Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 13, 2017

Dearest family,

It's been a fun week introducing Elder Brinkerhoff to the area. As usual, there were a ton of things happening that just made us go "Huh?" for a second then move on. I think it was Thursday night that we were contacting bible referrals in the north part of our area and we came across this one that was sent about four months ago. The information said he was living out of a car but there was an address so we just went for it. There was a fence around the yard so we stood there for a moment trying to think of what to do. Suddenly we hear a voice from behind us saying, "Use the gate by the driveway."

I stood there looking around for a the guy who spoke and discovered that he was sitting in the car parked directly behind us. We then told him we were looking for a Bobby and he said, "Nope, no Bobby here... Oh, oh, unless you're looking for me!" We then gave him his Bible and Book of Mormon and talked with him for a few minutes. I'm getting so good at contacting Bible referrals I'm starting to contact homeless ones!

Elder Arndt and I had an interesting experience at the beginning of the week. We were doing our normal thing and this one lady asked us to give her son a blessing for his ADHD. We didn't pronounce healing upon him or anything but it was cool to see that this lady recognized us as people with authority to do such things. Unfortunately she didn't keep her appointment the next day and we haven't been able to make it back. Hopefully later this week we will.

Most of our investigators, including Jodi, didn't make it to church this week unfortunately. We were able to get Jhansi there for the first time since we came to the area. She's the one who moved from India several years ago and is currently working on her PhD in Chemistry. It's been a good week overall!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 6, 2017

Dear Family,

It's that time of mission again. Transfer calls came this morning and surprisingly Elder Arndt will be leaving and I'll be leading the area. The poor guy is one-and-done-ing his third area in a row. When we first got the news that he was leaving I thought, "Seriously? I'm taking over the area after less than a transfer? I was just getting comfortable!" Then the Zone Leaders told me Elder Brinkerhoff would be my new companion and I thought, "Oh, well, that works!" He's awesome. I seem to just be cycling through people I already know.

Referrals are still abundant so that'll keep us busy for a while still. We actually had a couple that showed a lot of interest in the Gospel this week. We taught them about prophets and everything and the wife asked us to come back before we did. It's probably the most potential I've seen in a new investigator that wasn't a referral ever in my mission. We're hoping for the best there.

Jodi unfortunately was not able to make it to church yesterday so we're a little worried. We'll just have to teach her the best we can and hope she understands everything a little deeper. Jeje however was able to come which was exciting. The sad thing about her is she lives in a different ward so we actually need to refer her over.

Elder Arndt and I were talking this week and realized we probably have one of if not the most diverse teaching pool in the mission. Currently, with investigators and recent converts, we're teaching people from China, India, and Indonesia. Then you have different races, upbringing, etc. and it makes for some interesting visits.

Wish me luck with transfers! Should be an interesting week.

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

Friday, March 3, 2017

February 27, 2017

Dear Family,

It's been your average week here. Plenty of bible referrals as usual. One of them has potential which is nice. He told us however that he wants to finish the Book of Mormon before he meets with us again. It's still something.

We had a really good lesson with Jodi on Tuesday. It wasn't what we planned at all but she ended up sharing some concerns we didn't know about that I can sort of relate to. We're working on getting her help with that so she can continue to progress. Unfortunately Jodi wasn't able to make it to church yesterday because there was a marathon holding up traffic so she gave up and turned around. We had to wait an hour for it to pass and missed PEC but luckily we made it in time for sacrament. I guess there was more marathon after we passed through though. Sabbath marathons are of the devil, I'm telling you.

I gained some interesting insights from 2 Nephi 31:5-9 at a zone council this week. Basically, Nephi is discussing why Christ was baptized and says that, "it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter." I decided to define a couple words in there including "gate." The origin of the word is related to the Dutch word "gat" which refers to a gap, hole, or breach. In my mind I imagined a barrier separating us from God and in the barrier there is a single breach: making and keeping covenants and specifically baptism. If you wanted to go into it further you could think about how Christ forged that breach and how it's the search and discovery of that breach that allows us to learn and progress. Anyway, I'll send a screenshot of my notes there if you'd like to look at them.

I'll leave you with that for this week. Have a good one!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)