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.
Elder Beckstead

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

On Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 3:49 PM, <> 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!

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.

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.
Elder Beckstead