Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Doing Some Work!

Howdy to all my family, friends and coaches back home, serving the Lord and at college! Hope you all had a solid week and are loving this beautiful summer time of year . ☀😎 This week has been really busy and we've done a lot of finding, but have had some really good lessons with our investigators as well.👌

On Monday we just did our laundry at the Ds and emailed and then had dinner with the Cs. They are super cool! Their two youngest sons loved us haha and we played this funny board game/guessing game with them. Elder M was trying to like rush us out the door after dinner, but we didn't have any lessons or anything, and I figured 30 minutes of our time to build a relationship with the Cs was about as productive as knocking doors. I remember the missionaries I got to go out with and be around and they were really great guys and I had fun with them. I just want members and their kids to see us as representatives of Jesus Christ first and foremost. But also as people who love them and care about them and their lives. So after we left, I explained that to Elder M and he agreed, so that was good!🙌 We then knocked doors for about 2 hours and didn't really find anyone solid, but we talked to a lot of cool people and gave away like 4 Books of Mormon! 

Tuesday morning we did some service for EB, who is the wife of a less active member. She is a Jehovah's Witness but is super nice and loves having us over. We just helped her pull out all these huge plants from her flower beds and trim them up and stuff. It was fun and we had a super good time. 💯 Tuesday afternoon we knocked doors for about 2-3 hours. We've stopped by every single person in our area book who is a less active, former investigator, or potential investigator already. All the ones in Sauk Rapdis and St. Cloud and Sartell haha. 😂 So we don't have a lot to do except knock doors and try to find new people. Some days I get so sick of it, but we always seem to have a cool experience or an interesting story or something haha. 😂 So we also had a lesson with JM, who is a recent convert. He is a very interesting person. He's a good guy and he knows what he needs to do in life and he does it. We had a lesson about being accountable with our Priesthood authority and using it to bless others. That's the whole point of having it is to bless others lives! So we talked about that with him to help him understand the importance of getting the Priesthood. After that we knocked doors for another hour and half or so (we knocked for an hour before his lesson) and we met some way cool people. The very last door we knocked on this guy answered and was super nice. He told us he was super busy with his kids but took a Book of Mormon and a restoration pamphlet and said we could come back this week!🙌 Really hoping he turns into something. Elder M and I both felt prompted to knock on his door and it was cool how open he was.🙏After dinner we stopped by some investigators and less actives who live down in the ghetto in St. Cloud. We met this less active named MK and he is awesome! He has a garage where he works on motorcycle and cars and stuff and he is way good at that stuff. He restores cars and builds motorcycles from parts he buys and all kinds of cool stuff. He wasn't like super interested in church, but we talked to him for like 45 minutes and got a tour of his garage and of his motorcycles so that was sweet!🏍

Wednesday was interviews with President Barney at the St. Cloud building, so we were there from 8:30am to 3:30pm. It was a long day haha. Interviews went well and I honestly love President Barney already. He is such a loving guy and has a great heart and vision for the mission. I don't feel like he is going to be a stickler, "letter of the law" Mission President, which I really like. He feels that we can make our own decisions about how we spend our time and I like that.👌But he's awesome.💯🙌 We went to both district meetings too, and it is funny to see how each District Leader runs their district meetings differently. I've really learned how to accept others' ideas and opinions, and I've realized that there isn't always one right way to do things. There's lots of ways to accomplish something and everyone has their own ways of doing it. I've really come to appreciate that on my mission, and working with lots of different kinds of missionaries! After all that got done we had a few people we found tracting that said we could come back to, but none of them were home, so we just tracted the other side of the same street. The first door we knocked on we met this lady named who was super nice, and we taught her a whole restoration lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She said we could come back this Wednesday afternoon to teach her some more! We've seen a lot of cool miracles this last week off of our backup plans. I've gained a good testimony of making effective backup plans as a missionary. 😎 We had dinner with Brother P (his whole family is in Idaho except him because of work) and he is really cool! He's in marketing and finance stuff for a company in St. Cloud, and I talked to him a lot about sports marketing and that may be something I look into for a career when I get home. He said it's a really competitive market but really fun.🎉 It's not my first choice of a career, but it seemed interesting to me! After that we drove out to Foley to visit some people out there. The Gs weren't home unfortunately, and the Cs cancelled our meeting on the way out. So we had a few other people we wanted to stop by. We stopped by the N family and met sister N and her daughter. Her husband just one day decided the church wasn't true and took his name off the records and won't let missionaries or anyone from the ward come into their house. We talked with her and her daughter outside for like 30 minutes and sprayed her weeds in the front yard. We are going back this week to pull them all out because there is a ton and they are huge. We also did some hula hooping with her daughter haha and she had a blast. 😂😂 It was cool to see them just laugh and have a good time. She looked really sad when we first got there, and they both had a smile when we left so that was awesome.😊 Great way to end a day!

Thursday morning we had a zone finding hour from 11am-noon. We knocked this street in north Sauk Rapids by President B's house. We knocked the whole street and no one talked to us the whole street so we just took a left at the end and kept knocking. At like 11:45am we knocked on this door and this lady answered and came outside to talk to us. She said she was Orthodox Catholic and that that was the true church and they had the Priesthood and all that stuff. We listened to her and then explained our point of view (thanks for tip mom! Works great!). She was pretty interested in what we had to say and she said she would take a Book of Mormon and read it and pray about it, and if she felt it was true she would join the church. Just straight up that's what she told us haha. However, she said we needed to pray about her church being true. So we agreed to do that, and I haven't felt that it is true. It's hard to do that when I know spiritually and intellectually that this church is true. Like I can't deny this is the true church on the earth. So I'm hoping she can come to know that, too! Thursday afternoon we were going to do a bunch of stop bys but we got a call from some missionaries in our zone who were worried about a struggling missionary, so we had to talk about that and make a game plan for them. It took about an hour to get it all worked out but I'm hoping we helped. After transfers we will know for sure becaue our plans involve transfers. We knocked some doors and walked around and talked to people for about an hour and half after that. We then had a lesson with M, who is one of our investigators. He has been to church for 8 weeks in a row but hasn't really been super open to meeting with us. We finally got a lesson set up and weren't sure what to expect going in. Anyway, Brother R came with us and they really hit it off. Brother R joined the church like 10 years ago so they talked about how he joined the church and how he came to know it was true. M told us he has been reading the Book of Mormon daily and is 3/4 of the way done. He said he feels so much happier at our church than his old Catholic Church. He said he knows this is the true church and wants to get baptized but he just got named the Godfather of his nephew, and is supposed to raise him in the Catholic ways. He doesn't want his joining the church to create family tension anymore than it already is, so he said he doesn't know what to do right now. We all shared stories of where we put the Lord first and did what we were supposed to, even though it was hard. I know that when we do that then God will always bless us. King Benjamin teaches that in his sermon. He says if we follow the commandments, then God will immediately bless us. I love that promise by a prophet of God.🙏Brother C took us up to Little Falls after dinner to have a lesson with B and the Ds. B was this lady in a wheelchair we met last time we were up there. She rode her motorized wheelchair like 2 miles to the store to get groceries. 😱 She was super nice and said we could come visit her this week. So we met with her and taught about the restoration and shared the Prince of Peace video and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was really happy to have one and to talk to us, too. Hopefully we can keep teaching her and help her feel of the joy the gospel brings. After that we read part of Mosiah 2 with the Ds and it was really good! They came to church on Sunday so that was awesome! That's the first time they've come since I've been here. They're doing well👌

Friday was weekly planning and then we tracted this street that is a newer development out on the east side of Sauk Rapids. We found this lady named S who was outside with her kids, and we talked to her about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and we were able to give one to her and she said we could come by this Friday as well to share some more with her! We also met a guy named J who has met with missionaries before, but wasn't super interested. We had a great conversation about what we do as missionaries and how we are called by God through his prophet to the mission we serve in. It was really cool! We had dinner with the Bs after that and it went really well. We are starting to build a better relationship with G (he's the dad and isn't a member), so he's opening up to us a lot more and pays better attention during the dinner messages haha. 😂 Hopefully we can keep helping him become more interested in the church and eventually get baptized and sealed to his family. 😁 We had a lesson with MM after dinner at the church and that was really good. We did a lesson about recognizing and understanding the Spirit. He has a hard time with that, so we tried to help him learn how we feel the Spirit and how we can know if it is the Spirit or not. We had a really awesome discussion about it! We shared "Voice of the Spirit" Mormon message and it was really good. He is into Alma in the Book of Mormon. He has missed church the last few weeks because he falls asleep before church. So we are working with him to get to bed on time on Saturday nights and wake up on time on Sundays. 😂 After that we went to the B family's house to visit them. They are a less active family in our ward but are super awesome. Brother B is super fun! They love to go camping on the weekends so during the summer they never come to church. We shared the talk by President Monson about the Book of Mormon and challenged them to read the BOM each day. Brother B invited us over to help them sand and stain their deck the next morning, so I was super hyped for that because I love service! 🙌

Saturday was hotter than heck. 😅☀️ It was like 95 with like 75-80% humidity. We went over to the B's to help them and he wasn't ready for us to get going on it, so we ended up moving this big wooden porch swing and pulling up concrete slabs underneath it. It was huge, and we discovered a large family of maggots and ants under the concrete slabs so that was pretty great!😂😂 They also had a rope in their back yard for climbing and stuff so I got to do some rope climbs (CrossFit workouts💪). I hadn't done one for like a year and half, but it actually was easier than last time I did them so that was good haha. After that we did another zone finding hour in the dead heat of the day, 2-3pm🔥🔥 We tracted this kind of nicer area in Sartell that we had never been to and talked to a ton of people. We also found another family who had taken their names off the records of the church. We talked to the dad and he served his mission in Mexico and then took his name off like a year or two ago. We've found 3 people who have served missions and then left the church in the 5 weeks I've been here, and two of them live next door to each other and don't know they both used to be members haha. 😂 It makes me really sad to find people like that. I don't know how you could serve a mission and then at some point leave the church. I think it all comes back to the complacency thing. Keeping your faith strong isn't hard and for some people - the simplicity of it is too hard. It really comes down to going to church, praying daily, and studying your scriptures daily. I feel that if you diligently do those things you will always have a solid foundation of faith. Obviously other things factor in too, like serving others, and living the gospel and going to the temple regularly. But I just feel very strongly that if we do those things, we will stay firm in our faith. Anyway, we gave away 4 Books of Mormon and it was pretty cool! We had dinner with Sister K and D. That was a bummer of a lesson. 😔 Dave's pastor has been giving him anti stuff, so Dave straight up told us he won't ever believe the Book of Mormon is true. I find that odd because the whole time he told us he has an open mind and is open to what we have to say, but he just listens to what his pastor tells him. He told us his pastor said in the Bible it says you can baptize children, and it literally says that nowhere in the Bible.😱 I was a sad pup for Dave. He needs to figure things out on his own and not trust in the understanding of men. Keep him in your prayers for sure.🙏After that we had a lesson with F at the D's house! That went really well. We taught the Plan of Salvation by drawing it in chalk on their driveway (thanks for the chalk, Sister Gretz!) She really liked it and L, J, and D all helped us teach it, so it was great! Super good way to end a Saturday.👌

Sunday was a crazy day haha. 😂 We tracted for like 2 hours Sunday morning and found 2 potentials. We met this dude named who was heading out the door to go to the cities, but we taught him about the Book of Mormon really quick and gave him a copy. He said we could stop by later this week and share some more with his family. Then we met this lady outside watering her flowers. She was super closed off and didn't want to talk when we first walked up, but I tried my momma's great advice to listen first, then talk. So I just starting asking her about her flowers and her dog, and if she had a belief in Christ and if she had met the Mormon missionaries before. She opened up a lot as we let her talk and then finally she started asking us what we were doing on missions and then the conversation took off.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation with her and gave her a pamphlet for that. She said her and her husband were looking for a church to go to, so hopefully they realize this would be a good one.😁 Anyway, as we were talking, her dog, a Boxer, freaked out and ran out in the road and just started attacking this lady's dog that was walking by. It was the most insane thing I've ever seen. The boxer dog was super nice to us and then when that lady with her dog walked by, it just took off and like superman attacked the dog and started biting it and clawing it and stuff. T was like "Hey!! Get off!" And started yelling at her dog to stop and it literally just stopped and went inside. Weirdest thing I've ever seen on my mission. 😂😂 it sliced the other dog's nose open so it was bleeding everywhere, and we were trying to help it and it got blood on us and stuff, and the lady walking the dog was freaking out and it was chaos. 😱😂😂 So anyway, we ended up having to leave to get to church, but it was nuts haha. So at church we had 4 investigators there, and 3 less active families came!🙌 It was a full chapel, too. Attendance has honestly like doubled since I got here. My first Sunday there was like 50 people and there was like 90-100 this week so that was awesome! 😎 It feels good to see a lot of people you work with at church! After church we had our coordination meeting with Brother C and Brother C and it was pretty good! They got off on a few tangents about random things, so we had to bring it back to missionary work a few times haha. After that we had dinner with the Bs. Sister B was out of town and Brother B is in the bishopric, so he was crazy busy. They have 5 boys and they are insane. He made us burgers, chicken, beef hot dogs, fruit, pasta salad, and cheesecake. It was soooo good! I was so full after haha! 😋😋 We fasted on Sunday, so I was ok with pigging out a little haha. During dinner, we were inside with Brother B and MM talking about work and stuff and then the oldest son comes running in and he's like, "W and S are killing each other!" So we look out the window and the second oldest kid (he's a big kid) and the middle kid (he's a lot smaller and skinnier) were literally going all out fight to the death on the trampoline. It was crazy! They were choking and throwing punches and kicking and body slamming each other. 😂 So Brother B runs out there and grabs the bigger kid off the small kid and like threw him on the ground, and I couldn't really see what else happened because some bushes were in the way, but M and Elder M and I were dying. 😂😂😂 it was crazy haha. So we shared a quick message and then took off! We tracted up in north Sartell in some new neighborhoods for about an hour after dinner and found a few people. We met this family who knew the O's and we gave them a Book of Mormon and they said they would talk to the O's some more about it, so that was fun! And that pretty much wrapped up Sunday!

This week has been long but fun, and we did some good work. 💯 It's so satisfying to see less actives and investigators at church. It makes me so happy. 😊 I'm very grateful to be serving the Lord at this time. Each day brings new adventures, and you never know who you will meet that needs the gospel or a kind word or a quick uplifting message or something. I love being able to just bring the Light of Christ into someone's life who needs it. There isn't too many other things that bring me joy like that does. I know this church is true and I know that Christ is the head of it and President Monson is His chosen prophet on the earth today. I'm very blessed to be a part of it and have all that I do. Love you all, and have a blessed week! Enjoy the summer, it's flying by.😅 Thanks for all the prayers and support! 

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

I love meeting new friends in the mission!

Teaching the Plan of Salvation with chalk.

This is the story of my life... :)