Week 92 – Heavenly Father Loves Us!

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Working On The Island of Palawan

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Hindi pala kayo makasalanan! That’s great news that the wards are splitting! It’s really cool to see the church growing around the world. Thanks for those pictures of the temple! That’s great that it’s coming along so fast!

This week We actually ran into a returned Sister missionary in the airport in Palawan who just came to visit. She served before I was born but she’s still keeping contact with all of those she met on her mission… (more on this later)
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Most of this week we had interviews on Palawan! We had our preparation day on Monday to get everything ready, then we flew over on Tuesday. Wednesday was exchanges with the Narra Zone Leaders. I was experiencing a lot of Deja Vu while traveling back to Narra. If we had stayed on the shuttle for one more hour we could have gone back to my old area in Quezon. We had a great day of exchanges. I went with Elder Dustin who is a new zone leader and we found 6 new investigators just by OYMing. He’s kind of new in that area and I had never worked in that part of the zone leaders area so we just OYMed for most of the day. Elder Dustin is really fun and he was assigned in Pasay before so I already knew him.
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One unexpected highlight happened while we were waiting in the airport to come back to the mainland. We got there at around 5 and it was announced that our flight was being delayed and they didn’t know what time it would finally depart. We sat down in front of the gate and pretty soon a couple of ladies walked over and said, “Hey Elders!” One was a Filipina and the other was an American. They were companions in The Bacolod mission over 20 years ago and they had come back for a reunion. It turned out that we were on the same flight that got delayed. We talked about their missions and ours for a while and all of the miracles that we had seen during and, for them, after the mission. Then our flight number got called and we lined up to go out the door, only they weren’t boarding, they were handing out Cup Noodles because we were going to have to wait for a long time. Sister Coleman (the american RM) just said “this is so sad.” It was super funny! Don’t let me forget to send that picture next week. We eventually got on the plane at 9:25 PM.
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We did get to work in our area one day this week and we had a great day! We found some new investigators who seem really interested and we had two members work with us. Brother Rafi is one of them who is preparing to serve a mission. He bore a good testimony of the Book of Mormon and the church and we could see that it helped our investigators feel the Spirit.  It’s true that these are amazing opportunities to learn and grow in the service of the Lord. I’m grateful for every minute of work we get!
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The interviews are going really well so far. Basically what happens is while President Ostler interviews each missionary and Sister Ostler has her “language update” we teach classes. Our class for this round of interviews is on helping members bear their testimonies to our investigators. We’ve seen some miracles happen when members bear powerful testimony of what we teach. We’ve also had some experiences where members don’t know exactly what to share or they just tell how they met the missionaries and it’s not as powerful. In the class we watch “A Man Without Eloquence.” It’s a video about how Brigham Young was converted. It was through the simple testimony of a man who was not great at public speaking, but who knew that the Book of Mormon is true. We talk about the elements of a testimony and how we can help members bear a simple testimony of a principle that we teach. As we were teaching I felt that I should bear my testimony to end the class. I really felt the Spirit testifying of what I said and I know that the missionaries did as well. I want to tell you also that I know our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. He knows our trials, our weaknesses, and our strengths. I know that Jesus Christ is his only begotten son who atoned for the sins of the world. I know that through him we can all be forgiven, no matter what our mistakes are. I know that Joseph Smith restored the church that Christ established and that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet. I’m so grateful to be a part of this work, the Lord’s work. I know that he has a purpose for all of us and that there are people that he wants me to find and help here. Even if you think that you don’t know anyone you could share the gospel with I promise that the Lord is preparing people around us all of the time. We just have to pray and do all that we can and he will bless us with many opportunities to bless the lives of others. Prayer really works and Heavenly Father definitely blesses us with tender mercies.
Ipagpatuloy mo ang pagiging astig (keep on being awesome)!
Love you guys! Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi! Be safe!
-Elder Beagley
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Week 91 – The Gospel of Jesus Christ Blesses Our Families

Pasay stake activity

There was a stake activity in Pasay so I got to see the members in Pasay 3rd!

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Another Selfie

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Pagkatapos ng kalokohan, sa Palawan na naman kami. After the craziness, we’re headed to Palawan again!

Transfers went pretty well with no major mix ups. We are still fine-tuning everything, but it went well. I shared a spiritual thought this morning in the office meeting about Matthew 10:38-40. If we seek to “find our lives” or put ourselves first that’s when we’ll lose them, but if we accept those that God has chosen (verse 40) by accepting the callings that they give us, we are accepting him and “losing our lives” in his service and we’ll find it. To me that means finding eternal life for us and those that we serve. After all, The blessings of the temple which lead to eternal life are worth so much and there are many people who have to sacrifice a lot more than us just to go once in their lives!
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The going home activities went really well this time. Elder Whittle was part of the going home batch and he gave a great last testimony. Elder Smith shared his experience with teaching Brother Ralph and it was super amazing. It was strange to drop Elder Whittle off at the airport hotel and leave with Elder Garcia, but we are doing okay so far even though we are a little less experienced. One of the coolest parts of the day was not even related to the Going Home Activities. We stopped by the Area Office to pick up passports while the missionaries were in the temple and I got to meet Elder Anderson. He is the one that helped me come back to the Philippines after my surgery. I’m so grateful for what he did and it was nice to be able to thank him in person. He actually used to be a mission president in a different mission here.
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The next highlight was transfer day with all of the new missionaries coming in. I got to see Elder Lumanta again because he flew at the same time as all of the missionaries going to Palawan. He’s doing great! He got assigned to Roxas which is north of Puerto (where he was before). I’ll see him again this week for interviews.
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We really only got to work on Friday and Saturday this week, but Heavenly Father blessed our efforts. We found a lot of new investigators and some of them seem pretty interested. The greatest blessing that we saw this week was with the Trinidad family. I’m not sure if I mentioned them before, but they are friends of members and we have been teaching the mother and daughter for a few weeks. They have each come to church once, but Sister seemed uncertain as to whether her husband would approve of them going to a different church. We hadn’t been able to teach him because of his work, but he was home this last Friday night and he let us in to share even though he was the only one home. We taught about the blessings of the gospel in families and we could really see the love that he has for his wife and kids. He told us that because their house is so small and he has a lot of little kids he sometimes sets up a folding chair outside the door and sleeps there to give them more room. He really loves them. I promised him that the gospel is what he’s looking for in his life and for his family. Even though he didn’t come to church yet, we are grateful for the progress we have made with him.
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The last highlight was the Pasay Stake Missionary Activity yesterday. President Ostler and President Wolcott spoke along with President Tongco (the Pasay Stake President). We can see more and more of the members catching the missionary spirit and we’re excited for what we can accomplish together. One of the best parts was seeing Brother Edgar who I got to baptize. He’s still working with the missionaries often! I’m super happy with the success that the mission is having, especially when I hear from my old areas.
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That’s all for this week! I love you guys and hope that you are reading, praying, and serving every day!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 90 – Through Our Trials We Can Come Closer To Christ

Brother Jonald

Brother Jonald

Elder Whittle

Elder Whittle’s Farewell Family Home Evening.  The Members are Super Great!

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Orienting New Arrivals

New Missionaries

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Maligayang Bati pala! It has been a great week with MLC and now it’s transfer week! Things are about to get a little crazy.

First off Elder Smith came into the office for his final interview today and his dad and sister surprised him by showing up today instead of tomorrow. It was cool to see them. I also heard from Elder Smith that Sister Jocelyn got baptized this last weekend. Brother Ralph and Sister Len also got married and he got baptized! It was great to hear. It was a great transfer there in Las Piñas and there are a lot of great members there.

It was also fun to hear more about the recent converts from Quezon. Elder Schroeder is going home and he’s here in the office. He’s told me some more stories about the Gerarmans and the Pajes (from last weeks letter).
The next highlight was MLC. It was mainly a follow up on zone conference about working with members and planning more effectively, but we also got to watch some videos from the last mission presidents seminar. They are from the Quorum of the Twelve and the other general authorities. One of my favorites was with Bishop Waddell about teaching repentance. He said that teaching faith in Christ and His Atonement is the foundation for teaching investigators to repent. He had some of the mission presidents and their wives share scriptures that had brought them closer to Christ and helped them understand the Atonement. The one that really struck me was 1 Nephi 19: 9. Christ faced so many trials and so much opposition for all of us, and he suffered it (he allowed it to happen) because he loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. He did all that he did out of love for His Father and for us. He is our perfect example in all things. That’s why this work is the happiest work that anyone can be a part of. Like it says in D+C 15 and 16 the thing of most worth to us as missionaries and disciples of Christ is to declare repentance.
The last highlight for the week was this last Sunday’s sacrament meeting. Sister Cayago, who is relatively new in the ward, gave a talk on overcoming trials. After she and her husband got married in the province he came to Manila to work and she was there by herself for multiple months. She shared about how she had faced many trials during that time and how she had to hold on to her faith and trust in God in order to overcome them. I wrote down one phrase from her talk that really struck me: “Ngayon, nakakaranas kami ng mga paghihirap, pero masarap kasi magkasama kami.” It literally means in English: “Now, we are experiencing afflictions, but it’s delicious because we are together.” She was referring to the fact that her and her husband were now together in their trials and it was bringing them closer together. I have come to realize that the same is true for us and the Lord. If we choose to stand with the Lord and be on his side when the trials come, we will be uplifted and we will make it through. He taught this in Matthew 11:28-30 that if we will take his yoke upon us (to me that means doing things his way) he will give us rest. Just like Sister Cayago said, the trials won’t go away, but we will have peace and we’ll overcome them.
Wish us luck this week with transfers and Elder Whittle coming home!
Have a great week! I love you guys!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 89 – Unbelievably, Only 3 Fast Sundays to go…

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Hotel on Palawan

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Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan! (Happy Independence Day)

It has been another great week here especially with the Palawan Zone Conference!

We got everything ready in the office on Monday morning, picked up Sister Turner (the new mission nurse), and headed over to the airport. It’s only about an hour flight to Palawan, but it got delayed so it took all day. We stayed Monday night in that super nice place that I sent you a picture of, Rema Tourist Suites, and got up early on Tuesday to start the zone conference. It was great to see everyone, especially Elder Bernard since he has been assigned in Puerto Princessa Zone. The conference went really great and the missionaries were excited to apply the things that they learned. I also got word about my old area in Quezon. If you remember Sister Eden that got baptized, we were teaching her cousin Rosalie back when I was there. We found out that Sister Rosalie’s brother just got baptized and she is back in contact with the missionaries there! It was great to hear about the success that the branch is having. I also got a letter from Brother Paje saying that they made him the Elders Quorum President and his son Jacob is president of the teachers quorum. It made me really happy to hear from them all.
A lot happened and I don’t have a lot of time, so I’ll just focus on the investigators that we have who are progressing right now. We have really been focusing on working with the members and we have had some great referrals who are starting to progress. The first is Sister Emelyn. She was referred by her friend and has come to church 3 times now. She’s reading the Book of Mormon and says that she feels good about being baptized, but isn’t sure what her family is going to say. We’ll keep praying for her. The next referral that we received was a family, the Trinidad Family. So far the Sister Trinidad and one of her daughters have come to church and they both have made a lot of friends there. Sister Trinidad actually asked us to give her son a blessing when he came home from the province because they thought that he might have a problem with his bones in one of his legs. We gave him a blessing and when he went to the doctor they said that it wasn’t as bad as they expected and just gave him some medicine for his muscle pain. Now we are trying to work on getting Brother Trinidad to church as well so that they can have the whole family there. The members have been doing a great job of helping us teach and fellowshipping our investigators. We have seen the blessings of working more closely with them. So keep on praying for those missionary opportunities there and help the missionaries out!
This was my weekly spiritual experience to President Ostler: “We had a great Sacrament Meeting in Pasay 4th ward. We have really been doing our best to work with members and we have had 4 member referrals in the past few weeks that are really beginning to progress. We asked the members who referred those people to bear their testimonies in Fast and Testimony Meeting along with some others that have worked with us. In all there were 5 members who got up and bore their testimonies about missionary work. It was really great to hear their experiences and how referring their friends has brought them so much joy. Our investigators at church were warmly accepted and are making a lot of new friends in the ward. Bishop Garcia even talked with one of the returning members whose non-member live-in has been coming to church. He told us about it in ward council and he is going to keep working with them to get married so that Sister Angelina can be baptized. It wasn’t just one good experience with the members this past week, it was a whole bunch of little things that they are doing to help the work progress and it’s making a big difference. I know that this is just the beginning of what the members can accomplish and I hope that their examples will help others have the faith to share as well.”
I hope that we can all be members like the ones I have met here. They are willing and happy to share what they know to be true.
The last highlight would be this morning when my package was waiting in the office! I also had a pleasant surprise with a package from Sister Veras! I forgot that she said she was going to send some comfy sandals from Hawaii. Thanks so much for everything that you sent, especially the letters and pictures! Have a great time there with the little ones! I love you guys! Have a great week!
Ingat kayo diyan!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
-Elder Beagley

Week 88 – Many More Temples in The Philippines

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Zone Conferences

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Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat! Pupunta kami sa Palawan mamaya! (We’re going to Palawan later today!)

It has been an amazing and crazy week!  We only really got to work on Tuesday and Saturday because of office stuff on Monday, New Leader Follow Up on Wednesday, and Zone Conferences on Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Parañaque Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Boshard from my MTC batch. I wanted to share about one of the lessons that we taught that day. We OYMed a guy named Elias outside of his house and he let us in to teach him about the Restoration. After our short lesson he told us, pretty harshly, that he did not want us to come back. We just bore our testimonies of the truthfulness of the message and told him that when he is ready we would be happy to share with him again. He still didn’t want to hear any more so we left. It interesting because after the lesson both Elder Boshard and I made the comment that we had felt the Spirit as we shared. I ended up sharing this experience the next day with the new missionaries. We used it in our lesson about “Becoming a Successful Missionary.” In Preach My Gospel it says that our success “is based primarily on our commitment to find, teach, baptize, and confirm people…” (Chapter 1 Hannah) I know that Elder Boshard and I were still successful as missionaries even though we were rejected. We did all that we could to help Brother Elias come unto Christ and we bore our witness of the truth.
Zone Conferences this past week were amazing! President and Sister Ostler talked about Goals, Faith, and staying connected to Christ (John 15). We taught about working with members and some of the Sister Training Leaders taught about planning. We hope that the missionaries will all apply the things they learned. One kind of unique experience though was what really had an impact on me. It was during President Ostler’s opening remarks in the Friday Zone Conference. From where I was sitting I could see all of the missionaries and how intently they were listening as he spoke about some of the prophecies concerning missionary work. After a missionary read a quote from Elder Ian S. Ardern (the Area President of the Philippines) about “many more temples in the Philippines, I remember that President Ostler said, “Many more temples in the Philippines means a temple in your province.” Many of the missionaries here come from the province where they have to travel 10 hours by bus and sometimes days on a boat to get to the temple. After he said that I looked out at the missionaries and saw Elder Arninio sitting on the front row with a huge smile on his face. As you know I was in the same apartment as Elder Arninio for four transfers in Pasay and now we see each other often in the office. Back when he became companions with Elder Appleby he was able to do the family history and temple work for his father. I remember the day of our temple trip and how happy he was that those ordinances had been performed for his dad. The smile that he had then was the same smile that I saw when President mentioned a temple in his province. I felt the Spirit and Heavenly Father’s love for me and for His children in the Philippines and I know that he is helping the work progress here. I know that the prophecies are true. The gospel will be preached to all people and the membership of the church will reach the millions here in the Philippines. I’m so grateful to be here and to be a part of this great work.
Lastly I just have an update about Brother Jonald. He is doing great and is now in Alma (around chapter 40) in the Book of Mormon. The Sisters in our ward had a baptism this last Saturday and Brother Jonald attended. When we saw him as we came in he asked us, “Elders, puwede ba akong magbahagi sa inyo? Ang dami kong nabasa dito sa Aklat ni Mormon.” (Can I share with you? I have read so much here in the Book of Mormon.) That’s usually the question we ask him. It’s great to see his progression and that his testimony is continuing to be strengthened as he reads more and more.
We have to get some things ready for the Palawan Zone Conference, but I love you guys and I hope that you have a great week with lots of missionary opportunities!
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley