Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 3 in Piamonte!

Week #44
Wow, so this week flew by. Someone tell me how to make the days seem longer!
So this week has been a struggle. We began the week with a mini zone meeting, where the zone leaders, told us we would be having a ´noche blanca´ which is a huge baptismal service, with the whole stake, the last saturday of november. The total goal is to have 73 baptisms, 10 from our ward between the 4 missionaries. They told us they want all of the people in the service to be references from the members. Thats why this week has been tough, we haven´t gotten any references. So were looking for families to teach. 
Also, in our weekly planning this week we decided to stop visiting the people who arent progressing, and have been listening to us for too long without doing anything. So we are going to have a grand total of about 2-3 investigators, so we are going to have to find some families fast. So if anyone has any good ideas, Id love to hear them!
This week we did find 2 new investigators contacting in the street. One is Cesar, and he is great. He is very receptive to the message, and told us he would come to church, but come Sunday morning he wasnt feeling well, and didnt come. Our other new investigator is Liliana, she, like Cesar has listened to the Jehovas Witnesses, and knows a bit about the bible. She was also receptive, but seems like she has some doubts, which I like because it means she will really investigate. 
Tuesday night we went to the airport again to drop off Elder Nielson, who ended his mission. He was my first zone leader, later in my last district in Candelaria, and was also trained by Elder Macias. It was strange watching him walk into security. Going to the airport twice in a week´s time is tough hahaha. 
So we had another really cool experience. We had placed as a backup plan to go to the house of a reference we have in our area book. Nobody answered the door, so we decided to knock on the 2 houses on the sides, and the 3 houses in front. When we knocked on the house directly in front, a man came out, and we began to talk to him. He told us he had a strong testimony of the church, and is a member! His name is Rafael, and we set up an appointment to go visit him. He has been less active for over 10 years, but I could see he wants to come back. It reminded me of when we found Manuel in Neiva, through whom we found Hugo, my first convert. So Im excited to see where he leads us!
Thanks so much for reading. Life isnt easy sometimes, but thats only because the Lord wants us to learn something new. He wants us to grow, and become something better. I know that the Christ lives, and that through him, we have redemption.
Thanks !
Elder Beck
Elder Neilson and I, and a view from the top of our house

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week #2 in Piamonte

Week #43
Hey everyone!
This week went well! although our numbers for the week werent the best, I feel good with the work we did. We set a goal as a companionship to have 5 baptisms in November. I have meditated a lot on that, and that I am really comitting myself to work hard and find those people. We have been working hard, talking to a lot of people in the street, but the appointments we have had with them have fallen through, so that has been a bummer. 
So we were having a lesson with a less active member who wanted to keep giving us excuses for why she cant come to church. She doesnt work in the week, and was trying to tell us that she can ONLY work on sundays. We tried explaining to her that if she put God first, meeting her financial needs would be a lot easier, but she just didnt get it. Its tough when people dont understand. 
We also have been looking for an apartment this week like mad men. We have looked at a lot of apartments, but almost none have been appropriate to house missionaries. A lot of them are shared with other rooms and families, are in sketchy neighborhoods, or simply lack space. Our zone leaders told us we needed to look for a new place to live, because we arent supposed to live 4 Elders in a house. 
We had a specialized training with President Lozano on Wednesday, where he taught us about following up on comittments, and how to teach the plan of salvaiton better. I really have liked the last training meetings we have had, they have been really focused and I feel like I am learning a lot. 
So on Thursday morning we got up early(4am) to drop Elder Johnson off at the airport. And we went later to pick up Elder Neilson, who is now living with us. He goes home tomorrow at midnight, so we probably will go to the airport again to drop him off. Well see if we go, or someone else will take them, but weve spent quite a bit of time in taxis. The airport isnt exactly close. 
Thats just about all that has happened this week. Just a normal working week, but Im very happy. 
I know that the gospel blesses our lives. I know that when we decide to follow Christ and keep his commandments, things get easier. I love being a missionary. Its the best thing I could be doing. Sé que vive Jesucrosto, y que por medio de El he podido volver a ser limpio y disfrutar mi vida aún más.
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 1 in Piamonte

Week #42
Wow! What a crazy week. 
So after I emailed last week we went to visit Zully, our convert. Elder Martinez and I has arranged to have a member come with us and everything, but we couldn't find her. She wasn't at home, and didn't get there later in the night either. Its sad for me that we haven't been able to find her for a couple weeks, and that I didn't get to say goodbye. 
On Tuesday morning we took off for our stake center for the exchange meeting. My bags weigh a lot. I don't know how that happened, but my bags weighed a ton. Not literally 2000 pounds, but you get what I mean. So we got to the meeting and after the assistants talked for a little bit we met our new companions. I met Elder Soto, and we shortly took off for the area. 
Elder Soto is new in the mission. He is from Peru, east of Lima. He has great desires to work hard, he just doesn't know quite how. He didn't really get the training he deserved. He just finished his training, and has 3 months in the mission. We are going over the training again. He asks a lot of questions, and a lot of funny words in English, like ´overlord´. Hes really great. Things weren't so easy at first, but were getting used to each other, and had a lot of fun today. Teaching with him wasn't so easy at first, but things are getting better. He has just learned a lot of bad habits from his last companion, so were working to be exactly obedient and work more efficiently. 
Elder Jensen is my zone leader again, not sure if Ive written about him before, but hes one of my good friends here in the mission. We live with 2 other missionaries in the house, and its fun living in 4 again, even though we have to look for an apartment. We have found a few, but were still looking. 
I´ve realized I learned a lot in La Candelaria, like the importance of teaching families, improving my Spanish, the importance of visiting recent converts, and I understand better the plan of salvation. I feel ready to work harder, and do things right from the start. 
Our new area isn't the easiest. We don't have many people to teach, and we haven't had baptisms in 3 months, but that's all going to change. Its all flat, and close to La Candelaria. From some spots I can still see the mountain I climbed every day. 
The cool thing is we have members to come out with us a lot here, so we take advantage of that. Our bishop is great, and the ward council is ready to work. A tough part is that for the month, our cell phone is out of minutes, so its like working without a phone, again. But we get recharged the 17th, so we just have to wait a little longer. 
I feel great here. Very comfortable and happy. 
On Sunday, I was filling the sacrament cups at 9:55, and the bishops counselor asked me to speak, so completely winging it, I spoke about the Atonement. It didn't go that bad, and I felt good afterward. 
I'm really happy to be serving a mission. I know that it is when we work hard we are happy. I am so grateful for the new experiences I have had and will have. Thanks so much for reading!
Elder Beck
Sorry, no pictures. I left my memory card at home. oops

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 18 (and the last) in La Candelaria

Week #41

Well, I found out last night that I´m getting transferred tomorrow. Our zone leaders called us and told us that Elder Martinez will be the new district leader here, and is going to train a new missionary! I am so excited for him! I am going to Piamonte, here in Bogotá, and my new companion just finished his training, according to my sources. 
I spent the weekend really anxious. I don't really know why these transfers got me so worked up, but I was pretty nervous. The fact that we didn't do much work this weekend didn't help much. But I feel super calm and happy now. My bags are mostly packed, and Ill meet my new companion tomorrow.
I'm really excited to go to a new area, find new challenges, and meet new people. I'm ready for some new experiences. I know Ive learned a lot here, and I am definitely going to take advantage of the lessons I have received here in this area. 
This week went well. It was tough, because a lot of lessons and plans to meet people fell through, but Elder Martinez should have quite a few new investigators next week. Spending the week without a phone didn't help much either, and made it tough to confirm plans. But we managed to make quite a few visits, and help people out. 
General conference was great. We watched it all via internet in our chapel, so I watched it all in Spanish. My favorite talk was from Elder Jorg Klebignat. I felt like that talk was written for me, and how I can improve as a missionary right now. I also really liked how they had the authorities speak in their native languages! All of the talks were translated, but the 2 in Spanish were really fun to listen to. I liked the talks, and it seemed there were a lot of messages and ideas repeated. Interesting how the Lord inspires his servants. I really thought it was different how EVERY speaker who got up there supported clearly the prophet.I thought that was really neat. 
Today was fun. We went to a mall close by, and I had Papa Johns. I had real pizza! So that was different, and awesome! We played a little soccer with the zone, and didnt do much else. 
I am so  grateful to be here in the mission. I am grateful the Lord sent me to Colombia. I love being here, and there is nowhere else Id rather be. I know that I was meant to be called to give up 2 years of my life. What I am learning and becoming here is worth all the sacrifice. I love my saviour, and know that through him we can do all things. 
Thanks so much for reading,
Elder Beck