Sunday, October 29, 2017

Another Grand Week in Gweru

9/4/17


Hello family and friends,

The mission always has its ups and downs but the joy overpowers those rough days. I am grateful to be surrounded by the Zimbabwean people who focus on what is most important in life. I have learned lifelong lessons that I hope will stay with me for the rest of my life. Sometimes I want to complain that we haven't had water for five days now, and cash is very difficult to obtain but I just can't do it. I am thankful for all of the continuous blessings I have received in my life that are far greater than anything temporal.

On Friday, the President of Zimbabwe came to our area in Mkoba so we were told to not go to the area. What did my companion and I do? Bake chocolate chip cookies and play hangman. :)

Saturday was also different than our usual days. We went to a city called Shureugwi, an area just about an hour away. The church is not yet in Shureugwi, members and investigators have to travel far away and it can be expensive as well so we went there to contact people that way at least a group or something can be opened up there. It is a beautiful area, as we were driving there I saw colorful fall leaves. Who knew.

Family Home Evening. We did our first one with branch this week. It was powerful, some members gave talks and we watched a church movie. The goal of this is to unite the branch more by helping members recognize the importance of FHE and we hope it will reactivate some less actives and also bring new investigators into the branch.

Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." A scripture that helps us accomplish the first is, 1 Timothy 4:12, "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." Making these six attributes a part of us will help our lights to shine. At times, the difficulties that come before us can become overwhelming, causing our own lights to dim. We can look to the Savior at these times who is the light of the world, and receive support from our loved ones. I love this poem that perfectly describes this:

I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine.
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about.
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!

But back to me the stranger came
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine!

I love you all. Let your lights shine! 

Pictures:
1) Contacting in Shureugwi
2) Being silly at FHE
3) Violet and her wonderful family
4) THANK YOU SPRING MTN STAKE YOUTH FOR THE AWESOME PACKAGE! :) LOVE YOU GUYS. SO SWEET AND KIND.
5) wanna workout?












-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead

Invite All

08/28/2017

Hello family and friends,

This week was pretty good. Just the same missionary work every week but it is always a delight. I was really humbled by the members in our branch on Sunday. Our branch is a struggling one because only about 30 members attend each week and at times it can be hard to bring investigators to church because we don't always have a good fellowshipper for them. On Sunday, the Mpsia family (a family we are teaching) did not make it to church and some members went to go visit them and see how they were doing. That really touched me and showed me that although the branch may be small in size, it is big in spirit and these members truly do care about their fellow neighbors. What an inspiration they are! We too care apply this example in our lives and reach out to the sick, weary, lonely and less active members of our own wards and branches. Even those that are not with us yet, let us invite them to come! This gospel is for everyone and it unites us.

We also had many fun times this week, we had a fall through so we played soccer with some kids on the street. One of them asked me if I had hair extentions, another asked me if I knew Chuck Norris and another one asked me if I was from New York. Haha. Then a giant group of kids got together and started to dance hilarious, kind of looked like Irish dancing and started chanting "American dance! American dance! American dance!" I have a video of it and I will see if it will allow me to send it.

I am enjoying the last few months I have here and trying to make the most of it every day by sharing the gospel with those elect!

I love you all! Have a wonderful week. 























-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead

Eternity

8/21/2017

Hello family and friends,

This week was cool, spent most of my week in Harare at a training and then came back to Gweru Thursday and had the normal schedule.

Yesterday after church our investigator Violet fed us lunch. After lunch we thanked her and were preparing to leave then she said, "I should be the one thanking you. You have shown me the way to eternal life and where I go after this life. When you first came I used to just throw the pamphlets and I didn't have much interest in the gospel but you kept pushing me and coming back again and again. You had so much patience with me and now I know the truth." This really touched my heart a lot. This is what missionary work is all about. No effort is ever wasted. 

What-e'er thou art, act well thy part. It does not matter if we are a bishop or a nursery teacher but we are all here to build God's kingdom here on the earth. We should always be thankful for the opportunities we receive to serve and become better people more fully exemplifying the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I love D&C 81:5, "Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." I know that as we serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength we can trust in the promise that Heavenly Father can make more out of us than we ever could ourselves. This is enabled as we align our will to His. 

Pictures: 
donkeys, Sister Perry and I, Violet's son and I, Jekacheka Road, cute kids, & traditional food.







Have courage & be kind!
Love you all!!!
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead

Sincere Prayers

8/14/2017

Hello family and friends,
So this week was a bit crazy with a little sickness and working in two very productive areas! It has been very busy but the work is always satisfying. 
I have good news! I will be staying here in Gweru and training a brand new missionary named Sister Perry. I have not met her yet but everyone keeps teasing me saying, "what if she is L. Tom Perry's granddaughter?!" I will meet her tomorrow and I will let you know more about her and where she is from next week.
We taught this young boy named Takudzwa and I love what he said as we were teaching him. We asked, "How do you feel at church?" He said, "I feel protected." We then asked, "How do you feel when you pray?" His response, "Like my Father in heaven is listening." I learned a lot from those responses. When was the last time you prayed and really believed that He was there listening to you? When you had believed that He had nothing better to do than to listen to you? When we pray in faith and sincerity of heart, I can testify that He does hear and answer our prayers, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
Pictures:
1) Beautiful family we are teaching
2) Teaching under banana trees, yes!
3) Monopoly with some members... I won.... ;D







-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead

I'm Walking in Sunshine. Wooooah

8/7/2017

Hello family and friends,

Just a few sweet highlights from my week:
-I always just love testimony meetings here because the people are so genuine but simple as they bear their testimonies. Its like on Sunday's when those eight year old kids get up and share their heartfelt testimony with big smiles on their faces. 
-The Mpisa's live in a tiny brick home with a tiny little window letting in only small light although it seems to be as bright as the noonday sun when I walk in there because they are truly embracing this gospel with all their hearts.
-Violet was sick on Saturday night. She could not move her hand. We called over the elders to come and bless her, she was so thankful. I told her she did not have to come to church the next day if she was not feeling well enough yet. Violet said, "I will come no matter what."
-We were teaching those SDA worshippers who only believe in their church because they worship on Saturday's and yeah you can sit there and Bible bash but there is no use in that because no one can feel the spirit. So, we shared a scripture in Jacob 4 about looking beyond the mark and forgetting the big picture and asked them to read The Book of Mormon and pray about it.

Just Zimbabwean things:
-Kombis (public transportation) are very hard to find on Sunday's because everyone is attending church. 
-At home you may call being fashionably late, "Mormon Standard Time." Here we call it, "Black Man's Time."
-During church you can always hear other churches rocking out with their praise music.
-Everything is bho zvekuti
-I have enjoyed the slow pace of things except at the grocery store. And everything but missionary work is slow paced! 
-You can't whisper is Ndebele because you can't whisper a click hahaha

1) Princess and I, the sweetest recent convert girl you'll meet.
2)I was so excited to see these baby bunnies!!!!
3) This cute family we are teaching! 


4) Selfying with my girl 






I love you all!!! :) Have a wonderful week.
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead

Photos 7/24/17








No Jesus. No Peace. Know Jesus. Know Peace.

07/24/2017

Hey family and friends,

Another AMAZING week here in Zim. What a shocker.

This week we had zone conference. As a mission, we have been focusing on The Restoration and The Book of Mormon. I love President Mkhabela's words, "You have power in your hands. Walk tall and stand firm for this is the truth." 

I love the Zimbabwean people. On Tuesday, my companion and I were driving in the car and we saw a little boy crying because he had fallen off his bike. We turned back around to go and help him but others already had helped him. Another time this week we were at a member's place and neighbors would come over and ask for food like millie meal to make sadza (the staple food) and she gives so freely and generously to everyone even though the economy is rough right now.

Our area is blooming! I just want to touch on a few inspirational investigators we are teaching at the moment.

Violet: We met with her for the first time and she completely opened up to us and told us she felt like a "lost sheep." Violet was concerned she has been baptized so many times and started questioning herself wondering if it was a sin, but she just wants to know the truth and stick to it. Definitely prepared.

Precious: Very sweet 16 year old girl. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and I asked her a question I said, "What are you going to change in your life now that you have this knowledge about God's plan?" She simply said, "I need to change and be baptized." 

Hahaha we had a baptism disaster on Saturday. The water stopped coming out of the hose when the font was about halfway full and the water needed to be heated because it was wayyyy too cold. So, we brought our little kettle and tried to heat up the water. The baptism for Fortunate was a success at the end because the water came back later on!

I love this poem. Mother Teresa put this on the walls of an orphanage she established in Calcutta.

"People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
 Do good anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway."

No effort is ever wasted! :) That is something I have learned even in missionary work. Keep doing good works because others will glorify our Father in Heaven. 

P.S. late email we were having fun playing with elephants and lions today. Pictures coming soon. Sorry if I cannot respond to everyone's personal emails today.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Picture 1- Elder Sink from Las Vegas, Lone Mountain Stake.
Picture 2- Gweru zone
Picture 3-Fortunate's baptism
Picture 4-This guy was trying to cut down a tree and it fell over and knocked a wall out at our chapel. Hahahahhahah dangerous.




-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead