Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 29, 2011 - Physical letter from Elder Bezas

Usually we receive an email on his p-day (preparation day where the missionaries wash their clothes, do service such as clean the toilets at the MTC, etc, and write letters). And then on Thursdays, we get a physical letter that he also wrote us on Tuesday. As his mother, I live for Tuesdays and Thursday! :0)

This particular letter was written on the back of a blue reimbursement form for another immunization he needed to get to go out of the country to serve. Before ever entering the MTC, the cost was already approximately $2000 to purchase his luggage, suits, and other materials he would need. After entering the MTC, each monthly cost will be $400. Since his mission is an unusual 25-month mission (they're typically 24-months long), his monthly costs will total $10,000. 

A mission is something Paul has wanted to do since he was a little boy, and he earned about $6500-7000 over the course of time to pay for his dream.

Here is this week's letter:

Hello! I love you all!

Alright, so here is the reimbursement form to give to insurance so that they pay for the Hep A shot (2nd of 2 doses) I got just the other day. Oh! Did we ever mail the typhoid shot receipt to insurance for them to pay for that one? The one I got a week or two before I left? Thanks for taking care of this. :)

Um, with 'to do's--ummm, I guess beginning of April, call the bank and have them issue a new card for my account so I'll have a card (that won't expire) for two years. Uh, let's see--I have been getting a breakfast at the temple after the session each time with the district. Hopefully that's ok.

Umm, also, when they cancel my old card if you could let me know soon thereafter via DE.com. I can't really think of too many other chores to do.

Thanks for all you guys do. The packages are great. :) I love getting the little cards from you all. I miss you immensely. This distance is causing my love for you to grow even stronger. It's a strength to know that even if some cataclysmic event occurs, I am sealed to my family and will be with them after this life.

Do I feel discouraged? Yes. A lot of the time. I doubt I will be able to learn the language or that I am an adequate teacher of the gospel of Christ. But I know that all I must do is continue trying and replace negative thoughts with positive ones, pray for help from the Spirit, and put my faith in the Lord. He can conquer all--for He already did.

Little bro, you are my favorite buddy! I love your laugh and your super long hug when we said goodby. I think of that all the time.

Sis, I love you and hearing about your days. Keep it coming. The church is true. God is there and He WILL be there for you. Trust Him. He wants the best for you, as do Mom and Dad.

Dad, I'm trying to learn new things. Thanks for your encouragement.

Mom, thanks for your letters as well. You lift me up.

I love you, wonderful family.

Elder Bezas

March 29, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Usually Elder Bezas's emails are full of answers to questions we'd sent him. This is is full of answers to things we'd been wanting to know!

Wow, ok, so I just wrote this super long email and was going to copy and paste it into here. But it somehow lost it. Very much peeved. Oh, well. Alright, so I'll have to shorten it. It's never the same writing a letter the second time. :)

Alright. So Elder Kezele is not in the same classroom. He's on the same floor and four classrooms down from the Slovak one. So we do see every day and try to chat it up briefly. He'll do great in Lithuania. And yes! Elder Daniel Olsen came this Wednesday! And he happens to be just across the hall on the same floor. So all three of us are rockin' the gospel on the top floor. :) He'll have fun with Hungarian alright.

So, sad day. Cectpa (Sister) Ashby made her departure for Moscow, Germany this morning at 0500-ish. It was cool to see a familiar face here, but I wish her well.

It has been a great week! I'm learning to put my faith in Christ and just put forth my best efforts and just keep getting up each morning. The Lord will make so much more out of our efforts.

OK, I 'lied.' The best thing about the cafeteria is the constant supply of Chocolate Milk! Oh, yeah, I'm in heaven. OK, not really. But it's still chill.

So, sis, that's awesome with the Book of Mormon readathon. Keep rockin' it.

I'll wait patiently to open the General Conference package. :) It's great to get packages. I love it. Along with the mail. Yum yum yum.

