Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sinking some teeth into the work

Dear Family,

Well this week was a really good one for both of us it sounds like! Lots and lots of work right? It sounds like all turned out really great back home and here as well.

Well this week we had interviews with Presidente Camarillo. They went really well. I always love the chance to talk with him. I feel that he just has a great way to make me feel good for the effort I am putting in but he helps me to realize that there are still many, many ways in which I need to improve. We talked a lot about the zone and the needs that it has. We talked about some ideas to improve and this week we have lots of good things that we hope to do!
We also started teaching one of the new investigators that I mentioned. Her name is Liliani. She is super great and super ready to receive the gospel. She said she felt a spiritual need in her life. She accepted the invitation to be baptized! We are really excited for her because we can just see how chosen of the Lord she was. She loves coming to church even though she lives pretty far away. She has now come 3 times. 

In church two new investigators came. They seem really cool also! We should be heading to visit them this week. I saw that they really liked the church so I am ready to start teaching them also. Things seem to be going really great with the investigators.

A couple of the less active families that we teach also came to church. I was really excited to see them also! Sadly the attendance was a bit down though because some of the active families were out of town, I think enjoying the last week of vacations.

Well another cool thing. My companion got bit by a dog. That was definitely an adventure. It was a dog that the branch president had barely adopted. It was pretty crazy. When it happened I was pretty sure I was going to be the next victim but it ran to another part of the house. We took my companion to the health center and we have to go every day for five days. No stitches fortunately! 

Overall it was a great week. I am very excited for this week. I know it will be another really great one! May the Lord bless you all in this week also! 

Love you all!
Elder O'Brien

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Desire to Be Better

Well this is going to be a quick little card! It was good to hear from you all! I am glad that you are doing so well! Sounds like McKenzie had a really good time there is Hawaii! Can't wait to see my souvenirs! ;)

So this week was another pretty big adventure. All seemed to go really well. I have been out of the area a ton of the time. This week for 3 days I was out the area on divisions. That was super crazy. First I headed with the good Elder Ford to his area in Tizapan. He was in my district in the MTC so it was really cool being able to work with him for the first time. I haven't really seen him either since the MTC so it was great being able to spend some time with him. Then we got back on Wednesday and I headed out with the Assistants to do divisions with them also. I was then with them until early on Friday morning. It was a really good experience and I was glad for all the goals that we could set to keep progressing and be better.

On Sunday we had quite a few investigators show up again. It was really great! One is a young man named Ivan. I am really excited to work with him more. He's a great young man with a ton of potential! 

We continue to eat really well. On Friday we had breakfast for lunch. My companion and I left and we could hardly walk. Then Saturday we went out to eat in a restaurant down here. Then yesterday was pork chops with Idaho mashed potatoes (the box even said they were from Idaho) and some salad. Today we made some homemade hamburgers and french fries. Overall we haven't been going hungry! haha.

Tomorrow are the interviews with President. I am excited to talk again with him. Every time we get to speak I always leave with the desire to be even better and work that much harder. I am sure this experience will be no different.

Sorry I haven't sent any pictures from here. Today I forgot my camera but lately we have been so busy that I haven't even thought about taking pictures. I will try to get some in next week though to send.

Thanks so much for the support. As it was thought I will be heading home the 28th of November. President said. I am excited to see you all but I'll have to work that much harder these last months. I pray that I can consecrate myself even more to the Lord and His work in these weeks.

Love you all! Have a really great week!


Elder O'Brien :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

From Chapala with Love

Dear Family,

Hey hey! Well I forgive not being able to hear from you all cuz it looks like you all had a ton of fun in Oregon! But I ask myself, why didn't we ever do things like that while I was still home? ;) Haha just kidding!

I'm so glad all is going well for you all! It looks like the girls are growing up a lot! Ashley tells me she's just about as tall as McKenzie now! That is pretty incredible right? Mom is now the shortest right? :)

Well this week went really well! I can't believe we are in August already! Time seems to just keep flying! This week seems to go especially fast. We were super busy and sadly we couldn't work too much. We were in Guadalajara for two days for the leadership council meeting. It was pretty interesting I have learned a lot being a Zone Leader, and I am really enjoying it. We talked about all the things we need to improve as a mission and what we should share with the zone in the zone training on Friday. From Friday until Saturday I went to Ocotlan. It is about 2 hours from my area. There I was on divisions with Elder Winegardener. It was really cool cuz he was one that got to Mexico at the same time I did. Tomorrow we will also do divisions with Elder Ford who was in my MTC district so that will be great also!

The food here has been great.  One sister said she was going to make us pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy! I can't wait until we go with her to eat!
What else has been going on? Well we got two really cool references this week. Some members from Mexico City came to church and brought some family members that they have here. They seemed to enjoy church and we are excited to be able to work with them. Also on Friday when I wasn't here we got another reference. My companion says she is really cool also so we'll be praying all goes well!

I have been super tired lately so I will need some more sleep I guess. I think it is because of the weather change. It was so hot in Nueva Italia, and here it can get a little chilly. Just imagine if I would have gone from Nueva Italia then back home. I am pretty sure I would have died haha.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Keep up the great work! Tell McKenzie to be safe in Hawaii. I hope you all know I love you a ton! Take care!


Elder O'Brien

Monday, August 5, 2013

Same Gospel in Any Language

Hey Family! 

Well this was a really good week! I now have my first week down in Chapala. So far Chapala is my absolutely favorite area! It is so great here! You'll all have to look it up once you get back from the coast! Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. First off it is pretty much a retirement place for older Americans because the weather is absolutely amazing. It is warm for sure but nothing compared to how Nueva Italia was. 

First off because there are lots of older Americans, there is a lot of really good American food! I don't think I have eaten so well in a long time. This week I definitely realized just how much I missed American food! I think the transition back to American food won't be too rough for me. ;) I mean I love the Mexican food but after eating this week I'll stick with anything the Americans here give me!

Second, because there are a lot of Americans, there are a lot of people who don't speak Spanish. With a lot of the members we speak English in their houses. It was kind of weird when I first got here and it was a little rough to speak English again but after a couple days it felt pretty natural. Another thing that is pretty awesome is that the services here are in both Spanish in English. There were about six people in church for whom I had to translate. That was definitely an interesting experience. It was pretty rough because the speakers talk really quick and while they are speaking I have to listen and say out loud in English what they are saying. This week I feel like I did okay but thankfully I will still have a couple more weeks to keep practicing. 

Well Chapala is also a branch. It looks like the Lord just loves sending me to the branches right? I now have well over a year in branches so it will serve me well here now that I have some experience.

The other extremely cool thing here in Chapala is that a family has a store of used things and so they gave us a washing machine that we have in the house. Oh my gosh. I have never been so happy for a washing machine in my life! It is seriously the biggest luxury! It takes out a lot of time that we spent on P day washing. 

We have a family that we are teaching right now. The son we feel will be ready to be baptized this week! I hope all goes really well for him and we will have to be working a lot with him this week so that he will be ready!

Other than that everything else is pretty much the same. Same gospel, same message, same Elder O'Brien. I am really excited to be here in this area and I continue to pray that the Lord will help me have just a part of His Spirit that will take this message to the hearts of all the people here in Chapala. I am so glad that I have this opportunity to serve. 

May the Lord continue to bless you all! I hope you all are enjoying the coast! Can't wait to hear from you all next week!


Elder O'Brien