Week 74 – We Can “Fit” Missionary Work Into Our Lives

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Elder Valdez is teaching me to make Filipino foods! He’s really good at vegetables since he’s an Ilokano.

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This is called pakbet.  I’m gonna learn a lot from Elder Valdez!

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This one is called sinigang (porridge). We made it with tilapia.

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Ang ganda ng buhay dito sa Makati. (Everything is great here in Makati) Our area is Pasay but we live in Makati, both part of metro Manila. It has been another great week here, full of miracles.

Elder Crowder’s dad had a business in Qatar so that’s why he was there working on one of the rock grinding machines.  Elder Valdez has started teaching me how to cook and it’s hard. Hopefully I can learn from him and cook some delicious Filipino food for us when I get back.

Brother Edgar has been working with us and is really helping to fellowship Brother Dhemer. It’s great to see how strong the recent converts are in their testimonies. Brother Erving (Brother Edgar’s cousin from the baptismal picture) is also a recent convert and was called as our assistant ward mission leader. Our lessons with Brother Dhemer have been going great and I shared an experience from one of them with President Ostler:
          “I wanted to share about the same investigator from last week, Brother Dhemer. He is so prepared that it took me by surprise in one of our lessons. We went to teach him on Tuesday with Brother Edgar, a recent convert. He had already accepted the Restoration and is reading in the Book of Mormon so we decided to teach him about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. We had actually discussed the Word of Wisdom in Gospel Principles Class when he came to church and he told us that since then he had been drinking Milo instead of coffee. We were happy to see his willingness to repent and change in order to keep the commandments. We then taught him about the Law of Chastity. After some explanation of what the commandment was Brother Dhemer got a look of realization on his face and said, “kaya pala.” (That’s why.) We asked him what he meant and he explained that he and his wife aren’t married. He said that he felt there was something big in his life that was keeping him from coming closer to God and that he now knew what it was. He was the one that told us he needed to get married before he gets baptized. This is the first time I’ve seen an investigator with this kind of faith. He is already planning the earliest time that he can bring his wife from the province so that they can get married, hopefully by the end of February. Brother Dhemer also mentioned that the things that he was working hard to achieve and praying about just didn’t seem to work out. He said that now he knows it’s because he hasn’t been keeping all of God’s commandments. It’s a blessing and a miracle to see conversion happening in the lives of these people.”
We also had exchanges this week with Elder Jim and Elder Yanzon. I went with Elder Jim in their area and we had a great day (just like old times.) I have really seen how Elder Jim has grown, not only with the language, but also in his skills as a missionary and exercising faith. We saw at least one miracle when we contacted a referral whose mother is working abroad in Utah. He accepted us in right away, accepted a baptismal date, and even came to Stake Conference at Russel chapel yesterday. The Lord is continuously preparing people to receive the fullness of his gospel.
The last thing that I wanted to share with you was the message that Sister Ostler gave at Stake Conference this last Saturday night. She said that everyone is busy and thinks that we can’t fit missionary work in our lives. That’s what she taught: How to “FIT” missionary work in our lives.
1. F for Friendship. We all already have friends that we are thinking of sharing the gospel with.
2. I for Invite. This is the important part. We have to open our mouths and have a little bit of courage to invite them to a church activity or sacrament meeting.
3. T for Testify. As we testify after we invite, the spirit will bear witness of the things that we say and will help our friends accept the invitation.
I know that these three simple things will really help us all share the gospel with more of our friends. I love you guys and hope that you have another amazing week!
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat! (I love you all)
Ingat kayo palagi! (Stay safe)
-Elder Beagley

Week 73 – We Can All Do Our Part

New Missionary

This is the brand new missionary in our apartment, Elder Crowder. He’s 19 and originally from North Carolina but has most recently been living in Qatar. He’s already pretty good at Tagalog because he had a lot of Filipino friends there.

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Magandang Hapon sa inyong lahat!

We had Zone Meeting this last Tuesday and also a broadcast for the Philippines area. I just wanted to share some of the quotes that I took down in my notebook:
” We need to see the world and these people as Heavenly Father sees them. That’s what it [OYMing] is all about.” -Sister Vaka (This Sister actually reminds me of Hannah and just to make you laugh, after she mispronounced someone’s last name she literally said, “don’t judge me.” That is Hannah all the way.)
A quote from the broadcast: “If we do not choose the kingdom of God first, it will, in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.” -John Taylor. I know that this is so true. It is putting Heavenly Father and his kingdom first in our lives that makes everything come into focus. When we know our purpose in this life and do all that we can to accomplish it, Heavenly Father will bless us with joy and peace.
 I remember getting to go to the temple often before I left and it was an experience that has motivated me a lot to help other families reach that point and receive the blessings. There is a quote about temples. I think it’s from Boyd K. Packer but Elder Bednar repeated it in the training on the Sabbath day. It’s something like, “the whole purpose of the church is to see a man and his wife sealed for time and eternity and happy at home.”
The last highlight is something that Brother Dhemer shared with us after a lesson. He also came to church again yesterday! After we finished teaching him the Plan of Salvation he told us of the time before we met him. The experience that he shared was yet another testimony builder to me and I felt the spirit as he spoke. He had been praying that day for help and guidance. He was experiencing a lot of temptations and trials being so far from his family (they live in the province), and he prayed that Heavenly Father would guide him to the truth. He said that after praying he walked down the street to buy something from the store on the corner. Just as he was coming back he saw us and that is when we talked to him. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father guided us and him that night. I’m grateful that the Spirit helped us to find someone who was truly prepared and searching for something that was missing in his life. I love being a part of this work and seeing these miracles happen. I know that the Lord is the one who is doing His work, but we are blessed to be instruments in his hands. We can all do our small part in the work and the Lord will magnify our efforts.
I love you guys all so much and hope that you have another great week!
Ingat kayo palagi!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
-Elder Beagley

Week 72 – Following Christ Builds Strong Testimonies

Baptism

Brother Edgar’s Baptism

Baptism Group

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Thanks So Much For the Big Letter – It Is Awesome!

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With the Kabahays

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Naimbag nga malem! (Good Afternoon in Ilokano) I learned that one from Elder Valdez.

We found out today that I’m not transferring!  Looks like it’ll be another 6 month area, and I’m excited to see what will happen in the ward and the zone.
I got the big letter/scroll! It was so awesome to be able to read everyone’s messages! Thank you to all of the families that wrote (The Ahlstroms, Youngs, Wagstaffs, Marlins, Bairds, Snooks, Wollfs, Larsens, and Givens), and also Justyn, Kyle Marlin. Thanks also to Corban Hill, Emily Anderson, Rebecca Bryant, Alyssa Pinder, Mr. Fogdall, Ms. Taylor, and Corinne Colt. Thanks for your support. You guys are awesome!
This last Tuesday Elder Valdez and I had a really cool experience when we went to interview 2 investigators from Manila 2nd ward. They are sisters age 15 and 19. I didn’t know before the interview but it turns out that they have been attending church since they were 7 years old, but only now is their non-member father allowing them to be baptized. The sister that I interviewed bore her testimony after passing the interview and it was so strong. I remember her saying, “Matagal na akong naghintay sa araw na ito.” (I have waited so long for this day.) It was amazing to see such great faith and perseverance. The two sisters were baptized this last weekend and their father came to the baptism!
The last highlight is the baptism of Brother Edgar! I got to baptize him and he bore an amazing testimony afterward. He talked about how, at the beginning, he didn’t want to accept us in to teach him because he didn’t have time. He was busy with work and went to the province each weekend and was already strong in his religion. He told about how he began to feel the Spirit and how his desire to listen and especially to read the Book of Mormon increased. He told everyone about the times when he had felt the spirit very strongly and how he knew that it was Heavenly Father telling him what he needed to do. I felt the Spirit so strongly as Brother Edgar told about the most recent time that he really felt the Spirit. It was a lesson this last week when we taught his neighbor, Brother Christian. We had just finished watching the Restoration DVD and we invited Brother Edgar to share his testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. As he began to share, the Spirit filled the room and he had a big smile on his face. He told us after the lesson that he had felt that same spirit again. The last thing that Brother Edgar shared in his testimony was that he knows Heavenly Father has a purpose for him. He knows that Heavenly Father wants him to share the gospel and help those who have not yet received it. I know that that’s true for each and every one of us. We are so blessed to have a knowledge of the Restored Gospel and we need to do all that we can to share it. I know that Brother Edgar was prepared by our Heavenly Father to receive the message at this time and Elder Valdez and I are already seeing his desire to share the truth that he has received.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week! Keep on sharing the gospel and serving others!
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo!
-Elder Beagley

Week 71 – Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God

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Christmas Party

Elder Valdez B-day (2)

Elder Valdez’s 23rd Birthday Got Everyone Singing

Gray Ham cake

I made some Graham Cracker Cake stuff.

They call it “gray ham” cake here,  haha!

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Maligayang Bagong Taon din sa inyo (Happy New Year to you all!)

We didn’t sleep so well on New Year’s Eve. With all of the fireworks and celebrations from just the ones we could hear, it sounded like there really were bombs going off all across Manila.
But that’s okay…
Great news, Brother Edgar is getting baptized! It will be this Saturday (Happy Birthday mom)! He passed his interview yesterday and even stayed after church to participate in choir practice. In our lesson with him this last week he asked us who would baptize him. We told him that he gets to choose and he chose me. He said this, “Gusto ko ang magbinyag sa akin ang isa sa mga Elder na tumulong sa akin para mas makilala si Jesucristo.” (He wants one of the Elders to baptize him because we helped him to know Jesus Christ more.) That made me happy to hear.
I also wanted to share about a lesson we had when our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Madrona, worked with us. He has just been newly called and is already doing a great job. We contacted his wife because he was at work and she told us that he could come with us to teach after he got home. We met him close to our investigators house and went right in to teach Brother Christian. After that short lesson and another afterwards we headed to our last appointment with the Ruiz Family. Sister Ruiz was less active but has now been coming to Church regularly again. We shared with them the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy and at the end of the lesson Brother Madrona shared a scripture that I’m familiar with, but explained it in a way that struck me. We read 3rd Nephi 13: 30-33 about “seeking first the kingdom of God.” He told Brother and Sister Ruiz that there will be Sundays when they have the thought come into their minds, “If we don’t work today, what will we eat tomorrow?” but what we really need to do is seek first the kingdom of God. He then asked a simple question, “Where is the kingdom of god here on earth?” He answered his own question, pointing in the direction of Donada chapel. “It’s right over there on Donada street.” It was a really simple, powerful message. If we do what Heavenly Father wants us to do, he’ll take care of the rest. I felt the Spirit very strong at that moment confirming that what he said is true. I know this is the restored gospel and we are so blessed to be a part of it.”
I know that Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to live with him as eternal families. I know that the only way this is possible is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you guys!
-Elder Beagley

Week 70 – “Incomprehensible Joy” In The New Year

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Love It!

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Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat! (Prosperous New Year to all of you!) It has been another amazing week especially being able to Skype with you guys!  We really are truly blessed to have a knowledge of the gospel. I know that Heavenly Father wants all of us to share this knowledge with as many as we can.  Thanks for your prayers and your testimony!

A crazy thing happened this week that is a miracle in and of itself. We were able to hit our goal for having 30 OYMs each day and, at the same time, we taught more lessons than we usually teach. I know that we are using our time a lot more wisely and that’s what I really want to do, because it’s the Lord’s time.
Update on Brother Edgar: He is doing great! His interview will be this Sunday so that he can be baptized on January 9th! Happy Birthday Mom! We taught him about the law of tithing and he was the one that told us he would start with his paycheck in January. He has really experienced conversion through the Holy Ghost and I know that his faith is being strengthened. We’ll be visiting him later today to teach him about temples and family history work.
We had 2 really amazing experiences this week with OYMing. Heavenly Father is already blessing us with miracles as we strive to contact more people. The first experience happened on Thursday night. Elder Valdez and I went to visit a less active member and started OYMing his neighbors when we saw that he wasn’t home. After talking with a few of them and not having any luck we were about to walk away, but we saw younger man walking towards the complex of houses, so we started a conversation with him as well. After we testified to him of the Restoration, specifically about how we believe in a living prophet, he invited us right in. His name is Brother Dhemer and he told us that for the past while he has really been searching for the truth. The message of the Restoration really seemed to resonate with him as we taught a short overview and left him the pamphlet to read. He told us that he feels like this might be what he’s been looking for and that he’s thankful we shared with him. He didn’t accept a specific date for baptism yet, but he said that once he has read and prayed about the things we are sharing with him he’ll decide if it’s right. I know that he has been prepared by the Spirit and that Heavenly Father was guiding us to him that night. We had another similar experience on Saturday when we found the Guinto family. Brother Guinto was just sitting outside and was surprised when I started speaking tagalog. We testified to him of eternal families and he walked with us to his house where he introduced us to his wife, daughters, and son. We shared a short message and Brother Guinto told us that he would be the first to come to church so that he could see if he wanted to bring his family next week. When we got to the church building yesterday he was already waiting for us. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us and he is placing them in our path as we go. I’m grateful for the challenge that Elder Bowen extended to us and I know that it was inspired.
I just want to end with my testimony. I know that this is the Lord’s work. I’m grateful to have been called to this mission at this time. I read the 28th chapter of Alma earlier and there is a verse that talks about the “incomprehensible joy” that the sons of Mosiah experienced in helping their brethren, the Lamanites, accept the gospel. I know that their struggles and hardships were a lot more than we face in our day, but we can still have that same joy that they had as we share the gospel, that brings us true joy, with others. I love you guys and hope you have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley