Elder Beck greeted his family with, "Hola". He said that everything is going well so far! People there are SUPER into talking about "spiritual"/other-side-of-the-veil type things. The members are really into dreams and experiences where people died and came back with memories from the spirit world. The branch president gave a talk about how little children can see through the veil a lot of the time. Brae said, "Interesting...haha!"
He went on an exchange with Elder Hunsaker from Wellsville, Utah, who only has four months left. They were in Tuba City where they shop and have their district meetings. He said that it is still not very big and the grocery stuff is way over-priced. In Tuba City, he met a Hopi guy who is a recovering meth addict who is studying to be an addictions counselor. His reason for meeting with the missionaries was to learn how he could help Mormon people. He claimed to be an atheist. But he told the missionaries that he is always able to open books, point his finger, and find exactly what he needs in the book. He did it while Brae and his companion were there! He opened the Book of Mormon and pointed, and it was this chapter in Alma that totally answered all of his questions. Brae said, "The Spirit is right in front of his face and he doesn't see it!" (That sounds like Divine Guidance to me...just saying...) Their meeting with him went so well that he finally invited the missionaries to his home. He also agreed to learn about Jesus Christ, which he had refused to do up to that point. Brae said, "I suspect that in his studying the gospel to help others, he's really going to help himself more than he knows!"
Brae feels strongly that he has come into contact with some families there that he is meant to be in Cameron to help. The few active members are really great, but they actually work every day, so it is hard to get very many appointments with members present! He is blown away by the humble circumstances in which they live. Many families live in single wide trailers with more than ten people. They don't have running water, propane, or electricity. Many houses have two Rubbermaid containers for a sink and a camp stove on a table in the kitchen, if they even have a kitchen. Hooghans are even smaller because the whole house is one room. Most people have outhouses. He says the food is really good, particularly frybread.
I am quoting Elder Beck for this next part, because it is so Brae! He said, "Apparently there are TARANTULAS and SCORPIONS here during the summer, and I about fainted when they told me!!! Pray that they will stay away from me! I decided that I might have exaggerated a BIT about nights here. I think I'm just psyched out because it is SO dark! Although the stars are the most beautiful sight I've ever seen here! When times are the darkest, it is easy to let the darkness overtake you, but those times are also when you can see the billions of small rays of light in your life that were previously hidden. You can quote me on that. (Pretty General Authority status, right?") It is definitely not easy here. We've been having a hard time finding new people to teach. We've started tracting, which is about the scariest thing I've ever done! People have yelled and argued with us, and some houses are just scary as heck to even approach! Saturday, we had this awesome experience where we were searching for the house of someone who had been referred to us, and we knew roughly where it was. (Nobody has addresses here, which is a pain.) We thought it might be this one house, but then we decided it wasn't, so we just drove by. Then both of us felt prompted to go back, so we did. We knocked on the door, and although we didn't find our referral, we were invited in by a nice lady and her two kids. Her husband and another daughter were not there. They told us how they had met with the missionaries where they used to live, and they loved it. None of their family has been baptized."
When they told Brae and Elder Tolman of their many struggles, Brae told them that their paths were meant to cross that day. He shared Joshua 1:9 with them. "Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." He said that it was AWESOME for them and that he could write a book about the whole experience, "Elder Tolman and I just sat in awe at how the spirit led us there and prepared them. We sat in the pickup at their house afterwards, just thanking Heavenly Father!"
And as the missionary mom, I must add my own witness that Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He knows each one of us by name, and he truly is with us. I think he will even keep the tarantulas and scorpions away if we pray hard enough! <3