Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Out of the MTC and headed north!

We received the letter below from Jacob's Mission President in Spokane.  Apparently the state of Washington didn't want him, so what did they do with him?

28 February 2012

Dear Brother and Sister O’Brien,

I was pleased to welcome your son, Elder O’Brien, to the Washington Spokane Mission this week.  I’m happy to report that he arrived safely.  I had the privilege of meeting and associating with him the day of his arrival and note that it is evident that he comes with a great desire to serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Elder O’Brien understands the role of the Holy Ghost in accomplishing the work here in the Washington Spokane Mission and has committed to live worthy of that power.

After prayerful consideration, I have called Elder Wheeler to serve as Elder O’Brien’s training companion in the Spirit Lake, Idaho area.  It is our objective to call only the best missionaries to serve as trainers and I believe that your son is in excellent training hands.  We expect that your missionary will serve in this area for the next 6 to 12 weeks as he begins his mission and awaits his visa.

I have enclosed photographs of your missionary and assure you that Sister Palmer and I will love Elder O’Brien. Our great desire is that his time here will further establish him on the path of righteousness, as well as bless the many people he will serve.

Thank you so much for sharing Elder O’Brien with us. 


S. Mark Palmer, President

That's right, they shipped him back to Idaho!  What a beautiful area in which to serve, up near Coeur d'Alene.  Too bad his wardrobe is for 75 degree weather...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Almost time to go, but where?

Well I find out Thursday where I am headed. (Too bad he can't tell us yet) We found out that we are going stateside for a while for sure because of the visa problem. All my guesses so far have been California or Arizona! We are all excited to find out where we will be headed! I'm not sure if I will allowed to call home but I think I will be? Still unsure about it!  Oh and I might be able to call home if I have a layover also! We'll see! I sure as heck better not get called to Salt Lake City South!  hahaha.
That is so exciting about Dallin getting his call! Wish him luck for me! Man we are dominating the Mexico Missions! Just got to get Dallin down here and have Michael reassigned haha. Tell them they are going to love it!!

I am really grateful for the events in my life that have developed my character to being a leader. I know my leadership positions in the church have really strengthened me so that I am courageous to stand up for what is right. I am seeing how all the events of my life have made me who I am. Thank you all for being such a great part of that and making me who I am today.

A great experience we had was last night. We all got in little groups and discussed issues that might be holding us back from being the greatest missionary who had ever lived! It was great to bear testimony to others along with scriptures as to how the Lord can strengthen us. I know there is true power in the scriptures and they allow us to truly feel the love of Christ. They bring us closer to Him when accompanied with prayer. Through the scriptures we can know how to better ourselves to being like Christ and developing His character. One of my greatest goals is to develop the character of Christ through the small actions of everyday life and the decisions I make.

I'm sad to be leaving my district. They have really grown on me over these last couple months! It will be hard to see them go but I am excited for all of us to do great things as instruments in the Lord's hands. Wish me luck this week! I'll definitely be needing it!

You're all in my prayers! Keep being great!

Elder O'Brien

***************Late Breaking News!!

Jacob just called and said he will be going to Spokane for 2 to 6 weeks.  He sounded great!  We only got to talk for a few minutes, so hopefully we will get to talk again on Monday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting close!

Down to our last few weeks in the MTC.  I'm not too scared about leaving the good ol' USA yet. More like excited and anxious! Some districts have been having a hard time with the visas still so I'm guessing we will get reassigned but I have no idea! I don't know about the whole calling thing yet either but I will let you know as soon as I know! 

Random note: We had the coolest Valentine's P-Day Eve party! Sunday night we started writing Valentine's to one another and we will finish those today and exchange them! But last night we decorated some cupcakes from Elder Martel's mom and told some funny past Valentine's Day stories. I'm sure we'll finish telling those stories today also! Our district is really tight! I love it!!

Things here have been great this week! Still dealing with the stress of being district leader but I love it! You get to work with all these Elders and just help them to realize their potential and the little things we can all do to improve even more. I truly believe I have learned twice as much from them as they have from me! 

Can't wait to get out into the field even if that does mean reassignment! I know I am in the Lord's hands and I am just an instrument in His hands. 

Oh funny story. My companions and I got to learn about how to teach the Law of Chastity then right after had to teach it in Spanish. That isn't too bad but we had to teach it to our teacher's boss! haha. That was interesting! Definitely a lot more pressure there and it turned out fairly well I think! Definitely need to keep working on that lesson for sure though! 

P.S. You might want to read over 2 Nephi 31 as a family. My mission plaque is from this chapter. I have grown to love this chapter more and more in my mission!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

MTC time is winding down!

Time is winding down fast! Projected to leave in only three more weeks and I have a lot more work to do! I have goals set weekly and daily to ensure I am getting everything done that I wished to. Hope it will be enough! The district has been doing well with our goals also.
A great experience from this last week was last night actually. We were learning about how to ask inspired questions and we were taught they come through the Holy Ghost in the spur of the moment. There isn't really a way to prepare these questions except having the Holy Ghost with you. I had just gotten out of teaching one of our lessons and was pretty upset because I had felt our investigator just wasn't getting what we were teaching. I was not happy with myself for not being as prepared as I should have been for the lesson. We then started the lesson about asking inspired questions. As we were discussing I could feel the Holy Ghost comforting me to know it was alright and that I just needed to keep practicing and learning. The teacher then, in secret, gave everyone in the district a "doubt" they were having about the church. It was then up to us to listen to the Holy Ghost to figure out what their problem was and solve it. I was amazed that as I listened to the Spirit I was able to find and help comfort them about their doubts. Once I even did it without meaning to. It was amazing!

We had a great fireside last week also! Elder Nelson and Elder Holland both came.  They taught just how important this work is since it was the 50th anniversary of Missionary Training!

Well other than that not too many exciting things happening here at the MTC! I'm sure this blog thing is pretty boring so far since there aren't too many stories to tell! Don't worry I'll be able to spice it up in three weeks! 

Love ya!

Elder O'Brien

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Here is part of an email we received on January 31st:

This was by far the fastest week I've had here. Seemed to go by in a flash! 

They talk to us about having hardships and being homesick.   I actually look forward to those days. It says in the scriptures that we should!   For it is the trial of faith that builds that lasting testimony. Testimonies aren't built just for the easy days, they are for those times when we can do nothing more and must turn to our Lord. This is when true humility is learned.  

Well some cool news. I received the assignment of District Leader this week. I will be district leader now until we leave the MTC. It's nice but there is a lot more responsibility put upon me. I'm excited to do the best I can to prepare my district to leave the MTC. I admit I have some difficult goals in mind for us. It will be a lot of work but I know as we are diligent to reach these goals we will be blessed by the Lord as we are more prepared to share the message of the gospel to the people of Mexico. 

I've been getting a little anxious to get out in the field but I know I have a lot more learning to do before I am prepared to leave for the field. 

I continue to work hard and continually see the blessings for it as I am able to learn quicker than ever before! You will not believe the blessings that planning and daily/weekly goals do for a missionary. I would be lost without them!

Hope everything is going well back home! Tell everyone I love them and that I'm doing great!

I'm sure he just forgot to mention how much he misses his mom...