Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014


Man this has been one heck of a week. Lets start with that saying goodbye to some of the families was sad on Monday and Tuesday. Especially the basketball boys. That was pretty sad. Man, but we had a member take us out for his birthday on Tuesday for lunch to this Italian place and it was freaking good! It filled me right up too!

But now for Wednesday. So we had to get a ride to transfers and we had to be there around 8:30. Our ride didn't show up until 8:50 so that was awesome. So we get to Hurst and thankfully nobody really cared that we were late, and I find out that we are going to be white washing our area. For those of you that don't know what that is, it's where they take both of the missionaries that are serving in the area and put 2 new ones in that haven't been there before. So none of us know the area and it's like a fresh start to the area. Yeah it's exactly what I didn't want to do because I've heard stories where an area just sucks because the missionaries were lazy and such. And I get to now tell that story to y'all. So me and Elder Smith showed up to the area and the Sisters who serve in the ward with us meet us there. By the way, Elder Smith, cool guy from Santa Clarita, California, has been our for 6 months and is really feminine. So the reason why they had to white wash was because the Elders before us offended the Bishop and also the WML. So we have to do some bridge building and some fixing up the area with the ward. Also, they missionaries were pretty lazy and didn't keep good records, so we have almost nothing to work off of. Just names, some addresses, and almost no descriptions of investigators. And it's only12:30 on Wednesday morning. So you could only imagine my attitude to the area already.

But we just got started to organizing everything. The rest of our first day was spent erasing the white board and making it more organized. We also started fixing up the area book and making somewhat more useful. We were able to put together a game plan for the transfer to start off working with the members first and going from there and I know that was inspired too. That evening we went to visit the first member that popped into our head. They are an awesome family! They have 5 kids and the husband is attending Baylor and working on his PhD. So we asked them if they knew anyone we could visit since it was our first day. They gave us 4 people to go visit that night! Holy cow such a huge blessing! 

So on Saturday we decided to go see one of 2 of the people that they gave us. One of them was an older lady and she was really nice. She is Catholic and said she liked her church but was willing to listen. We were able to share something short with her about the Atonement and she started asking questions about not only that but also about the church. We ended up giving her a Book of Mormon and told us that we could stop by this week. We then after talking with her went to the members that told us to stop by her about the short lesson that we just had and they were pretty excited about it. They actually went over and talked to her about it on Sunday and said that she really enjoyed it. So we got some potential there. The other person we contacted was looking for a church and she said that we could stop by this upcoming weekend to share a message with her. So we are really excited about those 2 referrals. We are still trying to contact the other 2.

So the last thing I wanted to talk about was Sunday. We had ward council so this was a pretty big meeting for us to start building that trust back with the ward. It went really good. We didn't have much to report on because we didn't do too much this week. But we had a member of the Bishopric come up to us after and was so happy that we were here and told us he has a friend that he wants us to start teaching. So that really helped us out. We had a pretty warm welcome from the ward too during church. It should be a good ward.

So I had a really bad attitude about the area the first couple days, but it's started to show some good signs in the area. Our ward mission leader is pretty excited to have us serving here as well. I'll hopefully be able to manage with Elder Smith. He's a hard worker which is good. I won't have to pull him out the door. We got some contacting stuff we are going to work on with him though. Hopefully I'll have more stuff to talk about investigator wise next week though! Thanks for all you emails!

Elder O'Brien

p.s. I keep spitting out Tongan words with Elder Smith and even to some of the members at dinner. It's really embarrassing and they look at me funny too. Haha! 

We also got this today from a member from the Euless area....

Hahahahahahaha Elder O'Brien, 

You've definitely been missed out here in the Euless area. We were all pretty sad about it but we know the Lord has sent you to that new area to spread the same great attitude you had here with the people out there. Don't be embarrassed about the new language you've learned out here, hopefully it will help you break the ice with some new investigators and if not, you can always try out the haka with them. I'm glad you enjoyed the Italian food. 

Keep up the great attitude because it can only help better the new environment out there for you and your new companion. I shared this little poem with our youth boys and one of them had actually read it for his missionary farewell. I wanted to share it with you as well, because everytime you read it, it will help you at even the toughest times on your mission. God speed elder. Ofa lahi atu to you and your new companion. With love from the Euless 3rd ward and our Young Men
Isi Fiefia

Have you ever had a hard day? How about a hard week or a hard month? Have you ever felt like just giving up? I know there has been many times on my mission when it feels like there is nothing more I could do. It has felt like everything was coming against me, like no matter what I did nothing got accomplished. It sure can be difficult when one never sees the benefits to their hard work; especially if you are trying to go about the work of the Lord. A missionary that I was companions with read this poem to me and it has stayed with me ever since.
The Alarm bell rings at 6:30, I stumble to my feet  I grab my companions bedding and pull off his sheets
A groan fills the room, is it already time to rise?  It seems like just a second ago I was able to shut my eyes.
The morning activities follow- study, prayer and such
When it’s time to leave the apartment, you feel you haven’t accomplished much
“We have a super day planned,”
My comp. says with a grin
I lowly utter a faithless breath,
“Yeah, if anyone lets us in.”
With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, we ride off in the street Prepared to face another day of humidity and heat
It’s 9:30 in the evening, the day is almost through
My champion and I are riding home not accomplishing what we thought to do
We ride up to the mailbox, hoping to receive a lot
Only to look inside and hear my echo reverberate “air Box”
We go up to our apartment, the day is now complete
The only thing to show for our work is a case of blistery feet
It’s past 10:30 p.m. My companion is fast asleep,
Silence engulfs me all about and I begin to weep
In the midst of sadness, I kneel down to pray
I need to talk to father, but I’m not sure what to say
“Oh, Father” I begin, “What happened to us today?
I thought we’d teach somebody, but everyone was away
My hands, my aching hands- worn, hurt and beat;
If our area was any smaller, we’d have knocked every street”
“Why on missions are the days so much alike?
The only difference about today was the flat tire on my bike
Will you send some cooler weather? The heat is killing me
I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes, it’s very hard to see”
“Why do I have to wear a helmet, isn’t your protection enough?
People always laugh at me, and call me stupid stuff
Please send us investigators so I may give them what they lack
I want to give them Books of Mormon, the weight of them hurts my back”
“And what about my family: They don’t have much to say
I’m sick of not hearing from home day after day after day
Oh Father, Why am I here am I just wasting time?
Sometimes I just want to go home, I’m sorry but that’s on my mind”
“My companion, Heavenly Father, what are you giving me?”
The way he rides his bicycle, I don’t think he can see
Now you have it, I can’t go on, I don’t know what to do
That, my Father in Heaven, is the prayer I have for you”
My prayer now finished, I stand up, then jump right into bed
I need my rest for tomorrow, we have another long day ahead
Sleep start to overtake me, I seem to drift away
Then it seems a vision takes me to another time in another day
I’m standing alone on the hill. The view is very nice
A man walks to wards me and says, “My name is Jesus Christ”
Tears of joy well up inside, I fall down to His feet
“Arise,” He states, “Follow me to the shade. You and I need to speak”
My attention’s towards my Savior, total and complete
He says, “Your mission is similar of what happened to me
I understand how you feel, I know what you’re going through
In fact, it would be fair to say I’ve felt the same as you”
“I even know how you felt when no one listened to you
At times I felt not quite sure what else I could do
I know you don’t like to ride a bicycle, for you a car would be sweet
Just remember the donkey I rode wasn’t equipped with 21 speeds”
“I understand you don’t like sweating, in fact it’s something you hate
I remember when I sweat blood from ev’ry pore, oh the agony was great!
I see you don’t like your companion- you’d rather have someone else-
I once had a companion named Judas who sold my life for wealth”
“It’s hard to wear a helmet and have people make fun of you
I remember when they put thorns on my head and called me King of the Jews
So you feel burdened down by the weight of your pack
I recall how heavy the cross was when they slammed it on my back”
“Your hands hurt from tracting and knocking on doors all day
I guess when they pounded nails into mine, I ached in a similar way
It’s hard not to hear from home when your family’s not there to see
I lost communication on the cross and cried, “Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
“We have a lot in common, but there’s a difference between us you see
I endured to the end and finished my mission, so follow and do like me”
He embraced me with His arms and His light filled me with His love
With tears in my eyes I watched as He went back to the Father above
I stood with awe and wonder when a beep rang in my head
I listened and heard the alarm, then realized I was in my bed
My companion let out a groan, “6:30 already, no way!”
I sat up and said, “Come on, I’ll even carry your scriptures today!”
No matter what we go through,
when we feel we can’t take more
Just stop and think about Jesus Christ,
He’s been there before
By Elder Troy Whittle
Texas Houston Mission
Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He has felt our pains, our struggles, and our challenges. Our lives are sometimes not easy, but neither was His. Let us remember that we are never alone. Someone knows exactly what we are going through, someone who wants us to finish our journey strong just as he finished His. I know that he is there for each and everyone of us. Let us put our trust in Him and move forward!

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