Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 84: Kochi! 高知!

Kochi is a great place. It is also really really really really big. really big. really really big. So we are supposed to visit all the members living here..... but outside of kochi city..... its pretty far. We went out with members all day on Saturday, and were able to contact a bunch of far away people. set up one teaching appointment! and it is 13 kilometers away. on this wednesday. haha. We are going by train so that it doesn`t take the whole entire day.

This week we went over 100 kilometers on bike. Yes, that is a long way. haha. But we were able to find 2 new less actives that will meet with us regularly starting last week, and several that can do that starting next week! looking good.

Sooooo....... As far as the building a stake on Shikoku goes. Basically everyone is depending on us still. the other 4 branches have hit the requirements, and if we can get 3 more elders to come to activity, we have a stake.

The goal deadline is in 3 weeks.

Good news! 2 elders are one interview away from `activity` and an active, tithe-paying elder is moving to kochi branch!!!!  So things are looking like it will be possible. We are working closely with the branch and they are helping us a ton.

Had a few people who really have no interest in listening to us..... which is too bad because they got baptized already! but we found a lot of people with interest in returning as well. Kochi has the 2nd highest number of members, 360ish. Only an average of 39 come to church though. what?!?! got to change that! ^^

Love you all!
Elder O`Reilly

The shopping district in Kochi. (I think I finally thought of a good translation for this place!)

The members here give us pizza every week!! this was in the mail box. I was like......... WOAH!!! PIZZA IN THE MAIL!!!!

In a tunnel on the way somewhere.

February Mission Leadership Council

An investigator sent this picture of her coming of age ceremony. (she turned 20 last year, so she participated in the ceremony last month.) its a huge deal. People spend thousands of dollars that one day.
Elder Weir (new trainee) and Trevor

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 83 : Kochi 高知

Its Kochi! This place is way cool. The area is by far the largest one in the mission.  Its really huge. the closest area is like over 2 hours away by high speed bus. uhhhh..... yeah really far. On Friday, there was a crazy blizzard all over the mission! and it was transfer day. haha. dang it.  So went from matsuyama to okayama to kobe back to okayama then to kochi. Look at a mission map. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. like 20 hours of travel. The buses all shut down to the snow, so we had to take a train..... and the only train that goes straight there is super expensive, but we made it! haha. Got back the the apartment and just collapsed as soon as possible.

We arrived, and one of the bikes was in a repair shop already. bummer. haha. It got fixed today, but we walked around a ton!!! so we have the responsibility to visit every single less active, and try to get as many as possible to return to church. Most importantly, if kochi branch can get 3 more active M. Priesthood holders in the next 3 weeks, shikoku can become a stake! there are a few priests that could possibly become elders, and there are tons of less active elders and even a few high priests. In the 2 days we were here so far, we were already able to set up an appointment with 1 Elder, 1 priest, and get an Elder to come back to church yesterday! Everyone we have selected to visit has had positive reactions so far. Now that we have bikes, we can visit a lot more. haha. We walked for over 10 kilometers yesterday.

My companion is way cool. His dad served a mission in Japan, and married one of the sister missionaries from his mission. So he is half Japanese. His Japanese is way good already, but I have to do all the kanji reading. (which is a lot with this responsibility, record and map reading)

Looking forward to another great week! The Lord's hand is apparent here in Kochi!

love you all
Elder O'Reilly

The shoes died. One pair will make it,  but the other pair is dead.

Last English class in Matsuyama

Heart shaped meatloaf! Mom's influence spreads to Japan. ^^

Snow as seen from the train

Me and Elder Weir found this house yesterday. Its just someones house..... crazy.

This is my new companion, Elder Weir.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 82: Final Mission 結局の使命

My stay in Matsuyama has come to a close.

Its been an amazing time here. The baptism I was able to be a part of, and the many others who will at some point in the near future receive Baptism.  There are many clear reasons why I was called to Matsuyama.

We had a Zone Training meeting. Me and Elder Mergist giving training for 3 hours. Went really well.

