Saturday, November 4, 2017

Transfers! October 29, 2017

Hey family! I am staying in Haeundae! We are getting a B-Team, and my new companion is Elder K T H. So it will be fun!   So our house is really a 4 man house... Now a 2nd team is going to come here with us. So it will be good!

Our nerf war last week. Fun times!
And it was my companion's last transfer, so Elder P is going home now. We had a good transfer together. Over the transfer we became good friends and learned a lot from each other. So as we were together I was able to share things I learned from mom and dad with him... he really appreciated the things I shared and in turn shared them with other missionaries. He told me he went out of his mission on a high note, so I am really glad about that! Thanks mom and dad for being so good and teaching and helping us kids since we were little. I am trying to share the things you taught me, and it really seems to help other people.

I would love to share some stuff, I was just thinking about sharing that actually. Here are some things we talked about:

One big thing we talked about was positivity. Some people feel that people who are positive ignore problems, or don't look at them in the right light. But I shared how, especially when I was a little kid, I had a problem with overreacting to problems. Whether it was getting really mad during sports, or getting really sulky because things didn't go the way I wanted to, I let my outward circumstances control my agency... But what I shared was something dad shared with me. Our life is composed of 1% of our circumstances, what happens to us, and 99% of how we act, what we choose to do it our circumstances (my companion is literally saying this to another missionary who he is talking with on the phone right now). Of course, our circumstances can influence our lives greatly-- but we have power to choose those things which are most important to us. That is why there are people who are miserable and rich, and those who are poor and joyful.

And positivity doesn't mean ignoring problems. It means focusing on what you can do, and not on the things you can't control.

I have to leave right about now... I might be able to finish my email time later. We are going to meet my new companion!

Kenz-- that is a really interesting thing you said. I think that is a good point. There is a difference between putting on a face and focusing on the positive! I have done both, too... Putting on a face is no fun!

Other things I was able to share with Elder 박:

There is value in calling out Satan for who he is. Sometimes, as dad also told me, I have just said, "Satan, go to hell." Which in Korea, hell is not a swear word. 

Honestly, though... it is interesting to recognize in my life two things: 

1: Satan is a very real force in our lives. He will constantly whisper at us to:
 criticize others
 to be angry with them
 to believe that we understand everything better than others (whether companions or leaders or whoever)
 to compare ourselves to others (seeing them as unattainable perfect, or hopelessly lost case)
 to criticize and hate ourselves
 to believe that we have problems and circumstances that no one else has experienced, meaning WE are the exception to the rule-- we can't be forgiven, or understood, or loved. WE can't have hope.
To believe that we are the exact same as everyone else
 we have no power to change, to grow, or improve-- man is man and doesn't change.
and many more.

These things are not true.

But one thing that I have learned in the Gospel, is that those who are happiest in the Gospel, living the most realistic Gospel, do not generalize or deal in absolutes quite as much as others. For example, one thing that has been difficult for me, is trying to discern every thought that comes-- is it a prompting??

No. Every thought will not be a prompting. We are expected to use our heads and hearts, and God will lead us when it counts most!

I better go. But I love you all!

October 22, 2017

Hello Family!

Hey! I will only be on for like 30 minutes right now... We are doing a zone p-day and so we have to get some other stuff done, so I might end up emailing once you are asleep... How are you?? How was state XC?? It is my companion's last week and he wanted to do a nerf gun war at a church so we are meeting with a bunch of missionaries to do that! Should be pretty fun!

Also, sorry about last week, the internet gave out so I couldn't finish emailing... 아쉽네요...I'll email more after our p -day activity.

Hey fam! I'm back, not much time left... things didn't go as hoped with time, but the nerf gun war was super fun!

We found a cool new investigator this week. I talked to him as we were riding the subway back home from an appointment. He is a pretty big-wig doctor who has his own hospital kind of thing. Well he invited me and Elder P to a lunch at the biggest nicest hotel on the Haeundae beach... it is called the Westin Chosun if you want to find it.

Well we ate lunch together. He was a really nice guy, he is Catholic and has great faith. He shared with us some of his feelings about the Gospel, about Christ. I would like to share one thought he shared with us.
He talked about how Christ would often say "진실로 진실로" when he taught-- that means, in English, "verily verily". The root of verily is the same as verity, which is truth. So he shared that Christ always- always-- taught truth. Not fact, truth. 

I thought that was interesting... is there a difference between fact, and truth?

I asked him the same question: what is the difference between fact and truth?

He said this: Truth is fact--with love. I still didn't quite get what he was saying, so he shared an example with me-- the woman taken in adultery. The fact was that, she was an adulterer. She had committed that sin. But Jesus loved her-- and so he said that whosoever is without sin may cast the first stone. And she was saved.

I continued to think about that-- how the Savior had loved her. He knew, obviously, the fact that she was an adulterer, a sinner. But he loved her enough to see her potential. He didn't condemn her. He knew the truth, and regarded the more complete truth as more important than individual facts. 

We too need to view the things in our lives, the people around us, and ourselves, in a truthful perspective. Satan loves to distract us with individual facts-- using them without love to cause us to condemn others and ourselves. As we take the facts, and view them with Christlike love, we will have not only the capacity, but the desire to to serve, to forgive, and love not only others, but ourselves. When we view things with love and recognize our potential we can receive great hope, and share that same hope with others.

Love you all! View everything the same way that Christ did-- truthfully!

Anyway, I hope you all know how much I love you and look up to you! Keep living each day to be a little better! Far more than big decisions in our lives, I think the little things we do each day, consistently, add up to a greater total effect on our lives... So make the little decisions good ones :)


October 15, 2017

Hello Fam!

So this week! We did exchanges with the district leaders in our zone, it was super fun! I stayed with Elder 송(S) in 해운대 the first one, then went to 광안(Gwangan) the second one, and was with Elder M, who was in the MTC with me! 

In Haeundae our church is right by our apartment, on a walking road that gets a fair amount of people, as there are schools right by it too. So sometimes when we do language or companion study, we set up a table in front of the church, then study there so we are visible to people. We also set a desk with Book of Mormons, pamphlets, and a BOM question and answer sheet. 

Well with Elder S, we were studying like that, when a man had stopped and was looking at the BOM question and answer list. So we talked to him, shared a little bit about our beliefs. He said he didn't know anything about God, but wanted to learn. So we set up an appointment for the next morning, then met, and taught about God and Jesus Christ! He wasn't ready to make a 2nd appointment yet, but he always hangs out on the benches right by the church with other elderly people (He is like 78) so we have seen him again since then, and will try to set up another appointment! It was really cool to teach him; he has almost no concept of God, but was very willing to listen.
In Gwangan I helped teach the English class, then we had district meeting that morning. It was fun! I like Elder M and elder S; they are both really fun missionaries.

We also met with our recent convert couple and an American family in the ward twice this week! It was super fun-- the American family is here with the Navy. They are just a solid, diligent family, who works hard to live and serve in the Gospel. We ate Thai food together! And the curry tasted just like the curry you can get at Mai Thai in Tooele!
Ahh-- and also, we met our American investigator this week. The recent convert couple loves America and wants to learn English, so they asked if they could come. They are so sweet and awesome, but very beginner level in English, and when they met him right off, one of them said to our investigator (who was wearing a fedora hat and a Hawaiian shirt with polo shorts) "Hello! I am ____. Nice to meet you. You look funny!" And then busted up laughing... Haha it was kind of a facepalm moment. But our investigator seemed to shake it off pretty well. 

Gotta run, love you all!

Elder Beckett

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

General Conference! (October 8, 2017)

Wow, I can't believe this transfer is halfway over already. Time is flying!
General Conference was so so good. We watched them this last Saturday and Sunday, and I was so impressed. Saturday morning during my personal study I prayed, and thought, and wrote down some of my questions that I have, about how I can improve, about what I need to do in different situations, etc. 
Then while watching conference (I watched it with Elder S from Erda, who attended Stansbury High), I was stunned as almost all of my questions were answered on Saturday! There were very clear answers, and sometimes even whole talks based around my very specific and personal questions.

Not all of my questions were answered as fully as I wished, however. But, as Elder Anderson encouraged us at the end of conference, I look forward to studying them again, on paper this time, to find the rest of my answers. 
I have a testimony that the Lord is real; He has real and full power and, as taught in conference, he is in the milestones of our lives, as well as the daily stresses and minor details. He led me what questions I should ask, and he inspired men thousands of miles away to speak on topics that would most bless and help God's children today. 
I want to share a few more things that I learned in conference in a bit :)

One things I will tell you about our ward is how AWESOME the recent converts here are! So some history of this area: 3 years ago, my MTC teacher served in the same area as me! Then last transfer, Elder Y served here for 1 transfer, and was ZL while I was DL in Youngdo. At that time, he was companions with my current companion, Elder P, and they baptized a couple who met during English class previously, named Brother J and Sister H. They are such a faithful good couple. Anyway, so I came in this transfer to Haeundae and we are teaching the recent convert lessons to this awesome couple! J is super good at ping pong; we had a good showdown the other night, but I lost 6-11 11-4, 13-15. Too bad. I am getting decent at ping pong, and I like playing the Asian style better than American I think! Haha.  Asian style is less side spin, but more control I think, and consistency. They have totally different paddles for it-- the handle is different. But yeah, I will show you when I come home.

This morning I was a bit rushed and forgot my SD card reader, so no pictures, today, sorry.  I'm out of time, but my favorite talk in conference was probably Elder Holland-- he is so encouraging, to help us do better, and have hope, along with President Uchtdorf. I love them. 

Remember to always find hope, especially in little things! This life is about change-- the point of the Gospel is progress, and Satan's greatest lie is that we do not have the ability to change or improve. But we can. Remember, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. What small change will you make today that can change your life forever?


Haeundae, Week 2 (October 1, 2017)

Hey Family! How are you?

My second week in Haeundae went all right! We met with an American investigator, he is a nice middle-aged man named D. We went to a cafe with him... He is really polite, and loves to talk with us. This week we showed him a bit of how the Book of Mormon and Bible work together.

Other than that, not too much... Except yesterday we did a Sunday school lesson with all the adults and youth in the ward! It was about member missionary work.

So for our lesson, Elder P did the first part, about WHY we share the Gospel, to try to help people want to share. He showed the video about the family whose sons worked in a mine for like 3 years to save up money, then flew on a plane to get sealed in the temple as a family. He did really great discussing that with all of them.
Then I talked about how we share the Gospel. We did a little discussion on how they have already been doing it, then we did something that was kind of like a missionary district meeting. We watched part of the District 1, where two sister missionaries visit a member and help her practice sharing the gospel, then we had everyone in the room do that! We had each of them role play with each other and practice inviting someone to hear about the Gospel. Then we shared our testimonies of missionary work. And we invited them to each invite one friend during the month of October to learn about the Gospel.

There was this sweet grandma in the ward who came up after and said, "During that lesson I felt like I wanted to do missionary work so much! I don't have someone to share the gospel with yet. I am not sure where to start. But I will pray about it! And I will work on it this month of October!"

Haha. I love this ward! Also this week I had the opportunity to give 3 priesthood blessings. One of them was to the nice old man who was baptized by President Hinckley. We visited him again yesterday, too, and gave him the sacrament. I love visiting hospitals, and the elderly-- there is a special feeling there. And it reminds me of my grandparents, as well as taking the sacrament to the elderly as a priest.

Hey! I love you all so much, I will email some pictures and things a bit later, but I have to go for now! Sorry, my recent convert from Sangin came up to meet us today! So we are going to have lunch together.

(Here are the pictures he sent later:)

I went on exchanges with my trainer this week, Elder L!  I love that guy so much. He is AP right now.

Elder P and I with Brother Y, who was baptized by President Hinckley.

Me, Brother J (who was baptized while I served in Sangin), and Elder P. We are by Haeundae Beach, a popular tourist attraction in Korea. This was taken today!

Haeundae Week One! (Sept. 24, 2017)

Hello Family! Week one in my new area was pretty great! I am really excited to work here with the great members and my companion Elder P. Here are some pictures from my last area.

L and his family with Elder A and I. Love this family!
This man is our investigator, J, with his new bride, Sister C.

J's son, so cute!
Here in Haeundae we don't really have investigators right now.. like 2 people, but I am not sure how much will come out of it. So we have to find a lot of people! But last night we did some group proselyting with the sisters, and with an English sticker board. There was this big group of kids who came by who seemed like really nice good kids. We got a few of their numbers and plan on having some kind of fun activity with them and some of the young men. The miracle was, one of the kids in the group asked if I knew J__... Well earlier that day I had met a kid at our church named J__! And I found out that our church member was best friends with one of the kids in that group! So I am pretty confident we can meet with them all and have fun playing ping pong and teaching them the gospel.

The members of Haeundae are awesome-- I gave my greeting speech yesterday. I  told them how I came from a small town, feeding horses and cows for a job growing up. I told about how before my mission I realized that missionary work was important, but didn't really activitely seek opportunities to invite people to hear about the gospel. But now, I realize how important it is, now! So I shared a couple quotes that are in PMG about missionary work and how sometimes we can be worried about sharing the Gospel, cause it is scary! But, God doesn't want us to be scared. So I shared my testimony, finishing with my favorite scripture, in 2 Timothy 1:7 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.

Well after the meeting I talked with the Bishop, and we also had Missionary Coordination Meeting with the Ward Mission Leader. Both went super well, and they both expressed their willingness to help, and advice and encouragement. The Bishop even told me that he or several others would be able to make time whenever to teach with us, and they gave us the Sunday school lesson this week to talk about member missionary work! I am super excited if you can't tell... Although I am nervous to teach about that in Korean, so pray for me please!

Also, one other miracle-- there is a man in our ward who is not a member, but the ward contains his wife, and 4 daughters, and their husbands and children, so he comes to church every week. But he looks like he just sleeps during the meeting and isn't really interested in being baptized. Anyway, after the meeting, one of his daughters came up to me and told me that he grew up in the country, too, and loves horses and cows and when I talked about that he was really happy, smiling big! That really made me happy! I hope to reach his heart.

After church, we visited the hospital and took the sacrament to an elderly man there yesterday. What a neat man. I love taking the sacrament to the elderly. Well this man is really special. His name is Y_. He is 91 now. I asked him how he was baptized, because Elder P had told me a bit about him. This is what Y told me (in English, he was so sharp and smart):

"Do you know who this is?" He asked, as he pulled a picture of President Gordon B Hinckley from a notebook he had. "Yes, President Hinckley!". Well, when Y was 19, he saw President Hinckley on the street in Korea and said hello. President Hinckley said hello too, and then said to young Y, "Why don't you come to the church with me?" And then Y emphasized as he told us "President Hinckley said, 'Not tomorrow. Not this evening. Now." So Y went with him to the church, and President Hinckley explained a bit about baptism, and asked if he was Christian. Well his dad was Presbyterian, so he knew a bit. And President Hinckley baptized him right then. And then made him a branch president, and a building supervisor over a new church building. Y was 19! 
Well Y went on to be a district president, temple presidency, staying close with President Hinckley throughout his life. He said, "After I finished the temple presidency, he sent me and my wife to Japan for a couple's mission."

It was so neat to me to see this 91 year old man, whose body was failing, but whose spirit was as lively as ever. When he spoke in English, he even sounded a bit like President Hinckley. What a neat man! He also asked us to write the date, time, and our testimonies in a little book he had. I am so excited to continue visiting him each week! And it is amazing to me, both that he stepped up to the calling President Hinckley gave him, and that President Hinckley was inspired to have such a young man do it-- a young man who was obviously prepared and ready.

Anyway, I love my new area! I sure miss Youngdo, but I am excited to work here!

I've got to go, love you family!

Elder Beckett

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Transferred Again! (September 18, 2017)

Hey everyone! Sorry for being late! Anyone happen to be awake?  I transferred! Which means Elder A is staying for a 5th transfer in Youngdo...

I will be going to Haeundae, with Elder H_ S_ P_! He has been companions with Elder S_, and Elder Y_, too! I am really excited to serve with him. I am in the same zone as before, and we will be zone leaders, so it will be a fun new experience! 

I sure am going to miss Youngdo! L's family partially broke our hearts this week. We met, had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation (reviewed) and then talked to them about a baptismal date. They said they weren't ready for that, or to come to church, but right now just meeting us is enough. They very understandably explained how they went from athiests to now believing in God, but that they aren't ready for those big steps. However, they said, they recognize that meeting with us is much more than friendship-- there is something special, and they want to keep praying, and reading the Book of Mormon, which is great. We met again on Friday, and they had kept their reading commitment! It was awesome! We talked about Nephi killing Laban, and then read 3 Nephi 11 together, about Christ coming. It was a great lesson.

Also, Brother J G, our investigator, married our church member, Sister C! They had such a cute and special wedding, I will send pictures later. He is probably for sure going to get baptized with his son, but now I am gone... I will probably be able to go, though!

This week, also Elder Yamashita came from the 70! He was great! I loved how he was so enthusiastic-- there is a special energy and enthusiasm to the general authorities, I can feel it.

Well, I got some AWESOME birthday packages and letters this week! Thank you all SO MUCH! You were so generous and kind, and gave my favorite things, and now I can use my camera again! Sorry kind of short today, but I better go.