Monday, January 24, 2011

Family History Brings the Spirit

24 January 2011

Dear Dad,

It sounds like it has been quite the week for the family! With school and church being cancelled. I bet that is a ton of fun for Mary Ann and John.

I am glad that Mary Ann was able to visit some of her friends up in Roscoe! I bet it was a great experience for her. I hope that she can make some new good friends in Missouri, it makes me happy to know that kids in the ward were asking about her.

I am cool with speaking on either the 20th or 27th, whichever works out better for you guys. If 27 March is best, then that is what we will do. I don't need to speak in the Wood Heights Ward, just curious if they were planning on it.

That is so good that you are getting some more jobs, I hope you can find new clients. I do know about the Lord stretching us, to teach us to lean on him. He really knows how to test us.

We had a couple of neat things happen this week. In one of the ward directories we saw that there was a Call family and decided to go visit them. The same day we decided that we should see them, the Relief Society President told us that we should go see the Call family because they could use a visit. So we thought we should go over that evening. We knocked on the door and Sis. Call answered and seemed a bit skeptical about why we were there. I told her I was just curious to see if we were cousins some how. She smiled and called to her husband, and said "Elder Call is here and wondering if we are cousins."

So he came to the door and invited us in, we sat down and talked for a minute. He is descended from Anson Call's son Anson Vasco Call. He is part of the Star Valley branch of the family. He asked me about my family history and I explained that I was from the Rigby branch of the family, through Anson's brother Omer. He told me that he had heard about the twin brothers Omer and Homer and that he was related to the Calls from Rigby. We got to know him a little more and he told us he hasn't been active for about 5 years. He then invited us over for dinner tonight. He stopped and said, "Wow, I just invited you guys over again. That's good, twice in one week. I haven't let missionaries in for 5 years."

He also told us that the other day he saw a couple of missionaries walking by as he was shoveling and they offered to help shovel. He said that he didn't need any help, so they kept walking. As they left he noticed that the good feeling he had as he was talking with them left also, and he almost called after them, but was too scared to.

I guess we just don't realize the impact we make on people sometimes.

I think I will write about the other neat thing that happened in a letter home.

Thanks for the email, it is good to hear what is going on at home.

Elder Call

Monday, January 17, 2011

Elder Call and his New Companion Enjoy Rigby

17 January 2011

Dear Dad,

Thank you for the email. It is really weird how some ares have so many members of the church. Even here in Idaho some stakes are really big, with lots of families and children and others have very small wards. That is good that our new stake has so many people in it.

My new companion's name is Elder Taumoepeau (Tau ([as in abOUt]-moy-pay-au), and he is straight from Tonga! He is a good guy and a good missionary. He is well prepared.

We are enjoying Rigby--it is a good little town. I like it a lot, nice and quiet. We cover four wards; 4th, 5th, 6th (YSA), and the 14th wards. Everyone in Rigby is way nice and always trying to help us in anyway possible.

Earlier this week we were tracting and met one of the Hamer girls from Freeport, Illinos. I can't remember what her first name is, but she is married now and I think she was about Rebecca's age. She said she knew her. It was way funny because she looked familiar (but we meet so many people that we see all over the place) and she said she recently moved here. I asked where she was from and she said Chicago. So I said I was from the Rockford area and we made the connection. Her married name is Curtis. It can be a really small world.

It has been really cold, snowy and wet this week. Elder Taumoepeau has had a heck of a time adjusting from the nice warm Tonga weather to Idaho snow.

Everyday this week I have been asked at least once if I am related to the Calls from Rigby, and everyone is so excited to know that I am.

I really just feel at home here in Rigby. I feel so comfortable, like it is perfectly natural for me to be walking up and down the streets.

I get along with Elder Taumoepeau really well. He is quiet and a bit shy, but funny when he opens up. He is a solid missionary. You can tell that he is out on a mission for the right reasons--to serve the Lord. He has 5 older brothers, one older sister, a younger brother and a younger sister, nine kids in all. His mom was the principal for Liahona High School and his dad was the seminary coordinator. I am glad he is my companion.

Hopefully there will be more to tell you next week.

Elder Call

Sunday, January 16, 2011

10 January 2011: Elder Call Moving to Rigby!

Note: Elder Call's paternal grandfather, Dennis Call, grew up in Rigby, Idaho.

10 January 2011

Dear Dad,


Ya, I'm getting transferred on Wednesday. How crazy is that? It was totally--I mean TOTALLY-- unexpected. I will be opening up a new area with a new missionary. I am so excited to be going to Rigby. It will be awesome. Elder Rudd has been in this area since the end of July and I was only in Alameda for 6 weeks, so we figured that we would either stay together or Elder Rudd would get transferred. Then on Saturday night we were listening to the voice mails President sends out with all of the transfer info, he said I was going to to be training in a new area. I was way shocked. But it should be good. I am excited.

It really sounds like you are getting into the swing of things in Missouri. That is pretty neat that we have these neighbors with eggs and milk. What are you planning on planting in the garden? Are you going to try to be as self-sufficient as possible? That would be good, I hear from people that food prices are going to be going way up. I am glad that Mary Ann and John are getting involved in the new schools.

I can't believe that John has to get on the bus at 6:20. That is way early.

That is weird that you guys got my flight plans this week. It would be great to see Rachel and Rebecca at the Salt Lake Airport! I think it should be fine to see them, in fact, I would love to see them.

Yesterday at church I had a funny experience. One of my first days here in Alameda we ate dinner with the Rhoades family. She was asking me if I knew a family by the name of Bradley in Aberdeen. I think it is some relative of hers. I said I didn't, but she was convinced that they were my cousins. She said we looked and acted like I was part of their family, same mannerisms. Then yesterday at church Sister Rhoades came up to me and said, "They are your cousins!" I didn't know what she was talking about, she reminded me and told me that she asked them and they said that their grandma was a "Call" go figure.

By the way, does Bishop Webb want me to speak in the Beloit Ward? And if he does when am I speaking?

We met a cool guy this week. He wants to be baptized on the 12th of February. He is a golden investigator. But I think I will write home about him.

Good luck with work this week, I hope that you can find some good clients.

Elder Call

3 January 2011: Time Flies By!

3 January 2011

Dear Dad,

I cannot believe that it is 2011! That is so weird to say. I don't think I ever imagined it would ever be 2011. Time really does fly by.

Ya, we had a good New Year's Eve. We are supposed to be locked up in a church building as a zone from 6-9 PM, then head straight home. So we all got together at one of the ISU (Idaho State University) Stake Centers and played mostly soccer and basketball. Holidays are never very much different for missionaries.

I didn't even think about John being able to go to Stake Youth Activities. That is strange to think he is old enough for that now. That is kind of funny that he didn't want to go. But I don't blame him, going to his first dance and being a place where he doesn't know anyone. That would be really tough. I am glad that they had a good time.

It does sound like a busy week. I really hope that you can continue to find work. It has got to be really stressful for you right now. About BYU, I think it would be wise to work at home for a while and then head out to school later in the year. If I get home at the end of February then that will give me 5-6 months before the Fall Semester starts to earn some money to pay for school. The trick will be finding a job quick. And if I find a very well paying job then I could head out in the summer again, but I will probably wait until the fall. I don't want to start school up again and starting out in debt, that would not be good. Thank you for doing that.

That would be cool if you were able to fix up a barn to make it livable. Every time you talk about the house I get more and more excited to see it in person.

This week was kind of slow for us on the one hand, but on the other it flew by again. Elder Rudd and I got some pretty nasty colds at the beginning of the week, so that slowed things down a bit. I went through a full box of tissue and half a role of toilet paper in 24 hours. My nose hurt! But we are back up to speed and feeling a ton better.

We had some really good testimony meetings yesterday. Sometimes they are just a dud. But yesterday was mostly good. We also saw a missionary that served here in one of our wards yesterday. His name is Elder Colbert (Coe-bear). We had to rush to a meeting with our stake president, so it was real brief. But he is getting married and moving into our stake. So that is pretty cool. We call it the Idaho Trap. So many missionaries end up back in Idaho after their missions for one thing or another (usually school at BYU-I or ISU) and then meet a girl from Idaho that will not move so they just settle down in the Upper Snake River Valley. It is funny.

Thanks for your email. I continue to pray for you and the family.

Elder Call

26 December 2010: It's a Small World

Note: Our family was again blessed to be able to speak with Elder Call on Christmas Day. Here are pictures of Elder Call's Mom and his Dad talking with him. Photos taken by Elder Call's younger brother, John.


26 December 2010

Dear Dad,

It was great talking with all of you on Saturday! It is always good to hear your voices.

Thank you so much for the picture. It looks great! Mary Ann and John have both grown, especially John. HOLY COW! He has gotten quite a bit taller and bigger, I almost didn't recognize him. It is great to have a picture of the whole family.

I do miss all of you, it will be good to be home. It will be sad though to leave the mission and not be able to do this again. We are emailing at Brother Morrow's house again, because the family history center is closed. They have a man here doing some work for them. I taught him way back in the Poky West Stake in the Spring of 09. I don't think he ever got baptized. He wanted to while we were there, he came to church and everything just never quite prepared himself. He is a really nice, humble man. It can be a really small world sometimes.

That is cool that the stake presidency member's son is in Boise. Elder Rudd's yo
unger brother just got called to that mission. He will enter the MTC on February 16 2011. Elder Rudd goes home at the beginning of April. So President Colton said he will see if he can work something out where they can see each other. That would be pretty neat for both of them.

