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