Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween from Zimbabwe!!

Highlights of the week:
1. One of our investigators, Maimonashe said, "when I look at you, I see God." AWWWW!
2. Brother Maplosa, another man we are teaching said, "I can and want to read the Book of Mormon in one week!" I admire his desire to want to learn more. He is more of a logical person which we don't run into very often here so it's interesting.
3. Sekuru, the recent convert loves reading The Book of Mormon! He sat and told my companion and I the entire story of Nephi getting the plates of Laban. It warmed my heart because even though he is not very educated, the spirit is definitely teaching him.
4. Our dinner appointment got cancelled last night so we decided to contact around the neighborhood and we met a less active! We conversed with her for awhile and are going to go visit her again this week. #powerful

The unexpected is better than anything we could ever plan for ourselves.
Sister Walbeck and I were playing soccer in the street with some little kids looking for an opportunity to share the gospel. I then asked the group of kids if anyone had any recent deaths in the family. No one said anything. Then my companion asks, "Anyone have a new baby in their family?" A young girl said she had a little baby brother and she led us to her home just up the street. When we got to the house, her mother seemed busy and was plating someone's hair. It could have been easy to walk away, but we didn't. Instead, we got to know her on a deeper level after teaching The Plan of Happiness. She opened up to us and and mentioned how her husband just passed away in July around the same time she gave birth. She wondered where God was in the midst of her trials. She said church got too confusing so she stopped going and she stopped praying. We listened to her and then asked her to close with a prayer. After she closed with a prayer she said, "I feel like a million tears are going to fall down. Happy Tears." Her joy was indescribable, it was a reminder for her that God was still there.

When I think of our loving Father in Heaven, I feel the same way this woman felt. He always wants to hear from us just like any child wants to hear from their father. I know that He hears and answers our prayers.

"God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe." 

It was an eventful week. I love you all. I know this church is the true church! I know The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I hope that everyone has a fantastic week.


Sister Beckstead

Monday, October 24, 2016

Munashe and Katie were Baptized!!!

Highlights of the Week:
1. Munashe and Katie (Natasha's mom and Nomatter's grandma) were baptized on Saturday!!
2.) I ate Madora (caterpillars) .... kinda nasty. They cook it in oil and its super crunchy.
3.) The Kuwadzana sisters got matching African dresses!
4.) Rainy season is coming!! It rained all night last night and the weather seems to be cooling down!

Alan is powerful and he said something earlier this week that has been running through my mind. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and asking him how he was doing reading it and praying about it and he said, "I think it's true." Such a simple statement but I admire his faith. It reminded me of a General Conference talk I had read in the Liahona earlier this week titled, "Lord, I Believe" by Jeffery R. Holland. Alan was basically saying, "I can't say I know the Book of Mormon is true yet, but I believe it is." Belief is always a step forward. So we encouraged him to keep believing.

Faith may mean following the example of Jesus Christ and being baptized. Faith may be faith in ourselves and the Savior's Atonement to heal us. Faith may be praying to our Heavenly Father even when we feel like He is distant. It could be the courage of walking away from bad friends knowing our Heavenly Father has something better in store for us - the list is endless. What was once a tiny seed can grow into a tree if we but only believe. 

And now, my brethren, desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith. And behold, it will become tree,springing up in you unto 
everlasting lifeAnd then may God grant unto you that your burdens may be light,through the joy of his Son. And even all this can ye do if ye willAmen.

I had a wonderful week! I hope everyone else did and has a wonderful week this week! I love you all!

Sister Beckstead

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Almost Bite...

This upcoming week is my last week of training!!! Yay, I won't be a baby missionary for much longer. ;) Hitting 12 weeks out in the mission field.

Crazy Story:
My companion and I were walking home late at night after a dinner appointment at a member's home. We got fed cow trife and intestines which was interesting. Anyways, we get to a dark alley filled with many stones and garbage covering the ground. After a long day in the heat and October being the hottest month in Zimbabwe, we were tired and were rushing to catch a kombi (bus) home. As we started walking through the alley I spotted a snake very close to my feet and if I took one step further I would have stepped on its tail. My companion who also saw it shouted, "Stop! You almost stepped on a snake!" We then backed up from the snake filled with anxiety. Neither of us have seen a snake here yet!!! A man came by and saw what was happening and took care of it for us. He said it was a very dangerous, poisonous snake. I am thankful that Heavenly Father always takes care of His missionaries. I know that He is always watching over me. 

I absolutely love my mission. I love the people. Even though it is hard every day, I know this is the best thing I could be doing right now. It was a huge sacrifice but I know my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are proud of me every day. As well as my family and friends. I feel the love. :) I know this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ and it can bring us so much happiness in our lives!

I love you all! Have a great week. 

Sister Beckstead

Monday, October 10, 2016

Seeing Others as Christ Does

Makadii hama neshamwari!,        

Highlights & Funny Stuff:
1.) I think I found my perfect investigator because he doesn't speak Shona-only English. The Shona speakers are usually stubborn and don't want to speak English!
2.) I like sadza a lot now. It's weird because now I crave it when before I had to force it down..
3.) This kid at church asked me if I was Chinese....what?
4.) I have terrible memory but I have been able to remember scripture verses so well. The Lord definitely qualifies the called.

Nomatter was baptized on September 24th. The sweetest ten year old girl you could meet and she is always smiling. She was baptized along with her aunt Natasha who was raising her. This past week we went to go see them and Nomatter was not around. Natasha told us that Nomatter's dad came unexpectedly and took her five hours away to live with him. My companion and I were sad because we didn't see this coming at all. We are so thankful that she was baptized just two weeks prior. God's timing is miraculous & He knows all! This was an amazing miracle.

Exchanges in Chi-Town:
On Friday I went on exchanges with Sister Otieno in Chitungwiza. Sister Otieno is from Kenya and is a sweetheart. One family we visited really touched my heart. They have been struggling for a long time and their lives are finally becoming brighter through learning the gospel and repenting. The mother is very sick with HIV/AIDS and the two daughters did immoral things to support the family. They knew it wasn't a good lifestyle and are now changing their lives through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. They are searching for jobs and even though they are struggling with no income they have faith God will provide a way for them. Sister Otieno and I sat, cried and listened to them for a good three hours. When we left I felt a new sense of hope developing in their lives.

 Missionary work is more than teaching lessons and extending baptismal invitations. It is mourning with those who mourn. Listening with patience and open ears. Serving with all of our hearts. It is charity, the pure love of Christ and I love it. In His mortal life, Jesus sought for those who were judged and cast aside - those who seemed different. In Luke 19:1-7 it says,
 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, whichwas the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could notfor the pressbecause he was little of stature.
 And he ran before, and climbed up into sycomore treeto see him: for he was to pass that way.
 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, andsaw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, andcome down; for to day must abide at thy house.
 And he made haste, and came down, and received himjoyfully.
 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, Thathe was gone to be guest with man that is sinner.
We read about Zacchaeus who was a publican which made him unpopular and considered a sinner. His heart was in the right place because he didn't care what anyone else thought of him, only what Jesus Christ thought of Him. He climbed a tree to have a special and unique experience with the Savior that set him apart from everyone else. The Savior saw the intents of his heart. Let's strive not to judge and focus on what really matters. Charity is withholding judgment because oftentimes we look at others with inaccurate or incomplete eyes. Charity enables us to see the potential in others.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful week! I love you all. Zim is treating me well! 

Sister Beckstead