Monday, March 29, 2010

Elder Call now in Idaho Falls South Stake

Note: Ryan Sarver, one of Elder Call's friends from Roscoe, Illinois, just received his mission call to Peru. The Brumbles are a senior couple in our ward who Elder Call was close to.

28 March 2010

Hey Dad,

That is so cool that Ryan is going to be going to Peru! That makes me so happy to hear that. I had a feeling that he would be called to a Spanish speaking mission and not be able to use his German!

I hope that other young men from our ward will be going on missions soon. That is also exciting for the Brumbles to be going to the Easter Islands! They will be great there and I just know that everybody on those islands will come to love them so much. I wish them the best of luck.

I hope that Grandma will be alright. I will pray for her. I received the Call Connection this month yesterday and I truly enjoyed the photos and stories from Grandma and Grandpa Call.

I have been here in IF South now since Wednesday and I can just feel that this area is about to explode with missionary work. I am glad to be here. Every day, no joke, I get asked if I am related to the Calls around here. And most notably if I know "President Call." He is the Branch President for the Singles branch in our stake. And also the owner of Farr's Candy and Ice Cream here in Idaho Falls. I met him and he is a really nice man. He comes from the Star Valley branch of the family. One of our ward mission leaders here, Bro. Roberts, is also a descendant of Cyril Call. I met him my first day here and he was extremely excited to know that I am a relative. He ran and grabbed his copy of Anson Call's journal and was talking all about it. Of course he comes from the Star Valley Call's also. Yet another one of Anson's posterity.

I don't know if I told you, but I met a man in Rexburg who has Calls in his family. He thought all of the Calls descend from Anson. And it took a lot of convincing that I am not. I told him I was from Anson's brother Omer, that they were both sons of Cyril Call who had 13 children, 12 of whom grew to adulthood. He kept talking and said a few minutes later that "Omer must be from one of Anson's sons or something." I said, "No they were brothers." Later on he was telling (or bragging) to another man all about Anson Call and how "the Calls settled the west. They settled Utah and Wyoming and Mexico and Idaho...Anson was the rescuer at the Martin Handcart company (he made it sound as if Anson did it single handedly and was the main guy)...he (Anson) even picked up two of his wives from there." The man asked what their names were. He could remember that Margaretta Clark (Margaretta Unwin Clark) was one of them (he must descend from her) but couldn't remember who the other one was. So I told him that it was Emma Summers. I think it was then that he believed that I knew what I was talking about.

Some of these people talk about Anson as if he was Adam. The founder of mankind and all the human race his posterity. No doubt about it--Anson was a great man. He had a lot of posterity because he was polygamous and some of his sons were also. But his older brother Harvey died on the plains and may have had one child, and that is a big "may." Salmon, the next son, died under the age of 2. Josiah had two wives, several children, but was killed before he could have had a large family. None of his sons were polygamous. Omer had 22 children (Anson about 25), but none of his children were polygamous. They were all too young to be of that generation. Keep in mind that Anson's oldest child (Anson Vasco) was exactly 6 months younger than Omer and Homer. So they (Anson and Omer) were pretty much a generation apart. Homer only had one wife and 12 children, once again none of his children were polygamous.

So that is a whole bunch of rambling that you probably didn't want to hear. But I think that is great that you are starting that Cyril Call thing. I wish I could be there to be a part of it.

Elder Call

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Baptisms; Transfer to Idaho Fall South Stake

22 March 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you for the email. That was so much fun to read. That is very exciting that the Brumbles finally get to leave. I am glad I didn't have to wait so long. I think that I counted 19 missionaries from our stake! That is amazing!

St. Anthony is doing well. We set a baptism date with a twelve-year-old boy this week. His father is a member and his mother a non-member. But the whole family has been going to church since the beginning of January and we started teaching them at the end of January. The mother wants to be baptized also (and has had that desire since she was 8) but is scared she can't prepare. It is so cool to see people's lives change. The father is actually a descendant of Omer's son Omer Samuel Call (b. 1857) and we come from Cyril Josiah (b. 1860). It was those two and their cousin Josiah Call (son of Homer) and their brother-in-law, George Albert Cordon, that came up from Willard in 1883 to settle in Rigby.

