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, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017 They Were Right. It's the Best 2 Years!

A common question I get asked in Canada is, "What has been the coldest day on your mission?" Or something that has to do with the winter. Well, I've been in -40 Celsius up in Sudbury and that was very cold, But we still went out Contacting! Snow banks would reach up to 10 ft on each side of the road. I've never seen so much snow ever in my life! 

There was one night in the bitter cold of winter when we were out talking to people when a big blizzard hit us. We couldn't make it home. So we hopped on some polar bears to give us a ride to the nearest igloo where we cold spend the night! hahaha that was bizarre.

Heat wise it gets pretty hot. The thing is though is that it gets humid hot and that sucks real bad. Constant sweating and damp clothing when your doing missionary work outside. There was a time where we biked for 2 months everywhere in the middle of summer! That sucked really bad but it taught me a lot and we talked to more people and people saw us and the name tag!

One thing that I will never forget is the amount of harshness I received as a missionary. Every missionary knows it'll happen but it's quite surprising what happens. I've been flipped off many times, cussed at over and over again, mooned, spat at, pushed (not punched, though that would have been sweet), made fun of, and so on! I loved it though! It was very worth it to me. It gave me a taste of what Christ and his apostles had to go through. Something interesting that I want to put in here, is that I never felt intimidated or scared. Or even headed when stuff like that happened. Even in the scariest of nights with creepiest people. I felt safe and protected. God, Guardian Angels, Ancestors, the Spirit maybe all of those were with me I think! 

Something that will be a weird adjustment for me when I get home is not being stared at and being talked about all of the time! You'd be surprised how much attention two guys in a white shirt and tie with a black tag bring. We're always being watched and talked about. That's why it's important to be your best self and to represent Christ cause the amount of attention missionaries get is a ton! 

What else have I learned on my mission? Missionaries love there p days. Absolutely love them. Not time is wasted on p days cause it's sacred haha. Missionaries love their ties. It describes them and their personalities. Many tie trades on the mission! Missionaries love it when you ask them what they want for dinner. Love dessert too! They love it when you refer to them as Elder or Sister so and so. There's something in a name that makes you feel loved and cared about. We're not as perfect as your think, though we constantly strive to be. We love it when people are engaged in the work. When you give them referells or share a missionary experience. Always good to know we have teammates! We love letters and packages! Yeah that give you a little better taste. There's much more you can as me about later.

Canada! Poutine is pretty big here. I love it! So many different kinds it's amazing. People for the most part are nice! I I honestly can't compare though. The work "Eh" isn't used as much as you think. Missionaries just abuse it cause it's fun! You really don't get the Canadian accents at all unless your more North. We say washroom instead of restroom. They say some words differently. For example the word progress. They pronounce the "pro" instead of how we do it "pra". We say sorry they say surry. haha it's pretty funny! There tuks or tooks instead of beenies or hats! "Pahsta"instead of "posta". If that makes sense. Canadians love Tim Hortons and their coffee. Pie is huge here and maple syrup... I carry maple syrup everywhere now just like Buddy the elf. Just kidding I don't do that.

My mission has taught me so much about following the spirit. There have been so many instances that wouldn't have otherwise happened if it weren't for the Holy Ghost. Such as being prompted to tract an certain street and there find a golden investigator. Or sharing the right scripture just at the right time for someone in need of it. Knocking on a less active families house who was in need of a blessing dud to no one have the priesthood power in the home. There have been many times when I would literally just open my mouth and words would flow beautifully out and I had know thought put into to it before hand. There is so much more that happened by simply listening and being worth to receive and hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The absence of the Holy Ghost is like a basketball team with no art form or chemistry due to not having a coach to lead and guide his or hers basketball team. 

Missionaries receive a ton of training on there mission. I've done the math and we go to about 152 missionaries training meetings. We get about 730 hours of personal study time and another 730 hrs of companionship study time. Plus other personal training time which is about another 84 hours. So we get about 1832 hours of training in just meetings and studies alone and that's not including MTC time! That's amazing! I'm so grateful for the knowledge I obtained all those hours! I'm grateful for the Spirit as well that I felt and also learned from and taught me what was needed for the people I taught!

I want to thank those that read my blog and who emailed me. I want you to know that I think about my family (extended as well) and friends often and thank those that supported me one way or another. Thank you for letter and emails and packages I received! And I apologize if I had not reached out and expressed my gratitude to you personally but please know I was extremely grateful for it at the time! You guys are the best! 

Well I feel like I'm all over the place in the email. Plus there is only so much you can share about a two year mission. I'm sure a lot of you are going to be asking a lot of other questions that haven't been answered. So I'll be looking forward to that! I'm going to share a quick simple testimony of my mission and of the Gospel. My mission has been the highlight of my life! No doubt. It's been the scariest, happiest, saddest, and hardest time of my life. Words can't describe how much I've changed and how much the mission means to me. I've learned so much from my experience here in Canada. I've learned that God's hand is in his work and we're only the instruments. I know that Jesus Christ performed the Holy Atonement for us because he loves us perfectly and wants to see us and spend time with us again. The Gospel is true, no one can persuade me otherwise. Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and I'm grateful for the sacrifices he made for the truth. The Plan of Salvation is true and is my favorite to talk about to people! 

It's going to a very emotional couple of days I can tell you that right now! I'm going to miss the mission so much! It's been hard to say goodbye to some of my favorite families here let alone everybody else in the mission! I can't wait to see you guys when I get home!!!! It's crazy to think about! 

I thank God for the best two years of my life! 

I'll continue to fight the good fight even when I'm home! 

Hooorahh Hoorrahhhh hooooorrrraaaaaaahhhhhhhh for Israel!!! 

Forever and Always, 

Elder Beddes soon to be Colten

"The last service project at my house..they come for breakfast and by 2 they have to go to help another family and later they have dinner at 6 with another members ...they are been busy...tomorrow they coming to have dinner at my place..send you more picture tomorrow." -Sister Cepeda

 
 
 
 
 
P-Day
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 24, 2017 Why I Served a Mission

I never fully understood why missionaries were so happy amongst rejection and being away from family and friends. In the bitter cold or humid heat. Why they were happy even though they looked like they had nothing remotely to like. Why they were alright with waking up at 6:30 am and working until 9:30 pm? So many things that would have some of the brightest and most knowledgeable people on this earth questioning and even laughing at them. But now I get it. I believe the secret lies in the scripture Mark 8:35. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall  lose his life for my sake and the Gospels, the same shall save it." Or even find it!

It's selfless service, selfless love, Discipleship, simply turning outward instead of Inward that keeps even the most exhausted missionary driven to do the Lord's work. President Hinckley's Father spoke the truth  when he wrote to Pres. Hinckley on his mission, "Forget yourself and go to work." I've found the greatest happiness I've ever felt from just forgetting myself and caring for those I come in contact with. But with that comes disappointment and heartache that produce even the saddest tears. Seeing those I want the best for and love so much come so close to receiving some of God's greatest blessings. Motivation always seemed to fill me though as I remember my Savior who never gave up. Loving parents who taught me to look up and to keep going when disappointment comes my way. Sports coaches, General Authorities, Best friends, the world's greatest missionaries cheering and encouraging me to get up when I fall, and to keep pressing forward.

Iv'e had 11 companions and served in 8 areas. With those 11 comps and in those areas came an unwavering testimony, the most knowledge and intelligence I've ever received, and a changed heart. I fully understand my place and purpose in this life now that it had to do with Christ's words "Feed my Sheep" and "Cry Repentance." Seeing people become better acquainted with Christ and tasting of his goodness has brought me great Joy. Whether it be seeing someone pray for the first time, someone understanding a principle of the Gospel, someone entering into the waters of baptism, or helping someone go to the temple all made it worth it for me.  

I've taught athletes, lesbians, Ex gang members, Hell's Angels, prostitutes, people from so many different diversities, atheist, satan worshipers, etc. Iv'e taught old and young, rich and poor, the wise and the unwise. I've seen it all! I've learned so much from these people that I will never forget! Crazy stories and experiences were obtained these past 2 years. From companions lighting fireworks in our study offices to getting accused in front of a bunch of members of a religious group called the 12 tribes! Drunk and very high people trying their very best to hold a conversation with you, to challenging missionaries to food competitions that end up throwing up in public! Or even strange people or strange events happening right before your eyes that you thought would only happen on TV or something. I knew from Day 1 on my mission when a random hobo, who only knew a lick of English, stopped us on the road and tried to get into our car multiple times that it was going to be a adventurous and interesting mission! And I was right!

I've gained a strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He sure did go through a lot for this church. He still gets accused and laughed at today. There is so much Anti and so much hatred that I've seen towards God's only true and living church. Many people trying to tear down it's members, tear down the Book of Mormon, doing whatever it takes to make one believe that it's a hoax or a fraud. That it was made up and that Mormons are delusional and so on. If so much ridicule and hate towards this church from so many people isn't a sign of it's truthfulness, I don't know what is! Satan himself knows it's true and he's doing his best to convince people not to believe. But God's church will Prevail! It will continue to grow! God is on our side and with him there is always victory! 

The scriptures are the word of God and that includes D&C and the Book of Mormon. Answers to so many questions can be found in the scriptures. I know it for myself! One more thing before I end the email. One great and huge benefit of going on a mission that I had not realized before coming out, was the amount of true friends I would receive. Eternity long friends. I only truly had a couple before coming out but now I have many. Friends I can count on and trust of which are companions, families and individuals I've met in different area of my mission, church leaders, and other missionaries friends. For those of you reading this know who you are and I thank you with all my heart! I thank everybody for there support and encouragement. It's helped a great deal and has even saved me at times from breaking down or giving up. So thank you! 
This email will be continued next week which will be my very last pday! There's to much to talk email about the mission. 

Info about this week: Elder Kaku is really cool! Kind of a weird transition, really it always is when getting a new companion! But he's a good guy! He is from Ghana and Nigeria! His dad was a mission president in Nigeria so that's pretty cool! We've been able to see a lot of less actives. The ward has a 15 names list that focus on those that need help so that has been really helpful! Some hard core service for some new people in the ward. Cutting down branches and trees and putting into the chipper.. it was pretty hard but it was good. He appreciated it! Got some people inviting us over for dinner that never have for a very long time! So that's always nice! Bishop even invited us over for dinner! We are getting places here! I've really enjoyed Owen sound. It's a great place! 

Well my fingers hurt.. haha I can't wait to see you guys! I love you all!
Just a reminder to not send any letters and packages from now on cause they will just disappear forever! 
8 days
Forever and Always,
Coco 

"My daughter plays violin..and it is my daughter's violin...a gift from her brother when she turn 15..he always told us that he wasn't good at it..but we found out on Saturday that he play really good.. They are coming tomorrow for dinner..we are going to take them to eat beaver tails and maybe for pizza later." -Sister Cepeda





Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 Grandpa Colten Beddes

I'm jealous that you guys are in Myanmar!! I've always wanted to go on that humanitarian trip you guys go on every year! Looks really fun! Hope you guys are safe and having fun and making an impact! Those pictures are awesome! I liked the one with all of the missionaries in it and I agree that dad would make a great mission president. I envision that he would be a lot like Pres. Shields. They would get a long great. You would make a good companion to the mission president too momma! Lots of meetings though! Well, people keep calling me grandpa beddes for how old I am in the mission. People keep reminding me of how much time I have left. You really can't escape from it on your mission! Despite the constant reminders it still doesn't feel real to me. I don't think it will until i get on that airplane. 

 The week was a good one. Been seeing some less active people that love our visits. It's nice to see that people want us over instead of us being a burden. Makes them happy which in turn makes me happy. They came to church too along with the two kids that aren't baptized. It's great that they are making the decision themselves to come to church at such a young age. district meetings are going well. I think the missionaries in my district really enjoy my district meetings. I try and make them not boring haha. We talked about journaling. I was inspired by Grandma Beddes's weekly letter about journaling and I thought it would be cool to have a district meeting about it and plus I needed it too! I'm doing ok with writing in my journal but I know I can write more spiritual things that's for sure. Believe or not but some of the missionaries haven't even written in them for over six months! So it was a good refresher. After district meetings, we all go to Chinese food afterward. Made that a tradition in the district. And then we went to this cool ice cream place that sells a bunch of different flavors of ice creams. I got blue berry and mango. Then some of the elders and I got broccoli and cheese. We all tried it and it was so disgusting. People who worth there probably thought we were such idiots! haha We've had a lot of with the Orangeville elders. Great Elders! We do a lot of things together! We went hiking last pday through some caves and that was fun. Some people got injured but all is well! 

We talked yesterday in Church! It was great, people seemed to love it! I based my talk on Dad's dodgeball talk he gave awhile ago! People loved it and I loved how he tied it into the gospel! I'm more grateful for the Atonement now and understand a lot more! So thanks Dad! If any of you want to learn more about it talk to my dad about it. He'll explain it to you. I just don't have time right now cause we have to get ready for transfers. Me and Elder Roundy are staying together for another two weeks but we will be getting another elder!! His name is Elder Kockoo? Or something like that. I've met him and seems like a great elder! His Grandpa is a 70 apparently so that's really cool! Going to the temple with all of the elders and sisters that are going home! I'm pretty excited to go! I love the temple so much! Thanks for all of the great emails everybody and I can't wait to see you in two weeks as well! I have the greatest supporters of all time! 

Love you forever and always,
Elder Beddes

It was pouring rain so i decided to take a bath since my clothes were soaked haha



world's largest duck! 

Hiking and elder roundy stitching himself haha



Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017 Remember Whose Side You Are On!

Hey guys!

It was a good week! Time is flying by and I don't like it. Momma said there is 23 days left and I was like what the? I was going through all of my mail (which is a ton and thank you everybody who has written me) and I read some letters in the mtc from family and I felt so blessed to have such great support! It's surreal to think that those letters were written two years ago. Felt like  yesterday I had just read them. Time seemed to have paused for a couple of years and will resume when I get home. But I know that things have changed and it'll be weird!

Found 2 new this week! They are from a part member family! They are two awesome kids that love church! They are wanting to be baptized as well! So that's good news! 

Been working with some less actives that have been progressing! They are feeling a lot more happy too! I can see it! It's awesome to see! 

Went on exchanges with the zone leaders. They are great Elders. I went with Elder Mcdonald. He's the elder I went with last time I had to go to the hospital for 8 hours. He was hoping we wouldn't have to do that again! haha so was I! But we found a couple of people from India who were actually looking for a church. And they want to bring 5 of there friends too! haha so that would be sweet if they all showed up to church! 

We were playing with the ram again. And I fell over and got rammed in the side of my hip so that was sweet. No i'm not hurt but it was a little scary! haha i have it on video and will send it tonight! 
We got a couple of referells from other people as well who want to meet with us! So it's been awesome seeing all of these miracles! I love the mission. Full of them! 

The members are doing great! They are cool! Some member had us come up and recite D&C 4 in front of everybody unexpected. I remembered most of it! I'm grateful we said it a ton growing up in church! 
I can't think of anything else really. I was try and think of some things during the week to bring up in my weekly and then I forget. It's frustrating! 
I love you guys! I will see you soon! Here's a quote I love. 
"I have good news for you. The armies of God are larger than the armies of Lucifer. You may look around and think to yourself, “The world is becoming more and more wicked. Satan must be winning the war.” Don’t be fooled. The truth is, we outnumber the enemy. Remember, two-thirds of God’s children chose the Father’s plan. Brothers and sisters, make sure you are fighting on the Lord’s side. Make sure you are carrying the sword of the Spirit."
—Larry R. Lawrence
Remember whose side you are on! Love you
Forever and Always,
Elder Beddes, Coco

"I took the boys to an Amish house...here some pictures.. The Amish doesn't like the picture to be taking..but sometimes they let me do it..she is a very good friend of the family..then we went to another place and we got pies made by the Amish..and also fresh products ..have a great week./..he almost home 🙂" Sister Cepeda
 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017 Happy Canada Day and God Bless America

Heyo!

What's up everybody!? How's it going? How am I doing? Oh thanks for asking, I'm doing well! I don't have much to share this week to be honest. It was a slow week. One of those weeks where you kind of just grind through. A lot of things didn't work our way but I'm beginning to really appreciate those days a lot more just because I have the knowledge now that it'll be better. 

We had interviews with Pres. and Sis. Shields the other day. It's always nice to see them. They are always nice and willing to help in anyway! They talked about home and the future which was really weird for me. Still doesn't feel real that I'm going home! We then went to a burrito place afterwards and I got the biggest burrito there and swear it was like 5 pounds and I finished it! I feel so accomplished. I honestly don't even know how I'm not fat. Elder Roundy sees how much I eat at each meal and just wonders how I'm not overweight and I don't have an answer for it. World's many mysteries. 

Canada Day was the other day! We didn't do much celebration but it was a pretty good day. I'm grateful for Canada, it's a great place! I'm grateful to be here on my mission! We went to the Dunning's house. He's an ex marine and a great guy who takes care of some little kiddos. He made us some pulled pork and some homemade ice cream. Strawberrely ice cream to be exact and it was delicious!

The other day there was this bump on a dirt road... well it was more like a ramp than a bump haha! And we were going pretty fast cough cough and we got some major air. "Like I probably got 3 feet of air that time."-Napolean Dynamite. It scared us to death but we landed it and nothing happened to the car whatsoever! Pheww! Then exactly a minute after that there was a porcupine in the road and I slammed on the breaks but couldn't make it in time and we just see the car go right over it. Didn't hit at all but it shot some of it's needles at the car! It was intense!

Well I can't think of anything else really! I love my mission very much! I try not to think about going home and taking my name tag off cause it brings tears to my eyes. Every time I see a video of missionaries walking down the street or something I get emotional thinking I only have a little bit of time left. I honestly have loved it so much, it's been more than what I ever expected it to be. It's been the hardest, funnest, funniest, happiest, saddest, frustrating, and most rewarding time of my life! 

"You only get one chance to serve a mission; it is your responsibility, your duty, to use it to its fullest; to give every last ounce of energy until you collapse in exhaustion at the end of it. All the hardships, all the tears, all the hard work will be looked back upon as the best thing you've ever done, not because you enjoyed it, not because you baptized everyone, but because you gave it everything you had, even when you didn't think you could, and especially when you didn't want to. Live you mission to your fullest, work harder than you've ever worked before. Let people know that this is the most important thing in the world to you... If you do not run until you have nothing left to give, and then keep on going anyway; cry and pray and work and sweat and plead until you are so drained that all you can do is turn to the Lord; if you don't do this, then these people will not come to this joy because of you -- their failure to come to Christ will be partially upon your head. Come out of your mission proud of what you've done, and this experience will bless the rest of your life." -Elder Jeffery R. Holland'

This quote has helped me so much on my mission. One of my favorites for sure! 

 And happy 4th of July! God bless America! My home and Native Land! I'm grateful for the freedom we have in America and for all of the people that have died for America and for me! God bless them and their families

Love you guys so much!!

Elder Beddes

"We Celebrated Canada by helping a family with the grass....it was fun...just us and the missionaries ...Just a little note...Monday it is a Holiday here in Canada..the boys are having PD on Tuesday..." -Sister Cepeda
 
 

"Hi..we took the boys to eat beaver tails...and later the come to my house to help us with the strawberries...they eat a lot ..I hope they don't get a belly pain .." Sis Cepeda
 
 
 
 From Sis Jones: