Monday, October 28, 2013

Knocking on Wood

Holla Familia!
It's been an interesting week. Finished Studying Charity and Virtue. Now I just need to apply them into my life! "Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the Truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" Moroni 7:45. To have Compassion, Patience, and Mercy. recognizing that we are all Children of God. So far... There are a lot of things that I need to work on to be more charitable... Then there is Virtue - "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above Rubies." Proverbs 3:10. (Phili 4:8) I also thought of the 13th Article of Faith as well, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men, indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - we believe all things we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. if there is anything Virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Cha-chow!! telling you straight up what to be in life! I also learned a lot from PMG about virtue: What you choose to think and do when you are alone and you believe no one is watching is a strong measure of your Virtue. Pray for strength to resist temptations and control your thoughts and do what is right. Quickly repent of any sins or wrong doings. You can Become Pure and Virtuous. There is hope until the end.
Anywho, that is what I learned from Charity and Virtue these past few weeks. I also liked what my mom sent me this last week 'by small things, great things are accomplished. Do your Best.. and the Lord will make up the rest.... You cannot buy Charity. People who serve with Charity give true love and concern, and are then blessed by the Lord.'  Remember that WE are the reason God created the Universe... we are his work and his Glory. Compared to God we are nothing yet we are everything to God.' I also liked something that my cousin Megan said that 'When Obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes a quest, in that moment, God will endow us with power' (E.T. Benson) I also going over old letters and I liked a quote that my sister Sherie sent me: What if you were to fast from negative or critical or worldly talk? or maybe you could fast from a habit you are trying to change. As you engage in service and the fasting from the behavior that takes you away from the spirit, you will feel a renewal of the Spirit of the Lord - Robert H Daines.
I also read from Stand a Little Taller (I think that is what it is called, by President Hinkley?)
it is inspiration for everyday of the year. So I read my birthday: "Lifted UP at the Last Day - Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up in the last day (Alma 36:3) We know much of loneliness. We may know discouragement and frustration. we may know adversity and trouble and pain. I would hope not. but you know and I know, that suffering comes to many sometimes it is mental. Sometimes it is physical. Sometimes it may even be Spiritual. Ours is the duty to walk by faith, rising above the evils and trials of the world. we are sons and daughters of God. Ours is a divine birthright. Ours is a divine Destiny."     I thought it was pretty cool, and it went really well with how I was feeling that day, because I wrote it down in my little book and that is why you know about it now :)

I'm just going to share some of what I wrote to my President because it basically goes over what I have been doing all week:
It has been an interesting week. I don't think I have gone Tracting or Harvesting so much in my entire three months of being on a mission. We have done it basically every day because things have been falling through most of our days. I enjoy going Harvesting - at least I think it is Harvesting where you go around praying with people? It's funny to hear some of the people say that they are Christian and say no to a prayer. It makes me laugh. I don't think I have held hands with so many people while saying a prayer either. We have done a lot of walking at night looking for open doors or lights that are on. So far most of the people have told us that it's too late and to go home. It is interesting to walk around at night. tI is cold; no one is outside and most people have their lights on and are asleep - it's strange. So far nothing has happened at night, but we will keep going. I was super frustrated one night after a few days of tracting and harvesting that I was wondering what we could do differently with our tracting approach. So I had a neat experience with PMG. I looked up Effective use of time, because I'm not going to lie; I felt like we were wasting our time going out in the dark and in the cold knocking on doors and asking them if they wanted to learn more about Jesus. Everyone already knows about Jesus (for the most part). So I wanted to know what we could do to better use our time. We haven't been able to receive any referrals to contact, so I was just looking for something! Then I turned to Tracting Skills. I guess this was the time that it really clicked in my head that we can't just go out and ask people if they want to hear another message about Jesus. We need to start sharing with them a part of the message and spark something inside of them. If we just say Jesus, then it will be the same response we get every time - I know Jesus, No thanks. So in PMG it says to share a piece of a message such as ‘God is our Loving Heavenly Father or Families can be together forever because...’ and give them like a two or three sentence of the First Lesson. and then see if they would like to find out more about how Families can be together, or why God loves us, etc. So that was a neat thing to finally click into my head. Now it's just figuring out how to say it (ha,ha.) So far lots of words stumbling on my part.
We haven't been able to talk to Jaylene for about a week or so. The last lesson we taught with her was the Law of Chastity and since then she hasn't talked to us. I mentioned how she wasn't there for the appointment that she promised she would be there for. She has been telling us that this week has been just to busy, and there is a lot going on. We tried talking to her last night, but she texted us saying that she was too busy getting the children bathed and ready for tomorrow. We asked her if we could come and see her today and she said that her daughter had a doctor appt. Wow, That's a really long appt, if she can't meet all day. so we will see how things work out. Hopefully we will be able to catch her soon, and figure out what we did wrong or what is going on in her life. I do not think she will be prepared by Nov. 9th to be baptized, but we will see.
I have had a question that has been running on my mind for a while, and I haven't been able to figure it out. The little bit that I have figured out, I don't know how to say it... “How do you forgive someone you don't want to forgive, or Love someone you don't want to love?” There is the scriptures that we are to forgive everyone, and to love everyone, but I don't know How to do that, Let alone explain to someone how to do it. Maybe I am looking for the wrong answer. Maybe I am looking too much for the answer that addresses my question exactly.

It has been a super rough week of things falling through and Knocking on Wood and trying to find people....Solid investigators! So far no luck, but I know they are somewhere hiding in these Ohio hills. Somewhere... Hiding really well. The thought of people who are looking for something greater, but are falling into despair come to my mind. The Story of the Battered Violin comes to mind:  Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile "What am I bidden, good folks" he cried, "Who'll start the bidding for me" "A dollar, a dollar"; then "two!""Only two?" two dollars, and who'll make it three? "Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three --" but no... From the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow. Then wiping the dust form the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings. The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said, "What am I bid for the old violin?" and he held it up with the bow. "A Thousand dollars and who'll make it two? Two Thousand! and Who'll make it Three? Three Thousand, once, Three Thousand, twice, and going, and gone!" said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried " We do not understand, what changed it's worth" Swift came the reply: "The touch of the Master's Hand" And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred, with sin, is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand, the worth of a soul and the change that's wrought by the Touch of the Masters Hand.          There is also a quote by Pres Monson:  At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel's end - no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes... if you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in Faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your affliction from you, but He will comfort and lead you with Love through whatever storm you face.     Hope is the anchor for the soul, the sail for our dreams, and the balm for our pains. It is the one-size solution that fits all.

I have learned a lot about continually having hope in all that I do. I do get frustrated easily, but I don't wallow in my anger. I try and find a solution that will work out. Most of the time I end up with a lot of awesome quotes that fill my little book, and most of the time I can't remember what I was feeling when I wrote down half of the things in my little book, but it makes me feel better every time I review them. I may not have taught as many lessons or had a great time. But I did learn a lot about keep moving forward and trying to learn more. Even though I felt like I was Knocking on Wood to keep my luck moving and nothing seemed to be working out. I know that my Savior loves me and is watching out for me and I can do all things in the Masters Hands.      Now that I have drowned you in quotes and in feelings. I feel like I wrote you a poem or something haha. I love you all and I hope everything is going well.
Hope School, Work, and Families are going well. If there is ever anything I can do to help any of you. Let me know and I will do my best :)

Loves Yah!!!

Sister Karen Call

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Light and Darkness

Holla Familia!
So I have been thinking a lot about Light and Darkness this week, because it has been an interesting first week after Transfers, and I have been trying to adjust to the new things that are happening around me. I expressed some of my concerns with President Pitt and he suggested writing down everything that I think and feel as the weeks go on. and I wrote down: Thoughts of Darkness seep their way in - on the weak and unprepared mind. Once it is in - it is hard to get out. The darkness consumes everything in its path. We all have a light - oh how feeble it looks in the Darkness, but that little glimmer brings us hope. We may be consumed in the darkness of the world, but we have our little light - our little light grows day by day and the darkness can not keep it away. Darkness has no power over the Light. So remember, this simple thing, Don't Put Out Your Light.      A few days later we went to the Library because we are supposed to do twice a week for two hours. and I watched the Patterns of Light by David A Bednar. all three of the videos. And I was like my goodness this is basically what I was thinking, and feeling. Why doesn't God give us revelation and direction in everything that we do? for the longest time I felt like it was because I wasn't good enough for it, that I was doing something wrong. but that is not it. God does not need to command us in all things, because he TRUSTS us. How weird is that to think, that if you are living righteously and doing all you can to come unto God, that if you aren't receiving constant revelation on how to better live your life, it is because God Trusts you to make the right choice. God's Trust. That is one divine power of trust!
I also had a thought later on the song in Anastasia where Rasputin is singing 'In the middle of the night Darkness will find her.' and then the Lion King popped into my head where Scar is singing "Be Prepared!!!!" and I just thought Holy Smokes. The Dark Side of the Force is coming to get us! Their words of when they will come and get us, that they are preparing constantly to overcome us. Just waiting for that moment to be able to destroy us in our weak moments. It is crazy how much you can think of when you are thinking of Light and Darkness.
I also thought a lot about Anger and how anger doesn't get you anywhere. I thought of a quote by Ghandi, at least I think it was him... if not someone else said it: “anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else/ or burning someone else. The only person who gets burned is you”.      I think Ghandi was right for the most part. Anger is like grasping a hot coal - you do get burned, but that hot coal is still hot when pressed against other. The longer you hold onto Anger the longer you will burn - the bigger the scar you will have when you let it go. There will also be scars on those that you burn along your path when you were in anger. So is Anger Really worth it?

We had Stake Conference Yesterday and there was a lot of inspirational things that were said. One that I really thought was interesting was the question: Would you die for the Gospel? are there some who need to live the Gospel before we die? If you don't Love the Gospel, you won't live it. Don't just believe and know it is true. Live it and Love it because you know.    There are many gifts that the Lord give us, but who are we to reject those gifts. Many are called but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? because they choose not to be chosen. If we accept what the Lord wants us to do - he will give us power to accomplish and do much more. Our Father in Heaven loves us the way we are but he loves us too much for us to stay that way. We are meant to be continually growing and loving. If we were meant to hit a stand still sometime in our life where we would know and understand all happiness, then we would stop learning or progressing. I want to continually grow and progress. Lucy, one of our investigators, told me: "You know what Sister Call, I like something about you. When you don't know the answer to something you don't just give me an answer, you look it up, and figure it out. A lot of people in other churches would just tell you what they think." I'm trying to understand this Gospel every single day of my life. and it won't end when I get off my mission. There is sooo much that I don't know, and at this moment can't comprehend, but I know eventually as I study it out in my mind, and ponder about it then it will become clear to me.

This week has been interesting with it's ups and downs, but I'm not trying - I am Doing. Do or Do not, There is no Try.

Love yah all and I hope everything is going well!

Sister Karen Call

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nicotine Fits and Transfer Scares

Holla Family!
First and foremost this is the address that will forever work to send me stuff:
 888 Oakwood Rd. #310 Charleston West Virginia 25314
It has been a crazy week and I don't have much time to email today. I'm just going to start off how awesome Conference was, and having it in the perspective of a missionary. Do you know how many times they said Member Missionary work in there?! aahhh!! I was like c'mon ward GET WITH IT!! haha we will see.

We started the 7 day Quit Smoking Program with Jaylene this past week. We introduced the program and started it in a members home, the Shermans. The program is SUPER cheesy! Jaylene kept saying throughout the program "I am ready to quit - it is time and I'm going to do it!" the 'hardest' part of the program was when Jaylene had to crush her own cigarettes. I just want to say how nasty cigarettes are... they are, ugh, They are so creepy and the tobacco falls out on you as you even touch them. So breaking them all of the tobacco goes all over the place! ew. so nasty. I don't know why people smoke - It makes you smell bad, and all of those who are around you smell bad as well! I know because we have to sit around people smoking all of the time! So if I smell like smoke when I come home I promise I am not a smoker. Anywho, back to Jaylene. She is such a trooper. She was having a crappy day/week to start off with. She lost her job, had a headache, didn't feel good. Yet she was willing to take the steps to a better life. She knows what she is doing and she is willing to do it! I wish there were more people so willing to change. The people here are so 'set in their ways' . they have been for generations, and they feel no desire or motivation to change. That is probably why they are so laid back in everything and their economy is collapsing. It is really sad to watch and hear of all the problems of things going on around you. They don't think they can do anything, but most of all they aren't willing to try anything new or fix anything.
The Bradley's also started the Quit Smoking Program. Ronda is having the Hardest time! Caleb told us last night before we came over that She was having terrible Nicotine Fits and that we probably shouldn't ask her how she was doing or she would give us a line of cussing. haha Thanks Caleb for the heads up! on the other hand, Shane who was the Chain smoker, crushed his cigarettes and hasn't had a problem yet, he hasn't even complained or had a raised temper. So we hope to be able to help Ronda and be more comforted and calm. Ronda was supposed to start the program the same time Jaylene did. But Ronda kept putting it off till Shane could do it with her.

