Saturday, March 14, 2015

February 23, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,
It has been a very tiring week. We have been doing quite a bit of shovelling. Luckily today we aren't confined to our apartments all day and we haven't been snowed in this week. So that's been nice. On Thursday we got about 5 cm of snow but yesterday we got rain during the day and then snow at night. That helped the snow melt quite a bit. Many people were out shovelling on Saturday because it was plus 3. I guess they figured to take advantage of it while we have it.

Tuesday, we shovelled a less active's roof for 3 hours and then had dinner with his family. He is a rough and tumble kind of guy. He does a lot of hard labor. His wife isn't a member. He has a rule that his children can't get baptised until they're 12 because he thinks at 8 they can't really make that sort of decision. He has two daughters. One of them is already baptised and is 16. The other one is turning 12 in March. So we're going to be keeping our eyes on that.

Wednesday was a good day for us. At district meeting we talked up taking the things we learn from our district meetings and zone conferences and implementing them in our missionary work. That has been a big focus lately from President Leavitt. Sometimes we go to meetings and learn all this great new stuff but then we don't do anything about it. So he wants us to follow up more on the  things we're trained on. We picked up a new investigator named Brenda while we were out knocking. She was out walking on the side of the street and then we stopped her. We talked to her for about an hour teaching 10 different principles and then we prayed with her in the middle of the road. She has a strong belief in God. She has a mother who is dying that she is taking care of right now. So she wants to know more about the Plan of Salvation. Really sweet lady. We set up an appointment with her on Saturday at Tim Hortons but that ended up falling through. So we're going to re-contact her tonight and see if we can set something else up this week. We're hoping to meet with her somewhere that's less distracting. Then we got a call from Brother Tidd saying that David is considering moving his baptismal date up. That was wonderful to hear. We had a teacher's training seminar that night. They talked about how as teachers we need to engage our investigators/students in our lessons. That it's okay if we go off topic occasionally as long as it's prompted by the Spirit. Sometimes teachers are so set on their lesson plans that they forget about what the students need. After that we had Ward Council. They mainly talked about less actives the whole time. It's cool to see that on a mission you're able to see how different wards work and how different bishops function. In this particular ward they have a focus on helping individuals. They don't talk a lot about the auxiliaries.

Thursday, I went on a exchange in Sackville with Elder Sortomme. He has been out for about a year. He is really nice and is really energetic. He is a very fundamental and smart missionary. He does all the little things right. Like instead of going street contacting when there was no one around we contacted potentials on Facebook. Then we made a set lesson plan for a less active that he would follow-up on on Saturday. I was very impressed by him. Even though he isn't the best with words, he's smart.

Friday, we shovelled Sister Rhondeizer's snow bank because she couldn't see over it while backing up. So we did that for an hour and a half. Then we headed over to the church for Games night.

Saturday, we had a special ward council breakfast. We made a ward vision for the year and a vision statement. Some of the things they talked about was temple attendance, missionary work, and membership. Later on we visited a less active. He actually called us on Wednesday saying that he wants to have the church in his life again. He feels good when he comes to church. He seems to have a sincere desire to get back into full activity. He has some things that he needs to work out with the bishop first though. He has a pattern of wanting to get his life back on track but then not show up up to church for 6 months. I hope that he sticks to coming back this time. I could feel the Lord's love for him as we were visiting him.

Sunday, we had Church again! It was so nice. I don't think I could go another week without Church. Because the roads were still icy because of the rain on top of the snow, the numbers were smaller then usual. In sacrament meeting the main focus was on temples. Sister Shannon actually spoke first. Which kinda scares me because she got here the same time I did so they might ask me to speak next. She gave a good talk. She talked about experiences she's had going to the temple in Toronto. She mentioned how the temple has such a peaceful feeling when we go there. It made me think of when I went to the temple the first time to now. I feel a lot more comfortable than I did the first time. It feels more and more familiar each time. I love the temple. We gave Sister Donaldson the sacrament in the afternoon and I gave her a blessing as well. She misses church and wants to go back so badly. She asked us if we could ask the ward council if it would be possible to skype into Church. She especially misses the camaraderie she feels at church. We had dinner at Bishop Fraser's that night. At dinner Bishop Fraser says "Let's get our second cousin Elder O'Brien to say the prayer." Haha. Then their kids were trying to figure out how we're related and what they are to me. Sister Fraser finally says "We're just related." Their kids are funny. They have a picture of Uncle Bob hanging up on their wall by their fireplace. Sister Fraser asked me if I could see the resemblance between him and Papa. I can definitely see the resemblance. At the end of the dinner appointment, Bishop mentioned that I am definitely a Wood. He can see it by my mannerisms and some of the things I say. I asked if that was a good thing or a bad thing. He said "It's just a thing". That was a good dinner appointment.

Have a great week!
Elder O'Brien

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