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!!

Drumroll...

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.

Love,
Elder Beckett

Hey All! (May 21, 2018)

Nothing too crazy this week! Working with some good people. We went on 3 exchanges last week, it was good to work with some awesome missionaries!!

This is the last week of the transfer, so we will see if I leave or stay for my last transfer.

Costco!

I want to share a message with you all about... The Book of Mormon! It is a great book! Haha. I wrote a message to a man of a different faith who asked about what it was. He didn't exactly ask in the nicest way and things, so I kind of let loose. Here is a portion of what I shared:

I will do my best to share what I have learned through years of prayerful study of the King James Version of the Bible and The Book of Mormon together, as well as the words of modern day prophets. 

The Book of Mormon speaks of the ancient covenants God made with His children; the Bible tells of great prophets who also received these covenants by faith. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ and His Atonement; the Bible provides the account of His birth, ministry, death, Atonement, and Resurrection. Thus, the Bible and Book of Mormon complement and enrich each other.

The Bible teaches the following about the law of witnesses: “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1). In harmony with this law, both the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of Jesus Christ.

Here are 3 references from the Bible I would like to share with you.

The prophet Ezekiel from the Old Testament prophesied of the Bible and the Book of Mormon coming together to provide one witness of Christ. In Chapter 37, he recorded, 
"15 ¶ The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."

The word 'stick' in these scriptures refer to wooden tablets on which people were known to sometimes keep records at this time. The 'stick of Judah' is a reference to the Bible, which is a record of the descendants of Judah, the Jews, as you know. The 'stick of Ephraim' is a reference to the Book of Mormon, which is a record of the descendants of Joseph, especially Ephraim's tribe part of which were known as the Nephites and Lamanites who were among the inhabitants of ancient America (if you would like to research this more, or the history regarding the "sticks" go ahead and look here: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1987/02/ezekiels-sticks-and-the-gathering-of-israel?lang=eng
).

The next reference I will make is in Isaiah 29. There are two references, both being prophecies. One was fulfilled by the Book of Mormon. Isaiah 29:1–6 tells about a group of people who “speak out of the ground” after the destruction of Jerusalem. Isaiah said they would be “visited … with earthquakes, and great noise, with storm, and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6). If you read 2 Nephi 26:15–17 in the Book of Mormon, you can recognize how the Book of Mormon fulfilled this prophecy, as it also originally came from descendants of Jerusalem, which explains the 'familiar spirit' that Isaiah referenced, as it also preaches the Gospel of Christ.

The second part is described in verses 11-12, which say
"11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned."

This prophecy was fulfilled as Joseph Smith was working on the translation of the Book of Mormon. His short experience is recorded in his personal history (if you don't have a copy, it can be found here in passages 61-65 if you would like to take a look.: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1.61-65?lang=eng#60
)

The last reference is one I made already, but I will mention it again. In John 10:16, Christ mentions,
"16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
We believe that those other sheep include the Nephites, who like their brethren in Israel "talk of Christ... rejoice in Christ.. preach of Christ... prophesy of Christ, and [who] write according to [their] prophecies, that [their] children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (Book of Mormon, 2nd Nephi 25:26).

On Kakao talk you also mentioned that it was either Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ, and asked which side I am on. This is like asking if I am on the side of Moses or Christ, or Peter or Christ, etc. When viewed in that light, it is obvious-- Moses, Peter, Joseph Smith, and all prophets testify of the truth and divinity and saving power of our Saviour Jesus Christ! There is not two sides, as Moses, Peter, and Joseph are all on Christ's side. Why? No one but Christ can save, succinctly explained by one Book of Mormon prophet, "remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world." (Helaman 5:9).

If you have other questions at this time, I would encourage you to refer to the following sources. They are talks given on the Book of Mormon at our worldwide meeting we have twice per year called General Conference. Each one will take you 7-10 minutes to read, or 15 minutes or so if you choose to watch them, which I would recommend. However, far greater than any of these is reading the actual Book of Mormon yourself, praying to know if it is true, and basing your conviction on your own research of the Book.

'Safety for the Soul' Jefferey R. Holland

'What think Ye of the Book of Mormon?' Bruce R. McConkie

'God's Compelling Witness' Tad R. Callister
"

Anyway, I was kind of bold, but I felt good about it! I love the Book of Mormon and have learned so much as I study that book!

Love,

Elder Beckett

Good Week! (May 13, 2018)

Hey family!

It was so fun to see you all on Skype today! You all look so great! It was definitely a highlight when Seth and Mindy started wrestling, haha!!

Things have been going well here. One cool experience from the week:

We had a lot of time for street proselyting one day last week so we were just going around talking to people. Street contacting feels like pure missionary work cause you are just preaching unabashedly to the people on the streets, haha. Ok well you do have to be respectful and tactful while being bold because people have their lives and you want to leave them with a positive impression of our missionaries.

Well after we had been proselyting for a while we met these 3 high school students. Usually high school students love foreigner missionaries, so they practice using their limited English and stuff. We joked around with them a bit, getting to know them, and then shared a little bit about our church. They weren't really interested, but all accepted Book of Mormons, and wanted to play badminton (which is big here in Korea) with us on Saturday! So we agreed. Then on Saturday we went to meet them, and they brought another friend, so there were 4 of them. But the Badminton courts were closed that day.  So we asked them if they want to take a 15 minute bus to our church to play ping pong. They said yes, so while we were waiting for the bus we also invited them to the young men's dinner that night. They asked if there were any high schoolers in our church, and we told them there was one kid who was there age. So they asked his name, and when we told them they all were super surprised and laughing because the member was one of their really good friends!

 So we had a super fun time playing ping pong, then they came to the Young Men's activity and surprised their friend at the dinner, which was cool! 

We want to meet these for guys again this week. Last time we showed them the 'Because of Him' video, but that was about it. It was a miracle that we were willing to meet us, and that one of their good friends was in our church! The church is pretty small here relative to the number of people, and so it can be hard to have school friends at church, but if we could help these kids advance in the Gospel it would strengthen this ward so much!!

Well I love you all so much. I will send you all some pictures real quick. Please pray for me these last few months of my mission-- I really want to make the most of this time, working hard, meeting people who are ready. I am going to keep giving my all!

Just a reminder of the scripture I love in Romans 8--

28 And we know that all things
    work together for good to them that love God, to them who 
    are the called according to his purpose.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? "

We went to scout out a path for our upcoming hiking zone conference, and stopped at an ancient castle site on the way!

Well I love you all so much! Take care and keep showing God your love through your actions!! It is pretty hard to beat scripture study, prayer and service! Sure love you-- brighten someone else's day today! 

Love



Elder Beckett (Nate)

Sorry!!! (May 9, 2018)

Hey fam! It was a crazy last few days... sorry for the late email.

For the most part things have been going great! We had a cool experience last week!! At the beginning of the transfer we set a goal to find a family, and we have been praying and working but finding families is hard.
Well on Sunday we had a plan to door knock a bunch of places, but suddenly a member invited us for dinner, so we ended up going to their house... Now I have never gotten into a house on my mission before, but I still believed! Haha. So we decided to just door knock the apartment the members live in in the time before the appointment. So we knocked, and knocked and nothing. We felt like we should start with the 19th floor, but no one answered... and we went down to the 18th and 17th... nothing! So we went the other way... 20th, nothing... but on the 21st floor we met a guy who let us in! We sat down on the couch with him and talked for like a half hour about life, told him what we were doing in Korea. He said lately he has suddenly been thinking that he wants to learn English! So we set up 30/30 program with him and met him again on Monday. The best part is that he has a wife and 2 children!! They are 25 and 23. So we found a family! We were really happy. He doesn't have much religious interest at all, but I am praying that as we share little by little he will gain some. It is actually really really hard to meet people in Korea out of purely religious interest... usually we also play a sport with them, go out to eat, or teach English. We have been blessed to find a lot of cool people lately!! Please pray that they will gain not just English or other interest, but want to learn the Gospel too.

Quick thought-- from Sunday School:

The children of Israel were saved from slavery in Egypt. Although the Lord continued to lead them and enact miracles for them in the wilderness, because of the difficulty of the journey and their wavering faith, they continued looking back longingly to Egypt ("Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt!" Numbers 14:2), rather than having the faith to go forward to find what new things the Lord had in store for them.

It is an easy trap to get lost in "what was" or "what could have been"-- a trap that can steal present joy and cause us to squander current opportunity. Rather than seeking the comfort of the past, as we are willing to face and embrace change we can show our faith in God and move and grow in the way he wants us to. Sometimes we feel that the past was ideal or much better, which makes it difficult. But I know that God's plan is perfect, though we can't understand it all now.

When we are willing to move forward and do our best, though we may not be certain about the future, God will do the rest! Moses said it well when he said, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day... The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

Sure love you all! Excited to skype you, too! 

Love you!!

Nate

Hey All+ (April 30, 2018)

Hello! Sorry not much time. Doing well! I got your package, thanks so much! And such a sweet letter from my Campbell  grandparents! Made me tear up a bit, haha  sure miss them and grandma Beckett. 

Right now a bunch of elders have all met together and we are playing soccer in the mountain. I love my companion, Elder B!
The highlight of the week was probably on Friday night we had some time set aside for finding. We knocked doors for a bit then felt like we should go to the subway station. There was a guy on the bench sleeping on some spread out newspapers. He had divorced his wife recently and had nowhere to sleep. We just sat and talked to him, gave him a blanket and some ramen and listened to him. Of all places to be on a Friday night, I felt we should be right there with him, and I felt how much God knows and loves each of his children! It was a neat experience.

Love you all! 

Nate

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