Week 35 – The Example of Jesus Christ

Serv Proj

Selfie

Wilderness Service Project

Magandang Tanghali mula dito sa isla!

Mid-day is great here on the Island!

Ang ganda ng buhay dito sa Quezon! Nagulat din ako sa butiking iyon. Kadalasan maganda ang panahon kaso lang umuulan ngayon pala. Hindi kami nagbibinyag sa dagat dahil merong font doon sa simbahan. Sana diba? Mahal namahal din ko kayo!   You’ll have to get Elder Mendame translate that.
Also, ask Elder Mendame if he knows an Elder Villoso (my zone leader who is also from Iloilo.)
I’m excited to hear that Michael got his call, that is Awesome!  It’s really crazy how fast time flies! I’ve been out for 8 months now!
Elder Jim and I are doing great! We’re both learning tagalog together and I have really felt unity with him especially this last week. The branch here is pretty great. There are about 120 people who come to church each week and they are all really dedicated in their callings.
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the Elders in Rizal. We had to ride over an hour and a half in a packed shuttle to get there. I worked with Elder Roca who only has 2 transfers left in his mission. It was kind of weird to think about being that close to coming home. I can’t even imagine, but I can see how fast it has already gone! Eight months. It’s so fast.  Rizal is the very tip of our mission and it’s so beautiful there!
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After another shuttle trip on Wednesday we were able to teach the Penaflor Family. We had originally planned to teach about the Plan of Salvation, but we both felt like the Word of Wisdom was what they needed to hear. When we followed up about their reading in the Book of Mormon we found out that Sister Penaflor has been reading the Book of Mormon to Brother Penaflor because his sight isn’t so great anymore. They had prayed and told us that they felt the Spirit and believe that the Book of Mormon is true. It made me so happy to hear! As we continued on and taught the Word of Wisdom, they accepted it wholeheartedly. As soon as we told them the 5 things that we should avoid, Sister Penaflor told us that they would quit drinking coffee from then on. We hadn’t even committed them to live it yet! It was yet another testimony builder that there are people in every area who are prepared by the Lord to receive the Gospel.
We had that service project in the pictures and it went pretty well until we were about to head back into town. We got a flat tire and after changing it decided that the spare wasn’t going to hold all of us so the 4 missionaries had to find another way back. It took up most of our proselyting time walking and waiting for a shuttle. After about 3 shuttles had passed by (all of them were full) we decided to just keep walking. We ended up finding a house along the road and it turns out that some less active members live there! Just then a trike came to drop someone off nearby and we were able to get a ride back to Quezon. I know that Heavenly Father has a reason for everything!
As far as investigators go we have a few others who are really progressing. One was a referral from some recent converts named Brother Joseph. He is really receptive. I felt like we should invite him to baptism at the end of the first lesson. He accepted and has a tentative date for May 30th. He came to church yesterday along with the Penaflors and 3 other investigators of ours! When I asked him if he would “follow the example of Christ by being baptized” he looked right at me and said “susundin ko siya” I will follow Him. I know that if we all have faith like that to humble ourselves and simply say “I will follow Him.” We can become much more than we are now. Christ is our perfect example and if we exercise faith, repent, and follow Him, He can work miracles in us and through us. I’m out of time but I love you guys and hope that you have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley
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Week 34 – Following the Spirit

