Wednesday, January 13, 2016

December 21, 2015 - Merry Christmas! - Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

Dear Family,
This week is going to be an amazing week. This is Christmas Week. To start off the week last night was the Ward Christmas Concert. The sisters and we sang in the choir. A lot of hours of preparation went into this concert. We had been practicing for an hour right after Church every Sunday for the past 4 weeks. We sang "Jesus Name of Wondrous Love", "The Gifts of the Season", and "Jingle Bells." My favorite one was "Gifts of the Season." It had a playful tune to it that made it fun to sing along to. Overall it was a fun evening. I felt spiritually uplifted and nourished by the music and the spoken word. A lot of the members brought their non-member friends and 4 of our investigators came and said that they loved it.
We went caroling with the sisters at a Day Care Centre on Thursday. We sang 3 hymns that they could sing along to. They loved it! I thought about Julie when we were there. The children were singing along and they were smiling. You could tell it made their day :). Elder Darche even sang a song in French.
On Wednesday it was our Christmas Zone Conference. On the way there it hit me like a ton of bricks that this would be my last Christmas as a missionary. I was like "Ooo.. ouch" that hurts. In the morning there were some talks given by some missionaries about Christmas and about the Gospel. President & Sister Pratt spoke about the Atonement and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the morning we had our talent show and the white elephant gift exchange. For the talent show I was in two of the acts "Journey" and "LDS Puppet Pals." Our skits went pretty well, I liked the "LDS Puppet Pals" one the best. It was a great time. As missionaries we don't get to relax and be light-hearted but we did that that day. We got to worship together in the Christmas spirit. We got to express our love for each other and join in celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. It was a family-like atmosphere. For the white elephant gift exchange we all put our gifts in the middle of the floor and then we each had a number. When it was our number, we either got to choose a gift from the middle or steal a gift from someone else. When it was my turn I stole a plush Hershey baseball dude stuffy thing. But then another missionary stole that from me and I ended up with a kittens 2016 Calendar.

After Christmas Zone Conference we went to dinner with Sister Harlow and the Yarmouth Elders were there. So there were 5 Elders at her house for dinner. Both the Yarmouth Elders served in Bridgewater and Bridgewater was on their way back so they decided to stop in Bridgewater on their way home. Oddly enough I served with both of them here. So I sat with both of them individually at one table at their house. It was like deja vu. We had a fun time reminiscing with them about Bridgewater and had a nice visit with them.
We stopped by a less active on Tuesday. Her husband is active but she's not. She said that she went on a spiritual journey that took her away from the Church. She said she isn't hostile towards the Church and she didn't read any anti. We were confused with what she meant when she said she went on a spiritual journey. We tried digging deeper but she wouldn't give us anymore to work with.
We helped a man stack his wood on Saturday morning.  We put in about 2 and a half hours of work. He fed us hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies in between breaks. He has a bad heart condition that prevents him from doing much so that is why he couldn't do it himself.
We picked up a new less active this week. He lives in Branch Lahave. He is originally from BC and has lived here for only a couple years now. He is a super cool guy and is open to coming back.

Merry Christmas!
Elder O'Brien (the older)

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