Friday, September 23, 2016

Mission Tour! (September 18, 2016)

This week has had its ups and downs. Mission Tour was great -- but because of Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving that lasts almost a whole week), meeting with investigators, less-actives, members, and even people on the street was difficult. 

This week we had Mission Tour! Elder 최 of the 70 came and spoke to us. One of my favorite parts of Mission Tour was Elder 최's  encouragement to raise our vision. He shared one quote by  Elder Ballard that said, "To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done." I thought a lot about that, and it is SO TRUE! (Of course apostles never lie!) Achieving goals is a choice, whether or not we accomplish our goals usually fully depends on the decisions we make. God gives us agency, He wants us to choose things of our own free will! So in order to achieve a goal, I have to choose to do hard things, things that make me stretch and that may not be comfortable or convenient. One thing I want to improve on is going to bed on time. I always go to bed around is CLOSE to 10:30, but it isn't being exactly obedient. I feel like every night I am trying my best to get to bed at 10:30, but clearly I need to choose to improve, and choose to do things a little differently so that I can show God that being obedient is a priority for me. The more I choose to be obedient, the more I know God will bless me and my companion and our investigators. 

My companion and I!
This week I want to tell you a little about an investigator named 민 (MJ). She is 15 years old and has autism pretty severely, and she has cancer, too. Her dad works with a member of our ward, and the member of our ward gave us the family's phone number, so we gave them a call. This family has wanted help from churches, so they have tried having other church's leaders come visit their home and help their daughter (they mainly want to help her feel hope, and help her have friends). But the other churches wanted to be paid for visiting their daughter, so they stopped meeting with them. Anyway, 민 is absolutely adorable! We have had to teach her extremely simply, which has really helped me appreciate and realize just how simple our gospel is. We have taught her about God, families, and prayer, all through learning "I am a Child of God" together. After just one time of meeting her and teaching her that song, she had it memorized! Hearing her sing "I am a Child of God" is a really special, powerful experience. We sing it every week with her. Her mom sits in another room while we meet with 민, and I am sure she is listening to everything we teach.  민 clearly doesn't need to be baptized, but we feel that meeting with her is really great missionary work. Her mom hears our message from the other room, for one thing, but for another thing, Jesus Christ spent a lot of His time being with people who were physically and mentally sick. I have a very special place in my heart for people with disabilities, and it has been such an honor and privilege to spend time with 민.  I think that through her, God will work a lot of miracles for her family.

WELL I WISH NATE WAS ON RIGHT NOW... But, anyway. Training, having Nate come to Korea, and watching another greenie in my district (Elder R, Nate!) has brought back a lot of my own greenie memories. IT CAN BE HARD! So hang in there! I never realized how much I have grown and adapted on my mission, but watching new missionaries come in has made me appreciate that Korea doesn't seem foreign for me anymore! And though I still feel like my Korean is so poor, I have realized that I am doing a little better than I thought. But I have ALSO realized that Korean isn't what converts people, or makes them want to learn about the message you are sharing. It is the Holy Ghost! Today in personal study I read 2 Nephi 3:21 which says: "And the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith." I have felt this strength often throughout my mission. Today as I thought about this verse I remembered one experience from when I was a greenie that solidified my testimony of our words becoming strong because of our faith. My Korean is still not that good, but when I was a new missionary, I had NO IDEA what I was saying, but I would just try my best and talk to everyone, anyway. One day on the bus I tried to talk to a lady and I invited her to take the missionary lessons and come to church (GREENIE FIRE, BABY!) And do you know what? SHE ACCEPTED! She never got baptized, but we did have a lesson with her later, and she did attend church one time! And that is a really good missionary! Because I don't know what language I was wasn't Korean! Hahaha. But because I exercised my faith, God showed me a miracle. So my point is, Little Natey, YOU CAN SO DO THIS! Because you aren't doing it alone! I promise you that as you try your best, God will work miracles through you. And my guess is that your Korean already rocks. SO that shouldn't be a problem, anyway. :)

Love you all! 

Sister Bucket, Beckam, Becky, and occasionally if they carefully read my namebadge: Beckett
My birthday!!

My comp's birthday!
Oh yeah I had such a wonderful birthday! YOU ALL SPOILED ME! WOOOOW! I felt so much love! Thanks sooooo much! Also...the new camera is a dream come true! I so wish I would have used that camera for the past 13 months of my mission, but that is okay! Because these last 5 months are gonna have the coolest pics ever! :) Also, this week was my cute companion's birthday! I bought some decorations, made a homemade chocolate cake, and bought her some presents. I hope she felt some love! :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Where is My Boy Serving?? (September 11, 2016)

I have been dying to find out...where is Nate serving?! I hope he gets on his email soon! I have some chatting that I want to do with him! WELCOME TO KOREA! Did you get my package?!

Anyway, this week was really long and stressful for kind of a lot of reasons. BUT! It is okay! And fun news: I am training again! I will miss Sister J, we only served together for 1 transfer.  My new companion,  Sister 박 is adorable, ready to try new things, and work hard as a missionary. I am really thankful to serve with her! It was so fun at the Transfer Meeting to meet all of Nate's buddies! Wow, he has a fan club of sisters. ㅋㅋㅋ And the elders absolutely adore him, too! I heard so many compliments about him, and I can say that THEY WERE ALL SO TRUE! He really is a great guy!! :D I almost cried because the day I got to meet all of his MTC buddies was his birthday! AHH! Hahah, apparently all of the sisters (9 of them) wanted me to be their trainer because they all knew Nate. So when they found out I was going to be one of the trainers ( they do this big fun powerpoint thing to announce everything) they all wanted me. It made me feel pretty good. ;) Thanks Nate! Anyway, more about my new companion! Sister 박 (P J K) is from Seoul. Her birthday is this week, too! On the 17th! She is so cute and fun.  I think yesterday was a little hard for her...our plans fell through and so we ended up 전도ing for three hours. I know at first (and continually throughout missionary work) 전도ing can be intimidating, difficult, and exhausting. Especially for three hours! But she was so awesome -- she was so nervous and stressed about it, but she was also determined, and I really admire and appreciate her effort to do things that she doesn't necessarily want to do. I know that Heavenly Father was proud of her, too! She is a great example of a positive attitude.
Me with my new companion! Don't laugh at me...I'm still not so good at Korean poses!
This week, one of our favorite (and high potential for progressing) investigators kind of dropped us. ㅠㅠ Her name is 최. I think I wrote to you about her last week. Anyway, the last time we met her, we had given her a Book of Mormon with Moroni's promise and an invitation to pray. We couldn't meet her this week, but we talked to her on the phone, and she thinks that we are good people, but our church's beliefs don't match up with her church's beliefs, and so she doesn't really want to meet with us anymore. PRETTY SAD NEWS! We really love her. We will still try to meet her and keep sharing God's love with her. I hope and pray that we can meet at least once more to try to clear up her doubts/uncomfortable feelings. I can still see so much potential in her!
On the bus at transfer time!
Our most progressing investigator, 김 is doing better. It has been frustrating, because ever since we have given her the baptismal invitation, things have gotten SO HARD. It has now been four weeks, and we haven't been able to have a real lesson with her. Whether it be her kids throwing tantrums, a fix-it man coming to the house, or random vacations, it has been almost impossible! So unfortunately, we haven't been able to follow up on baptism yet, although we have still been keeping in touch with her. The miracle for her this week is that she attended sacrament meeting! She has been great at coming to church, just not the sacrament meeting part. Sacrament meeting is at 10 am, and it is really difficult for her to come. She has two crazy kids to get ready and a husband that she has to prepare a meal for at that time, so it is a hard time for her. So for the year and a half that she has been meeting with missionaries, she has not been able to attend sacrament meeting...until yesterday! She came 40 minutes late, which means that she missed the most important part of taking the sacrament, BUT she CAME! And that is a miracle. It took a lot of effort for her to make it there, especially because after sacrament meeting she had to leave right away. When she came in the doors she was stressed and a little out of breath, but it was such a happy moment for me! For the 35 minutes she was there, I hope and pray and think that she felt the spirit! It was Ward Conference, and there were a lot of great talks.


Working in the Garden (and MY BABAY IS COMING TO KOREA TOMORROW!) Sep 4, 2016

사랑하는 가족,

Well first off, I am completely SPAZZING that Nate will be coming to Korea in a few hours! I can't describe to you all what he is going through, crazily packing, getting on a bus in the middle of the night to go to the airport, feeling so nervous and excited, and a little emotional to be leaving the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave for a couple years. But DANG I AM EXCITED for him to come here!! So exciting. But also...keep him in your prayers because it is pretty rough at first. Just so...different from anything he has ever known. I  hope he feels loved and not lonely his first little while! Even though he will be surrounded by other people, at first everything is so different that he might feel a little alone. I am trying to prevent that! I am making him an awesome birthday package that I am really excited to send to him I also made me and him matching planners! I am excited to be twinning with him! 
Mine and Nate's matching planners :D
Sister J did great at her "Senior Week"! But she is always a great missionary, so no surprise there. :) She really is wonderful at talking well with members, investigators, and less-active members. She shares her love well with all of them!

The lovely Sister J and me!
Our investigators...hmm...well 김 (The one we are trying to set a baptismal date with) hasn't been able to have a lesson with us for 3 weeks for many random things... ㅠㅠ But we aren't giving up hope, obvi. Please keep praying for her! She really is SO ready to get baptized. I really think that she will have an eternal family someday. Our other main investigator 최( C Y H -- doing the 30/30 program) is hopefully doing her other church she found out our church is "이단" (Ee dawn.... not sure how to explain the meaning...Korea's most popular churches have a list of churches that are 이단 and our list is on it, so people are really scared of us!) So she was a little scared this past meeting, but once she understood that we believe in the same God and Jesus Christ as her, she was a little more comfortable. Please pray for her, too! This next lesson is kind of a "make or break" lesson, because she is a little worried about what we are teaching.
On our last p-day we went to see the beautiful ocean!
Now on to the gardening!

This week I have been thinking about all of the little miracles that I see every day on my mission. I thought about how I haven't had a lot of baptisms, but how I have worked my hardest and tried my best to share the gospel, and through doing that, I have seen God work small miracles every day. While pondering this on the bus one day this past week, I felt the Spirit strongly, and I had a lot of thoughts...In God's missionary work, there is a lot of "harvesting" that needs to be done. In order for a good harvest, lots of good seeds have to be carefully planted. As much as I want and hope to be a harvester, if God only wants me to plant seeds during my mission, then I will gladly do it. I will serve Him however He wants me to. I will try to be the tool He wants me to be in His garden/field. I see some missionaries picking the fruit...bailing the hay, but if it helps the work of the Lord, then I will cheerfully be the plow or the shovel. Although I haven't seen a lot of harvesting on my mission (yet!), I have seen COUNTLESS miracles where gospel seeds have been planted. While thinking about all of this on the bus, I remembered a conference talk about a currant bush that was becoming (and wanted to become) a tree. The gardener cut it down to be the size of a bush again. At first, the currant bush was sad, and thought, "How could you do this to me? I am trying my best!" But the pruning that kept him the size of a bush is what produced the most quality fruit in the long run. The gardener knew how to maximize the currant bush's capabilities. The Master Gardener knows how to maximize my capabilities, too. It has taken a long time for me to humble myself and decide this -- but whether or not I have baptisms on my mission, I will look back on my mission happily, and proud of what I helped the Lord do (or rather what HE helped ME do) -- even if that is just planting seeds. I will try to be the best seed-planter that I can! And you never my last 6 months as a missionary, there could still be some harvesting! I hope and pray so. But if not, I am choosing to be content and thankful with seed-planting.

Love you all FOREVA!
벡켓 자매 선교사

Saturday, September 3, 2016

How Great Thou Art! (August 28, 2016)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE JANES OF THE FAMILY!!! I hope you had such a fun birthday Mindy, and for Mom, I hope you will have such a fun birthday!! I can't believe that this is my second time missing your birthdays already. I never imagined missions could go by so fast. It seems like P-day comes 3 times a week!

The weather is soooo nice now! For a while we thought we might die, but now we are loving being outside. :) This week was good, but a bit of a struggle. It seems that Satan is working pretty hard on our investigators. We have been trying to set a baptismal date with one investigator, K, and ever since we talked about that with her, things have been a little rough. On the bright side, she was able to attend the Elder's baptism yesterday (At which they randomly announced my companion and I would be singing a duet, acapella. That was an adventure...we survived). I hope and pray that she felt the Spirit at the baptism!
Me with some honeysuckles, I think...
This week our other main investigator, C, couldn't meet. Her cute little daughter has the chicken pox! So instead of meeting her, we went and heart-attacked her door. Later that day she texted us and said that she almost cried when she saw the heart attack, and that she felt so special. I am so glad! 

President Madsen wants to focus on member missionary work more. I am glad that we will be learning on how to work with members better. I have been thinking a lot about that, too. Yesterday, a couple of less-active members came to church (one of which we brought with us!). I didn't notice the other less-active member, at first, and she was sitting alone. The Bishop's wife got my attention, and told me to go sit by her so that she wasn't sitting alone. I am glad that she did that, because I hadn't noticed that she had come or that she was sitting alone, but it also got me thinking about member missionary work. As good as it is for a missionary to go sit by a less active sitting alone, it would be SO MUCH BETTER for a member to go sit beside the less active. Members can be a solid support system, and sincere friends. As much as missionaries love members, less-actives, and investigators, we aren't a solid support system, because we are only in each area for a few months. I wish that instead of the bishop's wife telling me to go sit by the less-active member, that she would have done it herself. I think that would have helped the less-active member feel more comfortable and welcome at church. So I hope that you all are always noticing others who may need a friend, and being that friend for them. 

For some fun news, as part of Sister J's training, it is her "senior week" this week! I think she will do a great job. She is really a wonderful missionary, and I am really thankful to be serving with her.
Pretty peppers -- awesome fall color scheme!
Other funny story: I mentioned that we brought a LA with us to church on Sunday. She is the CUTEST Philipina grandma named R. I love her. I have really come to LOVE Philipinas on my mission. They are so great! Anyway, in order to get R and bring her to church, we have to ride a bus for an hour in the mountains. (That is why she doesn't come to church, because it is physically VERY difficult.) R has the brightest faith and countenance. Every time we meet, I can feel God's love so strongly, I can't really describe it. Anyway...for the funny part: When I first came to this area, she asked where I was from and I told her Utah. After I told her that, her jaw dropped and in all sincerity she said, "Oh, how great thou art!" Then we all busted up laughing. :)

Me and R. Love her!

Well, time for me to go. But I love you all! Make it a great week! As Mindy once told me, " You can choose to be happy or sad. If I were you, I would choose to be happy, or else I will slobber on you." Hahahahaahah

Sister Beckett