Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lugazi Uganda

Hello, this week was a good week. A lot of great things happening and we are hoping to build off it this week.
So it started with a solid day on Tuesday. Nothing special happened just did the work. 

On wednesday, we had a great day. We had an awesome DDM and a solid day in the field as well. We visited a LA (less active) and she is awesome, but just needs to come back to church, but the best part of the day was when we got together as a district and set up a table in front of the church with pamphlets, book of mormons, and other things and started talking to people. It was market day and the church is right next to the market so there are a ton of people. We met a ton of people and talked to a ton. WE got a lot of appointments and numbers for both of our areas here in Lugazi. It was awesome. It was really fun to being with the entire district.

On Thursday it was a bit of a struggle for me, not because the work was hard or we got bounced, but because I ate a 6x6 Rolex for lunch and then we made a walk out to the farthest place that we go in our area. SO it was very uncomfortable walk and also a tough few hours of after that as well. I learned not to do dumb things that can hurt the work. hahaha. On Friday we had a good day. 

Rolex 6x6.... urp! oh my!

rolled up rolex

On Saturday we did another district finding activity called the blitz. We would go to an area and find a place we want to tract and just go crazy and knock everywhere and talk to everyone for 1 hour and then go to the other area and do the same thing. It was fun. Met even more cool people and had fun doing it. District finding works. Then we met and taught some really cool new investigators that day. Excited for them. On sunday we had a nice church service. I am starting to play the piano in sacrament meeting which is fun. (Wait, did he say fun?  I remember nagging him to play the piano.  What in the world?!??!)  We also had some new people at church on Sunday and they seemed to really enjoy it. Which was really cool.  We also visited some LA  (less actives) after church and had a prompting to visit this guy that we haven't been able to get a hold of this weekend and he was there. It was cool to have that experience. It was a really good lesson as well. Talking about receiving answers to prayers and questions. really cool unplanned lesson. 

Then today we played capture the flag in the thick jungle. Super fun.
slippery slope of the African jungle

jungle running and steal the flag

In the book of MOrmon this week I have been reading about Alma and Amulek and I love reading about them. They are great examples to us. It always stands out to me how much they had to sacrifice and go through, but also the amazing blessings and miracles they witnessed are were apart of. Alma gave up the chief judge spot and left everything to go a teach the gospel. Amulek left his family his friends, and his home to go and preach the gospel(Alma 15:16). They both had to see people burned in front of them and been thrown in Jail and beaten and mocked and spit upon, but they saw thousands of people change and convert to the gospel. They saw miracles. They were delivered from prison. They saw the church grow and become stable again in the Land. I love their story. They never gave up and they gave everything to God and they were rewarded. Go and read their story this week. The Book of Mormon is true. it is the word of God. Thank you. Love you. Have a great week.
Love Elder Beck

Chillin' like a vilian!  or  why did I eat that rolex?!?

MOM (and others) QUESTIONS:
1a.  Another week has gone by.  Not sure why it feels like time is flying but it is..... I wonder what I really accomplished this past week.  Was it really significant to my eternally progression?  We did have some forced family fun....so that was good. 

It is interesting what you said about eternal progression and families and temples. it reminds me of a talk from Henry B. Eyring Eternal Families in the last Priesthood Session General Conference. I just read it like today.

1. When you are feeling down and the day's been long and dusty and rough with rejection and no shows, what helps you get through the day?

What helps me get through the day is humor, jokes, having fun. It is easier to have the spirit when you are smiling and having a good time. So I try to make it fun or sometimes there is just something that makes me smile. Also looking around at the scenery.

2. (from Janet semons) Are you feeling ok? Regular bowel moment and such?  It's important to stay regular!   

I am doing ok. I am pretty regular. It is a little unpredictable, but more regular than some of the stories of others. I hear. haha.

3. How are you seeing the hand of God in your life daily? (janet)

It varies everyday. Sometimes it is someone that we find. Sometimes it is someone we teach. Sometimes it is something that picks me up and keeps me going. Sometimes it is personal revelation that I receive that day and it seems really cool to me. Sometimes it is a spiritual prompting that works out great. Many different things, but I feel like I can see it everyday if I just look.

4. From Ben Kestner...What is the craziest thing you've eaten so far?

Just a few......... Mukene or little silver fish that smell really bad, white ants(flying ants), fried grasshoppers, and ya random leaves and plants. That i didn't think you could eat. haaha.

5. From Marci Kestner... can you speak any of the language that some the natives use?

I can speak very small, Katono, katono, haha. I am learning a little bit though. The only problem is that in my three different places I have been. the local language there has always been different. SO kinda hard to learn.

Monday, July 18, 2016

YOU determine if your week is good or bad!

Hello. This week was good. It had it's ups and downs, but the only way to have a bad week on mission is if you make it bad.

We had some great lessons this week and found some powerful people. We were doing some finding one day and just talking to everyone we saw and it seemed like nobody was working out and it was getting frustrating, but I kept working and at the very end I found this guy. His name is Moses. He is super friendly and seems interested. I knew that was the one I was suppose to find. It is funny how it is always the last person or the last door. I guess that is how the lord works.

 It also seemed like this week we saw a lot of opposition to the church. Here in Lugazi there seems to be a lot of rumors and lies going on about the church and people get scared or think it is something bad. It blows my mind that the greatest thing and most important thing in this world could be thought of as a bad thing by anyone. It made me realize this week that opposition is everywhere and that it is necessary. Without opposition in our lives we couldn't become better, we couldn't know Joy, we couldn't become more like our Heavenly Father.

Benard and Hanifa are still doing well. We are praying that everything can work out and they can get married on August 13th. We have another investigator named Ernest. He is funny. He loves the church and he loves reading. He also thinks los angeles is actually lost angel because of how wicked of a place it is. haha. He is awesome. We have another powerful family, but they haven't come to church yet, but I am hoping this upcoming week. Still trying to find others that are prepared and strengthen those already in the branch.
I have learned a lot this week, but something I really liked was when I read John 3:16-17. 

1¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his onlybegotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Most people know or have heard this verse before, but it stood out to me more than usual. God is our Heavenly Father, he loves each and everyone of us so much we can't even imagine. It doesn't matter what we have done or what we will do, HE WILL ALWAYS LOVE US beyond comprehension and He sent His son Jesus Christ so that there is always a way back. That we can always be strengthened through any trial. That we can have happiness in this life and even more happiness in the life to come. God loves us. Now we just have to see everyone as God sees them and have that same love. Sometimes we forget that. They offend us, they reject us, they are not kind to us, but God he still loves them, so we need to still love them. Also the church is still true here in Africa and it is true anywhere you go. 

Thanks for the love and support. Have a great week. Love you.

Love Elder Beck

Mom questions...
1. I was just reading Moroni chp 9 and 10.... do you have any favorite parts in those two chapters that stand out to you?

I love Moroni 9:6. really inspirational and gets me going. One of my favorite scriptures. 

And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.
Chapter 10 is really good. I like the gifts of the spirit. They are something I didn't really realize until I came on mission. We should always be seeking for those gifts of the spirits and recognize those gifts in our lives everyday. 

2. So the driving in Uganda is all done on the left side of the road correct? Does that mean that the steering wheel is on the right side and the gear shift is on your left side?

Yes they drive on the left side so the driver is on the other side of the car and the gear shift is on the left side.

3. Can you tell us any more about your companion and his family? I am going to try to write you each a handwritten letter  this week. Brace yourself for some mail.

Elder Tembo is a child of record, he stays in Harare Zimbabwe. He has a brother that served a mission in Ghana.  Elder Beck also told us a few items he is needing. Package coming!

4.  We went to the Nielsons for Sunday devotional and talked mostly about Sister and President Collings blog  presidentcollings.blogspot.com and Uganda and you.

We also discussed the no preaching or proselytizing in Russia and how that would affect the mission. In some ways it might be good for the missionaries in Russia and they will now be volunteers and not known as missionaries and they will do a lot of service work and then tell people if they want to know more about what they're doing they can come to their church and be taught but they can't teach on the street or in people's homes anymore... It's interesting but in some way it will work out! 

Crazy about the missionaries in Russia. Would not be easy if that happened here because people think that the church is illuminati here. At least some do. NOt sure why? 

Selfie....look at my hair?

Elder Beck sumo pose!!

Elder Roylance's birthday!!! woot!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Mission President. Baptism.... Just Kidding. but it is ok..

Where's waldo? cute!

Hello. This week flew by. It felt like yesterday I was celebrating the 4th here in Uganda and now I am here again.
On Tuesday we had a great day we had some powerful lessons and even taught a new family. He has been taught before and really likes the church, but never got baptized, so I am excited about that as well. A solid day nothing too exciting. 

On wednesday we traveled down to Mukono for Zone Meeting. It was awesome. We have some new elder's in the Zone and I am excited for the zone. Also on a spiritual high. Got back to Lugazi and got to work. met another new family and hopefully this one works out because they are super powerful and speak really good english.
On Thursday we had an ok day we waited for an RC to come to our appointment. He kept telling us yes yes I am almost there, but here in Uganda that usually means they are about 30 to 40 minutes away. haha. Ugandan Time........ 

On Friday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. Me and Elder Tembo were with Elder Cieslak. He is super powerful and it was a fun day. I realized I need to have more fun when I do missionary work. Also had some great lessons. Also had a member that was super scared of a caterpillar. hahaha. I learned a ton from Elder Cieslak and it was fun to talk sports with him as well.
On Saturday we headed to Kampala for Zone Conference. There was no traffic for the taxi so we got there like an hour early, so we got a special teaching from President Collings. They are super awesome. Zone Conference was powerful and the spirit was so strong there. I just couldn't help, but be reminded of how true the church really is. It is insane how true it is. haha. Then we had some super nice food and headed back to Lugazi. We had Benard and ANifa's baptism interview and they were already for baptism. 

ON sunday we get to church and there is a senior couple visiting us this week and going home next week. Elder And sister Taylor. They found out that what we thought was legal marriage wasn't actually legal marriage. So we had to postpone the baptism, but all is well. Benard and Anifa are still excited and we even set a marriage date in the church with them for August 13th. They are excited. I guess we just need to have patience. So all is ok here. Just hope I am still here for their baptism. Awesome family. Overall a really good week of missionary work. More lessons, more new investigators, and a lot of fun.
It was a good week and I learned some really good things.One thing I really liked was from Enos. Something that stood out to me was prayer. How much Enos really prayed and I realized that a reason why I was struggling sometimes was because my prayers were lacking. I wanted to wrestle with God and have meaningful prayers like Enos and I have definitely seen a difference. It also went along with what President Collings talked about. He said the greatest lesson I can teach you is to get on your knees and pray to your Heavenly Father. We need to do it. there is so much power that comes from prayer. Also something I really liked was from Mosiah chapter 4 where it talks about remembering things from the past and the joy of the gospel and the things that build your testimony. How important it is to remember those things that have changed your life. It is what keeps you strong in the gospel and keeps you from doubting. That is why we need to also write down those things, so we can remember them. I am happy that I have kept a journal my entire mission so far.(I didn't know this...I am impressed that he has been journaling...nicely done son!)  I love going back to remember what the Lord has done for me and it gives me strength. So go back and remember what the Lord has done for you or the time you knew the church was true or the book of mormon or when you became clean from a sin. It will strengthen you and help you. Remember and perish not! Mosiah 4:29.
Thanks for the love and support. Continue to Enjoy your summer. Love you.
Love Elder Beck

Brother Ochitte, first counselour in the branch,
Endowed and sealed to his wife in the temple.
Also the guard at our house sometimes. He is powerful.

selfie.... look at that paved road they are on...not!
(I wonder if they carry machetes?)

Mom questions....
1. How was the meeting with your new president and his wife go?   She is doing a Blog about their travels and Adventures. It's very informative and quite entertaining. I'm really enjoying it.
President and Sister Collings are super nice. We ended up getting to Zone Conference early and so we got to talk with both of them for awhile. THey are really awesome.

2.  What are a couple of your recent favorite scriptures?
Some of my favorite scriptures right now are John 8:32? The truth will set you free. Because it is true. That is what the truth does. ANd some people don't even realize they don't have all of the truth. That is what I want to do as a missionary. To help people understand the fullness of the truth. Also D&C 29:39, opposition is necessary in life. 

3. Do you eat out much or just cook your own food?
We eat out a couple of times, but we usually make our own food. I am learning to make chapote. There are pretty much Greasy tortillas, but I will make them with you when I get home. haha. (can't wait!)

4. Pres Chatfield and his wife had their Homecoming on Sunday and many of the parents of returned missionaries or current missionary parents  went to listen to him. They thought they were fabulous... here are the cliff notes from his and her talk.
Sis. Chatfield reminded of mission motto "be not afraid, only believe" and how we are reminded in many scriptures about that:   Joshua 1:19, Jeremiah 1:8, Mark 5:36, D&C 98:18.  Why shouldn't we fear?  Doubt and fear are the opposite of faith.  She said she learned that she can do hard things and that we are the ones that make our best day ever!"

Pres. Chatfield re-coined the phrase "endure to the end" to "enjoy to the end".  He also said to "just believe in God, allow Him to take care.  He knows!"  He was amazing and he finished with this thought, "these trials and tribulations are preparing you for what is coming tomorrow.  The only way to fail is quit.  We don't quit"!  Powerful powerful meeting and powerful people!  What a blessing.  (These are notes from Angie casperson)

Elder Beck response...Yep those things sound like President and Sister Chatfield........... That is awesome they are great people. 

Thanks mom. You are the best. Love you.
Love Elder Beck

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July! BBQ, golf, constant progession....

Where are you Elder Beck?  cute kids
happy happy happy!

Hello! This week was awesome and it was a great 4th of July here.
On Tuesday we had a good day. We got bounced a couple of times, but Benard and Hanifa are doing great and the guy that read the book of mormon in 5 days is funny! haha. 

On Wednesday we had a district exchange. I got to go with Elder Roylance(my mission brother) into the other area. It was a lot of fun. WE had a couple of powerful lessons and did some great finding as well. It was really dusty though on that side. I had dirt everywhere! haha. When we got home from the day the entire house was happy and everyone was in good spirits. Mission is awesome.
Thursday I bought a chapote pan. It was an impulse buy, but we tried making chapote here. It is a lot harder than you think. Chapote is like a super oily with different flavorings tortilla. Interesting..... Also it was a day full of bounces. Felt like a lot of time was wasted as well going around to different people that ended up bouncing us, but hey. 

ON Friday we had a good day. Ernest, the guy who read the BOM in 5 days is funny, he gets up in the middle of the lesson and starts explaining something with a lot of body motions and thing. He is funny!  Also played a fun game with Elder Tembo. WE played soccer where we tried kicking the ball through a chair. We ended up tying at 15. It was fun though.

Elder Tembo and Elder Beck...scream v constipated?

Serious vs cra cra!!

On Saturday. We had another tough day, but still was good. We talked with a powerful member family that will brighten anyones day. On Sunday we had a great fast sunday. Testimony meeting was great. 68 at sacrament meeting, which was awesome. Also met a guy that shared the pamphlet with his friends and family that live in western Uganda and they want to joining the church. Also preparing Benard and Hanifa for their baptism next week. They seem to be excited. 

Monday, we went golfing and had a bbq. It was fun. My golf swing is ok. The BBq was super delicious. happy 4th of July everyone.  We cooked up a super nice meal of burgers and fries and Coca cola! It was the most american we could get. While listening to the most country efy music we could. haha. It was fun. 


Satisfied with our vittles

goof ball BBQers!

BBQ posers!

Something that really stood out to me this week was the scripture D&C 131:6 Ye cannot be saved in ignorance. Wow.... We can't ignore the things around us or say we didn't know. We have been given the scriptures, modern prophets and apostles, and everyday things that testify and manifest the gospel, Jesus Christ, and God. We can't ignore these things. We have to use the things we have been given. WE have to see Gods hand in our life. We have to keep the commandments. WE have to constantly be progressing and becoming better. We have to be anxiously engaged in a good cause always. Always doing good. It made me want to be better. To not be ignorant. To learn everything I can and apply it. The book of mormon is true. Prophet Thomas S. Monson and his counselors and apostles are really called of God. I sustain and support them. Thank you have a great week. Love you.
Love Elder Beck

Hello Mother
That is good to hear that you unblocked me. haha. (somehow I blocked his email address from my gmail...oops!) I am glad that Natalie had a fun day... Week. haha. (Birthday week for Natty)  That sounds awesome about boating on Thursday. Jumping in a nice lake right now sounds nice. Also happy to hear that Teigan is still doing well and that she is back. I also like how you said I haven't haven't found anything WE wanted. haha. (we are looking for a house......)  That is good. Fast and Testimony meeting here was really good. I haven't been able to meet the President and his wife yet (new president just arrived...President and Sister Collings ), but we are having Zone Conference this week on Saturday so I will definitely see them then. I am excited to meet them. Ya I celebrated good for the 4th here. It was fun.

MOM questions....

1. Is there something you wish you would have taken on your mission that you didn't?

Not really. I felt like I had everything I needed...... Maybe slip on shoes instead of both being tie up because you take your shoes off a lot here.

2. I can't remember how much money you said you got per month to buy groceries and such... How much do you have to live on every month?

We get about 440,000 schillings a month. So not sure I think it is about 115$. But not sure.
(5000 Uganda Shilling = 1.4758 US Dollar..so $129.87)

3. How dusty would you say it is in your area?

Our area is not that dusty, but the other guys area in Lugazi is dusty. I went there on Exchanges on wednesday. It is dusty. But it has been more dusty everywhere this past week because there hasn't been as much rain.

Thank you mother. Love you.
Love Elder Beck

not sure what this is.... Rec center? Housing? hummmm


Beck and Tembo golfing

Elder Beckster golfing on pday

The golf crew of Elders

Hole in one?
Elder Beck selfie and photo bombers