Friday, August 14, 2015

August 10, 2015 - Woodstock, New Brunswick

Food Portions at Grammys
Hello Family,
Let me start off my letter by saying "Happy Birthday, Dad." Hope you have a nice birthday filled with a day full of relaxation and peace like you deserve. There is a famous ice cream place in Houlton called "Houlton Dairy Farms and Ice Cream." They are known to have very good ice cream. We will be going there today in honour of your birthday. 

It has been a very interesting week. They say that this is the Bible Belt of the mission and that was evident this weekend. While we were knocking on Friday, we knocked into a man. He opened the door and we told him we were missionaries. Then he said "I have a few issues with you guys, first of all you are too young to be an elder, second of all you don't have credentials to be a representative of Jesus Christ." He explained to us that Jesus was a lawmaker and a fisherman. We then asked him if his disciples had any credentials; he responded by saying "It is unfair and not right for you to be asking me questions." We tried testifying but he cut us off. The conversation ended by him telling us "to do our research and go home, you are doing the wrong thing, you have been indoctrinated." Then he slammed the door in our face.
So this week I got a strong impression that I should talk to a lady I helped baptize but I was afraid to. I didn't know how she would react to me after her decision to quit coming to church. So eventually I sent her a message on Facebook telling her that I felt like I should talk to her and I just asked her how her and her family are doing. She responded to me saying that they are doing good. She asked me how I was doing. It was just a really good friendly conversation. This conversation I had with her just showed me that she still wants to be friends with me and it showed her I still want to be friends with her. As long as were still friends there is still hope for her. This impression gave me a glimmer of hope. 

Last Wednesday, we had District Meeting in Houlton. Elder Thompson talked about how we need to let ourselves become the missionary the Lord wants us to become and he quoted a scripture in Mosiah that says our afflictions and our trials will be but a small moment. It was a good reminder that everything I go through is for my benefit. After District Meeting, we went as a district to a Catholic food pantry and helped move some boxes. Over the last 3 weeks of me being here, I have noticed that this is a very close-knit district. This is the closest district I've ever been a part of. We all love each other and we all want to work hard for each other. There is a good spirit of unity in this district that I love. For dinner, the Lee's took us out to Grammy's. It is a restaurant exclusive to Maine. It is known for its large proportions of food. The slogan for the restaurant is "Grammy's... Where you get more then you expect!" Elder Evans had been telling me that I'll get the most served to me in my entire life. Of course I didn't really believe him at the time and doubted that. So I ordered roast beef with sweet potatoes. When they came out with my dinner, I was shocked at how much they gave me. I definitely wasn't expecting that much food. I ended having to take leftovers home. 
On Saturday, we went on exchanges with the Caribou Elders. Elder Evans went to Caribou with Elder Thompson and I was in Woodstock with Elder Stratton. Elder Stratton is a brand new missionary from the MTC. He has been in the mission field for about 3 weeks now.  He was supposed to come out with me last year but when we got to the MTC, he decided he wasn't ready so he worked for a year and saved money. So he came back out this transfer. He is a good new missionary. It was a good exchange. I was able to be a mentor to him and teach him a few things. On the exchange, we had lessons with two investigators. With both of them, we taught them about the Book of Mormon. One investigator has been smoke-free for a week now. In both lessons I was able to take the lead. So that was a good experience of me taking the lead. 
Have a good week!

Elder O'Brien

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