Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Good Week in Apple Valley!

Hello to everyone back home, at school, and serving the Lord worldwide! Hope this email finds you well and happy.👌🏽 This week has been really great! The weeks go by so fast it's crazy. We've been working really hard and have had such a fun week and seen a lot of cool miracles🙏🏽

Monday was p day and we played some basketball at Lakeville church as usual. We went to Perkins for lunch because it was transfers and Elder N wanted to go somewhere "nice" for lunch haha. Perkins has free pie on Mondays so that was nice! We found out Elder S and I are staying in Apple Valley for one more transfer. Elder N got transferred to Maple Grove, which is where I started my mission. Elder J is still in Lake Marion and now Elder C is here, too. They're both pretty cool, so it should be a fun transfer with those guys.😎 After p day was done we had dinner with the A family. Brother and Sister A both went to USU, so it was fun to talk to them about it! They just had a baby, so we haven't interacted with them much. They are a cool family though! After that we tracted for a little bit, but didn't really see much success and then had a lesson with someone we are teaching. We taught the Plan of Salvation and really focused on the atonement and how that is such an integral part of the plan. Without the atonement of Jesus Christ the plan would basically be for nothing. It was a really good lesson and I think the purpose of Christ's atonement really clicked for her.👌🏽

Tuesday was Elder N's last day, so we went to Chick Fil A for breakfast because they do free chicken in a biscuit on Tuesdays. Then we went to zone service at Prince of Peace. It was a pretty busy day so we were loading and packing food for about an hour and a half straight. They had a ton of clementines that were getting close to expiring so they said, "Have all you want!" Elder S and I eat clementines like candy so we filled a grocery bag full of them. Like 10 pounds of clementines. And we've almost eaten them all already. 😂😂 Then we went to McDonald's cuz elder N loves McDonald's and the manager paid for all our lunches. It was pretty crazy. We didn't know who she was but she was like, "I'll pay for all your lunches." So that was a pretty cool thing! After that we tracted for about 2 hours because it was a super nice day out! I have loved this week so much because the weather has been amazing and people are out and are more happy and actually want to talk haha. 😂 So anyway, we tracted this one street we felt inspired to tract and we met this lady and her son.  Her mom is a member of the Crystal Lake ward, but she isn't a member. We taught her a restoration lesson and gave them a Book of Mormon. Her son was like 6 so we said we would try to get an illustrated Book of Mormon for him to read. He was excited about that! Then we went to dinner at Jimmy Johns because they had 1$ sandwiches. I got the "Unwich". It is a lettuce wrap sandwich without bread and it was super good. 😋 After that Bishop C came out with us to visit some less actives. We didn't have a whole lot of luck at first, but we ended up having a good chat with the A girls, the crazy ones that Brother A and I visited last week. Bishop seemed to connect with them really well so that was good. Their dad was also there and we talked to him a little too. He isn't a member. He's a really nice guy, but he wasn't super interested in listening to the gospel. After that we went over to the Gs and had a "fireside" with K and M. It was pretty good. Keep them in your prayers!🙏🏽 

😂Wednesday we tracted for a few hours and didn't really find anyone haha. We tracted these town homes up in the north part of our area we hadn't tracted yet. It was pretty much a retirement community haha. Most of the people weren't super stoked to talk to us, but it was still good. It was another great day out so that was good! We have started opening the storm doors on people's front doors and holding them open while we knock on the real door because usually people try to talk to us through the storm door and it doesn't really work. 😂 So we knock on this one door and this older lady answers and just goes off. She's like, "Don't open my door!" I was like, "Hey! We are sharing a really cool message about Jesus Christ!" And she's like, "Close my door right now and leave." So we just said, "Have a nice day!" And left. 😂😂 Then this other guy was like really nice at first but then as we started talking to him more he got really upset and said we were against everything the Bible says. I couldn't figure out how but we just said, "Have a nice day!" And left. 😂 I literally just have to laugh at people sometimes.  After that we had a lesson with T. We retaught the Plan of Salvation and it was much better this time. We used the Plan of Salvation kit and she liked that a lot so she could visualize it. She said she wanted to show it to her dad and ask him what he thought of it. She is a little tricky to figure out. We invited her to be baptized and she said no but then she says, "You guys have all these answers to questions I have had that no one else can answer. But I'm not gonna join your church just because it makes sense to me." (Elder Beach proceeds to smack his forehead...) She isn't active in her own church, hasn't been for two years and has us over on a regular basis to gain knowledge that she hasn't found anywhere else. Sounds pretty true to me, but I guess that's just me!  I think she will come around eventually though. She needs to keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She hasn't been praying, and she says she isn't ever going to give up drinking or smoking because she likes it. I don't know why you like smoking, but that's her choice I guess. All we can do is help her come unto Christ and let him work the magic and then it's all up to her to make changes or not. After that we had a first lesson with a guy who we found while tracting on Sunday. He was literally the last door we knocked on haha. He invited us back Wednesday at 5 and we taught the restoration to him. His wife's family goes to Prince of Peach church, but he and his wife aren't active in any church. He seemed pretty interested and said he would start reading the Book of Mormon and try to make it to church (he didn't make it to church unfortunately). He works construction management and has been to Logan and to Las Cruces, so he was pretty familiar with Logan and everything around there which was way cool!😎 He was a super nice guy and I hope we can keep teaching him. He hasn't really gotten back to us on anything this week.😑 We had dinner at our apartment and then stopped by a few potential investigators but didn't have much luck. Then we went and played basketball at Lakeville with the "try hard" crew haha. 😂 It was much more calm this time, which was good.

Thursday we tracted these town homes right across the street from our apartment in the morning. We found this lady on the first door we knocked. She said she was Catholic but listened to a whole restoration lesson and took a Book of Mormon and said we could come back this week! We didn't really find anyone else, but that in and of itself was a miracle I would say!🙏🏽 We then went to savers because I needed so new pants because mine are getting trashed. They are falling apart and the sewing is falling apart.On Tuesday I got a really good pair of navy slacks at goodwill for $1.74. I got some new gray ones on Thursday for like $4.50, so not too bad. After that we went and saw a less active guy we are working with. I'm still not sure why he doesn't come to church.😂 He reads the Book of Mormon and has a strong testimony. His wife isn't a member and is a little opposed to the church, so I think he just tries to keep her happy by not going. It's sad but I think that's why he doesn't come. Anyway, we had a great lesson with him. We shared this "I'm a Mormon" video about Bruce Summerhays who is a pro golfer and currently a Mission President. He really liked it because he loves golf, so it was good! After that we tracted this street for about 2 hours. We were having so much fun doing it we totally lost track of time and almost tracted into our dinner haha. We talked to so many people and gave away like 5 Books of Mormon. I've never run out of them while we were tracting but we ran out on Thursday.💯 We had to go back to the car and get more haha. It was awesome! Then we had dinner at the L's. I seriously love them! 😁 They are a super fun family. I need to get a picture with them so you can see them. Their youngest son calls us Mr. Beach and Mr. S. 😂 They have 4 kids and they are always trying to show us funny videos and stuff like that. It's fun! Brother L and Brother H are taking us mountain biking at Lebanon Hills today so I'm hyped for that! Brother M came out with us after that. We stopped by a less active family we are starting to work with and try to get active again. They went to China on vacation last week so we hadn't seen them for a while. We asked the dad if we could start coming by on a regular basis to teach the discussions to him again. He joined like 5-6 years ago but has been less active for most of that time. So we are going to start working with him because he said we could come over and start teaching them again! Then we went and saw the Os. B and A were out playing basketball, so we shot around with them for a few minutes. A has been reading all these chapters from the Book of Mormon we've been giving him to read which is awesome. He isn't at the house on weekends because he goes to his dad's house up in the cities, so he hasn't been to church. Otherwise I'm pretty sure he would.  After that we went over to the Gs house because they had a friend over who wanted to talk to us a little bit. We shared a quick spiritual thought and got to know her a little. She's pretty cool! Then we headed home and called it a night.😴

Friday we had a zone focus meeting at the church. They're not my favorite, but it is what it is! The zone focus is every companionship has a baptism this transfer. We are going to work really hard to make that happen in Apple Valley. We just need to keep working hard and having faith that someone will be ready.👌🏽 After that we had some lunch with the Lake Marion Elders and then went home and did weekly planning. On the way home our car was being really dumb and wouldn't shift gears. So we get home and call Elder H who is the driving coordinator. He is brand new so doesn't really know what is going on. 😂 He told us to call this Chevy place and take it in next week. The place is like 10 miles away and is gonna kill our miles for that day and be a huge waste of our day. So anyway, after we weekly planned, we go out and our car is working perfectly fine. Go figure.💁🏼 We were supposed to have mission-wide finding hour, but the APs texted everyone like 5 minutes before and said they were canceling it. Then our 4:30 appointment with the Bs got cancelled. For the 3rd consecutive time they had to go to the ER or urgent care literally right before our lesson. I don't know how it always seems to happen right when our lesson is supposed to happen but it does. 😑 It's frustrating. So we went and did some chalking/contacting on a walking path. Not really anyone wanted to talk, so it was kind of a bummer with that. We did a way good chalk drawing of the Plan of Salvation though, so that was cool! Then we went out with Brother C to visit some less actives and part member families. We found a few of the lost sheep people that no one has seen or heard from forever. We also had a lesson with a less active lady in our ward. She is super nice and I really enjoy visiting her. She is feeding us next Saturday and we also might get to help her with yard work. I'm hyped for that because I haven't done any lawn mowing or anything for like 9 months haha. 😁 We stopped by a few more people and called it a night. Stop bys are rough sometimes because people don't always answer the door haha. 

Saturday we had breakfast with Bishop C and then went home and did studies and then went tracting for about an hour. We didn't really find anyone, but we had a good time and got to talk to a lot of people so that was good! After that we did some chalking on the lake and talked to several people. This one lady stopped and talked to us and seemed really interested. Then she proceeded to basically Bible bash with us and tell us we didn't need to be baptized to be saved. We just shared some bible scriptures with her where Christ tells Nicodemus that we must be born of water and of the spirit or we cannot enter the kingdom of God. Then things got weird. She told us Christ fulfilled the Old Testament through his atonement. Everything he did, including baptism, we no longer had to do because it didn't apply to us and we were all saved through the blood of Christ. She said the Bible was the end all word of God, yet she really didn't even follow the Bible. I let Elder S talk to her mostly because I was like, "Wow, she's crazy!" He did a good job and just bore his testimony. Then she kept asking us how we knew the plan of salvation was true and the Book of Mormon was true. I asked her "How do you know the Bible is true?" She couldn't really answer except for "It's the word of God, so it's true." I said, "So is the Book of Mormon. I've read it, prayed about it and asked God if it is true and I've a received a witness that it is. There is no way a farm boy with a third grade education could've written that book." I once again asked her how she knew the Bible was true. She proceeded to basically say exactly what I just said about how I knew the Book of Mormon was true. I was like, "Ok... that's what I just said about the Book of Mormon." She wasn't agreeing with anything and was getting pretty cheesed at us because she thought she could come Bible bash with us, but it wasn't really working for her. 😂 So she just starting yelling at us that everyone was saved through the blood of Christ and left. I seriously was about to die laughing haha. 😂😂 After that we had to go get ready for J's baptism up in Minnetonka. As we were walking back to the car I said to Elder S, "It's funny that every time anyone has tried to bash with me on my mission, my testimony and scriptures from the Bible and Book of Mormon has never lost a "bash." There is no way that two 19-year-olds could know more about the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ unless they were part of the true church of Jesus Christ. I have absolutely no doubt this is Christ's church and that through the restoration of the gospel, we have all the knowledge we need to succeed in this life and live with God in the life to come. The Book of Mormon is true and so is the Bible. Together, they're unbeatable." He laughed and said, "I agree!" It was a great testimony builder moment for me. 😊🙌🏽 Then we drove up to Minnetonka for J's baptism. It was so amazing. He just had a light about him that I hadn't seen in him before. It was really cool to see the change brought about by the gospel. I've really come to appreciate how much the gospel changes the lives of others. It is truly amazing!🙌🏽 The spirit was so strong and I was just happy as can be. I understand what it means now when people say, "My heart is full." My heart was full on Saturday at J's baptism!😁 It was awesome to see so many of my friends from the Minnetonka ward. I really miss that ward and I am hoping so much that I can spend my last transfer or two in that ward again. It is an awesome place! Brother N took us for a little drive in his Aston Martin 11 he got for Christmas. That thing is nice haha. 😎😂 After that we had dinner at the Gs and did an FHE with them and a less active family in our ward. We did a lesson about the Stripling Warriors and played Apples to Apples. We also got to play catch with the football out in the backyard. It was fun and we had a good time! It was also Cinco De Mayo, so Elder S and I dressed up for the occasion and sang a Nacho Libre song. 😂😂 it was pretty great!

Sunday was awesome! D came to church and even bore his testimony. I feel like since he started coming to church it has helped him so much. I guess that is why it is so hard to get people to church, because if they do come, it helps them progress so much more. Satan does not want that! Anyway, he gave a great testimony, and so many people who went after him said thanks for what he said and piggy backed off of what he said. Elder S and I also bore out testimonies with him. It was a neat experience for sure! After church we were supposed to have a lesson with the Crazy Torah Lady. She was home but was super busy, so she once again postponed to next week. So Elder S and I did some stop bys and tracted for about 2 hours until dinner. It was really hard. We were both starving from fasting and were a little "hangry" haha. 😂 We talked to a lot of people, but didn't see much success. That's ok though because we are spreading the word regardless. We had dinner with another member family. They are both converts but have really tough kids so they aren't always at church and can't help us as much as they would like. They're super cool though! After that Brother R came out with us and we did some stop bys and took him to do a chalk drawing and contacting people. It was pretty fun! After that we met J at Applebee's because she wanted to talk. So we just had a talk for a while and gave her some scriptures from the Book of Mormon to read as well. She's making some really good changes in her life, and Satan is coming at her because of it. Keep her in your prayers. She is doing great!👌🏽 

I seriously love being a missionary! I've really caught the spirit of it and it is awesome. I'm grateful I have this time to serve and share the gospel. Even though it is hard, it is so rewarding and it's so cool to see all the miracles each day that occur in our area. Thanks for all the prayers and support from back home! Love you all and have a great week! Can't wait to see everyone this Sunday for Mother's Day!🙌🏽🙌🏽💯

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

J's Baptism!

Chalking the Plan of Salvation.

More chalking.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! :)

Brother N's car he got for Christmas.