Week 99 – The Secret to Joy is Gratitude

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The three on the left are members and they referred the rest of them!

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Elder McCauley and I at zone conference

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Magandang tanghali uli! It’s been a great week of zone conferences and this week we’ll get to work a lot in the area!

We had two zone conferences last week. Half of the zones on the mainland were on Tuesday and the other half were on Thursday. President Ostler taught us about Alma Chapter 5 and having His image in our countenance. He had 9 missionaries from each conference come up to share about a passage of scripture from Alma chapter 5. It was so powerful to hear the experiences of the missionaries and how they have changed and learned these lessons while serving the Lord. One of the Elders spoke about the mighty change of heart that it describes in that chapter and he said something so powerful: “I don’t want to go home the same person as when I came to the mission.” One of the miracles of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is that it cannot only cleanse us, but change us. We don’t just learn new things, we become “new creatures.” I know that I am a completely different person than I was a couple of years ago and I’m happy about that.

Sister Ostler taught us that the secret to joy is Gratitude. She shared a great poem called “God, forgive me when I whine.” Here it is:

God, Forgive Me When I Whine

Today upon a bus,

I saw a girl with golden hair,
and wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, a smile.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine,
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it’d do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
“I thank you sir, you’ve been so kind.
It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
“Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
And then I knew, he couldn’t hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go.
With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
With ears to hear what I’d know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine.

(-Author unknown)

I think that this shows what our attitude should be toward everything in life. I’m not the best at this, but I’m realizing that I have so much to be grateful for every day here.

I gave a talk in Zone Conference about finding joy in the work. I focused mostly on becoming consecrated missionaries because when you know that you have given your all to the Lord, you will have inner joy and peace that nothing can take away. I shared the experience of the De La Salle football team and how, after winning 151 games in a row, they finally lost. I asked the missionaries to imagine baptizing someone or having a family in our area enter the temple for the first time each week and how happy they would be. But what if it stopped and nobody wanted to listen to us? How could we be happy then? The answer is in a quote from the De La Salle team’s coach: “In victory or defeat, peace of mind can be found in a perfect effort.” -Bob Ladouceur

That’s what consecration is as a missionary; giving all that you have, a perfect effort. If we hold anything back and still have our own desires for worldly things God can’t bless us with all that he would have us receive. It’s when our will becomes His will, then we will be truly happy.

At the end of the conference President Ostler referred to this as he shared experiences from his own mission. He said that there were days and even weeks sometimes when he taught nobody (he served in Austria). Then he said this, “but I felt peace, great peace that comes from that perfect effort.” It’s really true that when we give our all we can be happy, especially when we give it to the Lord in His work.

Neal A. Maxwell said this: “God seeks to have us become more consecrated by giving everything. Then, when we come home to Him, He will generously give us “all that [He] hath.” I know that this is true!

 

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My last highlight is from our area. About a week and a half ago we visited an active member family because we felt like we should ask them for referrals. The mother had given us a referral before, but after being taught for a while she became disinterested and didn’t progress. When we taught this same family about the plan of salvation and asked who they thought of who needed this message, Nanay quickly brought up her old referral. We asked, “who else?” and after we asked some other questions, helping them think of different people that they know, she said that they have relatives who live a couple of streets away who we could teach. We contacted them this last week and they are really great! The husband and wife (Joara and Jay) accepted a baptismal date in the first lesson and they came to church with their kids when the member family invited them. It seemed like they had a great time and learned a lot. I’m grateful that the Spirit prompted us to go and visit this family and be a little persistent about asking for referrals.

I love you all and hope that you will think about what more you can give the Lord.

Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!

Ingat kayo palagi!

-Elder Beagley

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