Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014


First off sorry about yesterday, it was a national holiday so the library was closed for the day. But it's open today. Tomorrow is transfers and I'll be here for 6 more weeks partying with the Tongans! Yeah buddy!!! Super excited about that. Elder Fifita will be staying too. However, even with the announcement about the Sisters losing cars, we did not receive a car. We were pretty bummed about that, but we got over it really quick. But this week was pretty awesome!

We started off by having a lesson with our Ward Mission Leaders brother. We also brought over a member who used to be the bishop in the ward. We had planned to talk about the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ with him, but we ended up only talking about Faith and why it's important. The other member we brought with us ended up talking about Faith in his own way from what we were explaining it and it took like 25 minutes of the time. By then it was already 8:30 and we were a good 15 minute drive from our house and there was a guarantee stop at McDonalds on the way back too. So we ended up having to close and save it for next Monday, which was yesterday. But they canceled on us because they were doing something together as a family for the holiday.

This week we were also able to pick up a new investigator in our apartment complex. He has been taught by missionaries before in the past and hasn't really progressed. We stopped by last Sunday night to meet him and we set up a breakfast with him and his family. His wife is Samoan and is a member and her mom lives with them too. Typical Tongan home. But we brought a member with us, Joe, who usually comes out with us every week, and we found out that they are related down the line. But we had a good meal with them and talked about the Book of Mormon. It went really good and you could tell that he was interested again. We are actually seeing him today after we go have some lunch at Ana's. I think I've already told y'all this but Ana's is a Hawaiian food Grill that is bomb! She makes the best poly food and it's SUPER filling too. Like if I could only have 1 meal a day for the rest of my life, I would make sure I eat there because I know I'll be full for the rest of the day. Haha! It's awesome!

Yesterday, we were able to play an extra 2 hours of basketball due to the holiday. We also played volleyball too. My arm is really sore from all the spiking that I did on everyone there. Man, I had to ice last night. Haha! I didn't really but I probably should've. I'm hurting today. That's really all that happened this week. Kind of a slow week but we were able to fight through it. Love you guys so much and have a fantastic week!


Elder O'Brien

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014


Man, what a week! It started off with a bang with Zone Conference on Tuesday! When we showed up to the church building, I saw Elder Jacobson and McMurrey. They came out with me. I got to talk with both of the for awhile. Then once the meeting started, man! President just threw down what we had to do to accomplish our goals and to help people progress to baptism. He compared our mission focus and our purpose with a golf swing and how we need to make our mission focus 'muscle memory'. Just like the golf swing. When we do that, it will make it so much easier to accomplish our purpose, to hit the golf ball, or help people come unto Christ. It's just so true too! He also talked about how we need to remember why we are out here and what our purpose is. It was the best Zone Conference on my mission by far! I loved it! But I think the announcement that me and Elder Fifita loved was simply this, "Sisters, prepare to bike." It was like music to our ears! Why? Because now our chance of getting a car went way up! President said that the areas that would be bike areas for Elders are most like going to be bike area's for Sisters now too. We hope one of those cars comes our way!

So on Wednesday, we went our on exchange with the 2nd ward mission leader. We knocked on a few doors and didn't have too much success, but if y'all remember my email a couple weeks ago how we knocked on the last door and we were excited to teach a lesson and it didn't happen? Well that happened this week!! We had 1 name left with him and we went to knock on the door and it was a members home. The member is married to a non-member and has 3 daughters. 2 of them are married and are members of the church. Her youngest daughter isn't married and lives with them and is not a member. So we walked in and got to know her a little bit better. She is Methodist and is pretty strong in her church. But she said we could share a message about the Restoration with her. At first, she had a ton of walls built up and it was hard to teach. But we did our best not to get frustrated and to teach with love and by the Spirit. And let me tell y'all, that works so much better than just doing it by yourselves. We talked a lot about the Priesthood and she had some great questions about it too. But she really enjoyed it! Her older sister was there who just got baptized last year and helped us teach too. She was really enjoying teaching her too and you could tell. We set up a time to come by tonight and have a family home evening. We are really excited. She could become a really great member!

This week we made a goal to not take money from Tongans this week. Whether its on the road or for dinner. We are trying to get into members houses to start teaching them how to do missionary work and help them to find people to teach. So we made that goal on Thursday and that night, our dinner tried to give us money and we told them to save it for next time. She ended up throwing the money at us and we still didn't take it. She sent her daughter to go pick up the money and we told her she can make some food and bring it over that night. It was funny because after like 5 minutes of trying to tell her to keep the money, I was just going to say fine. But Fifita just kept saying no. They listen to Tongans, but for us white people, man, we have no say. Ha! I'm surprised she agreed to make food and bring it over.  But that was pretty funny.

So along with the meals. We told 2nd ward bishop in ward council to make an announcement to not give us money, but to make food for us in their homes. And at the end of us telling him that, I said, "Man I'm sick of Chinese Buffets!" Everyone started laughing. And then, when Bishop was making the announcement over the4 pulpit, he said, that O'Brien was sick of Chinese food and wants some home cooked food. I've never heard a congregation laugh that hard in my life. Haha. Because Chinese Buffets are  like heaven for the Tongans. Haha!

Other than that, it was just another week with talking to Less-Active people and trying to get them to church. The transfer is coming to and end and also single digits is going to and this week as well. 10 months on Saturday! Holy cow! I can't believe it! My year mark is right around the corner and there's no stopping it from coming. Man, the work is awesome and I'm loving it our here! I love you guys! Thank you for emailing me this week and have a blessed week!

Elder O'Brien

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014


Well it was great to call home on Mothers day! It was awesome to talk to my family! I love you guys so much! Thanks for all the support!!

Speaking of Mothers day though, I will never forget this day at church. So everyone remembers the last week of school right? Where everyone is just there because they have to be and just to get credit for going to class? Well picture that week, at church yesterday. Every class we walked into that day had a lesson planned, but because it was a holiday, they decided not to teach and just talk and play games all day. Haha! We were like what the heck is going on! It was kinda funny though! Especially in 2nd ward. We split up with the young men. Elder Fifita went with the teachers and deacons and I went with the Priests. Elder Fifita's class had a great lesson, while we had a great discussion about the NFL Draft and what team had the best pick. Haha! My well was for sure filled yesterday. Haha!

So this week was a little different that usual. We spent an extra 9 hours in our apartment this week trying to organize our Area book with all the members and the people we are seeing. It was an absolute mess. Our apartment still hasn't recovered from all the papers we got and all the stuff we threw away. It kinda looks a lot like my room back at home, but we won't go there. We still aren't done with it, we are going to take one more day and try to just get it done! It's already nice though because we got everything split up into groups so it's easier to plan around appointments that we have. 

This week we were able to talk to a former. We taught her a couple weeks ago with a member and we were able to teach her this week too. We brought her a Samoan Book of Mormon because she reads and understands better in Samoan. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and we really focused on the Spirit world because her husband passed not too long ago. She really loved what we were talking about and she agreed with it all too. We gave her the pamphlet to read and also a Chapter too. She tried to give us food, but we had dinner in an hour. We probably wouldn't of taken it anyway because our apartment is already too full of food. 

We were able to go see our ward mission leaders brother again on Monday. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it went really good. We only made it to our life on earth and we ran out of time. They seemed to follow the lesson really good and they had some interesting questions. Some went with the lesson and others were just crazy questions about the church that had nothing to do with what we were talking about. We were both kinda frustrated about the questions, but we were pretty happy that they like the lesson. Bro Uhatafe bore his testimony and also his wife too. They were both converts and the Spirit was really strong! All should go well tonight!

We also got into a interesting bash this week. We were talking to this guy who lives in our apartment complex at the park across from our apartment. We were sitting on the bench and we were talking about the Restoration. Once we got to talking about Joseph Smith and the first vision, he started arguing with us and trying to throw crazy doctrine stuff at us. But...I wouldn't know because that bench was really comfortable and we walked a lot on Saturday...So I may have dosed off for a could minutes. But once I woke up, I knew what was going on. He wants to learn more so we'll see how the next lesson goes.

Elder Fifita got his 'trunky call this week. Which means that the mission office called and asked for all his information and to ask which airport he will be flying into in August. He forgot about that call and he was upset when they called. Haha! This was another great week in Texas! It's starting to heat up here and it's really humid today! I love you guys! Thanks for your emails!

Elder O'Brien

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014


What a week is was! It was our best teaching week so far this transfer. On Monday night we went out with our ward mission leader to Hurst to go teach his brother. His brother is married to a half white and black woman and has 2 kids. We had a great lesson with them and we invited them to be baptized. He said we would if it were true, but she was kinda hesitant. She has grown up Baptist and likes her ways, but is open to learn more about the LDS Church. 

Man, we had a great lesson with a Less Active kid though this week. We were supposed to teach him on Thursday at Kafoa's, but it took to long to get 4 boxes of pizza for 3 people. Haha! So we came back on the next day and shared a message. He wants to go on a mission, but he has to change some stuff up first before he can go. So we set up a game plan for him to read, pray and go to church certain amounts of days of the week. Church is obviously 1, and he said he can read 7 days a week and pray twice a day. We told him to start that night. So on Sunday, we expected him at church so he can make that goal. But...he was a no show. We were pretty bummed out and now we don't think he is doing the other stuff. So hopefully he is at least reading or praying or doing both. 

We were also able to teach a former investigator this week. Her husband was a catholic pastor and died a couple years ago. She said that she just wants to stay catholic because she doesn't want to go to against her husband. So we taught her the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation and told her where her husband was and what he was doing. She seemed to like it and she invited us back to share more with her. It was a great lesson. We had a member there and if you have read some of my past emails, a lot of Tongans look for opportunities to eat. So after that lesson, there was a member doing a BBQ right down the road and that was our next stop. Haha! It was actually really good chicken though! I would say some of the best that I've had since I've been here.

So quick story. So on Friday we had a really slow day besides teaching Holo. We had 3 appointments cancel and we were running out of people to go visit. So it was 8:30 and there was one potential investigator left on our planner to go visit. We were walking over there and I was thinking to my selft, "This is going to be just like all the other missionary stories! When they knocked on the last house on the street and they answered and they wanted to get baptized." So I shared that thought with my companion and we were both pumped to knock on this door! So we walk up to the door, we knock 6 times all excited and we see the guy look at the door and start walking.....towards the back. And then the house went dark. Haha! We were like NO!!! Haha so maybe next time it'll be a knock. We thought it was kinda funny though.

On Sunday we had correlation with 2nd ward and Bishop is really excited about missionary work. We set up a plan to start visiting families and asking for referrals. He wants us to call him and tell him what families we have seen and what families aren't doing anything. He really wants to get the ward excited! 3rd ward is still struggling on getting motivated. We are trying to come up with new ideas to get the ward excited. Our Ward Mission Leader is the only one who is really doing anything. So pray of us. Haha!

Other than that, it's was a great week! Every night this week has appointments and we are going to be running around everywhere! We are really excited! Me and Elder Fifita are doing great! I've learned a little bit how to play the Uke and also how to solve a Rubiks cube! Pretty stoked about that! Love you guys so much! Have a blessed week!

Elder O'Brien