Friday, July 8, 2016

July 4, 2016

Dear Family,

Today is Independence day in Maine. We drove through the border to Maine this morning and the line was packed with cars. I was hoping that Victoria Day would be the last holiday on a Monday I would be affected by. But that isn't the case sadly. We normally e-mail at a library in Maine but it is closed today and the library in St. Stephen is closed on Mondays. There is only one computer at the Church so today we are taking turns emailing.

This week I did the first part of the "My Plan" program.  The first section was entitled Remember and Become. It Quoted Mosiah 10:3, Helaman 5:9, Alma 5:26. There was also a video that had a bunch of returned missionaries talking about Church callings they've gotten since they got home from their missions. The section also focused on continually progressing after I get home. It had me type up 3 Christlike attributes the Lord has helped me develop on my mission along with 3 spiritual truths of the gospel that I have received a testimony of on my mission. At the end of the first section of "My Plan", it had read my patriarchal blessing and underline phrases that require me to take action, circle words that describe me, and ask myself "What kind of person does the Lord want me to become?" The second section of "My Plan" this week is Set Goals and Make Plans.

On Friday, it was Canada Day. On Canada Day me and Elder Beacham wore our Canadian ties. Elder Belmonte was left out as he didn't have a Canadian tie. We volunteered at the St. Stephen hospital in the morning. We played bingo with the patients using fancy markers. We got to wear special vests for the occasion. We volunteer at a food pantry every Friday in Maine.  The clients bag their food by themselves and we carry the bags out to the car for them. After we're done carrying their bags for them the food pantry allows us to get whatever food we want. It is really nice and the food pantry is always busy. After the food pantry we had dinner with a member in New Brunswick. She fed us burgers and hotdogs. Afterward, we street contacted in downtown St. Andrews. There were a ton of people out in preparation for the fireworks that evening. Overall, good Canada Day.

On Tuesday, we had zone training in Fredericton. It was a bittersweet for me as it was my last zone training on my mission. At the end of the zone training all the missionaries going home at the end of the transfer got to bear their testimonies. There is 5 of us going home at the end of the transfer. I gave an emotional testimony, thanking the missionaries I've associated with for teaching me so much. It was one of the hardest testimonies I've had to bear on my mission. 

On Wednesday, we had breakfast with the bishop's family. They are a fun family. They have 5 kids and the oldest is 13. The bishop is a sports fan and he told me about the new goalie the flames got in a trade. We went down to St. George and did some work down there for the afternoon. We contacted a former that Elder Belmonte was able to speak Techaloic to (the former is from the Philippines).

On Thursday, we went down to a town in Maine called Eastport. It is right by the ocean. There is a big Independence Day parade going on there today. We knocked into a man who suggested we try some of his carbonated water. We politely took some and I impulsively spit it out by accident even though I didn't mean to. He said "You must have a hole in your mouth." I responded "Haha I guess so." In my head I thought well I actually do but that's not the reason I spit it out". So when someone offers you Seltzer water don't take it. We ended up doing 5 hours of finding by the end of that day. 

On Saturday, we picked up a new investigator with the Sisters. We had a lesson with him in the morning with the Sisters and the ward mission leader. He says he wants to be baptized and he wants to find Christ. Very sincere guy.  We rode our bikes that day since it was so nice out. We gave a blessing to a less active member who is struggling with her health. We ate at a less active member's Chinese restaurant for dinner. It was all you can eat Chinese buffet. 

Sunday, a high councilmen gave a very candid and courageous lesson on anxiety in Priesthood. The lesson focused how anxiety is a form of mental illness and how we need to love and encourage people and members who have anxiety. He went through all the symptoms of anxiety and the signs that someone has anxiety. At the end of the lesson he openly admitted to the entire elders quorum that he has anxiety and got very emotional as he told how its affected him in his life. 

Have a good week!

Elder O'Brien (the older)

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