This is my last email to send you before I’m with you again in a week. It’s been a weird time to be alive. The mission I spent my whole life preparing for is coming to an end. It’s been an incredible blessing. It’s the greatest, most fulfilling, challenging, uplifting, and defining thing I’ve ever done. I’m a changed man. I’m no longer who I once was. I’m eternally grateful for the chance to focus on His ministry and learn to walk at least somewhat close to how He walked. I’ve felt some of the pains of my personal Gethsemane, and felt the lifting power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He lives. He loves me. I’ll serve Him forever. His kingdom is restored. He has a living prophet today. Greater joy comes from Him than any other source. That I will never forget, forsake, or renounce. That is my testimony. I love you! See you in a few days. -Love, Elder Call
I can hardly believe this time has come. Two weeks left. Ugh! I have a hard time wanting to leave this place, but I’ll have to! This last week seemed to go by in a single breath. Things are wrapping up for an alright ending. Bob, my convert is driving me to the mission home. We’ll enjoy some great last few moments. I’m sending a box with some extra things home. Everything’s pointing to the inevitable. I’m coming home. I bore my testimony for the last time in Sacrament meeting yesterday. This has been a great little ward to serve in. It’s been a home away from home. I love the people. They are wonderful and down to earth. I’m going to miss them a ton. But I’ll snap out of it! I still have work to do! Two weeks is plenty of time! We’ll get work done! Here’s some updates though! Bob got his patriarchal blessing yesterday. His head was in the clouds again. Pure bliss. We took him teaching with us again too this week. He just sparkled. I’m learning so many lessons the last part of the mission. I’m learning a lot about myself more than anything else, how Christ operates, and how we should handle life like He did. Learning can be painful though. I’m paying the price for it in some ways. It’s never anything compared to what He did for all of us. It’s a small cost for me to pay. I know my Savior lives. He’s there with me when I struggle. He brings peace to my soul. He is the light in the darkness. I’m forever grateful for his great atonement. I can’t wait to see you all! -Love, Elder Call
Good morning family! I’m doing well in Newport! For some reason, the work hasn’t gotten much easier. The Lord wants me to get the most out of these last few weeks! Plenty of lessons to be learned. Such is life! My testimony is becoming ever stronger, my awareness of my own need for growth more obvious, and it just goes to show that maybe going on a mission doesn’t guarantee figuring out life by the end of it, which really is good news, since otherwise life afterwards would get pretty boring. I know with all my heart that the Lord is pleased with my efforts. I’m human, and I just have to keep trying! We still have a bunch of exciting things coming up! In three weeks, the last Sunday, mission wide we’re holding the best sacrament meetings of all time! It’s called, “Invite a Friend to Church Day”! Then the week of we’ll be hosting mutual for the youth and having them bring all of their friends on a mass church tour. Elder Waite’s found some pretty cool people doing that before, so it should be a hit! The youth are already getting excited for it. James is gone for two weeks so we won’t get to teach him very much for a while, but his dad (a less active) is still around, so we’re helping him read the Book of Mormon. David, another man who’s been less active in the church has finally started reading the scriptures again! Took a while, but he’s getting there! Nathan and Jessica (a less active couple) are setting a goal to be sealed in the temple soon! Jessica was baptized almost a year ago and her missionaries have been bugging her about it. We found another member who’s been inactive that wants to take the discussions named Lynn. He’s a really good guy. He told us how he’s been feeling like he needs to bare his testimony in church. We found a nice man who goes by “Coach Wees”. He’s got a family of five kids and is open to learning. Things are happening here! It’s all going by well. There was a sister missionary that just returned to one of the families here in Newport not too long ago so she gave her homecoming talk this week and had a big presentation on her mission to Moscow Russia. She knew Elder Stebbing and her mission president served in our mission presidency when I first came out. Small world! We went to the open house after church and talked to all their non-member friends – a great door opener! It’s pretty weird to see this all coming to a close. Now I’m seeing what it looks like when a missionary comes home so it’s good preparation I guess. I’m still trying to get trunky. It’s going to be hard to leave this all behind. That’s good news that Katie and I get to speak together. Maybe we can do some kind of musical number. That’ll be an emotional day! Holy smokes! Thanks for all your letters, emails, packages, and support. You really mean the world to me. I can’t wait to see you. Love, Elder Call
The clock’s ticking. It’s showtime. The road may be bumpier than ever but it’s no excuse. There’s no turning back. I’m gonna work this Ward ’til I can’t work any more! Lots of great things are always happening. David met with the Bishop Tuesday -a huge step. We’re continuing to work with him. We found a guy named James who’s the son of some members here that’s super interested in the church. He’s been attending off and on for years and just never made the commitment. The first visit we had with him out of the blue he said, “I really need to get baptized.” We were like, “We can help with that!” We’re praying it works out, because there’s a few things that could hold him back. The only bad news this week is that Jayden’s dad kind of fell off the wagon. He hasn’t been keeping his appointments and told us he’s not ready to be baptized. With his probation it turns out anyway that he needs to wait quite a while before he could anyway. We told him we’d still like to meet with him, and he told us he had a project in the yard we can help with, so the door is still open. We’re trying to pull off three member splits a week so we can cover more ground. Bob got two callings! The first is official greeter. He beamed passing out programs at the door. He absolutely loved it. You’ve never seen a happier guy. The second calling is gospel principles class president. Another thing about Bob is that he used to be on a motorized scooter with an oxygen tank. Since he’s joined the church he’s walking around almost everywhere, and I haven’t seen him with the oxygen for more than a month. The last great thing to report is that Jennifer in Pullman got baptized! I’m so excited for her. That’s everything for this week! Keep praying for us! -Love, Elder Call
I’m doing well! We’re having a pretty good time here in Newport. Still working hard and seeing some great progress! Bob is super pumped to get his patriarchal blessing in about a week! He got a very strong spiritual confirmation from God that he needed to do that. He’s wonderful. I’m going to miss him. The members are getting a lot more involved in the work! We’re shooting for at least two nights of splits a week where we split up with members and cover more ground. There are tons of members that have gone by the wayside we’re reaching out to. Not too much else to update y’all on. Til next week! Love, Elder Call
Another week has gone by! I have to abbreviate this one since I’m about out of time, but things are amazing! I’m staying in Newport with Elder Waite for the last round in the WA-SPO mission! We are going to shred this transfer! This week we had a lot of fun. We taught plenty of people, got to help clean up debris from the wind storm, had a great zone meeting, and really enjoyed having our mini missionary Cole with us. He’s a stud! All is well! Love you!!!
Holy cow!!! That was seriously one of the greatest packages I’ve ever got on my mission! The cake and lacies were in fantastic condition! I haven’t had those lacie cookies in forever! Soooo good! I wasn’t expecting that at all. Just so ya know it made my day. I also found the best part rolled up in the bottom. You know what I’m talking about! Man oh man! That’s ridiculous Dad! I love you! Thank you! In addition to getting the best package in the world, some members gave us a couple gallons of the best milk in the world -real milk with like three inches of cream on the top! It’s so good! I’ve never had anything like it. I’m planning on breaking up some of that cake and drenching it in it. So luckily I still have one more week to prepare and get stressed about transfers, so I’m in good shape! I really think I’m going to stay for the last couple weeks. I have no idea if my companion will or not. We’ll see! I’m always surprised without fail. One small change that’s happened this week is we are becoming a tripanionship, temporarily. We’re getting a mini-missionary! His name is Cole. We’ll meet him later today. He’s going to tag along until next Sunday. He’s in for a ride! So on Saturday I’m pretty sure we experienced the greatest storm Newport’s ever seen. During the 60 mph winds trees were coming down everywhere, metal roofs ripped right off, cars were smashed, roads were blocked, and apparently in Riverside down the highway there was a forest fire on both sides of the road. A trailer park that got hit by another wind storm last week and had already half of the trailers smashed lost the other half of them Saturday. No joke! We went out in our service clothes looking for people to help. Most everybody in Newport had things under control so we didn’t really get the chance to get dirty. There’s places all over that won’t have power or running water for at least a couple more days. Nobody I’ve talked to has ever seen anything like it in Newport. In other news I’m totally not getting trunky! Don’t worry about me. If anything I’m intimidated about coming home! The work is going so well here. We’re moving the work forward, focusing on the finding the lost in the ward. There’s a bunch of people who haven’t been home taught in over 9 months that we’ve been out looking for. We’ve been doing splits with ward members to cover more ground. David, one of the results from the search is going to be meeting with Bishop this Tuesday! We’re glad. Ashley is starting the new member discussions finally. Jamie is still progressing! He may have missed church yesterday, but he’s still as committed as ever to reach his baptism date.We had a cool moment with him at the end of a lesson a few days ago. We asked if we could kneel and offer a prayer. We asked him to offer it and before he could say no we ducked our heads and waited. When he was done praying he had tears in his eyes. The Spirit is behind this work. It’s true. It’s making a massive impact on people’s lives all over the world. It unites families. It brings lasting peace. The Savior is real. I know he lives. This is the message we share! Just because my mission will end, doesn’t mean I ever have to stop sharing it. I love you! Have a great week! -Love, Elder Call
I’m so excited to hear about Katie’s mission call! That is unreal! So happy for her, though I’m going to miss her like crazy! The mission is going well. We had some decent miracles this week! We’ve been investigator finding machines lately. We found a lady named Sherry who needs a lot of help in her yard . Plus she’s a widow of a few years and struggles with depression. She’s seemed excited to hear more about Jesus Christ. Jayden’s dad Jamie is on-date for baptism August 30th! We’re excited for him. Before he didn’t seem very interested, but he’s making it a priority now. After leaving his house we noticed someone across the highway we needed to talk to. She told us that every time she starts praying again we show up. She’s also been meaning to go to the family history center and something always seems to get in the way of her going. She’s not in our area so we’re passing off a referral, but that was cool. David, the less active member who came to church last week is doing really well. He’s recommitted to paying tithing! What a neat guy. Bob went to the temple this week! He about died and went to heaven. He told us he had some pretty neat experiences while he was there. Others told us he was so happy he could have practically floated home after the baptisms. Then on Saturday we got a call from a 21 year old guy named Jacob who said he wanted to go to church. He was baptized a few years ago but has been totally off the radar for a long time now! We’re pretty excited to work with him too. Last but not least, near the end of the month we’ve been running low on funds so our meals have been reduced to ramen etc. Then out of the blue like manna from heaven, Brother Weber decided to give us the left over subway meat, bread, and chips from the youth temple trip. Yahoo! Heavenly Father loves us! It’s great to be out here. I know this work is of God. He knows us and loves us. He wants to guide us. All we have to do is listen. See you soon! Love, Elder Call