The leaves on the trees are falling to the ground and the leaves are changing colors. The signs of fall are here. I remember how beautiful last fall was and now I can hardly wait for this fall. The fall reminds me of how beautiful God's creations are. It is also evidence that there is a God. One of the scriptures I use when explaining the creation is Alma 30:44 when Alma is speaking to Korihor. Korihor was asking for a sign that there is a God. Then Alma says "Have ye not signs enough?." Then Alma proceeds to tell him to look around ... that is evidence enough. What more evidence do you want? The beauty of fall is just one of many evidences that there is a God.
My week has been pretty uneventful. But we did do an interesting exercise at district meeting. Elder Thompson gave a training on adversity. In part of his training he showed us his "5 personal steps to overcoming adversity." Then he had each of write down our own 5 steps to overcoming adversity. I did that and I would like to share with you what my own 5 steps to overcoming adversity are:
2. Have hope
4. Eternal Perspective
What are yours? How do you overcome adversity personally? It is different for each of us. I would encourage you to think about that and write it down. This exercise was really thought-provoking.
We had a cool experience the other day. It was on a Saturday afternoon. We were going to go street contacting but there was no one on the streets to talk to at the time. So we got back in the car. Our backup for street contacting was stopping by former and potential investigators. So we started driving to a potential investigator's house. But as we were driving, I felt a prompting to stop at one of our investigators. So I told Elder Evans that and we drove to this investigator. We got there and we found out she had been going through a really rough time and that she was living off low income. Her boyfriend had moved out and they are going through a separation. They have 2 kids together. He provided most of the money for them and now that they are separated she has really low income. So we told her that the Church could help her pay for some of her groceries. We told the branch president about the situation yesterday and now the branch is getting her some groceries. If I hadn't of received that prompting and acted on it who knows if the Church would have been able to help her on time. She was going to go to the food bank on Friday. But now she doesn't have to anymore.
There have been so many experiences I've had like that on my mission. Where we've been at the exact right place at the exact right time. It is humbling to a part of those experiences and it's one of my favorite things about being a missionary. I LOVE those experiences. We have them all the time and it's such a great feeling knowing that I was an instrument in the Lord's hand.
We had the opportunity to watch the CES devotional last night at the Church in Houlton. There was a couple of minutes where the devotional wasn't working completely. But from what I did see from it, I liked the story he shared of the garden in Vancouver. How that took 25 years for it to blossom and it all started from a tiny little plant. Then he compared it to beatifying our lives and how it takes time. I also enjoyed the story of the flower pot at this house and how it grew through different seasons. We also have different seasons in our lives. My favorite quote from his talk was "Behold the man!".
We were able to meet with one of our investigators this week that we haven't been able to meet with in a long time. She has a lot of health issues. The previous elders had just finished the stop-smoking program so now we're trying to get her in a teaching situation. We talked about prayer and how that helped her stop smoking but we weren't sure how to run with that.
We went to member's house after District Meeting on Wednesday. We were supposed to be helping him move some firewood. But right as soon as we're starting, a thunderstorm came. So we ended up not helping him. But they still fed us dinner though. On our way to District Meeting in Caribou, we got pulled in at the border for a "random inspection". We went into the border office and they did a thorough inspection of our car. They had us fill out a US customs declaration sheet while were in there. It ended up taking 15 minutes by the end. They let us go and we didn't get any extra trouble. I was a little nervous in the beginning but I could understand why they did that because 9/11 was only 2 days away.
On Thursday, we got a call to help move some new pews into the Houlton Chapel. So we did that. The pews were really heavy :P. I actually couldn't handle them and got another man to help carry it with Elder Evans instead of me helping him. Elder Evans said he could see the vein in my brain starting to pop out as I as trying to lift it. We also continued working on the PowerPoint presentation for the missionary fireside on October 9th. It is coming along nicely. We got a good chunk of it done this week and the mission leader likes what he sees so far.
We picked up a new investigator on Saturday. He is a Haitian man and a teacher. He is a little older. He is Christian and is open to learning about other religions.
J was at Church again yesterday. He asked us for a blessing. So we did that. He is taking things a day at a time. He recognizes that going to church will help him through his trials.
We met with one of the sister's investigators this week that is trying to quit smoking. He asked us for a blessing to give him to strength to quit smoking. In a separate meeting, we taught him the law of chastity. He had no issues with it and is living it honorably.
We have got zone conference with Elder Perkins on Wednesday. I am getting really excited for that. It is not very often that a general authority comes to our mission. I am looking forward to hearing what has to say. I will be sure to get a picture with him while I'm there.
Have a good week!
Elder O'Brien (the older)