Monday, December 26, 2016

Strengthen Your Testimony

Dear Family & Friends:

Here is a look at my past week:

12/19 Monday
Today was a great P-Day! This morning we had the Word of Wisdom lesson with Sister Fuapapa. Not very often, when you teach the Word of Wisdom, the person tells you that they have a testimony of it and that they have already stopped drinking coffee. She said that she had talked with her side of the family that are members and they taught her about the Word of Wisdom! She is super excited for her baptism on Saturday! Today for P-Day, young men showed up to play ball with us.  There were so many people! We just split in teams of four and rotated in the games! It was a lot of fun.

Sporting his Christmas sweater.
 12/20 Tuesday
The most exciting part of today was opening Christmas presents! I don't have the will power to see a present wrapped and not know what it is, so I opened all my presents... Mom is going to be mad! haha Oh well, I got some super cool things! I have an amazing family!

12/21 Wednesday
Dinner was a hoot tonight.  We had a lesson with a part member family that is from Louisiana! It was some of the best food I have had out here! We were laughing the entire dinner. So that was lots of fun. We also helped clean out a garage today and organize it. I love doing service.

12/22 Thursday
Lots of Candy! (About 30 pounds of candy)
Today was a busy day. We had Zone Conference and that was a great meeting.  We talked about how precious our time here as missionaries really is and how every minute counts. We found out today that one of the Apostles will be coming to the mission towards the end of January! That will be an amazing experience to be able to receive counsel from an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ! We get the most amazing things as missionaries! Today Sister Fuapapa had her baptismal interview and she is completely ready for baptism! Our Zone Leaders forgot that they had to do the interview, so they were super late and then they didn't have a baptismal record, so we had to go get one while they were doing the interview and it made us way late to dinner. But after all of that, we were able to have a lesson with some recent converts and that was super spiritual. We talked a lot how as missionaries we can tell people nonstop about the Gospel but that doesn't do any good if they don't ask and pray for themselves to know if God has restored his Church.

12/23 Friday
What a testimony builder this week has been. Tonight we had a lesson with a man who has been investigating for a long time. We went over all of the baptismal questions just to see where his testimony is at. He said that he isn't sure that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that we have a prophet here on the earth today.  He also isn't completely positive about following all of the commandments. It is interesting to see the difference between him and Sister Fuapapa. She has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and Prophets, therefore, the commandments are easy to follow. But when you don't have that solid testimony, all we are asked to do seems like too much. The Book of Mormon is the keystone!!! Joseph Smith is a prophet! We have a prophet that leads us and is giving his all for us every single day! If any of us are struggling in the Gospel, please, look at your testimony of those three things, and start strengthening that testimony now!

12/24 Saturday
Baptism!!
Sister Fuapapa was baptized today. Earlier this week she asked if she could have a few minutes to bare her testimony of the Gospel! She stood and bore her testimony and it was amazing to hear an absolutely clean from sin person bare testimony of her love and gratitude for our Savior! Her son came who is not a member and he felt the spirit, so I hope that we will be able to start teaching him. For Christmas Eve, we got to go and spend the evening with different members. We took it easy because Elder McClure got sick today and wasn't feeling too great! Hopefully he is feeling better tomorrow!

12/25 Sunday
Christmas!!
Church was super great today and I got to talk to my family! It was so good to see them and to talk with them. Saying goodbye sucked so next time I call I will just talk and then when time is up, I will just hit end and then l won't have to go through the goodbye haha.  Tonight's dinner reminded me of Star Valley dinners! We had a huge steak and a little salad! Haha I love Christmas and the spirit that can be felt!

I hope all of us had the chance to think on the gifts that God has given us. I thought a lot about John 3:16 and how much God truly does loves and what amazing gifts we have been given. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a gift. Christ bled and suffered because of me and I will be forever grateful for that. It is a miracle every time we kneel down and ask for forgiveness. Family and friends, I bare testimony that God loves you! Count your many blessings, name them one by one!

Love, Elder Call

Monday, December 19, 2016

New Area

Dear Family & Friends:

12/12 Monday
Today was a busy day. I got to my new area around 10:30 and met Elder McClure. He is a really nice guy. We had to switch apartments with the sisters and that took a really long time. We finally got everything done and it was time for our dinner appointment. We went to the apartment of the member that was supposed to feed and knocked on the door and they let us in and it was really weird because there was no food cooking and we just sat in the living room and started talking to them. Elder McClure then realized that he had gone to the wrong people's house and so he told them that and the member misunderstood him and thought she was the one feeding us and she got embarrassed. We got everything worked out after that. It was super embarrassing.

12/13 Tuesday
We got right after it today. This morning at 9 am we had a lesson with Sister Fuapapa. She has been coming to church for a while now and will be baptized on Christmas Eve! There were two members at the lesson and it went great. After that we went to teach a mother and her son who is in his 30's. They are great we have work to do with them but they are keeping their commitments and plan on being baptized on the 14th of January. We then had lunch with a new couple in the ward that had signed up for dinner but had to move it to lunch. They are super awesome. He is a pilot and flies back and forth to Hawaii.

12/14 Wednesday
We had a couple lessons today. The first one was with a lady that refuses to have anything to do with the Book of Mormon, but doesn't want us to drop her because she wants God in her life. I am not sure what we will do, because she I don't see her changing. Dinner was amazing! It was with a new investigator that doesn't speak like any English. We brought a member with us that knows Chinese and could talk with them and translate for us! When we first got there we were met at the door, took our shoes off and put on these slippers. I don't think that they usually have white guys go in their home because the slippers were a little small! I was so proud of myself because I ate almost the entire meal with chopsticks and only got one hand cramp. I was eating entire squid and all sorts of stuff it was great. We could not let her see the bottom of our bowl because she wanted us full and was offended if we said we didn't want anymore. She asked what type of meat we liked better and so we pointed to one and then they tried fixing a different meat so we would like it. It was a great dinner!  It was delicious...and a little different than Panda Express.

12/15 Thursday
Elder McClure and I are getting along great but we most definitely have our differences. He has the worst road rage I have ever seen... he gets mad at the stop signs, round abouts, red lights, green lights, cars going too fast, cars going too slow. It doesn't matter, he is a frustrated driver and constantly complains about the driving in Vegas. I just let it happen. It isn't worth an argument over it haha. Tonight we had a new member lesson with the couple that was baptized last week. They are great and super solid.  He is getting the Priesthood Sunday so that will be cool.

12/16 Friday
Members make your day sometimes. We made a pit stop today at a gas station and as we were looking around, an islander family saw us and were very happy to see us. Every head turned when they yelled "Mormons, Mormons aren't allowed in here."  They were talking crazy loud and giving us hugs, people weren't sure what to think. I went to pay and one of them pushed me out of the way and was going to pay for me. He was about double me so I joked that he better let me pay or I was going to beat him up. We joked some more and went on our way. They were super cool. Then for dinner we went to Cafe Rio for dinner and some members were going to pay for us but an anonymous person left a card at the register to pay for our meal as we went through the line. It made our night! After that we had a lesson with a Chinese man that has been investigating for quite a while now. We think that he will get baptized soon because he is definitely ready. It has been stormy all day and has turned cold again.

12/17 Saturday
We had two lessons today that went well. The work is going well for us, so I am excited and grateful for the people we have to teach. The ward parties were tonight so it was fun to try to get to know the people in the wards! The Coronado Ward has done a super cool service project where three families have adopted three refugee families and have taken them under their wing to help them. The ward did an angel tree for them so it was cool meeting them.

12/18 Sunday
We had 7 people at church today!! There are a lot of part member families that are in this ward. Things are seeming to be promising for us in the upcoming weeks.

The wards are great.  They are young wards and are full babies. We serve in both wards and I am having a hard time trying to keep things straight between the two wards!
Elder McClure is from Arkansas and he has been out for just over a year. The work is good in these wards so that is exciting.  We have a potential of four baptisms this transfer.
The work is great; things are just falling into our hands right now, so we can't ask for much more. I am grateful for the birth of our Savior. We are so very blessed for all God has given us. I often forget that I have so many blessings and I am definitely not deserving of His blessings. Prayers of gratitude have been a focus of mine because it helps me grow my trust and love for God as I do so.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!

Love,
Elder Call

Monday, December 12, 2016

Transfers

Dear Family & Friends,

I am on early today and won't be back on until later because of transfers. It hasn't been as cold the last few days. I am nervous for this transfer because President called me and gave me a little assignment. The rest of it is in the weekly.

The man, the myth, the legend, it is pistol Pete himself. This is Elder Willie.  He was the mascot for UW cowboys for three years!
12/6 Tuesday
Today we finally got in and were able to teach Hugh! It has been a couple weeks, so it was way exciting to be able to catch up with him. We invited him to come to Friend’s Day at church this Sunday so I am expecting for him to come. He keeps his word so that is nice. He has been reading the Book of Mormon but he gets frustrated because he can't understand what it is talking about. We decided it might be better for him if he read the children's Book of Mormon to get the story line down and then read the real story, so he might understand more. He was excited to be able to read and understand! Tonight, Lilly was swearing and then she said something after and I didn't hear what she said so I asked her what she had said and then she didn't repeat what she had said after the swearing she just looked at us and said, "I said %#&$." There is something about an 86-year-old lady swearing that is really funny!

12/7 Wednesday
A funny story from today. So some other missionaries wanted to go out to eat for lunch and the elder that is from the Philippines is going home this Monday got to choose where to go. He chose "In and Out Burger."  We got our food and started eating. This man that was a little crazy was sitting outside eating and we had a perfect view of his meal. This man would get distracted from eating and talk to people that were outside as well. Every time he would turn away pigeons would come and eat his fries. He was starting to get mad. haha So he ran after the flock but they flew up and around back to his food faster than he could. That trying to chase birds thing went on for a while and we were laughing super hard because he was getting absolutely mocked by the pigeons! I don't think he ended up eating a single fry!

Elder's Diaz, Call, Barton, Gonzales
12/8 Thursday
Tonight we had a lesson with Kitos and his family. It was great we had a really good gospel discussion and he is trying to help get his inactive friend back into the church! Kitos needs a lot of help and has to change a lot of things in his life but he is a great man! He said that him and his family will be at church!

12/9 Friday
We had a great lesson with Brian Burton and we had a combined dinner with a few missionaries to say farewell to Elder Gonzales from the Philippines! He is a great missionary and we will miss him a lot. He is crazy good at basketball as well, so he will be missed more! We cooked s'mores for dessert. I miss campfires so much! I didn't think I liked them that much but it was way fun to sit around and roast marshmallows!

12/10 Saturday
This week was long because tonight we got transfer calls. I am leaving and going to South Stake. Elder Barton is staying and getting a missionary that has already been in Charleston Ward and requested it for his last area.  Elder Barton and I have really enjoyed the transfers that we have been together! We are great friends. We never got frustrated with each other, not even once! He is a great guy and I am glad he decided to serve a mission!

Posterity knife & tie.
12/11 Sunday
I said goodbye to a lot of people and that was hard I don't want to have to start over all of these great relationships! There are several families that tell us that we are family. I love them and they love us. Having these families here make it easier to be away from my family! Today It hit me that in two weeks from now it will be Christmas. It doesn't feel like Christmas at all because it is not cold and there is no snow. I started thinking that I will get to talk to my family! It made me miss my mom a lot! I have been blessed with such an amazing mother and family!

This week was great I am glad I could serve in Charleston! I am going to the South Stake in the Painted Mountain and the Coronado Wards. It is a new developing area. I am hoping that there is a lot of work out there.  I am with Elder McClure. I have heard a lot about him and I will fill you in more next week about him. I love you all!

Christ is the light of the world!

Love you lots!
Elder Call

Elder Diaz & Elder Call
Elder Call & Elder Barton

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Greatest Gifts

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was pretty good. As far as the work it is good it is crazy frustrating though because we will teach someone and then they just out of the blue completely ignore us and avoid us. They love us and we are always welcome and they like what we teach and then I don't know what happens but they will just be done. Some of the members are way good at sharing the gospel but most are pretty quiet! We are having a friend’s day at church this Sunday and the members are excited to invite their friends to come hear messages about Christ!

Next week is transfers.

11/29 Tuesday
Cheryl & Elder Call
We had a great lesson with Kitos tonight! We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and then we shared this video that does a great job explaining the great plan! We were almost through the video and we could tell that it was hitting home for Kitos. He stopped us towards the end of the video and asked us if we could watch it again because he wanted his kids to see it. He went and woke them up and had them watch the video again with him! We all felt the Spirit and it was great.

11/30 Wednesday
What a roller coaster! Today was a pretty nerve wracking day. We had Cheryl's baptismal interview and we did not think about the standard in the church where two unmarried people of the opposite sex may live together in the same household. We didn't think about it because the man that lives there doesn't have any relationship with Cheryl. The Zone Leader told us that she wasn't going to be able to get baptized. We talked to him and Cheryl and concluded we needed to talk to President because all four people in the house are on disability and cannot support themselves. President approved the baptism so we are still set for Saturday! Thank goodness!!

12/2 Friday
We met with Lilly tonight and taught the Plan of Salvation for like the twentieth time haha. She struggles remembering so we repeat everything we do a lot. She signed up to feed us dinner towards the end of December and she is so excited! She already has it planned out what she is going to cook and the whole works. She told us that she was talking to a friend (who is a member) about it and asked her friend what kind of wine she should get for this special occasion. She told us that the member pretty much got mad at her for even thinking about it! She had forgot that Mormons don't drink even on really special occasions!

