Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas


Kia Ora Mother,

I think I forgot the beginning of the letter by the time I got to the end.

Ok, I remember now. The homemade chocolates were wonderful and actually quite hard since I put them in the fridge after they arrived. Tell Grandma thanks for the fudge. I love that stuff and I am planning on trying the caramel very soon.

I am grateful for this refiners fire even if it is driving me nuts. I think it will truly take two full years to get over this trial and maybe longer. I have actually tried both sets of prayers and both work in different ways. I think the first one is better though. I am always trying to change although I don't like it much.

I am currently down in Taupo hence I am emailing so late. the computer we were at had issues. So here I am now. I told dad I will call around 4 pm tomorrow but don't be surprised if it is around 6 pm. Missionary work is crazy sometimes. At least it is p-day. My companion will call on Christmas day probably in the evening.

Thank you mum for all you do and I love you heaps. I also like you heaps as well. I remember being at odds with you a bit but I am sure that most is block from my memory. I remember mostly good memories of us together. I guess that is true repentance when the past is the past, the future is the future and the present is going along great.

Talk to you soon!
Merry Christmas,
Love You Heaps,
Elder Beckstead

Monday, December 12, 2011

Goofball Mother :)

<<This is Trevor's reply to his mother's email. She typed it and thought she sent it (last week), but it went to the draft folder instead. It is so full of Kristin's personality, I had to include it with Trevor's reply>>

Those are very gee whiz comments. Tell the Robinsons for me to tell Elder Greening thanks for being a great AP. He was one of the best in my opinion of the ones that I have had. Him and Elder Cline.

Anyways, thanks for that. 
Love,
Elder Beckstead

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 4:54 PM, <krtxk@comcast.net> wrote:
Kia Ora My Wonderful Trevie,

Here are a few gee whiz comments for you.  Totally random and you'll think, hmm, that's interesting, and go on to the next.....

1 - Did we ever tell you (or did any of the girls write you) that your former home of Juniper Hall at SUU has been condemned and the students had to move out in the middle of the semester?  Chelsea Hyatt was living there and had to find a new place last October.  The water pipes were breaking and causing all kinds of problesm, so school closed it up and sent the students packing.

2 - The other night we were visiting with Eric Robinson and he was telling us about Rylee.  She is dating a very nice young man who attended Timpview High School and just got home from his mission about 2 weeks ago. They reconnected through facebook. As he continued talking there were some interesting points... he is from New Zealand but his family moved to Provo some years ago and that is when he attended Timp.  He actually served his mission in NZ but didn't know which mission.  So Janee grabbed me yesterday as we were setting up for the Ward Christmas Party and told me he knows you!!!  You were never companions but he knew who you were and told the Robinsons that you are a very hardworking missionary and an obedient one, which, he said, can't be said of all the missionaries in your mission.  Have you figured out who it is?  Elder Vaughn Greening!  Small world yet again.  I'm telling ya... "don't say nothin bad bout no one!"  

And I'm grateful to hear again and again what a great missionary you are.  I know what you are going through on those days when you think you can't do it anymore or wonder if you are doing any good.  Did you know at one point in my mission I called my mission president from a phone booth on the street and told him I was going home early?.  I felt as though I wasn't doing any good and was done with the whole mission experience.  I was grateful for having served and would he please arrange my flight home... he listened patiently and told me to get back to work; no he wasn't going to send me home or agree for me to get home on my own.  I had to stay, stick it up, and enjoy being a missionary.  I still wonder if I really did any good... I didn't have what I consider the "icing on the cake" of baptisms.  I attended a few of people the Elders in my areas taught, but thought I personally was wasting everyone's time.  I have been a bit jealous of your opportunities but have been so very delighted to hear your favorite part of missionary work is seeing people change after receiving the gospel.  It truly is amazing isn't it?!

3 - Last night at the Christmas Party, Xane sang in a quartet with Chris Brousseau, Collin Williams, and Joseph Barley.  They sang very well!  Later, Dad read a story to the children about Santa and Jesus Christ.  There was a beautiful statue the Williams family loaned him of Santa kneeling at the manger of baby Jesus.  Dad showed the the statue to the congregation and put it on the tablecloth on the piano so the children good see it.  Part way through the reading of the story, one of the children bumped and pulled the tablecloth which sent the statue crashing to the floor.  We will be looking for a new statue to replace the one that broke :)

4 - I've always been pretty bad about having a clean house.  It's sort-a clean but there are piles and stacks everywhere of stuff and half finished projects.  Alison's Pantry in one corner, Soccer on a table, puzzles on other tables, everything I don't know where to immediately put is in the bathtub, clothes to go to DI on the closet floor, science fair project in the middle of the floor, Sweden report on the sofa, School Papers to correct at the end of another table, scriptures and unfolded blankets on the chairs and couch, etc.  Well, it's getting worse!  Now add all my relief society projects and the house is sad.  Tablecloths hanging from the doors, visiting teaching on the bed, unfolded laundry in the hall, teaching materials next to my bed, the kitchen always has food on the counters either in preparation, the middle of a meal, or didn't have time to clean it up yet before leaving to do the next thing, and the list goes on and on.  My goal of "stay home and clean the house" is never fulfilled!  I used to be distracted and now I'm distracted from the distractions.  It's all very silly.

Aside from those random thoughts everyone is doing well.  We are happy and healthy.  Oh!  I did get your Christmas package sent, and of course, forgot one thing you actually asked for!  So, I'll try to send that in a separate envelope this week.  We hope you know we love you and are honored to be your missionary supporting family.  Is there anything more that we can do to help you? You just started a new month so you should be able to drive around in the car for at least a couple of weeks.  Are you melting in the heat?  Is there something you hear of other missionaries families doing that you think, "it would be cool if my family did that?"

Question of the week - What is something you have learned about yourself from each of your companions (or only a couple if you don't have time to list them all)
Elder Tham
Elder Meyer
Elder Kimball
Elder Smith
Elder Thomas
Elder Allred
Elder Battsagaan
Elder Dyunti

did I miss any?

NO WAY - I couldn't figure out why you hadn't responded to this email and I just found it in the drafts folder.  Stinkweed!!!!!  That totally reaks, especially because
1)  I started it at 6:30 this morning so I could be sure and get it to you before the day got away from me.
2)  I was even on the computer at the same time as you were this afternoon and helped Sam send his email and I saw your talk and responded.
3)  I am practically positive I sent this and hear it is, not sent.

I am so sorry!  I don't know why you aren't supposed to see this email til now that you are reading it.... a week later, but I guess you weren't supposed to yet.  So hopefully you are seeing 2 emails from me today. This one now a week old and next week that I'll be writing soon.

Still love you even though I am your goofball mother!
love,
Mother

Christmas Cheer

Kia Ora Mother,

First off, Yes I did get the suggestions on the Atonement Talk and I will take them and put them in immediately. Secondly, I haven't finished my plan one yet so next week hopefully.

We have been invited to 3 places already and one of them is 118 Km away one way. We won't be getting to all three that is for sure. We are still deciding on where to go. However, I will call on christmas day for yous so on the monday for me.

Ok, With too many emails today I am very short on time as usual. So, I will tell you of one day this week that was unusual. We started off with weekly planning and as we were finished with that we got a call from this guy who had been kicked out of his house and had to get moved out by 3 pm. We had to run around like chickens with our heads cut off finding a trailer and a place to put his stuff for a few days. Then we went to a different service project painting some doors and a chimney. A miracle there was the mum of one of the investigators showed up. We gave her the form to sign and she will talk to layla and hopefully sign it.

Then, we had an hour left and we found 3 choice new investigators. It was great and busy and stressful, but good.

Ok, I will tell you two things I have learned from my companions so far. The first is good the second is not. Ok, the good thing I have learned or I guess been reemphasized is that when I get annoyed or something, I am very quick to forgive and get over it. I have told my companions to just wait a bit and then I will be over it.

The second thing I have learned is that the longer I have been on my mission, the more impatient I have gotten with my companions. Why is that? I have no idea. It should be going the other way. If I didn't have that first attribute I would have been in real trouble.

Anyways, i did receive the package and all the presents are still safely wrapped for christmas. Thanks for all of the goodies and I can't wait to see what else I got.

I hope everything goes well this week and after this week you can assign the kids to clean up the house. Our favorite :)

Love you heaps mother!
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prayers for Missionaries - Quotes

Kia Ora Dad,

It is cool to think of all those temple prayers for the missionaries. Too many to count. We need those prayers right now.

We had a great week actually this week. We taught lessons, talked to heaps of people and had 9 new investigators. Not all of them are choice, but some of them hopefully are.

Thanks for the quote. I have one for you too. "Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text." Elder Ardern. I don't have to worry about that right now but lots of the world does.

Here is another quote. "I will take the liberty of suggesting to my brethren, who addresses the congregation that our sermons should be short, and if they are not filled with life and spirit, let them be shorter." Brigham Young.

Anyways, random tangents. I hope all goes well with the decorations and all the other busy things happening at the moment.

I'm sending mum a talk that we had to write for revision. I want you to read it as well please.

I love you dad heaps and hope you are well. Have a great week!
Elder Beckstead

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Conference


Kia Ora Mother, and Family and everybody else.

It sounds like a wonderful thanksgiving week. I am thankful for heaps of things but mostly for my family at home who support me in all I am doing.

Alright, to answer the question. The differences between my companion and I is that he is dark skinned and I am not. He is from Africa and I am not. He is hilarious and I am not. Alright, I guess I am sometimes, but ya know. We both work similarly in the work which helps but the differences are there. I can't really describe them though in words.

Anyways, enough of that. This past week we had zone conference on thanksgiving day. We drove to hamilton which again killed all of our K's. I have been on a bike a few days this past week. Anyways, back to the conference. Starting with the meal inbetween sessions, there were little turkeys with Happy Thanksgiving written on it. It was crack up how all the Auzzie's and Islanders asked the Americans how it all worked back home. Some of them wondered why it was even a holiday although when we said that it was another excuse to eat heaps, they accepted it pretty well.

Some spiritual things I learned which there was some yes. The why. "If we give a person a big enough Why, they will do any what or How." Why do I live the gospel. Ok, What do I need to do to change and how do I do it. It sounds great although it is pretty hard to put into practice that is for sure.

Another thing we learned is That "God is our Loving Heavenly Father" is at the beginning for a reason. Ask yourselves, by knowing our true identity, how does it help us to live the gospel. As we help others to understand this, they are able to understand everything else we teach.

Ok, another funny story. We had to get the car serviced that morning in Hamilton, so we left extremely early and arrived at 7:10 am which was 50 minutes earlier than we were supposed to. Then we were supposed to get picked up by the zone leaders, which didn't show. They sent a senior couple missionary to get us who was in a different car than expected. We finally met up with him and arrived at zone conference 30 minutes late. It was ridiculous but alright I guess.

Another thing I learned this week, I was listening to a talk by John Bytheway.
He was talking about the reason people say that efy is the best week of their life. Or a mission is the best two years of their life. He said that there is no tv during those times. No video games. Reading scriptures everyday and being surrounded by the gospel at all times.
The world thinks we need these things, TV and video games, to have fun. I admit that I agreed. The best times are however when we are consumed in developing our own talents instead of watching others developing theirs.

On my mission, I have missed TV and music a lot. However, as I look back at the things I have accomplished without it, I see that it isn't necessary. So a challenge for everyone back home except you mother. You already don't watch tv. But, the challenge is to turn off the tv or video game for an hour and develop one of your talents. Do this everyday for a couple weeks and then look back at what you accomplished. Then try and figure out what you would have if you had watched tv or played video games for that time.

Will You Do This? I can promise that those things we wish we were better at, can be a reality if we turn off the tv and develop them.

I love being a missionary and teaching the people. Everyday, I wish I wasn't a missionary and Every night I am grateful that my wish didn't come true.

I love you all heaps. I can't wait until christmas to talk to you again. Have a wonderful week and I will do the same. Pray for Layla and Seena and everyone else in New Zealand. I know that with those prayers, God will help them come true by guiding us to those prepared.

Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Transfer to Tokoroa & New Companion


Kia Ora Mother,


Elder Dyumthi & Elder Beckstead
Elder Dyumthi
Ok, to start of my New companion is named Elder Dyumthi, pronounced, (Joompty), and he is from Botswana, Africa. My new area is currently Tokoroa but we also cover Taupo and Turangi. Turangi and Tokoroa are almost 2 1/2 hours apart. Of course I am in a car and of course we are already out of K's for the month almost. Have to walk or bike until the end of the transfer because we have 400 left but a trip to hamilton this week for zone conference. Fun times.

We have some investigators name Layla, and Seena who are set. Layla is awesome and Seena needs some work. I will keep you updated. Both are set for December, Layla the 3rd and Seena the 10th.

By the way, Here are pictures of Albie and Olga and they might be emailing you to get these. So here they are so you can send them when they ask.



 Also, here are the photos for jackson's family. They might be emailing you for them so here they are.

Last week was an interesting week because of moving. Tuesday was regular but wednesday was full of packing and saying goodbye. Then thursday I had to drive to transfers which wasn't bad. Then we had to wait for awhile. Then I had to drive all the way to Rotorua which is a good 3 hours. I was exausted because of little sleep the night before and so much driving. My companion is the driver here though so I get a break until he gets transferred.

Friday through sunday have been getting used to the area or trying to. It seems like a good area with a lot of potential.

Quote for the Week.
"Let them seek for wisdom instead of power and they will have all the power they have wisdom to exercise."   -Sister Eliza R. Snow

In D&C it also says that before we seek to teach we should seek to learn and then we will have whatever we need to teach.

As a missionary, I try to treasure up in my mind the words of life, then they will be given in the very hour that they are needed. It has been true. Also, with that wisdom we are able to use the power given to us. The power of the holy ghost in conversion.

I am doing well and am grateful always for the chance to serve the lord. I love you heaps mother and Dad and hope you have a great week.

Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

P.S. Ok first of all say hello to all the Schaumann clan. Second of all, I hope you haven't sent the package yet because I need a new watch. It has to be a cheap one from Walmart, both analogue and digital. Thank you mother and I love you heaps.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transfers Coming Up


Kia Ora Mother,

You calculated correctly. Transfers this week and actually I am pretty sure of the outcome. Elder Battsagaan is training so I know that one of us is leaving. I am pretty sure it is me. Another person is moving from the district, going up north to train and be district leader. Then one of the sisters went home a few weeks ago I can't remember if I told you that so there will be a least one new sister coming in.

It is one of the most planned out transfers I have had yet.

Ok, for Christmas I have no idea what I want. I am doing good on your testimonies still and I still have a lot of the stuff you have sent over. No new socks are necessary, because I still have heaps and of all other clothes, I have plenty. Although some new long shorts would be nice. My two pair are wearing out which is odd because I only wear them on p-days and for bed. Maybe excercise in the morning:)

I can't think of anything I need from distribution or deseret book at the moment. I am pretty content actually since your last package of vitamins and CD's. Thanks for the shirt as well. I have quite the collection now.

Missionary work is pushing along at an ever moving pace. It is almost 2012 already which means I will be home for part of that year. It is weird to think about. Oh, I thought of what I need. 0.7 mm pencil lead for my mechanical pencils. It is really hard to find over here and my pencils are almost out. That would be much appreciated.

I thought of something today that I shared with Tara but applies to all of us as human beings and children of God. Everyday, we are tried and instead of pushing God away when we are tried we need accept the trial, receive His help, and improve ourselves which helps us become better everyday.

I try to accept, receive, and improve everyday.

I love you mum and am grateful for all you do.
Have a great week and I will talk to you again soon.
Elder Beckstead

Monday, November 7, 2011

Daily Schedule


Kia Ora Mother,

Don't forget thanksgiving. That is in between Halloween and Christmas and it is what you should be worried about. I know you are busy and that is just another wonderful thing about my mother. Also, it sounds like a lot of things are changing back home since I have been gone. No more for sale signs on candy houses on no more pumpkin carving. It sounds like New Zealand. I didn't see a single carved pumpkin in saying that they don't have any orange pumpkins either. I do hope everything goes well however it goes.

The first thing I will tell I already told to dad but here it is again. We found out that the guy that can't give up smoking probably isn't accountable for that. We knew he had a mental illness but we didn't think it would be a problem. We think it is schizophrenia and the voices who he claims are angels are telling him it is alright to smoke and when to quit although he never does. Our mission president said that if any mental illness causes someone to not keep commitments, Heavenly Father will take care of it in the next life. So it will be with Jeff I guess.

We did find some new people this week that look semi promising. We will still contact Jeff but It doesn't look like much will happen in the near future.

To answer your question of the day, When I wake up at six thirty, I pray first and then start to exercise. That usually consists of push-ups, crunches, more push-ups, a rest, then in this flat we had a bench press so I try to do that too. I just got myself a jump rope which I also have begun to do.

Next, I make myself a smoothie while my companion is in the shower for breakfast. Then I take a shower. Studies then commence from 8 to 10. Personal study for an hour and then companionship study.

Then depending on the day, we leave the flat and go to work. We visit people till noon or 1 and then take an hour for lunch. Then we go back out and work until dinner which it totally depends on the day when that is. Anytime between 5 and 8 I guess. Then we are back to the flat by 9 or 9:30 if we are in a lesson or driving home.

Then we plan for the next day. We talk to the district leader about the day. I try to remember to write in my journal and then I play one game of solitaire or two if I lose the first one. Then I pray and off to bed.

Time is one of the weirdest things on a mission. Days truly feel like weeks and weeks truly feel like days. It is weird to think that transfers is in 10 days because it seems like time has slipped by and then it seems like a million things have happened and the last transfer was ages ago. I guess it is all about perspective which is what you were talking about.

There was a quote that I heard that goes along with what you said about death. "The only death that is premature, is the person that is not prepared to meet God." Elder Nelson. We must prepare now so that when we go, it is not premature.

I also came across another quote that has helped me to deal with the challenges of everyday life.
"Challenges don't determine who we are; Rather, our responses to those challenges determine who we become." Sep 2011 Ensign, Pg 64
We aren't looked at a certain way by God because of the challenges we face but instead He gives us the challenges that help us grow and then looks at how we choose to get through those trials and challenges.

I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior and am grateful for the challenges they give me even if I don't like them at the time. I look back and see how indeed they helped me grow instead of bringing me lower.

I love you mum and dad and am grateful for all you do for me. I am also grateful in advance for the things you sent with the Stanfords. I haven't received it yet but I am thankful all the same.

Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Extremely Stressfull and Rewarding Week


Kia Ora Mother,
 
I think the puzzles were the present for your birthday and for Christmas. They started out in a yellow bag anyways, If you got them, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!
 
Ok, my week was extremely stressful and rewarding.
 
We had a baptism of Leah which was great but getting her to the waters was very hard. She was great up until thursday night for her interview. I was with someone else 50 K's away but Elder Battsagaan was there taking care of her. He was with a member who went to pick them up but found they were in west Auckland instead of at home. They told them to meet at the KFC in Manurewa which was a 45 min drive away for both parties. They met there and went to the interview in which Leah freaked out and almost didn't go into. They managed to calm her down enough to go in and pass it.
 
The next day we went to her lesson and found she was in a terrible state. She hadn't been out of bed yet and it was 2 pm. She was scared stiff for the next day and crying. We had a wonderful lesson and the fellowship we took was awesome. She had never met him and vice versa but he appied things wonderfully to her.
 
This member had told a story the previous sunday about a little devil that she remembered and as we quoted it a few times in made her smile.
 
We managed to get everything sussed out and she was excited for the next day.
 
The next day I was on tradeoff in my area so we made sure all was well. It was fine and everything was ready for the baptism to start on time at 5 pm except for my companion. He was late. We waited for 20 min and just as we were about to begin without him, he walked in the door. It was a wonderful experience but I wish Satan would quit messing with the minds of our investigators.
 
We were supposed to have another baptism but he postponed because he couldn't quit smoking (bummer). We will keep working with him.
 
Pray for these people please. Jeff, the one that postponed. Kevin, and Mike. That would be wonderful.
 
I know that without the Spirit's guidance this week we wouldn't have had a baptism but because we followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost we were able to help one of our Father in Heaven's children come closer to him.
 
There is a really good quote that applies here I think.
"Challenges don't determine who we are; Rather, our responses to those challenges determine who we become."   September 2011 ensign
 
I love you heaps and am grateful for all you do for me. I'm sorry for no exciting bday present this year for you but I send my love a hundred fold.
 
Love,
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sick :( All Blacks won :) and 3 things that have changed me


Kia Ora Mother,

Well this last week wasn't that exciting because I was sick almost every day last week. There was one day where my neck was hurting and I was wishing that dad was here to crack it. Then we went to Waiuku and there is a member there that did it and more. He did the whole body makeover thingy. It hurt alot but felt lots better afterwords.

So this week wasn't that exciting so I will start again next week. I am already planning to make mexican food for my companion this week so we will start from there. Also, this week was a bad time to ask my what I ate because of being sick. I mostly ate water and bread and unfortunately bananas. I hope it goes back to normal food this week.

The rugby world cup also finished and the All Blacks won. Things should go back to normal now that school holidays are over and that the rugby world cup is over. Before I forget, tell dad thanks for the address and all the other stuff he does. Also, thank you mum as well.

Three things that have changed me is how you feel when people accept the gospel. The importance of the scriptures being studied everyday. And, the importance of modern day prophets and revelation. That has definitely made a difference in how I study and pay attention for conference, the ensign, and in church.

We are short on time today because of Labor Day but I love you heaps, and hope all is well at home.

Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

P.S. The bishops name is Peter Stanford and his Wife Cheryl. I don't know when they will call but I hope they see you and sorry for the crazy package. Enjoy! :) Love you!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baptisms & Confirmations


Kia Ora Mother,

It sounds like you had an interesting week. I am glad Korin is feeling better and I hope she stays away from whatever she is allergic to.

That is really weird that I am the next one home from the ward. That is ages away. Anyways, things are pushing along at the moment.

We had a baptism for John this past weekend and that went really well. I got to baptize him and another girl that was getting baptized as well. She had an incredibly long name. Then I got to confirm both of them as well. Jackson finally got confirmed and another boy got baptized and confirmed as well. It was a good weekend for Pukekohe ward. I think the ward is going to be split soon because we had one of the stake presidency speak yesterday all about accepting callings. I trying to figure out if it is a hint or not.

Things are pushing forward but we need lots more people to teach. Our teaching pool is almost dry at the moment.

We also, had a fireside yesterday which was great. We had 11 people with us including the bishop and another active member, 2 investigators, 4 recent converts, 2 less-active returning members and one 7 year old. It was really good.

Also, before I forget. Bishop and his wife are coming to utah next week and staying for two weeks. I sent a package for yous with them and I gave them your phone numbers. Expect a call after next tuesday I think they fly in. They are staying in provo somewhere but I hope they get in touch.

I hope all is well and I love you all heaps,
Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

General Conference and Trip to Waikaretu


Kia Ora Dad and Mum as well. And whanau.
 
It looks like you had a busy week again and a great experience at the BYU game. All I have to say is no fair but I am glad you had fun anyways.
 
First of all, I want you to tell sister Brousseau and the entire primary thank you for the letters. I appreciated all of them. You can tell Sam thanks personally or I can. Thanks Sam for the letter.
 
General Conference was this weekend and it was amazing. I will definitely keep track of My 5 dollar bills from now on:) The only bummer was not being able to see the priesthood session. The cd was faulty. Is there anyway you could download it and send it via email or something so I could put in on my flashdrive and watch it. Now that we have dvd players in the flat and it plays flash drives it could be possible. If not I will just have to read it in November.
 
Ok, the next news is that this week we drove 70 Kms out to a place called Waikaretu. It rained and we drove on a metal road so our car was way dirty. It was ridiculus. We did have a lesson out there though and the kids are really good but the mom is less-active and a bit interesting. We will see what happens.
 
Also, the last bit of news is that lots of blessing were given this week. It was crazy and good at the same time. It is always good helping others. We have a baptism this week as well which should be really good. It is a nine year old named John or Sione, whichever you prefer. Please pray for him and Jackson as hopefully he will be confirmed this week.
 
I love you all heaps and am grateful for all you do. I hope that everyone is healthy and happy and progressing in school, work, home, and church.
 
Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Monday, October 3, 2011

General Conference Weekend


Kia Ora Mother,

I will have to look for that talk (Forget Not by President Uchtdorf) when I watch it. Also, it sounds like you are always focused on time. I remember last year how Pres. uchtdorf talked on a similar subject. Don't worry though, I think you do a lot better than some people I know over here. All they do is drink and smoke all day. I like your choice of activity a lot better.

Good luck staying home and I know you can do it. Although, it will take the courage to say no to some people. We will see if you can do that or not.

Ok, this week was a pretty good week. We had 26 total lessons which was really good. I would go into detail but my planner is at home. Go figure. The major highlight and worst part of the week went together on saturday and sunday. We had a baptism which was short but went really well. Then him and his family didn't show up for church on sunday. So he wasn't able to get confirmed and won't be able to for 2 weeks. So frustrating but life happens.

Transfers this week so I will have to keep you updated. Oh, we had a tradeoff this week which went really well. I forgot about that. We also, traveled a lot this past week because it was the end of the month and we had lots of K's left. That was good.

Lets see, I will try to think about all that stuff for next week about the things I learned. Remind me though next week and I will include it.

Enjoy the rest of conference and I love you heaps,
Have a great week.

Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week of miracles


Kia Ora Mother,

This week started off a bit crazy. We had a good lesson with Jackson who is set for this week and then we had a FHE with the bishop and no investigators. Go figure.

Tuesday, I had a trade-off with the zone leaders in their area and I was with Elder Nipko. It went really well. I learned a lot.

Wednesday, we went to the TEMPLE! It was great. The only problem was waking up at 5:00 am. It was a wonderful experience. We had a few appointments though starting at 5 pm till 9 but we didn't get home until 7 pm so we missed a couple of those.

Throughout all this our investigator that was set for baptism wasn't looking too hot. He was kinda avoiding us, and looked really down all the time. But he turned out to be a miracle. We have been working with this investigator which has been taught for three years. We have had a date, sep 24 ever since I came to this area set with him. This past week he seemed to be avoiding us. He seemed really down. His problem and the reason for no baptism is his partner is still married and they live together. It is hard to get a divorce for her and he can't get married until she gets divorced.

Anyways, we have tried and tried to get him or her to move and he tried to ask family and friends all of who said no. He even asked the neighbors which said no. We then talked to the neighbors who said yes. We told, Abel which is his name, and he still seemed down. However, on the day of his interview. We finally found him and he said he was moving out. He moved out and had his interview. He was so pumped because he passed it. He was then baptized on saturday as planned and it was a special experience.

So, when there is an investigator striving for a goal and nothing seems to work, do all you can to acheive that goal and even if it is beyond our power, Heavenly Father will step in and fulfil his part. No goal is too high for him so we just need to do what we can and he will do the rest.

So, you kinda know what happened on Thursday. Heaps of running around and trying to organize everything. Same with Friday and Saturday. So the baptism went fantastic and Abel is doing so well. Also, our one for next week is looking good. Jackson is his name and we also have another named John for the 15th of october. Please pray for them.

So, sunday was also full of miracles. We were both feeling tired az because of daylight savings which we lost an hour of sleep. And we had to get up at six for a meeting at church. At church abel was confirmed and I got to do that and we had three investigators there. After church my companion was feeling sick and I have a cold. Even through that we kept working and we found four new investigators including a family. We also saw an investigator that had been avoiding us. She is really good though if we can get her on board.

It was a week of miracles for sure although I am sure worn out from it all. i hope you had a good week as well.

Ok, to answer you question from last week again. I would like a motab cd of somekind and I also want the Nashville tribute to the missionaries, The Work Cd. I hope you can find it.

I also want you and dad to know that I am doing well and that I am liking my new area. I also am enjoying the car an awful lot especially when it rained.

I hope all is well back home and I love you heaps.
Elder Beckstead

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Interesting Week


Kia Ora Mother,

Well to answer your first question or last question or question in general (asked what he needed/wanted for Christmas). Nothing I can think of. Yes chocolate dipping ingredients, not heaps but a little. Also, a new BYU shirt would be nice as well. I am good for the moment at least.

It is great to hear that all is going well back home and congrats on the soccer and football success for our family. Bummer for BYU though. Oh well.

This week was interesting indeed. Last week monday we had a fhe at the bishops house and we got there way late, but we caught the last two rounds of scattergories. One of the letters was O and they didn't count Orem as a city. How rude of them. Also, they allowed Louisiana to be a city the next round. They need to go back and take geography again in school.
Anyways, tuesday was district meeting and dinner way out in Meremere. It was an alright day. We had a good lesson with Abel which needs heaps of prayers at the moment though. He is having a really hard time.
Wednesday we just were around Puke and had a couple good lessons. We had a set named John who is doing really well. He is nine with less active parents.
Thursday we were out in Waiuku and had a great miracle out there. We found a family who is interested in learning more. The mum was taught before but didn't want to give up the old ways. We will see this time. We also went out to Karioitahi beach and took some pictures. We tried to find a house out there but no such luck. next time maybe.
Friday we did service for a lady. She rented a trailor and hooked it up to our car. Then we took this rotten bed and carpet to the refuse transfer station. It was disgusting. I am glad we got to help though. Then we had a good lesson out with our set Jackson in Onewhero. On the way home we stopped by a recent convert who was moving in Tuakau to Puke. We helped him mop his garage floor after he had just cleaned it. We had to help get it dry.
Saturday we helped those converts to move and then headed out to Waiuku. We then went to Clarks Beach with a member and tried to find those less-active people. Some were there and some weren't. It rained a lot though but we were able to get a few good pictures:)
Yesterday was a good day although we didn't have any investigators at church. We were able to get John to the fireside last night though. Elder Watson and his wife spoke to us during the investigator, Come and See Fireside. He is amazing and worked as a secretary to the twelve and First Presidency for 38 years I think. I got to meet him afterwords as did John. It is always cool to meet Area Seventies and General Authorities.
Today is just another P-day. I hope it goes well.

Well, I love you heaps mother and am greatful for all you do.
Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Monday, September 12, 2011

Food Update and Rugby World Cup

Kia Ora Mother,

That is hilarious about Tara (the first area in her mission the people they live with made a green spinach smoothie for breakfast). That cracks me up. I haven't had that yet (green smoothies) on my mission. Just islander food and sea food. No good.

Anyways, the food I have in my apartment is usually grilled ham and cheese or pb&j. Sometimes we get creative but not very often. Eating at members houses always changes but yesterday we had really good pineapple chicken. We also had lemon thing pie. I don't know how to spell that other word.
We also eat out sometimes at McDonalds, or pizza hut as well. I do admit though that I miss the food from back home a lot. Especially Sunday dinners and waffles. I also miss In-n-Out as well:)

Ok, last Tuesday was district meeting and a trade-off with elder Middleton. He is a convert of just over a year and a half and from Oregon. We had an new investigator and we set him but he lives about 50 km from our flat so that hasn't worked out. It would have been nice though.
Wednesday, we traded back and ate at carls Jr. Not as good as home but still good. Then we came back and had an alright day.
Thursday, we were out in Waiuku and had a good day out there. Saw a few people and met with the Moutere's. A very cool member family.
Friday, we had an alright day. We went out to Tuakau and had a good lesson there. We had a new investigator named Roxy who is really good except that she is a hard-out Vegan. She believes in that so much that it might be an issue. She has to see animals treated as equals to humans or no go. We will see how that goes. Also, it was the opening night of the World Cup. We watched a little of the opening ceremony during dinner and a little of the game as well. I don't know if we were supposed to but it was on in every house in New Zealand so we would've anyways probably. The All Blacks played Tonga and there were flags everywhere for both teams. It was nuts and still is nuts.

Saturday was a good day mostly. We went out to Port Waikato and except for getting kicked off someones property had alright success. Taught a Filipino guy out there that was from Puke which was pretty funny. Then we had lunch at the beach which was nice.

Never got onto the sand but we were at a lookout point. Then we went down to Waikaretu to look for an investigator but we couldn't find her. Maybe next time now that we know where she lives. Then our appointment fell through. Dinner was good. It was a chicken curry. That reminds me, one of my favorite meals over here is butter chicken curry. It is fantastic. Anyways, then there was a dance for the ward conference party thing. It wasn't too bad but the music was too old for my taste. It is nice being a missionary and not being able to dance.
Sunday, we went out to Pukekawa and visited people out there. Actually just two people. The Daji families. Then it was early in day for accountibility.
Today we had to clean the flat which was annoying for the inspection on Wednesday. We will see how that goes.

Well, besides the World Cup nothing too crazy is happening over here. We do have a restriction on Km's. 2400 for the month. Not too bad but not too good either.

I am well and hope you are too.
Love you heaps,
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September is here - weekly events

Kia Ora Mother,

To answer your questions. No I haven't used the 21 day program yet. Keep reminding me though. Also, yes I am used to the wrong side of the road and it is nice to drive again. My companion goes out in February back home to Mongolia.

Ok, let's see. District meeting was tuesday and we were supposed to mow lawns but it rained. We went out to Tuakau which is 10 K's away.
Wednesday we went out to Waiuku which is 20 K's away and spent the day out there. We were supposed to have a blitz with the zone leaders but they got held up and weren't able to make it. They couldn't tell us because we don't have a cell phone. We waited for a few minutes but left so it was algoods.
Thursday was around here in Puke and not too much happened. We visited a few members and had dinner with the ward mission leader.
Friday was weekly planning and we had a friend share with a members family where they made their own missionary badges and visited someone and shared a message with them. They are going to do it every friday.
Saturday we had a miracle. We went thoughout the day with not much happening. Then we went out about 25 K's to a members house we didn't know. They had an unbaptized 9 year old and the reason was because the dad almost broke his neck and was in hospital. The boy, Jackson wanted his dad to baptize him so they decided to wait. We set him for the 17th of September and they are algood for that day. Also, they had a new baby recently as well which caused the delay.

