Monday, March 25, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 36: The Hand of the Lord 主の御手

So, Baptism Sunday! it was a great service. Brother Akiyama is so awesome, and he loves God with all his heart. His desire to follow God is very strong. We met with him the day before the baptism and showed him Finding Faith in Christ, the movie. He loved it. Said it gave him energy. sounds weird in English, but trust me it sounds great in Japanese. haha. I gave a talk in Sacrament, on the spot. (they told me it was a testimony I was going to give, but than in sacrament announced that I was giving a talk) It went alright. Then after church we had the baptismal service. Me and my companion sang a musical number, the baptismal service was great, and Brother Akiyama gave an awesome testimony about his life changing because of this gospel. I didn`t know Brother Akiyama before 2 weeks ago, but apparently  his life has changed a ton already. He has more motivation and energy and even health than when he started listening. He is a great addition to the branch. He receives the Holy Ghost next week.

We had a pretty great week, but not a whole lot of lessons. This area hasn`t had a new investigator since last November!  But that is going to change. Yesterday, while I was giving a talk in Sacrament meeting, a girl (Anna, a name English in origin, but has kanji as well) comes in and sits in the back. She stays all through the 3 hours of church and even for the Baptismal service afterwords! I talk to her after and she asks me what missionaries do. `We teach people about Jesus Christ`. `Like, who?` `Everyone` `Well can you teach me?` `ummm... yeah. we can do that.` haha. pretty awesome. We have a lesson set up for tomorrow. Turns out she wanted to come learn English, so she came to the church on Wednesday, but we don`t teach at our church. But there was a relief society activity going on, and they told her if she came on Sunday the missionaries would be there. So pretty cool. ^^

We have a few other promising investigators as well. Its time this area saw some success! The Lord knows all his elect, and he knows how they can receive the Gospel. I don`t think it a coincidence that she came on the first baptismal service since August. Things will pick up here pretty fast, as long as our faith is constant. ^^

Love you all
Elder O`Reilly

P.S. Have you seen these?? They are way cool!


This is the pic we put up for the missionary picture at the church. Pretty cool. (haha)

Monday, March 18, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 35: Working in paradise 楽園で働く

So Senboku 泉北 is pretty great. It is a really small area. I could ride around the whole area probably 3 times in one day. Probably more people live here then fukuyama though..... not sure. It is what you call a `bed town`. No big businesses or anything.... just apartments. A LOT OF THEM. like more apartment buildings than the sands of the sea kind of deal. I was told that the missionary apartment was really disgusting, but the missionary I replaced cleaned it super good so it is one of the best apartments I`ve been in. The people in this area are super nice, and way easy to talk to. Its not uncommon for people to start talking to us, actually! People think we are awesome. We`ve had people tell us we are cool, 男前, (good looking), and respectable. The members gave us loads of food yesterday, including a huge bag of Chocolate. The members are really impressed with my Japanese and are excited for me to be here, even though I haven`t done much yet. We had a curry party last night at the branch presidents place. We`re having a baptism next week.

ummmm.......... Senboku is a pretty good area.

The branch is pretty small though. It used to have 70 people, but most moved away. There is a 3 story church, with an elevator and everything, but there`s only like 25 people that come at the most. The branch president has 6 daughters and one son, so he is almost half the branch! The chapel is pretty empty on Sundays. I guess we`ll have to baptize a few dozen people and fill it up! (^^)

Me and Elder Duke get along really great. Similar personality types, so we can teach pretty balanced. We`ve only taught one lesson so far though. (we don`t have a lot of investigators yet)

Well, This is a really great area. Excited for things to get going.

Love you all,
Elder O`Reilly

Fukuyama station..... for the last time.
Yeah, it was raining. kind of stinks to transfer in the rain, but turned out ok.

The Church is huge!

Apartment is great! Didn`t have very much food when I got there though. haha. Fixing that today!

My new companion...Elder Duke.
Didn`t give him any warning for this picture. haha.

Monday, March 11, 2013

日本の冒険!Week 34: Out of the Darkness 暗闇から抜く

So my time in Fukuyama is coming to an end. No, that is not the darkness I`m talking about! haha. Fukuyama has been a great area, with so many good people in it. This week we started to figure it out. We found new investigators, taught many lessons, and even set a baptismal date! So the area looks like it has a brighter future. Haha, too bad I won`t be here to see it.

I leave this Wednesday for 泉北 (senboku), which is in 大阪府! Osaka! It was my companion`s first area, so he has told me a little about it. It is also a branch, about the same size of this one. It is in the country of Osaka, but not far from the city. Pretty excited to go there though! My new companion is Elder Duke, and this will be his last transfer.

We had a good week. Probably the most fun thing that happened this week was when me and Elder Burner (during a companion exchange) were knocking some doors in Fukuyama. Some elementary girls saw us and got really excited..... shouting out 外国人! Foreigners! then when we entered their neighborhood, they shouted out 入った! They came in! Then they all followed us to the apartment we were walking to, followed us up the stairs and were shouting out HELLO to us while we were trying to contact the people in the apartment. haha. After that, they wanted us to visit their houses. They kept telling us they lived close. They ran from house to house opening the door and getting their parents to talk to us. It was pretty fun. haha. Unfortunately  their parents weren`t as excited to meet us. But it was a really quick way to find all the families in a neighborhood really fast and have some good contacts that involved the kids. They followed us around (at least 10 of them) all the way until we got on our bikes again. haha. They said my name was weird.

We met with several investigators for the first time in a while, and even had dinner at the Yamazaki`s place (the investigator couple who used to investigate 35ish years ago). Overall a very good week. Teaching lessons is a much better use of time then trying to find people!

Last night we had dinner at the Mizuta`s again. Okonomiyaki, hiroshimi style! It was cool to have it once more before I left. It was my 4th time there. They are an awesome family. I even made some Okonomiyaki. I did better then last time, but still not as good as brother Mizuta. ^^  We shared a little from the first presidency message in the Liahona. (this months Liahona is awesome, right??)

Well, I`ll be E-mailing from a different place next week!

Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

The district.

The district again.

Ok. So I discovered the best breakfast ever, and I have it every morning. French toast. With the thick bread that is in Japan. It is way thick, and cheap too. ^^

Went to the same place as before. 美観地区? I think that is what it is called...... It is in kurashiki.

haha. They followed us all they way to the bikes. I asked If I could take a picture first, haha. But they were pretty focused on the weird stuff on our bikes.

Brother Jason (from the Philippines gave us a bunch of eggs since he works at an egg place...... Those brown eggs are HUGE!! bigger than any eggs I`ve ever seen! He gets eggs for free, so we should have asked earlier! haha.

Oh yeah, we had a potluck party at sister Heyden`s apartment. (She is Canadian, teaching English in Japan)
It was pretty fun ^^
The Mizuta`s. Oh, and Brother Jason. Fun night.
Me making Okonomiyaki at the Mizuta`s. Way fun! ^^
 Pretty hard to flip, because they are really thick! I did pretty good though. 
yeah, it was good stuff!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

日本の冒険!The most important miracle of all 最も重要な奇跡

So this week was insanely busy. We had an exchange with the zone leaders on Tuesday/Wednesday, and I was with Elder Aono (he`s Japanese).  I really enjoy working with Japanese Elders, it shows me how far I`ve come in my speaking ability. It was a fantastic exchange, though. They really have things figured out in their area. The whole day was just lesson to lesson to lesson. I taught 4 lessons in one day, which was great. ^^ I loved it.

Then on Friday,  we left for Osaka..... on the Shinkansen (bullet train). yeah. It was way awesome. Turns a like 4.5 hour trip into 1.5 hours and the train looks way cool. which is important. We stayed in Sekime for the night, right in downtown Osaka. Osaka is a big city. haha. It was way cool. We left in the morning and got there. There were a lot of missionaries. It was cool to see all my previous missionary friends and such. We also got a new mission training plan, which is always exciting. It is called, Astonish the World, based on 100 year old revelation received by Heber J. Grant. Its pretty big stuff. The future of the Kobe mission is more than a little exciting. President Zinke is truly a man of Revelation.

Well, the most important things I gathered from this meeting are 2 things. First of all, that I need a testimony of the number of people prepared in my area, so that I can strive to teach all of them. I began to seek after this as soon as possible, and I`ve already felt it effect the power of my work. The number of people spiritually prepared in Fukuyama is 75, as revealed by the Holy Ghost to the missionaries that were in Fukuyama 18 months ago. Well, that`s definitely a good amount of work cut out for us. ^^

The second thing I gathered was about miracles.  More importantly, the most important kind of miracle.  To be honest, I don`t really know what I expected before when I wanted some miracles happening. I was just thinking of Ammon cutting off arms and Christ healing the blind and all these crazy awesome miracles.  But there were miracles preformed by those men that were of a different, more important nature. That is, changing the Heart of a man. That in and of itself is perhaps the most important miracle that can be performed. Ammon changing the heart of the King Lamoni and his Father caused thousands of baptisms. Christ changing the hearts of his apostles he worked with brought on the baptisms of many thousand souls. It is a much more important miracle to seek after then the eye-pleasing-crazy-awesome-miracles. Although if the Lord wants me to do some of those too, then I`d gladly do it. ^^

Well, I`m beginning to see how progression is an eternal process. haha. Good thing we have an eternity to do it. As president Zinke stated: ` With an eternity to progress, speed doesn`t matter. The only thing that matters is direction` Just always make sure you are pointed the right way :)

Love you all,
Elder O`Reilly

Not entirely sure what this is. Some kind of temple...?

Me with a 5 level pagoda. 3rd oldest one in Japan is in Fukuyama! We found this little place on the map by the train station and went to check it out last preparation day. Turned out way cool!

Epic entrance to the path of adventure. Yeah, I was pretty excited. I think I might actually like hiking when it is in Japan at one of these awesome places. ^^

This path was just full of epic scenes. haha.

Pretty cool right? The story behind it is pretty interesting too. Well at least I would guess. I have no idea what kind of story is behind it. haha.

Yeah, made me a little curious as to the story behind all the statues. looks like a pretty interesting story.

This is someone`s house. I was just like..... `what?!` see the windows at the bottom right? pretty sure it`s part of the same house.

Felt like an airplane inside!
Shinkansen. Wicked fast.

yeah, its that cool.

downtown Osaka.

Unfortunately, we didn`t ride the ferris wheel. haha.

The akashi bridge. as seen in the train. Yes, it is the bridge that is my blog background. ^^

oh, I love these stone lanterns soooo much.