Monday, January 31, 2011

Rain, rain Go away

Hola mi querida familia!!!

How is life up in the Northern Hemisphere? I'm guessing it's still kinda cold up there...and you are so lucky! Cause this week the heat has been INCREDIBLE here haha. This week it has rained almost EVERY day. It doesn't rain all day usually...mostly just in the night. But when it rains here in Ecuador it doesn't cool everything down like it does back home. Here, after it rains really hard, the sun comes out and dries everything up and it feels like there is steam rising from the ground. It is like nothing I have ever felt before (except last year, when it was rainy season lol). But I think I'm more used to it than I was last year, cause I don't sweat nearly as much as before. Maybe by the time I'm back home I'll be sweat-proof....that would be like a dream come true! haha

So, on Saturday night, one of our ward-sister-missionaries (Anita Acuria) went with us to show us where some people that got baptized a few months ago live. They haven't been coming to church regularly, so we needed to rescue them :) We went and visited a few of them and then it started to P O U R !!! I've never seen so much rain like when it rains here in Ecuador. There isn't thunder or lightning though, like AZ monsoons. So, it was almost time for us to go home, and we went and dropped Anita off at her house. By the time we got to her house we were all soaked all the way to the skin. Thankfully the sewer/drainage system in this sector works, cause the streets don't fill up with water like they did in Vinces haha. When her mom (Sara Acuria, but we call her Mamita cause she's like a mom and she saves us any time lunch falls through haha. But we don't even call the member who washes our clothes mamita lol) saw us she just started laughing, and then said that we were all gonna get sick lol. But so far none of us have gotten sick. We took some pretty fun pics though....they are attached in this email :)

Missionary work here in Los Rieles keeps moving forward. We've been working with those referrals we've receieved, and Mamita Acuria gave us a couple more referrals this week. The big challenge looks like it'll be getting them to go to church. Our ward is at 8am...that's way to early lol. But this week, Sacrament meeting started at 8:17am and ended before 9am.....I'm pretty sure that's not OK, right? But that is neither here nor there (What's it from?!)

Well, that's the news for this week! A pretty normal, wet week here in Ecuador :) I hope you all have a fantastic week! Happy FEBRUARY tomorrow!!!! (For Alexa:: Rabbit rabbit rabbit!!!! bahaha I beat you this time!) I love you all SOOOO much! Thanks for being the best family ever! Thanks for your letters, support, prayers, packages ;) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Beck


Elder Garcia, Me, and Anita Acuria..soaked after visiting some people.

Elder Garcia and I...dripping wet :)

This is a mango..they are ¡huge! here. This one isn't even that big. But they are delicious. Are there mangos in the States? I only remember eating those dried mangos from Costco that I didn't like very much.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting to know Los Rieles

Hola mi querida familia!!!!

I hope every body is still doing great this week. I feel great and happy! I was just thinking, as I was writing to President Gamboa, that the happiness that I feel as a missionary is unlike any other happiness I've felt in my life. It is a happiness that comes from serving the Lord 24/7, I think. It is such a unique opportunity to be a missionary. I've also been thinking a little bit this week about time. Time is just FLYING by! Saturday was my 18-month 'CLICK' day! I've got the last 1/4 of my mission ahead of me and I want to take advantage of every minute of it!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY TO CARLIE!!!!!!!! I hope you have an awesome day! And I hope you get to kick back and relax a little bit :) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!

THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE THAT I GOT THIS WEEK!! This package was a little bit bigger than the normal packages ;) Ties, pics, sharpie pen, letters, peppermint bark, microwave fudgy chocolate chip cookie, pistachios (I never thought I would be so happy to see those lol), Jelly Bellys, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, protein bars, Cadbury chocolates, HLJ rings, Church News, Cetaphil, and...NEW WHITE SHIRTS!!! They almost look like they are glowing next to my old shirts!! lol Now, everybody is going to think that I'm a greenie ;) THANKS so much for the package! I always LOVE everything you send :D

This week, my companion had to do a baptism interview for the other Elders that live with us. While we were waiting at the Church for the investigator to arrive (cause things are almost never on time here lol) my companion started playing with frogs. There is a little canal that goes right in front of the Church and you have to cross a bridge to get in to the Church..and TONS of frogs come out of that canal. They are about the size of the palm of my hand, and it is just about impossible to kill them lol. My companion found a shoelace in the church, and tied it around one of the frog's legs, and was spinning that frog all over the place. And then when he would sit the poor, dizzy frog on the ground, it couldn't even jump straight. It was HILARIOUS. The frog would jump and almost do a flip, or jump and land on its back, etc. It was so funny. And THAT is how the missionaries keep themselves entertained bahaha. People need to get to meetings on time so we don't have to do stuff like that lol.

I met a gringo this week. His name is Jay. He's from New Orleans (say it with the Southern accent). He's been living here for 18 years, and guess how much Spanish he knows? NOTHING haha! He says that all of the people that he talks to speak enough English that he's never bothered to learn Spanish. He has a gold mine and he says that Ecuador is just FULL of gold. He told me a little bit about how easy it is to earn A LOT of money in the gold business here and about how cheap life is in Ecuador. He says he has a huge house, with AC, and carpet! (Nobody has carpet here lol) and that it only costed him $60,000. The way he talks about Ecuador almost makes me want to stay here...almost lol. Anyways, I was talking to him and he asked me where he could find a Bible in English here...and I was thinking where he could possibly find that here...and then I thought of a better idea. I told him that I had a Book of Mormon in English, and that it is similar to the Bible, but it was written in the Americas. Well, he seemed really interested and the next day I gave it to him and he read almost all the rest of the day. He said he never knew that Mormons were different than J-dubs, so I had to explain to him that there is a BIG difference (mainly that our church is true and theirs isn't lol). The only problem is that he doesn't live in my sector..he's just been here supervising some people that are building a house. But, I got his address and phone number and I am almost sure that he will be baptized shortly. He's awesome...and it was nice to speak in English a bit ;) But he reminded me of SOO much food from the States that I haven't eaten in forever, and that he eats every day cause he has a maid that cleans, washes clothes, cooks, etc. And he's taught her how to make everything from the States. He said he's gonna try and bring us Lasagna this week....I hope he does! ;D

So, like it says in the 'subject' we've been getting to know our sector this week. We've met a lot of members who have given us some referrals. We've found a couple families that seem really interested. And it looks like the members got excited after that activity last week, because with some members we didn't even have to ASK for referrals. They just came up and started listing off people they want us to visit :) So, I feel like we're gonna have lots of success in this sector. I just hope they leave me here long enough to see all that success! haha

Well there's the news for this week ;) I hope every one of you has a great week. I hope you all know how much I appreciate every thing you do! I love you all TONS!!!!!!!! Read the scriptures every day, say your prayers, HLJ/CTR, smile, and share the Gospel with your friends and neighbors! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Beck

Monday, January 17, 2011


People watching the slide show in the activity last night.

My old companion and I after the activity.

Love ya!
Love, Elder Beck

Cambios..again :)

Hola mi querida familia!!!!!

Yay for another P-day! I always love never gets old reading everybody's letters and seeing pics of the fam and writing what's been happening in the Southern hemisphere :)

As you can see in the subject, there was a little change this week. Last night, my companion got a phone call and they told him that he was going to be transferred and that we had to be in the Terminal at 9am this morning. So, that's when the packing started..and it lasted until about midnight. And this morning we went to the Terminal and I met my new companion! He is Elder Garcia and he is from Panama. I met him when I was in Salinas too. He's from the same group as Elder Romero. He's been out for 19 months. So far, every one of my companions has been from a different country. I hope to keep that record going :) And now, we are here in Los Rieles and I feel almost as lost as Elder Garcia lol. I can find a few of the members' houses and a couple of our investigadores ;) So they are the people we will be working with, and now we start the process of finding a lot of new people to teach and baptize! Wish me luck and keep it up with the prayers! They keep me going :)

It is January so that means that there a couple of birthdays coming up. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MOM, TOMORROW! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ABY ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!! I love you TONS and I hope your birthdays are great! Take a little bit of time to relax. And I'm sure that there will be some delicious food enjoyed this week, since that's how Becks celebrate ;)

I got an awesome letter this week from Luis and Maribel. They are still doing great. And they are getting ready to be sealed in April!!!! Can you believe it! It's almost been a year already. I'm hoping that Pres. Gamboa will give me permission to be there for that...that would be SO incredible! They just say that they are doing really well, they keep learning, their little girl always asks about me, they are working hard in their callings, etc. It feels great to hear from them ;)

We had Interviews with Pres. Gamboa last Wednesday. Everything went well ;) I don't have very many interviews left before I go home...haha We also had a surprise visit in our house this week from Sister Gamboa! We had just finished companionship study and the 4 of us were upstairs talking, and we didn't even hear her come in the house! She just came upstairs and told us she was there to inspect the house. So that was fun. Needless to say, she wasn't very happy about the downstairs bathroom (the one I described last week lol). And she said that we need a new maybe sometime soon a new fridge will show up at our house :) And she liked and wanted to take all of those little figurines that I've received in packages haha. She also looked at almost ALL of the pics I've received from the family and couldn't stop saying how good-looking our family is and how young Mom and Dad look ;) So that was fun haha.

A couple of people in this sector have asked me if it would be possible for me to get them English hymn books. So, if you could sent 1 or 2 of the cheapest hymn books that they sell that would be great. I don't know why they want them, cause they can't speak English.....or sing lol. But it'll be a good way to help them ALWAYS remember Elder Beck haha ;)

Last night we had a ward activity and we (the missionaries) were in charge of it. It's purpose was to help the members get excited to work with us and help us out ;) All of the RMs in the ward (like 9 or 10) shared 3-5 minute experiences from their missions, mostly focused on the importance of members in missionary work. And after that, we watched a slide show with baptism pics of all of those missionaries that spoke. The slide show was set to some awesome piano arrangements of hymns and it was really cool :) A few members brought some non-member friends too. Now, the other ward that meets in that building wants to do the same thing, and the Relief Society wants to use that idea for the RS anniversary that supposedly is coming up soon. So, I guess they liked the activity ;) haha It is hard to be in charge of activities though lol.

Well, there's the news for this week!! I just keep on working down here in Ecuador ;) I love the mission, I love the people, I love Ecuador. It's such a good feeling to share the Gospel every day and see peoples' lives change as they make good decisions. I love every one of you SOOO much! I'm thankful for every one of you. Read your scriptures and say your prayers every day. Share your happiness with others. SMILE :D I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Elder Beck

Monday, January 10, 2011

Los Rieles

Hola mi querida familia!!!

It's Monday again, and here I am in front of the computer doing the things that I love most! Reading letters, looking at pics of the fam, and writing to all of you!!! I love Mondays ;) It sounds like all of you have had a great week, but what else is new? haha Your weeks are always great, like mine :)

It sounds like everybody wants to here about the new house where I am living. First, it's big. It is 2 stories, with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a lot of open space. That open space would probably be taken up by couches, a tv, a computer, etc in normal peoples' houses. But missionaries are not normal people...we just have a lot of open space lol. Lot's of room to exercise in the mornings, I guess ;) This is the biggest house that I've lived in, or seen, in the mission. And it is definitely the dirtiest house that I've lived in in the mission lol. I think it's so big that other missionaries haven't worried about cleaning all of it :P Our bathroom vividly reminds me of the latrines at Camp Geronimo. I remember that when we were at Geronimo, if we had to go to the bathroom we would just hold it until breakfast, lunch, or dinner to use the real bathroom in the dining hall cause the latrines smelled SO bad. Yeah, our bathroom smells almost like that ;) It's gross lol. But, we are working on cleaning the place up. That'll be a project that will definitely last for more than one P-day haha.

This week (on Tuesday, I think) we were on the sidewalk talking to some members and I saw some junior high-aged girls walking down the street. I noticed that one of the girls was crying and that she couldn't really walk in a straight line. As they got closer and closer, I realized that that girl had definitely been drinking. When she passed by my companion, she tried to hit him in the arm, but he backed up quickly and she missed him. And when she passed by me, I backed up (afraid that she would try to hit me too lol) but instead of trying to hit me she went straight for my tie. She yanked it pretty hard and said that she liked it and that she wanted me to give it to her. And then, she walked away. Soooooooo that was pretty interesting lol. It was really funny and random...I think my companion was laughing for about 10 minutes non-stop lol. That's the kind of stuff that only happens in Ecuador (I hope lol).

On a happier note, this week we had a BAPTISM!!! Mercy got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. She is really special cause the missionaries found her 3 weeks ago knocking doors. She had definitely been prepared by the Lord. She is so happy and her testimony has grown so strong in a very short time. She's awesome. I'm happy to play a small part in the conversion of people like Mercy.

We also found out this week that this guy that has been coming to church for months isn't a member and that he wants to get baptized! So, he will be baptized shortly ;) And that's the news for this week!! Thanks for everything (big and small) that you all do for me. I love you all SOOOO much!!!

Love, Elder Beck

PS Here's a pic at Mercy's baptism. Love you!