Monday, October 16, 2017

Turn To God

Dear Family & Friends:

10/2 Monday
Turn TO God, not from God. Las Vegas definitely was shook up today. (The result of the mass shooting.)

10/3 Tuesday
Today we were able to go see the McDonald family. They are a less active family that I've mentioned a couple times that we have been working with. We were talking to Sister McDonald about how her day was going and she expressed her gratitude towards Heavenly Father. Her and her daughter had purchased tickets to the concert that the shooting occurred but her daughter had her baby two months early so they sold their tickets and did not go. We had a great talk with Sister McDonald and she expressed her desire to return to church and to the temple. She mentioned that her husband has a fire burning within him to return to church also. It's cool to see that the Lord is continually preparing the hearts of his children to return and to come to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We, as members, never know when someone is ready to return to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to continually invite and fellowship our brothers and sisters. Today we also talked to one of our new investigators named Eileen. Her son just graduated from the Police Academy and his first day of work was front row at the concert. He had gotten a job being a police officer on the strip. Luckily, he was not injured physically, but Eileen shared with us he was definitely struggling with the entire ordeal.

10/4 Wednesday
We went on exchanges tonight with Elder Rivera and Elder Lungren. I was with Elder Lungren. He has been out for a couple weeks and is a super good missionary. We had a great night, we taught Charlie, as well as, AG, both of whom are doing well and progressing!

10/5 Thursday
We transfer planned today and wow it was a long day haha. It was good though! There are a lot of missionaries coming and a lot of things changing.

10/6- 10/15
Well I'm going to be super honest. I have slacked off the last couple weeks with my journal writing. It has been a crazy couple of weeks.

On Tuesday, Elder Jensen and I were transferred into a new area. The new area doesn't have much going on, so we are trying to work hard to pick up the work. At the beginning of this last week it was transfers. Transfers are super stressful and it kind of turned into a mess for a little while. The last few transfers, we have been trying figure ways to be more efficient and use a more effective way and this one was rough. On top of transfers, I ended up getting sick which added to the stress. One of the highlights of the week was being able to go to the temple with the departing missionaries. It is always super amazing to be able to spend time in the temple.

We woke up early on Wednesday and took the departing missionaries to the airport. After that we had a meeting with all of the district leaders in the mission and then following that, the new missionaries arrived and we are with them for a few hours before they met up with their trainers. We have 19 missionaries coming in this transfer as well as two more missionaries coming mid- transfer.

We spent Thursday training the trainers as well as the new missionary orientation. To put the cherry on top of the week we had MLC on Friday. It was another long stressful day. We had not had much time to prepare and we had to give an hour and a half of training. To give you an idea how tired I was, the other night I got on my knees to pray and I woke up drooling and my head bouncing a few moments later. Then, for companionship prayer Elder Jensen started praying and all I know is I woke up a couple minutes later and said, “amen,” but his prayer had been over for a several minutes, haha.

There were definitely some proselyting miracles this week as well! We went to knock on a part member's door and it got shut in our face and as we walk away we hear, "The missionaries, I love the missionaries," from down the street. We started talking to this young lady that looked pretty rough around the edges and she asks where we were from, Elder Jensen said he was from upstate New York and I said I was from Star Valley, Wyoming and she freaks out. She said, “no way! I lived there and I have a bunch of family that still lives there!” She is related to the Hunsaker family. When she first started talking to us her boyfriend started walking away mumbling things about us, but when he heard us talking about Wyoming, he came up and joined in as well! They were on the run but said to stop by anytime. They have really been encouraging and pushing what we call, “The Elder Ballard initiative,” here in Las Vegas.

Last night, we met the nicest old man I have met in a long time. He has been inactive for a while. He started telling us stories about everything you could imagine. He served in WWll. He also told us stories about his wife, who he lost three months ago. They had been married for 67 years. He was a great man. He also had a big talking bird.  It was the craziest thing I have ever seen!

I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting and I shared a line that President Walker uses a lot, "Christ was selfless not selfish.” It is a profound statement and takes a lot of work, but as we rely on Christ’s Atonement, we can always improve!

Well, I hope to get back on the normal routine of writing unless you prefer this way.. let me know. Next week!

I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Pictures from today's hike to La Madrid Springs.





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Update for the Week

This week Elder Call did not send a weekly update.  On Sunday evening a message was sent with pictures from a couple in the Pueblo Ward.  It said, “Your cute boys were a blessing to serve with in the Pueblo Ward!” Transfer news came from the member, “(Elder Call and Elder Jensen) are staying together and being transferred to the Meadows Stake.  They are busy-going to call all the missionaries to let them know if they are getting transferred too.  They are awesome and we will miss them.”


This was transfer week, so the family was not expecting a letter until Tuesday, but this is all we received. (We are really spoiled, because we usually get better letters.)

Early Tuesday morning, Elder Call sent this message to his mom:
“I got super sick last night and wasn't able to sleep.  What could I eat that won't come up today during transfers, temple and departing missionaries?”

After a quick reply to remind him that 7-Up or Sprite, bananas, soda crackers, applesauce and plain rice help upset stomachs, this was his last reply for the week:
“On our way out this morning we stopped by the gas station to grab a 7-Up. I accidentally dropped it and it exploded all over and we had to find another pair of suit pants for Elder Jensen. Let's just say it was a rough start to the day.  I'm doing OK now.”

This was his letter to his dad: “So we are actually getting double transferred out of our area. But yes we were teaching several promise investigators.”

This is the note to Hannah: “Transfer planning went well this past week. We are trying a new way to
do transfers and so that's been a little bit stressful but it has gone somewhat smooth thus far. I am staying with Elder Jensen for another transfer at least, but we are moving wards. We will be covering the Alexander and Pioneer Wards in the Meadows Stake!

Monday, October 2, 2017

General Conference = March Madness

Dear Family & Friends:

9/24 Monday
Today was a super great day. It started off by seeing Brian and Tracy. We invited Brian to Priesthood Session on Saturday and he said, chances are he will be there. We then had a lesson with Ken. When we knocked on his door, he was actually reading the Book of Mormon. He thought it was super awesome that we knocked while he was reading. We had a great lesson with him, but he did bring up a couple concerns that we will be able to resolve next visit. We invited him to watch conference this weekend. It will be good for him to watch because he struggles a little bit with the idea of apostles and prophets.

9/25 Tuesday
We visited the McDonald's... no not the restaurant, the family haha. We knocked on their door probably three weeks ago for the first time. When we did, we talked with Brother McDonald and invited him to come back to church. He has come two of the last three weeks!!! Today we invited him to come to Priesthood Session and he said he would definitely be there!

9/26 Wednesday
Exchanges! I was with a missionary from Guernsey, Wyoming. We had a couple great lessons with Kevin, as well as, Charlie. It has been a little tough teaching Kevin because he is struggling with medical issues. He is super great though and very open to the Gospel! Charlie is ridiculous! haha She goes to seminary every morning, reads the Book of Mormon and prays daily.  She watched Women’s Conference and took a bunch of notes. She is super awesome and would totally get baptized, but she doesn't live in our area and so we are waiting on her family situation to settle down a little bit and get passed off.

9/27 Thursday
Got sizzled like bacon. Man oh man!  So, today we got to teach an older Hawaiian lady named Flora! She is way nice and was part of the Jehovah Witness church in Hawaii but has not attend since moving to the states. She said a couple days ago that we could come by and so we did and taught her the Plan of Salvation! I thought the summer heat of Las Vegas was all over but I guess sitting outside on a pure bright white picnic table, surrounded by brick walls, creates a very hot and bright situation. Elder Jensen and I have extremely sensitive eyes and the sun beaming down off the table was so bright I could only keep one eye open just a little tiny bit haha. After the lesson I got in the car and pulled the phone out of my pocket and it was straight wet from sweat haha. It is a good thing our message is important and true because I would have bounced if it wasn't! She loved it and we all felt the Spirit testify to us of God’s love and His plan for each one of us!

