Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 7 in Piamonte

Week #48
So, since the last time I wrote, many things have occurred and come to pass. 
On Monday night we had an appointment with Liliana, in which she told us she was moving to a pueblo near Cartagena this week. So that was crazy. Just the only investigator we have that is really progressing is moving away. Wow. Shes going away because her grandmother is sick, and her mom cant take care of her (Liliana´s) 2 daughters, so she is going back. So that was tough. 
Then, our zone leader called me on monday night, and told me that Elder Gumiel would no longer be my companion, but Elder Rodriguez. I didnt know Elder Rodriguez, so it was weird. Oh, I also bought a rolex on Monday. for $15,000. Pesos. Colombian pesos. Its fake, dont worry. 
So, on Tuesday we went to the transfer meeting and I met my new companion. Elder Rodriguez has 13 months in the mission and is from Honduras. He began his mission in Peru, and after 8 months came here with many missionaries who couldnt get their papers cleared to stay in Peru. This is his first time in Bogotá, and he is a great worker. On our first day together he surprised me with how good he is at connecting with people, and how well he contacts. So were going to work well together. 
On Thursday we had a really tough day. we taught no lessons, and it was pouring. I had no idea what to do, and my companion couldnt really help out with ideas. So we ended up walking around, trying to visit members. It was a really discouraging day. 
Then on Friday morning we had our interviews with Presidente Lozano. He talked to me about having a better relationship with our bishop, and working more with less active members. Later on friday in our lessons we ended up talking about the Sabbath day a lot. Its tough when people dont really have a strong committment to come to church, and they only go when nothing else stops them. Trying to change that attitude in the members is even harder. 
On Saturday I realized things are going really well with Elder Rodriguez, I think its because I have been serving him since the first day. It helps me love and accept him more.
On Sunday morning I made French Toast for everyone, like I have the past few weeks. Then when we got to our ward council, the bishop started bugging me about a reference that he gave to the Elder who was here before me who hadnt been contacted. I told him that I had never gotten the reference, but he didnt understand. That was frustrating, but by the end of the meeting I was feeling better. The best part was that Liliana came to church. She is in love with the church, and it makes me really sad she is moving away. 
This week was really hard. The opposition is strong, but that only means a great work is waiting to be done on the other side. We are going to look for more less active members this week, and hopefully find new investigators through them.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that hard work can make the worst of days get better. I know that the atonement of Christ is real, and we have power to change through it. 
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck
me with rafael(our golden less active member)
me with a parrot.
French toast
Me eating french toast
my rolex
Elder rodriguez and me

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 6 in Piamonte

Week #47
This transfer flew by. I cant believe how fast it feels, but then I think how long ago it was when Elder Johnson was in the house, and that seems like forever ago. I think time works different here in the mission. 
Well not too much happened this week. We have found a few investigators, and have taught the restoration(lesson 1) a lot. A lot of the lessons have been tough, really being able to communicate with people and help them understand the doctrine, but im happy. I think difficult lessons make us question how we teach, and get better. 
So things this week have gone much better with Elder Soto. I made goals to serve him more, and not lose my patience; and it was pretty successful. And we got the call last night, and Elder Soto goes to Soacha tomorrow with the transfers. Soacha is technically a different city, but there's no real difference between it and Bogotá, except its a little more dangerous and poor. So i´ll miss Elder Soto, and leading in the area wont be super easy. My new companion is Elder Buniel. Nobody in the house knows who he is, but ill meet him tomorrow morning. 
So on Saturday we found a great apartment! Hopefully well be able to rent it quick, before anyone else can get it. 
Things have gone well this week with Liliana. We were able to visit 2 times, and she really loves the doctrine of the church. When we invited her to live the word of wisdom, she said, ´Id love to.´ That rocked. She still hasn't accepted a baptismal date, but I know she will get there. She said she would actually pray to know if she should be baptized, so I trust she will do it, and receive an answer. The only bummer was that she didn't come to church. We had planned for a member to pick her up, but neither of them came to church, and we haven't been able to contact either. Hopefully all is well with them. 
We had a lesson with Rafael again. Hes the less active we found knocking doors. Every time we get to meet with him, its just so spiritual. He is so ready to come back to church, and loves the Book of Mormon. 
Not much else has happened this week. Oh yeah- I had an exchange with my district leader, Elder Brown, so naturally I slept in his companion´s bed. That was Tuesday. On Wednesday around noon, i started getting itchy. It turns out he has bed bugs, or fleas. So I have a bunch of bug bites again, and it seems they are in my bed now too. I washed my sheets today, so well see if the bites go away this week.
I am so happy and grateful for this time I have to serve others and the Lord. I know that as we make a real effort to make our prayers sincere and meaningful, we will feel peace and they will be answered. I love the gospel of Christ.
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 5 in Piamonte

Week #46
This week was great. So many things happened, and we saw a lot of fruits of the work weve done.
Ill start with Liliana. She´s our best investigator right now. We visited her a lot, and she really is happy. On Saturday night we took her to a baptismal service, and when the girl who got baptized bore her testimony, Liliana cried. It was really cool to see how the sisters made friends with her too! She came to church on Sunday, and stayed all 3 hours. She liked church, and we visited her Sunday night. We went with the bishop and his wife, and when she saw them on her doorstep, she was shocked. I kind of saw in her face that she thought ´oh no! the bishop is at my house!´ We had a great lesson with her. She really liked the idea of having an eternal marriage, and the bishops wife bore a strong testimony. Liliana also told us again that she believed the Book of Mormon was true, and that she felt peace and joy when she read. We tried extending a baptismal date again, but she still doesnt feel ready to comitt. 
 This week we actually found new investigators! We had talked to a single mom about a week ago, and had passed by 2 times, but hadnt foud her. So we went back when an appointment fell through on Thursday, and found her! She let us in and we taught her the restoration. She was receptive, and we have an appointment tonight with her! We also went to the house of a reference from the offices, and the man was home. He quickly let us in, and we started to get to know him. One of his neoghbors was also present. He quicklyy showed us that he didnt want to listen, but his neighbor told us she did want to hear our message, so we have an appointment to go back tomorrow! We also received some references from the members, and will bgin teaching them this week. 
On Friday we had our zone conference. We all got there early for breakfast. The zone leaders made us eggs, pancakes, and toast. It wasnt a ton, but enough. In the zone conference, we just practiced teaching, and making lesson plans. 
This week Ive learned more about focusing on peoples needs, and teaching what they need. Ive also realized I need to have more faith, because all the hard work in the world isnt worht much without faith. 
This week we visited a less active family who is passing through hard times. I was able to give the dad a priesthood blessing, and I felt the Spirit dictate that blessing through me. At one point, I only had 3 words in my head, but when I said them, the rest of the sentence came to me. I know that God loves us, and can speak to each of us individually. 
On Saturday night, I got home with an ugly feeling, like the feeling you get when you do something bad, although I hadnt done anything. I was pindering why I was feeling like that, and after daily planning I went to my bed to pray. As I prayed, I thanked God for what I have, and told him about what I was feeling. Then I asked that the Holy Ghost would give me peace. Instantly, I felt the ugly feeling start to go away, and as I sat in silence, listening and focusing on what I felt, I found peace, and felt relief. I know prayer is real, and that we have a Heavenly Father who is aware and ready to respond to our needs. 
Today we went to teach a lesson at 9am, to a family we had contacted knocking on doors Sunday. We got to the house, and they let us in. Theyre a couple with 4 kids, its a yours-mine-and ours situation. Theyre not married, and had some toruble accepting the Book of Mormon, but they told us they would ask God if it were true. 
Im so happy to be a missionary, and so grateful for the blessings I have experienced this week. I know God lives, and that although we can have hard times, better times come.
Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 4 in Piamonte

Week #45
So week 4 just ended. This transfer is flying by. This week we had some amazing experiences, coupled with a lot of challenges. I begin with the challenges to end on a positive note. 
So this week we had a lot of plans and appointments to find new people to teach. It has been a big focus for us in these last few weeks, because our district and zone leaders are putting on a lot of pressure for the noche blanca. We didnt find anyone this week. Well, we did find one person. We met Luis when we knocked on the wrong door, and he came out. We had a quick lesson with him, and taught about the Book of Mormon. When we came back for the second visit, he told us he couldnt accept our doctrine, because his pastor had told him no. So that was tough. In the rest of the week we had more than 10 appointments in which we had hoped to find new investigators, but they ALL fell through, so that has been hard, but we realized as a companionship that we havent really given everything we have this week, so we have plans to work harder. 
The second fun challenge was getting sick.I got a fun headcold on Thursday, and spent the day kind of off. On Friday I called president´s wife, and she told me to stay inside, so on halloween I didnt get to do anything. Saturday went a lot better, and now im back to normal. 
Now to the good stuff-
If I wrote about it last week, we found a less active member knocking on doors. So this week we had our first lesson with him. We read 2 scriptures from Alma 5, and talked about him coming back to church. He said he wanted too, and it was a nice lesson. Before the lesson, he had told me that when he had gotten divorced over 10 years ago, his wife kept all of the books from the church. At the end of the lesson, I gave him a copy of the book of mormon. He was surprised, and asked ´really?´ I told him, yeah, of course and he kept silent. He began to cry, and my eyes watered up too. It was a really special moment to see how much he valued the Book of Mormon, and it was a big lesson for me. It was one of the high points of my mission. 
We have also been visiting Liliana a lot. Cesar has dropped off the face of the earth, we cant find him. But Liliana is doing great! She is reading the Book of Mormon and told us she felt she had gotten an answer that its right for her! She also says that whenever we visit her she feels peace. Its amazing to see how the spirit works in her. THe only difficulty is that she has toruble accepting a baptismal date. She wants to get baptized, she just doesnt want to decide when. Se we´re focusing on that she can understand the importance of baptism, and ask God if the 29th is the right day for her. We have another lesson with her tonight, and im excited. 
I had an exchange this week with Elder Jensen, our zone leader. It was nice getting out of my area, and not worrying about anything for a day, and to spend time with one of my good friends. 
The work is hard here, but its worth it. I know that we are going to find great success. I know God loves us, and wants the best for us. He is always willing to forgive us (Isaiah 55:7, Mosiah 26:30). Im so happy to do the Lord´s work, and be his servant. 
Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck
for halloween, i was Doctor Elder Beck. Just kidding, I was sick