Monday, August 31, 2015

P-Day Number 2 - August 28, 2015 - MTC

Hello Family!

It's been a pretty good week over here at the ol' MTC. Last week was kinda neutral, but this week was amazing. Quickly, there are a couple things that I did not mention last week that I want to get out. Firstly, my classroom is on the 5th floor of the furthest building from my residency, so I get lots of exercise. Yesterday when we sang the opening hymn for our TRC (Training Resource Centre) prep time, half the district had just got up the stairs and was out of breath. We sang like a choir of chain smokers and our teacher was laughing at us. Also it's super weird here because all my teachers are the same age as Julie. They definitely relate to us a lot better though. The teacher who was laughing at us is actually just there to help us with our TRC investigators; his name is Brother McLain. 

More on TRC later, but for now I have a story about the moment that Elder Brinkerhoff discovered my true self. It was Sunday. The MTC food had built up enough bleh in my stomach to do some damage. It wasn't serious, mostly just gas. Gas I did not want to let out in class. Anyway, I had to take my companion with me to the bathroom a lot. One particular trip I sat down and was trying to be as quiet as possible, Elder Brinkerhoff still thought I was a well-mannered person who doesn't joke around. My attempt was futile. I let that gas out in the most funny-sounding way possible. Of course, me being me, I begin laughing at this horrible occurrence. Next thing I know, I hear my companion say "Are you laughing?! That was awesome; can I write that in my journal?" Yeah, nuff said. My embarrassment is made up for by the fact that half my roommates sleep talk... or sleep gulp and toot... or just roll out of bed face first and lay there for an hour. All last night by the way. 

So, back to spiritual things. It really was an amazing week. I learned so much about teaching and following the spirit and my testimony has grown so much. My TRC lessons are going great too. We've taught 7 lessons now and I asked both investigators to be baptized last night. Who would've thought it'd come so naturally after only 8 days of training. One of our investigators said she doesn't know enough yet to be baptized. The other wasn't clear about her answer at first, but then prayed at the end and said, "Bless that my family may not be mad at me when I get baptized." ... What?! It shocked us both. Elder Brinkerhoff asked her about it after and she told us, "Yeah, I don't know if everything's true yet, but when I do I'll baptized. I'm not meeting with you for no reason!" Well okay then... that was awesome. I went to bed happy that night. Until an Elder rolled out of bed and thumped on the floor without waking up. That was slightly concerning. He doesn't remember any of it, but I think he's alright. 

Anyway, talk to you soon when I'm in Texas!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

First P-Day!! - August 21, 2015 - Missionary Training Center

Elder O'Brien (the younger) just prior
to entering the Missionary Training Center

Hello Family!

Good to see that you were not killed by any hotel ax murderers or forest fires on your way home. I'm gonna be honest, it's weird to be writing you. Even weirder is the fact that I have not cried yet at the MTC... it's a miracle. I came close a couple times; when I was leaving, of course, and also during a couple classes.

The classes and meetings have been pretty awesome. My teachers are Brother Plyler and Sister Lewis and my Branch President is Brother Brown. We met with him yesterday and he gave a couple callings after interviewing us. I was called as music coordinator so I have to figure out what hymns I am going to play. Luckily I don't have to do it this Sunday

So, a little about my district: My companion is Elder Brinkerhoff who I just happened to see on the "missionariescomingsoon" Instagram account. There are eight other elders in my district other than my companion and I. Two companionships are going to the California Redlands Mission (Elders Austin, Rogers, Reeder and Eberhard), one to Canada Winnipeg (Elders Reil and Neilson), and one other going to Texas Fort Worth (Elders Newey and Andreason.) Elder Austin is a football player who is rather large in stature and was called as District Leader. I think he'll be good.

 I have only met one other Texas Fort Worth missionary. He is speaking sign language and is one of the Zone Leaders. Which reminds me, about half my branch is ASL speaking. Pretty cool stuff. As far as people I know who I've seen, there were a couple people from EFY and also Sister Dow who I saw in the cafeteria yesterday. I can't bring myself to call her by her first name...

Anyway, I don't have much else to say right now other than study the doctrine of Christ sometime. That's basically all we did yesterday and it was awesome. We also practiced inviting random missionaries walking around to be baptized... yeah. 

I love you all and hope you're doing well! I'll send some pictures when I can figure out how to.

Elder O'Brien (the younger)