Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Month Anniversary

Well, it wasn't today, but it was this week. Can you believe it's
already been a month?? I've never experienced time go by so quickly.
It's seriously going to feel like I'm going to be home tomorrow at
this rate. I dunno how it is back home, but I'm really worried that
the end is going to come too quickly!

Hope spring break went well!
I wish it was the mid 60's more often here! It actually was around there
on friday. But it was short lived. The next day was in the 20's. Oh
well. You win some, you lose some.

Mom, I did tell that lady all about Jared being 3 months early,
when we went over to help her. It turned into a lesson on faith. She
wasn't a member. It was super good. We gave service to her and her
family quite a bit this last week. We helped her rip out dry wall and
painted floor boards for her. Sound familiar? I definitely felt right
back at home. Apparently the mail is really messed
up up here. But thank you very much! Mom, great choice with that bed
spread. I love it. Other than that, I'm doing quite well!

The people here are slightly insane. So, being as such, I fit right in. (insert laughter here). But
I actually mean that literally. There's a psychologist in my ward that
I talked to. They said that the area I'm in has a very high rate of
autism (sorry, that's probably mispelled.) We get a lot of really
interesting door approaches because of that. But I love the people.
They're sincere. If they're not interested, they aren't interested and
they close the door. If they are interested, they'll welcome you in
and give you anything you need and hear you out. The first option
happens about 90% of the time though. Lots will open the door, hear
that we're missionaries, and just say "We're all set." And close the
door. I'm really learning to dislike that phrase. But we do find the
elect on occasion. We ran into a really awesome family last night
tracting. The dad was in his mid 30's and had had two brain surgeries
and two back surgeries in the last few years. I mentioned the plan of
salvation to him and his wife and they got really excited. So, I'm
really looking forward to teaching them about that and teaching him
the concept that he'll have a perfected body one day. That's going to
be a really cool lesson because I'll be able to really relate to him.
It's funny. I feel like all my life so far has been just getting me
ready for my mission. I look at almost every trial I've had thus far
and how it seems I've met someone who needs to hear about it and how
the gospel helped me get through it. I'm beginning to realize that
sometimes the Lord puts us through trials so we can help others get
through them once we get out of them ourselves. There's some food for
thought.

We had some really cool lessons this week. We taught a little 9-year
old girl the restoration yesterday. That was way cool. Also, we had a
super solid lesson with an elderly couple about the atonement. The
spirit was basically tangible. We committed them to giving up an old
habit keeping them from coming closer to the Savior. It was so
awesome. We have a lot of opposition from other faiths up here though.
Lots of Jehovas Witnesses and Baptists in the area. But, I'm learning
my bible and strengthening my testimony of the BOM and learning how to
teach them about the necessity of the restoration. We had one
particularly fun experience tracting the other day. We knocked on a
Baptist's door, and we had a discussion about our beliefs. He then
told us "Well, I'm done talking with ya. Maybe we'll see you in
heaven, maybe we won't." I smiled at him and said "Sir, I look forward
to seeing you there." He looked up at heaven and said "Oh, Praise the
Lord. Goodbye." And shut the door. It was pretty much epic. I honestly
love missionary work so much. I get to devote all day, every day to
helping people becoming happier by coming to Christ. Can it honestly
get any better than that? I've already seen the gospel perform
miracles in people's life, and I can't wait to see what the next 23
months brings.

So yesterday, I had to give a talk in Church. Luckily, I got a week's
notice with this one. In the MTC, I got called from the pulpit to give
a talk to a congregation. Every week, all the missionaries are
assigned a topic to research. I didn't get to do my studying because I
had a lot to work with in the district at the time. I also got called
to play the piano in a meeting held for all the workers in the MTC on
sundays. I showed up expecting to play piano and be done. Instead, the
member of my branch presidency got up and said "Let's hear a talk from
Elder Esplin." I had about 30 seconds to come up with a talk about
enduring to the end. Luckily, I remembered one scripture mastery that
talk about it (D&C 14:7) And got up and gave a 10 minutes talk on it.
That was intense. Anyways. I was asked to give my talk yesterday on
Charity. I loved it. One thing I really realized is that Charity isn't
something we do. Charity is seeing someone through the eyes of the
Savior and having the desire to help them. Look up the BD definition
of it. But we've been commanded to see the world through the eyes of
the Savior. Think about how the world would be if everybody did that.
I haven't been much in touch with the news lately, but I've heard that
they're finding more and more dead in Japan and that the US got
involved in Africa or something like that. All I know is that now is
the time to start repenting and to start clinging to the gospel. I
think the time we may be tested to see how well we know the Savior may
be closer than we want to think it is.

The mail is finally starting to show up. Dad, I haven't gotten your
letter yet. I got my first letter on friday with one more on saturday,
and both of the were unexpected. I'm hoping the ones that are expected
will start showing up soon because I'm starting to go crazy without
hearing from the some people. I mean, I am getting better at keeping
my thoughts on the work during the day, but at night, I always dream
of home. Every single night. Last night I had a particularly vivid
dream about some friends back home. Hopefully more mail will come
today. But yes. Know that I love you all, and that I love missionary
work. I'll leave with this though. We all have something that we can
give up for the Savior, something that's keeping us from being as
close to him as we can be. I challenge you all to choose one thing
holding you from Him and get rid of it. By doing so, we can begin to
"know Christ" fully, and we will be able to see through His eyes. When
we can do that, other will see Christ in us, and we will be able to
continually be able to have a happiness that can never be quenched and
we'll share it with everybody we come in contact with. That's the
challenge I've left with many of my investigators this week, and I
want to leave it to all of you. Make a goal to eliminate one thing
holding you from being like Christ. It will bring you happiness and
peace. I promise it.

I better go. The mud is calling my name. There's lots of it here by
the way. Apparently there is no Spring here. Only "mud season." Dirt
roads + several feet of slow melting + 20 degree weather = cold mud.
Welcome to every day in Maine. Anyways, I better get log off. Hope all
is well back home. Remember- when in darkness, look to the Light! Love
you all, the church is true, talk to ya next week!

Faithfully,

Elder Esplin

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