Monday, June 30, 2014

Week #4 in La Candelaria

Week #27

Well, this week was very easy, because we didnt really work at all. This week we didnt really work monday(as normal), Tuesday(for Colombia`s game), Thursday(for a training with the mission president), and Saturday(for the soccer game). The worst part is Colombia keeps winning. People went crazy this week. I heard a few people died here in Bogotà because of the victory celebrations. I guess its a good thing President keeps us inside a little after the games end. So this week we didnt work a ton, but we managed to get things done.
On Thursday with our multi-zone conference with President Lozano, we focused a lot on our ward council, and how to help people come to church. It was great to hear new ideas, and I feel like we have a lot of new things to do. After the meetings, President Lozano pulled Elder Fernandes and me to the side and talked with us. I guess one of our leaders told him we were having problems. He didnt say too much to us, just to fix it. And the weird thing is, things are going a whole lot better. Maybe it was just changing my attitude and deciding to work well with Elder Fernandes, but eveything is different. Im really happy, and pulling us aside was the best thing President could have done.
This week we were able to hold the baptisimal service of Andres Torres. Andres is a great young man, and ready to live the commandments of God. his baptismal service was a little bit of a fiasco. We got there aout 20 minutes late, and later it took the bishop another 40 minutes to arrive.All went well, and we managed to have Andres baptized just fine. Elder Fernandes got to go into the water with him. The best part is that we were able to get all of Andres` family to come to the service, which was a miracle. He was confirmed, and received the Aaronic priesthood straightaway this Sunday. 
When we went to pick up Andres for church on sunday, his friend David came with us. He also had accompanied us to the baptism the night before, and as we were walking to the bus stop, he asked me if he could be baptized too. Explaining eveything to him was really great for me, and I am excited to start teaching David and his family. We have an appointment for tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. 
Here in Bogota, I have finished enjoying the cold, and now im just cold a lot. Its temperate and perfect during the day, but once the sun goes down, it gets colder. 
Not much else is new.
Something I learned this week in my personal study was God`s will with justice and mercy. I think I already knew it, but as I read chapters 7-12(?) of Alma, I understood the doctrine more. I learned that God will be just with those who have not heard His law, offering them salvation, and those who have heard his law and ignored it, allowing them to suffer. He will be merciful to those who know his law, and repent, giving salvation to them as well. For me, it helped to understand more what is the will of God. I really enjoy reading form the Book of Mormon, and I have seen that my mind has been open to receive greater understanding.
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck.
So sorry, no pictures this week. The computer has no place for my SD card, and I am without my converter.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week #3 in La Candelaria!

Week # 26
This week went well. The best part was that we were able to hold the baptismal service of Idalia M. She asked that the bishop her baptized her, which for me was the best option. She is really amazing, I feel like I had a really small part in her conversion, and that God really had prepared her. Its really humbling to see that what we do here is really just help people, and that their conversion is theirs. The testimony she bore after her baptism was really touching, and great to listen to.
On Sunday I spoke in church. I spoke about the talk from President Uchtdorf called, are you sleeping through the restoration? (forgive my translation). I felt really good speaking in church, and I could feel the spirit as I invited the people here to get more involved with missionary work. Im not sure what more to say, but it was a really nice experience for me. 
Today we were able to go to the temple! We got up about an hour early and left eh house at 630. We took the bus across Bogota, which took about andhour and a half. Bogota is really big. So standing in the bus for about 3 hours today wasnt super fun, but going to the temple was really great. Getting to feel the peace that exists there was really calming. It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy the spirit that dwells in the temple.
More than that, this week has been pretty normal. Im still learning how to work well with Elder Fernandes. Things are tough, but were working to get better. 
I look back on my time in Neiva now, understanding why I had to be there. i really learned how to work there and to communicate. I learned the purpose of my work here, and how to really apply myself. I know that right now, I could be better as well with using what I learned. 
Thanks so much for reading, sorry theres not too much news this week. 
Elder Beck

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 2 in La Candelaria!

