Friday, September 18, 2015

September 7, 2015 - Woodstock, New Brunswick

Hello Family,

Today is Labor Day and because it's Labor Day everything is closed including the library that we normally e-mail at because one of the computers at the church is broken. So because of that, I don't have as much time to e-mail as I normally do today. I apologize in advance.

At zone conference we found out that Elder Perkins of the First Quorum of the Seventy is coming to tour our mission next week. So we will be having another zone conference a week from now with him and his wife. Ironically Elder Perkins gave a talk at the Priesthood session that me, Chris, and Dad went to three years ago. He was the one that gave the talk "Beware Concerning Yourselves"

Last Tuesday we had zone conference in Moncton. I really enjoyed it. Each zone conference is unique in its own way. I come away from every zone conference with a different message. At this zone conference, I got the impression that I need to study better. We stayed with the Fredricton Elders the night before and then woke up early the next morning and drove 2 hours to get to Moncton. Zone conference began with 5-minute talks from Sister Lowry and Elder Lerminex. Sister Lowry spoke on having confidence in our message and Elder Lerminez gave a talk on being a "Preach My Gospel" missionary. Then Sister Pratt spoke to us on faith. She said that faith is a choice. If we don't choose faith, we are choosing doubt. The lives of the people in our church are a symbol of our faith. 

Then we received a medical training from the Breathgate's. They are a senior couple in charge of the the medical stuff for the missionaries in the North America Central area. They talked about stress and how to deal with it. They talked about eating healthy and having a exercise program. My favorite quote was "Give it to God and go to sleep". They also talked how smiling relieves stress. 

After the medical training, we received a training from Brother Cartier. He is the CES director for the mission. He is a very knowledgeable man and knows a lot about the gospel. He trained us on how to study. He began his training by asking us "Why we study?" and "What aspects of studying do I feel I need to improve?" Then he had us ponder those two questions for a minute. Then he said that there is a price to be paid to gain spiritually knowledge. He answered the first question for us by saying "I go to the scriptures to be changed through the Atonement. I go to the scriptures to obtain the light and truth that will save me, my family, and everyone around me, according to the plan of God." He then showed us a talk that was given to all CES teachers at a conference. In the video the director of CES said "There is a hierarchy among truths and learning to discern this hierarchy will bless us and our students." Brother Cartier related teaching our investigators to become spiritually self-reliant rather than giving them the answers. Then Brother Cartier spoke on separating the details from the principles in a scripture passage. "Scriptural knowledge will increase our knowledge of the curriculum." I could go on and on about this training but to summarize I learned that I need to separate the details and principles in a scripture passage and look for Christ in all the scriptures. 

In the afternoon President Pratt trained us on member presence. He said that member presence is an issue for this mission and he suggested talking to 7 members before we go to a lesson by ourselves. He wants 75% member presence in the mission. I took a lot of notes if you couldn't already tell.

This week we got taken out to Chinese food on Friday. We saw all our less actives in Island Falls on Wednesday. We got to see M on Thursday. She was asking us a lot of good questions about the bible. We helped paint a church on Thursday as well. I went on an exchange in Caribou with Elder Stratton on Saturday. I got to train him on extending commitments while I was with him. I thought of Chris as I was doing that. It was a cool experience and it felt good.

Happy Labor Day!

Elder O'Brien, the older

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