Saturday, February 23, 2013

On the move

Hey family!!!
Well you are all probably wondering why I am taking so long to write you all this week. Well at 10:15 last night I got a call and I found out that I had changes. I thought it was a joke but it turned out to be serious! I am now in the area Nueva Italia, MIchoacan. I have been on buses for 6-7 hours today! Quite the trip eh? We made it to the area about a half hour ago and so we just got the chance to write! I have no idea what the area is like. I just know that it is another small branch even more out in the middle of nowhere than Tepa was! The attendance here they say is a bit more than Tepa but we'll see how it is Sunday I guess! It is very hot here and it is only February so it'll be nice and warm in June I guess ;) My companion's name is Elder Berdon. He is going home in 5 weeks so we won't be together very long. I suppose I better get to work knowing the area!
 I was up until almost 1:00 last night trying to get everything packed and all ready for the morning because we headed out at 5:30! Very little sleep but I caught back up on the buses haha.
All went really well in Tepa last week. We were able to find 4 new investigators which was way awesome! I was very excited. We also made a poster for so the members can start visiting the website, creating their profiles, and inviting their friends to see it also. We also had a lot planned for the movie night coming up which is cool. We gave the gospel principles class again and we also taught the class of priesthood about home teaching. We really hope that the members will be more excited about their visits knowing and understanding more about why we do the visits.
Thanks for sending me the story I was looking for! I thought that would be something really nice to share with people.
I'm not sure what else to share because I'm new to the area and all. I am excited to be able to work the with people in another strong branch. It will be a great chance to strengthen the branch, the testimonies of its members, and to learn even more!
It was a bit sad to say goodbye to Elder Lopez but he is with Elder Tucker now. Elder Tucker was one of the first people I met here in Mexico and way awesome so I know they will do alright!
I hope you all are doing great and that the Lord is continuing to bless you in everything. Remember to always do the basics of the gospel like it teaches in your gospel principles book. I know if we truly have a testimony of those things and act according to that knowledge the Lord will bless us in a million ways. Never forget that. 
Have a great week and know I love ya!
Elder O'Brien :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little by little

Hey family!
Well another week has quickly passed us by! I can't believe it went by so quick but here we are again. This week went really well. We were able to have many great lessons and help some great people.
One of the great things we were able to do is receive two references! It was way awesome! One of the references we met but we won't see until Saturday. The other we had a lesson with yesterday. She really didn't have desires to listen but she told us she would begin to read the Book of Mormon. I know that will help her a ton and really soften her heart as she reads it and really reflects on the message it contains.
Another awesome event was that we were able to finally find a less active family we haven't been able to find for months. They had lost their Books of Mormon so we gave them one and we are going to have a lesson with them this week also!
All seems to be coming along little by little. We are planning a movie night for the 19th also. We are going to watch 17 Miracles I believe. We hope it will really serve both the members and their friends that we want them to invite! We will see how that goes!
 Sorry I couldn't write very much last week. We went to Guadalajara to pick up stuff, we then went to eat and we had to write really quick so we would be able to get back to Tepa on time. We were still late getting back anyways. The week before last we spent nearly the whole week in conferences in Guadalajara so you all didn't miss out on anything too big!
We did divisiones this week and I was able to learn many great things. One awesome thing that happened is that we were in a lesson with an investigator. We decided to teach lesson 1-The Restauracion again. As we taught, the investigator had a couple doubts that we were able to teach but then when we taught about Joseph Smith we simply asked, ''Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God?''. For the first time this investigator said with firmness and confidence that she did believe. It was a very spiritual moment and I was so happy that this person was able to receive this answer to her prayers.
Well the transfers were last week but I am still here in Tepa! I will be here until March it looks like! Pretty crazy huh! I was surprised but obviously the Lord has something prepared for me here. Or I haven't completed something I am supposed to do here. ;)
I decided to get rid of the bunk bed. I got sick of climbing up to the top to sleep. I took it down and just made it a normal bed instead. I like it much more! That's about as crazy as life gets here right now! Haha ;)
One thing I have really reflected about a lot this week is the atonement. I remember once reading a story about a boy who went to seminary class and his teacher said he would need his help to do some push ups in the class. When the class started, the seminary teacher told the class they were going to do an activity. The teacher then said that he would give a donut to each student who wanted one but the other boy (we will call him Jason) would have to do 10 push ups. The teacher then went to the desk of his first student and asked, ''Johnny, would you like a donut)''. Johnny said, ''Yes, please''. The teacher then said to Jason, ''Jason will you do 10 push ups so Johnny can have a donut?''. Jason did his push ups and the teacher gave the donut to Johnny. He then continued on to the next student, Susie. He asked her, '' Susie would you like a donut?''. Susie replied, ''Yes, please.'' The teacher then turned to Jason and said, '' Jason will you do 10 push ups so Susie can have a donut?'' Jason then did his 10 push ups. This continued and continued until he reached the desk of another student and asked, ''Lauri, would you like a donut?'' She replied, ''No, thank you.''. The teacher asked Jason, ''Jason, will you do 10 push ups so Lauri doesn't have to have this donut she doesn't want?'' Lauri then said, ''But I said I don't want one. He doesn't have to do the push ups.'' The teacher then said, ''Jason, will you do 10 push ups so Lauri doesn't have to have this donut she doesn't want?''. Jason then did his 10 push ups. The whole class was very confused and upset. This continued and continued. Whether the student wanted the donut or not Jason did his 10 push ups so they could decide. The teacher then got to Cody and asked, ''Cody would you like a donut?'' Cody said, ''Yes, but I'll do my own push ups.'' The teacher then stated, "No it doesn't work that way, Jason must do the push ups.'' Cody asked, ''Why? I can do them just as good as he can!'' The teacher said, ''Yes, but Jason must do the push ups for the donut.'' Cody then rejected the donut with a snarl. The teacher then asked Jason, "Jason, will you do 10 push ups so Cody doesn't have to have this donut she doesn't want?''. Jason did the 10 push ups. By this time he was very tired and could hardly do them. They continued and continued and Jason's push ups got slower and slower with every student. The teacher then finally arrived to the last student in the class, Billy. He asked, ''Billy would you like a donut?'' Billy said, ''No it's alright. Jason doesn't have to do anymore push ups. Look at him. He is done.'' The teacher stated, ''Billy would you like a donut?'' Billy said, ''No, he doesn't have to do anymore.'' ''Billy would you like a donut? You must decide.'' Billy said, ''Yes but I don't want him to have to do any more push ups. Let me help him at least.'' The teacher then turned to Jason and said, ''Jason, will you do 10 push ups so Billy can have a donut.'' Jason nodded and very slowly did the push ups. When he got to 6 he nearly couldn't do anymore. 8 he thought he was done. 9 he couldn't do anymore. 10 he finished, his arms doubled under and he fell to the ground, nearly crying he was so exhausted. The teacher then explained how this is like the atonement of Christ. We can choose to accept or reject His sacrifice but he offers the remission of sins to all. We couldn't help Him in those moments of suffering though we desired to. We couldn't do this atoning sacrifice. Only Christ was capable of that. But we are able to accept His atonement by following Him, keeping His commandments, and enduring to the end. We must follow our Savior Jesus Christ.
That is just a story that has come to my mind lately. I don't know where I read it so many years ago but see if you can find it so I can translate it better and share it with others. There is another of someone who in a dream was in a room full of filing cabinets full of the events of His life. All the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good brought back great memories but the bad and ugly brought him shame. Later he started to cry for all the bad things he had done but Christ came and but a red X through all the bad things he had done. See if you can find those please.
 I am doing great and I know all you are all doing great as well. Keep reading your scriptures everyday and praying. The Lord will bless you all greatly!

Love you,
Elder O'Brien :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Satisfaction in our Labor

Hey family!
Well another quick week has come and gone!
I still can't believe it is that cold! They are saying this has been one of the colder winters here in Guadalajara also! It's pretty warm here either way so don't worry! ;)
Well we spent nearly all of the week here in Guadalajara. Actually here we are again right now. We had our leadership conferences again. All went pretty well! I learned a lot because there are still things I believe I should be applying. I think that is truly the reason we have the conferences though so we can all become greater missionaries.
Our investigator who has been in teaching since June, finally accepted a baptismal date for the 9th of February. Her son, one of our converts, will do the baptism. We are really excited for her and her son! The only thing is that changes are next week so we'll see if I will be able to attend!
I finally have some letters done to send off! I hope everyone will be able to get them soon!
Not too much else has been going on in the area right now. We lost a lot of time with the conference but we are going to have to work really hard this week to make up for it. We helped finish up working out the home teachers with the Elders Quorum President a couple weeks ago and now we are working with the Relief Society President to get the visiting teachers done also! We feel like the area continues to progress and we really feel satisfaction in our labor.
Oh a couple favors. I wanted to see if you could send me a copy of my mission papers. Like the booklet and all that stuff that you put in the binder. They are asking that we have a copy of that here. Also could Mom and Dad write a little testimony about tithing that I can share with the people here? That would be great! Thank you!
Well we have to get going so we can get back to Tepa on time but I hope you all have an amazing week! Read Mosiah 14 in these next couple days. It is really short but very powerful. I also suggest reading Elder Holland's talk from last conference. They are both really powerful!
May the Lord continue to bless you all and that you may feel His Spirit in every moment. I love you all!
Elder O'Brien