Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life. -3 Nephi 5:13

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 27, 2016 Diesel

Wow what an amazing week! One of the most spiritual and fun weeks on my mission so far! My favourite days were definitely Christmas and Christmas eve. I don't know why but me and Elder Bybee were  having a hard time believing that Christmas was coming up. And we had some negative experiences happen in the Branch and it was kind of getting us down. It wasn't until Christmas eve when a family in the branch invited us over and  gave us dinner and played games with us and surprised us with gifts. She had contacted me and Elder By bee's moms and asked if she could make our Christmas better and so my mom sent my favourite brownie recipe to her and she made them for me! I just started to tear up when they surprised us with the gifts and the brownies. It was such a spiritual experience for me! That family is the best, the mother had given me a book that she felt like giving me and it's amazing! I felt so special haha! And then we got some surprise gifts from other members in the branch. And then I got some amazing gifts from my family!! People were so kind to us during Christmas. We had like 3 dinners on Christmas! Haha the Harvey's made the best and biggest meal ever. They are so kind! They say hi by the way!! They have a missionary out on a mission right now in Mexico! 
I appreciate all of the thoughts, letters, and prayers people have given me during this Christmas season it means a ton! I was thinking a lot about family and friends and how grateful and blessed I am to have all of you guys supporting what I am doing! The service at church on Sunday was spectacular! Lots of musical numbers that touched me deeply about the Savior. I'm grateful for him and all that he has done for all of us. I can't believe that that was my last Christmas on my mission. The time is going by to fast. It really is. I can't believe it. 
Played some basketball with my favorite inv. Ebe. I didn't think I would make a best friend teaching the Gospel haha but I was proven wrong. Me and him are so tight and we have so much in common. He just needs to get baptised!!!
We have another solid inv. She is a media referral who requested a Book of Mormon. She's so solid, and I can't wait to start teaching her! She's going to get baptised for sure!!
My momma wants me to share an embarrassing moment I had on my mission... and I'll try and share it as simply as possible. Mom you can elaborate on it if you would like. But our car was really low on gas and so we pulled up to a gas station and I pulled the pump out and put into the slot and it wouldn't fit. But I was still able to put the liquid in the tank some how... so we started driving and then the car started stuttering and then it shut down. So we were in the car for about an hour trying to seek help in the freezing cold. Finally we were able to put it in the shop and it turned out that I had put diesel in the car.... lol and the next time one of my missionary friends had me share my experience with 50+ missionaries and our mission president and other church leaders and they all were laughing at me because of my mishap lol. And now... my nickname throughout the mission is Diesel hahha but it's all good though. It was just funny to see the mission president and his wife and a bunch of missionaries laugh at me and make fun of me and in a sarcastic way in front of everybody. Now I know there are a ton of ways that you can relate this to the gospel and I will leave it up to all of you guys but I was thinking that you need to take a step back and check/think twice before you do something stupid and think of the impact it could have on your life and others.
I'm grateful for everything that I have including the struggles and weaknesses because I couldn't progress and become a stronger person because of them. I'm grateful and know that the Savior lives and you would be surprised of how much the Savior knows you and how close he is to all of you. Throughout the Bible and the Book of Mormon there are many scriptures that talk about how the Savior's arms are always outstretched despite the stupid things we could be doing and the dumb choices we make. He doesn't give up, and neither should we. Don't lose hope! You keep going! Remember who you are and why you are here! Go out of your way and do something kind for someone! Make the most out of this holiday season! I love you and am forever grateful for all of you!! 
Forever and Always,
Elder Beddes, Diesel, Coco :)  

Best gift I got for Christmas hahhaa


Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25, 2016 Christmas

Dearest Colten,
I just love hearing about your missionary experiences! Missionary life seems both rewarding and challenging at the same time. I say this often, but please know that you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I know you are 'strong and of a good courage', but as a mother I think it's natural to worry about our children. You are a lot like me in the sense that we are 'sensitive souls', which has both pros and cons. We tend to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders at times and at other times, feel indescribable joy. I think there are times that we feel too much! So much so that it literally hurts. Being sensitive makes us want to make a difference, though. We want to influence others for the better. When I heard about the church's new slogan, 'Light The World', I loved it! I wanted to be a part of it! I knew from experience that small random acts of kindness could go a long way! I shared with you and the family and challenged each of you to participate... and so we began. Daily RAOK's (Random Acts Of Kindness) I learned really weren't that hard. In fact, my life seemed to revolve around my family and I quickly realized that we, as parents, are constantly doing RAOK's. I just needed to step up my game. I couldn't help but think of this quote by Dieter F Uchtdorf, "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” I wanted to feel this way, but I quickly became discouraged... I just wasn't into it. Where's my Christmas Spirit? What difference does it make? My head was in the right place, but my heart wasn't and I just wasn't feeling 'happiness' serving others. I mostly felt weary. My nightly prayers became longer as I pleaded with Heavenly Father to help me stay positive. I would fall asleep thinking of Mary, Joseph, and the 'Little Lord Jesus' in hopes of regaining that 'Christmas Spirit'. I continued to try and 'Light the World' by doing my part because I knew, recognized or not, in some simple way it would make a difference. Don't misunderstand, I still cared and wanted to share happiness, I just lost a bit of that happiness along the way. About a week before Christmas, out of the blue I was contacted by Sister Takahashi (from Canada) who said that she had a strong feeling that she needed to contact the moms of the missionaries and ask if there was anything she could do for us (for them) to make Christmas more meaningful and to make sure the missionaries felt loved and lifted. She also invited you to Christmas Eve dinner! What a wonderful person and example of what it means to be of service!  I loved that she took the time to reach out to us and it instantly put my mind at ease concerning you, my missionary son who I worry about constantly (I know, I need not worry!). I knew you would be taken care of over the holidays and it warmed my heart.  We asked her to make your favorite brownies and include one of your favorite quotes, 'My feelings are that I may be like clay in the hands of the potter or like a fiddle in the hands of the performer. I am not going to dictate God, but feel to say, Father play through me in a manner that shall be for the salvation of this people." -Heber C Kimball.

Christmas Eve night, Sister Takahashi sent me some wonderful pictures of my happy boy and his companion participating in her family traditions. The next day, Sister Harvey (also from Canada) invited you and Elder Bybee to be with her family on Christmas Day. My mind was at peace knowing that you were being taking care of and loved while away from home. People never cease to amaze me with their kindness and generosity! These two sisters simply loved and took care of my boy because they cared. It meant so much to us! Sister Takahashi  reached out to me later Christmas Day following another prompting, which touched my heart profoundly. I honestly feel it was an answer to a prayer. She said exactly what I needed to hear, "This Christmas I have been reminded that the Lord loves us and he is aware of us. Gods plan is the best plan and how cool is it that he trusts us to be a part of the work and lift and bless one another?" She then sent me a video of her playing the guitar and singing, 'As Sisters in Zion':

1. As sisters in Zion, we’ll all work together;
The blessings of God on our labors we’ll seek.
We’ll build up his kingdom with earnest endeavor;
We’ll comfort the weary and strengthen the weak.
2. The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.
3. How vast is our purpose, how broad is our mission,
If we but fulfill it in spirit and deed.
Oh, naught but the Spirit’s divinest tuition
Can give us the wisdom to truly succeed.

Oh, how I needed to hear this reminder! He trusts us to be a part of His work! How could I not find joy and happiness in serving others when I'm on the Lord's errand? I truly believe there are angels among us, as evident in Sister Takahashi. In my patriarchal blessing, I am told that I will bring happiness into the lives of others and to share and always be a good neighbor and that the Lord will lead me, guide me, and strengthen me in this endeavor. Sister Takahashi, with the Lord's promptings, was instrumental in doing this- giving me strength when I felt weary. She was being a good 'neighbor', an angel among us! I believe the errand of angels, to cheer and to bless, is given to us all. I especially see this when I think of my missionary son. How vast is your purpose and broad is your mission, Elder Beddes, but yet you fulfill it day in and day out in spirit and deed. What a great example you are to me! I truly believe that Heavenly Father IS aware of each of us. He wants us to be happy and will lead and guide us and help us succeed. I'm grateful Heavenly Father is aware of each of us. I am grateful for the angels in my life who strengthen and lift me and that I am blessed with opportunities in life to love and lift others. I want to make a difference. I want to be an angel. I love you more than anything, sweet boy. Keep up the good work! Go out and be an angel!
Forever and Always, Love,
From Sister Takahashi:
From Sister Harvey:

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016 The Boy Who Gives Us All Joy

Oh good you got my package!! That was fast! Just one of the families that were going to New York just took them down and sent them off!! Hope you like them! I didn't do as much this year... cause i'm poor lol so i'm sorry! Sounds like everybody is doing alright! Sports are still going, everybody is working hard in school and everybody is having fun it seems! And i loved the Christmas Picture that you sent!! I'm so excited for Christmas! It's my favorite time of the year for sure! We've been talking so much to people, it's been freezing too so it build character! It was like -15 the other day! Not fun! We get Christmas cards for the Christmas season and they are good ice breakers to contacting people on the street. We found a ton of potentials that are wanting to meet this week so we will see how they go! Found a new inv. he seems really cool! He's really receptive to the gospel and has a great love for his family. Loved teaching him the plan of salvation! 
Had the opportunity to watch some ysa open there mission call the other day! IT was so awesome!! It brought me back to when I was opening mine! Seems like yesterday honestly! It's pretty weird to think about life before the mission because it doesn't seem real. It honestly feels like it was a dream or something, I don't know what it is. I miss my son Elder Hafen! He got transferred out to a place kind of like Napanee! The zone doesn't feel the same with him not being there! He seems to be doing alright though! 
Elder Bybee is doing great as always! We have the most in depth conversations about the Gospel it's amazing! He is such a good guy and loves the Gospel with all of his heart. Learning a lot from the guy! I was thinking a ton about the person i've become on my mission and how much i've changed. I can honestly say that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has given me a much better perspective of life and my purpose. I know what matters in this life and I have a better understanding of The Plan of Salvation. Many people I talk to and even people I know take the Gospel and the church for granted. They think that the Gospel is important but they think that the things that they are doing right now regarding work, friends, partying, drugs, looking at porn, etc are more important and will give them more pleasure right then and there than reading The Book of Mormon for example. They don't look at the decisions that they are making in an eternal perspective. They use the Gospel as a back of plan or they go to God whenever they need something or are in a desperate need. That's not what it is for. Sorry i feel like i'm preaching right now lol but just know that this is the most important thing i have ever done in my opinion and I absolutely wouldn't trade it for anything in this world. Have a Merry Christmas all of you and remember the boy who gives us all Joy. 
Forever and Always,
Elder Beddes, Coco, Cocojo

P.S. we will be skyping at the harvey's probably around 2 or 3 over here. We will let you know for sure though! I can't wait to speak to you guys, it feels extremely weird that it's already the time to do that! haha      

I love this district so much!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 12, 2016 Power to Change

Wow it's been a great week!! We've been doing a lot of contacting at a university called Queens! Lots of nice students are over there! A lot of them are in a hurry getting to class and stuff like that but we were able to find 3 new and get 8 potentials!! So it's pretty sick! We've been meeting with probably my favorite investigator of all time, Ebe!! His real name is Ebenezer D!! He's from Quatar! He's been raised a Christian! And his best friend is a Mormon! He's part of worldwide group called Power to Change! A bunch of Queen's students are part of the group! And we've met a lot of them and they are so nice!! We've been talking about the fundaments and basics of the church with him!! And he came to church yesterday for all three hours and he loved it! We are already really good friends. We have so much in common it's creepy! I was meant to meet this guy! What else.. oh man we were invited by one of our investigators to one of there bible study classes... man what an experience.. in Elder Bybee's words, he says, "Tuesday we ran into this super down to earth guy who invited us over for a gospel study group on Friday.  We show up, everyone is super nice..apparently though, Friday is their sabbath day...kinda weird.  and on top of that, they start with a ton of singing and dancing.  halfway through this interesting show, we kind of realize that this is what they would consider to be church.  later on we find out they're a group of the religion "12 Tribes". We let the guy who invited us know that we had to leave early cuz we had another lesson.

So the weirdness continues, and then this old man stands up, and starts basically throwing down on us without looking at us.  Talking about how "Christianity has it wrong and people have been brainwashed by the religious institutions, blah blah blah".  we sit, listening politely, until the time comes that we have to go.

We stand up to leave, and he starts yelling at us, just ripping into us.  Elder Beddes starts smiling, cuz it's just so funny, as i grab our coats and we start putting them on, smiling at this guy.  He gets done yelling, and is like "NO, YOU GUYS TEACH US ABOUT GOD.  PLEASE, I'LL SIT DOWN."

I'm so done by now, and so I walk up and say, "alright, i'll share something."  and proceed to bear testimony of the Savior.  It was such a cool experience.  this preacher guy is all chapped, but people in the room are nodding their heads as i testify of the reality of the Savior.  We walk out the door into the cold, and this girl comes running outside, and says 
her: "Do you guys really believe that Jesus was Resurrected?"
us: "yes, yes we do:)"
her: "Do you guys believe in repentance?"
us: "yes, yes we do:)"
her: "I wanna learn more about your church"
us: "well, you came to the right place.  we'll be back next week, we'll set up something."
her: "i'd really like that."

And there you have it. It was pretty interesting. I felt like the Savior almost as we stood there getting yelled at by this guy telling us we aren't Christian and stuff in front of a lot of people. But because of Elder Bybee's short testimony we were able to have someone follow us out of the building and ask us those things!! Can't wait to meet with her!! It was an overall good week! Me and Elder Bybee are having a ton of fun! We were really nervous that we were going to get transferred but it turns out that we are staying another one!! Get to spend Christmas here! So excited!!! 
I can't wait to skype you guys!! It's already that time?? Man time flies!! I know my redeemer lives and loves me too!! He watches over us and knows our doings!! He knows what we are feeling, how we are doing, and the potential that we all have!!! He's cheering us on, and I bare witness of that! Love you all,
Elder Beddes, Coco, Jojo


This is one of my investigators!! Ebenezer D!! I love this guy so much! We are such good friends. One of those people where you know you weren't sent here for a reason and it was to me Ebe!! haha  


Monday, December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 Emails from Baptized and Re-Activated Members

Wow what a story!!! I really liked the story!! I'm going to print that off! Tell her i say hi! ok ok let's see.. the week wasn't the best, i'll be honest. we had a real eye opener this past week. We were really busy this week but we weren't as effective as we should have been! Each night we felt like we worked really hard but in reality not a lot happened! We could have been a lot more productive with our time! So it was a good evaluation between us!! We are going to work extremely hard this week to make up for it! We are excited!! Lots of miracles happened though! We were able to receive a ton of media referrals which is pretty rare to receive and we set appointments with them!!! So excited to meet these guys and start teaching them! The zone is struggling honestly... it's just a bump in the road though, it'll get better!!! We have another zone council this week to pump everybody up so it'll be good!!!  Me and Elder Bybee are having a blast together!! We are such good friends! We went on a ton of exchanges this week! They were really fun! Especially exchanges with the AP's learned a ton!!! Welll i gotta go sadly. Sorry about the short email!! But here are some of the things some of the people i baptized and some of the people i helped reactivate said!! 

Hi Elders,
We hope that you both are doing well and are safe.
We HAVE great and EXCITING news.
See pictures for further insight...hahahaha
We wanted you both to be the first ones to know. So maybe before Elder Herbert goes home we can meet up at the temple. JK
We also wanted to thank you both for all of your love and support and for the encouragement that you both shared with us through all the thick. We have been greatly blessed to have had you both in our lives and to have had the chance to get to know 2 of the most awesome, loving, supportive, encouraging young men that the Lord could have blessed us with.
We love and pray for you both daily. You are both keystones in our family and will always have a place in it.
Oh yes and one more little bit of info for you......Nikita said she is leaning more to serving a mission.
Isn't that awesome.
Everyone is doing well.
We will be emailing you on Christmas, so have a little look when you have a few minutes.
Again we love you both and miss you dearly.
Keep in touch with us even when you go home.

The J Family.

 Hey huni :-)  thing are going ok, i just got asked if i would like a calling and chris just passed his priesthood interveiw so he is getting that next weekend bishop is bumping him to office of the priest right away :-) ... mckena is doing well she has been going to young womens for about the past month or so she likes it so much better... other then that we have 2 missionaries going home this coming transfer... anyway we love u to and miss u very much...
Mel H.

Dear Elder Beddes,
So we were all figuring it has been a year since you first came to Stoney Creek. I thought in honour of that we would send you a little letter and a copy of Thomas' letter from last week. He seems to busy every p-day. He tells us he is short on time in every letter so we don't get much info each week. He seems really happy though and loving the people of Uruguay.
How are you? Are you loving serving with Elder Bybee?  We miss both of you so much. Kingston is good place though. It is where we first lived when we got married. We loved it there and would have stayed if employment would have allowed it. We had a great Stake conference this week. President and Sister Shields were there. They seem awesome. I spoke with them briefly just to tell them how great our elders are. Elder Baird was standing right next to me and told me later he was mad I didn't talk him up like I did Elder Herbert, MacDonald, Gomez and Hunter. Oh how we have missed Elder Baird!!!
Anyways I hope you are working hard and having success. Say hi to Elder Bybee for us. Andrew still wears his tie each week. We are having Elder Herbert and MacDonald over this week to say good-bye to Elder Herbert. Wish it was YOu! I will paste his letter at the end. Take care and enjoy your week. (I have attached a couple photos so you can see Andrew in the infamous BYBEE TIE, hope you can open them)


The H Family

Teaching an AP the art of making good macaroni and cheese lol

Making some cookies for the "Gators"

Eye of the tiger