Monday, January 8, 2018

October 2017

Back in the summer we all bought tickets to go to a Depeche Mode concert. The day finally came and and we all met up in San Diego on a Friday night to relive our teenage years. 

We had lawn seats and got there right when the gates opened so we could get good seats. 

We hung out until dark and then pulled the handicap card and got real seats to see the rest of the concert. Sadly we couldn't sit together but we got to hang out before the concert. 

The lead singer sounded just like I remembered him but he was much more eccentric than I remembered, ha ha. Some of the video that they played along with the songs was interesting. Ha ha. All in all we enjoyed the concert and stayed in a hotel near by so we didn't have to drive home that night. 

Since we were so close to Mexico Jeff and I were planning to make a quick trip across the border while the rest of the family was supposed to be going to a giant bounce house, instead we all went into Mexico together. 

Joel and Virginia drove the van and the rest of us squeezed in together and we explored Tijuana. 

This was at the cultural center. 

the boys  being silly...

Inside we visited the museum 

and the aquarium

Our first adventure was finding a taco place that Robert found. It ended up having great food even though all the tacos were fish tacos. 

I even tried octopus tacos for the first time which I was very skeptical about but were actually very good. 

I think Angela and Robert were worried how Paisley would be but she ended up doing great. 

It was an unexpected adventure that was a fun day. The only stinky part (which always stinks) is crossing back over the border. 

The next weekend Virginia and I flew out to help my parents after my dad's surgery. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and had to have a Whipple procedure done that is a pretty complicated surgery. 

We flew out to help drive mom back and forth to the hospital and hang out with her and help as my dad got home and settled. 

Dad was in the hospital maybe a day or two longer than he originally anticipated but he recovered well and was even eating solid food by the time he was coming home. 

For the first few days it was nice to hang out with my mom and take her shopping and sit around and talk. It was low key and Virginia and I didn't have to worry about families or schedules and could just focus on helping and visiting with mom and dad. 

Dad came home and we got to hang out with him and watch movies, help mom decorate for Halloween and do any other chores they needed help with. 

We were both glad we were able to visit and spend time with them as well as help out some. 

On the way to the airport we got to go into the downtown area and check out the Capitol. We even did a tour of the Capitol building and got to see the governor's wife who said hi to our group!

The next weekend I got to go to do a Riverside service project where I helped out at the Art Museum. 

More football games for Ashley

Jayden Hackbarth saying hi to Jacob

So the Saturday before Halloween ended up with me trying to do last minute costumes for both kids. 

Halloween wasn't going to be a big deal, in fact Jeff and I were supposed to be in Europe during Halloween but they cancelled it due to political unrest in Barcelona so we ended up being at home. 

Taylor had a Halloween Party that night and couldn't figure out a couple costume that he wanted to do. Finally he figured that he would be up for doing Bob Ross so I spend a couple hours before our ward trunk or treat quickly painting a masterpiece for their costume

and another on on a T-shirt...

and then curling and teasing Taylor's hair because he couldn't find a wig. 

Here is the finished product, ha ha. They looked great. 

Ashley was Scooby Doo and her friends were the gang. Becca was the bus along with working headlights. 

Ashley's costume was as much about comfort as anything. 

They went to the Trunk or Treat and then went to a church dance where they all won a prize for having the best group costume. 

Ashley's pumpkin carving...

Jeff and I were alone for Halloween night. Taylor was at school and Ashley was with friend so Jeff and I passed out candy by ourselves. 

Jeff ended up dressing up as Chucky and he would jump out and scare kids. It was hilarious and made the night a lot more fun. 

Jacob's letters 

October 2, 2017
What can I say, conference was amazing. Even though 10 hours can be a little long, my mind is full of new information and revelation I got. My heart is also full of thanks to a father in heaven that hears my prayers. This conference was the first one I went in with question, and all of them were answered. Even some that I hadn't asked the Lord specifically, but small things I wondered about recently. It seemed at points that things were added into the talks with the specific purpose of answering my questions.
      I was also blessed to be able to have an interview with President Alexander. He is an incredible man, and what he told me in my interviews was also an answer to prayers. I am very grateful to have a mission President in tune with the Spirit to be able be an instrument in the Lord's hand. I look up to him, and strive to follow the example he has set for the mission. 
      This past few weeks as a zone leader, I have really seen the Lord working through me. It seems a lot of my past struggles and afflictions, are what members in the Zone are going through, so I am able to help them through it better. I am excited, because I get to train the zone this Friday at Zone Conference! There we are releasing big things to the mission!
      I don't know if I told y'all, but our mission is one of 12 missions testing big things. We found out what one of the big things are recently. And we found out that Zone Leaders and Sister training Leaders get it tomorrow! The mission is getting smart phones! It's so crazy! Idk what it will do, but I will keep you updated on how they are next week!
      Well that's all the spiritual, but physically, it is fall! The weather is so much nicer and the leaves are turning! It's beautiful now, the only problem is it gets dark earlier, and people aren't as receptive when it's dark. But we will work through it! I hope y'all have a wonderful week! And I look forward to hearing from you! Sorry, it's a short email, but my mind is full from conference, and I can't really think too much other than the work right now πŸ˜… but I Love y'all! 

Now I close my epistle. I am Elder Beaulieu ; I am a zone leader of the people of Winston-Salem.

October 9, 2017

Wow... crazy week! πŸ˜₯πŸ’ͺ

This has been a very eventful week.... and now i am tired. Let me just go step by step. 

MLC (Missionary Leadership Council)
      This a meeting where the zone leaders, sister training leaders, assistants, and President meet to discuss the needs of the mission, where we council what to teach at zone conference. Super spiritual, tons of spiritual gems, mostly regarding the new way we plan. At the end, each companionship got smartphones! Which they have been super nice. 
      Crazy thing, we had to drive up another area's new car, but we also had to drive up our car. So they had each of us drive alone up the 2 hour drive. It was wierd! I hadn't been alone for over a year, so it felt strange, and it was only the second time i've driven alone. But, that was an amazing meeting, Super Spiritual. 

Zone Conference
      The night before, the assistants came over and stayed the night. We also had exchanges with them right after. So with 6 elders in the apartment, we got to bed late haha. Then we had to wake up early to get there on time, so i was exhausted. I also got to conduct, which was scary but fun! The stuff they talked about was what we discussed at MLC but they made it more fun, so that was great. 

Exchanges with the Assistants
      After zone conference, we had to help the rest of the zone set up their phones which took a little bit. Then us and the assistants went to dinner right after, ending at about 5:30. Then, me and one of them had to drive down to Charlotte, which should only be about an hour, but we got back at about 8:30 haha. Another crazy thing though, was we had to drive back the one areas old car, so i got to drive alone again! It was a nice peaceful time I got to talk to God a lot. but it was strange being alone lol. 
      The next day though, we had an hour+ drive back so I was able to learn a lot from Elder Carroll about being a Zone Leader. Luckily, i replaced him, so he gave me tips on how to help this zone specifically. 

I'm sorry this isn't much, but Elder Beaulieu is exhausted today, and thats all my mind can think of right now haha. But I love you all! And i will end this with a scripture to make this spiritual! 

Alma 26:12
 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

-Elder Beaulieu

October 16, 2017

I will apologize now, Elder Beaulieu is exhausted right now, so this email will probably be pretty scattered. 
      So this week we got to go on a couple exchanges. And on exchanges, it's very hard to go to bed on time on exchanges because you just want to stay up and talk to the missionary. And it's hard being in a 4 Elder apartment because 2 of us want to sleep and 2 of us want to have fun.... I want to sleep πŸ˜…. One of the exchanges I went to the Spanish area, and I did not understand anything, but Hispanic people are so great!
      We've been trying to help lift the zone a lot lately, and we think we have some pretty good ideas. A lot to do with accountability, which is a principle I've really grown to love on my mission. And it's great, because a lot of people don't like the zone leaders because their kinda Pharisee-ic and fake sometimes, but a lot of people said that they see me as a friendly guy, so hopefully I could use that to lift the zone.
      That's so sad to hear what happened to Grandpa. I will keep him in my prayers, and I will make sure to work extra hard so all y'all can receive extra blessings. Give him my love, I hope everything will be alright.
      The area is doing better though! Our teaching pool has grown a lot since I've been here, and we have a good amount of people who should be coming to church this Sunday. We're still trying to increase the member involvement, but it is improving! I've found that I connect with the young kids well, they're so much fun to play with! Love you and have a great week!

-Elder Beaulieu

October 23, 2017

This last week has been amazing for the zone. It seems like almost every companionship is seeing more success. I have grown to love each of them. We had a couple exchanges this week. It's crazy because we end up going on about 2 exchanges per week, so it makes it confusing on who your companion is lol. I've learned though, that love does not just come, it is something that needs work to obtain. It is natural to judge, to see and focus on flaws, but it takes real effort to gain that Christlike love for people.
We had an amazing lesson in priesthood on leading with love. It was focused on the talk by Elder Utchdorf, Perfect Love Casteth out fear (Something like that). It talked about the difference between motivation of fear or love. I learned some great insights, I invite y'all to study that sometime! :D
       On the mission there are of course those ups and downs. There are times when the Lord will cut you down, but he will always build you back up if you put your trust in him. It's also amazing how the spirit will guide your prayers. I saw both of these present a few days ago. 
This last transfer has been a lot of building up, I was humbled and this transfer he built me. However, I was saying my prayers a few days ago, and I got the impression to pray to be humble. I knew where that would go, so i just thought to myself "No! I don’t need to be humbled! The Lord just built me up!" The impression came again in the prayer, and I still didn't want to do it. But I finally listened on the third call, and let me tell you..... I needed to be humbled πŸ˜‚
This time has been much different than last few times. The trials have been no easier, but I have been filled with an immense amount of hope and Faith. I never really understood how God would lift burdens from off you, give you peace in your afflictions. But I know now, more than I ever have. I also know that it is no coincidence that this time is so much more hopeful than others. It has come through a year of righteous living, studying the scriptures every day, the constant wrestle with the Lord through prayer. 
My Family, I know right now is tough. With grandpa being in the hospital, and with all other things you are going through, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon everyday, as a family. You will feel peace and hope through these trials, even though they made not be made easier. I know that the Book of Mormon is one of the best ways to connect you with the Lord, and I promise as you come to Him you will find peace. And if your testimony struggles, I invite you to lean on mine. I love you so much, and I am so grateful for this mission. Even though we are thousands of miles away, I feel that the mission has grown me closer to y'all than anything else. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

-Elder Beaulieu

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