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

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Mighty Change

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was sooo great we saw a lot of miracles and we had a great turn out to church!  Ken is doing alright! He came to Sacrament AND Sunday School, so that was good to get him to come a little bit more than just the first hour!

7/31 Monday
Today we meet with President to do our MLC Prep. MLC is on Wednesday, and we are looking forward to it! After our meeting, we went to play basketball with the Canyon Springs Zone. When we rolled into the parking lot, they were packing a missionary out in a wheelchair haha. We asked what was going on and I guess this missionary was playing soccer without shoes on and broke his toe... Not sure why he needed a wheelchair, but oh well.

8/2 Wednesday
Today we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council)! It was great. Elder Renel and I had the discussion topic of “How Obedience Will Help Our Mission Have a Christ Centered Culture.”  As we prepared, we kept thinking about all the outward blessings that come from being obedient, more baptisms, more investigators, etc. The more we thought about it, we realized that our approach was wrong. Yes, most of the time we are blessed externally for our obedience but that shouldn't be why we keep the commandments. It should be because we know it will change us internally or in other words, have us have a change of heart. It is sad to see members and missionaries who follow the commandments just for outside blessings and when God needs to rest us a little bit and let us grow, they give up and say that it must not be because blessings stopped coming. But it is important to know the greatest blessing of all is a change of heart! Alma 5:12-13
12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.
13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.

8/3 Thursday
So we have been trying to work with this family that hasn't come to church in a long time. The dad served a mission in Florida and the wife is actually a convert. They have a 9-year-old daughter that won't get baptized just because she is scared of water! Haha that is a tough concern to overcome. We also saw Joseph and Janice tonight they are headed to Havasu Pi Falls this upcoming week! Hey found out that there is a Mormon Church down there, so they will be able to partake of the Sacrament!

8/4 Friday
Where do I even begin.... today we saw miracles!!!!  I was on an exchange with Elder Smith from South Carolina. We had great contacts all day long but one was just spectacular. We started talking with these drunk guys and they weren't having it so we moved on and saw another man next door on his garage. We said hello and walked towards him and he came right up to us and introduced himself. After a little talking he said his wife LOVES Mormons and has some coworkers and different things and he has always respected us. About 20 minutes into the conversation, his wife pulled up and told us about how she does genealogy and loves the church websites. She couldn't stay and talk but she said she would love to have us continue visiting them as long as it was OK with Jared (the husband) and he was all for it. We kept talking to him and he grabbed some chairs because he had a few questions. One of the first questions was about the Trinity and when he heard our beliefs he was stoked, because that is exactly what his belief was. This went on for like an hour and forty-five minutes! He loved it. We invited him to pray and read and specifically pray about being baptized! We set up to go by tomorrow! He has four kids and they are such a great family!

8/5 Saturday
Today I was on exchanges with another missionary in his area. We worked super hard and got to meet some great people. Elder Renel and Elder Wright worked our area, so I wasn't able to teach Jared but tonight I heard all about the lesson! He had read the introduction all of the testimonies in the front of the Book of Mormon and absolutely loved it. Ha had prayed and he felt the Spirit tell him he needs this for his family and he should be baptized. The topic of Family Home Evening was brought up and he asked if we could come and show him how to do a Family Home Evening for his family! I am sooooo excited for him and his family! They probably won't make it to church because it is their son’s birthday on Sunday and they already had made plans.

8/6 Sunday
Today was great we had 5 investigators at church and many other non-members that were just visiting! It was great! Tonight we swung by Jared and Lori's with Brother Parker and dropped off some cookies! They were doing well! We also had a great lesson with a family we have been working with a little bit ever since I got to the area. The first time I met them the dad told us that he wasn't really interested in coming back but tonight we asked them about getting ready to go back to the temple and they said they feel like it is time!!! This was super great news!

I had a great week this week and I am always looking forward to the upcoming week! Love you all!

- Elder Call NLVWM

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Dear Family & Friends:

7/25 Tuesday
Zone Conference. Zone Conference went pretty well today, but it never goes without a mistake haha. Today we could not get the mics to work. That is always fun. Tonight we had a few minutes before a lesson and so we went and saw a man in the ward named Brother Bos. He was baptized a few years ago and is from Belgium. He was baptized 30 days after stepping foot on the USA. It is way nice because Brother Bos speaks French and so Elder Renel and him had a hoot. Brother Bos has three kids and a wife that aren't members of the church. They have been closed off, but hopefully, with Elder Renel being able to speak their own language, he will be able to connect with them!

