Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Week 83: Justice

Hello Everyone!!!

Well... We are going to play Basketball soon. Not today, but soon. One of the members is going to rent out a court. Why? Because we met a bunch of Less Actives for the first time this week, and it went really well. But they all want to play basketball. So... We will set up an activity for them to come to. One of those moments when I actually wished I was good at Basketball. But hopefully the strong members will come, too, and everyone will make good friends.

Anyways... We had some miracles this week, and some disappointments.

First, let's get the disappointments done and over with.

Brother F basically just dropped off the map. Except he sent us one message.

Can't come to church. Now I have to work.

Bummer. But he's just super busy with work. There is always another week. 

However, Brother T has been doing GREAT this week! By remembering his kids names and handing out chocolates, we've successfully won the children's AND the parents hearts (kids are definitely key! Just read the story of Lamoni's father). And, when we asked him to read and pray everyday, he said he would without hesitation. I feel like the Douseki, Brother H was a great help on that one. They are neighbors and friends, and both have families, so they are just about in the same place in life. That was exciting! Plus, he read the section we asked him to of the Book of Mormon! :) I can already imagine the blessings the Gospel will bring to this cute family! (The H family is really excited about it, too!) They are receiving the Gospel so well. :) 

We had a mutual activity this week again. This time, we played some Ping pong and King of the Couch. It was a blast! :) On the last round we all used the names of Book of Mormon Prophets instead of our names. And two more youth came than last week! One of which, it was my first time to meet him (he hasn't been at church). The youth and members are doing a great job of reaching out to each other now that the ball has started rolling. We had tried to get in contact and even visit him, but it was unsuccessful. Just goes to show how much better member missionaries are! Now we are friends with R kun (kun is the title for people equal to you in Japanese? I don't know how to explain it, but it is the only title I can put here. Brother just sounds weird). I also hung out with him on Sunday (he became my companion. President Nagano is recommending that we go on splits with youth to the classes so we can become better friends with the youth), and he is excited for next Friday and Sunday! :)

Also, exchanges on Thursday! First one in Kasukabe! Elder Pozernick and I had some great miracles. A man who has done architecture for churches who wants to come and check it out (his only concern was he doesn't want to take too much time from his family - maybe a little TOO golden? Haha) and met with one of the Less Actives, K Kun, who happens to want to play Basketball. My companion met two other less actives that day who also want to play Basketball. So... It was decided. Especially since ALL the youth also want to play. :)

As I studied this week, something really just stuck out to me. I read Alma 42.

To be honest, it had never really clicked in my head why we NEED Justice. Can't it just always be mercy?

This verse really struck me.

20. And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.

Because there is a law, there can be justice. Because there is justice, there is a withdrawal of the Spirit, which brings a remorse of conscience (see Alma 42, and D&C 19). Just like pain can be our "friend," as I recently heard my Mission President say (to keep us from doing things that would cause serious damage to our bodies), spiritual pain can be our friend in keeping us out of serious spiritual damage. Justice helps us know what is wrong and right, and therefore be able to progress.

For example, perhaps when we get angry, jealous, impatient, or feel hatred. Or maybe we are just a little thoughtless. When we feel these things, we clearly see what Alma meant when he said "wickedness never was happiness." (Alma 41:10) The withdrawal of the Spirit, or perhaps the recognition of some guilt, will then help us to progress and be more thoughtful, loving, patient, rejoice in others's joys, and seek to be more understanding. In other words, we become a little more like our Father in Heaven. And Alma also teaches that God's nature is the
nature of Happiness. (Alma 41:11).

So let's progress a little more this week. No, nothing needs to happen all at once. But let's get just a little more of the true happiness this week.

Love you all!
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

We had "American" food, with some stuff we found in the apartment.
White gravy, mashed potatoes (from a powder), etc.
Almost as good as Japanese food. Not really, but it was still fun. haha

Zone Conference - Saitama

Zone lunch

Sweet & Sour chicken. It was way fun to bread, fry, and sauce it up! :)

Exchanges! The one on the far left of the picture was my companion for the day.

Made a great stir fry this week! We make the sauces we use recently. Pretty fun!

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