Saturday, 14 June 2014

Monday June 9, 2014 - Baptism!

As always, This week was a great week. And had alot of very interesting and great opportunities.

My studies this week consisted on a few things.

First, I was studying alot about become consecrated, and focused on the Consecrated Missionary talk by Elder Tad R. Callister, it showed me alot about how we put our whole might, mind, heart and strength on the work. It is really difficult. We are told to be a consecrated missionary, we must lay all of our soul on the altar of sacrifice to the Lord. It talks about laying aside Romantic Tendencies, Disobedience, Sarcasm and Negatism as well as our fears. That is so many different things. For myself I have been trying to focus on being more obedient then I already am. I read a few talks on Obedience and a friend back home before I came out told me that "Obedience brings blessings and strict obedience brings Miracles" and I want to be here to have miracles happen in people's lives.
My focus has been on trying to be a consecrated missionary and it shows so many different things.

Second, I was studying in Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel, and New Testament. I was able to study in Jacob and thought it was quite interesting as well as study abit in New Testament in Matthew and just see how much love Christ has for all and compassion and love he shows always. It shows me a great example. 

Unfortunately I can't remember much and not feeling the greatest so not in the mood to write too much or think too much. But this week was good.

This week I have gained a testimony of Fasting and the power that it brings to us. I am greatful for that experience. I fasted that we would have a baptism and our friend we were teaching is leaving to go back home this week, so we went to church last Sunday and he had to be there to be baptized and he wasn't there, howeveer we were able to get special permission to do it this week and throughout the week, our investigator was pondering on baptism and flipped through his Book of Mormon and landed on Mosiah 13:9 which really resinated with him and it said " But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved" and he was baptised yesterday. It was so amazing that the Lord if it be apart of his plan will make everything fall into place to help certain things to happen. This week was aboslutely incredible. I definately saw the Lord's hand in our lives this week with those we found and those we helped out.

On Monday we had a partial P-day and didn't do much because it was a holiday but had a good time hanging out. 

On Tuesday, We had zone development and it was really fun, we had a great day and we were able to grow as a zone. We had a talent show and had alot of fun and played capture the flag while I took a bunch of pictures. It was a lot of fun

On Wednesday we did some family history and I am searching for my great great grandfather in the records and finding some stuff just trying to find which one he is first. More news will be in the future. We then did some city finding and it is very successful, we go to city centre us and a few other teams and just go out and talk to everyone. In the evening it was great we were able to be invited to a member's house for dinner and another member was able to come to it as well and they are returning to activity so it is great to see the relationships with the ward.

On Thursday we did alot of service and it seems that things are going great at the community garden it seems like there are lots of potential investigators there and they all respect us and appreciate our help and ask us questions about our beliefs.We then got to build stronger relationships with other members and do more gardening and see one of our investigators, she is being baptised next sunday so it's really exciting for us all.

On Friday we had a baptismal interview which is the first time I have ever seen one so it was interesting and I was on exchange with Elder Boswell,  For the Baptism we asked him what he wants for it who he wants to do specific things and he asked me to be the one to baptise him, which was an honour for me. We are trying to have members do it more but in the end it is up to them who they want since it is their day.

On Saturday I was on exchange with the district leader, it was an interesting day, we had alot of appointments fall through but it taught me to make more backup plans and be more obedient in that sense.

On Sunday, it was crazy. We had Gustavo's baptism at 10am, then we had his confirmation and also a member in the ward asked me to be apart of his priesthood ordination so I was a part of that. As well as the family that he belongs too told me how much of an impact I have had on them since being here and from my background and story, It just shows me how we are called to be in specific places and to meet specific people so we can touch their lives and the Lord knows all and I am so blessed for all the blessings the Lord has enabled me to partake in. I am greatful to be here.

I know that this church is true, that Jesus is the Christ and that we are chosen and called to where we are to be. If you are somewhere right now it is where the Lord needs you to be, however he allows us our agency so if we are at places we don't want to be the Lord will help us if we let him, it is through Christ that all is possible and with our own power we can't do anything.

I love you all.

