Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone back home! I will be staying in Minnetonka for one more transfer.🙌 We had a good week here and I'm super excited to spend 6 more weeks here. I am really wanting a baptism in this area and I hope and pray we will be able to get one with the Lord's help this transfer. 

Christmas was super good!👌We spent Christmas morning at the N's house, who are some super awesome members of our ward! They hooked us up with some presents. They gave us really nice down coats that are water proof, Adidas hoodies, and iron man triathlon watches that are water proof. My family sent me lots of goodies, some new CMU gear that is sick, and some new socks and G's that I very much needed.😂 Thanks for everything! We had a great time with us and the sisters there. 

Church was really good and it was fun to just see all the ward members and wish them all Merry Christmas. We had a special church program with the Christmas story from the Bible being read and then special musical numbers were sung in correspondence to each excerpt from the Bible. It was super good!

Christmas Eve was spent at the H's house, and we had an investigator there, too! It was such a great, spiritual evening and J loved it so much. Quote of the night from him after dinner: "Man, those biscuits were off the chain!" He ate like 5 biscuits. 😂 Brother H got us new ties and new beanies. I got an Adidas one that is really nice and my tie is super cool, too! We read the story about the 3 trees on the hill who all had dreams to be great things like a treasure chest, sailing ship, and tallest tree. (It is called "The Three Trees".) We also read the story about Big Tom taking a licking for the little crippled boy and I got pretty teary eyed at the end of the story as I thought about the Savior taking our licking for us as well. It was a very good Christmas Eve. 🙌

We got Bishop, Brother H, and the N's Christmas cards and we got Bishop and Brother H 15$ Great Harvest gift cards and the N's a 30$ gift card to Spasso, which is this super good Italian restaurant in Wayzata. They loved them, and I'm glad we did that because they do a lot for us. 

We played basketball on Wednesday night at the church with D and some other guys that J brought. It was super fun and D is doing good, he is just hard to get a hold of sometimes haha because he doesn't have a phone.  So we've been doing our best to have lessons with him, but it's been kinda hard this last week!

Brother H came out teaching with us this week and we basically went through the the NAC/less active list and we had a lot of success in finding people who didn't want to ever see us again. 😂😂 One guy said he would call the cops on us if we ever came back, one guy had moved so the guy that lived there went off on us for interrupting his evening, and one guy opened the door and shook his head and slammed it. So, pretty solid evening! 😂😉

We have been tracting a lot this week to find some new investigators. Our mission president has been telling us that people's hearts are softened at Christmas, but we haven't really seen it this week.😂 Most people don't want to talk to us, and we only had a few people say we could come back. It's been kind of slow as far as finding, but I'm excited to go back to the people who said to come back and share our great message with them!🙌

I've really enjoyed Christmas this year, even though it was hard to be away from family and friends. The Minnetonka ward feels more like home every day, and I'm grateful I can stay here for one more transfer. This ward is pretty great! As we've been able to study the atonement and the savior more this month, I've grown to love my Savior more and more and want to share His message of love, peace, and happiness. This gospel is so amazing and it really does change lives. It ends all good-byes and heals broken hearts, dreams, and families. I'm grateful to be on the Lord's errand at this time and continue my spiritual progression while helping others with theirs as well. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year this week! Enjoy the bowl games and let me know how they go!🏈💯 I love you all very much! Family, thanks for the great FaceTime call! It was so good to see you and I love you all dearly! 💙

Much love, 
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10
12 Ties of Christmas continued...Tie from former high school football coach.
Tie from my quarterback coach and friend.
Tie from former Young Men's leader and friend.
Tie from our Stake President - eating dinner at an awesome ribs place with Brother and Sister F.
Tie from a former little league football coach and friend.  This is with Brother H, whom we have recently helped reactivate.
Tie from former Bishop and Home Teaching companion.  Christmas Eve.
My favorite tie - the one from my Dad that I got to wear on Christmas and during the FaceTime with my family.
Brother N on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day with my companion and the Sister Missionaries.
Some thoughts my Mom sent me on Christmas Day.  This is what a mission is all about.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Baby it's cold outside!

Hello to all my friends, family and coaches back home! I love you all so much and miss you a lot this Christmas season. It's hard to be away from my family during Christmas but I will be well taken care of this week! I'm excited to spend Christmas with the Minnetonka ward this year! They have become my home away from home🙌🏽

This week was pretty crazy! Elder G, who was my companion, got emergency transferred to Brainard and my new companion is Elder N. He and Elder G were friends in high school so that was cool. 

Wednesday night we had a super fun game of basketball at our church. JC brought like 5 guys who play at Hopkins high school to come play with us and it was pretty fun. Those guys were super good and my companion and I and one of our investigators took those guys to town haha. One less active guy in our ward came to play too and he was also on our team. He is basically what I would be if I was less active. 😂 He loves watching football and I think that plays a part in his church activity. But he's been to church the last two weeks and came to basketball so that is super cool!

On Monday night we went to Brother B's house for dinner and to get the treats and stuff ready for the Ward Harvest. We had a super good time even though I suck at decorating cookies haha.  Tuesday night we had ward harvest and me, Elder G and Brother B visited Brother D, this super nice old Vietnamese guy in our ward, Sister K, who is a single lady in our ward, and dropped off the gift package things at some other people's houses. It was a good night and we visited like 35-40 people as a ward council/missionaries. So pretty successful!

On Thursday we got up and it was just a normal day and the Mission President called us at like 8 am and said the APs were coming to get Elder G  at 11 am. So we hurried and packed up all his stuff and they came and brought Elder N, who was serving in TCYSA, and brought him to Minnetonka. Then we immediately went to zone service at this old folks home and sang Christmas carols with them. Elder G who is in Bloomington, was not happy to be there.😂 He found a nut cracker and carried it around with us and pretended the nutcracker was singing and it was pretty funny!😂😂 I got to talk to this lady named D and she showed me this book about her family that she had made and it was super cool to talk to her! She was really nice and wasn't super interested in the gospel but I could tell she really enjoyed the chat so it was cool to spread some Christmas cheer!🎅🏽

On Saturday we had the ward Christmas party and it was soooo fun! We had to shovel out the church at 8 am and help set up and help clean up so we spent about half the day there. I love the Minnetonka ward so much!💙 Now that Elder N is here, I will probably serve here for 6 months so that will be sweet! We had a great brunch and we had some less actives there, but unfortunately none of our investigators could make it. 😢 J was going to come but he didn't get ready on time and his ride had to help set up. He told his ride to just go to the party without him. We went and visited him after and took him some food from the party and he ate ALL of it. It seemed like he hadn't eaten in days.😱 We probably will take him some more food this week because I'm not sure how much he has to eat. We talked about the party and a little about the plan of salvation and dating haha. He said he will come to church for sure this next weekend. He's doing super well and we are going to see him tonight too! 

We haven't seen K or D for like over a week and I'm a little worried about them. They were doing really good and I'm afraid they just got caught up in the fast life again. Drinking, drugs, partying, etc. It makes me sad that they are slipping but we are doing everything we can to help them and teach them but they have agency too. It sucks, but that's just how it goes! It is a great part of the plan of salvation that we get to have our agency. 

E has been MIA as well and we haven't seen her for a week either. She keeps setting up appointments with us and then isn't there when we go and then doesn't answer our texts or anything.😒 So it's been kinda hard with some of the investigators we have been doing well with. But now we just need to find some more good ones!

We had to bike 9.5 miles to dinner in a snow storm and 8 degree weather (not including wind chill) on Friday night and then on Saturday we biked about 3 to dinner as well in sub zero temperatures haha. 😂 I consider myself a true Minnesotan now after having done that! It was cold but we managed to survive! Just another cool story to add to the mission experience. 

This week I got to start opening the 12 Ties of Christmas! That is honestly the sweetest present as a missionary.🙌🏽 Haha. I love getting a new tie each day and I have quite the plethora of ties now!👔 Thanks to all the great men who have given me ties so far, and I'm excited to keep opening the rest of them this week!

On Sunday we had to stay inside because it was like -22 without windchill, so we texted the whole ward and asked them to share the Light the World video, favorite Mormon message or scripture on Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Then Brother S called us and told us K could meet with us that evening. K is Brother S's daughter's boyfriend that we are teaching. He is super cool! So we got picked up and it takes like 30-40 minutes to get to their house haha. We taught the plan of salvation and it was a super good lesson. We used this plan of salvation visual aid kit I acquired from a missionary who went home and it is awesome! K really caught on to the principals taught and he told us his grandma was really struggling with health issues and he broke down in tears. I was able to testify that God loves her and him and that even if she passes away, he will still see her in the next life. I told him I knew that from personal experience. He loved it and it was a super good lesson!  

Then Sunday night we had a dinner and FHE with RN and her 3 girls. She and her husband got divorced so we have helped her with yard work and stuff like that. We read Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and did the window nativity with them. (His mom sent him a window cling Nativity set to decorate their apartment with.)  I saved it just for that! And our window has a layer of ice on it so it wouldn't really stick.  😂 But thanks for sending that mom, because it was awesome for the FHE! We ended up having a really productive Sunday even though we were confined indoors all day!

Thank you to everyone for the Christmas wishes and presents. I love all of you back home so much and all my friends at school and at college. Family, I love you guys so much and wish you a very merry Christmas!🎄🎅🏽 Have a great week and a happy holiday this weekend!

Much love, 
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Decorating cookies for the Ward Harvest.

Grandpa Gary's tie.

President Wilson's tie.

After biking 9.5 miles in the snow for a dinner appointment. Maybe we should have said, "We'll eat in, thanks!"

Coach Johnson's tie.

Kris White's tie.

Welcome to Minnesota!

The nose warmer my mom sent me - crocheted by one of her colleagues at work.

Erik Durrant's tie.

The window cling nativity.