Sunday, January 10, 2016

December 14, 2015 - Joshua, Texas

Dear Family,

This week was pretty typical as far as most things go. I did get the Christmas packages so thank you for those! The ginger snaps are always my favorite so I've been enjoying those. Elder Balser actually got his packages the same day as two of mine so there were four big boxes just sitting outside on the driveway. Missionaries... Anyway, the Twelve Days of Christmas packages have been fun to open. The string of ten Christmas lights were the perfect size for our little tree.

As I said before, my week was pretty typical so I don't have any good stories for you. Unfortunately we didn't have any investigators at church yesterday and we found out that both people that came wanting to be baptized last week will for sure have to be reassigned to other missionaries. That's just how it goes sometimes.

We did have some pretty good contacting though. There was one house that I felt like we should knock that ended up pretty well. It was a young father and his 3 kids that answered and we asked if we could share a short Christmas message with them. The father said yes which was a shock because it was the first time that approach worked all week. So, we showed them the "A Savior is Born" video and they all seemed to feel at least something. After that we were surprised more when the father kept talking to us. Long story short, we ended up teaching most of the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon.

It was pretty funny at the end because he requested our number so he could text us after he clarifies some things with his preacher. My thoughts were, "Wow, he honestly needs to talk to his preacher because of what we taught? I didn't think we were that good." Of course, we really aren't. We just happen to have the Spirit backing us! Kind of goes to show you that people really don't know their Bible that well anymore. Most people outside of the south think that everyone down here looks at us and thinks, "Awesome, I totally know how to stump these guys!" but really most of them think, "Oh no! People that actually study the Bible! Where's my preacher when I need him?!" Let it be known that four years of seminary and three months of a mission is enough to stump most other Christians in Texas! Stay in seminary kids.

All joking aside, the best thing I did in that conversation was bear my testimony. He asked about why we think the trinity are three separate beings and I told him, "To me, it means a whole lot more to know that it was an actual Father literally sacrificing his own Son than it would if they were the same person." That conversation ended quickly! So, testimony borne, Book of Mormon given... I think I'll call that a success.

In other news, we heard our first criticism about a recent church statement this week. Any guesses which one? If you're thinking any of the gay marriage or related ones you're wrong. It was the one about welcoming refugees from the Middle East. People around here have some different views, but I still love them.

That's all I have this week. Take care and try not to freeze! I know I won't.

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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