9/28 Friday
Today didn't quite turn out as planned. Our plans fell through but thanks to Elder Jensen being in tune with the Spirit, we were able to teach a lady named Eileen.  Eileen is an older Catholic lady. Who is been through a lot in her life. We taught and testified of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but was not interested in changing religions. I feel if she truly does put in the time to read the Book of Mormon, she would receive answers that she is looking for. One of my favorite things happened tonight. I absolutely love it when I teach the Plan of Salvation.  It like blows people's minds haha! We taught Brenda's sister, Roxy, tonight and she was just loving the lesson! The whole time she was like, "wow, now I understand why Brenda joined your church,” “wow, that makes sense,” “wow, I can't believe how awesome this plan is!" It is my favorite!

General Conference!
It was a super, awesome conference! I loved every minute!  Conference on the mission is like March Madness haha! There were many things I learned: serve more, have faith, fear not, and the importance of the Book of Mormon! We had several investigators watch and they all loved it!

Love,
Elder Call

Pictures sent during General Conference from Las Vegas members:


A note received from the Church today about the shooting in Las Vegas:

2010577@LDSChurch.org                                                       Today at 10:33 AM
To: parents

Message body
Dear Missionaries and Family-

We are saddened to inform you of the recent attack in Las Vegas where an estimated 50 people have been killed and at least 400 were injured when a gunman fired on a Las Vegas country music festival Sunday night on the gambling strip of Las Vegas. The gunman killed himself after the attack.

This is not an area where missionaries proselyte in either of the Las Vegas missions and all of our missionaries are safe.  Please keep the families of these victims in your prayers.

Our missionaries are encouraged to continue blessing the lives and bringing comfort to the people in their area and to not spend time investigating or dwelling on the event.  We read in Preach my Gospel page 2 that President Ezra Taft Benson taught: "We are commanded by God to take the gospel to all the world.  That is the cause that must unite us today.  Only the gospel will save the world from calamity of its own self-destruction.  Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace.  Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family."

Our missionaries report that they are frequently asked why God allows tragedies to happen.  Missionaries are encouraged to ponder their response to such questions. How does our gift of agency prevent God from intervening in poor choice?  How does our gift of agency allow us to live by faith?  How do life's challenges allow us to grow spiritually?  How does this relate to the plan of salvation?

Bishop W. Christopher Waddel, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, taught in the Sunday morning session of conference that whatever change in life's circumstance may come our way, and whatever unexpected path we may have to travel, how we respond is a choice.  Turning to the Savior and grasping His outstretched arm is always our best option.

We know that God loves the people of Las Vegas as do the missionaries.  We will pray for them and the missionaries will continue bless to their lives.

Monday, September 25, 2017

So Much Has Changed

Dear Family & Friends:

9/18 Monday
Today was a pretty good day. We met with President in the usual Monday morning meetings. We then were able to go play some ping-pong with the Las Vegas Zone. I just have to say, Elder Call is undefeated. Just throwing that in there. We then went to the Meadows Zone to play some basketball and some gator ball. It was a good time. We got some proselyting in tonight and had some success. We able to meet a man named Horatio and a lady named Monica. They are super nice and very set on their ways. We had a decent lesson with Ken. We continue to invite him to read the Book of Mormon every single day because that's what he struggles doing. I know that is impossible to get a testimony without reading and pondering and studying the Book of Mormon every single day.  I know without a doubt the Book Mormon is true and that it can change hearts. I think it truly shows how loving of a God we do have, that He allows us to put in the effort to find out if it is true and then He does his part by answering us through the Spirit.

9/19 Tuesday
Today we had District Meeting, as well as, we had interviews with President. Interviews were great! President talked about the difference between Ben and Elder Call. Haha so much has changed... Ben had a testimony, but it wasn't that firm and it surely wasn't getting the nourishment needed to sustain that relationship with God. Ben knew he could pray, but not that he could communicate with God. Ben used the Atonement here and there, but not daily. Ben may have read the scriptures... or listened to them on double speed haha, but he didn't study them. Elder Call has learned so much, but still has so many imperfections, but he is taking one step at a time! I love the opportunity to try to constantly improve!

9/20 Wednesday
I was back with the original brother (MTC companion) today. Elder Couch and I got to beat the pavement of North Las Vegas. We were in the Silver Stone and Arbor View Wards... and most of you probably don't know, but that is the ward that Aunt Maria and Uncle Daryll live in. I drove right past their house and didn't even stop :(. I would have loved to see them but that kind of thing is frowned upon while on the mission. It was fun to be back with Elder Couch. Supposedly, he and a couple other missionaries went fishing and got skunked, so he got a little humbling haha.

9/22 Friday
The long road out to the land of Moapa Valley. We were asked to go on exchanges with out of the valley missionaries. It was super fun to be out in the country and see cows again. Ha ha. One of the weirdest things was to be on a two lane road again. I am used to just being able to change lanes and pass people instead of looking for oncoming traffic. I have to say I do like four-way stops more than stop lights though. Overall it was a solid day.

9/22 Saturday
Elder Jensen and I got to do some service today! We were able to paint a bedroom for a less active family in our ward. Elder Jensen and I had a lot of fun while we did it. After painting we had a lesson with Ken, his baptism was supposed to be today but that didn't happen because he just really struggles with the idea of a prophet in the latter days, as well as the Book of Mormon. We knew today needed to be a game changer lesson and it was!! Ken doesn't respect much of what we have to say and so we brought our ward mission leader who Ken really likes. We taught the restoration and the spirit that was there was super amazing even though there was rap music in the background haha. Ken told us today he wants to get over this hump that he is on and wants to receive some answers it was a good lesson. We then went and gave a blessing to a man that had just had a near death experience and wow that was crazy!

9/23 Sunday
Today was a super, super good day. We were able to set up for Ken to meet with Bishop and so that was good! The last few weeks, several of the less active that we have stopped by and visited have come to church, so it was awesome. We had a couple investigators show up today. Kevin was not able to make it due to medical reasons but we are able to see him later that night. We gave him a Priesthood blessing and it was powerful. After a lesson with Kevin, we were able to go see a family in the ward. We caught them outside their apartment and they invited us in for a few minutes. It was a super awesome miracle. We met them as they were walking to leave for the night. I have been trying to visit with this family ever since I got to this area. There's another testimony builder of God’s divine timing. Earlier today, they attended a church service that they did not enjoy and they were looking for a new church. We were able to testify about the restoration. It was way awesome to see how prepared they were. They asked questions about tithing and about prophets and apostles. They committed to watching General Conference next weekend. A super cool thing is the wife (nonmember) is a good friend to one of our other investigators! Haha it was great.

I am stoked for General Conference this coming weekend.  We are inviting everyone! I am so excited to hear chosen servants of God talk to us! Elder Jensen and I are doing super well. When you serve your companion and when they serve you it is crazy how much better your relationship is with them!

Lots of Love!
Elder Call

Monday, September 18, 2017

Simple, but Profound

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all,
Elder Call

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Huge Miracle

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

- Elder Call NLVWM
Getting rid of the garbage!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Facebook Post

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


Monday, September 4, 2017

Changes

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

- Elder Call NLVWM

A Note from President Walker:

Dear Parents,

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

Warm Regards,

President Walker

Nevada Las Vegas West Mission


 Dear Elders and Sisters,

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

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

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

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

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

- Elder P. Jensen

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

-Elder Call

May we never have anything to hide,

Love President Walker

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A New Companion

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,
- Elder Call NLVWM

Subject:  Careful about the Bird Flu

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

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

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

- Elder Call NLVWM 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Testimony of Book of Mormon

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

8/15 Tuesday
Not too much happened today!

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

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

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

- Elder Call NLVWM

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

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


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Atonement is Real

Dear Family & Friends:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Elder Call NLVWM

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why Does God Love Us So Much?

