Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter!

Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, at school, and serving the Lord all around the world! Hope all is well with you and you all had a fantastic Easter weekend. This week was really good for us here in Apple Valley. We've had some good stuff start to happen and I know it comes from hard work! Hard work is the secret to success in whatever you do.πŸ’―

Monday was P day and we played basketball at the Lakeville chapel with the zone. It was really fun and we had some good games. It is so nice to get out and run around and compete. I love competing haha. Don't worry I don't freak out or play like a football game, but I play to win. πŸ˜‰ It's fun, I love it. After p day we had dinner at our place and then we headed over to the G's house to do a lesson with K. She is M's girlfriend and isn't a member but lives at their house. She decided to start taking the lessons so we taught the plan of salvation the first lesson just because she has had some rough things in her life and has had some family members pass away so we thought it would be good for her! It was a really good lesson and Brother and Sister G helped us teach it. Overall it was pretty good and she really doesn't have much religious background, but I'm hoping, if nothing else, she can feel the spirit and know what we are sharing is true. 

Tuesday was a really good day! We had district meeting and interviews with the Mission President and they were really good.πŸ‘ŒThis was the first time I've had a really good interview with President. We actually talked about some stuff. I have been feeling a little discouraged I guess, and just feeling like I do the same thing each day without a lot of results. By the time interviews rolled around I figured out that I was doing good for people even if the results weren't apparent. I just needed to look at it from a wider perspective. But anyway, President talked to me about it and gave me some good words of encouragement. We also talked about Birmingham, Alabama because that is where my brother is going on his mission. It was really good, and I felt like we connected well.πŸ™ŒI also got to do a walk and talk with his wife haha. She just speed walks around the church and talks to you.πŸ˜‚ We just talked about some different finding ideas besides tracting because we tract a lot! We also watched a Mission President training video from Elder Bednar about "Teaching repentance, baptizing converts." It was really good. I'll include my notes in the photos from it! After that we had a really good lesson with D. Brother R came with us and was able to answer a couple of his questions about temple ordinances and stuff that I haven't even done, like marriage and stuff like that. He is also going to start reading "The Great Apostasy" by James E. Talmage. πŸ˜‚ He said he wants to learn more about the apostasy so Brother R told him to read it.πŸ’He was supposed to be going to Chicago this week for work, but he just informed us it isn't until May, so we are excited to meet with him this week and hopefully he can come to church this week and also to the President's Fireside on Sunday! Haha then we had dinner with the L family after that. They are pretty cool! Brother L is a pilot and is gone a lot but he was there this week and made burgers for us. He is really awesome and I've enjoyed getting to know him.  After dinner we did some tracting and then had a member lesson with another family. We shared the new Easter video and invited them to share it with their family and friends or on social media. 

Wednesday, CD took us to lunch at Doolittles in Eagan. It was really good.πŸ˜‹ It is a wood fired grill place and it was super pricey so it was cool to go and not have to pay for it haha. The total was like $120 for 3 of us! πŸ˜œ He said he would be interested in taking the lessons but he is currently remodeling his house, so he said give him a few weeks to get his affairs in order (he also just retired), and then we could start doing them! I'm excited to teach him, he's a really nice guy! I forgot to get a picture of us at Doolittles, so I'll send one when we have a lesson.πŸ‘ŒAfter that we visited BH at the assisted living center. He has dementia and struggles to remember stuff. He actually remembered the last time we came and visited though, so that was cool! He's such a loving guy.😊 He always tells us about how he met his wife and got married to her. It is such a cool story haha. πŸ˜‚ After that we decided to stop by some former investigators and see if they would be interested in meeting again. So the first family we stop by lets us in haha. They have been taught by missionaries before and got dropped like last summer. I wasn't sure why they got dropped. They had come to church a few times, read a little of the BOM and stuff. So we talked to them about their lives and what they had been taught before. They said they would come to church on Sunday but didn't.  Seriously, it seems dang near impossible to get people to church in this area. I've had one person come to church that I've invited since I got here. Satan does not want people to come to church. πŸ‘Ώ It's tough. They said they would have a lesson with us again next Wednesday so we are planning on thatπŸ‘ŒAfter that we tracted and found a couple people that said we could come back this week. We taught a few first lessons on people's door steps too but nothing super solid. Elder S is getting so much better at tracting and talking to people. It's been cool to see how far along he has come since he got here! We had dinner at 7pm with D and her fiancΓ©. We had a blast with them haha. She was laughing at like everything we said and he was like, "idk what's going on tonight?"πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It was fun and he sat in on the lesson, too. He isn't a member and hasn't been super receptive in the past to the lessons from missionaries, but he has sat in on the last two lessons with us. Then we we did some stop bys after dinner and called it a night! 

Thursday we went to zone service at Prince of Peace. This week we got to sort clothes and put all the clothes on hangers and sort them and stuff. There was some weird articles of clothing haha. We found some weird lingerie stuff and some interesting shirts and what not. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ After that we finished tracting the street we did on Wednesday. We found this one guy from Iran that was gardening so we asked if we could help him. He said no but we started talking to him about Jesus Christ and if he had a faith in him. He said he didn't believe Jesus was the son of God and that he was just a prophet. I said I knew Jesus was the son of God and that he lives today and is our Savior and Redeemer. He said in the Bible that it says Muhammad is supposed to be the next prophet and I was like "Where did you read that?" He says "On google!" I was like, "That isn't the most reliable source." πŸ˜‚ He told me to look it up and I did on my iPad. It doesn't even say the word Muhammad in the Bible.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Then he said Jesus wasn't the savior either cuz God wasn't his father. I asked him who his father was and he couldn't answer my question, so we ended up listening to him continue to contradict himself about how God isn't his father but that he was created by God and Mary. We just said, "Have a good day!" and left haha. We didn't really find anyone interested but we talked to a lot of people so that was good at least! We then went and met JG at Starbucks to have a lesson with her. We figured she would open up more not in her house with her parents there. She just explained to us how she had fallen away from the church and then just didn't really have a lot of good friends or anything to help her. Now she's trying to get it all back together and get active again. Then we ran home and had dinner and then Brother M picked us up for a lesson. We decided to read Moroni 10 with her since she hadn't read it since last time. It was going really good and she had a lot  of good questions and insights. Then Brother M got a little off topic and we really struggled to bring it back to what we were talking about. He did this several times and the lesson ended up being about 2 hours when we were planning on it being about an hour at the most. The Spirit was definitely there though, and she enjoyed what we read. She started asking all these questions about why we need the Book of Mormon if we already have the Bible. I told her to read 2 Nephi 29 before next time we meet and it will answer all her questions. It literally answered every question she had, so I'm really hoping she reads it! 

Friday we weekly planned and then had mission-wide finding hour from 3:30-4:30 pm. We decided to do this street that was up in the way northern part of our area. So we started with a mission-wide conference call and prayer and then started knocking. The second door we knocked on this guy answered and we talked to him for a while and then right when we were walking out to the street this car drives by, slams on the brakes and backs up to talk to us. There is 2 high school girls in the front seat and dude in the back seat. They were like, "Hey! What school do you go to?" We then told them who we were and what we were doing. They said that was really cool. The girl driving was one of those cute girls that acts dumber than a box of rocks so we basically ended up talking to the other girl. She asked us a ton of questions and said she had done missionary work too for her church. We gave her a pass along card and told them to check out Mormon.org and the Prince of Peace video. So they left and we knock on the next door and the car comes driving back down the street and they ask us for more cards and our phone number. So we obliged and told them to call us if they have any questions. Then we knocked the whole side of this street and no one talked to us. Then we saw this one guy on the other side of the street working in his garage. So we go over to talk to him and he says he is part of a church and isn't good at his church. That's what he said. So we were like, "Well hey! Jesus doesn't care if we aren't good at something. He just cares if we try and follow him!" Then he just went off on us about how he hates religion and doesn't believe in God so we just left.  Then at the end of the street we saw this lady and she waves us over. So we went over! Then she told us she used to be a Jehovah's Witness and hated it. She said they were crazy and didn't let you go to college, and if you married someone who wasn't a JW you basically got shunned by the people in the church. It was really sad to hear about. So we taught her about our church and our beliefs. She was really hesitant to come to church just cuz she said she has had 40+ years of bad church experience. We told her to call us if she had questions or was interested. So it was pretty cool! Then we had dinner at the G's and then went to do some tracting and had a member lesson with the Ws. Brother W is from Preston so we talked about Cache Valley a lot haha. πŸ˜‚ We shared the Easter video with them too, and invited them to share it with family and friends as well!

Saturday we had breakfast at the bishop's house and did our weekly correlation meeting with him. Then we did some studies and finished our plans for the day, and then we went and visited the Bs at the assisted living center. They are super awesome and we hadn't visited them for like 2 weeks. Brother B always talks about what a great companion his wife is and he said "Elder Beach, someday, a cute girl is gonna wink at you and you're gonna fall head over heals in love!" I was just like πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ that's a ways down the road. He's like "Oh, it'll probably be sooner than you think!" I was dying cuz it probably won't be that soon haha. It was a good visit! Then we went tracting and had a couple cool/funny/not funny stories:
1. We tracted into a Jets fan. Elder S loves the Jets so they hit it off and he invited us back next week!
2. We started talking to this Russian lady that kept asking us weird questions about kids being saved and that little kids are evil because of Adam's transgression and we were like no... that's not how it works! Then she told us the Book of Mormon isn't the word of God because of what it says in the Book of Revelation. So I pull out Deuteronomy 4 which says almost the exact same thing as Revelation 22. I asked her if that meant the New Testament was invalid. She had no answer.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
3. This lady answers the door and asks us if we are soliciting something. We say no, we are sharing a message about Jesus Christ. She proceeds to tear into us about forcing our religion on people and just goes off. So I was like well, have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?😁 She just lost it and screamed at us to back off her and quit trying to make her convert. Some people...πŸ˜‚
4. We tracted into a bachelorette/Easter party, but this really cool guy talked to us and accepted a Book of Mormon!
Then we went to the Gs and had some burgers and had an Easter family home evening lesson. It was super good. Brother G did it and it was good!πŸ‘Œ

Sunday was Easter and the Gs got us Easter baskets full of stuff! They spoil us haha! πŸ’―πŸ˜‚ Then we went to church and we had zero investigators there but all he G family was there including Brother G's non-member mom. So that was good! After that we dropped off the "Continuous Atonement" to Brother B cuz he is studying the atonement of Jesus Christ right now and hadn't read it. I just finished it and it was awesome so I let him borrow it! Then we did some tracting and nobody wanted to talk really.πŸ˜‚ It's funny how on holidays about Christ that people don't want to talk about our Savior. I don't really get it.πŸ’After that we did some chalking. We went to a walking trail and wrote 2 Nephi 31:20 and people stopped and talked to us about when they walked by. We talked to 5-6 people in about an hour so it was pretty good! Then we had dinner at the D's and it was super good! We had ham and cheesy potatoes and strawberry shortcake. Then we had a member lesson with the L family and then we went to stop by some people we tracted last week. The first door we stopped by let us in and we talked to these guys named S and B. They were really cool! They've done missionary work for their church before. They were really nice and had heard a lot about the LDS church before and had talked to missionaries before, too. We talked about the plan of salvation with them and they once again got hung up on the fall. I felt like we answered all their questions and they just had some weird ideas about things. We had a good conversation though! They were super nice and we, as well as them, tried to find common ground in our beliefs which I really respected. It was really cool! 

This week was super good! Good things are happening here in Apple Valley, so I'm excited to be here right now. I'm really starting to enjoy this time in my life where I can focus all my efforts on finding and teaching people who are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. It makes me sad when people don't even give it a chance, but now is not their time. Seeds will be planted nonetheless! This week I read the parable of the fertile and infertile soil in Luke. It was really cool to read from a missionary standpoint and it made me realize that we are called to share the gospel, regardless of whether or not people listen to it. I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world. Hope you all had a great Easter with family and friends. Prayers up from Minnesota for you all!πŸ™

Much love, 
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Chalking.


Easter basket from the G family.