Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 Kentville, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,

Wow. What a week it has been. Probably one of the most spiritual weeks I've had on my mission so far. We got transfer letters yesterday and I am staying in Kentville with Elder Dupin with Elder Hatch replacing Elder Willoughby as the new zone leader. So I'll still be in a trio. I really don't know much about Elder Hatch besides he's from Northern Alberta. So we drop Elder Willougby off on Thursday and we pick Elder Hatch up. So I get to go to the temple again.

So our eventful week started off with Christmas Zone Conference. Before Christmas Zone Conference, everyone had to buy a white elephant gift. Christmas zone conference started off with "Meet the Mormons." It was a good movie. It had 5 documentaries, "The Coach", "The Bishop", "The Fighter, "The Candy Bomber", and  "The Missionary Mom." My favorite ones were "The Coach" and "The Missionary Mom." The Coach documentary was about a  man who coaches the Navy football team but balances it with his religious beliefs and keeping everything in perspective. The Missionary Mom is about a woman who went through a hard time growing up and two sister missionaries knocked on her door as an answer to her prayer. She said at that moment, "She felt God's love." Before that she didn't believe in God because of the bad stuff that was happening in her life. Then her life went uphill from there and she got married and had a son. That son got a mission call. Then it shows the timeline of him entering the MTC. The mom was struggling letting her son go because of everything they'd been through together. It really hit home for me because it made me go through all the emotions I went through when I left home. I wasn't the only getting emotional. I noticed some other missionaries tearing up as well. Right after that we went for lunch at Swiss Chalet. Then in afternoon we had our talent show. There were some good acts that were formed. Elder Dupin played the guitar for it. Other missionaries performed acts such as a missionary version of the Cup Song,  One missionary did a magician act that was pretty funny. Some sister missionaries did "Christmas in the Maritimes" in an elf voice. Anyway, it was highly entertaining. After that we did our white elephant gift exchange. I got a box of cookies and a tie for my gift. Elder Ashby (Elder McNabb's companion) got mine. Elder Willougby got dishwasher soap as his though. He find it kind of odd. Elder Taylor got a big teddy bear for his white elephant gift. It was funny. Since we could exchange gifts after, quite a few missionaries wanted that big teddy bear. We concluded with getting a picture with Santa (Elder Jason) and then we got a Christmas program with all the current missionaries in the mission in it and where they're from, how long they've been out - that sort of thing. Finally the day ended on a more spiritual note by the reading of the Christmas story by President Leavitt. Then we sang "Away in the Manger."  It was a lot of fun. There was no training, no business, just strictly a zone conference full of Christmas fun. It was raining all day. It stared light in the morning but by the time we got out it was raining hard. But we made it home safe and sound. 

On Friday, we had our ward Christmas Party. It was a potluck. There was turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, etc. Then for dessert we had Rice Krispie squares, brownies, cookies. It was a good turnout. One of the less active families that we work with (The Domnies's) came. So that was good to see and they seemed to have enjoyed it. There was actually more people then Sis. Walker (The Relief Society President) expected. 

On Saturday was Melanie and Madison's baptism at 2 o'clock. It was so neat to see the fruits of our labors even though I wasn't the one that found them and taught them from the beginning. It was a really good experience. I felt the spirit throughout the baptisim. I hope it gave Melanie's husband a push in the right direction seeing his wife and daughter get baptized. It was a decent turnout. There wasn't as many people as I expected but that's probably just cause it was earlier in the day.

Yesterday, was a very long day. Elder Willougby gave his final testimony at the end of church. He got emotional. He's been here for 6 months and he really loves the members and all that they've done for him. The members are going to miss him as well. This is going to be an emotional week for Elder Willougby to say the least. Saying goodbye to everyone and everything he's ever known for the past two years. Elder Willougby has been a great example to me and a great leader as well. I am glad that I got to spend his last 6 weeks with him. Right after church we had our final choir practice before the Cantata. That lasted an hour and a half. Then we went to a YSA potluck where Hillary Harker (she's from Raymond) brought three of her non-members with her. They are all going to Acadia in Wolfville. So we mainly talked to them the whole time. They seemed nice. Then we went to the church for the warm-up. The Christmas Cantata started and it was wonderful. A lot of people showed up to see it. We sang song's like "What shall we give", "Born is the light", and other songs that I don't the name of. Then there were some videos in between numbers. One of the song's that touched me was "Lullaby, Jesus"; that was sung as a solo by a little girl. It made me think of Ayla. It was an amazing fireside and it made me reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ and what he did for me and for all of us as a family. 

It was a very spiritual week as I said. When I confirmed Madison I was a little nervous but I felt the spirit as I confirmed her. I felt the Spirit help me speak loud enough so that people could hear me. Quite a few members came up to me and told me that I did a great job and that they could hear me perfectly . 

Have a great week!


Elder O'Brien

1 comment:

  1. Ask Elder Hatch if he is from the Cold Lake, Cherry Grove area. He is probably related to Ed and Kelly Hatch. I know them both.