Friday, February 26, 2016

February 15, 2016 - Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Hello Family,

Transfers have taken place and all the sister missionaries I came out with are officially all home. Now the sister missionaries that came out after me will slowly transfer by transfer go home as well. That will be weird for me. Leaving Bridgewater the 2nd time this week wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It was still hard but it wasn't as hard as when I left the 1st time. This time I kinda slipped under the radar and left. The first time I was very vocal that I was leaving Bridgewater and I did a lot of member visits and good-bye visits. But since I said good-bye already I didn't do as many of those visits; rather I did more work this week. 

Before I continue I want to share a scripture with you:

Jacob 5:62-64
62 "Wherefore, let us go to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard.
 63 "Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last, and dig about the trees, both old and young, the first and the last; and the last and the first, that all may be nourished once again for the last time."
 64 "Wherefore, dig about them, and prune them, and dung them once more, for the last time, for the end draweth nigh. And if it be so that these last grafts shall grow, and bring forth the natural fruit, then shall ye prepare the way for them, that they may grow."

The reason I wanted to share that with you is because: As I begin the last quarter of my mission. As I preach the gospel in the Maritimes to these people for the last time. As I teach them the gospel for the last time. As I work with President Pratt for the last time. As I work with the members here for the last time. As I serve with these missionaries for the last time, I will work with all my might and give the Lord EVERYTHING I have got left. Using Elder Holland's words in a MTC talk ``It's not over till it's over!" Whether I have 6 months left or I've been out for 1 month, it really doesn't matter. Until I step off that plane I am the Lord's missionary and I am working for him. My focus level is still the same and my motivation level is still the same. I have got a fire under my belly right now and I want to use that fire to work really hard. By the end of these 6 months, I want more than anything to have become the missionary God wants me to become and to be the man God wanted me to be. 

My time with Elder Sturko is being short-lived as the Church has gotten his visa and he will be leaving Wednesday for his own mission. After that it will be just me and Elder Steimle in Sackville. But even though the Church has gotten his visa he hasn't gotten his hard-copy visa yet. For his sake I really hope that he can leave on Wednesday because he was called to that mission for a reason and I want him to be with the people God wanted him to be with. 

MONDAY: We had a snowstorm come through in the afternoon right after I e-mailed you. We were blacksmithing at the Nilisons at the time. I was making a hook. We got about 25 cm of snow that day. 
TUESDAY: We went to the library in the morning to do service but the library was closed so we just worked on the curriculum for the Pilot Program instead. In the afternoon we went to Lunenberg and visited Brother Aulenback. Brother Aulenback is the organist in Bridgewater and is very famous for his music. He started playing the piano when he was 7. He showed us some of his musical credentials over the years and taught us a little bit of piano.

THURSDAY: We had to wake up at 4:30 a.m and then we left at 5:30 to be at the mission office by 7. We dropped Elder Evans off; then me & Elder Quinton worked in Sackville. We went knocking in the morning and the very first door I knocked on a lady with just a bathrobe answered the door. I felt very uncomfortable and said "Uhh... could we just pass you on a Card.". No introduction or anything; it was pretty awkward :P. The doors following her were people in their bathrobes too! We picked a bad time to knock that day. Elder Quinton picked up Elder Ray at the temple in the afternoon and we picked up Elder Steimle. We went and did some service at the food-bank in the evening. Then we had a nice visit at the James's. Brother James is the high priest group leader here and his wife is in the stake young women's. They said they like to see missionaries out and about in the community.

SUNDAY: It was my first Sunday in Sackville; it was also Valentine's Day. For Valentine's Day the bishop`s wife (Sister Johnson) made us a bag of cookies . We also got some cupcakes. The ward mission leader had us over for dinner and he fed us stir-fry. 

Sackville is a smaller ward. But it has a lot of youth and return missionaries. Missionary work is hard to do in this area. It's not as big as Halifax but it's bigger than Lethbridge. Overall, it's a perfect fit. I think this area has a lot of potential.

Have a good week!

Elder O`Brien (the older)

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