Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Week 89: Ultimate Joy!

Hello Everyone!

I just wrote a few days ago, but today is my p-day this week. With all the craziness here, it really just ends up being the day that is open.

Last time I wrote about the "Mission School," and I realized I haven't really written much about what that is! It is actually a really big part of what I do.

The term "Mission School" in my mission refers to basically any activity that begins and ends with a prayer, and has a simple Spiritual message (actually pre-determined by the Area Presidency). These include "I feel joy as I keep my word" or "I feel joy when I say kind words." Always simple principles that most people already understand through the light of Christ, and we teach them using simple object lessons. The point is simply to help them come in contact with us, as missionaries, and help us come into contact with the Light of Christ in them. It's proved to be an effective tool to build relationships, improve the image of the church, and, as a result, many people also ask to hear about the Gospel, which is also great.

The main part of Mission School is English. English Conversation Class, TOIEC prep (college students often take that test), Eiken prep (a test for high school students) and an English study method, call English Brain Training (Eigo - nou - tore, in Japanese). In addition, we do personal tutoring (I have taught math, physics, chemistry (had to use the dictionary A TON for that one), and computer science). Then, we do other activities as "extra-curricular." For instance, in Nakano, we have a Music Night (I currently teach Jazz drumming - not that I am super qualified, but my student is actually progressing really well!), Basketball (some of the Elders are actually pretty experienced players, so they teach skills as well as do games) on Saturday Morning, and Zumba (taught by a member on Friday nights - this one is rather new. He teaches Zumba professionally, and some of his friends come to the church to learn from him for free) on Friday nights. We have maybe 50 students or so in total, which is decent, but we want to improve the number.

We actually had one miracle from Mission School just this last Saturday. A youth (16), Brother Y saw a post on Facebook and came to our Eiken course. We taught him, and set up a personal tutoring session for Monday. When he came, there happened to be a youth activity for the Stake at our church, so he participated in that instead. They had a good amount of get to know you games, so he became friends with all the youth in the stake, which is WAY cool. Afterwords, he and a member of our ward who will leave on his mission next year, Kensei, studied English together and became great friends. Brother Y receives the Spiritual messages really well, is using our Mission School as his cram school, and even shows interest in the church! He has a great light about him, and I think he will be investigating the church very soon. He plans on going to a Mission School for College (Christian school (in this case a university) founded by missionaries - this is where the church got the idea. These schools have a very positive image), so he is very open to church in general.

Another miracle we had actually happened today! We left the Temple a little late - in fact, out of the 20 companionships left, we were one of the 2 still there because we had chosen to eat at the Temple Cafeteria.

As we were leaving the Temple, one of the workers asked if we knew the Nakano missionaries. I responded that we were the Nakano missionaries. He promptly brought us to the lobby to introduce us to our new friend, Sis T.

She has been worrying about various things in her life, and her friend recommended she come to our church. She looked it up, and because of some confusion on the phone, etc, she ended up at the temple right as we were leaving. We taught her a simple lesson about who God was - found out she has a Christian background, has been reading materials from her LDS friend, and wants to come to church. She has work on Sundays, but she was thrilled to find out she could come to the mission school tomorrow and learn more. She seems to have a lot of good desires, though she is worried about entering the church since her parents belong to a different sect. We told her that was fine, and that she could still come. We are excited to meet her again tomorrow! She had a great light about her, and really is just searching for truth.

Well... those are the highlights of the last few days. My companion and I have been focusing on the little things, like prayer, and exact obedience. I really feel like I am striving to do better, and in the process, I feel like I am being directed for good. Every person we talk to seems to light up, and I can see the hand of the Lord in everything we do. I know He loves us. Because of that, He provided a way for us to achieve ultimate joy. The way is becoming like Him through Him. I hope that each of us feel the joy of progressing towards Him each week as we take the Sacrament and each day as we exercise faith in Him unto repentance. Only through this way can we receive the Holy Ghost and be purified and perfected as He is!

I love you all!
Let's taste ultimate joy this week!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Us eating curry with the two recent converts in our area!

Sis T in front of the Temple! It was raining, so we took it right in the door way.

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