Monday, December 29, 2014

December 22, 2014 - Kentville, Nova Scotia

Elder O'Brien 

Dear Family,

In three short days I get to speak to you verbally. This Christmas has gone by fast and speaking to you will be the cherry on top of the cake. It will be good for all of us hear from one another. As I'm sure you have lots of questions for me and it comes just in time for me as well. Although 45 minutes isn't long I still to get to talk to you. I still remember calling home from the airport. I remember Chris and Dad just barely leaving for work before I called. How when mom picked up the phone she got so excited to hear me. But I didn't get to talk to Julie though. So I'm really looking forward to hearing from her. It will be so nice to be able to hear your voices again. 

On Monday Melanie texted us saying Kelton (her son) had a high fever of 104; could you give him a blessing. So we went over and Elder Willoughby gave him the blessing. Then we left and 10 minutes later she texted us back saying his fever was gone. Then she told her husband and he was shocked. It was quite the experience for all of us. It goes to show you the power of the priesthood. Later on that night we had lobster at the Morrisons. I got to hold one of the lobsters before Bro. Morrison cooked them. I was a little nervous but it actually isn't too bad as long as you hold it by its tail. One of them was quite squirmy though. 

On Monday night I learned a hard lesson. I was just going through my e-mails while the zone leaders were Skyping the Halifax YSA sisters thinking it`s no big deal it`s still p-day. When Elder Willoughby turned to me and said ``preparation day is over Elder O`Brien; finish that e-mail right now buddy." P-Day ends at 6 o`clock and it was 8:00 at the time. I was kind of frustrated because it`s my family and my family is important to me. Anyway, the zone leaders gave me an example of the law of the tithing and how that`s similar to checking my e-mails throughout the week or sending a short e-mail after P-Day is over. It`s a minor rule but it is a commandment of God to pay tithing and likewise to e-mails.

On Tuesday, we met with Gordon. He was asking about grace and works - how we tend to muddle those two together. We were having a tough time answering that question. He kept on giving bible references to us about it. It was interesting. I don`t know much about that so I was kind of at a loss of words. At the end of the visit we asked him if he found the Book of Mormon to be true would you get baptized and he said yes. But he wouldn`t commit to a date. I think he was testing with the whole grace and works thing to see if we would be like we're right you're wrong sort of thing. But we were understanding of him. His hang up is mainly the Book of Mormon. He is so focused on the bible but he needs to start opening up to the Book of Mormon.

Wednesday was an emotional day for Elder Willoughby. He had his final interview with President. Then we stuck around the Church to help with a primary activity. He said goodbye to the Morrison's, Cathy Drennan, Bishop Spinney, and then the McDonalds. The hardest one to say goodbye to was the McDonalds. He and Elder Dupin were the ones that found the McDonalds. Then he baptized Melanie and Madison a week ago. We had supper with them that night. It was a tough one for him. He said that it's hard saying goodbye to people who have shaped who you are as a person. He said he didn't want to go home. It was a emotional day for all of us. Kentville has a great ward with so many loving people in it. They have been giving us lots of goodies lately. The McDonalds gave us some food, the Drennan's gave us a gift, the Bonds gave me a present, Shannon Hirtle gave us a plate of cookies. The ward has us taken care of for Christmas.

On Thursday. we went to the temple to drop off Elder Willoughby and pick up Elder Hatch. It was good to go to the temple again. It was one of the newer films. After, Elder Dupin was like that was a new film and I'm thinking to myself "well no it's not; what are you talking about?"  But then I realized I've gone to the temple a lot more than he has in the past 6 months. Anyway, after the temple I said goodbye to Elder Willoughby. That was hard; I actually started crying when I said goodbye. He was such a good missionary and I really learned a lot from him. He made me laugh every single day. He is really outgoing and really spiritual. It was such a joy to serve with him. I told him that I would see him in a year and a half at my homecoming :). Being with Elder Willoughby made me want to be where he is in a year and a half. I want to be on my last transfer, I want to be crying because I don't want to go home, I want to go to my last Sunday as a missionary. All those things have motivated me to want to be in his shoes.

Elder Hatch is from Manning, Alberta. He's been out for 18 months now. He just came from Newfoundland. He is nice, but quiet. He is also obedient and faithful. It's been a slow adjustment for us but that will come with time. He works hard also. 

So the plan for this week is we're going eat at the Beckwith's on Christmas Eve. We stop working at 5 o'clock. She asked what my favorite Christmas treat and I said nuts and bolts. So that's nice of her. On Christmas Day we still have to wake up at 6:30. Were going to eat breakfast at the Gee's and then they are going to open up their home for Skype. So I will be Skyping from the Gee's. They have two computers.  Last year Skype calls were for an hour and we were allowed to watch G-Rated movies on Christmas. This year we are not allowed to watch movies and Skype calls are for 45 minutes instead. So it's kind of unfortunate but it is what it is. But if I experience any technical difficulties I will phone you. 

Well.. these last four and half months have been the fastest four and a half months of life. Now I finally get to talk to you again.

Talk to you all on Thursday!

Merry Christmas!


Elder O'Brien

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