Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Confession by Florida Georgia Line

Hello to all my family, friends and coaches back home, at college, and serving worldwide! I love you all and hope this week was a good one for all of you. This week was pretty fun but a little crazy as far as our schedule goes. We didn't really have a normal day in Minnetonka this week, but we still managed to get a lot done!

So on Monday, we had our P-day, which is always a good time! We helped Sister H take her Christmas lights down cuz we got to her house a little earlier than everyone else. We started talking about how her son wanted to watch the Super Bowl but she didn't let him watch football on Sundays cuz she felt it was breaking the Sabbath. She asked us our thoughts on that and I told her I've grown up watching football on Sundays, but it was always after Sunday dinner was over and we always watched the Super Bowl as a family so it was time we spent as a family. I have some great memories of being at Grandma's house with the family over, watching the Super Bowl and enjoying good food and each other's company. Her reasoning behind not letting her son watch it on Sunday was just because it's the Sabbath, and it's one day a week we give the Lord. It made sense, not saying I feel the same about watching football on Sunday, but it was a good conversation nonetheless.👌 Then we played some basketball and pool and had a good time with the zone. When we got home we did some tracting, but didn't have a lot of success. Sometimes you have a lot of people who talk to you and sometimes not any.   But we also took Brother H to Applebees that night cuz he has been helping us out a lot with rides and joint teaching. So we went to Applebees and had a super good time with him! He said his girlfriend wants to come to church with him soon. He is on fire right now!🔥 He's a great member missionary and help to us!

We moved our service at FMSC to Tuesday so we could get a ride from the Plymouth Elders and then be able to watch the worldwide missionary broadcast at the church on Wednesday. So Elder N and I tracted these town home things in Hopkins by our apartment and had 2 first lessons and met a few cool people. This one guy we found was Hispanic and we said our thing, and he said he was just heading out the door to work, so we asked if we could come back later. He seemed really interested and right as he was about to say "Yes" his wife goes, "Tell them to go away. They can't come back!" He looked really dejected about that and I was sooooo sad.😢 I could tell he was someone that was interested and might be ready for the gospel. We are still gonna go back though. 😉 Then this other dude answered the door with a stack of hundreds in his hand. I think he thought we were his dealer...😂😂😂 But he listened to our message, and we said a prayer with him, too! Haha I swear you see the strangest stuff as a missionary sometimes!😂  FMSC was fun. We were the only people who showed up so it was us, the Plymouth Elders and the Eden Prairie Sisters. We went ham on the packing food though, and packed like 25 boxes of food with 6 people, so that was cool! 💯 Then we hit up some Taco Bell as usual, and headed up to Plymouth (the part in our area) for a lesson with JH, the lady we met tracting last week. We were going to blitz Plymouth's area Tuesday night and stay over at their place. They went with us to our lesson with J cuz we needed rule of 3. Anyways, we get there and it was the coolest lesson I've had haha. She let us right in and gave us water, juice, offered us beer and tea as well! It was pretty cool! She is 92 years old and just the sweetest old lady you ever could meet haha. She told us she loves meeting new people and I think that's why she had us come back... but anyway, we had a restoration lesson with her and it went really well! She had a ton of questions about the church in general, so we were able to answer all those and then she gave us cookies and milk when we left. 🙌She is so great! She said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but for the time being would keep going to her own church.😑 Super cool lesson and lady though! After that we hurried up to Plymouth's area so they could grab dinner from a member. Then we ate really quick at their place and Elder S and I went out with this guy from their ward (totally forgot his name) and did some stop bys for like an hour and a half. So basically I just sat in the backseat of the car and looked out the window while they talked. 😂 I was about to fall asleep and then he asked me about diabetes cuz he works for a company that produces and sells insulin, so then I couldn't fall asleep. 😱 After the stop bys we played basketball at the church with Plymouth's church ball team. They said they needed a practice cuz they sucked and got creamed in their last game. They weren't lying...😂😂😂 Anyway, despite the lack of talent on the floor, it was still fun! Then we headed home and hit the hay.😴

