Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lots to Learn

Dear Family and Friends:

4/18 Tuesday
Today in District Meeting we talked about how when you are obedient to God’s commandments, the Spirit will be with you and when the Spirit is with you, miracles may come. So exact obedience brings miracles, thanks to the Spirit! As a mission we have been pushing and encouraging sacrifice and obedience. This last month the mission had 55 convert baptisms! The mission hasn't seen that in years! It is exciting to be a missionary in Las Vegas! We saw the Russo's again tonight and brother Russo will receive the Priesthood soon and then Harbor’s baptism will soon follow!

Almost forgot...
Today after District Meeting we went to Firehouse Subs and Elder Beccari said he would pay for my lunch if I let him put any hot sauce he wanted on one half of the sandwich. I agreed to the deal, knowing that I was going to be hurting because Firehouse is known for their variety of hot sauces. I enjoyed my first half of the sandwich but no more than two bites in I couldn't take it! I was hurting super bad and I kept drinking more and more water... I still am not sure what was worse the tingling numbing in the mouth or the extreme belly pains from drinking sooo much water! The best part was Elder Beccari didn't think it would be that bad and so he put it on his sandwich and he was crying as well, haha!

4/19 Wednesday
Went on exchanges with Elder Bassett today! He is from South Carolina and is a great guy! I asked him what his hobbies were and I got an answer I never have gotten before! Origami and Star Wars Legos. He has been serving for 21 months. We had a lesson with a less active lady and talked about the spirit world and heaven because she asked about her father, who is not living the way she would like to see, and wanted to know what was going to happen to him. Afterwards she asked why live the way Christ wants us to now if we will have a chance repent in the next life. We asked her a question in response to her and I posed this question to myself after pondering on the lesson: “What blessings in my/your life come because of the knowledge and faith we have?” A list could go on forever.

4/20 Thursday
Today we met with a girl that was baptized about a year ago that has been less active for a few months now. She has a lot of faith and love for Christ. Her family wasn't supportive but she knew the gospel had been restored. She said she would come to church! So hopefully she comes!

4/21 Friday
I was on exchanges with Elder Beccari from Brazil today! He is a great missionary and was called as a district leader and so I am excited for him! We saw Brother Campbell and he was doing well! It was good to catch up with him! He is working towards the temple!

4/22 Saturday
We did a lot today! We were called into a move and then during that we went and helped shovel a bunch of rocks. We didn't have enough time to change and so we did it in our pros clothes. I love doing service and helping people out! I had a meeting with President today and he called me to be one of the AP's in the mission.... I have no idea what President is thinking. There are a lot of missionaries that should be the AP.  I am super scared and nervous. Tonight we had dinner with kind of the Mom in the area, Sister Hamilton! The Hamilton’s are the nicest people ever!  We had a 5 course meal haha. Shrimp cocktail, salad, sorbet to clean mouth, steak and potatoes, and then dessert. Wow, it was good but I wasn't able to eat much. Official transfer calls were tonight I will be headed to Redrock Stake in the Pueblo and Town Center wards! My companion is going to be Elder Evanson! Elder Evanson is from Canada and has been out 21 months he is a really good missionary.  I will be able to learn a lot from him. People are as shocked as I am because I have only been a district leader for 6 weeks.

4/23 Sunday
Our church day started early. We had to wake up at 5:30 so we could get ready for Ward Council. Krew passed the Sacrament today and it touched me to see such a great change in his life! I found out that one of the wards I am going to is Krew’s grandparents ward and so every time Krew and his family go to church with their grandparents, I will get to see them!
Elder Evanson & Elder Call

4/24 Monday
I am now with Elder Evanson and Elder Nicholas. We had a great day and are always super busy. Tomorrow we are picking up the new missionaries and Elder Nicholas will be leaving. Today we talked to a lot of people and set up some return appointments.  My head is going a thousand miles an hour... we have a ton of things that I never had to worry about haha! Elder Nicholas and Elder Evanson are extremely good missionaries and I have a lot to learn and I am excited for the challenge!

4/25 Tuesday
Spending today with the new missionaries!

I love you all!
Elder Call
Elder Jensen, Elder Pederson, Elder Ebert, Elder Call, Elder Price

Rodartes Family

The Headlee Family

Elder Pederson, Brother Headlee, Elder Call

Monday, April 17, 2017

"What Shall I Do?"

Dear Family & Friends:

Just a reminder that next week is transfers, so no letter until Tuesday!

4/10 Monday
We had a lot of things planned to do today. We had plans to go to Bass Pro Shops and a car dealership/museum and do some other stuff, but the zone leaders truck got broken into and damaged, so they had to deal with that and get a different car. It ended up working out and we got to go everywhere we wanted. Bass Pro Shops was a lot of fun. We topped the day off with a couple hours of basketball. Not much happened tonight, we just knocked a lot of doors!

4/11 Tuesday
We did some service today helping with this massive TV. We also talked with Krew tonight and finished up all the paperwork from his baptism. He is excited to be able to go to the temple and to also pass the sacrament!

4/12 Wednesday
We got to go and visit Tina today. She is a less active lady that is coming back to church! As we talked to her she told us that we help her so much when we come by. She struggles with depression and she feels better when we come. I know it is nothing that we do but it is all what the Spirit does. Christ is most definitely our light and His Atonement has healing power in everyone's life. We also met with the Russo's tonight. The Russo's live in Rhodes Ranch and a lot of the house are the same every third house. Not really thinking I parked the car and we went and knocked on what we thought was the Russo's door! We were pretty disappointed when there was no answer because we thought that they stood us up! Thankfully, before we drove off to the next place we were going, we checked our ipad and realized we knocked on the wrong house! The lesson was great and so it all turned out!

 4/14 Friday
We saw the Patton/Fuller’s and they are doing well. We are hoping that all the help and love they got while moving would touch his heart a little bit but I don't know If it did. We saw Sister Scott as well tonight she is doing well! Tonight we were street contacting and we were in neighborhood we had tracted two days previous and we saw a guy that we had talked to and giving a pamphlet to. He was outside cooking on his porch. He is from China and has no Christian background at all. We talked to him and he offered us some food, we took it and it was good except it had these dried peppers and they made my mouth go on fire haha. I was crying, sniffing and sweating! Haha we wrapped up the conversation quickly after that so I could go get a drink out of the car haha. My stomach was super upset the rest of the night!

4/15 Saturday
Mighty Mormon Movers are back folks! The zone leaders and us went and helped this nonmember family move! It took 5 hours and was so awesome! At the end we taught them about the Restoration and I bet they will get baptized! We just moved everything into a storage unit because they don't know where they are moving to yet and are just living in Cesar's Palace (it's a casino) haha. We also went to a ward activity and had a horseshoe tournament. I was one match away from playing for 3rd place trophy. It was way fun. Brother Headlee (our ward mission leader) is the one that beat me, so I will have to hear about it til the day I leave the area ha.

4/16 Sunday
Easter! Sacrament meeting was really good today! We didn't have as many investigators there as we were hoping for but that is just what happens in missionary life haha. We had dinner with the Headlee’s and sure enough horseshoes was brought up, but, it is OK, because I can beat him at b-ball and that is what matters most!  During Elders Quorum today, we taught chapter eight and I loved the relation President Hinckley made with the question Pilate posed, “What shall I do with this man Jesus, who they call Christ?” What do we do with our beliefs in Christ? What should we do because of our testimonies in Christ?

- Elder Call 🎰💵🎰💵 NLVWM

Monday, April 10, 2017

Busy Week

Dear Family & Friends:

My report for the week goes:

4/3 Monday
Today we went golfing in Pahrump, Nevada. The manager of the golf course is a member and he let us go golfing for free! It was a lot of fun. We play best ball and Elder Ebert and I lost this time, but we will beat them next time haha.

4/4 Tuesday
We taught the Russo's tonight and Brother Russo met with Bishop so he may receive the priesthood! While Brother Russo was in the interview, we taught Harbor and Sister Russo about the commandments and about having a prophet on the earth today! After that we went and saw a young man that is interested in the activities in the Young Men's program. Hopefully he will start coming!

4/5 Wednesday
Tonight was a busy night! We went to the Herlean’s and Krew was interviewed for his baptism on Friday! He is all set! His dad doesn't shake hands with me anymore he just hugs me haha. Krews little brother, Nixon, was outside while we were outside before the interview and he was riding his bike and a neighborhood kid pretty much tackled him off his bike and he scorpioned. He was a stud and walked away without crying. He lost a lot of skin to the pavement so I am sure he was hurting bad! After the Herlean’s we went and helped with a move. As usual they had way more stuff then we thought and it took a total of three hours even though we had ten guys there. A weight from their bench press fell and landed on Brother Moffat's foot. He was hurting bad.

4/6 Thursday
We had interviews with President today and that was great! We had a lesson with Jamal tonight and he doesn't quite understand our purpose completely. When we asked him to read and continue to come to church and he said at he would do that for us... not what we wanted to hear! We will explain next time the purpose and the reason behind it!

