Monday, January 30, 2017

January 16, 2017

Dearest Family,

We actually had some good stuff going on in the area this week. In Timber Creek we got to meet with our new ward mission leader and get a plan going. He's really awesome so hopefully we can get the work moving a little more with his help. In Heritage we finally got to teach a couple of less-actives that we haven't been able to contact in a while. Unfortunately that lady we taught last week has apparently been avoiding the friend that referred her. We talked to her briefly on Friday while we were waiting for our ride to dinner but I guess the friend hasn't had contact. We'll give it some time, she might come around.

In other news, there is a new family, the Sheens, that moved into Timber Creek last week. You know where they're from? West Lethbridge! Actually it's just the husband right now because the wife is about to have a baby and that's a lot cheaper to do in Canada. Anyway, we met him yesterday when the family we had dinner with invited him over as well. It was like two worlds colliding! I would have sworn up and down that the Canadian accent isn't a thing before yesterday, but he had one. Even said "eh" a couple times. Don't tell him I said that... Also, fun fact, he said it felt colder here than in Canada the day he moved in.

The highlight of my week, even with meeting another Canadian, was probably going to the temple on Tuesday. It had been eight months which is way too long, so it was a much needed trip and everything just fell into place to go. A senior couple from my district in Denton and a few other missionaries were also in the session which was cool. The session itself was also super awesome of course. I've been studying the creation and fall a lot the last few months so light bulbs were going off all over the place in my head. Both those make for some interesting symbolism. The overall impression I got from the session though was that I just need remember who I am and answer to the call. I think the same is true for all of us.

Have a good week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 9, 2017

Dear Family,

Things actually sort of started to get moving in the area this week. The first half of the week was mostly talking to random, uninterested potential investigators in our area book. On Friday though a member from another Stake called us and said she set up an appointment for us with one of her friends. We taught her on Saturday and it turned out to be a pretty decent lesson. She has a couple doctrinal concerns to work through but has a lot of potential otherwise.

We also got a new ward mission leader in Timber Creek yesterday. He's a pretty awesome guy so I'm excited to work with him. The ward fast in Heritage went well from what I heard. I went to the other ward yesterday but Elder Rarotoga said there were a couple of good testimonies about missionary work. Hopefully that continues and we can get people thinking about it more.

As you saw, it was rather chilly this week. Let me just say that you get used to Texas weather fast so when cold first hits, your face is like "what is this sensation? This is not normal." It also doesn't help when your furnace breaks in the middle of the night. Yep, that was fun. Luckily it got fixed before we went to bed the next night. I'll send some pics of the snow just to prove it happened.

I totally forgot! This week we had interviews with President and Sister Whitney was here too. Sister Whitney, me and a couple other missionaries were talking in the hallway and Sister Whitney mentioned that there was a baptism on Saturday in Denton 5th. I got excited and asked who and she told me it was a young man named Rocket. Here's the story: Back during my first transfer with Elder Cockrell we had a dinner with a family and the teenage daughter told us she felt strongly that this was the school year she was going to get someone baptized. A few weeks later she brought Rocket to church and eventually to Amy's son's baptism. We later heard that Rocket basically thought Mormons were a cult and all that and had no belief in God. He kept coming to church for the couple weeks before I left Denton though and we'd just talk to him a bit here and there. That's pretty much all it was on our end. I guess he's baptized now though. Cool.

Have a good week!

Elder O'Brien

 Chris' snow

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 2, 2017

Dear Family,

Happy New Year!

Our week was nothing special again. Taught a few members, less-actives, etc. We totally forgot about New Year's Eve until about halfway through the day and then didn't really do anything different that night. I guess we did have a really good dinner, that was nice. Other than that I just woke up to fireworks at 12:15 and thought, "Cool."

Yesterday we had something interesting happen. Our Bishop in Heritage got up during the sacrament meeting announcements and called for a ward fast that we can baptize at least one person this quarter. He said "we're not fasting just for missionary experiences, we're fasting for a baptism." It was prompted partially by a mission call in the ward. A priest we know quite well was called to the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. It's right next to the Canada Halifax mission. We went over when he was opening it which was a neat experience. Anyway, back to the ward fast. I think this new year has reinvigorated the ward council a bit which is good. Now we're just waiting for the ball to get rolling. It's pretty tough right now but hopefully things begin to happen soon.

Sorry for the short letter, but that's all I've got. Have a wonderful week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

December 26, 2016

Dear Family,

Hope the last 24 hours have treated you well. It was awesome talking with ya'll and I'm glad you got to sort of see the Castlemains (the members who had us over) and my companion and the three Christmas trees. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful.

I did remember one thing that I didn't tell you about yesterday. We went caroling together as a district on Thursday. All of us bike Elders were trying to get a ride set up for the night but they all fell through so we ended up having to bike from place to place while the sisters drove around and waited for us at every house. Needless to say, biking and singing should not occur in sequence. One returning less-active kind of just peeked out with the door barely open but, you know, we just sang like normal. Then, at the end Elder Rarotoga went to shake his hand and the guy stuck out his left hand and said, "Sorry, there's a gun my other hand."

That's about the only thing of significance that we didn't talk about yesterday. It was a wonderful week though. The members treat us very well here which kind of gets me through the slow times. Though the amount of chocolate I received this week makes me sick to think about. The struggle... All the clothes I got for Christmas fit perfect right now but I can't promise they will in a week or two. Anyway, my love hasn't changes since yesterday! Take care!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

P.S. We are currently having a Zone Christmas party, here's a pic. Also, one from caroling.

        Zone Christmas Party                                    Caroling

        Christmas Eve with                            Christmas Tree
           Bishop's Family

Thursday, January 5, 2017

December 19, 2016

Dear Family,

It was a pretty uninteresting week again. We did have some weird weather though. On Saturday it was beautiful and warm in the morning but by late afternoon it was pretty frigid, for Texas at least. Just for the record, it feels a lot colder when you don't have a car. We're lucky we survived! -8 Celsius I tell you!

I also had a bit of a sinus infection this week so I was out of commission for about a day and a half. I'm good now though. Some members took me to buy some cold medication which was really awesome. I'm mostly recovered now.

This week should be good with Christmas and all. We have some good plans with members. I'm thinking of skyping at about 3pm your time so I hope that works for you. I'm at the Isaiah chapters in my Book of Mormon reading so it's made for some interesting studies combined with the usual Christmas messages. Really makes Isaiah more exciting. That and actually having the time to sit down and understand it.

Anyway, talk to you soon! Love ya'll!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)