Monday, December 19, 2016

Lighting Mutare

Hello family and friends!

Highlights from Queensdale:

1. Sister Mpiyakhe and I have a new friend named Bricks. He apparently is a gospel reggae music artist & kept inviting us to the studio to make a track with him. We told him we couldn't go to the studio with him but we could teach him. So, we taught him the Plan of Salvation and told him he should make a track about it. He agreed. Oh the interesting moments on mission. I have stories for dayysss.
2. This week I have really learned to talk with everyone. Normally I get slightly irritated with some of the men here because they sometimes just want to joke around with you and whistle and holler at you to preach to them. My companion and I really took the time to sit and listen to this guy named Keith and he told us, "Every time I talk with you guys I feel hope in my life. I want to stop doing drugs. Sometimes I just want to give up. I need help." I could see the sincerity in his eyes and it cut me to the core of my heart. The Savior Jesus Christ talked with everyone, even those clearly labeled as sinners. So should we. We should try our best to have compassion and listen with an open heart-even those who irritate us.

Early Friday morning the Harare missionaries piled up into vans and drove about 4 hours away to Mutare. We had our Christmas devotional in Mutare which was wonderful. That isn't all that we did in Mutare though. We also contacted like crazy on Friday after the devotional and all day Saturday. President Mkhabela said, "I know He will be happy, we are supposed to be here." While contacting we looked for many acts of service. Some were plowing fields (I'm practically a farmer now), Christmas caroling, and dancing with a group of about 20 little kids.... it was a blast! Definitely feeling the Christmas spirit. At one point we invited this man to church and he didn't seem too thrilled. He told us he belonged to a different church. We told him a little bit about what we believe in as Latter Day Saints and he goes, "Oh! You see this clinic down the road, your church donated some medicines and equipment. I'm a teacher and some of my less fortunate students received rice & beans donated. The water we use in this area is even from your church!" We then explained to him that we follow the example of Jesus Christ & serve others. I think it's cool that even though we may not realize the good our tithing and fast offerings do, others do and are so blessed by it. 

On December first, I was walking home in the heat of the sun. I thought to myself, this feels so weird. There aren't any Christmas lights at night, it's too hot to drink hot chocolate or wear sweaters and where is the Christmas music? I used to miss those seasonal activities back at home and it's not that I don't anymore, but I have really been able to focus on the real meaning of Christmas which has been a blessing. I loved what Douglas D. Holmes said at the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional, "Our gifts to each other will never compare to the gift of His Son." Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ to watch Him be spit upon, beaten, ridiculed all to die for our sins and it's all because He loves us. This Christmas season, let us not forget our Redeemer, Savior and Prince of Peace. Let us not forget what Christmas is truly about. "Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before: that no love in mortal life comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child. When, Isaiah speaking mesianically wanted to convey Jehovah's love, he involved the image of a mother's devotion, "Can a woman forget her sucking child?" he asks. How absurd he implies, though not as absurd as thinking Christ will ever forget us." -Jeffrey R. Holland. I love being a missionary. I love this gospel and I know it to be true. I appreciate what our Savior, Jesus Christ did for us. That is why I am here. I will never be able to fully pay Him back, but I can do my best to emulate His life & teachings and continue to #LIGHTtheWORLD with His love.

December 12: Shared my favorite stories of Jesus Christ with others. 
December 13: Bragged about my companion all day. She even did the same!
December 14: Donated some clothes to "I was a stranger".
December 15: Listened to Christmas hymns.
December 16: Gave someone sad ice cream.
December 17: Took time to think about my mom and appreciate all the good she does.
December 18: Went to church.

I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas! I am so excited to skype my family! :)


Hello family and friends! 

My new area Queensdale is nice!! It has been quite the change compared to the ghetto in Kuwadzana since it's an upper class area. Everyone here is speaking fluent English and very little Shona. In fact, if you speak Shona people look at you funny haha. Instead of everyone walking in the streets, everyone is driving their cars. There are huge houses with giant walls and gates-you sort of wonder if you're even in Zimbabwe. It is a good area though I am really loving the members. Even though we meet in a house for church since it's a smaller ward, the people were so welcoming and sweet. 

The two main investigators that we have right now:
1. Pamela is a maid for a member and she came from the rural areas. She said that she wishes she could be independent like her siblings and she asked us why bad things happen to good people. We shared D&C 122:6-7
(6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations;if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters;and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.)
with her and talked a little bit about Joseph Smith and the trials he faced although he was a good man. 
2. Denzel renamed himself as LP. LP is an interesting guy but we love him. He has a phobia of people so he literally hides at church and wouldn't let our bishop announce his baptism in sacrament meeting. But anyways, he is being baptized next week either Saturday or Sunday which will be the second baptism in this ward since last year March!

December 5: prayed and asked for opportunities to help the sick.
December 6: Shared my favorite scripture with my investigators and members. (Alma 26:12) which is also the scripture I chose for my mission plaque. 
December 7: Learned about spiritual hunger
December 8: Prayed in gratitude all day long. Every single prayer. Seemed tough at first but I loved it.
December 9: Scheduled to work at an elderly home soon.
December 10: Donated a pair of boots to "I was a stranger" program for the church relief society. Also gave a lame woman a lollipop.
December 11: Did a mini photoshoot with some children after church to make them feel good about themselves!

P.s. I was so happy about the Plumeria flowers.

I had a great week this past week. I hope that everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them! 


Sister Beckstead

Monday, December 5, 2016


Hello family and friends!

Highlights of the Week:
1) Beauty was able to be baptized on her birthday Saturday!

2) Took a kombi to the area one day which happened to be filled with many school kids. One little girl sitting next to me poked me & said, "If you are English how come you speak Shona?" #YES #FLUENT... it was so cute and heart warming.

3) This week I really felt the love from the people around me. I was having a bad day one day and so I said a silent prayer in my heart to feel better. Five minutes later some cute little girls in my ward came and ran to me giving me hugs! I knew it was an answer to my prayer. :)

4) This news is bittersweet. I am being transferred from Kuwadzana to a new area called Queensdale. I don't know much about it but next week's email will be filled with juicy details! I will miss Kuwadzana with all of my heart & truly experienced miracles there. There is work to be done in Queensdale and I am looking forward to this new beginning.

5) My new companion is Sister Mpiyakhe. She is South African and seems super sweet! I have heard very nice things about her and am excited.

I hope that everyone is doing the #LIGHTtheWORLD calendar so we can truly help everyone feel Jesus Christ's light this Christmas season. 
Things I have done so far:
December 1: Prayed to know how to help those around me.
December 2: Wrote a letter to my parents.
December 3: Read the Book of Mormon to a blind lady in our ward who couldn't read herself!
December 4: Went to church :)
This week I was pondering what it means to light the world. It means to be an answered prayer and share the gospel freely with those around you. It is to serve others. Simply put, it is to live a life the way Jesus Christ did. I really hope this Christmas season we can reach out to others in love! That is my message to you all. 

 14 Verily, verily, say unto you, give unto you to be the light of this people. city that is set on hill cannot be hid.
 15 Behold, do men light candle and put it under bushel? Nay, but on candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;
 16 Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

I love and miss all of you! Have a great week. :) 
Mailing Address:
65 Enterprise Rd. Highlands Harare Zimbabwe. 

Sister Beckstead

Monday, November 28, 2016

86 is the record of the year!


Family & Friends,


1. Yes!! My mission hit our highest baptismal record this month of 86! Out of the 86, 56 were the Harare Marimba zone. Awesome!
2. Brian, Clayton, Cynthia and Lolo were baptized on Saturday!

Conversion Stories:

Brian- Came to church one Sunday and we got his contact information to go and visit him sometime during the week. When we went to go visit him, he wouldn't even talk to us and hardly made eye contact with us. My companion and I look at each other and say, "This is going to take awhile!" Brian started opening up to us over time and telling us his life story & how he needed to forgive his dad and also his ex-wife. He also told us he was taught by missionaries in South Africa 5 years ago but didn't accept it. Now his heart is changed and he was ready. He is a very happy and faithful member.

Clayton- A recent convert gave us a referral. We went to visit him & got to know him a bit but he didn't seem very interested. Then, the following Sunday he came to church! After church, he was like, "I've been searching for a good church to go to! How can I be baptized?" Funny thing about Clayton: he thought my name was Steadbeck for like 2 weeks.

Cynthia & Lolo- Remember that story a few weeks ago about playing soccer with kids then one little girl led us to her house and we met with her mom who's husband recently passed? That girl is Lolo and the mom is Cynthia. They are so converted to the gospel. Cynthia's testimony at the baptism was very powerful. She shared the story about how we found her & how that was like a message from God telling her that he still loves her.

