Let me take you back two weeks ago...
So first of all, Sherry's baptism. It happened on Sunday the 18th. We had the baptism after church because that's typically what works best so people can be in attendance. The Spirit there was so special. Sherry asked people who she had gotten close to to give the talks and prayers, and they were all people who probably weren't asked to do those kinds of things very often. We had to go over to one of their houses and help her write her talk. She had been less active and just started coming back to church and was asked to give a talk on the HG. She was scared out of her mind, but did a great job. She was baptized by the Bishop and Elder Carroll and I served as the witnesses. Seeing her look up and smile after coming out of the water was such a cool moment. She had the right mindset that after baptism, she'd be a new person, and I could see that in her eyes as she looked up at us. During the interlude, I played arrangements of children's songs on the piano until they came out. Elder Carroll then confimed her and gave her the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Standing in the circle for that ordinance was another incredible experience. Again, I could feel a change come over her as she received that companionship. Overall, it was a great experience for all who were attending, and it was fulfulling to have seen somebody take that step of making a covenant with God and growing closer to him.
Then came the Monday right after. We had zone conference in Augusta, and we were told Elder C. Scott Grow would be in attendance. As we filed in, we each shook hands with President and Sister Wilkey, then Elder and Sister Grow. As I greeted President Wilkey, he looked me in the eye and said "Life has been going great for you lately, hasn't it?" I agreed. He then said "Well, it's going to get even better. I'm going to have you interview with Elder Grow." I was shocked and crazy excited. The entire conference, I looked forward to that chance to get to talk to a general authority one on one. The zone conference was awesome. We learned a lot from Elder Grow and President Wilkey about having faith to set goals, working with less actives and the ward council, using time wisely, etc. We all took a lot from it. After the conference, we split up into our zones for zone meetings, and Elder Grow went into a side room to do interviews. After a few minutes, the Assistants came and got me and took me wait outside the door. It turned out that 8 missionaries from that half the mission- including a few sisters and a missionary couple- were getting to meet with him. I was honored that President felt I should be one of them.
The interview was awesome. As I walked in, he looked at the paper that had each missionary he was interviewing with a description why each was being interviewed. He said "Elder Esplin, it says on here that you make your companions feel and do better, your areas always improve, and you have a talent for music." He looked up, smiled and said, "You like music?" We ended up spending several minutes discussing music. Turns out he's the pianist/organist at all the general authority training meetings. He also plays jazz piano. Win. We agreed that if we had more time, we'd have a little jam session haha. Anyways, after asking about my family and home and whatnot, he told me I could ask him any question that I'd like. A chance to ask a general authority anything. What do you ask in a situation like that?? haha but I ended up asking him something that had been on my mind for a while. I asked him how I could better follow the Spirit when praying or giving blessings so I can have confidence that I'm investing my faith in righteous causes. We discussed that for a while, and I took a lot from his answer. We discussed the conference, what I'm doing in my area to unify with the ward, etc. Then he said we needed to wrap up. Mom, this is for you. Before we ended, he told me I needed to write home to my mother and tell you that "A General Authority looked into my eyes and soul, and saw a clean, worthy young man who is anxious to serve the Lord." The Spirit was almost tangible at that point. We stood, he gave me a hug, and the interview was over. I left with a crazy fire in my chest to do better, to develop in my eyes the light of Christ that he had. I now have a greater testimony that this church isn't run by men. It's run by Christ. I wasn't having an interview with a man talking about philosophy. I was talking to a man sent on an errand by Christ. I sincerely believe that, and I want to have that same light and purpose in my eyes.
So there you have it. Sherry's baptism and my one-on-one experience with Elder C. Scott Grow. I'm having incredible life-changing experiences out here. I love who I'm becoming, and I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for me. I know he's guiding this work and has a plan for me, and I can't wait to see it unfold. I love you all! Take care! Can't wait to hear from you next week!!
Elder KC Esplin