Dear Family & Friends:

Here is my past week:

6/26 Monday
Tonight we started the no smoking program with Ken! He is ready and excited to get rid of his habits and addictions! We also saw Brenda and Tracy! Brenda told us that she is addicted to genealogy now and spent 8 hours that day working on it haha! We weren't able to go to the temple last week, so hopefully, we can make it this week!

6/27 Tuesday
Today was a tough day. President called and asked us to go to a missionary’s apartment and tell the missionary to pack his bags because he was getting emergency transferred. He wasn't too happy to say the least but it is the last thing that can be done to try to save this elder. After he packed, he spent the rest of the day with Elder Bird and I and then we dropped him off with a set of missionaries that will be his companions. We pray all goes well for him.

6/28 Wednesday
We had an office staff meeting today and we found out that the elder we were with yesterday will be going home. It was super disappointing. We went and saw Brian and Tracy tonight. It has been long time since we saw them and so it was good to catch up with them. They asked if we could come teach them again!

6/29 Thursday
I was on exchanges today with Elder Goad! We taught a lady from the Philippines and a guy from Iran it was pretty cool. The guy from Iran was super weird.  He loves the Mormon Church more than anything, but he just doesn't want to be baptized haha.

6/30 Friday
Not much for today except we did another emergency transfer shifting.

7/1 Saturday
I was with Elder Heahnel today. We had a great day and taught 5 or 6 lessons. We taught the Myers boys today about the Book of Mormon.  As we taught and testified, I felt the Spirit and I felt my love grow for the many blessings God has given us especially the scriptures! A question I ponder on a lot is, “Why does God loves us so much?” I think about Christ's life and his Atonement, the gospel in our lives, the blessings of the priesthood, the scriptures, our families, the list goes on and on and I am marveled at the list of things God has done to show us his love and there truly isn't a complete answer of why but I am truly grateful that He does!

7/2 Sunday
I awoke in the middle of the night to, "Call, watch out, Elder, Elder Call, watch out!" I was like what the heck is going on, so I say, "What? Elder Bird what are you taking about."
He said, "Someone just got hit by a car" and was then right back to sleep. It was super weird haha. This morning I asked him about it and I guess he was having a dream about it... it was pretty funny.

Ken came to church and is still going strong with no alcohol and no smoking! Janice is doing well, also!

Have a great week!
Love,
- Elder Call NLVWM

Monday, June 26, 2017

Atonement of Jesus Christ

Dear Family & Friends:

6/19 Monday
Today started early and quickly! We headed to the church, right away in the morning, to make sure it was all set up! Mission tour went super smooth and it was super great to learn from Elder Costa! The only p-day time we got this week was from 4:00-6:00 and so we got our shopping done and a couple other things taken care of!

6/20 Tuesday
I had the privilege to conduct today, which was a good time! It was definitely a new experience, because I don't have too much experience with that kind of stuff! Something that we have been discussing the last couple of days at mission tour is the “Enabling Power of the Atonement.” It all comes from a talk by Elder Bednar. We, as members of the church, understand a lot about the “redeeming power of the Atonement,” but not too much about the “enabling power of the Atonement!” The Atonement can not only help us go from bad to good, but also good to better! Tonight we got to go to dinner with President and Elder Costa and his family. President Walker was driving ahead of us with Elder and Sister Costa with him and then Elder Costa’s kids were in the next car and then us! It was straight chaos trying to keep up with them! Our tiwi kept yelling at us to slow down but we needed to keep up. The drive ended by President running over a curb because he went into a wrong turn lane to get to the restaurant and Elder Costa’s kids followed them, but Elder Bird and I decided we would drive a little further just to keep it safe! Haha Dinner was a great time and we got to talk a lot and share the gospel with our waitress!

6/21 Wednesday
Today was exchanges! I was with Elder Paige once again. Today started by doing a couple hours of service pulling weeds out of a backyard! It has been a minute since I was able to work like that, so it was fun to do that! Today we worked hard and we were able to meet with a kid named Graylon. We taught him the restoration and he accepted a baptismal date of July 22! Unfortunately, we will have to pass him off to the Young Single Adults (YSA). It was a great day!

6/22 Thursday
Haha, where to begin? Today was slammed with hints to do and it had an interesting start! We went on two exchanges during the day/evening and are on exchanges again tonight. I had a great experience with the missionary I was with earlier tonight. When Elder Bird and I meet up with this companionship, I could tell right away the missionary I was spending the evening with was not doing good. I sat down with him and he begin his rant of how bad of a missionary he was. I listened for a little while and told him that the Lord had someone out there waiting for us to find.  And after we had found him we would come back and talk! We had a super, super good night and set a man that we street contacted into with a date! This missionaries countenance completely changed and he was a different man in just three hours! It was cool!

The day's adventures. Report is "he is fine."

6/24 Saturday
We meet with Janice today and earlier in the week. We taught the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom. Janice was telling us that she is struggling big time with coffee! She has to go to Starbucks and get a cup of ice water because she needs the cup to cover her temptations! Haha she is solid!

6/25 Sunday
We were asked to speak in church today and so we did that! I talked about having the faith to find people that are ready for the Gospel! It went well!

- Elder Call NLVWM

Treat money well spent.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Where True Happiness Comes From

Dear Family & Friends:

6/12 Monday
Well, today, I got all my hair chopped off... and got to play some ball and that's about it!

6/13 Tuesday
Wow, that was a nerve racking lesson with Ken tonight. I thought he was going to drop us haha. We started teaching about following a prophet and he was not a fan of there only being one prophet. His idea of a prophet was that anyone who talked about Christ was a prophet. We were able to clear that up a little bit but we still have some work to do there. He said he would pray about it and see what God had to say!

6/14 Wednesday
So, today, I was on exchanges with Elder Tanginoa. He is from Tonga and he is super awesome! We had a great day.  We taught Brenda and Tracy and we were able to set them with a day to go to the temple! It was great! We saw Joseph and Janice tonight and we had a spiritual lesson, setting Janice with a baptismal date of July 15th! We talked about how one day they are going to have children that will be wearing white shirts and ties teaching people! That is the dream. Today we got a call from Dylan and he said he can't be baptized on Saturday 😪. The person he wants to baptize him isn't available on Saturday and so it has to be pushed back for the next little while, because, he leaves for scout camp on Saturday the 24th and doesn't get back until the 1st. Somewhat of a bummer but it will be better for him.

6/15 Thursday
We had a meeting with President and Sister Walker this morning. They fed us breakfast and we discussed the upcoming Mission Tour that we are having on Monday and Tuesday! I am way excited for it. Elder Costa is coming! We will get to have dinner with him on Tuesday night! We meet with Ken this morning as well and showed him the video of President Monson’s talk entitled "Principles and Promises." He loved it! He opened up to us and told us that he thinks God is answering his prayers in unexpected ways! He said that as he has been reading and meeting with us, he hasn't had the strong desires to continue a lot of his addictions! He is great, we are going to be starting the nonsmoking program with him! Tonight we made the long ‘ol, haul out to Pahrump, Nevada, for an emergency exchange! It was a long drive and I am excited to spend a day in Pahrump!

6/16 Friday
Pahrump is an interesting place... I will say that much. It is a mix between like, Hanksville, Utah, Evanston and Kemmerer, Wyoming. haha. Trailer parks and mobile homes all day! At one point we went up to a house and knocked and we hear a man see that it is us and starts cussing super loud at us and then he opens the door and says "Hey guys, what's up? Talk to me!" Haha I was shocked. His house was quite disgusting. He had particle board for his flooring which was saturated with animal you know what. We asked the dude for water and he brought us a couple sodas. As I drank the soda there was a terrible smell and I realized, the can smelled just like inside the house... gross. We also taught a lady that was from Evanston, Wyoming!! It went great and so it was fun to be around people from Wyoming!

6/17 Saturday
Oh boy, we had a rough lesson! We knocked on a less active members house and went in and started to teach the 15-year-old boy about the importance of serving a mission. During the lesson I randomly got a bloody nose. I went to the bathroom and couldn't get it to stop... they had me in a recliner with an ice pack on the head and drinking water. It was a warm one today but I am not going to complain. You all have been asking about the heat. Yes, it's hot but I have decided that I wasn't going to complain about the heat. I think that even if it is a small statement it would be negative and I want to be positive!! The circumstances around us will always change and many times they will be miserable, hard, or sad, but circumstances don't bring happiness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ does.

6/18 Sunday
Haha Good times. We left our car keys (which has our apartment key on it) inside and closed the door to our apartment which locks automatically... We had to call Brother Marshal and get a ride to church! Thankfully, Elder Logan saved the day and had a spare key at the mission office. Janice and Joseph came to church and stayed for two hours which was great and Ken came again! Tonight we set up for mission tour! We are super excited but a little stressed out because we want things to go smoothly!

Happy Father's Day Dad!!

We have been super busy the last couple of days! Sorry for the lack of emails. I love you all! I will write about mission tour next week!

- Elder Call NLVWM

Monday, June 12, 2017

We Need the Gospel in Our Life

Dear Family & Friends:

Traffic to the airport.
So the other day we roll into an apartment complex and we spot a man we are going to go talk to. haha We scoped him from a mile. So we go up to him and start talking to him. It didn't take long to realize the old man was a little crazy haha. Out of the blue he goes, "Where did you come from, Mars??" I said, "Nah, we actually are from Jupiter" and Elder Bird lost it.  He started laughing and trying to hide it and the old guy says, "Oh yeah, that is the one that has more rings right?" The dude totally believed us, I think haha who knows?  Well, keep it real!

6/6 Tuesday
Running and gunning! Today started off with another adventuress drive to the airport! We had eight missionaries coming in today and they all are going to be super good missionaries. One of the sister’s luggage got stolen, so she will have to go shopping and get all new stuff. We said goodbye to Elder Evanson today. He is going to do great things in the Rancho Ward his last six weeks. We let a set of zone leaders use our car to help with transfers and we got it back today and they had made a mess out of it haha. There was stuff stuck in the seats and crumbs all over it was pretty gross. We weren't too happy, but what can you do!

New Missionaries.

6/7 Wednesday
We had MLC (Mission Leaders Conference) today and that went well! Right in the middle of one of our training's, this monstrous cockroach was crawling on the wall behind me. As I was talking I started to notice that eyes were following something behind me and I turned around to see a real big cockroach on the wall behind me... gross. President stomped it after it started running around. At one point it was under Sister Walker’s scriptures. haha She was more disgusted than me hahaha. We had a couple good lessons tonight with Dylan and Brenda! Dylan is stoked to get baptized on the 17th!

6/8 Thursday
We got to go teach Ken today! To be completely honest the lesson was pretty rough at the beginning, but Ken definitely felt the Spirit and he is starting to change! It is amazing to see the gospel change people! We saw Jenny again tonight! We are really struggling getting her to change and really become committed but we did set her to be baptized on the 8th of July. She needs the Gospel in her life super bad. She is headed to San Diego for a few days so we won't be able to see her for a little while.

6/9 Friday
Well today didn't go as well as planned! Most of our lessons fell through and we also ran out of water and so it is going to be a long haul until Monday so we can actually get some water into our bodies! We talked to some nice people and got a return appointment but nothing crazy solid!

6/10 Saturday
We taught a lot today! We started at Joseph and Janice's place and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson! They are awesome! I can't wait for them to progress in the gospel as a family! We then taught Ken, and Brother Warden came and it was a really great lesson! Ken said that he is all in and ready to be baptized! He is definitely excited about the path he is on! He is changing so much! We also met with a lady tonight that right off the bat felt the Spirit because we shared a scripture that touched her big time! It was sweet! She said she would come to church!

6/11 Sunday
Ken came to church and loved it! Also Janice and Joseph came and they liked it! Both talks had amazing stories that were perfect for Ken and Janice! It was great. Dylan came to church and is all set to be baptized on Saturday! It was a great week!

Things are well in Las Vegas! Next week Elder Costa is coming for a mission tour and we get to go to dinner with him.  It will be sweet! I am super excited! Elder Bird and I are getting along well! We already have our halibut trip planned!
Love you all

- Elder Call NLVWM

Brenda & Tracy's baptism


Saying Good-bye to Elder Barton -- See last week's post



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Work Harder

Dear Family & Friends:

Time flies!  It has already been six weeks since last transfer, thus the Tuesday letter.

I would really appreciate some snail mail 😘😘

5/30 Tuesday
Stressful day today for sure! We did transfer planning and we found out that Elder Evanson was going to be dropped and we would be getting Elder Bird. I am little stressed to take the responsibility of training a new AP. We will be getting Elder Bird on Saturday. We met with Dylan and then also Brenda tonight they are doing well and Brenda is ready and super excited for her baptism on Saturday!

5/31 Wednesday
So yesterday we received a referral for a man named Ken. Ken went on Mormon.org looking for addiction help and started to chat with a representative and was referred to us. We met with him today and had a good lesson. It was pretty funny because pretty much everything we said about prophets, the Godhead, and the Book of Mormon he would just say, “Wow, I am going to have to pray long and hard about that one!” Haha at least he is willing to pray! We saw Janice and Joseph tonight and had another spiritual lesson with them!

6/1 Thursday
Satan tries hard, we try harder. Every time someone is getting close to baptism Satan tries to keep them from that. Brenda called us today and told us that Tracy doesn't want to be baptized anymore because she wouldn't be able to be confirmed with Brenda because they live in different wards and their Sacrament Meetings start at the same time. We panicked a little bit but called Tracy and so we have somewhat of a game plan of how we will accommodate both of them. We also had a pretty rough lesson with Dylan and Brandon. We tried the bribery approach and told them we would give them a candy bar if they would read the first two chapters and write down three questions. The only thing it did was make them lie and give them a few more calories. haha Never again.... Tonight we prayed our hearts out for Brenda and Tracy because their baptism is on Saturday!

6/2 Friday
Prayers were answered!!! Tracy talked to her mother, who has been very ill and she was fine that Tracy was getting baptized! Tracy said that it will be fine that she gets confirmed by herself so that was such a blessing! We had a great lesson with a man named Dan. Dan is super awesome he started taking notes while we taught so he would remember and know what he needed to do! It was great!

6/3 Saturday
The baptism went really well! There were 5 non-members there! The problem was there was an auction going on in the gym at the same time and so it got kinda noisy. We picked up Elder Bird today and he is such a good missionary! He is from Klawock, Alaska. He goes home in six weeks though. I am excited to learn from him!

6/5 Sunday
Dylan came to church!! Also, Brenda got confirmed and it was super cool to see her countenance change! Right after her confirmation she got up and was sooo confident and happy! She was shaking people's hand and went up to the mic and thanked everyone! It was so cool! Another really awesome thing was that at Tracy's ward she was confirmed and Brad Wilcox was there and he gave her one of his books and it made her life! Haha Tonight we had the departing dinner for the missionaries going home. It was a lot of fun to be with those great missionaries. The food was way good!

6/6 Monday
We went to the airport to drop off the missionaries. I said adios to Elder Barton. The route to the airport is straight insane! I was a little nervous driving because traffic is super bad towards the center of town. It was like driving threw a cattle drive where the cows won't move out of the way! We meet with Ken and he wants to be baptized on July 17th! He still has a lot to pray about and learn but he is excited for his baptism!

Lots of love,
- Elder Call NLVWM

On Friday night a messages was sent home by a member in one of the wards Ben serves in with this caption:  "Your boys providing service ... or taking home leftovers ... we're not sure! 😉😉