Monday, September 14, 2015

The Work Will Press On

September 14, 2015

Preaching the Word in Ireland
This week wasn't too exciting, but there were a few fun things that happened. We had quite the adventure last P-day! We had received a referral from the mission home because apparently someone in a little town called Cong sent in a request on that they wanted a Bible. So the 4 of us missionaries borrowed the senior couple's car and drove an hour north to Cong, a little village in the middle of nowhere. We had to drive on these crazy narrow Irish country roads to get there so it was pretty fun! We didn't have an address or anything just the name of a person, so it was pretty fun exploring and trying to figure it out. Because Cong is so small, it wasn't too hard to figure out where the person lived (the first two people we asked knew where the house was). We went to the home and the lady that lived there wasn't sure what we were talking about, but she said it was probably her daughter that was using her the computer who sent in the request. And her daughter lives in Dublin, so it didn't really accomplish a whole lot because the lady that was there wasn't that interested, but it was well worth the trip to Cong... because we found a huge castle!!!There is this massive, old castle right by the village called Ashford Castle, which has been turned into a high-end hotel, so it was sooooo cool!! And there was loads of beautiful scenery around Cong as well. I will send some pictures because it was such an awesome place to be!

The rest of the week wasn't the most eventful. We taught a few lessons, and got a couple new investigators. It wasn't the best week, but it wasn't the worst. On Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Williams and we taught a couple of his investigators so that was fun! We actually ended up going to eat out at a restaurant with one of the investigators after we taught him a lesson- he was such a nice guy. We ended up going to this really nice Indian restaurant and it was so good! The unfortunate part about Friday was that it rained literally all day long. From when I got up in the morning until I went to sleep, it rained pretty heavily nonstop. So at least we taught a few lessons and ate at a restaurant so we could stay inside part of the day. We did have to knock some doors for a little while, and it was pretty rough because it was so wet, but that's what it's like in Ireland.

Saturday was a beautiful day though! The morning was pretty fun because we went to this little celebration at the community garden we do service at. It was time to harvest all the vegetables and fruits growing there, so the gardeners invited us to their little garden party to thank us for our service. We helped pick some of the vegetables and then they fed us pizza and other snacks and allowed us to take home 2 big bags of vegetables, fruits, and homemade jams. So it was pretty cool! 

Sunday was another rainy day and unfortunately none of our investigators were able to make it to church again. There were several that were planning to come, but it didn't end up working out. We even planned to walk with a few of them to church too. So hopefully next week it will go a little better. But there are still several people that are solid who we are meeting with this week, so there is still plenty of success despite no investigators at church.

There is a cool thought that I really liked from District Meeting this last week.
There are some people that believe that Christianity is a religion based on sacrifice and that any kind of beliefs or religion based on sacrifice is unethical. It is an interesting point to think about. And if you ponder about the law of Moses or Old Testament stories like Abraham and Isaac, it seems like there is a great deal of sacrifice. However, it is not so much about sacrifice as it is about love. Jesus Christ was foreordained to be a Savior for the world and he offered himself so that we could be perfected and sanctified purely out of love (John 15: 12-14). Abraham had such great love for God, that he was willing to obey any commandment, and he knew everything would be made right in the end because of his faith in Heavenly Father. Abraham's faith was made perfect through his works (James 2: 21-23). We also must make sacrifices. We must give up some things to align our will with God's and become perfected through our faith. But we must not forget that all our sacrifices are made out of love for our Heavenly Father who has given us so much. This gospel is such a wonderful gift! I am so grateful to be serving the Lord and bringing this glad message to so many of His children.

-Elder Oxspring

Ashford Castle near Cong, Ireland, built in 1228
History of Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle is now a 5 star hotel (certainly not a place the missionaries will see the inside of!)

Elder Oxspring and Williams being "kebabtized"...
the eating of a massive plate of meat in a wrap called a kebab.
(This is a custom for all new missionaries in the Scotland/Ireland mission)

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