Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Transfers!

A big hello to everyone back home, at college, and serving the Lord worldwide! I hope y'all are doing well and have had a great first week of summer break. 😎☀ Transfers are this week and I will be zone leading in Sauk Rapids coming up this transfer. It is about 3 and half hours northwest of the cities. I'm really nervous and excited. I don't feel at all adequate to be a Zone Leader, but I know the Lord has called me to do it and He knows me best! Elder S is also getting transferred to Prior Lake and they are pink washing Sisters to Apple Valley (that means that only Sisters will be in Apple Valley). I'm honestly so sad to be transferred. I feel like we are finally hitting it off with all the members and getting them more involved in the work and stuff. I've loved this last transfer here and I'm sad to leave. But on to this week's adventures!

Last Monday was awesome! We went to Mall of America with the Lake Marion Elders. It was so much fun! I wish I had like $1000 to spend there haha. We bought some new ties and got a Moana themed tie that was black and had tan palm tree beach scenes on it. 🌴 So now we and the Lake Marion Elders have matching ties haha. I also got a purple and black camo tie that is sweet and a black mirage snow flake tie for Christmas time. 😂🎅The mall is huge and has 4 floors and basically every store ever in there. You could easily spend a whole day there. It was sweet. Monday night we went bowling with M and J to try and build our relationship with M. He is super funny once you get him to open up haha. He is really starting to open up to us, so I'm hoping we can help him progress a little now.👌

Tuesday we had district meeting and then went to Prince of Peace again. It was a super busy day again and I think we had even more people than last week. 😅 It was very busy. Right after that we had a really good lesson with D. We taught a lesson about eternal marriage and temples. It ended up basically being a really great discussion about eternal families and how through the Priesthood authority that's been restored, we can be sealed as eternal families. It was great! I felt like it finally clicked for him that you can only be sealed as a family in the temple and in order to enter the temple, you need to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost by proper Priesthood authority. He asked us, "So if someone wanted to get baptized and get married in the temple but their wife didn't and never did as long as she was alive, could they still be married for eternity?" We talked about doing ordinances for the dead, so I felt like that was good. He still won't set a date for baptism and at this point I'm not sure what's holding him back. Hopefully we can get him to baptism soon! After that we had dinner with the A family. They are really great. Sister A is awesome! She always is like, "If we can do anything for you, let us know!"  We went out with Brother C and Brother K to visit prospective Elders on Tuesday night. I went with Brother C. We visited a few people and not a lot of people were there or super interested in talking to us haha. The last person we visited was RV. He was a really good athlete in high school and was less active and still is. He plays minor league baseball right now and has a kid on the way. Anyway, we had a great chat with him and he said he likes the church and all it teaches, he just got burned out in high school because of all the time commitments with church. He said we could stop by from time to time though and even gave me and Elder S these free drink coupons for drinks at his games haha. So hopefully we can make it out to one. 🙌

Wednesday morning we helped Brother M move out of his apartment. He just got a divorce and is moving back to Canada, so we helped him pack up all his stuff. It was pretty fun and we did a really good job. 😎💯 Wednesday afternoon we did a ton of stop bys to people we had found tracting in Lakeville. We didn't really have a ton of success with anyone, but we talked to most people we stopped by, so at least that was good. After that we tracted for about an hour and half and didn't really find anyone. We talked to a lot of people but not a lot of people were super interested. Oh well! Some days are slow like that haha. 😂 After that we had dinner with the J's and that was pretty interesting as usual. Sister J is super talkative and Brother J is more quiet but he is so funny. 😂😂 He has some great one liners he kept pulling out haha. After that Brother M came out with us and we visited the W's, who are a less active older couple we discovered a few weeks ago. I guess the Sisters used to visit them all the time. They are from Utah and have been less active their whole lives. They go to some really small Lutheran church in Burnsville. I'm not sure why, but they do.💁They love the missionaries, though. Brother W just had prostate cancer surgery so we said a prayer with them for him and shared a message with Sister W about reading from the Book of Mormon each day. She said she needed to read the Bible more each day and basically disregarded anything about the Book Of Mormon. I found that interesting. The tender mercy of visiting them was that sister W was watching the CMT awards on TV and I got about 10 new country songs I need to listen to when I get home haha. 🙌 We also visited D again that night and had a great talk with him about the Plan of Salvation. I have a feeling he could start progressing soon, so I'm hoping he can start reading and coming to church and stuff. He didn't make it this week unfortunately.😕 

Thursday morning we cleaned the apartment a little bit because we had an apartment inspection on Friday. It got moved to Monday, so at least the apartment is very clean now! We had a cool comp study we did out of Preach My Gospel that day. We read Alma 26 and 29 and talked about how we individually felt about our missions. It was neat to reflect on how I felt at the beginning of my mission verses around 6 months out verses about a year out. I seriously feel like I'm a way more effective missionary now. We are so much more balanced in our work and we work with less actives, active members, investigators, and do lots of different methods of finding. I've really enjoyed working in Apple Valley the last few weeks and I'm hoping I can stay one more transfer. I finally feel like we are getting really tight with the ward. I'm starting to feel like Minnetonka again, where there is a lot of families and people that we are friends with and people are asking us to help out with service and with church callings and stuff now, too. It's been really good to get to that point!👌We visited the B's in the afternoon and had a really cool talk about patriarchal blessings and the Priesthood. We were all able to share a cool story about our patriarchal blessings. The one I shared I don't think I've shared with my family before. So before I got my blessing, I was really thinking a lot about what I want to do for a career and marriage. As we all know, I have not been very successful or productive as far as finding a significant other compared to my best friends haha. 😅 So I had some questions about those two things and I hadn't said anything to anyone about them. In my blessing, both questions I had were answered very directly and it brought me a lot of peace knowing that God knew my desires and questions and the patriarch was able to be in tune with the spirit to answer those concerns I had. It was a huge testimony to me! After that we chalked the Tree of Life at a park with a splash pad thing. It was super hot and humid this week so there were a lot of young families there with their kids. Anyway, as we were drawing, I felt something hit me in the back of the head. I thought Elder S had thrown some chalk at me, but as I reached up on the back of my head I quickly realized a bird had crapped on my head. 💩 So I was a little cheesed about that, but nothing I could do except laugh it off and finish up the drawing. I was able to wash a little bit of it out at the splash pad thing, but I still had a lot in my hair haha. We then tracted these town homes in the north part of our area we hadn't done yet and found like 3 people in 45 minutes.👌One guy was from Arizona and works construction up here in the summers. He was super familiar with the LDS church and went to the Mesa Arizona temple pageant like every year! He took a Book of Mormon and said we could call him and set up a time to come teach him more this week! Sister O bought us two huge pizzas from Papa Johns for dinner. I decided I really like Papa Johns pizza. It's good! After that we had a lesson with L and Brother R came with us. We read the talk "Fourth Floor, Last Door" with her by President Uchtdorf. It really gets taken from a missionary perspective, but it is meant for trials in our lives and remaining faithful until the end. After we got done she said, "You guys must really do your homework because everything you bring here to read just is spot on for me!" Elder S and I just smiled at each other because we know it was God and not us. We prayed about what to share with her and both agreed that that talk would be good for her!

Friday we weekly planned and then helped Sister K with some more yard work! She gave us this huge plate of fruit for helping her, so it's been really beneficial for us to help her because she gets help with yard work and we get free fruit!😂 We then did a bunch of stop bys and tracted in Lakeville. We didn't really find anyone but we talked to a lot of people and gave away a few Books of Mormon so that was good at least! We had dinner with the G's and they made chicken and veggie cabobs and they were awesome!😋 We did an Family Home Evening with them as well about putting on the whole armor of God. It was really good and their son was our model of wearing the armor of God haha. 😂 Sister G's mom was there from California and she isn't a member and she participated quite a bit and so did M, so that was awesome to see!👌Friday was a long day but it was good, too. Family Home Evening was really fun, but it was really productive as well. One thing I took away from it was something Brother G talked about. He said that Satan doesn't shoot cannon balls at us. He finds little chinks in our armor and shoots his "fiery darts" at us. So each day we need to put on the whole armor so we can be as protected as possible. Satan knows right where to hit us. Each of us have different "chinks" in our armor and he tries to exploit each one. 

Saturday was crazy busy and fun! We had breakfast and coordination with the bishop and his family. That's always a party. 😂💯 Then we went home and did studies and then a bunch of people from the zone were having this waffle lunch thing at the Lakeville building so the Lake Marion Elders wanted us to go with them. So we drove down there with them and did that. It was kinda weird I guess. Like the Crystal Lake Sisters did all the cooking and stuff and then wouldn't let us help at all. But then they kinda got mad at us for not helping but I was like, "We offered to help and you said no, so I don't know..."  Anyway, after that we did some stop bys and then tracted for about an hour. While we did stop bys we stopped by this lady who is Tyus Jones mom. He is the point guard for the Timberwolves. He played at Apple Valley High School and then played at Duke and now plays for the Timberwolves. So that was pretty cool. 😎 Saturday was the hottest day of the week by far. It was about 95-97 degrees and there was like 80% humidity. The heat index was like 109 I think. So while we were tracting we were just dripping. 😅😅 We tracted from 3-4 pm and it was hot.🔥 After that we helped the Ps set up for this big ward party and farewell party for the some people who are moving to Idaho. There was a ton of non-members there, so we talked to a lot of people. The YM and Brother H started a game of ultimate frisbee and we played with them for like an hour. It was fun! They had a giant water slide in the backyard, so we did that too haha. 😂 It was a fun day and we talked to a lot of people and were able to talk to a lot of people about the church and what we do as missionaries. We also helped L move some boxes into her house from her garage so she could put her car in the garage because it was supposed to hail on Sunday. Super fun day!💯

Sunday it was crazy weather.  It was really stormy in the morning and the APs texted out to be careful because there was really heavy rain and lightning. Anyway, we went to church and everyone who was supposed to come (D, N, and D) cancelled last minute so that was a bummer. 😑 It was fast and testimony meeting, and it was one of those ones that was super weird and not super spiritual, so Elder S was convinced God knew it would be that way and made it so nobody came to church. 😂😂 After church we did some stop bys in Burnsville of some people we've tracted into. We got a return appointment for next Sunday with this Indian family that is super nice. I hope they can pan out! After that we had a lesson with the Ss. Brother S's wife is not a member so we did a lesson about the Book of Mormon with her and it was really good! After that we had dinner with the D's.  After that we did some tracting and stop bys but didn't have a lot of success. We then went and did laundry at the Lake Marion Elder's apartment because we were leaving at like 8:30 am for Valley Fair. 

Valley Fair was fun but kind of a bummer.👌😕 We got there at like 9:30 and went on a bunch of rides and then this huge rain/thunderstorm came so they closed the park at like 3 pm. It was a bummer, but we had a blast and it was great! 

I'm really sad to be leaving Apple Valley. 😔 I've loved serving here and I've really come to love the members and all the people we are working with. I'm excited to change it up as far as an area and people, but I'm seriously going to miss everyone here. I've finally gotten really close with the members here and will really miss them. 😭 I know this gospel is true and that this work will continue to go forward in Apple Valley even though Elder S and I are leaving. Thanks for all the support and know I love you all and sure miss you! Have a great week and enjoy this awesome summer time of year! 😎☀

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

At Valley Fair!

We will miss this family!

Giant water slide!

Our chalk drawing!

Putting on the whole armor of God!

Our car.

We love helping people!

Matching Moana ties!