Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 16 in Porvenir

Week #78
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

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
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

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
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

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 12 in Porvenir

Week #74
This week things turned around on us. Theres not too much to report, because we couldnt do too much. We saw a lot of challenges with appointments falling through, commitments incompleted, and discouragement. These last 3 weeks we have taught a lot of lessons, and we have had a lot of success. This week we hard a hard time every day finding people at home to receive the message. That made things really tough for us, because out here the worst thing is to have nothing to do. But, we did have some great experiences as well that kept us going. 

The first was finding a less active member, Oscar, who hadnt known anything of the church for over 10 years. He got baptized with his grandmother when he was 10, and she passed away shortly after, and he never went back to church, being just a little kid. He talked to us in a bike shop when my companion was getting his bike fixed probably 3 weeks ago, but the appointments had fallen through with him continuously until this week. He tells us he feels a strong desire to come back to church, and expressed that he feels God is calling him back. He came to church, and is showing great progress. 

The Corredor family is also doing great. They came to church this week, which was amazing! They are such a special family, and last night they accepted a baptismal date for the 4th of July! It will be difficult for them to make it so fast, because getting them married doesnt seem so easy, but they are one of our favorite families to visit right now. We´re pretty pumped on their progression. 

On Saturday Carol was baptized! The baptismal service was a little stressful, because few members came, and she got to the chapel an hour early, and we ended up waiting around a lot. The baptism went well, and she gave a great testimony afterward. She showed a realy conviction to follow Christ and told those present that God had told her this was her path. 

Sunday morning I noticed the branch president was a little stressed before we started, and I asked if there was anything I could do to help him. He told me I could give a talk. It was 7:55, and the meeting was about to start. I accepted, and I felt really nervous as my turn to speak came up. President had asked me to speak on tithing, and the blessings we can receive from paying a full tithe. I felt that everything I said just flowed out, and felt really blessed that the Spirit could make my talk so easy. I also gave the gospel principles class, but I had prepared before, so that turned out pretty easy as well. I am so glad that my heavenly father has watched over me and guided me in my difficult moments.

I think I have learned a lot this week about hope, and trusting in God´s promises. I really like what my missionary calling says, that as I serve the Lord with all myy heart, might, and strength, he will direct us to those who are ready to be baptized. I know that God loves us, and that challenges and problems are necessary for our progress and conversion.

Thanks for reading!
Elder Beck

giant 12-áncake breakfast with Elder Reed, 
Carol´s baptism,
Pizza on Saturday night!