Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

"Transfers?  Killeen it is!!"

Howdy Yall!!!!
Yes the subject is right! We got our calls this morning and I will be in Killeen for another 6 weeks!! Elder Vaoga is going up to Arlington and it was a bitter sweet moment for him. My new companion will be Elder Hyde. I don't know anything about him and neither do any of the missionaries in our District. So this will be a new adventure for me. Me and Vaoga are going to be visiting almost all our investigators tonight and tomorrow so he can say good bye. I don't think we are going to make it to all of them though.
This past week was really slow for us. We really focused on visiting a lot of the Less Active families this week. We were able to go to the farthest part of our area which is 45 minutes away from our appartment. Getting there is all down hill, so going back takes a little bit longer. We had a dinner out there with a member and we thought it would be a great idea to ride our bikes down and to see a couple families down there. After dinner, we went to those houses and they weren't home. We then tracted a street and still couldn't find any luck. So it was a long bike ride home.
Thursday was an awesome day for us though! After planning, we went off for our day and stopped at the Maunakea's house. They are less active and are in their upper 80's. They are from Hawaii and were brought out to Texas because of the Military. Brother Maunakea is awesome! He showed us his instruments and he has like 10 guitars and 10 ukulele's  (however you spell that.) After we taught them a short lesson, he gave each of us one of them and he taught us how to play a short song! It was sweet! I am still working on how to say the words because they are in Hawaiian.
We were also able to visit a Recent Convert family that are doing great. They are the Gaballos and they are also from Hawaii. Brother Gaballo was a Roman Catholic before he became a member in May. Last week, he was ordained and Elder in the Elders quorum. That was really cool to see that happen. He is so funny because he loves joking around and being social. He has 3 kids and is a single dad.
One last family that I we visited this week was the Garcia family. Brother Garcia reminds me so much about my dad and Casey. He grew up Mormon and he got in trouble by his parents a lot for doing a lot of things around the house that he shouldn't have done. Haha! His wife was Roman Catholic though for the longest time. He never really went to church though and then this past year, his daughter and his wife were able to make the decision to be baptized this year. They are an awesome family and are really strong in the church.
So the reason why we have been visiting Less Active and some Recent Converts is because the Stake here has more Less Actives than actives. Which is really sad. Our ward came up with this idea that in a couple weeks, we are going to get the whole ward together on a Saturday morning and get into groups of 4-5 and go to their houses and talk with them, check and see how they are doing, and also invite them back to church. I thought that that's a great idea for not only that, but getting the members more involved with missionary work. So me and Vaoga have been visiting them to not only know who they are, but to also know where they live to help out the ward as well.
So this week was mainly focused on those people. Our baptism dates are still all good to go. Ken is in Floriday until the beginning of December so we are going to keep in touch with him while he is gone. Keva has been gone all week and Yvonne hasn't been answering her door lately....But that doesn't mean we are going to stop going over there!! I hope yall have a fantastic week! Thanks for the emails and I will look forward to next week!!
Elder O'Brien

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

"Work Work Work"

Hey Ya'll!!!
I hope ya'll had a great week last week! Cause we sure did! Haha! Our past couple weeks have been a little shakey. Our numbers have been down and the Zone Leaders noticed that, so they told us to work harder this week. We biked more miles this week then we every had before. Because we did that, we were blessed! We were able to find 5 new investigators this week and we were able to set 3 baptism dates as well!!
The first person that we were able to set a date with is Yvonne Shabazz. Yvonne was a referral from another area to go visit just whenever we could. So the next day we visited her. She is a single mom with 3 kids and lives in the ghetto. We showed up to her house thinking that this lesson would be very interesting, and it was. The Spirit was so strong in the house and she was just so excited to see us. We were able to teach her lesson one. She realy like how we talked about prophets and how there is a reason why there are a lot of churches around the world because of the Apostasy. We extended that baptism invitation and she accepted baptism for November 16! She was really happy and excited and we were pretty happy as well. That was in the morning.
In the afternoon on the same day, Thursday, we were able to talk to Ken Kurt Patrick. Ken was having an okay week and was really happy to see us when we stopped by. We were able to talk to him and also show him a couple mormon messages. One of them was called the Road to Damascus. He really liked that one because he was expecting a answer like Saul got from God. We talked with him again that it is the good feelings that you get. The are mentioned in Galatians 4 I think, fruits of the Spirt. After that, Elder Vaoga invited him to be baptized again, and we got a date this time. But it is kinda far out, December 21. He is going to be in Florida for a month with his son. We are going to pray really hard for him to stay interested while he is gone. But yes we were able to set 2 baptism dates in one day!!
The third one was when we were on exchanges. Her name is Keva Scott and before, she said she wasn't ready for baptism just yet. This time, me and the other Elder, Elder Fitzgerald, went over to her house with a member to help fellowship her. We read out of the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11, and talked about how baptism is important with the Priesthood. We then talked about church and Sister Norgard, the member, bore a her testimony and how she is still learning in the church even though she grew up in it. Once she said that, Keva was releaved because she thought that once we were done teaching her that the learning was over. I was then able to set a date with her for November 16.
This week I was also able to teach the lesson in Sunday School. I needed participation for the lesson to work, so on Saturday, we bought candy for the class. Just keep in mind, yes they are adults. So I asked the first question at the start of the lesson and no one raised their hand. Then I set the bag of candy on the table in front of me, and the hands shot up haha!!
So just quickly I wanted to share with ya'll the question that I got this week talking to this one guy. He was black and just got out of prison. He was really cool and had a hard child life. Hence his decision making put him in jail. But we were sharing the Restoration with him and he stopped us and said he had a question for us. We love questions! This is what he said quote, 'I have read the Bible a lot, but I am still confused. Is Jesus a guy or a girl?'..................I don't know. I thought maybe the saying His Beloved Son wasn't a big enough clue. I guess not. We told him he needs to start reading the Bible again. We have an appointment with him on Wednesday too. Haha!
Well that was about it for this week! It was really successful and we needed it! Thank ya'll for you emails this week! I always look forward to Monday to reading what happened this week! Have a blessed week!!
Love Elder O'Brien

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013

Hey Ya'll!!

Sorry for the 2 day delay. On Monday the library was closed due to it being Columbus day. So I wasn't able to email then. Then on Tuesday, we got to go up to Fort Worth to listen to a member of the Seventy, Elder Pino, speak to us. And we got back too late to email too. So here I am today and let me tell ya'll, I thought it was a pretty stressful past week for us, at least for me. It ended up being a good week though.
Last week we had to help the Senior couple pack up their appartment so they could go back home. I was able to invest a Temporpedic mat for my bed, and it works like a charm. After helping the Smith's move out, we then went to another service for moving our an investigators funiture to a storage unit. They were so not prepared for us to come over because they didn't even have boxes packed yet. So you can imagine the frustration. It took 5 hours to move them out when it really should've take 2. So we were were only able to prosilite for 3 hours that day. So not much success.
The reason why I thought it was going to be stressful is because we planned to go on 2 exchanges this week. I was going to be running the area. I've done this once in the past with a zone leader who was pretty experienced especially with teaching. But the reason why I was stressed was because I was going with 2 brand new missionaries. The first one I went on was the easier one. Even though he was new, he has a strong testimony and he worked off that. So he was prepared. The second one was harder. He wasn't really comfortable teaching yet, and he is shy. Perfect. It was on a Saturday too, so we needed to have a good day today because everyone is now working, army people, and we usually have success on Saturdays. And we did. I was praying really hard for him all day so that he would feel comfortable teaching and we were able to teach 7 lessons that day. I extended the invitation of baptism to 2 people, they accepted, but they don't have a date yet. So we are pretty excited for that. Keva and Kim are the people that are ready.
So the point of the whole story is that I realized how well I know my investigators. No that is not being prideful, but I have been pretty hard on myself thinking that I don't have that confidence to lead lessons and find new investigators. Vaoga has been telling me the whole time I do have that skill and stuff, and it took awhile to realize that I can run an area and be the senior companion too. So some personal revelation I guess you could say.
I was able to give a blessing to one of the recent converts of the ward. He got in a really bad car accident this week and got a pretty nasty concusion. It was weird because as I was giving the blessing, I can remember talking about how this is trial that he can over come. But I can remember just talking about how he can manage stress and work. Also how his boss will understand things and watch out for him too. Once I closed, you could tell just in his eyes that he had answers from his prayers. He told us after that he had been scared to communicate with his boss and he had been stressed about his family and stuff. So that was a really cool experience!!
The Elder Pino conference was awesome!! He talked about how sacred our calling is as a missionary and how we need to realize that we only have to much time to be representatives of not only the Church, but for Jesus Christ as well. He talked about the importance of the Spirit being apart of our lives and part of the lessons that we teach. Without the Spirit, we cannot push the work forward.
Thank you so much for you emails this week!!! Hopefully next week we will have dates for baptisms. October 30th is our transfer day. I really can't say whether I will be staying or not, so we will have to wait and see. I hope everyone has a blessed week! I have to say, I did smile when I heard about my mom getting her first ticket. That just goes to show that bubbles are not made of steal. Can't wait to hear from ya'll next week!
Elder O'Brien

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Well, its almost 9 p.m. and we still haven't gotten a letter from Tyler.   We're thinking the library is closed today, so no letter.   As soon as I get a letter, I'll post it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

"Conference Weekend!"

Hey yall!!!

Sorry for the late email everyone! The power at the Library went off for a long time and we ended up having to come to the church to email. So now you will all be able to hear about this week now!! It was a pretty awesome week! General Conference was great and the work is starting to pick up!

This week we had a pretty rough week when it came to lessons and investigators. We had a lot of canceling going on and we didn't know what to do. One of our investigators, Jenny Stowman, was one of the best lessons this week. We were on exchanges so Vaoga was in another area and I had the Zone Leader with me. We went to Jenny's house to teach her lesson 3, which is Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Jenny is a very Bible based person, but so is everyone else here in Texas. But we have had a lesson every week with her and we have finally gotten to this lesson. She has had questions and problems understanding things in the previous 2 lessons. However, this lesson she had no complaints. She agreed with everything that we said and she was able to read from the Book of Mormon as well. I extended the invitation to be baptized and she said she wasn't ready yet. But she has shown a lot of progression in the past couple week especially.

Ken Kurtpatrick wasn't home all week so we weren't able to talk with him. He said he is planning on moving somewhere else so we are going to have to teach him faster so he will be baptized and not lose interest in the church. The Campos family, who have been awesome, decided to drop us out of no where yesterday. :( We reminded them to come to General Conference this week and they replied very rudely back at us. So it was hard to focus at the start of conference because we were trying to figure out what happened.

We are starting to make progress on reactivating Maddison Morris and another family. Maddison also wants us to teach her boyfriend who is making progress too. But he is 19. So he will have to go to the YSA ward. We haven't brought that up just yet. The other family that I mentioned is the Wray family. They were baptized 3 years ago and then just fell away. We have been able to talk to the husband. He said he had questions about the church and we will happily answer them.

General Conference was amazing this week. I did something that I hadn't done before and that was take notes and come with a question. Because I was able to do these things it made conference so much better. My question was answered and I was able to stay awake for all the sessions! By far my favorite talk was Utchdorf in the 2nd session and in Priesthood. We were able to watch the Saturday sessions at a members house and then we watched conference on Sunday at our Ward Mission Leaders house. IT was an awesome weekend for conference but not for mission work. We only taught 2 lessons this weekend. I was kinda shocked though that no temples were announced but it was still a great session.

That was really all that happened this week. Today for P. Day, another basketball day and I am going on an exchange tonight. So that means I will be running the area tomorrow. I hope you all have a fantastic week and I cant wait next week for all your emails!!!

Elder O'Brien

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 6, 2013

Today while watching General Conference, we got an email from Tylers Ward Mission Leader,  he sent us these pictures...  I had to share them!