Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Zone Conference, Transfer to Wichita & Reunion with Elder Chun

Hello Everyone!

Wow. It is still weird for me to think that I am a missionary. It is definitely the best. We have so many experience every day that seem to be once in a lifetime things, and we feel the Spirit so strongly all the time it is just incredible. I love it with all my heart.

So this week, we had a lot (compared to most weeks) of our time to be out proselyting cut because of meetings. They were incredible though, so it is all good! Tuesday we had a Zone Conference, and that was awesome! Elder Nash from the Seventy came and taught us very powerfully. It was amazing to see how well he knew the scriptures and how he could answer every questions. The Spirit was there bearing witness of everything he said so powerfully, that on the drive home from the conference, I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. Thank goodness the Lord was able to help me still get out and do some work. In fact, after that meeting, attempting to apply many of the things we were just taught to do, we had one of the most powerful lessons we have had with Johnson Sehna, a recent convert who is also now less-active. Words just cannot describe how great it was.

We also had to listen to a bunch of conference calls too. Elder Eyre got called to be a trainer again (thankfully I dodged that bullet) so we had to listen in on the "train the trainers" meeting. It was really good, and the church keeps coming out with great things to help missionary become more powerful and effective even more quickly. In fact, there is a new booklet called adjusting to missionary life that will be used to help new missionaries, and really all missionaries, deal with stress, physical and spiritual demands, and self confidence, and all that stuff. It is pretty great. We also participated in the call for all the missionaries finishing their training. I am proud to say that I am now eligible to be advanced to a senior companion, if the need arises. Also, I have now been approved to drive, also if the need arises.

This week was pretty awesome all around, and we found this amazing man, who is very ready to hear the Gospel, just last night. His name is Willie, and he was a referral that we contacted, and he is super excited to learn. Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue to teach him because I will be transferred tomorrow. I am headed down to Wichita in Auburn Hills to be companions with Elder Chun...that's right, my MTC companion. I am super excited. Anyone that I need to contact?

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week of Learning

Hello Everyone!

Being a missionary is AMAZING! There is so much joy and happiness that comes from just serving all the time. It is pretty incredible to us how happy we can be when we are walking out on the street in the pouring rain, or stopping to talk to someone in the middle of an intersection, or just smiling and saying hello to every student that walks out of the testing center. Definitely one of the biggest rewards is seeing people smile back. Although not many people wanted to talk more extensively this week, I am sure that a ton of people felt the Savior's love for them and were lifted a little bit in their efforts to make it through life.

Honestly, being able to spread the gospel is always amazing, even though this last week was really hard. Very few of the people we are currently teaching have been able to see the long term benefits, and are not really progressing.  It is so sad for us to see them within reach of the greatest knowledge on earth, and just standing there, undecided on how to act! It has broken our hearts time and time again, but we will never give up on them; even if we must stop teaching, we will remember them in our prayers and press forward with faith.

The most apparent miracle we noticed this week again occurred in a trailer park, late at night (a different one then last week, though). We were again walking back to our car when we passed this young lady holding some grocery bags and staring at her car. We offered to help, of course, and she said yes!  (This is actually the first time anyone has let me help them carry groceries, despite many offers, so it was really cool.)  We set up a return appointment and when we taught her again later in the week, we had an amazing member come with us, and we had an incredible lesson on faith.  Her name is Brandy, and she is an evolutionary biologist, with no religious background, and a lot of skepticism. The Spirit testified powerfully during our lesson, and by the end, she was very excited to use the scientific method to experiment with prayer and find out if God is real, and if what we taught is true. It was so cool!

We love you all so much! Thank you for all your prayers!

Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talking to Absolutely Everyone

Hi Everyone!

This week, as usual, has been just incredible. I don't know if you are getting sick of hearing that at the beginning of these emails, but it's always true, and I think you had better get used to it, because I'll probably continue to say it for the next two years.

We had a TON of meetings this week, at least, Elder Eyre did. I had the very pleasant opportunity to let him go to the meeting, and take the other District Leader companions to my area, the nearest one to where the meetings are held. None of us are very experienced, but we are all very excited, and together, we talked to absolutely everyone! It really opened my eyes to how much I can still improve as a missionary; we were opening our mouths from as far as a block away to people who had headphones in, were listening on the phone, mowing lawns, you name it. It was so powerful too, because although no new investigators or anything came of it, we got to teach and testify and learn a bunch about the people here in Manhattan. Elder Eyre and I have done our best to talk to a lot of people, but we are now going to try talking to absolutely every person we see.
Spiders aren't just in South America!
Our Stake conference this week was extremely enjoyable. Our Stake President got a letter from the First Presidency last Saturday saying something along the lines of  "Effective immediately all Adult sessions of Stake conference need to be centered around Missionary work." That was a blast for us, because it just powered down on how these members can do missionary work. The adult session was in Salina, about a 1.5 hour drive from us, and as we rode back from the conference with our bishop, we saw just how excited about missionary work he was, and how he was seeing members start to really catch the fire as well. He was talking about ways we could now motivate and teach the members to actually do the work now that they want to. What an incredible blessing for us!
It's Snowing!
Another huge blessing was that it finally snowed! It has been quite warm around here, until last Friday when I saw my first Kansas snowstorm. It was pretty great. I'm quite sure I was having a much better time than pretty much anyone else in Kansas at that time. Does it get any better than talking to people about how much God loves them while seeing a manifestation of his love in the swirling beauty of snowflakes? I certainly don't think there is.

Last week I asked you all to listen to Elder Ballard's talk. Thank you for all for completing your homework! I know that helping people feel God's love will help you feel more of His love, and in turn create a desire in you and those you talk to continue to feel and share of His great love. I'm living the dream because I get to talk to people every day. T

here truly isn't a feeling like it.

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Moving and Apostle's Promises

Hello everyone!

This week has been a crazy one!  Elder Eyre and I have lost too much of our time proselyting because we had to move to a new apartment.  That was quite an adventure!  First of all, it is right next to campus, right upstream from about five sororities.  Thankfully, the Lord knows what he is doing, and he has been sending cooler weather to keep them inside.  Second, it is a brand new mission apartment, meaning we had to order pretty much everything new.  We got new bunk-beds (which were a pain and a half to assemble) new desks, new chairs, a new complete set of cooking supplies (too many to fit in our cupboard space, actually), and other essential living things.  The only things we got used were a kitchen table, an old cat-scratched couch, and a musty lazyboy chair.  All in all the apartment is pretty great.

Despite the fact that we were packing, unpacking and assembling forever and a day, we still saw some pretty incredible miracles.  On Friday, we had dinner with a family in the same complex where we had a few potential investigators, so we contacted them when we were done.  One was a single old lady who was very nice and told us we could come back on Saturday.  Then, walking back down to our car, wondering who we might be able to take so that we could teach her inside of her home, our ward mission leader drove past and stopped to talk to us, offering to help!  He was in a bit of a hurry, so we quickly explained, and he agreed.  Then, on Saturday morning, we decided we had better call him to confirm our plans with him, when, as we picked up the phone to dial us, he called!  Coincidence, I think not!

Our mission personally had a pretty amazing promise recently from two apostles.  They said, "If every missionary companionship will talk to 10 people each day independent of tracting and working with members, every aspect of the work will improve four fold." (that may not have been an exact quotation, but it was close.)  Then, in conference we had that reiterated by Elder Ballard.  Does anyone remember what he said?  I'm going to give you all some homework, for which I will give the answer next week, if I remember.  Listen to Elder Ballard's talk, find what he asks us to do before Christmas, listen to the promised blessing, and then make plans to do your part!  I would love to hear what happens, or what your plans are!  Thanks a bunch!

Love you all very much!

Elder Beckstead

Not Much Better Than Conference

Helloooooo Everyone!

I guess I will start this email off with conference: AMAZING!  I can't even believe how much buildup we had as missionaries, and then how incredible Conference itself went.  We were getting all excited about it since last Monday; it was like the buildup to the Olympics or World Cup, but the resulting event was so much better.  Conference itself was the best.  Everyone we talked to that followed through on the invitation to take a question and watch in awe as the Lord took the opportunity to answer it directly had that promise fulfilled. Elder Eyre and I received a TON of revelation on what to do with our teaching pool and we are soooo excited to put it into practice this next week.  It is going to be the best. Words just can't describe.

This week was filled with working with less active members and recent converts.  We easily had the most contact that we have ever had with these people. One of my favorites (if I had any favorites) is Brother Orme.  He is a very nice old man who became inactive as a truck driver because he would often have to drive on Sundays.  Anyway, he told us as we were leaving once this week, "Don't give up on me.  One day I might be the Bishop!"  That is the attitude I like to hear!  Now we need to just let the Spirit help him come back to church and more into his scriptures, and he will be there!

A major miracle that happened for us this week was that we got back in contact with Jackie, an investigator who has been too busy to meet with us lately.  Thursday, Elder Eyre followed a prompting to go as see if she was home just before we made our bike ride home.  She was! We taught her a quick lesson and then set up a return appointment.  It must not have been enough, because the next two days while traveling past her apartment on the way to appointments or our areas or work, we say her outside with her daughter and were able to say hi!  It was so fantastic, especially because they allowed to us to her that we are normal people, and we truly want to be her friend and helper.  We feel those quick contacts have helped us become more of shepherds than sheep herders.  The Lord must know what he is doing!

Keep being amazing, and watch conference again and again. You WILL receive revelation from it as you try! Continue being missionaries wherever you are!  I love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Transfer Week - Elders Teaching Sharing Time

Hello Everyone!

This past week, or past transfer have just flown by.  I can't believe I have to say goodbye to some of my good friends here and watch them move on! I am not personally getting transferred (thank goodness!) and neither is Elder Eyre, but many of the missionaries here around us are moving.  I guess we can't keep all the best missionaries in this zone forever.  

This week sure has had some highlights!  One I would like to share is about this less-active part member family we found.  They are a family of six with some pretty incredible stories.  The mother is a member, and has been since she was eight, but has been less active since she was 13.  Her husband is not a member.  A few years ago the missionaries stopped by and started teaching the children, then ages 14, 11 and 8.  The 14 year old and 8 year old got baptized fairly quickly because they felt it was true, while the 11 year old was a little "too cool" for it. His name is Jake and he is a total jock.  He did end up getting baptized a few months later because he started thinking about his family; he wanted to be with them forever, so he entered the water! It was so cool to see this young man be so proud of what he was, yet still humble enough to listen to the Spirit.   The family is one of the nicest families ever.  We are excited to see how the Lord will bless them as they start to become more active again.

Elder Eyre and I got to teach sharing time this week.  What an experience!  Our ward has a lot of young student families, so the primary and nursery are totally stacked.  We decided to run a skit of Ammon, showing the kids how people in the Book of Mormon served and spread the gospel too.  It was so hectic and helter skelter, but the kids seemed to enjoy it and pay attention, to the best degree we could expect them too.  I know I certainly had a lot of fun doing it.

We also had a great fifth Sunday lesson about missionary work.  Our ward mission leader pulled out some scriptures and actions we can perform to be the best member missionaries we can. I will let you search them and see how to apply them: Alma 17:21-23 Integrate; Alma 17:24-25,29 Serve; Alma 18:8-10 Exemplify; Alma 18:24 Speak; Alma 22:16 Invite.  I promise if you apply this method, miracle will happen!  Also, I would encourage you to study out some other things you can do to share this wonderful gospel.  Maybe invite a friend to General Conference this weekend!

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Monday Already?

Hey everyone!

This week really flew by.  It does not seem fair that it is already time for me to be emailing again...It surely hasn't been a week yet! I guess maybe it has, but boy it doesn't seem like it has been.

This week involved biking a TON, finding  some amazing new people to teach, and having people come to church!  Hooray!  First of all, we are about three to four miles away from our area, which is not that bad, except there is a nice hill in the way.  I actually found out from one of the members that in our area is the highest point in Kansas.  Go figure.  Plus there always seems to be a headwind, no matter which direction we are riding.  Thankfully, the Lord is sure helping me get back into shape after my nice stay in the cozy Salt Lake area!

One of the new investigators we are now teaching is a football player at Kansas State.  We have been teaching his fiance for a few weeks, but with the football season currently ongoing, we never caught him, until Thursday night.  His name is Torell Miller, number 88.  He was very interested in what we had to say, and when we started talking about the Book of Mormon, he asked if he could buy a copy!  He then committed to read it on the plane rides to his football games.  How cool is that!  We are super excited because Jackie and he are both super prepared to hear the gospel.  They are just so awesome!

Another highlight this week was the good amount of prosball we were able to play (prosball is playing sports of some sort in our proselyting clothes).  First, we got invited to play basketball by this gentlemen over near one of our recent converts.  We talked as we played, and found out he was an infantryman in the army with a member in his group.  The member told him that missionaries played ball a lot, so to find us, he should start playing more often.  Guess it works!  He is super nice and really interested in family history, which is an aspect of teaching and finding that we are trying to use more.  We also ended up playing football with a recent convert family here who is already starting to go less active.  It is so much easier for us to get into their home after bonding with the children and helping them see that we are just real people.  The Lord has certainly blessed us with all these situations.

I can't believe it, but transfers are now only a week away.  Have I really been in Kansas that long?  What do you think?

Thanks again for all your prayers.  We really have been feeling them.  Here is another list of those that could really use them:  Torell, Jackie, Nicole, Sehna Family, Miner Family, Marcell, Linda, Jeanette, Vu family, Macneil Family, Bro. Griffee, Lizz, Koirala Family, David, and Sarah.

Thank you all!  You are the best!

Elder Beckstead

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wild Weather and Jeffrey's Testimony

Hello Everyone!

I want to start by telling you I love you all and I hope that you are all doing great! I really appreciate all the emails I have been receiving as of late. It has been amazing!

Alright, so this week has been just down straight awesome. I can't even explain how amazing it is to be a missionary. Every time I try to put it into words, I just can't find words great enough to show the joy and, well, incredible feelings that come. It is the most fantastic part of my life thus far, and I am so glad to be here. For all of you who have already had the chance to serve the Lord as I am, whether through a mission, marriage, or church service, fully applying yourself to be the Lord's hands, remember the feelings that you have about it and praise God for it.  For all of you who are yet preparing to serve, look forward with excitement for it, and expect it to be beyond description. It is hard, harder than anything I have ever done. But every second is absolutely worth it.

The weather here has been pretty neat for me. I got to experience a few new things here, such as an electrical storm that seemed like a strobe light outside the window, as well as seeing a ton of lightening but hearing almost no thunder. Also, we had a pretty torrential (by normal Utah standards) downpour followed by a light misting type rain that is just annoying. Thankfully, things have cooled off a lot. I am so very grateful for that!

I must end this email with an incredible story that has cemented itself in my heart. On Wednesday, we had a zone training thing, and other meetings that took up most of the day, frustrating my companion and me as it overruled our plans. It was awesome to learn how we could be better missionaries and receive the revelation and guidance from the Lord through our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, but we had only the evening to try and put them into practice. The Lord blessed us for our desires to work with a young boy named Jeffrey. He is 6 years old and is  a part of an active family we had dinner with. Our mission is teaching the lessons to our members to build their confidence in us, as well as help them know what a lesson will look like with their friends, and also help them know how they too can do missionary work.  As we were over teaching Jeffrey's family, he was all over the place, as a six year old is prone to do. We tried to involve him, but we only had limited success. Sudden;y at the end of our lesson, Jeffrey got into a chair, listened to our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and Restoration of the Gospel attentively, and then bore a powerful testimony of his own.  For part of his testimony he shared his favorite story from the Book of Mormon: The Brother of Jared seeing the Lord.  He went into great detail, telling us how many stones there were, as well as exactly how many days it took the Jaradites to cross the ocean, then he finished with the words, "I know it is true, and I want to help others know it is true too, as a missionary like you."  Wow!  I had watery eyes, as did everyone else in the room. It was definitely one of the strongest witnesses I have have heard and felt of the Book of Mormon, ranking right up there with Elder Holland in General Conference. And to know that he looked up to Elder Eyre and me as the missionaries he wanted to be gave me the determination to never ever let him down, and be the very best example possible for this future powerful missionary.

I love you all!  keep your spirits high as you are always trusting in the Lord!

Elder Beckstead

3 Weeks in Kansas - Tasting Prison Food :)

Hi Everyone!

Boy, oh boy! I can't believe I have already been here in Kansas for Three weeks!  Time is flying by; it is so unfair!  At least I am doing what I can to enjoy it while I am here.

This week has been incredible, and we had a ton of miracles surface.  This week Elder Eyre and I were on bikes or on foot all week, and we had a ton of success while doing it.  It was great.  Some of the highlights include having a member go out with us, chalking up a sidewalk, and finding some new investigators.  Plus, I found out the prison food here tastes great!

We didn't have a lot of dinners planned this week. The ward is just having a little bit of trouble adjusting to the fact that they now have four young hungry teenagers to feed instead of two.  However, as we have done our best to work anyway, the Lord has provided.  On both Wednesday and Thursday, we didn't have dinners planned, but we worked to contact less active members and active members along with potentials and referrals in the areas we were working.  On Wednesday, an active family ended up inviting us in and telling us they had made way too much food, and gave the rest to us!  Thursday, a potential investigator just miraculously started making us sandwiches as we were talking to him.  The Lord sure does have his hand in everything!

Thursday night we also had an amazing member, Brother Vu, go out and teach with us.  We had a lesson planned, but it fell through, so we fell back onto "inspired tracting" which is basically knock on every door that you, or the member with you, gets prompted to knock.  We ended up having more success that way than with any other tracting I have done.  We also got to visit a recent convert here named Nicole who has been struggling.  It was really neat to see the Spirit fill her home when we were there, and see how happy she was to see us and tell us her favorite scripture (Alma 41:10, followed by Alma 32, and Moroni 9).

Friday night, we ate with a soon to be member who was in prison for five years.  He made us fried burritos (basically chimichungas) and prison cake (only two ingredients: oreos and carbonated soda).  It was really fattening, but at least I know what they eat in prison here. We did have a great time hearing his conversion story and how he has really had a mighty change of heart.  He is probably one of our favorite members here.
Elder Pack's birthday
Elder Pack's birthday decorations
Saturday was Elder Pack's birthday (he is one of my Zone Leaders, and also is one of my roommates).  He had about three cakes delivered, and about three dozen cupcakes given him by various sources.  It was so funny because he is a bit of a health guru and was trying to re-gift them all to me!  It didn't entirely work.  We did celebrate his birthday by trying a new finding activity: chalking up the institute sidewalk.  It was a ton of fun to put down references, golden questions, and so forth.  There wasn't as much traffic as we were hoping for that evening, but we know the chalk will stay there a while and get people thinking for days to come.

Chalking the sidewalk at the Institute
Sunday was awesome!  Mukund and his daughter Mitrie (spelling that one how it sounds to me) came to church, and loved it!  We didn't have any plans for lessons, be the night before we put down a list of people to try and contact.  One of them was a non-member referral, and we were told she was super busy and might only be available on Mondays; the Spirit prompted us to put her down anyway.  We then followed our plans and were able to talk to almost everyone of them, and set up return appointments with all but one that we talked to!  And, this lady who was supposedly only available on Mondays had received a schedule change for Sundays off, and that was the only time we would have caught her.  Wow!  She also knows a recent convert that lives in her same building complex!  The Lord sure knows what is going on with his children, and is preparing them to be taught the gospel.

I realized I have been neglecting a list of those who could use prayers, so here is a pretty nice list for you.  The Miners (especially Landon), Sister Mallett, Linda, Jackie and Trinity, Germaine Miller, the Mainvilles, Marcell, the Griffees, the Koiralas, Mike and Brandy, Amber and Bryant, Sister Rodriguez, Jesse and Jessica, the Siegs, the Mondays, and the Killens.

I love you all tons! Keep being amazing!

Elder Beckstead

Friday, September 6, 2013

Birthday, Housing Challenges & Blessings for Working Hard

Hello Everyone!

So, where to start!  This week has been one of the most interesting that I have had in the mission field, for sure.  First of all, this week looks horrible number wise, but it has been pretty amazing and filled with the Spirit otherwise.  Although we drew blanks in a bunch of our key indicator categories, we set up this next week to be super good and make up for a little bit.  It is so great!

Some of the highlights that have been a part of this crazy week were the fact that we have been having a bit of a housing crisis, we started teaching this incredible family from Nepal, and when we were completely out of things to do and people to see, the Lord provided miracles.  A birthday was in there somewhere too.
Happy 19th Birthday!
Regarding housing: the Sisters got kicked out of the place they were living because the family had a bit of a crisis. This resulted in Elder Eyre and I getting booted out of our apartment and going to live with the Zone Leaders, who happen to also be covering our ward with us.  This happened on Wednesday; we got mattresses on Thursday, and by Sunday we had full beds. On top of that, every Wednesday another set of Elders came to sleep over for a meeting, so we had a crammed home with everyone on the floor our first night.

Makund and Devi are the Nepali couple we are teaching.  We picked them up on Wednesday and talked to them Saturday too.  They have been taught by other Elders for months, and really are amazing.  They have already come to church for about 4 months, although they didn't come much during the summer. They already have testimonies, and know it is true, and the only thing keeping them from being baptized is that they plan on going back to Nepal, and they don't want to have to be made fun of because they aren't Hindu (it would be hard for them, like their families disowning them and their friends shunning them).  We are working on figuring out how we can help them have courage to trust in the Lord and keep all of his commandments.
Kansas State Fans? Maybe this will help so no more sandwiches are thrown :)
Several times this week we really ran out of stuff to do, and the Lord provided for us because we were trying.  Once. we were completely stumped on what to do next, so we said a prayer and Elder Eyre had the idea for us to go and visit all the hispanic potentials the other Elders gave us.  None of them were home, but outside of the door of one of their homes we ran into Brother Miller, a man who had been investigating in a different city and had moved here, losing contact with the church.  We were able to refer him to some missionaries covering his ward.  It was so cool!
See the bunnies?
I must also give a huge thanks for all the letters, gifts, and emails given to me for my birthday.  You guys are all great!  I love you so much!  

Keep up the good work and watch miracles flow according to your faith,

Elder Beckstead

Made It to Kansas - Mayonnaise Miracle

Hello Everyone!

WOW! I have finally made it out here and it is INCREDIBLE!  Since the last time I had the chance to email (which was almost two weeks ago, I think) so much has happened, and so many memories have been made.  I just don't even know where to start, and I guarantee I will miss many of the miracles due to a complete lack of time I have to email.
MTC District - Elder Beckstead District Leader

I guess I should finish off my MTC experience first.  It was great to be able to be there and see a new district come and, and have all of my district be the experienced ones.  We were able to learn even more as we ushered in the new ones and I think it really helped solidify what we were learning. One of the Elders going to India didn't get his visa, and was reassigned to the Idaho Twin Falls Mission.  It was really cool to be able to testify to him that it really didn't matter where he served because if you are doing it right, you will fall in love with the people and never want to leave.  That really helped our district rally together even more to support him.  Then we left!  Early (like 2:30) Tuesday morning we were shipped up to the airport and flew in to Minnesota (someone tell Joe!) then down to Wichita.  Our second plane was probably 60% missionaries because there were so many of us and it was so small.
Wonderful members welcomed us to Kansas

Largest "mountain" in Kansas :)
Kansas., wonderful Kansas!  My first impression has been that it is a bit more humid than I am used to, and a lot more hilly than I was expecting.  After the interviews meetings and stuff, they shipped me up to Manhattan with Elder Eyre (pronounced air) to work.  That is where K-State is located, just so you know.  Anyway, there is one of the biggest hills in all of Kansas right between me and my area.   Also, we live in an apartment right across the street from campus, right next to a fraternity house, for now at least.  That is irrelevant but interesting fact of the day that will become important later.  My area is amazing though, and Elder Eyre is a complete Boss.  We are going to get along amazing and really tear it up as best we can out here.
Kansas State University
Now to the miracles out in the field.  First, on Saturday we were riding our bikes to our area to go and contact some former investigators.  Our route takes us down a road with campus on one side and aggieville (all the bars and such) on the other side. As we were riding down the street, someone threw a turkey sandwich at us, and nailed me in the face.  The miracle is that the Lord made sure I was out of contact solution so I was wearing glasses.  This means that all the mayonnaise from the sandwich splattered over my face and glasses, but didn't get into my eye.  It is a good thing I am working for the One who knows everything and will protect me.
Elder Beckstead & Elder Eyre
Second, we had an appointment set up with this super sweet young potential investigator yesterday, but when we knocked on her door, there was no answer.  On our route on the way over, we had seen the other person we had planned for our backup loading his car with his laundry, so we didn't know where to go.  We counseled on the doorstep for about five minutes before starting to walk away.  Just then, Jackie answered the door!  We ended up having an amazing lesson with her and  she is now planning on being baptized!  It is amazing to see how the Lord's hand is guiding each and every minute.

Love you all!  Keep working hard and trusting in the Lord!

Elder  Beckstead

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lovin' the MTC!

Hello everyone!

This is Elder Beckstead reporting in after 1 week at the MTC.  It has been very different, but very enjoyable. There has been a ton going on and I LOVE it.  I am staying up on the main campus until next Tuesday (Aug 20th), when I get to leave at 2:30 AM (meaning I basically leave Monday night).  I am excited to be learning new skills to take out and apply as a missionary in Kansas.

Elder Beckstead and Elder Chung
My companion's name is Elder Chun.  He is a great Elder from California, who is also 1/4 Chinese, and 1/4 Hawaiian.  What a combination!  He is amazing as are the rest of the missionaries in our district.  In total, there are 6 Elders and 4 Sisters.  Also interesting to know is that all of us in the district are headed to Kansas except for two of the Elders who are headed to to the India Bangalore mission.
MTC District
It has been pretty cool to be taught up here. Role plays are great because we take them super seriously, and I am confident having seen how the Lord can provide revelation through them.  It has been amazing to see the growth of the other missionaries, who at first were really timid and had no confidence starting a gospel conversation, and now are just rolling with the Spirit like no other.  Plus, the teachers are providing new study techniques and ideas that neither of my trainers ever did, so I am learning a lot too.

MTC District at the Provo Temple
We have already had some trials in our district that have caused some serious stress.  On the first day, Elder Hisler got sick, and Thursday they had to take him to the emergency room.  He then stayed in the ICU until Saturday afternoon while they got him under control.  He is type 1 diabetic and getting sick completely messed with his blood sugar, so it took a while to get it back under control.  That was a wonderful reunion when he was able to return to his companion. Also, a couple of the role plays have been somewhat disturbing for the missionaries.  Elders Rees and Sharma got an investigator who refuses to feel the Spirit, always joking it off, while Sisters Gurr and Judynever got in the door, but got yelled at.  Thank goodness the Lord is strengthening us and helping us!

Yesterday at devotional we had Elder Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come and speak to us. I was in the choir (which was HUGE) and it was a super neat experience. His entire talk was about prayer and how the Lord will often give us the answer of no answer so that we will grow, followed by wonderful feelings of success. We are to act and he will bless us so much! And, if the decision we make is not correct, he will warn us before something too bad happens. He also told us that if we fail in a lesson, try again having learned something, and we will be blessed of the Lord--he used Nephi getting the gold plates as an example for that. I sure thought that was amazing.  The district review afterward was amazing too, and about half of district cried openly as they bore their testimonies (yes, I am guilty of that), while the rest cried more subtly.  I think we used an entire box of tissues.
The Day Elder Beckstead entered the MTC with the only girls allowed to give him a hug!
Anyway, things are still going great! Thanks again for everything!

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last Week in SLC

Hello Everyone!

This week has been insane!  It started off really slow, but we continued to work and work and things started happening towards the end.  It has been really cool to be able to tell people where I am going, but pretty sad to know that I may not see them again for a while.  I'm just trying to do my best to forget that last part and help as many people as possible in the last few days I am here.

So, we get to go to FHE's all across the stake on Monday night, and I am s

tarting to see that as we do so, the members are seeing us and starting to get excited.  I don't know how it is going to be elsewhere in the state, but here in our mission, we are working towards being able to have at least one set of missionaries per stake.  This last week we got to see some of the reward of letting people see us as we hit three different FHE's and every single one of have people they wanted us to meet.  It is fantastic!

Wednesday was interesting because we got to go to the Salt Lake City days of 47 Parade for a few hours in the morning.  There was only one stipulation: we had to contact and look for referrals while we were there.  That was sure interesting.  Our entire district got one street on both sides between 300 and 400.  That meant there were eight of us crawling up and down that section of road for a few hours, plus the fact that other companionships would walk past us to their assigned areas.  Elder Cooper and I did our best to talk to everyone, but people either got annoyed because they were trying to watch the parade, or they had already talked to at least one other set of missionaries. We didn't have very much success, especially compared to the sisters (who got like 30 referrals).
We also got to have an authentic southern meal cooked by an investigator.  That was great!  SOme of the best fried chicken I have ever eaten.  His beans were also great, second only to Grandpa B's famous baked beans.  I loved it, and Anthony (the investigator) committed to coming to church.

Friday was cool because Elder Cooper had to do a couple of interviews for the Spanish Elders, and I got to practice my Spanish while they waited.  It was pretty funny for me to talk to the visa waiting Elder, because his Spanish was still awful. Then again, the Elder from Argentina completely blew me out of the water.  It was a lot of fun either way.

One of the new investigators we picked up this week, Dyllan, was great.  He moved here from California about a month ago, and the very first thing he did--before he even unpacked his stuff--was to go to his 9 year old cousin's baptism.  What a way to be introduced to the Gospel!  He came to church this Sunday and loved it, and we have a couple more lessons with him set up for this next week.  He is such a great man, and I expect that he will join the church very soon, and fit in very nicely.

Sunday was the most crazy one I have ever had in the area.  We were able to stop in to 6 of our nine wards (remember that 7 of the nine sacrament meetings are a 1:00), we spoke in two of them, and we went to a couple of ward mission meetings on top of that.  We blew through so many miles it wasn't even funny, but it was necessary.  We are sure glad that everything was able to work out the way it was because we were able to pick up another new investigator with an amazing story.  She lives in Washington and got a scholarship to play softball for some school up there.  A few weeks ago she came down to live with her cousin's family for a few weeks.  She somehow got a hold of the singles ward, came and already has something like 1500 friends in this area (only a slight exaggeration). Anyway, she felt the Spirit so much she wants to stay, so she is working on transferring to Weber State!  She is actually going beack to Washington this week for a short time, but she wants to get baptized as soon as she can, so when we have her schedule figured out we are going to plan to get her wet.  It is amazing!

Thanks for all your prayers!  We see so many miracles every day, and they are in part because of your thoughtfulness.  Keep up the good work, and remember that miracles can happen wherever you are!  you just have to look for them.

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Here We Go!

Hello Everyone!

By now you have probably already heard the news, but I will tell you again anyways.  I am going to be serving in the Kansas Wichita Mission! It is definitely bitter sweet, because I am extremely excited to meet new people over in Kansas, but I am so sad that I have to leave all of the great people I have met here.  It is going to be hard for sure.

This last week has been a crazy one filled with lots of exchanges.  I basically had to run my area for the entire week while Elder Cooper got to go see the rest of our district and how it was running.  It was pretty fun.  I learned a lot from the other Elders, and I picked up a few great skills.  There is one huge miracle that happened on Friday, while I was with an interesting missionary named Elder Studer.  First of all, I loved the day I spent with him because we were obedient to a T in every aspect that we knew how to be obedient.  I LOVED it and felt so happy the entire time. When we were out contacting a list of people the Layton YSA Ward didn't know, we got the feeling to knock on the door on either side of the one we were actually there to contact. On one side, we met the YSA ward clerk's wife.  On the other was an interested non-member named Mike.  What a huge testimony to listen to the Spirit!

Other than just trying to find new people, this week has been pretty slow.  We did not have very many lessons, and we haven't been getting very many referrals, that is until Sunday.  We had the opportunity to have our Stake President speak in the Northridge Ward, and at the end of his talk, we passed out 3"x5" cards to all the members and asked them to write their name and contact info non it.  Then, we had them turn it over and write down the name of someone they committed to invite to/back to church.  We ended up with 53 cards with 1-5 names on them!  It is so exciting!  We hope that will help us stay busy as well as finding us people who already have fellowship to go and teach.  And, it also started the members to get excited.  Even if we only have a few of those names actually do something, the members will have already caught the missionary spirit, and we can have everyone not waiting by looking for experiences to share the gospel.  It is going to be so great!

Hope you all are also catching the fire!  Remember it is a commandment for us to share the word once we have received it!  Think of a friend, and make plans as soon as you are done reading this to invite them.  If you are scared, find a returned missionary and role play (practice) inviting them a few times to help it seem less awkward. I promise you will feel amazing as you take action.  It really is the best feeling in the world to know that you are saving your friends and family.

Thanks for letting jump on my soap box there for a second! Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

I expect a report on how it goes next week in an email. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Miracle Week

Hello everyone!

This week has been an incredible one. Truly the Lord's hand has been present in the work. There have been so many miracles that have happened, as always seems to be the case, but this week has had some very big ones that were very easy to see

First of all, Caitlyn was baptized! We were first able to make contact with her this at a Family Home Evening activity. While Elder Cooper went and talked with another investigator, I sat and talked with Caitlyn and just tried to continue to gain her trust. It must have worked because she set up another appointment to meet with us just two days later on Wednesday. That day happened to be exchanges day, and I was with a nice Elder named Elder Baier. We went over to our lesson after much prayer and discussion about what we could do to help Caitlyn feel the Spirit and have a desire to be baptized again. In the lesson, we began by talking about how the Spirit is the greatest gift that our Heavenly Father can give us in this life. We then started to discuss what had kept her from keeping her commitment to be baptized so that we could find and help her concern. She just said that a few personal things had happened in her life and that she had come under a ton of stress. She then said she still wanted to get baptized and felt like this was the month! We immediately asked her to kneel with us and pray for a date. After a wonderful prayer we just sat there and listened. We waited for almost ten minutes in silence on our knees before Caitlyn commented, "I feel the wind of flags; I think I need to be baptized this weekend!" AWESOME! We proceeded to figure it all out and prepare, as well as telling her that the last time she had her date set, the adversary threw everything he had at her. Now, he would do the same, but she was strong enough to overcome and obey God's command. It was super, super neat. She was baptized Saturday at a very nice service and confirmed just yesterday. We are so happy for her!

Next, the stake also held a special fast for missionary work and to end the drought here in the region. It truly worked, as about halfway through the fast we got a call from one of our ward mission leaders.  He informed us that Jordan had borne her testimony in Sacrament meeting and said she was getting baptized! He then set up a date with her to be baptized on the 10 August, and that is what we are planning for now.  It will be so much fun to go over to see her tomorrow and see how the lesson goes now that she has truly accepted it. Man, I love preaching the Gospel!

