Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Glad to be alive!!

Garrison wrote us a very emotional email about his thoughts, impressions and the things he learned through his experience last weekend.  I have wept several times as I have read and reread it.  I was pretty sure that the lessons meant to be learned through this experience were for many of us and those that the experience was shared with simply because he didn't remember any of it.  However, I was wrong.  He talked about the realization of being as close to death as he had ever been, and also realizing how he would have lived life differently if it had been his last day on earth.  Here is an excerpt from his email:  "I realized that is why God kept me alive; so that I could not only continue to influence people for good and help bring that Light of Christ into their lives, but I learned that I needed to be much better at it. I figured I needed to improve a little more each day. If we do that, just give it our best each day, then we can look in the mirror at the end of each day and know that "We told each other and ourselves the truth. And that truth is we did everything we could've done. There wasn't one more thing we could've done." Coach Gary Gaines in the movie Friday Night Lights says if you can live in that moment as best as we can, with clear eyes, with love in your heart and joy in your heart, then you're perfect. I realized that even though we may always feel like we could've done more, the reality is we can't. We can only do a little more, a little better than the day before. We can always continue to improve ourselves in some way. The song "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback kept popping in my head: "If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you had? If today was your last day...." Now that was a lot to think about for me. So I decided I wanted to do two of the three things in the second line. Those two things were 1. Live each moment like my last. 2. Give everything I have to the Lord and those I am serving for the next 19 months. I figured old pictures are meant to be cherished and remind us of good times, not just to be forgotten entirely. However, if we live too much in the past then that's when the old photos need to be forgotten and we need to move on and start fresh. So even though this experience gave me a lot to think about and kind of sucked, I know it happened for a reason. And I am grateful that I feel like I have kind of figured out one reason already. I feel really bad that it happened in the fact that it brought worry to my family and friends and I don't want that. I'm grateful God gave me another chance to grow and progress and change. Even though I'm not anywhere near the man I want to be, I'm striving each day to get there. I'm taking challenges head on, rather than dancing around them. Every day this week I've been able to thank my God that he has given me another day to live. I try to find the different reasons each day that God allowed me to live. The list is huge each day. I want people to know that I didn't write this huge email to boast of myself in any way. If you want my honest opinion, it's that this whole thing never happened. But it did, and these are the things I took away from it."  His thoughts and advice to all was this: "Everyone who reads this, you don't need to be anyone other than the best version of YOU you can be. I hope each of you are writing your own story, your own music, dancing to the beat of your own drum. That is how we find true peace and happiness in this world. That and through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love and miss you all and hope you can each continue to work on "Living each day like it is your last day" and writing your own story each and every day. "

Thanks to each of you for your thoughts, prayers, concern, well-wishes, and for the influence you are on Garrison and our family.  We truly felt your prayers this week, and we know they brought miracles.  We appreciate each one of you, and are grateful for lessons learned and the impact trials have on our lives.  We are so grateful for God's hand in our lives, and that we have another day to learn, grow, serve Him and become the sons and daughters He wants us to become.  We love you all!

Jen

Here's his regular email:

Hello to all my friends, family, and coaches back on the home front, and to all my bros serving worldwide and who are at college! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers coming my way. I really appreciate it!👌Also, thanks to all for the support my family received this last weekend while I was in the hospital. Congrats to the CMU Mavericks for winning the RMAC championship and also beating Azusa Pacific to secure a spot in the playoffs. Can't wait to play for Coach Martin when I get home! 🙌🏽
This has been a pretty fun week since I got outta the hospital Tuesday! I shared another email with some close friends and family about my experiences and thoughts while being in the hospital because I didn't want my whole email to be about that.
So Tuesday when I got back from the hospital we went to a family's home to do some service. I was pretty out of it so it was a funny evening haha.😂 This family is kinda funny and crazy, so we cleaned up their living room and family room while watching the presidential election. I was kinda tired so I would clean for like 15 minutes then sit on the couch for a few, then kept cleaning and watching the election haha. So it was a good evening!
Then Wednesday I woke up at 6 AM to workout just like usual, and Elder G and P were a little surprised by that I guess. Oh, Elder P is going home Wednesday and was in a trio in YSA so they had him come to Minnetonka with me and my companion. He is super trunky but a really funny guy.😂 We did a few hours of tracting on Wednesday morning and found no one, but oh well! We also tracted that evening from 6-7 and found like 6 potentials, so it just goes to show that a God rewards you for working hard.💯 We played basketball that night at the church with the YM (Young Men) and investigators and we got J to show up! He had pretty much told us to never talk to him again. So I just texted him on Wednesday morning and was like, "Hey do you wanna play ball at 7:30 tonight?" And he was like, "Oh yeah, absolutely, and I'm sorry I haven't talked to you guys, and the Book of Mormon is amazing and it's great!" So we called like 500 people to find him a ride up to the church and finally Brother F saved the day on a ride. We love Brother F! 💙 So we get to the church and J has all these questions about the Book of Mormon! So we answered them and read some stuff with him and he was loving it and also loved ball with us.🏀 Then on Saturday we asked if we could come over and have a lesson with him and he said he was in Chicago at a wedding and to not talk to him anymore because he researched some stuff on the church and said it wasn't what he was looking for. Then at stake conference President K talked about the Book of Mormon and that when we research the church, the only way to correctly research the church is to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover. So we texted J and told him that exact line and he never texted us back. But we did our part, so I guess we will see what happens.
This lady from the Philippines chased us down on Tuesday and told us to come on Wednesday. So we went back to teach her on Wednesday and she had 4 roommates that we taught as well haha. So we are now teaching all her roommates and her haha. 😂
We also had an active member lesson with a family on Thursday and they are awesome! The mom gave us 50$ for dinner😂 so we were like, "Arby's sounds good!" We only spent like 24$, haha not all 50$! She is the Young Women's President and said basically everyone in YW is solid, so she didn't have a lot of less actives, but she is just so happy and helpful with the work!
On Thursday night we had a lesson with K's wife and set a date with her! K is the guy who always comes and plays basketball with us on P days. We taught her a lesson about the restoration and she said she had a strong faith in Jesus Christ and wanted to increase her knowledge and faith. It was good, and her kids kinda participated in the lesson!
Yesterday we had stake conference and it was really good. President K and President B gave some great talks on using the Book of Mormon to help people become fully converted to the gospel. I'm really going to try to use the Book of Mormon even more as we teach. It's been really successful so far! Sunday night, we had a really good lesson with J and LC who are the couple we found with the flat tire! They are so cool and J has watched "Meet the Mormons" and the Joseph Smith movie and read through 1 Nephi 19. 😂🙌We were so pumped because she also said she would come to church on Sunday with us and her family!
It's been a good week and I'm grateful to be alive! I'm glad God gave me another chance to continue to serve and be a missionary. I love all of you and pray for you all daily. Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers🙏🏽💙
Much love,
Elder Beach
#10 #MavUp

In the ICU.
After being moved out of ICU.
University of Minnesota.
Family Home Evening with Matt Asiata!