The next morning was the worldwide missionary broadcast at the church. So the Plymouth Elders drove us to that and we watched it together. It was really good and I learned a lot of good stuff to help me as a missionary! One thing that really stuck out to me was how they talked about how we as missionaries need to live the gospel of Christ before we can fully have a testimony of it and share it with the people we teach. We consistently need to repent and change to become better each day. As we do that, we see the atonement work more fully in our lives and then that grows our testimony of it. Then we will be more powerful teachers of the gospel and the atonement. Pretty cool stuff.👌I've really tried to live it more this week and focus on little things I can improve on each day. I feel like there is A TON of stuff to work on haha. 😅 They also changed the daily schedule so you have more flexibility as a missionary to plan your day and do certain things when it is more convenient for you. It doesn't change much for us, but it's nice to have more flexibility in the schedule. After that we shoveled some people's driveways who lived around the church and tried to share the gospel with them, but no one was super interested so we ended up doing more shoveling than teaching. But that's ok, cuz it was fun and we got to serve people and I didn't have a seizure this time...😁 So that was good haha. Then Plymouth dropped us off at our place and then Brother C came and picked us up to go to Sister K's house for dinner. So Brother C and D came to dinner with us and that was super fun! Haha we ended up just talking about the NBA and NFL the whole time with Sister K's son-in-law who lives there with his family. It was pretty funny once J got going on the NBA.😂 After dinner we picked up D for basketball and this kid named A that J met. A's mom works with J's wife so they knew each other that way. Anyway, A's mom said he could come to church and join our church if he wanted, it was entirely his decision. He is 11. Wish K's parents would let him do that. Oh, I totally forgot. So we set K's baptism date for this Friday and then Monday night he texts us and said his parents won't let him get baptized till he is 18. But he can still come to church and mutual and all, that so that's good!👌So anyway, we drove up to the church and had a lesson with A and D. We taught A the restoration and had D help us teach it so we could refresh it in his mind, too. A had so many super good questions about plan of salvation stuff that we basically taught the restoration and plan of salvation. 😂😂 He has some funny ideas about stuff, but he liked everything we taught and thought it was cool that we have a living prophet today! It was a really good lesson and it is way fun to teach people who are interested and open to the gospel. After that and right before basketball, I took D into a room and had a "man to man" talk with him about keeping commitments and stuff. I told him he wanted change in his life, but he needed to do stuff that would help him change for the better. If he just kept living his current lifestyle, he wouldn't ever change or get where he wanted to go. He told us he lied to a cop and told them he was K, so he had to be in jail for 3 days and pay a 100$ fine. I'm guessing he tried to take one for something K did.  I don't know, though. Anyway, it was a good talk and D seemed to be more committed afterwards. I wish he could just catch the vision of how good his life would be if he would read the Book of Mormon, pray, and come to church. The sky's the limit with him if he would just keep his commitments and more work towards baptism. We had a fun time playing basketball and called it a night. 🙌😎

So Thursday was an interesting day! We weekly planned on Thursday cuz we had zone conference on Friday in Lakeville. So we weekly planned and basically the creative juices weren't flowing quite as well as last week so it was a grind this week. We also don't have a car until Wednesday evening so it's hard to plan stuff on bikes cuz you can't do nearly as much cuz our area is huge. Anyway, Brother C called us and wanted to meet at Wendy's at 4:30ish for a lesson, so we walked to Wendy's from our apartment. It's about 2 miles away but there's lots of bus stops and places to talk to people on the way there. So we talked to a few people briefly before their buses picked them up. So we get to Wendy's and Brother C calls us and tells us he is just gonna go to the library and do family history instead. 😑 So we basically wasted like 40 minutes walking to Wendy's. We decided to just eat dinner there and finish planning. So we finished planning and our brains were fried. Like KFC fried. 😂 As we were sitting there like zombies this super weird song about having sex came on, and I was just dying cuz it was literally the weirdest song I've ever heard. 😂😂😂😂 Elder N and I had a good chuckle cuz you can't do anything about it and we were just like, "What the heck?" 😂😂 Weird stuff for sure. Brother S was going joint teaching with us Thursday night, so we walked back to our apartment so he could pick us up. On our way back, we ran into this guy named P who is from Russia. We first saw him running across the street right as a car about ran him over and then he proceeded to cuss out the driver of the car quite loudly so we heard all of it hahahaha. 😂 He had a broken arm cuz he said he beat up 3 guys in a bar who were harassing this lady. Then he said "You should see the other 3 guys. They're still in the ER!" I was like mmhhmmm....😂 Anyhow, he asked us why we were all dressed up, and we told him we were missionaries and a little about what we did and shared a little message about the restoration with him. He thought it was super cool and actually lived in an apartment on our way home from Wendy's. So we dropped him off and said a prayer with him and he told us we could come back the next day and give him a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet. He was super funny and nice. He even wants to go to service with us on Thursday at FMSC! Thursday night we had an appointment scheduled with this guy named SJ. So a little back story: since I have been in Minnetonka, I have received one member referral named K. This Sunday we fasted to get more referrals, and low and behold, our prayers were answered Monday night. This lady from Colorado called us (not sure how she got our number?) and said she had a friend who lived in our ward who wanted to learn more about the church and have Jesus in his life more. So we had called him earlier in the week and set up a lesson at the church with him for Thursday night! Fast forward to Thursday: we get to the church to meet with him and he is a little shy/reserved. Brother Smith was the man and really was a good friend to him right off the bat and helped him feel comfortable around us. He told us he is going through a divorce right now and his wife didn't want him to meet with us or go to church, but he felt it was what he needed to do. We taught him the restoration and it was the best restoration lesson I've ever taught. The spirit was sooooo strong and it was amazing! 😊 You really live for moments like that one on your mission. It isn't baptism, but all those hundreds of hours of knocking doors pays off when you can have a lesson like the one we had Thursday night. It was fire!🔥💯 At one point in the lesson we started talking about how he felt he needed Jesus in his life more and I started bearing my testimony of the Savior and of the atonement and he just lost it and started bawling. It was a humbling sight to see a man feel the Savior's love and feel some amount of relief from the weight of his trials. The spirit was there throughout the whole lesson and it just seemed to flow so well. Elder N just nailed everything he said and so did Brother S. It was just an amazing lesson!🙌 He committed to be baptized on February 25, but that may get moved up depending on how fast he progresses. He is so humble and ready to hear the gospel. I'm excited to teach him more and help him see that through living the gospel and through the ordinances of baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost and ultimately going to the temple, his life will be greatly enriched! It was a super good lesson and he said he would read the first 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon and come to church on Sunday. I was so happy! 😊😁 

After that lesson we had a lesson set up with a less active sister in our ward who is single and is struggling with some health issues. Brother S hadn't had lunch or dinner, so he said he needed to run to Taco Bell on the way there so he didn't die haha. He bought us some Baja blast freezes, which are pretty good! So we went to Sister K's apartment to visit her, and we get there and she has this full on African feast prepared for us. It is 8:30 pm and we've already had Wendy's, a Baja blast freeze, and Brother S just ate a big box from Taco Bell. And to top it off, we had a sprint workout planned for that evening, so I was like, "Lord, give me strength to eat this!"🙏😭😂😂 I had a smallish plate of food and ate really slow so I wouldn't be roped into seconds. Brother S is the OG and threw down a whole plate on top of Taco Bell. 😂😂 We visited with her for a while she really needed a visit cuz she gets super lonely, so I'm glad we could offer our company and an uplifting thought to her. As we were driving home Brother S was like, "I'm probably gonna throw up."😂😂 It was a solid night all in all. Then we capped it off with running about 25 sprints in our parking garage and ended with me dry heaving African food and some fiery diarrhea the next morning...😰😭 The two major things I learned from Thursday: 1. God answers prayers and literally gives us people to teach when we work hard and have faith in him. 2. NEVER, EVER eat Wendy's, a Baja blast freeze, and African food, then do a sprint workout. It destroys you!😂

Friday was Zone Conference which was super good! We all met at the mission home in Bloomington and then took the van and the AP's truck down to Lakeville for Zone Conference. Elder N, S and I rode with the Mission President and his wife because the van and truck were completely full. As we start driving, Sister F whips out her sunglasses and throws them on and then makes President F wear his too. 😂😂 Then she's like, "Elder Beach! Say a prayer that we won't die on the way there!" I was like, "Uhhhh, ok!" 😂😂 She cracks me up hahaha. I got to see my MTC companion, Elder P, again finally! It was so good to see him and we had some good laughs reminiscing about the MTC and talking about his adventures in Thunder Bay. 😂😂😂 He is seriously the funniest missionary I know, and I hope we can serve together sometime soon. His companion is Elder S from Logan, and he is super funny as well, so it was a good time with those guys on Friday

The ZLs gave a really good training on asking inspired questions. You can really make or break a lesson on how you ask questions. If all you ask is yes or no questions, it never goes anywhere. You need to ask questions that make the person think back to times they've felt the hand of God in their life, felt the spirit, felt something like that and help them remember those. You also have to ask questions that get them to bring up things they are struggling with or concerns they have so you know how best to help them. It was really good and helped me a ton! Elder P told me that his brother is engaged, so I need to give a shout out to him and his wife to be!  Congrats bud! 

Another thing that was reiterated from the worldwide broadcast was the need to follow the rules exactly. As we do that and show obedience to God, we are allowing the spirit to be with us. Then when we teach or find people to teach, the spirit is with us already and we will be much more powerful teachers! That was also super cool! We got back from Zone Conference at like 4:30, and then we went to see D. He wasn't there, so we tracted some apartments around his place that we hadn't tracted yet. We also ran into P again and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was super excited about it and said he would read it! Haha this apartment building we tracted was a zoo! 😂 We met this guy named P who said we could come back on Tuesday to teach him a lesson and then we met this gay black guy who was playing Xbox, and his girlfriend or mom or someone was going insane and yelling at someone. 😂😂😂 It was so funny, but you had to be there haha. Then Brother B picked us up for dinner at his house with his family. It was really good and I love them. They are really great people and do a lot for us as missionaries. Dad, you'll like this: I've been sharing the Friday Night Lights analogy about being perfect for the dinner message, and it's been a hit so far, so thanks for sending that! I love it cuz it makes a lot of sense to me, so it's easy to share!👌

Brother B came joint teaching with us on Friday night. We went and saw C again and that was easily the strangest lesson I've had on my mission. She did this like yoga sit thing on the couch the whole lesson and started talking about this herd of 72 angels she had been researching and all this weird stuff. 😂 Brother B was trying to answer her questions cuz I didn't even know what she was talking about half the time haha. Then she asked if we believed in angels and if we had any personal angels. We talked about angel Moroni a little bit, and she seemed to like it. She just researches so much stuff on churches and angels and all this BS and then gets it all mixed up and it is crazy sometimes. 😂😂 After that we went to have a lesson with this lady named T who was a former investigator that dropped us after we passed her off to the Sisters to teach. Elder N and I went back like a week or so ago and she wanted to be taught again, so we picked her up. We read 2 Nephi 31 with her which is the most bomb chapter about the doctrine of Christ. It is so good, I would advise everyone to read it this week! T said she had been reading the New Testament to grow in her testimony of Jesus and she said she felt that it was growing a lot. I've been reading the New Testament right now as well, so we talked about lots of stuff from it and it was cool! She said she's been feeling the spirit as she's been reading the New Testament and I said, "T, I'll make you a deal. If you come to church and don't feel the spirit, then you don't have to come to church anymore." She seemed to like the deal, so she committed to be at church next Sunday! I know she will feel the spirit at church because I feel it every single Sunday. 🙌

Saturday we had coordination meeting at the bishop's, which is always a good time! He always buys us either Brueggers Bagels or Great Harvest, which I love. So we had a good discussion about how to help our investigators and build fellowship with the ward members and had some good food. Then we went to the K's house again to finish painting their kitchen and start painting the entryway in their house. It's so fun to help them out and their oldest boy is really cool. I like him a lot and he said he is trying to decide whether to go on a mission right after high school or go to a year of school first. I told him that whatever he decides, just go on a mission no matter what because the blessings that come from it are tremendous and will help his less active family a lot! We had dinner at the A's at 5 pm and didn't have a car, and we were in Plymouth. So A drove us to the church, then Brother H drove us to the A's and then we tracted a few streets by their house until dinner. They are awesome, and their son is serving in the Sweden, Stockholm mission right now. We talked about Brother A's mission in Germany and what kind of stuff they did and how they would drive insanely fast in the Autobahn in Germany. 😂 I shared my Friday Night Lights message again, and Brother A loved it cuz he is from Texas originally and knows all about Odessa Permian and MOJO football. 💯🏈 So it's been working really well to use that as a dinner message. One more shoutout to dad for that! Then Brother L picked us up to joint teach with us that night. When we got in his car, "Confession" by Florida Georgia Line was on for a second, and that was my jam back home, so that brought back some good memories. 😎

We had a lesson with Brother H again, and he seemed to be doing a little better, but I'm so glad we get to visit him. He told us he loves having us over cuz he gets a little lonely there sometimes and my heart just broke. 💔 He is such a nice man and I feel so bad for him. We read about the brother of Jared in Ether and how we need to have faith and also put forth our best effort in order to see miracles occur. I've gained a strong testimony of faith + work = miracles. It really is amazing how that works!  It's just awesome to see how much just visiting with someone and sharing the gospel uplifts their spirits. 😊 After that we went and visited the Cs. He was asleep when we got there but she woke him up so we could visit him. What happened next was hands down the funniest visit of the week, and possibly the mission, if you don't include Brother H. 😂 So he comes upstairs and he is telling us about how he has been getting ready for track and doing his workouts and whatnot. Then we started talking about "Call of Duty" somehow and Brother L said there's this place in Bloomington called "Black Ops" that is a laser tag place, but they have real guns that shoot blanks and you wear like body armour and stuff while you play. K was like, "Man,that's dangerous!  Some kid finna come in with a real clip in his gun and start killing people. Radadasadadasdrddads (machine gun noise)..."😂😂😂 Oh my gosh, I've never laughed so hard in my life. K is like a ghetto black version of my friend, Jake. He just has super funny stories about random stuff haha. Then he told us when he came to basketball on Wednesday like a week ago that D's little bro T wouldn't pass me the ball. And I was like, "Yeah, I know. Why wouldn't he?" And K is like, "Bro, he told me that you wouldn't pass to him." He said, "He came up to me and was like he don't believe in me! He don't believe in me man!" I was dying😂😂😂😂😂 K is so funny haha. Then he told us about how he would drink a whole slushy and fill up his car and then get a 65 cent refill while his car was filling up haha. 

We shared a Mormon message with them and invited them to church. K said it was his birthday on Sunday and they were going out to dinner and we were like, "Church is at 11am, dude." He's like, "I'm finna still be asleep." Hahaha, so we told him we would get him a birthday present and bring it to church, and he said he would come. So on the way home we bought him some Reese's pieces and peanut butter cups cuz he loves those. We also stopped by D's and had him call JC and set up a ride to church. He told us T wanted to come, too, and would be there tomorrow. We were planning on having 6 investigators and 1 less active to church on Sunday so we were hyped Saturday night! 

Sunday morning we decided to make it 5 weeks in a row and fast again that all our investigators could make it to church. We got a ride from the H's to church and got there like 10:55 and ran in to find all our investigators and make sure they had members to sit with and stuff. S sat with Brother S and his family so that was good, and A was with J and D. D was nowhere to be seen, so we went and asked J, and he said he showed up to get them and no one answered the door or phone. I was so sad/mad. D had literally told us less than 14 hours ago he was coming to church and set up the ride himself and then didn't show up.💁I don't know what his deal is, but we may need to drop him soon if this keeps up. It makes me sad, but it may need to happen cuz he isn't keeping commitments and keeps flaking hard core on us. 

Church was awesome cuz it was Ward Conference, and the Stake Presidency was there. The Stake Presidency is awesome in this stake! Bishop gave a great talk on the power of the scriptures and President K spoke on something similar. Both were very powerful talks and I loved them! Second hour in gospel principles we talked about Moroni 10:3-5 and really went deep into those verses. I learned that in verse 4 if we ask with "real intent", meaning to act on the answer we receive, even if it isn't the answer we want, a "sincere heart" meaning a conviction to know that what we are asking about is true, and "having faith in Christ" then we will receive an answer to our prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. It was really cool and struck me that that is how all prayers should be. It was solid.💯 

President B gave the lesson in Elders/High Priests Quorum and he is awesome. He is seriously one of the best teachers I've ever listened to. He is so animated and funny but he really knows his stuff. He keeps you engaged but also just nails it and brings the spirit. It was so good. He talked about the gospel of Christ and it was awesome. I know that the leaders of our church are called of God. They have a special spirit about them and their faith and testimonies make it very clear to me that they are servants of the Lord. 

After church we did some stop bys around the church till Brother H was done with his bishopric meeting and could take us to his house to dinner. We set up 2 appointments with some investigators we found while tracting for this week so that was good! Then we talked to Brother F about joint teaching with us. I love Brother F. He is super cool and we get along great haha. 😂 Anyway, he invited us over for dinner next Tuesday and is going teaching with us that night too.  😂 I hope dinner isn't too awkward. 😉 

So after that Brother H took us to his house for dinner and we had these super yummy sandwich things. It was an artisan roll, mozzarella cheese, pesto sauce, bacon and tomatoes. It was dang good! We shared the Friday Night Lights message again and it was, once again, a hit! Then he took us to the S's house so we could do another lesson with K. K was at church, which was super good! He told us the stake leaders thought he was just another Priest in the ward. 😂😂 We had a good chuckle at that haha. We read Alma 13 with him and talked about the Priesthood and the duties of Priesthood holders. We also talked about the temple and we all were able to bear our testimonies about the temple to him. Nothing brings the spirit faster than bearing testimony. That is a fact! The lesson was really good and he is so solid. I wish his parents would let him get baptized.🙏Haha he wanted to see a picture of me with a beard, so I showed him and he thought it was pretty funny. 😂 Then Brother K picked us up and took us to the W's cuz he is also their home teacher. We talked about Lewis and Clark with Brother W for a little bit and then about church and diabetes. He is a type 2 diabetic, so we discussed the differences and how to manage it well and stuff. It was cool. We had been struggling to know what to share all week with them and decided to leave it up to the spirit. Brother W loves art and is a great painter, so I shared the Jadeite Cabbage story with them. If you haven't heard it, look it up! It is really great 👍I felt like he really liked the story and it resonated well with him, so that was good! 

Then we visited the N family so Brother K could give M, their youngest daughter, a blessing. She was really sad that day (the parents are divorced and all the girls live with the mom), and she was having a tough time with some stuff. I showed her a picture of my dog, Hallie to help cheer her up and she liked it a lot! Haha 😂 I love my Hallie dog.😊 Brother K gave her a great blessing and then asked if we had any thoughts we could share. I just shared my testimony about how God answers prayers. That was one of the coolest experiences I've had with bearing my testimony because I felt like the spirit was speaking directly through me to someone there who needed to hear my testimony. It was so cool! Then we did a few stop bys and called it a night!

This week has been hard but fun! I love the moments when you can bear testimony and you really feel the spirit is there and bearing witness that what you say is true. I have a strong testimony of the power of prayer. I've seen miracles happen here that never would've happened without faith, prayer, and a lot of hard work. I know this gospel brings true happiness and blesses all of us more than we can know. We were talking to Brother K about how you don't realize how much you take for granted back home till you come on a mission. Just little things like camping up on Colton's farm with my buds, or spending a fall afternoon raking leaves as a family. I realized growing up in the church was also a huge blessing as well that I took for granted. I see so many people every day that are lost and need the gospel, but they just can't get out of their old habits and lifestyle. I'm truly very lucky to have the family I have and the friends I do. I love you all so much. I need to give a shoutout to my boys Colton, Jake, Max, and Alex. You guys are awesome and I love all of you. Keep up the good work and know that you are all great examples to me. Thanks for being such a great support in my life. Shoutout to my family as well. I'm beyond blessed to have you in my life. I really would not be anywhere close to where I am today without you guys. I'm working my hardest out here to bring people joy and bring them to Christ. I'm proudly wearing the name of Christ and the name of a Beach on my chest every day. I'm doing all I can to make the Savior proud of me and my family proud as well! I hope and pray I have done that.🙏I love you all and pray you have a great week!

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Dinner at Applebees with Brother H.

Baja blast freezes and Naked Chicken from Taco Bell.

Reunited at last!  Elder Beach and Elder P - former MTC companions!