Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Baptism!

Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, at college, and serving the Lord around the world! Hope y'all have had a good week and are loving life! I know I sure am. This week was awesome, but still had its ups and downs just like every week. 💯

On Monday we had p-day and we threw the football around for like 3 hours so that was awesome. 🙌 We had dinner with the Cs again and when we pulled up we realized we had already shared our Book of Mormon dinner message, so we were like, "Oh man, what are we gonna share?" We both were like, "Let's pray about it!" So we did, and immediately after we prayed I knew what to share with them. It was something I had just read in the Book of Mormon and studied in a talk called, "The Hope of God's Light" by President Uchtdorf. It talked about feeling lost in our lives sometimes, but when we do feel lost, God promises to illuminate the way before us. However, it takes an act of faith on our part to open our eyes to that Light. In Mosiah 8:8 it talks about Limhi sending people into the wilderness to find Zarahemla. It says, "They were lost for the space of many days.... yet they were diligent." That really made me think about how at times we feel lost or down or discouraged, are we diligent in living the gospel and serving others, or do we turn inward and forget God and others? The C's mom passed away like a year and half ago, and so they shared some stuff about how staying diligent in the gospel had helped them so much during that dark time for them. It was really good! After that we had a lesson with Brother M. He is a semi less active guy. His wife is less active because she puts worldly things ahead of spiritual things. So the bishop has asked us to visit with them and go over the missionary lessons, so we taught brother M the restoration, (Sister M wasn't there)😛 but it was a super good lesson. You could tell he really felt the spirit, and we invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon each day. He's been at church the last few weeks so I'm glad to see him there!

Tuesday was awesome! We mowed C's lawn in the morning. I mowed the front and while Elder M was mowing the back she asked me all these questions about the Plan of Salvation pamphlet we left her a few weeks back. She asked what was different about our church vs any other Christian church. So I got to teach her about the Book of Mormon, prophets (Joseph Smith), and the restoration of Priesthood authority. She said her church has always taught that the Book of Mormon was evil and our church was bad. I find it so interesting that there are many churches that openly oppose and teach false things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Anyway, we were able to clear up a lot of incorrect info she had been told, and she said she would read the rest of the Plan of Salvation pamphlet before the next time we meet and we could talk some more about it! After that we went and walked around St. Cloud State campus because all the students are getting back for the fall semester. We met these two girls at a bus stop and talked to them for about 10 minutes. We gave both of them a Book of Mormon, but unfortunately weren't able to get their contact info because the bus pulled up really quick haha. 😂 But it was cool! After that we had a lesson with this former investigator. He lives in a group home and has FAS. He's a really cool guy and works at Goodwill. He met with missionaries like a year ago and then the church he was attending gave him a bunch of anti and some other stuff, so he quit meeting with them. He told us he still has his Book of Mormon and reads it from time to time. He was really open to having us meet with him again though, so that was cool! After that we had a zone finding hour and knocked a lot of doors, and this one house there were all these little kids outside. They were playing football and I was like, "Oh, let's go! I'm gonna play football with these kids."  So Elder M went and talked to the mom and I threw the football with the little kids. 🏈 They asked if I played football and I said, "Sure did! And I'm playing at Colorado Mesa when I get home!"😂 They thought that was pretty cool, so that made my day. 😁 After that we went and grabbed dinner from the Bs and went to the church to fill the font for F's baptism!!🙌🙌 The baptism was so great, there was like 10 non-members there that we talked to, and we gave out 6 Books of Mormon to people there. F was so nervous, but was just radiating light and happiness. 😊😁 I was so happy for her! 

Wednesday we had a lesson with J in the morning and it was actually normal. 😂😂 He is getting his patriarchal blessing on September 4th, so we just talked about patriarchal blessings and how he liked F's baptism. He actually was sort of normal, so that was good! Usually lessons with him are so out in left field because of his comments, but he had good insights and comments this week, so that was great. He will be passing the sacrament for his first time next Sunday. After that, RB took us down to Becker to visit a bunch of less actives and potentials. We went 3 for 3 on the first 3 stop bys, so that was pretty great! We set up a lesson with the As who live north of Becker a little bit. They used to live in the Princeton Ward and love missionaries. Their son isn't a member, but he is way cool and we talked to him for like 20 minutes. We are seeing them next Tuesday, so hopefully that goes well.🙏 We did a bunch more stop bys and had a member lesson with the Ss. They are a new family and we hadn't really met them much, so we stopped by to meet them! We then had to hurry home for dinner with the Ks. After that we did some stop bys in Sartell and we set up some service on Saturday morning with the storm chaser lady! After that we did some stop bys of some former investigators and less actives but didn't have much luck. Then we had the stake report with President B and the STLs and that went really well. We had the highest number of people at church for July in the last 14 months, so that was really cool! We are really trying to keep that up for this month, and also increase our finding efforts. 

Thursday we had a blitz exchange with the Brainerd Elders because we had interviews on Friday at the St. Cloud building with President Barney. I went with Elder K and Elder M went with Elder K. Elder K is a greenie, but he is really solid. He went to a year of BYU before his mission, so he is in my graduating class. Elder K and I tracted this little neighborhood and met this girl who was going to school in Massachusetts.  She happened to be at her boyfriend's house for 3 days. So she was way excited to get a Book of Mormon and read it. We gave her our number and said to call us if she had any questions, and we could get her set up with the missionaries in Massachusetts. After that we met this dude named E who was super nice, and we have a lesson set up with him for Monday night. After that we went to the S's house with Brother P and had a lesson with them. D isn't a member, but he is a way nice guy. He is jacked. He was in the marines and now he is basically a body builder.💪Anyway, we had a good lesson with them and built a good relationship with their family. After that we went up to Foley to have dinner and lesson with the Cs. Brother P and Brother C hit it off really quick, so they talked for about 2 hours straight and we just ended up talking to Sister C for most of the time. At the end of the lesson, Sister C was in tears and said, "I'm so happy that you guys are helping P so much! He needs good friends in the church and you are helping him out so much!" So that was good! They're trying to get a new job so they can come to church on Sundays. They still are having to drive on Sundays and haven't been able to go to church on the road yet. After that we had a lesson with the Gs. We are probably going have to drop them because they aren't keeping any commitments. 😢 He is always like, "Yeah, we will be at church on Sunday!" And they never come. They also don't read the Book of Mormon, either. So we talked about why we go to church and why we read the Book of Mormon. We also shared President Monson's promise about reading the Book of Mormong each day: 1. We will hear the voice of the spirit better, 2. We will overcome doubt and fear, 3. We will be able to resist temptation, 4. We will receive heaven's help in our lives. B was really excited about those four promises because he needs all of them in his life. He asked us to give him a Priesthood blessing again, so we did, and he was super happy we did. It was a good day!💯 Funny thing about exchanges. So, the last two exchanges we've been on, everything Elder Meyer plans has fallen through. So last time everything he planned fell through, and all my lessons were good, and the same thing happened this time too. 😂 I felt way bad for him haha.

Friday was interviews with President Barney. They were super good! He's such a great, loving mission president. In my interview he was like, "Elder Beach, you don't say much as a Zone Leader, but you get stuff done and you work hard. I really love that about you." I was like, "Well, uhhhh, thanks!" I seriously never say much at MLC or any trainings or what not just because I'm not the kind of person that feels like I need to tell other people how to do their job. If someone is not doing what they are supposed to, I just try to be an example of how to do things right. If they need to be talked to then you do it in private and just tell them what they need to fix and do it lovingly. That's something I've really learned as a ZL is how to motivate and encourage, but also correct people when it is needed. Doing it the way Jesus Christ did it is like the perfect example. He would lovingly teach his disciples and if he reprimanded them, he would do it lovingly. So I'm glad President Barney is cool with how I go about my business here.👌 Interviews were really good, though. He really takes time to talk to each missionary and get to know them and all that, so I love that about him. After interviews, we went and walked around campus and talked to some sorority girls haha. They were out doing some chalking stuff on the sidewalk out front of the sorority house, so we talked to them for like 30 minutes. One of them was named K, and she had a bunch of family members in Texas that were members of the church. They said we could come back and teach the whole sorority next week haha. 🙌😂😂 They said some people probably won't be interested, but some would, so I'm hoping more are interested than not. After that we went up to Little Falls with Brother C. We did some stop bys and met the pastor dude again. He said he had read "What Is the Blueprint of Christ's church" finally. He's like, "Yeah, I got some problems with it though. There was no love at all in the article, and the whole point of it was just trying to prove that your church is right. Jesus taught us it's all about love, not what church is true." Then he proceeds to go off about how the trinity is correct and how we are deceived and are deceiving everyone we talk to. I was seriously trying not to laugh because of how hypocritical he was. He's told us how that talk had no love in it and then proceeds to rip into us for 10 minutes about how we are wrong and deceived. Elder M told him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and he said we should pray about the Bible and if the trinity is real. We told him we already believed the Bible, and we would definitely pray about the trinity. 😂😂😂 After that we had a lesson with the Ds and that went pretty well. We focused on reading and praying each day because they've really been lacking on those things. They said they noticed a difference when they actually do those, so we left them a chapter to read and committed them to pray each day. I hope they do because it will help them a lot!

Saturday we finally got to do some service for J! We helped her plant a bunch of plants in her backyard, and we got to talk about missionary work a ton with her. She was super grateful and said if we are around in the winter, she and her husband will take us ice fishing.  🎣 We probably won't be here, but that would be sick! After that we weekly planned and then had a lesson at F's house. We met her parents and they are both super nice! Her dad is hilarious haha. 😂 He's from northern England and is way funny. Her mom was way nice, too. F told us Sunday that her mom was like, "Who were those cute young men you had over yesterday?" 😂😂😂 We both thought that was pretty funny haha. After that we had dinner with Sister K and D and D. We had a nerf gun war with D after dinner because he was dying to have one haha. 😂 It was actually pretty fun. I haven't done that for like over a year. After dinner we knocked doors for about 2 hours until we met with Brother C for coordination meeting. We found a super cool guy.  He had this super cute little puppy that was chasing us, so we brought it back to him and ended up talking to him for like 20 minutes. He took a Book of Mormon and said we could come back on Saturday! I've found that contacting people outside their homes is way more effective than knocking doors. Sometimes we just walk around neighborhoods and knock the doors we feel inspired to and then just talk to everyone outside! It works pretty well.👌After that we had coordination with Brother C and called it a day. 

Sunday morning we called every single person on our NAC list (part member families, prospective Elders, unbaptized children of record) and didn't set up any appointments or find anyone interested. NAC list is supposed to be one of the most effective ways to find, but we can pretty much trash ours. 😭😭 So we basically are down to member referrals and tracting. But that's all good! So we had ward council Sunday morning, too, and it was really good. So, sad thing was, we were supposed to have a lesson with M on Thursday and he cancelled because he was at work in the cities. Then he was supposed to have his baptism interview on Friday, but never showed up. We couldn't get ahold of him at all. He didn't show up to church either. He hasn't returned our texts, calls, anything. So we asked SB if he knew anything about him and he said M and E (the girl that introduced him to the church and the girl he wants to date) work together. Everyone keeps asking if they are dating but they are just friends as of right now. M wants to date and E doesn't want to date. So S told us M isn't coming to church anymore because of that, and he is trying to get a new job as well. So we have no clue what is going on with him. At this point, it looks like the only reason he was investigating was for E. That makes me way sad. I was pretty crushed when we found that out. That's not for sure, but it's looking like that right now. 😩 Anyway, on a happier note, F got confirmed on Sunday and J, the orthodox Catholic lady, came to church! She said she would come to church if we came with her, so we are going next week! She really liked church and had a bunch of questions which I could tell came from anti stuff. We answered all her questions after church with Brother C. So that was good! I'm glad she enjoyed it and I'm pretty certain she felt the spirit. After church we did a comp study really quick and then knocked doors for like 2 hours and found no one. 😜 It was rough. After that we had a lesson with the B family. We had no clue what to teach, so we decided to read Moroni 10 with them. As we read, I could tell E was feeling the spirit as we were reading. She said after, she wants to read the Book of Mormon in more depth now. I was like, "Let's go!!🤗" I really hope she will because I know the spirit will testify to her of its truthfulness if she does. After that F made us homemade sushi for dinner. So we had dinner with her at the church. It was really good. I'm getting the recipe from her so we can make it at home.🙌😋 We watched "Meet the Mormons" too, and she really liked it! 

This week has been super good! It's been tough as far as finding people, but F got baptized and it was awesome. Some of the thoughts I had about F's baptism: "I thought when she got baptized I would be like overjoyed because I finally got a baptism on my mission. I was right, I was overjoyed! It just was for her. I didn't feel anything for myself. Like I literally did nothing except teach. F was the one who chose to follow Christ and made this huge step in her life to do that. Seeing how happy she was after just made me super happy. 😊 It was pretty amazing! Looking back on my mission at all the people I've helped teach and reactivate, I realized I didn't do much. Most of it was their decision to follow Christ or come back unto Christ or just do what they knew was right. It took a lot of courage and determination on their part. It was like I was just there to be their friend and help them stay on the path. As I was able to walk by their side and kind of show them the way to Christ, it made me so happy when they finally got there. That's probably one of the only things that's kept me on my mission, besides my own testimony, is just the sweet, sweet joy of seeing others come to Christ. F was just in the perfect situation in her life to be ready and need the gospel. I literally did nothing to find her or anything. We just taught her and helped her walk the gospel path. Helping someone in that way, and then seeing them succeed, brings a happiness that just fills you up, like almost consumes you. It's so amazing! I'm so grateful to be here sharing this gospel and helping others on their journey.🙏"  Love you all! Good luck to my Sky View Bobcats as football season is under way. Keep the winning tradition and hard work and brotherhood alive! Thanks for all the prayers and support.💯

Much love,
Elder Beach
#MavUp #10

Funny thing we saw on the roof!

Eating homemade sushi with F.

Service at Js.

Huge bug we found.

F loves Crocs, so we all wore them together for her baptism.

F's baptism!

Fall is in the air!