Sunday, April 29, 2018

Transfer Week! And Triple Miracle (April 22, 2018)

Dear family and friends,

Office missionaries before transfers.
Another transfer week came and went! We call it In-n-Out week-- the old missionaries go out, the new come in. This is definitely the busiest week of the transfer. I got a new companion, Elder B from Orem, Utah. Fun fact-- When I was a sophomore or junior in high school, Elder Isaac Hamm and I played him and his doubles partner in the Saint George Tennis Tournament. It went three sets, a good match! Elder B is smiley and funny and a workhorse for sure! It will be a great transfer.
Trainer's Meeting

New missionaries (SUCH a POWERFUL GROUP!)

It was definitely sad to say goodbye to Elder Y! He went to Gimhae, still in our zone, to train! So he is close by. 
Cool things from the last couple weeks... I can't remember two weeks ago, haha. Sorry for not emailing, I had no companion for a day and was getting ready for the new missionaries so I couldn't email last week.

I saw some general conference! It was so awesome! I have to watch the rest still... things were a bit crazy so I didn't quite have time. Hope to finish that up this week. So far it was awesome!
Me and Sister Kim (mission president's wife) playing some 탁구
Ha ha, I photobombed!
Some cool things from the last couple weeks:

Me and Elder Y went up to this mountain place to study by our church. A lot of elderly people exercise there. This nice old man walked passed us, stopped, and started talking to us. We talked a bit, which was fun, then he said he wanted to have lunch with us at his house after he finished exercising! We said we'd be honored to. 

While we were waiting for him to finish, we were studying, and then suddenly we got a call, and Brother Driggs, one of our amazing MTC teachers, was at the church with his dad--he's been trekking around Korea the last few weeks! We were so excited to see him and ran all the way back to the church. It was really great to talk to him, and now we could actually understand his Korean, haha. 

We then ran back to have lunch with the nice old man. He took us to his house, gave us a bunch of tomatoes and sugar to dip them in (not bad, surprisingly), then we all ate ramen together. He has no belief in God but is a good, kind man and a great learner. Even in his old age, he was practicing English with us and using the new words we taught him. We hope to go meet him again!

We also went on exchange with the Gumi and Haeundae missionaries a couple weeks ago, it was fun! I served with Elder M in Haeundae, it was fun to go back to my old area! And Elder W came to Oncheon with me. Both are great men and missionaries.

Me and my new companion with my mission president and his wife.

Elder B and I
Then this last week with Elder B, we had a day where we saw 3 consecutive miracles! Haha it was pretty amazing. 

1) It was the day of District Leader Training Meeting, so all the district leaders and their companions met up. Well, all the companions were paired up and went out to do street contacting while the district leaders attended the meeting. About an hour and a half into the meeting, the District Leaders were also paired up with each other to go out proselyting for a half hour. However, one District leader had to leave a bit early, so he needed to find his real companion who had already been outside for 1 1/2 hrs and go take the train back to his area. Problem was his companion had no phone, so they were somewhere out street proselyting and weren't planning to come back for 40 minutes or so-- we had no way to contact them.

Elder B and I prayed to find him, then took off running outside. First, we texted all the other teams who had phones to contact us if they found the missing team. Then I started going one way without thinking, but Elder B suggested we go right, so we started running that way... then we hit a crossroads and I said left, so we went left. Well, we hit another 4 way intersection and both felt that we should go left, so we did... and suddenly there they were! We literally ran the fastest path directly to them, having had no idea where they were. I learned from this that God not only hears my prayers but he guides me best when me and my companion work together!

2) Well we ran back to the church and this team needed a taxi to go to the train station. The road in front of the church seldom has taxis, but as soon as we looked for one, a taxi pulled up right on time, and the Elders got to the train station in time to catch the train.

3) By the time that finished, there were 10 minutes left in the group street contacting activity, and we wanted to find someone. Some days you can literally proselyte for hours without anyone giving you time to talk, but we believed we could find someone! Elder B looked at me and said, "We will get the triple miracle!" So we ran back out and within about 3 minutes found a man sitting in front of a shop. He had read some of the Book of Mormon before and had some questions about God, Adam and Eve, etc! We were able to talk with him and teach him a bit using the Book of Mormon! He accepted a new copy of the Book of Mormon and we are planning to visit his work again this week.
Trainers and Trainees!
These things were 3 consecutive occurrences right as we needed them. There were so many other missionary teams out --11 or 12 I think-- contacting and proselyting in that area. But we were the first ones to find the missing companion, and we were the ones who were able to find that man who had questions about God in his own life.

It reminded me of something that Elder Rasband taught, two general conferences ago, "What should you be looking for in your own life? What are God’s miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, 'I am right here'? Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life—and then acted again. Treasure them as moments the Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices. But allow Him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own. Treasure His involvement. Sometimes we consider changes in our plans as missteps on our journey. Think of them more as first steps to being 'on the Lord’s errand.' "

I know as we have faith, hit the ground running, and are obedient, that God leads our path. He loves us so much and shows his hand in our lives if we are willing to see it.

Love you all!!

Elder Beckett

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Last Couple of Weeks (April 8, 2018)

Sorry last week was so crazy! So I wasn't able to share much.

Last week we went to the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival! It was a lot of fun. I will send you a few pictures. Talk about popcorn popping on the cherry blossom tree!! Seriously beautiful. 
We went on exchanges with a couple missionaries last week that was fun! They were both really good elders.


 
One cool experience happened with JC, our Chinese friend. He loves to play basketball with us, and made us a cool chinese dinner at his house one time. But until now it has been really difficult to talk about the Gospel with him. Although it is sad, because of our intense schedules, if people don't want to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can only continue meeting them for so long. 

However the appointment went really well! We had a great, sincere talk about God and who He is to us (our father). We watched "The Hope of God's Light" together with Chinese subtitles. And JC taught us some chinese characters and we had some ice cream! It was a great lesson and we are going to try and meet this week, too.

We were also able to meet our barber and talk about the restoration. He has been cutting missionaries' hair for years. He is so kind and respectful and loves members of the church, though he has no religion. It was a good lesson and he is becoming a regular investigator.

On Sunday we had 2 other people attend the viewing of general conference with us! One was J_, the student who took the BOM video with me. The other was a man who is the head of a 경찰 신문, a newspaper for police! It was really cool that they both came, though conference can be a bit long to watch when it is someone's first time (and even those who have watched for a while) and especially difficult in Korean for them to understand, even though they are Korean. It has to do with Chinese roots of the words. Anyway, But it was overall a very positive experience.

This week I want to share my thoughts on the importance of learning the principle of disciplined obedience. Everyone is born with the natural man, the enemy of obedience. When we can learn to obey God and his servants, we gain ability over sin and temptation, and the natural man within us. There are lots of enemies of obedience, as well as "symptoms" if you will, that lead to disobedience. One is complaining. Everyone has difficulties and hardships, some more than others. But "no problem is so bad that whining will make it better" as a wise man once said.

Another problem that leads to disobedience is not being teachable, or being unteachable. 

While in Korea, I have found that I have had to really humble myself to learn Korean. It is easy to be prideful and not want to make mistakes, or be unwilling to take others' correction. But as I seek correction, I have found that I can improve more quickly.

There is no one proscribed perfect fastest way for me to learn this language, and so as I exchange and work with others, I often ask them how they study the language, even if the other missionaries are younger than me. I have learned a lot from the diligent example and studying methods of those who may be slightly less experienced in the language as me.

I have also had times in my mission where I was too prideful to accept others help and guidance, even those more experienced in the language than me. It was during these times that I progressed the least.

Being teachable has a direct correlation with our obedience as well as our rate of improvement and progression. Are you willing to take advice from others? Are you willing to learn from those who may be less experienced or younger than you?

It is important to know how to learn,  in the business world, on the athletic field, and in our spiritual lives. We can't take anything for granted, as Elder Dallin H Oaks taught-- not the smallest amount of disobedience. But, as an earlier church leader taught, "When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power."




Our mission president decided to do a 5k with his counselors in Gyoungju, my training area!  We did it too--lots of fun. I got a better time than I got on the 4th of July 5K befre my mission, haha!

 

Choose to be obedient, regardless of what those around you may choose. It can be really hard to choose what you personally believe is right when it differs from the opinion of others. But as long as we are honest with ourselves and seek to follow God, he won't let us go astray.

I know that is true.

Love,

Elder Beckett

Hey Family! (April 2, 2018)

Hello family! This was a good week! We finished up some zone conferences and things.

Some cool experiences:
There is a barber here who has cut missionaries hair for like 40 years. President Jeong wants him to get baptized really bad, so he told us to go teach him in short increments a little bit of English and a principle of the Gospel. Well we have gone a couple times but he is always really busy. This week me and Elder H_ were on exchange together and went to visit him. For some reason he had no guests! So we were able to talk with him and get to know him better and teach him for about an hour, which was far longer than we have before. He really likes us now I think.

