Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Tepa Rain Dance

Hey family!!!! Well it was another pretty good week here in Tepa! Nothing too crazy to report this week but it was another good one for sure!

First off to answer your question, yes we are the only missionaries in Tepa! It's definitely a fun time traveling haha. We plan as well as we can but sometimes we spend up to a half hour walking between appointments! Sounds like a party huh?

It was definitely quite the news when they made the changes for missionaries. Especially the girls. I am sure we will be seeing many more girls leaving for the mission field now! It will be a really big change but I know it is definitely a change the Lord made through the prophet. It seemed a lot of conference dealt with missionary work also and charity. It seems the church is really making a push in that and getting everyone to work! I think it will be an extremely great change! 

It is way awesome that we have so many missionaries out of our ward right now! All over the world too! Pretty crazy!

That is so cool that you got everything done for the Temple open house! Send me some pictures of all of your work as soon as you can! That is so cool that it will be President Monson that will be heading up there to do the dedication. I am definitely very jealous! Have a good time with that! The dance sounds like it will be way awesome! How often are they practicing? What kind of dance are they doing?

That is really good that Sister Wasden is improving! She should be out of there in no time! How long has she been in there? Well over a month no? Or is it two? Either way that is more than enough time. She'll be right out! :)

Wow it is still really warm up there for October! Sounds like Dad will have a lot of work to do next summer planting trees or something out there in the yard! 

Well it was about this time last year that I put up the Christmas lights at college so I decided to keep up the tradition ;) They do celebrate Halloween but they don't really decorate or anything. I hear it is pretty much the same here as back home for Halloween. Kids go around asking for candy haha. They also celebrate the day of the dead but I am not sure which day that is? It is coming up soon though! 

I like how you say I can ask for things I want or NEED in my packages haha.  ;) The only  thing I have been wanting lately is peanut butter! It is SOO expensive here! About 4 dollars for a quarter or less of what is a normal jar of peanut butter. Pretty ridiculous huh?

That is way awesome that Tyler has started training also! He'll be completing a year in just a couple weeks! That is pretty nuts eh? I can't believe that! 

One thing that has really been coming to my mind lately has to do with what you said about every moment is an opportunity. I have been thinking am I utilizing every chance I have to share the gospel with someone. Am I willing to ask the people that randomly start talking to me even though it may come off a little awkward. What I have realized is that I not only should but I MUST utilize every chance I have to share the gospel with the people here. The message I share is the good news of true happiness. I know that it is only through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ that we are able to find true happiness. If I truly love God's children, my brothers and sisters, I will do all in my power to invite them to listen to this message we bring to the world. 

I think my companion has been down a little bit at moments this week because things are pretty rough here in Tepa. I know he was really meant to come here with me though because he is such a positive guy with such energy. He is really helping the people here in Tepa so much and me also. I am thankful that the Lord is always watching over me and He is blessing me in so many ways. I have learned so much in my time here and I have felt the Spirit of the Lord in my life. Even more in these last couple weeks I have felt the power of the message through the Spirit. I am so grateful that the Lord promises us the Comforter in times of hardship and that great feeling of the Spirit in our daily lives. 

I was reading something that one of the sisters in the Relief Society wrote me a while back that says something like this, ''If we want to be HAPPY we want the SPIRIT of the Lord in our lives. Let us reach out and help others.'' I know that through acts of service we are able to have the Spirit of the Lord more abundantly in our lives. I encourage us all to look for more opportunities to serve that we may ''rejoice together''.

Well I hope this little testimony will help you this week. Thanks for emailing me every week. It is such a joy to hear how everyone is doing! Love you all! Be safe and be great! :)


Elder O'Brien

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

That holiday spirit

Hey family!!!
Well this was a pretty good week! Nothing to complain about for sure! It sounds like you all stayed pretty busy! Ashley included!
So when is the temple open house going to be? I think that is so cool that you get to be part of that! It will look so great in the autumn weather also! How is it up there weather wise right now? Pretty warm still or cooling off? Sounds like you are seeing many miracles taking place up there with this open house. We know it is by obedience and faith we can see these miracles in our lives so keep being righteous!
Conference went really well! I was not able to watch it in English so I didn't understand 100% but the majority for sure! I really felt like I received a lot of personal revelation though so I am able to continue working hard here. I also learned many new ways I can help the members of the church and my investigators! My new companion does speak English. I am not sure how much cuz we don't speak it much but from what I have seen he speaks alright. I can understand him pretty well. 

That is so crazy Mishelle is still in the hospital. I can't believe that! I hope she is getting better. I will really be asking for special blessings for her in my prayers. That must be really hard for her and Dallin. I can't imagine that for Dallin! I hope he is doing alright with it!
Haha Dallin ate his first cow tongue? I am sure he loved that!

Well Christmas is coming up really quick! Today I bought a little tree and some ornaments for it! I also bought us some little stockings cuz I am getting WAY too excited for Christmas! It is coming up quick. If I'm not mistaken only 82 days! I counted a couple days ago so I am not exactly sure but it is something like that! Exciting no? Only 2 more months til we get to talk again! :)
Well this week we didn't get to work much cuz we had P day. Then our meeting on Tuesday in Guadalajara, then Wednesday we worked until 7 then we went to Guadalajara again for a leadership conference in the morning of Thursday and Friday. We got back Friday night and went around reminding everyone of conference on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we watched conference all day and then Sunday we watched it again and then went to visit a couple people at the end of the night! Exciting week no? It was good though so see some of my old missionary friends that are in other areas! I loved conference! I loved most listening to choir sing in English! Ahhh it was amazing!
One thing I am working on this upcoming week is to have more faith. I find that I begin to assume that people aren't going to come to church because they haven't in the past. One thing I was reading in the Liahona is that there is faith to complete the commandments and that is the faith we should teach investigators but there is another type of faith when we are able to see miracles! I know I have the faith to keep the commandments so now I want that faith to see miracles! That is a goal I have!
Well I hope the Lord will continue to bless you this week! Good luck in everything! Be safe. Say family prayer and read together. I really have gained a strong testimony of the difference that makes in our lives. Thanks for everything!
Love you!
Elder O'Brien :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Great to be a "dad"

Hey family!!!
Well it is true I had my first child last Tuesday morning. His name is Elder Lopez he is from Leon so he is only about 2 hours from his house here in Tepa! Crazy huh? I think that would make me go nuts! He is 18 years old. Not scared of anything which I love. He loves the work and is constantly sharing his testimony. I think he actually came pre-trained. I am just here to make sure he doesn't die or anything haha. ;)
Thanks for the tips to help him. I am going to try to explain really well to him everything we do. That was the hard part for me at first. I walked around just completely lost haha. I think that was definitely because of the language haha.

That is way sweet that the spear came out well. I still think it is really weird that is was a spear this year! That is so awesome that Kayelee won homecoming queen! Tell her congratulations for me!! That is way awesome!
I don't think it is too early to be training. There is another American that is training who only has 6 months. He is training an American. That should be fun for those two.
The weather is good. The same as everyday still haha. Nothing has changed at all!
This week was pretty good though! Nearly all of the investigators were on vacations so we couldn't get too many lessons but I believe we visited every member at least once! We are getting everyone ready to have a real spiritual experience for General Conference! It was a lot different being in charge of everything but all turned out really well. Nothing too bad! We had a lot of good lessons with the members and I could feel the Spirit really strong with Elder Lopez. He hurt his foot from walking so much. Poor guy :) haha.
Elder Lopez seems to be enjoying the work so far though! He will complete 1 month in the mission this week. WAY GREEN! Haha. He is already a pro at missionary work! 
We have a baptism lined up for the 13th of October!  My companion is really excited for that! :) It will be his first one!
It was a good week. I am really excited for conference! It should be a really good week. Be safe and don't have too much fun!
Love you all!
Elder O'Brien

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Expecting...great things

Hey family!! How are you all doing?
Well to start off, I have some exciting news for you....I'M PREGNANT!!! Yes I am about to have my first little boy this week. In case you have gotten worried about the meaning of this statement, it means I am TRAINING! Yes that might have sounded a little strange. I'm sure you would rather have heard that from one of your daughters in the far future but it is true! I am PREGNANT. Tomorrow I will be going to the offices to meet my little boy! I am not sure if it will be a Native or an American but we'll let you know next week! They told us last night and I was pretty nervous but I feel pretty good up to this point. It will definitely be an exciting experience! I don't feel qualified but the Lord qualifies those he calls. I think of a saying a friend once told me, The Lord doesn't like comfort zones. He continually moves around his choice servants that they may grow and serve him even more. I know the Lord is preparing something special for me and I am excited to find out just what it is!
That's definitely the exciting news for the week!

