Saturday, April 27, 2013

In the Zone

Dear O'Brien clan,

Hey! Well it has been another really quick week! Sorry that I didn't have much time last week to write. We had a zone activity and we spent a lot of time on the bus and so we didn't have much time to write. But now I will be able to write a lot more. :)

We had a really good time at the zone activity last week. We played a lot of soccer. We even got a little bit of basketball in which was a first for me here in Mexico. Let me tell you I have gotten really bad! Haha. But the soccer skills have definitely improved so I guess that is alright. 

I also got to do divisions with Elder Garcia again! He is a way cool Elder! He only has 2 months in the mission but I was amazed by his ability to teach and just bear testimony of everything! That was one thing I decided I will really improve. Simply teaching and sharing my testimony just a bit in the lesson isn't the most effective way to teach. I should be testifying of the truthfulness of everything I teach so that my investigators and the members will have the desire to ask and know for themselves that what I share is true.

We were able to find a couple more less actives this week. We are using a big map of the area and marking where all the members live so that the missionaries in the future won't have to look for everyone like we have to. It is kind of a pain because the numbers of the houses aren't good here. You'll pass the number 7 and the next house is number 94 then 37. It is all over the place! But the nice thing about it being a smaller town is that if you can get close you can ask and the people normally know who it is.

We are finally getting all ready to get a couple married so they can get baptized but now they haven't been coming to chruch. It has been fairly frustrating but we are doing all that we can so all will go well for them. We also have another investigator who lived in Utah before but never met the missionaries. She lives next door to a less active member so we have been teaching her for about a month now! She is way awesome and loves going to church but isn't sure about baptism still. She is actually thinking about going back to the United States in a couple months so we want to get her baptized so she can go back to Utah strong right? 

We also found a couple more investigators this week! It was actually pretty cool! We were walking around looking for less actives way out in the middle of nowhere when my companion and I thought we heard someone yelling Elder! We looked around and we saw a kid. We started talking to him and I felt I should ask where he lived and if his parents were in his house. He pointed to a nearby house and we headed over and started talking to his mom. She said the missionaries had spoken to her once nearly 2 years ago but they never returned to visit her. We then also talked with her 2 neighbors and they are now listening also! That was a really great blessing this week! 

It is really great to hear that everyone is doing so well! I can't believe that Ashley is almost done with school and McKenzie is almost ready to start up again! I hope that you are all excited for them and that all goes really well in school! 

Tell Lexie and Becky congratulations for their weddings! I am really excited for them! Sorry I couldn't be there but I know they had a great time!

Well I hope you all have a really good week! Remember I love you all and it is so great to be able to hear from you all each week! Keep working hard to be the best you all can be! 

Love ya!
Elder O'Brien

Monday, April 22, 2013

Write to me!

Hey family!

So something really cool got announced this week! We are now able to email all of our friends also so that will be way fun!  You can also put my email address up and let people know they can email me: 

Let everyone know that I still am limited on how much computer time I have to write back, but I will write back!  I'm actually writing back and forth with Mark Beus right now! :) Way awesome to be able to hear from him! 

Well we came a little early to write today because we are going to go play some soccer and basketball and make some tacos in the city of Uruapan with the Elders here. It is going to be quite the day! 

This week we didn't have much time to work due to zone training and general conference. We spent a lot of time looking for less active members. It was a bit difficult because the houses here have the numbers really mixed up. For example we will see the number 40 then two houses later it is number 220! The really nice thing is that on the street nearly everyone knows each other so if we can get close we can just ask where the person lives.

It was really great being able to listen to the general conference right? I missed the Saturday afternoon session but I got to see all the rest! It was really great to hear from all our church leaders! I really like the talk on Saturday in the morning session about repentance. It was by a 70 but I can't remember his name right now. 

Sounds like McKenzie is all ready to head back to college! I'm sure she is missing it by now! 

Well I think we are about to head about family.  I hope you all have a really good week! Miss you loads and love ya even more!

Elder O'Brien :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Feel the heat

Hey family!

