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

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

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!

another selfie

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!

Oreintation

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