Friday, January 20, 2017

January 16, 2017

So, my week!

Monday I rode the subway here to Sangin! We rode a subway for a bit, then a train, then a subway again! My first impression of the new area:  HUGE! Daegu is a huge city, my area is a part of it.  Anyway, our house is like a two minute walk from the subway terminal, and the church is literally next to our house, which is super nice! Way useful. My new companion is Elder M from Boise, Idaho.  He is the oldest in his family, and just a great person. So patient, encouraging, positive, and hardworking. Something funny about Elder M--he has created a bit of a tradition with me and his last companion, haha. When I use the bathroom, he stands outside the door and starts singing some sort of Disney song in a jazzy voice, vibrato and all, haha!  One of these days I am going to set up a camera to get it... ;)

Here is my new companion, Elder M

Anyway, in Korea they have family night at the church almost every week on Mondays, so we went to family night. During family night, a call came from an unknown number.  I didn't know if I should take it, cause we were in the middle of something, but I decided to in case somebody was calling us back with interest or something.  The guy calling had seen our church (the church here is so BIG and BEAUTIFUL! But I wouldn't say great or spacious...;) ) and had never attended church before, but wanted to try it.  He saw the phone number inside the door and called, and he was actually standing outside of the church! So we welcomed him, gave him a quick tour, and he joined us for the rest of family night. We asked him if we could meet again to explain more about church before Sunday, and we ended up meeting Saturday night. We taught him about God, Jesus Christ, baptism, and then invited him to be baptized. He agreed, and then the topic got changed. I had a bit of a feeling that I should give him a baptismal date invitation, but the subject had changed.  A few minutes later, the feeling came back again, so I decided to act on it and invited him to be baptized February 4th so he could be confirmed the next day. He agreed!  Super awesome guy. He came like 20 minutes early to church, and sacrament went pretty well. There was a little weird stuff from one member in Sunday School, but the highlight was Elder's Quorum--there are a bunch of young mission/post mission age young men in the Elder's Quorum. There were like 6 of us in there, and they all were super good to encourage him, be his friend, and explain about the church more! They were awesome--this 20-year-old kid was like, "Yeah, and even though you can't always understand the scriptures, the thought isn't the important part--the feeling is important." And things like that. Anyway, the investigator is coming to family night again tonight, so we are excited.
Here I am with a bunch of Allie's MTC friends--I saw them all on transfer day!
Well I love this new area and I'm so excited to serve with the great people here! A couple other tender mercies that God showed through the same great man, a member of our mission presidency.  On Sunday, one of the brethren in the ward guided this little boy to me and told me to take care of him and guide him through church meetings. I sat with him and talked with him. I had no idea who he was, but he went off with the deacons for priesthood. After church, I saw him sitting and eating alone, so I walked over to him and we talked a bit.I got his number, and we are going to probably play ping pong or something together. Later I found out that he was the son of a less active we had visited last week! The guy was super friendly, apparently his kids had attended church a long time ago, but we told him that we'd love to teach them English or something, then this week their little son came to church all by himself! I was so grateful that the ward brother asked me to take care of him.

Then we visited the same ward brother today at his doctor's office! He is super cool. He speaks English pretty well, so he told us some different words in English and Korean--one being "test," as in a functionality test. That was a few hours ago. Well just now somebody called the church phone, and I answered and I wasn't sure exactly what the guy was talking about, but then he used the word we had just learned, and it all clicked!  Haha, blessings and a tender mercy!
Look closely--I am eating octopus!

Well, I love you all so much. Remember that God expects us to use our agency to follow Him, but He doesn't make us do it without help. He guides us and encourages us along the way. In fact, He carries us--we don't realize nealy His great influence in our lives. He wants us to turn to Him and remember His son--the sacrifice He performed for all of us that enables us to return to Him again. He knows us. He knows our strengths, and he puts us in situations where we can develop them and serve others. He knows our weaknesses, and puts us in situations where we can recognize them and overcome them through His Son. I am grateful for a God who knows me--He knows exactly how I will act, and He knows what I need to have in my life to help me to turn to him, to trust him, and love Him. He knows!

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.  (Mosiah 4:9)

I hope and pray that we remember that, and rely on Him who knows all things.


Elder Beckett

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Transfer 4! (January 8, 2017)

Hey family! I know I'm getting on email super early, but Elder S and I are both getting transferred out of Gyung Ju! He is going to be an office assistant, and I am going to follow up train someone who is the transfer below me. I am going to the Daegu Zone. Anyway, on order for Elder S to get office training, we had to come to the Mission Headquarters yesterday and spend the night, then today I will head out to my new area! So I am emailing early.

Here is my last District pictures. The Sister on the left was Allie's MTC roommate! And the elder on the right was in Allie's MTC District!

I am really sad to leave Gyung Ju--I really love the city and people there. What genuinely good and loving people. It was a bit of a tender day yesterday--I was reflecting a lot on the people I had met there, and how I didn't know I could learn to love people so much. I had the opportunity to share one final testimony, and I shared one of my favorite scriptures, Moroni 7:45.  "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

It describes charity, pure love. That pure love that God has for us, that same love that led the Savior to die for us, and the same love that we must strive to develop each day. As we seek that love, I know that others will feel God's love through us! I think that of all the Savior's attributes, charity was probably the greatest. Charity leads to all other attributes, if you think about it.

This is Elder S and I with DL. He is a recent convert who is just amazing--so strong in testimony. He loves the Book of Mormon and has an amazing relationship with God. What a guy! He offered to take us with our bags to the bus station, which helped us so much honestly! Anyway, I sure am going to miss him. He has strengthened my faith so much.
Anyway, I am super excited to see my new area. I already know my new comp! We were in the MTC together for 3 weeks! His name is Elder M, and he is a super nice kid, I didn't get to know him very well. But we both have gray patches in our hair, haha! It will be an interesting transfer Korean wise--I am going to learn a ton being the senior companion. I am going to have to! The new city in Korean is ____, aka Sang In. Heavenly Father has definitely helped me so much with Korean, but I am still so inadequate!

Also, real quick--I had my 6 months mark last week...WHAT?  I encourage you all to keep a journal! The times we go through are so valuable, and later we will want to see them again.

Love you all, I've got to go, though, so bye!!  Here's a few pictures of our goodbyes.

I had the opportunity to give this young man a blessing when he was sick one time. He just hugged me when I told him I was leaving Gyung Ju. He is such a good kid; super faithful--he even gives sacrament talks sometimes.

This is a member's cute and crazy daughter! What a sweetie. She likes to just hold our hands and walk with us.

I will miss this family!

This is a man who directs parking on the road by our house. We walk past him every day, and tried to teach him, but he had no interest. Eventually we were just friends with him and said hello a lot. By the end, he loved us, haha. What a cool guy!
 Bye for now!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! (Jan 1, 2016)

Happy New Year!  Things are going really well her in Kyung Ju. I love this area and the members here. And we had a Christmas miracle that we realized yesterday! We prayed and fasted for a Christmas baptism, but nobody was ready who we had been teaching. Anyway, on Christmas when we were on the way to our house, we met a guy right outside our villa named B. He looks Korean, but is from a country that sounds like Tjekistan, and didn't speak Korean, but spoke English. We watched the "Light the World" video with him, and he gave us his contact info, wanting to talk again and keep up his English. I didn't know if he would honestly meet with us again. He said he was super busy during the week, but to call him again on the next Sunday.

The next Sunday came and we were a little busy and things, so we put off calling him. The thought came to my mind a few times, so finally I called him when we were home for dinner. I asked when he could meet and he said that that night he'd be able to! So we hurried and ate and met him.  He is fluent in English. He told us his life story pretty much; working for the US government, having a hard time after being laid off, bouncing from country to country and job to job. He said he wasn't sure why he was in Korea. We found out both of his parents have passed away, and he got a little emotional talking about them. Anyway, he didn't really believe in God. Elder S then shared his life story, which ended up being really powerful, and he ended by testifying that God knew this man and his circumstances and wanted him to be happy. We ended by praying, and this man wants us to meet again later. He seems very ready to receive the Gospel, even though he might need to make some tough changes in his life. He was our Christmas miracle! We found out he had been waiting for us to call him, thinking we had forgotten him! I am so grateful that the Spirit prompted me to call him, and that I was able to follow that prompting.

I'm ringing the gong!
We went to Bulguksa today for my second time, but that's cause I am still in this area! We rode a bus up a mountain to go see an awesome Buddha statue in the mountain, and while we were there, they have this fundraiser thing. Under an ancient looking building, they have this enormous bell, and a big red log on ropes by it. You can pay a dollar and go swing the thing into the gong. I did it. Definitely worth it!

With our investigator, super nice and so humble!

Here is a cool scripture that I want to share with you all for this New Year:

But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." (Moroni 7:13).

Sometimes I wonder what things in my life are from God, what things I shouldn't do or say, and what is worth my time. But the way to evaluate is simple. We can use this scripture--it really is powerful. I hope we can all evaluate our thoughts, actions, and words this year, and really try to align our actions with our pefect Savior, Jesus Christ. He really can make more of us than we ever could of ourselves, if we are humble enough to turn to him.
Our ward mission leader and his son, and a great new convert. We had spaghetti and chicken to eat!

Our ward mission leader's son wearing my suit jacket!

Love you all! I have to go, but I'm so grateful for my awesome family!

Elder Beckett

Christmas! (Dec. 25, 2016)

Merry Christmas! I'm sending some pictures, but I'm going to be quick today.
This is me right now, eating a kim bap burrito!
This is at our mission Christmas party.  We had an awesome Korean style Christmas dinner, but we had ham too!

Elder Y--one of my best friends from my mission!

This is our assistant to the president, my missionary Grandpa. He gave me this scarf!

I got to see my trainer again! Also this is an angel senior sister. She is so sweet and always takes a interest in our lives, making sure we are doing all right.

A wonderful member in our branch.
I love the Christmas season! I love the joyful, wonderful, amazing and beautiful story of the Savior's birth. The new star, symbolic of new light in our lives found through the Savior. The shepherds, who went with haste, quickly seeking our Savior. The humble manger where the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, our Elder Brother and Perfect Example laid as a new born baby. I love this time--and yet, more important than how the Savior came into the world is WHY He came into the world. He came in for us. He came in because in our Father's infinite wisdom, He knew that all of us would make mistakes. He planned for that. He knew we would feel alone, or lost, or like nobody understands. And so He sent His Son. To die for us. To feel all that we could feel. To pay for our sins, that we might return to our dear Father in Heaven. And because He sent His Son--we have another chance. We can start again! No matter where we have been, no matter what we have done, or who we are right now--we have power to change. We have hope to change! Because of Him we can overcome all, and, if we follow Him, we eventually will. That is my testimony!

So as we start the new year this Sunday, think about that--what is something that you have felt you just couldn't overcome? Perhaps you have given up by now. Perhaps you feel like it is too far gone or lost. But it never is! Because of Him. So please--try again! Keep going, as my great Mission President always says. Go forth, and do what you haven't done before, and recommit and remember Him. And when you aren't perfect, you go back a bit, you hit a bump in the road--don't think, "Ahh, I knew I couldn't all along," But think of it as an opportunity to recommit once more, to lean on our Savior a little more, and to show your dedication to Him. He overcame all, and so can we! Because of Him...I love that powerful phrase.  There is no limit to it!  :)
I love you all so much! Have an awesome week and a happy new year!

Elder Beckett

Busan Update (Dec. 18, 2016)


I told you about an investigator that we were excited about last week--Brother P. He is 21 and we met him through English class. Anyway, super nice kid. He found out about English class through his mom's friend, and came. The next week we got his number and he came to family night, which we invite people to and hold every week at the church. He brought his little sis. We met twice after that last week, and taught him the restoration lesson from PMG, and the next time we talked about prayer and scripture study especially. He is very humble, and prays super sincerely! Super sweet kid, I am excited to see how things keep going with him.

Other than that, one awesome person I want to tell you about is Brother D from the Branch. He is a recent convert who my trainer baptized. I have learned so much and my own testimony has grown so much from his faith and experiences. When they met him on the street, he was like a GOLDEN investigator apparently. Anyway, so we would meet with him once or twice a week at the church, and talk and teach a lesson. It is actually a huge blessing because I got to learn about how to teach lessons by doing it with new members a lot, super nice.  He struggled a little bit with commandments and things still, and we would encourage him a lot to pray and read the Book of Mormon--he wasn't reading hardly at all.  So one night we were planning and I had a feeling that maybe we should give him a call and try to meet him the next day. We did, and we met. Apparently he had really been struggling lately because he had had a lot of trials, especially with his family and things.  He prayed and prayed but he felt like he was getting nowhere--so he decided he wasn't going to come to church anymore, and he hasn't missed a sacrament meeting since he was baptized! We encouraged him, strengthened him, and read the Book of Mormon with him. Fast forward to now!

Now he is doing SO WELL! He started reading the Book of Mormon faithfully. I am amazed at his progress. He just glows now. He is so happy. Almost every time he sees us he testifies of how amazing the Book of Mormon is. He'll say, "It really is the Word of God!" And things like that. He used to talk so much about all these trials he had, and he was really struggling with them. But now he just talks about how great this Gospel is! And then he will just tell us how much it has helped him. His understanding of the Gospel is vastly greater than it was just a month or so ago. He is on fire! It makes me so happy. The Book of Mormon has incredible power! Read it and study it and apply it every day!  It changes lives.

Here is another neat experience that I wrote to my mission president: One of the greatest moments I have had so far on my mission, now that I think about it, was last night.  We met a couple of guys from Norway and Sweden. They spoke English and are exchange students in Hong Kong. We briefly talked and then started sharing our message. After asking their religions, one of them was an athiest, and one was Christian but didn't attend church. We asked how his belief has blessed his life. He responded, "Actually I have never thought about that before!" He then slowly came up with something, and then like a great stone rolling, he came up with more and more and started realizing how much God had blessed his life! We asked if we could exchange numbers with him and refer him, but he said he probably wouldn't be interested. However, as he walked away, he was smiling and said in his accent, "You are doing a very good work! You have made me very happy, thank you!" And that was so cool. It was great to see this guy who hadn't thought about God's role in his life to start to see those blessings, and find joy because of it. That is our purpose; to invite others to come unto Christ. He didn't accept this Gospel yet, but I am sure if he sees missionaries like us in his hometown he will want to talk to them.

Anyways, I have to go, but I love you all so much! I will see you on Sunday when we Skype. Thanks for your personal emails! I love love love to read them, but sorry it is sometimes hard to respond to them individually.

Love you all!