Green Patches Amidst the Drought

Dearest Family and Friends,

Elder Spencer Call

Family History Rewards

What a busy bunch of Mormons you are! You will be amazingly blessed, Mom and Dad, for your diligence in your new callings. And I don’t even have to worry about that – thank you for your dedication and consecration to the Lord and His Gospel – all of us kids are 7 little testaments to you and many others and their effort to live the Gospel. When I received my Patriarchal Blessing, I was surprised that my mission was never mentioned once – after all, that was the focal point of my life at that point. Instead, it spoke of the great Redemptory Work of the Dead for a large portion thereof. Now, looking back, I can look up the Lord and thank Him for that direction in what has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life – searching for, studying, learning from, and striving to become like those before me. Thank you, Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma Call, and Grandpa and Grandma Crowley for your lives and legacies of love for the Lord. Truly I can say that I am eternally grateful.

Green Patches Amidst the Drought

These two changes with Elder Elmer have been wonderful, and challenging. I remember in the-Ricciardi-Letter it speaks of how a missionary will enter a ‘drought period’ of his mission, where he’s striving to everything right and by Preach My Gospel, as obedient as he’s ever been, as close to the Spirit as ever, and yet nothing seems to fall their way. That’s kind of been our experience – particularly towards the end of this third month together, things just don’t fall like we might’ve hoped. But that’s ok – now we just have to smile and keep trying to do the very best we can.
One source of joy for me has been my personal study. After my interview with President Bush, I reviewed the Christlike attributes in PMG Ch 6 and decided to study Virtue, focusing in on ‘purity,’ which led to a powerful study of ‘santification,’ ‘garments made white through the blood of the Lamb,’ the Sacrament, and keeping sacred covenants. I feel excited to get up every day, study for an hour, go exercise hard, and then go preach and teach and work as missionaries do.
So even though we’re having most investigators stop progressing, many of those supposed progressing investigators do not want to set baptismal dates, attendance dipped again yesterday in La Entrada (77 – Honduras had its primary elections yesterday, drawing many people away from the chapel), people who commit to little things don’t do it,..it’s ok. Just to the very best you can to be the very best you can be, and let the Lord take it from there.
And we do have little joyful moments with that, don’t get me wrong:
  1. Carmen Baquedano paid her first full tithe, without anyone telling her! A powerful step of faith!
  2. Familia Baquedano REALLY wants to get involved in Family History; Gabriel, the Dad, comes from San Pedro Sula, but his father and the rest of his family is from Choluteca, at the south of the country, so he never met any of his uncles or aunts or Grandparents. He is intrigued, and all of the kids are jazzed about it, too.
  3. Jeison Fuentes is jazzed about Family History, too! His father was killed while his Mom was pregnant with him, so he only knows his Mom, his mother’s mother, and some cousins. Other than that, he knows no one. So we were talking about the new “Temples and Families” booklet and reading some and he was super excited. It’ll be fun to try to help him help his family.

Elder Elmer 🙂 – Nicknamed “OSO”

Elder Elmer’s nickname in the mission, and I don’t know how he got it but it fits so perfectly, is ‘Oso’ which means ‘bear.’ This week I tried to follow his example in teaching simply, simply obeying and smiling, and being simple in humility. In many cases, that means that being quiet is ok. That’s something that I’ve struggled with – if we’re walking in the street, I like to talk about how the lesson went, how the people are, how we can improve, joke with him, learn about him, etc etc just talk. And sometimes he doesn’t want to. He’s tired, quiet, or just is kind of in his own little world. And this week I’ve learned that, ya know what, it’s ok.
We need quiet time to ponder, to reflect internally, and even though we don’t have music or phones or the TV blaring in our eyes or ears every nanosecond of every day, if your companion is chirping in your ear, it can be kind of hard to ponder. I loved walking home every day from Millard West because it was 15 minutes to feel the wind blow, watch the sunset, enjoy life, and listen to the Spirit. Elder Elmer likes to do that hear. So part of being humble is letting him do that, even if I like to talk. And what’s really correct is that I need to take the time to ponder, too, not just at night as I write in my journal.
It’s been a joyful two changes with him, and I’m sad to see which of us will go. He goes home on July 15, so it’ll be fun to see him next year in Utah.

Journaling

Girls and Andrew, I testify 100% to what Mom has said about journaling. I have been pretty good about it in the mission; I wrote every day in the MTC, every day in Santa Cruz, almost every day in Puerto Cortés, pretty good with Elder Vasquez (80%), and meh ok with Elder Elmer (70%) – we like to talk 🙂 But at BYU, I wrote sporadically, at best, and didn’t write about the most improtant things – spending time with Dad when he came, only a few thoughts about my endowment, and basically nothing from mid-October until I was getting ready to leave home to go on the mission.

Little Thoughts

  • Ward Boundaries: It’s a very small area for us. Sure, it’s 4 by 14 miles, but really the four elders here focus within the main town of La Entrada. There’s a green space that doesn’t ever get touched because no one lives there.
  • District: We have 5 companionships here: The two from El Dorado (half of La Entrada), two from La Entrada, and one from Florida.
  • Camera: Wait until I find out if I have changes next week. We’ll see what happens.
So that’s a look into the picture window of my soul right now. I’m happy, healthy, and doing alright. We’ll see how things spell out as we push towards a high attendance this week. We literally spend most of Saturdays just going and visiting all LAs and investigators inviting them to church, and then Saturday nights and Sunday mornings calling them, and yet few come. It’s tough, but I remain happy. I’m grateful to learn.
Love, Elder Call
Thad

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