Well, I really can't believe it's already 2012. The only thing weirder than that was when I sat down to think about what I did all year and I realized that almost the entire year was out on my mission! It doesn't even feel like I'm even close to have being out in a year. In only a few months, I'll be on the downhill! It's so crazy! New Years was good though. Nothing fancy. We were on exchange with the Zone Leaders in the morning, then we taught a lesson to Tammy, then we went to have a lesson with an investigator Paul, but his Evangelical friend was there,and he had his heart set on destroying our testimonies. Bad move on his part haha. All we did was point him to Matthew 16 and told him that we could compare the knowledge of man all day long, but what it comes down to is the knowledge we get from God. I looked him in the eyes and told him I knew from my loving Heavenly Father that the Book of Mormon was true, and that nothing I could be see, read, or hear could change that fact. We pointed him to the power of prayer and ended it there. Our investigator, who watched the entire thing, told us he wanted us over as soon as we could so we could have another lesson with us. Apparently, he liked our perspective. So that was a cool experience dodging a bible bash by bearing sincere testimony. We then went to a less-actives house to visit her, and then we had to be in the apartment until 7. I spent all night creating my new years resolutions. I did something a little different this year. I took a while thinking about who I had been, who I am now, and who I wanted to become. I looked at who I wanted to become from two views- for the second half of my mission, and for my future family. I realized that I could summarize who I wanted to become on both accounts in one word- Strength. So, I set 3 goals in the categories of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social, each with a heading about "Be Strong." It sounds super corny, but when I prayed before and after it, I felt it was along the course Heavenly Father wanted me to take. So I'll go with that! All in all, I can't wait for this next year!
This last week was terriffic. Firstly, Dan got baptized!! His service was yesterday, and it was incredible. We had a great turn out for it, including several investigators. Tammy loved it and is still stoked for her baptism in two weeks. Another investigator, Sam, also said that after seeing a baptism happen, she's thinking more about doing it herself. So that was a definite highlite of the week. This next week, Dan will be confirmed, and he's asked me to do it. I'm super excited for that. My first District Meeting was on Wednesday, and it went super well. Turns out, we have one of the youngest districts in the mission. All of the members, besides me, and been out less than 6 months. So. That's exciting. We had a discussion about using pamphlets when teaching, and about using Mormon.org effectively. We talked about the value of having profiles on there and posting mormon messages on facebook to find people and share the gospel. I don't know if I've ever really talked about Mormon.org in these emails, but everybody should make a profile on there. Missionaries use that website like crazy, and its a great resource for non-members to do research. I've made a profile on there, and it's helped me find people to teach. Plus, the movies and articles on there are fantastic. So. If you just read this, you need to go to Mormon.org and create a profile and post a video you liked on facebook. You've been committed by a missionary to do so. Report back to me when you do. Thank you =)
So, about the car. Two words- It's amazing. It's a 2012 Subaru Legacy- the only one in the mission right now. It's so beautiful. Dad, remember how you said it might be manual? Well, you're partially right. It's semi-auto (I think that's the word for it) meaning you can drive it either as an automatic, or in manual. But instead of having a clutch, it just has paddle shifters on the steering wheel. So, I've been practicing listening to the engine and knowing when to shift gears. My goal is to be able to drive manual by the time I get home haha. So, that's been really fun. She's a beautiful car. We've name her Layla.
This next week will be exciting. I'm going on my first exchange as a district leader. One of the areas in the district have a baptismal interview that I need to do. That'll be an interesting experience! We're also setting Tammy's baptismal interview for the 15th of January, which we're all really excited for as well. Other than that, life is still going great! I feel like I'm more immersed in the work now more than ever. The work is going extremely well, and we're working like it all depends on us and praying like it all depends on God. Miracles are happening daily, and I know that God is in on this work. I love being a missionary, and I can't wait to see what 2012 has to bring!
Love you all! Hope you have a great start to a new year! Take care! I look forward to hearing from you next week!
Elder KC Esplin