Monday, May 4, 2015

April 20, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Hello Family,
It has been a bit of a down week for me. Going into the week we had hopes to have 3 new investigators but they all ended up falling through. The lessons fell through. One of them was sick, another cancelled on us and the father of the other told us that she really isn't interested in the Church. So this week has been disappointing. Don't worry Chris you'll have weeks like that too. One night I just took a step back and said, "I'm on a mission.. it doesn't get any better than this; I'm doing the best thing I could be doing right now. More important than any schooling or job. This perspective helped cheer me up. We found out about transfers yesterday and I am staying in Bridgewater with Elder Beckmen. Going into transfers I was pretty confident that I was leaving so it took me by surprise. There will be a shortage of sister missionaries next transfer so because of that two sister missionary areas had to be closed down. One of them was Bridgewater. This is only temporary though as there will be more sister missionaries come out in the June Transfer. But for now there will no longer be sisters in Bridgewater. This was the biggest surprise of transfers. The sisters have so many investigators and people that they work with. None of us expected it to be Bridgewater. So now we inherit all of the sister's investigators. We will have our plates full this transfer with the investigators that we have and the investigators that the sisters had now as well. Over the next couple days we will be having correlation meeting with the Sisters as a result. I was stressed yesterday.  Even the members and the Sisters could tell there was something different about me yesterday. I had a lot on my mind and it showed. We made a list of things to do to take my mind off things whenever I feel stressed. This all comes back to the perspective of being on a mission and embracing it. I'm on a mission right now - what is there not to be happy about. I just need to embrace it. Even though I am nervous about the upcoming transfer, I am happy to be spending another 6 weeks in Bridgewater.
On Tuesday,we knocked into a man who is really into Nascar and has a garage full of Nascar stuff. He actually showed it us; it was really impressive. It made me think of Dad and his passion for vehicles. He was very friendly but sadly wasn't interested
On Wednesday, District Meeting was extended for an hour. We talked about setting goals and plans to achieve those goals. It made me think of my patriarchal blessing. A mission is a good place to learn how to set goals. I have become better at it throughout my mission.
Please pray for me as we make this transition with the sisters being taken out and getting all their investigators. It is going to be a challenge but I am looking forward to it. If the Lord didn't think I could handle it then it wouldn't have happened. The Lord has faith in me and so does President Leavitt.
Have a great week!
Elder O'Brien

April 13, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Hello Family,
Well it sounds like you have had a very exciting week. Chris's e-mail was the first one I read :). Congratulations on your call to serve in the Texas Fort Worth mission Chris and being ordained an Elder. Sounds like it was a pleasant surprise. There were some Elders in my MTC zone that were going to that mission. It would be cool if you served with them. The only one I remember right now though is Elder Britt. He was really nice along with the other missionaries going there.

It's going to be cool for both of us to be out at the same time. We'll have lots of stories to share and things about our mission as well. I am excited for you Chris. We will have very different climates. I will be complaining about the snow while you're complaining about the heat. I look forward to Chris telling me all about his mission call in the weeks ahead. In under a month I will be Skyping home again. That is weird to think. 

We find out about transfers on Sunday and transfers are on Thursday.I hope I stay here but if my purpose in Bridgewater is fulfilled then I am certainly willing to go somewhere else. This transfer has gone by really fast. Stake Conference is on Mother's Day this year so I'll be able to tell you all about stake conference when I Skype home that day. If I get transferred to Newfoundland, then I would have missed district conference as it was this last weekend. 

Spring has finally sprung here in Nova Scotia. We have had blue skies all weekend and sunshine. It was plus 10 yesterday with more sunny weather forecast this week. But my week was opposite from yours. We weren't able to meet with any of our investigators and we did a lot of proselyting, and doing our wall map. It was a pretty uneventful.
On Wednesday, District Meeting was in Bridgewater. President Leavitt did a conference call with the whole mission for some of it. Talking about the changes he's made with our wall map, area book and member book - how our books are a living document of inspiration, how our wall maps can be used as a source of revelation as well. On the conference call, he spoke about the new mission president. He said he's spoken to him and his wife. He describes them as being very kind, gentle people. He said when they come the missionaries will be saying, "President Leavitt who's that?" I highly doubt I'll forget President Leavitt. He is one of a kind. He has a big sense of humour and cares about the missionaries very passionately. Anyway, we talked about making backup plans when our plans fall through. Which they do a lot especially with winter and giving spontaneous service. Appointments falling through. We need to have a plan in place in case some of our plans do fall through.
On Thursday we were supposed to give service at the hospital in the morning but that fell through. Luckily, we applied what we learned in District Meeting and made back-up plans. Instead we made some calls, street contacted, and worked on our wall map. In the afternoon we visited Sister Wentzell. She just got home form the hospital.
Elder O'Brien