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.