12/3 Saturday
Today was the baptism! Except for several last minute problems, it was great! One of the talks didn't come and we had to get another witness and our pianist forgot and was a little late but once we got everything worked out is was great! It is a powerful thing to say, “Having Been commissioned of Jesus Christ.” I think everyone at the baptism felt the Spirit because it was obvious that God has lots of love for Cheryl and that He was a proud Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to be able to know that we have the opportunity to make covenants with God that gives us promised blessings as long as we are worthy. Tonight was the Ward Christmas Party. In Vegas the Christmas parties are a big deal. They put ours to shame. They have a live band, catered in food, fancy desserts and little performance/comedy skits by the different groups in the ward. Elder Barton and I had to help the Elder’s Quorum out. It was a way fun evening to be able to interact with the ward and to see ward members befriend the investigators that we had there!

12/4 Sunday
Cheryl was confirmed today! Another reminder of the things we take for granted! The Gift of the Holy Ghost is a big gift that gets forgotten about and often times, mocked by us as members, as we sin and make mistakes. I loved the talk tonight in the First Presidency Christmas Devotional about the gifts we have been given! The one that I have been thinking about a lot is the Atonement. There is a kid that we see on occasion that we talk to. He is like 21 and he is a member but not active anymore. His dad is a seminary teacher and both of his parents are returned missionaries. He was really active until he left the house. He lives on the streets and he is a tagger so he goes around and writes and paints on stuff. I asked him the other day what pushed him away from the church. I was surprised by his response. He said that he was active but inactive. So he believes and I think he realizes that the life he is living is not going to get him anywhere. He feels guilt and it saddens me because I think he is not sure that God still loves him and he is probably a little lost on to what to do. I can testify that the Atonement covers all sin and is a Gift from God because God loves us and He knows that we will be lost sheep at times so He gave us a way back to Him. As I apply the Atonement in my life every day I feel more love for Him and his sacrifice.

Family and friends may we all look into our lives and notice the things that we need to fix and may we never take the gifts we have been given for granted! I love you all and hope that you all have a great week!

-Elder Call

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Week

Dear Family & Friends:

11/22 Tuesday
Today we had a lesson with a man named Chad. Chad is around 40 and is a great guy. He is a little lost but we had a great lesson with him and we are really hoping that things continue with him. We had a lesson with Lily and she is doing well.  She is ready for baptism but just isn't ready to fully commit yet.

11/23 Wednesday
Wow haha today we had a lesson that I will never forget! Unfortunately, it is not because of how spiritual it was... the lesson was with Tina so we went to her house and Skyped the ASL missionaries. During the lesson, Tina had this thing burning which was like a hollow green plant of some sort that burned very slowly... and it put off a lot of smoke. Supposedly, it is for making your house smell good, but all it did was fill the apartment with smoke the scent burning extremely green wood. About five to ten minutes in the lesson my eyes started burning and watering bad. And my nose was running super bad as well. Elder Barton thought it was funny and asked if I was going to be OK in a very sarcastic way. I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to be able to endure haha. The lesson continued between the ASL missionaries and Tina and we continued to endure, except it kept getting worse and worse. It was like sitting by a really smoky campfire and having the smoke blow in your face for an hour! Half of the way through it was starting to get to Elder Barton as well and we both straight up looked like we were bawling our eyes out haha. At the end the sister missionary asked if we wanted to add anything to the lesson. We said that it was good and we could just close! During the prayer that is when the spirit (or smoke) took a big hit to me and I had constant tears streaming down my face because they were burning so bad! After the prayer Tina noticed us and that we were crying and we typed to her that the smoke was hurting our eyes. She thought it was the funniest thing ever and she probably is excited for the opportunity to torture us again. We had to go home and shower and change because we smelled like straight up campfire haha.

11/24 Thursday Thanksgiving
Today was filled with lots of food! We only had three dinner appointments today! By the third one, I was struggling big time eating because I had already ate so much but I managed to eat a big plate full! At our first dinner we had packages waiting for us from our families! I love getting mail and it was a great surprise! I am so grateful for all that I have been blessed with and all I have been given!

11/25 Friday
The highlight of today was being able to teach Cheryl and talk about her baptism which is next Saturday! I am so excited for her!

11/26 Saturday
Bummer.... it was a rough start today... during personal study this morning I asked Elder Barton if he would come out to the car with me so I could grab my scriptures. We went out there and I hadn't locked the car when we went in last night and someone had gone through our stuff. Several things were stolen which is a big time bummer. Cheryl planned her baptism today so that was cool! Things tonight were crazy it was like we were up to bat and the pitcher threw five balls at once and we were supposed to hit them all. We were only 45 minutes late to dinner and once we had arrived only had fifteen minutes to eat and get to our appointment at six. The member was very understanding and very helpful so we were appreciative of that!

11/27 Sunday
Today I hit my four-month mark which is absolutely crazy! Time is flying out here! Today we spoke in Sacrament meeting and that went well! Kitos actually made it to church today so we were way excited about that! In Priesthood there was a comment about people's example and behavior at Church and Kitos made a comment about getting kicked out because of his tattooed eyebrows! Haha he is not scared at all to speak up so that is cool. Cheryl came to church today as well which was super great!

This week I truly gained a testimony that I am here in Las Vegas in the Charleston area because that is exactly where God needs me and that is exactly where God wants me! I am loving my mission a lot and there is not a place I would rather be... except fishing
Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Call

Part of Ben’s talk on Sunday 11/27/16
Good morning brothers and sisters. I am Elder Call and I have been serving for four months. As many of you know I am from Star Valley, Wyoming. In my farewell talk I joked that I was going to a foreign country because of the differences in Las Vegas and the small town where I am from... haha I shouldn't have been joking because this has been completely different than what I have known for eighteen years. I am kind of a numbers guys so I am going to give a few statistics before I begin my talk. Star Valley has a population of around ten thousand people, but those people are stretched over close to 70 miles of land so there is not much out there. I am not positive on this but I think Las Vegas including its outskirts has about 2.2 million people and millions of tourists that come year round. So that means there are 220 times more people here than my small town. And to even beat this a little bit more the actual town I am from has a population of 196 people and so Las Vegas has over eleven thousand times the people. There is a big difference!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Doesn't Get Better

Dear Family & Friends:

11/15 Tuesday
Today was amazing. A kid from the ward named Newman comes out with us quite regularly because he leaves in January to Panama for his mission. Tonight Newman came with us to Lilly’s and to Kenneth's lessons. We taught Kenneth the Plan of Salvation and we asked Newman to give his testimony of the Plan of Salvation. Newman lost his father when he was five years old and he testified that he knew without a doubt that he would see his father again and that he would be able to get to know his father. We all felt the Spirit and it was super amazing! I know that Kenneth felt it and hopefully realizes that he will see his mother again, who passed away in a car accident when Kenneth was 8 months old. Wow it doesn't get better than feeling the Spirit on a daily basis!

