to Boise to get there visas and hopefully head to Mexico in a day or two. I am so glad that I don't have to be one of those missionaries. It would be exciting, but never knowing what is going on or where I will be next would be a bit stressful. I am also glad that I am not one of the assistants who have to figure out all the logistics of it all.

This week we are having another Leadership Training Meeting. The good news is it will be held in Idaho Falls!!!! It will be at our stake center, which is only 2 miles from our house. So it is good for two reasons; 1) We don't have to drive all the way to Pocatello and shut down our area for a few days. 2) All the companionships in our zone will have a third companion in the evening. So they will get to go out and apply all of the things that we have learned. It will be from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday, 8:30 Am to 4:00 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, and 8:30 Am to 12:00PM on Friday. So this week will probably fly by also.

We had an amazing day at church yesterday. In the Thayerwood ward alone we had one investigator, another investigator and his less-active wife and kids, another investigator and her children, a less-active man and his kids, the recent converts, Pam and Alyssa, and the less-active husband!!! That is eight people plus some children!! That was a true miracle that all of these people were able to come to church. We were floored actually. Then in the Sunnyside Village ward there was another part-member family, Jason and Tiffany Rigby, that we started teaching this week, and another less-active woman. In the Park Taylor ward there was a less-active man. So it was truly a day of miracles.

The Rigbys, the part-member family that came to church, we started teaching this week. They have been coming to church for about a month and a half. We asked them at the beginning of the lesson what they expected and the husband said, "We want to learn more about the Church, especially help Tiffany and get her baptized." We had an awesome first lesson and set a baptism date for 18 December.

Things are going extremely well right now in Taylor Mountain and the Lord continues to bless us.

Thank you so much for the prayers that you have offered for me, they are being answered.

Elder Call

Another Investigator Commits to Baptism

8 November 2010

Dear Dad,

I can't believe that you guys were able to find a family to buy our house! That is truly a miracle. I hope that it works out for the new family. I am also surprised that the other buyer of the home in Missouri was unable to reach an agreement with the seller. I hope that you guys will be able to come to an agreement for it also. It would be pretty cool to have that home.

I am glad that Elder Bunker and Elder Brabazon are doing well on their missions. I need to write Dan again. They were all such good friends growing up. I am sure that they are excellent missionaries.

It sounds like John is being very diligent. That is good. Definitely a missionary skill that he needs to develop. I hope that he doesn't get too stressed out about getting his Duty to God award and his Eagle Project done.

I think only a few things worth writing about happened this week.

The first is we had zone conference on Tuesday in Blackfoot at the Blackfoot North West Stake Center. It was really good. It is kind of weird; we used to have zone conference once a transfer, but now just every three months. There is always a testimony meeting and the missionaries that are departing bare theirs and the new missionaries share theirs also. So some missionaries share their testimonies three months before they go home, and the new missionaries have already been in the mission for three months when they share theirs. The next zone conference will be in the beginning of February, so I am one of the lucky ones that shares his when he is close to going home. It just wouldn't be the same if I shared it two or three months before the end of the mission.

Elder Durnall and I were asked to give a training at zone conference. We trained on the Qualifications of the Holy Ghost. I think it went well. I kind of like doing things like that. But that was the first time I have trained at a zone conference. There are usually three zones in attendance, so we don't have the opportunity every conference.

This week we met with an investigator whose wife was baptized back in August and they have struggled with coming to church. He is a non-member, but loves church and has been reading the Book of Mormon. Every time we go over there she says something about having to hurry up and get him baptized. Whenever she says that he throws up another wall and takes a step back. But this week we went to go share a lesson about the Restoration with him. It had just clicked in his mind that we have prophets today. He was very excited about that. So we invited him to be baptized on the 8 January. He said maybe he would. But as we discussed with his wife, he ended up settling on 7 February. It is good that he has a date, a goal, to work towards. But it is three months away! He did agree that if he got his answer about the Book of Mormon sooner that he would move that date up. That was an exciting night.

Other than that not much happened this week. I will still pray for you and the family. Thank you for your prayers.

Elder Call

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two More Baptisms; Visits to Family History Sites

1 November 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for the email this week! It was great to read. That is way sad that the family that wanted to buy our home fell off the face of the earth. I hope that something goes well and someone else will be interested. I know what it is like to have people disappear. A recent convert soon after his baptism kind of disappeared also. He doesn
't have a phone and I have a feeling that he doesn't have a real home, just goes from place to place.

Halloween isn't much of a big deal on the mission either. Saturday night (most people went trick-or-treating on Saturday) all the missionaries in our zone had to stay in a church building from 6-9. We played some basketball and got permission to watch a movie called "Up." It was pretty good. Of course everyone that we saw insisted that we take candy all weekend long. I am sick of it. Sis. Newbold has about 30-35 pumpkins left over. We might cook some of the seeds.

I am so glad that Grandma's cancer might be gone. I pray for her a lot and hope that she can regain her strength. One older sister here in Taylor Mountain always asks about Grandma whenever we see her. Her brother that lives in Salt Lake has cancer also. That is Brother and Sister Isaacs. They recently got sealed in the temple and Brother Isaacs reminds me so much of Grandpa Call.

I am glad that everyone is doing good at school and work and everything. Seminary can be tough with the lack of sleep, but I know that Mary Ann can get through it. She is a tough girl.

We had Pam and Alyssa Snooks get baptized on Saturday! That was way exciting. It was such a good baptism. Elder Durnall baptized Pam and I baptized Alyssa, then we switched for the confirmations. Alyssa is only 9 years old but she acts just like Mary Ann did. She has very similar mannerisms. Pam's friend was baptized back in August and that friend's husband is investigating the church also. So that was good for him. Pam's husband also came to the baptism and to church on Sunday. These two families are so funny, to see them interact.

I don't hear anything about politics on the mission. But I do wish that things will work out for the best and that if it is necessary some changes will be made. Good Luck. I am always curious as to what is going on, but here in Idaho nearly everyone does not support Obama, so they just always make little remarks or jokes about him. But they are out of context to us so they don't make sense to us.

Anyways, this morning we were able to go up to Rigby and see some family sites and have lunch with all of Grandpa's cousins. Bless Elder Durnall's heart for doing that. I don't have much time, but to give a brief synopsis:

Left to right: Barbara Call Brown, June Call (Brent's wife), Brent Call, Elder Call, Nona Call Hunter, Trudy Hammond Potter, Jay Hammond.

Note: Barbara, Brent, and Nona are all children of Cyril J. Call Jr.Trudy and Jay are children of Lila N. Call Hammond.

1. We saw two homes of Cyril J. and Mary E. Wood Call. One is the original that they built back in the 1880's. That was way cool. And the other was built about 1920 in town. Barbara Brown (Grandpa's cousin) had arranged with both home owners to allow us to look through.

2. Drove past the home of Ellis Heber and Lida Call that got moved when they built the highway. We didn't really have access to it.

3. Went to the Rigby Pioneer cemetery and saw a bunch of headstones.

Brent Call also brought some pictures. I took a lot of pictures and he had some copies that I could keep also.

Original home of Cyril J. and Mary Ellen Wood Call, built in the 1880s. Only the part of the home on the right is original.

On a side note, Bro. Hammond grew up in St. Anthony, 25 miles north of Rigby. His father was not a church going man, but he remembers his whole Call side of the family was very religious and active in the church. In particular he remembers his Uncle Ellis (grandpa's Dad), whenever they were visiting each other, would pull Brother Hammond's Dad aside in a corner and try talk with him about going to church. Of course his Dad would react to it a bit. He never went to church. Brother Hammond's mom wasn't real active in it either, but was involved in the Relief Society and would go to church sometimes. Brother Hammond always went to Primary and he and all his siblings were married in the temple and were active in the church.

It was a once in a lifetime event. I am so glad that I was able to do that. And grateful that all of these people were accommodating. The cousins were all so gracious and kind.

Elder Call

Cyril Josiah Call home, built about 1920.

Home of Ellis Heber and Lida Perry Call, moved from its original location.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Investigators Abound in Taylor Mountain Stake

Note: We received a letter from Elder Call’s mission president asking us to let the mission office know our preference on Elder Call’s flight home. In my email to Elder Call, I asked him if he wanted us as his parents to fly out to Idaho and visit the various areas in which he served, or if he would rather just fly home.

25 October 2010

Hi Dad,

That is weird about your laptop!? I hope that you are able to fix it soon.

It has been cold and rainy up here for the last couple of days also. I don't think that we are going to get anymore really nice days for the rest of the year, well not until next spring or summer. Shelley got a little bit of snow Sunday morning, but we just had rain up here in IF. But people are telling us that we are supposed to get snow this week some time. On the one hand it is nice that we don't have to worry about the hot, hot sun. But now it will just be cold and snowy.

That is way funny about the BYU game! I bet it was still fun to get together anyways.

We picked up a couple of new investigators this week. We have one ward where not a whole lot has been going on. So we decided to go visit the leadership in the ward and set expectations on both ends--what they expect of us, and what we expect of the ward. So the Relief Society President gave us a list of about eight less-active sisters in her ward that she thought would be receptive to us. The Bishop had recently asked her to go and visit every sister in the ward. So we went contacting these people and one of them told us she would call us some time, because her son might have questions and hasn't been baptized yet. So we gave her the number not real hopeful, but on Wednesday at about 1:00 she called and asked us to come over at 8:00 and begin teaching her and her son! The lesson went very well, he is a smart kid. We didn't set a baptism date yet, but I'm positive that he will be baptized.

One of the other investigators is a man whose wife is a member. He has lived in Idaho his entire life, and people mistake him for a "solid LDS man" frequently (He doesn't drink, smoke, chew, swear, has a family, and drives a minivan). He is very welcoming of us coming over, doesn't seem to have a very firm belief in Christ being the Redeemer--just an excellent, if not the best, teacher that we all need to follow. So we will see how that goes.

The other new investigator is a lady that is active in the church, has a calling, her children are active, the father pretty active (he drives truck so is gone a lot), yet she isn't baptized. The biggest hold up is that both her and her husband smoke. And she wants him to baptize her. She also said she is still undecided about Joseph Smith. The oldest son is 15 and they have been going to church since he was 8 or 9. He was baptized at age 10 with his younger sister who was 8 at the time. Hopefully we can help them. The father grew up in Brigham, but stopped believing when he was 12. Then shortly before they started going to church he had a few questions and found the answers in the Bible. So he decided that he better read the Bible. The son said they read it all day on Sundays. I thought he meant just a long time, but they read from 8:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night with an hour tops for lunch! They read the Bible and believed and the father said, "Well I am LDS so I should read the Book of Mormon too." So they read that and believed it also. They have been going to church every since. They are a way good family, and I am excited to teach them.

I think I would rather just fly home. That sounds a lot better than touring the mission. Some missionaries do tour the mission with their parents, but that just doesn't feel right. I would rather be able to just walk off the plane and be home. Not have any of this in between stuff.

By the way, on exchanges with Elder Fife this week in the other half of the stake we had dinner with the Crandall family. Bro. Crandall is helping a business get started in Rexburg called "Yellowstone Hotel Systems" (I think) and their product is called "Open Book." It is basically a way to book hotel rooms online. He said they are in need of raising money. I have no idea if that is along your line of work, but you might want to look into it. I told him your business is called "Civicus Consulting," he said he might be interested. I told him I wasn't sure if it is what you do or not. Either way it sounds like a cool business he is helping to start.

Thank you for everything.

Elder Call

Work Moving Forward in Idaho

18 October 2010

Dear Dad,

I am so jealous that you all get to go to the BYU game. That sounds like it would be so much fun. That is too bad that BYU isn't doing well this year.

We are having some good success here in the Taylor Mountain stake. We had some investigators come to church again yesterday. They really enjoyed it. The daughter is about 10 years old and she reminds me so much of Mary Ann when she was that age. They have very similar mannerisms. They live in the Thayerwood Ward, and the Thayerwood Ward does an excellent job with missionary work. Our ward mission leader's name is Jordan Sermon and he is one of the best WML that I have been able to work with on the mission. While we were waiting for church to start yesterday he and his wife and kids came in, I thought she looked like she was extremely pregnant. Not nice I know, but true. Then part way during sacrament she left and a few minutes later Bro. Sermon got up and pointed out the door and said something to us. We couldn't tell what he said. But right as Sacrament was over he left a message for us saying that his wife just had the baby (we could hear crying in the background) and he wouldn't be able to make it to coordination meeting! It must have been quick for her! She was at Sacrament meeting at the church and within 1 hour and 10 minutes she had had the baby!

I think I told you that I met Jay Hammond. Bro. Hammond is Grandpa Call's cousin. He is Lila Nancy Call's son. Lila and Ellis Heber were siblings. So we went over and talked with him for a little while on Friday. He is 85 years old and very nice. He is your typical member of the church in IF that has lived in his home for the past 40 years, served as a bishop, and has a good active family. While we were there he called another cousin and asked her if she wanted to get together for lunch. So today at about noon we are going to have lunch, it sounds like there are are going to about 4 of Grandpa's cousins. It should be fun. I will have to write home about it.

You don't need to send me President Monson's biography. I can scrounge up enough money to buy it out here.

Everything is moving right on along here in IF. Elder Durnall and I are staying together another transfer. We weren't too surprised about that. We could see it going either way, 50/50. This will be our third transfer together. And I have only been in the area 4 weeks longer than he has. I know it is six weeks away, but I bet I will get moved next transfer and have one more area. Elder Durnall and I get along great and have a lot of fun together. This transfer President Colton created a new zone, the "Yellowstone Zone"! It is zone number 10.

We have the:
1) Pocatello South Zone
2) Pocatello Centeral Zone
3) Pocatello North Zone
4) Blackfoot Zone
5) IF West Zone (us)
6) IF East Zone
7) Ammon Zone
8) Rigby Zone
9) Rexburg Zone
10) Yellowstone Zone.

This new zone includes St. Anthoy, Ashton, Driggs, West Yellowstone, and Jackson. Basically it is the same as when I was there, but without any of Rexburg. There are also more missionaries in those areas now. When I was in St. Anthony there was one set of English missionaries and one set of Spanish. Now there are 2 sets of English and 2 sets of Spanish. So the work up north just keeps increasing dramatically. I loved the North end of the mission. When I first got into the mission there were 6 zones and about 160 missionaries. Now there are about 200 missionaries and 10 zones. The work moves forward.

It is exciting about the move. I will pray that you will be able to find a home in Missouri. Thank you for all of the things that you and the whole family do for me.

Elder Call

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Work Progresses; Elder Call Enjoys Country Life

11 October 2010

Hey Dad,

Thanks for the email. It's all right that you missed last week. Things happen.

It sounds like everything back home is going really well. I am glad that Mary Ann is 16 and enjoying life. I never went to any high school dances, I don't think I missed much. Friends would always go and no one ever liked them.

I am way excited for that family to buy our home. I hope that it works out for them. I remember moving in almost 10 years ago. That was a fun drive across the snowy plains with Grandpa Call and Mary Ann! Then I got sick, we lived in the hotel that smelled like cake, and the missionaries helped us move in. That was so nice of them.

I hope that house that you found north of Richmond will be available. I really liked Missouri when we went there and visited. It was beautiful. My dislike for cities has grown a ton since I have been on the mission. I think that is one of the reasons I liked St. Anthony so much.

This week I was on exchanges with Elder Goodman in Shelley. I was there only one day, but I loved it so much. I just felt at peace and at home in the small town. The Taylor Mountain Stake has a lot of rural areas, but it doesn't have that small town feel. There will be neighborhoods with big, expensive houses. And a lot of the stake is in Idaho Falls proper. I still like the work here, it is just a city.

I really liked your description of the home. It sounds perfect. I just hope that you are able to get it. I will pray for that also.

One of our investigators that has a baptism date went to church yesterday and really liked it a lot. She said that some of the testimonies were "tear jerkers" and really clicked with her. That was way cool. She actually told us that she wanted to be baptized this Saturday. But we think it would be best if we kept the goal of 30 October. We need to help her be firmly rooted, taught, and committed. She is a really good lady.

Transfers are just about a week and a half away. We will find out on Sunday what is going on. I could easily see Elder Durnall and I staying together a third transfer, but I could also see me getting transferred into one more area.

It makes me sad to think that I probably only have one more area before my mission is over. It has gone by way too quickly.

Oh, the family we ate with knew you and Aunt Jenni when you guys lived in Michigan. Her maiden name is Barbara Murphy, I believe. Her married name is Rovig. They were way nice. She asked if I knew any Calls in Michigan (I always get, "Elder Call, do you know Calls in...or "Elder Call are you related to..."). So I asked her which ones and she said, "Jenni Call." I was so surprised. I told her that she was my aunt. She said she was really good friends with Jenni when they were just kids. She kind of remembered you and she remembered that Grandpa and Grandma Call's names are Dennis and Connie. So if you could tell Jenni that I met her that would be great.

Anyways, I hope that you guys have a good week and that you will be able to find a home in Missouri.

Elder Call

Monday, September 27, 2010

Elder Call's Passion for Family History Comes Alive

Note: I mentioned to Elder Call that my own life history—to age 50—is currently almost 600 pages long and will likely be close to 1,000 pages when it's finished, which I hope will be by the end of the year.

27 September 2010

Dear Dad,

I cannot believe that Mary Ann will be 16 in a couple of weeks. She and John are getting so old.

It sounds like Mary Ann is quite the missionary and that makes me so proud of her. That makes me happier than anything else I think. You are successful when you invite. She is successful.

I am also very happy that you finally have some people that might be interested in the house. I will pray that one of them will be able to go through with it.

It is cooling down here also. Idaho is weird, it will get cool then a random day of heat. Or get really hot, then a random cold day. But I think it is now fall, and every time I think that it makes me sad. I only have a few months left. Elder Durnall said once that it is like the dusk of my mission. So I guess that means it will be over in the cold of the night.

If you think that no one will be interested in reading your life history, I'd say you were off your rocker! Just think if Cyril had written 600 pages of life history! We would know about his conversion, about his blessings, his family's conversion, specifically what he experienced in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and crossing the plains, starting new in the Great Basin. Not just fragmented details drawn from children and grandchildren, glued together by memories and stories in the framework of history as a guide! But a whole piece of art—intact, beautiful, and as fresh as the dawning of the days he awoke to face the world!

This is a work that must be finished. Records, personal records, are vital to humanity. A family's history is the world's history. They must be created, consistently reviewed and updated, and then preserved.

I'm just a little passionate about this.

Elder Call

Elder Call Demonstrates He Hasn't Lost His Family History Acumen

Note: I had forwarded to Elder Call a request from a member of the Cyril Call Family Association on LinkedIn for any information regarding Joseph Smith's prophecy to Cyril that he (Cyril) would have a large posterity that would remain true to the Church. This is Elder Call's response

27 September 2010

Hi Dad,

I so wish that I could do some real serious genealogy on the mission!

I have heard of that "prophecy" before. I don't remember right now of finding any original source. I have all of those black bins of genealogy stuff. It is sorted alphabetically by last name by couple. So Cyril and Sally Tiffany Call should have a folder with information gathered about them and any children that I am not a direct descendant of, so Omer and Sarah M. Ferrin Call should have a separate folder. You can go through that and look to see if there is anything.

The one thing that might be similar to that "prophecy" is his patriarchal blessing given by Joseph Smith Sen. I believe that talks about a large posterity that would be a part of the church. I should have a copy of that in that folder. I believe they received those in May 1836, the same day that Anson was baptized. Sally's makes note that if she would be baptized, then the blessings will come.

There is a book that has early patriarchal blessings compiled. There is one listed for Cyril and Sally "Cabb". Whoever transcribed it misread "Call" for "Cabb" (an easy mistake).

Samantha Call Willey (1814-1905) also wrote a life history (I think about seven pages) that might give some insight. I think in her's she mentions being baptized in the Grand River (in Ohio) in 1837 with some siblings. Her cousin Orvis Call was also baptized in 1837 (she refers to him as "Uncle Orvis" sometimes). That should be in Cyril's folder also.

If I remember correctly there are two possible dates of baptism for Cyril:
1) October 1831 (according to Anson's journal begun about 1839)
2) November 1832 (I think that is on a High Priest Group Record in Bountiful)

In May 1836 Cyril and Sally had 12 children, 8 of baptism age and Anson being the only one married. Children are: Harvey (27), Anson (26), Samantha (21), Fanny (turned 21 in May 1836), Lucina (16), Josiah (14), Mary (12), Sonora (9), Sarah (7), Melissa (6), Omer and Homer (2).

Cyril definitely had a large posterity. According to one researcher it is the 6th largest in the church.

Out of all children it seems as though they all stayed active except for Melissa. I think she joined The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Good luck and let me know of any developments on that.

Elder Call

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baptisms Continue to Come

20 September 2010

Dear Dad,

Isn't it crazy how fast the weeks are flying by? This past week it seems like we have been constantly running all over the place trying to get things done. The busier you are the quicker it goes. This upcoming week we have another training meeting in Pocatello. That will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So that will make this week go by quick also.

Elder Fife's half of the stake is having some crazy things happen with missionary work. For probably the last 7 or 8 months there hasn't been a baptism. Now He has four baptism dates. Two of the dates are 10 year old twins, another is 23 year old lady, and the last is a 22 year old man named George [not his real name].

That last one is a pretty cool story. We tracted some apartments earlier this week and met a lady that said she is less-active, but would like us to come teach her and her husband. So she set up an appointment for Friday night. We got there and she left a note on the door saying she had to work, but "please do come back." So we left kind of dejected. Then as we were getting in the car Elder Durnall and Elder Fife saw a man outside. They both thought we should go talk to him. But they didn't want to get back out of the car and walk straight up to him. So we parked on the other side of the building and walked around to talk to him. He is less-active also, and not interested in hearing about the Church (incidentally, he went to school Uncle Scott Kunz down in Bear Lake). So we walked around and saw another man outside. We chatted with him for a minute. His name was George.

I said, "George, I think we met your wife, Susan [not her real name], the other day." He said that was her. We talked about how she wanted us back to teach about the gospel. We asked him if it was alright to come back. He said, "Ya, maybe tomorrow night."

So we went over Saturday night. We started talking about how the gospel blesses families and how prayer has affected their lives. (This approach has had a huge impact, especially lately.) We asked some questions to help him identify his feelings and the Spirit (one of the things we are taught in this new curriculum). Later on in the lesson Elder Durnall extended a baptism invitation and he accepted, without any hesitation! It was so cool.

We had another investigator baptized on Saturday! He is 20 years old and we have been teaching him with another family. One of the members of that family was baptized last week. This investigator is way cool and really gets the gospel. He is the kind of guy that never really had too many friends in High School and his parents haven't treated him very good. He told us after the baptism, "There are some things you do before you're baptized. And some things you don't do after you're baptized." He wants to serve a mission.

That's pretty cool about the new family moving into Aditya's neighborhood. Aditya has a sister that is considerable younger than he is. Some of their kids might be her age, I'm not sure. I hope Aditya is doing alright.

I pray for you and for the family, about work, school, and the move. I know that everything will work out like it is supposed to.

Elder Call

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Miracle in Taylor Mountain

13 September 2010

Dear Dad,

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CAMERA!!! I can't thank you enough for it. It will be great to have and I really wish I knew what happened to the other one. The new one looks like it is working great and is really nice. Thank you.

It sounds like you had a really good Sacrament. As a missionary here we go to multiple sacrament meetings each week so I have been to scores upon scores upon scores of sacraments. Some of them are much, much better than others. We had a couple of really good sacraments yesterday also. One family talked about the Holy Ghost and its influence. It was a very powerful talk.

So like I said this past week was transfers. We only cover half the stake and Elder Fife who covers the other half was supposed to train a new missionary. The new missionary decided that he needed surgery last minute. He is delayed 2 or 3 weeks. So Elder Fife is now in a trio with Elder Durnall and me for the next little bit. It has been way fun and pretty cool covering the whole Taylor Mountain Stake.

Wednesday was absolutely crazy though. Elder Durnall and I had to pack a bunch of stuff and move in with Elder Fife (his apartment is much more central) and get all settled in. Then in the afternoon we found out that a new set of elders in our zone that were whitewashing in couldn't live in the place the mission was planning on. So we got a phone call asking if they could live in Elder Fife's place also. So now there are 5 missionaries crammed into a small apartment. We probably will be moving into our original apartment though--it is just too crowded. We will see what happens.

I will pray that this fundraising book project will work out and be a steady stream of income. That would be pretty neat if it works out. Does Brooke and her family live here in Idaho? Or have they moved?

We had one investigator baptized on Tuesday night. That was a really good baptism and hopefully it will help lead her family in the right direction. She was supposed to be confirmed on Sunday, but was in the hospital. I hope that she can make it and be confirmed this coming week.

I just remembered we had a crazy experience on Wednesday (mixed in with all of the transfer stuff). We went to go talk to a family that we were told might be able to help fellowship someone. We will call her Sis. Smith. We knocked on her door at about 4:45, having never met her. She answered the door and looked completely shocked and very emotional, "What are you doing here?!" We could all tell something was up, so we just asked here how she was doing. She then went on to tell us the following:

Sis. Smith is in the process of selling her trailer. She is married currently but her ex-husband who is deceased was a convert to the church. She never met any of his family. All day long she felt him telling her that she needed to sale her home for cheaper so that the man coming over could buy it. He also told her that the man coming over to buy the home was his brother. He told her that she needed to sale the home to him because he needed to be a missionary. Sis. Smith was talking about this in a manner that was quite extraordinary. Her communications with her deceased ex-husband were extremely real to her. She didn't tell us the were real, but how she described the account. As if he was actually there conversing with her. We are actually confused for a bit about who was deceased.

The deceased husband told her that when the man came over she needed to show him their wedding pictures. So he came over and she talked with him for a bit and said she had something she wanted to show him. She went into the garage and brought out the wedding pictures.

She said to the man, "Who is this in the picture?"

He replied, "That's my brother!"

She then told him what was going on. Of course, he was quite moved. She told him that he needed to be a missionary.

So then we showed up and she had us wait for a while. But eventually we had to leave. Shortly before 7:00 she called us and said that we had to come over, because he was supposed to come back with his girlfriend to see the house again. Elder Fife was with a man on splits. But Elder Durnall, myself, and Preston (RM, team teacher) went over. We sat down and talked with her for a few minutes. We were all way nervous because this man was coming over for a business deal and didn't know we would be there. But we just sat and said we would trust in the spirit. The longer the wait the more nervous I got. But then he pulled up. There were 4 people, with more kids. Two of the men were absolutely huge. I was terrified!

Sis. Smith answered the door, they came in and saw us and were kind of surprised. She told them about us coming over and that it wasn't a coincidence. She said she wanted them to listen to us. So we all sat down and talked about the events that had transpired earlier in the day. They knew that it was all true, that the deceased man really did work from the other side. They had talked to their mother about and she had been in tears and believed it all also.

Preston asked, "Matt (name has been changed), do you feel like something is missing in your life?"

Matt said, "Yes. I feel like there is something more that I need."

Preston: "We have what you need."

A little bit more talk. Then it seemed like the conversation was done.

Elder Durnall asked, "Do you have any questions or concerns?"

A moment of silence. Some kind of shook their heads.

Matt: "What makes the Mormon church different from the Baptist church?" We all smiled at each other. I went on to explain the apostasy a bit and shared the First Vision. Elder Durnall taught and testified. Preston asked how Matt was feeling.

Matt: "That was powerful. True. I can just see the truth of it in you. The completeness. The fullness."

We almost fell off our chairs. We gave them our phone number and are going to help them move in and teach them.

That was a down-right miracle. No ifs, ands, or buts, about it--a miracle.

Things are happening in the Taylor Mountain Stake.

Elder Call

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ruminations and Reflections by Dad

It seems almost impossible that our dear son Bob has been on his mission for 18 months already. Time passes quickly, and we pray that the Lord will hasten time for the sake of the righteous.


Held ever so close, as an infant child
You looked in my eyes. . .and smiled.

Then holding my hand, as a growing boy
You gave me such love . .such joy.

Off to school, my son who scampered and ran,
You waved. . .your new life began.

Stretching, maturing, you left on your own,
You seemed so strong. . .and full grown.


Now my example, my friend, and my son
Time cannot be captured, it cannot be won;
Past joys have eclipsed my time with you here,
Yet I long to be with you, to talk, to be near.

But these wishes are selfish; they cannot come true;
I hope. . .and I pray. . .the Lord's blessings on you.

With love,


Elder Call Hits 18-month Mark

23 August 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you for the email. Things keep trudging along here in Taylor Mountain Stake. We have several investigators that want to be baptized, they set dates for themselves. But they just aren't quite ready yet. They need to rely on the Lord just a little bit more, then they will be able to make it. Elder Durnall and I just need to do everything we can to help them get there.

I am so excited for Dan and Jared. They will be excellent missionaries. I am so glad that I got to know them growing up in the Beloit Ward. We had the best youth and friendships. I don't remember a time when the Young Men ever had a bad time together. We were like brothers. And it is amazing how quickly time passes by. If Ryan comes out here to Idaho in the fall for spud harvest, you will have to let me know how to get in contact with him. I would like to see him again and maybe we could go to lunch or something.

Alissa and Allyson were pretty much the youngest in our group of good friends, so it is weird that they are seniors now and going to go off to college soon. They will bring up the tail-end of everyone going their separate ways. But the church has a funny way of bringing people back together. You can count on that one.

I hit my 18 month mark a little bit ago and it is so weird to be at dinner appointments and tell people that. We also had stake conference yesterday. I have only been to two stake conferences on my mission, one in IF South and the other just yesterday. President and Sister Colton came and spoke. They did a really good job. President Colton reminded the members that this work is really their own, and that the missionaries are here to assist in that. Most people seem to not fully grasp that concept. I hope that when I am back to being a regular church member that I can be a good member missionary. Entice and invite.

A couple of weeks ago my camera stopped working. I'm not sure what happened. We were out on a farm in Salmon and I took a couple of pictures then turned it off and put it in the case. Then I took it out and turned it back on. The lens extended, but the screen says there is a lens error and it won't retract. I took it to Best Buy (there are no camera repair stores in IF) and they said they need to know if it was purchased at a Best Buy. Like if you have a receipt or know what credit card it was purchased with or anything. They said that either a little hook broke, or a piece of dust got stuck in there. I don't know if you can help at all, but I'll figure something out. Thanks.

Well I will pray for you guys and for Uncle Ted. I hope that he will do alright. I was just thinking of him and Aunt Joyce these last few days.

Elder Call

Monday, August 16, 2010

Elder Call Exhorts Us to ACT

16 August 2010

Dear Dad,

How are things going this week for everyone back home? For the most part things are going well here in Taylor Mountain.

This week we talked with a couple of different families about some friends and doing missionary work. The one family was telling us that their friends know all about the gospel (some of friends are less-active). "We have talked with them a lot about the church. They know." "Oh, they have been invited. They know how we feel...They know about the church." We were trying to help them understand that they need to invite their friends to act frequently, but they just wouldn't hear it. "They know about the church."

It is simply not enough for our friends to know about the church, we need to ask them to act. The Savior didn't just sit there being a good person and being a good example. But he taught, and true teaching comes with an invitation to act so that the student can learn by becoming.

On the other hand we went and talked with a sister that has truly tried to help her friends become as the Savior is. She has invited them to church, frequently. Even asked them to take the missionary lessons. The friends declined, but they were given the option. They were allowed to exercise God given agency; to choose "either liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil" (2 Nephi 2:27)

That is the point of our existence, to help Heavenly Father, in the small way we can, to bring our brothers and sisters eternal life. As the Savior prayed in John 17:18 "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world."

It is a cause with love as the pure driving force, love that allows this redemptive plan to function.

As Moroni taught in Moroni 7:48 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."

We will "be" like him, "as" him. Eternal joy is a state of existence--it is life. We become as Christ is--he is life.

"Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other." (2 Nephi 2:16)

This is all stuff that you already knew, but I have realized how true that is, I feel like I am not fulfilling my purpose if I don't invite others to act.

Not many exciting things have happened this week. Keep me posted on what has happened back home.

Elder Call

Monday, August 2, 2010

Missionary Work Changing; How Potato Harvest Effects Handshakes; Etc.

Note: I shared with Elder Call a bit about our house-hunting trip to Missouri, updates on some of his friends here in Beloit Ward, and how Rick and Nancy Ritter of Beloit Ward have a grandson who just arrived a few weeks ago in the Idaho Pocatello Mission.

2 August 2010

Dear Dad,

It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun in Missouri! It would be pretty cool to see all of those church sites again. I hope that you can find the right home that would work for what you want and I also hope that the home in Illinois is sold soon. Is it up for sale?

I loved going to Missouri and seeing everything there, it would be neat to go back and maybe try to do some family history research there. I've always been curious because Cyril Call and his family stopped in Palmyra, Missouri (I believe it is about 14 miles west of Quincy) while they were trying to make it back to Far West. I think I read in Samantha Call Willey's life sketch that the family bought a home in Palmyra where they waited until Anson came from the Far West area and then they went up to Warsaw. So it would take a little investigation to find out if some sort of deed exists in Palmyra for Cyril Call. Anyways I am glad that you all had a good time.

I bet that John, Mary Ann, and Mom will have fun with their trips this week.

It is a wonderful time to be in the mission right now, especially with all of these changes. In one of our last meetings with President Colton (can't remember what exactly the number was) he said we had about 160 baptism dates in the mission. That was a HUGE jump. So this new training is working, we just need to keep it up and have it become the standard. It is so much fun learning about all of this.

Yes, I was called as a zone leader. That happened when I got emergency transferred into Taylor Mountain. As a result President Colton hasn't sent the little letter that confirms your call to a new assignment that is mailed to me, my parents, and my stake president. So I guess it hasn't been confirmed, but that's what they've told me.

I am so excited for Jared Brabazon! The Baltic Mission sounds like it would be so cool to go to. He will love and I bet he is way excited. I am glad that he has made that choice to serve a mission and I hope that he can continue to be fixed upon that.

I pray for Ryan that he can overcome whatever challenges he might be facing right now. He is such a good guy. The potato harvest here is pretty popular. I believe it is at it's peak the first two weeks of October. That is when all the kids are let out of school to go help. Then it carries on for a little bit afterward to wrap it up. They make good money. A lot of people losing fingers though or at least the hands get messed up somehow. While in St. Anthony you just get used to shaking men's hands that aren't working like they should! Then in Sacrament when they raise their hands a lot of them are mutilated, but no one ever thinks anything of it.

I think I have heard the name Elder Ritter. I thought about the Ritters in Beloit, but didn't think there was a connection. But I will keep my eyes open. We have Zone Conference on Thursday so I will look for him then.

My new companion is Elder Durnall (pronounced Dur-nell) from Sacramento. He knew Elder Poppleton back home. Elder Durnall is way good, and nice too. He has been out for only 9 months. I am excited to be his companion.

Things are going well here. I will continue to pray for you.

Elder Call

P.S. Could you send me Addison's mission address and if you have it his MTC address?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Travels and Meeting Interesting Man

26 July 2010

Dear Dad:

I hope your trip to Missouri is fun and productive. I kind of wish that I was able to go. But that's alright.

I am glad that work is keeping you busy, and I pray that you can continue to find more clients to help keep you busy. Thanks for mailing me the book, I am looking forward to getting it this week.

Not a lot is going on right now. We went up to Salmon and Challis this past week. Well, Elder Meredith and I drove up to Challis for a district meeting. We had to drive through the Arco desert. You want to talk about the land of desolation! That's where "the Sight" is. The Nuclear research center that a ton of people work at. I think it was the place where the first nuclear submarines were tested. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to drive all the way to Challis from Idaho Falls. We left at about 7:15 Tuesday morning to get there by 10:00 for the meeting. Then I stayed with the Challis elders the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Elder Meredith rode up to Salmon with the Salmon elders. That is an hour north of Challis. Challis is very pretty nestled in a valley. It is extremely secluded from absolutely everything. That whole area (Arco, Challis, and Salmon) are the outskirts of our mission. We drove back to IF in the early afternoon.

So transfers are coming up on Wednesday. This transfer absolutely flew by. I can't believe it has gone so quickly. Probably because of all the crazy stuff that has gone on the last few weeks, we have just been flying all over the place. We actually forgot that transfers were coming and Saturday night Elder Meredith was talking with another elder on the phone and he mentioned that transfers were Wednesday. Then we remembered, and right then President Colton called us. Elder Meredith was asked to train a new elder in Menan. So they will be white-washing that area. It was Elder Meredith's first area and will most likely be his last. He goes home in October.

President Colton hadn't called the elder that is going to be my companion yet, so he wouldn't tell us who it is. I will just have to wait until Wednesday at transfers.

It sounds like you guys are staying way busy also. Everyone is going all over the place. Summer is always a busy time I guess. I hope that you guys all enjoy everything that is going on. I know Mom will really like being with Rachel and Rebecca.

That is way sad about Ryan. I will pray for him that he can do what the Lord wants him to do. That is really good that his whole family has come to church the last couple of weeks. I hope they can stick with it. I know that he can make it back out. I really love that family. They have been such great friends to me. I can't even describe how good they have been to me. I will always remember the Sarver family.

Saturday we met an interesting man named John. He is part of "The True Gnostic Church of Azrael Ondi-Ahman." That just makes me laugh every time I think of that name. He was a member of the Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and served a mission and was ordained a seventy (we are assuming a stake seventy) about eight months after he got home. He says he was excommunicated for asking too many questions. The last time he went to the temple is in 1993. He says that "we" were (we are not sure who the "we" were) looking to see when the LDS Church wasn't true anymore (they believed it had become corrupted) so they started researching in the library down in Salt Lake. We don't know what happened after that, but now he doesn't even believe in Christ. It is so strange he has some very true dead-on beliefs, but others are just completely wacked. You can see where they took LDS Doctrine and it has become perverted.

Elder Meredith actually met him a year ago, but didn't recognize him right away. He told him then that Azrael Ondi-Ahman was a stake president, but he went into the mountains and talked with God. Then he wrote a book called the "Song of God" and started this church. He gave him then (a year ago) a paper with their beliefs and disbeliefs (their own statements contradict each other). This all started in the 1970s.

Anyways I could tell you all about it, but it was just so crazy. We sat down at a park bench (he was really nice) and he started talking...and talked...and talked... We didn't say really anything, he talked for an hour. We just sat there. I looked into his eyes the entire time, I just felt sad for the guy. His eyes were bright blue with the smallest pin-prick pupils I have ever seen, they darted back and forth the entire time. Rarely would he hold a steady gaze for more than a couple seconds. Every once in a while he would call our doctrine a not very nice word. But we didn't say anything.

After near an hour I told him something like, "John, I can tell you have a sincere desire for eternal life (I think he really does)" He corrected me and said "exaltation." I continued with something like, "There have been some events in your life that you do not want to confront, things that need to change."

"Really, what are those?"

"I don't know. But you need to repent."

He then said a few things and I said something else. He then cut me off and said, "I know where you are going with this. You are going to bear your testimony, that's a cop-out." He then continued to try to speak.

I said, "Hold on, John (at this point he began to look scared). I represent God. I do not appreciate that. For nearly an hour we have listened to you and we have not said one negative thing about you or what you believe."

"I haven't said anything bad to you."

"Yes you have."

"What did I say?"

"You told me my testimony is a cop-out."

"Oh, I did say that, didn't I."

"Yes you did. And don't you ever say that again."

Elder Meredith then went on to testify and reminded him about meeting once before and some of the things Elder Meredith told him a year ago to think about. We told him we had to leave. He was surprised that we had stayed that long. (He had talked at us from 4:00 to 5:00, and we had something at 5.) He tried to keep talking, but we just stood up and told him we had to leave.

I have met a few interesting people like that on the mission, but John has got them beat a thousand times over. People can say whatever they want, but when they begin to attack like he did--it's over, and I will have none of that. Elder Meredith told me later he thought I was going to throw the table over on John. I keep my cool, remember that I represent Jesus Christ and speak with His authority. All power in heaven and earth is given to Christ, and we need to speak in His authority.

I thought the whole thing was kind of fun. Definitely a mission story I will remember.

I know that was a long one, but it was a good experience.

I will continue to pray for you.

Elder Call

Monday, July 19, 2010

Missionaries' World Flipped Upside Down

19 July 2010

Dear Dad,

I enjoyed reading your email this week. I can just imagine you, John, and Bro. Wright pulling up a pump! That would be a huge job. I can't believe you did that. I am glad that it was just a small problem and the three of you were able to fix it.

Speaking of John, has he grown very much?

Just send the money or suits whenever you can and don't worry about it too much. Things always work out, especially as a missionary. I'm excited to see what your book is like. That would be fun to look through.

I am really enjoying my new area. We are teaching a couple of families, although we could be teaching more. But people here in this stake seem to care a bit more about missionary work.

In my last area we went to a ward mission leader and asked him about the 15 names (that is a program that the Missionary Department asked us to do in November 2008) in his ward. He had them, but as far as we could tell no one had been invited to take missionary lessons (which is the whole point of the program).

So, on Saturday when Elder Meredith said we needed to go talk to a WML about the 15 names, I admit I was worried. But the brother was so kind, willing to listen, and thankful.

He said, "Thank you, elders, for coming and telling me this. I didn't know we were supposed to invite these people to take lessons. Now I know. Thank you so much."

In short, he was humble. I'm not the most humble guy on earth--I have learned a lot about humility on the mission--but I sure appreciate it when others are humble.

We had this three-day meeting in Pocatello this week. That was way cool. I will have to write home about it. But as our mission president said, "This [the simplified curriculum framework] is bringing Preach My Gospel to life." "It is unlocking Preach My Gospel." There are 8 lessons that the missionaries are taught. They are about being better missionaries. We were taught 5 of them while there. We will have a similar meeting in August but for only 2 days. We, as leaders in the mission, now have to go out and teach this to the rest of the mission. Basically our world as missionaries was just flipped upside down this past week. Everything is changing--from the way we teach to district meetings to interviews to zone conferences. It will be good. Rumor on the street (and this is strictly rumor, I have no idea if it is true) is that while we (the 50 or so leaders) were working with other missionaries in the Pocatello area Tuesday and Wednesday night, that 40 new baptism dates were set. I don't know if it was that many, but in one appointment we set a date. Elder Hernandez and his companions in American Falls set 4 in one night. So regardless of how many were set, a lot of people committed. This is changing everything and I am so stoked for it!

I pray for your work and the move to Missouri every night. I hope that it will work out. I think it would be neat to live in the Far West area. I will pray that the house sells. I know that whatever happens, it is the will of the Lord. We were taught something in this meeting about faith. It is imagining what the outcome is. Creating it in our minds first. That is the spiritual creation. Then we go about creating it, doing what is necessary. That is the physical creation. I thought that was an insightful perspective of faith. I need to work on doing that. (See Alma 5:15-21)

This mission is a very unique mission (I am sure that Provo is similar). I think that every missionary knows someone that is at BYU-I or will be, or has been, or lives in the mission. I also love it when I meet missionaries that were at BYU-I when they got there mission calls. Or elders that were in the mission that we see around--because they are at BYU-I. It is also funny when an elder has an ex-girlfriend at BYU-I, or a girlfriend at BYU-I who isn't really waiting, because he is here, but she kind of is too. It just makes for funny experiences. Or when elders guy friends/brothers are here also and "accidentally" run into each other. But it is really strange when you do run into someone, like Christina, in those spots where you don't expect to see them. You would think that with me hanging out in Rexburg every single p-day for 6 months straight, that I would run into someone from our stake. But then while eating at Famous Dave's in IF, one of the waitresses is someone I know. Weird.

The Webbs and the Burninghams are way cool people. Two families in the ward that I really liked. I am jealous that I never got Brother Burningham as my seminary teacher-he was way cool. Sister Evans was neat also.

I will never forget one 4th of July party we had at our house. At least I think these two things happened the same day (they were both the 4th of July, maybe different years). I was sitting there talking with Brother Burningham about playing basketball or something with us. He had that job with a bad work schedule, but he had just gotten a new one. He was saying something like, "Ya, with my new boss things should be better. It is a great place to work. It is a good job."

"Oh, that's good you got a new job. Who do you work for now?" I asked.

He looked at me with a really confused look on his face and said, "I work for your dad."

"You do?! I didn't know that." It was pretty funny.

Then when the Webbs moved in you invited them over for the 4th of July. Allyson was sitting across from me out back, not really doing anything or talking with anyone. She had these big sun glasses on and a cold attitude. So I thought I would be nice and talk with her. She would hardly give me the time of day, and only say "yes" or "no." After a minute or two of that I thought, "OK then. Never mind, I'll leave you alone."

She warmed up over the years though. Just not in the best of moods from being a new-move-in. I probably wasn't either.

Right now I think Dan is really the only good friend I have at BYU, so that would be a ton of fun if Allyson went there also. It seems like everyone always comes up here to BYU-I.

Elder Call

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"The Winds of Change are HOWLING"

Note: I mentioned to Elder Call that we have a new missionary in the Beloit Ward who thinks he remembers meeting Elder Call in the MTC. . .

12 July 2010

Dear Dad:

Things are going steadily here. It hasn't really slowed down, all the hectic stuff. But it will eventually.

There is a new thing called the "Simplified Curriculum Framework" that is coming out for missionaries. It basically seems like it is a new way to teach missionaries how to teach with more focus on certain aspects. It doesn't replace "Preach My Gospel." So all of the leaders in the mission and some sisters in the mission are having a massive three-day training in Pocatello. It starts at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning and goes until Thursday at about 4:00 PM. They are going to be teaching us during the day time and then in the evening we are going to split up with elders in the Pocatello area and go implement what we learned. Then we assume we are going to come back and teach it to all those in our zones and districts.

We had interviews with President Colton last week (I attended two of those this transfer because of the ET) and he told Elder Meredith and me that "the winds of change are HOWLING around us!" Based on other things he has mentioned it sounds like everything is going to change. We are not going to have zone conference every transfer anymore. That is sad. So I will learn more about all of this in the next few days and will tell you more next week.

I am really glad that your work is going so well. I don't know how you do it and run your own business. It's pretty cool. What kind of feature would you write for Mormon Times? I'm excited to see a copy of your book if you are able to send me one.

I don't remember Elder Brander/Brader. I could have met him, I met several elders that were coming to one of the Chicago missions. (I hear they are now combined.) I remember meeting about 4 or so at the airport as I was getting ready to fly to Salt Lake. They were going to Chicago North. I also met an Elder Hill from Pocatello that was going to Chicago South.

I will keep you updated on everything that is going on here. Thank you for your emails.

Elder Call

Monday, July 5, 2010

Emergency Transfer to Taylor Mountain Stake

5 July 2010

Dear Dad,

I can't believe the 4th of July has come and gone already! I remember last year watching the fireworks down in Pocatello, having not even been out six months yet. I was thinking that this time next year I will have nearly been out 18 months. I can't believe how quick time goes by.

We had p-day time on Saturday to go watch the fireworks. I don't know about back home but the major firework display was put on on Saturday night because the man that does it is LDS. People have said that it is the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi. I don't know if that is true or not, but they were pretty spectacular. Every year they have about 100,000 people from around the area come down to the river and watch. We could do p-day stuff from 6:00-11:00 PM.

On Wednesday afternoon at 4:26 we had just gotten back from doing some service for a ward mission leader and Elder Duffin was about to get into the shower when President Colton called.

"Hello, this is Elder Call."

"Elder Call, this is President Colton. How are you?"

"Good, president, how are you?"

"Good. Are you light on your feet?"

"Sure. What does that mean?"

"Are you ready to move at a moment's notice?"
(At this point I was thinking some one needed our help. Some missionaries were in trouble or something.)

"Yes, what do you need us to do, President?"

He then went on to explain that an elder's father had passed away and he needed to go home.

"As a result of that, Elder Call, we need to move a few companionships around. We are going to move you over to Taylor Mountain Stake to take Elder Semanski's spot. You will be companions with Elder Meredith...can you do that Elder Call?"

"Yes. Are you sure president?"

With a chuckle in his voice, "Yes Elder Call, we're sure."

So I got emergency transferred again. I found out Wednesday at 4:30 and I needed to be at the transfer site Thursday morning at 7:50 AM. So very little time to pack or say goodbyes. I started to get some stuff thrown in suit cases took a shower, then had dinner. Had two appointments one at 6:00 and one at 7:00. Each lasted about an hour. Then said some goodbyes. Stopped to help a young family load up a trailer because they had to move back into their home in Rigby. Randi and Bro. Vaalemoen weren't home. So I called and left messages for them. Stayed up until about midnight packing and was gone before I even really knew what was happening.

The Taylor Mountain stake is just next door, but we only cover 4 wards (half the stake). Elder Meredith is a way cool guy from North Carolina. He has been out 20 months. He is a way good missionary.

I told Elder Lacey when I first got with him that I didn't feel like Idaho Falls South would be a very long area for me. I never really felt comfortable there. I was there for two transfers and two weeks (14 weeks). That is very short. Especially since they say we are going to stay in areas for six to nine months.

So, needless to say, it has been a very exciting week here. I was with Elder Duffin for only two weeks, but I miss that guy so much. He was one of the best companions I have ever had. I am sad that we were only together for two weeks.

I am glad that you're work is going so well. Rebecca wrote in a letter a couple of months ago that money doesn't bring happiness, but it does bring peace of mind. That sounds like something either you or she would say.

I know that you and Mom will do whatever the Spirit directs you to do. I trust in that. Things will work out no matter where you are or where you need to go. (Missouri sounds much better than Texas.) It would be cool to live in the Far West area. I know what it is like to have the Spirit tell you what to do--maybe one day I will learn to listen. There have been several times on the mission when I knew a major event was going to happen. Didn't really know what or why or when--then it happens, the Spirit reconfirms what it taught before and you go on and do what is right.

Elder Call

P.S. There was a Brother Moncur in IF South that is a couple of years younger than Grandma Call. He says he grew up next door (or maybe it was down the road) to Grandma Call's family, the Etsel Wheeler family, out in Ririe. He says he remembers the family had a lot of tragedies in their lives, with children dieing etc. But he remembers Myra Fay Morgan Wheeler as a woman full of compassion. I said that was nice to say. But he was very serious and said, "No. She was a great woman with lots of compassion." His mother was always sick and in bed when he was a child. He said that whenever Sister Wheeler would walk into town she would stop take care of his mother and visit with her. He says hello to Grandma Call. I wish I could remember his first name. He works at the Temple Visitor's Center.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Suit Coats, Baptisms, and Ward Goals

28 June 2010

Dear Dad,

We had our Zone Conference for the transfer this past week. It was really good.

We have a new mission rule that we have to wear suit coats throughout the whole year! And that is not an excited exclamation point. We have to wear suit coats after 6:00 PM during the summer. It is so incredibly hot wearing them. We are constantly just dripping with sweat. On the first day Elder Duffin and I were talking to a lady outside and she said, "Aren't you guys hot in those coats? Oh, you're sweating pretty bad aren't you." But we will be obedient. "Willingly because we have to...Willingly because we want to!" Maybe we'll get to that point.

I'm glad that youth conference went well. Where did they go for the pioneer trek? It sounds like a ton of fun. Do you think the church is going to do a giant pioneer trek on the 200 year anniversary like they did at 150 years?

That is really good of Aunt Jenni and Aunt Denalee to stay with Grandma and Grandpa Call. I hope and pray that she can make it through this difficult time.

I think it is pretty cool that you are doing all of this work for these different businesses and organizations. People ask us frequently what our parents do for a living.

Two of our investigators were finally baptized on Sunday. Everyone was holding their breath that it would go through. It was a pretty good baptism. Their non-member father really liked it and was excited for his kids. Hopefully we can help him get closer to baptism and activity in the Church also. The talk on baptism was really good. It was given by their home teacher, Todd Hillam. He is also a seminary teacher here at IF High School. I suppose that is a plus in his ability to deliver doctrine in a simple, clear, profound manner. I think it helped the father see the eternal significance of the whole thing.

We are collecting the goals for the month of July from the wards. I had no idea something would be so hard. A couple of wards want to have half a baptism each, one ward wants to have a quarter of a baptism, another is going to get a quarter of a prospective elder ordained. But these are goals that the wards are setting for themselves, so they need to achieve them.

Hopefully things will pick up here.

Thanks for the email this week. I will continue to pray for you and the family.

Elder Call

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oliver Cowdery's Covenant; Possible Connection to Calls

21 June 2010

Dear Elder Call:

I am reading a book about Oliver Cowdery and this one chapter has a copy of the covenant that Oliver, Parley P. Pratt, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson made as they set out on their mission to the Lamanites in 1831. You may recall that this was the first major missionary effort in this dispensation, and on their way through Ohio they came upon Sydney Rigdon and the other Campbellites who were in the Kirtland area, ended up staying there for about six weeks, and baptized about 130 individuals.

As I read this I thought of you and feel to share it with you:

I, Oliver, being commanded of the Lord God to go forth unto the Lamanites to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them by presenting unto them the fullness of the gospel of the only begotten son of God, and also to rear up a pillar as a witness where the temple of God shall be built in the glorious New Jerusalem; and having certain brothers with me who are called of God to assist me, whose names are Parley, Peter, and Ziba, do therefore most solemnly covenant before God that I will walk humbly before him and do this business and this glorious work according as he shall direct me by the Holy Ghost, ever praying for mine and their prosperity and deliverance from bonds and from imprisonments and whatsoever may befall us, with all patience and faith. Amen.

Oliver Cowdery

We, the undersigned, being called and commanded of the Lord God, to accompany our brother Oliver Cowdery to go to the Lamanites and to assist in the above mentioned glorious work and business; we do therefore most solemnly covenant before God that we will assist him faithfully in this thing by giving heed unto all his words and advice which are or shall be given him by the spirit of truth, ever praying with all prayer and supplication for our and his prosperity and our deliverance from bonds and imprisonments and whatsoever may come upon us, with all patience and faith. Amen.

P.P. Pratt
Ziba Peterson
Peter Whitmer

Signed in presence of
Joseph Smith, Jr.
David Whitmer


21 June 2010

Dear Dad,

That is way cool. Thank you for sharing it. I wish I could get back to reading Church History again. I really miss it a lot. But I am loving the scriptures more and more.

That mission really catapulted the spreading of the gospel. It is really neat.

I have always wondered about what kind of connection the Calls had to Sydney Rigdon and those that joined the Church. Cyril's daughter Samantha said that Sidney Rigdon, Almon Babbitt, and other early Church members were all good friends with Cyril Call's family. We know Cyril's father, Joseph, was a baptist preacher in the Grand River Baptist Association and taught with Sidney. Joseph Call died about 1821/22. Cyril's brother, Cyrus, was a Campbellite preacher also about the same time (but he never joined the Church). His other brother Rufus and his son Orvis were a part of Sidney's congregation. As far as we can tell Rufus never joined the Church but Orvis did. Orvis, I believe, was baptized in 1837. I can't remember where I read that. He could have been baptized earlier, and had a re-baptism. They did that sometimes back then.

Cyril and his sons Harvey and Anson (the two oldest) went and bought land in Missouri in 1838. Then Cyril left them there and went back to get the families in Ohio. They were making their way back in the winter of 1838 but stopped in Palmyra, MO (west of Quincey) due to the persecution. Then Anson came from Far West and they all went up to the Warsaw area. Orvis was with Cyril and the families on the trip to Missouri, but it looks like he died in Quincey about 1839, if I remember correctly. I was working on this family a little when I left so this is kind of sketchy. But it looks like Orvis' wife (Phoebe Tiffany- sister to Cyril's wife Sally) possibly remarried a man by the name of Star (or Starr). I think Orvis and Phoebe had two daughters. I don't think any of that family stuck with the Church, if they were even members.

I just love family history.

Elder Call

P.S. Some of that info could be off a bit because I haven't really done anything with family history for so long now.

New Companion; Investigators Progressing

21 June 2010

Dear Dad,

Thanks for the update on everything. It sounds like it was an exciting weekend for the girls in the ward. We don't really get bad storms out here in Idaho very often. It is kind of funny because people will tell me, "Oh we do get tornadoes out here, Elder." "We do get them sometimes." The most recent one that anyone remembers was 20-30 years ago out north of town towards Iona. It didn't really do any damage. I'm glad they're all safe.

Did I tell you I met a family from Belvidere? It is the Fullmer family. Sis. Fullmer said she is good friends with Sis. Webb. You might want to tell the Webbs that.

That sounds like a pretty cool book that you have come up with. Everyone here, whether they are members or non-members always comment about how Idaho Falls is a great place to raise a family. That is why a lot of people move back here after they get married and have a few kids. Sounds like your research must be dead on.

The Nielsons are back from the Netherlands! That is funny. Is John still good friends with Hugh, or did they change too much over the last couple of years?

My new companion is Elder Duffin from Los Angeles. He has been out 5 months. He is an AWESOME elder. Truly a God-send. He has only had one other other area, ISU.

One of our investigators is still set for baptism on Sunday. We are going to call the mother tonight and make sure that they have asked all the family members to participate in the program. Another investigator is still working towards baptism. We are going to teach him tonight and possibly reset a date for him to work towards.
We had another investigator get baptized on Saturday. But I will probably write about that in the letter home. It was a very spiritual baptism.

I will continue to pray for you and the family and Grandma Call.

Elder Call

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Updates on Investigators; Sleeping High Priests

[Note: Elder Call had asked us in his written letter to send him copies of the three patriarchal blessings bestowed upon Lida Perry Call, his great grandmother. –Editor]

7 June 2010

Dear Dad,

That's alright about forgetting to email last week. I kind of figured that is what happened.

I hope that progress can be made with the investigators we have. We were supposed to have a baptism this past Saturday and the week before. They both got postponed. The first because he is in the hospital. Then the second because the mother called up Saturday morning and said they were all too sick to do it. So they are both rescheduled and we are praying hard that they can make it.

We went to the last 10 minutes of a high priest group yesterday to try to motivate them to do missionary work. I don't know if it was very effective. We went over time by about 2 minutes and one of two men that were asleep the entire time (heads down, eyes closed, heads bobbing back and forth) suddenly woke up looked at the time shook his head and pointed at the clock. He was upset that we went over the time. You can probably imagine how I feel.

Thank you for sending me the blessings I just got curious and wanted to read them. I can't believe the rate at which you are writing your life history. That is great.

I pray for Grandma Call frequently. That is sad about her chemo being postponed; I will pray more for her and hope that she does well.

That is excellent that you won that major job in Virginia. It is also good that you won't have to travel very often. I don't know about you, but I don't like to travel very much. It would be especially hard having to do it every other week or so. What kind of stuff are you going to do for this client?

How are your books coming along?

I wrote the Webb's last week I think. But I will write another to Bishop Webb and the ward. Speaking of the Webbs, yesterday at the high priest thing I met a family that moved from here a few months ago from the Belvidere Branch. I think the father's name was John Fullmer. I know it was Fullmer. The wife said she was really good friends with Sis. Webb. It can be a small world sometimes.

Transfers are a week from this Wednesday. Elder Lacey is pretty convinced he is moving. This is his 5th transfer in this area. So that is kind of a long time.
He just told me his family is moving to Iowa Falls (an hour from from his home). But I thought he said, "Idaho Falls!" I wonder what would happen if your family moved into the mission?

Well, I think that is about it from the mission. Thanks for your email and for sending the copies of the patriarchal blessings.

Elder Call

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Investigator Hospitalized; Another Family Connection Discovered

31 May 2010

Hi Dad,

Happy Memorial Day!

How are you guys doing this week? I don't know if a whole lot has happened.

Elder Lacey's eyes are corrected as best as possible, according to Dr. Elliott.

One of our investigators was supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but he was hospitalized on Wednesday. The doctors finally think they know what is wrong. He has two disease 1) Wagner's something or other, it attacks his major internal organs. 2) Vasculitis something. That limits the blood flow to joints and causes swelling and stuff. He will be on steroids for 6 months and he should be cured. Wagner's is very rare I think they said it affects 1 in 50,000 American men between the ages of 30 and 40. Our investigator is 28. He should be back this week sometime and he wants to be baptized on the 12th of June.

We did a bunch of service this week for a family that bought a house and wanted to gut it. So we got about half the zone there and ripped out walls, tiles, ceilings all sorts of stuff. It was a lot of fun.

How is Grandma Call doing? Anything new on her chemotherapy?

I keep meeting people we are related to. Yesterday at church (in the Park View Ward) there was an older couple sitting behind us. As we were leaving they said hello and he said "Elder Call! Where are you from?" People say it in a way that I know they are thinking either "Hey I know Calls." or "I'm related to Calls, I wonder if we are related."

I told him I was from Illinois and he asked "Are you related to Anson?" I said, "I come from his brother Omer. Are you?"

He pointed to his wife and said, "She is Anson Call's great-granddaughter!"

Her Grandfather was Israel Call! It seems as if most of Anson's great-grandchildren should be dead. Her grandfather (Israel Call) was born in the 1850's, I believe 1854. Her name is May Call Adamson. She is 88 years old. Israel Call was a patriarch. She told me he also worked in the temple a whole lot. She is my 3rd cousin twice removed. Her grandfather and Grandpa Call's grandpa, Cyril Josiah Call (b.1860), were 1st cousins. I thought that was pretty neat.

Anything else new on the home front? Thanks for everything you guys have done and do for me.

Elder Call

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mracle with Elder Call's Companion; Updates on Comings and Goings

[Note: You'll see a parenthetical phrase Elder Call includes that is a family joke. When Elder Call was only 13 or 14, he once was explaining to the family that something was too expensive, and he went about it in a very strange way. He said that it was "way too many dollars too expensive," and we all spontaneously broke out in laughter. Ever since then, we've all used that phrase to describe something that really is "WAY too many dollars too expensive"!

24 May 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you for the email. I always look forward to hearing about what is going on at home. It has been an exciting week. First off I want to say I am SO SORRY! Yesterday when I put my suit jacket on to go to church I found the letter that I had written last Monday to mail home after district meeting on Tuesday. But I forgot! So you guys will be getting 2 letters this week, I feel so bad.

Elder Lacey had his eye surgery this week. I don't know if I told you about that. His eyes get pulled off in opposite directions. We had one appointment in Pocatello in April where the doctor told him what he would do and all of that. We then went out to the secretaries to schedule the surgery. They told us they had talked with Sis. Colton and Sis. Sutton and the surgery would be too much money (way too many dollars too expensive) to do in the mission. So he wouldn't be able to have it done.

Then about the 12th of May Sis. Colton and Sis Sutton called and said the surgery was going to happen! The doctor (who is not a member) volunteered to do the surgery for free. The aneathesilogist (sp?) was going to charge a very low amount and Elder Lacey's home stake was able to raise enough money to cover that cost. Talk about miracles. It was completely out of the blue. It was a complete surprise to Sis. Colton and Sis. Sutton.

So we went down Thursday for one last appointment. We stayed with the assistants and the surgery was Friday morning. It went well. His eyes are completely blood shot not just red lines, but actually blood stained. We go down tomorrow for a follow up visit.

While I was at the hospital on Friday a brother from the Shamrock Park ward called and asked me to speak. I told him I could, but someone would have to stay with Elder Lacey and someone would have to go with me. So he said he would work on that. Then Saturday he called and said he was still seeing if he could arrange it. Sunday morning at 7:30 he called and said I was definitely speaking, but there was only one other speaker. I don't mind giving talks in Sacrament any more, we give them so often. Usually at least once a month. So it was fun. I spoke on The Restoration, the respsonsibility to act, and how that should lead us to do missionary work. That was nice of the Brother to send you an email. I hope I got my point across.

That is weird to think that all those people you told me about are graduating. Time marches on I guess. So did Tiffany start going to the Beloit Ward? I didn't really know her very well.

We are having success here. If all goes well, there will be 5 converts baptized in 6 weeks. They all need to keep the commitments.

I remember you talking about that "Best Places" book. That is neat that you are nearing completion. It is actually kind of exciting. It would be something that I would love to look through. It would be even cooler if Deseret Book agreed to publish it. It would probably do a lot better that way.

By the way it just started snowing. It's Idaho.

The coldness and amount of snow is about the same as Illinois I think. But here we will get a freak snow storm every once in a while. It doesn't last, just snows a little. It had one on Saturday morning for a few minutes. Then it was sunny. Then it hailed. Then it was sunny and warm the rest of the day.

Good luck with your work and the books you are doing.

Tell the family I love them.

Elder Call