John Receives Endowment

On Thursday, 29 October 2015, John went with Mom, Bob, and me to the Kansas City Missouri Temple to receive his endowment. It was a great experience and we are so thrilled to now have each of our five children endowed. We are proud of John and we’re excited for his service as a full-time missionary in Boise.

Bob, John, Mom, Dad 29 October 2015 Kansas City Missouri Temple
Bob, John, Mom, Dad
29 October 2015
Kansas City Missouri Temple
Selfie at the Temple Bob, John, Mom, Dad
Selfie at the Temple
Bob, John, Mom, Dad
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One Reason We Love our Farm

Back on Sunday, 25 October, we had the most beautiful sky as the sun began to set. I took these pictures over the course of several minutes as the sky changed colors.

I couldn’t decide which picture to post, so here’s four of my favorites. 🙂

2015-10-24 18.34.49-A

2015-10-24 18.34.57-A

2015-10-24 18.35.24-A

2015-10-24 18.43.40-A

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Visit from Grandpa Call

We had a special treat of having Grandpa Call visit us on Monday, 19 October. He flew in that afternoon, and flew back the next afternoon. It was mostly just a relaxing visit–especially since Grandpa’s shoulders (presumably his rotator cuffs) are injured and he can hardly move his arms at all. Poor guy. But we had a great time with him!

Thank you for coming, Grandpa!

Grandpa Call and John, two weeks before John's mission to Boise
Grandpa Call and John, two weeks before John’s mission to Boise
Tuesday was a beautiful autumn day
Tuesday was a beautiful autumn day
Three generations of Call boys: me, Grandpa Call, and John
Three generations of Call boys: me, Grandpa Call, and John
Rebecca and Mom having a great time
Rebecca and Mom having a great time
I was surprised Grandpa could get up on the 1952 Model B John Deere with his rotator cuffs issue. He said that when he was young, his family preferred Farmalls and Allis Chambers.
I was surprised Grandpa could get up on the 1952 Model B John Deere with his rotator cuffs issue. He said that when he was young, his family preferred Farmalls and Allis Chambers.
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Far West Missouri Stake

On Friday through Sunday, 16-18 October, the Liberty Missouri Stake conference was held. This was an especially exciting conference, because we had announced three weeks earlier that the Far West Missouri Stake would be created at the conference. Everyone in the stake was so excited when the announcement was made. . .and many wondered where the new boundaries would be.

On Friday, Elder Mervyn B. Arnold (who was presiding) had about 50 or 60 of us go on visits to members in areas near the stake center. Mom and I were assigned by President Morgan to visit some families of our choosing in the Far West Ward. But as the pre-visit meeting at the stake center concluded, Elder Alvin F. Meredith III of the Seventy (accompanying Elder Arnold) approached me and said he would be going with me and Mom. (Elder Meredith’s planned companion was delayed due to a baptism.) I immediately felt the Spirit tell me why we had this opportunity to go visit–because there was a family up in the Cameron area who we should go see. We all got in the car, and Mom and I explained the situation of to Elder Meredith, who agreed that we should go visit them. It was a wonderful visit and very edifying.

The next day, Saturday, 17 October, I was first on the list of people to be interviewed. My 7 a.m. appointment started and ended on time–at 7:10 a.m. I spent the rest of the morning going to the temple, picking up a few items at the store, etc. At 12:20 or so, President Morgan called and said Elder Arnold and Elder Meredith wanted to visit with Mom. So I called her, and she hurriedly made it in to the stake center about 70 minutes later.

After Mom visited with Elder Arnold and Elder Meredith for a few minutes, I was invited in. And then the call to serve as stake president came. How overwhelming was that meeting!

After identifying my counselors, Scott Holman and Tony Myers, I attended the priesthood leadership session of stake conference. That was followed by a dinner for the stake presidency, visiting authorities, and their wives. Mom made her delicious minestrone soup and a wonderfully tasty spice cake. We then had the adult session, which Mom and John and I all attended.

We stayed at a hotel that night, and the next morning we made it to the building on Clayview in time for our 6:30 a.m. training meeting with Elder Arnold and Elder Meredith. The three stake presidency members and our wives attended, and it was so valuable. Lots and lots of information and edification.

The three of us then dashed over to the Historic Liberty Jail for a meeting with potential senior missionaries. We met in the rotunda, down near the jail itself. Talk about an inspiring experience!

Next we had to high-tail it over the the Mabee Center at William Jewell College, where the general session of stake conference was to be held. The clerks, executive secretaries, and high council had done such a terrific job of having everything set up (along with lots of help from unit priesthood quorums). It looked great, and everything we just as good as it could have been.

After a choir number from the Liberty YSA Branch, Elder Meredith presented the new boundaries, and then proceeded to present the names of new stake presidency members. It was a wonderful experience. My counselors were given a couple minutes each to share their testimonies, and then I had five minutes. My replacement in the Liberty Stake presidency was given time as well. Others who spoke were President Morgan, President and Sister Vest (Missouri Independence Mission), and President and Sister Hardy (Kansas City Missouri Temple president and matron). President and Sister Vest, who are long-time friends of Grandmother’s and Grandpa’s, said such wonderful things about them.

Elder Meredith’s talk and Elder Arnold’s talk were both absolutely fabulous. The Spirit was so strong and I know many–if not all–of us were greatly edified.

After the meeting we greeted some members and then were set apart.

What a wonderful day!

President and Sister Holman, me and Mom, President and Sister Myers
President and Sister Holman, me and Mom, President and Sister Myers
Elder Meredith, President Holman, me, President Myers, Elder Arnold
Elder Meredith, President Holman, me, President Myers, Elder Arnold
Me and Elder Arnold
Me and Elder Arnold
Being sustained
Being sustained
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Quote of the Day: “The Cows are Having a Heyday!”

Yesterday John opened up our orchard pasture (after fencing off our apple tree) to our cattle. They have eaten down the south pasture pretty far and so we wanted to give them some fresh, tall, pasture land while it was still green. They loved it.

John came in afterwards and said, “The cows are having a heyday!” I love the double entrende!

Heyday or hay day?
Heyday or hay day?
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Seeing The Martian

On Tuesday night, 6 October, John and I had a guy’s night out when we went to Liberty to see The Martian in 3D. Except for the language (which, by the way, is incredibly disturbing to me–especially in PG-13 films), it was an exceptional show. And it was really, really cool in 3D!

It has a very good story line, great humor, and exceptional acting. The special effects were on par with what we see these days, and the show has a happy ending. If it wasn’t for the five or six instances of obscene language, I would say I loved it. . .but it was really fun to have a few hours geeking out with John!

We went to an early showing, so the theater wasn't crowded at al
We went to an early showing, so the theater wasn’t crowded at all
Remember--this is in 3D, so this picture makes it look out of focus! :-)
Remember–this is in 3D, so this picture makes it look out of focus! 🙂
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Sister Call Watches Conference

We received this photo of Mac from a member of the ward (I’m assuming) where she is serving in Temecula. Looks like a great set of happy missionaries!

Sister Mary Ann Call and other missionaries who watched the October 2015 General Conference at the building in Temecula
Sister Mary Ann Call and other missionaries who watched the October 2015 General Conference at the building in Temecula
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Attending General Conference

Bob and I were able to able to attend the Saturday morning session of the 185th semi-annual general conference of the Church.

We had pretty good parking about two or three blocks south of the conference center, so that helped us get to the meeting in time to get our seats. As you know, those with tickets are guaranteed seats only until 30 minutes before the meeting starts. I’m not certain when they open up the doors to everyone, but I didn’t want to miss the meeting only because we weren’t there on time. So anyway, with a fast pace we were able to make it from the parking garage to the line in time to get in.

Our seats were pretty good–on the plaza level–or main level. We were hoping that the three new apostles would be sustained during our session. But, after seeing that there weren’t three empty chairs up front, we realized it wasn’t going to happen. Oh well. 🙂

But it was a really great session of conference. I really liked President Uchdorf’s talk, as well as Elder Maynes’ and Sister Marriott’s.

Me and Bob a few minutes before the Saturday morning session of conference
Me and Bob a few minutes before the Saturday morning session of conference

After conference, Bob and I went Rachel & Anthony’s house for lunch. Bob hadn’t been there before, so it was fun for him to see it and get the grand tour. We are so proud of and happy for Rach & Anthony!

I then took Bob down to Provo, where he was going to finish a paper for school and then spend the night with some friends.

Then I went back up to Salt Lake, returned my rental car, and caught a taxi to my hotel.

It was a great trip!

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Cougars Back on Track

This past week I was in Utah for business. . .and, of course, I stayed for an extra day or so to go to a BYU football game and general conference!

On Friday, 2 October, Bob came down from Logan and Rach & Anthony came down from Tooele so we could all get together for dinner and the late BYU game. Rachel was actually in Provo already that day because she was helping with admission interviews for the public relations program. She said that she and her team interviewed (I think) scores of students who are applying for admission to the program. So she came directly to the Marriott Hotel (where I stay when I travel to Utah) from campus. Anthony got out of work early and drove down from Salt Lake.

We had a ton of fun socializing and sharing updates, then made our way (in ONE car this year!) to the game. I had purchased a parking pass, so we all went together. Last year, Rachel & Anthony ended up parking all the way at Shopko and so they had to walk a mile (?) to get to the stadium. So we had a much better plan this year!

But the game–which was against UConn, didn’t start until 8:15. . .so it was a late one. And it had rained off and on throughout the day, with continued rain forecast during the game. But we were glad that it rained only for a few minute here and there, and never really hard.

We had a great time–especially since the Cougars won! 🙂 It was scary for the first three quarters, but in the fourth quarter we finally took control of the game. We were seated 27 rows up in the north end zone, in the east side of the end zone. Really good seats overall. And the entire game I wanted to get a picture of a touchdown right in front of us. . .and it finally happened! With about 7 minutes left in the game, Tanner Mangum completed a pass to Mitch Mathews, and I captured it just as Mathews caught to ball!

Before the game
Before the game
Awesome halftime show, with this flag that took up the entire field
Awesome halftime show, with this flag that took up the entire field
Touchdown pass with about 12 minutes left
Touchdown pass with about 12 minutes left
Here's the TD to Mitch Mathews that I captured
Here’s the TD to Mitch Mathews that I captured
Closeup of the TD that was right in front of us. . .my phone's camera isn't the best, of course, so the action is a little blurry. But you can see the ball in Mathews' hands.
Closeup of the TD that was right in front of us. . .my phone’s camera isn’t the best, of course, so the action is a little blurry. But you can see the ball in Mathews’ hands.
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