Friday, August 21, 2009

Finally it is official! Tyler is engaged!

Tyler took her to the Hyatt Resort on Thursday evening where they went to dinner. Afterwards, they went on a Gondola boat ride on the lake, where they were serenaded. It was there he got down on his knees and proposed. Sarah had no clue he was going to propose here in Phoenix so it was a surprise to her.

Tyler and Sarah are finally engaged. It is all official and the plans are well on their way. He went golfing with Sarah's father on Thursday morning where he asked for Sarah's hand in marriage. He seemed to have passed the test because Jeff Beecher said yes. The wedding is going to be on December 29th. How coincidental that all of the kids will be here already. ( They couldn't wait until he proposed or they would never have found tickets to Phoenix, so it was a little preliminary). We are all excited to have Sarah a part of the family. She is a beautiful young lady with strong values. Tyler is definitely marrying up!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome Home Son!

Tyler just returned home to Phoenix on Monday evening after a character building experience selling APEX alarms in North Carolina. It was an experience he never will forget! Getting dropped off in the morning by a fellow salesman to a neighborhood that he knocks door to door trying to sell his goods, sitting on the curb eating his lunch, and enduring the weather conditions till late evening hours and worst of all....No Sarah! The last couple of weeks were especially difficult as all of his roommates, fellow salesmen, left to go home, making Tyler the lone man selling alarms. He had been away from Sarah, his now best friend instead of me, since May. Sarah said they had a internet relationship! Not so much fun.......but that is all over and behind him. What's next? Stay turned to the next blog entry.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

From Earth to Mars - A Zone Council Experience

Our incredible Zone Leaders from all over the Mission!

We had an incredible experience yesterday as we took all our Zone Leaders to the Space Center on Tuesday afternoon, following a meeting held at the mission home. Tyler taught the missionaries "How to ask Inspired Questions" to investigators. He has become real good at this since he has been teaching missionaries at the MTC in Provo the last year and a half. Following the meeting and lunch we arrived at the Challenger Space Center, where we split in two different groups. One group went from Earth to Mars with the group on Mars directing the flight and then we exchanged positions and they sent a group back to earth. It was a computer simulated experience that required a high degree of communication, coordination, listening skills, thinking skills and team effort.
Following this experience, the leaders were debriefed on how all these skills could be applied to missionary work. It was a fun day of learning and application for all of us.

President Beck in his command chair helping the space shuttle to land on Mars!

They couldn't have chosen a better duo of communication officers. It provided all on board a little comic relief as they communicated with each other over the speaker system. Each corrected the other with remarks that gave the crew a big laugh, as only a loving father and son could!

Tyler was the communications officer of the vehicle trying to land on Mars.

Each Elder was given a specific assignment to guide the shuttle to a safe landing. They had to follow instructions for real live situations, and communicate with each other to make it happen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Our New Spanish Assistants

Beginning this transfer Elder Clarke & Elder Grayson will be our new Spanish Assistants. This is something President Beck has wanted to do for a while as there is much room for improvement and acceleration in the Spanish work. These fine Elders will help the Spanish work go forward in the direction of the President.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fresh from the MTC - Our August Missionaries

Arrival in the Mission
Elders Young, Wright, Tripp, Tanner, Sundles, Oesterle, Manning, Lee, Knapp, Hair,
Gibson, Gibby, Done, Ailling, & Sisters Brobst & Jensen

After welcoming them off the plane we loaded our new missionaries in the transfer van and
truck and headed to the Mission Home for an afternoon of training.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What are we ever going to do without Elder Wright!

I had lots of helpers preparing the meal for the incoming missionaries for the next day!

Elder Wright is always getting the wrath of President Morris. Ouch! His mom is
going to wonder what all those bruises are from.

Elder Wright & Elder Bowman bringing in all the pillows for the missionaries to bed with.
Where in the world did he get that night shirt from?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Returning Misssionaries Last Companionship Study

Elder Schreyer, Elder Eaton and Sister Clark had their last companionship study the morning before they left the mission with President Beck & Elder Matsen in his library. The subject was "Eternal Marriage", which was appropriate at that time. The counsel the President gives all returning missionaries is found in their handbook regarding companionship. It says "Go to your next area and find your companion", which is very applicable to their returning home. All three reached level five in PMG Study Scholarship. Congratulations!

Prior to their study, Sister Matsen fixed everyone a breakfast of fruit and waffles which was a delicious treat!

Friday, August 7, 2009

An Update from the Barren Desert

Hello from the Hot Sunny Desert....where the temperatures average about 113 degrees! We had 7 record breaking heat wave days in the month of July. The low/ high was 98 degrees. Believe me, it is hot! We had a missionary in the hospital for 5 days which began with dehydration. I've thought of trying to fry an egg on the driveway, but haven't had time to try it, actually the President says he prefers me to do it over the stove.

Good things are happening in the mission! The Lord is blessing us with baptisms. We had 79 in the month of May, 86 in June and we are heading to over 100 this month. We have baptized 119 families over the last 4 months. Our missionaries are becoming more obedient, with an eye single to the glory of God. They are learning what it means to serve with all their heart, might, mind and strength. That is pretty amazing for 19, 20 & 21 year olds, whose focus at that age is not usually on serving the Lord 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Don't get me wrong, they still do crazy things at times; like rolling a truck as they were going up a hill on the reservation, or building a ramp to jump their bike and splitting their head open, or teasing a rattlesnake, and cutting out cactus needles on their leg with a knife. Thank goodness I find most of these crazy things out after they have been done. Some of them I don't even tell the president about because somethings are just better unsaid. All said, I love my missionaries! They are wonderful servants of the Lord!

Exiting things that happened since my last letter......Elder Kafusi, our missionary from Tonga arrived home safely after his plane was cancelled in Phoenix, and he was rerouted to another airport where they gave him ground transportation to LA airport, where he was to meet his Auntie and had only minutes to catch his flight to Tonga, which only goes once a week. All this was done with no communication and no money. We saw the Lords hand direct us and Elder Kafusi to return home. All this went on as we had incoming missionaries eating dinner and having a testimony meeting. We asked the Lord to handle it because we were busy, and he did. It was a miracle!

President had a birthday! Yep, those grey hairs are becoming more dominant or should I say distinguished. Our cute Elders in Flagstaff, planned a surprise for the President after interviews. They had cupcakes, balloons, streamers, candles and and sang Happy Birthday to him. This Zone always takes good care of both of us. Thanks to Elder VanDyke and Carver.

Last Saturday we had a very unique baptism we attended. We don't go to all the baptisms, but try to make our way around the mission to attend as many as we can. This was a situation where President received a call from a member whose dad was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was dying. He was in a wheelchair and on oxygen. He had been given the discussions many times, but he and his wife had never been baptized. He came to his son one day and told him he had made a mistake, he had been stubborn but recently the Lord had prompted him that he needed to get baptized before he died. On Tuesday, President got the call, we sent Elder Pierce over to finishing giving the lessons with him, and they scheduled his baptism for Saturday. It was a very spiritual baptism. His whole family was there. All members except he and his wife. As I sat and looked at this aged man, 87 years old, in a wheel chair, not looking real well. I wondered how this was going to be done. To be baptized he needed to be fully immersed in the water, just as Christ was when he was baptized. All I could think of was that he would have a heart attack just from going under the water. It was a very touching experience to watch. Afterwards, there was a very peaceful feeling, and a feeling of joy with the family that their father, grandfather and great-grandfather had finally entered the waters of baptism and now they could be a family forever. Tender testimonies were born of the touching experience. The next day we received a call from Elder Pierce and said that this man, Brother Watkins, had passed away the next afternoon. The Lord had preserved him to get baptized and become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (The moral of the story is don't wait so long to be baptized that you cannot have the joy that the gospel brings to your life)

A funny incident this month happened when Elder Dahl came to interviews and was hiding around the corner. He motioned for me to come talk to him. As I got closer I saw that Elder Dahl looked quite different. He actually had a wig on. He asked me if he went into interviews with the wig on if the President would get mad. (They always ask me first whether things will pass the presidents approval) I asked him why he was wearing the wig and without replying, he took it off and then I knew the answer. He had no hair! ( the white handbook is specific about the length of hair you should have, and bald wasn't in the description) He said he went to the $5.00 barber and he came out with a $5.00 haircut. When the President came out of the interview room to get Elder Dahl, he just laughed. Oh, we have fun in this mission.

One of the highlights of the month was our visit from Elder Costa, from the first Quorum of the Seventy, who is over our area. What a spiritual feast we all had as he addressed all our missionaries in the valley. I was grateful that a man of God was guided by the spirit to teach to the specific needs of our mission. I had been teaching our missionaries the importance of keeping their area books up to date. He told of his conversion to the church by two missionaries who were new to the area so they referred to the Area Book (a book of teaching records kept by the missionaries on people they have taught) to see who they could teach. Because two previous missionaries had contacted his family 10 years previously and taught them, without baptizing them, and had written their testimony in the book that this was a golden family to receive the gospel, the spirit directed these new missionaries to find the Costa family and re-teach them, and they were baptized.

Well, this is just a few of the updates of the things that happened in the mission these past few months. In the next couple of days, we will be sending home 15 missionaries and receiving 17. I'm glad I don't have to interview all of them......what am I saying.....I have to feed all of them 5 straight meals! I'm sure glad that the Lord is directing his work and sustaining me!

We are so grateful for this humbling calling of not only serving the people in the Arizona Phoenix Mission area but also the stewardship we have in directing these tender shoots that the Lord is using as his instruments in proclaiming the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless each of you as you turn to him in guiding your lives.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Year Worth of Facts

President has survived a year of 190 missionaries, and 15 couples. He has traveled 30,000 plus miles in the mission to attend Zone Conferences, Interviews, Baptisms and Meetings. Every six weeks he interviews approximately, (it changes every cycle) 200 missionaries, which works out to be about 2,000 plus interviews at about 500 hours total. He has traveled the mission with Elder Pickerd, our Area Seventy, two different times to meet with our 17 Stake Presidents so we are completely aligned in our work together. It has been an exciting year of growth as we have tried to groom our missionaries to become "The Best of the Best". The President has labored relentlessly and full speed ahead for the cause of bringing souls unto Christ. As he took off his suit to hang it up last night he noticed the wear and tear. I reminded him that whenyou wear a suit for approximately 16 hours a day for 400 days in a row that one can assume that it will begin to show it's wear.
Just the facts!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Surprise for President Beck

Our cute Flagstaff Zone surprised the President with a birthday sign,balloons, candles, cupcakes and a gift yesterday in celebration of his birthday. They even had a laminated cut out of the President's face stuck in a cupcake. President stood in front of the kitchen serving window as they unveiled the surpise and sang Happy Birthday to him. Our missionaries are wonderful and we love them!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009