Sunday, January 10, 2016

December 14, 2015 - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Hello Family,

It has been a rough week. We didn't see a lot of success this week. We did a lot of stop-by visits for less active members and former investigators but none of them were home or couldn't meet. There was one day in Liverpool where we stopped by potential investigators/former investigators for 2 hours and we only talked to 3 people during that time. It was frustrating. We don't really have any less actives that we are regularly meeting with so right now we are trying to figure out which less actives we want to work with. I have a couple in mind that I worked with when I was here last time. But some of them don't come because of health and there's not much we can do there. This week we want to set actual appointments with these less actives so it doesn't keep happening.

I have a sad story to tell you this week. There is an Elder that I came out with that lost his mom a couple years before his mission. So when he left for his mission he only had his father at home. Well this week his father suffered from a major heart attack. A few days later he passed away. So now both of his parents are gone. It is quite tragic and very disheartening. It has been a somber past couple days for the mission. We are a close knit mission and when a tragic thing happens to one of our fellow missionaries it affects all of us. We are brothers and sisters. We are here for each other when we are struggling. This Elder is a strong Elder and he is going to stay out on his mission but he is going to try and go home for the funeral then fly back out to the mission field the next day. He is the only one in his family out on a mission right now and for him to stay out and get through it on his own is remarkable to me. We are all praying for him and his family at this time. This Elder is a warrior.

I have some sad comical news for you as well. I hate to say this but my appetite is beginning to diminish. I think my stomach might be shrinking. It has been evident to me this week when we've been at dinner appointments and I've struggled to finish the first plate of food they give me. It made me sad when I confronted that reality. I have been known to eat a lot of food and now on my mission I have gotten to this point.

Their has been another development this transfer. This week it was just me and Elder Quinton serving together because Elder Dooley got emergency transferred to Bathurst. Now this week we found out that we will be in a trio again as of this Wednesday. Elder Darche is serving in Greenwood right now but his companion is dealing with health issues so he is in the Halifax Metro right now. While Elder Darche's companion is getting taken care of in Halifax, he will be temporally serving in Bridgewater until his companion gets better or they find a new companion for him in Greenwood. So that's why he'll be with us. But it will only be temporary. My guess is it'll last a maximum of 2 weeks before he goes back to Greenwood.

I was a little disappointed when we found that out. I'm not the hugest fan of trios but it is what it is. It will only be temporary anyway. It has been a hectic transfer between being a trio for 2 weeks, then there was an emergency transfer and things were back to normal. Now I'll be in a trio again. I wasn't envisioning that this transfer would go this way when I got here :P. My anxiety has been tested and tried my whole mission. With change after change, unexpected quick changes, then change. My body has undergone so many missions on my mission it's getting to the point where my body is just used to change and my anxiety has become a non-issue. My anxiety has been put through the refiner's fire. That has become a huge blessing for me on my mission. Going through so many changes.

To add on to the chaotic transfer the Bridgewater Sisters will also be in a trio as of Wednesday. Sister Alverez will be coming to Bridgewater because her companion is also dealing with health challenges and she is being taken care of in the Halifax Metro. While her companion is being taken care of, she will be in Bridgewater. So there will be 6 missionaries serving in Bridgewater this week. It's crazy! So needless to say we'll have a lot of work to do now. 

At the beginning of last week I went on an exchange with Elder Cox in Sackville. Elder Cox is from Utah and goes home in February. He is the oldest Elder in the mission. He is very seasoned and experienced. He is a great guy and a good missionary. I asked some doctrinal questions that I was unsure about and that he was able to clarify for me. He is very laid-back and light-hearted. On the exchange we did a lot of finding. We visited a less active member with health issues. We went to a seminary class because the Elders there help the teacher out with the doctrine. We also had a dinner appointment with the second counselor in the stake presidency. We had another dinner appointment with the Taylor's. They are an older couple that are from England. The Sackville sisters were actually going to have dinner with them but they cancelled so they invited us instead. 

We had District Meeting on Wednesday. At District Meeting we went over the things we learned from Blitz Week and the common one was that we are more capable than we think we are. I mean I invited a random stranger to be baptized that week. That takes a lot of courage. That evening we had dinner with a couple from BC. They like to talk about sports so I got caught up with hockey and basketball with them. I love it when I can talk about sports with a member.

On Saturday we went to Lunenburg and ran into a born again atheist. Never heard of one before that. We had the Ward Christmas Party that night. It was a good turn-out. About 140 people showed up and some of them were neighbors of members. We sat with the Fraser`s during the dinner. We talked about the organization of the Church with Bishop and talked about how strong the Church is in the Maritimes. He made the point that when they lived in Alberta he could pick 10 or more high priests that could be bishops. Out here he said he could only think of a few that could be the bishop in Bridgewater.
Anyway, this Wednesday is Christmas Zone Conference and there's going to be a talent show in it. For the talent show us, the Sackville Elders and the Kentville Elders are going to be doing the Church version of the famous Harry Potter Puppet pals skit. Haha it`s gonna be funny. Feel free to look it up. I`m going to be the Holy Ghost in the Skit. But it should be a lot of fun. Also, this Sunday the ward is having a Ward Christmas Concert so that should be fun too. 'Tis the Season! 

Before I go I received those other two packages on Thursday. When Elder Quinton saw how many gifts I got he said he felt very unloved and neglected by his family. Haha. 

Have a good week!


Elder OBrien (The Older)

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