Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 1 in Rochester

Hello to all my fam, friends, and coaches back home, at college, and serving around the world! Hope this email finds you all doing well and enjoying the cold winter (at least here in MN❄😂). First off, shoutout to my Grandpa Gary for his birthday this weekend. I love you and you are such a great example to me! Thanks for all you do for me and my family. Second, shout out to my man Jake Pitcher for getting engaged this weekend! Super pumped for you and Ashley! Congrats bro!👊 I am now serving down in the Rochester 1st Ward. It’s been great so far! I like the area, it’s very diverse. It has the southeast part of the city and then a whole bunch of little towns all the way down to the Iowa border. 😂 So it’s a big area, but I’m excited to be here. The ward is great!

So Monday was p day and we had a zone p day at the Pole Barn in Buffalo. It was fun and I did some back squats for the first time in a while and actually did pretty well on the weight, all things considered haha. 😅 I put up 245 on my last set of 7x5 rep scheme. So I was pretty happy with that haha because I haven’t squatted for like 18 months! So that was fun! After that we went to Applebee’s with the Princeton Elders again to watch the National Championship. It was a wild one, and we missed the best part of the game because we had to go home due to our curfew haha. But Alabama pulled off the win in a crazy game, so I’m sure my brother is pumped about that. 😉Good day!

So my area book reset, so I don’t have all our schedule from last week, so I will just throw in the highlights of each day haha. 😁 Tuesday we did a bunch of stop bys in Buffalo and knocked some doors as well. We’ve really been struggling to find anyone in Buffalo knocking doors, but it seems to be working in helping us find people still because we keep getting referrals left and right that are pretty solid. We’ve chalked it up to tracting, so we keep doing it! It was good though, and we had fun because it wasn’t super cold! It was in the 20’s and 30’s early in the week and you don’t even have to wear a coat. 👌It’s nice. Tuesday night we had dinner with the Ys and that was a party. They made us chili and cornbread and then we ended up having this like hour long discussion about President Monson and what we remember about him and stuff we had learned from him. One thing I remembered from him was he always seemed so happy and cheerful. Sometimes I can get a little grumpy or down and I seem to let it show pretty well on my facial expressions, so I’ve been trying to exude happiness and cheeriness this week! And it seems to be working out pretty good so far. 😁 After we had our super long discussion, Brother Y wanted to show us some fireworks he had bought, so we went out and shot off some sweet fireworks for a while haha. 😂🎆🎇 So that was pretty cool! After that we headed home and cleaned up the apartment a little bit!

Wednesday we found out they moved transfers back to Friday instead of Thursday because of some huge storm that was supposed to come through the twin cities on Thursday. It ended up being nothing, so that was kind of a bummer! But Wednesday we went to Rockford and did some stop bys and tracting and also went to Delano and stopped by some people we had previously found tracting. We didn’t have a whole lot of luck on Wednesday haha. It was just one of those days where it was kind of rough. Wednesday night we went up to Monticello and stopped by a few less actives and got to see the Bs. They are super cool! Elder H and I discovered them on exchanges a while back. They’re less active but absolutely love the missionaries. They said the Elders hadn’t been over to visit for like 2-3 years so we started going over again. They’ve been pretty sick the last few weeks so we haven’t met with them much, but we got to visit a little bit and see how they’re doing. We got a dinner and lesson set up with them for next Friday, and unfortunately, I will be gone. 😢 But it was good! After that we went to the apartment and cleaned up a little bit and I started the “pack of death” as Elder L calls it. 😂 Basically just packing up all my stuff haha. 

Thursday we weekly planned at the church. We usually do it in the community room in our apartment but this crazy guy was in there that always talks to us non stop for like 3 hours when we go down. He seems like a lonely dude, but he just doesn’t know when to stop talking haha. 😂 2 weeks ago when we weekly planned, we were sitting in there and he comes in at around 1 pm and he talked until 3:30 pm and we didn’t say a word. We just communicated with each other over Facebook messenger.😂 We try to talk to him and get to know him, but it’s hard to get a word in! He’s a nice enough guy, just likes to talk a lot haha. So we decided to go to the church so we could get it done quicker. 👌Oh I forgot, before weekly planning we visited Brother A in Annandale. He was super sad I was leaving, but I told him I would come visit him when my family came and picked me up to head home. He was pretty stoked about that, so we better go see him when we are out here! He’s a cool guy and was like, “Elder Beach, I can’t wait to meet your parents!” So that was cool! We shared a Mormon message with him and invited him to read Alma 5 as it coordinated with the Mormon message we shared. So after that, we went and weekly planned. It was weird planning for a week I wouldn’t even be there for haha. Elders L and W did most of it which was good! I was glad to see them take the lead on it. I still helped out just not as much as I usually do.👍After that we headed down to Delano for dinner and then back up to visit P and M to read the Book of Mormon with them. We talked to her about what our purpose as missionaries was: to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. She was just like, “I’m happy where I’m at.” So I think we will go over less or just drop her because she isn’t really progressing at all. After that we went home and finished the “pack of death” and headed to bed. 😴 

Friday we got up and got all packed for transfers and it was cold as heck. Like -15 not including wind chill. So that was fun packing the car and getting the bike on the rack when it was that cold haha.😱 We got to Rockford and I remembered I left my razor charger in the bathroom, so we drove back really quick and got it. Elder W drives really slow, so the second time we got to Rockford, I was like, “Bro, let me drive so we can get there on time.” So I drove the rest of the way to Bloomington haha. Elder L was going off on W about how he can drive 7 over before TiWi yells at you in the car. And he would set cruise control right at the speed limit so most of the time we were going 2-3 MPH under the speed limit haha.😂 So I was like, "Let me drive, dude. Cuz I drive a little faster haha." 😉 So we made it transfers like 1 minute early, so that was good, and then we got everything switched to my new car and then went to Chik-fil-a for lunch with like 50 missionaries haha. After that we drove down to Rochester and got all my stuff dropped off at the apartment and headed out to do some work. We went and saw Dr. C first haha. He got baptized when Elder G was here like 15 months ago. He’s a hoot!😂 He’s like 80 years old and is like a male performance doctor or something like that haha. He’s such a nice guy though, and we hit it off pretty quick. After that we went to the Mayo Clinic to give a lady a blessing. She was actually asleep when we got there, and her husband had just left so we ended up not being able to do it. As we were walking around the Mayo Clinic I thought, “This is like a place Jesus Christ would come to to heal and cheer up people.” I hope I will get to spend some time there just visiting people and helping lift their spirits. It seemed like people there could use some of the Light of Christ or just a friend to talk to! After that we hit up some subway for dinner and then went to the church and got my area book synced. After that Dr. C wanted us to go to this thing called, "Celebration Recovery" with him. It’s this thing that people go to to help them overcome addictions and stuff. He just goes to learn about it. 😂 So we went with him and it was a little strange. I wasn’t sure exactly how it was supposed to help people. Basically what happens is you go sing gospel rock songs, say a couple prayers, break off into small groups and just talk about random stuff. It was seriously the weirdest thing!  😂 Afterwards, Dr. C was like, “I’m gonna go talk to someone in charge and find out what the hell is going on. That was the strangest thing I’ve ever been to.” I just died laughing. 😂😂 It was pretty funny!

Saturday we had nothing planned, so we basically just winged it because I don’t know anyone or anything in the area. We stopped by some potentials and visited with this husband/wife named K and D. They found them tracting and basically they just go over and chill with them and haven’t really taught them much. So when we went by we tried to talk about the Book of Mormon and D told us she has started reading it a little bit and feels like it was easier to read than the Bible. So we talked about why it is easier and just some basic background stuff about the Book of Mormon with them. I feel like this area has a lot of “investigators” that the missionaries just go hang out with and don’t really teach at all, so we are going to change that! After that we tracted for about an hour and half and literally the first 5 houses we knocked on were Muslims. It was crazy haha. They are such nice people though, and one dude let us in and let us teach him about the Book of Mormon, so that was pretty cool! We ended up giving away about 4 Books of Mormon, so that was pretty sweet. 💯 After that we had some dinner and then went and visited R and his wife. R is a former investigator that just got picked up again. His wife is a less active member. At one point R had a date set and was progressing really well, and then he just kind of cold turkey backed out at the last minute because of pressure from his family. So we retaught him the some of the restoration and really focused on him reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and getting an answer for himself if this is the path he needs to follow. He seems like he wants to get baptized, he just needs to get the motivation and determination to do so! After that we visited Sister K and her family. She got baptized like 5 years ago and loves the Elders, but is also less active and never keeps commitments. I don’t know what to do about people like her. She literally says she will come to church every single week and then never does, so I don't know what’s up?  It’s odd. Anyway, she super nice and hopefully we can help her and her family get back active again! After that we just drove around and stopped by some potentials and invited them to church and then headed home and called it a night!

Sunday was pretty wild haha. 😂 We had PEC and Ward Council back to back at 7 and 8 am so we had to get up at 6 am and get to the church. When we got there they said all the water pipes were frozen and the water wasn’t working, so they were only going to have Sacrament Meeting. Then like halfway through Ward Council someone came in and was like, “The pipes are fixed!” So church ended up being all three hours haha. I got to pass the Sacrament and Elder B gave a way good talk on Christlike attributes. We had one sort of investigator at church, the husband of a member. After church we headed home and had lunch really quick and then Brother J came and took us to Mayo to give a little baby a blessing. The baby’s mom is friends with a member in the ward, and she asked that we give her baby a blessing of healing because it has something wrong with its spine and isn’t moving its legs. They aren’t sure what’s wrong yet, but are working on it. After that the Rochester 5 Sisters needed us to give them a ride and joint teach a lesson with them because a sister took their car keys to her new area with them and they lost their apartment keys and were locked out of their apartment. 😂😂 So they were “up the creek” as grandma says haha. After that we had dinner with the Js and they are awesome. We had a great time with them and their family. After that we knocked this neighborhood out on the south end of town we felt inspired to go to. Now this is right during the 4th quarter of the Vikings game, so this is a huge act of faith on our part.🙏😂 So literally the first door we knock on, this super nice like mid-20’s lady opens up and is like, “Yeah, I’m watching the Vikings game, but what’s up?” So we told her who we were and she’s like, “I have some really good friends from back home who are Mormons!” I asked her where she’s from and she said, “Birmingham, Alabama!” I was like “Nooooo.... that’s where my little brother is serving his mission right now!” She thought that was awesome and invited us to come back Thursday to meet with her and her husband! So that was sweet! 🙌🙌 After that, literally every single person said they were watching the game or weren’t interested, so I guess we were just meant to find T (the first girl we talked to). Haha so after that we stopped by a few less actives who weren’t home and then we had to go drop off the Sisters' iPad to them because they left it in our car. 😂 So that was the night! 

I’m pretty excited to be down here in Rochester! It’s fun! I love the people, I feel like this area has a lot of potential, and the ward is great! Should be a fun transfer. 👌Thanks for all the prayers and support from back home. Keep ‘em coming my way so I can finish strong the last few months of my mission.💪I love you all! Have a great week!

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

The "Hutchalo" Elders and Elder S from Princeton.

The Three Amigos at transfers!

This dog reminded me of my dog, Hallie!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Transfers

What’s up to all my fam, friends, and coaches back home, at school, and serving the Lord around the world! Hope this email finds you well! I’m so grateful to be serving a mission at this time. As I’m getting nearer to the end, I’m truly just so grateful to be here. As my family and I have been talking more about school and my life decisions after my mission, I’m just grateful for this time I have where I can just fully focus on Jesus Christ and devoting my time to sharing his gospel. It is truly a marvelous time where I can just have one goal and purpose and I don’t have to worry about anything else but helping others and myself come closer to Christ. It’s awesome, and I’m sad my time is winding down, 😢😔 but I’m loving the mission and it’s awesome! I am getting transferred to Rochester 1st Ward this Thursday, so I will be down there probably for the rest of my mission or pretty close to it. I’m super excited to serve with Elder B. He came out with me and it should be fun! So here’s how our week went:

Monday was p day and also the New Years 6 bowl games for college football, so we moved our p day back to the evening and worked in the morning so we could catch some of the games at Applebee’s in the evening. We had a bomb lesson with D in the morning. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. I’m so hyped for her and I’m sad to leave. We got a date set with her for baptism and now I have to leave. 😭 It’s sad. So anyway, we read 2 Nephi 31 with her and it was great. I love how simple the gospel is, but how great and awesome it is at the same time as well! We got another appointment with her set up for Sunday afternoon, so more on that later.👌 After that we stopped by a less active dude named T. He lived in Annandale and we visited with him for a little bit. He got baptized in Apple Valley (go figure😉) and then moved to Annandale and hasn’t been to church since he’s been here. So we are going to start working with him to help him get active again! After that we went to Rockford to get some free Dominoes pizza from Brother H. He’s a good dude and hooks us up with some pizza sometimes. We got the pacific veggie one and it was pretty good! We did our laundry and emailed and stuff and then went to Applebee’s to watch the games! It was fun and the Princeton Elders came with us, too! We got some bottomless chicken tenders and fries and we kept telling them just chicken tenders and and not fries and they would always bring us fries and we were like, “We don’t want fries!!😂😂” It was pretty funny! It was fun though, and I’m glad we got to do that.👌

Tuesday morning we did some stop bys in Monticello and then got some groceries on the way home. We met a few less actives that had some good potential so that was solid. After that we had some lunch, comp study and then headed to Rockford to do some work for the day. We hadn’t worked in Rockford ever, so we figured it was time to get down there haha. 😂 We did some tracting for about an hour and fifteen minutes. We talked to a bunch of people but nobody was interested and we didn’t give away anything. Not even a card.  It was rough. And it was snowy and pretty cold. But we got it done and had a good time haha. After that we stopped by Sister C. She is the only member in her family. Her husband took his name off the records and is pretty anti church now for some reason. All her kids are less active and a few of them took their names off too. She told us she just had a solid testimony of the gospel and didn’t have a falling away. So she’s still active and teaches Primary, but she was super appreciative of the visit. I was able to give her a blessing and it was great! She was very glad for it and I was glad I could help her with that! After that we did a few more stop bys and met a few crazy people haha. After that we had a lesson with P and M and read the Book of Mormon with them.  We asked M if she had prayed about the Book of Mormon. She said she had and she knows it’s true, she’s just content with where she’s at. She isn’t allowed to take sacrament at Catholic Church and I don’t even think she goes to it because she comes to church a lot with P. She said she’s happy where she’s at. There isn’t much we can do with her at this point. She won’t get baptized, so it’s tough to know what to do. She knows the church is true, she just won’t make a commitment to join even though she knows it’s true. So that’s a bummer.  After that we went home and had some dinner and worked out and called it a night.👌

Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning and then did some finding after. It was cold! ❄️ And nobody wanted to chat with us much so that kind of sucked, but it was good haha. 😂 After that we did some lunch and comp study and then we went over to the Y's house in Monticello and met with K for a little bit. He’s a young man in the ward and likes the missionaries a lot so we went over and just visited with him for a little bit and talked about how he’s doing and some stuff he’s being struggling with. He’s a good kid, just needs some good friends and direction in his life, so the missionaries have been that for him over the years.  We are continuing the tradition! After that we had dinner with the Ms. He is the Ward Mission Leader and we’ve never met with him. So we called him last week and were like, “Are we ever going to meet and have a coordination meeting?” So he said to come over for dinner and have a coordination meeting, too. So we did that and it was good. After that we had a lesson with KL and her family. We met her sister, who lives with them and is also less active, and she sat in on our lesson too. We taught them the restoration and invited them to read the Book of Mormon each day. It was really good and they seemed to like it and committed to read it as a family each day!🙌So that was pretty good! After that we stopped by some people we had found tracting and this one dude we had very briefly met named B let us in. We found out he was Jewish and was super nice and was really interested in the Book of Mormon. He took one and said he was for sure going to check it out! So that was sweet. 💯 We had a good evening of stop bys, so that was awesome! It was great!👌

Thursday we blitzed Princeton, and Elder W and I went with Elder L. It was pretty fun! We spent a lot of the day in the car just driving around doing stop bys. It wasn’t the most productive blitz I’ve been on but it was fun to hang out with Elder L for the day because he is a funny dude haha. 😂 So we basically just drove around and stopped by a bunch of people haha. After that we headed home and had some Subway for dinner. After that we had a really good lesson with C at the church! He’s doing good, and we taught him the Plan of Salvation. He really liked it and had some good questions and insights. One thing I thought was really cool was he had some really similar beliefs to us on the fall of Adam. He was like, “Yeah, there was a lot of good that came out of it!” So we were able to discuss the pros and cons of the fall and how Jesus Christ overcame the cons of the fall. So it was really cool! We also set a baptism date with him for February 10th.🔥 So that was awesome! I’m super excited for him. He’s got some great potential and seems genuinely interested in learning and making and keeping commitments with this.👌

Friday morning we did some more tracting and didn’t really find anyone super interested, but it was good and we gave away a few Books of Mormon. After that we headed to Hutch and met with the Baptist Pastor dude we met while tracting. He was such a nice guy and we talked to him about his church and stuff. He’s the Pastor at Cornerstone Church, which is one of the biggest churches in the area. He basically was like, “If you follow Jesus then you’re good to go.” He didn’t believe you have to be part of a specific church, so we ended up teaching him the restoration and talked about the Priesthood authority you need. He had read the Book of Mormon before and said he didn’t agree with things in it, so he didn’t believe in it, just the Bible. I find it odd that so many people that read the Book of Mormon say they don’t believe it. There is literally nothing in it that contradicts the Bible. There are things that expound on teachings in the Bible, but nothing directly changes what’s in the Bible. It just enhances and makes it more clear. He didn’t seem to want to accept that though, so that’s his choice and there isn’t much we can do about it. After that we tracted in the death cold for like an hour and didn’t find anyone, so after that we headed down to Hutch and had some dinner and weekly planned and that was pretty much our day haha. 😂 We played some church trivia game we found in the apartment Friday night and that was pretty fun. We were pretty good at it haha. 😉

Saturday was a good day! We went out to Cosmos in the morning and nobody Elder L and I found was home.  Then we had a lesson with the Hs. We showed the “Hope of God's Light” Mormon message and invited them to pray each day as a family. They said they could do that, so that was good. After that we headed to the the Smoky Hollow down in Fairfax for some lunch. The Gs in the Willmar Branch own it, and they said whenever we were down there to stop in for a bite to eat. So we stopped in and had some burgers and visited with them about some people we should visit in the Willmar Branch and who would be worth visiting with the High Councilman over the Willmar Branch. So we got some names and headed out. We stopped by a bunch of people in Buffalo Lake and Gibbon and some other towns around there. We ended up visiting with Sister G, whose husband is not a member of the church. She’s had some crazy health problems in the last few years, so it was good to see her. Her husband was a hardcore German Catholic haha. But he’s a super nice guy. We shared the Mormon message called, “Lifting Burdens” with her that talks about the atonement of Jesus Christ. She really liked it, and we invited her to make it to church as much as possible. She said she would be there as often as her health allowed, so that was great to hear.👌After that we had dinner with the Ps in Glencoe. They’re awesome! Brother P is in like full on member missionary mode and is getting after it with sharing the gospel with people, so that’s awesome!  They’re good people and we had a good time with them. After that we had a lesson with LT. We watched the conference talk by Elder Renlund from this last conference about the Priesthood and the atonement of Jesus Christ with him. He’s working on getting the Priesthood, so we felt that that would be a good one to watch for him to learn more about the Melchizedek Priesthood and the duties and why we even need the Priesthood! He liked it and he’s doing good. I feel bad for him, he’s a pretty lonely guy I feel like,so visiting with him always brightens up his day. 😊 So that was good! After that we headed home and did some working out and called it a night!

Sunday we had church at the Hutch branch and I got to bear my testimony in Sacrament Meeting. We watched “Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” this week in our spare time, and I just received once again such a strong witness that he was a Prophet of God. It was coo,l so I shared my testimony of Joseph Smith. After church we got all our stuff packed up and headed up to Annandale to meet with D again. We retaught the restoration, just to make sure she fully understands it. It was a really good lesson and we were able to relate it super well to her. She loved it, and we also gave her a priesthood blessing. She said she felt like she had evil spirits inside her and was angry a lot so we gave her a blessing to help her have the Spirit and feel peace and love. We left her with Moroni 7 to read about charity and how we can attain it, and told her to pray each day to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We showed her part of the restoration movie of the first vision. She said she had this weird feeling and felt like she had butterflies in her heart. We explained to her that that was the Spirit witnessing the truth of it to her. We told her to pay attention for that feeling as she reads and prays. We also set a date with her for February 10 for baptism, so that is sick. 🙌After that we headed down to dinner in Montrose with the Os. We ended up being there for almost 2 hours because they just kept telling us stories about how they joined the church haha. It was really cool, and they seemed really happy to have someone visit with them, so we figured it was ok to be there that long. They’re good people and love the church a lot. 👌 We had 2 lessons set up with less active families Sunday night and both fell through, so we ended up tracting some town homes in Rockford and found like 5 people, so that was awesome. We also found this lady who told us her husband was a member that we had no clue even lived there and we could come visit them next Sunday. I won’t be there, so that kind of sucks, but it was a cool thing to find them! After that we headed home and called it a week. 😎

I’m loving my mission right now! It so awesome to be out here. The work has really picked up in Buffalo and Hutch and I’m excited for it to continue to roll forth. I’m grateful to be able to start working in Rochester and helping people there come unto Christ and be perfected in him. I truly am so lucky to be part of this work. It’s awesome. Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Much love,
Elder Beach


#MavUp #10

We thought we saw the "real" Santa in the parking lot.  However, he was smoking, so we knew it couldn't really be him...

Lunch at Smoky Hollow.

Elder L literally falls asleep every time we get in the car! 

If he's not sleeping, he's posing...

Zone P-day!