Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 103: Turn Outward

Hello Everyone!!

It was a crazy week. We had appointments with 8 or so different people... and 7 cancelled, and people fell through for church as well.  So, we ended up having a lot of unexpected time.

But, that was alright. In that time, we found just about the same amount of new people. I guess God just had a different plan then we did.

This is one of the people we found this week. Bro S is a great young man who is going to college. We are excited to meet again and talk about the purpose of life!

We also did some "Free English Challenges." We laminated some English material, and went and taught it on the streets to high school students. Two of them came to our class this week, so that was way fun!

Also, an investigator in the ward was baptized this week! So I got to interview him, and he was so prepared! It was great to attend the service.

Little bit scattered this week, but it was all in all a great week. Looking forward to meeting up with some more people this upcoming week, both new people we met, and also Sister S - she just got back!

I guess what I learned this week is just to always be aware that God has a plan for us in our circumstances. I never want an appointment to fall through, but several AWESOME people I met this week were people I met because things fell through. So, when things are hard, turn outward and serve! God certainly has someone for you to help - and you will be blessed with joy and comfort as you do!

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder O'Reilly

Excerpts from a letter to Mom when asked about his feelings about coming home:
"You are right - I'm pretty mixed on feelings for coming home. I had to weigh bags today... :P"
"It's an interesting shift. I'm not fully ready to make, but I'm sure I will figure it out in a year or so. Haha."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 102: The Lord's Hand

Hello Everyone!

We had some great miracles this week!

We tried a new way to find this Week. We laminated a sample of some English teaching materials, and went out to teach it on the streets. People came and learned with us on the street, but honestly, it didn't go that well for me. I only taught one person interested in coming to our class, and they weren't in our area. Maybe they went, I'm not sure. It sounds like it worked alright for my companion, though. (We were on splits this day)

However, the last person that walked up to us said she really wanted to learn English. When she found out we were teaching as Christian volunteers, she asked if she could go to church. We said yes, of course. We switched lines, and we are still in contact. She is not in our area, either (Tokyo problems. Haha), but sounds like she is going to church. :)

Then, as we walked away from the activity - note, we had put away the sign and such, so we were just walking down the street - a man walked up to us, and we started a conversation. He told us he knew Mormons, and wanted to try coming to church. He was busy this week, so we set up an appointment for this upcoming Sunday. We're still in contact, so we are excited for him to come. :)


Super nice man.

As we went to get our bikes from the parking place, we met a man who did a home stay in Utah, and had a really good experience. He wants to come to Mission School to learn English - but again, not our area.

I guess what I learned from the experience is that 1) most of my ideas tend to flop. 2) As we give all our heart might mind and strength, the Lord always makes up the difference. Those 10 minutes at the end of the activity were probably the most effective finding I had all week!

We were also able teach Sister S! She is in Taiwan, but we had a lesson over Line.


On the top, Sister S, right, our Taiwanese Douseki that lives in Tokyo, and Elder Miller and I in the bottom left. We also had a Douseki with us on our end, but I guess he didn't make it in the picture. :P

It was a great lesson. When it started, she said she wasn't sure she wanted to try going to another church. But, in the end, Sister S said she was really excited to go! She went this week, and said it was a really great experience! It was cool to see her desires grow and change in just one lesson!

Then, we had a really cool miracle! Remember this man?


Bro K. Super 素敵 right? He lost contact with us because he accidentally deleted his line app and lost all his contacts. We thought he had Unfriended us and left the conversation. But he went through the trouble to email the goeigo office and try to get into contact with us. So got his new line account and email, and he made the 1 and a half hour journey out to meet us.

He had also gone to English class at a place 8 minutes from his house, but he wanted to meet with us again because he felt like it was destiny that we met. He is very interested in Christianity, and is very open to learn. The missionaries in his area will probably teach him, but it was fantastic to get to meet him again!

It's been a great week! I see the Lord's hand in my work everyday. And more importantly, I can see the Lord's hand and power in the lives of others as they make changes to live His Gospel. Truly, Christ lives, and His hand is always stretched out to each of us individually! He will encircle us in healing wings if we will but let Him. (3 Ne 10:4) All it takes is sincere prayer and repentance. I know that as we make these a daily part of our lives, we will be blessed with greater joy, deeper faith, and a greater sense of confidence, direction, and hope.

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week 101: Went to the Temple

Hello everyone!

It was a great week! It felt pretty normal, so I'm not really sure what to write about.

Another three Conferences. This time, there was a lot more travel... went all the way up to Niigata! So we left at 6:45 Thursday morning to go to Kiryu Conference and came back 8:50 Friday night after Niigata conference. Tuesday was Matsudo.

Wednesday, we had Eikaiwa. Had some new young students! That is always exciting. We also took a challenge from Elder Yamashita with all the members. Every time we go to a restaurant, dendo (proselyte to) the workers. Two of the people at the restaurant were interested! So we switched contact info. Of course, we always talk to everyone on the streets, but store workers is a new level for me. But I'm always willing to push myself!

Saturday, we got to go to the Temple! I also went today, thus my p-day was on Tuesday. Saturday, we went with Bro O. First time for baptisms! Also got to see lots of Niigata members. It was a good day.

What I definitely can say from this week is that the temple is the house of God. It is operated by His power. It is a place of comfort, peace, and revelation. Certainly, I can say "that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord's house may feel [The Lord's] power," for I have felt it there (D&C 109). I recommend it for all who are seeking direction, peace or strength. Which is me everyday. I just wish I could go there more. :)

Love you all!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly

With Bro. O at the Temple!

Went to Asakusa today :)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 100: A Friend I Can Rely On

Hello Everyone!

It was a fun week! Three Zone Conferences and an exchange.

The exchange was fun. I went with my District Leader, Elder Wilcox.

This man wants to come to our English Class next Saturday. Unfortunately, I won't be there (but Elder Wilcox will be). I will be in the temple. Bro O is coming down from Niigata, and I get to go with him! And on the way, I will meet with Bro S, since he lives in the area of the Temple. Saturday is going to be a fun day. :) Hopefully, they can both go to the temple.

We taught one of their investigators as well. He has an addiction to gambling, and from my perspective, is hurting his own life in so many ways!!! Obviously, he needs the Gospel. I don't think he sees that yet. However, by sharing some experiences, and testifying together, he committed to at least try reading the Book of Mormon and praying. He just doesn't want to give up too much time. I'm praying for a change of heart... but I guess, in the end, he is in control of that. I hope he opens his heart to the message of the Book of Mormon.

Afterward, we taught Eikaiwa, then Sister S. She is going to Taiwan for the rest of the month! That means the next time I see her will likely be the last week of my mission. She has been progressing well, so seeing her leave at this point is hard, but she plans on going to church while she is there. And she has found a reason to really pray and know if the Book of Mormon is true; she wants to know God better and how He loves her. So I hope she continues to progress well and keep changing.

The next day was a Zone Conference. We trained on Charity. The more I talk and testify of it, the more I am convinced of two things.

1) Most problems are solved by thinking of ourselves less. The more we think of others, what they need, how we can help them, and then put it into action, the natural result is to feel God's love and to be magnified by Him to accomplish great things.

Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed, and frustrated. To be honest, I don't feel like I measure up to most of the tasks. I am a bit disorganized, and I have a lot of weaknesses. However, when I focus on others, pray for them, and work for them, things just work out. I'm certain the Lord's hand is in it, and these are the moments when I am happiest. Just have to work on making those moments expand until it is every moment. That'll take some work. :)

2) Christ loves each of us, and is the only one who understands who we are now, and who we can become. He understands how much it hurts to make mistakes, to go through trials, and go through mortality, and only He understands how joyful it will be when we return to be with Him. When we understand the love and experience that Christ has, the only intelligent thing to do is to strive to become like Him through Him.

I know that Christ lives! He loves us. He suffers with us, and comforts us when we turn to Him through prayer and repentance. How grateful I am that I have a friend I can always rely on!

I hope that each of us remember Him and rely on Him this week!

Hurrah for Israel!
Elder O'Reilly