Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Long Week of Working Hard!!

Happy Memorial Day to all my family, friends and coaches! Thank you to all those who have given their lives for our great country and all those who are currently serving! I'm grateful we live in this great place and have the freedoms we do. This week has been really slow and long but we've worked hard this week! We didn't have a ton of cool stories from this week so I will just share some highlights and funny stories from this week.👌🏽

On Monday, we had P day and played "Big Pot, Little Pot" which is one of my new favorite basketball games! So you get in a line and shoot from half court. If you make it, there is 1000 in the "Big Pot". Then where ever the ball lands after you shoot it (you run up and try to catch the ball close to the hoop as possible) and if you make it, then it's 500 in the "Little Pot." Then the next person shoots from half court and tries to make it. If they miss from half court and I had made it, then they get 1000 points and if they make it in the "Little Pot" then there is 1000 in the "Little Pot" now. The object is to get as few points as possible and if you get to 10,000 points you are out. It is really fun! We also played 2 on 3. It was me and JG verse Elders S, C, and J. I've been working on my baseline spin move and I wasted Elder C a few times with it haha. 😂😎Elder J always plays catch with me on P day too, so that was great to throw the football around, too. I still feel like I have pretty good arm strength, even though I throw like once a week haha. Monday night we did some tracting in Rosemount and only knocked like 5 doors and talked to each person for like 10 minutes each! It was pretty miraculous if I say so myself. Unfortunately, no one wanted to have us back to teach😢 Elder S baked a cake Monday night for district meeting and it was the best cake ever!😋😋 More on that later. 😂

Tuesday morning we had district meeting and it was super good! It was us and the Crystal Lake and Prior Lake Sisters. So I was the "Sistrict Leader" 😂. I've really enjoyed serving as a "Sistrict Leader" here because the Sisters are great. They work hard and don't have any drama to deal with. So I've really appreciated their work ethic and all that! We didn't have any lessons on Tuesday because D was out of town. So we tracted this street in Burnsville that was kind of hard to get to and out of the way. So we started knocking and there was just a bunch of older people who were really nice and talked to us, but weren't super interested. Then the last house we got to this teenage girl and this younger boy was out front so we talked to them. He was very energetic and was riding around on a bike haha. Then this lady pulled up with his siblings. She invited us in and told us she was their babysitter and told us to start teaching these little kids. 😂💁🏼‍ So they started asking us all these weird questions like, "Is God a turtle?" 😂😂 So we answered their questions while teaching as well. It was really weird. The lady was from Argentina and I guess she was pretty familiar with our church and missionaries because she knew a lot about our church and stuff. Anyway, it was interesting to say the least. After dinner we did splits with Brother R and Brother A. I went with Brother R and we visited BG, who is a prospective Elder working to get the Priesthood. He is almost done smoking and is down to a pack every 3 days. He's really close! So that was a cool thing to see from him!

Wednesday we had a lesson scheduled with T, so we went over there and when we got there, she proceeded to tell us she didn't want to meet anymore because some of the stuff we taught her were beyond what she could come to grips with. She said she didn't believe infants were saved through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that kids needed to be baptized, and she said the fact we use water instead of wine for the Sacrament just seemed wrong to her, so she she said she didn't want to meet anymore. It was unfortunate, but she wasn't ready to hear the gospel. We did what we needed to do by sharing it and helping her feel the spirit and teach her restored gospel doctrine and principals. She has her agency to accept it, but she didn't. But it is what it is. 😕 After that we tracted this insanely nice street. It was crazy how nice it was. The very first door we knocked took like 3 minutes to walk up the driveway to the house haha. Anyway, we knocked on this door and this kid came to the door. He was 11 years-old and we talked to him about the Book of Mormon for like 20 minutes. He was really cool and gave us his home phone and said we could come back and talk to his family. He said they were Catholic, but would be interested in our message. I hope they are! 🙌🏽 There was like 14 houses on the street and it took us an hour and a little bit to knock them because they were so far apart and the driveways were so long haha. 😂 After we got done we had some dinner and then Brother M came out with us. We visited L and she just had us move a bunch of dirt and clean out part of her garage. It's a mess, so I'm glad we could do something to it! Anyway, after that we went to basketball and thank heavens no one was angry or fighting this week! We had a good clean game and no fights or arguing broke out! It was very fun.💯

