Saturday, July 28, 2012

Be There

Hey fam!!!

Well this week was full of blessings and I really enjoyed it!!

That is too bad that the girls aren't able to corn top this year. I am sure they are hating that hahaha :) So McKenzie is babysitting a lot and is Ashley working in the store just about every day? I am sure she is loving that also haha.

McKenzie is seriously going to Lake Powell?? Dang that girl is lucky! She is going to get fried I can already tell haha. Tell her to wear her sunscreen. That is sweet she will be hanging on a lake boat down there! She will have so much fun with that! I am expecting to do that when I get home haha.

That is WAY WAY awesome that you will be on the decorating committee for the temple! You will definitely have to be keeping me updated with that! I know you will do awesome with that! It is going to look awesome! Oh have they announced where the Meridian temple will be built? I bet you will be asked to help out with that one also when they get ready to open it! :)

Doing what he does best--play!

That is awesome all went well with BYS! Oh I bet they had an absolute blast with everything! I really really really want to see some pictures of that! I bet they were all just dead though by the end haha. I remember I was always so tired as a participant and even more tired when I went to be a counselor cuz we had even more to do and we were always stressed if the kids were having fun and didn't feel left out or anything. 

New bishop eh? That sounds really weird! I can't believe that Bishop Lords is out! I am excited for Bishop Millward though and his counselors. It sounds like they will all do really great! Tell Bishop Lords thanks for all he did though. Really he shaped me into who I am today. He really made me understand the importance to be an example to others in all things. He taught me to be brave and stand up for what I believe in all things because I never really stand alone when I stand with and for God. He really helped me in every aspect of life. 

That is so crazy that Mark is gone! Ahhh!! All my friends are gone! That is so weird to think. But it really makes you grateful for all the great friends you have. How a bunch of kids from little Kuna, Idaho all supported one another throughout their childhoods and teenage years and now all of us are out serving missions and helping bring our brothers and sisters unto Christ. It really helps you to realize you never truly know how big of an impact you can make in the life of others. My friends did so much for me and I am so proud to say every single one of us are serving missions now.

Dang it is hotter in Idaho than it is in Mexico. I would guess that it is only in the eighties down here. I don't really know though. My internal thermometer is totally thrown off now. 

I do have to wait to get my letters and packages until someone goes to the offices and usually it is only the Zone Leaders that go to the offices once a month so it is typically once a month. It really does help to stay focused though. Once I get the letters though it is a bunch at once so it takes forever to write everyone back! 

Elder O'Brien and Nataly
One of the greatest things that I have learned this week was to really take time to love the people. One of the letters that McKenzie sent to me when I had just left said ''If you're gonna be there.'' I really thought about that a lot this week. I am always stressed about the appointments that we have so I put a goal not to always be so stressed all the time and just really focus in on the people this week. I really tried with all my efforts and it was amazing what a difference it made. When I really took the advice and decided I would put all my efforts into this investigator for the hour I have with him I could really feel the Spirit guide me much more. I really felt like I was helping the investigators and they were able to progress much more and I could see their faith increase! I am so grateful for the Spirit and the way it guides me in this work.

Be sure to get me Elder Wasden's address ASAP please :) 

Thanks fam for everything and the pictures you sent. McKenzie and Ashley look so much older already! Haha. It is crazy! Mark looks great too! The Perrins look so much older also! Dang. Tell Austin he still can't get a girl though haha.

Love you guys and hope you have another great week! 

Elder O'Brien :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Branching out

Hey fam!! 

I bet it was a quick week for you and it was a very quick week for me! This one just seemed to fly by! We kept really busy as well!
Well not too many crazy things happened this week. We had another baptism which was awesome!!!! His name is Edgar and he is 16 years old. He is way awesome because his siblings want nothing to do with the church and his parents are still thinking about it but he got baptized all by himself! He is a really great kid and an example to everyone here. He wants to go on a mission in a couple years which is way exciting to hear! We are hoping for a couple more this week but they have been a little harder to work with lately so we will see how it goes! 

Well that was awfully quick for grandma and grandpa to get back haha. I'm sure that Ashley just loved going to work with you this week haha. Is she already done corntopping or what? 

You are getting copies of Dallin's letters? Send them to me also! He can't send them to me but you can forward them all. What I can do is take a picture of the letter I was going to send to Dallin and you can send it to his mom then he can write a reply to me. How does that sound? Oh and with the SD card I am getting it ready for you today then I will be able to send it next week! Don't worry it will be there soon! Mark is already heading off also? I bet he already sent me a letter in reply to the one he sent me a couple weeks ago! I'll just ask you for the address when he gets out the MTC in a copule weeks. Tell him good luck though!

Oh man! They are going to love BYS!! AHHHH! I already miss it! haha. I loved going to BYS and being a counselor.  It was so fun.

There will be a lot of changes in missionary work here because we are going to be doing a pilot program. We aren't allowed to tell anyone down here the details yet though. We don't know when it all starts. I know the starts next month supposedly. I will give you more details when I hear more. I know it involves working with members a lot more so it should be great!

That is way awesome that you are talking to Paola. Haha don't worry I am sure you won't say anything to offend her. Just send this first ''Perdon Paola, no hablamos espaƱol, esperamos que no nos digan algo raro. Elder O'Brien es tan guapo'' haha. Google translate that!

That really bites that the air conditioner went out! Did you get it fixed?

The weather down here is really good right now. A little chilly in the nights actually. It is still the rainy season so it rains quite a bit! The new area is nice! People here are really devote Catholics but it makes things interesting. There are lots of stores close by but they are all really small little ones. We usually go to a bigger store to do most the shopping on P day then if we need something during the week we just run over there. It is a branch here. Yesterday only 22 people showed up to sacrament meeting. It was much smaller than normal. Normally we get 40 or so. It is cool to really help such a small area grow!
That's fun that Abby wrote that. Tell her she is awesome but quit wimping out and write me a dang letter and send pictures haha. 

Oh and tell everyone that is what I want most. Pictures of everyone to see what everyone is up to! 

Everything went really great this week though. I felt Elder Alvarado and I really started working well together in the lessons so that is way nice. It is hard to transition between companions at times but we got it done.

I sent letters off to everyone today so they will be getting them in about a month. I included some pictures I printed off also! 

Well I am going to go so I can get the pictures ready for ya but love you and hope everyone has another really good week! I am doing really great right now and I hope you are all happy and healthy. Keep being great and remember to be examples. It is the daily effort that makes all the difference. 

Love ya!

Elder O'Brien ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

country livin' and shaky bridges

Hey fam!!!!

Well this was quite the week so here it goes!

Well to answer your question about my companion, no he does not speak English except for about the three words he knew before I met him and what I have taught him up to this point. He was baptized about 6 years ago. I know the missionaries met him, and his girlfriend is a member so I just assume the rest is a typical LDS love story novel ha ha. We don't have a ton in common. We both like to help others? He is a fisherman so I guess that is common ha ha. He likes to joke around a lot which is fun also. The Spanish with him is good. He uses a lot of slang which makes it fun to try to understand him at times. It is good though to help me learn it because when we are talking to other people they use it a lot also.

So you took video of Brennan Leavitt getting off the plane? I bet his family was going crazy. A sign with lights for Cody?  That reminds me of how I asked Lexi to homecoming ha ha.

The 4th of July went well eh? Did you and dad go to Melba for the fireworks or did you wimp out again? That is good that you got all that work done! Work hard, play hard! Ha ha.

Yeah Pao is short for Paola who was one of the people I baptized a couple months ago! She is way cool! Yeah definitely add her as a friend on facebook! She won't be able to speak English but you can easily just copy and paste what she says into google translate and it will translate it to English. Pueden hacerlo con esta oraction tambien si quieren practicar ha ha.  Nataly is the daughter of Paola. She put that picture on there so you wouldn't be afraid to add her on facebook ha ha.

The Lord is definitely putting a lot of trust in us putting two young Elders together. I have really realized how great of an opportunity this is for me to grow! There are things we are both going to struggle with but together we can really see a lot of great things take place here in my new area. It is a great time for me to develop as a leader and really show the Lord that I am here to work.

Ha ha I am definitely having to improve in my piano abilities. I had to do it for our baptismal service yesterday also and it went well again! I definitely need a lot of practice still! Oh yeah we had a baptism yesterday. Her name was Elizabeth. She was a real cool lady. I only met her once before the baptism but she is really great! She was so excited to get baptized!!

The new area is really nice. Much smaller! The people are really devote Catholics which makes things really interesting. We have had some good success though which is really great! We met some great new people this week and look forward to working with them! We are also hoping to have two more baptisms on this Saturday. It reminds me more of home because it is much more spread out and there are cows and fields and all that good stuff. We don't go that far out into all that stuff much but at least we get a small glimpse.

A cool thing that happened this week was when Elder Alvarado and I were crossing this big bridge a semi drove by and the bridge literally started to move up and down. Oh man it was NUTS!!! Definitely not walking across that bridge again though ha ha.

Elder Jones and I worked on Friday together because he is the district leader now so he came to do our interview for the baptism. We had lots of fun together and I really learned a lot from him on how to teach better. He is coming again this Friday to do the interviews for this week. We are definitely ordering pizza for when we get home in the night ha ha.

That is exciting everyone in Melba is doing so well! Tell them all hi when you head out there for Mark's farewell! Tell him hi for me and he better have written me a reply ha ha. Ask him for his address also. Oh can you also get Dallin's address for when he goes to the field also please? Thanks!

Well thanks for all the great stories and for keeping me updated with everything! It really means a lot to hear from you and to know everyone back home is doing so well! The biggest lesson I have learned this week was about love and charity. I feel at times I expect all my companions and just everyone on the mission out here to be perfect and that everything should just go the way I want it to. Obviously life doesn't work that way. Life is a roller coaster and it is always throwing curve balls at us. These experiences help us to grow. Also we all are here on the earth to help one another. No one is perfect and we can't get mad over the mistakes of others, we are to help them learn and grow from their mistakes and we will learn and grow with them also.

Well it was a great week and I look forward to lots more to come. I thank my Heavenly Father for every day I have to wake up and be a representative of Jesus Christ for one more day. Keep being great! Remember to say your prayers and read your scriptures everyday because by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Love you all! You are in my prayers,

Elder O'Brien ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Piano man

Hey family what's up? 

Well it is true I did have changes. I am in..........the same zone......but in a different area. It is about one hour outside of Guadalajara. Out here it is much smaller and spread out. It's more like Mexico how you would imagine it. There are more fields and animals which is nice.  My new companion is named Elder Alvarado. We both have six months in the mission so we are two youngins trying to conquer the world! He is from southern Mexico ...chompoton, campache he says is the name. He was a fisherman before his mission. He is a convert of 6 years and is 26 years old! Crazy huh! He is a really funny guy. 

The first couple days were kind of a challenge. They had some really good investigators out here they just needed to understand the reason we are missionaries a little better so we spent the first couple days working that out. In the end it was all good though! There is one getting ready for baptism next Sunday so it should be really great!

That is great it is getting to be summer out there! I thought missing summer would be the hardest part for me but I have been fine without it so far. Probably because just about everyday down here is summer haha. I can't believe tomorrow is already the 4th of July! Oh man time just goes by too quickly! As of last week 6 months are down! Made it over that hump! Now just have to make it until Christmas to complete a year!

What are you planning to do this year for the 4th of July?  Hopefully having a BBQ! Sounds like you are all really busy though!

Wow Brennan and Cody are already back! It seems like just a bit ago that they were leaving! I received a letter from one of Corianne's roommates from BYU and she said Cody would be heading down there in the fall to room with Brady Christensen. He'll have lots of fun with that!

Well not too many crazy things happened this week. Just got out to the new area! I like it a lot out here! It is only a branch and we meet in a house of prayer on Sundays. Man it is way different yet refreshing to know that though there are so few members they are  willing to meet there none the less. They are really hoping to get a chapel built and are really willing to do anything so they can. That really puts a lot of weight on my shoulders though to start building the kingdom of God out here so they will have a big enough congregation. But in a city of about 100,000 people and we are the only missionaries in the area, we are bound to find some people who are willing to listen!

This week was really great cuz we had the chance to fast a couple times. I was studying a lot on how I could invite the Spirit more into the lessons because at times I feel I am just teaching and not allowing the Spirit to do the teaching! Some great ways I found were to pray with real intent and be very specific for the blessing we need, fast, and TEACHIFY meaning to teach but really more than anything testify of the truth of what you teach. Another thing we tried was singing hymns. It truly did invite the Spirit into our lessons. I thought a woman was going to cry in a lesson we were having! It was great! That sounds really weird but different things excite you when you are on a mission! Haha.

Overall it was a good week though!

Oh guess what else I had to do on Sunday! Play the stinkin' piano!! Haha. Geez that was interesting! After zero practice for years then playing in church. I was very thankful to know they had a simplified hymns booklet! I practiced for about 10 minutes before the meeting started then it was time to rock and roll. Though obviously I didn't do perfect I felt it went pretty well! I'll need to get some practice in sometime though! Thank you for making me practice piano mom! Haha. Never thought I would say that.

Well hope you all have a great 4th of July and that everyone is safe! Keep being great and and enjoying yourselves. You're all in my prayers!

Love ya!
Elder O'Brien :)