Monday, February 27, 2017

There Are No Coincidences

Dear Family & Friends:

We were actually asked to share an experience to the Primary kids Sunday, as well, so that is cool! I am stoked for Parker! (Parker is Ben’s cousin and has just received a mission call to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.) Isn't it amazing to see the spirit of missionary work and the excitement for missionary work spread to those around us?! Missionaries say sometimes, “like I only have two months left, so it doesn't matter” or the opposite as in “I have twenty months, so it doesn't really matter what I do!” Or “when someone decides that it doesn't matter if they serve or not.” What all of those people are saying is that what the Lord wants me to do is not important and that there are better things to do then to serve our Savior, Jesus Christ. The man’s comment about Las Vegas being better than Star Valley because it is where the Lord wants me, has made such an impact on me! I wrote about it weeks ago (http://eldercallnlvw.blogspot.com/2017/01/find-blessings.html.) Not only as missionaries does God need us here in Las Vegas for two years, He (Heavenly Father needs us every day and every moment, somewhere, to touch someone's life and that is not possible if we are held up by a lack of desire or contention. I am so excited for Parker! God NEEDS him in Philadelphia and he will be able to touch lives there!

2/20 Monday
Tonight we had a lesson set up with the Rodarte's and Andrew (a young man in the ward) came with us. We knocked on the door and it ended up that they had forgot, so it was cancelled. Andrew wanted to try tracting, so we split up in twos and went tracting. Andrew was super excited and the first two answers were not super nice and he quickly realized that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be! We tracted into some super nice people and so that was good for him to see some light! I was impressed with him and I know he will be a great missionary!

2/21 Tuesday
We met a few very nice less actives today! Sister Scott talked with us for a while and she actually lives with her family that is not members but unfortunately they are not interested right now. We also saw Brother Howard. He is a returned missionary from England and was extremely active in the church but got a divorce and felt he was treated poorly and hasn't been active since. He still has a testimony and knows so much about the church it is crazy! It is unfortunate that he is not allowing himself to receive all the blessings God has in store for him.

2/22 Wednesday
Another interesting day in Las Vegas. We had a lesson with a less active and was asked for marriage advice... I am not sure if three young guys are the ones to ask for that! We were able to help her though and teach about prayer and receiving answers along with baring testimony of the plan that God has for each of us. I have such a strong testimony that there isn't such thing as a coincidence and that God has things happen for a reason and we may not understand why for a long time! Things happen for a reason! We saw the Rodartes tonight and they bore testimony in the blessings of paying tithing. They have paid faithfully since they joined the church and they have had enough money to get by ever since! They are great!

2/23 Thursday
Today was kind of a rough day. I was super tired and weekly planning was long and frustrating so it went by super slow. We had dinner with the Patton/Fullers and so that was as great as always! Brother Fuller was stealing money out of Sister Patton’s bag that was on the table when she wasn't paying attention and so they got into it and argued how much money he actually took because he would only give back a little bit haha. It was pretty funny and it was definitely something I would do...

2/24 Friday
We did service for the Hamilton's tonight and it was setting up their Apple TV. Elder McClure LOVES technology and the same with Elder Alison and so instead of being in the way, I took a seat in their super fancy massage chair and enjoyed my time! There wasn't much for me to do! It felt good!

2/25 Saturday
Today was the baptism for Tierra. Tierra and her brother walked into our Sacrament Meeting several weeks ago, but ended up being in a different wards boundaries and was taught by other missionaries. We were able to go to her baptism anyways! She is awesome! She has been dealt a tough hand of cards but she is doing very well! She is 13 and lives with her cousin because her parents are not around. She wants to serve a mission so that will be cool if she stays strong in the gospel! We saw the Bradley’s tonight and they had just gotten a puppy! It was super cute! It reminded me of Lucky when he was a pup!