4/7 Friday
Elder Call, Krew, Elder Pederson
Around 2 today we got a phone call from our Zone Leaders and they told us that the baptismal font was super dirty and gross and it needed to be cleaned before the baptism. We went and changed and started to clean the font. It was a mess and we scrubbed an hour and a half and still wasn't super clean. We knew we had to start filling it soon in order for it to be full by the time the baptism is. As we were scrubbing, I realized that the cleaners we were using made bubbles... and I started to panic a little bit imagining Krew getting baptized in a font that looks like a bubble bath! Now that I think about it, it might be easier to get someone all the way under if you had several inches of bubbles helping you out! Long story, somewhat short, we cleaned it the best we could and got it filled up for the baptism and there were no bubbles! We set up 60 chairs and figured that it would be plenty for the baptism.... There were over a hundred people that showed up so we set up every chair in the room and brought others in and people still had to stand in the hallway! It was crazy! Krew is a great kid and I am excited for his future in the gospel!

4/8 Saturday
Met with man named Doyle and that was good. We got some of his life story and we think he is ready to change his life!

4/9 Sunday
Krew was confirmed and actually is ordained a deacon now! Super stoked for him! He wants to serve in the Dominican Republic where his dad served. That would be cool.

Elder Call

A letter we received from the Mission today:

April 10, 2017
Dear Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Relatives and Friends of Missionaries in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission,

It is our privilege to have been entrusted to have your son or daughter placed into our care.  At our recent MLC (Mission Leadership Council-attended by Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders and Assistants), the problems arising from family and friends visiting the mission and missionaries were discussed and the Mission Leadership has requested that a communication be sent to parents reminding them of the directive given by the First Presidency regarding visits from family and friends.

Here are the rules the mission is to live by as stated in their missionary handbook:  “Visits from family members, friends and acquaintances  are against Church policy. The impact of such visits may extend far beyond the visit itself, both before and after the visit and among other missionaries.  It can often take some time for missionaries to refocus on their callings and their work. While expressing your love and your desire to share your experiences with them (meaning family and friends) after you have been released, help those who may want to visit you understand the importance of maintaining a singleness of heart and mind on the work of the Lord (see Matt. 10:37-39; Luke 9:61-62)”

In an effort to correct a situation that is near out of control in the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission, I as the mission president have drafted the following letter pleading that you seek to follow the counsel given.

Many do not think it would be a problem to visit your one missionary, but the ripple effect of that one visit effects many facets of the Lord’s work. You may ask why is this a problem. First of all, these missionaries have come on a mission for the Lord to reveal to them who they are and for they, the missionary to come to know who they are without distractions and interruption.  Second, they and you agreed to dedicate and sacrifice 18 month or 2 years to this work, agreeing to serve according to the guidelines given.

Just in the past week alone we had 4 missionary’s family members ask if they could visit their missionaries. These families were given the rules the missionaries are to live by in the missionary handbook, which states that visit from family and friends are not authorized.  Three of the families went against this counsel and still visited their Missionary. In addition, this week, there was another family that just showed up at the church buildings where the missionary was trying to fulfill their sacred calling to serve the Lord. Some families do not make a personal visit, but their missionary knows they are in town having a family vacation here.

Brothers and Sisters, I feel an obligation to you as parents to protect this precious time of these missionaries. Family members come into town and leave and go back to normal life, but the missionary is left feeling guilty, disobedient, and distracted. They have to seek to build momentum again.  Then there is the consequences that are placed upon the innocent companions.

Please , this is a major problem. Las Vegas is a destination location. I understand that, but just because it is close to home or a place to visit, please do not let this be a reason to affect your missionary in a negative way. I get 1-2 calls or requests every week from family and friends wanting permission to see their missionary. These are just the ones I hear about. Missionaries are also getting requests from home and then there are the ones that just drop by without asking. With 75 companionships of missionaries and an average of 2 requests a week, can you see how the Nevada Las Vegas West Mission would lose the spirit and momentum these wonderful Elders and Sisters work so hard to accomplish. Just this last month we had 55 baptisms in the mission. That number represents faith, hard work and sacrifice.  Missionaries seek to live strictly obedient lives to be led to the honest in heart, to those who are almost completely hopeless and thinking that the Lord has forgotten them. Then this momentum is lost in one visit from home.

Sister Walker and I love these missionaries. They are the best of the best.  The Lord is counting on them. This mission has been promised daily miracles if the missionaries will seek obedience. We are seeing daily miracles. I pray the missionaries are sharing their experiences with you.

I picture mothers and fathers on their knees pleading for their sons and daughters to have the best possible experience here as the Lord’s servants. I picture myself facing you parents and accounting that I have done all I can to bless these missionaries. Thanks for your attention to this concern.

Warm Regards,

President Martin Walker
Nevada Las Vegas West Mission

Monday, April 3, 2017

Great Conference Week

Dear Family & Friends:

This was a great week! I am doing really well! I loved Conference so much! I loved the statement, “the hardest ones to love, are the ones that need love the most!” Oh, is that true in missionary work!

3/28 Tuesday
Today was a great day! We had District Meeting this morning and that went well! This afternoon we had a just a couple minutes before we had to be somewhere and we were led to a house and we knocked and a girl answered and is interested in learning more! She is sixteen and has a lot of friends that are LDS, so she knows quite a bit! She isn't available ‘til next week so we will stop by then! We met with the Russo's tonight and Harbor is doing super well! We tried to set her with a date but it was decided that her dad is going to be getting the priesthood, so we will hold off so he can baptize her! It will be great for that family! We did a couple quick member lessons and those went super well. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the importance it plays in our lives. There was a video that was shown in District Meeting today from The District 2 and the missionaries were telling this investigator that all the answers to everything they taught was in her hands! As we talked with the members, we testified of the power the Book of Mormon can have and they were excited to hand some out! I know without a doubt that all answers can be found in the pages of the Book of Mormon!

3/29 Wednesday
Today was a good day! We went to the Herlean’s tonight to get everything arranged for Krew’s baptism! It is always interesting going over there because Brother Herlean likes to show how "tough" he is. He was drinking while we were there and by the end he was a little drunk. He gave me a big hug and thanked me for the relationships I have built with his boys. I feel so bad for that family because there is a lack of respect and love. I am excited for Krew and his baptism! He told us tonight that he wants to serve a mission!

3/30 Thursday
Today there was a crazy storm! The wind blew like crazy all day and it got super, super dusty and dirty and then it rained and it rained mud! There were trees that fell over everywhere. We were able to meet with Joseph today for the first time in a long while. It went well he said that his mom still wants to be baptized but he isn't sure anymore because he would have to change so many things in his life. It saddened me to hear that because I know he would be so much more happy if he sacrificed! Sacrifice brings blessings! We will be praying for them!

3/31 Friday
Tonight was a ward party! It is what they call PCT (Pre-Conference Tacos). It was a lot of fun and Jamal and Sergio came.  It was great for the ward members see that we are working hard to find people to teach! The tacos were super good and Jamal had fun!

4/1 Saturday
Today was a wonderful day! Tonight we were asked if any miracles happened to us today. I thought for a second and then told them that we got to hear from Apostles and Prophets that are directing us to Jesus Christ! What a miracle it is to listen, ponder, and act upon the counsel we are given each and every conference! We watched the morning session at the church and then were invited to go watch the afternoon session at an investigators house in the Zone Leaders area! This man is famous in that area because he is straight crazy. I don't think his marijuana intake helps with that! Anyway it took him a good hour to finally sit down and watch because I don't think he wanted to watch very bad, so he was making a lot of excuses haha. Afterwards he showed us his back yard which contained a pond of fifteen 30-pound carp like fish and a golfing green! We took a round on the golfing green and my team took the cake as usual. Elder Ebert and I are on a team and we won in golf last week as well, so we are pretty humble.... After Priesthood, we ran and got some tacos. While eating, two bikers came up to us in their leather jackets and said a prayer with us! One of them is a Pastor for a "Bikers Church of Christ" or something like that! They were so nice and thanked us for our service!

4/2 Sunday
Stellar day! Not many days get the title of “Stellar” even though every day is the best day ever because, why not have the “best day ever” everyday haha! So, this morning we went and had breakfast at Brother Gillihan’s house and then watched conference with them! It was great. The afternoon session was watched at the Hamilton’s house (they are an older, part-member couple and the nicest people on planet earth). The session was great because it had a huge focus on missionary work and the talks were amazing.  They also have this huge full body massage chair that we took turns on and got an hour a piece haha! We fed their son’s tortoise and then we were on our way! The small things of church to pray and read make all the difference! Tonight we received the impression to not take the car and just bike for the night. We biked to a community locked them up and street contacted for a while with no luck. We headed back to the bikes and started to unlock them, when we were approached by two men that were super ripped and somewhat mean looking! This community is kinda known for people not being that nice to us so, I was a little scared I was going to get beat up haha. Come to find out they are both super interested in the church and wanted to meet with missionaries! They are cousins in their late twenties and both were on very different levels of understanding about the church and so Elder Pedersen taught Michael, while I taught Abraham! Michael had talked with missionaries previously but they didn't continue contacting him. He said that they probably thought he was messing with them because his name is Michael Adam Smith and his father’s name is Joseph Smith. Michael has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and expressed his love for the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine &Covenants! Abraham is just curious and wants to know more! Unfortunately, Michael lives in a different area but we will be able to teach Abraham! The kid that walked into church last week has a baptism date of May 6th! He is ready! I am excited for him! We had eight investigators watch conference!!

I love you all have a great week!

- Elder Call 🎰💵🎰💵 NLVWM