Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy Birthday to Dad! (May 21, 2017)

Happy birthday to Dad! I can't believe you are 40!  :)  And to think you only look 39!  Haha, I sure love my pops! Special day for you and us. It was so fun to see you all on Skype last week!  You all seem to be doing great, and I loved to see you.

Here's an excerpt from my letter to President:  "This week we saw some great things happen in Sangin! We visited that man who works at the Citizen Center a second time, shared our favorite BOM scriptures with him, and invited him to read the introduction before we visit this week! So he became a new investigator. I think he sees our visits mostly as friends, and while I do want to be his friend, I think we need to be a little more clear to him about our purpose. When I invited him to read the introduction (he likes English), he said, "If you command me to!" as a kind of joke. I took the time to explain how important this book is to me, that it isn't just nice words or something, but something that I really knew would bless and help his life. I am grateful the spirit prompted me to do that, because if our investigators don't understand why we invite them to act, they may think we are just pushy, or it isn't that important, etc., but when they understand why, they are far more likely to keep commitments. He accepted the commitment, and said we are welcome to visit again this week.

Here we are with our ward mission leader in an elevator

Two awesome brothers in our ward, both super nice, good guys! And hilarious, as you can see!
We also saw a miracle yesterday--suddenly a college student showed up at church during Sunday School and stayed the rest of the time through priesthood. He was someone with originally English interest whom I had met about 2 months ago on the subway. At that time, he didn't want to give us his phone number, so we just gave him an English card. Then yesterday he came to church! He seemed to really enjoy it, and we texted him last night to say thanks for coming. He said that he has been sad lately struggling with things, different trials--but meeting all the people at church cheered him up, and he wants to come next week! I want to help him realize the greater reason for church, the sacrament, and learning of God. He is interested in learning about that too! We never understand how every little effort we make, every little touch, every small conversation, could affect someone!

Sorry to you all, but I'd better go. I love you all so much and think the world of you. Remember how important and special you are! Every one of you. We met with a less active 22 year old kid yesterday, and just told him how much of God's love for him that we could feel. We get that as missionaries sometimes. It is a great blessing!  Keep going forward!

Elder Beckett

Skype was great! So good to hear from you all! (May 14, 2017)

This is Nate's Mom--we got to Skype with Nate on Mother's Day, and it was wonderful!! Here are a couple of pictures of him while we were Skyping.  He still sent some pictures and a short email after our Skype time, so I will put that on now.  WE LOVE NATE!!

One quick cool experience--sorry we have to get some stuff done for p-day.  A few weeks ago Elder S and I were leaving towards the subway to head somewhere, and we saw a 40-50 year old guy standing on the side of the road, by a parked, car, smoking. We said hello to him. He was pretty nice, but I thought maybe a little strange. He tried to use lots of English in talking to us. His name was Joe. He told us he had a son, and worked at the Citizen Center right across from our church. He said we could visit his office anytime, and then we left. I think we gave him a pass-along card. Anyway, he was really nice, and Elder S and I wanted to try and meet him again to share the gospel with him. So we went to the second floor of the Citizen Center, like he said, but all we found was a bunch of kids in/preparing for the army, which was kind of intimidating. They said check the 4th floor, but we couldn't find our guy! So we left. I remember later praying to ask God to help us be able to meet Joe again.

A few mornings later, we were doing our 7:30-9:00 morning proselyting, and just nobody wanted to talk to us. We kept going, nevertheless. We met a few good people, and invited them to meet again later. In the last few minutes, around 9:00, we were walking home, past the Citizen Center, and Joe was standing out there! He greeted us. We explained that we had tried to find his office, but couldn't. He said, "Let's go! I will show you!" So we went up with him into his office. It WAS on the 2nd floor--past all the army guys, because Joe was the general! He was in charge! We sat down with him, he gave us some soda. We talked about him and his family. He is Christian. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and gave him a copy. He accepted it gratefully and said we could come back any time.

It was a great example to me of how God heard and answered MY PRAYER while at the same time blessing Joe and his family! It was great to get that little lesson in that morning!
This is me with Brother P, who I told you about before--the man who received the miraculous answer to prayer when he was in the military.

We went street proselyting with this young man from our ward who is preparing for his mission. He is super fun! It was a good experience.
 I love this scripture from Romans, that describes both our relationship with God, and facing hardship:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are God's words! They bless me so much with the wisdom found in them. I love testifying of the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon is true! The principles in that book have blessed my life and helped and strengthened me. They are not, by any means, the easiest or most comfortable way of living, but they have far greater meaning and reward than any other way to live in our short time on this earth.
Elder S and I with an investigator.

I love you all! Have a great week! And remember that, as Paul says in Romans 8:28:  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Have a great week!! Love,

Elder Beckett

PS:  I just want to encourage you all to KEEP A JOURNAL. The things you enjoy and go through now will be of great value later! They will not only be fun to look back on, with fond memories, but a source of great strength, and a way to see the Lord's hand in your life. We can't always see how He is guiding us now, but as we look back, it becomes crystal clear.  And write fun things too!  Seth--high school friends, activities, etc.  Haha. Love you!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

It's Week 6 of the Transfer :0 (May 7, 2017)

Hello everyone!  I've got lots of pictures to send today, but first, we went to a member of the mission presidency's house this week with our recent convert, Brother J. The member of the mission presidency is Brother B. He is so awesome, and really looks out for Brother J.  While there, their cute little daughter pulled out something called a daygeum and played us a little song. Then the mom pulled a few more out of nowhere, and said, "try it!" So we did! Ha ha, I couldn't even make a sound come out of it, but you wouldn't know it from the picture.  Also, we shared a message and the Prince of Peace video, and gave them little invitation cards. We invited them to invite their friends to church!
Here we are pretending to play the daygeum!
This is our district p-day. These are super great elders! We went to a park, ate pizza, and played board games!

This is Elder S and I eating jim dak. SUPER GOOD! I can't believe Allie never ate this!
These are the two Kim brothers. AWESOME!
We ate with the Kim family this week (see brothers in picture above), and had a miracle! Their dad was the previous bishop, and they are just a POWER family. So good--always willing to make time to come teach lessons, and they really take an interest in Brother J, our recent convert. One time when Brother J hadn't been able to come to church, the father of the Kim family called us and said, "I noticed Brother J wasn't at church. Have you talked with him? If you plan on meeting him this week, I would love to meet with you all!" They just love and strengthen and help others. Anyway, we had not ever gone to share a message with the Kim family in the time that I have been here. Their son is our ward mission leader, too. Anyway, here is the miracle part.

So we had called them the previous week and tried to set up a time where we could share a message with their family. But we didn't hear back, and we got distracted and forgot to, until Thursday when we texted them again. They invited us for lunch on Saturday, and we eagerly agreed. Sister Kim is a great cook, so we were excited to see their house and have a fun lunch with their family (it can be hard to get to see member's houses in Korea, mostly people just meet in public). Anyway, at the last second, they called and asked us to meet at a different subway station, but we didn't know why. We arrived a little early, and were just talking to people, introducing our message, and met a few nice guys. The family showed up, and told us they wanted to take us to a restaurant. There is an awesome sister in our ward who is the only member of her family, always so kind to give us food and anything we need, visiting and taking care of less actives, etc. Anyway, her husband lives in Seoul, and he had come down for the weekend, so the Kims invited them to lunch with us, and at the last second we ended up going to this restaurant. Allie probably recognizes the food from the pictures! They have a soup that they put the body of a little stuffed chicken inside, it is pretty good!  A lot of work to eat, haha, but pretty cool. And there was this little half clam thing inside that has a cool looking shell that I kept hahah!
Here's the little stuffed chicken

The clam and shell
We shared a spiritual message about the plan of salvation, and about keeping the commandments. It was an okay message, but nothing too special, especially because we were in the middle of the restaurant. Anyway, it was while we were leaving that the miracle happened. There was one worker there, in his 20s, who kind of smiled funny at us when he brought us some food, like kind of curious. As we left, it was that same server at the cash register. He said, "Are you from Utah?" in great English! We were surprised, and introduced ourselves. Turned out he was a nonmember who went to school in America. He said, "I went to UVU for 5 years! Today I opened the Book of Mormon...and then you came in! I didn't know you would come in."

We were amazed! Our plans were changed last second, on the quick decision of the family we were meeting with. This guy had gone to school in Utah, surely heard lots about Mormons. That morning he had opened up the Book of Mormon, perhaps wondering if there was something more to be found in life. And then the Lord guided us to met him.

I know the Lord is in the details of our lives! He sees those things that we do to try to be close to Him, and magnifies and builds upon them. The Lord works through small and simple things:  "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." We are super excited to go meet with this guy again! Even better--it turns out that his uncle or grandpa is in our ward! So that is a miracle for the week. We saw SO MANY but I will share that one. :)

I better go! Love you all, and have a great week. One quick thought:  This week I learned a lot about prayer. I wrote this in my study journal:

"I just learned, through personal experience, that sometimes, in order to get an answer to our prayers, in fact OFTEN, we need to really think about the problem and TALK about it with God. Tell Him what we feel, and WHY. Explain our reasoning. Ask directly if it is right. He will answer. He will lead your reasoning. He will bring peace if it is right, and will tell you if it is wrong. Sometimes, when we don't receive an answer, it is because we need to discuss it a little more and come to a greater understanding of it, through prayer with God. But when we talk to God, like He is another man nearby. He will answer."

Love you all! Press forward, Saints!

Elder Beckett

Another Great Week in Korea! (April 30, 2017)

 Hello my Family!
Zone Conference Time!

This is the start of our Daeju hiking zone conference
That's my awesome trainer on the left!

Daeju Zone

This week we did a super cool zone conference. We hiked up a mountain, and stopped 7 different times to talk about the Savior's life. It was awesome!  And did I tell you I got glasses?

Another picture with my trainer, and my new glasses!

Here's our great AP. He was super nice to me in my district when I was a trainee. He is going home, sadly, but that is life!
PS, I don't think I mentioned this yet, but happy anniversary, Mom & Dad! I love you and am so grateful for your goodness and faith and marriage. I have the BEST parents in the world! And I wrote you an anniversary letter that should be coming in the mail.

Sorry I have been busy taking care of some other things, and don't have much time to write. I hope you know I love you SO MUCH and want to keep emailing you forever! But alas, I can't. So here's a copy of my update to the mission president:

"Thank you for the scriptures on remembering! I look forward to studying them. And thank you for the awesome zone conference! I know you and many others put a lot of planning and work into that, and it was such a neat experience. I learned a lot, mostly from things that were not specifically said, but that the Spirit helped me identify in my personal life to work on and put into action. Some things I learned were that the Savior used scripture when He taught, not because of His lack of authority or power or Spirit, but, I believe, because He knew He wouldn't be with those around Him forever. By teaching them to use the scriptures, He taught them to learn on their own from the scriptures, and that, though He wouldn't always be there with them, if they were diligent and obedient, they could always have His spirit to be with them.

I learned that Jesus Christ was able to overcome all by focusing on His love for us, and that I, too, by remembering my love for others can gain the strength to do hard things. I learned about repentance, and how it is far more than stopping a bad action, but overfilling life with goodness and service, to both show God our repentance and protect us from sin. It was a wonderful zone conference. Sangin is going well. We have many people who are learning in the Gospel, but still not quite ready to just take off, all in. So we are working with them, little by little. We read the Book of Mormon with an investigator and had a special experience as we all felt the spirit, and as Elder S and I testified of its truthfulness. He seemed touched, as well. We also met a man who has heard of our church through his friend's mother, and will probably become a new investigator this week. We are seeing many miracles! God is definitely in the timing of all things. I love working with and learning from Elder S. He is a diligent missionary with an amazing love for God and especially his Savior, Jesus Christ.

We met with our high school age investigator this week, and were very open about our purpose, and what we wanted to do. He is willing to meet with us and learn, and he knelt in prayer with us, but because of his family's strong belief in Buddhism, he feels that things like personal prayer betray Buddha. I can see his goodness, and his willingness to learn, but see that his family ties, perhaps the "traditions of his fathers" are holding him back."

Well family, we had some great experiences this week, and some funny ones! I have to go, though. LOVE YOU ALL!  Sorry for not writing more...I hope you understand! Go forth with faith and hope! You are my wonderful family, and I pray God to be with all of you in your various areas and challenges.

Here's a few more pictures from our Zone Conference.
President Barrow, me, and Elder S.

Here's a shot of Elder S and I on our hike.