Thursday was pretty great! I went to the chiropractor to get my neck adjustment one more time and then I gave him a Book of Mormon! He took it and chuckled, but I'm hoping he will read it. 😎 After that we went and helped Sister G landscape her front yard. We cut out a bunch of sod and edged it next to the driveway and put in a bunch of rocks. It looked really good.👌🏽 Elder S and I basically are professional landscapers now haha. After that we went to M's last trap shoot to support him in that. He did pretty well! There was one guy in his group that went 23/25 both rounds which is dang good. After that we went home and showered and got cleaned up and then had some dinner at the G's house and then went to K's graduation. She graduated from this school you can go to if you need some extra help or if you're way behind in school. It's pretty cool that she graduated because she was really behind in school and now she is right back on track. I'm glad we could support her in that. One cool story is that the G's flew K's sister from Florida up for her graduation. Her sister is deaf and they haven't seen each other for like 13 years. Her sister is much more spiritual and we were able to talk to her a little bit via text at the trap shoot. Hopefully we can share some more with her before they leave! 

Friday we did weekly planning and Sister G wanted us to give her a blessing because she rolled her ankle pretty good on Thursday. So we met them at the church to give her a blessing and then we went and tracted some town homes we found in Burnsville that we hadn't tracted yet haha. I've had the opportunity to give three blessings this week. Sister D also wanted me to give her a blessing on Wednesday. I don't know why, but I was just not feeling it on Thursday and I remember waking up just in a bad mood on Wednesday for some reason. So I remember I prayed for a long time to have the Spirit with me and feel happy and have love in my heart for that day. I'm very glad I did that because I definitely needed the Spirit with me to give that blessing. I have learned so well that without the Spirit or the Priesthood we cannot do the work of God. God knows each of us and the Spirit knows what we need and how to best help us. I'm grateful we have the opportunity to give blessings. It is a great testimony to me that God knows us and knows best what we each need. Now, back to Friday. We started tracting and the first 21 town homes we knocked no one answered. Then we saw this lady in a car out in the turnaround part. She was just sitting there so we went over and started talking to her. She ended up talking to us for like 30 minutes and we gave her a Book of Mormon and some chapters to read! She wouldn't give us any contact info, but she said she would probably call us, so I'm hoping she does. About an hour later we found another lady. She let us in and we taught her a restoration lesson. She told us that this was actually her mom's town home and she was just there to get food because she was a poor college student haha. So it was cool we just happened to knock on her door right then! Hopefully we can get in another lesson with her. She gave us her address and phone number so we are going to call her next week and set up a lesson with her! After we finished tracting we went to the P's and they took us to the Saint Paul Saints AA baseball game! ⚾💯 It was way fun! Brother P and their son went with us. It was like a Salt Lake Bees game. There was a ton of people there and it was a good time. They did a ton of fun stuff in between innings and give aways and stuff like that.👌🏽 They had this thing called the grand slam burger but I don't know how big it was. I just got a double burger and it was pretty great! Haha 2 cool stories from the game: Elder S contacted these people from Lakeville that wanted to have us come teach them but they weren't in our area so Crystal Lake got a new referall. 😂 #2: The players warming up always throw the baseballs up into the stands. We were front row but little kids would always line up on the fence and catch the balls thrown up into the stands. So the outfielder throws the ball over their heads and it hits the stairs and I leaned backwards and one hand snagged it off the bounce.😂😂👌🏽 It was great! So now I have a baseball from a Saint Paul Saints game. 😎 Great day!🔥🙌🏽