2/26 Sunday
Wow, I have never been so tired at church in my life. I stayed up and talked to Elder McClure last night and then had to be awake at 5:30 to get ready to go to ward council at 6:30. We didn't get a break because of the other wards meeting and so we were at the church building sitting for ten or so hours and it just killed me haha. There was a mission homecoming in one of the wards, but the first speaker spoke the entire time until the meeting was over and so they skipped the musical and gave him five minutes to speak and report his mission. I felt bad for him because he had family and friends that didn't get to hear much from him!

Lots of love,
- Elder Call 🎰💵🎰💵 NLVWM

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Restoration of The Gospel

Dear Family & Friends:

We had a much needed great week!

2/13 Monday
Today was a blast. We played basketball and a kid came that is one of the best in Nevada. We had some good games, so that was fun. The kid could throw it down like no one’s business, so it was cool to see him dunk. We had a good lesson with Brother Labovitz and committed him to read the Book of Mormon, so hopefully, we can get him to progress. It is tough because he is Jewish and so he doesn't have a belief in Jesus Christ.  We are trying to help him understand Christ!

2/14 Tuesday
We had Zone Training Meeting today and it was so sweet!! The dinner rule got changed back but that wasn't the sweet part!  The best part was we were talking about how a member dinner should go and how we should always be acting as representatives of Jesus Christ. We were doing a role play of a member dinner to show us how to receive referrals and how to build trust and right in the middle of a super spiritual part, a man opens the door to the room and asks, "Is this a church?" He is visiting his friend for three months and wants a church to attend during his stay so he decided to come and figure out what kind of church he would be coming to because it is right next to his house!! We were able to get his information and he said he would be to church on Sunday! We had another new member lesson with the Rodartes tonight and it was stellar. Sister Rodarte almost taught the lesson of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ! She has seen such a change in her life for the better it is great! We got a text earlier today from Brother Stucki asking if his wife's baptism could be this Saturday! She is finally getting baptized.  She has been taught by missionaries for the last three years, so we are way excited for her!

2/15 Wednesday
We had Zone Conference today and it was great!  I talked with a sister from Louisiana and she asked if I had a friend on his mission there and sure enough, Elder Brigg Hoopes is serving in her home branch or ward, I don't remember! There are connections all over the place with people I know. I talked with an RM the other day and he served in the same district as Elder England in Scottsdale. We had a spiritual lesson with the Herleans tonight and so we are excited for Krew's baptism on the 18th of March!

2/16 Thursday
Sister Stucki's baptism interview went well and so we are all set for Saturday! We had to go on exchanges with our District Leader because they had service and he is super sick. Elder Alison got all but one of us sick in the district!

2/18 Saturday
The baptism was a great experience for the Stucki family! Unfortunately, the ward did not turn out, but the Spirit was super strong and just a nice service. Their five kids that are not baptized attended and I think that being at the baptism made them want to be baptized.  Hopefully, we can start teaching them! Tonight we taught Tom and we ended up inviting him to be baptized. He said that he thinks all baptisms are the same and so he has already been baptized! He said that he doesn't understand the authority we claim to have. We talked about the Priesthood and then at the end it came out that he was struggling with some things in his situation and so we offered him a Priesthood Blessing. We gave him a blessing and at the end he said, "I want to tell you guys something. While you gave me the blessing I kept seeing two pictures in my mind. One picture was Christ and the other was the three apostles giving Joseph Smith the Priesthood. Wow, the Spirit filled the room and so hopefully next week we will be able to set Tom with a date! He is another that has been taking the lessons for years!

2/19 Sunday
We had a couple people at church today! A lady that has been inactive for years talked to us at the end and really want us to come help her in her return to activity in the church! We met a weird dude tonight which is not unusual here in Vegas! We knocked on his door and he pokes his head out and I think one of the first things he said was "you found me."  He is a member and actually a return missionary. He wanted us to come by this Tuesday and said we were going to have some good discussions... It was just super strange the entire time we talked to him at the door, so who knows what is going to happen on Tuesday! Never a dull day in sin city!

