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