Monday, April 7, 2014

My testimony has sky rocketed! I love everything about the gospel!

This week has been really great for me, well besides I lost Elder Bogh. Elder Bogh went to a place called Goderich, its in the west. He was there 1 year ago so he gets to go back and see some of his recent converts. Elder Bogh left on Monday and I received Elder Latu on Wednesday. So I got to proselyte with Elder Onwukaeze for a few days until I had my companion delivered to me. I was a little nervous about receiving a very new missionary, but it is very exciting. I had no idea who my companion was going to be until he showed up to the apartment. So my new companion is Elder Latu. He is from texas, and both of his parents are Tongan. He is about 3 times my size, he is 19 and he is really sweet. He has a lot of Tongan culture in him, so I have enjoyed learning about his background.

Training is pretty interesting. You don't really realize how much you know about missionary work until you train someone. I have enjoyed it so far, although we aren't to far into it yet, I love studying the fundamentals and applying them. I feel like I have grown a lot as a servant of the Lord this week. Every transfer you can learn something from your companion and I have learned a lot already. Elder Latu is really ready to make a difference in the lives of the people here and he makes sure I am eating lots of fruit. :) Oh and its really strange, I am the second oldest missionary in my apartment. We have a really young apartment.

Most missionaries were freaking out about the virus also, but the hype has gone down. We follow the rules and everything is okay. (The deadly virus Ebola is a threat to Sierra Leone right now so you can imagine how uptight everyone has been this past week. If interested you can read more about the virus here . We are comforted and reassured after hearing from his mission president that they are taking every measure of caution and are ready to remove the missionaries if necessary. His note is at the end of this letter if your interested in reading that).

Sorry to hear about your back. I use the medicine that you sent with me all the time, mostly cold and pain relievers. My athletes foot has gone down, I have been using your oils.

All of the weekend I have been thinking about General Conference (General Conference is a televised broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah that takes every six months where the Prophet and Apostles from our church speak. You can click here to listen to their recent messages. Cody wont have this for about month as they don't have the technology there like we do.) and what was being said, I really wish I could hear it right now, but it will come in about a month. We didn't get to see all the talks from the last general conference, but we got half.  I love to read the Liahona magazines, they have talks by the apostles but conference is the best. Wow do I miss going to conference. Going up there with my friends is really fun, I wish I was with them but on the other hand I am having the time of my life here in Wellington. I am really loving this place and the people here. I feel we have really strengthened this place. We have about 4 part member families that we are working with to complete. We are seeing a little more help from the branch in terms of retaining people. This mission is really becoming strong.

My testimony has sky rocketed! I love everything about the gospel. I love to find answers to investigators questions and strengthening my own knowledge. My life has so much purpose and happiness. I feel as though nothing can take this away for me. My mission is going too quickly, I wish I could make more of a difference. I am trying my best and loving every minute.

So everyone here loves Elder Latu. People here have a different view about appearance. The bigger someone is the better they are. If someone is big here that means that they eat well and they are healthy. So everyone just loves to meet Elder Latu. Almost everyone at church greeted him and people in our area have already memorized his name. Its great how things work here .. haha.. Elder Latu just goes right along with it.

Okay I'll see you soon!
Elder Beckett

**Note from Pres. Ostler regarding the Ebola virus threat dated April 2nd:

At this point, we know of no known cases in that area of Sierra Leone and only one likely although still unconfirmed case in all of Sierra Leone. There are rumors of it in Sierra Leone, but anyone who has traveled to Guinea and has diarrhea, the flu or malaria is likely to be concerned that they have something worse, so these reports are usually unreliable. I am aware that some of these rumor are in Kenema (as throughout Sierra Leone).

We monitor US embassy information, public health and national and international publications.

We have consulted our area medical advisor and together have implemented a set of health safety policies. For example, no attending funerals, no teaching those who are sick, no handshaking, only eating food that is missionary prepared or packaged store food. These were announced to the missionaries on Tuesday and today each district will be trained on them.

We have been advised that almost all cases of Ebola are transmitted through close contact (medical care, funeral preparation) and not through airborne transmission like sneezing. Since we don't have any confirmed cases, and with these measures we feel comfortable with these measure. However, we review these daily with the area medical advisor and are prepared to make any changes, even move missionaries if warranted. And we are being prayerful.

In addition, we are sending additional funds to each missionary apartment so that they can purchase some additional food and cleaning supplies for the apartment and to top up their fuel, water and telephones.

We have tried to reassure the missionaries that the prepared shall not fear. Likewise, we are trying to reassure as they have concerns with any natural and minor symptom.

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