Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 15, 2016

Dear Family,

As you might expect, it was another crazy week. Getting a new missionary is always a little stressful. Actually, a lot. A lot stressful. Anyway, my new companion is Elder Cockrell from Salmon, Idaho. He was pretty quiet at first but seems to be more talkative now.

We've already had some pretty crazy times together. On Saturday we started the day by vacuuming up cat hair for a less-active then discovered a flat tire. Yep, third area in a row where I've gotten a screw or nail in a tire. As a side note, Saginaw just got sisters so that may turn into another streak. Back to the tire though. Obviously I'm well acquainted with this process so I immediately called the vehicle coordinator and headed to Firestone. We then got lunch down the street, came back, and drove to the church just in time for Amy's baptismal interview. Time worked like magic! She passed, by the way.
Not that I doubted it because she's awesome.

That same day we taught Tomi and Oyin about the Plan of Salvation at our ward mission leader's house. Let me tell you, getting that set up was an adventure and a half. The lesson went well though. This week we're hoping to reset a baptism date with them for September 17th.

I'm now realizing that not a whole lot actually happened that is worth talking about. It still felt like a crazy week though.

I did have some interesting studies this week. I finished the Book of Mormon recently so I've been studying the New Testament alongside the institute manual. This week I was mostly reading about Christ's last instruction to the Apostles before and after he enters Jerusalem.

In Matthew 16:20, after giving the keys of the kingdom to them, Christ tells the Apostles to "tell no man that he [is] Jesus the Christ" which I found a little ironic at first. That's exactly their job right? In the institute manual it explains that the more people were told that Jesus was the Christ the more they would want to kill Him. The time wasn't right for that yet so that's why the Apostles were instructed not to tell anyone. That's also the reason Christ didn't go into Jerusalem until near the end of His life; He knew the people would be angry with Him and His teachings to the point that it would take hardly any time at all for them to crucify Him. Knowing this, Christ's entrance into Jerusalem in Matthew 21 becomes super profound and powerful.

I think we're all familiar with the story, He rides in on a donkey and all the people lay their garments and tree branches before him. This of course was done to show His royalty. What comes next blew my mind though. As Christ entered, the people "cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." Hosanna means "save us" or "save now." The people plead for safety from sin and affliction at the exact moment Christ was being lead into the city where He knew he would have to perform the single act that could provide that for them. Definitely worth a read.

Take care this week and try not to get any screws or nails in your tires!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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