Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Well, hey there!

So transfer three is now underway! 

It's been interesting with miles. Our area gets 1025 miles a month with the car. We had some days last transfer where we went over our budgeted amount... so we are trying super duper hard not to go over these last few days of the month. 

So we've basically been spending all of last week and this upcoming week on foot. Trying to not go over 10 miles a day. Normally it's about 34. Yeah. So not gonna lie. There were a few days last week with the heat index (humidity) where it was around 110 degrees. 

Oh fun. 

But we do work! And definitely finding that members are more willing to give rides than I thought. Even when it comes to us coming over to dinner at their houses. And one of our investigators even gave us a ride over to their house. 

This next month we're going to do a lot better with keeping miles in check. I mean, we previously "tried" to keep within the proper mileage each day... But there were days where we'd go over... Because we didn't plan as well as we should have. Such as trying to keep in a certain area during the day, so we're not driving to five different townships. We cover from Burlington, down to Palmyra... (New Jersey, not New York ;) and from the Delaware river over to.... Mt. Laurel. Yeah. But I guess we have one of the smallest areas in the zone. Nice.

So these last couple of Sundays, we have been teaching Gospel Principles in lieu of the gal in the ward who normally teaches it. I'm seeing how I am growing. In that I no longer feel as nervous opening up and having an active role in the teaching of the class. Which is nice to see.

We are setting some good things in place. We started a calendar in Priesthood, so that members can come teaching with us and be involved in the fellowshipping of investigators.

Alright, I love you all and I'll write again sometime... Maybe next Monday ;)

Elder Bezas

--
"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism." -Alma 7:15

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Howdy howdy!

Well, another week has passed! I remember Elder Daley in those first couple weeks we were together talking about how the time in the first transfer or two is a bit slower but then time just starts to fly! Dang. He was right. But even from the get go it was intense how fast time has flown! It still feels like yesterday I walked up to our current apartment with my bags in tow, never thinking I would find myself in New Jersey. Now that's funny. :) But I love it here!

Well, sad sad news. Elder Daley has left the Moorestown area! So I have my second companion here in the field now. Elder Anderson! He's now the Medford District Leader! I'm stoked. Although I was extremely bummed to part ways with Elder Daley. He is the man. I consider myself extremely lucky to have him as my trainer/"father". He is now in the Philadelphia zone.

I love when the members are willing to help us in this work. We are so blessed to have investigators here. When so many places in the world are met by coldness and no current interest. We still need to be diligent in trying to find those who are ready for the gospel, but how much better is it when we do have those who are willing to receive it now. Sure, we're still met by those who want nothing to do with us. But they're still children of God. We should still treat them with kindness. And the ones we are truly here in the field for are those who are the "prepareds," who are ready to receive the gospel, that the Lord has personally prepared for us to teach.

Well, I am nervous in not being with my trainer any more... But I know that the Lord is with us. This is His work. It cannot fail. It will move forward. So why not be a part of it??

I don't know how the future will pan out exactly. I just know that it will. All things work together for our good.

Also, we had interviews with President Schaefermeyer this transfer. Because we missed our scheduled ones because we got lost in Cherry Hill last week with my doctor's appointment, we rescheduled for Saturday evening. Oh, I love President. And Sister Schaefermeyer. They are just the best. And random fact, I was the last of the 180 (approx) missionaries in the PPM to be interviewed by President... since we got lost. Ahem. Oops. He's a very insightful man. It's amazing how you can just feel someone's love that they have for you by just being with them.

Also something I'm learning is to just be real... When I first came into the field I had this false notion that I HAD to be PERFECT. Yeah. Realistic, right? I just was like, Wow, I'm a missionary. I'm representing Christ. Dang. I can't mess up or I'm messing up the work! But I wasn't quite being myself. But I guess the first couple weeks were REALLY hard. Strike that. The hardest of my life, with missing home and all. But I'm now getting the hang of it. In just being real from the beginning with people and just being myself. Life is truly a learning experience. That's my motto... That and "It's all good."

You all are the best! Thanks for your support! I adore you guys, the Bezas Bunch!

Alright, well, I love you all very much and I will write again at our regularly scheduled time next week!
--
"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism." -Alma 7:15

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Hey Family!

So today is totally 7/11. Nice. They have those stores out here. Except they're more of food marts, without the gas pumps. Weird. Never seen 'em without 'em until here. Jersey has some quirks. And a few perks. :)

So in relation to transfers- We will find out about transfers on Thursday/Friday this week. Transfer starts on Monday. So if either one of us is getting transferred, we'll go to Transfer Meeting in Broomall, PA on Monday, and we'll get to emailing on Monday still, but it'll just be later since we have to drive back. It's about a forty minute drive.

Ok and here's the scoop on my eye appointment. First off, I found out after the fact that mail in Camden, NJ was backed up b/c they didn't want to pay workers over time, so certified mail was held up. So that package you mailed with the medical info in it on July 1st? 


Didn't get here until Friday...after I got home from my appointment. 

Ha oh well. It worked out. We got to the Dr office on time, and I was flustered, since I couldn't remember the doctor's office info back home to put on the form. But it ended up working out. So I saw the new doctor. Fun fact, he knows our doctor back home. Anywho, so he looked in my eyes and here's the amazing part. He said that he saw where the laser treatment was. He saw some old blood from bleeding before. 

BUT he saw no new bleeding. Oh! Amazing. The Lord is in the details. Truly miraculous. I totally attribute it to the healing power that Christ has. And the blessing I received from Elder Kezele in the MTC kicking in. So I have a follow up appointment on Oct 24th, and the centers he sees patients are all throughout the area so if I'm not here I can go to a different location. 

 Well, that's all the time I've got. Hope y'all enjoyed the vacation! I'll let you know next week about transfers.

Keep Beaming Bright,
E. Bezas



--
"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism." -Alma 7:15

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Howdy howdy!

So this week has been full of stuff happening. Two of our converts were confirmed this week in Sacrament and another passed the sacrament for the first time! Oh so cool. It was a great day in church!

And my reason for not writing yesterday is we figured since the library was closed on Memorial Day... that they would also be closed on Independence Day. So we saved miles in not potentially taking a waste of a trip.

So yesterday we went with one of our investigators and his wife to Philly to visit some of the sites. So cool! They have a 4th of July parade and we visited Benjamin Franklin's grave along with a couple others who signed the Declaration of Independence. We also visited Elfreth's Alley. One of the oldest streets in Philadelphia. So cool. Colonial. :) I love history. 


We also went by the Liberty Bell. It's really interesting. When we visited as a family years ago, I never considered that I would be called to the Philadelphia mission. Let's see. We also visited Jim's Steaks. Our investigator really wanted us to try their cheese steaks; so we waited in line for about 30 minutes to get a couple. Oh! So good. Definitely the best I've had. And I've had a lot for only being here two months. I wasn't so sure about the concept of the cheese steak when I first came, but I'm definitely sold on it now! I love them. Good thing they're super healthy ;)

It's interesting. In this last week, three people have asked how I felt when I first came here, confidence wise. They all have said that I presented myself from the beginning with confidence. That I didn't seem like a greenie, or "golden" as they're called in this mission. Which I was very much surprised to hear. Since I felt like the absolute opposite of confident. Ha. Definitely not confident. So I was pleased to hear that I didn't mess up in their eyes as much as I felt I did.

And this last week I decided to repent...and keep a good journal. So in the months past, I've written every so often. In the MTC I wrote almost every day. But it was shorter tid bits. A paragraph here or there. And once I came out here I was pretty bad. But I realized that I'm really going to forget a lot of what goes on. And I'll look back and wish I had kept a better record. You only serve one mission. So for the past week since Saturday I have written a page a day. I'm going to keep that up for the rest of my mission. I've metaphorically slapped my wrist. Ha.

And I can feel the love our ward has for us as my pants seem to shrink. Dang. We get fed a lot. Which is a great thing. But my metabolism isn't quite keeping up. Well, time to work out harder in the morning. Which is interesting with the shin splints. But those seem to have lessened recently.

So something I've considered recently is the chance that I might "take over" the area with this next transfer. I would definitely still be the junior companion, which I'm definitely cool with, but I'd be the one who "knows" the area, where as my companion wouldn't. If Elder Daley gets transferred out. Elder Daley was able to stay with his trainer for three transfers. So it is possible that I could stay a third with him, but it seems like most likely he'll leave. But that's up to the Lord. I just still feel somewhat inadequate for this work at times. I like having someone with more experience with me. I'm still getting the hang of this.

But the work will go on. This is the Lord's work. He'll not let it fail. He helps those that serve Him.

I had a little breakthrough though. One morning this week during studies I had this thought process- (In the past I have struggled with the thought that I personally don't make a difference. That some other elder could very easily fill my place here in whatever area I serve in. That I don't really offer that much personally.) I realized that if every missionary felt that way, and took it to the extreme of going home since they "don't make a different" then there would be no missionaries. And they truly wouldn't make a difference. Because they'd be home. So a huge part of the missionary work that occurs wouldn't happen. 


So I realized that although I probably do have more of an impact than I feel I do, that in a way that I realize I do make a difference here, since I add to the number of those serving the Lord here. Hopefully the gist of the positive break through I had there comes through and that doesn't all sound negative. :)

So really cool experience- this week we met with one of our investigators who has met with the missionaries for a while. It was a really special experience, as we helped her to understand how the Spirit speaks to her and to help her realize that she does feel the Spirit. She sincerely wanted to know how she can experience that more in her life. Oh the Spirit was strong there.

It's funny. I'll occassionally stop and think- Hey, I'm actually on my mission. For forever, it was- one day- I'll be on my mission. And now it's here. Crazy!

Alright, well I hope all is well and I love you all!

Keep the Faith,

Elder Bezas

--
"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism." -Alma 7:15