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

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017 Indescribable Joy

Hey family and friends! The week was mighty fine! It went by really quick. I am getting pretty scared about the time flying faster and faster each week. I learned a lot this week! We went on exchanges with the AP's the other day, that was really fun! I went to Brampton with Elder Taylor. He's really cool, he plays baseball and basketball so we got along really well. We worked really hard and we saw a bunch of miracles. We were able to meet with two recently found investigators. The lessons were really good. Very spiritual. We were able to set two baptismal dates with people and able to run into a person who is a member and she hasn't been to church for 3 years and she wanted to give it a try again! It was really sweet! He's a great elder, taught me a lot and we had a lot of fun talking to some people. The exchange in Kingston seemed to go well to, they found some potentials and were able to have some really good lessons! 
Some good news!! Some one that I was teaching in Napanee just got baptized!!! I was so excited to hear about it! Blessings! We were able have some really good lessons with some people! Had some less actives come to church. The members are reaching out to them and fellow shipping which always makes a missionary happy. The Less actives say that they are even more willing to come to church since they felt welcomed! 
We were able to do some service for some people! Some nonmembers were asking some questions about the church which was fantastic, not interested as of right now but planting seeds is great. The zone did really well this week! We were able to find many investigators and bring many to church. I think it was our record breaker. We had what's called Zone Olympics, where we had some challenges regarding missionary work. For example: How many cookies can you hand out to members. How many times can you bring up the word baptism in your contacts with people. Invitations to church. Etc. It was really good! Having a hard time with meeting with our investigators but hopefully this week will be better. We'll be going to mission leadership council this week in Brampton so long drives again! 
Me and Elder Bybee are doing really well. Getting along great. I've been blessed to serve with him for three transfers, but it's gone by to fast. 
Short email today, and I'm sorry! I think a lot of my pondering moments and studies were regarding the plan of salvation. Oh how the plan brings me indescribable joy. It makes so much since to me. I can't wait to do the same thing I've been doing these past 18 months in the spirit world. I think it would be pretty cool to teach some of the people I've come in contact with on my mission. Maybe I'll convert Michael Jordan or someone like that. That would be pretty cool! haha Anyway I love you guys and hope you have a good week! Thank you for your prayers and your thoughts. I can feel encouragement everyday from you guys. I've got the best team to fight the good fight! 
Forever and Always,
Elder coco swaggy Beddes    

One of my favorite families- The Hobb's

Throw back to where it all began

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 21, 2017 Be Grateful for What's Already Happened

Hey family and friends! And i'm glad you liked the ties dad, Happy late Birthday! Well I'll be honest the week wasn't as good as we thought it would be! Still lots of things to be grateful for though! I'm having a great time with Elder Bybee. I can't believe the transfer is windin down, the time flies by. We only have three more weeks of this transfer and my prediction is I'm leaving Kingston sadly. :( I really don't want too. We've been doing a lot of finding. We don't have a lot of people in our teaching pool, so we are out and about a ton contacting and tracting. honestly we've been getting a lot of cold shoulders lately! I don't know if it's the season or our luck of the draw but it's taught me a lot. It can be extremely frustrating when you are out trying your best talking to people and getting rejected over and over and over again. I want our area to be a good role model for the other areas in our zone but it's been hard. 
So I took it to our Father in Heaven in prayer and he told me I need to be grateful for what's already happened so far. So I had a take a step back moment the other day about what me and Elder Bybee have done so far. We've gained the branches trust. The difference the first day we arrived to now is huge! We baptized Bryn!! We helped change a couple of people's lives in the branch! We reactivated Al and Joe! I've gained two best friends while serving here, Elder Bybee and Ebe. Helped motivate other missionaries in the zone. And who knows what else but I guess moral of what I'm trying to say here is that I felt a ton better in a bummy time. There's power behind the words count your many blessings. 
We can relate this to my trek experience a couple of years ago since my momma and sisters want to hear about it! Gotta be obedient. ;) So I remember looking pretty good in my pioneer outfit since dad let me use some of his swag clothes. I also remember practicing for the big trek hike, we would walk from a specific church to another in preparation. I remember taking a bus to where we were going. Got there and they put us into families and we were off with our treking group. We would take turns pushing or pulling the hand cart, and honestly it wasn't the funnest thing but it was good to have a good group that wanted to work hard. But there were some people that either wasn't working as hard or others were trying but were really struggling physically. It's a long walk and it can be hard at times with the heat and with grabbing a hand cart all day but it was really good experience for me. That may have sounded really intimating and it really wasn't. You guys are going to do fine and it's going to be really fun for you guys. You'll see others struggle and others not care. But try and make the most of every moment. Think of the pioneers and what they had to do. Holy holy it wasn't even close to what we did those couple of days. I remember receiving a couple of letters from mom and dad telling me how much they loved me. It helped a ton and it was great motivation. I read those letters last week and I had forgotten what they had said to me. But it was perfect for that exact time. Their words are precious to me.
Worked at martha table the other day. It's a food kitchen! People have been asking a lot of questions about the church! We've been having some really good lessons with Rich and Andrew who are probably our most solid investigators! Rich is sweet. He's retired from the military at the age of 40. He's so sweet, I love him. He's got a great personality and we click really well. He's been asking a ton of sincere questions. I can see this guy getting baptized. He just needs to get over a couple of concerns. Andrew accepted baptism! He has a couple of things he needs to do before he sets a date but he's doing awesome!! Joe is doing really well! Been coming to church every week! 
I love you guys so much! Have a good week ey?
Elder Beddes  

Our go to Thrift store! haha

Contacting at Queen's University

Elder Bybee

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017 (Handwritten Note)

How are you guys? I haven't written a letter for awhile and I thought it would be good to write right now since I'm stuck in the apartment cause of Elder Bybee being sick! It's pretty boring sitting in here and I wish I would be out doing stuff right now! Kingston is pretty fun. You get a wide variety of different people here! Rich, poor middle class, crazy, homeless, etc. Can't forget all of the college students too! We live pretty much on campus so we see a lot of students and its crazy to think that I'll be one of them in 6 months! Not excited at all. I've done a lot of contacting over here and you'd be surprised how nice they are! It's pretty fun!
I love Elder Bybee so much. I can't tell you how excited we were when we found out we were staying another transfer together. We've become best friends. It's funny to think that some of my companions know more about me then Chase or Jake do just because I'm with the 24/7! Elder B has come along way in life too. He's such a great example. He got into drugs his junior and senior year. It's amazing to hear some of the changes people have made in their lives. So many cool stories I've been able to listen to about people's conversion stories! The mission truly is a blessing. Man a ton of my mission buddies are home now! It's so sad to see them leave. 4/8 of my companions are already home and 2 of them are going home in a couple of weeks! It's crazy! I went to a meeting with 3 different zones and I didn't even know anybody!! I'm the old missionary now! The Sisters that came out with me into the mission are going home in a couple of weeks. That's completely strange. Doesn't seem real, time blows by quickly!  I better give it my all these next 6 months!
It's truly amazing to see so many miracles on your mission. To be a part of so many lives and even play a part or have an effect on people.  It's such a nice feeling! It's amazing to see why you were sent to certain areas on your mission as well. I love it!
It's good to hear that everybody is staying busy with school, work and sports! Lots and lots of sports lol! We are a athletic family that's for sure! You guys are going to be better than me at all the sports! I often wonder what the home would be like with me not being there. Is it different? I feel bad that Dad is the only male in the house! What was it like for you guys the first couple of months of me being gone? Do you guys anxiously await my weekly emails every Monday or has it become just a normal thing?
Thank you fo your letters to me. I always love reading them. It's always a nice feeling coming home from a days work and being able to relax and read your families letter! I loved reading the one about how you guys met and the proposal! Thank you for sharing that with me! I never really knew. I really like the pictures of your two at Rick's, I look at them often. So many people have told me that I look a lot like you Dad!
Elder Moffat, well now it's Kyle, one of my mission buddies just got engaged. And get this, he is engaged to a sister missionary that served here at the same time, Sister Osman. She's the one that wanted her harmonica back haha! They got engaged 3 months of being home!! Too quick? I don't know, probably! But that's pretty crazy! The wedding is May 7th, so I won't be there sadly! There are like 3 or 4 different RM couple's that are engaged that served here!
Our zone is pretty good. It's not the same with Elder Vargus gone. I love that guy so much! We have a sister here that is from Farmington! Jill Hess. 3 Farmington missionaries! We have lots of young missionaries in the zone that are still adjusting to mission life! But it's a good zone! I think Kingston and Sudbury are the smallest zones in the mission.
Well, I'm running out of things to say lol. Or I just don't know what to talk about. Maybe you guys could ask me some questions next time and that would help a ton! I'm grateful for you all! Each one of you has taught me so much! I'm grateful for the family home evenings we would have. The random family trips we would take! Going to Costco, to the movies, going out for frosties! I always took these experiences for granted, now I'm more grateful than ever. Sisters, know how blessed you are to be in this family. The more and more I'm out here serving the more and more I realize how celestial our family is. I love you Maleah, Brooke, and Amber. Holy cow, I'm tearing up again writing this! Keep going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying~ It's so so, so important. Keep being examples to everybody and stay strong!  I'm your biggest fan. Mom and Dad, can't thank you enough for what you do for me and the fam! You two are my greatest inspirations! Love, Coco

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017 Once You Shoot the Ball...

Hey family and friends!! How's it going? My week was pretty good! Sickness is spreading and I've had a pretty bad cold these past couple of days and now Elder Bybee has it and he's been out of it today! haha I'm doing really well though! Having fun and working hard! I gave two blessings this past week to those who are pretty sick! They are feeling better, gotta love the power of the Priesthood!! We received a media referral the other day of a guy who was wanting a Book of Mormon so we have an appointment with him tomorrow, so i'm excited to see what happens!! We had a sweet lesson with an investigator that was searching on Kijiji for a new church! Me and the AP taught him the Restoration about four weeks ago and then family sickness happened and they ended up going to the Hospital! It's pretty crazy! But we taught him the Plan of Salvation this time and he loved it! He had a lot of great questions and really wants to know if what we are talking about is true. So he said that he was going to pray about it! Didn't come to church sadly! :( But hopefully next time! 
Volunteered at Martha's table! That's always a good time talking to people that come in! Prepping food! We had zone conference the other day! Drove three hours to Oshawa to go to this meeting! We had to give an instruction! So of course we related it to basketball. IT was pretty fun though, there was like 50 missionaries and the mission president and we all went into the basketball gym. Elder Bybee started instructing and then i  came running in and shot a three pointer at the buzzer and missed... pretty embarrassing. Then we like six missionaries come up including President Shields and they all took turns shooting it. We related it to missionary work and how once we shoot the ball it's really out of our reach. Leave it up to God on what happens and the amount of success you have! You can be faithful and obedient and do all of the preparation to be a successful missionary but whether or not the person you talk to on the street accepts the message or not is completely up to them! It was really fun, President loved it and kept quoting it in his meeting! haha Lots and lots of snow is falling now! We had like 2 feet yesterday! And it's supposed to fall tomorrow too! It's pretty crazy! Well that's really all that I have right now! I love you guys so much!!!
Forever and Always,
Elder Beddes, Coco, Beds

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017 Now, I'm Preachin

Well.... it literally feels like I was typing a weekly email yesterday! I think God is speeding up time, anybody else feel like that? I've learned a lot this week. I would say the biggest reason why was the leadership meeting we had in Toronto. The good old 9 hour meetings we have every month! Can I say that it is extremely hard for me to sit in a seat for 9 hours?? Holy cow.... I just can't do it! I don't know how they expect me to!! It was a really good meeting though. I lot of it was based off of the worldwide missionary broadcast. There is a new schedule change for missionaries if you haven't already heard. Lunch was reduced to half an hour, pday is extended 2 hours (hallelujah), key indicators have changed dramatically, daily planning is now in the morning instead of at night, and really the morning are a lot more flexible as missionaries. Agency was a big part of the new schedule change. They are allowing missionaries to have more agency when it comes to the schedule and so I thought that was smart because it gets us more ready for life after the mission.
Another big part of it was the sacrament and how we as missionaries "progress to our next ordinance." I thought that was really neat. Are we progressing towards the sacrament on Sunday or is it just a one day thing? If we can have a better experience with the sacrament then we can teach our investigators more effectively as we share our experiences with them and as they see the Lord's face in our countenance. It was great! As Zone leaders, you are expected to share what was taught in that 9 hour meeting to your zones in just 3 hours! It was a good experience, it's pretty fun instructing with Elder Bybee, we make a great team but we owe it all to the Holy Ghost, our senior companion.
Honestly not a lot has changed this week. It was a slower week. I benefited greatly from this week so i'm not thinking it was a failure of a week. We had some great lessons with some of our investigators that we are working with! We were able to see a couple of new less actives and a couple of them went to church yesterday which really makes me happy! We talked to a lot of crazy people on the streets. Kingston downtown is pretty nuts. hahaha we were talking to this guy who belonged to the church "dark". This guy had to be on drugs... the only way I could describe him is relating it to the guy who sells eagle eggs off of Nacho Libre. He reminded me so much of this dude hahaha! He believed that Robocops were going to take over the world. Oh man it's always good times having experiences like that! 
I'm grateful for the sacrament! I'm grateful for the Gospel! I know it can help anybody in this world for it is the only true way to lastly happiness! I know the church that has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith is the only true church on the face of the earth. How do I know? Well I wanted to know, I asked, I experienced, and now I'm preachin. 
Love you all!
Forever and Always,
Elder Beddes, Coco, Beds 

Feb 6, 2017 Letter From Brooke

This is what Brookie sent me! Isn't that so nice? 

"Colten, when you're going about trying to talk to people, and people refuse you, what's something that you see in common with all those people? Do you see that there all stubborn and unhappy? For me Colten, there's a difference between "depressed" and "unhappy". Colten sometimes I get unhappy because I've had certain trials in my life that have brought me down, but there's something that I've realized through all my trials, that I've always had a hard time thinking about and actually believing but while I read a scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
This scripture Colten, has helped me so much. And I'll be honest, for me whenever I hear somebody say "oh this scripture has changed my life" I always find it cheesy and unbelievable, but reading through my patriarchal blessing it said something about how reading my scriptures will give me the joy and happiness that I need. And this scripture is telling me that even though I've had some pretty tough trials that have brought me down, that I can handle the trials and that God gives us these trials for a reason, although hard to see right now but I'll see it in the future. Colten I just wanted to share this scripture with you because I feel that this is a scripture that can apply to so many lives and even "change someone's life" and you know it's hard to see that it will from this perspective, but coming from someone that truly needed this scripture and was almost kind of mad at God because of the trials that he's given me. You know that God gives us trials so that he can test our faith in him, and I've discovered that God may give his toughest trials to those he think really need it and because he knows that this trial will show them that relying in God in all things is what you need to do. And reading through all your Emails and reading through the investigators that you've taught has shown that a person that has strayed away from God can come back to God, and those who do, realize that the choice that they've made is truly the right one.
Colten I really do think what you are doing is truly inspiring and I've seen missionaries change lives and you know growing up in Mississippi i remember dad always driving around the missionaries and always going with them to do blessings, I always thought that missionaries were just the coolest guys and whenever I see one walking around, I always think of you and how you are taking the place being a missionary, you know the people that I've always looked up to, and I really am not just saying this, but you really are inspiring! And I think that you are the coolest brother ever ;) and it's amazing that you are serving a mission, you know the thing that you've been working your way up to your whole life and i remember even as a kid you saying that you are going to go on a mission! I know you and other missionaries out there are changing lives out there and you guys are miracle workers
Love ya coltey boy, coco, coco jo":