Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reap what you sew

Hey family!

Man McKenzie regressed quick! From young womens back to primary! How is she liking that by the way! It's a blast for sure! It is good that Ashley enjoyed herself up at girls camp! Good thing she took all the jokes so well also! She really is growing up a lot! Oh testimony meeting up there is always the best because you get to hear the testimonies of all those around you which strengthens your own testimony so much more!
From McKenzie's letter it sounds like she is staying really busy also! And grandma told me she and grandpa caught 60 fish over the week! Man that had to be fun for them!

Man our family is just going crazy in the church lately! Something I have really learned in the mission is just how important all the auxiliary organizations of the church are. They all help to strengthen the testimonies of the members of the ward and allow a way of support between one another. 

Well McKenzie is telling me I need to start telling more funny stories so here is one from this past week....

learning to sew. Ouch!
Last monday night I was on splits with Elder Peña. We were walking and something ripped the side of my pants, then I saw the tail light of a car fall on the ground. Apparently the tail light was sticking off a bit so when I walked by it caught my pants and just ripped them! Don't worry though. No skin was showing so I was still modest! We were also in a trio this past week with Elder Pathakis and he showed me how to sew. I got a couple pictures. It wasn't my finest   work but hey they are work pants and it's all good haha. 

Well normally transfers would be today but they are going to be tomorrow instead for some reason. I have heard I am going to a new zone in the mission which is the really rich area of Guadalajara. I won't find out until tonight so you'll have to wait until next week to find out haha. 

Overall this week went really well. I felt I really had to step up as a leader these last few weeks and I have realized what a blessing it has been for me! Looking through my patriarchal blessing I am starting to realize why I was put here in this area. I really had doubts about it at first but now I am very glad for the time I had to serve in this area!

This week I got quite a few letters. I also got a letter from Dallin last week. Do you know his address in the field though? I am going to wait until he is leaving the MTC to send it cuz I don't think it would get to the MTC before he leaves. Also have you found Josh Freeman's address yet?

Well thanks for everything and all the support. I don't know if I told you but I got the package with the pictures of Christ and everything! Thanks for that! No I didn't send my letters home to you. I am keeping them in a box here. Hope you all have a good week. Hasta luego! 



Saturday, June 23, 2012

I really don't sing...

Hey family!!

Well another week in the mission has come and gone! 

Ugh Ashley is already in drivers training?? Tell her no matter how good she gets I don't know if I will let her be driving me around haha. How did she do in the pickup? Better than McKenzie did? ;)

Oh that sounds so good what you ate! I seriously don't know how I am going to be able to transfer back to what we ate back there. The food down here is so good! I never thought I could live pretty much eating only tacos every day but now that is about all I ever want! Cilantro goes with just about everything too so I'll be needing a lot of that!

That is too bad about the deaths in the ward. That is always hard for both the families and the ward family as a whole. One thing that I will always remember from last conference though is how one of the apostles, I believe it was either Elder Bednar or Nelson, explained how death is one of the greatest blessings that our Heavenly Father gives to us. He allows us to come to earth to learn and to grow and then he provides a way we may leave this world of hardships to one day return to his presence. Once we truly gain a testimony of the plan of salvation we will never fear death because we already know what will happen after and all the great opportunities that will come of it.

I will work on making a video for you this week. Tell the world a little bit about good old Guadalajara, Mexico. Oh and tell mom that I did receive the package from her. I got it right after we emailed last week actually. 

Well I will be getting changes this next week. My area actually went from being a closed area to the area of the zone leaders. Elder Kennedy is being promoted to zone leader for his last two changes here in the mission field. I was talking to Elder Peña though and he was telling me President was really impressed with what we were able to do with the area of Libertad in the last two months. He told me it was always an area that missionaries found very challenging. Now it is an area with many investigators and is baptizing also. It made me really realize that if we are willing to ask for the help of the Lord and not listen to what the world tells us we can make anything in this world happen. It all starts with our faith.

Hmmmm....any good stories from this week?

I got to work with an Elder from Yucatan for a bit. He was about 6'6" which was pretty crazy! He was a really great missionary and just didn't fear anything. He would just go out and talk to every person he would see and was just a really fun guy with them. It really showed me how fun missionary work can be. You just have to go out without fear and just love the people.

I had a cool experience last night actually. We were out with Elder Kennedy and another Elder named Elder Pathakis. He is from Sandy, Utah also. He and Elder Kennedy actually went to the same high school but didn't know each other. Shows you how big those high schools down there are actually.

But back to the story... We were walking, not sure what to do the last 20 minutes before we had to be home. I started thinking well we might as well just go back and get home only like 10 minutes early. Then I thought of a story I read on when I was back in the MTC of a missionary whose companion suggested they go home just about a half hour early one night because no one wanted to listen to them and they had no success that day. Then the missionary said no, just one more door. There they found a family who listened to them and was later baptized. I thought then, no we need to do the same and contact. So we started contacting and I did just like the Elder from Yucatan did and talked to everyone I saw around me.  Just before we got home we talked to one more guy who was walking down the street. He actually wound up telling us he had just had a fight with his family and was going out to buy a beer when we started talking to him. We were able to start sharing the gospel and how it blesses families and actually got an appointment with him. It really showed me the blessing of following the Spirit and "continually treasuring up the words of life" that the Spirit can bring back to our remembrance these things we have learned. I am not sure what will come of that man but I know I did my part to help him come unto Christ.

Other than that not too many crazy things happened. I had my first zone conference. It was like 5 hours long and really good.  They announced that missionary work will be changing by using a lot more. Starting in August we will get on computers a couple times a week to do missionary work through that site of the church. I am not exactly sure how it all works but it will be cool to see! 

We also had stake conference yesterday. As missionaries we sang the ''EFY medley'' but in Spanish! It was really good actually! Then about a half hour before the end of the conference Elder Kennedy came and grabbed me and told me I was going to be part of the ''Special Musical Number''. I was like...ummmm... I really don't sing! They were all like oh well let's go! So with about 15 minutes to practice I got to sing in the special musical number. About 7 of us sang ''Joseph Smith's First Prayer.'' It must have been pretty good too cuz some people started to cry! Guess I had more talent than I thought ;) hahaha.

I also got a letter from Elder Wasden today. He asked for advice for the MTC but I know I wouldn't be able to get a letter to him before he leaves the MTC. So have his parents just tell him this: FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS! There is always something to get better at, be it methods to teach, the language, anything! I am still learning tons everyday so tell him to use his time wisely there cuz it is short!!

Well that's about it from me! Love ya all! Keep being safe and working hard! 

Elder O'Brien :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Elder "Guapo" strikes again!

Hey fam!!

Well it was a pretty dang good week down here in Guadalajara!! Still nice and warm as usual. 

I'm excited for the package but just so you know I can't read any books besides the ones I already have down here so don't worry about sending those down here! I'll be sure to read them when I get home though!

Larie is getting serious also! What is she thinking?! I have heard about Elder Baxter yes. He was a zone leader in the zone I am in right now. We actually lived in the same house! But he lived there about a year and three months before I did. He was actually companions with my current companion for a while a year ago! I heard he is a good guy so that is good for her!

I still haven't got that last package yet. I am guessing that it has been sitting the offices for a while and nobody has brought it yet. Trust me it takes patience with mail here. I could probably wait like two months to get it!

Yeah I was thinking that Cody should be getting home soon! That willl be quite a full sacrament meeting the ward will have that day! 

That is exciting that McKenzie is able to be a BYS leader! Tell her not to worry or stress because it's really fun.

Oh funny story. There was an announcement for a dance up on the bulletin at the church with some pictures of some guys and girls on it just to kind of give life to the announcement. On top of one of the pictures of the guys some one wrote ''Elder O'Brien''. Then below it said ''guapo''. I'll leave it to you to look up what that means ;)

Another question. I have been meaning to ask but has McKenzie gotten her patriarchical blessing yet? If not tell her to get on that! Haha. 

Oh some things I wanted you to look around for. They are some books of the church that I hear are not very common anymore cuz the chruch quit printing them. But I have heard some of the stuff they explain and I really want to read them when I get back so I was hoping you could look around for them on Ebay or something. They are:''Mormon Doctrine' ''Doctrine of Salvation'' and ''The House of the Lord''. Gracias! 

Josefina, Elder Kennedy and me

Well we had a baptism this week! She is an older lady named Josefina. She had been to church many times before, so we pretty much just had to review the lessons and have an interview with her. She thought it was funny I couldn't speak spanish as good as Elder Kennedy so she would always make me teach the whole lesson to make me practice. It was good for me for sure becuase I had been studying different ways to present the lessons so it was a great way to practice them! She also asked me to baptize her which was nice! We had to do it at 8 in the morning on Sunday so we were up at 5:30 to get everything ready! Dang I was tired that day!

We have been finding lots of great families lately! It has been great to find some people to be teaching here. I am thinking I will have changes in a couple weeks so I won't be able to see them get baptized but it is good to know all the efforts we put in everyday are really paying off!

Well overall it was a good week. Time is truly going by quicker and quicker. Only a year and a half more! Man that is scary to say!
Love ya all! Keep being great!
Elder O'Brien ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's not about numbers

Hey fam!!!

Well unbelievably it is already Monday again! This was by far the fastest week I have had in the mission! I think back to the things I did the week before and it literally seems about two days ago. 

That is way cool you met that sister missionary from down here! Was she good at speaking English? Sadly I believe that her grandma would be in the other mission but I will pass the information to President Jesperson right after I send this to all you!

I have definitely eaten tortas ahogadas here! Guadalajara is famous for them and there is literally a place to eat them on every corner. They are dang good! They are kind of like a sandwich with meat dipped in this really good sauce. I am not sure if I have eaten carne en su jugo. That means meat in its own juice so it sounds kind of weird. They say it is good but I don´t believe I have tried it!

It is true what you say though. This week Elder Kennedy studied the Christlike attributes of love and patience and it was exactly what I needed. I realized a mission isn´t all about baptizing the world and putting up big numbers. As long as I am truly truly truly trying my best I will have served the Lord well and I will be more than satisfied with my mission. 

I heard from Ashley what all you sent to Mishelle Wasden!  Hahahaha! Is she doing better now? Soon we will all be gone so all you moms can just have a cry day together. That would be fun right?

That was just cruel waiting to tell me where Zac was going until the next email. 
That is tight that Zac is going to Russia. That is also where Aubrey Palmer's older sister is serving. I'm not sure which mission in Russia though so they probably aren't together but we will see!

This week wasn´t my and Elder Kennedy´s best week. I felt we truly learned a lot though. We say we have finally learned the key to success so now we are ready to unlock the door to it! I was much more patient on Sunday even though many of our investigators were not available. I really tried to be understanding though. This week during studies I am really going to try to put myself in the shoes of my investigators and try to find a way to explain the church better so I can learn how to teach and make going to church exciting for them and help them see how grand of a blessing it truly is.

Not too many crazy things happened this week that I can remember. We had a pretty dang good rain storm! Elder Kennedy got a really cool video of the lightining but I didn't have such good luck with my timing.

Ashley sent me about the coolest picture ever! Hahaha. I was about to cry when I saw it! haha. The people we baptized about three weeks ago put on Taylor Swift when we went to eat with them and I was like "ahhhhhhh!!!!! I can¨t listen. I´m such a sinner! Ahhhhh!!!" They are really cool.

Today for P day we just hung out as a zone in one of the chapels and played soccer, kickball, and ate a bunch of pizza. It was pretty chill. That is why I am writing so late this week. 

Well all is well for now in Mexico! I am really excited to work with all our new investigators and we are looking to have a baptism this weekend. Her name is Josefina and really likes winking at me a lot. But then again who doesn´t....hahahahaha!!!! Hope mom liked that one!

Well have a good week! Work hard! Good luck with inventory and hope all goes well with that!

Remember you are always in my prayers. Love ya!!

Elder O´Brien ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Big 5!

Hey fam!!!

Sounds like it was a nice and busy week for everyone! That is always good! Makes the time go by much quicker!

Sounds like McKenzie´s week was just nuts!! How did she like going to Lagoon with everyone? I bet she was absolutely exhausted when she got back! The pictures look great! Ahhh it is so good to see everyone doing so well! I just smile every time I see everybody!  

That´s great all went well with Dallin´s farewell. Have McKenzie send him a text and tell him ''good luck buddy you'll do great!'' Tell Joey also cuz he will be heading out soon as well! Will you get me both their MTC addresses and mission field addresses? I also need Tyler's still and TJ's for when he is in  Argentina. See also if you can get Josh Freeman's and Nik Dudley's.  Thanks!! :)

The only other thing for a package would be a copy of the Liahona with the general conference talks if you haven't sent that already! Also a copy of the  October 2011 Ensign. Please!  Gracias! 

cool Elder action figures!

Overall everything is going great! We have some great investigators that I am really excited to work with! Now we are really pushing with the ward to start working together so we can get references and others to come to lessons with us. A new idea we had was to start handing out Family Proclamations to the members to put  in their houses and another one to give away to a neighbor or friend. What other ideas do you all have?

Today I went and signed a Visa paper so I am all legal so all is well with that! I shouldn´t get deported from the country for a little while at least.

Other than that nothing too exciting has happened lately. We are just working hard and the time seems to go by faster and faster each week. Today I am officially at five months.   THE BIG  5!!!   Well that is my lucky number so this should be a good month. 

Oh send me more printed pictures also. If they are really blurry like those other ones don´t worry about it. It is nice to have copies I can have in the house.

Thanks for everything! It was great to hear from you! Still haven't been sick so all is well!! Cross your fingers!! Thanks for all your support!