Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 12 in Campiña

Week #99
11/30/15

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
11/23/15
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
11/16/15
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
11/9/15
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

11/2/15
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
10/26/15
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
10/19/15
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

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



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 5 in Campina

Week #92
10/12/15
Well, this week began with the same challenges with appointments falling through. It can get really discouraging, but I think that maybe things are better this way because the people who don't really want to listen wont, and well spend our time looking for people with really interest. The other thing that has helped me a lot has been my scripture for the week, from DC, that I shared in my last email. Just trusting that this is Gods work, and relying on him has helped me to be calmer and work better.

This week we had some coo experiences finding. That has gone good for us. Not from anything we did, but just seeing the Lord provide for us.
On Tuesday we knocked on a whole street with no success. We got to the bottom of a hill, and sat down and said a prayer, asking God to help us find someone to teach. Just after we finished our prayer, an man came out of his house, set up some chairs near us, and stared talking to us. We ended up teaching him and his family right there. A young man also joined us, who was raised in the church, but was never baptized. His mom is a member, and we should meet all the family this Friday. That was really neat.

This week we taught Jose Rojas more, and he has really begun progressing. He is an older man in a wheelchair, who is a friend of a recent convert family here. He has been really sick, and we met him at church 3 weeks ago. He had listened to the Elders years ago, and is really receptive. We are passing by twice a week to read with him, and twice a week to teach the lessons. He attended church this Sunday, which rocked, and has a date for the 24th! We really hope that he´ll make it!

This week we have plans to get the members more involved in the teaching process. We hope to have members in the lessons to our investigators that accept baptismal dates. Its a big challenge here.
The members are really busy, everybody is ALWAYS working. Things are going better with my companion, and its strange to think that next week Ill enter my last transfer in the mission.

This week Ill ponderize Alma 13:28. I really like the instructions Alma gives to help us put off the natural man, and become saints.
Every week, I am writing my scripture on the mirror in my bathroom.
Its quite effective.

This week has taught me a lot, and I know that God loves us, and guides us. I know that our challenges are to help us grow, and we need to face them with the right attitude. I know that the Book of Mormon is God´s word for us in these latter days.

Thanks for reading!

sorry, I forgot my camera.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week 4 in Campina

Week #91
10/5/15
This week was difficult, the same problems as the last week. I´m not really sure what to write about this week. Its very strange to think how fast time has gone by. Its really sad if you've never heard a missionary tell you about ending the mission before. Thinking of leaving this life and work behind is hard, because it is so gratifying being completely about the Lord´s work all the time. I think that if I was offered to extend my mission, I might.

General conference was really great! I enjoyed listening to the talks, and they humbled me a lot. President Monson scared me in his talk, his physical condition was alarming. Lets not forget to pray for him. I very much enjoyed hearing inspired messages that comforted, instructed, and corrected me. I decided to ponderize DC 101:16, ¨Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.¨ It helps me not to worry, and just trust the God is taking care of everything.
That if I do my part, I will pull through the difficulties.

I had been thinking a lot this week how unfair it had been that we were working hard, and nobody would really listen to us and keep their commitments. I was frustrate thinking that if God had me here, that I had prepared myself and become so trained as a missionary, why wouldn't he give me all the prepared people so I can just baptize them all?
Obviously such is not the case. I felt humbled in the talks as the authorities talked about adversity and trials. I was reminded that as a missionary, things are not about me, that I need to be meek and accept God´s will. I learned in companionship study from Alma, that if everyone rejects us, that we still have a reason to rejoice, because we are faithful to God.

None of our investigators come to conference, but that's okay, someone should come to church this week.

I know that God answers prayers, and that the Spirit can inspire us in our lives. I know God is aware of me and you, and that He loves us. i know that when we decide not to doubt nor complain, the Spirit can comfort us in our afflictions.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

pictures: the zone, and a tamal (tamales)



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 2 in Campina

Week #90
9/21/15
Well, as I write, it seems like everything is hilited, I hope the computer doesnt erase my whole email.

This week was tough, but it ended well so I dont remember much of the bad stuff. Basically what happened was that a bunch (basically all) of our appointments fell through in the week, so it was hard riding around all week without being able to really help people. The nice thing is that sunday went better. 

We were tracting on Thursday, and for about 10 houses nobody opened up. The first guy who opened up told us he was an inactive member, and he let us in. I told him he was just a member, that we dont use the term ´inactive´. He is 22 years old, served in the army here, and is married. He´s not just living with his girlfriend and calls her his wife, hes actually really married. Its a miracle. I dont think Ive ever met people so young who are actually married before. We finished up getting to know him, and his wife got home. She wasnt very interested, but at least she listened to us! So I hope we will be able to keep visiting them, and help them to come to church!

On Sturday the branch had a family history activity, and I want to do my family history again. Really bad. WE had a few converts at the activity, so hopefully we can get a few ready to go to the temple with the branch in october. We also hope to go if President gives us permission. Itd be the first time for me since January. 

On Sunday all the visits we had planned fell through. All of them. We ended up tracting a bit, looking for a member with an unknown adress. We talked to a man outside his house, and he told us he needed a message from Jesus. We got to share with him and his daughter, and they told us that they wanted to change their family, that they want to fight less. It was special to find people with real desires to change and get better. 

Well, this letter is short, its been a fairly normal week. Challenges with a few good experiences as well. 

I know that reading the Book of Mormon blesses our lives, and I know that it can help us with any problems. I know that fasting gives us power to change, and that God loves us, and wants to make covenants with Him.

Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck
Pictures: our complex, the district, comps.



Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 1 in Campina

Week #89
9/14/15
Wow, Im not in Porvenir anymore. 
Well, now Im in Ibague, 3 hours from Bogotá, but west, instead of southeast. The bus rides were fine, not too long. Monday night and Tuesday morning before I left I felt really content and happy. I felt that I had really done a good job in Porvenir, and I left the next Elder there some good work to do. 

My new area is a little smaller than the last. We are 3 companionships here in the branch. We have bikes, but dont use them every day. Its hot and dry here. Really dry. We have started to work here, and we were able to find a few new investigators, and this week our work should be more focused and organized. Right now we are working a lot with the families in which not all are members of the church. There are a lot here. The branch is pretty great, there are strong leaders. And church starts at 9! Its so nice! We live in an apartment complex, on the 7th floor. There are 2 bathrooms, and there's hot water in the showers. Its amazing. My companion is Elder Meneses, from Ecuador. He has 4 months in the mission, and is really humble and patient. He is easy to work with, and get along with, so I feel really blessed.

The branch president asked me to give a talk on Sunday about the temple, because the branch will be going in October. I cited President Monson´s last talk from general conference about going to the temple, and talked about the importance of regular temple attendance. I felt good giving my talk, and it was neat. The bummer was that nobody we had invited came to church. We will just have to invite a lot more people this week. Its pretty easy to find here, like Villavicencio. 

Sorry, this email is all scatterbrained. A lot has happened, and I feel pressured for time. So, we had a cool experience yesterday. We found a guy tracting on Thursday, and we got to visit him Sunday. He seemed to be pretty closed, and not very friendly. As we began talking, he opened up a little more, and seemed more interested. I decided to ask him a question to see what he was looking for, or what he needed from God. I decided I wanted to ask him something different from what I normally ask people. After a moment, the worst came into my head, and he responded that he wanted more strength an faith. That was cool to see that the spirit could guide me. We taught the restoration, and ending, the though came to my head to ask him how he felt. I questioned it, and decided to ask. He said he felt good. I asked if it was a normal good, or something different. He responded that it was special. Then we explained about the Holy Ghost´s job of testifying of truth. It was a really special experience to see how the spirit could guide us, and know that that man felt what we taught. 

So yeah, this week has gone pretty good, and we expect this next one to go even better. I know that I just need to work hard, and not lose time, and we will see a lot of success.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that it proves Jospeh Smith to be a prophet of God, and that god has restored all things in these days. I know  he ehars us, and will strengthen us when we look to him. I know that all He does shows us His love. I know that He loves me, and loves you as well. 

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

sorry, this computer wont read my sd card.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 26 in Porvenir

Week #88
9/7/15
Well, we got the call last night, and my pleasant stay in the eastern plains of Colombia has ended. Tomorrow I will be transferred to Ibague, still outside of Bogotá, so Im really excited about that. I really saw the Lords hand in these transfers, I know that they were inspired. Ill be going to the Campiña branch, where one of my former companions started his mission. Im really excited to go to a new area, and meet new challenges. I have learned so much here, like how to really help people progress, and how to work hard and efficiently. Im grateful the Lord has sent me here, and has taught me so much. 

This week was tough. Every day we had good plans. New people to visit, members to come out with us, meaningful lessons, baptismal dates to place. I think almost every day, our plans fell through, maybe we had daily 2 of the lessons we planned. It was really discouraging. What we did was just try not to lose time, and tract when we hadnt anything else to do. We tracted for about 3 hours on Thursday, and nothing worked out, and then another 2 or 3 on Saturday with the same results. We were far away from our goal for new investigators for the week, and we only had Sunday left. Sunday was a great day, we called a contact we made like 5 weeks ago, and got to teach his family for the first time, and found more people tracting, and met our goal. Its was a really cool experience. I learned that when we try to do the Lords will, and give all that we have got to do so, he gets us there. I know that he blessed us when we worked hard, and dedicated ourselves to fulfilling our goals. 

This week nobody came to church because it rained all morning sunday. When it rains here people dont do anything, or at least it seems to be an acceptable excuse not to come to church for the people here. I dont understand it very much. That was a bummer, but I know there are good people here, who Elder Chaves and his new companion will be able to help out. 

This week we also had some really good lessons with the recent converts in our area. The lessons werent with our converts, but converts from other missionaries, who have been struggling recently. One family has really been a challenge for us, and I often had wondered why they dont come to church. It just seemed like they didnt care about anything anymore. In the lesson I decided to be really direct with the brother, and ask what was wrong, and what was going on. He told us he felt bad going to church and not being able to pay his tithing. Hes a taxi driver, and has to pay a high quote each day. We helped him plan to set apart his tithing daily, and to see that the Lord would bless him if he did so, that his economical situation would actually improve. I felt really good after that lesson, because for about 3 months weve not known how to help them. 

Thats about it for each week. I knwo that God loves us, and will always help us to change and improve. I know that the atonement of Christ is truly infinite. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, and that God can speak to us through it. 

Thanks for reading!

pictures:
when lunch fall through, we order chinese, and a giant moth

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 25 in Porvenir

Week #87
8/31/15
Well this week was a challenge, but not so tough as last. It has been a challenge this week to be diligent, and we haven't worked enough to meet the standards of excellence, but were going to work way better this week. 

Theres not much news for this week. We started teaching Ayshalom, the YM president´s son. He is 10. And a family we found tracting came to church! I was all bummed in sacrament meeting because none of our investigators came.the teacher didnt come for gospel principles,so I had to give the class, and as we sung the first hymn, the Franco family arrived! That was definitely the high point of our week. I have seen my faith tried a lot, and a lot of resistance. We spent a good part of this week dropping a lot of the people weve found, but Im happy so now well have time to look for more!


Today began pretty fun, when my comp burnt me with the iron. It wasnt intentional, but it surprised me a lot. So close to our ironing board theres a chair I sit on to change. I had just finished ironing my shirt, and hung it up to cool off, and got ready to change. My companion turned on the iron to iron his shirt. I sat down on the chair, and felt as if something had stabbed my hip. I yelled, Ow! and my comp started shouting Elder, what are you doing? He had left the iron on my chair, charging up. I was pretty mad about it for 20 seconds, and then we ended up laughing.  

So, yeah. This week was pretty normal. I know that God lives, and that only through Jesus Christ we have hope. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and it has blessed my life so much! I know that our difficulties are necessary to help us grow and improve, and all of it is part of Gods plan for us. 

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 24 in Porvenir

Week #86
8/24/15
Well, this week a lot of things happened. We didnt work quite as hard as last week, but weve decided to give our all this week. Sorry if a few words come attatched, my spacebar is kind of disfunctional. 

The best thing that happened this week was that we moved! Finally. We have been waiting for 3 weeks for the secretary to sign the contract, but now we´re out of our old house. No more mice, cockroaches, nor spiders. Im quite happy. Our new house has 2 bathrooms, so I get my own shower! Its the best! The house is a lot bigger, the kitchen space is a bit smaller, our room is huge, more ventialtion, and its got 2 floors. So we´re pretty happy. We got the call on Thursday that we got the house, and moved Friday morning. The move went well, and we have got everything pretty much all packed up. It gave me a good look at how much I can fit into my suitcases, I havent packed them in 5 months. 

We did a bit of finding this week, but not much. Tracting hasnt worked SO well, but it is still giving us results. Were looking closer to members, and were beginning to create bonds between the members and our new investigators. Last night we had a great visit with Hernan, a new investigator we found by our branch president. Pres. Rosas came out with us, and he was really receptive. That was the 3rd visit, and we focused alot on the commitment to read from the Book of Mormon daily. He seems to have a lot of potential. The only challenge will be his attendance, because he is a soccer referee, and works a lot on Sundays. Itll all go step by step.

Things in our companionship have been really good. Elder Chaves is the man. Im sad Ill probably be taking off in 2 weeks with the transfers. But 6 months is enough in one area. Nobody came to church this week, and that was a big bummer.

This week in my personal study Ive been reading from Romans, and have found a lot of scriptures I like. 5:8, 10:14, 11:23-24, 11:29, and more I dont remember in the moment. Ive also been memorizing more scriptures to use during the teaching. Its funny, people seem to really like it here when you quote or read a scripture they dont understand. 

I know that God has restored his priesthood power here on earth, and I know that the gospel in its fulness has been restored. I know God tries our faith to help us grow. Its like sharpening a pencil, as a speaker said this sunday. We would be the pencil. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God,just as the Bible. 

Thanks for reading! 

Elder Beck

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 23 in Porvenir

Week #85
8/17/15
Wow. For today, I still have 19 months in the mission. And I don´t want to think about tommorrow. This week has been great. A lot of good things have happened, and we´ve seen the fruits of our work. Our companionship is great, and I have a lot of hope for our area. 

Well last week I talked about how we are beginning to tracts in the blocks near where the members live, and its worked great! Whenever we got tract for an hour, we find new investigators. Ive found that we need to make a daily effort to sow in our area, because in the 3 sectors in my area, were only there twice a week. If on Tuesday bwe didnt sow at all, itll be tough to find anybody new on Friday when we go back. On the other hand, Tuesdays work can bring fruit the same day, and for Friday. I just wish someone would have told me how effective this was 6 months ago. Oh well, Ill just take dvantage these next 3 weeks before transfers. I really dont want to leave this area. I love it so much here. I know that if I do get transferred I will love my new area as well. This week we have to work a lot with the members with the new friends we have found them, so we can help people to progress. Most everyone we find seems to have potencial, so that keeps us excited. 

We had an exchange with the Elders in la esperanza, and I was with Elder Mandujano (Peru). His area has been kind of tough, and a lot of appointments fell through, so we just tracted a bunch. His area is way harder than mine. The people were very cold and rejecting. A lot of old ladies told us funny things. One said Ím doing my rosary  (catholic prayer beads) right now, dont bother me´ or when we said ´itd be a pleasure for us to share our message with you.(response) ´for me it wouldnt´´ or ´im sick and you made me come downstairs, what do you need?´. I kinda felt bad after that one. The funniest was when a lady began to reject us, but wouldnt just say no. I asked her if she didnt want to better her life. Big mistake. She started shouting at us about how she didnt need anything else in life because God gives her health, and that thats all you need to ask for in your prayers, and that we shouldnt ask for money in our prayers. that one makes me laugh still. Although it wasnt very easy, we did have success, and Elder Mandujano was happy that day. 

Michell didnt come to church this Sunday, and bailed on the lesson we had. Were kind of worried about him, it feels like he isnt telling us about his doubts, or the things that are holding him back from making a decision and sticking to it. Hopefully we can help him to open us a little more, so he can overcome his obstacles. 

Nobody else has been progressing, but with so many new investigators, were hoping to do some good follow-up this week. The best part is that weve been able to find families. 

I know that the gospel has been restored through Joseph Smith, and that it is only through Christ that we can be saved from death and sin. Ive learned this week more about the sacrament, that it is the greatest way we can bring Christ into our lives. I know God loves each one of us, and wants to help us. I know prayer is real. 

Thanks so much for reading! Sorry there are no photots, my camera is still busted. 
Elder Beck

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 22 in Porvenir

Week #84
8/10/15
Ive been here forever! But I love it, and I never want to leave. Villavicencio is the best. Ill begin today by apologizing there haven't been any pictures, my camera got busted, and a member is going to take it in on Thursday to see if he can get it fixed, so hopefully next week Ill have pictures again! 

Well this week was another good one. We didnt get to do so much tracting, but we still taught a lot of good lessons, and found new investigators. We didnt get to work Wednesday or Thursday in our area, so we lost a bit of time there. On Wednesday morning we did our weekly planning with the zone in the chapel, and after our lunches we met up to do an invasion(everyone from the zone goes and contacts/tracts) in Elder Wright´s area. We were able to talk to quite a few people. Afterwards we headed over to the terminal and caught a bus to Bogotá. We got to the house we´d stay at at 9pm and got a pizza from domino´s for dinner. 

Thursday we took off early for a meeting with President Baquerizo, and the training was really inspired. First, he gave us a new vision about how we can work better and achieve more. He challenged all of us to find 2 new investigators daily, which will require effort, but will also be possible. So we are going to focus more on tracting and finding. He also challenges us to baptize more(obviously). We talked about how to plan more efficiently as well, and finally the assistants talked to us about our teaching, and that we should always include baptism in our teaching. It was a really good, inspiring meeting that has helped me to work better. 

I have discovered a new vision for our work. At some point in the mission, all of us became convinced we had to find thru the members, and no other way. Im finding that to be false. It is the best way to find investigators, but you cant force it. What we have decided to do is to tract in the blocks near members that are active in church so when we find somebody who is interested, we have a member who lives a block away to help them get to church and feel better about everything. Im hoping we will be able to find good investigators, and that the members will help us get them progressing. I fell pretty excited to work like that for these next 4 weeks and see how it works.

On Sunday Michell came to church, and he is progressing well towards the 29th of December. Carol, our convert is now the YSA representative in the branch, and is helping us out with Michell. Oscar Franco gave his first talk on Sunday, and everybody loved it, it was so good! I was so happy to see him up at the pulpit and blessing the sacrament. 

Well, I have seem this week that people have their agency. God loves us so much he lets us make decisions, even the wrong ones. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that if we carry out his will, the Spirit can always be with us. I know that if we walk in the light, the blood of Christ can cleanse us of all sin.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Week 21 in Porvenir

Week #83
8/3/15
So, today I hit 5 months in this area. It feels like Ive been here for 2. Time has gone by way too fast. Something interesting that happened this week- last night before bed, I felt the skin between my toes was a little dry, but I didn't pay much attention to it. This morning I checked it out, and it seems I have athlete´s foot! The good thing is Ive found it quick, and its not advanced at all. So we´ll see how the spray I got works. Hopefully I´ll be able to get rid of it quick. So that fun. I must have gotten it from the hike last week when I spent pretty much the whole day with wet feet, or one of these days when my shoes have gotten soaked in the rained. Its continued raining pretty much every day this week, but it hasn't been too heavy. 

This week we kept tracting, going door to door. We decided that we were just going t stay in the general area we had planned to be in that day, and if we didn't have anything to do, we would go look for new people to teach. That went really well for us! We found lots of new investigators this week, and taught lots of lessons. My companion has gotten really good at teaching, and we have reached a good unity. The people we've been finding haven't been the greatest, but if they read, pray and come to church they'll have a great progress in the gospel. So were going to be doing a lot of follow up. The Grey family hasn't been so strong these weeks, and our lessons have fallen through. We are going to work hard to keep up with them, and get them excited about coming to church every week. Thats definitely something Ive seen this week, that if anyone goes to church weekly, they keep progressing in the gospel, and can keep improving, but if one stops going to church, they fall off the path. 

Ive had a really cool experience with the Book of Mormon lately, that each chapter I read has a message for how I can improve my life and my missionary work. Im in the late chapters of Alma right now, and I have liked how each of the captains of the Nephites have captured different cities by creative strategies. I want to apply that to my work more, thinking outside of the box´. 

I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, just like the Bible is. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and the Christ is always wanting to help us change and improve.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Week 20 in Porvenir

Week #82
7/27/15
Transfer calls were last night. I could hardly keep myself together. Its always such a stressful night, im not sure why. So the call came in, and Im staying! The whole zone only had one transfer, and Elder from our district will be going to Bogotá. Im way excited that I get to stay in this area for another 6 weeks and stay with Elder Chaves. I am ready to work super hard this transfer, and find tons of people. I think Ill also be wearing the same tie for 6 weeks, we´ll se if anybody notices.

So this week was normal. What we have seen in our area is that its hard to get people progressing. We had found a couple people who seemed to have potencial, but theyre not keeping their commitments, so we need to find new people. We knocked doors a little, and will be doing that much more this week. We have found that we lose a lot of time riding around, looking for people to visit that arent home. Weve decided were just going to stay in the sector we´re already in, and contact or knock on doors to find more. Hopefully we will be able to find people who are ready to receive the restored gospel. 

Knocking doors this week has been cool, because twice someone let us in right then and there to share a message. We are hoping that we can have more appointments with them in the future, and help them to come to church. 

Not much else has happened this week. Today we went on a huge hike up a mountain, and it was raining the whole time. We saw waterfalls and crossed steel wire bridges. 

I know that God loves us so much he respects our decisions, good or bad. He is also just with us, rewarding us with the same good or bad we choose. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. The spirit teaches me personally through it how I can improve and change. 

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

in the jungle, typical ´llanero´ outfit







Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 19 in Povenir

Week #81
7/20/15
Its crazy to think Ive almost been in this area for 20 weeks. Ive had the feeling this week that I will be leaving this area at transfers, which are next weekend. I would miss it here a lot, I love working in tierra caliente, but I would like the challenge of Bogotá again. The best part is that the Lord decides that, not me.  
 
This week was a good one. In our weekly planning we realized we have quite a few investigators with potential, but we are also seeing how they use their agency. So finding is becoming important again. Its been hard to visit investigators, and most of our plans have been on the weaker side this week. I have found that as I just do everything I can think to do, and not worry, things work out. Just doing my part and letting the Lord take care of the rest. 

The Rodriguez Lopez family got married on Tuesday, which was amazing. We got to the notary a little bit early, and about 20 people went to the wedding. it was very simple, and someone who worked there just read them the script, and they signed. Although it was very plain, it was a really special moment, and everything was really happy. 
They were baptized on Friday. The service started super late, but it was worth waiting for their family and friends. The branch president baptized William, Elder Chanves baptized Herminia, and I baptized Joseph. The service went well, and we ended getting home just at the limit. They were confirmed Sunday, and William received the aaronic priesthood! That surprised me!

We had a cool experience yesterday. I had called on Saturday a less active member someone had referred to us, and we went yesterday to meet her. She was really nice and open to our visit. She showed a real interest i coming back to church, and we talked a lot about the blessings of the temple to motivate her. At the end of the message she gave us 3 referrals for other areas. I decided to ask her what we call ´the golden question´, ´Who do you know who would be interested in our message, and would benefit from it?´. She told us about one of her neighbors, and took us there to meet her. It was way cool to see how much faith she had, and that she wasn't afraid to share the gospel. 

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that he hears prayer. He will support us i all good things we do, and wants to help us change. I know that we apply Christ´s perfect sacrifice when we live the gospel, and it allows us to change. 

Thanks for reading!





Elder Beck

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Week 18 in Porvenir

Week #80
7/13/15
This week began great. We got to Bogotá around 815, and went to sleep at one of the apartments near the chapel in Quiroga. We got a pizza and soda, and slept on some extra matresses they had there, but I didnt sleep very well. Being in Bogotá was cool, feeling the cold again. We had a meeting with President Baquerizo, the new mission President. He told us about his family, and his life story. We shortly introduced ourselves, and that was about the whole meeting. That was with all the missionaries in Bogotá. Then just our zone had interviews with President, and it was pretty basic. He impacted me with the love and humility he shoed us, and Im really happy. Tusday night we headed back to BogotáVillavicencio, and got home around 9pm. 

The week began well, on Wednesday we had a cool experience. About 2 weeks ago we were looking for a former investigator, but the adress was wrong, and when we knocked on the door a young man let us in, and we shared a short message with him. As we left, we asked him the golden question, ´who do you know that would be interested in our message, and benefit from it?´ He told us that his neighbor in front would, but we didnt go right away, because we had an appointment. We went back on Wednesday, and she let us in, and was really receptive. On Friday we had another lesson, and she´s married! That is not very common here. Se were excited to have found a married family to teach. 

The Rodriguez Lopez family is progressing well, and will be married on Tuesday, and baptized on Friday. We are pretty excited, and I hope they will decide that members, and not us will baptize them. We´ll see on Wednesday in their interviews. 

Yesterday we had another neat experience with a less active couple. The brother is an rm, and they havent ben to church in a long, long time. So last night we got to visit them again, and I hadnt any idea of what we should share with them. One of the lessons, or reading the Book of Mormon just didnt seem right. I decided to begin by explaining our purpose there, that we wanted them to come back to church. I talked about going back to church, and their potential to have an eternal family. I felt a little unsure, being so direct, but they responded positively, which was a huge relief. They commited to coming to church this Sunday, which gave me hope. 

I know the gospel is the only way to trulñy live free, and happy. I know that Thomas S. Monson is called of God, and the apostles have that same calling as those of old. i know the atonement is real, and that we can change our lives through Christ. 

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

Pic:
I found a 2lb tub of planter peanuts!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 17 in Porvenir

Week #79
7/6/15
Wow, its crazy to thing I have already been in this area for 4 months. Yesterday at lunch the distrcit counselor asked me how long id been here. I told him three months, march, april may, june, oh shoot thats four months! I cant believe it. 

So this week the Rodriguez Lopez family finally went to the notary. On Wednesday they got their childrens´ papers, and on Friday they set a date! Theyll get married on the 14th of this months, and baptized on the 17th! They have waited so long, and we are stoked to see that theyll finally be able to be married and baptized! We are going to work hard to get a lot of members there. William asked me if he could invite his family, which was funny. OF COURSE we want his family there. 

Yesterday in church, Oscar Franco got the priesthood, and was ordained to the office of priest, which was so cool to see! He has already had his second interview with the branch president, so we know that he´s in good hands. This week we got to start his family history with him. Although he didnt have a lot of information, we told him how he´ll be able to find more. I love family history!

Happy 4th of July to everyone by the way! I had thought beforehand to order a pizza at night, but we were fasting, so that didnt happen. We did, however go to Elder Wright´s baptism, which was great. The Palacios family got baptized after 5 years of investigating the church. They finally got married, and Nicholas, the dad was radiant. I could feel his joy, finally receiving the saving ordinance. 

The Grey family is doing well, and this week we also found some new investigators. One was a cool experience. We have done more contacting lately, but normally it isnt the most effective. People give us fake adresses and phone numbers, so finding hasnt been the easiest. We went to a lesson we had planned with a lady we talked to in the street. When we first got there her neighbor was looking at us a lot in the window. We said hi, and started a small conversation. We were interrupted when the lady we had contacted answered her door. She told us she was alone, so we set up the lesson for another day, when her whole family would be home. We were about to get on our bikes and leave, when we decided to invite the neighbor to hear our lesson as well. She said, ´sure, Ill listen to you.´ We met Meri(Mary) and Andres, her son. Andres participated a lot in the lesson, and was telling us how he wanted to change his life. It was specail to find someone who was really sincere, and who saw us as representatives of the Savior. 

That was pretty much all that happened this week. Today at 2 pm well get on a bus for Bogotá to have a meeting Tuesday with President Baquerizo, our new mission president, and interviews. 

I know as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ, we con improve our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is like a roadsign, or a trailhead to mark the path we need to follow. I know it is the word of God, and he answers our prayers and questions. 

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck
pictures: 
The selfie stick has come to Colombia, 
the district,
and the reception for the Palacios


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 16 in Porvenir

Week #78
6/29/15
This week has been a lot easier on me. Ive gotten to adjust well to training, and taking the lead on most everything, and I feel a lot more comfortable, although Ive had some stressful moments as well. Taking a moment to breathe, and singing hymns has been my greatest support.  Normally in my planner I make a short list of things I want to talk about for this week, but I didnt do that today, so im gonna wing it. 

This week we found a great new family, the Grey family. They are a referance from the other branch, and came to church 2 weeks ago. They work from 4pm until about mignight, or sometimes into the morning at a fast food place, so we visit them earlier in the afternoon. They dad is unlike any other investigator i have had. Im not sure why or how, but he really, really wants to get baptized, ASAP. Its great, because its a sincere desire, and is acting already. He already called his family in Santa Marta to get his papers to get married. They have a baptismal date for the 25th of July, so we are going to see if we can help them get married for that date. 

This week we started to do ´power hour´ again, which is to apart an hour each doy dedicated to finding. Contacting, visitng members, looking for less actives and former investigators are all part of the plan, and hopefully we will be able to find more new investigators. The fun part is that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are almost completely full with appointments already! I love the work here. 

This week we got to work more with Oscar Franco, and this morning we had an early-morning testimony meeting in our branch. We got to the chapel at 430, and everyone got to share their testimony. It was a great meeting, although only about 16 people came, but Oscar was one of them! It was amazing to see someone who was willing ot make such sacrifices to come to church, especailly for an activity that isnt really required. His testimony was really great, and I felt the spirit as he shared his experience of not being active for about 20 years, and coming back.  I felt so blessed that God has put people in my path that I can help, like Oscar. 

So, as you can imagine im tired today. we got up WAY early, and I havent gotten to sleep. We played soccer with the zone at the chapel, and then to Subway for lunch. What else would you like to know? If you write me Ill try my best to respond.

I know that the Atonement of Christ is perfect. I know that if we sanctify the Sabbath day, God will bless us and provide for us, and more importantly it will help us to stay close to Him. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that anyone, yes anyone, who reads with a real desire to know if it is true will know. 

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Sorry, I forgot camera.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 15 in Porvenir

Week #77
6/22/15

This week was crazy. Tuesday began early, at 4am, in the terminal at 5am, and on our bus to Bogotá at 7ish. We got to Bogotá around 10, transfers meeting at 1030, and trainers meeting at 1230. lunch in the chapel, and training with president for new missionaries until 6. Back to the terminal at 730, lots of traffic in Bogotá. On our bus at 8, out of Bogotá at 9, and off the bus at midnight. So Tuesday was long, but I got my new companion, Elder Chaves. 

Elder Chaves is from Costa Rica, he´s 20 years old and older than I am. He worked in a market before the mission, has been a member all his life, and is a really great missionary. He left his mom and sister in not the easiest of circumstances to come serve the Lord, and is willing to obey what the Lord commands. He´s not a bad teacher, and is quiet, but funny as well. Not too serious, so I'm happy that were pretty similar. 

Training has been a new challenge for me. Having the weight of the area on my shoulders has been kind of heavy, and a lot of appointments have fallen thru this week, so that has been a lot of fun. We have focused more on finding, now that the people who were progressing have disappeared. The lessons have been interesting as well. With new missionaries you never know what will happen. In the MTC they don't teach us about the lessons, or what it is that we teach, so he is finding things out with experience. I feel a lot that the lessons swerve around, and I haven't been able to enjoy the normal control Ive had with past companions, but I'm glad things are changing, so I get to learn. Ive felt that this week my limits have really been pushed, and that my diligence has developed. There have been several moments when I feel mentally exhausted and want a break, but push on because I know there is more we need to do. Its been a great learning and growing experience. I found Jacob 3:1, which has comforted me. 

We got to visit the Corredors last night. We got there and it was raining, and Edinson was outside with his neighbors. He told us they couldn't receive us because Jamile, his wife was sick. I told him that we could give her a blessing if he would like, and they let us in. We quickly shared a scripture from James, and gave the blessing. Although we didn't teach anything it was really nice to be with that family again and help them. It looks like we will be able to start teaching again, which im excited about. 

Not much else has happened this week. I know that God sends his gospel to his children, and that the spirit softens hearts. I know that perseverance is or great goal and that when life gets easy, we can expect new hills and mountains. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, anyone who reads it with real intent and asks God can know of its truth through the Holy Ghost. 

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 14 in Porvenir

Week #76
6/15/15
 
This week went better than the last. We were able to do more finding, and we expect more new investigators in the week to come. I had a really good fast on Sunday, and I felt the peace of the spirit in the fast and testimony meeting. My companion bore testimony, and it seemed like his farewell from the branch, and the transfers confirmed it. i felt pretty nervous Sunday afternoon for the transfer call. Elder Carrera will go to Villajavier in Bogotá, and I will stay in our area, and I get to train a new missionary. I'm really excited for such a great opportunity. So we go to Bogotá tomorrow, I assume early in the morning. 

This week began the American Cup soccer tournament with the countries from South America. So everyone it getting pretty into it. The bummer was that Colombia lost the first game against Venezuela. So far, its not as intense as the World Cup, but well see how things go in the next week. 

This week William finally got his papers! He went on Friday, and they have to get Herminia´s papers again because they expired, but that shouldn't take too long. They'll go to the notary this week to set a date. Everything is going well with their son Joseph, and he wants to get baptized with them too. Were happy after so much effort, the Rodriguez Lopez family will able to get married. 

The challenge we have seen has been with Kelly and the Corredor family. The Corredor family almost dropped us in our visit on Thursday, and on Friday we couldn't set the next appointment which was a bummer. Were not sure what happened, but Edinson, the dad, doesn't want to listen anymore. He says he wants to look into other churches. They told us they've felt an inexplicable feeling when the read the Book of Mormon and in the lessons, but they don't recognize it as the spirit or their answer, and we cant really tell them that they got their answer. That wouldn't work. So they told us they'd make a decision, and that he would call us. Kelly has been working a lot, and hasn't been able to receive us either. It feels like she takes it all too casually, but i don't know how we can help her to be more serious about her salvation. 

So that is everything new for this week. I know the doctrine of Christ has been restored in these days, and that God has called prophets again. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that the Lord provides. Have faith in him, he loves you. 

Thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

Pictures: 
My companion and me, and the branch presidents family(he is the one in the glasses.)

 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week 13 in Piamonte

Week #75
6/9/15
This week went much better than last. We got to teach more, and we gave a chunk of our area to the other Elders, so now we can concentrate better on what we've got. The mission president came to villavicencio, and we had our last interviews and training from him. We have a few families progressing, and today was a lot of fun!

Well, this week our leaders taught us about the importance of asking ´inspired questions´, and how it can really change a lesson. So we have been putting that into practice, and with the Rodriguez Lopez family it really helped us out. We have been working with them for a while, and they are so close to being baptized. William, the dad, just needs his papers, and he has gone 4 times to the pueblo where he is from, but they wont fix them. In our lesson we were asking them some good questions, and they expressed how stressed they have been with their business. We have seen that for these past months, but we haven't known how to bring it up. Their business just takes up so much of their time, and they don't dedicate a lot to their 2 sons. We took advantage of the situation to teach them the blessing we receive when we put God first in our lives, and make his commandments our priority. They seemed to really consider our message, and it was a spiritual lesson. William will go back to the pueblo this week, and hopefully they'll be able to set a date. They came to district conference, and are progressing well!

Things have also gone well with Kelly. She broke up with her boyfriend, and told us she will be moving out as soon as she gets a job, so that rocked! We taught them the doctrine, and they made the good decisions, which was great to see. She didn't come to church, which concerned us, but we have a lesson tonight and we are planning on reading Alma 32 with her to help her to progress more. So we will see how our lesson goes tonight!

Oscar is still progressing really well, he came to church too, and we got to visit him twice this week. On Saturday we didn't have lunch, and he invited us to lunch. But, it wasn't just any old lunch, he took us to an asadero for carne a la mamona, which is the typical dish in this province. Its big chunks of slow grilled meat, and it was really good. I felt so flattered that he treated us to such a nice lunch, and felt really appreciated. We are hoping he can be our new ward mission leader. 

On Sunday we had interviews with the President, and I felt really good in my interview. He told me I need to smile more, which has been tough for me. I guess when I don't smile I look really, really serious. Then yesterday we had a training with president, and he gave a great class. He gave us his last words, because he ends his mission with the month. I'm really grateful to have had such a great president. He took us out to carne a la mamona, so I got to eat those tasty flanks twice this week. That was great. 

Today we had a busy day. we played soccer, and then had Mexican food for lunch. It was  amazing having Mexican rice and beans again, and having a burrito. Then we went bowling! It was tough getting used to a shorter lane, but I had a lot of fun, and learned to take score by hand! We had a great pday!

I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is God´s kingdom here on earth. I know that Christ directs us. I know he loves us, and want to send us His spirit as our guide. All depends on our obedience and dedication to him. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that daily reading from it brings us closer to God.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck