Sunday, October 26, 2014

"A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible."

I didn't send a blog email home last week, so this is covering the
past two weeks.  Sorry it's long!

At church on Sunday a lady in the ward gave a fabulous R.S. Lesson!
She was talking about conference and how she was expecting (as was a
lot of the church) some kind of big announcement.  I mean with all the
media and world problems and so much going on in the world right now
she said she was expecting something.  So when conference happened,
and Pres. Monson gave his opening address.  Nothing was announced.
Not a thing.  No new temples, nothing.  She said she was a little
dissapointed.  But the very first speaker, Elder Packer, talked about
Christ and why Jesus Christ did what he did.  Then she said that with
all of the talks about following the prophet and sustaining him, he
must be saying something very critical in his address to us this
conference.  So she was very excited for his talk.  And what did he
talk about? Christ, and walking as Christ walked.  After she said that
she got very quiet and said, That was the big announcement.  What more
do we need in our lives than Christ.  Why do we expect so much more
and want new revelation when all we really need is to rely on our
Savior.  I think that this conference fit together perfectly.  But
what this Sister in my ward said impacted me.  I guess I got so caught
up in all the talks that I missed the simple message of conference.

I feel so loved in this ward!  I was well taken care of on my
birthday.  My companion is amazing and made it a super fun day.  She
calls me a wilderness explorer because of my love of the out of doors
and so she made me a wilderness/jungle to wake up to. Haha lets just
say she had a lot of fun with crepe paper and balloons.  She is so
funny.  Because it was both my birthday and Elder Hunters, we went out
to lunch as a district.  We went got his little hole in the wall Thai
place.  It was pretty good.  Then we went back to the church for some
pie and ice cream.  Sister Russell told the Elders to find Key Lime
pie for me.  They found this pie that was a key lime meringue.  It was
kind of nasty. Haha but they were so sweet for trying.  Then 2 hours
later we had dinner at a members house.  Sister Anderson is amazing!
She called my Mom and Dad and asked them what my favorite food was.
Sister Anderson made lasagna, garlic bread, and for dessert....My Moms
key lime pie recipe! Yay!! It was so good.  I was so excited to have
key lime pie.  Yum.  Then when we finished eating she told us that my
Mom and Dad had told her some interesting facts about me and she had
put them on sticky notes on the bottom of our plates.  Everyone took
turns reading these notes about me.  Haha She also said that my Dad
told her an interesting story about me.  If any of you know my Dad,
you know what story that is. Hahaha yep, the famous story of when I
almost crawled off a ledge.  I think that story will follow me for the
rest of my life.  Anyway, that was super sweet for the Andersons to do
that for me.  Then on Sunday the bishops wife, Sister Peguero had us
over for dinner and gave me a present and had bought a cake that had
our names on it.  It was so nice.  Everyone here is so giving, even if
they don't have much to give.

I also got to go to the beach this past week on Pday!  It was so much
fun!  We didn't stay long, but it was an adventure!

So far, being in New York has helped me learn a lot more about myself
and how I interact with others.  It's weird being the minority here.
Not only the minority by being Caucasian, but also by language.  I
didn't know this when I came out of my mission, but Missionaries
called English are the minority.  The majority of us are Spanish
speaking.  For example in our zone conference, Sister Russell and I
are the only English called missionaries out of about 20.  It's crazy!

Door knocking... It's always awkward.  We get turned away about 94% of
the time within the first 8 seconds.  We had one guy tell us that he
is a devil worshipper.  He was a big, balding man that looked like a
biker.  Sister Russell didn't hear what he said so she said, a what?
He said I worship Satan.  It was really awkward and we were both like,
ok we'll have a nice day, and walked off.  The sad part is he had a
little boy in the room behind him watching.  That poor kid is going to
have a rough life.   We found one lady knocking who let us come in and
we were amazed!  But as soon as we sat down she went on to explain
that she is a Sunday School teacher and has been for about 40 years.
She first asked each of us what Sanctified means.  Then told us we
were both wrong and that we couldn't really know Christ if we didn't
know what that means. We had a decent conversation with her, it wasn't
necessarily confrontational, but we both walked away being mad.  She
would not let us get a word in to talk and she kind of just told us
how we could not be true.  But we had made a return appointment with
her in the middle so we didn't feel good about backing out on it.  So
we went the next week with a member.  Sister Andersons daughter just
returned from her mission in Switzerland.  So we took her with us.
The first thing she did when we sat down was pull out her "research".
Two books entitled cults. Haha ya not the best sources right? So we
sat there for an hour and a half trying to help "clarify" what Mormons
believe.  But whenever we said something she didn't like she would
just say "no no. That is not true" and then go on rambling.  She
didn't not listen to what we had to say at all.  At the end she told
us that at judgement christ would ask us if we remembered the old
black lady that told us we were wrong and asked why we didn't listen
to her.  Haha sister Russell said we will see and then we left.  Ha, I
think that was enough bible bashing for a while. I think I can live
without it.

We set a baptism date for a nine year old last week!  She is so funny!
 Her Mom is semi active and we have been waiting for the grandfather
to come to the states to perform the baptism.  Well it is finally
happening!  This cute girl is so ready to be baptized, she is so

This past week was amazing and we were able to exceed all of our
goals!  It was amazing and the Lord truly blessed us.  I am so

Friday, October 10, 2014

General Conference... Why did you end so quickly?

This week had some great opportunities!  Pday we spent the entire day doing laundry.  On Tuesday we were invited to go to transfer meeting even though none of us were getting tansferred. (In my district I mean, yay!)  the WHOLE mission was there at transfers.  It was super packed.  Before we went there we were all guessing different reasons as to why everyone would be invited to go.  One of the Elders said maybe some of the areas boundaries were being changed, I said that we were going to watch the Meet the Mormons movie, another Elder said that maybe there would be an apostle coming to speak to us...the guesses went on and on.  But guess what it was!  We got to watch the prescreening of Meet the Mormons!!! It was so good!  And this is an amazing opportunity for missionary work!  It basically asked what you think Mormons are and what they believe.  Then it showed six stories of different Mormons around the world.  It didn't get super deep into our beliefs, it was more about how we live because of our beliefs.  It was really cool!  It comes out October 10th, so everyone go see it! And then encourage everyone else to see it!  Pres. Calderwood said that if it does well enough they would probably make another, but it has to get a good response opening weekend.  So GO! Haha also, if it is not showing in a theatre in your area, if you get enough people to join you, you can request it be brought to your area.  That is what we want to happen.  Spread the Gospel through out the world! 

Also this week we had the opportunity to teach mutual.  Sister Russell and I made up a missionary jeopardy game to play with the youth.  It was really fun and it made the youth find answers in Preach My Gospel, For the Strength of Youth, and the scriptures.  I think it was a good learning tool for them.  All of the missionaries started calling me Teacher Beecher cause I was the one leading it.  Haha  Not the first time I've heard that one guys... I hope I get to use that jeopardy game later on the mission, it was fun. 

A lot of the people we teach have been kind of flaky the past couple weeks.  So Sister Russell and I have a goal to go do some more finding this next week.  We need to build up our teaching pool and there are too many people out there that still haven't heard of this Gospel!  To the doors it is, I should have some interesting stories by the end of the week.  Knocking always brings stories. Haha 

Of course the best part of the week, General Conference!  We watched all of the sessions at the church with some of the members.  All of the sessions either were really short or they went by really quick!  But wow was it an amazing conference!  Sister Russell and I fasted and came up with questions for the people in our teaching pool, and our own individual questions to take to conference.  A lot of them were answered.  As I'm beginning to find out, I'm not very good at picking "favorite" things.  So no, I did not have a favorite talk.  But here are some of my favorite quotes, a few might be paraphrased...
- "God is not going to make us become something we do not CHOOSE to become."
- "Freedom comes not from resisting, but from applying it"
- "The process of gathering spiritual light is a quest of a lifetime"
- "Why does the Lord allow opposition against the good?  Because it brings the good to their knees in faith."
- Elder Jorg, I loved the whole thing!
- "You are pleasing God, despite your short comings."
- "You are not your brothers keeper, but you are your brothers brother!"
- "Walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking AS Jesus walked"
- "Are we prepared to leave our comfort zones to reach a better place?"

Some important things that I learned:
- We need to sustain with our hearts, not with just our hands.
- Sacrament is said to be one of the holiest ceremonies in the church.  It needs to be made more holy to me.
- Is the way you are living fulfilling your promised blessings in your patriarchal blessing?
- As you turn to Christ, you turn outward to love and service.

There is so much to learn!  I love that our knowledge can always be increased in the Gospel.  Everyone should go read and reread all of the talks by conference.  There are so many answers for so many questions to be found in those inspired words.  

Love you all, have a good one!
Sister B. 

There are really weird street signs here in New York.  There are so many signs that have "fine print" on them.  It's sooo confusing. Haha