We had Zone meeting on Friday and the focus was: Trust in the Lord and Move On. we watched the video of Joseph Smith- well bits and pieces of it. The trials he faced, and yet he pushed through them all. The part that stuck out to me was when Emma asked him if he ever doubted in the Lord or thought the Lord asked to much. Joseph replied that he did not allow himself to think such thoughts. he never allowed himself any time or room to doubt what he was doing. we need to believe in ourselves and our purpose here! things are going to push against us at all times - but we need to Trust in the Lord and Move On. Which I know is easier said than done during times of trial, but that is when we need the love of the Lord the most in our lives. We can either choose to come closer to Him, or we can choose to distance ourselves and become cold.      In our final district meeting together we talked about the importance of boundaries. How our ward has given us boundaries, our mission has given us boundaries, and how our daily life should have boundaries. These life boundaries are what we make them; they can either follow God's Commandments and make it easier to follow him or we can choose different boundaries. Elder Williams gave an analogy of a video game he played (not going to lie I was totally thinking of Fable): How the character could perform light and dark abilities at the beginning. The more he did dark things the less and less light abilities were there for him to preform and eventually he would not have any ability to do light things. The same went for doing light abilities the more and more he did the light abilities the less and less dark abilities were available. Eventually dark abilities could not be performed. That is how we should all strive to be. Continually performing "light' abilities. Doing good to our fellow beings. The more we do them, the more we Choose the Right; the harder it will be to do the wrong things. We are continually moving towards the one or the other. there is never a moment of stillness.
After the Meetings Sister Richards and I rushed to the Church to attend a funeral. the Lady was 106 years old!! She wasn't a Mormon, but her son was; so the viewing and stuff was at our church. Bro Urbach spoke/gave her memorial. He is the one with a very mechanical voice. So it was interesting when he would try and tell jokes and stuff, because you couldn't tell, because his voice didn't change at all. He did give a good story though - how we are all beautiful white masted ships. That to all who are standing on the shore (family, friends, etc) we are moving toward the Horizon. They continue to watch us as we get to the edge of the Horizon and slip out of view. We are gone to those who were standing on the shore. on the other side of the Horizon, there are those who are waiting - waiting on the shore for the beautiful white masted ship to arrive. You come over the Horizon and get closer and closer to those who have been waiting for you. As soon as we leave this 'Horizon" it is not the end. There is the other side that we will join. They are waiting there for us. Arms open, waiting and excited. The Idea of a Spirit World brings me comfort. I find it much more comforting than going straight to Heaven or Hell. I don't know maybe that is just me. but knowing that there is still time; time to work - time to remember.

So we had a Transfer Scare this week. Our area has been really struggling... Well mostly we have been having a really hard time working with the ward. We had a meeting with the Bishop and he finally told us the feeling that the ward members were having toward us how we were being too Pushy. That they were feeling Pressured and he doesn't want them to have any pressure. I'm not going to lie.. Everyone needs a little Pressure in life. If there isn't Pressure than nothing will get done. There is Good pressure and Bad Pressure, but I don't feel like we have been giving the ward any pressure. We don't really do anything with them. So we finally settled our concerns with the Bishop, and he set some boundaries for us to work within. Our Mission President has been hearing of our struggles and didn't know what to do with us and our ward. it was a tough situation. He called us on Sunday and told us that he was thinking about transferring the both of us out and putting two new sisters in. We were devastated to hear this. Our area would completely crumble. we shared our concern with Him, and he said he would continue to pray and figure out what needed to be done. In the morning he called and asked to speak with me and asked me what I thought. I'm still really terrible at expressing feelings and thoughts and all of that fun stuff, but I let him know that having this change would not be good for the ward or for the area. That change is what the ward was having a hard time with, and that by switching out all of the missionaries it would make the matter worse. He thanked me and then told both Sister Richards and I that he had come to a decision in the matter. Sister Richards would be transferred out and I will be staying in Wheelersburg. I'm so happy with the decision. but I am also sad to have Sister Richards go. She is the only companion I have had so far. I don't know how my new companion will be. But yah know what, change is awesome! and I am going to love my new companion to the max!
The one quote that stuck out to me during General Conference this week that has really applied to all that has been going on. Given by president Uchtdorf: Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith
Never EVER doubt your faith. well I have to go now, much to do before transfers tomorrow and not much time!
I love you all and I hope everything is going well!
Sister Karen Call