Something that I have learned this week is that for years missionaries all around the world think that the Restoration is just the bringing back of a church or bringing back of the Priesthood or kind of just a history lesson. But it is the Restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. All that was restored was the knowledge of actual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, true repentance, baptism by proper authority and receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end by partaking of the sacrament and making and keeping covenants! That is what was restored! I learned that we don't read the Book of Mormon to know if it is true but we read it to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was truly restored and if it is the way we follow the gospel and if it truly was restored!

With lots of love,
- Elder Call 🎰💵🎰💵 NLVWM


Monday, February 13, 2017

Blessings

Dear Family and Friends:

2/6 Monday
With a First Edition of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants
Today was a busy day! We got to do all of the normal P-Day activities that we usually do, which is always fun. Tonight we had a lesson with the Rodartes. They decided they wanted to feed us and so when we arrived there was all sorts of food! They made some cheese stuffed jalapeños and wow! were those good! Sister Rodartes mom is a non-member and I was able to talk to her and try to start to build a relationship with her so we can start teaching her! She doesn't speak great English but understands it perfectly. She is from Mexico City and so I told her about Alex and was able to pull up his emails and show her pictures of his experiences so far in the mission! She loved seeing missionaries in her own city. It is a testimony that the Lord works in interesting ways and things you never would think of talking to her come to mind! We also had a lesson with the Henning/Labovitz family. Brother Labovitz is the Jewish man that sits in with his wife's reactivation lessons wink, wink, haha! We lost them though because upon arrival Elder McClure asked them about some of the dragon games they play and so they described how they play this game Dungeons and Dragons. It is where you pretty much create a storyline of yourself in a manically sense. For me it would be impossible to use my imagination like that. It was all up Elder McClure's alley so he was loving it, but Elder Alison had no idea of what they were talking about. On the drive home Elder Alison was saying how when they were talking about these imaginary things in their game he wasn't sure if they were being serious about these things happening in real life or if they were just crazy hahaha. I was laughing super hard because I was just as lost as him but I at least knew that they were talking about a game!

2/7 Tuesday
I was a lucky man today! Got the mail today and got three packages! Big thanks to my Mom, my Grandma, and the Howells! I have world’s best friends and family! We tracted a couple hours today and not much came from it but it was fun! We had a lesson with the Bradford’s tonight and they were asking questions about where each of us were from and they were really intrigued by Wyoming until they asked me about the cold and the winters! They decided Wyoming was not a place they wanted to move to... just the way we like it!  We had ward coordination with our new ward mission leader and he gave us the idea to write the names of the people that we are working with down on a sticky note and have 5-minute member visits to ask members to pray for these individuals. I am excited to try it out!

2/8 Wednesday
Finally, we were able to meet with Joseph again! His mom, Claudette, wasn't there because she started working again, so it does not leave her with time for us, but she is asking her boss for Sunday's and Monday off so she can attend church! The last time we meet with them Joseph was very troubled and very closed so we have been worried for him, but today we were able to get him to open up and share with us what was going on. He has many friends that found out he is becoming a "Mormon" and so they have fed him anti stuff and that gave him doubts and questions. We were able to answer some of those and reestablish the purpose of the Book of Mormon. I look forward for his continued conversion to the Savior!

2/9 Thursday
Today we had a couple lessons. They were very interesting haha. The first lesson was with Sister Patton and Brother Fuller.  Sister Patton gave us these big knives that are pretty cool so that was super nice of her! Brother Fuller tried telling us this story that he has told us on several occasions about his near death experience. Sister Patton kept interrupting and telling him how boring the story is and how he has told us already several times. It was kinda funny haha! We had a short lesson with the Stucki’s. I say short because it was like 10-15 min max. You could tell she was super mad about something and so it was super awkward so we taught and got out of there!

2/10 Friday
Today I was on exchanges with Elder Townsend. He is from Nebraska and is a cool guy. I am started to get a little worried because as we were on bikes. I was sweating like a horse and was thinking it was super-hot outside but it is only like 70. I braved up and held a disgusting lizard it was pretty gross. We got them a new investigator, named Mark, that we met as we were walking down the street.  We set up another appointment to come and teach his family on Sunday. We stopped by this members house and they opened the door and no joke about five feet from the door was their ping pong table. The wife made some comments of how bad she hates it taking up her entire front room. We got to play and after months of not playing I was terrible and got stomped by Elder Townsend, so that was humbling, haha. It was a fun day!




2/11 Saturday
Rumor has it dinners are going to get changed back but I am not sure. It rained so much and so it was a fun day!

A couple of weeks ago I was studying in PMG and it said that as missionaries as we think of the things we teach all throughout the day we will be more powerful teachers. I thought that one way I could do that was pondering one principle that I teach each week! This week was the Gospel blesses families and individuals. I have been able to see that this week as I have observed the life of members, nonmembers, less actives. God blesses us in many ways!

Lots of love,
- Elder Call 🌵🎰🌴☀️ NLVWM



Monday, February 6, 2017

Another Week With Changes

Dear Family & Friends:

Another week has come and gone.  Here is what happened:

1/31 Tuesday
Transfer day! We have added Elder Beccari from Brazil with us and so we are excited to go to work with him. He is from São Paulo Brazil and is straight crazy haha. He is nonstop energy so it is always interesting. He is super funny! We had our last member dinner because the new rules go into effect tomorrow. We ate at a restaurant named Island Flavor with some of the Poly's in the ward. It was super good but turned out to be a big sticky hand fight between all of their kids! We got quite the looks!

2/1 Wednesday
We got to go to the temple today, which is always great! The temple was way better than the ride there! There were five missionaries and the driver and I were sitting on the sunny side and the AC wasn't on and I got super hot and started sweating, but I, for some reason, didn't ask for some air haha! Tonight we did some tracting which was is always interesting! We talked with people that weren't super interested but they listened to us and were friendly which is always a plus!

2/2 Thursday
Tonight we had a lesson with a part member couple that we have been teaching for a little while! It is always super hard to teach them because the husband, who is a member, always talks about how God could not love him because of his health problems and how he doesn't understand why things are going so bad! He was ordained an elder a few months ago but he isn't able to go to church very often. He is planning on baptizing his wife, hopefully, at the end of this month! He is a good guy and I know he felt the Spirit during our lesson!

2/3 Friday
We have a different missionary with us now. Elder Beccari and Elder Alison switched places because Elder Alison can't bike and he was in a bike area.  Elder Alison is from the southern part of the Philippines and has been serving for 21 months! He is super cool and we get along well. I am excited to serve with him! We had a lesson with Tom tonight and it was a really good lesson we committed him to come to church again because he hasn't been since the time changed to 8:30. We went and saw some members and got a couple member referrals so we are excited to contact them!

2/4 Saturday
It was such a long night! Elder Alison snores so bad that it is ridiculous. I couldn't sleep so it was a brutal night. We contacted one of the referrals and he was smoking pot and tried to avoid us haha.  He was nice, but not interested! We had our one dinner for the week with members and had some super good steaks! Wow it was so good!

2/5 Sunday
It was a great Sacrament Meeting! I miss having all the crazy people that were in Charleston Ward. All we had today was a man got up and sang for us, haha it was funny haha!


This week was super good! We had a couple of people at church so that was good! We learned today that this family that has come to church the last 5 weeks straight is a part member family!! We went and saw them last night and the dad is not a member but he is the reason his family is active haha.

The meals we have prepared have been spaghetti and burritos and then breakfast items. I am in an internal conflict on what to do about cooking.  Elder Alison has been helping a lot lately so that has been nice.  I made some killer spaghetti and garlic toast! Could I have a recipe for biscuits and homemade gravy!

Lots of love,
Elder Call