Week 96 – What Happens Here and Now Is Forever Important

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This was at Pasay Stake Conference. The man on the left is Tatay Greg. He got baptized about a month after I left the area in Pasay 3rd. It was great to see all of them!
 Ablon Family
This is the Ablon Family and Sister Jerlain.
Elder Zeyer
This is my new companion, Elder Zeyer. He’s from Melba, Idaho! He actually went to school with Elder Ashton in Nampa!!
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Ang abala namin dito ngayon (We are so busy here right now). It might be a short email, but it has been another amazing week!

Here are the short highlights: As you saw on the mission blog, I had a meeting last week called the “finish strong” meeting. I had heard a lot about it from Elder Whittle, Elder Smith, and Elder Garcia, but it was a lot different than I expected. The Spirit hit me really strong during the meeting and I realized something that I know will change my life from now on. I especially felt this impression when President Ostler spoke about Abraham and how he “was away from his homeland for the rest of his life, but he was always right with God.” What the Spirit taught me was that the meeting and pretty much the whole mission isn’t just about something that will end in a couple of months. It’s about “finishing strong” for the rest of my life. It’s about enduring to the end, not just to the end of my mission. I know that to give all that I have here in the time that I have left is the best way to start giving my all for the rest of my life. I read this quote the other day, “My beloved young friends, every day is part of eternity. What happens here and now is forever important.” -Richard L. Evans. I am coming to realize more and more that this is true. I know for a fact that this gospel is the way; that Jesus Christ is the way. I know that Heavenly Father has a work for me to do and I’m never going to stop serving Him and His children. I’m grateful for the opportunity to set goals for eternity. Making my “life vision” has helped me to gain an eternal perspective and it has only increased my desire to serve.
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The other highlight for this week was MTC exchanges. It’s the first time that I’ve taken part in them since I was in the MTC. We met up with some missionaries who came from the Provo Batch (it was actually just their second day in the Philippines), we took them to our area, worked for about an hour and a half, and then went back to the chapel. I was with Elder (Matthew) Finlayson and Elder (Kyle) Bland. Their both from Utah and they are going to be great missionaries. They asked me lots of questions and even did some of the OYMs even though all they could say in tagalog was “kamusta po kayo?” (how are you?). It was actually a miracle what happened. We only had a few more minutes to work and we had just been OYMing the whole time. I told one of the Elders, “go up and talk to someone.” He talked to an elderly lady and she let us right in to teach her and her husband. We’re going back this week. It really built their faith in talking to everyone and finding. I could see the fire in their eyes at the end of the exchange.
I’m out of time, but I love you guys so much! I’ll let you know how transfer week went on the other side.
Ingat kayo palagi!
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
-Elder Beagley

Week 95 – A Simple Yet Powerful Testimony

MLC Prep

Preparing for Leadership Conference

New AP's

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The Coron Sisters (they serve on an island off the tip of Palawan) got to come for interviews this past week. Sister Baldelomar and Elder Garcia are both from Tarlac

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Magandang tanghali sa inyong lahat!
It has been a great week, kahit maulan (even though it’s rainy).
We were excited to finish interviews and it went really well with our class about helping members bear their testimonies in our lessons. One of the most spiritual lessons we had during interviews was the last class that we taught. The missionaries did really well in practice teaching and we could tell that they learned a lot from the evaluation. Because our class was about testimony (ours and the members’) we either ended each class with our testimonies or we invited one of the other missionaries to bear theirs. In the last class we asked one of the Sisters to bear a short testimony. All of the other testimonies in other classes had gone well, but this time was different. The Sister stood up and waited for a second until it was really quiet. She bore a simple but very powerful testimony of our Heavenly Father’s Love for us, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the restoration of the gospel, the Book of Mormon, and a living prophet and then she sat down. The feeling that was in the room then was the same feeling that I have felt so many times after reading and praying about these things. I know that it’s all true. That this message is what people need in order to change their lives and find the peace that they are looking for.
We had a great experience that I wanted to share this week about a Less Active Member named Sister Jerlain that Elder Garcia found in our are when we were on exchanges a while ago. Her parents are members but they live far away from her. She lives with her grandma and a whole bunch of other relatives and she’s the only member there. She had come to church a couple of times right after we found her, but then her grandmother told her that she was not allowed to come anymore and that we shouldn’t visit their house. We were able to set up a time for Sister Jerlain to come to the Ablon’s (a member family) house so that we could teach her there. The Ablon family really helped her to feel welcome and the lesson went great. We taught about Nephi and his example of obedience even in all kinds of trials. During the lesson Sister Jerlain opened up to us about the things that her grandmother and other relatives said and how she had been feeling like Heavenly Father was disappointed with her because she didn’t have the courage to stand up to them. We testified of Heavenly Father’s love for all of us and promised her that she would have his help as she strove to keep the commandments. We were so happy that she came to church with the Ablon family yesterday. It was a big show of faith for her to do what she did and we know that she’ll be blessed for it. I’m grateful for experiences like this to see people exercise their faith in coming unto Christ.
This week during personal study I read one of my favorite scripture passages. It’s found in Matthew 11:28-30. Here Christ says, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” I like to describe this as Christ asking us to do things His way. He is pleading with us because he knows that if we try to do things in any other way we will have a lot more struggles than is necessary. His yoke is easy and his burden is light because any trial that we go through will not overwhelm us if He is by our side. Elder Garcia and I have a favorite song that we listen to in the apartment called Hosanna. There is a line in the song that says, “Why should we wander as strangers from thee, or turn from thy bounteous hand?” I thought about this to myself, why would we ever want to go through this life alone? If we come unto Christ he will strengthen and guide us. He is the way to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. I know it. I love you all and hope that you will do all you can to help others come to this knowledge as well.
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 94 – The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

