Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Welcome to Innisfail

Wow I can't believe everything has happened in just one week. It is crazy how time has flown by.
Quick question. Have you gotten my letter? A lot about the rest of plane ride is included in it.

Well let me start off by telling you about where I am. I am in a pretty small town called Innisfail. It is the second/third most southern areas in my mission. I'm in the Red Deer zone and the different areas are Innisfail, Olds, Red Deer, Three Hills, Rocky Mountain House and Stettler. Olds and Three hills are farther south, but they are both about equally south. The Innisfail area covers Innisfail, Springbrook, Penhold and Bowden. It's quite a big area.
Innisfail is built pretty much on top of a hill so we haven't had to worry much about the floods. Some families farther out in town that are closer to the river were effected and we might go and help them once the water has receded enough.
My companion is Elder Marsh. He is from Holiday, UT area. He is just a great trainer. He is really encouraging me to put myself out there and be able to share the gospel.
Well I hope by telling about everything that has happened will tell you a little more.
Well Tuesday we went to a church and had lunch (it was 4:00 and we were all used to having dinner at 4 so we were surprised later that we were going to have dinner), We then watch a driving video and had to read through and sign a bunch of papers about driving. I don't get to drive for at least 6 weeks, but I don't care. We then were supposed to meet with the assistants and individually meet with President Campbell. Well the last two to meet with him were Elder Sorensen and I. Sister Galovich had just come out and I was about to head in when he said he had gotten a phone call and dinner was ready back at the mission home. So we loaded up and went there. We had dinner and then we got to meet with President Campbell. We then had a little devotional in the basement. The sisters stayed there in the basement. 3 of the Elders (they were 3 of the 4 odd men out, aka not in my MTC district) were upstairs. The rest of us went to the Assistants apartment for the night.
Wednesday morning we all got up and went to the Stake Center right next to the temple. (yep even in Canada) The temple is actually really small. The Church might be bigger than it is. We brought all of the luggage and piled it into some side rooms. We then had a small meeting about our allotment cards and medical stuff. (talk about that in a minute). We then went into the Relief Society room and got to meet our trainer and find out where we were going to be serving. I guess I was too excited to here who my trainer was that I didn't really pay any attention about where I was going. (like I would have known anyways). I kinda looked stupid later when I couldn't remember. We then got our pictures taken and those are the ones you saw. After a little while we went into the transfer meeting where everyone who was being transferred came to meet. We all stood and told where we were serving and then heard the departing missionaries testimonies. Afterwards we went into the gym and got to talk and say goodbye to everyone. We then jumped in the car and drove down to Innisfail.
Well the members here are so great. We have a meal at a members house pretty much every night. They are so wonderful. I have found out that I really need to be doing more exercise in the morning because those 30ish pounds that I lost I'm going to be gaining back pretty quickly. The members here are soo great. They love the missionaires. They are strong families and even though many of them are part member they are still so great.
Well I better wrap it up.

Dad did you say that you went to the worldwide training? Did you hear the announcements about Facebook and Church tours? Crazy, We might be able to get on facebook.
Well I love you and can't wait to tell you more.
Elder O'Neill
P.S Here are some pics. The one of the sky was at 10:00 June 22. Crazy how bright it still was. One of them was from dinner with the Kinders. We had a green meal for the "greenie". The others are of me at the airport in front of the Canadian flag there is one that I cropped that I hope you can use for my plaque.

Last Day at MTC - Pictures 6/17/2013

The computer that I was using upstairs wouldn't let me attach any pictures. So I finally got on a computer in the laundry room that will. So here they are
Elder O'Neill

Last Day at the MTC

Hey there,
So today is my last day in the MTC. It is so weird how it flew by so quickly. I can not even believe it. They said the days were long and the weeks were short. We truly know how true that is. Oh and apparently the you can email anytime after p-day was a false rumor. We can only email on p-day or during the gym time that we use for laundry time the day before we leave.
So first off I want to tell you my flight schedule for tomorrow.
  • 2:30 AM Report to Travel office
  • 6:00 AM Depart SLC
  • 9:28 AM Arrive Minneapolis, MN (MS airport)
  • 11:35 AM Depart MS
  • 1:34 PM Arrive Edmonton, Canada (YE)
Ain't this a lovely schedule. Well I do get time to call home when we get to Minneapolis. I think it will be around 9:00 here when I get to call. Dad hopefully you are able to stay home for a little while.
Well let me tell you about the rest of my week. Actually I don't know what to tell you about it. I love my district and we really don't want to leave because all of us will miss each other soo much. We have really been able to come close to each other.
So apparently there were some confusion about my district. We are district 64-C. There is Elders Christensen, Hatch, McMullen, Webb, Monk, and I. Along with Sisters Karford, Budge, Galovich, Teuscher, and Dougherty(?). Elder Hatch, Elder McMullen, and Sister Dougherty are going to the Halifax mission. The rest of us along with district 64-B are all going to Edmonton. So pretty much 2/3 of our zone are going to Edmonton this week.
The Devotionals here are great. There is one Sunday night and one Tuesday night everyweek. Tuesday night was a special one, in that it was the first time that both the Main and West campus' got together in person. As you saw we were all walking over to the Marriot Center. That walk was a little touching for me since I used to park there everyday of my college life. It was a really inspiring devotional by Mervyn J Arnold. I was able to sing in the choir even though we forgot about choir practice the week before, we just kinda join in. The choir had to leave early so our district just came along. Well apparently so did a lot of districts. We had a choir of about 2,000 missionaires. It was really awesome.
Well then we had classes and the usualy things for the rest of the week. I finally did run into Sister Tafua. Actually yesterday I kept running into here everywhere. It was really pretty funny. We got a picture that I will attach. I also finally got a picture with Hermana Lewis. And I warn you about the pictures. There is I guess a rule that you are supposed to include your companion in every picture so that's what ended up happening. Elder Christensen is really funny and turned around in one of them. Hermana Lewis's companion would play along so that one kinda looks awkward. The second one is just fine I think. Also we didn't realize until it was over that my name badge was in my suit pocket and hers was hidden under her scarf. It was a funny moment.
Oh so in class on Saturday with Bro Anderson, we had the opportunity to prepare a lesson for someone else in the room. Since we have 6 elders and 5 sisters one of us had to pair up with Bro Anderson. He had it already planned out and I ended up being the lucky one. I already knew that he was an amazing teacher, but the message that he shared with me was so uplifting to me personally. He shared with me a scripture in Moroni that I can't remember right now. Then he shared D&C 68: 3-6. That really touched me. It really gave me the faith, hope, and confidence that I really can do this marvelous work.
Well I love you and hope to be able to talk to you tomorrow from Minneapolis.
Love and miss you,
Elder O'Neill

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hi there,
It is finally p-day. We are so excited. We actually have time to kick back and relax a little. Well even though we have some free time we don't know what to do with it.
Well first off. I get absolutely no sleep. Mom you knew I would have a tough time getting up at 6:30 every morning. Well I don't get to get up at 6:30. I have to get up at 5:45 pretty much every morning because we have the early schedule so we have to be at breakfast at 6:30. Ya I guess I deserve that.
Well let me tell you about my district. There are 6 elders and 5 sisters in my district. There is Elder Christensen (my companion), and Elders Webb (our district leader), Monks, McMullen, Hatch and me. We are all in the same room. Yep all 6 of us. There is also Sister Karford, Budge, Dougherty, Tuecher, and Galovich. Even though we have only been here for 5 days we are all super close. We are bonding super well. Our Teachers are super awesome as well. Brother Anderson and Brother Blatter (pronounced blotter) are amazing.
The other day during our 3 hours of study (yes super super long study times) we would getting talking about movies and other things. Later that night when Brother Anderson was teaching us, we were all pretty much chastised by the spirit. We all thought that Brother Anderson could see it in our faces that we were guilty of what his was speaking about, but we found out the next day that he had no idea that that was exactly what we needed to hear. It was pretty amazing.
So about my companion Elder Christensen. He is so awesome. We really get along pretty well. He is from Gilbert Arizona. From what I can tell we are both really similar. We are both usually pretty held back and reserved when it comes to teaching, but he is much less reserved than me. I have had to challenge myself to talk more during our lessons.
So I regret to tell you that I will not be coming back with an 'eh' accent. Elder McMullen and Hatch are from Alberta and are going to Halifax. They said that the accent mostly comes from the weirdos in Toronto. Ha Brock is going to get the accent not me.
I have run into so many people that I know. I don't have my journal with me so I can't say everyone, but I will try my best. I have seen Regan (obviously you heard about that), Bridget (her classroom is down the hall from mine), Krysta Moss (say her as she was saying goodbye to her family), Nalia (Dad she says hello), Stewart (from my choir class last semester, He is a teacher here. Tell more about that in a minute), and some other people from high school and college. I can't remember everyone right now. It is super fun to run into everyone.
So about Stewart. I found out last night that he was Sister Bangerter's teacher. She is Elder Christensen's girlfriend going to New Tork, Yudaka (?). Ya it was a weird connection. My companion's girlfriend's teacher is one of my friends. It is so crazy.
Anyways I have loved the letters that you have sent. I love how stupid the people and Valtek/Flowserve are. I love to here about what is going on.

Tell Sean, Emily, Olivia, and William thank you for the package. I love the mentos and reese's a lot. Thank you for another tie, but not really sure what I'm supposed to do with the pocket square.
I know Dad I thought I wouldn't be writing super long novels but it looks like I will be. The emails probably quite as long since while we are still here at the MTC we can get on email for a little bit each day after this. We didn't have email privledges until p-day. It was a weird rule but I can understand it.
Well, even though the MTC is hard it is still a great experience. We learn so much and really get a lot of teaching experience. A mission really does change someone. I have been here for 5 days and I already fell like a different person.
Here are some pictures of our district at the temple Sunday.

Love you lots,
Elder O'Neill
(still getting used to that)
P.S. Mom you can post this on the blog.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Entering MTC June 5, 2013

Well Folks, He is in the Lord's hands now! Entered the Provo MTC @ 1:45pm. We took the picture got in the car and never looked back. Wouldn't be able to see anything if we did.