Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Monday April 21, 2014 - INCREDIBLE chalk drawing photos to say the very least!

This week was great, we had alot of changes for me at least this week.

For the past few weeks there has been alot of contention between me and my companion and general conference a few weeks back shed some light on why that is and then this past week I was able to more fully understand it. I have been studying alot about Pride and first studied what is pride and by understanding all the forms in which pride is, it helped me understand alot more how to strip it, which leads me to part 2 of my study which was ways to strip pride, and alot of the things specifically for me were to turn outwards and think of others. Since I was a child I used to fight for attention and I am learning on how to not fight about attention and to allow the attention to be on other people. One great way to strip pride is to ask others on how you can improve, and then take their advice, or when correction comes to thank them for it.Along with Pride I also studied a talk called who the Lord Loveth, he rebukes and chastens, and this talk really spoke to me and put alot of things into perspective. One of these things is that especially as a missionary I am to be chastened all the time, that is how I will become what the Lord intends me to be, If we endure chastening we can be molded and shaped just like a currant bush and as we are cut down we are made into the currant bush which allows us to bear fruit and become what we need to become. We are the bushes in the garden of life and Christ is the Gardener he is there to shape us and help us be what we are to become. Some of us might be small shrubs but if you heed the chastening and obey it, we will be changed for the better. I learnt that the Lord chastens those he loves and if we don't endure chastening we can not change. The meek and humble accept the opportunity to change to become better, but the learned take the truth to be hard and don't want to change. I know I have to change. Then my last focus was becoming a consecrated missionary and it focused on laying everything on the Altar, laying our fears, our disobedience, our romantic thoughts, our pride and even our negativity and sarcasm on the Altar of sacrifice. I never knew how damaging sarcasm and negativity even as joking could be but I  have come to realise just how much Satan uses that to cause us to deter others. I pray that none of you fall into his traps, he wants all of us to perish and be cast out just like him and Christ wants us to prosper. You get to choose your path, make sure you choose the right one.

This past week here in Dublin has been entertaining, On Wednesday we went on a hop on tour around Dublin, I got to see many cool things. My favourite was St. Stephen's Green, just because of how beautiful it was. I am so greatful to be apart of this beautiful work and to be encompassed around by such beauty and to truly see the things God had created and see the miraculous beauty that comes from it. 

On Monday we had a few hours for Emailing and cleaning. Since it was moves week, P-day was on the Wednesday. For morning exercise some mornings me and Elder McCarthy wrestle, he always wins but it is a good exercise. We were able to get alot done.

On Tuesday, we all were able to participate in a community garden and do some planting of strawberries which was a nice thing. There were lots of people and just like Ammon we serve the people and that is how we help them. We began to organize our idea for doing street chalking the Plan of Salvation in city Center. and we went over to a members house for dinner again. We were given the car for 2days which was nice to be more convenient to get to places.Tuesday night we had one of the other elders in our flat with us and then Wednesday morning we dropped him off at the bus station.

On Wednesday, I learnt a valuable lesson on Obedience as well. Also we have been looking for a family of 5 that was my companion's goal, and we found a family that we are now working with She is from Croatioa, wants faith in Christ again and her husband is Atheist so this will be fun. She is very interested and is prepared.

On Thursday, based on travel difficulties, we had another missionary with us for the day, This was a good and effective day. We then needed to wait for his companion in the evening and it being the day before good friday, the traffic was atrocious.

On Saturday we did a big Plan of salvation Chalking event in City Centre in Dublin, it was beautiful out and it was great to have something the YSA could help out with. We generated alot of buzz and were able to recieve a large amount of referrals. It was from 11-2 and was a very fun finding activity which beats chapping doors for three hours. We then taught two good lessons and we finally recieved spanish Books of Mormon so now our investigators can understand :) It's crazy how many Venezuelans and Brazilians are here in Dublin now. This week was a very good week. The bishpop and his family are from Sweden so we had a festive Sweden Easter meal which was very enjoyable.

We have a few people progressing which is nice to see and Today we are going to Dublin Zoo. I hope everyone has a great time and remember always that in times of need Christ has suffered all that we could and will suffer so he can always help us through all things. Accept him in your life and follow him and you will recieve Peace and happiness in this life and the life to come. 

Love you all.

- Elder James Reece

Monday, 14 April 2014

Monday April 14, 2014 - Seeing an original book of Mormon and progressing the challenging work along!

Good morning everyone,
Last night was my first moves call. Me and Elder McCarthy are staying together which means he will finish training me and I will be his last companion since he goes home May 21st. This week has been full of excitement. One of the coolest things I have done is see the Book of Mormon at Trinity college. It was so cool, attached will be some pictures of an original Book of Mormon.

So like you all know, On Monday we went to Trinity College as a group to see an original book of mormon. As well as we recieved Elder Starr for a week. He is now going to be a district leader in Morningside in Edinburgh, so I am excited for him. As well as one of my other friends Elder Butler is going District Leader as well. That day was so fun.

 On Tuesday, we talked alot about unity in companionships in our district meeting and my district and I had a pot luck meal afterwards. After that I got to be apart of my first ward council and with an elder from the other group I got to teach a solid recent convert with him and share my insights which was nice. We were heading home and because Elder Starr was new he didn't know where to stop and we ran into an investigator we were wondering about and invited her to meet with us but she didn't come. :(

On Wednesday, I was on an exchange with my district leader, and this day was awesome. We met with a sister who is very intrigued and interesting with missionary work and wants to know how to get involved. She is also part of a part member family so that was awesome, and then we went to Port Marnock to do some service for a lady. We got to cut down some tree branches and clean up and then she fed us and tried to pay us. We declined and she thanked us and she said if she knows of anyone that needs anything she would refer us to them, then right as we were leaving I felt prompted to talk to her about family history and she seemed excited and interested. Afterwards we came home and went to a former I had found in the phone and was able to meet her, she is super solid and excited about the gospel. We will see what comes of it. However because when we were coming back to the train station, we had stopped to contact people we didn't get to the station on time and just missed the train, so we decided to tract. We knocked on two doors and the second door we knocked was super interested, and even told us we are always welcome at her home. It was a great day overall. 