I can't believe Mishelle Wasden is still in the hospital.  I hope they can get her healed soon.  She must be going crazy!  Does Dallin know everything that has happened?  I will keep her in my prayers.

That's awesome McKenzie will be coming home for the weekend! Enjoy the weekend with her! That is crazy Zac is already giving his farewell! Oh that sounds so weird to hear! Definitely let him know that he is going to be an awesome missionary! He is going to be rocking that ice cold Russia! At least we know he'll be eating well for the next three months in the MTC. That way he can store up a little fat for the winter ;) hahahaha. Austin Rogers is off to Texas! That's great! Is he speaking English or Spanish?
The only thing I have to say about homecoming is that it is pretty lame they changed the club to a spear? WHY? haha.
What can I say about the statement ''Gone but never forgotten.'' Somethings in life are unforgettable ;)
Ahh man you already had the primary program! That was always my favorite Sunday of the year! How did it go? The usual kids going crazy, making ridiculous faces at those in the crowd, and singing like little angels? ;)
That is an awesome new calling that you got! Enjoy it!!! You be teaching the same stuff as I. Is that different than Gospel Principles?
Well the temple trip went really well! I really enjoyed it! We didn't get home until 10:40 though. I felt like a rebel being out so late haha. We weren't able to have the FHE again but we'll be hoping to have it this week!
Well I've already told you the majority of the news for the week. I will definitely be needing lots of prayers this week. I know that the Lord will guide me on this journey I am starting with a young companion and that through my obedience, prayers, and personal sanctification I will always have the Spirit to guide me in these coming months! I hope you all have an amazing week and that the Lord will continue to bless you all!
Elder O'Brien :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goin' to the Temple

Hey family! 

Well it was a pretty nice week here in Mexico! Nothing too crazy to report! All went really well though! Another good week trying to help others to understand a little bit more of the gospel!
That is really good that everyone got out on missions! That is a success in itself I suppose!
That is crazy you are taking out the balloons! When you are able to get helium will you put it back up? Why is it so hard to get hold of? Ahhhh McKenzie going on dates already! Well I guess we all knew she had it coming haha. Not much I can do now but in a year and three months those guys better be watching out! ;)
Are you guys going to the game on Thursday? That ought to be a good one! Be sure to let me know how it goes!
At times we have some spicy food. Some of the hermanas down here give me peppers just to watch my face after. I am sure it is pretty hilarious cuz at times they are pretty hot!
Well something cool this week was that Elder Jones came up to Tepatitlan to do divisions. We had a good time together. I really like working with him. I feel like we really work well together and we can really focus in on the needs of the investigators. We spent Friday together and I feel like I really learned a lot! Elder Jones was in the same zone as me in the MTC so we knew a lot of the same teachers and missionaries so we are able to remind each other of stuff the teachers taught us since it has been a while since we were in the MTC! Almost to nine months already! It's pretty crazy! I didn't realize time could go so fast! Elder Jones and I also made chocolate chip cookies and ate Domino's. Classic divisions tradition ;)
The work is getting pretty slow here in Tepa. There are very few members so we are typically visiting the less actives a couple times a week or visiting the few investigators that we have at this time. We have been very blessed and some people have been contacting us in the street. We are hoping they will be able to progress and we will start baptizing again. The last while has been pretty dry haha. We still have faith though and continue working hard day after day! We have a FHE tonight to get our first references so we are really excited!
Changes are a week from today! I am pretty sure I will be staying here in Tepa but we will see what happens! Elder Alvarado will most likely be headed out after 8 months here haha. I hope I don't last that long! Ha. That is a long time in one area!
Oh question mom. Can you send me a french toast recipe! I am pretty sure I know how to do it. Eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon. Something like that. I want to be sure though haha. I don't want to make myself sick ha.
Well Elder Alvarado and I are going to work hard one more week here in Tepa! We continue to look for the blessings of the Lord and we realize we are receiving many! We are headed to the temple with the branch on Saturday! It will be a great week!
You are all in my prayers and I know the Lord is blessing you in many ways! Love you!
Elder O'Brien :)