Monday, September 18, 2017

Simple But Profound

Dear Family & Friends:

9/11 Monday
Tonight we had a meeting with President and a recently returned missionary that is from the same town President is from. President asked him to come down for a few days because he served in an online proselyting mission. We discussed Zone Conference and hopefully it will go well! Elder Jensen and I are a little stressed out, because we know it is going to be a little crazy haha

9/12 Tuesday
The first day of Zone Conference! Wow it was crazy, it didn't go as well as we were hoping but tonight we went over to President Walker’s for dinner and talked about things we wanted to do different over the next two days to help the missionaries get a good start to online proselyting.
Elder Jensen and Elder Call

9/13 Wednesday
Today went pretty smooth, which was a relief, because it was the biggest group of missionaries we would be training (54). Tonight we met a girl that is a good friend of a priest in the ward. She loves the gospel of Jesus Christ and is very interested. She comes from a very rough family background and so being able to have a strong Mormon family as an example has helped her a lot. We were able to testify of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and will be able to visit her again next week.

September 14 Thursday
The third and final day of Zone Conference went well. Elder Jensen and I have given the same training 12 times. In the morning session of Zone Conference, we have a breakout session for two hours, rotating every 30 minutes and train the missionaries on the safeguards for using technology. One of the trainings Elder Jensen and I did was on part of the safeguards for technology booklet. It was specifically on the "What should I do if I am feeling vulnerable or susceptible?"

The three steps are:
Be aware and acknowledge
Choose to act
Learn and improve

As we trained, over and over again, I kept thinking this process is like our journey and purpose of existence. God has placed us here with the light of Christ and we know right from wrong. We need to be aware and acknowledge the good from the bad and we then need to use our agency and act upon the good. And no matter whether we choose good or bad, we need to learn and improve from our choices. When we do that, we will be blessed and reach more of our potential as children of God. Simple but profound.

9/15 Friday
I was glad to be able to get out and work once again! We heard today that Joseph and Janice would be speaking in church on Sunday about the Atonement and so tonight we went over and had them think of friends they could invite to their talks, as a missionary tool. I am super excited for them. Tonight when we got back to the apartment, we talked to the homeless man that sleeps near our apartment. He was like, "Hey, you don't need to yell at me." Haha, I told him that I wasn't yelling, I was just talking.  He then told me that I had a lot of bass in my voice.  I chuckled and explained we have to have deep voices when you are from Wyoming. What can I say?
Home, Sweet Home!

9/17 Sunday
Joseph and Janice's talks were great. It was super awesome to see people I have seen go from inactive to talking from the pulpit!

Love you all,
Elder Call

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Huge Miracle

Dear Family & Friends:

9/5 Tuesday
Today we Skyped into some out of valley district meetings. They were great! We talked about several things, one being what makes a successful missionary? It was really good!

9/6 Wednesday
MLC today.... Facebook launch to the first group of missionaries (Zone Leader's and Sister Training Leader's) it went pretty well. A lot of them are quite apprehensive about it but we got them more excited as the day went on! Tonight was super awesome and we saw a huge miracle! The other day we knocked on a door looking for a less active girl (21yrs) in the ward, who is the only member in her immediate family. When we knocked on the door the mom answered and was slightly standoffish but politely told us Amanda wasn't home and we weren't able to engage in much conversation because the dogs were barking and it was 8:30 at night haha. As we walked away from the door the garage opened and Amanda's dad was in the garage so we started talking to him. He said his brother was a Mormon and has been trying for years to get him to go to church. He then shared very amazing experiences he has had with God which brought the Spirit in very strong. Elder Jensen was prompted to ask him if he wanted another copy of the Book of Mormon, even though he said he had been given many! He accepted and we set up to come back by today. So, today, when we knocked, the mother answered again and informed us Bob was sick and wasn't going to be able to meet... bummer! But wait, haha so as we walk down the street, we contacted a guy that was working on his car. After talking for a few minutes a car stops in the middle of the road and a girl says, "Hey, I heard you were looking for me the other day.” Elder Jensen continues to teach the man on the street and I go to the stopped car. It was Amanda! She asked, "What did you guys say to my dad?" She then told me that her uncle has been trying for years to get her dad to read the Book of Mormon and now within a couple days he was halfway through Nephi! It was soooo cool. Amanda wants us to come next week! Oh yeah I almost forgot, as we were talking, I recalled actually meeting Amanda probably 8 months ago in a store haha crazy!

