Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 67: The Power of the Spirit 御霊の力

So. It was a good week.

We went to Uwajima this week to go on an exchange with the new district leader, Elder..... Hunt! yes, the same one that was my companion in the MTC, and in Fukuyama. I was able to work with him again for one day. We`ve both changed so much. It was pretty cool to see how far we`d come. We got yelled at pretty loud once actually. We were so shocked. Didn`t even say anything, they just yelled and slammed the receiver down. (they were talking through the little speaker boxes they have here) haha. People are usually so nice we weren`t even offended, just plain shocked. haha.

Have really been working on being more sensitive to the spirit. Honestly, its an eternal pursuit, so I`ve been working on it for.... quite some time. haha. After a few weeks of a few unfortunate happenings with investigators, things should start picking up fast now.

Sundays are the best as a missionary. Its like seeing the results of faithfulness throughout the week. Its when the good miracles happen.

Well, we were knocking on some apartment doors around 7PM last night, and we knocked on one on the fifth floor of this one building, and this guy answers the door. Incredibly enough, he had met with Mormon Missionaries 25 years ago. He explained that he was Buddhist, and it didn`t result in anything. While I might have blanked out of things to say at this point, what I should tell him was clear to me. after a short explanation, he invited us in, right on the spot.

After we got in, we were talking to him. He is soooo awesome. He already has really high values like a member does, and he already really respects Jesus Christ, even though he is Buddhist. I shared a quick message about the restoration (which isn`t actually the orthodox first message for Japanese investigators, but I felt impressed to include it), and he was interested. He really realized that our message was different. We set up another time to meet this week.

Meeting with him was so great. He has been seeking the truth it seems.

The Lord prepares his Children. His love for them burns so bright. It can flow through us to them and help people embrace the truth. The Gospel is so true. I am so glad to have the opportunity to bring the power of the Atonement to the people of Japan.

I love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

Most rain I`ve seen in Japan yet. This week it was a crazy typhoon. Rain CRAZY for 2 days straight, with no let up.

We got a car ride back to Matsuyama because the members were going there for a stake conference type thing anyway. (but its not a stake yet)  Way cool view the whole way.

This is me and comp. in an awkward picture because my mom wanted one. haha. Sorry its soooo awkward.

This is me being a newscaster in Japan. haha. I always tell people I want to be a newscaster in Japan, because then they give me good feedback and help with learning Japanese. (otherwise, they just say, oh, your Japanese is perfect! you don`t need to improve at all!).  Most of the missionaries in the mission know that I say that to get Japanese feedback, so I sent this in for the end of the year video. haha.

By the way, going to Kobe today again. Mission leadership council again! Its only been 2 weeks since ZTM, but its ZTM again on Friday.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 66: The right direction よい方向に向ける

Hello everyone!

So we had Zone Training Meeting this week, so me and my companion gave training to 20 missionaries for 2 hours. (President Zinke himself came and trained for an hour afterwords) and then we had our regular interviews with president. With so many missionaries, it took all day.

Yet again, we had a couple lessons drop and didn`t get to teach very much. kind of a bummer.

With preparing for ZTM and an interview with president, I had time to think a little bit.

We are all in different places in our progression. None of us have reached perfection. However, as I recall my mission president saying at one point, `With an eternity of time, it does not matter the rate of our progress. It only matters the direction we are in`.

Are we always facing forward?

Reviewing my past week and finding things I can do better this week, I feel like I am facing the right direction.

Although I am still far from my destination, I know where I`m going and how to get there. Working little by little to align my life with the Savior`s, my desire to serve those I am called to is purer and stronger than before.

Those that I teach and interact with everyday need help to find that right direction. I have been born and raised in the church. I`ve learned over 20 years the divinity of Prayer, the Sacredness of Scriptures, and the importance of Church, particularly taking of the Sacrament. Most of the people I begin to teach have never prayed, regard the scriptures as an old book of little value, and think Church is the place you go to when someone gets married. By helping them realize the importance of these things in their eternal progression, they can gain real direction and their desire to one day return to God becomes stronger and purer.

Reading the scriptures, Praying to God, and going to Church are things many of us have done and realized the importance of doing from a young age. That knowledge is such a blessing. Its not easy to help someone catch up on 20 years of experience they have been missing.

I`m eager to dive into the work this week. I really want to bring the power of the Atonement to the people here. They need it more than they can possibly imagine! (especially since they think they don`t need it. haha)

Love you all. Don`t take today for granted, you only get one today. ^^

Elder O`Reilly

One day the sky turned GOLD after a rain. Way cool.

Prepared for ZTM with 22 missionaries (us included). I translated for President`s training. Kind of fun actually.

A GOLD SKELLETA! (If you don`t know what that is, ask any one who has played Zelda, haha.) These things are everywhere, ranging all sizes up to about the size of my palm.

The missionaries in Matsuyama. A FOURTEEN year old member drew this in TEN minutes while we watched! haha. Can you see which one is me? (top right)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 65: What to do when the devil attacks 悪魔が攻めてくるときはどうしょう?

It was an interesting week. Had a companionship of other missionaries stay at our apartment while waiting for their apartment to be ready for them, and another companionship of missionaries stay over because they were here for conference. Also, with the start of the transfer, Sister missionaries came to Matsuyama! so now we can refer female investigators to them and such. Should help a ton.

what a great general conference. I really felt like some of the talks were straight answers for me.

So we had quite a few lessons fall through and investigators drop and such the last couple weeks. I`m pretty sure Satan is attacking them. And with that of course comes some disappointment and some disagreeable feelings.


`of course`?

no. it doesn`t have to be that way. Perhaps it has been that way in the past, but it doesn`t have to be so now.

We are all children of God, who loves us. He provided this life as a chance for us to learn and grow. We all knew there would be trials and hardships along the way.

He sent us the gift of the Holy Ghost, to be our constant companion and guide our way through the darkness.

Why should we be caught up being disappointed in the small, insignificant battles we lose, when the War was already won with the completion of the Atonement?

However, There is opposition in all things.  Of course, with a solid understanding of those principles, we should just be happy all the time. But, Satan is there, and he jumps on every thought of incompetence, disappointment, anger, etc. He glorifies in our misery.

So when He comes to attack us........ how do we counter him?

Its easier than perhaps we make it sometimes.

This week I found he can be defeated very simply. By doing the work of God. Focusing our efforts and minds on helping other people. So yesterday an investigator didn`t want to meet all of the sudden. He had a baptismal date and everything. Ok, so that`s pretty disappointing. In the past I probably would have been pretty bothered.

Well, we had an hour freed up in the day`s schedule. Thought maybe to try visiting an investigator we haven`t been able to meet for a while.  We found him home and taught a powerful lesson with the spirit. He now has a strong desire to come to church on Sunday, and is moving toward a baptismal date.

The moment where you fail, or something bad happens to you, that is a very important moment. The Devil will be there, in your head. He will try to make you feel as if you can`t do anything, that you`ve failed and you can`t fix it, that you are worthless. He will try to make you question your motives, and try to weaken or destroy your faith.

At that moment, it is crucial to listen hard, because the Holy Ghost will be there, in equal opposition to the yellings of the devil, but in a quiet, yet powerful voice. It will remind you that even though things didn`t turn out, you are a child of God, Christ performed the atonement,  and what you truly are capable of.

The reason Satan attacks you? he is afraid of you. He is afraid of what you are capable of. While he cannot destroy the kingdom of God, we are certainly capable of taking part of destroying the kingdom of Satan. He knows that, and he hates it. Its pretty great.

So I invite you all to take part in destroying Satan`s kingdom this week. In the moment of discouragement, panic, or distress, choose to let the spirit come in and be filled with the love and confidence your Father in Heaven has for you. Lets make Satan squirm.

I love you all.

Elder O`Reilly

So we go to indian curry pretty often. It is wayyyy good. So you know how its super delicious to dip bread in soup? well, Indian curry is where you have a bowl of curry, and you eat it buy dipping delicious bread in until its gone. Pretty great. The bread is all you can eat.

All these bananas (18)....... for 400円. about $4. what. \(*O*)/

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 64: Around the world and back again 世界中に周って、また帰ってきた。

So we had Mission Leadership Conference, which means a long bus ride to Kobe, an 8 hour meeting, and a long bus ride back to Matsuyama. Takes Monday night and all of Tuesday. But its awesome.  Got back, stayed in the area for Wednesday and Thursday, and then off to Kouchi for a companion exchange with the district leader! He is our district leader, so the thing I mentioned last time doesn`t apply here.  Elder Ogasawara is a great missionary. Actually, When I was in Fukuyama he was in Kurashiki, so I have worked with him before. ^^ I sent some pics of him when we went to the bikanchiku in kurashiki I think.

So about 12 hours of bus riding this week. TOO MANY HILLS!!!! haha. but seriously. On the way back from Kouchi, I got front seats, and it was a pretty awesome view.

The zone is doing great. lots of progress this transfer. (the last 6 weeks). Still a long way to go, but I have some good feelings about the coming transfer.

We got transfer calls. Me and Elder Dickson are staying. (only the 3rd time that`s happened my entire mission, the other two times were Elder Hale and Elder Hunt) Also, sister missionaries are coming to matsuyama, and they formed a new district in the zone, making it a 3 district zone. Elder Hunt, my companion from the MTC and in Fukuyama, is going to be my district leader. Kouchi is no longer in my district (still in the zone), and kouchi is a district by itself now (now they don`t have to make the 2.5 hour bus ride to and from matsuyama every week.)  A few new missionaries coming into the zone, and it should be another fantastic transfer.

I`m loving the work, and looking forward for all the many opportunities I`ll have to bear testimony and work through the spirit. Guys, the Gospel is sooooo true. It changes people and in the end it will save us all!

Love you all!

 ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

The district. (matsuyama, kouchi, uwajima(sisters))

INTO THE MOUNTAIN!!!!! VERRRRRY common site on the way to kouchi.

Between tunnels.


...... into...... another...... tunnel..... (actually a pretty cool picture)

IN THE TUNNEL! haha some of the tunnels took like 5 minutes to get through.  The bus driver (if he could see me, which I don`t know if he could) probably thought I was crazy. Its hard to take pictures out of a bus. I had to take tons to get cool ones like these.)

So imagine this for 2.5 hours and you have the bus ride to Kouchi. ^^