Friday, September 4, 2015

August 31, 2015 - Woodstock, New Brunswick

Dear Family,

Another week has gone by and summer has almost come to a close. This summer has gone by fast. But nowadays time seems to be going by fast in general. All the days seem to blend together. Some days it feels like I am stuck inside a dream for 2 years. It's a weird feeling. Some days it feels like I am in a fantasy. My mission seems to be going so fast. I now have only 11 months left.. That's scary.

Tomorrow is zone conference in Moncton. I am getting pretty excited about this zone conference, This is the first zone conference we've had since President Pratt first arrived. In preparation for zone conference, we were all asked to read a talk by Richard G. Scott called "Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge." It is a talk given at BYU Education Week. In his talk he talks about how it is a struggle to gain spiritual knowledge. He talks about 5 principles when receiving spiritual knowledge. It must be understood, valued, used, remembered, and expanded. It is a really good talk and I am looking to forward to seeing why he had us read that talk. We were also asked to read pages 96-98 of Preach My Gospel.

On Wednesday, we had a mini-district meeting with just the Houlton Sisters and us. We went over a training given by the legendary Elder Torrie a while back called the "7 Principles of Companionship Unity." In it he lists 7 principles that will help make a companionship be unified. President Pratt is making a big emphasis on companionship unity. I think it will help me be more self-conscious of unity with my companion. After the mini-district meeting, Sister Deberry asked for a blessing from me because she was feeling nervous about training a new missionary from the MTC. She wanted a blessing to help her feel strength so I did that and she was very grateful. She was in tears after the blessing was over. After the blessing, we visited a man in his 30's who is less active. He works for the army and is very busy. He has some very interesting doctrinal views and he likes to talk about deep doctrine.
Our day was a mess Thursday. Our van has been due for a oil change for a long time now so in the afternoon we dropped it off at the car dealership. They gave us the options of dropping it off or just waiting till it was done. We told them we would just wait. Anyway it ended up taking two and a half hours to get the oil changed. During that time we were stuck there waiting. So all our plans that afternoon went up in flames. It was a very long stressful afternoon. It would be stressful for anybody. Just imagine being a missionary and waiting that long. I thought of Dad as we were waiting. Just imaging how he would have handled it.

While we were tracking on Saturday, we knocked on this one house who had German shepherd but no one was home. When we were walking away the German shepherd was following us. It had its head  and ears down. Elder Evans went to pick up a stick and while he was picking it up, it almost ate Elder Evan's hand. It came really close to him. So we were getting pretty scared. Elder Evans kept on picking up sticks and throwing it to distract it. Finally he found the last stick he could find and threw it as far as he could then we both sprinted to the car. It was a close call. 
On the way to church in the morning while we were in line at the border there was a man in his car in front of us that was Muslim. He kept on waving his hands in the air and looked very confused. So he got out of his car and went up to the next car and asked them "Toronto?" and Brother S told him "No.. United States" So this man went back into his car and did a U-Turn right in front of us in line at the border and he almost backed into us. Then he drove on the grass to get out and sped off. Right after that happened a border guard came running down the line to see what was going on. Then the border guards were on the intercom and another border guard came out. So that was my excitement at the border yesterday.

Have a good week! Hope you have a good conversation with Chris tomorrow!

Elder O'Brien (the older)

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