9/7 Thursday
Our meeting with AG was canceled, unfortunately, but he is doing good! We have been able to keep in contact with him thanks to messenger.

9/8 Friday
Tonight I went on a 3-hour exchange with a set of zone leaders! It was a good time.  It poured rain for the entire three hours. It made me glad I wasn't a missionary where it rains a lot, because, it is fun for like an hour and then being wet gets old haha. We taught a couple super awesome people.

9/9 Saturday
Today we met a man named Kevin. He is super awesome he started talking to us and he was super nice and wanted us to come back! He has beat cancer twice and is just a super awesome guy.  We will be seeing him next week.

- Elder Call NLVWM
Getting rid of the garbage!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Facebook Post

Hello Everyone!!
As you may have noticed the Nevada Las Vegas West mission has been approved for online proselyting to help hasten in the Lords work of salvation! I will be able to use Online Proselyting to communicate and keep in contact with people I am working with here in Las Vegas as well as post uplifting messages on my Social Media page. It’s such a blessing to be a missionary in these times and to have so many tools available to advance the work of the Lord! We are also authorized to use Facebook Messenger and Facebook to help us in fulfilling our missionary purpose by communicating with those we are working with. My purpose as a missionary has not changed, it is still to invite other to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. But I can now reach a lot more people. If anybody would like to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, send me a message!
Even though there is the ability to communicate to all of my friends and family, please help me in my efforts to stay focused on my missionary purpose. Monday is still the only time I can talk with you and share my spiritual experiences with you. So if you send me a message on Facebook and just want to talk for fun, I won’t respond to your message but if you are interested in learning more feel free to message me. Send me an email if you want to talk for fun!
benjamin.call@myldsmail.net


Monday, September 4, 2017

Changes

Dear Family & Friends:

8/28 Tuesday
The office staff
Today was well spent with the departing missionaries. We picked up Elder Jensen and he is now my official companion. He started his mission in one of the wards we currently serve and so tonight when we went to the ward activity they were super excited to see him! I am way excited because he already has a ton of member trust. We got to go to the temple today and while there, I got to see a bunch of members from previous areas!

8/30 Wednesday
Today was a great day. We were able to see Isis, who is a part member family that we have been working with for a while. They are a great family; they just are hard to get in touch with. Isis said she really would like to be baptized but she wants to figure out her medical situation first. We also were able to see Ken tonight; he is doing well. We asked him when he would like to be baptized and he said as soon as possible and so we set him for September 20th. The new missionaries arrived into the mission there were 17 of them.  They are great, great missionaries.  We are excited for them. We also had a new leadership training this morning that went pretty good. Elder Jensen and I got to train the new zone leaders.

8/31 Thursday
Today was spent by training the trainers and with new missionary orientation. We also got lots of weekly planning done and had Ward Coordination Meeting with the Town Center Ward. We got to see the Lane family tonight.  They are doing well.  We are really trying to help Emily overcome her fear of water so that she can get baptized but it is very difficult to work over that fear.

9/1 Friday
I cannot believe that is already September!  Time is flying here in the mission field. We had a lesson with Ken Yates tonight, about praying and the importance of building our testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It went well, we really struggle helping Ken progress and move forward in the gospel. He also informed us he may be moving because his golf course is closing, which is unfortunate.

9/3 Sunday
Ken came to church today, which was good, he should be all set for the 20th!

