Saturday, March 14, 2015

February 9th, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,
It has been another cold week here. We got some more snow this week which made it interesting to drive in. We skidded on the road a couple times and had some close calls. But we're still alive; don't worry. We drive a white Colorado truck. The winter has made me grateful that I came out on a mission in the summer instead of the winter. For example, Elder Willoughby's parents made it so he would fly to the Lethbridge airport from Calgary. instead of just picking him up in Calgary. Whereas when I go home in the summer we don't have to worry about snow storms or icy roads. The only thing we have to worry about is a thunderstorm.

There has been a rumour going around this week that the new mission president has already been chosen. He's a lawyer from Florida. He's 57. Since he hasn't asked his firm if he can be away for the next three years yet, he hasn't been officially announced yet. We heard this from President Wentzell. He is the second counsellor in the mission presidency and he is in the Bridgewater Ward. So we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

On Monday, when P-Day ended President Leavitt made us stay inside again because it was snowing quite a bit again. That's two snow days in the past two weeks. But this time we were only confined for 3 hours - not the whole day.

On Tuesday, we picked up a new investigator. Her name is Lisa. She is Chinese. Her son is a recent convert of about a year. His name is Johnny. She goes to Church once  in awhile with Johnny. She says that every time she goes to Church she feels happy and she's noticed that it has made Johnny happy as well. So she wants to learn more of how it makes her happy and how it makes her son happy. So we're pretty excited about that. She seems really receptive.

Instead of having ward council on Sunday the ward has it on Wednesday night. In addition they have Priesthood Executive Council and a family history class. So Wednesdays are our busy days. It was nice doing family history again. I haven't been on it in a while so it was nice. These family history classes are weekly.

On Thursday, Sister Rhondenizer wanted us to us to help shovel a path for the mailman to a member's house. That took longer then expected. The snow was quite compacted and deep.Then we tried to visited Launie in Lockeport. It's about an hour and a half away. So we drove all the way out there for him not to be home. It was pretty disappointing. We tried contacting him but couldn't. We go down there once a week. So instead we knocked there for an hour. Then we had a dinner appointment a the Harlow's. They have 9 dogs. Sister Harlow is really energetic and talkative.

On Friday, it was zone conference. President Leavitt trained us on the different methods of finding and how to work with members. In the training on finding, he said that in the MTC 70% of what they teach you is teaching investigators and they spend 10% of the time teaching you how to find investigators. Whereas in this mission, you spend 10% of the time teaching and 70% of the time you spend finding. So we're at a disadvantage when you come to this mission. He gave 11 methods of finding people to teach:
1. Less Actives
2. Talking to Everyone
3. Street Contacting
4. Knocking
5. Referrals
6. Former Investigators
7. Service
8. Unbaptized children
9. Part Member Families
10. Media
11. Potential Investigators

Then in the training on working with members, he said that we need to keep records of our dinner appointments with members by using the member book. He said that we are to strengthen and help the members in the ward. When we go to a dinner appointment we need to have a plan on what we want to accomplish and then follow-up with them. We need to keep more information about these members so we know how to best strengthen them. He gave an outline on how to do that:
1. "Information leads to revelation"
2. Plan
3. Execute
4. Record what we did

It was a good training. It made me realise that dinner appointments aren't time off from missionary work. At the end of zone conference, President Leavitt went around and asked every missionary what he learned, how they felt and what they're going to do about it. What I got from zone conference was that I need to set more goals. President Leavitt asked if we said anything about that and I said, "no." Then he responded, "The Holy Ghost is the teacher not me, That is how we receive personal revelation." I felt inspired, I felt happy and I felt the spirit. I'm going to set more goals now. Then we had a testimony meeting. Usually the missionaries going home bear their testimonies but since there was only one missionary from our zone going home, they chose other missionaries to bear their testimony. I was one of them. So I did. I have now borne my testimony 3 times in the last two weeks. It's been very humbling. I'm on a spiritual high right now. At no other time in my life will I get to bear my testimony as much as I do on my mission. Be very excited about that Chris. Overall, I enjoyed zone conference. The Yarmouth sisters actually skyped into it because of the weather.
On Saturday, we went to a young child's baptism. So we went over to the church and helped fill the font. The water started out being really hot then turned cold. So in the end the font was cold. I felt bad for the boy. He was shivering.

We have been planning a Easter Concert for the ward with the sisters on March 29th. Involving other faiths and other members. We're hoping it will be a good missionary opportunity. It's not official yet but we're getting the leg work done for that right now. So we met with the music chairman on Saturday as well. That evening, we got an investigator on date for baptism on April 11. His name is David. He is a Jewish man. He has a French accent. He is afraid of his family disowning him if he gets baptised. That is his only hang up. But he wants to learn more and wants to see where he's at by April 11. So we're pretty excited about that. He has a friend who is less active. 

Favourite Quote from Zone Conference: "Information leads to Revelation"

Hope you have a great week!
Elder O'Brien

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