Monday, February 20, 2017

Miracle Week!

Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, serving the Lord and at college! I hope you all are doing well and are having a great week. πŸ™Œ This week our car has been in the shop getting fixed from an accident that occurred in December. Not sure why it took so long to get fixed, so we've been on bikes this week! This area is super small compared to Minnetonka, so that's been a blessing as far as biking goes. We've seen a lot of miracles and have seen the Lord's hand in our work multiple times this week!

Last Monday we had our p-day. This zone is WAY different than the Minneapolis zone as far as what we do on p-day. Everyone meets at the Lakeville chapel and everyone just sits around and talks and plays board games. So me and Elder N played catch in the gym and shot some hoops and we were the only ones that were in the gym, so I guess it's good I got someone to play ball with! Elder N played catch with me, too, which was fun. πŸ˜‚ He's a lot better than I thought he would be, so that was good! We had dinner with the Y's that night. They are crazy. πŸ˜‚ We had breakfast for dinner and their kids were bouncing off the walls and Sister Y was yelling at them and it was nuts.πŸ˜‚ After dinner we stopped by this less active lady who's kids aren't members. Her kids are named B and A and they were pretty cool! B plays basketball, football, track, and soccer. He is 14 and looks like he is 19-20 haha. He runs track for the varsity at the high school and he's in 8th grade.😱 Elder W said they used to teach them a lot, but they were super lazy and didn't keep commitments. Soooo.... I just talked to them about football and basketball and gave them Alma 26:12 and Philippians 4:13 to read and we could talk about it next time. We are seeing them tonight or tomorrow so hopefully we can continue to talk to them about sports and make a connection with them! It might be a really slow process, but I'm going to do my best to help them! 

On Tuesday I had my first district meeting as a district leader. It went really well! I gave a training on inspired tracting or "Windows of Heaven." The ZLs said it was a really good training and everyone said they loved it and were excited to tract. πŸ’― I was stressing beforehand, but God helped me out for sure! Being a district leader is actually really fun! I love helping out the teams in my district and it really is making me be a better missionary and preparing myself more to be a good example and a leader. Being a district leader I feel like is as much for me as for the people in my district, so it's been good! After district meeting we went to zone service at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church food shelf. That is fun.πŸ‘ŒPeople come in who need food, so we take shopping carts and just fly down these aisles of food and fill their orders and give it to them! It was pretty fun and we had a blast.πŸ™ŒThere is this old guy in the Lake Marion ward named Brother S and he LOVES the missionaries. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ He comes to zone service with the Lake Marion Elders and then he took us to Smash Burger after. We get there and he just hands us his credit card and says get whatever you want haha. He is really crazy but super funny and has a good heart for sure.πŸ˜‚ That afternoon we had a lesson with B and J who are these brothers who just got baptized like a month ago in our ward. Their mom isn't a member, but her ex-husband and his mom are. So the grandma drives like an hour and a half every Sunday to take the kids to the Apple Valley ward, which is crazy. The mom said she would drive them, but the grandma is like, "No. I'm taking them to church."  Not sure why the grandma does that but she does.  Anyway, B and J are pretty cool! B is 13 and J is 11. I was super impressed with B. That kid is mature beyond his age. He really has a good grasp on the gospel concepts and just breezed right through the lesson! J is a little crazy and just talked about random stuff the whole time.πŸ˜‚ It was good though. B passed the sacrament on Sunday, so that was cool. We visited some less actives on Tuesday night. Every ward I've been in has some crazy less actives, including this ward. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I'll just say that!

Wednesday we had to go get Elder W a new shoulder bag for biking cuz his was insanely huge and he needed a smaller one haha. Then we took the car in to ABRA to get fixed and biked back to our place for lunch. Brother S called us and said he was taking us to IHOP for lunch. πŸ˜‚ So he comes and pick us up and the Lake Marion Elders and took us to IHOP for lunch haha. He's a crazy guy! I don't know where he gets money to take the missionaries out to lunch, but he does! After lunch we visited this older guy in our ward named BH. We have 4 elderly folks in our ward who live in an assisted living place that we go visit once a week and spend some time with them! I love visiting the elderly people in our ward. They are so kind and have such strong testimonies. It's so uplifting to visit them.😊 It makes me miss my grandparents A LOT!!  Then we went and did some stop bys of some of our potential investigators. We have a pretty big potential investigator list, so we have started whittling it down and seeing if any of those people are interested in hearing our message and also asking them for referrals. We did some inspired tracting all of Wednesday night. This week my testimony that this is the Lord's work has grown so much. Each time we pray for inspiration of where to tract we ALWAYS find someone who we can share our message with. God really does know where people are who are ready. They may not always pan out, but there is always someone in the street we tract that we share our message with and they listen! It's so cool! Anyway, we started tracting this street at the south part of our area. We found a few people who listened to a short restoration message and said we could come back this week. This one guy we knocked into said he was atheist, but I was like "How are you atheist??" He said he believed in a higher power just not in God. So we taught him about God and who God is and our relationship to him. I don't know if he changed his mind at all, but he listened and seemed to like what we said! Haha the very last door we knocked this older couple answered and said they had a Book of Mormon and were members of our church. I was like, "Uhhh.. cool!" They said they used to be members but our church changed a lot and then they quit going. I know for a fact our church hasn't changed since it was restored. We teach the same things and have the same beliefs as when the gospel was restored by Joseph Smith. So I was a little confused when they said the church was changed.πŸ˜‚ They said it was in some town that doesn't have a church, so Elder W thought they might have been RLDS. πŸ˜‚ But they said we could come visit them sometime, so I guess that's good! 

Thursday was probably the longest day of the week as far as how it felt. πŸ˜° I had to account with the STLs and then the ZLs in the morning. After lunch we went down to Lakeville to finish tracting the street we were tracting Wednesday night. We weren't having much success and a lot of people weren't home.πŸ‘ŽThen we knocked on this one house and this mom with like 5 kids answers, and we told her who we were and we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ. She said "Yeah, I'd love to hear it!" So we shared the restoration lesson with her and gave her a Book of Mormon. She said we could stop by another time. She also told us she was a member of another church and was pretty solid in that faith. But our message seemed to resonate with her. She said she agreed that all churches are different and she doesn't know which one was true, the one they went to she just liked. Hopefully we can keep teaching her and her family! Then we were supposed to have a lesson with M and V up in the north part of our area. So we biked up there from the south part of our area and when we got there, they weren't there. πŸ˜‘ Go figure. So we did some more stop bys up by their place and found this guy that was older and said he had met with missionaries before. He said he was struggling with his health, but he wanted us to come back when it was warmer. He was a super nice guy! Then we biked over to the Fs for dinner. The Fs are awesome! They both went to USU and are huge USU fans, so we talked about Utah State football and stuff for a while! It was cool. They're a super nice family and it was a fun dinner. Brother F's back was messed up, so he asked us to give him a blessing. Elder W gave him a blessing and it was really good! Then we went out with Brother M. πŸ˜‚ He is a hoot. He is like the Brother C of this ward. But he isn't as crazy...πŸ˜‚ We went to see the Bs, who are two of our investigators. BB is a less active member and her fiancΓ©, J is investigating and so is their son, K. J is really awesome and I am excited to teach them. B just had a baby, so they've been on the recovery from that, but we should be meeting them this week! J is looking for a job right now so everyone keep him in your prayers! 

Friday was weekly planning. Weekly planning sucks right now because I don't know the people or area well enough to plan really well yet. So we kind of struggle with planning for our weeks right now. Elder W hasn't weekly planned for like 2 transfers because his last companion was super trunky. πŸ˜‚ After weekly planning, we did "Windows of Heaven" and felt like we should go to this one street down in Lakeville again. So we biked down there and we started tracting this street. One thing I've really started working on is having the faith that God wants us there for a reason and we are going to knock until we find the person we are supposed to find. So we started knocking and like the 7th door we knocked we met this guy named J. He said he just got off work but had an interest in our church and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he gave us his number and said we could come back on Friday! Then like the next 4 doors we knocked we shared a short message and the people said we could come back!πŸ’― How cool is that? When you ask God where to tract, He inspires you to go to a certain street, and you see that success. It's so amazing!😊 Then we knocked on this one door and this guy said that we should seriously question our religion and that we were on the slippery path to hell. I said that I knew our church was true and he said, "You should seriously question what you believe." I said, "I know this to be true. I have read the Book of Mormon and the Bible and I know both of them to be the word of God. I will NEVER deny what I know to be true and I know this to be true. So don't tell me my beliefs are leading me on the path to hell. I'm trying to share a message about Jesus Christ and bring people to Him. You can keep your beliefs and I'll keep mine. Have a nice day, sir." Then I just turned around and left before he could say anything! I wasn't mean or anything, I just defended my faith and told him what I knew to be true and didn't want him telling me I was going to hell. So, yeah...πŸ’The very last door we knocked, this young mom answered and was like, "Yeah! I'd love to hear your message!" So we taught her a restoration lesson and she said she believed it, but she didn't believe the Book of Mormon and she said if the spirit directs us to meet again when her husband is home, then it will. So we are praying like crazy that the Lord will help us know when to go back so we can catch her and her husband at home.πŸ™It was super cool though! We had dinner with Brother R and his family on Friday night. They made us brats and they were super good! I haven't ever had brats before, but I'm a big fan now!πŸ˜‹ Brother R joint taught with us on Friday night. We stopped by some less actives and found this one Hmong lady named SL. No one had been in contact with her for a while and she was home when we got there.  She let us right in and we had a good chat with her. She said we could come over whenever and visit her and stuff! It was pretty cool. We also visited the G family again. Their son just got out of Juvenile detention and is back at home and that is causing a lot of stress for them. The ward council is really trying to help their oldest son get out of the house right after high school and get a job and go to college. He has a lot of potential to be a great man, but he just is stuck at his home and his home life is a little rough. He is a great kid, keep him and his family in your prayers as well! Brother R just talked to him about his post high school plans and about getting a job this summer. 

Saturday was a fun day! We had lunch with Bishop C and did coordination meeting with him as well. His son is the funniest, cutest little kid ever haha.πŸ˜‚ He's awesome. I really like Bishop C and his family. Man I really miss Bishop P, though.😭 I still miss Minnetonka like crazy. I'm trying and praying really hard for God to help me develop that love for the people of this area too. After that we went up to the north part of our area to tract this neighborhood we felt inspired to tract. We knocked the whole neighborhood and found some really cool and nice people, but didn't have a lot of success. People generally listened to our message, but just said they had their own church they were happy with. While we were walking up around a corner on the street I saw these two kids playing football. So of course, me being me, I was like, "I'm gonna go throw the football with these kids!"🏈 So I played catch with them for like 25 minutes or so, and then I talked to their mom. She was from Taiwan and had met Mormon missionaries in Taiwan. We talked for a while and gave her a restoration pamphlet. Grateful to be able to use football whenever I can to share the gospel!πŸ™ŒπŸ’― Then we biked to the Ls for dinner. Their kids are insane. Like they are the definition of insane. If those kids were my kids I would be like man....πŸ˜‚ Anyway, we had a good meal with them and they were really nice, just crazy! Oh, I totally forgot the coolest part of Saturday! We went and visited Brother and Sister B who live in the senior living facility. Brother B just recently got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and is struggling with it. So we talked about diabetes for a little bit and shared a message about the woman taken in adultery. I absolutely love that story. Christ just says, "I don't condemn you. Go and sin no more." Christ never condemns us, he just wants us to do better and not continuously live in sin. It's a great story. Brother B asked me to give him a blessing, and that was easily the most awesome blessing I've been privileged to give. I have such a strong testimony of Priesthood blessings. God truly knows each of us and wants us to be happy! It's a humbling experience to have someone ask to have a blessing and be able to feel God's love for them and say the things He wants them to hear. It's such a neat experience.😌 I love giving blessings to people. So Saturday night was interesting. We were biking home from dinner and it was like 7:30. So we are almost back to our apartment and we are going through this intersection. Elder W was in front and is about halfway through  when I enter the intersection. So I'm barely into the intersection, and this lady just pulls out and hits me. She had a red light so I did not think she would go at all. She stopped for W and then just ran into me.πŸ’Not sure why?? So I somehow managed to stay up, even though my bike went down. My back tire got messed up and she is meeting us at the bike place and paying for it to get fixed. God was looking out for me for sure that night. Grateful for all the prayers from back home, too!πŸ™Anyways, that ended our night because we had to make some calls about my bike and we had no way to get around except walking. I was pretty sad because we had to cut the night short. 

Sunday we had zero investigators at church again. I made a goal that my last transfer I will not be trunky and do nothing and leave the area worse than I found it. It kills the next missionaries there.πŸ˜‘ We just have like no investigators and are doing the best to find some more. However, DW and the G came, so that was cool! It was a really good Sacrament Meeting. Sister A, the Relief Society President, got released, so she bore her testimony and it was super good. We showed up to Gospel Principles class and Brother R was like, "You guys are teaching today." Nothing like last second notice that you have a lesson...πŸ™„ So we totally winged it with our lesson on Sacrifice, but it ended up being pretty good haha. Sunday after church we did "Windows of Heaven" again and tracted this street about a half hour walk from our dinner. We taught an Indian family and the dad let us in and we taught the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon, and he said we could come back next Sunday! We also met some really cool families that have some good potential. Hopefully we can make some good things happen with them. We had dinner with the D family and Brother D smoke grilled these pork chops and they were insane!πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹ Then BR came joint teaching with us. He is Brother R's kid, and he is so funny. I loved going with him! πŸ˜‚ We visited a less active lady named Sister B. She was super cool! She was really nice and had a road atlas so we could show her where we were from haha. Then we visited with MS who is a less active member with some emotional problems. She loves the church sometimes and hates it other times. So we shared an uplifting message with her and set up another appointment for next week so we can keep her on the up and up. 

This week has been great! I'm starting to get the hang of the area and ward and people here in Apple Valley. I've seen so many miracles this week. I often wonder if all the work we are doing is making a difference but I know it is in one way or another. You just can't always see the results right away. I know this is truly God's work and it is going to continue and never be stopped. I'm grateful to be a part of it and to help gather in the people of Minnesota to the loving arms of the Father. Time is flying. I'm coming up on 8 months this week which is insane. It'll be over before I know it. I'm working my hardest and leaving it all out here. I come in so dead tired at the end of each day.πŸ˜‚ It's been hard to keep up the two-a-days, but I've done it. I'm out at 10:30 pm. Like unconscious! haha😴 I love being a missionary, and I love the Book of Mormon and I love sharing what I know to be true with people! I love you all back home and serving the Lord and at college. You are all in my thoughts and prayers every day.πŸ™Thanks for all the support!πŸ’™

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Elders at Smash Burger.
It's awesome to meet up with missionary buddies from other areas!
Me and my companion using every opportunity to stay in shape!
May we share a message with you?
Love my Mavs!