was awesome. We taught like crazy- 26 lessons in one week. From what
we could see, it's a record for the area. We're shooting for 30 this
week, and we have plans to reach it!! We also baptized Tammy on
Sunday! That was an amazing experience. Watching her conversion has to
the Spirit worked on her heart step by step, seeing miracles on a
weekly basis, and then to be in the water of the baptismal font with
my arm at the square baptizing her....it was such an amazing
experience. I KNOW that this gospel has the power to change lives and
bring people happiness and peace that they can't find on their own- I
know it because I've seen it.
The weather finally turned into "Maine weather" this week. Yowza. It's
cold. It's pretty consistant at being under 20 degrees almost all day.
But I'm adapting pretty well. I went all day yesterday in my suit with
no thermals and I was fine. That probably won't last much longer
though. They say February is rough. I'm excited to see how that goes!
Luckily, since we're teaching so much right now, we're hardly ever out
tracting or walking around, so I'll live most likely!
So you know what's a crazy thought? I hit 11 months out today. Nuts...
Hmm...what else...Oh. We had another discussion with a baptist
minister this week. We also had a great talk about the Book of Mormon
with a devout Quaker. We also had a great lesson with a very strong
Seventh Day Adventist. It's so cool to see that in every one of those
instances, all I needed to address was the Book of Mormon and whether
or not it was true. In every instance, we could see some way that we
could only add to their faith, not take away, and all they could do to
us is try to take it away. The Book of Mormon is SUCH a blessing to
have. Without it, we'd be so lost.
My birthday plans this week are pretty chill. District meeting will be
that morning, so that'll take up a little while. Funny enough, one of
the other members of the district has the same birthday as mine, so
we're going to have a little party and whatnot. The rest of the day
should just be a normal-ish day. We have quite a few teaching
appointments planned. Jeff and his wife are having us over for burgers
and cake that night, so that'll be fun. But honestly, I'm more excited
about the work than for any celebration for my birthday. The only
thing I'm looking forward to is not being a teenager anymore haha.
That'll be nice.
So I'll end with a little spiritual gem I found this week. The third
lesson we teach is about the Gospel of Christ- faith, repentance,
baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the
end. It's always been my least favorite lesson out of the 5 we teach
for some reason. But this week, I was studying it for a lesson we were
going to have with Tammy. As I studied it, something in the material I
was reading clicked with me. It said "It's a way of life." I felt
something stir when I read that, but I didn't really get it. So I just
let it slide. That night, as we were teaching Tammy, I felt prompted
to draw a diagram to explain it. I didn't know where I was going with
it, but I did. The words just poured out of my mouth as I proceeded to
explain how Christ showed us that our life should be a cycle of
building our faith in him and his plan, changing our life accordingly,
renewing our covenants through the sacrament/making covenants through
baptism, and enjoying the peace and happiness that comes from having
the Holy Ghost in your life. Then feeling that peace and happiness
leads to more faith, which leads to wanting to change your life more,
and so on. It hit me like a train. This is it! That's how we're
supposed to live our life! I can't believe I never really grasped it
like I did right then. If we were to really embrace that cycle, we'd
be living in a state of never-ending happiness (literally actually
haha). This week, I've decided to devote a lot of time to studying
this principle more, because it's so important. Think about it. This
concept can change our lives. For example, let's take church. If you
go to church with a mindset that you're there to build your faith,
then you'll leave having increased faith. That faith will lead to a
desire to change. Once we make that change, we partake of the
sacrament to receive forgiveness for taking so long to take that step
towards Christ, and we then receive the Holy Ghost in greater
abundance, which in turn, gives us peace and happiness. Or think
about, say, the paying tithing. You first have to have faith that
tithing is a commandment and God wants us to do it. We then repent if
we're not doing it, and do it. We take the sacrament to finalize
repentance and renew our covenents, and by doing so, entail ourselves
to feel the Spirit more, which leads to the peace and happiness we're
ALL looking for. Isn't that cool?? The best thing is, I know it's
real, because I've seen people live it and have seen the changes that
happen as a result,and I'm living it too, and I can say that I'm
overflowing with peace and happiness. It's SO awesome. Gosh dang it, I
love being a missionary!!!
Ok, I gotta go. A member is taking us out for pizza. Love you all!!
Hope you have a great week! Talk to ya soon!!
Elder KC Esplin
(or, as they'd say it in Maine)
Eldah KC Esplin