Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 (3 more days by the way!)


Well well well..... I can't believe that this week has come. Holy crap this mission went by really fast! I'm really at a loss of words. Wednesday we went to the temple as a district. So just 4 of us. It was really amazing! I was able to receive answer to a question I've had for awhile now and another answer came at my exit interview which will be talked about later.

So this is how the rest of the week will go. So today is P Day so we are going to go play basketball and volleyball. After that we have an appointment with an investigator this evening. Tomorrow we are going
to lunch at Spring Creek barbecue, and we have an appointment in the afternoon, and we also have two appointments in the evening. Wednesday I'm going to be going to transfers and get there at about 845. Then I will be going to the temple with the other missionaries that are going home with me for the rest of the day. I don't know how long, but we will be there for a while. I know that there will be a testimony meeting and President will want to talk with us in the evening, but I don't know the details or timeframe of that. Thursday, I think that's
the day I fly home. I'm not really sure yet, but we will see what happens. Ha ha ha! Not really, I do know that I fly home ThursdayIt's going to go by really fast though. Not excited for the fast part, but it is what it is.

I'm so grateful for the testimony that I have been able to develop on my mission. I was able to have my exit interview this past week and it was amazing! He told me some pretty amazing things and gave me some
really good advice. I told him my plan for the coming year and he was really impressed of my plan. So I felt really good about that. He has been an amazing Mission President! I couldn't of asked for a better
President. Sometimes I went through phases on my mission where I thought I wasn't noticed by him, but after the interview I knew that he was watching me learn and grow every step of the way. I'm so grateful
for him. I'm grateful for the love of the scriptures that I've gained on my mission! I never thought I would have that desire to read from them every day. I know that the Bible and the Book of Mormon to be the
word of God. They both testify of Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that Lords Kingdom established on the Earth
again. But the greatest knowledge that I've received on my mission, and the greatest relationship is in my Savior Jesus Christ. He truly loves us and he truly shows us the correct way to get back to our Heavenly
Father and Jesus Christ. The Atonement that was made by him is real. And everyone is able to use it. I've seen it change me on my mission. I've loved my mission so much! The people here in Texas are amazing!
I've loved talking with them and working with the members down here. I was meant to come to Texas. I wasn't sure before my mission, but now I know that I was meant to be here.

As for the rest of my week, it can be summed up in one scripture. 2 John 1:12. Look it up and that will be the answer about what happened my last week. Can't wait to see my family and friends back at home,
but I'm also sad to leave those I've grown close to here in Texas. Thanks for following along in my emails and we will be in touch after I get home! 

Love y'all! God Bless!

Elder O'Brien

Sent from my iPad

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hey Y'all!

So yes this is my second to last letter that I will be writing to
you... It still hasn't hit me yet though. Which I'm grateful that it
hasn't. This week was a pretty good week though. We had a lot of good
things happen. We were also able to follow up with some of our
investigators also! So on Monday night we saw Jay Taylor. He is doing
really good. We share to talk to Thomas S. Monson gave about how
obedience brings blessings. We then proceeded to talk about the word
of wisdom. He seemed pretty nervous about giving up on me, because he
has been drinking tea his whole life. So we told him that he is able
to do it. I shared some experiences that I had about how people gave
up things to live the commandment. He said that he will be willing to
try. He has been reading the book of Mormon and praying every day
since we told him that he needed to a couple weeks ago. He said that
he has noticed a difference in his attitude and everything already! So
he is starting to progress.

This week we were also able to follow up with a lesson that week
taught on the street to a kid named Travis. He is super cool and is
really open to learning about our church. We taught him the
Restoration and we were talking about he Godhead and he said that be
believed that they are all one person. We told him what we believed.
We then started to talk about Joseph Smith and the first vision and
how God and Jesus Christ appeared to him. Once we mention that showed
in the picture in the pamphlet, he lit up! He was like, "So they are
separate huh?" And we were like yes they are. It was pretty cool to
see how he understood that doctrine really fast. I freaking love
people that learn and understand things like that so fast! we invited
him to church on Sunday, but he had a basketball tournament and he
wasn't able to make it. However, we may have to send them to the young
single adult ward because he is 18 years old. So that would be the
best word for him.  But he is super solid!

This week we were also able to find a guy named Marvin. He was a
pretty cool guy that was sitting outside his garage one night. We went
up and talked to him for a little bit but he said that he didn't want
to talk right now because he was drunk. So we told him that we would
come back the next day. So we came back the next night and they only
had a couple minutes to talk. So we shared a scripture out of the book
of Mormon and talked about what the book of Mormon was and where it
came from. He said that would be something he would be interested in
reading. He said we could stop by this past weekend, but when we tried
him, he wasn't home, so we are going to try to stop by this week
sometime. We also talked to this other guy named Mr. Moore this week.
He was visiting his friend in our area and we contacted him outside.
He was drunk too, but he was more sober than my Marvan. So we talked
with him about the book of Mormon and why we have it and why it's
another Testament of Jesus Christ. He was really open to reading it
and said we could stop by but he didn't want to give us his address...
So he probably didn't want us to come by then. Haha!

Me and Elder Wade are doing better. He has come a long way since we
the beginning of June. He told me this morning that I'm only his 2nd
companion that has forced him to talk. And he said that he has felt
more comfortable now because he has been talking to people. He still
has a long way to go, but he is definitely improving. Today for P Day,
we are going to a park to play volleyball and whiffle ball! So that
should be fun! It's something different than basketball. This week
it's  supposed to be 100 degrees all week. God wants to make sure that
I always remember the Texas summers. And I will. Haha! Hope y'all have
a great week!

Elder O'Brien

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 7, 2015

"4th of July Week"

Hey Y'all!

So this week was the best week of the transfer by far.  This week was
full of service and full of teaching and finding people. To start off
on Monday we found a former investigator and we talked her about the
plan of salvation however she wasn't interested at the time. However I
did learn what the rosary was in the Catholic Church.

On Tuesday we were able to do a lot of service for a couple members.
The first member we helped was sister McFarland, we went over and helped
her with her yard and weeded her front yard.  I've never been so
grateful for learning how to read from mom because this lady had a ton
of weeds and neither her nor my companion knew how to pull out the
roots.  The area that I did probably won't have weeds when we go back
this week but I'm not sure of the other areas will be. But she was a
nice single lady that really needed help to start her garden. We then
are able to help a less active guy name Oscar who is a recent convert
to the church. We helped him with his yard, cleaned out the shed and
also help to clean his car. It was kind of weird but then he took us
to this really good cheeseburger place and I was able to try some of
the hottest hot sauce of ever had in my life. But the cheeseburger was
really good and the sauce was really hot and it made my stomach burn for
the rest of the night.

On Wednesday me and Elder Wade sat down and talked about how the area
was going and also about the effort that he was putting in to the
area. We set some goals and plans to work harder because it feels like
I'm carrying the area on my back. It's starting to wear me down. So we
talked about how he knew he needed to help plan because I'm trying to
finish my mission on a strong note. So I hoped and prayed that he
would step up his game.

Thursday and Friday were kind of a blur. But on Thursday we did
service at the Arlington animal shelter, but it wasn't as cool as the
Northridge in Richland Hills animal shelter. But it was nice to help
them out. Friday me and Elder Argyle went on an exchange in our area
and we were determined to work. The night before he said that we are
going to go and teach two lessons, but I told him we were going to
teach five. And guess what happened? We taught five lessons that day!
It was by far one of the greatest exchanges I've been on. We were able
to teach and find two of the new investigators in the afternoon. The
first person we found we had prayed to be inspired to knock on the
door, and we felt inspired to knock on the door about 30 minutes
later. It was a nice family and they had a little bit of time and we
talked about the book of Mormon and shared a quick scripture out of
the book of Mormon with them. They seem to really enjoy it and said
that they would read it. We didn't get a return appointment but they
said we could come by sometime next week. The next person that we
found was we were biking getting ready to head to lunch and we stopped
to talk to this really cool guy was pretty open to learning about it
anything. We also gave him a book of Mormon and he said he would be
interested in learning about it. We then went to go see one of our
investigators named Jay. With the bike Superfarm super fast but we
made it on time to his house. We talked about going through trials and
out it's a test of faith. We then show the Mormon message the refiners
fire and he really enjoyed it. We then later talked about the gift of
the Holy Ghost and baptism and how the Holy (Ghost would be able to
help us every day when we receive that gift. It was a really good
lesson. When we are getting ready to leave he said a baptism date for
August 15. He has some work to do and some concerns to resolve, but we
know that he can make it. We then went to our dinner and talk to one
of our recent converts about the priesthood. he has lost some of his
fire since his baptism, and is trying to become worthy and work
towards the temple. We are working with the elders quorum president to
help him receive the Melchizedek Priesthood by the end of the year.
And then the last lesson that we talked was when we are getting ready
to bike home yes we found this kid and he was kind of nervous to come
up and talk with us because he thought that we were atheist. But once
he knew that we were Christians, he really opened up to us. We gave
them a book of Mormon after talking with him for about 30 minutes
about some of the miracles that have happened in his life and we also
gave him the restoration pamphlet and talk to him about the miracle of
Joseph Smith briefly. He seemed pretty interested and we are going to
try back later this week. So me and Elder Argyle had the best exchange

On Saturday we were able to help out with the Arlington Fourth of July
parade. We have to volunteer in direct some of the traffic so that the
parade will run smoothly. Me and Elder Argyle were in charge of
handling one of the I guy pic to me and him up and
went to an intersection before he went to the intersection he stopped
by the volunteer booth to grab some water and other things. And then
we complemented his shirt and he asked if we wanted a free shirt and
we said of course. Who doesn't want a free shirt? So after we got the
free shirt we went to go man our intersection. Man, there are some
really rude people that really want their own way. Our job is to make
sure that nobody went down one road and we directed him to go down any
of the other roads except for behind us. Some people did not want to
listen to us and wanted to go down the road, but we were not allowed
to let them go down. But we did learn that if your married to a
fireman, you can go and do whatever you want and the rules don't
matter. We are almost got ran over by two women who thought they can
do whatever they want! Don't worry I'm still alive. It ended up being
a really fun day and it was nice to work behind e scenes of the
Parade. Outside for roughly 6 hours on Saturday, and I definitely got
some sun.

Much sums up our week. This is a really long email because I found out
that you can talk into the iPad about your week and it has been a
blessing to speak my week instead of typing on the iPad. Ha ha ha!
Gotta love Siri! I hope that all y'all had a great Fourth of July
weekend. If there's any words that don't seem to make sense, or mixed
up, or if there's any punctuation errors, it's because the iPad did
not get it right when I was speaking into it. And I'm too lazy to go
back and check. Sorry! I also heard about President Boyd K. Packer
passing away. I thought that was super shocking and really sad. On the
bottom I'll attach a picture that I found avoid Kay. Packer and L. Tom
Perry on hope y'all have a great week and I will talk to you
next week. Love y'all!.

Elder O'Brien

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015

"3 Weeks"

Hey Y'all!

So this week we had a lot of good things happen, and we also had some things not go our way. But that happens every week. But this week I was determined to find some new investigators for this area. So we went on an exchange with our district leader and I was staying in my area. And I told him that we were going to work our butts off to find a new investigator today. So we went out to the farthest part of our area and we started walking about and knocking some doors here and there. We were able to talk to 3 people about the gospel and were able to set up appointments with them for this weekend and next! One of those people was named Tyler and he is a pretty cool kid. He doesn't know if there is a God or not and is willing to learn. We set up an appointment for this week. He wasn't there, but we are going to give him another try because that was they day that we contacted him. Then we knocked on a door and talked with this lady and she wasn't interested. But she told us to try the lady across the street. Turns out that she was interested and told us to come by this upcoming friday because she was going out of town the next day. So we are excited for that!

We were also able to go on splits with our bishop and another member this week. We went by and saw a member that has had a pretty rough couple years. He still has a testimony of the Gospel, but has a hard time getting motivated to come to church. The member that came with me to go see him bore a super strong testimony about going to church and gave a short story about how he had a hard time in his life too. The spirit was really strong. We tried to commit him to come to church, but said that he wouldn't make any promises. He didn't come, but hopefully we can get him to come soon.

We were also able to see a family that is coming back to church and also had their daughter get baptized right before I got here. But we had a really good conversation about church and also about the Melchizedek Priesthood. The husband Ky really wants to get it because they really want to go to the Temple together and get sealed. We read part of D&C 84 with him and said that he felt ready to get it. His only hold up is his work schedule. He works 7 days on and 2 days off. So he only makes it to church like once a month. Other than that, he is ready to go to get to the Temple.

Well this weekend is the 4th of July. It might not be as eventful as last years because I'm not in the Tongan wards. Haha! Last year was great spending time with the members at a BBQ. We don't know quite yet what we are going to be doing this weekend. But I'm sure something will come up that we could do. Elder Wade has been doing better. He still struggles getting out the door but he is definitely making progress. We are also hoping to set a baptism date this week for August with one of our investigators, Jay. We texted him this past week and he has been finding time to read and pray throughout the week. He said that he is more interested now than he ever has been before. So I know that if we set a date with him that it will help him to progress even more. So we are excited for that. This past week we also had zone conference and it was probably one of the best ones on my mission. I really enjoyed it! I totally forgot to send this email too. Haha! Hope y'all have a great week! Love y'all!

Elder O'Brien