Monday, July 10, 2017

cute kids are my favorite

1 year

7/10/17

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July!  America!!!!! 󾓦󾓦

Gweru is seriously the opposite of Bindura so it's a funny change. On cloudy days here in Gweru, I feel like I am back at Rexburg putting on my scarves and fleece lined leggings. It is COLD here.

With the missionary work itself, Sister Smith and I are starting from scratch. We have been trying to find people to teach but the best solution we have found is to ask members for referrals because people in the streets aren't too receptive to our message. On the bright side, we ran out of Restoration pamphlets this week so that's a good start! haha.

This next week I will be hitting my year mark as a missionary here in Zimbabwe. I am grateful and will continue to serve with all strength and vibrance! 


Pictures:

1- Red, white & blue

2-this guy offered to give us a ride on a push cart, we accepted his offer

3-zimbabwean food!!!!!!

4-we found a cool bakery in town with cupcakes so I was pretty happy

5-Sister Smith and I woohooo









-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead





The Best is Yet to be.

7/3/17

Hello family and friends,
Ahhh. Many tears were shed and heartfelt goodbyes were said yesterday. I have been transferred from Bindura to a new area called Mkoba, Gweru. The Chipadze branch members told me, "We just want you to love and treat the people of Gweru just the same way you did to us." The goodbye is rather painful but I realize it is because we had a very special bond there and it's good to love even though goodbye's hurt.
My new companion is Sister Smith which is so cool because I was in the same house as her when I was being trained and she is a good friend of mine. 
Funny moment:
This person was telling me, "Chando is famous in Gweru, you will visit Chando." So I'm thinking Chando is some prophet or rapper or something. I said, "I'm going to baptize Chando!" Chando means cold in Shona..... 
Whenever change occurs, I have learned to focus on the future. Faith is always pointed to the future and our future is as bright as our faith. It is not good to be wallowing or dwelling in the past, that ruins the joys we could be having. So, my message this week is whatever is going on in your life, find something to be happy about even if it is different than what you are used to. I love you all, have a great week.

Pictures:
1. I love this girl so much. I am going to miss Sister Namugenyi.
2.Saying goodbye to Bindua in a photo.
3. ma sistasss.
4.woohoo love these people.
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead




Rescued

6/26/17

Hello family and friends,

This week we focused on seeing some less active members of the church. Sister Love was one of them. She told us about how when her family was going through a hard time grieving over death, no one went to visit them from the church so she felt forsaken and alone. She was offended and hadn't gone back. I shared with her how the church is like a hospital, we are all sick in our own way but we go there to be healed. Also, how the church and its doctrine are perfect but the people are not perfect. Sister Love was very happy that we came to visit her and she said, "I was lost and now I feel rescued." That really touched my heart and reminded me that we need to find those lost sheep, God wants all of His children back no matter how long they have been lost, or the reason why they became lost. 

I love these verses from Alma 31, as they are trying to rescue the Apostate Zoramites.
34 O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.
35 Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.
Love you all! Xoxo

Pictures:
1) I got my hair plated just for fun and it looked terrible hahaha then I took it out that same night.
2) oh, rats!
3) Ok, now this is pretty cool. So Elder Dube of the Seventy grew up in Zimbabwe, served a mission in Zimbabwe, and was also a mission president In Zimbabwe! This week I met one of his converts! I had to take a picture with him, anyways it was way cool haha.
4) just a selfie with Elder Banks & my companion, Sister Namugenyi.


-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead




Yes, I Am a Real Missionary!

6/19/17

Hello family and friends,
I thought about a story I read in a church magazine where this little girl pointed to a missionary and asked her mother in amazement, "is that a real missionary?" The missionary heard her and he said that changed his entire mission. Throughout his mission he tried to live up to the high expectations that little girl had of missionaries. This story also reminded me to be the kind of person and missionary I am supposed to be, reacting with kindness and love to whatever comes my way.
Right now our area is struggling with investigators coming to church. It is something we are going to work on very hard this week by teaching the importance of the sacrament, assigning members to pick up investigators and sending text reminders the night before. Throughout my mission I have learned 999 things about the world around me, this precious gospel, and lessons from people. At the end of the day on Sunday as we were closing the week, my companion, Sister Namugenyi thanked Heavenly Father in prayer for the two investigators who came to church on Sunday. What a wonderful example of hope, faith and gratitude she is.
It is officially "winter" here. I guess since the kids here now call me "murungu" (white person) instead of "mchina" (Chinese) it is evident that the sun is not shining as much, therefore my skin is getting lighter.

I love and miss you all! Have a great week. 
Pictures: 
1) hiking,
2) Mike & Johnson some of our wonderful investigators
3) The Dzapasi family, a beautiful family we are teaching
4) church on Sunday with some of my favorite girls.
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead






Monday, June 12, 2017

They Say Pictures Are Worth 1,000 Words

Sometimes I don't have a whole lot to say, but here are some pictures. I am happy, love this gospel and so grateful to be serving God.

Pictures: my lovely companion and I, bundling up in warm clothes some days, hiking today... :)

--
Love,
Sister Beckstead








Monday, June 5, 2017

Michael Jackson and Cats.

Hello family and friends,

I want to start with a funny story. On Tuesday we get into our investigator's home. He has a tiny cat and my companion is TERRIFIED of cats so she begs him to put it in the next room and he shuts the door. The lesson begins, everything is fine. Halfway through the lesson, the cat appears near my companion's feet and she screamed so loud I didn't even know what was happening. Turns out the cat crawled through the open window back into the room we were in. Hahaha.

So our investigator Bright was baptized on Saturday. Jeremiah, his little friend who we are also teaching wanted to be baptized so bad but he was not ready. He comes to primary every week though, is only 11 and does not speak good English but can understand it pretty OK. We were asking him the baptismal interview questions and to the question about Joseph Smith he goes, "Joseph Smith saw God walking in the forest." We had a pretty good laugh at that. Cute kid.

We were teaching these two YSA aged boys and one is named Johnson and the other Mike. During the closing prayer of the lesson my companion accidentally said the names of "Mike and Jackson."  MICHAEL JACKSON!

On Saturday after the baptism we were walking back to the chapel after lunch and this drunk man asked if he could pray for us. We kindly told him no thank you but he insisted. He gets down on his knees in the street and puts his hands high in the air.... interesting moments in Zimbabwe, my friends.

Brother Dzapasi is amazing. He is this sweet sekuru (grandpa) and we have been teaching him for a couple weeks. He is retired so he spends all of his time at home playing with his grand kids. He came to church on Sunday and we were so happy. He wants to be married and baptized with his wife soon! When we taught him The Plan of Salvation I think that's when it all clicked for him and he realized that this gospel is true.

Faith is still an investigator that has been coming to church since January. We are working with marriage issues still because her husband is never around and refuses to come to church even for one sunday to announce her marriage. She amazes me and is still faithful and hopeful that God will provide a way for her. Our branch president is going to try talking to her husband soon, so we are hoping soon she will finally be baptized.

Basically, I had yet another amazing week. I am working hard and enjoying my mission with my awesome companion Sister Namugenyi. Woohoo. We are celebrating our 11 months soon this month!

Pictures.
1- exchanges with Sister Burt.
2-our nightly workouts in the house are intense! woo.
3-Bright's baptism!
4-african BBQ 
5-our feast on saturday night before fast Sunday
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead






I Feel Alive Again.

5/29/17

Hello family and friends,

I don't think I have been so happy or as eager and energetic to go out and work since my training. This week has really been so amazing and I am loving my new companion Sister Namugenyi and we are working harder than ever. It is a blessing to me and a miracle. Today, we showed up at the internet cafe and our District Leader, Elder Tu'ua goes, "You guys disappeared off of planet Earth since Monday!" Basically...

Sad news:
Sister Namugenyi just came from Kuwadzana, the area I was trained. I always talked about this one investigator old man named Sekuru who we ended up baptizing. He was the sweetest, most peaceful & gentle person. One of my favorite memories of him was walking past his front yard seeing him in a lawn chair reading The Book of Mormon. He said, "When I read The Book of Mormon, my heart jumps up and down so I know it must be true." He was very sick when I left Kuwadzana and died in March this year, just 6 months after his baptism. I was really sad when I heard this but at least he died with the best thing, the knowledge of the gospel.

Investigators:
Simba- has been coming to institute for 3 months now but decided he wants to be taught. We taught him the Restoration this week and about The Book of Mormon. After I bore my testimony of The Book of Mormon he said, "wow, I hope I can have a testimony like that one day!" We promised him that he could as long as he reads, ponders and prays. He accepted a baptismal date on June 17 and said he already knows this church is true.

Sister Chigariro- someone we have been seeing on and off for the past 4 1/2 months.. we always tried to teach her but she never came to church. We taught her about how faith without works is dead on Thursday and she came to church on Sunday. SHE HAS NEVER COME TO CHURCH SINCE I HAVE BEEN IN BINDURA... THIS IS AMAZING MY FRIENDS.

On Sunday in our investigators/recent converts class we had a testimony meeting after discussing about The Restoration. It was so powerful to hear those testimonies and touched my heart a lot. I am so thankful for this gospel of Jesus Christ and that a humble, young boy of only 14 years had enough faith to believe that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.

