Monday, November 24, 2014

Anything you send would be really great...They are so humble!

Okay so I talked to the salone missionaries that you want to adopt for Christmas.

So there are 4 that will be here for Christmas, Elder Charles, Elder Nyelenke, Sister Stevens and Sister Kailie

Elder Charles said that he doesn't really have anything in mind, so just money will be okay with him. I think that he goes home in Feburary or March. Elder Nyelenke is going home in January, for him, he said that he is looking for a phone or tablet for when he goes home. An iphone or small ipad, even if it is one that the family has used would be okay, is that too much? No need for itunes card or anything, he will just get apps for free or something at home.
Sister Stevens and Sister Kailie said anything that you send is okay. They say that they like jewelry, so you can send them that if you like. I dont think they have cameras, if you are willing to send one of those. Sister Kailie will go home in three months and Sister Stevens in about one year. They are pretty ordinary women, so I think it shouldn't be too hard.

For small things, the elders could enjoy a new tie, salonians like butterscotch small candies, not to sure of much else. Letters of love and encouragement. Dont say anything about ebola please. Anything if you ask me I'll know if it is okay. All of them were so blown away that you wanted to send stuff for them, anything you send would be really great. They are so humble, they didn't really have anything to ask for, (except for elder nyelenke), so even if neighbors or ward members want to give you things to send it would be nice. They wont have a really great christmas, they will call home and most of them are afraid to call home because they might get bad news about their family and friends. So this will really help them a lot. 
I will send the scriptures for Osman Sankoh next week, Elder Conteh is going home on the 9th of Dec. so he will take them, he is from the Wellington Branch. I am sending him with small money too because life after mission there is not easy.

Dad, My favorite hymn is "Lead Kindly Light".  Thank you for all you do to support me. Oh and Mom I  have recieved the letter with the debit card inside. Also the talks and stuff you send to me are perfect, they always seem to come at the right time. I was having a hard time with my companion when you sent that talk you gave, and now we are really getting along.  

I am thankful for my family, when I come home I want to spend alot of time with the family. Mom thank you for always helping us to do the correct things and dad thank you for all the support and happiness you bring to us. Sorry that this is so short, the computer keeps on shutting down here, so I love you mom and dad and family!   

Below is a letter from Pres. Heid, Cody's mission president regarding a special day of fasting in West Africa on Dec 7th for ebola and those affected if you too would like to join in:

As you know, the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are suffering from an epidemic of the Ebola Virus Disease. Although some progress has been made in fighting this disease, individuals continue to contract the disease, and the suffering, both physical and economic, continues. We pray that those who are suffering can be helped and comforted. We pray that those who are mourning the loss of loved ones can be consoled. We pray that the disease will go away and that the people of these countries can go back to normal life. We pray that the disease will not spread to other countries.

We know that many of the members of the Church throughout the Africa West Area and, in fact, the world, are offering these same prayers. Nevertheless, we feel that it would be well for all of us in the Africa West Area to unite in fasting and prayer on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Would you, your bishops and branch presidents all please invite the people of your units to remember the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in connection with the Church's regular Fast Sunday on 7 December 2014? In addition to encouraging the people to fast and pray for our brothers and sisters, please encourage them to pay a generous fast offering to help the poor. A good time to announce this will be at your stake and district conferences this week-end, and at sacrament meetings on 30 November 201 4,

Of course, the members may also have other needs in mind as they fast and pray on 7 December 2014. But, please ask them to include this as one of the items for their fasts and prayers that day, and in other prayers that they offer.

Very truly yours,
West Africa Area Presidency for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Monday, November 17, 2014

No more coconut trees and plantain in the back yard!

(This is Cody's response to his cousin being baptized this week by his uncle)
Wow that's super cool to hear, it makes me happy to hear about that. That gave me a big smile... so cool! Everyone looks super good in that picture too. Zac looks older and like a skater kid. I am happy to see everyone like that.  I wish I could have been there too, looks super nice. 

To answer some of your question. 
1. Every so often I will find a small shop that sells tools and become friends with the owner, and they are always happy to lend me there tape measue, but no I don't think I have grown much.

2.  I got the box on transfer day it was at the mission home waiting for me, but they made me pay 36 gc for it. The scriptures looked super good, and the candies are well needed. Those cards and church stuffs will be useful. I am not 20 minutes away from the temple now and they have a small bookstore there, so I can now get most of that stuff here but the chocolates can keep coming ;)

3. Thank you for sending my Chrismtas packages already

4. I thought about the that family Christmas service idea this week and I had an idea. All of the Sierra Leone missionaries that are serving here could really use a Christmas letter or gift. They dont have it really easy, I think that they would love to have something like that. There are four of them in this mission, I can ask them what they would like if you want?

This week was exciting, stressful and valuable. This has been an odd week, we have been so busy trying to organize the area, sort through our area books, know the members and learn the area. 

So we were transfered to Teshie. The area was previously occupied by sister missionaries, they have been here for the past 4 years according to a member. So we had to start fresh with only a few tools to help us know the area and the investigators. The sisters were not serious at all about keeping there area book up to date, so alot of the investigators are lost for now, until a branch missionary can show us where they live. The sisters would also work in each others areas and outside of our ward boundaries, so everything is a mess. We have spent plenty of time organizing and splitting the area. 

We went first to our ward mission leader, we called him and a few other branch missionaries and also the bishop and told them we have come and that we are ready to help them. We are hoping that if we work well with the members that we will be able to pick up on the work as it was left off and even bring the work to another level. I hope in the future this will pay off. One problem we found with the members is that many of the members don't stay in the boundaries of the ward, but they still attend the ward anyway, there are also members who live in the boundaries of our ward that go to other wards, so it is difficult to work with some of the members on that basis. 

we have been very confused about the boundaries of our areas (Teshie 2a and 2b). We didn't come to find a map and all of the investigators seem to be evenly dispursed through out the ward boundaries, so we had to spend a day learning the area and splitting the area. So we now are feeling a little more organized and able to work more effectively. We have also spent a great deal of time trying to get addresses and phone numbers for half filled out teaching records. So a lot of our time this week was spent trying to organize the area. The area seems pretty small, we can bike the longest distance of our area in about 7 minutes, but there are so many people packed in here that it shouldn't be difficult to find or teach people.

Accra is a crazy place. No more coconut trees and plantain in the back yard, but we do have a beach, but this one seems to be the community dump, and I don't mean just trash....haha!!  Accra is also really hot, I sweat more than ever here. Our district is really fun, its me Elder Garcia, Elder Krofua, and Elder Sibeko. Elder Sibeko and Elder Erofuah are both only 3 months on mission, and boy do I now feel old on mission. I can see the difference from when I first started mission. Elder Sibeko (my companion, from South Africa) turned 18  on his mission, so he is very young, and I am about to turn 20. It will be fun being with him, because he is right out of training. So he will remind me of some fundamentals. He really knows his scriptures too.

Accra is also cool because there are lots of people from other West African countries here, so it only took me a few days to find my first Sierra Leonian and of course I spoke Krio to her, although I am losing it small. I invited her to church and she came. So that was sweet. She said she will prepare kasava leaf for us, which I have missed.

At the misssion home I got to talk to Sister Stevens and Sister Kaillie, they are both from Sierra Leone serving missions  here. I served in both of there branches in Salon before they came out. Sister Stevens in Wellington and Sister Kaillie in New London, my first area. So it was lots of fun talking about there and speaking krio. 

The time is going quick!

love elder beckett

Monday, November 10, 2014

Teshi... Here We Come!

This week we did not do much. For the past few weeks Elder Garcia's back has been paining him, and this week it got bad so he had to lay down all week. He is also really tired all the time even though he sleeps all day. We aren't sure what is wrong. We even saw two doctors this week. One day we had to go get his blood tested, that was a fun experience. The office we went to had nice blood stains on the wall and floor, but all went well. We traveled to Accra to see a doctor...a  three hour drive to get evaluated and the doctor still doesn't know whats wrong with him, but small small he is getting better. 

Accra is a very flat place. Koforidua where I am is in the mountains, and there is lots of bush, but when we went to Accra we didn't see one coconut tree.

This was the last week of the transfer, so we were expecting transfer news. We were expecting to recieve two more elders so we could split the area again and work more effectively but wednesday we got a call from the "AP's" telling us that both of us will be transfered to Teshi (in accra) and that sisters will come replace us here. So I get to go and white wash and area (this means he and his comanpion are both new to the area). Elder garcia and I will be in the same district which is cool, because I dont know very many people from this mission.

 Our companions are both only 3 months on mission, so it feels like a big responsibility to have them. I am starting to feel older on mission now. I remember being 3 months on mission, now I am almost 15. It will be a great experience to learn and help others.

I liked the Adweso branch, its too bad I only got to stay here for 3 months, but up and away!  Elder Garcia and I will go down to Accra tomorrow to go to the mission home to be transfered. I will get to serve in a ward, so we will see how that goes (A ward is larger than a branch and he has only ever served in a branch).

With lots of time in the apartment this week I studied a few talks by apostles. I really liked one by Dallin H. Oaks titled "The Desire of Our Hearts" . God looks on our desires to know who we are, and based on our desires and actions we will be just. Sometimes we do good things but we don't do it with a willing heart or we do it with a grudge. Those things are done with no blessing or value. When our desires are good then out actions will follow. So we have to be constantly reminded of what we want to become and do if our desires will be maintained and fulfilled. So I am trying to increase my desire, and I think that it is working. 

Elder Garcia and I have really helped each other a lot and I think that we will be ready for the challenge ahead.

Love Elder Beckett

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's super satisfying when I get to see people changing their lives!

The week went by so fast. We had a great week, we were able to improve alot of our work with sweet goals. We have really been trying for member present lessons so that investigators can have a friend and so they can share there testimonies with the investigators. 
It's super satisfying when I get to see people changing their lives and when we put forward small effort to help someone and they tell us that we really helped them.  There are two people who we saw this week that were really interesting. We have been going through our area books, finding less active and former investigators. One we found that is actually in prison here, he has baptized last year. We decided that we would visit him and give him a Book of Mormon, so he could spend his time learing about the gospel. When we went to see him he was so happy to see missionaries, ends up we were the first people to visit him, so he was excited. Its nice to see people put on a smile even when they are not in great conditions. we felt that we should see him, even though it took us a long tiime to go there, because he is just as important as any other person  in the world. We got to sit in the same room and we had a member come and translate for us.

Last week I heard from one of my friends in Sierra Leone and they said that 4 people we baptized in the Wellington Branch last week. Its super sweet to hear about missionary work over there. I want to go back there so bad. I have started to really enjoy Ghana... I am pretty used to the culture now, I will miss this place also. I have gotten used to teaching in English too. Sometimes I use big words that people dont understand, so I have had to simplify my language. I struggle to speak Krio again. everything is going pretty good over here.

Elder Beckett.

Below is an update from Cody's former misison president on the family who lost their parents to Ebola.

This family's parents died from ebola over 3 weeks ago. The children were just cleared and released from quarantine. While in quarantine, the branch provided them food, clothing and water. Last Sunday, the 4 oldest children attended church. The relief society president works with the government and is finding a permanent living situation for them. 
Grateful for your prayers.