Monday, March 30, 2015

Lessons Learned as a Missionary :)

Hello my family and friends!! 

First of all I better get pictures of baby Gracelynn when she comes!! And tell somebody tell my Sadie happy birthday for me :) oh also before I forget, we had dinner with a family last week, it was a young couple with two little boys who were the ages of 4 and 2, and this is the cool thing the mom speaks to the little boys in English but the dad ONLY speaks to his boys in Portuguese because he served his mission in Brazil. He really never speaks to his kids in English. And the boys are fluent in both. I just thought that was so awesome! I thought Zack and Trav would think that was cool. But anyway, I'm sorry if this email isn't very long, this week was a bit rough haha. But still good!

So this week we had LOTS of appointments scheduled. We were going to be quite busy and I was SO excited! But come Tuesday they ALL cancelled on us... :( This week really was quite hard but we still had many tender mercies from the Lord. And the Lord taught me some pretty important lessons. It all started on Monday when we went to try and visit a potential investigator  we had found. Now if you remember in one of my last emails I talked about a miracle where Sister McCuen and I were doing some finding in one neighborhood, we were about to give up on our finding efforts and just go home and have dinner when we felt we should try one more house. Of course the last house we knocked on the lady (her name is Debra) lets us in and we taught her The Restoration. She said she was SO interested! Well anyway after trying to get a hold of her for quite a few weeks now and no luck, we again just thought we would try. We got to her house and knocked on the door, and it's funny because I swear people around here think at their doors are like sound proof or something but I can assure that they are not haha. 

Anyway, we knocked on the door and we distinctly heard a voice that was very clearly Debra's, to which we heard her yell, "it's those girls again! Tell them to go away! I don't want anything!" I was crushed. But her husband came to the door and asked how he could help us. I told him who we were and I asked if Debra was there, because I knew that she very well was. He said "No she is not." To which my slightly sassy side came out and before I could even think to stop myself I said, "Are you sure?" Haha. He said "Yes I am sure. And I will just tell you right now that we are not interested. We would appreciated it if you stopped coming by because we don't want what you have."  I wish I could say that I just accepted the rejection and moved on. But I was just so irritated, because here he had just lied to our faces. But it's a good thing that Sister McCuen is my companion and that she knows me so well because she looked at me and could tell I was about come back and say something sassy haha which would not have been good. I wanted to just yell goodbye to Debra through the door but Sister McCuen caught me in time, and told them to have a nice day and walked away.

I can honestly say that this was the first time on my mission that I had genuinely felt depressed. We were walking away and I just started to cry, because here was this very sweet woman who expressed to us how she felt like something was truly missing in her life and we were the ones who could offer her what she was missing! I had begun to feel that genuine Christ-like love for her and to watch her reject the gospel just devastated me. We hadn't finished the rest of the houses in the neighborhood and so Sister McCuen said "okay let's keep going." She turned around and saw me crying and I said "Can we please go do finding somewhere else?" 

I had felt so embarrassed and so depressed honestly at what had just happened. I mean I've been getting used to rejection out here, especially from people we just randomly meet but to watch someone who I had genuinely come to care for reject it...that devastated me. 

Sister McCuens response to my request was "Nope. We need to keep going and pressing forward and having the faith that All will be well." At that moment this verse came into my mind, 

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." (Alma 26:27) 

And so I took that and I knew what the Lord was telling me. We had to keep going, and so we did. We finished the houses on the block and although no one was interested we were still able to leave some cards with a few people. When we returned to the apartment I looked up that verse and read the entire chapter again. And I finally began to realize just how truly applicable the scriptures are to us. Especially in missionary work. This has honestly become one of my all time favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. The rest of the chapter read: 

"28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world--not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." (Alma 26:28-30)

Now I know that my afflictions have been very small compared to what Ammon and his brethren went through. But how grateful I am for this opportunity to represent my Savior. To have this time to do what He would do and to say what He would say. I am grateful for this opportunity to try and be like Him. I don't know if my job right now is to plant more seeds or to begin to help gather those who are prepared and although I have not seen many of the fruits of my labor I know that my works are not going unnoticed by the Lord.

At our Golden Re-Training a few weeks ago one of the Assistants to the President spoke to us and said something I loved. He said "if you were to be companions with the Savior for a day, what kind of things do you think you would see Him doing in your area?" Well the answer was obvious I thought, you would see Him working miracles and serving and loving people. And the Elder said, "that is exactly what you would see Him doing....but ARE WE NOT TO DO THE SAME? We have been called to represent Jesus Christ. We have been called to this very area at this very time to do what the Savior Himself would wouldn't see Him let a single person pass Him by without talking to them would you?...So why should we?" I loved that. And it has stuck with me ever since. 

Now also as General Conference is coming up, which I am SO excited for because it's on Easter Sunday, I've been reflecting more and more on the Savior and His Atonement. Oh how I wish I could just understand it more fully. I could go on and on about the Atonement I really could but this quote from Elder Wirthlin puts my feelings and testimony into words perfectly. So for now his words are my words. He said, 

"On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled. 

It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

I think that of all the days since the beginning of the world's history, that Friday was the darkest.

But the doom of that day did not endure. 

The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence. 

Each of us will have our own Fridays-those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put back together again. We will all have our Fridays. 

But I testify in the name of the One who conquered death-Sunday will come! In the darkness of our sorrow...Sunday will come!

No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come...

The Resurrection transformed the lives of those who witnessed it. Should it not transform ours? 

We will all rise from the grave...

[And] on that day we will know the love of our Heavenly Father. On that day we will rejoice that the Messiah overcame all that we could live forever...

It is my solemn testimony that death is not the end of existence...Because of the risen Christ, "death is swallowed up in victory." ...

May we understand and live in thanksgiving for the priceless gifts that come to us as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father [because of His son, Jesus Christ] and for the promise of that bright day when we shall all rise triumphant from the grave. 

That we may always know that no matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come..."

{"Sunday Will Come" Joseph B. Wirthlin }

Everyone please oh please I plead with you to continue to find ways to come unto Christ. And please do whatever you can to help the missionaries, they can't do this without you guys. I testify that Jesus Christ lives, and that it is because of Him that all things are possible. And I love Him for all that He has done for us. I love you all!! Missionary work is hard but I promise it is far beyond worth it :) 

Enjoy Conference this week :)

~Sister Amy Callaway~

Monday, March 23, 2015


Hey there everyone!!
I hope everyone had a fan-freakin-tastic week! Well first of all I have to wish Britt and Erik a happy one year anniversary!! I promise I didn't forget :) I remembered yesterday and was looking at the pictures from your wedding and I can't believe that was already a year ago! But I hope you guys had fun in Tennessee, it looks like you did. And I have to wish Aubrey a Happy Birthday today!! I love you cousin!! And I can't believe your little man is going to be here in just a few short months! Ah! I'm so excited for you! Well just know that I love you and I hope you have a wonderful day :) also someone has to wish my little Sadie girl a happy birthday for me too. The pictures mom sends me make me want to cry haha! She's SO big already! Just give her a big hug and a kiss for me! 

Well let's see this week was hard for sure. So many of our appointments fell through, and we were unable to find anyone new to teach even after doing finding almost everyday. But all is well :) there are people out there who are ready to hear the gospel and we won't stop looking for them. But I'll just start off with how we got to go to the temple on Saturday! We have a choice of going to the Manhattan, New York temple and or the Washington DC Temple. The Manhattan Temple is closer but it is just more expensive because it's in the city. So we chose to go to the DC temple. It's a 3 hour drive from Topton. But it was a fun trip! We rode with our Ward Mission Leader and his wife and then Sister McCuen and I were in the back seat with their 4 month old baby, who's is like the cutest little thing ever. But the reason for the trip was to take Angel to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. She has such a spiritual experience there it was incredible :) But Being here you always hear people talking about the mural in the DC Temple. And oh my gosh, it's so powerful. if you look it up I am sure you will find it. But I will talk more about that later... But because we took Angel to do baptisms we didn't get to do a session or anything like that but that is totally fine, I was just grateful to be at the temple. I didn't realize how temple homesick I was haha. I was just grateful to be there. We went down to the font though and I didn't get to do baptisms but I did get to wear my temple dress which I was just as happy about :) Sister McCuen did get to do baptisms though with Angel and it was so amazing! Watching little Angel do baptisms for her family was such a profound experience, realizing that that is what it is all about. Getting them to the temple. Even if it's just to do baptisms, when you are at the temple and you feel the spirit of the temple I believe you get a little foretaste of what the eternities will be like. And that's what I wanted Angel to focus on. She loved it. Every bit of it, and seeing her so happy gave Sister McCuen and I the greatest joy. It was nothing short of amazing. And I hope and pray that I will be able to go again sometime soon. Going to the temple was definitely the highlight of my week. 

Oh also I have a funny story from last week. So when all the snow had FINALLY melted and it was warm enough to walk outside Sister McCuen and I decided to do our favorite thing! Which is Finding! Haha. Anyway it was a gorgeous day and we decided to find a street, just park the car and start walking. So that's exactly what we did! It's was awesome! Seriously, I'm not kidding. We chose a road where there were houses on the left side and just corn fields for days on the other side. I felt like we were in the movie "Field of Dreams." So I looked at Sister McCuen and said "If we knock...they will come!" I thought it was pretty clever, but so incredibly cheesy at the same time haha. 

Anyway! It was a beautiful day! And walking down the road I just felt right at home. Heavenly Father knew it was the right thing to put a small town girl in a small little country town as her first area haha. I love it here! Anyway, as we walking down the road we were almost finished with the line of houses when we knocked on this one house and Sister McCuen looked at me and said "I got this one." I said okay and she knocked on the door like 3 times and no one answered. We were about to turn around and walk away when this very handsome young man opened the door and "hello, can I help you?" I then looked from Sister McCuen to the young man, and then back to Sister McCuen...and Sister McCuen just stared at him and went completely silent...I had to refrain from laughing so hard because she totally forgot what she was saying. I was about to pipe up and explain who we are as missionaries when Sister McCuen said in the most monotoned voice I've ever heard, that we were Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and asked him if he would be interested in hearing a message about Jesus Christ. He said "not right now, but maybe some other time." Sister McCuen said "okay!" And turned around and walked away. When the door was shut I just started busting up laughing!! Haha Sister McCuen kept saying it wasn't funny, but we both had a good laugh about it after the fact.  

Also on Friday there was like a freak snow storm that happened. Once I thought the snow was finally gone it came right back! And so Sister McCuen and I decided to braid our hair and be Sister Ana and Sister Elsa for the day and go around singing to people! It was awesome! But not many people took well to it. They had either never seen frozen or thought we were just weird but that's okay because we had fun doing that as a finding activity. Our WML and his kids appreciated it though haha. 

Anyways, on a more spiritual note. About the mural in the DC temple when you walk across the bridge of the temple the mural is the first thing you see. It's a depiction of the Savior's Second Coming and all of the righteous are on his right side and all of the wicked are on his left side. I sat there forever just staring at it, and feeling the spirit. And I knew that no matter what I wanted to be on the right side with all of the people who aren't ashamed to look at the Savior. It was a powerful experience for me. The more you sit and stare and just ponder about the picture you notice that there are people from all eras of time on both sides. And I tried to notice the emotions depicted by the people. On the side of the righteous I noticed that people were bowing, others were looking up at the Savior, others looked relieved, excited like they just couldn't wait to run to Him. They looked like they knew that they were ready for when He came. On the other side were the wicked, or the ones who weren't prepared for when the Savior comes. I looked at them and some people hung their heads in shame, knowing that they weren't ready to meet Him. Others couldn't even look at the Savior. Some were jut lying on the ground looking as if they were wrenched with regret. And some had their backs completely turned on Him...I started crying just thinking of those people. And if nothing else that mural only further engrained in me my missionary purpose. But the spirit taught me something very important as I looked from the side of the righteous to the side of the wicked. And that was that the people on the right side were not perfect people, they were not the people who lived perfect lives and never made mistakes. They were the people who repented. And sincerely, and sufficiently repented. So that they could be found worthy to stand and answer when the Savior called for them. I certainly don't want to be on the left side I want to be on the right side, standing there with my family and friends, and the people I have met and come to love and helped out here on my mission. I pray that when that day comes we will all be found on the right side and not the left. And it furthered my testimony of the Savior's Atonement. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. And I love Him, with all of my heart and soul I love Him. 

I'm sorry this email is kinda shorter than most and kinda all over the place but I love you all!! Please look for ways to come unto Christ this week, and look for the miracles :) 
Until next week,

~Sister Amy Callaway~

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hello again my loved ones!

Hello again my loved ones!
I hope everyone is doing well! Well first of all, something exciting...I get to go to the TEMPLE this weekend!! I am SO excited! We are going on Saturday to the Washington D.C. Temple. Our missions goal is to have the missionaries go to the Temple once a month BUT missionaries can only go if they have a recent convert who is going to do baptisms or to receive their own Endowment for the first time. Only then can the missionaries go with them to the temple. Which is a great incentive to work even harder I think. And so if you remember I told you about Angel who was baptized the first week I got here. Angel is 13 and we are also teaching her mom and soon to be step father (who are planning on getting baptized in August after they are married) so we planned a trip to go to the temple for her first time so she can do baptisms! But she also has to have 5 family names of her own to be able to go and do baptisms. We are so excited to go with her though. 

Also I've already been here for an entire transfer! Its crazy! We had transfer calls on Friday and no one in my District got transferred because everyone is either training and or being trained. And one more great thing about Transfers is that one of my favorite Elders is coming back out to our Mission this transfer!! I don't think I talked about it much but Elder Crowther was in our district in the MTC. He had to go home though because of some health issues, but is now coming back out to our mission!! And we are all SO excited!... But one sad thing about transfers is that one of our Zone Leaders got transferred :( we were all so sad. His name is Elder Newbold, he's awesome and so funny. oh and fun fact: I found out he's friend with Catherine Hansen!! Haha they know each other from EFY or something. I've actually made a lot of random connections since being out here. Brother Rockwood being my MTC teacher for one, and served in the Roseville, California Mission. And that picture of that giant dog I sent, well the member who owns that dog is from Arco, Idaho of all places and so I knew he would know the Sorenson's haha and he does, which I knew Courtney would find that funny. And I don't think anyone from our ward besides Bishop Alston would know him (and Aubrey, Amanda, Victoria, and Alexandra will know who I'm talking about haha) but Elder Jamison served in the Loomis 2nd Ward and he helped me with a flat tire on my car once. Anyway his Aunt and Mother-in-law are both in the ward that I am serving in! In Kutztown, Pennsylvania of all places haha. It's quite a small world haha. 

I've also acquired a few nick names since being here haha. Sister California, Sister Golf-club, Sister Vanilla haha (long story I'll tell you about that one some other time), our Ward Mission Leader has 4 kids and his little boy calls me Sister Gorgeous haha. He's the cutest thing ever and says the funniest things I swear, and he just started calling me that the other day and I was dying. He's so stinkin cute. I have a video of it so I'll send it along with the email. And the most recent one has been Sister Elsa. I wore my hair in a big braid the other day and no joke 3 times in one day I had 3 different people tell me I looked like Elsa. And therefore they started calling me Sister Elsa haha. And since Sister McCuen is a ginger we decided that before all of the snow is gone we're going to put our hair in braids and we'll walk around like Ana and Elsa for the day, knocking on doors and sing for people haha. 

Oh also fun fact: Sister McCuen snapped at me for the first time the other day! So I nicknamed her GingerSnap! I thought it was pretty clever haha. It was pretty funny actually. But I've grown up with 4 sisters and so I was not phased by that little outburst. But the reason for it is because Sister McCuen has Celiacs disease, so she's allergic to gluten. And when she has it she gets a really bad stomach ache. I had been bugging her and asking her if she wanted to get a blessing and she just snapped and said "No! I don't want a blessing! Okay?!" She then felt really bad for it but it didn't bother me because I knew she just wasn't feeling well.

Oh and I also had my first full on melt down this week! It was awesome! Haha jk. It was during one of our companionship studies and we were trying to role play a lesson that we had that day when I just broke down crying. I was just so overwhelmed with SO many things it felt like. I didn't feel like I was good enough to do this work. I felt so inadequate. This is the way I think of things...this is someone's chance to start on the road to eternal salvation, and my mindset is if I don't get right this time they may not come to experience that joy. I just want everything to go perfectly for our investigator that I get so stressed out over it. But sure enough Sister McCuen Anyway I'll just get to telling you about the miracles this week...

Well first of all this week I learned a very important lesson about the principle of accountability. In our mission we have the Standards of Excellence. Which are just a set of goals we try to reach each week. There are 5 Standards of Excellence, where we try to get 2 lessons with Investigators who are progressing with a baptismal date, 2 people to come to come to Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, 3 New Investigators, 5 Member Present Lessons, and 5 lessons with Recent Converts and or Less Actives. And we as a mission try to reach 60% of them week per companionship. So we would only have to get 3 of the 5. And so this week our District Leader wanted us to pick as many of the Standards that we wanted to be accountable for. And so Sister McCuen and I said we wanted to be accountable for reaching ALL of them this week! Our DL thought we were completely crazy haha. Not that he didn't believe we could do it but just that no one in our district has ever achieved all 5 of them in one week. It doesn't seem like it would be too hard but it is actually very challenging. New investigators is where we struggle the most. But anyway Sister McCuen and I just wanted to set our goals high and so we did. Not realizing how stressful this week would be because of that haha but we saw many miracles because of it. The biggest one happened just last night. So by yesterday we had achieved 4/5 Standards of Excellence. The only thing was that we were short 1 new investigator. And for someone to be considered a new investigator you have to have had a full lesson with them and then set up a return appointment. And we had a list of a few people we have had lessons with but haven't been able to get a hold of since to set up a return appointment. And after all week of calling, texting, and stopping by this list of people NO ONE got back to us. We only needed ONE more new investigator! We just had to set up a return appointment with them to consider them as such. Anyway, so here we are Sunday night we just had our last member present lesson (which went overtime so we were hurrying home haha) but we had this one guy named Leo we had had a lesson with. We figured that he would be our best shot because he seemed the most interested. So while we were driving home we called him 3 times! And no answer! Not to mention we called him like 15 times throughout the week too haha. But after the third time and no answer I said to Sister McCuen "we need to pray!" So I turned off the music and offered the prayer. I simply asked Heavenly Father for a miracle and that he would help us to achieve our goals for this week. And then we immediately called Leo back. The phone rang like 5 times and then he answered!!! After ALL week trying to get a hold of this guy and having NO luck whatsoever, he finally answered!! And all I have to say is...PRAYER WORKS!! It was a miracle! We were able to set up an appointment with him and we had our 3rd New Investigator for the week! It was incredible. And immediately after we hung up the phone. We offered a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father and thanked him for the miracles! It was awesome! We then reported our numbers at the end of the night to our DL and told him that we had achieved our goal of getting all 5 standards of excellence this week and he was said he was so grateful for our efforts. 

Deciding to be accountable though has made such a difference in the work we are doing. People here are still so very kept to themselves and don't want to talk to us, but I know that the Lord is preparing people and as long as we are willing to go out there and find them the Lord will help and assist us in His work.

early in the week we had an appointment with an older woman named Sandy who lives right around the corner from us. She is the sweetest thing ever, let me just tell you. We actually met her on my second day while finding and asked if we could come and visit her again. And she told us she would call us back....uh huh, we all know how that usually goes haha. Anyway about two weeks ago we were walking down the street to our Ward Mission Leaders house when she saw us outside and told us to come in because it was so cold out. When we walked in we got to talking with her and then showed her Because of Him which then led into The Restoration. It was awesome! We then set up a Return Appointment. Anyway we taught he all of The Restoration on Monday. She loved it! She had never heard of Joseph Smith or anything before and was very intrigued. We got to the point in the lesson where I was suppose to invite her to be baptized but sister McCuen got carried away and did it instead. To which Sandy said no. Which is okay. I then simply bore my testimony. And Sandy got all teary eyed and started to cry and said how glad she was that we were there. We could tell that she definitely felt the spirit. We set up another appointment with her and will be teaching her again soon. It was a miracle!! 

And also yesterday at Church we had a great lesson in Relief Society about the Savior. And so the end this email I want to simply testify of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

I know that Jesus Christ lives. He is the Son of God. And it is because of His infinite and Atoning sacrifice we can be forgiven of our sins so that we too can me become like Him. It is through his grace, love, and mercy that all things are possible. And I love Him more than anything. Often times I think we forget that He didn't have to do what he did, and that there was a point where He himself, even the Son of God asked if there wasn't another way. Even though He knew that there wasn't, He still sacrificed Himself because He loves us and He loves Heavenly Father. I wish I could comprehend and understand the entirety and magnitude of the Atonement. But I know that one day I will. 

If you ever ask me what my all time favorite hymn is its "I Believe In Christ." I love the last verse "I believe in Christ, so come what may. With Him I'll stand in that grate day." Please oh please I implore everyone to find ways to come unto Christ. He can heal, bless, and help you in anyway that you need. I love this quote from President Benson and he basically puts my entire testimony into one paragraph, he said: 

“With all my soul, I love Him. I humbly testify that He is the same loving, compassionate Lord today as when He walked the dusty roads of Palestine. He is close to His servants on this earth. He cares about and loves each of us today. Of that you can be assured. He lives today as our Lord, our Master, our Savior, our Redeemer, and our God. God bless us all to believe in Him, to accept Him, to worship Him, to fully trust in Him, and to follow Him.”

In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

I love you all so very much!! Please look for ways to come unto our Savior and to help others to come unto Him also. I can promise you it won't be easy but it will be far far far beyond worth it. Look for the miracles! There are many, just pray often and look :) until next week.

~Sister Amy Elizabeth Callaway~

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Hello everyone!!

Did you guys know that I love  you? ALL of you. Seriously, if youre reading this right now just know that I love you :) Hmm, Im trying to think of any shout outs I need to give to people haha, Oh! Haley I heard you are going to live with Amanda up at school! That's so exciting!! Youre going to have so much fun up in Rexburg! And please keep me posted on Ashley Englebrect and baby Gracelynn. I cant wait to see pictures!! Well sorry I cant really think of anything else to tell people so I guess ill just get right to it then...

So it has come to my attention that most all of my emails have sounded so super happy and peppy, which I'm glad for, because I truly am happy :) However, I'm going to talk today about the reality of missionary work. I tell you guys all of the good things throughout my week because I want you all to know that I truly am doing well, and I also don't want anyone to worry about me. But get ready for the 'missionary reality check' as I like to call it haha. Because I'm here to tell you that a mission is not all daisies and unicorns. It's work. HARD work. Possibly the hardest work you will ever do in your entire life by far. And it will only get harder. Why? Because the Lord is hastening His work. And he needs His missionaries to be strong. Now, please don't think that im claiming to be this strong and super awesome missionary, because im not. And I will be the first one to admit that. Being on a mission ALL of your many weaknesses only become more and more apparent to you as you keep going along. And so it has definitely been with me. Ether 12:27 has taken on a whole new personal meaning for me. Coming out on my mission I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I can definitely say that I didn't know how hard it was going to be either. It is hard. VERY hard. But I wouldn't want it any other way. Because as hard as it has been for me I have already seen far too many miracles to out weigh the toughest of times.

 And so to all the future missionaries out there Ill tell you this: read your call letter over and over and over again, until perhaps you have it in your mind and in your heart EXACTLY what you your purpose is. Until you know what your purpose truly is before you even get into the MTC and out into the mission field. I hope you believe me when I tell you that from the moment you receive that call you better be ready to work and to fight. And to be obedient. Because that is exactly what you have promised the Lord that you will do. And another thing that I would stress is to please remember this: "You only have ONE chance to serve a mission. And you have ETERNITY to think about it." you are accountable to the Lord for how you use your time as a missionary. So use it wisely. Because its not your time. It is the Lords. And these are His other children that He is trusting you with to find and bring them into the fold.

Missionary work is hard. It is physically and spiritually draining. So get ready for an emotional rollercoaster haha. Because you're going to feel inadequate. You're going to feel unqualified. You're going to feel so much anxiety. You're going to feel stressed out beyond belief. You're heart is going to feel depressed sometimes. More likely than not you're probably going to feel very homesick. You're going to miss the people, things, and opportunities that you left behind. You're going to wonder why you're even out on your mission and find yourself asking "how in the world am I going to be able to do this Heavenly Father?" And more than anything satan is going to work on you like he never has before. It might even be so bad that you just want to give up and go home because you don't think you can do it...And so to anyone who has ever felt like this I have this to say.... WELCOME TO MORTALITY!!! That's just all part of being a full time missionary. But it doesn't last forever. I cant stress that enough so please remember that. Whatever it may be that you are going through, whether youre a full time missionary or not...whatever your trial may be, it wont last forever.

I have gone through all of these crazy emotions and feelings and still do honestly. But the other day I read a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" (I HIGHLY recommend it by the way:) and as I was reading it I decided that I want to be the Fourth Missionary. Because it describes the Fourth Missionary as the one who gives the Lord everything, but most importantly he gives his heart over to the Lord. Although he left behind so many things at home, people he loves, opportunities that could've been his, and many other things he metaphorically speaking puts everything up on the shelf to serve his mission fully and faithfully. And so this week during one of my personal studies, and finding that I am struggling immensely with SO many things...I actually wrote down a list of  people, things, and opportunities that I left behind to serve a mission. I took that list and put it in a box and actually put it up on the shelf in my closet. Not to be taken down until my mission is over. Because I want to be the Fourth Missionary. And I want to give my all to the Lord and be able to look back on my mission when I stand at the feet of my Savior and honestly say "I gave it my all."

This week I had a very close friend of mine ask me how I deal with feeling of complete despair, and I had never really thought about that before but I guess this is how. I just remember that these hard times wont last forever. Most importantly I think of the Savior. And about His Atonement. I think about what this perfect man did, what He went through to save all of us sinners. And I feel so grateful to Him for it. But because the Atonement is so hard for any mere mortal to comprehend  I often times think of the Pioneers. Come Come Ye Saints- is by far one of my all time favorite hymns and forever will be. And I'll tell you why. I sing this to myself ALL the time. Because, when I think of the pioneers and everything they went through (persecution, physical and spiritual trials, etc) I can't complain. How can I? Have you ever actually just sat down and listened to the lyrics of the song? Here are these people who are suffering all manner of afflictions mostly physical but their spirits were still SO strong because they knew where their testimonies lied. In the strength of the Lord. I love the second verse when it says, "gird up your loins, fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake." They knew, despite their MANY afflictions, that their trials would not last forever. They left behind everything to be obedient to the Lord, having faith that He would fulfill His promises. But in His own time. "All is well, all is well" That's the part that I sing to myself all the time.


Okay I am so sorry again that I didn't email everyone back personally, but please know that I love you all more than you know!! Also im sorry this email is kinda like all over the place haha. But again I love you all! Until next week,

Sister Amy Elizabeth Callaway

P.s. Look for the miracles this week :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hello Again My Loved Ones!

Hello again my loved ones!
It seriously seems like I emailed you guys yesterday haha. Honestly the weeks are just going by so fast! Anyway I hope everyone is doing well! From the emails it sounds like everyone is :) Oh also I need to apologize for not emailing everyone back personally. I do get them just so everyone knows! And I read them often, and they truly help sooo much! :) Im just so sorry that I don't email everyone back directly. I just spend like an hour writing a book for everyone to read so youre all somewhat updated haha. If I could spend my entire P~Day just emailing, I would be perfectly happy :) But sadly that's not the case. We have much more to do on P~Days. Oh and also I need to wish Erik another happy birthday I hope it was awesome! :) And I need to wish Aubrey and Joe a happy one year!! I cant believe you got married a year ago!! That is so crazy to me! But just know I love you guys :) And I heard Haley did well at sate!! Good job baby sister! I love you and am so so proud of you! I wish I could've been there to cheer you on while you were wrestling but I know you kicked butt! And everyone else just know that I love you all and will figure out a way to email you guys soon :) I promise!

Okay so this week was pretty good. LOTS of ups and downs for sure but still good. It has snowed here quite a bit, but thankfully they didn't cancel church yesterday. Some days its freezing cold and other days its bearable haha. But snow or ice we are out and trying to find new people to teach :) Oh! And also Sister McCuen and I found out the other day that we are moving! Not being transferred or anything but just moving apartments. Last week we had interviews with President which was SO awesome. Seriously hes the greatest. But he told us that they are trying to find a new apartment for us. The one we live in is perfectly fine but I guess Topton technically isn't the safest place to be haha :) So they are wanting to move us out. Our area is called Kutztown and right now we live in Topton, but they want to move us out to Macungie (muh-cuhn-gee) because that's where most of the members are. Which will be good. So today we had to go look at apartments with our WML's wife. It was pretty fun! Although I keep joking with Sister McCuen and telling her that she'll probably be transferred by the time we have to move. But Im sure its the best thing for the work right now that we move.

