Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hampton - October 6, 2014

Elder Bodine and Elder O'Brien

 Eating apple crisp for his birthday

This last week I had a lot going on. On Wednesday, we had zone training in Fredericton where all of the New Brunswick West Zone met together to discuss goals for this transfer. We were also trained on teaching skills. Our zone leaders (Elder Davidson and Elder Waldie) conducted the meeting. The Sunday before zone training our zone leaders asked our district, the St. John District, to prepare a 5 minute talk on hope and then chose a random member of the district to give their talk. So during Monday and Tuesday I wrote a talk on hope using Preach my Gospel and the scriptures. I felt I was prepared if I was picked on to give my talk. In the morning they trained us on using the how to begin teaching points, and being warm, friendly and  genuine with people as we're  contacting them. They would split us off into role play groups with other missionaries in the zone and then practice these things. So we did that for the morning; then in the afternoon our zone leaders picked a missionary from each district to give their 5 minute talk. I wasn't picked again haha; Elder Quntion from St. John was chosen. But even though I wasn't picked I felt like I learned more about hope. I learned that hope is something that we yearn for, it goes hand in hand with faith, having hope leads to having faith. When we have hope, we have hope for things that are not yet seen. We also went over the goals for the zone this transfer. The focus for this transfer is teaching skills. Like one of the goals is having 12 lessons involving a member each week per companionship. Also, having a 5% increase in sacrament attendance, . At the end of zone training all the missionaries that are going home at the end of this transfer bear their final testimonies.  I enjoyed zone training. It was nice being able to meet together with the missionaries in the zone and discussing goals and the vision for this transfer. During zone training, I got to see Elder Craig.. He's in my zone now. It was cool being able to see him again. I haven't seen him since the MTC. He's training a new missionary right now in Woodstock; his name is Elder Wilson from Lethbridge. I know that if there's anybody that can train a new missionary 6 weeks into the mission field it is him. He truly was a great leader for us in the MTC. 

On Thursday, it was my birthday. After companionship study, Elder Knowles and Elder Willoughby (My zone leader in Halifax) phoned me and sang me happy birthday. So that was really nice of them to remember me and my birthday. Elder Knowles said that one of the investigators we had in Halifax misses me; his name was Matthew. He was Maye Carson's brother. Elder Knowles said that Matthew said "Where's Elder O'Block?" Haha "I miss him; he was just starting to come out of his shell." So I would say that made my birthday knowing that I made an impact on an old investigator in Halifax. Matthew was a funny guy to have at lessons, he would always make funny comments that weren't bad or rude in anyway, they were just funny. He made one comment "Why would I believe that Noah built a boat and put animals in it, I want to pick up this rock and throw it at you." He wasn't talking to us, he was talking about when he talked to a bishop one time cause he used to go to church at one point. Not so much anymore as you could probably assume. He always had a lot of questions and would go on rants about the Word of Wisdom, Joe Smith. He had an accent too. Later on, on Thursday Elder Bodine took me out to dinner at Pizza Delight in Hampton. I had hot wings for dinner and then apple crisp for dessert. So that was really nice of him to do that for me. I appreciated it. He even paid for the dinner as well. 

Last week we did a lot of contacting former investigators. Sadly, we didn't find a lot of success from former investigators that would be interested. Some of the former ones we tried contacting had the wrong address as well so that didn't help our cause either. But I had a cool experience on Saturday. In between conference sessions we went to a candy shack in Hampton. To you know just buy some candy for conference. :P  When we went in we introduced ourselves and said we were just stopping by and then going to a Church Meeting. He said that he's heard of us before and that we're well known in a positive way. He asked how we knew the Church to be true for ourselves. Anyway, he said he wasn't interested but really admires us for sharing our message with him. So that question kind of made me reflect on how did I know this Church to be true. It wasn't by anything dramatic, it was just by going to Church every Sunday and doing all the little things that made me know the Church to be true for myself. It was also cool that even though that we weren't there for that purpose, we still turned into a missionary opportunity. 

On Friday, we stacked wood for three hours for a friend of recent converts in our ward. His name is Bro. Urkhart; he got baptized in May. He is an older man, who we meet with at least once a week because he's a recent convert. So anyway, the friend we helped stack wood was Mary Kay. By the end of it I was pretty exhausted from moving all that wood. But at the end she gave us a dinner and then we talked a little bit about general conference. We told her that she's more than welcome to come. She said that she was raised Catholic but never really went to Church. 

For conference this weekend we went to over to the church for all the sessions. Right before the priesthood session, we had a Ice Cream Social for all the priesthood holders. Then we watched the priesthood session at 9. My favorite conference talk was by Elder Bednar yesterday on why we are so anxious to share the message of the restoration with non-members. While we were trying to contact one of our former investigators, we ran into a lady at a house. We told her that we're  missionaries and that we go around and teach people about Christ. Then she said "I have my own personal savior and redeemer thank you very much." So that talk by Elder Bednar reminded me about that lady. How he talked about if you already have those beliefs then why not test them out and learn about our message. Also, the reason why we want to share our message is because it has helped us in our lives. I really enjoyed the story he shared about the little boy. Another talk I liked was President Uchtdorfs talk in the priesthood session. "Lord.. Is it I?",  the parable of when Christ says "One of you will betray me" to one of his apostles I think. Then everyone asks "Who is it?." They don't think of themselves. They think of others. I liked that because it's easy for us to diagnose others around us imperfections and their faults but that we never think of ourselves as being the one who's imperfect. I also really enjoyed that Swedish Seventy's talk on taking responsibility for our lives. I also really enjoyed the MTC choir for the priesthood session; it made me think back to the MTC and what a wonderful experience that was. There was such power in that gym when we all sang together as missionaries.

I thought it was curious how two or three apostles in a row talked about following the prophet. Made me wonder if something's gonna happen, ya know. The other thing that stood for me in conference was receiving personal revelation in our lives. Another theme was making decisions. There was a a lot of really good talks this weekend. Hopefully next month we get an Ensign so I can study them more. In between conference sessions yesterday, we went over to teach Rhonda Fox. She's on date to be baptized on Nov. 8. She has a problem with smoking but wants to stop so she can be baptized. So yesterday we gave her a stop-smoking program that's  for 7 days. It involves grapefruit juice and cinnamon toothpaste. By the end of it, she's supposed to be smoke-free So we presented that to her and we're  going to  follow-up with her every day to see how things are going. We were actually late for the opening song and prayer of the last session.

So what do you guys think of some seventy's giving their talks in their native language? That was new.

This weekend the Graef's fed us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They seem to really like us. The Graef's are like the Nelson's of Stirling. There are a lot of them in the ward. Except there not farmers. They are a really nice family. 

So starting tonight Elder Bodine is the new district leader. Since Elder Edmond is going home on Wedensday.  Things have been better between Elder Bodine and I. He can be a little unfocused at times and kinda rude. But this week I've really gotten to know him and he's a pretty good guy. 

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