We also had a choir performance-- the Busan Mission Choir. It was fun to be a part of! We just sang like primary songs and hymns, but it was neat! My favorite part was towards the end. I was feeling pretty stressed and worried for various reasons on the day of the performance. But there was a part where several recent converts shared their testimonies. One man, named Brother M_, was baptized in Provo actually, but would attend Haeundae ward sometimes, so I got to know him a bit. He shared a nice testimony, and then shared Mosiah 24: 16, where the people of Alma were having such a hard time, but were bearing their burdens patiently and righteously.

 "16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage."

Well in Korean the word for "Be of good comfort" really stuck out to me. I felt so much love and peace in that word, and it was just what I needed. Right after, we sang a powerful accompaniment of "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". 

Earlier that day I had prayed for God's guidance, and had specifically asked him to speak to me through someone else. Well this was a wonderful answer to a prayer of a missionary, through a man who has been baptized for only 3 months. It was neat.

Love you all! Be of good comfort! Be at peace, as the Savior commands. We can, because of His sacrifice that overcame death and sin.

Have a great week.
Elder Beckett

PS We had no time today but thank you so much for your individual emails!! Love you all!!

Fish Heads, Fish Heads (March 26, 2018)



This week was really good! 

We had the Busan, South Busan, and Jeju zone conferences! It was fun to go to Jeju. And it was my companion's, Elder Y's, birthday! Woohoo! We got him ice cream.

I was sick this week with some stomach stuff and a cold. Wednesday and Thursday were rough. But I am feeling mostly better now!

We were able to meet the 20 year old kid JH again last week! It was good! He is super fun kid. 

One thing I want to share is my testimony of GENERAL CONFERENCE! 

I know that these men are inspired by the Lord. If you prepare going into General Conference, you will get far more out of it. We can use ou agency, in addition to watching conference, to learn more!

I would encourage you all to go into general conference with some questions. Not too many, or it will be hard to focus on the answer to all your questions. But think about questions about 

1) Your spiritual concerns!
2)Your temporal concerns!
3)Your family or future or anything else!

During general conference, we should write down thoughts or answers that are related to these things :) 

I know that if we make questions before general conference, and then are humbly willing to learn, we will be taught by the Lord. However, we need to do our best to think about the answers to the questions, and research them a bit, too! Maybe you could do this for family night!

LOVE YOU ALL! 

Have a great week.

Elder Beckett.


No Subject...or is there? (March 18, 2018)

Family,

안녕하십니까?

We had a good last week! The weather is getting warmer, and spring is arriving! I love the warm weather. This week the temperature jumped back and forth a bit though, but it is on an upward trend!

This week we were able to meet a few people! We met an older man up in a exercise park on the mountainside that he goes to every morning. We have met him several times before. He is a kind man! But I don't know if he really has gospel interest. His name is M_L_

We also met KW again this week! We met at the church, and just did a Gospel discussion. Before we met, we asked him to read 2nd Nephi 4:15-35. He did it! Then we had a great discussion. We talked about our role as missionaries, why we share the Gospel, and how it has blessed our lives. KW is curious about the Gospel, but still not quite to the level where he really wants to know if it is true or not. Please pray for him to continue to meet with us and have a desire to learn more! He is a great guy, really fun to spend time with! And needs the Gospel :)

We had a miracle the other night! We are making a video of some of the missionaries in our mission saying what the Book of Mormon means to them. Me and Elder Y didn't make our clips yet, and we had been held inside all day with some things we had to get done... It was about 8:40, and we decided to run out and talk to people, share the Book of Mormon, and take our videos if we found a cool place to do it.

Well we got the videos taken, and met a couple of cool people along the way! Especially at the end Elder Y had a feeling to go a certain direction, then we met this 20 year old kid who was awesome! He has no religion, but he read the Bible when we was bored before. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and he was willing to help me with my portion of the Book of Mormon video! We will put in on facebook in the next couple of days :) Anyway his name is JH. He agreed to meet us again tomorrow! Pray that things will go well please!

Well I love you all so much! In closing, I want to share the verses that KW liked from the Book of Mormon reading:
2nd Nephi 4: 20, 26

"20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions."

Let's choose the path to focus on the things we have control over, and not give up hope our let our heads hang because of things that we cannot choose. Everyone has afflictions. Everyone has pain. Some seem to have a whole lot more than others. But God leads us on the path He knows we need to go, if we are willing to follow Him. He will be our support, when we choose Him.

Love,

Elder Beckett

PS Next week is zone conferences. Please pray that we can get through well! And share the messages we need to :)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

1st Week of 14th Transfer (March 11, 2018)

This week was fun! We had the old missionaries leave, which is always sad, but feels right... also the new missionaries came in! I got to drive the new elder back from the airport in Gimhae, which is fun! Korea driving can be intense because the city is just big and crazy, with taxis and city buses, but overall the speeds are slower than the US. 


Let me map out my day last Tuesday. At 3:30 a.m., we took our German Elder to the airport! Yeah, I look tired...

8 am: Breakfast at President's house. We took a break on the couch! :)
A candid picture of me at the airport. (more pictures at the bottom of my message.)
We had lots and lots of meetings this week, for training. One every day except Saturday. On Saturday we met one of the new investigators we found last week again (his name is K), and originally our ward mission leader had arranged for a member to come, but it turned out that the member was unable to help us... So we asked our 29 yr old ward mission leader to come, and he said he would! After meeting, our ward mission leader and K realized that they had known each other in middle school! We had a fun night getting kimchi chigae, a kimchi soup, with rice and all you can make fried eggs! We ate a lot of eggs, haha. I always proudly tell people that we raised chickens growing up, so I know how to make and eat eggs. Grantsville pride. ;)

K came to church, and it was good! Please pray for him to read the Book of Mormon and continue learning about the Gospel! And strengthen his faith in God-- he doesn't really have religion.

This week we had all the training meetings, as I mentioned... Well there is a kid in our mission who was called to be a zone leader, and he is really young... being in his 5th transfer, I think? When he walked into the meeting, I could tell something was up. He was just pale-faced, so nervous. I asked if he was sick, and he said he just felt like he didn't belong there.

I had an opportunity to speak at the next meeting, me and Elder Y had a bit of time. I felt like the Spirit kind of guided me what to talk about. President Jeong had told me the day before to not prepare but just follow the spirit. Right before the meeting I was thinking about the young, nervous elder, and I thought about what I could say to help him. I was thinking about a scripture that had been mentioned in a talk that dad had sent me a couple weeks ago. I want to share the message I did in that meeting, or at least a similar one with you all, because I feel like the Spirit was leading me what to say.

There are times in our lives when we are given a calling, an expectation, standard, or goal that seems far above our ability to complete. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. We may want to give up. I was thinking about one example of this, someone who I love and respect. I will show you a picture of him.
This is a picture of President Thomas S. Monson, a prophet of the Lord, who passed away recently. He was called as an apostle at age 33. Can you imagine how he must have felt? Look at the emotion on his face. I can't understand what we must have felt. He accepted the call, and became the great man we know him to be.
We may have times where we are called to a new calling, when President Jeong sets a new rule that may be difficult to keep, or a mission goal that is quite high. We may not think we can do it.

We are very aware of our inadequacies, insufficiencies, and the things we lack.  It is not easy. But I know that the Lord will qualify those whom he calls. He knows each one of you. He knows your hopes, and your dreams, and your concerns, and your worries, your strengths and your weaknesses. Trust him. I know that this is His work. I know that this work is possible because of Jesus Christ. And as we place our focus on him, we will be able to accomplish it.

 To end, I would like to quote President Monson, in a talk he gave in 2012.

"Courage is the word we need to hear and hold near our hearts—courage to turn our backs on temptation, courage to lift up our voices in testimony to all whom we meet, remembering that everyone must have an opportunity to hear the message. It is not an easy thing for most to do this. But we can come to believe in the words of Paul to Timothy:

'For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

'Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.'

Love you all! Have a great week! And remember that the Lord is on your side :)

Elder Beckett

At the bus station saying goodbye to one of the Korean sisters.

 I found a 대전 bus for Allie!

Goodbye sister!

To the airport to say goodbye to an American sister.

Airport picture, goodbye Sister!

Headed to the train station for the rest of the Korean missionaries.

Back to the airport that night for the new missionaries coming in.

Welcome to Korea, new missionaries! Busy, full day!

Pictures at the training meeting the next day.

Training meeting.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Missionary Work! (March 5, 2018)

Hey my dear family!
(Mom here:  looks like Nate's giving us a smolder...)
Last week was the last week of the transfer... I am now a 14th transfer missionary. Do you know how crazy that is? I was sad yesterday when I realized just how fast time is passing. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to see all of you, but...  I am going to be really sad to leave my mission in a few months. I have 4 months left. Four months ago I was just starting my 2nd transfer in Haeundae... That doesn't seem like long ago at all. I promise to make the best of these last few months, give all I can in the time I have left, leave in all on the court, so to speak.

PS Me and Elder Y are both staying in Oncheon, so that is fun! And my last companion, Elder KTH was called as an office assistant, so he is coming to be here on the other team. Should be great! I love him a lot, we will have a lot of fun!
Here is Elder Y and me with Brother C from Haeundae! He received the Melchizedek Priesthood!

Last week we were able to meet a lot of new investigators! This transfer has been a little difficult to find and things, partially because of other responsibilities, but last week it all came together!

One cool miracle: Me and Elder A, who was my companion in Youngdo, were on exchanges here in Oncheon. We wanted to find a place outside to do language study. We went into this place called Paris Baguettes, a bread shop. It is super good. I love bread. And I love Paris Baguettes! But something felt a bit off... The music was a bit loud, but something else felt not quite right. So we left. We walked passed this restaurant called Lotteria, which had SUPER loud music on the outside speaker. But Elder A said, "Maybe it is just outside that's loud..." So we went inside. Well sitting there inside, right by the door was a South African man named E. We said hello to him, ended up sitting with him, and talking with him about his life, his studies, etc... Really neat guy. Then I asked if he had heard about our church. He had heard a bit, but he said, "Show me what you've got! I have all the time in the world." So we ended up teaching him the whole restoration lesson, and it was a really cool experience! He was really nice and listened to it all, asking questions. He said he would love to come to our worship service sometime, too, as well as practice some Korean together! I got his kakao talk id, so we will contact him and try to meet him again.

Allie--do you recognize this man? You served under him in your mission, then he moved to Busan and was my Bishop in Haeundae! Small world, huh?

Sometimes we lift weights with President!  :)



I want to share a quick story-- kind of a parable. 

There was once a town that was suffering a long drought. For a long time there was no rain there. And so the people began to fast and pray for rain. In fact, they picked a specific date to pray for rain to come on. 
According to plan, they fasted, and prayed, and hoped for rain to come. The day finally came-- the day they had been praying for. All the people were to meet in the town square. And they did-- all of them. 

Yet only one of them brought their umbrella.

And so this short parable highlights something that I would like to point out-- sometimes we pray and have faith in something, but we don't choose to act according to our faith-- or you might say that we don't have faith enough to affect our actions. In this story, all the people prayed for rain, but only one person in the town believed in the answer to their prayer strong enough to bring their umbrellas! 

One thing I have learned as I have served as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ is that our faith needs to be strong enough to influence, if not completely change, our actions. It could be said that some of the greatest strength that faith has is, in fact, that it changes our behavior. We believe in a force, a power greater than ourselves, and the believe changes our expectations, our hopes, desires, and eventually our actions.

This week I read Alma 56 in the Book of Mormon. It highlights the story of two thousand young men-- young enough to have never fought in the many previous battles their people had fought in. I assume they were probably late teens, maybe some early twenties.

Their enemies? The Lamanites, experienced, hateful warriors, seeking to put in bondage, if not destroy, the Nephite people.

These young men bravely go to war against the greatest army of these Lamanites, . 

Their commander Helamen recorded of them, "t[N]ever had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites. For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: 'Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go...' Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

This brave band of young men goes against the massive army of bloodthirsty Lamanites... and wins. How? 

Helamen recorded again, "there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war...they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them." (Alma 56-57)

These young men were full of faith in God.

This faith led to a desire to obey-- to obey exactly.

This exact obedience both increased their effectiveness in war, and opened the windows of Heaven, that God could bless and protect them. 

I know that faith changes us. It changes how we act. We can choose to act according to our faith. To bring our umbrellas when praying for rain, to do all we can do... to obey with humble exactness.

I invite you to act... to act on your faith. Sometimes we don't act in harmony with our beliefs, and our faith is stagnant. But as we let our faith change our actions... miracles arise.

I know that's true.

Last transfer's returning missionaries.

New missionaries at the airport!

Bacon!!!

We killed him!  Actually, my trainer, the night before he went home.


Saying goodbye to Elder L, my dear trainer
Pictures at the train.

Love you all!



Elder Beckett