Monday, July 9, 2018

This is It. (July 9, 2018)

Last week was great! I will show you some pictures later. We were able to meet some great people this week:  DW  and K, and GJ. 

DW is 20 years old, studying on his own. He is a ping pong master and really kind and fun to talk to! He attended a church with his parents growing up but just found confusion because of the variety of churches on the earth, and so he stopped attending anywhere. We were able to naturally share the message of the restoration, and continue to hope and pray he finds the answers he needs. 

K is awesome! He is a 28 year old Korean who loves music. We were able to teach him the plan of salvation. He understood really well, and also accepted a baptismal date for August 19th! Then he came to church and stayed the whole time, and participated really well. He was so cool. He seemed pretty sad when I left; I was sad to say goodbye too but maybe I can skype in for his baptism!

Then yesterday, my last night of the transfer, we went and ate dinner with GJ at his house. GJ is the nice older man who Y from the ward referred to us. His wife prepared an awesome meal, Korean grilled pork belly, and we had a great time just talking. Their son is learning English, so he and Elder B are going to meet this Saturday. We sang them a song and were able to pray before we left.

Well fam, this is it! Sure love you all and see you tomorrow. I am so grateful for the sacred time I have had to live here, to love the people and culture here, and draw nearer to my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. I know they are there and want our happiness. 

Elder Beckett.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 2, 2 018

Hey family:

Last week was good!

One of our PIs came to family night with us to the home of the J family, the stake president's family. It was great! His american name is K, but he is Korean. He said after, "Wow! That felt like it was my own family, it was great!" So that was neat :) We had a nice dinner, spiritual messages, then played "signs" all together.

We also met another kid, D who has now received the first 3 lessons! He is progressing well and a lot of fun!

We went on a couple exchanges last week. I went with Elder D, as well as Elder G. They were both a lot of fun. Very diligent and good Elders.

One highlight! At the beginning of last transfer, Elder J and I were partnered up in the proselyting activity during the Zone Leader Training Meeting. We went out for 30 ish minutes. At the end of the activity, we met a kind student named Y. He lived in a different area, where my former companion, Elder M is serving, so we met 2 days later with Y and Elder M and his companion, and had lunch, then introduced them. They hit it off well, and started meeting. Yesterday Y was baptized! It was so neat to go see his baptism, and to have had the honor of playing a small part in the process of his conversion. I knew that God led us to meet him, and I was grateful for Elder M and his two great companions, Elder G and Elder H, who taught Youngoon in a fun way, as will as simply. He loved them! 
One cute story: Last week we happened to see Y on the street. We asked him how meeting with the missionaries was. He said, "It's good, they teach me a lot of fun things!" Elder B asked, "What are they teaching you that is so fun?" He said, "The law of chastity, the wisdom... no coffee, and alcohol, and all that stuff!" And was just so enthusiastic about learning the gospel! Great kid.

Today I was reading Moroni 10 doing a pmg activity. I loved verse 7:

"7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever."

I know that God really does do miracles today, like he did long ago. He works in power if we just have simple faith! He has a perfect plan!

Love you all!

Elder Beckett

PS I can probably email a little next week.

June 25, 2018

Hey fambly!

This week was so fast... 

We were able to go on a couple exchanges with a couple awesome teams! I went with Elder M from Iowa and Elder A from Utah! 

This is Elder M and I in the back of the train to Daegu
On Tuesday with Elder M we met an older man on the street who had a nice round fedora-type hat. We told him we thought that it was a nice hat and then he invited us to his house to sit in the cool indoors for a bit. Confucianism is pretty important to him, but we were able to talk a little bit about God, and he said we could come back again! It was really cool to see his house and how he meticulously prepares this special tea-- it was a cool traditional korean experience!  He even had a cool little garden greenhouse on the roof of his apartment and he gave us some peppers and edible purple leaves from it, haha, to wrap up rice and meat in when you eat.

We also were able to go visit a man who was referred to us by Y, a brother in our ward who Allie served by on her mission! The man is about 70 and is really nice, so we are planning to go back to teach him again.

On exchanges with Elder A, we saw a group of older fellers playing Korean chess, called jangi. Elder Alikes that game, so he challenged them to a game of jangi!
Then that night we met E! Did I tell you about E? He is a miracle man from South Africa, originally me and Elder A met him 3 transfers ago and taught him the restoration, then were unable to contact him until Elder B and I suddenly met him on the street again! Well he is doing well, we visited his house and had Milk Tart, kind of like a South African pudding, and read the Book of Mormon together. So that was neat.

I went back to my second area, Sangin, on exchanges and met S!! He is an awesome member there.
We also have another cool kid we are teaching named D. He is friends with the youth in our ward and is accepting everything really well. He came to church yesterday!

Then on Saturday we were doing a zone proselyting activity and I saw this guy and felt like I should talk to him. So I did! And just gave him an English pamphlet and walked away. But I felt like I should have talked to him more, so I went back. He was super nice and I got his number, then he texted me and called me that night saying it was nice to meet. Well we just invited him to church and he came for all three hours! So that was cool! And we will meet again on Saturday. His name is S, and he is 25.

One thing I am continuing to feel more than ever is how important each individual is to God. Each person is on their own path, their own journey back to Him. I think there are times when our individual path is very clear, but sometimes it can be confusing. We may feel more like we are wandering, not really sure if there is even a path to follow or if there is anywhere worth trying to go. Nobody has the exact same path as anyone else; each person has different hills and turns, different burdens we are required to bear. But our paths do intersect, even join up sometimes. Sometimes  we have the opportunity to walk with others, to help lift and relieve their burdens, encourage them along the path, maybe even show them the right direction to go when needed. 

As we seek to help those around us on this path by serving and ministering, we can find sources of inspiration and example in the life of Jesus Christ, who said ,"Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you...Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.
 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world" (3rd Nephi 18:16, 24-25).

I have been blessed with motivation and desire to be a better person as I have studied the life of Jesus Christ! I love how he turns no one away. We shouldn't either. I am grateful that even when I take wrong turns on this path, I can get back on through repentance and just by continuing to do my best! I hope we all do our best not only on our own journey but to lift others around us. I know as we do so God's power and Spirit will flow more freely into our lives.

Love you all!
Elder Beckett

Saturday, June 23, 2018

쿨 쿨! (June 18, 2018)

Hey fam! How are you all?

Last week was cool! Last PDay we went to an international motor show with SH, it was pretty cool. We also had dinner with him during the week but he had to leave fast, so we haven't really been able to teach him much at all, and his baptism date is coming up! Please pray for him to be able to meet and receive the discussions well!

We also finished up the last couple zone conferences last week, which were both good! Nice to have all the big meetings for the transfer done; I can really focus in on the Oncheon area for these next few weeks. 

One other cool experiences. There is a boy here in Oncheon ward who is like 15. When I first got to this ward he was so smiley and loved to joke around and stuff, but the last couple months he seems to be going through a bit of a hard time. Elder B and I wanted to help him. He is such a good kid, and it was so sad for us to see him not be himself. So we talked to his mom and found out his favorite food is pizza. We knew that by his house was this cheap pizza place called Pizza School, so we took him out for pizza on Thursday! It was so fun! He was so smiley and happy. He just told us about his hobbies and talked to us about cars and other cool stuff that he likes. After eating, we split up, but it was so fun!

And I know this experiences may not sound very significant, but I felt like that was honestly one of the most meaningful things I have done on my mission. I felt like we just had a feeling that we should help this kid out, we followed it, and it felt like ministering like the Savior would. It was just a simple pizza dinner together, but I felt the Spirit confirming that what we were doing is exactly what God wanted us to be doing at that time.

On Friday morning we headed out at 6 a.m. to fly to Jeju! So that was fun! That was our last zone conference, and it was cool to go there one more time. Also on the plane they had horse meat jerky, so we bought it. But we haven't tried it yet. We flew back that evening.

The next morning early was the Busan Stake Sports day! Elder B and I had 4 investigators come with us, so that was cool! We played some soccer, ran a bit, etc. It was cool to see a lot of members who I worked with in Youngdo and Haeundae.

Well that's our week! We have another great week coming up! 

One quick spiritual thought:

This week I was reading in 3rd Nephi. Right before Christ comes among them, there is great destruction-- tempests, earthquakes, floods, etc. So many people are killed at this time. After all of the storm, there is darkness, so dark, it says, that "the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness; And there could be no light".

Can you imagine how that would feel? I don't think I can because I wasn't there, but it sounds horrible. And then, a voice pierces the darkness, and tells of the destruction, of cities buried or burned because of the wickedness of the inhabitants in them. And then the voice asks a poignant question,

 " O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" (3 Nephi 9:13).

I love the wording of this verse. I think one key is the end of the verse, where it says, "that I may heal you." "may" is interesting. May tells us that the Savior and Heavenly Father are waiting to heal us and forgive us, and the only thing preventing that There are is greater enjoyment and fulfillment and love in life as we seek to "return unto" God. There is relief from sin, and greater strength to endure hardship. 

I am not saying that when we repent and return to God that everything becomes perfect. In fact, in a lot of ways, following Christ is more difficult than not. But it is worth it.

Elder Uchtdorf taught,

 "I testify that when we embark upon or continue the incredible journey that leads to God, our lives will be better.

This does not mean that our lives will be free from sorrow. We all know of faithful followers of Christ who suffer tragedy and injustice—Jesus Christ Himself suffered more than anyone. Just as God makes the “sun to rise on the evil and on the good,” He also allows adversity to test the just and the unjust. In fact, sometimes it seems that our lives are more difficult because we are trying to live our faith.

No, following the Savior will not remove all of your trials. However, it will remove the barriers between you and the help your Heavenly Father wants to give you. God will be with you. He will direct your steps. He will walk beside you and even carry you when your need is greatest." (A Yearning for Home, Fall 2017)

I offer my agreement and testimony to the truthfulness of that! I hope we all seek each day to continue to draw closer to God, so He can heal us.


Elder Beckett

Hiking and Miracles! (June 10, 2018)

Hey Fam!  We already started zone conferences this transfer, which is fun and busy! The subject is... the Restoration!! So I have been seeking to strengthen my own testimony on the Restoration. The mission is an awesome time to strengthen your testimony, but to speak frankly, my testimony has also never been tested more in my whole life! So preparing for zone conference was a time to increase my knowledge and personal conviction about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Zone Conference!
On the way back from Zone Conference, haha!
This is a sweet couple from my training area in Gyeoungju, President Lee and his wife. I saw them in Ulsan.

We went on a cool hike on Wednesday with the Elders Quorum, and had 3 investigators come!
I got to skype with my friend Matt!!!! AWESOME!
Today as I studied Preach my Gospel, I came across the following,

 "Help people recognize that the Church is not just another religion, nor is it an American church. Rather, it is a restoration of the "fulness of [the] Gospel" (D&C 1:23), the same as was revealed and taught from the beginning... Through a modern prophet, God has restored knowledge about the plan of salvation, which is centered on Christ's Atonement and fulfilled by living the first principles and ordinances of the gospel."

That is so important! The restored Gospel teaches us more about Christ and God's plan for me than anywhere else. I love the Bible because it teaches me about Christ's life, His example, and has many prophecies about Him. That is irreplaceable. And I love the Book of Mormon because it teaches me of Christ's Atonement, His sacrifice for me, and gives me a more full perspective of His role in the Plan of Salvation as our Savior.

Me and SH!
I also had the opportunity to read some of Joseph Smith History once more this week, and, if you haven't read that recently, I encourage you to do so! There is nothing like reading about his experience and how the church was organized in his own words-- it strengthened my testimony.

Me with 2 of my favorite things!
We also had a couple really cool blessings/ times when we saw God's hand in our lives the last couple days!!  For background details, last week on Sunday I was supposed to fast, but I was coming down with a bit of a cold, so I fasted Saturday to Sunday (yesterday) instead. I love fasting! Actually honestly sometimes because I really love food, especially ice cream ;), sometimes fasting is not the easiest thing, but as I fasted the past couple days I really felt the power of fasting! Small sacrifice for amazing blessings. I felt happier and spiritually in tune! Here are two ways I felt God's hand:

1) On Saturday night we got back from a choir performance in Ulsan (a city about 1 1/2 hours away), and were by the office when we heard a phone ring. The office hours are supposed to end at 5, and we were all tired, so we sometimes just let calls go in the evening. But I felt like I should grab this one, Elder B and I rushed to grab the phone, but it only rang a couple times then stopped. We spent a few minutes figuring out how to call the guy back, and it ended up being a man who has been really struggling with stress and depression raising his family. President Jeong gave him some great counsel, then connected him with the missionaries in his area, as well as encouraged him to seek any necessary medical help. I was really grateful God helped me feel like I should answer that call, as well as call him back, which I have never done before on the office phone at night.

2) We have an investigator who works for the police, SH. We haven't been able to teach him much Gospel actually, but he has come to church a couple times! Elder B invited him again on Saturday, then he came yesterday! One member here, Brother IW, gave a great talk on repentance that our investigator really liked. We were talking with SH  afterwards in a separate room, and he suddenly asked (this is a translation from Korean so it might sound a bit weird), "What is that thing that you receive in other churches? 세례? (Like sprinkling baptism) Do you have something like that here? I think it is destiny that we keep meeting and I want to keep coming to church." 

We were pretty surprised and said, "Yeah, we have baptism here!" Then we showed him a picture of Jesus getting baptized, and he accepted a baptismal date! Right now it is set for 3 weeks from nowJuly 1st, because he has already come to church 3 times. But he will need to make some changes in his life regarding the word of wisdom, so please pray for him to gain a testimony of the Gospel and be converted! 

I know that God's hand is in our lives! I hope we all keep looking for it.

Love you all so much!

Elder Beckett

Pictures! (June 4, 2018)

Dear Family!
Elder S, Elder B, and me (Before Elder B and I were companions)
I survived transfer week! Wow the first week is crazy!! Pretty tiring with lots of meetings and preparation.
One cool story! Last week me and the Elder in red on the left of that basketball picture (Elder S, we were in the MTC together) had an opportunity to do some street contacting together. Well we met a man, talked to him for a total of like 30 seconds, but he took a BOM from us, pointed to his nearby shop, and told us to stop by later. 
Well the next day me and Elder B went by, and it was locked! But after knocking a few times, we found out he was in there and he let us in. He gave us some crackers and talked to us. He is the owner of this cool antique and art shop. He said he had been curious about our church, so we taught him about the restoration. it was a good and quick discussion! He doesn't have a whole lot of interest, but it was neat to have him let us in his shop, and he agreed to learn some more about the Gospel later. And he was super nice and bought us dinner!
Elder and Sister C, an awesome couple, in an elevator. We helped them move!

Elder K, who I was in the MTC with, who just finished his mission.

Us and the Oncheon B Team picking up the new Elder O. He is awesome!!

We miss carpet!!! We were enjoying President Jeong's carpet... :)

Well I love you all, and am about out of time today! Before I go, I just have a couple quick thoughts I wanted to share. I am in my last transfer! I still have 5 weeks, but the time is flying. A couple nights ago I was saying my nightly prayers, and I felt the need to increase my focus on Jesus Christ this last transfer. Everything we do, the very reason we preach the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is because of Jesus Christ-- and sometimes we get a bit lost in the details. It is my prayer that as I focus on Him, as "we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ" that I can help others come unto Him, and draw nearer unto Him myself. I love to learn of my Savior; there is power in His words and example as found in the New Testament. I love the symbolism of Him in the Old Testament. And I love the teachings about His Atonement, what it does for us, and how we can enjoy its power, as found in the Book of Mormon.

I have found greater hope and faith as I simply think about Him more and learn more about His life. Sometimes when I feel sad or worried, as much as taking an extra moment to feel gratitude for him seems to change my feelings of fear to comfort and confidence.


Elder Beckett

Here are pictures from our Zone Conference in the mountains:

Monday, May 28, 2018

이동 전화! Transfer calls! (May 28, 2018)

Hello family!
It is transfers week, which is crazy. I was wondering what would happen this next transfer!!


I am staying! So me and Elder B get to stay together one more transfer!! I love Elder B, and Oncheon is a great area. I thought for sure I was gone, but I am looking forward to seeing some more miracles with Elder B.

Last week we weren't really able to meet investigators much. We had zone conference, and it was done in Oncheon-- we hiked Geumjeoung Mountain, stopping for trainings and talks several times on the way up. And at the top all of the missionaries had some personal time to pray.

The subject of zone conference was Recognizing & Understanding the Spirit, and Personal Revelation. It was pretty cool! 

One of the greatest things I learned and felt was just that in the Sacrament prayer we are promised to "always have his spirit to be with [them]." 
But there are so many times when, as a missionary, and as a person, we don't seem to have any great feelings or guidance of the Spirit. And this has concerned me sometimes! And I think most missionaries get to a point where they wonder if they are just dumb or not spiritual enough or whatever, because they aren't getting these huge manifestations of the Spirit... But I don't think it is like that. 

One important point is that in DC 20:77, when it says we ARE promised to always HAVE the Spirit with us, it does not promise us to always FEEL the Spirit.  I believe that unless we commit some kind of major transgression, and as long as we keep doing our best to repent, the Spirit will be our guide and companion though we may not be able to discern and recognize it. He can influence our thoughts and actions and decisions if we will allow ourselves to receive his influence through choosing obedience to God's commandments.

We can, however, increase our sensitivity to the Spirit. If we evaluate our thoughts and words and actions with the question, 

"Will this invite or push away the guidance of the Spirit?"

 Then we will quickly recognize that although some things we do or say or think are not necessarily  BAD that they can have detrimental effects on our spirituality. 

I also feel like the way that we pray is so important to personal revelation. Like President Russell M Nelson counseled us to do, I have started praying with an open notebook and pen next to me, pausing my prayer to write down thoughts and ideas. Since I started doing that, I have focused better in my prayers and feel like God has led me in a lot more decisions. I have also had specific ideas come to mind of what to share with investigators, and what to do to find more people.

I am grateful that God is willing to speak to us. However sometimes if we are over-analytical and anxious about our feelings, trying to discern between our ideas and the Spirit and temptation, it can have more of a negative effect than a positive one. It is important to be still, and wait for an answer, and then to do what we think and feel is best (with our mind and our heart), and following the counsel of prophets, ancient and modern. But it is not good to be frozen in fear and do nothing.  

I know that as we do this that God will lead and guide us, according to needs and circumstances.
Love you all! Have a great week! And I hope we all seek more personal guidance about our lives.

Elder Beckett