Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 41: "Coincidences"

Hello Everyone!!!

So... First, I've heard a lot about some earthquake this week... I didn't feel anything. Sorry. Haha. :P I was asked about that, but sorry. Nothing exciting.

But there were some AWESOME miracles this week!!!

First, we had splits on Thursday. Splits always have great miracles. We had just a few hours left at the end of the day to eat dinner and go finding. So... We were talking to people as we looked for a place to eat, and found Suzuki (Super common last name in Japan)! He wanted to learn more about the life of Christ, so we set up an appointment for last Sunday. He just moved into the area, and didn't have a phone yet, so no contact info, but still awesome!

Then, on our way back to the apartment, there was a man randomly doing handstands in front of the station. Of course we talked to him, and he had met missionaries in a different area before! He has never been to church before, but we exchanged phone numbers, and set up a time to talk with him tonight, actually, so I will tell you how that goes next week!

On Sunday, as we went to go meet up with Suzuki, we ran into Brother I - a former investigator that we have actually never met up with before. Elder O'Connor had talked to him on the phone before, but recently, we haven't even been able to do that. We found out that he has a 10 am-10 pm job, which is why we haven't been able to contact him - most of our contacting time ends up between those hours. We "coincidently" met up with him on the same corner that he had originally met the missionaries on. We set up an appointment to meet, and talked with him as we walked because he was going to the same place we were going to meet Suzuki. He seems to love missionaries, and we are excited to help him start progressing in the Gospel!

Then, we waited for Suzuki... He didn't show up, but we started talking to people in the area. Lots of people were passing us on the street, but then we felt we should talk to just one in particular, Bro. F. He is a High School student, and up to learn more, so we exchanged phone numbers, and hopefully he can meet next week (this week is pretty busy).

On the way back from the area, we met up with another new investigator - Brother G. We briefly introduced who we were, the restoration, and asked him if he would let us teach him more at another time. He told us he was pretty busy - but that he had time then and there. Turns out that he had asked for today off in particular to participate in his hobby - some sort of group dance. They were going to dance in the park, but due to the weather, it was cancelled. So, it happened to be his only day off in a long time, and his plans had just been cancelled. When we met him he was wondering what he would do for the next hour or so, and, as he likes talking about religion, he readily accepted our invitation to meet.

As we walked to find a place to sit down, we talked about his background in religion - he had been part of a different religion when he was younger, but never really like it; then he commented that he had almost started studying one religion almost a year ago, but got busy. It took him a minute to find the name, but then he said - "yes, It was the Mormons!" We explained that that was a nickname for our church, and we laughed about the "coincidence."

We found a place to sit, and taught him the Restoration. When we told him about how he could pray and find out for himself, just like Joseph Smith, he said, "Wait. So you're telling me that Joseph Smith wasn't special - that I can ask God, too?!?" He sounded rather surprised and excited - the reaction that I wish everyone had when they learn something so AWESOME! Of course, we explained that he probably wouldn't see God in his answer, but that he certainly could. He was astounded, and readily set up an appointment to meet with us again on Tuesday, before work.

So... Basically, this week, we found more new investigators than we have worked with in the last few weeks... Awesome? YES!!! It seemed like we were just seeing "coincidence" after "coincidence" - or, from a better perspective, miracle after miracle, following the perfect plan of a loving Heavenly Father.

It is awesome to get to be a part of this great work! When I left on my mission, I believed in the Restoration, I believed this church to be true. But, being a part of this, seeing the Gospel change lives, and seeing miracles on a daily basis, has changed everything. I don't know exactly when it happened, but belief changed to knowledge - I hope you all know that to me, the Restoration is a fact! As such, nothing could be more important than this Gospel - it changes lives, not just the first time, but everyday that we strive to live it. So take advantage of the most precious knowledge this world has to offer! "Please open your heart to the Book of Mormon, again, for the first time. Please pray with real intent, again, for the first time." (Elder Gong, general conference) Those simple things have the power to change our lives every day, if we will let them!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Splits! Also, that piece of chicken cost like $10. And was super small. Haha

Cooking pancakes for our "PP" (Pancakes & Ping Pong) Party that happens every other week.
There are Oreo chunks in that pancake batter. You should try it. It's delicious! :)

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