Week 87 – If We Seek God and Turn to Him, He will Receive Us

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Baptism of Brother Jonald Solomon

FHE from a couple of weeks ago

FHE from a couple of weeks ago

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Ang nakaraang linggo ay masayang masaya!

It has been a great week! Especially with the baptism of Brother Jonald!
Zone conferences are really going to be great too. We just got out of a meeting with President Ostler where we planned some more of what we want to teach. That’s why my email time kind of got split up.  Just on a funny note, we only have a few CD’s in the van when we drive. One has 10 songs from the BYU men’s choir (we’ve probably listed to them 100 times each), another is from the children’s songbook, and the other is a Christmas CD. We have been driving around Manila, in June, listening to “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear!”
I read a really great scripture in the Old Testament and I wanted to start off with that because I think it relates to everything that happened this week. It’s found in Deuteronomy 4:29-31. It’s Moses speaking to the House of Israel. From time to time, the people of those 12 tribes did not keep the commandments and were punished by God, but this is what Moses says to them:
“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
What I really love about these verses is that it doesn’t matter what they did before; God does not hold grudges if we turn unto him. Once we decide to seek God, turn unto him, and become obedient to his commandments he will receive us. This is a great truth.
That scripture definitely relates to Brother Jonald who was baptized and confirmed this past weekend. He has truly had a change of heart and has turned to the Lord. He was baptized by our Elders Quorum President, President Domingo. After being baptized, Brother Jonald bore his testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how he came to know that the gospel was restored. He then said, “Handa na akong magtiis hanggang wakas.” (I am now ready to endure to the end). I know that he really is ready to endure. He has been through so much in his life, some of it brought on by his own actions and some from the actions of others, but none of that is important anymore because he has now found the truth and come to know the Savior. It is truly a miracle to see people change their lives by coming unto Christ.
We had exchanges this past week and I went with Elder Clark (my old kabahay). Since both companionships would be working in our area we decided that Elder Clark and I would take half and Elder Whittle, Elder Garcia, and Elder Castañeda would take the other half. As we planned for our day I realized that I did not know the area very well and that our half of the area only had a few investigators that I knew how to get to, but I felt that we would still have a great day. The spirit really guided us and we were able to teach 5 lessons and find 4 new investigators in the time that we had to work. We especially felt like Heavenly Father was placing people in our path who would accept the message. Twice, when the person we tried to contact wasn’t there we OYM’ed somebody close by and they let us teach them. We also contacted a referral from a member and taught a mother and her son there. I know that we are not alone in this work and if we just do our best and open our mouths to share the gospel, Heavenly Father blesses us with success in the work. The exchange went well and Elder Clark and I were able to reach our goals for the day.
That’s all for this week. There is really so much more happening, but I could never write it all. I love you all and I hope that you’ll continue to live the gospel, be examples to others, and seek for opportunities to do missionary work.
Mahal namahal ko kayong dalawa.
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 86 – Even the “Small” Things Matter

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Mission Leadership Conference

MLC

El Nido

6-12-2016  First Sacrament Meeting in El Nido!

(On the Island of Palawan)

Elder and Sister Jacobsen and two amazing Elders held the first sacrament meeting in El Nido.  There is a family and some other members who live there, and the missionaries were trying to assess how many members really are there.  This family was so thrilled!

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Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat! It has been a great week with MLC and a lot of time to work in our area!  My companions really are great missionaries! I’m now driving every day, which is good so that I can get used to it here. We had 2 exchanges this past week with zone leaders. The first was with my old kabahay from Quezon Palawan, Elder Binhaon. When we went to pick them up on Monday night it started raining really hard and Elder Whittle had no umbrella. We ended up running to the car and he was soaked. Our exchange with Elder Binhaon went really well and we were able to reach our goals for lessons and finding some new investigators for the day. The next day we had exchanges with the Elders from Palawan since they flew into Manila for MLC. One of them is also my old kabahay, Elder McQuarrie. We found 4 more new investigators with his companion Elder Zeyer and then we got everything ready for MLC.

 

It was my first MLC to actually be teaching instead of being there as a zone leader. We taught about fulfilling our purpose as missionaries. With President Ostler’s permission, we made a video of two of us walking down a busy street in our area and we showed it to the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. We played it through once and asked how they felt about seeing two missionaries walk down a busy street, not talking to anybody. We really encouraged them to always open their mouths and fulfill their purpose every minute of every day. President Ostler taught about the “Why” of our purpose. He shared chapter 16 from 2nd Nephi when Nephi quotes Isaiah. He pointed out something that I had never noticed before. Isaiah initially says “wo is unto me” because he is “a man of unclean lips.” He is not clean and he doesn’t feel worthy to see the Lord. After being cleansed and having his iniquity take away, when the Lord asks, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah replies, “Here am I send me.” It doesn’t matter what our skills are or how much we know. Those things help, but what really matters is if we are clean and if we are willing. Those are the servants that the Lord wants in his work. It was a great MLC.

 

The last main highlight was this last Saturday. Brother Jonald passed his interview with Elder Jones (from my batch) and has one more interview with President Wolcott on Wednesday. He should be baptized on June 18th!!!!   On Saturday we also held a ward mission day activity in our ward and we had about 30 members and one investigator in attendance. We started off by showing the “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go” video about the family doing missionary work. It really invited the spirit and helped the members see what a difference they can make in this work. During the activity we taught about finding, teaching, and fellowshipping from a members standpoint. At the end we went out to work and OYM for 45 minutes and we actually found 4 new investigators with the help of the members. One of the best parts of the activity was seeing the members apply the things that they learned as they fellowshipped our investigator who attended, Brother Jonald. One member named Brother Rafi offered to push Brother Jonald home (since he is in a wheelchair). As they were about to leave, I saw another member, Brother Jimmy, stop them by the door. He handed Brother Jonald an extra plate of food so that he would have something to eat for dinner. It was a small gesture but I could really see that it made a difference. I’m grateful that the members are starting to feel the missionary spirit. I know that the members of the church can make all the difference in the experience that an investigator has while being taught and coming to church. I can testify to what President Hinckley said about the “better way” to do missionary work. Members are key in the work.

That’s all for this week! Keep up the missionary work there as well! I love you all!

Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!

Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

 

Week 85 – A Truly Eternal Perspective…

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This is my face while driving in Manila! It’s a little bit stressful…

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The one on the right is Elder Marquez, Elder Schaeffer’s new anak. Since I trained Elder Lumanta (center) and he trained Elder Schaeffer that makes Elder Marquez my great grandson!

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This is Elder Leofo. We dropped him off at the airport on Wednesday night. I’m his replacement as an assistant.

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Elders Whittle, Garcia & Leofo

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Magandang Umaga sa inyong lahat!

It has been a really busy and kinda crazy week, but it was still great!

This last week was transfer week so that’s why I had to come to the mission office early on Monday morning. Usually transfers happen on Wednesday, but since I would be helping out this time I transferred early. My companions are Elder Garcia and Elder Whittle (We’re in a tri-some right now).  Our new area is actually in my old zone. We’re in Pasay 4th ward. We’ve got some good things happening in the area but it’s kind of hard to visit our investigators regularly since we don’t get to proselyte as much. President Ostler said something really true in my “starting interview” with him. He said that we will really need miracles to achieve the mission vision along with all of our other responsibilities. I know that if we do all that we can, the Lord will bless us with those miracles.

My testimony was strengthened this week about something that Henry B. Eyring said a couple conferences ago. He talked about how when we do our part, the Lord magnifies our efforts. I can testify that this is true. We missed out on 3 and a half days of work this week because of transfer day, new missionary meetings, and other assignments, but we were still able to teach 17 lessons and OYM more people than I ever have before in a week. I know that it’s really true that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” When we were able to work, the Lord magnified our efforts and helped us to find many new investigators this week. I’m really grateful for every minute that we get to proselyte and we are doing our best to make the most out of them.

My last highlight for the week is from a lesson that we had with one of our progressing investigators.  Brother Jonald has been through a lot in his life. He has no legs below the knees and only about half of his fingers due to being burned. A member is taking care of him and that’s how the missionaries came in contact with him. We were teaching Brother Jonald about the Plan of Salvation this past week. As we taught about the Resurrection we asked him how he felt that he would one day have a resurrected body and no longer be in pain. His response wasn’t what I was expecting but it was really profound. He said that he was more excited to feel that he is clean. He talked about why he wanted to be baptized and that he hopes that he can be forgiven for the things he has done in the past. I felt the spirit as he spoke and realized that Brother Jonald is starting to gain an eternal perspective. He values being clean and being able to return to live with Heavenly Father even more that being able to walk again. He understands that this is the greatest of all the gifts of God. I know that no matter what temporal things we may or may not have, we should have the same focus as Brother Jonald. We should live our lives worthily and always seek the kingdom of God first. I know that this is the Lord’s work and I know that He lives! I love you guys! Have a great week!

Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!

Ingat kayo palagi!

-Elder Beagley

Week 84 – We Are All a Part of This Great Work

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This is “Elder” Tueller and his family. Las Pinas was his last area so they came to church here this last Sunday.

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I Love These Guys

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We’ve got this cool table and benches in front of the bahay
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Magandang Umaga sa inyong lahat! It has been a great week and a crazy day!

Here are the highlights for the week:
We had zone interviews this last Tuesday with President Ostler. It’s always a great day and this one was especially good since it was my first interview with President since I got back. What he shared was personally for me, but there is one part that I think we could all learn from. President told me, “You will do what is important to you.” This is such a true principle. President Ostler shared an experience about when he had vertigo. If he tried to read from a printed page or a screen, he would be sick. He still found a way to read his scriptures by listening to them on tape, because that’s how important it was to him.
The sisters in our ward had 2 baptisms this last Saturday. Brother Freddy, who’s 12 years old, and his older Sister Jordalyn got baptized. I was asked to speak on the duties of the Aaronic priesthood for Brother Freddy. I felt the Spirit as I spoke about how his duties, as described in D+C 20:59, are essentially the same as our purpose as missionaries. Mainly, “to invite others to come unto Christ.” I know that this is true for all of us, priesthood holders or not. We are all a part of this work and we can all be great missionaries if we will do a few simple things every day (Read, Pray, and Serve).
Update on Sister Jocelyn: this is my spiritual experience to President Ostler as well:  During our planning we had really been pondering how we could help Sister Jocelyn because it seems like she is having a hard time really making the decision about whether to be baptized or not. The thought came into my head to read Chapter 10 in Preach My Gospel during my personal study. As I read I came to the section “Invite Members to Help You Teach.” It became clear to me then what we needed to do. I realized that Elder Smith and I cannot fully relate to Sister Jocelyn as we were both born in the church and have never made the big change of searching and being baptized in a different church from the one that we grew up in. I realized that we needed to invite a member who was a convert to help us teach and that that would be a big help to Sister Jocelyn. A certain Sister, named Sister Dumugdog, popped into my mind and I knew that she could help us. We invited her to come to our lesson this last Saturday and she met us at Sister Jocelyn’s house. The lesson was great and Sister Dumugdog shared an amazing testimony about how she sought out and found the truth. The Spirit really confirmed to me that what she said is true and I know that Sister Jocelyn felt it as well. I’m grateful for faithful members like Sister Dumugdog who help to hasten the work of salvation.
I’m out of time and we’re about to start our meeting, but I love you guys, Thanks for the love and support! Have a great week!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat! Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley