Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spiritual Strength Makes You Physically Stronger

Holla Familia!
It's been an interesting week. Transfers are tomorrow so there is always that anxiety of wondering who is going to be transferred and who is going to stay and so forth. Well, I am staying in Christiansburg for another transfer! Sister Wines is being transferred to Milton WV and she is becoming an STL (Sister Training Leader). I have been to Milton before, and there isn't really anything out there... there is a Pizza Hut. I remember that. But it was interesting because we got a text from President Pitt for Sister Wines to give him a call, and I just knew at that moment that I would be staying in Christiansburg. You always get worried or excited when President calls.  He is either calling you to tell you something awesome, or something sad... So far only awesome calls.
Ha,ha. But I'm excited for transfers. I love working with different missionaries, and learning their stories and how they interact with others. So hopefully this next transfer will go well!
This week we had a Zone P-day.  We all got together at the church and played Chair soccer... Well I was the only Sister who played, and in the process of playing I broke my Big Toenail right in half. It hurt. After that we played Volleyball, and I'm just going to say our zone is half and half. Half are athletic and the other half have never really played a sport in their life. So it was really funny to watch. Oh and at this P-day activity I accidentally Dropped Sister Wines on her head... I have discovered as you become more Spiritually strong you become physically strong as well! And Well... doing dance moves of picking people up and spinning them doesn't work out too well when you have never done it before... and when your companion keeps running and jumping on you to get you to do it right... we tried three times and then I dropped her.... so I guess three times isn't really the charm. I felt so bad too... but she just kept laughing. So I don't know.. ha, ha.
So we had an interesting experience talking to a few of our investigators. They brought up an article that they had read earlier in the week about Mormon's having their own planet after we die. SWEET!!! How come I don't know about this!!?! Oh, wait... that's cause we don't get our own planet. Darn. So we didn't really know what they were talking about.. so we talked about the Plan of Salvation and about the Spirit World, and it seemed to answer their question about us Mormon's having our own planet. Who knows.
We got to talk to another Lady named Lynn!  We met her son last week... and I can't remember if I wrote about him or not, but to put it simply he was a wee bit high when we talked with him and really crazy, but he knew his Bible really well. He wasn't very nice, but Lynn is awesome! While we talked with her, she told us that someday she will join the church, but she wants things to settle down a little before she does that. In my mind I was like "Sweet!! wait what?.. you do realize that life never slows down when we want it too..." So yeah, but she is really awesome and we are excited to talk to her some more!