Well lets see this week was hard, but still good. Lots of our appointments fell through, and also most people just never got back to us, and to top it all off we went over on our miles for the month...which meant we had A LOT of walking to do. So everyday Sister McCuen and I found ourselves out finding yet again :) But seriously I have started to like finding, I have met some interesting people for sure haha and already have some good stories...So all the people in Pennsylvania are just so kept to themselves...It bugs the heck out of me!! Haha seriously, I didn't realize how much I liked talking until I got out here. Because I want to talk to everyone! But nobody wants to talk to me. Ill walk up to someone on the street or knock on a door and I start talking to them or complimenting them just to hopefully get a conversation going and they just give me this look like "Who are you and why are you being nice to me?" And then when they hear that we are missionaries theyre like "heck no!"  And walk away. All you can do is really laugh though haha. But that's just part of missionary work. Also everyone here thinks that we are Jehovah's Witness...which bothers me a bit too to be honest because people just assume they know who we are and yell at us to go away. But eventually you will find those people who will just be nice and talk to you and in so doing will find out that we are in fact not JW. I have a story that is perfect for this and its my favorite story from this week. It actually happened last night...

So Sister McCuen and I went to a neighborhood to do some finding. It was about 7:30pm and so we figured most people might be having dinner or possibly going to bed but we kept on with our finding. Anyway we stopped by this one house where I knocked quite a few times and no one answered, so we trekked all the way back through the snow covered yard back onto the main road. (it snowed really bad yesterday, I was in snow up to my knees. Which doesn't say much because im so short haha but anyway nothing had been plowed yet that's why we were marching through the snow!) But anyway, as we were walking away to go to another house a man walks out of that same house we had just knocked on and starts talking to us. We told him who we were and He started talking about how he doesn't agree with our doctrine and how he believes that he knows far more about Jesus Christ than we do and that he knows Him more personally than we ever could. But as he was talking to us he wasn't hostile in his tone of voice but it sounded like he just pitied us. But Sister McCuen and I just sat there with smiles on our faces as we let him finish what he was saying. He went on to ask us why we didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and why we didn't believe that his suffering for us on the cross wasn't enough for us to be able to be saved. (which is obviously NOT what we believe) While he was talking though it occurred to be that he probably thinks we are JW. So when he finished I asked him just that. And he looked at our nametags and said, "Oh! no I know who you guys are, youre Mormons right?" and we smiled and said 'yes!' to which then he apologized because he was reciting to us what the JW believe. But I then piped up and began to do the only thing I could think to do, which was to testify. And so I bore my simple testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I told him that "we believe and KNOW that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That he suffered and died for us and that it is only through His Atonement that we can be forgiven of our sins and become pure and clean to be able to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. But that we also have a part to do. Jesus Christ is our perfect example, and we are to follow His example by keeping His commandments and doing all things which He has asked of us." and it was the coolest thing because after Sister McCuen bore her testimony also he just sat there. And we sat there in silence for a good 5 minutes. I mean its not like we confounded him or anything like in the scriptures haha but it was the coolest thing because we simply bore our testimonies...that was all we did! But he couldn't say a thing against us because I believe he felt the spirit and he knew our words were true. We then just had like a mini testimony meeting on his front lawn in the like 10 degree weather haha but then he told us to "carry on!" and went back inside. It was a MIRACLE!! Seriously it was amazing! I can testify that there is no better way to strengthen your own testimony than to share it. 

And so to end this email I will share with you all my simple testimony. My testimony is simple but firm. I KNOW that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us, far more than we will ever know in this life. My purpose as a missionary is to 'invite others to come unto Christ...' How great is my calling?!? I couldn't ask for a better one. But that's not only my purpose as a missionary I have made it my life long purpose. I will invite EVERYONE to come unto Him. Members and non members because here is what I have found, we can always always always come closer to Him. Until the day that we have found ourselves to be like Him. (Moroni 7: 47-48) And so if I can help my friends, family, members and non-members and myself to come unto Him then I will know I have fulfilled my purpose. Not only as a missionary but as a Daughter of God. And so, my loved ones, im finally starting to understand what the prophets have felt like to be honest. I want to help my 'beloved brethren [and sisters]' to come unto Christ in anyway that I can :) Because that is honestly the best thing I could EVER do you. The best thing that we could ever be known by is 'Men and Women of God.' In the sacred name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all more than you will ever know!! look for the miracles this week! There are so many just look :)
Much love,
Sister Amy Elizabeth Callaway

P.s. Mom that Moroni reference is the one that I would like on my plaque please :)