We also almost set a baptism date with a 21-year-old man last night. We have been teaching him for about 4 weeks. We have tried twice before. But he now feels like he has his answer and his faith is increasing (that was his concern last week). He told us he just doesn't have the courage and that he "need[s] to just buck-up and do it." I hope that he can continue to strengthen his faith.

So transfers are this week and I am being moved. I am going to the Idaho Falls South Stake on Wednesday to be a district leader down there. Elder Walker and I were here for 3 transfers together and we have only heard of one other companionship that has been together 4. But the really cool thing is that Elder Walker is training! It is highly unusual to be in your first area with only one companion and then be called to train in that same area! So in mission language that means "my son will give birth in the wilderness of his birth." My grandson will also train in St. Anthony that would be sweet.

I am very sad to be leaving, but I kind of half expected it. I love this area. You are right though about being able to return.

I do love the spring break trips we had and I will always remember those. Especially looking for Cyril Call's land in Ohio.

Thank you again.

Elder Call  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Elder Call's Dad Reminisces

21 March 2010

Dear Elder Call:

Wonderful news from the Brumbles: They finally will have their visas and will be leaving for their missions next month. Bless their hearts. I think their original date was back in November or December, so their delay has been a long one. But as I told Brother Brumble, the Lord knows what He is doing and I am confident they are going when the Lord needs them there.

Speaking of missionaries, the stake website has on its front page a list of all missionaries currently serving from the Rockford Stake:

Taft Gearhart - Baltic Mission - November 18, 2008
Robert Call - Idaho Pocatello Mission - February 18, 2009
Cody Weiland - Utah Ogden Mission - March 25, 2009
Dan Abbot - Mexico Torreon Mission - March 25, 2009
Jordan Johnson - Florida Tampa Mission - May 6, 2009
Kathryn Abbot - Argentina Buenos Aires Mission - May 20, 2009
Dan Merrill - Nevada Las Vegas Mission - May 20, 2009
Nelson Walker - Arizona Tempe Mission - May 27, 2009
Tyler Evans - El Salvador San Salvador East Mission - June 3, 2009
JB Gustafson - Paraguay AsunciĆ³n Mission - June 10, 2009
Devin Hansen - Colorado Denver North Mission – Spanish speaking - June 17, 2009
Travis Williams - Uruguay Montevideo Mission - July 23, 2009
Lonnie Robertson - Riverside California Mission August 19, 2009
Jacob Ensign - Australia Melbourne East Mission, Mandarin Chinese speaking - November 11, 2009
Joseph Ziemann - Guatemala City North Mission - November 18, 2009
Jaclyn Howze – Dominican Republic Santiago Mission – December 16, 2009
Mary Ellen Stocks - Lima Peru South Mission - January 13, 2010
Wesley Jeffrey - California San Fernando Mission - Spanish speaking - February 3, 2010
Jake Spencer - California San Jose Spanish speaking - February 10, 2010

Missionary Calls:
William and Rosalia Brumble - Chile Santiago North Mission

Isn't it amazing how many missionaries we have? And to think that you were among the first of this large group to embark on your mission. You are an example to so many, Elder, and you have greatly influenced more people than you could possible ever imagine.

We are so thrilled to hear of your successes. It is truly a blessing to our family to know you are serving the Lord and that He is guiding you and directing your efforts. It seems like every week you have new prospects and new opportunities, new and exciting progress being made among the investigators and converts. We love to read your letters and we draw strength from them.

This coming week is spring break here in Illinois. I think that for the rest of my life, when spring break comes I will think of our youth trips to Nauvoo, Missouri, and Kirtland. It's amazing to think that the Nauvoo trip was so long ago. . .2006! That was a fun trip. I don't remember a lot of what we did, but I do remember the fieside meetings. Then there was Missouri. . .wow. You did such a great job helping to organize that trip--I don't know what I would have done without your help. That was absolutely awesome. And then, the most memorable of all: Kirtland. Remember how you and I got up early to go find Cyril Call's property? That was great. But of course the testimony meeting in the Kirtland Temple was the highlight. I'm grateful the Lord has given us the capacity to remember.

Enough reminiscing, though. It sounds like St. Anthony has been a blessing in your life, and that you have been a blessing to St. Anthony. It would be great if you and Elder Walker are there another transfer. In my mission, I ended up being in an area called Tseun Wan for 8 months. . .first, I was there for two months as a junior companion, then I was transferred out to two other areas (three months in Aberdeen, one month in Central), then I was sent back to Tsuen Wan for six months as a zone leader. I loved Tsuen Wan. There were two wards there, three or four missionary districts, and one zone. I was transferred out of Tsuen Wan on 28 March 1980--30 years ago this week--and it still brings back fond memories to me. St. Anthony will be the same for you, as will each of the areas where you serve. I am a bit jealous of you, however. You will be able to return to your mission and visit and remember much easier than I've been able to return to mine!

This week we will be spending time cleaning up the house and yard, and we hope to list it for sale by the end of the week. This is an emotional and difficult event for us, but at this point we don't see any other option. Being away from the family 50 percent of the time just is not meant to be, for any family.

We love you, Elder Call, and we are so proud of you. We pray for you every day. We know the Lord is with you.


Another Baptism Brings the Spirit

15 March 2010

Hey Dad,

Thank you for your email this week. It is good that I will be able to go to Beloit and see some friends when I return.

Let me know all of the updates on the move.

I am glad that work continues to go well for you. I hope that you get the donors that you need.

Last Saturday (6 March) we were able to baptize Robert, the 75 year old. He was very excited and very committed to the whole thing. He had had the heart attack a week or two before and was given a pacemaker. The doctors told him he could still be baptized, but if he lifted his arm too high then there might be some serious problems. I had the opportunity to be the one to baptize him. I was pretty nervous because I didn't want to hurt him. But it all went off with out a hitch. The next day he bore his testimony.

Transfers are coming up not this Wednesday, but the next. I have been here in St. Anthony for four transfers now. Three of which have been with Elder Walker. I have never heard of any companionship being longer than 3 transfers. And only a couple of missionaries being in areas longer than 4 transfers. So I kind of figured I would get transferred. But on Friday at interviews President Colton told us there is a good chance that no one in St. Anthony will be moved. There are only three missionaries going home and only four coming in. That isn't very many. He said he wants this transfer to be as "invisible" as possible. Elder Walker and I figured that as "invisible" as possible would be only moving one missionary. We don't know if that is what they will do, but probably only a handful will get transferred.

Other than that, things are going really well here, and I pray that we can find some new people to teach and baptize.

Elder Call

Elder Call Adjusting to Thoughts of Texas

15 March 2010

Dear Family:

Well, a week (or less than that) from now we will know transfer information. I used to think that I was going to be transferred because I have been here so long and also I've been with one companion for so long. But at interviews on Friday President said that he is going to try to make this transfer as invisible as possible. Only three missionaries are going home and four are coming in. He said there is a good chance St. Anthony will stay the same.

I have to admit that last Monday when I found out about the move to Texas I was pretty blown away. We do emails from the Family History Center, and some of the workers there offered solace and comfort! It was probably pretty funny if you were a fly on the wall. So today when we got to the Family History Center one of the brothers had hung a Texas flag above the computer I use! Then he played a Youtube video of Texas music and all the things to do and see in Texas. It was pretty funny. Now Elder Walker has hung the flag over my bed.

It is even funnier because the week before I was talking about how Texas is the most prideful state in the Union!

