Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 5, 2015 - Kentville, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,

It has been a very interesting and a stressful week. Last Monday night after P-Day was over, we got a call from President Leavitt saying that Elder Dupin would be emergency transferred to Sackville. A missionary from Sackville who came out 6 weeks after me was going home early the next day for personal reasons.So Elder Dupin would then replace him. That night we dropped Elder Dupin off and It was a kind of a weird feeling as I saw a missionary who was about to go home early. It was kind of awkward saying goodbye to him because I didn't really know what to say. But the interesting part is that Elder Hatch and Elder Dupin are still zone leader companions; they're just not serving together. I'm Elder Hatch's proselyting companion and Elder Dupin is his zone leader companion. So now our two areas are merged together. Sackville is only an hour way. Elder Dupin was originally supposed to just be there for the week but then President Leavitt decided to keep him there. So they have been in constant contact with each other all week as you can imagine with zone leader stuff and questions about the area. So now we have to do weekly exchanges with Sackville so that Elder Dupin and Elder Hatch can correlate their zone leader efforts and so that Elder Dupin can still be around. Elder Hansen is the other missionary in Sackville. He seems chill though. Elder Knowles and I took him out his first day. I have felt some stress since Elder Hatch is still really new to the area and I've only been here for a month and a half. So it puts some weight on my shoulders. But in a way its been good for me to be able to take more of a leadership role in taking the lead for the area.

It has been very cold this week. We have been getting quite a bit of snow. More snow then we got all December. On New Years Eve, we helped Brother Collet move tree brush for about an hour. Then he fed us lunch. Later on we met with Stephen one of the recent converts we work with. He showed us this app called "LDS Scriptures Rockband" where it sings the scriptures to you. I thought it was kind of odd but he says he listens to it all the time and it helps him pay attention. Whatever works, right. Then we had dinner at Fred and Bonnie Bond's. Fred Bound is the founding member of the ward. After that, we had to be in our apartments by 7. So we just relaxed. I ate some of my Christmas stocking food. We talked to Elder Dupin and Elder Hardesty on the phone for about an hour because we eventually got bored. Right before I went to bed, there were fireworks that we could see outside our window. So at least we had some sort of New Year's Eve celebration. 

For New Years, we cleaned the apartment for 4 hours. Since there were only two of us, it take a little longer. Plus Elder Dupin's stuff was still there and we didn't know what to do with it. So that made it a little difficult. But we got most of the cleaning done. It's not as cluttered as it was before. Then Sister Mollis had us over again for New Year's dinner. It was mostly the same stuff as for Christmas Dinner. That night we we met with Shannon Hirtle. She said she had been struggling this week. She hasn't prayed as often or read the scriptures as much as she did before. She mentioned that she may have torn her menisci snowboarding. She asked for a blessing to help heal it.  We gave her the blessing  and she felt better after. But we challenged her to bear her testimony in a couple of weeks and she did yesterday so that was a good sign that all is well.

On Friday Night, while we were out knocking, Cathy Drennan gave us someone that we could stop by that is also a cop that works with her husband. So we stopped by and she told us that she's had missionaries stop by before and that all she tells them is that she is not interested. She told us to go stop by the Drennan's since they're Mormons. Anyway, later on that night we got a text from Cathy Drennan saying that she made a post on Facebook asking "Who keeps sending the Mormons over to my house?"

Yesterday morning, we had a snow storm.  A bunch of areas in the zone had church cancelled because of it. Our ward only had sacrament meeting. There were only like 50 people there. So for the areas in the zone who didn't have church, we had a conference call testimony meeting for about an hour to make up for it . Alll the missionaries who would like to bear their testimonies could. It was a good meeting. Even though we still had our sacrament meeting, we listened in on it because Elder Hatch is one of the zone leaders. I felt the spirit as I listened to other missionaries bear their testimonies. One of the testimonies that touched me was by Elder Evans in Annapolis Royal. He testified that even though our friends or our family may not believe in us, the Savior does and He has specifically called us to represent him and to stand in His place in that area - to minister unto those people He has sent you. 

Another thing I liked about the testimony meeting that missionaries kept bringing up was that a mission is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We need to take it more seriously than anything else in our entire lives. The mission experience causes a transformation for us and that we shouldn't return home the same.

On the downside this week, one of our new investigators Cody dropped us because of his health issues. So we were pretty sad about that. We also tried contacting Shawn but he hasn't gotten back to us. We had three lessons with the McNairs this week and they all fell through because they kept cancelling on us.

Melanie and Madison seemed to be doing pretty well. We haven't visited them as often as we did before. But she's a hard time accepting that Elder Dupin got transferred since she got really attached to Elder Dupin and Elder Willoughby. So that has been hard for her especially since they left so close together. With Elder Dupin it was just out of the blue. No one was expecting that at all.

Hope you have a great first week back at work and school! Good job on starting your mission papers Chris. 


Elder O'Brien

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