Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 22: Can you feel so now?

Hey Everyone!!!

It's December, and we are definitely seeing some Christmas miracles!

First, we had someone call us and say, hey, I haven't met with the missionaries in a while, and I'd really like to meet again! We were able to have a great lesson with Brother K. and he committed to be baptized in February! (It's a little far away, but he says that the next couple of months are busy, so he doesn't want to do it any sooner) I honestly still don't know him that well, but we plan on meeting him again tomorrow, and he seems to have a lot of potential!

Next, we taught Brother H. a lesson about temple work. We started by showing a great video with lots of pictures of temples, and he was just in awe. Then, we explained the importance of temple work, especially doing temple work for our ancestors. His immediate response was "what do I need to do to go to the temple?" We explained the requirements, and we decided to go together on the 29th of December! I can't wait for him to experience the blessings of the temple!

Just to keep you posted on Brother S (as requested), we weren't able to meet with him this week. I'm afraid we might have pushed him too hard to come to church, but hopefully we will be able to meet with him again soon!

Then we taught  the father of a family, Brother F. We've been teaching him for a while, but somehow, I don't think I have ever written about him. He and his family moved to Tokyo recently, and wanted to start learning English. They found us online, and started coming to our Eikaiwa. Each week, after Eikaiwa, we teach him some about our church. This week, we started out by teaching him the Plan of Salvation. At the time that we usually conclude our lesson, he told us that his daughter was already home, and that he wanted to study more, particularly about what he had to do to go to the Celestial Kingdom, so his family could be Eternal. Unfortunately, time ran short, and we didn't get to talk about the Gospel of Christ in full detail, but he did pray for the first time at the end of the lesson! Just by the amount that he wants to learn and the fact that he has begun praying and reading the Book of Mormon, we are very excited for him and his progress!

One principle that really stood out to me from our lesson was one we taught during the Plan of Salvation. We were talking about judgment, and how scary that sounds. Certainly, I don't want to be judged for all the mistakes I make!

As we discussed the laws of mercy and justice, we talked about how there was a price to pay to get into Heaven: absolute perfection. This is justice. Perfection, or payment. Perfection is a little (as in unmeasurably, ridiculously) out of my reach. However, there is the law of mercy, that comes through the only one who could pay this price. How grateful I am to have a Savior who has already payed the demands of justice! Instead of paying the demands of justice, through the law of mercy, repentance, or change through the power of the Atonement, is sufficient.

Now, the reason this principle really stuck out to me, is because just a few days after teaching this lesson, after I got back to the apartment at night, I was getting pretty down on myself. All the people I didn't talk to! And even the ones I did! I could have taught so much better!

In my frustration, a small voice came to me, asking me to stop and listen. So I paused, took a deep breath, and the distinct impression came to me, "Really? For your investigator, progress is sufficient, but for you, you think you must be perfect now? Didn't you just teach this principle?"

I realized then that while I understood the Atonement on a surface level, in that moment, I was clearly forgetting about what it really meant. That while the end goal is certainly perfection, for now, I can be content with progress (paraphrasing Brother Wilcox). As I prayed and asked for the much needed forgiveness, I felt a peace. I felt that for God, it was enough. To me, this is what Alma meant when he asked "if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26) It is not only to remember that Christ died for us, but to remember what that means for us!

So this Christmas season, remember the gift that is of greatest value! Show your appreciation for it by using it. Let the peace and joy of the Atonement into your life through repentance and prayer. Nothing is sweeter!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

p.s. If you want to hear a great talk on grace, try listening to "His Grace is Sufficient," by Brother Brad Wilcox. Way awesome talk!

His Grace is Sufficient (youtube video)

Christmas is here!
Decorated my desk with some AWESOME stuff sent in packages from home!

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