Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 25 in Porvenir

Week #87
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
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
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
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
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!