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