Monday, February 25, 2013

日本の冒険!What you have been searching for is in front of you 捜し求めていた答えは、あなたの前にある。

Ok, the title sounds better in Japanese. I promise.

Alright, well I don`t really want to tell you about this week. It wouldn`t be all that exciting anyways.

But I do want to tell you the true power of some things you probably already know about.

So. I`ve been learning much through observance, thought, and experience. It is curious how something you thought you knew all along can end up being completely foreign to you. Even something as basic as a Christ-like attribute, or a scripture mastery can present ideas that have never occurred to you before.

I, along with many others I am sure, have often just looked for what secret I am missing. What I need to do in order to perform mighty miracles,  to perform works such as missionaries of old. I don`t believe that it's just because the Lord doesn`t want to bless the people right now, that it is not in His time. The Lord loves the people too much to allow them to suffer in darkness any longer. Nor do I believe the Lord is just `Testing my faith`. Perhaps these excuses are occasionally valid, but I think they are perhaps used too often to push the blame for lack of mission success onto the Lord. The reason perhaps, is as the Lord explained himself, to his disciples.  ( I don`t remember the reference right now) When they asked him why they were not able to cast out the evil spirits and Christ was, He told them that it was because their Faith was insufficient. These, the very men who worked along side the Master, did not have sufficient faith. There is no secret I am missing.  The power of God can work through me. The book containing the fullness of the gospel is at my disposal.

Well, in short, I think perhaps the reason we don`t see as big of miracles today is because people have become afraid to admit to weakness. They have contented themselves with excuses that lead to nothing. I am no exception. If we were to accept our nothingness and depend fully on the Lord, then we would be living in a time full of miracles. It is curious that only once we have accepted our nothingness and humbled ourselves, we become the most powerful.

Yeah, so nothing too crazy happened this week. Had an exchange with Elder Ogasawara again, which was cool. A guy came to church, but wasn`t too impressed. We had a good number of appointments set up, but they all canceled. I suppose it is a sign that we need to prepare ourselves a little more before the Lord will trust us with His Children. Time to get to work then. ^^

This week there will be a special ALL MISSION meeting, in OSAKA. Pretty exciting. We have to leave the night before, and stay the night in Sekime, the heart of the craze that is Osaka, and in the morning leave for the meeting in Abeno. So should be pretty good.

Well, I`ll do my best to prepare myself quickly, because the Lord has more in store than what we saw this week!

Love you all.
Elder O`Reilly

We went to the castle again. Pretty cool.

Here is some random red-haired guy in front of the castle, just in case you wanted to see him.

somehow still pretty in the winter.

Me at the kurashiki church again.

Why do I love bridges so much? haha. This one is in Kurashiki. (neighboring area)

This is what we did at service this last week. uhh...... yeah, I don`t really know either. That`s my companion.

Monday, February 18, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 31: Wait for it....... ちょっと待って。。。

So I have a new companion now. A sudden drop in level of responsibility... kind of nice actually, not so much stress all the time. I still stress out too easily. I`ve been able to refocus myself and overcome a lot of my stress this week. So that is good. I`ve been able to allow myself to enjoy the work a lot more. Also, with less stress, my studies have been more effective and my speaking ability has increased.... even in just 3 days I`ve noticed.  It also has a lot to do with the really epic zone conference we had last week. Like I said before, I`m not going to say what it was specifically about, but it affected every part of my missionary work. I`ve gained more confidence, become more effective at stopping groups of people on the street, and my language ability is just soaring. Gift of tongues for sure!

My new companion and I get along fine. As long as my companion likes hard work, we get along fine usually. ^^

So numbers-wise, not the best week ever...... in fact, it was the worst week ever. ummm.... literally. I was a little surprised by that. Transfers takes a little bit of time out of the week, but still!  Well, can only go up from here! I can feel the Lord`s hand in the work. Just yesterday, I stopped the first guy I saw after church on the way to the apartment for lunch, and just straight-up invited him to church, without saying much else. He said sure! and we traded numbers and then he agreed to hear more about the message! so pretty exciting. We`ve had a few experiences like that and we will see how they turn up this coming Sunday.

Well, other than just talking to a billion people, we went to the Hirokane family`s place for dinner yesterday! It was way good. Japanese pizza. It has good stuff on it, like eggs and corn and such. Way tasty stuff. They are such a great family.

So yeah...... wait for it......... and when I say that, I mean the big stuff. Because It didn`t happen this week. I know the Lord`s vision for Japan, for Fukuyama, is just around the corner. I just have to DO it.

Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

A sunny day by the church.

Pretty cool!

It is raining today a little....... haha. Ok, its raining a lot.
This is the view from Fukuyama apartment. Yeah, the view from Joyo was WAAAYYY better.

The pizza just kept coming!

I played a quick game of Battle ship with one of the sons. It was fun ^^ I lost. You can`t see him in the picture. haha.

There he is!

Dinner with the Hirokane`s is always way fun!

Monday, February 11, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 30: A marvelous work is coming forth 驚くべき業が現れようとしている。

And it begins. It turns out that everything was merely a prelude to the moment that God knew the conditions would be right for the hastening of his work in Japan. Well, the conditions are right, it seems.

On Friday, we had a Zone meeting. It was from 10 AM until almost 7PM. It was also probably the best meeting I`ve ever attended.  President Zinke is quite the leader.  He basically told us the time is now, to fulfill revelation given by the prophet Heber J. Grant about 100 years ago! He prophesied that the work in Japan would one day `astonish the world`. There were many other things discussed in that meeting about how we would bring this about. This mission has so many great missionaries in it.

Well, its only been 3 days since that meeting, but the miracles that have been preformed by missionaries across the mission are certainly `marvelous`.  All the number indicators shot up and the `miracles across the mission` section of the E-mail included a list of about 10+ miracles instead of the usual one miracle.  Elder Hunt and I have had our share of the success, including teaching a progressing investigator who we had lost contact with for over 6 weeks, finding people who can come to church, and teaching a past investigator we`ve never met with. We got back into contact with our other previous investigator who had a baptismal date set. All of that happened in the past 3 days. yeah, I know, right? The mission is exploding with enthusiasm and power it hasn`t seen before. The number indicators are higher then they`ve ever been. I am so glad to be called to the Kobe Mission at this monumental start of something great.

Last night we also had the great opportunity of visiting the Mizuta family again for Home Teaching. We had the famous Hiroshima Okonomiyaki again. soooo good. ^^ We shared with them a message about charity.  It was a great message, and reminded me how much I am blessed, and how far I am from perfect.

Oh yeah, I also gave a talk in Sacrament. About Church welfare. uhhhh...... yeah I don`t know where that topic came from. haha. I didn`t even know the Japanese word for welfare. I think a talk about welfare in English would have been tough. haha. But I just talked about how sharing the gospel is a form of welfare. haha. Talking missionary stuff is easy. ^^

Well, Thursday is transfers. I`m staying, Elder Hunt is going. My new companion is Elder Rice, who also has red hair. haha. He is going to be the new district leader. He is on transfer 14 (out of 16). So it will be weird to just be a junior companion again, but the extra study time will be nice. ^^ I`ve really learned to appreciate study time.

Well, great things are happening! So be excited for next week`s report!
Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

Last P-Day, we went to some cool place with the district. Not sure what the name was. haha! Yeah.... this is the only picture I got with everyone in it. sorry. :P That is Elder Ogasawara in the air, my camera got the picture pretty good, huh? it was on a timer! Elder Hunt is closest to the camera, and Elder Rasmusen is in the back.

It is glasses month I decided ^^

WOOAAHHH....  haha.

We felt pretty adventurous. It was a way cool place. The whole thing looks like an old ninja city or something.

Probably the coolest tree ever. I`ve gotten pretty good at taking pictures of myself, huh? haha! XD
The place is in Kurashiki. So if you look up famous places in Kurashiki, you can probably find out what it is. haha!

A cool building. ^^

The center of the place. The weather made for a really cool mood.

We were asked to assemble this at the service place.... so we did. It was pretty fun and I learned a little about what it is. On the left is Seiichiro. He is the most physically capable of any of the patients there. He is way cool! ^^

First companion exchange with a Japanese Elder! It was way fun. I realized how much I`ve learned. He doesn`t speak a lot of English yet, so the whole exchange was in Japanese. We worked in Kurashiki.

Monday, February 4, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 29: The True Source Power 真の力の源

So, good week. Spent some time planning for district meeting and the meeting went really well. I translated for the Japanese Elder while the Zone Leaders gave an hour long training! First time translating. haha. Well, it was rough at the beginning, but I kind of figured it out by the end.

Well, lessons were scarce, but had some great experiences. We were able to set up a return appointment with the Yamasaki`s, the investigators from 40 years ago I mentioned last week. We are meeting them tonight. We also found a Family to teach! We will be teaching them this Thursday. Kind of reminded me how easy it is when you find someone prepared to receive you. We didn`t say a whole lot, but they just told us, sure, we`d love to hear your message! kind of thing. So that was exciting.

I`ve had a lot of time to think about my strengths as a missionary, and as a person in general. The Okayama Zone Leaders have always said to `Work from your Strengths`.

The Zone leaders also asked me to read Elder Bednar`s talk in the April Ensign ( about the Atonement.

From these I`ve been able to disern my greatest strength. It was something I knew was a strength I had, but did not fully realize its importance.

My greatest strength is my knowledge of my Savior, my Redeemer. Of His infinite Atonement for all the Children of God. That through the enabling power of the Atonement, I can gain power to overcome my circumstances. It is not a common knowledge. In fact, it is extremely rare. To have that knowledge and feel that connection is an incredible gift from God. Too often I have taken it for granted. Through that Atonement, not only can I be cleansed from my sins, but be strengthened from my imperfections, receive divine power over weaknesses, and essentially conquer the Natural Man and even Satan himself.  Christ knows who we are. He has endured everything we have and more. But more than that, He knows what we can become. If every person could have even a small glimpse of the person Christ knows we can become, anyone would realize how much more they can give, how much more they can grow. Christ knows because he has suffered for not only our sins, but our weakness and our infirmities. He knows our weaknesses. He has given us the power to overcome them though the infinite Atonement. He has given us the power to achieve the Potential within us all. He has made the sacrifice sufficient for each person on this Earth to become perfect, regardless of what weaknesses, insecurities, or doubt that they might be harboring. All we need to do is access the power he offers to Everyone.

Well, a busy week ahead! including today! Have a great week! Miracles are ahead. The Lord is Hastening his work!

Love you all,
Elder O`Reilly

Teaching English! preparing before class.

Random place while we were knocking some doors.

Yeah, we went back to this place. haha. Soooooo good. I had 7 plates of food. A lot of it was sushi. haha. Elder Ogasawara was surprised by some of the foods I liked. Said he has never seen an American who likes those foods. haha.

This was last night, on the way home from where we were working. The word that comes to mind is `tranquility'.
Pretty sweet shot. Even cooler in person.

So this E-mail place has free ice-cream and soda, but today we got here a little earlier than normal (we woke up earlier), and they have this for morning customers for free! pretty great. Although it is a weird combination of food. haha. Toast, corn, and fries.