- Elder Call NLVWM

A Note from President Walker:

Dear Parents,

We are blessed to serve with your missionary here in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission. The missionaries here are dedicated and seek to do the Lord’s work, because they recognize the blessings that come from strict obedience. We have been trusted to now implement online proselyting to accomplish the hastening of the Lord’s work. Below is a letter that we shared with the missionaries. Please help your missionary in staying focused as they use media and technology to hasten the Lord’s work. Your encouragement and support will not only bless your missionary here but it will be a blessing to these missionaries after their missions to understand that safeguards will need to be practiced here, so that post mission, these same principles apply. Thank you for your attention to this additional effort in accomplishing the Lord’s purpose.

Warm Regards,

President Walker

Nevada Las Vegas West Mission


 Dear Elders and Sisters,

Under the direction of the First Presidency, we have been instructed to hasten the Lord’s work through online proselyting. We will now begin the training of the missionaries of the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission on the use of Facebook, and other social media tools, to share the gospel and bring others to Christ.

You will notice a new notification on your missionary portal. Missionaries are NOT authorized to down load any social media apps, including the Facebook app, Messenger app or use Facebook until instructed to do so. You will be trained at Zone Conference on the use of these new online proselyting tools. Again, you are not authorized to download or begin using these tools until you receive training from your mission president at zone conference. Members of the MLC will begin their training on this material this Wednesday.

Every missionary will need to complete the new safe guards course prior to zone conference. You are also to memorize, apply, and live the 4 safeguards. As you review safeguards please think upon the principle taught during the last round of interviews “Father in Heaven, I have nothing to hide.”

In Preach my Gospel page 4 it states, “When you were set apart by priesthood authority, you received the right and privilege to represent the Lord. You received a ministerial certificate that verifies that authority to the world. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity. The blessing is conditional upon faithful performance” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 478).  You as a set apart servant of the Lord may be very excited at the news of using online proselyting but we need to remember “Use technology only in ways that will help you accomplish your purpose and reflect the sacred nature of your calling.” As your mission president, I promise as you practice and live the safeguards and remain set apart from the world I know the Lord will bless you not only here in the mission field but your children’s, children. 

“I would rather get a Book of Mormon into someone’s hands then get them to friend me on Facebook”

- Elder P. Jensen

“The Safeguards are in place because we have a loving Heavenly Father that is watching out for us. Let us use and apply his loving protection”

-Elder Call

May we never have anything to hide,

Love President Walker

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A New Companion

Dear Family & Friends:

8/20 Monday
It was a great p-day today. We got to do some shopping, as well as, play some basketball! Tonight, we were supposed to meet with a referral we received yesterday but it was a no show but that is alright because God needed us elsewhere! We were able to go see the Myers, as well as see Brenda and Tracy because they were struggling a little bit.

8/21 Tuesday 8/22 Wednesday
We met with President the past two days for transfer planning. It has gone pretty well, but it has been kind of tough. Something that is super cool that is happening is we are having some of our Zone Leaders as trainers as well, just to give the new missionaries a great start with a great trainer! I am excited about that!

8/23 Thursday 8/24 Friday
Well, I have spent the last two days with my new companion meeting with President for some BIG changes coming to the mission that are TBA haha! Elder Renel has gone out and served with other missionaries during that time and then we get back together and proselyte the rest of the day from 6-9. It has been good but there is quite a bit of prep for it because President wants us to be very heavily involved in the changes! We have had a couple great lessons the last couple of days. We had dinner with the Bos Family and the entire time we kept just getting the promptings to ask the youngest son (18) to take the discussions. When we asked him he accepted! We are excited about that!

8/25 Saturday
Finally, a full day of working!! There is nothing better than just being able to work all day long and enjoy the sun! I am starting to really like the heat! This morning we shot a text to Ken to see how he was doing and if we could stop by today. We have been super worried about Ken because he has been struggling and kind of avoiding us to be honest haha. We received a text from him today that said, "Brothers just listen I been. On that." We were quite confused with what he was trying to say and so we texted back that we were a little confused haha. He replied with an apology as well as "it's time to put all my faith in Christ, whatever it takes change is coming see you Sunday." We almost died haha. We have prayed for Ken time and time again and it has been rough and we knew we needed a miracle with him and the Lord blessed us! It was cool!

8/26 Sunday
Both Ken’s that we have been teaching came to church today, so that was a blessing! I talked to Joseph's mom today (Janice's mother in law) and it was pretty funny because she was thanking us for all we had done for her son and we started talking about when Joseph and Janice broke the news to his family. Sister Gonzales was like "yeah I tried to play it cool but inside was like IT IS ABOUT TIME I HAVE ONLY BEEN PRAYING NIGHT AND DAY FOR SEVEN YEARS." haha They are a great family and I have been blessed to be able to meet all of them!

8/27 Monday
Elder Renel's last day of proselyting! Today was super great we did some teaching, some tracting and some regular ol' finding! We met several really solid and nice people so we just have to make something out of it! Well you all may be wondering... my new companion will be Elder Jensen. There are two Elder Jensen's in the mission and the one you received a picture of last week is not the one. The Elder Jensen I will be companions with is from New York and came out the same time as me!! Finally, a companion that doesn't just have one transfer left! He is a great missionary and I am excited to work with him. Tomorrow we will be together for good.

Love,
- Elder Call NLVWM

Subject:  Careful about the Bird Flu

Message body
I sent the following to Hannah and I am so proud of my subject creativity I had to share! 

Haha did you like the subject? There is a story behind it. When I had to go to the doctors office a while back the doctor wanted me to go have my blood drawn. So Elder Bird and I go over to the blood drawing place and we were sitting in the waiting area and people are packed in there just like sardines and we get a call from President. Elder Bird answers and President asked what the doctor thought it was... one thing about Elder Bird is that he cannot talk quietly on the phone, it is impossible for him, but anyway in his loud voice goes, "Yeah they think he will be alright, he just has the Bird Flu." President died laughing hahaha and people gave us some terrible looks and people were avoiding the Mormons a little more than they usually do... which is saying a lot haha!  Watch out, Hannah... 

Well, I would like all of you to know Elder Bird was probably the best missionary in this mission. He never broke rules, baptized a slu of people and worked his butt off! He is a great guy. 

- Elder Call NLVWM 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Testimony of Book of Mormon

Dear Family & Friends:

8/14 Monday
Today was great! We had half of a p-day and then had a great day of finding and teaching. Today we talked with a couple of kids that are unbaptized and set up a time to go see them later in the week. After that, a guy stopped us and started to question us on a bunch of things and we backed him right into a corner at one point haha. He was talking about the Book of Mormon and said, "I want proof, I want the facts that it is true. No matter where I go and what country I am in 2+2 equals four. No, that is a fact"
I began, "Sir, do you believe God is an all knowing being?"
"Yes" he replied
"Ok, do you believe that this all knowing God loves each one of us"
"Of course"
"Alright," I continued "do you believe this all knowing and loving God answers your prayers"
Once again he agreed and said, "absolutely"
"So if this all knowing God that loves you answered many of your prayers about a certain thing would you take it as 100 percent truth with no doubts?"
"Yeah, If God told me in my heart I would."
"Bingo, God has told me in my heart time and time again and I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know He can do it for you."

The spirit was strong, but like any time you have this type of conversation with someone it doesn't do much for either side haha! We met just the nicest guy tonight. His name is Ben.... must be in the name... but we met him in his garage and started to get to know him a little bit. He lived in Utah for a while and he knows a lot of Mormons and loves them. He said if there is one religion he would convert to from his Catholicism it would be Mormon! He is super curious about the church so we were able to teach the restoration and it went well!

8/15 Tuesday
Not too much happened today!

8/16 Wednesday
I was on exchanges today with Elder Jensen from New York. He is a great missionary and taught me a lot. They serve over two wards one of them being Charleston!! My ol' stomping grounds! We had a day full of teaching and appointments. We taught a recent convert that grew up Muslim on one side of the family and Christian on the other. She is around 18 maybe 19 but is headed to BYU and to work at the MTC. It was a cool lesson because we talked about the impact her decision has made and is going to make.  We had a great day and we saw several miracles. To end the night, I got to go visit Kitos and his family! It was fun to see them. It has been awhile since I had seen their family!

