Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 16 in Piamonte

Week #57
Well, another week gone, one week more, one week less, as my companion says. 
This week went really well, and the work is really progressing here in Piamonte 2. 
Well, on Wednesday a lot happened. We had lunch with Ximena, and she gave us ´sopa de menudencias´. I can imagine that you know that sopa is soup. But menudencias are all the parts of the chicken we would throw out. The heart, liver, feet, and other parts. So they make a delicious soup, and then throw that in there. The best part was that a member jokingly had told Ximean that I love that soup, and she believed it. So she gave me ALL the menudencias. Well not all of them, but a lot. Like 5 feet, 4 hearts, a liver and some other stuff. As we were sharing a message with her, we saw Viviana Caballero walk by. If you remember, about 2-3 months ago we were teaching her and her sister Liliana, but they went on vacation. So Viviana came back, and after the visit with Ximena we visited her. It was really cool to see her again. I really enjoyed that. 
After those visits we had a really good visit with María Eugenia. We were talking about her receiving an answer about what she should do, and she told us that she had had a dream where her dad was talking to her, saying soething about the mormons, but she couldnt understand what he said. I told her that he knew he could receive baptism and the rest of the saving ordinances through her if she went to the temple, and it was a cool moment, and I felt the Spirit. 
María Eugenia also came to church this Sunday, which was great. She told us she was going to leave after the second hour, but we really wanted her to stay all 3, but we knew trying to force her wouldnt work, and it would bother her so we just said okay. Then she came back and told us she decided to stay for Relief Society as well. That was super cool. 
Not too much else special has happened this week. It has been pretty normal. 
Im really happy here in our area, and I know that we are doing the Lord´s work. I love being a missionary, and wouldnt rather be anywhere else. I know God lives, and loves us. 
Thanks for reading! 
Elder Beck

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 15 in Piamonte

Week #56
Wow. This week flew by, and it was great! We did a lot of divisions with members, and were able to teach a lot of lessons.

On Wednesday we had a training meeting with the mission president about family history. He had us all read Elder Bednar´s talk from the October 2014 Liahona before, which is about missionary work, family history and temple work. I highly reccomend it. So we learned how to help members and investigators with there family history. President and the member he invited to talk to us made a lot of promises about the Spirit of Elias, and family history work. So I am excited to get started with family history with the people we teach in our area. 

Well, this week María Eugenia came to church for the first time! We have been teaching her for about 9 weeks, but about 4 weeks ago we felt we should keep trying to help her and not drop her, and we are seeing the fruits. She works on Sundays, and every other day of the week in her restaurant. She finally came to church this week, and she said she felt good in sacrament meeting. It was great to see her there. So I am hopeful for her potential. 

We havent been able to have a lesson with Ximena this week, which is a bummer because she has her baptismal date for this Saturday. It would seem that she isnt going to make it. We still need to teach her 2 lessons, and she cancelled on this morning´s lesson as well, but she did come to church! That was great too. She is willing to make time for the important things, but we just need to help her understand the doctrine a bit better. 

I have been really happy this week, and we have worked hard. Ive been getting home BEAT and have fallen back a few days on my journal writing, which is a bummer. But Ill catch back up this week. Im really happy with my area, its cray the changes the Lord has made here. We have a solid group of people were teaching, and we are finding more every week. Im really happy here. I know that God loves us, and is aware of us. I know that only through baptism by fire and water can we return to God´s presence (John 3:5). I know that the authority of God has been restored, and through the ordinances of the gospel we can apply the atonement to our lives. 

Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 14 in Piamonte

Week #55
So this week has been SUPER busy, but great! William was baptized! So I´ll go thru the whole story of the madness with that to begin. We had a lesson with him Tuesday morning. We talked about his baptismal interview, and his preparedness. As we went back home, we called the stake president to have the interview, and he told us he ONLY could on that day (Tuesday). So we quickly called William to set up our trip to the stake center with him, and called the member in our ward who has a car so he could take us. He is normally super busy, but he said he could help us out. So Elder Rodriguez went with the brother and William to the interview, and I stayed with a priest in our ward to make the visits. He passed his interview, and said he felt really strong feelings (the spirit) in his interview. The rest of the week went normal with him. Then Saturday came. We went on divisions again to be able to have our appointments, and I went with a recent convert to prepare the chapel. We cleaned up and filled the font without many problems. Just that when we entered the chapel the alarm went off. I ran across the chapel to shut it off, but the police and a worker form the security company still came. So that was fun. My second run in with the police here ( the first was when they patted me down in my first area.) A lot of people came to the service which was great, including Ximena! Elder Rodriguez and I sang ´teach me to walk in the light´ just before the service. Then we went to the water. IT WAS COLD. The heater in the chapel is broken... So we had to put a shoulder under William´s arm and hold a leg, and we carried him into the water. We put a chair in, and when I first performed the ordinance, his waist didn't go under the water, because the chair was too tall. So my companion told me we wee going to take out the chair. He lifted up William by his armpits, and I took out the chair. As my companion held William, I performed the ordinance, and we managed to get all of him under the water. When he bore his testimony after, he said that he couldn't describe what he felt. He was confirmed yesterday, and everything is great with him. 

Ximena has also been doing great. She said that after seeing William´s baptism she feels more motivated for the 24th. She came to church, and we visited her yesterday as well. She is really prepared. She has a testimony, all of her attendances, and loves the church. She just needs to fix things with her boyfriend, so she can be at peace. But she told us she is going to completely end things if he makes a comment she doesn't like again, so she is willing. 

This week was very busy, but it felt good to work a lot and always be doing something. We didn't find any new investigators this week, but we finally have people progressing, and I am very content. We didn't study much this week, because we visited William every morning we had available. So yeah, I'm happy.

Today was a crazy day as well. We got to go to the temple, but we had to be there for the 8AM session, which meant being on a but at 6, and getting up before 5. So we went and it was a really neat experience going back after 6 months. Then we came back home, and went to play pool and ping pong in a place they have near our house with our district leader and his companion. So we played there, and then went back home and had Chinese food, from the Chinese people who have a restaurant here. Its so good. I suppose that doesn't sound like much, but it was. I also got my haircut, and did my grocery shopping. so I'm pretty happy with today. 

I am so glad to be here in Colombia, there is nothing else that I would rather be doing in this time. I know God lives, and that he wants to make covenants with each one of us. I know he loves you, and me. I know that we have the freedom to choose, but that when we make mistakes, we can be forgiven through the Christ and His atonement. 

Thanks so much for reading!
William at his baptism,
I found OH´s in the supermarket. (only my favorite cereal),

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 13 in Piamonte

Week #54
Well, I am not in a writing mood today, but I will try to make this the greatest letter you've ever read in your whole life. Also, the good thing about not being in a writing mood is that im typing. That was a lame joke. Sorry. 
Well this week went quite well. Our investigators are progressing, we found new people to teach, and the members seem pretty excited for a new year. 
So new year´s was crazy here. We went to bed at normal time, 1030, but people played their music all night. They take out their HUGE speakers and just set them to full volume. I think the music stopped around 5AM. And then when we went out to work on the 1st, we realized the part hadn't stopped. Everyone was grilling meat, and drinking. I think they partied harder on the 1st than on Christmas Eve, Christmas, or the 31st. That was surprising for us. So it wasn´t the easiest to make visits this week, but we still managed to have a week that was way better than the ones weve had. 
So we have been visiting the members more here, trying to help them feel our love, and help them become more converted, hoping that we will receive more references from them. So on Friday we went to visit a member, and when she answered the door, she told us to wait, that the owners of the house wanted to meet us. So our plan is definitely working! The family she introduced us to was really great, and the parents seemed to understand really well our purpose in helping them follow God better in their lives. 
William is doing great, he came to church, and has all the determination to be baptized on Saturday. So were pretty excited! My area hasn't had a baptism in just about 6 months, so we´re getting things going again. I'm excited for William, and were going to visit him daily this week to help him be super prepared for his baptism. 
Ximena is doing great as well. I don't know if I wrote about her last week, but I know that 2 weeks ago, I told about the prayer I made, that someone would come to church that I wasn't expecting. So that was Ximena, and she is doing great. The motor for her investigation and interest in the church is definitely the change she saw in her sister, who is a convert. We were able to visit her once this week, and she accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of this month. So we´re pretty excited for her. She came to church, but not to our ward, since we start at 8am now, and the other ward is at 10am. But she told us in the chapel this week she would be coming to church at 8. 
This week Elder Rodriguez hasn't been feeling that great. He has had a headache a lot, and it makes it tough for him to work. Ive been trying to help him out, and he has been taking medicine, but nothing seems to be working. I think that we will have to go to a doctor this week. 
I'm really happy to be in my area. Although things haven't been easy, we are finally starting to see more success.I know that God loves us, and that He is aware of us. He wants the best for us, but he wont often interfere, He loves us enough to step back and let us act for ourselves. He does, however, always give us second and third chances. I know we have those extra opportunities because of the Christ. I know he payed for our sins, and through him we can be clean. I know that the Book of Mormon helps us grow closer to God, and He can speak to us through it.
Thanks so much for reading,
Elder Beck
Psalms 31:23, 1 John 4:19