Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 76: We reached our goal!

**Note from Trevor's Mom: We all loved talking to Elder O'Reilly on the phone on Christmas day! It is the highlight of our Christmas to be able to be all "together" for an hour. He sounds so happy and is loving the work! It makes it easier for us at home knowing that he is working hard and loving it. He is so excited about their most recent convert who was "ridiculously prepared by the Lord". We are so thankful for Trevor's great example to our family and that he is able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of Japan. **

Hey! it was an extremely uneventful week. Went to Niihama again for translation (woke up at 4 AM to get there Friday). Transfers came but the entire zone is all the same, just 2 elders are switching places and they are in different districts. Investigators were all busy.  Had several lesson appointments go through.


We reached our goal of 200 baptisms for the year of 2013!!! Smashing all kinds of records. TWO of the THIRTEEN we had this week were from our zones, that I had at least a little to do with. so pretty exciting. One was the guy we taught at church last Sunday.

Christmas was good, lots of junk food from family, friends, and the branch here. I have almost as much junk food as last year! haha. and some really cool stuff like a Japanese style bath robe that is pretty cool.

We`ve been helping out with the stake project a little. On Chirstmas eve, we filled out some records. All day. haha. For 5 hours I was just writing a bunch of names and addresses on countless records. But it was fun. ^^

Looking forward to another great transfer! The Lord is going to pour some serious blessings on Shikoku island.

love you all

Ok.... so get this. We went to the beach. I carved my name into the sand. but the cool part is..... I got a letter from our neighbors, the Haley`s. The Island behind me is Sister Haley`s Mother`s grandfather`s hometown! What are the chances! She said her mother took a ferry there every summer!


The Ferry!

I decided I really like the ocean! so pretty.

Christmas mayhem. 

I was so proud of myself for tying these bows. haha.

Some of the people who were at the Christmas English class party.

Day after Christmas breakfast. yum.  I could have made it look better but hey. haha.

Here is the district in Niihama! well, the sisters and half of the elder`s heads anyway. haha.

I love how Japan breaks away from conventional flavors and makes really good foods. These are possibly my favorite pringles. Kimchi flavor is also really good. This one is Wasabi mayo.

I made a lot of gyoza today all at once. haha.

Investigator from Hirakata got baptized!

and he makes the most AWESOME Japanese santa I`ve ever seen.   !!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Week 75: A remarkable Miracle 著しい奇跡

How incredible it is to participate in the establishment of a stake of Zion! The Lord`s blessing is upon this people. Everything so far is just falling into place. The biggest part of the work is yet to come.

We had a meeting for all trainers and trainees in Okayama on Wednesday, we had to stay the night the day before and got back late Wednesday night. Then, on Friday I went to Niihama for their district meeting so I could do translation for them, since they need it more than my district. To get to the morning meeting in Niihama we had to get on a train that was a half hour bike ride from the apartment.... by 5:58 AM! woah, that is early. Get in the train and its all still pitch black for almost 2 hours. We arrived and then walked through a blizzard we were not prepared for to get to the church! haha. It was a great meeting though.

The coolest part of the week was yesterday. so...... one of the investigators from another Area came to our church since he actually lives in Matsuyama. And the guy is sooooo ready for baptism! so, he hadn`t heard all of any of the 4 lessons yet, but Elder Mergist really thought he could be baptized a lot earlier then his current goal in February. So, he came on Thursday, and Elder Mergist taught him lessons 1, 2, and 3 in a couple hours. Then he came on Sunday, and all 4 missionaries, him, and the investigator who we baptized last week went in a room. I wrote every single commandment on the board. In 2 hours we had taught all of them and he had solidly committed to live every single one.

I did the interview, since he was a district leader`s investigator.

He`s getting baptized next week.

The Lord loves his people in Japan. In that room for those 2 hours, we had every person who needed to be there to address his every concern and get him baptized so he can help us establish the church on Shikoku. The man we baptized last week is the most solid convert I`ve ever seen and is already an incredible blessing in the branch.  The time has clearly come for a stake to be formed, the people that will bring in the drive to do it are progressing through the gospel and being baptized way fast. Both of them were found, taught, and baptized in about a month and a half.

So grateful to be a part of this tremendous work.  The spirit here in Shikoku island is so evident.

Matsuyama has 663 members in the boundaries. The sister missionaries are assigned now to visit all of them, bring as many back as possible, and make clear member records so that we can turn in the application to become a stake by next general conference.  That means visiting 57 people a week. Which is impossible. So we will probably be called on to help as well. haha ^^

This truly is the Lords work. Its time the church was established on Shikoku so the saints can receive the full blessings of the gospel in the latter days.

love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

P.S. We will be teaching English on Christmas night, since it is a Wednesday.

Lots of buses again! haha.

It was WET snow. haha. These are the Imabari (area name) missionaries.

I love sushi. Its probably a problem.

ummmm.......... I don`t know either so don`t ask.  the customer.

The bus home from Niihama was completely empty except for us for like an hour. kind of funny.

Its Christmas! on some mountain on Shikoku!

Cool to see some snow.

yeah. That is all the commandments

GOT NEW FLIERS! they`ve been announcing these for over a year and we finally got them. The blue ones were TERRIBLE! handed out thousands and only one person ever came from them. haha.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 74: Its about Time! 時間がやっと来た!


So we got a call Monday night. A Secret meeting was called for all missionaries working on the island of Shikoku. We were to not tell anyone about it, including other missionaries or members. Also, the only thing we knew about the meeting was that it was from 11AM to 4PM, nothing else. It was on this past Friday, in Marugame.

The meeting was called because we are going to establish the church officially on the island! We are forming a STAKE! the goal is to submit the application before April General Conference for the first stake in Shikoku. (well, there was a stake before, but because of the massive area it covered and lack of technology, it dissolved). So the missionaries in Shikoku right now will all get to participate in the establishment of a stake on Shikoku, never to be dissolved again!  In order to fulfill this goal, a lot of less actives have to come back, so some of the missionaries will be called as `Stake Missionaries`, so they will focus all their efforts on members. The sisters in our area are the stake missionaries, so nothing changes really for us except we will inherit their investigators. ^^

Then this Saturday was the Christmas Party! One of our potential investigators came and several ward member`s friends. Us, as six missionaries, did a Christmas Singing / story reading thing. it was great.

Before the Christmas Party, we met with our investigator who was getting baptized! When we visited though, he was super sick and said that he probably couldn`t come. woah. hold on. I had consecrated oil on me, so after a quick explanation, we gave him a blessing. ( my companion`s first first time participating! and it was in Japanese. ^^)

The next day was the BAPTISM! He showed up right on time, and told the other missionaries enthusiastically about how we gave a blessing with oil and he was miraculously healed over night. Everything went so well! This man was so well prepared. The second time we met him we set this baptismal goal, and he was ready when the day came. Lots of people from the ward, and it was just great all around. It was my companion`s first baptism, so he performed the ordinance ^^  The water was only half what there should have been though! the branch told us that it takes 2 hours to fill. wrong. it takes probably 4 ish hours. So he had to lay all the way down practically to get baptized. He was confirmed by the Branch President and it was a beautiful blessing. He is going to be such a strength to the branch! he first learned that there were less actives and he was shocked. `We have to help these people!!! they need to remember what I am feeling right now!`

During a lesson last week, I was trying to tell him to remember the feeling he will receive at baptism.... but instead of kimochi (feeling) I said kimuchi (kimchi.....) haha. It was pretty funny. But I gave him a little kimchi as a baptism gift and told him to always remember the kimchi he received at baptism. haha. I`ll get him a better gift as well, don`t worry. just have to wait until I can go to Kobe to get a triple combination for him.

Well it was a really great week! this week we will go to Okayama for Trainer trainee meeting, and I will go to Niihama on Friday to do some translation for a district meeting. (after that, there is only one area I haven`t been to on shikoku, tokushima)

Love you all!
Hurrah for Israel! and Shikoku!
Elder O`Reilly

There was a McDonalds right outside the marugame church. yeah..... 44 missionaries, mostly American, swarmed a Mcdonalds all at once. They were going crazy.  You`ll regonize Elder Hunt (my current district leader, MTC companion), and Elder Ogasawara (now a zone leader in Marugame, was a district leader in Kouchi, and in the same district in Fukuyama). 

Just in case you wanted to know if I am awesome. haha.

A picture at the Christmas Party! that is Elder Waters, another missionary in the apartment. The girl came to English class and has met with the sister missionaries a few times. She likes to take pictures with us. ^^

Its a baptism! He progressed so fast. Met him while knocking some doors at the end of October. 
And with all the missionaries.

P.S. I got the package today! all sorts of fun. Saving basically everything for Christmas day though ^^

I did watch the DVD. was WAY funny. haha! My roomates loved it too. 

love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 73: Planning Salvation

Yeah, we`re going to baptize our investigator on Sunday. He is so ready. Its been incredible seeing how fast he progressed. We only met for a little over a month. Now he`s changed a lot and he is getting baptized. We really kept up on our planning for him, so we were able to have his interview, announce it at church, and still have a week to make sure all the little details are in place. We set the baptismal date on our second visit with him, and with careful planning everything worked perfectly. That is, of course, because the Holy Ghost helped us out selecting the date and doing the actual planning. ^^

The ward loves him. And they noticed we had planned so well and complimented us on that as well. He is going to be a strong member and great help in this branch.

We had the training meeting in Kobe on Tuesday, and then the Zone Training meeting on Friday. Me and Elder Mergist trained the zone (22 missionaries not including us) for over 3 hours. It went really well. Received many compliments and I really think it is going to be a great help to many of the companionships.

Looking forward to a great Christmas Party on Saturday and a Baptism on Sunday!

love you all,

There were a lot of missionaries this time. this is Elder Mergist at the pulpit type thing we constructed. ^^

This is what I look like when I`m giving training! haha. maybe.

This is an area right by the church. The church is seriously the most inconvenient place ever. haha. middle of no where. It does have this catholic school nearby though. (pictured) I thought it was funny that it was right by a Shinto shrine. and then there was like a communication tower right by the shrine.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 72: Power of Prayer 祈りの力

So our companionship had a miracle that made the mission wide E-mail! pretty great.

Our super awesome investigator just got more awesome.

So the only thing stopping him was he needed to stop smoking... he was at about 10 a day. He said it was impossible. But we told him it was and we`d pray so he could stop. He said he would try.

We also assigned him to read the 10 commandments as homework, because we were going to teach that next.

We come back and the first thing he says is he stopped smoking cold turkey. flat out.

He told us he was smoking one day, and thinking about the 10 commandments he read. especially the part about bearing false witness. He realized that he was lying to us when he said he would try to stop smoking. then, he started a coughing fit, really bad. He said he almost died. but he made it though, and he trashed all his cigarettes and committed himself to never smoke again. He told us it was because we were praying for him.... he could feel our prayer power. He then told us that there was nothing stopping him from baptism any more, he has faith and has repented of his sins. His interview is on Friday!  So excited.

The work`s going good. should be a good week

love you all!

going to kobe again today for mission leadership conference. Me and Elder Mergist will leave our brand new missionaries for a whole day to go. Should be fun for them! haha.

Elder O`Reilly

sorry, took no pics this week. :(