Thursday, December 15, 2016

Prayer Brings Peace (Dec. 11, 2016)

Hello Family!

Things in Gyung Ju are going! This week we had some good and bad, like always. But I have seen God's hand in my life, and for that I am so grateful!

 We had to drop one of our investigators. After the last lesson, he blocked us on his phone so we can't contact him anymore. I wish he would have spoken openly about his problems with us, but he just dropped us. That's two that have happened that way. He was originally going to be baptized this Sunday, so we are sad about that. He was a super smiley guy who came from China.

Here is a picture when Elder Whiting came. I am on the back right.
As for S from Uzbekistan--I love S!  He has a cute little family and we teach them together.  I told you he attended a different church in Uzbekistan, so he knows a lot about Christianity. And he and his wife have come to church about 3 times or so! His wife is great--she reads, prays, and repents. But S won't really make any commitments. Since we met him, he has started praying to God, which is great, but he won't commit to read the Book of Mormon or ask God anything--he just wants to thank God which, don't get me wrong, is awesome--but in order to be converted, he needs to read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it!  That is absolutely essential. We are boldly, lovingly inviting him, but everyone has agency. Anyway, I wish sometimes I could convey the feelings I have about the gospel to others; but if we aren't willing to exercise our agency righteously, there isn't much God can testify of through the spirit. So please pray for S.

We also teach an English class each week, and I am pretty excited about a man we met there! He is coming to our family home evening at the church tonight, which is awesome!  He has a ton of potential. He seems humble and teachable, so we are excited to meet him tonight. One thing I have learned so much on my mission is the importance of honest, open meaningful prayer. Sometimes it is hard out here!  And at home I would often talk to Mom and Dad, Andy, Mindy, Seth, (and you when you were home, Allie!), but out here you can't do that! So you learn to pray. You learn to tell God the good and the bad, to ask Him if He's really there, if He knows about you, and why He lets some things happen.  And through all this--I have learned that He is there.

He is there!

He loves us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful and have joy; He is our father. He wants us to learn. He wants us to grow. He knows the very best way that we can do that. And he gives us what we need to do that. I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who wants me to not only be happy right now, but for eternity, with my family.  Everything he does leads to that end--eternal joy with our family.

I am grateful for prayer! Prayer brings peace. In 1st Nephi, it says, "And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm."

Just like Nephi, I know that prayer can bring a great calm! When life's storms and winds hit, don't forget about our loving Father who is King of all.  I love you all so much--and I want to invite and encourage you to think about your prayers, and try to pour out your soul to God. Tell Him the good and the bad, and ask Him direct questions. He will answer them, I know that is true.

Love my family!!  I hope you all have an awesome week! I think about you and pray for you all. I hope you look for opportunities to serve and help others. Encourage them. Be bold! Let love be the motivation of your boldness--you know how much this gospel can bless them, so be persistent and pray for opportunities. Thanks for all your encouragement and love! Let's do this!


Elder Beckett

Friday, December 9, 2016

OK! (December 4, 2016)

So I am still in Kyung Ju, which I am super grateful for. I LOVE Kyung Ju. The people are sooo good here. My new companion came to the mission at the same time as my awesome trainer, and he is from America. His name is Elder S.  Elder S is great! He is a super sincere missionary. When you do street proselyting, which is a huge norm in Korea, (I don't know about other places, but I assume it is too), you can quickly get into the routine of mentioning the same thing over and over again. But Elder S is always very sincere, and he really makes an effort to talk to EVERYONE. It is awesome, and I am learning a lot from him.
An interesting thing about Korea is that the fried chicken here is SUPER good! So we ordered some Saturday night--we also didn't have much food in our house, and it was soooooo good!!! Haha (oh, and here is my new comp!)

We have family home evening at the church every week, and invite investigators. Love it!
 Elder S is from the Bay area in California. But is hometown is DC. Anyway, he is about 6'5" tall, and has a fairly deep voice. He reminds me a TON of our cousin, Bridger, which is great! His sense of humor and some of his mannerisms are totally like Bridger! I was thinking how cool it would be if Bridger left on his mission this summer, and came to this mission. I could totally train him, haha! That would BE SO FUN!!

This week we had a mission tour, which is when a general authority visits the mission. Elder Scott D Whiting of the Seventy came. I gave the closing prayer and got to talk to him for a bit! He was super wonderful; I learned about a lot of different things from him.  In between sessions of speakers, we had an AWESOME Thanksgiving meal thanks to this cute senior couple who lives on the military base! They were so sweet to do all this for us! It was a tender mercy to me to have that good reminder of American food!  :)
Elder S and I at the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner!
Our delicious Thanksgiving meal!
Things are going a little tough with our investigators. K hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon hardly at all, but he did read Book of Mormon Stories. I feel bad, because we kind of blazed through the lessons with him rather than focusing on individual conversion, and he isn't progressing quite as much as I had thought. Anyway, we had a bit of a rough lesson with him this week with a wonderful member, but it didn't go very well. Brother K went to a different church last week, even though the last few months he has been coming to our church pretty faithfully, so that is tough. But we want to meet him again this week and jost focus on him and his thoughts and needs.

We also met with our wonderful beatboxing investigator, also named K.  He is doing good, and even though he told us he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restoration, he must not understand all of it, because he is still going to his other church. We met him with the ward mission leader last night, and it was an alright lesson. We talked about baptism, priesthood, and things, so if you could pray for him I'd be very grateful!

Our funny meal after fasting. It's a hodgepodge of things we had in our house.
But S, the man from Uzbekistan, is doing awesome! I love S! He attended church, he read the 3rd lesson pamphlet, and we had a really great visit with him this week. His wife and little baby are so sweet. So please keep praying for these investigators! S has faith, but he is also having a bit of a hard time acting on it right now, so we are trying to keep supporting him. Ahh, I just love S!

Well, I've got to go, love you bye!!


Friday, December 2, 2016

November 27

Hi Family!

We are on emails kind of early today, because we are going to the Mission Home to transfer and to a fireside of Mark Peterson, who was a Korean Mission President and now he is a BYU professor. He is teaching about Korean culture! I'm super excited.  I love you all!  I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving! I am staying in Gyung Ju, which is GREAT!  My companion is going; I will really miss Elder JL, my trainer!  Here's some pictures:
Trying those funny nose pore things... haha!
 Sorry I don't have much time to write today, so I'll cut and paste part of my letter to my mission president to let you know how I'm doing. I pray for each of you and love you all so much!

Wow, training completed!  Not really--I'm not sure if my training will ever be complete, but officially I am out of the 12 week program. I am super grateful to stay in Gyung Ju, and I am excited to work with Elder S. But I will really miss Elder JL.  I hope to have the opportunity to do an exchange or two with him in the future!! He has been a wonderful trainer. I have learned so much from him--about hard work, being dedicated, having faith in our prayers, and faith that prayer works, and also having fun in missionary work! I know that you were inspired to send him to be my trainer.  So thank you so much for listening to the spirit, and I am grateful for the friendship I have developed with my trainer. He has helped me learn and grow so much, and exemplifies diligence.

A sweet little boy in our ward!
Gyung Ju is doing well as an area! I am really excited about one of our investigators __. He is so faithful. He is from China, but speaks Korean pretty well. He has a baptismal date for December 17th, and then confirmation on the 18th. We talked about the Word of Wisdom this week, and he agreed to try to live it, so I'm excited to follow up. He has been keeping commitments very well so far! I am also excited about a new investigator from China, who loves basketball. We played basketball with him and his friends up by the university, and me and him and Elder JL were a team The losing team would switch out, so when we switched out, we would talk to him a bit about himself, his family, and we taught him about Heavenly Father and prayer, and invited him to pray. I also got the contact of another one of his friends, so maybe we can play together and talk again later!

Lastly, I love our one investigator _ so much! He is so fun and a great friend to us. He believes the Book of Mormon is true, but he is pretty involved as a deacon and children teacher in another church in Busan. It is hard for him to leave that church. We are planning to teach the Restoration again with the focus of why the Book of Mormon is important. He also said he was willing to work towards baptism.

We have been visiting and encouraging members a lot, but it can be tough to find someone to teach with. So that is one area I want to improve in.

Also, I was able to finish the Book of Mormon last night! So I finished within the transfer. It is such an amazing and inspired book that has changed my life! I am so grateful for it. Reading that quickly was a wonderful and inspired opportunity. I can now more powerfully testify of its truthfulness to others.

Well, family, that's my email to the mission president. Mom, I got your letter on Thanksgiving, which was a bit of a rough day, actually, so your letter was a tender mercy. Thank you!  I've got to run, but I love you all!

Elder Beckett
This is a new convert that we did family history with. Almost everyone here has a family history book , and his book went back to the year 1000. The names and info are written in Chinese characters, but Koreans study them in school.

Elder JL at a meat buffet we went to because it was our last week together!