Monday, February 21, 2011

A Lot of Goings-On as Elder Call begins Final Week

21 February 2011

Dear Dad,

Thank you so much for the past couple of emails that you have sent. It is really good to hear from you. Sorry this email is coming kind of late in the day. It is President's Day so all the libraries are closed and we had a weird schedule this morning.

Grandma and Grandpa Brown came up to Rigby for lunch today! It was so good to see both of them. I wasn't sure if they were going to make it up--I kind of figured that since Salt Lake was closer I would just see them there. I didn't realize that they have been experiencing those kind of health issues. Sister Christiansen called me this morning and told me that they were going to come up for lunch today. They made it just fine, a little longer drive than I think they expected (I don't think they knew I got transferred up to Rigby a few weeks ago). They are such good people. We had a really good visit. They were surprised that they were able to find our house, it sounds like Sister Christiansen talked them all the way here. Bless her heart. Those office couples are really something special, and I don't think they know it.

I hope the Spring has come. The last couple of days were windy and snowy again.

It sounds like you guys have some big plans for the house, that would be really good to have fruit trees and a garden. It would be fun too.

We had the Departing Missionaries Temple Trip on Thursday. The Temple in Idaho Falls is an exceptional place to visit and ponder. Being there with missionaries that I have learned to love and President & Sister Colton, what a neat experience. Brother Mengel gave us a ride down to and back from the temple. He and his wife gave us our first meal here in Rigby. They are good people.

I also was able to get together with Grandpa Call's cousins again for lunch this week. I love those people also, they absolutely insisted on getting together. Sister Barbara Call Brown copied a bunch of pictures for me again. She is a funny 80-year-old woman, very spry for her age.

That Valentine's card wasn't only my idea. Last Monday while we were in Walmart an older couple stopped and said hello to us (as many do), but she then said, "Let me see, it is Valentine's day and you would love to send a card to your mothers, telling them how much you love them, but you just don't have the money. Let me give you each a card to mail to them." She handed us the cards and they went on their way. She was right.

It has been a good week. We found four new investigators--that was a miracle. I hope that this area can start to blossom some more (not a whole lot was going on here when we got to Rigby). I really love Rigby it is a wonderful place with some amazing people. I wish I could be here forever. One of our new investigators in particular seems really promising. His wife is a less-active member and he said he is easing into the church. He told us that he will be baptized, just didn't set a date. We will teach him again tomorrow and hopefully set a date with him.

As cold and as hard as it is sometimes to go out and work and keep trying, I don't want to leave. I don't want this to end. The mission is too good to me. Being here and watching as the Lord's work and purposes unfold is a miraculous event--beautiful and awe-inspiring. I love the Lord.

Thank you for everything that you have sacrificed for me for the past two years. I can't thank you enough.

I love you,

Elder Call

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dad's Final Post (At least at this point. . .)

On Anticipating My Son's Return

I wonder. . .

I wonder if all the longing I feel

             to embrace. . .

                  to hold. . .

                    to see. . .

I wonder if the hunger of my heart

              to welcome. . .

                  to listen to. . .

                    to simply be. . .

I wonder. . .

I wonder if these longings, these yearnings, these wishes of my soul. . .

              could they be. . .

                      could it be. . .

                                      they are but a foreshadowing. . .

                                            they are simply a type and a shadow. . .

                              they are but a drop in an ocean of longings yet to come. . .

I wonder. . .

            I wonder. . .

I wonder if, when I am on the other side. . .

              awaiting my loved ones to return. . .

              Will I feel as I do now?

              Will my heart hunger as it does now?

I wonder. . .

          Are today's longings

                  simply another lesson

                          from my mortal journey. . .

          to prepare me for my eternal experience?

I wonder. . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

Finding Investigators, Meeting Relatives

14 February 2011

Dear Dad,

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you for the emails this week. It has warmed up a little bit here also these last few days. It has been kind of nice. I don't know if it will stay this way or not.

We went on exchanges this week, Thursday night through Friday night. I went with Elder White in the Rigby East Stake. I think it was a really good exchange. It was cool because Elder White wanted me to meet Bishop Wayne Call in one of their wards--Grandpa Call's friend and cousin. We went over there Friday morning and they were excited to meet me, and it was lots of fun to be able to talk with them. They had lots of good stories and even pulled out an old picture that had Grandpa Call's grandpa and Wayne Call's grandpa in it (they were brothers). Bishop and Sister Call's sons lived in the Taylor Mountain Stake and I knew them both, they are a really good family. They insisted on feeding us also, so Sister Call made some fried halibut and shrimp for lunch--it was delicious. They are extremely friendly people with a lot of faith and trust in the Lord.

I don't know if I will be able to get a hold of the Olavesons, I will see what happens. But it is going to be a pretty busy week coming up.

It has been a good week here, still just trying to find more people to teach. A few weeks ago we tracted into a couple of teenage girls who said they weren't members, but had been to church before and liked it. So last Monday night we finally met one of the parents, the father. He told us that he isn't active in the church or anything, actually that he hasn't been baptized. He told us to come over though and to teach him and his family. We set up an appointment, and he called and had to reschedule for tomorrow night, I hope that we will be able to teach him and his family.

That is kind of funny about the Primary kids not going to the right classes, but everything always works out better when done how the Lord wants it done. Kind of a similar thing that I have learned on my mission is people don't go to the wards they belong too! It can get rather frustrating, because we want the investigators to go where they can receive guidance from their inspired priesthood leaders. President Colton told me once that it is a big problem in the church and the way we are going to fix it is one person at a time, starting with our own investigators (or the people we have stewardship for).

I had forgotten that you were going to school also, that is a big thing to try to do that and work and family and church callings all at the same time. I hope that things will be done when they need to be done.

It makes me happy to hear that Mary Ann and John are doing good in school, I can't believe that they get up at 5:30 every morning. I don't think I could ever do that again for an extended period of time.

Thanks for letting me know about Rachel and Rebecca and meeting them at the baggage claim, I actually didn't even think of that! I don't like airports, they can be so confusing.

I got Mom's letter about how Grandpa and Grandma Brown wanted to see me before I leave, I called the mission office and Sister Christiansen said she would talk to you about the whole deal. Did she get a hold of you? I don't know if they realize that I got shipped back up to Rigby, which is a lot farther away from Logan than Pocatello is. I suggested that if they really wanted to come up and see me the best day would be on Monday the 21st, or they could meet me at the airport also. If you haven't had any contact with the mission office about it yet, could you please give them a call? Thank you.


Elder Call

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Inspiring Zone Conference; Thoughts on Searching for Ancestral Land

7 February 2011

Dear Dad,

It sounds pretty crazy with what is going on with the weather. I bet Mary Ann and John loved having a week off of school! I don't think I ever had anything like that. I hope it is nicer weather when I get home. I think we have only had one day where it was blizzard conditions and that was just a few days before Thanksgiving. It was really cold here the first few days at the beginning of the week, but it has warmed up a bit these last few days.

The $100 visa card should be more than enough to cover for things that I need. Thank you so much for sending it.

I am excited for Uncle Darryn. I am sure that he will do a great job as stake president. He has always been so nice and such a good guy. I am excited for him.

I am really excited to look around and see all of the different sites in Missouri. That will be a lot of fun. I love church history. I have thought about trying to find some of our ancestors' land in the area. That would be really cool. If you do start looking around, it would be good to look in Anson's journal for clues about where to look--also in Samantha Call Willey's life sketch. If I recall correctly Cyril Call and his sons (Harvey, Anson and possibly Josiah) went to Missouri in the summer of 1838 and bought land at a place called Three Forks of the Grand River. It was a little community with a few families.

We had zone conference this week on Friday. It was probably one of the best zone conferences I have been to. It was held in Ammon at the Ammon North Stake Center. The topics were pretty much The Book of Mormon and Repentance. It went on to 5:15, and was supposed to end at 4:00. Long, but good.

Thank you for all of the things that you do for me.

Elder Call