Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 17: Cloud 12

Hey Everyone!

So first off, not too much time to write this week. We had zone p-day today. I'll write you all next week! I promise! Sorry!

Now, Investigators.

Brother S. is still doing AWESOME! We asked him to read Alma 7 on Wednesday, and when we met with him again on Saturday, he apologized for "not reading it all." When we asked where he read to, he said 22. We were like, verse 22? that's pretty good, and then he said no, chapter 22. Oh. Is that all? haha. And we come to find out that he had read several other church materials as well (while he is eating breakfast and things, he just reads pamphlets and learns more about the church).

So that pretty much sums up Brother S. He is SO willing to do anything we ask, and he grasps concepts so quickly. He should be baptized on the 22 of this month. He's already keeping all the commandments, he has faith, and he loves EVERYTHING about the church, including the word of wisdom (he proudly tells pretty much every member that he meets that he has been keeping it for the last four years), the Spirit, the missionaries, the members, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He is as golden as they get.

As for Brother M, the other man we met, we haven't met with him again yet. He is, after all, a single father trying to work and take care of his son. He's just been busy. His baptismal date is for the middle of next month, though that might have to change if we aren't able to meet with him. Still excited to see him start progressing, though!

As for other investigators, we taught a few this week with pretty different backgrounds.

The first, Brother J. He is an American that moved to Japan to teach, translate, and finish his book on the Bible, specifically the book of Revelations. So he could ask some pretty deep questions. To get in the door, we had a "pie off," and he can make some pretty incredible pie. So that was definitely a bonus!

The first thing he said when we began to teach was that he would never convert. He had several concerns with our church, and he said that he's just a little too old for that  (he's maybe in his mid 40's? Not that old). However, as we began to talk with him, we were able to resolve every concern that he brought up. We definitely felt the Spirit directing what we say, and we definitely saw the results of the promise, "you shall not be confounded before men." It's not like we know everything, or even very much, but we had the Spirit, and let me tell you, that is enough!

Anyways, he said that he enjoyed the discussion, and that we should do it again sometime, only as a "Christmas Goodies Off." Unfortunately, like all of Japan, he is pretty busy, and he doesn't think he can meet with us again before then. But he does want to meet again, and hopefully from there we can set expectations to teach him!

We taught another man yesterday directly after the second sacrament meeting of the day (did I tell you that I usually attend two wards? We have a YSA ward and a regular ward here in Nakano). It was a last minute referral, and a very interesting lesson. I'm not sure if we told him more about our religion, or if we learned more about his. Every time we brought up a principle, he contradicted it with his version of the principle. In the end, we just testified about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and challenged him to read and find out for himself which was true. That pretty much ended the argument, but I'm not sure whether or not he will be progressing in the future. We'll have to find out the next time we meet with him.

However, one question he asked me really stuck with me. "You're only 19! And you're not paid! What motivates you to be here?" It was an awesome opportunity to share my testimony of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the Gospel.

As I thought about what motivates me, and a talk I had read earlier, Elder Uchtdorf's talk Forget-me-not (AWESOME talk), I thought of the why of missionary work. While the "what" and the "how" of missionary work didn't really change a lot from the experience, I fully agree with Elder Uchtdorf when he said "the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the 'why.'" There are a lot of things we do in the church, and with out the why, they can become just another thing to do on an already never ending list.

But in reality, it doesn't have to be that way. As I thought about this question, as I thought about the why of what I am doing, I thought of how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and these are my brothers and sisters, whether or not they accept it; I thought of how Christ Atoned for each of them, and how each of them is precious to Him; I thought of the ways the Gospel had blessed my life, my family, and changed everything in what I do, and what it could do for others.

Now, what I did from there was not all that different. I still talked to everyone. The majority were still not too interested, but some how, the same activities changed from something that I had to do (granted, I still did them happily), to something I got to do. I felt like I was on cloud 12, and that as long as I was doing my best, that stayed.

So this week, as you make time for studying the scriptures, praying, temple work, family time, school, and many other AWESOME things (maybe even missionary work!), realize what you have! The time that we get to do things is often limited, and life is too short to miss enjoying any of it.

So come and join me on cloud 12 this week!

Hope to see you all there!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

One of the guys we taught!
President Whiting Conference (found on mission blog)
(back row, left side)
Zone Conference (found on facebook)
 (middle row)

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