Monday, January 30, 2017

Gospel = Sadza

Hello family and friends!

This last Monday my dear companion Sister Nafula lost her mother. She is such a strong person and we still worked hard during the week even though she was mourning. I admire her strength and power. The first thing she did when she heard the news was get down on her knees and pray. I was grateful to be with her during this tough time.

We have some awesome returned missionaries in our ward (thank you Br. Sengereya and Br. Mapundo) who ALWAYS help us every single day. It is nice to have someone there to help translate if there is lots of Shona. They also gave us tons of referrals and many investigators came to church on Sunday. This area is progressing well and I am thankful to see Heavenly Father's hand in all things.

"The gospel is like sadza. We eat sadza every day, we must live the gospel every day"
-quote from sacrament meeting

People always look at me confused and ask me why I am here. "Why did you leave your nice home and come here?" and I love this question. It gives me the opportunity to tell them something that I have a firm testimony of. It does not matter what the circumstance of our life is, as in where we live and whatnot but it has to do with what the center of our lives is. We can find joy through the gospel of Jesus Christ even if we are having a bad day, bad week or a bad year!

I love this gospel so much. It heals us. Sanctifies us. Makes us pure. Gives us hope, peace and joy. One day we will be asking our Heavenly Father, "Is that all you required of me? Was that all you asked for this great reward?" He is merciful and kind, especially when we do our part. I testify that the Son of God lives and because He does all will live again. 

Have a great week, I love you all!!!

Pic 1- Nadia is so cute. :)
Pic 2- in the area surrounded by banana trees!
Pic 3- the area 
Pic 4- carrying her lil baby
Pic 5- our favourite place to eat!

Sister Beckstead

More Pictures!

1. Outside our church building. :)
2. my companion and some kiddies
3. The mangoes here are the absolute best and I practically live off of them (dreams really do come true.)
4. Africa Southeast <333
So I was so happy when I got these in a package. Thx mom & dad. ;)


Hello family and friends,

I don't have much time today but just a couple short things!

It was raining pretty much the entire week, but that doesn't matter because we had a great week in our new area Chipadze. Chipadze is more like a ghetto/rural area but the people are absolutely amazing. Struggling with the language barrier again but I just decided I need to get better at speaking Shona instead of just learning the greeting phrases. LOL.

The elders used to take over part of our area but it was split so now it is our area. We finished teaching this sweet lady Mary and she was baptized & confirmed this last weekend. I think she speaks maybe 2% English and even though I couldn't really talk to her too much, I was able to show her my love through smiles and hugs. We are now great friends.

Yeah so my companion and I basically focused on meeting members, getting to know the area and finding new investigators to teach this week. I'm sure a lot more will be happening this upcoming week.

That's it for today. I love each and every one of you! Have a great week. Toodooloo, the church is true!!

1. Mary's baptism
2. The chapel we attend.
3. Yeah.... after church on Sunday I accidentally somehow broke our house key and the other sisters we live with had to come and rescue. I thought it was pretty funny, but apparently my companion didn't think so. :))
4. My companion Sister Nafula and plumerias.

Sister Beckstead

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Hello family and friends,

I have a couple of fun, new updates. I got transferred to a new area called Bindua (just about one hour out of Harare) and we just arrived here like 45 minutes ago. My new companion is Sister Nafula from Uganda. Bindura is a small town and it is super green and mountainous which kind of reminds me of Hawaii during this season since it is super rainy. My companion and I will be opening a new area called Chipadze. We are so excited to start doing missionary work here together!

 I am struggling on this computer at the internet cafĂ© currently so please be patient with my correspondence in my following emails... :) I don't think I will be able to respond to everyone today!

Something that I wanted to talk about today is gratitude. I want to share an example which could apply to any aspect of your life. Imagine you have this companion and they irritate you. You are sick of them and you start to notice every single flaw. You become ungrateful. Then you get a new companion, and at first you are happy because you aren't stuck with the old one, but eventually you start noticing little flaws and weaknesses. Then you start to wish you were back with your first companion. It is the same thing with Winter and Summer. In Winter, we wish we could feel the sun quenching into our skin, but in the Summer we wish there was a cool breeze. It is so easy to become unsatisfied or ungrateful with our present circumstances. Are we only grateful when there is money in the bank or when things seem to be going the way we dreamt of? I am led to an example in the Book of Mormon of Lehi and his family. Lehi, a wealthy man with high status was commanded to leave everything behind and take his family into the wilderness. I can only imagine how difficult that would be. Later in 1 Nephi chapter 2 verse 7 we read, "And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God." We should strive to go into the future with a grateful heart. I know that it is easier said then done, but I know that when we show our Heavenly Father we are grateful for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us, He will bless us even more and we will be happier, having a life filled with optimism and positivity. 

On Saturday, I hit six months on my mission. Thinking about going home in a year makes me incredibly sad. I really love Zimbabwe and the people here with my whole heart. I am forever changed because of their grateful hearts and examples to me. They are an inspiration to the world. They live such simple lives and I realized how much I love that. They know that God and family come first before anything else. It is beautiful.

I hope that everyone has a fantastic week! Love you all!!!

1: Last district pic!!
2: Saying goodbye to my peeps in Queensdale. Gotta love the Ncube family.
3. The Murenza family-amazing family. Two of the daughters are RM's from the Zimbabwe Harare mission and the third daughter is preparing to serve!
4. Quick shot of Bindura.
Sister Beckstead

Monday, January 9, 2017

Refiners Fire

Highlights of the Week/Random:
1. My new favorite hymn is #307 "In Our Lovely Deseret" and I get so happy when we sing it... It's like the song here!! I had never heard it at home.
2. Hand washing my clothes this transfer has taught me so much patience and I am so thankful for washing machines. 
3. We had 6 investigators come to church on Sunday (most of which we just contacted) which is such a miracle for Queensdale! Wowww. 

On Saturday night I was a bit disappointed because our baptismal candidate fell through. My companion and I have worked really hard in a tough area and we felt that we were finally seeing the fruits of our labors. A lesson I learned is that at the end of the day when disappointments come, and they will, we won't be disappointed in ourselves as long as we keep the commandments and try the best that we can. What matters most to our Heavenly Father is that we are doing our best and our hearts are inclined towards Him. This area has definitely been the refiners fire for me but it has been good. 

I really enjoy being a missionary. It is the best thing ever. I will forever be changed because I decided to serve. This is the greatest thing, this gospel makes me happy. I am so thankful that I was blessed with the gospel so I could have this opportunity to give it to those here in Zimbabwe. I love the people, the culture and even the food!!! (I can't believe I am actually saying that.) 

1: Zimbabwe livin'
2: FHE last Monday with the ward family. <3
3: We made Elder Sakala a cake for his birthday!
4: Selfieee
5: It is mosquito season. These are my best friends.

Sister Beckstead

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Plan of Happiness!!!

On another note, hello my dear family and friends!
This week I had a couple of opportunities to share the Plan of Happiness/Salvation with people!
1.) Maria. We went to her house to get to know her better but she mentioned how her son passed away several years ago around this same time and how she was sad. We then knew she needed to hear the Plan of Salvation. As we explained it to her, tears streamed down her face and she said, "Since 2011, I thought I would never see my son again. I am so happy." She recognized the truth of the message of the Plan of Salvation.
2.) The Paine family. A sweet family in our ward that recently lost a family member on Saturday. This is one of the 999 reasons I love the Queensdale ward, but anyways, as a ward we piled up into a kombi after church and went to sing comforting hymns and read scriptures to them. They definitely felt the love and needed it especially at this time.

I am thankful for the knowledge we have been given of the Plan Of Salvation. I know it has lifted me in my life by giving me hope, peace and joy. The Plan of Salvation gives us the courage to press onward in this life and we know we have a loving Heavenly Father who gave this plan to us. He gave it to us because He knows this life can bring many heartaches of every kind but He continues to bind them with His love. This year let us try harder to heal others' wounds-sharing the love in our hearts of the gospel with others, as it has healed our own wounds. We can do this by sharing the message of the Plan of Salvation in simple ways. Maybe you have a friend that just lost a loved one, or someone with a new baby in the family. As we pray and ask our Heavenly Father how we can share the gospel, He will provide ways for us. Even Dieter F. Uchtdorf mentioned in conference how when he would share specifically the Plan Of Salvation with his friends when he was young.  ("Some of my friends would say that this message felt familiar, even though such things were never taught in their religious upbringing. It was as if they had always known these things to be true, as if was simply casting light on something that was always and deeply rooted in their hearts.")
President Thomas S. Monson said, 
"We are blessed to have the truth. We have mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth, that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit. He has told us, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”1"

1. The rabbit we braiied for Christmas.
2. santa hats.
3. Queensdale is so beautiful.
4. sister richards is my favorite

Sister Beckstead