 On thursday the stake patriarch asked us to be at a place with him since he wasmentioning the church in his talk in case people had any questions, unfortunately it wasn't as fruitful as we thought it would be but we invited a few people

 On Friday, Was interesting day. We went to the church to teach an investigator he was walking around on tuesday and the sisters invited him in he was walking by and wanted to go in but didn't know how, then we were able to talk with him it was really cool he had been being prepared his whole life and he recognized some of it. Then we had another former to go by, Oh my gosh, she tried tearing us apart, it was an interesting experience. However one of our members suffers from Depression and they told us not to come by because they weren't doing well, but we felt like they needed us and as we were prompted to go , he then told us as we got to his house that as he knelt down to pray and right as he was asking for guidance we knocked on his door as he said Amen. So being missionaries we went anyway and we were there for him when he needed us most.

 On Saturday it was a great day, one of our progressing investigators had us over but two of her friends were there and joined in as well, we were able to establish our expectations and hers as well and, one of the friends might be interested to learn as well. Later on we were having dinner at a members home and we got there early so me and their son went out tracting, in 20 minutes we got a return appointment from one and then 2 houses later the lady let us in to teach her. Then we taught an investigator at the church he didn't speak much english but he said the church had good energy,

 On Sunday we finally had investigators attend church, it was awesome we had three of them attend. It is nice to see the work hastening. We then were visiting in Raheny and we said a prayer before going tracting and got lead to a lady who was open to hearing from us and we will go back for a return appointment. I am glad me and my companion are doing better together and there is more unity with us now.I know that there is lots to come.

 My focus this week in my studies is understanding Pride. I am studying what it is, how to strip it off and how to be humble and submissive to my leaders. I have found several scriptures that just show me exactly what I need to see. Trust in the Lord and everything will work out.

As we draw closer to God through reading scriptures and prayer, he draws unto us as well so we can resist stronger.

I love you all. Enjoy the photos hopefully

 - Elder James Reece

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Monday April 7, 2014

As I write to you today, a message from general conference comes to mind. As I write I was told to write home explaining what my studies are and have been on. So because this is the focus I will start off with that. So this past week I have been focused alot on change and changing things about me. You know what I am talking about, my social mishaps that I do. Well I have began to hearken more to the words of my Trainer and ask more for advice, that is hard for me because asking for help takes alot of trust and humility and I am just starting to be okay with asking for help. Alot of interesting thoughts and things came from conference, My favourite talk was Elder Bednar and President Monson. Elder Bednar talked about a truck and how it got stuck in deep snow, and after the guy tried he couldn't get out of the snow so he went to work, and then eventually made it through the snow, and back to safety and it truly made me think. The truck become stuck when the load it was carrying was too light. It didn't allow for him to go anywhere until the load was heavier, and for me especially at the beginning of my mission, as I am in right now I feel like that and have had struggles, but this talk just helped me so much. It tells us that we need heavy loads at times to advance in our journey and it showed me that the things that are most difficult will give us that traction needed to continue on our path and to grow. Sometimes we need a heavier load and as it tries us, and is difficult that load is needed to advance. In my early months of my mission I am getting alot of correction for alot of things, plus learning all the things necessary to teach, to study, and to be. But these heavy loads are going to shape me and mold me to become the missionary and the servant of the Lord I am to become. I also loved President Thomas S. Monson's talk about Love, and it showed me more of how I need to approach all things. One other talk that really helped me was the one of the lady who jumped from the truck and her husband wondered why she did, and made me think of taking into account other's point of views in situations when they arise. And alot of the past few weeks I've been getting upset when I have been corrected or situations arise and I don't think of why they may be telling me these things but focus more on thinking they are breaking me down. But one thing that is said by Joseph Smith was, Sometimes the Lord brings us Low, so he can bring us up.

Well now onto the week, the week was interesting, surprisingly almost every appointment cancelled on us. It was a little disappointing but we stayed positive each time. As we work with the members, the finding is slow but we are gaining the trust and working well to help them. The members here are lovely, I love them all and I love all of you. like I said last week on Monday I went to Glendalough with my ward, it was us and Finglas elders and a member named Stephen who went to Glendalough. It is a provincial park, which is absolutely stunning and luscious green as far as the eye can see. It was so beautiful. We saw old buildings and cemetaries. Today we are seeing an original Book of Mormon at Trinity College. That will be a cool experience. so this week went interestingly. I have been quite busy finding and haven't seen great results but won't give up. We went to meet with a lot of members to help strengthen them through Preach My Gospel. I have been given more opportunities to set up appointments and run the phone which is nice. 

I will try to send some photos home. But General conference this weekend was awesome. We have a few finding ideas, we are planning a street chalking to do in city centre and an easter egg hunt type thing. We are striving to be there for all members. One of the ideas a member gave last week was a neighbourhood walk around, and he began it and what it is is the members are to go to their neighbours and ask if they have any service that we can do. We have one bite so far and will be looking for more service opportunities to help the community. It is working well. 




Elder Starr has been serving for 9 months and has served in Cork and just west from Edinburgh.
He is from Arizona, and he is 19 years of age.

Attached hopefully are pictures from Glendalough.