Then nothing too exciting happened at church yesterday or afterwords. We found a new investigator and he knows he wants to be baptized but he likes the things he is doing too much. It will be interesting working with him.

Well, congrats on the new calling. I remember when I was made senior companion it was two weeks of stress and then I calmed down. I know you can do it and it will be stressful for a little while and then you will flow right into the routine.

I love you very much mother, and I hope all is well with you. Keep up the great work and thanks for all the support you give me.

Arohanui
Elder Beckstead

Monday, August 29, 2011

Transferred to Pukekohe


Kia Ora Mother and Fam,

Ok, to start off the email and to clear up some confusion, I like butter on one half of the bagel and cream cheese and jam on the other half. <<see Kristin's email below>> That would be the best as long as you didn't put the two halves together. Ok, now that that is out of the way, to answer you second question, in a minute.

Thanks for the 21 day challenge. <<also see Kristin's email below>>  It will be interesting to try out since it is the start of a new 6 week cycle with hopefully no change in sight. Maybe. Anyways, yes I will try that as we meet with members.

Ok, enough suspense. Yes, I got transfered, actually double shifted, out of my last area of Papatoetoe. I am now junior companion again to Elder Battsagaan from Mongolia. We are in Pukekohe which is farther south of Auckland although it is still south Auckland, kinda. We are in a car which I am very grateful for and I am the designated driver. Fantastic.

We had a baptism this past weekend of a girl named Ashley. She is pictured above and seems really great. My new ward seems good. Something else interesting about the area is that there is a companionship of sisters as well in our ward. They live right up the street from us. So we get to work pretty closely with sisters as well and that also means that there is a good possibility of the ward splitting soon.

Well I am doing well and am grateful to be in this new part of New Zealand. Tell Xane that in our area is a place where are mission has a challenge at an ice cream place that is called Pokeno's. Well that is the city anyways. The record is either 15 or 19 scoops on one double cone. It is nuts and I am not going to try it, but it is pretty cool it is in our area. Their ice cream is good too. I definitely need to start excercises heaps.

Well, I love you heaps and am grateful for all you do for me.
Arohanui,
Elder Beckstead

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!

On Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 3:49 PM, <krtxk@comcast.net> wrote:
Kia Ora Trev,

Did you know we think about or talk about you every day?  Here is a perfect example from this morning.  We were eating bagels and cream cheese in shifts.  Dad and I were the first shift and I was adding jam to my cream cheese. Dad asked, "who else likes to add jam to cream cheese?  It's Trevor isn't it?"  I replied that you really liked to eat your bagel with butter.  He didn't remember that nearly as well as I did and we discussed it for a few more minutes.  Later, when Xane and Korin were eating during the next shift, Dad asked who is it that likes to eat jam with their cream cheese?  Xane immediately said " oh, that's Trevor.  He loves it that way" and Korin without missing a beat said, "No he doesn't.  Trevor likes his bagels with butter!"  I burst out laughing and Dad had to explain to them that we just had the same conversation with exactly the same "gender" answers.  Xane and Dad - and Mom and Korin.  Oh man, it was so funny and I am still laughing about it as I type.

Have you had the crazy news?  Tara is headed to Billings, Montana mission for another little while until her Brazilian Visa gets here.  We all believe she will eventually get to Brazil but now she's headed north before she goes south.  She's a titch nervous about her clothes.  They are ALL very fine for "living on top of the equador-ish", and she doesn't have a thing to take to a cold weather environment.  So far, they have been perfect for this hot Utah summer at the MTC, but Uncle Jeff said today that in Montana they are already starting to see days with the high only in the 70's.  We all know the Lord will take care of her!  She leaves on Tuesday.  (She gets to take the "scenic" route to Brazil:)

All the kids finally made it back into school.  Xane continues to ride his bike, while Korin is actually riding the bus in the mornings and afternoons.  Sam and I continue to go to Orchard at a leisurely pace barely making it before the bell rings at 9:15 am.  I've already gone in this week to steam desks in his class.  The teacher said, "The desks are all clean for the beginning of school. You don't have to come yet."  I said I didn't mind and it would start getting me in the habit.  Brother!  I started steaming and the things were "surface clean" but the towel came away absolutely filthy.  I even had a chance to show the new principal.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if they actually bought one for the school?  I also got to attend the temple twice last week - after the crazy summer I needed it!!!!!! Dad also got to attend twice because he went with Korin and Xane to do baptisms.  The last two weeks they were the first ones there in the morning and were home by 5 minutes after 6:00 am.  Now that's fast!  But BYU starts tomorrow so there is no way that will continue.

We had Stake Conference this weekend and the theme was in building our faith.  Today President Webb's talk was  all about "The Lord wants us to be Happy!"  He was so tender and emotional when he told us that too. He said, "some of you don't believe it for your own lives, but I testify that the prophets have called the Lord's plan "the plan of happiness" and he wants YOU to be happy."  It was a great two days and we are grateful for incredible people who are willing to share their experiences and testimonies of how the gospel touches their lives.  Last night a couple from the Mt Timpanogos Temple Presidency spoke and then today a couple from the Utah Provo Mission Presidency spoke to us. They were both wonderful but I specifically wanted to share President Blacker's message with you.  I think you will love it.
He spoke to us of Two Words - Be Kind.  Be is the action word and Kind is a 4 step process.  K= to know.  Know and understand the gospel and then take that knowledge to make a difference in someone's life.  I = invite.  There was an older sister being baptized and she was questioned why it took her so long to join the church.  She answered, "Because no one ever asked me."  So invite, our ask someone to attend church, or ask if they would like to know more, etc.  N = do it NOW.  Be missionaries almost every waking hour of our lives.  And D= Daily prayers.  He told of a story from missionaries in their area when he was raising his family, with the 21-day program.  (I thought of you because you just had transfers and whether you were affected or not, it sort-of starts a new 6 week cycle without change, so you could start this today and have some amazing success before you have transfers again).  When you meet with members (or even interested investigators), ask them to pray for 21 days in a row for someone they know who could be a referral to meet with the missionaries and receive the gospel.  Be a little more kind and see the golden opportunities to be a missionary that are all around you.

Okay, this email is starting to get longer than long and I suspect you don't have too much more time left so I'm signing off.

Question of the week - how did transfers affect you, Elder Beckstead?  In your companionship, your district, and your zone.

Love you tons and tons,
Sending hugs and kisses galore!
Mother

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy week and strengthened faith


Holy Tomato Mother, and Kia Ora!

It sounds like a crazy week especially for you. Also, way to go on solving problems as usual and don't get too frustrated with the people who are too stubborn to change. I get it all the time over here especially and we just need to love them even when they drive us up the wall.

That is a pretty good book by the sounds of it. Really good points to make and questions to answer.

Ok, now my week was pretty boring. All of our appointments fell through basically this week and we just had mostly walk ins. We did find a new family but we will see how they take the gospel. Also, transfers are this week which is kind of crazy. It seems like transfers are every week instead of every 6 weeks it goes by so fast.

To answer your question,
My faith has been strengthened several ways throughout my mission. To see someone that is basically a gangster who drinks, smokes and has a child out of wedlock change around, be baptized and receive the priesthood is incredible. Also, the other thing is studies. Sometimes when I study in the morning, I happen to read something that will help an investigator that we are teaching that day or also, in district meetings we often use what we learned in a lesson that day. God and Jesus really have everything planned out and a quote I heard.

God's will is never frustrated but only mans.

Have a wonderful week and I love you heaps.
Elder Beckstead

P.S. Thanks for the recipes. I hope that the lady is happy with them.
Arohanui

Missionaries coming and going in ward


Kia Ora Dad,

It sounds like exciting times back in the ward. So many missionaries it is great. Say hello to Scotty for me. I also, can't remember exactly Isai but maybe if I saw him. I guess that won't happen for two years.

Tell Brayden hello for me and tell him no, I didn't learn a language although I am learning a bit here and there. Also, tell him to keep up the good work with the mission papers.

I received a letter from some of the young men and Joseph Barley had a question that I have had quite a lot. So here is my answer to all those who ask me through you or mum or anyone.

The question is how can I prepare better for my mission and what do you wish you would have done?

The Answer:
Well, the one thing that helps all missionaries is Preach my Gospel. It is truly inspired and written by god through his prophets to missionaries and the ward members seeking to do missionary work.

Also, get familiar with the scriptures in it. Especially in chapter 3 but also, the whole thing. That is what I wish I had done better and also, that will help them be more ready for there mission.

Have a great week.
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elder Pearson & Zone Conference


Kia Ora Mother and Holy Moses,

I can't believe all that happened in the last two weeks.

Ok, new stuff from me. The only thing I remember from interviews was I asked president how to obtain a greater desire and he told me to read Enos. I am trying to apply that but it is sure hard. Anyways, that was a few weeks ago and this week was filled with crazy stuff.

Ok first of all, some less active lady came up to me last week and wanted the recipe for Cornbread. Will you please send me a legit american style cornbread as she put it please. Thanks.

Ok next, We had zone conference this week and it was very good. I don't have my notes but we talked about the doctrine of christ and better ways to find people to teach. It was helpful as we are struggling big time with people to teach. We talk to heaps of uninterested people all week and have almost no lessons. Anyways, another crazy thing that came from zone conference is that all the missionary companionships got a portable dvd player for their flat. What in the world. Anyways, we have used it in comp study to catch up on some more movies to use during lessons. Also, we will use it to watch other missionary teaching situations. Evaluate them and practice improving ourselves. It is interesting for sure.

Ok, the last news for this week is that we had stake conference and we had Elder Pearson, 1st counselor in the pacific area presidency there and also our mission president and his wife. They all gave great talks and of course I don't remember what they said other than they were good. Also, I got to meet and shake Elder Pearson's hand. It was pretty cool.

Well the work is slow at the moment and I am happy at the moment except for the rain. I miss all the crazyness back home but I like being over here and awful lot.

I love you all. I hope you are well.

Love you heaps,
Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Empty House & Odd Jobs

Kia Ora Mother,

First of all, I do appreciate all the odd jobs we were able to do around the neighborhood even if I can't remember them all. It helped me to learn to work even if I still don't like it too much. I can't believe it is already august either. It is weird to have july already gone.

Anyways, It sounds like a pretty good week with an empty house. I hope you got heaps done. About the letters, yes I can't print them out but I haven't ever and I don't mind too much if you send letters or not. I am horrible at writing letters so I think I will stick with the emails for the most part. I should be getting a package off the next few weeks for Xane so expect that.

Anyways, this week was not that great just because school was out and so not many people wanted to see us and a lot of the people weren't home. A lot of the time it was knocking on the empty homes of our investigators.

I hope this week picks up though. It will be nice to get back to normal. Also, say hi to everyone that comes in. I wish I could be there and no I would not sleep in a tent even now. I still don't like them. But, I know I need to be here so here I will stay.

Love you heaps, mother,

Have a great week.
Arohanui
Elder Beckstead

Monday, July 25, 2011

Question from mother

Today's post is a mix of Kristin's email to Trevor and his reply:

<<Kristin>>

Hello Trevor,

I was telling Brother Denning that last week I wrote you that your emails were getting vague, and you wrote back they weren't vague, they were just short.  He said "Everything is normal to Elders in the mission field and there wasn't news to write home about."  He defended you quite nicely :)  However, Mothers need lots of details, so this week I'm asking a bunch of questions for you to easily answer:

Food is a great topic -
How many times did you fix a meal with your companion this week?  And name items of one meal please.
How many times did you have a dinner appointment this week? And name some items they either served you at their home or took you to a restaurant for.
What is your favorite food that you have eaten on your mission?   (You may want to get the recipe if needed)
Do you typically eat three meals a day? Or is it more like two with a snack? Or are you eating four and five times a day?
How often are you fasting? (Hopefully only once a month, but sometimes missionaries get carried away and think it is needed once a week for investigators or personal concerns)
Do you drink mostly water? Or mostly other liquids like juice and/or soda and or milk?
Are you hooked on the ice cream yet?
Name 3 "specific to New Zealand and your mission" food items.
Anything else you want to share -

<<Trevor>>

Kia Ora Mother and Wow.

this will be interesting and I hope my answers are satifactory although some might not me.

Anyways, here goes.

Food:
I don't know how many meals we cooked. not many i assure you. The one thing we cook is grilled cheese sandwiches.
We eat 4 times a week and this week was mostly KFC. Last night was fish, chicken, rice, salad, and potatoes with pumpkin. So yep.
My favorite is either the kumara or the bacon and egg pie. I tried to get the recipe but the person forgot. Maybe when I write to him later.
I eat usually 2 1/2 times. Just a smoothie for breakfast and then lunch and dinner. sometimes less and sometimes more.
I fast once a month. I really haven't fasted much for special occasions. Once or twice since i've been here.
Usually water, fizzy or juice. It just depends where we are. (Fizzy is soda)
Ice cream is very good but I haven't had any in ages.
Three items specific, Kumara, Pies, and seafood. First two are good, last one is yuck.

<<Kristin>>

Teaching the gospel is the best topic ever -
Please give me your weekly report that you turn in to your district leader (last week's numbers are great)
Are you doing any tracting?
What is your favorite way of doing "first contacting" (street or bus contacts, sidewalk chalk art, member firesides, etc)
Which is your favorite discussion to teach?
How has your testimony strengthened? (I know it strengthens every day, but was there one instance in particular where as you were teaching, the Holy Ghost bore powerful witness to your soul of the truthfulness)
What would you counsel us to do here back home?

<<Trevor>>

We had no baptisms, 2 set, 0 at church, 16 total lessons, and 122 preach by the way, There is more but those are the basics. No we don't tract to often mostly by choice than by being told not to. I do not like first contacting although member referrals are the best by far.
my favorite discussion depends on the person but usually lesson 3, the gospel or lesson 2, the plan of salvation.
Something that has changed my testimony was the first time I baptized someone. The spirit just touched my heart and told me again of the truth. it was a special experience.
Just keep reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church. Those three things are the basis to achieving great things and being led by the spirit.

<<Kristin>>

P-Day activities -
Do you do service on a pday or any other day?
What kinds of service to you do?
How do you clean your apartment and what time of pday do you do it?
Is your bed made every morning?
How much time do you spend reading emails? Is it enough, or not enough?
Where is the last "tourist" place you visited on a pday?
Do you hang out as a district/zone on pdays?

<<Trevor>>

We do service every once in awhile. last week we cleaned out gutters and chopped down some berries from a palm, but we usually don't do much service.
We don't clean much of our flat on p-days, it is mostly clean up if something is dirty. if we do clean up though, it is first thing in the morning before we leave on pday.
My bed is never made. Pretty much. I guess half made.
It is usually not enough time to email but I work with what i got.
We hang out as a district, but the banned combined district activities which is a very pointless rule in my opinion. About as good as no hunting whales in Utah.

<<Kristin>>

Zone/District/Mission -
Who is your current companion and where is he from?
How many in your current district? In your current zone?  Currently in the New Zealand Auckland Mission?
When is your next interview with the Mission President? Probably at next zone conference - when is that?
Does your Mission President have to "clean house" or are the missionaries obedient and doing what is right?
Who is your favorite missionary so far and why?
What do other missionaries say about you?
Who are you teaching this week that needs extra prayers?
Have the majority of investigators that we have prayed for in the past accepted the gospel?
How many families are you teaching this week?

<<Trevor>>

Companion still Elder Allred from preston Idaho. 4 comps in district and 11 in zone. No idea how many in the NZAM. about 200 i think.
Interviews was last week and they went well. Next zone conference probably beginning of September.
The rest I will answer next week.

Love you heaps and know I am doing well. Have a great week.
Love,
Elder Beckstead

<<Kristin - just to see what she wrote - no reply from Trevor>>

Okay - that is all for this week!!!  We love you tons and hope you don't mind my asking questions.  I just love telling stories about your mission when people ask.

Last week I had a fantastic visit with Sister Smith's sister and her husband who just finished their 3 years as Mission President of the San Jose Mission.  They told some great things.  One is that in their mission, the missionaries were counseled by "the brethren" to no longer tract at all.  They will still "first contact' but it can't be by tracting.  So I asked what they were doing?  Using the members like crazy!!!  So, I'm a member - how are they using the members?  Of course they said in all different ways, but I kept pressing for specifics. They said they are training the missionaries to go to the members homes and create a list of specific non-members they have interaction with (the kids school activities, work, social events, neighbors, etc).  Then they list the church events coming up that they could invite them to.  Then they identify which activity would delight which non-member and the members invite them.  Some love reading, so they invite them to read a book that they give them as a gift.  The missionaries find out who is participating in the Sunday Meetings a week or two weeks ahead of time and go to that member (giving a talk, sharing the musical number, giving the scripture/talk in primary) and ask them to invite a friend or neighbor to support them in the meeting.  President and Sister Jackson said that is one of the most effective ways of getting non-members to church.  For myself, I never invite anyone and I'm in charge of all the RS week-day activities.  I figured that little visit was for me to start being more proactive!!!

