Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 2 in Campina

Week #90
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
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
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!

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