Monday, January 12, 2015

My last lecture

Beck Family!

So this is the final email. So this is the last time im gonna describe my crazy week. Cause we sure did have a crazy week, right up to the end.

First, we are working super good with the members here. We are getting lots of member referals, and we picked up 3 new investigators this week from those referals. We taught them in the members homes with the members, and the lessons were great. More stuff gets done in missionary work when we work together. This area is just on fire, we have so much good stuff going on right now, and its cause we have the trust of the members, and we are working in unison.

On tuesday we went to the temple. All departing missionaries get to go before they go home. We went to the Los Angeles temple, and it was an incredible experience. I went into the temple with a very specific thought, i had something i needed to know. I have been worried that if what i have done on my mission has been enough, if i have done everything that God wants of me. I have been worried that i made to many mistakes, and that i let to many people go by, and that i wasnt good enough. In the temple, i had this prayer in my heart, i was pleading to God asking him to let me know if he is pleased with what I have done. I asked him if he could let me know that I have done enough on my mission, if he would let me know that He his pleased with the work that i did, with my 2 years, i promised him that I would never fall away. If he would confirm it to my heart that my 2 years have been acceptable, that i would continue to give the rest of my life to this gospel. Then the smallest little impression came to my mind 'I already have.' Suddenly i realized that God had already been letting me know that he was happy with me. I realized that he had been letting me know almost every day, and everytime i had felt the spirit during my mission. God has been letting me know for a very long time that he is happy with me, it has just been my perspective and looking for it. It made me realize so strongly, that God is truly present in our lives, more so than i had ever thought. He is always there, it is just a matter of us looking for him. And i felt that at the temple, that God has been letting me know he is pleased with this time for a lot longer than just on that day. It changed my perspective of my whole mission. And it filled me with so much peace. It took away the fear i have of coming home. I might still be a little nervous, but i dont feel fear, i feel peace and confidence in the Lord that this is just the next step he wants me to take. After that we participated in sealings with our mission president, another great experience. The temple was something that filled me with so much peace, and every day since then i have felt it, and i know that everything is going to be ok.

On thursday i gave my final testiimony at our district meeting. My only piece of advice i could give to younger missionaries is to love you missions. Love them, and give them everything. I told them that i have no regrets about my mission. I havent been perfect, im not even that good at doing missionary things, but i have no regrets about my time here because i know i gave it everything. Our time is so limited and it goes by so fast. But man i love my mission. I know that when we love our missions, that is when they change us.

Also, this week i got accepted to byui.

On saturday i had my departure interview with the mission president. It was another incredible experience. It gave me so much direction and comfort again about going home. I feel ok about it, it doesnt worry me as much, i know that im going to be ok. My mission president is a spiritual giant that i wont ever forget. Mountain Tew is a guy that has given me so much direction. I love everything about my mission.
On sunday was my departure fireside. There were over 20 missionaries going home, it was the most full despedida i there has ever been here. It was crazy. There were hundreds and hundreds of people, the chapel and overflow and hall ways and classrooms were full of people there to see us. It was crazy. I saw so many people from my past areas, old converts, favorite familys, just everybody, and it was awesome. I was the 3rd last to give my testimony. Ill be honest, there was no stopping the tears. I could only think to testify of the most basic truths that i know, about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I also did it in spanish, cause nearly everyone i invited just speaks spanish, so that was great. Then the rest of the night we took lots of pictures with them and got to see them. It was a great night, one of the most spiritual nights on my mission. So many people were crying, its incredible to see the impact that missionaries have on people.

This is the last thing i will write as a missionary to you. This is what i have called the most important thing i have learned on my mission. It is this :  Doctrine changes us, and the most important piece of doctrine, is to be others oriented. I have learned this for myself. I know that God loves us, and that he is always there for us. I know he is always closer than we think. I know Jesus Christ is our brother and savior and died and lives for us. I know he loves us. I have felt Jesus Christ heal me and forgive me. That is why I can say that I know he can do the same for others. I know the Holy Ghost testifies of truth, because I have felt it. I have felt the comfort and peace and the impressions that come from the Holy Ghost, that is why I know he can testify to others. I know this things for myself. I have come to a knowledge through experience. I know everyone can. I know i am an average person. I dont have that much to offer the Lord, nothing really. But I know that through him i am made strong. I know through him my strenghth form from out of my weaknesses. I know this is true. I love you all so much, this knowledge has sustained me in my 2 years. I love my mission, it has been the greatest experience of my life. Thank you for everything, i love my family, both here and there. I cant wait to see you, I love you.

