Monday, June 12, 2017

May 29, 2017

Dear family,

We had a decently successful week I think. We were able to meet with Jorge several times to prepare him for his baptismal date in June. Our lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ was probably the best I've been a part of in a while. He really seemed to grasp the concept of repentance well which lead right into discussing baptism and why it's important. He's super humble but just needs some help overcoming temptation. He holds himself accountable to us though which is nice, he texted us this morning to let us know he broke the Word of Wisdom and felt bad. Unfortunately he didn't make it to church yesterday... and neither did Jeje... We're working on it. 

This week I was also able to go on exchange in the Fort Worth 5th/Chapel Creek area. That was the day that was super hot so it was a bit of a struggle but luckily they got a brand new car the day before with excellent AC. The most interesting part of the exchange was probably our last lesson of the night with a guy named Brian. He openly admitted to being on the verge of drunk but chose to talk with us anyway. Apparently he acted no differently than usual. Anyway, at this point in the mission I'm getting tired of beating around the bush with people so I was being pretty bold with him. He told us he prefers it that way actually, so whenever he would say something I knew was false I'd just kind of look at him with a straight face for a moment then teach him the truth as best as I could. According to him, my body language was showing that I wasn't being straight with him. I thought I was, but I basically just didn't hold back and tried to be  even bolder. He still was not getting it but oh well. I tried.

I was very surprised this morning to find out I'll be staying in Fort Worth with Elder Brinkerhoff. I really couldn't be happier, it just wasn't something I was expecting! We already got our flight itinerary together this week and now we'll be starting MyPlan together in a few weeks. President must really have faith in our enduring to the end! Hopefully we can live up to it! 

I guess as far as my study of Christ this week, the verse that stood out to me was John 20:7, "And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself." I was wondering why this specifically was mentioned so I studied in the Institute manual and this is what I found:

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Together they view the grave-clothes-linen strips that have not been unwrapped, but through which a resurrected body has passed. And then, upon John … the reality dawns first. It is true! They had not known before; now they do. It is the third day! Christ is risen! ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ (1 Cor. 15:54.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:842).

"These details about the position of the grave clothes rule out the possibility that Jesus’s body had been taken by grave robbers or Jewish leaders conspiring to prevent claims of a resurrection (see Matthew 28:9–15; John 20:2, 13). Anyone interested in stealing Jesus’s body would have either unwrapped it, leaving the linens behind in a heap, or taken the body while it was still wrapped."

It was another testament to me that Christ truly did rise from the grave, allowing us to eventually do the same. 

Have a wonderful week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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