Monday, August 18, 2014

Halifax Week One

It was so great to be able to talk to you last Tuesday before I left for Halifax. It was so refreshing to be able to hear your voices again. To hear that you're all going good and that Chris & Julie had a good time at EFY. Even if Chris's group was sketchy haha. 

So yeah the reason why the flight to Halifax was delayed was because the flight crew was late. They didn't get there until 8:20 so we didn't leave until 8:35 (They were supposed to leave at 7:50). So by the time we left we didn't get to Halifax until 12:30 at night then we had to go through customs, get our bags, and the american missionaries had to go through immigration for their visas. After all of that at 2:00 a.m., we met President Leavitt and we were off to the Mission Home where all of us new missionaries stayed for two nights. When we got there they gave us a little midnight snack before we went to bed. President Leavitt decided to let us sleep in till 9 in the morning which was pretty nice. The next day we were all walking zombies as you could imagine. We had no energy at all to do anything at all. Pretty much what we did all day was orientation & street contacting. Elder Layton & I actually were in a group together for street contacting along with another new missionary. I was really nervous doing this for the first time. I only talked to a couple people since it was a first for me. It was funny how the people that you could easily judge were the ones who were the most open. During the day we went to the mission office for a bit for some more orientation. I met Elder & Sister Wiebe from Calgary. They recognized me and said they were very delighted to see me. 

The area in which I'm serving is the Halifax YSA branch. I am in a trio with the assistants to the president, Elder Torrie and Elder Jason who replaced Elder Layton. But because they are busy helping the President a lot, I go with the two Halifax Family Elders Elder Dupont and Elder Knowles when they are busy. So I've been switching back and forth a lot between the assistants and the family elders. Which I don't mind. But it is a little difficult at times because I can't focus on a particular area or the members. But I am learning how to deal with that. Elder Torrie is Eric Torrie's cousin in-case you were wondering. He is an AP for a reason. He has been a great mentor to me on how to do missionary work. Elder Jason is black and is from the Carribean. He has a strong accent and is kinda crazy but he he is very nice to me and is a huge help. I like them both. They are very mature and experienced. The family elders I really enjoy too. Elder Dupont is 26 and goes home in two weeks so i dunno what will happen then. He's from Edmonton, He's really funny and really experienced, he's bold with investigators and in lessons. One of the reasons the Lord has me with him sometimes is because he is bold and I'm conservative. So he shows me how to show poise & how to be direct when were teaching investigators. Elder Knowles is from Utah and is a little bit quiet but not as quiet as me haha. He acts a little bit younger than the rest of the Elders but is obedient in everything, He knows how to teach the gospel with clarity and meekness. All of the Elders talk to me quite a bit and make me feel like I'm important to them. They've taught and showed me what to do as a new missionary. All five of us live in one apartment so I think it's one of the bigger apartments.

Anyway, I had a hard time leaving the MTC. I learned so much there from the teachers, my district, devotionals, my branch presidency and all the missionaries at the MTC. There was such a powerful spirit there everyday. Everyone there was so loving towards everybody. I hardly ever have felt lonely ever since I went to the MTC. I loved every minute of the MTC. One of themes at the MTC was in order to convert people you have to convert yourself first. The last Sunday before we left for the mission field, we went to a film called "The Doctrine of Christ" by Elder Bednar given in a Christmas MTC Devotional years ago. One of the things he said was if you only have a testimony you will fall away from the Church. You must be converted to the Gospel in order to stay active in the Church. One of the things I learned from my teachers is to be more bold with investigators. That one investigator that I was talking about, we met with him three more times and he still wasn't willing to do the commitments. He wasn't convinced God loved him. That was a good learning experience. I wasn't too bold but I grew as we taught him. I felt power when I told him the Book of Mormon was true. I don't have time to describe everything that has happened or all the experiences I've had during these first three weeks in the mission. I am off to a good start in the mission field. I'm slowly learning day-by-day how to be a missionary.

Hope your all doing great! Hope Chris is recovering from his wisdom teeth. I'm sure that wasn't fun.


Elder O'Brien

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