Alright. Let's get down to the Nitty Gritty. This week started off with an unpleasant suprise- snow. Lots of snow. It pounded in out of nowhere. We drove to district meeting Wednesday morning in it, and it was super intense. Cars were everywhere haha. It wasn't even a slight problem for me though, seeing as how I've grown up driving in the snow...oh wait...haha no, I did really good. Yes Dad, I'm going really slow and being extra cautious. There's not a chance in Hades I'd do something stupid and lose this car. Snow is still on the ground too, but it's melting fast. Hopefully we'll hold off the snow a little longer! They say it's the warmest it's almost ever been this time of year. Global Warming for the win! Haha not really. But I'm enjoying it all so far. Staying warm, being safe, all that good stuff.
Thanksgiving was awesome. We basically ate non-stop for 7 hours. No joke. I don't know if I've ever eaten that much food in a day before. We had 3 dinner appointments, each 2 hours apart, then on to the Bishop's home for pie. It was an incredible day. I was at the brink of exploding though haha. I woke up the next morning still feeling full. But that's half the fun, right? Everyone also thought of us to give us left-overs, so I won't be needing to buy groceries this week. The ward here is awesome- I'm getting quite attached. We already have people fighting over having us on Christmas day. We've already got the day mostly scheduled out. Anyways. With every home we visited, we shared the story of the 10 lepers and talked about gratitude. I reflected about gratitude a lot this last week, and I feel more appreciation for the goodness of God towards me than any other time in my life. It really hit me in church yesterday. I was sitting in Priesthood listening to a lesson on enduring trials, and I was just overcome with gratitude for everything I have and am. I ended up saying one of the most sincere prayers of my life. "Heavenly Father, Thank You. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." All in all, I've been really grateful for this lst week's Thanksgiving experience.
This next week should be a good one. I've been invited to a leadership training back in Manchester tomorrow through Wednesday night, so I'll be making the same 3 hour pilgramage back to New Hampshire tomorrow. I'm super excited for it though- I hear these MLT's are amazing, and I'll be seeing a lot of my former companions and MTC group there as well. My greenie is going to be running the area while I'm gone. It'll be interesting to hear how that goes!
So I'll share a quick experience before getting going. Yesterday, we made a visit to a referral given to us by a member. We asked him "Who's the most religious and open-minded person you know in all of China?" (the town they live in). He gave us the name of a trinitarian minister. He said he didn't see it going anywhere, but we could always pay him a visit. So, we did. We ended up sitting down and discussing faith for about an hour. We taught him about prophets, baptism, the Atonement, all the good stuff. Bible references kept coming to mind, and I know that was the Spirit bringing things to rememberance for me. But after a while, we hit a road block. He didn't know if he could buy into the Spirit World concept. He started going for references in the Bible, and I could feel a bible bash coming on. But, I then remembered what our mission has been emphasizing like crazy the last few months- the Book of Mormon. I pulled out a copy and told him about it, what it was, and I told him this. "We could go back and forth in the Bible all night long if we wanted to. But ultimately, what it comes down to is that we belive the Book of Mormon is true, and that it was translated by a prophet of God. The only way to find that out is through revelation from God through the Holy Spirit. I know it's true. It's through that book I discovered the love of Jesus Christ. And we'd encourage you to read it, ponder it, and pray and ask God to reveal to you through the Spirit if it's true. That's how you can know if what we say is true. Don't believe us- believe God." Oh man, the message of the Book of Mormon is so beautiful! I love it! He said he agreed that only God could reveal truth to us, and asked for a month to read it before we could come back. It was a testimony builder to me that our message really is so simple- God's called a prophet, and you can find out through the Book of Mormon. That's it. That's the only conflict someone needs to figure out with the church. Is the Book of Mormon scripture translated by the power of God, or ficticious religious philosophy written by a cunning genious. Those are the only possibilities. Anyways. That was a really cool experience for me yesterday. Thought I'd share!
Ok, I best get going. We have a lot to do before I can pack for the trip to Manchester. Love you all! Hope you have a great week. The church is true and God loves you!
Elder KC Esplin
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