Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 52: Miracles (One year mark!)

 Hello Everyone!!!

Ok. This week. Amazing. I think I have been blinded by miracles.

So, Monday, after I wrote you all, we went to look for service opportunities at the station. Nothing. But on the way back, we met with a Less Active on the Street. He had free time, and decided to come to meet us at the church.

We had a lesson about scripture study and commandments... And decided to start reading scriptures together every morning before he goes to work!! Or at least when he picks up. We talked with him 5/7 days. Me and my companion love waking up at 6 to do so. Haha. Great way to start the day. :) He used to be good friends with the other Elders, but has been hard to contact recently, so it's been incredible to see him change so quickly and be willing to start reading scriptures with us. Before, he wasn't really accepting lessons... But we testified of the love and grace of God even in our trials yesterday, and he prayed for the first time in 4 months! He is definitely progressing. :)

Then, on Tuesday, something hit me. I was on the street talking to EVERYONE. It's my new hobby. :) But I got the impression that if I was talking to literally everyone, than I wasn't giving myself the Spiritual latitude to find people to teach. We then biked fifteen minutes out, passing many people on the way to the station. Talked to 1 person and biked back. We meet with Bro. Y again next Saturday (same name as other brother Y, funnily, but no relation, I think). We talked to a few people on the way back, but Brother Y was the miracle of the night. I guess the Spirit really is the most important part of missionary work, even if I tend to focus on the work part. :P

As I thought about this, I realized that there is NO way that out of ALL of God's children in this area, that there are 0 new people for us to find in a day. SO... We changed our approach. Despite statistics, we followed the Spirit and talked with a lot less people. And found five new investigators this week. We usually talk to 200-300 people in a week, but this week was only 144. I realized this week that when we partner with God, it really isn't about the statistics. We didn't go to new places, or have fancy approaches, we just expected to be directed by the Spirit in God's service.

Now, I don't honestly know how all these investigators will go; we have appointments for all of them for this week. But there is one I would like to talk about briefly.

His name is Bro O. We didn't really find him. He just called the church. We picked up, and he informed us that he had been searching for truth by going to various churches. There was a Book of Mormon on the ground, left open to the picture of Jesus Christ. He saw it, was interested in Christianity, and picked it up. Underneath was a restoration pamphlet.

Before he met with us, or even called us, he had decided that this was the direction of God in his life that he was looking for. He knows it's true! And when he read the restoration pamphlet (also before he met us), he told us what stood out to him was that our church has what others don't. He said their preachers don't have power, but there was power in our eyes, as he put it.

He has no problems with commandments, and I expect that he will be baptized on the 31. The only reason we are waiting until then is because he is having eye surgery. Just a one day deal, but he can't put his head under water. But it also means he has a break from work - he's been reading the Book of Mormon for an hour everyday and can meet with us anytime! He also plans on coming to church every week. (Came yesterday!) He really is incredible. And I'm just here to watch the Gospel change his life.

We also had an unusually high amount of miracles with other investigators and less actives. Little short on time. Sorry. :P Met with Brother Y, he is going to work on praying to forgive, and repenting. His friend, Brother T will do the same. Brother M, the less active I barged in on last week, ate dessert that we brought to his home (cookie dough, of course!), and decided to start reading scriptures. He noticed for himself that his life was better when he was doing those things! But then he didn't come to church... Looks like we will have to bring French Toast and visit again. :)

Certainly, I attribute the miracles this week to the promptings of the Spirit. Nothing could be more important than receiving and acting on promptings. You can be the answer to a Brother's prayer, a Sister's plea.

So my challenge for you is to focus on learning to receive revelation this week. You don't have to be perfect at it - The Lord will bless you as you try; and the best part, is He can bless others in the process!

Stay Awesome!
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Middle- Brother O - He has a baptismal date! Not the greatest picture... Sorry.

Mom to Thomas:  Thomas... you hit your 1 year mark on Friday!! Oh my goodness! You are a seasoned missionary now. I know you never do things half-way... you are an all-the-way kind of guy! So enjoy a little celebration this week and Press Forward in Faith! I know you are an awesome missionary! Keep up the great work... here you go on your 2nd half!
Thomas to Mom: Nope. Not half way. I'm going to be a missionary forever. Haha. :)

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