Where am I being transferred to....?  That would be...... Kouchi. The southern half of Shikoku, largest area in the mission. Who is my companion....? I don`t know. uhhhhhh....... yeah. I`m training AGAIN. this is training number four. someone shoot me. no just kidding. But I really was hoping not to watch the district videos again. I have most of them memorized. haha.

So. I will not be a zone leader or a district leader. But. I have a new responsibility.

I don`t know if you remember when I told you about Stake missionaries, and their role to help people come back to church so that we can create a stake, but I`ll be a Stake missionary. (president said only companionships with a Japanese elder / sister would be called as stake missionaries..... maybe my new companion will be Japanese? or they consider me Japanese? haha. Either way is cool I suppose.)

So Shikoku needs 5 wards to become a stake. Right now........... 4 have enough priesthood holders. The only other branch anywhere close to doing it?   That would be Kouchi. Basically, if me and my brand new missionary companion are successful in Kouchi, then all 40+ missionaries on Shikoku will have been successful in the Shikoku Stake project. Woah.

So my work is cut out for me. Clearly, the Lord knows I can do it, and that is why he is sending me there. I can`t wait to rely on Him and get started.

I go to Kobe on Friday to pick up the new missionary. Then take the 2 day journey to kouchi. haha XD

Love you All!

Elder O`Reilly

It was Elder Fuller`s birthday, and Elder Hunt who was here for Companion exchanges had a birthday too...... so we kind of went to a way good place to eat.

Changed the set up for ZTM this time. It was better this way.


made tempura with onion and chicken. it was way good.

There was a really cool Matsuri going on one day.  Imagine all the people you ever saw in your entire life. Now multiply it by 5. That is how many people were there.

'Come with me, chocolate banana. Together, we shall bring all unto repentance!'

Put fish eggs (ikura) on rice and ate it. It was way good.

This is one of our new investigators! I told her that I would be speaking for the last time, and she came to church! (by the way..... I spoke in church.  I went over 20 minutes.)

Put squid on rice and ate it. It was way good.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 81: Island Adventure. And a miracle. 島での冒険。奇跡。

We had the coolest island adventure ever. All 6 Matsuyama missionaries went to Gogo Island just for preparation day. The ferry was less then $3, and the island was way cool.  We did get lost on the island and were late coming back though. haha. The island has tons of clementines....  you can even find them floating in the ocean!

So this week we had a goal as a mission to get 400 non-members to church. The previous all time goal in the Asian north missions I heard was 210. So it was a pretty crazy goal.

But, we had faith. The mission president said we could do it.

A letter was sent out to all the branches, just talking about this goal. It was read at all meetings.

From our zone, our previous record was 23 people in one week in the 5 areas.

This week we had 56 people.

The mission had 396 people at church!

It was an incredible miracle. We doubled the previous record in all of Japan and Korea.

Most importantly, many many people were able to come to church for the first times in their lives. They have started a journey that ends in Eternal Life.

The Gospel is so great!

I bore my testimony yesterday (testimony meeting). I talked about how I`ve come to church for many years. Through the years, there have been a lot that has changed, but one thing that has been consistent is the Love God has for me, that I can feel at church. Coming to Japan, that feeling is perhaps the only thing that is consistent.  God truly loves his people!

The atmosphere at church was ecstatic. Here in Matsuyama, 20 non-members / long time less actives came. It was truly a great spiritual meeting.

The work moves on!

love you all

Us on the ferry. It was way cool.

up the first mountain of the island (by the way, this is the Island that Sis. Haley`s mom went to every summer!)

There is a mikan roller coaster that goes all over the island!  (mikan = clementines. Mini oranges)

me on a rock.

we had to go rock climbing a tiny bit.... haha. thought we would try to take a different way back.

Me in the rock throne. oh yeah.

The group!

There were a TON of beaches.  ....... because it was an island.

ummm... awesome

Me with Bamboo swords.

The ferry ride back. It was a nice boat for $3

I made Fried rice surrounded in thin egg..... and then put kimchi and mayo on top!