So basically, this week has been one of the hardest working weeks so far on my mission. We've been going 100 miles an hour. But as a result, we found 6 new investigators, taught 21 lessons (11 to less-actives and 10 to non-members) and contacted 11 referrals and received 7 more. Number wise, it was the best week on my mission so far. But the miracles we saw are much greater than any number we reached.
Monday - Wednesday, I went on exchange with my district leader, Elder Maxfield. He came here to Waterville. He's about to go home and was just brought down from being a zone leader last transfer, so he's all full of experience. We had a killer time. We finally got Dan a baptismal date! He'll be getting baptized on New Years Day. We're all excited for that! On Thursday, we had an appointment to go see a part-member family with a member of the ward, but it fell through last minute. So, we had about two hours to kill before we had a member meal across the area. We decided to contact less-actives in the other area. As we went through the names, one of them just jumped out at me, and I just knew that that was the one we needed to go to. So, we took off. We reached the house and a woman came out, who we assumed to be the member. We talked for about an hour or so about family and how the world seems to be tearing down values. It was later in the discussion that I realized this lady wasn't a member. So I shifted gears a little bit and started talking about our beliefs and shard the Book of Mormon with her. I read Ether 12:4 and asked her to think of her 3 kids and if she'd want what the scripture described for her kids. After, she said that's what she was looking for. We'll be meeting with her and her family this week. Total miracle on the Lord's part guiding us there. That night, we had a great member meal with a member of the bishopric. After dinner, we read the First Vision keeping in mind what impact that event had in our lives. The Spirit was super strong, and I kept choking up as I read through Joseph Smith's story. It was a great experience.
We also had another crazy awesome thing happen. On Wednesday, we had our plans fall through and weren't sure what to do. But, I suddenly felt prompted to go see a member who we had helped move in a while before, but hadn't really gotten to know. After talking to her for a little bit, she suddenly cringed in pain and said her back was in intense pain and she had been needing a blessing. So, we gave it to her. She said that during the blessing, she felt the pain just go away. That was a miracle in of itself. The next day, she called us up and said she had a challenge for us. She had invited two of her non-member friends over for dinner and wanted us to come and see if we could start teaching them. We were all over that. We needed a male to come with us because it was all women, so we decided to bring Jeff, the recent convert. Jeff had been going through a rough time and had stopped coming to church and wasn't sure if this was what he wanted to do anymore. But, he was all for a free dinner, so he agreed to come. The night of the dinner, we had a great discussion with the member's friends- Sam and Tami, and Jeff actually contributed a lot. Both her friends agreed to take lessons from us and come to church the next Sunday. After the lesson, we went home with Jeff and thanked him for contributing, and we asked him if he'd come to church this Sunday with his wife. He said he wasn't sure, but we asked him to think about it. Sunday morning came around, and we went over on our way to church to see if they were coming. Jeff opened the door, invited us in, and announced that he had changed his mind- he felt this is what God wanted him to do, and he was going to do it. He quit smoking again, came to church, and said he wanted to be there to help teach Sam and Tami for the rest of the lessons. It was an answer to so many prayers to see Jeff get back into the swing of things. It was one of the happiest moments of my mission to see him back in church. Mircales happen!!
But the story doesn't end there. Sunday after church, we went over to see Sam and Tami again to see how they liked church and to teach a lesson. Jeff came with and loved it. During the lesson, Tami told us she had spent all the night before in the ER because of some stomach complication. She asked for a blessing. Tami isn't really a spiritual person and isn't sure what to believe, so for her to ask for a blessing was really cool. I explained how the priciple of faith works for blessings, and we got up to give her a blessing. Elder Jenkins annointed, and I blessed. After, she said that as soon as Elder Jenkins laid his hands on her head, she felt a warmth on her head and a peace all over her body. We explained it was the Spirit. Suddenly, her face went shocked and she said "The pain just stopped. What's going on??" Her member friend laughed and said it was the power of the priesthood at work. She looked at us and said "This is unreal. I can't believe it. This stuff works." It was so cool to see another miracle of God as he healed her and boosted her faith. I'm excited to see where Sam and Tami go! Also, an update on Eric and his family. They couldn't make it to church because they had a family friend die and we couldn't meet with them this week because of his crazy work schedule. But, they're still reading and praying, and he's working with the Bishop to get married. They're still great!!
I could keep going about how blessed the work has been lately. God really has some big plans for Waterville, and I count myself so fortunate to be a part of it. I'm working my little tail off trying to keep up with it all and keeping my greenie in line (he's actually doing great. He's goofy, but he's doing great). I'm loving the Christmas season too. It's weird not being home for the usual traditions, and I know it's going to be even weirder as Christmas gets closer, but it's been cool to go around and sharing the true meaining of Christmas and how it can bless families. I love being a missionary! It's by far the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's also the most rewarding! Thanks for all your love and support. I know this is where the Lord wants me to be, and I consider myself so lucky to have been blessed by him so much to be where I am.
Love you all! Have a great week! I look forward to hearing from you next week!
Elder KC Esplin