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