Week 39 – Read The Book of Mormon Every Day

District

The New Quezon District

Farming

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Service Can Take Many Forms

Magandang buhay mula sa isla!

Elder Jim and I actually got asked to sing a special version of “I Stand All Amazed” in our Zone Conference this Thursday. We don’t have a lot of time to practice so it’s a little scary but you can’t really say no to Sister Ostler, she’s way too nice.
I guess I’ll start first with kind of a weekly lowlight. There has been a little bit of a sickness going around and I got it first last Monday, then Elder Jim got it on Friday. We weren’t able to work on either of those days, but I did get a lot of personal study done on Friday. I am doing my best to get everything that I can out of my study hours. Also, there is a great quote from Pres Benson about how the Book of Mormon is really for “our day”. I have learned so much more than I did before and I just wish that I had taken full advantage of the time that I had before the mission to read, especially in the Book of Mormon. That’s my invitation for you guys. Especially anyone who reads this who is still in high school. Prioritize your time and set some aside each day to study the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophet and apostles today. It will bless you with more than just knowledge. You will gain and strengthen a testimony of the truth of the restored gospel and of the Savior and His Atonement. You will be more receptive to the Spirit and will find greater perspective in everything that you do.
I wanted to share about one of the less active members that lives in our area. Elder Jim and I can only visit him every once in a while because he is always out fishing to make a living, but he was home for a few days this week so we went and taught him a lesson. We taught about faith and that if we have show our faith through obedience Heavenly Father will bless us. He told us that he knows the church is true and that he always wants to come to church but needs to work in order to make a living. While in the lesson he actually told us that we are “just kids, and don’t understand family life.” Obviously that’s not the most uplifting thing to hear, and I was going to tell him about the trials that I have had and that I DO understand, but I paused for a second and tried to listen to to Spirit instead of just telling this man that he was wrong. Instead, I felt that I should just testify to him and leave 3rd Nephi 13:31-33 for him to read. After the lesson, I realized that what he said is partially true. We are just young Elders. We don’t have all of the life experience that the people around us have, especially with them living in the Philippines for their whole lives. But we are called by a prophet of God to bring this gospel to them. It reminds me again of the Lord’s way in His work. He works by “small and simple things.” Even though we don’t know what all of these people are going through or have gone through, we know that this Gospel is the way to “peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.” I testified to that brother that if we show our faith and obey the commandments, Heavenly Father will bless us, always. Whether we have plenty of time or we are way too busy, the gospel is exactly the same. It will bless the life of anyone who lives it. I noticed when I was reading in the New Testament that as Jesus called each of the Apostles to follow Him, that they did so “straightaway.” They had faith to leave behind their old lives and to follow the Savior. I know that each of will be blessed as we truly make the decision now to live the gospel, no matter what the obstacles are. Because Heavenly Father will always provide a way (1st Nephi 3:7).   It’s been a big eye opener to me here to see all of the less active members. The most effective thing that I have seen is the members and ward leaders working together with missionaries to help the less active members return. When it’s just the members or just the missionaries it’s not as powerful, but when we really coordinate together, that’s when the miracles happen.
I am just about out of time but wanted to give you a quick update on the Penaflors. We taught them this week and set a baptismal date of June 6th for the two of them!!! Brother is continuing to live the Word of Wisdom and told us how much better he feels and that he knows he’ll live longer because of it. I am excited for them and very thankful that we were able to find them through the branch.
That’s all for this week. I love you all!
Mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 38 – The Gospel is Blessing Lives

List

A list of all the Elders who have served in Quezon. I’m at the bottom. Elder Zook is also on here.

P day activity

P Day activity at Iluluway – Fresh coconut juice is delicious!

Fresh coconut juice -delicious

                                                                                            Masarap!

Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat!

On Tuesday we had Zone Meeting with some new changes being implemented into the mission. First off we are trying to shorten all of our lessons to 30 minutes or less. This will really help us to get more work done and allow the investigators more time to read and keep their commitments. Elder Jim and I have already seen the blessings of this in the work. The second big change was that we committed to sing a hymn in each lesson. At first I was a little apprehensive about that one. I know that Hymns are really powerful and can bring the Spirit… when other people sing them! Luckily Elder Jim has a good voice so I just kind of follow along with him! I’ll have to work on the whole singing thing but Elder Jim and I have already seen the effect of this new, inspired change.
There were two lessons specifically where I felt that the Hymn really affected our investigators. One was with a husband and wife where the wife’s family are members. Brother Ian, her husband, didn’t know any hymns but his sister-in-law suggested “I Am a Child of God.” Even though it was just Elder Jim and I singing, I really saw the expression on Brother Ian’s face change. He definitely felt the Spirit and the lesson was much more focused and effective than our last one with him had been. The other lesson was with the Baco Family. They obviously didn’t know the hymn “Families Can Be Together Forever,” but they held the hymnbook and tried their best to follow along as we sang. It really invited the Spirit into the lesson and Brother and Sister Baco’s daughter opened up to us in that lesson that she knows what we are sharing is true! I know that the things we learned in Zone Meeting are truly inspired.
This Friday we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and Elder Villoso interviewed Sister Penaflor for baptism. The plan was for her to be baptized first because Brother Penaflor will still have to wait a few weeks. She passed her interview but said that she really wants to wait for her husband to be baptized as well, so that’s the new plan. Elder Villoso shared with her in 2nd Nephi 33:1 about the Spirit carrying the truth to Brother Penaflor’s heart. Sister Penaflor said that she will read the Book of Mormon to Brother Penaflor every day to help him prepare as well. I also had a great day with Elder Merrill who is our new zone leader here in Narra Zone. We did a ton of OYMing and had a great lesson with Brother Raffy, who is now just waiting for his papers to come back so that he and his girlfriend can be married, then he can be baptized. He is really committed and working hard so that he can accept the Gospel into his life.
I am just about out of time but I just wanted to share my testimony with you guys that I know that Jesus Christ lives. He really does love us so much and wants us to become what only He can make of us.  We watched a video in Zone Meeting and one part was from a talk by Henry B. Eyring. He said something like this, “Whenever I feel like I have completed something difficult and deserve a rest, I give myself this rallying cry, “Remember Him.”” He goes on to talk about how even after the Savior said, “it is finished” and his mortal life was over, he then went and continued his work in the Spirit World. I know that if we will all Remember Him more in our lives, we will gain greater perspective on what is truly important and we will seek to bring others to that knowledge as well.
I love you all so much and hope that your week is a great one.  I’m excited that you guys are committed to doing more missionary work. I know that you’ll really see the blessings from it! Keep sending me your spiritual/missionary experiences!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 37 – It Was Great to See Everyone!

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Elders Pagara, Barret, Beagley, Binhaon, and Coloma
The Church is in good hands with these Elders.  – President Ostler

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Last picture of Quezon district before the transfer

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Trike selfie – photo credit to Elder Jim (that takes skill on a moving trike)

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Mothers Day Video Call – What a Spectacular Day!!!!!!!!!

Magandang Gabi sa inyong lahat! (since it’s night time there)

