First of all I have been told my heading should be “A day in the life of a Mission President’s life”, so I’m changing it. Now, where to begin, We are reaping the benefits of living in Arizona right now as most of you are going into the winter months. We have blue skies and 70-80 degree temperatures. I’m quite enjoying that part of the change. President has planted 6 tomato plants and hopes that they amount to the ones he left in Cincinnati. It is the planting season here and it is a little weird watching people planting their gardens in October.
We are putting the miles on the Ford Explorer as we travel from the Valley, to Flagstaff, and to the Reservation every 3 weeks. We are close to 11,000 miles since we arrived in the mission. While Paul is driving, I just set up my desk on my lap and do my missionary medical For those of you I have just added, the missionaries call me when they are sick, injured, or just need sympathy. Their calls come in daily and some are just too funny to share) I have quite the system while we drive. I keep telling the President that I need a car with a desk in it so I have room to really spread out. One of the problems I have faced in our frequent traveling is when we stay at hotels. I go to bed at night and when it comes time to get up and find the bathroom, I have had my difficulties. We usually stay at the Hampton Inn in Flagstaff as our base each time we travel and I feel it is my home away from home. Well, depending on which room they give us, the layout is sometimes different, meaning the toilet in one room could be on one side of the bathroom and in another room on the other side. Well one night, when I was still half asleep, I wandered into the bathroom and went to sit down and fell into the tub. I’ve tried to pay a little more attention since that time.
We had a large transfer this last time. We got 17 new missionaries in from the MTC. Every group we get is better than the last. These are the Lord’s Saturday Warriors, who are prepared and ready to serve. We have some of them already serving in leadership positions they are so good. There is so much work for us to do and we are working on training these young men and women to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn’t easy for them to leave their comfort zones of being a teenager and having an exact schedule to work by every day. The hardest for most of them is arising at 6:30 a.m. It isn’t easy for them to knock on doors or approach someone on the street and boldly share the gospel with them. But they have a testimony of what they are sharing and are committed to be the Lord’s servant's to bring the world His truth.
I think all our missionaries know now that their President means business and expects obedience in all things. Does this surprise some of you? Some have tested the water and have found that there is no selective obedience in this mission. The church has recently provided cell phones for the missionaries, which is a big blessing for them in their proselyting. They obviously had been told of how to use them and were authorized 400 minutes, but some went by their own rules. We had one elder that used 4,000 minutes in one month (sounds like a teenager) That is more than President, myself, and my son Tyler use in a month and we talk to all the missionaries constantly. Well, guess what, he had his phone privileges taken away along with several others who thought they could get away with calling from valley to reservation. It didn’t take long for the President to find out with the tom toms beating. It is amazing how fast word travels between missionaries, no matter where they are. You would think that they would learn a little quicker than they do. Now obviously, these are a minority that choose to be disobedient, the rest of them are great missionaries. Our compliment has been increased and we are up to 215 missionaries right now. Yep, that is right, President gets to answer all of their weekly emails and I get to pretend to know how to advise them medically.
We had a fun time with our senior couples as we got together to say good-bye to a few of them this past month. Our senior couples are wonderful. They make a big sacrifice at this stage in their life to leave their home and family for one to two years and come and serve on the reservation. Their accommodations are not more than a small trailer, they don’t live close to anyone per say, no entertainment, shopping or wonderful things to do. Just serving our Lamanite brothers and sisters and watching over our missionaries that serve on the reservation. We currently have about 24 of them. They are wonderful and we love them so much. We recently gathered together to say good bye to a few of them. We had a day of going to Eggshell Arch and the Antelope Slot Canyon up by Page, Az. It was an exciting adventure of enjoying a few of God’s beautiful creations.
Well, that is it in a nutshell. We continue to keep busy. It is hard to believe that we have been here for about 4 1/2 months. A good friend, and previous mission president once told us after a month in the mission, “Does it seems like you never even had a life before this?” In some ways it does. Our testimony grows daily as we witness miracle after miracle, both in the lives of our missionaries and in those who accept the gospel into their lives. The work is true and we are so blessed to be a part of it.
We love and miss you all
President & Sister Beck