Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 64: Was that a week ?!?!

Hello Everyone!!!

So.... This week FLEW by. And I have five minutes before I leave for Nakano for splits. Kind of out of time. Sorry. :P

Some things that happened this week -

Played basketball with Bro S. He still wants to be baptized and thinks (isn't sure) that our church is true!!! Just need to overcome the boundary of his parents...

GOT TONS OF FOOD FROM MEMBERS!!! And a great meal of Navajo tacos. :)

Visited with the Bishop, set goals for the area for one baptism per missionary until the end of the year. We will be activating families and talking to relatives to do so. Excited about the plans to work with the ward!

Well... Biggest thing that happened this week that I remember is talking in church. I got to introduce myself. Hey. I'm Elder O'Reilly. I like natto sandwiches and my dream is to be Japanese. Got a good laugh out of it... And then I changed the words I planned on speaking in the moment. Shared entirely different scriptures, and entirely different thoughts. Certainly a testimony that the words will be given in the very moment. It takes faith to see that promise be fulfilled - throwing away my own thoughts and plans - but the Lord makes the best out of everything! I was able to feel the Spirit, and the words came clearer and faster than ever before. I can testify that the gifts of the Spirit are still in the world today, and come as we follow the Spirit. All things testify of Him, and all the experiences I have had here in Japan lead me to Testify of Christ. Jesus is the Christ. He suffered for each of us, because He loves each of us unconditionally and unwaveringly. Through Him we can do ALL things!

Love this work and all of you!!!
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Visited a member when it was raining pretty hard. Blast!

Had lunch with the Bishop! American restaurant!

P.S. Our apartment is SUPER close to Shibuya station and Shibuya Crossing (famous crossing). This is where we visited when we picked up Skeets. I see it almost every day now. ALWAYS SO MANY TOURISTS!!! So a lot of people think I am a tourist too. Haha

(If you want to see Shibuya Crossing, there are lots of videos on Here is a time lapse that shows  it: )

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 63: New Area, New Pace, New People!

Hello Everyone!!!!

So... Shibuya is AWESOME!!! PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!!! Niigata is one of the larger areas in the mission with less people. Shibuya is probably one of the smaller areas, with probably one of the highest populations in the world. Bit of a contrast.

Some cool things about Shibuya:

1. We have a house. The Shibuya house has 8 elders in it. Always some thing interesting going on!!!

2. We have a door that was transformed into a Book of Mormon. We also have the largest crossing in the world. It's a five minute walk from the church. So, if we have a minute, we bring the door sized Book of Mormon to the corner, and talk to SOOO many people! We did it with everyone once. Quite a blast...

3. SOOO many members!! And we actually have a young men's program. And a primary. Niigata really didn't have either. Already know the names of the youth and I feel like we are friends. Played a game with them this week that if I couldn't remember their name I had to give them chocolate. Remembered most of their names... But there are twins that can get to be pretty tricky (walked out of the room, and they switch seats, etc).

So... Being in Shibuya is pretty interesting. SOOO many foreigners. In Niigata, you would see one very rarely. Here there are so many!

As far as the work goes here, we have two new investigators that told us they would like to be baptized! (When they find out it is true, but I'm pretty confident that it will click for them.) To quote one of them, "I think Joseph Smith has the right idea. How else could you get the truth when there are so many interpretations?" Brother S is progressing well, but we will need to work with his parents because he is not 20 yet.

As a Zone Leader, we already had our first Zone Meeting! First morning I was here... Little rough, but the Spirit was there and it worked out in the end. Wish we could have had more time to prepare, especially with both me and my companion having just become the Zone Leaders here. Just took the previous leaders ideas, put our spin on it, prepared our trainings, and went for it. Haha.

Though I was a Zone Leader in Niigata, Tokyo is very different. Much larger Zone, and I feel like I'm way too small for the responsibility all over again. But, I find again that the Lord makes things work as we put trust in Him! He has a plan for all of us, and He doesn't plan on any of His children failing. It's just a matter of getting in tune with that plan.

Well... Hope you all have a great week! Things are AWESOME here!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Strive! LA and investigator class with missionaries. Yes, my
companion's the one in the front. Haha. He is the BEST!

Some info about the new companion & area:

Companion: Elder Murakami
From: Okinawa 
how long out: only 2 transfers left
family size: 7 people!
converts/generation: 2nd generation

We get along great. :) Zone Meeting was great! Spirit was there! Lot's of new missionaries, and we had them testify. :)

ward/branch: Branch
how many people: 90?
was your companion already in this areayes, 5 transfers, but they changed the Zone Leader area,
so we are both kind of new in a way.
how many in the apartment 8 Elders. CRAZY! Just one shower - but it isn't too bad. We have a schedule and everything. :)

Basically a house. 2 floors, even bigger than the Honbu!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 62: Goodbye, Niigata!

Hey Everyone!!!!

Ok. So... I have to leave Niigata. Makes me rather sad. LOVE the people here, and I just love this area. Great missionaries, loving members, and INCREDIBLE investigators. Sad to leave it all behind.

From here, I am going to Shibuya!!! WAY excited. SO MANY PEOPLE. I'll be a Zone Leader there as well. And Zone Meeting is on Friday. And my companion wasn't a zone leader there before either. So.... I just planned Zone Meeting two days ago, and I'll plan another in two days... For missionaries I don't really know. Needless to say, I'll be seeking lots of revelation. Either way, TONS of new missionaries this transfer (29), so lots of entirely new missionaries to help!

Anyways... This week was filled with Miracles.

Brother I. came to church! He was excited to testify to everyone, talk about the Book of Mormon with the members, and tell everyone he was being baptized on the 25 of this month. He's basically awesome.

After church, we taught him the Word of Wisdom. He told us that it was a little difficult to stop tea and coffee, but we taught the blessings, and he told us he would keep it before I could even finish the commitment!

We also met with Bro H, the 19 year old student, this week, and he should be baptized on the 9th of next month. He struggles to come to church, but he's trying to get work off to come this week! Please pray for him! Way nice kid, though. He particularly loves prayer, and should be progressing well!

Also, we were in a threesome this week, so I got to teach Bro O again, and some of my old investigators (in the process, one of them finally set a date to get baptized!!!). I have to leave Niigata, but at least I get to leave when it's on FIRE! Jacob also got a break from work, and came to Stake Conference. So... Basically all the people I've been working with have been choosing to progress wonderfully lately. Makes me very happy.

This past week, I got to give a blessing to two members. They came with the same problem, and the first thought that crossed my mind is, will I tell both the same thing? Second thought that came to mind was that I wouldn't be telling them anything.

As I laid my hands on their heads, inspiration came to mind that gave me a depth of knowledge into their personal needs and what blessing should be given. As I did so, I felt powerfully God's love for these two sisters.

I know without a doubt that God knows each of us perfectly. Despite knowing our weaknesses and mistakes, He loves us and desires our happiness. I testify that Christ's Priesthood has been restored to the earth and is found in His church!! And because He loves us so much, He gives us access to that power! What a blessing to have direct communication and help through Him! And of course, I know that all is made possible, and done only through the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope you rely on Him daily by making repentance a habit! Don't ever live short of the blessings that God has put in your life!

Love you all!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Niigata Zone

Mission Leader Conference, with President Nagano

Mission Leader Conference

District Lunch! 
My two companions for the week! And Brother H, the golden student!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 61: Daily Nourishment

Hello Everyone!

Time is FLYING! Next week is transfer calls. Everyone keeps telling me I'll probably leave Niigata. Pray for me to stay please! Haha. But I'll be happy no matter how it works out.

This week was interesting! One of the Elders in our zone got in a bike crash. So... My last companion went to take his place. And now we have his companion. So threesome. TONS of appointments. And many actually fell through. So kind of just really fast biking and some missed appointments. Way fun! :)

But don't worry. We had some miracles in there, too. First, Brother I prayed for the first time. He got his answer. I think he will be baptized on the 25. :) Then, another investigator, Brother H, set a baptismal date for the 9th of next month. He loves prayer and the Book of Mormon. He was super solid in his answer. No hesitation. :) just need to get him to church a bit more. And he will need parent permission cause he is 19 (which is still a minor in Japan - yes, in reality, I am still a child haha).

Also got back in contact with Jacob this week! He actually participated in a lesson for us this week! Which is awesome. :) hopefully we can get him back at church again.

Big thing that has been on my mind as I work with youth and see so many less actives is the importance of daily spiritual nourishment. You know, eating food is a perfect analogy for our spiritual health as well. Do you skip meals? Maybe occasionally. Does it feel good? No. Do you skip meals if you get busy? Does eating get boring? No. Spiritual food needs to be the same! Don't spiritually starve yourself! Nothing is worth that! Eating your daily spiritual meals, not just occasional snacks, is essential!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

No pics this week... But we're in the mission office, and we got
haircuts... So that's something. My companion also convinced me to get
my hair shampooed. Biggest waste of money EVER! Not doing that again.