Friday, September 18, 2015

September 14, 2015 - Week 2 in Joshua, Texas


Good morning all!

First of all, I forgot to give you my street address last week. It's:

924 Conveyor Drive

Now to my week. It's been cooling down a little bit the last few days, which is good and bad. Now I have to adjust to the cooler weather again. Joshua is still a little quirky. The more I hear, the weirder
it seems. I found out recently that the apartment I live in was once an incubation room for ostriches. Strangely, it makes sense.

I had a funny experience just outside my apartment on Friday. We live on a member's small ranch so they have a guy working for them. He was the one who said "Howdy Elders!" last week. So, we're thinking this guy sprayed the pear trees we park in front of with pesticide, because our car was covered in a weird white substance and surrounded by dead or dying beetles. This is where it gets interesting. All these beetles were going crazy trying to fly away before they died and one flew right next to Elder Simmons' ear. He let out a scream and freaked me out. Promptly after his scream, the beetle came for me and I tried to run from it. I got away, but lost my balance and fell directly into a pile of rocks. It hurt. I got back up to find my name tag, hand book and pens strewn about. I'm okay though, no worries.

As far as investigators go, one is getting baptized this week and one has a date set. The one getting baptized has been in Houston, so we had to teach him over the phone. It was kinda weird. The one with a date set, also has a common-law wife investigating the church. Both want to join the church, but he's closer. There's some interesting things going on there since she doesn't want to get married
officially. We're also teaching a less active's adult daughter who is living with him. She has a testimony, but does not know when she'll be ready for baptism. She is either getting married next month or next year. Apparently it needs to be on her fiancé's birthday so he won't forget. We're really pulling for next month... Our other investigators either ran away or are pretty close, so I haven't even met them.

That's my week! Here's hoping yours is just as good if not better! Honestly though, I'm enjoying it.

Love y'all,
Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 7, 2015 - First Week in Texas! - Joshua, Texas

Hello Family,

I can't bring myself to say "Hey y'all!" yet but I have been promised that my southern drawl will come by the time I leave. Other things I've heard this week include:

"Howdy Elders!"

"We'll put some meat on your bones." (x2)

"I've been saved"

"Less active: hot drinks means hot drinks
Elder Simmons: what about water that has been left in the car too long.
Less Active: won't drink it.
Companion and I: ... Okay"

"Me after explaining what we do: would you like to hear our message?
Contact: *blank stare*
Me: ...
Contact: ...
Me: ...
Contact: No." (x2)

"The bishop has more guns than I do, and I'm armed to the teeth."

The list goes on, but hopefully that paints a picture. If you haven't heard yet, I'm in Joshua, Texas and my trainer is Elder Simmons. He's been out since April and was also trained here in Joshua. We're
getting along pretty well, so I'm not too nervous about the next 3 months. Let me go back a little bit to when I first got to Texas though.

After I phoned from the airport I headed straight to my gate and boarded the plane. We didn't leave for a while though because they had to check out a couple things which took some time. The flight was a couple hours long so I got some sleep to make up for waking up at 3:00am. Once we got there, Sis Ames did her usually Facebook photos and we headed to the mission office for training. Later that night we had some Texan barbecue which was awesome. I do not know how I was completely unaware of this miracle food my whole life. We stayed the night at the assistants' apartment and headed to meet our companions in the morning. We had a breakfast first so we had a little time to talk
before finding out who was with who. I listened to this one elder talk about how weird his area was and the crazy things happening with investigators. I then sat by him for breakfast. Guess who it was! Yep, my trainer... His talk all held true, but I don't think I can really share some of it because it's confidential. Just know that I am safe and doing well, nothing more than a little quirkiness and a fond interest for "Visions of Glory" among ward members.

I'm doing great though. My iPad is all set up as of this morning and I'm excited to actually use it to do some missionary work. I hope you're all doing well.

Love you,
Elder O'Brien (the younger)