Saturday, December 26, 2015

November 30, 2015 - First Week of Training - Joshua, Texas

Hello family!

This week was definitely an interesting one. The first couple days we mostly just got things ready for Elder Simmons to leave which was pretty sad for a lot of people. I guess when you spend 7.5 months in an area people grow attached to you. It was also pretty hard for me with him being my trainer and all. Having a companion leave really makes you think back to when you first became companions. The last three months with Elder Simmons were pretty awesome when I look back, especially when I started getting the hang of things. I don't think it really sunk in that he was leaving until the night before transfers. Before bed that night I also realized that I had never even driven in this country before and that I would have start doing so the next day. I'll talk more about that later. So anyway, we did that whole traditional tie trade thing and Elder Simmons was off to Saginaw!

As usual, President Ames held a breakfast for the brand new missionaries and their trainers that morning. When it came time for him to do the "big reveal" and announce the companionships he called all the trainers up one by one and then named who they would be training. When he called me up it went like this:

President Ames: "Elder O'Brien! ... You're in Joshua right?"
Me: "Yes"
President Ames: "And you live in a barn?"
Me: "Well... yes. But there's a nice part of the barn!"
President Ames: "Okay, well, you'll be serving with Elder Balser!"

From there, President Ames gave some advice to everyone, we headed back to our areas, and we got to work. This first day was a little hard just because I was dealing with the initial shock of leaving my
trainer while also dealing with everything that comes with starting to train. The next few days were pretty rainy and cold and our appointments kept cancelling so I was scrambling for things to do. The
MTC teaches missionaries how to talk to your everyday Joe Shmoe but as far as planning your day and teaching actual people with crazy problems, it doesn't help too much. So, as trainers we end up doing most of the planning and coming up with lessons. I completely expected that, but it started feeling like a little too much by Saturday night. We had a couple good visits with some less-actives that night and yesterday which was enough to keep me going though. Plus, we had pretty decent stats compared to the rest of our district.

About driving though. It's super weird driving here because first of all, everything is in miles and second, the roads wind around people's property right and left. It's also starting to get cold, rainy and
potentially icy. I have not crashed yet though! I'm getting used to driving again so I should be fine.

I hope you're all doing well. Christmas time is always fun and it sounds like you're making the most of it. Talk to you next week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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