We've had a great week - but next week is going to be WAY weird.  You, of course are gone.  Xane leaves this afternoon for All-stars week long camp, and then Korin leaves on Tuesday for Girls Camp and they won't be back until Saturday.  That leaves Sam and me at home while Dad goes to work. I have a ton of soccer stuff to get done and I'm worried I'll let Sam play the wii and watch tv a lot this week.  He does have swimming lessons this week which will help a little.  We've been riding our bikes and trying to enjoying being outside even when it is hot.

Gotta go - love you more than I can say and hope you have a fantastic week!!!
Mother

Monday, July 18, 2011

Birthday Gift - No Longer a Teenager

Kia Ora Mother,

My emails are not vague they are just short. Anyways, now that I am twenty and feel exactly the same, i will try to change and send some longer emails. If time permits that is.

Thanks for the birthday gift. There was a lot of crazy stuff in there that I will probably not use in a while. We made the cake and a recent convert/ investigators house. It was great fun and I will send you some pictures if they ever give me any. Of course I didn't have my camera on me.
I will need to go get new shoes. I was playing a few weeks ago and stuck my big toe through the end of my other ones. Go figure. The rip is now getting bigger so definitely time to get new ones so I don't ruin these other ones completely.

I didn't get transfered and no new companion either so it is just the same as before. It was by far the weirdest birthday I have had so far because it was so close to a normal day. Not much was different, hence I feel the same as before.

We have two people set for baptism for August but one needs parent permission and the other we have a hard time seeing. We did have a new person come to church though that might go somewhere. We will have to see about that one.

Studies are going along well and I found a quote that was pretty good. "It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God." President Joseph F. Smith.

We come to find out god's hand in our lives not by seeing him but by feeling his influence and seeing the change that he does to us and those around us. We don't know it is windy until we feel it and see the change it makes around us. God influences our lives a lot more than we now realize and as we pay more attention to the little things, we piece together all of the pieces into one big puzzle of testimony.

I just love the gospel and how it makes people feel. It just makes sense every turn you make. I might not understand everything and that is where faith comes in. We don't know but our heavenly father does.

I hope you all are having a great week and I love you more than I can possible say through and email.

Love,
Elder Beckstead

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birthday & Aunt Katie's Wedding

Kia Ora Mother,

First of all, you would be proud of me because I got my birthday package but I still haven't opened it. I will wait until my birthday like a good little missionary. I am so glad for auntie Katie. Tell her to invite the missionaries over for dinner. It will be so nice to see everyone again in awhile.

But before that, I have an important work to do on this end of the world. We finally met our new mission president and he is really good. President Porter is back in Utah. They had their homecoming yesterday and apparently there were heaps of missionaries there to support them.

Lets see, we had a few investigators at church yesterday which was good and I hope they start to progress. This area has been really hard lately. I just think I need to pray more and try to get more inspiration. Something else that I need to get better at.

Well, Transfers are back again and I will let you know if anything changes. Probably a lot and nothing at the same time as usual.

Have a great week and I am glad you had a great time in Texas.
Love you heaps,
Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Kia Ora Mother,

First of all Happy 4th of July. Second of all, No I am not counting and I do not care if you do either. I'm with you. I ain't coming home anytime soon so why waste brain cells on it :)

Yes, I did know sis Engebretzen from provo. We were in the same district for awhile.

No I haven't seen or heard about any packages yet. It should be here but I bet because of the new mission president, the office is a little on the chaotic side of things. We get to meet the new president on Wednesday I believe. It will be pretty crazy all of the changes that are happening.

Tell Auntie Katie congrats for me as well. Tell her to invite the missionaries over for dinner as well and I hope something sparks in him that will lead to his conversion. I know she will be happy that you are going. Family always brings happiness it just might be delayed.

My week was good but cold. There hasn't been hardly any rain this week at all but it has been really cold all week. I have had to wear a sweater and a coat. I didn't think it was supposed to get this cold in New Zealand but sure enough it does. We had a baptism this week as well for Aleli which went well. There is a picture attached which I hope gets through. He is the older one. The younger one is Limani which was a few weeks ago. you might already have it. I can't remember. Not much else happened this week except for what I told dad about crashing my bike. Dumb brakes.


<<from dad's letter>>
The work is moving forward slowly. We did have Aleli Nonoa baptized this past week which was a pretty cool experience. We have a couple more lined up, but we are having a hard time with them. Their names are wilson, Jalisha, and George. I just wish people understood what we do and how important this really is.

One last thing to complain about. I had no brakes this week and when I went to get them fixed the member wasn't home. So we left and I was riding along, looked up, saw a car in front of me, and ran right into the back taillight breaking the plastic. I just have a few bruises and a cut on my finger from the brake and the rest of the bike was mostly alright. I tried to find the owner but finally just left a note. The guy called me a few days later and I have to pay $130 dollars to fix the back door because it wont open and the light. I am glad that I have some money put away for emergencies. I just wish I didn't have to use it for this.
<<back to mom's letter>>

Anyways, one way the lord helped me this week is by answering prayers. We have had an incredibly hard time lately with new investigators and getting people to church. In my prayers, I have been asking specifically for someone prepared to come to church not by our doing. When we got to church we saw someone that I had taught before but we though had moved away. We were able to teach him again and get him back on track for baptism. When we pray for specific things, God is able to answer with specific answers and in this case was able to provide both a new investigator and someone else at church that has potential. God is a god of miracles but it takes our constant diligence and prayer in order to qualify and acheive those miracles.


I love you heaps mother and tell the rest of the family hi for me. Have a great week.
Elder Beckstead

Monday, June 27, 2011

Good Week - Happy Birthday!

Kia Ora dad,

Thanks for the quick note. It sounds like it has been busy. I also am glad you had fun at the reunion (25th High School reunion). I hate to say this but dad you are getting old. You have been out of high school longer than your life up to and through high school. Having said that, you are still the best dad there is.

This week was by far the best week I have had as senior companion up until yesterday at church. We were able to teach 31 lessons and we have 5 people set for baptism. Only one or two is fairly solid however because not all of them came to church. it is so irritating not having people come to church. I want you and the family to pray for a man named Aleli Nonoa. He is set for this friday and he needs all the prayers he can get.

Besides that there isn't much else to tell. We are just trying to push forward doing are best to acheive the will of the Lord.

By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I can't believe it is already the end of June which means it is almost July which also means that I am almost 20. oh jeez, I though you were getting old. Obviously, I am catching up quick.

I love you heaps and have a fantastic week.
Elder Beckstead

Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Baptism - Happy Fathers Day!

Kia Ora Dad and Mother,

Happy Fathers Day Daddy!!!!!

Thanks for the advice. It is still a struggle to get people to church but we are still praying for success and new ideas. The person that had the bad experience is pretty paranoid about people she doesn't know and just doesn't trust anyone. She has a daughter and is way overprotective so when some little thing went wrong in nursury, she blew it way out of proportion. Oh, well. It wasn't the wards fault and we will try to keep working on her.

Yes, we attend ward council when they have them. In one ward they only have a meeting once a month. It is irritating sometimes especially when no one turned up. The other ward has a weekly meeting that switches between pec and ward council. That is a little better but I wish the ward would act when we tell them to do stuff.

We did have lots of teaching this week. We did have one baptism which went really well. I am doing better, slowly getting into the motions of senior companion. I think I will get used to it when I am on the plane home. Typical don't you think. I guess not everything can be perfect can it. I think just having to plan and organize everything has been the hardest part of the switch between junior and senior. I don't like leading in the first place but now it is just all on my shoulders. It should be a little easier to delegate now that my companion knows a few people around here. Also, having to come up with what to teach has been hard as well. Discerning needs is definitely something that I need to work on.

Anyways, thanks for the quote. It applies as the quote you normally send perfectly at this point in time. We need to work really hard and pray for the lords help as well

Well, I love you heaps and thanks again for the quote and advice.
Love,
Elder Beckstead

Feeding the Missionaries in Orem

Jeez louise mother,

I am impressed at the amazing skills of my mother to feed anyone who walks in the door. I now don't feel so bad asking people to give us rides knowing that my family is doing the same back home.

How come we never interacted with the missionaries much before I left?

Anyways, Love,
Elder Beckstead

On Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 4:28 PM, <krtxk@comcast.net> wrote:
I realized none of us told you of this experience and thought it was one you might enjoy reading...

The missionaries here in our ward have started calling Dad at least once a week to drive them places.  They call at the craziest times - in the middle of Sam's baseball games, on Monday evenings, we always have things going on and Dad leaves whatever he is doing to go get them.  So anyway, this last Saturday we got up early and got going but of course I neglected to have breakfast ready.  About 10:15 I started fixing puff'n pancakes for everyone to eat as a brunch.  The missionaries called and Dad took them from point A to point B.  Then they called again and asked him to drive them once more.  They wanted to go to lunch at a certain place which ended up being closed.  So Dad asked if they'd like to come to our house.   It wasn't just two missionaries, it was also the Spanish speaking Elders too.  They said sure - but will your wife be okay with that?  Next thing I know, Dad arrives home and there are four Elders coming in the back door behind him.  Ihopefully welcomed then (barely said hello) and put them all to work, setting the table, getting glasses out, utensils on the table, etc.  I knew we wouldn't have enough puff'n pancakes although I did have two pans in the oven, so I sent dad down for sausage from the freezer, I pulled out grapefruit, bananas and peaches and all the toppings.  We had strawberry milk and water. Phew!  While I was finishing preparations I sent them all in the family room and made them each make a birthday card for Grampa's 80th birthday book.  Dad told them that if their mission president asked what they'd done that day, they could answer that they'd "scrapbooked."  It was pretty funny!!!

Delicious breakfast for only having 5-10 minutes to work with !  They always tell daddy "Thanks Brother Beckstead - we know we can always count on you:)"

Don't you dare get discouraged!!!  (Well, okay, you can be discouraged for 10 minutes.) Great things are happening both in Orem and New Zealand so you, your companion, and your investigators who are ready, can receive blessings galore.

Love you again!
Mother

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey from your brother!

Kia Ora Xane,

It sounds like a good week for you over there. I like that gravitron ride and I miss those scones the grandpa so expertly makes. I glad the weather sure shaped up though. I wish it would here as well on days other that sunday :)

I remember digging the hole for the basketball hoop and thinking the same thing. I hate rocks. I think that that there is so many changes happening at home that I won't recognize it especially the people there. I heard Korin is taller than Tara now. Jeez louise.

Things are algoods out here except for getting the people we are teaching to come to church. It's always a challenge!

Anyways, have a great week and I will try to do the same. Keep up the good cooking.

Love you heaps,
Elder Beckstead

Xane Beckstead wrote:
Dear Elder Trevor Beckstead                       Sunday, June 12, 2011

This week was pretty fun. At the end of the week, on Friday, I got to take the kids to the summerfest thingy. We rode the gravitron ride in memory of you, and I think it was the first time I had the chance to ride it with Sam. It was fun to see his reactions and all of that. It was still something like $1.50 per ride, so that was all we did.

Yesterday, we had a huge celebration for all of the birthdays in June. It was Grandpa’s 80’th birthday so we made it a pretty big deal. Plus, it is the last one of these celebrations that Tara will be coming to because she leaves soon. We had a cook-off like we usually do, and this time it was cupcakes, which was appropriate for the occasion. I basically made our cupcakes, although mom did help me with some of them. We made rainbow cupcakes that are layered different colors, ROY G. BV style (I left out indigo). We ended up winning (hurray) and got to keep the traveling trophy and a Minnie mouse cupcake that everyone wants me to put on my bike, and a new cookbook. It was a lot of fun.

For Grandpa’s birthday present, we gave him a flag pole that is twenty feet tall. I had to dig the hole and fill it in with the cement that helps anchor the pole. It was terrible because it had to be about 12” diameter and 26” deep. There were so many rocks that it seemed like there was two parts rock to every one part dirt. It probably wasn’t that bad, but it sure seemed like it when I was digging it. It now looks awesome though.

Keep up the good work. I am excited that you get to do such an amazing thing. Elder Faifai (or something like that) has a cousin, Sister Fafai (not necessarily that spelling) in New Zealand, so if you see her, tell her your family likes to feed her cousin. I saw Nate Mansanarez on Friday and he said to tell you hi for him, so hi!

Love,
Your Cupcake-baking brother Xane.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday Packages - Senior Companion

Talofalava Mother,

It looks like I beat you to the email but that is ok. I appreciate this one all the same. In answer to your question I love your emails just how they are. I like news, craziness, dreams, aspirations and spiritual experiences. Just keep being the mother that I love.

I heard that you sent my birthday package already. I am so excited but I will have to wait forever to open it. Algoods:) Thanks in advance for all the stuff you sent. I am quite as excited as Korin is.

Ok, now for my week. Yesterday was the hardest day that I have had yet on my mission as well as this weekend. I was made senior companion to my new companion Elder Allred and nothing has seemed to go right since that has happened. We had heaps of lessons to go to in which most fell through. My first day, thursday we didn't have any lessons at all. We have had an incredible amount of flat tyres these last few weeks and most of the investigators didn't come to church yesterday. One of the two that did had a pretty bad experience as well. I just don't know how senior companions handle it and it seems Satan is influencing the people more than ever.

How did you and dad, deal with the stress of unreliable members on your mission. I just want give up and do everything myself which is ridiculus and impossible but some members are driving me up the wall at the moment. There are some that are awesome and I can trust 120% but others just don't do what they say they are going to.

The last thing is that our district leader is still in Niue and so we have sort of a threesome at the moment at our flat. The flat is just not big enough for three people and that has increased our irritation as well.

I am sorry for venting my frustration. Enough of that. I included a picture of my new companion so it can be on the wall. I am just happy that last week is over and this week is a new one. We had one set for this week but he refused to come to church so I don't know if that will happen. We will just keep working and praying and doing our best to succeed. That is all the lord asks even though sometimes it seems too much.

I got a letter from Brynne saying that she has been going through some hard times being away from home, but how else will they learn. I guess heavenly father just wants me to learn so that I can be the best senior companion I can be. I just hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Thanks for all that you do and I love you and Dad heaps and heaps. I love our family more than I can ever say. Have a fantastic week and I will try to do the same.

Ofatu,
Elder Beckstead

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2 emails - Memorial Day & Grandma's Birthday

Kia Ora Mother,

It sounds like a lot has been happening and congrats on the new phone. I am currently wishing our companionship had one to communicate outside of the flat. It makes missionary work a million times easier. Anyways, I had a pretty good week. I got fed way too much though. I had mexican food and kfc and subway and hamburgers and american food and heaps of other things thrown in. It was ridiculus and yet really good after it happened. I think it is in south Auckland that I will gain the most weight.

We have been getting up early four times a week to play basketball and it is really good except that I am really tired during the day. Also, we had another baptism this week which went really well. We were supposed to have two but one couldn't make it because of a funeral that the family had. We are hoping for this week though.

Well we are just waiting to meet this new mission president while trying to finish strong. We comes at the beginning of July so we will see how that goes. Will he be strict of not is my question but we will just have to wait.

Have a great week and I love you heaps. Don't be on the phone too much but use it for its purpose. Thanks for all the advice you always seem to have and Know that I am doing well over here. I will keep you updated on transfers this week.

Love you,
Elder Beckstead

----

Kia Ora Dad and thanks for the effort.

Tell Grandma and Grandpa I love them and appreciate the letter from them through you.

I am doing well looking forward to transfers wondering how it arrived so fast. Anyways, it did so I will update you on the news.
I sent a package today for you and I hope it arrives soon. It is for a Happy Birthday for you, Grandma and Grandpa.

We had dinner with the Marshall Family yesterday and he is from Orem. He was the allstate halfback in 1970-71. I thought that was pretty cool. He wasn't sure if he knew you or not but it was a probably not.

Anyways, Have a wonderful trip and I love you all heaps. Thanks again dad and wish Grandma and Happy Birthday tomorrow for me and on Tuesday for you.

Love you,
Elder Beckstead

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunny Day

Kia Ora Mother,

That first picture is for Korin.
Elder Beckstead is a wanted man!

The next two are the same family that has had to be baptized in three different weeks. 5 out of 6 are baptized with one due this week. three got baptized last week which was very cool.


Something else that happened this week was that there was a zone conference. My first real one of my mission. It was a great experience. We have had a few miracles lately and we are desperately trying to complete them off.

One that happened yesterday was a man that was brought by a returning member to church. He was a catholic but is sick of it and he wants to be baptized. We had the first lesson with him yesterday and he is hopefully going down on the 11th of June.

We are also shooting for three baptisms this weekend although it might only be two. We are trying to find out where all of our investigators are. It has been incredibly hard to get them to church up here in the city. Why won't they just come? Oh well. there is always next week.

Beside that this week was fairly quiet. I have had fast food like 10 times last week and it was ridiculus. We will see how this week goes with members feeding us.
Elder Thomas and Elder Beckstead
Thanks for all that you do and I love you all heaps.
Love you mother heaps too.
Elder Beckstead