Monday, February 22, 2016

It's hot! I'm sweaty! but the work is good...

My companion Elder Koopmans.He is a funny guy. He can make a lot of different voices, he likes to sing, he's big, he plays sports, he is a good missionary. 

Hello! It was a great week this week. We found so many great people and families this week. It was great to see the finding and all the hard work start to pay off. This area has a lot of potential and a lot of great families that are ready for this gospel.

On Tuesday we called a ton of people, but everyone fell through. So we went out and started contacting and even a member gave us a referral to teach which was awesome and we met this family that was a referral from a member in K2. They are a great family and I am excited for them. Today also was hot. It was not easy. 

On wednesday, we had a great District/Zone Meeting. Also went on Exchanges with K2. I was with Elder Mumba in my area. It was good. He is a brand new missionary, but he doesn't seem like it. He knows a lot more than I did when I first came out. We had some really good lessons and it seems like everyone's questions are about the fall of Adam and Eve. It is tough to explain, but the spirit is always there to help which is great. ha.

On Thursday we had a good day, but a tough day. We had an appointment in the morning and the guy was taking us to his house and he kept saying oh it is coming soon soon. Then 10 minutes later we would ask, oh it is coming soon. Then 10 minutes later again. We finally get to his house and we don't have much time for a lesson so we try to teach a quick lesson, but he kept asking us the same question like 5 times. It was frustrating and super far away. Also we had a nice crock pot lunch stew. It was nice. Then we had a good rest of the day with many lessons. It was also a super hot day. Sweated so much. My shirts are already getting nasty. It is not good. 

On Friday.we had a good day. We taught a recent convert and read from the BoM in Moroni ch.7 it is my favorite chapter in the BoM. It was a great lesson. Go and read Moroni ch. 7 it is a great chapter so much to learn. We also tried to have one of our investigators baptized this week, but her mother wouldn't let her. It is tough, but I learned we have to be patient in life sometimes.

On Saturday we had a great day. We found a new family that I had not wanted to visit, but I called them anyways and they turned out to be a great family. We also had a nice lunch. We made burgers and chips(fries). Super NIce. I was feeling real comfy afterwards, but then I had to walk so it wasn't to good. ha.Then we taught some more lessons. Had Samosa's (what's that? question for next week...oh wait, I checked with google...see below) with boiled eggs inside for Coordination meeting. Super Nice. and we taught another awesome family. That speaks really good english. It was nice teaching someone that didn't need any help to translate and I could talk pretty much normally with her. It was great. On Sunday we had a great day. We had a great church service. 75 at sacrament.13 New Investigators. Which is awesome. The room was almost full. It was awesome. It was a great Sabbath day. The singing was tough though. haha. Today we had an easy P-day. Just did laundry and hung out around the apartment. TOday was a holiday for voting or something. 

This week has been awesome. We saw many great miracles and blessing this week. I am excited for this area and excited for March. I have also learned a lot this week. I am reading the BoM all the way through right now. I have been reading in Mosiah and the first of Alma. Awesome stories. I have seen a pattern while reading. How when ever things get hard or something goes wrong, or a question or a concern come up, they always go and inquire of the Lord. They don't try to do it on there own, but they go to the Lord for help. Heavenly Father wants to help us. We don't have to go through life alone. We just need to excercise our faith and ask and inquire of him and he will always help us. He will always answer us. He will always listen. Something else I really likes was when I came across the scripture in D&C 108:7. No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, we should always try to make everyone around us better and stronger. It is something that I am trying to do on my mission, to make everyone around me a better person. I don't have to completely change them or see a miracle to do that, but just to try and make everyone around me a little better than they were before. This gospel is true. The Book of Mormon is true. Read it. Thank you.I Love you. Have a great week.

Love Elder Beck

Mom's Questions:
1.  Of the 8 missionaries in Rwanda, who has been in Rwanda the longest?
Elder Ercanbrack has been here the longest about 8 months. Then me and Elder Myers for 5 months.

2.  If a non English speaking person wants to know more, what do you do? Get an interpreter?
Yes we get an interpretator usually, but we don't usually teach non-english people. There is no Book of MOrmon in Kinyarwanda. Only English, French, and Swahili.

