Monday, November 24, 2014

The End Came So Soon

Holla Familia,
I can't believe this is the last week! It feels like just yesterday that I came out on my mission! Oh but how much I have learned from that moment to now.
This week has been a harder one, because several of our investigators dropped us, and we have been doing lots and lots of finding in rather chilly weather.   We did find a few potentials but no firm return appointments. But I am so grateful for my companion Sister Snow, because she is boss at having a good attitude about tracting. We help each other move forward when things get hard, but it is wonderful having a companion that doesn't mind going tracting for three hours in 20 degree weather and we can still laugh at the end of the day and have fun.
The main thing I learned this week was from a few people that we spoke too.
It is interesting to see how completely content people can be with their circumstances. Seeing the Homeless offered jobs and housing, but they choose not to accept it and to continue in what they are doing; Living off what other people make. Seeing other Christians go to church and talk about Christ and becoming better, but as soon as they get home and someone mentions Christ or learning more about things that can improve their life and family - they flee or snap back about how crazy that is or how someone is going to go to Hell for their beliefs.  
I wanted to title this week: "Falling Into a Pit of Despair Without Knowing It."
But then I thought how that might not sound so good for those who just glance at the title of things. But that is how I have felt about a lot of things I have seen and thought about this week. I have discovered the sadness that comes from people who reject us without even knowing who we are or what our message is. Or they think that they know what our message is and that they know more about our beliefs than we do. There is one person that comes to mind as I think of people Falling into Despair without Knowing it. I read over this individuals shoulder one day as they were writing (which is probably really snoopy, but I was very mesmerized  with her handwriting) Anywho, she said that she was completely content with her life, and that she had no worries. None at all. Wow, she is either really optimistic or she doesn't understand what true happiness is. Well, we had an opportunity to talk to her later this week, and she told us about all these problems that she was having. When we were talking to her, I just felt so sad. All of these things that she is going through are completely her mistakes and the things that she does. She is causing this despair to come upon herself, but she doesn't see it as something wrong. She just sees it as another part of life.
I have discovered that no matter how much I try to tell someone that what they are doing isn't going to bring them happiness or anything, they have to be open to receiving that message. We can be so narrow minded at times. That everyone is wrong, or that there are no answer yet discovered to my question, or whatever. It is our decisions and our actions and the revelation that we receive from God that helps us with our decisions. But we aren't willing to give things a try - Too good to be true, scam alert, crazy cults, etc. There are so many things that prevent us from reaching our full potential because the wall of doubt comes and hits us out of nowhere! I can't help people who don't want to be helped, that includes myself.
I have been trying for so long to do what I want to do. What I think will bring me happiness. I don't think I ever realized what happiness was until I came on my mission and I have actually seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ change peoples lives. It has changed my life. I have discovered how important Scripture Study is, I have discovered the importance of prayer, I have discovered the importance of going to the Priesthood Leader that is over you when you are struggling. I have discovered that I am not alone in this life. That I have Christ beside me at all times - sometimes I turn my back on him, but he will never turn his back on me. His arms of mercy are always extended. His arms of love. Waiting. I have discovered the importance of Righteous Desires.
I am so grateful for this Blessing that I have had to serve a mission. I hope to continue forward in Faith. Doubt Not, Fear Not. 
I hope you are all doing well and ponder the possibilities of this life and becoming greater!
I love you!
Sister Karen Call

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creating Happiness

Holla Familia,
So this week has been pretty interesting! So I'll tell you how our week started off. Last week I talked about one of the people that we had picked up having a few doubts coming into it, but wanted to find out if it was true. Well we went back and visited her (after several attempts and no one answered) someone finally answered the door. Well it went down hill from there. She was very emotional, and said that she felt sorry for us and that we had been raised in this and had to bear this burden; quote: "You have been Dooped". I thought the word dooped was pretty funny. There is a lot of 'anti' floating around right now about polygamy and different things and well, she got full whiff of it. She brought up a lot of crazy things. Well, the only things we could do was testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that we had gained peace and light from it. She then told us to forget everything, that I needed to go sit in one room and that she (Sister Snow) needed to sit in another room and we just needed to read the Bible - because that is where all the truth is. I thought it was funny that she wanted us to sit in separate rooms; like Sister Snow is going to contaminate my perspective of the Bible. Silly people. God loves us and knows what is best for us. Satan is real and wants to destroy all confidence. This lady's confidence was shot. She didn't/ doesn't know what to believe in this world, but she sure believes everything that is put out on the internet! It is interesting to think about the Poison and Light that is in the Internet. We can learn so quickly about pretty much anything - but the only problem is... Who has the Truth? I sure know that when I checked Wiki about when Columbus sailed the big old blue, that it gave me the wrong answer... Well... according to the History Books. That is because anyone, ANYONE, can change things on the internet.      It was so crazy to look at how unhappy she was. How lost she was. Now, if this thing that I have supposedly been "dooped" on has brought me peace, guidance, direction, happiness - the only thing I can say is "Wickedness Never Was Happiness" Something that is evil and of the devil will not, and cannot bring happiness. Period. End of Story. Bam. I guess you could say it depends on your definition of "happiness" - worldly happiness, or eternal happiness. Satan 'happiness', or Godly happiness. Hmm. I'll let you figure that one out on your own.  
Well, after talking to our lovely lost friend, we met some pretty awesome people. Their names are Cory and Donna. So the first time we met Cory was pretty interesting. We were tracting, and we knocked on this door and he opened. Instant judgment, I guess you could say, happened. Cory has a bullring in his nose, two nose studs as well, tattoos all over, pretty intimidating. Well, I thought he looked pretty cool - so we asked him about his religious background. Guess what! He is one of the most kind and religious people you can run into, what I like to call - a Real Christian. Cory and Donna are both Tattoo artists, and they are both pretty intimidating when you first come up to them. But then you start talking about their lives and what they do, and it turns into how awesome these people are! We can sometimes judge very quickly on who a person is by the way they are on the outside. But Cory and Donna are both very happy people, because they have their heads on the right way - they know what it means to be Christ like. Now we just need to teach them the restored gospel, and how much more happiness can come into their lives!
So yeah. Lots of cool things happened, and a lot of not so cool things happened. But you know what? In the end we do one thing, quote from Lessons Learned in the Journey of Life by Elder Worthlin “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Don’t worry about searching for who you are; focus your energies on creating the kind of person you want to be! You will discover that as you pursue that journey you will not only find yourself, but chances are you will be pleasantly surprised and proud of the person you find along the way."
Go out and create you. Don't wait to find it in a box, or around a corner, but seek you out and create who you want to be. Because you will be the only person who can create you.
I love you all and I hope you are all having a great day, and that you have a great week!

Sister Karen Call

"Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime. Your testimony of the living Son of God and His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may not come as quickly as you desire, but I promise you this: if you do your part, it will come. And it will be glorious." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, November 10, 2014