We were also able to see Tiffany this week and Sister Bowser came with us. I was having a really hard time during the lesson trying to focus and teach simply, so it was really rocky for a while. But, Sister Bowser is awesome!! She got right down to the point of things. She addressed prayer and talked about it. Tiffany has never really prayed in her life, and she didn't know if we said memorized prayers or how they work so Sister Bowser described prayer to her, and then Sister Bowser committed her to Pray!!! Sister Bowser is an awesome missionary! I can't really describe very well how the lesson went, but all I can say is that I am so grateful for Ward members who are spiritually prepared and willing to help. They make this work move forward!!
Sister Isla and her husband got to go to the North Carolina temple this Weekend!!! They have been saving up for weeks to go, and She was worried that they weren't going to be able to go again because money was tight again. But they made the extra push to go out there. I am so grateful for Temples, and I am so grateful that in Utah we had so many temples nearby. I am so sad that I did not take advantage of how close the temple was and that I could walk to it if I wanted too! It's a four hour drive from Christiansburg to the Temple. That is a lot of money for Gas, and for food if you don't pack something to eat. So I definitely want to take advantage of the temple when I get home, and I hope you guys take the advantage of it while you have it so close. I know it's bad to be thinking of this right now, but when I get home the first thing I want to do is go to the Temple! So take note Mamma! Right off plane --> into temple.
Speaking of the Temple. There is a man named William that we try and see about every week. He has been less active since I got here. His family life has just gone down hill, and he hasn't done anything to fix it. He hasn't tried to do anything. He had a goal in mind at the beginning.  He wanted to go to be sealed to his wife. But He lost hope as the World started to consume him. Oh, funny thing His wife's name was Hope. So as soon as he lost Hope he really lost hope. It's hard to talk to him about hope because he always thinks we are referring to his wife... so yeah. But he has been going down hill - drinking, chewing, not reading or praying. This last time we talked with him we laid down the law. "William, you need to keep the commandments in order for God to start talking to you. He will not talk to an Unclean vessel. You need to Live the Word of Wisdom and you need to come to church! and you need to get back onto that goal because you have not accomplished it yet!" So we got him on the phone with a member, and he asked them to come and pick him up for church the next day, and HE CAME!! YEAH! and he brought is roommate!! so yeah! hopefully he keeps coming. I think it was a good day for him to come, because they talked all about getting ready to go to the temple.
I had an amazing Spiritual Experience this week. I received a blessing from Brother Passic a member in the ward. I have no way to describe it .  I cannot describe it. I will only say that Priesthood Blessings are amazing. They should not be abused or used for unrighteous reasons, but we should inquire of a blessing as much as we can. We not receive guidance in our lives, but we also help our fellow men remain and strive to be worthy to give blessings. If you are lost, or don't know what to do - seek for a Priesthood Blessing from someone you trust. Look into their eyes, and you will know if they are the one you must ask for a blessing.
Well, I love you all and I hope all goes well.
Spiritual Strength makes you Physically Stronger. If you put the Lord first he will make sure the things that are important to you can be accomplished. You will Run and not be Weary.

Sister Karen Call

Monday, March 17, 2014

Trust in the Lord

Holla Familia,
So first off, I read this talk "Trust in the Lord" by Richard G Scott and it is amazing. Read it. It goes along with what happened in my week. We met this family that has just recently come back into contact with the church. It all started off with one of the daughters deciding that it was time to go back. She just recently came back a month or so ago, but she contacted us to go and see her mother, father and her sister. They are an amazing family that want to change to do what is right. They have been battered, bruised, and scarred, with the things of their past. But they know there is something greater and bigger for them to do. The mom's name is Betty and the daughter that is living with her is Laura. Laura has a little girl named Jasmine who is such a sweet heart. She loves God and Jesus, and she lets you know it. Jasmine even ties letters to Balloons and sends them into the air for God. Which Betty thinks is bad for the Ozone or something... They are also super random and funny. Laura has been through a ton in her life and is reaching out right now for help. To overcome addiction, to straighten out her life, and learn more about God. She knows just enough about the church, to know that it is true. She asked for a Priesthood blessing to help her get on the right path and doing the right things. We brought Bishop with us and he had a good long chat with her and the family. The daughter that contacted us, her name is Amie; her son is on date to be baptized in the next few weeks and the missionaries are working on the rest of her family. The son is awesome. He has really dived into the Gospel. He loves President Monson. He loves the Priesthood. He loves it!! He is already talking about serving a mission and he isn't even a member yet. He was an amazing support for his Aunt. I can see the Spirit touching him in his life and reaching out trying to bless those who are around him. He knows it is true and he wants to share it with others. That burning within his eyes. I have only seen it in a few, and that includes missionaries. Every member of this church needs to have a fire in their eyes. They need to glow with the light of Christ. We grow our light by Reading, Praying, Going to Church, Serving others, and doing all we can to share the Gospel with everyone. Everyone! That includes members. There needs to be more comfort in asking questions. If you have the slightest question - ASK - family, friends, bishops, anyone that you trust. Even if you think it is a stupid question that every member of the church knows. If you thought of it, other members without a doubt have thought of the exact same things and have felt the exact same way about asking others. Because "Every" Mormon is supposed to know that or this or whatever. It isn't true. Knowledge is Forever. You will never know everything. Ever.
I have thought a lot about Pride, Hypocrisy and other things this week. I had to do a deep looking within me to see if I was being Prideful, or anything else, and yes there is always Pride and other things floating in the way. But the hardest thing is identifying and living with it. I know we all don't want to be Hypocrites, right? But have we ever stopped to think about what we are doing, or what we are saying to others? Are we willing to change ourselves before demanding someone else to change? Three Scriptures I found this week:
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" Proverbs 15:1
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4: 31-32
"But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world. and Eternal life in the world to come." D&C 59:23
Yes we want this world to change. But are we willing to be the change that we want to see in this world? Are we willing to put away the natural man and becometh a saint?
Another thing that happened this week, we had Specialized Training. We learned about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it. Funny huh? We, missionaries, need a reminder of how important the Book of Mormon is. The key thing with the Book of Mormon is that if anyone says that the church is not true, tell them to read the Book of Mormon. They need to disprove the Book of Mormon to say that the church is not true. If they have never read the Book of Mormon - ALL of it - then they have no say. Because the Book of Mormon is true, we have modern Revelation, we have a Prophet of God to lead and guide us in these days, we have temples, we have standards, we have Truth. No one can fight against you if you have read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know that it is true. You won't even be able to deny it. But remember the introduction: We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
We need to do this. If we have not already done it. Know that the Book of Mormon is true, and base everything else off of that. The Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, Everything stems from thee Book of Mormon. Once we know the Book of Mormon is true. We need to read the Doctrine and Covenants. It isn't the History of the beginnings of the Church. It is for us today to learn and to grow. It will help us now! This is what Elder Perry told us this Sunday during Stake Conference. Read the Doctrine and Covenants.
Well I hope you know I love all of you, and I hope you are all doing well. Keep the light burning and keep growing!
Sister Karen Call

Monday, March 10, 2014

Become, Today

Holla Familia,
So this week has been pretty interesting.
So at the beginning of the week, we met up with a Former investigator named Barbara. She is an interesting older lady with a very short attention span. We taught her the Restoration and she was super into what we were saying and talked about how she remembered the video about it as well from the previous sisters. We then put her on date for Baptism and she said that she really wanted too but that there was a ton of things that she needed to change and do in order to do. She then got a phone call and then her granddaughter came in and started talking about how cold she was. So that was pretty much the end of the lesson. But she said she was excited to continue learning and find out more about the Gospel. So we will see how that goes.
The next thing that happened was we tried one of our Investigators, Katie and we started teaching her the Restoration and as we were talking about things, she kept saying "well that is interesting" and we asked her how she would feel about a modern day prophet.    She said that she would want to know him. It was going all well, when all of a sudden she said "Oh my! I've got more company!" There walked up two ladies from her church.... her Visiting Teachers... Awkward... Katie then said that we were done and that we could go. One of the ladies you could see her clenching her jaw and the vein in her neck kinda pulsing.   She was forcing this rather creepy smile; trying to be nice to us... What was even more fun was walking outside and the two ladies husbands were sitting out in the car.   As we walked past them they said, "Bye bye Mormons"  Probably a major Anti hit her... We will see when we try her again this week. Which is unfortunate that people feel so negative, and they don't even really know why.
So that day was going pretty downhill as one after another appointments fell through, and people weren't home. Then we decided to try around a members house and try all of the homes that previous missionaries had said was good to go back...Which sometimes works wonderfully and then other times they look at you and say "It was a few months ago that I told you guys not to come back!" So it's always fun to try out the people. But this time it was a good experience. We met a lady named Melissa. She had a son named Jackson that was about 7 years old, and she had a step daughter that was 17. She opened the door and let us right in! She then told us that she had cousins that were Mormons that lived in Idaho, and she really liked them and how happy they were! YESSSSS!!! It's always the best when they Like their Mormon Relatives instead of just shunning them because of all the weird things they hear about them... or if their relative doesn't live all of the standards or commandments... Anywho! She let us in and we taught her the Restoration, she just kept nodding her head throughout the whole thing. We then talked about the Book of Mormon and the blessings that come from reading it. She didn't talk very much, because she said that she was a little "awkward" that way. But it felt really good when we were teaching her, so hopefully when we come back this week she has read the chapter we left with her and that she is still awesome!!
It's awesome how the Lord blesses us with Little tender Mercies throughout the day, even though sometimes they don't work out in the moment or the next week or they decide that they don't want to talk later... The Lord was still watching out for us in that moment went we needed it. He does care about how we feel all day e're day, and he is watching out for us and waiting for that moment when we are willing and have a broken heart and contrite spirit to come and seek for him. It is up to us to accept the Savior.   He will not force us to have faith in Him, or to repent, or to give service to others. He does promise us blessings as we do these things, but he doesn't take away our agency. Sometimes due to our choices negative things happen and we say that it was God’s way of punishing us... No. That is the consequence of sin, for breaking the law. God can't take away blessings. We personally do that to ourselves. God gives us all, and we accept or reject.
Which kinda, but not really, leads into the lesson we learned at Zone Meeting this week. Who am I? Who do I want to be?  We talked about Nephi and his Brothers. Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. In regards to the talk called "The Fourth Missionary" you should read it and just change out when it says missionary with member. But we talked about 1 Nephi 15. How Nephi asked his brethren if they asked the Lord about what their father said, and they replied back that they had not because the Lord made no such things made known unto them.      Did you ask the Lord to know that it was True? Were you Humble enough to not harden your heart against the answer? If we do not ask - then we will not gain knowledge. If we don't believe we will receive an answer or aren't willing to act on it then we are right, we won't learn or gain knowledge from the Lord.  We then talked about how we all have a "Box" back home that is filled with our Old self, and in some cases who we are now. It contains my earthly possessions, thoughts, words, and deeds. That prevent us from moving forward or becoming who we know/ want to become. In John 21: Peter went back to his box. He went back to doing what he used to do. Christ talked with him and gave him a second chance. This is after Peter had denied him three times (why he denied him there are many reasons that float around) The Lord still chose him, gave him another opportunity. Peter left everything behind and followed the Savior.   This is our time to put our heart in the Lord. If we can't now, then we can't after.’ I will change later’ doesn't work. Later never comes, and why would you deny yourself of happiness that you can have right now? Even though you can't see why or how it can make you happy - it will. We have come here to change, not to decide what we will or will not change. The Lords wants us to give all. Continually repenting - being refined as gold. As we continually are refined the more imperfections that leave us, and soon we will become pure gold where the reflection of the Savior can be seen within us. One of my lovely sisters sent me a quote last week that said: My best is good enough... and sometimes I don't do my best, but at those times I can always recommit. I'm never too far behind to catch up. There's no such thing with the Atonement.
Whether it be a pair of Skinny jeans, foul language, sarcasm, idleness, or whatever it may be. Clean out the Box. Become today who you want to be tomorrow. Yes, People may still see you as the person that you were Yesterday, but Who you left behind Yesterday and who you met today is what really matters.
I love you all and I hope you are all doing well. Keep working hard. Praying. Reading Scriptures. Live, Love, Laugh, Llamas.
Sister Karen Call

Monday, March 3, 2014

Follow the Prophet

Holla Familia,
Sooo to start off  I read a talk this week called "Follow the Prophet" by Glenn L Pace. and It pretty much states how I feel some of the members are.
A member even gave a talk last week and said how he knew the church was true, but didn't agree with everything the leaders of the church did. They are all 'very smart' individuals in our ward. Several of them are students at VT. and others have Doctorates and other accomplishments. They all rely on their knowledge. Man's knowledge, instead of God's. So yeah, we also have several Feminists in the ward that are causing a spiritual strangle right now as well. Women and the Priesthood kinda thing.
"Inappropriate intellectualism sometimes leads one to testify that he knows the gospel is true but believes the Brethren are just a little out of touch. Out of touch with what? Don’t confuse a decision to abstain from participating in a trend with a lack of awareness about its existence. These Brethren “prove all things” and “hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thes. 5:21.) To accomplish this, they are in constant touch with Him who created this earth and knows the world from beginning to end."
This is how I feel. Flat out. Just putting it out there.
Anywho, Adventures of this week... sort of. ha,ha. So there was this lady we were teaching... well sort of. She was Indian/Mexican or something - She talked and looked like the lady off of Pirates of the Caribbean 'Calypso' lady. So it was really hard to understand what she was saying to us. So She is a little confused, and confusing. She has visited with missionaries before, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, and others. So she has a mass of information floating in her head, that she doesn't really know what to do with. She kept saying how confusing our book was and she would open it up to a random page and read a verse and say "like that! what does that even mean?" *blink* *blink* (didn't really do this but this is what I thought of) flip open bible; read random verse; doesn't make much sense. You can't just expect to flip open anything or learn about anything if you don't do it with the right intent or the right thought! She also kept mentioning how we were raised in this religion and it is hard for us to ask her to change. Why don't we change. *blink* *blink* hmm... well... I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the age of eight. I continue with this gospel because it explains and expounds on all of the knowledge I have learned from other churches. Yes, it is true that I have never really 'investigated' other churches, because in all reality there really isn't anything to investigate. Yesterday we (Sister Richards, Reed, Wines, Me, and another girl and Elder Carter, and Fotofili) went to a ‘Holiness church’ in Blacksburg to sing. The Blacksburg Sisters investigator attends this church and she invited them to come and sing, and they asked us to come and help them out so we did. I'm not going to lie: it was really fun! We sang, there was karaoke, and they had Chick-fil-a! YEAH!! ...but was the spirit there? No. Oh and it was a Pentecostal church, and the pastor did warn us that they did 'weird stuff' that others weren't use too. But nothing crazy happened. They did a blessing of people in place of other people to help them come closer to Christ (we all thought of baptisms for the dead, cause he quoted a scripture that is related to it) he would lay his hand on their head, and I think he did a drop of oil as well, and he would start to pray over them. The only weird things that happened was he did start speaking in tongues - which I didn't notice at first... because I couldn't really understand what he was saying in the first place. The people would also shake under his hand, but no one ran around the room or rolled on the floor or spoke in tongues. So it was a pretty mellow Pentecostal church... they only had 10 members. After that they also had a 'Bible Study' They read from Numbers chapter 16-19 I think. I couldn't hear the guy who was 'teaching' and they would always relate it back to Christ and what He did for us. Yes.... but we just read about the Priesthood, and that is what it is talking about... We felt out of place to say anything... because there was no Spirit to add to. Anywho, It was Fun. I have also been to other churches not on my mission. They were Fun... but they didn't have the Spirit in them. They didn't feel right, and most of the time I didn't learn anything. Let alone something that increased my knowledge of Christ. That is why I don't 'investigate' other people’s churches. There is nothing to investigate that I can't learn and expound upon from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From this Gospel. It has the answers and everything. Finding them can be difficult, because there has to be that real intent and desire to learn. But once you do so it is good. It sounds good; it feels good; it looks good.. ETC!!!! yeah!!! Happiness!
So yeah that was the adventure of this week!
I hope you are all doing well and that everything is awesome! Love you!!!
Be good, live happy, the Gospel is awesome!

Sister Karen Call
An email sent later to Mom Call from this family:

Hi Kathy,

We have enjoyed very much having your daughter in our life.  She is a very
good missionary and a sweet young lady.  You will be very proud of the way
she is serving and how hard she is working.  She is the kind of missionary
that ever parent hopes their son or daughter will be.  We will miss her
when she is gone.

Jon (Passic)