Nothing much is going on besides all that. Can you tell Rebecca the next time you talk with her that I did get that package with all the copies. And that I really enjoyed reading them. Thank you.

Elder Call

Elder Call Reacts to News of Family Move

8 March 2010

Dear Family:

Another week has flown b y and time marches onward. I was thinking that it was a year ago that we were packing at the MTC and getting ready to fly to our missions. I remember an elder in our district that went to Colorado Springs. The entire time we were in the MTC he was itching to get out and go teach the gospel. The rest of us were kind of nervous to actually go and have people's salvation depend on our ability to listen to the Spirit.

The day finally came when we got our flight plans. We got them and everyone was excited and eager, nearly impatient to get out and get to work--except for this elder! He was scared and terrified. I think when that happened, it really hit him. He was going to go out and represent Jesus Christ. Now we have been in the mission field a year, and I am sure he is doing fine.

I am so happy that everyone is doing well. It sounds like things keep moving forward. I hope that Mary Ann continues to do well in school and seminary. I learned that it just isn't worth stressing out over hard classes. And congratulations to John for his Science Olympiad stuff.

I heard the news about moving to Texas! That should be exciting! It will be the beginning of a brand new chapter for the Call Family. It will be sad to leave the Beloit Ward. I love that place so much. But it will be better for the family to move to Texas. It can't be good at all to have Dad flying to Texas every other week. I know that you have made the right choice.

It will be good to live close to Grandma and Grandpa Call. We have never lived close to them before. For some reason I keep thinking about Joseph Call, my 5th great grandfather. He lived with one of his grandsons, Asa Cyril Call, for the last few years of his life, until he was 80 years old. Asa writes about it in his journal and seems to have truly appreciated those years of being with his grandfather.

So, of course I have a thousand questions to ask, but here are just a few:

1. When will we be moving?
2. Do you have a place picked out?
3. Is it in the same stake as Grandma and Grandpa?
4. If you have a home, what is the address? (Investigators want to know my home address so they can write.)
5. How is everyone taking the news?

I can't think of any more, but please tell me all you can.

Elder Call

Baptism Bring Joy

Note: In order to preserve privacy, full names of individuals are not included in these posts.

1 March 2010

Dear Family:

The most exciting thing that happened this week was the baptism of Aaron!

I think I have written about him before. His wife and two kids, MaKayla (15), and Bubba (13) are all active and have been looking forward to his day for years. Our teaching record shows that Aaron has been taught by missionaries off and on for three years. He finally overcame what was holding him up. We started teaching him on the 19th of November--that was Elder Walker's second day in St. Anthony and, I believe, his first teaching appointment to a nonmember.

It has been a long struggle, but he finally got there. When he showed up for his baptismal interview, he seemed a little scared. But when he came out of the interview with the zone leader, he was all smiles and talking, in contrast to the straight-faced, quiet man a few minutes before.

It was like "Field of Dreams":

If you baptize Aaron, they will come.

We asked him if we could invite a few people to his baptism, and he said that would be alright, although he wanted it to be a small thing. So we invited just six people, three of whom are in the bishopric.

So the day of his baptism finally came: 27 February 2010. Aaron and his friend who was going to baptize him arrived and went in to change their clothes. We had 53 chairs set up. But people just kept coming and coming. We didn't think--at least I didn't think--50 chairs would be filled up. And I figured it would be just his brothers-in-law and their families. But it was kind of like the movie "Field of Dreams": "If you baptize Aaron, they will come." We had to set up more and more chairs. Then people had to stand. That little Primary room was packed, filled with at least 75 people!

It was a very, very spiritual baptism. Many people were emotional, including Aaron and his fellow cowboys. I hope they can make it to the temple in a year. It brings me such joy to see someone like Aaron make those covenants with God. A man like Aaron makes it all worth it. It is a testament to the divinity of this work. How could anyone deny the change and the power by which it was wrought, that took place in Aaron's heart and behavior? I know I can't.

Elder Call