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