And I loved the journal entry from your mission, Mom. That was awesome and helped get me stoked for the field. Keep 'em coming. And Dad, if you felt like sending some, that'd be great. Oh, and with the DearElder.com packages, the happy bday one looks great! That'd be cool to get.

And Mom, thanks for what you said about the yearbook. That helped more than you can know.

I'm so stoked for General Conference. Our classes on Saturday are canceled, so we basically just have buffet meals and conference for two days. Pretty chill.

And little bro, I love your jokes. So here's one in return. What is something that humans shouldn't eat, but dogs say all the time? BARK. Just for you, compliments from off the top of my head. :) I love you, buddy.

Dad, I loved your analogy of our trip to Nevada when I was super young. That helped. It's true, we can't see our progress until after the experience.

So, Mom, are you starting to feel better? I feel for you. I hate for you to be feeling sick. I'll pray that you get better. And how's little bro with his deep cough.

It's true, setbacks are for our good. We grow and learn from them. And all things can become for our good if we follow the path the Lord has set. There are NO coincidences.

To answer your question, Dad, since we haven't heard anything as of yet about whether we're singing in Conference, I'm assuming...no. Since that's in four days. And the MTC choir sang last October in the priesthood session. I think it's about every other session of Conference that the MTC sings. Bummer. The one time I'll be in the MTC. Ha. Oh, well.

I sent you guys a letter with the insurance reimbursement form for the second dose of the Hepatitis A shot I got last Friday. Yay, there went $71.

What I'm going to do for the mission. This is what matters. :)

You asked whether I'm discouraged at times. I was. And still am occasionally. It was really bad for a week or two here. But I have studied faith in Christ more and realized that:

1) replacing negative thoughts about self and others with positive ones allows the Holy Ghost to be in one's life with much more abundance, and

2) faith is definitely a word of action.The Lord will make our imperfect effort into something perfect. We just have to continue to do our best and get up each morning with a smile on our face. Try to be a little better each day.

Do I still feel like I way struggle with the language? Yeah. Do I still feel at times that I'm an inadequate representative of Christ and His gospel as a teacher? Yeah. But to an extent it's true. We can't do it alone. But that's alright. Because Christ already suffered and overcame death and sin and all our trials and challenges alone with the Atonement so that we don't have to. Do our best and He'll make up the rest.

This week was the first time we taught the lesson in all Slovak. Wow. Did I still feel like I was way tripping over my words. Yes. But I changed my attitude into a positive one. I did my best. And it was so great because the Spirit was there with us. I could feel it so strongly. Although our teachers aren't real investigators, the Spirit still testifies of truths when they are taught.

It's so cool to know that as long as I do my best to be united with my companion and do my best to serve those around me and teach the gospel, that the Lord will help us share His word. This is His gospel and this is His church upon the earth. If it wasn't, young missionaries like us young whipper snappers would have messed it up a long time ago.

I love Doctrine and Covenants 84:88. He will prepare those who are ready to have added joy to their lives through hearing the gospel and abiding by the commandments the Lord has given (John 14:15 and John 15:10). The Lord knows what's best for us and we can save ourselves from so much heartache as we simply live the commandments (as He has asked). The Lord will help us. We just need to take that leap of faith into the "dark" and He will light our way, like He literally did for Nephi and their family in the wilderness.

I love you guys. Hopefully I don't come off over the top with the gospel. But the truth is...I love it! It gives me hope. I know that because of the Savior, I can be made clean from all the silly mistakes I make and be able to live with my family for forever after we pass on from this life.

I love you guys. You rock! Thanks for your support. Two years at times seems like a long time, but I know that it will just rush by in an instant, upon looking back at it years from now. Alright, dovidenia, keep the faith, and Viem ze Jezis Kristus je nas spasitel and vykupitel.

Elder Bezas

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Here is the third email we received from Elder Bezas. Much of it is in response to a survey we'd sent him. Ah, so good to hear from him!

