Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 15: When You are Asked to Build a Boat

Hey Everyone!!!

So, in one word, this week was CRAZY! I was transferred to Tech Staff, as I told you last week, but I DO still have an area, despite my concerns last week. There is a limit to 3 hours in the office each day, and we always shoot for as little office time as possible. However, transfer week is the busiest week for Tech Staff, and sticking to the 3 hour limit isn't always possible when there are deadlines, especially when both of us don't have too much experience working with the systems.

As far as telling you what I do as Tech Staff, I do a lot of phone support, a little bit of programming and such, and then a good amount of random errands. Every task we work on is a little different, but to give you a few ideas, we have: downloaded lists of missionaries and info and ran scripts on them to turn them into google contacts (and fixed some bugs on the script while we were at it), showed couple missionaries how to use Gmail and open files on their computer, and brought iPads with ruined screens to be fixed. SO... yeah. Basically any random task that has anything to do with technology - even if it is just "go find my camera. I think I left it somewhere in the office."

Now, my companion. His name is Elder Harrison. He is a massage therapist, has a little bit of tech experience, and about 7 months of missionary experience. Neither of us speak perfect Japanese, nor do we know the best ways to dendo... but we're both willing to try our best and work hard, so things should work out. Hopefully. And we get along super well, so it's been pretty fun. We basically just run around on the street and try to get people to talk to us. We've had a few stop that seemed that they might have interest, and they said they would come to eikaiwa, or call us later, etc, but none that have been willing to give out contact info... so not sure how that will go.

Currently, we have 3 "investigators." I haven't met any of them yet, and their interest still seems a little shaky when I hear about them. Hopefully I will be able to tell you more about them next week.

I have to say, it is really weird being transferred. It feels like I am starting all over. My last area started out this way - with a few investigators that haven't been met with recently, not knowing many church members (my companion has only spent a transfer here, and it was mostly spent doing a mission tour doing trainings - luckily I don't have to do that - so he doesn't know too many members either), and only really teaching 1 or 2 lessons a week. I still miss all the people I met and taught back in Urawa, but I'm excited to see this area become stronger, too.

The main difference, however, is that last time I just followed Elder Abo's lead. This time, when we plan and things, Elder Harrison is still learning as well, so I have to contribute some ideas. When we talk to people, there are times that he doesn't understand and there are times when I don't understand (they seem to be about equal), so we both have to take the lead occasionally.

I have to admit, that at times, this can seem overwhelming, even impossible. We don't know what we are doing, our time is limited, and our language skills more limited, but we are expected to run an area! However, as I thought about my situation, I thought again back to Nephi, about when he was asked to build a boat. I love his response - "whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten?" He didn't even know how to build a boat, but his first response wasn't "Wait, are you sure?" or "really, me?" or any other form of doubt, it was, "let's get started." So we decided to start in a similar way. We frequently pray and ask how we should spend our time, where we should go, etc. And like Nephi, we aren't told how to do it all at once, we have to go to the Lord frequently, so that "the Lord [can] show [us] from time to time after what manner [we] should work the timbers of the [area]." Sometimes, this is frustrating. I feel like I don't know how things are going to work out, and indeed, I don't. I don't have the big picture, or all of the skills to do what needs to be done, but in the moments of frustration and worry, I simply have to choose to trust in the One who holds the future, even though I may not know what the future holds.

So when you are asked to build a boat, whatever your boat may be, remember on Whom you can lean for support! "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Bro. F, Abo Chourou, and I, sharing an inside joke and taking a pic on
my last night there.

My new companion and I at the Ikebukero Pokemon center.
My companion is pretty into Pokemon... haha.

A little more info about his area:

We have 6 Elders in the apartment. The Assistants, the Tech staff (me), and the Recorder/commissariat.

My companion is from Pine Valley, UT. He's been out 7 months - transfer 5 (I'm transfer 3). We get along! We both just want to dendo all day. :)

YES! There are Japanese Elders in the apartment, and I will frequently force my companion to speak Japanese with me. And I'm always asking the Japanese Elders questions. Hopefully I don't annoy them... :P

I live next to the Honbu! It is where you send the mail. :) It is a two story office building practically connected to the honbu - I live on the Second floor.

I got a letter and a package for my birthday this week. :) THANKS!!! Me and my companion LOVE it! And I was able to give Elder Abo his present from it before I left... it got here before the letter. :) I also got a small package from the Haleys! I will send a thank you, but make sure to tell them thank you in person for me!!! I and all the Elders LOVED what she sent! :)

Love you,
Elder O'Reilly

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