Monday, December 6, 2010

Dec 6: Come to Church

Sam's email from Dec 6:

"Dear Family,

As always thank you so much for the emails that you have sent. I am sorry that Dads cancer levels went up, but i have a good feeling about this nanoo technology, so i think everything will be okay.

This week has been a pretty good week for my companion and I. We worked our butts off and the Lord blessed us. We were able to find some sweet new people that we were able to get to come to church. We found an awesome family named the Ks. We first taught the father " Brother L" first and then we were able to get the family to join us the very next lesson.He is a very sweet guy that is a Taxi driver. We first taught him all about Jesus Christ and what he needs to do to follow him. Then we taught him about Joseph Smith and I don't think he really understood, but we could tell the spirit was there. We invited the whole family to church and they all said they would come. On Sunday though the only one to show up was brother L. Which didn't really surprise me because that is usually how it happens here in Ghana. The father will come first and then the family will follow later. So I am really hoping that next week we will be able to get the whole family to come to church. After church i was talking with brother L, he asked me a bunch of questions and he told me he really loved church. The questions he asked were all about what home teaching and things like that was.

Another great thing that happened to us is Sister G brought her family to church which i was so happy about. She brought her son J. and her daughter Ge. Early in the week Sister G and Ge were fighting really bad, but when they were at church it was like the were best friends. Gs Baptism is coming up next week and i am really excited. This lady has made a complete 180. She had a challenge with several commandments that she was able to overcome. She is so ready to be Baptized and i am so excited. I am praying like crazy that nothing bad is going to happen before that day.

Also we contacted a man named S a couple of weeks ago. He told us that he had been to the church several times in a different place in Ghana called Takradi. He had been taught by missionaries before us, so he already knew a lot. As we teach him i can tell he has a testimony. We were talking with him about baptism with him the other day and we invited him to be baptized, but he said he wasn't sure about it. So we invited him to pray about it and we went back the very next day. He said that God answered his prayer and told him that we were leading him in the right direction. So we again invited him to be baptized, but again he said no. I don't know why he is hesitant to make this step, i think it might be some hidden concern or something. We were able to get him to come to church this week and i really hope that helped him. We are going to go and see him on Tuesday and hopefully church did help.

I am learning on mission that getting someone to come to church is a huge tool. When we get people to come to church they feel the spirit that is there and it can be very powerful. The other day i interviewed a man for Baptism. And just before the interview started the man said to me " elder Beck i just want to say, that if i answer any question wrong, to please just teach me and i will learn. I may not know everything, but please i know this is where i am supposed to be. Every time i come here i feel so happy inside and i know it is true." i stopped him and said "don't worry you have already passed" It was cool to be a part of that.

The last person i want to talk to you about is J. J is very ready to be baptized.On Sunday he walked into church with his tithing envelope, ready to give it to the bishop. After his baptismal interview, the zone leader told me that J is very powerful and very ready. His Baptism is going to come on, on Saturday. We are going to try very hard to get his family to come to his baptism. Hopefully that will spark something with them. We have been trying to teach his wife, but she always makes an excuse when we come around.

My companion is doing a lot better this week. When he first got with me, we would go out and contact and he would have the hard time talking to people, but by the end of this week he was going up and contacting people like a champion.

That is about it for me this week. I am doing really good. My area is doing better everyday. I a super excited to talk to you all on Christmas. I hope you have a great week. I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely Elder Beck"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nov 29: Juice Boxes and Champions

Sam's email from Nov 29:

"Dear Family,

This week i got a brand new companion right out of the MTC, his name is elder Macualay, he comes from Nigeria. He is a pretty nice guy that seems to be pretty excited about the work. The first morning he was with me, he woke up at 5am in the morning, turned the light on and said "good morning Elder Beck!" I was not exactly excited about waking up at 5am, so that day i took him out and worked him as hard as i knew how. The next morning he woke up at 6:30. lol. But i like him for the most part, he is a cool guy, and i think we will get along. I am going to miss Elder Jones though, he has left me to be in an all African Apartment.There is me and elder Macaulay, Elder Kargbo from Seria Leon, and elder Maloni from Zimbabwe. They are all pretty cool guys, so i think all will be okay.

I feel like our area is starting to improve. Sister G is now helping us talk to her family, She has 2 children named G and J. G is about 20 years old and has come to church with sister G before, she had a good experience at church, we have given her a book of Mormon and are going back to talk to her more about it tonight. J. is a young boy that is about 14, we haven't been able to talk to him much, but we are hoping this week, we will change that.

We are teaching a man named brother J that is a way sweet guy. He is a very poor man that really has to struggle every day to just get enough money for his family to eat. He is coming to be baptized on the 11th of December and the other day he asked about tithing. When he asked that question my heart dropped because i didn't want to teach him about tithing because of his situation, but i realized we had probably procrastinated long enough and needed to teach him about it. So we went ahead and taught him about it and taught him all the amazing blessings that comes with it. On Sunday he came to church and it amazed me when he asked if he could have a tithe envelope to pay his tithing. I went ahead and got him a tithe envelope as fast as i could. I couldn't believe a man that was struggling so much to get his family even food would come and ask to pay his tithing. Brother J is a way awesome guy that i truly hope the lord will bless very much because of great faith. I was wondering if i was in the situation he was in if i could also pay my tithing.

Last week i think i told you about a guy named R that we are teaching. R really wants to be baptized, but has a bad addiction to Alcohol and smoke. He told us he didnt come to church last week because he had to work. So this week we taught him and made him a calendar that will help him stop drinking and smoking small small. When Sunday came around he called and told us he couldn't come because he didn't feel right going to church as a sinner. I tried to talk to him, but it was hard on to teach him on the phone. So this week we are going to try and talk to him about why we go to church and how church is not for the righteous, but to help the sinners.

One of our recent converts named Is. told us something really cool the other day. Now i dont know if i told you, but Is. used to go out and drink with his friends a lot. So then other day his friends came and where pressuring him to go with them to the bar. They were giving him a lot of trouble, so finally he said okay fine "i will go." So he got there and all his friends bought beers and he bought a juice box and told his friends his was much better than there's. It was cool to see Is. being tested like that, but still standing up strong. I gave Is. one of my white shirts and ties. He wore it on Sunday and looked like a champion.

My mission is going by very fast and i have a feeling that before i know it, i will be back at home with you guys. I am glad that everyone enjoyed thanksgiving. I have to be completely honest, i forgot all about thanksgiving. I mean i was thankful and everything, but i didn't even realize it was thanks giving on that day. Because i am in an all African apartment, so i really didn't have anyone to remind me that it was happening. Well i guess i will tell you what i am thankful for. I am thankful for the awesome family i have and all the awesome emails i get from them. I love you all very much. I am praying for Dad and that his cancer is going to be smaller. Have a great week.

Sincerely Elder Samuel Beck"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Also, Some Photos

Here are some photos from Elder Jones of our Sammy boy. Thanks Elder Jones :)

Nov 22: African Stake Conference

Sam's email from Nov 22:

"Dearest Family,

Well i guess i will start my Email off by answering the 2 very important questions that mom asked. First Question -Did i get and letters? Why yes i did get letters, i got a bunch of them from people in the ward, they were awesome, please thank everyone for me. Second Question-Did i get any packages? No, but i am sure i will get some very soon.

On Tuesday i got a call from president asking me to train again. I was pretty surprised to get that call because there are only 3 new missionaries coming into the mission. They are from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia. I don't know which one i want to get, but i will find out who i got on Wednesday. At first i was i wasnt too excited because training is somehow hard, especially when its someone from outside of Ghana. If they are not from Ghana, you have to help them get good food they can eat and just introduce them to things like that. As i have continued to think on it though i thought about how cool it is to train and now i am pretty excited. So next week i will let you know how everything went down.

Also this week we contacted a super sweet guy named R, we sat down with him and for some reason we started talking to him all about baptism. He told us he had never been baptized and we jumped at that opportunity and invited him to be baptized, he said yes right away and sounded very excited. We talked to him a little more and then left. The next day we came back and he told us some pretty crazy stuff. He told us he has been addicted to drugs for the last 13 years and has been trying to quit. He also told us that he hasn't been sleeping very well at all for the last like 6 months, but he said the night we came and saw him he was able to sleep for most of the night. He told us that he is excited to be baptized and is so happy he met us. It was actually a way awesome experience. He wasn't able to come to church this Sunday, but we are going to see him tomorrow and i hope it goes well. R is a way sweet guy and i am happy we decided to keep contacting that day.

Another cool thing that happened is we had an all Africa stake conference. Elder Dallin H Oaks gave a awesome talk. He said some really bold things that truly needed to be said. he said that bride price was an evil tradition that needed to be stopped. For a second i thought a lot of the members were going to get offended, but it was cool to see them sustain him as he talked. He said some other thing that the people really needed to hear. I hope the African people will listen to the council. During the talk i was sitting next to one of our investigators named J. Through the whole talk i kept looking over at J and i was surprised to see him nodding his head in so much agreement. J has only been to church 2 times, but it sounds like he knows the truth when he hears it.

As for everything else i am dong great. I am truly loving my mission so much. I remember this time last year i was so homesick, but for some reason i was able to stay, and for that i am so happy. I would never trade the experiences i have had here away for any thing. Thank you all so much for the awesome emails. I hope you have an awesome week.

Sincerely, Elder Beck"

Nov 15: White People Day and Uncle Mike

Sam's email from Nov. 15:

"Dear Family,
This week was pretty awesome.

One of the things that made the week so awesome is that we went to the Temple. The Temple is like the best place to be on mission. When they let us go to the temple is seriously feels like i am back at home again. Every time i go I learn something new that i never expected. After my mission is over i am going to go to the temple all the time.

Also i got to see a ton of white people this week. First a got to see my uncle mike! i got a call from him on Tuesday and he said he was going to try and come out and see me. I was very happy to talk to him and i waited the whole day to see him, and no uncle mike. Then uncle mike called me again the next day telling me again that he would be coming out to see me. I said okay , but was thinking it might be too good to be true. To my surprise he called me and said he was at our church. So we went to the church and i got to talk to my uncle mike. He had an old Idaho accent which was something i haven't heard in a long time. He sounded like he was really enjoying being in Ghana. After uncle mike i had the wonderful opportunity to go out to lunch with a young white couple that somehow knew Elder Jones back home. That day was pretty cool. Years from now i will tell my children about that day and i will tell them it was white people day.

We have been teaching a women named sister I for a while now. She has been coming to church the last couple of weeks and she had a Baptismal Date for the 27th of this month. The other day i woke up and I just came into my mind. I started talking to Elder Jones about her and we both came to the conclusion that her baptismal date should be moved up. I don't know why this Idea came into my mind, but the more i thought about it the more i thought it needed to be so. So that day we went and talked to I and told her that we really felt she was ready to baptized. When we first told her she agreed and thought she she also be baptized sooner. So the next day we had one of the zone leaders come out and interview her. I think the interview scared her because when we went back that night she sounded very nervous and told us that she wasn't sure if she was ready. We sat there for a while and we all came to the conclusion that Irene needed to pray. We told her to pray and ask God if it was right. So right there she said a prayer. As she was praying i was praying inside for god to please answer her prayer. The prayer she said was powerful, i could tell from her voice that she really wanted to know. At the end of the prayer we asked her how she felt and she said i will be baptized. We asked her again how she felt again because i really didn't want her to just be baptized to make my companion and I happy. She said she was worried about it, but now she is not. We said okay and finished the lesson up some more and went on our way. As we were walking after the lesson it just hit me that that was the answer to her prayer. Just the small peace that she felt about it. God will always answer our prayers, but we just need to be listening. I think a lot of times we don't recognize the answer that God gives us. Well i dont wanna be too preachy, but to continue with the story I was baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday and she was very happy about. I don't know why we decided to move her baptism , but i am glad we did.

On Saturday we also had another man named I baptized. I don't know if i have told you about I, but he is a awesome guy. Is is one of the humblest people i have ever met in my life. As we taught him i could just feel that he knew what were telling him was true. the whole time we taught him, he never doubted anything we said. He was also very ready to be baptized and i am so glad i had the chance to be a part of that.

Today was also pretty cool we got up early and went to a place called Makola Market. It was sweet we missed traffic and we were able to get in and out really fast. I bought a couple of ties and some jerseys from the world cup. The jerseys here are way cheep.

As for everything else i am doing great. Transfers are coming up next week, but i am almost positive i will stay. I hope that elder Jones will also stay it would be sweet to be with him on Christmas. Thankyou for all the emails. I love you guys a ton.

Elder Beck"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov 8: Not Exactly Spaghetti

Sam's email from Nov. 8:

"Dear Family

This week was awesome. Elder Jones and I have been working really hard. I am very happy this week because i got some news about Cantonments, all of my recent converts there are doing really good. They were able to baptize all the people that elder Madamombe and I were teaching before i left. And they were able to get Brother A confirmed! I really miss Cantonments and I am happy it is doing so well.

We are teaching a man named brother E, he is an older man with white hair. We have been teaching him for about 4 weeks now. He used to be a Muslim, but he slowly became a Christian. That is a really good thing for us because right now we are not really allowed to teach Muslims unless we get permission from president for like a special case or something. And since brother E is a Christian we have complete permission to teach him. We have been going to teach him and he understands everything really well. Each time we leave we will leave him a pamphlet to read. The thing that suprizes me about brother E is he goes into the pamphelts very deep. Which is something i am not completely used to because most Ghanaians don't keep the commitments we give them to read the pamphlets. But anyways he reads very deep into each point the pamphlet makes and then when we come he asks us a ton of questions. Somehow we are usually able to answer all his questions.( i think because heavenly father helped) We got him to come to church this week and watch conference. I am pretty sure that he is going to have plenty of questions as we go back to see him this week. I really love teaching brother E because he has such a strong desire to know the truth. The other day we went to see him and he said something i really loved. He said " you are telling me that there is only one truth on the earth, and i want to know if you have the truth." We he said that it was really cool because you could just feel the desire he had from his voice. I really hope as we continue to teach brother E we will be able to help him find the truth.

Elder Jones has been trying to cook lately. And sometimes his meals turn out to be very delicious, but sometime not so much. The other night he made me laugh very hard. We were walking home and he said to me "elder beck I think to night i am gonna make spaghetti" I asked him if he was sure he could do it, he said "yeah its not as hard as you think" Later that night I heard screams from the kitchen screaming about spaghetti. The problem is Elder Jones will ask more for advice on cooking but i don't really know anything about cooking, but still i give him the advice anyways. That night my advice turned out to be the worst thing he could have done in cooking and his spaghetti turned out to not exactly be spaghetti. Then last night we had another funny experience.I wanted to eat something called Japadees Now i don't know how to make Japadees, but elder Jones does. So I convinced elder Jones to make them. He said all i had to do was find some flour for him to use. So i went around in the kitchen and under the sink i found a bag of some white stuff. I took it to elder Jones and told him it was flour. So he took it and went and started using it to make the Japadees. I went in the other room and i kept hearing Elder Jones say "elder Beck are you sure this is flour?" and to be honest i really thought it was flour, so i told him again it was flour. About 30 minutes later i heard elder Jones, and i went into the kitchen and elder Jones said " I think something is the matter with this flour. Its not working." He had tried to cook it but it just broke into pieces. Just as this is happening Elder Maloni walked into the room and said " hey what are you doing to my corn Mill" It was pretty funny, and it made me laugh very hard.

As for everything Else i am doing great. I am really enjoying being on mission. Thankyou so much for all the Emails. I love you. Have a awesome week."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nov 1: Matahecko

Sam's email from Nov 1:

"Dear Family,
Thank you so much for the emails. They were completely awesome. Mom thankyou for washing the Boat i am very proud of of you. I know that is is not easy at all. Dad i am very happy to hear that your cancer Markers have gone back down. Its good to hear that you guys enjoyed your Halloween. I was curious to know if it was going to be big this year.

As for me things are going pretty well. Right now we are teaching a way sweet lady named sister G. We contacted sister G one of the first days i was in Mataheko. She is an older women that sells rice on the side of the road. We have been teaching her for a while and it has been really cool to see her progress in the gospel. At first we invited her to come to church and she told us that she doesn't go to church because all the people she sees go to church are Hypocrites. We continued to teach and slowly but surely she has had a change of heart. We talked with her a lot about baptism. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. After she accepted she starting asking a ton of questions about the commandments. She asked us if it was bad to drink alcohol, even a little? we of course told her yes and explained why. Then she said " well i guess that means i need to stop drinking, my daughter will be happy i learned this, because she hates it when i drink" The she told us about how her and her daughter always fight when she drinks. I thought it was really cool that the gospel just has a way of changing peoples lives. It just makes them realize the little things that they can do to make there lives better. I remember when i was with elder Madamombe, people used to always ask us if the church would help them. They we really asking if the church would give them money to start a business. I never know what to tell those people, but when i became companions with elder Madamombe he used to always say the church will help you to help your self. And now that i think about it , that is very true. The gospel is now helping Sister G to help her self.

Mom you asked a question about V, the fastest man in Ghana. His baptism was coming up, and his work called him to go away so i haven't really heard from him. But Elder Madamombe told me he is back in town and they are planning to go and teach him this week. So i hope very much that they will be able to help him out. I miss going to see all the people in Burma camp.

I am enjoying being here in Matahecko. The only hard thing about this area is that the people are not very open to letting us teach them. In Cantonments i could just go up and see some people pounding FoFo and join in and they would almost always let us teach them, but here in Matahecko i am among the Gaa people. (Gaa is a tribe in Ghana, like twi, but not twi) The Gaa are nice people, but they are not as open as you would think to letting us teach them. So right now we dont have a lot of people to teach, but now we are trying to work more with the members and hopefully that will get us some more people to teach. I think that will be easier than contacting all day. But then again working with members is not as easy as you would think. I will let you know what happens.

As for everything else i am doing good. Elder Jones and I are enjoying being together. I am glad that everyone is doing good. Well thank you again for all the emails i love you all a ton.

Sincerley Elder Beck"

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sam's email from Oct 25:

"Dear Family,

Thank you for your amazing Emails. I am very glad that everyone is doing well back home. Please continue to take care of your guys health.

Yes it is very true that now i am past a year. It actually doesnt feel like i have been out that long. The 23rd of October was a pretty awesome day. It started off with an awesome baptism. We Baptized a women named E and her niece named F. I really wasn't the one that taught them, but it was still cool to be there. Both these people have been waiting a long time to be Baptized but were having to wait because of a few problems. After the Awesome Baptism Elder Jones and i went to a way nice American type restaurant called ZuZu and i got a delicious cheeseburger with fries. It was very nice and enjoyable. After the delicious meal i went out and proselyted the rest of the day. At the end day i decided to go and get a hair cut. WE saw a nice hair cutting place and went up. There was a Rasta guy working there and i asked him if he knew how to cut white man hair. He responded" i got no ****ing problem, I can cut your hair if you ****ing want." I decided maybe a hair cut isn't such a good idea today. I didnt do anything like burn a shirt or something, just that knowing i have been a missionary for 1 year was good enough for me. I actually did save some real live American water that i bought in the airport before i left that i was planning to drink at my one year, but sadly i forgot. I think i will drink it today.

That day we went and taught a man named J. It was Saturday and we really wanted J to come to church the next day. We sat down to teach him and even before we could ask him he said to us "i hope you know i am coming to church tomorrow." We were like "um yeah" We had a great lesson with him and left him thinking for sure we would being seeing him the next day. So the next morning we got up and even called J to see if he remembered. On the phone he sounded very excited and told us he would be at church. We went to church and 8 o clock rolled around and no J, the 8:15 rolled around and no J, and then pretty soon church was completely over and still no J. After Church was over we tried to call him, but we didn't get an answer. We were unable to go and see him, but were planning to go and see him Tuesday to see what the problem was. The reason i tell you this story is because i really thought he was going to come. If i was a gambling man, i would have put money on this guy coming to church. Well i hope there was no serious problem, and i truly hope that we can get him to church this up and coming Sunday. I will be sure to let you know what happens.

The week was also pretty good. We are teaching a woman named I. She is a very nice lady. We invited her to church last week and she came and brought her Neice and Nephew. They all enjoyed church very much. Her nephew A, said that he would never go to any other church again. This week we were going to teach her and both my companion and I really felt like we should extend her a baptismal Date. I was really nervous about it though. When we arrived i started to feel very nervous about it, but i still felt strongly that we should do it. So we sat down and read in 2 Nephi 31 and talked about baptism. As we taught her we asked her if she would be Baptized. And it was amazing when she accepted. I was so happy and after the experience i was thinking about it, i really feel like the spirit was telling us we need to extend that date. And i am so glad we did.

As for everything else i am doing great. My mission is half way over and it feels like it is moving too fast. Mataheko is going good. I am really getting used to it. The missionaries before me really didn't have that many investigators, so elder Jones and I spent almost the whole week finding. I think our Area will start to grow as we continue to work hard. I love you all. And i hope you have a awesome week.See you in 1 year!

Sincerley Elder BECK"

Oct 18

Sam's email from Oct 18:

Dear Family

Thank you again for the wonderful/awesome emails. I cant believe it is already Halloween again. I remember just before i left we all went to buzzy farms together to but pumpkins. That was a lot of fun listen to that Spanish guy sing also.

As for me i have had a pretty action packed week. Monday night i got a call from president smith telling me that i was going to be transfered to Mataheko on wednesday. So i went around on Tuesday and said goodbye to everyone. I was kind of mad i was being transfered because on Friday we were planning to baptize a women named sister B and her daughter A. I found out later that the Baptism went great, which made me happy.

Well anyways on Wednesday i said my goodbyes to Elder Madamombe and went to Mataheko. I got a new companion named Elder Jones from Orem, Utah. He is a really nice guy. Mataheko is a place that is right next to Kaneshie which i think you saw on amanzing race. When i arrived in Mataheko the other missionaries in our apartment was an elder named Elder Kargbo from Sierra Leone and a ward missionary named Brother Addo from a place called Latabicorshi in Ghana. On Friday though brother Addo got sent home because he was sick. So elder Kargbo got to come and join my companion and I and we all together made a threesome. It was a little tough being in a threesome, but we were able to manage. A new missionary from Ethiopia was homesick and went home so we were lucky to get a missionary from Zimbabwe to come and be in out district. His name is elder Maloni and he showed up today, he will be Elder Kargbos companion for the next transfer. Mataheko is a pretty cool area. It is not as nice as my old area,but i think i will still enjoy it. The hard thing about Mataheko is that my companion and i will go about and contact a ton of people and make Appointments to see them the next day. Each person will always give us a time to come, but then when we come they are never there. Its a little frustrating, but i think eventually ill get used to it.

We got a few cool investigators here though. One is a pretty cool guy named I. He washes cars for a living. The missionaries before me have been teaching him for a while. I can allready tell he has a strong testimony. He is preparing to be baptized on the 13th of november. The first time i sat down with him i asked him why he wanted to be Baptized. He kind of got quiet and told us that he has done some things in the past that he really regrets. When he told us that i could really see that he was feeling bad about the things that he had done. I thought for a second that he was going to start crying. It really made me think about Enos in the Book of Mormon and how bad he felt about the things he had done and how he felt those sins go away when he repented. We left enos for I to read in the book of mormon and i am really excited to go back and talk about with him.

Well that is about it for me. I am glad that everyone is doing well back home. Also thank-you for sending the awesome packages. I ate everything but the Bacon, i am saving that. Thank you for all you do. I hope you have an awesome week. I love you all so much.

Love Elder beck"

Oct 11

Sam's email from Oct 11:

"Dear Family,

Thankyou as always for your emails. That sounds pretty crazy that johnny ran in the Portland marathon. What place did he end up getting any ways? And i think that is awesome that Joey received the the priesthood. I wish i would have understood the priesthood a little better when i was his age. So Joey i hope you realize the true honor in being able to hold Gods power.

My week went pretty good, we were able to go and see brother A this week. We found out the reason he didnt come to his confirmation was because somebody was trying to steal his land where he is planning to retire. So he said he had no choice, but to travel out there and to try and claim is land back. I guess that is a okay reason, but i still think receiving the holy ghost is more important.So we got everything cleared up and he promised us he would be at church very early on the 17th to receive the holy ghost.

Also this week My companion and I were doing a lot of contacting. We contacted this man named E and talked with him about Faith. He told us that he is a smoker, but he really wants to stop. We talked with him about baptism after that and we actually gave him a baptismal Date for the 13th of November. It was one of the first times i have tried to give someone a baptismal date the first time i teach them and i honestly i was so surprised to see him accept it. The next day i got a call from him reminding me that he would be coming to church on Sunday. We saw him a couple times during the week, but almost everyday from the time we gave him a baptismal date he called to let us know he was preparing. It was pretty cool so see how committed he was. On Sunday we were on our way to church and we got a call from E. He told us that he was at the front of the church, but he wanted us to come out and get him. I tried to tell him that we were not there yet so he should just go inside. But his voice started to get nervous and he told us he didn't want to enter with out us. I again told him to just go inside and we would be there very soon. He took a deep breath and said "Okay" and hung up the phone. When we got there he was sitting inside waiting for us with a big smile on his face. Church was a little bit different than normal, because we were watching general conference, but i think he really enjoyed it. I am really happy we contacted E. When we first met him i would have never expected him to be a person who was so ready to receive the gospel. it really made me realize that the Lord has his hand in things. He is preparing people and it is my job to find to find those people where ever they may be.

Also I really enjoyed conference. Its really cool to see how much you learn by listening to the prophet and his apostles speak. This conference was a little bit different that the other conferences i have seen before. When president Monson spoke i felt like some things just really hit me, and the weird thing about it was he wasn't even talking about those things. It was a pretty cool experience and i am glad i got to watch.

Transfers are coming up this week. I think i will probably stay, but you never know, so i guess i am just gonna have to wait and see and maybe i will be emailing you from a different place next week.

Thats Really cool that you got to see the amazing race in Kaneshee. I have been there on splits and for a couple other things before. Maybe you can try and save it so i an watch it when i get home.

Please continue to keep me up dated on all that's going on. I love you all so much. I hope you have a awesome week. Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely Elder Beck

P.S.- Don't let jenny go on any Dates. She shouldn't be going on dates or picnics until she is married."

Oct 4

Sam's email from Oct 4:

"Dear family,

Thank you so much for the Emails as always. Joey i hope you had a awesome birthday. I am glad you enjoyed conference. We didnt get to watch it, but we will get to watch 2 sessions next week in church. And as for the question about hottness, yes it is always hot here...always.

For the most part i had a good week. A ended up being a little stressful but good for the most part. After i finished emailing you last week I got to go and play basketball at the stake center with some of my recent converts and their friends. It was so awesome to go and play, but i realized it had been a long time since i have done some serious physical activity because the next day i woke up and i thought i was going to die because of my soreness. It has been a long time since my legs have been that tight. The next couple of days were pretty tough to be riding a bike, but it went away.

On Friday i got to go and visit a women named Sister B that we have been teaching. She wanted very badly to make us some FuFu. So she had us sit down and she brought elder Madamombe and I 2 amazingly hug plates of FuFu and some Palm Nut soup. We blessed it then i dipped my hand in side the soup to start eating. My hand was burned, not by the heat, but by the amount of pepper in side the soup. Now you have to realize it is very rude to not eat all your food in Ghana, very rude. So i have learned to always finish my plate. I realized very quickly that this particular plate of FuFu was going to be a challenge. So i got started quickly and i made it about halfway and i stopped to rest. I had tears running down my face because it was so hot. Now a lesser man would have quit, but i pressed on. I kept working and i made it with just a little bit left in the bowl and i just couldn't take another bite. My companion helped me out a little and we were able to get both our plates clean for the most part. And i will tell you pepper is hotter coming out than going in. And that all i will say. I was pretty proud of myself when we left that day. So proud i thought it was important to tell you about the experience.

The hard part of the week was we were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday at 9 o clock, but that morning no water came at all. So we couldn't have the baptism. I had to call and tell our candidate (brother A) to wait until we figured things out. We finally found out there was water in a place in Accra called in New town. The new town ward was going to have their baptism at 5 oclock, but because we already had members at the church i thought we should try and get ours done now. So i call brother A and i find out he is on his way to now on his way to a different place in Accra called Tema because he thought there was going to be no baptism. In the midst of all this President Smith shows up at our church to attend our baptism. He told me "elder Beck get that man baptized." So i listened to the council of my mission president and did everything i could to get brother A to the church. We finally go it planned out that we would join The New town Baptism at 5 o clock. We went and it turned out to be an awesome baptism. I think brother A really enjoyed it. The only problem was Brother A didn't show up at church the next day to be confirmed. We were not able to contact him and he wasn't home after church when we tried to go and see him. So we don't exactly understand what happened. It is a little stressful not having him confirmed though. We are going there on Tuesday and hopefully we an find out what the problem was. That was the tough part of my week, everything else went well.

You remember how last week i told you that a missionary has gone home every transfer since i have been on mission except this one. Well i think i shouldn't have said that because one missionary went home because he was sick. I hope very much that the next transfer is clean. Knock on wood. For everything else i am doing good. I am really enjoying my mission, it seems like it is just speeded up everyday. I am glad to hear that dad is still doing good and i am anxious to hear about the cancer spots. Thank you for everything. Have a great week. I love you all a ton

Sincerley Elder Beck!"

Sep 27

Sam's email on Sep 27:

"Dear Family,

Well i was a little surprised to hear that the cats are going to have babies. How the heck did that happen? And by the way, how is Lucy doing? She better not be dead? And i guess i have to is Patches? The dogs here remind me a lot of patches, they are wild and they always get in fights with each other so half of there hair is always falling off. So Patches if wants to, she can take joy in the fact that i think of her often.

As for me i am doing very well. We were able to have the Baptism for the D's. We were even able to get the Mother and A ( One of the other brothers) to come to the baptism. I think the baptism touched A because the next day A came to church. This Family is way awesome, I hope that the mother will one day soften her heart to hear about the church. We have tried to teach her, but every time we talk about the Book of Mormon she just shuts her ears and Doesn't listen to anything we have to say. It frustrates me a little at times, but were going to keep working with her.

Besides that not much really happened this week. Elder Madamombe and I are getting along really well and we are working very hard. Transfers are coming up here pretty soon, and i am really curious to see if i stay or i go. I hope i stay because our Area is doing well. Speaking of Transfers this might be the first Transfer I see where no missionary gets sent home early. Every single Transfer I have been on mission at least one missionary either quits or breaks a rule and gets sent home.

I hope everything is going well at home. Has jenny gotten into a wreck yet or is she still doing good. She is probably a better driver than i am, i have not driven a car in 11 months. Oh yeah and mom about the packages they were all awesome i got the Doredos the other day. The only problem with the packages is that i can not control myself. I just end up eating everything in a couple of days. So i would really love it if you could just send 1 every once in a while. I would truly love that very much. Thankyou so much for sending them.

Well that is about it for me. Thank you all so much for the emails. I love you all so much. Have a awesome week.

Sincerely Elder SAm Beck

P.S. Mal i hope you find your cat i will keep an eye out for her. And about eating Cat, i am going to have to plead the 5th."

Sep 20

Sam's email from Sep 20:

"Dear Family,

I am sorry about my way short email last week, we were way busy and we just ran out of time. Thanks for your Emails this week though. Oh and also thank-you so much for the packages. I got a lot of stuff. I think i got 3 flat rate envelopes and 1 big box, and i heard i had another big box at the mission home. The office elders are beging me to tell you to not send boxes, because they are very hard to get from the post office and they are expensive. So thankyou so mush for sending the food, i am loving everything about it, i hope it can make it to the end of the

As for me i am really enjoying my mission. We are gonna have a baptism this week. We are finally gonna Baptize the D family i have been telling you about. Not all the whole family, but E, K and C. I am so excited for this baptism, i know i have said this before but these are my favorite people. The lessons with them have been soo crazy, but so spiritual at the same time. I will tell you more about them next week.

We are also teaching a guy named V. V is awesome, he is basically the fastest man in Ghana. He is a track star for Ghana and runs the 100 and 200 meters. He travels all the time to go to big training things and track meets in other country's. So its been hard getting time to teach him, but a couple of weeks ago we invited him to church and he came. At the end of church he came up and told me he was convinced. I really wanted to go and teach him, but he had to travel to Nigeria for a big track meet and training for a couple of weeks. He came back and called me to come and see him. We went and had the most amazing lesson with him. We talked about him praying to know and then baptism. He told us that when he prayed the words " god thank-you for helping me find the true church" just came out and the he knew it was true. We then talked with him about baptism, he wanted to be baptized tomorrow, but we told him he has to come to church 4 times before he can be baptized. So we commit-ed him to the 16th because i knew he would have a lot of stuff going on. Before the lesson he told us he had to travel to Kumassi to do something. After the lesson we told him it was okay if he went to Kumassi, because he has 5 Sundays before his baptism. He looked up at us and said "No! i need to be at church on Sunday! I will find a way." Sure enough he walked into church wearing a spinner belt buckle Sunday morning. It was awesome to see him. I am so excited to be able to help this man enter into Gods kingdom.

Also this week has been particularly tough on elder Madamombe because we have been out of gas and not able to cook. No you have to understand elder Madamombe, he eats 2 times a day one time in the morning right when he wakes up and one time in the evening right before he goes to bed. And he loves to eat! Everytime he eats he makes a ton of food and eats every crum. Since we have not had gas it has thrown off his eating schedule. He is forced to buy bread and have that with water, it was pretty funny to see his face. He would always say "Guys we need to get gas, this is too bad." We have gotten gas this morning so i think he is way excited to go home and eat. I have really learned to like Elder Madamombe, we are getting a long very well.

Well thats about it for me this week. Thank you again for the packages and the emails. And i want you to have a awesome week. Thankyou
Elder Sam Beck

P.S.- thankyou also for the letters....i will write back very soon"

Sep 13

Sam's email from Sep 13:

"Dear Family,

I am really sorry i do not have much today. The power was off all day and it just came on. So i am gonna try and write this email as fast as i can. Thank-you for the awesome amazing Emails. I am way happy that jenny past her drivers test, and i am way happy i am not in Vancouver because i don't wanna die with her on the am just joking, i know jenny is a fantastic driver. I am also way happy that Dads cancer markers are still going down every time i hear news like that my heart jumps.

I guess i will tell you about my week real quick. We were very lucky to have another baptism. We baptized two sisters, Ones named S and ones name A. They are both real cool. Their Father is a member and there mother was a Catholic. They used to always go to church with there mother, and the mother wouldn't let them ever come or visit the church, but a few months ago the mother died. And the daughters after some time came and and visited the church. After church that day we went to visit them. A told me she was touched by how she felt and she wanted to be a member. Now its kind of a long story, but after teaching them for some time they were both baptized. I have become good friends with both these girls and i was so happy to be able to baptize them.

I am really sorry,but i am about out of time. I love you all so much. I want you to have a great week.

Love Elder Samuel Beck

P.S. - I promise to write a super long email next week"

Sep 6

Sam's email from Sep 6:

"Dear Family,

Thank you as always for the emails. I cant believe everyone is all ready going back to school. It seems like just yesterday that you got out of school. I am also excited to hear about jenny getting her license. The 10th is gonna be a big day for her. Oh yeah, joey, play the defensive line, that one is way more fun.

As for me, my week has been pretty long. Remember how i told you that almost half of my area is a place called Burma Camp. Which is a basically a big military base where all the Ghanaian soldiers and their families stay. Well the week started out going pretty well like normal. It was Tuesday, we were in Burma Camp walking with one of our investigators (S) when all of the sudden a man in a car comes up to us and starts freaking out on us. He is very mad because we are foreigners. He was telling us we could not be in Burma Camp. S told us the man has no right to make us leave. So the man took off in his car. We continued our day like nothing happened, but when it came time to leave Burma Camp we were stopped at the front gate. They talked to us for a long time and basically told us we could not come back to Burma Camp until we get permission from the Ministry of Defense. Which is basically a bunch of bulsh because there are foreigners living inside of Burma camp. I mean we are teaching a Liberian women there. Well that night i called president smith and he told me he would work on getting us to go back in, but for the mean time we should stay away from there. I told him we would , but the only hard part about that is that basically all the people we are teaching live inside Burma camp. We have 8 very serious investigators that we are hoping to baptize in the camp. So not going there hurts us very much.

So we went on with our week, and as i talked with members that live there i found out the best thing to do is to have my mission president write a letter that is asking for permission for us to proselyte in Burma Camp and take it to a place called DPR (department of Public Relations). I called and told president and he said he would write a letter for us. Friday night we got the letter but the DPR place is closed on the weekends. So we had to wait until today to take the letter. So we got up this morning hurried and finished our washing and the ran off to take the letter to Burma Camp (DPR). I asked a member that is a soldier named brother M to go with us so he could make us look good. We got through the gate like nothing happened and we went to DPR. When we got there they told us that we have every right to be there. Basically a Member of the military Police didn't like us or something and was making trouble for us. I have been told now that if we get any more trouble from any one i should just call brother M to come and tell the we have permission to be there. Basically it was all a lot of work for nothing. That was the bad part of my week.

The good part of my week was that we got to have a baptism. We baptized S on Saturday. I was a little nervous about the whole thing because we were not able to see him because of the Burma Camp thing. Despite my worries the Baptism turned out to be great. S is an awesome guy that is now in Gods Kingdom. We actually contacted S the 2nd day I was in Cantoments. It took us a while to get him to come to church, but when he finaly came he was there to stay. I remember when we asked him if he would be Baptized. He looked down for a long time and i just kept thinking in my head "oh no oh no hes gonna say no," but he looked up with a smile and said " yes ill do it" S is way awesome he talks to people about the church at his work and they always ask him a bunch of questions that he cant answer, so when ever we come to visit it him he always has a list of questions that he needs answers for. I know S is going to be a very strong member of the church, and bring many of his friends with him.

I am excited that i now have permission to go back into Burma Camp. I don't know why but the people there are ready to hear the gospel more than anyone else in our area.

I love you all so much, have a awesome week. You are the best family ever.

Elder Beck"

Aug 30

Sam's email from Aug 30:

"Dear Family,

I know I know i say this every week but thank you for your emails. It sounds like everything is going good. I am happy to hear that Dads cancer Levels are going down. I am also excited to hear that jenny might get her license. I think she is now closer than she has ever been and very excited to hear that Joe bro might be playing football. Mom i hope your ulcer goes away, i cant imagine how much pain that is. Mallory thank you for making everyone write me letters. Oh yeah and thanks mom for sending those packages, but just curios how many did you send?

As for me i am doing pretty good. Do you remember the lady i told you about named sister M. She is a liberian women came to church last Sunday for her first time. On Tuesday we went to her house to teach her. Before we could even start the lesson she told us how good she felt when she came. We then immediately asked her where she thought that feeling was coming from. She said she felt like is was god telling her where she needed to be. We were like "yeah we think so too." She then told us that she has to go to her church one last time this week because she is the choir leader or something and that it would be rude to leave right away. With hesitancy we said okay okay. I am really excited to go and see her this week. We have just taught her about the book of Mormon and i really want to see how she feels about it.

I am having a hard time trying to remember who i have told you about. We are teaching this man named A. When we first met him he was an alcoholic. We talked to him about why it would be important for him to stop drinking. He told He can quit anytime. At the moment i really believed him. Him and his family have been coming to church. We made a calender for him to quit drinking. We told him everyday he doesn't drink he should put an X through the day. It had been about 2 weeks and he had put an X through every day. So we were very happy with how he was doing. We taught him Saturday night and right after we finished the lesson his wife made us stay for some Fofo. A Disipeared, so i asked his wife (This is one of the nicest women that i have ever met that takes care of everything because A Drinks too much) She said to me "A dah drink, My body dah bad" Which basically means in pigion that albert went to drink and she is not happy about it at all. I was amazed that this man really just finished talking with us about not drinking and went to drink. After that lesson i was a little discouraged, but we are going to keep working with him. I think we are going to talk with him about honesty now.

Speaking of Drinking, do you remember R. He was that man that Elder Ewudzie and I found when i was in New legon that was a crazy drinking, pot smoking dude. Well i guess all the work we spent on him was not wasted because he was baptized yesterday. Elder Larsen kept working with him after i left and was able to get him to keep his commitments. I am so happy this guy was baptized. he honestly made a complete 180. he is a way sweet guy.

On saturday there was a way sweet program but in by all the youth in ghana. It was called the Mighty change. It was actauly pretty good despite the lack of resources they had. They basically taught everyone what the Book of mormon was but in a big performence. It was pretty cool.

Well thats about it for me. I am really starting to enjoy cantoments. The area is really big and hard to manage, but the people we are teaching are awesome. I got on early today because my district wants me to go to the beach with them today. so hopefully i will get to talk with you next week. I love you all so much. Keep me updated on everything that is going on. Have a great week

Elder Beck"

Aug 23

Sam's email from Aug 23:

"Dear family,
Thank you so much for the emails you sent me. They were great. I am super glad that jenny past her written the first time. She had a lot better luck than i did, but of course she did have a "little" more time to study than i did. i am glad that the whole family is getting together. I do have a question though, did you guys have a chance to go to may field lake this year?

For me my week has been pretty good. Elder Madamombe and i got to have a baptism. We Baptized 2 way sweet people there names were first S, P and R.

I guess i will start with S. S has a pretty funky first name, but is a way sweet guy. He is 22 years old and is way smart. He actauly started coming to the church a long time ago. He brought his family and the whole family was baptized except for him. I dont really understand why he wasnt baptized. I guess you can say he needed a little push. He had some real deep questions to ask, but after we answered those he really started to wonder if the church is really true. Now S has a way starong testimony and bears it to his friends often. He has been helping us get a ton of new people to teach because of his freinds. I dont know if S will go on a mission because he is so young in the church, but if he does i know he will be a great missionary because of his strong desire to share the gospel. S is one of my favorite people i have met on my mission, he is like a brother to me.

R is a way sweet girl. She is only 12 years old, but she probably knows about as much as a new missionary. She is way way smart. She has been coming to church for a long time, but because there hasnt been any missionarys here she has not been baptized. She told elder Madamombe and I that she really wanted to be baptized. So we taught her, but she mostly allready knew everything. When she was finaly baptized she was so happy. It made me sad to know that she could have been baptized a long time ago, but happy that i got to be a part of it.

The baptism it self was awesome, but getting it done was the hard part. We had to change the time of the baptism like 5 times this week, because the ward was having activitys that they never bothered to tell elder madamombe and I about. It was a pretty stressfull week as far as the baptism went. I am glad that we did it though.

I wanted to tell you about a women we are teaching named M. She is a big Liberian women that is very nice. We have been teaching her for about 2 weeks now. We taught her about prayer, but she really felt like god wasnt answering her prayer. So we taught her how god answers prays and what feeling come from god. Something she said that made me so happy was " when you guys come to my home i just feel better , i just feel good." Then she told us that she feels like that was god answering her prayer. She came to church on sunday and i think she really enjoyed herself. Sister M is way awesome, when you see her you can just feel that she needs to be a member. I hope that elder Madamombe can continue to teach her well enough so that she will be baptized.

That is about it for my week. I am looking forward to getting an email from you next week. I love you a ton and i want you to have a awesome week.

Love Elder Beck"

Aug 16

Sam's email from Aug 16:

"Dear Family,

Thank you as always for the wonderful Emails. I am so happy to hear that Dads health is getting better. My week has been pretty good.

On Tuesday the office elders came to give us bunk beds. They were leaving to go give the Elders in Prison lunch. Elder Omale and Elder Keeng are being temporarily placed in a prison at Jamestown which is right next to my area. I asked the office elders if we could come and they said "yeah, of course." On the way there i was really nervous to see them. I kept thinking if I were them, how would i be feeling. When we got the we walked into the prison and i heard someone say " Elder Beck, you are growing slim out there! and rather I am growing fat in here." That was elder Keengs voice. I looked to my left and I saw Elder Keeng and elder Omale with smiles on their faces. They asked me how i was and i got to talk to them for a few minutes. They both looked lke they shouldnt be there. They just looked different from all the other prisoners. As we left the room i yelled " I love you guys". Elder keeng yelled it back. And that was the last thing i was able to say to them. I dont know if i will ever see them again. Seeing how positive they were was a way humbling experience for me. I was being lesss positive than them and they were the victims. They are two strong men. I know if i was in there shoes i wouldnty be able to be that positive. They are great examples to me.

Last week we contacted a women named E. She came to church and seemed to enjoy it. We went and taught her and her 5 childern. All childern loved what we taught and sister E hated it. We taught them the book of mormon and sister E was very mad. Telling us the bible is everything and we need no more. We left there home on kind of a bad note. On sunday sister E didnt come to church, but the childern did. And they loved it. It was kind of cool that sister E led us to people that were ready to here our message. We are working very hard to get sister E to join the family. I think the way to do that is to get the rest of the family strong first.

We are also teaching a sweet guy named V. He came to church on sunday and after church told us that he was convinced this is true. It was a way cool experience to here him say that. He kept telling me that what everyone is saying about the church is false. The church is true.

Also another awesome thing that happend. I heard from Elder Larsen about how New Legon is doing. He told me that sister Eu, one of my recent converts that i told you about was called to be the primary presidnet in the branch. It made me so happy to here that she is doing so well. And remember R ( the drunk guy that contacted Elder Ewudzie and I) He is doing really good. He came to church and starting crying after because he felt the spirit so strong. He is going to be baptized coming up here real soon. Hearing that made me realize that no work is wasted. We taught and taught that guy and he always find a way out to take that step to come to church. Now finaly he came and felt what we were telling him was true. It makes so happy to here about that.

I am pretty much used to cantoments now. Elder Madamombe and I are working as hard as we can. Everyday we come home and just fall into our beds. The days are going by like binks of an eye. As for everything else i am doing very well. I am so happy to hear that Dads test went well. Have a great week and please tell me if there is anything i can do? I love you all so much. Thankyou for being that best family in the world.
Love Elder Beck

P.S. tell joey that the boys here jump down in the gutters and catch fish with there hands."

Aug 9

Sam's email from Aug 9:

"Dear Family,

Thanks for your Emails. It sounds like you guys had a ton of fun up in Seattle. I am glad that everyone learned how important it is to listen to your heart.

As for me my week was okay, except for the part about Elder Omale and Elder Keeng. The day before the case I got to go with the Hales(the office couple) to go and pick up some new things for our apartment. Elder Hale was telling me how the case is set up that they are being tried guilty until proven innocent. So they have to be able to prove they are innocent and a little more too because of the way the government in Ghana works. Elder Hale said he thinks they have enough evidence to prove their innocence (planners, journals, companions, and other missionaries.) That night i was talking with one of my investigators about the prisons in Ghana. And basically he told me some freaky information about them. From all that i heard I really thought there was no way they were going to be found guilty.

The next day we were out teaching a man named S. We got a call from the zone leader so i got up and walked away from where we were sitting so it wouldn't disturb the lesson. I was told that Elder Omale was sentenced to 10 years and Elder Keeng was sentenced to 7. I didn't know what to say. Our Zone Leaders told us all we can do it Pray for them. After i got off the phone i went and sat back down. I guess my face had turned very white because S started asking me if i was okay.I was saying yeah, yeah i am fine trying not to show my sadness. He said "you look very sick." I covered it up by telling him i wasn't feeling well that day. We finished the lesson and left, I told elder Madamombe about it and we both felt terrible. It wasn't exactly an easy day at all. The thing that is so hard about it is i know both those guys. They would never do something like that.

I guess the church is now trying to get the case appealed to a higher court. I hope so much that it works. I know you are worried about me, but you don't need too. My companion and I are being exactly obedient. We are always careful that we don't get ourselves into a situation that will get us into trouble. I feel very safe in cantonments. I know as long as we work as hard as we can we will be very safe. That is what we will do. So don't worry at all.

As for everything else i am doing good. I am really starting to get used to our Area. There is a young American couple in our ward that our super cool. They are here because they work at the American Embassy. So its very nice to be able to go and talk with them. On sunday they walked into church and said "would you like to come over for dinner?" My heart jumped as I said "YES!" We went and it was some of the most delicious food ever. It has been to long since i have had American food. It was a rush.

I am really eager to hear about Dads Test results. So please send them right when you get them. I will really try and get a chance to stop by the Cafe on Wednesday. I love you all so much. I hope everyone has a great week.

Love Elder Beck"

Aug 2

Sam's email from Aug 2:

"Dear Family,

Thankyou so much for the emails. It sounds like everyone had quite a week.

My week has been pretty good. On thursday and friday i got a little sick. It wasnt very bad at all. I just was aching and had cold chills. On friday in the evening i wanted to go out. We got to our Area and I thought i saw Elder Farnbach teaching someone in my Area. I shook my head and looked again. I stood there for like 20 seconds thinking" oh know i am really sick, i am seeing things" I walked over to what i thought was elder Fanbach and i found out it really was elder Farnbach. Apparently he and another missionary got dropped off in my area to contact because his companion had to go and testify about The missionaries in prison. It was a pretty cool reunion to see him.

We sat down somewhere and talked for like an hour and a half. It was lucky i saw him i was having a pretty tough day and he cheered me right up. He told me a lot about what is going on with the case with those missionaries in prison. I guess there case is finaly going on. They are doing really well. It sounds like the missionaries are going to win. The judge said the case has to be over by the 6th because he is leaving to go on vacation. So it sounds like there going to get out this week.

For Elder Madamombe and I's first week in cantoments we are doing really well. We are teaching a ton and working way hard. We come home and the end of the day and just fall into our beds. We stay in a place called Labadi, and every day we have to take like a 30 minute bike ride to our area. So we defentley get plenty of exercise.
We met a way cool family. The moms name is R and she never lets us teach her, but on friday we went to see her and she was so amazed that i was sick and still proslyting. She started asking us a ton of questions about the church. Elder Madamombe and I answered them very well and then bore our testimonys to her. I could tell she really felt what we said. She is not ready to visit the church, but i defentley think we planted a strong seed.
As for my sickness, it has completley gone away. Sister Smith gave me some medicenne and it cleared it right up. I am felling very strong.

Oh yeah i want to make sure i answer Dads question about contacting. Contacting here is a lot easier than in new Legon. Now that we have found the shanty towns we just walk around untill we see someone we think needs to hear our message. Alot of times we will see a women outside cooking. We will walk up and i'll say "Mabwao?" which means "Can I help?" Usaully that is enough to get a coversation going and we go from there. I have learned a lot of different ways to contact since i have been on my mission.

Well i guess that is about it for my week. I want everyone to know i love you so much. I hope you have a awesome week. I am going to try and send home some stuff for you guys very soon. I love you a ton. Have a great week.

Love Elder Beck"

July 23

Sam's email from July 23:

"Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the Emails. I am glad to hear that everyone is doing very well. Sounds like you guys had a pretty fun time out on the boat, i want you to know i was probably there in spirit. When ever you take the boat out i am there in spirit. That is why Dad mentioned my name. lol

Holy crap! I have had a pretty long week, but am doing well for the most part. I am now in Accra in a place called Cantoments which is very close to the mission home. When I arrived in Cantoments I really thought it was a way rich place. There were big houses with big huge gates all over the place. So when i first got to the Area we started knoking on these huge gates. Security gaurds would come and answer and always to tell us to go away. After knoking on about 5 of these gates and seeing that it wasnt working I started to get very frustrated. It took some time, but after a search of my Area i found up that it is made up of mostly shanty towns back behind the big houses. There is no point of trying to go to the big houses because they will not listen. Also in my area there is a place called Burma camp which is a military camp where many army men live with there families. So i think the shanty towns and there is where i will be doing most of my work.

I got a brand new companion named Elder Madamombe (Mada-mom-bae) who is from Zimbabwe. He is a big guy that kind of looks like Obama but blacker. He is a pretty cool guy and really wants to learn. It has been a little tough opening an Area and training at the same time. Elder Madamombe is brand new to the mission field. The reason this area has to be opened is because a couple of weeks ago the missionaries in this area got sent home for some reasons i would rather not say. So they still have some investigators, but it is very hard to find them because i dont know my way around the area. So for the most part we have just been contacting this week.

The other missionaries staying in my apartment are Named elder Atta (from nigeria) and elder Nsimbe (from Uganda) I do feel a little lonely being the only American in my apartment. It is kind of funny that i speak better Twi than all of them even though they are african. The apartment it self is not much to look at. It is in a close tie with Kasoa in badness. Even elder Madamombe doesnt like it. He says the missionaries in Zimbabwe stay in way nicer apartments, but people do always try and talk ther country way up. It bugs elder Madamombe to see goats and sheep to be wondering around in the middle of the city. Everytime we see some he just looks down and shakes his I think he misses Zimbabwe, but he will not admit it.

Remember how i told you i was homesick for Buduburam when i first was transferred. Now it is kind of the same thing, but for New

As for the missionaries in Prison. They are still there, it is a little scary that they have been there for that long. One of the couple missionareis told me that elder Omale is not doing to good. He is getting very upset with the situation and there is not much he can do about it. I dont blame him i think i would probably be doing worse than him if i was in there. I hope they get out this week. The longer they are in there the more scary this whole situation gets.

We contacted a man named brother T this week. When we sat down and he immediately started to go off on how joseph smith was a false prophet and how we dont need prophets these days. So we slowly got him to see that we do need prophets today. We got him to believe that, but not that joseph smith was a true prophet. So then we started talking about the book of mormon. He agreed to read and find out if it was true. I am really hoping that he finds out it is true. Brother T is a man that has a very strong personality and could help in the church so much.

I have been praying for dad and the family so much this week. Brother Collard sent me and email that told me you guys are very strong and positive. That makes me so happy, i got a good feeling about this cancer place in Arizona also. Please continue to keep me updated on everything that goes on. Have a great week.I love you so much. You are the best family ever. Keep being OSM.
Love Elder Sam Beck"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June July Catch - Up

Sam's email from July 19:

"Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the Emails. It sounds like everyone back home is enjoying there summers very much. I am glad that Dads chemo is not as bad as last time.

As for me my week is going pretty well. It has been pretty tiring because i have had to travel to Accra twice this week.

Last Sunday one of our members brought a man named K church. We immediately started to teaching him this week. We started talking with him about reading. He said he wants to learn to read very badly. Our Branch is suppose to have a reading class that helps people to learn. So we called the branch president and he said they were going to get a class going this Sunday. So we told K about it and he was very excited. Sunday he came to church, but sadly the branch did not make a reading class. So at the end of church i was sitting there watching K, he was trying so hard to be in the lesson, but just couldn't keep up with the reading part. Now understand that here in Ghana there are a lot of people that cannot read, but as i was sitting there something just came over me and i said "this man needs to learn to read!" So i went and got a bunch of paper and went and got K. We made a book of the ABCs and drew a picture for every letter to help him remember. Any one can tell that K is a unlearned man, but as hard as he was trying to learn he will not be unlearned for very long. On Sunday he learned his complete ABCs almost perfect. The only letter he has a problem with is E, he cant seem to remember E. I think in time though he will know it very well. On Tuesday we are going to learn the sounds. I am very excited to be able to teach K to read, i hoped i don't get transferred so i can continue to do that.

On Saturday my companion and i had a baptism. It was way awesome. We baptized an older women named E (58 years) and her daughter B (15 years). I love these two people so much. Elder Ewudzie and I contacted them a long time ago and we have slowly been teaching them. When we were teaching them about Baptism, sister E just basically told us that her Baptism was done incorrectly and it needed to be done again into Jesus Christ church. So we gave her a baptismal date and continued to teach her. When we taught them the commandments, B was not listening very well. I could tell that sister E was really feeling the spirit and understanding what were teaching. In the middle of the lesson sister E said " B what these missionaries are telling you is very important, you are so lucky to have them here well you are still young, so listen very well." When sister E finished it looked as if she was going to cry. I felt so appreciated in that moment. I felt so happy to be on a mission. I felt so honored to be able to share this message with them. Sister E has a strong testimony and be able to teach her has only strengthened mine.

As for the Elders that are in jail, they are still there. For some reason the stupid government keeps pushing the case. They have been there for 6 weeks now. I haven't heard much just that there case is supposed to start tomorrow. Everyone is praying for them to get out.

I have a big week ahead of me. I get my brand new companion on Wednesday and i might be opening a new area. I hope i stay because opening a new area is hard and training on top of it will not be easy. Hopefully i am still in one piece at the end of the week. I am praying every day for Dad and the rest of the Famliy. I am glad things are going well. I love you all so much.

Sincerely Elder Beck"

Sam's email from July 12:

"Dear Family,

Thank you again for you emails. It sounds like the trip to Arizona went really well. It sounds like this Doctor really knows what he is doing, I am very happy for that.

As for me my week has been pretty good. My companion and I finally moved to an apartment closer to our Area. I think I already told you about that right. Well if i have not i guess i will tell you about it now. Everyday we used to have to take about a 20 minute bike ride going down hill to just get to our area. It was not easy coming home. So they found us an apartment that is only about a 5 minute walk from our area. It a pretty nice place. The nicest apartment i have been in thus far on my mission,the only problem is our toilet is a piece of junk. It it is taped to the ground and it doesn't even flush. If we gotta take a #2 we have to either travel to our old apartment or the church. It is not easy at all, but i guess i gotta look at the bright side because i have had worse. Hopefully we will be able to get a new one soon.

I have a pretty cool story about Elder Keeng and Elder Omale. Sister Smith told us that every night all the prisoners come together and have a devotional type thing. One night they asked Elder Keeng and Elder Omale to join them and to teach them something small. Elder Keeng told them that he would only join they could teach correct principles. They taught about prayer and the correct way to pray. All the prisoners loved it. they loved it so much that they gave them all there clothing back. (apparently they took there clothing) So elder Omale and elder Keeng are teaching people even in prison. It is really true that the Gospel will continue to spread no matter what.

I had another cool experience on Wednesday. Elder Larsen and I were going around all morning contacting and no one wanted to listen to us. We had been contacting for about 4 hours and we started to say what the heck is going on here.( In ghana you can almost always find someone to teach because there are so many people everywhere.) We said a pray and both agreed that we just need to keep going. We kept contacting for about another could find no one when all of the sudden this man sitting under a tree starts yelling for us to come over. So we went over and started talking to him. His name was P he is a old man that used to work for the ghana Air force. He was trained in the USA so he is very educated and smart. He brought two chairs and said "sit down." He is a pretty big guy and commands attention, so we did as he said. He started asking us some really deep questions about the church. I don't know exactly what happened, but that was probably the best lesson i have ever had on my mission. I had no idea where the words were coming from, but at the end of the lesson i realized it was the spirit. We answered ever concern this man brought up because the spirit was there. We have not been back to see him, but are planning to go tomorrow. I hope we can have the spirit that strong again tomorrow.

Well that's about it for me this week. I loved what the nurse said about not tieing gods hands. It is way true. Oh yeah i forgot to tell you that president called and asked me to train next transfer. I am a little nervous but i will do my best. Dad you said that i need to stay humble in your Email so i am going to try and do that a lot with my new companion. Dad i have great feeling about this treatment you are going into. I know that your heart and strong desire is what is going to take you throught this. You have a awesome attitude and are a great example to me. Family pleese have great week. I love you a ton.

Love Elder Beck"

Sam's email from July 5:

"Dear family,

I was so happy today when i read the email about Dad going down to Arizona. It sounds like a really great place. the more i hear about it the more happy i become. I also have a great feeling about it.

I guess i will try to answer your questions first. As for those Elders in prison, they are still there. There court case keeps getting pushed back. Right now they are stuck in a small room with 11 other men. It sounds like to me that the prosecution doesn't have much of a case so i think we will win. The court case should be over by the end of this week and i should know a lot more by next week.

As for Ghana i the world cup not to many Ghanaian are happy about that. Wait actually no Ghanaian are happy about that. A lot of people are mad at "asmamoh john." He is the man that missed the goal kick for Ghana. I am worried for him that when he comes back to Ghana the people might kill him. In the end i was a little sad that ghana lost, i thought they should have won.

We finally got to baptize Yon Saturday. She was a little scared when she got in the water, but decided she need to be brave and do it. Unfortunately she was not as brave on Sunday when she had to be confirmed. She would not come up to the front of the chapel with us to confirm her. So we ended up confirming her in the from where she was sitting. It was pretty cool. She had a huge smile on her face after it was all over.

We also Baptized a women named M. I am going to be honest with you i first met M the 2nd day i was in new Legon and i did not like her at all. She also did not like me. She was mean to me because i did not speak twi very well and over all we just got off to a bad start. For some reason we kept visiting M the whole time i have been here and slowly we have come good friends. Of course a little bit of candy helped me here and there, but the day we baptized her I was really thinking about how amazing it was that me and her are friends now. It made me realize that missionary work and hate don't mix at all. I can honestly say now i am very glad i have had the opportunity to be in sister M's life.

Well that's about it for my week. It has been a little slow with the world cup going on, but hopefully it will pick up now that Ghana is out. I am glad that everyone had a great time at the R-ranch. Thankyou all so much for the Emails. I loved them a ton. I wont everyone to know i have a great feeling about Dad. I love everyone so much and i want them to have a great week.
Love Elder Beck"

Sam's email from June 28:

"Dear family,

Thank you for the Emails and thank you for the packages. I got 5 of them they were awesome. I got new scriptures with a case, they are way awesome. I also got a bunch of potatoes which i am panning to eat very soon, Plus a ton of delicious power bars. I think i ate too many power bars though. I have been downing them like crazy. Elder Luster kept telling me "Elder Beck those are not candy" Then i would tell him to leave me and my power bars alone. I turns out Elder Luster was right power bars are not candy, they are power bars. This morning i woke up with pretty bad stomach ache and then some nasty diarea. I went to sleep for about 2 hours and i am pretty sure i have fully recovered. I am going to space the rest of them out so it doesn't happen again. Thank you again for the packages.

Also you asked about the Elders in Jail. At interviews president basically told us that he is going to be way more serious with the rules and that basically the elders are in a ton of trouble and if are found guilty could face 7 to 25 years in prison. He also told us he believes they were framed, but because they were sending a girl to go buy them things they set themselves up a chance for them to be framed. That night when we came home we learned that it was put on the front page of the news paper " Mormon Missionaries found in Rape Scandal!" It was a somehow private News paper so it didn't get out to much. I am not excited though about it getting out any more. I am worried it may delay that work, but i am not sure.

You also asked about the world cup and i think right now we are blessed to have the world cup because everyone is paying attention to the world cup and not the "Rape Scandal"

As for the USA/Ghana game, i wanted the USA to win more than anything. I have been talking smack to the Ghanaians all week. The whole time i have been here people always tell me that Ghana beat the USA 4 years ago and the USA sucks. President Smith told us that we needed to be in our apartments 2 hours before the game starts. We were sitting there and all of the sudden we here a crazy loud scream from all of Ghana. That was just the game starting. I will let you use your imagination on what happened when they scored. We the USA scored Me elder Luster and elder Larson went outside at started screaming like crazy besides us 3 Americans screaming the rest of Ghana was silent. I told them that we should probably go back in side now or we might get

I was way mad when America lost. It didnt help that everyone on sunday that was giving a talk said they we thankfull that ghana beat the USA and then everyone kept looking back at me and my companion. But what can you do.

As for Y's baptism it did not get to happen this week really because of lack of commitment from her family.We are going to talk to the family and have are branch president do it also and hopefully we will baptize her this Saturday but i am not sure. The reason we have to have a strong commitment from the family so she will be able to stay strong also. Y can be baptized because she knows right and wrong, but if the family doesn't keep a close eye on her as she grows. She will grow up and be breaking the commandments and not even know they are wrong.

I love you all very much. Dad thank you for being my Dad, i am very lucky to have you. And for everyone else thank you for being my family. I love you and i am with you no matter what.

Love Elder Sam Beck"

Sam's email from June 21:

"Dear Family,

The very first thing i want to do is to wish my Dad a very happy fathers day. i am sorry it is a day late. I hope very much that it was a nice one. I promised a long email this week so i will do my best do live up to that promise. Mom i am very pround of you for taking care of the boat and cleaning it, if i was there i would have helped you.

I want to try and answer all your questions. First i will try to answer the one about the Ghana game, in the end they tied Australia 1-1. I am pretty sure every single soul in Ghana knows that score and also any one with in a 20 mile radius of Ghana also knows. Ghana has the most lively streets i have ever seen, but when Ghana plays football (soccer) the streets go completely desolate. I may be exaggerating a little, but i promise you 95% of Ghana will not miss a game. You asked a question about the woman we taught named G. We were actually supposed to teach her on Saturday, but could not because she had to get ready to watch the Ghana game.We can only teach her Saturdays so we will have to wait another week to see her.

Also this week i almost died a couple of times. My first near death experience started when i saw a man walking with a monkey on a leash. Immediately i wanted to go say hello. We went over and met a monkey named "Bongo." The man that owned the monkey assured me that this was the nicest monkey in all of Ghana and would never hurt anyone. So we said hello and got a nice picture with him. Then the man asked if we wanted to hold Bongo. Elder Larsen being the smart missionary he was said " um no that's okay" Me being the stupid missionary i am said " yeah!" So the man put bongo up on a wall and gave me the leash and told me to turn my back toward bongo and tug on the leash. So i did as the man said and tugged on the leash a little bit. Bongo did not move. The man said " harder" so i tugged a little harder. Apparently Bongo did not want me to tug on his leash because i heard a loud monkey scream. When i heard that i dropped the leash and started to run. As i ran i could feel some swipes swishing air through my hair as bongo tried to swipe at me with his claws. I had to check my self very well because if i had gotten bitten i would have had to go get a Rabbies shot. After a careful inspection, i realized that i was completely unharmed, with out a scratch on me. I understand now why they tell us not to go near the monkeys. I will never go near the monkeys again.

That night it rained very badly and a lot of the streets were flooded. Elder Larsen and i were walking out to an area and in a gutter we saw a small dog. He was stuck on a small ledge trying not to be swept into the strong water flow. Now when i saw this i had no choice but to help. So I got down on my knees and reached down to pick the dog up. As I was picking him up, he started to Panic and tried to Bite me, but i moved my hand just in time. I had to let go and he was stuck again. Eventually the small dog allowed me to help him and we were able to get him out. After this i realized if i would have gotten bit, i would might have gotten rabbies and i would had to go and get a rabbies shot.These were my 2 near death experiences this week and luckily i managed to get out of them completely unharmed.

I thought the experience with the small dog kind of related to Christ. Christ hand is always there to help us out of the water, but if we reject or bite his hand he cant help us. But when we finally allow the help we end up a lot better in the end.

Do you remember that little deaf girl i told you about named Y. I finally talked president into letting us baptize her if we taught her well enough with pictures. The other day we got done talking (signing and showing pictures) to her and she made the sign she makes for Baptize and pointed to herself and put her hands out like she wanted to know when she could be baptized. She had a look on her face that would make a sad puppy look happy. She has had to watch her whole family be baptized and know it is finally her turn. We are actually going to baptize her today after i finish emailing you. I am way excited.

I really hope my email this week has been long enough. I want everyone to know that i love them very much. I am praying for Dad as hard as i can. I don't want anyone to worry about me here. I am doing great and i am completely safe. I love you very much, have a great week.

Love Elder Sam Beck"