Just a quick update from the Arizona Phoenix Mission....time is escaping us and we are realizing that we have been in the mission 6 months now. So much has happened in that short time and as I look back I have seen my life change in so many ways. I have found that there is more to life than entertaining myself , and that there is much work to be done in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I I take time each day to read the scriptures then it helps me become closer to my Savior Jesus Christ and to focus on the things that are truly important in this life. We have adapted to the mission life now and we are enjoying serving the Lord and the missionaries in the mission.
It is amazing to me how I can get close to so many of our young Elders and Sisters in such a short time. Missionary Medical has been one of the avenues that has helped me, and I have so any funny stories that I have experienced from that. I never thought I would be able to remember all of their names, and though I am still working on it, President does knows them all. I guess that comes from interviews with them every 6 weeks and the bonding that is taking place.
Tomorrow will be our 5th transfer of missionaries in and out. It is amazing as they come into the mission not really sure of themselves or what is in store for them, and contrasting that with Elders & Sisters leaving to go home with strong testimonies of the work they have done and a firm foundation of who they are. Missions do incredible things for these young men and women as they turn their lives over to serving the Lord and others. It is amazing that the Lord uses these young and inexperienced men & women, and is able to mold them into the people they have potential to become, and also to be able to spread the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to his children on the earth.
The work is going forward. President Beck, in conjunction with the Lord, is working miracles here in the mission. Don’t get me wrong, we have a long way to go, but we feel like things are progressing. The church has increased our compliment of missionaries to 190, plus we have 16 senior couples that are serving here. That makes a total of 222 missionaries we have stewardship over. We are pleased to think the Lord has faith in our mission to increase our complement of missionaries. This tells us that there is much work to do in spreading the gospel to this part of the vineyard.
I must say that I have enjoyed the winter here. My blood is definitely thinning because when it gets down to 50 it is cold! I did miss the snow around Christmas, but was able to take a trip to the reservation for Zone Conference and get a small taste of it up there. That was enough to satisfy me.
One of the highlights this season was being able to go to the temple, both in Mesa and Snowflake with all our missionaries. It took quite a lot of planning to make it all happen with transportation and all, but we had a wonderful experience including a special lunch served to us by the Relief Society and then a Christmas Program followed by the lights at the Mesa temple, which were absolutely gorgeous. It was a spiritual day for all those in attendance.
Another highlight was having my children come out to visit us. Tiffany and Michael & Issy spent some time here before Thanksgiving and the week after, Mom & Dad and Tyler came and enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. Then for Christmas, Trish & Bill and the kids came and shared Christmas with us. It was so good to have them around and we enjoyed the pitter patter of little feet as they awaited the coming of Santa. It truly brought magic in the air. They left and in came Travis & Jordan & his friends to spend a couple of days. They were BOWL hopping, and were here for the Fiesta Bowl. All these visits were a a good break for me and I enjoyed spending time with all of them.
Now, it is back to real missionary life, which doesn’t include all the play we did during the Christmas holiday’s with everyone. We have a busy schedule ahead of us with a lot of speaking assignments in our Stake Conferences weekly. In January we also have an apostle coming! Any good ideas on what you serve an apostle of the Lord for dinner? It will be a wonderful experience to just be in his company for the day he will be here.
The Lord has blessed us as we are witnessing miracles through small and simple things. The gospel changes lives and it is exciting being a part of that. It is a very humbling experience to be here as an emissary for the Lord Jesus Christ. We appreciate all your prayers in our behalf.
President & Sister Beck