Drinking the Water of Faith

Holla Familia!
Wow this week flew by. We talked to so many people. We found a few new investigators and they have all been very different. One is very curious and has decided that it is time for her to find out if these things are really true,. Another just wants God in his life; another wants to know what it is that we believe and how we are so happy. All were so different.
There is one thing that has stuck out to me the most this week. The light that is within members who are living the gospel, and to those who are seeking for something, and those who have become bitter and dark inside. I never thought I would start to see the difference. Now I can see the pain that comes from starting to doubt. The joy that comes from living. I have had several opportunities to ponder on this. I never thought of what the impact is or could be from the Gospel. Sometimes it makes me want to shy away and not have to work so hard, that living the lifestyle of the world would be so much easier. Then I look at the blessings and the people who you can see in their life that they are blessed with happiness, eternal happiness. Not momentary bouts of laughter or pleasure.       There are still difficulties even when we live the gospel. It is not a shield against the agency of others. It does protect us from dangers that we could inflict upon ourselves - temporally, spiritually, and mentally. As we strive to understand and apply the gospel into our lives then things start to change. But we have to want to change. There is nothing like trying to drag a friend, family member, or investigator to the light. It just doesn't work that way. There is no joy when it is done that way. It is a journey that we all have to take. We have to drink from the living waters ourselves. We have to kneel, scoop, and bring the water to our mouths. We are aware of the things that are happening around us. We are being humble enough to follow the will of the Lord.    Sometimes we get stuck on the imperfections that are in us - thoughts really - 'I will never be a Relief Society President, I can't remember peoples names, and I don't have time to serve' 'I will never be a good missionary, I don't even know how to apply the scriptures into my own life' 'Rain keeps falling on me, I'll never be dry, ever again.'
Just know, that your thoughts are not unique. Someone has had the same exact thoughts that you have been thinking. They have questioned the same things that you are questioning. They have had good moments and bad moments, and if you still think that no one understands. You need to remember the Savior. He Understands all things. He has felt all things. We have to recognize this in our own lives. We have to Remember this on a daily basis. We have to live it like we know it, that is when we will start to feel it.
I feel like I have these little sparks of knowledge once in a while, but then with time, they start to fade. It is like Elder Uchtdorfs talk we will come to the point where we wonder if it even happened or how we could even believe in such a thing. Keeping a Journal of Spiritual experiences is very important. Keeping a Journal period is important. Do it, Do it Now. Make it a Habit to start to remember the Spiritual Parts of your life and making note of them so you can always remember them and your family will be able to learn about it too.
I love you all and I hope you are having a fantastical week. Sorry I didn't share much about the details of the week - who we talked to - or the funny stories that happened. Next Time!!!

Sister Karen Call

"It is my prayer that for us, going to the temple will be much more than a onetime event. May we prepare to worthily receive saving ordinances drop by drop and keep the associated covenants wholeheartedly. As we do so, I know we will qualify to receive the promised blessings of a fulness of the Holy Ghost and the power of the Lord in our homes and individual lives." ~Linda K. Burton

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week of Miracles! Oh and Halloween.

Holla Familia!!!
This week has been pretty great! Lots of really cool miracles happened, and lots of good memories made.
First off a few of the cool miracles that God blessed us with this week:
We met a girl named Maddie when we were trying to get a hold of a less active member. I had decided that it would be the last time that we try this less active, because I didn't even know if she lived there or what, but I had decided in my own mind that this would be the last time that we would try her. Well we tried the less active and she wasn't home. When we walked outside to go back to our car, there was a girl sitting on the steps past our car. We decided to go and talk to her. She was a little nervous at first, but then she said, 'Oh you must be looking for my mom.' The less active we were looking for. So we started talking to Maddie for a little bit, and she invited us in and we taught her a brief Restoration and invited her to read the Book of Mormon, and then we invited her to be baptized and she said yes!! It was so cool! Very wonderful experience.
Earlier that day we had gone over to Ingrids, who is another investigator, and watched the Restoration - everything you can imagine to get in the way of us trying to watch it. Didn't know how to work the game console, the DVD was scratched, there was a plumber there, it was just crazy. But everything worked out. I said a silent prayer that even though the DVD was scratched that it would work, and it did. Sister Snow watched Ingrid's reaction to things, and she was agreeing with everything that was going on. At the end of the movie she told us that the Vision that Joseph had reminded her of a vision she had of Mary and the Baby Jesus. She told us that she would pray and fast about the things she had just learned, and we invited her to be baptized as well and she accepted!
YEAH!! Such a good day. Even though a lot of things fell through this week, it always seemed like we were always striving to do more and to find people to teach. I think that is why this week has been so great. I know I have been trying my best to try and talk to everyone that comes in our path. Sometimes my Natural Mind gets in the way and I miss an opportunity, but I am grateful for Sister Snow because she has got my back in most of those situations. We have been working hard to help each other better our weaknesses. I am very grateful for Sister Snow and her desire to work hard and be obedient. We have been able to talk a lot and I feel like we have been serving together forever, but it has only been a week! She is such a great missionary. I have learned a lot in this past week.
This week we also had Elder Renlund come and talk to us. He is one of the 70 that reports directly to the first Presidency. It was a wonderful experience. I wish I had brought my notes so that I could share them with you... but I forgot... and my mind gets very jumbled in trying to express everything soo it might be a little difficult. One thing I do remember is the very beginning. He told us to remember four things: Thank You - from the Lord, Prophet, and Apostles, You have been called to this area at this time for a reason, Your Mission President and his wife have been called here at this time for a reason and to love them, and Remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement - he made all things possible.
For me it was the first time that I have really let things sink deep into my heart. He gave us three talks to go over before we met with him: Seek learning by Faith, Converted to the Lord, and Ask in Faith. It has really been an eye opener for me on how I need to be more open to feelings and thoughts that come to me. So I was paying rather close attention to those during the meeting. I also got to see Sister Thomson! It was nice to see her and know that she is still out here working, even though it is hard she is growing.
I really enjoyed this scripture from my studies this morning:
"Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge‍ righteously, and do good‍ continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy‍ restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again."
 I really enjoy the thought of doing good unto all men. I was studying about Forgiveness, Repentance, and Judging Others. As we Judge ourselves, and those who are around us, we have to first seek to first bring ourselves to become who God wants us to be, and while we are at it, help those who are around us. None of us will be perfect in this life. We all have our different weaknesses and trials that we have to face, but God loves each and everyone of us. He loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to let us stay that way. He sees who we can become. We can always Become something more.
I am grateful for the blessings and the things that have opened my eyes in just this short time on my mission. The many different testimonies of other Missionaries that have blessed my life, and made me think and desire to understand and love my Savior Jesus Christ. It is a continual growing, learning, and understanding. Everyday brings it's different challenges. Focus on Today, and how God has and is blessing us in every moment.
I love you all, and I hope you are all doing well.
Sister Karen Call

"If you truly believe the great mission of our Heavenly Father is to exalt and glorify His children and that He knows best how to do it—doesn’t it make sense to embrace and follow His commandments, even the ones that appear difficult? Should we not cherish the light posts He has given that guide us through the darkness and the trials of mortality? They mark the way back to our heavenly home! By choosing Heavenly Father’s path, you lay a divine foundation for your personal progress … that will bless you throughout your life." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Pic: Sister Snow and I dressed up as Missionaries for Halloween!!! YES!! BESTEST COSTUME EVER!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hit the Ground Running

Holla Familia!
These few days have been absolutely superb! It has been a while since I have felt like I have felt this great. My new companion Sister Snow is a Boss!! She is super legit. From the very first day we have hit the ground running! I am pretty sure she is my only companion who enjoys tracting, so it makes life so much easier! We have been working hard to build our teaching pool because we don't have much to work with right now. We have found several potentials to follow up with this week, and we have passed out several Book of Mormons.
I don't think I can express how excited I am to work with Sister Snow. This transfer is going to be pretty great. We both came out at the same time and we both know the end is just a hop, skip, and whistle away. So we are working hard to the very end.
A little about my lovely Sister Snow. She is the oldest of 4. She is from Saint George Utah. She played tennis. She attended Dixie State. She Loves Math! She is funny. She is smart. She is energetic. She is older than me. She is Superb.  
It has been really fun these past few days. We have met a lot of interesting crazy people! As well as some really neat relatively normal people.
I think the greatest moment this week, was having dinner with the Cena family yesterday. They are an amazing family, we started off our spiritual thought by reading Alma 26:12. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." and we talked about how we have seen the Gospel as a blessing in our life. Brother Cena made the comment about how no matter where we go in the world. No matter who the people are or what is around us, because of this restored gospel, we have a family all around the world. That we have people watching out for us and someone to go too. Sister Cena then started talking about her friend, I can't exactly remember what she said, but there was something that hit me at that moment. I saw in that moment the love that comes from the Gospel. How much Sister Cena loved her friend and wanted to give her something that had blessed her life so immensely. I don't know if it was the words she said or what it was that touched my heart at that moment. But I just felt this amazing peace, this amazing feeling of love. That this moment was the moment that I have witnessed for myself love for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the Love of a friend, and really knowing what will benefit a friends life. 
There are many relationships that we can form with people. There are surface level relationships where we wave and say hi to people and we know what their favorite color is. Then there is a Decent relationship, we know some goals or hopes of a person we know about their family and such. Then there is a deep Spiritual Relationship with someone. Where not only do we know their favorite color, their goals, hopes, and dreams, but we know what they are trying to become because of Jesus Christ - how we can help one another progress in this life toward the eternities.  That, to me, is one of the greatest relationships we should strive for. Because that is when we really find out who a person is, and who God wants them to become. We start to see the potential in other people and within ourselves. We start to build and to love unconditionally and desire the blessings of God for all who are around us. I want that kind of relationship with people. I do care about what we are doing in life, what occupation, what education and so forth, but what I really care about is Eternal happiness and how can I get there and how can I help other people get there.
It was an amazing feeling at that moment, that I definitely will remember for perhaps the rest of my life. I have gained something from their faith, and their light, and their love.
Before my mission I never realized how much the Gospel really does bless an individual. I had become content with the knowledge that I had, because I didn't really know what else was out there. I can say I didn't really understand what the Gospel really was. I knew that it was Good. That we are hard working people. But I never realized how much knowledge we have, how much truth we have, how much light we have compared to those in the world. We increase that light that is within us - line upon line, precept upon precept - until our knowledge is full. We will not become perfected in this life, but in the next all things will be answered. We must not look past the Mark. We need to focus on getting there and then we build off the foundation that we have. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, Enduring to the End, Christ like attributes, and Becoming. Those are the things that we need to gain a firm understanding in a firm knowledge to be truly happy.
I love this Gospel. I love being a missionary. I love happy people. I love that I have the blessing and opportunity to learn and grow continually. That I have the desire to do so.
I love you all very much, and I hope you start to recognize the love that God really does have for you.
Sister Karen Call

"Member missionary work does not require the development of strategies or gimmicks. It does require faith—real faith and trust in the Lord. It also requires genuine love. The first great commandment is to 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. … The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself' (Matt. 22:37, 39)."
~M. Russell Ballard

Guess What!!!

Holla Familia!
It's that time again! Transfers week! You probably could have guessed that because I didn't email on Monday... but yeah... Guess What? I'm staying in Morgantown!!! I finally get to stay in an area longer than one transfer! Yay! My final place of rest! Sister Sullivan is being transferred to Virginia! She is going to Appomattox in the Lynchburg zone. Her new companion is Sister Freeman - I hear she is pretty awesome. Top of the mission to the bottom of the mission. Literally the last stop. That is going to be one really long drive. So my new companion is Sister Snow. I'm pretty sure she came out the same time I did. She was just down in Salem Virginia with Sister White as an STL. So I'm pretty sure she is going to be Boss. I don't know anything about her, but I think it's going to be good.
Oh how this transfer has flown by! It seems like Yesterday that I just left Bridgeport with Sister Curtis. Now this Transfer is over and Sister Sullivan is leaving. It's so crazy! I can't believe it. The day has finally come. My Last Leg of the race. Thank heavens they have energy drink vending machines here in Morgantown! I'll be able to run forever!     Don't worry I won't be spending my money on Energy Drinks... They aren't very good, and they make me feel like I'm having a heart attack. Oh the things you learn on a mission. Don't rely on Substances to give you energy, they make you crazy, and very grumpy when you don't take them. True Story.
Anywho, this week has been pretty interesting. We went and pretty much said goodbye to everyone because Sister Sullivan was sure she was leaving. We also got fed really well this week! Everyone signed up to feed us! and some members brought us out for lunch! Being here for six months gives you a strong bond with everyone in the ward. So we went and did our normal stuff of meeting with investigators, finding, less actives and so forth. But it has been a rather emotional week for Sister Sullivan. I guess I am just so used to going, but this is the only place Sister Sullivan has been her entire mission. It is time for something new. It just made me sad to see how sad she was to be leaving. I have always been one to be excited about going, seeing, and trying new things. Of course I have loved everywhere I have been, but I have also been excited to go and do new things. I love meeting new people and listening to their stories and sharing with them the awesomeness of the gospel.
So These last two days we had our car in the shop. So we did a lot of hoofing it. My legs hurt, but it gave me a lot of time to think about things. It also gave me some more appreciation, once again, for having the blessing of having a car. So I'll tell you a little story about Cars, PRTs, and Walking. Cars represent people who have the Gospel in their lives. Walking represents people who do not have the Gospel in their lives. Now if I walked every day, my entire life without stepping foot into a car, I wouldn't know the blessings and awesomeness of having a car. How quickly I can get from one place to another, how I can stay warm and dry when it is raining. There are so many blessing from having a car, but there are also several things that we have to pay the price for when we do have a car. We still have to walk around and be normal people living in the World, but not of the world. We have to pay for gas and damaged parts and more. This can represent Scripture study, prayer, church attendance, temple attendance, callings, and more. We have to do these things to keep our car running, pretty, and happy. We can't expect our car to run on nothing. (now in reality times can get hard and we can't afford to have real car - but if we earning spirit money points, then we would be able to afford all things) Anywho, So we go throughout life. We in our cars look at those who don't have cars and just wonder, why in the world would you be walking! There are so many blessings from having cars! Can't you see? But how can they know? When they have never been in a car? Now a Public Rail Transportation - these super sketch train cars that get you from one side of campus to another really quick. They were really nice to have when we were walking these past two days. They cost money to go on. Not very much, but it was a small price to pay. We got to feel the relief of getting somewhere really quickly, but it was for but a small moment. So the PRT is for people who have some form of the Gospel in their life. Because all churches have some truth in it, they can help us progress and get places pretty quickly, but they don't have that fullness - they don't have cars. Now we can get very comfortable riding in the PRT, because it is a relief from walking everywhere. But we are stuck within the boundaries of where it takes us, and where our feet can take us. We discover and see so much more when we have a car. Now our job is to get people to come and ride in our car. To see what it's like. Some people may get motion sickness the first time, because it is something different. But after a while. They see the blessings, they see how far they can go and how much they can do. Yes some people get the ride in the car, and choose not to accept it because it is so foreign, it's not what they are used too. But as we work hard and have spiritual bonus points and earn our Spiritual Car. It is all Worth it in the End. We have to understand what it feels like to just walk. we have to have that desire to help people become more and become greater. Everyone has a greater potential. They just need to be able to see it. It is a hard path and it is a long journey to get there, we have to work hard to get there. But it is all worth it.
I know the blessings that come from living and being true to the gospel. Being Honest with our dealings with God and with those who are around us. There is so much that we can learn from this Gospel that I feel like I haven't even tapped into the majority of it. Perhaps I never will until I get to heaven, but I know the blessings I have received from being on my mission, and from learning about the Gospel, and from reading from the Book of Mormon. It really does make a difference. Sometimes we can forget, and we fall into bad habits and run out of Spiritual Money to keep our Spiritual Car running. But we can always get back on the path. We can always pick up from where we are at right now and move forward. We can do all things, because Christ made all things Possible. Through Him we can do it, we can Become.
I love this Gospel, I love happy people, I love cars, and I love My Savior Jesus Christ.
I hope you too can see and feel the blessings that come from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days.
Sister Karen Call

"Latter-day Saints take seriously this responsibility to teach all people in all nations about the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. We believe the same Church founded by the Savior anciently has been reestablished on the earth by Him in the latter days. The doctrine, principles, priesthood authority, ordinances, and covenants of His gospel are found today in His Church." ~David A. Bednar,

A Week of Firsts

Holla Familia,
        So this week was pretty interesting. On Tuesday we had our dinner appointment with the Nielsen's and Lauren was there as usual. We were able to talk about a few things that Lauren didn't really understand from conference. After we addressed a few concerns Lauren expressed all of her feelings of what had happened over the week. A lot of things happened. It was all heaping up in a big pile. So after Lauren Vented to us for a while, Sister Sullivan suggested that she get a blessing of comfort and council. Lauren agreed and Brother Nielsen gave her a blessing. It was a really neat blessing. The part that stuck out to me and continually plays over and over in my mind "Be Honest, with yourself and with others" Honesty is such a huge thing. It is so easy to tell a little lie, but then that little lie becomes who you are, where you came from, where you are going, everything. Because one lie, leads to a million more lies. It never ends. So it all starts with us being Honest with ourselves, because if we don't think what we are doing is wrong then what is the point of changing. We may have a momentary guiltiness but instantly justification pops into mind and we continue forward in what is wrong. Lauren is such a wonderful lady, and she has such great potential in finding true happiness, she just doesn't know how to let go of things or people that are holding her back. I just hope that someday it will make sense to her that this happiness and comfort that she feels at the Nielsen's is from the Gospel.
      This Wednesday we had a Free Speech circle. We did a Family History Booth on Campus. It was super neat to have thousands of people walk past. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. It was interesting to see hundreds of really neat people, and at the same time see hundreds of completely stoned people! It makes me feel sad that this is what students turn to when they are stressed, or to find an escape in their life, or to look cool. Having a hangover for three days or being completely out of your mind doesn't seem very cool to me. Anywho, we had a lot of people sign up to come to a class that we will be holding this Wednesday about Family History and how to use the Website and everything.
      Friday was our 'Fun' Day. We had correlation in Oakland, MD. so it took about an hour and a half to drive up there and our meeting was about two hours and an hour and a half drive back. So much driving, so much sitting! but it wasn't that bad. I actually really enjoyed the beauty of Maryland, and all of the fall colors. Sister Sullivan drove, because she gets really bad car sickness on long road trips. Well after all of our traveling, we had dinner and correlation with our ward mission leader, Brother Henry, at Fujiamas Japanese Steakhouse. It was definitely food and a show. They cooked the food right in front of us, and our cook was crazy. He really loved playing with fire, and making really strange funny comments. It actually was really fun. I had my very first filet mignon and shrimp, and this mushroom soup. Well.. After we left... We Sister Sullivan started having hives on her neck, and started having an allergic reaction. Found out she is Allergic to Mushrooms or something we ate at the Steakhouse... So we spent three hours in the ER at Ruby. Where half our ward works. So we were well taken care of, but being out past curfew is not fun.. So tired.
Well, I love you all and I hope you are having a great day. Study General Conference and be Good!!!
Sister Karen Call

"Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. … The leaders of the Church spend a great deal of time thinking about how to improve teaching in the Church. Why do we invest this time and effort? It is because we believe in the immense power of teaching to increase the faith of individuals and strengthen families. It is my belief that one of the most effective things we can do to improve teaching in the Church is to improve teaching in our homes. Our teaching in the home prepares us to teach more effectively at church, and our teaching at church helps us to teach more effectively at home." —L. Tom Perry,

We Must Go On

Holla Familia,
So this week has been interesting. Lot of fun thing, and lots of not so fun things. We were able to see Zach again this week and this time we watched the Patterns of Light video with him. He was thinking a lot more this time. I am not exactly sure what he was thinking about. We talked about the importance of Prayer and how we all receive revelation differently and at different times, but it does come. That we need to be open and receptive to that inspiration, or we may lose an opportunity to learn and to grow the way God wants us to learn and grow.    It was neat to just think about that and ponder about it.
Well I had a first on my mission! We got rear-ended! Yay... boo. It actually wasn't bad, seeing we were stopped and the person who hit us was going about 5 miles per hour... but still... we probably will have to go and get it fixed and we won't have a car for three days. Nooo. What makes it worse is the weather dropped like 20 degrees this week. It was all sunny and bright and then this cool breeze of arctic wind decided to come in and chill everything! You can definitely smell Fall in the air. The Joys of serving near a University - people are great drivers.
Anywho, we did a lot of tracting this week. It was not my favorite. I thought of a new acronym BAWT - Bad Attitude While Tracting. When you are a BAWT. You don't feel like doing anything or saying anything or being happy. You become a No Happiness Zone. How do you fix this? Well, usually when you are having symptoms of BAWT, the only thing you can do is: Stop, Evaluate, Fix, and Go. Why do I not like tracting at this very moment? What are the root problems of why I do not want to be tracting? What can I do to fix the problem? Is it in my control or out of my control? Talk about it think about it, Work it out. Reboot. Restart. GO. If all else fails, go and buy a frozen hot chocolate. Force a Smile. Act like you are having fun. As you do so, it will become fun.
I think this applies to pretty much everything in life, not just tracting. This Acronym is called BAWL. Bad Attitude While Living. We need to Stop, Evaluate, Fix, and Go. It may not always be something we alone can fix, and our lives may be affected by those who are around us. So it may not be as easy as we think it will be, and the road my be a little more rough than we thought it was going to be, but it will work out. We just need to keep going. Stop. Evaluate. Fix. Go. If we don't take the time to Stop if something is going wrong, then we can probably take a few more steps deeper into the mess than we wanted too. If we do not Evaluate, we will never figure out why things are going wrong or what we need to change. If we do not Fix, then what was the whole point of Stopping and Evaluating? We need to Change, and then change the problems around us. Then we need to Go. If we do not continue forward in life. Seeking the things that will make us eternally happy, or the things that are really worth while. Then What is the point? We can Stop, Evaluate, and Fix all we want. But if we do not Go, then they are just thoughts on a piece of paper. The Go is the going forward with what we want to do. What we want to be. What we can achieve in our lives. We Must Go On.
Perhaps we are not satisfied with where we are at Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, or Emotionally. I was reading a Speech by Elder Holland and it said "You can change anything you want to change, and you can do it very fast."  I also read in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith "I’ve learned from my own experience that when you want to change, really want to change, you can do it. Our conscience and the scriptures tell us what to live by—and they tell us what habits we should change for our eternal welfare and progress" We can Change. If we really want too.
Every year for General Conference and even after General Conference - we should take a question or an idea or a goal to Conference; to seek guidance and knowledge on what we need to do, where we need to go, what we need to say, or what we need to be. We are always changing, until we will reach the eternal stage of perfect knowledge.
We Must Go On.
This week may have been really difficult and I lost focus of Why. I may have been a BAWT and I may BAWL. But I can always change. That is what life is about. Who is it that God wants me to be and what can I do to help him get me there.
I love you all and I hope you are having a good week. If not you can always change! :)
Be Good!
Sister Karen Call

"The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them."~Robert D. Hales

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wait a Second. We are Supposed to Do That?

Holla Familia,
This week has been like a rollercoaster in some ways. But none the less it has been pretty fun.
On Monday we went and saw Zach again. We watched Our Daily Bread with him. After watching the videos with him, we talked about Daily Scripture Study and also Daily Prayer. Sister Sullivan asked him a good question: How did you explain Prayer on your mission? He then told us how when he was on a mission, that everything were memorized lessons, that he didn't really think or apply it into his life. I just thought at that moment, how true is that in our lives. We can all be going through the motions so easily. We are going to church, reading our scriptures, praying. But sometimes it loses the reason Why? That was a big thing that stuck out to me during the Women's General Broadcast, President Uchtdorfs talk. How he mentioned that sometimes we can loose the Why of the things that we do. They are still important, and it is nice that we do them. But when we forget the Why, we don't get any blessings from serving the Lord with a grateful attitude. Those who are willing to go out and do, are the ones who have the light about them. That happiness inside of them. When people remember Why, and are Willing. Then they acquire the light and happiness.     Well... Zach hasn't really learned Why he needs to pray or in a very real sense How to pray. There is the very basic outline of prayer and what we ask people to pray for, but prayer isn't just that easy. There is Faith and Hope that must run along with the Prayer, because if we are just talking to God, not believing that he will answer anything because how could he, or that He won't change his Will because his will is set in stone; then we do not understand. We need to come to an understanding of what God's will is; because perhaps we are the ones who do not completely understand what God wants us to do.
I enjoy talking to Zach. He makes me think, and be grateful that I am striving to understand what I need to do in this life.
On Tuesday we went on Exchanges with the Fairmont Sisters. Sister Whitaker and Myers. I went to Fairmont with Sister Whitaker, and Sister Myers came here to Morgantown to be with Sister Sullivan. I always enjoy going on exchanges. I love learning from other missionaries. I wouldn't say I would like to go on an exchange every week like the STL's do... but I do enjoy the once a transfer learning experience.
I met some pretty cool people with Sister Whitaker. They are teaching this Lady named Crystal. She is African American. I didn't catch where she was from, but she was AWESOME! Black people are so cool! I really haven't been around very many Black people on my mission...because the south has a tendency to be.. racist. Then again, I have had a lot of Black people be racist to me... So it's a strange world we live in. Anywho, Crystal was so open minded. We talked about baptism with her, and she brought up that she had already been baptized. We then started talking about the importance of the Priesthood, and she said that it made sense that you would need that authority. WHY can't other people see that??
Anywho, We had a lot of cool things happen, Inviting people to learn was so easy and the evening just flew by. It didn't feel like we had spent a whole day together but we had.  
There was a Homecoming Parade on Wednesday for the High School. We also found out that day that the Senior couple serving here in Morgantown were going home, because of their son's health. The B's son went to Africa and got Malaria! He has been in the hospital for a few weeks, and they told the B's that he won't die, but it will be a very long recovery. It was hard on them and their son's family, because their son Never got sick. So it was a new thing for the family. We went and had dinner with the B's at Panera Bread before they left. It was a sad moment.
On Friday, we had Friday Forum and the President of WVU came. His name is Gordan Gee, and he happens to be a member of the church! Unfortunately he is not active. He has a good testimony, he just needs to go back to church and get back into the lifestyle of it.
So something interesting that happened on Friday. We went tracting for a little while in the afternoon, and as we were tracting we knocked on a Muslim families door. The Husband talked to us on the porch for like 15 minutes, and then his wife was like 'should we invite them in?, it's hot'. So we went in. Well, I would say that they were interested in our message, but in all reality they talked about converting to Islamic faith. He showed us a video, He talked about how it brings us closer to Alah, and then he promised us blessings. He also had his daughter bear testimony on how she knew the Islamic faith was true. It was so interesting! As well as very strange! They gave us Qur'ans and other reading material on how to know that their religion was true. Hey!! Wait a Second.... We are supposed to do that! We go around and share the gospel, promise blessings, and bear testimony. It was an interesting experience to go through. Don't worry, I'm not going to convert to Islam, because there are holes in their beliefs and understandings... But it was neat to talk to them, they kinda feel like we feel. Rejected by most of the world, because of certain things. Most of the reasons are different, but there were a few similarities... Sort of. Anywho, it was really neat talking to them.
Well This week has been pretty fun. Lots of craziness happened. Got sick one day; was tracting for a few hours the next day. The life of a missionary! YEAH! Life is good.
Well I love you all and I hope you are having a great week!
Sister Karen Call

"Each of you is in a unique place in your journey to eternal life. Some have years of experience, and others are early in their mortal discipleship. Each is unique in her personal history and her challenges. But all of you are sisters and beloved daughters of our Heavenly Father, who knows and watches over each of you."
~Henry B. Eyring
Went Fishing Today (picture)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Woohoo First WVU Football Game!!

This week has been pretty interesting! We saw a ton of less active members. Which is fine, but very unusual. We just happened to be able to get a hold of them. I usually have a Less active as the main plan and then two by two them because there is usually someone there that is interested, but all of the less actives have been home! Which is awesome, because we haven't met a lot of them, but at the same time we got not a lot of finding done.
So first cool thing of this week. We had a lesson and a meal at the Nieslens home with Lauren. Lauren is awesome. Well the cool thing that happened: we were setting up Family History for Lauren on and it was really slow for her because she doesn't know anything about her family. Well, after a while Sister Sullivan showed Lauren her family tree, and hers doesn't go back very far either. Then I showed them mine. Yeah, and my family is super awesome at doing family history. Anywho, I started clicking back to see how far I could get. Well: 1900, 1600, 1100, 700, 300, 300BC, 700BC, 1100BC, 1600BC, !900BC, 2200BC, 3000BC, 4000BC!!! (I'm not sure if that is the exact dates...) anywho, I went all they way back to ADAM and EVE!! I was so excited haha. It was the very first time I had tried doing it. it was pretty cool. So that was neat to show that to Lauren.
Another interesting thing that happened. We went and saw a less active named Zack. Zack has gone on a mission - he went to Japan or somewhere over there. Well He didn't particularly like his mission, but he was diligent and obedient as a half hearted missionary. ANywho, the interesting thing about the conversation with Zack was: He didn't understand the point of life if no matter what we do, we are always doing the will of God. Sister Sullivan and I kinda just looked at each other. Like what? Zack has an awesome testimony of doing the will of God, but He thinks of it as a curse or something. That God is denying us some great privilege. The thing he is lacking is the Spirit. Because of his disobedience and his unwillingness to do important things he doesn't have the Spirit with him. Because he doesn't have the Spirit, He doesn't have the understanding that comes from the Spirit relating to Spiritual things that God has in store for us.
I just thought that it was interesting, I had never had someone so adamant about wanting to do their own will, and that God was getting in the way of him doing what he wanted to do. I guess knowing that the will of God is the best thing for us is a different mindset as well. That if we do what God wants us to do he will give us an uncountable measure of blessings. If we don't do what God wants us to do... Then we don't get anything. We start to lose what we once had, and we don't understand why things aren't working out anymore. Anywho, It was an interesting conversation to have with him. It made me think a lot about how grateful I am for the Gospel, and for living it.
This weekend There was a WVU Football game. Things got real down here. I have never seen so many Drunk, Scantly Clad people in my life. False. I see it every day now, but It was like mass upon mass of people! The people her Go Big, and they have a hard time Going Home afterward. It was a no tracting day, for a good reason. But it was super interesting to see everyone get so crazy about football. Mostly the hard partying before the game. Anywho, They Lost... So it was even more interesting afterward.
Lastly, We had Specialized Training this week. It was pretty good, but the thing that stuck out to me was the fact that I gave my Departing Testimony at this meeting. I still have another transfer after this one, but because a General Authority is coming next transfer we won't have any meetings.
It was interesting to have that thought hit me. Departing. Testimony. It feels like just yesterday, a hop skip and jump away. That I came on my mission. Now it is drawing to a close. But there is still much to do. I still have Another Transfer to go, Still time to rock it.
Well I hope you are all having a great week! and that You don't take each day for granted. Live each day like it's your last. Be kind and loving to all that you meet!
I love you all
Sister Karen Call

"We prepare to receive personal revelation as the prophets do, by studying the scriptures, fasting, praying, and building faith. Faith is the key. Remember Joseph’s preparation for the First Vision: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. … “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” By unwavering faith, we learn for ourselves that “it is by faith that miracles are wrought.""~Robert D. Hales

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Land of Morgantown!!

Holla Familia,

This has been a crazy few days. Transfers are always fun. As you may now know I am in the land of Morgantown. The University members here call it 'Sodom and Gomorrah'. It's a nice area, but it definitely is in the top 5 party schools in 'Merica. The people are very interesting. They range from really intelligent and bright and looking for greater and better things - to... not so intelligent people. But it has been a pretty interesting beginning.

So just an example of a really intelligent person that the sisters have been teaching for a while. Her name is Lauren, she is an interesting lady, but she is super brilliant. The reason I say she is interesting is because she does hula-hoop exercising. supposedly it is a big thing... I have never heard of it till this past weekend.. hmm... I must be really out of the loop. Anywho, she has been coming to church for quite a while now and we are working with her to get her baptized.  Another Sweet family, that are members, are the Weitzeil's, they aren't rich, and they aren't perfect, but they are so awesome on how they treat each other! Brother Weitzeil looks like a good looking Napoleon Dynamite. Just Sayin. Oh, and another thing about them. They are TALL. He is 6'7" and she is 6'2" and their kids are tall and they are only little kids. It's intense.

Another person that I met this week is Krystal. Now Krystal is a sweet child, but she only looks at what is going wrong in her life. She is almost 30, she's single, she doesn't have a job, or a car. She stays home and does crafts all day. When we were visiting her she complained pretty much the entire time on how the members of the ward are so judgmental and snooty. That they don't know hard times, they don't know what it is like to live on a budget, they don't know this or that or whatever. The thing that popped into my mind was the talk "And Nothing Shall Offend Them" by Elder Bednar. That if we are looking for ways that our life is falling apart, our life will fall apart more quickly. We will become cold and bitter toward the world and everything in it. Now of course things in life aren't perfect, and they probably never will be perfect, but we can do what we need to with what we have. There is no point in letting the past hold us back. We need to move forward in faith and patience. As Elder Holland said "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." It isn't about looking at what we don't have, or what is going hard it is about finding joy in what we have now.

On Saturday Morning we went and worked at the Ronald McDonald House with the local Girl scout troop. It was really funny t work with them. They are trying to work with 8 year old girls and trying to make breakfast for the people who live in the Ronald McDonald House. But working with little girls is... fun. Trying to help them make breakfast was even better. But the experience was priceless. We were able to talk to a few people who weren't members. So it was a really nice service project for us.

This Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference in Clarksburg. It was interesting to go back to Clarksburg and see everyone from the ward that I had just left come up to us either introducing themselves to my companion (because they didn't know that sister Curtis and I had been doubled out) or asking why I was back. It was really fun to see them all again. Stake Conference was really interesting. Saturday they talked about Seminary pretty much the entire time. How Seminary isn't just extra cheap armor to put on to fend off the battles of the world around us - that it is top of the line armor. Get it and Use it. They also made the emphasis of how: If you choose not to get anything out of Church or don't look forward to it, you will never grow. It takes Sacrifice, Diligence, and Energy to get the armor we are seeking for. And That as for Parents they need to be willing to do what they ask their children to do. AS families we need to learn to discuss and share what we know and Believe. If you want to change others you need to first change yourself.

It is true. If you want something to change your life, you need to be willing to change your life. It isn't going to happen magically because of a program that you have entered into, or by going to EFY, or to institute, or somewhere else. It all starts within our own hearts and grows from there. Sincere Desire, and Real Intent are the keys to success in everything we do in life. What are you willing to do to acquire with you desire?
I hope you are all having a great day, and are working hard toward worthy goals. I love you all and pray for you daily!
Sister Karen Call

"One way you will be changed by … fervent prayer is, I promise you, that you will feel truly that you are a child of God. When you know that you are a child of God, you will also know that He expects much of you. Because you are His child, He will expect you to follow His teachings and the teachings of His dear Son, Jesus Christ. He will expect you to be generous and kind to others. He will be disappointed if you are proud and self-centered. He will bless you to have the desire to put the interests of others above your own."~Henry B. Eyring
Pic: My New Companion Sister Sullivan and I

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mission Pictures

Pic 1: Coal Miners Mini Golfing
Pic 2: Sisters Meeting
Pic 3: Sister Whitaker, Me, and Sister Curtis

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

*To the tune of Saturday is a Special Day* : Labor Day is a Special Day - The Day Everything is Closed on a Monday - We Sit at Home and Wash our Clothes - And Wonder What we are going to do with the rest of our Day.

Well you guys are lucky because we have a family History Center that has computers in it that we can email at! You just get to hear from me really late in the afternoon. Usually we go to the library because there are only 7 computers and 8 missionaries serving in our ward. So it's pretty fun. Also the internet is slow where ever we go, I guess that is the only down side.
Well this week has been a lot better than last week. We actually taught people and found a few people to teach! Yay!  Our main working area right now is Grafton. Which is like the slums I guess you could say, but there are a few really cool people who live there. Like Christine Lewis and her family, Floyd and Cindy, Sandy, and Donald. We were able to teach all of them this week! It was the best! Now. They all just need to come to church and be baptized :)
I got to do something really unique this past Wednesday. Elder Ostler & Moffett & Sister Curtis & I all sang at a funeral. Yay. We sang Abide With Me Tis' Evening Tide. It was an interesting funeral service. Half the people were nonmembers and the other half were less actives and a few active members. We are not a very musical group... but we did pretty good. We broke into the different parts and that was interesting. I have learned to stay on a note pretty well here on my mission, but I don't think I will be volunteering any time soon to sing in sacrament meeting or another funeral any time soon.
We moved Holly today. It was sad to see her go, but it was definitely something she and Ron needed to do. They lived in very poor and sad living circumstances and they found a very nice apartment to move into that is close to a hospital. It was fun moving his 900lb Pearl Harbor safe into the moving truck.  Just kidding we didn't even try - I'm pretty sure I would have been squished. One of the members of the ward showed up and he moved it all by himself it was intense.

We taught Paul and Patty this week the Word of Wisdom. Paul only agreed to some of it, he doesn't see the problem with having things in moderation. He loves to chew. Patty loves coffee.  The cool thing about our lesson was that right before it - Patty had gone to the store and she was looking at coffee pots thinking about getting a new one, and she decided that there was no point because she wanted to get off coffee. Paul hadn't been chewing for over 7 hours and he had been looking at a few magazine articles about people’s journey with quitting. So they are being prepared, but they are having a hard time letting it go! Just let it go! Just Come to Church!!
Is it really worth it!? Yes, it tastes good, and it can take headaches away. But once it starts causing the headaches is it really worth it? When you can't stop having it. Oh I can quit whenever I want to. I have quit 12 times already. Perhaps I have forgotten what the word Quit means. Well the world is definitely changing. Bad is now Good, and Good is now Bad. So much fun in the world. We need to be in the world but not of the world. Once we let the world overcome us is when things start to go down hill. Just remember that with the Lord all things are possible.

"Who's on the Lord's side who. now is the time to show"
Well I hope you are all having a great day! Having fun and working hard. Congratulations Bailey and Sean!!!  :)  Well I love you all.

Sister Karen Call

"It is our free choice whether we make and keep … covenants. Only a few of [Heavenly Father's] daughters have the opportunity in this life to even learn of those covenants. You are one of the favored few. You dear sisters, each of you is a daughter in the covenant."~Henry B. Eyring,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tracted All Day, Didn't Find Anyone

Holla Familia!
So this week was an interesting one! We tracted, and tracted a little more, and we didn't find anyone. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!? Well ok, we did find a few potentials. So hopefully they will turn into something awesome.It's just been a really interesting week for me.
But this week wasn't as bad as I made it sound. A few really cool things did happen this week.
We had Zone Conference this week, first one with President Salisbury. He blew it right out of the water! I really enjoyed it. The thing that stuck out most to me in the meeting was His challenge for an Experiment of Faith. It is a new thing we are doing with our members. So I guess you can apply it to you: Watch a Mormon Message, or Read the Scriptures. Think about how This Message applies to you, and how the Gospel has blessed you in your life. Then Experiment of Faith. Ponder about someone you think could benefit from the message you just had or from the message of the Restored Gospel. First few people that come to mind, write them down. Then Ponder about why these people came to mind, and then think of how you could share the Gospel with them.      Now Sending the Missionaries over, is a good idea. But do you know what an even better idea is? Inviting the person you thought of over to your house or going and visiting them yourself. Because which one is more likely to happen - you a friend goes to their house and asks to come in, or missionaries who are complete strangers asking to come in. All signs point to the friend is allowed in the door. Now you are probably wondering what to do next. Well what we learned, and perhaps the easiest and simplest way, is to state the obvious. "Hey Jenny, I was watching this short spiritual clip last night about things that matter most. I was thinking about people who mattered most to me and you came to mind. So I know that sounds really weird and cheesy, but I have just been thinking about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been such a huge blessing in my life. It has brought me a lot of peace, comfort, and guidance. and since you came to mind when I thought of the Gospel, I just wanted to ask you if you would be interested in learning about it."      
Stating the Obvious is the best. It may be awkward, it may be strange... But hey. YOU ASKED! Which moves me onto another train of thought. We had a lesson in Relief Society yesterday it was on the talk of "Are You Sleeping Through the Restoration" By Elder Uchtdorf. The Three things that keep us back from sharing the gospel. selfishness, addictions, and competing priorities. One part of it that really stuck out to me was under addictions:
Addictions often begin subtly. Addictions are thin threads of repeated action that weave themselves into thick bonds of habit. Negative habits have the potential to become consuming addictions.
After that he lists several things that the world is falling trap too. But something that popped into my mind was: Negative Habits, repeated actions. We all have the bad habit of Not Sharing the Gospel. We all have it stuck in our minds that - Oh they are busy, Oh they look like they are set in their Faith or in their ways, Oh they smell funny, Oh they aren't into religious stuff, Oh, Oh, Oh. Oh NO. Justification to the Max! I myself am super guilty of this. I like to Justify my way out of things. Lots of things pop up that we think of: That I am just too busy to do certain things, I'm too tired to talk, I don't know that much about sharing the Gospel, I feel like an awko-taco talking about religion. It just never ends.
We need to pull ourselves together and make the determined effort that we want to and are going to share the Gospel. It's a bit frightening at first, but as soon as you do it. My goodness the joy that comes from doing it.
SO my challenge to you, all y'all, is to do an Experiment of Faith. The People that pop into mind, they can be members or nonmembers. Go and talk to them. Just Do It. Then tell me how it goes. Because
“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.”
Go Fight Win! :D

Sister Karen Call
Hmm...I guess I only told you one really cool thing that happened this week... Oh well :)

"Hold family home evening every week. As parents, we are sometimes too intimidated to teach or testify to our children. I have been guilty of that in my own life. Our children need to have us share spiritual feelings with them and to teach and bear testimony to them."
~Robert D. Hales

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Missionary Work: Yes, It's for You

Hey Family!
This week has been pretty interesting. Lots of cool and interesting things have happened.
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the STL's Sister Curtis went to Fairmont with Sister Whitaker, and I stayed here in Bridgeport with Sister Shumway. I was a little worried, because, well I still don't know where everything is and we have an interesting area that we cover. GPS's don't really work out here... it's fun. So we only got lost... like twice. :)
We spent the day in Grafton. We have really interesting cities that we cover. Grafton, Flemington, Shinnston, Anmore, and Bridgeport. they sound like cusses and diseases.
Anywho, Grafton is the slums of our area, nothing to be too afraid of. Just don't be stupid when approaching people. So Sister Shumway and I spent the afternoon looking for Less Active people. Most of them had moved, But along our way we found this really cool guy. His name is Sam. He was super friendly and super helpful, and Sister Shumway carried on a conversation about 70's bands and stuff while I stood there wondering what the heck they were talking about and just smiling. Then they got into his life and how things were pretty difficult at the time and he was taking care of his parents and they had bad health problems. Then tie into the Plan of Salvation. It was really cool, and I don't really know how it happened but it did.
After talking to Sam we went to Dairy King, to take a little break from our lovely 90 degree + humidity day of walking around. Dairy King is like Dairy Queen. Only they use different flavors and supposedly they make everything from scratch and put it into the 'snowflakes' aka milkshake things. Super good by the way. Highly recommend it... if you are ever in West Virginia... and it is still in business. Anywho, I had a nice chat with Sister Shumway. I asked her about how she came on a mission, and her story is pretty legit. While we were talking, Sam (the guy we had just met) called and asked if we had found the guy we were looking for, and that he was going to call later about where our church was. So that was pretty cool. Then a few minutes later, Donald, our investigator called and said that if we were in the area that we could come and stop by. So that was pretty cool. The Lesson with Donald was still just like the previous lesson we had with him. Still doesn't understand priesthood one bit. A lot of people don't understand what the priesthood is. But it was still cool that he called us and told us that we could come over.
Another thing I don't understand is how people can believe in the Trinity... It's just sooo weird. Of Course people probably think it's weird that we are going around saying that we have a Modern day prophet and the Book of Mormon and more.
That evening Sister Shumway and I went and visited Carolyn. Carolyn is pretty awesome, but she is a less active, and she shouldn't be. She knows she should go to church and do a lot of things, But she has had a really crappy past 10 years since she has joined the church. She got married in the temple to a member, and then found out that he was abusive and crazy, so she got divorced. But she has also had a lot of good experiences as well. But the bad ones over shadow the good ones. She has picked up a lot of bad habits and she says she is shooting for making it into the Terrestrial kingdom now. Which is so sad to hear. Why would you shoot for something less... when you know the greater.
The Exchange was pretty cool and I really enjoyed being with Sister Shumway. She is so energetic and bubbly it's crazy. We will both go home in December as well.
Another Interesting thing this week. So another less active that we went and saw, her name is Holly, She is less active because of all of he health problems that she has. Her husband Ron is not a member, but he has really warmed up to the missionaries. Holly was having a really bad day, because their landlord called and gave them a 30 day notice that they needed to move out. They were super upset because the lady had been there earlier that day and said they didn't need to worry about anything, and then as soon as she got home called them up and told them they needed to leave. So it was an emotional house. So, we got Holly talking and she talked about how when she was growing up she lived next to an Olympic diver, and she was taking a diving class. Well The Olympic divers dad was very abusive to him, and so whenever Holly's mom heard there was trouble she would call them up and ask if the son could come and help Holly practice diving. Holly says having an Olympic diver didn't help her one bit on becoming a better diver, but she had a lot of fun with him. A few years ago, this Olympic diver called Holly up and asked her what she appreciated the most that would help cheer her up, and Holly told him that she really loved 'Law and Order: SVU' because she had been herself a rape victim and they were bringing these kinds of things out of the dark. So a few hours later she gets a call and the lady tells her who she is. And it is the main Lady on the show!! Mariska! So Holly has been good friends with her for the past... I don't know how many years. But she has a hat and pictures of all of them. It's SO COOL, and Mariska gives her a call once in a while. Holly is even mentioned in one of the episodes that they have.
Later in the week I got to go and talk to Jerri. Jerri joined the church about 3 years ago. My goodness she is an awesome lady. Jerri is very good at reading people and identifying what needs to be done. In the ward she has recognized that there really isn't any unity among everyone, because no one knows anything about anyone. They all try and stretch out for a moment and try and make a difference but when nothing happens they all stop and give up. She says it would be really difficult for people to come into the church because everyone is so to themselves, that we need to become more focused on those around us. She also talked about how a few transfers ago, the sisters had a lady that was supposed to get baptized right after church, and during church she called and told them that she was just going to get baptized in Oklahoma. They were both devastated and started crying. Some of the members that Jerri talked to expressed how they didn't get why the missionaries were so upset. Jerri expressed that Members just don't understand how much effort and work we as missionaries put into finding people, and to be that close and then have it all fall apart, is a very emotional time. Not only that, but the members are supposed to have a connection with Investigators as well. It's not just a blah moment of "oh, someone is getting baptized. That's cool'. It's so much more! and the members are supposed to be a part of it! They are the ones who stay and become the friends and teachers of those who join the church. The missionaries leave, they all eventually go home. So Members need to kick it into gear and start focusing on those who are around them. Once we have built a solid foundation we are supposed to help those who are around us. If we don't have that foundation, we need to be seeking after it. To discover the importance the Gospel has in our lives, and how much our Savior Jesus Christ loves us. As soon as we discover this for ourselves, why Wouldn't we want to share it with others. We should be excited about these things, How is the word supposed to spread if we are not willing to spread it? But yeah, as a missionary, I have become very passionate about this subject of member missionary work. It is for Everyone. Ask the Missionaries how to start, and if they don't know... then go to Preach My Gospel. It is these key.
Alright so very last thing. I had a really neat experience yesterday. Sister Curtis and I went to the Saltis' to teach a lesson to Paul about Baptism and the Holy Ghost. We started off watching 'You Know Enough', the mormon message. We talked about how we don't know everything and how we are supposed to walk by faith and move forward. Then Paul talked about how he had been thinking about baptism. I don't really remember how the conversation continued, but I remember talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. This was probably one of the most clear to me experiences of the Spirit working through me to teach Paul and Patty. I taught in a way that I had never really thought about before, I taught it simply, boldly and clearly. I can remember just looking into their eyes and talking. It was such a neat experience to be a part of! We asked Paul to think about being baptized on September 20th. He has a lot to work on, but if he puts his faith and his mind to it he can do it. Because through God all things are possible.
Well I hope you are all having a fantastic week! That you take a moment every day to focus on studying Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon and Praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with those around you. If you ever have questions about anything in the Gospel, ask me, ask a missionary, just ask - because if you don't "If you do what you have done, then you will get what you have got"
I love you all!
Sister Karen Call

"Ultimately, all keys of the priesthood are held by the Lord Jesus Christ, whose priesthood it is. He is the one who determines what keys are delegated to mortals and how those keys will be used. We are accustomed to thinking that all keys of the priesthood were conferred on Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple, but the scripture states that all that was conferred there were “the keys of this dispensation” (D&C 110:16). At general conference many years ago, President Spencer W. Kimball reminded us that there are other priesthood keys that have not been given to man on the earth, including the keys of creation and resurrection."   ~Dallin H. Oaks

Monday, August 11, 2014

Live A Little Better Today Than We Did Yesterday

Holla Familia!
This week has been pretty good. To start off, the investigators we have seen this week and how I felt they went down. We went and saw Donald with Sister Poe. It was an alright lesson, we were jumping around a lot, we talked again about Priesthood and how it was important to have that authority to baptize but It just didn't click with him. Sister Poe used to be Catholic so she bore a very powerful testimony on the importance of the Priesthood and how she knew that this was the true church. Two things that bothered me during the lesson was: We asked him if he had any questions in his life that he had never had answered or what he was looking for. He told us that he didn't have any questions and he wasn't really looking for anything. That, to me, showed that he isn't really interested in looking for truth. He doesn't think he is missing anything and he doesn't really want to change because he feels he is fine where he is at. Of course, perhaps he just couldn't think of anything at that moment - it happens to the best of us. But, The other thing that bothered me was that during the lesson his phone rang and he went and answered it. I may be reading it wrong, but to me and to most people, it shows a lack of interest and disrespect for those who are talking to you or sharing something very important; going and answering the phone wasn't all that bad, the bad part was that it was his Preacher from his Methodist church... haha, just our luck. And he told Donald that they were going to come and fix his mothers roof and his pipes, and they couldn't wait to see him at church this Sunday.... Soo Donald didn't come to church because his preacher invited him already. BOO.
We also saw Tony and Christine. We only saw Tony momentarily, He has been super busy working. But we had a good talk with Christine. It was mostly her asking us questions and us answering them. We talked about the importance of Prophets. We definitely will need to address that topic again especially with Tony, because he walked in at that moment as we were talking about why Joseph Smith was important, and He said 'Oh Him.' in a rather interesting and rude tone. So we will have to see.
We finally met with Patty and Paul! They are really sweet people. Paul is not a member and he has some really good potential and is slowly gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon as he reads it. We just need to commit him to the lessons and being serious about following Jesus Christ. Patty just has a hard time being in crowds and such. Patty is sooo sweet. While we were there she pulled out her crocheting stuff. She had a whole bunch of things. Mostly little kid outfits that she had made and little shoes. She also had a lot hats that were pretty cool. Then she pulled out some house slippers that she had crochet. She said that every missionary got a pair!! SWEET! hand crochet house slippers! haha I felt really cool and loved :)
 Another family we met were the Hatches. They moved here a year or so ago from Utah. They are a really cool family, the first time we met them they let us right in and fed us dinner! They say they have been just super busy with work and stuff and that when they do go to church they want to go as a family. It's just really hard to see how the action of not going to church has led them into several bad habits. They have started drinking coffee, tea, and alcohol. All very popular normal things in West Virginia. But they aren't to the church, and it's amazing what happens when we stop doing the things we are supposed to be doing, and our testimony weakens in another spot. The devil sure does know where to hit to make it count.
We had Zone Meeting this week. It was pretty cool, learning once again about the Why, how, and what in a new perspective. It reminded me to refocus and remember why I do certain things and why I don't do other things. It was a pretty good meeting overall.
So a few sweet miracles and tender mercies of this week! We were able to find the house of a Referral that was given to us, and we were able to give him a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and to come back this week. It was cool because the road he lives on doesn't exist on GPS's and you can't even see it from the main road, and we got really.... interesting... directions on how to get to it. So it was really cool when we were able to find the house. On the same day we tried another street (which we found out no one lived on because it was a nursery/child care place) but there was a lady there who had a member of the church that used to work for her, and she had also gone to the Grafton Branch when it was open out there. It was funny when she brought up the Grafton Branch, because we invited her to come to church and she looked at us and said "so you call it a church? I thought you guys used some different word for it, or something" Sister Curtis and I were a little confused for a moment and then realized that "Ohhh, a Branch? that just means it's smaller than a regular size congregation. We definitely call them churches" It was pretty funny.  So it was pretty cool to meet her! She even said if we needed a job we could come back and work for her! haha.
After that and a few streets down we met another lady named Sarah. Who invited us right in and talked with us. We shared the importance of the Book of Mormon and talked with her for a while. She had talked to missionaries before and had a Book of Mormon downstairs. She said that she had read some of it and that it didn't really go with what she believed or what the Bible said.... But we kept bearing testimony of it and sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon and the Bible and she said she would give the Book of Mormon another try, and that we could come back in a few weeks and follow up with what she read. So that was really cool.
So something that stuck out to me the most this week. Live a little better today than we did yesterday. With learning about Why we do things in the Gospel during Zone Meeting, and also something that the Hatches said;(I can't remember what they said exactly) "In Utah, we don't really live like Christians." I thought this was an interesting thing to say, but I could see where he was coming from. We don't all vocally thank or praise God for all of the blessings that we have like people out here do. We don't express out loud how we saw the hand of the Lord in our day. We don't talk about Christ and how he affects our every action. Now, I would say that the people in Utah are Christian. They live a Christ like life by being kind and giving service and doing. But sometimes we need to be more Vocal about it. Acknowledging the hand of the Lord in our life. Making it a more common thing to say vocally what blessings the Lord has given us.
Anywho! I love all of you and I hope you are all having a great week! School starts soon! Yay! that means everyone comes home from Summer Vacations finally! haha. More people home. Not so happy for kids and students :) Well! Live, Laugh, Love!
Sister Karen Call

"Giving [others] confidence in your love can help them develop faith in God’s love. Then through your loving, thoughtful communication, their lives will be blessed by your sharing lessons you have learned, experiences you have had, and principles you have followed to find solutions to your own struggles. Show your sincere interest in their well-being; then share your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
    ~Richard G. Scott