11/16 Wednesday
I went to the dentist today to check up on my splint and broken tooth. The dentist looked at the X-ray and looked at me and said "Miracles happen every day but your tooth is not going to heal by itself"..... bummer.   Today we got some exciting news! Hugh has a daughter that is an atheist that spent last weekend with him so he couldn't go to church. We saw Hugh today and I asked him what she thought of him meeting with us... he laughed a little bit and told us that she was very opposed to our meetings. But he said that by the end of the weekend she said to him that he should continue to meet with us because we probably do him some good! Now this my personal interpretation of this experience but I would bet that she could already see a change in him and that he was a better man because he has been accepting Christ in his life and that she could see that light! We saw Javier today as well and taught him the Plan of Salvation! God has a plan of happiness for everyone!

11/17 Thursday
Tonight at our dinner appointment we had a discussion about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and how it is easy to shy away from the Book of Mormon when teaching and just using the Bible but we need to share from the Book of Mormon because the restoration of the gospel is amazing!!

11/18 Friday
I am already going bald and this whole mission thing isn't helping at all. Every time someone lies to us or cancels I just want to pull my hair out! And there was a lot of that today! The work just hit a straight up brick wall the last two days not a single lesson has gone through. Tonight we had three member presents lined up back to back to back and every one of them canceled! While I am in the ranting mood I will continue, the mission has taught me a lot and one of those things is to hate dogs. Tonight we were walking down the sidewalk in the dark and along the sidewalk is the retaining wall that is there to flatten the homes yard. As we walked by, a pit bull (which are extremely popular here) hit the fence and started barking. Since it was at my ear level and a very intimidating bark I dang near jumped on top of Elder Barton! It scared me bad haha. Anyways enough of that! Tomorrow is going to be a better day I know it!

11/19 Saturday
Today was a good day! We gave Lilly a call to see if we could drop by and see her because she took a fall on concrete after the Relief Society activity on Thursday and we were very concerned about her. We were able to see her and she said she was feeling a little bit better and was going to church tomorrow! I wish all investigators were as devoted to church attendance as she is! Lilly has been battling a super bad case of the shingles for the past almost three months and she took a fall on concrete and she is 85 years old and is at church every week! What a sweet heart! We saw Cheryl today for the first time in a while because she was in the hospital again. We taught her some of the commandments and things are looking good for the third as her baptismal date except she needs to come to church!! Tonight was great we were talking to this great guy that likes to talk with us. As we were talking he started laughing and spit all over me... I didn't let it phase me and I had to push back some serious thoughts of disgust! Haha it's all good though and I think he was way embarrassed about it!

11/20 Sunday
Cheryl came to church!!!!! I was so happy for her haha. Our Gospel Principles class is probably the most entertaining meeting that happens church wide every Sunday!  We   Have    Some    Characters! Haha
The weather here is getting cold! I know all of you will chuckle about that but my blood has thinned fast and I am used to the warm weather so 55 is a little on the nippy side! Haha

Well I think I wrote enough this week to bore all of you so I apologize about that! Tuesday and Wednesday I had strong witnesses that God does indeed have a plan for us and that plan is one of great joy! The Plan of Salvation is made possible THANKS to Our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will all live again.  We all have purpose and we all have potential in God’s plan! As Thanksgiving approaches, I am already filled with gratitude for all the Savior has done for us! Every time I think of Christ's life I am amazed by His infinite love for his insignificant brothers and sisters that are here on the earth today!

I hope all of you have a great holiday and will spend some time on your knees thanking God for your many blessings!

I love you all!!
-Elder Call

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How Has the Mission Blessed My Life?

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was super great! We had a lot of lessons and a lot of people at church! If all the people came to church that said they were going to we would have had a ton! Haha you gotta love agency! We had 5 people still come so it was good!

I did get to go to the temple on Thursday!!! The Las Vegas temple is so amazing! I went to the temple desiring to know what my purpose is in the Charleston area.  I received an answer as to my question, so I am going to continue working hard and trying my best so I can accomplish that.

Here are this weeks journal entries:

11/8 Tuesday
Wow, today was a great way to start off the week! We had received a couple of referrals so today we tried contacting them. The first one is a man named Neto. As we were walking towards his house he was walking out. God’s divine timing is super amazing! And we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and a Bible. He is not very religious but is starting to make his life in line with God, so he is doing all he can to become better. The other referral was a boy named Kenneth. He is 13 years old and is kind of a trouble maker, so his dad, who is a less active, wants him to get into the church.... not the ideal missionary situation we thought! We knocked on their door and were let in right away! We taught the boy the restoration and realized that he was very open to us because we had made the mistake of getting into the lesson to quickly. We took some time and just to know him a little bit and the situation changed! They told us they would be coming to church and they needed the address and info about it. That was way exciting and they want us to come back frequently!!

11/10 Thursday
Brother Davis gave us a ride to the temple today! He is an older man in our ward; from Star Valley and loves talking to me about it and oh can he talk!! He has told me the same story like five times haha! He only had me sweating bullets once haha I thought we were going to be in a car Wreck! The Las Vegas Temple is amazing! It out does any of the temples I have been in by far! I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be in the house of the Lord and to receive revelation!


11/11 Friday
Today was exchanges with the Zone Leaders again! I got to practice my flawless Spanish once again so that was cool! I literally was in Mexico today, which was super cool. There is a large group of one level apartment buildings that are almost all Mexicans. And they are all from the same city in Mexico too, so that was cool. We bought some tacos from a little taco stand in there and they were super yummy. We are going to go there for p-day food because they are 2 for $1.25! I can understand the jist of the conversation that is going on in Spanish, but I cannot speak Spanish whatsoever! The people are really nice which makes me wish I could be a Spanish missionary!

11/12 Saturday
We started today by eating breakfast at a member of our stake presidency’s home.  He is a dentist and while we were at his house and he asked about the bar on my teeth. He wants me to come to his office this week so he can do an examine because he said that these splints can cause damage he asked for Jim's info so he can talk to him. So I guess I will go in and see what he has to say, he at least wants to X-ray it? (See the end of this post for the story of Ben's front tooth.)***

We finally got to talk to Fernando again after several weeks! He was getting kicked out of his house that night and going on the streets because he lost his job and his wife didn't want him there. It was really disappointing to learn we probably would never see him again.

11/13 Sunday
We had quite a few people at church today! Kenneth's father Guillermo told us that church was confusing but he liked it haha. I hope Kenneth liked it. We got to go give a blessing to a very ill man in a sad situation at the hospital. He has such an amazing family! And is a very nice man.

Things are going well for Elder Barton and I.  We had a successful week this week and we look forward to working hard to keep the work increasing in this area! God’s hand is in this work and blesses us every day! At the breakfast we went to on Saturday with the zone each missionary was given the opportunity to answer the question, "How has the mission blessed my life?" There were a lot of answers, but I have come to know what it means by saying that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. I know that the Book of Mormon is from God and it proves that we have the blessed opportunity to be in the true church on the earth today! I love this gospel!

I love you all!
Elder Call

Editor’s Note:

The members in Ben’s mission are incredible!!!! More than once a week I get an e-mail from someone that is feeding the missionaries and then sends a nice note:  Here are the two I received this week:

1. Sister Call:

Another nice evening with the missionaries.  They are such nice young men.

My husband is the Young Men President of our ward.  He invited your missionary and his companion to teach the lesson in the Priest Quorum last Sunday.  They did a great job engaging the young men to participate and helping to strengthen their testimonies and the priests had fun while doing it.

My granddaughter wanted to take her picture with the missionaries.  She's three.

Have a great day!
Love,
Sister Webb


2. We had your good son over for dinner tonight.  He's a great missionary.  Your son loves the Lord and is giving great effort to his work - you should be proud of him.

Thanks for sending him to us.
Todd

***Ben's front tooth:  The first Single Adult Family Home Evening Ben attended after he graduated from high school, he was hit in the mouth and one of his front teeth got damaged.  He was less than two months from leaving on his mission.  The orthodontist sent Ben to the dentist (Uncle Jim) who discussed Ben's situation with a Periodontist and an Endodontist.  The suggestion was to splint Ben's front teeth with a permanent retainer for his mission, hoping the bones around the broken tooth would heal like a broken arm.  Here is a picture of the x-ray of Ben's tooth.
 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Good Week

November 7, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

It was a good week!  We had four investigators at church yesterday, so that was good.  Now for the week:

11/1 Tuesday
Today we got to pick pomegranates. It brought back the good old memories of picking apples at the Logan house. Except that pomegranates are way harder to pick and the branches like to scratch. It took way longer that we thought which is usually the norm when it comes to service! We met with Hugh and he is way excited for the Zion’s Youth Concert, so it will be good!


11/2 Wednesday
Finally!!! We have a part member family that we have been trying to visit for the last 12 weeks...  and we finally got in and we were able to teach the restoration to her son who is seventeen! It went super well and we are excited about that! He is a solid investigator!

Kito's wall for childhood cancer.
11/3 Thursday
Lilly is finally back from New York! We got to go see her and she is as funny as usual. She tells us how the doctors don't know much and she always argues with them. We have to start over the lessons because she forgot everything on her trip. We also saw Brian tonight and I have no idea how to help him decide to act upon all the answers I know he has received. He knows everything about the church but isn't ready I guess.

11/4 Friday
Food, food and more food. Today we decided to have a late lunch and so we had a big lunch at like 1:30, soon after that we received a call from a less active that we had talked to a week prior and they wanted to feed us lunch. So over there we went and ate a meal. From there we had dinner and got to eat yet another meal. The next two homes we visited offered us food and there was no possible way we could eat more!  

11/5 Saturday
More service! We had another service project that we told this lady that we could help her for an hour! We opened up her storage unit and it was so packed full we called in reinforcements and helped for several hours. She wanted to go through her stuff and get rid of some junk. And so we pulled everything out and put it back in because she couldn't get rid of anything.... it was pointless. haha  I stepped on a scale, and let's just say my suit pants are TIGHT........

11/6 Sunday
We had several people at church which was exciting! It was fast and testimony meeting and it is extremely interesting here in Vegas! Haha all of the people that the bishopric would never ask to speak get up and bare their testimony/tell their life story!  Tonight was Zion’s Youth Concert! Hugh was able to come and he absolutely loved it! It was such an amazing performance to watch!

Elder Barton, Hugh and Elder Call after the Zion's Youth Concert.
Love,
Elder Call

Monday, October 31, 2016

Power

Dear Family & Friends:

Another week has come and gone.

10/25 Tuesday
What a day!! We had lots of lessons and they went really well! Our investigator, Ruby, seems to be progressing very well and it is going to be just a matter of time for her to make up her mind. She is going to be an amazing convert! We had a lesson with Hugh and he asked us for more stuff to read because he had already read the Plan of Salvation one and the Restoration one! He is not sure he wants to read the Book of Mormon because it is so long haha. After he asked us for another pamphlet, we had to go to our car and grab one. We have these pamphlets that are in a crazy language. I grabbed one of those and one in English and said to Elder Barton, we were going to play a little trick! We handed Hugh the weird language one and he started looking at it and his jaw hit the ground... he probably thought that Mormons had a secret language or something. We all had a good laugh and we gave him a pamphlet in English! He is going to go to the Zion’s Youth Concert with us!

10/26 Wednesday
Tonight was the trunk or treat for our ward! It was fun to see all of the kids in their creative costumes. Not much else happened today!

10/27 Thursday
The big news of the day is that Elder Barton and I have been adopted.... it is supposedly Facebook official haha. Our investigator named Driana loves us a lot! We have met with her a few times and things are going well! She couldn't come to church but hopefully in the future she can come!

10/28 Friday
 Nothing to report

10/29 Saturday
Today was very interesting... during our lunch break we were messing around and Elder Barton took a fall and cut his eyebrow open... We called the missionary nurse and she had us go to her house and then she got a hold of a friend that is a plastic surgeon.  A pretty good person to stitch up an eyebrow! Elder Barton got plastic surgery and we got back to work! It was three layers of stitches and the outside layer has eight stitches! Ouch! We saw Sheryl and she committed to baptism on December 3rd!!! She has taken the lessons for a very long time so that was a super great experience. She told us how in the hospital she prayed and asked for help. She felt the Spirit and it told her that everything was going to be okay. The next day she felt better than she has in years!

10/30 Sunday
Today we meet with a part member couple who is from Montana. We clicked super well and I am hoping that there will be another spark in Brother Askins’ heart so he will have the desire to be baptized! I really like them! We also were asked to move a couch out of an apartment because it was infested with bed bugs... yum... after that we went and gave blessings to some less actives. We were standing there after sitting and talking to them and I saw this cockroach crawling up Elder Barton's back haha I let it crawl all over him.... no I am kidding I hit off and stepped on it. It was gross haha.

10/31 Monday
For Halloween we aren't doing anything fun! We are to be in or apartments and we are doing companion and personal studies!

This week was a testimony of the power of the Priesthood. I know that the power Christ gave to his disciples was restored through Joseph Smith! It amazes me when I think of all the things God has given me! He loves us so very much! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Elder Call

Monday, October 24, 2016

God Knows

Dear Family & Friends:

10/18 Monday
Today was a lot of fun. For p-day we went to Brother Davis's house and hung out in his basement. He has a lot of stuff to do including: bowling alley, air hockey, pool, shuffle board, ping pong and a couple other things. It is super cool and way fun! Tonight we saw Diane. Thankfully she is out of the hospital and she is home, going like nothing happened.

10/19 Tuesday
Haha. So today, Elder Barton and I were tracting before an appointment and we went and knocked on a door and like the second we rang the doorbell a man opened the door because he was leaving his home. It surprised all of us and Elder Barton took a step back because it caught him so of guard! The man was Jewish and all dressed up in their clothing. (The two types of people here in Vegas that absolutely hate Mormons are the Jehovah Witnesses and the Jewish people.) He said he didn't have time and he most definitely was not interested, so we left and as we were walking away Elder Barton realized the step back he took was in fresh dog poop... gross. We had a lesson in like fifteen minutes and his shoe was so smelly there is no way we were going to a lesson with it. He had black socks on so he went into the lesson without one shoe. Haha just kidding, we made a record time back to the apartment and he changed his shoes. We weren't very late to the lesson so that was good! A miracle occurred this evening and we were able to meet with Fernando again. He continues to open up to us about his desire to change and become more converted to Christ.

10/20 Wednesday
I had an interview with President Walker today and I am continually grateful for the great man he is and the amount of love he has for the missionaries. Today there is a little envy in the apartment because Elder Barton and I got a new car. Elder Diaz and Elder Linton (the elders we live with) have the oldest car in the mission and we had one of the newest ones. We got a phone call today and traded our Corolla for an Altima! The Altima is the most coveted car in the mission. And Elders Diaz and Linton are still stuck with their old car.... the struggle of a state side mission is real!

10/21 Thursday
We set up an appointment to teach a lady that we have helped serve several times lately and she was very welcoming to our message. After helping her several times, she absolutely loves the missionaries now. She told us she posted about us on Facebook but couldn't remember the other three elders names so she called us (no pun intended) "Elder Call and crew" haha She told us about her cousins, who are LDS and how when she is around them she recognizes a light and she can tell that they are extremely good people. She told us she was jealous of them. The lesson went really well and I look forward to meeting with her again!

10/22 Friday
The election makes our job as missionaries difficult in several ways. 1. People are tired of political people coming to their door and so another knock from Mormon missionaries is usually not appreciated either. 2. People just want to talk about politics. They are so wound up about it. We will be in mid lesson even mid scripture and people will just out of the blue ask, “What do you think about Trump?” And they do not like the answer of, “we don't discuss politics as a missionary.” Our investigator, Hugh is quite the guy. He was telling us how the other day he received revelation that to improve his life he needed to get rid of all negative and just be positive. Right after this he started telling us his dislike of one of the political candidates. Haha I think he has a ways to go!! But at least he is trying!

10/24 Sunday
Today we got a phone call from a lady that is slightly crazy... imagine that in Las Vegas! She asked us to come and visit her. We went over there and no joke about thirty seconds talking with her she fell asleep and would not wake up! We weren't quite sure what to do so we just left haha.

What a week! This week we got in with a lot of people and the work is picking up in the area. My testimony continues to grow as I feel the love that God has for me and the people around me! I know that it doesn't matter where we are in our lives, God knows what we can become. Our investigator, Fernando, keeps thinking about being judged for the past mistakes but I know that God cares way more about what we can become than what we has been. God loves each of you and I do too. Have a good week!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Learning So Much

10/11 Tuesday
Today was great. Several lessons fell through but we were able to have great lessons with a couple investigators. Today we went to knock on a part members door but I had forgot that I had already tried this home with Elder Renel and was explicitly told to get off his porch. hahaha So as you can imagine the second time wasn't any better... Before we had even gotten to the door the young guy was already standing there... haha We started laughing as we walked away, because, I had then remembered my first experience at that door, being scared to death of the guy! He is a creepy dude!

Pday at a member's basement
10/12 Wednesday
Today we got into Kitos's house which was exciting because it is hard to get in sometimes. We got to talk to him for a while about his hobbies and it was good because we got him to like us. He is a super great guy and suggested we go and get a picture in front of "Wesley’s Wall". Wesley was a 6-year-old boy that died of cancer. This is one of the many memorials Kitos has made for the children he supports. He is a super nice guy! We also got to go eat dinner at Brandon F’s house. He is the lead singer of the _______. His house is super massive and nice.
L-R: Elder Call, Kitos, Elder Barton

10/13 Thursday
Today we had mission tour. Elder Cornish came and gave us a training. He is super spiritual and gave lots of great advice. Elder Cornish's conference talk was way good! (Here is a link to Elder Cornish's General Conference talk:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/am-i-good-enough-will-i-make-it?lang=eng  And it was exciting to hear from a member of the Seventy! The majority of the training was on working with members and discouragement! I love all the training's because you learn so much!

Mission Tour with Elder Cornish
(Ben is on the top row in the middle with the grey suit)
10/15 Friday
Today I went on exchanges with the Rancho Elders. I was with Elder Gonzales from the Philippines. He is good elder and we had super good success in his area. He cooked some rice and chicken for lunch, which was good. They have the most ghetto area in the west side of Las Vegas so it is lots of fun street contacting and tracting there!
Met this friend as we were
 walking down the street!

10/16 Saturday
Today we found out that Diane had been sent to the hospital. We went and saw her and she was waiting for tests to get back on her heart. We also saw Kitos again today and he said he would go to church!

10/17 Sunday
Today was the Primary Program. It was super funny! Kitos didn't end up coming so that was disappointing! We got to go to Interfaith tonight at the chapel. Six different religions got to talk about their beliefs on the afterlife! It was way cool to have so many people from different faiths together at once!

I hope you all have a good week! I know that God loves us and that he always is there for us.

Love,
Elder Call



Diners, Drive-ins, Dives Elder Call Style

video
video



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

God's Hand

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was a successful week and a testimony builder that God's hand is in our lives every day!

10/5 Monday
Tonight was an interesting evening. While Elder Barton was in DLC meeting I was with the other trainees talking with the YSA people that were there at the church. J showed up... J is in our ward and he comes on occasion. He started to get extremely rude with some of the people at the church. I can't tell if J hates me or likes me but I figured I couldn't let him say some of the extremely offensive things he was saying. I called him over and talked to him about it and he was mad at me the rest of the time he was there. He tells all sorts of stories that aren't true and one of them was about how he killed 50 people one time. A YSA kid started laughing and J got in his face and threatened to kill the kid to show he wasn't kidding!  Then going to our apartment this other crazy dude stopped us and nonstop talked to us for 30-40 minutes about the most random things… haha. Las Vegas is a foreign place!

10/4 Tuesday
Today was a great day and we no doubt saw God's hand in our work this day! We had a lesson with Tina and that went well. At the end she asked me if she needed to bring white clothes for the baptism! Haha she is so excited yet nervous for her baptism. When the sisters invited her to baptism, she said, “yes” and then what time on November 12th! Tonight, after our lessons, we went street contacting. The moment we got out of our car a man called us over and asked us if we were LDS missionaries. He then told us how he wanted us to teach him. We sat down with him and had a very spiritual lesson on the Restoration. He told us that God had answered his prayers and he knew in order for him to keep his family together he needed to change and this is how he would do it. He has a co-worker who is LDS and he said that he could see that something is brighter with him. He is a solid investigator and I am so glad we got to talk with him!

10/5 Wednesday
Not much happened today.  We saw a few less actives and that was it

10/6 Thursday
We had a lesson with Brian tonight. He is the one that is always taking missionaries out to lunch all over Las Vegas and we meet with him often. He has been investigating for five years. We thought we would invite him to baptism again and he said he would pray about it again. I hope that he will do as President Erying says, "You can pray to know His will, and with the honest desire to do whatever He asks, you will receive an answer." I hope Brian has the desire and faith receive an answer and act upon his answer. Tonight I had an exchange with the zone leaders!

10/7 Friday
Hola! Como esta? The zone leaders are Spanish missionaries and I was with Elder Morales in his area. It was a day full of Spanish. I was surprised that I could actually understand some what was going on. Teaching was extremely difficult though, Elder Morales would teach in Spanish and then he would pass it to me and I would teach in English and the people would get confused, so Elder Morales would then try to translate so they could actually understand! Haha it was so much fun! It was a day filled with super awesome people. Everyone tried to feed us or give us something! They are extremely humble people! It was a great experience.

10/8 Saturday
Today not a lot happened we had a lesson with Diane and Miley that went well.

10/9 Sunday
This morning we received a text from Letecia. She texted for a ride to church! She has not talked to missionaries in two weeks. For some reason she doesn't like the El Camino elders. It was exciting that she still is interested but she wants us to teach her. I am not sure what to do. She ended up not coming because she had to go to the hospital.

I got to see pictures of the Star Valley Temple online at LDS.org and wow is that beautiful!!! I can't wait to see it in person. I haven't received much from the family in the mail so I was wondering if stamps went up? ;) haha

Meeting Fernando was a miracle! God loves us and we need to show our love for Him! Hope you all have a good week!

Love you so much!
Elder Call

Monday, October 3, 2016

Testimony Builder Week

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was good. I am nervous that the work is going to slow. It seems investigators leave faster than we get them!

9/26 Monday
Today, Elder Renel left and my new companion is Elder Barton. He is from Colorado and we have a lot in common! He has been out for 15 months and he is a hardworking elder. I am excited to be able to get to know him better and to work with him. I am a little disappointed because it seems that our teaching pool is diminishing and we are not finding people as fast as they are leaving.

9/27 Tuesday
Today we had a lesson with Tina (our investigators that is deaf). it went really well and she showed way more interest than usual! So the lesson went way good, except for the extremely loud high pitched noise the TV was making because of the Skype with the sisters. We had to endure the noise because we have to be able to hear the sisters translate what is going on in the lesson. Haha. After we hung up the Skype, Tina was trying to ask me to do something and I couldn't figure it out. You don't realize how big communication is until you have to figure something out without it. After her little bit of frustration towards my lack of understanding, I figured out that she wanted the children's Book of Mormon on her phone! We got it all worked out! Tonight we had a lesson with a move in, where the mom was baptized in January and her 17-year-old son was baptized in July and she has a 13-year-old daughter that has not decided to be baptized yet. They are a super active family and are such a great addition into the ward!

9/28 Wednesday
Today we were blessed with a new investigator. Her name is Shay and we met her while we were in a park near Diane's house. We sat down with her and taught the Restoration.  She was very interested and asked if she could have a Book of Mormon.  Then she felt bad, because she thought it was the only one I had.... we laughed about it and she gave us her number so we can teach her more. She is living in a home with a friend that won't be willing to let us in so we have to meet her in the park. I hope she will read and pray like we asked her to do. Today, we found out some very disappointing news. Toya and Letecia haven't met with the El Camino Elders and told them that they would text them when they wanted them to come.  Which means pretty much never. They were progressing so fast and well and they were excited for their baptismal day of October 29th. I don't know what happened.

9/29 Thursday
Not much happened today we weekly planned, then we went and found four teens that were playing baseball.  They came and we sat and taught them the Restoration. I don't think any of them will progress but they were really friendly and willing to listen to us.

9/30 Friday
It was another frustrating day of appointments falling through. We were able to meet with Hugh again and he had read the whole first page of the pamphlet we gave him. He is pretty caught up in the political race right now so teaching him is a little interesting! I was in the middle of answering a question about the atonement and he just says, "What do think about Trump?" He then proceeded to tell us how ugly of a man Trump was and how he can't stand Trump’s hair. We get so many people telling us who to vote for and their political views... they don't like it when I tell them that as a missionary my only purpose is on the gospel of Jesus Christ so politics are not an issue.

10/1 Saturday
I am not sure what to even say today... there is NOTHING like hearing the Prophet and the Apostles testify as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. It was a great experience to be able to be fully engaged to the messages which were shared by the church leaders. Tonight we got to have dinner with the Newport’s.  They are great and I am hoping that the daughter will soften her heart and find for herself the truthfulness of the gospel. They are a great family! Tonight we got an exciting phone call from the ASL missionaries that are co teaching Tina with us and said Tina has a baptismal date of November 12!

10/2 Sunday
Today was another great day of General Conference! Many of our investigators got to watch Conference including Tina who watched it in ASL! It was such a spiritual weekend and a super great end of the week!

This Conference is a testimony builder of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As each General Authority closed their talks, they bore their testimony of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more powerful than hearing Apostles of Christ testify as special witnesses! I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! Hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Call

Monday, September 26, 2016

Enjoy Everyday of Life

Dear Family & Friends:

This week was great!  

9/20 Tuesday 
Today's highlight was a lesson with Sheryl. Sheryl lives with some members and was kinda of in the “one more lesson and probably drop her,” because she wasn't showing any interest. You could say it was the “do or die” lesson! We just simply did a Book of Mormon read with her. We had been praying for her lots and had been praying for the Spirit to touch her! Oh how our prayers were answered. We had an amazing lesson she opened up and told us her concern on baptism, which is, disappointing her parents who raised her Catholic. She wants us to come back more often! I feel she with be baptized here in the near future!

9/21 Wednesday 
Everything went right today except for we found out that Jerry our investigator didn't want us to come back! Welcome to missionary work! I walked away sick from his doorstep because I know that he could make his life so much better and have so much more joy! The gospel is true and he is turning from truth... it is rough to see that. But as we were walking away we saw another man outside his home and we talked to him for over an hour! We talked about all sorts of things, but the majority was the Plan of Salvation! His wife passed 8 months ago and he is still struggling with that. He is an amazing guy and wants us to return! Miracles happen every day. Other than that we had two lessons with recent converts and we had a lesson with a man whose friend saw us in the front yard and she stopped by to say hi to Victor (the man we were teaching), long story short, we got a life story of 27 years of drugs and living in the streets. In the nicest way possible... she is crazy. After that we finished the lesson and went to a couple more appointments that went well! It was a great day!

9/22 Thursday 
Coming off a great day yesterday we were hopeful for another but... we had to do weekly planning, which takes forever and a day, so we didn't have much time to teach. We went and saw the Walker’s. It was great to see them and our suits were all tailored. She is an amazing lady but doesn't like coming to church for some reason. She is constantly doing missionary work haha.

9/23 Friday 
Another great and busy day! We got to see Sheryl again! We discussed her concerns, but Sister Boocher had already discussed it! She told her how many blessings will come if she joins the church. It was another great lesson. We also got to see Letecia and Toya and they are doing great. Tomorrow we have to pass them off to the El Camino elders. 

9/24 Saturday 
Today we did service for Diane and Miley. It went well and they wanted to feed us, so we went and taught a pass off lesson to Letecia. It went well and they said they wanted me to baptize them! It was sad to pass them off. We went back to Diane's and I had the best meal yet!! She is from Hawaii and they cook a lot of food! She wants us to come on Thanksgiving! Tonight, we got our transfer call. Elder Renel is going to the Red Rock Zone to be a zone leader. I am staying in Charleston and getting Elder Barton. 

9/25 Sunday 
Today we went so Elder Renel could say goodbye to our investigators. It is hard to see Elder Renel go because I liked him!

The most spiritual thing that happened this week was when our investigator Toya shared with us an experience that happened when she was taking the missionary discussions the first time. Her son was 13 months old and had been diagnosed with Severe Narcolepsy. He would just pass out every couple of minutes. The missionaries offered to give him a blessing. They gave him a blessing and he hasn't had a hint of Narcolepsy since that time and it was two years ago! The priesthood has been restored and it is a blessing that is often taken for granted! 

The church is true! And we need to enjoy everyday of life! Joseph B Wirthlin said, "Come what may and love it"

Love,
Elder Call

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

When in Doubt

Dear Family and Friends:

This week was a slow week. Things just didn't go our way. We still had quite a few lessons but things just fell through right and left. We had a lot of fun activities this week and more great missionary experiences! Unfortunately, I don't have any funny stories.

9/12 Monday
Today we went ice skating.... I am a pro. I only went down a few times! It was super funny to see everyone fail! It was so hard to not fall down. One of the new elders from Mexico was clinging to the edge of the rink. I was talking to him and in his broken English asked why his foot was cramping. haha I thought it was funny because my foot was doing the same thing! We went to the empty nesters FHE (Family Home Evening) at a member’s home. They had us play a game with them which you would roll some dice and if you rolled a “4” you would try to answer a question about the history in the “Forties.” They thought it was so much fun but it may have been the most boring game I have ever played.



9/13 Tuesday 
Today we meet with a lady who has a lot of things against the church! She is very friendly and fed us some food.......! Cream cheese and onion and rotten lettuce on really old white bread!! She made us an entire plate and expected them gone. I got two down and Elder Renel stopped at one, he wouldn't even try for two! I couldn't take another because I would put it in my mouth and wonder how in the world I was going to swallow! While we ate we tried to explain all of her misconception but I don't think we got anywhere. She is extremely friendly and she wants us to come back. Today we also saw John. He is struggling a lot because he has to go back to Portugal on the 28th of this month. I am afraid he won't continue in faith. he doesn't want to go back at all and is getting a little depressed. Hopefully he will continue to grow the testimony he has already. 


9/14 Wednesday
Today we are on exchanges. I am with Elder Hill from Alberta, Canada. He is great and we have a ton in common. We talked about hunting and fishing all day! Tonight we met with Letecia and her many children and Toya.  We taught the Plan of Salvation and invited them to baptism. They accepted and want to be baptized on October 29. We love their family so much. We also had a lesson with Lilly and she is headed to New York, so we only have one more lesson with her for a while. I hope when she gets back she will remember everything we have taught her!

9/15 Thursday
Today we got to do service at the Trinity Church with a food drive they have each week. It helps a lot of people out.  Except, there was a lady going through the line with an iPhone 6 in her hand... haha some people need it more than others. We did a lot of finding and didn't get any solid people.

9/16 Friday
Today was a slow day. We had a lesson with Brian and that went well! He is fine being a lifelong investigator and I think that is what he will be. He is impossible to figure out! Nothing else really happened.

9/17 Saturday
Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike, and strike. NOBODY WAS HOME. We tried a lot of our investigators and none of them were home. This has been an extremely slow few days for our work. Tonight was the All American Stake Picnic. It was a lot of fun and there were a ton of people. It was great to be able to greet and welcome everyone that was there. They figured that there were near 2500 people. The elders had to show their dominance over each other on the bell ringer. (The sledge hammer thing). One elder couldn't do it very good and got beat by a 12-year-old.... there were a ton of people laughing every time he swung I felt pretty bad for him. The North Dakota, Canadian, and Wyoming elders showed that their mountain man skills were useful.


video


9/18 Sunday
Today proved to be just as tough as the rest of the week. We only had a couple people at church and all of our lessons fell through. We are glad to have a fresh start next week and be able to work hard so we don't have as slow of a week. Today we were done with church and Elder Renel got the prompting to visit an apartment that the investigator had left. We meet the lady that had moved in. She used to be LDS but married a guy that convinced her to not believe. I told her that when doubts come it is when we are not reading and praying daily. I told her that those doubts give Satan the room he needs to make you disregard all the spiritual experiences and testimony strengthening events that happened in your life. And he makes those doubts beliefs against the church. She accepted a Book of Mormon and wants to read it again. We had a lesson with Lilly and she heads out for New York on Tuesday she asked for a blessing because she doesn't want the plane to crash and she doesn't want to forget the things we have taught her. She is so awesome!

9/19
Walking into the doors of Walmart there was a very upset man and he chucked his cup of water and it got us all wet! Haha the Walmart greeter was mad haha. It was funny! I got the first mission haircut and it just keeps showing how bald I am getting... I am going bald fast! I don't have a “four” head anymore it is a “six” head- measured by fingers.... D & C 9:14 (Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.)




My testimony this week is about doubts. In high school I had some doubts about the church. Each time I had doubts it was because I was not reading the scriptures and praying daily. I meet a lot of people that used to be Mormons and I know that when they fell away they were not reading and praying. If you ever doubt go to the source and read. Satan works with the doubts and turns them to make them beliefs. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it every day and pray. God loves us more than we know.

Love you all and hope you have a great week!
-Elder Call