So it sounds like you are still traveling frequently. I don't know how you do it, I don't think I would like that at all.

Oh, I do have one question. I have been wondering about my enrollment at BYU. I still want to go there, I just am kind of worried because I have been gone since the Summer 2008 semester. Do you think that they still consider me a student, or will I have to reapply? I hope that all works out there.

Sorry this is kind of short, not much has happened the past couple of days.


Elder Call

19 December 2010: Reflections and Expressions of Gratitude

19 December 2010

Dear Dad,

I think it is an absolutely gorgeous home! I loved the pictures that you were able to take and send to me. When I see the home it seems to be exactly what you and Mom have wanted for years. It fits you all perfectly. I am actually kind of jealous that I don't get to be there while you unpack and get settled in, it sounds like so much fun. I love the home and can't wait to see it in person.

I was impressed with how grown up Mary Ann looks now! Boy, she has changed. I can't begin to imagine how much John has grown up too. He is taller than Mary Ann?! Mary Ann was always really tall. It will be funny to see you all again. I was thinking of John yesterday on his birthday and how good of a kid he is. I am proud to say that he is my brother.

Just whenever you have the new Bishop's and Stake President's information go ahead and send it. It is no rush.

That makes me really happy to know that your ward has welcomed you right in. I have served in nearly 40 wards on the mission and some are very kind and welcoming and others are cold. I think those wards that come off as "cold" mostly just don't act for themselves and go and do. Most people are very wiling to welcome and to serve, they just need to be told to do something. I am excited to meet the people in the new ward. Isn't the church a wonderful thing? Having people at every corner, willing to help at a moment's notice is such an amazing thing.

When you guys told me that were wanting to move to Missouri it hit me to the core with peace. I felt right about it and never had a doubt or a worry. On the other hand, when you told me that you wanted to move to Texas, that was pretty hard for me to grasp (just ask Elder Walker). I look back on it now and it makes me laugh. I read the email and pushed myself back! Then I just got up and walked back and forth in the Family History Center in St. Anthony for 40-50 minutes before I could sit down and reply! Isn't it funny how things happen. Maybe the Lord had that happen so I would be more at peace with moving to Missouri.

Don't worry about not being able to send a Christmas package. I understand that times are tough right now and that you can't afford it. I know that the greatest gift that can be given is the gift of love. And I have felt that love for 21 years. That should be an adequate gift. Besides that the Lord has already blessed us with so much! Knowing that you have a home to be in right now is more than plenty. You can read Anson Call's journal about being in Adam-ondi-Ahman (I believe) and sleeping in the snow with his son's fingers being frost-bitten. How grateful I am that you are living in a warm home, and I have one also.

I have been blessed with so much lately. This morning Elder Rudd and I helped move a couple of nice couches that a family was going to take to the dump. But we asked if we could use them, and they said sure. So we have new couches in our place. Then a couple of weeks ago a kind brother in one of our wards gave me a new, very nice, winter coat. That has been a great blessing. Many people have asked us to make sure we had a place to go on Christmas. The Morrows have invited us over for breakfast and to make phone calls, and then they want us to come back later for dinner. Another family, the Morrises (a young couple), would like us to come over for a little bit also. She says she has stockings for us. So in short I don't need anything, the Lord has already given me more than I could ever ask for.

We have had a pretty good week here in Pocatello. It is such a wonderful place to be right now. Down to earth, good, loving people, everywhere you go. The Lord knew that I needed to come to Pocatello, how thankful I am for that.

Well, I will pray that you will be able to get that client. If it is something that we need the Lord will provide for his children (D&C 50:40-46). I hope that things continue to go well and you can get settled in. All of you need to know that I love you.

Merry Christmas,

Elder Call

12 December 2010: Short Update

12December 2010

Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for the picture! Those were great, it is nice to know where I will be going home to. It is a beautiful home. I like it a lot. It looks totally like something you would love. I still can't even imagine 25 acres of land. That is crazy. It seems to be on a beautiful spot of ground. It will be so much fun to go home to a new place. I hope you guys can get all settled in soon and that everything will work out.

There are several elders in our mission all from the Kansas City area. Elder Bryant (goes home a transfer after me) is from Lee's Summit, Elder Slocum (he went home a few months ago) is from Olathe, Kansas, and Elder Burris (goes home with me) is from our stake, but I can't remember what city.

Speaking of that could you either send me our new bishop's name and address and same with the stake president. You could either call the mission office or email it to me. I think the mission office phone number is 208-237-8992.

Not much has happened this week out here either. There have been a few ward Christmas parties and people always give us food, actually insist that we take it. So we will be living off of pancakes, eggs, and hash browns this week. It is really good, people here in Idaho are so nice.

Speaking of Christmas I think I will be calling home some time between 9:30 and 10:00 Christmas morning. That is Idaho time. I am looking forward to it. It will be really good to talk to all of you again. I know I say this all the time, but it is absolutely crazy how fast time flies by. It was seven months ago last time I called home.

Thanks again for the email and pictures and I will look forward to seeing more pictures.

Elder Call

5 December 2010: We Share News about our New House in Missouri

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Dear Elder Call:

I just had to write to give you the great news! The original house we wanted to buy in Missouri is now ours! It's just amazing how this happened. As you know, the offer we had originally extended wasn't quite right, and so we started to pursue other homes. Then, on Tuesday night of this week, the seller of this home (it's near Richmond, so I'll just call it the Richmond home) called me and said he wanted to open discussions again if we are still looking for a home. On Wednesday I called him and told him what we would could do as far as a down payment, monthly payments, etc.--and believe me: we were asking for a lot. He told me to put it all in an email and send it to his real estate agent, which I did late Wednesday. Then today, Thursday, I received an email from the real estate agent saying that they agree to the terms we offered! I couldn't believe it! I think it must have been your prayers, and Mom's prayers, and the faith of Mary Ann. I have to admit that my faith has been waning a bit lately.

Anyway, this is the home on 25 acres. It's 95 years old, being built in 1915. It has beautiful woodwork and the rooms on the main floor are pretty big, but the bedrooms upstairs are small. And it has only one bathroom. But it does have a basement that is suitable for storing things, which most older homes in this part of Missouri don't have. It has at least three ponds (it may have a fourth one on the extra acres we are buying) and some forest and some pasture. We are so excited!!! We move on Friday, December 10. Until we get you the address, feel free to send your letters to our address here in Roscoe and the Post Office will forward them. By the way, we need your new address for a birthday/Christmas present we are sending you. Please provide it ASAP. Thank you once again for your prayers and faith in our search for a home in Missouri. We have been greatly blessed!

I'm attaching some pictures of the house.


5 December 2010

Dear Dad,

That is absolutely a miracle about the house!!

I am so happy for you guys. I bet that was a really nerve-racking few months. I am so glad that you guys are able to move this week. I have to admit, that is kind of weird that you will be moving this Friday and that you are probably packing right now. I bet you are all so excited to finally get to move.

That is pretty cool that it has 25 acres of land, three ponds, forest, etc. I can't wait to see it. Do you have pictures?

I am serving here with Elder Rudd and Elder Goncalves. It is a ton of fun and we all know each other pretty well. Elder Goncalves and I were both in the IF West Zone until we got transferred here on Wednesday. Elder Rudd was serving in Ashton while I was in St. Anthony and Elder Goncalves was in Jackson (we were all in the Rexburg Zone). I have been on exchanges with Elder Rudd. Elder Goncalves goes home on the 15th of this month so he won't be here for very long. Usually when you get with a new companion for the first few days it is kind of awkward, trying to get to know each other and finding out what your companion is like. But it hasn't been that way at all, we are having a great time.

Elder Goncalves will be home for just a few weeks and then come back to Rexburg in January for school. It is way funny, because so many elders do that. Often times they all end up being roommates together.

We cover the Alameda 1st, 2nd, and 3rd wards in the Pocatello Alameda Stake. It is a really small area about four or five blocks wide and no more than 15 blocks long (that might be a stretch) so it is a walking area. We went to all three wards yesterday and they have pretty small sacrament meetings. I really like it here. There are four investigators with baptism dates right now. They all want to be baptized, but it seems like they have a few things holding them up before they can get baptized. I am excited to be here, and it is crazy how fast time flies by.

I was wondering the other day what phone number I can call home with on Christmas Day? Hopefully by next week I should know about what time I will be calling at. Could you let me know what times would be good for you guys.

Other than that I don't think a whole lot has happened this week.

Congratulations on getting the home!


Elder Call

5 December 2010

Dear Dad,

So I wrote most everything in the other email, but I have a few more questions.
I sent home last Tuesday a box of letters, planners, etc. of stuff that I wanted to keep, but didn't have room to pack. Did you get that?

That would make a really sad Sunday yesterday, but it is good to know that our family will be missed. You have helped so many people there in the Beloit Ward. I will miss it dearly. For sure I will come back and at least speak, if that is alright with Bishop Webb.

I understand about the birthday/Christmas presents, I don't expect a whole lot. And if you can't really afford anything don't worry about it. Just having a home in Missouri is the best Christmas present I could get.

Good luck on the move and I hope you can all get down there safe and get settled into the new ward and everything.


Elder Call

Editor's Apology


Due to our family's recent move to Richmond, Missouri, my time and energy have been on other tasks, and I regret I haven't kept up with Elder Call's blog. I'm now updating it so you can read all about what has been going on during December 2010 and into January 2011.