Studying

My Study Area

cool lizzard

A Cool Lizard in back of our House

this is where we work out

This is Where We Work Out

Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat!
It has once again been a great week here in Quezon.
As we planned on Monday night, we both had a strong impression that we needed to visit a couple who lives in Tapsan (about a 30 minute tricycle ride from where we usually work). We scheduled that appointment with faith that it would work out and hoping that we wouldn’t be wasting the travel time. The next day we traveled to Tapsan and went to the house. When we got there, only the wife was home and we had no member working with us, so we couldn’t teach her. I felt like we had just wasted all this time traveling, but as we set up an appointment for a few days later, I had a thought come into my mind. I remembered some people whom we had spoken with a few weeks earlier that lived just a 2 minute walk away. They were home and we offered to share a short video and message with them. We watched the Because He Lives video and could really tell that they were feeling the Spirit. Elder Jim and I shared our testimonies and committed them to read the Restoration pamphlet. We set up a return appointment after the one with the other couple and then rode back to Quezon. I know that we were guided by the Spirit. Elder Jim commented to me as we walked away from where we had taught, “That’s why we needed to come here.” I know that it’s true. Heavenly Father is always guiding us as we follow the promptings of the Spirit.
I want to tell you guys a little bit about our investigators. The ones who are really progressing right now are those ones who we planned to visit in Tapsan. The Penaflors. They are a husband and wife in their 70’s. They actually have a couple of kids who are members so they were a referral from the ward. When we visited them on Friday Sister Penaflor told us that she had read the Introduction and the Testimony of Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon. I asked her how it was and she just smiled and said, “ang ganda!” (like, “so beautiful”) Sister Penaflor has now come to church 2 weeks in a row and Brother attended yesterday. They have great faith and are starting to realize why their children made the decision to join the church so long ago.
Another highlight was exchanging with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday. It was a great day and I was really able to learn from Elder Villoso’s example in teaching. I was also able to get some good advice from Elder Sims about helping Elder Jim with tagalog. He actually lived in Idaho before his mission. He went to Meridian and we know some of the same people from the Boise Youth Spectacular that I went to Junior year. (Also, It’s crazy that all these people I know from school are on missions now). As Elder Villoso and I planned for the day, he asked, “what do you think Tatay Claveria needs right now?” I thought for a little bit and the topic of repentance popped into my head. We picked a scripture to share with him and went on with planning. Later on as we went to visit him, I asked if he had read in the Book of Mormon and for the first time in a while he actually had! I asked where he read and he said, “hindi ko natandaan kung saan, pero tungkol pagsisisi.” (I don’t remember where, but it was about repentance.) I knew right then that it was the Spirit that guided us in our planning.
I only have a few minutes left but I just wanted to share with you my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I finished it yesterday for the first time in my mission. I know that it’s true. I know that it was written by prophets of God under the influence of the Holy Ghost. I know that if we not only read it, but truly study and ponder it, we will come closer to the Savior. That is the main purpose of the Book of Mormon: to testify of Jesus Christ. I know that studying the scriptures is a commandment of God and that if we make time for it, we will have peace and guidance in our lives. I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 33 – Inspiration from A Chosen Prophet and Apostles

Bus

Bus back from Zone Meeting in Narra. Elder Binhaon in front, Elder Coloma next and then me.

House

Bahay namin (Our House)

Comp

Bagong kasama (New Companion)  –  Elder Jim

He killed that spider (last week) right after I took the picture. Elder Jim is awesome and really wants to learn Tagalog so that he can more effectively share the message with the people here. So that’s what we’re focusing on during our language study.

Also, we are actually headed right into the hot season right now. So I’m getting tan again.

Magandang Tanghali Ulit! It has been an amazing week here in Quezon and also Narra!

FIrst off we had Zone Meeting on Tuesday. It was great to receive counsel and guidance from our leaders and was a good lead-in to general conference. The main topic there was the Because He Lives video. We finally have a copy of it to show to those we teach. If you guys haven’t seen it, take 2 minutes, get on youtube or helives.mormon.org and watch it right now. It’s amazing and has been a great tool for us. The main role of the Holy Ghost is to testify of God and of Jesus Christ. This video does that and brings the Spirit into the room right away. Just this last week we have 9 new investigators from this video! It really is true. President Ostler challenged us last week to write our own “Because He Lives” testimony. I want to share mine with you:
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that he atoned for the sins of the world. I have felt the redeeming power of his sacrifice in my life and seen it in the lives of others. Because Christ lives, there is at least one other who knows what we feel, what we experience, and what we go through each day. He knows exactly how to uplift us in our trials. He is especially present in the work of Salvation, or missionary work. The promise in D+C 84 is true. He is “on our right hand and our left.” His grace “opens the windows of heaven” (President Uchtdorf) and allows us to be much more than we ourselves could alone become. I know that this is true!
The next highlight was a Family Home Evening on Wednesday at the Claveria’s house. There were so many members there for support. We watched the Because He Lives video and had a kind of testimony meeting. The Spirit was so strong as each member shared their testimony of the restored gospel and of the Savior. Then it came time for the non-member father to speak. Brother Claveria got a little bit choked up as he spoke about almost getting baptized years ago. He said that he truly wants his family to be whole once again. When he finished speaking, I bore my testimony to him about the Atonement. No matter what we have done in the past or what we wish we could change, the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives us that chance to become clean and to become a better person. I testified to Brother Claveria that he still has a chance for his family to be united in the restored gospel. Elder Jim and I were so happy to see him at the morning session of General Conference yesterday. I know that the Spirit is really the one who spoke to Brother Claveria.
Next is general conference! Ive only got a few minutes left so I’ll just share some of my favorite quotes.
“What do we do with the Saviors teachings in our lives?” Dallin H. Oaks on becoming “good soil.”
“The decision to believe will shape all of our other decisions.” -L. Whitney Clayton
“As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly, and perfect love casteth out all fear.” David A. Bednar
“No one is predestined to receive less than all that God has for his children.” D. Todd Christofferson
“Many of the things you can count, don’t count.”  “If you feel weak or small, please simply come unto Christ who makes weak things strong.” Pres. Uchtdorf
Also the Primary general president talked about “I know my Savior loves me.” That’s the song mom sent me!
My favorite: “I could teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music.”
I also want to just testify that I know that Thomas S. Monson is God’s chosen Prophet on the earth today. There are so many more that I loved. I hope we can all take these inspiring messages and use them in our own lives and to bless the lives of others. I love you all!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 32 – Making New Friends…

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Palawan is a Beautiful Place

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I was about halfway through my shower when I saw this guy on the wall!

Magandang Tanghali sa inyong lahat! It has been a great first full week here in Quezon!

 Thanks for the pictures of and update about the temple!  I’m so happy that there will be a temple that close!  That’s so exciting! I’m glad work is going well.  It’s great to hear about conference. I’ll get to watch it next week.
We had the baptism of Sister Frecilyn this week. She is 16 years old and has an amazing testimony. It was really great. I taught Elder Jim the baptismal words in Tagalog and he nailed it! Except he forgot to say her middle name the first time! That’s okay though, second time’s the charm. Sister Frecilyn then bore her testimony and said that she really wants to prepare now to go on a mission.
As far as the investigators go that we have here, there are a few who are really great and already progressing. One of them is Sister Iko. She has a member boyfriend so we thought that that was the main reason she is listening to us, but what she said in our lesson Monday proved that wrong. She said that she knows that The Church is a blessing to her boyfriends life and wants to really know the truth for herself before she makes the decision to join. We testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon and how she can really know the truth from Heavenly Father and not have to rely on anyone else.
The Claveria family is one that we are also focusing on. The mother is a semi-active member along with a couple of the kids but the father and also their nine year old son have not been baptized. We had a great lesson with them a few days ago. We really focused on teaching their father. He really wants his son to be baptized but he seems hesitant about himself. I bore my testimony to him about the Gospel being able to bless his family and told him that if he wants his family to really be united, he can be an example to them in accepting and living the Gospel. He then said a very sincere and heartfelt prayer to end that lesson.
I also wanted to share about a lesson with some new investigators. We had OYM’ed Sister Madrid on Wednesday. She was very nice and said that we could come back anytime. When we went back to teach her on Saturday, her husband was also there. As we sat down and opened with a prayer I could feel a little awkwardness from Brother Madrid. I could tell that he wasn’t too sure if he wanted us there or not. I felt like focusing on his family and how this Gospel can bless them would help him to open up, so that’s what we discussed as we began teaching. It was amazing to see the Spirit really work with him and soon he was looking through the pamphlet instead of just leaving it on the shelf next to him like earlier. I asked how he thinks living the teachings of Christ could bless him and his children. I could really feel his love for his family as he spoke about giving his children a brighter future. Elder Jim and I testified that Heavenly Father loves us just like Brother Madrid loves his children and that He wants the best future possible for us; to live with Him as families for eternity. I really felt the Spirit as Elder Jim shared how happy he is that his mother was just baptized
I only have a couple of minutes left but I just wanted to share this last highlight. This Sunday was probably the best of my mission. It was an amazing testimony meeting after Sister Frecilyn’s confirmation. I felt the Spirit so strongly as the members of Quezon Branch bore their testimonies. I know that his branch is really capable of great things. The members don’t have a lot, but they all have testimonies of the truthfulness of this Church and the Gospel and they are willing to share them. I know that this is where Heavenly Father wants me and I know that missionary work will bring everyone involved closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and help them to feel the Holy Ghost. I love you guys so much and I hope that you have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 31 – What a Journey!

