Friday, November 25, 2016

Nov 21st, Finishing Training ThisWeek!

Hello Fam! It is week 6, which means next week I will no longer be a trainee! That is strange to think about. I have been almost 5 months on my mission. The time passes pretty fast, but when I think about the future I have a long way to go! I am excited to see what is in store. How are you all on this wonderful day?
Our ward mission leader and his cute 6 year old son. He took us to a special place to eat!
Today I want to share a spiritual thought first. As I already mentioned, we, as a Busan mission, are reading the whole Book of Mormon in one transfer. That is a little over 13 pages a day. And I have to tell you, I am so, so grateful that we have done this. This transfer, as I have read it, I have found such an awesome new love for this book. Reading it at this speed is amazing--you can see patterns and connections more. I also have been inspired by the amazing heroes (especially Captain Moroni:)) and seen lots of areas that I need to improve upon. Above all, I have become certain that this book is inspired of God. There is no other source of the book. As Elder Jeffrey R Holland shared, "In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, 'No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.'"

Each day as I read, I learn so much from the different prophets in the Book, those called of God to lead the church. But I also learn so much from those whose names perhaps go unknown--such as the individual stripling warriors who "did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness."  They had not fought before. They were young, and inexperienced. Yet, after a vicious enemy army who had been pursuing them suddenly halted and turned, perhaps falling upon their fellow Nephites, these brave "little sons" responded to the question, "Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?" with the absolute answer of, "Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth." (Alma 56-57)

Elder O and I with our awesome investigator. He is progressing super well, repenting, and coming to church!
I am learning so much about God's nature, as well as repentance, as I read about Nephi, Lehi, and the Lamanites who had thrown them into prison. The sinful Lamanites were overcome with "a cloud of darkness, and an awful solemn fear came upon them." They were in such fear that they couldn't even move. But God was so merciful unto them. The fearful, lost Lamanites cried, "What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?" They knew that they were trapped, and that they had to do something, but they didn't know what.  We are all like that sometimes!  Whether it is a trial in our life or a sin or any burden, we all feel confined to the darkness sometimes. We feel oppressed, unable to free ourselves. And we can't free ourselves--by ourselves. Like the Lamanites, as we "repent (which means turning to God, becoming more like our Savior) and cry unto (God), even until ye shall have faith in Christ, " eventually the dark cloud will be removed. I know that that is true. As we turn to our Father in Heaven, He will remove and illuminate the darkness in our lives. He is light. He is The Light. And as we seek to know our Father in Heaven more, and our Elder Brother, the Savior more, that light will distinctly and discernibly brighten our individual lives and circumstances.
I ordered a new nametag because I wanted one spelled just like Allie's!
I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon. I have received personal guidance from it in the way I have described, as well as very clear answers to my prayers. I know that you all have, and can continue to as well. I love you all! I invite you to seek out that light in your lives--take more time for prayer, more time for studying the words we have been given by the God of the Universe, more time to just sit, and ponder about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that if you do that, no matter how bright you already are, this Light will brighten you.

After turning to God and relying on Him, the Lamanites heard the voice come unto them, soothing, "Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world." I am so grateful for the light that the gospel brings into my life! I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to share that light, and that you do too! The peace from the Gospel is real, and I know that it is through the Savior that we find that peace.
This is me laying on the ground after a great victory. Elder O and I are both super new--neither of us speaks Korean very well yet. So I called our recent convert and talked on the phone to ask him to teach with us the next day, and had a whole conversation with him! And I understood almost all of it! I was so excited that I fell to the floor (maybe also from my recent Book of Mormon reading--see Ammon, King Lamoni, his father, etc.!)


Elder Beckett

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Love You All! (November 13, 2016)

Hello family, does anyone happen to be up at this late hour? I'll tell you a few things going on here. Our golden investigator, J--I felt super close to him. We were like brothers. But he hasn't answered a phone call in weeks! And he hasn't come to church the last couple of weeks either. That has been rough, because he was originally going to be baptized in October. It makes me sad.

Today for p-day we went bowling as a district. It was $4 total for 2 games and shoes! I started getting pretty good, honestly... 
But S, From Uzbekistan, is doing great! He really opened up to us this week. He and his wife attended church, came to ward family home evening, and we've met outside of that a couple of times. We teach very very simply, because he understands limited English, which can be tough, but he is such a good man. And his daughter is an adorable little toddler! So we are excited to continue with them.

We are also teaching one other investigator pretty consistently. His name is K, from China.  He is such a kind man, about 50 or 60 I would say. He is very faithful and willing to learn. He has a baptismal date on December 3 that we are working towards!

Here are some interesting things about Korea:  The vast majority of people live in villas and apartments.  Villas are like baby apartments, like the one we live in now. And the weird part is that for heating, they don't have vent systems. There is some kind of heater in the floor, and the heat just rises up. So you will step somewhere and if it feels pretty hot, it is a heating spot, ha ha!
This is my zone leader who is into health stuff, so we did face masks!  ha ha!
In Korea, eating together and meals in general are a big deal.  People are SO GENEROUS to us, taking us out multiple times to eat. I am super grateful. My point is, if someone from Korea ever visits you in Utah, please be super generous back to them and thank them for us! The eating deal is also funny in that we will try to proselyte to someone sometimes, and they have no interest in the message, but they will suddenly go buy us a drink or an ice cream, haha!
This senior missionary couple came to do housing inspections this week. They were super cute and brought us peanut butter captain crunch, oatmeal, hot chocolate, granola bars, and root beer. AWESOME!

Elder O and I.  We were in the MTC together for 3 weeks.  And food, of course!

Well, I've got to go. I will email again next week. I pray for you individually. I love you!!!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

My week - November 6, 2016

This week I had the opportunity to help with 4 blessings! I had never done that in Korea until this week! The first one I just stood in on; the next 3, I did the anointing in Korean, and my companion sealed the anointing.  It was a wonderful opportunity. One of the things my stake president counseled me to do before my mission was to seek opportunities to exercise the priesthood, and also to bear testimony of the priesthood. I thought a lot about that this week. As I anointed those people, and stood in on those blessings, there was such a special power there. It definitely wasn't my power--I am so grateful that God trusts me enough to allow me to exercise His power.

Allie's package she sent me full of delicious candy!! Sweetie!!
This week we were a little down because our investigator, J, chose to work on Sunday instead of come to church. He does work day by day. And we are a little concerned about him, because I think he is having a bit of trouble trusting that the Word of Wisdom is God's word. But he loves the Book of Mormon, so we should be able to use that to help him. I have faith that he will overcome this roadblock, though!
The food we ate after District Meeting. Totally delicious!

An elder in our district with my companion on the right.
Speaking of the Book of Mormon, we have really been trying to use that in our teaching lately. It is awesome! As we do, I think it is helping our investigators to understand its importance. I am also loving the daily reading. Here is something cool I learned in the last few days.  Amaleki, in the book of Omni, tells about how King Mosiah and his people departed from the more wicked Nephites, and found the people of Zarahemla, whose language had become corrupted (because they didn't have records). The Nephites couldn't even understand them, so Mosiah and his people taught them the language and the Gospel. I can imagine how much they must have helped the people of Zarahemla! The thing I thought that was awesome was when Amaleki said, "wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates...exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.

26.  And now my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

It is his last testimony. And as I read that about the gift of tongues and interpreting languages, I thought about how he had first hand experience with that! I am sure, as Mosiah's people taught the people of Zarahemla, the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues was manifest. I too can have that gift!  As I pray, and then after saying amen, make the prayer a powerful prayer by going to work, I too can receive this gift. I have already felt it.
We went to a restaurant by the church to eat, and the sister's bought a cake for my companion's birthday.

This is delicious dark chicken stuff!
I love you all so much! I have to get off soon, but know that I love and care about you all a ton!! I pray for you. Keep working hard! Keep doing the things that help you to feel the spirit--as Bishop Bartley teaches, the spirit is SO IMPORTANT in everything we do.

Love you all!

Elder Beckett

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Week (October 30, 2016)

Hey everyone!
Elder O and I at a pizza buffet!

This is my District at the pizza buffet!
This week we were pretty stressed about our investigator, J.  He didn't come to church last week, and he hadn't been answering our calls at night. But the sisters talked with him a bit. He was super golden and was originally going to be baptized on October 30, but because we couldn't finish the lessons with him, we pushed it to November 20. Anyway, he and his wife came to church yesterday, and it was so good to see him again! He is so loving and good. He just wants to do what is right. Work has been pretty hard on him, but yesterday we were able to teach him about the Sabbath Day and the Word of Wisdom. He and his wife were so faithful. They said alcohol and tobacco are not problems, but they have been drinking tea and coffee.  But this is what I wrote to the mission president about it:

"They decided to keep the Word of Wisdom on the spot! J said, "I have been drinking tea all of my life, but this change is good, I like change, we will do it." I just felt so much love for them. I told them that I am blessed as a missionary to feel a portion of what Heavenly Father feels for them--not fully, but from time to time, I can just feel pure love for the investigators as they try to align their lives with the standard God has set for them. They are spiritual children right now, but they are growing!"  They are amazing people. I am blessed to work with them.
This is my info sheet for the ward bulletin board.
We also met a wonderful family from Uzbekistan. Elder Lee and I were going back to the church, and we saw this family.  I said hello and asked about their daughter in Korean, but realized they just looked Korean. Anyway, they were very friendly, and came to the church with us on the spot! We gave them a tour and taught about Joseph Smith. We told them a little about church and things, and got their contact info. The husband speaks English, but the wife only Russian. Then they came to our Halloween party, and the wife, even though she cannot speak English or Korean, came to church yesterday. They have so much potential!

This is our family home evening last week. The man on the far right is from China! we made crafts to get ready for our Halloween Party.

Family Home Evening crafts again

Our Halloween party! These little girls were so cute!

I drew Frankenstein for the cake walk!
Anyway, I love you all! We have been reading the Book of Mormon as a mission in one transfer this transfer--it is wonderful to get this new perspective.  I encourage you all to feast upon God's word. When you choose to study the scriptures, God blesses you for using your personal agency. You give Him power in your life, to guide you and bless you, whether you know it or not. By choosing to pray, keep the commandments, attend church--all of these things give God more influence and help in your life. I know that's true. The Book of Mormon is God's word, and through it we can find, build, and develop a relationship with Him.
Allie's cute letter to me!


Elder Beckett