Monday, April 30, 2012

The sloppy joe lesson

Hey fam!!

Well no kidding this week seems to have gone by faster than any other that I've had. Elder Kennedy and I set some high goals for the week so we were working hard every day to fulfill them! Man I was beat yesterday!

We did not get our baptism this week that we were hoping for because the lady's mother got sick so she had to leave town. We are going to go back to her house this week to make it for ASAP. She totally has her answer that it is true and she told us about her experience of how she knows. She seems just a bit scared to commit so we are working with her a lot about faith. 

We took some time today to get that couple married. We are looking to have them married by Thursday so we can have their baptism this weekend. There was a lot of stress with them because they told us they would have everything done so they could be married by the end of last week. When they went to set the appointments they couldn't have it done until mid May! Then they told us they were wanting to move in two weeks also! YIKES!!!! I was like....we are NOT going to lose them!! Elder Kennedy worked and prayed hard the night they told us that. We were able to find ways to get all their premarital stuff done by this week so it looks like it will all work out!!

We began working with another family this week. She was a reference from an open house and her name is Sandra. We visited her last week and she told us there is NO way her husband would listen to us. So we scheduled a time when we knew her husband, Mario, and all her family would be there. We had a brief first lesson and really focused on gaining their trust and it turned out great! We went back again this week and made sloppy joes with them. The husband loved them!! haha. He is a real fun guy. We used the recipe of the sloppy joes and compared it to the recipe of the church Christ established with a prophet, apostles, authority, and revelation. It went great! They came to church this week and we also have a baptismal date for them in a couple weeks.

The Spirit has really been working great with Elder Kennedy and I. I told you I had a feeling we would work well together and it is true. Elder Kennedy, the Spirit, and I are unstoppable haha.

What else is cool down rained for the first time down here. Well since I have been here at least. It was pretty hard for about twenty or thirty minutes and that was it. We are in the hot season right now and I believe the rainy season starts in July. That is if I am still here in the city.

Well look forward to opening the package and hearing from you next week! Keep being great! Love you all!!

Elder O'Brien 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Keep the Faith

Hey fam!!

Well eating the forehead of a cow was good. Well kind of. It's not my favorite type of taco here but it's not bad at all. We had it again with the bishop's family this week. It's a fattier meat but it's okay.

Yesterday I didn't have Mexican food for the first time. Instead we had spaghetti. Oh man it was good. I sure missed that Italian food! Though I think the Mexican food is starting to grow on me! That will be a problem when I get back haha. We'll have to eat at the restaraunt Fiesta Guadalajara when I get back. I'll order us the real Mexican food! haha. 

Well I have gotten to know Elder Kennedy much better!  He is good for me because he gets me to speak more. I am really understanding a lot more of the Spanish. We had a zone fast so that we could work hard this month to complete our goals. I also prayed for the gift of tongues because I really want to have the language down by the time Mother's Day comes around. Only a month away! You excited to talk? I know yes so don't even try to fool me.

So we have some really cool investigators who had already been taught everything.  We just need to get them married and baptized. They are really cool. Young couple that is really funny! Sometimes I don't get their jokes until after but they are funny! They gave us some weird water. They said it is purified water from this weird plant.
Well pretty much all of our investigators are new so we are talking a lot about the first lesson which is the Restoration. You can see it in Preach My Gospel chapter 3 lesson 1. It's pretty cool. We have a lot of different types of scriptures that we can share during the lessons so it just depends on the person and what the Spirit tells us to share. We are there just to open our mouths. The Spirit puts out all the words. One of my favorite scriptures to share with that is the Joseph Smith History verses 16 and 17. The Spirit is really strong when we share that one with people.

Cool story from yesterday. We are expected to have at least 5 investigators in church every week. We invited a ton and they said they were coming. We completely did our part to get them there. One was sick. The another's mom got sick. Others just didn't show. I was a little upset but it wasn't too big of a deal because we can give tours of the church during the services to people on the street and it counts. We set out to do so and this is where it got rough. We were working and working for about an hour and no one would agree to come check out the church. I got really frustrated. I thought...Lord I am working hard. I know you want me to complete. I want to complete. Why won't you direct me to the people that are prepared at this time so we can do our part? I kept getting more and more frustrated as still no one would listen. About fifteen minutes later I just said okay Lord thy will be done. If we don't complete I know I did all I could. All my faith was gone. Then just minutes later someone said yes. Oh man I was thrilled. We gave them the tour then right after two more. Then three more. It was a miracle! We finished everything. I was talking to Elder Kennedy after and he told me something that one of the assistants told him a couple days earlier. It's when you start to lose faith that you start to lose. I should have lost that day because I did lose my faith but that was one of the tender mercies of the Lord that Nephi teaches us about. I learned true faith is never ceasing.

Thanks for everything! LoVe yA.

Elder O'Brien

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Transfer time!

Hey there fam!!
It is true that the days keep going by faster and faster. I can´t believe I have been out in Mexico for a month already! It´s true out here that when you have goals constantly set and are working hard to achieve them it feels like you don´t have enough time in the day rather than just waiting for the time to pass by.
We had our first transfers today. I didn´t go too far. I am still in the same zone but I am out in an area called Libertad now. It´s about five to ten minutes from my old house in a taxi so not bad at all. I will still see familiar faces every week for P day and district meetings which is nice. The only scary part is that we are reopening the area which means that there weren't missionaries here before us so we are having to find everything out for ourselves. We just got here a couple hours ago and still need to meet the bishop and stuff so we can get the ball rolling. I am excited to have the opportunity to reopen the area because I will really get to see the area grow from when I open it until I am called to serve somewhere else. It doesn´t sound too easy but hey life would be quite boring if it didn´t have its rough patches. My new companion is Elder Kennedy. He is from Sandy, Utah. I haven´t got to know him too much yet but I am excited to! I have a feeling we will have much success together as we stay focused and work hard.  One of the great purposes of life is to cultivate ourselves to be the best we can be. So as we improve our weaknesses we become more and more well rounded and become our best selves!

Easter here is really different. Like at church no one seemed to really treat it as a different day. There were sure a lot more people at the church but I didn´t notice a difference other than that. No gifts or anything. Kind of different but that is okay! There were people shooting off firecrackers in the streets on Saturday night so that was cool!
I got to work out in another area for a couple days this week. I worked with Elders Rueda and Jones. They are studly missionaries! We had been praying a lot to find the investigators that are chosen. When we went on splits that day I was with Elder Rueda and everyone we wanted to teach fell through. We started walking down the road and found an older family outside their home. We talked to them for a while and actually wound up teaching the plan of salvation. It turned out that one of their sons became blind a little while back and I didn´t know it but during the lesson I felt prompted to tell them that with the Resurrection our bodies will be perfected. I didn´t know until after that the son was blind but then I understood the Spirit was truly speaking through me as I was brave and opened my mouth to testify of the things I know to be true. It is amazing what the Spirit can do. I found out a couple days later they have a baptismal date for a couple more weeks in the future. I am very excited for them!
Well that´s about all I have time for but miss you all tons and love hearing from you! Keep being great and focused on the things that matter most.
Love ya,
Elder O´Brien

Friday, April 6, 2012

lo que es Cabeza?

Dear fam!!
We did get to listen to general conference this weekend! It was great! I didn´t get a ton out of the sessions on Saturday though cuz I listened to them in Spanish. I got the general message of them but not too much more than that. Though for priesthood and Sunday sessions we got an English television set up for those of us who speak English so we could understand better and get more out of it during the sessions. For the thirty seconds I got to be in the conference center once I loved it! The Spirit is so strong in that room! Well not really a room cuz it´s giant but you know what I mean....
I did hear about David Archuleta going into the MTC and yes we are on a first name basis haha. I missed it but I heard you could see him on the camera when the missionaries from the MTC sang on Saturday.
Jacob and Sergio
Our baptisms worked out great!  We are hoping to have another one this weekend!

Well some answers to your questions...not going to lie...when I first got to the apartment I thought...this is kind of I realize how blessed we are to live there. It´s probably the biggest house I have been in down here. There are two bathrooms, two bedrooms, and a kitchen area.
quick load of laundry

There is a Walmart down here but I only went to it once. There are just a bunch of tiny little stores that we go to when we need stuff. They are on like every corner. Most people just sell different things outside their house also. Like tacos or  "American Clothes" haha.

Today I ate cabeza which is the forehead of the cow...that was cool I suppose. Not the best meat in the world by any means but not too bad at all!  We eat tortilla with just about everything. A lot of different kind of soups with some meat and vegetables and such. Peppers....meat...tortilla. I like it though!  We get fed every day except p days when we usually go out to eat. We eat at about 2 or 3 with a member every day. We don´t get a ton of member references but they do invite a lot of their friends to church. Most of the people we teach are references from others we have taught and a lot of people we meet on the street. We are expected to talk with at least 200 people on the street every week! We can listen to music. It´s pretty much all English cuz all the church songs are in English.  My companions are pretty cool. Elder Santiago and Elder Peña are both great missionaries and I am learning a ton from them.

The language is coming along. I am learning quite a bit. I am getting better every day! Sometimes I don´t realize it but I am improving. It´s still difficult to understand the natives at times cuz they slur their words so much but I am getting more and more accustomed to it. I watched conference in the church because the people need the channel where there is someone translating and they can only get that at the church. I like it that way a lot more though. It´s much easier to pay attention when you are dressed up and sitting in the chapel.
Funny story. So yesterday I waved at the bishop's daughter who is like 3 years old and she just looked at me....crossed her arms...gave me the head nod and though she didn´t say it I swear I could hear her say ´´what's up´´ haha so cute!
We played soccer for like 3 hours today. I didn't know we would be out there that long so I got a nice little burn today because I forgot sun screen! That´ll look pretty! You´d be proud of me. I scored six of our ten goals today and as a prize we won the ball haha. We played against the other zone down here.
Well from conference this week the central messages I got were the family and leadership. I noticed a lot of emphasis was put on the family and how we can strengthen them. I also learned a lot about leadership. I have been reading a lot in the scriptures about how to lead and I am learning a lot of how I can be an even better leader if I am called to do so.
We have been really busy and I learn a lot every week and I hope others are learning from me also.
Love you all!!!
Elder O´Brien