It has been a cold weekend here in New Brunswick/Maine. Yes, we had our first snowfall of the winter on Saturday :/. There was quite a bit of frost this morning on our car as well. It's safe to say that winter is back. I am grateful that you sent me my winter clothes as it looks like I got them just in time. They say that New Brunswick winters are a lot colder than Nova Scotia's and if that's the case then I am in for a long winter. It might be worse than last winter.
This weekend was stake conference. The adult session and the Sunday morning session were both broadcasted to the chapel in Houlton. In both sessions, they talked a lot about Ward Councils and the importance of women speaking up and reaching out to others. Overall Stake Conference was enlightening and edifying. During stake conference, we learned that on November 22nd they will be broadcasting the dedication of the Montreal Temple to Caribou, Charlottetown, and Saint John wards. We are supposed to go to the nearest church building. So that would be Caribou for us. This took me a little by surprise. I didn't think that they would be broadcasting a dedication of another temple that's not in the Maritimes to us.
Yesterday I had a rough day. As President Straight spoke about his mission, he told a story of how good it feels that those he influenced on his mission are staying faithful. That hit home for me in a bad way because most of the people I've taught on my mission aren't staying faithful. I had a good influence on M and now she has fallen away. R in Hampton has now fallen away too. So doubt and darkness filled my mind and my heart yesterday as I began to question the impact I've made on the people I have worked with. I had some pretty dark thoughts as well. This continued until this morning when I received the impression, "They have their agency." This impression dispelled all the feelings of darkness and doubt I felt yesterday. I know it was Satan trying to put me down. He is good at making me feel inadequate. But if the Lord didn't need me on a mission then he wouldn't have called me.
I have a funny story for you this week.. While we were knocking on Wednesday night, we walked by this house and inside we saw that they were watching the Blue Jays game. Before this we had dinner at a member's and they informed me that it was Game 5 of the series and it was the deciding game. So of course I volunteered to knock on this person's door. So I knocked on the door and did the standard knocking approach. He wasn't too receptive at first and said he wasn't interested. So I asked for a referral and he said he doesn't know anyone. Then as he was closing the door I said "Just before we go.. I noticed you were watching the baseball game and I'm an avid baseball fan myself. What is the score of the game?" Then he all of a sudden perked up and said "6-3 Blue Jays.. Bautista just hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 7th". He still wasn't interested after that but that seemed to have softened him up. I know we're not supposed to talk about sports with people but when I saw that he was watching the baseball game my natural man took over and I couldn't help myself but ask him what the score was. Plus it showed him that missionaries are real human beings too; we're not just there to preach at them. We are also told to be real with people. I was simply being real with him by asking him what the score of the baseball game was. I think his view of missionaries changed after that too. So that was a cool moment experience for me.
We had zone training in Fredericton this week. At zone training the first training was on the YSA. In the training they talked how the young college/university students are a lot more open minded and not set in their ways. They called them "The Millennials of the Church." The older people are more set in their ways and. Whereas Millennials are much easier to talk to and more willing to talk to you too. Each area was given the list of the YSA age members of the unit and we were instructed to pick out some of the YSA's and present them to the Bishop and discuss how we should work with them. During the training we were also to contact the local university/college and get a list of clubs/societies from them. Then plan on setting up a booth one day of the week. It is a new method of finding to implement. It helps us focus on the younger people and help them in their conversion. We were also told to get in the habit of testifying "Why?" when we're talking to them. "Why are we on a mission? Why are we giving up 2 years to do this? Why does this matter to us?" That sort of thing. When we do that our testimonies will move them and they will want to learn more.
We met with our investigator Timothy twice this week - at dinner and at a regular meeting. We talked about the Book of Mormon and The First Vision in these lessons. He read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and accepted everything very well. He even came to stake conference yesterday morning. We are planning on putting him on-date this week so hopefully all goes well with that and he will commit to baptism in the near future.
Have a good week!
Elder O'Brien (the older)