Beck out,
Elder Beck

At LA temple..last temple trip

Got to see this bro one more time

true missionaries all tuck their pants into their socks

Dallin is the saint of Long Beach

Mr. Flag guy

yup, biking in the rain

my Spanish grandparents

My sweet mission pres.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Umm i only have 1 week left..still tearing it up!

Beck Family!

Now when i tell you this was a crazy week, yall gotta believe me. Let me drop it on yall.

To start, last monday we were contacted my a drunk homeless guy (not sure if i have mentioned how many of those exist in long beach, but there are so many. Where we live, right next to the LA river, there are hobo camps all along that river under every single bridge. We see them when we run in the morning, we are good friends.) and he wanted us to tell him something that would change his life. I told him "because of Jesus Christ, you can overcome this addiction and change your life." He stopped poking fun at us, and even through his drunk state he said" you dont know how much i need that." We set up a time to see him later, when he promised he would be sober, and then we taught him. Everyone needs the gospel, and it would be wrong of us to ever pass judgement on someone for their past life. Everyone can change, even the most unlikely of people. This experience reminded me of that.

We are also working with a less active named M. She was baptized 5 years ago, and she is the most chola gangsta woman i have ever met. She swears more than any marine i have ever known. She comes from a history of gang affiliation and curb stomping people. She does not play around.  And she is one of the nicest people i have ever met. She is only like 28, but everytime we go by she tries to give us anything she has. She is a good person, just under a rougher exterior. She said she has been feeling stresed and anxious because of hard things in her life. We were able to have a really cool lesson with her, where she committed to coming to church, because she connected that she is feeling these types of problems because she doesnt have the spirit in her life. She also told us 'if the 8th street gang ever gives you trouble, or any other gang around here, just tell them you know me and theyll leave you alone." Well, the gangs already dont give us trouble, they all love us, but now i feel even more protected. M
can any more wire come off this pole?

Cow stomach soup... ewww.  Dallin said  he ate the whole bowl

bike riders

dallin's comp. with Christmas lights on the bike

Sunrise in Long Beach

of course, Capt. Moroni
would straight up go crazy on anybody that did something to us.

On Thursday we had zone meeting. I was asked to give a training. It was probably the last training i will give. It was one 'feeling successful more often.' I prepared something around a statement that president once told me. About a month ago i talked to my mission president, because i was really feeling down. I told him, i dont feel like i can look back at my mission and see that i did much good, i only see all of the ways that i have fallen short, all of the mistakes i have made, and all of the times i didnt live up to my calling. President Tew told me this advice, which i made into my training "Take just one hour of the day, maybe the 11-12 hour, and work as hard as you can and follow your plans as best as you can, so at the end of that hour you could look back and say, if every hour of my mission was like that one, i would be satisfied." I applied that advice since he gave it to me, and it has completely changed my whole outlook on my mission. I have no regrets from the last month, i have worked as hard as possible. And also, it helped me look back at even my whole mission, and realize the good things instead of the negative. It helped me gain a positive outlook on my mission as a whole. It helped me realize that I really have done good things here, that God is not just pleased with this last month, but with my whole 2 years. I have been far from a perfect missionary, but i can now look back and say, i gave it my all. I gave my mission everything I had, i held nothing back, i really gave my mission my heart. I tried to make my last training a good one, as i gave it it reafirmed to me that my service has been acceptable, that even though i wasnt perfect, God is happy with what i have done under the title of Elder.

Friday night more miracles kept happening. We were going to have a noche de hogar with a family at 8. When we showed up there, they had kept our invitation and had a non member friend there and ready to meet us. It was so cool to see the trust we are building with our members, i love the members here, and i feel like they really trust us as good elders. Thats why they give us their friends.

Also, we had an experience that i refer to as a long beach specialty. We had a conversation with a man on the street that started with the phrase "when i was a gangsta..." and was followed with him showing us his bullet and knife wounds and some crazy stories about people that tried to kill him and how he tried (and probably succeeded) to kill them. Followed up with a crazy prison tale about prison murders, and how he is now a gentleman and believes in God. But then he says hes not interested in our message, but if anybody messes with us just let him know and he will take care of it for us. Thats a long beach specialty right there. Dude, people here are crazy.

And on sunday there were mas miracles. We had 3 less active familys come to church, we had done a lot of re-activation in this ward, which has been awesome to see. We have reactivated i believe 5 familys now, and there are gonna be even more this next sunday. After church we had another noche de hogar with another family, and we had invited them to have non members there also. When we came, they had their non member son and his wife there. We had a super good lesson, and at the end the wife said, i want my kids to be here next time you come over, they really need this. Then the wife confessed to us that she struggles with depression. I knew the moment she said that that i was in the rright place. I have gained a set of skills that helps me help people with depression. These skills have come from nearly 2 years of first hand experience with depressed people. So i knew, that right there, God had put me in her path, because i was able to tell her that this gospel helps those that struggle with depression, and i know it because i have seen it personally. We have an appointment later this week.
As we were leaving this teaching appointment the member told us that he has someone else he wants us to teach. That because we taught so powerfully he wants us to teach another person he knows. It was just a night of miracles like that. Our area is just on fire right now, we are teaching day and night, finding so many news, and people are coming to church and accepting baptismal dates. Just on fire, man i love this.

I cant believe how fast time flys. I cant believe how soon i will see all of you. I would just like you all to know, that for this last week, im gonna be working as hard as possible. I only have 1 more week, and im not letting off the gas. Ive worked way to hard for way to long to give up even a little bit right now. I love my mission to much to do that. Please exuse all of my typing and engrish errors, im super bad at this whole english thing now. Hope yall can teach me. And dad, we are defintily talking in spanish like all the time, i want to keep it up. Love you all family, see ya soon!

Beck out,
Elder Beck

Thursday, January 1, 2015

For real. Believe me

Beck Family!

This last week has been one of the craziest of my whole life.

For real. 

Believe me.

To start, last monday, immediately after emailing and playing sports, we got home at 5:53. That means we had 7 minutes to get ready to be out the door at 6 to be obedient. I told my comp elder l that we were not gonna eat, and that God would provide something for us if we were obedient and got out of the apartment on time. We quickly changed, got the bikes, and were out the door at exactly 6. Exact obedience. The first 2 appointments of the night fell through. The member we took out with us told us to stop at her house real quick after the sets fell through. We went to her house, where her family had just cooked dinner. And they feed us a quick bowl of pazole, which happens to be straight up amazing! Then filled and warmed we went out to work the rest of the night, and got to talk to lots of people. Exact obedience came before that miracle, and when we count on God, he always comes through for us. Thats how to teach a new missionary obedience. 

Then on tuesday we had a super good lesson with beti. She wants to be baptized so bad, she just has a problem with work and being able to come to church. But she is reading the book of mormon on her own and has prayed about it, and knows it is true. We promised that if she put the spriritual things first in her life, that God would make up the difference, and make it possible for her to come to church.

On wednesday, we went caroling. That was super fun. We did it all night, went around to different investigators and recent converts and less actives. It was one of the coolest things to see how caroling honestly touched the hearts of so many people. It brings a special spirit, and it was so cool. 

Then on christmas, we went running in the morning, then had our studies, then opened presents. Loved all the gifts, loved the pics from uncle j and crew, loved the ping pong paddles from T and the Boise State Jersey. For real, i got the best friends and family in the world. Then i got to skype with the family, which happened to be the best part of all of christmas. We then got together as a zone and got to watch 'the other side of heaven.' great movie, made me cry, but not a lot, but still a little bit. Then we went caroling again at night, and got to spread some more of that christmas spirit.

Now this is the real part i want to focus on. Christmas on the mission is one of the best experiences of my whole mission. This was my 2nd, and in many ways it was like the first. My favorite parts of christmas were seeing my family and caroling. Being able to make other people happy, and seeing the people i love, that is what made christmas  so good. It makes me realize what really is important in life. What is important in life is the people around us. Its not the stuff, its not the location, its all about the people and relationships we have. 

And that made a certain fact stand out to me more than it ever has. This Christmas was also a very sad day for me. After watching the other side of heaven, i just felt sad. It was literally like watching a whole mission flash before your eyes, and i began to realize that is what i feel like, like everything has just gone by in a flash. I started to think  about why i felt so sad, and this is the reason that i came up with. On my mission, i have learned to love people like never before. I have truly fallen in love with my mission. With the people here, with the culture, with the place, with the language, with my own family, with the new family i have made here. I love my mission, my mission has been just for me. And just thinking that it really is coming to an end is sad. What made me even more sad on Christmas was i realized that i have given my whole heart to my mission. I have given my mission the one thing that i had to give, my will and my heart. And because of that, i think i am going to leave a piece of my heart here. I love it so much, i dont think im going to take everything home. I will always have a part of my heart here, i dont think all of me is every going to come home. Thats hard, but i think its ok. Because i know that life is just going to get better, there will be even more joy than i have yet seen as life continues. But im always gonna have a special place in long beach. I love it here, this place and experience has changed my life, and who I am.

Lots of people make tomales for christmas, like hundreds of them. We ate so many.

Anways, have a great week family, it was so good to see you. Have a great week, hope to see yall soon!


Beck out,

Elder Beck 

ward party

This the biggest spider I have ever seen!


Gingerbread contest! We did the SLC temple

Our musical ties

Dallin's desk

I'm freezing here!

Christmas tamale anyone?