This week went well. The biggest thing on my mind is the strife's I have with Elder Fernandes. Our issues aren´t really centered in obedience, but more in the way , or style we do things. Its a learning process I guess. I am learning that being right doesn´t matter so much as not having contentions. Its difficult swallowing my pride and getting along with him, but were both working hard.
Our area here is really great. We are helping 3 people right now prepare to be baptized, and we have this week Idalia and her daughter Dayana. They are from Chocó, which is a state here near the coast. They are really prepared and everything is pretty easy with them. It makes me realize that its their conversion, and I am just a helper in the process. They both came to church this week, its so great to have investigators in church.
Our other investigator is Andres Torres. He is 16, and had been taught last year by the missionaries but fell away. We are working with him right now. He really wants to do whats right, but is seeing a good amount of opposition from his family. We are working with his dad to get permission to baptize him. he comes to church as well, and is working hard.
We had a really cool experience with Andres and his dad and sister this week. We showed up to his house, asking to talk to his dad, because we need to in order for Andres to be baptized. At first Andres was hesitant to let us in, but after we insisted we were able to get in the door. We couldn't really talk to his dad at first because he was watching the England-Italy game, and who can blame him? After a little bit we got him to turn down the volume, which was a good start. Then Andres´ sister started telling us how he couldn't change, and this was just a trend for him. She was really negative and discouraging to him, and I interrupted her and asked is she believed in Christ. She replied that she did. I then asked her if she believed that through Christ we could change. She replied yes again. Then I asked her if she believed that Christ could change her brother, and she tried responding but couldn't really gather her thoughts. That was when we were able to turn the visit around and begin teaching. We were able to turn off the TV (miracle) and share a scripture. We are going to visit them tonight, and hope to feel the same Spirit we did in the last visit. 
We have been told by our mission president to be in the house during the World cup games when Colombia plays. When Colombia won on Saturday, everybody went nuts. People were blowing plastic trumpets and honking their horns for hours. In the house we were trying to study, but the neighbors were screaming at every chance Colombia had to score. We also went home early last night because Colombia had their presidential elections. So in the next month we will probably be in the house a lot.
Because my companion is form Brasil, everyone talks to him about the world cup, and all I can say is that The US doesn't really have a chance. 
I am doing really well, but short on time to write.
I want to share a quick experience that Ive had with the Book of Mormon this week. I have been keeping a more rigorous, daily, reading and it has made a big difference. I have felt my mind open to REALLY understand the book better and it is an amazing experience. Daily study of the Book of Mormon has blessed my life, and I really love the book.
Thanks for reading so much!!
Elder Beck
Photos- our house, and me enjoying bogota. The weather here rocks.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 1 in La Candelaria.

Week #24
Well im in Bogotá now! I got off the bus in the terminal, and feeling cool weather was amazing! I dont think that I have sweated all week! Its really cool.
My new area is called La Candelaria, and it is on a big hill on the southern side of Bogotá. It isnt super safe, but I dont forsee too many problems either. The ward here is good, it feels very similar to Manzanares. I am very happy to be in Bogotá, and am enjoying a change.
My new companion is Elder Fernandes, from Brazil. He is from the southern part of Brasil and you would probably mistake him for a gringo. He has one transfer(6 weeks) less than me in the mission, and has already got his Spanish down. He didnt know any spanish before going to the MTC, and speaks just about as well as I do now, which is incredible. He is a very strong missionary, and loves the people here. We are still figuring out how to work together, which is a challenge right now. 
We live in a house just the two of us. The house has 3 stories, but each floor is very small. Like 1 room small. The house is nice, and sleeping in the cold is amazing. Oh did I mention I have a hot shower? Its really great. Minus Thursday and Friday, when we lost the power because the last  Elders forgot to pay the bill. Those were the coldest showers of my life. But other than that I am loving it here.
In our area we are teaching a few people, and we have a lot of recent converts to help. We are teaching one family that is really good, and we are expecting their baptism the 21 of June, with more following. 
So today we went to the MTC here in Bogotá to hear Elder K. Whitney Claytin speak, from the presidency of the 70! His talk was really good, and what I remember most was his powerful testimony of the Saviour. He also helped us to understand better how to work with recent converts, which was great. All of the missionaries from Bogotá were invited, and it was cool to see some old friends, including Elder Macias (my first companion, photo attatched). 
We rode the bus there and on the way back. The bus rife on the way back was very challenging. We were in a little bus, and the ride was about an hour and twenty minutes. I was standing up the whole time, and the bus was jam-packed. There was very little room to move. 
There is another bus system here in Bogotá that is called the Transmilenio. It is a free bus system, so it is always packed. We take it every day to our area. You usually have to cram yourself in, and its a pain, but funny at the same time. 
 I want to extend a challenge to you all- When was the last time you received personal revelation from God? if it was a bit off, i want to invite you to find a question you have, ask God to answer, and then study. I know personal revelation is one of the most amazing things God gives us, and it is a truly amazing experience.
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Some of my investigators from Neiva: Wendy, Carolina, Gina, The Torres Family, and Luz Elena, not in that order, sorry.
Me with Elder Macias.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Last week in Neiva!

Week #23
Well, this is my last week in Neiva. We get the news last night about transfers, and I am going to Bogotá. My new area is called Candelarea, and it is in the southern part of Bogotá. My new companion is an Elder Fernandez from Peru. I leave tomorrow morning at 7AM for the 6 hour bus ride to Bogotá. I am sad to be leaving, and am going to miss Manzanares. 
Not a ton happened this week. We didn't have many lessons, which was a bummer. We have left behind a lot of investigators that aren't progressing, and are looking hard for new people. We had some good success this week contacting and met some great families. I'm bummed I wont get to see how things go with them. 
We had stake conference this weekend, and we had no investigators at church. Again. So that's a bummer. I feel good with our week because we worked hard.
One thing I have found that has changed things a lot for me is serving the other Elders in the house. When I set aside time to iron their shirts, or make them breakfast, I am a lot happier, and I really like the difference it has made for me. Im sad that I wont be with Elder Amaguaña anymore. He and I have become really good friends. Tomorrow he is going to Florencia, which is even further south. He will go back to his first area, which is super uncommon. Elder Hurtado and Elder Caballero will stay here in Neiva. 
So on Friday night I had a cool experience. We had planned to do divisions and have 2 appointments at the same time at the end of the day. In the end, we couldn't find anyone in the ward who could come out with us, and we had to sacrifice one of the appointments. So, we went to the other appointment, only to find the wife alone in the house, so the other appointment fell through. Then, we went to a less active members house to try to have a lesson with her, but she couldn't. So we were left at about 8:15 with nothing to do and nobody to visit. As we were walking from the less active members house to visit other investigators, I saw some people in front of their house and had a very slight feeling, that was almost unnoticeable. We continued on to the investigators house and they weren't home. 
I turned around and just started walking back to the house that I saw with the people out front. I was thinking to myself that if EVERYTHING has fallen through, then there is somebody we have to find. I walked up to the house and just started talking to the man out front. He was really friendly, like most of the people here. He was outside with his wife, and his brother. As we explained the basics of our church, he shared that he had gone to a christian church for years, but said he never felt ´full´. We promised him that if he heard our message and accepted our invitations, he could be full of that love of God. It was a really cool experience to meet him, and I went home that night knowing God had worked through me. We will visit him tonight in about an hour. 
More than that, not too much is new. Carolina Herrera had her baby last Monday. He had blood sugar problems, but is doing better now and we hope to swing by her apartment tonight so I can say goodbye. 
Thanks for reading so much! I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is our way back to our father in heaven, and the best way to find happiness. 
Elder Beck
Here are some pictures of me with the ward members. and Elder Amaguaña as the pig from Angry birds.
We had an activity this morning with the ward, and I was able to say goodbye to a lot of them, which was nice.