I had a wonderful week this week! I love you all! I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. :)

Sister Beckstead

Happy Thanksgiving! :D


Hello family and friends!

Highlights of the week:
1. Watched our ward missionary eat termites (ishwa.) Not sure how to feel about that.
2. 2 JW's came to church on Sunday. what up. 
3. Friday night it was raining like crazy and my companion and I were soaking wet from head to toe but we had an appointment we had to get to. When we got there, this sweet woman finds us a change of clothes, serves us warm milk & sugar and cleaned our muddy shoes for us. TRUE CHRISTIANITY!

Gratitude. Something we all try to cultivate in our lives. Just today, I was overwhelmed when I heard Clayton say the closing prayer to end the lesson. In the prayer he said, 'I believe you have sent these missionaries to me Lord, and I don't know how to thank you.' I hope and pray we can all see the blessings in our lives with such a powerful feeling that we 'don't even know how to thank Him.' I felt gratitude last Sunday at church when I saw some recent converts passing the sacrament. I am so thankful to be here in Zimbabwe serving God's children.

P.s. Tonight my household is having a Thanksgiving feast. I am very excited.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and a great weekend! I love you all!

Sister Beckstead

Simplicity is beautiful.


Forgive me now, but this internet cafe is not working well right now
so please forward this email to anyone that you know who didn't
receive it! Thanks. I also can't get back to a lot of personal emails
today, but I will soon! Love you all. Also, pictures hopefully next
week! I have a lot to send! :)

Big, heavy drop of cool rain with roaring thunder and lightning which
strikes throughout the whole sky is what best describes an African
rainstorm. Definitely a wondrous sight to see. Yeah, whenever it rains
our electricity goes out and we mostly come home soaking wet from head
to toe but I love it. Something that I have come to know about myself
is that I love beautiful scenery. The beach, flowers, mountains... it
all makes me very happy! Although, we can look at the majesty &
grandeur of the world around us and ask ourselves, "Who am I in
comparison?" We are the very reason that our universe was created.

Moses 1:39 says, "For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to
pass the immortality and eternal life of man." We are everything to

1.) Everyone in Kuwadzana calls my companion and I, "Sister
Walbeckstead." It is sort of legit.
2.) When you are teaching a preacher and it starts raining he will
say, "The heavens have opened!!!" Hahaha
The elders had a very beautiful and spiritually uplifting baptism on
Saturday. The simplicity of it is what made my heart warm. The font
was outside amidst lush trees (looked like it was in the middle of the
jungle) and the water in the font was very low- the church had no
water to fill up the font but it ended up working nonetheless. The
humble circumstance made me deeply realize that it doesn't really
matter where we are, as long as we all have the same purpose. I still
can't quite pinpoint what made it so beautiful to me. Maybe it was the
sweet birds singing in the trees. It was so peaceful. I really, truly
felt God's love for all people, whatsoever land they may be in. I know
that Our Heavenly Father loves all of his children in every land. I
really have a strong testimony of that. (Alma 26-end of chapter.)

Well, I love you all! I hope that everyone has a wonderful week.

Sister Beckstead

Monday, November 7, 2016

I Get Paid in Happiness :))))

Hello family and friends!

I have the best job ever because I get paid in happiness. :) This week I have been focusing on having a positive, optimistic attitude no matter what! When we focus on the blessings we see so many miracles in our daily lives.

1.) The two marriages and baptisms on Saturday were incredible. It could have been a crazy, stressful day but instead everything went smoothly and seemed so organized. Our ward really stepped in to make it all happen which made me soooo happy and relieved. 
2.) We started teaching this sweet lady Bridget & her family because they showed up to church one Sunday! Found out her husband's brother is an elder serving here in the Zimbabwe, Harare mission. Pretty cool. 
3.) Sister Walbeck and I are working so well together and we want to hit our goal of 9 baptisms this month!!

Saturday was a special day. I loved seeing the two families come together. Magret was married and baptized along with her two kids. Her husband Fadzanai, is getting baptized at the end of this month. Melody, (who also got married and baptized on Saturday) her husband, is interested in learning more about the gospel. I really love this quote from Julie B. Beck, "In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have a theology of the family that is based on The Creation, The Fall, and The Atonement. The Creation of the Earth provided a place where families could live...The Fall provided a way for the family to grow... The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally." I know that families can be together forever as long as we stay true and faithful to the covenants we make. I am thankful for my own family at home. :) 

I love you all! Have a great week.