We got 5 cm of snow yesterday morning. Most of the members weren't there because they didn't want to brave through the snow. But by the time Church started the sun was out. Winter is on its last breaths. Saturday it was 10 degrees and beautiful. I am hoping that a month from now I can send all my winter clothes home and be done with winter once and for all.
It has been a rough week here in Sackville. I have been getting discouraged over the lack of new investigators we have been getting and the lack of less actives we are meeting with. It felt like almost every day things fell through and we found ourselves not knowing what we should do. In the words of Elder Holland in speaking of Peter and Jesus`s apostles:
But something happened. It’s early morning, they fished all night, they’ve caught nothing. They fish at night on the Sea of Galilee. They’ve caught nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. No fish. And in the distance, because the sight is quite clear on a lake, and the sound is very good across the surface of a lake, they see a figure, who has made a little fire. And he calls out to them and says, “How’s your fishing gone?” And they said, “Lousy. It’s been terrible.” (You’re going to have days like that.) They said, “It’s been a disaster. We haven’t got anything.”
We had a couple days like Peter had when he went fishing. We didn't catch anything. Missionary work is a joyous thing full of good times and happiness. But missions aren't all full of sun, daisies and lollipops. Missions are hard and it can take its toll on you. Missionary work can become a burden too hard to bear some weeks. Missionary work can become discouraging and depressing.
Luckily, I am a seasoned missionary and I know those hard times are what makes the good times. I remember vividly a couple weeks in Woodstock where we weren't having any success for about two weeks. Then we walked into the chapel and there we saw a black man who asked how to become a Mormon. The following Monday while we were at the library the man sitting across from me said that he had lost God in his life and he wants us to help him find him again. Those 2 experiences were tender mercies from the Lord after we worked tirelessly the previous couple of weeks.
I can think of other examples on my mission of having down weeks then having small little miracles fall into our lap. Missionary work really comes down to faith and diligence. If you have faith and work consistently, everything will be okay and the Lord will bless you for your efforts.
TUESDAY: We dropped by one of our investigators in Bedford. He almost dropped us but he let us in and we told him how we can help him find peace in his life. He accepted our offer. We aren't sure to what extent we can help him progress towards baptism but rather help him with his issues.
WEDNESDAY: We had Nova Scotia Zone Conference in Dartmouth. In the morning the CES director for the mission gave a training on the doctrine of Christ. He talked about knowing what the best is that we can ask for. He also talked about how the Savior lived his life asking "What is the will of the Father?" He talked about Mark 4:37-41 and how Peter had faith but didn't keep his eye on the Savior. The main thing he emphasized was seeking the will of the Father in our work. In the afternoon the Bridgewater missionaries gave a training on a new member missionary work program "Gatoraid". The program consists of selecting 3 families and training them on how to do member missionary work. President Pratt came up with this initiative and he has high hopes for it. Zone Conference wrapped up with a final testimony by Elder Quinton. In his testimony he said something very profound "Keep Pushing!". That simple statement has stuck with me since Zone Conference. Every time I feel down or worn out I think of that statement. I enjoy the fellowship with the other missionaries that comes from zone conference. It makes me feel like I am not alone in this work. I am sad I only have 1 zone conference left.
Have a good week!
Elder O'Brien (the older)