It has been another great week here, especially being able to see and to talk with you!
Here are the talks I wanted to share with you guys:
-The First Presidency Message in the February 2014 Ensign, Serve the Lord with Love (parts of talks from Thomas S. Monson)
-Put your trust in the Lord from M Russell Ballard in the Oct. 2013 session of General Conference
-Come and See from David A. Bednar in Oct 2014 GC
Tuesday was the last district meeting before transfers and our topic was the “why” of our purpose as missionaries. The whole meeting was really about charity. I wanted to share with you guys one thing that was said. “If we do this work for any other reason than love, it isn’t enough. We might still get the job done and have some baptisms, but it doesn’t mean as much.” It was just like what President Ostler said in our interview. He said that we can do the work for the numbers, to look good on our weekly call-in, but it won’t be as effective, it would just be hollow. Charity is the right reason to share the gospel. Like I told you it doesn’t come right away. I definitely still have some work to do, but I know that if we really live the gospel and pray for help it will come. We need to build our own faith in scripture study and prayer, repent, and renew our covenants every Sunday and we will be more prepared to share what we have with others. I love the story that David A. Bednar shared in that talk about his son. After his injuries were taken care of and he had relief he wanted to share that feeling with all of those around him. It’s just like that for us. When we “hear the beautiful music of the gospel” in our own homes and lives, we will want others to listen and feel that joy as well.
On Wednesday we had yet another miracle. On Tuesday night, after a ride on a trike, I noticed that our cell phone was no longer in my pocket. I remembered thinking earlier that I should move it into my other pocket where I usually put it, but I had just kind of brushed that off.  I did my best not to panic and just think about where it could be. We went back to all of our appointments that we had had earlier on and there was no sign of it. We determined that it must be on the trike that we rode and that we would just text and call it from the other Elders’ phone later on. When we tried to do that, there was no reply. I thought for sure that it had fallen out on the road or been taken by the driver and we would never see it again. Then I had a feeling come into my heart that I shouldn’t worry and I realized that all I could do was ask for Heavenly Father’s help. That night and into the next day I fasted and prayed that somehow we would get our cell phone, and all of the numbers of our investigators, back. Wednesday after eating dinner Elder Jim and I felt like we should go look by the market where a lot of the trikes gather waiting for people to ride. We didn’t recognize any of the trikes or the drivers and were about to give up looking when we decided to go around the block one more time.  It was on our second time around that Elder Jim saw a driver who looked familiar. The driver had our cell phone at his house! He is an older man and doesn’t know how to use any other phone than his so he couldn’t answer us the night before. I know that Heavenly Father really answered my prayers and helped us out.
As far as our investigators go, The Penaflors are doing great! They have come to church 4 times now and Brother Penaflor has now quit smoking. We are continuing to follow up in order to make sure that he is really preparing for his baptism. These people are so prepared by the Lord through those around them, including their children who are members. They have seen what the Gospel can do in the lives of others and they are ready to receive it into their own lives.
I just wanted to share an experience with everyone that I shared with you guys on Skype about the Baco Family. We found this family through OYMing and had not had a member in our first lesson with them so we were really focused on getting a fellowshipper to come with us in the next lessons. When the time came for our return appointment, there was nobody who could come with us. We went to their house and they invited us in. Just about a minute after the opening prayer, an older Sister from the branch walked right up to their house. It turns out that she is a friend of theirs and they never knew that she was “a mormon.” She was able to help us by sharing her testimony of the Restoration. The lesson turned out great and the Baco family really started to open up to us. I know that it was what Heavenly Father wanted to happen. I have a testimony that His hand is truly evident in this work. I see it every day through all of these miracles. I know that if we do all that we can, He will make up the rest.
I am almost out of time, but I just wanted to say that I love you all so much! I know that you can each do missionary work even in little ways. In Alma 37:6 it says this: “…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” Heavenly Father definitely knows that we are just small and simple people and we are only capable of small and simple things on our own. But with His help, we can be the means of “many mighty miracles” -Alma 26:12 He will make up for our weaknesses if we humble ourselves before him (Ether 12:27) His grace is definitely sufficient for all who will trust in Him. He will give us what we need to say and do to accomplish these things. I know that this is true.
I love you all so much! Happy Mother’s Day again!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 36 – So Excited to Talk on Mothers Day!

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Sister Frecilyn’s Baptism

District shirts

Quezon District Shirts

On the Back

Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat!

This letter is going to be a little short. There was a power outage earlier on and we have a dinner appointment with the Elder’s Quorum President in just a little bit.
I’m so excited to talk next week! I love you tons!
I have been shopping for socks and shoes, but there ended up not being any shoes in my size so I’m still looking.  I don’t have any pictures of a trike but I’ll try and get one. Maybe I can when we go to the Branch President’s house since he has one.
The Penaflors are doing great and Sister even bore her testimony yesterday. About halfway through fast and testimony meeting the Sister who was sitting next to Sister Penaflor motioned me to come over to them. I was a little confused at first but got up and walked over wondering if there was a problem. The sister asked me if Sister Penaflor was allowed to share her testimony, which brought a smile to my face. I told her yes and Sister Penaflor got a big smile on her face as well. As I went and sat down she stood up to go to the pulpit. Her testimony was great. She testified that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Word of Wisdom is a blessing to her and her husband. She said something about the Word of Wisdom that made everyone laugh. She said, “Ah salamat, bawas gastos” (it means: thanks, money saver) The spirit was very strong as she bore her simple and sincere testimony of the gospel which we are sharing with her. I know that the Spirit has borne witness to Sister Penaflor of the truth. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve these amazing people who are truly prepared by the Lord.
We also had the opportunity to have interviews with President Ostler this week. Everything that I had been pondering and studying was what President Ostler talked to me about. I know that he is truly called of God to be our mission president here at this time. We talked a lot about Charity. I know that if we really appreciate the Atonement, the Gospel, and its effect in our lives, and if we truly have Charity for those around us, we will share what we know to bless the lives of others. If this is the “why” of our missionary work, it will be that much more meaningful and we will have the Spirit with us.
I am out of time, but I love you all so much and I hope that you have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley