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

Kind Note from Church Member in Idaho Falls

[Note: We received this email from a member of the Church in Idaho Falls on Sunday afternoon. I referred to this email in my weekly note to Elder Call, and he responded in his email on Monday. As always, I've deleted the name of the individual to protect privacy.

23 May 2010

Brother and Sister Call,

I am a member of the Shamrock Park Ward, in the Idaho Falls South Stake. Today at sacrament meeting your son was the featured speaker. What a fine young man. I was impressed by both his knowledge of the gospel and his enthusiasm for missionary work. There was a great spirit attending his talk.

I thought, it is too bad that his parents couldn't see him in action today. You would have been so proud. Thanks for raising such a fine young man who could come to Idaho and help build the Lord's kingdom here.

I went away from the meeting very impressed and hope to find someone for Elder Call to teach in my neighborhood.

Have a great day,

Brother ---

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Musings, Admonitions, and Updates

17 May 2010

Dear Dad,

Time is going quickly. The 17th of May. Tomorrow I will hit my 15 month mark. That goes too fast, I remember being with Elder Burton and thinking that I still had 23 months left to go. That seemed like a really long time. But now I look back on it and it has all gone so quick. Elder Burton has been home for 3 months now and I only have 9 months left. It is kind of sad.

That is awesome that you are able to get some of that work done. Rebecca wrote me last week and she said something like, "Money doesn't bring happiness, but it can bring peace of mind." What is this book that you have been writing? Is it one about business stuff?

It makes me so happy that you are writing your life history. That is a big undertaking and takes a lot of diligence. I wish I had been better at writing in my journal my entire mission. I have written in spurts. I hope to do better with it. I have written for two weeks now everyday. I want to continue that for the rest of my mission. I also have a little journal I call my "baptism journal" where I write about each investigator that I got to help teach that was baptized. I am way behind on that. I need to get caught up in that one.

This Thursday Elder Lacey and I are going down to Pocatello. He is having an eye appointment, then his surgery on Friday. We will stay overnight, probably with the Assistants. I am going to take my journal down there and try to get caught up in that as much as I can during all of that stuff.

That is so cool that you have had a few baptisms in the ward recently and more to come. As you very well know, missionary work is so important. Of course right now some of my favorite scriptures are missionary scriptures. Two of which are Moroni 7:13 and D&C 35:12.

Moroni: "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."

There are two parts: 1) Invite. We need to invite people to act. To experience and learn for themselves. As they do so there faith will increase. That is invite people to do something that will increase there faith. Inviting to cub scouts will not, in all likelihood, increase their faith. 2) Entice. We need to make the gospel something everybody else wants. That would be the "just be a good example" part that people are SO set on.

We need both parts giving 100% of each. Then we get a perfect balance. If we just invite, that is when friendships will be ruined. If we just entice then at the last day, they will ask why we never told them about the gospel. The guilt that I will feel will be too much for me to bear.

D&C: "And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation."

Too often we meet members who stand on their doorstep or sit in their chairs, while pointing to there neighbors, and tell us, "They're active. They're active too, she's in the Primary presidency. They're less-active, but they'll come to ward activities. They're active. They're not members, really good people though..." And they don't want to talk to those people about the gospel. I hate to say it, but those "really good people" aren't going to make it to heaven on good works alone. They need faith in the fullness of the gospel. And as the Lord tells us in this verse those that do good are ready for the fullness of the gospel. Ready now. Not later, not never, not once before when you sent the missionaries there a year and a half ago. They are ready for the fullness.

So that is my little soap-box cry.

I am doing pretty good on everything. Really the only thing is that my shirts are way baggy and that just gets annoying. They are still good to wear. My suit you sent is slightly baggy, but there are plenty of sisters here that are willing to help take our pants in and stuff. I have pretty much stayed about the same weight since December, so the suit is good. Thank you for offering, but don't do anything that you can't afford. I will be just fine, the Lord provides.

We had dinner with a family last night and the wife knows the Bundersons [one of Shannon's sisters, who is living in Utah]. She is from Ferron, Utah. I should have asked her maiden name, but her name now is Michelle Elison. She said she really knows Landon and Nathan, went to High School with them. She said they were a lot of fun and really good boys. So that was pretty good.

We had a baptism on Saturday of Al Vaalemoen (Vall-min). That was way cool. It was the first baptism we have had since I have been here in IF South. It was neat to see, it has been a long time coming and he finally committed. I will probably write more about that in the letter home.

I will continue to pray for you.

Elder Call

Monday, May 3, 2010

Baptisms. . .Family History. . .(what else?)

3 May 2010

Dear Dad,

It is crazy how time flies by. It is the beginning of May and it was this time last year that Elder Bednar came to the mission. It is so weird to think that was a whole year ago already! I have been out more than 14 months now. That is kind of sad.

I will get to call home on Mother's Day this year. That kind of snuck up on us, or we would have been arranging times a few weeks ago. But yesterday an older couple told us we can use their phones. I will probably be calling at about 2:45 my time. So I guess that will be 3:45 your time. They said they will get home from church between 2:30 and 2:45. I think Elder Lacey and I decided I will call first (He said he might talk longer than I will).

The man who is letting us use his phone is Bro. Ron Wheeler he is a relative (go figure). His dad was Arnold Shannon Wheeler and his grandpa was Joseph Henry Wheeler (b. 1882). His great-grandfather was Levi Lincoln Wheeler (b. 1838). So we have Connie Wheeler Call and her father was John Etsel Wheeler (b. 1891) and her grandfather was John Albert Wheeler ( b. 1869) and her great-grandfather was Levi Lincoln Wheeler (b. 1838). John Albert was the oldest and Joseph Henry was the 6th of 8 children of Levi Lincoln Wheeler and Sarah Jane Lavender. So that means Grandma and Bro. Ron Wheeler are 2nd cousins! He and I are 2nd cousins twice removed. That is actually pretty close. I think that is the closest relative I have met so far on my mission.

We set two baptism dates! The man that we took to the temple visitor's center a couple of weeks ago, and his son. They will be baptized on the 15 May. I am so excited for them. He is a great, very spiritual man.

Transfers are this week and Elder Lacey and I are both staying. I kind of figured that was going to happen (based on things President had told me). Elder Lacey will have been here for 7 and a half months at the end of next transfer.

Other than that not a whole lot is happening.

Thank you for the email from Grandpa. Those will be really good to get. I hope that Grandma and Grandpa can get through this hard time. I will continue to pray for them.

Elder Call