Monday, October 31, 2011

M.I.B - "Missionaries in Black"

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM
Email #57 - La Grande, OR

Hello again everyone!
   I am glad to see that you got my mail informing you about our change in pdays! It's actually a very nice change. It is very relaxing to have the new week start off slow, giving us time to really prepare for the rest of the week instead of taking a break in the middle of things.
   Well we did have a better week. We gave a few blessings this week to some of our investigators. With winter on its way it seems like everyone is catching the bug. Elder Reinsch even caught it again on Sunday so we had to spend another day indoors. We gave him a blessing just last night and he is doing much better today.
   Elder Bowen was so good! We first heard a short message from his wife and she talked about how important it is to decide now what we will do in certain situations. She told a story of a friend who was watching TV one night when a picture of a beautiful girl came up on the screen. She learned that the girl had been forced into a car and found dead the next day. Sister Bowen's friend decided then and there that she would not let someone force her into a car. A few days later as she was putting her baby in the car seat at the grocery store a man came up, put a gun in her back and told her to get in the car or he would kill her and her baby. Looking down she saw a small umbrella on the floor of the car. She grabbed it, turned around and began beating the guy over the head with it! The man was so surprised that he dropped his gun. Some people nearby saw what was happening and started running over to help her and the man ran away. He was later found and put in jail. Because Sister Bowen's friend had decided early that she would not be forced into a car, when the moment came she didn't have to think, she just reacted. Sister Bowen then encouraged us to choose now to do our best and be obedient. She said "decide now that tomorrow morning at 6:30 you will get up on time. Then when your alarm goes off you won’t have to decide if you’re going to get up with it. You just will!"
   Elder Bowen's talk was my favorite. He talked to us about the baptism covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the house of Israel, and the Oath and covenant of the Priesthood and how we learn from them who we truly are and what we are expected to do. He spoke of how because of the covenants we have made "there are certain places you cannot go, certain clicks on a mouse you cannot click." He said "When you make a covenant with God you are placing a portion of your agency on the altar." How powerful that was to me. It's so true. When we covenant with God to obey his will and commandments it really does make us more accountable for what we do. Especially those who hold the priesthood. To us with the priesthood he said "Your priesthood will either exalt you, or damn you."
   So what did I learn from this? I learned that I am not only a child of God, but a child that holds his priesthood, the very power that created the earth. And I have promised him that I will serve him all my life, and if I should break from this covenant he can do with me as he sees fit. I think of when Moroni made the title of liberty, and the people tore their cloths and cast them at Moroni's feet and said, as we have torn our cloths and cast them at your feet even so will God, if we fall into transgression, tear us and cast us at the feet of our enemies. What an Eye opener. lol.
   But the most wonderful thing this new knowledge gives me is an even stronger ability to resist temptation. I realize more fully now the weight that is on my shoulders and how I cannot let myself fall into dark paths. Whenever I feel tempted to do wrong or think evil thoughts I just remind myself of the covenants I have made with God, pray for strength an did feel the spirit within me burn, and I know that I am not alone, and that I can "come off conqueror."
   So you want to know more about my companion! Well Elder Reinsch's nick name is "the candy man!" He got this nick name when he first came out in the mission. at a lesson his trainer turned to him and asked him to pull his scriptures out. Elder Reinsch responded that he didn't have his scriptures. "What? But your back pack is heavy. What’s in there?" They opened it up to find it FULL of candy. lol. We have a lot of fun together, and he no longer fills his bag with candy, at least not worldly candy. Now it's spiritual candy. lol.
   Speaking of candy, we were privileged to go to the ward trunk or treat on Saturday! It was very fun. We found some old headphones, and Nerf guns, so we put one head phone in our ears and took the guns. 

We were the M.I.B. (missionaries in black)  We got a picture with the bishop which is attached to this email. I am also sending you a picture of the necklace I made out of the zipper pull! I thought you might enjoy that as well.

   I haven't checked mail today so I don't know yet if my shoes are here but I ill be sure to let you know when I do get them. Thanks again for sending them!
   Thanks for all you do! I pray for you all every night, I miss you and look forward to hugging you all when I get home. Btw, a thought came to me the other day, when I get home the first thing I want to do is sit down with you all and watch a dick van dyke!! lol. Take care and stay cool!
                                       -Elder Bevell-

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday - P-day

Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Email #56 - La Grande, OR

     Dear Bevell Family,
   I'm over in Baker city right now for Pday and it’s about an hour drive back to La Grande so this is going to be a short email this week. Sorry.
   I loved all the pictures! Thank you so much for them it's so good to see your faces and share in a small amount of the fun. Dayson and Dustin look so different! They have really grown up. And Izaak is definitely buffer than I was at his age. lol. And it sounds like the ranch had a lot happening. I hope the damage to the roof from the helicopter was paid for by the company that used the helicopter. I also hope the damage wasn't to bad. And Breck! You look ssoooooo beautiful in your homecoming pictures! I am glad you had a good time and that you had a great guy to take you. I can't wait to hear more about it.
   So, we had a slow week in La Grande. Elder Reinsch got sick and we had to cancel all our appointments that day. So I just read my scriptures and cleaned the house. The next two days, most of our appointments fell through. It was a very frustrating time, so we filled it up by talking to the bishops, and even doing a little tracting. Sunday was the best day. It was the primary program in 3rd and 4th ward and the kids were so cute as they sang to us. I really felt the spirit, especially when I saw the daughter of Sister Webber who we baptized a few months ago. Or maybe it was last month. Anyway it felt good to see how the gospel has affected their family for the better. That night we also had a missionary fireside in Elgin which is just 19 miles north of La Grande I think. That was very fun. We were asked to speak on how we had prepared to serve a mission and what advice we had for those wanting to serve. Elder Reinsch spoke first and told of his experiences in gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and learning how to take care of himself (cooking grooming etc.) Then I got up, and told them how my preparation had been a little last minute. lol. So to help them I pulled up a chalk board and taught them about the Armor of God, and how it can help us not only prepare for a mission but for life as well. I drew a stick man on the board and we drew each piece of the armor on it and talked about them. The ward loved it and we had a lot of thank-yous afterwards. I was glad to have been able to help them feel the spirit enough to be inspired on how to better put on the armor of God.
      So that's me in a few words this past week. Thank you guys for all you do! I am still in the process of writing you guys. You know how I like to send all your letters in one envelope. I love and miss you all and hope you have a great week! Fight the good fight, and stay cool!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good things in Enterprise & Elgin

Date: Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Email #55 – La Grande, OR
Subject: Re: The temple was amazing.

Dear Bevells,
   I am doing great!! This last week has been a mix of fun and frustration as usual, but more of the fun.
   The fun is the work of course. Turns out that referral Michael lives in Enterprize! I was very surprised and pleased about this. The only down fall is that we can't make it up there to often. So we just called our ward mission leader up there and he said he would contact him. He's tried a few times; each time Michael is not home. But it feels good to know that good is beginning to happen in Enterprize.
   More good is coming from Elgin as well. This last Sunday we presented our family mission plan to the ward council and the bishop is very excited about this plan. He told us that their home teaching is at 30% and that this plan will help to raise that. He's going to be working very hard on the members to use this plan. I loved the words he used on Sunday when talking to the priesthood, "Brethren, why are we denying ourselves these blessings?" What power! I really like Bishop Livingston.
   I am also glad at how positive the members are when we give them the FMPs (family mission plans) Over all we are expecting to see more referrals from all the wards.
   A frustrating moment, Brendon actually moved his baptism date back again. For a good reason though. There's a friend who wants to be there who couldn't make it on the last date set. I plan on keeping in contact with Brendon to help him keep the testimony he has just found and to help him in any way at all. After all what are friends for?
   I did get the package and I loved it! Especially Breck's story, I read it to the other Elders even though I was slightly embarrassed. I hope the class got just as good a laugh as the other elders had. Good job sis and sorry for putting you through that. lol.. I just sent Carsten a letter with some pictures of me and my comp. I cannot describe how amazing it feels to have a friend on a mission. I look forward to hearing and sharing stories with him.
   I am so glad the temple trip went so well. It makes me feel so much joy to know that my family can go to the temple together. I really do have the best family.  And Brittany's baby is beautiful!! Congratulations to the Soper family! And do keep me updated on my sister’s baby; I am so excited to be an uncle!! Same with Aunt Erika's baby, I am excited to have a new cousin!! Please tell them I miss and love them all.
       Well, take care of each other. Breck, have fun at Homecoming and don't let any boy push you around cause if they try they will have me to deal with when I get back, and I do not fight fair. You tell them that!! lol. I love ya. And Izaak, I love ya bro and am so very proud of you. Keep up the good work and enjoy the blessings that come from living this gospel. You are years ahead of me from when I was your age. Mom and Dad, thank you for all the sacrifices you make on all of our behalves. I love you, and am proud to be your son. (don't cry Mom.) Take care, and stay cool!
                     -Elder Bevell-  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Milestone --- 1 Year!

Date: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM
Email #54 – La Grande, OR

Dear Bevell Family,
  On the 13 of this month of October the year 2011, I Brant Standage Bevell son of John Nance Bevell Jr will have been serving as a missionary for the Lord our God for a full year!!!! I am amazed at how fast the time has gone by and how much I have grown. When I left I was a boy looking for answers and seeking how to help others find the truths I have found. Now I have grown more into the man that my Father in Heaven wants me to be. I feel better about myself and my abilities, and I am able to see the blessings that I receive from God on a daily basis.
  Looking back on my life I feel so embarrassed at how foolish and vain I was and some of the choices I have made. I see how if I had simply lived the principles how most of those mistakes could have been easily avoided. Yet I also see how those trials have helped lead me to who I am today. I wish I hadn't had to go through those trials, but I am grateful for what I have learned. So thank you dear family for your patience with me. I love you all so very much.

  Now enough with the mushy stuff, on to the fun!! It is the second week of the transfer and Elder Reinsch and I are getting along great. We are seeing great success in our work as well as some hardships. I will start with a hardship. It came yesterday at a dinner appointment with a new investigator. His name is Theren.  When I set up the dinner appointment he told me that we couldn't share anything from the Book of Mormon, yet his first question for us was why do we need the Book of Mormon? lol. Throughout the whole meal and lesson he kept trying to bash with us. What really frustrated me was that we gave him answers to his questions but he just wouldn't accept them. His biggest question was What is in the Book of Mormon that isn't in the Bible? I challenged him to find out by reading and praying about it, to which he responded "I can't bring myself to read it but I will pray about it." He made me think about Oliver Cowdery when he wanted to translate the plates and all he did was ask. I even read that scripture to him " have supposed that I would give it unto you when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But behold, must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it be right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." D&C 9:7-8. To this he said "Oh I always study it out before I ask."........NO!!!! It doesn't work like that! You have to READ, and then ASK!! Gosh it’s frustrating. lol.
  Anyway, some good things that happened were that we got some referrals!! One from the other elders and one form the MTC. The one form the MTC sounds like a golden investigator. His name is Michael, he has recently had a positive experience with a priesthood blessing and has also come to church and now wants to meet with the missionaries. I am super excited for this! We also have the baptism of Brendon Beucey this Saturday at 11:00. I am also excited for this; Brendon has made some amazing changes in his life. He has quit smoking and drinking, and he is planning on quitting one of his jobs so he can come to church on Sundays. I am always amazed at the changes that people make when they come into this gospel. That's probably because I was raised in the church and that was just my life style. lol.

  Now to your questions. Shoes, I like my hush puppies a lot so go ahead and send me those. I would love to have two pair. Thank you. For pday our plans thus far are to email, shop and probably do some archery! Spiritually I am doing great, we have some seminary teachers in one of our wards who gave me manuals for the old and new testament, the Book of Mormon, D&C and church history. I am working on the New Testament first, so I will keep you posted on how that goes. I am also becoming more detailed in my journal writing. This began happening when as I was writing I thought that my children are going to read this someday and I want them to have something fun to read!! And yes we are very tired when we get back to our apartment at night. The bed never felt better. lol.
  I just knew you would like the family mission plan, and I look forward to hearing how you guys use it! One thing it should do is help you to really get to know the missionaries in our ward. There's always one family in every ward that the missionaries think are awesome because of how much they help out, and I want my family to be that! (no pressure. lol.)
  Also please let me know how the family temple trip goes. I am so excited for Izaak, you’re going to love it little brother!
  I know I didn't answer all your questions, but the other elders are waiting on me now. I take the longest to email, but that's because I just love you all so much and want to tell you as much as I can. I will write you as soon as I get the package; I am assuming there are letters in it. Here's a picture of Elder Reinsch and I that I think you will enjoy. Put it on the blog!
  I love you all, I still pray for you every night and I thank my Father in Heaven for giving me such a loving and wonderful family.
Stay cool!!
                             -Elder Bevell-

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Date: Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Email #53 - La Grande, OR

Dear Bevell Family,
  I am amazed at all that has happened in the last few days. This last weekend was so spiritually uplifting with conference and transfers. I will start with transfers. Now I have been in La Grande for about 5 months, and Elder Zerbe 1. So it only makes sense that Elder Zerbe be called to go to Meridian Idaho and I stay another transfer! Yep, I am still here! lol. I was very surprised at this, as was everyone. But its good, I can continue the work I started up here a little longer. My new companion is Elder Reinsch from Cali. He's been out about 20 months, is a year older than me and is very fun! We are having fun already and it's only day two of the transfer.

  I loved General Conference! I took so many notes and got answers to my questions. I too loved the emotion seen with President Eyring, and the wonderful humor of our Beloved Prophet. One talk that touched me was the one about the Elder who was called to Arizona and met the man who had baptized his father. The man had become inactive because he felt he had failed the Lord and not done a good job while on his mission. This Elder was then able to tell him how because he had baptized his Dad, him and all his brothers had served missions, all that were married had been married in the temple, and the family was enjoying all the blessings of living the restored gospel. That is exactly what every missionary wants to hear about their converts. It helped me to think of the long term effects of my actions today in helping invite others to come closer to Christ.   I have many notes but not with me. So I guess I will be writing to you all my feelings on conference in snail mail.

Speaking of snail mail, you say you have something for me? AWESOME! I mean.. That’s great! lol. As to things that I need did you say that you would be sending me money for shoes or are you sending me new shoes? Didn't they have a warranty on them? I can't remember!!!! lol.

  So about our investigators. We once again had to move Brendon's baptism date back a week. We still need to set up a baptism interview yet Brendon can't meet sooner than Friday, and we are asked to have interviews at least a week before the baptism. So we had to move it back.

We've been making some progress with Charlie up in Elgin as well. I think I told you about him, He didn't really grow up with religion in his life, so when we taught him he didn't even know or understand who Jesus was. He had heard his name but that was about it! I was amazed! So we taught him who Christ was, what He did, and Why we need him. Its slow work but I think he is starting to understand. As for the rest of our teaching I will fill you in with snail mail. lol.

  Man how I wish I could have been with you guys for conference! Thank you so much for the pictures it looks like you all had such a fun time!! And I was so excited for Izaak's first Priesthood session! I look forward to being with him at those in the future. And Breck I simply love the woman you are changing into. Thanks for taking good care of my guitar "Babe". I do miss her ever so much! How's that coming along? It looks like you are actually reading the sheet music which is something I have a lot of trouble doing. Keep up the good work! I should send Dan and Braylon an email as well, they are so funny. And Dan got a hair cut!!!!! Holly cow its short!! lol. Looks good sis! ;D   Well, there’s not enough space in any email, nor enough paper in the world for me to write how much I love you all. Tell the Sopers and Horejs that I love and miss them and I am glad they were able to spend conference with you guys! I am especially sad that I missed out on Soper cookies.:,( . I pray for you all every night, and you are in my thoughts many times during the day. Take care, stay safe, and above all, stay cool!
                                      -Elder Bevell-

 p.s.s. The picture is of me and Elder Zerbe on our last day together.

Breck Playing Elder Bevell's Guitar "Babe" with Guy