Well they are sending me home tomorrow for bad conduct. They said I shouldn't joke so much with my family with the April's fools jokes! ;)

No but I am doing really well. Today we are in Apatzingan and we went to the zoo and to eat pizza with the other Elders here and their recent convert and investigator. It was way awesome but the heat wore us out really quick! We are feeling a lot of heat for sure haha. It is quite the experience. I am not sure exactly how hot. Here in Apatzingan today it got up to 43 Celsius I believe! Quite hot. It wears us out sometimes but I still think that it is better than the cold. 

This week went really well also! We are meeting a lot of great people to teach. We are hoping that they will all be able to progress! We are also working a lot with the less active members to help them get back to full activity. It is a slow but worthwhile process!

I am really excited for the conference this weekend! I don't know why but the conferences pump me up so much for the work here. Are you all really excited as well? I am expecting a lot to come from it!

We have a lot of investigators getting ready for baptism in this month! We are praying a lot for them so that everything will turn out well! 

One thing I have been thinking a lot about lately is the resurrection. Really a hope unlike any other is found in the resurrection. Without the resurrection and the atonement there would not be hope to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. 2 Nephi 9 explains it all very well. I am so grateful for the knowledge and testimony I have received of these things. It truly gives me a goal, a hope for me and all my loved ones. 

Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder O'Brien :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Iron stomach

Hey family!
Well everything is going well here in Mexico. I am on a computer right now that I am pretty sure is loaded with viruses cuz it is so slow and weird but that's Mexico at times I suppose!
Elder Guillen and I had a pretty good week! We were able to find many new investigators and we are getting them ready for baptism also. We found a really awesome family! The mom's name is Griselda and she has 3 daughters. They are really awesome and they all went to church this week! They seemed to enjoy it a lot! We are also hoping for 3 baptisms this week! I will let you know the next week how it went!
Elder Guillen was really sick the whole week. One day I got stuck inside for half of the day again! Talk about boring! I was able to get a lot of the paper work caught up which was nice! He got a stomach infection from when we ate one day. I am very grateful for the iron stomach with which I have been blessed up until now! :)
I am glad everyone is doing so well! I know the Lord is really blessing you all a lot! Keep being great and it will continue!
Love ya all!
Elder O'Brien :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quite the Journey

Hey there family! 

Well here I am in Nueva Italia with Elder Guillen. We said goodbye to Elder Berdon yesterday morning and today in the morning he arrived home I believe. We hope he is doing well along with his family! 

Elder Guillen and I keep working hard. We are setting a lot of goals to help the branch of Nueva Italia become a ward. We are seeing what else they need and what we should do to complete those goals. It will be quite the journey but it will be great! We are seeing many miracles and it makes me happy. Of course there are those moments where we wish we could help even more people but there is the point where we reach free agency right?  One of the great miracles we saw this week was that Abi came to church for the first time. His whole family has been members for two years but he never wanted to go but on Sunday he decided to come. I was extremely happy to see him there!

It sounds like Ashley had a really special birthday! Where did you all go out to dinner? 

How does McKenzie feel that she will be heading back into classes in a month? I can't believe you bought all my college stuff. Just for that I am going to have to extend six months. ;) What did you buy? I didn't hardly need anything right?

How has Dallin been? I am really behind on letters but I am working on them! Let Ashley know that I didn't forget to send her a card for her birthday. I am just waiting for a couple more things to send a package home to everyone. It should be on its way there soon. Don't get too anxious! :)

Well right now Elder Guillen and I have set some goals for the branch of New Italy. We are firstly hoping to make it a ward because it is just a branch right now. We will have to work a lot with the Elders Quorum (which right now practically doesn't exist) to reactivate priesthood holders. We figure once we can do that we will have a very strong ward! 

We are hoping to have some baptisms coming up. Nereyda, Gabino, and Alexandra. We are working with them so that they will be all ready in a couple weeks! They are progressing a lot. We just need to make sure they come to church every week. They come about every other week right now. We are happy and hoping to help them even more and continue progressing.

May the Lord bless you all. I know he is willing and ready in every moment. One thing I was reading in the morning was 1 Nephi 15:8. Many times we come to the point where we just aren't exactly sure what to do. We arrive to the point where James says we "lack wisdom". In this verse, Nephi asks a very simple question to his brothers, "have ye inquired of the Lord?". Whenever those moments in life come, we simply need to ask God and though prayer, fasting, studying the scriptures, and pondering, we can find those answers. 

Love you all,
Elder O'Brien ;)