A Time To Celebrate

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welcome-home

All family and friends are invited to celebrate with us!!!

Open House: Saturday October 15th  7-9:00pm

11378 W. Tempe Ln Star

Delicious desserts will be served

Homecoming Report:  Sunday October 16th   11:00am

484 S Main St  Star

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Week 102 – Thanks To Everyone!

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Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat! Ito na (This is it). I can’t say the smallest part of what I feel. I’m grateful for all of the experiences that the Lord has given me, whether or not I saw those experiences as trials at the time. I know that they are all blessings. As I look back on the time that I spent here in the Philippines I know that this was not a sacrifice, but one of the most amazing blessing that Heavenly Father has ever given me. I would not trade anything for the experience that I’ve had. Thank you so much to everyone who had a part in helping me get here, especially my family.

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I had a really spiritual experience this past week while on exchanges with Elder Cooper. Elder Zeyer and I had been approached by an inactive member named Brother Ariel a week before who told us that we could come to his house to teach him and his “son” (he’s just taken him in as his own even though he was never legally adopted) who is a non-member. Elder Cooper and I went to teach Brother Ariel and Brother John this last Tuesday and I learned a lot from the experience. Brother John is a very muscular guy and while we were getting to know him at the beginning of the lesson we asked, almost jokingly, if Brother John spent a lot of time in the gym. He told us a kind of sad story that was not only about him growing physically, but emotionally and spiritually too. He told us that when he was young his parents split up. His mother and most of his siblings came to manila, but he was left with his father in the province. You could see in his face that he was remembering the pain that he had experienced as he told us about how his father had treated him. Even from the time that he was 6 years old he was being forced to work hard and carry heavy loads. He told us of one instance when he had to carry a large sack of kamote (sweet potatoes) up part of a mountain to their house. He fell and tumbled down the mountain a few times before he finally made it. Once he got to the top his father was angry that the kamote was damaged. I felt so bad for him and for all of the things that he had to go through. Then he said something that taught me about what kind of person he is, “Now I’m strong. I’m used to carrying heavy things.” I realized that he had learned through literal experience how trials help us to grow. I know that our Heavenly Father is nothing like Brother John’s father, but he does allow us to go through trials so that we can grow. If we choose to come unto him, he will support us in our trials and we will be lifted up at the last day. I know that He loves. He gave us his son so that we would never have to face any trial alone. Jesus Christ carried it all, every single “heavy thing” that there is to carry in this life. He wants to help us. Brother John is now progressing and came with Brother Ariel to church. Yesterday was Brother Ariel’s first time at church since 1999.
I just want to end with my testimony:
I know that God lives. I know that he is aware of us. I know that he loves us perfectly and completely. He is truly our father and wants to give us all that he has.
I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know that he lives and that he gave his life for us. I have felt the power of His Atonement in my life so many times. It is infinite and eternal. “Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows… he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” He can heal any wound, lift us from any depth.
I know that God continues to reveal his word to his prophets today. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. That he saw the Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It has blessed my life over and over.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet. I know that the quorum of the twelve and the first presidency are also men called of God to guide us in these last days.
I now know that this is truly the Lord’s work. That we can have true, everlasting joy and live eternally with our families in the presence of God if we live the restored gospel and bring others with us.
I love you all so much and I hope that you will come unto Christ so that he can bless you.
Mahal na mahal ko kayong lahat!
Paalam!
-Elder Beagley

Week 101 – My Last Full Week To Serve Here!

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Elder Schaeffer likes to mess with his tatay and lolo

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My entire “posterity” was at the Palawan zone conference!

Left to Right: Elder Bernard (2nd son), me, Elder De Castro (2nd grandson), Elder Lumanta (first son), Elder Schaeffer (first grandson), Elder Marquez (first great grandson), Elder Carter (first great-great grandson).  Pretty much a 5 generation picture!

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Pinakahuling pagkakataon (Last chance).

We had a great week of zone conference and exchanges on Palawan!
I had a spiritual experience last week that is really related to what President Ostler shared in zone conference about aligning priesthood keys (Keys of the gathering and keys of sealing or temple work). Elder Clark and I were on exchanges last Tuesday after district meeting and we went to a part of our area where we only have a few investigators, but where some member families live. We were just walking towards our next appointment when we stopped to talk to an older man on a bench. He said that we could share with him and tried to get the other people standing around to join in, but they didn’t want to. We asked if we could teach him in his house. He seemed hesitant and said that if we shared our message in his house he would be the only one there since his wife passed away. I testified to him about the plan of salvation and he let us in. As we sat down to teach Brother Joaquin he began to share most of his life story. How his parents had left when he was little, how he was mostly raised by his grandparents, and how he doesn’t feel like he showed them his love and respect for all that they did because he used to be a bad person. After listening for a while we asked if we could start with a song and prayer. It was one of the strangest first lessons I’ve ever taught because, as we shared about the Restoration, Elder Clark and I both felt the Spirit telling us that we should teach about temples and baptisms for the dead. I’ve never really felt that in a first lesson, but we went ahead and taught about the temple. Brother Joaquin was so happy to hear that there is a way to help his grandparents and even his parents. He said that he still sees them often in dreams. He told us that he wants more than anything to repay them. We bore our testimonies of the Restoration and left him with a pamphlet to read. The Spirit was very strong and he told us that he was going to read the whole pamphlet as soon as we left. He accepted a baptismal date for himself and he said the closing prayer. It really strengthened my testimony of what we heard in the video at zone conference: those in the spirit world DO pray for their descendants here on Earth to be able to receive the gospel. I felt that we weren’t only helping him, but also those on the other side of the veil. It was a great feeling.
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We got to go on exchanges in Narra last week! I went with Elder Gibson and we had a really great day of work. We were able to find some really great new investigators just by OYMing whenever we could.One man said that he had really been looking for the truth for his family. He’s trying to find out what will be the best for them. It’s a good feeling when you are guided to someone who is looking for you. I was glad that we had a successful day before traveling up to Puerto for zone conference.
Zone Conference on Palawan was a great one. I got to see all of those Elders in my “posterity.” Especially seeing the great missionaries that they have become made me so happy. Elder Lumanta is training again with Elder De Castro. Elder Schaeffer is doing really well up in Roxas; he shared some really great insights at the end of conference. Elder Bernard is still his big loving self looking out for all of the people up there. Elder Marquez and Elder Carter are out in the jungle in Brookes and they even though they are both pretty new, they are doing great! President Ostler mentioned something like this at a previous MLC, that seeing others grow as we grow brings us together and strengthens us even more. Their faith becomes part of our faith. I’m grateful for these amazing experiences and amazing people that Heavenly Father has placed in my path.
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This week will be my last full week to serve as a full time missionary and representative of the Lord here in the Philippines. It’s going to be a great one. I’m going to give it all that I have and I won’t stop after that. This work is the Lord’s work no matter where we are. We can all reach out to strengthen others and help them exercise faith in Christ unto repentance. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Not only did he save us from sin and death, but he heals us of our pain, he strengthens us in our weakness. I love seeing His power manifest in the lives of others as they come unto him. I know that it will bring us all joy to “bring many souls unto [him].” I love you all and hope that you feel His love too.
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

week 100 – Exercise Faith To Do Gods Will

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Finish Strong Meeting

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Our  Wonderful Assistants Elder Zeyer and Elder Beagley

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Zone Conference

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Magandang tanghali na naman! It was a fast week because we got to work a lot!

