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




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