Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 12 in Campiña

Week #99

Well,this week was a good one. Not much happened. We didn't see a lot of high indicators, but I feel happy with our efforts, and I know Ive done all I can. Its funny, all the members were saying really, really nice things to me at church. I'm not sure who told everyone that I was leaving. The funny part is that the things they said were all very dramatic and it sounds like something from a card or a tv show. Also, that coming from a lot of people Ive only talked to like twice is strange, but it was very nice to know that the members here care about us.

This is the last letter I write as a missionary, and I don't really feel like writing much. My mission has been an experience I cant really describe. It has been hard, it has made me stretch and grow, but I am so grateful for the opportunity that God gave me to give up my life to him, and serve the people. I have come to understand the gospel of Christ better, and His plan of salvation. I have had a lot of frustrating and discouraging experiences, but learning to follow the Holy Ghost and feel him guide me as I serve the Lord outweighs all that. I hope to maintain the changes God has made in me, not to go back to who I was. I know that the atonement of Christ is perfect. I know that God loves us and that he lives.

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

We played soccer today, and our chapel.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 11 in Campiña

Week #98
Since pictures are worth 1000 words, this short email will be compensated by pictures.

Well, this week went by quick. Like most every week in the mission. My zone leaders are having lots of fun telling me that this is my last week, im almost done, and that this will be my last (Monday, meeting... etc.) I don't really get why its funny.

This week was a good one. As far as my diligence and work go, in the middle of the week I wasn't working as hard as last week. We didn't lose time, or just sit around, but I wasn't contacting as much, and as a result we didn't find many new investigators in the middle of the week.
You must all be bored of reading my emails. All I ever talk about is the work, finding, and the people we teach, but that really becomes your whole life out here. You don't really focus on much else. So yeah.
We did manage at the end of the week to find a new family of 5, which helped us get close to our goal for finding.

This week Andrea was baptized. It was a stressful service, but the most important things happened, which were the baptisms. The sisters also had a baptism. Elder Ibañez did the ordinance, and I confirmed her on Sunday. I was looking through my journal, and found the day we found Andrea. It was my first week here in Ibague, and we were tracting, and she let us right in. After our second visit, she read and prayed, and received an answer about the Book of Mormon. Then she went on vacation for a month. When she got back we taught again, and she kept progressing. In branch council the RS president was excited to give her a calling in the relief society.

Not much else happened this week. Its been quite normal.

I know that God has restored His church again in the Earth calling a prophet, and that by the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things. I know that God want to speak to us and guide us.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week (I have to look at my sent mail to see what week it is each week, there it is!) 10 in Campiña

Week #97
I hope you understood that title. Ive found that a lot of the times I say things people don't understand. Oh well. This week rocked. We found a ton of new investigators, an placed a ton of baptismal dates. Well, they're not super firm baptismal dates, its predicated upon the investigators receiving their answers, but its all good. It shows that the people have real intent. So, this weeks efforts were multiplied, and we are very thankful that the Lord has blessed us so.

This week has been pretty interesting, I'm seeing a trend. We find a lot of people, but its tough to have second lessons. People have also been dropping us more this week. I think its because we have been very direct with our purpose. With lots of love, we always try to help them understand from the first visit that we are there to baptize them. (3 Nephi 11:33-34). We found a lot of new investigators this week, and we are working hard to have daily contact with them, as our mission president has instructed. Do that way we help people progress faster, and get their testimony quicker. Although a lot of people decide to continue, I know that we are doing our part, and that we aren't causing the people to not investigate.

This week my companion and I have been working on being more positive, and not expressing negative ideas. Eliminating the work ´sucks´ is the great challenge. We have seen that it is letting us have success as well. (3 Nephi 19:35). I think that it plays a big part in our faith, which would be eliminating the doubts we have, or our complaints. I hope that by the end of this transfer I can have that become a permanent change.

This Friday we had a mulitizone conference with President Baquerizo. He got us Domino´s for lunch, yay! He talked about the vision he has for the mission right now, focused on finding, placing baptismal dates, and daily contact with our investigators. I really enjoyed it. A tradition in our mission is that in one´s last meeting with president, one gives their testimony. So I gave my testimony in the meeting.
Later, Elder Fernandes, who was my comp, told me that earlier in the week they were planning the meeting, and president thought I only had a year in the mission, and apparently he was bummed. It felt good to know that. When I got home from the meeting I felt really sad, it was hard to take in the fact that all of this is ending. I really don’t want to give up missionary life, a consecrated life. It has made me so happy, and helped me to change so many things. Its hard to explain the feeling of helping Gods children know and follow truth, and finding people who the Lord is preparing. Ill miss it so much.

I know that the Book of Mormon contains true history, and preaching from prophets who were called of God. I know that Christ´s atonement is perfect, and that as we strive to serve others, He can change us.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Photos: the district from Villavicencio, and our zone with president.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 9 in Campina

Week #96
Well, this week was a really good one. We had 2 exchanges, news with our investigators, and lots of new people to teach. We are discovering new ways to work better and focus more on our purpose. Things with my companion are coming along, and I often remember the year I ran cross country. At the end of each race you'd have to sprint, although you were tired and had already run almost 3 miles. Right now, I am sprinting, and cant give up.

This week we saw great progress with Andrea. She came to church, is reading from the Book of Mormon daily, fasted and payed her offering, and on her own time looked up the talk from the prophet from general conference, and watched it. It is such a blessing having been able to find someone who is so prepared to receive the gospel, and knowing that it was through our hard work makes it even better. She has a date for the 21st of November, and I don't see many obstacles at this point.

With Juan and Ana things have been more... interesting. Sunday and Monday (last week) we had good lessons, and although they hadn't anything prepared for their marriage they still wanted to get baptized on the 14th. They work in confection, making clothes. For the first few months, they were working with a lady who was really bossy, unkind, and demanding. Oh, she didn't pay well either. 2 weeks they stopped working with her, and found jobs in a factory on the other side of the city that would pay much better. We went as planned on Saturday, and we only got to talk with Juan. He told us that they had gone back to working with the first lady, and that they didn't want to keep gong to church and stuff. He told us that they had fought a lot, and that they were discouraged. It was not what we were expecting to hear, especially because they have been progressing really well for 2 weeks.
We told Juan not give up on his spiritual progress, and we just taught according to his doubts. They didn't come to church. Right now we don't really know what is going on, but I'm sure that they will make the right choice.

This week we had exchanges with the zone leaders, and then the assistants. I learned a lot about getting along with my companion and having better expectations. With the assistants (who was my zone leader about a year ago) I saw a better way to work. Working harder to find and seeing the unplanned opportunities to find, like knocking on a neighbors door when a lesson falls through. I also learned more about daily contacts. That we should keep daily contact with our investigators fro the first appointment. That will help them progress better, ad it will better help us see who is really looking to follow God, and who just listens to be courteous. (That happens quite a bit).
I feel like I am learning more than I have before in my mission, and I hope to put all of it into practice. I love this work so much.

I know that God loves us and that through diligence we can bring miracles to our lives. I know that as we consecrate our lives God can make us who He needs us to be. I know that Book of Mormon is Gods word, and that fasting has power.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck
Picture with the zone leaders, and an elder sent me an Inca cola!
those are hard to get here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 8 in Campina

Week #95
Well, this week was another good one. Still getting used to my new companion, its very different. I have enjoyed working harder, like Elder Christofferson said, that we are really happy after an honest toil. I have been doing that better by talking to more people in the street. We can walk around all day, and all the appointments fall through, and not talking to anyone just makes it a loss of time.
Although most people aren't really interested, Its good to know that we give people one more opportunity to receive the gospel.

This week was kind of weird. We didn't have any appointments with a lot of investigators we normally visit. We didn't get to visit Juan and Ana, but they still came to church, and they are really excited about getting baptized on the 14th. They still need to get married, so we will see how that all works out. We do have the ball rolling however.
With Andrea things are well, she came to the sisters baptism, and likes church a lot. she didn't come this week, but im not worried. We really need to get the members involved with them.

This week we did a FHE in the chapel on Thursday night, with games, a message, and refreshments, but that didn't work out too well. Only one member came, and a family of investigators. Oh, and a few kids off the street. I made the Jello, ill send a picture of that.

Well, time kind of got away from me, sorry this will be a short letter.

I know that God loves us, and that our faith is tried and tested so that we can grow. If not, we wouldn't improve. I know that the atonement of Christ makes changing possible.

Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 7 in Campina

Week #94
Well, this week went pretty well. On Tuesday, we had the meetings for trainers and new missionaries pretty much all day. Well, the funny part was when we were sitting in the chapel, and President Baquerizo was announcing the new companionship's. I was sitting with the trainers, and I saw that there were 4 of each left. 3 of the new missionaries were gringos, and one Latin. the trainers were 2 and 2.
One of us would train a gringo. I was the last one left to be assigned, and my new companion is Elder Ibañez from New Mexico. We got on a bus up to the terminal at 6, took off around 7, and got home at 11:30. It was a very long day. Wednesday morning we stayed home, Elder Ibañez was feeling sick.

So a little about Elder Ibañez. He´s from New Mexico, his dad´s family comes from Chile, and his mom´s from Mexico. He already speaks a lot of Spanish, so that's pretty easy. He is kinda shy, but is very obedient, and knows why he is here. Its very strange having a companion that speaks English. So strange.

This week was full of good work. President yet again raised the bar on finding, and it challenged my faith. It has definitely, however, made me work harder, and I love it. We are talking to more people in the street, and trying to find more through the members. I feel the spirit more working hard, and It has been really neat.

This week we actually had investigators at church, and a few! First was Andrea, a lady we found 6 weeks ago tracting. She went on vacation for about a month, but now she´s back, and super excited about church.
Its such a blessing having such great investigators. Juan and Ana also came to church for the first time, and they've read from the Book of Mormon! I was so happy when they told us, we've been trying so hard for them, for so long. Its great to see them progressing, and a lot. The last people who came to church was the Mora family, who we found last week. They left after the first hour, because the husband was having some knee pain. It was amazing having people in church again, and I felt so blessed.

I have learned this week to follow the Spirit more, and to love unconditionally. I feel like I have become the missionary Ive wanted to be my whole mission, and I am so grateful for this time the Lord has given me. I know that God loves his children, and that he Always will help us to change and get better.

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

 Elder Ibanez y Elder Beck
 Grupo de Nuevos y sus companeros

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 6 in Campina

Week #93
Well, this week was very similar to the last few. Things went a little better. We have been visiting Jose Rojas more. We try to visit 3-4 times a week, 2 times a week teaching a lesson or a commandment, and the other 1-2 reading with him from the Book of Mormon. We have been able to create a good relationship with him. We have also been trying to visit 2 other investigators, Juan Sebastian and Ana the same way.
They are family of some recent converts, and they really want to be baptized, and do things right, but they have a lot of opposition. We are just being patient.

Now that this transfer is over, its really cool to see the transformation the area has had. We have found a lot of people who are really intent on changing their lives, and coming closer to God. Its special to know how much God trusts us. It is always a really special experience to visit someone who needs more of God in their lives, and helping them to understand correct principles and Christ´s doctrine. I am finding the more I focus on them in my prayers and thoughts, the better I can serve them.

This week the zone leaders talked to us about trusting in God. They asked us how we normally feel when an appointment falls through. One normally feels sad, because we cant help the person we had planned on teaching, and it can be discouraging when a lot of appointments fall.
I found that last week I had learned to trust in God more, and rely on the Spirit. On Tuesday, we had run out of plans around 7pm, at one end of our area. We prayed to God for inspiration, and my companion and I had different ideas. We decided to do them both. First, we got to have a good visit with a less active family, inviting them to share the gospel. We felt the spirit. Then, we went to a different part of our area, and when we got there, we weren't sure what exactly we were supposed to do. We decided to look for a lady we had contacted, and we talked to a few people, trying to find her house. The last people we talked to was a young couple, who accepted our visit, and are really great. It was amazing to see how God can guide us to the people who need to hear the gospel right now.

Well, transfers are in. A sister in the district finished her mission.
The other companionship will stay the same. My companion will be going to Fusagasugá, a pueblo outside of Bogotá. he´s really excited. He had been in this area for a while. I will be training, and I feel very privileged. I hope I spelled that right. Its probably wrong.
Pirvileged? Priveledged? Oh well. Tomorrow we have to be in the terminal at 6:30, and we will get on a bus to Bogotá. The bus ride should be around 3 hours, I believe. I am very excited.

I know that God loves us, and that He is always ready to guide us. He wants to be a great part of our lives. WE show him our love when we keep his commandments.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

a dog bit me, i made crepes and the chocolate sauce, the zone