8/17 Thursday
Today was a spiritually uplifting day. We started it by going to the temple for our quarterly trip! It was great we rode there with the Smiths. Brother Smith has been a mission president twice and now serves as a sealer at the temple! We asked him all sorts of questions and got a lot of great insights from him. They also have probably the nicest car I have ever ridden in haha. After the temple we did some weekly planning and had interviews with President Walker. Tonight we met with Dan and he actually let us in this time and we were able to go over the introduction to the Book of Mormon he is a lot more open to it then he used to be. He lived by the scripture in Revelations until we were able to resolve that concern! After Dan we went and saw a lady named Pat. We were able to teach her the Plan of salvation and she loved it but to be honest she loves every religion and every belief, so that is going to take some work helping her feel the spirit and truth in what we have to say.

8/19 Saturday
I went on exchanges with Elder Jensen today and was on bike haha good stuff! It was good to get a nice workout again! We had a great night and contacted a ton of people! It was a lot of fun!

- Elder Call NLVWM

Editors Note:
On Saturday, Aunt Maria received a pic and a text from a friend in her and Daryll's old ward, this is what it said:

"Invited the missionaries over for peach cobbler and guess who came over?  Elder Call was on exchanges with Elder Jensen!! I mentioned to him that you were out of town at a wedding and he said it was his brother's wedding!  That's too cool."
Elder Call and Elder Jensen


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Atonement is Real

Dear Family & Friends:

8/7 Monday
Tonight we had a Family Home Evening with Jared and Lori and it went pretty well! Their kids are something else and so it is hard to be able to hear and teach effectively in the home. The member we brought was super perfect for the family. He was baptized a year or two ago and grew up Jewish and is just completely covered in tattoos which I think is awesome to see that the Atonement is real!

8/8 Tuesday
Today we had a lesson with a lady named Jenny. It is interesting to teach Jenny and sad at the same time. For the longest time she complained about how she couldn't find a job and now that she has found one, she complains about it. It kills me to see how negative she is and we just want to somehow help her see that happiness doesn't come from the outside in, it is from the inside out.

8/9 Wednesday
Today we were on exchanges and there isn't much to report.

8/10 Thursday
Today we found out one of our recent converts had slipped back into some old habits and made some mistakes and so we went and saw her and made a plan to help with that. She is doing well though and we aren't too worried about her. It is amazing to know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for everything and everyone! We meet a guy today as we were checking in at a guarded gate that was from India and he asked for a card and said that he wanted to go to a service!

8/11 Friday
Well, we had a lesson with Ken today and that went well...... not! He started like challenging us on every point we taught and just wasn't having the apostasy. So that was a little iffy. We got a call today from the man we had met the day before from India. His name is Albert. During the phone call I asked him if he wanted to tour our chapel. And so right then we gave him a chapel tour. It was super awesome. We had a couple other lessons tonight. One of them was with the Lanes. They have two daughters, one who is nine and not baptized and the other is five. They are hard to teach because the five-year-old doesn't like her sister getting all the attention and so she is making crazy amounts of noise to try to get us to give her some attention. Emily, the nine-year-old said she wants to be baptized but she is scared of water.

8/12 Saturday
We had dinner and a lesson with the Bird family which is a part member Filipino/American family. It went pretty well. We taught the Plan of Salvation and hopefully it will touch their hearts. We taught the Myers kids tonight, we reviewed the Word of Wisdom and it was pretty great because it sounded like they were starting to tell everyone about it and about how what they were doing was wrong haha. Kids are so honest that it is great!

8/13 Sunday
We didn't have that great of a turn out to church today. It is Elder Renel’s birthday today and here were a bunch of people from the ward that knew because I guess his dad posted something on some Facebook page for missionaries' moms and they all wished him a happy birthday so it was super cool. We had a great day!

- Elder Call NLVWM