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!