7/26 Wednesday
Zone Conference once again! And today was definitely eventful haha. As we sat down for lunch a noticed Elder Renel acting a little weird.  He was eating real slow and was very delayed in his movement but classic Elder Call thought to himself, "that is strange he'll probably be alright" and I went to get things set up for the second half of the zone conference. Well before I knew the entire gym was dead silent and there was President and Sister Soderburg around Elder Renel. I guess Elder Renel tried standing up and went completely white and almost went down but was caught in time. We took him to a couch in the hallway where he fell asleep and was out for like two hours. We loaded him in the car and he spent the rest of the day sleeping until dinner time and then he woke up, so we got back to work and had a great night! They don't know what happened to him but he is doing well now. We saw Ken tonight and he had a rough week. On Sunday his niece (who has bad autism) had to go to the ER because of pneumonia and some other stuff. Then yesterday Ken got his mo-ped stolen.  He has to walk to and from work which takes him like 45 minutes and he doesn't have a ride to church anymore... bummer. Something super exciting is that we got in contact with Dan again after like 2 months! He is great and we will be teaching him tomorrow. As we were walking back to the car tonight, a 20 year old started yelling, 'hey Christian people, hey Christian people."  We started talking with him and he said that he wanted us to go see him on Friday. He is a little awkward and followed us all the way to our car and once we drove off he then continued on his way.

7/27 Thursday
Thankfully nothing eventful happened today at Zone Conference and we can take a little bit of a breath now that it is over. We had been asked by the ward council to start visiting a returning inactive man that served a mission in Europe somewhere. We decided we would give it a shot to invite the less active guy to come fellowship Dan and it was soooo perfect! I was pumped about the lesson because it not only strengthened Dan, but the member as well! We visited the Myers kids tonight and unfortunately the mom said that it was fine if we teach them and that they come to church but they can't be baptized until they show they are ready, so hopefully they will tell their mom all the things they are learning. There is a girl named Mireya that is a good friend of the Myers that always sits in on the lessons and comes to church. Mireya's mom is so ready for the gospel but it is hard to be able to teach her because she is a little closed off. Tonight we offered to do service and we were able to help them and their attitude towards us changed completely and she said, "you know I am going to have to have a discussion with you guys sometime!” Haha it was perfect!

7/28 Friday
Zone Conference is over but we had TNMT meeting. I thought it went well. We had a lesson with Janice and Joseph tonight on the gospel of Jesus Christ. We drew a little sketch:

What a wonderful opportunity it is to partake the sacrament each week to be able to repent and strive to do better and in return have the spirit in our lives to help us throughout the next week until we can partake of the sacrament once again!

7/29 Saturday
Today I was on exchanges with Elder Ebert. Elder Ebert is a super good missionary. He has baptized a ton and should be an assistant haha. We had a super fun time and we had a lot of success. We had a good time!

7/30 Sunday
Ken came to church today, as well as a man named Bob Smith and the Myers came! It was great!

- Elder Call NLVWM

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Growth

Dear Family & Friends:

Sorry for the surprise last week.  This last transfer as well as the next one are going to be different and crazy! It is fun to be back with Elder Renel! I had felt for a long time like I wasn't sure if I had grown or changed.  But, being back with a previous companion, I can look back and see a little change!! Haha

7/18 Tuesday
Today, we had a leadership meeting as well as a half trainer meeting. They went well even though it was in a format so Elder Renel and I had to be training the entire time because we had the missionaries split in several groups. Tonight I am super stoked because there is this family that we have tried a lot and the ward council has asked us to visit that family and finally we got them to answer! They are big time lacrosse players and so they are out of town a ton. We are going to have a lesson with them next Tuesday!

7/19 Wednesday
Today was another packed day! We taught Ken tonight and he is doing a lot better than he has been so that is exciting! We gave him a blessing because he was struggling with a few things.

7/20 Thursday
We taught the Myers kids and Janice and found a super solid potential! It was good.

7/21 Friday
We saw Brenda tonight and she was offended by her visiting teacher so it was a little iffy but we got it all squared away! We also taught Ken tonight!

7/22 Saturday
I got challenged to a game of street ball while street contacting, and if y'all want to know Elder Call’s weakness, it is street ball! Thankfully, we walked away with the W! so it was fun! They were talking serious trash haha. We had a couple great lessons and we just had an all-around good day!

Sorry for the weak letter but next week will be better!

- Elder Call NLVWM
On Monday, July 24th, Ben's mom got a phone call from a member of the SV community.  This man had received this picture from his cousin that lives in Las Vegas and was sharing the picture with him, who shared it with me.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

God's Love

Dear Family & Friends:

Things are going well! Here is my week:

7/10 Monday
President Walker, Elder Call, Elder Bird, Sister Walker
Today was a great day. We meet with President this morning and it went a little longer than we were expecting. We have a lot of things happening in the mission this transfer so we started to talk about transfer planning. We are having a hard time deciding who to have train. I got a haircut, played some ball, and played the most competitive game of corn hole in my life and got the W. haha We had the opportunity to be with Janice and Joseph and President Walker! It was a spiritual uplift! I am grateful the Lord has blessed us to be able to work with them.

7/11 Tuesday
Thank heaven for seven eleven to be over haha! We had a busy day today! We did as much as we could for transfers and didn't get as far as we were hoping! There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration for each companionship. Transfer planning is extremely spiritual though! We pray and ask for confirmation on each companionship and we know it is what the Lord wants! President took us to dinner and then we headed out to proselyte at 5:30. We saw Ken tonight and asked him the baptismal questions. His testimony of Joseph Smith is struggling a little bit and so we invited him to read Joseph Smith History and pray about him! We also saw Brenda and Tracy tonight and taught the Plan of Salvation. They kept bringing up some minor concerns and we tied it all back to the big perspective of God’s love! Of course we got a Slurpee.

7/12 Wednesday
We got to actually have a full morning schedule today so we got some exercise, planning AND studying in!! After that we headed to the office for another day of transfer planning. We set a goal to get two more people with a date tonight from 6:00-9:00 pm. We started by seeing the Myers’ and were able to set Anthony and Tristan with a date to be baptized! We then went and saw a lady named April. We knocked on the door and an older black lady answered and started to talk to us. She said that April wasn't there and tried to end our conversation. We then asked if we could have some water and she let us in! We were able to start teaching her but she wasn't really interested and then April got home! April sat down and then her kids came and joined in on the lesson. We had a super awesome lesson and invited them to be baptized and they want to be baptized on the 19th of August! We not only hit our goal tonight we blew it out of the water!! Haha

7/13 Thursday
Today was super awesome. We went over to Joseph's house to give him the baptismal program assignments.  We were talking to him about the entire experience. He told us that he had said a prayer after a spiritual experience he had and asked God to please make a way for him to come back to church. He did not want to push or pressure Janice. Shortly thereafter, we knocked on their door and Joseph said immediately he recognized there was something different with Elder Evanson and I.  He said the reason he let us in was because he knew we were obedient and living the way we should. That is probably the best compliment you could ever get as a missionary. Janice noticed it as well and after we left she felt she needed to take the lessons! They are super awesome!

7/15 Saturday
We had Janice's baptism and it went great! There were a lot of people there to support her. It was probably the most spiritual baptism I have been to, it was wonderful! Tonight we did transfer calls and it all went well.



7/16 Sunday
Janice asked me to confirm her and that was a great privilege! She is now a member of the Church! Also, the Herleans’ from my last area came to church with their grandma who is in the Town Center Ward and they said they will be moving into the ward by next month!! And Nixon the youngest one wants to be baptized now! I was stoked! Haha

7/17 Monday
Said farewell to the missionaries today and it was tough to see this group go home. There were 11 former zone leaders and 3 assistants including Elder Bird and Elder Evanson. I did not want to say goodbye to either one of them, because, they had been great examples to me! I forgot to mention that I got my new companion yesterday and his name is Elder Renel!! Yes, my trainer! He has one transfer left and he has to serve it with me as an assistant, I feel bad for him haha!

I love you all,

- Elder Call NLVWM

Monday, July 10, 2017

God Bless America!!!

Dear Family & Friends:

7/3 Monday
Today was a lot of fun! We played some really good basketball because we had some high schoolers come that were pretty dang good! Elder Bird got taken to church and straight up dunked on! Haha it was dope!

7/4 Tuesday
It was a pretty crazy day! Our zone leaders wanted us to be in by six just so nothing would happen to all of us! We taught a couple of lessons and those went well! It was impossible to not be filled with gratitude today! I am grateful for the opportunity to live in a free country where I am allowed to talk to anyone and share my beliefs. I know that if it weren't for others serving our country I wouldn't be able to serve my Savior! What a powerful thing to ponder! God bless America!!! I was completely blown away with the amount of fireworks tonight. We watched them for a short while and I couldn't believe the amount of booms haha!

7/5 Wednesday
Today we had MLC! It went well. We got a new car today, it is a brown Corolla!  It is pretty nice. We taught Ken, Dylan, and Janice tonight and all of those went well! Janice is excited for her baptism. Ken we are going to have to move it back and Dylan is getting baptized on Saturday!

7/6 Thursday
 We called and made a lot of assignments for Dylan's baptism. We are hoping that there will be a good turnout. We have been teaching a few kids with the last name of Myers. They are great. Their mom isn't interested but she loves having the kids learn. I figure within the next week we will set them with a date.

7/7 Friday
We had the departing temple trip today and it was so awesome! I love being in the temple. There are so many super great missionaries going home it is sad to see them getting to the end but we be all right. Tonight we taught Tracy about the Book of Mormon. It is a little frustrating to teach her because she feels the Spirit but doesn't want to come to church or progress too much.

7/8 Saturday
Haha it was a stressful day! We call Dylan 30 minutes before his baptism and we were like where are you?? He said oh my dad came and we went to the store? What time am I supposed to be there? So right at 3:00, he rolls in and then our ward mission leader is 15 minutes late haha but we got it to all work and had a great service even though it started late. I can't stand it when people are late!!

7/9 Sunday
Let me just say I love confirmations! There is such a power and spirit in the words receive the Holy Ghost!! Dylan is a stud and I am excited for him!

- Elder Call NLVWM