Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015

We had Leadership Exchanges this week. It is when we swap with missionaries across the mission instead of just within the District or Zone. We found two new investigators, and by that I mean for the other Elders area that I was in. Micky and Shaylee. They are awesome. Micky wasn't sure if God existed but he prayed at the end of the lesson which is a huge thing. Shaylee believed in a God and has gone to different churches with her friends, including ours, but has never really studied Him.
We also have a baptism coming up in the District. She has been through a lot as she has made the decision to be baptized. She got kicked out and disowned by her parents. Quit collage so she could pick up a full time job so she can live and has had a few other hurdles to get over. She and her boyfriend were having problems. But when she had finally made the decision to be baptized and work with him she said it was a whole lot easier than she thought it would be. 1 Nephi 3:7 at work!! I love it when the scriptures can be applied to our lives.
We also taught Marisa and Ryan about the Word of Wisdom, which I thought would be difficult to share and have them accept the invitation to give up coffee, tea and alcohol. They had made a few comments before we taught this lesson about how they liked the flavor of beer and wine and when we go over they almost always have a bottle of tea in the front room. But all that day I was praying that Heavenly Father would soften their hearts to accept this commandment and to strengthen mine and Elder Farnsworths to say what He wanted us to say. Well when we got to the hard part of inviting them they readily accepted. I was almost stunned. ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE!
We helped re-roof a house which was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Mostly because we just put the new roofing onto of the old. I really liked it!
Well this next week is going to be awesome! I want to hear one time this week that a scripture applied to a time in your life. YES I WANT YOU TO EMAIL ME. jacob.mccallson@myldsmail.net just click it and write. I made it easy. These times happen all the time you just have to have your eyes open and your heart more open.
Love you all,
Elder McCallson

Saturday, October 24, 2015

October 19, 2015

This week was good. We were packed with service. Elder Farnsworth is a big bike guy and there is this second chance exchange place that asked for our help to fix/repair the bikes so they could donate them to Bikes for Boise or something like that. So we now have an ongoing service project. It is fun because I get to learn how to fix my problems on my bike.

We also helped a family split wood. For 6 hours. Funny enough though only my right hand thumb hurts. Where as the other elders that helped said they hurt all over. We all walked away with minimal injury. One got hit in a bad place by a piece of wood that was on the splitter that jumped off. I dropped a hundred or so lb stump on my toe. It is good I think  I don't think it is broken.

Other than that this week kind of just slipped by. I was surprised when Sunday came around.

Elder McCallson

October 12, 2015

This week was awesome!!
Josh was Baptized!! Pic further down. The ward has been working with and on him for the last three years when his mom was baptized. He finally decided it was time for him to make this covenant.

We also found two new investigators Micah and Heydn (no i did not misspell his name). They are 9 and 12 and their dad was baptized a little over a year ago and have been attending church with him but have never really had an interest in being baptized.

Something I have noticed in just this last month or so is that the youth of the world are searching for God. It has been interesting as most of our investigators are youth. I guess after the strict years of religion pushing then with the generation of step off we are hitting a generation who wants the love that only Heavenly Father can provide.

My testimony is that there is some things that only God can provide and that only parents can come close to, insert a word that is stronger than copy, in the lives of the children of men. We are just like children when it comes to our problems. I have see a few kids that kick and scream when they don't get what they want so they turn to things that make them more unhappy and others that take it patiently until they either get their way or figure ways that work just as well. That is what I think Christ was saying when he told us to be like a child. We just get caught up often in the heat of the moment and through a temper tantrum and blame the only being in the universe that cares more about our happiness than his own.

When times are going rough remember one that some one has it worse than you but two there is always a Father in Heaven to turn to instead of the things of the world that bring only temporary happiness then greater anger, sadness, frustration, etc. 

Josh's Baptism

October 5, 2015

This week was fantastic. With General Conference and the service we got to do it just flew by. This was the last week of the transfer. Elder Farnsworth and I are still together for at least one more. It is crazy because most of the missionaries I know are going home now. My trainer just went home.

I think one of the hardest things is when people ask how long have you been out, or how long do you have left. I don't really want to think about it. It makes me a little sad. I have been out for over a year already and I am still learning so much. I don't want it to end.

This conference was awesome!! I just sat and listened as they spoke. It was amazing to me to have very little distractions and just listen intently on what they were speaking. One of my favorite parts was Elder Holland's talk about mothers. Before you do anything bad think of your mother (Butchered that quote). Really though that has been one of my biggest motivators to do what is right. It has helped get me to where I am now.

I know that our experience here on earth is only a fraction of what our Heavenly Father feels for us but I know that He is even more saddened because we move ourselves from Him.

But through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ we can come to our Father in Heaven. I really think that that was one of the biggest things talked about in General Conference. 


I love you all,
Elder McCallson

September 28, 2015

This week was a little slow. We had this list that we have been working through to see if anyone is interested in us sharing our message at their house. So far no one has really been enthusiastic about us coming back, but we have found a few people that missionaries have stopped by in the past and said we could come back. They just follow that up with "I'm, [insert religion here]."

Anyway, we are excited for General Conference this Saturday and Sunday!! Most of our investigators have said that they would watch it, they also said that we could come and watch it with them so that we can explain things that they don't understand. We has Marisa and Ryan come to church and the first time was when we got a new Bishop on a fast Sunday then they came this last week which was the Primary Program and the next week is General Conference then we will be back at a fast Sunday again. They are just not able to see how a regular Sacrament Meeting is like. Anyways Ryan grew up with no real religious background so we are building up his faith that there is a God. He has always believed that there was a higher power but never really had something to hold on to. So we had a great opportunity, to compare to the scriptures, like Ammon and King Lamoni. He is always thinking and pondering what we say and then asks questions. His wife, Marisa grew up Catholic but left when it seemed to her to be all about the money. She has asked some of the deeper questions like infant baptism and what a high priest is. They are awesome!!

Josh is one of the other really moving investigators. He has a baptismal date for the 10th of October. We could really use your prayers to keep him on track. His mom is a convert of about 2 years and his dad is a less active member. His sister Grace just turned 8 and wants to be baptized and so we are teaching both of them. It has been awesome to see the difference from those who really haven't had a religious background to those that have been going for the last 3 years and just never decided to be baptized.

Other than that not much else has happened.


District in September 2015

September 21, 2015

We had a blast this week. It started off pretty tough though. I had this horrible runny nose which is still persisting today. I have gotten up a few times just writing this email to blow my nose. On Monday we had a Zone P-day and played Mario Cart Balloons where we tied three balloons around our ankles and tried to kill eachother... I mean pop the other missionaries balloons. I had a killer headache and so I had this other missionary hand me like 3 ibpros and 2 advils. I think they may have been trying to kill me.

We also were able to hid from all the others that we had made two cheesecakes that morning. Elder Farnsworth made a Peanut Butter Oreo cheesecake and I made a Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Strawberry filling and Chocolate fudge on the top.

Tuesday we took them to our District meeting where we also had our mission president, President Winder, and his wife there to have interviews with us. Needless to say they really enjoyed it. So did we and our District. Later that night we taught some investigators that a member had been working with for the past 4 months or so and they agreed to be baptized. Now we just have to set a date.

On Wednesday we had a new missionary training meeting for Elder Farnsworth. They gave us some really great ideas on how we can better do street contacting which we have turned into tracting. Well contacting names that missionaries left behind. The reason I say names is because they had two full sheets of names and addresses with no information. So that is a bit annoying. But hey we have had a great time getting the door approach down.

Later in the week we had a non-member give us casserol, a European squash, some apples, and some baked potatoes. It was great. I am not sure how interested they are in hearing the message we have to share but they do love the missionaries. I have found that there are really two kinds of people up here. Those who hate missionaries (not just LDS ones but any), and those who think it is really neat that we are out here serving the Lord. There might be a small minority of people who really don't care what we are doing.

Other than that we really didn't have much else happen this week.

Elder McCallson


Another Beautiful Sky

September 14, 2015

This week was awesome! I am not sure what to write about though. We had an opportunity to go to the Temple this week. That always makes things better. We also set a baptismal date with a 14 year old boy that has just been hesitating to get baptized for the last 3 years. 
We also have been working on getting our investigators to church. That has been one of the greatest problems I have run into on my mission. JUST COME TO CHURCH!

One of the greatest miracles I have had on my mission is to come to truly understand my relationship with my Father in Heaven. All the doctrine and speculation aside, I have found that Heavenly Father is constantly reaching out to us to bring us back into His light. As I have tried to go closer a wider and wider chasm seems to appear. The more I try to change to become like Christ the farther I feel at times. As missionaries we teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Well, I have already been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. But what of Faith and Repentance and Enduring? I always though the I had good faith, knowing that it could always be stronger, but until I had to put it to the test to defend the Church and Christ from others; my faith has increased so much. Now repentance. First repentance isn't a bad thing, nor is it always because you sin. If you take the work repentance it means to change from who you are to who God wants you to be. That has been a great struggle for me. I would have never said that I was a very prideful person, but as I have been trying to give my whole heart and soul to God; I have really come to see how much work I have to do. I guess that is also what it means to Endure. My thing is that I don't want to just Endure I want to Endure Well. To go from I am doing this or that because I have to, to I am a disciple of Jesus Christ because I want to be. I have found that that is the best change that anyone here on earth can make. I can honestly say that since I have been out I have changed on many things. I know that Heavenly Father loves each one of us as His children. We are of Noble Birth. Nothing is impossible with the Lord.

I love you all!
Elder McCallson

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, YUM!

Elder Farnsworth and Me

Elder Farnsworth and PB Cup Cheesecake

August 31,2015

This week was awesome! I have a new, new companion, Elder Farnsworth. He just stepped off the plane Tuesday. He is awesome. I know that this next transfer is going to be fantastic. Mostly because he gets my obscure movie quotes and reminds me of Elder Jared Morris. I will try to send a picture next week of the two of us but we will have to see if I can remember.

I have noticed many things on my mission, but one of the biggest things is...I forget easily. If I don't write it in my planner then I completely space whatever it was that we were suppose to do. I am so glad that we are in companionships because at least one of us remembers to write something down so we don't forget everything.

I am not really sure what else to write. It gets harder and harder, while you are on a mission, to think of things to write home about. We have slowly been cleaning up all the potential people that may or may not be interested in hearing our message. It is hard because they never seem to be home when we stop by. I sometimes wonder if missionaries just talk to the person outside then write their name down as a potential investigator and forget to go back, so that when another missionary, me, gets to the area they think,"Sweet look at all the work we have to do!" Then as you proceed down the list just about everyone says they are not interested in listening to us. It is heart breaking at times because I want them to know the Joy and Blessings that the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring them.

I can also tell that the adversary is working on them too. We come across some very rude people that don't use very nice words when telling us to leave. Also as we ride down the streets sometimes you can hear people yell things.
My personal thoughts on this is why do they yell at us? Do the Jehovah's Witnesses get yelled at when they are walking down the road proselyting? If so, why? "Can't we all just get along?" I was always taught if you don't have something nice to say, yell at the person to make them want to yell at me back to get our points across... oh wait, it may have been DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL! But, everyone has their agency some just are not as smart when it comes to using theirs... I am not sure if that is a nice thing for missionaries to say but, i'm only human; and I am trying to be like Jesus. So I don't yell back or anything and I try to think that maybe they just had a bad day or experience with a member and when they really come to know about the Church they will change their mind. It is just getting the opportunity to go back and teach that is the hard thing, because they have already decided that they are not interested in anything we have to say.

But, all in all, most of the people we come into contact with are really nice at turning us away. They say how appreciative they are that we are out here sharing our message about Christ but they already found Him and are good. So we just have to smile and try a little more to see if they might want us to come back, but then some start to get agitated and tell us a little more forcefully that they are not interested. We have to just smile and wave goodbye. Then we write their name down for the next set of missionaries to stop by... :P

Summer is on the downhill slide. I thought that when summer started that work would go up due to people being home. But here it is the complete opposite. Everyone wants to get out of the heat and go to the lake. So things will start to get back to normal as people will be in town.

Side note: will someone find me a definition for what a Christian is? Or if there are multiple definitions or classifications would you send those to me.

Elder McCallson

Elder Farnsworth, the new arrival

August 24, 2015

This week was awesome! We are still working on finding new investigators and teaching but, all is well.
Elder Davis got transferred to Boise Central Stake where I use to be. Not the same ward but the same district I was in. I am still a District Leader and a trainer. I will get to meet the fresh meat... I mean, new missionaries on Tuesday, as that is the day they step off the plane to get to Boise. My District has grown from 3 companionship including my own to 4. We added another set of Elders. Elder Lowe and a new missionary who will also be stepping off the plane Tuesday.

The Meadowlark ward, the ward we covered the last three weeks, was sad to see us go. I didn't realize how much the loved us until the Bishop took us aside, when he learned that we were getting transferred out, and told us that he had talked with President Winder to keep us serving in his ward. I think that was the first time a Bishop has wanted me to stay in his ward. Or at least told me that he wanted us to stay.

We also had to leave behind our new convert, Cheri, but I will still get to see her as the ward is still in my District and I will get to go on exchanges there at times.

I left my camera behind so I will send pictures next week.

I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that He is ever watchful and knows when we are strongest and when we are weakest. I know that He allows us to be tempted but that if we turn to Him in all we do He will give us strength beyond anything that we could imagine. I know that as we grow our relationships with our families through faith in Jesus Christ that we will come closer not only to each other but to our Heavenly Father and the Savior. If you truly search for Heavenly Father in your life He will show Himself. But only to those who are willing the change their hearts, views, and ideas about what they have been taught to the Truth that He has to share. He is waiting to bless you, will you delay?

Peace be unto you,
Elder McCallson

August 17, 2015

This week was awesome! We had a baptism in our ward Cheri. She was totally prepared to learn and grow in the Gospel. The Elders met her about 12 weeks ago, then they got transferred out and Sister missionaries came in and started to teach her. Then they got moved out prematurely and we finished the teaching and the baptism. She gave up coffee and smoking from the time that the missionaries taught her about the Word of Wisdom. She is a walking miracle.
We also met a Pentecostal minister who started to teach us about the Bible. It was fun that as his translator was explaining things and names that we readily agreed with the people he was talking about and the stories he was sharing. He was quite surprised about all the stories and understanding we had. Oh by the way, he is from Tanzania (in Africa). We are going to go back and ask some questions that we ran out of time to ask last time. But, before that, there were all these people sitting on this front porch so Elder Davis said we should go talk to them. So we went back and the first real teaching after they asked their basic questions of Do you believe in the bible and Jesus Christ, they then went straight into Baptisms for the Dead. It was crazy as when one person would walk inside another person would come outside so we would have to reexplain what we had already said to the others and then they would start to bring up different ideas and doctrine into the conversation. It was great as there was a husband and wife that were there that as we spoke and shared our testimonies and understandings that they started to soften. But then there was this one guy that couldn't help but yell as he was trying to show that he was right and we caught him in a few traps of his own words. Then the pastor came and I ended up talking to him through a translator as Elder Davis was able to talk with the husband of the previously mentioned couple. While the wife translated for me to the Pastor.
We also on top of all that had a Zone Conference which was fantastic! IT was a real boost to my spirit as we talked about how we can better teach and listen to our investigators and other. We really worked on finding root problems and concerns instead of trying to throw on Band-Aid (Copyright)[I don't know how to make the symbol ;) ] on every problem or what we may think the problem is. I then also realized that I know a lot of people. As we were there and had some time to mingle I was able to talk to a lot of missionaries that I had not seen in a long time.
I wish I had pictures to send of the baptism but my Blender Bottle(copyright) broke and water-logged my bag so I had to let the camera dry before I tried to turn it on. Yes mom it still works.
I look forward to this next week.
Your friendly neighborhood missionary.
ps: that is Elder McCallson by the way.

August 10, 2015

This was the first full week of having a second ward here. I can honestly say that I have never been more busy in my whole mission than I am right now.
I has been amazing to see the strength that God gives as He lends greater responsibility to His children. One of the things I have learned this week is that we truly are weak in all things compared to Christ. The thing that taught me that is I often wonder why people do dumb things, myself included. Why do we argue, point blame, backbite, degrade, etc.? Then I think how much I need to work on those things. It is really a great self check as you see things that bug you that other people do, cause often I have found that those are the things that I need to work on.
This upcoming week we have two baptisms scheduled. So it is going to be a busy Saturday for us.
We had a great training on Friday that really puts how simple the teachings of Christ are into simple ideas and words. I have often wondered why people say there are things that Christ has said that we just cannot understand. I think we often forget the simple nature of what he has said, "ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be open unto you." That has been one of the biggest focuses in teaching. We are here to invite those we come into contact with, to ask so they can receive.
The summer is winding down this week as more people are getting ready to go back to school. It is so much easier to contact people during the summer because they are outside,  whereas during the winter it has been a lot harder to get into people's homes. Really getting their door open is what is hard.
I look forward to these next few weeks as the change of the seasons brings nicer weather.
Party on,
Elder McCallson
A green smoothie?

Homemade Cheesecake

August 3, 2015

This week was awesome! We had Leadership Exchanges (three zones get together at the mission office where we switch companions for a day, the senior companions have a little training meeting too) my companion was Elder Hull. I had met him one time before when I was in my first area. We got a lot of work done. It was great.

We also were called up by our Mission President to cover another ward. So, with that ward added on we now have very little time for anything. This is the second time that I have had the opportunity to balance two wards. By that I mean being the first set of missionaries to cover both those wards. It is fun and exhausting and exciting all at the same time. The only problem is we don't know if we are going to continue to serve there or if it is just for the rest of the transfer. So we shall see.

This month we were invited by the Summerwind ward to read the Book of Mormon in the month (August Rush). So, I naturally accepted. I have done this before and had it as a goal for the new year to do it every month, the only problem is that some days you just don't have enough time to read all that you need to and study for your lessons and prepare this and go here or there. So it kind of dropped off.

I am excited to start the month of August off with a firm resolution to trust firmly in the Lord and search His word. I love you all.
Elder McCallson
Bullseye!  I didn't make it, my companion, Elder Davis did!

July 20, 2015

I really don't have much to report this week as all our time was spent catching me up on the people we are working with, meeting with the Auxillary Leaders (Relief Society and Primary mostly), and the Ward Mission Leader. I had my first district meeting which was on planning, and had to kick a dead horse, in a sense, because I have no new ideas on how to plan better. We will see how my next one goes.
We did however find a new investigator. So that was awesome!
I love you all,
Elder McCallson

July 13, 2015

Well this is an interesting week. I knew that I was going to be transferred so I started making my rounds to say goodbye to all the awesome people. It was a bitter sweet moment for me. I really feel like I am understanding what other missionaries were talking about.

I always thought that 6 months really isn't enough time for you to become close with lots of people, but I was proved wrong. I know that I will miss them but no where is really far in this mission. So I will see them around.

I didn't expect what happened with this call. I am now a District Leader and follow up training a missionary, Elder Davis. It will be really interesting to see how it will all turn out. Please and thank you for the prayers.

The Last Zone P-day we had was okay. We had an elder bring this game called Munchkin and I ended up getting roped into a 2 1/2 hour game. Other than that this week was full of contacting with no real "success" as people would classify it. On Saturday Eagle had this thing called "Eagle Fun Days".  They had this great parade that marched down State Street, but at the end, the fire department gots out their hoses and the people of the community brought water guns and there was a huge water fight. Needless to say...we got wet!

I am glad that I had the great opportunity to meet the people of Eagle and serve them.

I really ran out of things to write. 
Just be good,
Elder McCallson

July 6, 2015

This week was the 4h of July. I could literally see 20 different shows from our loft. We had to be in by 8 and I guess that was good because I really wanted to light off fireworks and because I am a missionary I can't, so that was a load taken off my shoulders.

The family we live with left for a vacation so they asked us to take care of their dogs, fish, and turtle. We later learned that they had been in a car wreck with a horse in Wyoming. That was interesting. They are all good but the car I guess was totaled.

The heat has been horrible...being over 100 all week long. Until Sunday, that is, when it rained and dropped to 72.

We helped some non-members move to a new house...which is still in the mission so I may have the opportunity to serve in their ward.

Other than that I am looking forward to this next week. We will see on Saturday if I get transferred or if I have the opportunity to stay here.

I hope all is well back home.

God be with you till I write again,
Elder McCallson