Finally, Tobi asked ME to confirm him a member of the church. That was something I had never done before, and it was an incredible experience. As we laid our hands upon his head, I totally forgot that I was speaking into a microphone in front of 150 people and just said what came to me.  There is a definite power that comes from the Holy Ghost. I testify that I felt it. It was so cool. It was also pretty funny because Tobi was a little intimidated by everyone in the circle giving him hugs. He didn't quite know what to do, so he just stood there. We helped him figure it out, and it was nice. He is going to be a great support to his ward. Hopefully they can keep up the good work and continue to do missionary work.

I hope all of you are taking advantage of missionary opportunities the Lord is giving you! There is no greater feeling (at least, that I have felt) than the feeling that comes from making another person's life better and happier. Not by chance, the Gospel is the best way to do that. Keep up the good work.

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Monday, July 1, 2013

Baptism Every Week

Hello all!  I have lots to tell you about my time out here, and I will probably forget lots of it. I hope you enjoy the details I remember to provide!
Xane being introduced to horses. Such a city boy!

First I must say that being in this area with a different companion has been interesting.  There are many things that Elder Cooper and I don't see eye to eye, and there have been a few times that have gotten me a little frustrated.  Thankfully, I am learning a ton from the experience, and growing a lot as it happens.  I love how the Lord can help strengthen us and help us become better if we let Him.

Elder Cooper, Tobi and Elder Beckstead
Yesterday we had a baptism for Tobi!  His name is actually Jose Carlos Parra Zamudio.  He goes by a name that isn't even found in his real name (I get along with him really well!). Anyway, it was a fantastic service, and both Sarah (who we met this week) and Jordan were able to attend.  The Spirit is so strong and undeniable when you see someone make the big step of baptism to come closer to Christ. I think Jordan even had some tears. YES! We are excited to see how our next meeting goes with her.

Let me tell you a little about the miracle investigator named Sarah.  We found her as we went from one family home evening activity to another.  Elder Cooper "just chose" a ward and when we arrived, Alisha (her fellowshipper) knocked on our window asking why we were there.  We responded that we were just going from ward to ward.  She told us to come meet her nonmember friend!  Alisha has been off her mission for two years, and together we have met with Sarah 3 times this week.  She is reading, praying and progressing pretty well.  Also, she is praying to know if she should be baptized on the 13!  All in all, she's great!
Elder Beckstead taking a rest on a cool chair!

This week has been really slow for finding.  We have pretty much contacted everyone on the lists of less-active members that the wards have given us so far, so we are running out of things to do.  Tracting would be interesting because every other house would be a member, and of those nonmember homes, less than half would be young single adults.  We also don't have any unbaptized lists for our wards because you have to request your records to be sent to the YSA ward for them to transfer. Pray for us to find useful stuff to do this next week.

Along with those prayers, here is a list of investigators and nonmembers that could use a prayer or ten: Caitlyn Moran, Jordan Little, Sarah Finch, Morgan Espinoza, Mina Went, Tobi Zamudio, Brooke, Jeff, James Hoang, Sarah Gouldby, Taylor Olsen, Igore Gorgeveski, Trista Riley, Thea Iverson, Emily Randquist, Troy Miller, Aubree Leyvas, Anthony, Karen Koy, and Alejandro.

Thanks all! Love you tons.

Elder Beckstead

What a Week of Tranfers :)

Hello everyone!

Holy smokes this has been a crazy week.  So many things have happened.  I guess I will just start at the beginning and try and get through it all.

Monday we had a fantastic lesson with Caitlyn.  We got everything squared away, and even had her practice with the person baptizing her and everything, we left super excited.  Then, throughout the week, things fell apart.  We got a call from her step-dad telling us she wasn't ready. Then, she didn't come to the baptismal interview on Wednesday and brought up a couple concerns.  We set up an appointment for Friday to resolve them, and she didn't come to that either.  As we called her we never got in contact with her either, and she is still off the grid as of now.  To make things eve worse, her ward and fellowshippers all went on the super activity and left her behind.  She didn't end up getting baptized, and she really needs some prayers.  She knows it is true, and wants to get baptized eventually.  We just need to meet her and help her realize you don't have to be perfect to be baptized.

Wednesday was transfer day, and it was interesting.  We packed up all our stuff and headed down to the mission home to see who our new companions would be.  Elder Steiner ended up getting transferred out to be my zone leader here in Layton.  His prayers were totally answered.  I got a new companion named Elder Cooper.  He is also the district leader for this district.  He is a very different missionary from Elder Steiner, but we get along very well together.  One interesting aspect about him that I am still getting used to is the fact he talks very little in lessons.  He just came from the Swahili branch here in Salt Lake where he used translators to teach, and had to keep things extra, super simple.  He was there for a while and is now trying to relearn how to teach "white people."  We also moved apartments to this great place the sisters used to live in.  It is way big and clean, and has everything we need, so i like it a lot.  Another set of Elders is also living with us for the time being.  Elder Bickley and Elder Rackliff.  Elder Rackliff came out the same time as me.  The address is 665N 400W #1Kaysville, UT 84037.

This week we had a ton of people cancel lessons with us (such as Caitlyn twice, Sean rescheduled twice, etc.)  so we just did a lot of contacting.  That was fun because we don't have any good maps (we even when to a map store and they didn't have one useful for us) and Elder Steiner took the GPS.  We got lost often.  Thankfully, dinner appointments were very helpful over the phone to help guide us, as were our bishops.

We did have the weirdest lesson I have had with this young lady named Jordan.  She was super nervous, and had apparently taken some red bull before hand.  That made her super off the wall, and we decided she had the attention span of a goldfish. She also giggled a lot every time it got a little quiet. We tried to teach the restoration, but also covered about half of the gospel of Christ, as well as the spirit world and resurrection of the plan of salvation.  It was weird.

Tobi is still on date for next week, although there are a few bumps to overcome.  We are praying hard to see what to do, and we could use your prayers as well.  Oh, and if you didn't get to see the broadcast Sunday, go online, watch it, then help the missionaries in your area.  We love it when the members help us, because we are able to use our time to actually help a lot.

Love you all.  Thank you for your prayers!

Elder Beckstead

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Troy & Tobi. Last District Meeting Together in Layton

Hello all!

This week we had some interesting things happen, and we definitely saw the adversary working hard to fight us and stop people from being baptized.  This mainly happened with two of our investigators, Troy and Tobi.  I'll tell you about Troy first.

So, Troy was originally on date for last Saturday (8 June) but we decided to push things back a week because the we felt we were going to fast, and he wasn't picking it up completely.  Well, Satan caught a hold of that delay and did everything he could to continue to delay it.  First of all, we wasn't at church last week and we couldn't get in contact with him.  He wasn't responding to texts or calls, and basically seemed like he had fallen off the face of the planet.  On Tuesday, I was on exchanges because Elder Steiner had a leadership training meeting (I'll talk more about that interesting experience later).  He was praying for me the entire time to be able to get in contact with Troy, and his prayer was answered.  I was able to call him and set up an apointment to meet with him the next day, as well as a baptismal interview time, and finally, we also talked about the time of his baptism. it was great.

When we met with him on Wednesday, we found out that his work had completely changed his schedule to graveyard: 4:00 PM ~ 3:00 AM, and that is why he had been unable to meet with us.  He still wanted to get baptized, but he told us that he wanted to push it back another week.  his reason was fine, to be baptized for himself and not his girlfriend, but it was not the spirit this time.  We asked him about his belief in God, the Book of Mormon, and the truthfulness of the church.  As he responded yes, we assured him we should move forward.  Then, with true inspiration guiding us, we had him kneel down and pray with us about what he should do. After a the prayer and a pause we asked how he felt.  "Good," was his reply.  Elder Steiner said he felt good, I said I felt great and so did our member, and Troy said, "Okay, lets do it Saturday."  It was so awesome.

Troy's baptism
Elder Steiner, Troy & Elder Beckstead

Then, we couldn't reserve the church because the guy who gave reservations wouldn't contact the ward mission leader back.  We just did it anyway.  Also, Troy was actually late to his own baptism, and to top it off, the person baptizing had never done it before.  That sure made it interesting. nonetheless, the spirit was there as strong as ever, and it was incredible.

The adversary worked on Tobi in a different way.  We were led to him by the Nelson family, and they opened their home to have the lessons for him, that is, until Sunday.  What happened was that one of the Nelson boys did something very wrong and got arrested.  This made the daughter, also Tobi's girlfriend, freak out and just leave.  With all the commotion, the Nelson family called us and told us that there would not be any more lessons in their home.  Tobi didn't make it to church and we so far have been unable to contact him.  We know he can and will be strong, but we have a lot of opposition at the moment.  Hopefully we can get back into contact with him very soon.

This week was our last meeting together as a district, and that was interesting.  One of the Sisters goes home on Monday, so we celebrated with her.  She cried a lot.  I totally understand why.  I'm really going to miss this place and all the wonderful people I have taught and worked with.

Anyway, I hope you all are doing great!  I invite you to look for blessings the spirit gives you this week and share them.  I also ask that you pray for our mission to reach our goal of 3500 baptisms this year and do all you can to help whatever missionaries are in your area.  We really have a much better time when you help us.  I promise.
Xane's awesome sandwich
At least he's not starving!

Love you guys!

Elder Beckstead
Awesome Layton Sunset

Monday, June 17, 2013

Great Week With Baptism & Miracles

Hello all!

This week has been yet again amazing.  I absolutely love being a missionary.
Beautiful sunset see from our apartment
Monday was pretty interesting.  P-Day was fun, as we had a zone basketball get together.  Being tall sure is an advantage there.  Afterwards was even better though.  We went on splits so that i could go down to temple square and my companion could teach and finalize things with Aubree.  Things went well with him, and great with me.  We were planning to do the tour for an investigator named Brooke along with her friend Rachel who is coming back to church.  Brooke had something come up and cancelled on us which totally threw a wrench into our plans, but Rachel brought her less-active sister instead.  We still taught the restoration by using the statues (we being myself and some temple square sisters) before going in and watching the God's Plan video.  That video is amazing and makes pretty much everyone cry the first time they see it.  We were able to commit both Rachel and her sister to try and get to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, and eventually be worthy to be sealed there.  It was incredible.

Tuesday also went well, although it was a lot less exciting.  We visited one of Elder Steiner's recent converts from the area who had the middle lobe of his right lung removed last week.  He was actually doing great, and they are going to have us over for dinner tonight with a YSA (less-active or maybe non-member).  I did go on exchanges with Elder Jackman so that Elder Steiner and Elder Mbawa could teach a young lady they both knew previously.  That lesson fell through so that wasn't good, but what can we do except keep trying.

Wednesday was just a lot of contacting less-active members most of whom are not home in the afternoon.  The evening got better with another trip down to temple square, this time with Caleb.  We showed him the temple exhibit where you get to see all the rooms inside the temple.  It was perfect for him.  He has really been going through a hard time: his girlfriend dumped him, his car got impounded, a lot of his friends have left him, and other such nonsense.  Thankfully, he has been buoyed up by the spirit and can see that coming back to church has really helped him.  We are trying to help him keep that attitude.

District meeting was great as usual on Thursday.  We have so many good laughs and times together, and our District Leader does a fine job of bringing the spirit into each part of the meeting.  It makes us look forward to them each week.
Friday was amazing.  Aubree was finally baptized and what a baptism it was.  To begin, we had a miscommunication and there were no baptismal clothes for her.  Our assistant ward mission leader ended up just bringing his mothers temple dress, which we made work.  Next, there were so many people there we couldn't fit into the Relief Society room, so we moved everyone over into the chapel. Elder Steiner conducted and he loved it.  The baptism and confirmation were both done and it was truly amazing.  While Aubree changed into dry clothes, Elder Steiner and I taught the restoration to everyone there, and invited them all to be baptized.  That really helped keep the spirit there.  A huge miracle ended up happening because of this baptism.  Another set of Elders has been working with this exchange student from Germany and they had stalled.  She said she knew it was true but that she might still want to break the word of wisdom and other things.  The district leader was on exchanges with them and helped them get her to the baptism.  After it was over, she came up to him and asked, "How long would it take for me to get registered for baptism?"  They did the interview right then and there!

Saturday was nice because more of our young single adults were home when we went to go see them.  Unfortunately no referrals came out of it, but one of the young ladies we went to see met with the bishop yesterday, so we might have made a difference there.

Sunday was great as usual.  One of the Young ladies we were teaching (Caitlyn) was transferred to the bountiful missionaries where she lived.  It didn't go as well as we though and she was super discouraged, so much so that she fell off date and told us she with meet with us again in a few weeks.  We scrambled forces and with the help of some of her friends in one of our wards helped her get to church.  We sat by her and just helped her be more positive.  Later that night we taught her a great lesson and now she is totally ready to go.  She is even back on date for the 22 of June!  The spirit really worked on her, and we are going to get permission to baptize her in our ward where her fellowship is.

We also finally had our first lesson with Toby.  He is an amazingly ready young man and the lesson went great.  His girlfriend (very less-active) was also there, but didn't take to it nearly as well.  It is pretty funny because when we committed them both to read the Book of Mormon she was like "maybe, sure" and he was like "Yes!" Then he said, 'We'll read it together!" That totally made my day.  He also accepted a baptismal date for the 29 of June.  We are so excited for him, and hopefully he will be able to get his girlfriend as excited about it as he is.

That sums up my great week!  Here are investigators and Less actives that I am working with that would use prayers:
Troy, Caitlyn, Toby, Alejandro, Brooke, Jeff, James, Karen, Morgan, Anthony, Taylor, Aubree, Emily, Thea, Rachel, Caleb, Jacqulyn, Bridget, Tara

Thanks everyone! You are all loved

Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Update for this week

So I'll just begin at last week

We had a great P-Day and got to go to this place that hooked us up with a free afternoon of play called get-air.  It is similar to jump-on-it or power tumbling.  Anyway, I was able to do my first backflip on a tramp, which was scary, but fun.  We had to leave early to go to a lesson with some less-actives who were also feeding us a barbeque.  It ended up being a night full of surprises and miracles.

So first, the food was great.  The best part was the watermelon with lime.  You have to try it because it is amazing.  Anyway, we had Caleb, Rachel, and a newcomer Brooke there (Rachel's friend).  We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we got to baptism, I was inspired to ask if everyone there was baptized.  Brooke said no!  After that we started focusing on her, and it was quite the change up. We didn't learn it there but we found out afterward that Caleb and Rachel had also broken up.  Oops.  We did get through the lesson fine, and then they asked if we could go to temple square and get a tour.  We said absolutely, and saw it as the perfect opportunity to feel the spirit and invite Brooke to be baptized.  That is happening tonight, so I will let you know how that goes.

By Tuesday, we were completely walking.  We had parked our car because i think we had only 16 miles left.  It was a hard day because we had not appointments and just covered a ton of miles.  Plus, it was raining, and at one point hailing, so we were slogging through a bunch of water soaked socks and pants.  We did take umbrellas which helped some.  A miracle was that we were working in an area Elder Steiner was assigned to so we were able to stop by some of his recent converts and try to get referrals from them.  It also got us out of the rain for a bit.  It is super cool for him because he has three families in this area who are going to the temple in the next few months, so he will get to go with them.

Wednesday was interesting because we went on exchanges.  I got to go with Elder von Kampen again in his area while Elder Robinson (DL) was with my companion.  It was very different, and fun because my area overlaps his area and we were able to visit some of the less active singles when we had time.  My backpack was a great blessing because it help all the stuff I needed.  I have a picture of me ready to go back home from the other apartment.  It was fun, but very different, and I am definitely glad to be back in my own apartment.

Thursday we had a zone meeting which was great.  We were trained on going to ward councils and coordinating with the members in the area to get more referrals and work done.  My zone leaders are great, and they even gave us a ride to our appointment with Aubree after the meeting. She is doing super solid and is totally ready and excited for her baptism.  After the lesson we had another huge miracle happen.  So a couple weeks ago we happened to sit next to the only non-member present in one of our ward sacrament meetings without knowing he wasn't a member.  That was only pointed out to us after the fact. (His name is Anthony by the way.)  On Thursday as we walked, this nice man offered a ride and we accepted.  When we got in the car and told him we were the YSA missionaries he told us we should visit this man who lived with him named (thats right) Anthony!  We are going to have to get on that young man because the Lord is definitely paving the way for us.

Friday was our last day walking, and we were tired.  We had no success in the afternoon or evening.  We wouldn't have even had any lessons except these two guys came up to me and asked what our church believed.  Elder Steiner was actually in the restroom at the time so i have a quick 3 minute restoration and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon.  That was sure interesting, but fun.  Hopefully I planted a seed that can be harvested by another set of missionaries in their home stake. Dinner was interesting that day too because we ate with a returned mission president. He was super strict, but he sure had some fun spiritual experiences to share.

Saturday was awesome.  We had our car back, and we got in almost all the homes we contacted. In addition, all the of people were very nice and just needed some help coming back to church through fellowshipping.  We ended up eating dinner with a relief society president in one of our wards and we are super excited because that was is going to get fully behind us.  We even got a referral for a prospect that has a member boyfriend and has been coming to church.

Sunday was many meetings as usual.  I was able to go to my first ward council meeting, and the bishop there is ready to do anything he can to help us.  Then we were able to make it to four different wards: (two sacrament meeting and a priesthood and a sunday school).  That was long, but fun because of the testimony meetings.  It was sad for us though because we didn't see any of our investigators at church.  For dinner we had taro leaf and pork at this polynesian lady's house, and she tried to make us eat enough to feed a family of 6.  It was good, and I thought of Trevor and Grandpa as we ate.  The best part of the day was a fireside we got to go to.  Elder Christofferson was the main speaker and he spoke on good counsel. Troy was able to go with us and that was amazing.  His wife also spoke on hope, and together they were amazing.  Afterward we were able to shake their hands.  It was awesome.

This week people that could use prayers:
Aubree, Troy, Brooke, Rachel, Caleb, Jeff, James, Toby, The Nelson Family (especially Brielle--she went into the ER for a few hours on Saturday), Taylor, Anthony , Emily, Thea, Bridget, Tara and Jacqulyn.

Love you all!

Elder Beckstead

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Week + Pictures :)

Hey Mom, and Everyone else!

This week has been pretty nuts. So first of all, there are some people that could use some prayers.  Aubree is going to get baptized next week, and is super solid, but we think that the adversary will mount a big attack. Troy is also getting baptized, but I think he will need some help as well.  Thea is in the hospital so she definitely needs help.  James could always use some help and prayers to feel the spirit.  Anthony has been coming to church and we need some prayers so we can get ahold of him, and the same with Toby.  Thanks all!

So, on Tuesday, Elder Steiner and a bunch of other people had a training meeting to go to in Salt Lake.  So, I got to go on exchanges with Elder von Kampen and Elder Faulkner.  Elder Faulkner has the same type call as mine (he is from West Jordan), and Elder von Kampen is also very new. in fact, between the three of us, I think we had about 2 months of mission experience.  It was interesting to say for sure.  I got to bike around on a lousy bike, but it was fun.  We got to contact a lot of people who need to start coming back to church, and we did see a lot of them.  It is pretty cool to feel the spirit when you get three guys who are just super excited to do the work, but have no idea what we are doing.

That night was also crazy because we had a lesson with Aubree (which was great) on the opposite side of our area from another lesson with Troy.  We ended up being almost half an hour late, and it was bad.  Both lessons went great though, and the spirit was definitely there.  They are both getting excited to be baptized.

Wednesday was hard because all we did was contacting less active members.  The worst part was that we went all day, knocking on over 30 doors, and at least 8 of them had moved, and not a single one was home.  It was great to narrow down the list for the ward, but it wasn't a lot of fun.

Thursday we had a great district meeting.  Our district is such a hoot.  They are always making jokes, and the way we choose prayers is by using our fingers as guns, and whoever has the most guns pointed at them prays.  A little odd, but definitely fun.

Friday and Saturday got interesting because we are basically out of miles.  It is bad.  We walked all of those days, and will probably be walking the next few.  We didn't even have the miles to drive to the church to play basketball, so we just ran (yuck) and did our own workout. I give a special thanks to Trevor here for the jump rope.

Church was crazy as usual, and we had most of our investigators at church.  We also had an emergency speaking opportunity when we got about 10 seconds notice, at least I did.  Elder Steiner got to prepare while I spoke.  It was actually pretty fun, and a huge testimony builder because the spirit spoke to them, not me.

Pray for me to be able to get what we need to do on foot!

Love you guys a ton!

Elder Beckstead

P.S. I hope you guys can get the pictures! One is of me and my companion

 another of me and one of my WML after a color run activity
another of Emily and her baptizer with us
another of my apartment
and one each of Elder Faulkner
 and Elder von Kampen.

  Also one more with Elder Jackman and Elder Mbawa