Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Series of Really, REALLY Fortunate Events (Dec 11)


THAT WOULD BE A WHITE BAPTISMAL DRESS! :D :D YEAH BUDDY!! IT was seriously the craziest happiest week EVER!!!! President asked me to tell the whole I will just send you that same email below. :)

Here is our miraculous story of our investigator (now member!), Sister μ •!

It all started at the end of October. It had been kind of a rough day, and I really didn't have the desire to open my mouth or share any copies of the Book of Mormon. We were walking home from our church and up ahead we saw a lady walking in front of us. I had the prompting come, really just in the form of a passing thought, to go talk to her. I really didn't want to, but I thought about my purpose as a missionary, and decided that I should talk to everyone. So I picked up my pace, caught up to her and started chatting with her. Soon Sister P joined me, and we were able to share our testimonies, a Book of Mormon, and we also got her phone number.

After that we tried calling several times during the week, but nobody answered. This happens a lot as missionaries, so although we were sad we shook it off and didn't think much about it.Two weeks later, much to our surprise, she called us! She asked us, "What time do you worship on Sundays? I want to go to your church!" WE WERE SHOCKED! We had been praying so hard to find new investigators, and God answered our prayers. She came to church that Sunday, attended all of the meetings, and even joined the ward choir preparing to perform at stake conference. When she came to church, the elders were so surprised -- apparently they had seen her on the street that very same week and had 전도d to her, but got rejected. We asked the elders what day that was, and SURPRISE! It was the same day that she called us back and said she wanted to come to church with us. The elder's testimonies must have re-sparked her desire to meet with us. TEAMWORK and also definitely God's plan!

We met with her frequently. As it turns out, she, like Joseph Smith, had attended several different churches throughout her life, but still hadn't found the right one. She was so prepared for this gospel! Since Sister P and I have been reviewing the 12 Week Program lately, we had recently read about setting a baptismal date on the second time meeting with an investigator. So, we exercised some faith and...IT WORKED! We set a date on just the second lesson. We went alone to her home to teach her several times during the week, and although our ward members are busy on weekdays, we were able to do member lessons on Sundays during Sunday School time. Working with the members was awesome -- I wish I would have realized how powerful teaching with members is earlier on in my mission. Teaching with a member by our side magnified the Spirit, added a witness to what we were teaching, and helped μ • feel more comfortable at church. 

The ward choir and other activities (such as helping making our ward Christmas party invitations with members) also proved to be a vital part of μ •'s progression and relationship with the ward members. Because of the choir practices, she came out to the church several times a week and was able to meet and build friendships with the ward members. Luckily, she lives right by our church, so coming often was not a problem. And when GwangJu Stake Conference rolled around, our lovely μ • was singing loud and proud, front and center of our tiny Mokpo Ward choir.
The members prepared wonderful food for the baptism!
She continued to progress, keep commandments, and exercise her faith -- she even gave away her two giant Costco-sized boxes of coffee! Woohoo! Just one month after calling us and saying she wanted to come to church, she was baptized. That was yesterday! :D I can't describe the happiness that Sister P and I felt. Our little Mokpo Ward did an awesome job of coming out and supporting the baptism. During the talk of a member who had helped us teach μ •, gave a talk, and μ • silently cried and cried. After μ • was baptized, we (Sister P, μ •, and me) went in the bathroom, and there μ • just stood, dripping wet and crying, saying that she felt so much peace. As strange as it sounds, that bathroom was a holy place at during that time for us three...the Spirit was so STRONG! After she was dried off, she shared her testimony with the attending members. As part of her testimony she said, "The reason I am crying is because I feel God's love, I feel all of your love, and I feel really warm!" Everyone who attended that baptismal service was sure to have felt the Holy Ghost, it was SO POWERFUL!

Today was a little stressful at first. μ • was supposed to receive the Holy Ghost, sacrament meeting was starting, she still hadn't showed up, and she wasn't answering our calls. We prayed, and waited a little longer. My tummy started feeling sick because I begin to doubt that she would come. But SHE CAME! During the second verse of the opening song, our beloved μ • came! Our chapel is on the second floor of our church, so we tried to hurry her up the stairs, because it was almost time for her to receive the Holy Ghost. While going up the stairs, she stopped and started digging through her purse. "There is no time for this!" I thought, but finally she found what she was looking for: she handed us a handful of dollar bills and said, "This is my fast offering!" I can't really describe how special and sweet that was, but I hope you can imagine. It was wonderful, and also quite a happy shock. Soon after that, she became the newest member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was straight up BLISSFUL!

I have learned SO MUCH through all of this. First of all, I am thankful for the quiet thought that helped me forget about myself, refocus on my purpose, and go talk to her on the street. That definitely was the Holy Ghost, not me! It scares me how I almost didn't talk to her...the Holy Ghost really does just communicate with us sometimes through a simple thought. Second, I am so thankful for the challenge given by President Madsen to give out more Book of Mormons. I otherwise probably would have just shared a pamphlet with her, because for whatever reason, they are easier to give! But there is POWER in the Book of Mormon! And I believe that sharing the Book of Mormon with her is a big reason why she called us back. Third, I learned the truth of what President taught about the church being the "center of strength". 전도ing by the church helped us find an investigator who literally lives around the corner from our church...which made it easier for her to come to our church often on Sundays and also for choir practices. It also allowed the elders to re-meet her on the street, re-전도 to her, and it motivated her to finally call us back after two weeks. I have also learned how extremely important members and ward activities are in helping investigators feel welcome, loved, and involved. And last but most importantly, I learned that this is God's work, God's miracles, God's timing, and God's plan. And I am forever thankful that He allowed me to be a part of that. There is nothing happier than assisting somebody find the truth and happiness that the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ brings.

President & Sister Madsen visited yesterday evening for interviews. They visit often--they are so great!  Here is a pic of me and Sister Madsen. So sweet!
Well family, we have so many more miracles that happened this week, but I am too lazy to write more. But please pray for a girl named J and her mom. They also have a high potential of getting baptized soon. They want to join a church. J is 19 and has such an open, accepting mind to the gospel. She has been praying every day and feeling peace. She accepted the soft baptismal invite, which Sister P gave like a BOSS! It has been such an incredible week!  Some of the happiest moments of my mission! And now I must go...

Sister Beckett

Friday, December 9, 2016

Here's My Letta! (Dec 4, 2016)

This was at our service activity--on the right is my first greenie that I trained, Sister J! It is always SO GOOD to see her. She has progressed so much and is training now! I am so proud of her and I really love her.
This week I had a special experience where I really felt my Savior's love, and felt that He truly understands EVERYTHING that I am going through and feeling. Lately I have been feeling like an ultra failure, especially at Korean. Just little things everyday have made me feel like the biggest loser ever. On Saturday, Sister Park and I ordered food to our house for lunch because we were out of food at our house (don't worry, we will go grocery shopping today!)  Sister Park didn't want to call to make the order, so I did. When the delivery man came, he said to Sister Park, "Why did you have someone bad at Korean order? It was hard to understand! You should have done it!" And I lost it!  I had already been feeling so low lately, and that was kind of my last crushing moment. I just sat at my desk and silently cried and cried. Sometimes I feel invisible, misunderstood, misrepresented and alone. So as I sat at my desk, crying and wishing to go home, I had a thought come to my head that Jesus Christ was the most alone and misunderstood person to ever live. 

I thought and sat thinking " Why don't the Koreans even appreciate my effort? Don't they know how hard this is? Don't they know that I am trying my best and that the reason I am doing this is because I want to help them? Then why do they ignore my? Why do they always only talk and look to my Korean companions? Why don't they give me a chance?" And the thought that came was once again about Jesus Christ.  I am sure He had (and still has) the same thoughts, in a much deeper way. "Why don't they appreciate my sacrifice? Don't they know how hard this is/was  for me? Don't they know the reason I am doing this all is for them? Why do they ignore me? Why don't they give me a chance?" 

When this thought came to my mind, I felt gratitude and comfort from my Savior. Somebody DOES perfectly understand me. Jesus Christ. Sometimes I think nobody can understand how alone and invisible I sometimes feel, but CHRIST DOES. And I am so thankful and comforted by that. But I am not telling you this to worry you -- I am doing good now! I just wanted to share this experience, because through this experience my testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement was strengthened. I know that Jesus Christ has walked our path before, and is walking it again WITH us. He loves us and He understands us in every situation. And I know that we can be strengthened through His Atoning sacrifice if we take time to remember Him.
Here I am with Elder Wesley Allen from Grantsville, and my MTC comp Sis M!!

Now, Random Questions:

1. Are you all participating in the church's service initiative? And have you all got the service calendars and seen the video and all that? It is AWESOME! On Dec. 1 our whole mission (in our respective zone) and missionaries ALL over the world participated in the world-wide service day. We delivered these charcoal who-knows-what that help people stay warm in the winter. It was so fun and dirty!! And the little grandma who we delivered to (we delivered enough to her house to last all winter) was so thankful. And while we were moving the surprisingly heavy charcoal she would come put candy in our mouths. I also asked her to roll up my sleeves for me because my hands  were black and she was happy to help. It was so cute. Mom, you would be proud of my because I volunteered to do the most difficult part! I had to lift all of the charcoals and walk it up a little hill! So the grandma was also cheering me on. Haha. Afterwards we went to her little house-type thing and washed our black hands in a bucket of water. She was so thankful and happy! It was a good and humbling experience.
Sister Missionaries service! I'm holding the charcoal thing.
2. Is our cousin Ty on the title page of the Conference Liahona?! Or is it his twin? Or did I forget what he looks like?

3.Can you ask Bishop Bartley to let me work in the primary or nursery after I get back? I miss kids.

4. One thing that has really helped me in learning and applying what I learned from general conference is something that Elder Bednar taught us when he visited. This is what he does, and he suggested that we do it, too. It is an awesome method! Take the prophet, counselors, and apostles' talks and one by one mark three things in different colors 1. Doctrines or principles taught 2. What we should do 3. Promised blessings. I have done this to only two talks so far, but it is really incredible how much more I have learned and seen HOW to apply what I have learned, and WHAT blessings I will receive if I apply what I learned. Also when I look back at the talks it helps me immediately identify the most important parts. Really awesome! Today I did it with Elder Christofferson's talk called "Abide in My Love" WHAT AN AWESOME TALK!  Please all read that talk this week, and mark it up like Elder Bednar taught. You will learn so much and you will DEFINITELY feel God's love for you more. I know that I did! 

Well, my time is up so I must go. Have a great week!


Friday, December 2, 2016

Another Miraculous Week in Mokpo! (Nov 27)

Hey Baes,

Sister P and I are so grateful to be serving together for another transfer in Mokpo. We have worked hard together, learned together, overcome challenges together, and now we are seeing miracles together!!

Yesterday it was awesome to have our investigator at stake conference...especially because she sang in the choir, front and center!! As silly as it may sound, I know that it was God's plan for our tiny Mokpo ward to sing at stake conference. Because of that, our investigator JMJ was able to frequently go to the church throughout the week for practices and strengthen her relationship with the members. Everything about JMJ is a miracle straight from Heavenly Father, and I am so thankful for that! It is so interesting to look back (even throughout my whole life) and see how God has guided everything, without even knowing. He is the BEST!

We have taught Sister J The first three lessons, and half of the fourth. Last Sunday we taught the Word of Wisdom, and she committed to live it even though she drinks coffee and tea. The next time we met for a lesson (Saturday night) we followed up on how she was doing with the Word of Wisdom, and we were THRILLED to find out that not only is she living the Word of Wisdom...she also got rid of all of the coffee in her house! Last week when we visited her apartment there was SO MUCH COFFEE!! Costco size boxes. But she GOT RID OF THEM! That is faith!! After following up on WoW we taught about tithing and fast offerings. She willingly accepted (she reads the Bible, so she already new about tithing!) and she said she will pay tithing and fast offerings next Sunday! Incredible. As we were talking, she started crying and said that the day  we met on the street for the first time had been a really bad day. She was feeling down and discouraged because people she new who were attending churches and saying they believed in God were making really bad, wrong choices, and so she was really frustrated and it was making her question her own faith. Then she met us and felt peace. And the rest is history! She said our church feels so peaceful, and when she reads the Book of Mormon, she also feels peace. Don't worry, we taught her that that feeling was the Holy Ghost!! Anyway, I am so thankful that we were challenged and motivated by President Madsen to give out Book of Mormons every day. We have definitely seen miracles by following that divine inspiration that he received. 

Last month we were riding a bus, and all of the sudden another foreigner (Russian) girl came and stood by me and we started talking. I had to get off at the next stop, so there wasn't much time, so we quickly introduced ourselves. After I told her I was a missionary, she lit up and said, "I AM A BELIEVER, TOO!" It was so cute!! But after only about 20 seconds I had to get off the bus. I didn't have the chance to get her number, and I didn't know where she lived.  All I knew was that her name was N_ and that she also believed in God. I hurried and gave her our number and begged her to call us. Then I got off the bus. AND I HAVE REGRETTED THAT EVER SINCE!! I wish I would have stayed on that bus, gotten her number, shared my testimony, and just gotten off at the next stop. N_ seemed so kind and pure and I could sincerely tell that she loved God.  So after I got of the bus I immediately had a heavy, sad heart, because I didn't get her number, and that instant on the bus might have been the only time in her life that she had the opportunity to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. ANYWAY...for the next few days and week I prayed so hard to find N_ again, or that she would call us. We went and walked around the area for a couple of hours on where we rode the bus, just hoping that maybe we would see her again. But nothing. Fast forward 3 weeks... we were walking home from church, crossing the crosswalk, and for who knows what reason, after we crossed the street I turned around to look the opposite direction from where we were going. (Thanks Holy Ghost for twisting my neck! Haha) There across the street was N_! So we re-crossed the street and ran to her! A couple days later (this past Friday) we met her at a cafe. I was astonished at her faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. She glows with the light of Christ, and she 100% relies on Him in her life. I learned so much from her and I felt the Spirit from her testimony. She was also so grateful to "meet other believers" and share an uplifting experience together. We plan on meeting again soon, and we are excited to share the gospel with her. We hope and pray she will accept it. She definitely wants to follow Jesus Christ!

Anyway, sorry for the long email, but Sister P and I have been seeing so many miracles together, so I thought I better share some with you. :)

Lots of love,
Sister Beckett