Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hey greenie, "now teach prophets"

Beck Family!

This last week was so crazy, like just nothing went down like life shoulda gone down. But still fun, like crazy fun.

I went on exchanges this last week with elder C. He has been out for about 7 weeks, and i went with him into his area. His area is the very down town of long beach. it was a pretty fun night. Guess what, at 7 weeks you might not know that much spanish, if like any. So basically i was just getting to talk to all of the investigators and try to teach them without having any real knowledge about them, and basically doing it without a on of help, based on the whole spanish issue. but we did get into one house at about 8 and we started teaching the restoration to this potential. I started, got up to the point that we talk about prophets, and then stopped talking, and looked at this greenie and said "now teach prophets," With a little fear of God and can do attitude, he then taught about prophets with all of the spanish that he knows. And the investigator completely understood everything he was trying to say. I dont believe that if i had taught that point he would have understood it any better than when this very young missionary still getting a hold of the language taught it. God makes up for what we can not do. It brought the spirit, made me realize that the spirit is often in a response to our faith, and our willingness to act on our faith. REally cool moment.

Also, just cause i am back in the ghetto, here is a ghetto story. We were going by an investigator at 8 at night. As we are knocking on his 2nd story apartment door, we see a police helicopter come zooming in down low and start circling the neighborhood where we are at, spotlighting the streets. Well this type of stuff happens literally, without exxageration, every night, so we dont really think a lot about it. But then the next day as we are passing by a member that lives cloes by to where we were, she asks if we heard any of the gunshots from the night before at about 8. She said that there was a large gunfight in that neighborhood the night before and 2 people were killed and that the police had come around talking to everybody if they had seen anything. Just saying, long beach is the hood. Adn just saying, this has to be proof of the divine protection that we have as missionaries, cause we are right around this stufff everyday, this stuff is almost constant. But never hfave i felt afraid of someting happening to us, we just do the right things and everything works out, we get guided out of danger. Cool right.

Me and elder Cm are gearing up to have a really good week. WE want to have what we call a perfect week, totally sanctified and obedient and time effective. It is one thing that i do not want to happen, i do not want to loose my fire at the end of my mission., In fact, i want to keep pushing hard, even pushing harder than ever before. I want to give it all. As coach Wilson would say, i want to leave it all out on the field. That is my goal, and this week sure is gonna do that, we are just pushing each other to be better, and we know that as we do this we are going to see miracles in this area, things are just going to explode here. Well love you family, thank you for everything that you do. take care.

Beck out,

Elder Beck

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm back in the HOOD!

Beck Family!

Hope ya'll liked my letter last week, i thought that would be funny. but afterall, the hood really is my home now, im gonna be straight outta compton for the rest of my life.

But for real, leaving pico rivera was one of the hardest things i have done my whole mission. I loved that place so much. The ward was my favorite i have ever served in. all of the people that i met, the people we taught, it just truly became my home and i loved it, i was legitmately 'home sick' for days. I think more homesick than when you dropped me off at the MTC. It was hard, but i know that God has moved me here for a reason. And to be honest, of all places to go after leaving pico, back to the Long Beach 16th ward has to be a pretty good place. My area right now is just below the area where i was once serving, so its the neighboring area. It is super cool, all of the same type of crazy stuff, lots of one way streets and hood life. super familiar, and awesome. My comps name is elder C, not gonna like, he is a super good guy. I really like being with him, we just get along really good, and we are both focused on workinghard cause there is so much potential here. Its gonna be a great transfer together.

Yesterday at church was awesome cause i got to see lots of the members from the last time i was here. Including Hermana C!!! yes i am back with my 3rd grandma, and it is awesome. She says she wants to make me a blanket, that just seems like such a grandma thing to do, she is the best. But i also got to see lots of other people as well, which was really cool. This last week we tauaght a ton of lessons, but had a hard time getting the members to ocme out with us and help us teach. We are gonna focus more this week on getting members out with us every day, cause we are teaching a lot every day here. There is a lot of potential with this area, me and elder carman and just gonna see it explode here.

Funny thing that happened this last week. We talked to this big scary looking black guy at 8:30 at night. He asked a couple crzy questions, just wasnt interested in anything we had to say, so we offered to just give him a mormon.org card to take with him. WE give it to him, he looks at it and starts walking away. As he is walking away, he looks back at us and yells "so its Mormon.org right?" we say yes, he then looks at the  card again, and then opens a big blue US postal service mail box that is next to him, and throws the card in and yells back " No worries brudas, ill remember it."     Back in the hood.

This is at the top of our morning run

Pretty sweet mural!

We are a happy Family

Elder America
We also had some really spiritual expereinces this last week as we taight. We really set expectations with a lot of people and found out who really wants to act and who just wants our company. As we found those that really want to act, we invited them to make big changes in there lifes, and the spirit was just confirming everything we said to people. I believe we have a lot of potential for this upcoming transfer, miracles are happening here among the people. Love you family, take care.

Beck out,
Elder Beck

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Goob Bye Pico--this is sad!

Beck Family,

I am very sorry to have to say this, i honestly never thought this would happen. It was so unexpected, and i am so sad that i have to tell you guys this. I got a call from the mission President on Friday night releasing me as a zone leader. He wouldnt tell me why, he just said it had to happen. Next thing i know the on saturday the Assistents are telling me that i am going home. I was speechless, i honestly didnt think it would happen. But they said that i am going home on Tuesday, and that i need to start packing right now and saying goodbye. I couldnt believe it, I still cant believe it. I said goodbye to lots of people in Pico cause i will probably never see them again. I am so sad, in all honesty, more sad than i have ever been on my mission. But i cant change what President has said, i really am going home. That is right, this Tuesday i am getting transferred back to Compton! Thats back to my old hood that I call home. 

Oh my goodness, this is not an exxageration this week guys, this last week was crazy. Straight up crazy, let me drop it on ya'll.

So first thing, we found a family of 4 to teach this last week, we picked them all up, and they are looking good. We got to them from contacting the kid in the park. For real, we talk to everybody, cause you just never know who is ready to accept you.

But back to the first paragraph. Yes, i really have been released as a zone leader. I have been one for 7 1/2 months, and right now i am the oldest zone leader in the mission. And president has said that he doesnt want us dieing in leadership positions, that he wants us to return to the field and normal work before we go home. And that is what i am doing. And yes, i am also going back to the long beach 16th ward, and i am going to the area right below my old compton area. So i am pretty excited for that. That is probably where i am going to finish out my old mission. Going back to my gansta hood is one of the only things that makes this worth it. Because i am going to be leaving Pico.

In all honesty i am more sad than happy. I have never loved an area or a ward like this before. i love it here so much, i feel like i have grown so much being here and that working here has really changed my life. I know the whole city so well, just all of the people, i love it. This is my favorite ward i have ever been in, the members are just so good, literally everybody is just so loving and happy to work with us here. I have made such good friends and have learned from such good examples here. I started saying my goodbyes on Saturday, and it has taken me the whole weekend, and will take me all of tonight to say goodbye to everyone here. After 7 1/2 months you really get to know a lot of people, and they mean a lot to you. So sad to leave here, to not live in a 4 man pad anymore. 

The one experience i will share from this last week was on sunday. On sunday at church during sacrament meeting i told B that i am getting moved and that i leave in a couple of days. Her eyes immediately welled up with tears, and then she started to cry. It hurt me in my heart. She said "but you and elder Wahlen are my angels, what am i going to do without you?" I simply told her that in reality i never really did anything, all i did was try to represent somebody that really can help  her, who is Jesus Christ. She cried the entire church service. I bore my testimony during testimony meeting, and during it i felt choked up to say goodbye to everybody. I could see through my own tears many of them crying as well. This is what i have learned this week, that we really do have an impact of peoples lives when we represent Jesus Christ. That as we do what he would do at all times, we really do help and uplift and become important to other people. It was amazing to me to see that i meant a lot to this ward, which is full of people that mean a lot to me. I am never going to forget being here, these people have forever changed me. I am going to go say goodbye to a couple more people tonight, including B
, and i am probably gonna cry like a baby. Leaving these people hurts more than it has leaving any other group of people, and i think that is because it has taken me this long to start to try and understand who is jesus christ and how he would act. Cause when we do that, we naturally feel a love for people that is so strong. I am going to carry that back into my Compton area, and i will work relentlessly hard for my last little bit. I am gonna keep giving it my all, because these people deserve it, and because i have felt so much of this same love that Jesus Christ has for me. I love you all family, have a great week.


Beck out,

Elder Beck


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I got to "Meet the Mormons" first!

Howdy Beck Family!

Alright alright, let be break it down for ya'll this is what went down dis last week.

To start, I went on exchanges with elder N this last week. You remember that guy right? He was my companion, one of my favorites ever, we were together for a transfer, and then he got called to be an assistant? Well he came back to pico with me for a day, cause the APs go on exchanges with all of the zone leaders. It was super fun, honestly loved it. That guy is da best, reason that he is the AP. Anyways, our day was super good as we went and visited some cool members and investigators back from when he was here. Super fun day. We taught a ton at the first days of the week, super effective, and just good missionary work. One Thursday we had zone meeting, so that is basically a meeting that us ZLs run and make for our zone, we give trainings to them that we got at the last mission leadership conference. ITs super fun, and it went really well. I gave a training on being bold with ourselves. That was my 6th zone meeting that i have done. Not gonna lie, i feel really comfortable with them, it just doesnt freak me out to get up and train any amount of missionaries anymore on anything. The training went well, like i said it was about boldness relating to ourselves, and how we need to have our expectations of ourselves meet Gods expectations of ourselves.

Also, on Friday, we had a zone conference. That is a big meeting with multiple other zones and the mission president comes too. IT as 7 1/2 hours long. So long, so many trainings. Thankfully we didnt have to give any this time. It was really good, and I still really love anything that our mission president says, he just has the presence of being an inspired man. Then suprise happened, we all got to watch 'Meet The Mormons.' Apparently it is a big movie/documentary that the church  has made that will be in the theaters. They First Presidency asked that all the missionaries see it before it comes out so that we can use it as a proselyting tool. So the very first pre screening of a movie in my whole life has happened on my mission, did not think that would happen. It was really good, and the part of the movie where it shows some clips from a college football game were enough of a tender mercy to make me boast of my God. For real, that was great, i really liked it, really well made, and clears up SOOO many misconceptions that SOOO many people have.

Then, the rest of the weekend we spend watching general conference. IT was all so good. I was watching it with some specific questions, and it was amazing as i felt i was getting the exact answers to the questions that I had. I love the conference, so of my favorite talks were Pres. Uchtdorfs priesthood session talk, and the russian/ukranian guy whose name i cant remember. But trust me, i liked his talk. And by some miracle after saturday and sunday conferences we were guided into lessons that we didnt have planned that just happened to have members there and ready to help us teach. I think it was a reward for listening hard to general conference.

This last week i was feeling pretty down on myself for 1 night. I was refelcting back a lot on my time as a missionary. It got started from this from the training that i gave in zone meeting, about being bold with youself. I think i took it to far, because very quickly i wasnt just being bold with myself, but i was breaking myself down for every single imperfection i have. I was suddenly only seeing all of the things i have done wrong on my mission, and the things that i continuously do wrong. It suddenly got me very discouraged, and i alsmost never really get discouraged, but it happened. I starting to think that i hadnt learned everything i was supposed to in my time as a missionary, and that i had let to much time pass by without fully using it, and that now since the time was gone i wouldnt be able to fully grow to who God needs me to be on my mission. It was terrible, it was a huge self critical mess. That is something that i know i do to myself a lot, i am my own worst critic. But another missionary gave me some very wise words and comfort, and then through prayer and general conference, a very powerful answer came through all of this. IT was that we are probably meant to struggle while in this life. Disappointments and trials and mistakes are a part of mortality. It doesnt make them fun, but it makes then necessary. And so i shouldnt be to suprised if i look back and find lots of those, even within my mission years. I am not lowering my expectations of what i want to do and become on my mission. It simply helped me accept that we are not perfect, that i am very much not perfect, and that improvement is a hard process, so i shouldnt kill myself for my mistakes. I still need to improve, i still need to get better, but i know that the process is more that just a 2 year process, it is in fact a life time process. That is what i had to accept, that im not going to reach perfection on the mission just cause i am a missionary, but that in reality it will take lonnger and it will take more from me to get there. That was what i learned this last week, it changed me.

Thank you for everything family, love you all, have a good week.

Beck out,
Elder Beck

P.S. this is me and a lobster that i ate with mexican hot sauce. i did not pay for this lobster, got it from some members. crazy good, proablay cost a lot. it was even better with the cheap hot sauce that i love.

Also, nobody freak out, but i got bit by a little dog this last week. the first time i have actually gotten bit. you have no idea how many dogs i have kicked on my mission, the one time i dont kick a dog the little sucker bites me. not gonna happen again muchachos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Elder Beckhas become chili and lime kinda missionary! on FIRE

Beck Family!

So this last week was super good. We have in our mission what is known as a standard of excellence. It has to do with the key indicators, which are like our numbers that we use to report our missionary work. The standard of excellence is 12 member present lessons a week, 3 new investigators a week, 2 investigators at church, 20 total member present lessons, and being completely obedient and having perfect mornings. This last week we reached the standard of excellence. To be honest, most weeks we always teach and find enough to make it, but we have needed to get back to getting over 10 member presents a week for a little bit. But this week we got it and it was not to hard, just took some planning. We found some really good new investigators this last week. Its these two brothers C and F, they are in their 20's, and pretty cool. They are super funny cause they take anything that we say and act like that is what they have believed for their whole life. Like we were teaching about the atonement and we taught about how they can receive forgiveness for their sins only through the atonement. After we explained that C is like "well of course man, its only through Jesus Christ that we do anything, and man that is just so true, I try and tell people that all the time that its all about Jesus Christ, and that he died for us and because he payed for our sins that is how we actually get rid of our sins, man it just like i say, its just so true." This was funnier in person, cause they act like anything we say has been their belief the whole time, even though neither of them have gone to church like at all in their whole lifes and when we met them they had no real beliefs in God. Its like teaching a kind Lamoni, they basically said I will believe anything you 2 white guys say. They have baptismal dates.

I also went on exchanges this last week into the english area of a district leader in our zone. For real, working in a white are in a white ward with white people is super weird. I am gonna have to culture adjust just to the whiteness of my own family when i see ya'll again, being with white people is just weird to me now. Like we ate dinner with a family and the food was probably good, but it just seemed so bland to me cause there was no lime or salt or chile to add to it. and the conversation was just different, like about America and the Korean war, it had nothing to do with soccer or eating spicy things, so i didnt hardly know what to do. White culture is gonna be a shock for me, i think i forget how to be with white people. I am pretty much recognized as a Latina by a lot of people here, if it werent for my blue eyes i could just fully assimilate into their culture. But the blue eyes are a give away, everybody knows im truly white because of them. But on the flip side, they all really really do love my blue eyes, those money makers get noticed all the time. Hispanics love colored eyes.

This last week we also went to MLC, or mission leadership conference. its for the zone leaders and president and the assistants, and a couple sisters go to. It was all about being bold. About being bold with investigators, and about being bold with members, and about being bold with yourself. I took it as an opportunity to reflect on being bold with myself. I tried to think about the things that i have learned as a missionary, and how i have grown. The biggest thing that comes to my mind is the attitude of looking out for other people before yourself. This was re-enforced to me during this last week. We were teaching a man named R. At first he was a little heard hearted, and only really let us in cause we had taught his daughters before. But that night cause his daughters werent there, we decided to try and teach him. We shared a scripture with him, watched a mormon message with him just to warm him up and see where he was. Then out of nowhere he opened up to us. He said how he blames himself for the way his daughters have grown up doing bad things, that he blames himself for the choices they have made. He broke down, in absolute distress, not knowing anymore what to do and how to find any help. Turning to the scriptures we shared a very populare scripture in 3 nehpi 27;20. that is the on the cover of PMG. We shared it ,becasue it mentions how if we follow jesus Christ, we can truly be held guiltless and spotless before God at the last day. WE also shared the last verses of matthew 11, about the yoke of the saviour. AS we shared this, suddenly the spirit started teaching R. Suddenly he began to feel something, and wanted more. He said that he would come to church on sunday, and bring his daughters, and that he would meet with us to show them an example. He got it. This was while I was on exchange in the english area, but it was still powerfull, because before we walked into his house i literally knew nothing about him. I didnt know who we would teach or what to teach them. But because i had studied that morning, because i had used my time to prepare for others, and not just study for myself, i was able to to let the spirit help R. Studying in the morning is what we like to call 'paying the price.' We have to put in the effort and study in the morning to be able to help people that day. The attitude of helping others before yourself is perhaps the greatest lesson i have learned on my mission ,and am still learning , and will no doubt keep learning for the rest of my life. even in something simple like our morning personal study, just studying for another person made all the difference in the lesson that night. If i had wasted the time cause i was tied (cause i am constantly exhausted) or if i had tried to find the answers to some deep doctrine question that wouldnt have applied, i wouldnt not have been able to help him, and our companionship would not have had the spirit like it did. We are here to give everything to others, and I love it so much. Love you family, have a good week!

Beck out,
Elder Beck