Date

October 21, 2019

Area

Mpumalanga South Africa

Companion

Elder Rangwanasha

the most challenging/fun/weird week yet

sharp mlungus

this week has been the most difficult, the most fun week, and the weirdest week yet hahaha so lets get to it!

this week has been pretty challenging just because of the adjusting to missionary life and getting into the groove of things. Mentally I am already burnt out ahaha, but when I talked to President Lines about it he said "good, now the real work is about to start". so that was some good motivation from baba(dad/father in zulu). There is no better feeling than looking back at a challenge or a trial that you had to face and making it through it and coming out stronger and being able to say to yourself, "i just did that". That's basically what i say to myself at the end of every day and every week hahah its TOUGH! but there has been a lot of good things that have been happening this week and i tend to try and focus of those!

this week we had zone conference. The chapel that the Zone Conference was at is about an hour away so we ended up spending the night in Kwa Debeka and
waking up and walking to the chapel from their boarding. We got picked up on Thursday night and went to pick up imbali elders (elder sims and elder matovu) and then drove back to kwa dabeka and we were in the car
for about two hours before finally getting to kwa-d. the next day at zone conference i got to see a bunch of kids from my mtc group like elder lutkin, elder christensen, elder sims, and elder van orden! i have some pictures with them that i will send now that my camera is
fixed!! Zone conference was way awesome, we had Elder Citate or something like that from the seventies come and speak to us. he is one of the three black people in the 70 so that was dope. but nobody had any idea
what he was teaching, it was so funny. everyone was so lost. when we were driving home we were talking about it and nobody could sum up what he taught. and he taught for like 2.5 hours!! overall zone conference was a great time being with other missionaries especiially
the ones i was with in the mtc. and road tripping is always a good time to listen to music and see the country a little bit!

update on some investigators: Khosi, the lady that lives at the end of our hall, is progressing a lot. On Wednesday night we had a family home evening with her and her kids and two members from our ward. Anyways, it was our first actual lesson with her and before we started
the lesson she just opened up to us and told us all about her past and what she is going through. Her husband who she is separated from, was physically abusive to her and it mentally messed her up to the point where she almost took her own life but she told us "there was a voice that said to me 'the light is coming'" then she told us how she couldn't leave this world and leave her kids to her husband. crazy enough we found her about a month after all that happened. anyways, Elder Rangwanasha and i taught this powerful lesson about Lehi's family
and brought it back to the atonement and the spirit was just so so so strong and after we finished the lesson, my comp and i bore testimony and the two members who joined us bore their testimony and she just looked up at all of us and said "i am starting to see that light that
i heard a month ago" and she was just so grateful and happy and she seemed so much brighter! and then she came to church yesterday, so that was killer!

the 11 year old boy Nthando is getting baptized next week, and ill be baptizing him!! super happy for him and his choice to be baptized!

Mkulu (grandfather in zulu) Ncube is this old guy who became an alcholoic after his whole family became members, except for him. His wife and kids ended up moving out cause he was constantly drunk with his friends and lost his job. anyways, he told us that he was going to turn his life around, and with that his family moved back in with him to help him change and to help him get back to normal. he hadn't been keeping
any commitments the last couple weeks but we fasted for him all day Saturday before we met with him and his family and when we got there we didn't recognize him, he looked like a completely different person. he shaved, hadn't had a drink for two weeks, was eating healthy and was taking this pill that clears out your system and he was all mentally there and was listening and engaged in the lesson!!

now for the weird part: in mpumalanga and everywhere in south africa, on the weekend from Friday at like 4 pm to Monday morning, there are just drunk people everywhere. its the funniest thing cause they are all walking around and driving around with their beer bottles and some
of them fall over cause they cant walk, some just sit in the middle of the road and drink while cars swerve around them, but the best ones are the ones who get hyper and crazy when they drink. we were walking
home from an appt. last night at like 5:30 and we saw these two guys walking down the street towards us and they were visibly drunk, and you could just hear them yelling. we always try to have fun with these types of drunks. so we approached them and were like "guys whats going on why are you so drunk??" and one of them said "I am trying to speak with my ancestors!" and the other one didn't respond and we all just went quiet and this one who didn't respond looks straight at me and
goes "MLUNGUUUUUUUU" and shook my hand and was so excited to see a white guy. weirdly the drunks speak better English than the people who are sober. and we started talking and he goes "your name is beckman?
like david beckham?" so i told him that david beckham was my father. as we were leaving them, we shook their hands and this one shakes my hand and then yells "BECKMAN!! FROM AMERICA" and pinches my cheek like
i was his son or something and then we go our separate ways, it was so funny and gross and weird. South Africa, man, its crazy.!!!

All is well here, the work is going great. Sorry this is a long email. I know this gospel is true, I know that Heavenly Father sent his Son to atone for our sins so that we can live again. I know that adversity is placed before us for a reason. We are meant to grow from it and to
learn from it. Don't run from adversity, it will do more damage than you think the adversity will cause. I love you guys like crazy and have never missed home more than now. Keep smiling and have an awesome day!
Kia Kaha

"Hakuna Matata"

-elda becky




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