- Elder James Reece

Monday June 2, 2014 - Heavy studying, learning about life and helping investigators

So As usual I will begin my week saying how amazing it was :) My week was awesome, I got along well with my companion there are still some shaky parts but we understand each other and accept one another, plus I have been getting alot better at Accepting Correction which causes less conflict especially because I ask for correction. So Yeah.

So this week was a very strong Spiritual high for me. The spirit was in all my studies and I got interesting knowledge. At the moment in my personal study I am disecting one chapter in the Book of Mormon, one chapter in the New Testament, A part in Preach my Gospel and sometimes even indulging in a question and finding answers. I have also spent alot of time  reading from this past conferences Ensign and reviewing some of my notes to see what I need to do to act on my promptings recieved at earlier dates. One thing I have learnt is that reviewing your notes is amazing. You are able to gain different insights from your notes and understand what the Lord needs from you and also to recap on goals from previous times in your life and analyze if you have been able to meet those promptings and act on them and reflect on what came of them. So this week I found some interesting insights while studying 2Nephi 29- Jacob 2 in the Book of Mormon. Some of my insights include: Many will say that there can only be one bible however, that it's the true bible only if it comes from the mouth of the Jews. Just because God and Jesus Christ have spoken one word(Bible) it doesn't mean that they can't speak again (Book of Mormon). We are all commanded to record our spiritual revelations and experiences and to keep two sets of records just like Nephi, one for spiritual and one for an account of our lives.The Gospel will be preached among all and they will accept it. If we truly understood the Atonement we wouldn't hurt anyone, so we won't recive more of the knowledge until this time and that is when the things that are sealed will be revealed unto us. The reason we recieve different messages when we each read the scriptures is because the Lord speaks to us based on our knowledge so as our knowledge and wisdom grow we will understand more in the scriptures.We MUST ask for the meaning of all things that we read. Before doing anything in his name or that is about the Lord we pray unto him to consecrate it so we can recieve what he needs us to know. No man will be angry with this message unless he be under the influence  of the Devil. As saints of Christ we are here to spend our days labouring for the welfare of the souls of all those around us. We must be diligent in all things.

Then I studied a few talks from general conference and I really liked them, I studied the talk by Elder Bednar some more and recieve conforimation of the message that in life we need HEAVY loads at times to gain spiritual traction and without that heavy load we can't progress, and I have thought alot about my own life and some of the difficulties I have seen and some of the lessons I have learnt from and definately been able to see how that is true. The Lord calls us in our weakness and qualifies us for his work. One Amazing thing I have been gaining a testimony on is the fact that we are all chosen from God. In Doctrine and Covenants 121 it says "Many are called, but few are chosen" As members of the ~Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints, we have been chosen to bring forth souls unto him and it is only through the distinct abilities of each of us that this work progresses. We Have all been chosen, to be witnesses of Christ until we die, and that means we must stand UP, we must Stand up for what is right and what our beliefs are. Too long has his word been trodden down, we have been chosen to make the world know that ~Jesus is the Christ, that he atoned for our sins and that through him and ONLY him we can be saved in the Kingdom of God. It is so amazing for me to be able to share this world to all the inhabitants that read this e-mail but also all those who are within my voice. I KNOW THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST, I KNOW THAT THOMAS S. MONSON IS THE PROPHET WHO WAS CALLED OF GOD.  I know these things with all the energy of my heart. And If we know and have testimonies of these things we must share them.

I also studied in the New Testament the beginning of matthew and gained some insights as well which may help some of you maybe:
 I was able to get a confirming witness that because God clothed the grass and fed the animals in the air that he would clothe us as well, because he did all this the Lord will ALWAYS provide for our NEEDS, but he knows our needs way better then we do and we must trust in him. The Lord promises that he will do for us what we do for others. ~We can't expect forgiveness if we aren't willing to forgive. I really liked the story about the Mote in your brothers eye and not understanding the beam in your own eye and ~I learnt that before we try to tell others to change or to correct something we must first be doing it otherwise we are hypocrites.
We must do more then Hear his word but we must do his word and only then can we be saved in the Kingdom of God.

I studied enduring this week as well and came across Mosiah 24 around. The story of the people of Alma being imprisoned by Amulon the wicked priest of King Noah's and they prayed in their hearts because if they prayed out loud they would've been killed but in the story it talks about the Lord strengthening us to bear our burdens so that we don't feel them on our backs and as we endure and call upon the Lord for his help he will strengthen YOU and as he strengthens you and as you trust in him you won't feel your burdens they are still there but you won't feel them.

So now onto my week before I run out of time this week was great. I had alot of fun

On Monday we went to an old Abbey with part of our zone and had a blast, it started pouring and we were running around and all got drenched. At this Abbey it was from around 1100 AD so it was really cool to see and see it be preserved. I had a photo frenzy it was fun.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and I talked to Elder Peery, we had a great conversation and had a great session. I had an exchange with Elder Bailey, which was nice because he is out one transfer less then me so we got to play off each other's strengths and learn to work well together, and it's nice to not always be with someone who has 19  months more experience more then me. It allows me to feel better and to actually get to try and find out what my teaching style is to help people come unto Christ so it was nice. We had a great night and had a great time.

On Wednesday we exchanged back and had a good day, we were able to visit some people and invite others to come back to church and I really am starting to see the importance of bringing people back, because if we don't take care of those the Lord has blessed us with why would he bless us with more?

On Thursday- Was a great day. we were able to learn more about Eoin's religious beliefs and understand where he stands. ( He is one of the volunteers at the community garden) and then later on we had a great Fireside with Sister Reeves( General Relief Society Presidency), Sister Wixom( General Primary President) and Elder Kearon from the first quorum of the Seventy. It was an amazing experience to feel the spirit they brought into the room and they just glow so much and smile always it is incredible.They spoke about letting our LIGHT shine forth and BE EXAMPLES to those who are within our reach.

On Friday we had a great day as well our lessons all happened, unfortunately our english class didn't have any turn ups but there is still hope.

Saturday was amazing we talked to our investigator and she is amazing, she is awesome. She calls me her teacher and thanks us for teaching her the way and learning how to grow closer unto Christ, I am so blessed to have met her and to feel the spirit she possesses is incredible.

Sunday was amazing, Yesterday in our testimony meeting one of the young men, he is awesome he has Autism but was the only ACTIVE member of his family, was cleared to be able to recieve the Priesthood next week and he came up to me in Priesthood and asked me if I would be part of his circle. I guess I made an impact on his life, but he is absolutely amazing, and very kind and loving to all. I am so honoured to be asked to be apart of it for him and that I was able to bear my testimony and hear the testimonies of all. It was interesting there seemed to be a very strong theme in the testimonies about Scriptures and the power they have and I too have recieved a witness as to the power and divinity of the scriptures and reading them everyday, it WAS Amazing.

I miss all of you and since this week is Zone Development I will tell you about it next week. So for the schedule tomorrow which will be our P-day kind of. Is we are playing Capture the Flag with real flags from the union and confederation with flag poles and everything as well as playing a multitude of games and having a talent show. So this should be interesting

Well I love you all and love to hear from you all, and I am still waiting for your addresses so I can send home postcards but I love you all and TRUST in the Lord in all that you do and you will find success

Have a great week. :)
I will send some photos here as well.

- Elder James Reece

I love how you can see his reflection in his name tag!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Monday May 26, 2014 - New companion, learning to slow down and having faith!

Hello Everyone:

This week has been interesting.

For this week in my study, I have begun to dive more into The Book Of Mormon and New testament. I am diving deep into all that I read to dissect what I can from it, and I have gotten so much more out of the verses then I have in the past. I learnt alot about the purpose of the Book of mormon and found out more about how it was to come forth. I also studied abit on Faith and what it is. So some insights I have recieved on what faith is, is that Faith is a Governing Principle. It is Power, it is action. One thing that hurt me abit was finding out that Faith is trust in someone or something. I have never been good at trusting others so with Faith it is Trusting in Christ and having faith in ~Christ is also Believing and trusting in  all that he asks us to do. ALL OF IT. I was reading through Preach My Gospel on the subject of Faith and it said that Faith is trusting and following Christ's commandments even when we don't understand them. There are lots of things in the gospel in which we don't understand or we don't see why it happens but everything has a purpose for us. Faith is a governing principle in that Faith is needed for all ordinances, all blessings, all healings,for all that is from God's power. In the new testament repeatedly Christ tells those he heals that " your faith has made thee whole". Faith is power, with faith anything is possible. But faith isn't just believing that something could happen, it's believing it will. " For example if we have sincere and true faith we know that the things we hope for will come to fruition. On my mission we have met people who have struggled with things and Satan has been trying to knock them down, however we have faith that they will get through these things and we have faith that we can help others come unto Christ.
Throughout this next week i will be studying Enduring and what it means to Endure Chastening, but also How can we obtain more Faith, how can our faith influence us to do things? Those are the questions. If anyone has questions on things about Faith or other topics let me know and I will try to find an answer for you.
I Love You all.

So this week was pretty crazy Exchanges, New Companion, Travelling lots, teaching people, Working with one of our investigators to help her be ready for her baptism. It is exciting time.

On Monday, my trainer had finished his mission, it was a little sad, I am going to miss him and am excited to see what he does in his life and the accomplishments he has when he is home. I may have had a lot of conflicts with him but I love and respect him so much. I learnt so many things from him. I learnt how to be organized, how to build friendships, how to determine needs, how to ask more questions..etc It has been a good 12 weeks with him and will miss him so. I just hope I can make him proud thoughout this next two years as part of the McCarthy Kin. So he left Monday at 7Am and then I was with Finglas in a trio for several days.

On Tuesday I was with Finglas we did alot of things had some good days and traveled up to visit people and do some tracting. Later in the day I went on splits with my friend Terry he is so awesome we were able to have two lessons and he was able to be there with me, it was hard and nerve racking to be there and lead out the area and lessons. I definately got to see what I need to work on and as many of you would probably guess that thing is SLOWING DOWN. I register things very quick and react quickly and even in lessons I need to slow down to help people recognize the Spirit and give them time to think. I am learning that quiet time is good when being a missionary and teaching in a lesson to check for understand and concerns.

On Wednesday it was fun, we all hung out and at 2pm us and the other missionaries in our zone because of moves all went out to a place called Eddie Rockets. It was nice then I recieved my new companion, his name is Elder Cziesla. He is in the same boat as Elder McCarthy was because he also has two moves left in his mission. I am excited to learn from him and to listen alot. (hopefully)

On thursday and  Friday the work went well we did the usual it was nice to see his teaching style though and start to relate with him. I am still figuring out my own teaching style.

On saturday we did a thing called City Finding in city centre we  went to city centre and talked to EVERYBODY it was nice however this whole weekend there was a ONE Direction concert on so the streets were so busy. and they wouldn't even let us walk through our street we had to walk around.

On Sunday we had a good day one of our investigators was able to attend the baptism in our ward and she felt amazing and excited for her own baptism this work is definately going forward.

Today we are going to see a castle I am so excited and can not wait. We are going at 2:15 and travelling with the Zone Leaders, the Finglas elders and the two sets of sisters. It is going to be awesome.

I also need people's addresses I am going to send some postcards but need some addresses and can't recall the church addresses to send to. Send me addresses.

I Love you all <3 Miss you all and pray for you all each and every day.

So my companion is Elder Armin Cziesla, He is from Switzerland and has been out for 21 months. He just came from serving in the Shetlands, and has German, French and Swiss relatives. He is about 22 years old and has served in 5 areas. He is very blunt and direct in his teaching and very good. However it can be hard, our two cultures are alot different so him and Elder Zander are both German and they kind of have a different sense of humour. I am working on being more Tolerant and loving this transfer and to understand how to endure I love you all.

- Elder James Reece

May 19, 2014 - Transfer calls, funny story, chalk drawings and MORE!

So first things First: I recieved Transfer calls this morning and I am staying in DUBLIN.:)
MY new companion is from Switzerland and is currently serving in the Shetland Islands. So I will be serving with the other Finglas elders until about Friday. My new companion is named  Elder Cziesla. More news will come as I come to find it. Elder McCarthy left this morning which was a sad time but I am now with Finglas. I am definately going to miss him, and for any of you who ever serve missions or are serving Learn all you can from your trainer, they are your best friend and even though they need to correct you in all things, allow that correction to shape and mold you.

So this week my study was on Contention and Pride. Since I finished all the things under the Topical guide on Humility, I decided to do the same for Pride. I wanted to know what it is why it is prevalent, how it works and why that is Satan's strongest weapon against the Kingdom of God. As illustrated in 1Nephi 8-11, Pride is the large and spacious building and pride causes us all to laugh and point scornfully at those partaking of the fruit of the tree of Life that is illustrated in the vision. We must be protected from this Pride. Pride causes us to be led helplessly by the hand and then be binded by flaxxen  Chords. It causes us to put ourselves above others. But the savior ALWAYS put others above himself. He was Selfless  not Selfish, He had LOVE not pride. Throughout my study I noticed a key thing appearing, which talked about how LOVE is the antidote to pride. One of the main ways that pride affects us is through causing contention among us. Because where there is contention the spirit of the Lord cannot dwell. And I have definately seen that in affect as soon as contention comes in You feel hurt, attaked and vulnerable but when things are handled with LOVE than as illustrated in D&C121:43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon bythe Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase ofdlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee tobe his enemy;
 44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.

That Scripture was very powerful for me, it just shows that correction is great and even necessary but can only be given under the direction of the Holy Ghost or contention will arise. As we hearken unto the Holy Ghost we may know all things and recieve treasures even hidden treasures.  During my study of Pride as well I found that the main cause of CONTENTION or PRIDE is caused by Enmity. Which consists of ENVY/ JEALOUSY. Enmity is a hatred toward someone or hatred for something, I found that through " Beware of PRIDE" (Talk) that most of us are sinning in ignorance I advise all of us to study and understand the different shapes and ways that PRIDE is a factor in our lives. Pride is destructive and one of my favourite things that I came across a little while ago is: That our minds are a stage if there aren't good thoughts focused on God, like a hymn or memorized scripture then our mind will be full of darkness. Brethren and sisters I urge you to memorize scriptures and sing hymns to protect yourselves from these dangers. As I was studying also in James 4:7 Submit youselves from God, Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. I understand that is easier said than done but if we strive together each and every day we will be able to be filled with light and therefore, no darkness may enter in. I just want to finish with one Verse from Doctrine and Covenants 121. Many are called but few are chosen, at this time in our lives we have been chosen to build the Kingdom of God and we can only do so together. United we are one, That is how it has to be.

This past week was a good week, we did alot of teaching.

On Monday was my birthday we went to a buffet is was awesome, later we were able to go on splits and one group go to FHE and the other go to two lessons which was fun. Funny story but also sad story." Me and elder Martin accidentally stole a little girls birthday song, It was confusing and  I felt so bad but my companion had gone to the bathroom and as he got to the table the Happy birthday song came on and on the other side of the restaurant that we couldn't see, was an 8 year old standing up and then this loud missionary is pointing at us and being like it's these two and was getting us to stand us up but my companion didn't get the song playing so we found out afterwards. I felt so bad. But it was kind of funny looking back on it.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and exchange with Zone Leaders, I had a cool experience I felt like there was someone on the street prepared but couldn't tell who it was we said a prayer and 7-9 steps away from the prayer spot, we contacted someone who was interested in learning. It was amazing. will be following up on them this week. We were also contacting and a funny thing happened as I greeted the man, I inhaled a bug and was choking on it while trying to talk with him my companion was doubled over in laughter it was hilarious.
On Wednesday we began to do family history so the information I have I put it in but starting this Wednesday at the Family History centre I will begin looking for everyone. I am excited to learn about my family.

On Friday I was on Exchange with Finglas, we had a good day we were walking to a potential contacting area and all of a sudden a member's name popped into our heads so we went there but they weren't home but around them we were able to contact several nice people.It was a great experience, we then were able to watch Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration and Finglas investigator felt the spirit strong at it which was amazing to hear.

On Saturday we did another chalking for Salvation, it was funny because the GARDA showed up and we started teaching them. It was a great experience for the YSA and they were involved in talking to the people and passing out pamphlets. The WORK is coming along, it is progressing and will go forth with or without our help. I recommend you all hop on board and we all do our parts to help this work progress. Brothers and sister and family, CATCH THE SPIRITUAL WAVE that is sweeping through  this time.

On Sunday, a member made us icecream cheesecake for our birthday which was nice and three awesome things happened. First, we were at church and I was in the Kitchen and ran into our investigator who hasn't been to church in a while it was great to see her there,  2nd we were going for dinner and our investigator we couldn't get a hold of was there, so we were able to have a dinner appointment in a member's home with him, and 3rd an investigator we met who was solid who dropped us just agreed to start meeting again and she still wants to be baptised.

One thing I have learnt is that we should always recount our day in our prayers to be aware of how much  the hand of the Lord is in our day to day lives.

Have a great week and enjoy.

Have your foundation and Anchor on Jesus Christ and your faith won't fail you in the last days.

I love you all and remember "you are a children of a noble birthright"- Elder Uchtdorf.

I love you all, you are all examples to me and keep up the good work.

- Elder James Reece

May 12, 2014 - Beautiful humble teachings from Elder Reece!

So this week has been crazy!!!!!!

So to begin like all of my letters, I will start off with what I studied this week. My primary focus was to study Humility. So I took humility and looked at all the different things that humility makes up, and then went through the topical guide and did full studies on each one. The topics I studied were Humility,poor in spirit, meekness, humble, teachable, submissiveness and subject. It was pretty interesting some of the things I found out and what the differences are. For example meekness is loving and gentle, being loving towards others is kind of what meekness means and humility means to be humble( to know that you can't do anything without the Lord's help)  Submissiveness was the most intriguing to me. It made a lot of parallels with the Savior in being submissive and the time where he was the most submissive was in the Garden of Gethsemne where he was taking upon himself all the sins of the world. As he was kneeling down and bleeding from every pore he asked if the cup could be taken away but in the end he says, Not my will but thine be done. And that shows just how much we are to submit to the Lord's will.I have been instructed to endure at this time and I know it is difficult but to change my past habits and make those necessary changes the Lord needs to put us in that furnace and under immense heat and pressure just like Gold needs to be, we need to be refined. One of my favourite stories is the story of the Currant bush and it helps me each and every day to endure this because one day I will look back and say, " Thank you Mr. Gardenor for loving me enough to cut me down". It is difficult right now but as I endure I know things will get better. Being teachable as well ties into being humble, Teachable means to all to be taught. I have sometimes wondered why some people when they express to us that they want to know the answer but pray and can't find the answer, I wonder why that is and it's that reason. It's because we don't allow ourselves to be teachable, and being teachable is more then allowing yourself to be taught by the holy ghost , but it also is making those changes to make our lives better.

Humility meekness and a contrite spirit is what is necessary to recieve that enlightenment we all seek for from the Holy Ghost. The Holy ghost is light it is only present when wholesome thoughts are in your head, and one thing I have heard or read in the past few weeks is that our head is like a stage and the spotlight is always on but the stage can only be set on one star at a time and if we don't fill our mind with wholesome activities such as memorized hymns or memorized scriptures then it can easily be taken over by bad thoughts. One thing I have realized is this quote. If I am not thinking of uplifting myself or thinking of how people intend things or that they are children of God then the things that people say can offend me but if I am focused on hymns, the savior and scriptures I am working on memorizing then I am protected and you can be too.

