Weekly Update – November 29, 2015

Como estan mis amigos

Hey everyone this is Elder call from White rock. That’s right I did
not transfer I got the transfer call saying that I have a new
companion but not a new area. My new companions name is Elder Manzano.
He’s Mexican but he was born in America he’s from New Jersey. And he’s
fluent in English and in Spanish. Still the new missionary is only a
transfer number three which means that I am his second companion. You
know it’s only been one week we’ve Already seen a lot of really cool
stuff.

So you remember last week I told all of you that there is no snow
Sapporo right now? Well that night it started snowing like crazy like
really a lot. The last time that it snowed this much this early was
about 62 years ago. It’s noted total of 40 cm in one day which is not
a ton but it is enough to turn this place from fall to winter in one
day. Before Elder Larson transferred we visited our investigator at
his place of work a couple times and we were able to have a fun time
there. His mother-in-law remember give us a lot of food that could not
be sold any more from the store so she gave it to us for free. We were
able to set a baptismal date with our investigator for Christmas eve.
This year we’re going to have a white Christmas.

So on the first day I was with Elder Manzano we decided to just go
finding because that’s all we have to do we only have a few
investigators so we just went out and search for a bunch of
non-attending members and old investigators. The funny part is the
next day after finishing the list I looked back and saw the name of
somebody and thought we should find this guy so we went out and we did
find him. It’s strange how I didn’t see his house the other day but I
found it right away when I was looking for the second time. The man
said that he hated Mormonism but that if you wanted us to explain to
him the thing that he had a question about can even set up his next
appointment by himself. So we have a new investigator woot woot!

On Saturday we played ping-pong and we made gyoza with all of the
people who attended family home evening on Saturday. I think I ate
over 50 pieces of Gyoza. Needless to say I was completely full and
then they brought out dessert of course.  But the first thing you
learn as a missionary of this mission is that you need to eat and then
eat some more and then when you think you’re going to die you somehow
find more strength to eat more food. Now that it’s winter it’s a
little bit cold but throw my mission I’ve been able to pick up some
very useful items like a long sleeve thermal undershirt and a bunch of
sweaters also thermal pants that I can wear so now I can wear lots of
layers and still be thin but have lots of warmth.

On Sunday we had a meeting to plan out the Christmas party and I have
volunteered my body as sacrifice I don’t know how many of you have
heard about the story of the seminary teacher with the donuts where he
teaches about the atonement but I’m going to do that. I’m going to be
the one doing the push-ups and by the estimation is going to be about
40 people coming which means I’m going to do about 400 push-ups. I
don’t think it’s impossible, but it could be. I have to get serious
with my training though.

All of the members really love spending time with the two of us and we
love them as well so I’m really happy that I did not get transferred
now I get to be here for New Year’s and the Christmas party and I know
everybody so it’s really nice. Do you have a message elder Manzano?
likes that be happening and I like people please doing stuff in Okonis
pretty cool he couldn’t make Mexican food so I like cool the dictation
program could not understand him I guess. He kind of talks like a
black person even though he’s Mexican it’s kind of confusing. Another
crazy thing is that I think I have the gift of tongues on override
right now because every time he speaks a little bit of Spanish I start
to remember everything that I learned in high school. If were together
for too long I might become really good at Spanish as well I’m not
supposed to learn Spanish here.

Well I love all of you and I hope that you all have a good week go
ahead and tell me any cool stuff that happened to you this week
because I would love to hear about it also stay spicy.

– Elder Call

 

Weekly Update – November 22, 2015

My streak of the transfers in White rock

So this transfer in my room really fast I thought I was still around
record but when I looked at the calendar I realized that tomorrow I’m
going to be getting my transfer call. My companion things I’m going to
go trainer. This week was filled with a lot of stuff I would say.
Firstly I want to tell you about what we did on Monday. So being that
my companion got in and accident we decided not to participate in the
district activity which was a sports activity.  We still went out to
eat with them for lunch though so that was fun. But that morning I
woke up and I tried to stand up to turn off my alarm and fell over,
suddenly my head started spinning and I could not use my body I had
completely lost control of myself and then after about five seconds of
sitting there helpless I got up and turned off my alarm and started
praying still just as busy as I was before. Not exactly sure what that
was but after that I started having severe pain near where I think my
appendix is. But don’t worry I don’t have appendicitis I was just
overreacting and my stomach hurt for some reason. The two
investigators that we found last week we tried to visit again and one
of them was busy in the other one denied us so we do not have new
investigators sadly. I’m Tuesday there is no district training meeting
because we had a zone conference on Thursday. Not zone conference was
about faith in Jesus Christ the book of Mormon and working inspired.
Things are really cool and I was able to learn a lot of things that
I’ve been able to apply since that time.  Also I find it kind of
ironic how when a new theme is about to come out in the mission I
change what I’m studying in my personal study and almost all the time
I would say about 80% of the time it matches up I’m not sure why that
is but it’s very helpful. This week we did a lot of work but our
numbers did not show it because we did a lesson for a child who is
about to get baptized and then we also did a family home evening, by
the way an investigator was supposed to come but he got busy all of a
sudden so we ended up teaching to just the members who came and that
is not technically counted for numbers. We had a lot of fun though and
I decided to volunteer my body for the Christmas party if I’m here
next transfer. It’s an example or a parable about the atonement so you
bring in donuts and you give it to each person you asked them if they
want it if they want to eat you give it to them but someone in the
front needs to do a certain number of push-ups for each person to
receive one Donut. Basically the point of it being is that the person
can barely even do the push-ups by the end and people are volunteering
to do it themselves so that they can get the doughnut but only he can
do it and it’s an excellent way to show everyone how the atonement
works and it’s very easy to understand even for someone who’s not a
member. So I volunteered to be the one doing the push-ups I estimate
that I will do around 400 push-ups if I’m here next transfer.
Yesterday being Sunday I think I realized the purifying power of the
sacrament.  It’s kind of hard to explain but whenever I feel like I am
unworthy even after taking the sacrament I don’t particularly feel
different but this week I noticed that from the time before taking the
sacrament and after taking the sacrament I was then again able to feel
the spirit and I was able to receive revelation and I did feel better
about my situation so I concluded that through the sacrament you
really can be purified, and I thought that was amazing. So I’m not
sure what’s going to happen for this transfer and I’m not sure how
beneficial all the work that I did this transfer was but I know that
I’ve seen this ward change for the better and everybody seems to be a
little bit happier than they were before. This week was very fast very
very fast. So another we’re entering winter it’s starting to get cold
and it’s starting to get below freezing temperatures at night but
today is a sunny day there’s not a cloud in the sky, so no snow,
Sadly. I hope that all of you have a great week please tell me about
what you did this week so that I can see the great miracles that are
occurring in your lives and enjoy those as well. Remember that God is
always watching and that he wants you to do the right thing always. I
love all you guys please have a good week and if anybody has any fun
recipes that they think I could make please throw them my way and I
will make them and send you a picture of it when it’s completed. Stay
spicy.

-Elder Call

Weekly Update – November 15, 2015

This week there was a lot of things that happened.

Let’s start off with Monday. Firstly we had a dual zone activity and I
was able to meet the people who are in my zone, everyone seems super
fun. That night we thought we would have no time for a good
proselyting session so we decided to go down the list of non attending
members and found a certain brother named yamazaki, he has not been to
church for about twenty five years, is t that crazy? During this time
for some reason I got really bold and he listened to what I had to
say, on the way home we had a call from uraie San and I talked to him
for almost an hour while it was raining in the background.

On Tuesday, we had our zone training meeting where I did the
translation, I loved doing that but it totally tests my limits. Doing
live translation is pretty difficult. But somehow through the gift of
tongues I was able to pull it off. I really like all the people in our
zone, I believe that we are going to see tons of miracles together.

Wednesday was really good because we were able to meet with another
non active member who had been getting into some other religions stuff
and listening to his friend who told him that the second coming was
going to happen for sure within the next twenty years but most likely
I. The next two years. Crazy stuff, but we were able to be his friends
for a bit. We also had the English class at toyohira and the game was
so much fun, it was super intense even though it is normally a pretty
lame game we had so much fun.

On Thursday we don’t really remember what happened but I know that we
found out that around five members had moved and nobody knew about it.
At the end of the day we met up and exchanged companions for splits. I
am with elder Suzuki in shiroishi.

Friday, a day full of really good experiences. We found new
investigators, talked with really interesting people, and also we
taught brother yamazaki again. Then lastly we attended a lesson with
uraie San, it was pretty good but the way the lesson was taught
confused him a bit I think. Anyway that’s not really relevant.

Saturday, probably the first time in my life that I have gotten
legitimately lost. We circled in smaller and smaller until I knew
where we were. It was crazy. Then we had family home evening with
uraie San and we talked about our heavenly family. It was really good
and easy to understand.

On Sunday elder or rather brother kojima my previous companion came to
visit the ward. It was super weird and it made the ward all happy but
I also performed a missionary work fireside after church as well as a
talk during church, needless to say I was nervous. God did not let me
down and everyone supported me so I was very happy with it all. We are
seeing the fruits of our work little by little but today I got the
feeling of the scripture in doctrine and covenants where it talks
about how it is not requisite for a man to run faster than he has
strength, seeing as today when I woke up I tried to stand up and just
fell back onto my bed then my head started spinning really bad, I was
pretty surprised. I might take it easy today instead of playing soccer
like I had originally planned, can’t go and kill myself doing he
impossible.

Anyway this week was awesome for me, how was everyone else’s week? Did
anybody see any miracles?

-Elder Call

Weekly Update – November 8, 2015

This week and white rock we did work. One interesting thing is that
due to the assistants to the president they gave us something called a
timesheet where we record all of the time spent on certain activities
and we found out that this last week we did almost 20 hours of finding
isn’t that crazy so anyways this week we had six lessons with one
investigator. Used to have a bath he does not currently have one
though he is preparing very diligently in order to receive baptism
with Elder Larson we had some adventures. Elder Larson says we found
Narnia. So I’m majority of the finding that we did this week was all
for non-attending members we went through the member list and roll all
their names down and put them up onto our wall map and we
systematically visited them I think in total we visited about 20 to 25
homes and were able to meet with three of them. This weekend we had
steak conference and the area 70 president Yamashita came and he gave
us very good talks and he’s a very funny guy so the missionaries were
laughing almost the whole time. I also got to meet with all of the
people from my first area which was awesome by the way. They all want
me to come back at the end of my mission before I go home back to my
first area. So I decided that if I can I really want to go back to my
first area. There is so many things that have changed in the past year
for that ward and I just want to see all of the good things that
happen and try and help people resolve all of the bad things that
happened. Still working through a bunch of responsibilities that the
word has given us but I think I am able to make some progress now for
some reason I have been able to plan things really quickly recently.
For example this next Sunday there is a fireside that is going to be
performed by us and I had not planned it until three days ago but I
spent 10 minutes on it during personal study and got most of it
planned out and I was surprised by how much I had written down on the
piece of paper with in 10 minutes. I think soon a bunch of things are
going to change within the ward like the members helping us out and
them trying their best to perform all the things that are there
duties. Today we have a dual zone activity at the Kotoni Church and we
are going to play sports I think then tomorrow we have a zone training
meeting where I’m going to be doing the translation. It’s been about
two transfers since I’ve done the translation last and I’m super
excited to do it this time so wish me luck anyway that’s all that
happened this week. Not much to report on just a lot of finding I hope
all of you have a really good time this week.

-Elder Call

 

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Weekly Update – November 1, 2015

Good morning afternoon/night to every single person in the world that
is getting this email. I hope you had a good week this last week
because I did too cough cough. Out of all the things that I can think
of telling you what happen this week I only thought of about four
things. Firstly was that after rubbing my sock on the ground for about
an hour straight I managed to get a hole in it. So I’m not sure how
many of you are aware but in my oldest pair of shoes I currently have
quite large holes in them and one day we decided to walk to an
investigator’s house and back in the process a whole opened in my
sock. When I got home and noticed I was wondering why my foot hurts so
much but when I saw the hole I knew exactly why. Number two would be
that during personal study this week I was able to teach a lesson not
a role-play lesson but a real lesson. Our investigator who is
currently preparing for baptism give us a call and was wondering how
we were doing and had some questions himself so I taught him a little
bit and I was able to do a lesson it was really cool. For Halloween
this week which by the way the two of us planned almost the entire
thing I dressed up like a biker and Elder Larson dressed up like a
lumberjack it was really fun. I’m just happy that I was able to get a
leather jacket from members back in my first area which I love by the
way. Number four would be that on Saturday for the ping-pong game that
we had we have kind of started this thing where we take out items that
are not actual ping-pong paddles and use them as a paddle. After
taking out many items I lastly took out a bathroom scale and used it
as a paddle. It was so unexpected that the people who we were playing
with actually fell onto the ground and laughter. Completely lost it.
They also lost the game. So I don’t have a whole lot of things to talk
about but I hope that all of you have a really good week and that you
can help a bunch of people. If anybody knows a really good Chorizo
recipe then maybe you can send it to me. As part of the place of white
rock where I live we can buy almost anything so I have decided to make
one Mexican dish a week. So far I’ve only made two but I want to make
more so if you have any that you want me to make I’ll make it and send
pictures to you. Also does anybody have a really good pasta recipe
because I have run out of ideas. Thanks for everything love you.

-Elder Call

 

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Weekly Update – October 25, 2015

So the first thing on my mind right now is to tell you all that’s my
companions father has bought alpacas and one of them has given birth
there is a new life born this day. Anyway this is news from White
rock. I hope all of you are super excited for call radio brought to
you by Elder call. This week was super legit and I don’t really
remember a whole lot of it other then I got injured almost every
single day multiple times. Pretty sure my companion is first or
perhaps I am cursed to be with him because ever since I’ve been with
them I have been getting injured their little injuries but they still
hurt so I don’t like it. This week there is a bunch of things that I
learned and a lot of things that were reconfirmed to me by experiences
that I’ve had. Firstly would be that God will always provide. Near the
end of the week we did not have the ingredients that we needed to make
the food that we had plans to make something happened and we didn’t
have enough and we decided that we were not going to go shopping even
though we had time we just would not because we believed that God
would provide for us. When we went to church on Saturday we noticed
that in the basket where the members give us free food was a loaf of
bread and with that we had exactly what we needed to make what we
wanted. It was really weird that the bread was there on a Saturday
versus Sunday. Another experienced thing would be that as a missionary
sometimes the members of the ward want you to do things and as a
missionary sometimes your leaders want you to do things and as a
missionary sometimes you have things that you need to do. This week a
lot of things piled up it wasn’t particularly our fault but due to a
number of situations combined we ended up getting about eight new
tasks to do. After feeling particularly stressed I said a prayer
asking heavenly father to help us be able to do what is required of us
to give us the capabilities. On that same day we were able to plan
about half of the things we needed to and we were also called by a few
members giving us ideas that will make it extremely easy for us to do
the things that are required of us. I’m so happy that the members will
not only give us things to do but they will help us do the things that
we need to do. Into days we have our Halloween party and I have not
decided on what I should dress up as so if anybody has an idea and
it’s really easy to do go ahead and shoot me an email saying hey you
should do this. And I will do my best to try and dress up like that
and send you all pictures OK? I don’t want to make my email superlong
so I’m going to leave it at this and just let you all know that we are
working hard ware safe and it snowed yesterday. Last year the first
snowfall was in November in the later part of it this year it’s in
late October which means that our winter this year as one month longer
I’m super excited. I hope all of you and all of your separate places
have a good winter hopefully you will I’ll be able to see some
wonderful snow because I will see you lovely white powder spread
everywhere. Love you all, have a good week, bye!

-Elder Call

 

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Weekly Update – October 18, 2015

My automatic grouping system does not work

So as I was looking through my previous emails I noticed a pattern. It
was small but I noticed that I get a lot of emails from my family but
other than that not really. As I was trying to write this email I
wanted to put in one name and have it bring up all of the people that
I’ve emailed but it didn’t do that so now I have to reply to the same
email again. Anyway this week was really good we had transfers yes
that’s right transfers. I got my call on Tuesday which means that I am
not a trainer but instead I just got a new companion. I am staying
where I am but my new companion is Elder Larson who was already in my
district. You remember that person who tried to break my finger right
it’s him.

