Saturday, December 22, 2012

The reason we celebrate Christmas

Hello Family!

This week was really great! Elder Lopez and I are really seeing a ton of blessings of the Lord!

Elders O'Brien and Scott--ultimate T Swizzle fans!
First off that is hilarious the thing that the kid said at Justin's farewell! You don't happen to know who said it? I want to shake his hand for that one! Haha! 
I can't believe that Aubrey is going to Honduras for her mission! That is absolutely nuts! She will be heading out way quick! Tell her congratulations!
Suzanne is going on a mission also! Japan! Man everyone is going all over the place!

Julia is already getting married! Golly that was quick! Pania will be married to a Russian man? That is crazy!

I am telling Lopez about all my friends going on missions or getting married and that I will have absolutely NO FRIENDS when I get home haha. I guess Elder Lamm, Elder Murphy and I will be hanging out a lot until summer when everyone else      gets home!

How is McKenzie feeling about finals? I hope all goes really well for her! Finals week in college is the worst!
The package made it to you? That is good! The paper was way nice huh? I had to put paper on it to mail it then they gave me all these way cool papers to choose from so I thought that one would be fun for Christmas huh? How do you all like the fun little trinkets from Mexico?

I haven't heard anything about Skype yet but I will ask the zone leaders tomorrow to find out what they say about it!

We had a really good week actually. Elder Scott and I did divisions again this week! Oh so fun! He is the funniest Elder and I really enjoyed working with him! We took some way awesome pictures. I hope you like them ;)

Another great blessing we had were 2 more references this week! We met them on Sunday at church. They will make great investigators!

I also got to give a talk yesterday with Elder Lopez and our ward mission leader. It went really well actually. I hardly had time to prepare anything but I feel it went well. I talked about the reason we truly celebrate Christmas is to remember the birth of a SAVIOR! We remember his birth because he came to SAVE us! That is why the birth and life of Christ are so important to us, for his atonement. I then explained more about the atonement and the great  change it can cause within us. I then at the end shared how to develop Christ like attributes and use that to share the gospel this Christmas season!

I can really feel the power of the atonement of Christ in my life. I know that through him I can be saved. It is making a great change in me as I apply the atonement every day. I know that ALL can feel that same power. I am so thankful for Christ and the blessings he gives to me.

I hope you all have a really great week! Happy Birthday on Saturday mom!

Love you all!
Elder O'Brien :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Follow His example

Hey family!
Another week has already come and gone! Can you believe it?! One week closer to Christmas! :)

It is awesome that McKenzie will be getting home so quick! That way you won't have only one kid in the house. That should give you a little bit more company! Haha. I was telling her that she will be wanting to work in Panda Express! Haha. With that and Institute she should stay pretty busy. Does she have other friends with the same track as her?

Man, everyone I know is getting married or going on a mission! Haha. I am happy for them all though! Everyone is making such great decisions in their lives that will truly be for the good! I know we live in a time with such great people and I am so thankful for my friends and all the great examples they are for me! Tell everyone congratulations!

That is so crazy that Tiann is already home! How is she doing?! I hope she is getting back to everything well! Let her know I hope to hear from her soon!  
That is such a touching story with Sister Wasden. Tell her to keep strong and that all will turn out just fine. We just can't lose our faith in the Lord.  He truly is always watching over us.
One of the greatest blessings I have seen these last couple weeks is the Atonement. I have been studying about Christ's life a ton lately and more about the atonement! In our conference last week we talked a ton about the atonement, and the way to apply it to our lives is though repentance. Now that is pretty obvious but they asked if we are really utilizing it as we should. They taught how we should look to repent every day because we are continually making mistakes. When we use the atonement through repentance, the atonement becomes something real to us! I can truly testify of that! I really feel the Spirit so much in my life as I am utilizing the atonement to become sanctified though Christ. I am so grateful for Christ and that atoning sacrifice He made for us. We can never repay Him for that. But all that he asks is that we follow His example and keep His commandments.
Thanks for all your love family! Have a great week!
Elder O'Brien :)
The gospel of Jesus Christ. Live it. Love it. Share it! :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

In search of investigadores

Hey family!

