Tuesday, January 24, 2017

M4 (Many Mighty Miracles in Minnesota!)

Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, at college, and serving the Lord worldwide! I hope and pray this finds you well.💯 I hit my 7 month mark yesterday which is insane. Time is flying by like I can't believe!😱 I feel like I'm hitting my stride as a missionary and I'm finally figuring out how to just work hard and be a semi-decent missionary!

This week has been amazing. Easily the best week of my mission so far!👌On Monday we had p-day and went to the H's which is always a good time. We played basketball and pool and ate some yummy food! Monday night we went to Perkins with Sister K who is in our ward. She is awesome! She is the one we were at dinner with when I had my seizure and she signed up to take us to dinner like 3 more times. She's just that awesome of a person.😂 Anyways, Perkins is awesome. It is like Denny's and IHOP but way better and cheaper. So that was super yummy. 😋 After that we had a lesson with Brother W who is less active. He's a really nice guy, he just told us he has some stuff he needs to work out before he comes back. He's a great guy though, and gave us a bunch of snacks and stuff. We shared the "Hope of God's Light" Mormon message and he really liked that and it seemed to help him feel the Spirit and realize that God does care about all of us and is very aware of each of us and our individual needs. It was a good lesson! After that we visited another less active family. They are awesome and I really love their family. The dad has come joint teaching with us a few times and has a super cool testimony. He is a convert and has a cool conversion story. So we visited them and shared "The Will of God" Mormon message. He said he really needed to hear that because he had been thinking a lot about why God gives us trials and disappointments and that video talks about that He gives them to us to help us grow and because God knows each of us best and knows what we can become. It was a good lesson as well! We also talked about CrossFit and working out a lot cuz he is getting into working out quite a bit so that was fun for me. 😂Monday night we started our "2-a-days" workouts, which means we workout twice a day, morning and evening. Gotta stay fit for football when I get home.🏈😎

Tuesday we decided to stop by K and D cuz we hadn't seen them in a few days. When we stopped by this younger kid answered the door. He said his name was T and he was K and D's little brother. We were like, "Oh cool!" So we shared the restoration with him and invited him to basketball on Wednesday. He said he would love to go and that both K and D would be there too. Then we went up to Plymouth to do some tracting and some stop-bys. Nobody was home or everyone had moved with stop-bys. I don't really like stop-bys haha. 😂 The street we were inspired to tract was these out of the way town homes off of highway 12 in Plymouth. So we started tracting at about 2:30 and the first 8 doors we knocked no one answered. So we were wondering why we'd been inspired to go there.🤔 Then things started picking up a little after that! We had a few people who talked to us and we shared our message about the Book of Mormon, but they weren't super interested. Then we saw this old lady getting into or out of her car (we couldn't really tell) so we ran over to offer our assistance. She asked us what we were doing and we said, "We are just sharing an uplifting scripture with people and offering our service." She was like, "You're just going around saying hi to people and sharing an uplifting scripture with them?" And I was like, "Yes ma'am!" She basically jumped out of the car and shook our hands and was like, "I'm so and so! Good to meet you!" I was pretty much blown away haha. 😂 But she asked about what missionaries do and what not and told us to come back next Tuesday. She said she wanted to hear our message and just talk about what we do! It was super cool and I'm so excited to go back and teach her. She is really prepared I feel like and she is the reason we tracted that street.👌The next door we knocked was an adventure... this guy opens the door and was like, "Are you the Mormons?" And we were like, "Yessir!" And he goes, "Stop what you are doing. Go home. I would let you in but if I told you what I know about Brigham Young you would go to Salt Lake City and raise some heck there." We are both just standing there with these big stupid grins on our faces and he's just going off. 😂😂 After his rant we just said, "Have a nice day!" Hahaha it was funny! We had a few more first lessons but no one was super interested.  After that we helped this new family move in to a town home in Plymouth. The dad was a convert from Columbia and the family moved from New York. He was very hesitant to have us move "heavy" objects. Like there was like a 45-50 pound box and he wouldn't let me carry it. He made me put it on the hand cart thing and wheel it in the house.😂😂 I just started carrying stuff in and then he realized I could pretty much single handedly carry everything they had haha. So then he didn't care as much what I carried in! But they were a cool family and they bought us a Dominoes pizza and then we had to hurry home because another family had a pizza delivered to our apartment haha so we had two pizzas that night. 😜 We still have a whole box of leftovers haha. That night we had a visit with MP, who is the less active ex-Navy SEAL in our ward. He is so funny and crazy.😂 When we got there he told us this guy who was dressed like us came to his house and told him he couldn't eat oatmeal, cheese, eggs, and all this BS haha. He asked us if that was doctrine that he couldn't eat that and we were like, "No!"😂😂 He was a little chapped about that haha but we cleared it up for him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy to read. As we were leaving he asked if we wanted any food and we were like sure it's  free food so why not? So he opens his freezer and has literally like 60 freezer meals and tells us to take a black garbage bag and fill it full of freezer meals and I was like, "Uhhh... ok."😂 So we now have like 40 freezer meals in the trunk of our car hahaha. It was super funny!

Wednesday morning we had district meeting and the ZLs came cuz they were going to exchange with us Wednesday. I stayed in Minnetonka and Elder N went to Lake Nokomis with Elder R. I was with Elder A! After district meeting we went to McDonald's with the whole district and it was a party haha. 😂 So after that we went and stopped by to see S and R and they were finally home! Like the last 4 times we've stopped by they haven't been home. So we found out S is still smoking and struggling with lung cancer and COPD. It's really sad that she is basically killing herself faster by smoking. Anyways, R seemed to be doing much better with his mental health. Like he was a lot more with it and remembered that we had told him he wasn't excommunicated. They told us their apartment just isn't working for them and they are moving back to Little Rock, Arkansas. So that sucks cuz they are pretty cool. 😢 I like R a lot. He's a really kind, warm-hearted guy! After that we did some tracting in these town homes we discovered right off of main street in Hopkins. We found a young mom that said we could come back another time and share a message with them. We also found this middle age lady who was from the south and she listened to our whole restoration message and took a Book of Mormon so that was pretty cool! The last guy we tracted into was named P and he told us he was a preacher for another religion and was also a missionary at one point in his life. He already knew a lot about the church and said the Book of Mormon wasn't true because there wasn't any evidence of it and I was about to go off and tell him there was lots of evidence of it and that you could say similar things about the Bible. That's where faith comes in and you just have to have faith that it is true and take Moroni's challenge. Elder A, being a little wiser than me, just calmly side doored a really good testimony of the Book of Mormon in and I was like, "Dang! I definitely learned something right there." Like I know you're just supposed to bear testimony when someone tries to bash with you, but I just hate listening to people's BS about why the church isn't true cuz I KNOW it is. Anyway, good learning experience for me! Then we went to visit Brother A who is another less active guy in our ward! He is so funny and I love him. So we show up and I told Elder A to expect to get a knife from him. Brother A had a whole bunch of knives all ready for him haha. He also had a big foot documentary that he wanted us to watch.😂😂 So we watched that for a few minutes and he told us he is convinced Big Foot is real and that Cain is also Big Foot. I don't have anything to say about that so I just was like "Yeah I can agree with that!" Haha. 😂😂 It was so funny! We shared a lesson about keeping the Sabbath day holy because he never comes to church. So we taught him some other ways to keep the Sabbath day holy if he isn't going to come to church, like praying, reading scriptures, reading the Ensign, etc.  It was solid and I feel like it helped him out! Then we hurried home to have a quick dinner. While we were home, Brother C called us. When Brother C calls, you're lucky to hang up the phone in under 20 minutes. 😂 So we spent about half of dinner trying to help him out and listen to him talk to himself about directions to the temple. 😂😂 It was weird but I think it helps for him just to talk to someone haha. We hustled over to the W's, who are an older couple. The husband has been less active for like 40+ years and his wife is still active but has dementia a little bit. We visited with them for a while and then Brother W started talking about our "weapons" we have as missionaries like the Book of Mormon, prayer, our iPads, etc. We had a little message planned but I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a little from the Book of Mormon about Captain Moroni! So we read a little from Alma 48:11-13, 17 and talked about how if all of us are "like unto Moroni" then the world we live in would be a pretty great place! He also didn't fight because he wanted to, he fought because he had to to defend his family and liberty. Brother W seemed to like it so I hope he gained something from it! Haha then we hurried up to the church and had a bomb lesson with K, D and T. We read 2 Nephi 31 and talked about baptism and how we can't do it half way and be half in. They seemed to get it and set new baptismal dates for February 4! I was hopeful they would figure it out finally and start keeping commitments. Then we had a super fun basketball game and called it a night. Also, the less active kid we met with, came to mutual and played basketball as well! While we were playing, it was obvious to me that D had been keeping his word of wisdom commitment better than K cuz K was sucking wind, hands on his knees like 10 minutes in and D played fine the whole time. It was cool to see that and show D that word of wisdom works! Then we called it a night.🙌

The next morning we did a ZL interview and just talked about how our area was going and things I'm doing well and stuff. It was good! Then we went to FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) for zone service. Our whole zone was there this week and we went hard! We packed 67 boxes as a zone which is pretty dang good haha.😂 Then we went to Taco Bell cuz it's our tradition.😉Thursday night we visited C. She is HP's girlfriend but then H left and is now living in Blaine in his truck so yeah.... She is doing ok but she won't get over H, which is weird. She basically just unloads all her problems to us and we just sit and listen and try to get in a word or two. She said she is struggling to get over him and she wants to take him back but knows it isn't the right thing to do. So we listened to her relationship problems for like an hour. 😂 Sometimes you double as a "Date Doctor" haha. We shared a message about the atonement and how it helps us overcome anything we are going through. We left her "The Master Healer" from this general conference to read and she texted us the next day and said she loved the talk and it helped be at peace with "Aba" (that's what she calls God).  So I guess we helped in some way! Then we had dinner with the H's and they are great! They are a younger couple in the ward who help us out with missionary work a lot in this ward. They are super cool! For our dinner message I shared the part of the email dad sent in like October about how the Friday Night Lights halftime speech and the atonement are similar. I kind of made it into a dinner message so thanks for sending that!👌After that we stopped by some former investigators that we had dropped in the last 6 months and we had a lesson with one named T, and she told us to come back on this upcoming Friday! So that was a cool miracle we saw this week for sure. 

Friday was weekly planning day. We went ham on weekly planning this week. Like the creative juices were flowing or something cuz it was just working this week haha. 😂 Then Brother C called us and wanted to meet us at Wendy's. So we got weekly planning almost done, headed over to Wendy's and had a lesson with him. He struggled with depression so we help him out sometimes just to get outta the dumps. He said he's been trying to go to the temple daily which is really good! I'm glad he is doing that and it seems to be helping him. He wanted to talk about how God is our father but he doesn't feel like he has a good relationship with God like he had with his earthly father. I honestly don't remember what we shared with him but it was really good and helped him a lot. I think we just went with the spirit cuz I remember we shared scriptures and discussed them and stuff but I don't remember a whole lot of what we talked about. 😂 It was really good though! After that we had a lesson with TF and we talked about baptism and he set a new date for June 8, which is his wife's birthday. He said he wants to come to church, he just can't cuz of the cold weather and his lung cancer. He doesn't do a lot during the day and he said once it warms up enough to get out he will be at church! We also watched the restoration movie and he liked it and said he learned that when we are investigating a church we need to pray about it and ask God if it's true. He said his prayers are getting better and are more centered on others now rather than himself which is cool to hear.😎 He has come a long way from where he was when I first started teaching him! Then we went to Wendy's for dinner and finished up weekly planning. When we were at Wendy's they had the cash register all messed up and we had to wait like 10 minutes so they gave us a huge frosty for free and a 10% discount! Blessings for working hard!🙌When we got home we did the Dungeon Workout in the parking garage. 😂 (see attached photo)

Saturday was a great day! We went over to the K's again to help them out with painting their house. We finished getting everything taped off and started painting. It was pretty fun and she made us super good Mexican tacos and rice again so that was definitely a plus.  After that we tracted the streets around the church for about 2 hours. Whenever we do "Windows of Heaven" for tracting we always seem to end up at streets around other churches. Most people around those churches go to those churches. So we figured maybe the people around our church would be more open to going to our church haha. It ended up working pretty well! We had 5 first lessons and two of those 5 lessons said they didn't have churches and would love to have us back next week for a lesson! It was super cool and I know God's hand is in all the work we do. If we ask Him for help and inspiration as to where to tract, He will help us know where to go! We had another lesson with Brother H Saturday night after we tracted and it was really good! He is such a nice guy! We read Moses 1 with him and talked about different things we each learned from it. We all had some really cool ideas and they were all really different. It was a great lesson.🔥 He seems to enjoy our visits a lot and I love bringing a little sunshine into his day!😊 Then we went to Chipotle for dinner to save miles and I had a Chipotle gift card from Christmas. As we were eating, this dance group came in for dinner. It must have been a high school dance from one of the high schools in the area. It brought back a lot of good memories of all the dances I did and didn't attend. 😂😂😂 I realized how much I DO NOT miss that part of high school haha. After dinner we did some stop-bys in Plymouth and we also stopped by the L family to do a member lesson with them. They are super cool! Brother L always just lets us right in and they give us snacks and stuff.👌Their kids are really cool as well. They are 10, 8, and 7 I'm pretty sure. The oldest one showed us this magic trick with cards that was pretty crazy and I don't know how he did it. 😱😂 It was a good visit and we shared the Larry Gelwix "I'm a Mormon" video and talked about being the best at every role we have in our lives, whether that be father, mother, son, daughter, athlete, etc. It was a really good lesson and the Spirit was definitely there! I love lessons when the Spirit is there and Elder N and I are getting much better at creating an atmosphere while teaching for the Spirit to be there.🙏 So then we went by K and D's place to make sure they were still good for church cuz we got them a ride. So we knock on their door and K answers and we are like, "Hey what's up? You guys still good for church tomorrow?" And he says, "Not exactly..." and we are like, "ok...?" And he says "D is in jail right now and I don't know why but he gets out on Monday. I will be at church tomorrow though." That was pretty sad for both of us to hear that D was in jail. I have no clue why but it was pretty disheartening to hear that. So we told K that Brother H would be by at 10:40 to pick him up for church and he said ok! Then we visited this lady who lives below K and D. She is like 65-70 and isn't married and has been going through a rough patch. She met missionaries in Switzerland like 50 years ago and said she knows all about the Mormons but she loves when we come by and visit her and she has gone to do family history work before! She was having a rough day when we stopped by so we shared D&C 58 with her and talked about enduring trials and having faith. It was good to see a smile on her face at the end of our chat! I love helping people in whatever way we can. Sometimes it's just talking to them and brightening their day, sometimes it's inviting them to basketball, sometimes it's sharing the gospel with them. But it always puts a smile on my face. 😁

Sunday morning started off with a bang in ward council again haha. So we were a little late so we came in and low and behold they were talking about basketball again. Go figure. 🙄 So the YW President is just going off again about how she feels that her YW are unsafe in the church when we bring our investigators for basketball. She thinks they're gonna get attacked or something. I don't know, it's so dumb. We bring our investigators and have lessons with them at 7pm then play basketball at 8pm. They are with us the whole time so there's no way anything would happen, and even if they weren't with us, they're not gonna do anything when there's like 100 people in the church. She just makes it seem like the people we bring to basketball are predators and then it makes us look bad in front of the whole ward council. Brother B and Brother N bailed us out again and said one of the YM we brought, went to mutual and played basketball and that all the investigators we brought have been to church and are taking the lessons. Bishop even said the same thing, that he hasn't seen anything bad come out of it and that he's seen lots of good. I was getting really mad and I just sat there. When they asked us if we had anything to say I just said, "I trust the people we bring here. They're not gonna do anything to endanger anyone here." I feel like the church and gospel is about helping people and loving them not judging and condemning. I was not happy after ward council. We talked to Brother B after and he said we might need to move it back like 15-30 minutes so all the YW can get outta there. But half of them stay and watch so yeah.... It's a dilemma for sure. Sacrament meeting was soooo good though. Brother H texted us and said that K wasn't there when he went to pick him up. Go figure.😜 I was super sad about that cuz sacrament meeting would've been so good for him. K was there again and Elder Stacey from the 70 came and spoke to us. He gave a really great talk on the atonement. Haha the opening song we sang was "The Spirit of God" and I don't know why, but I was feeling the Spirit super strong and I was just crying while we were singing. It was cool.😌 K said he wanted to have a lesson with us after church at M's house, so we had coordination meeting with Brother B, and he gave us some great scriptures for our lesson with K and some good ideas about questions to ask him. We arrived at M's house and prayed that we would have the spirit of discernment and know how best to help him and how to meet his needs. We ended up having an amazing lesson! We talked about the atonement and how it isn't just about washing away our sins, it's about helping bear our burdens and comfort and strengthen us as well. We read from Alma 7 and also from D&C 138. It was really good and the Spirit was definitely there because it clicked with K. We told him we felt he was ready for baptism now. He knew all the stuff and had a testimony. We asked him if he had received an answer about the Book of Mormon and he told us that this morning he was reading before church and prayed to God to know if it was true. He said he felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude and he knew it was true! I have never been more elated in my life!🙌 I was so happy to hear that!! We set his new date for February 3, which is next Friday. He said he needed to talk to his parents about it and make sure they were good with it. Please pray that his parents will allow him to be baptized next week!🙏🙏He said his dad didn't really care, but his mom was a little more hesitant. We are going to meet his parents sometime this week or next week and just get to know them and answer any questions they have. Hopefully that goes well.🙏I was just so happy to see that God had not only answered K's prayer, but ours as well. We had fasted and prayed that day to see some more success in our work and we sure saw it on Sunday. How cool is that?! It was great!💯 After that we had dinner with the S's who have a bunch of little kids and a labradoodle dog haha. It was a little crazy at their house but they were awesome and really nice and made some great pot roast.😋 We had another FHE with RN and her 3 girls and the Sister missionaries Sunday night. It was really good and we talked about missionary work and they shared their family mission plan with us. It was insanely good and I would recommend all families have a family mission plan! We did a few stop-bys Sunday night and went to see why K wasn't at church and he said he slept over at a friends house and forgot to let us know. Typical K! 😂 I love those guys, but man they are the biggest flakes haha. Sunday was so amazing. I was on cloud 9 like the whole day!

The work here is going so well! I'm so grateful to be able to serve in the Minnetonka ward at this time. I know that God is aware of us and he knows exactly what we need to grow and progress. We have been working so hard and I've been having a hard time seeing the success and results. God was teaching me that faith and hard work always precede the miracles. I saw that very much this week! I love you all back home and pray all is well with you🙏🏽💙 I love all my brothers serving missions and fighting the good fight at college. You guys are great examples to me and I pray for you every day. My family is the greatest blessing I have and I love and miss you all so much. I pray for you every day that you can have happiness and success in all you do! You are so great and thanks for all the support and prayers you give me. Love you all! Have a blessed week!💯

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

The "hoodlums" at Wednesday night basketball.
Things that make you go hmmmmmmm...
Great day of tracting - we had a total of 7 lessons, helped an inactive family, and met a new investigator.  And Olaf is in the background! 
Our Dungeon Workout in the parking garage.
Elder N, K and M, and Elder Beach.  K receives a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and he wants to be baptized!
My twitter feed in another language.