Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Things are picking up!

Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches at home, college and serving the Lord around the world! Hope you all had a great week and are enjoying summer break! 😎 We had another super slow week of finding and stuff, but Saturday and Sunday were awesome and we found like 5 people and taught a lot of lessons, 🙌 so we finished strong this week!

P days are way different out here in the sticks. There isn't much to do because everyone is so spread out, so we wake up and go to the church and workout and then do studies and then shop and then go to a members house to do laundry and email. That's about all there is to do😭😭 so that's what we did last Monday. It sucks not being around other missionaries like in the cities. We had dinner with the Bs and the YSA group at like 7pm and then had a lesson with Brother C and his kids. He has had some marriage problems and so we stay in contact as much as we can with him because he might go insane sometimes haha.😂 He's a funny guy though and so are his kids! We also did some stop bys and no one was home as usual so yeah, that was Monday! 

Tuesday morning we had to coordinate rides and all the logistical stuff for Zone Conference. That took like all morning haha. We also had to plan a 30 minute training on accountability. When I first found out about that, I was like, "How in the heck are we going to give a 30 minute training on accountability from a 2 paragraph section in Preach My Gospel?"😱 But we managed to make one, and it ended up being pretty good haha so that was good. 😂 After that we drove down to Clear Lake which is about 30 minutes South of us and tracted for about 2 hours. We met some cool people but no one was super solid. We talk to so many people who will listen and take Books of Mormon and stuff but just won't set up return appointments. I wish I could see what ends up happening to the Books of Mormon we give away because I'm sure at least one of them gets read and will affect someone's life! We had dinner with the R family in Becker Tuesday night and they are super awesome. Brother R is the Elders Quorum President. I really like their family.👌I ate so much watermelon there haha. It was super good!😋 I shared the Friday Night Lights dinner message and Brother and Sister R loved it. They said they went to that movie for their first date! Sounded like a good date to me!😉 haha Sister R told us this story about when she was at a YSA activity and was wrestling and she got put in this like "anaconda squeeze" hold and farted super loud and everyone was dead silent and just stared at her. I choked on my watermelon and almost died because I was laughing so hard. It was so random and funny. 😂😂 After dinner we drove down to southern Becker to stop by some people and most people we stopped by had moved or weren't interested but that's ok cuz Becker is super far away! We tracted this street down there and met this super cool guy. He was from Romania originally and we talked to him for about 20 minutes. He was in his garage moving stuff and we offered to help and then ended up talking about the Book of Mormon and the restoration! He was really nice and said we could stop by next time we were down there. So it was a pretty good way to end the day. 🙌

Wednesday was exchanges with the Alexandria Elders. They just blitzed our area and rode down with us to zone conference on Thursday. So I went with Elder B and we had a party haha. 😂 We had like 15 stop bys planned and the first person came out to talk to us on her patio.  She was really nice and has been reading the Book of Mormon a little bit. She referred us to this family in the apartment building across from her so we went over there to check it out. While we were walking over we contacted this lady from Tennessee who was up to visit her daughter. She had met missionaries before and had a Book of Mormom. She said she was around until the end of July and gave us her number and said to give her a call. The apartment building was a lockout so we couldn't get in and buzzed the apartment she gave us but no one let us in. So we walked up the road a ways to this other apartment building where this other guy lives. He wasn't there but we talked to this cool old lady who was waiting for the bus right by his apartment. The bus pulled up right after we started talking to her but we gave her a card and talked about the Book of Mormon a little bit so that was fun! As we were walking back to our car I heard this song and it sounded really familiar and then I was like, "Oh, I know that song!" It was a country song by Chase Rice I really like. 😂 This guy was jamming it in his parked car, so obviously I went over to talk to him and right when we walked over he rolled up his window on us. 😑 So we didn't get to talk to him at all. After that we tracted this like super out of the way road. It was pretty rural and I doubted anyone had ever tracted it so we went for it and had a good amount of success! The first door we knocked on this lady talked to us for like 10 minutes haha. She basically just talked about moving to Hawaii but we tried to get in gospel stuff here and there haha. We then met this lady named T. She talked to us forever and took a plan of salvation pamphlet and really liked it! She said her mom had just passed away so we talked about how we can be together as families forever. It was cool. Then we met this guy sitting out in his car. He told us he had read the whole Book of Mormon and it was wrong and our church was wrong and that he belonged to Calvary Lutheran church and that it was the true church because they taught only from the scriptures. I was a little confused because we teach from the scriptures and from the words of modern prophets and apostles. After that we had dinner at our place and then Brother P took us out to Foley for the evening. When we got there, the whole town was having this huge parade thing and so the people we were going to visit weren't able to be visited. We literally couldn't get to the houses we wanted to get to cuz there was so many people in the streets and stuff. It was insane. Foley is this really small farm town like 30 minutes East of Sauk Rapids, so we get out there like once a week. I was pretty mad because we weren't able to see people because of the parade. There literally was no way to get to the houses we wanted to get to and the people probably weren't home anyways. 😱 It was a bummer but we ended up stopping by this less active lady who lives on a farm and met her and her new husband. Brother P and her husband talked about fishing for forever and we talked to her about her history with the church. She said she isn't active and isn't planning on being active but was happy we stopped by and visited her! After that we drove home and had a party with Elders B, B, M and myself haha.😂

Thursday was Zone Conference in Brooklyn Park, which is like an hour and little bit from our place. We had to be there 30 minutes early to set up, so we left our place at 7am. So we woke up pretty early to get there on time haha. I got to conduct Zone Conference, and I was a little nervous to do that because I've never conducted before, but it wasn't too bad. 😅 Elder M and I gave a training on accountability and it went really well. We used some stuff from Chapter 8 in Preach My Gospel and some other talk that Elder M found by Elder Russell M. Ballard. It is scary being in front of like 40 missionaries and training them.  I'm brand new to Zone Leading and don't feel like a super great Zone Leader or anything, so it was scary, but it ended up working out! Elder P and I hung out at lunch and had a party haha so that was good. 😂👌I love him, and I hope we can serve together at some point in our missions. We wrapped up Zone Conference at about 3 pm and then we had to stick around for interviews with President, and all the Sisters in our zone wanted blessings for various reasons, so we gave all of them blessings. Once again, it was awesome and I love giving blessings. 🙏We finally got out of there at like 5pm. I got a final picture with President and Sister Forbes. They go home this week and I am really going to miss them. 😢 We went to dinner in Maple Grove at this really good restaurant I went to once up there. We got omelettes and hash browns and toast for like $8. Super good deal. 💯 Then we drove home and got home at like 7:30 pm. We did some stop bys and tracted after that but didn't see much success. I was beat at the end of the day. I feel like the days we do nothing are the ones I get most tired from haha. 😴

Friday we weekly planned and did accounting stuff until 4:30 pm. It was insane. Elder M and I were going nuts and were like taking a break every 30 minutes and doing push-ups and jumping over chairs and stuff so we didn't go crazy haha. 😂 We drove up to Brother Cs house so he could take us up to Little Falls for dinner with the D's. When we got there, Brother C told us he had destroyed a toilet at his work and was super gassy.😂😂 I don't know why he tells us these things but he does! So the drive up was interesting, to say the least. It was about a 45 minute drive and the windows were open for most of the drive. The Ds made us a huge feast for dinner which was great! They made ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and last but not least, baked beans. I love sweet potatoes so much. I honestly don't know why I hated them before the mission.  So anyway, Brother C and Elder M had a contest to see who could eat the most baked beans. It was not a good idea given the current state Brother C was in. 😂 The Ds are less active and we had a lesson with them about fasting.  Brother C was ripping farts off the whole lesson. It was so bad. He is our Ward Mission Leader and we were just like, "Oh Brother C, what are we gonna do with you?" 😂😂 It was bad. We stopped by some less actives up in Little Falls but most of them weren't home or weren't interested so that wasn't too good. 😛 We stopped by this one less actives house and it was just this run down old shack of a house. We knocked on all the doors about no one was living there anymore. It was a little scary haha. 

Saturday we finally found some people to talk to and have lessons with. 🙌 In the morning we just walked around this ghetto part of our area. There's a motel called the "Thrifty Motel" that's basically brothel and drug house. These two ladies who were from this other church stopped us and gave us some pamphlets for their church and said it was the true church. They were like 65 years old we tried to give them a pamphlet from our church but they said our church was wrong and the only way to be saved was accepting Jesus Christ as our savior. It was pretty weird to say the least. I told them we did that, but they said we were still wrong. I tried to start telling them about our church but they said we were wrong unless we read the pamphlets they gave us and accepted the Bible and Jesus as our savior. I just told to "Have a nice day" cuz I hate Bible bashing with people. 😱😂😂 I read their pamphlet and boy is it such a bunch of bogus.  😂 I will send a picture of it.  They asked us if we believe Jesus is God, so we started talking about the Godhead but they weren't having any of it. They told us Jesus is God and not separate beings, but as I read their pamphlet it contradicted what they said. I just have to shake my head sometimes. I'm grateful to be a part of the true church of Jesus Christ and have the fullness of the gospel!🙏🙌 It is truly one of the greatest blessings in my life. After that we contacted these two guys named J and R who were out in their driveway "making trash." (Throwing away trash haha😂) They were super drunk and asked us all these weird questions about Joseph Smith and plural marriage. We talked to them for about five minutes and then had to leave. They were super weird and crazy but they invited us over for dinner to have flat chicken. We had no clue what flat chicken was but it sounded interesting ha ha. 😂😂 So we told them we would swing by at 6:15 pm after our actual dinner. After that we had lunch and then had a lesson with M (less active YSA) at the church. That went super well! We had a lesson about the plan of salvation and it was awesome. We drew it on a chalk board and taught it as we went. M had some super good and deep questions, so we spent a lot of the time talking about those. It was a really good lesson though.👌After that SB came out with us. He just got home from his mission in Brazil and is super cool! I like him a lot. We did some prospective Elder stop bys, but none of them were home. This one apartment we stopped by was a lockout, and this guy that was going in with us just let us in when he went in. So we got in and all these old guys were sitting around shooting the bull and being "apartment cops". They made us leave and buzz ourselves in. I was like, "We are visiting so and so and we just got let in." They made us go out, shut the door, and call the guy to get buzzed in. He wasn't there unfortunately. 😑 The guys were being big time jerks and Spencer was like "Is it always like this?" And we were like, "Yeah, it isn't uncommon haha."😂 We then had a lesson with Sister B who is a less active lady. She has been less active for so long she doesn't know anything about the church or when she got baptized or anything. So we got to know her and shared about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray. She said she is planning on coming to church this next week.👌We then had dinner with Sister K and had some mac n cheese.😋 Then we went back to R and Js house. This is a funny story: so we get there and knock on the door and J answers and he is hammered. Like bloodshot eyes, everything. He's just in his underwear and that's it haha. 😂 He lets us in and shows us R, who is passed out in the bedroom because he is drunk. Then he gave us some flat chicken, which is basically a full chicken that got run over by a truck and is flat. I don't know what is better about it but it tasted good nonetheless. Then he gave us some homemade cookies and they were also really good! Then he's like, I wanna show you guys something on YouTube. So we turns on his tv and pulls up YouTube. We were ready to like run away in case he showed us porn or anything like that. So he pulls up "Guy on a Buffalo" and it was the funniest thing I've ever seen. 😂😂😂😂 Everyone watch it so you know how much I laughed haha. It was so random and J was like singing along with it and all that. 😂😂 J just seems like a lonely guy and he invited us over again this week so we will see how it goes! We then had a meeting with the ward missionaries and Brother C and did some ZL paperwork and called it a night. 

Sunday was awesome, too! We went out and did some stop bys before church and didn't have a ton of success. So M, who was an investigator and dropped us, showed up to church again this week!🙌 We had no clue he was coming but he came again, and Sister K brought this guy named D that I guess she is dating haha. He was super nice too, and we are having dinner with them this week! After church we had a potluck with the ward and that was pretty good. 😋We tracted this street called Utah Road after dinner and had a lot of success there. We found a guy from South Africa who plays rugby and he talked to us for a while on his porch and took a Book of Mormon and said we could come back this week. We are going to try to go to one of his rugby games soon, too. 🏉 We also met this guy named R who took a Book of Mormon for his wife and said she would be interested. He said he lived the simple life and didn't really believe in God. He just worked, fished, and kept his wife happy haha. I was like, "Dang, you got it figured out!"😂😂 We also met this lady whose sister and her whole family were Mormons but she wasn't. She let us in and we talked for like 30 minutes. She was super nice and we left her a challenge to read "Fourth Floor, Last Door" by President Uchtdorf because she has a prodigal son, so to speak. He just kind of left home and became an atheist and lives his own lifestyle now. So she was worried about him a lot and that talk is awesome for that topic.👌After we tracted we had a lesson with RB and his family. He is a less active member that we think may actually be an unbaptized child of record. He doesn't show up in the church records but he told us he is a member and grew up a member. His mom is a member in like Hutchinson or something. His wife is a Jehovah's Witness, but she loves us and always makes us food haha. They are having us over on Thursday for lunch and to help them with yard work. 🙌 Anyway, we just talked about what Jehovah Witnesses believe and then she asked about the Book of Mormon and so we did a history of the Book of Mormon lesson and invited them to read it and pray about it. It was a super good lesson and the spirit was very strong.😇 After that we did numbers and went to sleep. 😴😴

This week has been really great! It went by so fast. Things were really slow when I got here, but they are starting to pick up quite a bit. I know when we work hard, plan well, and have faith, God will help us in His work. I know this church is true, and this is God's work we are doing. I'm grateful to be a part of hastening the work and sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all those I meet. In less than a year I will be home. That's crazy!😱 I am making the most of every day I get out here because they go by so fast! I love you all, thanks for the "hump day" packages, family! Love you guys! 💙

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Sunset in my new area.

Some interesting places we tracted into.

Last visit with President and Sister Forbes before they go home.

Loved seeing old friends at Zone Conference!

The St. Cloud Zone.