Monday, September 29, 2014

Message of Miracles

Hello everyone!

Wow. Well, I don't think it is possible to describe the feelings of gratitude I feel for being able to experience this last week. It has been one of the most uplifting and inspiring experiences of my mission.  And it all began with John.
John Hutchen's Baptism

John Hutchens is a gentle giant that was found by my companion and a very green missionary (2 days out) while tracting on September 5. He opened the door, hear Elder Cowden stammer out "We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ," and he let them in. After sitting through almost daily lessons, while taking care of his wife on hospice the entire time, he felt the Spirit, and was baptized on Sunday. He is 75 years old, and is already sharing the gospel with his family, so that now his daughter and granddaughter are investigating, and he is the most humble, quiet, powerful man I have ever met. The change that has happened in him has been incredible, going from being so scared to pray with us he would shake, to offering incredible prayers where you can feel he is talking to a close friend and Father. He didn't have a bad life before, but the increase of joy in his life is so evident. It is so sweet I start to choke up as I think of it.
Missionaries on a fun rope swing

I promise that each one of us can feel that change, just as John did. He has changed his heart, and thus he is happy. We can repent, change our hearts and desires to align them with God's, and be happy. I know this is true. I cannot say that strongly enough.

I love you all so very, very much.

Elder Beckstead

Challenge and testify

This week my mission has been changed.  It came from an incredible series of events. Our mission President came to our Zone this last week and called us to repentance. This zone has been doubting miracles, not united at all, and most of all, we have not been challenging and testifying. President Bell asked us to stop teaching and to start testifying. So, that is what my companion and I did.  And in the short space of one day, I watched and felt the change. As I stood there and pleaded with people to listen because this is so true, as I testified of light, and expressed every ounce of love I had, my testimony exploded, and the Spirit came with such incredible power, each time increasing, so that by the end of that day I could barely speak without reeling at what was said.  I was incredibly blessed to have a taste of the way God feels for his children, true charity beyond anything I have ever before imagined, and it drove deep into my heart a desire to bring everyone around my to the Celestial Kingdom.

As if that weren't enough, one of the Assistants to the President, Elder Moyle, came and stayed with my companion and I for a few days. That was incredible. He stayed and talked to us more about love. And as he did so, I realized that we as missionaries often need help too. We are out here trying to help people come unto Christ, when we are still working on it ourselves. The love he expressed for us and for each of the missionaries in the mission was incredible, and I was impressed by the way he could name off every missionary in the mission, as well as how long they had been out, where they were serving, and how much he loved them each.

All in all, it truly is all about love, and I needed these great reminders this week. If you want to have a mighty experience, do two things. First, pray for charity and love for everyone, those you do love, and those you may not like. Then, follow that up by praying with charity for someone, or many people, by name. I promise that if you do so, the Spirit will testify that what you do is right, and you will feel the love that God has for you to a much greater degree.

I truly do love you all very, very much!

Elder Beckstead