Tuesday, October 20, 2015

October 5, 2015 - Conference, Cows and Other Critters - Joshua, Texas

Dear family,

Sounds like you had a pretty good conference weekend. There were some pretty awesome talks and it sounds like everyone had those couple they really loved. It was cool to watch being out on a mission because they, the speakers, taught basically the same things we always teach. They even used a lot of the same scriptures. There seemed to be an emphasis on following prophets and apostles and keeping the commandments. There truly is a lot of power in doing both. That's why we as missionaries try to help people repent, not because they're bad people but because our Heavenly Father has promised them literally everything if they do. Unfortunately, we're having a little trouble getting our investigators to understand that. They'll get there though, the desire is there.

There were a couple cool experiences from conference that I'd like to share. First of all was when Elder Martino spoke. It was a bit of a hard week for me and I was struggling to feel at home here and when he got up to speak it made me think back to the Sunday after I got my call. I remember Elder Martino being at stake conference and hearing I was called to Texas Fort Worth. He rushed over to tell me he grew up in that area and took me around the shoulders so tight I could hardly breathe. I don't remember what advice he gave to me but I remember feeling excited to serve there. When I heard him speak it brought those feelings back and comforted me again. It's like both that stake
conference and his talk were just for me. Makes you really consider how aware our Heavenly Father is of our struggles. It was definitely a testimony builder.

The second experience was when the new councilor in General Sunday School spoke. He started talking about "ponderizing" and Elder Simmons turned to me and said "Wait, who is he? The Dallas missionaries do this." Turns out the speaker was actually the Texas Dallas Mission President not too long ago. When he started talking about how to ponderize I thought, "I'm gonna challenge my family to do this!" But, like a good mission president, he already did that. Soooo, I'll be following up with you next week since he can't. If you don't keep this commitment you'll no longer be a "progressing investigator," you'll get the slightly less encouraging "other investigator" title. All kidding aside, I think this is something that will really benefit all of us.

In other news, I saw my first armadillo this week and had my first bowl of Blue Bell ice cream. We were told we'd never have it, but luckily someone went to Austin and got some before the priesthood
session. Also, apparently a cow got out into the yard earlier this week. Joshua's prone to weirdness like that. I wasn't here, but it reminded me of stories I would hear at home.

That's about all for this week, have a good day!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Ps. Thanks for the birthday wishes, I'll do my best to make it a good day.

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