This week we were priviledged to be able to have an ALL- IRELAND zone conference and during the  All Ireland I met a lot of people. The messages that were shared were very powerful and the thing one of the Stake presidents said really hit me alot. What are your desires? He said on his mission his desire was for his companion to be the best missionary in the mission and he would always serve him. I completely agree with that, as our focus is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. But as that focus is there if we are focused on ourselves becoming goodnothing will come of it, My new focus is to focus more on serving my companion and helping him become great eventhough he goes home next Monday. I recieve Moves Call next monday morning so I will let you know what the details are. I love this work so much and know how great it feels to make changes, they are difficult but as we follow the Lord's will for us we are blessed and shaped,refined and changed to become what he NEEDS us to become.

Now onto the week. This week has been full of interesting things. As you all know last Monday we didn't do too much, I went to the Easons to go shopping and get myself more organized, which was fun to do and was able to split with my other group. We do alot of things as a District to grow but it is hard because our district leader is an hour away and can't join us however we still build unity between the two teams in FINGLAS.

On Tuesday, I had my call with Elder Peery, and this time I talked to him one on one on Skype he gave me alot of instruction and commitments to help me grow and to change my behaviour that I got from my childhood. I am so greatful for him and the instruction he gives me. He understands me so it is nice to talk with him. So this past week I was instructed that even when I don't necessarily agree that I should submit myself to my trainer so that there is no contention and because I am being corrected so much it is for my benefit. It has been alot of help

On Wednesday, I began to apply Elder Peery's advice to me and work to accept all correction lovingly and I definately saw an increase in the Work, the Love and the Compassion and the Desire that we both had in this work. I do feel sometimes like everything is against me but I am starting to realize that everyone here is here to help me become what the Lord wants me to become and I am starting to let down my walls that I have built up over the years and am just beginning to let that happen. I have always had self defenses against allowing people in and trusting them but I am learning and have learnt in the past two years from all of you that I am loved. I love you all so much and wouldn't be here without you.

On Thursday it was raining but we still went to the community garden it was alot of fun and we were able to learn about peas, and how to do compost. The weather was ucky but we get beautiful rainbows all the time. Thursday we were able to enjoy our first Weekly planning session where we didn't fight with each other it was a breath of fresh air. It ran so much better and the Lord definately lead it out this time.

On Friday was our all Ireland Zone Conference, we learnt about lots of things and had a training on qualifying appointments and have a new focus on Family History work. We have been allotted 1 hour each Wednesday to learn and do I can see great things coming when we focus on the family as our focus. Everyone has a family and everyone loves their family.

On Saturday, I was on exchange with our district leader up in Dundalk and it was so cool, We were able to feel the spirit in our teaching and the night before we made lesson plans but as we got into the lessons the spirit directed us a different way and we were able to yield to it's promptings and were able to help alot of people it was amazing, I felt the spirit stronger then ever and the last lesson we had was so spirit lead that at the end as we were closing with a prayer I was so overwhelmed by the spirit that I was shaky when I went to stand back up. I felt so exhausted spiritually at the end of the day and it was the greatest feeling in the world.

On Sunday we showed up at church and the branch president came up to both of us and said, can the both of you give 20 minute talks, our people that were assigned won't be able to make it. I am so greatful for being asked to give a talk, I have NEVER given a talk without any notes and as I was told that I would be the first speaker I pondered quickly as to what would be best to share and I talked for 15 + minutes and enduring and trials and recieving chastening and how chastening shows us that the Lord loves us. It apparently went well, according to everyone there and what was even cooler is what me and my companion talked about tied into all the lessons and the last speaker tied in to both of ours as well. I could definately and plainly see just how much of a role the spirit played in that.

Today is my Birthday, I am 21 years of age and I can't believe it, for today our district leaders were given permission to be with us to celebrate  since it is my birthday,elder Martin's birthday and my trainer's last P-Day so to build unity in our District we are all going to Jimmy Chungs to celebrate. I am so greatful that for my birthday I could spend it with friends and go out to eat.

The mission is amazing full of many ups and downs and difficulties for sure but always remember that " When YOU are working on following Christ, Satan is working on Stopping you, But through Christ all things are possible" and we recieve true joy, true love, true desire and true HAPPINESS, which can only be found in living the gospel to it's fullest and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I love you all

- Elder James Reece