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,