 

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We ran into your son at KFC in Manila yesterday,  and it was so fun to see them. He actually knew our son in law Camron Despain, my sons missionary companion Josh Crosgrove, and my nephew who was his zone leader. What GREAT Missionaries, the spirit we felt around them was AMAZING!!!
Jeff and Trina Glines
St George, UT

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This is the Robertson Family. The parents both served in the Philippines and they paid for our dinner last Monday at this place called S&R Pizza. This is becoming a pattern of meeting Americans in restaurants here.
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This is called a Boodle Fight. You set banana leaves down and lay out all the rice and food and everyone eats with their hands. The members set it up after church. They’re the best.
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Kumusta mga ‘kano? (How are you Americans?) Actually everyone here that sees an American walking down the street says Hey Joe!  It was amazing to meet the Glines family right in the middle of our area! Their nephew was my first zone leader, their son in law is Cameron Despain, and their son was companions with Josh Crosgrove in Honduras!
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Between some things that came up at the mission office and preparing for MLC, Elder Dela Cruz (one of the Palawan Zone Leaders coming for exchanges and MLC) and I only had about an hour and a half of work on Wednesday. We had planned to visit the Perez family and also another investigator named Alejandro, but after trying both places and not finding anyone home we just kept street contacting. As we got to the end of the street, we saw a man and his wife selling from a little cart so we stopped to talk with them. They were not at all interested, but while we were talking to them another woman walked up and bought something. She looked over and asked us if we were “born again” Christians. We told her that we’re missionaries from the church and she started asking other questions. At first I thought that she might bible bash with us, but after a minute I could tell that she really wanted to know what we believe. She told us that her name is Alma (a common name for a woman here actually) and that she reads the Bible every day, but she’s not sure about which church she should go to. She saw that I was holding a Book of Mormon and asked if it was our version of the Bible. I told her that it’s another testament of Jesus Christ and then she asked where she could buy one! We gave her one right then and got her information. Since then I’ve sent the referral to the Elders in Tondo. I know that there are so many people just like Sister Alma who are searching for more. This is the message that they need, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the opportunities that we have to talk to so many people and give them the opportunity to come unto Christ. It’s a great feeling when you find someone who has been prepared and who sincerely wants to know more.
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We had the Mission Leadership Council the next day and it was mostly about working more with members and effective planning and preparation so that we can reach the goals that we have set. The most spiritual part of the whole day was right after the lesson on members when President Ostler gave a “demonstration” of a member lesson. We’re really encouraging missionaries not only to OYM but to visit active members, teach them the Restoration or Plan of Salvation and ask who they know that needs the message. President Ostler had two Sister Training Leaders come up front and sit down. It was a demonstration, but it was real at the same time. He said that he had something special that he felt they needed to hear. He shared a personal experience about how he visited his cousin before she passed away from a terrible illness. The Spirit was so strong that Sister Narag and Sister Vergara both started to cry as he taught about the Plan of Salvation. He then asked them who they had thought of while he taught. Each of them talked about some friends or relatives that they feel they need to share the gospel with. He asked them if they wanted to help teach them when they got home or if they wanted to refer them to the missionaries now. One of the Sisters said that she would share the gospel with them and President Ostler committed her to email him when she had. The other Sister gave her referral to President Ostler at lunch and they sent it to the other mission. It was really amazing. He’s never done anything like that before in an MLC. The Spirit spoke to me at that time and I realized that every single one of us knows someone who needs this message. The most important thing is to listen to the Spirit and figure out how we can help them.
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That’s my invitation to you all this week. Read the scriptures, especially about the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation (some good chapters would be 2nd Nephi 2 or Alma 7). Really think and ponder about how this knowledge of our Savior’s sacrifice and plan for us has blessed your life. Then pray to know who it is that really needs your help right now. I know that if we do this we will all think of someone that we can help come closer to Christ. The most important (and the most difficult) part of this is to ACT. We need to follow the promptings of the Spirit that we feel and reach out to bless Heavenly Father’s children, our brothers and sisters. I love you all and I want you to know that I love the Lord. I’m giving my all in His work.
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 93 – So Many Are Searching For a Better, Happier Life

