Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 7 in Porvenir

Week #69
I´m really happy with how this week went. We are teaching a lot of people in our area who have, and show sincere desires to follow Christ, so that makes working with them and loving them really easy. It didn't rain too much this week, just twice. But it pours here. They say all of April it just dumps, which has proven rather true. We got pretty soaked on Saturday morning when we went to make a visit and then to our meeting with the ward mission leader. 

Well, we are beginning to teach a girl who is 18 years old, and belongs to the pentecostal church. We have shared with her most of the basic stuff, and she invited us to her church in a visit this week. I was kind of confused. I didn't know what to say. I knew that we weren't going to go to her church, and any way I could think of to say no seemed rude. Then it came to me to begin explaining that we believe to be the true church of God. How convenient right? that we come to you and tell you we have all the truth, and all the other churches don't have the same. But, you can know for yourself if what we tell you is true, or not. It was easy to explain the importance of the Book of Mormon, and searching for a testimony to know for one´s self. We ended up committing her to look for an answer from God about what she should do, and it was a neat experience.

In church this week the agenda was rather slim, and the branch was looking for people to speak. After the interlude hymn, the counselor of the branch president said that a ´brother call´´ would bear his testimony. I felt rather confused for a moment. There aren't any members in the branch named call. And how would there be? Its such an American last name. Then an RM from our mission got up and bore his testimony. It was very strange seeing someone from the states who didn't wear a name badge, but it was funny as well. 

This week I have seen my testimony grow a lot. I have personally tested the promise of the Book of Mormon to read, ponder, and pray. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that God answers prayers. He loves us, and wants each of us to know the truth. He lives, and the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is the kingdom of God on earth. 

Sorry, there's not much else to report this week, but thanks for reading!

Elder Beck

For the absence of photos, ill give you a few scriptures to ponder.

Micah 6:8, Ecclesiastes 3:14, Moroni 7:31, Matthew 10:39, and Romans 14:9. Maybe they seem ordinary, but they've meant a lot to me this week, and I want to share them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 6 in Porvenir

 Me during my personal study
Week #68

Well, this week got off to a rough start. Last Monday night we visited a part member family that we had been teaching. We hadn't been able to visit them for about 2-3 weeks, because the dad, who isn't a member was in Bogotá for work. The last lesson we had had was great, and they were really excited to progress in the gospel. Then, when we got there we began to start the lesson, and the dad interrupted us, and basically told us that he didn't want to change his religion, and that he wasn't going to keep listening to us. The mom, who is a member, said similar things, which also gave us the impression they wouldn't be coming back to church. It just felt like a really bad breakup, and they really beat around the bush. That put a damper on our day, and Tuesday morning I felt a little discouraged. Through it all, prayer was a great aid to get through it all. 

On Thursday we were teaching a guy outside his work, in the street, and as we taught him, two other people came up and started listening, it was kind of funny, but also really fulfilling. It felt like we were preaching in the street. Although teaching on the side of a busy street with a bunch of noise and foot traffic isn't super effective, it was a cool experience. This week I also had some great experiences giving priesthood blessings, where I felt power as I gave blessings. 

This week in all, went really well. We finally found more than 1 new investigator, and quite a few people came to church and stayed all 3 hours. I'm really happy that with our hard work we are seeing results. It has rained every day this week, and so much today that the power went out in our neighborhood for about 2 hours. The days it rains early it gets really hot. It normally dries up in about 3 hours, and stays really humid until night. 

I know that God lives, and that he answers prayers. I know that if we ask, He will answer. I know that His work is to bring us to immortality and eternal life. I know Christs atonement is real.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 5 in Porvenir

Week #67
This week was rather ordinary. We went to Bogotá Monday afternoon, and I got to sleep in one of the houses in my old zone, which was fun. The bus ride was about 4 hours on the way there, and we got to the house at 9:20. Our training with president on Tuesday was a lot different, he didnt teach much that was new, but did remind us of a lot of old things he had taught us. I liked the meeting a lot, and I learned a lot. We promptly came back to Villavicencio, and the bus ride was shorter. It was nice unwinding and chatting with my district leader. We got home around 7 and we got to make one visit before the night was up. 

One difficulty we have been having is that our appointments fall through- a lot. We are able to fill up our planners with appointments each hour, but people cancel a lot, or we get there, and they're not home. I suppose we have to really look into who wants to receive us, and who doesn't. Thats probably the biggest challenge here in the smaller cities in our mission; finding people who really want to change and progress. Many people seem to be very content just with where they're at. So we do a lot of looking. 

We began to do something I really like this week. There is a question in PMG that says, ¨Who do you know that would be interested in our message and benefit themselves from it?¨ Our mission president has taught us, like PMG says to always ask that question. Ive always asked it, but not with the specific wording. Its interesting, this week I asked with the exact wording, verbatim, and it was much more effective. Then, when the members began talking about someone we would ask them the name of the person. We write down that name in the ´potential investigator´section of our planner. We have about 5 of those pages, with 19 spaces on each page. In 6 weeks, we normally fill up maybe 1 of those 6 pages, but now we are filling it up much more, and we will be able to do better follow-up with the members sharing the gospel. 

Ive realized this week that its hard to get out of bed, especially because I'm on the second bunk without a ladder. As they say here, que pereza. But things are great. I'm really content, and love being here.

I know God loves us, and that He send messengers to prepare the world for the second coming. I know that there are apostles and prophets in our day. I know that the Book of Mormon i brings us closer to God. I have experienced it. 

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

me with President and sister Lozano, and my companion

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 4 in Porvenir

Week #66
This week has gone by quick. We didn't have much success this week, due to a lack of time and this being a holiday week here in Colombia. This week was the ´holy week´ or, semana santa. So this is the next biggest holiday after Christmas and New Years, so a lot of people were on vacation, and out and about. That impeded us from having a little more success. But I'm not worried about it, well do better this week. 

So last Monday night we went to visit a new investigator we found from the church website, he ha asked for our visit. His name is Marlon, and he is a Jehovah´s witness. It is really cool teaching him, and his perspective is really exemplary. The Jehovah´s Witnesses are really strong here in Colombia, and they tend to be very firm in their beliefs, but Marlon is really searching to know what is true. When we teach him something that is new, he is very accepting, and is asking God to receive an answer. He even came to general conference! So hopefully things keep going well with him.

I saw this week that every action and decision I make have direct effects with my relationship with the Holy Spirit, and I loved President Eyring´s talk about the need to pray and have the spirit to exercise priesthood power. I also had a cool experience in a lesson last night. We were out with our branch president, visiting a less active family, and they had been chatting for a good while, and he turned to me to share a scripture. So we said an opening prayer, and I had no idea what to share. My mind was blank. In the prayer I asked God to tell me what scripture to share, so I could communicate His message to this family, and not just something I could teach. I asked but felt nothing. Then I asked again, much more earnestly, and felt the Spirit comfort me. I didnt know what scripture to share still, but I knew I would be guided. I took out the Book of Mormon, and it came to me to look for a scripture about our purpose here. I taught Alma 42:4, that our life is a time to repent and be tested. I know the Spirit can guide us if we beckon to him, and humble ourselves before God. 

Today we will head up to Bogotá for training, and will come back tomorrow. So, we are short on time. sorry! 

I really loved the general conference talks, and I feel like I learned a lot. I know that there are God-sent prophets here on earth, and that their messages were inspired. I invite all of you to return to the talks we heard and didn't, and study them again. 

Thanks so much for reading!

Elder Beck

my normal breakfast, Elder Borchert (WA) on our exchange, the gringos watching conference in English

And the countryside here

 the way they spell my name on mail...