Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in the MTC!

12-27-13 Week #2
Wow, I can't believe that I already am emailing again. It feels like I didn't do much, but then when I thought about it we have done a lot! The craziest thing we have done is teach 3 lessons, all in Spanish. One of our teachers was 'Jorge' and acted to be an investigator. It was so nuts. The first lesson was really hard... but it got a lot easier. It was definitely a wake up call to work harder. That was between last Friday to Tuesday. 
Sunday was a nice rest. I got to take a short nap and finally rest. It was just a nice day not being in class and being able to relax. Every week we are asked to prepare a talk in Spanish for sacrament meeting and then they will just call on 2 people in the meeting to speak. 
This week has been really weird, we have had a lot of resting time. Our Tuesday night devotional was great, we got to go to main campus and listen to someone from the Missionary Department of the Church. his talk was really great, he spoke on keeping our speech and communication uplifting and positive. 
Christmas was very nice in the MTC! We went up to main campus, and stayed there all day. We were given a home room where we got to got rest in between the events. First there was a short talent show. Some of the acts were cool and entertaining, and some we could have lived without. Then we got to hear from David A. Bednar! His talk was really cool, he started with a single principle, that we all have the power and ability to act and not be acted upon. He explained that we have to treat investigators this way too. Then they passed out 200 cell phones to the 1,800 missionaries and we texted our questions. It was a big Q&A meeting, and missionaries from the other MTC's were also able to send in questions. Elder Bednar had all of the texts sen to his i pad and then read and answered the questions. It was really cool that he had his wife answer a lot of them while he stepped down. One question he answered was especially important for me. Someone asked what the best missionaries were like and he answered that they got out of the way, got over self-centeredness and know that the mission is not about ourselves. He explained it didn't matter if we weren't happy or comfortable at times because we are not out here serving to be comfortable o happy, we are here to help others. I heard a cool quote that kind of correlates. "A missionary is someone who leaves their family for two years so others can spend eternity with theirs." I really like that.
The rest of Christmas was really cool. We had Christmas lunch at the cafeteria and it was pretty good! The stuffing was really good, and it was nice to get a Christmas meal.  We heard from a jazz band who was led by a professor from BYU who is apparently one of the best sax players in the world. So I really enjoyed that, while others didn't really seem to appreciate it. We then watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas program from last year. Everyone kept talking, and it was hard to listen. It really tried my patience, but the music was amazing.
My mission President is the man. His name is President Tyler and he is so knowledgeable about the gospel. His insights and advice are really valuable. The older Elders in the zone say to always have notes out when he talks, its really funny, but also true! 
So my visa apparently came through. I got a travel itinerary to fly out on the 31st, but it was then recalled. Apparently I'm supposed to hear back again soon, so I'll probably be out of the States in a week or two. I am so excited! 
My Spanish is really coming along. I can't believe that I can communicate and convey my ideas in another language. Its really a blessing that things are coming along so well. I can't wait to get into the field and begin helping and teaching people. I keep hearing good things about Colombia and I'm super excited. Also its warm there. Its freezing here, I'm ready to wear my short-sleeved dress shirts. 
I just want to end with a short testimony - I know that God lives. I know he loves us and wants us to be happy. I know that with faith, He can help anyone change their life and be happy. I know that I am happiest when I stay close to God. I know that I am doing the Lord's work and that the Book of Mormon is true. 
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

The pictures: All of my note cards, there are more now,
One is a picture of my district.
One is a picture of my companion and me, and then one with some guys from my zone
One is the picture of all the junk food we have and then the last is me double-tagging it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Send Elder Beck a quick message! Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone,
I get to send out a quick email today just letting you know I will not be able to call home tomorrow, but I will be able to email! I'll be on the computer around 6:30 your time tomorrow morning, so please try to email me before then!
Elder Beck

Friday, December 20, 2013

First few days in the Provo MTC!

Hey Everyone!
The Provo MTC is crazy! They have all the Spanish missionaries in the "West Side" so I kinda feel like a gangster. Its just in Wyview Park at BYU. Everyone speaks Spanish here, or is learning so its pretty cool. We all dine in a separate building here on the west side. It's strange still being in Provo. I was looking at the chapel one morning and it was weird, I haven't really left yet. Not eating too much is a constant battle. I really need to fit my pants, Mr. Mac messed up on my suit pants and gave me size 28. So it's been fun. I'm closer to a 30-32 for those who are wondering. The food is also the same as I've had a BYU for the last few months, its really weird. 
It is super crazy here. We are SO busy. We do about 8-9 hours of study daily, every minutes is planned. The last hour of the day (our time to journal and wind down) is so short, goes by super fast. Yesterday was our first full day, and I was feeling great until 2:00, and then I was just tired and lost my enthusiasm.  Every minute here is planned, its so nuts. Its like I've stepped into a new world and adjusting to missionary life is a bit difficult.
Having an early Pday has been super nice. Got to unwind after an overwhelming day yesterday. We went up to west campus and ate there at the giant cafeteria, but the one in the picture is the cafeteria here on the west side. 
My Spanish feels really good! I make a lot of mistakes,  but I' trying to just speak Spanish to get used to it. I'm one of the strongest Spanish speakers in my zone of the newcomers, so I am helping everyone else, which helps me too! We have to prepare talks for Sunday in Spanish! I probably won't be called on to speak, but its still crazy. They got us started so fast. On the first night we were in a teaching situation. They really push us and I love it. I think I'll really profit from it. 
My companion is Elder Puzey (pyou-zee). He's 24 and from Oregon. He will serve in Argentina, Buenos Aires North. He went to BYU Hawaii and surfs. Its so cool that he surfs!!! He is really mature so its really great, we work well together. The first day we were walking to the chapel and a sister said to him,"Elder Puzey, you don't know me, but I love your music!" It was super funny. He was really shy about it but he's a professional musician! He has an EP on itunes, so check him out! His music is really good, or at least, I like it. His name on iTunes in Aaron Joseph Puzey. I love my companion. The selection was inspired.
I've been really happy, although its been hard. I have been feeling the Spirit a lot. I was made District Leader Wednesday night, so I lead my district, which is my companion and 5 sisters. We are all setting goals together and I hope we can really get stuff done!  Everyone in our zone is going to Mexico, other than Elder Puzey and myself. 
On the first day I felt like cattle. We went into a building, got our name badges, keys and then a 12lb bag of books. We have a lot of study materials. Our classroom is a small dorm room, and we're just in apartments with laptops on the counters and tables. Its so weird being here. 
I love being here so much. I know this is where I am supposed to be. I know that reading the Book of Mormon can improve anyone's life, and I know that we can all be cleansed by Christ. I love this gospel and I can't wait to get to Colombia, not to say I don't love the Provo MTC. I am so proud to put the name badge on my suit each morning. I love being a missionary!
I love you all, hope everyone is doing well. 
Elder Beck
For the pictures:
The first is the eating area, the second is the Elder who live with me, the third is my name badge, and the fourth is our apartment.

Off to the Provo MTC December 18th 2013

Visiting Addy at BYU before entering the MTC, and all I got was a handshake! Ha Ha!