Family

The Family is Back Together!

Grandson & Great

Aking “apo” at “apo sa tuhod” (my grandson and great grandson)

cup o noodles

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Cup O Noodles at the Airport (story in last weeks letter)

Elder Gargia wasn’t as excited about them

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Magandang Tanghali! It has been another great, busy week!

The Sisters in Makati talked to a Brother Perez a while ago and he said that he played basketball at the church a long time ago, but had never been taught by the missionaries. We received the referral and after interviews on Tuesday we had a little time to work so we decided to find Brother Perez. We checked on the street where the referral was from, but nobody knew where the address was. We started OYMing and asking if anyone knew Brother Perez and eventually somebody told us that some people with that last name lived in a little side street near there. We ended up finding Brother Perez’s brother who told us where his house was. We followed the directions he gave us but when we got to the place we thought was right nobody knew a Brother Perez. We were beginning to think that we had been led astray, but I had a feeling that we should just wait. Soon a woman came out of the house we were next to and we asked her if she knew Brother Perez. She pointed us to a gate that led into a tiny alleyway and we ended up finding Brother Perez at the end of it. We taught him with his wife and daughter. He is really searching and he could relate to Joseph Smith in that he doesn’t know where the truth is. He was excited when we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon to read and in his closing prayer he thanked Heavenly Father for sending “these two angels” to teach him. I know I’m not an angel but it still sounds nice. I was glad that I listened to the promptings of the Spirit and that we were able to find Brother Perez. He and his family were out of town this weekend, but they want to come to church next week. It really is a blessing to be able to talk to so many people here and an even greater blessing that they let us in to teach them.  I’m grateful for the people that are being prepared by our Heavenly Father. I want to find as many of them as I can.
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We had a good lesson with Sister Princess (from the Trinidad Family) this last week. Brother Ladigohon (a member in the ward) came with us and we planned to teach the father, but he was just leaving the house when we got there. We ended up teaching his daughter who seems to be the most interested out of them all. She was pretty quiet at the beginning of the lesson but once we started asking her about what she was thinking about the message and how she felt when she came to church, she really opened up. She told us that missionaries from another faith have been teaching her and inviting her to attend there and that she is really confused about what is true. I was glad that she told us and I felt like all we needed to do was encourage her to pray and ask Heavenly Father what she needs to do. She has started reading in the Book of Mormon and seems to really be searching.
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During personal study this past week I was reading in 1st Nephi and I came to the story of Nephi breaking his bow. I have read this so many times, but this time I gained a new insight that I hadn’t thought of before. It is the difference between disappointment and discouragement. Of course Nephi would have been disappointed that they had no food because of his broken bow, but he didn’t react the way that his brothers did by becoming discouraged. He is a great example to us of taking disappointments for what they are and moving forward. We can sit down, complain, and worry about how bad things are, becoming more discouraged all the while, or we can acknowledge the problem and do all that we can to fix it. Nephi made a new bow, prayed, and asked his father where he should go to hunt and he was blessed with food for his family. It wasn’t the initial plan and it took more work that it would have if he hadn’t broken his bow, but because he kept moving forward he made it through. The same goes for all of us. Allowing ourselves to become discouraged will only weaken our faith. No matter what the trial or setback is we just need to come unto the Savior and we will have his help. I have a testimony of that.
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That’s all for this week. Keep up the missionary work there!
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley