Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week 6! (August 17, 2016)

Great week! This last Monday, the senior district flew I am now in the oldest group of Koreans at the MTC! Before we know it I will be in Korea. Crazy! I am super pumped, but Korean is pretty difficult to understand.  It is going well though!
Elder Coles has arrived at the MTC!
Today we went to the temple. We did sealings for the first time; it was super neat! And afterward, we served in the temple. Elder W and I were in charge of feeding some of the temple clothing into these iron/rolley machines to make them nice.  And last week we helped fold. So that's cool!

Yesterday Sister Bonnie Oscarson, the General Young Women's President, spoke to us. She gave 3 main thoughts:

1.  The Lord will help us, especially when we put our trust in Him.  Sometimes we try to do it all ourselves, but that is exhausting and super difficult. So I would encourage you all to show the Lord that you rely on Him more! Whether that is by dedicating more time to scripture study, studying at a desk with a notebook in hand, praying more meaningful, serving others, magnifying your callings--when we show the Lord we have faith in Him, he confirms our faith to us. Sometimes it can take a long time though! Joseph Smith studied and pondered and thought for like 2 years before he received his answer. So have confidence and faith, and trust that the Lord will show his hand.  One thing that really strengthens me is looking for tender mercies. To me, tender mercies are small or big blessings, little things that are perhaps personal to you, that may not have seemed significant to other people. Sometimes it is something that saves you a little trouble, something that makes you smile--but tender mercies are definitely there. Look for the Lord's hand in your life! You will feel an added measure of the Spirit if you will take this challenge.
Elder Allen's first day at the MTC!
2.  If you let Him, the Lord will tailor your mission to prepare you for the rest of your life! I know the Lord gives us circumstances to help us grow, to develop our faith, and to strengthen us and prepare us for what he has in store.

3.  The Lord is the Gardener. I encourage you to look up the video, "God is the Gardener," by Hugh Brown. What a beautiful story.

After the devotional, we reviewed in our districts about it, and what most impressed me was how excited we should be about the Gospel! It is easy to get into a rote, routine presentation because we have been so accustomed to the Gospel; but imagine how life-changing it is for those who haven't heard the message--how miraculous the first vision, how amazing the Book of Mormon,  how tender and special the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love Alma 7-11-13. Read it, and pay attention to what all the Savior suffered for us--in addition to paying the price for our sins.

I love you all so much. I pray for you, I think of you! I love the Gospel. God lives! He is our loving Father, who knows our fears, every thought and feeling and worry we have--and He can comfort us if we turn to Him! He loved us enough to watch His perfect, unblemished son--the Saviour of the world--pay the price for us to live with them both again. For that I am forever indebted to their service. And I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve. I love this Gospel, and I know that Joseph Smith restored it to the earth. God worked through him.


Elder Beckett

Pictures etc. (Aug 24, 2016)

Hey fam! Email time goes super fast, but I will do my best!

First off:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MINDY GIRL, AKA BOND, AKA SWEETIE!  Aww man, birthday letter is coming. I found out last Thursday that we could only write letters on p-day, so I have been dying to write you all. But today I will write some letters :).  I hope your day was awesome! You are awesome--a great sister, and I love you.
He must be eating this ice cream in honor of Mindy's birthday...
Quickly before I forget: Seth, you are a CHAMPION! I am so proud of my family! Man, I love so much to hear about you all. I pray that you can feel me thinking about you, my love, cheering you on! I wish that I could be there with you all! Especially with your races, Seth. I always tell my district about my awesome family.
Elder Beckett, Elder Allen, and Sister Rowberry
Nashville Tribute Band came again--they are awesome! That was cool to hear them again. Speaking of--it is weird how I am pretty much following in Allie's shoes from a year ago -- seriously! Yesterday I read a letter she had written exactly a year ago, on Mindy's birthday. Weird! She would mention little things, like President Perriton said..., or "good luck with moving, Andy Kenz!", and they just moved again--also she sang with the Nashville Trib, she would bow to that cute picture of little old Wilma (fear not, I have continued the tradition!), she describes how she was now the oldest group of Koreans, and the new ones just came in, she ate a lot of pineapple but then got tongue sores--haha story of my life! It is so cool for me to imagine her doing all the same things I am doing!

Okay, so I am going to Korea in two weeks! Crazy! Korean language--whoa, super difficult. I am doing my best, but I am struggling with memorizing vocab. If you have any tips for memorizing things, I would really appreciate it! I really do enjoy learning and being here--it seems like normal life now. I love love love my friends I have made here. I can't imagine what I would do without them.
Here's a picture of Nate sending us his email today!

A couple of spiritual thoughts:)

1)  The Sabbath is super important. I studied up on it in order to teach one of our investigators this week. There are great blessings, love, and protection as we keep the Sabbath day Holy! Please go and read D&C 59:9-24. It teaches about the amazing blessings of the Sabbath. In PMG, it says, "Our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God." I would encourage us all to evaluate your Sabbath behavior--Do we look for opportunities to serve others, especially those closest to us? Do we look forward to and prepare for the opportunity to take the Sacrament each week, a cleansing, wonderful ordinance and gift from God? Do we direct our thoughts to our Savior and loving Heavenly Father?

Also, one other thing--one of the greatest ways Satan controls us is through the Fear of Missing Out. Oftentimes we aren't willing to give up sin, pride, whatever--because we are worried of the change, the worldly pleasure and a variety of other things that come with it. Sometimes Satan uses the FOMO to prevent us from doing good things--going on missions for example. However, since I have come on a mission, I have learned sooo much--so much that I would never trade my mission, and I'm still in the Missionary Training Center! Whether it be schooling, job, friends, hobbies--the Lord will pour out blessings for the rest of our lives if we will delay, or sacrifice it, for the opportunity to serve Him. I know that is true! We won't have room enough to receive, or even understand how much he has blessed us.

I sure love you all! I know that God loves me! I know He loves you too!


Elder Beckett

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hey Family! (August 10, 2016)


So weeks here at the MTC are pretty similar in schedule--but a lot of different things can happen! Thanks for the "Dear Elders"--I appreciate them! It is so nice to hear about things at home :) The Korean is coming...slowly, but improving! It is so different from English! But I am enjoying it. It is a blast to work on a new language. I love love love teaching! Teaching with my companion is a little difficult sometimes, because we aren't always on the same page, but we have been getting better and better and I am learning a lot. I especially love TRC, where we teach BYU students. It is neat to teach real people, focusing on real needs.  One cool thought my teacher shared with us this week is that even though we feel like we aren't teaching "real" investigators sometimes, is that the teachers often talk amongst themselves and share how strengthened they are by the missionaries lessons--that because we are representatives of Christ who are teaching His Gospel, we often inspire and strengthen them. It is neat to hear that!
Elder W, President P (our branch president), and me
Yesterday at the Tuesday devotional, Elder Neil L. Anderson came! I was on row five, so I was as close as if he spoke in our own sacrament meeting basically! He is such a good man. He exemplified the characteristics of faith, hope, and charity. I felt his strength and love. His wife spoke first; I noticed the tenderness and love with which he treated her. She was very Christlike as well.  At the end of her testimony, she said, "I bear witness that my husband is an apostle of the Lord." That was a powerful testament to me! There is something special about a spouse's witness.

For me personally, I have been working on faith lately--faith in the Savior, in His Atonement, and in God's plan for each one of us. Faith in the Book of Mormon. Faith that God is with me even when I don't realize it. Faith was the greatest message that I received from Elder Anderson. He said that years ago, Elder Oaks visited his mission when he was a mission president. Elder Oaks shared this advice:  "Be clean, be obedient, be busy." He said that those things will help us to be good missionaries. I love that advice! And as I have tried to live it, I have gained a testimony of it. Towards the end of his address, Elder Anderson said that, most importantly, we all need to believe in miracles. He said,
"If you will be clean,
If you will be obedient,
If you will be busy,
Keep the flame bright,
You will see miracles. 
In YOUR mission. 
Where you are.

There is no question whether or not the Lord can work miracles; the question is whether we have the faith to be a part of them, and whether we are sensitive enough to the Spirit to follow God's will. Will I be a part of that?
The dried squid Allie sent to me!

My district and I all eating the squid...first it tasted like beef jerky, then it tastes BAD. It smells like fish food flakes!
This week, one day before I began personal study, I knelt down and prayed that God would help me to know whether or not the Book of Mormon was the word of God. I had faith that he would answer me; and I closed my prayer and continued kneeling, but no extraordinary feelings came.

Not dissuaded, I stood up,sat at my desk, and began my personal study of the Book of Mormon. I read for a few minutes, and as I read the various doctrines of the book, the Spirit testified to me of how good, how pure, correct, and truthful the doctrines of the Book of Mormon are. The Book of Mormon is God's word. I know it to be. But it wasn't until I began reading, and had been reading, that the Spirit testified to me of the goodness and truthfulness of it. I felt so much love in my heart for this book which strengthens us so much.
These guys know Kaycee!

Super nice elder in my zone--he gave me some chopsticks!
I love you all! I hope things are going well! I would love to hear how things are going. :)  Mom, thanks so much for the Olympics update!  Keep them coming!  I love love love the Olympics!  I love you all!  Also, ALLIE!  I shared part of your last email with my district (Mom printed it out and sent it to me).  Thank you for sharing your testimony! It strengthened me.

I have to get off soon, but I will try to hurry and send pics.  Love you all!

Elder Nate Beckett

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August 3, 2016

Hey Family!

Things are going pretty well here :).  I love so much hearing from all of you! First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENZ!! You are so sweet!  You know what was a tender mercy? I just barely TODAY found your note that you hid in the journal you gave me! And it meant so much to me. I felt like it was your birthday gift to me (backwards, haha) near your birthday! I'm so grateful to have you as a sister.
Me and my Zone Brothers
Me at the Temple
I got a new comp last night. Elder S from my district has been doing really well in Korean, and both of his parents are Korean, so they moved him to the native district, and pulled me from the threesome to be with Elder W from Hong Kong. His native language is Cantonese! Super nice kid:)  I will miss being with my other companions, though. My old comp, Elder St and I always got told we looked alike, haha! I'm still in the room with them, though.
This is me with my new companion, Elder W
So one cool thing is that Brother D, who is one of the most experienced MTC teachers, told me in the last couple of weeks that he spoke to both President Shin, Allie's previous mission president, and Sister W, Allie's trainer. Both of them talked about how amazing of a missionary Allie is. They said she is so happy and things. Anyway, I KNOW SHE IS! SHE is the best missionary I think.  Allie--thank you so much for sending me the packages! I loved the quote and the picture of the Savior, and the Korean candy was so sweet! We are going to eat it with my native Korean teacher, who completed his mission last December.
A mess I made at my residence trying to open the Korean candy Allie sent...

The sentence on the board is about me eating the squid Allie sent, translated into Korean!
I love you all more than you know. Sorry for the sporadic email. I have to keep running to check on my laundry.  Also, is there any possibility of dropping off some chopsticks and kimchi for me?  Haha, I understand if not. It just sounds really delicious sometimes ;)

Elder Y is one of my best friends here at the MTC. He's from Herriman and is so smiley, haha!
Dad, an elder in my district told me a joke pretty much just for you (at least it made me think of you:))  "Never run on the street--if you run in front of a car you'll get tired. If you run behind a car you'll get exhausted."  *Insert here Ryan's little rarrararara laugh*
This is Elder F, who worked with Karissa and I played tennis with in St. George!
This is me with some of my zone friends eating lunch today.
 I love you all so much. I will try and write letters, but it is sooooo difficult to do everything we are supposed to do on p-day and write letters too.  But before I go, here's a spiritual thought of the week:

18. And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

19. For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

20. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

21. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

This occurs after Israel has turned away from Heavenly Father--they chose to trust in the Egyptians, the world power of the time, rather than turning to God in their time of trial. Yet, even though they turned from the Lord, he patiently waited for them to turn back. To me, this scripture is very comforting and strengthening, that the Lord hears my prayers and answers them. He doesn't leave us alone--but sometimes it appears that way to us. He sometimes needs to hide his hand to prove our
loyalty. Even the Savior had to experience that. The footnote explains the teachers as the Lord. I know that he is there for us; I know that he guides us. He has mercy on us, and someday he will dry our tears.

Elder Beckett
This is Brother & Sister E from the Branch Presidency (my MTC grandparents!)