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.

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.

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.

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.
Elder Beckstead