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?