Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Crazy busy week!

Hello to my family, friends, and coaches back home, at college and hastening the work of the Lord around the world! I love you all so much and miss you guys. Summer is in full bloom here and the work is awesome! 🙌 I seriously love being a missionary! It's so hard, but it's fun and I treasure each day! Today we are having a zone p-day at a member's farm in St. Cloud, so my email will just have the highlights from last week since we did a ton of stuff and had a busy week. 💯

Nothing to exciting to report from Monday except Elder M and I played catch with the football for about an hour. It felt good to get out and throw a little. I still got it pretty good, but will for sure need some practice when I get home haha. 😂 We had dinner with the O family Monday night. They are super awesome. They have 3 kids all under 5-years-old, so dinner was a little crazy. Brother O is way cool and served in California for his mission like 8 years ago. We had a super good discussion about the Book of Mormon, and they told us they are reading one and marking it with someone in mind to share it with. President Baker (the Stake President) issued that challenge to members in the stake in January, so we are following up with everyone on it! Most people are doing pretty well on it so that is great!👌After dinner we tracted for about an hour. We decided to do this street by the O's and we just walked down the street and knocked whichever house we felt inspired to knock. We ended up knocking only 4 houses because we talked to all four people and they happened to be all on the same side of the street! We met this guy who owns Lily's Wings which is this restaurant right by our place, and he was awesome! He knew some previous missionaries and we taught him a restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he was going on a trip for work and would read it on the plane. 😎 I was like, "Let's go!!" Pretty good Monday night.👍

Tuesday morning we decided to go do some contacting/tracting at St. Cloud State because our ward is a YSA magnet ward so we can teach college age kids too. We were walking around on campus and saw this girl sitting out on the steps of an apartment smoking, so naturally we were like, "Hey, let's go talk to her." She told us she was studying to be in music ministry. So basically she is like the leader of a "worship group" or the group that sings at rock 'n roll churches. Anyway, she said her parents were super scared of Mormons and she had always wondered why and actually had a copy of the BOM on hold at the library! I was hyped, so we taught her a restoration lesson and about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy and have an appointment with her tomorrow! It was sweet! 😁 After lunch we went and saw this guy named J. He is a big African American guy and he met Elders M and N a while back. When we showed up he was pretty drunk and told us his aunt had just passed away. We were able to say a few prayers with him and talk about the plan of salvation a little bit. He said we were his "Bruhs" so that was sick haha. 😂 And he said he had to go out of town for the funeral, but we could stop by this Sunday! We then had a lesson with JM, who is our recent convert. He is very interesting. 😂 You can't really explain him, you just have to experience him. His conversion story is, he broke into a friend's house to steal something as a joke, found a Book of Mormon and stole it and read it and realized he needed to get baptized.  So he started meeting with missionaries and got baptized. 😂😂 So he gave me a tour of his house and all his movies and video games and stuff, and then we had a lesson about the Priesthood, which was super good.  He is getting interviewed for the Priesthood this week! We had dinner with Sister K and her friend, D after that. D came to church last Sunday and we taught a restoration lesson with him at dinner. He took a Book of Mormon and said he would get baptized if he read it and came to know it was true, so keep him in your prayers for that!🙏 Tuesday night everything fell through so we tracted for a long time and the last house we knocked we found this lady named K. She opened the door and had this super cute black lab and I was like, "Oh hey! That's an awesome dog!"  I started playing with it and she just opened right up and talked to us! So we walked down the street with her and her dog and taught her the restoration while we walked! She said we could come back in a few weeks and do some yard work for her, too! Then Elder M bought us some Culver's shakes. 😋 

Wednesday we had district meetings in the morning and then had a lesson with a less active guy named JS. He went on a mission to Argentina and married a non-member and is less active now and none of his kids are baptized or anything. He isn't super interested in the church, so I don't think we will be going back much. He can come to church, but says he can't because of his work schedule, so yeah... Anyway, after that we went and had a lesson with A and his wife, who are new investigators that we found on exchanges last week with the Alexandria Elders. A is a Brazilian Christian rapper. 😂 He's more interested in learning and not really converting. He gave us this insanely bogus theory about the trinity, and I almost lost it. I was like how can you believe that?😱😱 His theory was so insane I was just like, "I'm done!" haha😂 Anyways, we ended up just teaching about the Book of Mormon and inviting him to church and to read it and pray about it. We went out to Foley to have dinner and a lesson with the Cs. SB went out with us and it was really good! The Cs are doing super well. Sister C came to church last weekend, so that was awesome! We taught about the Plan of Salvation and used the Book of Mormon a lot to teach. Brother C loved it and we gave him a lot of new perspectives and insights to why the Fall was necessary. It was a good lesson. 😁
After that was done we stopped by some people in Foley and met with a less active guy named RA. He was a hoot. He talked and talked and talked. 
😂 We invited him to church but he didn't show up. Haha. We will probably start working with him though!

Thursday we went on exchanges with the Buffalo Elders! It was awesome. I went with Elder B to Buffalo and Elder S came to Sauk Rapids with Elder M. Elder B is a cousin to my JV center in high school! Elder B goes home this transfer so that sucks because I've only served around him this transfer, but he is way cool! We had 3 lessons with less actives.  We also got to split wood for this less active guy. So we split wood and didn't chop wood. He has this wood splitter machine, so we just haul huge logs over and the machine splits the logs into firewood. It's sick! His dog was insane and ferocious and scratched my arm. 😂 He's kind of a crazy guy and he has all these assault rifles and shotguns and stuff in his house and makes his own ammo and stuff. He said if the world goes to heck he's just gonna live at his house and kill game and live off it and stuff. 😂 It was funny! We did some less active stop bys in the evening and did some drifting and hit like 98mph on a back road. Elder B's favorite quote is, "I gotta go faaasstt!" 😂😂😂 He's so awesome. I had a good time on the exchange and we taught some good lessons, too.👌 

Friday we exchanged back and stopped by some people in Clear Lake and then drove back up to weekly plan at the church. We pounded out weekly planning really well this week, so that was good! We did a pretty long companion inventory and just talked about how we feel about the zone and what we each can work on to help missionaries in our stewardship. It was good, and I think we've made some good plans and I hope they go well. 🙌We had dinner with the Bs, who are a part-member family in our ward. They are super cool! Brother B isn't a member, and he is really hesitant to make strides towards baptism, but he reads the Book of Mormon with his family every day, and comes to church sometimes. So Brother C was supposed to drive us up to Little Falls, and he called and canceled at like 5 minutes before we were supposed to go. So we had to drive up there and blow a ton of miles. So we get up there and our one appointment cancelled on us. 😑 It was sad. So we ended up tracting and met this dude who is from Texas and he lives in Little Falls now. He had met missionaries before, but had never read the Book of Mormon or anything, so we taught him about that and gave him a copy and he said we could come back up this Friday. 😎 So Friday ended up being really good even though we had everything fall through haha. 

Saturday morning we tracted this way out of the way little street in Sauk Rapids. We started and knocked a few doors and then saw these two guys playing basketball in their driveway, so of course we went over and asked if we could play! They were like, "Heck yeah!"  So we played 2 on 2 for about a half hour. Then we started talking about what we do as missionaries and the amazing message we share. One of the guys said his mom was a member in North Branch and he is a member but the church isn't for him. The other guy was not a member but he took a Book of Mormon and said we could come back to their place next week.💯 Basketball is very effective missionary tool, in my opinion.🏀😉 After that we did some stop bys in St Cloud in that sketchy neighborhood where J and R live. We stopped by and J was home and we talked to him for a while. He was sober, so it was much easier to talk about the gospel with him. We shared the story of the brother of Jared and how he had to make his own plan and then asked God for help (end of Ether 2, start of Ether 3). J said he felt like that is super true in his life, so that was cool. He said he isn't super comfortable coming to church, but we might get him out for a church tour soon hopefully! After that we chalked a "Plan of Salvation" on the bridge from St. Cloud to Sauk Rapids that goes over the Mississippi River. It was pretty fun. Elder M hasn't ever chalked before, so I figured it was time to show him the joys of it! We then had a lesson with a less active named K at the church. He went on a mission to St. George, Utah, and is now not active and stuff. He is 25. He asked us to help wake him up for church. Church starts at 1 PM, so we said we'd call him at noon haha. 😂 He didn't answer on Sunday, but we left a message and unfortunately he didn't show up. 😭 We tracted after dinner for like an hour and half and nobody was super interested, so that was a bummer.  😒 Then we had a coordination meeting with Brother C and met this old lady who lives in his building and she came and talked to us for like 15 minutes. She said she was a believer and was good to go, and then starting bashing on Jews and stuff, which I thought was weird. She was a little crazy, but very nice. 😂 I don't know if we will be visiting her in the future haha. 

Sunday we did some stop bys in the morning before church and tracted some and then went to church. We had M come to church again and also have a lesson set up with him for the 13th. I'm really excited for him, and I think he has some good potential. He is a YSA investigator that's been coming to church for a few months, but hasn't met with the missionaries much. We also had some of EB's friends there, too! He is SB's little brother,  and is leaving this week for Columbia. One of them we are teaching this week with S as a fellowshipper! 🙌👌After second hour of church we went down to Brooklyn Park to meet our new Mission President. He is super awesome and I'm really excited to work with him!  He and his wife seem super cool, and I know they are here for a specific reason to help us and serve with us. Sunday night after that we stayed with the Medicine Lake Zone Leaderss and did some tracting and stuff with them. They are super cool! Elder L went with me and he is so funny. He's super sarcastic, but way funny haha. 😂😂 Sunday was a long day of meetings and stuff, but really fun!

Monday was Mission Leadership Council (MLC) in Bloomington. All the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet with President and the Assistants to the President to discuss how we can help missionaries in our zones and hasten the work more. It was really good and I learned a lot. It makes me kinda mad, though, when people want to talk about numbers and key indicators the whole time because we talked about those for like an hour and 45 minutes. I understand the importance and that is truly how you measure success, but I feel like we should spend more time focusing on people, and less on how to increase numbers. Some Zone Leaders are all about numbers and stuff, but I would rather have less key indicator numbers if the people they are teaching are progressing and feel loved. It was good though, and I learned a lot from it. It was good for me to learn from seasoned Zone Leaders who know what they are doing and from the Assistants to the President because they are good missionaries. So it was a fun day, too. We got home at like 8:30 Monday night because we did some work down in Becker on the way home and had to help the Elk River Sisters with a service project for an investigator. It was a long day and I was beat at the end of the day. 😴 I also got a bunch of weights from Apple Valley that were in the storage shed in Bloomington, so I'm a happy camper now.💪🏋😁

My learning experience from this week is about charity. I've always struggled loving and being patient with people, and I've really been struggling with that as a Zone Leader. In Moroni 7:45-48 it talks about praying with "all the energy of heart that we may be filled with this love." I've truly seen that help me miraculously as a leader. I pray so much each day that I can be more loving and humble and patient with missionaries and their wide array of struggles and problems. It's helped me so much, and I know if we have charity for all we will be blessed and be a light in the lives of others. I still get really annoyed with missionaries' problems and how they sometimes just need to "man up" or "tough something out", but I've tried to put myself in their shoes and be patient and get to know them and their background so I can help them and love them as the Savior would. It's been a blessing to be in the position, and I feel like it's been more for me than for anyone else. I'm loving my mission and can't really imagine life without it. It's gonna be hard to come home in less than year and be a "normal person" again haha. Thanks so much for all the love and prayers and support from you all back home! Love you all and miss you lots. 💙😂

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Happy 4th of July from the MMM!

Our new Mission President arrived this week!

I love getting to see Elders I haven't seen in a while!

Exchanges with Elder B!

SB showing off his hardware!

Culver's shakes are the best!

When Utah Rd crosses Tennessee Dr!

I always wondered what it would be like to be Bane...