Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy belated 4th of July

This last week has been so much fun! Working as a trio has been quite the experience. We got along great. A member lent us his guitar, and we all play and sing, so we wrote songs and sang every night. It's also been cool because we're covering not only Belfast, but Rockland as well, so we got to go on an excursion for a day down there. Man it's beautiful. Anyways, my 4th was awesome! We were lucky to have it fall on P-day. We spent the morning doing the typical P-day stuff, then we went to a member's home for a BBQ. We had some amazing food and then played guitar and sung pioneer songs and hymns together. After that, another member family picked us up and we went to go see fireworks. The cool thing was, it was right on the shore and it was foggy. We couldn't see the actual fireworks, but the blasts lit up the fog various colors. It was basically a light show in the clouds. It was so cool. It seems like the 4th of July is a lot bigger of a deal on the East Coast than back in Utah. There were thousands of people everywhere all day. It was a lot of fun. So yeah. It was an awesome 4th of July.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. We had an awesome lesson with Peter and Rose on Wednesday. We gave them service for about two hours pulling weeds. Never again will I complain about STG weeds. It took 4 people 2 hours to clear out a garden about 200 square feet. As we worked, Peter told us he was the Master at the local Masonic Lodge. He told me about the Masons and about the process to become one. I've decided I'm going to join when I get home. It sounds so cool. After service, Rose made us dinner. She's been trained to cook in Italy, so it was incredible. Then, we had a solid lesson on prayer. We addressed their individual concerns about praying and how to receive revelation, and the Spirit was very strong. They committed to pray together every day and pray individually as well. They came to church on Sunday, and they said they're feeling closer as a couple now that they're praying together, and Peter, who normally never prays on his own, said many prayers this week and felt they were answered. They're doing great! We think they're getting close to baptism.

The next day, we went down to Rockland and partied down there. Saturday, we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. We had a great day in Belfast. We taught 5 lessons and found a new investigator. Woot! Then Saturday night was transfer calls. The verdict: Elder Nicholes is going District Leader on the other side of the mission, Elder Brown is going Zone Leader in Auburn, Maine, and I'm....staying in Belfast!! I was so excited to hear that. There's so much good stuff going on in Belfast right now, and I'm growing really close to a lot of our investigators. On top of that, right now is when Belfast starts firing up their tourism events. They had a huge art show on the water front this weekend, next weekend is a Celtic festival in the park, there's a Blues Festival in a few weeks, and every Friday night is art night. There's musicians on every street corner playing. I'm pretty sure I'll be busting out my sax on the street corner playing hymns in a few weeks. That'd be sweet. Anyways, I'll be getting my new companion tomorrow. We'll see how that goes!

So one last thing. This week, I got hold of the talk "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson from Matt. Holy smokes, that talk rocked my world. Not only did it remind me how much I have to improve, but it made me recognize that that's really what I'm fighting most over here- Pride. That's why nobody listens to us or keeps their commitments. It's why people look the other way when we wave or cat call out of their cars when they drive by. I also thought about high school and how much pride was involved there, not only within myself, but all around me. I've also realized how hard it is to be truly humble, but how good life would be if we were to achieve it. I've done lots of introspection about all that this last week and have been setting goals about how to overcome that obstacle in Belfast, and also within myself. But yes. Everybody should read that talk. It's amazing.

Alrighty, I better go. Love you all! Hope all stays well back home. Stay cool! Talk to you in a week!
-Elder Esplin

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