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