Monday, December 30, 2013

Cuscooooo, He(she)´s the King(Queen) of the World! Cuscoooooo

Week 29

December 30, 2013

Hey Guys!
I hope your Christmas was the best! My Christmas was definitely unlike any other Christmas I've had before. The Christmas miracle was definitely to be able to (after hours of tracking down cameras and finding an internet cafe with skype) talk with and see my family on Skype! The best.
Remember our investigator Marilin? She studied for a while to be a monk, but then left that. Her husband is studying to be a catholic priest. Well we kind of dropped her for awhile because she wasn't progressing. But we recently stopped by and just invited her to a family night. To my surprise, she came! We watched the movie The Testaments and explained some more about the Book of Mormon. After that when we visited her she had changed so much. She said now she understood so much better that Christ could come to the Americas. She told us that Jesus doesn't need a car to get around! True. So now she keeps her Book of Mormon in a purse and even brought it with her to the chacra (the fields)! The lesson last night with her was awesome and we all had tears in our eyes when we watched Faith in Christ and talked about the Atonement. That movie is awesome. Watch it. The Atonement is awesome! Use it! To me the biggest miracle I have witnessed in the mission is how the Lord softens and changes the hearts of the people we meet. He changes those we teach and he changes me. When I came to Ollanta almost 6 months ago Luz Marina was a single mom who was really having a rough time, looking for the true church. She found it. She joined it. Life still has challenges but she just seems so happy. And that makes me happy. Yesterday she was called as second counselor in the relief society presidency. Oh, my heart is so fat. In a couple hours I have to go say goodbye. And I´m definitely going to cry like a baby.

sad pic with Juana because I'm leaving


So yeah, I´m being transferred. My area is San Jeronimo 3 and it´s in CUSCO! It is going to be an interesting transition from Ollanta (tiniest or one of the tiniest towns in the mission) and Cusco (ginormous, for me anyway). We are going to use maps and taxis and what? Also, I´m going to be senior companion. My companion (I´ll give you her name next week, my district leader can´t pronounce it, haha) just finished up her training and she´s a Gringa too! Good thing I understand Spanish now because I´m gonna have too! A little scared, but very excited. I've heard great things about my companion, the ward, and the members. The mission president attends our ward! Wow. So yeah. Next week I will be able to tell you about it!

Love you all! Have a great week! 
Happy new Years! (If you want to join Cammie in making a letter writing goal, do it! I´m going to be close to the mission office so easy to get letters! Thaaaanks! ) 

Hermana Beckstead

Enjoying a Chicken foot???

The house that should be the poster child of Helaman 5:12

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hey Gringa, My Mom´s Home

Week 28

December 23, 2013

The title of the email is what a little boy said to me this week. We always go to this place called San Isidro. Once there a group of children attacked me for pass along cards. They are the cutest. But we always ask them if their parents are home because then we could teach a lesson. And they usually aren't. So this little Peruvian was pretty excited to tell me that his mom was home! Haha. 

Speaking of the little children, and of the said attack, one of the little kids saw an image of the Book of Mormon and told me ¨my dad has that book!¨ Whaaa? So we asked what his dad´s name was and their address and went on our merry way. The next time we looked for that house and asked around and nobody knew where this Alsides guy lived. But this last pday we were going to the ruins in Ollantay and we met a man named Alsides. And he´s from San Isidro. So we´re pretty sure it´s the same guy. And he and his wife are actually married. That almost never happens here. So we are excited to be teaching them! 

Also, while I´m writing this, I think the theme will just be kids. The 13 year old in the Rodriguez Family has come to church by himself twice now. It stinks that his parents don´t come but he is quite the valiant kid.

The other day we knocked a door and a kid answered. We introduced ourselves and asked if her parents were home. We hear her talking to her dad inside, and she tells him, ¨there are gringas here that want to teach us English!¨. Haha, well, that´s not exactly what we said. But not a bad tactic. If you listen to our message about Jesus Christ, I´ll teach you some English words!

Well guys, I miss you but I´m where I´m supposed to be. Have a very MERRY CHRISTmas! I love you all tons! 

Love, Hermana Bexter (my favorite mispronunciation of my name) 

Pics: ruins, and the church Christmas activity. PANTETON (fruitcake that Peruvians are crazy about)

Baby´s First Earthquake

Week 27

December 16, 2013

 Hey guys!
This week we had an awesome lesson with the Rodriguez Family. They told us that they feel the Book of Mormon is true because it testifies of Christ. Which is true. So that was the best ever. 

We have also been working a lot with less actives because the attendance rate here is about 30%. President Harbertson added a new indicator for us called less actives rescued. We teach the member the missionary lessons again and get them an interview with the bishop. We had been working a lot with this awesome old lady named Felicitas (the one that told me if I married her son she would brush my hair and do my laundry, haha) and she just had her interview!  Re-activation is just as, or more important than the baptisms, so it has been a blast working with her.

This week I learned why Ollanta doesn't have thieves. Apparently they still respect at least one Inkan law. I guess thieves have to walk through the square naked with a sign around their neck saying something about being a rat. And don´t worry, I didn't have to find out the hard way. It sounded kind of like a joke to me at first,too, but you can believe me. 

And about 1 1/2 hours ago there was an earthquake! Okay, I guess it was an earth tremor or something. But still, it was a fun first experience, although for a second I thought our roof was going to cave in. I had just finished my language study and we were listening to the song ¨His Hands¨. It got to the part about where they crucified Jesus which is really loud and intense and there is a video with it where there was the rain and lightening and then a real earthquake! It was quite the experience. Everyone gathered outside because it was pretty strong. Luz Marina thought it was the end of the world, haha. But everything is fine.

This week President Harbertson came for a Christmas party with us and another zone. We ate pizza which means NO RICE. Definitely a highlight. And for Christmas this year: Book of Mormons (or is it books of Mormon) for everyone! 

Hope you all had a great week and love you lots!
Hermana Beckstead

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cow Hoof Jello

Week 26

December 9, 2013

Hey guys!
One thing that I learned this week that is awesome is that there is always at least one principle of the gospel that will touch someone´s heart, you just have to figure out what it is. Our investigator, Gladis, is moving to Cusco, but until she moves we have been teaching her and we got to meet her husband too. He just didn't seem too interested in our message until we talked about the plan of salvation and how death isn't the end. We were talking about how all those who didn't have the chance to hear the gospel in this life will get a chance to hear it in the next, and his eyes just lit up. He got super excited and after that the lesson was so much more exciting. We don´t always know what´s going on in people´s lives, so we have to listen to the promptings of the Spirit to know what to teach. God knows His children best, and knows what they need to hear.

This week we had two awesome members accompany us for a lesson with the Rodriguez Family. The brother taught chemistry for many years and shared his experience about how he liked to have proof for everything, except for when it comes to his faith, but that asking God and having faith has served him so much better than doubting. This was perfect to share with the dad of this family. Members can relate with our investigators so well and are the best to have in lessons. Help the missionaries please?

The interesting thing I ate this week "pata de res". It´s like leg-foot of a cow. The outside was rough and maybe still had some hairs and inside was really chewy. Afterwards we ate jello made out of the stuff. I had always heard that jello is made out of horse hooves but never really thought much of it, but I guess maybe jello is made out of hooves after all! The jello wasn't too bad, but a little more...natural tasting than the jello we eat in the states. 

Anyhoo, we are working hard.  Have an awesome week! Love you guys!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

They don´t teach you Spanish swear words in the MTC

Week 25

December 2, 2013

This week we continued to work with the Rodriguez Family. We just have a special feeling about them. They have a ways to go but are progressing and I just know that one day they will get baptized. This week in my personal study I found a story in the Book of Mormon about a group of people who had their crops and things destroyed, and believed it was a punishment from God. When I read this story I almost couldn't believe it because it was almost exactly like what the Rodriguez Family told us from last week. Well these people in the Book of Mormon pressed forward, established the church more fully, and many were baptized. We all have trials but we can’t let the hard things get in the way of doing the most important things. I got to share these scriptures with the Rodriguez Family and that was really great. They are more excited now to get married and be keeping this commandment. We are working hard with them. 
The adventure of the week was when were conversing oh so nicely with a young woman who is about 20 years old (and lives next door to her parents) when her mom walks by and starts yelling at us to leave. Apparently she used a colorful variety of swear words but I didn't really understand because no one taught me those words (so lucky me!).  But the part I did understand was when she told us the next time we come back she was going to throw boiling water on us! Yikes! So that’s always a way to liven things up and get your morning going!

Hope you guys have a great week!
Pictures: Last Pday. This is some more of Ollanta. The little stream thing is the same kind of thing my comp fell in and lines the streets here. The bridge we had to take a picture of because it is terrifying beyond all reason. When we walk it feels like it’s going to break at any second. It reminds me of those bridges on playgrounds that kind of bounce around when you run across them. There is a sign that tells cars not to pass on it and one time a car passed on it while my comp and I were on it. Thought we were going to die. And a picture of a cuy (guinea pig) yum.

Love you tons!
Hermana Beckstead

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sometimes missionaries get punched in the face

Week 24

November 25, 2013

Well Family Wamily,
   This week was kind of one of those weeks where missionaries get punched in the face, figuratively speaking of course. But it’s okay. I’m sure the next week will be better.
   This week my companion and I felt like the time had come to set a date for a baptism and marriage for the Rodriguez Family. We prayed for them and practiced teaching for them and prayed for them and the time came to invite them. The mom Silvia is all for it, but the dad José got mad at us a little, which I was not expecting at all. He told us that in the really big rainstorm the other day a ton of his crops had been destroyed. I guess people told them that it was because they had gone to the Mormon Church; as if God was punishing them I guess is what he is maybe thinking. Also he surprised us and told us he wasn’t even 100% sure about God, but just reads the bible and the book of Mormon and stuff just to get to know it but not necessarily because he believes it. So that was pretty discouraging. We aren’t giving up on them though.
   Gladis has to move back to Cusco for more treatment. 
   Jimena is doing great but looks like she is going to be living in Calca now, so the elders there will be teaching her.
   And also another of our investigators that I haven’t introduced yet we are going to have to drop. 
  So sometimes it hard to understand why things like this happen and it’s hard not to get discouraged. But I only know that everything happens for a reason, God is in charge, and that everything will be all right in the end. This week was hard, but Satan is the master or discouragement. We can’t let him make us discouraged or we will not be effective. This week will be better. We are going to focus on finding lots of new people to teach and we are going to pray a lot. I hope you all had a great week and I love you tons!
Pictures- waterfall from the last pday and pictures from our Ollanta family night.
 Lots of love,

Hermana beckstead


Week 23

November 18, 2013

Well, this week we learned about the transfers. And I´m not being transfered! I am going to have 6 months in Ollanta and I couldn´t be happier! I am also keeping Hermana Olivares, so that´s the best.
We started working with a woman named Gladis. She is the niece of Hermana Juana (the pensionista). She has come to live with her aunt because of some health issues. Her health has declined to where she has limited physical capabilities (walking is difficult and she can´t speak). She understands everything that is going around her, only she can´t speak. She has  a little computer that she writes to us on. She is really amazing. For the difficulties she has been presented with I am amazed at how well she handles it. Still though, sometimes we will just be eating lunch or something and she will just start to cry. It has been cool to teach her. The other day we watched a mormon message about the woman who was in a plane accident and how she coped with that. Gladis really liked the video and it is a privilege to share with her about why we have challenges in this life.

This week is Thanksgiving? That´s crazy! Being here has really taught me how many things we have to be grateful for, mainly the GOSPEL! It is so awesome. Also, yesterday I was grateful for the lantern mom bought me. With the rainy season upon us, the electricity has gone out with more frequency.
This week I guess I had a little bit of an allergic reaction to an insect or contact with a plant or something because I started getting these blisters on my legs. I was just going to pop the blister, but I decided to ask Hna. Juana if she knew what it was. The doctor happened to be around (because of her niece) and he took a look. Blisters might have well been the plague by the way he reacted. And he did not like my idea of just popping the blisters. I still wasn't real worried about it, but he insisted on calling the president of the mission (this doctor was pretty enthusiastic about his job) and President gave him the go ahead to do whatever needed. So that´s how I ended up with two shots to the bottom and a bucketload of pills. So that was a fun new Peruvian experience!
Anyways, I hope you guys have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! I am trying to resend a pic of pday shennanigans that I tried to send last week but was unsuccesful.  You guys are the best! Lots of love!
Hermana Beckstead

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Muchas Buenas Dias Hermanos y Hermanas

Week 22

November 11, 2013

Hey Guys!
Hope you guys are doing great! This week was good. Remember the Rodriguez Family (they have a son with tonnns of questions?)? Well we have been teaching them for a while now, and this Sunday the whole family came to church together! That was awesome. We had a really great lesson on the law of chastity the other day. The dad had some doubts, and it was an intense lesson, but we followed the Spirit and it turned out really well. They actually already have their paperwork taken out to prepare to be married. They still have some challenges ahead but they are a wonderful family. Also the other day Hna. Rodriguez told us (in respect to the Book of Mormon) simply: It´s true. Oh she is so awesome. I´m excited for them and that they are making progress in growing in closer harmony to Christ and His teachings. His gospel really does make families happy. I promise.
And If you don´t believe me, try it!
This week we were walking on the side of the road. On one side of us was the road and on the other was this ditch-canal thing. We were walking along as a motorcycle came along towards us. He yelled something in Quechua that I´m guessing was something not very nice and then swerved toward us to run us off the road. It was kind of scary. He literally was going to hit us and we had to choose between the motorcycle and the ditch. I know Heavenly Father helped us to get out of the way really fast because in hindsight it was close. We chose the ditch. Luckily dad gave me long legs and I could straddle the canal. My little companion was less lucky and fell in and got a little wet, but we didn´t get hurt. From this experience I´m glad that the Lord protects us,
that I have long legs, and that people don´t usually try to hurt me because I´m Mormon. So that´s the adventure part of this week.
I love you guys so much it´s crazy! Have a great week! 
Love, Hermana Beckstead

The Picture: Pday Shennanigans

The week where my missionary plaque fell off right as I was standing over the canal

Week 21

November 4, 2013

Hey Guys!
Well, this week Ollanta was kind of crazy. Ollanta had their birthday on Tuesday, and celebrated for three days with really loud music and everyone dancing and not keeping the word of wisdom in the square. Then Wednesday was Halloween, which the kids actually dress up for and went to some of the stores for free candy. Then Thursday and Friday were dia de los santos and dia de los muertos. And everyone went to the cemetery. So this week was interesting trying to find our investigators at home. But here´s a good experience for you.
We are teaching a woman named Marilin. She and the father of her kids live together but aren't married and he is studying to become a Catholic priest. Needless to say, he was not very interested in our message or talking to us or anything, but we had prayed that he would listen to us so we could teach them both together. Well, he did. And not only did he listen but he was actually more accepting and receptive to the message than his girlfriend! He had changed so much that it could only have been a miracle of the Lord. The Lord is powerful and does miracles when we can put just an itsy bitsy bit of faith in Him.
So that´s the miracle of the week. I love you guys and hope this week is awesome!
Oh yeah, and yes, my missionary tag did fall off into a canal and got swept away to  who knows where. But I had an extra so it´s okay. But I still don´t want to make a habit of losing important things in water- missionary tag, glasses, etc. 
Lots of Love!
Hermana Beckstead

Hey Mom, Wanna Peruvian son-in-law?

Week 20

October 28, 2013

It´s the rainy season! This week we were just walking and out of now where came the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life. It surprised me so bad. I´m an amateur when it comes to the rain!
Good news! we found out that the scorpions are a part of the scorpion family, but don´t actually have venom!  However, a few days after this happy news, my companion found a baby tarantula in the sink. NO! But it´s okay. The Lord protects us. See Luke 10:19
Remember Eulogia? The woman we met by coincidence (doesn't exist in the mission) who had a child who recently joined the church? Yeah, well she didn't investigate the church for very long because she doesn't have time, yeah yeah yeah. So why did we meet? Well, maybe it is because she has a teenage daughter that lives here and is interested in our message. We met Jimena one day when she was with her sister (a member of the church) selling maz amora (the best Peruvian snack ever). Well she has a lot of desires to learn and asks questions. So we´ve been working with her and had plans to visit her Saturday because that´s when her mom said she would be getting back from out of town. On Thursday I was on splits with one of the sister training leaders and we were in the neighborhood. For some reason I felt to go visit Eulogia, even though we weren't really teaching her anymore. We stopped by and found Jimena! She was home! We had a good lesson and learned she was actually going to leave town then and coming back Sunday morning. If we had ignored the feeling we would have come back Saturday and missed her. I´m grateful that the Spirit guides us in this work so we find the people we need to and don´t miss out on these great opportunities to share the gospel with people!
However, our mission right now is really focusing in on rescuing the members of the church that don´t attend. The attendance rate of members is pretty dismal. We were visiting one such member the other day. Visiting this hermana is always an adventure it seems. We were talking just normal and all of the sudden she pulls me into this hug (well, headlock) and holds me there and offers me her son as a husband. She tries sweetening the deal and tells me (all while holding me in a headlock) that she would wash my clothes, brush my hair, and ¨oh, what I would'´t do for you!¨ Well, never having to wash my clothes or brush my own hair ever again sounds like a pretty sweet deal. But I´ll have to pass. I´ve got work to do!
Well hope you all had a swell week. Love you a ton! Happy Halloween!
Hermana Beckstead

Monday, October 21, 2013

Move That Bus!

Week 19

October 21, 2013

This week President Harbertson came to visit. We are hopefully about 2 or 3 months away from Ollanta getting their own casa capilla! A casa capilla means we can have church services here; it will just be in a rented room or in a home. So exciting!

Yesterday we were visiting a family and my companion asked them very frankly the reason why they weren't at church yesterday. The sister told us that they didn't have enough money. For their whole family to attend church it would be about 20 soles. After the visit my companion and I were talking about if there could be some help available to them. Later that evening we were visiting a family who is recently coming back to church. The father drives people in a car for a living, and has been trying to buy his own car for a while. He has reached his goal, and for this blessing, he and his wife have decided that in this 12 or 15 passenger vehicle they are going to drive the members of Ollanta to church. For free. They told us to spread the word and specifically mentioned this Family we had visited earlier. Wow! This is such a blessing for the members here to not have to worry about the financial aspect of attending. We are going to pack that bus, like in Sister Silvano´s book ¨Just one More¨. Oh, I am sohohoho excited. 

This week someone here asked me if I could cut off some of my hair and leave it to remember me. I guess curly brown hair is kind of special! But yeah, don’t think I am going to do it. Kinda weird.

We have a new ward mission leader! He is quite the enthused hermanito, and I think it’s going to help us a lot to work together with the members. 

Hope you all have a great week! Love you tons!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

I’m Grande, I still believe in Miracles, and I’m a Mormon

Week 18
October 14, 2013

 My new companion is Hermana Olivares! She is 21, from Peru, a great missionary and is awesome. One thing that makes her awesome- she bought a hula hoop for exercise in the morning. This is awesome, my friends.  She has 7ish, almost 8 months in the mission, but she already is such a great missionary. I’m going to learn tons!  One thing that is fun is that she is a little short for a latina, and I’m a little tall for a gringa.  So basically, I’M  GINORMOUS! I am reminded of the time when mom referred to me as the “big one” [of her daughters.]  I am indeed the big one.  So we make a fun pair.  One awestruck child in the street remarked how I am grande and she is chicita!  It’s pretty fun. We took some pictures skipping down the street and such to help show our heights. 


Well. Most of our investigators right now aren't married but are living with someone. So that is our main challenge right now. It's hard to help people to get married here because the tradition is a huge fiesta and really expensive. Very few of the couples here are married  Most just live together and and have kids together but don't actually get married. Margara isn't ready for the date we had set. We have to help them understand somehow that the size of your fiesta doesn't matter to God but that you keep His commandments and don't live together before marriage. 

 It has been a blessing to continue to meet with Luz Marina to teach the recent convert lessons. She is just so cool. She comes from very humble circumstances but accepted the law of the tithe and always finds the 6 soles ( I think) for her and Rajjoo to attend church. This week they were completely out of money. She searched her house but couldn't find a single sole. Her purse didn't contain any money but she was determined to go to church. She and Rajjoo got on their knees and prayed. She decided to go borrow some money from a friend. Later they were leaving to go to church so she grabbed her purse and 7 soles fell out. She then found money in other spots where there hadn't been before. They ended up with 30 soles, I think it was. I know that the Lord literally does open up the windows of heaven and pour out blessings for keeping the law of tithing. Tithing is not so much of a sacrifice when you account for the blessings received.  God is so merciful and I’m grateful I have met Luz Marina and Rajjoo.  I have learned so much from their examples of faith and received so many blessings from their friendship than I could have expected beforehand.  It astounds me how much the Lord loves and blesses us and has prepared His children to accept the gospel. I love the Lord.
Have a great week! Love you lots!

Hermana Beckstead

Ollantaytambo, Round 3

 Week 17

October 7, 2013

Hey guess what? I'm not a baby anymore! I have finished my in-field training! Can you believe this is my third transfer in the field? Sunday I learned that I will continue to work in Ollanta. Hermana Caicedo left for Cusco this morning and my new companion is Hermana Olivares. I will meet her tomorrow and am excited to work with her. I have heard great things. She is from Peru and has about 8 months in the mission (I think, a little bit of guessing there).
Conference was AWESOME! I had been looking forward to the Conference for some time now, especially because I heard we would get to watch it in English. So when we arrived and they said no English because their TV was broken I was pretty sad. Fortunately Presidente Moises saved the day. We found another TV and I felt extremely blessed to be able to watch Conference in my own language, in Urubabma Peru. The messages were so good and inspired. I hope you were all able to listen, and if not, watch them on and read them in the Ensign next month! Also, I just have to add my testimony- that members your help seriously is vital to this work! Please invite your friends to hear the discussions, meet the missionaries, or volunteer to accompany the missionaries on a lesson if you ever have a free hour. It truly helps us more than you know!
This week Hermana Juana (pensionista, and in one of the pics) let me in on her little secret: I ate horse meat! Apparently it didn't taste weird enough when I had it for me to question what it was but the idea is a little weird. It may be a possible explanation for the fiesta but not fun kind) in my stomach not too long ago. 
We have a family! The parents aren't married and they have TONS of questions but they are cool. They are fun to teach because they are so attentive to the message. They have a 12 year old son and he is quite the pensive boy. He asked us questions like who created God and if God created other planets and stuff like that. Fun, fun, fun.
Well I hope you guys had a GREAT week! Love you lots!
Hermana Beckstead

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It’s Spring in October!

Week 16

September 30, 2013

Well this week was one of those weeks where mysteriously enough it would appear that all of our investigators are working in the chakra (farmland) or are in Cusco, or whathaveyou, at the same time. All of them. Hmmm, I smell something fishy! But it’s true what they say about how we need opposition in all things. This week has helped me appreciate the weeks where we can visit the people we are teaching. So the week was kind of different, but here are some highlights and random thoughts. Also, here are some pictures from a p-day where we hiked to this waterfall and also a picture from Rajoo´s birthday. He’s 9! 
              This week my stomach was having a FIESTA. But not the fun kind of fiesta. That should be enough information about that.
                We were able to have some awesome lessons with less active members. It’s a little sad but it feels nice to find out the reasons why they are inactive. Believe it or not but it makes it so much easier to help them that way! There were two less actives from Ollantaytambo in church Sunday. Woohoo!
                 I am excited for General Conference as all get out. I’ve been looking forward to it for at least a month and it’s finally coming! Plus, I will get to watch it in English with the other gringos. We watch it at 11 and 3, so with the 1-hour difference I will be watching it at the same time as you Mountain Timers. Pretty cool.
                  No scorpions this week! This has to be a result of somebody’s prayers, so thanks guys! And the power of prayer is real! 
                This week I finally got to the try the cuy that everyone always talks about. (Cuy is guinea pig). I would say it was worth all the raving- it is pretty delicious. Bony, but delicious. 

