Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Hello and Merry Christmas to all my fam, friends, and coaches back home, at school, and serving worldwide! Hope everyone had a great Christmas with friends and family! I know I sure did! Christmas on the mission is awesome and I’m sad I just had my last one. 😢 We’ve had a busy week so let’s get going on that!

Monday was our p-day, and we went to the Mall of America again as a district! I didn’t get anything except a flat penny from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for my sisters for Christmas. We had a blast at the mall so that was pretty fun! Sister G came to say what’s up to us as well and drop off some presents and some oranges for us! Thanks, Sister G, for the awesome gifts!👌After that we took the Princeton Elders home and then had dinner and a lesson with the J family. They live in Delano and were recently reactivated in the ward so they LOVE the missionaries. It was pretty crazy at their house. Their daughter was home from college, and she had a friend over too, so there was a lot of people there. Elders W and L were just having a party with all of their kids and I was like, what is going on??😱 So we finally got things calmed down and were able to get things focused on the gospel haha. After that we stopped by a few less actives in Delano and Rockford, but the ones that were home said come back after the holidays, so we are going to do that for sure!😉

Tuesday morning we went to Walmart and made our Christmas cards for everyone. There is a picture below to check out. We gave a bunch to the Hutch and Buffalo members and sent a few home to the fam and friends and stuff.  They’re pretty funny and now like the whole mission is copying our idea to make Christmas cards.  And a lot of them are like the exact same as ours, so we were like, what the heck?😂😂 We also got all our Christmas presents put together to send home and got those mailed out. We did some stop bys up in Monticello and knocked some doors as well. Not a whole lot of success other than cleaning up the ward directory of who still lives in the area and who has moved! We knocked this street in Buffalo and found this guy who was a Lutheran and he was super nice and talked to us on the door step for like 10-15 minutes. We talked about the Book of Mormon with him and what it is. He had some super good questions and was like, “Props to you guys for being out in the cold trying to share this with people.” He said we could come back after the holidays as well since he said they were going to be pretty busy and weren’t sure when they were going to be home. Hopefully that can turn into something in the next few weeks! Haha the last house on the right side of the street was Elder L’s turn to talk at the door. So this pretty attractive girl comes to the door and he says, “Hey! Is your mom or Dad here?” The girl was at least 20 years old. She was like “Uhhhh....” then Elder L just dives into this super awkward restoration lesson. She was just like “I’m not interested! Thanks though!” Elder W and I were dying. 😂😂 We were like, “Dude, why did you ask if her mom was home? She was like at least 20 years old.” He’s like, “Guys! I thought she was like 16!” It was so funny because she was definitely not 16. 😂😂 Pretty funny stuff, haha. After that we had dinner with the S family and it was a riot as usual. 😂 Elders L and W ask every family we eat with now if I look like a monster and have a scary face. Sister S was like, “I just always wonder if your mad at me or something because you always look pissed off.” Everyone thought that was pretty funny, including me. So I guess I do look like a monster or whatever because literally everyone says that I look scary. 🙈 After dinner with them we stopped by the Ls really quick and dropped off a Christmas card for them. We got to talk to Brother L for a little bit and his wife talked to us for like the whole time we were there, too, so that was good! After that we drove up to the B’s to drop off a Christmas card to them because they were heading to California for the Christmas break. They got us water bottles and some protein bars that are super good for Christmas, so that was a score. 🙌C was also there and we set up a lesson with him for Wednesday night!💯

