Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Good Week in Sauk Rapids!

A big hello to all my family, friends and coaches back home, at school, and serving all around the world! Hope y'all are doing great and enjoying the beautiful fall time of year. I know I sure am! The weather has been so nice here. It's like high 50's - low 60's and not humid and sunny so it's been awesome. The leaves are changing and football is in the air, so it is definitely my favorite time of year!  😁🏈 This week was great, so let me tell you all about it!

Monday was p-day, as you all know, so we did our shopping and all that and went to Red Robin for lunch because they were having a burger deal for $6.99. It was really good and I got coleslaw as my side.  Come to find out, all sides were bottomless, not just fries, so I had like 3 bowls of coleslaw. 😂 After p-day we had dinner with the Cs. They are way cool and I really love their family! After that we knocked doors for about an hour and had zero success, mainly due to the fact the Vikings had a Monday night football game and no one wanted to talk because the game was on. So we got the update at each door we went to. We had one guy literally yell at us from down the street and say, "No one is gonna talk to you!! It's the Vikings game tonight!" We just had to laugh. 😂 After that we had a lesson with LJ. The people working at his group home still aren't bringing him to church, so that's been a bummer. We called them Sunday morning and they said they couldn't because they only had one guy working and he couldn't leave all other people unattended. 😜 So LJ didn't make it again this week, unfortunately. We are working with his group home people to get him there. Just a long slow process. You know how it is haha. But the lesson was good. He was a little scatter brained, but we tried to keep it on task. We taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and showed a video of Christ getting baptized by John the Baptist. He really liked it! So it was pretty sweet.👌He's read the whole children's Book of Mormon we gave him already, so we are having him reread some parts where it talks about doctrinal stuff more. Other than not coming to church, he is doing great!

Tuesday morning we mowed C's lawn for her and talked about reading the Book of Mormon and receiving revelation on if it's true or not. She doesn't really understand that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are two different books and that our church is the only church in the world that considers the Book of Mormon scripture. So if you read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true and receive a witness from the spirit, then it is true and our church is the true church! It's really simple how you receive an answer to whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and the LDS church is true. I love that! But she was like, "It's exactly like the Bible, so why do we need it?" So we explained to her that it is scripture like the Bible but it's the record of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. She still is struggling to conceptualize that, so we will continue to work with her on it. But she did read Ether 12, so that was cool, and she said she liked i. t🙌💯 After that we worked on our Zone Conference training and the stake missionary coordination report for President Baker. Our Zone Conference training was on using Facebook effectively as missionaries.  Nothing new or out of the ordinary. Basically just always having your purpose in mind as you are using social media. We went to campus after that and contacted for about an hour. We just stayed right in the area where they wanted us to be and actually had way more success than we ever have had on campus. So that was great!😁 We talked to a lot of people and we actually split up but stayed within sight of each other because it's way less intimidating to talk to one person than two. We gave out 4 Books of Mormon and a ton of pamphlets and cards. The very last girl I talked to was way cool. So I was walking back to talk to Elder M and the guy he was talking to and I saw this girl walking on a sidewalk parallel with the one I was on. I felt like I should talk to her, so I went over and started talking to her. I don't remember all that was said, but I remember we ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation for like 20 minutes. She said she had lost a lot of friends and family members recently and was struggling with that. I was able to talk to her about the Plan of Salvation and how it had helped me in my own life knowing that when those I love have passed on, I will be able to see them again some day! She really liked it and I felt like it brought some hope into her life if nothing else.👌After dinner we went up to Royalton and knocked some doors for about an hour and had little success. We had a lesson set up in Little Falls with the D,s so we headed up there to stop by some less actives before the lesson. We met this less active YSA guy we hadn't been able to meet yet. He joined the church when he was 18. He said he read the Bible and looked into different churches and felt this one was the one closest to what the Bible teaches. He doesn't really have a testimony of spiritual things, just of learning educational things (best way to put it) about the church. He still has some things he doesn't believe in our church, like the fact that Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ. He said that wasn't possible because of some scripture in the Bible. He also used the one in the Bible about Christ saying there would be no marriage in the next life so he said that eternal marriage is false too. He's an interesting guy, to say the least, but we friended him on Facebook so we can continue to chat with him. The lesson with the Ds went really well. We talked about using our Priesthood authority to become the best husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons we can be. As we live worthily of the Priesthood, it in turn makes us better people!👌

Wednesday morning we knocked doors and found little success there, but it's all good! Brother Br took us to lunch and then out to visit some less active YSAs that we didn't know or anything. One of the ones he wanted to visit was TB, so we stopped by there and had a really good lesson with him. We shared "Testimony of the Book of Mormon" by Elder Holland, and he really liked it. Brother B and T hit it off pretty well, so it went really well. We are going to try to bring members every time we go there now.💯After that we were supposed to have a lesson with M (dude we found last week), but he wasn't there. 😑 I was pretty sad about that. We had Facebook as our backup and we had some people we wanted to contact and share stuff with, so we were able to do that at the church. I love having Facebook because it makes daily contact with people way easier. We share videos, general conference talks, scriptures, etc. with people we teach every day. And getting in touch with less actives has been amazing on Facebook. Lots more contact has been made. 🙌 After that we went to Foley and knocked doors for like 2 hours haha. We were knocking this street and this older lady and her granddaughter(??) were walking, so we talked to them and come to find out, they were from another church going door to door on the same street we were.😅😅 So it was kind of weird that way haha. But we found this lady named R who was way cool! She is retired and lives in Foley with her husband. She was out moving bricks, so we stopped to help and she's like, "Oh, you're the Mormons! My sister lives in Las Vegas and is basically a Mormon!" Haha she was quite the hoot and we had a chat about temples and the Book of Mormon and lots of other things. She told us at the end that she loves to read and we had "inspired her to read the Book of Mormon!" So that was awesome.👌Sometimes you have to knock doors for like 2 hours to find one person who is ready, but it's always awesome when you find "the one", as Christ says.😁 The Brainerd and Alexandria Elders stayed the night at our place, and it was a party ahaha.😂 We had Zone Conference in Anoka Thursday morning, so they came down to be halfway there. 

Thursday morning was a joke. I'm going to go on a little rant here because I'm still a little upset haha. So we made travel plans for everyone to get to Zone Conference and save the most miles. So like half the zone changed their travel plans and didn't coordinate with anyone, so it was a disaster. We, Brainerd, Alex, Princeton, and Elk River were supposed to meet in Elk River and the APs would come get us in the van. So we get to Elk River in our car and St. Cloud and Elk River are there all ready to go. Brainerd and Alex are just leaving St. Cloud at this point because they all got up late and didn't get ready on time. So they ended up driving all the way to Anoka, which destroyed miles. St. Cloud was supposed to take Alex down and back up, and Brainerd was supposed to meet at Princeton's place and drive down with them. But it didn't end up happening and Princeton went to the wrong place to get picked up, and the APs showed up 30 minutes late. So we all got to Zone Conference 30 minutes late. 😱😜 I was a little cheesed, but it's all good, and no harm was done. It just really makes me mad when we make travel plans and then no one follows them and we are way late and it's "our fault". But it is what it is, I guess... Zone Conference was really good, and it was a party to see all my buddies from around the mission. President Barney gave a really good training on the atonement and how it is individualized for each one of us so Christ can personally help us and make us better and succor us. It was really cool!👌Thursday night after Zone Conference we did some knocking doors in Becker and found this dude named J. He is solid! He loves the Bible but feels that no church he's looked into teaches correctly from the Bible. He also had never heard of the LDS church or the Book of Mormon. So we taught him about the Book of Mormon and he was super interested and took one for him and one for his dad. His dad is apparently like a self-proclaimed biblical scholar or something haha. But anyway, it was a way good find, and we are friends on Facebook, too, so we've been in contact with him and all that good stuff.

Friday we did accounting calls and weekly planning until like 4:30 pm and then we stopped by some people we had found knocking doors a few weeks back. One of them had read the Book of Moromn chapter we gave her and said she liked it, but wasn't super interested right now. So hopefully, later down the road, she will be interested, and the missionaries here can teach her! After that we had dinner with the Ps. This is T and M, who are the younger generation of Ps in the ward haha. They have a way cool family and they made us homemade fish and chips for dinner and it was way good. I had a lot of fish and lots of salad haha. 😂 Like 3 plates of salad. 😂 It was good! After that we stopped by KS, who is a less active YSA in our ward. Her brother is active in our ward and her other brother isn't active in our ward. We stopped by to see her and she was home with her boyfriend and let us right in! They were super nice and invited us over to have a bonfire and board game night in the next few weeks haha.🔥 So that should be sweet! M and another less active YSA guy also live there, which we didn't know about. K's boyfriend isn't a member but is really open, so we are going to start working with them more closely! It was a gold mine in that house haha.👌After that we had another lesson with LJ and it was pretty weird. This new guy is living in the group home and he and LJ don't get along super well, so they were having a little spat during the lesson and LJ was having a hard time staying focused haha. But we talked about the restoration to make sure he remembered it and he actually remembered a pretty decent amount of it, so that was great. We showed a video of Christ giving his apostles the Priesthood and then Peter, James, and John giving it to Joseph Smith. He seemed to grasp the idea of Priesthood better after that, so that was great! 🙌

Saturday morning we helped Brother H with his siding some more. We are almost done siding it, and then we are going to put a new overhang on the edge of the trailer and add about a foot of overhang onto the roof. So that's the next part coming up.  After we got done, we stopped by Sister H down in the ghetto because we hadn't seen her forever. She told us her son wants to come to church on Sunday. So we got a ride for him all squared away and he was able to make it to church. He is 10-years-old and loves church, but his mom just doesn't ever come. She told us she wants him to have the opportunity to be in the church though because she knows it's good, I just don't know why she doesn't ever come? After that we had a lesson with J and it was good! We are really starting to connect well with Jared and he's really opened up with us, so that's been awesome. We talked about baptism for the dead and getting a temple recommend so he can start thinking about that soon! He got his patriarchal blessing and loved it, and said the patriarch knew him "inside and out." It was really cool to hear his take on it. 😁 We also played an insane game of Uno with him haha. 😂😂 After that we stopped by to see B, and he wasn't home, so our backup was to knock the rest of the town homes where he lives for like 30 minutes. Well, the first door we knock on this dude answers and tells us he is a sound technician for the EFY camp in Minnesota and knows quite a bit about the church. So that was way cool! He took a Book of Mormon and said we could swing by whenever to share more with him. The last door we knocked, this lady named S talked to us for a little bit and took a Book of Mormon, too, and said she would try to come to church next week! I was so hyped haha #InspiredBackupPlans. After that we had a lesson with A, and it went pretty well! She isn't as resistant to getting baptized anymore, and we talked about the restoration and how we can know it is true by reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it! We sent her "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" song by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Facebook so she could watch it. She told us she loves music and it helps her feel the spirit, so we are going to try to use music a lot more now! After that we had dinner and then went and knocked some doors in North Sauk Rapids. We found 2 new investigators, so that was awesome, and we also met this guy who was out working on his Jeep who used to be in the Air Force and was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Layton. So we talked to him for a while and he was super nice, but not really interested. It was a fun night knocking doors. People seemed pretty receptive and nice enough, even if they weren't interested, so it was very much enjoyable haha. 😂

Sunday was awesome! I love Sundays as a missionary.🙏 We had A, JC, and Brother M (part member family) at church and also the Cs and Bs came, too. 😁😁 I was so happy to have them finally at church. Brother C loved it so much and like half the ward was fellowshipping him! It was great!👌I also got to bless the sacrament because they didn't have enough YM, so I got asked to help out, and it was cool to be able to do that. I haven't done it since I left on my mission! After church we went up to St. Stephens again and J, that we found last Sunday, had left a note on her door with the Book of Mormon saying they weren't interested. So I was sad about that. 😞 But A was better! She wasn't there, but her dad was, and he was a way cool guy. He said they need "more Jesus in their lives", so he would have no problem with us coming by some more to share a message with their family. He also told us A said we stopped by and gave her a Book of Mormon and she had cracked it open, so that was great to hear! After that we had a member lesson with the Bs and that was awesome. Their house is insane and way nice haha. After that we had a lesson with RB. E was busy with their youngest son, so we just talked to R, and he told us he really appreciates us coming by and reminding him to read and pray and stuff. I think he knows he needs to do it, he just doesn't because it's easier not to. But we read over the title page of the Book of Mormon with him and invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. He said he would, and we left with our testimonies of the truthfulness of it. After that we had a lesson with F over Facebook messenger, and it was great! We taught about the temple and doing baptisms for the dead and how that all works. She said she wants to go to the temple, and the ward is doing a temple trip for the youth next month, so we are working hard to make sure she is ready to go to that! Sunday was such a great day!!😁🔥 I live for days like Sunday as a missionary!

This week was awesome and flew by really quick. Time is going by so fast, oh my gosh haha. Thanks for all the emails and updates from home. I really love hearing how things are going in everyone's lives back in Cache Valley or wherever you're at. Thanks for the prayers as well. They help me so much, and I seriously couldn't do this work without them. I really appreciate all the love and support! Also, happy birthday to my little sister, J, as she is now 15-years-old🎉😱 All boys stay away until I get home. 😉 Love you all and have a great week in this most wonderful time of the year!🍁🍂🏈🙏

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

I loved seeing good friends at Zone Conference! 

Got to see my favorite MTC companion!

Sleepover party before Zone Conference!