Saturday was fun too, but we gained like 5 pounds haha. We had bishops breakfast at Bishop C's house and they fed us pancakes, sausage, fruit, and yogurt. Then we had a Hmong BBQ at SL's house with her whole family!😱 She made steak, chicken, and ribs plus rice, collard greens, and this enormous berry cake thing that was so good.😋 We decided to bike because we knew we were going to eat a ton haha. So anyway, right before we left SL's, it poured rain. So we were a little worried about biking home in the pouring rain, but luckily it stopped before we left. We had a really good discussion about missionary work with SL's sister and son while we were there. We talked about where we were from, why we decided to come out and serve, and how we ended up in Minnesota of all places haha. It reminded me of what Elder Nelson said in his mission conference talk about telling people about you. Tell people about you and why you are out doing what you are doing! Then they will naturally ask why you are out here and what you are sharing, etc, etc. It was good! So after that we visited the B's at the old folks home. That was a really great visit. We gave Brother B a blessing to help him with his health. He said to us, "If you aren't ready to give me a blessing, like if you need time to get the Spirit with you, then I understand." I said "Brother B, there's a movie called Ephraim's Rescue where Brigham Young asks people how soon they can be prepare to get out on the trail to rescue the Willie-Martin handcart company. One man says, "I will gather my things and be ready in a week." Another man answers, "I can have my stuff ready in a few days." And then Ephraim says, "Brother Brigham, I am ready now." Brigham Young's emotions get the best of him and he starts crying. That is how we are supposed to be. We are supposed to be ready at any moment to exercise the Priesthood. Brother B, we are ready now!" That was such an amazing moment.😊😁 I've really tried to always be ready and worthy to exercise the power of the Priesthood. I'm not perfect by any means, and I'm not always perfectly worthy. But I try and I repent and I try my best! I was asked to give the blessing and it was seriously the best blessing I've given. I could just feel God talking through me to Brother B. It was so cool and it was awesome!🙌🏽🙌🏽After that we tracted this street right in the center-south part of our area. We didn't really find anyone, but the house at the end of the street was interesting.😂 This black lady pulls up in her car and Elder S is like, "Let's go talk to her!" I was like, "Ok!" So we went over and she gets out and says, "Are you Mormons?" I said, "Yes ma'am, we sure are! Can we share a message with you?" She says, "How many black people you got in your church?" I replied, "My friend Max is black and has the Priesthood and is serving a mission right now!" She just looks at us and is like, "Ok, well y'all have a good day." And went into the house before we could say anything else. It was super weird haha. 😂 After that we went to the D's house and had ribs for dinner I was about to barf after all that food haha. Amazingly I was only 197 at the end of the day. After dinner we had a lesson with a referral from some missionaries in Finland. He is very interesting. He has been taught for like 2 years and he told us he believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but he doesn't believe in the Priesthood authority or the restoration. I literally don't know how you can believe in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and all that, but not believe in Priesthood or the actual restoration of the gospel.  Anyway, he just talked the whole time we were there and I literally said nothing. I'm having a really hard time with people who don't want to listen with an open heart and just want to "Bible bash" basically. I literally don't have anything to say to them. They don't want to hear, so I've just been staying quiet. I don't know if that's what I should do to handle it. But I feel that's what I should do, so that's what I've been doing. Anyway, we will probably go back once more to see if he has any interest at all in listening. But anyway, that was Saturday!

Sunday was good! We had like 3 less actives at church and K's sister came too! She is a lot more spiritual and open than K is haha. After church we went over to L's to help her move some more stuff. She literally was like we are going to have a ton of stuff to move, but we went over and moved like 4 things. So we spent like 30 minutes listening to her try and decide what to do with her stuff. 😂 After that we tracted this street called Fernando Avenue. We knocked the whole street and most people just kept getting us mixed up with Jehovah's Witnesses. The very last door we knocked on this older lady answered and let us teach her a full restoration lesson and took a Book of Mormon! She was really kind, so hopefully we can teach her some more. Then we had dinner with the P's. They are going to be in the Hill Cumorah pageant this summer and Sister P may contact you, Mom! She has lots of questions about it. Anyway, we shared a Mormon message called "Reach out with love" which shows how we can share the gospel with those around us. We asked them what is something small that they can do to become better at sharing the gospel. They decided to share more about being in the Hill Cumorah Pageant with their friends and neighbors so that was good.👌🏽 Then we went to the G's to help Brother G move some stuff from the garage to the backyard and also to meet P, who is a referral from them and the Ps. He has basically been taught everything by Sister G and P, but we are getting to know him and hopefully teaching him soon! We played basketball with him at this park by the G's and it was super fun. We played through the wind and the pouring rain and all. 😂 It was crazy, but super fun! P is really cool and I hope we can help him and bring him to Christ. 

This week has been pretty good! It's still been rainy, but I'm hoping we can get some good weather this week! I really am starting to love the members of the Apple Valley Ward, and I love working with them. Please keep us in our prayers, so that we can find some new people to teach who are ready. We've almost tracted our whole area, so pray we can find some more people! I know this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ and that this is His work today. We are hastening the return of the Lord by sharing His gospel and helping every person and creature hear that His church has been restored to the earth. I'm humbled to be a part of this work and grateful to share it with the people of Minnesota. Love you all and have a great week!💙🙌🏽

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Wearing the Bee Yamicuh at Prince of Peace.

At the Saint Paul Saints game.

K's graduation.

The long driveway we tracted.