Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello Again

Man, I love P-days. I especially love getting to email home and getting to hear from you. It's one of the highlights of my week! Know that I love and miss you all!

Sounds like things are pretty crazy back home. That's a huge bummer about Gma and Gpa. I actually have been thinking and praying about them all week. I wasn't sure why, but I guess I know now.

I've been doing better than ever. All the bike riding and sleep is really paying off. I haven't had stomach problems in a long time, and I haven't even caught anything close to even a cold. The Lord is definitely helping me out there!

So first of all, I gotta say how awesome things have been going over here lately. Not just in the work, but personally too. Work wise, things have been crazy awesome. Last week, we were one of six areas in the entire mission to hit the church's missionary goal of 20 lessons in a week. Waterville hasn't hit that standard ever that I or other missionaries could remember. We've been working really hard at contacting as many less-actives as possible and talking to everybody we encounter. We've been working super hard. Riding the bikes has been exciting. I tried figuring out how many miles we rode on our bikes this week going from town to town. The results came out aroung 50 total miles. That doesn't sound like a ton, but when you consider the fact we're riding in suits and our bikes are older than we are, it gets pretty intense haha. I had to perform surgery on my tire this week because I blew it out by accidentially going off the road (long story). So I now know a ton about the workings of road bikes. Random skill: obtained. But we have SUCH a solid week planned this next week. I honestly can't wait. First of all, we have a baptism planned for this next Sunday!! A lady named Sherry is going to get dunked. I'm super excited for it. It'll be my first convert baptism I'll get to see. We also have several lessons planned with a new baptismal candidate named Jeff.

Jeff is a non-member husband of a returning less-active lady. The missionaries have been visiting her for the last two months or so teaching, and he sat in on a few of the lessons. Last week, we decided to extend a formal invitation to him to take the lessons from us. He basically had a "sure, why not" attitude about doing it. The next time we went over, he said he had some questions for us. We were eager to answer them. His first question was about Joseph Smith, which we resolved, and then his next question was "You have to be baptized to be sealed in the temple, right?" We nodded. He then asked "Ok then. How soon can I be baptized?" HUH?? HOW COOL IS THAT?? He was serious too. We set a date for the weekend after conference. He committed to quiting smoking, to reading and praying with his wife, and to coming to church, which he did yesterday. Oh man, that was such a blessing from the Lord. He totally did all the work on that one. Such a cool experience. So yeah. We have a baptism this weekend plus one more in a month. I can't wait!!

Other than that, the work is going really well. We work all day to find less-actives, and that's been going really well. Most are super friendly and love to talk. We're getting lots of referrals from them, and we're making it a point to talk to lots of people who cross our paths, so we have several new investigators we're starting to get going. The members have been treating us really well too. We have constant invitations to come over and eat dinner and whatnot. It's all just going great!!

So to answer a few questions. This Wednesday is Zone Interviews, which I'm really excited for. The Belfast elders will be there, so I can find out how everyone is doing back there. No word from Malachi yet, but I'm planning on writing him today to see how he's doing. I'm sure he's doing great. I have been playing piano a ton. I'm still playing in Priesthood and District Meeting. They also asked me to play in the baptism of an 8-year-old in the ward two weeks ago, so I played an arrangement of "Be Still My Soul" I bought before I left. Sherry asked me to play again in her baptism, so I'll be playing another one of those arrangements again. Also, something cool. I've been working at learning how to play the organ a lot. I've put several hours on it the last few weeks, and I'm starting to get it down. I'm still a few years away from getting on the MOTAB organ, but we'll see what happens haha. I'm really enjoying that. I also found two massive books of clasical paino music in Belfast, so I'm learning some new songs out of there on P-day and before church (we get dropped off 2 hours before church starts, so I have plenty of time to play piano/organ). Also our new landlords, who are awesome, had me play on their keyboard in their house and told me they'd find me somewhere to play. I guess they advertised me to a rest home in the area and they said they'd love to have me come play for thier residents, so I think I'll go shopping for a book of oldies like the ones Pal and I played for them. That'll be a good service/finding activity. But yeah. That's most of the stuff that has been going on. Oh yeah. Something else cool. Next Monday, we're going to Augusta for a General Authority visit. Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70 is speaking. He gave a talk this last conference on the Atonement if you want to look him up. That should be really cool. So, I won't be emailing on Monday, but I hear we'll be getting P-day on Tuesday instead. So just a heads up on that. But yeah! That's most of what's been going on over here!

On a side note. Lately, I've been absolutely and completely engulfed in joy, peace, enthusiasm, and optimism. It's been incredible. And I think I know why- I've finally given my heart to God. I've been wrestling with myself over that one the last few months, either because I was too attached to things back home or I couldn't get into the work or had doubts about things or whatever else. I've finally gotten over all that, I'm beginning to give the work 110%, and I'm truely trusting God in every way. And by doing so, God is blessing me with such an abundance of happiness that I don't know what to do with it all! It's been so incredible. It's like how Elder Maxwell said. Consecration is the only surrender that is a victory. It's so true. If I've learned anything on my mission so far, it's that true happiness can only come by giving our hearts to God. I can give solemn testimony of that because now that I truely have and my works are backing it up, I feel more content with life and myself than ever before. I've put myself into God's hands, and now he can shape me, and I can't wait to see what he makes of me!!

Ok, I best be going. Know that I love and miss you all, I love hearing from you, and I hope all is well back home. Know that this church is true and that I'm loving it so much over here. Take care!! Hope to hear from ya next week!!

-Faithfully,

Elder Esplin

No comments:

Post a Comment