Talk to you all next week! 
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead



Monday, May 22, 2017

Still here in Bindura! Happiest ever.

Hello family and friends,

Transfer news:
I am staying here in Bindura and my new companion is Sister Namugenyi from Uganda. She is a super sweet and humble sister from my MTC group. Saying goodbye to Sister Nafula was very hard. I love that girl and please keep her in your prayers as she is returning home without the greetings of her mother.

This week I have a story. We were leaving an appointment late one night and I felt a prompting to turn left instead of right. Sister Nafula and I were led in the same direction. We then passed one of our investigator's homes, Jeremiah and greeted him. I asked if his mother was around so that we could ask permission for him to be baptized. We found her and asked her, she said yes. Then we asked her what church she went to and she mentioned John Mazoe. We invited her to come to church and she goes, "oh yes, I have been plenty of times. I am a member." There are conflicts in her family because her husband does not allow her to attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We told her we would teach her husband. This story is an example that shows when we follow the spirit and open our mouths, miracles occur. I am so happy to start teaching this sweet family.I am blessed to still be here in Bindura to take part in this miracle.

I have learned so many things on my mission, but something very important and dear to me (that I know I always preach about) is love. It is the first and greatest commandment and we know that we cannot enter into the kingdom of God without the attribute charity.I have learned to love people fully, regardless of how they treat me which can be a hard thing sometimes. As human beings, we do not like others to demean our worth or make us feel small but we must remember that how we treat others is a reflection of ourselves, and we are all God's children, The hardest to love need love the most. I am thankful for being here and learning so much each and every day. I am thankful to be a missionary and that Heavenly Father allows me to even though I am far from perfect. I love the people and Zimbabwe. This gospel is true. We need to apply it in our lives or else we are nothing. 

Pictures coming next week. 

Packages and letters:
65 Enterprise Rd. Highlands Harare Zimbabwe.
-the easiest way for me to receive packages cheap & fast is by using padded envelopes. :)
--
Love,
Sister Beckstead

Happy Belated Mothers Day!!!!

Hello family and friends,

HAPPY BELATED MOTHER'S DAY!

Yesterday was amazing. Even though the network connections were terrible I am so happy to have been able to talk and see with my family. I love them so much, they are the best!

I am not emailing for so long today, just came on shortly to send a few photos. Just know I am very happy and working hard here in Zimbabwe. I am always grateful to be serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Will respond to personal emails next week. 

Pictures:
 Wayne & I, baptisms of Mercy and Ladin, my companion's birthday, mormon helping hands and gotta love sweet gifts from members.


-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead













Find Yourself Through Him.

5/1/17

Hey family and friends,
To be honest it has been a long and busy week. Tuesday the Bindura Zone traveled to Harare for our zone conference. Wednesday, Sister Nafula and I stayed in Harare for exchanges in Chitungwiza. Thursday, we traveled back to Harare and the rest of the week was normal missionary work in Bindura. 

As I reflected and reviewed what I should share today, my mind and heart kept pressing towards faith. Faith is never constant, it is either progressing or digressing. We all know what faith is and how to define it but today I want to talk about faith in ourselves. I read a conference talk earlier this week entitled, "You Can Do It Now!" Here are some parts I liked:

"We 
can feel so burdened by our failures and shortcomings that we begin to think we will never be able to succeed."
"No one likes to fail. And we particularly don’t like it when others—especially those we love—see us fail. We all want to be respected and esteemed. We want to be champions. But we mortals do not become champions without effort and discipline or without making mistakes."
"We acknowledge that your path will at times be difficult. But give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength."
In zone conference, President Mkhabela defined a goal as "a commitment without a guarantee of success except faith." While this is relating to missionary work, it can also relate to us personally. I know that if we try our very best each and every day (and I mean our very best), our eyes are focused on eternal goals, and we are committed to our Savior, we will have success. Follow in His footsteps. Do the things Jesus Christ did when He walked on the earth. Learn about Him in the scriptures. When it gets hard to press forward, remember, faith is always pointed towards the future. Fill your time with things of eternal importance like blessing the lives of others through your talents, callings and actions. As we become more like our Savior Jesus Christ we will find ourselves because He has the attributes that make someone truly beautiful.
I love and miss you ALL....
BUT........ just one favor.............
I would love to hear from you all. Just a short email with how life is going and maybe some pictures. I would really appreciate it!!
pictures:
1, 2, 3, 4- zone conference!
5-brother Ngonisa, our ward mission leader doing some stone work.
6- chipage drying to prepare for the grinding mill
7- the areaaa
-- 
Love,
Sister Beckstead