Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas in Clinton

Starting to become a regular feature of the Clinton newspaper
I feel like I don't have much to say, which is a first for me! This week was wonderful, but seemed a little out of sync. It snowed last weekend and we were stuck inside, and then we had preparation-day, and then Christmas Eve, and then Christmas. It took a little bit to get back into the regular groove. If you couldn't tell I've become a creature of habit after one and a half years of doing very much the same thing everyday. It was a good rejuvenator though and I am ready to take on January 2014.

Christmas was great. Thank you to everyone for the wonderful gifts and cards. I am slowly lowering my expectations when I open the mail box now... we were always so excited because there was something there everyday in December! It was great to hear from family and friends. I had the best time talking to my family on Christmas Day via Skype-- complete with Kwazi and Finley... they had to make a cameo appearance. We had some awesome meals with members on Christmas. I love being full proselyting because we really get to know the members here. Clinton is the best! Christmas is the best too. The one downside is that Sister Penman and I were going to town on the Christmas treats, naively thinking that we would stop after Christmas. That would have happened except for the fact that I got an inordinate amount of trader joes goodies-- not complaining... at all. Hopefully I don't come home from my mission with type two diabetes. But hey, at least all the treats I'm eating are organic!

This is my life: We went to Windsor on Friday. We saw two amish horse and buggies. There's a big amish community out there. We contacted an unknown lady on the roster. Her family is awesome, super friendly, they invite us in. During our introductions the kids realize that the beagle is acting very strange. We do emergency stick removal from the beagles mouth. I feel like my life is super random out here... kind of like this email. 

We went to the temple on Saturday. That was amazing. I love the temple and the spirit there. It is truly the house of the Lord. 

Jessica is one of the investigators that we have been working with. She's the cutest and has the cutest little girl that just looks like a fairy. I love them. She is really progressing. We had a hard time getting ahold of her the week before Christmas, but we just started stopping by. Yesterday she showed us this book she is making as a motivation to help her progress in the gospel. It has a picture of the temple on the front and goals and plans inside it. She is a girl after my own heart... got to love vision, planning, and goal setting. I'm obsessed.

Life is great. I am so grateful to be serving here and I'm really excited to see what January brings!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas in Clinton Miracles

 This has been THE BEST week. We have had tons of appointments, which makes me happy and most of the week it was in the 50s, which also makes me happy. I just LOVE teaching the gospel. I love it. It's the best. Which is why I'd love to work at the MTC when I come home.

This weekend was weird though and we had freezing rain. It was 20 degrees and raining. What? Is that even possible. Yes. Naturally, everything the rain hit on the ground froze, because it's 20 degrees. So that left our car and everything else with about a quarter of a inch layer of ice. Don't freak out mom, I didn't drive in it. We spent our Christmas Sunday inside. I was so bummed church was cancelled. Sister Penman and I have never had so much fun scraping off our car though. The ice would come off in huge chunks. We were freaking out. It was the best. Not so much the best now that the storm is over and it's 14 degrees out. Missouri is the weirdest.

We have some really amazing people that are progressing in the gospel!

Megan is married to a member of the church who hasn't been attending.  They randomly came to the ward Christmas party after getting an invite in the mail. Miracle! Megan wanted to learn more. We went over for our first lesson and she made us sandwiches complete with sliced pickles, potato chips, and milano cookies. What? She's the best. I love Megan because she is totally real, no pretenses. She hasn't really dealt much with spiritual things before, but she loves what the church teaches and just wants to learn. We had a second lesson this week and she had read the Book of Mormon and prayed. We were talking about the Holy Ghost and she was like, "You girls are going to think this is so weird, but whenever I pray and I read this book I just feel weird. I feel like strange inside, but not bad. It's like warm and tingly." We were like "uhhhh... no that is not weird, that is the Holy Ghost!" We got to teach her what the Holy Ghost was and help her recognize those promptings. I am so excited to see her progress. I know that she will gain answers to her prayers because she is so sincere.
Our second Christmas miracle is Dan. He moved to Clinton on FRIDAY and we knocked on his door on TUESDAY. Not a coincidence. He moved in where an unknown member lived and we were searching out the unknown member. He is very spiritual and has a strong Christian background. We had a great first lesson with him. I know he is going to love the gospel once it all clicks in his mind and heart. Can't wait to see how he progresses.
I love Christmas time. It has been so wonderful to celebrate the birth of our Savior. I have thought often this Christmas season of what a miracle that day was. I love the humble circumstances that the Savior of the world was born in-- the stable, with all those animals, and shepherds coming to celebrate his birth. He was born and raised and learned line upon line, just like us.(albeit at a much faster pace!) I love what that day represents in my life. Because of Christmas day we have Easter Sunday, and the Atonement.  I am grateful for his Atonement, because of that I can one day return to live with my Father in Heaven. I will be forever grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for his example and sacrifice in my behalf. I am grateful to serve him for one more Christmas. I love being his representative.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, 16 December 2013

christmas conference

Some of my best friends from my mission
  This week was AWESOME. I kind of felt like I went on a missionary sanctioned vacation. We had an all mission conference on Wednesday, so Tuesday night we drove down to Independence and spent the night so that we wouldn't have to drive at the crack of dawn from Clinton. It was THE BEST. It was so wonderful to see so many of my missionary friends... not so wonderful to realize that I could be seeing many of them for the last time before I go home. I'm kind of in denial about that so that was a tough realization to make on Wednesday.
These are sisters I have trained and also sisters they have trained
Every zone conference the departing missionaries bear their testimony. There were 17 of us leaving in the next two transfers-- so we had about 2-3 minutes to sum it all up. I thought a lot about what my mission has meant to me and what I have learned and how I could possible wrap that up in 2-3 minutes. One of the greatest things that I have learned on my mission is that God keeps his promises. He does. He is perfect and just and will never deviate from that which he has promised us. I have seen the Lord's promises fulfilled again and again as a missionary. I have seen the Lord put the words in my mouth that I needed to say. I have seen him lead us to those that are prepared to hear our message. I have seen him open the hearts of many people. All of the promises of missionary work have been wonderful, but the most important promise that the Lord has made to us is the promise of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of this promise we can repent, we can grow and change. Because of the Atonement we can progress eternally and live with our Father in Heaven one day. On a daily basis the promise of the Atonement enables us to do more than we ever could on our own. I have seen that promise in my life. I know that the Lord will fulfill his promise to us, to make up for all that we lack. ...and that was that. My mission in 2.5 minutes. I didn't even cry, which I was REALLY grateful for. 

We made mission history and took the first All Mission picture. Pretty neat. We ate yummy food and then had a Christmas concert. It was THE BEST! 
Our adorable house in Clinton, Missouri
Then we headed back to real life in Clinton. What was magical was that I wasn't even sad to be going back to Clinton. Even after finding out all that I'd been missing out on at the Visitors Centers and seeing all my VC friends... I was excited to get back here and get to work. I love this place. I'm so grateful to be here for the next chapter of my mission. We have lots of work to do! This week has been wonderful, full of miracles. We have seen a lot of people progress! It is so rewarding to come into an area with nothing and build it from the ground up. We have 5 progressing investigators this week. 5! I've never had that many my whole mission. At the beginning of this transfer we had 0. So amazing. The Lord has blessed us so much here!

Sister Penman & I in Christmas Jammies
I'll save my Christmas lessons and thoughts for next week. Sorry this letter isn't very funny. You win some, you lose some.
I love you all!  Keep the Christmas cards coming :)

Monday, 9 December 2013


Nothing could put a damper on this week, not even the below freezing temperatures ALL WEEK LONG. Yesterday it snowed a little, which was fun... for like 2 hours. Because then it froze to the roads. Don't worry mom, we are safe, and we stay mostly around Clinton so we haven't  had to drive too much. They will clear and salt the roads before we have to go out to any of the boonies. Sister Penman think it's hilarious that we are both from these warm temperatures. I am learning the art of layering.
Saturday was the BEST DAY EVER. I don't know if I can pick a favorite day of the mission, because I have loved so many of them, but this is certainly at the top. I can't even explain how wonderful it was. I had a permanent smile the whole day. I feel like it is every missionaries dream to have a wedding and a baptism on the same day. It was amazing. And what was the best was getting to go back and celebrate this special day with Sherry and JR and Emily. I felt like I had never left. Everything was the same and I didn't feel out of the loop. It was awesome. Sister Harding and I got to be in a lot of the pictures. We were kind of like "bridesmaids" and Sherry made us bouquets. Ah! It was just the best. The wedding was so cute. Sherry did a great job with the decorations and everything. I realized I had never been to a wedding ceremony before. That is serious business. I loved the promises they made to each other and to know that they were taking this step out of love for each other and for our Heavenly Father. In a year from now they will get to go to the temple to be sealed! I can't even wait for that day. The promises they made to one another won't be "til death do you part" but will be for all eternity. 

After the ceremony they had a small reception after the wedding and it was fun. They had a man playing music and a small dance. I felt awkward. Kind of out of place as a missionary and then I got really uncomfortable when they started playing "Hot in Here"... #missionaryproblems. I almost had to leave haha. On a side note I think I have legitimately arrived as a missionary. We were all eating lunch as a district the other day and some of the other missionaries were singing to the song at the restaurant and I realized that I don't get songs stuck in my head anymore or even think about things like that. It was a strange realization. Probably about as strange as I will be when I come home. Whatever. Consecration brings miracles and we are looking for lots of miracles out here in Clinton.

Ok. So back to the miracle day. The wedding was awesome. It was so neat because they weren't even focused on that. During the reception Sherry was like, "we need to make sure we get done with all of this so that we can get baptized! That's the really important thing today. That's what is for our salvation." Can you believe that? Here is this wonderful woman on her WEDDING DAY and she is more excited for her baptism. It was amazing. She gets it. The baptism was amazing. So many members of the ward came to support. The spirit was so strong, probably the strongest I have felt at a baptism. At the end of the regular baptismal program the Bishop opened up time for testimonies. That usually doesn't happen, but it was so amazing to hear people's testimonies of the restored gospel and their love for Sherry and JR. Sister Grange, Sister Harding, and I all were able to bear our testimonies. I was really grateful for that because I missed out on all the rest of their lessons. 

I was am so grateful for this family. I am amazed by their faith. In a month and a half they changed their lives, they acted, and followed the commandments. They planned a wedding in less than a month and quit all their old habits so that they could follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. It is such a testimony to me that the Atonement in real. The gospel really can change people and their lives. It was amazing to come back and to see the change that this has made in their family. There is a greater love that they have for one another and the Lord. It is amazing. Mostly I just feel an immense amount of gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of their story and their lives and to make these friends for forever. I can't wait to see the rest of their progression. It was hard to say goodbye, knowing that I wouldn't see them again for awhile, but hey February we can Skype! 

Things are really picking up here in Clinton too. We have built up a pretty good teaching pool and people are really beginning to progress. I am so GRATEFUL that the Lord really does prepare the hearts of people to receive us. It is real! I was reading Jacob 5 today, which is usually a doosy, but I am loving it more and more. I love these last few verses in the chapter. The Lord of the vineyard calls in his servants, and he labors WITH them... 

"And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come. And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things." -- Jacob 5:71-72

I know that that is real and that that is true. There is NO way little Sister Call could show up in Clinton with TWO brand new missionaries and build a solid teaching pool in less than a month, without the help of the Lord. I am so excited to see how these people progress and the miracles that are going to happen here. I am so grateful for this huge task to keep me busy these last couple transfers of my mission. I know that this is the Lord's work. I feel so grateful to be His servant right now, helping and serving His children.

In other news we have a big mission conference on Wednesday in Independence. The WHOLE mission will be there. ALL of my friends. I am beyond excited about that. Isn't this just the best week ever? 

Monday, 2 December 2013


Whoohoo. It is Christmas time! We have been ushering in the holiday season starting the day after Thanksgiving with Christmas music and, well, that is mostly all we have access to. Sooo... if anyone wants to send me a CD of Christmas music I wouldn't hate that. We can listen to the classics and hymns. To quote President Keyes, "none of the dumb Christmas music, like "Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer"" The cute Clinton town square put up some Christmas lights and there are snowflakes on the main street poles. It is very quaint. I love it here. This little town is FULL of miracles.
I'm not going to lie, I suppose I had a pessimistic attitude about full proselyting-- without even realizing it. I've always been a "hope for the best but plan for the worst" kind of person. I figured I would be out here virtually alone, with a companion that I got along with just ok, but didn't have a ton of fun with, and that we would be tracting in the freezing cold all day long. I just thought after having such a perfect and blessed mission that I would need a lot of growing and stretching and hard experiences. Funny, I know. I need more faith apparently because that is NOT what I received. I have had two great companions and this area is amazing. We do tract and street contact a lot but we have been blessed with lots of opportunities to share the gospel here. People in Clinton are kind and so diverse. We have been blessed to find lots of people to share the gospel with and a few of them have even begun to progress this week! Yay! I feel like everyday we go out and Heavenly Father just leads us to people that are open. We have found a new investigator almost everyday, most days we find more than one. Conversations sometimes go like this:
"Oh have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?"
"Yeah. I read it with my Bible." 
"What do you think about it?"
 Oh I like it... I agree with it." 
"Can we come back and tell you where it came from?" 
What?! Ok. I feel so blessed everyday because we have seen so many miracles. The best part is finding and talking to strangers has turned into something that I love, instead of something that gives me straight up anxiety. That is a huge miracle and a huge blessing. I feel as though my testimony and desire to share it have grown so much since I have been here because I am sharing it so much. Plus, there is an unending amount of work to do here. We have about 12 little towns in our area alone. Many of which haven't seen missionaries in months, and have never ever seen sisters. I think the hardest part is just organizing ourselves and finding time to keep up with everything.

I started training Round 2 this week. Sister Penman arrived on Tuesday and she is THE BEST! I love her so much. I feel like we have been companions forever, but that is probably because the full proselyting days can feel like weeks. She is from Henderson, Nevada and is 19 years old. She is awesome and so outgoing and it is so fun to be with her. We laugh a lot. I told her, her job is to "normalize" me before I go home. I don't know if that it will work-- or that I want it to be normalized. I love being a missionary. I can't even say how grateful I am that Heavenly Father gave me a perfect companion for the last two transfers of my mission. Is that even fair to have this much fun? It is. We have the perfect conversation starter because it is so strange that we are both from the west coast. I have learned that most people in Clinton prefer Nevada over California. Rude. 

We sent Sister Boswell off at Thanksgiving dinner. We were able to have it with her family, and a family that they were having it with. She has such an awesome family. She is the oldest of 10 kids, so it was fun to have all those kids running around. She was such an amazing companion. I wish I was even half that awesome at 17. She was a powerhouse and really put me to work. We accomplished a lot while she was here and she was just what I needed to push forward and get things going here in Clinton. We miss her. 

In other news, JR and Sherry are GETTING MARRIED and BAPTIZED this weekend. I cannot wait. I have been mentally counting down everyday for weeks and luckily the time has gone semi-quickly. Last week Sherry asked me to be a bridesmaid at the wedding! Can we talk about a mission dream come true? I love this family so much and I am so proud of them and all the growth they have made. I can't wait to go and see them again and see the progress they have made since I have been gone. Saturday I'll be headed back to Shoal Creek Valley and I can't wait!

I've been re-reading Preach My Gospel again. I love that book. It has taught me SO much about how to become a missionary and what that really means. I am going through the doctrinal lessons right now and it has just made me so grateful for the gospel. It is perfect. All the pieces fit, all the questions are answered. I. Love. It. Everyone should grab a copy and read it.

I think that is all for this week's update. Things are going great here. I can't wait to see these people that we have found progress. We have lots of work to do here!