So far I’ve only been injured three more times he is a deathtrap. But
it’s pretty fun and I am able to do my morning exercise surprisingly
faster without having to match speed with somebody else. Is this one
exercise I do it’s called donkey calf raises. Basically my companion
gets onto my back and I do raises with my calves. It’s really
difficult. And now that my companion weighs 10 kg more than my
previous companion it’s like I just increased my work out like crazy
and my calves really hurt. He doesn’t cook a whole lot so I’ve been
able to cook a lot more and I’m able to do a lot of experimenting also
because his taste buds aren’t exactly the best so he won’t complain no
matter what I make.  Although the other day I tried to make rice
porridge and instead of adding sugar I added salt and then we thought
this needs more sugar so we put more sultan not realizing the whole
time that it’s actually salt. By the time we noticed it was much too
late and it was jampacked with salt. So we had to throw it away.

So I get her almost every day because I have Elder Larson as a
companion and yesterday’s injury was while I was cooking I leaned
forward and I bashed my head against the stovetop fan and it didn’t
hurt that much because I do a lot but I still got pretty hurt I guess.
This week with our investigator who is currently getting ready for
baptism, Uraie San we had a family home evening with three members and
his wife as well as him and we had a super fun time. We talked about
faith and she started to recognize the things that he is showing faith
in doing. Then we played this game called werewolf in English it’s
basically mafia. But there is a lot more roles that you can play.
Sunday was a really good day as well we got to go to church and
everybody met Elder Larson for the first time and they seem to like
him.  By the way Elder Larson has only been in Japan for about four
months so despite him thinking that he’s got a Japanese all of the
members think he is really good. She’s trying to get an award right
now from the mission called the Alma o Taylor. And one thing he has to
do is he has to set up appointments with members where they role-play
teaching a lesson. He’s already set up two of them so we only has two
more and then she’s pretty much done with the whole thing. We are
working pretty hard and we are able to do things pretty quickly and we
have become more effective within a short amount of time.

Getting better and Japanese does not mean that you get better in
English in fact it means you get worse at English so if you notice any
mistakes in my English here it’s probably because I actually did not
notice them. That words because I’m using the dictation program on my
iPad so that I don’t have to type instead I can just speak and
everything gets laid out for me. This Saturday it looks like we’re
going to have a baptism is well I am really looking forward to it and
I hope that our investigator is able to prepare himself so that we can
see him enter into the waters of baptism and then in one years time he
will go to the temple and be sealed to his wife for time and all
eternity. It’s going to be life-changing. Anyway that’s pretty much
all that happen this week I will miss all of you bye!

-Elder Call

 

Weekly Update – October 11, 2015

Welcome again to the adventures of Elder Call in Sapporo so this week
was super sick right now I’m using dictation again so you’ll be able
to hear my unfiltered thought. Do you just some minor complications I
have needed to type an actual words occasionally because this
dictation system is really bad. But this week we had a lot of fun
times so on Tuesday we had companionship exchanges with the district
leader and his companion and I stayed in my area and I did and
exchanges with the district leader but the funny part is that on that
day we had our zone training meeting so for half the day we weren’t
actually doing anything as a companionship instead we performed this
really cool song called the triple testimony and I played the part of
Ammon and it I would love to show all of you that video but it’s kind
of long and I don’t have the ability to send it to you so you will
have to wait until I get home. Then after that meeting a nonmember who
moved from a nearby city to get here because she wanted to be close to
the temple wanted to hear the song so she came all the way to our
church building just to hear her sing it so we sung it again. That
night I also taught an English class by myself for the first time in
about one transfer because I do that a lot it’s kind of my cars I
guess that I end up doing my English classes by myself but it was fun
because the district leader even know she is a Japanese person he’s
really good at English so he was able to help me out and we could
split the groups up for conversation. On this Wednesday we had
interviews with President Nakatsuka and I was so nervous because I
thought he was going to say are you ready to be a trainer because I am
not ready to be a trainer instead he said at the end of the interview
by the way I wish we had more time to talk which means he wanted to
ask me isn’t that bad?! On Thursday this crazy typhoon moved in and we
weren’t really able to leave the apartment even though we had a
wonderful plan for that day which included an English class as well as
going out and doing proselyting with a member but because of the
weather we stayed inside and we did planning instead lots of planning
and lots of cleaning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen wind that strong
but the funniest part about that day was that the wind was so strong
it pushed over one of the signs for the stores that’s right next to us
so we threw this really loud bang and we say what was that and then we
don’t do anything instead later on in the day we like and outside the
sign for the co-op is busted and against the apartment building next
to it and there is a bunch of firefighters on that thing welding
braces onto it so they can hold for an extra day. Then the best part
of the recap in on Saturday and Sunday where we were able to watch the
general conference of the church it was amazing we got so many
commitments given to us by our leaders and I’m so excited to be able
to do all those commitments I’ve made a list on my notes. It’s amazing
how much revelation we can get by waiting for the spirit to tell us
what we need to hear versus what our leader is actually saying I know
it sounds weird but later on I’m going to have to review some of the
talks because I did not get anything from what they actually said
instead I just got a lot of personal revelation. One thing that I felt
but I should do the most was to tell my mom that I love her so here’s
another call out in the weekly email that goes out to everyone I love
you mom. Upcoming is transfers so I will tell you next week what
happens to me I’m not sure what is going to happen but there are 12
new missionaries that are coming to the mission. The chances of me or
Elder rusted to people who are pretty high in transfers right now will
most likely become trainers so I’m super excited and also for the
first time nervous for transfers. Let us all remember that through the
power of the atonement we can become the person that God knows we can
be and wants us to be. Also remember that even though I am in Japan I
tried to keep my thoughts close to all of you for the most part I hope
to be able to see more miracles this week and I hope all of you see a
lot of miracles this week as you work and do the things that you know
to be right.

-Elder Call

 

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playing baseball for a missionary activity

Weekly Update – October 4, 2015

News from White rock in Japan.

This week was full of all kinds of adventures but I don’t remember
hardly any of them so I’m going to tell you about one of them. So we
did many activities this week but the funniest one was when we did
table tennis on Saturday so here’s the story. We started late because
one of our investigators could not make it at 1:30 started at 2:30. We
only had two members come help me my investigator and his wife who is
a member. And we started playing regular table tennis every month and
something crazy happened. We flipped are paddles upside down and
started using the handle to hit the ball instead of the paddle side.
We also started using other items like Margie is born hours or someone
else’s even use the book of Mormon we used money used little coins.
Was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time and it was very hard
to keep myself together while I was playing my name. Funniest part is
that it’s actually easier to play ping-pong with regular model after
you have learned to be able to hit the ball with a ball point pen. At
first we were able to keep communication with our investigator this
week but he found out about that and called us immediately and said
what is all of this about not being able to reach me and reset will be
called you four times and he said really and we said yes and then he
said 00 I didn’t know about that and we also went with them that same
day of the ping-pong to the bishops house and we had dinner with the
bishop and his wife and our investigator and his wife and we did a
lesson on the restoration and The bishop did a message on baptism and
then we played a fun game where you take turns describing an item and
then using the description to make a new item and you go
back-and-forth. Our investigator told us that the only thing that he
wants to do right now is recieve baptism and also to quit smoking. He
is working so hard I cant let up either. Was a really good week and
I’m glad I was able to spend it I hope you all had a good week as well
OK see you next week.

-Elder Call

Weekly Update – September 27, 2015

News from Whitestone

So this week was pretty cluttered but I will tell you about yesterday
because I felt like it was the most important day out of this week and
I only have two minutes to tell you all of this so. We had a regular
morning or so we thought until we came to church and the stake
president who is a member from my first area showed up and I got to
talk to him and then I got really homesick for my first area I wanted
to go back and meet his family again so I made sure to tell him to
tell his family that I said hi. Even participated in our weekly
shouldn’t coordination meeting and she shared scriptures with us and I
was able to find one that had relation to my patriarchal blessing so
it was so cool! Back into the regular meetings during the sacrament
meeting my companion had a talk and he talked about the temple and it
was really cool because he said in his year and a half of being on a
mission the hardest thing was not being able to go to the temple
because right now it’s being built and is not open yet. Then the next
two members that got up also talked about the temple so it was totally
revelation. We also did a song for the congregation and everybody
loved it they said that we had really good singing voices and asked us
if we had participated in any singing things before our mission and
then I remembered how did I get good at singing did I join a choir I
remember being in the stake conference choir one year but I don’t
remember actively singing at school or in any club maybe someone can
enlighten me about that. I’m officially over time so see you next
week!

Love you all!

-Elder Call