Palawan

Palawan – The Most Beautiful Island in the World

Maligayang buhay! It has been a busy and also amazing week.

On tuesday we had our last lesson with Sister Erlinda. Elder Lumanta actually transferred as well from Sampaloc C to Sampaloc B (we said he was just transferring downstairs haha). He’ll be with Elder Clark there and our area was taken by the new sisters. The lesson was amazing. She really is doing her best to quit and is slowly overcoming the temptations that come to her. At the end of the lesson I said that I would be transferring and Sister Erlinda bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith being a prophet and of The Church being restored. It was so powerful that I almost lost it and started crying. She said that even if we are gone, she will still strive to quit smoking so that she can accept Jesus Christ and his gospel fully into her life. It really brought peace to my heart. I know that the Sisters who are assigned there now will take good care of Sister Erlinda.
We also got to eat at Sister Lanie’s house for one last time on Tuesday. It was delicious and you’ll probably see those pictures.
Wednesday should have been our flight but that didn’t quite happen. The vans were late coming to pick us up and we just barely missed the deadline time. So the Assistants and Zone Leaders had to scramble to get us somewhere to sleep. It worked out okay though for Elder Villoso and I because we were able to attend the new leaders meeting the next morning. I’m actually the new district leader here in Quezon which was a surprising message from President Ostler on Tuesday night.
We finally flew out on Thursday and that’s when I left my proselyting bag in the mission office. I thought that it had been loaded into the back of the van, but it was actually with some other missionaries bags in the office. It has my camera, english scriptures. and wallet in it. But one miracle that did happen there was that I had a feeling to put my driver’s license in my White Handbook so it would be easier to grab. I ended leaving the bag that it would have been in. I still wish I hadn’t left the bag but at least the Spirit saved me on that one and I had some ID for the airport.
The next highlight was meeting Elder Zook at the Puerto Princessa airport. I’m not in his zone, but I got to stay in their bahay for the night before we took the shuttle to Quezon in the morning. It was an awesome time catching up with him on the trike over there.
My new companion is Elder Jim from Micronesia. He has only been in the mission for 2 transfers which makes me his “follow-up trainer.” He is having a little bit of a tough time with tagalog but I know that that is an opportunity for both of us to learn and grow. His English is okay so at least we can understand each other. During our weekly planning session, we had our companionship inventory and he told me a little about his family situation as we talked. He said that it was really hard leaving them because he’s the only member, but then he shared his testimony of the Book of Mormon. I felt the Spirit so strongly as he said that the reason he came here on his mission is because he knows this is the truth and he can’t deny that witness. I know that he has a hard time with Tagalog, but his testimony is so powerful I know that our investigators will feel that same Spirit that I felt. I’m glad to have him as my companion and I know that if we work together, The Lord can work through us to accomplish great things here in Quezon. Our “house” is actually a really big house. It even has a kind of attic second level but we don’t use it. The funny thing is that the rent is about one quarter of what it was for the little tiny apartment in Manila.  It’s so beautiful here and we are right next to the ocean.
The branch here is my last weekly highlight. We had a big dinner on Saturday with the Branch President, President Custodio. He is really great and I can see that he is very dedicated to his calling here. The food that his wife made was amazing and they even bought Lechon which is a whole fried pig. All of the members that I have met so far have been so loving and supportive of us. I am really excited to get to work a whole week here next week and to meet all of our investigators!
I’m out of time, so I just want to say that I love you all and I know that your Heavenly Father loves you too. He will never leave you alone and His love is always available in times of trial. Have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat po kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley