Monday, July 13, 2015

July 6, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

President and Sister Pratt, New Mission President

Hello Family,

It has been a very unique week. From Canada Day to President Boyd K Packer passing away. I was sad to hear about the passing about President Packer on Friday night but I can't say I didn't see that one coming. He was getting up there in age and it was only a matter of time. He has given some wonderful talks about the Plan of Happiness and has given powerful testimonies. My prayers are with him and his family at this time.

It was very interesting meeting President Pratt at zone conference. I can see the difference between coming into the mission with a mission president that has been doing this for two years from a brand new mission president right out of the MTC. President Leavitt had a wealth of experience; you could tell that he's seen it all. With President Pratt, he doesn't have a lot of experience yet and I could tell he is trying to figure things out. President Pratt doesn't have that flair that President Leavitt had. I think it will take him a while before he figures out how he wants to go about doing things. We just need to be patient with him until he settles in and adapts. The Pratt's are very nice, warm, humble, genuine people.I think I am going to enjoy working with them for the next year. I could tell that he cares about me and loves me. He also has a sense of humor but definitely not as outgoing as President Leavitt. The purpose of last week's zone conference was so that President Pratt could meet all the missionaries and we could meet him. At zone conference we basically trained President Pratt on what we're doing right now as a mission so he could get a feel of where we're at. President & Sister Pratt got to introduce themselves to us and give us their background. They told stories of when they were at the MTC where they were walking among st the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and their wives every day. A member of the First Presidency was there every day as well. He mentioned one day where all of the First Presidency was there including President Monson. It was very fascinating. The Pratts have four children. They were both born in Utah then moved to Florida. One of their children actually lives in Alberta. Small world :P. They told of us about their mission call. They said that in November, Neil L. Andersen phoned them asking to Skype with them. So they did and Elder Andersen asked them about their family and their finances then at the end he said that they have been recommended to serve as mission president and mission president's wife. Then in March they got a call from President Uchtdorf about their call. So they Skyped him and he told them they have been called to the Canada Halifax Mission. When telling us about that call, they said "It just felt right" when they got their call. One of the missionaries asked them if they've ever shoveled snow before and they said not for 30 years. Then everyone burst out laughing. Then that missionary said well you've come to the right place then. We all got a pretty good laugh about that. Sister Pratt mentioned that President Leavitt had been e-mailing her photos of this last winter we had. At one point she got scared and told President Leavitt to stop sending her pictures. She said she was checking the weather hourly. Sister Pratt is a tennis player and President Pratt is a Florida Gators fan.  So I thought that was pretty cool. At Zone Conference, President Pratt read us the letter from the Quorum of The Twelve and the First Presidency. It was a good zone conference overall. I really enjoyed meeting the Pratt's and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my mission.

So on Sunday we get transfer letters. Transfers will still work the same this transfer. We all get transfer letters on Sunday morning and then transfers will take place on Thursday. As for my situation, I have been in Bridgewater for almost 4 transfers now and I have been with Elder McGuire for almost 2 transfers. It is very rare for a missionary to stay in an area for 5 transfers. I only know of a few missionaries that has happened to. It is also very rare for a missionary to be with a companion for 3 transfers. So the odds are stacked up against me staying in Bridgewater. So I will likely be transferred. One week in and President Pratt already has some tough decisions to make. I am a little worried about him doing the transfers only a week in with just meeting us and having little knowledge about the areas. But I know he will be inspired of the Lord on my behalf. He is now entitled to revelation on what areas I should go to, what companions I should have, etc. In the meantime, I remain focused on my current assignment in Bridgewater and my current companion. I'm not thinking about who my companion will be at Christmas, I've not focused on where I'll be at my birthday. I am focused on the present. Although I would be lying to you if I hadn't thought about where my last area will be and who my  last companion will be. That is completely normal for all missionaries to think about. 

So this week was Canada Day here in Nova Scotia and it was surprisingly really quiet. Something that I'm not used to.  There wasn't a lot of people out on the streets. I didn't notice a lot of bbq's or blaring music. We went to Liverpool that day and it was very barren. It took me by surprise. There was a parade in Downtown Bridgewater but there wasn't that many people there. At the end of the day, I concluded that Eastern Canada doesn't know how to celebrate Canada Day like we do. It was even a hot day and there were still not many people out. We did hear fireworks last night but didn't see them. Western Canada knows how to do Canada Day right :). We went to the Ripple's for Canada Day and they had bbq smokies and burgers with corn on the cob. It was really good. 

We went to a funeral on Tuesday. She died of old age. It was a good funeral. We got to sing in the choir and sing "O My Father." One speaker that was supposed to speak didn't end up coming though. So that was a little awkward. 
On Saturday we had a long day. We spent the day in Lunenberg and ended up talking to 130 people by the end of the day. Although we only got one potential investigator from those 130 people. The rest of them were tourists from all over including Halifax, the States, and foreign countries. They were all pretty hard rejections. Not many people were nice to us that day. So we had a lot of contacts and worked hard that day. But they weren't quality contacts. Lunenberg is a very touristy area in the summer.

On Sunday we felt the after affects of Saturday. I was so tired yesterday morning. Throughout the day I found myself physically exhausted. It was a hot and humid day so that didn't help. The lake looked awful tempting to jump in yesterday I'm telling you. It was so  hot yesterday. But we had a great day still. 2 of our investigators and 2 of our less actives was at Church. It was so good to see them at Church again. It was one of the highlights of the day. One investigator was taking notes during Sunday School. We found out later on in the day that she told Sister Harlow that she wants to be baptized and she wants to me to be the one to baptize her. The reason being is because I was the one that found her in the beginning with Elder Nielsen. She didn't to have a lot of potential then but now she does. I was very humbled when Sister Harlow told me that. We were both thrilled in general that she wants to be baptized . Although we haven't set a date yet but will next time we meet with them. To top it all of we got 2 new investigators last night- a younger couple who were former investigators. We received a lot of blessings yesterday. The Lord was blessing us for all the hard work we did on Saturday.

Have a great week! Safe travels back home! Wish me luck with transfer letters on Sunday!


Elder OBrien

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