Monday, June 1, 2015

April 27, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Hello Family,
It has been a very rainy week here in Nova Scotia. It rained most of the week but on the weekend it was nice. This week has been very exhaustive. I am exhausted physically, spiritually, and mentally. Our teaching pool has gone from 3 investigators to 11 investigators. It has been the most tiring week of my mission so far. We have been doing a lot of planning and a lot of phoning. Before I start, Mother's Day is fast approaching. I have been thinking about phoning/skyping home and while President Leavitt hasn't said anything about the length of the call I was wondering if it would be okay if I skyped home at 2:00 my time? We have stake conference in the morning which will be broadcast at the chapel in Bridgewater and possibly a correlation meeting right after.
After P-Day was over we went knocking. While we were knocking, we knocked into an atheist. He told us that we have been indoctrinated and that we have been brainwashed by our parents. He said there is no evidence at all that there is a God and there is no way that Noah built an ark. He gave us a bunch of names of scientists and comedians that talk about religion and a talk show where a bunch of religions call in and express their reason why there is a God and every time they try to convince them that there is a God they get "slammed" and proven wrong. He says that religion is a joke. He wanted our e-mails so he could e-mail us a list of comedians/professionals that prove there is no God. Anyway, he was quite the atheist. He told us that he should be the one converting us. After that we went to the church and gave a blessing to a young couple from Grande Prairie. The husband's mother lives in Nova Scotia and is about to pass away so he wanted a blessing to help him through that. When I said I was from Stirling, they mentioned they know quite a bit of people from Southern Alberta.
Tuesday was very rainy and muddy. We had a correlation meeting with the sisters before going tohelp clear some wood off of a path to a member's oil barrel.
Wednesday, we had a mini-district meeting with the sisters to talk about last transfer and this upcoming transfer. We talked about the need to be balanced and using our leaders for help. This transfer was good; one of our less actives is progressing really well. We got dropped by a couple of our investigators but the area got a baptism this transfer. Overall, I thought it was decent transfer. This transfer we have high hopes with number of investigators we have and some of them are on-date for baptism. This should be a really successful transfer. We met with one of the sister's investigators before bishop's correlation meeting. She is 17 years old.  She is a really nice person. Very open. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and Sister Shannon put her on-date for baptism for June 27th. But that is tentative; she agreed to work towards that date. So that is exciting.
Thursday was another cold, wet day. We gave service at the hospital in the morning, This week we got to read a letter to a old lady. It was in cursive and she has bad eye sight. It was 6 pages long and we had a difficult time making out some words. But it was a nice experience. It made me feel good inside knowing that I helped someone in need. It reminds me of the scripture "When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are in the service of your God."
Friday, we had weekly planning only this time it actually took 3 hours instead of 2 because of all the new investigators we now have, We actually forgot the Area Book at the church from the night before so we had to go to the church in the morning and get it. While we were, I saw some members from Kentville. They were cleaning our chapel. They are the cleaning crew for the stake. It was so nice to see them again. They told me they miss me and that the ward is doing good. It was the highlight of the day. While we were tracting, we knocked into a Jehovah's Witness. She was a older lady. She was really nice to us and talked to us about their beliefs. We offered her a card but she wouldn't take it unless she gave us theirs. So we accepted. Their pass-along cards are almost identical to ours. On the back of theirs it quotes Matthew 5:3 as "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need." When in actuality it says "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's the kingdom of heaven." So I thought that was interesting.
Saturday, we went to Liverpool again. We helped a member with his car. Elder Beckmen is a mechanic so he was the one that helped him with that. He still won't drive to church because he can't afford gas though.
Sunday, we watched the Canada-Wide Broadcast. At least I thought it was Canada-Wide.. None of you mentioned it in your letter and all the members said it was Canada-Wide so now I'm curious. Elder Kacher spoke along with Elder Hales, Elder Andersen, and Sister Reeves. Elder Kacher spoke about a muslim friend being converted to the gospel and how we need to ask ourselves if we are truly converted to the gospel. Sister Reeves spoke about the Plan of Redemption and repenting. Elder Andersen spoke about being a light to the world and Elder Hales spoke about the number of teenagers who believe in Jesus Christ and how it has dropped in the last 4 years. The theme was families. Elder Hales, in particular, spoke a lot about how parents need to teach their kids about the simple doctrines and principles of the gospel. It made me think of Mom & Dad. You have helped develop a lot of gospel habits. I remember every time we went to a fireside you would ask me what I liked about the fireside. I now write down what I like about every fireside and share it with my companion. It was Elder Beckman's 6 month mark last week so we burned one of his ties that night. I decided to burn a tie as well even though I am 3 months late. It was hard choosing a tie to burn since all my ties are so nice. I like all of them. Sadly one of them had to go.
I am beginning to take things a day at a time. With the amount of investigators we have and the work and stress behind it, I am taking things in segments rather thinking of the next 6 weeks I need to take everything a day at a time. It's like shooting a half court shot in basketball all at once; you're not going to make it. But if you use your options, pass the ball, and take a good shot, you'll be successful. Same thing with missionary work. You have leaders that will help you and resources. Just need to take everything a day at a time rather then thinking "How am I going to get through these next 6 weeks."  Life and missionary work is a lot less stressful if you focus on a day at a time.
Fun fact - did you know in D&C 87:1-7, Joseph Smith prophesies of the civil war.
Have a great week!
Elder O'Brien

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