Friday, June 9, 2017

May 22, 2017

Dearest family,

Sounds like everyone had a wonderful week and that summer is finally coming. We've had a few storms this week but they all hit us at night or barely at all. Lame. I need to see at least one more good storm before I leave Texas. 

The work has been going pretty well here anyway. A lot of our Bible referrals actually cooperated with us so we were able to teach them without much trouble. It was nice. Nobody who immediately wanted to be baptized or anything, but we at least got in the door. We still have one that's homeless and keeps chatting on asking why she hasn't gotten her Bible yet but doesn't answer her phone. We just laugh it off and keep trying to call. 

We were also able to set a baptismal date for June 24th with Jorge this week. He's been taught in the past and almost got baptized but hit some obstacles so he really wants to do it this time. He's going to begin working towards keeping the Word of Wisdom but church also seems to be an obstacle for him. He hasn't made it yet despite committing to several times. I suppose we'll have to keep working at it with him. Other than that things are great with him. He's always super happy and positive which is great. I'm thinking I may be transferred next week so I probably won't be here for the baptism. Jeje is basically in the same spot. She's slowly working towards baptism but it may be a month or two. Unfortunately she didn't make it to church this week either.

Well, since I've begun my study of Christ in the Topical Guide along with Mom, I figure I might as well share what I'm learning with everyone. The verse that struck me most this week was Luke 2:34 "​And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this ​child​ is ​​​set​ for the ​​​fall​ and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against." This of course is when Jesus is presented at the temple and Simeon rejoices over Him. I pondered a bit about that phrase "the fall and rising again of many in Israel," for a bit and wrote: What does this mean?

He is the Holy One of Israel. He is the savior and Israel's only means of salvation--all they looked forward to--yet he was rejected by them. Because they rejected him and remained in their sins, Christ had to call them to repentance and ultimately allow justice to take hold of them. This is the fall. 

Still yet, we are gathering Israel to this day under the Savior's direction and power given him of the Father. In ancient times Israel may have rejected him but when he comes again, they will see Him for who He is and He will cause them to rise again. 

He is a stumbling block, as described in scripture, and a stepping stone.

It's been an exciting study so far! I look forward to continuing it. Anyway, have a good week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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