Alright, I finally got on! OK, so to answer questions. We check the mail twice a day. Once after lunch and once after dinner. Elder Marshall and I sing the Mail Song from Blue's Clues every time. "Here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when it comes I want to wail MAILLLLLL!" Yeah! That's how we do. :)

Oh, so that's every day besides Saturday. They close after lunch, and so we just check it once. And we obviously don't check it on Sundays. Anywho.

Oh, so I did read the letters you guys gave me the first night. Thank you so much! I love you guys.

And yes, little bro, there was a conversation about my "butt-flap" kind of suit. Ha. There are other elders with the same kind. I'm growing accustomed to it. :)

To answer your other questions, the branch presidency leaders are great. I met with the branch president on Sunday, which really helped with my morale. The atonement isn't just for our sins. The grace of Christ has an enabling power. It will help us. Look up 'grace' in the Bible Dictionary. Really cool.

I liked your MTC/in-the-field-food joke, Stephen.

Mom, I love when you guys write me every day. It is so great getting mail. such a boost. I've said that before. OH, well.

With photos, I forget whether I covered this in the last message, but I can't connect my camera with these computers. So I'll either mail the SD card before I leave to you guys, or wait until I get to the field to email those to you. And calling me Elder Bezas or Paul is all good. Whatever you prefer. :)

Sis, feel free to borrow my books. And I feel ya with the cell phone and social life. But life will go on, I promise you. :) You can make it! And I love the commercial you guys did. So cool! Wish I could have seen it. Did you record it. And I have seen Elder Kezele a lot! His language classroom is just down the hall from me in the Spencer W. Kimball building on the top floor. I love that manboyelder. It's sweet to see a familiar face.

Mom, keep going with the learning Slovak. That's super chill.

And yes, we have heard about the traumatic things that have happened to the people in Japan. I feel for them. And thanks for fwd'ing Elder Hyde's letter. That was awesome. And I have been getting mail from friends. It's great! :) I love hearing from people.

In relation to singing in General Conference, one of our elder's asked and they haven't told us either way yet. So I still don't know. But I have been singing in the regular choir which performs at the devotionals. I love those! It's just like constant EFY with the gospel. super chill.

Tvoj brat = your brother.

I liked how after writing last week about seeing the mountains you wrote about that in a letter, Mom. It's so true.

With the visa, I don't know when we'll find out about those. But I don't think our area has too much trouble getting them.

So it's weird. I get more sleep than I did at home, but I feel way more tired all the time. And Dad was right; I like the non pinstripe suit better. But they're both good. I'm just bummed the button is coming undone on two of the pairs of pants. Not too bad. But I will have to resew those in the next couple months.

OK, so Dad's survey answers. There are six languages in our branch: English, Slovak, Czech, Slovenian, Bulgarian, and Croatian. Maybe Polish too. I forget. Our church meetings are in English since we have so many languages in there that it would be interesting translating for all of them.

What building were you in, Mom, for your classes in the MTC? Around 45 elders and six sisters in our branch.

Best things about the MTC is the buffet of food. And gym period. And the firesides and devotionals. Worst thing? hmmm. Not enough sleep time, but that's normal for mission life anyway. Go to bed at 10:30. Actually fall asleep around eleven. I wish it would be sooner. I would rate the food at about a 4/5. Best meal I've had is chicken cordon bleu. No need for Beano really. Slanina is bacon in Slovak; I guess that's the funniest thing I've learned to say. And my pronunciation for 'stvrtok' was correct. Sorry, mom. I still love you. :)

Eh, I don't know; I'll findout out if I brought too much when I weigh my stuff. Tuesday is p-day. 30 minutes on the computer on pday. Three teachers. All return missionaries. One is British: Bro Starling. Bro Van De Graff and Bro Baughman.

I've worn my Slovensko t-shirt. And Elder Genther wanted one like it. Elder Backer, Slovenian elder seriously wanted one. There are three zones in the mission. One all Czech. One half and half. Once completely in Slovakia. I might serve in the half-and-half one.

No shuttle to mall. Agh, only three minutes left. Use Czech Book of Mormon. The Slovak one is being edited now. Will probably come out while I'm serving. Triple combination in about five years.

I'm trying to think positive, but I've thought about the possibility if the eye problem crops up and causes me to have to serve stateside. I feel that I'd be ok with that. Thanks for your help mom and dad and sis and little bro. I love you all. Keep sending me DE.com letters. It really helps so much more than you know. :) Dobre rano!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011 - email from Elder Bezas

We didn't hear from Elder Bezas the second week he was in the MTC. Of course, as a mother, I was over-the-top missing him and pining for that email. Silly me. It eventually came the following week, due to a computer glitch. Better late than never! Here 'tis.

Alright! What's up!?! It's week two here at the good ol' Missionary Training Center and this is Elder Bezas coming to you somewhat live. The only negative is that the computer didn't let me sign in the first time and so it thought it should also take five minutes off my already short thirty minutes.

Oh, well. there's so many positives. Sunday night we chose from the several videos we can watch, to view the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration film. OH, how I love that film. Joseph Smith did so much and gave up his life for the work. He is the man. The gospel is true.

So this week going to the temple I remembered the first time to bring my recommend so my companion and I didn't have to walk all the way back to the dorm to grab it. Yay! Each day is a learning process. I just need to learn to accept I'm not going to get things perfectly, and the Lord will accept my best efforts.

OK, so my schedule: Wake up at 06:30; get ready and all hygiene'd out and then off to breakfast at 0700; personal gospel study at 0730...Well, the schedule is different each day, so I'll just outline the different activities. Personal gospel study for an hour; companionship study to discuss what we each studied and then prepare for 'progressing investigators'. I'm learning a lot from that. We also have gym for about 45 minutes. Oh, how I love gym. Such a great chance to just relax. Maybe I said that in the last 'posolstvo'. Anywho.

We have firesides on Sunday nights and devotionals on Tuesday nights. Tuesday is prep day so I get all my stinky clothes all nice and clean again!:) Joy!

Let's see...my district! So with Slovak speakers, there is just Starsi Meredith and I [the computer doesn't allow me to add the 'dlzen's' or 'mekcen's' on letters. Shrug.]. There are also two companionships of Czech speakers - Starsi Coleman and Engstrom [who were just made zone leaders] and Starsi Stockdale and Plaizier.

The other district is made up of four Croatian speakers [Starjesina Genter and Marshal/Sestra Milias and...I'm blanking. Oops.] and one Slovenian speaker - Staresina Baker.

OK, so to clarify (hehe), when referring to the language, it is Slovak, not Slovakian. Also, the people of Slovensko are referred to as Slovaks. So there we go. :)

Hey, mom, if you could go on Facebook and look under my friends for Derek Chapman and see if he has an address written. I'd like to write him while he's still out on the mish.

Random tangent! Shaving every day hurts so bad.

In trying to learn the language, I'm reminded of a Steve Martin quote in which he was talking about the French language, but I thought about it in relation to the Slovak language, naturally.

It's like they have a different word for everything. And it's crazy because depending on how you use each word, be it nouns or pronouns or adjectives...the ending changes in order to fit the structure. There are seven cases for words. And they change depending on the word ending/gender of the word.

So it was interesting, when the front office has a message for missionaries, they call them over the intercom, and the other day they called a 'Sister Whitney Smith' and I had to do a double take. But after a milisecond I realized that wasn't humanly possible since she's not twenty-one.

I love looking out at the mountains. It's so peaceful. You definitely don't find that in our town. And it just helps me realize that to get to the peak, one must start at the bottom.

Oh, and with the pictures, the computers here don't allow one to plug in outside software. So I'll have to send the SD card or email them once I'm out in the field or print them off or something.

Oh, also, mom, in relation to the care packages. If you could send the two black notebooks on the middle shelf in my room (spiral bound). I'm running low on space in the current study journal I have. Oh, and I bought some paper and envelopes before you sent the last package. But if you feel like occasionally sending more stamps that's awesome. And home baked cookies or brownies or stuff like that. Ah, homemade is the bomb.

Also, I have that slip for the DearElder.com free care package in that spot with the other papers. If you feel like sending that that'd be cool. I'm curious what one of those entails.

I have been getting the DearElders. So great! :) Just keep them coming. It helps so much to get mail each day. Just such a great boost.

Ah! Two and a half minutes. Um, the food is decent. It's not as bad as everyone was making it sound.

Well, I love you and you lift me up so much. Thanks for the mail. Little bro, I loved your joke about the mice more than anything. A true LOL moment. And sis, I'm glad to hear the concert went sooo well. :) Keep it up. And Daddy and Mommy, I thank you for your uplift. You help more than you know. I feel you guys with me. And I'm on the top floor of the building. You were on the bottom, Dad?

Love you guys.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011 Elder Bezas's First Post from the MTC!

Here is Elder Paul Bezas's first post from the MTC. I've learned from it two things: the Savior will come to your side when you need Him, and you never know when your simple presence lifts another. (What Elder Bezas wrote about his little brother is so touching.)

(He mentions the "enter" key not working, thus I have adjusted the paragraphs for readability. :0)

Hello family! Alright well the computer isn't letting me use the [enter] key so excuse the lack of paragraphs.

I have now been in the MTC almost a full week! Wow! Just crazy. It's really true what the more wiser elders were saying when we first got here. "The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days."

Ok so query- Dad, I'm on the top floor of the Kimball building for my class. Where were you at in the building?

So life is just crazy. It's amazing how "stretched" I feel already. I am realizing not only how hard it is to try to teach in such a manner that it helps others... in english. What a completely different matter it is in Slovak! Ah! Also, we're only alloted thirty minutes each week for emailing. With that in mind, I haven't had any time to read the wonderful emails you guys sent me. I would really, really, really love to though. So kind Mother, :) if you would please be willing to copy and paste each of the letters you all have written me so far and then go to  DearElder.com and send them to me that way. I can receive letters every day of the week besides Sunday, due to the postal service taking a much needed break, so if you could send me mail that way- I'll then have  time to read your letters and plan my response. The address should be on my Facebook profile and my  mailbox at the MTC is #88. That would be so great.

This is definitely the hardest thing I have EVER done.  I'm not gonna lie. Getting mail each day if you guys are willing would be such an enormous boost. Before I entered the MTC, I had heard over and over again how hard it is. I had NO idea. I love you guys. You are  the best. And I just know, somehow, the Lord will provide.

I had the coolest experience during sacrament meeting. As I was listening to the sacrament prayers, I had one of the strongest impressions I have ever felt. I  very literally felt the Savior beside me to my left. I felt so strongly that He'll help me through this. I've only  been here a week and I am already fighting feelings of discouragement and yearning so strongly for home.

This language is intense. I feel so very inadequate in responding to my duty to serve. But I know that I must.  For I can not look myself in the mirror and feel that I have done a satisfactory job otherwise. My focus is to  forget myself and help those around me. I don't know how I'm doing with this task, but this is my goal.

Something our branch president, President Creer said is that whenever we feel frustrated at ourselves for not  doing as well as we would like to, we are losing sight of our focus- the Savior. He will help us with all of our  tasks and our endeavors.

Also- to Matt, Brett, and Carly. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your letters! That is such a lift to hear from you guys. I love receiving mail. It really helps remind me why I'm here.

Again, this is the hardest thing I've done so far. And I'm not even in the field yet. I've started praying in Slovak  though. That is pretty cool. Kinda repetitive though. Can't wait until my vocabulary expands.

So each day we  have personal study and companionship study. We also have temple visits/walks! So cool. We went to the  temple today as a district and that was such a special experience. I've never felt such exceeding comfort at the temple. It was amazing.

And I want you, my little bro, to know- you are helping me so much, little buddy. You may  not even realize it. But you are. You are helping me stay out here. I know that I can't go home, for what kind  of example would that be for my little brother! Don't ever give up! The Lord is there! It's easy to say, but I'm realizing more and more how true it is.

Oh, mom, you'll be proud of me, I've been selecting pieces of fruit to eat during the day at meal time. And I have made the Purell dispensers around MTC campus my buddy. I  have very clean hands. I am not going to get sick while I'm here! That would just be very much not chill.

And dear sis, I was thinking about you yesterday with your concert! How did it go? Tell me everything. On  DearElder.com. :)

And gym has been a great way to relax and just let it all go in my mind. Running a mile has  been great, although it's been a long time since I've done that. Ha. Also, my companion Elder Meredith from  SLC was made district leader. So cool. He's a great guy and he's a music performance major. Pretty chill. We're going to participate in the choir.

Alright, well, there's so much more I'd like to say but this is all I have time for. Sorry it's all jumbled. With only thirty minutes, there's not much time to collect thoughts. And not  being able to use the return key is another chance to look for the positive. Ha. Again, if you could copy and paste and send all the previous letters to me through snail mail through DearElder.com that'd be so great, Mom. And I love you Dad. You are such a great example to me. And sis, keep your head up high... in a  non haughty way. Ha. It'll all work out. As President Hinckley would say. And little bro. You're my hero, dude. Just for you: "Can't wait, LOL, Smiley Face."

And send the old emails to me in the next day, please, please, please.  OK, it's signing me off. Thanks. Love you, family. You are my rock, along with the Savior.

D&C 6:36.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Note for Elder Bezas his first night in the MTC - from his father

These are letters we gave to Paul, sealed up and to be opened only on the first night of his MTC stay. He was to read them right before going to bed. The first letter is from his father; the second letter from his mother.

February 21, 2011

My Dear Son Paul,
When we left our home on high in the pre-existence, I imagine that we all felt like you do now. We may have felt like this was the right thing to do and that we would be grateful for it once the experience was over. We may have felt a bit like when you first get on a roller coaster and the sounds of the chain that is taking you to the top of hill where it all starts is making your stomach a little tight and you are thinking to yourself maybe I should not have gotten on this thing. Thankfully, Heavenly Father gave us the veil to reduce the homesickness and help us to focus on the experience of this life. Somehow I can hear his voice telling us “...fear not, be of good cheer, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”
            Still, these are new experiences and while there is the promise of good experiences there is also the expectation of difficult experiences, as there was when we first came down to earth. We were promised a family to help, guide, comfort and cheer us. It might appear at this time that these supports have been taken from you, for a time. But that is not true. What you will find is that others have been given to you. I am your father, a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, the patriarch of our family and a member of your bishopric and I make you the same promise that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made to you when you left the Pre-existence, I am with you always!
If ever you feel alone, discouraged or too far away, PRAY. If you pray in faith you will have power that will rain down upon you for you have been given a special blessing. It has been given to you from on high as you were set apart as an ELDER, one who has been found worthy to represent the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the world. As you serve, you will feel this power grow and grow until that day, which now seems far away, when you will be released by the stake president who set you apart, by simply removing your name tag and you will feel its loss. So learn to feel and recognize that extra measure of the Lord’s spirit as his representative and enjoy it! It will be an experience and a feeling that you will hold dear the rest of your life.
It is true that you have experienced adversity in your life. You had difficulty as a child with speech and tactile sensations. You lost your brother and you lived far away from your grandparents and extended family of aunts and uncles. At times you felt unaccepted and perhaps even rejected by your fellow brothers of your quorum. Sometimes you were teased about being home schooled. You made mistakes that you had to repent from. You were hit by a car, and you lost your opportunity to be in Madrigals at East Lake as you had to move. You were taken away from your friends in Florida and moved here to where you did not know anyone. You got a difficult job which caused you to have to clean the backsides of people who swore at you, slapped, poked, pinched and bit you Charlie. You found out that you have trouble with your eyes that the doctors do not fully understand. However, to look at adversity alone is to focus only on the dark or difficult. It is the dark that makes the light so bright and brilliant. Your life has been full of the bright and brilliant!
You have been blessed with good looks and a sense of humor that has been a gift to those who have been blessed to call you a friend. You have overcome those early challenges to become an articulate speaker with a bright wit. You have a bright intellect which has allowed you to not only pass your classes but to be one of brightest in your class. You have compassion for the underdog and patience for those who are struggling in life. You won second place in the whole pack in the Pine Wood Derby three years in a row while others did not fare so well. You were blessed with a beautiful Patriarchal blessing that will guide you through your life. You gained even more friends in Idaho than the ones you had in Florida and the ones in Florida continue to seek you out, stay in contact and still consider you their good friend. With just the right timing you came to a new town and got right into a new home, a great school with wonderful programs that fit both your known talent of singing and your unknown talent of dancing, performing and MC in front of a large crowd; unknown to you but not to God. You not only got into the group but you were elected president by your peers, after only one year in the program. You did so well that the director awarded you the Choir student of the year.
Many have enjoyed your singing and playing guitar at performances, ward and public talent shows. You were nominated by your peers, again, as Mr. High School and took first runner up (I personally think that was due to your parents excellent grooming of you on the baby contest circuit in Utah GRIN). Even after you graduated your friends called and involved you in their social activities. They wanted to know of your progress, your job ups and downs and where you were going to go on a mission. Out of high school, while others were trying to figure out what they were going to do you had a chance for getting training and a job which allowed you to get a unique set of experiences and a pay rate that helped you to earn the money for your mission. 
You overcame obstacles and other heartbreaks and you arrived at the choice to put in your papers to go on a mission and you were given a call that was a fulfillment of your patriarchal blessing. This is a testimony that your life is on track according to God’s plan for you and that he can trust you enough to send you to a place where the language will be a challenge and the people will need your special gifts of love and patience. I am also sure, by the impressions of the Holy Spirit, that you will seek out and find those whom you agree with in the pre-existence that you would come and find to share the gospel with so that they could spend their life in the joy of the gospel and their eternity in the rest of the Lord.
You have parents who are members of the church and return missionaries. They love the Lord and while they are not perfect, they have always tried to teach you the Gospel and what is right. You were no accident. Your parents hoped, prayed and fasted for you. They went through embarrassing tests to try and bring you here to your earthly home sooner. They have loved and adored you from the moment that you first started to grow in your mother’s womb. You can’t imagine, right now, of the joy that you brought into our lives. When we first brought you home, I sat on the floor with you in my arms and cried as the spirit gave me a glimpse of this day when you would be gone from our home. We have laughed with your smiles and little dances and Boogie Love. We were so proud of you that we put you up to the world to say look at how wonderful and beautiful is our gift from God. The world agreed and gave you lots of ribbons and trophies. We have worried when things were difficult for you and frightened at times for you. Yes, it is true; we have loved you and will always love you. Time and distance will not change that.
Paul, as you know, I do not believe in coincidence. With all of this as your base you have been prepared for a great and marvelous work of the Lord, now and throughout your life. You are in charge now of the direction of your mission and your life. All of this should be testimony to you that in the pre-existence you were one of the noble and great ones. Do not let homesickness, disappointment, sadness, tough days, or difficult companions cloud your brightness of hope for the work and your future. Focus and do God’s work now and I promise you as your father that God will take care of leading you through your life that will come after. This is because as you do His work He will manifest Himself in spirit to you and you will learn His way of doing things and you will learn to understand His promptings. That will be the voice that will speak to you through your selection of a wife, a career and your role as a husband, father and leader in His church.
It is true, I say all of these things because I am your father and I love you. But as much as I love you and as good as I am at organizing things for your good, your Heavenly Father loves you even more and He is the one that has put so many blessings, gifts and talents into your life for His purpose.
Paul, be humble in the midst of these great blessings, be believing in the midst of challenges and adversity and have faith in the midst of dark days and He will order all things for your good!
I love you son. Enjoy your mission it is a great adventure; your adventure!

Dad Bezas

March 2, 2011 - Note from Elder Bezas

This is the sweet note that Elder Bezas left on his bed the morning we left VERY early to drive to Utah. We took him to the MTC, after having lunch with his paternal aunt's family and his grandmother. The long drive back felt lonely without him. And so that night, when we finally got in, and his little brother and I went into their bedroom, this note was waiting for us on Paul's bed. It was exactly what I, his mother, needed to read:

Dear Family,

By the time you read this, I will [be] at the MTC, probably getting ready for bed.

I want you to remember that this is what the Lord wants--He will provide. This is His work.

I love you all.

Dad - for your sense of humor and your wisdom.

Mom - for your nurturing, caring nature, and for helping remind me to stay on the spiritual path, along with Dad.

Sis - your spunky, upbeat nature, and for always being there to talk with.

Little bro - Don't miss me too much. I'll be back before you know what hit you. So don't feel melancholy like MegaMind. :) I'll be back before you get ordained a deacon. :0)

I love you all and you will be in my prayers. I'll be back in a blink.

Your son and brother,


His little brother and I cried reading the note. It was exactly what I needed. Although, I must admit that my young son and I tried "blinking" to see if Paul would reappear. 

It didn't work.


The Drive to Take Paul to the MTC!

It was a big day. From this point forward, I (Elder Bezas' mom) will be posting as I receive information from my awesome son. :0)

We left this morning around 7 a.m. to make the drive to Provo, Utah. The Lord blessed us with clear roads as we'd been worried about the projected snow flurries for today. But they never came and the trip was perfect. We had fun on the way down and I interviewed Paul. Here are a few of the questions I asked him, along with his responses. Have fun getting to know him a bit better!

What are some of your happiest family memories?
  •  White water rafting with Dad on a week long scouting outing. 
  • Seeing Lion King in SLC with Dad.
  • Going to General Conference in SLC two years ago with my family.
  • The family trip up the east coast back in 2004 seeing church history and early american sites, especially the Sacred Grove and Carthage. 
What are some of your happiest memories with friends?
  • Time spent with Jive and my Jive friends
  • Time spent with my Florida choir friends
  • Mr. Casperson and how he took a chance on me in his choirs when we first moved here
Favorite food?
  • shrimp alfredo
  • chocolate cream pie
  • Applebee's blondie
  • 9 Beans double-wrap burrito
  • Sushiya!
  • Kiwi Loco
Favorite song?
  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Dynamite (clean version)
Favorite downtime activity?
  • talking with friends
  • talking with family
Favorite hymns?
  • Let Us All Press On
  • I Need Thee Every Hour
  • God Be With You Till We Meet Again
  • Be Still My Soul
  • Come thou Fount of Every Blessing
Favorite Scriptures?
  • Helaman 5:12
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • D&C 6:36
Favorite Movie(s) and Why?
  • Dead Poet Society - how and what he teaches the boys: to live life to the fullest; don't be afraid to chase your dreams; don't settle; don't be mundane; be your own individual; "seize the day"
  • Amazing Grace - how he went up against a lot to try to bring slavery down and how he had faith
If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?
  • to find and live the gospel of Jesus Christ
What is the most important lesson to learn in life?
  • If you don't get something the first time, it doesn't mean you're a failure.
The ride down was awesome. We love you, Elder Bezas!