Monday, January 23, 2012

Enjoying Serving Up North & Letter from Mother Included

Kia Ora Mother,

This is a very good email today I have to admit. I can literally picture all of yous as you currently are and how I remember yous as well. There is a big change in spirituality but still the same personalities. Ok, so to answer the question (regarding what breakfast we should enter into the family breakfast cookoff), I love Breakfast Casserole, but I love Beto's breakfast burritos or breakfast burritos in general. Also, I love Jamba Juice for breakfast. Anyways, I will let you choose what to enter as I like them all.

Ok, my week was an interesting week this week with a lot that happened.

Last, Monday was a very boring P-day. We just slept after emails and that was about it.
Tuesday was a regular day, no district meeting. That brings it to a total of 3 district meetings in 9 weeks. Pretty odd for sure. Not much happened on Tuesday. Just a couple lessons.
Wednesday was a trade-off with the zone leaders. I was with, Guess Who? My MTC companion, Elder Devey. We of course had a great time and we didn't have many lessons but we talked to lots of people and I got a picture of him at 90 mile beach. We split the area which is already pretty small anyways, at least Kaitaia where all of our investigators were. It was hard to stay busy but we managed.
Thursday, was another regular day, for the most part. It went fairly normal in the morning and then we had a service project for a member. He is canadian and pretty funny. We helped him with his garden. Then he made us dinner. It was soo American. We had T-bone Steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and corn of the cob. I loved it. Then we drove to Kaikohe and then to Whangarei.
Friday, we went to Auckland for a conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook, Elder Callister, Bishop McMullen, Elder Hamula, and Elder Watson, and all of their wives. It was a very good conference and very different from normal. Elder Cook ran in and basically asked everyone questions. Then they would come up and give short answers. Some of the questions he asked the other general authorities were, What is one thing that you want the missionaries to know?, What is something you want them to do?, He asked elder Callister about Spirituality, and Bishop McMullen about Planning. All of their responses were just by the spirit. No planning before hand and it was really good. Then I had to drive a car back to the mission office and we got stuck in traffic. It was horrendous. It added and extra hour onto our trip. I was following the zone leaders because I knew not where to go and I had to run a few red lights because of them. Oh well. They are forgiven and I hope I am as well. Oh, I forgot to mention that all the missionaries in our mission plus the MTC were at the conference. About 250 missionaries in all.
Saturday, We finally made it back to our area in Kaitaia, and the day was alright. We had a wonderful lesson in Ahipara with some kids. We drew out prayer with them and had them list things they were thankful for and things that they wanted to ask. So now when they pray they can pick and choose from the list. I hope that they do what we asked them to.
Sunday, only one of those kids came to church but we had two good lessons afterwords with some other people. We don't have anyone set for baptism yet but we hope to have at least 5 by the end of the week. Wish us luck.

Ok, I hope that is a mother approved email and of course I am way out of time. As usual.
Have a wonderful week and I love you heaps.
Elder Beckstead

P.S. Here is a picture of me and my companion and another of me at a Maori Cemetery.

On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 4:06 AM, <> wrote:
Hi Trev,

We finally got some snow!  It rained a bit Thursday, about enough for spitting, then as I recall Friday we had balmy temps up to at least the 50's.  I thought the car said 63 F at one point.  Saturday morning we woke up to rain and it literally poured all day yesterday until last evening.  It cooled off enough to turn to snow and this morning we have a couple of inches on the ground.  But that is snow on top of frozen rain water making it verrrrrry slippery.  Hope you are enjoying your time away from "shoveling:)"  We are planning to go with Uncle Clarke and Oli tomorrow to do some sledding.  We planned it before it actually snowed so I really, really hope it stays at least until tomorrow night so we can get some sledding in tomorrow after school,

So yesterday we had Relief Society Super Saturday!  And today I'm thrilled how it went.  There were some slight obstacles and some major disasters through the whole planning and carrying out of the activity, but we got it done and it was a nice event and I had to come home and take a nap because I was so exhausted.  Korin had a futsal game and then dad dropped her off at the church so she was with me for several hours.  We had a great time together.  It's funny though, over the last couple of years I've realized I don't work alongside you kids very well.  I dole out assignments and then find something else that needs to be done for myself to do.  Korin made the comment yesterday that she liked doing the etching of pans with me.  It just worked out that I could stand beside her as we put a strip of vinyl on a glass pan, added etching cream over the top, waited for 5 minutes for the cream to etch into the glass, scrap the cream off (because I can't waste anything), and then wash it off with water at the sink.  We tried to etch 3 pans, but only 2 of them worked - weird.