Wednesday morning we cleaned up the apartment the entire morning because it was thrashed from baking Christmas goodies for people and from all our packages and getting our packages ready to send out. So we cleaned for about an hour and half and then had lunch at 11:30 am and got out the door around 12:30 pm. We had a meeting with AS because he literally calls and texts us every single day to ask if we can come over and play video games with him. We basically just tell him we are busy every day and we finally caved and were like, “Ok A, we can come over for 45 minutes but we aren’t going to play video games. If you want to play cards we can do that, but we are going to talk about the gospel and no video games!” So we played this card game that Elder M and I played with the Ss up in Sauk Rapids. It was fun, A was very happy we came over haha. It’s hard for me in those situations because I feel like it’s a waste of time to just go play cards with A and be his friend, but then I wonder what Christ would do if he was presented with the opportunity. I figured he would go love A and be his friend and share the gospel with him. So we went over and played cards and were buddies with him and tried to share the gospel, but man, he gets off on some tangents, so it’s not always the best haha. 😅 After that we had a lesson with the Ts who live up in Clearwater. They are both converts and they have a son named who still lives with them because he has MS I think, and is in a wheelchair. He isn’t baptized, but I know his parents want him to be. So we talked to them and got to know them and he is really cool! He’s a good dude and has a good heart. I’m excited to work with him and hopefully we can help him progress towards getting baptized.🙏After that we stopped at a frozen lake really quick so Elder L could run on it because he’s never been on a frozen lake before. 😂 We stopped by the Ss after that. They had no record except the Dad wasn’t a member of the church. So we stopped by and met Sister S and helped her decorate her Christmas tree because it was huge and she couldn’t reach it. They have 3 girls, all of whom are married and out of the house. Brother S wasn’t home from work yet, so we didn’t get to meet him, but she told us to come back another time and he would be happy to chat with us. So that was a good visit too. After that we stopped by the Ms really quick before dinner and ended up taking a walk with Sister M and their dog. We got to talk to her and we found out she joined the church about 6 years ago and now is kind of less active. She loves the missionaries, so we definitely need to work with their family. Brother M wasn’t feeling super good so we didn’t see him unfortunately. 😜 After that we had some dinner really quick and then headed to the church to have a lesson with C.  It was really good, he had a lot of questions and we basically taught the restoration of the gospel and the plan of salvation. He’s a cool dude and we are all friends on Facebook now. After we got done with the lesson we ended up just sitting by the door at the church and talking for like 30 minutes. I felt like that was really good because he opened up a lot and he feels like we are just normal dudes he can trust so that was good!👌

Thursday morning we had interviews up in St. Cloud with President Barney. He’s such a good guy! I love president and Sister Barney. They are awesome!💯 So we did those and then we went to Boot Barn up in St. Cloud so I could get some boot leather conditioner. The winter and the salt here get pretty bad on your shoes and boots so you have to keep them good! After that we drove back down to Buffalo and then did some tracting and didn’t see much success there. I find it odd at Christmas that people almost seemed more turned off to our message about Christ. Something my dad said to me about being on a mission is when you go door to door and it’s colder than heck and no one wants to talk to you, it builds your own testimony more than anything. You constantly are saying to yourself, "I believe in this and I know this is true." When you’re doing that day after day, sharing your testimony day after day, it really solidifies what you know to be true! So that part has been really cool for me. 😎 After that Brother O took us to Culver’s for dinner. I got the $9 salad again. I got a different one, but it was super good! I really liked it. After that we had a lesson with P and M. We usually just read the Book of Mormon with them. So this time we did that but we just straight up asked M where she’s at with meeting with us and if she wants to get baptized. She said for now, she just wants to have us keep coming over and reading with them and that kind of stuff. She said she is comfortable where she’s at for right now. I was sad to hear that, but I’m hoping as we just keep reading the Book of Mormon with her and she keeps coming to church, she will realize this is the right path for her! After that we did some stop bys in Buffalo and struck out with all those, but it was 8:30 pm haha.😂 

Friday we did some knocking in the morning and it was pretty good! We gave away a few Books of Mormon and had some good conversations with people. So I was happy we had some good success with that! After that we had some lunch and then started our weekly planning. Weekly planning was crazy this week because we had to get all our weekend planned and all the logistical stuff squared away because we were going to be in Hutch for Christmas Eve, part of Christmas, and then come back to Delano for Christmas dinner with the Ps. So we were coordinating who we were going to visit on Christmas Eve in Hutch and all that good stuff. 😂 After we got done with that, we had dinner with the K family. Their son had some questions about heaven and hell, so we were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation with them and use the packet Mom sent us for Light the World. 🙌 It was solid! So that was good. They didn’t come to church on Sunday, which was sad. I’m not sure what we are going to do with them because they just don’t keep their commitments. We will keep trying with them though! After that we had a Christmas caroling party at Bishop G’s house. It was super fun and we had a good time with some families from the ward! So that was really fun. I thought it was good to build that relationship with Bishop and Sister G because I haven’t felt like we’ve been super tight with them. But that helped a lot so I was glad we could go to that! After that it was about 9 pm so we had to head on home and call it a night. 😴

Saturday was crazy haha.  We knocked some doors for about an hour and half in the morning in Monticello and it was awesome. Heavenly Father gave us a Christmas present on Saturday. We gave out like 6 Books of Mormon and met some way cool people and had a great time! It was awesome!🔥 It was super cold and my hands were freezing when we got done. ❄️ But it was worth the success we had! After that we started baking cookies and banana bread for members we were visiting on Sunday. I started working on the Christmas video we made that was basically a 2017 highlight video. If you want to see it, hit up my Mom or Dad! It’s pretty good if I say so myself.😉 We found out Elder W's Christmas package got delivered in the morning but we weren’t there and it was in Maple Grove at the FedEx place. So we had to drive to Maple Grove and pick it up because we weren’t going to be anywhere near there until the 27th. 😂 So that was a little crazy, but we got the package and all the goodies baked. After that we met with Brother A at the church to help him out with some family history. We made a cool discovery: his grandpa came across the plains in the Thomas E. Ricks handcart company. Thomas E. Ricks is my great great great grandpa! So that was a way cool connection we made. So our ancestors came to Utah together and now we were in Minnesota together. 😂🙌It was pretty sweet! He told us he would be able to make it to church on Sunday so that was great to hear! After that we had some dinner and called it a night. 😴

Sunday was wild. Brother A came to church and sat with us so that was great! He really enjoyed it and all the High Priests were all over him and they hit it off super quick! It was great! After church we had brunch with the Ds down in Montrose. Brother D is a cool dude. He does like FBI stuff on food. So he had some way cool stories about investigative things he does with food and all kinds of stuff like that. He is the only person in the US that does what he does and he basically invented his field of work. He also does some crazy carvings and showed us some of his carvings he does. He carved a chain out of a single block of wood. 😱😱 Look it up online. It’s so crazy. I don't know how people do that but he did! He’s quite the cool dude haha. After that we met with Brother C in Lester Prairie and Elder W got the tour of the house. We dropped off a Christmas card for him and then dropped off a card to the Js and then visited with LT really quick. After that we went to the Ms to drop off some banana bread for them and some cards and we ended up getting invited in to their Christmas Eve party and got a bunch of food and good stuff. A called my family and FaceTimed them haha. It was pretty funny. 😂 My dad had a good time speaking some Espanol with Brother M haha. 😂 We had a good time with them and I love their family so much! After the party we headed up to our apartment in Hutch and opened one present.  We read the nativity in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and then headed to bed! 

I’ll write about Christmas in my email next week, but it was great to see my family! I love you guys and I’m glad we could talk and catch up for a while. Being on a mission has been great for me because it has made me realize that Christmas is about being with family, remembering the Savior and emanating his light to others. The presents and all that are cool, but it’s really about just being together with those you love and spending quality time together. I’m grateful I got to spend a few hours with my family over FaceTime.🙏I’m so grateful to be out here sharing the gospel and serving those people of Minnesota. It’s been such a great 18 months for me, and I’m excited for the next 6. It’s going by so fast , it’s crazy. I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon is as well. I know Jesus Christ lives and he is our Savior and Redeemer. I’m grateful for His willingness to leave his Father's presence to come to earth and be born into the humblest of circumstances and do all that He did for us. His love for us is unfailing and unending. I know this to be true! Merry Christmas to all, I hope you all have a great New Year as well!💯🔥

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Merry Christmas from the "Hutchallo" Elders!

With Brother A at church.

The 3 Amigos!

Talking to my family via FaceTime!

Elders W and L talking to their families on Christmas.

Walking on the frozen lake.

The M family Christmas Eve dinner.

Elders W and L opening their gift on Christmas Eve.

It's starting to get cold!  -5 degrees.

Helping at a soup kitchen on Christmas. 

Christmas party.