I guess this is my last email until I see y'all all again. Its bittersweet. I want to come home, but I also have loved loved loved so much doing this work that it hurts my heart to know I have to leave.
I guess Heavenly Father is ready to send me elsewhere. But I know that Heavenly Father sent me here at this time and this place for a specific reason.
I have learned countless lessons and have had experiences I would never have had otherwise. I have received many personal witnesses that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly is Christ's church restored on the earth today. I know that we can come to this sure knowledge as we read from the Book of Mormon and act upon the promptings we receive from reading its' sacred pages. I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father so badly wants His children to return to Him, and that this missionary work is so so so important and essential in His plan.
This mission has been a very trying experience, but it has blessed me in countless ways that I will forever be grateful for. I am eternally in debt to my Father in Heaven, and can't even begin to express my gratitude for the many things in which He has shared with me.
Thanks mom and dad for always pointing me in the right way! You set such a wonderful example for me to follow and I don't think I could have gotten to where I am now without y'all. Y'all mean so much to me!!!! Throughout my mission I have stopped to think, "what the heck am I doing here?!?" But then I think about y'all, my family, and how happy I am to know that I will be with y'all through eternity. But then I think about how I can help others be able to have an eternal family too! So then leaving my family for 18 months makes it worth it because I can help others receive those eternal gifts.
Anyway, sorry for that tangent. I just know with my whole heart, might, mind, and strength that this is Christ's church and its my duty, as well as all members' duty, to help others come into the fold. The church is true!
See y'all later this week!
I LOVE Y'ALL!
Sister Katie Call
Things are going great! I only had one and a half days in the area this week though so I don't have much exciting news. Sorry!
We were able to see our investigator Martha again and she is doing great! She now has a baptismal date in May! Her granddaughter Janea didn't show up for the lesson, but hopefully by this next week we will have her on date as well. Its funny, after being out for so long I realized while at Martha's house how comfortable I am now being in "the hood". We were talking with Martha and then she started going off on a tangent about Janea's baby daddy and seconds later some random man walked into the house and all we could hear outside was sirens. I didn't think much of the situation but then I looked at Sister Edwards and she looked a bit nervous probably thinking, "where he heck am I?!"
This week we also saw Mary Claire and we gave her the DTR (determine the relationship) lesson to see where she's at. We asked her what was holding her back and she finally uncovered her iceberg. She has lots of questions about Joseph Smith because of a lot of misconceptions she has heard. She said she loves the religion and everything about it but doesn't trust the idea of Joseph Smith being a prophet. So that was good to finally hear her main concern. We addressed some of the topics but we just led her straight back to the Book of Mormon. So that was an interesting lesson.
We saw Anna as well this week and she's doing wonderfully! She just needs to get her butt to church! She's keeping all her other commitments though and she told us this week that we also say the right things at the right time, like we are reading her mind or something. She's stellar!
This week we also had an amazing zone conference! It was so inspiring! I was kinda bummed because I really liked some of the ideas and advice shared and wished I had heard it all earlier. Oh well, I will use it while I can!
Our online investigators are doing great! Jillian is super progressing and she has been messaging us daily because she is so excited to get baptized! I finally heard back from Courtney, my investigator from France!!!!! She's just been super busy she said and hasnt had any time to respond.
I also had a really neat tour I took with a bunch of members of the Restoration Branch! They are such great people and I got to hear a little more about how they came to be. Very interesting, but they aren't too far different from us. But over all it was eye opening for me.
Well, the church is true!!!!! And I love love love helping people find that out! I love the happiness the message of the restored gospel brings and I know Heavenly Father and our Savior truly do love us. I am so grateful for that knowledge! It's what keeps me going and smiling no matter how tough things get.
I love you family! Can't wait to squeeze y'all all here soon!
Sister Katie Call
Hey hey hey! This week was great! Very very busy! I am grateful its preparation day because we finally get to breath!
Well Mary Clarie is doing great! Shes still super unsure about baptism and I dont think she watched conference so we probably have to push her date back. But shes really been pondering and praying about it so that's great!
We also had some miracles while tracting this week which we so neat! First we found a man named George and he knows everything about the Mormons. He has taken lessons millions of times. And his wife was a Mormon and they had the missionaries over all the time until she passed away. He always wanted to get baptized but never did because he is afraid of the water. But he said that his daughters are going to do his work for him in the temple as soon as they can. So we might start working with him to see if he will budge at all but I think we are going to have the senior couple visit him as well. He is awesome!
We also tracted a couple weeks ago into this lady named Cynthia and she said we could come back later and teach her more. So we came back and it turns out shes actually already a member of the church and that she just kinda slipped through the cracks. She said she had some doctrine concerns but she would love to meet with us to try to figure things out and maybe return to church. So that was pretty amazing that we were able to find her.
Debbie our investigator is also doing wonderfully. She has been reading the Book of Mormon every day and praying about her work situation. She wants to be baptized so bad! And plus I swear she already seems like shes a member so that's fun.
We saw Patty this week as well. Its been a while since we have been able to have a lesson with her because she is always leaving when we get to her house, but she talked to us about her step-son Maurez (who we are also teaching) and she says there has been a major change in him. She said she had been working on him for years but he never would listen to her. But as soon as we started to teach him, he made dramatic life changes and is always reading the Book of Mormon and Bible when she sees him. Cool stuff! He has been so busy though so he hasn't been able to meet with us recently. But back to Patty, now she's way more interested herself in learning.
Saw Anna this week and she is doing great! We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and she was all about it! She is progressing a ton and she continues to have a strong desire to be baptized. All good things!
Takacs are also doing wonderfully and really fitting into the ward. I can't remember if I mentioned this last week, but Sean bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and it was great :)
We also have been working with Dasha, I think I told yall about her. We lost contact with her but we stopped by KFC where she works and were able to get talking to her again. She's been reading the Book of Mormon ever since we met her and she loves it.
Lets see, we also met a lady named Martha and her daughter Jenae and they are pretty great. They also keep referring us to all their friends so thats been helping us find more people to teach.
There are a bunch more people we found this week that were pretty awesome but I am drawing a blank so next week I will update y'all on any of them progressing or actually interested.
Well, that was my time in the area. Sites was crazy! We have been taking lots and lots and lots of tours but it's been really fun. I love giving tours! We didnt get to talk to many of our online investigators but we did talk to Jillian. Shes doing great! But she ended up having to move her baptism date to May 21st.
So yup, thats been my week! We are keeping busy which makes me happy! General Conference was a wonderful way to end the week and I loved it sooooo much! I just want to watch it over again! Cant wait until that Ensign comes out :)
Well, the church is true! And I am sooo grateful for a prophet on the earth today and all our other church leaders!
Love you family!!!!!
Sister Katie Call
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope its a great one!!!! And I hope you eat plenty of cake!
Wowzers, this week has been another crazy one!
The visitor center is crrrrrazy! With Spring breakers we are always out on tour and the groups on tour are getting much larger as well so that means I have to talk as loud as I possibly can without screaming so that's always fun :) Haven't had any time to talk to my online investigators really though. But hopefully this next week we can find the time.
The area is doing great! We had a fun FHE this week with a bunch of the recent converts in the Ward which was so fun. They are really starting to fit in the Ward and the fellwoshipping that's happening is amazing.
We also had quit a few more appointments cancelled this week again but it led to finding more people to teach. We found this awesome lady, Alayna, and she wants us to start teaching her family as well. She is super excited for general conference too and wants to know if there truly is a prophet on the earth again. Shes stellar! We also met this other older lady fromJamaica who was asking us when we could come back again and so she could learn more and also have her daughter to come over and learn.
We also saw Anna and Maurez again this week! Anna is doing great! Shes trying to get work moved around so she can go to church on Sundays. Maurez is also moving around his schedule for church as well but doesn't have much desire compared to Anna. He doesn't want to stop some of his bad habits but we are going to continue to work on him :)
We saw Mary Claire as well and shes doing great! Shes been praying about her baptismal date and is still on for April 16th. Shes not so sure still but has felt comfort as she continues to meet with us.
We also found these two guys to start teaching but I think they were in the middle of a drug deal when we went to go and talk with them. It was a little sketch but they could still change there ways!
On Friday we also got to see Derek and he is doing well. He isnt super interested in our church specifically but his faith in God is definitely increasing. He used to never pray but that's something he has been doing more of and he says he can now recognize God's love in his life so thats pretty awesome. Now we just got to get him to open up his Book of Mormon!
So yup! Thats what happened this week in a super abbreviated version! I dont have much time today because we have lots to do, but I hope yall have the most fabulous week and I hope mom's birthday is wonderful!!!!! Well, the church is true and I am so blessed to be a part of it!!!
I LOVE Y'ALL!!!!!!!
Sister Katie Call
This week has been going pretty well! We have been crazy swamped at the visitor center with tours so that has been a blast. All the spring breakers are starting to flood in.
This week we last minute got permission to go to the temple with the Takacs family. Sean got to do baptisms and we got to do an endowment session with Sister Takacs. Victoria also came and hung out in the lobby. They were all so excited to be there, and so were we :) Sean also got to pass the sacrament this Sunday and he is adjusting to everything so well. Last night we also had a mission president's fireside and the visitors center and Sister Takacs was asked to bear her testimony and share a little bit of her story. It was neat to again hear her testimony and talk about how much happier she is now that she has been returning.
This week was full of a lot of appointment cancellations.... spring break is the worst in the area.... Everyone was busy with family things or out of town so it made it a little rough. We spent most of our week tracting and contacting which started out pretty successful but then the weather got cold again this week so everyone was hiding in their homes. Ohh well.
We did see Mary Claire again this week. She has been one of those people that missionaries have been visiting off and on forever. Its probably because she is just so sweet! Well we had been meeting lots of her friends so we decided to continue visits with her. And this week's lesson was great! She is now preparing to be baptized on April 16th. She's still not so sure but she is now praying about it and is really taking it into consideration. We taught her about the spirit this week and invited her to listen more for the direction Heavenly Father was taking her. So we shall see how that goes :)
Oh I got some crazy news just now. So... Courtney the girl I have been teaching online through the visitor center's system, lives in a place called Jersey, France. And I just got an email from one of my MTC missionary friends that is now serving there in Jersey. She normally serves at the London visitor center but currently is serving full proselyting in Jersey. Ahhh! Crazy! Anyway, that's all the details I have, but it sounds like she has met Courtney at church before..
Well honestly, nothing much more exciting happened this week. But the work continues and we are going to go see some more miracles this next week.
Well I love you family! The church is true!
Sister Katie Call
Its been another great week and I cant believe its Monday already! Seriously the time goes way to fast!
So we have had quite the week! I think it goes by faster now because of how many days we have at sites. Because of spring break, the Visitors Center is popping! The second we get off a tour, we are back on another tour. Yesterday we took one of our first large groups since summer. 20 people! And it was awesome! I love love love the large groups because you get a little bit of every personality.
We took the funniest couple yesterday as well. They took pictures of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. literally. And they were so excited about every little thing we told them. It was so cute! And funny! We also have been taking quite a few non-members recently as well and most of them have left with a Book of Mormon and interest in learning more, so that's exciting.
We haven't had much time with our online investigators. I haven't heard from Courtney for forever! We did just start teaching a lady from Trinidad though on Saturday and shes a hoot! She said she already believes it all and wants to learn more and more. We just have to see if we can get her in contact with some missionaries in her area. She lives a couple hours away from the nearest church so it may be a little difficult.
We also are still teaching David, I think I told y'all about him. He called mormon.org before he was going to commit suicide, but we talked him out of it and he has been meeting with the missionaries ever since. He sounds like a completely different person and loves the Book of Mormon. He went to church again this week as well! So yay!
I also have been in contact with one of my recent converts, Chrisby, and shes doing great! Her mom ended up joining the church as well. And now they are planning to go to the temple for baptisms in a couple of weeks so that is exciting.
Our area is doing great as well! With so little time, we are doing the best we can to fit everyone in, but we can't help but feel we are cheating our area because of the little amount of time we have there. I remember this feeling from last summer. But we are teaching more than we were then too so it's even worse. But we are making it work.
We taught Anna gain and she is doing great! She wants soo badly to be baptized and she's progressing really fast. She was unable to come to church though because of her job so noww e have to push her baptism back. And it's going to have to be like April 16th because of stake and general conference. UGGG!!! The timing! But shes still so committed!
Asianna couldn't meet this week but she's doing great as well! Shes still excited about learning more and she's reading the Book of Mormon! Pretty impressive for a High School-er I think.
We also found another family, the Sajens, to start teaching this week and they are awesome! They have taken the lessons before but their lives got too busy. But now they really want to learn and the dad wants us to come on the weekends so we can come when his kids are home from college.
This week we also saw Debra again and she is awesome!!!!! She really really really wants to be baptized, but then again the Sunday situation is what is keeping her back. But good news, someone from her work came up to her and told her randomly, that in a few months, she would be able to start taking every other Sunday off, which was cool, because she was praying that she would be able to make something work. She said, that was a converting experience for her to know that she was on the right path.
Mary Claire is also doing great! We had a pretty straight-forward lesson with her this week and she took it so well. She was actually really excited to pray and ask Heavenly Father if the things we were teaching were true or not. We shall see if she follows through.
This week I also had the opportunity to go on exchanges with Sister Berry on her 22nd birthday and it was soooo fun! She is an amazing missionary! And what a day! She is so energetic to do the work and she's so sincere about it too so that those we talk to instantly listen. We ended up finding several new investigators that day as well.
First we met Arnea who is 16 and she loved loved the restoration. She was super excited to read the Book of Mormon and she was planning to come to church this week but ended up getting called in for work. Dang it! Work always gets in the way for our investigators! But Arnea has a baptism date for April 16th as well.
Next we met Devan who is a Seventh Day Adventist and he was awesome! We taught him the restoration and he had so many questions. He doesn't actually live in our area though so we sent his local missionaries to go visit him.
Last that day we met Leanese and she is a hoot! Shes a southern Baptist but she said she was curious and could feel something (the Spirit) that she wanted to feel more in her life. We talked to her about the Word of Wisdom because she was smoking when we knocked on her door and she said she wants to give it up. Sister Berry bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and told her that if she read the Book of Mormon, she could overcome her addiction. She was ecstatic and was ready to read. Ahh!!! Such a great lesson! And a great last exchange for me. But yup, that was my week!
Oh and yes mom, I was in the newspaper! I am pretty much famous here... just kidding. But yup just like it says in the paper, I was able to participate in a littler service project to help get food to the poorer children and families in these parts. It was so fun!!! And it was in commemoration of the Feast for the Poor that Ann Whitney and Emma Smith held 180 years back. It was quite the experience!
Anyway, this week has been great! There are more and more people coming out of their homes now because of the warmer weather, so we are finding plenty to teach. It's wonderful! Well the church is true! And I really don't ever want to leave!!! I can't think of anything better than sharing the gospel that I love so much with God's children!
Well I hope yall all have a great week! Love and miss y'all!!!!!
Sister Katie Call
All is well over here in Ohio! The Takac's ended up getting baptized this week. Hallelujah! It was a wonderful service and they had a bunch of there less active and non member family come. It was a much better turn out then expected! Especially because we didn't know until Wednesday that they were going to settle for March 5th. So everything worked out great! There was another family in the ward that was baptized like 2 weeks ago (in the other sisters area) and they are now like best friends with the Takac's so that whole family was at the baptism to support them too! We also just learned that for the past month the Takac's have been having FHE with them every week. Pretty awesome right!? New converts/returning less actives coming together and fellow shipping one another.
This week has also been crazy packed because they added to our time at sites. The visitors center is starting to pick up again with tours so we are squeezing all we can into our little time we have in the area. And of course, when we have less time in the area, that's when we find all the investigators!
This week we started teaching several new people which was awesome! We started teaching a girl named Anna who really wants to be baptized. So we set a date with her for April 2nd. Shes pretty stellar! And Her brother is Maurez who we also have been teaching. He also wants to get baptized but it seems like we have to push his date back because of some word of wisdom issues and his work schedule doesn't allow him to make it to church.
We also saw Mario again this week and he is doing well. He also has some word of wisdom issues but we called him to repentance and helped him recognize how much Satan had grasp of him. He really wants to get on the right track.
We also taught Asianna this week and she is doing great! She's in High School and we have been trying to coordinate a time that we can meet with her whole family but they are crazy busy. We also learned that her dad is a preacher so that will be interested talking with him. But she said that when she told them they she was thinking about joining another church, they were cool with it. They said as long as she's following Christ they are happy. So she is loving the lessons and we have been meeting with her in one of the local libraries.
When we were teaching her at the library this week, this other girl overheard us teaching her and asked if she could learn more. So we ended up teaching this girl, Brianna as well. She was super curious. I think she was a little skeptical but she wants to keep learning.
We also went looking for some former investigators and ended up finding Debra who is soooo solid! She badly wants to be baptized! The only thing that is keeping her from it is that she works on Sundays and can't afford to lose her job. Her husband is getting laid of this next month so she is going to be the only one making an income. So we are working with her to see if there is anything we can do. Meanwhile we are going to start teaching her the lessons again because she hasn't heard them in a while. We really want to help boost her testimony so she has the strength to make the changes necessary to be baptized.
We also saw our investigator Paola this week and she is doing great! She is really taking everything to heart and asks great questions! She is awesome! Unfortunately she is going to be out of town though for the next couple of weeks so we hope she remembers those feelings she has felt and continues to read the Book of Mormon.
We also have had more and more less actives making an attempt to return back to church. We had a Relief Society birthday dinner this week and a bunch of the less active sisters we have been working with were there. Also on Sunday those same sisters came back for church. Wowzers! The ward is getting pretty excited about getting these wonderful people reactivated.
Sites this week was pretty great as well! We have tons of online investigators we get to talk to and they are all progressing and being taught by missionaries for the most part. This man we talked to earlier this week came on right before he was about to commit suicide. We talked him out of it and ended up teaching him the Plan of Salvation and committing him to meet with missionaries. So then they came to visit him the next day and we talked to him yesterday and he is a completely different person. He ended up going to church on Sunday and is scheduled to meet with the missionaries again this next week.
Well, thats the gist of our week. We are doing our best to spend our time wisely because I don't have much of that left, so I have been told. This week I started a program called "My Plan" that all missionaries have to do on their last transfer and it's so weird. Anyway, that's what's happening over here. I hope all is going well at home and I miss all y'all so much! The church is true! And I have been soooo spoiled to have the fullness in the Gospel my whole life. What a blessing!!! I LOVE Y'ALL! Talk to y'all next week!