Then I had to work in the kitchen while I "assigned" her another activity without me.  She did great as she put stickers on vases and loaded them up with "dead" candy from our freezers to give to the family for Valentine's Day.  They looked darling, but I didn't sit down with her at all - just assigned her to do it.  Later, I did get to sit for a few minutes and enjoy lunch beside her.  One of my goals for 2012 is to be alongside you guys (well, not you for a while, but yes, with the littler ones).  I realize that I just always have myself so overbooked/overscheduled that I can't just be right with you.  Somehow my "multi-tasking" gene kicks into to overdrive and each has their own assignment to complete, making it so 5 or 6 things get down instead of one.  The idea is okay, but it literally keeps you from learning how to work together on one project.  Hmmm.  Lots for me to still work on and improve.  Maybe I'll get it figured out for when I have grandchildren!

Soccer has begun with the pre-spring season.  Sam is loving basketball and Korin is excited to get back into soccer by playing futsal.  She scored one goal yesterday and had an assist.  I loved having her tell me about it at the activity since I didn't get to go.  Dad took Korin for her game at 8:30 and Xane took Sam for his game at 9:00 while I was at the church.  See, we do divide and conquer extremely well.  I'm trying very hard to be smart with my time on how I serve in my many callings - Wife, Mother, Daughter/Daughter-in-law, relative to others (sister, granddaughter, cousin, etc) Relief Society Presidency Member, Soccer Executive Board member, School classroom helper, Alison's Pantry representative, friend, neighbor, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some of my roles.  It is pretty impressive you get an email from me at all!  Even if some of them are my whining to you:)

Okay, enough about me... how about everyone else?  Xane had a straight A college semester last fall.  That brother of yours is amazing with his school learning and study habits.  He is brilliant and retains knowledge and takes tests well and is doing fine (does he get that from dad and you?! - He does NOT get it from me!!!)  He has a wonderful sense of humor and is very kind to our family.  He has started coming in the kitchen and asking if I need help with anything.  I, of course, always have something that needs help so I give him lots of tasks, especially with dinner. I think he figured out that he has a 20 credit semester this winter so he can get all the classes in that he wants before graduating with his Associates.  He has institute instead of seminary and he loves it.  Says the college kids speak up more in class and have intelligent things to say.  Can you even imagine him bored to tears at Orem High?  UCAS has been a fantastic thing for him.  Just like MATC was a fantastic thing for you!  I love being blessed!!!

Korin has the cutest personality.  She is happy, fun, smart, tall, teases her friends good-naturedly, helpful, all the traits of a good Eagle Scout who honors the scout oath and law, just in female form.  Her hair is getting longer, but isn't quite to waist length yet. Her hardest class is history and she is constantly trying to get extra credit from her teacher to help raise her grade.  She is becoming an awesome artist and is now taking ceramics.  That should be fun for her.  She just made it into the audition choir of treble trios for second semester after singing with ladies choir in the first semester and she is WAY excited about that!  She loves her science and math classes and is at the top of the class in both.  (surprise? no way!  She takes after Trevor and Xane!) She helps me a lot and I'm now understanding she likes being around me as well.  She has all these "guy friends" and she tells me the daily anecdotes from her school experiences.  She doesn't even have to be in the school building.  These stories come from the bus stop and other areas too.  I think she is just too cute for her britches.  Her friends keep telling her she is so tall, and she just nods and says she's short compared to you.

Sam makes me laugh all the time.  His comments and answers are so timely and sweet.  I wish I could think of one of them right now to tell you, but I can't.  He is honest with a great attitude.  He is ALWAYS getting hurt either at home, or recess, or playing.  He has more bumps and bruises than I have cells.  Okay, not really, but it sure seems like it.  Every day he shows me a new bruise and tells me the play by play of how he got it. I love listening to him describe things to me.  And did I tell you, he makes me laugh!  His Spanish is great and he is also an excellent student. We are now in a carpool with two other families for Orchard and I am loving, loving, loving it and believe he is too.  Pinewood derby is this Wednesday so we are in the thick of finishing his car.  Dad is doing it with him.

Your dad is the most caring, serving, amazing man ever!  I love him to pieces!! When he was gone to California a week ago, I just sort-of wandered the house as if half of me was missing.  I couldn't focus on what I was supposed to be doing.  I am in seriously big trouble if he happens to die before me.  Luckily I don't have to worry about or deal with that yet, but it's going to be a whopper of a trial for either one of us I'm sure!  Anyway, he is the glue that holds this family together.  He serves his whole family well!  Don't you just feel his Spirit crawl through the computer emails and grab you, support you, love you, challenge you to do better, and then guide you in doing it?  Yep,  that's my main squeeze and I am the happiest girl on the planet.  I love him more than anything else in the world except my Heavenly Father and Savior.  And it's because of their wise and perfect plan that we get to be a family forever and ever and ever.  Sigh. Bigger sigh.  I'm very content.

Grandma and Grandpa and Nana and everyone else - they are wonderful, kind, loving, caring and are so incredibly patient with us.  We love them all!  Uncle Jeff is recovering very well from his knee surgery so that is very good.  We are having a birthday party/breakfast cookoff next Saturday.  Do you have a favorite breakfast that you want us to enter in your name?  Tell me what your favorite breakfast is and we'll make it.  We are also hoping to give out THE COOKBOOKS.  You know the ones.  We have been working on them for two years!

So in hindsight, who cares about all those worldly other things I have to do?  Not me, not today, not ever - okay, that's pushing it a bit far.  I've gotten so caught up in my own ramblings that I'm thoroughly enjoying the moment :) Hey, did we also tell you?  We are fasting today as a family for missionary work both here in our own stake, but also for NZ and Brazil and all over the world. This is the "40-day fast" that our local missionaries asked us to participate in.  Each ward in our stake has sign-ups for a family or individual to fast over the course of 40 days for the missionary work in our stake.  We began January 1 and will continue through Feb 9, I think.  Our day is today!  We hope you feel our prayers and fasting for you this week as you work with your investigators and ENJOY your companion.  You're still enjoying him right?!  The first three weeks is barely up and he is NOT driving you bananas yet, right?!  See, you are making huge headway here.  Keep enjoying his "different than you"ness for the whole transfer!!!!

Love you tons and tons, my darling missionary. Hope you have a fabulous week.
Only question of the week is the breakfast question.  You can just tell us whatever you want today:)
I adore you immensely and am so grateful to have you as a son, and be your mother.  Oh wait, who else says hello?  Bro and Sis Furr, Brother Jones, Bro and Sister Schwarting, Bro and Sis Wood, Bishop and Sis Fehlberg, Vaughn Greening, Bro and Sis Robinson and Bro and Sis Kirkland - those are the ones I remember.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Keep the Faith - pictures :)

Kia Ora Mother,

Thank goodness it was only last weeks craziness. You can write long emails if you so desire, however, don't feel pushed to do so. Keep your priorities in order remember.

Ok, the first picture is me at a members house and the second picture is the beach that I am hiding. My companion needs to work on his photography skills. The third is the picture of me by Kaitaia. This is where I live and spend most of our time. Our area is huge, bigger than I said before but this is the headquarters you could say. The weather is finally acting right so better pictures should be coming. The other pictures including the ones of me and my companion are on his camera and currently not here. So I will get that to yous later. His name is Elder Pohahau and he is from Tonga. His English is pretty good but there is improvment to be done just like with us all.

Ok, the first news is bad news. I was sick this week which was no good. I think I had a bad cold/ sinus infection/ or flu. The weather is horrible up here lately switching between hot and cold and has cause a lot of sickness. I will try to get back into my old routines but it is quite challenging after moving and being sick. Oh, well, just more challenges.

Ok, a miracle for this week was that yesterday we went and saw this girl that I had never met but that had been taught for awhile. We went and she said that the elders in Kaikohe (where she went for a holiday) had set her for baptism this weekend. We are just praying that her dad will give permission which has been the cause of the delay for several months now.  It was good to hear that he was thinking about it instead of just saying no and we are all praying heaps. She is very prepared and we hope to see her baptized this week.

Ok, a crazy story this week was one of the members picked up a hitchhiker on the way to church and brought him along. He is from Canada studying in a bible school in the south Island. Anyways, it was good that he came to church and we had a good lesson with him. He was one of those people that believes in doing nothing to be saved except accepting Jesus in our hearts. We are saved by grace, not by works. The Bible annoys me sometimes, but it just continues to help me know that Book of Mormon is true. We basically just tried to help him understand the necessity for the Book of Mormon which ended up in his accepting a copy. Whether it will be read or end up on the side of the road is another story.

Thanks for all that yous do for me. Oh, thanks for the pictures. I like the one with everyone (at aspen grove?) It was cool to see all of the changes a year and a bit makes. Does Oli have an older brother, cause oli was a lot smaller last time I saw him.

Love yous all heaps, and have a fantastic week.
Elder Beckstead

P.S. I was rereading the email and forgot to answer the question. I am currently studying in Helaman and today I read Helaman 5. Everyone knows the first part of the chapter with Helaman teaching his sons or more like his sons, Lehi and Nephi remembering their fathers teachings. I don't think too many people look at the last part of the chapter and the significance of it. Nephi and Lehi teach with such power that no one could deny them. 8000 people were baptized. Went to the Lamanites and were thrown in Jail. Surrounded by fire and black smoke covered the Lamanites. They hear gods voice and repent. Fire surrounds all of them and angels teach Lehi, Nephi and all of the others there. They all go out and convince many of the truth. So many in fact that the Lamanites yield up the lands back to the Nephites.

It is a testimony to me how when we teach with the spirit no one can deny us. Also, the word of god does more than the sword. Middle East, listen up.
Thanks for the question.

Also, tell the Brousseau's and the Oliver's thanks for the emails. People in the ward truly are progressing forward and it will be exciting to see them all soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rain, Visiting a Tangi & Upcoming Mission Conference

Kia Ora Mum,

I am short on time today because we only get half and hour at the library and that is it. It is very annoying but thats life I guess.

I am doing good and enjoying up north. However, it has rained everyday but two since I have been here. It is so annoying especially since it hinders my beach views as we visit members. Anyways, enough complaining.

We are teaching some choice families which I hope we can help into the waters of baptism. We had 4 people at church yesterday which was good but I wish we had all 9 or 10 that were supposed to be there. We will keep trying. We also had a miracle with a ysa named trey. He is set to be baptized at the end of the month, but was planning on going to gisborne this week. After lots of prayer and a fast yesterday, he said that he is staying to the end of the month. Yippee. He is so choice and has friends in YSA that he hangs with all the time.

Ok, some other things that happened this week was that we went to a Marae last monday after emails. It was really cool because you have to be invited first of all and it was for a tangi which is like a funeral. We didn't go to the funeral but to the viewing type thing before hand. It was very different that american culture that is for sure. It was cool never the less. We had interviews last week which was good. We are having a mission conference this month with Elder Quentin L. Cook and Elder Callister, Bishop Burton, and Elder Hamula. It should be a pretty good conference. I am very excited.

I got some pretty good pictures so I will have to send them next week. I will try to at least. I love you all heaps and thank you for the support that you give me each and every day.

Elder Beckstead

Monday, January 2, 2012

Transfer to Kaitaia & Missionary Miracles

Kia Ora Mother,

Thank you for sharing your miracle. And I have a few on this end as well.

It started with transfers. I got transfer and where to? If you look at a map of New Zealand. Find Kaikohe, then find Kaitaia. I am located in Kaitaia but I cover everything north and a bit south of it as well. Another big area but one filled with beaches which is my favorite. I am sad I can't go on them. I will take lots of pictures though just to remind me.

Ok. So after the 3 1/2 hour drive to transfers and the 4 hour drive from Auckland to here I was pretty tired. I am still trying to catch up and I think that will be in September. I think you are trying to make me trunky aren't you. Well it ain't going to work because I am content where I am for the moment and September isn't coming for awhile. I am however, very excited to see yous then.

Ok, so the miracles were on Friday and Sunday. On Friday we went with a member to a dinner appointment 40 minutes out of Kaitaia. We were able to teach 4 grandkids of the member and they came to church. It was great.

The second miracle was that our set investigator name Trey, didn't know if he was coming to church yesterday because of a Tangi (funeral). We said alright and hoped and prayed he would make. Yesterday morning he called us and asked us to pick him up. I have never had an investigator do that before. It was a miracle.

I love you heaps and heaps and you know me. Always out of time. Have a great week.
Elder Beckstead