Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 100: Move forward with Faith 前に向けて信仰を持って進もう

Its all over.

2 years have felt like a whole lifetime in a month. (does that make sense?)

As far as investigators go we weren`t able to meet with all of them before I go, but we were able to meet with a bunch of them.  The TV reporter finally got broadcasted for the first time and so she was busy, and the Filipino guy had to go back to the Philippines for a while.  But it was a good last week anyway.

We had a meal with the branch yesterday, I bore a short testimony and got to talk with all the members one last time. It was good. A bunch of them will see me off Tuesday morning when I get on the bus. Such great members here.

Guess who`s taking my place........!    Elder Hoshino. My Japanese companion when I was in Osaka. He`ll be companions with Elder Wier. I trained them both. haha. Should be fun. I`m excited for them.

I`m excited also to tell everyone about the great things I learned on my mission at my homecoming. Also really sad to leave the mission. It`s mixed obviously, but the time is come. The only thing to do is move forward with faith, knowing that as long as I do so, the path will be prepared to do whatever it is the Lord needs me to do next.

Love you all!

Elder O`Reilly

This guy is great. Had lots of lessons with him at his house.
We had lessons with this guy every week. This last week because I was leaving he took us out to waaaaaaay good sushi. It was soooooooo good. and it was like $200.
I think they serve these fish? it was a really cool sushi place.
We also were fed dinner at another member`s house. Needless to say, I didn`t cook much on my last week. Maybe 2 or 3 times. haha. XD it was great. I don`t know what we are doing in this picture.
Last after-district-meeting-lunch. We convinced our young companions to get the king size. My companion threw it up after. Bad choice. haha.
A sister in the branch made us this delicious lunch! Its is Malaysian food. was way good.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 99: Happiness to the End 最後まで楽しむ

Woah. I can`t believe I put the number up by one every week for 99 weeks. Next week, my final e-mail, will curiously be exactly 100. Interesting.

It was a crazy awesome week.

We taught the family of 5 this week. They live in the middle of the crazy mountain jungle land. It was a rainy day and the clouds were laying all over the mountains. It was way cool. We drove above the clouds on the highway with a member (its way too far to ride bikes..... would take 3 hours probably just one way!)  The lesson went well, but we won`t meet again for 2 weeks. In other words I won`t meet them again. Such a good family too! haha.

We had a meeting to say good-bye to the Zinke`s (mission president). They go home the same time as me. It was different than a usual meeting, we just sat in a circle and talked. It was really fun. talked about how the mission is now and how it will change. We had a training meeting right before. I translated for both meetings, so I had like 5 hours of simultaneous translation in a row. That was also fun. haha.

This last week we have appointments every day. I also have homework to write to the best of my knowledge the condition of all members in the branch, to leave for the branch leadership. I know this branch`s 300 members better than almost anyone. I`ve biked to visit many many people, I`ve prayed for this branch, I`ve searched the scriptures so that I can strengthen this branch. I love this branch.

There are many people in our ever-growing investigator pool that will eventually get baptized. Right now most of the strong investigators are early on in the process however.

I know I am weak as to the flesh, but through Christ`s atonement, I know that even the weak can do many great and important things, even if those things may appear small to the wise.

So glad that I was able to participate in the work of Salvation in Japan. There truly is no greater work. Although I may be released from my time as a full-time missionary soon, my duty to spread the gospel will never end. The gospel is so true.

Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

We went to ryuugado cave! it was sooooo cool. Here is the next best 5 seconds of your life.

The biggest waterfall in the cave is 11 meters tall. Way cool.

It was way big. took an hour to walk through.

Not another zubat!!! haha.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 98: The end closing in 終わりが迫ってくる

2 weeks left. I can`t believe it. I thought it would never come to an end this soon.

The last 2 weeks will be busy. we are meeting with 3 families (one of 3, one of 4, and starting this week one of 5) and many other investigators. This past week was a slow week, and most investigators were busy, but we will be busy with lessons again this week. Got to make this last 2 weeks some of my best!

The investigators that meet with us, read scriptures, and pray... progress. Everyone else doesn`t. Its that easy.  Read scriptures! Pray! Build faith! I don`t think anyone really understands how important those things are. I`m glad I learned from a young age. As one of our older investigators always reminds us (every single time we visit him) it is a lot harder to learn when you are older. haha. ;)

Elder and Sister Zinke are leaving the mission the same time as me. That`s when they finish their 3 years. They have been a great help to me and brought this mission to new highs. I am so grateful for their service.  We will have a meeting to say goodbye to them on Wednesday in Matsuyama.

The work is great.

Love you all

Elder O`Reilly

I only took one picture this week. A famous food in Kochi. (literally everyone in kochi thinks it is the best thing ever, which it probably is)

Katsuo tataki shio.

Salted bonito (not sure on the english spelling, this is a kind of fish) (flamed on the outside, raw on the inside)

It was way good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 97: Apostle Visits Osaka 大阪使徒訪問

I turned 21 in the city of Ibaraki, Osaka. Same place I turned 20. Curious. ( May 24th in Japan, 23rd in California, where I was born)  all the travel took a ton of money and 10 hours of travel. ouch. But it was fun. I went out to sushi with my companion on friday. (wasn`t able to finish 21 plates... only got to 15 :(  )  On Sunday the branch President`s wife baked me a cake! and we ate it at the apartment. It was way good. The members here love us. They are the best!

Elder Chirstofferson came to Osaka! it was awesome. He shook each of our hands and had a question answer session. There were 250 missionaries and only 1.5 hours, so only a few questions got answered, but it was still really awesome. The spirit was strong. Wasn`t really anything brand-new I learned, but I feel like I have more direction for my life. Which is usually a good thing to have.

Pretty uneventful week actually. had a few lessons cancel on us, but still taught a bunch. We have a ton of investigators, which is good. When Elder Weir and I came in we had 1 investigator, now we have 18. and we will have more probably this week and the next. So things are good. With some people busy this week, however, we would have to have someone progress crazy fast to get baptized before I go. Which is fine, they will still get baptized and that is what matters. Don`t want to rush a baptism for a stupid reason. ^^

So glad to participate in this great work!

love you all
Elder O`Reilly

Tickets to Osaka and back. (over $400 for the four of us...... I usually buy all the tickets and everyone pays me back. Over my mission I`ve placed thousands and thousands of dollars (at least $10,000) on the counter for missionary bus tickets. everyone better take notes!!!!! haha.)

The further the bus goes, the nicer bus it is. We had some really nice buses.

Crossing the ocean on the bus. Beautiful. (the bridge is way awesome)

Ummm.... sir..... you`ve got a bag on your face...........

Barbeque at the church! Alright!  (by the way..... pumpkin makes way good BBQ.)




Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 96: Climbing Mountains 山登り

It was a good week. We found another family to teach! that will make 3 families in our pool of investigators. The Lord is blessing us like crazy!

We had an address for a less active. And it was on top of a mountain. A big one. We climbed the mountain (395 meters vertical climb, 8 kilometers long path). It was way tiring. But we made it up. We got to the house and found this older guy. We asked him about the person we were looking for, and he said that she had moved away. Talking with the guy it was quickly apparent that he spoke with an incredibly think country accent and we didn`t understand much. haha. (accents are different here.... if you don`t know all the words that are in the area, you won`t understand at all) But we stumbled through the conversation and he told us to follow his car on our bikes. We thought it must be close.


We followed him all the way down the mountain. (holy cow that was fun. 20 minutes of no pedaling.)  and started heading further east. He stopped every 3 kilometers or so to see if we were OK.

My companion`s tire popped.

Well...... we are probably close. .....?

Finally we tell him. He doesn`t pause for a minute. grabs the bike and throws it in the back of his car and Elder Weir gets in the passenger seat. I ride my bike very fast as to stay in sight and sound and we are off again. We stop at a place to fix Elder Weir`s bike. (the old guy with us really likes all the attention we attract... haha. He was calling out to all the people on the street staring at us) The guy fixing the bike asks where we are going. The old guy says, "We are going to `honoki`, and then back to kochi city."

The bike repair guy pauses a second and then bursts out laughing. That`s impossible! haha.

We thought that was kind of funny.

The old guy wasn`t even phased. Nope, that`s what we`re doing.

so maybe we aren`t all that close.....?

We asked him how much further.  He was like..... maybe 25 more kilometers..?

The bike repair guy was like, no, more like 15ish kilometers.

I look at my watch. We have a lesson at the church at 7:30. We are already 25 ish kilometers away. hmmm...... I don`t think we have time to bike 55 more kilometers.

The old guy thinks for a while and then he tells me to leave the bike and get in his car.

We hop in and he drives the remaining distance.

We arrive at the house, and the person we are looking for is outside with 2 of her sons.

She was impressed with our effort to meet her, and said we could come back on a Saturday and meet the whole family of 5 and share a message.


Then car ride back to central kami city, and then bike all the way back to kochi city, just in time to teach a fantastic lesson about the restoration to our favorite TV reporter. (the lesson went great!)

So grateful for that guy that helped us out! He had no interest in the message, but was willing to help us out all day. haha. We had no idea that it would take all day to visit one person, but if that ends us up with another complete family investigator, I`d say it was worth it.

Looking forward to an awesome week, including an apostle on my Birthday. Alright!

Love you all
Elder O`Reilly

Finally got to go to the famous Kochi beach last Preparation day

It was a way cool place!

My worn-out badge next to companion`s brand new one.

us on the beach

Made it to the top!

The beautiful top of the mountain.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 95 : Meeting in Takamatsu 高松大会

We had a meeting in Takamatsu.

Had to leave sunday night, because it takes too long to get there. Stayed at the apartment in takamatsu.

The apartment was brand new, and there are only 2 Elders in it. It`s at least twice the size of our apartment, so it was nice to have a good night`s sleep.

The meeting was good, though mostly review from previous meetings. It was President`s last Zone meeting.

Did I say that Elder Chistopherson is coming on my birthday next week??? pretty awesome, right? It will be a all mission confrence for 3 hours in Osaka! a place called Ibaraki. Just so happens that I was in Ibaraki for a meeting on my 20th birthday as well.

Besides that meeting, the Takamatsu meeting was the last one I will go to. So, I had opportunity to bare a final testimony. It was great. I`ve learned a lot on my mission. I can`t wait to tell you all about it. Still more to do and learn until then though!

Love you all and I`m looking forward to another great week.

Elder O`Reilly

I made some Japanese Paper.  Well, actually I failed. But I was successful with the little paper.

So these things are usually not under the water, but these ones are! They are put out May 5th, Children`s day. It`s a great holiday in Japan. Everyone spends time with the family.

Sometimes I think we drink too much juice. haha. Don`t worry I cleaned it up.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 94: Start of the End 終わりの始まり

Today marks the first week of the last `transfer`. Most missionaries get 16 but I get 17. ^^  One transfer is 6 weeks. (I won`t transfer or get any more companions!!!! I LOVE KOCHI! haha was so glad to see all 4 missionaries in the area are staying for my last transfer)

My companion from the MTC and all those people go home this week. 17th transfer missionaries will only be me and 2 others. Woah, its like I`ve been here a while or something.

Looks like I`ll be going out with a bang though! we had more lessons than ever, got 6 new investigators, and, of course, biked hundreds and hundreds of kilometers. It was a great week!

Met twice with the new investigator from English class. (She is a TV announcer, how cool is that??) and with the family living in Konan. Also the Filipino guy we met with and he is way cool.

Excited for another great week!

By the way......   Next week I have a meeting on Monday, so I`ll email on Tuesday. Don`t freak out. haha.

Bore my testimony yesterday. I talked about how we can show our faith in various ways. When I first became a missionary, I loved biking to far places and seeing all the cool landscape. In Kochi however, a long bike ride just starts getting ridiculous. When I feel impressed we have to go to some distant place, It takes faith to do that and enjoy it, even if it means an hour bike ride. But the Lord blesses me for that faith! The Lord can provide new investigators in no time at all. We just need to take time to show our faith to the Lord.

Doing those things that we are not so excited to do, because we know they are right, is probably the best way to show our faith.  And the Lord blesses us in ways we would never have thought of!

Love you all!

Elder O`Reilly

(sorry no pictures this week)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 93: Seek and ye shall find 求めなさい。そうすれば、与えられるであろう。

This week we again went many times by bike to distant places. We visited many many people. Had an exchange on Wednesday with Elder Dos Santos.  It was a crazy day!

So we wanted the full day to just find people since we had no lessons, so as soon as study was over, we started biking. We stopped just for a few minutes at..... McDonalds. (SOOOO MUCH BETTER THAN AMERICA>>>>> SHRIMP AVOCADO BURGER)  Then biked the rest of the way to Kami-shi. Its pretty far, but we can get there in 50 minutes. We visited a bunch of people and confirmed several that were clearly moved away. (one of them the place was a mess inside and it was COVERED in greenery!)  It was getting later in the day, and we went south to konan-shi. Lots of biking but way beautiful!

Then we visited a less-active priest. We got into the area and asked someone on the street if she knew the person. (addresses are almost never written on the houses!) she asked her friend, who was apparently the wife of the person we were looking for (not a member). She told us that she didn`t know he was a member of our church! she was very surprised.

Then she invited us into the house. ALRIGHT! haha. We were about to explain that we can`t go in unless her husband was there too, but then the husband rolled up in his car. SCORE!

We went in and had a lesson with the two of them and their 2 children, ages 3 and 6 (so cute!) and it was awesome. The husband doesn`t remember much about the church, and the wife doesn`t know anything, but they both have interest in the Book of Mormon and Prayer. Those are good things to have interest in! haha. ^^

Then we went to another house. The person we were looking for was not there. But there was a Filipino guy.....! haha what? set up an appointment to share our message with him for this week.

A new student at our English class came up to me and after short conversation said she loves church. Oh really? So I invited her and she came yesterday! The members and her got along way good and we even all made crepes after church. It was excellent.  We have a lesson with her on Tuesday and it looks like we can meet twice a week.

I was really hoping we could find a few more people that will be able to receive baptism before I go home. Looks like we found them just in time. ^^  Just when I thought all this biking was taking way too much time and was extremely tiring, the Lord blessed us.

I`ve been thinking recently that the way we can show our faith changes with time. While before, a long bike ride I would have thought of as fun...... is not so fun anymore. When I feel impressed we need to visit a bunch of people far away, it takes faith to follow that prompting. But the Lord will always bless me for it!

Loving the work!

Elder O`Reilly

The people in Kochi are ridiculous. EVERYONE likes to feed missionaries. Our table looks like this all the time. This is Tuesday night after English class. its GOOD FOOD! ^^

Kochi church chapel

Kochi church

On the road to a member. Lives on the top of this crazy mountain! 



Some lady in this field called us over to help her plant ginger roots. We planted a row. It was fun. Turns out she was neighbors to the person we were going to visit.

The lady in the field took us with her husband to dig up baby bamboo in the bamboo forest. coolest thing ever! search the forest ground for little green sprouts like this, and dig it up with a pick-axe. You can eat the inside! pretty tasty. She gave us her son`s old high-school backpack to carry it back.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 92

Oh goodness. we have visited all the less actives in the near-by area, so we went a little further out. every day. We biked to far places every day. Kochi is really really big. haha.

We kept pushing though, and we were able to find more people who have potential to come back to church. but holy cow I`m tired.

And....... the 15th Elder in Kochi was ordained, Yesterday, on Easter. So that means that a Stake can be formed on Shikoku! It was a branch conference, so other priesthood leaders including President Zinke came to the meeting. It was a great meeting. I sang in the choir as well.

Looking forward to another good week,

Elder O`Reilly

pretty cool

The beach! actually this is on top of a museum for a guy named Sakamoto Ryoma. He was actually a pretty cool guy.  We didn`t make it to the beach. One of the other missionary`s bike tire went flat and we decided to figure it out right away rather then going to the beach.

It was Elder Dos Santo`s birthday on Thursday! An investigator took us out to eat...... at the hotel where the Royal Family comes to stay in Kochi. yeah, it was pretty cool.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 91: General Conference! 総大会!

Wasn`t General Conference great?  I may be a little late, but I just watched it all yesterday and the day before. My favorite talk was Saturday Afternoon, first talk. Elder Nelson. He states that as long as we have a distinction for our `best behavior` or our `Personal Life` that we will never reach our fullest potential! How true that is. We have one investigator with which this is seen clearly.  He tells us all he wants to do is sit and read his books and he doesn`t want to come to church dressed up or stay all 3 hours. He is so focused on his `personal life` that he is missing the big picture!!

With the work we have been doing with less actives, it is clear that by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass.

Scripture study, prayer, meaningful Sabbath day worship, HOME TEACHING, is SOOOOOOOOOO important! This isn`t just to help us get through the next day, or a struggle we are going through. These things are designed to help us to gain Eternal blessings. How cunning is the Devil to convince the children of God that skipping these things once in a while is not a big deal? Didn`t we come to this Earth to prepare to meet God? Is not all else merely distractions to make us stumble on the path?

We had interviews with President this week as well. My interview was way short. `ready to go home?` haha. oh gosh, its not that close, is it? Actually, I am the most experienced missionary in the field, along with the missionaries that came to Japan with me. (6 missionaries total, and 3 go home in 3 weeks)

President gave us training  before interviews, and we talked a lot about `Sweet Boldness`. This is very important for helping those in need, the less actives. When you start to hear them give excuses, rather than folding to those excuses, answering them with passionate Boldness. It reminded me of the time in Matsuyama when our recent convert began to list off reasons he couldn`t come to church anymore. If I hadn`t listened to the spirit and acted with boldness, he could have become lost like the hundreds of other less actives. We really have the power to make real, lasting differences in people when we listen to the spirit and act in the power of the Lord! It is incredible that the Lord gives us opportunities to do that.

Well today was kind of a ramble... haha sorry about that. Today for Preparation day we are going to katurahama (beach). There is an aquarium and stuff, should be fun.

Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

We had a lesson early morning Friday. We are usually studying at this time, so it was kind of fun to see the school rush. SOOO MANY BIKES!!! haha. all going through the shopping district.

Kouchi sure is a beautiful place.

Hey its Elder Weir!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 90: Gift of the Holy Ghost 聖霊の賜物

So we`ve been teaching only less actives, and there is one thing that I`ve noticed. They are a lot more sensitive to the spirit than those who have not received the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing it is! I am so glad to have it in my life.

We found this one less active member. He was baptised in Tokyo over 30 years ago. Moved here to kochi and never even went to church once in kochi. He said he felt like he was pushed into being baptized.

We met with him, and basically the first thing he says is he was not interested, that our church wasn`t for him.

We kept talking to him. As we talked to him, I realized he was a really good person, that he was trying to do what is right. I told him that the fact that we as people want to do what is right is evidence of a God. I also asked him if he feels good when he does something for someone. This is also evidence of a God. He told us to come back and tell him more.

We came back and were able to teach him all about the restoration of the Gospel, and invited him to pray.

His wife is not a member, and we will be looking for ways we can bring the gospel to them. We teach him at his hospital, after hours.

Looking forward to another great week,

love you all,
Elder O`Reilly

One of the main streets in Kochi city

Ok...... just 99 miles to go.  ( actually we found out it was actually 113 miles total )


Made it to the tip. Oh yeah.  Lets not think of the return trip and just enjoy the ocean. haha.

Lots of cool sights in muroto zaki!

Me and the ocean

LETS GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! .......... the opposite direction that I am pointing......... approximately 60 miles............

Sakura was at full bloom! also I think this picture is awesome.

Sakura! Just for you, mom. ;)