Monday, June 29, 2015

I'm a day late, but Happy Fathers Day!!!   As I am growing closer to
my Father in Heaven I am learning the importance of the role of a
Father.  I am learning of the patience, selflessness and love that a
Father needs to have to fully support his family.   Heavenly Father
has provided for us His family in every way.  I hope we all took some
time to give thanks to Him on that special day as well.
I also want to give a shout out to my Dad!  Thanks for all that you
have done and continue to do for me Dad.  I know I can always rely on
you.  Love you!

This past week was incredible!  I think it was possibly the craziest
week of my mission so far.  We were constantly on the go, I don't even
remember if we stopped to eat sometimes.  Haha

Monday:  We met with Heidi and her Mom.  It has been a few weeks since
we had a lesson so it was really good to see them!  The good news is
that Heidi is going to be here this summer.  The bad news is that she
may be moving in August.  So if she is going to make a decision the
best time is this summer.  We are going to talk to her tonight about
really committing to seeking answers.  She really likes this church
and believes it is true.  She is just nervous about how this will
effect some of her relationships with people.  Sister Hawkins and I
both have a good feeling about this though and know Heidi will want to
commit once she really understands the importance of this.

Tuesday:  We met with one of our other referrals named Zakiya.  She is
amazing and so ready for this Gospel!  She has had a lot of really
hard trials in her life and has had constant change for the past few
years.  I can tell that she is searching for stability and safety and
that is exactly what the Lord is offering to her at this point in her
life.  She understands that she needs to turn to God and let Him
direct her path.  Zakiya has a few people in her family that are
members and she can see the good this Gospel has brought into their
lives.  We are meeting with her again this next week.  We will be
taking Sister John with us, I think it will go great!
Tuesday evening we were suppose to have family home evening with the
Joyce's and Migdalia.  Well Midgalia ended up not being able to make
it, so we just had it with the Joyce's.  We played our board game with
their kids, it was really fun.

Wednesday:  We had our Zone Training Meeting.  It was all about using
Online Proselyting.  We are now back on facebook again so our mission
has had a lot of training in preparation for that.  It was really
good!  The Zone leaders asked me to share my experience about teaching
Emma online.  There were a lot of great examples and stories told and
the spirit was very strong.  Jen Blosil (a previous missionary here)
came and sang for us as well.  She has an amazing voice.
That evening we had a lesson with Sister Rodriguez and her son Chris.
We were teaching the Plan of Salvation.  It started out going alright
but the end didn't go very well.  We are going to try another approach
with them this week to see if it will go better.

Thursday:  We went to visit another referral named Karen.  Karen is a
very humble, sweet person.  She is a young single mother and is going
through a lot right now.  We told us about some of her spiritual
experiences leading up to this point in her life.  She is searching
for some happiness, direction and support in her life.  It is not a
coincidence that we started meeting with her now.  Love Karen!
Thursday evening we went to have a lesson with Sis. Lims friends that
she lives with. (Sis. Lim is a member from the Phillipines and is a
wonderful member missionary!)  We taught Aaron and Juliette the
Restoration.  It was a short and to the point lesson, but it was just
what they needed. We are trying to help them understand how this
Gospel blesses families as they are currently working on theirs with
their 3 year old son.  To be honest, we didn't even know if the lesson
was going to happen because Sister Lim just out of the blue asked him
as he walked by if he wanted to meet with us as we were visiting her
the previous week.  He said it would be fine, and he showed up!  It
was great!  Both of them took a Book of Mormon and agreed to read it.

Friday:  This day.  Well we had appointments with another referral,
Zakiya, and Noga.  But they didn't end up working out.  So we went to
the church to map out some addresses.  Once we got to the wifi we had
a huge surprise!  Our areabook said that we had over 45 new people
(media referrals) added to it!!!  What!  So our potential
investigators list doubled.  Then over the course of the day, every
time we sync to the system, we would have more.  By the end of the day
we had over 181 new referrals!!!  We were a little overwhelmed.  That
is a lot of people to look up and try to find.  The past few months
that I have been here we have gotten about 35 media referrals. We
probably get the most out of the whole mission, a lot of people here
order Bibles.  The thing is that all of those referrals are old media
referrals.  Going back to 2012.  Some have been contacted but the vast
majority, we are not sure.  So we have our work cut out for us!  It's
okay, there is destined to be a few people that want to be taught out
of all of this!

