August 13, 2013

That's a lotta church

Dear Mom,

It's been a pretty great week. On Monday after P-day, we decided to go to Lawrencetown to contact formers, potentials, and referrals. Oh yeah, so our area basically used to be all the small towns outside of Cole Harbour, so it's SUPER spread out. Sometimes we're in the car for like half an hour at a time just to get somewere! It's totally crazy. Anyways, so yeah, we went to Lawrencetown. We ended up contacting a former named Neil, who came out with a huge grin on his face and was just like, "HI! It's good to see you guys again!" So, that was pretty great. We picked him up as a new investigator pretty easily :) He was involved in a car accident when he was 21, and for the last 29 years he's been operating off 2% of his brain, which gives him severe memory problems, but he's otherwise pretty normal. It made teaching him a bit of a challenge. I don't think I've EVER met someone with as much faith in Christ as he has. He's super cool.
Then on Tuesday we had district meeting. The focus was on resolving doctrinal concerns with the scriptures, which is pretty much my favourite thing ever. After that, we went to Pizza Hut as a district, and then we taught a recent convert, Betty. She's great. She's this totally adorable old lady who the Assistants met knocking a couple of months ago. After that, we did some contacting in Eastern Passage and met the Kearleys, who are a SUPER missionary-minded family, but who are also less active. We visited a member couple in the ward, who came up to Sister Echols on Sunday and said, "I have someone for you to go visit!" It was great. So we shared a message, and then contacted their referral, who made an appointment with us. (They ended up dropping us over the phone a few hours before the appointment, but it was still a cool experience to have a member just HAND you a referral.) We also stopped by a less-active couple, who told us all about how the Elders were so in tune with the Spirit, and they always showed up with EXACTLY what they needed to hear at EXACTLY the time they needed it, and then asked, "So, what's your spiritual thought?" Haha, no pressure, right? The Elders were definitely really great and really built up the ward. And then we ended up going to the mission home. Sister Leavey was really sick, so President Leavitt decided she would spend the day at the mission home, and Sister Weaver would come with us.
On Wednesday, we had a bit of a hard time getting the technology committee meeting started, since President Leavitt was driving to some other little town, and everything was a bit crazy. We finally had another meeting, and it was really enjoyable. I'm super excited about it. After that, Sister Echols practiced the violin for a bit since she's in the musical fireside series that the missionaries are doing (I'm not since I was in Newfoundland during tryouts), and then we had "call day" with the Elders. They have in-person call days here in the Metro instead of over the phone, which is a bit weird. Then we had a meeting with the Relief Society president's family. As usual, the members are AWESOME. Then we had another lesson with Neil, wherein we discussed some of his concerns (his family had shown him anti, but he couldn't remember what it was, so we couldn't really resolve it) and we committed him to pray about some specific things regarding meeting with us and whether the church was true. We then rushed over to the Thompsons, an older couple in the ward who are technically less-active, because she has MS and it's pretty advanced. They are the CUTEST couple EVER. She can barely talk, and she can't move at all, but he is just so kind and loving and you can just feel their love. He's also one of those really dynamic, charistmatic people, and it was a really great visit. After we left, Sister Echols said, "If ANYONE deserves to be sealed in the temple, those two do!" They're really great. Then, we made it to the Liddy's for a short get-to-know-you visit. They're a less-active family in the ward, and apparently it's a miracle we made it in, which is weird because they were really welcoming, and fed us homemade doughnuts and chocolate covered strawberries. We had a great, but short lesson with them, and then rushed to the mission home at like 10 at night to get Sister Weaver's temporary companion. (We would have been okay for curfew, but the drive from Lawrencetown to Dartmouth is pretty long). It was totally a day of rushing around to everything, which was a bit stressful, but it was super productive and it was great.
Then on Thursday, President Leavitt had interviews with us in the morning, and then we taught Betty again. We also had a meeting with the WML, and then we taught Sister Bishop with Sister Kearley. It was awesome, because Sister Kearley ended up bearing her testimony of coming to church, which was great. Hopefully, it will be one of those things where she strengthens her testimony by bearing it.
Gaah only 12 minutes left on the library computer!
On Friday, we found a GREAT new investigator! We contacted a former investigator, who turned out to be super old and a bit senile. But her son-in-law was there. He grew up in a mixed Catholic/Protestant home, then he went atheist because of the contradictions. But in college, his friend challenged him to read the Bible, so he read the whole KJV in a day and became converted, but realized that all the churches are wrong. Only thing is, he didn't realize there would be a restoration, so he thought ours was wrong too. So we showed him in the Bible where it predicts a restoration, and he said, " HAS been 30 years since I last looked into your church." Haha. So we challenged him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We're super excited. He's totally solid and has a HUGE knowledge of the Bible. The only thing is, it's a 20-minute drive on the highway one way just to get to him. After that, we had a dinner appointment with a member, and her less-active children were there, which was cool. One of them had had a really cool experience with prayer recently, and it was neat to be in the right place at the right time to really solidify that in their testimony.
On Saturday, we had another technology meeting, and then Sister Echols left for a musical fireside in Moncton. I ended up with Sister Weaver and Sister Dougherty from Halifax, and we all worked in Cole Harbour. We made some member visits, and basically ended up using ALL THE KILOMETERS EVER going back and forth between the Dartmouth area and the Cole Harbour area all day. We had a lesson with Neil, wherein we ended up getting dropped. He apparently had a huge spiritual battle when he prayed about it, which really affected him emotionally/mentally, and his family decided we can't see him any more. It was sad, but we did everything we could to resolve it, and at the end of the day, I'm not convinced he's completely accountable at this time. But I feel like in the Spirit World, he'll be able to remember the answer he got (since he can't remember the answer to his prayer right now, which is part of the problem) and then he'll be converted. After that, we had a DA with the Kearleys, who back right onto the ocean. Their house is AMAZING. We went contacting for the rest of the evening, but nothing really happened.
Sunday was CRAZY. We went to ward council at 7:45, wherein I tried to do the work of four missionaries, since the AP's and Sister Echols were in Moncton. Then I continued to do the work of 4 missionaries in talking to all of the ward members, setting up skype for members who live 2 hours away, etc. Then, we taught youth Sunday School, before going to Dartmouth ward. Elder Edwards was like, hey, you're musical! You're singing alto in the choir performance today! Well, I practiced during the first few hymns and got pretty good at singing alto (which I've NEVER done before), but he played the song really fast, so I was pretty much useless. Then, I gave a talk in Dartmouth ward (which I wrote during sacrament meeting in Cole Harbour ward). Everyone really loved it, and Elder Thatcher, one of the senior missionaries, told me I have "a bright future in the leadership of the Church," which made me feel really good. I just wish I could have given the talk in my own ward, haha. Then, I ended up playing the piano in RS, so basically I did more in Dartmouth ward than Cole Harbour ward, haha. Then, after SEVEN AND A HALF hours of church, we went home and had lunch, before coming back for the baptism of one of the kids in the ward, which a lot of nonmembers and LA's attended. Then we went to the mission office to get Sister Echols, had a dinner appointment with the Liddys, wherein we got a lot of their concerns out, but didn't really make any progress due to a not-very-spiritual lesson (partly their fault and partly our fault), and did some contacting. This one house was COMPLETELY covered in spiders. Like, most houses have about 8 or so around the door, but this one looked like something from a Halloween store.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Jaclyn Olson
Sister Echols has a label maker, and we've been getting along well together.

If you can see behind the deck, we are sitting RIGHT by the ocean and it was AWESOME.

The Kearleys have the same Seinfeld picture that Steven/Uncle Mark does.
Brother Thompson does WWI re-enactments, and some of his stuff was lying on the table. It was pretty cool.

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