It is true it was another really quick week! I saw there is a video on of your dance for the temple. I haven't been able to watch it though. I am sure it is really good! There are also pictures of the temple and it looks WAY WAY nice! I couldn't believe it when I saw it.
It sounds like everyone had a really nice Thanksgiving with the family! I hope all went really well and that you all enjoyed your time together as a family. I am sure all went great! McKenzie is already gone but I am sure you really liked having her home for a while. She will have winter semester off right? She'll be back again before you know it. After a while you'll be wishing she was gone hahaha. ;)
These next four weeks will be way busy huh! It should be good then. Before you know it we'll be Skyping again! I haven't heard too many details about that yet but I'll let you know as soon as I do!
The branch conference went really well here in Tepa. The choir did alright. We didn't have much time to practice but it all turned out pretty well. We increased the attendance even more with 60 people! That was really exciting. We are also expecting 2 more families to go next week which will be really awesome! Things are really starting to progress here which is exciting to see!
We received our first references this week. I was in Guadalajara in divisions when my companion met them but I met one of them yesterday. Kind of a funny old man haha. He seems pretty sincere but is really hard to keep focused. He lives out on a ranch so we'll be seeing him about 2 times a week. I really hope he will be able to progress! Elder Santos, my zone leader, came this last week to meet some of his old investigadores that he knew a year ago. They went to visit them all so we should be getting some good investigadores out of that which is really good! I've been getting a bit more guidance from President Camarillo lately so I'll be working 110% these weeks!
 I did get the chance to watch Elder Holland's talk in Englsh a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that one! One of my favorites of all time! I really hope that inspired everyone to be a little better and look to be examples and share the gospel every chance they have!
I was a little nervous with President Camarillo coming to our branch this week. We had to teach Gospel Principles and he came to our class. We didn't have anything prepared but we decided to teach about charity and all went really well! I think everyone learned something in that class including me as the teacher! There is always something we can do to improve!
Remember that I love you all! Keep being great and remember to be great!
Love you all!
Elder O'Brien :)
P.S. Read Moroni 7 again. Really study it and see what the Lord has to tell you! :)
P.S.S. The gospel of Jesus Christ. Live it. Love it. Share it! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Love is the key

Hey Famiy!!! 

I hope you all had a really great week! Thanksgiving is this week! Are you excited for that one! You all will have a nice time at Grandma's house.

That is awesome that the Temple dedication was this week. How did it go? I am still super jealous! I like what you said about the blessings of the Lord and that was something I was really thinking about a lot this week! The Lord doesn't always bless us exactly in the manner in which we hope, but as long as we are obedient we are blessed. Even if it is only by the fact that the Spirit is with us to make us happy.  I think that is one of the biggest blessings we can have. It has been hard luck here with investigators and baptisms but the church attendance has gone up a ton lately! 59 yesterday! The most I have ever seen here in Tepa. We have a goal of 65 by the end of the month so we'll see how it goes this week and I know that as we are diligent and obedient the Lord will bless us! 

Haha I definitely won't be eating  deviled eggs this year but hey it's all good haha. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving down here. There is the day of the Virgin here on the 12th of December which should be pretty crazy! Then the next big holiday is Christmas. Only a month away! I truly can't believe it! Oh and I did get the birthday package last week. I must confess something also....I opened it early. Sorry!!! They pressured me into it! Haha. I read on the side what was in it so I said "Well I already know what is inside so I'm just going to open it".  I felt guilty afterwards though haha. Thanks for all the awesome stuff to make a cake and for a little party. Elder Lopez's birthday is the 26th so we are going to have a little party the 16th in case we have changes. It should be great! :)

McKenzie sounds really excited to be coming home this weekend. You will have to spoil her a little bit haha.

One really cool thing that we could do this last week was have the children's program. My companion was in charge of the music for them and I directed. All went SO well! It was so awesome to be part of that! Definitely stressful teaching them everything and making sure they got it down well but they did SO good on Sunday! I was proud haha. We are also getting a choir ready for branch conference this weekend and another for Christmas so we are staying nice and busy! 

We also got to listen to an area 70 this last Friday. Elder De Hoyos. It was really great as they mostly talked about the Book of Mormon and the Atonement of Christ which to me are the biggest messages we have to the world! We all made a lot of commitments to be better missionaries. I am looking forward to completing all the goals we have set! 

I hope you all have a really great Thanksgiving and that the Lord continues to bless you all! Remember that He loves you. Love is the key to everything in life. If we can develop perfect love is when we will truly be converted to the Lord and His gospel.

Love you all!
Elder O'Brien :)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Live it. Love it. Share it. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Patience and Love

Hey fam!!!
Well it was another REALLY quick week in the mission! I can't believe how quick they are going by! It is really good though! All is going really well!
Haha it sounds like you are all starting to get really busy! I bet even more with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up! It should be really good though! After all, it's the happiest time of the year! :) Haha.
It sounds like Thanksgiving will be really nice for you all! I am sure McKenzie and Ashley will be happy to set everything up for you that weekend haha. I am going to buy some Christmas lights today because one of the Hermanas here told me where we can buy them really cheap! We are getting excited for it over here! :)
You call McKenzie everyday? Haha. I am sure she loves that! Ah. I wouldn't say every minute but every once in a while haha. It did say in my card from President Monson that I had to call you everyday before the mission but it doesn't say anything about after the mission ;) haha.
Ah you are all so lucky that you will be going to the temple dedication! I am SO jealous! Though we did get to go to the temple again this weekend. It was really great! We will be going there again in a month with the missionaries. That is one of the benefits of Tepa! We always go to the temple! :) It is true at least I will be home for the Meridian temple! Haha married in three years? Hmmmm...who knows!

It is just starting to get cold there? It has been cold here for a while. Well kinda. It gets a little chilly at nights here. I don't remember if I told you but I had to buy a sweater last week so I can put it on at the end of the night. Gives me a little piece of home for a little while :)
Haha Ashley is willing to go on a mission if you send her the 12 days of Christmas eh? Haha that was easy! Be sure to get that in writing! ;) Actually I could see Ashley going on a mission! I think she would enjoy it!  
Not too much else is going on here in Tepa. We are still working with a lot of less active families but there aren't too many so we are doing everything to help them get active again. We don't really have investigators right now so we are working a lot with the members so we can get references out of them. Many of them have mentioned friends that they believe would be interested but we just can't get an appointment set up with them! That is the hard part. Things are always coming up for them which shows that Satan is working really hard! We just have to work even harder than him!
Our zone leaders told our district leader, who told his companion, who told me that we will probably start being in our areas for 6 to 9 months! That is quite a while haha. I was thinking how I already almost have 5 months here so I could wind up being here until March!  that would be quite a while. Everything is in the Lord's hands though so we will see what he does with me!
Elder Lopez is doing really well! He really knows how to work and share his testimony! He is so good at testifying and I really admire him for that. He is coming along really well!
We have zone conferences again this week with an area seventy. It should be really good. I will be going to that on Friday so I will let you know how it goes!
All is going really well though. We talked about patience this week and I can really feel that beginning to develop in me because we all know I am not very patient. I have really been praying to show more patience and love this week, and I can feel those developing. I really know though at times things seem slow all is okay as long as I am diligent in my part and then trust in the Lord for the rest. He will always complete with me as I complete my part.
I hope you all have a really great week and that the Lord will continue to bless everyone in work, school, and everything else they do! Remember to always choose the right and everything will turn out perfect. I think of the song, "I'm trying to be like Jesus''.  As we do what he would do all will be good.
Love you all,
Elder O'Brien :)
The gospel of Jesus Christ. Live it. Love it. Share it! :)