Saturday: We had a stake auxiliary training meeting.  It was great!
The stake president spoke first and then they broke into workshops for
each auxiliary.  We went to the R.S. one since none of our branch R.S.
presidency was there.

Sunday:  For gaining 7 new investigators, not a single one showed up
to church. :( That was a bummer, but it was still a great Sunday and
we got to help with the Young Women's lesson.  After church we met
with Karen again and got to meet her boys this time.  We took her a
children's Book of Mormon to start reading with them.  She has really
great questions and is very open minded.  This time we went into more
depth with her about what people the Book of Mormon was discussing and
about the first vision.
That evening we went over to Sis. Myers house and had family home
evening with her and her sons/grandsons.  Sis. Myers kids are pretty
spaced out so she has grandsons almost the same age as Harold and
Isaiah her sons.  So we were teaching 5 teenage boys.  Haha it was
fun.  We told them the story of the Restoration and then played
Farkle.( a dice game). If one of the boys Farkled then they had to
answer a question about the lesson.  Sister Hawkins had the brilliant
idea of putting commitment questions in there as well.  So we left
with one boy promising to read his scriptures for a week, one
promising to pray for a week, and one who is not a member committed to
come to church this next week!  It was a lot of fun and it really
helped the boys learn what this church is all about.  Sister Myers
then fed us a huge feast, she is so good to us.  To end, I had made
lemon bars for desert :)

It is amazing how the Lord prepares people and brings the Gospel into
their lives at the perfect times. I had this testified to me over and
over this week.  As we talked with these different people and heard
their stories, I could hear the Lords handing guiding them to this
point in their lives.  These are some of the most humble and kind
people I have ever met.  I feel so blessed to finally have steady
people to teach.  They are all so amazing too!

We'll have a blessed week everyone!  Enjoy your summer!
Sister Beecher

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Look at what is happening here this week!  We get to go to this and volunteer.  I'm soooo excited!  You should google it and tell me more details.  Haha  basically it is a world wide genealogy day and the church is co sponsoring it...kind of.  So cool right! 
This week was amazing!  We were able to set up a lot of appointments
for this week, and we finally had a week full of teaching!  It was
also my companions birthday on Saturday, so it was full of fun
surprises too.  :)

Monday, we had a surprise birthday party for Sister Hawkins with the
ASL Sisters and the Park Slope Sisters.  It was perfect!  She didn't
suspect a thing.  Sister Hawkins and I hurried and finished out
errands and headed out to the ASL sisters apartment to "go shopping"
with them.  When we got to their apartment, they had made a delicious
spaghetti and meatball lunch with a brownie cake.  It was so good!
After lunch we all walked across the street to the nail salon and got
manicures and pedicures.  Sister Hawkins loves to have her nails
painted, so that was a fun surprise.  It was the first time Sister
Hawkins and I had ever had a pedicure, it tickled... It was a great
day and we had a lot of fun.  The ASL Sisters are amazing!

We met with a lot of members this week, it was great!  We met a few
more of the less actives in the branch, and were able to find some
more people to teach.  We got Sister Lovaglio going on Personal
Progress and she is loving it so far!  It is perfect for her and
exactly what she needs.  We also met with a lady named Sis. Rodriguez
who is a genealogy wiz!  She has had to figure out so much of her
ancestry and is a great detective!  We are going back over to see them
this week as well.

On Friday we went and did some service for a pastor.  He is renovating
a old church all by himself and the Elders have been helping him for
months.  But now we get to go help too!  :)  when we got there Pastor
Loflin looked at us Sisters and said "Did they tell you this was hard
work?  Are you going to be okay?"  Haha we told him yes.  It was
funny.  I'm pretty sure I can carry wood and tie bundles just as well
as the Elders.  There was a shed that the roof had fallen in and we
had to carry all the broken pieces out of it and then tie them up.   I
was tying a knot and one of the Elders asked jokingly if I was a boy
scout.  I told him no, but I did work at a Boy Scout camp.  Haha I'm
not sure if he believed me.  It was really fun and a lot of work.  But
we look forward to going back this week!

Saturday was an adventure!  It was finally the day of her birthday and
I had a few tricks up my sleeve.  In the morning while she was in the
shower, I recruited the Spanish Sisters from next door to help me make
pumpkin pancakes, banana pancakes, and turkey bacon for breakfast.
Also to help decorate the apartment with streamers and balloons :)  it
was perfect.   Then we went to deliver a Bible to someone in the
afternoon.  They were not home, but the Elders asked if we could pick
up a key from the Spanish branch president a few blocks away.  So we
ended up spending the whole afternoon hanging out with the Spanish
branch at their branch BBQ waiting for the branch President.  But it's
okay, because we ate some delicious food!  We met up with the Elders
after and went to go get Bubble smoothies to celebrate Sister Hawkins
birthday.  Then we ran back to the church to have Corrilation meeting
with Bro. Wynder.  It was a super hectic, crazy day.  But I think it
turned out great and there were plenty of surprises for Sister
Hawkins. :)

If you haven't had a chance, you should watch the new Mormon Messages!
 There are two.  They are amazing and definitely some of my favorites!
 :)  I know that things that seem to be a burden can really be the
thing that is helping to heal us and make it through our trials in

Well I'm off to a Mets game!  Happy Memorial Day everyone!
Sister Beecher

Zone Conference is amazing!

On Mothers Day I got to see my family and Skype with them!  It was so
good to talk to all of them!  I love my family :)  the kids are
getting too big though...

On Monday we got to go to Presidents house to have our last Zone
Conference with him.  That was probably the last time I will get to
see President Calderwood and Sister Calderwood unless my companion or
I get transferred.  He only has one month left until he leaves and
President Reynolds comes in.  At the conference we had a bunch of
different workshops, lunch, a few more workshops and then a testimony
meeting.  The workshops were so inspired and just what I needed to
hear.  There were about: extending a baptism date, listening, having
short 20 minute power lessons, teaching with the Book of Mormon, using
the interactive pamphlets, taking a family name to the temple, and
praying in faith.  President Calderwood presented this to us as all of
our different tools in our tool belt.  Not every tool gets used at
once, but some combinations work better than others.  It was so good!
I love the Calderwoods and the powerful spirit that abides in their
home.  They have been such great examples to me.  I love their family.

Tuesday was our Pday this past week.  We didn't do anything really
exciting except get some bubble smoothies with the Elders and go in a
pet store.

We have started teaching a 16 year old named Heidi.  She is so sweet!
Her mom sits in on the lessons as well but she only understands
limited English.  She use to be meeting with the Spanish sisters but
they have had a lot of crazy things happening the past couple months
and haven't been meeting with the missionaries.  So we are trying to
teach both of them.  We have downloaded the scriptures in Spanish on
the Gospel Library App and are giving them a Proclamation to the
Family in Spanish this next week.  They have a relative who is a
member and they told us they noticed the difference it has made in his
life.  Heidi said that she can almost notice a different light about
him.  How cool is that!  She already recognizes that this Gospel
enhances the Light of Christ within us!  We are so excited to be
teaching them and hope we can get Heidi to church soon.

On Thursday Sister Hawkins and Sister Barker (ASL Sister) went to the
temple for their year mark.  So Sister Guris and I went on exchange
that day and I got to be in the ASL program for the day!  It was so
much fun!  We went and taught a member named Marcia.  At first she
wasn't sure what she thought about me, but then I showed her a picture
of me and Sister Passey (my old companion who knows Marcia REALLY
well).  She grabbed my iPad and started kissing it.  Marcia really
likes Sister Passey!  Haha after that she thought I was okay, even
though I didn't know much sign, all because I knew Sister Passey.  It
was funny.

We had our Zone Training Meeting this week as well.  It was also
fantastic!  There were some great workshops that helped me so much
with things that have been stressing me out.  I was also on exchange
with Sister Bowman (my Sister Training Leader/best friend from the
MTC) that day.  It was so much fun and I learned so much from the
training and Sister Bowman, it was a great day.

Church has still been a little chaotic because we are still never sure
which building we are meeting at each Sunday.  It has made it hard for
us to invite people to church because we are never sure where it is
being held.  This past Sunday we were in the East New York chapel.
But... none of the bathrooms were working so we only had Sacrament
meeting.  Haha oh man, I hope we get this figured out soon.  All of
the members are getting antsy.

It has been a good week, a little slow for teaching, but filled with
meetings!  I have learned many important lessons and received a lot of
inspiration.  Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan set up for this
area, and it is just beginning to unfold :) I am so grateful to be
here to hopefully help it happen.

Have a fantastic week!  I love you all!
Sister Beecher

April 28, 2015

This was an interesting day.  It was transfer day, but we didn't get to go because neither of us were leaving the area.  We started the morning out by having our appointment for the afternoon cancel on us.  So after doing our studies and making some lunch, we deep cleaned our apartment.  Spring cleaning time right?  We didn't make a plan B in planning the night before because that appointment is usually an every week thing.  We were kind of confused as to what to do with the afternoon.  The ASL Sisters next door were switching pads with the Spanish Sisters in the Zone, so we decided to help them pack.  Once we got the car packed up and the apartment all clean, we waved goodbye to these wonderful ladies I have shared many laughs with and quickly come to love.  This transfer won't be the same without them living next door.  After they left we spent the next 2 hours making phone calls to the many referrals and potentials that we need to contact.  After dinner we went to look up a few of them, but with no success.  I don't particularly enjoy the days we don't have lessons or get to go see people.  I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a rough day.  So as we got on the last train to head back to the church for institute, I wasn't really looking for people to talk to like I should have been.  Once we sat down, Sister Hawkins turns to me and tells me the people sitting directly across from us are signing!  There was a lady standing, holding onto the bar in the space between us and the people Sister Hawkins was talking about.  I didn't have the best view of the couple, but I could see that the man was definitely signing and had hearing aides on.  So I pulled out a pass along card and wrote down the ASL sisters phone number.  After passing a few stops the lady standing finally got off allowing me to have a clear view of the couple.  I waved hello to the lady and then signed that I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints.  She got a smile on her face and then signed hello back.  I pointed to the card and signed that I knew some ASL sisters and I had their phone number (holding up the card).  She signed back that she is a part of the Jehovah's Witness religion and wasn't really interested, but thanked us.  I asked how she was doing, she signed great and then she asked how I was doing?  I replied with fine. She then asked what my name is and I signed back Sister Beecher.  I asked her what hers was and she fingerspelled it and then showed me her name sign.  She was really sweet.  She then turned to my companion and asked what her name was.  So I whispered to Sister Hawkins that she wanted to know her name.  She was able to slowly finger-spell it to her, she did great!  The lady signed to both of us nice to meet you and then I asked the man what his name was.  He didn't seem as thrilled to be talking to us but he signed it slowly for us.  Then our stop came and we had to get off.  But how cool was that!!!  I got to fearless someone in sign language!  It was kind of scary cause I knew that I wouldn't know how to reply to everything I was asked.  But overall it went well.  Later I asked the ASL sisters to teach me more conversational signs I can use to talk about the Gospel.  Next time, I will be prepared.  Haha As we were walking to the church, we got a text from Paco!  He is a man we helped give directions to last week.  He is visiting here from Spain and didn't know his way around. So we showed him on our maps and then ended up walking him to his friends house.  He was really nice and seemed interested in hearing more about what we do.  So we gave him a pass along card with our number on it.  So the fact that we heard back from him was fantastic!  
Once we got to the church and were on our way inside for institute a man out front stopped us.  He told us that he was a missionary here 10 years ago and he was back on a business trip.  We chatted with him for the next 1/2 hr about people in the branch and he gave us a lot of really good suggestions of people to look up.  It was great!  So what started out as a rough day, ended up being full of miracles and tender mercies.  To finish the night off, as we were telling the ASL sisters our story, Sister Guris gave me a deaf name!  You make a B with both hands and with the palms facing down, you move your hands upward in a smile shape with your hands in front of your mouth.  Haha I have no clue if that made sense.  Apparently I smile all the time, so that is my deaf name.  

April 29, 2015

Our day in Brownsville.
We have been getting media referrals like crazy and the majority of them are in Brownsville.  Our service appointment with a member cancelled so we decided to spend the day doing look ups and delivering scriptures.  As we were mapping out our route, one of the ladies named Sabrina we called the day before called us back.  Which rarely happens, so that was exciting!  On the way there we met this cute little family on the bus, and boy were those kids chatty.  The 8 year old kept asking questions about what we were doing, so we told her what missionaries do and gave her a Book of Mormon.  She told us she would read it that night.  Haha  Her mom seemed fine that her 3 kids were learning all about our religion.  Hahaha we wrote our info down for them and the little girl asked her mom to give us theirs.  So we walked away with a slip of paper that had the mothers name, her daughters name, and her daughters email.  We were able to meet Sabrina, who had called us that morning and she accepted a Book of Mormon as well as the Bible.  We were also able to set up a return appointment with her.  Yay, hopefully she will become a new investigator!  The majority of our look ups were not home to answer the door, but we ended up giving away 3 Books of Mormon and 2 Bibles.  We usually never give out so much in one day!  It was great!   It was a full day and we were exhausted, and covered in blisters.  But it was worth it :) 

April 30, 2015

This was our day for weekly planning.  I love weekly planning, it makes the week go by so much smoother if you are organized.  We spent the majority of the day doing planning and went to do a look up in the afternoon.  On the way back Sister Hawkins did not feel well at all.  So we came back to the apartment and called the Spanish Sisters (who now live next door to us).   We asked if they had any appointments that night and if they would be willing to go on exchange so that I could still go to our appointment.  Thankfully they said yes and Sister Cluff(she is from Washington state) and I were able to go visit the Arnett family.  The appointment was a mess.  The boys were really contentious with their mom and each other.  Marcia (the mom) is trying to basically force the boys to believe in God.  So of course now they are very turned off to the idea of religion.  Oh man, it just did not go very well.  But I did ask if we could take her boys to church on Sunday.  Marcia trusts us to pick up her boys and take them, but she isn't completely sure that she wants them missing her church services.  She is trying to get them baptized into her church soon, so they can't miss their Sunday school classes.  I told her there are a few really nice boys I want to introduce them to in our branch that would be good friends for her boys to have.  That seemed to help soften her to the idea a bit.   But I told her I would call her on Sunday and ask if we could come pick them up.  She said that would be fine.  We are planning on trying to set up a family home evening with some members and see if Marcia will let us take the boys to that.  We think that if we can find a way to teach the boys separately from their mom they might learn more.   These are also the boys we are trying to get to come play basketball with some of the young men.  If they can feel fellowshipped by them they will be more willing to come to church.  

May 1, 2015

This day.  It was such a crazy, great day!  
We started off by doing our studies like usual.  I read an amazing article, that I would suggest everyone should read.  It is called, "It isnt a sin to be weak" in the April 2015 Liahona magazine.  It is fantastic, and explains why sometimes people are a lot harder on themselves than they need to be.  "It is crucial to understand that while sin inevitably leads us away from God, weakness, ironically, can lead us toward Him."  After studies we typed up some updates for our Branch President and branch mission leader.  Sister Hawkins made a HUGE cookie, and we were off to go get lunch with our Elders and then have district meeting.  (At transfer meeting, Elder Seaton our District leader found out he was training!  So we have a fresh new missionary from California in our little fantastic 4 district.  His name is Elder Menje). We got some delicious Halal food from a street cart (Lamb on's so good!) and then headed over to the church.  Once we got settled in and started eating and chatting, there was a knock at the church door.  Elder Seaton went to answer it and we heard a lot of conversation happening and it took him a while before he came back.  When he walked back into the room, his face was in shock.  He said "Guys, we are literally being evicted right now.  Grab your stuff."  What!?!  Apparently for who knows what reason the bills aren't being paid for the building and they are evicting our church building!  There was a marshal lady there with the locksmiths ready to change the locks right then.  We hurried and called up our branch President and he talked to the Marshal over the phone.  So we went and chilled on the front steps of the building and finished our lunch.  President Frandsen (the branch pres.) was making a billion phone calls all day.  The marshal lady told us they were changing all the locks and take all of the things from inside to a storage unit.  I'm sure there is some kind of misunderstanding and it should be cleared up quick.  CRAZY!  So.... Church Sunday, in two days??  That is what was going through our heads the whole time.  It was definitely an unusual day. 

May 2, 2015

Today was a blast!
We met up with Paco (the guy from Spain) at an Indian Restaurant.  The food was delicious!  It was Pacos first time eating Indian food, I don't know if he was crazy about it.  (But I was!)  We didn't get to tell him about the Gospel too much.  I think he just wanted a friendly face to talk to because the friend he came here to visit is fighting with him right now so he is all alone here in New York.  But I hope that he has a good opinion of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and some day soften his heart to hearing more.  As we were leaving he asked if he could take a picture with us.  I asked him where and he pointed to the park across the street.  He said on the swings.  Okay.  Well the swings were all being used.  So the next best thing he found was this camel.  So here is our picture with Paco on the camel.

In the afternoon we met with Dorain to go look at a museum with her!  The first Satuday of the month is free at the East New York Brooklyn Museum.  It was so cool!  There was so much to see.  There are about 5 floors to the museum with all different kinds of exhibits.  When we first met up with Dorain, she told us there was some African music and dancing happening outside on the other side of the museum.  So we ran over there to check it out.  It was pretty cool!  It was like slow motion break dancing.
On the inside, the museum has 5 different floors.  The bottom level had a stage (for little concerts, premiers, etc.) right inside the front doors, the front desk, one small gallery of African tribunal artifacts and then a huge line for the elevators to the next level.  Each level had it's own theme. For example one level was "Into Egypt", One was the modern show case, and another was home Decour.  To a hands-on workshop where we made our own picture frames.  This was such a cool museum I plan on going back someday!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the museum.  This is my friend Fernando.

There was all different types of collections.  This was one of my favorites from the classic gallery.

This is Dorain, our super awesome investigator/friend!

I love her.  That cat art though...that was questionable.

There was this whole section of "modern art".  Basically the artist took people off the street to be his models.  It was an odd mix of classic art meets modern gangster.  

MJ why was he randomly in the modern collection?

Yes, the classic bust wouldn't be complete without a comb in the fro.  I love it  :)

The African masks were pretty sweet.  We watched some video clips of their dances, I bet it got hot under there.

The flowers are all in bloom!  It's a beautiful time of year to be in New York.

May 3, 2015

What a Sunday.
Church ended up being held at the chapel in Park Slope.  It's about 45 min away by train, so it's not the easiest journey.  We went to pick up Sis. Lovaglio to take her to church with us because she didn't know how to get there by herself.  Ended up making great time and being there 30 minutes early.  We only had about 60 members show up when we usually have around 90.  But that's okay, hopefully everything will be sorted out by next week and we can be back in our building.  So far I have been in Bushwick for about 8 weeks and we have only had one regular Sunday meeting in our chapel.  Haha it makes it hard to invite investigators, but hopefully it will be back to normal soon. 

Just a heads up... Next Monday is my Zone Conference and possibly the last time I get to see President Calderwood.  :(  We are going to the Calderwoods home in Little Neck as our final farewell with them.  It's so sad!  So I'm not sure if we will be having Pday on that day.  If I don't email you then, don't freak out.  It will just be another day that week.  

Well it is been a wonderful week full of adventure! I hope this week goes well for everyone and that you have a fantastic Mothers Day! 
Love you all!
Sister Beecher