Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 9, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,
It has been a good week. We have getting warm weather all week. It has been up to plus 6 degrees. The lowest was -11 with barely any snow. The signs of spring are here. Yesterday we got transfer letters and I am going to be staying in the Bridgewater Area with a new companion. Elder Nielsen is getting transferred. My new companion is going to be Elder Beckman. He is from Chandler, Arizona and he has been out for about 4 months. So I am now going to be in charge of the area and the older missionary in the companionship. So I'm going to be the senior companion. I was a little caught off guard when I read that Elder Nielsen was being transferred. I felt positive that we would both be staying. But I prayed for a spiritual witness that this decision was inspired and I got a confirmation that it was. I'm a little nervous about being in charge of the area and taking the lead. But I know it'll be a good experience for me. It'll give me the opportunity to take more responsibility and leadership. I know that the Lord will help me through it. I'm also nervous about driving the truck. I haven't driven in a while so I'll be rusty.

Some exciting news came out this week. The new mission president has been announced and his name is President Pratt. He is from Orlando, Florida. He is 57 and he is a big lawyer in America. He is going take over June 28, 2015. So in three short months President Pratt will take the reigns from President Leavitt. There is now a nervous bug beginning to go around the mission with President Pratt being announced. It's going to be quite the summer.
Funny Story. While we were out knocking this week. I knocked on this one door when a lady answered who I thought was a teenager. So I said "Are your parents home?." Then she said "Uhh, I'm the home owner." I felt so embarrassed after that. I swear she was a teenager.
Tuesday, we went out to Mahone Bay and tried visiting a former investigator but we didn't have any luck. So we street contacted instead but didn't have any luck. There was hardly anyone around. Then we had dinner at Brother Murray's. He has us over for supper every Tuesday. Mahone Bay is the celebrity capital of Nova Scotia. It is very beautiful. Lots of tourists come there in the summer.
Wednesday, we had District Meeting in Sackville. I gave the doctrinal discussion this time. I did it on the Christlike attributes in Preach My Gospel. I chose the Christlike attribute of diligence. I used the example of the Prophet Joseph Smith being diligent in searching for the truth. Then I had everyone read a scripture and then relate that to being diligent. It went well. At the end, I tied it all together with consistently working hard day-to-day. There was a line in Preach My Gospel where it talked about diligence meaning "to work hard consistently and to persevere." If we are diligent we will see miracles. The focus for this district meeting was "Our purpose as missionaries." We talked how some missionaries go out on missions just to impress their girlfriend and their family and to have a RM sticker on their wall when they go home. Those missionaries aren't really motivated and don't understand their purpose. We used an analogy of a player playing on a football just to look good in-front of everybody. They aren't motivated. Where as a missionary who came on a mission that wanted to serve the Lord, their motivation goes up and they want to work hard. We had dinner at the Caulfields later on. Brother Caulfield is the Ward Clerk in the ward. He is about 6 foot 8. He is really tall. Sister Caulfield knows a lot about Alberta. They were asking me about basketball in Stirling and who we played. That sort of thing.
Thursday, we began giving service at the hospital. We got orientated and got shown around the hospital. We found out about the service through Irene Hirtle. She works there as a nurse. We'll be doing mostly paperwork I think. We got dropped by David in the morning. He didn't directly do it himself though. He got Brother Tidd to tell us for him. He felt pressured into reading the Book of Mormon so that's why he dropped us. We were disappointed. We felt like we weren't pressuring him. We think that if he's not willing to read the Book of Mormon he's not that interested. 

Saturday, we had to go to Canadian Tire because our front right tire was low. So we were there for about two hours while we waited for them to fix it. It ended having nails in it. Then we went out to Liverpool. We street contacted for a little bit and then visited Peter. He is still upset that no one offers him a ride to Church. He doesn't get a lot of social interaction so we need to make it a priority to visit him every week. He is lonely. Elder Nielsen was very subtle but direct with him. He shared a scripture in Mosiah where it talks about "God is not a God of miracles." We can't ask him for something if we're not willing to do our part. Unfortunately, we don't think he got it. It seemed to have went over his head. Then we went back to Bridgewater and met with Lisa Li. We watched the Restoration video with her in Mandarin with English subtitles. She had a hard time understanding why Joseph Smith was wondering which Church was right. 

Sunday, was daylight savings and I was very tired and it was ward ward conference. Brother Dorey was released as second counsellor in the bishopric and the Brother Hunt was called in his place. He had been serving in the bishopric for about 4 years. It was a good ward conference. Bishop Fraser gave a talk on becoming like Christ and not just copying him. How copying him isn't going to get us as far as working to be Christ-like. It was a good talk. Then the stake president President Evans gave a talk on fitness and mental health. He talked about the need for us to be physically fit and spiritually fit. My favourite part of the talk was when he said "It's not your fault you have anxiety, depression, or a mental health issue. It wasn't your choice. The Lord knows you have it and wants you to learn from it." I just thought of myself and how I have anxiety/autism. I didn't decide to have them. I didn't want to have it but I do. The Lord wants me to learn from them and accept that I do have some mental health issues. So It hit home for me. It was a really good talk. We had lunch at he Rawding's after church. They are very missionary minded. They are actually flying to Salt Lake for conference in April. They are pretty excited about that. We watched the Biography of President Hinckley with them. They are really nice people. Sister Rawding is a convert to the church. She originally said no to the missionaries but then they kept trying and eventually she asked to be baptised. We gave Sister Donaldson the sacrament and had supper with them. Sister Donaldson's husband is an atheist but is really nice to missionaries.
I'm got gonna lie I'm a little stressed about being in charge of the area. But I know that as I rely on the Lord, He will help me through it.

Have a great week!
Elder O'Brien

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