Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 8: A Lesson from Nephi

Hey everyone!

I guess the first thing on my mind is that transfer calls were this morning! My companion and I are staying here, but Elder Abo became district leader! That means that I'll be doing a lot more splits (District leaders go on splits with every companionship in the district twice, once with every companion). I'm excited to learn from all the other missionaries!

Well... I don't even know where to start... so much happens in a week!!!

Hmm... I taught a lesson to an investigator on splits with a member... and it all happened so quickly, but we were happy to take another lesson, so we did it even though I had to come up with the lesson on the spot... that was interesting. My impromptu Japanese needs some work... haha. However, the Lord certainly blessed me with a good topic and some good scriptures came to mind. The most important part was the discussion that followed. The lesson was with Brother E. He's been a little concerned because he doesn't feel like he is progressing. I assured him that he was progressing, but that progression comes slowly as we continue to do those small and simple things.

We also went on splits this week! So I taught a lot of recent converts in another area. Recent converts are always so excited about the Gospel! I wish there were a way to always stay that energized. I think that somehow, if we aren't careful, the Gospel becomes normal. However, if we take a second to think about it, really everyone needs it, and not nearly enough people know about it to call it "normal." If anything, I would call it a rare and incredible blessing. Recent converts are always "dendo fire" (dendo means missionary work in Japanese; that is what we call people that are super willing to share the Gospel).

One thing that we have been working with with a recent convert and Bro E. is consistently trying to live the Gospel. I found this as I was studying in Nephi - hence, a lesson from Nephi. However, I also found that it applies to me pretty well, too. Funny how the Gospel seems to be so universal!

God promises us that He will provide a way to accomplish His commandments (1 Ne 3:7). However, He doesn't say it will be easy, or that we won't have to put in our own efforts and ideas.

In this verse, Nephi is about to go out and do a "hard thing," as described by Laman and Lemuel. However, he has a firm testimony that the commandment is from God, and that with God's help, he can do it. They go and they fail twice. Sometimes, I think we skip that part of the story. They go to get the plates, and they fail. And it is a hard core fail - they lose all of their riches and almost get killed. That is a rough day. Now, at this point, everyone else wants to give up, and they even beat up Nephi and Sam for having faith. Yet, Nephi continues to have faith and goes back alone. This time, on the third time, at the end of an incredibly difficult day, the Lord provides a way.

I have to make a confession - I like to remain positive. Of course, I like to report on the miracles here, but I think it is important to make note that it doesn't always work that way. More often than not, I am rejected on trains. Sometimes appointments fall through, and things don't go according to plan. But I find that usually, if not always, the miracles come at that moment when I say "can I really talk to another person? Can I really keep going?" God likes to work in a way that can push us. However, my testimony of this principle from Nephi is being strengthened everyday.

For instance, recently, we were walking through the streets. It was towards the end of the day, and we had already talked to SOO many people, and no one was too interested, but after a little hesitation, I decided to talk to another anyways. He had met with the missionaries in Australia 10 years ago, and had learned English from them! He came to Eikaiwa (our free english class), and he has been to church before, so I think he has some real potential.

To be honest, we have a lot of people at that point - where we are almost teaching them. I don't have time to tell you about all of them, so hopefully I will tell you about some new investigators next week!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder O'Reilly

P.S. Just so you don't freak out, Mom, I don't know whether my letter came out positive or not, but I am VERY happy here. Yes, there are hard moments, but overall, I feel like I am seeing a lot of success, and I just can't wait to start the next day of dendo. I just heard of all my friends that are about to go out on missions, and I wanted to
make sure that they knew that there are hard parts of a mission for everybody. Life is never just roses and sunshine - but through our Faith, life can be turned into something AWESOME!!!!

Family in our ward. One is working towards a mission, another
towards coming to church. The parents are way solid seminary teachers.

Something that Brother Y (an investigator) gave to me. Cool coin from
about 300 ish years ago? and a famous Japanese Painting.

The Abo pose with everyone in my apartment at the church.

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