Thursday, October 27, 2016

Elder Bednar, Family History, and Agency! October 23, 2016

Hey Fam!

Just like in Allie's mission, we had Elder Bednar come! It was so special. I learned so much from how he taught, asked questions, and responded to answers.  Before the meeting, we were assigned to read 4 or 5 of his talks, and they were awesome.  He really is a master teacher. We had like a 3 hour meeting with him! The first hour and a half was him asking what we learned from the talks we read. A missionary would point out something, he would often respond with a question, and the missionary would respond, and then Elder Bednar would elaborate. After that, he asked us what we had learned from this pattern of teaching, and we talked about that for a while. I was super impressed--he talked about how we have to learn to listen to investigators. We must ask questions that are not "guess what is in my head" questions, but questions that help them use their agency to answer.

Our mission with Elder and Sister Bednar. I am on the left side, a quarter of the way back.
And lastly, people asked him questions. He called on me during the part about what we learned from the pre-studied talks. I talked about agency--I never realized why agency was so important. In some of the talks he gave, he talked about learning by faith. Without using agency, we can hardly learn. I thought about my life, and how, through asking questions, working, and acting, I have learned so much more than just lectures or presentations others have given. Elder Bednar said, "When men speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost carries it TO the hearts of the children of men, but it does not carry it INTO. They must use their agency for that. I especially learned that, as teachers and missionaries, we must help others to use their agency to learn; that is our role. As soon as we treat someone like an object to be acted upon, rather than an agent to choose, the Spirit stops testifying.

So when I responded, I said something like this, "As I read these talks, I noticed how often you referenced scriptures (he honestly at least used a scripture phrase or example each paragraph).  And I was thinking about why that is so important, and I also read in here about helping our investigators to act, to use their agency to learn.  I think that as we help our investigators to use their agency to act, to read the scripture and use their agency, they can better learn and gain a testimony."  or something like that. And he said, "Yes, so how have you noticed this make a difference in your teaching?" and I said, "I have noticed that our investigator's hearts seem more open, and they can understand better."  Or something along those lines... He asked why their hearts would be more open, and I talked about the spirit (my answers were pretty simple--it is pretty intimidating to talk to an apostle, albeit wonderful) and then he elaborated on agency, the spirit, etc.

It was a neat experience! He really does just glow. I have noticed frequently how BRIGHT the apostles'eyes are--Elder Bednar especially. After the meeting, we all had the opportunity to shake his hand. I prayed that as I did it, I would feel the spirit testify to me that he is an apostle. And I felt it, I really did. I shook his hand, looked him right in the eye, and he looked at me. I smiled, and I could feel his spiritual power--I am not sure how to describe it. It was awesome. I wasn't nervous really, but I could feel the Savior's love.

Some other things from our area:

We have continued doing family history with two recent converts who are preparing for the temple! They are awesome! Family history is SO different here.  Each Korean family has a big family history book, but it is written in Korean Chinese characters. So most of the family history work is the actual inputting of the information, not finding people who haven't had work done yet. So we have put in a few generations of his family, and printed them out! Pretty neat.

Well, I sure love you all. Thanks for being the best family ever! I think about you all a lot! I hope things are going well. I pray for each of you, and I know you pray for me.  :)

Elder Beckett

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 17, 2016

(From Nate's Mom:  This is a picture sent from the mission president's wife of Nate practicing teaching. I LOVE this one!) 
This week was pretty great. Half training was wonderful! It was sooo good to see my MTC friends again, and they all seem like they are doing great. I've been trying to be joyful and use the Korean language more.  So this past week I tried to consciously smile more while jundo-ing on the street. It was interesting how it affected me! I felt happier, stood up straighter, and felt more like a representative of Jesus Christ. I realize that when I physically smile it changes how I think, act, and treat other people!

I also tried to use more Korean with my companion. And I started seeing some improvement in my thinking speed! However, I still could use Korean a lot more. I am so grateful to be serving in Korea!

Here are some pictures from this week:

I went on Splits with Elder L from Allie's MTC group. Super fun!

At a restaurant with our ward mission leader. He is awesome! We wear aprons in restaurants a lot because the food is cooked at the table, so things can pop and spill on you a lot!

My companion and I ready to watch conference. We bought some snacks...:)
We visited Bulkuksa, one of the most famous Buddhist Temples in Korea. This is a river near the entrance.

Me inside the temple--it looks like Kung Fu Panda!

We had to do a Kung Fu Panda move... :)

Mom, I try to eat vegetables sometimes. I made carrots, and this is proof!
I pray for you all everyday! And think about ya all!  Have a great week, I've gotta run.

Elder Beckett

Monday, October 10, 2016

I am Here! Week 6 in Korea (October 10, 2016)

Sorry, I know I am super bad at weekly emails, but here is a bit of an update. We went to a Buddhist temple today! We don't have any super promising Korean investigators, but we are teaching a family who left a non-Christian country for safety. They are super golden. We teach one of them in English, and as we teach he translates it into their native language for his wife and her older brother. They are great!

Also, we watched general conference yesterday, and the day before. It was great! We watched it in
English with a man signing ASL in it! We watched it with a deaf couple in our ward. So I thought a lot of you, Mom!  Speaking of conference, wasn't it awesome? I loved President Nelson's talk about joy. How neat was that? I really want to strive to be more joyful--the kind of joy that is contagious, that is loving, encouraging. I want others to feel my joy and want to share in it! We have gospel knowledge, family and so much to be happy about. So that is one of my goals his week, to be joyful.

I am diligently working to improve my Korean. However, I feel the biggest thing preventing me right now from learning is simply my lack of using Korean as much as I can. I am learning vocab, and grammar forms, but because it takes long to formulate sentences, I use English a lot...So that will be another goal for this week.

Korea is awesome! I haven't eaten anything super weird--actually I ate this thing that looks like sushi, but it is noodles with coagulated pig blood inside intestine. Yikes. Don't recommend it...And today I ate pupa, aka chrysalis. Don't recommend that, either! Most food is super super good though.

A couple of things:  Seth--you are going to do so great at region cross country! Go get them! You deserve to succeed, so make it happen!  Mom--did you cry during conference when they played, "I Will Go Where You Want Me to Go?" :)  Elder Eyring had a chicken tie in the priesthood session! I miss the girls!! (Chickens...)

I sure love you all and pray for you and think of you. Remember that God wants us to be joyful. And treasure the opportunity to pray to Him. It really is spectacular that we can talk to our Father, God, at any time.

Elder Beckett

Splits! and Cake! And Korea! (October 2, 2016)

Hi family!! So I got my hair cut today, and it was just under ten bucks. And the lady who cut my hair gave us a little rice cake after! The Korean people are super generous, especially when it comes to food. And also this morning, we went to a bath house...I don't recommend it. Ha ha awkward...
We went to a little Korean place, and paid $6 for kimchi soup and all these awesome side dishes! Delicious!
Our mission president sent an email with a theme of "Just one more." I've been thinking about that a lot this week. So last night, we were walking back to the apartment, and it was 8:52 when we arrived. We decided to proselyte a little longer, and we found a middle-aged man who was very kind, and interested in the Gospel. We gave him a Book of Mormon and received his contact information. We talked to him for about 30 minutes. God rewards every effort we make to work hard and obey Him. He magnifies our efforts more than we can understand!

Allie is the BEST! She sent me a box with some cake, treats, and food! And such a sweet letter. I have some stuff for her but I haven't sent it yet...
Kyung Ju is a wonderful place. I am so grateful to serve here. The members are amazing! For example, a deaf woman was recently baptized, and now almost the whole ward takes sign language classes from her husband each week after church--and they communicate with her. It is not a large ward, but the members are amazing. We are trying to serve them and the leaders here.

This is my Zone Leader, Elder R. We did splits together this week. He is an AWESOME missionary!
I am also grateful for my companion. He is a diligent, hard-working missionary. He is teaching me a lot!  My Korean is progressing. I am working hard each day on grammar, vocab, and speaking. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn a wonderful language.
Our ward mission leader took us to an awesome American buffet--it was so good! He was super generous.
You asked about the food:  we are in charge of buying food, so I don't eat weird stuff for breakfast, haha! I eat cereal, eggs, toast...But I think most Koreans do just eat normal food for breakfast! And I looooove kimchi chigae, and just basic bulkogi with rice...We haven't eaten a ton of Korean food. But this week a lot of people took us out to eat! One investigator bought pork leg for us! They leave the skin and fat on these little pieces that are boneless--good flavor, super weird, chewy texture.  They do that with all meat--we eat chicken that way too. The chicken wasn't as weird as the pork, haha!  But I love the writing on the picture below--sometimes the Konglish (Korean to English) is so funny!

"Here's an example from a butterfly an example that it can lie happy on a hard rock, an example that it can lie on this unsweetened stone friendlessly and all alone now let my bed I do not care."  Sometimes the English is hilarious!!!!
I have to go now, but I am doing great day to day! I love the work, I am working hard! I pick out a bit of Korean. Anyway, I have to go, so sorry. Bye bye, be safe! Keep praying! Remember God magnifies our every effort.

Love you!