We had a great Family Home Evening at the Brother Jay and Sister Joara’s house this last Monday. The family that referred them came over and we had a lesson about temples where they shared how they are preparing to enter the temple as a family. It was great and they had lots of fun playing games. We are excited to see more of the members getting involved. We even had a big ward fireside kind of thing where we taught the members about bearing testimony and answering questions that others ask them. We had some good “practice teaching” and we really felt the Spirit as the members shared their testimonies of the gospel and the blessings that they have received. We were able to answer a lot of questions that they have heard. We’re excited about missionary work in the ward.
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I had an exchange with a Filipino Elder named Elder Lindaya last week. He’s a really great teacher and I learned a lot from him. The lesson that I wanted to share was with a less active member named Brother Castillo. He hasn’t been to church for a long time due to work. As we taught about the Restoration and were feeling the Spirit, Elder Lindaya asked, “what do you feel like God wants you to do?” Then Brother Castillo told us that he knows he needs to come back to church. It was a great moment, but he still wasn’t able to come to church yesterday. I’ve learned a lot about the difference between believing and really exercising faith from situations like this. We believe that we’ll be blessed if we keep the commandments, but until we exercise faith to actually do God’s will, he can’t give us the blessings that he really wants us to have.
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Another exchange last week was with Elder Honda. He is also finishing his mission in October and he’s a great missionary. He was assigned in Aborlan when I was in Quezon (both in Narra zone) and I consider him to be one of my close friends here in the mission. We had a really great day of finding new investigators. We even taught the nephew of a less active woman that we OYMed (we’re really focusing on bring less actives back and baptizing their extended family). At the end of the exchange Elder Honda and I had a great evaluation. We both know that we don’t have a lot of time left as full time missionaries, but neither of us are slowing down. We are still doing all that we can to bring people to Christ and we’re both really happy because of that. I’m grateful for friends that help me to be my best.
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We had a lot of really good lessons this last week because we had a few exchanges. We taught a man this past week on exchanges when I was with Elder Sorensen. It was an interesting lesson because we just OYMed this guy outside of his house and when we started teaching he really opened up to us. He said that he just really doesn’t like where he is in his life right now, including those around him, where he lives, etc. As we taught about the restoration I felt prompted to share Ether 12:4 with him. Normally I wouldn’t jump straight to the Book of Mormon, but this time I felt that it was what this brother needed. I felt the Spirit as we read the verse together and I hope that he paid attention to it. I know that it’s true that we can hope for better things to come. I testified to this brother that no matter what his circumstances might be, he can “hope for a better world.” That doesn’t mean moving to a different place or even getting a family or friends, but it means that when we repent and come to God, we change and it changes the way that we see the world around us. We receive joy in our hearts and, eventually, “a place at the right hand of God.” When we have faith and do what is right our faith and belief solidifies into hope. Hope that because of the Atonement of Christ we can not only become clean, but become someone better than we are now. Hope that no matter what happens to us in this life we will make it back to our home, our real Heavenly home. When we have that kind of hope that’s when we are “sure and steadfast, always abound in good works, being led to glorify god” no matter what trials we might experience. I’m grateful for the Spirit that teaches me when I teach. I love this gospel and the Lord whose gospel it is. I have been strengthened so much by His power in my life.
That’s it for this week! Love you guys! Keep sharing the gospel and lifting up those around you.
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

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

Week 98 – Without Christ We Can’t Be What We Are Meant To Be

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Elder Zeyer was a little tired today

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Astig yung kapatid ko! (My Sister is awesome!) Hannah, everyone here in the office congratulates you on making the BYU rugby team!  Way to go! I’m super proud! (in a good way, like Elder Utchdorf said) That’s pretty great that they already call you Beags.  Keep up the great work!

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One of the miracles this last week was with a recent convert that we visited. Sister Norma was baptized almost a year ago and she had stopped coming to church when I got to the area. We have been visiting her as often as possible, but she is really busy with work and we’ve only been able to teach once every couple of weeks. We’ve been trying since I’ve been here to get the Relief Society Presidency involved since Sister Norma’s concerns with coming to church are mostly social. This last Tuesday we were finally able to get two members of the relief society and one other Brother from the ward to go with us to Sister Norma’s house. We could immediately see a difference. She was excited that we were there, not just stressed and busy like usual. We had planned to share about the Plan of Salvation and how we need to follow the plan in our everyday life if we are to return to live with God. The lesson went great, especially with the testimonies of the Relief Society Sisters that came with us. When we invited her to come back to church on Sunday she said yes, that she would really go to church this time. Every other time, when we didn’t have members with us she would just say, “I’ll try, if I’m not too busy, if it doesn’t rain again, etc…” But this time she said she would show up and she did. It made me realize how much we can help people just by giving up a little bit of our time. For others who aren’t “full time” missionaries it might seem like a big sacrifice because they have so much going on, but it’s really worth it. The relief society sisters were really happy to see Sister Norma at church on Sunday.
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MLC was really amazing last Thursday. President Ostler shared some things that I will never forget and some of them have changed my life already. One of the things that he taught us was about how we influence people’s lives. He said that influence does not come from just being in a position of leadership. “Our ability to influence others is directly proportional to our relationship with them. Influence comes by making “deposits” (giving our time, effort, attention).” He talked about how when we show our love and concern for those we serve it’s like adding threads to a rope that eventually becomes unbreakable. It was a great lesson in leadership.
 President also taught us about weaknesses. He shared some very personal experiences that he has had and how those experiences have brought him closer to the Savior. He said, “Our weaknesses are designed to make us humble. The Lord doesn’t take away the weakness and make you strong as soon as you pray for it to be taken away. That’s what Paul wanted when he spoke of his ‘thorn in the flesh.’ but then he learned that ‘the Lord’s strength is made perfect in weakness.'” It was a big eye opener for me and the Spirit really hit me at that moment. We all have weaknesses (physical, emotional, or spiritual) and we might not overcome some of them until after this life, but every weakness is there to remind us that without the Lord we can’t be what we are meant to be.  Some Elders sang “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing.” to end MLC. I love the lyrics and the feeling that that song has. While many of us are “prone to wander,” if we give Him our hearts and do his will he will seal them for his courts above. I know that he can lift us up no matter what trials we might be experiencing. I love you guys and hope that you’ll keep sharing this amazing gospel.
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley

Week 97 – We Can All Reach Out In Simple Ways

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Saying Goodbye to Elder Garcia

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Training at MLC

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This Elder Garcia’s mom, dad, and brother.

Finish strong

Our hardest meeting….our Finish Strong meeting where we meet with the missionaries who will be going home the following transfer.  It is so hard to realize they will be leaving so soon.  We know the parents are anxious to see them, but we sure wish we could keep them!  -President Ostler

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Hello All!  It’s cool to hear about the stakes splitting there in Idaho. The Lord really is hastening the work all over the world and it’s exciting to be a part of it. We taught a returning less active about how we chose to come here and a sister in church spoke about how we were all chosen to live at this time. I know that it’s true and that we can accomplish great things with the Lord’s help.
We had a great transfer week and are headed into another great one of MLC and preparation for zone conference. Elder Zeyer is great. He’s adjusting really quickly to our crazy schedule and is doing a great job teaching.
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The going home activities were pretty special this time since it was with my batch. You can see the pictures on the blog, but Elder Jones and Elder Thacker both got picked up by their parents. It was a great experience to meet them. I have come to know and love the missionaries that I started with. Their last testimonies in the mission were so powerful and it was amazing to see the change that has taken place since we were in the MTC together. It was strange to send them off and not go with them, but I’m so grateful for this extra time that the Lord has given me to continue to serve His children here in the Philippines. I’m not going to waste a second of His time.
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We got to drop Elder Garcia off at the MTC where his family was waiting to pick him up. They actually live just about 3 hours from here so they drove to come get him. It was great to meet them see how happy they were to see him. We had a big batch of 25 missionaries coming in this time and they seem great! Elder Marquez (Elder Schaeffer’s son in the mission) trained which means that I now have a great-great-grandson named Elder Carter!
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Elder Zeyer and I finally got to work on Friday this week. We had a member named Brother Ryan (an RM) come with us. He was able to lead us to the house of a part member family. Brother Elmer is the member there, but he has been less active for a long time. He and his wife aren’t married, but they had come to church a couple of times in the past few weeks. We had a powerful lesson with them and Brother Ryan’s testimony was especially great. He testified of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how they have changed his life. He actually ended up becoming a member just because someone invited him to play basketball at the church. It’s through reaching out in simple ways that we can hasten the Lord’s work (Alma 37:6-7).
I gave a talk this last week in sacrament and I just wanted to share part of it to end this email. It’s a poem from Eliza Snow:
His precious blood he freely spilt
His life he freely gave
A sinless sacrifice for guilt
A dying world to save
…and this quote from Neal A. Maxwell: “Jesus put everything on the altar without fanfare or bargaining… Furthermore, because the centerpiece of the Atonement is already in place, we know that everything else in God’s plan will likewise finally succeed.”
Christ gave His all; more than any of us could give even if we worked our whole lives. His sacrifice is the “centerpiece” to the plan of happiness. I know that He is our perfect Savior, our only hope for peace and joy in this life. How often do we hold back part of our offering to the Lord? We can all give a little more.
I love you all! Keep serving Him.
Mahal namahal ko kayong lahat!
Ingat kayo palagi!
-Elder Beagley