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