April 27, 2012

Fw: How's Thailand?

--- On Thu, 4/26/12, Nanette Beckstead <nanbeckstead@gmail.com> wrote

Hi Robert,                 

   We certainly enjoy all your letters and pictures!  You are having an interesting time being a missionary in a unique culture!  Monkeys, elephants, interesting foods, life styles, etc.  What a wonderful experience you are able to share with your family.  Have you been able to get another bike?  Does the mission or do you have to pay for another one?  It would be nice if someone could return it - wishful thinking.
   We too are enjoying our mission!  It hasn't got too hot or sticky yet.  We were hoping to get to New Zealand before the humid weather started which we understand will be in June.  They say July and August are just awful! 
   We work with a branch and a ward.  The priesthood leadership is just awesome in both!  We are really impressed.  We seem to have more contacts and people we are working with in the Anniston Ward.  But tomorrow we are going to concentrate on the Oxford Branch.  We have 4 elders who live right across the street.  They each have a bike and they also share a car.
   We were blessed to travel to Birmingham for a transfer meeting yesterday.  It takes about one hour and 30 minutes to get there. It is so awe inspiring to see the chapel full of handsome young men and sweet young woman fulfilling the Lord's work.  There is even some senior missionary couples too.  President Holzaphel is so inspiring - we love to hear him speak.
   We are teaching some discussions by ourselves and we also are working with some elders in teaching others.  Last Saturday we had a baptism of an older sister (about my age, but she looks and walks like she is 82 or older).  She said no way can I be baptized because I'm afraid of water and also I like my tea!  She is really into reading the Book of Mormon and she felt the spirit so strongly she committed to baptism and the next day Gpa was able to give her the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting.  We are also teaching a middle age sister the temple preparation classes and she is talking with the branch president often to prepare herself to made covenants the temple.  We are able each Wednesday night to read the Book of Mormon with a single mother.  She was baptized when she was 8 but has never read the Book of Mormon.  We challenger her to read at home and come with questions the following Wednesday evening.  Her son is in scouts and comes and waits in the car for him.  Now she comes inside and we find a classroom. Each sabbath we attend both the branch and the ward.  Gpa & I drove up to Huntsville and he gave his last lecture on how he became a rocket scientist to 2 stakes of young people.  They thought they would have about 40 in attendance and we had close to 100.  We stayed overnight and we went to the Huntsville space museum the next morning.
   We are having an amazing experiences here in Alabama and are finding more to do each week.  We still look forward to New Zealand, but it doesn't seem like we will be there any time soon.  Did you hear about Brian running the Boston Marathon twice?  He started at the finish at about 5 a.m. and ran to the start.  Rested for 45 minutes and started at the start and ran to the finish.  Crazy guy - plus he wore crazy shorts to draw a lot of attention.  His shoe business is doing so well that he is now in New Zealand doing a promotional for 2 weeks.  I can't believe he made it before us!
   Continue in your good works and so will we!  We look forward each week to your latest adventures.  Continue increasing your testimony as we are doing!

Love,  Gpa & Gma Beckstead

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