3.  Thinking about birthday package.  Do you need anything? Let us know when you get the package dad sent in January. (I  don't think he got our package from early January yet)..maybe another microfiber towel.

4.  are you allowed to read any church books? Do they just want you to focus on the scriptures and a few other books?We can read other stuff, but we focus on the missionary library. There is already a ton to read right now.

5. What is your favorite phrase or word in kinyurwanda?
My favorite word is Ashquida. It means NO. And it is old Kinyarwanda, so when I say it or a white person says it they laugh or think we speak fluent Kinyarwanda. It is funny.

Thank You mom. For everything you do for me. The love and support. I hope that your talk went well in church and that I gave you enough things to talk about. You are the best mom ever. I love you.

Love Elder Beck

boda bodas (motorized bicycles) are every where....pic from Elder Koopmans

A place nicknamed California. Super nice place.

Super nice place in town. I feel like I am in America when I am inside.

Samosa.....a fried or baked pastry with a savoury filling, such as spiced potatoesonionspeaslentilsmacaroninoodles, and/or minced meat (lambbeef or chicken).[1] Pine nuts can also be added. The samosa is claimed to have originated in Tanzania

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 2. Companion. Christmas Packages.

Hello. It has been a great week because I actually have a companion and I got both packages from Grandma Beck and Grandma Egan (sent early December). so it was awesome. haha.

 On Tuesday, we took Elder Myers and moved him into the other apartment and picked up the 4 new Elders. Elder Koopmans ( my companion), Elder Mabale (Elder Myers Companion), Elder Nyambita (Elder Ercanbrack's companion and a brand new missionary), and Elder Mumba ( Elder Brogan's companion and a brand new missionary). Every has new companions this transfer. They all seem pretty chill. SHould be a good transfer. Me and Elder Koopmans went and worked the first day.Had a good day with some great lessons. Elder Koopmans is a really good teacher. On Wednesday, we had DDM all together as a zone. It was good. Then we had to do some paperwork for the new missionaries and their visa's, so a lot of the day was gone and used by that, but we still had a good day. A quote I liked that I found during personal study was "If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God.... The Lord will not forsake us." - Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley. As long as we do our best that is all we can do and the Lord will take care of the rest. I love that quote.

On Thursday, we had a pretty good day. Had some lessons and also did a lot of finding. Street contacting and tracting. It was tough, but it is what has got to be done in a brand new area for both of us. On Friday, we had weekly planning and also had a few lessons. Then we did some more finding. It was good as well. There were good questions from our investigators especially Carlos and Derian. They are 10 and 12 years old. They ask some serious deep questions, that are super hard to answer, but I love them. They have a great family.

On Saturday, we called a ton of people, but no one could meet for some reason, so we went out and did some more finding. We were blessed to have a couple of unplanned teaching opportunities. It was great and we found some awesome families. We also got to listen to part of the Fireside that Elder Ellis had. He is the 1st counselor of the Africa South East Presidency. He is a powerful guy. On SUnday, WE had a good day. We had 67 at sacrament meeting which was a good improvement from last week and we also got to hear from Elder and Sister Ellis in Sacrament meeting. They went to all the branches on Sunday. Elder Ellis also spoke to all the missionaries. He told us to really focus on finding families that speak english. It was a good reminder that we are building the foundation here in Rwanda. Then later that day we had dinner with Juan and jane again. The couple from America. It was really good and they are fun to be with. It was a good day and a great week. Me and Elder Koopmans worked hard and we saw that the work payed off. It was awesome.

This week has been a great week. I have learned so much. Something I really liked from my study was Enos 1:27. It is a great scripture and it is what I want when I leave this life. We always need to look at our lives and see if it really helps us get to that point or not. Which tied into a talk that I read later that week, which was by Larry R. Lawrence .."What Lack I Yet?".   He talks about looking at ourselves and in pray asking what can I do better, what can I change and the spirit will tell us something that we can change. It won't be everything, but the spirit will give it to us little by little. A quote that I like from his talk was this... "It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today." That is this gospel, steady everyday improvement and progression. Strive everyday to become better. Work on one thing at a time to improve on and you will see yourself become more and more Christ-like. It is the great thing about this gospel. Thank you everyone. and a have a great week. Love you.

lOve, Elder Beck

Mom Questions

1. In your last note you mentioned going back into k2 with elder Brogan and that you saw something interesting there but you never stated what that was. What was it?
I forgot what it was.... Dar n  it

2. What is a Mandaze Industry?  (In the k3 area)
Mandaze Industry is a place where they make like fried bread. Almost like a scone. But the INdustry is where they make and fill shelves and shelves of the stuff. It is good.

(NOTE:  these are all pictures I found on the internet from bread makers in Rwanda. I'm not exactly sure what he sees!)

3.What was the most difficult thing you did this week?
The most difficult thing I did this week was a lot of finding and not finding anyone who spoke english. It was really frustrating, but I just kept going at it and when I got the must frustrated and said ok I am gonna keep going. The next few people would speak english. It is funny how the lord works sometimes. He definitely has a sense of humor, especially with missionaries. haha. 

4. What was fun this week?
The fun thing was my companion Elder Koopmans. He is a funny guy. He likes to scare the children and sing a lot. He's fun.

5. What other interesting cultural differences do you find in Africa?
In Africa they love to stare. They don't think it is rude here, I have tried to get used to it. They also don't think it is rude to call someone fat. They call people fat and they don't take it bad at all. There are some things here that seem like they would be rude or not seen in America. Just different cultures.

cool african plant

Monday, February 8, 2016

1st week. No companion.

Elder Beck and branch member Heritier. He always worked with us and is from the K2 branch. 

Hello everyone. This week has been interesting to say the least, but awesome at the same time.

On Tuesday it was my last official day in k2 (Super Sad telling people I am leaving, but only going to the next  branch over). We visited some people and had a nice day. On Wednesday in the morning we dropped off Elder Osei-tutu and Elder Gondwe. I will miss those guys, they were great missionaries.

 Then for the day I went with Elder Myers around K3 area. It was fun, but a ton of walking. We were walking all day, but I was a big help to get me started on learning the area, even though I don't remember that much. Also I was so dusty and dirty after going to Batsinda. It is a small town. That is just insanely busy with people, but it does have a nice Mandaze industry (unsure what this is... On mom questions for next week). It was a good day.

On Thursday Elder Brogan came to K3, my area, and I tried to schedule some appointments, but It is a little difficult to when you have no idea who any one is and where anything is, but everything worked out well and we had a good day. Also found out the our companions would not be coming in till next week so we would have to manage with 4 missionaries the rest of the week. On Friday. Me and Elder Brogan were in my area again. Today we did lots of contacting and tracting becuase a couple appointments fell through. We found some awesome people though. Also it was super hot the past few days and this week. Getting into the mid 90's. It was a hot day, but it was a great day. We taught this family of 4 that live close to the church and they were all asking good questions, even the kids! They are a great family and I am excited for them.\

On Saturday I went to Elder Brogan's area for the day. It was nice to be back in k2, but also wished I could continue to work in my area. We had a good day and there was some strange things that I saw (also on question list). But it was a good day. On Sunday me and Elder Brogan split. I went to K3 and he went to k2. I went with a member and he went with Elder Leibel. It was a weird day. It reminded me my first sunday in K2 where I didn't know anyone, but this time I was a lot more prepared. I could tell I have changed as a missionary. This branch has a really strong branch presidency that really wants to help in the missionary effort. It also has 3 RM's which help the branch figure out what is going on and how to function better. It will be different than K2 but I am excited for it and I see a lot of potential here in this area. I just need a companion now........ For p-day we had a chill day of doing laundry and hanging out around the house playing with the soccer ball.

It has been an interesting week and a little challenging trying to figure a brand new area out by myself, but it has made me grow and I am excited for this upcoming week to work with my companion. This week I found a scripture in Ephesians 1:10 it talks about how in the dispenstation of the fullness of times they will gather all in one to Christ. It is awesome to see how that is being fullfilled right now and that I get to be a part of it. This church is true and it is gatthering everyone in Christ. Also I read some great general Conference talks from president Uchtdorf. "It works Wonderfully" and "A summer with Great Aunt Rose" both amazing talks. I recommend reading them and studying them. I love Elder Uchtdorf. Also read the last few chapters of 2 Nephi this week. These are probably some of my favorite chapters in the BoM. I really like 2 Nephi 29:7-9 that talk about the BoM. The BoM just makes sense, especially when you read and pray about it. I love the BoM. Have a great week. Love you.

Love Elder Beck
 Rwandan sunset.......

Mom questions..

1. What ingredients do you have available? What foods do you buy? Would you like me to send you some recipes? Here we have most ingredients. I think. so it might be good to have some recipes, but I probably will be too lazy to make anything, but maybe. I buy bread, Peanut Butter, Eggs, Bananas, Pasta, Tomatoes, Potatoes, and a few other things.(The staples!)

2. I love the pictures of your hike. How do you decide what you're going to do for pday?
 We just decide in DDM as a zone.

3. Do you walk most places? How far do you think you are walking every day? How are the shoes holding up? In my new area I will walk everywhere, but In my old area I drove some and walked some. The shoes seem to be holding up well, but we will see. I am not sure how far I am walking every week, but I will try to find out.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Elder Beck African Style hiking
Hello. Today I don't have much time, but everything is well here in Rwanda.

It was a really good week. We helped the Senior Couple from Ethiopia while they were here and we sent a missionary from Rwanda off to DRC(Democratic Republic of the Congo).  (NOTE: A Rwandan missionary in Congo .....very cool.)  Also the soccer cup that is going on is crazy. Rwanda lost so they are now out of the tournament. It was also a great week of teaching and finding. 

We had a somewhat shortened week with the Senior Couple from Ethiopia and MLC, but we still had great numbers this week and found a lot of great families and started progressing some families as well. At church we had 71 in attendance which is the highest since I have been here. Which is awesome!! We also had 2 great baptisms of Phileman and Elite by their Uncle Joseph. It was really amazing to see this week. 
Phileman, Elite and Joseph

Then today we went to the Northern Province and hiked Mount Kibuye. (About 1.5 hr drive away)  It was fun and terrifying. We had the local children as guides up the mountain. It was a good time. 

Run Forest Run....
Meet their local hiking guide

We're gonna climb that mountain!  Mount Kibuye
(Elevation 8800 ft, just a pinch under the highest
 point at Pebble creek summit (9271 ft) in Idaho)
At the top.
About 3 hr hike up and 2 hrs down

Elder Beck....mountain conquered!

Cave along trail with the local guide (little kid)

Elder Beck the caveman

Also we had transfer news today. I will be going from Kigali 2nd Branch to Kigali 3rd Branch and my companion will be Elder Koopmans. He came out the same time as me and from what I remember he is a great missionary. I will stay in the same apartment. It should be interesting, but exciting at the same time.

This week has gone by really fast. What I have learned and realized this week is how powerful testimonies are. Me and Elder Brogan went on splits on Sunday and I was with Joseph Omba. He is a member and great person. We were teaching and I asked him to bear his testimony and it was powerful and completely changed the lesson. His testimony helped the people to soften their hearts and be more willing to listen to the message. It made me realize how important it is to share our testimony. It can change peoples lives and it also builds our own testimony as we share it. SO go and share your testimony. Thanks and Love you. Have a great week.
Love Elder Beck

MOM's Questions:
1. Can you describe a typical day?
A typical day is waking up at 6:30. working out until 7, eating breakfast and showering until 8. From 8 to 10 study. Personal and Companion. Then we schedule appointments for the day. We try to fill most hours of the day with appointments. Usually 2 before lunch. Then 4 or 5 for the evening and after lunch. We also try to do some street contacting or tracting most days.Then we come back home and do daily planning and plan for the next day and the do whatever before bed at 10:30

2.  Do you run into many people who don't believe in God at all?  What is the biggest barrier to getting the gospel message out?
There are not many people at all that don't believe in God. The hardest thing is people already have a church and they already believe in Jesus Christ. They don't need us to teach them and visit them. They don't see that a church really matters. That as long as you believe in Christ and go to church you are good.