So, yeah, sorry for the randomness and maybe slight boringness of this email, but this week hopefully we will be able to track down the people we are teaching and get back to having adventures! Love you guys a ton and hope all is well! Remember the best source of help is from above. Always look up! 
Lots of love,
Hermana Beckstead

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week 14

I´m a Scorpion Killer, I´m a Wedding Planner, I believe in miracles, and I´m a Mormon

Hello! I hope you all had an awesome, scorpion-free week. I had an awesome, but not scorpion free week.
I´m a Scorpion Killer-This week we had a scorpion in our room. He was just a baby though. A little guy and his outside wasn't hard yet. But the fact that he was a baby didn't stop me from killing him mercilessly with a shoe. He is the third scorpion casualty in our room. The concerning thing is that if there´s one baby there might as well be a thousand because I´m pretty sure scorpions don´t have babies one by one. But don´t worry, I am dedicated to remaining vigilant and killing any scorpion on sight.
I´m a Wedding Planner- The other day was cool. We had an English class and family night planned- both of which fell through. Appointments didnt work out. But the saying which is cliche but so true came to pass, that when one door closes another opens. We had some time when something fell through so we went to see Aurora in the market to change an appointment we had. When we finished talking with her, there was someone waiting to talk with us. She approached us and asked if we were from the church of Jesus Christ of saints. We said yes and she said she wants to learn more about our church. Whaaaa? Happy Christmas everyone! Missionary dream come true. Anyway her name is Margara. She and her boyfriend want to get married. They feel their life isn't exactly in line with God´s will and they want to start their married life off right. Her boyfriend doesn't come to church much but did teach her how to pray. He didn't know exactly how to go about teaching her more about the church and that´s where we come in. We had an awesome lesson on the Restoration and they have a baptismal and wedding date for October 12. Taylor, Cammie, and Elise- ¨They´re finally gettin married they're finally gettin married they're finally getting married, it's a party in Agrabah!¨.
I believe in Miracles- we were in need in serious of help this week to help us meet our goals. We needed to find new investigators. We decided to fast and then go to this little town in our area that I´ve never been to before. It was probably about a 30 minute walk. It didn't take long to meet the `person I think we needed to. Her name is Lydia. She told us that before when she was having a hard time, and after just praying, some missionaries like us knocked on the door and shared a message with her. She felt this was her prayer being answered. They left and after she reopened the door, maybe just to see where they were going next or something. She said no one was to be seen. I don´t know if they were missionaries or angels, but I do know that the Lord answers prayers and prepares people to have the faith to listen to our message. It´s so true how He prepares things to come about in His time and His way. 
The church is true! Love you guys! Have a great week!
Hermana Beckstead

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 13

¨I'm King I'm King Lalalalalala¨ (read in the voice of the hyena from lion king please) and if you don't know what I’m talking about then go watch the lion king again

September 9, 2013

Hey Family Wamily and Friends!  Hope your week was swell! 

 My Week:
First of all, I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Caicedo. She is 26 and is from Ecuador. She is going home in October, so I will be getting another new companion next change. She’s got a lot of personality. I have heard some people mention she has a likeness to Whoopi Goldberg. I’m not very familiar with Whoopi, but if she’s really spunky then yes, I would probably agree.

The fun thing about this transfer is that I have a title!  A title I didn't know even existed, but nonetheless, a title. It’s called Director of the Area, and basically means King of the World! Since my comp doesn't know the area and I do, I am the king. Can you tell that I haven’t let it go to my head at all? Haha. No, but it is kind of fun. At first it was scary the first planning when I realized I had to do it basically by myself. But now it’s kind of fun because if I feel like we need to visit someone I can just say we are going to do it! 
For example, as King of the World, I wanted to go back and visit someone Hermana Olivera and I had contacted. His name is Manuel. We were talking to him just a little bit inside his door and, surprise; I invited him to be baptized! You just never quite know when those are going to sneak up on you as a missionary. That was Saturday and we haven’t invited him for a specific date yet but I’m really excited for him. I think he can progress. 

Also, Luz Marina is still doing great. This week she and Rajjoo came out with us for a little bit. She also has the desire to be baptized for her mom and grandma. Also, our branch finally got a gospel principles class so she can go to that now. Yay! 
Elena and Roxana. This week I was so happy when they kept their commitment to read and pray. The thing here is even if people listen and read and pray it is still really hard for them to change because of their really strong catholic tradition. She asked us how she could change her religion. She was baptized and married in the Catholic Church and has raised her 11 children this way also. They accepted the teaching well but it is hard for them to accept attending a different church. Hopefully we have progress with them soon. 

This week we were having lunch and I found some shrimp swimming in my soup. Okay, well that makes it sound like they were alive. At least they were dead, but they were whole. Like complete with the head and these long antennae looking things. For the old, non-missionary Emma, this would have been torture. But I want you all to know that I handled my trial of faith with calmness and an eye of faith. As faith always brings blessings, so was mine. I learned that it was optional to eat the head. I opted out and gave my heads to Elder Villa. Also we had this soup for dinner too. Also this day we had two lunches and two dinners. My poor little stomach! So don’t be surprised if I come home bieeeen gordita. Also the other day I had an unmentionable part of a chicken in my soup that will go unnamed in this email. I’m getting a lot of practice to get better at trying new things. 
Hope you all have an awesome week!
Love, Hermana Beckstead

Week 12

September 2, 2013

Just pictures this week! Love the wild pig in the 1st pic and how tiny the doors are in the last one!

Week 11

August 26, 2013

Alpacas are friends, not food

Hey Everybody! This week was pretty spectacular. On Tuesday we went to Machu Picchu. One of the coolest parts was the bus ride to Machu Picchu up into the Andes. It was really beautiful. Peru is super cool. I also enjoyed hanging out with some llamas for a while, because I’ve been feeling a little llama deprived. Speaking of llamas, this week I ate alpaca with our pensionista. It wasn’t bad, but I have reached the decision that I like them better as friends.

This week we met a really cool lady, another reference of Hermana Juanita! This lady is in her late 70s but is young because her mother lived to be 115 years old and her father was 125, I think she said. She has cool gray and white hair and she’s nice and smiley. She is a recent find so we haven’t had the chance to teach her much yet but I’m very excited for her.
Also this week I learned that the Spirit works in interesting ways. We were walking and I had the thought come to my head that we were close to this one lady’s house and I shared this with my comp and she had just received the same thought. She told me this was this spirit working and we needed to stop by. We went to her house and I was excited for something spectacular. She wasn't home. But on the way back from her house we met a woman carrying a bunch of stuff so we helped her. She invited us to visit her in the market the next day and we did so. She is a recent find too, but I think we will have success with her. 
There is a less active we have been working with and this week his wife was sick. We were talking about having the elders come over to give her a blessing and she asked her husband something along the lines of why won’t you give me a blessing? This was a really cool moment. I think the Spirit is working on him to get him back active in the church. I hope he will. 
This week my comp asked someone if she was going to have a baby. She wasn't pregnant. Never guess! Ever. 
Speaking of my sweet comp, today we said goodbye. She has served the Lord faithfully and now its time to return home. It was a pleasure to serve with her and she taught me so much. I feel very blessed and it was hard to say goodbye. But this is why it is important to endure to the end. If we both do so, we can have a reunion in heaven. Now I am in a trio with the Urubamba sisters and tomorrow I will find out my new comp. 

Love you all lots and hope this week is the BEST for you!
Lots of love,
Hermana Beckstead