Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 23: Indebted Unto Him

Hello Everyone!

So... I am again on cloud... hmm... I'm not sure what number, but it is DEFINITELY over 9000!!! (Hope you get the reference! If you don't, that's ok - I have no idea what it is from either. Something that my companion quoted)

So... Brother H. is planning to be baptized this Saturday! He asked me to baptize him, so I am pretty excited! And he plans to go to the temple on the 29th! So he is right on track! Just to show you how AWESOME he is, I'll give you a little insight on his lesson.

We were teaching about fast offerings and tithing. Before we even asked him to keep the law of the fast or the law of tithing, he said, "oh, that shouldn't be a problem. I don't make that much money anyways." Which to me sounds like the hardest situation to pay tithing, but he is just that AWESOME! And then, after he told us that he was willing to keep the law of tithing, we told him about the blessings. Can you believe it? He is so excited to become a member that he didn't even care to know the blessings before he was willing to keep the commandment! HE IS SO AWESOME!

We also were able to meet with Brother F this week! He came to a session of stake conference, and about halfway through, he stopped listening to the translation (he doesn't speak too much Japanese, and our church has an English translation). At first, I was a little concerned for him, but when we talked with him afterwards, we realized that he wasn't understanding much of the English, either, so he decided to read the Book of Mormon (in Chinese) instead. He then informed us that he was beginning to understand the strange language used in the Book of Mormon, and was actually really starting to like the book! And he also commented on how much he loved the feeling of our church meetings! I can tell that he is already starting to love the influence of the Spirit!

So... you know how weaknesses are turned into strengths? We definitely saw that this week! We went to go meet with a less active, Brother J. for the first time. We didn't have any contact info, only an address, so we rang the door bell... and no one answered. We began writing a note.... and writing in Japanese still takes me forever, so about twenty minutes later, when we signed our names, he came out to go on an errand. He was like, "Wait, missionaries, what are you doing here?" We talked for a minute, and we found out that he was listening to music with earbuds, so he couldn't here the door. Furthermore, he is a DJ! Which, considering my companion was a DJ before his mission, was a really convenient connection. So... he wants to meet with us again next week! We never would have been able to meet with him if it didn't take me forever to write in Japanese! haha.

Anyways... the thing that stood out to me the most this week was honestly Brother H's willingness to be obedient! We hadn't even taught the blessings, and without even a moment of hesitation, he just said that he would do it! I expected some sort of surprise, some sort of "really? 10%? How can you expect so much out of me?"

As I thought about his willingness, I realized how much it really made sense. Don't get me wrong: Brother H is AWESOME - but I think that this comes from a higher perspective. When I thought about the "costs" of the Gospel, I had to also think about what we are "buying" (though, you should note, I realize that we are not really, in any way, paying back God for the incredible blessings he gives us!). They include, but certainly are not limited to: eternal life, eternal families, the gift of the Spirit, peace, personal revelation, grace... the list goes on. The blessings are both immediate and eternal, and, in all reality, what we pay is NEVER comparable to that which God gives us! Sometimes we are tempted to count the costs - but in reality, we are "still indebted unto Him" (Mosiah 2:24)!

So my challenge for this week: choose to be grateful for the opportunity to keep the commandments! They truly are blessings! 

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

One of my friends that always comes to the church FHE event!

Exchanges with Elder Okada

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