Thursday, March 31, 2016

Awesome Crazy Week

Hello. This week was awesome and crazy. 

Tuesday we dropped off Elder Brogan to go to Uganda for MLC, so Elder Mumba was with me and Elder Koopmans, but today he got a member to go with him for the day and we went to our area. It also rained some today which was nice. We had a solid day and made some sick raps about missionary work. haha. On Wednesday we had a great DDM, but got bounced like a basketball in the afternoon. We also went with Elder Mumba to his area for most of the day, but came back in the evening for an appointment. So a lot of going back and forth from areas and trying to balance schedules. We also had a soda party that night. Probably my last one for awhile. I am sick and tired of soda. haha.

Fanta fun......sounds like he is sick of soda

Elders Mumba, Koopmans, Beck

On Thursday we had a great day. We had a couple appointments in the morning were late to pick up Elder Brogan from the airport, but he was chill with it.  Then we met a new family. Great family, but doesn't speak much english. We also found this guy that was wearing a Boston Red Sox jersey and I started talking to him. Turns out he has been to Boston a few times and he speaks really good english. He was a sweet guy. Hopefully that he turns out so I can talk about some baseball with him. Hahaha. No body here knows about baseball....... 

On Friday we had a good day. We met with a new investigator and his entire family and part of his church choir were there. They were really nice, but they started teaching us about the gospel, but the one son that isn't so deep into the ADEPR church was very interested. 
  • ADEPR  (Association des Eglises de Pentecote au Rwanda)

The ADEPR  church is huge here.... pentecostal church.  Everyone seems like they are a part of it. They also fed us which was nice. ha. Then we had a baptism interview for Adrienne to finish the night and she was ready for her baptism.

Adrienne's baptism with Elders Beck and Koopmans

On Saturday it was Umaganda day.  NOTE: Umaganda Day is the last Saturday of the month Rwanda where from 8-12 am citizens met in their local neighborhoods/sectors to do their civic duty in order to keep Rwanda clean!  Jobs on these days vary from picking up trash, trimming hedges, cutting grass, to filling in huge water filled pot holes on the roads. Anything that the local leader deems important to do….is what gets done.  We also had a solid day in the afternoon and the evening. We met with Fistus. He reads the Book of Mormon like crazy. Betty and Johnson. They are excited for the gospel and accepted a baptism date and even gave us another family to teach. Awesome missionaries. Then we visited Emmey and Eunice an awesome family. So we taught a lot of families today. Which is awesome to see. THIS GOSPEL IS MADE FOR AND TO BLESS FAMILIES.

 On Sunday. It was great. It was Easter. We had some awesome talks in Sacrament. We had a lot of people show up to church. We had a confirmation of Aarron in sacrament meeting and also a baptism of Adrienne after church. The spirit was really strong at the baptism. More than usual. It was a great day for her. 

Baptism of Adrienne

We even went to Gasanze after everything. It is kinda far away, but we met this super awesome guy. He has a car and a nice house. He does a radio show and where he lives is awesome. Beautiful. Then we got a nice dinner by a family in the Branch. great Family. Powerful family. The food was good and they even gave us a referal. 

Gasanze fields


Today we went to Akagara again. It was awesome and fun, but I still enjoyed the first time more. We went with Juan this time. It was fun. Saw a ton of animals again. We also had transfer news. I am going to leave Rwanda and go to Uganda up north to Gulu. I will be with my MTC companion Elder Grant. I am sad to leave Rwanda and the people here, but also excited and scared to go to Uganda. It should be fun. Crazy and awesome week.

Elder Beck and Grant in MTC, get reunion in Gulu this week! woot!

This week I have been thinking a lot about Jesus Christ and not even intentionally. Things just came to me during the day and also during study. It was the spirit helping me remember Jesus Christ this week. I have just come to realize that Jesus Christ is the center of God's plan, he is the rock, he is the light, etc. There are so many ways to describe Jesus Christ and show how he is important. It made me realize again how Jesus Christ should be the center of our lives. HE IS WHAT MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE.... I mean everything. I can't explain exactly what I was thinking, but I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the World. He is our example and as we follow him and his example, We will be able to live with our families forever. His atonement is real and can strengthen anyone in any situation. I know it to be true. Have a great week. Love you. 

Love Elder Beck

Mom and other Questions:
1. I asked him about about bugs, his happiness level, member missionaries (he did mention the couple that gave referral) but I think he ran out of time and I slightly overwhelmed him with a bazillion pictures from home this week. So, Stay tuned for next week

2. The family says hi from the Easter party.  Do you have any inspiring thoughts about Easter and Jesus Christ for us?  I think he pretty much summed up his thoughts about Christ in his last paragraph.  He is really gaining a sure knowledge of the what Christ has done for each of us and it is reassuring that he is developing a strong relationship with Christ.  Could a mother ask for anything better?  I think not.

Elder Becks Journey via map.....
1. Idaho to Atlanta to Johanesburg South Africa Missionary Training Center (MTC) ....2 day travel, 10 days in MTC?

2.  MTC to mission home in Kampala, Uganda  (2 days and left one suitcase at the mission home)

3. Kigali, Rwanda.... 6 months.... He loved it here and he loved the people! Amazing!

4.  P-day Safari to Akagara...... see it in green next to Tanzania.... except they spelled it with an "o" on this map

Add caption

Transfers this Wednesday to Gulu, Uganda....I'm assuming he flies to the mission home from Kigali, Rwanda to Kampala, Uganda and then they drive north up to Gulu,Uganda.  He is nervous but excited!

did you realize that Rwanda is below the equator and Uganda is mostly at the equator or Elder Beck will be traveling from below to above the equator.....interesting.

(Akagara safari)

Elder Beck and Koopmans with their African scarves!!

Akagara bird

Giraffes are my friends

Hippo sighting....did you know that hippos are in the top 10 most dangerous animals in the world?

Stretching out for hippo wrestling?
Not sure what he is pointing to.... a hippo... I think that might

Just me and my shadow

This picture makes me want to sing something from the Lion King

Random long horned cows stuffed into a truck.....look at those horns!

Ankole-Watusis cattle for all you cattle ranchers

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

6 months!!!

Hello everyone!
This was an awesome week. A lot of great things came about. Lets start from the beginning. Tuesday we had an awesome day. We were pretty much full with lessons all day. We even met an awesome family that we called after we had almost forgotten about him in our Potential Investigators numbers. On Wednesday we had exchanges with K2 with Elder Mumba and also a great District Meeting. In K2 we met with an investigator that I even started teaching. He is pretty well off, so he took us to lunch for his lesson. Right after we just had a big lunch ourselves. I was stuffing myself and was super comfy. ha. He is also doing really well. Then we visited some RC's(recent converts) even some that I was there for their baptism. It was great to see them still going well in the gospel and to see how they have changed even more for the better from the gospel. This gospel is true and it changes peoples lives.
On Thursday it was St. patty's day so I borrowed a green tie from Elder Koopmans. We did some sweet street contacting after we got bounced in the morning. We also visited Silver a recent convert that we haven't seen in a long time at church and guess what! We saw him there this Sunday. Powerful! We also stopped and got these super nice Samosa's. They are an egg and meat inside a fried shell. Super delicious probably not the healthiest. haha. On Friday it was Elder Koopmans 19th birthday! We also met with the awesome family we met earlier in the week and he had already read 65 pages of the Book of Mormon! And he was saying that he was sorry for not reading more. He says he can finish it by next week. I was pumped man!!!  When people read the Book of Mormon they will know that it is true. That is one of the hardest things here. Is getting the people to read the Book of Mormon, but when they do. They know it is true. Then to celebrate Elder Koopmans we had dinner at Bizimana's house. Super Nice. We had a great time and even Elder Koopmans got water dumped on his head. hahaha.

Saturday we had an awesome day as well. We had some great appointments in the morning and we even had a couple of baptism interviews for our area and K2. so for me I went to K2 in the evening because of the interviews. Also a Marriot hotel is opening soon. I think in May and everyone is applying for jobs. On Sunday we had an great Sabbath. Super great service. Investigators showed up to church and we had an awesome baptism for Aarron. His brother Jordan baptized him and it was a great service. We also got fed by Juan and Jane in the evening. Some homemade mac and cheese. Delicious. Biraryoshe!(Kinyarwanda). Today we played some Rugby in the morning. First time playing RUgby and I had a blast super fun sport. ELder Myers is the Rugby player back home.. Anyways it was a great week. And this week should be great as well because we even have a baptism this week as well. Also the last week of the transfer. So who knows what is going to happen.
I learned a lot this week, but something that stood out to me this week was faith and obedience. They are the first principle of the gospel and the first law of heaven. First it means the beginning, the foundation. So first we need to have faith and increase our faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement. Then we need to be obedient to all of God's commandments. Then everything else will fall into place. Especially here on mission and also in our everyday lives. Also something awesome that happend this week was we had an investigator who has two children and one was very very sick. Something that has been holding her back from coming to church, but last week she was able to come to church. She loved it and the next time we came to visit her. Her child was improving so much. I knew it was a blessing that came to her from keeping the commandments. It was a miracle that happened. It strengthened my faith and I know it strengthened her faith as well. Anyways thanks for the support and the love. Have an awesome week and a great Easter. Love you.
Love Elder Beck

Happy brothers.... Jordan and Aaron

Jordan?, Elder Koopmans, Aaron (who got baptized), Jordon (who did the baptizing), Elder Beck
Big Day!

All I see is HAPPINESS  here.

MOM questions....

Hello Mother,
 I am doing fine on mission. Everything is going well. We had a baptism on Sunday and will have one this upcomingSunday as well. Things are going well. It is the last week of the transfer and who knows what the next transfer has in store.  Happy Birthday Gpa!

1. Do the people you teach have difficulty believing that Joseph Smith did what he did and saw what he saw in helping to restore the gospel?
Some do some don't. It is really both ways. Some just believe right away, others have a hard time believing Joseph Smith. Most people believe in the Book of Mormon, but don't always see what the Book of Mormon really means.

2. What are the concerns and worries of the people you teach or that live in Rwanda? Food, shelter, jobs, illness?
The concerns of this people are finding jobs, providing food for their families, and shelter, and illness. I have seen it all. People asking for help in all of these areas. It is a problem because people see two white guys in nice clothes as missionaries and think that we can give them money or a place to stay, but we can't and it sometimes gets in the way of teaching. They don't always see that the gospel is what they need and not always money.

3.  The new Provo temple was dedicated today. What is the closest temple for your people? How many of the members (percentage)there have been through the temple?
The closest temple is the Johannesburg temple, but people here have to go to the Ghana temple because people here can't get visas to South Africa. Most people haven't gone to the temple. it is just the returned missionaries and maybe a couple people in each branch that have  gone. It is difficult to get there for most people.

Thanks mother. Have a great week. I love you.
Love Elder Beck

Big 6 month mark for Elder Beck and Koopmans!

Clean water?

I believe this is the couple in K2 that got married one day and baptized the next.
Aren't they cute?

More K2 friends

Good times with friends in K2

Some yummy food!

It's raining, it's pouring!

cool road!

rwanda foiliage

Monday, March 14, 2016

Great week

Hello. It sounds like everyone had a great week and I know that I had a great week as well. Lots of great things going on here.

On Monday in the evening. It started coming down like crazy! We kinda had to stay under shelter. ON Tuesday, in the morning. It also started coming down like crazy. It was nice. It mad the rest of the day nice and cool. Nice weather for Proselyting. We had a solid day. Something I liked was in a talk by Elder Uchtdorf. He said "Now it falls to us to live as believers in a world of disbelief." I really like that quote. We have something great to do. SOmething Noble. That is to believe. On Wednesday, it was overcast so it was nice. We had a nice DDM and we had a good day.

On Thursday we found a great family the day before and we visited them. They were a nice family, but they are the people that like to yell and to shout while they pray. Always a little scary and have to keep one eye open because you never know what they will do. haha. We also visited both Adrianne and Aarron that day. They are preparing for baptism probalby for the 28th of March. Excited for them. On Friday we didn't have many lessons, but we did some good finding.

On Saturday, Jordan, the Branch Mission Leader, came to work with us for pretty much the entire day. It was awesome. We visited this awesome family in the morning. The wife came to church and the husband is trying to get Sunday's off so he can come to church. They are an awesome family, so pray for the husband to be able to come to church. We also visited another great family that evening. They are excited about the church and want to come from now on. It was an awesome day. We also cooked dinner for another family. THey wanted to see AMerican cooking. So we cooked them pasta. Hahaha. It was good though. Reminded me of eating dinner with the family back home.

On Sunday, we had a great Sabbath. We had 72 at church and a ton of our investigators came to church as well. I also gave a talk in church about humility. I thought it went pretty well, but you never know do ya. It was also great to see the branch getting excited about the missionary work. Many people welcoming the new investigators and many people coming up to me asking if they can help or that they have some people that want to hear about the gospel. It is awesome when the entire branch gets excited about the work. It was a great week and it was awesome to see some families and people progress.

It was a great week. I learned a lot as well. This week I have been studying in the book of Helaman. It is a great book and talks a lot about how they became wicked and then they became righteous. How they became wicked again, but then they became righteous again. Back and forth. It all was because of pride. Even in my talk on Sunday I talked about Humility and how it is the opposite of pride. Everyone can improve on being more humble. Humble yourselves and forget about yourselves and what can make you better and what can make you great in the sight of Man. Remember Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the perfect example of Humility. Be Grateful. Being Grateful drives pride away. Put God First in everything that you do. Your joy will be so much more fullfilling and satisfying. Being Humble can be hard sometimes, but is worth it. Have a great week. Love you.

Love Elder Beck

Mom questions....
1. Being on vacation everyone asks for your I.D.... It's kind of a pain.  Do you carry your papers and identification with you everywhere you go?
I don't really carry anything with me. Except my National ID. I have never been asked for my ID, but I don't know if others have or not, but seems to not be a problem.

2.  What has in inspired you this week? For me it has been people staying strong in their faith in God even with the trials and struggles they have.....
Elder Beck:This week. What has inspired me is Conference talks. I have been reading one almost every morning and it is great to hear from the living prophets and apostles. They are inspired with modern day scripture specifically for us. I am trying to finish all the last conference talks before conference happens in the U.S. I can't belive that there is only like 3 weeks till conference again. I am getting pumped. Even though it will be longer for us.

American food.... Spaghetti dinner!  It was either that or eggs and toast.

So this is what you eat in America?

yogurt baby

More spaghetti please

Elder Beck??

Cool clouds in rwanda

Still can't believe Eryn is driving. Seems to young. Snowboarding.... Sounds fun, but skiing is the best. That is true about the family and the constancy. It is nice and a great blessing. Pumped for Luke. That is awesome. It was a great week this week. We had a lot of success with our investigators and them really progressing. It is awesome to see the fruits of our labors. We should be having at least 2 baptisms these last two weeks of March. 2 more weeks of the transfer. Excited. I am hoping I stay at least another transfer where I am.

Thanks for the email. Mom. Good to hear that everything is going well. I love you. Have a great week.

Love Elder Beck

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wow that was a fast week!

The work is tough but with God, we can do anything!

Hello! It seems like yesterday that I was here emailing everyone. I can't believe all these things happened and are about to happen to everyone.(kids activities and upcoming mission calls). It is crazy how much stuff can go on in one week. My week though was a good week.

On Tuesday we had a great day. We taught a hippie like guy. He was into meditation and didn't really have a religion. He also owns a spa. So he was chill. haha. (Oooouuummmm) We also had some good lessons and did some sick street contacting. I have found that street contacting goes a lot better when you have a smile on your face and have fun with it. That goes with anything in life. Enjoy it. :)

On Wednesday we had exchanges and also Zone meeting. I went with Elder Brogan to K2 area. It was awesome to go back to my old area and see a few people that I haven't seen in a long time. Also learned a lot from the exhcange. Awesome day.

On Thursday, we had a great day and a hard day. We had to drop a family that we have been teaching because they haven't been keeping commitments and are being really stubborn about change. It is so hard to leave a family when you know the gospel will bless them, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. We also taught an awesome new family. He is really interested and wants to know more. I am pumped for him and his wife. Legally married and everything!

On Friday we had a tough day. At least for me. We had all of our appointments confirm for the day. Our first appointment went well, but then we couldn't find a member to go with us to the next lesson and then our next appointment bounced. I was really discouraged and didn't put forth much effort the rest of the day. I was just frustrated because there are so many great families to teach, but it seems like we just can't meet with them or we can't get someone to go with us to teach them. It got me down. In the evening we had a lesson with a guy and during that lesson. I just started feeling sick and not very good. I honestly couldn't remember much of the lesson. When I got home I went straight to bed. While I was trying to sleep. I realized that maybe this was Heavenly Father telling me to toughen up and work harder and be more obedient. I have a lot more potential than being discouraged and having a bad attitude all day. There are people that are waiting for me, that need me. I realized that from this sickness. I don't know if that came from Heavenly Father or not, but it did humble me and realize the bigger picture, in which I am grateful for. The next morning I felt great, so I don't know what that means.

On Saturday we had a great lesson with a brand new family. I am super pumped for this family. I feel good about them. It was also really hot this day. And I was grateful for the lesson we had at 3. On Sunday, we had a great Church Service. We had 64 at sacrament which was a little disappointing, because a lot of people I thought were coming didn't show, but I know they will come next week. We also were fed by the American couple again, which was awesome and I got to hear more about how Donald Trump is taking over. hahaha. It was a great day.

Also today for P-day we played volleyball. It was fun. Of course my team won. haha. It was a fun day.
Kings of the court... Lol!

I have learned a great lesson this week. When things get hard the only way they get better is if we work hard and have a good attitude. If we get down and discouraged things will just get worse.  I have been studying in Alma this week. Talking about the wars and Captain Moroni. I love Captain Moroni. He is awesome. Everything he does is for others. He doesn't do things for himself. He loves his country, his freedom, his family, and his religion. He also never stops preparing.

No matter where you are in life you can always prepare yourself because when we prepare nothing can overcome us and nothing can stop us. They way we prepare in life is by living the gospel. Studying the scriptures, praying always, going to church every Sunday, serving, and loving others. With those things there is nothing that we can't get through. I know that to be true.

It has been a great week and I can't believe it is already March. Time flies when you are having fun. Love you.

Love Elder Beck

Mom note.... I keep wondering who this amazing young man is.  He is really seeing the big picture.  I felt he was cheering me on and getting me pumped up for this big game of life.  Wow. I'm truly blessed.

Mom questions gathered from friends...

1.Have you ever felt like the spirit guided you directly to teach someone?

There have been many times where the spirit has guided me. One time we were walking back to the truck when I was in K2 and I felt like I needed to talk to this lady. It turns out she let us in and her husband was home as well. Now the family is planning to get baptized on the 20th of March. Great family and the spirit definitely helped me find them and direct me to them. There have been other times as well.

2.Have you felt like the spirit has protected them from danger? ??
I am not sure about the danger. None that I have seen and been able to witness that I was protected, but I never know maybe I was.

3. What's your favorite sweet treat in Africa?
My Favorite sweet? I am not sure because there are not that many sweets here in Rwanda. but I do like the small caramel candies they have in the shop. Pretty good.

Thanks Mom. I love You.

Love Elder Beck

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tri- Branch Conference.....super ....powerful

Elder Mumba, Elder Beck (Elder brogan photo bomber)

Hello! It has been a great week for me. Actually an awesome week. This is what happened.
Monday night we got a call from this guy saying he wanted to meet with us, so we meet him. Turns out he was drunk and wanted to see God before we left. Kinda creepy, but hey we planted the seed and he actually came to the conference this Sunday. Powerful! On Tuesday, we had a solid day. We met with stubborn people, but we bore testimony of the truthfulness of what we share and did our part. We also met with a powerful investigator. She came to church the past Sunday and said she was going to come to this church from now on and wants to learn more. Love it when the Lord brings people are way.
On Wednesday, we had some awesome lunch at a place called Chicken Tonight. Super nice food. We visited a family that we just met and found out they were not legally married. Too bad, but we can get them married because with the Lord anything is possible. Then we met with this man named Hubert. He loves Americans. He can't stop laughing when we are with him. hahaha. He is also into the humanitarian aid for people so that is what interested him in the church is the humanitarian aspect. Now we just have to teach him the restored gospel and he will fall in love with that as well. Boom. Then we visited the Relief Society President. She lives super far into the valley, but it was a fun time trying to find her home. Then when we were walking along a road at night my left foot slipped and I slide into the ditch. I was a little mad, but hey it could be worse. ha.

Elder Beck, Jordan, Elder Koopsman

On Thursday we got bounced a ton, but still had a great day. During lunch it just started storming like crazy. Windy and Rainy, but right when lunch ended it got nice again. We taught Ines in the evening. She is a single mother with two children she is doing really well and I am hoping she will start coming to church soon.
On Friday we had an awesome day. We taught some lessons. I showed Africans that I can type on the computer super fast without even looking at the keyboard. They think it is amazing. I think it is funny. ha. Then we visited Mama Odette. She is the first convert in Rwanda. She is old and has cancer, but she is still super powerful and even came to the conference on Sunday. Also President and Sister Chatfield and the AP's came down in the evening. It was good to see Elder Wilson again and to meet Elder Ruell. On Saturday it was Umuganda day (community service day) in the morning. After Umuganda day we went out and taught an RC family about Family History work and the Temple. It was an awesome lesson and I want to get into Family History work and taking names to the temple more when I get home. It is an awesome work that we are able to do. Elder Wilson (AP and former companion) came with us today, which was added pressure, but it was good to have him. A cool experience was in a lesson an investigator asked a question and I had no idea how to answer it, but as I started to open my mouth a scripture popped into my head and it was perfect to answer her question. I know the Holy Ghost is real and that he does help us in our lives. Always seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
On Sunday we had the Tri-branch conference at Lemigo Hotel. It was super nice. We had 221 people show up and we had a ton of investigators at the conference which was super powerful. It was great to see everyone from K2 as well. It was just a great Sunday meeting. A quote from one of the talks that I liked was this "Our happiness increases when we help others find their happiness." - Lorenzo Snow. That is so true, so go help others find happiness if you are not happy or even if you are happy. Then we taught a few lessons and then we had the relief society President from K2 feed all the missionaries. Super Nice.

getting ready for the tri branch conference at Lemigo hotel

It was an awesome week. I learned so much and the work is going so well. I also got the package from Mom/dad (sent 1st wk of January) and letters as well. Thanks for the package and the letters. I also have been reading through the Book Of Mormon super fast. I have been reading in Alma about the Sons of Mosiah and also Ammon. They are a great example of being patient through trials and when we do that God blesses us. Also a great scripture is Helaman 3:35. Go read it. Love you. Have a great Week.
Love Elder Beck

harvesting avocados

1. Are you writing anyone or hearing from other missionary friends?

I am writing my friends on mission and a couple that are still home. staying in touch with a few of them still.

2.  Does sister Leibel go by a different last name?

Sister Leibel goes by Sister Toro. I think because of her Doctor name or something like that. (they are from Blackfoot)

3.  What do the American couple do in rwanda? (The ones that feed you)

The guy is here for agriculture stuff. To keep the Agriculture business and system improving and more efficient or something. He went to Texas A&M. They are cool. 

Beautiful picture of the Rwanda valley